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Thread: Bionx PL350

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    Bionx PL350

    My latest thinking is just to get a PL350 and put it on my current old heavy Trek hybrid (7100). I might be able to get one for $500 off because the battery is "certified 90%" - apparently from kits that got returned. That's a huge discount off the $1800 price so I figured I'd ask for opinions. Assuming I can recharge it 900 times instead of 1000 or so, it will still last at least three years and likely longer. And by then I can assume that the batteries will be better and cheaper.
    Opinions?

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    Jerry the Spinner
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    The Trek 7200 you can purchase for around 2100. You are getting all brand new components. You will also get a warranty from Trek and trek is known for great service.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...plus/7200plus/
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgk02 View Post
    My latest thinking is just to get a PL350 and put it on my current old heavy Trek hybrid (7100). I might be able to get one for $500 off because the battery is "certified 90%" - apparently from kits that got returned. That's a huge discount off the $1800 price so I figured I'd ask for opinions. Assuming I can recharge it 900 times instead of 1000 or so, it will still last at least three years and likely longer. And by then I can assume that the batteries will be better and cheaper.
    Opinions?
    The biggest complaint among Bionx owners who use their bikes to commute daily is the cost of replacement batteries. Unless you're willing to modify the wiring of your kit once you need a new battery, you may find yourself stuck spending almost $1000 to replace the Bionx battery pack with a new one. (There is one man who will rebuild packs--there's some discussion of his services on V is for Voltage.)

    As for battery technology improving, well don't hold your breath. In a couple of years, I suspect we'll be at about the same place we're at now. I'm just hoping LIFEPO4s continue to come down in price and that other countries, including the US, begin manufacturing them, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
    The biggest complaint among Bionx owners who use their bikes to commute daily is the cost of replacement batteries. Unless you're willing to modify the wiring of your kit once you need a new battery, you may find yourself stuck spending almost $1000 to replace the Bionx battery pack with a new one. (There is one man who will rebuild packs--there's some discussion of his services on V is for Voltage.)

    As for battery technology improving, well don't hold your breath. In a couple of years, I suspect we'll be at about the same place we're at now. I'm just hoping LIFEPO4s continue to come down in price and that other countries, including the US, begin manufacturing them, too.
    Thanks nwmtnbkr, I appreciate all that I've learned from you. I stumbled onto the V site yesterday while trying to figure out what 90% actually means. Since the battery part of this is so expensive, I figured $500 off is a good deal but I'm not sure. One of the guys on the V site said that Bionx will do a cell replacement for $581. That isn't all that bad if so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryTheSpinner View Post
    The Trek 7200 you can purchase for around 2100. You are getting all brand new components. You will also get a warranty from Trek and trek is known for great service.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...plus/7200plus/
    Where do you actually find one in NYC? I've called quite a few Trek dealers and there don't seem to be any in stock. I was actually thinking about getting the Valencia instead; it doesn't have the useless suspension fork and it does have fenders. OTOH, it has trigger shifts while the 7200 has grip shifts. I find grip shifts much better in the winter because I tend to wear mittens on really cold days. The biggest reason for getting a new Trek rather than a kit is that it's pretty stealthy - these still aren't legal in NY. I don't know how easy it is to get the kit battery on the rear rack. Of course, you lose the throttle but I wasn't planning on using that anyway.

    Same battery replacement problem as the kit probably; maybe even worse since apparently you can replace cells on the regular Bionx battery. I don't know about the special Trek version. I wonder if the Trek battery has the same power as the regular battery?

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    I just spoke to a local Trek dealer. He checked and the 7200's are shipping from the distribution center (New Jersey I think) end of March. The Valencia's won't be shipping until April. I'm not sure I want to wait rather than just getting the kit now. I can always transfer it to a new regular Valencia but my bike is already set up the way I like it. Fenders, etc. But it's old and tired, like me.

  7. #7
    Lost? No, seeing America.
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    I was pretty much in your same position about a year ago. Couldn't decide if I should go ahead with the rather expensive Bionx system. In the end, I went with a far cheaper kit and a far better battery (in my opinion). The Valencia does look sweet, but I don't have that kind of money laying around. I figure first I'll have this kit pay for itself in gas costs in about a year, then start saving my would-be gas money toward a newer bike/kit. You may also want to look at the forums at endless sphere, they do a lot of testing of a variety of kits.
    '02 Fuji Finest AL
    '97 Trek Multitrack w/Amped rear 500w 36v15ah Ping
    13 mile roundtrip commute, 150 days/school year

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucasgo View Post
    I was pretty much in your same position about a year ago. Couldn't decide if I should go ahead with the rather expensive Bionx system. In the end, I went with a far cheaper kit and a far better battery (in my opinion). The Valencia does look sweet, but I don't have that kind of money laying around. I figure first I'll have this kit pay for itself in gas costs in about a year, then start saving my would-be gas money toward a newer bike/kit. You may also want to look at the forums at endless sphere, they do a lot of testing of a variety of kits.
    I've been going back and forth between wanting the Valencia (or 7200 or FX 3) or just putting the kit on my current bike but I think my old Trek 7100 just has too many miles on it to be a good candidate for long term survival. Around 20,000 or so. I was at my favored LBS yesterday but I didn't have time to stick around and try out the bikes. They don't have any electrics in of course, and confirmed that the Valencia won't be in until early April. But they have one of each non-ebike model. I'll probably go back today and try them out and maybe order the ebike version. I know I can save a few dollars by getting a new bike and putting on a kit but I think I want the battery in the back rack, not as visible as with the PL 350 kit. They still aren't legal in NY.

  9. #9
    Jerry the Spinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgk02 View Post
    I've been going back and forth between wanting the Valencia (or 7200 or FX 3) or just putting the kit on my current bike but I think my old Trek 7100 just has too many miles on it to be a good candidate for long term survival. Around 20,000 or so. I was at my favored LBS yesterday but I didn't have time to stick around and try out the bikes. They don't have any electrics in of course, and confirmed that the Valencia won't be in until early April. But they have one of each non-ebike model. I'll probably go back today and try them out and maybe order the ebike version. I know I can save a few dollars by getting a new bike and putting on a kit but I think I want the battery in the back rack, not as visible as with the PL 350 kit. They still aren't legal in NY.
    One issue with buying the kit is the warranty is only one year. When you buy the Trek Ride+ you get two year warrenty on the battery and motor. I also am not sure weather to get the Valencia or FX+. I like the components on the FX+ better. I do plan on 2 to 3 days a week of rideing 9 mile of my 14 mile trip without the motor. The FX+ is 27 speeds compared to Valencia+ which has 24 speeds.
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

  10. #10
    Jerry the Spinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucasgo View Post
    I was pretty much in your same position about a year ago. Couldn't decide if I should go ahead with the rather expensive Bionx system. In the end, I went with a far cheaper kit and a far better battery (in my opinion). The Valencia does look sweet, but I don't have that kind of money laying around. I figure first I'll have this kit pay for itself in gas costs in about a year, then start saving my would-be gas money toward a newer bike/kit. You may also want to look at the forums at endless sphere, they do a lot of testing of a variety of kits.
    I did the same thing and put a Currie 450W kit on my Montague bike. I plan on giving up my car at the end of the month. The money I save on the car will pay for the Trek bike.
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

  11. #11
    Jerry the Spinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgk02 View Post
    Where do you actually find one in NYC? I've called quite a few Trek dealers and there don't seem to be any in stock. I was actually thinking about getting the Valencia instead; it doesn't have the useless suspension fork and it does have fenders. OTOH, it has trigger shifts while the 7200 has grip shifts. I find grip shifts much better in the winter because I tend to wear mittens on really cold days. The biggest reason for getting a new Trek rather than a kit is that it's pretty stealthy - these still aren't legal in NY. I don't know how easy it is to get the kit battery on the rear rack. Of course, you lose the throttle but I wasn't planning on using that anyway.

    Same battery replacement problem as the kit probably; maybe even worse since apparently you can replace cells on the regular Bionx battery. I don't know about the special Trek version. I wonder if the Trek battery has the same power as the regular battery?
    http://bicyclehabitat.com/ is supposed have them mid February. I would not buy the kit since it only has a 1 year warrenty. The Trek bike has a 2 year warranty on the battery and motor. I also ride in the winter and the good news is the battery is rated at 14 F.
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

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    http://www.bionx.ca still shows the same 2-year Bionx kit warranty as always. Do you have a reason to think that has changed?

    Charlie
    http://ElectricCyclist.com

  13. #13
    Jerry the Spinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by crichman View Post
    http://www.bionx.ca still shows the same 2-year Bionx kit warranty as always. Do you have a reason to think that has changed?

    Charlie
    http://ElectricCyclist.com

    If you go on the web sute the battery is not covered for 2 years.

    http://www.bionx.ca/en/support/warranty/
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

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    dgk
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    Ok, debate over for me. I went by the LBS and ordered the Valencia+. He still says that it won't be in until late April but I'm hoping it comes in sooner and he'll try. Cost was $2452 including tax. I don't think there are going to be big discounts on this - I guess that's the price of being among the first. I just decided that I have the money and I don't spend a whole lot. It's my patriotic duty to help keep the economy moving. Well, that's what I'm telling myself.

  15. #15
    Jerry the Spinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgk View Post
    Ok, debate over for me. I went by the LBS and ordered the Valencia+. He still says that it won't be in until late April but I'm hoping it comes in sooner and he'll try. Cost was $2452 including tax. I don't think there are going to be big discounts on this - I guess that's the price of being among the first. I just decided that I have the money and I don't spend a whole lot. It's my patriotic duty to help keep the economy moving. Well, that's what I'm telling myself.
    Did you look at the FX+?
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

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    dgk
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryTheSpinner View Post
    Did you look at the FX+?
    Yea, and I don't have a strong reason to reject it but neither did I really see any reason to go for it over the Valencia. Well, the FX has V brakes and the Valencia has the disks. I'm not really happy with the way I often have to readjust the V brakes on my 7100 - they bind a bit and getting them balanced is often tricky. I'm not the best bike mechanic in the world, or even on my block.

    I rode the FX and Valencia (non-ebike) models around the neighborhood of the LBS and really couldn't decide which I would like over the long haul. But the Valencia+ is targeted as the all-weather commuter (fenders) while the FX talks about extending your workout. I do spinning and pilate (and some swimming) over at the Cross Island Y (just mentioning that for Jerry since he lives in my neck of the cement) for my workout. I use the bike for commuting so I figured I'd go for the commuter model. I really can't tell much about the different components - I figure since we ditched the useless front fork of the 7200, either model should be good.

    Plus I sort of like the Valencia's cool black color. I just hope I get it in time for Bike NY. I really REALLY hate that last climb up the Verrazanno Bridge. The one by the BQE doesn't make me happy either.

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