Look of horror when I mention getting an eBike

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
This has happened twice now.

Once while talking to an older couple in the parking lot outside my LBS and also when I mentioned it to a couple of the guys who work for the LBS. This is a Specialized & Cannondale shop, for the most part.

Anyway, I mentioned how I was thinking of getting an eBike and the look of horror that appeared on the faces of the people I separately mentioned it to was interesting.

Older couple: "Oh noooooo, you don't want an ebike!"
Me: "yes I do."
Them: "Noooohhhhh. They're heavy and you can't even pedal those."
Me: "They are heavier than regular bikes, but they absolutely can be pedaled. In fact, pedal assist is one of the biggest benefits, but even without that they can be pedaled around just like any other bike. In fact, Specialized makes one. And for those who need & want to go further and need assistance they are really great. Besides, I can only manage about 6 mi. and I have to walk my bike up just about every hill."
Them: {continued look of horror.} "No you have this great bike -- just keep this bike and try to build up strength! You can do it!"


I mentioned to 3 of the guys at the LBS, including the manager: "I'm pretty sure an eBike is in my future...."

Each of them: {look of discomfort and horror} "Yeah you mentioned that before... but .... sigh...."

##

I know there's a lot of bias against eBikes but for goodness sakes, they are not motorcycles! And here the guys who work in a shop that sells Specialized, including of course Specialized Turbo eBikes, which can be ordered through that shop, still all looked troubled at the prospect of an "eBike."

I don't get it; I really don't.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Cycling is full of huge egos, even weekend warriors all dolled up in matching, heavily logoed jerseys have little perspective on real riding in a 9 - 5 lifestyle. Hipsters desperate to be different let style choices and trends dictate their ride, their facial hair, skinny jeans. I've bested most riding everything from a beach cruisers to carbon road bikes. Now I'm flying around them by the dozen, with a motor, spare battery and a tuck. Think I care what they think of my lifestyle choices?

BTW - Hit 36 mph today, modest slope, strong tailwind. Whoopie!
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
I agree about egos in cycling, although none of these people were the lycra set. The older couple was just an older couple, on their way in to see about getting the wife a new bike. She is much more fit than me, of that I am sure! She mentioned needing a fender rack as she rides her bike to yoga class & brings her mat with her. She's probably in her 60's. No poseur there, nor was her husband. Her old bike looked old and very well-used, not some bike a hotshot would purchase. She was looking to get the same bike I happened to purchase, which is a hybrid.

As for the bike shop guys, they are more the mountain bike set, not road cyclists. They aren't into lycra either. They just enjoy getting out and riding. But the shop guys are all young and in shape and don't know what it's like to be mid 50's and overweight and weak.

There's a beginner cycling group someone told me about, a no-drop group, so I went to check out their website. They do "beginner," "D" and "C" level rides. Their "absolute beginner" ride starts with an 11 mi loop! I can't even do that right now. The most I've ever done is 6.5 mi. on a perfectly flat trail with an average speed of 10mph and I was tired when I was done. I looked at the 11 mi beginner loop they posted and it has more hills than I've ever attempted so far. I have to dismount and walk up hills because my heart rate goes too high and I just don't have the stamina.

I will have to train just to do the absolute "beginner" ride, that's how beginner and out-of-shape I really am. It's very humbling. And yes I know everyone has to start somewhere, I've been told that countless times. My 'somewhere' is where someone else's grandmother might have to start.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Well for more dramatic results, if that is what you are looking for, powering yourself around in regular intervals (4x week?) while slowing adding distance can quite rewarding. I've been 20 lbs over in the past and it came off pretty quickly.

I feel you could also, and perhaps more safely do the same on a pedal assist e-bike. (Consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen). For example if you are feeling a bit worn out 8 miles from home, crank up the PAS level and let the technology work for you, continue to pedal but with the heartrate you prefer (it is wise to monitor your heart rate at our age). Moreover if the JOY factor is higher for you on an e-bike, then you are more likely to make it a regular thing, part of your lifestyle.

Glad to hear your bike geeks are at least MTN types. Cleary with a poodle on my back once a week I have little to no insecurities out and about. I sometimes ride around in button down shirts, loose fitting cotton works too. That reminds me, time to wash all the bike stuff. Cheers, -S
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
I've printed out the directions and turns for that absolute beginner 11 mi loop and I am going to use that for my training regimen. Hopefully by the time the weather gets cold I'll have built up enough strength & stamina to be able to join the "absolute beginners."
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I love those mentions of : you will build up strength and then you'll be able to do x mile trip...

NO

I will do x mile trips now and by spending more time on the bike, pedaling at higher cadence over extended periods of time I will build up more strength and might end up enjoying it on an ebike, bike or whatever I pick...
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
I hate going to LBS's, everyone seems so pretentious. I've had to take in my street bike a few times and omg it's like pulling teeth to get these guys to talk or crack a smile, and if they do, it mostly feels like they're talking down to me. So what if I'm Arab and I ride a bike, it's not just a white thing. (Jokingly)
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
I like my LBS. I purchased my hybrid there. The guys are friendly and helpful, but they are not an ebike shop, nor do I expect them to be.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
You know what a LBS likes? your business. Money solves all kinds of problems, if you're the customer.

Been riding ebikes for over 5 years and when people ask me why i ride an ebike instead a reagular bike I just ell them it replaces my CAR not my bike.. Instead of driving a 3000 lb car burng gas and clogging the streets, I'm using my ebike for all my errands within 15 miles.. So in fact we're excercising more than those who use their cars for such purposes, including snobby cyclists!
 

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
This has happened twice now.

Once while talking to an older couple in the parking lot outside my LBS and also when I mentioned it to a couple of the guys who work for the LBS. This is a Specialized & Cannondale shop, for the most part.

Anyway, I mentioned how I was thinking of getting an eBike and the look of horror that appeared on the faces of the people I separately mentioned it to was interesting.

Older couple: "Oh noooooo, you don't want an ebike!"
Me: "yes I do."
Them: "Noooohhhhh. They're heavy and you can't even pedal those."
Me: "They are heavier than regular bikes, but they absolutely can be pedaled. In fact, pedal assist is one of the biggest benefits, but even without that they can be pedaled around just like any other bike. In fact, Specialized makes one. And for those who need & want to go further and need assistance they are really great. Besides, I can only manage about 6 mi. and I have to walk my bike up just about every hill."
Them: {continued look of horror.} "No you have this great bike -- just keep this bike and try to build up strength! You can do it!"


I mentioned to 3 of the guys at the LBS, including the manager: "I'm pretty sure an eBike is in my future...."

Each of them: {look of discomfort and horror} "Yeah you mentioned that before... but .... sigh...."

##

I know there's a lot of bias against eBikes but for goodness sakes, they are not motorcycles! And here the guys who work in a shop that sells Specialized, including of course Specialized Turbo eBikes, which can be ordered through that shop, still all looked troubled at the prospect of an "eBike."

I don't get it; I really don't.
I have sensed the same ignorance with most of my cycling companions. Even though I am riding a non-ebike on club rides, the idea of using an ebike for commutes equates to a cycling ethics violation. It is alwaysseems the case for people who lead the way in any type of innovation...
 

MrKudu

New Member
Agreed. I'm new to biking, having bought a Emotion MTB 29er only 10 days ago & loving it. My regular ride is/was(?) a full suspension Trek MTB, which I will still use off road. What I have found is the ebike makes road biking more tolerable, cadence is much higher, less stress on knees etc. heart rate is more controllable/consistent and you can still get as much of a work out as you want because above 30kph you're on your own anyway... but since your average speed is up 30% or so you get to places quicker. Oh yes, did I mention that it's bags of fun passing the Lycras going up hill?
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
You know what a LBS likes? your business. Money solves all kinds of problems, if you're the customer.

Been riding ebikes for over 5 years and when people ask me why i ride an ebike instead a reagular bike I just ell them it replaces my CAR not my bike.. Instead of driving a 3000 lb car burng gas and clogging the streets, I'm using my ebike for all my errands within 15 miles.. So in fact we're excercising more than those who use their cars for such purposes, including snobby cyclists!

Brilliant response!
 

ferrellms

New Member
The LBS bike shop personnel (3 shops) here in middle CT have mostly been enthusiastic and curious about my ebike (Specialized Turbo X). Sure, there is a skeptic or snob here and there, but just a few. Those that have ridden ebikes agree they are a gas.
 

Jeff Backes

Active Member
I just don't have the strength to get up to the top of the hill where we live. I was in a wheelchair long after my motorcycle in 1981. In 2002 I started to use a Segway with a seat to get around, and just this month I finally got an e-bike! If you want people to roll their eyes at you... Try a Segway.

My E-Bike (Trek XM700+) allows me to get out and workout at my own level. If I want to push it and get up a hill early in the ride, that works as I don't have to worry about not being able to get home.

Life is way to short to worry about what other people think of me. I'm overweight, out of shape, but I'm working on both.

Enjoy yourself and try to be twice as happy as humanly possible!

jeff
 

kennyzzz

New Member
I know that when I spend more time outside. i feel better inside. I'm saving up for a ebike myself. i'm a bigger person(240 pounds) and need a full suspension bike due to back issues. I don't care what people think, my bike is a step threw from the 80's, little rusty and looks like a girls bike, but it's the most upright bike i have that feels good to ride...
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
This has happened twice now....I mentioned how I was thinking of getting an eBike and the look of horror that appeared on the faces of the people I separately mentioned it to was interesting...I don't get it; I really don't.
Ha ha ... this is exactly what I have run into ... snobbery even from regular LBSs that might carry a brand that sells e-bikes (but the LBS isn't an e-bike store).

This is representative of reactions I get from regular folks: Me mentioning an e-bike purchase to a younger co-worker and the response: "doesn't that defeat the purpose of riding a bicycle". Which to me this response reflects the predominant attitude of the auto dominant area I live in which is that bicycles are for recreational purposes only and if you're commuting to work on one its because you've had your license taken away. Next: I posted elsewhere here that I was out one day on my regular bike and a road biker pulled up along side. We had friendly conversation for awhile then I mentioned intent to buy an e-bike for commuting - response: "what's an e-bike"? I couldn't figure out if sarcasm was intended or if this fully decked out road biker really didn't know.

As for shops: I've been to a couple of LBS's that are tiny, local shops. I went to discuss possibility of ordering a bike from a manufacturer they were dealers for. I would say I was generally met with indifference and no eagerness whatsoever to do any research for me or look into prices etc. One shop tried to push me hard to a kit they could build promising 40mph. I said I just wanted a purpose built commuter that would have a good warranty and which wouldn't get me in trouble with the cops. Let's just say that was about the end of the conversation.

And the last bit of snobbery I ran into: the only dedicated e-bike shop in my area that I know of: I stopped in and looked at a few models. The owner had a really strong bias to bikes with throttles. More than once he said "you really have to watch what these big companies are selling nowadays because they are putting out a lot of bikes that don't even have throttles". This was a direct attack at Trek because I had mentioned the XM700+. Well I am in decent shape for my age and no issues (yet) with knees or joints so I want a pedal assist bike and don't care about a throttle. Again, I was in another shop where the shop wanted to push me to something and wasn't really interested in helping me if I wanted to stray from what they predominantly sold.
 
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I'm 54 and enjoy riding my conventional and e-bikes. I'm perfectly capable of riding the 12 miles to and from work, but I wanted a way to reduce my commute time w/o driving. With my pedal-assist bike I save 10-15 minutes on the way to work, and 20-25 minutes on the way home (compared to my regular bike). That's like getting 2.5 hours back each week. To those who say that riding an e-bike is cheating, I ask them if they'd rather see me driving.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I'm 54 and enjoy riding my conventional and e-bikes. I'm perfectly capable of riding the 12 miles to and from work, but I wanted a way to reduce my commute time w/o driving. ...

This is it for me. With a 16-18 mile 1-way commute at age 51 I need the e-bike. I could certainly do the commute on my regular bike but I'd be looking at 3.5 to 4 hours for the total commute and I would need a gym at work where I could shower. So the e-bike is really a practical necessity if I want to do anything other than drive. Maybe I'll still need the gym at work (don't know yet) but at least I should be able to do that commute in 1/2 the time and hopefully 1/2 the effort vs my regular bike.
 
@Over50 We have shower facilities where I work, and they make life much easier. They're a real godsend in winter when you need help warming up after 45-50 minutes of riding in sub-freezing temps.