Is e-Biking Cheating?

Over50

Well-Known Member
Who's cheating? Every time I'm gaining on those roadies or other bike commuters, they are
blowing through stop signs while I'm stopping. It ain't fair!
True to my own quote: a woman pulled up behind me at a red light tonight on my way home. Obviously an accomplished road biker; she was muscular, tan and riding good hardware. She was friendly enough and didn't comment on my e-bike but just my helmet (positive comment it was). I left her easily when the light turned green thanks to the CX but she caught me and passed me easily as I topped out at 19.5 mph in the sprint to a residential cutoff. We cut through a residential area that connects two major blvds - the stretch is about 1.5 miles and there are about 5 consecutive 4-way stops. As we turned into the residential she had about a 1/2 block lead and I naively thought "I can probably hang with her in the start/stop riding whereas she's obviously gonna kill me on the stretches". Well she proceeded to blow right through all the stop signs not even slowing and as I caught the red light at the next major blvd she was a mere speck way off in the distance. As I sat at the red light choking down her dust I thought "hey, that was cheating"...
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Got my first cheating comment in the field a week ago... I'd ridden a fair bit and decided to stop at a park bench. Was checking emails when someone flew by me on a racing bike and yelled "Cheater." I laughed out loud, as loudly as I could, hoping the "uneducated commentator" would come back... I'm assuming the epithet was because he saw I had an ebike, not because I was seated ;)
The irony, however---my pedal assist was 100% dead--my whole ride that day had been 100% human powered... on a 50lb bike... who was the cheater, then?
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
The irony, however---my pedal assist was 100% dead--my whole ride that day had been 100% human powered... on a 50lb bike... who was the cheater, then?
Now that is irony at its finest! On the 22 mi bike ride I took the other day (that's a long ride for me), I actually used my ebike unpowered for about a mile. Total weight of bike including all the stuff I carry is 60 to 62 lbs.

Someone who can cycle 25 or more miles and maintain speeds over 15mph consistently is what I would consider decently fit. They don't need the assist because they are able to accomplish that kind of ride and speed.

No one looking at me when I need to stop and rest could ever say, "she's not really getting a workout." My face is always pink/red from exertion, I'm sweating because it's usually humid and warm, and my heart rate is always up there. And that's *with* pedal assist. If I was on a regular bike with no motor, I'd only be able to go about 3 to 5 miles on a perfectly flat path and my speed would be around 10 mph. I'd still be just as red-faced, but my ride would be over in about 20 min. as I'd need to stop for the day.
 

LS3Miata

Member
I do believe in some manner we all have our biases. I live on a popular bike trail and see a couple of (the same) people nearly every day using throttle only and no peddling. While I realize it isn’t illegal, I personally find it a bit annoying on a bike trail.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I do believe cyclists of every stripe feel a little put upon by someone. I was doing about 1800 to 2000 miles a year prior to ebiking and got run off the road, yelled at, honked at daily and been given the finger more times than I care to remember. There are some crazy commute videos posted by cyclists on YouTube that are cringe worthy.

I'm not a fan of the cheating insult, but I often find it funny because it's usually said by people I know I can out bike. Cyclists in North America and the UK are treated appallingly by the public. I wonder if the insults we get are coming from just learned behavior. They hear 'lycra lizard', or 'get on the sidewalk where you belong' and they feel the need to turn around and insult someone else. Shame..... there isn't a general 2 wheel fraternity. Same is true in the motorcycle world, I also belong to. It's just an ugly world sometimes.
 

trinideryck

New Member
Cheating?! Ebikes make great training bikes for my road ride. Think about it... a road bike can only weigh so much but my eBike can feel like it weighs 60lbs or 6lbs and every where in between depending on the level of assist I’m on. Which makes it the perfect bike to do interval training. I’ve gotten so much stronger because of it and when I jump on my carbon everything, pick up with one finger race machine, I’m kicking major ass on the asphalt.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I admit that as a BMW owner I love poking fun at Harley riders
I've never been brand sensitive. I tend not to push any brand, not even the ebikes I own and love. I'll suggest where to look, but not necessarily what to look at. I don't want the responsibility of someone getting the wrong bike.
 

Pluto

New Member
For those interested, there are a few numbers on the post by Pluto (Quantitative benefit of pedal assist) that demonstrate how hard an e-biker actually works.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
Well he didn't tell me I was cheating but he did yell "you're riding a f***ing motorcycle". I think it is close enough to saying I'm cheating such that I can post it here and not take the thread too far off-topic. And now, for the rest of the story:

And I preface this anecdote by stating "to whatever extent I contributed to this unfortunate incident I am truly sorry and repentant and I will try to do better next time" (in all seriousness and no cynicism intended):
I'm leaving downtown on my Class 1 Haibike tonight and riding in the right hand traffic lane (not bike lane, not sidewalk but street). I have a green light to turn right but there is a pedestrian in the cross walk who has right of way and he is oncoming. Business attire around 70 years of age guestimate. I'm signaling my right turn, making eye contact, going slow enough to let him clear the walk (IMO). But I didn't wait until he reached the curb and when I had clearance I went around him towards the outside of the interior lane of traffic. He was stepping to the curb as he began yelling "f*** a**hole" and other things prefaced by f-bombs. It surprised me as my passing him, from my perspective and IMO, was a non-event, normal ordinary course of business for downtown commuting. Being too weak to ignore the insults, I braked and u-turned onto the sidewalk and went back with a "ok, what's the problem?" He said I almost ran him over on my "f***ing motorcycle" he mentioned getting police involved and then went a bit long-winded about how he is a long time cyclist (again, IMO: I'm a real cyclist and you're not was the point although not exact words). Now maybe I'm wrong but it seemed to become less about my passing distance and more about what I was riding (the motorcycle). In the end we had words, no more, and nothing was resolved for the better. Yes, I should have ignored him. It was a beautiful evening and I should have just focused on enjoying the ride home. As I always do, I will strive to do better next time.

Oddly enough: a little ways up the road I am stuck behind a commuter cyclist on in the bike lane on a drop bar bike. He had headphones and no mirror so he had no idea I was behind him. I lost my chance to pass early-on so I was keeping a good distance (in part thanks to the smelly clove cigarette he was smoking). So I watch the guy go right through a red light on the university campus scattering students/pedestrians in the cross-walk. I thought "maybe that guy earlier thought I was too close to him but I know I didn't do anything like what I just saw" ...
 

Darb1972

New Member
Im finding these words are first to fall out of peoples talking holes, after the 'ooh nice thats a nice bike', followed by doesn't look cheap.

I tell them of only doing a 14 mile ride in the previous (too tooo long) years.
In two months the app odometer reads 268 kilometres.
Then ask what was their point exactly?

I say this with the cheesy grin still there from riding it,
 

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Ebikefevercure

Active Member
it's only cheating if you're competing against a non e bike rider for money and you lied about having a motor. if you're riding for fun do they say that riding a motorcycle is cheating? I have an atv too, how bad am I a cheater there and against who am I cheating? where do we draw the line? it seems like the only people who argue about it have a complex they can't contain. They act like it takes no energy to ride an e-bike, ignorant fools believe all the propaganda they read too.
 

Barkme Wolf

Active Member
I do believe in some manner we all have our biases. I live on a popular bike trail and see a couple of (the same) people nearly every day using throttle only and no peddling. While I realize it isn’t illegal, I personally find it a bit annoying on a bike trail.
Sounds like a personal problem.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I got the "cheater" comment yesterday! I was on my R&M on the way home from work. A woman who I have seen before on my commute uses a kick scooter (not electric). We found ourselves together at a red light near downtown and she says "that bike have a motor"? And with my "yes" she responded "cheater". But she was laughing so I took it as some friendly stop-light banter and shared some wise cracks with her.
 

Gator

Well-Known Member
Zealots, militants, radicals, extremists, will never be satisfied with any of our explanations or motives for riding an Electric Bike. People who have insulted you or made proclamations are fulfilling a personal need to justify their own radical views. It is a psychological trick that allows people to do all kinds of crazy stuff all over the world. They are basically saying, "I am more devoted to beliefs/cycling because I ride this machine rather than that machine. " It's our job to differentiate between the friendly cyclist who may be just engaging in some friendly banter and those who are not.