Author Topic: I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike  (Read 2641 times)

ysette9

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I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« on: October 24, 2018, 10:35:02 AM »
I am not sure whether this belongs in Badassity or Shame, so here I am in the general forum space. I am on week 3 of biking to work with this awesome ebike that I get to borrow from work for six months. It is solid and fast and comfortable and gets me to work in a reasonable amount of time whereas sans ebike i could never bike the distance (10 miles each way in about 35 min). This is quickly becoming my go-to commute, exercise, and mental health solution.

Thinking ahead at the end of this six month program if I keep up with it I will be faced with a choice about buying my own ebike. I’d love to have my own of this kind I am on now, except it is like $3800 new. I should check out cheaper alternatives. Would it be disappointing to downgrade to a “Honda” ebike after riding a “BMW” ebike for six months? ;-) Can I justify buying an expensive ebike? I can look used on Craigslist. I also will be eligible for something like $300 credit and 10% off new if I complete this work-sponsored program.

Obviously I’ll have research to do in several months’ time, but I am curious of the opinions of this forum in advance.

Pennycounter

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 11:16:49 AM »
I am not sure whether this belongs in Badassity or Shame, so here I am in the general forum space. I am on week 3 of biking to work with this awesome ebike that I get to borrow from work for six months. It is solid and fast and comfortable and gets me to work in a reasonable amount of time whereas sans ebike i could never bike the distance (10 miles each way in about 35 min). This is quickly becoming my go-to commute, exercise, and mental health solution.

Thinking ahead at the end of this six month program if I keep up with it I will be faced with a choice about buying my own ebike. Iíd love to have my own of this kind I am on now, except it is like $3800 new. I should check out cheaper alternatives. Would it be disappointing to downgrade to a ďHondaĒ ebike after riding a ďBMWĒ ebike for six months? ;-) Can I justify buying an expensive ebike? I can look used on Craigslist. I also will be eligible for something like $300 credit and 10% off new if I complete this work-sponsored program.

Obviously Iíll have research to do in several monthsí time, but I am curious of the opinions of this forum in advance.

I think that highlight is a HUGE reason to find a way to get one after the trial. Especially if, as it sounds, you will have a habit of riding regularly that will easily slide away without regular practice. 

I don't have an ebike but can you test drive some others? I know MMM has an article on how to mod your own, which would be above my DIY skill but might be an option.

I've been known to not make the most Mustachian decisions when it comes to improving my work related quality of life. I think you use the time to research but ultimately its seems like such a positive that if you end up getting the $$ one but you USE it, I think that's okay.

afox

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 12:05:13 PM »
ebikes get a bad rap where I live as being a replacement for a human powered bicycle but I try to remind people that they can actually be a replacement for a car.

terran

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TrMama

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2018, 12:20:05 PM »
I've been a reasonably hard core bike commuter for years and you know what?

My next bike is going to be an ebike.

I haven't even test ridden any of them yet, but I'm tired of turning to my car every time I don't feel 100%, or need to run an errand during the day, or need to schlep my kids somewhere.

Well that last one will require a family fleet of ebikes, because the spawn are basically adult sized now.

You already know you like biking with the ebike. Even a fancy ebike is cheaper than a car. Maintaining the ebike will be cheaper than car maintenance. I'm not seeing any reason not to shop around for an ebike you'll like just as much as your loaner. If you don't get one, what's your plan for commuting?

erutio

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 12:22:36 PM »
Buying an e-bike changed my life. I used to be a "fair-weather" commuter, now I bike commute every day. 

Same thing happened to my wife.  In fact, she got the e-bike first, and started commuting everyday with it.

erutio

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2018, 12:23:38 PM »
ebikes get a bad rap where I live as being a replacement for a human powered bicycle but I try to remind people that they can actually be a replacement for a car.

@afox where are you that ebikes specifically get a bad rap?  And is it from the general public? other bike riders? the local government?

afox

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2018, 12:26:14 PM »
front range CO.  but all around CO they are seen as a wimpy alternative to pedaling instead of a cheaper, faster, funner alternative to driving.  and this judgement is from people that drive everywhere!

Im on my 3rd ebike in past 5 years. 

FINate

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2018, 12:38:09 PM »
ebikes are great...if you actually use them. I bought a cargo ebike a couple of years ago, over 2500 miles so far. We take it everywhere, with the kids, with lots of stuff. It's like a minivan, but way more efficient. Expect I will break-even on the initial cost + maintenance relative to our other vehicles in about a year. Though it was never entirely about the money, moreso a desire to get exercise and reduce our carbon footprint.

If you have the option, I would seriously consider getting an ebike with belt drive instead of a chain. Chains are messy, whereas belts are not and belts last way longer.

ysette9

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Re: I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2018, 12:52:27 PM »
I am not handy and with a career and two littles at home I also am short on time (hence why the speed of the ebike makes it possible for me to fit in bike commuting now). So really I would need to buy a ready-to-go ebike and the goal is to replace my car commute to work as much as possible. Previously it was 100% commute alone in the car.

I also have an inexpensive regular bike and I don’t think I would feel comfortable just modifying it to go faster. The ebike is substantially sturdier with much better brakes so I feel it is up to the task of 19+mi/hr.

I think you are all bringing up good points. I will probably start researching and test riding options when I get closer to the end of my trial period on this bike.

rothwem

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I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2018, 12:54:00 PM »
ebikes get a bad rap where I live as being a replacement for a human powered bicycle but I try to remind people that they can actually be a replacement for a car.

@afox where are you that ebikes specifically get a bad rap?  And is it from the general public? other bike riders? the local government?

It’s mainly getting a bad rap on mountain bike trails near large metro areas, where douchebag ebike riders ride recklessly on crowded trail systems. The fear is that ebikes will open the door to electric motorcross bikes on mountain bike trails, which basically means an end to those trails due to damage and erosion.

Edit: I’m not totally against ebikes btw. I want one for commuting. I do think they’re a little silly for “sport” purposes though.

TrMama

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2018, 01:14:23 PM »
I am not handy and with a career and two littles at home I also am short on time (hence why the speed of the ebike makes it possible for me to fit in bike commuting now). So really I would need to buy a ready-to-go ebike and the goal is to replace my car commute to work as much as possible. Previously it was 100% commute alone in the car.

I also have an inexpensive regular bike and I donít think I would feel comfortable just modifying it to go faster. The ebike is substantially sturdier with much better brakes so I feel it is up to the task of 19+mi/hr.

I think you are all bringing up good points. I will probably start researching and test riding options when I get closer to the end of my trial period on this bike.

I didn't realize you had 2 little kids as well. Since that's the case, I'd consider some kind of cargo ebike. Even if you don't haul the kids around everywhere with you, you'd still be able to do a grocery run or take one to swimming lessons, or whatever. Basically, a minivan replacement.

Also, I think your employer's loaner program is fantastic! What a great way to convert people.

erutio

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 01:17:29 PM »
I am not handy and with a career and two littles at home I also am short on time (hence why the speed of the ebike makes it possible for me to fit in bike commuting now). So really I would need to buy a ready-to-go ebike and the goal is to replace my car commute to work as much as possible. Previously it was 100% commute alone in the car.

I also have an inexpensive regular bike and I donít think I would feel comfortable just modifying it to go faster. The ebike is substantially sturdier with much better brakes so I feel it is up to the task of 19+mi/hr.

I think you are all bringing up good points. I will probably start researching and test riding options when I get closer to the end of my trial period on this bike.


About how old and how heavy are your kids?

afox

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 01:31:03 PM »
ebikes get a bad rap where I live as being a replacement for a human powered bicycle but I try to remind people that they can actually be a replacement for a car.

@afox where are you that ebikes specifically get a bad rap?  And is it from the general public? other bike riders? the local government?

Itís mainly getting a bad rap on mountain bike trails near large metro areas, where douchebag ebike riders ride recklessly on crowded trail systems. The fear is that ebikes will open the door to electric motorcross bikes on mountain bike trails, which basically means an end to those trails due to damage and erosion.

Edit: Iím not totally against ebikes btw. I want one for commuting. I do think theyíre a little silly for ďsportĒ purposes though.

Nah, different issue altogether.  Ive never met anyone who thinks that motorized ebikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.  I ride MTB quite a bit and have actually never seen an ebike on any singletrack that I ride.  I do see ebike on paved bike paths in my city and they are legal on paved bike paths in my city.

I dont see how electric motorcross bikes could ever be allowed on non-motorized MTB trails.  There is no difference between motorized via gas motor or motorized via electric motor.  I think this is most likely an unfounded fear of yours, maybe someone is fear-mongering?  Do you have any evidence or examples of non-motorized MTB trails being opened to motorized ebikes?

lhamo

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2018, 01:38:30 PM »
Since this will be replacing a car for commuting, my Inner Bag Lady gives you the thumbs up!  The gas savings alone will pay you back over not too much time.  Do be sure to check with your auto insurance provider to see if they will drop your rates once your car goes to only occasional use -- that would also help speed up the ROI.

ysette9

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Re: I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2018, 01:51:45 PM »
Good call on the car insurance.

My kids are 1 and 4 and we have a bike trailer already. I have successfully attached it to the ebike and hauled their little bums around on family bike rides. I have also gotten groceries with it (okay, once). They have a nanny at home so I do very little baby hauling at the moment, which is nice. 

effigy98

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2018, 01:54:04 PM »
Spend the money, no way you will cost more then a car and justify it that way... Then you get free health benefits. Sitting in a car is toxic.

Ebike makes is really easy to stick with the commute and are a lot more fun in hilly areas, the only problem is they tend to break more then traditional bikes. They can be heavy and annoying to bring to a shop that actually knows how to fix them (I have had a couple that do more harm then good). I was kind of getting annoyed with my two ebikes that I ride 30 miles a day on bringing them to shops when stuff broke that I was not able to fix myself... then I discovered https://www.velofix.com/... They come right to my house and fix it while I'm doing my morning routine. So freakin awesome, solved the problem of downtime on them when they break.

dodojojo

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2018, 03:31:01 PM »
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak when it comes to ebikes for me.  I used to ride a lot and sadly over the years, it's fallen off.  Time flies and excuses are easy to make, I was shocked at the end of this summer that I had not touched my bikes since the fall of 2017!  I finally got a couple of rides in this month.  I have a road semi-converted commuter bike and a folding bike.  I have just ridden the folding bike which I use as my townie.  Small and nimble for errands.  Not excited about the road bike--it lays untouched.  The road bike isn't great for winter riding too.  That's the issue over the years, once it gets cold and icy, I don't want to be on the roadie because of the skinny tires and lack of fenders.  But each spring I would get out there again.  Didn't happen this year.

The truth is I just don't have the energy I used to--no more 125-150 miles of weekend recreational riding.  Now I want to bike for transportation--with an ebike.  I don't have a car so it's not exactly a replacement, so it wouldn't be cheaper.  I already have $0 car cost.  I use Lyft occasionally and on most of those trips, I do sigh a bit because they used to be trips by bike. 

So I want an e-bike and though it would be my biggest purchase since my last car buy (in 1999), it would not be a financial stretch.  The big hangup is weight and storage.  I live in apartment and my building has two small sets of stairs to get to the lobby door.  I'm a petite person and ebikes are heavy.  Then there is storage and security. I live in a very safe neighborhood. My building doesn't offer any bike storage options.  So I park my bikes in the tiny lobby which I share with 2 neighbors.  I lean the bikes against the wall and lock them to themselves.  Never had any problems.  But my two beater bikes aren't exactly 2-4K ebikes.  I would also sweat bullets about security when I bike to other areas that aren't as safe.

If I could resolve the issues above, I would treat myself to an ebike. It's spendy, but I think an ebike would go a long way to getting me back on the road.  I miss being a cyclist. 

Ysette9, that's a fantastic program--wish there was something similar at my company.  Is there a way for you to keep the bike after 6 months--at a discount?

Arbitrage

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2018, 04:11:26 PM »
My e-bike is pretty expensive (was $1700, now $1900 after tariffs), but quite a bit cheaper than your loaner.  Mine feels enough like a splurge.  Maybe you'll be too spoiled by the more expensive one, but my personal feeling is that mine is basically everything I want for a commuter bike.  I could spend more and get more range or power, but mine already can assist me up to about 35 mph on flats and keep me going for 40+ miles. 

I'm not going to go look up specs for more expensive bikes, as I have no desire to take the shine off of my current love for my e-bike, but maybe there's something out there that will do the job, be plenty of fun, and not cost $4k?

katscratch

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2018, 04:39:52 PM »
I personally love how many ebikes I'm seeing in my city - I get stopped by people asking questions frequently, and it seems like more people are getting back to riding because of the motor that otherwise wouldn't bike at all. Good news for all cyclists!

My two main local bike shops both have several e-bike brands and both of them say the Bosch drive bicycles are definitely worth the investment compared to after market or cheaper motors.

I replaced my car with a cargo ebike and I love it for all the reasons you've been loving yours. It doesn't replace my normal bicycle for social rides or just cycling around the lakes -- it's actually had the opposite effect, it makes me SO happy to ride every day I find myself taking my other bike out more often now too.

When I was looking at the price tag, I went back and checked how much I've spent on my car in the last year. My son does all the maintenance except for tire balancing, and works at an auto supply store on his school breaks so gets a great discount. I took transit most of winter and biked most of summer, so gas was 1-2 tanks per month. Tabs are usually around $80. I was pretty shocked to realize I was spending $235 per month on all that stuff averaged out! Maintenance for the bike should run a few hundred dollars per YEAR on tune ups and tire swaps.


I love your work program by the way!! I feel lucky to get free transit but we don't yet have any cycling incentives. From my experience, and from what you describe, I think you'd be really happy with this purchase.

dustinst22

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2018, 05:43:33 PM »
Ebikes are great, but the kind that you can buy already assembled are generally a very poor value in terms of cost and performance.

Conversion kits are better in terms of better range, power, and much lower cost.  A bafang conversion is not hard at all, I'm not handy in the least.

I converted a fat bike which can actually go on the sand/beach, and reach speeds of 35 MPH. 


ysette9

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I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2018, 11:31:07 PM »

Ysette9, that's a fantastic program--wish there was something similar at my company.  Is there a way for you to keep the bike after 6 months--at a discount?
Yes it is a wonderful program. I feel lucky.
I was talking to a coworker this morning about it and he said that in the last when they started the ebike program they would GIVE you the bike at the end if you were using it frequently enough. Wow! I think I can only get a token discount on buying a new one, but we shall see.

I do have to use this ginormous lock all the time. Perhaps something like this would make you feel a bit safer storing an ebike? I know what you mean about wanting to make sure it doesn’t grow legs and walk off.
https://www.rei.com/product/115946/abus-bordo-granit-x-plus-6500-folding-lock
« Last Edit: October 24, 2018, 11:34:10 PM by ysette9 »

bryan995

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Re: I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2018, 11:45:14 PM »
What’s the bike? :)

I have a Bosch powered haibike xduro. Love it. Commute to work every day. It’s now been a full year, no issues at all. Got it for about 50% off retail as a ‘last years model’. Yes it is expensive, but I view it as a vehicle replacement and cared more about realiability than saving a few hundred. Did not want to have a bike that needed constant tinkering.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 03:54:05 AM by bryan995 »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2018, 01:05:57 AM »

Ysette9, that's a fantastic program--wish there was something similar at my company.  Is there a way for you to keep the bike after 6 months--at a discount?
Yes it is a wonderful program. I feel lucky.
I was talking to a coworker this morning about it and he said that in the last when they started the ebike program they would GIVE you the bike at the end if you were using it frequently enough. Wow! I think I can only get a token discount on buying a new one, but we shall see.

Lets hope you will be given the bike, or can buy it from them. Otherwise, buy it yourself later. The quality and capacity of eBikes can vary. So, if you really enjoy this one, don't get another model without also testing it well.

My DH has always been a very active cyclist. He DIYed his mountain into a good eBike. He loves commuting on it, especially on the last rediculously steep hill to our house.

lhamo

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2018, 07:40:04 AM »
Ooh -- yes!  I like the idea of asking if you can just buy the one you've been riding (at a steeper discount than they are offering).

Mr. Boh

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2018, 10:16:00 AM »
ebikes get a bad rap where I live as being a replacement for a human powered bicycle but I try to remind people that they can actually be a replacement for a car.

@afox where are you that ebikes specifically get a bad rap?  And is it from the general public? other bike riders? the local government?

Itís mainly getting a bad rap on mountain bike trails near large metro areas, where douchebag ebike riders ride recklessly on crowded trail systems. The fear is that ebikes will open the door to electric motorcross bikes on mountain bike trails, which basically means an end to those trails due to damage and erosion.

Edit: Iím not totally against ebikes btw. I want one for commuting. I do think theyíre a little silly for ďsportĒ purposes though.

Nah, different issue altogether.  Ive never met anyone who thinks that motorized ebikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.  I ride MTB quite a bit and have actually never seen an ebike on any singletrack that I ride.  I do see ebike on paved bike paths in my city and they are legal on paved bike paths in my city.

I dont see how electric motorcross bikes could ever be allowed on non-motorized MTB trails.  There is no difference between motorized via gas motor or motorized via electric motor.  I think this is most likely an unfounded fear of yours, maybe someone is fear-mongering?  Do you have any evidence or examples of non-motorized MTB trails being opened to motorized ebikes?

Ebikes on non-motorized singletrack are a regular occurrence where I live. People ride them wherever they want because there are no officials to stop them. I ride mountain bikes a lot (4 or 5 time a week) and I've seen ebikes on the trails but I cant recall seeing any kind of forest service or BLM personnel. I live in the mountain west BTW.

Ysette9 I think you should buy a new ebike when the loner program ends. You cannot put a price on mental and physical health. If you continue to bike commute you will eventually break even and probably save money.

mschaus

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2018, 10:26:52 AM »
This is quickly becoming my go-to commute, exercise, and mental health solution.

This seems like a no-brainer -- find a way to get an ebike that you'll ride! Could find it used, have a friend assemble a DIY one for you in exchange for some beers, or even buy the used one from your work at the end of the lease period. Even at full price it seems totally worth it.

And it doesn't have to be all-or-nothing, and you don't have to sell your car. Using the car much less will bring much life satisfaction, as you are seeing. Cheers!

ysette9

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Re: I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2018, 10:36:15 PM »
I love my car too, so I would definitely keep it! :-) Plus, it is the go-to comfortable family ride.

The bike is a Specialized Turbo. I look online and see all flavors of Turbos but don’t see one that looks exactly the same. I don’t believe they will let me buy it at the end of the program as the bike had 890 miles on it already when I got it, but I’ll ask all the same. I should be able to put a lot more than 890 miles on it in six months.

Any thoughts on new vs used? With a used car I could take it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase check. I’m not sure how to make sure I’m not buying a lemon in a private-party bike sale.

Just Joe

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2018, 12:47:14 PM »
I live in apartment and my building has two small sets of stairs to get to the lobby door.  I'm a petite person and ebikes are heavy.  Then there is storage and security. I live in a very safe neighborhood. My building doesn't offer any bike storage options.  So I park my bikes in the tiny lobby which I share with 2 neighbors.  I lean the bikes against the wall and lock them to themselves.  Never had any problems.  But my two beater bikes aren't exactly 2-4K ebikes.  I would also sweat bullets about security when I bike to other areas that aren't as safe.

Some ebikes like mine have a "walk" mode. You hold a button and the bike will pull itself along at walking speed. I too have stairs and it will roll right up the stairs if the bike is in first gear. (Lunacycle/Bafang BBSHD). That might be just the key for you. I have several thousand miles on it now. My build was about $1500.

Other people around the web report over ten thousand miles on these motors. Spare parts are cheap and easy to find. Plenty of videos if you have to replace something. These motors seem to be among the favorites of the long distance touring folks.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Sun+Trip+2018+e-bike+rally
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 01:00:49 PM by Just Joe »

dustinst22

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2018, 01:34:05 PM »
Hey ysette, not sure if you mentioned it, but which bike/model is it?  Just curious.  Wanted to check out the price:performance ratio in today's  market.

pxpaulx

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2018, 03:16:28 PM »
I love my car too, so I would definitely keep it! :-) Plus, it is the go-to comfortable family ride.

The bike is a Specialized Turbo. I look online and see all flavors of Turbos but donít see one that looks exactly the same. I donít believe they will let me buy it at the end of the program as the bike had 890 miles on it already when I got it, but Iíll ask all the same. I should be able to put a lot more than 890 miles on it in six months.

Any thoughts on new vs used? With a used car I could take it to a mechanic for a pre-purchase check. Iím not sure how to make sure Iím not buying a lemon in a private-party bike sale.

Turbo is part of the name for all of Specialized's e-bikes!  ElectricBikeReview(EBR) is a good resource for finding alternatives if you can't get the one you're already riding.  I'm still curious which particular model you're riding - here is a link to all of the reviewed Specialized bikes on EBR - https://electricbikereview.com/?s=specialized

If you are looking for a deal that is worth buying today, I have bought a few bikes from Crazy Lenny's ebikes in WI - shipping adds $200-250 to the listed price (typical an ebike due to the special requirements for the battery).  They have a halloween special that was just posted on their homepage that is pretty ridiculous today - I happen to have the Easy Motion bike they have listed there, it is a spectacular bike for the price they are offering it for - 500w motor, 600wh battery, solid name brand fork - only possible downside is it is only made in Medium size frame if you're shorter or taller (I paid over twice what they have it listed for today myself and no regrets, was still a great deal).

dustinst22

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2018, 05:00:00 PM »
Read up on batteries, this is typically where assembled bikes rip you off (and motor power).  The range is typically not remotely close to whats advertised.  Good quality high range batteries are expensive, so it's generally hard to find an assembled bike with a high quality/high range battery.  This is good info here:  https://www.electricbike.com/watt-hours/

I recommend checking out lunacycle.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 05:02:44 PM by dustinst22 »

kendallf

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2018, 06:58:41 PM »
I'm another "hard core cyclist" who is considering an ebike for a commuter soon.  In case you haven't looked at them, I'd consider

 https://www.radpowerbikes.com/pages/electric-bikes, specifically the Radwagon.

I was in Seattle last month and went by their (only) store and test rode one.  It's very inexpensive compared to other cargo ebikes but seemed well built, it had a decently mounted battery and controller, and I was flying up 10% grades near their store with that ~70 lb cargo bike like Lance Armstrong (I would've said Froome, but everybody still knows Armstrong..  :-) )



calimom

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2018, 07:54:10 PM »
Ooooh, Specialized! I know nothing about e-bikes, but I know Specialized to be a good solid company. My son has one. Long ago, I helped with a launch at their Morgan Hill HQ.

I say go for it after the trial period. What a great company you work for! Less, gas + more exercise = a happier you. I know with the tiny kids you have, not to mention your full time job, scheduling regular exercise is really a challenge. Do this!

Ducknald Don

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2018, 10:01:53 AM »
I've been riding mine for just over a year now, about 3,000 miles so far. I love it, it flattens hills, keeps my average speed up and extends the distance I can ride. I've been carless for about four years and was using public transport fairly regularly which I didn't mind but it isn't as frequent as I would like. Since I got the bike I've only taken the bus once.

Mine is a Cube with the Bosch CX mid-drive, I can get about 50 miles on it, probably more if I turned the assist right down.

hadabeardonce

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2018, 10:43:02 AM »
sans ebike i could never bike the distance (10 miles each way in about 35 min)
It's like playing a guitar, just takes practice to get better, but if you put in the time you could do it(#believeinyourself). I was able to slowly work in bike commuting over the last year or two. Recently I've developed the muscle to be able to commute every day to work instead of every other day.

Riding a road bike made a difference. Check out http://www.ebaystores.com/BicycleBlueBook
They offer local pickup if you are near SJ and sometimes you can combine eBay coupons with what they are selling. I got $50 off this when I bought it:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Trek-Domane-2-0-T-Size-54-cm-INV-33006/283061507936

They also have ebikes: www.ebaystores.com/BicycleBlueBook/_i.html?_nkw=ebike&submit=Search&LH_TitleDesc=1&_sacat=BicycleBlueBook&_sid=1360667982

Can I justify buying an expensive ebike?
Yeah - the bike would replace a car and wouldn't require anywhere near the cost for maintenance, insurance, registration, bumper stickers, etc.

Obviously Iíll have research to do in several monthsí time, but I am curious of the opinions of this forum in advance.
Bleh, our opinions don't matter. You're going to do what you want to do - admit it =P

BikeFanatic

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2018, 12:46:27 PM »
No Brainer to get the Ebike. I would be wary of a used Ebike off of craigslist, The batteries may not be reliable and they are expensive to replace and are the weak link in my opinion. I have been making my own Ebikes from kits since 2003. It is cheaper to convert your own. Here are two Ebike kit  Dealers/companies that sell mostly plug and play kits with really good batteries. I highly recommend these dealers.

Ebikes.ca in Canada but reasonable shipping https://www.ebikes.ca/shop/electric-bicycle-kits.html
Also EM3 Ev this guy is a Brit in china, he has good prices and excellent batteries shipping is higher but still not bad https://em3ev.com/shop/?prod_cat_=e-bike-kit-motor

dodojojo

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2018, 03:12:51 PM »
A couple of years ago, I was at a store that sells ebikes and converts analog ones.  The estimate to convert my folding bike was about $2,100.  Cheaper than what they were selling but that estimate still made my eyes water. 

ysette9

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2018, 04:39:41 PM »
I was pulling my kids in the bike trailer yesterday and had to stop suddenly when my husband braked unexpectedly in front of me. 130lb of me plus 55lb of bike plus maybe 60+lb of kiddo plus trailer is a good amount of momentum. The ebike brakes stopped us on a dime. They make a lot of funny noises but damn, they are effective. Due to the tike change we ended up riding home at dusk so I was glad that the front and back lights are integrated, as I hadnít taken any of my normal biking gear with me for a leisurely family afternoon jaunt.

Long ago I bought a road bike and tried biking to work a few days a week. Chalk it up to peer pressure as all of my coworkers were bikers. 13 miles each way was a commitment. I did get more physically fit because of it but honestly, I never enjoyed it. I feel unstable bent over low on a bike and I had this perma crick in my neck. I am much happier sitting up straighter with straight handlebars. That means Iím less aerodynamic but with the ebike kick I can still get where I want to go in good time. Iím really compressed for time due to my nanny needing to leave at a certain time each day. Anyway, lots of excuses as a way to say a regular bike commute just isnít in the cards for me.

lhamo

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2018, 04:45:15 PM »
13 miles OW is far -- I wouldn't do that, either.  My bike commute in Beijing was about 5 miles, and flat.  It took me 30-40 minutes depending on how hot it was and how I hit the lights.  That was just about the perfect distance, IMO.  I had a cruiser style bike with a basket in front that was big enough for my backpack. 

TrMama

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2018, 04:57:20 PM »
10 miles is further than I'm willing to commute, even on a road bike. I biked 7 miles OW for years on a fancy pants carbon road bike. Yes it was fast, but over time my lower back can't handle the position anymore. This is a common issue for many people as they get older.

I recently switched to a more upright hybrid style bike and I think it's helping my back (or at least I can bike more days with the same amount of pain). My next bike will be an ebike.

Anyway, I'm watching this thread for rec's on specific ebikes and plan to test ride a few over the next few months.

accolay

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2018, 05:16:00 PM »
I'm tired of turning to my car every time I don't feel 100%, or need to run an errand during the day, or need to schlep my kids somewhere.

This is what is making me think about getting one, but I don't think I can justify the cost with my 7 mile round-trip work commute and 2 mile round trip to the grocery store/box store.

moof

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2018, 05:33:08 PM »
10 miles is a lot when going off-the-couch.  It took me over a year to build up to doing my 7.5 mile commute daily after a year of mostly not riding.  I first went MWF, then MWTF, finally every day.  Many times I still felt Friday's ride on Monday morning on even my 3-day commute schedule.  After getting up to daily rides for a few months I no longer felt tired at the end of the week and my speed stopped sagging at week's end.

So I would personally suggest you stick with it for the 6 months, doing your best to back off on the assist level as much as you can, and then decide if you couldn't just get a regular bike for a grand or less?  If you still want a fancy e-bike and feel like it enables you to commute, go for it and don't look back.  You will be cutting out roughly ~5000 miles of commuting a year, which is about $2500 a year, and you will pay it off within a couple years (add in a budget for bike maintenance).  The payoff in health benefits will be even faster.

PDXTabs

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2018, 09:38:18 AM »
I'd say that if an eBike is what it takes to use it, then get it. Also, most people won't do a 5 day commute every day after it gets longer than 5 miles one way (although I have done 7, and some do 10).

In fact, I rode my bicycle 7.5 miles to the pub and back last night, but this thread has me thinking about an eCargoBike.

katscratch

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2018, 10:44:46 AM »
I'd say that if an eBike is what it takes to use it, then get it. Also, most people won't do a 5 day commute every day after it gets longer than 5 miles one way (although I have done 7, and some do 10).

In fact, I rode my bicycle 7.5 miles to the pub and back last night, but this thread has me thinking about an eCargoBike.

If you're ever in Minneapolis you can take mine for a spin; lots of good brewpubs as destinations!

ysette9, good point on being more upright!! That's something I noticed right away on my cargo bike compared to my drop bar bike - I can see better and am seen by cars better on my ebike than I am on my 'regular' bike.

For anyone considering an ebike - if you can test ride as many different styles as possible, all the better - I knew I didn't want a throttle assist, for example, even though it was crazy fun to ride - just didn't feel enough like a bike for me and I pictured wiping out constantly in winter, ha. But others prefer it, and down the road if my knees give out I'd certainly consider a bike with both pedal and throttle assist. I prefer the Bosch mid-drive because it feels the most "bike-like" to *me* and because the quality and longevity seem to be better than other battery brands in our cold winters, but there are definitely less expensive options out there that work just fine for a bunch of people in my city.

edited to add - seriously, if anyone in the Twin Cities wants to take my Xtracycle for a test ride, PM or bat signal me - I'm lucky that I have a bazillion friends in the bike community so I got a lot of sampling before I dropped a lot of money :)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 10:46:51 AM by katscratch »

mm1970

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2018, 02:17:45 PM »
I was pulling my kids in the bike trailer yesterday and had to stop suddenly when my husband braked unexpectedly in front of me. 130lb of me plus 55lb of bike plus maybe 60+lb of kiddo plus trailer is a good amount of momentum. The ebike brakes stopped us on a dime. They make a lot of funny noises but damn, they are effective. Due to the tike change we ended up riding home at dusk so I was glad that the front and back lights are integrated, as I hadnít taken any of my normal biking gear with me for a leisurely family afternoon jaunt.

Long ago I bought a road bike and tried biking to work a few days a week. Chalk it up to peer pressure as all of my coworkers were bikers. 13 miles each way was a commitment. I did get more physically fit because of it but honestly, I never enjoyed it. I feel unstable bent over low on a bike and I had this perma crick in my neck. I am much happier sitting up straighter with straight handlebars. That means Iím less aerodynamic but with the ebike kick I can still get where I want to go in good time. Iím really compressed for time due to my nanny needing to leave at a certain time each day. Anyway, lots of excuses as a way to say a regular bike commute just isnít in the cards for me.
I totally get it.  Husband and I used to bike 1-3x a week (10-12 miles each way).  Then we had a kid.  When he was <1 and I was nursing and pumping?  Didn't happen.

Then we figured out how to bike 2x a week, one way. Because by then, husband changed jobs and we worked a block from each other.  So one of us would bike in, the other did kid dropoff in the car and brought their bike on the back.  On the way home, we swapped.

Then we had kid #2, and our schedules are crunched.  We biked maybe 5 times after kid #2.  For me, 10 miles with stop lights and hills takes about 55 minutes, especially if I'm riding home in the dark.

Money Badger

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2018, 06:44:32 PM »
This thread is NOT helping me resist buying a new bike once I hit my fitness/weight goals and graduate from the "Cycling Newbie's" thread over on the Throw Down the Gauntlet board...   Now I want a fancy e-bike.   Argggggh!

ysette9

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Re: I’m falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2018, 10:12:22 PM »
Funny how that happens. I was half expecting face punches for my lust. :)

Ducknald Don

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2018, 02:27:15 AM »
Every time I lust after a new bike I just convince myself of the savings I'm making by not having a car :)

PDXTabs

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Re: Iím falling in love with an expensive ebike
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2018, 09:57:47 AM »
Every time I lust after a new bike I just convince myself of the savings I'm making by not having a car :)

I built an expensive bicycle in 2004, but you know what, I still have it and ride it. I don't have any cars from 2004 left, and I've spent at least an order of magnitude more on cars since then compared keeping the bicycle running, even if you include the initial purchase price of the bicycle.