A Tale of Two Cities and Two Bikes

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
#1
My wife and I split our time between Santa Cruz, California in the winter and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the other seasons. In Pittsburgh we work to have a low carbon footprint and use our ebikes to run errands. The ebike of choice is the Nevo NuVinci with the GX motor. What a well mannered machine, although a full suspension with the Spring potholes would be welcomed, the Nevo is agile enough to maneuver urban obstacles and the CVT is made for the stop and go traffic. A typical shopping run is about a 15 mile round trip from our home to the “Strip” distract, with stops at the Asian grocery, Pennsylvania Macaroni and Parma Sausage. On the return leg lunch at a French bakery. For recreation we use the Rails to Trails and again the CX and NuVinci is more than adequate. This season Propel Bikes had a great deal on 400 Whr batteries that we will stow in a trunk bag for extra range. On Rails to trails we were able to go 56 miles on a single 500 Whr battery but our eyes we glued to the battery bar gauge. With two batteries we are hoping for increased range and increase elevation. All of course within the limited NuVinci gear range. S
Santa Cruz is a completely different riding experience. Here we have a dual battery Nevo with the CX motor and the Rohloff hub. We still have urban errands to run but our recreational riding has a lot more elevation change and distance. For the urban errands the Rohloff is out of it’s element and not a pleasure to ride. The Rohloff was made for touring and that is where it excels. The extra lower and higher gears and less hub drag puts a smile on my face riding up and down the hills of of Santa Cruz mountains. I’m having a few mechanical issues with the Rohloff but I’m sure they will be resolved before my return to California. So did I make the right choice for each city? I think so.
 

Attachments

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
#2
A sidebar: Monday we returned riding in Pittsburgh, a city that is trying really hard to reinvent itself, but under the surface it is still an industrial northeast city. So fresh from Santa Cruz, a California beach surf city where recreational marijuana is legal, we had both shocking and laughable interactions with Pittsburgh motorist and pedestrians. As an example, we stopped at a traffic light and a 50ish man waiting for a bus came out onto the road to lecture us (in a crude way) for crossing ( very slightly) the pedestrian crosswalk line. In Santa Cruz you would just let it slide but not in Pittsburgh. The true Pittsburgher in me came to the surface, no more happy old guy cruising the western coast. But all ended well, I called him a jagoff, he reciprocated and the light turned green. Welcome home.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#3
Enjoy your snowbirding, ebiking life! Sounds like a blast, though knowing both CA and Pgh, I have trouble figuring out how you can pry yourself out of Santa Cruz each Spring! Pgh is a great city, but SANTA CRUZ? That's a kind of paradise! I guess you must have many loved ones in Pittsburgh!!!!
 

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
#4
Enjoy your snowbirding, ebiking life! Sounds like a blast, though knowing both CA and Pgh, I have trouble figuring out how you can pry yourself out of Santa Cruz each Spring! Pgh is a great city, but SANTA CRUZ? That's a kind of paradise! I guess you must have many loved ones in Pittsburgh!!!!
It is difficult returning to Pittsburgh. But we have one kid and a 97 year old mother to spend time with during our PGH months. Another Santa Cruz disadvantage is the California taxes along with the summer chaos with twice the population.
 
#5
Dionigi-- Could you please elaborate on your "criticism" of the Rohloff for use in urban errands? I understand it would be overkill for that application, but what makes it "not a pleasure to ride"? Would the Envolio or derailleur gears feel more of a pleasure?

p.s. I am a Bay Area resident, also from Pittsburgh originally, and an experienced bicyclist now investigating the fascinating world of ebikes. My gear experience is limited to derailleur setups and Sturmey Archer 3-speeds of the sixties.
 

Dionigi

Well-Known Member
#6
Dionigi-- Could you please elaborate on your "criticism" of the Rohloff for use in urban errands? I understand it would be overkill for that application, but what makes it "not a pleasure to ride"? Would the Envolio or derailleur gears feel more of a pleasure?

p.s. I am a Bay Area resident, also from Pittsburgh originally, and an experienced bicyclist now investigating the fascinating world of ebikes. My gear experience is limited to derailleur setups and Sturmey Archer 3-speeds of the sixties.
I think the Rohloff is a great hub and if you are comfortable with a derailleur in a hilly urban settings you would love the Rohloff. From my experience, with both the Rohloff and NuVinci in city riding, there is no comparison the NuVinci is the better transmission. What is not pleasurable, even with the Rohloff E-14 auto downshift when coming to a stop, is hopping from one traffic light to the next and going through the gears. The Rohloff does not like to be in too low of a gear and will start to freewheel making an unsafe riding condition. The NuVinci is mindless to operate which is great when you need to be super aware in traffic.