Electric mtn bike; what should I look for ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Electric mtn bike; what should I look for ?

    Hi, I'm new to mountain biking. In Ottawa area near Gatineau Hills, Quebec, Canada.

    I bought a recumbent bike 7 years ago, and converted it to electric with a 1.7 HP front hub motor. Wonderful speed, 35+ MPH, handling and some other issues were subpar however.

    Bought a $15 20" wheel "Triumph Rave" kids mtn bike for my son from thrift store, but he needs to grow another year or two for it, so I tried the motor on this bike. Works wonderfully, but a bit small. Added a longer seat post, and a comfortable seat, and some bar ends and it's not too bad, but I really need an adult bike I guess.

    I'm looking to buy something inexpensive used, like in the $100-$600 range or so, to add my electrics to. I see some XC bikes well reviewed in the $300-$600 range new. At this point, I don't even know too well the differences between XC, DH, All Mtn etc.

    My first thoughts were just that I needed a bike that does well in city, as well as dirt/mud/gravel roads. But heck, Gatineau Hills mountain bike trails start almost at the end of my street a few miles away, so maybe I should try some "real mtn biking". But my priority is comfort and safety on streets and mild trails, as well as electric compatibility.


    For electric biking, I don't need good gears or shifters. I mostly pedal only if electrics die or batteries run out, and I have 30-40 mile range now, so I don't run out of batteries much anymore. An internally geared rear hub would be fine.

    I DO need a front shock that is compatible with a wheel that weighs about 16 pounds with integrated hub motor. Will also have about 30 pounds of batteries probably strapped to middle of bike, so a bigger triangle frame space would be good to reduce width of battery pack.

    Comfort is important for me. Rear shock bouncing on pedal up hills is not a concern, as hopefully I won't be pedalling, although sometimes I do a bit to help save batteries.

    Front fork dropouts need to be STRONG and 10 mm, in order to handle the torque from motor (both go torque and electric braking reverse torque). For ebiking, it's best to use steel fork without quick release lawyer lips.

    It would be nice to have tires/tubes that are highly resistant to puncture, and that have good grip, at least for the relatively mild biking this 45 yo guy does. Low rolling resistance would be nice if I can get that along with good ride, traction, and puncture resistance, but LRR is a lesser priority than those others. I go about 30 MPH maximum.


    So can anyone help me with recommendations on bike type, or models or general advice etc ? Thanks much !

  2. #2
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    electric bikes have about as much to do with mountain biking as golf carts have to do with hiking.

  3. #3
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    Why not just man up and pedal the damn thing? Sorry if I sound harsh, but you're essentially telling us that you'll be building a motocross bike to ride on mountain bike trails, which is a terrible idea as you'll just shred themup much like a dirt bike would.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley
    Why not just man up and pedal the damn thing? Sorry if I sound harsh, but you're essentially telling us that you'll be building a motocross bike to ride on mountain bike trails, which is a terrible idea as you'll just shred themup much like a dirt bike would.
    Well I have no intention of damaging any trails. I'm not really expecting to use REAL mtn bike trails, just mild ones (perhaps best described as gravel paths?), and dirt roads and street. If the rules prevent me from ebiking there or if it damages the trails, I won't go there. Not looking for a fight or to diminish any one elses experience.

    Really, unless I'm on the throttle at full power, full time, I don't see how I'd do any more "damage" to the trails than human powered mtn bikers. If my motor output is same as, or less than, human muscle output (say 200-400 watts or 0.25-0.5 HP with throttling), then I should "damage" same as, or less than a human powered bike.

    So please don't assume that an electric motor must be more damaging than a human motor. Yes, my bike will weigh about 50 pounds more, but I'm only about 170, so no worse than a 220 pound rider on 30 pound bike. Yes, my bike will be more CAPABLE of damaging trails, but since I'm much more interested in battery range than power output, I think trail wear and tear will be comparable to or less than human power. My car has more power (110 HP) than I need for legal speeds, and can tear up grass pretty bad if I run it on grass. But I don't; I'm a responsible driver and don't speed "excessively" and don't do burnouts, on grass, etc. Would be same with bike.

    Sp yeah, let's just say I'm not looking to do real mtn biking, but I do want an inexpensive mtn tyoe bike that is for road use and that doesn't come from a dept. store.

    Is this site JUST about mountain BIKING, and not about mtn BIKES too ? I want a mtn type bike, so I thought I came to a good place to get advice. Are there any other sites that better cater to the casual, average biker who likes mountain bike capabilities, but wants something better than dept. store ?

    BTW, IMO 1.7 HP isn't much, and I rarely use that much power. On bike paths (where it IS completely legal to ride my electric bike) I often do lower speed "tourist" runs maxing at about 15 MPH.

    I'll also point out that I'm not averse to pedalling; electric can be nice even if you only use the motor for getting up nasty 10+% inclines. The motor encourages me to go out biking, when otherwise I'd sit at home, saving my poor creaking 45 yr old bones from the REALLY long and steep hills in my area.

    Thanks !
    Last edited by mikereidis; 09-06-2008 at 08:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikereidis
    For electric biking, I don't need good gears or shifters. I mostly pedal only if electrics die or batteries run out, and I have 30-40 mile range now, so I don't run out of batteries much anymore. An internally geared rear hub would be fine.
    I'll also point out that I'm not averse to pedalling; electric can be nice even if you only use the motor for getting up nasty 10+% inclines. The motor encourages me to go out biking, when otherwise I'd sit at home, saving my poor creaking 45 yr old bones from the REALLY long and steep hills in my area.

    Thanks !
    you contradict yourself.

    get off your lazy ass and pedal.

    oh by the way, I'm 45 also...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kattywhumpus
    you contradict yourself.

    get off your lazy ass and pedal.

    oh by the way, I'm 45 also...

    Thank you so much for your priceless advice.

    This is a really friendly site I see, with so many nice people.

    Have a nice day to you too.

  7. #7
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    Some non-motorized users have no concept of throttle control. You can either shred the trails or smoothly apply power and cruise allong with as little impact as a pedal bike. I moto almost as much as I pedal and unless it's a loose uphill you can't even see my tracks. I'm waiting for the Gen 2 Zero X electric dirtbike.
    P.S. Horses have no throttle control and weigh more. They leave more tracks than my dirtbike does. Any trail that's open to horses is fair game on my dirtbike.

  8. #8
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    I'm 56, got in about 800 miles of trail riding last year...all above 6000 feet....there are PLENTY of 60 year olds who can kick my a#s. An electric bike may be an interesting hobby, but I think this site is populated by folks who are more interested in human power. An electric bike wont do much for your cardio, muscle developement, or give you the feeling of accomplishment that Mtn biking provides.
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  9. #9

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    Just because you don't want to pedal doesn't mean I'll give you **** about it.

    You may want to look into a downhill bike. It will be expensive, but it will handle any amount of power you can put out with a hub motor. The frame will be beefy enough to hold batteries etc, and it will be a VERY comfortable ride. Save up some more money. It will be a fun little bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt
    Some non-motorized users have no concept of throttle control. You can either shred the trails or smoothly apply power and cruise allong with as little impact as a pedal bike. I moto almost as much as I pedal and unless it's a loose uphill you can't even see my tracks. I'm waiting for the Gen 2 Zero X electric dirtbike.
    P.S. Horses have no throttle control and weigh more. They leave more tracks than my dirtbike does. Any trail that's open to horses is fair game on my dirtbike.
    Thanks Lelandjt. One of my points exactly.

    There are a number of horse paths and ATV paths in my neighbourhood, and I'm sure nobody is going to give me a hassle on those, especially at my lower speeds.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeboater
    An electric bike may be an interesting hobby,
    Yes, it is, to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joeboater
    but I think this site is populated by folks who are more interested in human power.
    OK. Would be nice if they could all be as polite as you. Whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joeboater
    An electric bike wont do much for your cardio, muscle developement, or give you the feeling of accomplishment that Mtn biking provides.
    My unpowered bike was sitting in my garage all summer until I added the motor. Now I ride everyday, and when I'm not testing the "pure electric range", I pedal uphills. I will pedal more when I get a mtn bike sized properly for me. Currently I'm riding a kids bike (as an experiment and because it was handy with the same motor wheel size as my recumbent). Yes, it's a pain pedalling a kids bike. Yes, pedalling was a pleasure, and gave my "bored cold feet" something to do, on my recumbent.

    I'm all for exercise, but I'd challenge the AVERAGE board member here to do what I did the week before installing my motor: Ride 50 KM with 2 kids: 3 and 6 in a trailer that weighs 110+ pounds fully loaded. Total weight of me, bike, kids, trailer and cargo were 320 pounds. I rode that thing up several 10% inclines, on the same day I had to deal with two young kids in the parks we stopped at. And it was VERY hot and humid. Do you have young kids ? Do you know how much energy it takes to keep them under control ?

    Not looking to start any pithing contest here, but please don't assume you know everything about me, like my medical conditions etc. or the way I ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCrimson
    Just because you don't want to pedal doesn't mean I'll give you **** about it.

    You may want to look into a downhill bike. It will be expensive, but it will handle any amount of power you can put out with a hub motor. The frame will be beefy enough to hold batteries etc, and it will be a VERY comfortable ride. Save up some more money. It will be a fun little bike.
    Thanks KingCrimson. As mentioned previously, I can and do enjoy some pedalling exercise, but I'm not big on killing myself on long steep inclines (especially with 110 + lbs of trailer and kids) or contorting my legs on this "experimental kids bike".

    I'll keep my eye open for half-decent used DH bikes within my price range; say $600 max. I don't expect more than the 1.7 HP I already have, probably a bit less for the motor I will get for 26" wheel. And I rarely use the full power; mostly on hills.

    Comfort I could use. I presume DH bikes have relatively soft suspensions with long travel to give this comfort level.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikereidis
    Comfort I could use. I presume DH bikes have relatively soft suspensions with long travel to give this comfort level.
    Yes.
    In most cases the space within the frame is full of rear shock and levers for the rear suspension, so there would not be a lot of space for batteries there.... How much space do you need? Lead batteries, LiPo, or something in between?

    DH bikes are usually pretty expensive.

  14. #14
    don't thread on me
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    Gotta agree with the previous posters mikereidis, you need to quit whining about your old bones, get off your rear, and start pedaling. This is MTBR, not an old folks forum.

    Perhaps you should save yourself (and us) a lot of time and just consider one of these:

    power_chair_jazzy_1170xlplus_details.jpg

    or maybe this:

    180px-Motorroller_01_KMJ.jpg
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  15. #15

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    I don't see why so many people are giving Mike crap for his hobby. It should not matter to anyone else what he does with his time/money/bike. He enjoys fitting a motor to his bike and sure seems responsible enough to not go on trails where motors are prohibited - so more power to him!

    Mike, I don't think you'll need to go to the extreme of a DH bike, as they really are quite expensive. You could probably find a decent and used full suspension cross country (XC) bike and then just slowly save up for the best shocks you can buy. That'll give you a more than compliant ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikereidis
    Thank you so much for your priceless advice.

    This is a really friendly site I see, with so many nice people.

    Have a nice day to you too.
    This is a friendly sight, if you are looking for advice on mountain biking. You are not. Go post on the electric scooter forums or something.

    I agree with others... get on a bike and pedal (not just when your batteries die).

  17. #17
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    I say....

    ... look for a 700c wheeled comfort bike... maybe even with disc brake tabs. I wouldn't be too concerned about dropout strength. I'll be any disc brake can out torque your electric motor 5 to 1.

    a 700c wheel will roll way better than a fat tire 26er wheel. Get like 40c tires.

    I have to say, tho. Electric bikes are a great alternative to cars, but not good for actually gettin exercise.... unless you are forced to pedal those extra 20 pounds up a hill because your battery is dead.

    I mean, IMO, you're better off pedaling if you can. I occasionally ride with a mountinan biker who is 72 years old. You just have to think about how your bones got 'old', and I'll bet looking for the easy way to get around on a bike might have had something to do with it.

  18. #18
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    The joys of mountain biking (at least in my opinion) come from using your own power to conquer mother nature's obstacles. The sense of satisfaction you feel when you get to the top of a nasty climb, you won't get from anything powered by a motor. And I guarantee you'll be doing zero pedaling on a bike that has 30lbs of batteries strapped to it. Plus, mountain biking's health benefit goes right down the $hitter and you're left with something that really isn't comparable to mountain biking at all. The argument that adding a motor got you riding again is a moot point, since you're really not doing anything. The point of riding, is pedaling: that's what bicycling is. Considering this is a site about mountain biking, you have to realize that you'll warrant some hostile responses. I consider non-human power (particularly in your case) to be a form of cheating.
    Last edited by Berkley; 09-07-2008 at 09:11 AM.
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    My God! They guy came asking for help on finding a bike to retrofit. You would think he came here saying he is looking to end the sport of mountain biking! Think about it, it gets him moving to atleast retrofit it. Do you think a kid on a bike is gonna see him go by and think they found a lazy way to get out of peddling? At the very least it might get a kid seeing him zoom by and the kid will wanna ride his bike fast. I would never retrofit my bike but then again I do like the idea of messing with electronics.

    As for previous comments about a DH bike being expensive they are right. Either you will want to go used for a full suspension XC bike or get a hardtail. Stick with a good name brand bike as a start.

  20. #20
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    My two cents...

    Ditch all suspension and buy a steel bike that will get you most of what you want. You can pick up a new bike for around $400-$500.

    An internally geared hub will run you more than the cost of the bike (in your price range). Your fork spacing is up to you. Mountain bikes are standard widths (different than road bikes).

    Check out www.surlybikes.com


    Hope this helps.

  21. #21
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    ^^ One thing to consider when you add a motor is that the driving wheel needs to have constant contact with the ground for the smoothest ride. Think of a motocross bike, 10" + travel to keep that wheel to the ground. When it does bounce up over ruts or whoops, the bike gets really squirrelly. Since you are effectively building an electric powered motorcycle, I would look towards a bike with good suspension and a strong frame. Like the DH rigs people have suggested.

    I think it is an interesting project. Electric motors are fairly efficient, taking little electricity to fully recharge. No other emissions, low noise, and enjoying the outdoors are worthy goals. Good luck and post pictures when you get them.

  22. #22
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    I would never even consider what you're doing, but try finding a used Specialized Big Hit. You can get a used one for under $1000 which is still expensive, and definitely overkill for a gravel path. Not only do I ride my hardtail with 3" of travel on gravel paths, but I also use my legs to pedal it.

    If you want some more positive opionions, bikeforums.net has an E-bike section that would grant a lot more usable responses.

    Here is a Big Hit currently on ebay.

  23. #23

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    My dad (65ish) mountainbikes all the time with my brother and me. He rode the mountains in Colorado with us this year, part of which was Keystone DH (though he stuck with green/blue trails.) For the most part, he does everything we do.

    He also took an old (department store) full suspension mountain bike and put an electric motor on it -- exactly like the original poster is talking about. He rides it into town to save on gas money... (although i suspect it's just more of a hobby and the gas is just an excuse.) He rides off-road where convenient.
    He works out for about an hour daily on top of his active hobbies/job so it's certainly not a matter of laziness -- more often than not it's HIM pushing US to bike or rollerblade or do anything active.

    My advice to the original poster would be to grab the cheapest bike you can find and go for it. Mountain bikes aren't designed for anything close to what you have in mind and a simple trail bike would be just as good if not better. You already know what details you have to consider.
    I think part of the problem with the type of responses is that no one here has any idea what you are talking about. You're already the expert here. (IMO - I might be totally off-base and we have a bunch of electric conversion experts here, but it doesn't sound like it.)
    The bike after conversion will be totally worthless on any "mountain bike trail." You'd be better off walking a street bike on the trails than "riding" your electric mountain bike.
    Hope that helps.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mondaycurse
    bikeforums.net has an E-bike section that would grant a lot more usable responses.
    That is the most constructive ideas so far: better find people who have a real interest in what you want to do.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarfieldOne
    My God! They guy came asking for help on finding a bike to retrofit. You would think he came here saying he is looking to end the sport of mountain biking! Think about it, it gets him moving to atleast retrofit it. Do you think a kid on a bike is gonna see him go by and think they found a lazy way to get out of peddling? At the very least it might get a kid seeing him zoom by and the kid will wanna ride his bike fast. I would never retrofit my bike but then again I do like the idea of messing with electronics.

    As for previous comments about a DH bike being expensive they are right. Either you will want to go used for a full suspension XC bike or get a hardtail. Stick with a good name brand bike as a start.
    Thanks for the response GarfieldOne, and all the other polite responders.

    Yes, I came to this site, because it looked like it was full of mountain bike experts who could help me. Site is called Mountain Bike Review, not Mountain BIKING review. Have to admit the home page says at bottom: "A Site by Mountain Bikers for Mountain Bikers" and many here would never consider me a mountain biker if I use a motor, even occasionally, and there seems to be an assumption by some that I lie about pedalling. Whatever.

    I asked this question on THE electric biking site at http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...php?f=3&t=6286 and got few responses, but one seemed decent: Recommended was a steel frame late 1990s Trek 930, 950 or 970, with FS and seatpost shock. Saw one on ebay for $200 with shipping included.


    If anyone wants to laugh (and frankly I laugh too ) at my current "experimental prototype" cheap kids mountain bike my thread on this is at http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...php?f=6&t=6224 . Just make it "nice" laughing OK ?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    Yes.
    In most cases the space within the frame is full of rear shock and levers for the rear suspension, so there would not be a lot of space for batteries there.... How much space do you need? Lead batteries, LiPo, or something in between?

    DH bikes are usually pretty expensive.
    Yeah, no DH bike for me unless it's rather used, old and cheap.

    I'm using the latest, greatest Lithium Manganese batteries and just took the cells out of cases and saved half the volume and some weight. So currently my first 4 batteries are about 14 cm by 6.5cm by 6.5cm. My second 4 batts are the same.

    Someone suggested to me a suspended seat instead of rear shock, for battery placement issues and I'm agreeing.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    ^^ One thing to consider when you add a motor is that the driving wheel needs to have constant contact with the ground for the smoothest ride. Think of a motocross bike, 10" + travel to keep that wheel to the ground. When it does bounce up over ruts or whoops, the bike gets really squirrelly. Since you are effectively building an electric powered motorcycle, I would look towards a bike with good suspension and a strong frame. Like the DH rigs people have suggested.

    I think it is an interesting project. Electric motors are fairly efficient, taking little electricity to fully recharge. No other emissions, low noise, and enjoying the outdoors are worthy goals. Good luck and post pictures when you get them.

    Thanks.

    If I was only interested in powered travel, I'd remove the pedals, chains, etc. I won't; I want an "electric/muscle hybrid", for various reasons.

    With regen, you can get energy back on downhills (and lower speeds), or even use your muscles to generate electricity. Would be interesting to have a bike that never needs to be plugged in, but just stores muscle and downhill energy for use getting back up hills.

    Nobody here is being forced to read this thread. If you don't like electric bikes, don't read ! That simple.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikereidis
    ....Would be interesting to have a bike that never needs to be plugged in, but just stores muscle and downhill energy for use getting back up hills...
    I have such a bike. I call it "my bike."

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RageF
    My advice to the original poster would be to grab the cheapest bike you can find and go for it. Mountain bikes aren't designed for anything close to what you have in mind and a simple trail bike would be just as good if not better. You already know what details you have to consider.
    I think part of the problem with the type of responses is that no one here has any idea what you are talking about. You're already the expert here. (IMO - I might be totally off-base and we have a bunch of electric conversion experts here, but it doesn't sound like it.)
    The bike after conversion will be totally worthless on any "mountain bike trail." You'd be better off walking a street bike on the trails than "riding" your electric mountain bike.
    Hope that helps.
    OK, thanks, I'll look at "trail bikes" also. Already have the "cheapest bike"; a $15 Salvation Army kids bike. But I will scout the local used bike shops and ask for advice. There's a TON of used bikes out there at a fraction of the cost of new.

    "Real Mountain Biking" was never my original intention. Just seems that "Mountain TYPE bikes" are often better suited to off-road etc. and I know there are lots of mtn bike trails close to my home, so I thought I might try some of that.

    Perhaps I'll try pedal power for at least a week or two before I motorize. Of course some will accuse me of lying about that. Whatever.

    Anyway, thanks much to all the peace loving, open minded responders here.

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    I agree with quote.... I weigh 260 my daughter was 60 my son 40 the bike trailer and seat were probablly an additional 40 lbs or so. oh plus the 20 lb cooler of snacks and drinks my wife had riding along in the trailer...... 3 years ago we were riding 40 miles on a trip (sorry not into those KM things) felt dead for sure but felt a sense of accomplishment.


    Sean
    would of been much easier to take them on a 40 mile drive

    Probably couldn't do it now... even more out of shape then I was....






    I'm all for exercise, but I'd challenge the AVERAGE board member here to do what I did the week before installing my motor: Ride 50 KM with 2 kids: 3 and 6 in a trailer that weighs 110+ pounds fully loaded. Total weight of me, bike, kids, trailer and cargo were 320 pounds. I rode that thing up several 10% inclines, on the same day I had to deal with two young kids in the parks we stopped at. And it was VERY hot and humid. Do you have young kids ? Do you know how much energy it takes to keep them under control ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikereidis
    Thanks for the response GarfieldOne, and all the other polite responders.

    Yes, I came to this site, because it looked like it was full of mountain bike experts who could help me. Site is called Mountain Bike Review, not Mountain BIKING review. Have to admit the home page says at bottom: "A Site by Mountain Bikers for Mountain Bikers" and many here would never consider me a mountain biker if I use a motor, even occasionally, and there seems to be an assumption by some that I lie about pedalling. Whatever.

    I asked this question on THE electric biking site at http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...php?f=3&t=6286 and got few responses, but one seemed decent: Recommended was a steel frame late 1990s Trek 930, 950 or 970, with FS and seatpost shock. Saw one on ebay for $200 with shipping included.


    If anyone wants to laugh (and frankly I laugh too ) at my current "experimental prototype" cheap kids mountain bike my thread on this is at http://endless-sphere.com/forums/vie...php?f=6&t=6224 . Just make it "nice" laughing OK ?
    Ohhhh man. That first picture...try to stay out of the rain, would ya?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikereidis
    Thanks.



    Nobody here is being forced to read this thread. If you don't like electric bikes, don't read ! That simple.
    its not really a bicycle anymore if you put batteries anymore. its like playing fishing video games rather than really going fishing
    "If women don't find handsome , they should at least find you handy."-Red Green

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuck_chorris
    its not really a bicycle anymore if you put batteries anymore. its like playing fishing video games rather than really going fishing
    Isn't this the electric bike forum? I've never seen one I liked (maybe the Grubber I read about a minute ago), but I'd love to have an electric assist going up hills so I could go further.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  34. #34
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    Good to here at least some people come to the electric bicycle forum to talk about electric bikes. Seems that many think this is the "Roast people for riding electric bikes" forum.

    My dad is in his late 60's, had a bad accident on his bicycle, and because of complications due to his life threatening head injury, cannot drive a car.

    He lacked the strength, balance and confidence to ride his bicycle even about a year after the accident.

    One day he started learning about fuel cell powered bicycles, and then electric bikes. His renewed interest gave him a new passion for biking.

    When he first started riding again, he fell down A LOT and he didn't have the option of just riding a regular bike. Now that he has built up his strength some from riding, he can handle pedaling with out power.

    The sad fact is, anyone who hasn't ridden an electric bicycle really doesn't realize that most of the time, your working just as hard or harder pedaling if your trying to get any speed. Geared motors that freewheel are an exception, but the most common E-Bikes are Direct Drive (DD) and the magnets make up a lot of rolling resistance, not to mention the added weight. of a 15lb+ motor and 20-30lbs of batteries. There is a point where the bike becomes so heavy that someone on a regular bicycle is faster until they have enough battery power to over-come the extra weight.

    The average kit starts you off with lead acid batteries that weight a ton, and until your willing to spend the big bucks ($600+) on a decent battery, your working harder than the average bicyclist to get anything over 20MPH, even going down gentle hills.

    These really are just a hobby, anyone doing serious commuting will do better with gas power until the technology matures.

    Yes, there are those who make what I like to call "Ultralight Motorcycles" and go to ridiculous speeds, and as far as the law is concerned, those are not legal E-Bikes to begin with.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't like the guys who make a mess of trails either, but don't assume that just because someone is using a motor that they will. There are plenty of people doing that with regular bikes and getting trails closed because they abuse them.

    Until you have experienced an E-Bike, don't assume they are just "scooters". I haven't electrified my Nishiki yet, and I have been doing regular biking on good jaunts, but to some I will be "cheating" when I do.

    I will be using a light geared rear hub motor with minimal batteries for just a little help going up some monster hills and I don't plan on ever not pedaling.

    Will I be "cheating" too when after I have a bout of fatigue and can I barely have the strength to stand up much less pedal home?

    I have Fibromyalgia, but I guess to some that means I need to stay off "their" bike paths and stay home or buy an electric wheel chair.

    Yes, going over 20 MPH with no pedaling in the wrong places (bike paths) is against the law, but don't assume that just because someone has the power to do this doesn't mean they will. Also, the average E-Bike that isn't designed to have enough power to go faster than 20MPH on motor alone on the flats, will translate to maybe 3 - 6 MPH going up any hill with 6% grade or more.

    I can get going down hill over the speed limit on some of the steep grades where I live, (with a regular bike 42 MPH on one of my favorite hills ) does that mean I'm a bad person?

    I can easily ride faster than my dad on his E-Bike using just decent regular bicycle, and hit 25+ MPH on the flats, so don't assume I'm just wanting to be lazy.

    I am I worse if I also happen to add a motor to the situation to help me get back up those hills or (heaven forbid! ) keep up with cars in the normal lanes of traffic?

    I wonder how many people with E-Bikes go into the forums on this site and give grief to those who DO pedal.

  35. #35
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    I'm very interested in the electric assist mtb myself. I'm 52 and try to ride 100 miles of trails and desert riding a month, whenever I have time off work. I don't know that I'll always be able to pedal a bike, hopefully I will be able to well into my 60's. Riding is great for the mind and body, the electric assist would help someone like my Sister who just had a full knee replacement at 54 years old, get back to riding quicker.

  36. #36
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    Some of the posts in this thread show the same mentality towards "electric assist" as some drivers show towards roadies:

    1) You don't belong where I ride.
    2) You don't belong where I drive.

    What's the difference?

    Electric assist is an rapidly developing technology and it is going to become more and more popular. . There are many multi-use trails in the country that would be suited to electric assist, even if not currently allowed, such as the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC and many trails formed by the rails-to-trails program. And, many bike commuters would rather not arrive at their place of work covered in sweat. The Swamp Rabbit Trail is patrolled by BMW motorcycles -- so there is plenty of room for a bicycle with "electric assist".

    And, IMO, a mountain bike would be much better suited for conversion to "electric assist" that a road bike. So, also IMO, mikereidis had a very legitimate inquiry. Unfortunately, he received a virtual slap more than once. Sort of like a driver throwing a bottle, or a can, at a roadie.

    There are many open, rural areas in Canada with a population density much less than in the US. So, the potential conflicts between the different users of resources is not as prevalent as in the US. It seems that I am constantly having to avoid horses (and horse ****) on many of the trails that I ride.

    And, BTW, there is a forum on this mtbr.com website that is titled "Electric Assist Bicycles".
    Last edited by Jim Holloman; 11-30-2011 at 09:41 PM.

  37. #37
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    Look up a 2000 intense tracer its what I use and its great!!! I now have a very trail worthy e bike it worked so good I sold my car .

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