bionx has filed for bankruptcy
BionX International, maker of popular ebike conversion kits and motor systems for many ebikes, went into Receivership on February 27-28, 2018. It pains us to see a fellow business in the ebike industry go under. We're not sure of the reasons for this but it emphasizes the importance of choosing an electric bike manufacturer and motor system from a company with strong support and a successful history.
We occasionally receive criticism for only selling premium ebikes and not offering lower-priced imports. This BionX situation exemplifies one of the primary reasons why we choose to do this. Companies like Bosch, Shimano, Royal Dutch Gazelle, and Kalkhoff have a century of experience. These are companies that we can rely on to build great products and to be around to support their products for years to come.
There are many electric bikes on the market today with exciting new products being introduced all the time. We understand it can be difficult to navigate the deluge of ebike information and opinions. We're here to help.
While it is impossible to know for sure what will happen in the future, we can make some wise decisions by learning from the past. Electric bikes are a big investment and we want to make sure you are getting an ebike that will be worth your investment.
We were fortunate to get a demo ride on two of the all new Focus Jam2 ("Jam Squared") ebikes this weekend. We took a few of our potential customers on a demo ride in Yellow Fork Canyon where we were able to compare the new Focus ebikes with the Bulls Six50+ E FS 3 and the Bulls E-Stream EVO E FS 3.
In a nutshell, I loved these new Focus ebikes! They were absolutely everything Focus built them up to be. Focus hasn't offered much in 2017 for mountain bikes but these more than make up for their absence.
Below I have reviewed three aspects of the new bikes that stood out to me: The Shimano E8000 drive, the suspension, and the geometry.
Shimano E8000 Drive
This wasn't my first time riding the new Shimano E8000 drive. I rode it last year at Eurobike but wasn't able to give it a real good test. I liked it then but really got to experience it on this ride. I'll do my best to give you my honest opinion.
I liked this drive a lot. It was smooth and responsive and had plenty of torque. I love the size and look of the motor and how well it is integrated into the design of the bike. The bikes we tested had the Di2 shifting and I was impressed with integration of the control and display.
You can link this system to the Shimano E-Tube app and vary the settings of the assist levels and controls as well as perform software updates on your own (I believe this means you don't need to bring it to us for an update). I would have adjusted the middle assist level to have slightly more assist and reversed the shifting levers to what I am used to. It's a nice feature to have some customization for your bike.
The drive system itself was slightly noisier than I remember but it wasn't loud at all. Full disclosure, I actually prefer hearing something from the motor but I want it to be very subtle. This definitely fit that description.
I didn't think it was quite as responsive as a Bosch drive but it was close. Honestly, if I had to choose between a Bosch CX drive with eMTB mode and the new Shimano E8000 it would be a difficult decision, with Bosch just edging out Shimano. However, I would be happy to own this bike and never regret not having a Bosch.
I'm not a suspension expert. For most of my life I really didn't pay that much attention to it. I'm not a fast or aggressive rider and didn't think it mattered for my style of riding. This suspension changed my mind, in a big way! It was AMAZING!
I descended our climb much faster and with more control than I have experienced before. The front suspension was exactly the same as on the two Bulls bikes we had with us, the RockShox Yari. It was the rear suspension that was special. It has a unique 5-link system that is compact and feels great. When you sit on the bike it feels super plush and almost too soft. Yet, as you ride it feels perfect with just the right amount of responsiveness and contrl. I never felt like my rear wheel was out of control. I don't think I ever felt so confident riding downhill.
I can't tell you the science behind why it feels the way it does (Dan, our store manager can) but I can tell you it was the most stable electric mountain bike I have ever ridden.
This bike felt right for me. The weight balance was superb. I was able to react quickly in technical areas as well as dive into the corners without feeling like the bike wanted to do it's own thing.
The integrated battery is well-placed and right-sized. I was initially concerned that the smaller battery wouldn't be sufficient for my ride but after 1-1/2 hours we had only used half the battery capacity. I appreciate the weight savings of a right-sized battery. It's also nice to know that if I want the extra range Focus offers a secondary battery that mounts to the top of the downtube for longer rides.
Our demo bikes were 29ers (I haven't ridden a 29er for a couple years). I prefer the 27.5 plus size tires and would go that direction for my own bike but these 29ers handled well. They wanted to move more than I like on the downhill but that may have simply been because I'm not used to the 29" x 2.35" tire size.
Overall, I feel confident saying these are the best electric mountain bikes I have ever ridden. There are a few that come close, like the Bulls Six50+ E FS 3, but the complete package and design of these new bikes from Focus is superb.
Focus is planning to have the bikes available for delivery in October 2017. We should get more detailed information within the next few weeks.
Retail prices on these bikes hasn't been finalized yet but Focus gave us some ballpark numbers. There will be four levels of the bike: Jam2, Jam2 Pro, Jam2 C Pro, and Jam2 C SL. We rode the Jam2 Pro. Ballpark prices will be $4999, $5999, $6999, and $9999, respectively. Great prices for the quality of these bikes.
How to Order
We are taking pre-orders now. You can call us (801-666-7644) or email (email@example.com) to place a deposit and reserve your bike. I know the first shipment is not going to be large so if you want to ride this Autumn before the snow flies then you will definitely want to place your order soon.
I'm not a cyclist. At least not in the traditional sense. I started eSpokes because I fell in love with ebikes and how they opened up a whole new world of cycling for me.
However, ebikes haven't always received the same love from the cycling community. I came across this opinion piece this morning and thought it was a great, quick read about the cyclist's perspective on ebikes. Worth the read.
We don't sell the KTM brand but I appreciate their work and efforts to promote the benefits of ebikes. Thank you, KTM.
Read it Here
Spring is enticing all of us to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. Maybe you are considering a new electric bike to help you get out and ride. There are so many options for you to consider as you search for your new electric bike. It can be overwhelming.
We understand that the price of your new ebike is important; staying within budget and getting the best deal are smart shopping goals. However, we want to share some of the hidden risks that you may encounter if you choose to purchase your new ebike online.
1. quality of assembly and tuning
Many years ago my wife and I invested in a new piano. We love the sound of music in our home and spent many hours shopping for just the right piano. The right size, color, and shape was important but, more than that, we were looking for the right sound. After the piano was delivered it needed to be tuned by a professional, a few times, in order to get it working the way it was designed to work and the way we wanted it to work. Without the professional tuning we would have been disappointed in the piano and wasted our money.
Just like a piano, all bikes need to be "tuned" before they should be ridden. This should always be done by a professional bike mechanic. All ebikes come partially assembled in their box with some brands coming almost completely assembled. In almost all cases this assembly is being done at the factory, generally in Asia or Europe. The assembly done at bike factories is not meant to be the final assembly.
If you choose to purchase an electric bike online always make sure you can take it to a local, experienced, and professionally trained ebike mechanic in order to have it tuned to you. Don't ride a bike "out-of-tune," it's not good for the bike and it isn't safe for you.
2. Service and warranty
We've all purchased a car before. It's nice knowing that if I purchase a used or new car I can get warranty work done at any dealer of that make of car. It doesn't matter where I purchase it or from whom it is purchased. If I buy a Ford from a dealer in Oregon I can have warranty work done by a Ford dealer in Utah.
This is NOT the way it works with ebikes. Almost all ebike manufacturers require you to have warranty work done at the store where you purchased your bike. If you purchase an ebike from a store in Wisconsin and you live in Utah you will need to take it back to Wisconsin for all warranty work.
Why? Ebike manufactures want to ensure that you have the safest riding experience. This is why they require professional assembly and tuning. Most of the problems we see in our store with ebikes have nothing to do with warranty, rather most problems result from improper assembly and tuning.
3. get the right fit
We have all been through experience of buying new shoes. You pick out a few different styles you like and ask the sales person to bring them all to you in your preferred size. Even though they are technically all the same size, each shoe fits you very differently.
The correct fit of any bike is crucial. A bike that is not the right size and is not set up for you can lead to a lot of pain while riding and even lead to long-term damage to your body.
There are no standards in the bike industry for sizing. All frames are not created equal. This is why it is so important to actually ride the bike you are going to purchase. Each brand of bike can fit differently and ride differently, even if they are both listed as being the same size. An experienced ebike store can help you find the right fit for your body shape and type of riding you want to do.
4. not all watts are created equal
Volts, watts, amps, watt hours, amp hours.... It can all get confusing when so many numbers are thrown at you. It's tempting to simply look at the power of the motor (watts) and the capacity of the battery (volts x amp hours) and make comparisons based on these numbers. Unfortunately, doing this does not produce an accurate understanding of the quality of ebike systems.
There is so much more that goes into a good ebike system. Some of the worst ebikes I've seen have the biggest batteries and most powerful motors. There is a broad range of quality when it comes to battery cells, motors, and their respective management systems.
The RISK IS HIGH when it comes to the varying quality of ebike systems. Poor quality battery cells and management systems can lead to unnecessarily short battery life and higher risk of fire. If the battery is poorly assembled, even if they say they use high quality cells, it can result in a battery fire (click here to read about recent example).
I've never found an ebike manufacturer that markets their "low-quality battery and motor system." This is why it is so important to talk with an experienced ebike dealer who is familiar with the many technologies, systems, batteries, and components that are available. They can help you navigate all the numbers, systems, and risks and make sure you purchase the ebike that truly accomplishes what you want it to do while avoiding unnecessary risks. Many advertise "high quality batteries". Know the truth.
In conclusion, seek out experienced, local ebike dealers who guarantee professional ebike assembly and tuning. Ask your dealer about how they honor manufactures' warranties. Ensure your correct ebike fit by sizing your bike in a reputable store with a knowledgeable dealer. Be educated in ebike systems.
To make an appointment with an eSpokes Ebike Expert, please call (801) 666-7644 or visit us at 11277 Kestrel Rise in Daybreak.
The warm weather is here! Today we had beautiful clear blue skies and 50 degrees. It was a great day to be on an ebike. Meterologist also predict warm days ahead making for a beautiful weekend. We may not be completely done with snow, so enjoy the lovely weather while it's here. All those Spring To-Dos can wait a few more days. To help you get ready, here 3 Easy Tips for Spring Ebike Riding.
1. Pump Up Your Tires
Before you head out make sure you have enough air in your tires. If you ebike has taken a long winter hibernation there's a good chance that you'll need to add a little air to your tires. Use a hand pump to inflate your tires to the recommended PSI found on the side wall of the tires.
2. Charge Your Battery
Use these few warm days as an opportunity to deplete your charge so you can recharge your battery to a full cycle.
3. Pack a Jacket
It's still chilly in some parts of the road and trails, and during some times of the day. Better to have a jacket or windbreaker on hand and maybe even some gloves, than to spoil a ride by getting cold.
What does Spring riding look like? We hope you enjoyed a few photos from our ride today. Who has traveled these trails?
We love to hear from you!
Where will you ride this weekend? What trails are you excited to hit this season? Anyone traveling abroad? We're excited to hear about your adventures. Please stop in and tell us about your ebike riding. You can also tag us in your adventures on Instagram, or Facebook. Follow us on Twitter, or leave us a comment on this blog. As always, feel free to call us with any questions or to schedule your ebike tune up. (801) 666-7644
See you on your ebike this weekend!
We are coming to the end of another winter and hopefully a respite from the horrible inversion air that we have to endure. Let's keep our air clean during the warmer weather by making a small change and riding a bike whenever possible. It doesn't matter if it's an electric bike or a regular bike, both will help to keep our air clean. Here's to warmer weather, better health, and cleaner air this summer.
Written by Dan Feldman; Head eBike Technician at eSpokes, SRAM University graduate, Bosch & Shimano Certified
Electric mountain bike manufacturers have raised the bar for 2017, and a good setup is critical to getting the most from these amazing bikes. Your favorite electric bike dealer can help you with your suspension settings, but there are a lot of things you can do yourself. Here is a short guide to understanding suspension jargon and how to change the settings.
The next setting to tackle is the Rebound Damping. This changes how fast your suspension will return to the original position after a bump. If you have too much rebound damping, your bike will stay compressed after a bump, and feel sluggish. If there isn’t enough rebound damping, the suspension will pop back like a pogo stick. The rebound damping is usually marked with a red knob. On a fork it is usually located on the bottom of the right hand fork leg. Find the knob, and count the number of clicks or turns from full on (plus sign or turtle) to full off (minus sign or rabbit.) Set the knob in the middle of the range to begin. Now is the time to ride the bike on a trail. If you find that the bike has a pogo feeling, and bobs up and down a lot, turn your rebound damping up, to slow that down. If it feels mushy and stiff after a few bumps, turn that damping down. Generally, you want it to be as fast as possible, without having an excessive jumpy pogo feeling.
If you are a bigger person, or your personal riding style is very aggressive, you may find that you are still bottoming out, even when you have the shock preload maxed out and the pressure is pumped way up. If this is the case, then there are some other adjustments that can be made. If your suspension has a spring or coil, then a spring with a higher ratio might be a good investment. Your local bike shop mechanic can help you with selecting and installing the right spring. Suspension with air adjustment is also easy to tune by reducing the total volume in the air chamber. Your mechanic can easily set this up for you, and it will enable the suspension to react to the increased forces. Remember to go back and set your preload, sag, and damping after having this work done, as changing the spring ratio or air volume will have a large effect on the performance of your suspension.
Getting your suspension just right will increase your control and confidence, and ultimately make your riding even more fun.
We can all look our our windows and see the dirty inversion settling into our beautiful Utah valleys. With such an enormous problem, it's easy to ask 'what can one person do to make a difference? How can my actions really help Utah's air quality?' The good news is there are simple things you can start doing today to improve our air.
Firstly, what is inversion anyway? Simply put, an inversion occurs when cold air is trapped below warm atmospheric air. Read more about how atmospheric conditions make Utah's winter months so challenging. We may not be able to change the existence of inversions, but we can take steps to clean it up.
Image from Ucair
Perhaps its surprising how much is already being done to clean our air. Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s State of the State address last week included an encouraging look at what Utah is doing right to improve air quality. He pointed out that:
* Utah is now the fastest growing state in America, which means more trucks and automobiles contributing to air pollution.
* He will fast-track the arrival of cleaner fuels, cleaner cars and getting people to drive less and to conserve more.
* $35Million from the Volkswagen settlement will be used in giving Utahns the largest sustainable reduction of pollution possible--including replacing high-polluting diesel engines, including those in our older diesel-burning school buses.
* While Utah's population increased by more that 600,000 between 2002 and 2014, total statewide emission declined by 30 percent. That's a 46 percent reduction in per capita emissions.
* Utah is requiring refineries and other large industries to invest hundred of millions of dollars in the best available emission control technology.
* Utah is expanding our transit system faster than any state in the country.
* Utah is educating the public about things we all can do such as carpooling and turning down our thermostats.
* Utah is engaging with industry to encourage the construction of more energy efficient buildings.
* Utah is now in the top 10 in the nation for electric vehicle adoption and number one for Compressed Natural Gas infrastructure.
* Governor Herbert will tour the state to highlight actions that are making a positive difference for air quality--such as the refineries that are accelerating the arrival of low-sulfer fuels to our market. And along the way, he says, "I will also visit those organization that need a little extra encouragement to help us make measurable improvements to our air quality."
To read the full State of the State Address see here.
The good news is that people from all sectors are working together to improve Utah's air. And you can help, too. Here are three things you can do to help improve air quality:
1. Combine errand runs into one trip
2. Use active transportation and public transit
3. Stop idling vehicles longer than 10-30 seconds
Brittany Guerra, Utah Department of Health Asthma Program, Jan. 30, 2017
eSpokes is a proponent of active transportation and encouraging each of us to take small steps to make a big impact on our air quality. We can all do our part in making our air cleaner.
UCAIR Annual Meeting is Feb. 2nd, 2017
To join the 2nd Annual UCAIR Summit presented by Merit Medical and featuring Governor Gary Herbert and world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker. Get Tickets here.
eSpokes Electric Bikes is pleased to announce the addition of Riese & Müller electric bicycles. With an award-winning history in designing and manufacturing ebikes, Riese & Müller custom-builds each bike for you.
The secret sauce to Riese & Müller ebikes is a combination of the company’s commitment to innovation and excellence, precise thought out concepts, and control technology.
Choose how you want to ride; whether it be an e-bike, e-cargo, or folding bike, then select the series that best suits your needs, and as if that isn't enough customization, you can also personalize the features you want on your bike. Each e-bike is a one-off; specifically designed for you. With Riese & Müller it's easy to find your perfect mountain, commuter, cruiser, roadster, foldable, and cargo e-bike. Read on for a brief introduction to the Riese & Müller offerings.
The Delite Models
If you are looking for an ebike you can take on the road or the trails, the Delite is an excellent choice. The Delite features, Bosch Performance CX motor, lightweight and efficient Shimano Deore XT 11-speed derailleur gear, high degree of efficiency, hydraulic Shimano disk brakes and air suspension. The model below is shown in urban grey metallic with a frame height of 54 cm, and also showing optional equipment: DualBattery. The Delite starts from $4,319.
How does one test the power of the Delite? How about riding to the world's highest volcano? The adventure starts at the Pacific in Caldera and after a 400km ride inland the ascent increased from 0 to 6,880 meters above sea level. From paved roads to gravel, to steep mountain paths, and eventually to no paths at all, the Delite will take on the challenge. Read how Riese & Müller’s Delite Mountain is set to ascend to the world’s highest volcano.
World’s highest volcano Ojos del Salad in Chile reaches 6,883 meters high and its peak accessibility is between December and March. Photo:landofwinds.blogpost.com. Riese & Müller's Delite is set to take on the challenge.
From extreme adventure to the extreme opposite, you can experience the all around comfort of The Swing; the rideable comfort zone. The Swing is describe as a comfy armchair-on wheels. It’s sensitive suspension fork and suspension seat post help you gently and easily ride over any surface. $2,429-$3,14
Similar, but different, the Nevo is a fantastic combination of form and function. The “striking silhouette” gives the rider a sense of sportiness and the comfortable step-through will give your touring bike ease. $2,789-$3,869. Read more about the Nevo from Riese & Müller here.
The Roadster’s “sporty style with true panache” makes the transition easily from city roads to paved trails. Please note it's straight handle bars which help in its agile ride and excellent weight distribution to help you get where you need to be, pronto. $2519- $2879. Want to see more of the e-bike series? Make sure to check out the other e-bike offerings from Riese & Müller. Each offers unique characteristics. Please see: Homage, Culture, Avenue, Kendu, Charger, Cruiser, and Tinker.
If you are more interested in the award-wining load series from Riese & Müller, you'll want to check out these front cargo section e-cargo bikes. You’ll be surprised by its sportiness. Riese & Müller describes why: “Its low center of gravity and rigid trellis frame make it astonishingly manageable. Safely protected, children can enjoy the thrill of the airstream whistling around their ears. Thanks to the full suspension, there is absolutely nothing to spoil the happy mood.” The Load Series is the recipient of the 2013 Product Design Award. Options include: Rear luggage carrier, ABUS Protects 5000 frame lock, and a plethora of cargo accessories including folding box, baby seat, double child seat, child seat cover. You can also choose from six colors for handles and pedals. Need even more cargo space? Check out the extraordinarily spacious Packster.
Perhaps you are interested in the growing trend of foldable bikes. Enter The Birdy. The Birdy is a “Swiss pocket knife that you can mount and ride away on.” While the throngs of commuters are fighting traffic you can effortlessly cruise to your destination; passing the parking stalls and parking garages. Need a quick ride to the lake or through the parks, the Riese & Müller Birdy is a folding genius. It is, simply, the fasting folding bike in the world. The Birdy holds the world record at 4.9 seconds. Check out this video to see how in just seven steps you can fold your Birdy to its most compact dimensions. Fair warning; the instructions are in German. Good thing the pictures are in English. Learn more about the particularly inexpensive Birdy base model, World Birdly, here.
While this is a quick introdcution to the new Riese & Müller line now available at eSpokes, we hope you will stop by to test ride these new ebikes in order to fully appreciate their engineering.
eSpokes is honored to be one of only a dozen selective dealers in the United States to carry this exclusive brand. Come stop by and see what all the excitement in about.
Please note each Riese & Müller bike is custom build for you in the factory in Germany. It can take 6-8 weeks for your bike to arrive to our store so we can put the finishing touches on it. All bikes must be picked up in our store and cannot be shipped to you. Trust us, it’s worth it.
It’s January. The snow is falling. Don’t let cold temperatures be a deterrent to enjoying the outdoors on your ebike. For those who are itching to ride and seek the adventure of being outdoors-even in the cold- here are 7 Must Haves for Winter Riding.
The key to keeping warm is proper equipment.
2. Sport-designed eye wear are essential to keep the bitter wind out of your eyes. Few things are worse than having you eyes start watering because of the wind and then have your tears freeze around your eyes.
3. Wind-Proof Jacket. This is probably the most important piece of apparel you will wear. Keep your core warm! This is key. If you get chilled at your core it is very difficult to stay warm. Cycling jackets are longer through the sleeves and back and are designed to go over your pants and keep you comfortably warm.
4. Wind-proof pants. This is one of my favorite things to wear in cold weather riding. These are great to keep the wind from really biting into my riding pants. Also note, a good pair of thermal riding bibs underneath wind-proof pants keep your legs very cozy.
5. Toe warmers. I always wear wool socks when riding gin the Winter, but my toes can still get cold. Toe warmers are a big help. Toe warmers or booties are easy to slide on over the toe of your shoe and block the wind from cutting through your shoes to your toes. They are perfect for keeping your feet warm while protecting your shoes.
6. Wind-proof gloves. We’ve all felt our fingers get cold even when our body is warm. Wind-proof gloves will go a long way to keeping your fingers functional. Mittens are another good option if you don’t need your fingers to shift while riding.
7. Lastly, BE SEEN! Wear bright colors and use good cycling lights. You’ll want a great headlight and an even better tail lights. This is one area you don’t want to scrimp on.
Making sure these 7 Must Haves are part of your cycling equipment will ensure warmer and happier riding in the Winter months.
To see more pictures of our suggested Winter Riding gear click here.