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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

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I'm willing to bet not, simply for the fact that (IMHO) too many people enjoy their climate controlled, cushy, sound-isolated SUV monstermobiles. Again, IMHO a paradigm shift needs to occur in order for more people to accept e-bikes, bicycles, velomobiles etc. as a viable means of transportation.

People think it is nuts that I would consider being hot, cold, wet, sweaty, sore, etc just to get somewhere. I think it is a mentality that people are used to comfort and do not want to step outside that.

What kills me is people complain about the prices of fuel. Have you ever looked at the comparative prices in UK and the EU? UNREAL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I like eBikes, more-so during nice weather.

Most of my "trips" are brief sorties, to the bank, post office, hardware store, grocery store or errands to my mother's place, across town.
Typical jaunt is 2-10 miles, round-trip.
Just lock the front door, hop on my eBike and go!
Usually I'm halfway there, in the time it would take, to get to my car, unlock it, start it, seat belt, brief warm-up, back (safely) into street.
But then, with my car, I must find parking spot, park, unfasten seatbelt, lock car, feed meter, then repeat the entire ritual, for my return trip.

Honestly, around town, I get everything done in 1/2 the time on my eBike, as with a car.
And I pedal assist, as much, or as little, as I care to.

Yes ... I do lock my bike.
I got a reasonable quality coiled cable lock that extends locks, then unlocks and recoils nicely, takes 10 seconds, or less.
 

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I tried to like eBikes. But after a couple of years I found trying to get new batteries expensive and a maintenance nightmare. So I use a combination of scooter, 10-speed bicycle, bus, and car to make my impact less on this blue marble.
 

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We have a member on the forums that has a partial fairing on his recumbent, and he uses it for camping trips. Replace the body panels with solar panels, throw a battery and motor on it, and you have an all-weather hauler.

I would actually consider helping someone design one, and get some investors to get the ball rolling. While I see the typical diamond frame with assist as somewhat inefficient, the idea of a more utilitarian (Yuba, XtraCycle, etc) with a small motor makes a lot of sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I tried to like eBikes. But after a couple of years I found trying to get new batteries expensive and a maintenance nightmare. So I use a combination of scooter, 10-speed bicycle, bus, and car to make my impact less on this blue marble.
Most eBikes come with SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) batteries, mainly because they're cheap.
Cheap, but heavy, with low energy density ... with reasonable care, might last a couple years.
Typical replacement cost?
About the same as a tank of gas ...

Better battery?

1. Replace with NiMh, 2x the cost, but 1/4 the weight and 5x the lifespan!
Charging is simple and single cell replacement is possible.

2. Lithium-ion Li-ion (Includes Lithium Polymer-Lipo)
Greatest capacity, with many variations some capable of full recharge in 30 minutes!
Pricey ... and requires BMS (Battery Management System)

3. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4)
1/2 the energy density of Li-ion but extremely stable-reliable, with 1000's of recharge cycles.
Pricey ... and requires BMS (Battery Management System)
Best "bang for the buck" ... might last 6-10 years with daily charge-discharges!
But!
In 5 years, you can probably get 2x capacity, for 1/2 the price!

4. More options being developed yearly, tough to keep current.
Price drops constantly, as capacity increases, starting to look very nice > compared to gas!

I decided to get the jump on eVehicles, when gas hit $4 in 2008.
Got my first eBike for about $300.
An eZip with 16mph top speed and 8 mile, motor only, range.
I:
Regeared for 20 mph,
Went from 24 to 36V,
Replaced SLA batteries with recycled Li-ion cells recycled from notebook batteries.
Now I can pedal assist at 20mph for 30 miles, or romp along at 30mph, on a heavy, ballooned tired, bike!
11-32T 7speed for 30mph pedal assist.

That is just one of my rebuilds.
Another is geared for Winter travel ... on homemade studded tires.

My favorite, right now is a 2009 Women's ... oops ... 2009 "Stepthrough".
Helical geared motor for nearly silent operation. (2009 enhancement)
Big balloon whitewalls, big comfy seat on suspension post, geared for casual cruising at 20mph max. 40 mile [email protected], 80 miles with both batteries, (motor only).
I drop the seat to the frame and just meander along the wooded trails.

At present, I've run about 12,000 miles on eBikes, averaging 3000 miles on each ... all still fully functional!
 

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You make a strong case, and I agree with you. I think a big problem is most people feel safer with more metal around them. Ask someone why they drive a huge SUV or why they bought one and they'll probably tell you "i feel safer being high up and in a bigger car."

It's a mindset, and until they start excise taxing huge cars, fuel prices etc, I think it'll stay the same which is a shame.
 

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Has your experience with E-bikes ever led you to consider adding a regular bicycle to your means of transportation?
 

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You implied that you use the E-bike for rides of 2 to 10 miles, roundtrip. Are the bicycles reserved for longer excursions? :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I am a notorious tinkerer ...
So, when I got my eBikes I had to "improve" them.

2 bikes MT (BLUE) 30 mph capable. Trailz (Black) capable of near 30!



A "bargain" that I couldn't pass, "surprisingly" has become a favorite!



Re-geared for 20mph, upgraded pedal assist.
Added the big whitewalls. (Hard to keep clean! Alloy wheels w\rim brakes.)
Also added:
Big comfy saddle
Suspension post
Decent grips
"Full" chrome fenders

Too nice! For any of the girls I know ...

Still, they can be used as "regular" bikes.
About 20lbs heavier than "regular", but well worth the weight, for the extra power and speed , when "necessary"!

Yes, most all eBikes are functional as regular bikes.
Or, solely electric motor powered.
Or, any combination of the 2.
Many can supply a regulated assist, dependent upon "primary" human power.
 

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We have a member on the forums that has a partial fairing on his recumbent, and he uses it for camping trips. Replace the body panels with solar panels, throw a battery and motor on it, and you have an all-weather hauler.

I would actually consider helping someone design one, and get some investors to get the ball rolling. While I see the typical diamond frame with assist as somewhat inefficient, the idea of a more utilitarian (Yuba, XtraCycle, etc) with a small motor makes a lot of sense to me.
I think you are a bit optimistic there! The vehicles that are solarpowered have a very large solarpanel, are built with extra-light material in a very aerodynamic profile, the races go through very sunny locations and they still need a battery when the sun isn't bright enough. A solarpanel on the fairing will extend the range but you will not get an "all-weather hauler"
 

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Interesting contraptions ViBiker do you have any close-ups on the motor? My e-bike have the motor in the rear hub so the powertransfer there is obvious
 

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I think you are a bit optimistic there! The vehicles that are solarpowered have a very large solarpanel, are built with extra-light material in a very aerodynamic profile, the races go through very sunny locations and they still need a battery when the sun isn't bright enough. A solarpanel on the fairing will extend the range but you will not get an "all-weather hauler"
I was referring to the fairing for the "all weather" bit. Whether touring or commuting, I can see the electric motor being used to get up to cruising speed quickly on a fairing-equipped recumbent. That's all.
 

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In reality i dont think so, its not really about the specifications, power, and distance travelled......its more about the comfort of sitting in an enclosed car.....not many people would want to give that luxury up.

I think electric bicycles are an add on, that can be used as a secondary alternative for the average person.
 

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I think in the future, electric transport will change, and there will be new types of vehicles, a bicycle/car/vehicle, that will be used as an alternative car. It wont be an electric bicycle, but some sort of electric hybrid transporter
 
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