Author Topic: Should I buy an electric bike...  (Read 8453 times)

H_K_

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Should I buy an electric bike...
« on: April 05, 2016, 01:58:07 PM »
I just discovered badassity a month ago and this is my first sign of life in this place, so here goes... something.

I need a lot of advice. I'm a single mom who moved closer to the relatives of my son about 1.5 years ago. I quit my job as an IT system administrator and thought getting a new job would be easy. The opposite happened and I will most likely loose my unemployment benefits in 6 months and go over to social services (which is way less). I do have some alternative income generators in mind though, but it may not be enough and will take time to develop.

Anyway - I purchased my apartment when I got here and pretty much got more in debt than banks ordinarily gives. I love my apartment, but then I slowly learned that my upstairs neighbor is a psycopath who knocks hard on the ceiling day and night. 24/7. I'm in hell. Long story short, a person is free to destroy other people as long as they don't use physical violence. Having a baby is a dream compared to the amount of sleep I get and the amount of pills I take daily to survive will increase. I need to get away from this person badly, but my options are... none. Renting will results in me loosing about 480 usd a month and I'm completely unable to deal with moving again so shortly afterwards. There is no help from my sons family except for babysitting. I'm alone, all alone.

I have a credit card debt of 1440 usd (tried to sound proof the bedroom ceiling, but it turns out you can't sound proof a psycopath away). I just got debt from taxes: 1560 USD. Student loan (which is the cheapest loan here in norway): 7440, apartment debt: 180 000 usd.

Right now I'm kind of working through some government deals, but I don't expect that job to turn into a real job (very small firm who just like free help).

Can I afford the electric bike which costs 960 usd (it's on sale now and costs 120 usd less)? If I don't get the bike, I will not cycle my son to kindergarten (7 km one way with ups and downs). It will not happen, but if I get that bike I will completely rock it. Love every moment of it - cycle longer than well, ever and love every minute of it. If I get an "ordinary" bike, I will not cycle it to kindergarten. Any pressure on your part telling me it's too little badassity not cycling to kindergarten will fall on death ears. I will not hear you.

I don't know what I should do.

Runrooster

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 02:56:03 PM »
Buy a regular bike and use it to get around witbout the kid.  Re-evaluate taking the kid after a month.  Your skills will increase.

chemistk

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 06:48:36 PM »
Without doing a full case study, it's hard to figure out whether you are able to buy an electric bike. Given your debts and job situation, I would guess it's not in your best interest, but I'm also not familiar with government benefits where you live.

How are you handling the trip now? Do you own a car? Does someone else take your child? Do you take public transportation?

As far as the neighbor goes could you sleep in a different part of the unit until a better solution comes up?

Again, giving us more detail until your finances through a case study will net you a lot more useful advice.

H_K_

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 11:42:41 PM »
Okey, here comes more details of my situation.
My income is 3358 usd.
Mortage: 1035 usd.
communal motrage: 41
Insurances: 78 usd
Student debt: 215
County/utility and property taxes: 100 usd
Electric power bill: 60 usd, a bit unknown since I now use at least 30% less
Phone + internet bill: 180 (will get significantly lower in 6 months - to 60 usd).
Kindergarten: 150
Car government tax: 35

That leaves food (420), gas (120) and clothes to my son (which is expensive, you need decent shoes and clothes in kindergarten).

I have a car with no debt on it. I just learned to do my own car service (yay! have changed oil and cabin filter), but I need to purchase more tools to get more done (I love youtube videos). I'm really good at learning new skills and employing them. When I sound proofed my bedroom ceiling, it was the first time I have ever done some renovations, and I'm quite pleased.

The credit card debt is not such an emergency as you would think. By shuffling some money around I'm able to get away with only paying 1% for each money shuffle (instead of the outrageous percentages they take). The government tax I owe has only about 1% tax, so it's not so bad.

What happens when my unemployment benefits end - I have no idea.

(and one of the reasons I wrote of the psycopath upstairs is because I think somebody with experience in this area to tell me my priority is wrong and give me some insights I might miss). It doesn't matter where in the unit I sleep. Her knocking is hard enough to wake me up wherever she knocks - and it doesn't help that she especially works to wake up me in my bedroom, but also where my son sleeps (fortunately she rarely manage to wake him up). My bedroom is now the best place to be in the unit and still she wakes me up, but now I can go to sleep with only melatonin pills. Before I needed to sleep with soundcanceling earphones as well.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 01:24:43 AM by H_K_ »

H_K_

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2016, 01:12:25 AM »
I found a fuel calculator and plotted in the numbers. Distance: 14 km, avg fuel usage: 0,8 per 10 km. Gas: 11 norwegian kroners

It turns out that using the car to and from the kindergarten will cost me 1.5 usd each day (not counting in insurance premium and maintenance).

Yikes !!

« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 01:14:01 AM by H_K_ »

pk_aeryn

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2016, 07:49:07 AM »
I know you said moving wasn't an option so hopefully you'll forgive my advice, but sleep is so so so important-- your health will suffer and it will not help in finding you employment again.  I realize it will be difficult to retain renters but could you possibly rent out your place and then rent somewhere else?

chemistk

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2016, 07:00:15 PM »
Thanks for the update! On the topic of the bike, when you look at what it costs per day (gas, insurance, maintenance), you could drive your child to kindergarten every day for close to a year with the amount you would spend. If you were to commit to take your child every day, regardless of the weather, then it might be worth it. Right now though your best strategy may be to use the extra money you have each month to set aside in the event you cannot find enough work soon.

Strictly out of curiousity, is your neighbor deiblerately trying to make your life hell? Or, is there something medically going on with them that compels them to act the way they do?

H_K_

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2016, 12:22:48 AM »
pk_aeryn: Moving is an option - I just have no idea how to be able to do so. Because yes - sleep is important and I am nothing but a walking zombie now. I can rent it out, but I don't know how long it will take me to find a new renter. Then - the problem is that financially I can be in a bit of a pickle because each month I will have at least 360 usd less to live on each month. And if the renter moves out and I don't get another one quickly, I will be broke.

chemistk: My neighbor is deliberately making my life hell - this is what a psychopath does and they love every moment of hurt they give. They feed off whatever emotions you have that they can get access too. Just by your question I understand that you have not encountered a psycopath before. Be happy for that (and may be do some reading so that if you ever encounter them you will be able to go under they radar. Tip: be flattering to them even when they act unacceptable). The medical term is overt narcissist. Also look into narcissistic rage which is what I experience 24/7. I never knew evil until this happened to me.

Hmm... seems like the electric bike is a no go.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 12:28:05 AM by H_K_ »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2016, 03:15:47 AM »
How much is the place worth?

Sell sell sell!

That or call the police on the person in the above apartment (or get the owners corp onto them).

Still, get the hell out of there, any way you can.

H_K_

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2016, 07:08:57 AM »
The place is worth about 200 000 usd. I own and the psycopath owns our places.

I have dealt with the police etc. When it comes to the everyday psycopath they are helpless/not willing to prioritize it. If dealing with a psycopath I don't recommend going to the police, because it further proves that the psycho can do whatever he or she wants with no repercussions and he will instead escalate because you are giving a response (and they love that, it means that you are still in the "game" to them). If you go to the police, make sure you have so much physical proof that you make the case for them. And even then it may mean nothing.

Whatever options there are - I have explored it. Except getting the hell away.

BikingViking

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2016, 04:13:48 AM »
Could you sell the car and use the money you get for it to buy the bike? Do you plan to do the bike-commuting year-round?

I also live in Scandinavia, and commute by e-bike year-round - a distance of around 25 km. It is definitely doable, but the key is having backup options for those days when the bike breaks down in some way (it WILL happen) or there is just too much snow or frozen slush. My main backup is taking the bus (expensive!), and I also have an ordinary bike.

Remember to factor in additional gear as well as maintenance into the price. For instance, do you have a kid seat or trailer, helmets, good quality lights? In half a year you will also need a set of studded tires. Mine and husbands e-bikes were relatively maintenance-free the first year, but since then various things have started requiring replacement. Tires, spokes, chain, gear cable, and an unholy amount of inner tubes. Also some of the electrical stuff - last winter I had to replace my whole engine and electrical system for around $300. The past 12 months I have spent around $200 on parts and maintenance, and I consider this to have been an average year with no major disasters. So bike commuting isn't free, but it's still the cheapest alternative for me.

The apartment situation sounds like a real nightmare... I guess you have tried sleeping with earplugs?

ditheca

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2016, 10:21:51 AM »
Ebikekit.com is retiring one of their older kits, and it went on clearance yesterday for just $300.  You'll also need a battery, but your total cost should be well under $1000.

It's a good system, I've used it for 3 years and 3500+ miles, and wish it only cost $300 when I bought mine!

Coupon code: MMM for an extra 6% off.

H_K_

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 03:18:18 AM »
@BikingViking: No, I need the car, so that is not an option. Biking to lessen driving is good :)
Yes, all year round biking is what I want (what's the use of an el bike if not used all year). I don't mind maintenance costs, but did you replace the engine yourself? I had an electric bike some years ago (it was fantastic when I was pregnant and not able to walk much), and something with the electric wires got broken. To repair it would have costs as much as the bike so I gave it away (it was in my unbadassity mindset which is only a months old).

The apartment situation is a nightmare. I sleep with earplugs yes :)

@ditheca: That was a nice price, but without the battery the price becomes too steep still..... because I need a bike as well.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 03:32:21 AM by H_K_ »

2Cent

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2016, 04:55:48 AM »
Could you not make a recording of what this guy is doing and show it to the police. And ask the people from other apartments around you if they have any problems with this guy. If it's 3 or 4 people the police will give more attention. Also, you don't need the police if it's not an emergency. You can go directly to a lawyer and file a civil complaint in court.

BikingViking

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2016, 08:47:35 AM »
Did you replace the engine yourself? I had an electric bike some years ago (it was fantastic when I was pregnant and not able to walk much), and something with the electric wires got broken. To repair it would have costs as much as the bike so I gave it away.
Yes, I did the work to replace the engine myself. I couldn't find an engine of the same model though, so I bought a whole new kit (consisting of front wheel with engine, sensors and wires, the control interface and the "electricity box" that connects everything). I made sure the engine had the same watt/voltage as the previous one, so I didn't have to buy a new battery. The trickiest part about the replacement was removing the crankset (?) to install the new pedal assist sensor. All in all, the work took a day or so.

Husband's bike had a wire that gave up this winter as well, we were fortunately able to replace that one without buying an entire new kit (thanks to kickass support from the manufacturer). 


H_K_

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2016, 04:12:53 AM »
Could you not make a recording of what this guy is doing and show it to the police. And ask the people from other apartments around you if they have any problems with this guy. If it's 3 or 4 people the police will give more attention. Also, you don't need the police if it's not an emergency. You can go directly to a lawyer and file a civil complaint in court.

I have made a recording, and the effect it has had is.... a little less hard knocking that still wakes me up. She is a narcissist, with narcissistic rage and I am her narcissistic supply. Which means that going to the police just gives the narcissist more energy because she knows she is getting to you. The police is useless against the petty crimes of psycopath unless it's big. Yes, she goes after more people than me, but she has easy access to me and other people always excuses deviant behavior rather than reporting it to the police.

What I have experienced have really showed me that a person can destroy others without it having any repercussions. The friends you have are unable to relate to the craziness you experience everyday. Nobody will help you, except yourself. Those are hard lessons, but that's how it is. And I can't state it enough - the police is useless. Taking it to civil court will make the psycho happy because you give him/her attention and ruin you financially. Narcissists are really a special breed.

H_K_

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2016, 04:20:31 AM »
Did you replace the engine yourself? I had an electric bike some years ago (it was fantastic when I was pregnant and not able to walk much), and something with the electric wires got broken. To repair it would have costs as much as the bike so I gave it away.
Yes, I did the work to replace the engine myself. I couldn't find an engine of the same model though, so I bought a whole new kit (consisting of front wheel with engine, sensors and wires, the control interface and the "electricity box" that connects everything). I made sure the engine had the same watt/voltage as the previous one, so I didn't have to buy a new battery. The trickiest part about the replacement was removing the crankset (?) to install the new pedal assist sensor. All in all, the work took a day or so.

Husband's bike had a wire that gave up this winter as well, we were fortunately able to replace that one without buying an entire new kit (thanks to kickass support from the manufacturer).

Had it been today I would have taken the same approach to my old bike. But does all the bike batteries have the same way to connect them or does the battery and kit have to come from the same supplier?

Stashing Swiss-style

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2016, 05:29:54 AM »
The situation sounds terrible.  You need to sell the apartment (you cannot afford to rent it). You are a single parent and you CANNOT afford to become a sleep-deprived zombie.  Your priorities are (1) get the hell out of that place, (2) find a job, (3) keep sane and healthy for your kid, (4) buy an electric bike ONLY when 1, 2 and 3 are accomplished.

I feel very bad for you that you have found yourself in this situation, but you need to take some really tough action and questioning whether or not to buy an e-bike is not the kind of action I mean. 


BikingViking

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2016, 06:31:12 AM »
Did you replace the engine yourself? I had an electric bike some years ago (it was fantastic when I was pregnant and not able to walk much), and something with the electric wires got broken. To repair it would have costs as much as the bike so I gave it away.
Yes, I did the work to replace the engine myself. I couldn't find an engine of the same model though, so I bought a whole new kit (consisting of front wheel with engine, sensors and wires, the control interface and the "electricity box" that connects everything). I made sure the engine had the same watt/voltage as the previous one, so I didn't have to buy a new battery. The trickiest part about the replacement was removing the crankset (?) to install the new pedal assist sensor. All in all, the work took a day or so.

Husband's bike had a wire that gave up this winter as well, we were fortunately able to replace that one without buying an entire new kit (thanks to kickass support from the manufacturer).

Had it been today I would have taken the same approach to my old bike. But does all the bike batteries have the same way to connect them or does the battery and kit have to come from the same supplier?

I've worked on three different models of batteries, all of them have been the kind that sit under the rear rack. These have all worked the same. Not sure about the terminology, but I'll try to describe:
- The rack where the battery is inserted also contains a plastic box with a socket fitting the battery's plugs. Different battery models have different type and placement of the plugs, so the rack/plastic box needs to fit with the battery model.
- The plastic box comes with power wires connected to the battery socket. These wires have been standardized on all the ones I've worked with.
- The power wires are connected to the "electricity box", which is placed inside the plastic box. The plastic box has a small hole in the front through which the other wires (engine, sensors etc) are drawn and connected to the "electricity box".

So basically, if you buy a new electric kit for an existing battery, you only need to make sure that it's for the same voltage. If you buy a new battery of a different model, you will also need to buy a matching mounting rack with the plastic box. (Often, the battery can be bought in a package with the rack.)

mashrach

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Re: Should I buy an electric bike...
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2016, 06:44:19 AM »
Congrats on taking the steps to get all of your finances in order and I wish you luck in dealing with your neighbor. I had a similar situation here in the States years ago, you are right, the police will not get involved just for what they consider a nuisance, if you ever lose your temper and things get physical they will arrest you though and that introduces worse problems. I ended up selling my house to get away from the neighbors and renting, I probably broke even in the whole thing or maybe lost a couple thousand but it was the best thing I ever did. I can tell how much it is affecting you just by how much you have mentioned it in a few posts and it will affect other aspects of your life. If I were you my first priority would be to find a way to move. Of course I'm assuming you've tried all other avenues such as talking to the 'psychopath' and speaking to the owners of the building etc...
Good Luck!