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Old 01-28-2008, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why Electric Bikes?

Color me ignorant but why are people choosing to build an electric bike? It seems like an moped or equivalent would be better or a pure road bike. Isn't an electric bike just a mixture of both that does neither well? I'm not saying its wrong, or bad, I just want to hear from people that enjoy them!

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Old 01-28-2008, 01:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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An electric bike is a true hybrid vehicle.

You can pedal it, run on the electric, or both.

It doesn't put out fumes, noise, or vibration the way a moped does.


If you are a real bicyclist, you wouldn't bother. I am a very amatuer biker and love the electric bike. It is quick, simple, and fun.

It is harder to pedal when not using the electric at all, but that's mostly my extra heavy batteries.

Try an electric bike sometime. You will be hooked!
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I’ll take a stab at that as a recent convert. A little history. I ride my bike a lot and have for many years so the conversion to electric was not something to get the dusty rusty bike out to start using it again. Although, if getting an electric bike or converting a old one would get someone out of the car that’s good.

Your right. The electric bike is not really good at either being a bike or a electric bike but it is a good compromise. Just like some of the things we do to get better mileage in our cars is a compromise. There is no environmental plus if you have been commuting by bike because of the energy required to recharge the batteries but there have been several times in the last week when I took the bike instead of the car just because it was electric. Using Darin advice about the fire alarms business’s I have a endless supply of batteries now.


Used as a hybrid, the electric bike has cut my commute time considerable from non assisted rides. That was one of the main reasons for me. To close the gap between the car and the bike. Seems like every trip in the car the average speed is 33 mph on the bike I’m now around 20 and think that will get better when I have instrumentation for the batteries. Strong winds and heavy loads(like grocery shopping) I would just take the car. Now I can plow along with the e-bike and not be dead or soaked in sweat when I get there. This will be a plus in the summer, since shower facility are sparse, to go places that are close without have to towel off or change cloths when you get there. The advantage of the motor puts me on the bike when I would of taken the car because of weather or because I’m tired. Most trips within 4 miles I can go as fast as I could in my car with out having to work. So for me it will keep me on the bike even more and out of the car.
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Excellent explanations. Thanks guys. I may try one sometime. I just couldn't imagine wanting to pedal the extra weight around if I let my batteries die, but it does sound handy.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I know that I'm building one because for me, right now at least, my electricity bill is lower then my cars fuel bill, monthly. My electricity is included in the prices of the rent I pay for my apartment so it's essentially free. I know that it still produces pollution because of the required power plants, but by not using my car so much, I may be using less since in reality, the amount of power required by the power plant is so little in comparison to the amount they regularly pump out that really the environmental effects are actually really less then running the car as well.

The other upside is that I get outside, or rather, feel like I'm outside at least. I enjoy going outside, but I'm a tad lazy so riding my bike is more work then I really care to do, especially on hot summer days so this is a great alternative for me. Not to mention that I am an avid fan of solar power and I could technically combine this with all kinds of solar applications to minimize my dependency on power from any sort of commercial power plant.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenKreton View Post
I just couldn't imagine wanting to pedal the extra weight around if I let my batteries die
In that situation- terrific workout! Saves the gym payment......
Excellent equalizer usually.

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Old 01-30-2008, 11:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Electric powered bikes are actually nice to have as a boost for riding. I know I will still be pedaling as I go, but I'm using the motor to keep me at or above the 20mph range so that I can be moving more quickly then I would be under my own power. For extended periods of time I'm really only capable, in my current physical condition, of riding at a pace of about 10mph, so put a motor under me that can give me another 20mph I'm looking at 30mph or more which will be great for time efficiency, instead of taking me 30 minutes to get to work I can now get there in under 15 minutes.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi guys,

Been following the site for a while and had to get in on this thread so I signed up. I've been riding an e-bike for over a year now and put better than 2000 miles on it. I live 5 miles from work and ride it back and forth as often as possible.
Other than not putting gas into a vehicle there are a number of other reasons for an ebike.

In my younger days I rode a considerable number of miles on a street bike. I still get some exercise on the bike.

As I age though, there are a few more aches and pains that I notice. Not having to pedal as much/hard takes away the majority of those pains.

I have to pay for parking if I drive my car downtown to work. $10-11 a day is not inexpensive. I can park my bike for free where I work.

With traffic flow it takes me almost 7 minutes longer to ride my bike. I can live with that.

Most of all though, it is just plain fun to go 20mph on a bike without pedalling.

I use two Dewalt battery packs for my power supply. Total battery weight = 5pounds. That's good for about 6-9miles at 15 mph with steady easy pedalling to help out. I charge the packs at each end of the ride.

Cost in electricity = .3 cents per mile at a rate of 15 cents per kwh.
That is a correct figure above. I use approximately 100 Wh to go 5 miles. That costs 1.5 cents. 1.5 cents divided by 5 miles = .3 cents/mile.
Those are average numbers.
So at $3.00 per gallon of gas, I am getting an equivalent of 300 cents x 1 mile /.3 cents = 1000mpg. Quick, check my math.

Hope this is informative,
Thanks,
JJ
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm building an electric bike because in my state you don't need to insure a bicycle, you are suposed to regester it with the city for $3 a year but no one does, you can park them on sidewalks and at bike racks, state law alows motorized bicycles to travel under power at up to 30mph, so basicly it's alowing me to build a moped, only I don't have to deal with the paper work of getting a title because my state sees an electric bike as a bicycle.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackstone View Post
As I age though, there are a few more aches and pains that I notice. Not having to pedal as much/hard takes away the majority of those pains.

I have to pay for parking if I drive my car downtown to work. $10-11 a day is not inexpensive. I can park my bike for free where I work.

With traffic flow it takes me almost 7 minutes longer to ride my bike. I can live with that.

Most of all though, it is just plain fun to go 20mph on a bike without pedalling.JJ
Alternative alternative vehicle- with or without electric motor- Allight Allweder Velomobile:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=290203889799
in Florida- another one of those 3-wheel vehicles that swaps ends.....

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