Electric bicycles - who buys them?

Electric bicycles - who buys them?

Author
Discussion

Esceptico

Original Poster:

1,922 posts

56 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Recently rode an electric bicycle. It was actually alright. Managed to keep up a decent pace with less effort than cycling - felt a bit smug/guilty cruising past normal cyclists going up a hill.

Then I checked out the prices on the internet. WTF! Seemed like most were £2k or much more (even those that just looked like a normal bike with a battery attached).

I can certainly understand the appeal of an electric bike but when you can buy a rev-and-go scooter for the same money, which can offer 120 mpg, space under the seat for a helmet, no effort and much greater road presence, then why would you?

trickywoo

8,139 posts

177 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Presumably because you need a test (CBT minimum), insurance, servicing etc which you don't for the electric option.

The electric bike will also fit in your hall which a petrol scooter won't.

daddy cool

3,519 posts

176 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Presumably a scooter requires road tax, driving licence and insurance, non?

Bennet

1,283 posts

78 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Seriously thinking of getting one, but the entry price is putting me off.

Why not a scooter? Because I'd feel like a pillock on one of those, mainly. Also, I anticipate easier filtering through traffic jams on a bicycle. You can still quickly hop on to the pavement for a few seconds etc, or lean it over to pass another vehicle that's a bit too far to the left.

DonkeyApple

34,844 posts

116 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Esceptico said:
Recently rode an electric bicycle. It was actually alright. Managed to keep up a decent pace with less effort than cycling - felt a bit smug/guilty cruising past normal cyclists going up a hill.

Then I checked out the prices on the internet. WTF! Seemed like most were £2k or much more (even those that just looked like a normal bike with a battery attached).

I can certainly understand the appeal of an electric bike but when you can buy a rev-and-go scooter for the same money, which can offer 120 mpg, space under the seat for a helmet, no effort and much greater road presence, then why would you?
Because it’s zero interest in the loan which means you’re making a profit of 5-6% over a normal loan and it’s less than a Starbucks a day anyway so practically free in the first instance.

Vaud

33,736 posts

102 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
trickywoo said:
Presumably because you need a test (CBT minimum), insurance, servicing etc which you don't for the electric option.

The electric bike will also fit in your hall which a petrol scooter won't.
Plus you can go on bike paths, etc

threespires

3,312 posts

158 months

Monday 26th March 2018
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I'd love an electric bicycle but not only the high price but the fear of it being stolen means I'll be doing without.

daddy cool

3,519 posts

176 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
I'll get an electric bike when I'm too infirm to ride a standard one...

giantdefy

455 posts

60 months

Monday 26th March 2018
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daddy cool said:
I'll get an electric bike when I'm too infirm to ride a standard one...
Yep, but at 65 I may well have got there. Thinking of converting my winter hack to electric, lot cheaper at ~£6/700

Barchettaman

3,031 posts

79 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Gazillions of the things here in Germany, particularly in hilly Stuttgart where I regularly work.

For many people they are the most appropriate commuting option - the majority of Wohnhäuse here (and workplaces) have secure bike storage too.

sjg

6,189 posts

212 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Let's compare apples with apples - you can buy a workable ebike for under a grand which is the equivalent of the cheap Chinese or Thai built scooter. Yes, good quality ones with Bosch or Shimano drivetrain cost more, just like you can easily spent £5k on a good quality scooter (and double that for something really nice).

Ebike has no legal requirement for insurance or helmet (although both are a good idea), can be parked and ridden anywhere bicycles can, easily bought inside your house if you have nowhere to park it at home, can have a drink or two after work without jeopardising your driving licence. It's just a bicycle that gives you a bit of extra assistance to get up to speed or up the big hills. It allows you to have a practical bike (racks to carry your bags, mudguards to keep you dry, oily bits enclosed, comfortable upright riding position) that you can ride in normal clothes but have the pace of someone on a skinny-tyred road bike who's getting a sweaty back from their rucksack.

If I lived somewhere like Bristol with nightmare traffic/parking and big hills to contend with, I'd be all over one.

mikecassie

456 posts

106 months

Monday 26th March 2018
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I think they're great, my retired uncles and aunts have them and if it gets them out of the house for some exercise then they are worth every penny. I didn't ask what they cost, none of my business, but I wouldn't have thought they'd have bought ones for that kind of money knowing them.

essayer

6,301 posts

141 months

Monday 26th March 2018
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MIL has one on account of dodgy knees, as a result has been able to join a local club of retired ladies who go touring. She’s happy

VonSenger

1,989 posts

136 months

Monday 26th March 2018
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Buy the conversion kit and convert a standard bike. Much cheaper and Lots available.

Cupramax

8,444 posts

199 months

Monday 26th March 2018
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VonSenger said:
Buy the conversion kit and convert a standard bike. Much cheaper and Lots available.
This, I built my own. Wouldn’t be without it now, you get idiots making stupid comments about cheating but I tend to ride a lot further and go on longer rides than I ever did previously and don’t get back feeling like I’m in for a coronary hehe

Ziplobb

557 posts

231 months

Monday 26th March 2018
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I have been thinking about getting one just so I can keep up with my kids offroad - nipper did the '7 hills' yesterday thats one side of the Isle of Wight to the other going up and down the 7 major hills in 2 hours 42 mins ... electric is the only way I can beat him

daddy cool

3,519 posts

176 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Cupramax said:
.. and don’t get back feeling like I’m in for a coronary hehe
Which, ironically, means you'll probably end up having a coronary! wink

Esceptico

Original Poster:

1,922 posts

56 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
daddy cool said:
Presumably a scooter requires road tax, driving licence and insurance, non?
Can you still ride a scooter on a full bike licence (if you have done a CBT)? Not sure. I think road tax and insurance are pretty low as long as you are not that young.

Esceptico

Original Poster:

1,922 posts

56 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
Cupramax said:
VonSenger said:
Buy the conversion kit and convert a standard bike. Much cheaper and Lots available.
This, I built my own. Wouldn’t be without it now, you get idiots making stupid comments about cheating but I tend to ride a lot further and go on longer rides than I ever did previously and don’t get back feeling like I’m in for a coronary hehe
How much did it cost and how easy was it to do?

Plug Life

978 posts

38 months

Monday 26th March 2018
quotequote all
sjg said:
someone on a skinny-tyred road bike who's getting a sweaty back from their rucksack
...and a sweaty ballsack.