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Designers Dilemma – Releasing his Vintage Collectable Bike Fridays to the World

The Designers Dilemma

Vintage Bike Fridays released for New Owners

 

The designers dilemma by Alan Scholz (Bike Friday co-founder)

Like many of you, I love bicycles. And like many of you I have more than one, ok more than a couple.  OK the truth! A LOT more than a couple. With the bicycle as my muse over many years I have designed or helped design dozens of bikes at Bike Friday. When including the years at Burley Design & Nomad of Fargo I have designed hundreds of other bicycle lifestyle related items from trailers to racks from unicycles to panniers, to small & large improvements to bikes.  One of the distinct features for me of the design process is that each one is fully absorbing while I am at it. The creative process for me means designing in my head even when doing other things. Like sleeping, raking the lawn & especially while riding to work. The last couple of years working with electric assist have been great that way. Ride, test, try new, design, improve. Each new  creation is special. In a minor way they are also my children and I like knowing and seeing them.

Here in lies the dilemma.

At Bike Friday I am considered a ‘pack rat’.  I have multiple projects going on at any time and I like to see previous works as they encourage memory of the creative process in them and the results of it motivate new ideas. I have ridden all the bikes I have designed and some for a significant time and miles. I have had favorites just like you. But how many bikes can you have?! It seems I have way too many! Looking around recently I realized I would need a large museum to keep them all in. Some hadn’t been touched in years. Many were designed by Hanz, and I really can’t remember all the ones we both shared in as that was the original magic of Green Gear/ Bike Friday. Two brothers against the odds.  A Museum is not on my life list. So the bikes gradually, simply, filled a lot of space. I hate to waste them in the attic any longer. Time to make them more useful.

I am committed to all these great bikes to give them respect by finding them a good new home where they will get more attention. My wish is to offer them to the Bike Friday community first. Many of these are one of a kind, some are early models that are collectibles and are certainly vintage.  I am thinking some of you may want a piece of Bike Friday/ Green Gear history.  Each of these has a story.  If you love bicycles, stories, and your experiences with your Bike Fridays, you might enjoy a new addition to your collection. We all seem to be born with gifts and unique circumstances. It would please me to no end for you to share a piece of the rich history I have had the privileged of being instrumental in.

Best in Cycling,  Alan Scholz  – Co-founder, designer and a man who loves bicycles


These bikes are the first wave of Alan’s collection being released

Contact us at Bike Friday if one of these beauties catches your eye.

Alan’s Pocket Rocket Super Pro:

Year built 2011
Frame number 26393
Frame Size 54cm

Vintage Collectible Sale Price: $6,500

This bike is the culmination of the original Bike Friday vision and decades of experience. Here is a little of Bike Friday’s history to give you perspective.

The Scholz brothers vision of the first Bike Friday was a great riding road bike that easily traveled by air. Alan and Hanz both grew up bike racing. They had many state titles between them and Alan took 2nd in Nationals on the Road (110miles) in 1971.

This first Bike Friday bike was designed using road bike geometry from 1970’s racing bikes from the Tour De France. That meant 73 degrees parallel head and seat tubes, with longer chainstays and 700c wheels. The Scholz Brothers wanted a road bike rider to recognize the feel of a good road bike when they rode a Bike Friday. However, to accomplish the goal of a bike easy to travel by air with (fit in a standard suitcase, so no extra fees and fits through the airport easily..) required smaller wheels.

“We surprised ourselves with the first prototypes,” said Alan. “We thought the little wheels would be less efficient than larger wheels and we found the truth is much less down sides and a lot more up sides to smaller wheels! We didn’t anticipate that!” Interestingly this misconception of small wheels has been a regular question by the public for the last 27 years. One of the most common questions we get is, “Don’t you need to pedal more with those small wheels?”.

The first Bike Friday we made, we tried to make one bike that did ‘everything’. A common cyclists dream! This model was called the Sport 14 with the original Diamond frame style and it included the full package of suitcase and trailer. Unlike normal road bikes it would take cantilever brakes to open up the possibilities of riding style and terrain with tire width choices. This inspired the original Bike Friday logo of the Bike Friday pulling the suitcase trailer. The full package to travel self contained with your bike was the vision from the beginning. The first customer bike shipped in early 1993.

Within the first year we introduced the first Pocket Rocket, a road specific Bike Friday, with a Diamond Frame style. The Pocket Rocket was offered with full Shimano and Campagnolo Road Groupo choices. In 1994 one of the production team experimented with a mono tube main frame style and inspired the first mono tube main frame style Pocket Rocket. We shipped the first Pocket Rocket with this new frame style in late 1994, but kept the other Bike Friday style a Diamond Frame.

By 1999, we felt the Pocket Rocket could be improved so we made the Pocket Rocket Pro with new highly butted and shaped tubing in the frame and fork. The new frame set was lighter and more responsive with the same great-riding geometry.

In 2000, a young bike racer and engineering student at Oxford bought a red Pocket Rocket as the first bike he ever paid full price for. He raced it in local events and used it for training in several countries. He eventually moved to the USA to work for Bike Friday. His name is Rob English, now a renowned designer and frame builder. Rob and Hanz worked together to design the Bike Friday tikit. The fastest folding bike in the world, a very unique and complicated bike.

Rob English thought the Pocket Rocket Pro could be improved (lighter, stiffer, and fancier) and he teamed up with our long time tool maker Peter Kaspar to create the Pocket Rocket Super Pro. Six months after the first Super Pro, Rob and the Bike Friday Production team presented Alan with his very own Super Pro in his favorite color, Saphire Blue. Alan added some extra gold highlights to make this beautiful bike sparkle.

The Pocket Rocket, Pocket Rocket Pro and Pocket Rocket Super Pro are Bike Friday flagship bikes. After all these years there still is no one else in the world that makes a custom bike like these.

Alan has decided to let it go as he faces his ‘Designers Dilemma’ and focuses on riding new designs these days and doesn’t ride his old designs anymore. He hopes someone will really enjoy this special one of a kind bike!

– History written by Hanna Scholz (second generation) interviewing my dad Alan Scholz

Special Details:

Bike Weight as shown: 15.9 lbs.
Alan’s personal Super Pro, designed by Rob English and Peter Kaspar, with extensive custom frame detailing
KCNC KR3 Headset, gold anodized headset
SRAM Red 10spd
Ciamillo Caliper Brakes
FSA SL-K Carbon Cranks
ABS Carbon Brake Levers
Gold anodized highlights throughout, including Nokon housing
Titanium seatmast to carbon seatpost
Ready for many more miles of adventure

Vintage Collectible Sale Price*: $ 6,500

*Sold as is, this frame no longer includes frame warranty
*Alan will sign the frame before it ships to you
*Includes Certificate of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance signed by Alan and Hanna


Alan’s Yellow TiLite XL Tandem

Frame Number AL04
Size 58cm captain / 27.5in stoker
Year built 2000

Vintage Collectible Sale Price: $ 4,900

This is Alan Scholz’ personal Bike Friday TiLite XL Tandem, a ride-able collectors item with important Bike Friday history. The first XL Tandem was built in 1999 and the first Tandem “Q” was released in 2001. Alan made himself this yellow TiLite XL in between these other tandems after he had come up with the tandem “Q” design.

Hanz Scholz designed the first folding Bike Friday travel tandem in the late 1990’s called the Tandem Two’sDay. Then Alan Scholz designed the first Family Tandem after that.

Alan has always wanted to support his family, and others families, to ride bikes together as a lifestyle since he started his first bike shop in Fargo North Dakota, when he was 21 years old. Alan’s inspiration for the first Family Tandem was his 3rd daughter Sarah. He built it in time to put it under the Christmas tree for her to discover when she was 4 years old. They had many fun rides including going to school. This first Family Tandem did not fit into suitcases so two years later he cut it in half with a hacksaw and turned it into the first Family Tandem Traveler.

Several years later Alan created the XL Tandem as a light road tandem designed to race in the “Duet Classic” Tandem Stage Race. This Tandem Stage race was sponsored by Burley Design Co-operative (another bike company Alan co-founded).The Duet Classic drew tandem racers from around the world and was a great event to test the abilities of a 20 inch wheel travel tandem to match the 700c non-travel tandems – and the 20 inch wheels won several times! As we all discovered when the geometry is right, the frame is strong and light to fit the riders, it’s all about the lungs and legs, not the wheel size!

Alan then design the Tandem Q, inspired by the James Bond movies. This special Tandem could be turned into a Single bike with a few clamps and cable adjustments.

This Special Yellow Tandem, now for sale, is an XL TiLite Alan built himself and designed to make into a “Tandem Q”. However he never made the final changes – a frame cut and clamp still to be added to fully turn it into a Q. It has some of the early Sport Road Bars and unusual shifter set up that Alan likes. He has ridden it on many tours with his wife Theresa.

– History written by Hanna Scholz (second generation) interviewing my dad Alan Scholz

Special Features:
Bike weight as shown: 30.5 lbs.
Has Titanium boom tubes and seat masts
Scalloped frame details done by Alan
Ultegra 6500 same-side drivetrain
Bike can be set up for 406mm or 451mm wheel sizes depending on the caliper brakes you install on it. Bike is currently set up with 406mm wheels.
Packs into 2 suitcases
Could be turned into a “Q” with a cut and a clamp.
Ready for many more miles of adventure

Vintage Collectible Sale Price*: $ 4,900

* Sold as is, this frame no longer includes frame warranty
*Alan will sign the frame before it ships to you
*Includes Certificate of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance signed by Alan and Hanna


Alan and Hanna’s First Air Bike:

 

Frame Number AL03
Size 56cm/Med
Built year 1999

Vintage Collectible Price: $ 3,800

This Air Friday has an interesting Scholz Family History. First built as Alan Scholz’s first Air bike he then handed it down to his daughter, me, Hanna Scholz (now Bike Friday President) to be my first Air bike.

The Bike Friday Air bikes were originally created for triathletes doing the Ironman in Hawaii. Knowing that athletes could really have their race messed up when their baggage was lost, Alan and Hanz designed a bike that could fit in an athletes carry-on luggage (the Airline regulations before 9/11 were more open). The Air Friday frame fit into a carry-on roller case and the wheels fit into cloth bags that looked like musicians cymbals. The whole package could just be walked onto the airplane and put in the overhead compartments. When 9/11 happened and the airlines tightened up their regulations, metal tubing in bike frames were no longer allowed.

This one of a kind paint job was an inspiration from my daydreaming about fun colors and wanting my bike to be super special. I spent many hours in the paint room experimenting and came up with this. There has never been another like it, as I became so busy with my growing business responsibilities, I never made it back into the paint booth. I always wanted to and fifteen years later, I still think about fun creative paint jobs sometimes.

Unfortunately the frame, originally built for Alan, was just not the right size for me and has never been comfortable to ride. The un-painted stem was an attempt at improving the fit. This unfinished work of art has been sitting in the attic for way to long so I decided someone should have some fun with this special bike! Perhaps I could be convinced to come back to the paint booth to finish the stem…
– History written by Hanna Scholz (second generation)

Special Features:
Bike weight as shown: 21.7 lbs.
Ultegra cranks and rear derailleur
RSX STI shifters
Sachs 3x Dual Drive hub
Stem can be painted color of your choice. (Perhaps by me)
Can be made ready for more miles of adventure (rider needs to be 150lbs or less)

Vintage Collectible Price*: $3,800

*Sold as is, this frame no longer includes frame warranty
*Alan and Hanna will sign the frame before it ships to you*Includes Certificate of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance signed by Alan and Hanna


Hanz’s racing Two’sday

Frame T9 (the 9th tandem Bike Friday ever built)
Size 56cm/Med captain & 29.5in stoker
Built year late 1990’s

Vintage Collectible Price: $ 6,000

This is a special ride-able collector’s bike. The Tandem Two’s Day was the first Bike Friday tandem designed in the late 1990’s. This beautiful ultra-light Tandem Two’sDay was built by Hanz Scholz to race in the “Duet Classic” Tandem Stage Race. This Tandem Stage race was sponsored by Burley Design Co-operative (another bike company Alan Scholz co-founded). The Duet Classic drew tandem racers from around the world and was a great event to test the abilities of a 20 inch wheel travel tandem to match the 700c non-travel tandems – and the 20 inch wheels won several times! As we all discovered when the geometry is right, the frame is strong and light to fit the riders, its all about the lungs and legs, not the wheel size!

This Tandem Two’s Day was an extraordinary bike that blew so many assumptions away. A custom sized tandem that folded (to fit in a car trunk) and packed into two standard Airline suitcases and was still light and could win tandem stage races against non-folding bikes with 700c wheels…….so many amazing accomplishments.
– History written by Hanna Scholz (second generation) interviewing my dad Alan Scholz

Special Features:
Bike weight as shown: 31.4 lbs.
Hanz did some extra detailed finish work on the frame, its lovely
60t chainring for speed
Ultegra drivetrain and integrated shifters
Folding seat masts with the keyhole style
Packs into 2 suitcases
Can be made ready for many more miles of adventure

Vintage Collectible Price*: $ 6,000

*Sold as is, this frame no longer includes frame warranty
*Alan will sign the frame before it ships to you
*Includes Certificate of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance signed by Alan and Hanna


Vintage Sport 14 built 1994

Frame number 215
Size 52cm / Sm
Year Built 1994

Vintage Collectible Price: $1,300

This ride-able collector’s classic was built within the first year of Bike Friday’s history. This was the bike design featured in our first big advertisement in Bicycling Magazine titled “No Joke and About Time”. The original Bike Friday “Sport 14” frame design later developed into the New World Tourist model which has become the most popular in Bike Fridays history. Founders Alan and Hanz Scholz started the Bike Friday design using classic road bike geometry (73 degree head and seat tube angles with longer chainstays) for excellent bike handling characteristics. Then they figured out how to fit it into a suitcase.

This bike includes many vintage features. The frame has dual brake mount braze-ons so it can be set up for 406mm or 451mm wheel sizes. Currently the bike has 406mm wheels. The rims themselves are hand-drilled in-house to work with the high-quality hubs. This bike has the keyhole style folding seat mast with ovalized tubing, a scalloped seat clamp, and hinges built with a multi-part construction (we changed to another design later in 1994). The chain stays are asymmetrical and the main frame down tube is offset in order to give clearance for wide chain rings when the bike is folded. Fun Fact: we often got calls from customers concerned that their bike was “crooked”. The main frame is the original diamond style – we changed to a mono tube main frame around 1995 that was inspired by an employee’s personal bike experiment.

– History written by Hanna Scholz (second generation) interviewing my dad Alan Scholz

Special Features:
Bike weight as shown: 20.1 lbs.
True Temper 4130 Cromoly Frame Tubes
Hand drilled rims – as we had to make them to fit the nice hubs we wanted to use.
Adjustable Stem Riser
Cantilever Brakes for 406 wheels
Suntour Barcons
Suntour XCE drive train and hubs
Detachable Trailer hitch

Vintage Collectible Price*: $1,300

*Sold as is, this frame no longer includes frame warranty
*Alan will sign the frame before it ships to you
*Includes Certificate of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance signed by Alan and Hanna


Vintage Sport 14  built 1993

Frame number 94
Size 54cm / Sm
Year Built 1993

Vintage Collectible Price: $1,600

This rid-able collector classic was built within the first year of Bike Fridays history. This was the bike design featured in our first big advertisement in Bicycling Magazine titled “No Joke and About Time”. The original Bike Friday “Sport 14” frame design later developed into the New World Tourist model that has become the most popular in Bike Fridays history. Founders, Alan and Hanz Scholz, started the Bike Friday design using 1970’s road bike geometry with a 73 degree parallel with road bike handling characteristics and then figured out how to fit it into a suitcase.
This bike is one of the first bikes to use frame-mounted cantilever brakes and it has one of the few seat masts built with this multi-piece construction (we changed to another design in 1994). The chain-stays are asymmetrical and the mainframe down tube is “crooked” in order to give clearance for wide chain-rings when the bike is folded. A fun fact is that we often got calls from customers concerned that their bike was “crooked”. The mainframe is the original diamond style, we changed to a mono-tube mainframe around 1995 inspired by an employees personal bike experiment.
One of the many special frame features of this bike is that the brake braze-ons are set for you to be able to swap between a 406 and 451 wheel sets. Currently, the bike has 406mm wheels.

Special Features:
Adjustable stem
Adjustable cantilever brakes for 451 or 406 wheels
Suntour group-set
Stronglight chain-rings
Hand drilled rims – as we had to make our own to fit the nice hubs on the market then
Special rear rack with quick release connection to seat-mast – we only made a few of these

Vintage Collectible Price*: $1,600

*Sold as is, this frame no longer includes frame warranty
*Alan will sign the frame before it ships to you
*Includes Certificate of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance signed by Alan and Hanna


Vintage New World Tourist built 1995

Frame number 629
Size 55cm / Med
Year Built 1996 – one of the last original Diamond Frame New World Tourists before we changed to the mono-tube main frame as standard.

Vintage Collectible Price: $1,450

This ride-able collector classic was built in the   mid-’90s with Bike Friday custom hand-drilled rims. It has keyhole style folding seat mast with ovalized tubing and a scalloped seat clamp. The Diamond style mainframe was the original New World Tourist design. This bike also has the original right folding rear end that allows for a more compact fold. We changed that design to left fold in the late 1990s to allow for clearance for a wider range in drive chains options…
Founders, Alan and Hanz Scholz, started the Bike Friday design using 1970’s road bike geometry with a 73 degree parallel with road bike handling characteristics and then figured out how to fit it into a suitcase (make the wheels smaller!)
One of the many special frame features of this bike is that the bike can be set up for 406mm or 451mm wheel sizes depending on the caliper brakes you install on it. Currently, the bike is set up with 406mm wheels.

– History written by Hanna Scholz (second generation) interviewing my dad Alan Scholz

Special Features:
Hand drilled rims – as we had to make them to fit the nice hubs we wanted to use.
Suntour XCE 3×7 group-set (21spds)
Trailer hitch
Front Rack braze-ons – One of the first Bike Fridays to take a front rack

Vintage Collectible Price*: $1,450
*Sold as is, this frame no longer includes frame warranty
*Alan will sign the frame before it ships to you
*Includes Certificate of Authenticity and Letter of Provenance signed by Alan and Hanna

———————————————————————————–

See a special beauty that catches your eye? Contact us and we will start working on the adoption papers.

 

_____________________________________________________

Mystery, Aha and Logic with Light Electric Assist on Bikes

My journey through the mystery

as a designer and cyclist

 

By Alan Scholz
Bike Friday Co-founder and designer with editing from Kent Peterson, long time Randonneuring Cyclist

 

Aha! Electric Assist can be a logical choice for a “real” cyclist – it only took me 25 years to figure this out……so I wanted to save  you some time and share what I learned.

As cyclists, many of us have looked at ebikes and asked “Why bother?” or “Why complicate something as simple and pure as the bicycle?”. Most of the crew here at Green Gear Cycling are long time cyclists who love riding bicycles. Many of our customers are similar, folks who love the feeling of turning the pedals and rolling down the road under their own power.

For myself, I first really started noticing e-bikes in the 1990s. Back then they were heavy, with clunky mechanical connections and they made odd, irritating noises. And they were so, so heavy! A lot of those early machines seemed like electric motor scooters and I didn’t want a motor scooter. I wanted a bicycle.

Now I see that I really should give credit to those early experimenters. Although I didn’t want what they were selling, they were on to something. While I kept my focus on “pure” bicycles, they kept experimenting. They worked to make parts that were lighter and quieter. The big breakthrough has been in the area of batteries. The demand for lightweight lithium ion batteries didn’t come from the bicycle world, it came from the world of laptops and Tesla’s but modern e-bikes have reaped the benefits made possible by those high volume customers. Today, lithium ion batteries are light, powerful and relatively affordable.

Back in 1973, Scientific American published an article by S. S. Wilson which showed that a human on a bicycle was the most energy efficient moving entity on the planet.

Chart from Scientific American, March 1973

Since reading that article nearly fifty years ago, I clung to the belief in the ultimate efficiency of a human on a bicycle. Perhaps that blinded me to some other truths: that individual humans vary widely in their riding challenges, abilities, and preferences. While I was happily riding around quietly and quickly, there were others who were not riding, or perhaps not riding as much, because they wanted or needed something more.

If you live long enough, eventually you learn something

After many years of ignoring e-bikes, I finally began to understand the appeal when I rode a bike with an electric pedal assist system. While this particular bike was not especially light, it was fairly quiet and unobtrusive. It still felt like riding a bike. I was still supplying the bulk of the power, but I felt like I was getting a little help, a little push. I felt like my younger self, on a good day, on a much lighter bike. It felt familiar.

A memory came back to me, I was 5 or 6 years old. I was on a bike, my dad was jogging beside me, his hand on my back, pushing me along. It was that little bit of assistance and encouragement that sent me down a road that I’ve ridden for years.

Starting early and getting training from a cyclist parent perhaps made me an above average rider in terms of strength, speed and endurance. I may be a fast rider, but it seems I was a slow learner. I delighted in riding under my own power and even took pride in suffering under conditions I was not up to. While I muscled through pulling three kids in my Burley trailer, other folks with more respect for their knees and stronger brains wouldn’t bother. But e-assist changes things.

With e-assist, a couple who might otherwise ride at different paces can ride together.

With e-assist, an older rider (like myself!) can keep up with his younger, faster companions.

With e-assist, that big hill between home and work suddenly isn’t so big. Now you don’t have to arrive at work sweaty,

Once I began really looking at e-bikes and not just dismissing them, I began thinking about them in the only way I could: as a cyclist.

Light Assist: E-bikes made for cyclists

There are approximately 265 million e-bikes in China, 10 million in Europe and about 1 million in North America. Most of those e-bikes are heavy, weighing in at 50 or 60 lbs (25kgs). They are built with the assumption that the rider will always be using some level of assist so there is a bit of a “weight doesn’t matter” mentality at work. While their popularity shows that there is a market for such machines, they are not what interested me as a cyclist. What if we built an e-bike for cyclists?

At Bike Friday, we’ve always known that weight really does matter. We make travel bikes and when our bikes aren’t being ridden, they may wind up being carried in a suitcase or folded up and taken on a subway car.  Any cyclist will tell you that a light bike is more fun to ride than a heavy one.

So when we set out to make electric assisted Bike Fridays we started by thinking about weight. Modern lithium ion batteries and motors mean that it is possible to build an e-bike that is light and still rides like a bike, even if you aren’t using the motor at all.

Another thing we thought about was what we wanted the motor to do. We didn’t want to make a motorcycle where you just turn the throttle and go. Our light assist is a true assist, it adds some power to your pedal power. You are still working, but you have help.

Our light assist bikes are designed to coexist nicely with other users of the road or trail. In e-bike jargon they are class one, they must be pedaled to engage the e-assist and the motor will stop assisting at 20 mph. You can, of course, go faster than that if you pedal harder, but it’s you making that speed, not the motor.

Its not about going faster its actually about spending less time going slow!

Now you might be wondering, as our mechanic Kent Peterson did, why would I bother adding a motor at all? What Kent and I both discovered is that as Kent says, “it’s not about going fast, it’s about spending less time going slow.” With light assist, we climb hills faster with less effort. We get across busy intersections quicker. By spending less time going slow, while our top speeds remained the same, our average speeds went up. In Kent’s case, prior to converting his bike to light assist his average commute speed was 13 mph. With light assist, his average went up to 16 mph.

We discovered some other interesting things on our commutes. For one thing, our door to door times became much more consistent. On days when I feel strong, the motor does less work. On days when I might not feel so perky, the motor takes up the slack. On days when I tow a trailer to work, it doesn’t slow me down. The light assist helps carry the load.

The most surprising thing we found was how little power we used. If you read up about e-bikes, you’ll find a common estimate suggesting that you will probably use 20 Watt Hours per mile. While that might be an accurate figure for some of 50+ pound e-bikes, our light assist bikes, being far lighter use far less power.

A light bike + light e-assist = Far more miles per battery charge than industry standard

After a month of commuting, Kent and I compared notes. We both found that we were riding all week between charges and found we were using between 5 and 6 Watt Hours per mile. Instead of the industry predicted range of 18 miles from a 360 Watt Hour battery, we could go more like 60 or even 70 miles. I set my bike up with a tiny 150 Watt Hour battery (weighing just 1 kilogram or 2.2 lbs) and even pulling my trailer I could still go 25 to 30 miles!

Of course, as the saying goes “your mileage may vary” but if two sixty something old guys can get mileage like that then maybe you can too!

We can make a light electric assist Bike Friday starting at 23lbs total!

So how much weight does adding light assist add to your Bike Friday? Our light assist systems will add  anywhere from 7 to 13 lbs to the weight of your bike, depending on how big a battery you need. You will have a bike that still rides like a bike. We can make an Electric pakiT compact folder as light as 23 lbs. An Electric Pocket Rocket, folding road bike, can be as light as 31 lbs.

Light assist isn’t just for lightweight riders. Our Electric Diamond Llama can be ridden by riders up to 330 lbs, but the bike itself, including the electric assist, can weigh as little as 38 lbs. Our Electric Family Tandem can be as light as 51 lbs. Our Electric Haul-a-Day starts at 48 lbs and can haul a family of three!

I hope this helps you along the mystery path to your own clearer understanding of how an electric assisted bike can help you, or someone you know, to ride longer and more often than they did before.

Happy Cycling,

Alan Scholz

Glacier National Park Bike Tour on her Electric Assist Pocket Rocket Pro

Ruthy Kanagy shares her breathtaking ride in Glacier this summer

 

I recently spent a week at Glacier National Park in Montana, USA, with a hiking club from Eugene, Oregon. After several days hiking with the group to beautiful glacial lakes, I decided it was time to ride. I’d brought along my trusty, lightweight Pocket Rocket Pro (recently converted to E-assist), for the purpose of riding the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Road. I’d heard about this iconic route, carved out of rock in 1933, as one of the most thrilling rides in the U.S.. Would I be up to the challenge? With my e-assist, I felt confident that I could reach the top.

September 5, 2019, dawned cloudy and chilly. I waited till the mist lifted and the sun peaked out. As I started from the east entrance to Glacier National Park (at St. Mary), there were few cars and no other cyclists. The busy Labor Day weekend had passed. I’d forgotten to bring my senior “Golden Eagle” pass allowing lifetime admission to National Parks, but I was happy to pay $20 for the Annual Senior Parks Pass to support our national parks.


At the east entrance to Glacier National Park in Montana, the start of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The clouds lifted as I pedaled along St. Mary Lake.

Photo By Ruthy Kanagy

In front of the massive Going-to-the-Sun Peak in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Photo by Ruthy Kanagy

Going-to-the-Sun Road, built in 1933, curves around cliffs with sheer drop-offs.

Photo by Ruthy Kanagy

I came upon two “Plein air” artists painting the peaks.

Photo by Ruthy Kanagy

Many waterfalls tumble over cliffs along the route. On a bike, you can stop on a dime to take pictures, while cars have to search for a pull-out.

Photo by Ruthy Kanagy

Red elderberries near Logan Pass.

Photo by Ruthy Kanagy

After 19 miles and 2500 feet climbing, I reached Logan Pass and the Continental Divide. From here water flows east to the Atlantic and west to the Pacific.

I kept my e-assist at level 2 or 3 for the climb and still had 50% of battery left (using 3 LiGo batteries). I took about 2.45 hours going up (stopping often for photos)  and just 57 minutes back to the camp at St. Mary. It can be a bit intimidating zooming down the narrow road, with a sheer drop off to your right. I concentrated on keeping my hands and arms loose on the handlebars and taking the lane! On most of the route, the posted speed limit is 25 or 35, so I wasn’t holding up car traffic on the descent.

 

Photo by Ruthy Kanagy

A friend snapped this picture of me on the descent.
 
 

Between June and Labor Day there are restrictions on cycling the narrow, winding Going-to-the-Sun Road — bikes are prohibited in both directions from 11 am to 4 pm. Since it was after Labor Day when I rode, there were no restrictions. I met two cyclists at the top who had ridden up the west side, which is a bit longer. One was sitting in a wheelchair and explained that he had ridden up on a handcycle. Bravo! For more information see http://www.hikinginglacier.com/glacier-national-park-cycling.htm

My Pocket Rocket Pro e-assist performed beautifully and riding in Glacier National Park is an experience I will never forget!

“Ruthy Kanagy leads bicycle tours to Japan — See japancycletours.com. The next tour is July 2020 to the island of Hokkaido” ~

 

(photos credit to Ruthy Kanagy)

Bike Friday Owners Travelling the World by Bike Friday Bikes

Here at Bike Friday, we feel like we make a pretty great bike…but we should because we love what we do. It’s easy for us to tell you how great they are, but we would rather let our amazing customers do this for you so you are able to believe the stories. Below is a list of blogs from Bike Friday owners going all over the world doing amazing things.

Bike Friday owners with Big Hearts and tiny wheels.

The Flying Fox: Fox On Lead

About Fox On Lead:

Thanks for visiting our FOX ON A LEAD.

In Aug 2017 we quit our jobs, sold our house, packed what we wanted to keep into storage and set off to wander this big blue planet…
Follow our adventures around the world in our blog www.foxonalead.com. In the beginning, we tandem cycled to France, backpacked around S.E Asia, rode motorcycles 1200miles down the length of Vietnam and more recently spent 1 year circumnavigating Australia.

We’re currently traveling home to the UK from Australia by tandem cycling across the big landmass in-between… the USA! Our goal is the travel around the globe, one pedal-stroke at a time. Thanks for following our journey.

Website: Fox On Lead

Support Fox On Lead: Fundraising Page

The Bicycle Touring Pro:

DARREN ALFF

My goal as the “Bicycle Touring Pro” is to give you the confidence and inspiration you need to travel by bicycle anywhere in the world. I’m here to help you plan, prepare for, and execute your first bike tour and remove all the guesswork, wasted time and frustration that plagues so many first-time bicycle travelers.

Website: The Perfect Trip Report

Mikes coddiwompling:

“To boldly go where not so many went recently.” Go for the stories but stay for the pictures…trust us, you will love them!

This Mom Bikes:

a middle-aged woman who uses a bike to get around. I prefer to ride on protected infrastructure, like pathways and cycle tracks, but I am confident enough to ride on most roads.

My biggest job these days is being a mom. And, well: This Mom Bikes.

I am a mom who uses a cargo bike to get around. I seek out protected infrastructure, like pathways and cycle tracks, and I am confident enough to ride on some (but not all) roads.

See the difference?

 

Steve Miller/Grampies:

We are Steve and Dodie Miller, a retired Economist/Statistician and Pediatric Head Nurse from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada. We were born in Montreal, both 69 years ago, and can speak semi-passable French. Over the years we moved westward across the country, even pausing for school in Wisconsin, USA. We have four children, who were born variously in Wisconsin, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia. We spent many years working and raising the children. Our first attempt at “semi-retirement” was to begin the gradual switch from working in our professional fields to working the fields of our 11-acre farm near Cobble Hill, north of Victoria. We very happily spent 10 to 15 years raising chickens, turkeys, and veggies and producing a range of jams, chutneys other preserves, and bread for sale at our local farmers market.

The ultimate packing list for single bike touring in Europe

Special Thanks to Shane Seppinni who is currently on the road and you can follow his adventures here: – Click Me –

Want to know what to bring on a bike tour across Europe? You’re in the right place. My goal here is to document what I brought and to help others reduce time spent researching what bike touring gear to buy.

99%, if not all, of what I packed

I’ve provided affiliate links to products where possible. Amazon doesn’t carry the panniers I chose (the Sport Packer Plus Ortlieb front and rear bags) as of this post so I’ve linked to another great option. Check Craigslist and eBay for your panniers because they’re expensive if purchased new and there are great deals out there on used panniers!

All this gear can get expensive, but if you’re patient you’ll find sales on Amazon, REI, eBay, and on Craigslist. Less expensive alternatives exist too — I chose Isadore cycling clothes because they are sustainable, have amazing quality for the price, they use Merino Wool and the jersey was 40% off, but there are plenty of other options.

A great little book that goes over the different gear choices you have and gives a nice intro to bike touring is The Basic Illustrated Guide to Bike Touring and Bikepacking. I got this as a gift from my grandpa and read it one sitting.

Now onto what I’m bringing on my first bike tour.

Bike Gear

Bike Friday NWT Silk: Bike Friday is an American manufacturer of high quality touring and road bikes. All of their bikes pack into suitcases. They are perfect if you want to easily bring your bike on business trips or on vacation. There are lots of good used ones to be found.

Shimano EH500 Pedals: These pedals are functional because you can clip in for long rides or you can wear your regular shoes for quick trips to the store. Get this model instead of the slightly cheaper one if you care about weight and if you want pegs to keep your shoes from slipping. I like the dual pedals because I can clip in for between cities but wear my sneakers when exploring the city itself.

Bike Friday Front and Rear Racks: I can’t recommend bike racks for bikes with 26” in tires because I haven’t used them. REI and Amazon have good selections. Look for light but sturdy racks and make sure to bring extra rack screws because they have a tendency to rattle out on the road.

Schwalbe Marathon Tires: These tires are heavier than most but the peace of mind they bring is worth every ounce. I got a flat after a bike shop in Tours, France over-pumped my tubes though so I wouldn’t pump past 85psi.

Cygolight Metro Pro: I’m not planning to ride at night but it is important to have a light in case of emergency. This one strikes a nice balance of brightness, chargeability, modes, and cost.

Cygolight Hotshot Pro Rear: This light is bright as hell. If you’re paranoid about getting rear ended by a four wheeled death machine then get this light.

The best water bottle cage in the world: I’m not kidding. These water bottle holders fit 27oz Kleen Kanteen bottles perfectly (and if they rattle just loop a rubber band around the cage). They’re perfect because they’re six bucks, durable as all hell, and lightwieght.

Brooks Cambium 17 All-Weather Saddle: I chose this seat because it comes weatherproofed, it’s vegan, and it is very comfortable with padded shorts on. It also has a nice bounce to it such that when you go over pumps it feels like the seatpost has suspension.

Mirrcycle Mirror: This mirror goes inside your handlebar. It’s convex so the field of vision is superb. If you’ll share the road with cars then this is a necessity. It helps to know when a four-wheeled death machine is barreling towards you from behind.

Mirrcycle Incredibell: The Incredibell gets the job done. It is better at warning pedestrians of your presence than it is at signaling to four-wheeled death machines, but for the price, it’s good enough.

Phone Mount: I’ve used this mount on my bikes for years because it can be mounted easily, it secures my phone, and it is inexpensive. It’s compatible with Ortlieb handlebar bags too.

Ergon Grips with Touring Bar Ends: Ergon grips cure elbow pain and numbness from vibrations. I like the feel of the biocork grips best. The bar ends allow for different hand positions throughout the day to prevent fatigue. The bar ends are interchangeable so you can get the GP5 ends for touring then switch to GP2s or 3s for riding back at home.

Helmet

Giro with MIPS: Very comfortable and great built-in sun protection. I have no idea if MIPS technology is evidence-based but I do know that it makes wearing a helmet more comfortable.

Bags

Ortlieb Front Panniers

Ortlieb Rear Panniers

Ortlieb Micro Saddle Bag: I carry things like my multitool, tire patch kit, and spare tube in here.

Ortlieb Ultimate6 Plus LThis bag is so convenient that I almost go as far as saying it, or something like it is a must. Ortlieb’s magnet closure is perfectly engineered.

Tools

Multitool/Tire Levers: This multitool gets almost any on the road repair job done.

Patch kit: Lightweight and has great reviews. But I went to the bike shop for help repairing my first flat.

Spare tire tube: I’m bringing one spare tube just in case my next flat happens on the road.

Chain grease: This chain grease has worked well for me and fits inside the Ortlieb Micro Saddle Bag.

Travel pump: I’m able to get my tires to what feels like at least 80psi with this inexpensive little hand pump. The upgrade option comes highly recommended but I think most riders would do fine without it.

Spare wheel spokes: Bring some just in case.

Extra rack screws: These have a habit of vibrating out and onto the road. I got some from a local bike shop.

Opinel Knife: Very lightweight and the price is right.

Hydration

Most riders use plastic bottles because they are lighter and cheaper. I prefer stainless steel because the bottles don’t impart a flavor and because I’m paranoid about plastic contaminating my water in the summer heat. I like Kleen Kanteen because they fit perfectly in my bottle cages and they offer a stainless steel lid.

2 27oz Kleen Kanteen Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Lid and Body Bottles

1 27oz Kleen Kanteen sports top for on the go sips

Clothing

Isadore Signature Jersey

Isadore Climber’s Bib Shorts

2 Isadore Merino Undershirts

2 Isadore Climber’s Sock Pairs

Isadore Cycling Cap: To keep my balding dome sunspot free (this was free with my order).

Cotton pants from Costco

Basketball shorts

3 pairs of underwear

Lightweight New Balances: For off the bike.

Costco sandals: For showers etc.

Shimano ME-5 for riding: I can’t recommend biking shoes with boa tightening enough. No more loosening of the laces, no concern over mud in velcro, and a perfectly snug fit every time you put them on. I’ve seen these for on sale as cheap as $119. If you have flat feet and need to use your own arch supports like I do, then these are wonderful because the midsole insert is removable.

Hi-viz vest: For when I have to ride alongside the four-wheeled death machines like I did on this hell-bridge

Point St. Nazaire and St. Nazaire are two very different places separated by what I call The Hell Bridge

Sun Protection

Adequate sun protection is arguably the most important part of my gear list. Any money and weight spent on sun protection are worth it. Spending every day for weeks or months at a time under the sun without protection, even if you’re not riding in the summer will at the least prematurely age your skin and at the worst kill you. So I wear sunscreen and/or sun protection rated clothes.

2 Pearl Izumi leg sun sleeves

2 Outdoor Research cooling arm sun sleeves

Outdoor Research cooling neck sun sleeve

Pearl Izumi Gloves

Wide-brimmed hat: This is for off-the-bike days.

Prescription Sunglasses: From Warby Parker.

Badger sunscreen: No perfumes, no corrosive chemicals, no stinging skin or eyes. It does leave a white tint, which I don’t mind.

Electronics

Google Pixel3a: For maps and photos. This is the best phone for bike touring because it is relatively inexpensive, has the best available camera, records stabilized 4k video, and it is lightweight.

DJI Osmo Gimbal: For stable videos while riding. This is not necessary at all but I’d like to be able to record some stable riding footage. I opted for this combined with my phone instead of getting a GoPro because I can avoid carrying SD cards, extra batteries and all that fun stuff.

Bose Soundwear: I got these as a gift from my wife a while back and they are perfect for biking. They’re better than headphones because I can still hear what’s going on around me, the microphone is positioned so that wind doesn’t interfere with calls, and after about 10 seconds I forget that I’m even wearing them. They just disappear and enable seamless podcasts or music as though the universe is playing the soundtrack to my life!

Samsung Chromebook: Great screen quality, lightweight, decent price on a computer used mostly for blogging and watching videos.

Kindle: I went with a refurbished Kindle that works perfectly. Kindles are better than paper books for bike touring because they are easily packed, have a backlight, and can store thousands of books.

Powerbank: I got one that I don’t recommend so you’re on your own for this one

USB-C to C, USB to C, and USB to micro-USB chords: For charging.

Camping Gear

Big Agnes Frying Pan SL2 Tent with Footprint: This tent was on sale for $149 when I bought it so I couldn’t pass it up. Others have recommended the MSR Hubba Hubba too.

Big Agnes Dumont SL 30 Sleeping Bag: This was on sale for $94 when I bought it.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad: A nice lightweight pad that makes sleeping on the ground 1,000 times more comfortable. It does sound like your sleeping on a blown up paper bag though, which I don’t mind.

Exped Air Pillow: The sleeping pad gives some head support, but if you want better neck support then get an inflatable pillow like this one.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Pump Sack Camping Mattress Inflator: This prevents your sleeping pad from getting moldy inside.

Fitness

I want to maintain strong muscles on this trip. Resistance bands are perfect for this because they pack down to practically nothing, are lightweight, and are so versatile that one can exercise every major muscle group by using them and doing burpees.

1 light resistance band

1 medium resistance band

Art Supplies

I love to draw so pencils, a pen, and some paper are a must wherever I go. Here’s what I’m bringing:

Faber Castell 12 pencil set

Faber Castell pencil sharpener

Eraser

Moleskin blank pocket notebooksThese double as my journals and sketchbooks.

Staedtler 0.2 Pen

Toiletries and Miscellany

Castile bar soap and case: For washing my fork, clothes, and body.

Nail clippers

Paper Maps: For finding accommodations and points of interest along the way.

Packing Cubes: I use one for all my clothes to keep them organized in the pannier.

Floss: Please floss.

Toothbrush and paste

Earplugs: Just in case a hostel is noisy or I end up in a loud setting.

Anti-chafe cream: This stuff apparently prevents or soothes bib-burn but I haven’t had any chaffing with my Isadore bib.

A Fork: From the fork drawer…

Travel Towel: These dry quickly, are light weight, and don’t get as gross as a regular cotton towel.

Night Guard: From my dentist.

Albuterol Inhaler: Yay for asthma.

Passport: From the U S of A

Cork Wallet with credit cards: This wallet is lightweight, minimalist, vegan and cheap just the way I like it.

That’s all folks

Whew. That was a lot of things. There is definitely some fat here. Do I really need a gimbal to stabilize my phone videos? No. But it’s my first bike tour and a big part of this process is learning what things add to the experience and what subtracts from it.

Making changes in trade policy and road safety with Congressman Peter Defazio…

Making changes in trade policy and road safety with Congressman Peter Defazio.

Peter has his Oregon heart in the right place by petting the dog first ❤️

When we got the call from Congressman Defazio’s office, we were excited that a long-time Bike Friday owner and change maker was coming back to town. Even better that he came back to town for the sole purpose of trying American Made Electric Bikes(which are rare indeed). He was very firm that he wanted to try a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day cargo bike, the mother of cargo bikes with how functional and friendly it truly is. It’s the only cargo bike in the world that will actually fit almost anyone with just a few minor adjustments.

We met at the local Electric Bike shop which only had one American Made electric bike on its floor among many, many other bikes. Thankfully that bike happens to be our very own Bike Friday Haul-a-Day, which he came to ride. We spent a little time getting to know each other again and learning about all the electric bikes available and then the best part came, we all jumped on bikes and off we went.

Peter got the biggest challenge of them all(other than our own camera crew) which was his very first cargo bike ride. To up the anty, as they say, he got an adult passenger on the back of his bike which no question gave him a challenge at first. Thankfully Peter is a seasoned bike rider himself so it didn’t take him long to get comfortable and off he went. We walked him through the different assist levels and before you knew it, we had dropped most of the crowd that was along with us for the ride.

On this ride, we climbed the local butte, enjoyed the views of the city and talked about all the amazing infrastructure that the City of Eugene has built and what is next. Peter talked about bringing back funding for the Safe Routes to School programs which are based off the Bike Friday OSATA bikes, an adjustable frame to fit each rider perfectly and made right here in Eugene, Oregon U.S.A. Peter spoke about the importance of American Made.

T’was a fun ride on a beautiful day here in the Willamette Valley. This experience is exactly what every member of congress should be doing if they care about our infrastructure, which is crumbling and making the incremental change as a society to alternative modes of transportation.

More about Congressman Peter Defazio and his time here at the Eugene Electric Bike and how Congress can learn from this experience.

—————————————————————-

More about Safe Routes To School and it’s funding source: – Click Here –

Local SRTS Program using the only adjustable bike in the world: – Click Here –

 

Old Bike Friday Reborn…Overhaul and repaint turns an old Bike Friday into a new one!

When something old, becomes new again. Pictured below is a beloved Bike Friday tore apart and ready to be brought back to life again. New paint is where it all begins.

Back home it is brought back to life and put back together again just at Humpty Dumpty once was. Thankful he didn’t fall and break his headset though. It truly is a joy to breathe new life into something that has been well-loved.

Off on its new adventure touring around the country.

 

Ready to breathe new life into your old Bike Friday? Contact our service team and they can tell you how. It’s much more affordable than you would expect. service@bikefriday.com

From Norway with love…on two wheels

Story from Steven F.

Investor/Bike Friday owner

My wife and I recently returned from biking the fjords of Sunnhordland, the southern coastal regions of Norway, where, according to one local, the street names are really novels because they are so long.

We started in Bergen, Norway’s second largest city and one its rainiest, where my wife picked up her rental bike. Because she hadn’t biked much in the past 30 years or done any road riding since high school, she opted for an e-bike. I packed my Pocket Llama for the four-day ride that covered over 100 miles along some of the most indescribably breathtaking scenery we’d ever experienced.

The cycling started in Rosendal, located on the southern shore of the Hardangerfjord, rolling past lush farms, incredibly green pastures and hills, towards the islands of Tysnes, Stord, and Halsnoy. We ended up in Skanevik after a ferry ride from Utaker.

The remainder of the ride was much of the same: rolling hills, gorgeous fjords, and a postcard-perfect landscape dotted with pine forests and little traffic.

Our most “difficult” moment came trying to figure the route out of Leirvik after the touring company warned us it was challenging. Fortunately, a local man, rehabbing his runner’s knees on a bike, accompanied us the right way out of town. Earlier in the day, we’d spent an hour at a local coffee house/bike shop for lattes and minor adjustments to my bike. The owner, a mechanic, and barista, only charged us for the drinks while he treated us to a discussion of Norway, music, and the local scene.

Prepare and pack for rain. Wool clothing is your friend. These are the lessons I learned. I was prepared for inclement weather, but fortunately had Body Glide to help me suffer through cotton underwear. Because this was a self-guided trip, there were times we had to lug our bikes and luggage to a ferry, though the company we’d signed up with usually handled the arrangements.

There were 13 of us on the tour, ranging in ages from the 30s to 70s. Some were experienced cyclists, including one who’d biked across the country, and others, such as my wife, hadn’t been on a bike in years. Two older couples have biked extensively through Europe, including a ride over the Alps. One couple was headed for a Copenhagen to Berlin ride after the fjord trip ended.

The Norway fjords are special and even more so after we’d experienced them on our bikes. On the plane ride home, my wife said, “We need to take a bike trip again soon.”

Hallelujah!

Learn more about Steve and his lovely bride here: http://steven-friedman.blogspot.com/

Watching my Watts

Blog by Kent Peterson: 

Alan Scholz recently gave me a new KT-LCD6 display console for my e-bike. It’s a bit bigger than my old KT-LCD5 console, but it shows me a few things that my old display didn’t. In addition to the usual speed, average speed, trip distance, and total mileage, the new console also shows me the current temperature, my cadence and the number of Watts the motor is consuming.

The temperature sometimes reads a bit high if the bike has been sitting in the sun, but once I’m rolling it seems to be pretty accurate. I couldn’t find an explicit way to select Celsius or Fahrenheit for the degree display, but if you select kilometers for your distance measurement the console assumes you’ve bought into the metric system and will display the temperature in Celsius degrees. If, on the other hand, you measure your distance in miles, the console figures that you are one of those quirky Americans who still measures the temperature in Fahrenheit degrees.

The cadence reading tells me what I already knew, that I tend to spin in the 80 to 90 RPM range. It’s a habit that got drilled into me early on. Several years of fixed gear and single-speed riding expanded my cadence and power range so I can comfortably grind uphill and spin down the other side, but given multiple gears and choice, I tend to settle in around 85 RPM. With my e-bike I often leave the power level set at three (out of five) but I use the gear shift quite a bit to keep my spin rate and effort in the same comfortable range as the terrain or winds change.

The Watt reading is the one I’ve found the most informative. While articles like this one:

https://www.electricbike.com/watt-hours/

provide a good explanation of Watt-Hours and try to inject some reality into the often inflated world of e-bike range claims, the truth of the matter is people ride e-bikes in a wide range of ways and the phrase “your mileage may vary” is very, very true.

Take for example the “real world” estimate of 20 Watt-Hours per mile. Even before I got the Watt Meter, I knew that I wasn’t that many Watt Hours. I knew this because of math. I have a 36 Volt 12.5 AmpHour battery on my bike. Since

Watts = Volts * Amps

My battery’s capacity is 36*12.5 or 450 Watt-Hours. Taking the 20 Watt-Hours per mile estimate, I should expect 450/20 or 22.5 miles of range. But I was regularly going 50 or 60 miles before my battery meter would read ¼ full and then I’d charge it up. Alan told me he was getting similar results. Obviously, we weren’t using 20 Watt Hours of electricity to go a mile, something else was happening. Getting mileage like that would indicate that Alan and I regularly use more like 6 or 7 Watt-Hours to go a mile.

There are several factors that contribute to our better than expected numbers. First off, Bike Fridays, even with the added weight of motors and batteries, are lighter than most other e-bikes. A lot of e-bikes are heavy and frankly not much fun to ride with the motor off. They need their motors to overcome their portly design. My Bike Friday, with the motor off, still rides like a bike.

Second, both Alan and I are what I call “fit old codgers.” I’m sixty and Alan’s a few years older. We’ve been riding bikes for years. We don’t want electric motorcycles. When we get on a bike, we expect to pedal and we do. We’re willing to have the motor help a bit, but we still tend to do the majority of the work involved in keeping our bikes rolling down the road.

Finally, Alan and I both live, work, and shop in the relatively flat Willamette Valley floor. When we do go out on spirited weekend rides in the hills or carry touring loads in the mountains, we wind up using more Watt Hours. But even then, we both find we do quite a bit better than the pessimistic 20 Watt-Hours per mile estimate.

I’ve found riding with the Watt Meter to be quite informative. The motor provides most of its kick when I pull out from stoplights, that’s when the Watt number climbs. When it comes to maintaining cruising speed, I can see that as I push a higher gear, the motor draws fewer Watts. And, of course, when I’m coasting or in a tuck going downhill, the motor doesn’t have to do anything.

I find myself doing a bit of mental math, calculating Watt Hours per Mile as I go along. If the meter is showing 100 Watts and I’m doing 16 miles per hour then 100/16 equals 6.25 Watt-Hours per mile. If I’m climbing a hill at 8 miles per hour and the motor is drawing 120 Watts than I’m using 15 Watt-Hours per mile. Going down the other side of the hill, I’m using zero Watt Hours per mile.

The Watt Meter lets me see how adjusting what gear I’m in or what power assist level I’ve selected affects my range. I’ve always been more interested in going far as opposed to going fast, so I find myself trying to minimize the motor’s contribution and maximize my own. But I have found that for my commute if I have the assist level set to 2, I average about 13 mph while drawing 80 Watts. If I punch the assist up to level 3, my average speed climbs to 16 mph while the Watt draw is 100. Running the numbers on this I get:

80/13 = 6.13 Watt-Hours per mile to go 12 mph

or

100/16 = 6.25 Watt-Hours per mile to go 15 mph

I find the small decrease in mileage to be worth the extra three mph. At levels 4 and 5, however, the power consumption is quite a bit greater. Wind resistance increases exponentially with speed, so moving at greater speed takes quite a bit more power. For myself, I virtually never use the higher power settings. I also tell customers that the higher settings (4 and 5) are designed to spin the motor fast, not really provide more power. When climbing, you are going to be going slow and the lower settings (1 through 3) will be more efficient in terms of helping you out. As Alan says “it’s an e assist, you’re still going to be getting a workout climbing a hill.”

One final word of caution with the Watt Meter: like any gadget, it can be a distraction. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the road.

Blog first posted on Kent’s personal blog: – Click Here –

Ehicle in Tokyo, Japan

Ehicle is our premier dealer/partner based in Tokyo, Japan. They have been meeting the needs of cyclist in Japan for many, many years and a trusted partner in every way. Their team has now even taken their love of Bike Friday to the next level by importing and being a reseller reaching out to other local bike shops with the Bike Friday brand of folding bikes.

Bike Friday Dealer, Call for test ride availability
Details from Google Maps
Japan, 〒162-0066 Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku City, 新宿区Ichigayadaimachi, 13−2, 観音ビル 1F
+81 3-6691-6468
Ehicle Blog: – Click Here –
Ehicle Facebook Page: – Click Here –
Ehicle Instagram Page: – Click Here –