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Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

  1. #1
    Member ducatirdr's Avatar
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    Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES


    I decided to try something completely different in the world of two wheeled vehicles. I just bought a Specialized Turbo LEVO Expert with 6 inches of travel and an e-motor that assists your input with up 560 watts and 90 Nm of torque. Basically it turns most New England trails into Downhill courses. I'm interested in seeing how it plays out.



    There are a couple reasons I want this bike over a non assist pushie. First I have a hard-tail Santa Cruz Chameleon Plus size and an older Specialized FSR Enduro. The bikes are great but I want the speed of a motorized machine. Let's face it. Would you rather go 15mph with the same effort on the pedals or 10mph? If you have ridden a modern e bike it feels very natural. The effort you put into the bike is elevated by a percentage you dial into the system with 3 presets. They are adjustable so you can tune the power down to 0 and up to 100% so it matches your effort with that additional boost. You still pedal the thing with your own watts. It just adds to that with a bit of additional torque. I took one for a short ride and it is impressive. I'm hoping it translates to having more fun as the additional speed is addictive. It also gives you a bit more power to clean stuff you would normally dismount and walk over. So it will be MX pads and a full face MTN helmet for this thing. I should be getting the bike in by next week. Stay tuned for a ride report.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Props for acknowledging that it’s cheating.
    That, in no way, is an insinuation that it’s less fun, likely the opposite. Suffer less, shred more. Until you run out of battery.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    You're going to love it. Like you said, the modern, high quality ebikes are fantastic.

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    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    I rode one around NHMS back in August, I'd definitely like to give one a rip on the trail and see how the extra weight feels.

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    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    The big downside to this would be that they are not allowed at most places (around me anyways).

    It looks like mountain biking associations are leaning towards accepting e-bikes in the future, but right now it's not legal to ride them at most places.

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    Member jimmycapp's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Quote Originally Posted by csmutty View Post
    The big downside to this would be that they are not allowed at most places (around me anyways).
    Do places actually check for that kind of thing? Outdoor sports are so fucking annoying (actually it's just people that suck). In Mass, you have equestrians, hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, dirt-bikers, atvers?, and loggers, all in the same space. The other groups fight with each other trying to get the other groups banned, while the loggers are allowed to level the place.


    And those e-bikes are awesome.

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    Last edited by jimmycapp; 10-09-19 at 10:30 AM.

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    Your Father csmutty's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmycapp View Post
    Do places actually check for that kind of thing? Outdoor sports are so fucking annoying (actually it's just people that suck). In Mass, you have equestrians, hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, dirt-bikers, atvers?, and loggers, all in the same space. The other groups fight with each other trying to get the other groups banned, while the loggers are allowed to level the place.


    And those e-bikes are awesome.
    No, I don't think it is something they check for since most parks aren't staffed...

    Also in CT there aren't any motor vehicles allowed in parks, so it's a little different.

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  8. #8
    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Ah, e-bikes. They definitely have their place - grip it and rip it.

    Tons of people commute on them. Great for the environment. It is still exercise. You can commute 30 miles without a problem. Most people can't do that on a regular bike. Plus, you can park em anywhere like a normal bike.
    If I had a partner that didn't ride bicycles, this would be a great way for us to enjoy the sport together.
    MTB is hard. Most places reward fitness; the fitter you are the more fun it is. E-bikes are a way to let people enjoy MTB without necessarily having the time to gain the fitness. Alternatively, it can be a gateway to getting hooked on the sport and wanting to gain that fitness.
    Outside of this country, people just love bikes. People get old/sick/injured and can't quite pedal anymore. This lets them still do the thing they love.

    But my favorite e-bike story: I was riding in France last summer, heading up the iconic Alpe d'Huez. Its a pretty monster climb - as is everything in that part of France. On the way up I see a dude that looks like he's sitting side saddle. As I get closer, I realize he has a severely injured (paralyzed, no usable) leg and he was on an e-bike. He wouldn't be able to do something he loved without that bike.

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    Last edited by JettaJayGLS; 10-09-19 at 12:46 PM.
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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    We are on our second eBike.

    We got the first one because we built it for an “Energy Future” customer event close to 20 years ago. We paid a community bike outfit to equip a mountain bike with a hub motor and battery. It had four SLA batteries weighing almost 40 lbs. Range was unimpressive. It sat around the office so eventually I took it home.


    Second life was for evening trips to the store. Grocery store was on the other side of a big hill And surmounting it with 20-30 lbs of groceries was not fast or fun. Turned out to be the ideal way to get to City Hall as well.

    Next life was when my knees were worn out and couldn’t bend my left knee enough to pedal. Replaced the SLA battery pack with LiFeP04, tripling range, much longer charge life and about 1/3rd the weight. Then had my knees replaced and started riding my other bikes again.

    The rush hour traffic in Boston is so crazy now we got a new eBike bike so that my wife could commute to work (without sweating) last summer. We also use it to get to my daughter’s lacrosse games at Moakley Park: 12 minutes by car, plus a parking hassle, versus 4-5 minutes via eBike.

    Had a much better idea of what we wanted this time. We sourced a Motobecane 29er with hydraulic disk brakes and a Shimano Nexus 8 speed hub. Bafang 750W mid-drive with 11.6 Ah battery. 750W and less meet the federal standard for a “Low speed electric bicycle” to minimize the impact of any legislation. Wanted it to be unobtrusive. Hard tail for ease of mounting luggage rack and panniers (does have a minimally effective suspension seat post) . We didn’t want to spend more than $2,000.

    Since purchase we added a luggage rack, fullest fenders we could find. Might add a windshield for the winter.



    The Bafang is a low to middle range system. It has five levels of pedal assist but does not have torque sensing. We added a thumb throttle, but not “Cruise Control” which the first bike had but we never used.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 10-09-19 at 04:11 PM.

  10. #10
    Lifer
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    I have had 2 e-bikes for my wife and me for over 4 years now - Easy Motion NEO 650B Jumpers. Ours are only 350 watt hub motors, but they are fully suspended, and they look just like "regular" bicycles. Full suspension was a must for me.
    We have found that we can go almost anywhere! Nobody has ever stopped us to tell us that we cannot use e-bikes in a particular area.
    They have been incredibly fun, and we have not even come close to using half of their potential range. Our longest trips have been maybe 35 miles. But, we are in our 50's, and we do not ride aggressively. If I had to do it over again, I would have bought more wattage - 750 minimum - probably HPC (Hi-Powered Cycles) bikes. Once you mandate full suspension, the price jumps dramatically.

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    Last edited by gregp; 10-09-19 at 04:17 PM.

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    Fast is contagious JettaJayGLS's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    Once you mandate full suspension, the price jumps dramatically.
    Lol, apparently you haven't seen Specialized's road version...I'm not sure who is playing in this market.

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/s-...eo-sl/p/170237

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  12. #12
    ^ It's my bike and my car tls25rs's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    Lol, apparently you haven't seen Specialized's road version...I'm not sure who is playing in this market.

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/s-...eo-sl/p/170237
    One of my coworkers just won a Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo in a drawing. Funny thing is he will most likely get rid of it because the taxes on winning a $12k item get a little crazy.

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/s-...=273900-170511

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  13. #13
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Kom’s for days.

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  14. #14
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Local guy on Advrider is building a bike using frame and parts from Qulbix. Pretty wild. They sell frames, kits, andfull bikes with pedals or foitpegs.

    https://www.qulbix.com/qulbix-products/qulbix-e-bikes


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    Last edited by Garandman; 10-09-19 at 08:11 PM.

  15. #15
    Member ducatirdr's Avatar
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    Re: Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES

    Electric Assist Bicycles - CHEATER BIKES-img_0074-jpg

    A follow up to the purchase is this quick 3 ride review.

    First ride was following a 20-30 yr old MTB rider on the trail system near my house. He on a Specialized FS setup with clipped in pedals. The trails were TIGHT woods trails that reminded me of some of those enduro sections where you wish your bars were 3 inches shorter. We probably never left the couple acres of territory for the hour as it was up and down and around the same area where you see the trail you were just on right next to you most of this ride.

    The dude was nice enough to let me follow him. He saw I was on electric and asked me if I had been on this system before. No, so he invited me to follow. He was fast and with the tight trails I was struggling to stay with him. Not a place where more speed helps. It was a lot of technique to turn this 50lbs bike around trees on those 180 degree turns around trees. The length of this rig is probably in down hill territory more than this super tight stuff.

    I kept the bike in ECO power mode. That's is 35% of the 250watts delivered smoothly as you ask for it in pedaling. It makes the bike feel like it weighs less and makes me feel like I weigh less. You still pedal. You still need to spin up hills like you know what you are doing but it takes that edge off. The hill that reminds you you aren't in shape to do this section, now becomes "you got this, keep going...". I kept this kid in sight and cleaned most hills and obstacles. I was dripping in sweat and was having a blast. I went back the next day on my non powered Satan Cruz and did the same trails and gave up after a bunch of pushing of the bike walking section I had been cleaning on the e-bike.

    The last time I rode the bike was from my house to the trails using the powerline path to the MTB area. It is really dirt bike stuff with wicked unrideable mt-bike trails. Steep and loose stuff. I put the bike in turbo mode and blasted up and over long long sections of what I would have thought to be unridable even on the pedal assist. It blazed the trail like a woods bike. I was super impressed. Even more impressive is how long the battery lasts on this thing. I rode it 3 times for more than 3 hours total and it still has over 38% life in it. The last time really using full power most of the time.

    Would I buy it again if I had it all to do again? Yes. It's allowing my really bad knees to ride without pain. It allows me to have FUN! Isn't that what its all about. BTW I line up rocks on the trail for kickers and get a bit of air on sections where I would be normally riding about 6mph. Yes it's FUN!

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    Last edited by ducatirdr; 11-04-19 at 06:57 AM.
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