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E-Bike Phenomenon - help with keeping on the trails . . .

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This is a shredout post from another topic.  John Davies commented on my custom 2" hitch thread and asked a question about the eBike I have on my bike rack.  I thought his comment was worthy of its own, dedicated post.  Here goes . . .

 

From John's comment:

 

"I like your Trek. I have been researching ebikes, but I think this brand is out of reach in terms of cost. Do you have a recommendation for a full suspension mountain bike, mid-drive, for about $3000 street price? Max desired weight less than 55 pounds.

 

I rode a Haibike hardtail with the Yamaha drive and was really smitten..... but I need some rear travel. I like this one.... https://www.haibikeusa.com/emtb-full-suspension/2018-sduro-fullseven-5-0.html

 

Can you comment? Any others I should specifically look at? Thanks.

 

John Davies"

 

 

 

John,

 

I saw my first e-bikes while camping this summer.  A Canadian couple had Trek Verve + bikes on a rack behind their Class-A motorhome.  They appeared different from your standard bike, so I inquired about them.  They were eBikes, and the owner told me he and his wife (who are in their late 60's) have rekindled their love of bike riding.  I saw them both head out for a bike ride at Colorado National Monument park, which is rather hilly. As I watched them return about three hours later, and they were both refreshed, with smiles on their faces.  It was then that I decided to look into this thing, called an eBike.

 

I learned that basically, an eBike utilizes a battery to add a selectable amount of energy (or none) to your own effort as you are peddling the bike.  This mode is called "peddle assist" and is the most common type out there.  A Class-1 electric bike is limited to 20mph and, at this time, is permitted pretty much anyplace a regular bike can go.  You may peddle faster than 20 mph, but the "assist" will not kick in above 20mph.  eBikes with higher energy levels are out there, but local restrictions may consider them a quasi motorized vehicle and not allow them on trails with other people.

 

Six years ago, I buggered up my right leg pretty bad in a bike accident and residual complications from the wreck were severely slowing down my riding experience.  The ole' ankle and knee would speak to me going uphill and for several hours after a good ride.  The eBike would allow me to request an "assist" going uphill and take the stress off the buggered up joints and bones.  I took a look at what was out there and decided to go with the same bike the Canadians had, the Trek Verve +.  Although it is one of the lower costing Trek bikes, the Verve + has everything I need to get me back out on the road: geezer fenders, bright running lights, and soon, a way to take my dog, Bosker along for the ride.

 

eBikes are heavier than your standard bike and will require a bike rack built for the load. My Trek Verve + is one of the lighter ones and weighs about 45 pounds. So far, I have about 100 miles on my new ride and look forward to many, many more miles of pleasure biking throughout the years.

 

John, the Haibike mountain bike looks great.  Go for it!

 

If you've ridden bikes in the past, but have slowed down because the pleasure was starting to ebb a bit, consider letting a battery assisted bike get you back out there. Is there anyone else out there with eBiking experience?  How do you like them?

 

bike-loaded2.thumb.jpg.5c18533bad8261cf055a90e75edb9672.jpg

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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Thanks for the post Pete, I have been  looking at that exact bike, test rode it twice now, the cheap side of me is having a hard time pulling the trigger.

 

Just a few questions, it's pretty flat here, does it pull the hills well? Does the battery power last as long as they advertise? Would you buy "that bike" again?

 

Thanks, Steve


STEVEnBETTY

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Steve,

 

I like to ride the bike trails that are being built around San Antonio. Eventually the trail system will circle the city with about 80 miles of seamless, interconnected trails that keep you out of vehicular traffic.  It is frequented by walkers, joggers, skaters, and bikers.  No motorized vehicles allowed, (the peddle assist eBike is not considered to be in the motored vehicle classification)  The terrain, for the most part is fairly level, with the occasional hill / bridge to climb.

 

I have some great friends, a couple, who I've enjoyed getting out on the trail with for many years.  After being gone 5 months in the Ollie, I bought the Trek Verve + and asked Gayle if she'd like to hit the trail.  I didn't tell her about the eBike and since it was similar enough in appearance to my previous bike, she didn't notice.   Two thirds through a gentle 20 mile ride, I pulled alongside of her and could hear the slightly labored breathing.  My heart rate was elevated some, but breath came very easy, since I used more assist on the hills (he he he).  I asked her why she was winded and she thought she had gotten out of shape while I was gone.  We stopped, and I asked her to give my bike a ride for a bit.  I turned up the juice to TURBO and gave her my bike.  After about 200 feet of travel, she stopped, looked at me, and yelled "Cheater!"  On that ride, we averaged about 10 mph and I only used more than the minimum assist on the hills.  The battery used only 20% of its energy on the 20 mile ride.

 

A few days later, I rode with her husband, Richard, who is very competitive rider and was not going to allow some short, round guy on an eBike get the better of him.  Well . . . we went a competitive 25 miles on the same terrain, and averaged about 17 mph.  The bike has 4 levels of assist: Eco, Touring, Sport and Turbo.  On the way out, I used Touring and Sport, boosting to Turbo only on hills.  On the way back, as my bum leg started to speak to me, I upped the assist to Sport and Turbo a lot, and at the end, Turbo only.  I had no problem at all pacing along with Richard.  He was worn out at the end and I was just starting to breath heavier.  Without the Verve +, I would never have been able to keep up with him. The battery used about 40% of its power over the 25 miles, averaging 17 mph.

 

As far as pulling up hill, I let Richard try out the bike in Turbo and his comment was "There is no such thing as a hill while riding this bike."  While I don't get the same cardio workout as on a standard bike, I get whatever level of workout I desire and do not over stress the bad knee and ankle.  I figure at least I'm out there enjoying nature and not sitting back at home with a lame-leg excuse.  The eBike will keep me moving and that's what it is all about for me.  20 mph assist max is plenty of speed for a trail system.  Any higher and it becomes borderline dangerous as you mix it up with other folks on the trail.  Richard and I rode in the evening, when fewer people were out and we pretty much had the trail to ourselves.

 

I would definitely purchase this bike again.

 

 

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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I had heard of E-Bikes, but was not aware of how advanced they have become.  Thank you for your posts.

 

Question:  Do E-Bikes have regenerative braking?  If so, how is it controlled?

 

Mahalo!


Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker


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The Trek Verve + has hydraulic activated disk brakes, but they do not feed back energy into the battery pack. Turning the battery on and off or selecting the amount of assist is managed  through an easy to use, integrated controller on the left handlebar. Changing the level of assist is done by pressing on a + or - sign with your left thumb, which can be done on the fly.  Trek uses a Bosch controller, battery, and motor.  You can see the low center placement of the battery. The assist motor is located between the peddles, putting the extra weight low and centrally located, making the bike more stable.

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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It is rare for an electric assist bike to have regen braking, maybe some of the heavy touring models.

 

Here is a free ebook about the history and current state of bikes. It is biased because it was written by the founder of Optbike which is a really high end brand. Some of their models are north of $12K.

 

https://optibike.com/electric-bike-book/

 

Spend some time here reading and watching videos and you will learn a lot: ... https://electricbikereview.com

 

Here is Pete's Trek: ... https://electricbikereview.com/trek/verve-plus/

 

A full suspension bike is much more expensive, and when you start looking at high end components, the cost can get into five figures. An  ebike is expensive partly because of the battery pack. One high quality pack can cost $600 to $800.  The cheap rear drive Chinese bikes are OK but they are heavy, clunky to ride  and do not perform well. Don't test ride a good mid-drive bike unless you want to be spoiled.

 

It will blow your mind the first time you accelerate up a 6% grade in HIGH gear to 15 or 20 mph, with very little effort. It is a very liberating feeling. I got quite emotional....That kind of riding will kill your range. If you use the lower gears, ride slower using the Eco modes, and help the bike with your own leg power, the range will be hugely extended.

 

This is a  very informative and fun video comparing a racing road bike with its electric cousin in the Dolomites. ... 

 

Read through the comments below the video.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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You only get battery assist while you are putting some effort through peddling with a "peddle assist" system. When you cease peddling, the assist quits and you coast slowly to a stop, just like a regular bike. Very powerful eBikes that can boost your peddling up to 28 mph, or actually have a throttle to allow motor use without peddling do exist, but may not be allowed on city trails.  I've had my bike up to 30 mph, but from 20 to 30 mph there was zero assist and it was all leg power.

 

My Trek Verve + battery is 400W.  In many, many years, when it needs replacement, I intend to upgrade to a Bosch 500W battery, which will naturally go further and come with a more rapid charging capability.  A 400W battery which is fully discharged will take about 7 hours to fully charge with the lower amp charger it comes with.  I don't find this charging time to be a problem, as I simply put it on the charger the night before I intend to ride.

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Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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That's what I was wanting to hear. I live in Illinois, just east of St. Louis, and for the last 10 or so years the county has been doing a "rails to trails" conversion. We now have over 200 miles of paved bike trails. I've not seen all of it yet, doing so currently would require me to transport my bike, and I like the idea of an assist so I don't get to far away and run out of "juice".

 

Steve


STEVEnBETTY

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We bought an ebike for my wife Susan about a year ago, and she really likes it.

 

I have done a lot of cycling. I commute to work by bike, and when I was younger and fitter I completed week-long 500 mile supported cycle tours, over about eight summers. We like to ride together, often on the Jordan River Parkway here in SLC, and when especially when we are camping. However, Susan struggles on even a modest hill, which limited us to fairly flat routes, such as the Jordan River Parkway. I tried to convince Susan that she should get an ebike, but she said she was not interested.

 

Then a year and a half ago our bikes were stolen off of the bike rack on the back of our trailer. The trailer was parked in front our house, and I put the bikes on the rack the night before so that we could make an early departure. There were four cable locks on the bikes, (two from the bike rack, and two more), but a bolt cutter makes quick work of cable locks. Statistically Salt Lake City is a low crime area, but stuff happens. We were bummed. Susan’s bike was cheap, but my bike was expensive. I commute on heavy bikes that have lights, rain fenders, and a rear rack to carry panniers (saddle bags). The panniers carry my briefcase, my laptop, my lunch, and a change of clothes, and weigh 20-30 pounds, so it doesn’t make any sense to have a lightweight bike. The bike that was stolen I called my “weekend ride” bike, and it was an expensive LeMond carbon fiber bike that I bought before my second cycle tour. I was really bummed.

 

However, our homeowner insurance covered the theft. Susan’s bike was cheap, but they valued a comparable replacement carbon fiber bike at $2900, more than double what I paid for mine (on special sale) in 2005. The insurance also covered the accessories: pump, water bottle cages, under seat tool carrier, etc. So we had some money to spend on new bikes, and we revisited the ebike question.

 

Digression. Our insurance claim went smoothly, in part, because we had good documentation, sales receipts, and photos of the bikes. ebikes are expensive, and if you buy one keep these documents where you can find them. I have stored the scans of sales receipts and photos of the bikes on my Dropbox.

 

So I wanted Susan to get an ebike. She said no, that she would like to get into better physical shape so that she could get up hills on a regular bike. My counter argument was “you couldn’t get up hills when you were 25 years younger,” and based on this rational argument she relented and we started doing research on ebikes.

 

As Pete said above, there are two types of ebikes. He got the “pedal assist” type, where you must pedal. The other type is called “throttle,” and while you can provide power by pedaling, they can also go without pedaling much like a motor scooter. Susan got a pedal assist bike.

 

Like regular bikes, most ebikes have gears. This allows you to determine how many pedal revolutions provide so much power, whether you are using electric assist or are going solely on pedal power. There are two types of gearing systems, an external derailleur (like on most current 10-speed bikes), and an internal gear hub (like those on the 3-speed Raleigh bikes of my youth). I initially wanted the external derailleur because I was used to them, and I knew how to adjust them. As I learned more, I discovered that the modern internal gear hubs are extremely reliable, and that they are completely protected from water, dirt, and grime. We ended up getting an bike with an internal gear hub.

 

There are also two locations for the drive motor, either in the bottom bracket (between the pedals) or in the rear hub. Both types have advantages and disadvantages. The bike we selected had a mid-drive.

 

Another variable is where the battery is located. Most ebikes have a removable battery, but some have it built into the frame. I think the non-removable batteries are a strong negative, because you have to plug directly into the bike to re-charge the batter. I think people like the non-removable batteries because they don't look like a “cheater” bike. (We camped at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon this summer. We visited the fort and were returning to our locked bikes when someone shouted “who has the cheater bike?”)

 

The removable battery can be located on the down tube or on a rear cargo rack. Some people prefer the battery on the down tube as it has a lower center of gravity. Single track mountain biking is very popular around here. When we were shopping for ebikes we saw a lot of full suspension mountain ebikes, designed for trail use. If we were interested in single track riding I would definitely get a down tube mounted battery.

 

The bike we got has the battery in a rear cargo rack, and we have been happy with having the cargo rack. When we ride to the farmer’s market we attach a milk crate with bungee cords. I carry the panniers on my commuting bike which has a rack, but the panniers will fit on this ebike rack. When camping, we put a small trunk bag on the rack for our rides. This trunk bag is insulated, and a blue ice keeps our lunch cold.

 

Finally, and most importantly, test ride any bike. You need to make sure the frame size and geometry are comfortable for your body. There is a reason that serious cyclists spend a fortune to get a frame custom fitted to their dimensions. Also, don't worry if the saddle, or seat, is not comfortable. Many people buy a bike they like and replace the saddle.

 

We bought a Kalkhoff Agattu B8 ebike. Susan wanted a step thru model (what as kids we called a girl’s frame). This bike has the Bosch Performance Line motor, the Bosch PowerPack Li-Ion 36V / 13,4 Ah (500 Wh) battery, and a Shimano Nexus 8-speed hub. It has a predicted range of 68 miles; we have never come close to running out of power. The controls on the computer are intelligent and easy to use. The bike has a number of features, including fenders, front and rear lights, and in integrated rear wheel lock. Susan really likes the saddle (seat), which is a large gel saddle atop a suspension seat post. I thought this suspension seat post was weird, but Susan really likes it.

 

kalkhoff-agattu-b8.thumb.jpg.454c13384aad9f1c727cdd8ef375dc7e.jpg

It has been a year and half since we bought the ebike, and it is amazing how many more ebike stores there are now in SLC. We had to go 40 miles to a distant suburb to get the Kalkhoff bike. Part of me worries that we bought too soon with an advancing technology. But another part of me knows that ebikes have been used for quite a few years in European cities, and I think the technology is fairly robust.

 

Susan mostly rides without any electric assistance, and thus gets a cardio workout, but turns on the assist when she is going uphill. Her bike has the same four levels of assist that Pete mentioned, Eco, Touring, Sport and Turbo, and she mostly uses Eco. We have really enjoyed riding up City Creek Canyon, which is a paved road through protected watershed, very close to our house and to downtown Salt Lake City. It is a 7 mile ride, all uphill, through a beautiful canyon with periodic picnic tables. They have a good system. Pedestrians are allowed every day, bikes on odd days of the week, and cars on even days of the week. Susan could never ride up City Creek Canyon before she had an ebike.

 

While Susan got a very expensive ebike, I replaced my weekend bike with a more modest Cannondale Synapse aluminum frame bike that was on deep discount at REI. While it is not as lightweight, or as expensive, as my old LeMond carbon fiber bike, it does the job. I am no longer doing regular 80 mile rides, so I didn't think I could rationalize a really expensive bike.

 

When we bought the new bikes we agreed that we needed to get good locks. So I spent time researching bike locks, which is probably not a surprise to anyone who reads my posts. Websites with good discussions of bike locks can be found HERE and HERE. Basically any lock can be cut by a sufficiently determined thief with appropriate tools. The better locks are 1) more expensive, 2) heavier, and 3) and have larger diameter steel that makes it more difficult to cut through. So it is a tradeoff between weight and price vs. protection. I wanted to get two types of locks. The first is a chain to lock the bikes to the trailer bike rack, and the second is two U-Locks to carry on a ride to lock up at a destination. For each type I downloaded data from the bestbikelock.com site on chain locks and on U-locks, and put the data into spreadsheets. The spreadsheets have thickness of the steel (important!), weight, dimensions, and protection score. I added prices from Amazon. For the chain lock I purchased the OnGuard 8019L Mastiff 6' x 3/8" Quad Chain Lock. It has 10 mm thick chain links, a Gold protection score, and its 6 foot length seemed perfect for my purposes. It is just long enough to go through both bike frames and around the bike rack.

 

[attachment file=bike lock on rack.jpg]

For the U-Locks I purchased two Kryptonite Evolution Mini-9 Bicycle U-Locks, which have Silver protection scores. I purchased them directly from the manufacturer so that I could get both locks using the same key. Keyed alike locks can be a real convenience.

 

We camped at Zion National Park two weeks ago, and brought our bikes. After setting up our campsite, we walked through the entrance station and saw a small sign that said “No eBikes in Zion NP.” I asked several rangers about this, and they seemed to not know why. “I think the policy is under review.” “I don't know why they have that policy.” We are law-abiding types, so we were disappointed. But after we saw a number of people riding ebikes thru the campground, we decided to be scofflaws and rode our bikes on the paved Pa’rus trail down the middle of Zion canyon. It was spectacular, and here are a few photos.

 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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This is very interesting and I appreciate the discussion.  With regards to these plus an RV such as the Oliver, I'm not sure how I feel about hanging 100+ lbs (2 bikes) on a 40 lb rack 18" off the back bumper.  I just started looking at folding e-bikes, with the idea that they could be carried inside either the Ollie or tow vehicle.  Does anybody have any thoughts on this concept?


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The trek that Pete has weighs 45 lbs, the battery weighs 8 lbs, if you remove it the bike only weighs 5 lbs more than my giant hybrid. I believe bill ( ride and fly) has one of the rad power foldable bikes, he stores it under his dinette table when traveling.

 

steve

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STEVEnBETTY

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Came across this video, gives a good explanation of the drive motors for e-bikes:

 

 

Hope this helps others make a good choice new E-bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sue & Harold


Oliver Elite II Twin bed,  Hull #508, Ram 2500


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Interesting products. Really filling a niche need in the cycling world. It is nice to see the marketplace is constantly looking to provide new avenues for the "boomers" (and others) for remaining active and outside. Although, at this time I personally have no interest in power assist peddling, I can see the benefits - as example,  my wife who may  struggle to keep pace, especially on steeper grades.  I am sure the price point, however, will keep her on the people powered version - by her choice....

 

I have a few friends that use the e versions - due to knee issues (yes and advancing "worldly experience" ) and it has really opened up the scope of where and how long they can ride. I will need to transition to a full suspension people power MB, as my current ride is only front suspension - and my shoulder surgeon says he does not support my  off road riding and the jarring it entails.

 

As to area restrictions for E-bikes - I would suppose the authorities lean to viewing them as "motorized" and thus will seek to restrict - if not ban - them on the more popular bike paths.  I hope not. I am often frustrated by the amount of control and restrictions that appear on our public lands. Usually trying to protect me from myself. I certainly understand the environmental issues of over use, and protecting the non bike people, but at some point it gets a little ridiculous.

 

As for "cheating", to each his own, I look at it as an enabler - it helps one get started, takes them places they may not otherwise have ventured, and provides another way to enjoy exercise, the outdoors, and perhaps, may lead to full on pedal power. Win - win.

 

Great topic Oliver owners.....


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

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I have to ask how you secure it under the table, and in the center isle, and how do you keep from trashing the surrounding walls and the doorway, or do you just not mind? Do you remove the pedals? Wrap it in dense foam?

 

Decades ago I transported bikes and motorcycles inside a full sized van, but it did not have a fancy gel coated interior.

 

Do you mind that because of the throttle assist it is not legal on bike trails in some states (see post following)? How do you deal with that?

 

Thanks,

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Laws vary hugely from state to state. If you live in a restrictive one like mine, and if you plan to travel with your bike, you need to know where you can legally ride it.

 

Three-Tiered E-Bike Classification System 

Ten states (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Utah and Washington) have created a three-tiered e-bike classification system intended to differentiate between models with varying speed capabilities. The ten states have almost identical defining language for e-bikes, as well as similar safety and operation requirements:

 

Class 1 electric bicycle

A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.

 

Class 2 electric bicycle

A bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.

 

Class 3 electric bicycle

A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour and is equipped with a speedometer.

 

Any device outside of these definitions is not considered a low-speed electric bicycle that would be regulated as a bicycle.

 

These ten states that allow bikes on trails "usually" limit them to Class 1, but communities can set their own more restrictive rules! Always check and watch for local signage! Lots of info here: ... http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/state-electric-bicycle-laws-a-legislative-primer.aspx

 

Also, there are utility brands, which are designed as commuters or workhorses, and there are recreational brands that have lighter bikes that emphasize performance and fun over utility. The better ones feel just like a regular bike, but with magic power added to your legs. Which type you get depends on your personal desires and needs, but be aware of the major differences when shopping.

 

Some high end and/ or very powerful models are not legal to ride anywhere but off-road or on private property, unless you get them registered as a moped. OTH some of them like the Optibike are available "detuned" with software that limits their power and reduces the top speed... but any time you ride an 'exotic" model (untraditional styling) on pedestrian/ bike paths, you run the risk of getting stopped and questioned, and possible ticketed. In this situation a stealth bike that looks like a regular pedal bike would be a better choice. Riding this bike would not get you any bad looks from a cop unless you were speeding on a path through foot traffic;

 

[attachment file=Trek Domain+.jpg]

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Please keep your e-bikes on paved or gravel trails, regardless of what the law may say.

 

Our local trails club spends a disproportionate amount of time already repairing trails from inconsiderate or uneducated bikers in general, and the damage caused by e-bikes is 20 times worse.  The extra weight and torque of these bikes can destroy a trail in nothing flat.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland:

 

Are you referring to hiking trails, or designated off road bike trails?

 

RB


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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I assume if it's a designated bike trail that whomever maintains it will have considered the issue.

 

Hiking trails I assume would be off limits to bikes - that's my experience.

 

Our problem is mostly with multi-use trails.

 

The soil conditions are a big factor.  We have clay soil here that stays wet for long after a rain and is super susceptible to damage when wet.  That's where 90% of the damage comes from. I've read studies that say trail damage from eMTBs isn't much worse, but my guess is that it's down to the type of soil.  For our soil they're definitely worse, though nothing like what a horse can do of course.

 

 


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks for the reply Snowball.

 

Having used trails of all types, across the country, I agree, horses - in large groups-really can muck up a trail. My worst experience was in Bryce - lets just say they left a calling card with their soil disturbances.

 

I am sensitive to trail restrictions - and closings. As a former off road MC rider, who supported and maintained motorized use trails, I have my own thoughts about multiuse trails. I found there was usually one group that did the most damage, who did nothing to support the riding area.

 

Although nowadays we usually hike, I get aggravated not by trail conditions, but by the trash people leave behind. Just torques me off.  I prefer the harder trails for that reason.

 

I have really enjoyed some MTB trails - Moab comes to mind, just amazing riding and scenery, and the really cool Uwharrie area in NC - where damage is not an issue, but these are not groomed trails.

 

E-bikes appear to be the next thing up- it will be interesting to see how they progress in performance and how trail and off road areas deal with them.

 

RB

 

 

 

 


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I think a lot of the negativity about eMTBs from the MTB community is just fear of the unknown.  Everyone imagines hordes of new riders on the trails with no manners, terrorizing hikers, destroying the trails, and leaving a cloud of trash behind them.  And they're scared that if it becomes a problem that trails will get closed to all bikes rather than just eMTBs.  I'm sure that somewhere that will happen but I doubt it will be as widespread of a problem as people think.

 

Having said that, most of what we see around here that we think is eMTB damage is in fact from those new riders who don't know when to stay off the trails.  Or don't care - some people don't like a trail unless it's rutted and muddy.  There's always a contingent of riders here who complain when a trail is repaired.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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