The Bike Geek

thebikegeek

Before there was BikeCommuters.com and Commutebybike.com there was a little blog called TheBikeGeek.com.Unfortunately the owner (me) was a dumb ass who forgot to renew the domain only to be snatched by squatters. Screw them, I ain’t paying their ransom fees.

So I asked RL to see if I could “write” posts about that may or may not be totally about bike commuting and he totally agreed. Not interested in reading posts about geeky cycling stuff? Move on, there is nothing to see. Think you can do better? We totally welcome guest articles and if you want a full time gig that does not pay shit please email info@bikecommuters.com.

So what kind of geeky cycling stuff are we talking about? Well, here is what I’m working on:

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Fitness Trackers! Yes, these are VERY popular this time of year and since I also gained a little *ahem*20 lbs*ahem* weight I decided to try them out on my quest to lose that pesky baby fat.

The Players:
The Motorola 360 smart watch:
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Garmin VivoFit:
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Misfit Shine:
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The Moov:
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Notice that all of these are version 1.0. Why? I had them for a while and I also had to pay for them.

I’ll be focusing on how these fitness gadgets integrate with cycling and let’s see if they will help me lose the weight.

Stay tuned for the updates!

E-Lux Electric Fat Tire Cruiser-First Impression

We recently took delivery of the new E-Lux Electric Fat Tire Cruiser for testing. I’ve never seen a fat tire beach cruiser like this before. The first thing I said when I saw it was…”Wow this thing is tall!” The photo below doesn’t really do it justice…
elux Fat Tire Cruiser Electric Bicycle

So here’s some basic specs:
Motor:750w Brushless Geared Motor
Battery: 48V 13Ah Samsung Lithium Ion
Brakes: Front and rear Tektro Disc Brakes
Power: Pedal Assist of Throttle
Range: 30+ Miles
Speed: 21mph
Charging time: 4-6 hours

e-lux ebikes

During my first 10 miles on the Elux, I have to say I was smiling the whole time. This powerful 750w motor, coupled with the 48v battery gives it enough oomph to get up some of the steepest hills in my area.
fat tire electric bike

For my maiden voyage, I took the E-Lux around a variety of terrain so I could get a feel for this bike. I rode a mixture of street, dirt and gravel. I had the pedal assist on #5 (the highest setting) to see if the bike had any trouble hauling my husky butt around. One some of the steeper gravel climbs, I did pedal a bit just to make sure I cleared the hills.

This bike is pretty heavy, right around 75lbs. But you won’t really feel it when you’re riding, especially if you’re on the throttle or pedal assist. The only time the weight is ever an issue is when you have to lift it.
elux ebikes

I’ve only ridden the Elux 10 miles and so far it’s performing much like other e-bikes out there. The fat tires are a hoot on gravel and sand. I was actually impressed with the tires since they seem to grip even when you lean the bike into a corner. I have to add, it’s also a handsome looking bike. Yes it does have fat tires, but that’s what makes this bike unique. For all you die-hard commuters out there, notice the fenders and rear rack? What you didn’t see in the photos is the pannier that I had mounted on the rack to carry my keys, camera and snacks. I also have to add that this bike does come equipped with a front “to-be-seen” headlight.

We plan on putting this bike through the paces to see how well the electric system works as well as the rest of the machine. I know that many of you object to electric assist bikes, some may even consider it “cheating.” But the reality is this segment of the bicycle industry is growing. There are more and more e-bike brands out there that offer a whole slew of options and styles. So stay tuned for our review in the coming weeks.

NiteRider Sentinel tail light review

It has been a little over eight years since we wrote our non-scientific rear light comparo. Planet Bike’s Super Flash rear light was a top favorite and it is still one of my personal favorites.

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We were offered to review the NiteRider Sentinel rear light featuring lasers. Yup, lasers! In top of the lasers, this light also features a 2 Watt LED light producing about 40 lumens. Let me tell you, even without the lasers, this light is freaking bright. Another cool feature is that the Sentinel is a USB rechargeable light-a huge plus in my book.

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I’m guilty of purchasing those inexpensive Chinese laser rear lights and they eat batteries like crazy, not to mention that the quality of the lights was horrible. Lesson learned.

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We used the NiteRider Sentinel during most of our weekly nightly off-road cycling ride. Our local ride offers a variation of horse trails, small streets and big avenues; a rear light is a must for safety reasons. The Sentinel performed with no hiccups even going through some bumpy trails.

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The Sentinel was also tested during our morning rides to the beach on Pacific Coast Highway. Although the lasers were ineffective during daylight, the 2 watt LED was clearly noticeable.

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Pros:
USB rechargeable
Super bright 2 Watt LED light
Freaking Lasers!
Mount can adapt to most seatpost shapes and sizes
NiteRider Quality
Good run time
5 running modes

Cons:
Lasers are invisible during daylight
A little pricey at $50.00

What I would change:
I think that the concept of having virtual laser bike lanes is a good one, however, I don’t really think that we need a laser on the right side since most of us ride close to the curb. It would also be a good idea if the left laser would be 3-feet away from the bike since a few states have a mandatory 3-feet passing law.

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With its super bright 2 Watt LED, convenient mounting strapping system, USB charging and cool lasers; I can definitely see the NiteRider’s Sentinel being one of my favorite tail lights.
Our review disclaimer.

Top 3 Articles in the HISTORY of BikeCommuters.com

So I was perusing through BikeCommuters.com and found that we have written nearly 3000 articles since we opened up our doors in 2008! Out of all those articles, some of the most popular ones keep getting hit by various search engines. So I went ahead and picked out some of the top 3 articles being searched on the site.

1.10 Bike Commuting Myths Dispelled.

1. I’m out of shape

— Ride an easy pace, in a few months you will be in great shape
— Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work
— You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter

2. It takes too long

— The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you become
— Trips of less than 3 miles will be quicker by bike
— Trips of 5 to 7 miles in urban areas take the same or less by car

3. It’s too far

— Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day
— Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your route
— Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work

 

2. P-Clamps Are Your Friends Find out what these things are used for. Just to let you know how popular this article is. If you do a search on Google for “P Clamps Bikes”, out of 1,610,000 results, this article shows up on the first page in 1st position. That basically means this article has so many people looking at it and linking. Because of this article, I’ve actually used P Clamps on other projects that didn’t involve bicycles. I used it to secure a motorcycle seat on a cafe racer project I was building.

Bikecommuters.com p-clamps

3.DIY Bicycle Repair Stand by Andrew Li. This article came to us by way of Dr. Li himself. He is our most reliable volunteer at our Bicycle Repair for The Homeless effort that we do in Santa Ana, Ca. He comes out with his DIY stand and will wrench on bikes for a few hours and his creation has withstood the abuse throughout the years.

diy bicycle repair stand bikecommuters.com andrew li

There you have it. Those are the top 3 articles coming out of BikeCommuters.com. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of them that are great, but people are searching for those types of articles and we’re glad we could provide our readers, new and old a resource that is not only useful, but can also save you money.

New Year, New Bike?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, I’ve been wanting a new bike for the new year. I figured something new would get me more excited about riding bicycles. So I started looking around for a CycloCross Bike, or some may call it CX bike.

I’ve always loved 700c wheeled bicycles for commuting. To me they just ride smoother and faster than 26″ wheels. So that meant a CX bike would be a great addition to my stable. I’ve had my share of CX bikes in the past and I love them. This time around I want to focus in on a bike that is going to be budget minded. I really don’t want to, nor have the funds to get a fancy bike.

So a few choices came to mind. The first one is the Liberty CX available only through BikesDirect for about $399.99.

cyclocross bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next choice was to go single speed with the State Warhawk which retails for about $579.
state warhawk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyhow, if things go as planned with selling off my body parts and services, I may be able to get this new bike soon. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.