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I have put about 3,000km on my E-bike in the last 1.5 years. It's limited to 25km/h, because then I don't need a license, it's fast enough for city traffic (mostly in bike lanes anyways) and I get to tow a trailer for my kid.

Biggest advantage: Hills don't exist for me. We live in a city with quite a few hills and day care is about 70-100m below our appartment. Doing this trip twice a day with its 15% slope would take way longer and exhaust me, before the day even started. The way downhill to day care is now something like 10 minutes and back up 11 minutes.

Biggest disadvantage: If you drive on mostly flat terrain, there's no real benefit – it might even slow you down. I get my regular bike to 25km/h easily. An E-Bike accelerates until it hits 25km/h and then it's just a damn heavy bike (17-20kg) that is slower than a regular bike (if you're a somewhat fit person).

Anyways, I love the E-Bike for the simple fact that I go almost anywhere by bike, can take my kid with me and don't have to think about any hills at all.




I'm on my second converted (bafang) e-bike, been riding about 4000 KM the past two years all year (Norway). I love it! I use it as my main means of transportation, both to work and for other transport needs.

My first one was a cheap/old 26" dirtbike with hydraulic brakes. It was OK but the front shock and relatively skinny wheels were a limiting factor.

My second bike is a mid/high quality 27.5" dirtbike with a good front shock and good hydraulic brakes. And it's a really good bike all year. I highly recommend getting fairly large wheels with wide tires and a good front shock for a conversion bike.


I live in Norway also and was wondering about buying a conversion kit, do you have links to the kit you bought?


Elsykkelbutikken.no imports directly from China. They are super helpful.


I've read about motorized doping in bike races, with motors hidden inside the gearing, I wonder whether anyone's thought about this sort of thing for consumer bikes, and what sort of benefit you could get for, say, 1kg or half a kg of extra weight. E-bikes at the moment seem to have reconciled themselves to being twice the weight of ordinary bikes.


Something like this: https://www.vivax-assist.com/en/product/vivax-assist/vivax-a...

I think the problem is range, you won't be able to hide much battery, the one on my bike weighs 6LBs and is quite bulky.

In reality it doesn't really matter because the motor will more than offset the extra drag and weight of a heavy bike.


> I think the problem is range, you won't be able to hide much battery, the one on my bike weighs 6LBs and is quite bulky.

Interesting, that seems to be exactly what I was thinking of. The good thing is, it seems you could use it without a battery, or with differently sized batteries depending on need. If I'm reading this right, the motor, wiring, etc, weighs about 1000g, then a 6Ah battery another 850g, or a 9Ah battery 1250g. So only an extra kilo if you just wanted to use it as a normal bike, and if you're commuting, you might know exactly what capacity you need, and could just take that. Especially in cities, there's a lot of carrying bikes up and down stairs.

Just needs to be a lot cheaper than 3000 Euros!


Can you pedal and use the motor at the same time in a regular ebike? I think what the parent posters want to be able to turn off the motor completely.


You can; it's called "pedal assist", and usually, the motor controllers can be set to do it at different levels of pedaling intensity. It's usually implemented by spacing magnets around the crankset and then calculating how fast they're passing by a sensor.


Have you seen this:

https://budnitzbicycles.com/bicycles/view/titanium-ebike

I think it’s the closest you’ll find to a bike the looks and operates almost identically to a traditional bike. No wires, no display, excellent weight, etc. Obviously the price is out of control, but still the right idea I think.


Is it really that bad if you could use it as your car?


But you really can't.

1) cars can go a lot faster and on highways

2) cars can haul lots of cargo

3) cars can have 3-6 passengers

4) cars drive just fine in strong wind / rain / snow

5) cars are a lot safer on roads

There are obvious disadvantages too, but, regardless, ebikes are not car replacements. They are good for relatively short trips in places with good bicycle infrastructure.


If you commute less than, say, 10 miles, to work then they are a functional replacement for a car.

You can hire a car, or a van, for other tasks that require those advantages. Or even (shock!) use public transport.


Yeah, so if you ignore all the points I've made, it is indeed a replacement. So is riding a unicycle. Or walking.


But he/she didn't. In most cities you can rent cars by the hour and that is enough for a lot of people.


6) cars don't get stolen as easily

I use my bike 90% of the time. But unfortunately, I do need a car for the remaining 10%.


Just strap a power drill and a caster between back seat and wheel.


You should check out vanmoof. You'd never know it was an ebike if it weren't for the iconic branding.


Do you bring your kid in a trailer in city traffic?

I’ve seen people do similar and it gives me a nervous fit. Looks insanely dangerous from a bystander POV.


Yes, but not a big city in Germany. Many bike lanes and speed limit of 30-40km/h. Also several roads with two lanes. If there is no bike lane, I take the entire lane to prevent cars from passing by closely. I certainly wouldn’t drive with a trailer everywhere though.


This extremely common in Dutch cities like Amsterdam too.


"Biggest disadvantage: If you drive on mostly flat terrain, there's no real benefit – it might even slow you down."

I'm from that country with the bikes 'n dykes (The Netherlands) and lately it seems a trend that elder use e-bikes instead of whatever else they were using (car, moped, bicycle, legwagon). They're severely slowed down if they were to use a regular bike. This way, they can get some fresh air and actually see some of nature and adjacent cities/village.

The biggest disadvantage to me is the high price. Combine that with these elder who'd also use these e-bikes to go for longer routes but then they'd not put their bike locked securely (and you should use some good locks). Cause yeah, losing 1-2k EUR from just doing groceries is a shame. They're also a bit more difficult to transport in public transport than a regular bike and more so a folding bike (latter is freely used on Dutch railways called NS).

I also notice that the e-bikes can pass me on longer courses, but if we're going from traffic light to traffic light I accelerate way quicker on my regular bicycle than e-bikes. If I do my best, I can slowly pass an e-biker.

If you wanna take your kid with you, a "bakfiets" (a bicycle with a way to transport items in the front of the wheel see [1]) also works. Especially common in Amsterdam.

The Cube Design Museum in Kerkrade had an exhibition (in NL/EN/DE language available) about bicycles with all kind of bicycles of the past and the future, including experimental designs. When I went, IIRC in september 2017, they also had an exposition about toilets, and a floor about past failed designs (a lot of electronics but not solely), There's World of Bricks (Lego) as well in the Continuum Museum nearby. Recommended! (Disclaimer: not affiliated.)

[1] https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakfiets

[2] http://www.cubedesignmuseum.nl/nl/blog/persbericht-fietsen-v...


Do people give you trouble for riding in bike lanes? I know here in Toronto people hate the Vespa-like ebikes. They’re too slow for cars lanes, endangering the rider, and too fast for bike lanes, endangering bikers.

Personally, i feel like you should just not have the 25kmh limit and need a license.


I love the idea of an e-bike but the 25kph limit just kills it. I already average over 25kph on a typical non-winter commute and there are no hills to speak of in my area. There aren't that many stoplights either.


The 25km/h limit is why I won't buy one. Pointless for normal use.


A fast e-bike would be dangerous, anyway. At that point, you should just get a small capacity motorcycle or a scooter.


I live in Switzerland where 45km/h speedbikes are fairly popular (since for once our laws are more lax than in most European countries).

I don't really see how they're more dangerous than scooters in the same vehicle category.


The big difference is that many people drive e-bikes on bike paths or even pedestrian paths, while scooters tend to stick to roads.


No one with half a brain / common sense rides their ebikes at such speeds on pedestrian paths.


How would you prevent people who don't even have that from buying these bikes?


Don't prevent them from buying them, prevent people from riding that fast on sidewalks.


Another difference between e-bikes and scooters is that e-bikes do not require a license to drive while scooters do. One of the reasons for the speed limit on e bikes is to avoid this license requirement.


45 km/h e-bikes come with all the requirements that apply to 45 km/h limited scooters: license, plate, insurance, helmet.


The bicycle helmet instead of the Mofa/Töffli helmet is not in the same league. Cool they are (still) allowed, just like the Elektrotöffli[0].

And our laws are often more lax then Europe's. Specifically when it comes to freedoms (like weapons & privacy). Source: former EU citizen.

[0] https://emovemotors.ch/


It would be good if they went 30-35, so that you don't impede traffic on streets with a 30km/h limit. I don't think the additional 15% speed would make that much of a safety difference, compared to cars overtaking you.


It'd be dangerous to pedestrians and non-motorised cyclists though.

Of course, fit cyclists can cruise at 30+. But to get to that level, you've to put in serious effort and by the time you got the power, you know your responsibilities too. But giving anybody 30km/h vehicle that is legal on shared paths ain't good idea.

If you're afraid of cars overtaking you, get a small motorcycle.


I wonder if sth. like an electric Vespa would be feasible. You would be able to pack in more battery than an e-bike, but the last mile would be a problem because you can't just pedal the rest of the way.


Not only it's feasible, it's done. Cf. Gogoro for the most iconic ones (but there are plenty of other brands too).


The problem in Singapore is you need to get a COE for motorbikes. They cost at least 5x what am ebike would cost. I want an electrical assist bicycle that goes 50kmh and is nimble not a scooter that goes 80kmh, costs an order of magnitude more and rides like a death trap. I'd be happy if they provided some sort of intermediate license with a test for faster ebikes.


Check out unumotors.com


I average between 30-40kmh riding without a motor. Ebikes should be limited to 50kmh


I figure it this way, I would want it for boosting on take off and going up hills. the limit on speed is not an issue to me as if I am maintaining a pace higher than that it is because I am on favorable terrain.


Faster than the cars in my city.


Yeah, that's just ridiculous. You can cycle 20-25km/h without catching a breath if you are even in decent shape


Under good circumstances, yes. When you are cycling recreationally, you get to pick a nice day. But if you are cycling to work every day and deal with strong wind, elevation differences, maintaining 20-25 km/h is going to be tough.

Sustaining 20-25 is easy for me on a calm day. But on steep roads or windy days it's definitely more in the 10-15 or 15-20 ballpark.

(This is from experience. I am fit, cycle 22km every working day (roughly 5200km per year) with elevation differences and have an excellent bike.


> But if you are cycling to work every day and deal with strong wind, elevation differences, maintaining 20-25 km/h is going to be tough.

That is true when you're riding uphill and/or into a headwind, but that should also be made up by the fact that the headwind/ascent becomes a tailwind/descent when you ride in the other direction.

The speeds I attain on my conventional bike range from 25 to 30 km/h on flat ground, 10 to 15 km/h going up 5% grades, but between 30 to 40 km/h going down the same grades. Headwinds on flat ground reduce my speed to 20 to 25 km/h (15 to 20 km/h if it's strong), but with a tailwind, I can maintain 30 to 35 km/h (or even up to 40 km/h if it's strong) on flat ground.

The only thing I don't like when riding are side wind gusts, but I suspect that a motor wouldn't make much of a difference in that case :)


> > But if you are cycling to work every day and deal with strong wind, elevation differences, maintaining 20-25 km/h is going to be tough.

> That is true when you're riding uphill and/or into a headwind, but that should also be made up by the fact that the headwind/ascent becomes a tailwind/descent when you ride in the other direction.

Not a great comfort when you are trying to get to work.

And in my experience, after several hours at work, the wind dies down or changes direction by the time I want to go home.

> side wind gusts

I would expect the greater mass of the motorized bicycle to help the rider stay grounded.


>> side wind gusts

> I would expect the greater mass of the motorized bicycle to help the rider stay grounded.

That might be the case when riding a motorcycle (since it weighs quite a bit more than the rider), but even the heaviest e-bikes would still be lighter than the rider.


I used to cycle to work, 3 miles long. Half of it was a straight line along the road and the overground.

Doing 50 km/h in good shape and on flat ground. Keeping up with the overground and the cars.


If you commute on flat ground, you can use a lightweight racing bake and narrow tires. Unfortunately, that does not work for forest roads on my commute, so I need a heavier trekking bake with wide tires (with a lot more friction).

Moreover, if you can do 50 km/h of sustained speed, you should become a professional cycler. The world record is around 55 km in an hour. Pro cyclers can only sustain > 50 km/h speeds for shorter periods:

https://books.google.de/books?id=-TpDCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT79&lpg=PT...

Of course, short stretches of 40 or 50 km/h is doable, but most fit cyclers cannot sustain that for 3 mile stretch. So, either you are near-pro or overestimating your average speed ;).

Ps. I pass the vast majority of (clearly non-recreational) cyclers (> 95%).


I always had a trekking bike, not that it was necessary for a concrete cycle lane.

The speed is not overestimated. The overground and the car have a well defined speed for comparison. Sometimes a friend would happen to drive along on the road on his way home and be surprised that I keep up with his car.

I cycled every day for a decade. That's a good training I guess.




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