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Interested in electric bikes?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  salty 12 mos.

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rhodebump

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Dec 19 2013 at 1:14pm #

Hi,

I have been interested in e-bikes for a while now, and have been researching batteries/motor types and all the related technology. I thought it would be nice to start a local group that could get together and see/discuss different subjects relating to e-bikes. For example, LIPO battery balance charging, or hub vs. mid-motor styles…

If you are interested, please signup at http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Electric-Bike-Club/

Thanks.
Phillip


Ahlir

Private Message

Dec 19 2013 at 7:26pm #

This is shameless mini-hijack.

A friend of ours who had an e-bike moved to France last year, and left the e-bike in our garage. It’s a Sun Streamway. He had wanted to sell it but that didn’t happen by the time he had to leave town.

If you’re interested or otherwise curious, drop me a PM.


byogman

Private Message

Dec 20 2013 at 2:44pm #

Less of a hijack, but still not quite on point.

We still do too many short-ish errands by car because we have 3 kids the oldest of which is still not really ready for road riding. So I do have an interest in larger, possibly powered trailers. To the point that I’ve considered rolling my own even though I don’t have the first bit of actual useful experience that would help me.

So… would this be something that this group would be looking at too, trailers?


Lenk42602

Private Message

Dec 20 2013 at 8:48pm #

Might wanna spend some time here:

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/


Ahlir

Private Message

Dec 21 2013 at 7:45pm #

Personal thought:

If I were to go motorized I would just get a scooter. The bicycle design is just wrong for a motorized vehicle. Mopeds make sense, though.

Pro Bikes was displaying a Specialized e-bike, for ~$7k. That’s crazy. You can get an awesome scooter for that amount of money.


ericf

Private Message

Dec 23 2013 at 7:24am #

@Ahlir,
Interesting comment, please elaborate. I thought that modern motorcycles were a direct evolution from bicycles:


byogman

Private Message

Dec 23 2013 at 9:36am #

I think what Ahlir is saying is that once you have some added weight/cost/complexity from a motor, it’s very tempting to turn the dial toward higher power. And it’s true that beyond a certain very low point pedal power doesn’t weigh in much at all anymore, the pedals start looking superfluous, and irrespective of history, the design trade-offs for most use cases rapidly change in favor of something that looks more like a scooter… or a motorcycle if highway riding is a requirement.

That said, there does appear to be a growing niche of very low power electric assist bicycles. And I’m all for them. Has the potential to get a lot of people who might not be willing or able to tackle the hills with pedal power alone out there working, being active, and out of cars. Nets us a lot of allies who have an experience on the road at least somewhat similar to our own.

And there’s no philosophical difference between e-bikes and what I’m contemplating with a trailer. Just, everyone has their bar of what they’re willing or able to do with pedal power in a different place.


Ahlir

Private Message

Dec 23 2013 at 11:18am #

I thought that modern motorcycles were a direct evolution from bicycles

True, but we can probably assume there’s a reason the evolution took place (and why a devolution looks odd, since it would seem to give up on improvements). Some things that scooters do right:

– wider tires and suspension, for a smoother ride.
– closed storage space
– maybe better mudguard construction
– possibility of a carrying a passenger (or cargo)


salty

Private Message

Dec 23 2013 at 1:01pm #

I don’t know – I think it’s easier to carry cargo on a bicycle, especially when you look at xtracycle or bakfiets designs.

There is not much room under the seat and most rear racks are only rated for 10-15lb. You can fit saddlebags, etc. – although I don’t have any for my scooters (maybe I should), I usually end up using a messenger bag or hanging a shopping bag off the front hook. But, for ultimate weight capacity I think a bicycle might actually have a scooter beat.

I still think about buying some kind of electric assist cargo bike. I was just thinking about this yesterday, I had to haul a 50lb bag of salt, >50lb of dog/cat food, and a bunch of other stuff, and unfortunately it was easiest to take the car – no way I was going to be able to do that on my Vespa (or bicycle) without multiple trips, and even then it’s a lot of weight.

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