Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Loops and Diamonds

18 Responses

  • Zach Bagnall,

    AA giddy with excitement at the prospect of more motorized vehicles:

    It is something other motoring clubs are doing overseas

    Actually my overseas motoring club covers all bicycles not just electric ones. Why extend benefits to one group of cyclists and exclude others?

    A stranded (AA-card-carrying) cyclist is a stranded cyclist.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Possibly an idiot question, but given what "AA" actually stands for, it's not immediately obvious: how can one become an AA member if only a cyclist without any driver's license?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1808 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    P.S. As it happens, my main bike got stolen from home two weeks ago. Like most mechanical contrivances my father has had a hand in, it was assembled from odd second-hand parts, repurposed materials, and a considerable amount of luck, but somehow it stayed on the road for decades, and I was used to its little idiosyncrasies. I heartily wish the thief personally experiences all of the mechanical breakdowns it’s overdue for. Though I suspect they’ve just stripped it for parts, which would annoy me even more.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1808 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to linger,

    Possibly an idiot question, but given what “AA” actually stands for, it’s not immediately obvious: how can one become an AA member if only a cyclist without any driver’s license?

    I suspect anyone that pays the fee will get a membership? They don't ask to see your license as far as I recall? (previous member, but not for 20+ years)

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 885 posts Report Reply

  • James Burnett, in reply to FletcherB,

    I had my AA membership before I got my learners :)

    Since Jan 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall,

    Really wish there was a standard symbol indicating a bike loop. I had to jump a red light for the first time on a dual carriageway last weekend. Waited over a minute for a green light with no effect, no pedestrian button option - and this on a freshly sealed road through a new housing development. Clueless.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald,

    One reason I like Portland boxes is that you can generally count on them to have a bike sensor loop. A few weeks ago I watched as a pair of cyclists waited patiently on the pedestrian crossing between a Portland box and the car stopping area. It took over a minute for me to bike down the block towards them - the cycle sensors at that intersection are pretty sensitive so that was unexpected. They both then proceeded to jump the red light, I cruised into the box and the lights changed for me within a few seconds.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    New post from Bazza on what appears to be a bit of a fear campaign by some retailers:

    Here is what I believe to be true, from reliable sources:

    There is currently no progress on LEV legislation at NZTA (Light electric vehicles include ebikes). This might start up again next year as part of a wider review programme (depending on what the Minister decides to prioritise).

    Adopting the Euro legislation and 25kph speed limit is not likely

    Banning throttles on ebikes is not on the cards (and why would it be?). The current laws require the bike to be designed to be primarily pedal operated. Mopeds are and always will be a separate class of vehicle.

    There was a view that the power constraint would be changed from 300W so something else, because 300W is just a random number and 300W bikes/motors are not available anywhere (resulting in widespread violation of this rule anyway). It is likely to be raised and better defined rather than lowered, in part to enable use for cargo bikes and as a mobility aid.

    A “speed limit” has been talked about, but there will be rules for who/what/when that can be exceeded.

    It does seem there's likely to be a revisiting of e-bike regulations, but there's no hurry, which is fine.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Ha, kind of sums up the past decade; just paint.

    Since Mar 2010 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Interestingly if you buy an e-bike designed for Europe it will cut the assist at 25 kph as standard.

    Our experience with such a bike is that it really does everything you want from an e-bike, unless of course you really want to go fast in which case a good road bike will usually be the fastest thing you can get.

    I don't necessarily believe the number should be 25 kph but I do think it's reasonable to expect e-bikes on bike paths to be going a "reasonable speed". Figuring out how to achieve a legislation that will achieve that might be fun since the definition of reasonable is variable and subjective.

    As a side note we discovered that one consequence of having the extra 20 kgs of battery and motor on the e-bike is that the disk brakes wear a bit faster than you would normally expect - worth checking the brake pads earlier than you would normally.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4427 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    As a side note we discovered that one consequence of having the extra 20 kgs of battery and motor on the e-bike is that the disk brakes wear a bit faster than you would normally expect - worth checking the brake pads earlier than you would normally.

    20 kgs sounds awfully high just for the electricals. Even the heavier "Dutch-style" bikes are under 30 kgs total minus panniers, with sportier models at around 60% of that weight.

    When I first went ebike shopping back in 2013 there was one importer offering an otherwise well-specced bike with only v-brakes. As reliable mechanical front disks are pretty cheap they seem to be a universal minimum now, though if you regularly haul groceries you certainly notice the pad wear.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4585 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    to be going a “reasonable speed”

    What speed does one need to be going to create lift on a wing surface?
    Hmmm, I guess if the wheels aren't touching the ground there is no forward thrust - damn - there goes my dreams of e-bike powered flight - as you were...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7743 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Not impossible if the power is diverted to propellers, though the end result would barely be recognisable as a bicycle, cf. the entirely human-powered Gossamer Albatross in 1979.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1808 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    20 kgs sounds awfully high just for the electricals. Even the heavier “Dutch-style” bikes are under 30 kgs total minus panniers, with sportier models at around 60% of that weight.

    Yeah, the extra wear is also to do with the additional force. It can mess up the wheels if you're unlucky.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I don’t necessarily believe the number should be 25 kph but I do think it’s reasonable to expect e-bikes on bike paths to be going a “reasonable speed”. Figuring out how to achieve a legislation that will achieve that might be fun since the definition of reasonable is variable and subjective.

    Yeah, and a lot of it comes down to just not being a dick. There are some quite long stretches of the northwestern with good visibility and no entrances, and it really is quite fun (and handy if you're running late) to stretch out on those. Whistling past groups of pedestrians at 30-40k is, on the other hand, dickish.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    I'm seeing a lot of e-assist cargo bikes round here, where the "extra 20kg" is 10kg of power assist and 10kg of bigger bike. It's kinda cool to see the school run done on a bike, but there's no way you could replace that with a road bike to go faster. Even my usual "must be able to carry a 25kg sack of rice" is an impossible standard for road bikes, two kids would make heads explode.

    OTOH, I know someone who does custom carbon frames and has a cargo bike in the lab. If that sees the light of day it'll be a really interesting thing - probably 6-8kg lighter than a standard e-cargo with the same capacity. And only twice the price!

    One of the problems I have with speed limited assist is that I mostly want e-assist for longer journeys specifically so I can go faster with stuff on the bike. Cycle touring speeds of 20-25kph are not always practical when I need to go somewhere, but getting a reasonably efficient motor for the 20-50kph speed range is tricky. Of course, in Australia it's also not road legal but since they don't police it I'm taking the traditional aussie approach of "no harm no foul" or whatever.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1118 posts Report Reply

  • Tonkin+Taylor,

    Hey just wanted to say we didn't delete our post - it's still there but the link is breaking everytime we post a new Q+A.
    Which seems rather appropriate given the information that's come forward about the adhoc efficacy/presence of cycle box sensors.
    You can still see post/photo at the bottom of this page, https://www.tonkintaylor.co.nz/news/2018/5/ask-an-engineer/ ... well, for the moment, anyway.

    NZ + AU • Since May 2018 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tonkin+Taylor,

    Thanks for chipping in here.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19538 posts Report Reply

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