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"The electric bike is not a short-term trend"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

    BikeBiz story

    It will be interesting to see how this 'market' develops - especially in a places with hills like Edinburgh.. The technology is far from 'mature'.

    Will electric bikes move many people from 4 wheels to 2?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. LaidBack
    Member

    Not really. People cycle for exercise don't they?

    Mind you pedalling an electric bike with flat batteries will tick that box.;)

    Some are better than others of course.

    I do hope they become successful but the basic weakness with most bikes (including motorbikes) are that the mechanics and electrics can be exposed.

    (Mind you I remember a time when cars were less reliable so with enough investment it can be done.)

    With electric bikes people need secure parking too. Preferably sheltered.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. gembo
    Member

    The one I was allowed to try had quite a kick when you opened the throttle. The owner was big man but he was out of condition (as Michael Caine warns the actor who went on to play Alf Roberts in Coronation Street in Get Carter). The bike had battery problems and some spokes broke. On the plus side you can glide effortlessly passed Ironmen and Ironwomen and they don't spot why.

    Mopeds were popular pre-1970s - there might be a market?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. Kim
    Member

    There maybe a place for them, but I am not sure where. That said I did suggest that the Copenhagen Wheel might have a role to play in any future Edinburgh Vélib' scheme.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Hum, I always thought the basic problem of an electric bike was lugging around the weight of an electric motor, batteries, associated electronics and a frame to support them. That and their green credentials are a bit lowered by the need for all the various heavy and exotic metals etc. in the circuitry and batteries. And if you're having to plug the thing in, without your own personal windfarm, you're just shifting the point of pollution elsewhere.

    There's a chap at work who has one, don't know the model but it's a Giant and on examination of the thing I think you could select some sort of recuperation in the motor when going downhill to recharge. My only impression of the thing was it being slower down Cultins Road than human power alone. I never had a chance to race him up hill before I changed route, I presume with a bit of charge in his batteries he would have won.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. steveo
    Member

    I looked at one for my dad, well retrofitting it to his current off road. The batteries can last a couple of hours if you don't rely on them constantly and some are large enough to cover most peoples commute, especially if you peddle on the easy bits

    As for the pollution not only is it moved to areas of less dense pollution but (fossil) power stations are about 35-40% efficient at turning fuel into useful energy cars are about 15-20% so the saving in CO2 for example is immense. What you really want is a rocket with about 70% efficiency or if you want to be really exotic a pedal bicycle is about 95% efficient. Though of course the engine for the bike is about as efficient as a car.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. Arellcat
    Moderator

    As any fule no, electric motors develop maximum torque at zero rpm, which in bicycle terms makes them ideal for anything heavy duty like load carrying, or velomobiles.

    Two other advantages of electric assist are just that: assist. People with reduced leg strength can benefit (such as a family friend who's recently bought a (cheap) electric bike to help get around), and with careful use of the power, you can extend your riding distance. The ability to cover more miles, and/or carry heavier items, while remaining as much as possible the minimum necessary transport, can help reduce dependance on cars for short and medium distance.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. chdot
    Admin

    "Harvie leads charge to get electric pool cars for MSPs - Green calls for clean transport to cut taxi use at Holyrood"

    http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/topstories/Harvie-leads--charge-to.5934094.jp

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. kaputnik
    Moderator

    @Chdot (well, not at you, at Patrick Harvie I suppose) - how do electric cars cut emissions exactly? You've still got to power them somehow, you've still got to use energy to build them, refine all the metal components, and you've still got to waste all that energy hauling a 4 person vehicle around so 1 person can avoid having to walk or take the bus with the masses. A bike to work scheme where MSPs paid for and got a tax break on their bikes (like some of us luck suckers) might help...

    I wonder if the Scottish Parliament does offer a bike to work scheme?

    On an unrelated note, my old flatmate used to get mileage allowance off of CEC for cycling while on work business. He was a housing officer in Niddrie and Greendykes. Rather him cycling there than I!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. Kim
    Member

    Who knows maybe the Copenhagen Wheel will take off after all.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    Perhaps, but it wouldn't be the first time that marketing prevailed over 'sense'.

    I'm in favour of anything that will get people on bicycles. I know that electric bikes are good for people who are not fit enough (for whatever reason) to ride unassisted bicycles.

    But I have also seen many 'next big things', genuine improvements in technologies (particularly battery) etc.

    Perhaps it's not a question of technology (or even cost/value). What if air pollution laws were tighter/enforced? What if cities were bold enough to ban all but the lowest emission (at point of use) vehicles in their centres?

    Meanwhile the best source of electric bike research/info in the UK is probably AtoB Magazine.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

    "

    There have been 200 million E.V.s sold in China already. They’re called electric bicycles, which cost about $400 — quiet, not contributing to congestion or pollution, and affordable.”

    "

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/opinion/trump-is-a-chinese-agent.html

    Posted 9 months ago #
  13. Ed1
    Member

    At the weekend I borrowed my mates new electric mountain bike, with the bosch performance 75Nm mid mounted engine . First time have ridden since broke my arm, have not fixed my country explorer yet. On the road I found it nice and easy to cycle until got to 15.5mph after that the engine cut out and to go at 20mph was far more effort than my explorer. It pulled away well and would be a nice easy ride around town. To see what it could do I took up the hills near Callander, climbed incredibly well was a nice sunny day but was soon up in the snowy peaks going up hill. Up hill on the very steep parts, not sure anything else could go up quicker. Battery is meant to do 70 miles had it near drained in 20miles but this was climbing Munroe area hills to see what could do, unless lived on a hill twice the height of ben Nevis and took the steep route don't think battery would be an issue ,then dawdled about on tracks for 10 miles. I would think as commuting tool electric bikes could be useful.
    If was not for the current high prices, think would be a good way to commute as would not sweat and could ride home faster than the engine allows.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  14. gembo
    Member

    @ed1 I have been commuting on one this week as poorly. I think it is very good for the commute. Downhill not much difference to normal bike except when pulling away from lights where you have considerable time to get away from the red box without the cars catching you. This freaks them out, also if you are going uphill to a junction the drivers are perplexed they don't catch you. Combined with the twenty miles per hour speed restriction I can see them catching on. Talking to surveyor at work he seemed very interested for getting round sites.

    One cyclist I did not catch on the flat but he had been well ahead and going fast into the wind. Another hill and he would have been mine. It's not cheating.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  15. Ed1
    Member

    I think the speed limiter is now 15.5mph on new bikes as when mate bought it last week salesperson advised that. 15.5 is just a tad slow for cursing along if was 20 would be perfect

    Posted 9 months ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

  17. 14Westfield
    Member

    Fully Charged episode on Ebikes

    Robert Llewellyn has a good episode trying a few Ebikes out in London; With the bikeshop guy he was talking to suggesting strongly that the speed restrictions are all electronic and easily removed by their users.

    As much as a i like them, i still cant see a mass market in the UK until the price comes down significantly.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  18. Klaxon
    Member

    I think the current laws seem correct given the cruising speed of most unassisted persons.

    Posted 9 months ago #
  19. LaidBack
    Member

    Thought I would re-charge this thread (started 7 years ago).

    Had a Nihola one* at the canal coffee meet up today. Couple of forumers partook in assisted cycling.

    Mid-drive bikes like the Nihola with Shimano Steps should feel more natural.
    My impression is that their main asset is to be able to accelerate to 16mph. This allows successful merging with traffic for weaker riders - although if you are a new to cycling this sort of manoeuvre is probably still a bit scary whatever you are on. (Looking over your shoulder is an essential skill and part of upright cycling body language).
    No bicycle can totally mitigate the lack of safe infrastructure.

    E-bikes do allow faster commutes wearing normal clothes and make cycling look easy. If an e-bike replaces a moped then this too is good thing for us and the environment.

    Of course introducing more e-bikes could create a conflict on paths. This though is why the speed is limited to 16mph which is high enough on any shared use facility.
    I've just heard that the wife of a Dutch shop owner was knocked off her omafiets by a powered scooter in Amsterdam. Broken collarbone and two nights in hospital.

    * we will have two for rental to forumers if anyone is interested

    Posted 4 months ago #
  20. chdot
    Admin

    "

    FM @NicolaSturgeon & @strathearnFM @NicolaSturgeon & @strathearnrose announce new Innovation Fund to meet environmental ambitions rose announce new Innovation Fund to meet environmental ambitions

    "

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ScotGovFM/status/905362897131405320

    Posted 4 months ago #
  21. recumboris
    Member

    Recently purchased an ebike. It has made commuting from Edinburgh sea level to Pentands a practical option which doesn't leave me a large sweaty blob. I was rather cynical previously but this is the way forward - now commuting by bike every day when previously a rare occurrence. It is pedal assist - you still get the benefit of needing to pedal and the advantages (satisfaction and time) of going past stopped traffic. +1 for this n!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

  23. gembo
    Member

    Come up to Balerno this morning, if wee enough you can make a smoothie on a frog24 if big enough you can have a shot on a lecky bike. For Macmillan charidee

    Posted 4 months ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

  25. amir
    Member

    I'm getting a little sick of being overtaken so effortlessly ;)

    Posted 1 week ago #
  26. LaidBack
    Member

    Sold one of our two Nihola Steps models.
    Still loads of resistance to idea of e-bikes here.
    If you suggest to anyone 'into' cycling that an e-bike might be worth trying they say things like 'only when I'm old'!
    The point is that you can cycle long or hilly commutes without going into 'sports mode' and wear what you like.
    You still exercise as you can select level of assist.
    Couple of keen try outs at LB from moped users keen to use cycle infra (such as it is).
    I'd urge anyone who has seen them to have a shot to see what they are like. Our Shimano Steps demo model with handy frame lock and rack is available (other demos at Hart's, Electron, EBC of course).

    Posted 1 week ago #
  27. sallyhinch
    Member

    A local neighbour and friend has gone from occasionally feeling she ought to use her bike more to a complete evangelist through buying an e-bike. Her job involves lots of driving so she's delighted to be able to do local trips (she lives rurally so 'local' is a minimum of 5 miles) on bike with ease. She did over 1000 miles in the last 4.5 months of 2017, from basically nothing. And now she's singing its praises to all her non-bikey friends - she's got a much better reach than me.

    A good subsidy scheme for e-bikes could be really useful especially in rural areas where distances are a genuine barrier.

    As someone who's into cycling (and lives on top of a hill) I look upon e-bikes as extending my cycling life - the minute I start not doing trips by bike because I can't face the effort of getting home is the point when I get myself an e-bike. I don't know if that counts as resistance or not! I've had a shot and really liked it, which is partly why I'm holding off at the moment, as I can see how once you've got one you'd never ride anything else

    How do e-bikes affect your Sodeborg number though?

    Posted 1 week ago #
  28. sallyhinch
    Member

    I would add that it's a big leap for a non-cyclist to go out and buy a machine that costs as much as an e-bike. My pal only did so because her husband was a cyclist and keen to get her out on a bike so was happy for her to spend the cash. I can see how moped riders would see it as a cheaper and more flexible alternative to what they've got and are used to being out in the weather. So a subsidy scheme might help bridge the gap for those who don't have that head start

    Posted 1 week ago #
  29. Darkerside
    Member

    From a look round a few months back, it feels like there's a gap in the market for quick commuting e-bikes.

    Seems to be a lot in the more upright category, or flat-barred hybrids, but very little with drops/lower positions that let you get out of the wind.

    (And I know you can change handlebars, but that then means changing shifters and levers and bodging the electrical controls, etc.)

    There must be more people like me who feel their current commute is beyond that comfortable unassisted, but it's still a full-lycra job where you're only really using the e-assist for acceleration and the hills.

    Or maybe not!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  30. sallyhinch
    Member

    Is that because the assist is speed limited? I would imagine if you were the sort to get down on the drops you'd pretty quickly end up just lugging a lot of unnecessary weight around for most of the time.

    The Dutch are I think legislating for speed pedelecs which go faster than the current 18.5 kph

    Posted 1 week ago #

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