The opposite day once I was out driving (and breaking) my ebikes within the snow I began making an attempt to calculate how a lot it value me for each ebike trip. In my head, I made a decision “Eh, it’s in all probability about $5 a trip”. That was a hopelessly optimistic quantity, once I began to actually crunch the numbers it was about 10 instances increased than that. I’m one thing of an ebike horder, and I have a tendency to buy and restore my ebikes and bikes myself. After I wrote this text it all of a sudden turned clear that ebikes have been considerably costlier than pedal-powered mountain bikes. I additionally got here to understand that if I wasn’t so dedicated to fixing my ebikes myself, driving fatbikes with 2500W peak mid-drive motors in deep snow would rapidly change into financially untenable. (I’d even have to really begin working to help my dangerous habits)
How a lot does my not-so-electric-pedal-powered mountain biking sport value me per trip?
For a minimum of 8 months out of the 12 months, I trip with no motor. The explanations for this are many and diversified, however the greatest cause is that my spouse gained’t make like to me if I get fats. Though I don’t like slogging uphill with no motor, I truly choose going out and driving a 25lb bike than driving a 60lb ebike. Within the winter I don’t have any selection, if I wish to trip within the snow, I simply must trip electrical fatbikes or it’s simply utterly depressing.
Here’s a record of the mountain bikes I’ve purchased within the final 20 years
- Big Marlin XXL $500 from Cayuga Ski and Cyclery in 2000
- Full suspension Sette Ace $1000 from Pricepoint in 2009
- Entrance suspension 22″ Sette Razzo $1200 from Pricepoint in 2010
- Full suspension open field Carbon Prescott for $1300 from Lunacycles in 2018 (MSRP $3400)
That brings the grand whole as much as about $4000 plus lets tack one other $2000 on prime of that for repairs, taxes and upgrading elements over a 20-year span. Take into account that I’m extremely frugal, most people I trip with are on $4000+ bikes and suppose nothing of dropping hundreds on new forks and carbon wheelsets.
I strive as arduous as I can to trip on daily basis, however realistically over the past 20 years, I’ve in all probability pushed pedals about 150 days a 12 months on common. That signifies that I’ve about 3000 periods within the final 20 years and people periods value me about $6000 so I paid out of pocket about $2 a trip. Most of these rides have been about 2 hours lengthy in order that breaks right down to about $1 an hour. That is about what I’d have anticipated the prices to be.
How a lot does my ebike behavior value per trip?
This quantity is just a little tougher to calculate as a result of once I began out with ebikes the trade was at its infancy. I spent about $2000 on low-cost Chinese language batteries and hub motors that have been rapidly destroyed driving within the snow. I additionally experimented with Lipos, however discovered they have been too troublesome to cope with and didn’t final lengthy sufficient to be worthwhile. I’m not going to incorporate any of that expense on this article as a result of that was simply cash I needed to burn by way of to be taught what actually didn’t work. (Hub motors, LifePo4’s, and Lipos)
My total actuality modified with the primary BBS02 and 18650 battery I bought. Utilizing the next energy (1300W+ peak) mid-drive that was geared approach down allowed me to make use of my low-cost fats bikes within the deep snow. California Ebikes launched an extra-wide BBS02 axle conversion that I ended up getting 3 of and changing low-cost Chinese language purchased BBS02s with on my own. Here’s a record of bikes I’ve purchased and constructed into ebikes.
Protecting observe of the batteries is a bit more troublesome, as I’ve purchased and offered a whole lot of ebike batteries over the past 6 years. I’ve destroyed about $2000 price of batteries within the final 6 years from abuse and neglect so I believe that’s an correct quantity so as to add to the overall.
This implies the overall quantity I’ve spent on ebikes is round $22,375 + one other $2000 in useless batteries placing the overall at $24,375. Within the wintertime, I’m going out and trip actually on daily basis so a superb estimate on driving days is about 100 days a 12 months for the final 6 years. This breaks right down to about $40 a trip, however doesn’t keep in mind the price of repairs and upkeep.
Calculating the price of repairing bike parts is the toughest quantity to give you. I’d say on common I break a motorcycle each 2-3 rides and the restore often prices about $25 on common. That is to be anticipated when you’re operating 1500-2500W by way of an ebike drive practice that’s designed for lower than 400W of energy. It’s compounded by the truth that I beat the residing crap out of my ebikes. If we add one other $25 for each 2.5 rides then we find yourself with an extra $6000 in ebike repairs over the past 6 years. It additionally provides one other $10 to the prices of each single session bringing it as much as a painful $50 per session. Since most of my rides are 2 hours lengthy on common that signifies that it prices me about $25 an hour for my ebike behavior.
You’ll be able to see how having to cope with paying your pleasant native bike store to repair your ebikes would rapidly trigger your snowbiking behavior to escalate uncontrolled. These restore numbers are additionally not indicative of any regular ebike utilization, that is my utilization which I usually am driving in situations that ordinary individuals would simply not even try. On common I trip in 2-4 inches of snow, however generally it may be over 8 inches deep. Uphill. These situations simply destroy bicycle tools, there’s actually no approach round it.
There is just one ebike I’ve that basically shines in the case of reliability
As a aspect observe, I’ll point out that the Christini Abominable Fats-E 2XL (available here for $6295) has been remarkably dependable for causes I can’t actually fathom. Including the smaller customized chainring has actually helped take the load off the motor and I believe the AWD system tends to only work higher with much less effort on parts just like the rear freehub than a RWD system does.
I’ve had issues with the crank bolts repeatedly falling off the Extremely Max and have needed to change them with longer M15 x 14mm Titanium bolts from ebay here (I couldn’t discover the longer bolts in metal). Locktite the crap out of those bolts, and bear in mind that the inventory Extremely Max crankbolts are simply not lengthy sufficient and might strip out simply. Additionally, the needle bearing on the person driveshaft received water and salt in it and began to grab up so I needed to take it aside and lube the crap out of it. These points are solidly Bafang’s shortcomings not Christini’s.
I’ve had no points with the remainder of the bike, and that is the ebike I all the time take out within the worst situations, because the AWD system tracks wonderful properly in poor situations. If I may solely have one bike in my assortment for snow driving, that is the ebike I’d purchase. Having AWD in snow makes it far more enjoyable and protected than with out and this ebike is shockingly dependable in contrast with a budget Chinese language Bikes Direct crap. I did a assessment of this ebike once I first received it here and there’s additionally a BBSHD model out there that I reviewed here. It also needs to be famous that the inventory Extremely Max places out about 1500W peak and I’ve been operating it with the Ludicrous controller from Lunacycles which places out 2500W peak. If I can’t appear to interrupt this ebike correctly operating it at 2500W, then it’s unlikely that you just’ll be capable of break it with solely 1500W.
How does a Sur-Ron examine with ebikes on a price per utilization expense
So I needed to maintain the Sur-Ron Mild Bee utterly separate since I by no means path trip with it, however I do apply it to the farm a number of instances every week. The Sur Ron I purchased 3 years in the past for $3300 from Lunacycle. I’ve added about $100 in fenders in entrance headlights, however apart from that the bike is inventory. Surprisingly the Sur Ron has want completely no repairs within the 3 years I’ve had it. I’ve had about 400 periods in whole with the bike, however hardly ever trip it for greater than quarter-hour at a time. This breaks right down to about $8.50 a trip, however since my common trip is just quarter-hour lengthy it really works out to about $34 an hour. The fascinating factor to concentrate to is that whereas my ebikes are fairly properly thrashed on, with a number of having damaged frames and comparable points, the Sur Ron actually has no points in any respect (besides I actually need to bleed the rear brake in some unspecified time in the future, it’s extra squishy than the Keep Puft Marshmallow Man). I believe that it’ll seemingly final one other 10 years so long as I deal with the battery and preserve it inside within the winter and don’t abuse it. As I personal the Sur Ron for longer, the price per utilization will proceed to lower very dramatically over time. Additionally to be clear, utilizing the Sur-Ron for getting across the farm is rather a lot much less abuse than driving singletrack and leaping with it. Your mileage will differ.
This complete article is an fascinating experiment in evaluating the prices related to doing what we love. I actually get pleasure from driving electrical fatbikes within the snow, so I can settle for the prices that associate with it. If I needed to do it once more I’d not purchase something however Ludicrous powered BBSHD and fatbikes that may help Snowshoe 2XL tires within the entrance and rear. I believe having 2 bikes might be sufficient for most individuals, as when one bike breaks you’ll have a backup and so long as you keep on prime of doing all of your bike repairs in a well timed vogue then it is best to all the time have one thing to trip. I’ve all 4 of my BBSHDs in rotation and more often than not I can discover one thing to trip that isn’t damaged.
Trip, Break, Repair, Eat, Sleep, Repeat.
Right here’s hoping that my spouse by no means reads this text, I’d by no means hear the tip of it.