Advice on eBikes to my facebook friends

Latitude

Well-Known Member
I just posted this on my facebook page:

So, as most of you know, I have been riding an eBike for a little over two months now... usually 30 to 40 km per day. Over 2750 km in total now. I thought I would share some of my experiences and observation... all of which are overwhelmingly positive (otherwise, why keep doing it). The eBike has gotten me back into biking enthusiastically in a way that’s hard to describe... you have to experience it.
1. Getting a good bike was worth it. I have two in the garage, department store quality, didn’t last a season. Battery issues, poor components, couldn’t keep them running. And having a good local dealer/mechanic makes all the difference.
2. Do lots of research. It’s hard to find bikes of any kind these days due to their exploding popularity during the Covid crisis. Stores have very low inventory. You might likely have to order without a test ride. Know what you expect of the bike... lots of assistance with a throttle vs lots of exercise pedalling (my preference). Electricbikereview.com is the best resource by far.
3. Learn basic maintenance and carry the bare essential tools onboard for it. A flat tire will happen (I’ve had two) and a chain could break if you ride off-road (which I do). Carry a multi-tool, spare tube, small hand pump, quick chain link, zip ties, etc. These repairs are easy, really!
4. Be prepared for a bit of an accident. Carry a first aid kit, insect repellant, sun block, a mask (for stopping at a store or market).
5. Don’t skimp on gear! A good helmet is a must... cheap ones are definitely false security. Bright coloured, moisture wicking jerseys and gloves are great. Good shoes are, well, good. A lightweight rainproof shell that will pack in a rack bag is good.
6. Keep your running gear clean! If you only ride on pavement such as streets or the Rotary Trail, your chain and gears will stay pretty clean... maybe give them a cleanup once a month. If you go off the road and into gravel, sandy or grassy trails as I do, your chain and gears can get very dirty in a single ride. And that means accelerated wear on key components. Cleaning often can avert a gear failure in this case.
7. Don’t forget to enjoy the scenery! It’s beautiful around here, we are so fortunate.

My bike is a Trek Verve + 3 Lowstep. I am very short as you know, and at 65, swinging my leg over the back trunk bag isn’t very practical. So that was a deciding factor in my bike frame type. This bike doesn’t come with front suspension and a minimal seat-post spring. It’s not really designed for off-road use... more of a commuter bike. But I have added additional suspension from Redshift in the stem and seat post, and it has made the bike VERY comfortable and more agile on rough terrain. Like Pinery grass and gravel trails. And I have just removed the chain guard so I can more easily clean the running gear. Don’t be afraid to make the bike your own.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
5. Don’t skimp on gear! A good helmet is a must... cheap ones are definitely false security. Bright coloured, moisture wicking jerseys and gloves are great. Good shoes are, well, good. A lightweight rainproof shell that will pack in a rack bag is good.

Sorry but I respectfully disagree on this one.. because this isn't necessarily true. $18 Schwinn Intercept will do the job.

According to IIHS, the Fox Dropframe Pro is the safest helmet on the market.
They scored 8.9, which is the safest score so far.

It is also interesting to note that IIHS found out that the price had nothing to do with the safety.
For example, $250 Giro Synthe and $250 Specialized S-Works Evade II had worse safety rating than $60 Bell Draft and $18 Schwinn Intercept.

Although IIHS is known for car crash safety tests, they test bicycle helmets as well.
IIHS website: https://www.iihs.org/ratings
IIHS Virginia Tech: https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicycle-helmet-ratings.html
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Sorry but I respectfully disagree on this one.. because this isn't necessarily true. $18 Schwinn Intercept will do the job.

According to IIHS, the Fox Dropframe Pro is the safest helmet on the market.
They scored 8.9, which is the safest score so far.

It is also interesting to note that IIHS found out that the price had nothing to do with the safety.
For example, $250 Giro Synthe and $250 Specialized S-Works Evade II had worse safety rating than $60 Bell Draft and $18 Schwinn Intercept.

Although IIHS is known for car crash safety tests, they test bicycle helmets as well.
IIHS website: https://www.iihs.org/ratings
IIHS Virginia Tech: https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicycle-helmet-ratings.html

I'll respectfully disagree with you - mostly to point out the limitations in the data provided.

It scores best out of the lids they tested, and they didn't test a single full face lid!

The score used is based on risk of concussion extrapolated from 24 different angled impacts, further extrapolated from football data . If your head is worth protecting, you dispose of a helmet after the first impact and you also don't play football ;)
 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
Sorry but I respectfully disagree on this one.. because this isn't necessarily true. $18 Schwinn Intercept will do the job.

According to IIHS, the Fox Dropframe Pro is the safest helmet on the market.
They scored 8.9, which is the safest score so far.

It is also interesting to note that IIHS found out that the price had nothing to do with the safety.
For example, $250 Giro Synthe and $250 Specialized S-Works Evade II had worse safety rating than $60 Bell Draft and $18 Schwinn Intercept.

Although IIHS is known for car crash safety tests, they test bicycle helmets as well.
IIHS website: https://www.iihs.org/ratings
IIHS Virginia Tech: https://www.helmet.beam.vt.edu/bicycle-helmet-ratings.html
I understand what you’re saying, but aren’t the chances of getting a good cheap helmet pretty unlikely for the average person? A MIPS helmet is a pretty good bet, and the likelihood of getting a poor helmet at a higher price level is minimal, is it not?
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I'll respectfully disagree with you - mostly to point out the limitations in the data provided.

It scores best out of the lids they tested, and they didn't test a single full face lid!

The score used is based on risk of concussion extrapolated from 24 different angled impacts, further extrapolated from football data . If your head is worth protecting, you dispose of a helmet after the first impact and you also don't play football ;)
So you're saying that those data were wrong? :confused:

They still tested them, and showed that price had nothing to do with performance.

I agree that it would have been better if they tested cheap full face helmet and expensive full face helmet, but that's the only data they have so far.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I understand what you’re saying, but aren’t the chances of getting a good cheap helmet pretty unlikely for the average person? A MIPS helmet is a pretty good bet, and the likelihood of getting a poor helmet at a higher price level is minimal, is it not?
I would guess that more expensive the better, on average.

But $60 Bell and $18 Schwinn still performed better than some of the $250 helmets.
Maybe they're exceptions, I don't know.

But I know IIHS would know helmet safety better than I do (I'm just an average Joe walking on the street).

I would trust their data rather than my own guess. 😅
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
So you're saying that those data were wrong? :confused:

They still tested them, and showed that price had nothing to do with performance.

I agree that it would have been better if they tested cheap full face helmet and expensive full face helmet, but that's the only data they have so far.

I'm questioning the relevance of investing extra in a decent lid based on that study.

Just pointing out a few weak links in your chain of evidence, in particular no full face lids, and I'd argue that anyone who invests hundreds of $ in a lid values their brain enough to toss it after a single decent impact.

Putting on my super fussy lid now.....there's more to rider safety that impact measurement. Factors like primary crash protection via lighter weight, better cooling, peripheral vision and comfort . I've tried on some absolute shockers over the years which flopped around alarmingly . I've watched my son ceash into a tree when he was distracted by his chin strap. Boiled my brain on hot days. ( oops, that was in my $300 bell)
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I'm questioning the relevance of investing extra in a decent lid based on that study.

Just pointing out a few weak links in your chain of evidence, in particular no full face lids, and I'd argue that anyone who invests hundreds of $ in a lid values their brain enough to toss it after a single decent impact.

Putting on my super fussy lid now.....there's more to rider safety that impact measurement. Factors like primary crash protection via lighter weight, better cooling, peripheral vision and comfort . I've tried on some absolute shockers over the years which flopped around alarmingly . I've watched my son ceash into a tree when he was distracted by his chin strap. Boiled my brain on hot days. ( oops, that was in my $300 bell)
Okay, the research is clear, 45.3% of the time, when you have a motorcycle accident, you will hit your chin / face area.
I suspect the result might be similar with bicycles.

Visual Rhetoric | Safety in Numbers: Dietmar Otte's Motorcycle Helmet  Impact Diagram


But you are talking about two different thing, perhaps different topic.
My point was, just because helmet is cheap, doesn't (necessarily) mean it's less safe to expensive one.

Have you ever heard of a helmet company called Arai?
They make some of the best helmets on the market, very comfortable, light and safe.

Have you ever heard of HJC?
Unlike Arai, HJC is very cheap and affordable.. yet it has obtained SNELL safety rating.

Arai half-face helmet helmets are still very expensive.
But non-SNELL (only DOT rated) full face helmet will be safer than Arai half-face helmet in frontal chin area collision.

Anyways, my point is, I think we should be comparing full face to full face, half face to half face.

Because as I said, I think you're talking about two different things.

1) which style of helmet is the safest
2) correlation between price and safety
 
Last edited:

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Okay, the research is clear, 45.3% of the time, when you have a motorcycle accident, you will hit your chin / face area.
I suspect the result might be similar with bicycles.

Visual Rhetoric | Safety in Numbers: Dietmar Otte's Motorcycle Helmet  Impact Diagram's Motorcycle Helmet  Impact Diagram


But you are talking about two different thing, perhaps different topic.
My point was, just because helmet is cheap, doesn't (necessarily) mean it's less safe to expensive one.

Have you ever heard of a helmet company called Arai?
They make some of the best helmets on the market, very comfortable, light and safe.

Have you ever heard of HJC?
Unlike Arai, HJC is very cheap and affordable.. yet it has obtained SNELL safety rating.

Arai half-face helmet helmets are still very expensive.
But non-SNELL (only DOT rated) full face helmet will be safer than Arai half-face helmet in frontal chin area collision.

Anyways, my point is, I think we should be comparing full face to full face, half face to half face.

Because as I said, I think you're talking about two different things.

1) which style of helmet is the safest
2) correlation between price and safety

That impact data is fascinating -It implies 65% of impacts occur in areas not covered by the average open bicycle helmet! But also the study you originally posted only tests 8% of the impact regions ( within 20 degrees of the crown) !!!

Anyway, I'm not trying to argue price is a guarantee of safety, more that GOOD helmet design is a lot more complex that passing impact tests. Your hjc / arai is a great example - I'd much rather wear an arai for a 1000 km day ride than a hjc - it might be my head shape, but Arai cut through the air nicely, seem quieter, and are more comfortable as the day progresses ( admittedly it's been decades since I owned an hjc ....my current lid is a klim which is proof that over priced lids are nothing special)
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Good tips!
My take on helmets is that any helmet is better than none! I still see lots of folks wearing no helmet.
My Walmart-bought Zefal helmet (approx. $25) did a fine job of protecting my scalp and skull when I fell a couple of months ago.😎👍
E13A588E-8021-4108-AF16-F18E85E416B2.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • E4A148F1-6F99-42D8-8760-679897964CC0.jpeg
    E4A148F1-6F99-42D8-8760-679897964CC0.jpeg
    210 KB · Views: 32

AHicks

Well-Known Member
PDoz, I question the reason why you would condemn a test that didn't include full face shields when the majority of bike riders would never even consider choosing something like that for bike riding....

Not goint to argue the point they may be safer. Just that they're far less likely to be a relevant choice for most riders....
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Good tips!
My take on helmets is that any helmet is better than none! I still see lots of folks wearing no helmet.
My Walmart-bought Zefal helmet (approx. $25) did a fine job of protecting my scalp and skull when I fell a couple of months ago.😎👍
View attachment 64901

That helmet compression could have been a life saver!

It's also easy to replace a cheap helmet and not worry about the incremental cost after an impact. ;)

1599687468516.png
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
PDoz, I question the reason why you would condemn a test that didn't include full face shields when the majority of bike riders would never even consider choosing something like that for bike riding....

Not goint to argue the point they may be safer. Just that they're far less likely to be a relevant choice for most riders....


Precisely - the majority of cyclists don't consider full face helmets. Even you seem to equate a face shield with the concept - I'm talking about helmets with well ventilated chin bars like a fox proframe mips.

We have over 40 years of data on cyclists wearing helmets, why on earth are we still doing impact testing based on the least likely crash types?

That helmet compression could have been a life saver!

It's also easy to replace a cheap helmet and not worry about the incremental cost after an impact. ;)

I know from experience that it's hard to throw away a brand new $900 helmet - but I was glad to be wearing it .

Good reference... interesting to note that the top 10 helmets all employ MIPS technology.

That's the same reference timpo used. Read more about the study from his links , take a look at the helmet impact data, or just read my answer above
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
That helmet compression could have been a life saver!

It's also easy to replace a cheap helmet and not worry about the incremental cost after an impact. ;)

View attachment 64937
Absolutely. As I said at the time of the crash, I landed pretty hard on the side of my head. Beyond the significant scrapes to the side of the helmet, it was clear to me at the moment of impact that the helmet gave way enough that I suffered no pain or injury.
I did spend significantly more money on my new helmet but it was for a variety of other options, like a GoPro attachment. I did like the Zefal as it was light, quiet, had good adjustment, and clearly did it’s job!
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Absolutely. As I said at the time of the crash, I landed pretty hard on the side of my head.

Beyond the significant scrapes to the side of the helmet, it was clear to me at the moment of impact that the helmet gave way enough that I suffered no pain or injury.

I did spend significantly more money on my new helmet but it was for a variety of other options, like a GoPro attachment. I did like the Zefal as it was light, quiet, had good adjustment, and clearly did it’s job!

Well done... long may you ride!
 

Daffyh

Member
Perhaps it was chance but I wrote off my R1200GS in 2017, then fell over 2 times on its replacement a 2017 Honda Africa Twin.
This was before i knew i had some body systems going haywire so that had some influence.
The BMW was my worse crash even though it was slow, luckily all 3 did not involve any significant head impacts.
Also fell off my 2nd ebike once and broke my elbow that was due to me not riding off the kerb properly in the wet.
Glad i am not a road bike rider going at speed on tarmac only wearing that thin as s$%t clothing, gravel/road rash is a ONCE in a lifetime experience.
ATGATT