Basic questions re. objectivity of EBR reviews

ramesh hariharan

New Member
Dear all,

Can someone pl shed light on something simple, now that I am in the market for ebikes. Are the reviews posted on EBR unbiased, i.e., not paid for the companies? Reason is I want to follow their recommendations, but just want to be sure that it is objective and not influenced by promotional dollars.

Really appreciate your honest opinion on this. I was struggling to find something on the website on "Who are we" and what is the EBR mission and how are they funded?

Thanks

Ramesh
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I was one of the very first members on this web and have known Court for sometime, so I take the liberty of answering this question.
I can say without an iota of doubt that Court has done a phenomenal job in organizing such massive amounts of data.
Such well organized data itself is a blessing when you're in the market for an E-bike. On top of that, if you read their reviews and recommendations, it's a bonus.

So, EBR is a great source to start with. But, do I agree with all the recommendations here? Certainly not. Does that negate the credibility of what has been presented, definitely not.
When it is just one person doing the review, there will be a certain personal preferences mixed into the reviews. You should use EBR like Google. Just like google, EBR needs ads/sponsors to maintain the server and add new content.

Use the massive amounts of knowledge here and then go and test ride a bunch of E-bikes. There is no substitute for real experience. The downside of reading too much online is you become lopsided pandit.

Enjoy reading up on the forum and wish you luck in your endeavor.
 
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pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Court's reviews are for the most part quite unbiased - if you watch any of the videos you'll find them for the most part informational. The scores given particular bikes tend to be generally high I find, but that isn't for specific brands, just a general rule. I wouldn't choose my bike based on the scores alone, but the overall details, bike/motor types and your own intended use. The forum is a good wealth of information once you've narrowed your choice to a few motor and bike types/brands.
 

ramesh hariharan

New Member
I was one of the very first members on this web and have known Court for sometime, so I take the liberty of answering this question.
I can say without an iota of doubt that Court has done a phenomenal job in organizing such massive amounts of data.
Such well organized data itself is a blessing when you're in the market for an E-bike. On top of that, if you read their reviews and recommendations, it's a bonus.

So, EBR is a great source to start with. But, do I agree with all the recommendations here? Certainly not. Does that negate the credibility what has been presented, definitely not.
When it is just person doing the review, there will be a certain personal preferences mixed into the reviews. You should use EBR like Google. Just like google, EBR needs ads/sponsors to maintain the server and add new content.

Use the massive amounts of knowledge here and then go and test ride a bunch of E-bikes. There is no substitute for real experience. The downside of reading too much online is you become lopsided pandit.

Enjoy reading up on the forum and wish you luck in your endeavor.

Thanks Ravi for your perspective - it is super helpful. I fully understand that it is totally ok for them to be paid by bikes who promote on the website, but I just would like to know if their reviews are influenced by who promotes. Cheers
 

ramesh hariharan

New Member
I think it's fair to say that the admins believe in free speech. So even though the site is sponsored, there is a *lot* of room for (polite) dissenting opinions. There are plenty of members here who don't hesitate to speak their minds. Moreover, I don't think the reviews are biased towards the sponsors, which is refreshing. Court himself always asks tough questions of the products he reviews... There are some great members here who are very honest about the strengths and weaknesses of the bikes they bought, borrowed, or demoed.
Thank you Jay.. v helpful.. !!
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
I've purchased several ebikes, and based most of my acquisitions largely upon Court's remarkably detailed reviews. In some cases (including one he has yet to review), I'll look at others' opinions too, but in my experience, Court's have been the most thorough and accurate. He has phased out the 5-star ratings, which not so long ago were in scales of ten and is another step closer toward "total" impartiality. A great concept, but as Ravi points out above, it can't really exist because we all have our preferences and biases.

Since many of us don't (yet) have stores within a reasonable distance that offer a breadth of brands, models and price points, however, it can be reassuring to read his predominantly objective observations on a bike before investing our hard-earned money "sight-unseen."
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Everyone has their bias, so it's good to read as many reviews or opinions as possible.

The only opinion who really counts, however, is YOURS.. And the only true way to figure out what eBike you would like is by test riding it.

The most important aspect of an eBike is fit and comfort. then looks, and riding is the best info for that.

If you're buying strictly off the internet for your first eBike, there's an excellent chance you'll pay too much or not be happy with it...
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
The most important aspect of an eBike is fit and comfort. then looks, and riding is the best info for that.
The bike has to climb the hills you need to climb and have the range you need to do what you want to do. The best way to meet these objectives is to buy a battery and motor that are proven to meet your needs. The best way to get a comfortable bike is to convert a bike you already like, or take your time and find a bike to convert.

You can learn a lot about bikes from the reviews here. You should be able to narrow down about what you want. My gripe is that the reviews are skewed toward commercial bikes. They also reflect California ebike standards which other states are apparently rejecting.
 

LimboJim

Well-Known Member
You can learn a lot about bikes from the reviews here. You should be able to narrow down about what you want. My gripe is that the reviews are skewed toward commercial bikes. They also reflect California ebike standards which other states are apparently rejecting.
California's ebike legislation is less than a year old, so I think it's premature to say other states are rejecting it. My own state still calls ebikes "motorized" and thus technically bans them from trails and paths, but I remain active and optimistic that public awareness and acceptance will happen, and more reasonable regulations will eventually be adopted.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
California tends to lead the way on trendy gadgets, and eBike are no different... In Florida there just aren't enough of them around to change the very restrictive laws, and I can't see that changing in the foreseeable futre.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Cali is just the biggest state and gets the most attention. Minnesota had had a simple law for several years now, max 20mph, 750w motor is treated as a bicycle unless specifically prohibited by local ordinance. That means it is not a motorized vehicle and needs to be specifically excluded in any posted signage, and is considered a bike for all intents and purposes.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
It seems like 20 mph was the limit for ebikes, maybe for 15 years. It's clear battery and motor tech have pushed that speed and now 28 mph (30) is very easy to do. I've watched this forum and a lot of young people want the speed, it's almost the price of entry for them. Whether fast bikes should be allowed to have throttles or pedal assist is an interesting question. Utah is apparently trying to strip all this out and go to 28 mph. You can go 20 without pedaling, 28 if you pedal, even with a throttle and pedals. No restrictions on trails, just speed limits which are 20 now.

I just wonder if other states will say "Well, lets' do 28 or 30 for ebikes and leave it at that".

But who knows what happens with the higher speeds? The accident profiles could change. And how many people will it bring in, how many sales? There's a interesting study that shows only around 8% of people like being in traffic on a bike. The 'big money' is people who will ride on separate paths.
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/01/the-4-types-of-cyclists-youll-meet-on-us-city-streets/422787/

I've suggested on Eric's forum, the Luna Lounge, that there might be a need for a developmental category, but not an ebike. A low power electric vehicle, whether 3 wheel or scooter, whatever, not commercial, basic DIY. There's a homebuilt aircraft category where people can build what they want. But that's all FAA, so federal, and this is all states. They do stop being bikes and the pedaling starts to matter a lot less.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
California is not just the largest state, it has a history of adopting new vehicles.. Prius sales in CA spike well before anywhere else, and they are ubiquitous there... Ca is twice the population of FL yet there are probably 5x as many eBike stores.

I live in one of the best weather cities in the Country, Miami, and go weeks before I see an eBike of any kind.. Everyone who rides is on a CF road bike, MTB or a cheap cruiser. Do a search of eBike stores in Miami and you don't come up with much.
 

David1

Active Member
I feel like a Pioneer in the U.S. JoePah, I rarely see another. Yet Europe has embraced them. I heard that more than half the bikes in Amsterdam are E-bikes.
 

Jim123

Member
Speed can be a natural product of mountainous down street riding. It is not a crazy speed if the road is smooth pavement with no gravel and the shoulders are wide or has a path to prevent tightness with traffic. Vegetation covered intersections without right of way but still having riders pullout into the main street, is the main limiter many times. Additionally speed uphill should not be thought of as the same as speed downhill. Uphill riding has a natural gravity break, that allows better response time. Step downhills can be like breaking an electric without a break cutoff being integrated. Going to Drivers Education and watching videos taught that without a helmet, 10 mph into a brick wall can kill; I slid out a motorcycle on a flat slow turn because I rode through a heard of cattle that where on the street, and my tires had been covered in manure. The point is, speed entirely depends on your conditions. If human limit on non electric bike is what the guide is for speed setting on an electric, it looks like Specialized now makes a 30 mph bike. http://www.businessinsider.com/cyclist-evelyn-stevens-sets-new-hour-record-2016-2 . Regarding the objectivity of the reviews, I think "ramesh" you might have heard the Vintage Electric bike review in which the reviewer Court said "...safety. My best friend here." The owner of Vintage bikes was not the best friend, "safety" was. If Court where too negative in his views he might get into a shortage of demo bike trouble. But he remains nice, while pointing out things that the bike could do better.