Friday, November 14, 2008

Electric bikes? We don't think so.

Bikes are great for their simplicity and low cost and maintenance-free nature.

Electric bikes have none of these benefits, and they require large amounts of lead in their batteries. Lead, the metal, is bad shit. Since these bikes are pretty much certain to come from china, the safety of the lead processing production process is probably nonexistent. So, buy an electric bike, kill a chinese worker. We do not think we are exaggerating.

Also, since people mostly shop on price, you are probably getting a shit bike too. And, we point out, that would be a pain in the ass to pedal, since it weighs so much with the added batteries and motor, and would have such cheap and poor quality mechanicals.

Many electric bikes are sccoter-styled and are in reality low-speed motorcycles. Many bike paths prohibit their use on bike paths because they travel too fast and add danger to the bike path used by bikes and other foot-powered transportation modes.

Our advice: go buy a decent human-powered bike at a decent bike shop, and happiness will occur. We live by those words.

Anyone who says that buying an electric bike is environmentally friendly is doing what is called greenwashing. This is not a complement.

When we see someone riding an electric bicycle, we know these are good intentioned people, and the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say.

We are not unkind, so we do offer a special exemption for very old people, who can't pedal uphill any more, and who choose not to drive a car.


At 5:03 PM, Blogger E-Bike Fan said...

Calling people "lazy" because they ride electric bikes makes you either stupid or ignorant.
Riding an electric bike doesn't mean you're lazy. Smart educated consumers save carbon emissions and have fun doing it. According to an Australian study conducted by the Institute of Transport Studies at Monash University, the assistance provided by riding an electric bicycle helps to maintain the rider’s heart rate in the optimal aerobic zone.
Because you can be assisted when going uphill, you do not need to spend excessive energy, you feel less tired and your body continues to operate in your optimum aerobic zone.
You cna enjoy your ride and use the assistance when you feel like it. They are not motor bikes and they require input from rider and motor to opperate effectively.
With a conventional bicycle, many people exceed their aerobic zone when riding uphill then feel completely drained and are unable to enjoy the ride.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone sells electric bikes...

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don, you have never heard about shifting to a lower gear when going up a hill? It's why bikes have gears. C'mon, Don. You are the "stupid or ignorant" one.

Whoever said you sound like you are in the business of selling electric bikes was right on.

Who wants to ride with 20 extra ponds of motor + batteries weight on their bike? That would certainly take all the pleasure and enjoyment out of the bicycle riding.

This blogger was right on, electric bikes are greenwashing of the highest order.

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

Now Don, name calling isn't very civilized of you. And it is a very poor method of starting a discussion to convince people of an opposite viewpoint.

Thank you (everyone!) for offering your opinions. All readers are invited to make up their own minds about the subject of electic-powered or electric-assisted bicycles.

We just don't see the point of an electric bike, because a bicycle has a gear changing system for the very reasons Don states in his comment, but without the 20 extra pounds of weight of an electric motor and battery.

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont really see what's wrong with the electric bikes. I mean, it would be better to ride a regular bike. However, if it can convince someone to ride an electric bike who wouldnt ride a regular one, then it must be a good thing.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Child of Pluto said...

I always thought they were too slow and get on the way. Also, when riding on the side of the road, they block the space between cars where you can usually pass. My hatred towards these machines is pretty personal, but grrr...
Plus come on, way to take out the fun out of cycling! I'd like to see one of these riders stuck away from home, with discharged batteries, having to pedal on a bike twice heavier than a regular one.

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lotsa hate happening here against the electric bike! Greenwashing of the highest order? Don is an e-bike shill? Civility starts with respect for others.

Personally, I've never cared for e-bikes and would likely never purchase one. But you have to understand that not everyone is interested in exerting themselves while traveling. Call that lazy if you want, but it serves nothing but to ruffle some feathers.

From my point of view, any transport scaled down from a personal car is a push in the right direction. And if one day the e-bike user discovers the joys of human power, then even better!


At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just biked to work for the first time today. I've very excited about it.

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh... a few points...
1) You don’t need to use Lead batteries. Do some research. Most the lead batteries in the States are made in the States. Lead batteries can be recycled, so they dont have to be dumped; infact, most retailers will give you a modest sum to return them when they are spent.
2) You can use LiFePO4 that have cycle counts up to 2000 times with 70% of their original capacity. That’s over 5 years of daily use! LiFePO4 also doesn’t use very rare materials or extremely toxic material. That is what I run, no I dont sell them!
2) Just because they can go over 20+mph, doesn’t mean you always go 20+mph. I ride a respectable 15mph on my bike and my ebike. My ebike doesn’t take an inch more path or shoulder room than my bike. My car can go 120mph, but doesn’t mean I drive it that fast everywhere.
3) I live 23 miles from work. There is no way I can bike in reasonably fast without being completely tired and sweaty. I still have to be able to work 8 hours and then ride home another 23 miles.
4) Its cheap after the initial investment. My setup cost $1300 with battery, new bike and motor kit. In two years I've spent maybe $150 on new tires, brakes, etc in two years. I ride it 8 months a year, the other months I take a bus. The bus fare is about $100 a month. It’s already paid for its self off.
5) I store my ebike in my office at the university. I don’t have to pay for parking. I don’t have to worry about fender benders or theft.
6) Your should petal your ebike for optimal range and speed. It’s not just a scooter.
7) I understand your hardcore. I understand you make a statement by riding. Ebikes aren’t cheating. Ebikes don’t cheapen your experience. Do you have hate people with recumbent bikes because they are more streamlined or because the riding posture is more natural?

I understand that you feel biking has some kind of mystique to it that you enjoy, like so many bike messengers that ride wrecklessly, cutting off pedestrians, cars and buses while risking their lives. I don’t care. I ride my ebike because it’s better for me. Just because it’s not what you do or like, don’t mean its evil. Anything that can encourage someone to even attempt to spend some time outdoors and take a car or two off the road is a great thing.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

How long does it take you to get to work?

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes me about 1.5 to 2 hours, the same amount of time the bus would take me. Depends on the weather, my energy level and how late I am ;)

At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Electric bicycles are cheaper and more efficient in thier use of power then regular biking. you have to fuel your body with food. Unless you grow it yourself or locally, you have fossil fuels being burnt that you are payng for to get you that food. Hydro power is clean and cheap electricity. It cost less to power your bike electrically than by human power.

just a thought.

check out endless sphere. for more info on ebikes!!!!

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous the_boy_who_loves_pasta said...

I hate electric bikes too!

$100 quality bikes for $1000 just because they've got a battery and weigh three thousand tonnes. Also where other than K-Mart does the idea of one size fits all bikes come from.

I'm sure a quality electric motor assist bike is doable, but I don't believe any of the POS's I've seen come close to being that.

A 99.7% efficient pedal powered bike with infinite range (as long as you stop and rest when you need it), against a 30% efficient, can't go away from home for more than an hour or two, piece of junk. No competition.

Anonymous get your head out of your arse and compare the embodied energy of your hydro-plant versus the embodied energy in eating food that we all eat anyway and then tell me which is more efficient.

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Fausto said...

Electric bikes rule. You can go faster for longer periods of time, and you can stop pedaling when your are close to your destination so you can cool off and dry out before you get to work.

Elderly people really like them because they can enjoy the pleasure of cycling even though they might not have the strength or stamina to pedal a normal bicycle.

The lead-acid batteries are re-cycled here in Quebec so there is no waste and it's clean and quiet. Hopefully more people will start cycling because of the availability of electric bicycles.

I use both electric and non-electric bicycles depending on the reason.
If I'm just biking around with my kids I use a regular bicycle.

If I'm commuting long distances and want to get there really quickly I use the electric bicycle.

I still always pedal and thanks to the bike being electric I am always in top gear.

You can check out my custom electric bike on my website at

My latest ride is the "Speed Racer" found on the bottom of the electric bicycle page.


At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Julia said...

i had one, battery exploded, got permanent scars

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For people who have a problem with perspiration letting the e-motor do the work (especially on hot days) is a savior. Also if weight is a concern get lithium batteries.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger ART said...

An e-bike can be a great asset for people who have excessive sweating issues. Especially in hot weather. Also those who are against lead batteries can use Lithium. They are smaller and lighter although more expensive.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Bo said...

I don't mind electric bikes. In fact I would rather be following someone on an electric bike on a bike path than two freds on bixis riding side by side. If electric bikes make people feel good about bike riding then so much the better. Lazy people use their cars to get around.

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not impressed with your ignorant perspective. People who are looking for an electric bike are likely doing so to get out of a car, probably aren't lazy at all, and might have higher intellect than you give credit for. You sound elitist and snobby and have not progressed the case for pedal power.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

Thank you for your comments. So sorry that I don't drink the electric bike kool-aid. You should start your own non-elitist and non-snobby electric bike blog to bring your enlightened perspective to the internet. You know, instead of leaving troll-like anonymous comments on other peoples blogs.

This blog is written for and by people who actually pedal their own bikes. We never run out of battery-juice when far from home.

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous ArtKu said...

I am not against the bike but I rather stay in shape. It is true that China is dumping a lot of shit on the market that people are getting ripped off when buying. Another true fact is the stupidity of having a bike that weights more than 60 pounds which make them not pedalable...
Best systems are the one that you buy a lithium battery and wheel electrified motor that you add to a good bike. I have a preference for Bionx even if it s expensive. Pedal assisted e bikes have their place among the cycling community. But not the e scooters which are closer to motorbikes! Keep on riding and also pedaling!

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Rainy said...

The electric scooter has lifted my depression so I'll take "greenwashing" label happily. After sustaining a fourth foot injury, I haven't biked for over a year and that meant my child didn't either...! Went from biking 12km just to get a coffee, sometimes dragging a Chariot, and having just bought a new bike rack to take our bikes to the bike trails, to nothing, zip. I have to use a cane to walk further than across the street. Yesterday I got on my used e-scooter and accompanied my 10yr old on our first cycle in over a year and we went out two hours to the nature parc (yes, ebikes are allowed, I checked before I bought!) My kid was ecstatic, we spent two hours in the sun and through the woods and I finally felt out of prison having to drive everywhere or just hobble over to a bench and sit. All I can say is thank God for electric scooters! By the way, you can get Litium or niCads rather than lead batteries and I have also been almost mowed over by cyclists going well over 20km/hr on nature trails when we were hiking and have encountered more moron cyclists breaking every rule of the road than I can count, so obviously safety of others is something we are ALL responsible for. Anyone want to buy my old bike?

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

FYI, we have stopped printing comments on this topic.

Why? Too many bike haters!

If you feel incensed and are about to write a comment, please take a second and go and look in the mirror and ask yourself, when did I stop being a person with something good inside of me? because this isn't a discussion board where you can shout your anger at the world and those of us who ride bicycles.

Pointe finale.


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