More on the subject of rework and repairs
I want to add more to the last chapter of my story of our E-bike experience before I tell of their performance and riding comfort. I hoped to get all these details in the last article, but ran out of room to cover everything. It might seem that we had a lot of problems, and to tell the truth, more than I expected. All in all, it has been a fun journey to get and use these bikes.
When your bike arrives in the box, you are expected to do some minor assembly. It is easy for someone with a basic knowledge of tools and bikes. You can take it to a bike shop, or have a friend help if it seems too difficult. The bike has been mostly completed, but to get it into the box, some parts are removed or left in their packing.
As you unpack the bike, read the instructions. Then plug the charger into the battery so it will be ready when you are. It will take up to 24 hours for the first charge. Maybe a lot less, depending on it’s state of charge when you receive it. The normal recharge time is six to eight hours. Never charge it more than 24 hours. Now, with the battery charging, you are ready to put your bike together.
First, mount the front wheel and rim. Make sure the axle is fully inserted into the fork slots and tighten the wheel nuts. This will allow the bike to stand up on its own (with the help of the kickstand, of course). Inflate the tires to the specified pressure (listed on the side of the tire). While you do this, check to see that the tire beads are correctly seated on the rim. If you have a bike repair stand, that will make things go easier (but it is not necessary to have a stand).
The seat post and seat go on next. (You can make the height adjustment as you start to ride your bike). All the cables and levers are mounted on the handlebars already. Install the bars and bar stem to the bike. (Once again, final adjustment will come later). You will need to check the brake adjustments. Mine were very close out of the box. That pretty much covers the assembly.
Set your seat height and start to work on the handlebars. Like any other bike, it might take a little trail and error to find the setting that fit you comfortably. You might need to loosen and rotate the brake levers to an angle that feels good. Go through and check ever nut and bolt to make sure that they are secure. Give it a test ride without the battery first, and then with the battery to check that whole system. Then smile, your bike is ready for the road.
As you ride, minor adjustments to the shifting and brakes will most likely be needed. Also, fine tune your seat, handlebars, and brake levers so they are just right. If that is out of your range, seek some help to understand the way they are set and the correct settings.
One other thing I did to rework our bikes, was to replace the handlebar grips. The supplied grips are too short, and require your hands to grip the throttle and shift collars. They are hard plastic and will make your hands sore after a while. The grips I bought are softer and longer. Too long, actually. I cut them a little shorter and put them on the bike with hairspray. (That is a common way to install grips.) It hold them well, but not too well that they can’t be removed without ruining them. The original grips needed to be cut off the handlebars. When you install the new grips, you have to slide the brake levers, throttle and shifter farther in on the handle bars. This requires the correct size hex wrenches. Once again, rotate these items so they are at a comfortable angle for riding.
And with all the time I spent on the last article, I forgot to mention one other problem I had with the batteries. This was not as much a battery thing, as it was a connection thing. When you slide the battery onto the rack, the connections are automatically made. The connectors on the bike are spring-loaded to allow the battery to slide down. Inside the connector box on the bike, is where the springs are. This movement is necessary, but the wires inside the box flex with that spring. That movement caused one of the wires to break inside the box at the solderless connector. It was a simple fix for me, but I do expect it to happen again. So far, it has happened to one wire, one time. If it happens, you can exchange the batteries side to side until you have a chance to make the repair. Things like this, are why this bike might not be the best choice for those who are not mechanically inclined. Or for someone who doesn’t have the patience for minor hiccups.
Wow, that is quite a list of reworks and modifications. I have enjoyed being able to tailor these bike to fit us and become more reliable. Buying a more expensive bike will eliminate so many of these drawbacks. They are higher quality, have better quality control at the factory, and will come with many of the accessories that I purchased and installed myself. They are also lighter and will have bike shop support to help you with any problems.
Next up, a rundown on the road performance and power system capabilities. Thanks for letting me tell you this story, Turbo Bob.
“It is no exaggeration to affirm that a journey by bicycle is like none other; it is a thing apart; it has a tempo and a style of its own.”—James E. Starrs, The Noiseless Tenor.
Looking to buy an E-bike?
West coast http://www.iselectricbikecenter.com
East coast http://www.nycewheels.com