CygoLite Bike Lights: Engineered to ShinePlanet Bike: Better bike products for a better worldXtracycle Bike Cargo Kits, Parts and AccessoriesRideKick Electric Powered Bike TrailerChrome Bike Backpacks and Messenger BagsUtility Cycling - Use Your BicycleMiiR Bottles one4oneOrtlieb Bike Bags & PanniersBike Tech Shop - The Experts on Cycling with CircuitryBionX: Electrify Your BikeBanjo Brothers Affordable Cycling GearCommuter Bike Store Breezer Uptown Infinity

This is a Confession, not a Bike Review

by Ted Johnson
Revolve Business Casual

Revolve Business Casual | Photo: Pete Prebus

Pete Prebus is writing our series on The Rise of the Commuter & E-Bike Specialist Shop (parts 1, 2, & 3).

Yesterday I borrowed an e-bike from Pete. It was the Revolve Business Casual that he reviewed last month.

The bike’s power is a little underwhelming. But gutless as it is, it made the hills on my commute home much easier. I had to pedal to maintain or exceed my usual unassisted speed on hills.

But this is not a bike review.

This morning, as I was getting ready to head in to work, I remembered that I still had this bike.  At that moment, I felt a little bit of dread melt away.

Dread, you say? Yes. It was like seeing something out of the corner of your eye, and when you turn your head it’s gone.

But I can’t deny it was there. This e-bike offered me minor relief from something to which I was not  looking forward wholeheartedly: my bike commute.

Let the introspection begin.

Do I embrace the e-bike as something that could make my bike commute easier? Or do I reject it, like a slippery slope that leads down to the seat of a car?

I think I have my answer. As penance, I’m going to take home a single speed bike, and take those hills the right way.

Let’s pretend this whole incident never happened.

The Chariot Summer Sale - 2013

8 Responses to “This is a Confession, not a Bike Review”

  1. Rob E. says:

    This is why I shun e-bikes. Not because I think that they are useless, evil, or a bad idea, but because I’m afraid I would love them too much, and unassisted rides would become more and more rare. I can’t quite see them leading me into a car. I’ve already been led into a car, and I’ve come back, but I can easily see where I became so reliant on a motor that that last hill on my commute, the one I used to walk up, went back to being something I couldn’t pedal up under my own steam. Don’t tempt me, electric assist, you cannot rob me of the only exercise I get.

  2. Josh Lipton says:

    Perhaps we should start up

  3. I am torn about e-bikes. Once they become as affordable as non-e-bikes, and can take me much further (say, two or three times) on a charge than I can ride, and let’s say at a similar or faster pace, and there are more places to charge them when you need a charge, they may appeal to me more. For now, though, I like riding too much to start sliding down the slope at all.

  4. Hey Ted, I have a couple more e-bikes to tempt you with!

    @Josh, I like that idea! Might be a funny Facebook page :)

  5. Bob P. says:

    My bike commute is my exercise time, although I can get too warm on the ride in. I am experiencing dissonance when I think of one. Maybe I should take one for a test spin.

  6. Cars and e-bikes provide no temptation to me whatsoever. I love riding my bike and I would not get to work any other way. With that said, I am intrigued by e-bikes. I figure that when I get to an age (hopefully a long time)that I am unable to bike unassisted, this will provide me a way to continue to bike.

  7. peteathome says:

    On a pedelec ebike – the type that only assists your pedaling – you still get plenty of exercise. But you can avoid heavy sweating, so they are great for going to an off-site meeting at work without having to change or shower again. Or for going to work without having to change or shower.

    I think they have the opposite effect of a slippery slope leading to a car. Instead, you end up with fewer excuses to take a car. A large load of groceries – no problem. Can’t get too sweaty – no problem. Don’t want to get too tired – only a slight problem. Running short of time – the ebike might help.

    I have a Bionx add-on kit on my bike. Top speed 20 mph, typical range on a charge, using level 2 assist, about 35 miles. And the kit is light enough that I can easily continue without assist power ( I typically have to go one gear lower than with my regular bike) so no range anxiety. I think I actually get more exercise with this assist kit than before because I do ALL my transportational trips by bicycle. I also achieve a higher over-all speed with the ebike than an unassisted bike, so longer trips of, say, 15 miles are more doable.

    I still use a regular bikes for recreational rides or when I just feel like getting out there and bicycling because it is just more fun than the ebike. But for utility, the ebike wins.

Leave a Reply