Electric Bike Campaign Promotional Video Rob Riches
Published on Oct 12, 2016
This is a campaign video I produced and starred in for a new electric bike company in California: www.SilionCycles.net - Besides fitness, I like to make things. I was always building stuff with LEGO as a kid, sketching out concept cars, and loved those model car kits. At collage, I became interested in video, and wanted to make music videos for MTV. My passion for fitness took soon took over, but I never lost my passion for cinematography. This video campaign which I created for Silicon Cycles to showcase their new eBikes appealed to me in a big way, as I've always been a fan of bikes (I was heavily into mountain biking as a teenager), and I got to work with some really cool people in some awesome locations around Los Angeles. (and yes - that is me in the video on the trails, and yes - the dude on the city bike really is an Adam Levine lookalike!!)
Published on Jan 20, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/mousta... The Moustache Lundi 26 is a stylized step-thru with a high-end drive system from Bosch at a very reasonable price point, optional NuVinci CVT or Shimano Di2 drivetrain upgrades improve shifting. Moustache is a French company that has been around for several years in Europe, the Lundi is their flagship model available in several colors and one "fits most" frame size. Awesome utilitarian accessories including tubular fenders, an Aluminum coated chain cover, AXA cafe lock, basic seat post suspension, integrated LED lights and sturdy rear rack. The frame is rigid, there's no suspension fork and the seat post shock isn't great, unique handle bars make mounting your own accessories difficult, no bottle cage bosses on the seat tube.
Published on Feb 3, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/benno/... The Benno Boost E 10D is a compact cargo-style electric bike with sturdy 24" wheels, comfortable 2.6" diameter tires and a premium drive system from Bosch. Low balanced weight distribution, removable battery and display panel, premium integrated lights by Supernova, Micro USB charging ports and three color choices. Solid 10-speed drivetrain from Shimano, the motor offers shift detection for reduced wear on the chain and sprockets, powerful hydraulic disc brakes also from Shimano. No suspension elements, currently only available in one frame size, new to the US and possibly harder to locate at dealers for test rides, solid one year warranty.
Published on Feb 15, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/tern/v... The Tern Vektron (also called the Tern Elektron initially) is a premium folding electric bike with Bosch drive system and leading warranty, sturdy and quiet with plenty of adjustability (seat post height and stem angle), smart accessories help you carry gear and stay dry without noise. The folding joints are thick and sturdy but don't have sharp edges, both latches have two-step locks to keep them secure and they fold flat to stay out of the way, a magnet and rubber strap keep the bike from coming unfolded. Excellent Schwalbe Balloon tires with puncture protection, reflective sidewalls and a larger diameter for improved comfort, you also get bright integrated lights and a delay feature for safety when parking. Neat quick release pedal design, both wheels quick release as well, powerful hydraulic disc brakes, easy to remove battery without taking the saddle and seat post off, the bike costs more, only comes in one size and the new Purion display is not removable. This review was filmed with help from Steve Boyd, the General Manager of Tern United States
Published on Feb 18, 2017
While being fitted for the Specialized Turbo Levo I got to pick Erik’s brain about the differences between normal bikes and electric bikes. He helped me to address the myths and rumors about ebike performance and forecast the space. Erik has participated in Specialized Bicycle University (SBU) and earned multiple certifications (including Level 1 Fitting). He worked for Peloton Cycles in Fort Collins, Colorado when this interview took place.
Erik is an avid cycling fan, he loves unpowered bicycles and was able to present a balanced perspective on the space in my opinion. He got his first bike at age 13 and learned on his own how to tune them and build them. He now works at the professional level. Here are some of the myths we discussed:
- Drivetrain Care: always make sure it’s lubed and cleaned, if you crash it’s important to go to a local bike shop for a tuneup and checkup. This is especially important for mid-drive ebikes if you crash on the drivetrain side. If your ebike doesn’t have a kickstand (as many electric mountain bikes do no) gently lay it down on the non-drive side.
- Disc Brakes: they aren’t as difficult to work with or expensive as some people think, they don’t require as frequent tuneups because alignment stays and there’s no cable stretch. Don’t pump the brake levers if the wheel is off, the disc rotor should be in there.
- Full Suspension: you can actually climb better with suspension at times even though it seems like “wasted energy” if it’s setup properly with sag, the new valving technology improves your traction and you get better comfort.
- Suspension Lockout: you don’t need a solid true lock, a bit of give and movement can be good and reduce damage on parts and valves.
- Tubeless: there are many benefits to going tubeless these days (reduced weight, no snake-bite flat tires, can run at lower tire pressure), this is a big benefit for plus sized tires which pops tubes a lot with lower PSI. Reduce weight, improve control and also improve braking.
- Electric Assist: doesn’t spin out and wreck trails, it does have a soul and allow people to go further and ride if they have an injury, you’re not accelerating hard or slipping tires… you can still skid on an ebike or regular and that causes the most damage (along with riding in mud).
Published on Feb 24, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/elby/c... The Elby City 9-Speed is a highly polished, purpose-built electric bicycle with easy-to-mount frame, adjustable bars and ergonomic touch points, available in five colors, additional $99 shipping with assembly by Velofix. Custome extra-wide Aluminum fender that don't rattle, integrated Supernova LED lights with a custom light blade up front, large hydraulic disc brakes, internally routed cables. Available in a single speed or nine speed configuration, BionX D-Series motor is an excellent climber and near silent, throttle on demand and torque sensing assist, removable color LCD and USB charger for phone with optional Bluetooth app. Regen and motor cutoff switch is only built into the right brake lever, the bike is well balanced and surprisingly stiff for a wave frame, higher price tag here but you get nicer parts and a great warranty.
Published on Feb 21, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/moar-e... The MOAR 24/7 is an entry-level full suspension fat tire electric bike with unique battery rack design, adjustable integrated headlights, two backlights, turn signals and electronic horn, you also get a USB port on the display for your own accessories. Between the lower PSI rating on the tires and basic suspension systems, the bike is comfortable to ride over bumps, one trade-off is increased frame flex and wobble at higher speeds. Available in two colors, sold worldwide through Indiegogo with $195+ for shipping, one-year parts warranty (where they send you fixes), multi-speed drivetrain and nicer brake levers. I feel like the brakes would work better if they were larger and hydraulic, especially given the ~75 lb weight, plastic chainring guide is vulnerable when folded, twist throttle is always live (good for advanced users but a hazard when folding if bike is left on).
Published on Feb 26, 2017
It looks like a micro-car. It rides like an electric-assist bike. The ELF (“electric, light, fun”) is a solar car-bike hybrid that will keep you out of the rain, or from breaking a sweat, and perhaps convince you to jettison your car for all those trips around town (and to get into shape while you’re at it).
Inspired by solar/human-powered aircraft pioneer Paul MacCready, decades ago Rob Cotter began experimenting with human-powered vehicles. He left a job at Porsche to consult though things slowed down in the nineties when ”people were more interested in minivans and SUVs and things.”
He decided the moment had arrived when, at the end of the nineties he began consulting for the New York City bike sharing, “and realized that if NYC’s putting in about 300 miles of new bike trails there’s a market for vehicles like this,” explains Cotter, “Bicycles that could get people up the hills easier, get them out of the weather, be safer, not tip over, carry passengers, carry a payload, have turn signals, brake lights, all of those things and just started going in that direction from that point on.”
In 2012 he founded Organic Transit- alongside his wife Maureen Costello- in an old furniture store in downtown Durham, North Carolina. To move things along quickly, they launched using an agile design process. “Originally we sold about 50 on kickstarter. We knew we were losing money on each one, but it allowed us to get the vehicles out there and make the changes. So since that time 3 years ago we’ve made about 400 changes to the ELF.”
Today, the ELF is a 160 pound (72.5kg) vehicle that can carry up to two adults (or an adult plus 2 children) or an adult plus 500+ lbs (226 kg) of cargo (there’s space in back for a dozen bags of groceries. Starting at $7,000, it’s classified as a 'bicycle' by US law so it can't legally go faster than 20 mph on just electric power (though pedaling and hills will speed things up).
With a lithium-ion battery and mid-motor drive, it has a range of 48 miles per charge (and further if you pedal). The rooftop solar panel will recharge the battery with 7 to 8 hours of sun or the battery can be removed and plugged into a wall for a 2.5 hour charge.
Since it’s technically a bicycles, the ELF can be driven on bike paths and parked on sidewalks. “So our goal was to be able to take a car-like experience and turn it into a bicycle,” explains Cotter. “This will go anywhere a bicycle will go, all bicycles can ride on many streets, all secondary roads and things like that. It’s like a car except that it’s 160 pounds so it’s a car that you can actually pedal. And the nice thing about it when you’re zooming along somewhere you can go point to point you can go door to door just pull right up to the building and park it in the bike rack up front.”
^^^ I like the ELF, but $7k for 160lbs of ELF stuff is tough to swallow. Also wonder how long it'd take the local control freak "authorities" to restrict their use if they went anything akin to mainstream.
Published on Feb 28, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/bulls/... The BULLS E-Stream EVO 45 FS is a high quality full suspension e-mountain bike that's also a speed pedelec (capable of 28 mph top speeds), solid hydraulic disc brakes, wide thru-axles with Boost Technology. Adjustable 150 mm RockShox suspension front and rear, four-bar rear swing arm to reduce brake jack, 22 speed drivetrain with Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus clutch on rear derailleur to reduce bounce and slap. Integrated LED lights with a bright mode at the rear when brake levers are pulled, room for a bottle cage or other accessory on the downtube, beautifully integrated battery and motor. A bit heavier than competing FS models due to battery size (37v 17.5ah), not a fan of the spring loaded kickstand, battery port cover doesn't always stay down, battery lock can be wonky and is placed in the path of the left crank arm.
Published on Mar 2, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/ The Haibike SDURO AllMtn 6.0 is a trail worthy, full suspension electric mountain bike with stiff lightweight frame construction, optimized suspension and a tightly integrated mid-drive motor from Yamaha. Upgraded 500 watt hour battery pack delivers 60+ miles on medium assist, powerful hydraulic disc brakes with 203/180 mm rotors and four piston calipers are easy to use and very smooth. Simple remote button pad makes interacting with the control comfortable and intuitive, removable backlit display, integrated micro-usb port, internally routed cables, remote seat post dropper. The charger is large and heavy, I'm not a huge fan of the way it connects given the proximity to crank arms and locking feature (which could tip the bike or get bent easier), more limited RPM range on the motor. Music: Invisible by Vibe Tracks, Royalty Free Track from YouTube Audio Library
Published on Mar 5, 2017
I visited Sam and Kanika at the Electric Bicycle Center (Formerly Myron’s Extreme Machines) in Fullerton California to see what new Ebike models have shown up. Sam has been in the business for 30 years, previously selling gas powered kick scooters. Now he’s focused exclusively on electric bikes and his location in Sourthern California means that companies like Haibike, Bulls, E-Joe, Magnum, eProdigy, Super 73, Motiv, Raleigh, E-Lux, Populo, SmartMotion, Juiced Bikes, Bulls, Momas, I-MAX, EcoReco, Glion, Goped and others can swing by easily and drop new bikes off. Sam and I have been friends for several years now, I review a lot of products with his help because I feel he’s unbiased and has a really positive outlook. Once a year he does this Ebike Party at his shop with a bunch of manufacturers where you can test ride bikes, much like the Ebike Expo. Definitely check him out if you’re in the area and get excited about all of the cool new models for 2017! I’ll be reviewing as many of these as I can
I don’t have much info on the gas scooter business that Sam sold to Hector but it’s going to be called Propeds and will be located in Garden Grove. Call Sam for more info if you’re interested in those products.
Published on Mar 9, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/juiced... Juiced Bikes has updated their CrossCurrent electric bike offering to include three frame sizes in diamond high-step configuration and now a mid-step diamond which they call the step-thru. Priced at $1,499 including a one year battery warranty, two years on components and lifetime on the frame… this a cheaper ebike offering a lot of value. You get hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm rotors, locking grips, even a bottle cage boss setup on the seat tube in addition to rack bosses at the rear and fender holes. It delivers a nine speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain and comes with a unique TMM4 torque and cadence sensore. I found that the ebike felt more nimble than some others given the mid-frame battery and smaller internally geared 350 watt hub motor. On hand for this review was the founder of Juiced Bikes, Tora Harris, who walked me through some of the more technical aspects of the bike. I love that it comes with a suspension fork and upgraded Selle Royal gel saddle because you tend to feel bumps at higher speed and they also offer a battery upgrade so you might be riding further. Ultimately, this is a stand-out electric bike that has been generating a lot of excitement in the space. Bringing younger riders with limited budgets and a desire for sporty speed performance in as commuters.
Published on Mar 17, 2017
I spent some time with the President of Raleigh Electric, Larry Pizzi, discussing the price of electric bikes and I asked him why some are so much more expensive than others. I wanted to get an understanding, an honest assessment, for what those extra dollars go towards. Some people feel that name brand ebikes are a ripoff when they see kits and crowd funded electric bicycles for so much less… but there are good reasons for spending more and Larry helped me to understand them. Whether it’s safety, longevity or service, the money spent on some higher-end products does go towards something that for many, is worth the price. I enjoyed our talk and how open and candid Larry was given his position and years of experience working in the space. I hope it helps you and others to better understand the price differences and to find whatever product suits your lifestyle and budget. This video isn’t meant to say it’s wrong to pay less, there are some great affordable options out there worth exploring. My goal was to just open the conversation up a little.
Some of the areas we covered in our conversation included:
- Quality Components
- Ethically Produced
- Longevity and Reliability
- Liability Insurance
- Value vs. Price
Published on Mar 18, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/giant/... The Giant Road-E+ is an aggressive road bike with 28 mph top electric-assisted speed, drop bars and sport saddle, you get Shimano Ultegra rear and 105 front derailleurs with 22 gear combinations to work with. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes offer powerful stops and tend to stay cleaner than rim brakes, all-Aluminum frame is lightweight and sturdy but doesn't absorb vibrations as well as Steel or Carbon fiber. Available in four frame sizes for better fit, sold through Giant dealers worldwide so you can get setup right and rely on knowledgeable technicians for tuneups and any warranty support. The Yamaha mid-drive system is relatively quiet but still very powerful, it doesn't provide as wide an RPM range so I find myself pedaling slower than I'd like at times, LCD display is not removable.
Published on Mar 19, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/motiv/... The Motiv Sleek is a stylish electric cruiser available in several unique colors (metallics and matte finishes), mid-step frame is easier to mount but feels solid, simplistic and easy to work on. Long swept back handlebar and oversized comfort saddle give this ebike a relaxed ride quality, balloon tires with go-anywhere tread let you explore packed-dirt paths. Mid-mount battery keeps weight low and centered, available in a range of sizes targeting range and power or lower price and lighter weight, zippy motor with assist and throttle operation. No fenders, rack or lights but you could add your own... less refined than some competing models from larger companies but also easier to repair and upgrade. In this way, it tends to be reliable.
Published on Mar 22, 2017
I got to spend some time with the President of Raleigh Electric discussing ebikes recently and he spoke to me about battery care. I thought the points he made were super interesting… specifically avoiding hot environments, charging regularly and the way that batteries are setup with a battery management system… that can all have an impact on how reliable and long lasting the pack will be. If you’ve got an electric bicycle and want to maximize the life of the battery follow these important tips from an expert. Also, be careful with your battery because there have been fires due to batteries (even with the small cell phone batteries as we saw with the Samsun Note S6 I believe).
Published on Mar 22, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/espin/... The Espin Flow and Sport are value priced speed pedelecs with assistance up to 25 mph, eight-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain, 160 mm mechanical disc brakes with motor inhibitors. Reflective tires and integrated headlight increase the visual footprint and are a big deal on the all-black color, they also offer an all-white option. Swept back handlebar, adjustable stem, ergonomic locking grips, basic suspension fork and upgraded Selle Royale saddle improve comfort and fit. Battery cannot be charged on-frame which increases risk of drops and requires extra time, very basic four-magnet cadence sensor, some frame flex and speed wobble on the step-thru frame.
Published on Mar 25, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/easy-m... The Easy Motion Evo Big Bud Pro is an all-wheel drive electric fat bike with adjustable drive modes (rear, front or both with traction control), beautifully integrated battery and compact motors blend in making it stealth. Upgraded quick release and thru-axle design makes the rear wheel easier to remove and the bike more serviceable, angled top-tube lowers stand over height making the bike comfortable to mount. Beautiful compact display that's removable for safe storage, 16-speed drivetrain helps you move the heavier ~65 lb bike assisted or otherwise, good network of dealers and a solid 2-year warranty. Only available in one frame size and one color scheme, battery can be charged on or off the frame but requires a dongle adapter that could get lost, battery casing is easy to scratch and white underneath.
Published on Mar 28, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/izip/e... The IZIP E3 Peak DS is a value-driven full suspension electric cross country mountain bike with higher end drive system and components from Bosch, SRAM and RockShox, it's $300 cheaper than prior year with lots of upgrades. Beautiful hydroformed frame with inset battery mount and tapered head tube, the motor hangs down a little compared to some other designs I've seen with the Bosch motor but I love the alloy skid plate. Large grippy pedals performed well compared to the standard cages I see a lot and wouldn't need replacing, stiff thru-axles on both wheels with quick release, large hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable levers. Unique rear suspension design felt stiffer to me, white fork doesn't seem to match the rest of the frame and wasn't my favorite look, solid two-year warranty with a decent dealer network in the USA.
Published on Mar 30, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/giant/... The Giant Quick-E+ is a highly-polished electric city bike with sleek battery integration, full-protection fenders, premium LED lights running off the main battery and a minimalist pannier rack for hauling gear. Available in four frame sizes but only one traditional high-step diamond style, the bike is extremely efficient with a rigid alloy fork and slick hybrid tires, 20 speed Shimano Deore drivetrain. The Yamaha motor is extremely quiet but offers some of the highest torque output, this is a speed model that can reach 28 mph assisted, beautiful display and button pad with USB charging port for portable electronics. The display is not removable, the battery can be charged on or off the bike but is heavier and doesn't have a handle so be careful, great price and leading warranty with lots of dealers offering good support.
Published on Apr 9, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/magnum... The Magnum Classic is a cheap but fairly nice folding electric bike. It's a feature-packed folder with lots of accessories and multiple color options, great price point and warranty, available through dealers or the Magnum online store. Sturdy folding mechanisms with security locks emphasize safety, reflective tires and LED lights keep you seen in dark riding conditions, alloy chain guide and derailleur guard protect the drivetrain. Adjustable handlebar and seat height accommodate tall or short riders and the suspension fork and suspension seat post, while basic, make it comfortable to ride. At nearly 53 lbs it's heavy for a folding ebike, independent lights are more of a hassle and can be left on accidentally then run out, key must be left in to ride, battery is heavy and not hidden.
Published on Apr 14, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/giant/... The Giant Dirt-E+ 1 is a full suspension electric mountain bike with capable hardware, excellent dealer support and impressive range, four frame sizes accommodate a range of riders, impressive pricepoint. 22-speed drivetrain with Shimano Deore XT Shadow Plus allows you to engage a clutch to tighten the chain and bolster shifting (important given the 80 Nm peak motor torque rating). Custom battery pack design fits neatly into the downtube but can be charged on or off the frame, compact display and button pad were large enough to read and press but stayed out of the way. Stiff thru-axles with boost hubs (longer than normal) support 2.6" tires, tapered head tube and ebike specific suspension from Fox is stiff, Maestro suspension design improves stopping and reduces bob.
I was riding my Yamaha to the gym yesterday along my usual route and as I turned onto a main street I saw another guy pushing his e-bike on the sidewalk because it suddenly died. He gave me "that look" like he should have a real motorcycle instead.
Published on Apr 22, 2017 https://electricbikereview.com/raleig... The Raleigh Superbe iE is a vintage-styled electric bicycle with beautiful alloy paint-matched fenders, rack and chain cover, you get several frame size choices and two styles (high-step and step-thru). Lots of little upgrades and accessories like an alloy chain guide to keep the chain on track, mini-USB port on the control pad for charging accessories and a triple bungee for the rack. Clean simple cockpit, small quiet motor (with impressive zip for it's size) and the rack-mounted battery don't attract attention... especially if you put panniers on the rack. Rear heavy design impacts handling and causes some frame flex, two-step power on process can be annoying, wired for lights but not included and no reflective paint on tires.
Published on Apr 18, 2017
While visiting Greenpath Electric Bikes in Brooklyn, New York I met a gentleman named Mark who had purchased one of the Sondors fat tire electric bikes and proceeded to outfit it with gear and accessories for his commute in the city. Mark has increased the range of the bike by adding larger batteries and he got help from the two local shops, Greenpath and Propel. His pannier bags contain different batteries (one 36 volt and one 48 volt configuration). His bike has custom yellow accents to help motorists see him and he wears a cool motorcycle helmet as he cruises around. Mark has owned the Sondors since its first release in 2015 and it’s still running strong. He added a Cycle Analyst ebike display from Grin Technologies, this panel improves control over the two batteries and to adjust speed. He uses vinyl to create yellow accents on his black bike and purchased the fabric from a shop in Times Square. He’s working on some custom wiring to keep the bike looking clean and said the bike has had no issues riding in the rain or snow! Even water and sand at the beach. He crosses the Brookly Bridge and Williamsberg Bridge regularly. I was particularly impressed with Mark’s front rack because the Sondors did not come setup for that initially, it’s another custom job. Mark said he’s 5’9” and weighs about 240 lbs and the standard 350 watt motor has held up great. Apparently he usually rides around with speakers and a JBL setup so he can have a good time at block parties!
This video is a detailed overview of how to convert a bicycle to an electric bike (Ebike). Including upgrading the brakes, installing the universal brake cutoff kit, shift sensor, aligning the chain, and riding like an idiot. The motor in this demonstration is a 1000W Bafang 8Fun BBSHD Mid drive system with a 48v 10AH lithium Ion battery pack. The process is the same for any Bafang mid drive, including the BBS01, or BBS02 with a few additions. Happy riding.
Purpose built eBikes are great, but expensive, and the mid drives are also generally 36v 350w systems without a throttle. This motor and battery can be had for a little more than one thousand dollars and installed on almost any existing bike. Plus you can configure it's limits and make your rides as easy or tough as you want, this is great for commuting or just exercising. When you let it assist you, it makes you feel incredibly strong, and it will get you out and enjoying riding.
Published on Apr 23, 2017
The Turbo Vado has been exciting people for the past year with posts in the EBR forums and questions via email. Today, April 23rd 2017, Specialized updated their official website with three Vado models including the 5.0 and a Men’s and Women’s 3.0 (high-step and step-thru). The bikes appear to use a custom programmed Brose mid-drive motor system operating at 350 watts and 250 watts with top speeds of 28 mph and 20 mph respectively. The price difference between the models is $2,000 with the Vado 5.0 coming in at $5k. This model only comes in high-step and one color (black and grey) but appears to have a touch screen interface with GPS and elevation tracking. Both models can connect to the Specialized Mission Control App for Android or iOS to fine tune motor performance and plan trips according to battery capacity.
You can see the two models compared side by side back at ElectricBikeReview.com using the compare tool: https://electricbikereview.com/compar... but the primary differences I saw when studying the official website and manual include: larger battery, higher motor wattage, higher top speed, brighter headlight 12 volt 2 led 600 lumen vs 6 volt 1 led 300 lumen, rigid alloy fork vs. suspension fork, fatter tires (51 vs 47 mm), larger front chainring (48 vs. 40t) and wider cassette range 11-42 vs. 11-40, upgraded drivetrain from deore shadow plus to deore xt shadow plus, nicer handlebar, nicer grips and a nicer saddle.
This is just a preview, I welcome any feedback and corrections. My goal was to make it simple and quick to understand the Vado and determine which model might suit your budget and lifestyle if you are interested in a sporty commuter or touring / trekking bike.