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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #1021
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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaEbike View Post
    I'd be happy to let you/anyone use my data from strava to start to put some factual detail to this debate. I have a class 3 ebike and have been commuting 4-5 days/week from Vienna to DC since July. I'm also participating in FS on Team 13, Brandon F so you get quick glimpses into data from the distance, elevation, speed graph.

    Er, wait, what?

  2. #1022
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Er, wait, what?
    E-bikes are still allowed in FS.

  3. #1023
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    E-bikes are still allowed in FS.
    I am gonna have FUN with that Jump bike code then

  4. #1024
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I have ridden ebikes on the flat, around Hains Point, but I feel to really evaluate them better, I need to ride up some hills. AFAIK Jump bikes are not supposed to be taken out of the District. Can you suggest a hill in the District, of the sort where I would be absolutely uncomfortable riding a human powered bike with following traffic (note I am weak on hills) but where a Jump bike would make all the difference?
    You could also try it on a more moderate hill, such as L street NE between 5th and 7th, to better judge the difference between your bike and the pedal assist. (When I tried one, I found it more helpful in my mind to try it on a hill I'm more familiar with)

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    Here's a diversion: someone asked me today if my bike is an e-bike. Itís not the first time itís happened. Hereís the rear hub:
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    Does this look like one of those e-hubs? Is it because of the belt drive? Itís a steel frame with pretty average tubing, so itís not as if it looks like it has a battery on it. Whatís the deal? More importantly, how offended should I be? Iíd like to think they ask me because they canít believe how fast Iím going by on my heavy commuting rig, but...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    Here's a diversion: someone asked me today if my bike is an e-bike. Itís not the first time itís happened. Hereís the rear hub:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Does this look like one of those e-hubs? Is it because of the belt drive? Itís a steel frame with pretty average tubing, so itís not as if it looks like it has a battery on it. Whatís the deal? More importantly, how offended should I be? Iíd like to think they ask me because they canít believe how fast Iím going by on my heavy commuting rig, but...
    I've gotten that too...a few times on my previous bike (belt drive with Alfine 8) and quite a few more with my belt drive/Pinion gearbox combo.

    For the few people who did more than just ask the question in passing: they had that thought because of either (a) belt drive/hub/gearbox looked different and they'd been hearing about those e-bike things so thought that would be it or (b) they knew motorcycles that use belts (one guy who asked actually was on a motorcycle) so made the false mental connection that belt = motor because all bicycles use chains.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    Does this look like one of those e-hubs? Is it because of the belt drive? It’s a steel frame with pretty average tubing, so it’s not as if it looks like it has a battery on it. What’s the deal?
    I think you’re right the combination of an IGH and belt drive might confuse some people, but rear hub motors generally use a derailleur, and almost all ebikes with an IGH hub use a mid-drive or front hub motor. There’s only two rear hub motors that bolt onto an IGH gear hub, the Bionx PL250 HT bolted onto a SRAM IGH 3 is sold to OEM manufacturers in Europe but is unavailable to the public, the other is the TDCM bolted onto a Sturmey IGH 5 which is sold to the public here by Grin Tech and in Europe is rebranded and sold to OEM manufacturers by Accell, I was thinking the TDCM IGH would make an interesting DIY kit for converting a donor steel framed single speed city bicycle into a 5-speed IGH with a motor, but looking closer the motor design cannot use conventional torque arms because the axle is the gear hub's Sturmey Archer flat axle and no motor torque is applied to it (some IGH hub internals aren't strong enough to take motor torque), instead it just has one tab washer on the left side onto which all the motor torque is applied, this requires a frame with track style forkends or horizontal slotted rear dropouts, and you would want to keep power low or risk the washer bending the drop out and spinning out. In Europe Accell have put it on the Sparta R5E and they solved the mounting problem on that bike with a cut out behind the rear drop outs into which a custom torque arm is bolted on both sides, neat but a custom frame solution.
    Last edited by Dewey; 02-16-2018 at 09:04 AM.

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    Don't think anyone will confuse this with a pedal bike on the trails..... E-power is here to stay. 100% built from scratch E-kart. Gave the Boy access to the shop tools and the scrap bins when he said he wanted to build an electric cart over the winter break. Set him up with a super tight budget thinking it would keep it small and slow but he came up with all kinds of workarounds and designed a beast. Est top speed is 30+ mph, over 30 min run time at full throttle per charge and much longer when just puttering around. The 1000 watt motor, motor controls and battery pack guts are the heavy end of cost and all was under $200 in hand. Bike makers are loving the new branch of bikes that I suspect have large margins. We pedal people are simply going to have to get used to electric bikes. E bike users are going to have to get along with the human powered folks too.
    I keep having evil visions of mounting the marshmallow gun on the front mad max style and hunting trail Elfs.


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  9. #1029
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    Yeah, this probably serves reiterating, since my stance above was maybe not very clear, but I certainly support class 1 & 2 ebikes being allowed on any MUPs to include sidewalks on the bridges, etc. I think it's hard to imagine how these are a trail hazard and clearly they enable transportation for all sorts of additional cyclists -- from families with box bikes to people that just need (or want) to get to work with less exertion. I don't think anyone on the forum has any issue with these e-assist bikes that are riding with others at normal [cyclist] commuter speeds. The only sticky issue -- to me, anyway -- with e-bike legality are the e-bikes that are clearly designed to go much faster (and are being ridden much faster) than the type-1 or type-2 e-bikes. The argument here has been that these 28+ mph bikes are necessary to ride comfortably in traffic, which is why I commented that I'm all for them riding in traffic across the bridges. :-)

    (I think the prevailing counter-argument here is that enforcement would be too difficult, so we can only have an all-or-nothing policy. I'd still vote to have the rules even if I knew it was unlikely they'd be enforced. There would hopefully at least be some market encouragement to push the MUP-legal bikes.)
    1) My argument is that allowing ebikes with a speed limiter up to 28 (not +) gives MORE people the comfort to ride in traffic. Which means (1) more people riding in general (because some will have to ride on streets, and won't bike without the extra speed), and (2) fewer ebikes taking the trails when there is an alternative (because some will use Class 1 if that's all that's allowed on trails, but won't feel comfortable in traffic, so will stay on the trails when there are alternatives).

    2) There's generally a problem with these definitions. At least some places limit Class 1 to 250W, which isn't going to get a fully loaded cargo bike (or heavy trike) anywhere near 20mph (on uphills/flats). And the Class 1/2 definitions don't allow for the Bionx-type pedal-and-throttle, which is SO important for starting and stopping with load, and getting up to speed in traffic/up hills, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Judd View Post
    I don't want you riding a Class 1 pedelec on these bridges without dedicated infrastructure either. The eBikes that I've ridden (almost all class 1) are zippy, but I wouldn't take them on Memorial or Key Bridge unless it was my only option, since they won't get you up to the same speed as traffic.

    For folks that haven't ever tried an e-bike, I highly recommend signing up for a Jump account. If you use offer code JUMP4WABA, you'll get two free rides. Riding a Jump has helped shape and moderate my opinion on where e-bikes fit in the mix of transportation options and infrastructure.
    Have you tried other systems? Have you tried a Bionx? Have you ridden a cargo bike with a 250W motor? With a 750W? 1000W? A regular bike with those?

    From one perspective, they are all very similar. They all give you a boost, and you have to think a little more about controlling your speed to be safe (honestly, like being on a manual bike on downhills, but all the time). You also have less invested in that speed, so slowing doesn't feel so sad.

    But from another perspective, particularly for those of us towing precious cargo or with other mobility restrictions, there are some big differences:
    1) Throttle. Try starting from a stop on a hill with 3 kids on your bike. With a car bearing down behind you. Or try being mobility impaired on an e-trike, starting from a stop with a car bearing down behind you. The throttle is key to getting from 0mph to 10mph in these situations.

    2)Power. Again, try going uphill with 3 kids on your bike, or your overweight self on your trike with 250W. Ha.

    As I've said so many times here, to make any bikes usable as a transportation option in this area, they have to be able to get to all the destinations people need transportation to. That includes some monster hills. That also includes so routes where the only safe way to get there is the trail/sidepath.

    The way to make biking work for everyone is to allow the tools that allow everyone to bike on the routes people need to bike on. And we need the trails to work for everyone, so REGULATE BEHAVIOR, because plenty of folks on manual bikes are very dangerous (high speed, close passes, blind passes, etc).

  10. #1030
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    I think we have quite different perspectives on this, though, as cargo e-bikes account for a tiny fraction of the e-bikes I have ever encountered and 0% of the ones I see on a regular basis on my commute.
    Interesting. I'm certain the majority (at least 3/4) of the folks I know (personally and through internet family-bike circles) who use cargo bikes for kids on the regular have ebikes. (The Taga and Radwagon have really helped that). I'm also pretty sure that majority of cargo bikes that have come on Kidical Mass rides have been ebikes, but I've never counted.

    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    It wouldn't force a detour on Class 1 ebike riders. Nor on Class 3 ebike riders who are willing ride the general travel lanes (unless you mean that detouring from 14th Street bridge to memorial bridge is a huge detour) It would be a problem for that subset of Class 3 riders who are uncomfortable with the general travel lanes on Memorial or Key, or who need to get from NoVa to parts of DC where not taking 14th street bridge means a big detour.
    See above on why some ebike riders won't be Class 1, and I'll say it again - I'm about as "bold and fearless" of a rider as they come (on the fast ebike, wo kids), but even I won't take Key or Memorial in the travel lanes. Has anyone actually done it (at normal times -- not 8am Sunday morning, when I know some roadies take Key -> Whitehurst to get to Hains). And when thinking about the detour, you have to think about the detour on both sides of the river.

    These rules would just push more people off of bikes - and most likely into cars. I don't see why that's a better solution.

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