Reviewing the Bob Yak trailer on a Bespoke Bionic Bike

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Bob Yak Trailer

My bike is a lovely piece of kit. eBike Titanium goodness built for on and off road pursuit, but all my travels have been on road so far. I’ve fine tuned this beauty with over 3200kms commuting. The mighty mini battery does its job with a heap of power when I need it, and being super light, the overall weight of the bike is sub 20kgs. The Cycmotor X1 Pro motor is over engineered and as strong as an Ox. I’ve detuned the unit as I really don’t need even half the power is can deliver.

I recently purchased a Bob Yak trailer second hand on TradeMe. It’s super light, with no load you don’t know it’s following behind you. It tracks perfectly behind the bike and can take a heavy load of up to 32kgs if needed. The dog Molly is only 7kgs and she loves hanging with the family on outings. Check out the video below.

Bob Yak trailer with Molly the family dog.

Cycmotor X1 Pro review after 3000kms.

I’ve now clocked up over 3000kms on my X1 Pro. It’s strong, stable and running like a dream. My daily commute is 19km round trip and I’ve been doing this for well over a year in a variety of conditions, from dry and warm conditions to torrential rain. The Cycmotor X1 Pro has handled all conditions with ease. As a precaution I do dry my bike with a dehumidifier in the garage if I’ve been cycling in very wet conditions with the battery disconnected along with the connecting wires to the controller… call it preventative maintenance. If I was to go back in time 18 months with the experience I’ve gained from running the X1 Pro for 3000kms, would I buy it again? Yes, without reservation.

Robust Cycmotor X1 Pro

Robust Cycmotor X1 Pro

Towing a Bob Yak trailer behind an eBike - it's good, it's really good.

Recently I’ve needed to extend my payload on trips around town. After a lot of homework on different types of cargo trailers, I’ve settled on a second hand Bob Yak trailer and wow it’s good. I also use it to cart my dog Molly around. She spends a lot of time with the family so why not include her when we go on trips around town. I’m presently getting my trailer powder coated to look as good as new. Watch this space… Oh and here’s Molly.

Awesome feedback from 3 more happy customers

I always get a buzz when delivering beyond expectations.

I’ve retrofitted 3 bikes over the last few weeks. Wendy, Mark and Shelley are happy customers on new Bespoke Bionic Bikes. Check out the reviews here.

I retrofitted a Cycmotor X1 Pro on the eTrike and TSDZ2 motors on the eBikes.

eBiking, a healthy alternative

I’ve been cycling to work and back for over 2500kms over the last year. Yes, it’s been electric all the way. I wouldn’t have done half of that distance on a bike without a motor.

Electric bicycle riders have always known that eBikes can actually be a great form of exercise. A new study now shows that eBikes can actually result in riders getting more exercise than standard pedal bike cyclists.

Bike vs eBike

Bike vs eBike

Electric bicycles result in more exercise

As electric bicycles have become more popular and more affordable, their use has taken off around the world. 

A study which was recently published in the Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives journal, followed over 10,000 adults in seven European countries. 

The researchers determined the average energy expenditure of different forms of transportation including riding an electric bicycle, pedal bicycle, walking, driving, etc.

The study then surveyed the thousands of participants to determine the amount of time they spent engaging in those activities each week and the distances they traveled.

As it turned out, electric bicycle riders ended up slightly edging out pedal bike cyclists in terms of total exercise each week. The study’s authors largely attribute this to the increased amount of time that eBike riders spend on their bikes, compared to cyclists and the longer-distance trips taken by eBike riders.

The study’s authors even go as far as to say the results should potentially be used to lobby for increased eBike usage and improved eBiking infrastructure:

In conclusion, this analysis supports the notion to accept, or even promote, eBikes as a healthy and sustainable transport option based on eBikers travel behaviour and self-reported mode substitution. Planners should be aware that eBikers travel longer distances than cyclists. Thus, eBikes might be used for longer commuting trips than non-electric bicycles. To accommodate (or promote) this new demand and to avoid conflicts with other road users in urban areas, cycling infrastructure should be expanded and may need to be adapted to accommodate higher speeds and address safety needs. The health benefits in terms of physical activity of using eBikes, particularly when replacing car trips, should be factored in when considering subsidising eBiking.

For any standard cyclists reading this and turning red in the face, don’t worry just yet. The same study also found that you all have a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) reading than eBikers, on average. Cyclists were found to have an average BMI of 23.8, while eBike riders had an average BMI of 24.8. Both are in the “normal” range of the BMI scale, but may be indicative of the trend where eBikes have been found to attract less traditionally physically active commuters who might not have otherwise cycled.

The study also found that eBike riders tended to be older as well, with an average age of 48.1 years versus the average cyclist age of 41.4 years.

Check out my stealth combo option which is super light and allows you to use your legs as much as you like.

Retrofitting a Kona Rove ST steel frame into an eBike

Now this is where things get very interesting. The bikes I’ve retrofitted into eBikes for customers have mostly been aluminium but the Kona Rove ST is steel and well appointed. I’ve just picked up the bike for my customer and will be fitting it out over the next few weeks when the hardware arrives. Images to come.

Mark is a full on cyclist and wants an eBike with a light but powerful motor and small battery. He’ll be commuting and intends to only use the motor when he needs it. The TSDZ2 motor and Mighty Mini Battery assembly allow for cycling all day long with no power from the motor, but it’s available at a moments notice with heaps of 750 watt grunt should you need it. Many will use its power all the time but some, like Mark, will use muscle.

Kona Rove ST

Kona Rove ST

The weather has finally improved enough to take a few photos of Marks new Kona Rove ST eBike. The frame is perfectly suited for the TSDZ2 motor. It allowed for a solid connection with the bonus of allowing me to feed the gear cable in between the bottom of the bottom bracket and top of the motor. This eBike has 11 gears and a high power to weight ratio. The bikes weight prior to the retrofit was 10.5kgs. The eBike kit including battery weighs 4.95kgs. Total weight of the eBike after retrofit 15.45kgs. This is the lightest retrofit I’ve done and acceleration is stellar. Steel bikes ride super nice with a soft feeling and the Rove ST is no exception.

Mark wanted the bike to be as stealthy as possible right down to remote button placement. Ergonomics also played a major role in getting it right. Mark doesn’t often place his hands on the drops (underside loopy bits) so that limited remote button placement somewhat. He normally cycles with his hands on the top of the bar. From this position he can access the remote power assist + and - buttons without having to move his hands. This is a good thing. Ergonomic perfection.

remote buttons on the inside of the left drop

remote buttons on the inside of the left drop

Liv Rove 2 DD upgrade to eBike complete

The Liv Rove 2 DD is complete and the weather has been so bad in Auckland that I couldn’t photograph the final images. (Oh, as an aside I’m also a photographer. Check out fstopstudios to check out the type of photography I shoot.) Anyway back to the Liv eBike. It runs like a dream. 9 gears and heaps of power work very nicely thank you. The bike also has hydraulic breaking with heaps of stopping power when you want to use just fingers to slow you down. I’ve retrofitted the TSDZ2 750watt motor along with a 52v mighty mini battery on this bike and it runs beautifully. Light, well balanced and heaps of power.

Liv Rove 2 DD built by Bespoke Bionic Bikes

Liv Rove 2 DD built by Bespoke Bionic Bikes

Cycmotor X1 Pro review and retrofit onto a Trike

I’ve been riding the Cycmotor X1 Pro for a few months with over 1500km of testing and have been blown away by its performance and build quality.

I’m now promoting this motor to clients because I believe in the system. I’ve recently retrofitted a Schwinn Town and Country Trike and my customer loves it.

Another Specialized Roll Elite eBike

After spending a bit of time grinding the frame down to fit the TSDZ2 750 watt motor, the Roll Elite eBike is ready for pick up. The owner (Ron), wanted the same frame as the Specialized Roll Sport but with hydraulic brakes and a few more gears. I’ve just taken it for a test run and everything is running sweet. This frame calls for a very upright seating position and it’s super comfortable. With oodles of power to call on from the motor, drag isn’t a problem with sitting upright. Only 2 of these bikes exist in the country, I wonder if we can make it 3. Job done.

Specialized Roll Elite eBike - Bespoke Bionic Bikes

Specialized Roll Elite eBike - Bespoke Bionic Bikes

The CYCMOTOR X1 Pro has arrived

This motor is for everyone. You can keep it passive by selecting mode 1, putting out the New Zealand street legal limit of 300 watts. Or up it to 750 watts in default mode 2. Or if you want to unleash its full potential, choose mode 3 for over 3000 watts of goodness. All options are covered.

I’ve put this motor on my bike and tested it out in mode 2, getting around 42km/hr with ease.

This motor is exceptionally well made and every detail is spot on. I will be the dealer in New Zealand so if you are interested in getting your hands on the best eBike motor on the market, give me a call, or come and test ride my bike to put a big smile on your face.

Call Bret: mob 021576337.

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Busy Building eBikes

It’s been a great week and I’ve helped out a number of customers with advice and build options.

I’m in the middle of building two bikes at present. One is almost the same as the one I’ve just finished (see image below). I’ve put excellent off road tyres on this machine to help with traction for my customer Brian.

My other customer has sent me the same frame and it will be set up for road use only, so I’ll be using the standard nylon gear and road tyres.

My third customer for the week wants something a little different. More info to follow…

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Specialized Roll Sport Low-Entry complete

Brian’s eBike is complete. I’ve attached front and rear racks and positioned the battery and case in front of the rear rack. Knobbly tyres are yet to be installed but that will happen tomorrow.

This is the most utilitarian eBike I’ve built so far. It’s purpose built to pick up possums and will be used as a great tool to reduce Brian’s workload. With 750 watts of power and plenty of low down torque, he’s good to go. As Brian will be working in low light I’ve also installed a front light that will draw power from the onboard battery. Job done. :-)

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Specialized Roll Sport Low-Entry coming together

After spending time reshaping the frame to fit the TSDZ2 motor, the next step was to make sure the cables and housing for the rear brake and shifter had enough space between the top of the motor and the bottom of the frame. I managed this by shaving a few millimetres from the base of the bottom bracket housing.

As Brian wants to use his machine off road, I suggested replacing the blue nylon gear for a more robust metal gear which can be seen in the images below.

Preparing the Frame

I’m currently working on a 2019 Specialized Roll Sport Low-Entry bike for Brian from the Marlborough Sounds. The frame needed to be cut to fit the motor so I prepped the cut area and applied an aluminium etch primer coat, followed by 2 high glow top coats. 

Aluminium Etch Primer

Aluminium Etch Primer

High Glow Top Coats

High Glow Top Coats

Temperature and Humidity are not optimal at the moment so to make sure I achieved a great temp/humidity combo I used a dehumidifier. This allows for the paint to adhere and bake on with maximum hardness. Enamel paint optimal conditions for drying are between 15°- 30° C and relative humidity 40% to 70%. Being a geek I’ve got this covered with real time sensors during the day. I’m using a Sonoff TH16 temperature and humidity sensor which is beaming details to my phone via wifi so I can check in on the room figures from anywhere in the world. 

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Sonoff TH16 temp/humidity sensor

More images to follow as the bike gets built over the next few days. 

Specialized Roll Sport Low Entry - 750w of mid drive torque driven goodness

My latest build is taking shape and is being built for “specialized duties”. Brian wants a bike designed for off road use to pick up Possums on farmland. It’ll have a 750 watt mid drive motor, front and rear racks and will be sturdy enough to take a bunch of Possums. Build images will be uploaded shortly. This is a top looking all black bike. Motor, Battery, racks… all black. It’s a very stealthy looking unit.

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Two more reviews from happy customers

I pride myself in doing everything I can to make sure my customers are 100% satisfied with the process of the build and the final result.

Customer reviews below:

“Thanks for everything. I am very pleased with your conversion of my bike. It has been a pleasure to deal with you. As well as providing a very cost effective solution you kept me in touch at every stage of the process.

I have no hesitation in recommending you to more of my friends.”

Gordon - St Heliers

“It was a pleasure to engage with Bret who provided an efficient and professional approach to converting my road bike. The technology used and workmanship is of a very high standard. I will certainly recommend Bret to others who are contemplating a conversion to electric.”

David - Glendowie