Electric bikes – performance!

I occasionally use Map My Ride to record new routes and sometimes old ones just to see how I am doing on the fitness side of things too. While reading a report of e-biking cycle trails in wales, I came across a mention of Strava, along the lines of “don’t go taking Strava records off people with your electric bike”.

I had no idea what Strava was, so I looked it up. What it is is another MapMyRide type of application with its own interface and features, and as MapMyRide is starting to irritate me with its adverts and complex, flaky interface, I thought I would give Strava a go.

Very simple to download and install, and to sign up for a free account, so that was all good. It seems to interact with the GPS on my Samsung tablet better, no strange anomalies yet when it loses signal. I have mapped a couple of runs to and from work, and it looks a bit more accurate with its distance, but shows 10-15metres more on the climb each way. See http://www.strava.com/activities/227350237 and http://www.strava.com/activities/228452244

More fun, if you are that way inclined are the “segments”, which are hill climbs and time trial sections that others have created, which appear on your stats when you ride through them. There are 4 on my two trips, a 2km time trial from Aotea Lagoon to Paremata, the Whitford Brown climb (1.1 km, 80m climb, grade 7.3%), the Conclusion Street Climb, which is the Whitford Brown climb extended to the top of the Warspite Hill (1.8km, 109m, 6.2% grade), and the Omapere St climb (0.8km, 46m, 6% grade). Being nearly 60, dresses in cotton work trousers and shirt, Bata steel toes cap boots, various fleeces and soft shell jackets, on a comfort bike with 700 43c tyres, even with the electric motor I was not expecting to figure very highly in the results. For the flat time trial, I am ranked 36rd, for the Omapere  St Climb, I am ranked 23rd, Whitford Brown 5th, Conclusion Street 4th!

Interestingly this confirms that the flatter the course, the less impact the motor has on your progress, its faster, but anyone on a real bike can beat you over the same route, but when the hills start to get steep and long the motor assistance starts to really kick in. Really fit cyclists can still beat me up the hill (by 20 seconds or so), but to be the 4th fastest out of 77 riders really shows how e-bikes help out on the hills.

So, my apologies if I have knocked anyone off the leader board for any of these segments, but I have changed by name to Dave E-Bike so that people at least know I am in a different competition really!

Posted in Electric Bikes

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