Do you bicycle? A cycling thread I guess


#141

Yeah, you definitely don’t buy one of these because it’s cheap. But then again, there are lots of other electric bikes which are way cheaper than the Faraday.

The Faraday is, from what I’ve seen, generally a very high quality piece of machinery. The parts are very nice, and really wouldn’t be cheap even for regular bikes. Adding an electric kit onto a road bike isn’t gonna result in something as nice as the Faraday, which really does look quite slick.

Like I said though, for certain areas, being able to go 20 mph, uphill, without really exerting yourself is a nice feature… it means you can use this thing to get to work in the morning, and not have to worry about showering when you get there.


#142

Exerting myself is part of why I like cycling!


#143

Sure, but I think that’s kind of why the electric bike idea is appealing… because it’s different than just cycling.

Instead of thinking of it as replacing your regular bike, think of it as replacing your CAR for anything that is within say 15 miles of your house.


#144

I’m mostly just being difficult. I live in a small, relatively dense city. We are essentially 6 miles end-to-end. 15 miles would bring me either into the ocean or into the mountains. I don’t really need any sort of motorized or assisted transportation, really.


#145

Ya, electric bikes kind of get that reaction from traditional cyclists a lot of the time… especially the normal electric bikes, which tend to be quite heavy, and pretty ugly looking… so if you aren’t in pedal assist mode, they’re kind of like very crappy bikes.

The Faraday, given it’s relative light weight, and the fact that it is so nice looking, tends to get a better reaction from traditional cyclists…

One thing, in addition to range, that makes it potentially useful is areas where it’s really hilly.

The designers are in San Francisco, where even fairly short commutes can potentially be brutal due to hills. The Faraday helps with that.

To me, the technology is getting to the point where it’s interesting enough for me to consider jumping in… I kind of like the idea of a vehicle that is small and nimble, that provides some exercise without being overly exerting.

In some cities, I think this technology has a lot of potential to reach a much larger user base than normal bicycles, once the price gets a bit more manageable. And that idea appeals to me, since it’d be a lot nicer to have tons of bicycles on the road, rather than tons of cars.


#146

I’m a traditionalist in many senses, I bike for the exercise. I tend to hold at around 20mph average speed while going, so to me the idea of an electric bike is anathema. That said I also appreciate how such bikes are great for certain people who might otherwise opt out of biking. My mother in law for example would be unable to bike with the family, but an electric bike would make the likelihood for her much higher.


#147

Ya, I think that’s the thing. If you’re already a biker, then you’re already in… so an electric bike probably isn’t for you. But think of all the folks who you know who aren’t bikers, but could be. And then think about how much better things would be for you, as a biker, if those folks were also bikers.


#148

Exactly. Anyone, like me, with multiple $1000+ bikes (one road, one mountain) won’t find utility. But they’re not meant for me. Anything that puts more butts on seats is ok by me though.


#149

At the same time a $3500 isn’t exactly the price tag one thinks of when you think of bikes to get people into biking. Although maybe price isn’t the barrier to entry for the target demographic. Maybe I’m just hung up on all the bike I would get for that amount of moola.


#150

I have a Trek Pedal Assist and I love it. I use it to commute to work and get up a few steep hills. It levels the hills and really gets me riding every day. So it’s less exercise per ride but more rides per week with the new bike. I ride it every workday unless the weather is really wonky.


#151

Yah, I like to get my ‘sweat on’ on my commute because that is part of my cardio that I do during the weekn (I also have a shower at work which many don’t). For some people, cycling is just another commuting choice. They don’t want to get a ‘sweat on’, but also don’t want to / can’t drive / take the bus.

I used to see them pass me on inclines and I would internally shake my fist at them and call them cheaters…but then I realized they aren’t doing it for the exercise.


#152

That’s kind of cool that you are actually seeing electric bikes on the road.


#153

From what I’ve read they are common in Europe and China. Not so much here for some reason. They really are nice if you have a short commute.


#154

Many folks in my area have started attaching tiny gas engines to their bikes. I rode one and it’s a cool experience, in good weather it’s all you need for getting around town.


#155

Let’s Get Behind This Brit, HeckUvva New Year’s Resolution!


#156

Wow, 20 hours a day for a year? That’s… well, it’s something.


#157

He’s 40 years old. This guy is going to harm his body doing this. You can’t go a year only getting 4 hours of sleep each night and be healthy.


#158

Well, it didn’t kill the guy who did it beforehand many years ago, who undoubtedly did it using inferior technology and putting himself through the same rigors.

Personally, I agree with what you are saying, but, at the same time, neither of us are in the same category of fitness or cycling aptitude that he is so I figure there is some possibility he knows what he is doing and could survive the experience without doing as much harm as we think. I’m going to celebrate his initiative and not give him bad marks for trying something that seems unattainable to us.

As he said himself, the biggest risk is a terrible crash or a terrible driver taking him out. (and his odds of a crash go up astronomically on little sleep and 20 hours a day on a bike)


#159

Arise, semi-dormant thread!

Two items that some folks might find interesting.

Most bike spokes are made from medium-quality steel, and they are engineered to a particular tolerance. If you exceed their tolerance, they’ll flex and probably be just fine. But that over-flexing will cause some fatigue, and if you constantly over-flex they will fail and break. If a spoke breaks, your wheel will come out-of-true and if you keep riding it you can do some major damage to it.

Fixing a spoke is a time-consuming but largely trivial exercise, but you should really have a professional re-true the wheel and make sure that the tension on all the spokes (to include the new one) is equal. Around here, it’s about $25 to get a spoke fixed.

This happens to me all the friggin’ time. I’m six and a half feet tall and while I’m not obese, I am not exactly svelte. I am almost constantly going over the tolerance on my spokes constantly and it’s just a matter of time before they fail. Each and every time I break one, I swear that I will buy a new, stronger wheel… possibly with titanium spokes. Then I look on-line, see how much a high-quality wheelset costs, and simply settle for waiting the day and paying the $25.

Well, so far this spring I have broken three spokes, and I finally bit the bullet and got new wheels. Rather than going for higher quality “normal” wheels, I went in another direction and got a set of solid wheels. You might have had these as a kid – the whole rim, spokes and hub are all one solid piece of steel or aluminum.

It actually looks pretty sharp, although I have gotten a couple cat-calls from passing motorists saying that I look like I’m riding a kid’s bike. The main problem with them is that they are ludicrously heavy compared to even a low-quality wheel: about four pounds each. That’s not a big deal to me… I’m in it for the commute and the workout - not the speed - so adding a couple pounds to my load is sort of a new “plus” if you squint at it just right.

Secondly, and as a complete aside, I’m in a terrible place right now with my audiobooks. My main credit card was compromised a couple months back, which was not particularly bad money-wise, I cancelled it, lost no money and got a replacement card. But I’m now in that consumer hell where every week or two I get a nasty-gram from some service or another that I had linked to that card, saying that it’s been declined. Again, more annoying than bad - the worst thing that happened is that my kids went without a cookie at lunch for a day when the school couldn’t auto-renew their account.

My Audible subscription did get interrupted this month and for whatever reason it wouldn’t re-bill me when I corrected the credit card. So I am without my two audiobooks for the next 30 days. This is especially bad because I’m bike-commuting three or four days a week, and that’s between six and eight hours of time that I usually filled up with a good (or even bad) audiobook.

I know, I know, First World Problems and all that. But it’s still pretty annoying. I’ll fill it up with podcasts for a while. I might also re-listen to A Dance With Dragons, which might get me most of the way through the month.


#160

Nice. I have the same problem but it never really occurred to me to try something like that. Are they expensive? I ride a hybrid instead of a street bike. I’ll check with the local bike store when I get a chance (and some money).

On the audible thing: I listen to podcasts while I ride. I find them entertaining and they don’t require me to pay as much attention as a book. With books I often lose my place when my mind wanders or I have to deal with some issue like traffic, dogs or kids on the trail. If you aren’t into podcasts, you could check into podiobooks. A lot of amateur authors post their own stuff for free. The quality level is…what you’d expect from amateur writers. There are probably a few good ones and they do have their fans but I gave up on them pretty fast. You might need to do some digging to find the good ones, though.