Author Topic: TOURING AFTER COVID  (Read 2524 times)

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Offline fedinspector

TOURING AFTER COVID
« on: January 31, 2021, 11:09:04 pm »
Hello everyone, I am recovering from Covid which i got last December. At 67 years of age i was blessed to make it through although it seems a may end up being what the doctors call a "Long Hauler". Issues after Covid. Touring was my sport. I was planning on the Canada to Mexico route this Summer but honestly, i don't think i can handle it with my current rig. Covid left me with Lung and Heart complications. God willing, if i am able to recover capacity in my lungs and heart, i want to get back to it. At this point i feel as if i may have to move to an electric bike for touring. I was doing road and gravel touring pre Covid. Can anyone give me some advice on what would be a good electric bike set up for both gravel and road touring? I have never used an electric bike and hills typically killed me before, so i know they won't be any easier now. Thanks in advance for your knowledge.

Offline staehpj1

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 08:30:28 am »
Hello everyone, I am recovering from Covid which i got last December. At 67 years of age i was blessed to make it through although it seems a may end up being what the doctors call a "Long Hauler". Issues after Covid. Touring was my sport. I was planning on the Canada to Mexico route this Summer but honestly, i don't think i can handle it with my current rig. Covid left me with Lung and Heart complications. God willing, if i am able to recover capacity in my lungs and heart, i want to get back to it. At this point i feel as if i may have to move to an electric bike for touring. I was doing road and gravel touring pre Covid. Can anyone give me some advice on what would be a good electric bike set up for both gravel and road touring? I have never used an electric bike and hills typically killed me before, so i know they won't be any easier now. Thanks in advance for your knowledge.
I don't have a lot of experience with ebikes, but I have ridden one.  Based on the little I have ridden my daughter's ebike, if you use the motor as an assist it feels like you are riding a regular bike only as if you are really strong.  I can see it working very well for someone with compromised heart/lung capacity.  The problem would be planning the charging stops on a long tour through remote country.  Once the battery is dead it becomes a pretty clunky bike if the one I rode is any indication.  Battery life can apparently be pretty good, but on some tours charginging stops may be pretty far apart.  If you can plan the route for that I think you'd be okay.  That is assuming you are okay with the other issues of dealing with the pandemic like things being closed and so on.

Offline staehpj1

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 11:04:48 am »
I thought about it a bit and think I could have said more about what it is like to ride the ebike.  You can rely entirely on the motor, but I think you'd run out of battery and you might as well buy a small motorcycle.  If you use the motor for and assist, I found you could dial in just how much assist you want.  You can make it so you feel like there really isn't an assist, but you are just a much stronger rider than you really are.  You can feel a little stronger or like a world class pro.  How much assist you choose will determine how much work you do and how much battery you use.  You can definitely make it so it will help you overcome your heart/lung issues and dial in just how much help you need to do so.

That said you may possibly be limited in your route choices and you definitely need to plan where you will be charging if you will be in country with sparse services.  It would definitely be rough to be stuck with heart/lung issues and a dead battery in remote hilly country.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 11:11:56 am by staehpj1 »

Offline fedinspector

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 12:07:43 pm »
Thank you for your reply staehpj1. I appreciate the time you took to write your response. I actually have ridden an ebike a friend owns and everything you say is true and needs to be considered. On my touring bike i had to make modifications to the drive train. Gearing (lower chainring to help with climbing) chain etc. Thats what got me to thinking about an ebike. What i am wondering about is, is there a set up or a bike that is electric that is specifically designed to accommodate the unique requirements of a touring bike. I realize there are many different set ups of existing bikes as i have seen them from Alaska to Mexico. I'm hoping that someone has tackled this issue and i can learn from their advice. Maybe it doesn't exist yet?

Offline staehpj1

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 12:21:52 pm »
I don't know of any that are specifically designed for touring, but I bet some would work pretty well.  A lot would depend on the style of touring.  You wouldn't need super low gears with the assist and the amount of cargo capacity would depend on the touring style.  I think my daughter's RadWagon would easily carry 5 or 10 times as much stuff as I'd ever want to carry on tour these days if not more (she hauls two kids and a bunch of stuff on it).

Offline erniegrillo

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2021, 03:28:19 pm »
there are many e bikes and many choices for touring. you will be able to fine several to fit your needs.
  several friends had to go to e bikes due to health issues . many come with racks and fenders and you can buy an
extra battery which will give a 100+ mile range. consider the class of bike and the riding you will be doing.
Class 3 bikes are illegal on many trails

Offline TCS

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2021, 08:02:11 pm »
What i am wondering about is, is there a set up or a bike that is electric that is specifically designed to accommodate the unique requirements of a touring bike.

The professional bike testers that write for Adventure Cycling magazine put the Riese & Müller Superdelite e-assist touring bike in the "Road Test Hall of Fame".  It's $8200.

(A Honda Ruckus 50cc motorscooter is $2750.)

For the unique requirements of cycletouring, consider the recharging protocol.  An e-bike battery takes 4~8 hours to recharge, and long-range touring e-bikes like the Riese & Müller Superdelite or Specialized Turbo Vader SL Range Extender ($5200) have two batteries.  This will dictate nightly stops at motels, AirBNBs or established campsites with electric service (NTTAWWT).



"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline fedinspector

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2021, 08:28:24 pm »
Thank you TCS, that's my big dilemma. The recharging, finding a place with electricity AND high cost of the bike:(. If i went with a Honda Rukus 50cc i might as well get a nice Indian, HD or BMW. Then i would be in the wrong forum :'( Damn this Covid. Please everyone, stay healthy and don't get this virus. I focus on my blessings and i will tour again, some way some how!

Offline Inge

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2021, 02:04:51 am »
It sounds like you have already a good setup so why not use https://pendix.com/?&ref=https%3A%2F%2Fpendix.com%2F to convert your current bike with a Pendix conversion into an e-bike.
Santos in the Netherlands for instance uses Pendix eDrive on their bikes and people are very happy with them.

Offline fedinspector

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 11:08:52 am »
Thank you Inge, i will look at that!!

Offline Inge

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 02:11:23 am »
You are Welcome!

IF you want to contact a Dutch dealer for further info - I very likely can bring you in contact with a very good Santos dealer (my LBS who also converts bikes intol ebikes) and very likely also with someone at Santos headquarters.

Offline TCS

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2021, 11:49:49 am »
Something the Adventure Cycling coverage of e-bikes has completely glossed over is legality.

Mostly, 'it's all good'.  The only place I've heard of riders of Class 1, 2, or 3 e-bikes having any run-ins with the law is in NYC.

This is not to say touring on an e-bike is technically legal everywhere.  The 50 United States do not begin to have uniform e-bike laws.  As a worst case, a class 1 e-bike rider could leave Atlanta on the Silver Comet bike trail legally.  Crossing the state line into Alabama on the contiguous trail, the rider is instantly riding an unlicensed motorcycle on a non-motorized vehicle only path without an operator's license or insurance.

If an e-bike was right for my cycletouring, I wouldn't let this deter me.  Just be informed.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline fedinspector

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2021, 12:56:25 pm »
Thank you TCS. Legalities are certainly a consideration and thank you again for bringing that to light. I have served my country when younger and continued to serve in law enforcement all my life. now that i am retired and want to serve myself so to speak for whatever time God blesses me with, i'll be damned if im going to let the limitations that covid has placed on me to deter me from living my life in the way i want. I want to thank you and the other posters for your valuable information. I read every post with appreciation and give it great thought. Does anybody out there have any experience with Bulls electric bikes?   

Offline Galloper

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2021, 02:15:41 pm »
I have been touring on ebikes for some years now, first on a Kalkoff and more recently on a Cube 500 EXC.   I don't know if these are available in the USA, but they both make excellent  touring bikes.   I reckon on doing about 60 miles a day and, providing you manage your battery usage, would expect that to be achievable in most conditions.   They are both more than capable on road and will cope with gravel roads.   Both came with rear racks, suspension forks, fenders and lights.   Specialized have similar bikes in their line up but I haven't ridden one.

A few tips:  buy a bike with an easily removable battery, both of mine can be removed with a key and can then be charged away from the bike, in a motel room, for example.   Some bikes can only be charged with the battery in place.   Buy the largest capacity battery you can, mine are 500 wh and fine but a 625 gives better range.

The latest bikes have low drag motors and are much easier to pedal than earlier models.   On flat terrain if well surfaced, I rarely, if ever, find it necessary to use power.   My only, small, complaint is that, because of the battery, you may only be able to fit one bottle cage.   The suspension forks may make fitting front luggage a bit more difficult.

Prices are UK pounds sterling, Kalkoff (bought in end of season sale) £1500, Cube, £2300 and worth every penny.   I shall fear no hill or headwind, for I have an ebike.  :)

Offline Galloper

Re: TOURING AFTER COVID
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2021, 02:31:55 pm »
A further thought, a hardtail emtb, making use of bikepacking gear might be an idea, it would do very well on gravel roads and, with semi slick tires fitted would be reasonable on road.   I mention that because I have a set of semi slicks waiting to go on to an old mtb for use on gravel paths.   Might work for you.