It’s no secret that gas prices in the United States are currently higher than Snoop Dogg. Maybe that’s why so many people think their used e-bikes are worth two or even three times the price of a new one, or maybe the end times are upon us, the prophecies of old are coming to pass, the Mayans were right, Ancient Aliens was a documentary, and Harambe truly was a turning point in human existence. One or the other.
And yet we here at GritShift choose positivity every day, just like these e-bike content creators who return every week to give us hope for our electric future. This week they were wrecking hard and breaking bikes, and somehow riding in a rainstorm caused the least harm of all. Where else are you going to find a level-headed diatribe on local laws mere paragraphs away from a Jonathan Frakes meme?
This is E-Bike Weekly.
The best new e-bike videos, hand-picked just for you.
Will an E-Bike Survive a Downpour of Rain?
The answer is yes. The real question is, can you?
Matthew McLaughlin is back with another one, this time bravely going where few e-bikers have gone before: riding in the rain on his Talaria Sting.
Besides noticing that the brakes are substantially worse in the wet than they are in the dry, everything actually seemed to go just fine. That won't come as a shock to anyone who has ridden a mountain bike, especially one with an old school pad-on-rim braking setup, and there isn't really much you can do about it aside from dumping tons of money into new brakes.
If you’re that set on riding your e-bike in the rain, you should probably spend your money on a therapist instead, but GritShift does have a wide selection of brake components for Talaria, Sur Ron, Segway, and more should you find yourself in need.
I feel your pain though – I once rode my CBR home from an interview in a full suit and got absolutely dumped on, and I can confirm that once you get to the point of having soaked shoes and wet hair, it's actually a lot of fun. Motorcycles tend to stay surprisingly stable when hitting big puddles at speed, and apparently an e-bike is no different as Matthew eagerly demonstrates all over town.
He’s approaching 1,000 subscribers, so if you like what you see go give him a follow!
Sur Ronster Bares His Soul for Our Benefit
Just because e-bikes like Sur Ron and Talaria have smaller horsepower figures and are sometimes classified as bicycles, it doesn't mean you can't get hurt on them. For many, these bikes exist in a confusing gray area where it feels silly to put on full motorcycle gear but even sillier to wear no gear at all, like people often do on bicycles.
We have to commend Sur Ronster for posting this video telling the story of his recent crash. It's never easy to be vulnerable, but as he said himself, hopefully his pain helps someone else learn what not to do. He’s out use of his dominant hand having broken both his distal radius and distal ulna, and like a proper trooper, he’s already back on the bike thanks to a thumb throttle installed by a friend. So if you see a guy riding using only his left hand, that’s what’s going on!
So, what can be done? For me and many others, the answer is to gear up. I wouldn't necessarily go full leathers like a superbike or heavy padding like a dirt bike, especially for street riding, but a chest protector paired with knee and elbow pads will protect critical areas while remaining light, breathable, and flexible. And of course, you should always wear a helmet and gloves, and wearing pants instead of shorts can help prevent skin damage if you do happen to go down and slide. If you’re short on gear at the moment, you can find all that and more in our gear store.
In my opinion, having shown such an enviable quality in full view of the world, Sur Ronster is going to be a household name sooner than later.
What to Know Before Buying a Sur Ron LBX
E-bikes are cool, but you know what’s even cooler? Knowledge.
If you’re about to buy a Sur Ron LBX, this is the only flaws countdown you need to watch. Right off the bat, Grip N Rip cover things nobody has touched on before, like brittle plastics and the hit-and-miss dead space in some LBX throttles. I noticed the dead space myself – it reminds me of driving my old Triumph Spitfire with a lazy single carburetor, where you can’t really tell a difference between giving it 60% gas and 100% gas.
The nonlinear throttle could throw a beginner for a loop (both figuratively and literally), and it’s one of many things to keep an eye out for with your new Sur Ron LBX. Watch the full video to learn the rest, and if you haven’t picked up your LBX yet, we can help with that.
Personally, this is my favorite new e-bike channel. Their growth has been absolutely explosive – between the time I drafted this article and publishing, they went from around 600 subs to over 1,100! It’s wild to see that happen and it’s well deserved as this is some of the best e-bike content I’ve seen yet. Keep it up guys!
Electrical Problems With a Talaria Sting
It might not be romantic or comedic to talk about a bike breaking down, but if you’re considering buying a Talaria Sting or already have one, you’ve probably given some serious thought to what you’ll do if you get stranded. For Oregon Motorcycle, that meant having to get a ride.
The problems began with the screen turning off while riding, which was initially cured by turning the bike off and on again. His troubles peaked when the bike died completely while in motion, and with no way to get it going again, he hitched a ride home. Other electrical gremlins cropped up on subsequent rides, like a non-working headlight and kickstand switch, and in the video his screen flashes on and off even with the bike switched completely off.
After initial testing, Oregon Motorcycle thinks it might be a battery issue, but other sources say it could be a converter issue. To me it sounds like it could even be a loose ground or low voltage issue, any of which could cause all systems to go haywire in unpredictable ways. It makes it a little harder to narrow down an electrical issue when the entire vehicle is electric.
The good news is that the Talaria is still under warranty, so Oregon Motorcycle should eventually have an answer – or at least a new or repaired Sting.
Our Stings have been problem-free like the vast majority have, so we’re looking forward to seeing how the repair and warranty claim process goes with Talaria. That’s not an aspect of the company we know a lot about, and the result has the potential to make or break community trust in their customer service.
E-Bikes for Sale
The best deals, the worst deals, and everything in between.
$8,200: Modified Sur Ron LBX
We don't see a lot of e-bikes coming up for sale on the East Coast, and the ones that do tend to be pretty expensive. Such is the case with this highly modified Sur Ron LBX listed on Craigslist in Rutherford, New Jersey for $8,200, nearly double what a new Sur Ron X sells for.
With a Litespeed 72V battery, BAC 4000 controller, and a 52T sprocket, there’s no doubt this Sur Ron is going to be properly fast. Suspension and brakes have been addressed as well, and there are even extra parts the seller is willing to include for a little extra dough. We aren’t saying it isn’t a solid build, it’s just extremely upmarket for a bike that’s still on stock forks and wheels. Then again, red frames are rare – that’s ours in this article’s cover photo – and there’s no telling how much that color could be worth to someone.
One thing’s for sure: this isn't a good choice for your first e-bike. Although you're saving money on the mods by letting someone else buy and install them, unless you wanted that specific setup you would probably be better off building one up yourself. And for real, you don't need to throw your entire wallet at a Sur Ron X to make it a top performer.
$12,990: Modified Segway X260
If you thought $8,200 was a crazy asking price, apparently you were wrong.
The seller of this Segway X260 on eBay must have missed the news about not getting all your money back from mods. Or maybe they’re intentionally ignoring it, bucking conventional norms in favor of blazing a bold new trail to financial independence. Maybe we're the clowns after all.
Sure, this heavily modified X260 has a 72V battery, BAC 4000 controller, Warp 9 wheels, and a handful of other bolt-on parts, but could that really make it worth more than a new Yamaha R7? This is actually the first used e-bike we’ve ever seen selling for nearly triple the price of a new one. And like our Segway X260 in the cover photo of this article, this one also has a red frame. Maybe that fact alone is worth thousands to someone, specifically someone who has never heard of painting or powder coating.
That's unlikely though, as you could literally build this exact bike for less than the asking price. If you need evidence for that statement, look no further than the seller themselves: the listing description says, “All the mentioned parts below are only 1 week old and practically new.” And indeed, add them up for yourself and you’ll find that not only could you buy a brand-new X260 and all the parts the seller mentioned for way less than 12 grand, but you could even throw in Fox 40 front forks and a Fox Float X2 rear shock and you would still be under this guy’s asking price. Shoot, you could even take it all to a shop and have everything installed professionally. Now you have a fully modded Segway X260 and you didn’t have to lift a single tool.
Speaking of tools, how do you feel about what the seller is doing here? Buying a bike, modifying it, and reselling at a super high markup could either be viewed as a service or a scam. Personally, that’s a whole lot of profit margin, and more worryingly, it’s a highly modified machine that doesn’t appear to have been ridden long enough to be tested thoroughly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one sit unsold for a long time.
I’ll even put the company’s money where my mouth is – click the button below to see how affordable Segway X260 performance upgrades really are.
E-Bike News and Events
Happenings, circumstances, and goings on.
Absolute madman straps two Segway X260 e-bikes to an airplane
It won’t surprise you that the person responsible for strapping two Segway X260 e-bikes under the wings of a carbon fiber experimental aircraft has an engineering background, which Mike Patey has in spades. But what if I told you they were charged by solar panels mounted on the wings?
As seen on Cycle World, this flambastic accomplishment is nothing short of inspirational. Imagine flying out to rural Wyoming, landing on a remote grass airstrip, and ripping e-bikes around in nature. Better yet, fly north with a pair of snowbikes and spend a 24-hour day kicking up powder with skiers, polar bears, Nicholas Cage chasing shipwrecked treasure, and whatever else goes on up there.
If you have a bunch of money and mechanical know-how, you could create the exact scenario I’ve just described for about $140,000 USD. That should cover a Carbon Cub, two X260 e-bikes, track conversions, and dual solar charging systems. The only thing not included is a set of brass balls.
Xnatedawgx, CC BY-SA 4.0
In Denver, e-bikes are banned on public transit but not on city streets
Last week we covered controversial e-bike laws banning e-bikes from parks in New York City, and some of you probably thought, “Yeah, but that’s the East Coast. That would never happen in a place with tall mountains and a bunch of weed.”
Enter the small hamlet of Denver, Colorado, population 715,878. With a metro area of over 3,000,000 people, it’s not exactly a small dot on the map, so it was big news when earlier this year the city announced plans to issue $12,000,000 in e-bike rebates (soft paywall) to help thousands of riders get on the road for less. The previous round of 3,200 rebates were all taken in a matter of weeks, and demand for this new round is expected to be higher still.
The only problem is that the buses, rails, and other public transportation operated by Denver’s Regional Transportation District have explicitly banned bicycles with motors from being brought onboard, and as reported by Denverite, that stance is quickly becoming a relic of the past.
To be clear, regular bicycles are allowed on RTD routes with no weight limits, only dimensional limits of 80” x 40”. For reference, a stock Sur Ron X is 73.6” long and 30.7” wide – well within the limits. The ban is most likely a holdover from the days when a motorized bicycle meant a Schwinn with a two-stroke engine strapped to the down tube. That wasn’t all that long ago, so on one hand it’s understandable that the RTD hasn’t updated their rulebook to account for the fully electric bikes of today.
But on the other hand, it isn’t. It would presumably take about 2 hours to change the ruling on this topic since bicycle-carrying equipment is already installed on the buses and trains in question. The only issue I can think of is weight – a Sur Ron weighs about 80 pounds more than an average bicycle, and if you had a lot of those stacked in one place, it could certainly become a hurdle. Even then, a weight limit would solve that, or even a limit of X e-bikes on each carrier at a time.
This ban’s existence flies in the face of the message sent by Denver’s wildly popular e-bike rebate programs, not to mention the general push toward less congestive forms of transportation. Modern e-bikes are still very much in their infancy, and as the electric revolution beings, every new rule, program, and piece of legislation draws more eyes than ever before. I hope Denver finds a solution quickly, as inactivity could inadvertently harm opinions of public transport and e-bike policies alike.
GritShift's E-Bike Weekly: June 17, 2022
That concludes an extra-bodacious edition of E-Bike Weekly, brought to you by GritShift.
The GritShift team of enthusiasts builds, sells, and races e-bikes. We have e-bike parts and accessories from small to large, so whether you want something or need something, chances are we have a solution. Check us out by clicking the button below.
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Cover image: GritShift
Author: Justin Dake
Justin Dake is an automotive journalist and collector of anything with wheels.