Cultural Agents of Change
The excitement of Spring is finally here and I am so fortunate to see it first hand at the bike shop. I know that folks have biking on their minds again when I see the typical signs of spring fever - the drive by shopper rolling by going 2 mph thinking about which bike he’d like to ride; the “twist my arm” guy who firmly just wants to look and takes only a slight nudge to convince him to jump on a bike and take a joyride; the woman who takes the time to ride 5 or 6 bikes, noting all the details and finding the perfect one. I can usually tell she’s found it by the big smile on her face; and one of my favorites, the family who is thinking about getting a cargo bike. The best part is the excitement that the kids have. They get a little wild, they want to climb up on the bikes, they get impatient - all in anticipation of riding bikes. As a parent, that’s a good problem to have!
My best advice to folks who are looking at eBikes is to get on as many bikes as possible and ride. There is no better way to research and compare than to experience it for yourself. We know a lot about eBikes and carry several quality brands, but you are the expert when it comes to choosing the eBike that will be your constant companion. You are the only one who can decide which bike feels right and will be the catalyst for more riding, more exercise and more fun. Our mission at Bend Electric Bikes is to get more people riding bikes more often. We feel it’s important to spend the time it takes to help you find the right eBike so that you feel motivated to get out and ride, and ride more! We’re here to support you and want you to feel at home in the shop - look, touch feel, ride a bunch of bikes, ask a bunch of questions. You can even call us and schedule an eBike Intro Ride so that we can give you our undivided attention and time to help guide you in your purchase process.
We’ve got over 100 bikes to try out and there are some new brands that we’re really excited about, including Benno, Giant and coming soon, Riese & Müller. There are still some great deals on 2016 Kalkhoffs - we just reduced prices another 20% on many models. We also have some new, high security locks from Abus; helmets from Bern and Kali; and the most fashionable accessory yet, the Oi Bell from Knog (yes, you can ring all the bells, too!)
We can’t wait to see you at the shop and ride bikes together!
Many of us love our bikes and what biking does for us. I love how I can use my bike to show others how much I care for them. It all started when I found my first cargo bike, Big Orange, a front-loading Dutch bakfiets. I discovered that carrying my children by bike allowed us to bond in a new way that was unique to family biking. I could care for my kids by giving them a rich life experience while doing all the things we needed to do in our everyday lives, carrying them safely by bike. We’ve enjoyed many miles together - talking, going to school, camping, stopping to say hello to friends, exploring new places - just the three of us.
When I met my partner, Amy, I found that she also loved biking. Biking around town with her made me feel like a kid again - carefree, laughing and in love with life. When she happily jumped in my bike to go on one of our first dates, I knew she was my person. We rode across town for a party and I couldn’t stop smiling. She trusted me to safely carry her - and she didn’t care how goofy we looked! Now, we are a family who bikes together.
As I help to plan our yearly cargo bike rodeo, CarGo, I’m thinking of the ways my life has been filled with love and how Big Orange has been right there with me. I get to share that with new customers in the shop all the time and I’m really looking forward to helping more folks experience family biking. Take my advice - try biking with your kids and dear ones - and I promise, you will feel a whole new kind of love...by bike.
Understanding how your battery works and how to care for it is much less complicated than you might think. With a few simple tricks and some basic tools you can keep your battery charging and your bike whirring for two to three years. But without proper care, your battery could be toast in a matter of months.
The most important thing is to have your battery ready to go, so you can ride your bike. Right? We recommend plugging your battery in when you get home from your commute. We like to check the cycle analyst after a few hours and unplug when the battery has a 90% charge. This is less stressful on the battery.
When you know you’re not going to use your battery for a month or more, it’s important to charge it to the nominal voltage. The most common e-bike battery is 36V nominal. Unused, your battery will slowly discharge, so you can even charge just above nominal voltage, knowing that after a few months of storage, it will drop to just below nominal.
How to Use a MultiMeter
The easiest way to check the voltage of your battery is to use a multimeter. These tools are simple, affordable, and easy to find – even at your local e-bike store.
- Set your MutliMeter to DCV 200
- Put each of the probes into a separate hole in the battery’s charging plug or into the receptors on the bottom of the battery. (You don’t need to worry about connecting red to positive and black to negative. If you have it backwards, the multimeter will read a negative number, but the number is the same as it would be if you connected it correctly.)
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries are ideal for electric bikes because are much lighter and have higher energy density than other rechargeable batteries. For example, a 2 lb Li-Ion battery stores 150 watt-hours of electricity, while the same sized, nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH) perhaps typically stores 60 to 70 watt-hours. And a lead-acid battery only stores 25 watt-hours.
Li-Ion batteries have other benefits. They hold their charge - only losing about 5 percent of its charge per month. They have no memory effect - meaning you do not have to completely discharge them before recharging, and they can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles.
There are some things to watch for. Keep your Li-Ion battery away from high temperatures; heat degrades the battery. Do not charge your battery in temperatures below freezing and you should never completely discharge a lithium-ion battery. [Source: howstuffworks.com]
*Find out how you can retrofit your bike with and E-bike conversion kits.
*Come in and talk to our knowledgeable staff. We’re always happy to help.