While on another ebiker’s blog the other day (which I should never do), I stumbled across an article titled “Why You Don’t Want Superfast Electric Bikes”. I’m going to save you the pain of reading the article and sum it up as “you don’t want a super fast electric bike because you’re supposed to be a good boy\girl doing what you’re supposed to do and you don’t” don’t do it for The rest of us spoil it” (notice the not-so-subtle shaming part?). Honestly, I’d rather eat Brussels sprouts than read that article again, but it really makes me wonder why fast electric bikes are kicking so much How much ass? This article is 10 reasons not to waste time on a “street legal” e-bike, but to build, buy, beg, borrow or steal a “real e-bike”.*
*A “true e-bike” is defined as any e-bike over 750 watts without a 20 mph cutoff, preferably with decent mid-range drive
1) Time is money
When I was young and stupid, I would work for chicken scratches. Now that I’m in my 40s, I find myself not wanting to do anything if I’m not getting decent money. My experience is that if you give someone “free” advice, they tend to ignore you. Charge them $100/hour before people actually start listening.
Pro tip: Set your hourly rate by looking in the mirror and telling yourself what your hourly rate is, increasing it by $10 at a time until you can’t stop doing it without laughing. The last rate you can say head on is exactly what you should be charging.
These are average city speeds, not rush hour commute speeds, remember it’s in km/h, not mph
A 30-minute commute by car? Pedal bikes (9.6 mph average) may make commutes longer. With a fast e-bike, you can drastically reduce your work commute time. Don’t waste your life in the slow lane.
“We must decide what to do with the time given to us.” – Gandalf
I built the Soul Stomper into a 35+ mph monster with a $350 Cyclone kit (build thread here)
2) Live fast, die early
I can’t believe I’m not dead yet, I’ve been reckless to the extreme since I hit puberty. That part of the brain that tells you when to escape? Yes, I don’t have that role. Somehow I survived. If you manage to live into your 70s, you can choose to be like my good friend Eric who is still shredding it on his high-powered e-bikes in Deep Pow! Grow up to be like Eric, not like all the old folks in Florida riding 250-watt e-bikes around their retirement resorts. *yawn*
To be clear, posting good news on social media about people who end up dying on high-powered e-bikes can get outdated quickly, so save us the trouble and don’t get killed on your fast e-bike. Dying the right way, lying in bed at 90 with an empty viagra bottle, surrounded by angry, unpaid prostitutes.
My hotebike is over 45 mph, I’m in LA I can drive around the city without getting pulled over, you can (and should) register this bike as an electric moped in California
3) Motorcycles are more dangerous
As I drive through states where people don’t have to wear helmets, I see motorcycles going 70+ mph on the interstate without a helmet, and I think to myself, “They think my broken house Building a 40 mph e-bike is dangerous?” Let’s be clear here, the legal distinction between motorcycles/cars/e-bikes and bicycles has little to do with safety and more to do with paying money to the system. For motorcycles, they don’t crash test because if you crash on a motorcycle, you’re pretty much F*cked (capital F). Ever wonder why motorcycle insurance is so cheap (usually less than $80/year)? That’s because insurance companies love motorcycles, because when an accident happens, it’s almost always the other party’s fault. The only reason motorcycles are allowed on the highway is because you are paying for the “system”. Think registration, insurance, inspections and fuel costs. All of this goes into someone’s pocket (spoiler alert: it’s “that person”).
4) Fast electric bikes are cheaper than any other motorized transportation
Now let’s think about electric bikes, all you have is an initial investment in an electric bike, a few pennies to charge, and that’s it (they are a very environmentally friendly means of transport). No wonder “that man” wants to tune the e-bike to keep you at a neutral 750 watts and 20 mph. It’s not about safety, it’s about getting all your money. With the $350 Cyclone 3000W mid-drive kit, you can convert just about any bike into a super-powerful mid-drive kit. Add a 72v battery and a 3-speed IGH and this kit is the EPIC. There are also plenty of big and cheap hub motors like the MXUS, but to be honest I’m not a huge fan of hub motors.
If you go for a Chinese low-powered e-bike with a fancy American company logo, it’s unlikely to even be that cheap (though there are exceptions).
5) How I got a crash pad and learned to stop worrying about the “bomb”
Twenty-five years ago, I invested in a Joe Rocket leather jacket. It had Kevlar crash pads for the shoulders and elbows, and then I installed a spine plate in the back. I treated it with leather honey and 25 years later the jacket is still cherry. If you buy a good jacket and take care of it, it will stay with you forever. This is the jacket I wear when I’m going over 40 mph on an electric bike or 50 mph on a scooter. Even a hospital visit would be a lot cheaper than the $325 I dropped on this jacket. Oh yes, and the dick will laugh at it because it makes my skinny “girly man” boobs and arms look like I actually have some muscle. Great for avoiding potential fights with guys you probably shouldn’t (I’ve messed up a lot of people’s fists with my face).
6) If you’re not in the strike zone, you won’t be locked out
When riding a high-speed electric bike, you ride in the middle of the lane, keeping up with city traffic. This means that your chances of being shut by a clumsy person who is inattentive in class are all but zero. As a side tip, if you want to keep cyclists from opening the door when you open it, reach through the door with your right hand to open the door, which will make you look back for whatever reason. I always leave the door open an inch and wait for cars and bikes to warn me to throw that baby out.
7) Riding in the middle of the road is safer
When you ride on the right side of the road, the car has to go around you, which is dangerous for you and dangerous for the car. It’s better for everyone when you’re in the middle of the lane and keeping up with traffic. Cars are happy and people don’t honk their horns or lean out the window and curse you. You are not cursed, the world is a better place for it. Only masochists or people who really want to be damned will ride e-bikes at 20 mph in the middle of the road when people are going 30-35 mph or more.
Your pretty hairstyle won’t look as pretty when your head is embedded in someone’s windshield, so wear a helmet. When you’re about to have an accident, look where you want to go, not what you don’t want to hit. Wherever you look, your body takes you there.
8) It is safer to turn left into oncoming traffic
Because you can go much faster, if you choose to steer your left hand toward oncoming traffic, a high-powered e-bike will be safer because you can turn and avoid oncoming traffic much faster. If you want to be really safe, your best bet is to do a “pedestrian turn” where you can turn right instead of left and queue to cross the road (below). Left turns are responsible for many serious bicycle accidents and are easily avoided by turning right and then following the light.
9) Just because you have power doesn’t mean you have to use it
But if you need the power to get out of trouble, it’s there. If you’re on a street-legal hub powered by a 20-mph 750-watt e-bike, there’s a good chance it won’t let you off the hook if that’s the case. In 2016, a woman was rescued by her BBSHD (a 1000W electric bike kit that is technically illegal in the US). Now you might say “speed kills” and you’d be right, but sometimes if you can’t escape…you die.
10) If you do have an accident, you don’t have to worry about your e-bike hitting you
For example, when I was about 15, I got T-bones while racing in a supermarket parking lot. I saw the car coming towards me but didn’t have time to stop, my bike didn’t have the power to accelerate in slow motion, I looked down and the bumper was about to hit my leg and fell off the bike. I slid about 100 feet in the parking lot with my backpack on, and when the bike was airborne and landed, I looked back and the rear wheel was wrapped like a pretzel. If it was a few hundred pound motorcycle, it could have caught up with me and crushed me or my leg as I escaped unscathed (though the woman who hit me was horrified). I picked up my bike, threw it over my shoulder, told her it was my fault, and walked away. It’s just another bad day in a life of incompetence and madness.
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