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Old 04-20-2020, 09:21 AM   #1
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No dinghy needed/desired/E-bikes

As we begin to travel with our 2020 Atlas, with one reason for buying it being ease of mobility, it still bugged me a bit to have to disconnect the hookups just for a grocery run out of walking distance. So after much research this weekend I purchased two 2020 Specialized Turbo Como 4.0 E-assist bikes for us. WOW what a bike. On a flat paved bike trail I easily cruised at 20-23 mph usually staying around 18-20 mph but pushed it with effort to its max rating of 28 mph. Going back into a stiff headwind of 15-20 mph we blew around avid road bikers of 4 decades younger and the look on their faces was priceless. Great exercise with huge distance and enjoyment upgrade. The Thule T2 Pro XT- 2 2 inch E bike rated rack fits perfectly on the back of the Atlas. The bike has a range of 60+ miles on a single charge(with some modest battery management--i.e. work my lazy backside a bit harder at times) and it will be a blast to use. I put really cool expandable bags on the back for groceries and other items. The bikes are not inexpensive but I am excited to use them as my dinghy replacement.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:18 AM   #2
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I use a manual Brompton folding bike, which I like for its cardiovascular benefit as well as local travel convenience. I love the thing, although it's not perfect (nothing is). I carry it in our interior closet.
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:00 PM   #3
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I use a manual Brompton folding bike, which I like for its cardiovascular benefit as well as local travel convenience. I love the thing, although it's not perfect (nothing is). I carry it in our interior closet.
I too use a Brompton H6L. Brompton now has an award-winning e-bike as well.

https://us.brompton.com/bikes/brompton-electric


My biggest problem with the e-bikes are essentially the environmental sustainability and the necessity of recyling the electronics at their end-of-life. All of the e-bikes, scooters, and other e-transportation are going to be a HUGE environmental issue in just a couple of years. That said, they ARE cool.
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:28 PM   #4
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I too use a Brompton H6L. Brompton now has an award-winning e-bike as well.

https://us.brompton.com/bikes/brompton-electric


My biggest problem with the e-bikes are essentially the environmental sustainability and the necessity of recyling the electronics at their end-of-life. All of the e-bikes, scooters, and other e-transportation are going to be a HUGE environmental issue in just a couple of years. That said, they ARE cool.
I know what you mean given the battery life is likely a few years on the E-bike. But to a large degree the same can be said about any electric automobile and their battery disposal issues as well. You should see where the wind turbines are being buried out west when they reach their end of usefulness. We here in Iowa will fill Wyoming with our used turbines as a landfill as the years go by. As we mature in life, using a regular bike becomes less appealing/practical which led me to try the E-assist bike so I save fuel not towing the dinghy, save fuel not driving the dinghy and the dinghy won't end up in the junkyard down the road. I don't know but my head is going to explode some day as I try and figure out what really is environmentally friendly other than dying.
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:47 PM   #5
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Batteries can be recycled.
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Old 04-21-2020, 03:25 PM   #6
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I know what you mean given the battery life is likely a few years on the E-bike. But to a large degree the same can be said about any electric automobile and their battery disposal issues as well. You should see where the wind turbines are being buried out west when they reach their end of usefulness. We here in Iowa will fill Wyoming with our used turbines as a landfill as the years go by. As we mature in life, using a regular bike becomes less appealing/practical which led me to try the E-assist bike so I save fuel not towing the dinghy, save fuel not driving the dinghy and the dinghy won't end up in the junkyard down the road. I don't know but my head is going to explode some day as I try and figure out what really is environmentally friendly other than dying.
Here's the thing about the life question. Mine are rated for 500 - 1000 complete cycles....and they are $1000 to replace!!!!! YIKES, right?

Not really. I get over 60 miles per charge. That's 30,000 - 60,000 miles. Pretty sure the bike will be worn out before a new battery was required due to use. As long as they are exercised relatively regularly and NOT stored fully charged or fully empty, they should last the life of the bike or my life, whichever expires first.

That said, best to ensure the battery on the bike you chose is from a quality vendor...as well as the BMS.

If they are made of chinesium, you're on your own.
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Old 04-22-2020, 10:57 AM   #7
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I have a manual Brompton that works great and is easily stored inside the van (behind drivers seat). There is an electric retro-fit kit for the manual Bromptons, but I haven't seen a need for that.
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:05 AM   #8
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BTW, is "manual" Brompton quite the right description? Maybe "pedular"?
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:31 PM   #9
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I have a manual Brompton that works great and is easily stored inside the van (behind drivers seat). There is an electric retro-fit kit for the manual Bromptons, but I haven't seen a need for that.
I went the E-assist bike route to increase the ability to go longer distances and not get completely "pitted" out unless I am in the mood to do so and then you can turn off the assist. My Specialized has 3 assist levels in addition to the non-assist, eco mode, sport mode, turbo mode. My wife and I took a ride yesterday with a nasty crosswind as storms moved our way in Iowa and did 30 miles with lunch at Culver's(drive-through) at 15 miles. On the way back we passed a very buffed twenty something year old male road biker (we are in our early 60s) when he was checking something on his fancy road bike. Shortly after I saw him coming in the rear view mirror and said to my wife let's make him work for it so with the nasty wind we went into the turbo mode and cruised for 10+ miles at around 20-24 mph with the beast of a guy hanging with us about 300 yards back until the last 2 miles when he faded. Great workout at those speeds and wind and we both commented how fun it was to pump upright on cushy seats, see the surroundings, and move along at any speed up to 28 mph depending on what workout level we wanted. I felt guilty for a nano-second that that biker guy must have been deflated not to be able to catch us old farts because I know he didn't see our bikes when he was stopped. An absolute blast for sure.
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:48 PM   #10
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I went the E-assist bike route to increase the ability to go longer distances and not get completely "pitted" out unless I am in the mood to do so and then you can turn off the assist. My Specialized has 3 assist levels in addition to the non-assist, eco mode, sport mode, turbo mode. My wife and I took a ride yesterday with a nasty crosswind as storms moved our way in Iowa and did 30 miles with lunch at Culver's(drive-through) at 15 miles. On the way back we passed a very buffed twenty something year old male road biker (we are in our early 60s) when he was checking something on his fancy road bike. Shortly after I saw him coming in the rear view mirror and said to my wife let's make him work for it so with the nasty wind we went into the turbo mode and cruised for 10+ miles at around 20-24 mph with the beast of a guy hanging with us about 300 yards back until the last 2 miles when he faded. Great workout at those speeds and wind and we both commented how fun it was to pump upright on cushy seats, see the surroundings, and move along at any speed up to 28 mph depending on what workout level we wanted. I felt guilty for a nano-second that that biker guy must have been deflated not to be able to catch us old farts because I know he didn't see our bikes when he was stopped. An absolute blast for sure.
As 60 year olds without ebikes, my wife and I (both quite fit) occasionally pace ebikes for fun, when we are on our sport bikes. We can always tell when a bike has an electric assist. On our city bikes, we don't even try. On our touring bikes, but more often on our sport bikes, we stay back from the ebikes a few lengths, topping out at 32 km/hr (20 mph) which is the max legal speed for them here, and then go by when safe. If we take it up to 40 or 45 km/hr on a flat stretch, we can overtake them quite quickly in a two bike pace-line. If we want to really have fun, my wife leads our pace-line. In our experience, ebike riders often find a reason to pull off at that point.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:16 PM   #11
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As 60 year olds without ebikes, my wife and I (both quite fit) occasionally pace ebikes for fun, when we are on our sport bikes. We can always tell when a bike has an electric assist. On our city bikes, we don't even try. On our touring bikes, but more often on our sport bikes, we stay back from the ebikes a few lengths, topping out at 32 km/hr (20 mph) which is the max legal speed for them here, and then go by when safe. If we take it up to 40 or 45 km/hr on a flat stretch, we can overtake them quite quickly in a two bike pace-line. If we want to really have fun, my wife leads our pace-line. In our experience, ebike riders often find a reason to pull off at that point.
Yes I know the guy we were pacing on a good windless day on the flat could take us as well likely even at 28mph/45km/hr. My daughter, a biking advocate, says we were cheating but I said we were using our cerebral power combined with retirement financial resources to tip the scales in our favor. What I am really looking forward to is this fall during our trip to Maine being able to venture out on longer day trips with the E-assist bikes and be able to go further with the ability to see more of the surroundings than we did on our road bikes.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:28 PM   #12
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Here's the thing about the life question. Mine are rated for 500 - 1000 complete cycles....and they are $1000 to replace!!!!! YIKES, right?

Not really. I get over 60 miles per charge. That's 30,000 - 60,000 miles. Pretty sure the bike will be worn out before a new battery was required due to use. As long as they are exercised relatively regularly and NOT stored fully charged or fully empty, they should last the life of the bike or my life, whichever expires first.

That said, best to ensure the battery on the bike you chose is from a quality vendor...as well as the BMS.

If they are made of chinesium, you're on your own.


According to my info from Specialized, Lithium batteries after around 200 charges will drop their charging capabilities to around 75% of their original charging capacity which still may be enough for most bike outings but there will come a time when they may not meet the distance rider's needs. This may or may not be before the bike's life expectancy has passed. We will see I guess. Yes our Specialized dealer said the batteries are $850 so don't drop them or have them stolen.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:31 PM   #13
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Yes I know the guy we were pacing on a good windless day on the flat could take us as well likely even at 28mph/45km/hr. My daughter, a biking advocate, says we were cheating but I said we were using our cerebral power combined with retirement financial resources to tip the scales in our favor. What I am really looking forward to is this fall during our trip to Maine being able to venture out on longer day trips with the E-assist bikes and be able to go further with the ability to see more of the surroundings than we did on our road bikes.
As an avid every day cyclist, I think that any ebike (with electric assist) that lets people go farther, get out more, and see more, is a great thing. Fully supportive. I contrast that with the throttled ebikes that don't require pedaling to move. I think those are fine as a low emissions transportation devices, eg better than ICE cars, but they should be classified as motorcycles, not bicycles, and shouldn't be in the bike lanes. Ride on!
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:25 PM   #14
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As 60 year olds without ebikes, my wife and I (both quite fit) occasionally pace ebikes for fun, when we are on our sport bikes. We can always tell when a bike has an electric assist. On our city bikes, we don't even try. On our touring bikes, but more often on our sport bikes, we stay back from the ebikes a few lengths, topping out at 32 km/hr (20 mph) which is the max legal speed for them here, and then go by when safe. If we take it up to 40 or 45 km/hr on a flat stretch, we can overtake them quite quickly in a two bike pace-line. If we want to really have fun, my wife leads our pace-line. In our experience, ebike riders often find a reason to pull off at that point.
What's REALLY a good time is watching an e-bike rider with a spent battery halfway "out" and try to pedal the weight of the e-bike WITHOUT assist, home.

I rode RAGBRAI one year and caught up to a sixty-year old woman valiantly trying to pedal a dead e-bike to the next town where she said she intended to murder her husband when she found him.

Being the intelligent man I am, I wished her well and rode on... on my ICE Sprint SE trike... bagging with a Burley Nomad.

P1030793 by Roger H, on Flickr
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:43 PM   #15
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I think Greg LeMond said about ebikes “call them what they are mopeds”
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Old 04-24-2020, 06:55 AM   #16
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What's REALLY a good time is watching an e-bike rider with a spent battery halfway "out" and try to pedal the weight of the e-bike WITHOUT assist, home.

I rode RAGBRAI one year and caught up to a sixty-year old woman valiantly trying to pedal a dead e-bike to the next town where she said she intended to murder her husband when she found him.

Being the intelligent man I am, I wished her well and rode on... on my ICE Sprint SE trike... bagging with a Burley Nomad.

P1030793 by Roger H, on Flickr
HaHaHa I hope not to let that happen although my Specialized is on the "lighter" side of e-bikes at "only" 47 lbs. In addition, given my wife and I have hers/his matching bikes the batteries are interchangeable so being the Iowa farm boy raised gentleman I am I would swap her out for mine(at least that is what I told her I would do).
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:26 AM   #17
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Brompton now has an award-winning e-bike as well.
There's awards for e-Bikes?
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:45 AM   #18
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There's awards for e-Bikes?
There are apparently bike design awards...

2017 London Design Awards

and accolades from Bicycling Magazine:

The New Brompton Electric Is the Most Functional Folding E-Bike We’ve Seen
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:46 AM   #19
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My trek is also 47 pounds and rides just like my mountain bike when switched off. But with 65 miles of juice on eco (which is where I set it), I don't think I'll run out.
The point with e-bike for me is

I stay out longer and ride further
I ride more frequently
I use it to go out to dinner, etc. No sweat nor fatigue.

ANYTHING that keeps us "mature" folks active is a great thing. Maintaining flexibility is important for me.
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:51 AM   #20
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HaHaHa I hope not to let that happen although my Specialized is on the "lighter" side of e-bikes at "only" 47 lbs. In addition, given my wife and I have hers/his matching bikes the batteries are interchangeable so being the Iowa farm boy raised gentleman I am I would swap her out for mine(at least that is what I told her I would do).
FORTY-SEVEN POUNDS!!! I don't think my Kubota tractor weighs that much!

Seriously... my ICE trike only weighs 36lbs (not dressed up.) I figure my whole trike-trailer setup, loaded at about 70 lbs.

You are indeed a gentleman. At least on paper.

Keep us posted as you use the e-bikes and gain experience with them.
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