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
The 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?
When 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
Some 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.
The 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,
A 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)
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.
Thanks 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!
As a member of the London Brompton Club, I get to see a lot of what is going on in this great folding bike’s hometown. One of the things I’ve noticed over and over is that many of the bikes in the club have names. In fact, I have been egged on by several of my fellow members to name mine. One suggested the name ‘Sparky’.
Sparky the Brompton Bike?
I’m sure you can get a feel for the thought behind this name. E-Brompton, electricity, sparks. All that comes together into a fun name. Me, I’m not all that hot on naming my bikes, but the idea has merit. Some of the names for the club’s bikes are clever or have some deeper meaning I‘m not privy to.
If you are a Brompton lover too, head on to their site on Facebook for a look.
I don’t ever expect to see any sparks from this great little folding bike. The quality of the electric-assist conversion by NYCeWheels is top-notch with no worries of such things. With some of the best pieces available, from the motor down to the smallest connector, the only light coming from this baby is shooting out of the headlight I use for night riding.
The months keep rolling by and so does this awesome little E-Brompton. Of course I have wiped it down and aired-up the tires a few times. Other than that, it has been nothing but good old-fashioned fun with nary a hiccup. Although it’s boring to not have any bad news to report, riding it is anything but. It is truly a fun generator, an ’E’ ticket ride from day one.
From day one with my E-Brompton
You might remember the week I got it, it was part of the radio show I was invited to be on. They wanted to talk E-bikes and the E-Brompton was on hand to back me up. Both the radio hosts rode the E-Brompton and E-bikes were the topic of the evening. One of them even joked (not really funny) that she was going to pop it in her trunk while I was on the air. There was a lot of electrical energy that night, but no sparks.
When I gave my E-bike seminar in July, it was the first E-bike I showed the crowd. I used it as the example that E-bikes are just bikes with an added accessory. First I rode it without the battery, and then with. After my talk many people took it for a ride. For some of them it was not only their first E-bike ride, but their first exposure to a Brompton. There was plenty of excitement that night, but again, no sparks.
I took it to the opening of a new section of beach trail near Coronado. There was a big crowd that day. I can’t even remember how many people mounted up the E-Brompton and took a spin on the bikeway. Up and down the trail it went countless times. Everyone got off with the biggest smile. And tons of gawking took place every time I folded it into a little itty-bitty package. If sparks were going to fly, that would have been the day.
Traveling with the E-Brompton
Twice this electric-assist folder has made the trek to CicLAvia, (in the trunk of the car as LA would have been quite a ride from my place). With 100,000 people and bikes on hand, we talked to plenty of Brompton owners. Each one was pleased to see how nicely the electric conversion was done and wanted to give it a try. The power was flowing that day. Lot’s of electricity got used and not one spark was seen.
I taken it on many group rides here in town. Lots of them have been night rides. Lights blinking everywhere is always part of the scene. The E-Brompton gets its share of lights and looks at each one. It is always easy to keep up with the group using the pull of the motor when needed. The glowing sidewalls may have seemed on fire, but that was the only thing sparking on those rides.
We just got back from a great trip to Yosemite and Santa Cruz. With a pair of folding bikes in the trunk, (The E-Brompton and the Tern Link P9---both from NYCeWheels) we rode in so many places. Cruising though the trees and spectacular scenery at Yosemite was just electrifying. There is no better way to see parts of this great country than from the seat of a folding E-bike. Thank goodness there were no sparks on that week.
So I won’t be naming this E-Brompton anytime soon. If I did, then possibly naming it after a toy drum-banging bunny or a watch that keeps running after an elephant steps on it would be more appropriate. The E-Brompton from NYCeWheels just keeps rolling on the miles with no complaints. If you’ve named your Brompton, let us know what it is and why, thanks.
What‘s in a name?
Turbo Bob's Bike Blog
“I think the most ridiculous sight in the world is a man on a bicycle, working away with his feet as hard as he possibly can, and believing that his horse is carrying him instead of, as anyone can see, he is carrying the horse”.---George Bernard Shaw, An Unsocial Socialist.
Electric bike kits are comprised of an electric bike motor, a battery pack, throttle, and charger. The electric bike motor kit should (and most do) include everything you need when you want a conversion kit for electric bike.
It is a good idea to make sure that the electric bike motor kit you are buying does include everything you will need to convert your bike to an electric bike. If the retailer does not indicate that the electric bike kit includes everything you need than you may want to ask the question before buying.
An electric bike motor kit is a great investment if you already have a quality bike that you are comfortable with and is compatible for an electric bike motor kit.
This is when it becomes really important to choose your retailer carefully. The reality is that some online retailers are just looking to make a profit and will sell an electric bike kit to anyone that wants one, whether or not it will work with their specific bike.
A reputable retailer will make sure your bike is compatible first or they will advise you before you buy your electric bike kit.
The electric bike motor and the full electric bike kit can also give you the best of both worlds when it is combined with a folding bike. A folding bike is a great way to minimize the storage space needed while maximizing your ability to obtain all the benefits of a great bike.
Some retailers offer folding bikes that are already electrified – the retailer adds the electric bike conversion kit to the bike for you. Finding a retailer that can do this is great because then you can be assured that your electric bike conversion kit is installed properly and will operate when you receive it.
Though it is relatively easy to install an electric bike motor kit on your bike, if you have the ability to hire a retailer to do it for you than you are better off. For those that cannot, you can probably install your electric motor bike quickly and easily.
Again, the most important thing to remember if you are considering buying an electric bike kit is to make sure your motorized bike kit includes everything you need to convert your bike to an electric bike – and, of course, that your bike can be converted with an electric bike kit.
More and more retailers offer custom made electric bike kits. If you are considering buying a custom electric bike conversion kit you again want to make sure that you are buying from a reputable retailer. We found a great electric bike motor kit at a shop in New York City called NYCewheels. Click here for details on the BionX electric bike kit.
Another great extended test begins today. After getting my order confirmation from NYCeWheels last week, the shipping company has called to schedule the delivery of my new Gepida Reptila 1100 this afternoon. To say I am excited doesn't do justice to the word. Watching the Gepida video of Peter demonstrating this bike has fueled my fire to grasp it. If you haven't seen this clip on NYCeWheels website or Facebook page, I suggest you have a look. I am already impressed with this new electric-motored bike, and I haven't even ridden it yet.
If you've read my articles on the Brompton folding bike, then you might have a feel for the reason I titled this story the way I did. The name of this bike is just so cool. I will make every attempt to add reptile references to the titles and story lines. I am even thinking about getting a snakeskin to attach to the top tube of my new bike. I'm still debating on if a pair of large fangs on the handlebars would be too much.
So here is the bite to this series of articles. Bert is a 'nice' guy. Bert is the top Gecko at NYCeWheels. Bert knows I have been riding my E-bike for over three years. Bert thinks I can evaluate this bike and convey its quality and worth. Bert sends me the bike fully assembled and ready to ride. Bert lets me give it the full shakedown and then tell you how cool it is. Bert expects you to believe me and then you rush over to get your own Gepida Reptila 1100. Sounds simple enough to me.
Lets do this!
Since before, and after, my wife and I purchased the electric-assist bikes we have now, we have test ridden many different ones. I have reported on many of them on my own blog site. I have a long relationship with bikes and electro-mechanical things. I have devoted my life to the repair and modification of transportation machines. I think Bert is correct in thinking that my opinion on such matters can be trusted. As he, and you found in my Brompton blogs, I will tell you the straight story without the salesperson slant. I'm a mechanic, not a salesman.
Enough of that, on to the bikes. The electric motored bike I ride is the least expensive one on the market. Fairly low quality and very heavy, I have still been happy with it. I have found that most people wouldn't. They wouldn't put up with the mechanical problems I had to overcome to make it dependable. Most people want an E-bike that is built well and exhibits no problems. That is kind of a by-product of cost. I tell people you don't want the cheapest, and you don't need the priciest. Somewhere in between those extremes is the machine for you. The Gepida Reptila 1100 fits into that category. With it's European quality and it's mid-range cost, it should be a perfect fit for most people who are looking for an electric motored bicycle. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Chances are if you are reading this, you have a fairly good idea what an electric bike is and why you want one. They go by many names. I have found I like the term 'E-bike'. Also used are--Electric bike--Electric bicycle--Electric assist bike--Bike with an electric motor--Pedelec--And others. Some of these have to do with your ability to power up the motor without pedaling. There are many brands and types of E-bikes. The best and most popular use a brush-less motor in the hub of the front or rear wheel. A lithium type battery is the strongest and lightest one available. There are different type of lithium batteries, the Reptila uses a lithium-ion. But all in all, it is a bicycle, with a seat, pedals, and wheels.
So check out that video, search the NYCeWheels site for info, and follow along here as I power down on my new Gepida Reptila 1100.
In the meantime you can read Harrison's first review of the Gepida Reptila
"I took to calling my bike my friend. I carried on silent conversations with it. And of course I paid it the best attention. Which meant that every time I returned home I stood the bike upside down, searched for a clean rag and polished the hubs and the spokes. Then I cleaned the chain and greased it afresh. That operation left ugly stains on the stone in the walkway. My mother would complain, beg me to put a newspaper under the wheel before starting to clean it. Sometimes she would get so incensed that she would say to me, in full sarcasm, 'I'm surprised you don't take that thing to bed with you!' And I would retort---'I would if I had a decent room and a big enough bed.' "
Henry Miller, My Bike and Other Friends.
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
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!
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
This 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
Once 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!
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!
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.
“ 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!
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!
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!
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.
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?
I found a product for my seat problem that seems to be the perfect solution here.
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!”
“No excuses.”---Ted Smith.
As gas prices and obesity skyrocket, more and more people are seeing the incredibly exciting potential of electric bikes. Electric bikes burn calories and fat, not gas. As I wrote in my post Lose Weight on your Electric Bike, electric bikes can help you lose a ton of weight. And they make cycling possible for almost everyone – not just the very fit.
Electric bikes blend muscle and machine into a better, faster, stronger you!
As I wrote in a previous post, Electric Bikes make Cycling Accessible for (almost) Everyone!
No wonder the popularity of electric bikes is soaring! In 2010, 27 MILLION electric bikes were sold; by 2011, that number had grown to 30 million. Today, electric bikes are the most successful mass-produced electric vehicles in the world.
Electric Bikes are on the rise
It is predicted that by 2025, sales of electric bikes will reach 90 million per year – so if you’re interested in buying an electric bike, you are not alone.
I have been using electric bikes for a long time. They’ve made me fit, and helped me lose weight. I’ve written about my passion for electric bikes in several posts for NYCeWheels, including BionX to the Rescue – in the Snow, which shows that an electric bike will even get you to work in a snow storm!
But one problem is that many people are overwhelmed by the choices available when they start thinking about buying an electric bike. After all, it’s not as if we can just choose the bike our dad drove when we were kids! This is new technology, changing and improving all the time, so where to start?
Finding your perfect Electric Bike!
As with any important, expensive purchase, the best place to start is at a good, reputable dealer. In this respect, you can’t go wrong with a knowledgeable, reputable electric bike dealer.
Apart from working with a dealer you can trust, it is advisable to learn a bit about electric bikes, so you know what you’re doing.
So I’ve written a book that gives you an overview of all of the relevant technology, and then helps you to understand the bottom line of what's important as you choose your electric bike.
(This is a Kindle book, but you don’t have to own a Kindle to read it – you can use their easy-to-download software to read it on your own PC.)
You can choose to assimilate all of the technology, or just use the bottom line to guide you. No matter what your needs are, this book includes all the information you need to make a wise decision when you buy your electric bike.
Before you spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on an electric bike, invest $10 in my book to help you choose the RIGHT BIKE FOR YOU – then you'll know exactly which electric bike to buy from a reputable dealer like NYCeWheels.
By guest blogger Average Joe Cyclist
My name is Jack, an employee at NYCeWheels bike shop in NYC. At the shop, part of my job is to connect with communities of cyclists via social media outlets. This is a two way street-- we post pics of our bikes, links to the most recent videos reviews etc, and in return people send us their own stories, pics and videos. This is really the best part of my job, getting to be a part of people's passions, being given a window into a wide variety of creative and innovative projects. Some of the most interesting projects I've come across are from cyclists looking to convert their bicycle into an electric bike via an electric bike conversion kit. Many of the most creative electric bike conversions have involved the BionX Bike Kit.
BionX- versatile electric conversion kit
Just to give a little background, the BionX Bike Kit is an electric conversion kit, which allows you to convert virtually any regular bike into a powerful electric bike. The versatility of the BionX Bike Kit makes it popular with e-bike enthusiasts looking for creative ways to electrify their bikes (and other wheeled contraptions).
The BionX on a Recumbent tricycle
Converting a recumbent bike with an electric conversion kit is such a logical and brilliant idea, that I wonder that I'de never considered it before. Here's a good example sent to us from Brenden, a past customer who installed the BionX Electric Conversion Kit on his Scorpion Recumbent Trike. You can see the BionX on the back wheel. Aside from having a killer look, the Scorpion makes a great choice for electric conversion, due to it's large wheels, and nice comfy seat. Whenever you need a break, just lean back, and let the motor carry you along in comfort. Man I really need to get me one of these.
BionX on a wind powered trike. What? Oh Yes.
This is probably one of the most eccentric electric conversions I've come across, the BionX Powered Pterosail Trike. This was built by Pterosail Trike Systems in 2010, who announced they would be taking their wind powered trike cross country as a triumph of green technology. The trike is meant to be powered primarily via sail, but, when the wind is lacking, the rider can activate a 36o watt BionX motor attached to the back wheel, to help motor along in the interim. This is so amazingly cool, I don't even have the words.
Custom BionX Mods
As BionX conversion kits become increasingly well known, we're starting to see some really great custom jobs. Some of these have been pioneered by my coworkers here at the shop. Last year we created an electric folding Mountain bike, installing the BionX Motor on the Montague Paratrooper. And just last month, my coworker built up one of the first electric fat bikes, installing a motor on the Surly Moonlander, featuring impressive 4.7 inch tires.
Other Custom BionX Conversions have come straight from past customers. One of the most creative and prolific E-bike pioneers has been Paul DeGarie, who has sent us a steady stream of impressive Custom BionX conversions on a variety of different of different bikes.
As the new 2013 season gets off the ground, I look forward to seeing what electric conversions we'll be seeing next. In a world where bikes fold, have sails, and can be electrified via powerful conversion kits, anything seems possible.