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Thread: Electric Assist Bicycles

  1. #11
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I envy European nations with dedicated bike paths.

  2. #12
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    Is it ill-advised in conditions of rain and fog?
    We shall see, we shall see :-) That will definitely require wearing proper clothing, I'm curious how well it works on the wet road surfaces here.

    Do you have concerns about diesel particles you might be inhaling?
    Here, no - there's very low population density, and not much diesel-truck traffic anywhere. The air quality is usually superb, except during pollen season and wildfire season.

    In the Netherlands after hundreds of cyclists had been injured and killed, the government set aside serious funding for separate bike paths, not just "bike lanes" at the right side of lanes of vehicular traffic.
    The roads here are pretty dangerous, even without the cars. They are narrow, chip-sealed, there will be loose gravel on them now-and-then from the surface. There is no real shoulder on most of the roads. The roads themselves are often seriously crowned, so they aren't flat, especially near the outside edge of the lane - so it is dangerous to try to ride on the far side of the lane on the fog line.

    It's not ideal.

  3. #13
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    Wow that is a monster bike nearly twice as heavy as my Trek 520 Touring Bike but I can see the point if you are Arthritic, stiff out of breath or biking as part of a job. You are going to have to be strong with good cartilage, something that wears with time in most people. I am trying to conserve mine! It sounds like an electric bike is a good choice.

  4. #14
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicyclist View Post
    Wow that is a monster bike nearly twice as heavy as my Trek 520 Touring Bike
    A big chunk of the extra weight is the electric drive system (8.8 lbs) and the battery (5.7 lbs), and then it also has extra weight from the lights and rack it comes equipped with, and the overengineered brakes and tires. It is usable without any power assist, but it is a "chunky" bike.

    but I can see the point if you are Arthritic, stiff out of breath or biking as part of a job. You are going to have to be strong with good cartilage, something that wears with time in most people. I am trying to conserve mine! It sounds like an electric bike is a good choice.
    While I am still super strong, I suffered some knee injuries decades ago, and I am very very protective of my knees, so this makes it possible for me to deal with the hills here without damage, or without going to such a low low gearing that I'd be going below walking speed :-)

    It's a loooong way down this mountain to the village, and now I can just hop on the bike and go into the village to Do Things, and get back without too much concern. I wouldn't have dared before, unless I had someone to give me a lift back up :-) (The main elevation increase of ~600 feet is over about a mile of distance on the main public road, about a 12% grade. The last elevation rise from the beginning of my neighborhood's road system is still brutal, because it is a silly steep grade, it's cruel even walking - it's another 6-700 feet of elevation, and most of that gain is over 1/3 of a mile distance, so that's about a 35% grade.)

  5. #15
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    That sounds like a perfect application for electric bikes and a great deal.

    Here in the metro suburbs we have a very good dedicated walking and biking trail system that gets moderate use. I am starting to see electric bikes more often. I predict one day things will come to a head on any regulations or prohibitions. Already there is some animosity between walkers and cyclists. Walkers sprawl out with dogs on leashes and cyclists anxious to get somewhere or no where fast are inconsiderate. I've seen one broken bone accident between two cyclists. The worst is weekends when slick looking bunches of cyclists think they are in the Tour de France. Now, the electric bikes can out do them all. They are capable of unsafe travel speeds and their weight will increase impact in a collision. I think the current regulations generally allow pedal assist, but not fully electric, although the distinction can be insignificant. I'm not aware of any regulations for travel on streets and street bike lanes, but wonder about some sort of street legal type licensing. If their popularity continues I predict problems.

    A great idea in some places and especially for people with physical limitations, but not for everyone or everyplace.

  6. #16
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I think people concerned that electric-assist bikes will somehow present a huge safety danger because of "unsafe travel speeds" or "their weight" need to go and try one out. They aren't motorcycles or mo-peds. You have to exert effort to pedal them, they don't run on their own. The assist is limited to 20mph or 28mph depending on the specific features the bike has to comply with the law. There is a model regulatory framework available, and quite a few states have already adopted it.

    I can go faster on my regular bicycle, on flat ground. And the extra 20+ pounds of the bicycle doesn't seem to be a huge collision consideration, compared to the size of my body, and the amount of stuff I might be carrying in panniers or backpacks. I see "regular" cyclists carrying lots of extra weight above that of the bicycle itself.

    That said, I don't think people using their bicycles for transportation should be sharing paths with pedestrians, unless there are clear safe places for the pedestrians. Of course here, pedestrians have to walk on the nearly non-existent shoulder of the road and share their space with cars and trucks, as well as bicycles.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    They aren't motorcycles or mo-peds. You have to exert effort to pedal them, they don't run on their own.
    In my state they are considered mopeds. I believe this thread had a link in it showing different states rules.

  8. #18
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    In my state they are considered mopeds. I believe this thread had a link in it showing different states rules.
    I think this is why states are moving towards the more rational model legislation. The performance characteristics of mopeds and these electric assist bicycles are quite different.

  9. #19
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Interesting - mopeds are basically not sold in the USA anymore, there's one vendor, PGI Moto. Apparently regulations and more fuel efficient cars wiped out the market segment.

    The products sold seem to be small motorcycles/scooters, with some vestigial pedals tacked on for startup. They are limited to 30mph and get 130mpg.

    The "mopeds" the island moped rental agency offers, upon investigation, are scooters, and not mopeds. They also hire out these really irritating two-passenger 3-wheeled "mopeds".

  10. #20
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    I think people concerned that electric-assist bikes will somehow present a huge safety danger because of "unsafe travel speeds" or "their weight" need to go and try one out. They aren't motorcycles or mo-peds. You have to exert effort to pedal them, they don't run on their own. The assist is limited to 20mph or 28mph depending on the specific features the bike has to comply with the law. There is a model regulatory framework available, and quite a few states have already adopted it.

    I can go faster on my regular bicycle, on flat ground. And the extra 20+ pounds of the bicycle doesn't seem to be a huge collision consideration, compared to the size of my body, and the amount of stuff I might be carrying in panniers or backpacks. I see "regular" cyclists carrying lots of extra weight above that of the bicycle itself.

    That said, I don't think people using their bicycles for transportation should be sharing paths with pedestrians, unless there are clear safe places for the pedestrians. Of course here, pedestrians have to walk on the nearly non-existent shoulder of the road and share their space with cars and trucks, as well as bicycles.
    If you can cruise at a sustained speed of 20 mph or more on flat ground for any significant distance with a regular bike, you have my respect.

    Around here there are small problems with multiple use recreational areas. They even allow horses on the path I use routinely, though I don't see them too often. Skateboarders, some sport that looks like paddling on a fancy skateboard, joggers, etc. Get enough people and enough opportunities for conflict and something may give one day. That's life in the city, and were at least lucky here to have a great trail system that people can enjoy. I could see electric bikes as low fruit someday because of their bulk and speed, but they are still fairly uncommon.

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