Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 89 total)
  • E bike commuters- how’s it going?
  • jkomo
    Full Member

    Really interested in long commute experience- mine is 20 miles each way and a headwind slog getting home, mostly less than 15mph.
    The way in would largely be under my own power and is 18-20mph on a normal road bike. I know I’ll be slower in which is fine.
    I only ever managed 3 times in a week, but normally Once or twice, would the e-bike mean every day? Looking at cutting fuel costs (£50 a week) as well as increasing fitness. I’ve had a couple of mtb hospitalisations in the last year so I’m a fat **** right now. Just hit fifty and not willing to lean into it.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    You’re pretty much going to have to get used to riding at 15.5mph, because soon as the motor clicks off you’ve the weight of the bike to propel, so you really need to use higher(or is that lower, i always mix them up) gears to maintain your speed or to accelerate. So above 15.5mph it will provide a workout should you wish.

    But TBH after working a full day just pottering home is probably more than likely.

    Great into a headwind. Hills, especially as wind seemingly by nature is always heading down the hill 😆 but it makes than far far less of a slog. No more head down, forcing yourself on into the gusts, now sit upright, set to turbo and *overtake everyone 😀

    *Try not to smile when doing so, it just winds them up.

    What I do to maintain my speed is to (set to tour) bring it up till the motor clicks off, allow myself to coast till my speed drops to about 13-14mph, then back on the pedals for a bit of a boost to get back to max, which is really just a few revolutions, and so on and so forth. I’m not pedaling constantly, just now and again to maintain the top speed allowable.

    I wouldn’t bother de-restricting it to gain a few mph, you screw your warranty, and if god forbid you’re in an accident,involving a pedestrian, you’ll get hammered for being on an illegal bike.

    martymac
    Full Member

    I had a chip fitted to mine, to remove the limiter, worked ok, but had a catastrophic effect on battery life. Like halving it. Since removed.
    Most eco way is to sit on the speed limiter, I’ve tested this.
    Choose a gear where you can comfortably maintain your cadence.

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    I have a Trek Conduit – full ‘guards in built lights etc great for commuting but the 15.5mph did my head in initially as I was trying to ride it like my roadbike. I derestricted it but in the end I changed my route to avoid traffic and using the hillier back road route which suited the ebike better.

    jkomo
    Full Member

    So on the flat, it’s still hard to get above the limit?

    Daffy
    Full Member

    It’s not just the effort for every day. It’s the weather and the time. A commute in the car takes 20-30mins. A commute on the bike takes an hour + changing on either end.

    You’ll have to be realistic with yourself.

    My commute is 18 miles each way and I’ve only taken that car maybe 5 times in the past 4 years. But a large part of that comes from FORCING myself to MTFU (there are probably better, more correct terms these days, but hopefully you get the idea?), dress up and get out there even when it’s windy, wet or cold. I draw the line below minus 2 as this seems to be the temperature when you get proper ice on the roads.

    If you think you’ll do that, I have no doubt the ebike will make it easier.

    convert
    Full Member

    Agree with that. It’s the time and the weather/lethargy/feeling a bit under the weather or tired that stop me getting out the door. My head is definitely the weakest link of my 27 each way commute. On days when I’ve had no choice as the car was out of action or actually at work already I get out the door far easier.

    My commute is long and cold by anyone’s standards at this time of year. I find one way commutes are more sustainable (drive in ride home, ride in drive home, and repeat). An ebike ‘might’ get me beyond 50% but I’m not sure.

    simondbarnes
    Full Member

    1st lockdown and I decided to commute every day. It is 16-22 miles each way depending on route and I did it on my ebike. The ebike died after 3 months so I decided I’d carry on doing it on a normal bike. I managed a further month but I was pretty much dead after that so bought a new battery for my car (it didn’t like being sat unused for 4 months!) and started driving again.

    I’ve built a new ebike since then and now do a mix of car / ebike / normal bike commuting.

    As for going over 15 mph you’ll only do that if you buy a light (by ebike standards) e-road bike, otherwise you’ll just sit at the speed limit.

    mos
    Full Member

    I had a 6 month driving ban from July until December. Although I’m no stranger to commuting 15 miles each way 3 times per week, I bought a canyon endurace-on to give my legs a rest so could still train for the cx season on the days in between.

    Imo the bike kind ‘flattened’ the route, the assistance on the climbs made them an extension of the flats. But on the flats around 18mph, I was really conscious of not trying to accelerate when I didn’t need to as it was such a pig to get any response from.

    tom7044
    Full Member

    I use an ebike on a 13 mile commute normally 3 times a week, any more and I find my legs are still a bit pooped by the weekend for regular bike rides

    As others have said you will find best to just sit at the limit in a good cadence rather than push beyond but you will do this uphill and into headwind too so is probably still faster overall than a road bike and a lot less effort

    I used to use eco but found sitting at speed limit in emtb is efficient enough to get there and back for me and is more fun

    The nice thing is taking scenic or offroad routes on the way home on nice evenings or being able to detour to pick up shopping in town with panniers on way without the faff of parking so ticks off a job and breaks up the route

    Is about 2x time for me compared to driving but OK once you plan in the routine and is quicker once there with being able to just park the bike outside

    I bought a second hand hybrid ebike of ebay and is just used for commuting so have basic brakes and gears. I found that chains and rotors wear fast which I think is due to increased load and road grime. Not sure how I would feel if was a more expensive bike or components about using it so hard.

    One bonus of an ebike is the lights run off the battery so no need to worry about charging lights. Another is that seem to get much better driver behaviour on fast rural roads on a hybrid compared to when I used to do the same route and time on a road bike, I think is a combination of doing a consistent speed for them to pass and also just the look of carrying panniers and sitting more upright means they give wider berth.

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    My office is 20 odd miles away. Pre covid was a mix of drive to edge of town and ride the 11 miles through town and out the other side on 75% of the days and then ride the whole way for the other 25%.

    I didn’t want an ebike and used a touring bike of various types.

    During lockdown I realised that I wanted to eliminate much more car use so bought a Tern GSD. If we return to the office I intend to use that for most of my commuting and ride all the way most days.

    I have done 5000 miles on the GSD in the meantime. It’s great. I tend to ride in Sport or Turbo, get up to speed quickly and then ride around the cut off point. That way it seems to be quite economical on juice as the motor is mainly in the fade out zone on the flat and so not drawing the full sport/turbo power. In any tail wind or slight down hill I can keep it above the power assist.

    My thoughts:

    It is faster than my other bikes in hilly or mixed terrain and headwinds.
    It is way more fun to ride in hilly country. On the flat bits it is a bit umm… ‘flat’ to ride.
    I have looked after it quite well. But if you do high mileage you will eat through chains. I change my chain before the wear limit and I am still on the original cassette and drive sprocket.
    The GSD is a lump of a bike. I suspect a lighter bike with less inbuilt resistance when riding above the max assist speed would be faster.
    I live at the top of a 20% hill and after riding 20 miles home in the dark, the feeling of zipping up in turbo as great. It took me a while to admit that.
    It hasn’t spoilt the enjoyment of riding my mountain or bikepacking bikes.
    I don’t use my touring bike much now.
    I have double batteries on the GSD. I really like not having to think about range.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    What I do to maintain my speed is to (set to tour) bring it up till the motor clicks off, allow myself to coast till my speed drops to about 13-14mph, then back on the pedals for a bit of a boost to get back to max, which is really just a few revolutions, and so on and so forth. I’m not pedaling constantly, just now and again to maintain the top speed allowable.

    Clicking off sounds like a pain in the arse. Is there no way manufacturers could make it easy to sit smoothly at the limit?

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    Clicking off sounds like a pain in the arse.

    I should have been more descriptive, unless my point there was clearer than im inferring. Im not clicking it off as in shutting off the motor via a button, i stop pedaling and coast, turning the pedals again the motor automatically kicks in.

    I admit theres less tendency to use the gears unless its hilly or theres a bit of a headwind.

    Is there no way manufacturers could make it easy to sit smoothly at the limit?

    Well yes, i could depending on the conditions, choose a lower speed cog, and be continuous in pedaling with the motor constantly on. lower cadence, lower gear, on the flat for example would have the motor on all the time.

    What i think im really doing is conserving the battery to some degree, but also ive a vascular issue, so by continuing to pump with the legs it means less blood flowing, which in turn presents its own problems like a frozen foot,a build up of lactic acid, which is uncomfortable to say the least.

    jkomo
    Full Member

    Okay this all sounds promising.

    chevychase
    Free Member

    It all sounds like people hate to push with their legs!

    If it gets you out of a car then great. If you want to get fit commuting it seems part-pedalling so you don’t have to push past the 15 5mph limit is ‘de rigeur’.

    Whatevz. Boats to float and all that. But can we finally call them motorbikes now?

    julians
    Full Member

    But can we finally call them motorbikes now?

    yawn – you call them whatever you like

    StuE
    Full Member

    I would probably be looking at something like Ribbles hybrid range
    https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-hybrid-al-e-fully-loaded/
    Or maybe one of their e gravel bikes, a lot lighter than an emtb and more suited to regular commuting

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    My ebike commute is only short so it’s quite a different experience as it’s a 10 minute sprint at the shortest with about half on tarmac to a 30 minute long way via some more technical trails. I don’t find the Levo any worse above 15.5mph on road than a normal MTB on the same tyres. Uphill, where the weight makes a difference, it’s rare to stay above the cut-out speed for long so then you get the motor to help. Strong headwinds are no longer hell. I always take the hilliest routes possible now.

    If you’re using max assist whilst pedalling soft I’d say it’s similar effort to going for a leisurely stroll. Obviously you can pedal harder, and as my commute is short I usually do – downside of pedalling hard on the road in turbo is I destroy drivetrains. Shimano 11 speed cassettes tend to last 600-1000 miles. I tried a Microshift one recently and 8th, 9th and 10th started skipping within 200 miles even though the chain wasn’t appreciably worn. But with a longer commute I can’t see that being such an issue.

    The less I wear when commuting, the harder I tend to pedal – there’s more windchill on an ebike.

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    That Ribble hybrid looks great!

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    Clicking off sounds like a pain in the arse. Is there no way manufacturers could make it easy to sit smoothly at the limit?

    Mine is 1st generation Shimano Steps6000 – it abruptly cuts off at 15.5mph, I dont know what 2nd/3rd gen drives are like.

    Hopefully a critical mass of cyclists is the one good thing to come out of Ukraine/high oil prices.

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    It all sounds like people hate to push with their legs!

    If it gets you out of a car then great. If you want to get fit commuting it seems part-pedalling so you don’t have to push past the 15 5mph limit is ‘de rigeur’.

    Whatevz. Boats to float and all that. But can we finally call them motorbikes now?

    What a strange comment.

    Read the posts. You can push beyond the limit and it works fine in the right conditions.

    You can still get fit riding an ebike. Especially when compared with driving a car.

    The primary purpose of commuting is to get you to work. If you can’t cycle the whole distance to work on a non ebike then surely it is better to ride an ebike than drive.

    You can call them whatever you like but surely it is better to encourage ebikes than to make ‘clever’ remarks about a mode of transport that has the potential to displace car use, keep people fit and make them happy.

    I guess from your stance that you don’t drive a car which is admirable. I am afraid that I do (in part due to where I live) but I am a near obsessed cyclist and it dawned on me that by resisting getting an ebike I was driving my car more than I needed to.

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    Mine is 1st generation Shimano Steps6000 – it abruptly cuts off at 15.5mph, I dont know what 2nd/3rd gen drives are like.

    Second Gen Bosch on my bike and it fades out nicely rather than cutting out.

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    i made a thread about this a while ago, had plenty of good advice….

    Commuter E-Bike – Give me some advice!

    Its still on my mind and my intentions to start commuting. And am still considering an E-Commuter to do it on. i very much like the look of the specialized Vado’s…

    https://www.evolution-bikes.co.uk/bikes/electric-bikes/2021-specialized-turbo-vado-sl-40-eq-electric-hybrid-bike-in-white__2644?currency=GBP&chosenAttribute=93920-5302

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    Its still on my mind and my intentions to start commuting. And am still considering an E-Commuter to do it on. i very much like the look of the specialized Vado’s…

    https://www.evolution-bikes.co.uk/bikes/electric-bikes/2021-specialized-turbo-vado-sl-40-eq-electric-hybrid-bike-in-white__2644?currency=GBP&chosenAttribute=93920-5302

    That looks like a nice bike but I’d try it before you buy it if you can.

    For a daily commute of 13 miles on flat terrain I think you would be best with a bike that runs nicely above the cut out speed. I know Fazua bikes do that. That Specialized may well do so; but you would want to make sure unless you are happy to stay around the cut off speed.

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    yeah, that was part of the debate on my thread, the cut-off and whether it would be a hindrance.

    tho its easy to assume i can ride above 15.5mph sitting behind my computer 😛

    Would defo like to try some E-commuters, but easier said than done!

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    “ Second Gen Bosch on my bike and it fades out nicely rather than cutting out.”

    Second Gen Brose on my Levo and it’s similarly seamless – it actually takes into account your rate of acceleration to make the transition as smooth as possible. Also the drag with the power off (at any speed) is minimal – I frequently ride mine on a group night ride where it’s usually the only ebike, so for the two hours that I’m with the group I leave the power off and it’s fine – a bit heavy uphill but that’s the only downside I notice vs my previous full-sus.

    thecaptain
    Free Member

    My wife has a Ribble e-gravel bike and loves it. It’s hilly round here and while she is fairly fit and strong she goes on much more ambitious rides than she’d do on pure pedal power. Says it’s great to know she can get home comfortably without grovelling up the last few hills.

    For 20 miles of flat commuting, I’d consider getting a derestricted e-bike and ride at 20mph with assistance. 15mph would be just a bit too tedious. Hilly, it would be fine in legal condition.

    iainc
    Full Member

    I don’t commute by bike, but if I did I’d likely use my eroad bike, rather than eMTB. I have a Spesh Creo SL and it looks and feels like a regular road bike, albeit weighs a little more. Easy to ride along at 18 – 20 mph and get a bit of a push on the hills

    jkomo
    Full Member

    I think I’ll take the plunge, a gravel or hybrid so I can take the off-road route as well if I fancy it.
    So the Ribble or others I should look at as well?
    Edit- that spesh looks ace

    Superficial
    Free Member

    I commute by (non-e) bike but I’m curious whether an eBike would make the journey more enjoyable. Specifically in the depths of a dark, wet, winter I sometimes really dislike riding.

    If I had an eBike, I’m imagining I’d sweat less, so I’d be able to wear more layers so I wouldn’t need to start off freezing, plus I could wear full waterproofs. Would all that make life better? Or is wet weather still just as miserable on an eBike (presumably with added self-loathing)?

    simondbarnes
    Full Member

    Or is wet weather still just as miserable on an eBike

    It certainly isn’t pleasant. I try and avoid it.

    tom7044
    Full Member

    I have a cannondale tesoro neo x from a few years ago and has been great for me. It looks like they still sell a similar model but with a newer version of bosch motor. I got it to try simply because was nearby and cheap on ebay but having now used it one nice feature is that it can fit 29 mountain bike tyres which is handy if looking at any use on forest roads or fields.

    I did look around at newer bikes recently to try to get a bigger battery and found the cube nuride hybrid was very similar design but in the end decided could not justify the spend just to get a bit more battery life but looked good and felt well built. I would not worry too much on the drivetrain spec because will get worn quick so better to have cheap replacements than slightly better shifts and wider range for me.

    I know someone with the orbea vibe and is a lot neater set up than mine and is significantly lighter but lacks the suspension and wide tyre clearance and has lower overall assist levels. It did come with a nice pannier though.

    gowerboy
    Full Member

    I used to commute in all weathers before COVID and whilst the worst weather was less fun than good weather, I nearly always preferred it to not riding.

    I am still working from home but using my GSD for a load of ‘utility’ journeys. In wet and windy weather it does take some of the discomfort out of a journey because you can wear heavier wet weather gear and fight wind and hills more easily. I sometimes ride in wellies and it’s fine.

    iainc
    Full Member

    If I had an eBike, I’m imagining I’d sweat less, so I’d be able to wear more layers so I wouldn’t need to start off freezing, plus I could wear full waterproofs. Would all that make life better? Or is wet weather still just as miserable on an eBike (presumably with added self-loathing)?

    when I’m on my ebike, I ride at the same HR as on a regular bike, I just tend to be going a bit faster

    jkomo
    Full Member

    The thing is, I really want to do it more for my mental health- being stuck in a car for 45 mins then in the shop all day, then car without breathing fresh air or being outside is no good for me. I used to leave so early for work id avoid the traffic then go to the gym, so the ride in would replace that. When I get home after driving I pretty much collapse on the sofa, riding home I’m buzzing, but the 39 mile round trip is too much everyday.
    I’m going to set up ride to work and buy one.

    Superficial
    Free Member

    when I’m on my ebike, I ride at the same HR as on a regular bike, I just tend to be going a bit faster

    For my commute, a (restricted) eBike would be faster on all but the gentlest inclines but (quite a lot) slower on the flat bits. Any sustained downhill bits (i.e mainly freewheeling) would be similar, I’d imagine.

    I’ve done the mental math(s) and even if I sit at 15.5mph on the uphill bits, I’d still be slower overall on an eBike I think. There wouldn’t be much in it, anyway, but it would be easier.

    The comment above about battling wind/rain is more what I meant.

    alan1977
    Free Member

    this has had me thinking… due to a change of circumstances im unable to night ride, and can only ride 1 day a week on my mtb
    so i want to commute a lot more.. i like the ride on my gravel hybrid thing.. it take s a few mins more than driving (9.2m ride 10.5m drive) but im guranteeed to get to and from without traffic being an issue.
    however.. i have a narrwo window of time to get both ways.. and last night i was hit by a headwind which added a chunk of time to my ride…
    my ride has two climbs were i drop to way below the 15.5mph restriction, so ebike win. i also clacualted that sitting at the restriction id still be quicker by a decent margin overall, disreguarding that 50% of the time i ride beyond that speed happily, so im thinking a bout a fazua based bike…as apparently zero drag when beyond the limit, however th cheaper bikes also seem to be coming with the mahle hub setup.. not sure how well that rides beyond the restriction?
    Also thinking, as above, in less optimal weather id be happy to chuck waterproofs on and either up the assist or pace myself more…..

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    those that do currently commute, how do you carry stuff? IE your lunch, work clothes, whatever else you need? Panniers or a back pack?

    Panniers make sense to me, to avoid a sweaty back, but having never used any, i could be wrong!

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    “For my commute, a (restricted) eBike would be faster on all but the gentlest inclines but (quite a lot) slower on the flat bits.”

    Is that because the ebike would have slower tyres and/or worse aero?

    alan1977
    Free Member

    Would also like to know how you carry stuff?
    id like to sort my commuter out with a permanently bagged up set of wet weather gear.. on a bar bag maybe? i have a set of clothes at work i rotate in and out so dont need to carry that, likewise my food lives in work

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