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

10May/111

Turbo Snakes a Reptila-Part 3 | The Reptila gets Slimed

With more than a few miles on the odometer of this Gepida Reptila 1100, I can start shedding some skin on the details of this European pedelec.   With some hissing, puffing, and poison spitting, I will lay out the story of my first week of riding this electric-motored bike.   I will dictate this while I take the time to do some push-ups on a hot rock.

Bob and his Gepida at the Park

Bob and his Gepida at the Park

First off, I have to say that the efficiency of the Reptila is something else.   It uses a fairly small battery, and puts out a lot of distance between charges.   The up-to-date power system is very intuitive to your needs when riding.   The torque sensor has a fine feel for your output to the pedals, and responds quickly with the motor assist.   On the display unit, you can easily vary the amount of overall assist to increase your riding range, or add more power for the hills.   The motor is so quiet, you can only tell when its running, by the pull it gives.

The styling is very modern.   Unlike some gaudy electric bikes on the market, this Gepida has the clean line of an everyday bike.   The battery rack looks like a super-styled piece from the future, not a over-sized and unusable rack with a battery mounted to it.   The frame, paint, and other pieces are well finished and pleasing to the eye.   Only on closer inspection, have many people realized it is a pedelec.

One of the neat features of the Reptila is the quick adjust and almost infinitely settable handlebar and stem system.   Once you have found the sweet spot for this, you are set, but if many people ride it, it is easy to adjust for their fit.   And with a bike like this, you will want your friends to give it a try to see what the future of bikes is all about.   The same goes with the seat adjustment.   The suspension seat post height is changed with no hassle.   Of course, most e-bikes have this feature nowadays.   I did change the seat angle some with the included hex wrench.   The cushy saddle is not the type you would use for major long-distance rides, but I think most people who would order this bike, would find it just right.

Off we go.   After some minor shake-down rides in my neighborhood, I was ready for the open road.   My first ride was almost 25 miles.   I expect the battery to hold more power as the charge cycles continue.   I did use full power to attack a major hill that I try to avoid on my own electric-assist bike.   After about three quarters of the way up, I was getting a little winded, so I pushed the bike to the top.   That is way, way farther that I have ever made it on that hill before.   On most of the ride, I left the power-assist adjustment at about half.   That is a good way to maximize the range of the battery on level and near level ground.

The riding was smooth and easy.   The motor's assist comes on with no abruptness.   It acts as if your legs are much stronger than normal.   The display unit keeps track of your speed in very large digits.   It also records your trip distance, average speed and ride time.   It remembers the total distance traveled (odometer) and has a two part display to let you know how much farther the battery will take you.   The display has a few other features too.   The Gepidas' computer is large, easy to read, and well thought out.

I felt pretty safe on the road with the Gepida Repila 1100 lighting package.   This is standard equipment.   The bright headlamp and tail light are run from the battery's power.   It is controlled by an additional switch on the display.   It even has an automatic mode that will switch in on when it gets dark, if you are in a tunnel or ?.   I will report on the headlamp's power output after I get a chance to ride it at night.   I am a stickler for using flashing lights on both ends, even in the daytime, but so far I have been happy with the performance of the factory lights.   Gepida even included a cool bell with a nice tone and a continuously rotating button that is hard to explain.   You might have to try it for yourself to see what I mean.

Oh yeah, the slimed part.   I came out from a lunch stop to find the back tire flat.   It was the perfect chance to off the Woods-dunlop valve stemmed tubes, and get some thorn-resistant ones.   I squirted in some green goop (Slime) to reduce the chance of another flat.   The Schwalbe Tyrago tires have puncture protection, but somehow the smallest piece of a stranded wire made it through to the tube.   With the added thickness of the new tubes, the slime, and the American spec schrader valves, I think I will be much happier.

With a lot more riding, testing, and reporting to go, I am glad you are following this story on the Gepida Reptila 1100.

Thanks for reading, Turbo Bob.

"When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on.   This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead.   I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity.   But I am mentally far far away from civilization.   The world is breaking someone else's heart."---Diane Ackerman.