Breaking down far from... anything?

AllAroundTheIsland

New Member
Region
Canada
I have a bike on order (so excited, haven't had a bike for over 20years) and since I'm a wee bit obsessive I've been checking out places to ride. In my area there is a group of trails and old logging roads, all gated off with no vehicle access. I would need to bike through the neighborhood, 4km minimum. While checking out the map there are a few wide parts of a river system I'd love to see. Those spots are between 9 and 15km away from the gate at a minimum. I'm a little bit worried about breaking down out there.

I have ordered a pump, patches, chain tools that come with a link. I know I should pick up a spare tube or two and a second chain, but am I missing anything else?

I plan on having my dog with me, but I she can't go 30km so I have a pet trailer for when she gets tired. I am concerned that something on the bike is going to go that I can't fix. Pushing, or even riding an unassisted bike weighing about 90lbs with the gear, plus a trailer, plus a big dog is A LOT. So does anyone have any tips if the worst happens?
 

sc00ter

Active Member
Ride the new bike around locally as much as possible. If something simple fails (loose connection or out of adjustment part) you'll be close to home. If something major fails, again close to home. I got a cheap Rad Power bike and mines been a little tank. The one thing that got me, twice, is the dreaded flat. I got liners installed now. But just ride the ebike local. Get a feeling for the way it rides, your range on a charge and see if the dog will actually tolerate the trailer. What brand did you buy? Oh, and welcome!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
and a second chain
Not. A chain is heavy. Depending on the way your existing chain is connected (with a master-link or just with a pin), you should carry a spare master-link, a spare pin or two, and a chain-tool. In case your chain snaps, it is OK to just remove the broken link with the chain-tool and reconnect the chain. (Loss of a chain link wont't affect the chain length too much). As I am paranoiac myself, I also carry Shimano master-link pliers but that is not necessary. Some people carry a couple of matching chain links and some spare connecting pins: again, that's not necessary.

Now, you are talking about carrying as many as two spare inner tubes. It is extremely rare to get both wheels get punctured on a ride. It is reasonable to carry a single spare tube as well as patches in the case if you are met with really bad luck. Don't forget carrying tire levers though.

Now, is your e-bike of mid-drive or hub-drive motor type? Repairing wheels in field for a mid-drive is easy but that's a pain for the hub-drive. Better practice removing and replacing the rear wheel (at home) if you own a hub-drive...
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I often ride in remote out of the way locations. Flats have always been my nemesis so I use tire liners & heavy duty slime filled tubes. As others have suggested, I also carry a spare tube, patch kit, pump and a double ended Gaadi style tube which can be installed without removing the rear wheel. A cell phone, a good tool kit with chain parts, a small first aid kit, zip ties, duct tape and a small roll of electrical tape are also handy to have. A small flashlight is also good to have for making emergency repairs if you ride before dawn or near dusk.

I also carry a spare battery in case I make an error in my range per charge calculations. It's also a backup in case of injury or medical issue which could force higher PAS or throttle usage to get back home.

Spare battery or not, conservative power management is always a good idea. Know your limits as well as the battery capacity. Make sure you know how to read your battery gauge. Not all are linear and often display more charge remaining than there actually is. I found this out the hard way. On one of my first rides, I rode out until the gauge read 50% charge remaining and didn't have enough to get back.

As mentioned above, make a couple of "shakedown" rides near home. Get to know your bike before taking it into the boondocks. If possible, ride with someone else who could go for help if necessary.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!
 

kmccune

Active Member
In the good ol' USA the gated roads are generally off limits to anything , except foot travel( In VA anyway) it seems you are writing a pretty big ticket for yourself, start easy, invest in good tires( Maybe with Tannus inserts-) take the Doggie on shorter trips, She might get more tired quicker than you think. 20 years? Better try out some options first, these Folks do seem to give out good advice,this 'Forum' is glad to have you.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Best compact chain tool - pliers, chain breaker and magnetic link holder


1-MT-CTPLIR-V104_MultiChainPliers_v2_R1_1800x1800.jpg
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I go off the cell phone grid & the wife works days, so I don't expect any help from anybody. The bike won't fit in her car anyway.
I don't trust patches & carry 2 or 3 tubes. They are made in ***** and sometimes the first one bursts immediately. I have the handlebars arranged where I can turn the bike upside down without issue. When I had a display I mounted it on a stand that I could loosen two screws and rotate it out of the way. I find changing the hub drive end tube takes only about 10 minutes longer than the other end. I carry tie-wraps so I can cut off the old ones and retie the wiring without unplugging. I'm not strong enough to wind up the derailleur takeup and carry channl-lock pliers for that.
Slime plugs up the stem sometimes so I can't lower the tire pressure, so I don't use it. I don't use liners or $70 tires. I use $26 tires with knobs that don't get flats as long as the knobs are taller than 3/32". No goat thorns here, but lots of tire shreds with steel wire sticking out.
I have hub drives so I don't carry chain, links, or tools for that. If I throw a chain the motor will pull me home. I have a throttle. Using a hub drive my first chain lasted 2 1/2 years before getting too loose.
I have more trouble with fenders, guards, and accessories coming unscrewed & dragging. I carry a full set of tools for every fasterner on the bike, plus 3 sizes of extra screws & nuts. Plus shifter & brake cable adjustments.
I've had the shimano 7 speed rear axle come unscrewed & drop the balls, requiring a push home. Only 4 miles that time. Unreliable design without a lock nut on the race. When I had one of those I carried a pill bottle of 1/4" balls.
The hub motor cover gets loose periodically. Blue loktite slows it down but doesn't stop it. If yours uses torx or something weird, carry a tool for that. I changed out the torx screws to 4mm allen head that doesn't weigh much.
I had a used tire blow and require a push 7 miles with 60 lb groceries. I've quit using used tires. Nothing over 2 years old. Pity the schwinn roll up tires won't stay on the rim, or I'd carry one. When I couldn't get knabe tires this spring, I bought a Panaracer fire XC that came as a fold-up. I'm probably going to throw it away. Waste of $40. I don't want to push the bike 15 miles with groceries after the tire slips off the rim and blows the tube.
I don't worry about electrical problems because a geared hub motor doesn't drag unpowered. I when the first motor wore out I just pedaled it 7 miles to destination then 30 more miles back to town. So far the only problem after I found a battery that would deliver >50 watts is the throttle being inactivated by the rain. Sometimes I carry a plastic bag to wrap around that.
Check your air pump periodically. My bag fills up with water sometimes and drowns the pump. I poked holes in the bottom but they don't stay open.
Happy exploring.
 
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
Don’t go further than you can walk your bike. Don’t take a heavy dog with you unless it can pull your bike/trailer. I just got Tannus Armor for my bike but haven’t tested it much yet. I’d do a test run on getting those tires off for repair since it’s been 20 years. They’re a bear to get off these days. Best of luck!
 

Brockrock

Member
Region
USA
I mainly ride my eBike on the road and am fortunate to live in a fairly rural area where there is a lot of good riding. Either way - on or off road - a breakdown would be no fun. My primary two concerns are flat tires and a system failure of the eDrive - battery, hub motor, controller... As mentioned by others above, I carry a spare tube and tools for that possibility, but a drive failure could certainly be an issue for these heavier eBikes. One thing that I do is carry a heavy gauge plastic bag in my rear rack bag. If I did have a fatal drive failure, I would remove the battery along with anything else that was unnecessary in order to limp home unassisted, and I would hide it all in the woods or wherever I could and then collect it later. I have an Aventon Level, and without the battery and other things that I typically carry in my bag, it becomes a more manageable pedal-only bike.

Regardless of how/where you end up using your eBike - as a poster above suggested - it would be a good idea to ride it closer to home for the first few outings in order to get to know it, and develop your confidence in its systems.
 

ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Kitsap Co, WA
I don't want to say that I've never in my life had a flat on my acoustic or electric bikes, because undoubtedly I would jinx this record, so I ain't sayin' it.

I have had the battery lose connection with the motor when it became unseated when transported in the back of the truck or riding over gravel. There was a moment of small terror when this first happened in the middle of nowhere, but reseating the battery fixed it, and now it is merely annoying and I know how to fix it. No biggie. The more you learn the idiocyncrasies of your bike, the more confident you will feel. So just enlarge your riding range steadily and you will learn your bike.

If your dog is not up to walking as far as you ride, I would not take him/her. I can't imagine that getting tossed and rumbled in a bike trailer would be all that pleasant for an old doggie anyway.
 

Bubba zanetti

Active Member
Region
Canada
City
Trail, BC
If you are riding solo, out of cell service, you should do yourself the peace of mind a SPOT or InReach satellite tracker can deliver.
Monthly fee, but you can call for assistance to friends or get full on rescue. I’ve had an InReach for years. It shows when I’m visiting the Alpha Kappa sorority house too, so be cautious! But it is the size an weight of a cell, allows friends and family to see I’m safe or get a quick message that I’m delayed but ok. I’ve carried one for ten years due to motorcycling and the vast areas with no cell service here in the Kootenay’s.
 

AllAroundTheIsland

New Member
Region
Canada
Hoping I don't miss anything while I reply to all the wonderful suggestions/thoughts you guys have given me.

I bought a Biktrix classic duo. It's a mid drive, so I won't need to take off a hub in order to replace or patch a tube, however I don't have help if the chain breaks.

I do have plans on riding locally to get used to it. With/without power assist, making sure I feel comfortable with turns and cars and bumps and all the other assorted things. Luckly my sister lives only about 4km from me. There is one hill at the start of my journey and the rest is mostly flat with a few gradual inclines in her direction. If it breaks down it's mostly flat or downhill all the way home, that should be a nice test and a bit of a confidence boost to know there are no uphills if I need to pedal a heavy bike back.

It comes with a 48v 17.5AH battery and I've ordered a second 52v 17.5AH, so I'm not totally concerned about range, but I do plan on doing a few tests to see where my comfort levels with the batteries are.

I do need to try her in the trailer. I'm planning on having her in it while I bike the busier (but not very busy) streets and then letting her off leash where there isn't anyone else around. Very lucky that there are those old logging roads, while they have been gated off a lot of people head up there to use dirt bikes and atvs, so it's not entirely unpopulated but not many people head up for a walk. In fact besides people on quads I've never seen another person and I've never seen another dog. There is, of course, the chance that she won't like the trailer at all, but it should be easy to get her in with treats as she's very food motivated. And when she realizes a trailer means a fun walk she should go for it. She's one of those dogs that tries to put her own harness on.

For the chain.... I've ordered a chain repair set that comes with a splitter/pliers/chain checker and a spare link. The cost of another chain vs a few links seems to be about the same so I had just thought about buying a chain later on. But perhaps I need a few more links? Maybe an entire chain wouldn't be the best... I'm uncertain.

Bringing tools to tighten things is a really good idea, having something pertinent shake loose would really suck, especially if all it takes is a quick tighten to ride a lot safer. But man, you are making me want to hide under a blanket after listening to the problems you've had. I do NOT want to be pushing a bike loaded with groceries home, and being able to make quick grocery runs is one of the reasons I've bought this bike! Can I ask what you use when you haul groceries? I've got some panniers on order and I figure the trailer could be used for bigger hauls, but I'm always interested to know what others use.

Being able to hide things is something that I'm considering. I know it's not what you are saying, but I've been toying with the idea of being able to stash the trailer somewhere not so visible. If nobody is around and it's easy to hook up and unhook, then why not? I'm not convinced I'll do it but it's something to think about. However stashing small things in a bag in the bush if I absolutely have to is something to really give some thought to. I wouldn't unless it was 100% needed, but I'll add a plastic bag to my list of things to have on hand.

Sattelite trackers are not something that I've given any thought to, but if I really do end up doing some off road things I think I will really consider them. Having someone that knows where I am would be a really good thing, especially if I go crazy and think about camping somewhere with my bike.

I'm probably 100% overthinking a lot of things and not even considering other things. I'm just so excited. I've wanted an ebike for years and I finally decided that now was the time to do it. I looked and looked and looked and finally decided on Biktrix, loving the idea of dual batteries. Pulled the trigger in Feb, bit of a delay, but I got a note it should be ready to ship to me in two weeks. Of course now I REALLY can't stop thinking about it. I mean what else am I going to do besides read, post, watch videos, map potential routes and talk the ear off of anyone still willing to listen to me? I mean it's certainly more fun to do all of that than anything useful.

I'm pretty aware that my pessimistic nature is making me want to bring my entire house with me on a ride, but I'm really trying hard to look at the brighter side of things. Bringing my dog with me is certainly one of those, but ya'll have certainly given me more things to think about where she is concerned. She's not old, only 6years but she's a smaller, more compact girl and I'm not certain how far she can go. I've never pushed it before. The trailer really does have the benefit of being an emergency way to transport her if she gets tired, though there is a chance she'll outlast me even with a motor!

Thanks for all your suggestions, thoughts and experiences, it was really great being able to read them all!
 

sc00ter

Active Member
My family had Akita dogs back in the early 70's. We quit showing them and ended up with a scratch and dent "ugly" Akita with a great personality. Everything wrong on an Akita she had, web feet, wonky tail, white on her mask, etc but her personality made up for it. The breeder was gonna put her down because of her ugliness. Of course we adopted her! She later got hip dysplasia. When out for walks I towed a customized, lowered red wagon behind us. When she got tired she'd plop on the wagon and get towed around.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I have ridden 11,000 miles on mid drive eBikes. I haven't broken a chain yet. Never broke a chain on 2,000 miles on hub motors. I don't worry about chains as you might imagine. But, I don't ride a gross weight bicycle and gear of 90 pounds either. That's almost 40 pounds of gear on the eBikes I ride.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
It comes with a 48v 17.5AH battery and I've ordered a second 52v 17.5AH, so I'm not totally concerned about range, but I do plan on doing a few tests to see where my comfort levels with the batteries are.

Bringing tools to tighten things is a really good idea, having something pertinent shake loose would really suck, especially if all it takes is a quick tighten to ride a lot safer. But man, you are making me want to hide under a blanket after listening to the problems you've had. I do NOT want to be pushing a bike loaded with groceries home, and being able to make quick grocery runs is one of the reasons I've bought this bike! Can I ask what you use when you haul groceries? I've got some panniers on order and I figure the trailer could be used for bigger hauls, but I'm always interested to know what others use.

I carry the groceries mostly in the panniers on the bike in my avetar. Sometimes I blow the cube limit & tie the bread on top. It is a stretch cargo frame, so my weight goes on the front, cargo weight goes on the back. I've carried A/C's, night stands & bookshelf kits, power wheels & a spare bicycle back there. Ag chemicals in 2.5 gal bottles & 5 gal of diesel fuel at a time. A pickup tire. String is my friend.
I have one 48 v 17.5 ah battery and cross 30 miles & >80 hills with it. The ebikeling motor it would red light on the last couple of hills, sometimes cut out. This Mac12t motor I have now I start @ 53v and get there at 45 or 46. Downhill run uses less watthours of course. I'd like to ride to concerts & festivals 50 miles away, but my hips hurt too much after 3 hours. So I need a better seat more than a second battery.
If that foldup tire is not a big scam, it would fit in the pannier and only weigh 3 more pounds. The schwinn foldup tires were trash, would fall off the rim and blow the tube out. That would cover one of the big push home sources. The shimano 7 speed rear, I'll have to look up the biktrix classic duo to see if you have one. If you do, it is trash. Dropped balls & stranded me. There is a replacement axle with a machined on race that won't back off available, We The People, but it is never in stock at modernbike or thebikeshopstore. My 8 speed shimano axle has not been a problem in 6500 miles.
Pushing the bike, I've got to stay in shape. I do 5 lb pilates weight lifts besides bike riding, because muscle all melts away past age 60 if you don't exercise it regularly. I'm 70. The time I pushed 7 miles with 60 lb groceries, I waved a $50 bill at about 25 pickup trucks blasting past me. There is no help out there for bicyclers in dually dieselland. The maps are **** too out in the country, I don't think a tow truck could find me if I did push onto the cell phone grid.
My heart "has nothing wrong with it" the cardiologist said, when he charged medicare $5000 to allow me to have shoulder surgery. So with enough water, I can walk in from anywhere I guess. Wear good shoes and take a way to lock your bike up to a power pole or metal post. I wouldn't worry much about the trailer except at stores or in town where it is fenceable.
Edit the biktrix juggernaught classic has shimano 7 speed rear. don't ride it further than 1000 miles IMHO. Piece of ****.
Happy trails, as RR used to sing.
 
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Luto

Active Member
You are more likely to crash and make the bike inoperable than to have a repair need beyond a flat.

I would suggest:

Go tubeless and sealant, with a tube back up. Run newer tires; quality tires.
Think about what could go wrong with the trailer. They seem to be less robust. I would try a non trailer carrier solution, if she fits.

Otherwise, that is not that far to walk out, so that is the right solution. Carry a light to wear (red flashing) if you are walking out at night; maybe the same one as on the bike.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Hoping I don't miss anything while I reply to all the wonderful suggestions/thoughts you guys have given me.

I bought a Biktrix classic duo. It's a mid drive, so I won't need to take off a hub in order to replace or patch a tube, however I don't have help if the chain breaks.

buy quick link for your chain cheap insurance. around 5.00
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
You are over-thinking this. Anything's possible, of course, but none of what you're worried about is likely on any given ride, and in fact, other than maybe an occasional flat, your odds of having to walk out of the woods are about the same as having a Chinese rocket crash on your head.

Keep up with your maintenance and check things before you ride. Put Slime in your tubes. (Going tubeless is a needless expense as far as preventing flats is concerned. Don't do that unless you already have tubeless ready rims and you're ready to replace your tires anyway and you have money to burn.)

Carry what you need to patch a tube and air it back up, and probably a spare tube. If you know what you're doing and want to, carry what you need to repair or replace your chain, but you will very likely never need it. Carry your cell phone and if you ride outside of cell service, consider one of those emergency satellite texting thingies if you don't think you'll be able to hike back to civilization.

The person who mentioned wrecks being more likely than mechanical issues was spot on, in my experience. I've never been hurt or had bike damage I couldn't deal with while on a ride, but I do carry a small first aid kit.

TT
 
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