Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Up with the Pacer: embracing an e-bike

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Gareth Davidson,

    I can budget $360/year for insurance, I can’t budget $3600/year for a new bike.

    That would only be the budget if you were losing $3600 worth of bike every year, though. What has been your average lost bike per year loss? I bet it's less than $360!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • AThrift, in reply to Damian Christie,

    My eBike (Specialised Turbo S) has a regen mode that you can turn on (i.e. it's not on constantly). It's useful on long down hill rides as it acts as a slight brake , and thus helps pro;long brake pads. You're right, though, it doesn't add much back to the battery, on a recent descent from about 400m above sea level to sea level, over about 6 Km I added 4%. And you couldn't cycle with it on regen along the flat, well you could, but it would be like cycling uphill. On newer versions of my bike regen can be set to activate every time you use the brakes.

    Wellington • Since May 2011 • 9 posts Report

  • FletcherB,

    Electric Bazza, who provided the referenced article back a few pages on the differences between cadence and torque sensors, also has one explaining why regeneration is not really a goer on e-bikes. https://electricbikesnz.com/2016/10/29/the-myth-of-free-energy/

    Another very useful article of his is the one explaining the NZ laws around e-bikes

    (although it’s worth noting these laws are currently under review)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 893 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to FletcherB,

    Great links, many thanks.
    Nice quote from the last (Bike Auckland) article: "Let’s not damage a good thing growing here (more people on bikes) by wrapping it up in red tape."

    Since mid-2015 NZ's declining dollar has seen e-bike prices increase by close to 25%. A basic quality hub motor bike with pedal assist, hand throttle, and an effective mechanical front wheel disk brake could be had then for as little as $1499. Similar models currently leave little change out of $2000. Extra compliance costs such as requiring universal registration only shut more people out of the lower end of the market.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Gareth Davidson, in reply to BenWilson,

    Indeed it is, I own A LOT more than $3,600 of bike, so am particularly careful with their security. Which is why I invested in a $200 lock. I did look at insuring them for all use, and it equated to about 6% of the bike's value p.a. The question I asked myself was is there a "100/6 = 1 in 16 years" chance that I will lose/have stolen/break/crash/drive in to the garage with my bike on the roof? I'd say probably. That was the rationale answer, I still didn't take out the policy...

    But the hypothetical point I was making was akin to travel insurance; I can budget for $200 and probably spend it and not get any return (other than peace of mind on it. What I can't do is budget for a $200k US hospital bill (the biggest declined travel insurance claim in NZ was USD2.1M - don't jump out of your 6th floor hotel room aiming for the pool below)...

    More to the point, a $200 lock provides a lot more security and peace of mind than a $20 one. Most people usually only invest in one after having their bike stolen...

    Sydney • Since Mar 2007 • 59 posts Report

  • BenWilson, in reply to Gareth Davidson,

    More to the point, a $200 lock provides a lot more security and peace of mind than a $20 one. Most people usually only invest in one after having their bike stolen…

    Yes, for a bike worth more than my car, I can appreciate the argument. For one worth about the same amount as your lock, like what I currently ride....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • Martin Brown,

    Speaking of e-bikes, a little story from the Harold on mechanical bike doping. May be true. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11790548

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 137 posts Report

  • tussock,

    Gotta say, electric bikes with these big lithium batteries are just awesome. Not to mention panniers, those are also very good. And a front basket, seems like the last bit my old man's bike needs.

    Just, if you want to work a bit more, or ride a bit longer, turn the power down and it happens. Or the rain's on the way, turn the power to maximum and push hard on the pedals and you get home in no time. Cadence sensor is bloody handy for less strong cyclists who sometimes want to get a move on.

    They're just brilliant. eZee Sprint my old man got comes with a built-in keyed wheel lock, by the way, and a stand, and mudguards and chain guard and the rest. As well as the key for the power that also locks the battery in. So if you nicked it, you'd have to lift it into a ute (might make you grunt a bit), take it away to dismantle the wheel lock, and then get a key for the power unit and a charger .... So fairly obvious that you've nicked it really.

    And the tires! Revelation, they've been, compared to crap I've been using. Shwalbe Marathon. 1000k and still sharp tread edges. My race bike is a good bit lighter weight though, I noticed after using the ebike a bit, just that you can pick it up and swing it round and stuff. That ebike you'd mostly want to wheel it places, especially when loaded up.

    And my 80 year old father has ridden 1000k on a bicycle in the last couple months. Which is pretty cool in itself. I used to do better than that when I trained for things, but not now.

    Since Nov 2006 • 611 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen,

    Can we talk more about bikes. Cause I'm really enjoying riding more in Auckland this summer. And other stuff is just too awful.

    Suggestions for bike paths/rides?

    Toys to add to our bikes?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • electricbazza, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But check out this bike spotted in Wellington by Finlay Macdonald. I’ve never seen anything like it. And that “3000 watt race mode” looks … interesting.

    PS: It’s not actually vintage – that’s the name of the maker.

    I rode one of those in Rotorua where the importer lives. It was a bit of fun and not actually as fast as you may think. Maybe 60kph.
    What people don't seem to appreciate is that it is illegal to ride a 3000W unregistered bike almost anywhere. 'Road' is a very broadly defined term designed to protect the public from ridiculous contraptions.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2017 • 3 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Electric Bazza reviewed my bike! (Well, another Pacer.)

    And he agrees it's awesome!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I contacted Auckland Transport (09 355 3553) and they posted me a bunch of useful maps (four different sectors of Auckland).
    Now to get my new Trek Conduit up to Auckland and try some of them pathways..

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report

  • Aaron Wilson,

    Hi Russell

    Any reflections on the Pacer on year on? Looking at one for my commute into the city from Te Atatu.

    Since May 2018 • 1 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Aaron Wilson,

    Any reflections on the Pacer on year on? Looking at one for my commute into the city from Te Atatu.

    It has a few flaws:

    - The hard front forks still bug me a bit, but not enough to shell out for the suspension fork kit.

    – The original Kenda tyres were rubbish (but I think they may have switched to Schwalbe Marathons now, which is good)

    - It's better on the flat than going up hills.

    - And mine is currently in for its third major repair to the motor or sensor. Not a problem while it's still under warranty, but I do wonder if others have experienced a similar failure rate.

    But in summary, I've been riding a borrowed e-bike for the past few days and it has served to remind me what a quick, balanced and well-designed bike the Pacer is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

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