Author Topic: Weaning myself off electric power  (Read 1409 times)

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Weaning myself off electric power
« on: 29 May, 2022, 07:30:25 pm »
Since getting an e bike as I was struggling to commute I have not really ridden without e power. So much so. That even a new carbon bike has sat unused, even though I really really wanted it when I bought it. I sort of lost my mojo, post divorce.

As good as the e bike is, it's a mostly a tool, with dynamo lights, racks ideal for utility use.

However seeing people ride without e assistance I wonder can I ever so it again.  In nice days I miss riding a light, good handling bike, hearing gears click etc. But the thought of not getting home terrifies me, so don't ride.

Any thoughts?

robgul

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  • cyclist, Cytech accredited mechanic & woodworker
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Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #1 on: 29 May, 2022, 08:19:28 pm »
Some parallels with my situation (stable contains:  Boardman Adventure e-bike (new Feb 22) - essentially a tourer; Van Nic Yukon tourer; Van Nic Ventus road; PlanetX carbon road) - I use the ebike a lot when I first got it and it's great BUT . . .

I'm disciplining myself to just use the ebike on group/club rides as I sometimes struggle to keep up - and use the others when riding on my own or with a regular riding pal with a similar situation to me.   

Last week I did a couple of days tour on the Yukon on my own - loved it . .  and will probably take it on the upcoming club tour to France (casual day rides, no fast stuff!)

It's really having the mindset to balance riding the different bikes for different reaons and pleasures!

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #2 on: 29 May, 2022, 08:26:21 pm »
Do you know anyone who could accompany you riding your e-bike, then if you do run out of steam you could swap bikes, you come home on the e-bike while they bring your carbon bike back? Do this a few times to build up confidence.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #3 on: 29 May, 2022, 08:46:44 pm »
My e-bike was so ridiculously expensive that I feel very reluctant to leave it locked up where I can't see it. If I want to do that, I use my Thorn. OK, that was very expensive when I bought it 16 years ago, but I figure that a bike that's done 42,000 miles doesn't owe me a lot, even though I think it's easily got another 42,000 miles within it.

The situation hasn't arisen yet but I see problems trying to take my e-bike on a train. I understand that some rail companies stipulate a weight limit of 25kg and mine is probably marginally above that even with the battery taken out. Also, it has very fat mountain bike style tyres so a dangly bike space would be a massive issue. I would still like to tour Scotland with a tent. I would probably need to use my Thorn for rides like that, but limit myself to about 30 miles a day if I had a lot of climbing.

I've found some interesting aspects of e-bike riding I didn't expect. The assist gets you up to about 15mph before it cuts out, but I've found that if there's a tail wind, getting all that mass shifting along at 20mph or so isn't that hard. I've done that a few times on the sea front.
I want to surf the zeitgeist to where it’s all happening

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #4 on: 29 May, 2022, 09:15:55 pm »
Hi velosam. It might help if you disclosed your age and how long you have been relying on assisted cycling with an e'bike.

I was 10 years+ away from cycling until I bought a flat bar road hybrid in the late 60'/early 70's direct from the manufacturer in the West Midlands.
that bike served me very well until sold it and bought a new flat bar Claud Butler Levante.
From there on-in I built all of my bikes from the naked frame.

Taking each day as it came and not expecting a rapid return to the fitness that I had enjoyed in my late teens with my 1937 Hetchins Curly (Vibrant Triangle) track frame.
 I was still riding up until 3 years ago and aged 73 years with a prosthetic left knee (full replacement) and riding 140mm Thorne cranks on the last two bikes before sadly selling them because of severe arthritic pain in my right shoulder and right elbow joint.

I could still climb all of the steepest gradients in the West Lancashire district including Alma Hill,UpHolland and Hunters Brow,Parbold.

Your ears are your rear-end defenders,keep them free of clutter and possibly live longer.

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #5 on: 29 May, 2022, 11:11:58 pm »
Thanks all.

I am 54 and got the ebike in Nov 19, when I was really struggling with the commute I had been doing for at least 5 years to work and back. It was getting harder and harder and I was just exhausted.

Even when I ride halfway (well 12 miles) I am amazed how I managed the 17 miles in all weather's.

I still do. Therapy suggests that I was fueled in the past by running away and anger. No need to run now and the anger is more despair, but that's a different subject.

I can't even contemplate 12 miles now, although I did manage around 15miles on a Brompton a few weeks ago but it was a massive mental effort.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #6 on: 29 May, 2022, 11:16:49 pm »
How about just switching the assistance off for some of your commute?  Easy way to build some fitness, and the bailout option is there at the touch of a button.  Probably easier psychologically if you do it for the end of the ride (so you have an achievable goal, rather than inevitably wimping out), and build up by switching off sooner.

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #7 on: 29 May, 2022, 11:24:26 pm »
A group I go out with regularly have now mainly gone electric, partly due to the age profile. It is incredibly hard work keeping up with them as they forget how hard it is to push a manual bike up them there hills at the same rate of knots and therefore leave me behind. I have turned back on two occasions and ridden home as the average speed was too high.
I have no problem with electric bikes and will probably end up with one myself eventually, but I do enjoy the exercise in my increasingly sedentary (retired) life provided by my traditional bikes but at a more leisurely pace. Touring is still wonderful and I hope it remains so for a few years yet. Lockdown blubber does not help.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #8 on: 29 May, 2022, 11:28:47 pm »
I reckon you plan a low-stress ride on a weekend, something small and fun (10 miles with ice-cream or the like).  The commute is work and utility, sure you could do it on a carbon race bike, but the carbon race bike is for fun sunny days.  Just do a few low pressure rides and buld up to 20 then 40 miles (again, with a pub in the middle).
Strange things are afoot at the circle K.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #9 on: 29 May, 2022, 11:35:20 pm »
When it comes to exercise, you still get it with an e-bike. And if that e-bike takes away all the drudgery and makes cycling enjoyable again, just do it! I passed 1000 kilometres on my new bike just 58 days after buying it - and I haven't even taken it on tour yet!
I want to surf the zeitgeist to where it’s all happening

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #10 on: 29 May, 2022, 11:56:37 pm »
Hi again velosam. Have you visited you GP late and had an Mot for your general health ?

What is your blood pressure telling you ?
Your ears are your rear-end defenders,keep them free of clutter and possibly live longer.

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #11 on: 30 May, 2022, 12:05:23 am »
I may just have to man up, but no health check. I had one done pre covid, all OK.

The e bike is ok to ride but its a hybrid, heavy and lacks a certain je ne said quoi lol

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • cyclist, Cytech accredited mechanic & woodworker
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #12 on: 30 May, 2022, 07:33:13 am »
How about just switching the assistance off for some of your commute?  Easy way to build some fitness, and the bailout option is there at the touch of a button.  Probably easier psychologically if you do it for the end of the ride (so you have an achievable goal, rather than inevitably wimping out), and build up by switching off sooner.

I should have said that's pretty much how I ride my Boardman - only switch the juice on when there's a hill, I'm getting left behind - or am tired.  Works for me.  That said the bike is relatively light for an e-bike and the Fazua motor system seems to have less drag than the Orbea e-bike I had before with a rear-wheel motor.

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #13 on: 30 May, 2022, 07:52:26 am »
Do you know anyone who could accompany you riding your e-bike, then if you do run out of steam you could swap bikes, you come home on the e-bike while they bring your carbon bike back? Do this a few times to build up confidence.
You're assuming they'd both be of a similar size.

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #14 on: 30 May, 2022, 08:41:38 am »
I don't know your general fitness level or how long your commute is so this is a bit generic.

Do a test commute one weekend on your nice bike to make sure you can manage it.
Then, when it's good weather and work not too busy, do the commute one day on the nice bike.
Then make it regularly one day per week. 
If that is going ok, go to two, then three.

I'm about your age now, but the above is more or less what I did about 20 years ago when I wasn't sure if I could handle commuting every day by unassisted bike.

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #15 on: 30 May, 2022, 10:34:00 am »
Local to you, with similar problem, PM sent.

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #16 on: 30 May, 2022, 10:52:37 am »
The Flat bar Hybrid was built up an a 50cm Bianchi Via Nirone naked frame and was fitted out with Campagnolo 10spd on a triple Stronglight chain-set with Thorn 140m cranks and running on Mavic Aksium rims with Mavic Cartridge hubs.
The complete bike weighed in at just a tad under 10kgs with Vittoria Rubino 700 x 23c folding tyres.

This was easy old age riding at its best.
Your ears are your rear-end defenders,keep them free of clutter and possibly live longer.

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #17 on: 30 May, 2022, 11:11:47 am »
I like the idea of riding with no e power. However I think I will put on some pedals and seat and ride the nice Genesis I have.

I do miss riding something that is light, responsive and feels a little bit alive.

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #18 on: 30 May, 2022, 11:44:55 am »
I do miss riding something that is light, responsive and feels a little bit alive.
I'm pretty sure there's a good range of E-bikes that meet that description. If you decide you prefer riding assisted they might be worth looking at.
I've hardly ridden this year, just lost the enthusiasm, entered four Audax but only ridden one, booked a long weekends tour and used the train, hardly any club riding... I use an E-bike for work, but I don't think that's the reason, the enthusiasm will either return or it won't, either way it can't be forced. 

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #19 on: 30 May, 2022, 01:02:00 pm »
I am hoping mine is just on an extended break. The rubbish weather has not helped!

Good luck with your mojo Paul.

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #20 on: 30 May, 2022, 07:03:52 pm »
I'm open to none e assist riding with you orienteer 🙂
the slower you go the more you see

Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #21 on: 31 May, 2022, 09:40:12 am »
Long story short, but I got an almost new electric bike for free.

My take having ridden it (as someone who isn't really fit enough to do "proper" club rides at the moment) is that I would rather ride a manual. I live in the Peaks and the hills are very intense here. I walk up them. There is no shame in doing that, and I still cover much more ground than I would on foot!

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #22 on: 01 June, 2022, 01:24:33 pm »
I am curious Paul, what don't you like about it?

Pedaldog.

  • Coince ma propre tete.
  • .
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #23 on: 01 June, 2022, 10:57:27 pm »
I've had "Less than Zero Mojo" for a couple of years now. Until a few weeks ago I reckon 90% of the riding I did was on my Posh (Pendleton from Halfrauds) E-bike. I have managed to slip in a couple of short rides on non assisted bikes, a few weeks ago I started doing as Kim suggested. I now only use the motor on hilly bits, the odd start, or when I need to keep up with somebody going faster than my normal speed. Knowing the motor is available makes a Huge difference. I'd not be cycling if I didn't have the reassurance it gives.
Train Wreck.   Is that a comment or an idea?

velosam

  • '.....you used to be an apple on a stick.'
Re: Weaning myself off electric power
« Reply #24 on: 03 August, 2022, 07:38:02 pm »
Well I have managed to do a couple of short rides in the woods, despite my back. It's much more fun riding the bike than the e-bike, but the latter definitely has a place. Also the bike, my ex commuter feels much nicer without the rack, guards, dynamo etc etc. It also looks nicer too