Accu (Battery) Check

In  spring I take my "Flyer" electric bike out of the garage, I insert the accu battery and I start enjoying again.

The performance of the accu (battery) after four years of riding
is still good.

One reason may have helped to keep it going:  During the frost period of winter I did not leave it in the cold garage but took it into the house because its exposition to extreme temperatures should be avoided.


With Swiss E-bike "Flyer" on a Hiking Trail in the Mountains

Riding my Swiss made electric bike "Flyer" model "i:sy" in the urban jungle has been a great success as you can see from my previous postings. - The bike`s  design has the looks of possessing good durability and of being a young life style product at the same time.  Any pleasure rider will love its most important typical e-bike feature:  it takes the exhaustion out of going up hills.

With a proven success record as an ecological vehicle in the big city, how does it rate on a hiking trail in the mountains?  Made in Switzerland, the country of mountaineering, should be a guarantee for its good performance on steep hiking trails.  Is this true?

On a fine day in May I rode the "i:sy" on one of our most attractive hiking trails along the Rhine, the Rheinsteig, starting in Bonn.  

The electric drive of ,my "Flyer" gave me an enjoyable ride through the woods of the "Siebengebirge" on the edge of the Rhine valley. But when  I came to the steepest slope leading up to the mountain "Petersberg" I had to descend for the last 500 meters.  The hiking trail is not meant for bikers at this part of the route.  But thanks to the bike`s push button for a boost while walking, it gave me a comfortable support when pushing the bike up the small,  slippery  wet and rocky trail. 

Now, what is my answer to the question: Can you do the Reinsteig on a "Flyer" model "i:sy"?

The answer is:  You can go very well on some parts of the trail, if you are an experienced biker on rough terrain, but you would be much better off on a mountain bike.   


The Pleasure of Riding at Night

On the web pages of my Indian bicycle friends (http://cyclists.in/group/nightbikeriders) I read that there is a group of 259 members who have joined behind the idea of riding at night.  The  location is Mumbai.
I agree with their observation, it`s a pleasure to ride at night, even here in Bonn, Germany.  After a visit to a beer garden, I did about 8 kilometers near midnight from the city center to my suburb, and there were only three public buses going by and two cars coming my direction.
Having the road for myself, I left the lane for cyclists.  Amazing the difference, the lane for cyclists is often rather bumpy, whereas motorists are enjoying a nice smooth black-top surface. We bicycle riders need to do a lot more lobbying for better lanes. --
And the air was fresh and cool,  how nice after a day (May 1, 2012) of 30 degrees centigrade in the shadow of my porch.  
Before closing down my computer, I saw the British website of nightriders.  They have scheduled a big event in June.  Interesting is the charity aspect. By fund raising activities they are planning to collect 1 million pounds for a good cause.  Here is the link: Nightrider.org.uk


First Technical Service: Chain Replacement

The other day I took my pedelec, a Flyer "i:sy", back to the dealer for the first technical service.
After nearly half a year of riding the bike without any problems, I had assumed that the service would amount to little less than oiling and tightening some screws and bolts. But it was not that simple at all. The mechanic, a friendly and higly professional man, showed me his measurements with a Rohloff rule. The chain was elongated and needed replacement.  He also found that the smallest sprocket had worn out and did not work any more. His explanation: probably poor chain maintenance on my part, i.e. insufficient cleaning and greasing. I was disappointed, granted, I am not a semi-professional and definitely not a bicycle racer who looks after his bike with meticulous care every day, whiping off every little piece of dust and dirt, but I have ridden bicycles all my life and never had a sprocket and a chain worn out in the first half year. He called the Flyer company in Switzerland to find out if they would give me a free new sprocket. They declined. When I learnt that the dealer had no spare sprocket on stock to fix the problem immediately, I was disappointed again. In a reproachful manner, the manager and owner of my service station told me I could not expect him to have all kinds of sprockets on stock. At that, he lectured me that chain and sprockets are parts that wear out depending on the maintenance quality provided by the user. And he was certainly right. - I had learnt my lesson.
Once the proud owner of a Flyer model "i:sy", I left the service station`s  yard, unamused and dissatisfied.

Could it not be that the electric drive is putting chain and gears under more stress than an unelectrified bike?  Should a new electric bike customer not be cautioned to avoid putting in the highest gear when starting the bike in order to prevent a premature wear-out of the sprocket?  Shouldn`t customer and dealer cooperate and find a solution together? 

One thing has become clear to me. If you are a pleasure rider who is willing to pay an almost luxury price for a pedelec like the "i:sy", don`t buy it with a chain derailleur. Spend more money and get one with a hub gear system. 


Flyer E-Bike Battery in Bitterly Cold Weather

In my last posting I said that the weather had been relatively mild this winther.  This is no longer true.
Yesterday the country experienced one of the coldest nights in years.  Here in Bonn, the temperature was down at 14 degrees centigrade below zero.
Would you have left the Flyer`s battery pack at your bike in the garage?  I did not dare to do so.
The experts are saying that temperatures way below zero may damage the battery.  On the internet I found the following tips:  Avoid extreme temperatures and don`t reload the battery when it is frosty.  Ideally,  recharge at room temperature.
That is why I removed it from my bike and carried it inside the house where I have stowed it away on the basement.
Last Sunday morning I went by bike to the neighbouring village to the baker`s for fresh rolls.  So I got the battery from the basement, inserted it as usual in the middle of my bike and off I went. - The low temperature of minus 8 centigrade did not affect the functioning of my e-bike, as far as I could notice.


Riding my e-bike "Flyer" in the cold

This year`s winter has been relatively mild in Germany:  no snow so far in the Bonn area.
On my recent trips I did both the city and hiking paths in the country.  Consequently, I can  tell you of a new riding experience.

If you have read my previous blog entries, you will remember what  I wrote about roads and curbsides:  "bumpy" and "dangerous".  I had become aware of  these conditions of cycling lanes in Bonn because my e-bike has Schwalbe Balloon tires that were inflated to the utmost for the sake of less rolling resistance..

Now in January, with temperatures around 5 and 8 degrees centigrade during the day, the feeling for the road was entirely different.  Thanks to the low temperature, the air pressure in my Schwalbe ballon tires had decreased and my rides had become rather comfortable.  Granted, there are still a lot of places with dirt and gravel and traditionally cobbled pavements. My Swiss made e-bike "Flyer", model "i:sy" has proved to be sturdy enough to take anything, from cobbles in the city to dirt and gravel in the mountains.  Thanks to a saddle post with a suspension and the cold weather that taught me to appreciate the use of the balloon tires with less pressure than the instruction manual suggests, I have been enjoying comfortable and smooth rides.
My new formula is:  take a little more rolling resistance but enjoy the full comfort of balloon tires plus more grip.


First 500 km Performance of my e-bike "Flyer", the pedelec model "i:sy"

After three months of riding my e-bike "Flyer", model "i:sy", a Swiss made pedelec, I have finished the 500 km mark.  Now it`s time to return to the dealer and ask him to perform the first maintenance work as requested in the instruction manual. 
My daily rides were often about 15 km.  I have ridden the bike during good and bad weather, several times in a drizzle of rain.  Every time I returned home, I had to make it climb a steep hill.  And a number of trips I did in the near by Siebengebirge, which is a mountain region of mixed altitudes between 100 and 360  meters.
How did the bike perform?
It performed very well, to just one exception.  After a few days of rest in the garage, I took the bike out for a ride and when I had just mounted it and started pedalling,  the chain came off.  Upon a qick inspection,I found that it looked rusty and needed greasing.  Presumably the dealer had not noticed the state of the chain when he delivered the bike.
I greased the chain and my bike went on smoothly as ever. I went on riding it to my great joy and perfect satisfaction.