Monday, June 25, 2007

Electric bicycle update - 10 weeks later

An update on the UrbanMover Sprite electric-assist bicycle that arrived back in April - the owner's still happy, but the bike does have some drawbacks that weren't initially apparent.

One: I ride the bicycle now with three tires - a spare has materialized in my equatorial region, and is enlarging at an alarming rate. On short trips you really don't get exercise, although you can compensate by riding the bike with the power turned off where possible.
(if you buy one, try to get yours with the "torque sensor" option, that'll let you do more of the work on flat terrain)

Two: the bracket that holds the top of the battery to the seat post is plastic and underengineered, such that if the bike falls down, even from a standstill, the battery's momentum&weight will stress the bracket and - if this happens repeatedly - might cause it to fail. UrbanMovers, please re-engineer this part! (if you haven't already done so)

On the bright side, the service has been fantastic - I contacted the U.S. distributor requesting a replacement bracket, and he mailed it without delay and at no charge.
(well, one of the bright sides - riding it to do your shopping's pretty bright too.)

Question: how to give it a front basket or panniers - or attach a trailer? with just the back rack, carrying cargo can be stressful.
Answer: it was easy.

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