Electric powered bikes, bicycles with motors Stories about electric bikes, powered bicycles

22May/142

Reviewing the Brompton Electric Bike

Electric Brompton BikeToday, I took the E-Brompton for a spin. It is a fantastic custom electric bike, and initially it doesn't even look electric. The hub motor isn't immediately noticeable and the battery is well stored and hidden in the front bag. Just like on a standard non-electric Brompton, this front bag is still quickly removable. Disconnect the battery from the bike, remove the bag from the carrier block, and you'll be able to charge your battery inside. And don't worry, the battery is in a separate pouch and doesn't take up much room, leaving tons of space for your own luggage.

The Electric Brompton is nimble and powerful

Brompton Electric BikeRiding the electric Brompton bike is a breeze. The motor's controls are ultra simple for setting speed and the thumb throttle is very convenient. The whole E-Brompton setup still weighs under 45 lbs, less than many old school steel road bikes I've owned. This definitely takes the Brompton to the next level as a commuting option. With electric assistance, you'll be able to ride longer distances without breaking a sweat, and when you get to work you won't be exhausted and in need of a change of clothing. So fresh and so clean! (clean!).

Does the Electric Brompton still fold?

Electric Brompton bikeThe electric Brompton bike folds up just as quickly and easily as a non-electric. Although technically you can fold the bike with the bag still attached, I found it easiest to remove the front bag first, just to give myself a little more breathing room.

From here it's all business as usual. Fold the rear wheel underneath the frame via a quick release, unscrew the hinge at the center of the top tube and swing the front wheel to the right and back towards the frame, loosen and fold the handlebar with a few twists, and blammo, your electric bike can fit in your closet or be checked on an airplane.

For a more detailed description of how to fold the Brompton bike with large high resolution pictures, check out this folding bike blog.

The Electric Brompton bike folded!

Does an electric bike work with gears?

Electric Brompton Bike MotorBecause the motor is in the front wheel of the Brompton bike, it can be used simultaneously with the gears. The important thing is to use a Brompton that has a high gear range. When you hold down the throttle, the E- Brompton will shoot you forward at 20 mph, and with a single speed Brompton, you wouldn't be able to pedal fast enough to actually engage the transmission. The model I tried was a 3 speed version which has a nice high gear range and worked well in tandem with the motor, allowing me to pedal along comfortably while pushing 20 mph.

Electric Brompton bikeA powerful and innovative Electric Bike

The Electric Brompton is one great ride. It has all the convenience of the original Brompton, the same compact fold, the same flawless craftsmanship, with the added power of an electric motor. Anyone who wants an electric bike with great range and power, and needs it be compact enough to fit in their New York apt, the Electric Brompton bike is the way to go.

27Mar/141

E-Brompton Banter—Part 11—My Gen-E-ration, by Turbo Bob

Electric Brompton TurboFollowing the timeline of the Who is kind of like following my own, my interest in bikes and that of the E-Brompton. The Who cranked out this wild tune in 1965, just a year after they came together as a band. Said to be one of the top three rock groups of all time, these British rock and rollers are still making history with every appearance. This song is about trying to find a place in society, something many E-Brompton owners might be able to relate to. Then again, why try to fit in when you know you are happy and doing the right thing?

The 60’s were a time of enlightenment and turmoil. Adults had mostly turned away from bicycles to embrace the motorcar. What had been a main source of transportation and relaxation for all was mostly enjoyed by the kids during this era. I know this for a fact because I was one of them, and loved the freedom and excitement bikes offered me daily. That was (and is), “My Generation”.

 

As I rode and fixed my bikes, I found other interests through home-made electrical devices and music (among others). My bikes allowed me a chance to be myself, free from boundaries and depending on others. At the time I never envisioned a bicycle with an electric motor, even as I would spend time with my cousin who had built a wagon powered by a salvaged washing machine power plant. He was tethered by a super-long extension cord, something that didn’t match my fancy. I was soon to be enamored with stinky, noisy gasoline power, like so many others of my time.

 

As the 70’s began, I was off and running with the two and four wheeled crowd, loving my hot rods and motorcycles. With every visit to one of the local race tracks, competing with roaring exhausts made my dreams of the era come true. It was during this time I earned my nickname building little econo-cars into muscle car stomping machines. I’ll never regret those days, but also, I’ll never repeat them.

E-Brompton in Santa BarbaraDuring this decade a man in England was finding the need for a folding bicycle that could change the way we get around. Andrew Ritchie was up and running, getting the name “Brompton Bicycle” a place in two-wheeled history. Even though it only really hit mass-production in the late 80’s, Brompton started to get accepted in the bicycle world.

 

The eighties saw music change, yet the Who stayed true to their fans. This whole 10 year period still saw me high on gasoline, as a mechanic and racer. Bicycles rarely entered my mind as my heavy foot played a different tune. Sure I rode a bike now and then, fixed some for the neighbor kids and kept just the smallest lookout for new trends. Yet if I couldn’t fill the tank, it wasn’t my kind of ride. Shame on me.

 

Enter the 90’s. Brompton sales and interest started taking off. The Who continued to play to sold-out crowds. Adults got back on their bikes, following a green movement, exercise, freedom and fun. I was one of those adults, getting a Schwinn college bike from a friend in 91. My youth was rediscovered, the thrill was back, I was in love with bikes once again. My cars were idled much of the time as I took my bike more and more places. It was during this time I got my first taste of an E-bike. Crude, yet very eye-opening to be sure.

http://www.nycewheels.com/brompton-electric-bike.htmlInto the next 10 years my cycling expanded. I met my wife and she too was so happy to get on two wheels once again. Still with no E-bikes in our horizon, it didn’t matter, bicycle riding was fun and smart. We were both like minded in the three R’s---Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Before long we were looking for a way to commute by bike. Sure bikes added fun to our lives, but we wanted more.

 

 

Enter our E-bikes. After some investigation we got a pair and never looked back.

It was during this time I was reintroduced to folding bikes by NYCeWheels. With a flashy raw lacquer M3L Brompton, I was blown away with everything it offered. (I’m sure you’ve seen my series of articles, “Boy Gets Brompton”). Bikes are awesome, but one that folds and rides great is incredible. All my past times with riding and repairing folding bikes disappeared in my memory as I found the Brompton had none of the weaknesses and problems of those bikes of old.

 

NYCeWheels sold their first Brompton back in 2005, and it wasn’t long before the founder, Bert Cebular, envisioned mixing his love of it and electric bikes into one. With determination and an experienced crew, the E-Brompton started to take form. Once it was perfected, it became an instant hit. The first one left the sales floor in 2012, with many more to follow. I’ve been riding mine for over two years and have chronicled my times with it many times here on the NYCeWheels blog sites.

 

Turbo-and-the-E-BromptonThis E-Brompton is so well engineered. Taking the lead from Mr. Ritchie, NYCeWheels moved forward with some great innovations. All the extra components are secure and tucked in as not to affect the fold. The quality and longevity are proved to me with every ride. This E-Brompton has been on several vacations, been ridden by so many first time E-bikers and generally been like a right hand man. If you have been following along with this series of articles then you have half a clue to the way I feel about it.

The E-brompton is a bike for my generation, generations past, present and future too. I am sure with the first ride you will feel the same.

 

BTW, if you hurry I bet you can still get some tickets to the Who’s latest sold-out concert. Turbo Bob.
“It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels."---Heinz Stucke, German long-distance touring cyclist.

Read more Blogs by TurboBob!

26Jun/102

Random Post:
Building an Electric-Powered Bike

BionX Electric Bike Motor Kit

This is all it takes to build an electric-powered bike


It's not rocket science to tell the difference between an electric-powered bike and a regular bicycle. For one, the guy riding the regular bike is working a lot harder to pedal, while the electric bike rider is smiling and cruising along. Of course, electric bikes are much quieter than gas-powered bikes, so at a glance, it's hard to tell if a bike is even electric at all! The average person, unless they have a background in electronics, probably isn't aware of how easy it is to convert a regular bicycle to an electric-powered bicycle. Believe it or not, there are only three primary components needed to have a fully-functional electric-powered bike. If you can change a flat tire, you can turn your bike into an electric bike. Let's get to it!

Electric Bike Motor

The muscle behind the electric bike is the motor. Ranging anywhere from 200 watts all the way up to 1000 watts, this is the large rotating device that helps the wheels to spin on their own. Modern electric bikes have the motors built into their wheels, like the Sanyo Eneloop electric bike or the eZee Torq electric bike. Older bikes used to have an external motor that powered the wheel using a chain, like a scooter. These older motors also used magnetic "brushes" which would wear out over time. Newer electric bike motors are "brushless," and have a much longer life expectancy.

An alternative to the brushless hub motor is the bottom bracket motor, featured on the IF Reach DC folding electric bike. This motor actually cycles through all of the gears, making it slightly more efficient than a hub motor. It also turns the pedals instead of the wheel, so the rider feels a little more in tune with the motor, rather than feeling pushed or pulled by an external force.

Most electric bikes don't need a bigger motor than 500 watts, especially for commuting. The US law sets the maximum speed at 20 mph for electric bikes, so any motor that is bigger is sort of pointless. Smaller motors tend to conserve battery life a bit better. How long should a battery last anyway? Well I'm glad you asked...

Electric Bike Battery

Over the years, there have been many different types of batteries for electric bikes. The most common battery in the last ten years is a Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery. This is the same battery used in a lawnmower, golf cart, or go kart. You've seen these at any local hardware store - they're heavy, black, rectangular batteries. On an electric bike, they don't go very far. Depending on the bike, they have about a ten mile range. Luckily, technology has improved in recent years, and there are now much lighter batteries that have a much better range.

The most recent chemical of choice for electric bikes is Lithium. A bike running on Lithium batteries can run for 20-30 miles on a single charge, and some bikes even have the ability to recharge the battery while riding. The BionX motor kit Lithium batteries even have protection circuitry built in, so it's almost impossible to damage them from extreme motor power. Lithium batteries tend to be more expensive than SLA battreries, but the life span is also two or three times as long. There is no better battery on the market today.

Electric Bike Control

How does it work? Well you've attached a battery to a motor, so we're almost there. Now you need a way to control the whole contraption. Want this thing to move without pedaling? Just add a throttle. This is referred to as an "ebike," which is practically a moped. Ebikes are nice if you don't want to ride a bike, but they tend to drain batteries quickly. The most efficient electric bike utilizes pedal-assist, or pedelec, technology.

A pedelec bike works by measuring the rider's pedal power, and then spinning the motor at a corresponding speed, based on a preset on the handlebars. Plainly, if you select "MODE 3" you'll get 50% power from the motor, while if you select "MODE 4" you'll get 100% power. No throttles to worry about, it's all automatic. Pedelec bikes are also called Hybrid bikes because they are a "hybrid" of human power and motor power. The best part about pedelec bikes is that you feel like you're still riding a regular bike, just getting a gentle push as you go.

That's it! Just three components and you can turn a bike into a full-blown electric-powered bike! There are a bunch of different electric bike motor kits on the market, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you check out the motor, the battery, and control system before buying one, because you don't want to be stuck with something cheap!

28Apr/101

Random Post:
3 features set the Sanyo Eneloop Electric Bike apart

The new Sanyo Eneloop electric bike is one of the most advanced electric bikes available today. The Sanyo Eneloop electric bike has the look and feel of a regular bike combined with intelligent pedal assistance. This means you have an electric bike that looks cool, has excellent battery life, and the smoothest motor assistance out there.

There are 3 features that take the new Sanyo Eneloop electric bike from ordinary to extraordinary:

1. Intelligent pedal assistance

Having intelligent pedal assistance means that the Sanyo Eneloop electric bike wont jolt you with motor power when you start up. It makes the motor power feel smooth and natural, as if turning it on made you a really strong rider all of a sudden. Intelligent pedal assistance puts you in control of the Sanyo Eneloop electric bike, not the motor.

2. Regenerative braking

Unlike most electric bikes, which can only dissipate the battery as you ride, the new Sanyo eneloop electric bike can actually recharge the battery as you pedal. Because it's front hub motor also doubles as a dynamo generator, the Sanyo Eneloop electric bike can recharge its battery when the brakes are applied going down hill. This feature greatly extends the range of you can travel with motor assistance, up to 40 miles!

3. Ultra light design

The Sanyo Eneloop electric bike is one of the lightest bikes on the market, thanks to the latest in motor and battery technology. Sanyo, which has been manufacturing rechargeable batteries for years, equipped their first electric bike with a lithium ion battery weighing a mere 3.4 pounds! Compare that with older technology batteries that can weight up to 10 pounds or more.

The new Sanyo Eneloop electric bike represents a new generation of hybrid electric bikes. These bikes, which combine human and electric motor power can go further than electric bikes could ever before, and because they look and feel like a regular bike, they are much more fun to ride. For an unmatched electric bicycle check out the new Sanyo Eneloop electric bicycle.

Other articles you might enjoy:
A Sanyo Eneloop Electric Bike Review
An In-Depth Review of The Sanyo Eneloop Electric Bike

27Aug/106

Random Post:
Tough Electric Mountain Bikes

The OHM Electric Mountain Bikes are the best out there!

Two OHM Electric Mountain Bikes hit the trails


A big misconception about electric bikes is that they're all laid-back cruiser bikes, built to ride on boardwalks and nicely paved bike trails. A die-hard mountain bike enthusiast probably wouldn't consider an electric bike for a bumpy, dirt trail with lots of hills. However, there are electric mountain bikes that have fully-loaded frames and can take quite a beating on a rough trail. For an aging mountain bike rider that can't quite tackle those hills anymore, this is the perfect solution. Electric assistance can be applied when needed: on the last leg of the trail, near the top of a large hill, or throughout the ride, making it less strenuous and more enjoyable.

OHM Sport Electric Mountain Bike

One of the best electric mountain bikes on the market is made by OHM Cycles. The OHM Sport electric mountain bike is the best model in their line of electric bikes, and comes equipped with all of the bells and whistles for heavy-duty mountain bike rides. There are hydraulic disc brakes, full suspension, 27 speeds on a Shimano Deore shifter, knobby Kevlar tires, and a lightweight 48 lb frame. This is extremely light for an electric bike!

The OHM Sport uses a high-torque 350 watt motor to power up hills. It has four levels of motor assistance, as well as regenerative braking for hills. The electric system is one of the best out there, and with regenerative braking, the Lithium battery can last up to 30 or 40 miles on a single charge. As an electric mountain bike, the OHM Sport has some of the best mechanical and electrical components.

Electric Mountain Bike Conversion

Electric Mountain Bike with BionX

This Felt 68 Electric Mountain Bike is built with BionX


Many people can't bear to part with their mountain bike, especially if it's already souped up and tough. Luckily, you can convert a standard bicycle to an electric bicycle using an electric conversion kit. One of the best electric bicycle kits on the market is made by BionX. With different motor speeds, wheel sizes, and battery mounts, the BionX electric conversion kit is the most versatile motor kits for bicycles. It's also tough enough to ride mountain trails without any problems.

Similar to the OHM Sport, the BionX system has different levels of pedal-assistance as well as regenerative braking. It's one of the best electric bike kits on the market, and is adaptable to almost any bicycle. An electric mountain bike built with BionX is sure to be reliable for years of rough riding.

11Apr/0612

Random Post:
eZee bike electric bicycles

The eZee bikes are in, he said without even asking who might be on the other end. Actually I have been on the phone with Bert an hour earlier when he told me this is the big day. It was around 2-3 in the afternoon and the shop on New York City’s Upper East Side was going to close at 7pm. Bert said he needs a couple hours to tune them up, I should be on the way by no later than 4pm since I could be hitting traffic coming in from Long Island at this time.

The brand new ezee bikes are made in Shanghai by Mr. Ching’s eZeebike Kinetic Technologies. The bikes have been around in the UK for a few years now, 50cycles is the main distributor there. Nycewheels together with Electric Vehicles Northwest are the US importers of the ezee bikes. I have been the unofficial new product tester for Nycewheels for the past year - a rough job but someone has to do it  ;-)

Bert has been talking about the eZee electric bikes for many months now and seemed very exited every time they came up – I knew it had to be something special.

Unfortunately I hit traffic on the way in from my Long Island and arrived only one hour before the electric Bike shop in NYC closes for the day. I will of course go back soon to spend a few hours on every single eZee bike.

Below are some quick notes about the four eZee bikes I rode for about 10-15 minutes each.

I will post a full review soon, I just need to get to the shop first thing in the morning and take each of the eZee bikes for a good one hour test drive.

Overall the eZee bikes are beautiful machines, top quality frames with high-end components and comfortable seats. All eZee bikes come with a choice of NiMH or Li-Ion batteries/chargers. The Battery cases are the same, so each bike can run on either one. All eZee bikes are suited for commuters and everyday use, they are equipped with lights, fenders and racks. I think they have bells and bike computers as well. The lighting system on some of them was powered by a generator and on others by the electric bikes power system, I don't have a preference there.

EZee Torq:
What a great electric bike. The Torq ezeebike is super light and feels like a non powered road bike. The Torq has a smaller 250 watt front hub motor with amazing pull, it just keeps building up speed – the eZee TorQ very smoothly goes to what seems to be past 20 mph. It feels like a very efficient setup that probably runs for many miles per charge. (unlike those older, heavy EV Global eBikes)

The eZee TorQ is the bike riders electric bike, a throttled bike unlike the pedal activated Giant Lite but almost as light and smooth.

EZee Sprint:
The second eZee bike I took around the block was the eZee Sprint. This electric bike also has a front hub motor but a bit more powerful than the eZee Torq. It rides very well and is super easy to use. It has one of those 7 speed internal hubs which you can shift without pedaling, this comes in handy when driving in NYC traffic. You can down shift to first gear if you get forced to stop short, on a derailour bike you have to take off in high gear - no fun at all. The bike has a smooth front suspension and handles well on rough roads and feels very save and stable. The step through frame is great for stop and go traffic and city riding. If you’re looking for a bike that does it all – this is it.

EZee Cadence:
The Luxury Cruiser of the line of eZee bikes. The Cadence uses a triple-crown-fork for a Cadillac like ride. The electric motor and battery system is the same is the Sprint and provides plenty of pull. The eZee Cadence even has a lighting system that runs of the main battery rather than a Dynamo. The Cadence is a muscle Cruiser that replaces the retired Wavecrest electric powered Tidalforce iO-Cruiser.

EZee Quando:
What a surprise, the Quando looks like a standard little motorized fold-up bike, but boy does it move. The eZee Quando uses a similar hub motor as the Torq but in the rear instead of front. This little guy has amazing hill climbing ability and top speed. I am certain this electric folding bike will take the place of many scooters for it being light, fast and has 3 times the range of most electric scooters. Some people argue that it's the best folding bike out there because of its superb electric assistance. The Quando has to the perfect New York City commuter bike. Since it's a bike that folds it will be allowed to go on all trains and buses during rush hour as well. It may not fold as compactly as the Brompton folding bike, but it holds the honor of being the most compact electric folding bike on the market. The Quando is truly a portable bike.

Sorry about the brief reviews, I will try do a detailed one for each eZee bike once I get back to Bert’s shop. In the meantime, stop in yourself for a test ride, you will be amazed by the performance and looks of the new eZee bikes electric bikes at Nycewheels.

26Jun/120

Random Post:
Advantages of the E-bike

Many of us have, at one time or other, asked ourselves, “I’m in shape, I exercise, why would I want to buy an electric bike? In fact, there are many reasons why an e-bike might be the best purchase you could make.

E-bikes are cheap and green

Like regular bikes, Electric bikes offer a cheap environmentally friendly way to commute. Instead of paying for gas, save the change, and help reduce your carbon footprint.

 

E-bikes make long distance commuting possible

E-bikes also open up many possibilities for the everyday commuter. With an E-bike like the Kettler Twin, you can go very long distances without depleting your energy. For someone who has always lived in Manhattan, but moved outside the city for a little more room, an electric bike might be the only way to make the 20 mile a day commute without paying gas prices or exhausting yourself pedaling long miles.

Electric bikes give you choices

Stromer Electric Bike

Stromer Electric Bike

An E-bike gives you more options as a biker. Many electric bikes, such as the Stromer Electric Bike, allow you to choose how much electric assistance you receive at any given time. If you’re cruising long distance, you might choose to have light assistance, saving the battery and increasing your range; if you’re heading up a hill, crank up the assistance to full for a fast efficient climb; or if want to get a little more exercise, you can switch the motor off, and even add resistance to recharge the battery.

Electric bikes make it easy to ride together

Often couples or riding partners have different fitness levels and stamina. How many times have you tried to plan that perfect bike trip with your family, only to be met with a slew of hills and sullen complaints? With an electric bike you could take your dad out on your favorite 20 mile path without being worried that he’s going to struggle to keep up.

 

E-bike= great times

Last, and maybe most important, E-bikes are just amazingly fun. There’s just something great about blasting along a flat, pushing 20 and passing hardcore road-bikers on your left and right. Whether you are a pro, or your just trying out bikes for the first time, riding an Electric bike is, without a doubt, a pretty great way to spend an afternoon.

4Feb/140

The A2B Metro – the MoPed Electric Bike

a2b-metro-bike-ultra-motorThe first thing you notice about the the A2B electric bike is that it looks very sturdy. Big beefy 3 inch tires, disc brakes, thick durable Tig Welded frame, with giant ultra strong rear rack sticking out the back -more than any other electric bike in the shop, the A2B has the look of a Moped.

The most comfortable electric bike

This is not to say that you should try going off jumps and doings flips. The A2B looks more like a gas powered mini motorcycle, but it is more of a cruiser than a racer, more a lover than a fighter. First and foremost, the A2B is just incredibly comfortable. Its seat is wide and cushy, and the handlebars are situated relatively close to you, allowing for a more upright riding position, which puts more weight on your sitting bones and less on your wrists. The front and rear suspension are fantastic, allowing you to glide over bumpy streets and trails as though nothing is there. And the thickness of the frame provides extra durability. Of all the electric bikes I've tried, the A2B is definitely the cushiest.

Powerful Electric BikeThe A2B is fit with a powerful motor

The A2B is also a very powerful electric bike, fit with a 500W motor and a 36 volt lithium ion battery, which fits nicely inside the down tube out of sight and out of mind. This hi wattage motor is combined with a high torque engine making the A2B Electric Bike great for towing a lot of weight. The A2B which we keep here at the shop has a trailer hitch fitted to it so that we can use it to haul equipment, bikes, and other heavy inventory. Once we folded up three brompton bikes, put them in a cart, and used the A2B to haul them all the way from the shop to an exhibition in Tribeca and back. That's around 25 miles hauling about 300 lbs of weight in total!

Just the right amount of Pizzaz

Because of the thickness of its frame and it's numerous components, the A2B is not one of our ultra lightweight electric bikes. Nevertheless, it has great range, particularly if you attach a second battery to the rear rack, as most savvy riders are wont to do. With two batteries at your disposal, you could potentially ride 40 miles or so before having to recharge.

A2B Electric BikeOften customers ask about which electric bikes are the lightest, or which look and feel most like regular bikes. But what I like about the A2B, is that it embraces its ebikeness. Where most electric bikes have pared down frames to minimize weight and increase sleekness, the A2B lets it all hang out, turning heads with some pizzaz. If you're looking for a bike that's nice and beefy, ultra comfortable, but that still has great power and range, the A2B electric bike can't be beat.

15Nov/130

BionX for Beginners

There's no doubt about it, we live in an age of wonders. When I was a kid, I loved science fiction, imagined a future of flying cars, teleportation machines, voice activated George Foreman grills that could produce a perfect medium rare steak in seconds, but it never occurred to me that the tech already existed to super charge my old trek bicycle with an electric motor conversion kit.

Maybe if I had spent less time watching Night Rider and more time reading science magazines I would have seen the electric bike revolution coming. As it is, according to a wiki article on the subject electric powered bikes made up 10 to 20 percent of all two-wheeled vehicles on the streets of many major cities by 2007, and the trend is only just beginning. Earlier this month I watched the first footage of an electric powered flying bicycle. My 8 year old self stands agog.

Powerful electric conversion

Powerful electric conversionThe electric conversion kit has got to be one of the most fantastic inventions of the 20th century, and as time goes on, the technology for it gets better and better. One of the most advanced kits on the market is the BionX conversion kit, capable of converting pretty much any regular bicycle into a powerful motorized vehicle capable of 45 miles on a charge and 20 mph top speeds.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

What is the BionX conversion kit? How does it work?

350-watt-bionx-kit-for-surly-fat-bikesWhen you convert a bicycle into an electric bicycle using the BionX conversion kit, you replace your rear wheel with a new wheel which has a motor in it. This motor is powered by a Lithium Ion battery which is mounted to the frame of your bicycle, and is activated using a console that is mounted on your handlebars. The battery is easily removable, and comes with a charger that can be plugged into any normal 110 wall socket. It takes about 4-5 hours to fully charge the battery. Your bike is still a bike, and you can still pedal it as usual, but now you can press a button and the motor will kick in boosting you along a flat at 20mph, or helping you up those pesky hills.

The BionX uses pedal assist

BionX ConsoleSome electric bikes use a throttle to activate the motor. In the case of a bike like the A2B Metro, the throttle is on the grip itself, just give a twist and you'll feel the motor kick in, whether or not you happen to be pedaling. On the BionX kit there is a throttle, which exists in the form of a small red button which you push with your thumb, but actually the BionX works best as a "pedal assist" electric bike.

Using the console on your bars, you select one of four levels of assistance ranging low to high, the motor then works in tandem with your pedaling cadence. At the lowest setting, the motor will do about 25 percent of the work for you, at highest, it will boost you along at 20 mph with absolutely no effort required on your part. What results is a system that is more powerful, more efficient, and more intuitive than a throttle activated system.

Are there different types of BionX kits?

There are three different BionX kits. The cheapest is the pl250 conversion kit, which uses a 250 watt motor, and a 26 volt Lithium ion battery. This is the entry level kit, lighter than most other kits on the market and with decent power and range.

The next step up is the pl350 BionX kit. This kit uses a more powerful 350watt motor capable of faster acceleration, and is powered by a larger 36 volt battery for more range and power. This kit one of the most popular as it offers more range and power at a mid range price point - a good meeting point between affordability and high performance.

Electric Conversion KitThe last option is the premium Sl350 BionX kit. This is the most advanced BionX conversion kit currently on the market, using a more powerful 48 volt battery for increased range and power, while maintaining a light weight. Including the motor, battery, and console, this kit will only add around 18 lbs to the weight of your bike. This means that if you convert a road bike that only weighs 25lbs to start out with, you'll end up with an electric bike 20 lbs lighter than most other electric bikes on the market.

So there's the basics! Hope this was helpful as an introductory guide. Check out the BionX conversion kit, and see where our future might be taking us.

All the best,

Jack

10Oct/130

Winter is Coming (Prepare to batten down the bike battery)

my-electric-brompton-s-first-boat-tripA few months ago an older gentleman named Steven came to us, looking for an electric bike to help him up the steeper hills, down the longer stretches, and keep pace with his wife who, according to Steven, "rides at a she-woman pace."

Steven ended up purchasing the electric brompton bike, one of our best folding bikes, fit with a powerful electric motor, and since has kept in touch, writing a great electric bike review of his bike for us, posting on our facebook with pics of his bike, and providing a steady stream of clever and beautifully written anecdotes about his bike and his many adventures.

Most recently, Steven shared a post of his on FB, all about preparing his electric brompton bike for the impending winter season:


"Winter is Coming (Prepare to batten down the bike battery)

Brompton in the snowThis morning driving to work I turned on the seat heaters for the first time after last winter. Oh Oh...the good times are coming to a close.

This is Rochester, NY. In traffic my mind will ramble and I was thinking that with early dark and colder weather, my Brompton E-bike will soon be sleeping with the bears until spring. Sure, I see folks on bikes in mid-January on ice-coated streets, but I suspect that most buyers of electric bikes do not fall into that living-on-the-edge, gotta-be-nuts category. I sure don't.

Which led me to muse about that expensive battery and how to store it for the winter. I got to work and Googled Li-ion battery care (my "boss" is my wife and I can get away with that performance-review killing behavior, I'm underpaid, anyway).

Bottom line: the battery needs to be stored away from cold or heat; under moderate temperatures in the 40-65 F range. Freezing temps and high heat is good for battery sales but bad for you.

More interesting, do NOT store the battery fully charged. It puts excess stress on the cells. Ideally the battery should be charged at 40 to 50% of full charge. How to determine that I haven't a clue, but that is the guideline. Recharge the battery a bit every month or so to make up for normal discharge. There is a lot of information online but it is clear that a bike battery cannot just be left in a corner of a cold garage.


my-electric-brompton-s-first-boat-trip-1Thanks again Steven for the great post, and for making a few good points that everyone should keep in mind while preparing for the winter.  If you plan on being beset with snow and think you won't be riding your e-bike for awhile it is important, as Steven mentions, not to let your battery sit unattended for a long period of time.  We've definitely gotten some calls from those who left it until to late and ended up with a battery that was so low it couldn't recognize a charge.

Steven also makes a good point that it's better not to store a Lithium ion battery at completely full charge, as it will put a strain on the cells to maintain that energy.  To estimate the charge of a battery, it's easiest to use a console that can measure remaining charge.  The electric Brompton comes with such a console, which indicates when the battery is at %100, %75, %50, and %25.  This isn't an exact estimate (Steven is currently in the process of finding more exact methods of determining battery charge) but it will be close enough to determine a safe storage level.

Always a pleasure Steven!  Looking forward to hearing about your next adventures on the Electric Brompton Bike!

Jack

 

 

29Aug/130

Currie Tech iZIP: Comfortable, Stylish Electric Bikes

Picture the following situation: you live in the country, at the top of a large hill. The nearest town from which to get groceries is 15 miles away by scenic drive. You enjoy living in a beautiful area and want to do your part to help preserve the clean, wonderful environment that you wake up to every day by biking as much as possible--but who has the energy to ride 30 miles every single day? Your knees have gotten a little creaky recently, and your back no longer enjoys hours on end crouched in the cockpit of an ultra-stiff road bike. What to do?

Comfortable Electric Bikes

Currie Tech iZIPsThis plethora of woes is all to familiar for a great number of our electric bike customers. Many folks come to us for electric bikes, not looking for the latest, techiest toy, but simply for a comfortable vehicle that fits into their lifestyle and just works. For these customers I often recommend Currie Tech's selection of iZIP electric bikes. Their powerful motors eat up hills with ease, and because they are all built around classic cruiser geometries, you could lounge in an iZIP saddle all day without ever getting sore! With designs ranging from the super simple Path electric bike all the way up to the retro-modern iZIP Metro, not to mention a wide-ranging pallet of color schemes, you're also sure to find an iZIP electric bike that suits your aesthetic tastes.

Now here's another situation: you're planning your last summer escapades to the sunny coast of the Southeast, or perhaps California. You've booked the beach house, bikinis and board shorts are all packed, and your pasty overworked skin is begging you to get your tan on already. With a week of as much relaxation in front of you, you realize you cannot stoop to actually walking to refill your koozie with a fresh, lime-kissed Mexican beer. Even pedaling too much would surely defeat your purpose in lounging here. What on earth can you do?

Style and Performance

Currie Technologies bikes on the beachOnce again, Currie's iZIPs come to the rescue. For the ultimate in beach cruising electric bikes, I always recommend the iZIP Zuma. With its cushy, wide tires and relaxed, sloping frame, the whole bike screams "chill" (well, ok, gently asserts, "chill")--but let's not sell the Zuma short. Under the hood it's packing a 500 watt motor which can easily cruise at 15-20 miles per hour, while a set of Avid disc brakes provide all the stopping power you can use and more. The Zuma is one fun electric bike that truly unites style and performance.

The best part about the iZIP bikes is that we've just lopped several hundred dollars off the price of each! Whereas before they were some of the best valued electric bikes in the shop, now they are an absolute steal. Get your Currie Technologies iZIP today while the low prices and sunny days last!

25Jul/130

E-Brompton Banter-Part 10-Big Fun is Eas-E, by Turbo Bob

Tracy tries out the E-Brompton

Tracy tries out the E-Brompton

Riding a bike is fun. I wanted to start out with something we can all agree on. If I've already lost you, then you might want to rethink the statement. Sure, there are other reasons to ride---transportation, health, job, money and the such. Yet when it all goes full circle, we come back to the fun factor.

My point is that if we want to have fun while we ride, then riding a fun bike is sure going to be important. Everyone has a type of bike they might enjoy more than others. What I've found with this E-Brompton is that it can be almost each and everyone of those bikes. It is fun to ride. It can make the perfect commuter. Even though it has electric-assist, you get to choose just how much exercise you want to receive. It can be used for touring, saving money, saving the planet and many of the other reasons you ride.

The base bike is a rock-solid folding and riding machine. A stock Brompton is truly a bundle of fun by itself. Then with a little of magic from the crew at NYCeWheels, it is transformed into something even more special. They perfectly add the few items that neatly and nearly turn it into a flying carpet. Not that it’s so much faster, or better looking, just that it is so much more versatile and fun. And fun is what we are talking about.

They can convert your Brompton if you like. Or you can pick out just about any combination of options and colors for your new Brompton and NYCeWheels can covert that before you get it. Mine happens to be an all white H3L. The H stands for the 2 inch taller handlebar stem, the 3 stands for the three-speed rear hub gear, and the L stands for lectric---just kidding, you know, having a little fun.

Building a great electric folding bike

The skill put into this conversion is mind-bending. They source all the parts from almost 30 different companies. The narrow 250 watt direct-drive motor is a drop-in piece that helps maintain the Brompton factory warranty. These pieces have no affect on the fold and just the smallest effect on the fold size. Sure some weight is added, something you’ll never notice during the ride. And that extra heft is divided between the bike and the ‘C’ bag so lifting it and carrying it isn't much tougher than before.

So, you might ask, what is so much fun about an E-Brompton? I knew I wasn't going to be able to avoid that question. For one, I get to ride it. Any bike you might ride will almost always deliver the fun you seek. Even a beat-up rusty klunker (not a description of this E-Brompton) can turn an afternoon at the beach into a day to remember. Fun factor #1---bikes are fun.

Part of the thrill (read fun) of an E-Brompton (any Brompton for that matter), has nothing to do with the ride. It has to do with the razzle-dazzle of the fold. Many are awestruck just to watch it turn back and forth from a bicycle to mini jumble of paint and wheels. If you own one I need not go any further on explaining how cool that is. My favorite is, “How long does it take to put your bike back together?” And then, BOOM, they can see it all and understand. Now that is fun!

E-Brompton at Petco Park

E-Brompton at Petco Park

So, I’m sure you can see that this post is about why having the electric-assist makes a Brompton bicycle more fun. Just imagine a stiff head-wind, a gradually rising grade in the road or even a hot day that rolls through your body like fire. Then imagine a invisible superhuman arm taking off the load and helping you and your bike keep moving smooth and easy. Just the imagining part is fun, but the real-life help of motor and battery is even more fun.

A throttle powered folding bike

If you are so inclined you can raise both feet in the air and power down the road at about twenty like a motor scooter. Generally you won’t, but every now and then it’s worth it. Most of the time you find that adding about half the driving power with your legs and the other half with the motor-assist works the best. Or too, you can pedal like normal almost all the time and just add a little power on the tough hills. These my friend, are part of the fun that having an E-Brompton can bring.

Trying to explain an E-bike to someone who hasn’t tried one can be tough. I have let so many people have their first experience on one and it is only then that the full realization of how great and fun they are comes into their minds. This too is part of the big fun of an E-Brompton, sharing that fun with others. You might be tempted to keep that part to yourself, your decision.
How do I have fun? I think you know now.

-Turbo Bob.

“ Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.”---Mark Twain, American humorist.

Excited about one of these of your own? You can purchase an electric Brompton at NYCeWheels.com!

Want more Turbo Bob? Visit his very own Turbo Bob's Bike Blog!

15Jul/130

First impressions of the Montague Crosstown with BionX SL350 motor

Reading this guest review of a BionX-powered Crosstown from Montague really reminded me of my first time riding an electric bicycle--especially the part about the uncontrollable smiling! Enjoy!

-Miles


Today I got to ride the Montague Crosstown with BionX SL350 48V Electric Motor Kit. This is the first electric bike I've gotten to take for a good honest try and I did not want to stop riding once I started. Riding this bike was the most fun I've had in a very long time and I had the biggest ear to ear grin on my face during the whole ride around the park.

For starters, the Montague Crosstown is a Full Sized Folding Bike with 700c wheels. It has a rigid frame and a very quick and sporty feel to it. The 7 speed gear system really came in handy when I'd approach a hill or steep incline. Given its range of gears and 700x25c tires, this bike is really quick on flats and cruised up to 20 mph with ease. This is definitely a great bike for someone that wants the versatility of a hybrid style bike coupled with the more compact storage capabilities of a folding bike.

The BionX SL350 48V Electric Motor Kit made this already good bike an AMAZING bike. It has a few different assistance modes that I got to play with. It can be set-up to give you just a little extra boost when you are pedaling or you can hit the throttle and zip along enjoying the full power of the motor on demand. This was the first time I've ridden a bike with an electric motor kit like this. The pedal assist mode is great for the individual that wants to get good exercise but when you need a little extra help getting up that steep hill the BionX Kit is there to help you. The speed and power that you get from this kit is just incredible. Whether you want to pedal or not this thing hits 20 mph almost instantly. Its got plenty of power, great battery life, and a fun factor that is second to none! Overall this thing was just a blast to ride and had me feeling like a kid again. Every minute that I was riding it was a minute spent with a smile on my face.


If you want to feel like a happy kid again too, head over to the NYCeWheels website and check out the BionX-equipped Montague Crosstown!

5Jun/130

Dahon Jetstream with BionX makes for the perfect adventuring bike

The Dahon Jetstream P8 is a highly popular bike in our shop, probably because it can do things very few other 20" folding bikes can. An adjustable dual suspension system, Kevlar-lined tires, and a rack-ready frame means that this is a bike that can take on any kind of terrain. It's a bike made for adventure.

One of our Jetstream customers went the extra mile, mounting a cargo rack and a BionX electric conversion system to his ride, and proceeded to put it through its paces in some really wild places. He was so happy with the results that he sent us some beautiful pictures, along with the following review. If you are as impressed as Joseph was, visit the NYCeWheels website to learn more about the Dahon Jetstream folding bike, and about our BionX conversion kits.

Enjoy!
-Miles

Jetstream BionX conversion: "Perfect in every way"

Just wanted to let you all know how pleased I am with my Jetstream Bionx coversion with
the rear rack.  It's perfect in every way.  I took it out for a 23 mile spin around the circumference of Rancho Palos Verdes Peninsula yesterday... there are a lot of hill climbs and descents on this route (not to mention stunning vistas over the pacific, it's a very popular cyclist destination).  This was a former evening routine route for me and doing it on my new bike was a whole new experience, zipping up all the climbs was other worldly fun... I was surprised as well at the efficiency of the re-gen, I didn't expect it to do much but I used in on every extended descent and after a 23mile ride my battery was only half used and I'd had it in the 300% mode on everything except the steep descents.

The full suspension is just great and the bike handles more comfortably than I was expecting.  The incentives of this package are unheralded... full suspension, electric assist, cargo capable and folds into the size of a suitcase.  I can't think of why anyone would want anything else!  I love it.
I would rank my experience at 99% satisfied.

The 1% issue is the seat... because of the way the saddle mount is designed I can't trade out alternate saddles.  I  need something with more area and cushioning than the saddle that comes with the bike but don't know what to do because of the style of the mount... are there options available for me (besides padded shorts)... how can I configure a new saddle given the unique seat mount on the post?

Thanks!
Joseph

Update:
I found a product for my seat problem that seems to be the perfect solution here.

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31May/130

E-Brompton Banter—Part 9

E-Brompton Banter---Part 9---E-xtended Test

by Turbo Bob

When the great folks at NYCeWheels sent me this electric Brompton for testing a year ago, I figured it would be a 2 or 3 month excitement that might someday fade from my memory. As 3 months turned to 6 and now to 12, I know that myself and all that have gotten the chance to feel the magic this bike offers will hold onto the thrill for years to come. This isn't just any every-day, throw-away bike, it is special in a way that is both easy and hard to describe. As I put pen to paper (so to speak), let me try.

The Electric Brompton is the perfect folding electric bicycle for...everything!

Me being a 5 year + E-bike veteran, I have ridden so many different variations of them. Fast and slow, big and little, inexpensive and very expensive E-bikes have come and gone my way as my bike blog exploits continue. Yet none have offered the utility and convenience I have received from this H3L E-Brompton. Blazoned in bright white and powered by a compact 250 watt direct-drive front hub motor, this bike has been so many places and racked-up so many miles I can barely remember them all.

Tucked in the trunk, taken on public transportation, long group jaunts and just simple rides for local errands are all part of the resume it deals up. I have offered the controls to more friends and new friends than can be counted. It has been on radio interviews about E-bikes, tried at my bi-yearly E-bike seminars and might soon be seen on the pages of my local newspaper in an article about the blossoming desire and technology for E-bikes. Ridden in the mountains, at the beaches and city streets, I have put it though most every type of riding you could imagine.

The convenience of a folding bike meets the power of an electric bike

If you are reading this then you probably already know these facts. Folding bicycles are great. You can take them almost anywhere you go. The Brompton is as rock-solid as they come for all types of riding. It folds to the smallest of packages. It rides just as good as any full-sized bike. Security isn’t an issue as you can tuck it under a desk at work, under a table at an eatery and carry it inside at day‘s end. With three-speeds and an up-right seating position it is as comfy as can be.

E-bikes are great. They can help you up a grade or into a brisk head-wind. They can shorten the longer rides. You can arrive at your destination fresh and refreshed. Folks with conditions that make riding a regular bike tough or impossible can really take advantage of the benefits they offer. They put the fun in riding for so many people.

When you add the fantastic electric-assist to a convenient folding bike you get one of the best products ever in the bike world. That is where the E-Brompton really shines. It has just about everything one could ask for in a bike. Power to spare and utility come oozing out of every seam. Even people who were skeptical at first, after a quick explanation or ride, were also convinced this bike has so much to offer.

I will be the first to admit that way back I was not a big fan of the weak and flimsy folding bikes I tried. Plus after my first E-bike ride some 20 years ago, even though it was interesting, I found the bike was very heavy, slow and had the shortest of range. Times have changed and the E-Brompton is proof of that. Smooth, quality electric-assist mated to a rock-solid well-made folding bike is what the E-Brompton offers---nothing more and nothing less. It is hard not to lay it out that simply.

Electric Brompton: a labor of love

You may know that NYCeWheels worked very hard to come up with this combination. It is a labor of love and it shows with every stroke of the pedal. The only issue I’ve had in a year of riding this bike was one flat rear tire that I blame on a too wide rim strip, and which was repaired with a quick and easy modification of the factory part. I invested in a new tube and I think we can all agree that is small change for a year of fun and extensive riding.

I guess I will continue this extended test. For how long? Who know? What I do know is that I am loving it and the ride and reporting won’t stop this month or next. Thinking about getting your own electric Brompton? I say “Go for it!”

-Turbo Bob.

“No excuses.”---Ted Smith.