Anybody ever rented an e-bike?

Reply

Oct 21st, 2015, 06:21 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 228
Anybody ever rented an e-bike?

My understanding is that e-bikes, or electric bikes, are kind of popular in Europe. I'm planning a trip for next April and was thinking about renting e-bikes. We're going to be biking in Holland (yes, actually Holland), so it's not like it's going to be hard biking, but my wife has a bad hip, and I'm just worried that 15 miles of cycling every day might not do her good. We're going to be looking at the tulips, and by bike is just the best way. I figure the e-bike might reduce the load some.

So, here are my questions.

1. Can you ride without peddling at all on the e-bike, or almost without peddling?

2. Do you have any problem recharging the e-bike at night at hotels and such?

3. Are there any problems with using an e-bike?

Thanks!

p.s. I know I am planning this early. I am actually booking hotels and buying tickets and such, and basing my timing in part on what my biking decisions will be.
FHurdle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2015, 06:26 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 11,637
You have to pedal an e-bike.
Not everywhere has a loading point for them. Some have detachable batteries you can take in and charge.
Ask you hotel about it.
They have a limited radius, and become very heavy to pedal when that radius is reached.
They go a lot faster than people realise, and that can be quite worrying when you are new to them. You need much faster reactions as a result.

I know people with bad hips who cycle here without the use of an e-bike. In fact they can cycle when they can't walk.
hetismij2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2015, 06:46 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,599
An e-bike is an electric power ASSISTED bike. When you deplete the battery, you have to pedal the weight of the battery and the motor. The range depends on the battery option. They can be as low as 15 miles or more than 80 miles with a lot of battery (and weight to go with it.) The additional stationary weight also requires more work if you have to lift the bike up steps.
greg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2015, 06:49 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 228
hetismij2, You just answered the one other question I meant to ask, which is how heavy and hard the bikes are to pedal when the battery runs down.

As a practical matter we won't be going very far every day, so there will be no worry about running out of charge so long as we can recharge at night. We really have no need to go "fast" though; we're going to be looking at flowers.
FHurdle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2015, 06:50 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,302
e-bikes are allowed on trains, the netherlands is pretty flat but the wind can be awful strong.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2015, 09:48 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 11,637
Yes ebikes are allowed on trains, but generally they are heavier than normal bikes, and need lift onto the train.

I would suggest renting ebikes but ask if you can swap them in for normal bikes if you find out you aren't happy with them.
You may be able to have a quick try and know if you will get along with it.
Do make sure you are supplied with, or can hire, good locks. Ask how the bikes are charged, and get a demonstration.
hetismij2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2015, 12:30 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,302
most of the better dutch trains have the carriage floor at the same height as the platform. But, if you have to loop the thing up, or cross the platform and if there is no elevator, a bit of a pain.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2015, 12:19 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
@bilboburger, that is sadly not true: only the new sprinter all-stations trains offer that.

and I agree with hetismij: you may find that an ordinary bike is the better choice. remember, there's no need to go very fast in the netherlands: it's mostly slow biking. Of course, much also depends on how well you ride. It may well be that getting off the bike is the most hazardous part of riding for someone with a dodgy hip. And getting off a bike doesn't only happen at the end of your journey, but countless times as you deal with traffic lights, roundabouts, crossings etc.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2015, 01:19 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,866
I have an e-bike of my own and I'm so happy with it. I have bad knees and my lung capacity isn't very good either. With my e-bike I don't feel any pressure on my knees and I can breathe normally while I cycle! It's easy to change the power mode from 'eco' to 'standard' to 'sport' (or similar, depending from the bike brand).
My bike has a low-step frame, which makes it very easy to get off the bike.
If you hire one with two (charged) batteries, you can easily cover 100 kms, if not more.
Every reliable bike rental will have you try the bike before they rent it out.
MyriamC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2015, 04:46 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,994
Because my knees have limited my ability to stay in shape, I've often considered e-bikes on our many cycling trips. I have tested other persons' rentals twice on cycling trips to see if they should be my future rental.

I've always ended up renting a regular bike, mainly because the weight of the ebike limits flexibility for what we want to accomplish. And if the terrain is flat, there is no need for e-assistance, too (although headwinds can be taxing).

I understand your worries about physical limitations. The fact is that I have had a hip replacement already on my right, and my left one is calling for a replacement. Cycling DOES NOT hurt my hips at all. I make sure to put the seat up high to take stress off the arthritic knees, and by the end of a week of biking, my knees actually feel a lot better.

As menachem wisely suggested, the major problem for a dodgy hip is getting on and off the bike. My tried and true method now is to lower the bike to the ground and step over. And THAT is the major reason I've decided NOT to go with the ebike--it is so much heavier that the lowering and raising process is much more difficult.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2015, 08:29 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
I wonder how that method of getting off a bike would work if you ride in the city and need to dismount for traffic lights etc, in the pretty dense bicycle traffic we have here.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2015, 07:14 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,994
Menachem, I ride in traffic all the time. We love doing urban riding more than we do bike trails.

Heavens, I don't dismount at traffic lights--and I sure don't get ON the bike in the middle of a lane, LOL.

At lights, I either do a slow "up to the light" in hopes it will change or just lean to the side with one foot one the ground (and yes, I love it if I can snag a curb to lean on).

But my point is that I tried doing "my hip thing" with the ebike, and it limited my mount/dismount pretty badly.

I think the poster should do as others have suggested--try one out first.
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2015, 08:02 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 228
The comments that all of you have had are very helpful. I think we will try regular bikes. I see the point that mounting and dismounting can cause the most pain, and most of the photos of ebikes make them look much harder to mount, at least for someone with a hip problem.

We really aren't going to be biking all that much, maybe from Leiden to Lisse, then to Haarlem, and then north of Haarlem a few miles.
FHurdle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2015, 11:28 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
Heavens, I don't dismount at traffic lights--and I sure don't get ON the bike in the middle of a lane, LOL.

At lights, I either do a slow "up to the light" in hopes it will change or just lean to the side with one foot one the ground (and yes, I love it if I can snag a curb to lean on).


I wonder how that would work in Dutch bike traffic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQdwlNkirKg

It's good to remember you're with many more bikes in NL.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 23rd, 2015, 04:19 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,994
I have been to Holland three times, menachem. The problem isn't finding a place to get on and off the bike--the problem is DODGING everyone while in motion.

Heck, I found the worst problem was dodging everyone while WALKING!


Good luck, FHurdle!
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 23rd, 2015, 05:17 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,636
As an alternative, you may consider a tandem. We rented one in Amsterdam and Bruges, and were glad we did - it took two of us to negotiate the roundabouts and the crazy intersections. The person in front does have to have a good sense of balance - we have one at home and so my husband is used to that aspect. We even used it to travel to the train station on our departure, packing our suitcases on the back and our backpacs in the panniers. We felt like real road warriors!
joan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 23rd, 2015, 06:49 AM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 228
It's changing the subject, but I bought two cheap folding bikes a couple of years ago, and they will actually fit inside a large suitcase, which means I can take them to Europe for free. I had a trip along the Lake Constance and the Rhine planned with my daughter, and she made it clear that she was NOT riding on one of those things. I'm sure my wife will have the same attitude.

At some point I may just take a trip by myself, carry my folding bike in my suitcase, and bike around happily looking like a goofball.
FHurdle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 23rd, 2015, 07:13 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,994
My husband would be TOTALLY with you on this plan!
AlessandraZoe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 23rd, 2015, 06:30 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,636
FHurdle, we saw TONS of people riding those foldable bikes in Amsterdam and all over Europe. Saw a guy on a train disassemble and reassemble one with lightning speed. I was in awe.

Some of the things we saw were so funny: dads with two kids perched on the handlebars and standing on the back fender, twice we saw a lady with her giant leather and wood encased standup bass on the back of her bike, all kinds of trailers and decorated baskets, even a special U-shaped umbrella that covered the arms and torso... It was so cool - your daughter will see the light some day!
joan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 23rd, 2015, 08:39 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,914
and you're so much more mobile: they go on trains for free and I've taken mine on the bus as well.

with a folder, that tulip trip in Noordoostpolder suddenly becomes feasible too: take them on the bus to Emmeloord, cycle from there.
menachem is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:35 PM.