This thing is a Drug

Catalyzt

Active Member
Region
USA
In terms of exercise and endorphins, I think the EMTB may be a bit better than regular biking, at least for me, where I live, where the hills are so damn steep.

Even 5 years ago, after grinding up some of these hills on an acoustic bike, I'd come back from a ride and feel kind of sick. Might just be me, I have an autoimmune disorder similar to Lupus, but when 90% exertion is not good for me-- I'd fall asleep immediately, and wake up feeling like crap.

What feels best is swimming, body-boarding (which does require 90% exertion, but just for very, very brief periods of time) and now EMTB, which is mostly 75% exertion with very brief stretches of 85%. Those three sports give me a reliable endorphin rush in a way no others do.

Also, because I'm a head shrinker, it's great to get a 35-minute workout during a cancellation or a spare hour working from home, it requires less prep than swimming. I've only been at this since October, and I'm in better shape than I've been in since 2017. I'm 63, and it's nice to bound up hills and stairs without even feeling it.

I didn't think I was out of shape before, but I was. I'm also getting 180 minutes of exercise a week instead of 100-120.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
In terms of exercise and endorphins, I think the EMTB may be a bit better than regular biking, at least for me, where I live, where the hills are so damn steep.
What grade, for instance? What distance to ride up the steepest hill?
 

Catalyzt

Active Member
Region
USA
What grade, for instance? What distance to ride up the steepest hill?
Mmm, the steepest one is 15% on average, which means some stretches are a bit more, some a bit less, and is 3/10 of a mile.

There are four kind of like that which I will do on my short rides-- I think the others are around a quarter mile, two of them a bit less than 15%, but one that's like the first one-- some parts are probably a bit over 15%, but it's shorter. There's a fifth one that's maybe 13% but closer to a half mile. A bunch of others that are not as steep.

And this is with a FWD hub motor in first gear, can't be much more than 25Nm, on a Shimano MegaRange in first gear, steep enough that there's some wheel spinning on the front wheel. Plus pedaling on the flats and downhills as fast as I can where the curves are not blind. (The electric cars are the scariest, because I can't hear them coming, but traffic usually isn't that big a deal.) So I think it's a decent workout.

This "short ride" route is all paved road, so not really EMTB. When I tried the five hills unassisted-- same bike without the kit-- I could only climb two of the five steepest, because the back wheel would spin, and if I leaned back, the front wheel would lift off the road.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
In terms of exercise and endorphins, I think the EMTB may be a bit better than regular biking, at least for me, where I live, where the hills are so damn steep.

Even 5 years ago, after grinding up some of these hills on an acoustic bike, I'd come back from a ride and feel kind of sick. Might just be me, I have an autoimmune disorder similar to Lupus, but when 90% exertion is not good for me-- I'd fall asleep immediately, and wake up feeling like crap.

What feels best is swimming, body-boarding (which does require 90% exertion, but just for very, very brief periods of time) and now EMTB, which is mostly 75% exertion with very brief stretches of 85%. Those three sports give me a reliable endorphin rush in a way no others do.

Also, because I'm a head shrinker, it's great to get a 35-minute workout during a cancellation or a spare hour working from home, it requires less prep than swimming. I've only been at this since October, and I'm in better shape than I've been in since 2017. I'm 63, and it's nice to bound up hills and stairs without even feeling it.

I didn't think I was out of shape before, but I was. I'm also getting 180 minutes of exercise a week instead of 100-120.
Great post. I know exactly what you mean about getting overly tired from too much strenuous activity. I'm hoping it's just old age ( 71 ) but it could very well be heart disease. I 'might' be willing to have stints but they are never cutting open my chest. I've already lived long enough and am not going through THAT. A better life awaits me anyway. I believe in exercise. I've mostly got it from work all my life. Now I get it with 'some' physical work and my bikes. It's good. But I also like the old Chinese guy who says, " You have a certain number of heartbeats allotted. Strenuous activity just hurries your demise. You tired. Take nap."
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Great post. I know exactly what you mean about getting overly tired from too much strenuous activity. I'm hoping it's just old age ( 71 ) but it could very well be heart disease. I 'might' be willing to have stints but they are never cutting open my chest. I've already lived long enough and am not going through THAT. A better life awaits me anyway. I believe in exercise. I've mostly got it from work all my life. Now I get it with 'some' physical work and my bikes. It's good. But I also like the old Chinese guy who says, " You have a certain number of heartbeats allotted. Strenuous activity just hurries your demise. You tired. Take nap."
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
There is life on the other side. If I’d had that attitude, I’d have never seen my kids get married or met my grandchildren. Plus I wouldn’t be enjoying my retirement or riding bikes again like I did today!
 

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reed scott

Well-Known Member
There is life on the other side. If I’d had that attitude, I’d have never seen my kids get married or met my grandchildren. Plus I wouldn’t be enjoying my retirement or riding bikes again like I did today!
Bless you. I'm happy you took the difficult path.
 

Catalyzt

Active Member
Region
USA
Triple bypass and a valve repair. Wasn’t easy but definitely better than the alternative.
Reed, I know it's a tough decision and a very personal one (if it's one you have to make.) I will tell you this: My buddy just had his second valve replacement, and it went slick as snot-- wasn't laparoscopic, but they didn't have to open his whole chest, either-- somewhere in between. Had it done in November or December, just as the surge was getting bad here, and he was joking around within 48 hours, not in the hospital long at all, back at work super fast. (He's 63, so a few years younger.) I'm also a huge believer in naps.

Dallant, I admire you for that as well, all I did this year was a colonoscopy and endoscopy, but it was in the middle of the surge and I was getting over really bad diverticulitis with an abscess that put me in the hospital in October. I haven't been that scared in a long time.

Medical fear is the WORST, man. I've had terrible crashes water skiing, snow skiing and in cars, survived several incidents of violent street crime, had a regulator fail scuba diving, and those are all bad flavors of fear... but I didn't turn into a quivering lump of jello the way I do before I get wheeled into an operating theater. I don't know what the hell I'd do if I had to have serious surgery. I'd probably do it, but with the greatest possible reluctance.

Stefan, yah, I'm running a Continental TravelContact (SafetySystem?) on the back and Kenda 26 x 1.75. something or other on the front, they have very similar tread patterns, good all-rounders. (The Kenda came with the kit, didn't bother swapping out the rear tire, they're so much alike.)
 

Det11

New Member
Region
USA
I had a heart attack at 37 , a quintuple bypass at 45 , and stents in my bypasses twice in the past few years, now they tell me my valve is leaky. Lol, you would think that I’d be a little pissed off or sorry for myself but nope , I’m happy to be able to ride my Ebike down the street and keep on going . I never thought I’d make it to 65 and I am enjoying every minute I still have left. My Ebike is part of the reason I feel that way!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
Taylor57 & Marci jo, I ended up with a Levo Comp, but more out of impulse and fear than by rational judgement. I had researched a lot of bikes on-line and wanted something to replace my older Giant - Trance full suspension (which I bought off my son). My first real MTB was a Trek 7000 - hard tail. I wanted something that had those capabilities. Any way after researching I settled on a bike that was in the $4K range. I tried to find a local LBS that had the bike but everything required an order with up to 6 month wait. That's when the fear set in. It happens when you start getting older, you start thinking 6 month's! that could represent 10% of the rest of my life - and I hadn't even ridden one yet. Next day I went to another LBS shop and in the front area they had a bunch of commuter bikes and I thought well, at least I will get a feel for what the electric motor does. I walked to the back of the shop around the service island and that's where I saw those gleaming electric mtn. bikes and I thought "that's what am talking about". This is when the impulse began to set it. These things were $2300 more than I even planned on spending. The owner must of recognized me immediately as a mark and asked if I wanted a test ride. I test rode the only one that was the right size on a flat back alley for less than 2 min. and immediately understood the implications of what it could do. Never tried turbo, as the eco mode told me all I needed and the trail mode surprised me with the amount of power. I walked back in the shop rolling the bike and said "I need this thing but I've got to go home and do some justifications". The owner told me I need to but $500 down if I want to hold it; 3 days later I had the bike. I don't regret a penny spent which is very unusual as I am known for buyer's remorse. That's also how I know this thing is a drug. It was obviously impulsive and based on fear as I knew these bikes would be gone within a week or two. The fear was somewhat justified because I took it back for an adjustment and there were no more levo bikes. Sorry for the long explanation but thought there should be some background on my somewhat baseless choice.
"Welcome to the party Pal" 😁 (line from the movie Die Hard) Gjack! I can relate to your amusing story! I also can say: 'My first real MTB was a Trek 7000 - hard tail'. purchased back in 1992. Many miles on that machine and made in Waterloo,Wisc.USA! Transitioned to Ebikes and yes, I can say it is a gift that keeps on giving. Love your story. Cheers!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
It is certainly a very good e-bike. What is impressive is the number of options you can configure for extra money. Sometimes I think it is good to live in Germany "The Home of E-Bikes" :)
Mine has a large "Made in Germany" sticker on the chainstay. Seems like there are so many good companies/mfgs coming out of that country. 👍
 

GJACK

Member
Region
USA
"Welcome to the party Pal" 😁 (line from the movie Die Hard) Gjack! I can relate to your amusing story! I also can say: 'My first real MTB was a Trek 7000 - hard tail'. purchased back in 1992. Many miles on that machine and made in Waterloo,Wisc.USA! Transitioned to Ebikes and yes, I can say it is a gift that keeps on giving. Love your story. Cheers!
I was looking at an old trail guide (1992-2nd publication-first in 1990) of mtb routes in Lane county, Oregon the other day. There wasn't a single suspension on any of the bikes shown in the pictures and the trails went from being paved to absolute gnarly downhill. Quote from that day was "if you weren't hiking you weren't biking". Several pictures of bikers carrying their steeds across thigh deep streams. I remember the first suspension upgrade I got for my 7000 was a handlebar trapezoid shaped "spring loaded " thing that made more "racket than rebound" and it was "state of the art". Later I put a real front shock on the bike. My youngest son still rides that bike now as a gravel bike. Switching to a modern e-bike is a miracle and my new pace-maker. Love it!!!!!! -only drawback is hiking with it on your back which I refrain from doing. When not riding I am planning for my next route. Peace!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I was looking at an old trail guide (1992-2nd publication-first in 1990) of mtb routes in Lane county, Oregon the other day. There wasn't a single suspension on any of the bikes shown in the pictures and the trails went from being paved to absolute gnarly downhill. Quote from that day was "if you weren't hiking you weren't biking". Several pictures of bikers carrying their steeds across thigh deep streams. I remember the first suspension upgrade I got for my 7000 was a handlebar trapezoid shaped "spring loaded " thing that made more "racket than rebound" and it was "state of the art". Later I put a real front shock on the bike. My youngest son still rides that bike now as a gravel bike. Switching to a modern e-bike is a miracle and my new pace-maker. Love it!!!!!! -only drawback is hiking with it on your back which I refrain from doing. When not riding I am planning for my next route. Peace!
Another great story from GJack! I left my 7000 fully stock, and never considered suspension (wish I had). Just changed out seat and added accessories along the way. I was very impressed with how lightweight it was in comparison to many others at that time. I still have mine also, however, have not taken it for a ride in awhile. Hope your son is enjoying the bike. Great to hear he is riding dad's bike from the 1990s. ;)
 

Catalyzt

Active Member
Region
USA
It is wild to think that my Trek 930-- steel, no suspension, of course-- was my mom's bike in New York in the mid-'90s. I moved to LA in 1991, and whenever I came home to visit from '95 onward, man, I coveted that thing! I did prefer my own Raleigh Competition road bike, which I kept at her apartment, for daytime fitness rides, but I rode the Trek a lot at night for visiting friends, and also for quick rides in Central Park when I knew I would be off the main paved route or doing curb-hopping, dirt paths, bridle paths, etc.

Mom would say, "Well, okay, you can ride the Trek, but be REALLY careful with it, and be sure to lower the seat when you're done!"

She was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1995, but kept commuting on the Trek for many years, until a near fall while commuting to work, I'm guessing about '99 or '00, hard to remember the date. She was not happy, but I told her I was so proud of her for riding for so long, and then making the right decision when the time came. Of course she did not sell the Trek, and I continued riding it when I visited.

In 2008, mom passed away and the bike was shipped out here. My Los Angeles bike at the time was a Raleigh M30 that I never liked as much, so as soon I got the Trek put together, that became my go-to ride and the M30 started gathering dust. In 2014 or so, I modded the Trek with the suspension stem and seat post, and it was much more fun to ride, but by 2020, it was too much work on these hills, and I was down to maybe a dozen rides a year.

Now the Trek is an e-bike and is going places I never could have taken it without a motor. It's fun thinking of all the changes its been through, from my mom to me, and from Central Park to Griffith park. I know Mom would be thrilled to know I've had so many adventures on her trusty steed! I pick up the new bike tomorrow, but the Trek will have many years of service yet-- my wife and friends will use it, and I'll use it myself for shorter fitness rides.