What electric bike do you have, and what is good (or bad) about it?

As the title says!

In particular it would be interesting to know

What gearing does it have? (Chainset/Rear block)?

How heavy is it?

What range do you get out of it?

My own thoughts re an electric bike are for post-retirement, expecting to keep for many years. The intent would be to get the same exercise from cycling as I would a non-electric bike, but have the motor available for when I have planned a ride that overstretches my capability, giving the ability to get home, or deliberately to significantly extend personal cycling range, especially as I become older and more feeble. My unassisted ride limit on a manual bike might be, say 40-50 miles, involving 3000 feet of elevation gain, therefore wanting the electric bike to utilise the same human power, but maybe give 50-100% greater distance capability in similar terrain so that I can do maybe 60-80 miles in a day in hilly places at my present level of fitness, and still do at keast what I can now when my fitness drops. One way of looking at it is I’d be wanting assistance to be minimal until I reach near the end of my strength, and for the range to that point to be much as with a manual bike, the electric power tgen adding greatly to range.

My present manual bike has is nominally 21 speed but actually only about a dozen different ratios, 22/32/42 front 11-34 rear, gear ratios from 0.645:1 to 3.82:1 (700mm wheels). The best gearing I’ve yet found on an e-bike is approaching that, at 0.745:1 to 3.80:1 on 12-speed Scott (38 front, 10-51 rear). That top gear is fine, though I wouldn’t want it any lower as that would limit my ability to make adequate progress level or slightly downhill. But I really do need my lowest gear on some hills, and not sure whether the higher bottom gear ratio of this particular e-bike would be an issue (this e-bike lowest ratio is halfway between my two lowest gears)

The bigger problem is that the e-bike’s extra 11kg (it weighs 25.8kg), adds 10%+ to the gross loaded bike weight, plus whatever motor drag there is when not powered, meaning that inevitably the motor would be needed to some extent just to do what I am used to doing now, weaning there is less added capacity.

It is that last point that seems to me to be a significant limitation of e-bikes, but far worse if cycling on trails where there may be styles or locked gates. My present bike (15kg) I can lift over, and could probably do that with a 26kg bike, but as age creeps up the risk of injury doing that increases, or indeed inability.

As I don’t plan to retire for another year, I will wait and hope bikes will get lighter and battery power to weight ratio increase further.

However, having described my own thoughts and observations, I would be most interested to learn others’ experiences, of all sorts, good or bad, and to know some details of specs, especially gearing and weight, also range that you get. Photos would be good, too!

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We’ve got 2 Brompton ebikes. I used to put my old bikes on the roof of my suv or back of the car but to old and they were to heavy to put on the roof, plus can’t put on the back of car with the caravan on. So bikes fold up into the boot. Got 6 gears and find they can cope with almost any hill with 3 levels of assist .
It’s renewed our enjoyment in cycling and can take them anywhere

All of my friends are buying the e-bikes and spending anywhere from 5 to 10000 dollars. I still ride my Italian racing bike that’s outfitted with Campi & Mavic w/a leather Brooks saddle. The places and I’ve gone and the mileage I put on the bike make it that I cannot ever contemplate saying goodbye for an electric bike. From time to time I take my bike and for Servicing and the mechanics start fawning and wanting to know the history and story behind it. There is another bike that I would love to acquire and that is 1960s Schwinn Stingray. I also want to get a vintage mini bike with a three and a half Briggs & Stratton engine. I love older things that were built by hand and Xzibit craftsmanship. Good luck on your quest for a e-bike. I noticed today that Yamaha is entering the market. To all of you keep cycling and walking and pray for those of us in America to get a new leader and November.

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Prompted by Gordon’s post, and nothing to do with electric bikes, other than show that they are not ‘needed’, an 82 year old guy in Britain last year recorded completing his millionth mile on s bike! A former competitive cyclist, he had kept a log of every ride since 1952, and is still cycling. Apparently he’s had 10 bikes in that time - so an average of 100k miles on each. What an achievement - an average of around 40 miles a day, every day for 67 years and counting!

My wife got an electric MTB last year. A former road cycle racer, she doesn’t need it per se, but struggling with a bad back she thought it would help her in hilly terrain or particularly bad weather. It is a Specialized Levo weighing a mere 20kg and heaps of fun to ride. In the forest, you can make climbs that are next to impossible to do on a normal MTB unless you bunny hop.

Having a house full of bicycles, this is not a replacement bike but an incredibly fun piece of kit. Instead of thinking about replacing your [treaded] bicycles, think of it as closing the gap between bike and car. It is easier to persuade yourself into not taking the car for getting groceries in heavy weather if the wind suddenly doesn’t matter.

Now, I have a bike like hers on my wish list for some future birthday :blush:.

By the way, I can wholeheartedly recommend this German e-magazine…

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My wife and I both have E-Ranger bikes. They seem to be well built have 7 gears and 9 settings for the electric motor, built in led lights and rear wheel lock/immobiliser they each weigh 25 KG with the battery. Early days but we both seem to be getting around 35 miles before re-charge is required. The supplier did say to completely exhaust and re-charge the battery a couple of times to condition it so it works better. As accessories we got a set of panniers each and I got a saddle gel add on for comfort.

We are both surprised how far we can get when out in an evening and are enjoying them. Hopefully we’ll plan a couple of longer trips for a weekend.

Tim

I have a Haibike Sduro Trecking 5.0 (2020 model), with a Yamaha PW-ST motor with 4 levels of pedal assistance, and it comes with rear rack, fitted stand and front and rear lights. It uses a central hub motor which I find to be ‘better’ than rear hub motors. My particular bike has 20 gears which is a bit over the top for an e-bike, but most of the time I just leave it in a highish gear when I am using the electric assistance. There really is little need to change gears except for the very steepest inclines.

I bought the bike because a blocked artery in one of my legs prevents me from cycling any distance on a conventional bike. It has worked out very much better than I had expected. I use the 2nd level of assistance for normal use, the 3rd for most inclines and the highest level for the steepest inclines. I can now complete fairly large distances without any difficulty or real discomfort.

Range is excellent. I do change my level of assistance during my rides, so can’t give a definite range for each level, but I reckon I would get around 45 to 50 miles on the highest level of assistance and up to around 100 miles on the lowest level of assistance.

A couple of things to bear in mind.

The bike, like just about all e-bikes is heavy. I recommend that you invest in Gym membership if you want to be able to lift an e-bike over fences or styles on your own. I reckon that the lowest level of assistance (Eco+ on the Yamaha motor) just about compensates for the extra weight of the bike. The highest two settings (Std and High on the Yamaha motor) are just wonderful.

A slight issue I have is nothing to do with the bike, but with the EU wide legislation that restricts assistance to a maximum of 15 mph. I rarely ride much faster than this these days (and spend a lot of time on cycle paths and trails), but a level of 20 mph would be more appropriate for riding on public roads in my opinion.

I would not hesitate to recommend that you buy an e-bike. I am sure that you will love it and get a lot out of it, and I would heartily recommend the Haibike range of e-bikes. They are expensive but superbly well built, and there is a huge range of models from which to choose.

I would definitely recommend that you find a nearby dealer, and try an e-bike from your preferred manufacturer before you buy. There are subtle differences in the way in which the various motor options from different manufacturers provide assistance. For example, some find that Yamaha motors provided a more natural type of assistance (for experienced cyclists) than Bosch. Others may not agree.

Haibike use both Yamaha and Bosch motors in their range of bikes.

Just back from a two hour outing on my bike - need to make the most of good weather in Scotland when it arrives. Today was a mixture of roads and light woodland trails, and here are a few photos of the bike as requested:

Keeping my motorbike company in the garage:

and out on the woodland trail today:

Raced past some serious looking cyclists on some quite steep inclines on my ride today. I never know whether to acknowledge that I’m riding a bike with power assistance and apologize, or just gloat as I sail effortlessly (well - almost) by.

Actually, the good thing about the Yamaha PW-ST motor is that you don’t get a free ride. You still have to put in some effort because the power assistance is cadence based, so you do get exercise unless you choose to go right down the gears.

Nice! But you appear to be a rarity, having mudguards, and standard pedals, as well as a carrier. I was beginning to think I was the only one!

I agree with you re speed restriction - I certainly do faster than that level and downhill, but I assume the motor simply cuts out or you switch off, and you can pedal or freewheel as fast as you wish subject to highest gear, leg ability and wind resistance.

Yes - the power assistance simply fades out gradually as you pass the 15.5 mph (or thereabouts) limit and once you get up to 16 or 17 mph you are pedalling on your own without assistance. I have heard that Bosch motors (or at least the older ones) impart some drag when you pass the assistance limit, but this doesn’t happen with the Yamaha PW-ST motor.

I think I got up to around 30mph (according to the comprehensive central display) on some of the downhill public road sections today - the Haibike is very stable. Not a problem on downhill sections - just go up the gears (switch off the assistance if you want, but no real need) and pedal as hard as you like or simply freewheel down the hill.

Haibike do a huge range of bikes. The ‘Trekking’ models all have carriers, mudguards, lights and rear stand as standard. Their range of mountain or road bikes come without these but can have them added.

For my own use (and age), I decided that serious mountain biking was now out of the question, and so I plumped for one of the Trekking models with hybrid tyres. Perfect for my intended use of the bike.

Like Hmack, I have a Haibike but mine is the SDURO 7.5. Mine has 11 gears and the Bosch central hub drive. Hmack has pretty well covered everything and agree with his comments, so my comments are only additional.

The bike is simply too heavy to lift over styles and those awkward semi circular gates. I have had to lift over a small style or two when I have gone off road ending in the dreaded style. I have found if you select Bridleways, as opposed to Footpaths, there are no styles or gates. I really enjoy the balance of off and on road, best of both worlds and great fun.

I would concur with the other comments about range and speed limitations, but you shouldn’t let that put you off. As for gearing, I can go up very steep slopes in lowest gear and highest assistance level, again great fun, but it will drain your battery if you do this too much. I happen to like how the assistance feeds in, the 4 levels of assistance and the gearing range, perfect for me. Of course you can turn assistance completely if you need to save some battery, but as the bike is so heavy and has fatter tyres, I find this a little unrewarding as it stifles you’re progress.

In summary, e-biking is great fun and doesn’t feel like exercise. Consequently I look forward to a ride and usually go far further than I had intended.

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I’ve had several cycling holidays now on my cheap and basic ebike
Mine is a giant … bought for £100 as I had to repair the battery
My wife’s is a urban mover bought for £125 as I had to repair the battery (there’s a theme here)

I would LOVE a better bike …and have been offered some great deals …as my best mate owns an ebike and motorbike shop
But cannot bring myself to spend the money

l

Here we are on a bridleway near Stratford on Avon

Ps
Don’t be tempted to do as I have with new ebikes
The new batteries have a “suicide chip” in them that completely bricks the battery if it goes wrong
You have been warned!

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As with most bikes, you need to decide what you want the e-bike for…

If it’s to go on trails and lift over gates, then it’ll be a problem. If you want to go further in a day and do more climbing than you would normally do, then a good e-bike will allow you to do that. If you want to commute and arrive more quickly and with less sweat, then a different sort of e-bike will do that too. But they are different bikes!

I have a Specialised Levo which is an e-mountain bike, and is great for expeditions/all day rides/lots of climbing. It’s also modofiable to go faster than the cutoff speed, if you wish, so could be used for commuting longer distances. It’s about twice the weight of my other mountain bike, and so needs the lowest level of assistance just to make it about the same effort to pedal.

The technology is advancing all the time, so an old e-bike (>4 years) is likely not to be such a bargain as it might be - but new ones are relatively expensive - £1k-£5k. Getting a contribution to one on a cycle to work scheme is a good move.

I love mine, and my wife loves hers. Carreid on a tower carrier (putting it on the roof is a bad idea) or in the back of the car, it’s easy to take places and easy to do decent distances without hassles. If you have any injuries, it allows you to participate still. Trying it will bring a grin to your face - it is fun, for sure.

It’s not the same as a standard mountain bike, it’s a different experience. Like valves and solid state, they approach the same problem from different angles, and give different results, though both are effective…

I find the 3 bike tow bar rack ideal for long trips!
Just holds 2 ebikes ( recommend weight limit)
Bought second hand for £30

!

Hey Jap, don’t forget your MOT on the 8 march 2021 :wink:

Great read cheers