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Daily Authority: 🚴 The ultimate e-bike test

Can a traditional cyclist grow to love e-bikes? Here's the biggest test for the technology yet.
By
November 28, 2022
RadPower RadCity 5 Plus Free Standing On Gravel
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

🌡️ Good day, and welcome to the Daily Authority. I’m putting back a fresh cup of coffee while reflecting on my wonderfully relaxing weekend. It promises to be plenty hot today in my neck of the woods, too, so I forecast some iced coffee a little later as well.

A traditional cyclist goes electric

RadPower RadCity 5 Plus With Rider
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

We’re looking at something equally as energizing today. AA’s C. Scott Brown is an avid cyclist who recently joined the e-bike craze. The segment is showing massive growth in some areas of the globe and is slowly picking up speed in the US. But is the transition from a traditional bicycle to an e-bike easy, and more importantly, worth it? He answered those questions in a weekend feature.

The toughest decision

  • There are plenty of options available in the market, but due to the availability of a nearby store, Scott opted for a Rad Power model.
  • Initially, he wanted a bike that looked and worked like a traditional bike, but that’s not always easy to find.
  • E-bikes can be a lot heavier and bulkier due to the batteries and drivetrain.
  • That means ditching any preconceived notions about traditional bikes when buying an e-bike.
  • Eventually, he settled on a Rad City 5 Plus, even though it was nothing like riding a regular bike.
  • “I figured if I’m going to commit to an e-bike, I need to abandon my attachment to a traditional cycling experience.”

The experience

  • If you buy an e-bike online, you’ll have to put it together yourself. In Scott’s case, it took around 90 minutes to complete.
  • However, if you happen to live near a showroom, you should be able to purchase a fully-assembled e-bike.
  • Riding it is far simpler.
  • There are two types of propulsion on an e-bike. There’s power-on-demand, which mimics a traditional throttle you’d find on a scooter, and PAS, or the pedal assist system.
  • The latter uses battery power to make pedaling easier, and Scott felt this was perfect for city riding, even switching it off when going downhill.
  • Higher settings are great for climbing hills without breaking too much of a sweat.
  • Due to the e-bike’s heavier frame, getting it off the line quickly by simply pedaling would be a challenge. That’s where the throttle comes in.
  • “From a dead stop, a pull of the throttle zooms me through an intersection without any grumbling motorists.”
  • This may be disorientating for long-time cyclists, but C. Scott got used to it in his two-week test.
  • Then there’s the battery life. He got between 27 and 58 miles from one charge, while one charge takes eight hours.
  • Importantly, owners will need to practice regular maintenance.

Should you buy one?

  • It depends on what you want.
  • C. Scott notes that riding an e-bike is more like a trimmed-down car than a souped-up bike.
  • “This is why, fundamentally, I think buyers should think about an e-bike like the Rad Power Rad City 5 Plus as a car replacement and not a bike replacement.”
  • Pedaling the e-bike isn’t as enjoyable, but they’re far more environmentally friendly than a car and are arguably a more practical city runabout than a bike.
  • However, if you’re considering getting a car, think about getting an e-bike first.
  • “If you use a car to get around, at least some of those car rides could be e-bike rides instead.”
  • Just don’t expect an e-bike to replace your actual bike.
  • “It’s a new mode of transportation — and a very useful one — but if you buy one looking for a cycling experience, you won’t find it.”

Roundup

🛒 Black Friday is over, but Cyber Monday is here. Catch a few more products on sale while they’re still hot (Android Authority).

📵 Elon Musk threatens to build an alternative to Android and iPhone, but here’s why we doubt it’ll happen (Android Authority).

⌚ Wear OS was panned for being a terrible operating system, but the Pixel Watch proves this is no longer the case (Android Authority).

🎧 Planning to upgrade or gift a pair of headphones this Christmas? Here’s everything you need to know (Android Authority).

🎤 Read this interview with Kat Callaghan, the person behind TikTok’s most popular text-to-speech voice (The Verge).

🍟 Oxford scientists have solved one of humanity’s biggest problems — why ketchup splatters from a near-empty bottle and how we can fix it (Ars Technica).

📱 Planning to buy the Google Pixel to use in an unsupported country? Here are the most important things you need to know (Android Authority).

🌕 NASA’s Orion capsule is now successfully orbiting the moon, marking the halfway mark of the Artemis 1 mission (Gizmodo).

🏎️ Gran Turismo 7 is getting a one-0f-a-kind hybrid Ferrari next month as part of the game’s Vision concept series (Engadget).

✈️ Rolls-Royce has tested a hydrogen-powered jet engine, a technology that could change the aviation industry in the future (BBC).

Monday Meme

Now for a bit of nostalgia…

I remember when phones had 16MB of storage. But even 64GB can be a pretty meager sum nowadays. Of course, there are plenty of solutions to this that don’t involve upgrading your phone. There’s a good chance you’ll need these tips when playing tech support this holiday season, so take note.

Learn how to free up storage space on Android, or subscribe to one of the many cloud storage services available. If you still have a phone with SD card support, you can move apps to it and recover some of your storage.

Until next week,
Andy Walker