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  1. #1
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    Cool Will You Let eBikes in Your Group Ride?

    Imagine this...

    It's Saturday morning and you got up early to go ride with some buddies at your local bike shop. Most of the other riders are at your level of fitness or slightly above, making each ride challenging but fun. When you arrive at your LBS, you notice some new guys joined the group, but you think nothing of it. However, after the first climb, you realize something is up... either the newbies are on steroids or you're having a really bad day as they ascend like mountain goats, leaving you in the dust.

    As the ride completes, you feel like your going to die as you tuck your lungs back into your mouth. Meanwhile, the new members are laughing and look like they hardly broke a sweat. After they leave, your friend lets you know that they were riding ebikes, but no one knew but them. You had no idea because their bikes looked just like normal road bikes, like this Ribble Endurance SLe...



    What do you do? Do you ask the newbies on the electric bikes to find another group to ride with? Do you let them ride in your group and ask them to "not go so fast"?

    First off, let me say that I'm not opposed to ebikes, I believe they have a purpose and my hope is that they get more people riding. However, I don't ride one and don't intend to as long as I can help it. As such, I'm having a hard time figuring-out how ebike riders and "naturally aspirated riders' can get along in the same group ride.

    I recall seeing a man on an ebike over the summer and the only reason why I suspected it was an ebike was that he was flyin' and hardly looked like an elite cyclist (and he was on flat ground.) After seeing him the second time, I saw he was on an ebike. As much as I'd like to think people will only use the motor on their bikes for challenging hills, this guy clearly just enjoyed going fast w/ little effort (which he has the right to do, but...)

    Thoughts? Will we all have to buy ebikes someday just to keep things even? I hope not

  2. #2
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    Group rides, be they training or social, are tribal events. Each tribe will decide.

    Course, when all the eBikers create their own tribe, will they restrict battery size or output watts or minimum rider weight? Tribes.

  3. #3
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    When they start pulling away at 21MPH+ without pedaling I call the cops. Unlicensed and unregistered motor vehicles are illegal.

    Many mopeds are advertised as 28MPH capable on motor power. Funny how calling a moped an "ebike" suddenly makes a moped desirable. All about branding.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akirasho View Post
    will they restrict battery size or output watts or minimum rider weight?
    I can envision people performance tuning their bikes by buying aftermarket motors, high output batteries, etc., just like the RC car guys do.

    Back on topic... I suppose you're right, the "tribe" will have to decide if ebikes are allowed or not. I personally can't see the non-motorized and motorized bikes getting along in the same "tribe".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I can envision people performance tuning their bikes by buying aftermarket motors, high output batteries, etc., just like the RC car guys do.

    Back on topic... I suppose you're right, the "tribe" will have to decide if ebikes are allowed or not. I personally can't see the non-motorized and motorized bikes getting along in the same "tribe".
    They have been doing that already. I have 2 coworkers already with mopeds they're proud of breaking 25MPH on with "50cc" rated gas engines they know honest to god are 70CC. 50CC being the gas-engine limit for mopeds, legally--just as most US states state "ebikes end and electric mopeds start at 20MPH. I see electric mopeds (ebikes) on the MUTs all around zooming at 25MPH. Most "ebikes" you can go on Youtube, and in 5 minutes disable the governor for more free speed. Seriously. It is a brickable governor, that any idiot can disable.


    As far as group rides....well...the moped riders will be unwelcomed in short order and banned from organized rides and have to start their own. Why? Because to get higher speeds breeds training and smarts (and the development of skills) when doing it with your legs. When speed is free and any idiot with no bike handling skills can do it...well...that is exactly what you get--idiots with no skill or sense. The same EXACT way "drones" (quadcopters) basically destroyed the R/C airplane/helicopter exclusivity from mostly people with manners and sense and smarts---to being every idiot is creeping you out overflying your house or crashing into your property. There are some few handful of owners that do have skills/smarts that are simply falling victim to age/injury--and I get it, they want to hang with faster friends who want training in....but they are a tiny minority, especially if/as prices come down.


    People being unwelcomed in pace lines and rides already does happen, of course. There are a handful of people I see once a year and never want in a paceline--they might have legs...but they are dangerous to everyone in the line in their lack of bike handling skills.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    They have been doing that already. I have 2 coworkers already with mopeds they're proud of breaking 25MPH on with "50cc" rated gas engines they know honest to god are 70CC. 50CC being the gas-engine limit for mopeds, legally--just as most US states state "ebikes end and electric mopeds start at 20MPH. I see electric mopeds (ebikes) on the MUTs all around zooming at 25MPH. Most "ebikes" you can go on Youtube, and in 5 minutes disable the governor for more free speed. Seriously. It is a brickable governor, that any idiot can disable.


    As far as group rides....well...the moped riders will be unwelcomed in short order and banned from organized rides and have to start their own. Why? Because to get higher speeds breeds training and smarts (and the development of skills) when doing it with your legs. When speed is free and any idiot with no bike handling skills can do it...well...that is exactly what you get--idiots with no skill or sense. The same EXACT way "drones" (quadcopters) basically destroyed the R/C airplane/helicopter exclusivity from mostly people with manners and sense and smarts---to being every idiot is creeping you out overflying your house or crashing into your property. There are some few handful of owners that do have skills/smarts that are simply falling victim to age/injury--and I get it, they want to hang with faster friends who want training in....but they are a tiny minority, especially if/as prices come down.


    People being unwelcomed in pace lines and rides already does happen, of course. There are a handful of people I see once a year and never want in a paceline--they might have legs...but they are dangerous to everyone in the line in their lack of bike handling skills.
    Wow, in what part of the world do you live?

    I ride with two groups of folks and enjoy both. One is a group that are mostly 25 years younger and the other mostly my age. I just returned from a ride that included 2 e-bike riders (formerly highly athletic road bikers). One is in the battle of her life with breast cancer and the other has MS. None of us noticed any difference in their behavior until the last day when we were faced with high headwinds for the last 12 miles. One of the e-bikes pulled the paceline a big portion of that last 12 miles and we were grateful to have him on the front.


    I frequently ride with my 81 year old brother and his friend who were both pretty serious road riders ( most of the alps) and turned to e-bikes a few years back. It was great to have him and my sister-in-law along on their e-bikes in the Dolomites for a couple of years and it remains fun to ride with him a couple of times a month here at home. He and his friend can give me all that I want and never hold me up on training rides.

    I understand the problem that e-bikes casue for the perpetually insecure. Their self image is seriously damaged when an old guy rides past them.

    I suspect that many of the stories about wild e-bike behavior may have their foundation in the psychiatric recovery of repressed memories

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I'm having a hard time figuring-out how ebike riders and "naturally aspirated riders' can get along in the same group ride.
    How do stronger riders and weaker riders get along in the same group? It's not really any different.

    We've got a guy in one of my regular groups who recently switched to an ebike. It has caused no problems at all. In fact, it has led to whole new game of "Let's try to drop the ebike" on the more spirited rides. (It's not easy but, yes, you can drop an ebike.)

  8. #8
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    I agree that there are going to be problems mixing e-bikes with human powered bikes. It's going to cause conflict, for sure. I can't wait to hear, once the group ride stories start being published here.

    One way I'd deliver the message to an e-bike rider on a group ride would be to surreptitiously lead the ride beyond the range of the e-bike. Once the battery starts to tank, I'd give the rider a few choice words or just plain put the hurt on 'em!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Wow, in what part of the world do you live?

    I ride with two groups of folks and enjoy both. One is a group that are mostly 25 years younger and the other mostly my age. I just returned from a ride that included 2 e-bike riders (formerly highly athletic road bikers). One is in the battle of her life with breast cancer and the other has MS. None of us noticed any difference in their behavior until the last day when we were faced with high headwinds for the last 12 miles. One of the e-bikes pulled the paceline a big portion of that last 12 miles and we were grateful to have him on the front.


    I frequently ride with my 81 year old brother and his friend who were both pretty serious road riders ( most of the alps) and turned to e-bikes a few years back. It was great to have him and my sister-in-law along on their e-bikes in the Dolomites for a couple of years and it remains fun to ride with him a couple of times a month here at home. He and his friend can give me all that I want and never hold me up on training rides.

    I understand the problem that e-bikes casue for the perpetually insecure. Their self image is seriously damaged when an old guy rides past them.

    I suspect that many of the stories about wild e-bike behavior may have their foundation in the psychiatric recovery of repressed memories
    Nothing about insecurity....I see too many idiots with no skills. And more over--have no interest in learning them. Simply getting people on bikes to want to learn to even change a tire is like pulling teeth.

    Like I said and you quoted. There are people ill or elderly, many of whom are cyclists or were active. I dig it. Both know how to handle a bike. Local shop owner's wife is one. They want to ride together and enjoy life. But those are a small minority. For every one of those people I see 10 tools spewing smoke or slaloming on an electric moped on populated MUT.



    Nice ad hom BTW. I'm sorry real life disagrees with your Kumbaya view of how things actually are.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Wow, in what part of the world do you live?

    I ride with two groups of folks and enjoy both. One is a group that are mostly 25 years younger and the other mostly my age. I just returned from a ride that included 2 e-bike riders (formerly highly athletic road bikers). One is in the battle of her life with breast cancer and the other has MS. None of us noticed any difference in their behavior until the last day when we were faced with high headwinds for the last 12 miles. One of the e-bikes pulled the paceline a big portion of that last 12 miles and we were grateful to have him on the front.


    I frequently ride with my 81 year old brother and his friend who were both pretty serious road riders ( most of the alps) and turned to e-bikes a few years back. It was great to have him and my sister-in-law along on their e-bikes in the Dolomites for a couple of years and it remains fun to ride with him a couple of times a month here at home. He and his friend can give me all that I want and never hold me up on training rides.

    I understand the problem that e-bikes casue for the perpetually insecure. Their self image is seriously damaged when an old guy rides past them.

    I suspect that many of the stories about wild e-bike behavior may have their foundation in the psychiatric recovery of repressed memories
    WHAT PART OF THE WORLD DO YOU LIVE IN?

    Insecure about being passed by a motorized vehicle?

  11. #11
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    No way would I ever let that happen! But mainly because I ride alone and not in a group.

  12. #12
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    NO! NO! no!
    BANNED

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    the new members are laughing and look like they hardly broke a sweat.
    no laughing!!!
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  14. #14
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    On an aside, I also ride a recumbent and at least have gotten a "vibe" on a ride or fifty over the years. No person has ever banned me outright, partly cuz I'm a bigarse mo fo and partly cuz they think they're gonna drop me in the hills.


  15. #15
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    Not unless there is some sort of physical impairment that means they can't ride a normal bike. I once had a tourist follow me up a pinch climb on an ebike that maintains an average gradient of about 8% for 2kilometres straight where I live. I was pissed when they pulled up beside me and I realised it was an ebike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akirasho View Post
    Group rides, be they training or social, are tribal events. Each tribe will decide.

    Course, when all the eBikers create their own tribe, will they restrict battery size or output watts or minimum rider weight? Tribes.
    I would say that's a true take. Most groups of course if known...heck it isn't easy to detect in pro cycling...will not allow an e-bike...or maybe if a given rider has a disability.

    Keep in mind, most Harley riders started out as road cyclists. Tribe.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akirasho View Post
    On an aside, I also ride a recumbent and at least have gotten a "vibe" on a ride or fifty over the years. No person has ever banned me outright, partly cuz I'm a bigarse mo fo and partly cuz they think they're gonna drop me in the hills.

    With your aero profile, you can save watts on the flats to expend in the hills.
    Fastest riders in my town are on bents. I can't stay with them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Wow, in what part of the world do you live?

    I ride with two groups of folks and enjoy both. One is a group that are mostly 25 years younger and the other mostly my age. I just returned from a ride that included 2 e-bike riders (formerly highly athletic road bikers). One is in the battle of her life with breast cancer and the other has MS. None of us noticed any difference in their behavior until the last day when we were faced with high headwinds for the last 12 miles. One of the e-bikes pulled the paceline a big portion of that last 12 miles and we were grateful to have him on the front.


    I frequently ride with my 81 year old brother and his friend who were both pretty serious road riders ( most of the alps) and turned to e-bikes a few years back. It was great to have him and my sister-in-law along on their e-bikes in the Dolomites for a couple of years and it remains fun to ride with him a couple of times a month here at home. He and his friend can give me all that I want and never hold me up on training rides.

    I understand the problem that e-bikes casue for the perpetually insecure. Their self image is seriously damaged when an old guy rides past them.

    I suspect that many of the stories about wild e-bike behavior may have their foundation in the psychiatric recovery of repressed memories
    Wonderful story SS. E-bikes are by far more blessing than curse.
    Technology will make the integration into roadbikes even more seamless than it is now. Pedal sensing is here. Dial in what supplemental assist you want.
    My time horizon I believe is ten years from now. I plan to have a 200W FTP into my 70's. I can still drop untrained college kids in their 20's. In ten years, e-roadbikes will be something to behold and in the nick of time to add watts just like it helps your 81 year old brother. Why give up the joy of speed if one can have a little help from technology and still enjoy the fruits of road cycling. E-bikes will keep long time aging cyclists in the game. Can get the same workout but will be faster to enjoy the thrill of speed we all enjoy on the road.
    A 20-25mph pace like a Group A ride is a lot of fun.

  19. #19
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    Well, we manual bike riders can hang with the electrics until their batteries discharge and then drop 'em on the next climb! Those things weigh around 50#, very heavy without power.

    For long afternoons exploring the countryside, I'll choose my own power, thanks. I hate batteries. They're the achilles heel of the digital age. They always screw it up sooner or later. The legs are much more reliable.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 10-08-2018 at 11:59 PM.

  20. #20
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    Did hear of a scheme whereby generators in the wheel hubs charge up the battery while rolling along, not sure how well, theoretically offering the possibility of a pedal assist perpetual motion bike. That would work.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Did hear of a scheme whereby generators in the wheel hubs charge up the battery while rolling along, not sure how well, theoretically offering the possibility of a pedal assist perpetual motion bike. That would work.
    Look at the kinetic energy reuptake systems they use in cart and formula one.

  22. #22
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    Never had that happen but I don't see it being much different than someone being to fast for the ride with a regular bike.
    Just let them go or take up the challenge. And from their point of view the two options will be go on a solo ride off the front or chill out if they are indeed to fast for the group.

    The problem could be that a lot of people in group rides think as much as greyhounds chasing a fake rabbit around a track so people who can't keep up trying will break up the group. That generally works itself out after 15 miles or so though.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Did hear of a scheme whereby generators in the wheel hubs charge up the battery while rolling along, not sure how well, theoretically offering the possibility of a pedal assist perpetual motion bike. That would work.
    No it wouldn't. Perpetual motion violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. What you are speaking of is regenerative braking. Energy imparted is always greater than energy derived. No such thing as a perfectly efficient machine.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Never had that happen but I don't see it being much different than someone being to fast for the ride with a regular bike.
    Just let them go or take up the challenge. And from their point of view the two options will be go on a solo ride off the front or chill out if they are indeed to fast for the group.
    ^This.^

    I really don't care what others are riding on as long as it's not a danger to life and limb. If they want that false sense of accomplishment passing me on an e-bike provides them, so be it.

    And just to be clear, are we talking about e-bikes with a throttle, or e-assist bikes where the motor doesn't engage unless the rider spins the pedals?
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    ^This.^

    I really don't care what others are riding on as long as it's not a danger to life and limb. If they want that false sense of accomplishment passing me on an e-bike provides them, so be it.

    And just to be clear, are we talking about e-bikes with a throttle, or e-assist bikes where the motor doesn't engage unless the rider spins the pedals?

    Your post assumes the rider won't instantly disable such limiting equipment after purchase...which is a very very funny assumption.
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