Deep touch-light touch resonates with me. Light stroking often drives me into fits of twitching or ticklishness. I have to work to remember that other people often like it. Some others just can't adapt, ever, and conclude that I just don't like being touched... different people are different, people :)
Also, donated and noted agreement with Russell that there's no shame in asking people to cover more of her costs. Time and effort are costs...
I’m less good at actually reading maps.
My partner seems to share that, despite being an architect. Apparently reading maps is not at all like reading plans (and she is a whizz CAD monkey). Google maps is her friend. Whereas I tend to look at the map to make sure there's no disasters lurking before heading off "that way" (roads that go towards my destination, but then stop at a barrier is a bugbear).
The "different and interesting" thing is something I was thinking about on my way to work, in the context of empathising across race/gender/class differences. I'm a rich white male, so I grew up with those advantages. But I'm also probably-slightly-aspergers (like all the cool kids are :) and I remember odd things, and am more preceptive of certain things that NTs (someone being "interested" in someone is often blatantly obvious to me.. unlike when I am boring you witless. Only one of those skills has immense practical value).
Anyhow, I grew up being told "you don't feel that" "you like doing this" and my life was full of similar gaslighting bullshit. Most egregiously, I was repeatedly told "that didn't happen" until I found evidence, then "I never denied that that happened". I get grumpy thinking about it. So when someone says "I feel X" or "X happened to me" I tend to go "well, you'd know" and move on. Rather than, say "privilege is not a thing", or "everyone likes cake" or other inanities.
Admittedly this is partly because I tend to be relentlessly straight-forward and obvious compared to the average monkey, but it's also because... if you say you feel something, who am I to disagree?
all the parts of your trip where your speed drops below say 20 kph you can use the assist ... Unless you have a flat commute.
Bart, this is hard. Being polite when you're ignoring what I've said before and assuming that I'm innumerate... that's hard for me.
How about you do the maths and have another go? In order to cover 38km in an hour I can't afford to spend very much time below my current 30kph average speed without power assist. For every minute at 30kph I need to spend a minute at 46kph, and 46kph is hard going.
changing pads is a doddle, so not sure what the 'serviceability' issue might be.
With an ebike it's likely that changing pads means removing the wheel, and that's a bit ugly. With v brakes you don't have to remove the wheel. The trade-off of changing pads more often, but more easily, might be worth it. Personally the second part of the tradeoff "and brakes that don't work as well, especially in the wet"... that's where I will go for disks almost regardless of maintenance. In my case, paying the premium for hydraulic brakes on my touring bike just so I don't have to change pads as often (an extra ~$50/brake seemed worth while).
On my commuter it's five minutes in the workstand so I don't bother with hydros. And that's on a bike with a hub dyno on the front, and a Rohloff on the back. Albeit I find the Rohloff wheel removal no harder than with derailleur gears (which my lazy bike has).
Yeah, I became convinced after a very short time that disk brakes win on servicability. Both in the "service? I have to service these? I never realised" sense, and in the "oh, is that all" sense.
The hoses on my Hayes hydros are the original ones from when I bought them in... 2001? I think they might have been bled once, maybe? My bleed kit has been used, but I'm not sure it was on the brakes I still have (I sold one bike that had them). I definitely had to put new pads in, I remember spending half a day looking through boxes of bike bits going "I know I bought spare pads".
Also, I rode the Gazelle electric assist bike a while ago and it was very nice. Just not twice-the-price nice compared to the Glowworm ones. You can definitely go further down the "clean up the cables" route and make it all look better integrated. But I'm an athlete, not an aesthete, so I look at it and go "meh, whatever".
If I was going to spend more money I'd want something that goes faster instead. It annoys me that the assist has to cut out at 30kph, because for me right now the benefit of electric assist would be in commuting further in the same time. I can do the current 16km to work in ~33 minutes without sweating unduly on my lazy bike (a steel CX bike), but work is looking at moving ~38km away. If I could do 38km in under an hour by paying for an electric assist I'd be dead keen. But unfortunately that's hard. The mid-drive units that should be able to do that are all very carefully built to not work if the speed sensor is fiddled with. So we will probably have to move house when work moves, instead :(
how much does the added complexity of the e-bike affect the basic repairs/servicing?
My personal approach is that it's a bike and I can fix those bits. The electrics don't really get in the way except by making the bike heavier (the $40 Aldi workstand is going to be even worse with a heavy ebike than a lightweight road bike). If you can change tubes on a hub-geared bike you can do it on an electric bike.
Anything to do with the electrical stuff I have a look for obvious things, then take it to the shop. Partly there's a few special tools that make things much easier, partly there's the risk of making an expensive mistake, and partly it's the impression I get that there's simple faults and time to replace something faults. The latter I can't fix, full stop. So if it's not simple, off to the shop.
In the last 10 years ebikes have become established, solidly designed things. They just work. I get the impression from the kids at GlowWorm Sydney that 99% of their ebike repairs are bike mechanic stuff, the electric stuff is pretty reliable. But obviously you pay for that, their cheapest bikes are $AUS1800 or so. I suspect that if you bought a $1000 ebike you might have a different experience.
total disc brake convert, btw. Damn the additional weight, I wouldn't have a bike without them.
Yep, I made the transition when they were expensive, but these days.... like you say, why wouldn't you have them?
My commuter bike especially. It's all about "it just works" - disk brakes, internally geared hub, punture-resistant tyres, dynamo lights, whatever I can do. I'd rather spend the money now than spend the time on the side of the road, in the rain, at night, trying to fix something. Because you just know what when the "it's nearly as good and much cheaper" thing fails, it will fail at the worst possible time.
My impression from talking to Maurice at GlowWorm is that he's spent a long time badgering people in China to find decent suppliers, and their existing deal is the result of years of co-development of the bikes they sell. He's had a lot of poor experiences. So when you see a kit on eBay and think "heck, for $300 I could fit that to my bike"... you are setting yourself up for one of those bad experiences. What you get is likely to work, if you assemble it correctly and add the right bits that you didn't know you'd need. Well, it'll work, after a fashion, for a while. Probably. But by all means, if that's all you want from a bike, go for it. But as a word of advice from someone who has fixed far too many cheap, shoddy bicycle-shaped-objects in my life: have a second bike as a fall-back. Don't do this to your only bike, you will regret it.
Also, for those of you starting out, bicycles.stackexchange is one useful resource and we will answer ebike questions. Please use the the search function first, though :)
Full disclosure... I've known Maurice from GlowWorm for a long time and he's a friend. So I may be biased. But I'm also an engineer, and a cyclist, and I've built my own frames/bikes (www.moz.geek.nz/mozbike) and broken other peoples (the average rider can do 250W for 30s... in my 30's I could do 1500W for 30s... things break). I ride every day, and "taking the train" is my cop-out but still means riding 5-6km to the station. My main bikes does 5000km/year, rain hail or shine, and I expect it to "just work". So...
I crashed slightly the other day and made a hole in my shin where it hit a bolt head on my stem. The bone part. That meant not pedalling for a while (weeks to months, depending on which doctor is talking).
So I borrowed an electric bike from the Sydney GlowWorm for a month. Having the electric bike in that situation meant I didn't have to take taxis everywhere, which made me a lot less unhappy. Without pedalling the battery was barely able to get me the 5-6km to work via the train and 5-6km home via the train. Albeit with about 100kg on board, with hills and absolutely no pedalling. Letting the battery fully charge helped (fast charge in an hour... wait another hour for the trickle charge to fill it up). I expect it is all the starts from zero, especially up a hill, that kill the battery (speaking as a 'lectrical engineer). Even just a couple of pedal strokes when starting out made a big difference.
After a week I started pedalling because I am impatient and also it just felt wrong not to, and battery life came right back up.