Electric Bikes

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by essjay, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. essjay

    essjay New Member

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    We've been looking into electric bikes as a possibility for a friend who has been diagnosed
    with MS. Her husband came up with the idea of getting her an electric bike as she liked
    riding her bike before the fatigue and muscle weakness associated with her illness made
    it difficult for her to use a normal bike for any length of time.

    I've only ever tried one electric bike which was a very early model that was loaned to
    a bike messenger company I worked for years ago for a few weeks trial. I think the
    company who loaned it to us thought we would ride it around town and they would
    get their product some publicity or maybe buy a few to use. Sadly in reality nobody
    would take it out because it weighed a ton and didn't last very long so it spent most of
    the trial starring in impromptu drag races or towing each other on skateboards around
    the industrial estate where we were based.

    I'm obviously hoping electric bikes have come a long way since then but we're also
    realistic in our expectations. The bike will just be used for cycling with the kids to
    school and nipping to the shops or around town to visit friends.which would give her
    a bit of freedom to get out and about rather than having to rely on someone to drive
    her or trying to mess around on public transport which usually involves a walk at
    either end.

    If anyone has had any experience with any of the more recent electric bikes we'd
    love to hear their thoughts on the bikes they've tried or owned.
     
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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I had plans of buying an electric bike at the cost of around $400 here. It is made in China under the brand CD-R King. Yes, that store which sells CDs and DVDs, they also have solar panels and electric bikes now. One I know who bought an e-bike says it's good although the speed is in the maximum of 30 kph. Pretty good speed, I'd say, if you are not in a hurry. However, the charging of battery takes overnight and the power lasts for only 1 hour. That's why I'm still waiting for new models with maybe better batteries.
     
  3. bykster

    bykster Member

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    I've met a Dutch dude once who was doing some huge European tour with a bike like this and the only reason I struck a conversation with him was because his bike looked a bit odd so I asked him about it and he was kind enough to explain. Basically, he was in a similar position as your friend and used to love riding long distance but now couldn't because of some health issues (he didn't say, but judging from his aspiring Santa beard, I'd say he was rather old). What I recall is that he had to stop and recharge the batteries and the sometimes put him in a tough spot, but I'm sure your friend won't riding tours of Europe.
     
  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    While I've never ridden one myself, the battery would also be a big issue for me and if the battery needs charging quite often, how long will it be before it needs replacing altogether?

    While the prices of the bikes aren't cheap, I'm guessing a lot of that will be because of the prices of the battery.
     
  5. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    Are we talking electric assisted bicycles or those stupid electric slo-peds?
     
  6. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    I've never really got the idea of electric bikes. Sure the ones that have an electric boost may help get up hills sure, but isn't the whole purpose of a bike to be propelled by your own power?

    Seems it kind of defeats the object unless there are special circumstances.
     
  7. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Pardon me but I don't know what slo-peds are. My idea of electric bike is the motor-bike which is actually a motorcycle with pedals. However, the engine is not gas-powered but electric-powered. So in effect, the e-bike is like a toy that you can pedal like a real bicycle or use the electric engine to work like a motorcycle. That is much fun to use, I imagine, because you just move without pushing the pedal. And if the battery runs low then you can use the pedal to bring yourself home.
     
  8. oportosanto

    oportosanto Well-Known Member

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    The concept of electric bike is a little strange to me because I like pedaling so what's the issue with having it electric? If it has a motor is something entirely different, eventually when I am older I will use it. :)
     
  9. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    I think that a lot of cyclists do frown upon the electric bikes, and they see it as a form of cheating in a way. While I agree that some people who aren't able to cycle due to age or injury they could be of benefit, I'd think that for real cyclists that are young, fit and healthy, it's not something they'd want to use.
     
  10. Susimi

    Susimi Well-Known Member

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    While I can see the benefits for an old age pensioner or someone who has some sort of injury, the concept of an electric bike still baffles me however.

    As I say, I can see the benefits for certain uses but to come up with an electric bike, essentially solving a problem that does not really exist, just seems a bit crazy.
     
  11. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you. That's the same opinion of the cyclists I know. They say that an electric bike should be considered a motorcycle simply because it has an engine and you can travel with it without any effort (when you use the engine). With the pedals, they are just for emergency use and the real mccoy is the engine. In other words, the pedals perhaps are for emergency use only when the battery conks out or the engine develops trouble. But for people like me who have disability then I think the electric bike is a gift from heaven.
     
  12. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    Here in the UK there's been a big push on towns and cities installing cycle lanes, so again the question comes up, are the electric bikes allowed to use then?

    Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular, and a few times cyclists have had to stop to let the electric bikes past, and that puts into question the safety aspect of them.
     
  13. oportosanto

    oportosanto Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on the goal we are cycling with. If we are doing it to commute we might as well use electric because it's will be faster, but if it's just as a form of exercising there's no point in cheating there.
     
  14. mayasupernova

    mayasupernova Active Member

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    To be honest, I have never heard of electric bikes before I saw this thread. I must be very uninformed on the matter, so I had to Google it. I bumped into this video and i liked how the guy explained what an electronic bike is, and show it on the video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5BY_ko3sI4

    Charging it daily costs less than 10 cents, he claims. That seems cheap enough, and I could choose, and had enough money, I would also opt out for an electronic bike.
     
  15. 9lines

    9lines Member

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    I bought my first booster bike early last year. I like it since I can ride it while going to work - mostly when I am tired and want to avoid pedalling. It is rechargeable and I can ride upto 30 kilometres before I can recharge it again. It is also lightweight and foldable.
     
  16. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Go for it, OP!

    The new e-bikes offer controllable power, speed that will keep the user safe in most traffic conditions and the battery run time and range on the brand name models is impressive and practical.

    I don't know where you are located, but check out the TREK models. They are expensive, but parts and service available. The English bike store websites offer a variety of less expensive options.

    Good luck to your friend's wife.
     
  17. bikeguy603

    bikeguy603 New Member

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    I own an OHM electric bike and LOVE it. It provides pedal assist in 4 levels or can be unassisted. I also live on top of a mountain that has a 6%-12% grade for 1 1/2 miles. When leaving for the ride no pedal assistance is needed since I'm traveling at 50+ MPH coming down the mountain, but after doing my usual rides of 30-40 miles, having to return home to that incline has gotten to be too much. While I own other bikes, the electric pedal assist is great particularly on steep terrain. Advertised range is 80 miles at the lowest setting. Which is true if you live and ride on flat ground, but in steep hills like mine, I am getting about 40-45 miles.

    I would stay away from the cheap Chinese manufacturers and would definitely recommend you do a lot more homework before buying. You want to buy from someone that can give you service and parts. I bought from http://www.ebikesofne.com/default.asp and can recommend them in terms of knowledge, experience, and selection.

    There are a lot of companies coming out with electric bikes now and it is one of the fastest growing segments in the bike industry. Be sure to stick with a manufacturer that has many years of experience and is well capitalized so as to be around when you need parts. The retailer's website that I bought my bike from would be a great resource for you to use and Paul is very knowledgeable.
     
  18. Kakashi

    Kakashi Active Member

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    I do think electric bikes are for people who has physical difficulties or has medical conditions preventing them to use and enjoy a regular bike. I think the best ebikes are those which still has options for manual pedalling. More and more ebikes are coming out in the market which looks like regular motorized scooters and motorcycles and I think it should be called e-cycles and not e-bikes.
     
  19. reighn

    reighn Member

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    Why don't you just buy the normal motorcycle? specially if you already have bike? and if your plan is to travel far by using this E-bike? E-bike in our country right now need to be register and you should have driver licence, compare before. So if that implemented to other country much better to buy motorcycle.
     
  20. JB Fernandez

    JB Fernandez Member

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    Well, the kind of bike is not ideal for long travel, or even buying some stuff in the supermarket. You might end up, pushing it going back to your home. But, I saw some e-Bike which is hybrid. It's powered by a chargeable battery, but if the battery runs out, you can just pedal your way going anywhere you want.
     
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