Monday, June 6, 2016

Bikes are all working... knock on wood

I brought the rear rim of the Allegro 1X to the bike shop to get a spoke fixed. I had expected the work to be completed early Saturday so I could get in some riding but it didn't happen until after 4pm. $35.31 later it's fixed. What a cost difference in comparison to getting a spoke fixed on the Neo Carbon. Of course, it's too different shops; one specializing in electric bikes and the other regular bikes. They may claim that e-bikes are just like regular bikes, but they're not when it comes to repairs. That's something to keep in mind if you're thinking of getting one.

I discovered the obvious on Friday as I rode the Neo Carbon home and I saw that I had almost double the charge remaining in the battery than I usually do. Changing my riding style takes all the credit for that. I've started coasting as often as I can, whereas before I would always pedal, even downhill, to get to where I'm going faster. What a difference. This should have been obvious right from the start. Duh. :)

I need to ride 28.6kms per day, every day, for the entire month to catch up on my Great Cycle Challenge goal of 750kms. I've switched to a longer route to and from work that should help make up for lost time, but it's only going to help if the weather cooperates every day. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bikes... the things I hate about them

After replacing the inner tube in the rear wheel of the Neo Carbon (and finding a third puncture on the old one) all was well up until yesterday.

About half way home I heard a spoke "pop" sound. If you've broken a spoke, you know that sound. Fortunately, the bike shop I got it at was along my route home. Unfortunately, after waiting half an hour, they told me it couldn't be fixed yesterday because it was more complicated than they first thought, with the spoke pattern and all. On top of that, it was going to cost around $55 to fix. I don't think I have much choice than to get it fixed there, since it's the rear wheel with the motor in the hub. I hope that estimate isn't higher today after they realized it was more work.

As if that's not bad enough, when I took the Allegro out for an hour on Saturday, I heard that familiar spoke pop. I couldn't find a broken spoke, but the wheel became untrue. I managed to finish my ride and had planned to take it to a regular bike shop yesterday after I got home from work. By the time I walked home, I wasn't in much of a mood to go back out and spend more money. I'll probably do that today.

What sucks even more is that today was suppose to be the first day of the Great Cycle Challenge.

Come on June, be good to me.

Update: the repair cost is $98.25 :(

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More bike woes

This happens at least once or twice a year: flat tires.

It happened to me this morning, about 1½ kms from work. I walked it the rest of the way and checked it out when I got to the bike room. I lucked out and found a tiny thorn stuck in the tire. When I pumped up the tire I could feel the air leaking out where the thorn had been. Finding the leak is half the battle. Or so I thought.

I went down at lunch and attempted to repair the flat. The Neo Carbon's rear wheel is held on with 19mm nuts, and I don't carry wrenches with me, so I had to repair it without removing the wheel. That's not too difficult. Once I repaired it, and put some air in the tire, I examined the tire for any other punctures. I found a small metal sliver stuck in the tire. I removed it and air came out. Of all the shitty luck. Why me?

Once again, I removed the inner tube enough to patch the second hole. I was fortunate enough to find someone in the underground parking who had a portable air pump so I could inflate it to the right pressure.

I returned my bike to the bike room and crossed my fingers that it would stay inflated, but in the back of my mind I didn't have much confidence in my repair job.

I went back down an hour later to find it flat once again. If I had a 19mm wrench with me, I would have replaced the entire inner tube like I usually do and this probably wouldn't be a problem.

I hate taking the bus.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ride comparison

After riding home from work yesterday on my Neo Carbon I decided to take my Jamis Allegro 1X for a ride. The weather was warm enough, so I changed quickly and headed out for a ~10km ride that I had mapped out earlier in the week.

What a difference.

I fully expected more of a workout, but it felt like I was pedaling with the brakes on. And to think that I used to ride ~40kms per day to and from work on this bike.

I need to do this more often for the workout. I'm aiming for a daily ride after work, weather permitting. First, I need to make a few adjustments to the gears this weekend.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ContourROAM upgrade to ContourROAM 2

I discovered this last week while trying to find a fix for an issue I had with my ContourROAM camera not keeping the correct time:

How To Upgrade ROAM1 into ROAM2

http://www.wikihow.com/Mod-a-Contour-Roam-to-60Fps#How_To_Upgrade_ROAM1_into_ROAM2_sub

There are other web sites and videos that all describe the procedure. Be sure to install the Contour StoryTeller software and check out some of the other new features that get added.

There is one complaint about doing this though; it doesn't record well under low light after the upgrade. If filming at night is important for you, don't do it.

The upgrade/hack also fixed my time issue. :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Good time

I discovered another perk of riding a pedal-assisted e-bike; it's easier to get from one green traffic light to the next without hitting a red light.

I changed things up a little for this morning's commute and rode over to the Gatineau side bike path, and then crossed back over to Ottawa and continue along part of the Ottawa bike path. Compared with last year's time for the same route, I shaved about 4-5 minutes off the total time, and my average speed went from around ~21km/h to ~25km/h. However, I did find that I was still pushing harder than I probably needed to and I was starting to break a sweat when I arrived at work.

I'm a little concerned that I'm not getting the suggested distance off a full charge of the battery. For a 15km ride, with a few steep hills, the battery went from 100% to around 60%. That's good enough to get home using the same route, but apparently I should get close to 80kms on full charge using the lowest assist level. Hopefully this is due to the pretty chilly mornings and it'll get better as the weather warms up. I know I'm also a little bigger and heavier than the person this bike is designed for. I'd be fairly happy if I could get 60kms on a full charge.