Rant: Why I Think Electric Bicycles Are A Big Scam

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 02

Lately I have been seeing a lot of the following. Some guys (almost always men) who think they have found the “new thing” get together and start selling electric bikes to people. They don’t actually ride bikes, they don’t even like bikes, they just thought “hey this bike thing is getting popular, you know what would make us a crap load of money, electric bikes!” I am guessing they are thinking that fat/lazy Americans will be more lured towards riding something that moves without much effort. So they contract with some shitty bicycle maker in China, who takes a sub par 40 pound POS mountain bike frame that you can buy at Walmart for $150 and straps an additional 30-40 pounds of batteries and electronics to it, and sells it as the next best thing (for thousands of dollar.)

$5995.00 and 58.5 lbs, 20 mile range what a deal!

There are so many things wrong with this business model. One, because the bicycle is so heavy you NEED to have an electric assist on the damn thing or you wont be going up anything higher than a mole hill. Two Americans are not fat/lazy, they just have never been shown how awesome it is to ride a bicycle. Selling them a super heavy, poorly designed, crapcycle isn’t going to inspire a lifetime of cycling.

$2,399.99 top speed 18mph, weeee!

Oh and did I mention the price…for the “privilege” of carrying around all those heavy batteries, and riding that shitty mountain bike, you get to pay WAY more than you would had you purchased a high end custom bike. I mean why spend $1000 on a very decent road bike, when you can drop $4500 on a super shitty mountain bike with electric assist. I am honestly flabbergasted that anyone would pay what most retailers are asking for electric bicycles.

$1649, 57lbs, top speed 20mph, awesome!

You might say, “But doesn’t this help the environment?” You might argue, “they will be on a bike and not in a car, so umm that’s good right?” No. The batteries are filled with highly toxic materials, the manufacturing process is highly toxic, and the shipping of heavy batteries from china incurs a lot of emissions. Basically take all the environmental impact of creating a bicycle, then strap the environmental impact of a bunch of toxic batteries on top of that. This is a trade off I might be willing to make, if these electric bicycles were better (in any way) than a normal bicycle.

$3,799.00, 53lbs...

In every way these electric bicycles are inferior to a regular bike. They weigh too much, they have short ranges, take energy to recharge, and are so poorly designed that most people will find them falling apart soon after they purchase them. In short these are gimmick products destined to end up in a land fill, or sit unused in a basement.

People will quickly realize that the power in their own legs is far better than any battery on the market. Even if you are riding a heavy city bike you will be better off because after 20 miles on a heavy city bike your bicycle doesn’t suddenly lose functions because the battery died, a heavy city bike doesn’t have a bunch of electronics that can get ruined either.

To be fair, I can think of a couple people who would do well with an electric cycle. Anyone with mobility problems would welcome the freedom that a little electric boost might give, if they can deal with the high price tag, and poor performance, and massive weight. Most people however don’t have mobility problems.

$1,899.99 64lbs top speed up to 15mph depending on terrain

Many people have never ridden a bicycle, and think that its going to be super hard, and that they would do better with a nice battery assist. They are ignorant of the ease and enjoyment of riding a normal old pedal with your legs bicycle. They don’t need any sort of electric assist, but are told that it will open up a world of excitement for them. Ride for miles with out moving your legs! Go up hills without breaking a sweat! At 60+ pounds the only excitement you are going to have with most electric bicycles is the excitement of hearing your spine creak as you try to hoist it up the steps to your house.

Electric bicycles are in my opinion not ready for prime time. They cost too much, are poor quality, are worse for the environment than a normal bicycle, weigh too much, and don’t have the range. Perhaps in the future when batteries magically get light, and electric motors get tiny, and the whole thing gets cheap, and they figure out a way to make it without using toxic materials, then we will be ready for e-bikes. Until then, get on your bike, and move your feet.


submit Rant: Why I Think Electric Bicycles Are A Big Scam to reddit.com Add to Reddit.

Tags: , , ,
Posted in bostonbiker, reviews | 42 Comments »


42 Responses to “Rant: Why I Think Electric Bicycles Are A Big Scam”

  1. By Tristan on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    I generally agree with you, and will rail against any electric cycle. However, I have to make an exception for electric assists on cargo bikes, such as the Stoke Monkey (http://clevercycles.com/products/stokemonkey/), mostly because it is super awesome.

  2. By Boston Biker on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Tristan: I agree for large cargo bikes these sort of things make a bit more sense.

  3. By Doug on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    I agree. I would never pay that much for any type of bicycle. However, for the middle aged crowd like myself that still wants to enjoy a bike ride and get some exercise without dreading a hill, there are much more inexpensive ways to get an electric assist that will last for years.

  4. By Boston Biker on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Doug: Thats funny, considering how the website you listed is selling conversion wheels for $800+

    I have seen very elderly individuals (far past middle age) going up hills no problem, that’s why you have more than one gear…

  5. By William Furr on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    “Electric bikes” are mopeds in disguise. In China, lots of folks ride “electric bikes” with vestigial pedals, if they even still have them.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1904334,00.html

    If I thought bikes like the ones you linked would convince people to take the jump into cycling, where they would then discover they don’t really need the electric assist, I’d be all for it. But instead they’ll likely find that a 60+lb electric bike is a huge pain in the ass and give up on cycling instead.

    I think what folks need is a carrot and stick approach. Gas tax, congestion charges, more tolls, more expensive parking, carbon tax, etc. can all increase the cost of operating a car on a per-mile basis. At the same time, revenues from that sort of thing could be put towards building a Dutch-style cycle track infrastructure. Combine that with an ad campaign, and folks would start riding.

    The political will isn’t there and the car lobby is too strong for that to ever happen here, but I can dream.

  6. By CYCLER on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    While I generally agree, I think that the Copenhagen wheel might have some possibilities. I wasn’t impressed by the press releases, but after seeing it in the flesh, I think it might be a possibly helpful technology

  7. By Erik on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Costco sells two-packs of big screen TVs (e.g., http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11507377/reviews.htm). Maybe they should start selling combo “moped” packs–a road bike and a scooter in one box.

  8. By MarkB on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Ah, the Fat Lazy Americans. What a nice person you are. Your parents did a great job raising you.

  9. By Doug on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    That’s fair Boston Biker. I’m all for nothing but leg power. The genius of the “and” versus tyranny of the “or” however…there is room for both. I will very honestly say that I have yet to see somebody test ride one with a decent kit that did not thoroughly enjoy it. I also know people that now commute 15 or 20 miles to work on a bike that would have never considered it in the past. Whatever gets us out from behind the “two-pack big screens” somebody mentioned works for me…

  10. By Fenway on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    William,

    Bicycles already have won the economic battle. Attempting to tip the scale even further isn’t going to help further the popularity of cycling.

    Artificially manipulating the cost of driving through regulation and taxation isn’t going to fix anything. If anything it’ll make things worse by giving the government more money to waste and cause all sorts of unforeseen consequences economically.

    What happens to everyone living in rural farm areas where everything is 100 miles apart? What happens to the tax scheme when all cars are hybrids or run on clean energy? What happens when the usual bloat of government decides ALL vehicles including bicycles must be taxed for the sake of the children?

    People like naturally choices and despise taxes. People will rally against what they, rightfully, see is the government trying to dictate what form of transportation they use. Do you really want bicycles to be seen as some sort of punishment or mandate, where driving becomes a popular form of rebellion or even greater symbol of wealth? The would be the worst possible thing to happen to cycling!

    What needs to happen is the promotion of cycling and related infrastructure to the point that it is seen as something as normal and everyday cool as owning and operating a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Right now there is a stigma and a prestige culture about owning and operating a car as a means of transport, if bicycles could co-opt or eliminate that aspect of culture to become equal to cars in the public perception of owning something for transportation, well there’s half the battle won.

  11. By Herzog on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    I wish they were called electric mopeds, or E-mopeds just so that people don’t confuse them with human powered bicycles!

  12. By mtalinm on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    just call them motorcycles, that’s what they are

  13. By Lovely Bicycle! on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    You know, I sometimes get critical comments for owning a couple of “expensive bicycles” (a Pashley and a Rivendell), but neither one of them costs nearly as much as a typical electric bike. In fact, I can ride at least one of those bikes at a faster speed than most electric bikes on the market are rated to travel. But hey, if it’s electric it has a right to cost more and buying it is considered perfectly justified – unlike my decadent purchases. Right.

  14. By Kevin at Utah eBikes on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    I’m one of “the guys” who decided to go into the ebike business, and I admit your rant leaves a sting. Still, I’m surprised that the biggest opposition to ebikes seems to come from avid cyclists. In your rant you include toxic metals, greenhouse emissions for shipping, etc. to prove unequivocally that a regular bicycle is superior. Here’s a detailed analysis that concludes that once you take into account the energy and emissions that go into food production, an ebike actually has a lower carbon footprint than pedaling when you get beyond 5 miles: http://bit.ly/b4tDS4 Don’t get me wrong–if someone actually uses their bicycle I am not trying to get them to switch, but I’d say >80% of bike owners only pull the bike out for occasional recreation. I don’t see it as ebike versus bike. I see it as ebike or bike or walking or skateboarding versus driving a car, and I’m hoping that ebikes will help more people leave their cars behind more often. People are intimidated by cycling partly by what appears to be an elitist cycling community. I simply tell people “no lycra required,” and they get it.

  15. By bostonbiker on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    Kevin, do you feel I am making unfair points? Frankly I find your argument that e-bikes will help reduce car usage to be interesting but I would love to see some studies that back it up. I figure most people would be just fine replacing many of the short trips they make with normal bicycles. You don’t need an e-bike to travel 5-10 miles which is what most people use their car for most of the time.

    as to your link, do you have any numbers on food energy from a more reliable source? I would love to read that as well.

  16. By Adam Pieniazek on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    A couple months ago was outside cleaning and tuning up my bike when a dude on an electric bike “drove” by. He mentioned the electric motor and how you can get one online for a couple hundred bucks and how he gets a ton of MPG.

    I told them I get infinite MPG.

  17. By Adam Pieniazek on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    Oh and we need to start re-branding the bicycle as a truly American vehicle. Independent of foreign gas companies, completely powered by yourself, rugged and efficient. Bicycles are looked at as the poor person’s vehicle but to me they’re the strong person’s vehicle.

    Cars are communist.

  18. By Molnar on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    But, but, but, … Fabian Cancellara.

  19. By Lyzard on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t understand spending $2000+ on an ebike that you can’t ride as well as a regular bike or a used motorcycle / moped.

    For instance, a guy at my office has bought a couple of these ebike conversion batteries on ebay for around $150.
    He finds an old junked mountain bike and a motor off an old power drill. Somehow he gets them all together and makes his commute from Everett to Cambridge. Free parking and under $300 spent.

    I can generally go faster on my 48×16 one geared bike all the way from Dorchester.
    I can see how a bit of confidence could be gained by being able to keep a 20mph pace with traffic, then I remember to slow down and just enjoy myself. ;-)

  20. By niceguy on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    The worst is that Momentum magazine, the self proclaimed “magazine for self-propelled people,” seems to have a certain thing for these mopeds: http://momentumplanet.com/articles/elusive-e-bikers . Maybe a little better than cars, maybe.

  21. By Jim on Aug 6, 2010 | Reply

    Boston Biker, I suggest you go out and actually ride some ebikes and see how that can transform riding. Most people do not ride their bikes because it is too hard and too long when compared to a car. Ebikes can change this when built correctly, such as the Optibike and you will never keep up with one in a million years, even on your $7000 road bike.

  22. By Cullen on Aug 8, 2010 | Reply

    Electric bikes have their place. Please come to Pittsburgh and try out it’s stupidly crazy hills. I wish I could swing for an e-bike to help me get up the hills here. Otherwise, I either walk up or sweat like a pig. E-bike can make those hills manageable and thus make ditching your plausible.

  23. By Sunshine on Aug 15, 2010 | Reply

    I love my electric bike! It cost less than $500. I basically think of it as a really cheap moped that you can take on bike trails and don’t need a special license for. I use it several times a week to get to work and run errands. It has replaced my car for these types of trips. Also, I was already pretty thin and toned, but I’m even more so after purchasing my bike (perhaps from lugging around all that extra weight ;-) (I ride without the motor on about half of the time).

    If I had $1,000 to spend on a bike, I would pick a cheap electric one over a good quality human powered one. I say, to each his own. I bike for transportation, so electric is a good fit for me. And, it has made biking fun for me again to boot!

  24. By Mark on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    While I can see your point of view, coming from an avid cyclist who rides every day, I think you miss the target audience for electric bikes. They’re designed for people who don’t normally ride a bike, or can’t ride a bike because of their physical condition.

    Here’s a great article about electric mountain bikes, geared toward older riders who lack the endurance to ride like they used to when they were younger:

    http://www.nycewheels.com/electric-mountain-bikes.html

    Compared to electric bikes from a few years ago, these bikes are actually very light and have much better range. I think we’ll see big improvements in electric bike technology in the next few years.

  25. By Boston Biker on Aug 27, 2010 | Reply

    the best part of this article is watching all the people who sell electric bikes say how great they are without addressing any of the points I raise in the post…

  26. By MrBoots on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    Though I think some ebikes are far too pricey and heavy to be practical, there really is a place for ebikes. I first started developing an interest in ebikes when I saw an elderly gentleman riding a Bionx-equipped ebike. I’ve been riding and bike-commuting for years now (MTB, SS commuter, hybrid and mid-level road bike, you name it). Last year, I rode my first (homebuilt) ebike and its become an absolutely essential mode of transport for me now.

    With the ebike, I’ve cut down my driving to the point where I’m only taking driving because of long distances. Additionally, because my home-built rig consists of off-the-shelf, repurposed RC components, it’s been relatively cheap: I’ve only spent $800 total on the bike ($250 for Diamondback Insight hybrid platform and $550 for all the ebike equipment). Now, the bike is very fast, has a range of nearly 20 miles on the battery alone, increased my daily commute speed from 11mph to 26mph, adding more cargo carrying capacity while only adding a total of 9 pounds to my bike. Don’t get me wrong, I still pedal most of the time, but the ebike really flattens out hills and lets me fly on long straights – especially when I’m tired after a long day at work. Best part is, I no longer need to carry a change of clothes to work and ride suited up in lycra!

    I think to call this a motorcycle isn’t entirely accurate, I still pedal hard and most of the time, but the motor is essentially multiplying my output. Best part is, I no longer need to be decked out in lycra to commute to work. I think we need to do a more in-depth examination of various types of ebikes before we disparage them. Resourceful and mechanically-inclined individuals can assemble their own ebikes at the fraction of a cost of ready-made ebikes. You should take a look at the Endless Sphere forums for plenty of well-designed ebikes, perhaps you might change your mind.

  27. By Nathan Lemmon on Dec 11, 2010 | Reply

    I tend to agree with the posters here that see the rejection of e-bikes as elitist and irrational. There really is no logical reason to reject this form of very efficient transportation. Any type of vehicle that can reduce the number of cars in the city is a good deal as far as I’m concerned. There are a lot of people out there like myself who love to bike but just don’t have the energy to go long distance anymore and uphill. Think of an electric as a way to flatten the terrain. That’s it. The new batteries charge quickly and last all day. You can cover distances you’d never thought possible. Travel in the city really is faster than on a car during heavy traffic. E-bikes are here to stay. The people who ride with no assist are already out there biking. Great for them!! This is a way to get more people out in the fresh air – getting the same amount of exercise as a brisk walk. Oh, and before I go – these are very quiet, with no noise pollution or particulate matter and smog. Very, very different from a moped or scooter. Not even in the same ball park.

    The folks out there trying to make a buck? That’s the American way! If you don’t want to spend a fortune, build your own or wait till the prices come down – trust me they will.

  28. By juicer on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Electric bikes in many cases have their advantages. Like one of the commenters have pointed out, for the middle age people it’s definitely an alternative for them but really the retailers charge way too much money for an electric bicycle. It’s crazy

  29. By Dave on Jul 1, 2011 | Reply

    Your basic problem is that e bikes are heavy and expensive. 50 lbs isn’t that heavy. With two hands most people can lift that. They also can be locked on the street with the battery removed. Are they more heavy than a normal bike- yes. That isn’t new or significant. The second point is that they are expensive. Yes, I too wish they were cheaper. Some peope do over charge. I also wish I could buy a jet. But I can’t. Some people can but just because everyone can not doesn’t mean it’s stupid. If you think of them replacing a car then you start to see significant savings (you can charge at work). These two points were not addressed directly but aren’t that significant. E bikes are still right for some people who like to bike sometimes and e bike other times.

  30. By Ted Dillard on Jan 29, 2012 | Reply

    It seems to me that your only point is that you don’t like ebikes. That’s cool, but I don’t see where they’re any sort of scam. If you don’t like them, hey, don’t buy one.

    I recently wrote a story for Home Power Magazine on how to convert a bike to an ebike, and a good friend, a woman who lives in Gloucester, went out an bought a (very nice) bike for me to convert for the story. She loves it. Loves, loves loves it.

    I did some test rides with it, and it’s fun. Not for me, I prefer riding either under my own power (commuted 25mi/day by bike for over 10 years, thank you very much) or riding fast (my latest electric motorcycle = 0-60 in 4 sec, and top speed of 100mph+).

    But she loves it. Lots of people love them. They’re fun. Is there a problem with that?

  31. By Ted Dillard on Jan 29, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry to post again, but it seems to me that your interests are pretty much in line with most anyone riding on two wheels under 30mph. Mopeds, ebikes, pedal bikes… after reading through your site, I can’t understand why you want to separate a group of enthusiasts out from your “club”, when these people could be joining and helping your efforts. Bike lanes, funds for trails, all that.

    …never could understand why people go out of their way to piss off people who can help them, all for a little self-righteous rant.

    Have a nice day.

  32. By Magdalene Holling on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    Everyone is lowering expenses lately. An amazing technique of doing it is by driving an electric bike. You will discover what type has got your name on it by Looking for electric bike.

  33. By More Juice please on Mar 13, 2012 | Reply

    All I can say is this: Get rid of the dang lead acid chemistry!!! It is the WORST battery you can use for an electric bike. These cheapskate companies need to get their act together…why are we still using lead acid technology when we have gone thru several generations of battery chemistry in our every day devices? Lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, lithium phosphate..there is a site that can customize your battery, but it will cost you at least about $1600 for a decent capacity battery. It seems that real life scenarios always seem to need more capacity than the companies are willing to give you. The power drain is enormous on an e-bike..you will be hard pressed to get by on anything less than 30-40AH battery..then you have to allow for hills too. I DO understand not using the nickel based chemistries for e-bikes though. Since they are only 1.2V per cell, it takes so many to make a pack, that chances are high of getting a bad battery in a string of batteries. For real life scenarios, these are approximate for your requirements–to the left is the insufficient amount manufacturers like to give you, and they don’t even come close.(To the right is the amount you actually need!!!!!!)

    500-900 Ni-CD-AA- Obsolete-1500MAH c battery-Ni-cad-obsolete)Tape player..can get by on 3500mah or 2200mah NIMH C battery, or regular AA NIMH (Not nickel cadmium on either one!!)

    (2500-5000MAH D cell-NIMH)CD boombox..9000-10000MAH NIMH D cell–LSD type recommended-same for portable DVD player

    (4500-5000MAH-Li-Ion)Laptop–20AH external battery pack-that blasted screen is too big and consumes too much, so don’t even think of trying to get by with the puny battery pack that shipped with your laptop!

    (10AH Lead Acid)E-bike–extremely ultra high drain–40MAH battery recommended.

  34. By Carlen on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    I have been riding all my life.. Been bike commuting for a long time.. I really want to keep riding.. But I guess I just cant do the distance anymore… sigh.. I want to ride .. I really want to ride.. I am getting an e-bike.. sorry.. but saying that most people dont have mobility problems.. ok.. its fair.. but mean… Someday you may need an assist.. be thankful the technology is there to help you…

  35. By JO on Apr 2, 2013 | Reply

    E bikes are not perfect, but they offer decent benefits for those who buy them. Modern bikes are lighter, better and cheaper than the first ones. They are really a car replacement, not a bicycle replacement. I plan to commute 7 miles each way on one and don’t want to shower every morning at work, nor do I want to worry about bad headwinds or hills. Instead I know that when I get on my bike I will get off at my destination 20 mins later. I think the article is a little old and needs rewritten with the modern bikes considered. I would like to mention the Raleigh Ebikes as an example for a good idea of what is possible.

  36. By CarLen on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    I have been riding a bionx 350 for 2 years.. Most of the comments above are written by riders who have never used a pedal assist electric.. So.. rant away….

    To each his/her own.. If you don’t want one.. don’t get one… But for me… the joy of riding a bike is back. I am able to simply enjoy the bike ride and not worry about headwind, rain, hills or the direction I am going. Pedal assist with torque control is a natural assist. I can and do ride my bike without any assist if I want and the assist is there when needed. I ride year round without any problems. I don’t speed around, I don’t gloat going uphills, i do not compete against my fellow bikers.. I just enjoy myself…

  37. By KendraAshley on Jul 8, 2014 | Reply

    “Most people however don’t have mobility problems.”

    Wow. Just because you don’t see us doesn’t mean we don’t exist. (And no, people in wheelchairs are not the only ones with such issues). I’m only 29 and bought my first roadbike when I was 15 – I rode it Everywhere: to work, to school, racing up mountains or across entire states on the weekends. At 17, I started to get sick, really sick – but I wouldn’t give it up. Finally at 22, I had a cardiac arrest followed by years in the hospital for infections and repeated renal failure.

    I’m only 29 now and have busted my ass to be able to walk up a half mile again, but I still can’t digest anything but clear liquids – so my endurance can’t get me too far (yet). My kidneys still can’t regulate electrolytes, so too much exertion also tends to make me blackout and vomit (= not good).

    I just finished building my own DC electric bike for less than $200 – and I can’t even tell you how amazing it feels to coast down a hill again!! And the freedom, in independence, that it allows could never be undersold.

    My disease is genetic. I didn’t get it because I was “fat/lazy.” It’s wonderful that you love biking – but I think you would be well served to remember that your ability to ride one by your own power is a blessing. It is something that you should treasure and enjoy, not something you should use to try and others down (for the benefit of your own ego?).

    I love biking too – no matter ‘how’ I need to do it :).

  38. By Boston Biker on Jul 8, 2014 | Reply

    That’s a lovely rant Kendra, but has very little to do with what I wrote.

  39. By KendraAshley on Jul 8, 2014 | Reply

    Admittedly, my first response was in response to what came across as the elitist overtone in your article – You are certainly not alone there, it is an attitude unfortunately pervasive throughout much, though not all, of the ‘advanced’ cycling community (whether its realized or not).

    So I reread your post two more times, and this is what I gather:
    . Electric bikes are too heavy (“60+lbs”)
    . Too expensive (all your examples = well over $1000)
    . Poor quality
    . Not enough range

    I have zero doubt that you have done your research, and that these stats are largely indicative of the mass-manufactured models out there. They do not, however, need to pertain to a self-designed/built model [all it takes is a basic understanding of physical mechanics & dc rotary engines].
    For example, my homemade ebike:
    . weighs <22 lbs total
    . cost well under $200 to build (thanks to craigslist, ebay, cast-off parts from local bike shops, & the hardware store)
    . has a range of 15+ miles – and is easy to recharge anywhere there's an outlet (coffee shop, library, etc.)
    . the quality is a good as the carefully selected parts and care put into personal construction

    You talked about a major problem being all these MBAs (who know squat about bikes) trying to "cash in" on a fad – and you're right. But they're not the only ones putting ebikes out. Plenty of independent bikers/mechanics are selling their own models/retrofits online – many of them even 100% off-the-grid adaptable.
    Just gotta know where to look.

  40. By Boston Biker on Jul 8, 2014 | Reply

    So you think I am elitist because I recommend cheap, easily accessible bikes that just about anyone could get for less than 200 dollars, instead of multi-thousand dollar crappy electric bikes, while at the same time you just want everyone to go out and build their own, even people with mobility problems, and you somehow can now coast down a hill but couldn’t before you put electric motors on your bike…

    Forgive me for being confused, but I am.

  41. By KendraAshley on Jul 9, 2014 | Reply

    I recognize that not everyone can build their own – that is why I also mentioned all of the small shops/independent bikers and mechanics who sell there own quality constructs online [I saw numerous links to specific websites in the comments above]. Most of these can be had for a couple hundred bucks (folks selling homemade retrofits out of their own garages sometimes go for even less than that).

    There are numerous road/hybrid/mountain bikes out there that cost thousands of dollars, just like the ebikes you listed. Likewise, there are also far more economical options on both sides of the spectrum.

    Of course I could coast down a hill before I got an emotor – the problem was that my body would not allow me to get up the other side (not much good for getting where one needs to go).

    I do not drive, public transportation is expensive, and I my ebike is what I use for everything: groceries, Laundromat, getting to and from work, etc. I saw that you responded to a previous comment that you would be interested in seeing a study about the actual use of ebikes instead of cars – that sounds great. There may not be a lot of people yet, but I’ve been stopped outside stores/the library by people of all ages who say they would love to quit their cars for something like the bike (especially in the city).

    Lastly, by using the adj. “elitist”, I was not referring to an attitude about finances (I absolutely agree that $2000+ for any type of poor-quality bike is ridiculous). 1

    Elitists (def.): individuals who believe their selective sector to be the absolute best of a class

    In this case, the “elitist attitude” would pertain to the belief that only those who can/choose to 100% self-power ride are ‘true’ bicyclists. I believe there is room in the cycling community for all of us – There is great power in numbers, is there not?

  42. By Boston Biker on Jul 9, 2014 | Reply

    Kendra…my article is about overpriced, low quality electric bikes, and how I feel they are not worth it to people…the rest of the very long comments you wrote are your opinion of my writing. I am glad you read it and it gt you worked up, but you are attributing things to my writing and myself that are not evident in what I wrote.

    Thanks for the feedback.

Post a Comment