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Thread: New (to me) Electric Vehicle

  1. #11
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by early morning View Post
    Oh how lovely! I love those little Fiats!
    After 4 months, it has basically become my favorite little car, of the too-large assortment of vehicles sitting in the driveway.

  2. #12
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    bae, I know this is the wrong thread for this but was curious your thoughts now on electric bikes a little over a year after you shared your insights about yours that I've just re-read. Am I correct that yours is a type-3 since it goes 28 mph? Did you also try out 1's and 2's? What are your thoughts on the differences? Keeping in mind that I live in the city of steep hills. Would I be disappointed with a type 1 or 2? Ideally I'd like to not drop quite as much cash as I remember you did...

  3. #13
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    bae, I know this is the wrong thread for this but was curious your thoughts now on electric bikes a little over a year after you shared your insights about yours that I've just re-read.
    I've got a fair assortment now of electric-assist bikes:

    - A Trek Super Commute 8+: this goes 28mph, has a great range, is sufficient for most on-road uses, carries a fair bit of cargo, is comfortable, and has enough power to help me up the mountain here. It could use a lower gear still for some of the steeper hills.

    - A Specialized Turbo Levo mountain bike. Type 2, only goes 20 mph. Has significantly more torque than the Trek though, and a lower range gear set. I can't pedal it much more than 22-23mph because I run out of gears. However, it is a beast climbing hills, and it is full suspension so it is just wonderful on the 60+ miles of trails we have on the mountain I live on. I ride this into town if I'm not carrying any cargo, and if I don't need to go to the far side of the island. The 20mph speed is fine, though it feels slow after the 30mph+ I can get the Trek going to.

    - A Brompton Electric - this is limited to 15 mph, has a bit shorter range than the other bikes, has small wheels, and isn't especially suited for off-road use at all. However, it folds into thirds, and is easily carried and stowed in overheads of trains/buses/subways and such. And it fits well into small airplanes and boats. I use this bike a lot off-island, as I can throw it in the back of a boat, or the trunk of a car, find a good parking place, then pop out and unfold the bike. The 15mph feels slow to me, but it is way better than walking. It's also geared low enough that it does climb hills reasonably well - I can pedal it to the top of the mountain here, and it manages.

    The key for hills isn't the top-speed rating of the bike, rather it is the torque the bike can produce for hill climbing. There are a lot of inexpensive ebikes out there with hub drives (built into the wheel), and many of those lack sufficient torque. The mid-drive bikes seem to do better, they are a bit more expensive.

    I tried out one of the Radpower bikes, which seem quite popular, and it didn't have quite enough torque for my liking on the hills here. The specs on some of these bikes don't seem to match what they actually produce, so I'd strongly recommend a test ride on a representative hill before committing to a bike.

  4. #14
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Thanks. I had read that the mid-drive bikes were better for torque, and thinking about why that is it makes sense. I will definitely be riding several before making a decision and will be testing this.

    It also seems like there are a few main motor units out there. Are any of them significantly better or worse?

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