Bicycle Accessories Archives

This is a link to an article by Electric Bike.com. It’s a great website & a very timely article. Two weeks ago I was looking for just this type of product. After about an hour of searching I decided I would just have to make one of these things myself. Have a look. Electric Bike.com is not a retail site so you won’t get bogged down with a bunch of stuff you’re not interested in.

 

electrifying a cannondale bad boy 700

This example is from ES member e-cannon. Click for thread.

For me the Electric Bike.com. is a little bit like the car magazines I used to read 20 years ago. I’d read “Motor Trend”, “Car & Driver”,  ”Automobile”, etc.  for information as well as entertainment. Well here is an informational article about triangle frame cases. Anybody that has ever converted or built from scratch an E-Bike has longed for the perfect battery case. Well here is quite a few of them. There is simply no better place to put this much weight on a bicycle than between the handle bars & the seat. There are some Triangle bags available on the market. The Falcon EV is one that come to mind. But even the best of them still look like a battery bag.

 

Frame style battery case

How’s that for a load of batteries?

Go ahead & get your self a dose of inspiration. Take a look at Electric Bike.com & then save them in your “Favorites”. . It’s a great site with great information & it has inspired me many times over the short two years they’ve been around.

Matt Waters

Night-Ride

“Night-Rider” Ready to Rock & Roll

A few weeks ago I did an e- bike conversion for a customer on a 2012 Marrin Pioneer Trail mountain bike. He was a big guy and saw the Marrin on the Carlisle Sales Page of the EZgo-Now Web-Site. The Marrin was an exceptionally nice bike and with a frame size of 21 inch it was the largest & best built bike I had in stock. He was going to use the bike hard, for both work as well as recreation. He specified the direct drive E bike kit mounted on the rear wheel along with a 48 V lithium battery pack. After completing the bike for him I thoroughly road tested it as I do all of my conversions. He picked up & paid for the bike the next day. His price was $1,200 which was also real close to my cost for building it. Needless to say he was a very happy camper. To make a long story short this was by far was the fastest, best handling, best looking and quickest stopping e-bike conversion I had done to date. To learn more about his e-bike conversion read “Tale of(2) Two Conversions”.  I was so impressed with it I began searching for another one or two of them. In addition I was anxious to try one of the NEW 2013 E-BikeKits with the electronic dash & LCD display. This time around I would build it to my specifications & attempt to re-sell it for a profit.

In about a week I had found two of them. Neither one was close to the rock bottom price I had paid for the first one but now that I knew the quality of this bike I didn’t mind paying a little more. (My 1st customer really did a good deal) I purchased a black 2011 with a 22 inch frame and a blue 2012 with a 19 inch frame. I decided to start with the 2011. The 2012 I did a few weeks ago was a blue and white color combination & looked great. This 2011 was a solid jet black & is absolutely gorgeous. The quality of the paint job is among the best I have ever seen on a bicycle, including some custom painted bikes that I have done myself.

 

When I start a project like this It’s usually for a customer or to replace one of my stock bikes that had been sold.

electrically covered Marin Bicycle

Night Rider testing (5) 12V LiFeP04′s. Meter indicates 68.8 volts.

This project was going to be a little different. This bike would be for my use and it was going to be an EZgo-Now show piece. Additionally, it would be a test platform for the components I use & review. I would spend what ever additional time was required to make this project look as if had been done at the factory. It would not only be sleek, fast & beautiful, it would be fully functional, safe and practical as an everyday commuter as well. This bike dubbed the Night Rider”, would be my every day ride.

OK,… So the donor bike is this jet black 2011 Marrin Pioneer Trail mountain bike. Since this is going to be a fast commuter e-bike I would first replace the stock 26 x 2.00 MTB tires with a pair of 26 x 2.00 Kenda Kwick Roller Sports lined with Anti-Flat Slime Tube Protectors.(flats are no fun. Especially when the rear wheel has a 14lb. hub motor attached to it.) The E bike kit used would be a 1000 W direct drive unit from E-BikeKit. Since this bike would also be used for testing & gathering performance data I did not use the new 2013 E-BikeKit with LCD display as I had first intended. Instead I used an 2012 kit with a 2013 hub motor & installed a Watts-Up Meter for analyzing power use and a Bell 12 function cycling computer for gathering performance data. The power (for now) would come from (4) 12V 10Ah Bamboo Cased LiFePO4 batteries built & sold by Clean Republic. (the Hill Topper guys) Read the rest of this entry

The Tale of (2) Conversions

Marin Pioneer Trail

Marin Factory Photo

In Corner # One we have: The MARIN Pioneer Trail ALLOY HT Series with 20.5″ frame & 26″ wheels: The Alloy HT series combines off-road durability with performance components for active riders. Lightweight, double-butted 6000 series Edge 3 tubing is mated to comfortable Marin Sport geometry, placing riders in an upright riding position.  For more read the nitty-gritty from marinbikes.com

And Corner # Two is: The Mongoose Maxim with 18″ frame & 26″ wheels: Designed for peak performance under rugged conditions, the 26″, 21-speed Mongoose MGX Maxim will tackle all your off-road and in-city journeys with ease. It offers an alloy frame with both FRONT & REAR SUSPENSION.  See Mongoose MAXIM for more details on this guy.

Mongoose Maxim

Mongoose Factory Photo

 The Tale of  (2) Conversions

One of biggest challenges I face with converting brand new bicycles into  brand new electrically assisted vehicles is probably not what you’d expect. I have a tough time letting go of them after the sale. I become attached to them and want to continue tweaking them in until their perfect. This is of course contrary to the reason I’m building these bikes in the first place, which is to make a living from selling them. The problem is I believe, that each conversion, when finished becomes much more than the sum of its parts. Ultimately, I’m left with a bicycle that has a unique personality that is often quite different from the stock bike I started with. In short, it is now the bike that Matt built.

Take for instance two recent MTB Conversions, one of which left for a new home yesterday. The first one is a $199.00 Mongoose Maxim dual suspension MTB with an 18 frame.  The 2nd one is a $499.00 MARIN Pioneer Trail front suspension hardtail MTB with an 20.5″ frame. They are both built for mountain biking 1st & anything else 2nd. They are also  both sold to the same basic target market. That said, the Mongoose is very much aimed at the lower end of this market & can be purchased from places like Wal-Mart, Cosco & Toys R Us. While the MARIN is competing more in the middle of the market & will be purchased by people looking for a high quality bike under $800.00.

 

My over all impressions after assembling, testing, adjusting & riding both bikes where quite similar (see Carlisle Sales for reviews) so I’ll focus on the differences. The Mongoose’s additional rear suspension is the most notable difference. At high speeds it really smooths out the teeth jarring bumps. The Marin’s hardtail, on the other hand communicate’s those bump’s with great accuracy. Although neither of these bikes would be considered to be light weight, the MARIN’s weight contributes to its overall rock solid feel while the Mongoose’s weight is just,… well heavy. It is a lot of bike for a little bit of money however & does everything it’s supposed to do reasonably well. For me, the MARIN is the better bargain of the two. Yes, it’s twice the price but it does everything it’s supposed to do nearly perfectly and it has a quality feel to it that is tough to describe other than saying that it feels like a high quality piece of equipment. Both of these bikes are worth every penny of their asking price but if I could scratch together the additional money I would buy the MARIN. (See -marin-pioneer-trail-hardtail for details) Read the rest of this entry

The current e-bike fleet at EZgo-Now

(taken from the “Project Page”)

This is what’s in our driveway at the moment. To demonstrate the full potential of this amazing & amazingly simple form of alternative transportation I use e-bikes almost exclusively for all of my local runs. Since some items are too much for a pair of saddle bags or rear rack I also use the very neat RideKick Trailer on many of my runs. Although it’s designed to turn any bike you own into an e-bike it of course can also be hooked up to your existing e-bike. Since I sometimes have to deliver or pick up bicycles I made a 5th wheel attachment for towing bicycles that simply sets in the bottom of the RideKick Trailer. (lid removed) Then I remove the wheel of the bike being transported a re-bolt the forks to the 5th wheel attachment. The front wheel gets strapped to the side of the bike being towed & sits atop of the now secured pedals. (DON’T BACK-UP) I also use a small ratchet strap & cinch the top of the fork tube to the RideKick Trailer frame where the lid had been. I have to say, this is one slick way to transport an extra bike. Outside of making sure your brakes are up to the task of stopping this load & not backing up, it is one very smooth ride. Oh yeah. An E-Trailer + an E-Bike = very quick acceleration to 20 MPH. Did I invent the worlds very first “Bicycle Tow Dolly”? I doubt it although I have never seen this done. If you have or have seen something similar or interesting, please let me know. I’d be happy to post any of your experiences or photos on the EZgo-Now Web-Site. I’ll be writing more about the RideKick Trailer in a future article. For now you can read NEW RIDEKICK TRAILER That’s Ready To Roll.

e-bikes

Mongoose

EZgo-Now Shop Bike

 

Read the rest of this entry

Good Kickstand at a Great Price.

Five years ago putting a kickstand on my road bike or mountain bike would have been sacrilegious.

Five years ago I also rode my bikes for fun or exercise when I had the time, which is to say, not very often. For the sake of conveyance I also carried an 8″ Velcro strap which I used as a parking brake in the rare event that I actually had to park my bike during a ride.

A few years ago I had a huge re-awaking and discovered that even as an adult a bicycle could be used for transportation much like when I was 14 and used it to go everywhere. E-bikes played a big role in this re-awaking but whether its electric power or pedal power a bicycle is fantastic way to get around at least 50% of the time for 80% of my trips.

This new adult and socially responsible approach to bicycling however did require a slight change to my old world philosophy of “If it doesn’t make it go faster it’s not needed”. Kickstands where right up there with saddle bags when it came to the things “that weren’t needed”. Nowadays, I wouldn’t want to be without either one of them. At the same time, however, lighter is still better, the ability to quickly install & remove something is quite important and a quality look & feel are paramount.

That said, let me tell you about this little gem of a kickstand I found on Amazon.com. It meets all three of those requirements and it will arrive in your mailbox for under ten bucks. There are a ton of kickstands available and many of them are very good. Most good kick stands are going to cost at least $20 delivered. If your LOADED bike weighs more than 70Lbs. (the majority of e-bikes) however you really shouldn’t even consider anything other than a proper center stand. Most rear kickstands are just not up to the task. A decent center stand will cost between $30 & $60 delivered. They are however worth their weight in gold when you’re trying to load your bike up with grocery bags & other items after a shopping trip. Sadly they are not something you take on & off in a matter of minutes and they can be pretty clunky looking. Read the rest of this entry

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