Do eBikes Need a Racing Circuit?

Mike leroy

Active Member
It's like if you could get HPC interested in sponsoring/organizing something...
I doubt it. I have been waiting for days for a simple email reply. What is the financial proposition?

When I used to kiteboard on the CA coast, we had contests for the first three years. Lots of enthusiasm. Ultimately,it was too costly. Lots of publicity. The sport holds very limited appeal. Those athletes always purchase. Contests did not stimulate demand. Huge R&D costs.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
It bothers me that ebikes are not more successful in the US. I don't think people appreciate how well they work, or how they may be a much better way for many people to get fit.

More and more, I try to ride on a nice set of paths that curve along the Virgin River. It's interesting, trying to push the bike as far as it will go. You could probably race ebikes, but it would be tough to come up with a set of rules and, in particular, a course. You would need to figure out how much power a bike could have, and how much power a rider would need to supply. You would need a course with hills and curves, maybe some other challenges.

Like other forms of racing, the idea would be to create a laboratory of performance. How good is this motor versus another? This drivetrain? This suspension? Force people to push envelopes. It's not a competition with non-powered bikes. It's simply a way to test ideas and train people to master a complex machine. It also would try to define the ebike in a different way.

Plus, all people seem to care about any more is sports:cool:.
George,
Great idea. I am taking the train home from San Francisco, which serves as a perfect metaphor. I ran a few miles to the train station. I loved the train ride along the picturesque SF bay. Many put bikes on the train. Very uplifting to me. Only a tiny percentage are willing to ride a bike to the train station.

I believe you are onto something significant. To capture the public imagination almost requires a professional marketing company like the one that promoted Sonders.

The sad aspect of our society is exemplified by people waiting at train stations. The general pattern is so many isolated individuals. Rarely, do I notice happy, gregarious groups enjoying each others' company. The states may be united, but not our hearts.

The single shared sense of community I noticed are SF Giants apparel. The SF Fans support the Giants, but they are not United as a community. I asked a woman why she was by herself. With all the segregated fans disbursing from the train, why no fun-loving group. Her response confirmed my observations. I wanted to tell her I loved playing baseball, but I did not have the heart.

Finding the reason why people would rally behind electric bikes, might get you started on a successful path.
 
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Mike leroy

Active Member
George,

How about drag racing. Acceleration is a big difference between conventional bikes. Speed is sexy. What 0 to 30mph would attract attention?
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
What's surprising is that there are no performance numbers for ebikes. You buy a bike with pedal assist and how can you compute a 0-20 time, to compare with some other bike. Maybe people don't care, but I would honestly like to know how these bikes perform. You can't even say how efficient the different motors are. So you can't define anything, in terms of performance. The Euro rules are a disaster.

It's a strange world, ebikes. The only thing that is clear is people are going faster and faster. They might want to design bikes that are built for the speed.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
What's surprising is that there are no performance numbers for ebikes. You buy a bike with pedal assist and how can you compute a 0-20 time, to compare with some other bike. Maybe people don't care, but I would honestly like to know how these bikes perform. You can't even say how efficient the different motors are. So you can't define anything, in terms of performance. The Euro rules are a disaster.

It's a strange world, ebikes. The only thing that is clear is people are going faster and faster. They might want to design bikes that are built for the speed.
George,

I think EuroBikes go over like a lead ballon in USA. Americans always think of 0-60 in x seconds. I believe 0-30 is a good measure for USA, because it markets like a car. The problem is few EuroBikes have throttles.

What do you think is an exciting 0-30 benchmark that would excite the attention of Americans? 7 seconds? Especially, if the bike can beat a car from a traffic light. Beating a car from a dead stop impresses Americans.
 
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George S.

Well-Known Member
If you stayed under 750 W, which is legal, 0-30 is a tough slog. It's sad, but 0-20 would be a better snapshot. That's equivalent to some kind of automotive standard. Maybe an x/x mile time and a 0-20. By itself, not much of a show.

In a way, you'd be better off racing fat bikes, because that is where you find the money drivetrains, the mid-drives. You could set up a course with railroad ties and traffic cones, that sort of thing. Just a standard course you could do anywhere. Some combination of riding skill and performance from the bike and drive.

Standard ebikes are just so bland.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
If you stayed under 750 W, which is legal, 0-30 is a tough slog. It's sad, but 0-20 would be a better snapshot. That's equivalent to some kind of automotive standard. Maybe an x/x mile time and a 0-20. By itself, not much of a show.

In a way, you'd be better off racing fat bikes, because that is where you find the money drivetrains, the mid-drives. You could set up a course with railroad ties and traffic cones, that sort of thing. Just a standard course you could do anywhere. Some combination of riding skill and performance from the bike and drive.

Standard ebikes are just so bland.
I call "Standard eBikes " EuroBikes. EuroBikes go against American advertising culture. Blowing off a car from a traffic light impresses Americans. A 5000 watt electric captures the American imagination. That is where you will succeed.

How about your home state? Bonneville salt flats?

American culture is impressed with acceleration.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
They play the "motorcycle" card here really early. Nothing can go over 75 pounds or 20 mph, and you need a drivers license for any motor.

It's just that here in the US around 28mph is the norm, and that's an interesting speed on a bike path or in the dirt. I'd hate to push the watts because you lose the bike thing.

If you put people on fairly standard, but winding, bike paths at around 30 mph, and force them to pass, that would be fairly exciting.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
They play the "motorcycle" card here really early. Nothing can go over 75 pounds or 20 mph, and you need a drivers license for any motor.

It's just that here in the US around 28mph is the norm, and that's an interesting speed on a bike path or in the dirt. I'd hate to push the watts because you lose the bike thing.

If you put people on fairly standard, but winding, bike paths at around 30 mph, and force them to pass, that would be fairly exciting.
OK. I think a drag race format makes acceleration the focal point. What is the critical minimum speed before the motor becomes efficient? 5-15 mph? Pedaling still makes a critical difference. The rider/bike is not taken out of the equation. The complicated ebike is reduced to ultimate simplicity. People can relate to it.

Europeans love ski racing. Americans have trouble with ski racing. My folks live 15 minutes from a major racing training center. You never find Euro style crowds at ski races. Ski jumping is better, because it is simpler and more dramatic.

Dummy down complexity for the USA appetite.