E-Bike Confusion Galore

Here’s the thing, dear worst-reader. Worst-writer has owned an e-bike since 2017. I’ve also been an avid cyclist since (about) 2007. As an e-bike consume-to-survivor, though, there’s often a bit of here and there about the industry that kinda gets under my skin. A few recent articles and a YouTube video have woken up the issue(s) once more. You know. As in. It’s good to be constantly reminded of the krapp that pisses me off. So let’s go there, shall we?

Things that piss off worst-rider:

  • Just like the (regular) bike industry, I hate the fact that the e-bike industry went from expensive to stupid-expensive in, like, no time.
    • I bought my first e-bike at the end of 2016 and had to wait till May of 2017 for it to be delivered. WTF!
    • I paid €4300 for a bike that only three years later costs €6k. WTF!
  • I have yet to find a half-decent e-bike shop that isn’t hell-bent on ripping me off just like the car industry when it comes to service
    • Example. A basic tune-up for my e-bike after every (# of miles) cost at least €250,-. WTFF!
    • I’ve since resorted to servicing my e-bike on my own (and luckily it’s all gone pretty well)
  • Government regulation of e-bikes is beyond stupid but, unlike regular bike regulation, at least there’s a precedent on how one could regulate e-bikes
    • Hint: regulate e-bikes like you regulate cars. Moving on.

In Germany, pedalec e-bikes (no throttle) are regulated to 25km/h (ca 15mph), which is what I have–and I’m perfectly fine with it. Anything above that speed and up to 45km/h (ca 28mph) is regulated like a moped. That means, even if a 45km/h bike is pedal-assist, you are prohibited from using bikes lanes and/or bike paths–which equates to literally competing with cars while peddling a bicycle. Then there’s the issue that the faster e-bikes also are required to be registered with license plates and insurance, you also have to wear a helmet, and the bikes are required to have rear-view mirrors and brake lights. Moving on.

The things is this, dear worst-reader. Why is that government folk are not only slow but utterly out-gunned (intellectually) when it comes to regulating things? I mean. I’m totally happy with a 25km/h pedalec e-bike. In fact, my wife and I gave up owning a second car for our e-bikes and we have never regretted it. The only time I use our car is when the weather is so extreme that it makes shopping errands unbearable. And now. Let me get on to the gist of what this worst-post is supposed to be about.

There are two links in this worst-post. The first is the video above. I’ve been a fan of NYC Propel bikes for some time. Chris has done a great job with his channel, too. This particular video highlights exactly what I’ve alluded to in this blog when it comes to the ills and irks of e-biking. With that in mind, though, there’s also the opposite of the goodness that Chris espouses. Which brings me to the link below.

For whatever reason the folks at The Verge are a bit confused when it comes to e-bike regulations. I mean. Don’t get me wrong. The article is acceptable as a review of the Stromer ST2 series of e-bikes. I am a big fan of rear-hub e-bikes, too–even though I own a mid-motor e-bike. In fact, I’d be the owner of a rear hub e-bike such as the one featured in the article below if it weren’t for the one-sided and slightly skewed mindset of the manufacturer–which is something that the somewhat skewed attitude of the article author misses. Then again, what can one expect from #Americants who ALL seem to be so indoctrinated when it comes to government this or government that that they may miss the entirety of the ($hit)show. But before I get to lost in worst-writing.

My point is this. What the guy at The Verge misses is the fact that I would gladly own–even pay the Apple-like–price for a Stromer e-bike if the manufacturer would wake up to the reality of EU regulations–and not just stand against them. It makes no since to me that a company like Stromer would so willingly disregard said regulations simply because, well, I don’t why they don’t offer a 25km/h version of their e-bikes. Heck, I’m sure they could just offer such a version by fiddling with their software. Again. I mean. Say what you will about stringent EU regulations and in most cases they do suck. But then again, ride an e-bike around any major European city on a sunny weekend. You’ll be glad that there are regulations. Anywho.

I’ve lost my way in this worst-post. Hopefully I won’t lose my way on my afternoon ride.

Rant on.