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E-Bikes

Zephyr E-Bike Workshop

Zephyr-Ebikes Shop
Zephyr E-Bike Workshop

Welcome to Zephyr E-Bike Workshop! We support and encourage the ongoing micromobility evolution, with the hope that everyone can experience the freedom, fun, and practicality of e-bike travel!

We assemble, tune, repair, consult, update/upgrade, fix tubes/tires, adjust brakes/gears, and of course, troubleshoot electronic problems. We buy/sell/trade pre-owned e-bikes, and can teach you how maintain your own bike. Many of the tasks mentioned above are a bit harder with e-bikes, but we are ready to handle them with alacrity!

We also carry new Ecotric e-bikes, which we have found to be a really good value is its price range (<$800-$1200).

Ecotric Dolphin
Ecotric Dolphin Fat Tire Folding step-thru

Here is a classic beach cruiser (Pedelec, Punta Gorda, FL), we just got in the door, and it is the most comfortable bike we have in stock!

Classic Beach Cruiser
Classic Beach Cruiser $875

We are dedicated to helping folks get on an e-bike and learning how much fun and convenient they are for both city and country living. Come by to ride, or talk about e-bikes, and narrow down your choices. We are open every afterno0n 12-5 Mon-Fri, and beyond that by chance, just call or text to arrange a time if we are not in the shop. This is business in the time of Covid, no easy way!

Zephyr E-Bike Workshop
Zephyr E-Bike Workshop
Categories
E-Bikes

VanMoof Proof

VanMoof E-Bike
VanMoof E-Bike

This Dutch e-bike came in for repairs this week, and so I had to do some research to familiarize myself with its unique points. It works in power assit mode (no throttle), with a 36V/250W motor, a typical Euro e-bike. It has a fully protected chain, electronic shifting, and a hidden battery and controller. The built-in electronics include bike tracking and recovery, and a built in lock that is activated by the app only. In short a really cool Euro-commuter bike.

I knew little about the VanMoof brand, so I looked it up, and came across this video ad they ran in Europe, only to be banned by the French (who apparently needs to protect their stellar auto brands…)

So I like them, and we will be going into the guts of the controller tomorrow.

Categories
E-Bikes

Senate E-Bike Act?

Ecotric Lark
Ecotric Lark 36V/500W

Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) have introduced the Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (Senate E-BIKE Act), and yeah, I support it, as does the House, where there are 21 co-sponsors of the bill. It offers a tax credit worth 30 percent of a new e-bike’s purchase price, and the credit would also be fully refundable, which would allow lower-income individuals to claim it. E-bikes are definately more expensive from the get-go, so this would be a big help.

“The bill makes a clean alternative more accessible to more people,” Schatz said. “E-bikes make lots of sense for working people, young people, and others who either cannot afford or don’t want a car.”

A recent study found that if 15 percent of car trips were made by e-bike, carbon emissions would drop by 12 percent. I have found my e-bike riding has eliminated at least 80% of my car trips, and made them more pleasant to do in the process!

The E-Bike Potential: Estimating regional e-bike impacts on greenhouse gas emissions

E-bikes are not an entirely new mode of transportation, but they are one of the fastest growing, most practical, and carbon reducing ways of getting around in the city. (Did I mention they are fun too?!)

Ecotric Dolphin
Ecotric Dolphin
Categories
E-Bikes

Domino Effect?

Check out this RadCity Step-Thru at Domino’s in Eastland Plaza!

I agree with whoever makes decisions at Domino’s, this RadPower e-bike is a great value. With a 48V/750W rear hub motor, this bike is maxed out power wise (to be legal on our multi-use paths), and can handle a 275 pound load. The step-thru feature is essential for carrying large loads, and front hydraulic forks takes out the bumps. The high handle bars make for a comfort ride, and the rear rack is welded on the body, quite sturdy. I am thinking it would be great for pulling a trailer as well. It is $1600, and not available till this November (unless you are a giant corporation like Dominos!)

RadCity Step-Thru

Categories
E-Bikes

Zephyr & Charlie Bird

Charlie Bird of Bloomington came by the Workshop to help build a few new bikes last week, and of course he and Lalo (dog prince of the manor) got along just fine…

BTW, Charlie’s new book is available at Zephyr E-Bike Workshop, or on his website at CharlieBirdBtown.com!

Charlie Bird Loves Bloomington

Categories
E-Bikes

E-Bikes & Slate

Jamelle Bouie’s Tern cargo e-bike

So I noticed that both Jamelle Bouie and David Plotz seemed to advocate for e-bikes on the latest Slate Political Gabfest! Well known for his writing/commentary for the NYT/CBS News, Jamelle Bouie also spends time riding his Tern GSD , a well outfitted cargo e-bike, which he uses to transport his kids and run errands around town.

Great minds cruise down the same roads…my RadWagon has done the same for several years now! His Tern has bunch of upgrades from mine: mid-drive Bosch motor, suspension fork, hydraulic brakes, and 20″ wheels, and it is somewhat foldable. But to my surprise, no throttle, power assist only! I am not sure that it is worth +$3000 over the Radwagon, at least for me. But he is a young man, I am not, and I rely on the throttle to get me going in tight situations (stop signs and traffic lights are but one example.)

Jamelle gives a good rationale for buying even this well made e-bike: it is cheaper and easier to use than a car for most trips in town!

(I was tempted to edit the grammar, but he writes for the NYT, I figure he wants his tweets informal):

“the reason for this particular bike — an e-assist cargo bike — is that we need a second vehicle but i absolutely do not want to own another car. so for far less than a car (to say nothing of insurance and fees and taxes and such) i get something that i can do 95% of trips with”

IMHO e-bikes are a new catagory of transportation (and recreation): they take the sting (and sweat) out of bike travel, yet massively reduce the carbon footprint of gas powered vehicles like mopeds, scooters, motorcycles and cars. (A charge cycle on an e-bike battery costs less than a dime at today’s electricity rates.)

They are fun to use, so people use them more to do day to day tasks, and thus use their cars/trucks less. Each e-bike in use is one less car on our already overcrowded streets and parking lots, which I see as win/win.

Rad Wagon Venus
Rad Wagon Venus
Categories
E-Bikes

E-Bike Grants?

E-bikes are an innovative and efficient mode of transportation in cities….well, yeah! California for the win!

CalBike Works with CA Air Resources Board to Develop E-Bike Grant Program

Rad Wagon Venus
Rad Wagon Venus
Categories
E-Bikes

Cargo E-Bikes for the win!

Mitch’s RadWagon 2018

Wow, I guess I intuited this info from being a cargo bike rider for the past 5 years, but I never verified it. Well the Guardian has: Cargo bikes deliver faster and cleaner than vans in a study done in London.

I’ve measured my commute times from Park Ridge to Kirkwood while working at IU, and I always matched or reduced the time required on the few days I had to drive.

I was able to ride my e-cargo bike year round, ~95% of the days: I ride when there is water in the air, but not when it was pouring. With the right attitude, riding while it snows is really exhilarating and calming at the same time!

Add the time and expense to find a spot and park a car, and bikes are definately faster door to door, and cheaper to use than any gas powered vehicle.

Some interesting points from the study:

  • E-Cargo bikes have a higher average speed and dropped off 10 parcels an hour, compared with six for vans
  • E-Cargo bikes also cut carbon emissions by 90% compared with diesel vans
  • Air pollution was significantly reduced
  • E-Cargo bikes bypass traffic jams, take shortcuts through streets closed to through traffic and ride to the customers door.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/05/cargo-bikes-deliver-faster-and-cleaner-than-vans-study-finds

Categories
E-Bikes

Another Happy Customer at Zephyr E-Bikes!

Today Mike Leonard stopped by to pick up his newly assembled Aventon Level Commuter Ebike. As you might suspect, Mike is a great researcher, and there are a lot of brands out there, so he sifted through them all, and came up with the Aventon Level as the best value proposition for him.

It is really solid, well designed, with plenty of power and pickup, perfect for navigating Bloomington in style. It has a 48V/500W motor, and a big 14 Ah battery, meaning it can go up to 40 miles on a charge. It sports a hydraulic front fork for off-road fun, and the luxury of hydaulic disk brakes. It came installed with a rear rack, and panniers will make it perfect for shopping, work or picnics.

Good luck and have fun out there!

Categories
E-Bikes

E-Bikes and Exercise

It seems a bit counter intuitive, but riding an e-bike is as good exercise as riding a conventional bike! Yes, you may exert less power while riding, but this study published in ScienceDirect shows that e-bike riders put on more miles, and thus end up getting as much physical activity, measured in Metabolic Equivalent Tasks (MET), as conventional bike riders.

Highlights:

  • E-bikers take longer trips by e-bike and bicycle, compared to cyclists.
  • Physical activity gains from active travel are similar in e-bikers and cyclists.
  • Substituting all car trips with e-bike use leads to a gain of 550 MET min/week.
  • Transport mode substituted by the e-bike is still used frequently afterwards.

I’m not sure what will actually happen, but I am certain that e-bikes are one of the steps towards a better, more humane transportation system.