Thursday, June 24, 2010

Those Funny Gutters: eBike Ramps that Work

I was recently walking around PSU campus, and came across a set of stairs with little "gutters" along the side. I was perplexed - it didn't look like any runoff would selectively divert itself into these gutters.

Turns out, they're called bike stairways, and designed to make it easier to wheel your bike up or down the stairs. These particular stairs are in an area to small for a ramp, so this is the alternative. I tried them out, they work pretty well; given that ebikes tend to be heavier than their non-assisted counterparts, I'd say they're especially beneficial for people on ebikes. The metal surface can be slick, even when dry, so be careful when it's a bit wet. They also require leaning your ebike to clear the handrail, but there was no sidewall scrubbing, even with fairly wide cruiser tires.

Obviously, this would work better for an ebike with a throttle, not just just a solely pedal or torque based application. The Kalkhoff Pro Connect Sport I recently tested had a separate throttle specifically for this purpose.


  1. i like those! rose is impossible to get up stairs.

  2. I wondered what the heck those were. Thanks for the explanation.

  3. Haha... you finally figured it out? I walked past these every day on the way to KOIN Center from the street car. Perhaps some signage is necessary.

  4. Yeah, I'm a slow learner :) Maybe if I was confronted by them with my eBike in tow, it would have become clear. Non-eBikes aren't generally that heavy so it seems like overkill. Maybe they had eBikes in mind when they installed them.