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Old 01-04-09, 11:44 PM   #1
Mikey0124
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Looking for a new e-bike.....

Okay I am thinking about getting a e-bike sometime soon but need some advise on which one to get! I am living in Canada and here in canada we get freezing temperatures -10 maybe colder at times depending on the wind chill. So from what I have been reading e-bikes can be used in the winter but the battery must be taken indoors with you. So I need an ebike that I can remove the battery fairly easily and put it back on easily. I was thinking about getting the Bionx system installed on a bike since one of my local bike shops recommends Bionx as be a really good quality system. What are your thoughts about that system? Or maybe someone could suggest an e-bike conversion kit I can order and install myself cause the Bionx system is expensive! I need something with good quality...... I weigh over 200 pounds and travel about 7-8 miles a day. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks......
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Old 01-05-09, 07:20 AM   #2
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Investigate the various styles. The bionex I believe have a battery cover between the bars. Are the batteries themselves easily removable? Also the Bionex is of the electric-assist style. You will have to pedal to get any additional assistance for hills and headwinds. Try It's Electric in Calgary for a good variety of kits available in Canada, but if your LBS is willing to do a conversion and help you out with service, I'd consider them the primary supplier.

BTW the batteries don't especially like the cold, but as long as its cold and dry, the bike will work just fine.

In slushy Toronto, I have to choose my winter days.
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Old 01-05-09, 11:01 PM   #3
Mikey0124
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Ok thanks for the info! I myself am from Toronto too! =) Do you leave your ebike outdoors at all? Does they battery have a problem for you?

and any other info from other people will be greatly appreciated!!
Or anyone else from the Toronto area that can reconnmend a store for me to go to! Thanks.....
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Old 01-07-09, 04:29 PM   #4
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Mikey0124, we sell the Bionx kits here at NYCeWheels (http://www.nycewheels.com) so we have a good amount of experience with them.

The batteries, like any, are susceptible to extreme temperatures (cold or heat.) In cold temperatures you can expect to get a 25% to 30% decrease in range. At the temperatures you're noting, maybe even half of the normal range. Storing the batteries indoors when not in use of course would help. The batteries are easily removable. You unlock the battery with a key, and it will slide off of its mounting.

We have customers all over the world, including Alaska and Canada, and they all ride their kits without issue. They just know that they will get a decreased range on the colder days and ride accordingly.

While we do ship everywhere, it's nice being able to have a local shop that you can visit with ease. That said, if there's a shop nearby that carries Bionx systems, is friendly and helpful, that knows the product and is able to fully support them, that is an added benefit for you, even if you end up paying a little bit more (there are always cheaper options on the internet, but that doesn't necessarily make them the better options.) Also, sometimes shops don't carry the kits, but are willing to install and work on them (a few of our Canadian customers have arranged such relationships with local shops.) The point is, having an easily accessible contact person is a big plus.

If you opt for a less expensive electric bike kit from another company, just be careful about who you order it from. There are a lot of brands out there. Some are great, others not as much. If you get a kit that requires frequent maintenance and you order it from some guy who has a website but no actual repair shop to back it up, if a problem does arise you might find yourself stuck. This shouldn't be an issue with Bionx though.

Based on your quoted weight I would recommend a 350W Bionx system over a 250W system. The range you're looking to travel should be fine in the pedal assistance mode, which is really the crown jewel of the Bionx system.

All of that said, why do you want an electric bike kit over a pre-built electric bike? It's possible that a pre-built electric bike might better suit your needs and be more affordable.

We created a guide on our website recently to help steer potential customers through this decision. I actually posted a link to it on this forum once before. I'd recommend that you take a look at it, if just to see what you should be considering before you make a purchase:

http://nycewheels.com/electric-bike-kit.html

Last edited by nycedude; 01-07-09 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 01-08-09, 12:50 AM   #5
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i have ridden the bion x two winters now 104600 klms just now i have exsperiace a problem with the motor wheel
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Old 01-08-09, 01:00 AM   #6
Mikey0124
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nycedude, thank you for all the information! =) I have visited your website and have learned a lot of information!
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Old 01-08-09, 01:06 AM   #7
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looking for place to buy bionx goto web site www.thekempster.ca click on bionx bikes for saskatchewan canada
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Old 01-09-09, 01:14 PM   #8
JakeEdwards
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Originally Posted by Mikey0124 View Post
Ok thanks for the info! I myself am from Toronto too! =) Do you leave your ebike outdoors at all? Does they battery have a problem for you?

and any other info from other people will be greatly appreciated!!
Or anyone else from the Toronto area that can reconnmend a store for me to go to! Thanks.....
I actually have a winter-beater e-bike. It's a brushed hub and a battery. No controller, no accelerator. It's on the front wheel of an old mountain bike with big nobby tires. I under-inflate the tires slightly. I have a 30 A DP/ST ON/OFF switch taped to the bars near the handles.

I ride the bike in a cautious manner in snow (no more than a couple of cm's). stokell taught me to corner like I was sailing. You really have to see it to get the idea, but people drop their bikes when they tilt themselves to corner because it is so slippery. If you watch small sailboats (in the summer of course), you probably notice the occupants sitting on the lea side of the wind and hiking-out their bodies over the water.

It's a similar process and requires some practice before mastery. When going around a corner, keep the bike upright and shift your body weight over to the same side as the turn.

Make sure the wires going in to the hub are sealed. I use the removable window caulking. If you must leave the bike outside, cover it with a tarp and bring in the batteries. I store mine inan uheated space with no trouble

Good fenders are important and so is not riding when it is too dangerous. What is dangerous? It's up to you, but too dangerous for me is ice, narrow lanes because of poor snow clearing, inattentive and raging drivers....

I'm good to about -25C with windchill, but I have all the right clothing. Just go to your comfort level, and besides everything else, have fun!
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Old 01-13-09, 12:49 PM   #9
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nycedude, thank you for all the information! =) I have visited your website and have learned a lot of information!
No problem! Let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 01-13-09, 06:09 PM   #10
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i have ridden ... 104600 klms just now ...
Are you serious? Wow!

To the OP,

I have very little experience eBiking in winter. I can pretty much only contribute from my experience today .

I live in London, ON, and we had snow fall after snow fall recently. The small roads have a couple inches or more of snow with ruts. The main roads are fairly white still.

I have a Xootr Swift (20" wheels) with Schwalbe Marathon Winters (studded) tires and a Crystalyte 400 on the front wheel.

The ride was fantastic compared to not using the assist. The front wheel goes over deep snow and actually helps in handling and keeping me on the straight and steady. Having both wheels be "drive" in winter is pretty spectacular.

I don't use the assist on corners or if the road is icy for obvious reasons. I still pedal as I like the back pressure on my legs to reassure me I'm not relying on the motor too much. I fear if I depend on the motor solely I could spin the front which could be pretty catastrophic .

Just suggesting you include a front wheel drive system in your consideration: although you guys do get a bit less snow in TO.
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Old 01-14-09, 12:20 AM   #11
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I work at Power in motion / Its Electric in the eau clare mall in calgary. e sell bionx, crystalyte, wilderness, and BMC. all of them can be used in winter. the crystalyte, BMC and wilderness all use the same batteries. if you come by the store sometime, I can show you all the different systems first hand. that may give you a better idea of hat you might be looking for
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Old 01-21-09, 04:54 PM   #12
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Are you serious? Wow!

To the OP,

I have very little experience eBiking in winter. I can pretty much only contribute from my experience today .

I live in London, ON, and we had snow fall after snow fall recently. The small roads have a couple inches or more of snow with ruts. The main roads are fairly white still.

I have a Xootr Swift (20" wheels) with Schwalbe Marathon Winters (studded) tires and a Crystalyte 400 on the front wheel.

The ride was fantastic compared to not using the assist. The front wheel goes over deep snow and actually helps in handling and keeping me on the straight and steady. Having both wheels be "drive" in winter is pretty spectacular.

I don't use the assist on corners or if the road is icy for obvious reasons. I still pedal as I like the back pressure on my legs to reassure me I'm not relying on the motor too much. I fear if I depend on the motor solely I could spin the front which could be pretty catastrophic .

Just suggesting you include a front wheel drive system in your consideration: although you guys do get a bit less snow in TO.
Ah, yeah, we install the Bionx kit on Xootr Swift Folders here as well, it's a great ride! I love the Swift Folders.

The only note I have is that as far as Bionx kits go, although they do offer a front wheel motor, always opt for the rear wheel motor. With Bionx, the front motors only get you the throttle, while the rear wheel motors give you all of the features like pedal assistance.

Also, Mike, I'm not 100% sure where you live in relation to Power in Motion (I understand that Canada is very large), but if possible definitely take raevyn up on her offer. If a test ride is available to you, always go for it and experience these kits firsthand.
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Old 04-18-09, 11:40 AM   #13
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bion x

Klms ridden April 18 11000klms
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Old 04-18-09, 11:59 AM   #14
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bion x

Klms ridden April 18 2009 11000klms
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