Electric Bicycles

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Topic Author
victorb
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:29 pm

Electric Bicycles

Post by victorb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:05 am

Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/

freebeer
Posts: 2009
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 8:30 am
Location: Seattle area USA

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by freebeer » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:37 am

victorb wrote:Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/

What do you mean "such the Rad Power bike?" ... are you asking about experiences with any type of electric bicycle or it some aspect of the Rad Power product line that you are asking about? I mean this is kind of like asking "does anyone have experiences with automobiles such as the Mini Cooper?" but I'm kinda thinking that you may be asking a more generic question...

burgerman
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:03 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by burgerman » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:08 am

make sure they have a brush-less motor. This will give better power deficiency.

burgerman
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:03 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by burgerman » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:14 am

It seems the brand you specified has much media attention and can be trusted, Unfortunately I don't have any direct experience with their products.
I have two advice before choosing an electric vehicle

* Always Go with brush-less motors to get maximum efficiency (a regenerative braking system will further enhance the overall energy efficiency of system)
* Choose a battery system having higher voltage rating( choose 24v than a 12 v system; higher voltage rating means you are using an energy efficient system with minimal heat loss.

alfaspider
Posts: 2165
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:57 am

victorb wrote:Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
I think the main problem with all the electric bikes I've seen to-date is that they aren't really any faster than the pedal-powered ones (with the possible exception of a few more expensive E-assist bikes). If you are going to go through the trouble, why not get a little exercise? Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.

TonyDAntonio
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:32 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by TonyDAntonio » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:13 pm

alfaspider wrote:
victorb wrote:Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
I think the main problem with all the electric bikes I've seen to-date is that they aren't really any faster than the pedal-powered ones (with the possible exception of a few more expensive E-assist bikes). If you are going to go through the trouble, why not get a little exercise? Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.
I ride a 'regular' bike. A lot. I've ridden it across the USA. I've never ridden electric but I see a lot of them while walking in San Francisco. If you don't think they are faster than regular bikes you must be a professional cyclist. Everytime I see one in the city they are going a few mph faster than normal. I first think, "woah, that guy must be in great shape". Then I realize they are on a tank of a bike, sitting straight up, riding in jeans, tennis shoes, a heavy coat and ski cap carrying a backpack and peddling at a 50 rpm cadence. Oh, I say, he's on an electric. They are faster. That's all I know about them.

btenny
Posts: 5140
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by btenny » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:49 pm

My wife has a Pedago Electric cruiser bike. It goes just like a scooter. You turn the handle and the electric motor makes the bike take off. No pedaling required. But the magnets in the motor and the super good wheels make it very easy to pedal. About half the time my wife never uses the motor. Mostly she uses the motor to go up hills. It is really heavy versus a normal bike. I am sure it will not fit on my light weight bike rack. It goes to 20-25 mph easily. It cost $2600. including taxes and accessories.

https://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/

inbox788
Posts: 6644
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by inbox788 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:09 pm

alfaspider wrote:
victorb wrote:Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
I think the main problem with all the electric bikes I've seen to-date is that they aren't really any faster than the pedal-powered ones (with the possible exception of a few more expensive E-assist bikes). If you are going to go through the trouble, why not get a little exercise? Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.
I love the idea of an electric bike, but it's crowded out by existing options and the current limitations combined with cost just makes it a niche market. Even when many limitations are lifted and costs reduced, I'm failing to see how large the marketplace is for these things. There is a lot of innovation in the area, so I'm sure technological problems will be overcome, but it's a while before it solves a problem better than a current answer.

Is it a car replacement? A bicycle replacement? On road vs off road? Moped replacement? Motorcycle replacement? It can be all of them, but with tradeoffs. Wonderful thing about technology is that tradeoffs will gradually favor the electric bicycle. In the meantime, it's in no-man's land for me.

OP, what is your intended use? That will help determine the pros and cons. And there are alternative models and power levels to consider at the $1-2k price point as well as other budgets.

Sometime in the not too distance future, I can envision a 10-20 pound battery/motor system that can go 100 miles on a fast charge for $500 that's an addon to a bicycle, and I'd still have limited use in my environment. Or a budget electric motorcycle for $2k, and I'd have limited use for that too. Kind of in between are the electric scooters and they have their tradeoffs.

http://www.scootercatalog.com/street-le ... opeds.html
Last edited by inbox788 on Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

alfaspider
Posts: 2165
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:16 pm

TonyDAntonio wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
victorb wrote:Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
I think the main problem with all the electric bikes I've seen to-date is that they aren't really any faster than the pedal-powered ones (with the possible exception of a few more expensive E-assist bikes). If you are going to go through the trouble, why not get a little exercise? Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.
I ride a 'regular' bike. A lot. I've ridden it across the USA. I've never ridden electric but I see a lot of them while walking in San Francisco. If you don't think they are faster than regular bikes you must be a professional cyclist. Everytime I see one in the city they are going a few mph faster than normal. I first think, "woah, that guy must be in great shape". Then I realize they are on a tank of a bike, sitting straight up, riding in jeans, tennis shoes, a heavy coat and ski cap carrying a backpack and peddling at a 50 rpm cadence. Oh, I say, he's on an electric. They are faster. That's all I know about them.
The bike that was linked to has a top speed of 20mph. Yes, only cyclists who are at least at the club racer level are likely to cruise at 20mph on a regular basis, but even an out-of shape recreational cyclist can sprint faster than 20mph. In city riding, they may get you there a minute or two faster, but the differences aren't material. When I lived in NYC I would often end up behind e-bike riders at lights. They would pull away a bit unless I was on a training ride and going all out, but I found myself catching up by the next light as often as not.

buhlaxtus
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:55 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by buhlaxtus » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:21 pm

TonyDAntonio wrote: "woah, that guy must be in great shape". Then I realize they are on a tank of a bike, sitting straight up, riding in jeans, tennis shoes, a heavy coat and ski cap carrying a backpack and peddling at a 50 rpm cadence.
That was me you saw! I am in a great shape (round). I have a Pedego that I use for commuting in the city. Short commute, but very hilly, and the motor saves me getting all sweated up on the way to work. It's pretty good for the purpose. I don't really enjoy just going out on a ride with it because it's really heavy and clunky.

User avatar
Topic Author
victorb
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by victorb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:53 pm

Thanks for all the good answers. My goal is to have the electric as a back-up to ease my trip home. I go out on a ride with a regular bike and sometimes go too far and then over do it. I have to get home and with the hills it can take more time and/or struggle. I am trying to use it as a way of not worrying if I go too far away from home. I am not looking at a particular brand at this time; I used the Rad Power as an example of what seems to make sense.

I don't have to worry about going up steps or lifting to bike rack, etc. This is for exercise and enjoying the great outdoors. I am retired, so no hassle of were to park or bringing it in to an office building.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10437
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:23 pm

I have considered a lower power EZ Go because of it's lighter weight (33 #) and relatively low price ($1000). Have yet to pull the trigger. If I could sell off my '70's all Campy equipped bike, I'd pick one up. I sort of have this rule of selling first before buying replacement, though.

http://www.ebikesofne.com/EasyGo-Race-p/easygo-race.htm
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

User avatar
PhysicianOnFIRE
Posts: 458
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:46 pm
Location: Up North

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:15 pm

MMM wrote up a review after 2000 miles on electric bikes.

User avatar
telemark
Posts: 2528
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:35 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by telemark » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:40 pm

alfaspider wrote:Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.
Out of curiosity, I did a search on electric folding bikes, and it turns out there are a lot of different models available now at various sizes and weights. Those might work better for commuting, especially if you combine one with public transportation.

For the adventurous, there are also electric skateboards. Make batteries light enough and small enough and all sorts of possibilities open up.

fishboat
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:15 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by fishboat » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:11 pm

victorb wrote:Thanks for all the good answers. My goal is to have the electric as a back-up to ease my trip home. I go out on a ride with a regular bike and sometimes go too far and then over do it. I have to get home and with the hills it can take more time and/or struggle. I am trying to use it as a way of not worrying if I go too far away from home. I am not looking at a particular brand at this time; I used the Rad Power as an example of what seems to make sense.

I don't have to worry about going up steps or lifting to bike rack, etc. This is for exercise and enjoying the great outdoors. I am retired, so no hassle of were to park or bringing it in to an office building.
I'll be honest..I don't understand the premise. I've been riding for nearly 40 years...retired also. After some riding you tend know what you can handle and plan a route accordingly. An e-bike, with added weight, combined with hills, is sort of a downward spiral with respect to riding as pedaling(only) up the hills will be that much tougher..leading you to wear out sooner and needing the e-assist more/sooner..

You might consider discussing your current bike gearing/setup with a bike shop. Or take a look at planning websites like ridewithgps.com or mapmyride.com. They have existing routes others have done in your area along with elevation maps..etc..

User avatar
Topic Author
victorb
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by victorb » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:54 pm

There have been a few times when I have gone out and misjudged the wind. It was considerably more difficult to make it home when the wind picked up and an electric assist would have made all the difference. Another time, I did some unexpected physical work for a friend, during my ride and it was a pain biking home. Those are a few times where an electric assist coming home would have been extremely welcome.

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 8090
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by Epsilon Delta » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:33 pm

I know people who have done centuries riding round a 1 mile loop. That wouldn't work for me, I'd give up about the 60th time I passed my car. On the other hand once I'm 50 miles from home I pretty much have to finish.* Same thing for having an electric motor "just in case" there was a headwind both ways.

However I have had commutes where the bike is almost as fast as a car. An electric bike would be useful for days I didn't want to get sweaty.

* The alternatives are unpleasant or humiliating.

WhyNotUs
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:08 am

Wow, the Radwagon looks pretty good to me. I have an idea for a cross-country trip using pedal assist. The 350 lb load on this bike suggests that I need to do more research on it. I like the variety of pedal assist options and available carriers. Not so happy with weight and the lack of quick release rear wheel. Going to get flats on a tour. Bikes that I have look at in the past for similar use are twice as much. I will do research when I have time.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

TonyDAntonio
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:32 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by TonyDAntonio » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:30 am

alfaspider wrote:
TonyDAntonio wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
victorb wrote:Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
I think the main problem with all the electric bikes I've seen to-date is that they aren't really any faster than the pedal-powered ones (with the possible exception of a few more expensive E-assist bikes). If you are going to go through the trouble, why not get a little exercise? Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.
I ride a 'regular' bike. A lot. I've ridden it across the USA. I've never ridden electric but I see a lot of them while walking in San Francisco. If you don't think they are faster than regular bikes you must be a professional cyclist. Everytime I see one in the city they are going a few mph faster than normal. I first think, "woah, that guy must be in great shape". Then I realize they are on a tank of a bike, sitting straight up, riding in jeans, tennis shoes, a heavy coat and ski cap carrying a backpack and peddling at a 50 rpm cadence. Oh, I say, he's on an electric. They are faster. That's all I know about them.
The bike that was linked to has a top speed of 20mph. Yes, only cyclists who are at least at the club racer level are likely to cruise at 20mph on a regular basis, but even an out-of shape recreational cyclist can sprint faster than 20mph. In city riding, they may get you there a minute or two faster, but the differences aren't material. When I lived in NYC I would often end up behind e-bike riders at lights. They would pull away a bit unless I was on a training ride and going all out, but I found myself catching up by the next light as often as not.
Sorry,. I didn't look at the link. The key thing is how long it can go 20 mpg. Going at 20 mpg consistently is really fast for anyone but a very accomplished cyclist. And come to think of it most of the folks I see on electrics are probably going about that fast. It's just that they are doing it going slightly uphill and hardly pedaling. In my book that's fast. You must be a very fit rider. I'm slow, old and fat. I'm lucky if I average 15 mph on my rides. I have been hitting the trainer hard this winter so maybe I'll see 16 mph this year. :D

alfaspider
Posts: 2165
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by alfaspider » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:02 am

TonyDAntonio wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
TonyDAntonio wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
victorb wrote:Does anyone have an electric bicycle such as the Rad Power Bike? If you do, what are the pros & cons?

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
I think the main problem with all the electric bikes I've seen to-date is that they aren't really any faster than the pedal-powered ones (with the possible exception of a few more expensive E-assist bikes). If you are going to go through the trouble, why not get a little exercise? Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.
I ride a 'regular' bike. A lot. I've ridden it across the USA. I've never ridden electric but I see a lot of them while walking in San Francisco. If you don't think they are faster than regular bikes you must be a professional cyclist. Everytime I see one in the city they are going a few mph faster than normal. I first think, "woah, that guy must be in great shape". Then I realize they are on a tank of a bike, sitting straight up, riding in jeans, tennis shoes, a heavy coat and ski cap carrying a backpack and peddling at a 50 rpm cadence. Oh, I say, he's on an electric. They are faster. That's all I know about them.
The bike that was linked to has a top speed of 20mph. Yes, only cyclists who are at least at the club racer level are likely to cruise at 20mph on a regular basis, but even an out-of shape recreational cyclist can sprint faster than 20mph. In city riding, they may get you there a minute or two faster, but the differences aren't material. When I lived in NYC I would often end up behind e-bike riders at lights. They would pull away a bit unless I was on a training ride and going all out, but I found myself catching up by the next light as often as not.
Sorry,. I didn't look at the link. The key thing is how long it can go 20 mpg. Going at 20 mpg consistently is really fast for anyone but a very accomplished cyclist. And come to think of it most of the folks I see on electrics are probably going about that fast. It's just that they are doing it going slightly uphill and hardly pedaling. In my book that's fast. You must be a very fit rider. I'm slow, old and fat. I'm lucky if I average 15 mph on my rides. I have been hitting the trainer hard this winter so maybe I'll see 16 mph this year. :D
But that bike can only do 20mph for an hour before it's out of juice. You will pass it quite easily once that happens :mrgreen:

To the OP, I just don't see an electric as all that great for your use scenario. It's the times when you go just a bit beyond your comfort zone and have to a struggle a bit that make you fitter and stronger. Every time you are not on electric power, you will be dealing with a heavier bike- which will be much tougher to pedal uphill or to accelerate from a stop light, further reducing your time pedaling. At some point, you might as well just be riding a moped.

alfaspider
Posts: 2165
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by alfaspider » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:06 am

telemark wrote:
alfaspider wrote:Another big disadvantage is weight. The rad power bikes are 60+ lbs. Fine if you have a garage to park in with easy-access bike racks, but I've found bike commuting in a city often means things like carrying bikes up stairs or hoisting the bike over an obstruction to lock it up. Much easier with a 20lb pedal bike than a 60lb bike unless you are he-man.
Out of curiosity, I did a search on electric folding bikes, and it turns out there are a lot of different models available now at various sizes and weights. Those might work better for commuting, especially if you combine one with public transportation.

For the adventurous, there are also electric skateboards. Make batteries light enough and small enough and all sorts of possibilities open up.
I used to have a a Brompton folding bike. I bought the lightest configuration you could get it in (single speed, no fenders or racks), which came to around 20lbs. Anything substantially lighter in a folding bike would require a serious $$$ custom build. Even as a fairly strong person, I would not have wanted anything heavier for picking up and maneuvering on public transport. I picked up an electric Brompton, which clocked in around 35lbs, and while I could have probably physically managed it, it would have been quite unpleasant to haul around.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5771
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:38 am

I live in a big city and have thought about an electric bicycle. Make sure you check the laws in your state. I live in IL and if the top speed is over 20 mph, you need insurance, plates, registration, etc. Sorry, I can't give any insight into actual bikes.

jerkstore
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:52 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by jerkstore » Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:51 pm

victorb wrote:There have been a few times when I have gone out and misjudged the wind. It was considerably more difficult to make it home when the wind picked up and an electric assist would have made all the difference. Another time, I did some unexpected physical work for a friend, during my ride and it was a pain biking home. Those are a few times where an electric assist coming home would have been extremely welcome.
An electric bike sounds fun, but not for exercise. Adding 40lbs to the bike on the chance you may want an assist on the way home seems silly. Try to pay more attention to your body and surroundings (weather/elevation), and you will exercise better judgment on your bike rides over time. I have made numerous mistakes on bike rides (heat, cold, elevation, wind, etc.), and still do on occasion, but I've gotten better at knowing my surroundings and my limits.

Look at wind direction on your phone before your ride, and if it is above 6-8/mph keep in mind the direction it is blowing. Given the choice, I will begin the ride with a head wind and end it with the wind at my back.

User avatar
BigFoot48
Posts: 2738
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:47 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by BigFoot48 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:37 am

My wife and I started riding bikes again at about age 60 for exercise and typically ride 30-40 miles a week (some hills). About two years ago her arthritis was bothering her so I put a Hill Topper electric front wheel on her bike. It cost about $600 and provides about a 10 mile range at about 18 mph. She uses it only when tired and does most of her riding without turning it on. Recently she's had me take the battery off to save a little weight as she wasn't using it very much. The battery and motor add about 10 pounds.

I'm very satisfied with it's performance and price. It was easy to install and is less expensive than some of the other e-bike solutions. I bought it directly from them but they now sell it via Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Electric-Tricycl ... B00K7IA5JG

Update: Had to replace the battery after 3 years. Cost $280. Still like its value in keeping the DW up with me when riding.
Last edited by BigFoot48 on Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Retired | Two-time in top-10 in Bogleheads S&P500 contest; 13-time loser

tj
Posts: 2677
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by tj » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:50 pm

I was looking into these, but I really don't like bicycling.

I discovered that there was adult tricycles, including electric options, but whether you have the electric or not, they're all 70 lbs. That might get old lifting up the stairs to my 2nd story apartment, but I guess it would be free weight lifting exercise.

https://www.libertytrike.com

https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Meridian ... B000IORU06

surfstar
Posts: 1840
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 pm
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by surfstar » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:23 pm

THREAD BUMP


I've been looking into ebikes, as my new job/commute would be nicely situated for them. Previously I would commute 1.5-2 miles, one-way, on my mountain bike. No biggie. Not long enough to break a sweat before work.
New commute will be 5.5-6, one-way.

Also the agency provides incentives for carpooling or alternative transportation, which the ebike would qualify as (vs an electric car, which wouldn't). Also, leaving downtown at 5pm, I would likely get home as fast on an ebike as a car.

I can sort of justify the miles/gas saved to help offset the purchase price. I'm still looking at $1500 +/- budget and the RadCity bike looks like a front-runner. 2017 model is on sale, but the 2018 might be worth the $200 extra for the newer, larger battery.
FYI, on the radpower bikes, you can change a setting to up max speed to ~25mph. 20mph is the general limit based on regulations (vary by state/city, check yours).

The other option for $1800 is the Juiced CrossCurrent S - that one max's at 28mph and has a torque sensor, which people rave about.

So now, I have to try and decide between the 2018 RadCity for $1500 and the 2018 CrossCurrent S for $1800...
I've read all the info I can find online, so thought I'd just bump this thread with some of these current options, as the models do seem to update/change quickly. For me, I think these two are pretty solid contenders.

But I'm also waiting until I start the new job in Jan to verify I will have 1st level, safe, secure, parking for the bike, before making any purchases.

cyclist
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:04 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by cyclist » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:10 pm

I've bicycled 4500 miles across the US without an electric assist, and commuted to work well over 10,000 miles on the same bike with electric assist.

Both are great. Both can give you every bit of exercise you want. Which is right for you is all about what you're trying to accomplish.

I'm a big fan of systems like the Bionx that add power based on how hard you're pedaling. You really don't need a throttle for those, and you can choose to work every bit as hard as you would without the motor (getting where you're going faster) or you can ease off a bit (and get there a bit less sweaty.)

For me, the motor cuts a long-ish commute down to a more manageable size and is terrific. If I was just riding for recreation I might skip the motor -- I know I'll get where I'm going eventually, it'll just take longer. I felt no need for it cycling cross country. (Ok, I did miss it on some of the climbs.)

The better ebikes and add-on systems are quite pricey, but can be well worth it. Do consider working with a local dealer who knows what they're doing -- there aren't so many of those. Or check in with the hard-core ebike community at http://endless-sphere.com/forums.

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 8090
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:13 pm

You have to be careful with trikes. The high center of gravity and small wheelbase give them marginal stability. Taking a corner a bit to quickly or with a bit too much adverse camber and over you go. That Liberty trike does not look like it's safe at 12.5 mph.

If you ever get the pleasure of watching racing trikes you'll see the riders hanging off on the inside for every corner. Lots of fun but not for the inactive.

AllMostThere
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:04 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by AllMostThere » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:44 pm

Rather than start a new thread, I thought I would just bump this prior e-Bike thread. It's been nearly two years since last post, so was curious if forum members have any additional recommendations and/or thoughts on e-Bikes? DW and I have been thinking about getting new bikes and we are seriously considering the Rad Power Bikes - RadCity Commuter (me) and RadCity Step-thru (DW):

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/ ... muter-bike
https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/ ... -step-thru

Many other forums I have researched have a consistent message on e-Bikes - This is still exercise, but with greater distance & freedom potential! :happy
Both our bikes are nearly 30 years old and we are eager to get back moving with regular rides. The e-Bike expense is large ($3k total for both of us), but we are confident this will be money well spent. Any other recommendations on e-Bike brand? I believe the $3k budget is our ceiling, but willing to exceed for increased benefit/value.

bloom2708
Posts: 6949
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:57 pm

I just can’t do an ebike.

It would take away from real pedal biking.

They go fast and extend your range. I think it take 90% of the exercise away.

Rad Power are good bikes. I would research and ride a bunch of options.
"People want confirmation, not advice" Unknown | "We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you" Unknown | Four words. Whole food, plant based. Bing it.

highercall
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:16 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by highercall » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:40 pm

I purchased a Haibike Cross 4.0 last year. I also have a good road bike I have used for years but with some health issues (knees and bout with lyme disease) the ebike has been great. You can get as much workout as you want with the different settings.

gtd98765
Posts: 443
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:15 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:44 pm

I don't have anything on that particular brand, but I would just make sure that you can get local service for whatever e-bike you buy. We ended up having to dump an e-bike for which we could not get a relatively simple spare part.

User avatar
fortfun
Posts: 2445
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:31 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by fortfun » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:52 pm

My buddy just bought a RADpower bike. So far he loves it. I wish I had one, I think I would commute to work more often. I commute to work on my road bike frequently but some days it is tough to get motivated (8 miles each way). If I knew I had a battery, I think that would get me over the hump (literally and figuratively).

Cycle
Posts: 1496
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by Cycle » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:10 pm

I built an ebike on a trek MTB frame using a kit off Amazon. I work 20miles from home, and was going to attempt to ride all the way to/from work with the assist of my ebike. It turned out the suburbs here (twin cities, mn) are just too dangerous to ride in on a daily basis, since the people driving cars out there aren't looking for cyclists/pedestrians. I did that route in about 60 minutes, meaning i was often going 25mph. i sold that bike after a couple months, now i bike 4 miles to an express bus.

I did a century ride over the weekend, saw plenty of ebikes. I saw a rider keeping up with their super fit spouse. I saw older people who probably couldn't have even done the shortest distance out there doing the 50 mile race. A lot of people have those fancy trek mid-drive bikes that are like $4k.

Personally, one of the most enjoyable parts about biking is the quiet, safe, and peaceful ride. If someone flys by at 25mph with studded fatbike tires, that serenity is gone. I'm involved in local bike advocacy in Minneapolis, and the general consensus among bikers here is that the speed limit in bike lanes and on bike paths should be 16mph. if they want to ride 25mph, they can get a license and ride in traffic with the obnoxious people that choose to drive loud cars. Most of our paths are marked 10mph, and some roadies are polite and ride on the road.

It should be noted though that a fatbike going 25mph is much, much louder than a roadie in spandex pedaling 25mph who just sounds like humming carbon.

I use my bike to do everything i don't do on foot, but all my trips are easy so no need right now for an ebike.

I will eventually get an ebike, either to haul two heavy kids on a cargo bike and/or when i get old and want to be able to feel the wind on my shiny head without the limitation of my aging joints/muscles. That ebike will definitely be pedal assist, preferably mid-drive motor. I will go fast when it's wide open, but pass people at a low speed differential.

I think daily bike commutes that are longer than 7 miles are ebike territory. Also, for suit wearing people in NOLA, the ebike will allow you to get to work without breaking a sweat.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

User avatar
Don_Qua
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:42 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by Don_Qua » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:16 pm

I've owned a Radrover for about a year and a half. Yeah, it's heavy and those fat tires can get loud. Spending more money can get you a bike made with lighter metals, for the price I think the Radrover is a good value. I live about a mile high in altitude in an area with grades and steep hills. I tried a regular bicycle and I just couldn't hack the hills. So after a while the amount of biking I did was zero. With the Radrover I pedal plenty and use the motor to fill in only what my nearly 70 year old body can no longer provide. I don't use it as a moped. Using that strategy I get lots of miles out of a charge and I get plenty of exercise and riding the trails near my house is loads of fun :D .

skierrex
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:03 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by skierrex » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:37 pm

From my post in another thread on 4-16:

I rode all the store-bought ones I could find, and none had quite enough power. Most of them are 350 or 500 watts.

I found a guy who has done tons of conversions over the years in Boulder.

Last year, I bought a 2012 Santa Cruz Nomad with a carbon fiber frame on Craigslist. By far the nicest bike I have ever ridden.

I had the guy put on an 1800 watt Bafang kit from Lunacycle. It is super fast and super fun! I use the gears to match the motor contribution to my own, so I still get a good workout, I just go twice as far as I would otherwise. I very rarely use it in throttle only.

Plus, I ride it almost every day when the trails are dry. Even if I didn't ride it, taking it out of the car and putting it back in is more exercise than I used to get!

I think all-in I was at around $3000. Money well spent.

My favorite of the store-bought bikes I rode was the Bulls.

The pedal assist on the store-bought bikes is more intuitive than the conversion I have, the harder you pedal, the more it assists. Mine, I have to use the gears to match my effort to the motor. I got used to it pretty quickly.

Most of the store-bought bikes quit assisting at 20 miles per hour, which is way too soon. As soon as it starts to get fun, the motor cuts out!

Even with the larger motor, it is still very much a bicycle, just more fun.

Added 9/9/2019:

I think Lunacycle is driving the advances in e-bikes. That's where I bought the parts for mine, and they have even better parts now, as well as complete bikes. They also have a torque-sensing pedal assist now, which they didn't have when I built mine.

The only thing I miss is 27.5 tires, but I'll get them next time, when I buy a Lunacycle bike instead of just parts.

dustinst22
Posts: 318
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by dustinst22 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:46 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:16 pm


I think the main problem with all the electric bikes I've seen to-date is that they aren't really any faster than the pedal-powered ones
That's because they're legally regulated to stay under a certain speed. My bike was built using a bafang motor and mine can easily hit 35 MPH and has a 55 mile range. It's got fat tires so can also ride on the beach. The downside with these is the maintenance.

User avatar
kenyan
Posts: 2986
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by kenyan » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:48 pm

A study was just published showing that e-bike riders (in the study) got just as much exercise as regular bike riders (they ride more, ride further). I'm in excellent shape, but absolutely love my e-bike.

An electric bike is not just a way to cheat and make your exercise easier. It's a mode of transportation, and a very good one, viable for car replacement in many cases. I use mine for almost all of my personal transportation and family errands/grocery shopping. My car gathers dust, though I do drive the family car when we are taking the kids places. I get a workout just fine on it when I want to, which is basically every time I ride except on my commute to work, in work clothes; I crank up the assist then to avoid needing a shower when I arrive.

Now, there *are* people who use them like low-speed scooters that are allowed to use bike paths/lanes, but I don't understand that at all.

Rad Power bikes are nice, but the 20 mph assist limit is a dealbreaker for me at this point.
Retirement investing is a marathon.

User avatar
kenyan
Posts: 2986
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by kenyan » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:52 pm

As far as speeds -

Class 1 e-bikes provide pedal assist up to 20 mph
Class 2 e-bikes provide throttle only up to 20 mph
Class 3 e-bikes provide pedal assist up to 28 mph

Naturally, the same bike can have both pedal assist and throttle only. Anything above 28 mph assist is technically not a bicycle anymore, but plenty of people skirt that little law. I believe that California came up with these designations, but many other states are adopting them.
Retirement investing is a marathon.

KlangFool
Posts: 14113
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by KlangFool » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:56 pm

https://www.wearea2b.com/index.php/uk/e ... b-kuo-plus

OP,

I have a folding e-bike. It is about 45 pounds. I bought it for $1,700. I use it for my shorter commute to the library, store and so on. It extends the range of where I am comfortable to bike to 20 miles and more.

KlangFool

WhyNotUs
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:15 pm

Rad City is a good bike for the $$. Given the weight, older males may want a step thru as well.
For someone with high aims for an ebike, there are other options but the Rad City is a great selection for people looking for a commuter or for fun family rides.

I have a Haibike Trekking that I bought for future bike touring. It is more than twice the price of a Rad. I still ride my other bikes as well but the ebike is pretty fun.

If you plan to ride mostly on bike trails, check with your local trail group for policies on ebikes. The RadCity is a Class 2 bike, meaning it has a throttle that allows you to ride without pedaling. Where I live that bike would not be allowed on the main bike/ped trails in the area. As a practical matter most people won't know or care as long as you are pedaling.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

WhyNotUs
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:38 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:27 pm

P.S. if you plan to ride from locations other than your home, you will need a extra heavy duty bike carrier. They are a lot to wrestle with even without the battery in.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

IMO
Posts: 638
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by IMO » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:31 am

kenyan wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:48 pm
A study was just published showing that e-bike riders (in the study) got just as much exercise as regular bike riders (they ride more, ride further). I'm in excellent shape, but absolutely love my e-bike.

An electric bike is not just a way to cheat and make your exercise easier. It's a mode of transportation, and a very good one, viable for car replacement in many cases. I use mine for almost all of my personal transportation and family errands/grocery shopping. My car gathers dust, though I do drive the family car when we are taking the kids places. I get a workout just fine on it when I want to, which is basically every time I ride except on my commute to work, in work clothes; I crank up the assist then to avoid needing a shower when I arrive.

Now, there *are* people who use them like low-speed scooters that are allowed to use bike paths/lanes, but I don't understand that at all.

Rad Power bikes are nice, but the 20 mph assist limit is a dealbreaker for me at this point.
You have a link to that study? I'm a bit skeptical on that and would like to look at the data.

Finally did try an ebike a couple weeks ago. I'm looking into getting a conversion kit for an older bike (with much better components than many ebikes out there) because I'd like to get one for a means to run more errands sans car. Basically the things are like a modern electric version to the old mopeds (not scooters and some younger folk will need to google that). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moped Not into the off road trail thing personally with these and I'm sure hikers/equestrians are really going to like these things being allowed on the trails. However I'd be one of "those people" who use it in a paved bike path/lane because I'm not into riding bikes on roads with cars and all the risks that come with that.

User avatar
kramer
Posts: 1718
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 2:28 am
Location: Philippines

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by kramer » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:34 am

I think some of these e-bikes (like the Rad series) look awesome. I have a question for those that use them ... how do you handle security? Basically, how do you lock them up ... could someone steal just the battery without much effort, etc.

I guess I would put a removable lock box on the back, too, in addition to panniers, so that if I was shopping several places I could place my shopping from the first place in the locked box (hopefully) and also my rain gear or cold gear, etc.

One more question, how hard is it to fix a flat? The tires look customized.

User avatar
Don_Qua
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:42 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by Don_Qua » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:09 am

kramer wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:34 am
I think some of these e-bikes (like the Rad series) look awesome. I have a question for those that use them ... how do you handle security? Basically, how do you lock them up ... could someone steal just the battery without much effort, etc.

One more question, how hard is it to fix a flat? The tires look customized.
Security hasn't been a problem for me but I don't live in a big city. The Radrover battery has a built in 2 stage lock with key. The first partial turn disconnects the power from the battery to the bike, the 2nd turn disconnects the battery physically so you can take the 8 pound battery off the frame and take it with you. I usually just leave the battery on my Radrover so it's disconnected electronically when I leave it parked. I also use a cable lock through the back wheel. One down side of those fat tires, they sometimes won't fit through bike racks designed for bikes with thinner tires.

The tires have tubes, obviously big ones, that depending on where you live may be hard to find locally. That said, remember how you'd patch tubes back when you were a kid? Nothing's changed, a $2 patch kit from Walmart has worked fine. I also filled the tubes with Slime, that recently saved me from a goathead that pierced my back tire. But yeah, I'm not looking forward to the day when I have to remove the back wheel entirely to fix a flat or replace a tire or tube. I've watched some YouTube videos in preparation and Rad has one on their website.

User avatar
kenyan
Posts: 2986
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by kenyan » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:35 am

IMO wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:31 am

You have a link to that study? I'm a bit skeptical on that and would like to look at the data.

Finally did try an ebike a couple weeks ago. I'm looking into getting a conversion kit for an older bike (with much better components than many ebikes out there) because I'd like to get one for a means to run more errands sans car. Basically the things are like a modern electric version to the old mopeds (not scooters and some younger folk will need to google that). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moped Not into the off road trail thing personally with these and I'm sure hikers/equestrians are really going to like these things being allowed on the trails. However I'd be one of "those people" who use it in a paved bike path/lane because I'm not into riding bikes on roads with cars and all the risks that come with that.
Here you go:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 821930017X

An article discussing it:
https://www.bicycling.com/news/a2881966 ... els-study/

I get way more exercise on my e-bike than I did on my regular bike, because I didn't ride it. I'd wager that I get more exercise on my e-bike than most most cyclists, since they might grab a recreational ride on the weekend and then drive their car all week; I ride the e-bike for all of it.

I'm not sold on e-bikes offroad or on single-track. Bike paths I don't find to be too bad, and don't think I'm too obnoxious on (could be wrong) because I keep my speed down. I have little problem riding on roads with cars (some roads excepted) - the e-bike makes it much easier to accelerate with and keep up with traffic.
Retirement investing is a marathon.

User avatar
kenyan
Posts: 2986
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:16 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by kenyan » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:42 am

kramer wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:34 am
I think some of these e-bikes (like the Rad series) look awesome. I have a question for those that use them ... how do you handle security? Basically, how do you lock them up ... could someone steal just the battery without much effort, etc.

I guess I would put a removable lock box on the back, too, in addition to panniers, so that if I was shopping several places I could place my shopping from the first place in the locked box (hopefully) and also my rain gear or cold gear, etc.

One more question, how hard is it to fix a flat? The tires look customized.
Batteries do come with locks. If I were parked somewhere sketchy for any extended time, I'd probably take the battery with me. Other than that, just lock it up like you would any reasonably expensive bike.

Tires are standard. The one difference comes into play with a hub-mounted motor - removing the rear wheel is more difficult in that case. I have found that you can patch a tube without removing the wheel if you can find the leak. I don't have a problem removing the rear wheel but need a special tool that I don't care to cart around with me.
Retirement investing is a marathon.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 10437
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:51 am

kenyan wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:35 am

I get way more exercise on my e-bike than I did on my regular bike, because I didn't ride it.
That's me. From early high school, I was a road racer and criterium rider. But as I got older, I stuck with trails and at this point, I haven't been on a bike for a year. I'd like the fun of going out on the trails again as they're right across the street from my house with many hours of riding available. I'm considering an e mountain bike or a kit to convert one of mine. Without the e assist, realistically, I won't ride.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

stoptothink
Posts: 6493
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by stoptothink » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:57 am

A Juiced hyperfat or Luna apex is going to be ordered the day after we pay off the mortgage, about 1.5yrs to go.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5771
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Electric Bicycles

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:58 am

kenyan wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:35 am
IMO wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:31 am

You have a link to that study? I'm a bit skeptical on that and would like to look at the data.

Finally did try an ebike a couple weeks ago. I'm looking into getting a conversion kit for an older bike (with much better components than many ebikes out there) because I'd like to get one for a means to run more errands sans car. Basically the things are like a modern electric version to the old mopeds (not scooters and some younger folk will need to google that). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moped Not into the off road trail thing personally with these and I'm sure hikers/equestrians are really going to like these things being allowed on the trails. However I'd be one of "those people" who use it in a paved bike path/lane because I'm not into riding bikes on roads with cars and all the risks that come with that.
Here you go:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 821930017X

An article discussing it:
https://www.bicycling.com/news/a2881966 ... els-study/

I get way more exercise on my e-bike than I did on my regular bike, because I didn't ride it. I'd wager that I get more exercise on my e-bike than most most cyclists, since they might grab a recreational ride on the weekend and then drive their car all week; I ride the e-bike for all of it.

I'm not sold on e-bikes offroad or on single-track. Bike paths I don't find to be too bad, and don't think I'm too obnoxious on (could be wrong) because I keep my speed down. I have little problem riding on roads with cars (some roads excepted) - the e-bike makes it much easier to accelerate with and keep up with traffic.
+1

Post Reply