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Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Todd's keyboard
Date: September 21, 2021 09:44AM
My wife and I are planning to retire to one of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia later this year (or early next year).

I'd like to give up one of our two cars and replace it with a pair of electric two-wheelers. The current preference is for a Vespa-like, electric scooter with a trunk attached to the back to hold small amounts of groceries and what-not.

I'm assuming the offerings are changing rapidly. Any tips on how to research various options? Web sites, print magazines, etc. that I should start perusing?

thanks, Todd's regenerative kb
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 21, 2021 10:01AM
Congratulations !

Find a local shop that sells such things and can service them. Take aging and stability into consideration. Local environmental conditions, etc.. Expect that this stuff won't last forever, think about overall lifespan, battery replacement, possible solar panels to charge in your retirement home, etc..

Do NOT just buy online from some Chinese knock-off. You will regret it very quickly.
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 21, 2021 10:42AM
Might help to know what local shops offer in those areas because a test-ride and after-sale service might be desired.

I'd be interested in the battery tech they use or if they can be modified for better batteries if they only come with lead-acid.

And yeah, learn about solar charging if you want to power them for free (eventually.)
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: September 21, 2021 10:55AM
I've been a supporter of Rad Power Bikes for a while, but have a snafu now. Generally the bikes use easy to find off the shelf parts, making maintenance and repairs pretty simple.

The chain tensioner on my Rad Runner recently bit the dust. The part is unique to Rad. They don't have one in stock and have no idea when they will. They blame COVID, which is probably true. I suggested that maybe they should cannibalize a dozen new bikes to keep replacement parts in stock, but that won't happen. With a lot of pushing they finally suggested a different supplier that had a part that might work....also out of stock in the USA.

Chain tension is now being accomplished via a system of zip ties that kind of works. I need to do some sharing of that setup on social media.

So going local is probably the right call...



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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 21, 2021 11:19AM
Todd's,

Can't speak for up north, but here in NY, certain types of motorized vehicles like scooters and mopeds require a license. It's based on the speed rating of the vehicle, not fuel. Doesn't matter if it's a gas, electric or hybrid. Definitely check licensing requirements in your area prior to purchasing a vehicle. A reputable dealer should be able to guide you well for both type of vehicle and licensing requirements (if any).

Robert
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 21, 2021 11:31AM
Also, keep in mind insurance and registration. You'll probably need insurance on a motorcycle or scooter. You don't "need" it on an eBike, but it could be a good thing to get. I have a friend that carries insurance on his eBike. Partly because it was 9k and partly b/c it's so large and heavy that he could cause decent injury if he hit a pedestrian He has a large cargo eBike, which might be a good option for you. It's designed differently, and has a large cargo bucket in the front (down low), between the front wheel and handlebars. I don't think this is the same brand he has, but it's the same style to give you an idea: [www.amsterdam-bicycle.com]

On the registration front, you'll need to research that as well. i.e. Technically, in California, we're supposed to "register" certain classes of eBikes (at least that was the case several years ago when I got my first eBike) and you get a little license plate to go with it, but I doubt anyone actually does (I didn't) and I doubt you'd get into any trouble for not doing that specifically (maybe if you got into trouble for something else, they'd tack it on).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2021 11:33AM by Gareth.
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Todd's keyboard
Date: September 21, 2021 11:57AM
Thanks for the advice. (And, please, keep it coming.)

Yes, British Columbia makes distinctions between classes of two-wheeled vehicles. Some low-speed versions do not require a special license, registration, or insurance. Those considerations are definitely on my to-look-at list.

Like Gareth's friend, I assume we will include some sort of liability insurance as part of our homeowners' policy, even if the model(s) don't require a vehicle registration.

Not sure if solar-charging will be viable in my lifetime for where we live. The concern is not so much British Columbia as it is trees and shade. It's nice to keep that option open, though.

Might anyone know of a magazine that focuses on electric two- (or three-) wheelers?

Another big advantage for our situation is ferries. Bicycles and motorcycles aren't charged as high a fee as automobiles. Even more significant, they don't have to line up with the cars. Two-wheelers board first. Even better, parking a two-wheeler at a ferry terminal and walking on can sometimes be even more appropriate than with a car.

thanks again, Todd's kb
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 21, 2021 12:02PM
Quote
Gareth
It's designed differently, and has a large cargo bucket in the front (down low), between the front wheel and handlebars. I don't think this is the same brand he has, but it's the same style to give you an idea: [www.amsterdam-bicycle.com]

I have one of these without the 'e' that I use to get groceries and take kids to school and daycare. I love it. I can do a full grocery load which confuses the clerk.

---

IMO you should ride as many ebikes / vehicles as possible in the ways you intend to use them. If you want to use it to get groceries, ask to test it with a bag of groceries (or at least something of similar weight).

Some good points have been made about insurance and licensure. My bikes are on my home owners policy and I made sure this was the case with my insurance rep. How insurance and licensure works often depends upon how fast / powerful the vehicle is. IMO even lower powered ebikes are pretty powerful, at least compared to my own legs which are reasonably in shape.

Its possible that your eBike / e-whatever will become your primary vehicle if most of your trips are short enough, under 5 miles are so. I guess it depends upon where you'll be doing your grocery shopping.

---

Update: consider maintenance. I'm kind of surprised to see so many eBikes with chains and external derailleurs. Chains benefit from maintenance although I bet with an ebike its easier to ignore a dirty chain. On my cargo bike I have an internal gear hub and a carbon belt drive. It increases the cost of the bike but service is very infrequent.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2021 12:35PM by mattkime.
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: September 21, 2021 12:03PM
In the PNW, the eBike of choice is Seattle based RadPower.

[www.radpowerbikes.com]


You might also consider something like the FUV from Arcimoto. It's fun, electric and would be a great island run-about.
[youtu.be]

[www.arcimoto.com]




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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 21, 2021 12:16PM
Quote
Todd's keyboard
Might anyone know of a magazine that focuses on electric two- (or three-) wheelers?

Like a physical, paper magazine? Hmm....

Here's a web site for "all things electric" with sections for eBike and motorcycles: [electrek.co]
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 21, 2021 12:24PM
The purist in me would want only one propulsion system, not the "versatility" of two, for the same reason I don't want a hand-crank for my iPhone as a backup. Lemme stock up on battery juice and stick within the range.

I was thinking about this the other day when someone said to not take a motorcycle farther than you can push it back home. I don't know that anyone of course actually does that, nor do I have any reason to think a well-running [anything] should not be reasonably reliable ... so perhaps it's all a misconception.

Or perhaps ebikes come with the pedals in case you want to ride is as a regular bike, which would strike me as a separate sort of miserable overall.
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Also no actual help, but...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 21, 2021 12:27PM
...a suggestion.

Figure out how much work you want to contribute to moving.

Some eBikes require minimum pedal input on one's part and supply varying amounts of assistance.

Others, as with electric motorcycles, require no pedaling of the rider.

So you can either get a workout, or just cruise.

Pedaling an eB with a dead battery is work, as I understand it, but you're not left for dead, when the battery quits unexpectedly.

My choice would be an eBike that will move under its own power, but allow me to contribute effort, only if the spirit moved me.

Electric motorcycles are really pricey, but I admit like the idea.

I like aural feedback from a bike, but there are times when a belt-drive eMotor appeals to me.





Like I said, a little pricey, and maybe not what you had in mind?





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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: September 21, 2021 12:30PM
.....what about motorboating.......you would be able to do it more frequently....



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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 21, 2021 12:50PM
Quote
deckeda
I was thinking about this the other day when someone said to not take a motorcycle farther than you can push it back home.

As someone who has actually pushed a motorcycle home... That's the most ridiculous idea ever. If you were actually following that advice, you'd never go more than a few blocks from your house. I was lucky, in that my bike failed near an offramp near home and I was able to coast up to street level and then walked the bike home on the sidewalks (I was close enough that it made more sense than waiting for a tow truck).

Quote
deckeda
Or perhaps ebikes come with the pedals in case you want to ride is as a regular bike, which would strike me as a separate sort of miserable overall.

Yes, that's pretty much the definition of an eBike - it comes with pedals. Often, you won't want to rely solely on the pedals, but it depends on the bike. I have one that would be incredibly uncomfortable and not practical to pedal as the sole power source (seat is the wrong shape, fixed gear, heavy), but another (normal style bike with gears) that actually has the option to increase the resistance of pedaling for more of a workout (and you charge the battery that way). In general, I find the first "electric assistance" level is what you need to overcome the additional weight of the eBike though.
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: September 21, 2021 01:16PM
Out of sheer jealousy and outraged envy, I absolutely refuse to give any advice to someone who has such a glorious future in store!

Congratulations!
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: September 21, 2021 01:19PM
Nah, one piece of advice: find out what the nearest dealer stocks, and think about buying there.
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 21, 2021 01:34PM
It might be worth going into a big city to rent a few different ones to evaluate them for your use. Seattle has several either big stores or small chains that sell e-bikes. I think it is worth buying one that needs a license to keep up with traffic. I would guess a lot of secondary roads in BC are like WA, with darn little space to pass a pedestrian/bike/ebike.

rjmacs had a thread back in March. It's been a year - can we chat e-bikes again? Top brands were Rad Power Bikes and Specialized.

CJsNvrUrly has a few electric bikes, one was a three wheeler. Great for groceries but bulky and might not qualify for walking on the ferry.

I looked at electric scooters and bikes about a year ago. There are a couple of bigger brands that charge a lot for a name/warranty. A powerful 'bargain' brand costs more than a gas powered one. Pretty much all of them should be bought with a credit card that adds/doubles the warranty. Scout locations beforehand to make sure you can lock them securely, they are very popular with the homeless.

One option is putting a motor on a bike you are already familiar with. Bafang has great motors and batteries that you can customize to your needs. The NY Macbook repair guy Louis Rossmann has more than a dozen podcast videos about tweaking his bike (it's a borderline motorcycle). https: //www.youtube.com/user/rossmanngroup/search?query=bafang

Costco has what looks to be a throw-away when it breaks.
$370 Phantom Bikes - Sit and Go C1 Foldable.


Best Buy - Super73 electric motorbike (75 miles range) $2700
https: //www.bestbuy.com/site/super73-s2-electric-motorbike-w-75-mile-max-operating-range-28-mph-max-speed-hudson-blue/6474449.p?skuId=6474449


Walmart* - Addmotor 20" 16Ah Electric Folding Bike ( 55 mile range) $1700
https: //www.walmart.com/ip/20-16Ah-Electric-Folding-Bike-Addmotor-M-140-P7-750W-48V-Step-Thru-Commuter-E-Bikes-for-Adults-22MPH-Green-Electric-Bicycle/445968346




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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Maddog
Date: September 21, 2021 01:40PM
Lots of good advice. I will chime in and say we love our ebikes! Got the Specialized low entry Como. The ones we got are Class 3 (pedal assist, no throttle, max speed 28mph). This would be my recommendation, and I have tried and had others. These are pricier, but you often get what you pay for. Super smooth, great integration of assist/pedal input. Also, the support has been really good from Specialized.
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 21, 2021 02:46PM
I'm wondering now about a recumbent 3 wheeler with an electric assist.... My balance tends to go if I'm tired, and a bike accident / head trauma would kill me rather quickly.
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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: Spock
Date: September 21, 2021 05:23PM
How about all wheel drive? Designed in New Zealand for sheep farmers and perfect for mud and snow, on and off road. Downside - spendy.



[www.ubcobikes.com]



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Re: Seeking advice future purchase of an electric bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 21, 2021 09:04PM
Quote
Maddog
Lots of good advice. I will chime in and say we love our ebikes! Got the Specialized low entry Como. The ones we got are Class 3 (pedal assist, no throttle, max speed 28mph). This would be my recommendation, and I have tried and had others. These are pricier, but you often get what you pay for. Super smooth, great integration of assist/pedal input. Also, the support has been really good from Specialized.

Comos are highly rated... more of a "bike" vs a scooter. But that depends on use.

It sounds like you want a scooter, not an ebike, like a radpower, or a pedago, etc.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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