America Has An E-Bike Problem That Can’t Be Solved With More E-Bikes

Solarcabin

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The lack of appropriate infrastructure for electric mobility devices is making biking in cities worse.

E-bikes do have a big problem in the U.S., one that I have been increasingly concerned about as someone who very much advocates for e-bikes and wants to see them take off in this country. It is related to Bogost’s point that e-bikes don’t quite fit with any American identity, but in a much more—literally—concrete way. E-bikes don’t belong anywhere in particular on American infrastructure, which makes them both more frustrating, more dangerous, and more annoying than they otherwise could be. And it’s unnecessarily generating friction between traditional cyclists and e-bikers despite their obvious shared interests in repurposing street space from automobiles.

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Djangodog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Claremont, NH
The lack of appropriate infrastructure for electric mobility devices is making biking in cities worse.

E-bikes do have a big problem in the U.S., one that I have been increasingly concerned about as someone who very much advocates for e-bikes and wants to see them take off in this country. It is related to Bogost’s point that e-bikes don’t quite fit with any American identity, but in a much more—literally—concrete way. E-bikes don’t belong anywhere in particular on American infrastructure, which makes them both more frustrating, more dangerous, and more annoying than they otherwise could be. And it’s unnecessarily generating friction between traditional cyclists and e-bikers despite their obvious shared interests in repurposing street space from automobiles.

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A large segment of cycling has never depended on “cycling” infrastructure. We shared the roads and trails, often at great personal risk. I do agree that if there is a flood of e-cyclists and commuting or errand running increases to any great degree, that infrastructure will need to be improved in some areas, but unfortunately, that alone doesn’t mean that it will be. The roads have never been safe for cyclists, and bike lanes and paths are a good step forward, and long overdue, but without an effort by advocates, it won’t happen. I don’t think that anything short of a Federal mandate and Federal funding will make it happen in unenlightened areas.
 

McApple

Member
50 years ago when I lived in Montreal, one of Canada's largest cities, it was a very unfriendly place to cycle. These days I would consider it to be one of our county's best cities to cycle in: separate bike lanes along the streets, some streets dedicated for cyclists, bike paths, and mups.

If there is enough demand, and the will to make it happen, it can be done.
 

alloo

Member
Region
USA
City
Albuquerque, NM
I think the bigger issue is our transportation infrasture is centered around the automobile and not pedestrians and other users. Cities were designed around people before 1940s, Suburbs are designed around the automobile. The US has forgotten how to build cities.
 

Elkman

Active Member
The lack of appropriate infrastructure for electric mobility devices is making biking in cities worse.

E-bikes do have a big problem in the U.S., one that I have been increasingly concerned about as someone who very much advocates for e-bikes and wants to see them take off in this country. It is related to Bogost’s point that e-bikes don’t quite fit with any American identity, but in a much more—literally—concrete way. E-bikes don’t belong anywhere in particular on American infrastructure, which makes them both more frustrating, more dangerous, and more annoying than they otherwise could be. And it’s unnecessarily generating friction between traditional cyclists and e-bikers despite their obvious shared interests in repurposing street space from automobiles.

Read more:
I have been using bicycles to get around town and for long distance touring for the past 60 years. Traffic is worse and motorists are more aggressive and distracted. The auto companies and the real estate industry have maximized their profits but created cities where it is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. We have to use buses to get children safely to their schools as the roads are unsafe for them to walk or ride their bike to school.

E-bikes tend to have less experienced riders and older and less fit riders but that only puts them more at risk from accidents with drivers on our roads. Bike lanes are more dangerous than city streets and are not a solution. What I would hope is that with more people riding bicycles there will be more support for meaningful changes to our streets and highways in the future.

When traveling in cities in Europe and Asia I became acutely aware of how aggressive drives are in the United States and how much more dangerous it is as a result.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I'm a huge believer that ebikes will become a major transportation solution but it will a slow process and the infrastructure will like only improve with more riders. Most people still view bikes and even ebikes as recreational or leisure products. In reality the focus on Class 1 and 2 ebikes by the states add to that mentality because a 20mph assist cut-off is simply too slow for real world urban mobility (I know I'm going to be attacked they trolls that tell everyone the class system is so wonderful). I'm not advocating crazy fast ebikes but the LEVA associating is supportive of one ebike as a bike assisting to 50kph/30mph which does closely align with the US federal ebike definition in HR727 that in reality still defines an LSEB as a legal bike for use in all 50 states (again I'll be hit by many that do not view it this way but they ignore the pre-preemptive clause in HR727 because they have never read the bill).
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
ebikes will become a major transportation solution but it will a slow process and
Actually escooters are taking over ebikes by a factor of 10:1 soon 100:1 !!

Why :

A 70lb good escooter has :
- avg. 1.5kw -3kw battery pack
- 2 motors avg. 2-3kw peak
- wide , BIG tires : 11-13 inches x 3/4inches
- strong suspension
- powerful hydraulic brakes

A 50lb good ebike has:

- avg 500-750wh pack
- 1 motor avg. 1000watts peak

TOO MANY PARTS that need TIME & $ to FIX :
- chain, casette, gear shifters, rims, spokes, pedals, crankset, seat, seatpost, rack, Fron and back derailleurs, POS fenders 😃, and a few other parts i may forgot ??

All of that crap = $$$ to replace and fix !!
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
TOO MANY PARTS that need TIME & $ to FIX :
...
All of that crap = $$$ to replace and fix !!
Sounds more like you need to buy better bikes. Mine run for thousands of miles without issue. (EDIT: Correction I have to clean the chain every few weeks).

Even at home where ebikes are common and oftentimes outnumber analog bicycles (Monterey Bay area), scooters are extremely rare. I have seen no indication via sales figures that scooters are making any sort of global headway. In fact there is so much backlash against them it would not surprise me if they have peaked and are on the decline. I went to Europe this spring and in several cities saw them piled up like so much garbage in city squares. The locals almost universally hated the things.
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
We need to make changes locally and incrementally with scalability. Once kids can safely ride to school, that takes SUVs off the roads, so it becomes safer for kids in a virtuous cycle. My town just took a four lane road that had cars doing fifty mph, and parked at the curb down to this. This says Proposed, but it happened. Nothing is perfect but we need to be bold enough to go from where we are at. Watch the last few minutes of this video on another recent bike friendly car diet in my town.


1663966146988.jpeg

 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
SAFE STREETS DESIGN! Very cool! It was defeated and became a political hot potato here.
Road diet was approved and then a new council, with successful candidates that campaigned against the improvements, stopped it and lost all funding for repaving. A speedway through the center of a small city. And yearly pedestrian fatalities. NO ONE ever bikes the street.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
@tomjasz,
This is how I was able to give Putin, Texas, and the Saudi Princes the finger in January of 2018. I sold my car and took eBikes everywhere and commuted on the train with bikes for the last mile on each end. The freeway commuters would arrive with damp armpits from the stress of white knuckling it in bumper to bumper. I would arrive relaxed and refreshed. It can happen in your town. A good first step is to make one safe route to one grade school that is close to a junior high. Other towns can ask my town how.
1664046193400.png
 

Rexlion

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Tulsa metro
@tomjasz,
This is how I was able to give Putin, Texas, and the Saudi Princes the finger in January of 2018. I sold my car and took eBikes everywhere and commuted on the train with bikes for the last mile on each end. The freeway commuters would arrive with damp armpits from the stress of white knuckling it in bumper to bumper. I would arrive relaxed and refreshed. It can happen in your town. A good first step is to make one safe route to one grade school that is close to a junior high. Other towns can ask my town how.
View attachment 136213
Your post had me searching google maps to see where Putin, Texas is located. Doggone it!! 😳
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Sounds more like you need to buy better bikes. Mine run for thousands of miles without issue. (EDIT: Cor
As a newbies like yourself and many others here like to make wrong assumptions, let me provide u with my ebike ownership details for ur reflection :
- 1st ebike in 2016 ( has 7000miles now)
- 2nd ebike in 2018(has 22.150miles now)
Thx !!
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
@tomjasz,
This is how I was able to give Putin, Texas, and the Saudi Princes the finger in January of 2018. I sold my car and took eBikes everywhere and commuted on the train with bikes for the last mile on each end. The freeway commuters would arrive with damp armpits from the stress of white knuckling it in bumper to bumper. I would arrive relaxed and refreshed. It can happen in your town. A good first step is to make one safe route to one grade school that is close to a junior high. Other towns can ask my town how.
View attachment 136213

And if u had rode a scooter , you would had saved the 10$ for the train ride and arrived relaxed , no sweating either 😉.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
btw, protected bike lanes with only lane markings r just BS political tools.

Install concrete barriers on the side facing the cars and that will make Joe Suv think 2x b4 turning into the lane....


ps- Joe Suv is not an actual person😁
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
The train is nice. Great views, interesting conversations if you wish, or you can read a book. The exercise you do get simulates, and produces endorphins. You do not get that with a scooter. The idea of moving street parking out from the curb creates a barrier between moving cars and bikes along the curb. We are trying that here.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
San Francisco has good bike infrastructure. I picked up a cargo bike (not electric) yesterday. Because of a music festival I could not cut through the park and had to head to the coast. In the background of the second photo is a skyscraper. I had big climbs. The entire Western side of the Golden Gate Bridge is dedicated to bikes. On the road dropping into Sausalito there are signs posting that bikes can take the full lane and that cars are not allowed to pass bikes. Bikes were here before cars and we can take it back because it is ours. The path in the final photo leads to the train, where bikes are welcome.
 

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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
As a newbies like yourself and many others here like to make wrong assumptions, let me provide u with my ebike ownership details for ur reflection :
- 1st ebike in 2016 ( has 7000miles now)
- 2nd ebike in 2018(has 22.150miles now)
Thx !!
Your original post still recites nonsense.
My first ebike was in 2015 so I guess that makes you the newbie if we are going to use the same (intrinsically stupid) measure of experience. Also many thousands of miles. Did 35 miles yesterday (newsflash: Nobody cares about either of our mileage totals).