Electric Bike Podcast #1 - Ebike Trends, Crowd Funding, Financing, Recycling & More

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Podcast available in audio form on SoundCloud now: https://soundcloud.com/user-280486140/sets/electric-bike-podcast

Greetings fellow electric bike enthusiasts... myself (Court Rye), the owner of Propel Bikes in Brooklyn (Chris Nolte) and the owners of the New Wheel in San Francisco (Brett Thurber and Karen Wiener) will be kicking off the first Electric Bike Podcast on Monday the 23rd of January, 2017. This being our first... we will introduce the concept, discuss some of our favorite bits of news or products in 2016 and what we're excited for in 2017. In act 2 we will cover some recent news from reputable sources (which will be linked in the description and posted here) and then ask each other questions.

In the future, we plan to invite guest speakers onto the show, film video of new products in store and cover maintenance tips or just anything interesting and save some time at the end to field user questions or topics. This forum section is designed for you to post questions you'd like us to cover and to comment on specific episodes (or just keep track). Thanks for your involvement with this space, your contributions mean a lot to us and fellow e-cyclists who are learning or developing a passion for the space.


Electric Bike Podcast #1 - Ebike Trends, Crowd Funding, Financing, Recycling & More

This being our first ever electric bike podcast, we decided to do some introductions and talk about the trends we saw in 2016 along with with we're excited for the coming 2017 season. Chris Nolte from Propel and Brett Thurber shared bits about their season and we branched off into a discussion about brands that had gone out of business... this led us to Polaris and Brett explained that the product was actually a licensed piece of hardware not actually produced by Polaris (I believe the company may have been called E-Vantage). With a bit more talk about 2017 brands from Europe coming to the US and offering higher quality bikes that fill a lot of niches, I mentioned the Riese and Müller models with double battery packs, the Specialized ebikes with the Brose system that blends right in and looks stealth and how Sondors went from something people were skeptical about to something that actually worked and became a stepping stone for a lot of people to try out electric bicycles given the low price point. We mentioned Faraday as a crowd funded ebike (their original and the new step-thru Cortland) but now some mainstream brands are using Kickstarter and Indiegogo including Tern which did their Vektron folding electric bike. It seems like one approach is capitol and the other is for "free" marketing. Another cheaper crowd funded bike came up, the Wave electric bike, and we jumped into safety and support... what happens once these bikes are in the wild or if you're overpowering a normal bike that isn't setup for that kind of stress. One area Brett is passionate about is the sustainability aspect of cycling and electric bikes, he talked about Bicycle Blue Book and on to selling used bikes through his shop (connecting customers with sellers for free). I mentioned the Renewable Power Energy company which repacks batteries. Bosch actually offers a battery recycling program for their batteries, to harvest the Lithium. There's a phone number on the bottom of Bosch batteries that you can call and they help you learn where to send it. For those who are interested in seeing the fat bike that got stuck on an electric fence in Europe that we watched, here's the link:


In news, Faraday was acquired by Pon Holdings and Nifa seems to be going out of business (which does Grace). Brett had visited their factory several years back but said the factory just didn't feel right.

Other things we talked about:
- Chris's shop in Brookly New York, Propel Bikes: http://propelbikes.com/
- Brett and Karen's shop in San Francisco and Marin California, New Wheel: http://newwheel.net/
- Bicycle Blue Book: https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/
- Kickstarter Ebikes: Faraday Porteur, Tern Vektron
- Indiegogo Ebikes: Sondors, Wave
- Electric Bike Podcast Forum Section: Link Removed
- New Gazelle ebikes coming... mention of the Arroyo
- Brompton is moving to a new factory and the Prince visited... they seem to be doing an electric bike version of their famous folding bicycle (planning for 2018 launch). Apparently there was a Brompton presentation at Google that got publicized that wasn't meant to)
 
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Over50

Well-Known Member
Great idea! I'd like to know what companies you all are considering to be the most innovative and what technologies from those companies you most appreciate and think will make e-biking more accessible to the masses? I mean: is it someone coming up with an almost regular bike that has some electric assist (ie the Budnitz but at a lower cost) or is it the marrying of bicycle technologies like the Nuvinci hub and the Gates Carbon Belt that just make a bike feel so smooth and intuitive? Something else like an advance in battery technology that reduces size but increases range? Curious to know what you see as those companies and technologies that you see will be making non-bike-geeks just want to jump into e-biking and not have any regrets.
 

E-Wheels

Well-Known Member
Court,
Great idea and looking forward to participating
Will you post details of the podcast link
I would be interested to know where ebike voltages are going
They seem to be going away from 36v toward 48v systems
 

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
The weak link in e-biking is understanding optimal battery usage and solutions for updating old and failing batteries. A podcast should discuss specific information with regard to understanding when a battery needs to be replaced, as well as DIY troubleshooting tips on battery maintenance and replacement issues.
 
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Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
The weak link in e-biking is understanding optimal battery usage and solutions for updating old and failing batteries. Knowing when a battery needs to be replaced.Troubleshooting Battery issues with tips and links for replacement solutions as well as maximizing battery life.
Regarding ebike batteries in general (lithium and SLA), I noticed that it likes to perform in a continuous mode at a low PAS setting when fully charged. When halfway discharged, I can feel the battery sag and the battery performs more like a capacitor where it can discharge good output but in short bursts only and then it sags. So when it is halfway drained, I set the PAS one step higher and pedal in a pulse and glide manner.
 

bikerjohn

Well-Known Member
Regarding ebike batteries in general (lithium and SLA), I noticed that it likes to perform in a continuous mode at a low PAS setting when fully charged. When halfway discharged, I can feel the battery sag and the battery performs more like a capacitor where it can discharge good output but in short bursts only and then it sags. So when it is halfway drained, I set the PAS one step higher and pedal in a pulse and glide manner.
An interesting suggestion. The only problem I would have is the need to modify my cycling style to accommodate a failing system. That idea is impractical over the long run of daily commuting.
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
An interesting suggestion. The only problem I would have is the need to modify my cycling style to accommodate a failing system. That idea is impractical over the long run of daily commuting.
I borrowed the idea of "pulse and glide" from prius owners who wanted to hypermile their hybrids to more than 100 mpg. They later found our that they can also do p & g to regular cars and see dramatic improvement in fuel economy. It was more noticeable with my old ebike on heavy lead acid battery, once it was halfway drained, the power sags after initial activation but it doesn't seem to be affected when I take it off and reapply the power every once in a while. So what I did is find an excuse to stop pedaling every now and then such as when approaching irregular surfaces or when trying to stop further acceleration. Example on my regular 25 mile ride, the first 12 miles is PAS 2 (ave 19-20 mph) and the second half of the ride is PAS 3 (ave 19-20 mph also) but in the second half, I pulse and glide between 21 mph and 19 mph.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Can someone share how to find Courts EBR podcast #1 today ? Sorry I'm a noob :) ,
Thanks
Hey Robie! I was prepping this page to publish the podcast once live (just now!) it takes a long time to upload larger videos but now that it's up I've updated my first post with an embed for the podcast and I will also be working to get it on iTunes. Thanks for your interest!
 

Trail Cruiser

Well-Known Member
I think a good topic for the next podcast is a focus more on battery technology, aftermarket battery vendors, sustainability of orphaned ebikes with proprietary batteries, and battery education and maintenance in general.

Another suggestion is inviting aftermarket ebike outfitters in the podcast (emv3, lectric cycles, empowered cycles, grin technology, etc...) and tackle about the future of DIY's and future ebike technologies..

And maybe you can also invite representatives from manufacturers (Currie tech, Bosch, Emotion, Kalkhoff, BionX, Falco, Bafang, etc...).

Just a thought.
 
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Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Liked the discussion about the different caliber factories; people don't always understand why some brands cost more than another and going a little deeper into that issue helps. Discussion about the different battery technologies, more on BMS systems and more about the several companies that rebuild them--why some can & others can't be rebuilt. The podcast would be a way for you to cover more of the DIY territory in a less formal setting than your reviews. Maybe a podcast with @EddieJ and some others involved in adventure, sports or travel cycling or the ebike tour industry. Ebike tours don't necessarily have to be big long trips and can include short few hour local tours.
 

kennyb

Member
I enjoyed the Podcast! Keep them coming. My favorite issues were things like new bikes and technologies coming out this year. I also am interested in discussions about different battery systems and technologies.

Thanks

Kenny B
 

Robie

Active Member
Great podcast Court! loved meeting your grandpa he's way cool those that are looking for it YouTube search electric bike review podcast number one. Your guests did a super job sharing the inner workings of the ebike industry keep em coming. Any plan for your podcasts weekly quarterly?