E-Bike Positives and Negatives

NewEBikeUser

New Member
Region
USA
Hey all!

I’m new to the forum, so please be kind!

I’m currently completing my University degree, and for my dissertation I’m looking at collecting some market research for E-Bikes that are currently in the market. I own one myself and would love to see if my opinions are the same as the rest of the community.

Essentially, my question to you all is have you found any common drawbacks with E-Bikes on the market at the moment? Do you think there is a gap in the market for some fixes to the current E-Bikes out there? What are some key strengths that you look for when buying an E-Bike?

Also on an unrelated note, I’m looking to explore some resorts that I can take my E-bike to for a good ride. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you all so much, really excited to be a part of the community!
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
In a place like this, people will overlook or gloss over the cons, so I'll do those:
No specific order

Higher acquisition and maintenance (battery, motor/controller failures) costs, though acquisition costs per mile ridden may not be higher
Higher loss if stolen
Much heavier, a problem for people who must lug their bike up or down stairs for parking
Electrical repair expertise rare - 10-100x more rare than regular bike wrenching
Often locked into using specific high cost OEM components
Often not covered for loss or theft by existing renters or homeowners policies

I'm talking about ebikes en masse as they exist, not what some guy cooked up in his garage or bought in some niche channel.
 

NewEBikeUser

New Member
Region
USA
In a place like this, people will overlook or gloss over the cons, so I'll do those:
No specific order

Higher acquisition and maintenance (battery, motor/controller failures) costs, though acquisition costs per mile ridden may not be higher
Higher loss if stolen
Much heavier, a problem for people who must lug their bike up or down stairs for parking
Electrical repair expertise rare - 10-100x more rare than regular bike wrenching
Often locked into using specific high cost OEM components
Often not covered for loss or theft by existing renters or homeowners policies

I'm talking about ebikes en masse as they exist, not what some guy cooked up in his garage or bought in some niche channel.
This is really interesting! Thank you so much for the detail. :)
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
A major drawback to my e-bike experience is the many varied and often conflicting laws that govern where these bikes can be legally used.
Maintenance is costly and it's often hard to find someone who will do it. Unless you do your own work, the bike may be in the shop longer than it is used.

E-bikes however are a godsend to the elderly or medically challenged individuals who had to give up riding conventional bikes.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Just a couple comments.
Con: Weight. Hauling these bikes can be a challenge. One needs a strong re-enforced car rack and then you need to lift the beast onto the rack. Or you can try and wrestle it inside the vehicle.
Pro: They are so freaking FUN! Feels like being a little kid again.

Ok so now you can share what ebike you have. And some of your adventures. 🚴🏾‍♂️
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
As for gaps in the market, I think there's a lack of lower priced Class 3 commuter models sold at bike shops, and a lack of high/premium quality commuter ones sold direct online. Priority Current is an example of the latter but reviews have been mixed. Seems a lot easier to find 20 mph commuter models than 28 mph ones.
There is the stigma. If you ride an ebike, you are lazy, cheating, infirm, a beginner. Also, have too much money as in "I could buy a used car for that."
This sounds like a problem in your head, not out there in the world. Vastly more people curious about ebikes than derisive of them.
 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
Lack of dealers/knowledgeable repair and service facilities/expertise compared to conventional bikes. This is particularly true of rural or small town users. Where there is typically someone in a small community who can service an “analogue” bike, you have to travel further to get an ebike serviced. As a result, with my Trek dealer being over an hour away (two trips, drop off and pick up), I have been on a learning curve and acquiring tools to do most of the basic service myself. This includes replacing chain, cassette, derailleur, tires, brakes, etc. This is not a bad thing for me, but kind of a necessity.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Hey all!

I’m new to the forum, so please be kind!

I’m currently completing my University degree, and for my dissertation I’m looking at collecting some market research for E-Bikes that are currently in the market. I own one myself and would love to see if my opinions are the same as the rest of the community.

Essentially, my question to you all is have you found any common drawbacks with E-Bikes on the market at the moment? Do you think there is a gap in the market for some fixes to the current E-Bikes out there? What are some key strengths that you look for when buying an E-Bike?

Also on an unrelated note, I’m looking to explore some resorts that I can take my E-bike to for a good ride. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you all so much, really excited to be a part of the community!

2 of the biggest drawbacks I have noticed after owning 3 ebikes is the length of time it takes to receive from order to delivery and then the stress of worrying about your bike when you lock it at a public venue. Sometimes I wish I was on a 50 dollar beach cruiser that I could tie to the hitchin post...
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Lack of dealers/knowledgeable repair and service facilities/expertise compared to conventional bikes. This is particularly true of rural or small town users. Where there is typically someone in a small community who can service an “analogue” bike, you have to travel further to get an ebike serviced. As a result, with my Trek dealer being over an hour away (two trips, drop off and pick up), I have been on a learning curve and acquiring tools to do most of the basic service myself. This includes replacing chain, cassette, derailleur, tires, brakes, etc. This is not a bad thing for me, but kind of a necessity.
This why I choose Trek because our small town has a Trek dealer. Five minute drive to mine. i just got my second rear flat so now I’m gonna do this one myself....I hope!
 

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Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
For an experienced rider the biggest headache is having to change the battery when traveling on a long ride with 2-3 xtra battery packs. I cover the downtube battery in neoprene sleeve all year round so whenever I change the battery I have to unzip the sleeve and zip it back so just I don't know it takes a few minutes and it's annoying to stop and do this....

But i have zero worries for flats thornproof downhill tube) or mechanical issues (can fix anything on my ebike) .

With a car you just sit inside , comfortable and can charge the battery at the very fast rate you know in 10- 15 minutes you can charge for like 60- 70 miles but it's a car , you don't get any exercise , you don't see the beautiful surrounding views.

I forget , another negative or maybe neutral is if riding a nice ebike , one will be getting the occasional, pasisve agresisve question- HOW MUCH DID IT COST ?? 😳, but that depends on who is asking and HOW they ask it .
 

legsofbeer

Active Member
Essentially, my question to you all is have you found any common drawbacks with E-Bikes on the market at the moment? Do you think there is a gap in the market for some fixes to the current E-Bikes out there? What are some key strengths that you look for when buying an E-Bike?
Biggest common drawback for the first time ebike rider is realizing your bike is preferentially targetted by thieves and that you need to shell out another $200-$400 for some high end locks, enough to convince the thief to go after another bike (still won't work if the thief has 30-60 minutes to grind away).

Second biggest drawback is that it isn't cute chicks eagerly asking questions about the bike at the supermarket, but always middle-aged guys on the wrong side of 200lb. C'est la vie.

Biggest knock on the current generation of ebikes is the lame-ass controllers/displays. I don't understand why they limit themselves to just 3 or 5 PAS levels; should be 8 or 10. And the PAS levels should be directly user-programmable to a WATT number, not a percentage of a hypothetical. Given a 750 max watt bicycle, the user should be able to set a number of PAS levels at numbers such as 50w, 100w, 180w, 220w... etc, to suit their taste and desired power consumption/performance tradeoff. Deliver that wattage regardless of battery charge, though of course there would need to be a low-battery limited wattage limp home regime. It's just software, program it once and amortize it across 100s of thousands of bikes.

The other controller lameage is that none seem to have the ability to set the headlight to the last time used setting: I always ride with headlight on, gives me a better chance of being noticed when the cagers look up from their phones. Why the f*ck can't the controller do this for me, instead of me needing to up-arrow for 3 seconds every damned time I turn on the bike? A blink mode for the headlight should also be a standard feature. It is just software.