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That E-bike Life

charles.itm | December 22, 2022

Riding a bike has challenges, but riding and owning an e-bike adds a few extra layers of complexity to the mix. E-bikes, on average, are heavier than traditional bikes, some much heavier. My Rad Power RadRover weighs 74.1 lb. My friend’s onyx cty2 weighs 90 lb. With the added weight pedaling, these things are not all that practical. Batteries also require maintenance and operate differently depending on the weather. My Super SOCO TC electric motorcycle uses a 60 volt 30 amp hour battery with a battery management system that will not allow the battery to charge if it detects the cells are too cold. So I must remove the heavy internal battery and bring it into the house to juice it up. The brake pads on my ebikes have to be replaced more often, my tires wear out quicker, and there are electrical components that are susceptible to rain. One of the more significant problems for some is the rules around where you can ride, how much power you are allowed to have, and how fast you can go. E-bike classes exist, but most bike manufacturers fudge the specs on their bikes to make them arear to be compliant, and each state and county can enforce their own rules (see below).

MAX POWER:
3,800W Constant | 6,300W Peak

MOTOR:
750W Economy | 1500W Normal | 2500W Sport | Hi-Torque Hub Drive

SPEED MODES:
ECO (15MPH) | NORM (20MPH) | SPRT (45+ MPH OFFROAD ONLY)

My RadRover can not do 45+, but it’s not a good look when folks walking and pedaling see e-bikes flying past them on bike paths. I care about others around me, and I constantly adjust my speed accordingly. Hitting someone on a bike upwards of 90 lb at high speeds, including the rider’s weight vs. pedal bikes, has a very different outcome, and law enforcement is scrambling to deal with it.

Written by charles.itm





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