For those who are curious about the Strong eBike, I'll rate my own bike by first commenting on their own FAQ and then adding a few more objective and subjective comments of my own.
First, the bike itself:
Website (Canada): http://www.strongcanada.ca/index-en.html
And now for my comments on their FAQ:
Not entirely true. The Strong eBike isn't just a bike which has added electrical stuff. Their bike is specifically designed to be an eBike. You wouldn't want to ride this thing without the electrical stuff. It's too damn heavy.What is an electric bicycle?
An electric bicycle is also referred to as a power-assisted bicycle. It is a bicycle to which electric components (motor, battery, and accelerator) have been added to facilitate its use. Safety features and other components like on-off switches, brakes with circuit breakers, battery charge indicators, speedometers, running lights and/or turn signals, etc. can be added to adapt to the users’ needs.
It's not exactly "off the shelf". Getting into that battery pack is not that easy. A new LiPo battery is now available however and I suspect that one has little to do with "off the shelf" parts.What about the battery?
The battery is a key component of the electric bicycle. Indeed, the 36 Volt, 12 Ah and sealed lead-acid maintenance-free battery is directly responsible for the bicycle’s autonomy. The battery set consists of three 12 volt elements, which are all standard and easily found off-the-shelf.
All true but many people don't need electrical bikes to do those things.For whom is designed the Strong GT-S210 electric bicycle?
For the men and women who:
want or need to exercise without ever exceeding their limits
want to take strolls, go on treks and enjoy different landscapes
want to avoid the difficulties of riding a conventional bicycle
want to have a means of transportation to go to work or school
need to run errands and maximize their time
need to make deliveries
want to avoid using the car or public transportation
want to be able to use this means in public areas and parks
want to use it in camping facilities
own mobile homes
True. As an ex-smoker, I started noticing health benefits soon after I got my e-Bike. This is more due to the "bicycle" nature of the thing. The "eBike" (electrical) nature of the beast just makes up for weaknesses until you get more exercise and can go back to a regular bike. Or if you have some type of heart condition and just can't push yourself too hard.Does the electric bicycle have a significant impact on health?
Yes. On June 26th 2002, Belgium issued a press release stating that the use of electric power-assisted bicycles was beneficial to one’s health: “The question that everybody is asking today concerns the proportion of health benefits from electric bicycle use. The data from 20 subjects (aged 35 to 55) who used the electric bicycle for commuting to and from work (between 5 and 15 km) for a 6-week period was analyzed. A first evaluation 4 weeks prior to the study was conducted on the physiological parameters of the participants. The same tests were performed again after the utilization period. These tests assessed health related parameters like the maximal oxygen uptake, the lactic acid level and the maximum power output. No significant results were notified for the maximal oxygen uptake, yet the power output and endurance levels improved drastically. These results show that even the slightest effort while using the electric bicycle is beneficial to aerobic fitness and health in general. Moreover, the electric bicycle helps counter inactivity in a sedentary population.” See Press Release at: www.delathouwer.irisnet.be
Let me add: Acceleration is easier in assistance mode rather than motor only mode. And if you're climbing a steep hill, motor only mode won't work. Instead, use the super low gear and get the assistance mode help you up the hill. I've been able to climb hills that left other mountain bike riders have to get off their bikes and push.How do I operate the electric bicycle?
You can pedal and control the motor at the same time in order to benefit from electric assistance. For more freedom, you can ride using the motor only.
The bicycle works on a propulsion mode, therefore you can operate it without pedaling. It’s up to you!
The Strong GT-S210 is equipped with a pedal-assisted system as well as an acceleration device.
Let me add: If you're starting at the bottom of a hill, please do pedal to start it up. Motor only mode won't even get you started up a steep hill.Do I have to pedal in order to start up?
It is not mandatory but we recommend you do it in order to reduce the battery’s energy consumption and to preserve the bicycle’s autonomy. The electric assistance function is accessible with a manual control.
My real world testing has turned out as much as 40 km in full motor mode only and 70 km in assistance mode (pedaling). 100km is way too optimistic for real world conditions. Maybe on a completly flat terrain with no wind, stop signs, red lights etc. But in real world? 70km is pretty much the max I've observed. That's still pretty good since it took me a whole afternoon to ride that far.What is the bicycle’s autonomy?
The Strong GT-S210 has an autonomy that varies between 30 km and 100 km per charge. Its autonomy comes from various factors:
physical effort, inclines, tire pressure, wind, motor speed and energy consumption.
Not entirely true. The LED (not light) will shine red if it's plugged in and not charging. It'll be orange-ish when charging and will gradually go green as the battery fills up. A bright green color shows a full charge. Also, makes sure you don't charge the battery on the bike with the ignition turned on. The connector is easy to short out and you could damage the bike's electronics that way. Just make sure the ignition is fully off before charging the battery on the bike. Tip: Pull the key out and put it in your pocket.How do I recharge the bicycle?
The bicycle comes with a charger that plugs into a standard power outlet. A red warning light indicates that the charger is functioning, whereas a green warning light indicates that the battery is fully-charged. This is the only 36 Volt battery charger to have met the Canadian safety standard (ULC).
What should I do if I do not have access to an outdoor or garage outlet? It is very simple, all you need to do is remove the battery pack from its bicycle support and charge it wherever you want.
It's a simple low draw SLA. Works well but it's heavy as hell.Is this battery the same as a car battery?
The bicycle battery is a lead-acid battery, just like the conventional car batteries. However, it is maintenance-free (no need to add water) and has a different technology. To start a gasoline engine, a great capacity of energy is needed for a short period of time, whereas the bicycle battery delivers less energy but for a longer period of time.
You wouldn't want to pedal this thing with a dead battery. It's too damn heavy. And the battery indicator is misleading. The meter will show full or near full for a long time and then will suddenly drop to 25% charge and then will drain very quickly from there on. It's not linear. You can't really use it to plan your battery usage. You're better off just planning a route or using an odometer and trying to keep it below 50km travel distance overall.What happens when the battery is down?
You can use your Strong GT-S210 like any conventional bicycle and pedal to any destination. However, your bicycle is specifically equipped with a battery charge indicator so you can manage the energy required to travel without worrying about running out of energy, just like a car’s fuel gauge. Note that there is no risk for the motor when the bicycle is operated with the pedals alone.
This is a weakness if you ask me. The Bionx system does use regen braking and it really does work well enough. Sure the battery won't recharge much but I've brought a mountain bike with a Bionx to a full stop by simply using the regen feature. Sure it took longer to reach a full stop but the rear brake never touched the rim. This saves the brakes. And on the Strong eBike, which is really heavy and uses disc brakes, this could very beneficial since I see myself replacing the brake pads very soon.Does the battery recharge while pedaling?
No. The battery can only recharge when plugged into a conventional power outlet. It does not include a dynamo recharge system. It is pure make-believe that we can recharge a battery by simply pedaling, like some brands stipulate. It does somewhat recharge when braking or going downhill. But even then, these actions never last long enough and only charge the battery with mini volts, the energy equivalent of a weak bicycle bulb.
Note: The new LiPo battery costs 2X as much.How much does a spare battery cost?
A spare battery costs 200 $ (plus shipping charges).
This does in fact work as stated. But I have a feeling it's not computer controlled to be 30 km/h max but instead it's just the motor running out of power at that speed. It doesn't feel like it's cutting out at 30 km/h, it feels more like it just has no power left at that speed. I have hit 52 km/h with the eBike on a long downhill segment. That was downright scary considering the weight.What happens when I exceed 30 km/h?
Once you exceed 30 km/h, the electrical assistance becomes very weak. And according to Canadian legislation, riders can only be assisted up to 32 km/h, after which you will no longer be assisted. But you can ride faster by pedaling as you would with a conventional bicycle as there is no risk for the motor since it declutches automatically and switches to free-wheel mode.
Just wear a helmet. eBike or not, wearing a helmet makes a lot of sense on any bike.Do I need to wear a helmet?
In Quebec, the law obliges the rider of any bicycle fitted with an electric motor to wear a cycling helmet. For basic safety reasons, we strongly recommend the wearing of bicycle helmets with all types of bicycles. Remember: 1 injury out of 5 in a cycling accident is a head injury. See SAAQ Article
Actually, with it's mega low gear you can climb really steep hills. Especially with the assistance. You'll be climbing quite slow but the motor's torque combined with your own will allow you to climb really long and steep hills that average mountain bikers will need to get off their bikes and push.For what degree slopes is the Strong designed for?
Reasonably, you can climb 8° to 10° hills without forcing too much. Above that range, you will have to press harder on the pedals to get to the top. (See our Press Review)
NOT TRUE!!!!! There's a significant difference in handling. You can really feel the weight all the time. It's hard to make tight turns, it's cimbersome to lean into corners. And although the disc brakes do a good job of hauling this massive bike down, you can feel the huge weight when you do so. The good side to all this weight is that it's very stable in high winds and the air displaced by large trucks barely disturbs it.Is the electric bicycle more cumbersome than the conventional bicycle?
No. They are just a little heavier because of the battery and motor. This weight difference goes unnoticed as you start riding.
BUT IT CERTAINLY DOESN'T FEEL LIKE A CONVENTIONAL BIKE!
I think they mean Bike paths. Check your local laws first. Note: In Ontario, Canada, the MTO says electric bikes are not legal but under which law? I checked the laws and electric bikes are perfectly legal within the existing laws. So I'd like to see which laws the MTO would use to charge you with using an illegal vehicle?Is the electric bicycle permitted on cycle tracks?
Yes. The electrical bicycle is considered to be a bicycle, and its use has been standardized since September 2002 by the Quebec Highway Safety Code.
French or English manual is simple but does detail enough for the average person.Does the electric bicycle come with a French instruction manual?
Yes. The "User’s Manual" gives important detailed instructions as well as safety precautions and operation and caution notes.
I seriously doubt that. Most of the components are not sealed (battery guage, front LED light, ignition switch) and I wouldn't drive this thing in anything other than a light drizzle.Can the electric bicycle be driven in rain conditions?
Yes. The electric bicycle is completely safe to be driven in the rain. All electric elements are hermetically sealed and protected in a shielding.
Also note that if you're not using the thumb throttle and you're in assistance mode, a second or so after you stop pedaling the assistance will disengage.Can the assistance mode remain activated?
No. As soon as you brake, the electric system is automatically cut from its source of power. Both brakes are equipped with automatic circuit breakers.
Those things are awful. I put air in the tires and all this green goo kept spewing out of the valve. I don't think it's puncture proof. What will happen is that you'll lose all the air, the green goo will seal the hole in about 15 minutes and then you can put air back in the tire. That's not exactly "puncture proof".What about punctures?
Strong bicycles are equipped with puncture-proof air chambers. A self-sealing liquid inside the air chamber seals most of the perforations likely to cause punctures. All this with no additional cost. You can ride in a stress-free state of mind!
After a season of riding I would also consider checking the brakes. This thing eats through brakes real fast.What precautions should I take before storing my bicycle?
There aren’t any specific precautions to take for the electric bicycle, just like for the conventional bicycle, aside from storing it in a dry location at room temperature. For the battery, we recommend storing a recharged battery. The battery naturally loses a great quantity of energy per day. It will need to be recharged after about 12 weeks.
NOTE: Build quality is fair. Not as bad as many chinese eBikes but not as good as many other more expensive eBikes. Also note that many components are sub-par so be prepared to replace some of the cheaper quality parts. Especially those damn brakes!!!!What does the warranty consist of?
3-year warranty for the frame, handlebars and wheels
1.5-year warranty for the motor
1-year warranty for the electric components
6-month warranty for the battery
All parts can be ordered through Canadian Tire dealers
IMPORTANT: Avoid completely draining the battery, otherwise it might never recuperate its initial charge. Avoid cold and humid places. Protect the battery from frost during the winter storage time.
Overall it's not a bad eBike but after having tried a regular mountain bike with a Bionx kit installed, I would much prefer the Bionx system.