E-bikes?

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
I'm eager to hear about them
We've had them for a couple of weekends now and they are a lot of fun. When I first started researching I figured I'd end up using the hand throttle only like a "mini motorcycle" but in reality, I end up pedaling almost all the time.

The pedal assist is really amazing - it's sort of like when you first learned to ride a bike and you had your dad or someone else pushing you, that's what it feels like: You start to pedal and then all of a sudden the electric motor kicks to "push" you. The other great thing about the pedal assist is that it "flattens out the hills", that is, you can get to a steep hill that on a regular bike would be a "groaner" and just pedal like you would on flat ground, with the electric motor kicking into assist you, and making it much more pleasant.

The folding bike is on the verge of being too short for me at 6'1" with a 34" inseam, even with the seat post up high. I may invest in a longer seat post. Another possible upgrade is a suspended fork, since the one it comes with is solid.

The only down side is that the "bicycle" components, in particular the gear shift mechanism, is strictly Wal-mart quality. Not terrible but not as good as even my 15 year old GT mountain bike. Of course, these are about the least expensive bikes in their class (by contrast, a Rad Mini would be $500 more) so you get what you pay for I suppose.

Incidentally, I haven't given up on the notion of building my own. I determined for a number of reasons that my old GT is not a good candidate but I'm considering buying a cheap Craigslist find and upgrading it to an E-bike just because I think it would be fun.
 

Grenadiers

Adventurer
We've ridden our Rad bikes now since mid-November in Baja. From San Felipe down to the Todos Santos, well we drove to these places first~! Anyway, first extended tour having our bikes along. A few problems, I'm on my third innertube change, and no indications in either original tubes or tires of anything puncturing them. Tubes in tourist areas are 650 pesos, about 32.50, and here where we are right now, in Loreto, 230 pesos; I bought three! Changing the rear tire is the most tiresome. Today, in hot 74 degree temps, it took me longer on my wife's bike, than yesterday on my bike to do the same. In other words, her bike is poorly made, with crappy fasteners and painted-in holes for mounting racks, etc. The exposed metal components rusted fairly quickly on both when beach camping. Probably a problem for most bikes. But, having the bikes for Loreto, and La Paz (great bike path along Malecon) and on beaches has been priceless. The bikes, however, do not look new any longer~!
 

crockej

New member
My wife and I have been using our standard mtb bikes for years whenever we explore the back roads in the SW. We drive our 2wd van until the roads are too bad to go further and then get on our mtb bikes to ride to trailheads and explore (the options are limitless). We just bought ourselves some emtb bikes (Specialized Levo - full suspension) after demoing them and finding them to be a huge advantage over our conventional bikes.

First off, they are class 1 and they only assist you. Plus, with the specialized mission control app, you can dial in the amount of assist you want. This gives you options for getting as much exercise you want while riding with options for boosting the assist when needed. Also, the lower assist you use, the more miles you get from the battery. With our 500w battery, we can easily expect 30+ miles. These are designed as full fledged mtb trail bikes and have basically doubled or tripled the distances we can explore in the backcountry. We keep revisiting in our mind, all the places we’ve ridden previously with our conventional mtbs, and how much further we could have gone with our emtbs.

Obviously, we bought them specifically for backcountry exploring and they are not cheap! But for both me and my wife, they are a huge game changer for opening up doors for exploring the back roads of the SW.

Final notes:
Weight is a big factor when lifting onto racks or over fallen trees so the lighter the better (ours are around 48lbs).
The quieter the motor noise the better.
Having the assist blend naturally with your pedaling makes you forget you’re on an ebike and makes you feel like you’re in a lot better shape than you think (which is fine with me).
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Most places I've seen in the U.S. perceive cyclists as jerks and bikes as toys. When you commute or do errands on a bike you fight both motorists who don't want you in their way and other cyclists who blow stop signs and don't even give passing interest to traffic rules or laws. I'll freely admit to riding defensively in situations for self preservation, such as filtering to the front and right at a stop rather than sitting in the cue waiting to be a pancake between inattentive drivers. But people who are not 9 years old shouldn't be riding on sidewalks, for example. We want to be respected as a vehicle then we should act like a vehicle.
No different than commuting to work yr around on motorcycle. The occasional weekend riders who dust off and jump start their dead battery to ride to work on a warm day ride through commuter traffic “way WAY” different than the riders out there every day. Hell I had my every day cagers I would wave to and often BS with at stop lights. No idea who they were except we were commute comrades all trying to get to work safely. I had a few favorite ladies too. LOL

Doesn’t matter if your on foot or wheels there are inconsiderate people everywhere. Occasionally you see Karma kick some ass and those idiots basically “learn the hard way”. But thats a rare thing to see.

Unless your operating a mid sized or bigger vehicle the smart people who make it through life with no major traffic accidents have operated like everyone is out to run them over and cant see them either. I had people pass me in my own lane doing 85mph like they never saw me! Hell yesterday in my SLK I had a mini van mom creep up from behind me in the next lane over then turn right into me like no one was occupying that lane. I was ready for it and dodged her. Would she have done that if I were in my Expedition? Maybe but probably less likely.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
We've ridden our Rad bikes now since mid-November in Baja. From San Felipe down to the Todos Santos, well we drove to these places first~! Anyway, first extended tour having our bikes along. A few problems, I'm on my third innertube change, and no indications in either original tubes or tires of anything puncturing them. Tubes in tourist areas are 650 pesos, about 32.50, and here where we are right now, in Loreto, 230 pesos; I bought three! Changing the rear tire is the most tiresome. Today, in hot 74 degree temps, it took me longer on my wife's bike, than yesterday on my bike to do the same. In other words, her bike is poorly made, with crappy fasteners and painted-in holes for mounting racks, etc. The exposed metal components rusted fairly quickly on both when beach camping. Probably a problem for most bikes. But, having the bikes for Loreto, and La Paz (great bike path along Malecon) and on beaches has been priceless. The bikes, however, do not look new any longer~!
Try tube protectors. They are a thin reactive hard plastic liner that goes between the tire and tube. I have used them on everything from strollers, canoe carts, mt bikes, kid bikes etc. Just round cut the ends so no sharp corners on the ends. They are simple and make a huge difference!!! They dull the sharp pinch impacts as well. Make sure your psi is max especially being a big dude. That really helps reduce tube failures.

example
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phsycle

Adventurer
I, for one, hate those tuffy tire liners. Adds unnecessary weight at the most critical area where you DON'T want more heft, and never worked for me. Goat heads are the cause of most of the flats around here. They just go right through the liners. Like, hot knife --> butter.

I would strongly suggest going tubeless. I ran "ghetto tubeless" for years without issues on non-tubeless rims. I usually used the "split tube tubeless" method (youtube it). I've only had one flat since, which was due to a huge gash from a shale rock.

If you must use a tube, I've had good luck with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires with the 6mm liner built in.
 

nickw

Adventurer
Most places I've seen in the U.S. perceive cyclists as jerks and bikes as toys. When you commute or do errands on a bike you fight both motorists who don't want you in their way and other cyclists who blow stop signs and don't even give passing interest to traffic rules or laws. I'll freely admit to riding defensively in situations for self preservation, such as filtering to the front and right at a stop rather than sitting in the cue waiting to be a pancake between inattentive drivers. But people who are not 9 years old shouldn't be riding on sidewalks, for example. We want to be respected as a vehicle then we should act like a vehicle.
As a long time rider, totally agree. Around here in Portland, I get just as frustrated with cyclists as ANY agro anti-cyclist driver does. To your point, there are defensive riding techniques that may not be the most polite things to do, but rarely have I had issues doing them as most drivers seem to understand the principle of filtering up or taking lanes when turning, etc. I also always nod or wave when I get passed with room, friendly thumbs up when a driver makes eye contact and doesn't pull out in front of me, etc. I find the non-verbal interactions the most important aspect of riding safe.

I have had my share of agro drivers, but very very rare occurrence for me....I hear guys with constant problems, fights, stuff being thrown, etc....without victim blaming, I always think about what the situation was and all the passive aggressive tactics many cyclists have....
 
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nickw

Adventurer
Initially I was fairly anti-E-MTB, I put in a lot of miles each year to remain fit and felt like I kind of deserved the fruits of my labor over folks that want the fun big descent without the effort.

But, in saying that, I think they CERTAINLY have their place, particularly for trails that many guys shuttle in big trucks. For those trails, E-bikes make perfect sense, they pollute much less, much less wear and tear on the gravel roads, less noise out in the wilderness and logistics get much easier without having to have somebody sit out and drive.

The most exciting thing for me is the option of opening up several trails that are typically just moto use. We have many of them here in Oregon, countless options abound to link some of the steeper moto trails or gravel transfers and moto descents to make some killer loops that would be tough to do on a std. mtb without a huge day in the saddle.

Now if they can just standardize the batteries we can have "charging" battery swap stations, powered by the grid or PV's, that we can swap batteries at along the trail or at the trailhead....while leaving other behind to charge for the next guy.
 
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