E-bike owners survey

November 15, 2016

I’m writing an article on e-bikes for the Belmont Citizens Forum,
so I need information from e-bike owners.

I don’t own one; I ride a cargo bike, so I don’t have any first-hand experience.

I’ve the questions here so that people can answer them in the comments, and so that they can send the link around to other e-bike owners.

I’m most interested in feedback from people in the Boston metro area, but feedback from other areas helps, especially if you can provide contrast with Boston (e.g., it’s hilly in West Virginia, it’s very snowy in Buffalo, it’s hot in Houston). If you prefer not to answer in the comments, you can mail them to me at dr2chase@mac.com.

  1. What motivated you to try an e-bike? Was a hill too steep, or a commute too long, or were kids too heavy, or did you need to arrive at work not too sweaty?
  2. Have you had your bike for long? Is it reliable?
  3. What kind of bike is it? (for example, Pedego, Specialized, or some brand of electrified cargo bike?)
  4. Can you describe how you use your e-bike? That is, do you ride for fun, or for commuting and errands? Do you ride every day, once or twice a week, or less often? Are there hills or long distances involved? Do you carry heavy loads, or children?
  5. How does the e-bike help this?
  • May I use your name or initials in the article?
  • May I describe your situation in some detail, rather than general terms?
    For example: “AR commutes year-round from a steep hill in Belmont to Kendall Square in Cambridge, carrying two small children in a ButchersAndBicycles tricycle to drop off at day care along the way”

Thanks you for your time. If you would like a copy of the article, please mention that in the comments or email.

One Response to “E-bike owners survey”

  1. Jeff Roth Says:

    We have an XtraCycle EdgeRunner with an optional electric assist from Bionix. This is a wonderful bike that can replace many car trips as it can carry two kids plus groceries, shopping bags, gear, and more. It is a very rugged and sturdy bike. Having the e-assist feature opens up a lot of options, making our “Mini-Bike” (as we nicknamed it) able to step in and replace a significant number of car trips. As a result, the bike gives you the satisfaction and exercise of biking somewhere, plus the well-being that you accomplished your errand in a green and fun fashion. The e-assist option is especially useful for cyclists who may not want to struggle like crazy when pulling the extra cargo weight, which can be feel appreciable especially on uphills.

    The downside is that the e-bike option does complicate the bike and adds cost and maintenance to the bicycle. E-bikes are maturing, but the reliability is not quite as good as compared to a traditional bicycle. You have to be willing to take some extra care with an e-bike to preserve your investment. For example, be willing to clean it more frequently if you ride in winter, store the battery (or bike) indoors during cold weather, and replace the drive-train components and brake pads more regularly because of the higher loads.

    But for a cargo bike, e-assist is a perfect fit and well worth exploring if you want a bike that can replace a significant number of car trips. You expect to carry a lot of stuff on that kind of bike. As a result, the e-assist feature will open up many options and make you want to ride it not only for the everyday mundane errands, but even for longer excursions like taking the kids to Walden Pond.

    I also recommend going to Belmont Wheelworks in Waverley Square and talking to Jon Currier or another salesperson about e-bikes. Wheelworks has a large selection of e-bikes, and can educate you on the many options available.


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