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.

13Dec/124

E-Brompton Banter—Part 5—Surfin’ Safar-E

E-Brompton Banter---Part 5---Surfin’ Safar-E--- By Turbo Bob

E-Brompton and board carrier

E-Brompton and board carrier

After my last installment of E-Brompton Banter, you might think I have my head in the clouds. You wouldn’t be the first one to think that. Today we are headed back to earth, specifically the shore break here in sunny Southern California.

Now, I can’t take my E-Brompton out in the waves to catch the big one, but I can sure ride the coastline to watch some great surfing. And the E-Brompton could be the best way to get yourself and your board to the action. Board trailers, board racks or just carrying it while you ride west makes it easy. Back in my surfing days, bikes, woodies and surfboards went together like Hawaii and shooting the curl. Nowadays with all the woodies in car shows or museums, bikes are bigger than ever for getting to the beach.  Having an E-bike is even better than a woodie. Every cool surfer knows that protecting our planet is part of what keeps the waves rolling. How are you going to hang ten if the ocean gets sick? Riding an E-bike is just one way to help, and a big one for sure. So hitch-up your baggies and ’Let’s go surfing’.

What makes the Electric Brompton Stand Out?

You could use just any bike to get you and your board to the waves, so why an E- Brompton? Some of the reasons stand out just looking at it. The solid build, electric-assist, stylish looks and convenience factors easily talk loud enough to be heard over the pounding surf. Once you try one out, the reasons just keep flowing. Here’s a powerful bike that can be folded and tucked away into the safest of places. While you rock the waves, your E-Brompton will be waiting to take you to the next big break.

Combine the small fold with a cool surfboard carrier like in the photo, and you will never wonder where to park your bike again. This carrier uses the board as the trailer, and it all tucks into a small bag for security or storage. Once again that convenience factor stands out like a switch foot in the white water. And if glassy conditions abound, you’ll be hangin’ loose with the crowd at the fish taco stand on the neatest beach bike ever. Can you say kowabunga?

Making new friends with the Brompton

I have been cruising the E-Brompton lent to me by NYCeWheels all up and down the coast. It allows me to tuck into some tight spots to see the awesome surfing all over our area. It makes it easy to get access to many great areas that overlook the best local shore breaks. The electric-assist gets me up to some of the higher spots with ease. And if need be, a quick fold makes it easy to climb and carry to the tougher places in the cliffs.

When the waves are blown-out and the surfers are on the beach, I’ve had many conversations with them about this great E-Brompton. They are quick to spot it amongst all the other bikes in the area. Many of them live on boats or in the smallest of places, and they are fast to see how handy it could be for them. If they aren’t too wet or sandy, I’ll send them off for a test ride which always brings a smile. I love to brag about my old surfing days but they usually just want to talk about the Brompton Bike.
Talking about Bromptons is almost as much fun as riding them. These wonderful folding bikes are as much like a piece of art as it gets. The care and technology put into each Brompton is amazing. People love watching it fold and unfold. They can’t seem to get enough of the way it all tucks together. And when you climb on one, the thrills just keep coming. The ride, easy pedaling and looks appeals to lots of people, not just surfers.

The E-Brompton- a professional Electric Conversion

Turbo and the E-Brompton just love the beach

Turbo and the E-Brompton just love the beach

The E-assist on this Brompton is done in the most professional way. It looks and feels factory. So simple and powerful, you might want to ride it instead of surfing. I’ve had a few surfers forgo some nice waves to stay on the beach a little longer as they check out and try this special E-bike. In fact, the amount of interest it gets makes me wonder if NYCeWheels can keep up with the demand they seem to generate. They don’t mind building as many E-Bromptons as the world needs, I would think.
Have you tried an E-Brompton from NYCeWheels yet? No, well then hang-ten over to the shop and see what you are missing.

Thanks for kickin’ in, Turbo Bob.
“Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.”---Bob Weir.

Read more Blogs by Turbo Bob

16Oct/121

E-Brompton Banter—Part 6—Spark-E—What’s in a Name?

As a member of the London Brompton Club, I get to see a lot of what is going on in this great folding bikes 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’.

Electric Brompton Bike

Electric Brompton Bike

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

Traveling with the E-Brompton

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.

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.