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Are E-Bikes Fun? Road Bike Vs Road E-Bike

Are E-Bikes Fun? Road Bike Vs Road E-Bike


– Like it or not, e-bikes
are becoming a thing, a big thing. – That’s right, mountain
bikers are all over them. People that just use bikes for
transport are all over them. I mean they help to carry the shopping, they help to carry the kids, or they just help carry people up hills easier and faster. – Yeah, but what about
e-bikes for sport on the road? Now I can completely understand why a mountain biker
might want some assistance hauling a heavy four suspension bike up a hill into uncharted territory. But what about us road riders? – Well yeah, it is a very good question. So to try to get a little bit of insight, we have devised a test. We’re going to tackle the
route of the medium Maratona, which is an absolutely classic
ride here in the Dolomites. It actually makes up the medium option at the famous Maratona
dles Dolomites Granfondo. – It certainly does and it
might not sound much, but, it’s 106 kilometers in length with an elevation gain of 3,130 meters. – Very punchy. – And you Simon, well you’re going to be doing
it on a top-end road bike. And I, well I’m going to
be doing it on an e-bike. Eat my dust Richardson. – Now before we get going,
let’s take a closer look at what we’re going to
be riding, shall we? This is Matt’s bike. It’s the Giant Road-E+ 1, and actually it’s Giant’s
top of the range road e-bike. You’d be familiar though, I’m sure, with most of the components on here ’cause it is very much
a road bike after all. So its got a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, the frame is Giant’s ALUXX SL aluminium, and all the next level stuff though, is right there in the oversized downtubes. So the battery is there, with enough juice for a 500 watt hour. And then that comes courtesy
of 40 lithium ion cells. The motor, down here, is from Yamaha, which I’m sure is going to
make any e-bikes skeptic even more uncomfortable
at the mention of a name so closely associated with motorbikes. But that is no motorbike. It is a pedal assist bike, meaning that it’s not going to go anywhere unless there’s a rider on there
actually turning the cranks. And then, what’s it up against? Well me, unfortunately, with nowhere enough juice
for a 500 watt hour. But, all is not lost because this is my bike. The ever lovely Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0, weighing in, comfortably, at about 11 kilograms
less than Matt’s e-bike. And yes, my batteries can also run down. But I’m going to do my best
to recharge them on route. You ready, Matt? – Yup. – Is this, is this technically a race? – You bet it is, mate. (excited yelling) – [Simon] Wait up, mate. Matt! (energetic electronic music) – Now first up, there is
a limitation to e-bikes, in some countries anyway, and that is that they actually restrict it to 25 kilometers an hour, meaning that if you want to go faster than 25 kilometers an hour,
there’s going to be no motor to help propel you forward. – No, so that means that
on a brisk ride like today, there’s going to be some
sections on this rolling road, for I suspect, Matt’s going to have to work pretty hard in order to get that heavier
bike to keep the pace. But before we start to
let ourselves think, well hang on a minute,
that’s not too much, we should probably try and answer a pretty fundamental question, and that is just who is
an e-bike designed for? – Yeah that is a good question, and there a few clues on the bike itself. Now first up, it’s got
a very relaxed geometry. And secondly, it’s got
a very long wheel base, which is great for riders new to the sport ’cause it inspires them
with the added sense of confidence and
control at higher speeds. Now it’s also a very
versatile bike indeed. I’m riding 32 millimeter tires, and that offers fantastic grip
and also wonderful comfort. And in addition to that,
the frame has bosses for a rack and also a mudguard. Now this bike doesn’t pretend by any stretch of the imagination to be a top end road bike. But could it be? We could just about find out. – All right, c’mon then mate. (energetic electronic music) – [Matt] Easy! – I can’t get rid of him! He’s like the terminator! – Matt, seriously mate. Have you given any thought
at all to your battery? – No, I’ve got a full charge. So I’m just going to go
flat out, flat stick. – What I’m wondering, mate, I was thinking about this. There’s 43.5 kilometers of climbing. So that’s going to take
you, not far off two hours. So if you’re relying on more
than 250 watts from that bike then I think on that last climb you might be running pretty low on juice. – Look, to be honest with you mate, most of this speed is just raw talent. (upbeat music) Okay, I’m not that naive. I have actually given this
a little bit of thought. Now, I’ve got three
options at my fingertips. Eco, normal, and power, and for most of the time
we’re going to be using eco. Now my plan is to drop
Simon on the climbs. And let’s face it, I could drop Nairo
Quintana at 25 k’s an hour, so I’m imagining I’m going
to have a pretty big gap by the top of this climb. And I must admit, I’m also
looking forward to the descent because the stability
that this bike gives you will mean that it’s going to feel like I’m descending on rails, bring it on. (upbeat music) (whimsical music) (rock music) (tranquil jazz music) (rock music) – [Matt] That’s right!
(tranquil jazz music) (Matt sighs) (calm contemporary music) Hey. – [Simon] Hey mate. – [Matt] How’re you feeling? I thought I’d have a
nice coffee back there. – [Simon] You had a break? – Yeah.
– No wonder why you’re behind. – [Matt] I got a nice
cappuccino and a croissant. (Simon grunts) It was really nice, but uh, I must have lost a bit of time back there after that cappuccino,
then I’m just going to, just press on, Si.
– All right, well– See you a bit later.
– Bye mate. (calm contemporary music) – 25.5 kilometers an hour now, on maximum power. I’d estimate I’m probably
putting out maybe 200 watts. I can speak easily. This is probably giving me
another 250, 300 roughly. Already put a big gap into Si. And I can’t actually go
any faster than this now, 26, 25 k an hour, it’s looking good. (calm contemporary music) – That really is, a bonkers bit of kick. Just fantastic. However, I do feel like I should perhaps defend the honor of the humble road bike at this point, though, because this bike, on this road, in this incredible scenery, feels every bit as amazing
as you would expect. And in no way does the
presence of an e-bike take away from that sensation. I don’t think any dyed in the wool roadie should ever feel threatened by the presence of e-bikes. As much as I am indeed
floundering in Matt’s wake, and yes, I am eating his dust. But the fact is, although
I might not actually want to set aside the time to ride an e-road bike myself at the moment, I do think they have
a place in this sport. (calm contemporary music) (whimsical music) (knocking on glass) – You are going to be wired, man. – How are you, Si? I’m fine, just having some strudel. You just want to get a bit
quicker, you do, I tell ya. You want to speed up a bit. We’ll get through. (triumphant music) – [Simon] Ah, nearly there, near the top. (Simon panting and laughing) – Now while Matt and I might have had a slightly twisted and unfortunately very one sided race here, that is masking an important point, and that is that that bike isn’t designed for Matt or riders as strong as Matt. It’s perfect for people that are less fit, allowing them to go
further, to climb faster, and indeed ride with other
people that may well be more fit. – Yeah, well even for a dyed in the wool rider like me with a
lot of miles on my belt, that was a lot of fun. Climbing was a quite amazing experience. I never climbed that fast before. It was really unusual
sensation, but a positive one, and then descending, I thought
it was going to be good, but I felt like I was descending on rails. It gave me so much confidence. It was just utterly fantastic. I mean, these bikes really
are a great level up. And think about the benefits of riding a really tough commute to work as well. – Yeah that’s a good point. Now with one descent still to go, put me out of my misery, Matt. How much battery you got left? – Do you want to know?
– Yeah. – 15 percent. – 15, are you serious? That’s actually quite
a good going, isn’t it. – Well, to be honest with
you like I said before, I didn’t really use the motor that much, the old legs still feeling pretty good. – Remarkable. – Anyway, we’d like to know what you think about the rise of the e-bike. You know what to do, leave
your comments down below. – Yeah that should be
a good comment section. Now do also make sure that you subscribe to GCN if you haven’t already, just click on the globe. And if you want more content, then why not get a bit more
info on this bike here? Find out why it’s such
an icon, just down here. Or for a little more e-bike action on GCN, we’ve got the GCN e-bike challenge that is just over there. – You’re the icon today,
Si, I tell you mate. Great riding mate.
– Oh mate, no you’re too kind. – Great riding.
– Oh coffee! – Oh yeah, swerve in.

100 thoughts on “Are E-Bikes Fun? Road Bike Vs Road E-Bike

  1. Wife battered me on a climb out of Grindewald last fall on an ebike. Never heard her giggling while riding up a hill before.

  2. I dunno. I'm a commuter cyclist, but I do enjoy the fact that cycling keeps me fit. But bikes are extremely efficient, so you don't burn a lot of calories while cycling even when you're doing loaded touring, so I just don't see how I could maintain any level of fitness with a motor helping me. I see the point for older (I mean 60s, 70s, 80s) cyclists who just need a way to overcome disability, but until then, I don't see the point. Also, the idea of plugging a bike battery in every night just seems wrong to me. Then again, I guess it's better than a car.

  3. E-Bikes are great … until you want to take them on holiday and realise no aeroplane carrier will transport them due to non-compliance with battery restrictions.

  4. I know one thing.
    The e-bike is now very popular.
    I have driven on about 7 different e-bikes.
    Sone with the motor in the front, Some had the motor in the middle
    (like the E-bike used in this video).

    I'm 30 Jears, and full of energy. although sometimes I have very little energy.
    In this case an E-bike can help me on my way.
    And make sure I can enjoy the landscape around me
    .
    And it can be usefull when there is a lot of strong winds blowing.
    On windy places My speed will drop from 25km/h to 15km/h.
    And I will use not a high gear but a (very) low gear.
    Then I have to change my route and (possibly) make it shorter.
    I don't like that. Every now and then I like to ride a distance of 100km (or more).
    When I will get a E-bike I need one that will ride 100km (or more) on ONE charge.
    I know I need a E-bike that has a battery of 500watt/hour at least.

  5. I live close to the Peak District.
    Before I could only really manage about 20 mile rides but I can go much further into the countryside and do 50 mile round trips now.
    Ebikes just allow you to go further if you aren't a hardcore rider like these two.

  6. I used to ride my road bike for 500 miles per week, then i took an arrow to the knee and havent ridden since.
    E bikes put a glimmer of hope into my future of biking <3<3 100 100

  7. It does allow people who are less fit or a fair bit older than their mates to go cycling as a group in the mountains and stay together

  8. Alex Morgan – does your bike only have 1 gear then, direct drive? If not, and if it's a modern, lightweight piece of high-tech , then that would also be considered cheating by my great grandfather for one, who used to deliver bread on a real boneshaker weighing 50lb, no gears.
    It's a matter of degree.
    Try a Strava comparison – record your activity lying on a sofa for an hour, then ride an e-bike 30 miles. Still say it's not cycling? You can still ride as hard as you like, remember. You just enjoy more scenery per hour whilst doing so.
    I'd be ashamed of myself if I dismissed something so genuinely life-changing to so many people in the way that you seem to.

  9. The two of u were very entertaining. Ur scenery was spectacular. The fact that the one bloke stop twice 4 coffee had me smiling profusely! Thank u both 4 the entertainment & knowledge I learn from ur bike ride. Cheers

  10. At 73, my eBike has me doing rides again that were not really possible and distances that were only a dream. I usually ride in eco mode and can join the local posse for fun with my friends. Long live the eBike.

  11. Isn't cycling also to see the landscapes and having fun? I never liked it as a kid to drive uphill, but with an ebike even that is fun. As long as you can pedal and actually do some fitness as well, I dont see any problem with that…

  12. I go one further – ignorant ludite – I suppose he also pulls one out about carbon frames tubeless tyres and ——————- disc brakes belt drives suspension electronic gears bike computers – get the picture get a life and get out of my face if you have the privilege of meeting my good self

  13. Very fun video, nice review of both bikes. I'm driving e bike and I enjoy ride on Eco mode, because it gives mi enough ballance betwen my power and little help of motor. It is very good solution for people who are not fit enough for far distances, but with help of e-bikes they become strong and fit to drive them even without help of motor.

  14. I have originally mtb frame but I made it sportier whit lot of things like satle, handels, skinny asphalt tires etc. Whit 250w controller it hits 35 whit ease, if speef limitter is off. Fun in city areas.

  15. No probs if e-bikes are another form of transport and replace the car for many journeys, why not, its got to be a good thing. But please keep them out of racing. The great sport of road bike racing is about endurance, tactics, team support and power, not about how powerful your electric motor is.

  16. "I could see why a mountain biker would want an E-bike" that makes no sense. Almost 100% of ebikes are on the road! a mountain biker would never use an E-bike all that extra weight up hill just makes no sense! In fact I have yet to see an E-bike on the trails!

  17. I have back problems from an accident, an ebike can now enable me to take a slow ride with my 6yo son, not possible before. I love the mobility, well Im still VERY slow, about 15kph topspeed, but I can take a ride, my son loves it and so do I.

  18. I am glad to see ebikes on the road .it gets non cyclists into the fun they are missing . more cyclists on roads would Help the ignorance of american drivers .they drive like bratty children in 🇺🇸 . I'm sick of it !

  19. I completely understand the motive behind people who could really use them, buying them. There are plenty of great examples of situations in the comments here of people who should and have bought e-bikes. My only 1 peeve is this….STAY OFF STRAVA.

  20. I'm going to convert my town bike to an ebike. I have arthritis in my knees but I'm still able to ride. The pain in my knees limit my ride time. I tend to turn on the car when I should be riding. Ebike is the answer

  21. 25 km/hr? Pbbbbblppptttttt. Pedal assist bikes here go 45 km/hr, and guys on road bikes still pass me.

  22. I have COPD, an obstructive lung disease. My e-bike allows me to get out in nature, get over climbs and ride with friends. It is a true blessing, brings joy to my life.

  23. It's just a shame that car drivers don't treat Ebike riders with a little more respect and OBEY the new law that states that they are supposed to overtake leaving the bike rider a one and a half meters space, I had a guy today his mirror touched me 2" closer I'd have been in trouble

  24. Ebikes are a great innovation and allow people who are less able or fit to cycle. However, it pains me to see teenagers, especially in mainland Europe, on ebikes, usually with mobile phone in one hand, clearly not getting any exercise benefit. The same goes for able-bodied adults cruising on ebikes on easy bike trails with minimal effort.

  25. Ebikes are for older people and people with physical disabilities. I simply can't find a reason why people with big gluteus maxima and an efficient cardio would ever need one . I guess if you bike to work and worry about your armpits stinkin well that fine . An ebike is still a motorcycle and not a bicycle . Bicycles are elemental so for me the choice is obvious .

  26. I quite agree with a popular opinion here – if it gets people outdoors to ventilate their head it's fine in my book 🙂 Also, people who are physically not fit for one reason or another to ride long and hard can join in on the fun. Be part of the experience. While otherwise at the very best they'd be riding a motorcycle, but more realistically – lay down on a sofa.

  27. Excellent video very professional indeed ,I have just converted my mountain bike to electric after being stuck in the shed for three years ,I am now out on the road again fresh air in my lungs that must be a good thing surely.
    Big thumbs up to electric cycling.

  28. The mountain I ride is too big to see everything I want to see in a day trip with my pedal power mtb. It was amazing how much terrain I covered on the new Levo E mtb. I also ride a KTM 350 on the trails up there, but I might just sell it now.

  29. One of your absolute bests for sheer information and knowledge, insight and capability. None of us is getting any younger and this is a real on to get more people on the road, staying on the road. Big thanks for it!

  30. Hey, there guys I am curious to know if while pedaling the bike with the battery off, does this action charges the battery, or does it only charge by plugging into electricity?

  31. How are we supposed to easily tell the difference between you when you are wearing the exact same everything?

  32. I commute on an ebike. I turn the peddle assist all the way up on the way in and half way up on the way home. 27 miles round trip, 245 days a Year. Love that damn bike.

  33. Here in most of the States, e-bikes can be assisted by an electric motor at higher, more reasonable speeds of up to 20 mph (which is 32 kph). I would chose a pedelec version since it has a smaller profile, it's cheaper, simpler to operate, and it's less regulated than throttle powered e-bikes overall. The thing I'm looking foward to get from pedelecs is being able to pedal at a slow, leisurely pace that would get me like only 6-8 mph on my 20" regular bike, but yet go much faster at the same time, like 10-15 mph.

  34. commuting on an ebike makes a lot of sense and for a lot of people who are into lifting/not being cut like a cyclist it makes a lot of sense for a 6 foot 100kg guy especially when my town has 15%+ gradients on a regular basis

  35. I calculated that 100Wh would be spent on actually just getting the 11kg heavier e-bike up the same total inclination. Now this number completely ignores efficiency losses so it could very easily be a much bigger number

  36. I ride 2 e bikes a Giant road bike and Avanti Semi-mountain bike , my preference ; the Avanti , as its an almost go anywhere bike , but it dosen't have the same battery storage as the giant ; The Giant 120 km ( sealed roads ) , the Avanti 70 km sealed roads , the Giant highway only , the Avanti , go anywhere and that includes touring !

  37. I am 67 and ride a classic Italian DeRosa roadbike in the Costa Blanca mountains where I live, but I also have a folding Airnimal Rhino converted into an ebike four months ago. I use the ebike for shopping trips into the the local town and training sessions in the mountains. Then I get on my roadbike feeling fitter from the extra workouts on the ebike. It's quite a revolution and now I'm cycling more regularly than I have been for years.

  38. I would really like to have seen an unfit-ish, non-pro rider like me using the e-bike in this ‘competition’ to see if he/she could keep up with the non-e-bike or even beat it.
    Having said that, I personally would prefer to ride under my own steam at my current stage of life, since I feel it’s more rewarding on a personal level. Also, that electric power has to come from some carbon-burning or nuclear power station somewhere, at least partially (if you average out the fraction of renewables used). I agree that for less fit or less able riders, and for those who would otherwise just use a car, e-bikes can be a good idea, though. And if my 25km commute was severely hilly, I might consider one myself, to reduce the sweat and fatigue.
    One thing that I’m going to have to get used to, however, is trying to catch riders ahead by upping my pace, and then getting blown away by someone using e-assist.

  39. These bikes are getting more and faster, If there on the roads they should be insured and have number plates, Or they just hit cars and bugger off .

  40. This will never replace my V10 Magnum 4×4 Diesel pickup. I drive to Costco and haul my beer home on smooth paved roads that have a 0-degree incline. I do have to engage 4×4 low several times just to clear the potholes. 9 mpg is the price I have to pay in a modern world, and I'll happily pay it to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome!

  41. I use a bike to ride to work due to heavy traffic. I never thought I'd buy one but I took the plunge and bought a cheap ish folding bike. Wow I just love using it to the point I don't use my car much. I know have 2 my new one is a cube mountain ebike that I use for long distances with friends. Amazing bikes.

  42. i got my fist e-bike over 20 years ago back then the batteries where heavy lead acid but still worked fine, nowadays they are great but way over priced , you can buy a 180 mph motorcycle for the price of a 30 mph e-bike

  43. I have been disabled since age of 5. Rode bicycle for most of my life but could not manage hills or strong winds. Now at age 70, I take my e-handcycle out 3-5 times a week and will do 50 mile rides with no problem. My wife rides along on her e-trike and enjoys it as much as I do. Couldn't be happier!

  44. I had this old Mongoose mountain bike I bought when I was beans & rice poor. Last year I converted that into an e-bike with a mid-level Bafang mid-drive and top-of the line battery setup. It handled a ride from Reno, NV to the SF Bay Area on 1 charge, over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Not really 'biking,' but incredible how efficient the thing was.

  45. I like ebikes. I have not bought yet but its sure tempting . Having one around for recoup day would be awesome!

  46. My wife has an e-bike and not gonna lie it was a great fucking alternative than using car or motorcycle.

    We lived in New York and she's a lawyer.Yep a lawyer who loves her bike 😂.She will ride her e-bike everyday to the office except if its raining.

    Great alternative for eco living and also great for the environment.If you wonder what bike did i use I just use a Santa Cruz Road Bike.I don't have an e-bike but I would love to have it perhaps next year.

  47. Great video! I think the comments by everyone really sum up the benefits of E-bikes. Whether it's age, disability, injury, or the like, e-Bikes offer an opportunity back into cycling that otherwise wouldn't exist. While I'm still a few years away from one it's encouraging to know that technology will likely allow me to continue the sport I love well into my aged years!

  48. Just finished your e vs reg road bike, your flat vs curved handlebar and your road vs. gravel bike vids. Excellent work. Having been away from bikes for a long time, it’s evolved a lot of terms and options I’m trying to catch up on. This has been a huge help.

  49. Once while commuting, there was this old man who blew past me on an uphill climb. Met him again on a gas station, inflating his tires. We had a chat. Turns out that this 73-year old man was a former roadie whose legs started to develop some serious issues. He had to sell his road bike, because he was struggling on some sections. His son gave him an E-bike so he could ride once more. He was genuinely happy, when I saw his face light up when mentioning the E-bike. Nowadays, he just used the bike for commuting and whatnot, but he said at least it's much better than sitting all day at home, staring at his road bike and not being able to ride it anymore, gathering dust at his garage.

    It's been a while since we met. Hopefully he's doing fine.

  50. Have an M1 Spitzing Plus 500W S-Pedalec since the beginning of March; commute about 13 miles a day in each direction, regardless of the weather (unless 2 foot of snow is on the ground, which did happen this year :)!) That, instead of driving a VW bus, with the associated burning of carbon fuels. I know Lithium cells are not without environmental impacts; the electronics in total too, and everything else; but it's got to be better than driving even a small car… and it's CERTAINLY way healthier for me personally, as well as WAY more fun (hit a 20% incline at 15mph as a non-profi – you're still breathing deeply, still sweating to a degree, but you can do it everyday on the way to work!) It has become my chosen method of transport for everything within about a 20 mile radius, unless there's a storm.

  51. E-bikes are a lot of fun to ride.

    For my work I have driven 20 different E-bikes.

    From a 'standard' to a fast 40 km / hour E-bike. The 45km/h E-bike going too fast for me!
    My top-speed is 25km/h.

  52. The best thing about e-bikes is seeing people who would not normally ride a bike actually start riding! It means more voices for better biking infrastructure in our cities – I love my old school pedal bike but I am all for the rise of e-bikes!!

  53. Great idea, keeps people in the sport longer, and also let's those who would never ride a Passo a chance to do it with the rest of us.

  54. I am 73 Years old and have a heart condition. I get out of breath very easy and quickly. I can no longer even take long walks. I haven't ridden a bicycle in 30 years. I very recently tested a pedal assist e-Bike Fat Bike, loved it an purchased it on the spot. Thus far I have found I can ride for miles and feel like I am getting good exercise and still not be breathing very hard. I can climb hills easily. I am slowly building up my stamina . I plan to very soon try some off easy road trails . I hope to be able to keep up with my son in law who rides very often.

  55. I rode an e bike few days ago for the first time in my life and it put a smile on my face like the first time I learned how to ride a bike or the first time I rode a road bike. It's a beautiful experience.

  56. Built my own ebike a few weeks ago. It has a 1000 watt hub motor and can get up to 35 mph without pedaling. If you want speed don't buy a prebuilt bike, the parts for my conversion were around $175, then add in the battery ($200) and a frame bag ($50) and you can go fast at a fraction of the cost of the name brand e-bikes!

  57. I am affraid the eRacebike has a future, and at some point the ones without the motor will get rare in the next 25 years.

  58. I'm waiting for my new ebike to be delivered. I'm 70, and was finding hills difficult on my push bike. Can't wait to get out again!

  59. Imagine racing with either i) generators, regenerative braking and the like, starting with a flat battery, or ii) starting with equally charged batteries. It would be very, very tactical. Flat batteries and generation of power would be really interesting. If you were prepared to work in the group you store energy for a break away or a hill.

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