New e-biker in Toronto

antboy

New Member
Hey all,

Finally signed up for the forum, after using it for a TON of research on what to get, more robust locking solutions etc etc.

Pulled the trigger on the Spark Mini fat tire folder after seeing the review here, and so far I'm loving it.

I've only got about 30km on it, but it's a blast to ride. Still have to put it to the "big hill" test here in Toronto (Bathurst just south of St Clair) but it's got a lot of oomph.

Despite being a heavy bike, it rides about the same as the Toronto bike shares, but the fat tires are going to take a bit of getting used to.

36697
 

antboy

New Member
Climbing stairs would be a challenge. Took it a bit offroad, to Tommy Thompson park here in Toronto. It's fun in the gravel with the fat tires.

Had to order new chain locks though. U locks and fat tires are just awkward.
 
You got the deluxe version with hydraulic brakes and bigger battery...nice. Go to Scarborough bluffs hill and enjoy the optical illusion of the lake looking like a massive tsunami from the higher level view...except for the sailboats bobbling along. I saw a horde of spandex/lycra boys struggling on their lightweight bikes to get back up the hill.
 

antboy

New Member
Actually it's just the base model with the 13aH battery. I was tempted by the bigger battery for sure, but didn't want the hassle of hydraulic brakes. I get their benefits, but found hydraulics to need more maintenance, so went to the cheaper side. :)

Scarborough bluffs is a great call. Haven't been out there in a few years. It would be fun to take that hill on this thing.

I'm right downtown by the Skydome, and want to see how the battery holds up riding up to North York to visit friends (the ride would be about as long as TTC). It SHOULD make the round trip, but I'll pack the charger just in case.
 
Actually it's just the base model with the 13aH battery. I was tempted by the bigger battery for sure, but didn't want the hassle of hydraulic brakes. I get their benefits, but found hydraulics to need more maintenance, so went to the cheaper side. :)

Scarborough bluffs is a great call. Haven't been out there in a few years. It would be fun to take that hill on this thing.

I'm right downtown by the Skydome, and want to see how the battery holds up riding up to North York to visit friends (the ride would be about as long as TTC). It SHOULD make the round trip, but I'll pack the charger just in case.
That was a better choice, then; save the trouble, and the $300 could go toward a 2nd battery if you need one - as if not spending an extra $300 means you have $300 "extra", eh?
 
Last week we went to the very end of the bluffer's picnic area right near to the marina across the little bit of water. We had 4 mink sightings, not sure how many were repeats, but we know there are at least 2 mink there because we saw them rolling together in the open and then split in opposite directions. Never saw any mink before anywhere. Better than last year when a polite skunk sauntered through.
 

antboy

New Member
Another thing I discovered is that this thing turns heads.
I'm just a little jealous. And the full fenders are a big plus in my book.
The rain hit about 30 minutes into a 2 hr ride (getting used to feel, testing trip times). Zero fender spray.
 

JamesJackson

New Member
It seems to me or there are no pedals in the photo? How much does this giant weigh? The battery is really cool, it looks impressive :)
 

antboy

New Member
That's a pic I took during assembly. I'm not riding on throttle-only... mostly. :)

With the battery in, it's around 65 lbs. The only drawback so far is that it's more unwieldly than I expected when folded, but I'm starting to get the feel for it.
 

antboy

New Member
They need to invent a little dolly to attach it to, for rolling it along when folded
I've been thinking about that myself... I might pick up one of those $10 "granny carts" in Chinatown, and see if I can find a way to jerry-rig removable wheels to the rack.

Either Brompton or Tern (IIRC) has mini-wheels attached to the rear rack for that purpose, but I think this thing would need something more substantial.
 
Hey antboy, How long did it take to arrive from when you ordered?
What I like about SparkBikes is that you can get models with heavier Bafang motors than some of the competitors offer on similar model...the real 500W nominal up to 750W max. The written reviews here tell you the motor weights. Bolton bikes took a Rad motor apart to show its small size compared to a properly claimed motor. I think weight is a clue - I also notice sellers don't mention max W if they have the smaller motors, they just say 500W.
Sparkbikes Mini:
Motor: Bafang 500 Watt, 80 N.m
• Motor Peak Output: 750 Watt
EBR review:
Motor Weight: 10.4 lbs (4.71 kg)
big difference from 6.5 lbs or whatever

Also on comparatively same size wheels, it seems the torque is different if it's a smaller motor. So when I see bikes with lesser motor weight, no mention of max W, and lesser torque, to me it signals that it's the smaller motor - maybe 250W or 350W nominal, I guess 250W. You can see the same style of listing used for obscuring the facts, I think, by all the sellers of this type in Canada, but Sparkbike at least has some choice of models that definitely seem to ring true. I also note the fluted edge of the motor vs smooth edge. Fluted edge seems to be a heavier 500W nominal, but I'm still checking for an actual correlations/relationships on all of that stuff.

Fluted edge on heavier motor, but not sure ..maybe the edge type is in relation to the wheel and spokes style. But still, this is another model with the heavier motor.
 

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antboy

New Member
One of the reasons I went with Spark is that while I'm an e-bike first timer, all the other components seemed to be just a little better than other bikes in the same price range, or even a few hundred dollars more. I'll have to double check the motor, but it definitely feels like it has more power than the 350w Das-kit I tried on the Amego folding bike.

When I ordered on July 30th in the eve, the site said they wouldn't be shipping until Aug 9 and Aug 12. They had just got their new stock in, and had to process preorders first (I ordered the first day they were in stock).

On Aug 9, I got the tracking number, and it arrived Aug 14.

I was showing a coworker the site today, and the site said "Shipping now", so I'd guess that they would ship immediately, though they may give you a courtesy call first to confirm the order and shipping location, like they did for me.
 
antboy, I bet it does have more power than the amego stuff. Plus I think Amego might have old stock with old batteries sitting around for years. The Sparkbikes components add up to some pretty good packages.
Thanks for the details of your purchase.
 
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