Need your views on E bike

Frank Baker

New Member
Hi,
This weekend I tested out several electric bikes and was extremely impressed riding one. However, I am having a hard time justifying dropping huge bucks for an electronics bike. I would most likely get something like sports bike at that cost.
I have a 28-mile round trip commute for work that I try to bike as often as possible during the summer which turns into 2-3 times per week. I have never biked it in the winter and would prefer a fat bike for going through the snow. Right now I have a cyclocross bike so winter riding is not possible at the time.
I have a friend who is an emergency electrician in Toronto, he said that electric bikes are not that worth. There is no need to pay such huge amounts and there are many limitations to it. You can't go for a long trip with these bikes. Also, we can't drive too fast with these electric bikes.
This is what he told me. So what do you guys think? Would an E-bike help me with my commuting? Or should I select another option?
Any E-bikers out there that could give me some real-world advice and share your experiences?

Thanks!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
When my travel needs dropped below 2000 miles per year, cars became uneconomic. The wire harnesses sensors and computer systems become unreliable at about 10 years due to planned obsolescence. The dreaded check engine light is caused by the use of copper tin and brass connectors in a system that operates at 13.6 v. Low currents at the 15 to 20 sensors make signal blockage by oxidation nearly inevitable. The supply of spare harnesses & computers is produced in the year of manufacture and will oxidize sitting on the shelf. So in the experience of friends and relatives, cars code out and begin to plug up the catylitic converter in limp home mode, possibly at 24000 miles. My brother sold off a 2002 Ford truck at 60000 miles and 10 years because the check engine light wouldn't stay off more than 3 weeks after 6 visits to 3 different mechanics. I traded in a 1986 chevrolet that plugged the catalytic converter 4 times after check engine lights, at 5 years and 60000 miles. Yes, new cars are good for 150000 miles and possibly 180000 without major repair in their short life, but I'm no longer going to use that many miles. A 24000 mile pickup costing 40000 that is undriveable at 10 years cost $333 a month or $1.67 a mile. At my current income level in retirement that is a waste of money.
I can run all my errands by bicycle. The upgrade to electric from a regular bicycle was $820. I upgraded to electric because wind has picked up, dragging my 27 miles summer commute down below 5 mph last September. That is too many heartbeats, and the distance won't decrease. I was out of supplies in the country and couldn't wait for a calm day.
If the battery becomes unuseable in 500 charge cycles, and produces 60 miles per cycle, that is $.27 per mile. But if I only used the electricity 125 miles a year on windy days, pedaling the rest of the time, the battery could last 24 years. Getting cost down to $34 a year. Note geared hubs bikes are best for pedaling without dragging the motor along.
If one uses the battery every mile, then $.27 a mile is a waste. But as a supplement to person power, it could be quite economic. With only $820 to lose, I thought it was worth the experiment. Actually I blew $620 more on systems that didn't work. But still an affordable experiment. Hint, in Canada use grin tech, in US lunacycle. Pay the premium. I ran down the first charge in October on a 50 miles all power trip. The second charge is still on the green light; I only use the motor to make stale green lights.
With the weather in Toronto being much worse than here, your electrician friend might be right. Renting a car every time the temperature went below 10 deg F or there was ice on the roads would drive the costs of transportation right up there. Here just above the frost line, I can make it through the week or two of unrideable weather by walking to the save-a-lot grocery and the family dollar store two blocks from my house. OTOH if there are huge commuter traffic jams that you can bypass on bike paths as in some cities, electric bike is a positive benefit. Be sure to buy the class 1 or 2 bike that can be used legally on such a path.
Fat tire bikes incure an additional premium for being fashionable right now. I ride 2.1" tires on the bike shown, which are fine in any snow under 12" that doesn't have patches of ice hidden under it. I found a $1500 cargo bike necessary to not spill me over the handlebars due to the rear unbalanced weight. The mountain bike + baskets configuration that spilled me on my chin 5 times in 5 years weighed 120 lb rear 20 lb front without me on the bike. No wonder the front tire was unstable over gravel patches, a 2" high pavement separator, a speed bump, a branch in the road. The stretch frame above puts my weight on the front tire. It is a yubabikes. Similar stretch frames come from xtracycle or radwagon.
Enjoy calculating, then shopping.
 
Last edited:

Balemonkey

New Member
Everyone's situation is different, Indianajo's calculations and situation aside look at it this way. How many miles would you drive in a week. What is the year round weather where you are. I live in far North East New York where winter can last from early Nov. to late April so my needs may be different then yours. What is public transport like. What are my real car costs (insurance, maintenance, gas and parking.) Gather that information then look at the E-bike and see if it can solve your problems.

Lets say you drive on average 30 miles a week with no trip over 5 miles. If you live in Toronto the summers are mild and the winters are snowy but never dip below 0 f so you may not want to bike in the winter or you may want to buy a fat bike. Your public transport situation I don't know about but your automobile ownership costs must be high 400-500 per month? An ebike would be right for you without a doubt. This is a guess on my part but you get the picture. See your needs and see if the E-bike can replace or supplement your car.
 

DDBB

Well-Known Member
I agree that e-bikes are expensive for what you get but the fun factor makes them worthwhile for me. There are some good end of model year clearance deals but right now those are probably gone. I won't be calculating cost per mile and the e-bike is not a replacement for my car. For me it's all about recreation and fitness and time spent with my wife as she loves her bike too
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
Frank I don't know if there is a commuter forum but if not maybe post in the general
think you will get more replies from the guys that commute, there are a lot of them
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I can't really answer your general question, but I can tell you it seems you are getting some questionable information.

For myself, I have taken my e-bike on two long tours of 650+ miles (over 10-12 days) without any problems. My only gripe is that charging batteries in campgrounds can be challenging.

As for commuting, a 28-mile roundtrip commute should be easily doable with many, if not most, e-bikes on the market today. Depending on how hard you push the bike and yourself that should be a reasonable hour of travel time each way, perhaps a bit less than that.

From a value proposition standpoint, if you consider fuel costs, insurance (you can usually get a significant discount if you are not using your car to commute), and parking even a quite expensive e-bike could pay for itself in a couple of years if you committed to using it one hundred percent.
 

Frank Baker

New Member
When my travel needs dropped below 2000 miles per year, cars became uneconomic. The wire harnesses sensors and computer systems become unreliable at about 10 years due to planned obsolescence. The dreaded check engine light is caused by the use of copper tin and brass connectors in a system that operates at 13.6 v. Low currents at the 15 to 20 sensors make signal blockage by oxidation nearly inevitable. The supply of spare harnesses & computers is produced in the year of manufacture and will oxidize sitting on the shelf. So in the experience of friends and relatives, cars code out and begin to plug up the catylitic converter in limp home mode, possibly at 24000 miles. My brother sold off a 2002 Ford truck at 60000 miles and 10 years because the check engine light wouldn't stay off more than 3 weeks after 6 visits to 3 different mechanics. I traded in a 1986 chevrolet that plugged the catalytic converter 4 times after check engine lights, at 5 years and 60000 miles. Yes, new cars are good for 150000 miles and possibly 180000 without major repair in their short life, but I'm no longer going to use that many miles. A 24000 mile pickup costing 40000 that is undriveable at 10 years cost $333 a month or $1.67 a mile. At my current income level in retirement that is a waste of money.
I can run all my errands by bicycle. The upgrade to electric from a regular bicycle was $820. I upgraded to electric because wind has picked up, dragging my 27 miles summer commute down below 5 mph last September. That is too many heartbeats, and the distance won't decrease. I was out of supplies in the country and couldn't wait for a calm day.
If the battery becomes unuseable in 500 charge cycles, and produces 60 miles per cycle, that is $3.60 per mile. But if I only used the electricity 125 miles a year on windy days, pedaling the rest of the time, the battery could last 24 years. Getting cost down to $34 a year. Note geared hubs bikes are best for pedaling without dragging the motor along.
If one uses the battery every mile, then $3.60 a mile is a waste. But as a supplement to person power, it could be quite economic. With only $820 to lose, I thought it was worth the experiment. Actually I blew $620 more on systems that didn't work. But still an affordable experiment. Hint, in Canada use grin tech, in US lunacycle. Pay the premium. I ran down the first charge in October on a 50 miles all power trip. The second charge is still on the green light; I only use the motor to make stale green lights.
With the weather in Toronto being much worse than here, your electrician friend might be right. Renting a car every time the temperature went below 10 deg F or there was ice on the roads would drive the costs of transportation right up there. Here just above the frost line, I can make it through the week or two of unrideable weather by walking to the save-a-lot grocery and the family dollar store two blocks from my house. OTOH if there are huge commuter traffic jams that you can bypass on bike paths as in some cities, electric bike is a positive benefit. Be sure to buy the class 1 or 2 bike that can be used legally on such a path.
Fat tire bikes incure an additional premium for being fashionable right now. I ride 2.1" tires on the bike shown, which are fine in any snow under 12" that doesn't have patches of ice hidden under it. I found a $1500 cargo bike necessary to not spill me over the handlebars due to the rear unbalanced weight. The mountain bike + baskets configuration that spilled me on my chin 5 times in 5 years weighed 120 lb rear 20 lb front without me on the bike. No wonder the front tire was unstable over gravel patches, a 2" high pavement separator, a speed bump, a branch in the road. The stretch frame above puts my weight on the front tire. It is a yubabikes. Similar stretch frames come from xtracycle or radwagon.
Enjoy calculating, then shopping.
Thanks for sharig your exprience with me. This will surely help me a lot.
 

Frank Baker

New Member
Everyone's situation is different, Indianajo's calculations and situation aside look at it this way. How many miles would you drive in a week. What is the year round weather where you are. I live in far North East New York where winter can last from early Nov. to late April so my needs may be different then yours. What is public transport like. What are my real car costs (insurance, maintenance, gas and parking.) Gather that information then look at the E-bike and see if it can solve your problems.

Lets say you drive on average 30 miles a week with no trip over 5 miles. If you live in Toronto the summers are mild and the winters are snowy but never dip below 0 f so you may not want to bike in the winter or you may want to buy a fat bike. Your public transport situation I don't know about but your automobile ownership costs must be high 400-500 per month? An ebike would be right for you without a doubt. This is a guess on my part but you get the picture. See your needs and see if the E-bike can replace or supplement your car.
Thanks for the reply mate,
I travel 28 miles round trip from office 4 days a week. And in Toronto, we have high snows. Plus parking charges are also high. I don't like to travel on public transports. I think its better if buy an E bike.
 

Frank Baker

New Member
I agree that e-bikes are expensive for what you get but the fun factor makes them worthwhile for me. There are some good end of model year clearance deals but right now those are probably gone. I won't be calculating cost per mile and the e-bike is not a replacement for my car. For me it's all about recreation and fitness and time spent with my wife as she loves her bike too
As I have an average salary, I have to look at the cost too. But I think I can manage an E bike and most probably I am going to buy one soon
 

Frank Baker

New Member
I can't really answer your general question, but I can tell you it seems you are getting some questionable information.

For myself, I have taken my e-bike on two long tours of 650+ miles (over 10-12 days) without any problems. My only gripe is that charging batteries in campgrounds can be challenging.

As for commuting, a 28-mile roundtrip commute should be easily doable with many, if not most, e-bikes on the market today. Depending on how hard you push the bike and yourself that should be a reasonable hour of travel time each way, perhaps a bit less than that.

From a value proposition standpoint, if you consider fuel costs, insurance (you can usually get a significant discount if you are not using your car to commute), and parking even a quite expensive e-bike could pay for itself in a couple of years if you committed to using it one hundred percent.
charging must be a big problem on a tour of 650 miles trip.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
charging must be a big problem on a tour of 650 miles trip.
For the most part it isn't really an issue. I ride with two 500wh batteries, at low levels of pedal assist I can easily cover 100km in most terrain. When I tour on a vanilla bike I usually figure around 65-75km per day as a reasonable pace, and with an e-bike you can easily cover 100km per day with roughly the same effort and riding time.

I charge opportunistically during the course of a day (my two big favorites are covered picnic shelters in parks (very common in the NW) and coin-op laundries). Most days and most terrain I don't need to charge during the day.

Having said all that, I am looking at some tours that would be infeasible with that range, and am likely to purchase a third battery to make those trips possible.
 

SirJonathan

Active Member
Which one do you enjoy the most while riding?
eBike by far! You can really look around and there's no dread of hills. Each bike has it's benefits but for just the sheer joy of riding around more as a passenger the eBike is more fun. You can go very fast and travel far longer distances while still being outside in the sun and getting some exercise.
 

Frank Baker

New Member
For the most part it isn't really an issue. I ride with two 500wh batteries, at low levels of pedal assist I can easily cover 100km in most terrain. When I tour on a vanilla bike I usually figure around 65-75km per day as a reasonable pace, and with an e-bike you can easily cover 100km per day with roughly the same effort and riding time.

I charge opportunistically during the course of a day (my two big favorites are covered picnic shelters in parks (very common in the NW) and coin-op laundries). Most days and most terrain I don't need to charge during the day.

Having said all that, I am looking at some tours that would be infeasible with that range, and am likely to purchase a third battery to make those trips possible.
That sounds good.
 

Frank Baker

New Member
eBike by far! You can really look around and there's no dread of hills. Each bike has it's benefits but for just the sheer joy of riding around more as a passenger the eBike is more fun. You can go very fast and travel far longer distances while still being outside in the sun and getting some exercise.
Great. Thanks for the response
 

Gator

Well-Known Member
Hi,
This weekend I tested out several electric bikes and was extremely impressed riding one. However, I am having a hard time justifying dropping huge bucks for an electronics bike. I would most likely get something like sports bike at that cost.
I have a 28-mile round trip commute for work that I try to bike as often as possible during the summer which turns into 2-3 times per week. I have never biked it in the winter and would prefer a fat bike for going through the snow. Right now I have a cyclocross bike so winter riding is not possible at the time.
I have a friend who is an emergency electrician in Toronto, he said that electric bikes are not that worth. There is no need to pay such huge amounts and there are many limitations to it. You can't go for a long trip with these bikes. Also, we can't drive too fast with these electric bikes.
This is what he told me. So what do you guys think? Would an E-bike help me with my commuting? Or should I select another option?
Any E-bikers out there that could give me some real-world advice and share your experiences?

Thanks!
Yes an e bike will help with your commute. There are lots of nice bikes out there. If your emergency electrician friend had a bad experience with an electric bike maybe he should give it another try.

When I started looking at electric bikes I rented one and rode it for about 20 miles. Rent one and see what you think. Would love to hear your opinion after riding one.