Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cars as Metaphors for eBikes

I've been thinking a lot lately about cars as metaphors for ebikes. Initially, I'd thought I'd try to avoid calling a particular ebike "the Ferrari of ebikes" for example, or a similar comparison. I really struggled with this - ebikes are not cars, so why should I compare them to cars?

But realistically, people shopping for ebikes are most familiar with cars as a means of transportation. And it's a rich metaphor - for example, here's how I would describe my ebike, using a car metaphor:

"It's my dad's old truck, but I replaced the old straight 6 with a v8 and better tires. I haven't done a new paint job, so it still looks like a '57 truck, albeit with a bit more power. It's my daily driver."

I've found, though, that once you own an ebike, it becomes much more personal. That said, if you had to apply a car metaphor to your ebike, what would it be? Or do you prefer to avoid using the ebike-as-car metaphor?


  1. I just picked up by e-bike today. Had it converted by Wake at the Electric Bike Store on Alberta. It is a 1950's Sears Robuck cruiser made in Germany in the 50's. I got a 400 watt hub motor off cragslist and two 12volt 12 AH batteries, and voila. Not crazy fast, but fun as hell! I think there is a similarity between by choice of bikes and what I like in a car. I drive (occassionally)a 1984 volvo diesel that has been converted to run on waste veggie oil. It has 260,000 miles on it. Like my bike, it is a fine piece of engineering that has been around the block, but keeps on working. It will take abuse and keep going as long as you take care of its vital parts. I rode up to the Mississippi street fair and it was pure bliss! I think cars are fine metaphors and can be used to describe regular bikes as well as e-bikes. My street bike (not electric) was my girlfriend's dads and I got it out of his garage and brought it back to life. I have an affinity for machines older than myself. I rode this ancient street bike 100 miles to the coast last summer.

  2. I have a giant revive with a big hub motor that I consider my "sports car". It needs new batteries. I drive an electric car now which I consider the ultimate electric bike.

  3. I have a Crystalyte Sparrow conversion kit. It is sort of like a Chevy Chevette. Nothing fancy. Just good, basic transportation.

  4. I replaced my car with electric bikes so it's hard for me to make that comparison. Maybe I would compare with a Tesla if I had to. Lately I compare with an insect because my spring loaded brooks saddle looks like and insect head. Totally awesome.

  5. at a certain point i compared rose to "the SUV of bikes" because she's so big and comfy, but i've felt guilty ever since.