Asking for advice on electric bicycles

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by H_hannah, May 1, 2003.

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  1. H_hannah

    H_hannah Guest

    Hello,

    I am in the market to buy an electric bicycle, and I am having some difficulty figuring out which
    one would be the best for me. I used to love to bicycle for hours when I lived in Florida, but the
    hills in my new city of Atlanta just don't make it fun anymore... I just don't have the dedication
    and fitness to be a serious cyclist, but I would like to get back into cycling on a lower level.

    I would like something that would help me use my car less, assist me getting up hills and help me
    running errands around the neighborhood with moderate peddling. I don't need too much range (it
    would be nice to commute to work bicycling, but it would be a really long ride in some terrifying
    traffic). My top concerns are reliability, comfort, maintenance cost, price and theft prevention. I
    am 5'8" and 145 pounds -- I am still not totally sure how size and weight matter for these bicycles,
    although many of them say that you can ride them up 250 pounds.

    I am leaning towards a folding electric bicycle because I could carry it into the apartment and
    stores more easily and not have to worry about it getting stolen. I would need power mainly for
    hills and for accelerating in traffic. I want something that looks more like a bicycle and less like
    a moped, since I would like to occasionally ride it in the park without getting unwelcome attention.

    I am wondering if anyone would care to talk about their experiences with electric bicycles. I am
    looking right now at three kinds: the Currie Folder, Ebike Mini folder (24-volt) and the Merida
    PowerCycle.

    Thanks, [email protected]
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    (h_hannah) wrote:

    > Hello,
    >
    > I am in the market to buy an electric bicycle, and I am having some difficulty figuring out which
    > one would be the best for me. I used to love to bicycle for hours when I lived in Florida, but the
    > hills in my new city of Atlanta just don't make it fun anymore... I just don't have the dedication
    > and fitness to be a serious cyclist, but I would like to get back into cycling on a lower level.
    >
    > I would like something that would help me use my car less, assist me getting up hills and help me
    > running errands around the neighborhood with moderate peddling. I don't need too much range (it
    > would be nice to commute to work bicycling, but it would be a really long ride in some terrifying
    > traffic). My top concerns are reliability, comfort, maintenance cost, price and theft prevention.
    > I am 5'8" and 145 pounds -- I am still not totally sure how size and weight matter for these
    > bicycles, although many of them say that you can ride them up 250 pounds.
    >
    > I am leaning towards a folding electric bicycle because I could carry it into the apartment and
    > stores more easily and not have to worry about it getting stolen. I would need power mainly for
    > hills and for accelerating in traffic. I want something that looks more like a bicycle and less
    > like a moped, since I would like to occasionally ride it in the park without getting unwelcome
    > attention.
    >
    > I am wondering if anyone would care to talk about their experiences with electric bicycles. I am
    > looking right now at three kinds: the Currie Folder, Ebike Mini folder (24-volt) and the Merida
    > PowerCycle.

    They're heavy. just learn how to use gears - you'd be amazed how easy (if slow) hills become.
     
  3. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "h_hannah" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I am in the market to buy an electric bicycle, and I am having some difficulty figuring out which
    > one would be the best for me. I used to love to bicycle for hours when I lived in Florida, but the
    > hills in my new city of Atlanta just don't make it fun anymore... I just don't have the dedication
    > and fitness to be a serious cyclist, but I would like to get back into cycling on a lower level.
    >
    > I would like something that would help me use my car less, assist me getting up hills and help me
    > running errands around the neighborhood with moderate peddling. I don't need too much range (it
    > would be nice to commute to work bicycling, but it would be a really long ride in some terrifying
    > traffic). My top concerns are reliability, comfort, maintenance cost, price and theft prevention.
    > I am 5'8" and 145 pounds -- I am still not totally sure how size and weight matter for these
    > bicycles, although many of them say that you can ride them up 250 pounds.
    >
    > I am leaning towards a folding electric bicycle because I could carry it into the apartment and
    > stores more easily and not have to worry about it getting stolen. I would need power mainly for
    > hills and for accelerating in traffic. I want something that looks more like a bicycle and less
    > like a moped, since I would like to occasionally ride it in the park without getting unwelcome
    > attention.
    >
    > I am wondering if anyone would care to talk about their experiences with electric bicycles. I am
    > looking right now at three kinds: the Currie Folder, Ebike Mini folder (24-volt) and the Merida
    > PowerCycle.
    >
    > Thanks, [email protected]

    No need to be a 'serious cyclist' to ride and run errands. You can go as fast or as slow as you
    want. Riding an elec bike is either use the motor like a baby motorcycle, or be prepared to work a
    lot harder than a regular bike.

    My one test ride of a Giant LaFree left me underwhelmed. The powerassist was OK, but the drawbacks
    were numerous. Weight, handling, cost, range, etc, etc. I found that basically the motor overcame
    the extra weight of the batteries and motor. No real benefit over a non powered bike.

    The Merida seems to be similar. Motor assist, which means you *must* pedal to activate the
    motor assist.

    As far as carrying it into your apt.....notice how few manufacturers give the weight of these
    things. Figure at least 60-70lbs of awkward bike to try to carry. Those batteries and motors
    are heavy.

    But, if you must, go look here: http://www.electric-bikes.com/ http://www.powerassist.com/

    Pete
     
  4. TNEWSOME1

    TNEWSOME1 Guest

    I think electric bikes are excellent for the elderly and disabled who, for whatever reason, can't
    ride a regular bike. But for anybody with a reasonable fitness level who doesn't have to ride a long
    distance, forget them, get a regular bike! "h_hannah" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I am in the market to buy an electric bicycle, and I am having some difficulty figuring out which
    > one would be the best for me. I used to love to bicycle for hours when I lived in Florida, but the
    > hills in my new city of Atlanta just don't make it fun anymore... I just don't have the dedication
    > and fitness to be a serious cyclist, but I would like to get back into cycling on a lower level.
    >
    > I would like something that would help me use my car less, assist me getting up hills and help me
    > running errands around the neighborhood with moderate peddling. I don't need too much range (it
    > would be nice to commute to work bicycling, but it would be a really long ride in some terrifying
    > traffic). My top concerns are reliability, comfort, maintenance cost, price and theft prevention.
    > I am 5'8" and 145 pounds -- I am still not totally sure how size and weight matter for these
    > bicycles, although many of them say that you can ride them up 250 pounds.
    >
    > I am leaning towards a folding electric bicycle because I could carry it into the apartment and
    > stores more easily and not have to worry about it getting stolen. I would need power mainly for
    > hills and for accelerating in traffic. I want something that looks more like a bicycle and less
    > like a moped, since I would like to occasionally ride it in the park without getting unwelcome
    > attention.
    >
    > I am wondering if anyone would care to talk about their experiences with electric bicycles. I am
    > looking right now at three kinds: the Currie Folder, Ebike Mini folder (24-volt) and the Merida
    > PowerCycle.
    >
    > Thanks, [email protected]
     
  5. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    At one of our club rides, a factory representative came out with an electric bike. You could pedal
    the thing or switch over to electric power. I think it cruised at 15 mph on electric and could go
    about 30 miles on a charge. But the bike weighed a bunch and I forget how much. Even a not so fit
    cyclist can cruise at 15 mph so it seems to me that the electric bike just does not cut it. Of
    course, they coulda improved.

    I would recommend getting a road bike with three chain rings so you have really low gears for those
    hills you are hitting. Climbing will be slow, but the hills are not that big in Atlanta.
     
  6. I own a mountain bike, a road/racing bike, and a beach cruiser retro-fitted with a Currie electric
    drive system. So I've had some experience comparing over a number of situations.

    My commute is 7 miles one-way, and about 1/5 of that is dominated by two monster hills. An electric
    bike makes those hills easier, but if you're like me you tend to pedal on the flat straightaways
    which are made harder and slower by the bike's weight. So I found that over the whole of the trip, I
    actually got MORE of a workout with the electric than with my road bike. And the regular road bike
    is much faster on the flat straightaways due to the much lighter weight, higher gearing and smooth
    skinny tires. This is important because time is often a factor when commuting.

    I've found the electric bike to be great fun riding with my little daughter on her
    tandem-attachment. We both pedal around the park together and engage the motor when we have to climb
    a hill. The bike is already heavy from my daughter and her tandem attachment so in this context the
    extra weight of the battery, etc. isn't much sacrifice. If we continue pedaling with the bike, and
    we always do, we just fly up the hills (which are everywhere on our fun-biking routes) which is very
    fun and we're still getting a lot of exercise. As a result we can ride up to parks, playgrounds,
    etc. that we'd normally have to take the car to, and ride much farther than we otherwise would.

    However, you will not be able to ride one of these things without getting some 'curiosity'
    attention. Expect to get questions. They look odd to anyone making more than a passing glance and
    the motor makes a curious high-winding whining noise. Attention, wanted or no, is a forgone
    conclusion if you go this route.
     
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