Thursday, March 31, 2016

Stranded... part 2

When I left work yesterday, my biked fucked up again. This time I couldn't get it to work, no matter what I tried.

I called the bike shop and explained. He gave me some suggestions, which I had already tried but would try again. I explained that if they didn't work, I wasn't sure how I'd get the bike to their shop to be fixed. He offered to pick it up this morning with their van.

I locked it back up in the bike room at work and took the bus home. This morning, just as promised, he called about 5-10 minutes before arriving at my work and met me out front to load it up. At least he could see that it was definitely non-functional.

Today it's raining, and is supposed to rain all day so I'm not missing out on any biking. I guess that's a plus.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Stranded... temporarily

I've ridden my new bike about 9 or 10 times since I bought it. At least once per ride, usually as I begin to pedal from a stop, there's a feeling like when the chain slips. It lasts a few seconds and then the pedal assist activates and everything is fine. Up until this morning, that's what I thought was happening.

However, this morning when it happened it wouldn't stop happening. I got off the bike to check the chain and it was fine; full contact with the cassette and crank set. But when I turned the crank set by hand the rear hub/cassette spun freely and wouldn't drive the rear wheel at all, as a regular bike would.

I turned off the pedal assist and battery and the same thing happened. The crank set turned without resistance. (imagine a stationary bike) :( I still had 1km to go to get to work. That's not a big deal, but then I wondered how the hell I was going to get this bike to the store where I bought it to get it fixed.

After 5 minutes of walking it, I decided to get back on the bike and see if I could get it working again. I enabled the pedal-assist and slowly tried to pedal to make the pedal assist activate and that made the cassette finally "engage" and drive the wheel, and I was able to pedal as a normal bike again with or without assist.

Once I got to work I sent the store a message on their web site asking if I could drop it off on the way home today. (Assuming it works well enough to get me there, that is) It was a final sale, since it's actually a used bike, but they did give a 60-day warranty on it. They replied saying they would schedule it to be looked at tomorrow if I dropped it off later today.

One other thing, that is more of annoyance to me, is that the computer will not remember the time after being programmed. I tried replacing the battery in it and that didn't help. I was going to live with that but since this new issue popped up I'm going to get that fixed as well.

I hope this is a one-time thing; I really don't need the stress from this.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Not a time saver

I decided at the last minute to ride to work today. The roads were wet, but it wasn't raining or snowing, and there didn't seem to be any of either in the forecast.

Overall, the ride went well. Better than the last one. There were a few snowy patches along the route, but there didn't bother me. In fact, I was attracted to them like a kid... wanting to leave tire tracks. :)

I tried to keep the pedal assist level fairly low this time. During the ride home the last time, the battery indicator would fluctuate wildly when the assist kicked in, particularly on hills. I suspected that was a good indicator of the remaining power in the battery. Despite that, it lasted for the commute. Anyway, this time I stuck with it at 2. There was much less wind this time too, so it (and I) didn't have to work as hard.

The entire ride took longer than Monday morning's ride. ~7 minutes longer. I'm not surprised since I wasn't pushing hard for speed. I had read before that e-bikes won't really save you any time, so there you have it.

Monday, March 21, 2016

New transportation

I bought a pedal-assisted bike (aka e-bike). I don't have easy access to a vehicle, nor can I afford one at the moment, so I decided this was my best option.

I'll be using it for all commuting to and from work, and other assorted non-workout rides where I'd rather not be drenched in sweat by the time I reach my destination. Plus, I'll save the $100 that I currently spend on a monthly bus pass. Not that the bus savings will pay off the bike any time soon.

Aside from the "stay drier" benefit, it'll also allow me to start riding earlier in the season, and continue later at the end of the season since I'll be able to dress much warmer.

It has five levels of assist, from 1-5, all of which require pedaling with varying degrees of effort. I switched between 5 and 4 for most of my ride, which provided me with the most assist to keep me moving along at a decent pace.

This morning was my first ride to work, and the temperature was 7°c. Despite wearing what I thought were warm gloves, my fingers were freezing. The rest of me was great.

One thing I noticed during my ride was that I was still putting a lot of effort into pedaling, even with the assist enabled. Right now with the cold weather, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but when summer comes along I think I'll still be working up a sweat. I'm fairly certain it's due to my riding style. When I ride, I tend to pedal hard. Every time. That's a problem, if my goal is to not work up a sweat for a work commute. I'll need to retrain myself to take it easy, and let the assist help more. :)

There are a few hills on the route I took this morning. With the assist enabled, they weren't nearly as annoying as they usually are.

We'll see how this goes.