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To hell with the internal combustion engine....where's me bike?!

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  • 08-03-2022 8:31pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 976 ✭✭✭


    Had a customer in the shop this morning, enquiring about e-bikes.

    He has a 15 mile trip to/from work daily, and is fed up with rising fuel costs, so he's switching to (electric assist) pedal power.

    He asked what it cost to charge a bike and I was able to guesstimate between €0.20-€0.30 to fully charge a battery after some quick help from the google-iser machine.

    I showed him a few options and he went away happy, with his name on a new e-bike and his CTW paperwork in his hand.

    I'm just curious; anyone else thinking of cycling as a viable alternative to driving to work, given the current ridiculous rises in fossil fuel prices?

    I'm not touting for business; we're down in the ar5ehole of Co Tipperary and afaik most on here are Dublin based (apologies to everyone offended in the other 31 counties for that sweeping geographical assumption - it's simply based on my experience of the cycling adverts section!).

    I'm just interested in whether many people are considering such a dramatic change to their daily transport routine.



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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,856 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    I made the switch last September. Leap cards for the two kids and bike for me. I've yet to notice the recent petrol increases.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,501 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    I'd do it if i could. 28km drive to work equals an hour cycling on a good road bike.

    No showers at work so I'd stink the place if i cycled in mornings. I could get train once or twice a week then cycle home, but that is €7 of a fare, and the diesel isn't probably even that price yet.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,992 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash


    A 15 mile commute would be fairly modest (fuel wise) compared to what some people have to spend on fuel. Nonetheless, it's always good to hear of a convert.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,499 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    would be curious how this question would go down in a less cycling-oriented forum. though there was already someone asking questions in the e-bike thread as a result of the price hikes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 976 ✭✭✭8valve


    Speaking from experience, you wouldn't be sweaty on an e-bike :-)

    Many cyclists recoil in horror at the thoughts of using one, but for general commuting/flootering around the place, they're a genuinely viable option.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,985 ✭✭✭cletus


    I don't live in the city, I drive to the next town over for work, plus I drive my kids there for school too.

    When I'm home, I'll walk or cycle to the local shop for bread and milk etc. The week's shopping, though is done in another town, as there are no supermarkets in our village, so that's a drive

    The Giant Cadex I got here will be my "work" bike. I'll use it to nip downtown at lunchtime or whenever instead of taking the car.

    However, I wouldn't get rid of my car. It's too useful a tool for both practical stuff I need to do, and for leisure stuff I want to do.

    If I got rid of my car it would mean either increased awkwardness in my day to day life, or relying on other people who have a car to do the driving that I can't do



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,772 ✭✭✭donegal_man


    Considering it at the moment. Would keep the car for when we have my two kids or if we're going somewhere but a couple of e-bikes sound good for commute or if we just fancy a jaunt.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,501 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    Ok. What speed can ebikes do so I won't get sweaty- genuine question.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,499 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    they can provide power assist up to 25km/h.



  • Registered Users Posts: 14,201 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk


    Started a new job in January and it's 12.5km or so away in Swords, which for me is a bit much every day on a normal bike in howling winds against me.

    Got an e-bike a few weeks ago so it'll be an easier commute, so wind/hills are just not an issue any more. So glad I don't have to drive to work.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,990 ✭✭✭68 lost souls


    I’ve been tempted. I am a bit of a petrol head though and love my car. In saying that I’m rarely in the office and it sits outside a lot, car seems to be worth what I paid for it 4 years ago in the current climate so it would be a good time to do it.


    22km cycle each way to work with about 250m of climbing if I go the “easy” way, I could cut 4-5km off but it would double the elevation. Realistically in a years time how is the battery going to hold up to that both ways will I be looking at charging up while I’m in the office?



  • Registered Users Posts: 85 ✭✭stevencn88


    Interesting question, and I'd also like to know how long the battery lasts. But would you not just turn off the pedal assistant when not needed? Therefore prolonging the life of the battery? Excuse my ignorance if this is a silly question as I've never owned/ridden an electric bike.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,990 ✭✭✭68 lost souls


    Yes it’s extended by turning it off, my route it would be churning through the battery going up the hills I imagine and then above the limit going on the downhills so switching off the motor.


    Im wondering also if it would be quicker by much vs me cycling hard on my road bike? Sometimes I take the car cause I don’t have an hour to cycle it and it’s a guaranteed 25-30 minutes in the car



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    They reckon 2k just got added to the price of an e car today with the nickel prices hitting the roof and then some. What are bikes using ? I thought they were lithium ion?



  • Registered Users Posts: 876 ✭✭✭byrnem31


    Cant stand cars but need one for the kids the odd day. I have a 2006 civic that i use as a taxi to get the kids around. When the kids get older, the car will go. I live 10 mins away from the office so its a handy cycle. But cycle everywhere in anyway. I have a felt hybrid that i got for a 100 quid that gets ne everywhere. And then a giant defy advanced 2 2020 for proper cycles. The car has had its day. Its a dying form of transport.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,985 ✭✭✭cletus


    The car might be a dying form of transport for a certain cohort of people, but that's seems to be a very urban-centric view of things. Most definitely, living in a rural village with limited amenities, and even more limited public transport, the car is far from dead



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,499 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder


    The car has had its day. Its a dying form of transport.

    i suspect rumours of its death are exaggerated.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,438 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    I actually love my vehicle - driving over 25 years and this is the first one. However, I accept it's less sustainable being a combi van (although it did replace a car and an old dirty campervan). We chose to live in a rural location, in my wife's homeplace. Biggest impediment to more active travel is motorist behaviour - I prefer to blame that than a lack of footpath, as if we had a better cohort of motorists, then the lack of footpath wouldn't matter.

    I currently drive part of the way, and cycle the rest. I've considered an ebike to do a full commute, and to be honest it's the standard of driving on the rural roads before I hit the N11 that continues to put me off. I've been commuting from here nearly 20 years, and have continually witnessed craziness in rush hours by motorists.

    An ebike would let me push the cycle commute side up a bit though - prevailing head wind + family time pressures mean I usually drive in further than my fitness allows. Also not necessitating a change and shower would also save a bit of time. I guess the current prices changes the equations a bit.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,248 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    Half of my colleagues sit in traffic for an hour every morning moving along at about 10kmh. They seem to think I am crazy for coming by bike and leaving my car at home but there is nothing more frustrating than sitting in a car with other impatient and angry people beeping horns for an hour. I'm in the early stages of shopping for an e-cargo bike and I wouldnt rule out getting rid of my car entirely with that



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,287 ✭✭✭Ferris


    I'm another convert. I've commuted by ebike for the last 4yrs, current commute is 32km round trip over backroads and its fine, I actually get very little bother from cars even though the roads are busy - I actually think driver behavior is getting better. I don't need to shower in work, I don't sweat on the bike unless its a warm day and most days wear my work trousers with a cycle top / jacket. If its raining I go lycra as it dries relatively easily. I sold the car and find that the ebike will push through most weather up to storms etc. I've been out in snow / sleet / torrential rain and its not that bad - Nothing is as bad as sitting in traffic.

    For me, wired in lights, mudguards and a pannier rack are essentials btw.

    Btw. its not just the fuel cost. Tax / insurance / servicing / wear items and the big one, depreciation, are likely greater.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,438 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    This morning was the first commute since before the pandemic that it was genuinely passing lines and lines of traffic for me - definitely gives an extra pep in the legs.

    fwiw I'd be looking at 40km each way - predominantly downhill, with a prevailing tailwind in to the office, and then obviously the opposite in. It's the coming home that is the issue, and I'd really need to be hitting the 25km average to match my normal park bike commute. Never really seriously looked into what money I'd be looking for a decent battery that'd last at least both ways and maintain that speed.

    Tax, insurance, servicing only really comes into play if it means getting rid of a vehicle - that's not a runner in our house. With blended working we're already at annual service rather than mileage based.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,287 ✭✭✭Ferris


    My commute used to be 27km each way and I charged the battery in work and at home - you need a battery that can detach from the frame for that to work which is worth noting. 40k means ~90-120min cycle at a 25kph average which takes commitment, I used to do mine in 50min. Worth noting that you can exceed the 25kph limit but the power assist will be cut so if you are downhill or have a tailwind you can still go faster, its just that your uphill sections will likely still be in the 20-25kph range.



  • Registered Users Posts: 480 ✭✭getoutadodge


    I recently upgraded to a 22a battery and have tested the range. 60 Km minimum...possibly 70 k in ideal conditions. Huge difference and opens up some great trip options



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,219 ✭✭✭JMcL


    My commute, when I'm in the office, it about 13km each way with no viable public transport. Pre covid I'd almost entirely abandoned the car, hail rain or shine. Since then I've been working from home and only in the last month or two going in for a half day or so for meetings. Annoyingly that half day for the past few weeks has coincided with 40+km/h winds and/or torrential rain, so I've wussed (40km/h winds forecast is really my limit)

    What's the killer for us is the kids activities. They're for the most part in places either really awkward to get to other than by car and/or time constrained in that there's no other way you'd get them there after school. There are a few that are more local and when at all feasible, they're on their bikes for these.

    I long for the day I can stop paying the legalised gangsters of the insurance industry on at least one of our cars. The missus does commute every day, and while I was trying to drop broad hints on ebikes, she was having none of it. Even if she was to do it, she'd still occasionally need a car anyway. Unfortunately this means we're most probably stuck with being a 2 car family while there're complicated logistics around the kids.

    E-bikes are completely brilliant though. Having only tried one a handful of times, there's just something fun about being able to sail effortlessly up a 7% grade. There certainly will be one in some future of mine (I have a long simmering project to add power to my old 26" wheeled workhorse to use as for shopping, as it's very under utilised at the moment).



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,438 ✭✭✭Macy0161


    I was counting on the 90minutes, which what it is effectively now. But even not from home, I could probably extend the cycle part to 25km, rather than my usual 16km or so. I did a 20km option today, but banking on the tailwind in, which is due to switch to a tail wind home!



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,287 ✭✭✭Ferris


    I should say that I use the highest assist level all the time, one of the best ways to increase range is by pedaling yourself. I can significantly increase range by dropping the assist levels (which I have had to do due to forgetting to put the battery on charge - more than once).

    Another way I suspect is to reduce drag. My ebike is a MTB, something lower, slimmer and with drop bars would be more efficient. Additionally a geared hub motor is more efficient than a mid drive (what I have - bosch Gen2) and both are a lot more efficient than a non-geared hub motor.

    Another thing to consider is bike maintenance and wear and tear. I do it myself, brake pads, cassette and chain swaps etc. I also always keep spare wear items.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,992 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash


    The car has had its day. Its a dying form of transport.

    They said that during the two oil crisis of the 1970's. No need to build any new roads, car parks etc. as there won't be any cars around in 10 years time. The number has probably increased 3 or 4 fold since then.

    Even in those countries where 'everyone cycles' car ownership is high. The Netherlands have a higher rate of car ownership than Ireland.



  • Registered Users Posts: 418 ✭✭GandhiwasfromBallyfermot


    I commute into Waterford along the greenway most fine days. 35ish km return trip and there's really only a handful of days the rain has stopped me. I've been using an e-bike the last while purchased from the wonderful people in Altitude and it means I get into work sweat free now. The government really need to be subsidising e-bikes not e-cars.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,219 ✭✭✭JMcL


    At the risk of sounding like I've strayed from the motoring forum, the cost of ownership of a car here is relatively high before you turn the key, starting with VRT, and continuing on to insurance - though "road" tax is really lower that it should be in this day and age. The current fuel price situation notwithstanding, France and the UK - being the two countries I'd be most familiar with - place more emphasis on actually pricing usage through higher fuel taxes, and pricing of infrastructure. I'm not really sure how this plays out across the rest of Europe



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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Nsonowa


    e-bikes are too expensive - around 2k for a cheaper one.



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