Comments

  1. I think the answer is obvious.
    Spandex clad bikers constitute a lifestyle, not a transportation, choice (with or without the 8 day beard as shown).
    Entry into this sub culture precludes any prosthetic assists, hills be damned.
    Many people have neither the ability nor the desire for this level of commitment.
    This represents a barrier to bike use. The political consequences of this division are obvious. The sense of exclusion rightly or wrongly felt by non bikers leads to anger that can be easily accessed in the comments section of any article about bike lanes.
    Oddly you see nary a shred of spandex (or even helmets, but thats another story) in China, Holland, or Denmark – places where bikes are a fact not a lifestyle choice.
    How did this happen? And what can we do.
    Patrick

  2. It’s because it’s an advertisement of the user being lazy, out of shape, or generally too poor for a motorcycle. It’s pretty much the same for a scooter, but an ebike is less capable.
    Practicality aside, riding an electric bike is either on par or less cool than riding the bus.

  3. An electric bike is an electric wheelchair, with just two wheels, one in front of the other. (I have one myself, and love it. But I think they can be perceived as being just for the elderly and infirm.)

  4. What is wrong with electric bikes that don’t look like bikes is often that they aren’t actually bikes, but rather electric scooters posing as bikes, with a non or low functioning set of fold away pedals that allows them to legally use the bike lanes, other than in parks. Given the mass of many of these vehicles, and the ability of users to easily defeat the speed governors, they are far too often a danger to others.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a bicycle with pedals as a means of propulsion, and with an electric assist that functions only when the user is pedalling, These bikes expand cycling to more people.
    Hopefully the provincial law that allows electric scooters with throttles to pose as bicycles will soon be changed, and the electric scooters can return to the road. The electric assist bikes will hopefully grow in number, and coincidentally they tend to look like bikes because they can actually be pedalled.
    It has nothing to do with spandex. Those who attempt to divide the world like this do not understand that some people use street clothes with their transportation bikes, and Lycra with their sport bikes, because that is what works best. The same users occupy both “subcultures”. How do critics judge the presumed lifestyles of others in these circumstances? Must be hard.

    1. They’re allowed on the road just like a normal bike under the current laws.
      The advantage that ebikes have currently is that they don’t require insurance as a low speed vehicle, and they can use bike infrastructure. That’s why they have a reputation for being for cheap people, because they’re much cheaper than a real motorcycle.
      You can buy electric motorcycles. They can do well over 150km/h. They’re just more expensive (like a real motorcycle), require insurance (like a real motorcycle) and require a motorcycle license (like a real motorcycle). The limit between an ebike and an electric motorcycle is power. Ebikes are capped at 700 watts or so, which is a rather pathetic amount of power. There is also a top speed of 32km/h.
      There’s a company called Zero Motorcycles out of California. They make beautiful bikes, which can cost upwards of $20K. I’d definitely consider them when my Suzuki decides to quit. They don’t really replace the current usage patterns for recreational motorcycles though. Soon though, they probably will.

      1. There are products being sold now in town as ebikes, with 500w nominal, 1900w peak, fold away pedals “to qualify as a bike and use bike lanes”, and governed as per regs to 32 km/hr. One rep at a show explained to me that he rode one at 80 km/hr, and on line ads not from the dealer offer 45/55/75 km/hr upgrades. No insurance or license required for the original product. The modified product is not a legal ebike. If you are gong to keep to 32 km/hr, though, why do you need 1.9 kw of power in the original product?

        1. The current ebike regs are very poorly formulated, apparently without any knowledge of electrical engineering, and they’re full of gaping loopholes. For example, the “rated” power of a motor is a pretty meaningless number. You can get a lot more than the “rated” power, for example by running the motor at higher than the rated voltage. Whoever wrote the rules seemed just to modify existing rules for gas-powered scooters. It wouldn’t be hard to write proper regs though.

  5. “An electric bike is an electric wheelchair”
    I’ve never seen an electric wheelchair that the seller advertises can go over 30 km/hr.

  6. Today I saw a poor woman struggling to push an electric scooter style e-bike with a trailer and 2 kids on the back. Breakdown or out of power? In any case, she was in a pickle since the thing was obviously not rideable.

  7. I have an e-bike, and from my perspective the problem with e-bikes is that most of them are ugly. Maybe that’s what the ad is referring to.

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