My second battery-assist bicycle

I write this at age 81. My first ebike (battery assist bicycle) gave me only four years of use. I thoroughly enjoyed that bike, but it suddenly became unrepairable. The manufacturer had disappeared. Crucial parts abruptly stopped operating and were irreplaceable. For my replacement bike I have made some effort to choose a respectable brand and I will not be returning to my previous vendor (Motostrano) because of their unhelpful service manager.

This second bike is slightly more expensive than the first one. You can read the price tag from the photo. Click on the photo to fill the window. Click again to zoom in. Like the first bike, it has a step-through frame because I'm an elder who requires that feature. To my surprise I discovered that two quite nearby bike stores both stock this same model. I purchased it from The Bike Connection of Palo Alto. There were 2-3 repair men working while I was there. The bike's Dutch manufacturer, Gazelle, has been in business for many years. The gearing is Shimano, a highly reputable Japanese manufacturer. The battery is Bosch, a long established German manufacturer.

The battery assist operates below about 20 mph and is rated at 250 watts continuous. It lies above the back wheel. Basic mechanisms are a mystery to me. The (geared) motor is inside the crank. There is no deraileur. Eight gears are invisible being inside the hub. It hums a little, each gear a different tune.

Upon purchase, gear #5 did not work. They fixed it. For $99 I purchased four years of annual tuneups and up to four flat tires repaired. (purchased mid October 2019.)

The wiring for front and rear lights is inside the frame. Both lights also expose to the sides. They consume little juice so I leave them on at all times. The seat is slightly sprung. The handelbar height and tilt are easily adjusted without tools. The brakes are hydraulic but the calipers press against the wheel rims. Here is the manual.

Many bikes have no fenders. Being an all-season commuter I require fenders. The front fender drops a little too low and occasionally snags my shoes.

I typically commute two days a week on 10 mile round trips and once a week I join a small group on a 15-20 mile excursion. There is both an odometer and a trip odometer. The computer with its control panel is quickly removable (for security). I am accustomed to Schrader type tire valves. I will need to learn to pump into Presta valves.

This 54 lb bike has a security lock with a key that must remain inserted to allow using the bike. The built-in lock merely locks the back wheel which gives inadequate security for my neighborhoods [maybe not the Netherlands] so I mostly continue using my chain lock. Since I do not wish to keep two key chains, all my keys will be dangling while I am riding. [See below.] Notice my folding-chain 4-number lock holder strapped on the seat pole.

An interesting new feature is that after you select a battery-assist level, a computation is done and a readout predicts how many miles you will go before fully draining the battery. My old bike had only three levels of assistance with the lowest assist level being higher than I wished. My new bike has a better distribution of four levels
(none, eco, tour, sport, turbo) corresponding to
(0, 40%, 100%, 170%, 250%) augmentation of my energy. Supposedly, with this boost, I can go
(infinity, 89, 53, 45, 39) miles. Naturally, these predictions have no idea if you are heading upslope or down so it is imperfect. I like it anyway because before leaving the bike in the evening I often know whether the expected next day's ride will require charging tonight. I mostly commute to the university on "tour" and return on "eco". I'm getting about 60 miles per charge, significantly more than my previous bike.

My first bike ride

The view down the runway of Palo Alto airport (with an airplane) is below the left-edge horizon. San Francisco Bay is below the right horizon.

I make a weekly 15-20 mile ride with a group of friends. I take a photo or two every week. Enjoy them!