Back to Acoustic?

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
For the past couple of years, I've been riding my Radmini exclusively. Today, I got out my 20 year old Trek mountain bike (21 speeds) and took it and my dog to a park that has a half mile trail. The bike, once I got used to it again, seemed so much more agile and smooth. The trail just had a minor slope to it. I came home, adjusted the seat a bit more and took it up The Steep Hill in my neighborhood. I was huffing and puffing but made it all the way finishing in granny gear.

The last bike mechanic to work on my Trek said it was a great old bike--One of the good ones.

I'm wondering if there are any ebikes out there that would have the non clunky ride and feel of my Trek. Would they be too spendy? In the meantime, I think I'll go more acoustic for rides not on the long grades that abound here. We've got some doozies.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
Have you tried any mid drives ? They seem more natural to me. Funny, I was just thinking to myself riding my bike today, that I would never go back to a regular bike. I feel so much safer in town with the available power. My last bike was a Trek District , that weighed less than 20 lbs and after riding my E-bike, it felt so twitchy. Mine's a fat tire, heavy long wheelbase bike and it just cruises !
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Tried this after buying a step through bike that fit me better than the one on which I fell and broke my leg last fall, just to get used to riding it as a bike. After one evening commute climbing the hills back to my home I switched the motor over from the old bike, I just can't do without the pedal assist.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Hard to imagine that a full size bike is more nimble than a small bike with a long vertical steerer tube and 20" tires that are 3" wide! LOL
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
Have you tried any mid drives ? They seem more natural to me. Funny, I was just thinking to myself riding my bike today, that I would never go back to a regular bike. I feel so much safer in town with the available power. My last bike was a Trek District , that weighed less than 20 lbs and after riding my E-bike, it felt so twitchy. Mine's a fat tire, heavy long wheelbase bike and it just cruises !

I was thinking about shopping for a better ebike next year. The radmini just does not coast downhill well and feels like a tank when compared to my trek. Mid drive is what I will try. The closest dealers carry Trek bikes.

The mini is fun and goes about anywhere, but feels like driving an old farm truck. Unlike those trucks, the mini has good brakes.?
 

ilanarama

Member
I ride both. My errands/town bike is an e-bike and my mtb for fun/exercise is an acoustic. I definitely notice how light the latter is...but then when I'm huffing up a steep hill I joke to my husband (who has the same bikes), "Where's the turbo? My turbo isn't working!"

Right tool for right job, and all that. My limitations on the mtb are not strength/power but technique and psyching out, and so I suspect an e-bike mtb would mean I'd be walking the same things I walk now, only it would be less fun with a heavier bike. But I just got back from 12 miles of errand-running - a visit to the doctor's office, and a stop at the grocery store on the way home. It's 81F and sunny out there, and I have a 300+ foot hill to climb to get home. The e-bike with rack and panniers was definitely the right choice for that!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Who mentioned that a full size was more nimble ? He said the Radmini was clunky.
I thought sure he said his Old Trek was more nimble than the Radmini? Oops, he said agile and smooth. Stupid me, made a mistake again!!!!!
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
On a perfect day like today I can ride unpowered. 93 deg F 5 mph wind behind me. Great. The geared hub motor doesn't drag, the electric setup is only 20 extra pounds. I took extra time coming home to pedal up the grades like the old days before battery. After a grocery stop I had 2.5 times that much weight in the panniers; at least the grades aren't too bad coming in from the megacenter.
If I'm stuck out at the summer camp out of food and the wind is 27 mph in my face, gusts to 45, 98 deg in the shade, the electric will get me home in only an extra 1/2 hour, not 2 hours extra like in Sept 2018. And the whole 5.7 hours was a real struggle, pulse >120 without breaks, sweat in the eyes, nothing fun about it.
 
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ChezCheese:)

Active Member
I was thinking about shopping for a better ebike next year. The radmini just does not coast downhill well and feels like a tank when compared to my trek. Mid drive is what I will try. The closest dealers carry Trek bikes.

The mini is fun and goes about anywhere, but feels like driving an old farm truck. Unlike those trucks, the mini has good brakes.?
If you're in Cowlitz County, take a day trip to Portland and try out a variety of ebikes. You'll find your next ebike. Me, I don't get the whole fat tire thang.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
I'm wondering if there are any ebikes out there that would have the non clunky ride and feel of my Trek.
How much range do you need? Something with less range would be lighter, for sure, and folks who like mid-drives rave about the "natural" feel. :) Let us know what you think when you start shopping. I'm sure your dog will be happy whatever your ride is! ;)
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I think it really is a function of appropriate technology.

For myself, there are some kinds of trips I'd like to do where an acoustic bike is simply more appropriate. What really tipped things over for me was seeing a Bike Friday Diamond Llama. Which ticked off several boxes for me:
  • A bike more convenient for travel than an e-bike. While you can sometimes take your e-bike on a train or bus (air travel is basically out of the question) it always involves a certain amount of drama.
  • Long-distance touring on an e-bike implies a lot more hotel stays and a lot less camping than I usually like. This bike would be a good compromise and while I couldn't ride as far in a day I wouldn't need to either.
  • As an added bonus, I want a bike I can easily to take to the city and use for super-short trips in urban areas. A folding bike that I can easily stash in an office or hotel room is a great solution.
Yes, Bike Friday has an interesting array of electric options as well (including about the only solution that would let you travel by air with an e-bike). I am also intrigued by the hard-sided case they sell that converts to a trailer.
 

Rsplodge

New Member
Agreed. I bought an eFat bike (VoltBike Yukon) last Fall for winter commuting, then tried it for some fat biking on trails, and found it too heavy, restrictive, etc., then got a manual fat biking for enjoyment and fitness on the fat bike trails. Still commute on my eFat though.


I ride both. My errands/town bike is an e-bike and my mtb for fun/exercise is an acoustic. I definitely notice how light the latter is...but then when I'm huffing up a steep hill I joke to my husband (who has the same bikes), "Where's the turbo? My turbo isn't working!"

Right tool for right job, and all that. My limitations on the mtb are not strength/power but technique and psyching out, and so I suspect an e-bike mtb would mean I'd be walking the same things I walk now, only it would be less fun with a heavier bike. But I just got back from 12 miles of errand-running - a visit to the doctor's office, and a stop at the grocery store on the way home. It's 81F and sunny out there, and I have a 300+ foot hill to climb to get home. The e-bike with rack and panniers was definitely the right choice for that!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I enjoy riding, period. But, that said, I'm getting older, and the wind and hills had become huge limiting factors on a regular bike. I had all but stopped riding altogether. That's when the wife (who rides with me most of the time) brought up the fact a friend of hers had purchased an e-bike. Planting the concept of an e-bike in my head was all it took for me. A couple of months of due diligence (which I enjoyed immensely) later, we were both on e-bikes and have been since. Our Trek's were just sitting collecting dust, so they were both sold.

Bottom line, clunky or not, our e-bikes are enabling us to ride again!
 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
Where does this term acoustic come from for a manual bike?
I think it comes from illiterate interpretation of the original term. Acoustic refers to mechanical waves and vibration in gases, solids etc (as opposed to electromagnetic waves). Has nothing to do with self-propelled vehicles as they are neither waves nor generating notable amount of waves. But the term does get some use by cyclists these days .

E-bikes have their limitations, motor and controller are not always as "smart" as human reflexes, and power can't always compensate heavier weight.
 
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Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
ride and feel of my Trek.
THIS is why many of us built eBikes with kits. In 2013 there weren't any cruiser eBikes, and certainly no flat foot cruiser eBikes. Converting a favorite bike, one that fits well, has decent components, and most of all has all the features you'd want except power, is the perfect kit bike.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I bought an eFat bike (VoltBike Yukon) last Fall for winter commuting, then tried it for some fat biking on trails, and found it too heavy, restrictive, etc.,
I went through the expense of building a fat bike with a mid motor. I hated it. Simply the worst bike I'd ever ridden. After growing up on decent bikes in the 50's and high end road bikes in the 60's I found fat bikes tore tanks without a proper cannon mounted. Awful rides. Of course that's not the market these days. But from my view it's almost as if fat bike owners have never ridden a responsive agile bike. I DO like the biggest tires I can fit into my frames, but that's only 2.5" in width. The frame sits in my shop waiting for me to throw a cheap 1000W fat bike read hub on it. Then some poor soul can benefit from my biggest eBike blunder.

Now after all that I have ridden a high end fat one. It was better but still such an unresponsive geometry compared to every other bike I've owned.

I'm sure makers are thankful there aren't, apparently, to many fatty grumps like me....