I have been thinking of replacing the scooter with an electric bike for a while now. I am discouraged by the cost of electric bikes. Electric bikes range in price from one thousand to four thousand francs or more and their range is from fourty to one hundred and eighty kilometres. They are also limited to 25 kilometres per hour if you want to preserve the right to use cycling paths in Switzerland.
I tried an electric bike in a shop a few days ago to see what the sensation was like. After just a quarter turn of the pedal
If I got one my goal would be to use it to go to the shops or to go hiking. I would take the bike on the train to the closest train stop to the activity and then I would use the bike for the distance that usually requires a bus or other form of transport to get to. I want it to assist me when going up steep gradients with hiking or climbing gear.
Over the summer my average speed on a road bike has increased to the point where I can cycle at an average of 21+ kilometres per hour over a period of hours. This means that an electric bike is no longer as interesting.
A few years ago I was using a mountain bike with mountain bike tires for road cycling and after a while I swapped the tires for road tires and I felt a big difference. I felt an even bigger difference when I swapped from the mountain bike to a road bike.
With the cost of electric bikes and road bikes being around the same the question is whether it wouldn’t be equivalent simply to spend two to three thousand francs on a high end bike instead. You’d be faster than e-bike riders because you’re fit, rather than because you bought a heavy bike with heavy batteries and a heavy motor. I saw that just the motor can weigh three to four kilos without the addition of the battery.
If I bought an e-bike I would get it as a scooter and public transport replacement. I would use it to commute between home and work. It’s more stable than a scooter and I believe safer, because when the rear wheel spins out on a bike it’s easier to keep upright than a scooter.
When starting off, eBikers should do without motor support, e.g. in turbo mode in the case of the Bosch drive system, otherwise the tires will simply spin and slide instead of gripping.
In an article from two years ago Bosch recommend not riding in snow due to the risk of the rear tire spinning out. The same is true of scooters except that a scooter weighs much more and is much harder to stabilise once it starts falling.
I would like to see e-bikes with integrated indicators, brake lights and more. I would like to have the same experience as I have with the scooter. I want people to know my intentions without having to take my hands off of the handle bars. It’s curious that e-bikes are not equipped with these features.