50 Mile round trip commute, feasible or not?

Julie

Pedelecer
Jul 30, 2014
124
49
56
Gainsborough England
Hello

I was wondering if anyone could offer any advice.

I travel to work, 4 days on 4 days off, its about 25 flat miles each way.

My car is getting old and is becoming a money pit, and i’m not keen on the idea of buying another one ( I really dislike driving) so i’m considering other forms of transport.

A couple of months ago i decided that i would attempt to go to work on a pedal cycle, I’m 50 years old and weigh about 58kg, I’m not unfit, i dabble in mountain biking, but don’t do it on a regular basis.

I know a 50 mile round trip is unfeasible in my current state of fitness, so i’m planning on increasing my fitness with a view to cycling to work starting from next spring. I bought myself a lovely lightweight carbon road bike and have been gradually increasing my miles, but i’m still very very far of being at a level of fitness to ride to work and back.

I’m doing 20 miles a day, but only averaging 12-13 mph average speed, and get quite tired out, but its early days yet.

An electric bike had not even entered my head, the ones i have seen always looked clunky and insanely heavy (even by mountain bike standards) and i could not imagine them having much benefit compared to a good road bike.

However, my mother decided she wanted an electric bike and a couple of days ago we both went on a test ride, and i was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to pedal them, it seemed quite good fun and opened my eyes to the potential of electric bikes. Tomorrow my mother is having a FreeGo Wren delivered, and on my days off i’m going to take it on my standard 20 mile run and compare my speed/time/tiredness compared to the road bike.

So after my experience i’m seriously considering getting an electric bike for my commute, spending the time before i get the bike (probably won’t be until spring next year) to increase my fitness and stamina.

I’m wondering how realistic this is, i’m not sure how the bike would handle bad weather/rain, and also distance, i won’t be able to charge it at work, and i’m not sure any bike can realistically do 50 miles, though hopefully when i’m fitter i will be using it mostly on its lowest setting. Is it possible to carry a spare charged battery on the bike for the return journey?

Sorry, quite a long post, i will be probably looking at up to £2500 on a bike, thanks for reading
 

Jonah

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 23, 2010
720
164
EX38
It's the time more than anything. I have commuted 25 miles each way in the past but I didn't do it every day because I didn't always have the time. It won't take less than 90 minutes and that would be going some. That's also a long time if the weather isn't good. My commute now is much shorter and I do it in most weathers. As far as range goes, any of the Kalkhoff bikes would manage 50 miles without a problem (even on high assist all the way).With careful use of the assist, some other bikes might manage that but I wouldn't bank on it. For long distance commutes, Kalkhoffs stand out from the rest. But day in, day out that is a long commute for anybody.
 
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superDove

Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2011
193
35
Cheshunt, Herts. UK
If it's flat commute a 'legal' ebike would be slower than a fit road cyclist.

I've met several guys that compete on road bikes that were doing daily 50-60 miles commutes on road bikes at the London Bike Show. That is a lifestyle choice not for the majority.
I have several friends that take the bike in the car and then if they feel like it cycle home, cycle in again the next day and drive home. They only do this in the summer months.
These guys do regular 100+ mile social rides at the weekend.

Multi modal commute? Folding bike and public transport?

You got somewhere secure to keep it at work?
 
C

Cyclezee

Guest
Hi Julie,
No need to spend £2500 on a bike to a do 50 mile round trip with any eZee bike and the optional 36v 21Ah battery.

eZee bikes start at £850 with a 36v 11Ah battery and the upgrade to 21Ah would add £270 to the cost.
 
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Barry J

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 6, 2014
11
2
57
Its a long way. Im thinking about using my ebike to do a fifteen mile trip each way and I can charge the battery at my desk.

Wouldn't fancy it in all weathers though.
 
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Cyclezee

Guest
Its a long way. Im thinking about using my ebike to do a fifteen mile trip each way and I can charge the battery at my desk.

Wouldn't fancy it in all weathers though.
No reason why not Barry as long as it is not a problem to be charging your battery at your workplace, obviously you need to carry your charger for each trip.
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
The Ezee bike can also be easily derestricted to 20mph, which would speed the journey up a bit too. An That journey would be a breeze on an Ezee Torq with the big battery. The high gearing with the powerful motor makes very comfortable high speed commuting.
 
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halfer

Esteemed Pedelecer
Another very similar situation to yours:

http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/commute-realistic.18578/

The one difference is theirs is 13 miles each way, but your 25 miles is nearly double that. In cold or rainy weather, that sort of journey can be a pretty miserable experience, even on an e-bike.

I did Leamington to Birmingham last weekend, which is the same distance as your commute. It was late at night, with no traffic, and on a legal e-bike, with a reasonable degree of cycling fitness. It took me 2h10m. That's a long chunk out of your day, especially if you are doing it twice.
 
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Julie

Pedelecer
Jul 30, 2014
124
49
56
Gainsborough England
There
If it's flat commute a 'legal' ebike would be slower than a fit road cyclist.

I've met several guys that compete on road bikes that were doing daily 50-60 miles commutes on road bikes at the London Bike Show. That is a lifestyle choice not for the majority.
I have several friends that take the bike in the car and then if they feel like it cycle home, cycle in again the next day and drive home. They only do this in the summer months.
These guys do regular 100+ mile social rides at the weekend.

Multi modal commute? Folding bike and public transport?

You got somewhere secure to keep it at work?
There is no public transport, I won't have anywhere secure to keep it. I have to start work at 6am, so will be setting off at 4am
 

trex

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 15, 2011
7,703
2,669
There is no public transport, I won't have anywhere secure to keep it. I have to start work at 6am, so will be setting off at 4am
it's a major challenge. The high mileage restricts the choice and you can't have a flashy bike because as you said, you have no secure place to keep it. If the bike is exposed, the rain is going to damage your electrics.
I think a CD kit conversion is the best choice because it's not flashy, it's well weather-proofed and you can select the donor bike.
 

tillson

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 29, 2008
5,145
3,001
I don't wish to be the prophet of doom, but I doubt very much that you will be able to do this 50 mile round trip every day. Strong winds, driving rain, heat, ice & snow will all need to be overcome, but the biggest challenge will be sitting in the saddle for at least 3 hours every day endlessly turning the pedals whilst you navigate a mind numbingly boring and familiar route to and from work. I have doubts that you will be able to maintain this and the bike will fall into disuse. I don't think that I would have the will to take on a 50 mile daily round trip.

For daily commuting by bicycle, a round trip of 20 miles is nicely comfortable, 30 miles is the maximum comfortable and 50 miles isn't going to happen. Sorry.
 
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Cyclezee

Guest
I'd rather stay legal
We don't encourage people to derestrict.
Even in legal mode eZee bikes will reach 17mph before the power cuts off, there is an allowance of 10% over the 15.5mph limit.
Also de-restriction inevitably leads to increased power consumption.
 
C

Cyclezee

Guest
it's a major challenge. The high mileage restricts the choice and you can't have a flashy bike because as you said, you have no secure place to keep it.
Another reason for taking the eZee route, no one has ever described them as flashy;)
Substantial, dependable, functional, powerful and value for money yes, flashy never, it's about the ride not the look;)
 
If it's flat commute a 'legal' ebike would be slower than a fit road cyclist.
This could be true if your commute has no junctions, lights or indeed bends or climbs or headwinds.

In reality a legal eBike will help your acceleration up to 15.5ish mph and you'll do this a lot faster than even a very fit road cyclist. I know, I am a very fit road cyclist and I regularly go for rides with my fiancée on here LEGAL ebike and its every balanced. So all your time between 0 and 15.5mph will be a lot fast and a lot easier. Meaning you get to work faster and with less effort.

So whilst a fast road bike, with a fit cyclist on it can spin a long at 25mph top speed with relative ease. Over the period of a week, doing the route every day with all the obstacles that are faced on a typical commute a legal eBike will be considerably faster and you'll also use lots less energy meaning you're actually more likely to do it.

This forum an unbalanced (ie not a reflection of the actual UK market and needs) desire to get people riding illegal vehicles on the road. Its not sensible, or even necessary.

Crucial really is find a local shop that you can deal with.
 
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Artstu

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2009
2,352
887
This forum an unbalanced (ie not a reflection of the actual UK market and needs) desire to get people riding illegal vehicles on the road. Its not sensible, or even necessary.
Unbalanced in that we have no forum members who have dismissed e-bikes as being too slow for their needs perhaps.
 

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