By: Mike from DIYBIKING.COM

Dahon electric conversion bionx folding bicycleHow will you feel when you get to ride NYCeWheels’ electric assist Dahon Formula? Well, it depends on what you’re used to.

Yesterday I let my friend Ron – who has no experience with electric assist bikes – try it out. On his return from his first two-minute ride on it, he turned to me with a smile and said: “It’s zippy.”

To take his corner for a moment: “zippy” is a good word to describe it. However, in all fairness, I must point out what Ron usually rides:

Dahon electric conversion bionx folding bicycle

His four-year-old daughter – who came with him when he was testing out the Dahon – is usually perched either on the front or backseat of this pedal powered GMC Yukon. And note the basket in front suitable for a large amount of groceries or a small alien.

After explaining to Ron that I wanted him to elaborate on the “zippy” comment, he told me he could tell there is “a lot of computing going on” with the electric assist and that it’s a “fun little ride.” He also said that he didn’t expect the bike to be so small when folded up and that he did expect a squirrelly ride due to the small wheels (“almost like the one with my training wheels on it” is how his four-year-old described it) – but he was impressed with the handling.

I encouraged him to take it out again, and he did. His daughter and I waited on the bench in front of the coffee shop.

And waited.

And waited.

More than five minutes passed. A person walking a dog came by, and while I was looking around the corner hoping Ron would reappear his daughter narrated the action of the dog defecating on the sidewalk.

Another minute passed, and to my relief Ron – again smiling and again looking uninjured – came into view.

Dahon electric conversion bionx folding bicycle

He explained he wanted to go up a hill, and said the sensation of pedaling on a lower electric assist setting felt more natural than the high setting he had tried earlier. On cresting the hill, he put the bike on the ‘recycle’ setting to allow the motor to charge the battery and slow the descent.

That led to his only real complaint about the Dahon eFormula: he wished that setting would automatically turn itself off when he resumed pedaling at the bottom of the hill. He likened the sensation of pedaling against the setting like being on an old Richard Simmons exercise bike when someone would tighten the tiny roller wheel to create resistance.

His first reaction to when I told him the price (about $3,000) was “holy crap” but after a moment he reasoned that the bike – unlike his Wagon Queen Family Bike Truckster – was very light at 40 pounds and, since it can fold, he could take it on Metro North anytime he wanted.

I thanked and said goodbye to Ron and his daughter – and decided that I next needed to see just how well the eFormula would do on the train.

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Stromer ST1: Fixing a Flat

by Jack R. on December 22, 2014

The Stromer ST1 – Fixing a Flat When a Ride Goes Wrong
by: Mike from DIYBIKING.COM


Stromer Electric Bike ST1

So I’ve been riding the Stromer ST1 around Fairfield County, Connecticut. I’ve found it sturdy, well made, intuitive, surprisingly fast and most important: fun to ride. FUn or ride? There is only one possible answer to that! But now we have to downshit to a tone more in line with an after-school I’ve been riding the Stromer so much I got a flat tire.

But now we have to downshift to a tone more in line with an after-school special or a somber PBS news read: I’ve been riding the Stromer so much I got a flat tire.

Stromer Electric Bike ST1

Bear in mind this isn’t the bike’s fault. The 26” Big Ben tires roll very well and are quite thick but any cyclist is going to get a flat tire at some point no matter what the terrain is or what they ride.

As it happened, I got my flat tire about four miles from home. Fool that I am, I had no pump, spare tube, tools or patch kit. So I walked the bike to the closest Metro North station and caught a train back to Stamford, where I walked the bike some more to get back home. A friend of mine could have easily come to my rescue in the neighborhood I was in, but I really wanted to create a teachable moment and put the bike on a work stand so I could photograph it properly.

As I’ve said, this bike is sturdy and it is heavy – two things I didn’t appreciate when moving it around with a flat tire. Some of the sturdiness comes from the fact that no quick release levers are to be found on the back wheel, so if you carry a tool kit with you when riding the Stromer ST1, include the proper wrench.

The people who made the ST1 did make it easy to remove the rear wheel by having a couple of very simple clips that attach the wires to the hub motor – made up of different connectors to make it impossible to get anything mixed up when you put it back together.

Stromer ST1 Electric Bicycle Flat Tire

Just unplugging the wires means the wheel can come right off like that of a regular bike (meaning: shift into the smallest cog and pull the derailleur back to get the wheel off).

Much to my relief, the Big Ben tire, when flat, comes off the rim incredibly easily. Some of the bikes I own – especially road bikes – require the use of 3,821 tire levers and the kind of cursing found in the first ten minutes of Full Metal Jacket to get them off. But the ST1 tires proved to be an easy change.

As I’ve written, when you first ride the Stromer ST1 your body has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that you’re pedaling at the equivalent of about 10 miles an hour but going about 24. When you first change out the back wheel you’ll feel as though you are changing a tire on the surface of the planet Jupiter. The 500w motor in the rear hub has great power, but with great power comes great weight – so forget about holding the wheel with one hand and retightening the bolt with the other.
Stromer ST1 Electric Bicycle Flat

But I got it on (and realized that it ironically would have been easier to change if it was lying on its side or upside down on the side of a road instead of on my home work stand), and after reattaching the cables I brought the bike outside and it performed like nothing ever happened.

Stromer Electric St1 bicycle

So that’s where I need to give Stromer credit: Electric bikes are more complex than normal ones, but they did take the time to make sure the most common problem could still be solved quickly so you’ll still be riding as much as possible.

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On the Train with the eFormula

November 21, 2014

by Mike from DIYBIKE.com Commuter trains look different when you hold a ticket in one hand and an electric assist folding bike in the other. This is especially true if you travel to the city from Connecticut, where parking spaces at train stations are often scare, expensive or both. Being able to ride a bike [...]

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The A2B Kuo: Our Most Affordable Electric Bike!

September 18, 2014

The A2B Kuo is the perfect entry level electric bike: a nice 25 mile range, 15 mph top speed, and it FOLDS, for under $1500. Let’s take a closer look! The A2B Kuo is light for an electric bike, weighing just 39.5 lbs, over 20 pounds lighter than most full sized electric bikes on the [...]

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Xcited about the XDuro Trekking RX!

August 2, 2014

Today I took one of our new Haibikes, the XDuro Trekking RX, out for a 30 minute spin! The XDuro has such a sharp look and with the centerdrive it barely looks like anything more than a high end mountain bike. So much detail has been put into the frame design and the welds are [...]

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Stromer Sport vs. A2B Alva+: A ride by ride comparison

May 22, 2014

Both the Stromer Sport and A2B Alva + exist to prove that electric bikes can look and ride better than regular bicycles–and they’re both doing a pretty good job of it. From the Stromer’s incognito battery and off-road performance and the A2B’s 20mph power assist, each bike was a very eligible competitor for my affection, [...]

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2012 Stromer Sport Deluxe

March 20, 2014

As a Floridian-turned-NYC bike messenger, there were three things nobody could prepare me for: hills, cold, and an unforgiving maze of stagnant traffic. So, when given the opportunity to give the 2012 Stromer a spin around the streets I was hesitant. Surely, I cannot be seen on an electric bicycle: that’s just cheating. After just [...]

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500 watts of red carpet

January 11, 2014

Choosing your favorite electric bike is a bit like choosing your favorite celebrity. Some are fashionable and always look flashy, some are efficient and can effortlessly run long distances, others are great performers and are perfect in a variety of different roles. The A2b Metro Diesel The A2B Metro is somewhere between a classy well [...]

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You ride, I Zip

December 5, 2013

An electric bike is many things, a necessity, an indulgence, a solution to a problem, an answer to a question. How am I going to get to the store? How can I keep up with my triathlon girlfriend on our next ride? Is it possible to bike 30 miles without getting covered in sweat? There [...]

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Electric Surly Fatbike Revolution!

October 26, 2013

Ever since we started performing BionX installations on Surly’s excellent line of steel-framed “fatbikes,” they have been some of the most popular bikes in the shop. Since we build each one to order, these electric Moonlanders and Pugsleys are not permanent fixtures at NYCeWheels. However, customers who happen by the shop on days when we [...]

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