Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ebikes...what do you think of them?

It's cheating was what came to my mind the other day when the topic had popped up on FB. You don't have to pedal. It's like a motor bike. It will just tear up the trails.

But today, a person that I follow on FB and he follows me posted about his new Felt Lebowske that he recently acquired. I've seen pictures of him riding previous fatbikes, so I know he has them (Moonlander, Krampus, etc). Well now he has this ebike, that happens to be a fatbike. What do you think?

Now before you start objecting so fast. Here is the kicker. This rider named Craig Smith has an incurable muscular disease. Craig lives out of state so I have never met him. His muscles are dying and they don't work how they are suppose to. Similar to ALS but its not. That's as much details that I know about his health. So now what do you think? Imagine you have biked all your life, you love being outdoors with friends and family, and you just love hitting the the trail after work. But suddenly, that is taken away from you because of a health condition. Or say you have bad knees and those hills are impossible to ride up. So now what say you? Anyway, this is copied directly from Craig's FB post (with his permission). Read on and maybe ebikes will change your mind. Mine was changed after reading his post today.

Picture from Felt webiste, linked below

Contributors: Craig Smith (owner) and Sue Franz
Taken at South Kettle John Muir Trails

My 1st ride on the new Felt Lebowske went well. This bike will change my life. The LEBOWSKe is electric assist and the motor only gives you a boost when you pedal.
1st Impressions... The bike fits and handles excellently, but I wouldn't mind a little more standover clearance.
I rode the entire ride, 8.98 miles, in ECO (50%-lowest assist) for 98.5% of the time, and used the TOUR (125% assist) only for a couple hills. The bike has 2 more levels of assist, but I'm just getting familiar with the bike and was wary about possible ice (there was none) so the two lowest settings were fine, fun, and still a very good workout. My muscles may be dying but I can still improve my fitness.
For me, this is very similar to riding when my muscles worked and I was in shape. I was still huffing and puffing at the top of the hills, but this time I waited for Sue. The last few years she's had to wait for me. I will need to get in shape to ride fast enough to ride with my fast and fit friends again and this bike will be fun getting me there.
We were passed by 10 to 12 other riders and didn't pass anybody, but that's normal for us.
Comparing times from the same route on my Krampus last May on dirt, I was slightly faster (6.82 mph vs 6.73 mph) but didn't work as hard and had plenty of energy left. Part of the problem of my muscle disease (besides dead muscles) is I lose a lot of energy after an hour, it's kind of like starting a ride already bonked, but today I rode for 1 hour and 20 minutes and was still fresh.
My hands got a little tired, but I'm not sure if it was from the thin Felt Grips or muscling a 48 pound bike around the trail. As heavy as the bike is, it feels fairly light when moving. And the SRAM Guide RSC hydraulic w/ 4-piston caliper: 180mm Centerline rotors were fantastic at keeping the big beast under control down the hills.

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