Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
This is part of a series of videos we filmed with Benno Baenziger, the founder of Benno Bikes and an industry icon who founded Electra bikes and designed the Townie which ended up becoming the most popular bike in the US.

He's helping to define the ebike market and I’m excited to share some of his ideas with you.

what do you guys thing? Any other reasons? I think these are the main ones.
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
Status. I think in US culture riding a bike for transportation is seen by some as an indication of failure.
You are probably on to something there. Most folks in the U.S. have never priced a Stromer or an R&M or (insert brand of other expensive e-bike here). That might change some opinions!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
You are probably on to something there. Most folks in the U.S. have never priced a Stromer or an R&M or (insert brand of other expensive e-bike here). That might change some opinions!
Nope. At least for the Lexus and up riders, bike = cheap.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
Sure, safety. The death rate for pedestrians and cyclists is the highest it has ever been. With very few protected lanes in most places and distracted drivers, whether you wear a helmet or not isn’t worth squat when you get hit by a 3 ton SUV.
 

baxterblack

Member
cyclists and pedestrians safety is the biggest issue -WAY too many people texting looking down only scanning for cars
 

revelpaul

New Member
Comfort. People want to hop in their living room on wheels with comfy seat and crank the A/C (or heat).
Oh and a lot of people complain that the wind/helmet messes up their hair.
Perhaps there isn't much we can do to persuade this segment of the population.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Status. I think in US culture riding a bike for transportation is seen by some as an indication of failure.
This is so true!!
I remember back in high school, whoever had a car was a cool kid. They automatically had a status.

On the other hand, ebikes are not cool.
Cars are cool, it is ingrained in our society, pretty much since our young age.

So many people think ebikes are for elderly people, or assistive device.

There are sporty MTB ebikes too, but still, not as cool as cars. Even MTB riders do not like ebikes (maybe because of image?).
What kind of kids dream of having an electric bike? Not many.

I think you nailed it, ebikes do not have cool factor. (or "status" as you described)
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
The seat is not comfy.
It is too hot in the Summer and too cold in the Winter. In the winter, I don't want to ride on icy streets. Make that weather.
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
what do you guys thing? Any other reasons?
2 more reasons:
1) Time and comfort on long commute - on most highways in rush hour you're still doing 30 mph or more, 30 miles on a bike (bypassing the traffic) will take 1 hour on a saddle - a pain.
2) Convenience. It's not just "can't carry enough" but overall convenience - you can shop multiple places with a car, filling the trunk or back seat as you go. Can't leave your stuff in a bike.

All his 8 reasons are valid for regular bikes and haven't disappeared for ebikes, except for "too hilly" - ebike eliminates this problem, at least in most US cities.
 
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Alex M

Well-Known Member
Sure, safety. The death rate for pedestrians and cyclists is the highest it has ever been. With very few protected lanes in most places and distracted drivers, whether you wear a helmet or not isn’t worth squat when you get hit by a 3 ton SUV.
Dangers or cycling VS driving are obvious.
Dangers of walking are less clear. There are more pedestrian fatalities than drivers' per mile, but total pedestrian fatalities are several times lower than drivers' because we don't walk nearly as many miles as we drive, so - realistically - walking is safer than driving.

It is also interesting that total pedestrian fatalities were dropping for 20 years from 1990 to 2009 - then they began rising again and now are about same high as in 1990. The author attributes this to trucks and SUV becoming more popular. Here is the Article.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Dangers or cycling VS driving are obvious.
Wouldn't that depend on your city's cycling infrastructure though? 🤔

Your assumption is, if you were to get hit by a car, you would rather be in a car than a bicycle.

I know a lot of cities have made designated cycling path, so that people can avoid highways on their commute.

Because which commuter do you think will most likely get into a serious accident?

75 Things to Do While Driving
The do's and don'ts of highway driving (column)

highway-56-bike-path-4
The 11-mile paved Legacy Trail follows an abandoned railroad bed from Sarasota’s suburbs to Venice, and connects to another 10 miles of trails called Venetian Waterway Park.
 

bikeman242

Active Member
Anybody who has biked around Copenhagen / Denmark will know the obvious reason why people in the USA do not ride bikes.

The infrastructure around the cities/towns/localities for safe and convenient bike riding simply isn't there.

Thread closed.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Convenience is a part of it. Jumping in your car is just easier than getting your bike helmet, gloves, panniers, etc. The car is rain tight, your bike, not so much. We get ~60 inches of rain yearly. I'll ride in some light rain, but take the car when it's pouring, which is fairly often in the wet season.

I would think safety would be another top issue. As @bikeman242 pointed out, the cycling infrastructure in the states is not well developed. Unless you restrict your riding to the few dedicated trails that are available near you, you are going to end up riding with cars whose drivers aren't paying attention or just don't care. Sections of busy streets without at least bike lanes will be unavoidable. Some people just don't to deal with this so they take their car.
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't that depend on your city's cycling infrastructure though? 🤔

Your assumption is, if you were to get hit by a car, you would rather be in a car than a bicycle.
It's a reality, mechanics, not an assumption. Drivers fare better (much better) than cyclists, in a cycle-car accident.
Some cities are better than others, some local areas are better than others, but an average US town doesn't have an adequate cycling or pedestrian infrastructure, so it is dangerous.
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
It's a reality, mechanics, not an assumption. Drivers fare better (much better) than cyclists, in a cycle-car accident.
Some cities are better than others, some local areas are better than others, but an average US town doesn't have an adequate cycling or pedestrian infrastructure, so it is dangerous.
What I meant by "assumption" was that, assuming you will be using the exact same road as cars. Not bike path.

What I meant was that, what if cyclist can avoid using high accident area?

For example, you might be going on the highway where there's a high accident rate. Now you got your ebike, using the bike path may give you lower fatality rate.

That's why I said it depends on your city's cycling infrastructure. Because by switching from car to ebike, you might be avoiding high fatality area all together.
 
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