A bicycle snob takes on an e-bike

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/11/cyclingebikesgadgetsurban-t.html

1 Like

Deep down, riding a bike as a primary means of transit over a car or public transportation is about sacrifice.

Or you know you could just ride your bike for fun and not have to deal with the things you mentioned plus the stigma that comes with being that guy/gal on the road. You know the one - the one who never so much as pauses at red lights, cuts off other cyclists, screams ON YOUR LEFT as a threat rather than a warning?

There are as many kinds of cyclists as there are bikes and it’s a personal pet peeve of mine when people insist their version of the hobby/sport/mode of transit is canonical.


also, bicycling isn’t my primary mode of transit because of sacrifice - it’s because cars are stupidly expensive and parking is hard to find and cycling is faster & more flexible than taking a bus for the distances I’m dealing with


32kmh speed limiter? What?

You are going to hit that all day long if you are in halfway decent shape. That is crazy. Should be at least 40kmh.


Clicking on the link and seeing the price has me like


Spoiler alert - these bad boys start at around $4K and go up from there.


Jeebus. For that I will just get another 400cc twist and go.


Oh no, we like the stigma too. All part of the noble SACRIFICE.

1 Like

“Eventually, you end up riding around on tires that are too skinny, with bars that are too low and a saddle that is too hard.”

Or, you know, not. My touring bike is a comfortable ride with reasonable tires and seat and makes an excellent all-weather commuting bike. There’s fenders and lights and a rack for carrying stuff and dynamo hub for power.

Cycling is only a pain if you are using the wrong setup for what you are trying to do.


I guess they are selling many different versions of e-bike now, so I’m just telling people to get off my lawn, but I’m shocked by the tires they put on some of the e-bikes I see around. I guess a fair number of people think they are going to ride down a sandy beach so want the 4 inch wide 20 pound tires? Or is that just to make sure they never actually just peddle and always use the electric?

Anyway, yea, they are kind of expensive. But the cheaper trek models are $2500. Which, you know, 1/10th the price of a used electric car.


The 4 inch wide tires are semi popular in Montreal. People seem to be able to use them successfully in moderately snowy/slushy weather. But, yeah, not appropriate for every season in every clime

Nah, 32 is just right for ebike limits (20mph for those of us saddled with absurd measurement systems). The point is that bike trails are not meant to be transformed into mini-motorcycle trails by the development of e-bikes. They are not designed for such speeds. E-bikes are already a fair bit heavier. Crash energy goes up with the square of speed.

If a few super-heroes are charging down the trail at 25:
A) They are proving themselves unusually healthy and thus hopefully quick of reflex.
B) At least we all get to look at their thighs.

If every middle aged duffer is doing it… we are going to start having regular fatal crashes on bike trails.


Biking is also a lot more environment friendly than a car.


That is a good looking bike.


I am a shoe snob. Whizzing by on bicycles seems like a cheat.

Real women walk.


You’ve probably seen those bumper stickers that say “My other car is a bike”…

Not owning a car, I’ve sometimes thought of making a sticker for my bicycle that says “My other bike is a pair of shoes” :smiley:


does the speed converion maths from mph

My ‘commuter’ bike is actually a hardtail MTB (I want the flexibility of having decent offroad capability for fun at the weekends too)
According to my little bike computer, i top out at roughly 32kmh freewheeling down a mild hill, so it’s not far off really. Maybe it could be a smidge higher but it wouldn’t be an issue at all for me.

40kmh+ might end up negatively hitting the battery life for little extra benefit on a wide-tyre bike IMHO, 40kmh would probably be good for a dedicated skinny tyre road bike though.

1 Like

Yeah that was my thinking. I do not average 25mph on my road bike, but I crack 20mph with some regularity. Same with my offroad bike on the downhill. In general it would drive me nuts getting speed limited on the downhill.


Yeah, but e-bikes are motorized. Shouldn’t the motorized bike let you go a bit faster than that? They should at least let you hit mo-ped speeds.

Deep down, riding a bike is about sacrifice, and that’s not a popular starting point for most people.

Well, for me and I guess a lot of people like me, a bike is about getting from A to B - in many cities, much faster than by car or bus. Copenhagen is an excellent example, it’s almost completely flat, it has bike lanes everywhere and the car and bus traffic is nuts.

Sacrifice? A car would be about sacrifice in such a place - sacrifice of peace of mind and a lot of money.


As far as i’m aware, it’s not a hard speed limit on the bike, just the power assist, i assume you could freewheel as fast as gravity/wind-resistance allows you to :slight_smile: (The extra wieght of an ebike could be a factor here :wink: )