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Gear Points, and Lemons From Lemonade – BionicOldGuy

The motor in my electric-assist equipment on my recumbent has developed an annoying knocking sound. This isn’t one thing I might repair, nor might my supplier, it must return to the manufacturing facility (in China) to get refurbished. It took me some time to isolate it, however I lastly bought it to go away by eradicating the wheel and remounting the unique wheel (with no motor). That is the second time certainly one of these add-on kits has had severe points, so I made a decision to not throw good cash after dangerous and simply restore the bike to non-assist.

This leaves me with out an electric-assist bike. I wish to have one to increase my vary and journey with teams that might in any other case be arduous to maintain up with. I’ve had sufficient enjoyable with the add-on kits so I made a decision to deal with myself to a factory-built electrical help bike from my native bike store (with the added bonus that they’ll work on it if one thing goes wrong- they’d not contact my add-on kits). I used to be planning on treating myself to a “dream bike” subsequent January for my seventieth birthday, however occasions moved the timetable up. I’ll put a bow on the bike subsequent January to remind me. High quality factory-built e-bikes are costly, however are nonetheless a cheap (and inexperienced) choice in the event that they substitute a automotive.

New bike, a Specialised Vado SL (sorry concerning the messy storage)

The brand new bike changed my 9-year-old Trek hybrid. I donated the Trek to Mike’s Bikes which has a extremely cool “Bikes for Africa” program. They assist practice folks to restore bikes in Africa, then present them with donated bikes for the area people. My outdated Trek will make somebody comfortable as a result of it’s pretty light-weight, very stable, has a very good suspension, and has good tires.

The recumbent will now be a shorter-range bike for simple days. I can nonetheless readily go for hours on it if I need, I simply received’t cowl as a lot floor. And there’s a plus facet to that. A number of the longer rides I used to do took me to territory with dangerous pavement, such because the Northern a part of the Coyote Creek path, which has lots of locations the place tree roots have buckled the pavement, making for a bouncy journey on a recumbent.

I took the brand new Vado for a 2 ½ hour shakedown yesterday, and it was excellent. The help is way smoother and extra pure feeling than one of many kits, due to torque sensing as a substitute of cadence which I clarify beneath. Due to a design trade-off to make it lighter weight, this bike theoretically has a a lot weaker motor than my earlier kits, nevertheless it gave me loads of help. I used to be simply capable of cruise at 28 mph on the flat and climb an area difficult hill (Bernal street to the IBM Analysis gate) in “eco” mode, the bottom setting. On Saturday, I’ll give the brand new bike a much bigger problem on an extended group journey.

After climbing the large hill, wanting in the direction of Coyote Peak in Santa Teresa Park
Wanting Northwest in the direction of the Santa Cruz Mountains. IBM Almaden Analysis Middle is simply past the grassy hill within the foreground to the fitting.

Electrical Bike 101

Electrical bikes both have a throttle, which lets you journey it like a scooter, or electrical help, the place the motor solely kicks in while you’re pedaling. Some have each. For electrical help, the system can use a cadence sensor, which senses if you find yourself pedaling. That is on-off help, off if you’re not pedaling, and on if you’re. You management the quantity of help by adjusting the extent on a controller. That is normally the set-up on less-expensive methods, like the 2 kits I had. A greater method is to make use of a torque sensor, from which the system can inform how a lot effort you might be placing in, and match the help to a sure share of that. This feels a lot smoother.

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