The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

eBikes – I'm not, but is there?

I have been considering the Copenhagen Wheel for commuting to/fro work. Has anyone been Ragbrai-ing and been buzzed by an eBike? I haven’t seen anything in the rules. Anyone have an eBike? Real-life pros/cons?

16 Replies

Profile photo of Michrider
Michrider !!!, March 25, 2014 at 5:39 am

ak2outside: I have been considering the Copenhagen Wheel for commuting to/fro work. Has anyone been Ragbrai-ing and been buzzed by an eBike? I haven’t seen anything in the rules. Anyone have an eBike? Real-life pros/cons?

Rules? RAGBRAI has rules? Who knew????


  Quote

#751309

Profile photo of Paul
Paul, March 25, 2014 at 6:46 am

Good morning,

My wife and I have used a Bionics electric assist off and on on her trike and on my Rans Rocket. It is a much more intuitive and friendly setup than I ever expected. The upside is it can help you keep on the road when you are recovering from an illness (mine was pneumonia) and maintain a decent commuting average speed. The downside is about 18 extra pounds and remembering to charge it up. We ended up getting motivated to graduate back off of it as able. The Bionics product has been rock solid and I am keeping it around in case we need it again.

I saw a bit on the Copenhagen wheel but could not find specs on how much assist it gives, the range, nor the weight.

Have fun and see you on the ride!


  Quote

#751310

Profile photo of Iceman
Iceman, March 25, 2014 at 7:32 am

Oh my! First, some people want to go east to west. Now more people want to use powered bikes. What’s this world coming to?


  Quote

#751311

Profile photo of Michrider
Michrider !!!, March 25, 2014 at 7:48 am

iceman: Oh my! First, some people want to go east to west. Now more people want to use powered bikes. What’s this world coming to?

Can the apocalypse be far behind????


  Quote

#751312

Profile photo of "Bicycle Bill"
“Bicycle Bill”, March 25, 2014 at 10:02 am

If you want to ride a bicycle across Iowa, come on RAGBRAI.
If you’re looking for a motorcycle rally, that’s in Sturgis SD.

-“BB”-


  Quote

#751315

Profile photo of Ken
KenH, March 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I have not been buzzed by an ebike during RAGBRAI, to my knowledge. They are quiet, how would I know? Pretty sure I have seen one or two parked at a stop now and then but I could not tell you if they were used on the road or just around town. I have been buzzed by gasoline powered bicycles on one or two occasions. The Copenhagen Wheel looks innocuous enough. If there is no rule against it and you want to use one I think you would be ok. It isn’t like an electric motorcycle, it is a pedal assist unit and it is limited to 20mph. I am sure there are packs of cyclists doing RAGBRAI at that speed because I have been buzzed by them times beyond number. Listening to people complaining about hills I have often thought that they should have a bike that could store energy on downhills and use it to assist them on uphills.

This unit does that although it goes beyond that and stores enough energy for up to 30 miles. One downside is that when you are regenerative braking down hills with a few thousand riders behind you coasting at 30mph or even pedalling for all they are worth you will need to be careful to stay out of their way. The regenerative brake is going to limit your speed to ??? on downhills so that it can harvest that gravitational potential energy stored in your mass at the top of the hill rather than converting it to kinetic energy and dissapating it as wind loss as the rest of us do. The other con is that it only goes 30 miles on a charge. After that it is just dead weight except for whatever it returns to you after a descent. Given that even on this year’s short route you are doing at least 40 miles a day and over 60 on most days it might not be the friend you thought it would be. You could be cursing it even on this relatively flat route by the end of day 3.

It wouldn’t offend me to see riders using these but in the end you might be better served with a traditional human power only bicycle.


  Quote

#751316

Profile photo of badcatmomma
badcatmomma, March 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm

BB, you and I have been around for a long time (even though I’ve been offline for quite a while) and I agree with much of the advice you offer. BUT – ak2outside said they are considering the Copenhagen Wheel for commuting to work. I didn’t hear anything in the original question of bringing the thing on RAGBRAI.
I personally do not think an assisted bike should be on the ride, but that’s not what the question was.


  Quote

#751324

Profile photo of Wild
Wild, March 26, 2014 at 8:39 am

If you need a motor maybe you should be thinking Sturgis instead of RAGBRAI.


  Quote

#751335

Profile photo of "Bicycle Bill"
“Bicycle Bill”, March 26, 2014 at 9:44 am

True, badcatmomma, but look at the next two lines he/she wrote —
“Has anyone been Ragbrai-ing and been buzzed by an eBike? I haven’t seen anything in the rules.”
Mentions power-assist bikes (eBikes) on RAGBRAI in the first one, and refers to the lack of a reference to them one way or the other in the shadowy “rules” of RAGBRAI in the second.  And it has been my general experience that when people start talking about rules they are usually looking for loopholes.

So I thought I’d step up and put in my two cents worth.

-“BB”-


  Quote

#751340

Profile photo of Michrider
Michrider !!!, March 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Rules & Loopholes? I’ve searched the “rules” and can’t find anything about the consumption of beer and we all know how that turned out, LMAO!!!!!!


  Quote

#751341

Profile photo of ak2outside
ak2outside, March 29, 2014 at 3:44 am

I don’t think I would be able to look myself in the mirror if I had eAssist during RAGBRAI. But with the increased popularity, I figured that they would be creeping into the ride more and more. I have a lovely carbon Giant road bike that will be accompanying me to Ragbrai, which is only assisted by carbs in both hoppy liquid and pie-shaped solid.

I would like the Copenhagen wheel to ride from work, as after a long 10 hour day, the boost up my 1,700 ft elevation gain ride would be much appreciated as it would more than double the number of times i ride my 20+ year, Giant commuter bike to work unassisted.

I only ask because I figured some cranky-pants, back-in-my-day-when-this-ride-was-about-the-spirit-of-riding-and-not-about-all-this-other-nonsense purist would have some great “they-don’t-ride-what-I-ride” story. I would think a couple younger families would be including children into our sport who might not make the longer rides on their own.

I also assume a healthy 40 year old would garner the same distain showing up on an electric bike at RAGBRAI as they would at Sturgis!


  Quote

#751419

Profile photo of Michrider
Michrider !!!, March 29, 2014 at 6:14 am

ak2outside: I only ask because I figured some cranky-pants, back-in-my-day-when-this-ride-was-about-the-spirit-of-riding-and-not-about-all-this-other-nonsense purist would have some great “they-don’t-ride-what-I-ride” story. I would think a couple younger families would be including children into our sport who might not make the longer rides on their own.
I also assume a healthy 40 year old would garner the same distain showing up on an electric bike at RAGBRAI as they would at Sturgis!

ak2, I love it! “some cranky-pants, back-in-my-day-when-this-ride-was-about-the-spirit-of-riding-and-not-about-all-this-other-nonsense purist”. You pegged him perfectly! He really is more bark than bite! Beebs, are your ears burning yet????


  Quote

#751422

Profile photo of James
thangamalang, March 29, 2014 at 8:00 am

I think it would be just lovely to leave Ragbrai as a bicycle ride across Iowa. We see skate boards, roller blades and the standup treadmill thing (I want one) which are self-propelled and I don’t mind sharing the road with the people who use them on Ragbrai. I don’t know if they are registered as riders but I do know I don’t own the roads in Iowa.

I would think an eBike could fit in on Ragbrai under certain circumstances such as a veteran rider so in love with the ride but not able to complete the miles, a real old dude or dudette for instance.

An eBike for a rider that is fully capable I don’t think so.


  Quote

#751424

Profile photo of "Bicycle Bill"
“Bicycle Bill”, March 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

ak2outside: I only ask because I figured some cranky-pants, back-in-my-day-when-this-ride-was-about-the-spirit-of-riding-and-not-about-all-this-other-nonsense purist would have some great “they-don’t-ride-what-I-ride” story. I would think a couple younger families would be including children into our sport who might not make the longer rides on their own.
I also assume a healthy 40 year old would garner the same distain showing up on an electric bike at RAGBRAI as they would at Sturgis!

ak2, I love it! “some cranky-pants, back-in-my-day-when-this-ride-was-about-the-spirit-of-riding-and-not-about-all-this-other-nonsense purist”. You pegged him perfectly! He really is more bark than bite! Beebs, are your ears burning yet????

Well, maybe it’s time to change my avatar (again).

I suppose if I’m going to be labelled there are worse things I could be called.  I will also answer to “retro-grouch”; I figure if a term like that is good enough to describe someone like Sheldon Brown, it’s good enough for me.

-“BB”-


  Quote

#751431

Profile photo of WILLIAM
Sandaltan, March 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

She has a way with the English language….I am envious!!

RIDE RIGHT AND DON’T BE A CRANKY PANTS.


  Quote

#751440

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

The forum ‘RAGBRAI XLII – 2014’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Categories

RAGBRAI XLV – 2017

RAGBRAI XLIV – 2016

RAGBRAI XLIII – 2015

RAGBRAI XLII – 2014

RAGBRAI XLI – 2013

Training

Clubs, Teams & Charters

Lost and Found

Miscellaneous

Gatherings & Meetings

RAGBRAI XL – 2012

RAGBRAI XXXIX – 2011

Members