My VEB Cafe thread. (1st Year Recap: post #83)

christob

Well-Known Member
Hello from Northern Virginia!
Today I took delivery of my first-ever electric bike, the Cafe, a pedelec made by Vintage Electric Bikes out of California... I am looking forward to bringing a lot more biking into my life; the last time I rode a bike was probably 12+ years ago. My goal is to soon be commuting to work most days on the bike (only about 6.5 miles each way) and thus introducing enjoyable exercise into my far-too-sedentary workdays. And after acclimating to it a bit more, I'm looking forward to spending (and wanting to spend) more fun time on the bike at weekends, evenings, etc.
I'd love to know if anyone else is on the Cafe -- I've already got one burning question (how to reset the trip odometer) emailed out to customer support...!
--Chris B.
 
Hi Christob! Vintage Electric sure make some beautiful bikes! I think that years ago when I saw a Tracker on an episode of American Pickers, that is what first got me interested in ebikes. If I ever win the lottery, A VEB is on the list, for sure! Hope you are enjoying your Cafe, it looks like an awesome bike. Happy riding! : )
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Howdy, @Nova Haibike ... whereabouts? S. Arlington here, on the 4 Mile Run trail... maybe we can grab a ride together...
Hi, @Badgerdogmomma; yeah, I sorta fell in love with the look of the cafe... reminds me of bikes from my youth. And I also like their small-shop outfit; I rode some 28mph Treks and Specialized ebikes that were nice too, but kept returning to the VEB website ;).
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Excited to report that I made my first trial-run of the full commute to the office today. Went just fine -- I couldn't have biked it without the assist, I'm sure!
I'll definitely have to work on what to wear - it was 47 degrees, so I opted for a tshirt, sweatshirt, and thin windbreaker... and got back home with pretty wet (sweaty) hair; so, I'm thinking I could have skipped the sweatshirt in favor of say, a regular button-up shirt over the tee...
I've got a squeak somewhere, that I need to pin down and resolve; I can see how it would start to drive me crazy, otherwise!
And, wearing jeans over the bike shorts, I forgot to roll up my right cuff. I think I caught it on a pointy bit of the chainguard on an up-stroke, and slightly bent the metal outward - luckily I'd gone into coasting whenever that happened, and when I resumed pedaling, I couldn't -- the right pedal arm was then running into that flared-out metal, preventing a full rotation. So I stopped, and pressed back into a safe position the slightly-flared out part - but I should have known to handle the jeans at my ankle first -- they're not 'skinny jeans', so quite a bit of flopping fabric...
Also spent this trip on the Brooks B67 sprung saddle, and I think it may be my favorite saddle now... time will tell if it is the one I keep. (The bike came with a Brooks leather-covered dual-foam saddle, which I wasn't initially crazy for -- so I swapped that original saddle for a Bontrager Commuter Gel, thinking I'd return to the original, once my sit bones got accustomed to biking... and I've now taken that Bontrager off for the B67... (Earlier, I'd swapped the cylindrical handlebar grips for Ergon GP1 style, which I found on sale in the same Brooks leather as the original grips... so I kinda like that I've kept that design element of the original bike setup -- the brown leather appointments -- but now grips and saddle are perhaps more to my comfort liking...
 

christob

Well-Known Member
A happy update - Today, I ticked over the first 100 miles on my ebike, since picking it up roughly 3 weeks ago. This is quite possibly, double the entire mileage of my biking life before now... ;)
It has been just an accumulation of short-ish rides, all generally around my home area, the longest single-day tally so far being only about 17 miles. But I feel better about starting the work commute next week...
(And in breaking my first hundred today, I did so in the company of fellow EBR member @BlondAngel -- thanks for the ride Paul, and great meting you!)
 

christob

Well-Known Member
(continuing to record in this thread, various updates or milestones on my new ebike-owner path...)
This was a good weekend... made my longest outing yet on Friday (15 miles) and then exceeded it today with a 24 mile trek with fellow forum member BlondAngel. Happy to see in both cases, the battery gauge showed 3 bars remaining (of 5 bars) each time; today I mostly rode in level 2 (of 5 max) with some hill use at level 3, very rare use of level 4, and no level 5 today.
Dropping the bike at my LBS tomorrow, to have them investigate (with the makers in California) a constant squeak from the rear wheel... fingers crossed.
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Update: Made the first workday office commute this morning! Wasn't sure what to expect (despite the two trial runs earlier.) So I left the house at 6:48am (normal driving departure is about 7:18.) The 6.5 mile ride in took 28 minutes. I rode in my office clothes, and used mostly Level 3 (and a few times, L4 when hitting any moderate inclines) to avoid having a high-exertion, high-sweat trip... it worked, and at least while the mornings are cold-to-cool like this, I won't need an office shower & change. Very excited by this!
 
Last edited:

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Update: Made the first workday office commute this morning! Wasn't sure what to expect (despite the two trial runs earlier.) So I left the house at 6:48am (normal driving departure is about 7:18.) The 6.5 mile ride in took 28 minutes. I rode in my office clothes, and used mostly Level 3 (and a few times, L4 when hitting the any moderate inclines) to avoid having a high-exertion, high-sweat trip... it worked, and at least while the mornings are cold-to-cool like this, I won't need an office shower & change. Very excited by this!
Very cool! Much better way to start the day than in a cage.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
welcome neighbor, you need oo get that average up to about 6-8k a year!! Falls Church off the W&OD...round trips to Purceville are awesome!

hoping to get local area get together this spring...
 

christob

Well-Known Member
@opimax I expect my miles to steadily grow... particularly as I get into better shape / lighter weight.
A few years of my childhood were spent living in Bluemont, a little further west of Purcellville!
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Another first -- Naturally, having biked into work this morning for the first time - I had to bike home. Only, I opted to swing by my LBS for a fix-a-flat class first -- by the time the class ended, it was totally dark AND raining. So -- my first ride on dark, wet streets (about 8 blocks' worth, before reaching dedicated bike trail.) I can see a whole world of additional rain-based accessories filling my Amazon shopping list soon...
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Another first -- Naturally, having biked into work this morning for the first time - I had to bike home. Only, I opted to swing by my LBS for a fix-a-flat class first -- by the time the class ended, it was totally dark AND raining. So -- my first ride on dark, wet streets (about 8 blocks' worth, before reaching dedicated bike trail.) I can see a whole world of additional rain-based accessories filling my Amazon shopping list soon...
Good start, I would say. Since you have a hub motor, immediately install a tire liner or Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire.
In the beginning, until you start enjoying the dopamine rush that comes from exercise, you may want to use the assist generously.

Commuting on an E-bike is the best way to start and end your work day. Especially, if you have to commute on W&OD or C&O trail, it's perfect.
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Update: While it took me the first 23 days of ebike ownership to accumulate 100 miles (lots of lingering winter weather in that time), I ticked over my second hundred today, 11 days later...
I'm on my 3rd consecutive bike-to-work day today (proud that I talked myself into it this morning, despite the 35f temperature!) That round trip will contribute 13 miles each day I bike it. Although last night, I decided to take "the long way" home (a 14 mile path). Much to my chagrin and then dismay, my battery gave out about 1.25 miles from home. There were some really significant hills on this long-route, and as fate would have it, we had crazy winds (but sunny) all evening -- we were under a gale warning actually -- and I rode directly into the wind, or else sideways to it, for 2/3 of the trip. (I could feel, and see on the speedometer, the wind seriously cutting my speed!) So I was definitely working the motor/draining the battery, never really going below Level3 (of 5) and using Level4 and Level5 many times along the way. End result, I got 20.1 miles out of that full battery charge. (While only 3 days earlier, I did a 3-hour, 24 mile leisure ride, and returned home with 3 bars left on the battery gauge!)
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Chriosbob, Taking off tomorrow at noon to go riding , always welcome company, how many batteries do yo have what is you range?
 

christob

Well-Known Member
Hi @opimax; I'm in an offsite class most of Friday, so I can't ride until probably 4:30...
I only have the 1 battery... I don't yet know my range on a full charge... my longest trek so far has been 24 miles on paved surfaces (bike path, Holmes Run, Eisenhower trail, and streets in Old Town) and that trip didn't fully deplete the battery. (That was from Landmark Mall to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and just over to National Harbor, turn around and come back... I think I did that pretty much mostly in Level2, dropping to 1 or 0 on flats and downhills, which presumably helps conserve battery...)