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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Who else in the US sells electric bikes?

    So I'm having a bit of a nightmare. I bought a Kalkhoff Dual Drive 2012 a month ago and I've had trouble with it. The fenders were installed incorrectly and rubbed against my rear wheel. The clickbox was installed incorrectly and I didn't have all 27 gears until a couple of weeks ago. Tonight my back wheel popped off while I was riding. I tried calling the company that sold it to me, then emailing them to let them know. This was at 6:00. They don't keep regular store hours. Everything is by appointment. They sell the bike and service it, but I don't think they have regular enough traffic to keep traditional store hours. I contacted them, told them my wheel popped off and that I was frustrated that at the price of this bike I was having so much trouble with it in spite of all the good it was providing me to ride it.

    I then got a call back from the owner of the shop (it's a two man operation). He told me that he wanted me to just give the bike back and he'd write me a check. Choice things he said.

    "It's just a bike".

    "Our other customers don't have a problem with it".

    So what does this mean? Is this bike just a toy? I need to commute. I need to exercise. If I'm missing something about this market that's fine, but he seemed very cavalier about throwing away business and goodwill. Are these just a fun gadget as disposable as an iPad. And here I thought it wasn't "just a bike", but rather a "bike". You know, the thing you can lose weight on. The thing on which you can take romantic rides with your wife. The thing on which you can see beautiful scenery with the wind rushing past you. "Just a bike"?

    I'm really saddened right now. This bike was giving me my life bike, giving me back the ability to get to work more quickly and get exercise every day. I'm starting to feel like my old self again. I suppose I need a backup plan. So who else sells a decent electric bike in the US market?

  2. #2
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    I do not believe it was carefully assembled.
    Kalkhof is one of the best Bottom Bracket PANASONIC drive bicycle money can buy.
    You started riding like with loose wheel?
    you didn't see it?
    He is right, I never heard about any problems with Kalkhof, search this forum for "Kalkhof" any negative threads, no way.
    No way Kakhof is a toy. It is quality, no crude China crap, ALL it takes is have a look at the pictures.
    You must be non technical person.
    Last edited by powell; 04-26-13 at 10:17 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Seems you have been offered a no questions asked refund. If you are dissatisfied with the bike take him up on the offer.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by powell View Post
    I do not believe it was carefully assembled.
    Kalkhof is one of the best Bottom Bracket PANASONIC drive bicycle money can buy.
    You started riding like with loose wheel?
    you didn't see it?
    He is right, I never heard about any problems with Kalkhof, search this forum for "Kalkhof" any negative threads, no way.
    No way Kakhof is a toy. It is quality, no crude China crap, ALL it takes is have a look at the pictures.
    You must be non technical person.
    When I started riding the bike the wheel wasn't loose. It's become loose by riding it. Not sure what you mean by not being a technical person. I'm not a bike mechanic if that's what you mean. I'm a software engineer that hoped I was buying a bike that would cause me little trouble. But I can comprehend how possibly the force of the wheel motor in certain situations might tug at the wheel in a way that causes it to come loose. I've read a bit about how people have to tighten wheels on electric bikes more frequently because of this. Or they have to come up with different ways to reinforce the attachment of the wheel. I'm open to any of the above as long as I can keep riding. Also it occurs to me that it's possible that the Dual Drive might not be the sturdiest design from a sheer physics standpoint. Both because the rear wheel might not be as strong and because the internal hub might be adding to the trouble with the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Seems you have been offered a no questions asked refund. If you are dissatisfied with the bike take him up on the offer.
    That's the thing, I'm more dissatisfied with the situation. If they were a typical bike shop that kept hours where I could drop off the bike for repairs to get through this period of time I'd have no problems with this. If the mechanic hadn't previously chastised me for having the bike worked on at a different shop I'd simply take these issues to another mechanic and not bother them unless it involved the motor or the battery. I love the bike. It's helped to restore much of what I lost when I was t-boned by a car a few years bike. I can ride long distances and ride to locations in my city that seemed impossible years ago. I'm enjoying riding my bike more than I have in years. I love the bike. I want to keep the bike deep down. But I want it to be supported to a certain degree. Even if that support is simply being treated well when I take it to someone else for repairs.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Take the refund and put it towards one of Trek's or Torker's e-bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Take the refund and put it towards one of Trek's or Torker's e-bikes.
    Those are rear wheel driven, though, right? It seemed from everything I read that mid-drive was the way to go.

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    "Its just a bike"...actually just a frame really, with a bunch of parts on it, like all bikes. Except it seems some of the parts need adjustment or servicing. Really there is nothing special about an electric bike, except some of the parts are more complicated than a normal bike and require specialty knowlege - like replacing cells inside the battery, or changing brushes or Hall connectors inside hub motors etc., or putting on new connectors - stuff a normal local bike shop wouldn't be able to do necessarily. Anything else - and it sounds like the parts you were were talking about are "just bike parts" and could be fixed by any competent bike mechanic, or even yourself with a little bit of online investigation. I'd take it to a good LBS first to get the regular bike parts serviced, and build a relationship with them, as you will need to eventually anyway - unless it is directly related to the electric components. I've built nine ebikes, and I regularly need my LBS for things that are beyond my depth, but those things are limited to issues experienced as well by normal bikes as well, like getting new spokes cut, or putting in a new fork or whatever. I never bother them with the e-bits.
    Last edited by chvid; 04-27-13 at 09:34 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenDedalus View Post
    Those are rear wheel driven, though, right? It seemed from everything I read that mid-drive was the way to go.
    Hi Stephen,
    I have been following your discussion and other topics here and your topic has made me decide to be part of this forum as this is my 2nd post. I have just ordered my first e-bike after much looking and I feel for you. I was looking at the Kalkoff bikes and wanted one of those.


    I checked with several dealers and I believe from your description I may have talked to who you bought yours from? I didn't have a good feeling about them. Another dealer I talked to was a little higher priced and the Kalkoff I wanted wasn't available in this country in my size.


    In my searching around for the Kalkoff I found another dealer "Pete's Electric Bikes". They are located in Boulder Colorado and have been very helpful, friendly, and informative. After talking to Dean & Chuck both owners of the business I felt they were very sincere and from everything I could find were very reputable.


    After talking to them about the Kalkoff and other e-bikes I ended up going with the Emotion Max 700 which is a Panasonic mid drive like the Kalkoff. I am having this bike custom built for me. It seemed like alot more bang for the buck than the Kalkoff! With the money I saved I was able to put into a lot of upgrades, rack, IGH, Dynamo hub, lights, drop bars, etc.


    I wish you the best and I hope my info and experience help you find the bike of your dreams to make you happy!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chvid View Post
    "Its just a bike"...actually just a frame really, with a bunch of parts on it, like all bikes. Except it seems some of the parts need adjustment or servicing. Really there is nothing special about an electric bike, except some of the parts are more complicated than a normal bike and require specialty knowlege - like replacing cells inside the battery, or changing brushes or Hall connectors inside hub motors etc., or putting on new connectors - stuff a normal local bike shop wouldn't be able to do necessarily. Anything else - and it sounds like the parts you were were talking about are "just bike parts" and could be fixed by any competent bike mechanic, or even yourself with a little bit of online investigation. I'd take it to a good LBS first to get the regular bike parts serviced, and build a relationship with them, as you will need to eventually anyway - unless it is directly related to the electric components. I've built nine ebikes, and I regularly need my LBS for things that are beyond my depth, but those things are limited to issues experienced as well by normal bikes as well, like getting new spokes cut, or putting in a new fork or whatever. I never bother them with the e-bits.

    Well that's just it. That was my intent all along. And as someone wh has been biking since age 5 and who used to put thousands of miles on my bikes every year, I have long established relationships with those mechanics and shops. The problem is that I had to take the bike to the place where I bought it because the click box on the rear hub wasn't working. And the fenders had been installed wrong and were rubbing on the back wheel. Their mechanic basically chastised me for taking the bike to the shop I did. That left me in a weird spot of needing their service for the eBike-specific stuff assuming something in the vicinity of a warranty issue popped up. But not wanting to cause them to blame possible warranty issues on another mechanic working on my bike. It's all so strange and disheartening.

  10. #10
    Senior Member profstack's Avatar
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    Did you buy the Dual-Drive from the Portland importer? I've been there and test rode one of their Connect-Pro models. The folk seemed like top-shelf people with a good attitude about the business.

    All bicycles need regular maintenance, which includes checking fastenings periodically. But your situation seems very unusual. You could get the refund and buy one of many other bikes.

    I eventually bought a 2012 Ohm Urban U700, with Bionx 350W motor and 355 WH battery capacity. In Seattle that means about 25 miles per charge with the hills I have to negotiate each way on the commute. On level ground or longer rides it gets over 40 miles per charge. It is priced a little less than your Dual-Drive (which I was very interested in, btw). The Ohm is a very well-thought out design and extremely comfortable to ride. The motor is nearly silent. The Ohms are made (assembled) in Canada. I'm very happy with the bike.

    Back to Kalkhoff: When will they be bringing in the new Impulse (Bosch) powered bikes with over 500 WH capacity here to the USA?
    Give your best every day. Each morning brings new opportunities.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by profstack View Post
    Did you buy the Dual-Drive from the Portland importer? I've been there and test rode one of their Connect-Pro models. The folk seemed like top-shelf people with a good attitude about the business.

    All bicycles need regular maintenance, which includes checking fastenings periodically. But your situation seems very unusual. You could get the refund and buy one of many other bikes.

    I eventually bought a 2012 Ohm Urban U700, with Bionx 350W motor and 355 WH battery capacity. In Seattle that means about 25 miles per charge with the hills I have to negotiate each way on the commute. On level ground or longer rides it gets over 40 miles per charge. It is priced a little less than your Dual-Drive (which I was very interested in, btw). The Ohm is a very well-thought out design and extremely comfortable to ride. The motor is nearly silent. The Ohms are made (assembled) in Canada. I'm very happy with the bike.
    It's a Dual Drive. Which is an amazing bike. But I met with the owner today and it turns out that the reason for the weirdness in this interaction is that it isn't a bike shop. Bike importer is more accurate. Or distributor. He's going to help me out, but long term I need to think about wheel strength and the possible stress someone with my size and power could put on an electric bike's wheel. It's a testament to the quality of the product that I'm still dealing with a company that isn't a bike shop as much as it's an investment. This world is so weird sometimes. Makes me lose faith a bit in the future of electric bikes as a viable product to the mass market.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    The company owner is going out of his way to help, has offered a no questions asked refund, and you still complain?
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

  13. #13
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    Stephen,
    Again , it is strange to me Kalkhof would gave you so much trouble.
    I mention technical person, should say mechanical person you see just by one look that it is quallity bicycle.
    Or it was recless person who assembled it.
    But seriously with all due respect ,
    , you have been riding bicycles since age of 5 , rode thousands of miles
    and
    you don't see rubing, wrong installed fenders on bicycle, any bicycle????
    BEFORE getting onto bicycle??
    So much time of using bicycles creates habits which are automatic.
    With 1000s of miles of riding experience you see just by glance that with fenders is somethng wrong, why to start riding????
    something does not add up here in your thread.
    Last edited by powell; 04-27-13 at 09:47 PM.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Emoto http://www.emotoev.com/ are imported thru POE Tacoma WA. LBS here sells them.

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    Senior Member profstack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenDedalus View Post
    It's a Dual Drive. Which is an amazing bike. But I met with the owner today and it turns out that the reason for the weirdness in this interaction is that it isn't a bike shop. Bike importer is more accurate. Or distributor. He's going to help me out, but long term I need to think about wheel strength and the possible stress someone with my size and power could put on an electric bike's wheel. It's a testament to the quality of the product that I'm still dealing with a company that isn't a bike shop as much as it's an investment. This world is so weird sometimes. Makes me lose faith a bit in the future of electric bikes as a viable product to the mass market.
    Did you consider their Sahal line of e-bikes? 26 inch tires are wider and probably offer more strength for more "robust" people.

    I did once hear a shop owner say that he discouraged a very heavy man from buying the e-bike to lose weight. He might have been thinking of warranty issues.

    Best of success to solving your dilemma.
    Give your best every day. Each morning brings new opportunities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profstack View Post
    Did you consider their Sahal line of e-bikes? 26 inch tires are wider and probably offer more strength for more "robust" people.

    I did once hear a shop owner say that he discouraged a very heavy man from buying the e-bike to lose weight. He might have been thinking of warranty issues.

    Best of success to solving your dilemma.

    I bet this guy would be happy withe a Stromer, really good bike not cheap but worth it

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    Weird, uncomfortable stuff went down today. I should just stop talking about this. Still taking recommendations.
    Last edited by StephenDedalus; 04-27-13 at 07:51 PM.

  18. #18
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    you do not sound like person with 1000s of miles of riding since age 5 to me.
    fenders installed wrong and you still start riding, you don't see this?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by powell View Post
    you do not sound like person with 1000s of miles of riding since age 5 to me.
    fenders installed wrong and you still start riding, you don't see this?
    ???


    The fenders didn't start rubbing until a week later. Piece of uncut plastic on the underside of the fender. I also don't claim to be a mechanic. Just someone who likes to ride a bike.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Looks like Specialized has ponied up an electric assist model (ain't cheap)- http://reviews.cnet.com/search-resul...html?ttag=gpwl

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    So I got the Kalkhoff back and the back wheel was loose already. I tightened it up and within 3 miles it was loose again. I think it's quite possible that an electric bike of the style (mid drive) or at least with this power puts too much torque on the drivetrain for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenDedalus View Post
    So I got the Kalkhoff back and the back wheel was loose already. I tightened it up and within 3 miles it was loose again. I think it's quite possible that an electric bike of the style (mid drive) or at least with this power puts too much torque on the drivetrain for me.
    Steven, not trying to be rude but lets get down to the brass tax, how big are you, whats your weight. i'm over 2oo riding weight & have flattened 4 saddles & have to go easy on bumps or i break spokes, whats your weight, these bikes have weight limits.?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scaliboy62 View Post
    Steven, not trying to be rude but lets get down to the brass tax, how big are you, whats your weight. i'm over 2oo riding weight & have flattened 4 saddles & have to go easy on bumps or i break spokes, whats your weight, these bikes have weight limits.?!
    I don't consider it rude. I appreciate the help many of you have provided. I'm over 300. I have definitely broken my share of spokes. What I've learned over the years is that I usually need custom wheels built for me. I was hoping that wouldn't be the case with the Kalkhoff, but it's looking like it might be. If the sturdiness of the wheel is the cause of wheel coming loose then I'm open to getting a wheel built. I've done it many times before. I've paid my fair share for nice, custom wheels by local mechanics I trust. I don't mind. I'm just trying to sort out at this point if it's something fundamental to the bike before I go there.

    Ironically, today I jumped on my $700 road bike that I rode a lot more than this bike a few years ago. That bike is so so small. I don't think I could right it again after getting more upright. My body has clearly changed as a result of my accident. Adjusting to that hasn't been easy. Won't be easy. That's okay as long as I can solve this.

  24. #24
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    The stoutest internal gear hub on the market is the NuVinci. It can handle more torque than any other model and if it does slip there is minimal damage. No gears to grind.
    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen
    I believe that in this case "solid meh" means "so 'meh' that it could never be anything more than 'meh', and yet also no less than 'meh' -- in a word, exactly 'meh'"

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    The stoutest internal gear hub on the market is the NuVinci. It can handle more torque than any other model and if it does slip there is minimal damage. No gears to grind.


    Thanks. I'll have to see what my bike has and look into that if I have a new wheel built.

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