What do you think about e-bikes?

E-bikes are bicycles powered by a motor, with a battery. They tend to have a top speed of 20 to 25 mph. In general these are hybrid, fat bike, or cruiser style bicycles. People tend to ride them on multiple-use trails and on roads in bike lanes, like other bikes.

What is your opinion of e-bikes in general?

Do you think they provide a good workout? Can they be a gateway into (fully) human-powered cycling?

Should they be regulated? Should people need licenses to use them? Should they be allowed on trails and in bike lanes?



  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,121 Member
    Do they make noise above that of a human-powered bicycle?
  • T1DCarnivoreRunner
    T1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 11,468 Member
    Once you put a motor on it to power the wheels, it should be regulated as a scooter. That varies from place to place. In my state, it requires a registration / license plate and a license to operate. However, the license is easier to obtain and allowed at a younger age than a typical class C driver's license. Also, I am pretty sure the registrations are cheaper.
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,114 Member
    I see where they could be beneficial for those who use bicycles to commute, but may not have the strength/stamina of a hardcore cyclist. I don't think that the workout is the same as a fully human-powered bike and agree with them being 'illegal' in competition.

    If the speed is governed/limited I don't see why you would need a license/endorsement or why you couldn't ride anywhere bikes are allowed... I know I can get up to 35mph+ on my bike on downhills--would the e-bike be any faster?
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,932 Member
    I think these can be used without the motor, or with only the motor, or mixed.

    I don't think they make much noise. I've been passed going up hills and could only tell by the fact that the rider was barely pedaling, and by the battery attached to one of the tubes.

    There's a debate going on on a bike forum about them. People make the point that it takes time to build enough fitness to go 25 mph on a human powered bicycle, and by that point people have enough experience to have mostly learned good judgement. On the other hand, you can do 25 on a trail with runners and cyclists she dog walkers even if you've never been in a bike before if you have a motor.
    KANGOOJUMPS Posts: 6,479 Member
    love them, almost bought one, then winter came, will be buying one for sure when winter is over.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,257 Member
    I don't have an issue with these on trails - especially considering how quiet these are, but the speed potential makes them dangerous and would have to be limited. I think they have a strong potential for bringing in new riders and offering new opportunities to those who aren't quite so physical yet.

    I have noticed more mopeds on trails and this irritates me as these rarely are muffled and are annoyingly loud.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,121 Member
    edited November 2017
    I don't know I mean personally if they don't make noise, don't go any faster than someone pedaling hard could go and the bike itself doesn't weigh significantly more than a bike that doesn't have a motor then really I don't see why it would matter if it was being pedaled or propelled in terms of safety or damage to the environment or noise pollution.

    If all of that is true I guess I wouldn't have a problem with them being wherever there are bikes already. If they are significantly heavier and therefore harder to stop when at speed or would do more damage upon impact or would cause more ruts in wet earth then I take that back.

    I guess a quick way to summarize is my concerns or lack there of about bikes have absolutely nothing to do with how much the person on them is exerting themselves.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,183 Member
    In densely populated areas, ebikes are a better solution to personal mobility than are 4-wheel vehicles. I don't live in such an area.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    edited November 2017
    We have a nice muli-use trail system in my community that gets significant usage. Runners, walkers, bikers, kids new to biking, strollers, roller bladers, dogs on a leash, etc. As it is now there are a few serious bike riders that don't respect other users and bike 20-25 MPH on the trail, often 2 or 3 abreast weaving between other users, resulting in safety issues.

    I'd say no to these on a multi-use trail in congested areas, fine for single use bike lanes as their speed is more consistent with other traffic.
  • DanielleFayeS
    DanielleFayeS Posts: 1,719 Member
    I've had one for years, because Arizona is really hot and I commute to work by bike. It's a pedal assist model and like it. It's not really great exercise, but my heart rate does get up a little bit - noticed that after I found the garmin.

    I never engage the motor on crowded trails or sidewalks, only on city streets. Just not to my comfort level. I more find my problem is the really macho wannabe guys who can't really go as fast or faster than me but will get offended and try if you pass them.
  • AEC50
    AEC50 Posts: 124 Member
    I have an e-cargo bike and LOVE it for hauling my two preschoolers around. I'm fit, but the e-assist really helps us use the bike more because I can't even consider biking uphill with 70lbs of kids after leg day.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,932 Member
    love them, almost bought one, then winter came, will be buying one for sure when winter is over.

    You might find a better deal over the winter. Lot of shops will discount last year's models to make room for new ones.
  • mitch16
    mitch16 Posts: 2,114 Member
    An interesting article came up on my facebook today:


    I still think they are more for the casual user/for commuting and are out of place on the trails...
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    thanks for the thread. as a bike commuter i've only just begun coming up against them on my current route - used to ride to places and at times where i rarely ran into anyone else on a bike, of any kind. so i've been trying to work out how much of my reaction to them is just kneejerk get-off-my-lawn from a traditionalist, and how much might be something i'll still stand behind after i'm done trying to figure it out.

    i do find it's hard to make mental room for them in the designated 'car free' paths. i know i bristle about people on fully-motorized scooters using 'our' space, because i do feel that's just as inconsiderate and dangerous as when one of 'us' rides down a sidewalk instead of taking the road.

    i'm just not sure where i stand about the e-bikes. as far as i can tell, i'm still in the phase where most of my opinions are based on the primal reaction to them, and not yet on any longer-term thinking process. damn progress always making me re-think ground that i felt like i knew.
  • astronaught
    astronaught Posts: 103 Member
    I like them and think they should be allowed anywhere a normal bike is allowed. My next bike will be either one of those or a new under seat steering recumbent. I'm leaning towards the recumbent because I could maintain 25 mph for my 11 mile commute on my last one, but going up hills easily is looking pretty good to me too.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,002 Member
    You can't use them on multi-use paths here...no motorized vehicles allowed, which I think is a good thing as I think it would be a safety hazard, particularly on very busy stretches of trail like the Bosque trail near the river.

    I know someone who commutes on one as he's a really pro "go green" guy and he can make his commute faster than in a car...he doesn't seem to be particularly interested in traditional cycling.