RAGBRAI LI July 20 -27, 2024

Electric assist bikes?

OK, here is something to perk up the forum. We have seen a huge increase in electric assist bikes around here, and I imagine we will be seeing an increase of said bikes on RAGBRAI this July. I have an opinion concerning this, but I am more interested in what the forum community has to say. Is this the beginning of the end? Will this allow folks who would otherwise not be able to ride to make it happen? Or does the answer lie somewhere in between? Are there any “rules” regarding their use on RAGBRAI? What are your thoughts?

396 Replies

Sandaltan ., October 28, 2019 at 4:16 pm

Yes Papa T, the package is important.



Joseph Schlau, October 28, 2019 at 7:59 pm

This thread is almost a year old now. Since it was started, another Ragbrai came and passed. In spite of all the dire scenarios of doom and gloom not to mention all of the special regulations proposed, no one was able to cite a single incident involving an e-bike actually occurring.

The top 5 safety concerns of the 2019 rider survey posted on September 9th listed the following:


The most serious rider safety challenges identified in the survey are:

Slower riders riding too far to the left
Riders riding three/four abreast without leaving room to pass
Vehicle traffic on the route
Erratic or unpredictable riding
Communication and signaling intent

E-bikes, nor the body mass index (BMI) and advanced age of their riders never made the list.

Ragbrai has a more pressing issue at hand with TJ’s ride. I don’t look for them to expend any effort to regulate e-bikers. They need every bike they can get for 2020.


mcpartla, October 30, 2019 at 6:32 am

I bought my Trek CrossRip after medical issues on the 2018 Ragbrai and I was able to ride 2019 with no problems and enjoyed it far better too. I carried the recharger and replenished at swimming pools each day while I took a refreshing swim. The big pluses were the lack of stress and plenty of time to look around both during and after completing the daily ride. E-bike technology is rapidly advancing and we’ll soon see more E than conventional bikes. Imagine what would happen if our transportation infrastructure could support more e-bicycles.


Joseph Schlau, November 1, 2019 at 10:12 am


Thank you for your post. This gives me a better idea what to expect from my Crossrip.

This is really what I was looking for on this thread. Real user experience.

On the TREK site there was a product review from another Crossrip owner who started using the bike for the 2019 ride so he could continue riding with his sons. He used the panniers for an extra battery and to carry equipment for his group. This review started me looking at the Crossrip.

I am still looking at the carry an extra battery/or charger options.


dukester, November 1, 2019 at 10:40 am

I rode a Trek Dual Sport + in 2019 and had no trouble finding a place to recharge in Meeting Towns where I could spend an hour relaxing. I used libraries, a cable TV store, fire station and a recharging station built by one town in its city park. I did not carry an extra battery and didn’t need it. I suggested to TJ when he was with RAGBRAI that a local not-for-profit in the Meeting Town could put up a sign offering recharging for a goodwill donation. Make some money and only be out a little electricity and the cost of a sign.


mcpartla, December 4, 2019 at 3:46 pm

TJ responded to my inquiry before this year’s Ragbrai that re-charging stations are located at or near each pass-thru town water station. I looked for these in several towns but if these existed there were no signs and when I verbal inquiries had the same puzzled responses but I always found a source to re-charge my battery, usually at pools where I swam too. Happy to leave a donation too in return for a sip of juice. Trek’s fast recharger weighs about a pound and provides a full charge in about two hours for 5-10 cents electricity.


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