Electric bikes

While I paddle reasonably well, walking is difficult because of leg issues that make peddling a bike not a good idea.
Any recommendations or advice? I would need one for my tall body.

I built myself one out of an old ten speed I had laying around. Cost me about $300 all in. You can find lots of kits on EBay. I used an older chain drive motor kit but I would recommend the style that uses a hub motor, preferably on the front wheel as it would be way easier to do the conversion. Get one that has a pedal assist mode. I did mine with a straight throttle and I find myself never pedaling, which I guess defeats the purpose, but it is fun.


Go to any of the bike forums and ask about E-Bikes. You will get about the same reaction as you get here asking about a Pelican Rec-Kayak.

I have about 15 bikes currently some very nice road bikes to some beach cruisers. As I have got older I have two bikes I have modified that I ride the most. I cloned a high end 80s mtn bike with a ridged frame 26” with a cheap 26” Walmart fat tired 26” beach cruiser using the wide cruiser handlebars big fat cushy seat and fenders. Added a rear rack. It has the super low gear inch cluster and the triple chain rings from the mtn bike and the good stuff but the sit upright comfort and soft ride of the cruiser. For going slow and being able to spin up hills takes a lot of the knee and leg pain out but I’m still moving my joints. A good thing. That’s my round town bike and I have a coffee cup holder as well.

The second bike is my touring bike that I put a mtn bike triple chain ring on with slightly longer crank arms. I set it up for perfect old school half-step gearing only the gearing is 3X9 where in the old days it was 2X5. So what I ended up with is 27 gears without overlap all spaced as half steps. The lowest being 18 gear inch. The top gear used to be around 120 gear inch and those gears are so tall they were mostly useless. Now I top out in the high 90s. I kept the drop bars but put a taller stem in and the frame size was a little large for me but gave me what they used to call a French fit. Being a touring bike the tire size are wider than your typical road bike and the wheels are heavy duty with high spoke count. They are really bulletproof bikes with fenders and front and back racks made to haul lots of gear. I can haul a weeks groceries home on it.

Figure out a way to get some low gears with lots of close gear options. Sit more upright because wind at slow speeds isn’t much of a factor. Get a good comfortable saddle and peddle when you can’t paddle.

Lol, very true! I’m an old school mtn biker and no almost nothing about the dreaded “E-bikes”.:smile:

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Well I’m here to say that E-bikes are fabulous… We have 2… what I will say is that you have to be very selective about your purchase for down the line. I bought 1 then a second Gen 3 commuter bikes cause at my age, I wanted a step-thru frame. I currently have 3 mountain bikes and 2 road bikes, but with 2 knee joint replacements in the last 9 months, I wanted a step thru frame. I love my E-bike, as my wife does too. I didn’t do a lot of research about them, but saw great reviews on CNET and bought on line. BUT NOW THEY ARE OUT OF BUSINESS! I did buy 2 more batteries on line Cause I spent $1000 for each…I hope they last, 'cause I still ride a 36 year old Schwann

I meant Schwinn

I should probably add that there are different classes of E-bikes, ours go 20mph and with no peddle assist, go for 40 miles. I can attest that it is accurate as I’ve drained the battery many times

I have two sons that are very into mountain biking. My oldest son bought a Specialized Vado for his wife to ride on streets with my grandson (it’s pedal assist and you supply most of the pedaling, it won’t assist over 20 mph. The bike is very well made and rugged, but heavy. It proved too heavy for my DIL to manage with a kid on the back, when crossing gutters, gates etc. This class of E-bike were designed for motor assist not motor driven with out pedaling. The intent was early on this class of e-bike would be allowed on bike paths and bike trails.
My son gave me this bike a couple of years ago and I like it a lot. I ride mostly on streets and some bike paths. My house is at 400 ft above sea level at the top of a steep hill, and the surrounding neighbor hoods are basically sea level , we have several rolling ridges between us and the coast that are the same height, so I definitely use the pedal assist up hill. The problem is lots of young riders on fully motorized bikes have become a problem on foot and horse trails and e-bikes of any kind are being banned.

My youngest son bought a Rad brand for his partner, (which you can ride fully motorized) she has a partial disability, and they have started going on long rides on easy roads, paths, and they live in a pretty hilly place too. She loves it. They live in Oregon, and e-bikes are limited there too on pathways but she’s allowed to use it with her handicap sticker. Ebikes in our area are becoming a bit of a problem with kids riding them in gangs and harrasing people and not paying attention to any of the rules of the road. Schools and community groups are trying to step in before too many laws and restrictions get made. E-bikes are great for eliminating car trips and helping older folks, peopel with disabilities, and kids too young for cars to travel in areas with steep hills .


In my area, these bikes are still infrequent to see in use, but we have a good number of Teslas on our roads

Oh, they are heavy… If you want to put it on your bike rack on your car, take the battery off

I’ve been a bike commuter since graduating from college, almost 40 years now. I have two high end, vintage Shogun road bikes, from 1980 that I use. I also have an early on Marin mountain bike, circa 1990, that I used with metal studded tires for winter commuting. However, because of increasing intermittent episodes of superventricular tachycardia (racing heart beat) due to my mitral valve leakage, I found myself having to get off my bike when I get hit with an episode because of shortness of breath and sometimes dizziness. The tachycardia is variable in duration and can last 5 minutes to 5 hours. On those occaisons, I had to sit down on a side walk, sometimes in the middle of winter evening, to wait out the tachycardia. I started to always carry a foam pad and extra clothing in my panniers for that reason. My wife (and sons) were not thrilled that I kept on bike commuting regardless.

Two years ago, I bought a Rad Ebike because I can just throttle the bike home if and when I get hit with a tachycardia episode. It rarely happens but when it does, it is reassuring for my family and me that I can still get myself home with the the ebike. The other advantage I realize now with the ebike is that I don’t have to carry a change of clothes (I used to bike with workout clothes on) and to shower/wash and change at work. Now, I can pedal at a speed with power assist where I don’t pour out sweat on the ride to work. On the ride home (or to the gym), I can turn down the power assist and get a work out and sweat like I used to.

I have been noting in the past two years more and more bike commuters on the way to work because our previous governor effed up our public transit system by his disinvestment for maintenance and new equipment. This year, I noted more and more bike commuters on ebike. One of them is a colleague I convinced to get an ebike. He found he could get into the office faster than when he took public transit. He is also getting a workout, even with the power assist.



Where are you peddling?
Treks don’t go if you don’t pedal.

E-bikes (or, more properly, E-bike riders) are a growing problem in lots of places. Twice I’ve seen fast E-bikers run into people on busy sidewalks, and too many to count ignore traffic signs and lights. As we know, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole cart. Responsible riders like @sing, @SeaDart, and @coronaboy - - - it may be up to you and others who share your sensibilities to help your communities sort this out before we start seeing draconian regs or even bans - note that Paris (the city in France, not Chuck’s dog :slightly_smiling_face:) recently banned all rental e-scooters; 90% of voters favored the ban.
I’m still comfortable on my 29er hybrid so haven’t gone the e-bike route yet, but my sister with skier’s knees wouldn’t be riding at all without hers.


I live in a better situation because Boston city government has an office in its Transportation Department committed to promoting bike riding/commuting through expansion of bike infrastructure (bike lanes, repair stands, rental system) and rules: Boston Bikes. There is talk of expanding the rental system to include ebikes. But, before doing so, there has to be some formulation of rules for ebikes in the bike lanes based on the ebike classifications.

I hear non-power bikers make fun of ebikers. Heck, I have been a non-power biker longer than some of these folks have been alive. I find some of these “committed bikers” so full of themselves. I am supportive of the new bikers coming on because of ebikes! They are still exercising with their ebikes. Frankly, the more we get folks out of cars in the city (and elsewhere), the better for our environment and for our collective physical/mental health.

“Twice I’ve seen fast E-bikers run into people on busy sidewalks, and too many to count ignore traffic signs and lights. As we know, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the whole cart.”

I find this is a problem with non-power bikers as it is with ebikers. Be courteous and follow the damn rules! Having good bike infrastructure, e.g. bike lanes and lights, also helps by getting folks off the sidewalks (which are for pedestrians) and blending in better with motor vehicles.


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I am a former runner , biker, hiker, and walker. I never rode when foot travel was practical. Those days are over for me so I’m looking at alternatives.
Thanks for the positive responses.

This device gets me around with a walker but not very well. Without it ,I’d be out of luck.


That looks pretty bad. :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth: Don’t know what your recovery prognosis is. You might want to consider a ETrike rather than Ebike.



Found this full road test and review for the Rad Power ETrike:


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I think @sing is on to something with the trike. I have owned a Radpower bike, a different model, and they’re a great value. However, if I remember correctly you’d be too tall for their trike. There are other options out there, but it’ll take some shopping, and you might want to consider a tadpole trike which is more stable than the traditional tricycle. You can find some at electrictrike.com.

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They don’t worry about you kayak surfing?

I’d recommend a pedal assist, mid drive e-bike. They’ve gained tremendous popularity and the pedal assist gives you some work (maybe helps the leg issues?) while the mid drive assist is efficient and reliable. In some places, you can also get a rebate or other assistance buying an e-bike as they’re often encouraged as car replacements.

Nowadays, there’s also e-bikes for more serious riding, too - road/mountain/gravel - so if you’re looking to do longer/more serious cycling, those are also worth a look.

If you’re just looking to get started, check out a townie e-bike and you may find yourself running all sorts of errands on it and having a lot of fun at the same time. Momentum is a good starter e-bike brand, it’s Giant (world’s biggest bike manufacturer) making e-bikes, so you know they’re going to be solid!

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