Author Topic: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice  (Read 3658 times)

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Offline Peter Parfitt

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Hi Everyone

The old arthriticiness is a bit of a nuisance and so I have decided that the time is right for an e-bike. I had to give up serious walking a while ago but I can cycle reasonable distances without too much pain. There are still some challenges which a dash of volts and amps can cure and so I am going to get an e-bike.

I would love to hear about any experiences you may have, any advice you might wish to offer and any pitfalls that I should be aware of. I already own a Dutch bike which has given me many years of excellent service and has a riding position well suited to my nagging joints. I will be looking to get an e-bike from The Netherlands as they have such good frame shapes for chaps like me.

Cheers.

Peter

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 02:09 PM »
"The Netherlands as they have such good frame shapes"

Something unfamiliar to me. Do you have any links to share?

Offline RobBob

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2016, 02:24 PM »
Not exactly what you had in mind I am sure, but get this one.  No helmet necessary.   [wink]
WORLD PREMIERE: BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100



« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 02:29 PM by RobBob »

Offline Alex

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2016, 03:03 PM »
I ride my bike a lot, about 1000 km each month, but I don't have an E-bike. Some of my friends who like to ride a lot too do have one, and they all swear by one brand: Flyer from Switzerland. Apparently it's the best there is.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2016, 04:43 PM »
"The Netherlands as they have such good frame shapes"

Something unfamiliar to me. Do you have any links to share?

The frames and handlebars are set out in such a way that the riding position is amazingly comfortable. It is quite upright with less pressure on the wrists and a far more relaxing posture.

Peter

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 04:46 PM »
Not exactly what you had in mind I am sure, but get this one.  No helmet necessary.   [wink]
WORLD PREMIERE: BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100



I am keeping my fingers crossed that my son does not see this - he got rid of his rather fast BMW and when the Ducati goes we hope his ton-up days will be over.

Peter

Offline Wooden Skye

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2016, 08:54 PM »
I have road and mountain bikes, but have never heard of an ebike. What the heck is it?  Yes I will be the guy that shows his cluelessness.
Bryan

TS 55, (2) 1400 Guide Rails, 1900 Guide Rail, MFT/3, Domino DF 500, 2 domino systainers, ETS 150/3, RO 90, CT 26, (2) OF1400, RO 150. RTS 400, LR 32 set, PS300 jigsaw, 3 abrasive systainers, (2) sys toolbox, (2) sys mini, clamps and other accesories

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2016, 09:01 PM »
I thought I did that already.  [unsure]


I'm guessing it's an electric bike since Peter is considering one to reduce the strain on his joints.

Offline McNally Family

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 09:25 PM »
It is really more of an electric assist concept, with the option to go 100% manual, or assist mode when you need it.   Very helpful on hills.  I have considered purchasing one in the past, just so I could keep up with my teenage son.   I have not looked at them in a while, but when i was, Trek had a nice model.   

While they are not cheap, neither is a nice bicycle either.
GREEN: In order of purchase = C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) | Next  Purchase: Something else Metric |

RED: In order of purchase = Mafell P1cc w/tilting base | Complete range of Mafell blades | Collins Coping Foot |  F 160 (x1)+F 110 (x1)+F 80 (x1) w/Guide pocket, clamps & Connector (x1)  | Angle fence F-WA | Next Purchase :  TBD

Offline mwildt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2016, 11:09 PM »
Checkout 'Copenhagen Wheel' that might be interesting for you if you're thinking ebike.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2016, 01:06 AM »
Many thanks for the replies.

An "E-Bike" or "Pedelec" is a bike which has an electric motor to assist the rider. In Europe you have to be putting some energy in via the pedals in order for the motor to switch in and provide assistance. It is not like a moped where you can stop pedalling and open the throttle.

There are designs with motors in either the front or rear wheels and also a mid mounted motor design. It is the latter, and particularly the Bosch system, that I am interested in. Most designs have an option that does assist you when you are pushing the bike so that if you do have to push up a hill then it does at least propel itself a little to make it easier. I am not sure if you could sit on the bike and use this feature as it seems to contradict the regulation.

Peter

Offline Alex

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2016, 03:37 AM »
Oh, the motor helps a LOT. Sometimes when I'm riding upwind, I, as a trained biker really have to work hard to maintain a speed of 20 Kph, and then this older couple or a 15 year old girl on their e-bikes just casually pass me by without breaking a sweat.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2016, 03:55 AM »
Hi @Alex ,

You are right but the user does have full control of the amount of help that is provided.

We were in The Netherlands about 5 years ago, near Delft, cycling into a very icy wind with snow driving into our faces when a little old lady cruised past us with her full week's shopping in paniers and bags on the back and front of her bike - the bike seemed to "purr" as it passed by.

We spent a couple of weeks camping in Germany recently and visited German friends, both about our age, who had their own e-bikes. Needless to say we tried them and had some fun cycling around the slightly hilly vineyards in the Palatinate (Pfalz) region.

I think the key thing is not to see it as a lazy way to cycle but a way to take the cruelty out of it. I am sure most gym machine users have seen the signs telling you not to exceed your calculated maximum heart rate. I used to ignore this but have read that it is serious advice for people of any age. I used to feel very proud when cycling up steep hills seeing my heart rate monitor approach the 190 mark. I still want to tackle those hills but not bust a gut in the process.

I would love to hear from any other Dutch FOGgers as I am rather a fan of Dutch bikes.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 04:00 AM by Peter Parfitt »

Offline McNally Family

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2016, 01:49 PM »
Is this the Bosch system you are talking about?  This is on a Trek version mountain bike, but I suspect the Bosch system may be the same on other style bikes. 

Do you have a link for a Dutch design?

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/mountain-bikes/electric-mountain-bikes/powerfly-fs/powerfly-8-fs-plus/p/2931600-2017/

Something a little less "mountain bikeish":

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/city-bikes/urban-commuter-bikes/xm700/xm700/p/1982140-2017/
« Last Edit: October 15, 2016, 01:56 PM by McNally Family »
GREEN: In order of purchase = C18 5.2 Set w/Centrotec Installer's Set | CT26 w/Installer Cleaning Set | RS 2 E | Hose w/ Sleeve 3.5m | 115mm X 226mm Hand Sanding Block | 80mm X 133mm Hand Sanding Block | HSK D21.5 5m hose | CT Boom Arm Bundle Set |  Won the CXS Li 2.6 90 Limited Edition on 06/20/2016 | Metric Parallel Guide Set | 1080 Plate for custom MFT | OF 1400 EQ Router (metric) w/accessories | FS1400/2-LR 32 Guide Rail (x1) | Next  Purchase: Something else Metric |

RED: In order of purchase = Mafell P1cc w/tilting base | Complete range of Mafell blades | Collins Coping Foot |  F 160 (x1)+F 110 (x1)+F 80 (x1) w/Guide pocket, clamps & Connector (x1)  | Angle fence F-WA | Next Purchase :  TBD

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2016, 03:25 PM »
Is this the Bosch system you are talking about?  This is on a Trek version mountain bike, but I suspect the Bosch system may be the same on other style bikes. 

Do you have a link for a Dutch design?

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/mountain-bikes/electric-mountain-bikes/powerfly-fs/powerfly-8-fs-plus/p/2931600-2017/

Something a little less "mountain bikeish":

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/city-bikes/urban-commuter-bikes/xm700/xm700/p/1982140-2017/

Yes, I think that it is the same system.

About 5 years ago I spent a few weeks looking at all sorts of Dutch bikes (normal non electric ones) and decided to buy a pair of Gazelle as they had some features which were invented by them which suited my needs.

I have been looking at many makes of e-bike and keep going back to the Gazelle web site and I am looking at either the Orange C8 HMB or the Ultimate C8 HMB. Both bikes have the same enclosed chain that we have on our normal bikes (so the dust and grit is kept off the chain) and they also have the Gazelle fully adjustable handlebar feature which is so important for my arthritic wrists.

Peter


Offline Simon (UK)

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2016, 03:50 PM »
Have you had a look at this site?
They have a shop in the south west (useful?) so may be worth a look to help decide what you like.

Simon


Offline Alex

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2016, 03:54 PM »
My bike is a Gazelle, and it's a nice bike to ride, but mind you, something is always broken or worn. It is very heavily maintenance sensitive and I have to spend between 150 and 200 euro each year to keep it riding. Mind you, I ride a lot, but especially all the Shimano gear it is fitted with wears like crazy. Right now it is not riding because the freehub body is worn. And apparently they put a 1991 part on a 2007 bike, and guess what, the part is not available anymore and I now have to scout for a substitute.

My friends who are into e-bikes tell me Gazelle's e-bikes are rubbish and Flyer is the thing.     

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2016, 04:44 PM »
Yes, I looked at the Flyer - not cheap and it has the same power unit as the Gazelle. So, it seems to me that it is down to the quality of the bike that is attached to the power unit. Our two Gazelles have been going for 5 years with only tyre replacements and normal servicing.

Peter

Offline hrrb

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2016, 04:56 PM »
Hi Peter

I had an electric bike (one of the early models released in Denmark) some years back until the frame broke.
Fortunately I wasn't riding the bike when it happened. Somehow the frame got filled with water so it got frost blown during a cold winter.  [eek]

I remember that I was a bit dissapointed that the battery was worn out after 1½ year. I didn't use the bike that much so the number of re-charging cycles was low. I found out that new batteries would cost me 50% of a complete new bike [crying]
So I decided to wait until spring before buying new batteries. Well the hard winter made a decission for me...end of that story [big grin]

So I advice you to check the price of a new battery pack before deciding. And check if the company will guarantee a number of re-charging cycles or a number of years.

If you're heading for a dutch bike check out Batavus. I read a pedelec review in a newspaper recently and the Batavus got the best rating.

I have a non electric Batavus. I think it's top quality.

Best regards
Henrik

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2016, 02:27 AM »
Hi Henrik

Many thanks for the advice. I will look at the Batavus range. I will also ask some questions about batteries.

Cheers.

Peter

Offline Reiska

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2016, 07:26 AM »
This maybe a bit left-field, but I've been enjoying immensely my Recumbent eTrike for the last three years.

It is very nice and ergonomic to sit in, you really can't fall (unless you break with the ourside front tire when turning steeply, don't ask how I know ;-), you don't need to balance at traffic lights and have ample places for saddle bags to carry your things with you.

I've got a self-integrated Performer Recumbent Trikes with the Pedelec bits from Chrystalyte.

I strongly suggest looking at the 36V models and prioritise torque over speed. The normal 25kmph Pedelec assist is plenty good as long as there is enough torque in the motor to help you in the up hills.

During my normal commute I notice the assist mainly when kicking off from a standstill like at trafic lights and in up hills. It's effect is kind of like you mom was pushing from the rack behind as a kid.

Doing the retrofit yourself saves easily a bunch of money, but of course a shop bought solution tends to be more seamless and you get service and support for the whole bike at the same place.

When mine was built there were no commercial options on the market - today I would probably a) purchase a significantly more expensive German built trike like a HP Velotechnik Scorpion and b) get it with the factory option SwissDrive Pedelec kit rather than build it myself.

Due to your position on a recumbent bike your air drag is near zero and you can efforlessly bike 100+ km on todays large capacity battery packs.

Also the motor technology has advanced significantly in the sense that more modern ones to mine do break power collection, have a free rolling gear to disconnect the motor entirely if you don't want to use break collection and they tend to have more torque than mine, which is now near 4 years old.

The main downside of a recumbent trike is that they are slightly wider on the street than a two wheeler and you are so low down that an attention flag and bright clothes is a must for personal safety as you are nearly invisible to drivers.
The sky's the limit in my workshop, literally. [big grin]

Offline Kev

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2016, 09:40 AM »
Hi @Peter parfait

FLX are making a good range right now.

I dipped a toe in and converted one of my bikes with a kit. It's "ok", but I'll be looking for something seriously good pretty soon.

The mid motor is becoming very popular, but I still think the BionX kits from Canada offer the smoothest feel with a rear wheel motor.

Are you looking for simply easing the road miles or are you considering some serious grunt for off road?

The EBR youtube channel has a lot of reviews and will give you good idea of very wide range of options.

Kev.


Offline bdiemer

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2016, 10:16 AM »
learn from my mistake and buy the "walk thru version" or in old school speech the women's version. Much, much easier to get on if you have arthritic knees.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2016, 11:56 AM »
Hi @Peter parfait

FLX are making a good range right now.

I dipped a toe in and converted one of my bikes with a kit. It's "ok", but I'll be looking for something seriously good pretty soon.

The mid motor is becoming very popular, but I still think the BionX kits from Canada offer the smoothest feel with a rear wheel motor.

Are you looking for simply easing the road miles or are you considering some serious grunt for off road?

The EBR youtube channel has a lot of reviews and will give you good idea of very wide range of options.

Kev.

Thank you for the information. My idea of cycling (now) is to go 35 to 45 miles, at a leisurely pace, stopping for coffee and a chat with locals when I feel like it and be back in time for a G&T. I do this on cycle ways or roads.

Peter

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2016, 11:58 AM »
learn from my mistake and buy the "walk thru version" or in old school speech the women's version. Much, much easier to get on if you have arthritic knees.

I agree completely. I have been using the step through (ladies) frames for many years now.

Cheers.

Peter

Offline haasjetik

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2016, 12:15 PM »
Bought 2 Batavus (Batavi ?)Stream, for my wife and myself. Has an Yamaha mid engine. Walk assist is not great, but otherwise an excellent bike. Due to the big battery capacity good on longer distances.

Offline RobBob

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2016, 03:01 PM »
@Peter Parfitt
Peter, I recently read about these bikes.  Looks like they would be great for travel.

Bike Friday BionX

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2016, 05:24 PM »
Hi @RobBob

I have done my own research and have decided to get the same make of e-bike as my regular Dutch bike - a very well known make.

I will provide more information a little later.

Peter

Offline RobBob

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2016, 06:11 PM »
Peter, looking forward to your review.

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #29 on: December 11, 2016, 06:20 PM »
Peter, looking forward to your review.

There is a lot to do yet and I will probably make a video as there is a large cycling community of "maybe e-bikers" that just want convincing. This is really a fair weather activity (filming I mean) and so do not expect much before May 2017 !

Peter

Offline Kev

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Re: Time to get an E-Bike - what experience can you offer a novice
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2016, 08:33 PM »
We're holidaying at Noosa Heads (QLD, Oz) at the moment and e-bike hire is common. My son has just grabbed a beach cruiser style e-bike to go exploring from the resort's stable (for now I'll be exhausting all of my energy lying on the beach).

We're actually looking to move up here and the bush trails (walking, MTB & horse riding) are amazing ... so much so that a Stealth could be in my near future [big grin]

I've been aching for an excuse ... http://www.stealthelectricbikes.com