Author Topic: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?  (Read 6034 times)

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Offline jinx

Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« on: November 07, 2023, 08:11:52 pm »
Has anyone toured using an E-bike or G-bike? If so, how did that work out for you?

Offline ray b

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2023, 10:47:41 pm »
(I feel old. Isn't a G-bike just a trade name for a company that make e-bikes?)

Some relatively recent threads have dealt with some of the issues of fitness, physics, and logistics as limits to where and how fast one can travel.

I've been passed by plenty of folks on e-bikes on the Katy Trail - flat with a relatively dense infrastructure of places to stay and re-charge some batteries.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2023, 09:56:13 pm by ray b »
“A good man always knows his limitations.”

Offline jinx

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2023, 02:09:47 am »
G-bike meaning gas powered motorized bicycle as opposed to an e-bike, electric powered motorized bicycle.

I was curious if anyone has ever toured with a 'legal' motorized bicycle. Legal meaning a motorized bike that fits within the generally accepted Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 system. I believe all Classes have to be under 750 watts or 1 hp with Class 1&2 having a 20 mph speed max. Class 3 has a 28 mph max. Class 1&3 are pedal assist (PAS) only while Class 2 can be PAS and/or throttled.


The issue of recharging an e-bike's battery(s) when necessary. Fuel for g-bikes and maintenance for both. Only Class 1 is generally allowed on MUP's and bike-trails thus being able to travel roads and most bike-trails. With only 750w/1hp available how was performance fully loaded? At some point you'll be pedaling. How often, when, etc.? Store-bought e-bikes and g-bikes are significantly heavier than a regular bicycle.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2023, 02:23:39 am by jinx »

Offline misterflask

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2023, 11:49:07 am »
I had a quick look at the arithmetic.
 
The change in potential energy for a 250lb bike in 4000ft of climbing is 377W*hr.  E-bike batteries are now commonly 600W*hr, so loaded overland touring looks theoretically plausible.  I'd assumed going in that a loaded climb would quickly exhaust a battery so this looks far rosier than I expected (totally ignoring system efficiency for the moment). 

Two marginally useful data points:
I (my wife) had an early ebike with a 300W*hr battery.  Making the moderately hilly 8mi to work and back was an iffy affair.  The early tech was draggy when not powered, so running out of battery was definitely to be avoided.

My sister and BIL have an electric tandem (probably at least ten years old now).  I toured with them on a fully supported tour down the Danube, about 30ish mi per day, generally flat, but occasionally hilly.  They carried a spare battery in case they ran one down.  They said a battery was generally good for about 20mi and I don't recall them dragging in powerless, but they're healthy enough they might not have whined about it.

I try to stem my annoyance at e-bikes scorching by me; at least they're out on a bike.  But I sure hope G-bikes don't become a thing.

Offline mobilemail

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2023, 04:35:44 pm »
I can only offer my limited experience:
Last summer I completed the "Ride the Fault Line" ride, using my motorized ICE Adventure HD motorized trike for the longer days.  Specifically it was motorized with a Bafang BBS02 combined with a 52V/25Ah battery - 1300WH, if I did my math right.  The motor was programmed for 9 progressive steps in power, and I stayed in level 1 until I came to hills/headwinds.  So I wasn't the fastest rider on the course, but I started with 100% charge and finished with enough charge in the battery to have completed one more day of the same length before I needed to recharge.  The terrain was flat to gently rolling hills, and my trike is set as pedal assist only, without a throttle. 

It worked out so well that in 2024 I'm planning to do a 7-day hotel based solo ride through west and central IL with 50-75 mile days. I expect that I will only need to charge the battery after 2-3 days of riding.  I may also use it for a local fully contained weekend trip, just to see how it responds with a proper load. 

If I'm just doing rides closer to home, I will only charge the battery to 80% to extend the usable life of the battery.  I can get a couple good rides out of that before I recharge it to 80% again.

I can't imagine using a G-bike. I would be constantly paranoid that a chainsaw was chasing me.....

Offline misterflask

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2023, 08:24:28 am »
I would be constantly paranoid that a chainsaw was chasing me.....

Conjures this image:


I once bungied a chain saw to the back of my mountain bike to do some trail clearing.  Never in my life have I felt more prepared.

Thanks for the real-life data points, mobilemail.  There's nothing like facts to enlighten a discussion.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2023, 12:54:09 pm »
I don't believe gas-powered bikes are permitted on PA state trails and probably not on a lot of other locally managed trails, and for good reasons.  I suspect the same is true in many (if not most or all) other areas.

As for eBikes, I believe state trails are limited to Class I only, but that doesn't stop some people.  Locally managed trails are probably the same.

l did a ride on a state trail last month. Most of the people I saw were riding eBikes.  Some of them were riding ones with throttles that required no pedaling at all.  (I call those mopeds.)  Some of them were flying.  I almost hit a couple riding throttle eTrikes while I was trying to pull out of a tight parking lot near the trailhead. They were doing at least 20 mph with no concern for the safety of others or themselves.

Offline mobilemail

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2023, 09:46:10 pm »
If that keeps up we will have to ride our bikes on the roads for safety!!   :D :D :D

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2023, 10:56:31 am »
If that keeps up we will have to ride our bikes on the roads for safety!!   :D :D :D

Believe it or not, that has actually crossed my mind.  You often have inexperienced people operating heavy machines that can accelerate quickly with the twist off the wrist.  Some of those people don't understand how their riding can negatively affect others.  Just because you cannot get hit by a car on a trail doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with no adverse effects on others.

DJ#503

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Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2023, 09:52:26 pm »
 I've actually had the chance to tour using an E-bike, and it was quite an experience! The electric assistance really made a difference, especially when I encountered challenging hills or wanted to cover longer distances without getting too tired. It made the whole journey more enjoyable and allowed me to explore more freely. As for G-bikes, I haven't had the opportunity to try them yet, but I've heard they offer a comfortable and relaxed ride. It's always exciting to discover new ways to enhance the touring experience! 🌟🚲

Offline froze

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2023, 05:53:12 pm »
I can think of several issues with using an E-bike for touring.

One is they're only good for about 20 miles, but loaded with another 60 pounds of gear and it may only go around 15 miles if you're lucky

If you save the battery for climbing, then you're pedaling with another 50 to 60 pounds in bike weight and battery, plus your gear weight.

When you camp for the night, you have to make sure there's power so you can charge the battery backup.  I think trying to find a campsite every 15 miles by itself will be tough to do, not alone one with a power site.

So now you think you'll just carry a second battery, but those weigh a lot and are bulky.

I just don't think it's very feasible.

Having said that, there is a guy I know who has a touring E bike, he has 2 large batteries attached to the frame, and he can go about 60 miles on a charge, but I questioned the logic of doing such a thing, his bike weighs 75 pounds, plus he carries 60 pounds of gear.  If you're going to travel like that you might as well say forget it and buy a motorcycle!

Offline dayjack119

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Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2023, 01:00:31 pm »
In 2017 I purchased a Class 1 E-Bike Kit pedal assist from EBO of Denver to add onto my REI touring bike.  The reasoning was to counter the wind when needed on my many cross country rides.  I've completed a coast to coast tour each summer since, skipping during Covid, and going as far north as Newfoundland.  I ride very heavy and fully loaded.  The Power Levels are 1-5.  At level one, I get 40-50 miles per charge on normal roadways with no more than a four percent grade at times.  20-30 miles per charge on continuous hilly routes and almost 0 miles on steep grades.  People forget that these electric motors are very small, like a 1 cylinder instead of a 16, so don't expect them to perform wonders.  But in the wind, they are so sweet.  Along with a good set of earplugs, one doesn't even notice the headwinds.  And if dogs begin to chase you, bump it up to level 5.  I've since added a spare battery to lengthen my reach when in the boonies or following the backbones of mountain ranges.  And charging is no different than keeping your other devices charged.  The battery unsnaps and if you bring the right wiring set up, you charge all your devices at the same time off of one power receptacle.  How is that any different than what you have been doing?  An additional benefit is the USB connector on the electric kit.  It charges your phone continuously with no noticeable loss of battery power.  That means road music all day long.  So don't listen to the naysayers and haters.  I wouldn't ride without my eAssist.  This is the best thing to happen to cycling in this century.

Offline froze

Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2023, 04:41:14 pm »
EBOs security certificate expired 2 days ago, my protection system won't let me go there.

Offline dayjack119

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Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2023, 05:01:56 pm »
I texted Jason at Electric Bike Outfitters.  I'll let you know when he has it fixed.

Offline dayjack119

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Re: Touring with an E-bike or G-bike?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2023, 06:53:17 pm »
I heard from Jason and here is his response.  "Thanks for letting me know.  SSL didn’t auto renew, site looks like it could be down until tomorrow. Trying to expedite it to be back up tonight."

I hope this does it for you.