I have been interested in e-bikes for a while now, and have been researching batteries/motor types and all the related technology. I thought it would be nice to start a local group that could get together and see/discuss different subjects relating to e-bikes. For example, LIPO battery balance charging, or hub vs. mid-motor styles…
We still do too many short-ish errands by car because we have 3 kids the oldest of which is still not really ready for road riding. So I do have an interest in larger, possibly powered trailers. To the point that I’ve considered rolling my own even though I don’t have the first bit of actual useful experience that would help me.
So… would this be something that this group would be looking at too, trailers?
I think what Ahlir is saying is that once you have some added weight/cost/complexity from a motor, it’s very tempting to turn the dial toward higher power. And it’s true that beyond a certain very low point pedal power doesn’t weigh in much at all anymore, the pedals start looking superfluous, and irrespective of history, the design trade-offs for most use cases rapidly change in favor of something that looks more like a scooter… or a motorcycle if highway riding is a requirement.
That said, there does appear to be a growing niche of very low power electric assist bicycles. And I’m all for them. Has the potential to get a lot of people who might not be willing or able to tackle the hills with pedal power alone out there working, being active, and out of cars. Nets us a lot of allies who have an experience on the road at least somewhat similar to our own.
And there’s no philosophical difference between e-bikes and what I’m contemplating with a trailer. Just, everyone has their bar of what they’re willing or able to do with pedal power in a different place.
I don’t know – I think it’s easier to carry cargo on a bicycle, especially when you look at xtracycle or bakfiets designs.
There is not much room under the seat and most rear racks are only rated for 10-15lb. You can fit saddlebags, etc. – although I don’t have any for my scooters (maybe I should), I usually end up using a messenger bag or hanging a shopping bag off the front hook. But, for ultimate weight capacity I think a bicycle might actually have a scooter beat.
I still think about buying some kind of electric assist cargo bike. I was just thinking about this yesterday, I had to haul a 50lb bag of salt, >50lb of dog/cat food, and a bunch of other stuff, and unfortunately it was easiest to take the car – no way I was going to be able to do that on my Vespa (or bicycle) without multiple trips, and even then it’s a lot of weight.