Editor’s note: The original version of this article featured erroneous information about the Talaria Sting. That section of the article has since been removed, and we offer our deepest apologies. Our private dicks are currently looking for the writer who has fled the country in fear.
It’s officially summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, and between that and record gas prices, there’s more incentive than ever to ditch your car in favor of an e-bike. The whole e-bike scene might seem intimidating at first glance – especially if you’re completely new to it – but this week’s videos prove that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
They also prove it’s not just for stunters, modders, and other rebellious types, but e-bikes like the Sur Ron X certainly have that spirit on tap should you ever find yourself getting a little curious.
Today you’ll learn about gear ratios and performance gains, bear witness to one of the sweetest supermoto builds we’ve ever seen, explore affordable e-bikes for sale across the United States and beyond, and discover how a bold new approach to e-bike legal policies in Toledo, Ohio could affect other communities – even yours.
This is E-Bike Weekly.
The best new e-bike videos, hand-picked just for you.
Just Buy a Sur Ron Already!
Let’s start with those of you who don’t have a e-bike yet. Whether you want an off-roader, on-roader, commuter, wheelie machine, or all that and then some, e-bikes like the Sur Ron LBX are the answer to all that and more. They offer 100% gas savings, nearly zero maintenance, and hardly have to follow any rules at all (we’ll come back to that part later on).
These benefits and more are extolled by our favorite up-and-coming e-bike YouTubers, the dynamic duo of Grip N Rip. It doesn’t matter if you’re 14 or 31, these guys have the wit and charisma to entertain and inform at the same time, a rare combination in any walk of life. That’s not hyperbole – I’m 31 and I love their stuff, and the current top comment says this:
“Hey guys I found your videos a few days ago and have already watched all of your videos. I love what you do and this is what I want to do myself, I'm 14 and saving for my own surron right now I just wanted to say you guys are sick and to never give up.”
Heck yeah! That’s why we love this channel and why it’s growing so fast. In this video they say they just passed 1500 subscribers, and as I'm watching it right now they are already at 2.6k! It’s literally growing faster than they can keep up with, so if you aren't subscribed yet you're missing out on the best new duo in the e-bike world.
Do Bigger Sprockets Actually Improve Performance?
In short, absolutely.
So you watched Sur Ronster’s video and you’re still set on modding your e-bike. Maybe you want to see some pro-level testing with specialized tools. Maybe you want to know exactly what effect changing sprockets will have, and maybe you want all that delivered to you by a smooth and sultry voice from the Southern Hemisphere.
Dirk Winter’s got you covered – this video has speed trap timers, live cutting of the green wire on a Sur Ron LBX, testing sprockets with and without a BAC4000 controller installed, and rampant use of meters instead of feet.
Most of the testing involves pitting a stock 48-tooth sprocket against a 58t and 64t, then doing the same with a BAC4000 controller. You’ll have to watch the video to get all the details, but suffice to say, a 64-tooth sprocket + BAC4000 actually gets kind of hard to handle off the line. Even sitting on the tank with his chest on the bars, the front wheel still came up!
We love data here at GritShift, and this has to be the strongest data-driven video we’ve seen in a long time. This sort of transparent testing is what strengthens the community, both on the modding side and the riding side, and you’ll definitely see this video linked as a resource in future articles here on GritShift.
E-Bikes for Sale
The best deals, the worst deals, and everything in between.
$4,400: Segway X260 + Supermoto Wheelset
If you read last week’s E-Bike Weekly where we featured two e-bikes you absolutely should not buy, you might have noticed that this X260 has a red frame and yet isn’t being advertised for $12,000 or more. It’s almost like last week’s bikes were overpriced cash grabs aimed at taking advantage of people who don’t understand the e-bike modding scene at all. Did I say that out loud?
In the real world, you don't have to modify a Sur Ron, Segway, or Talaria to the hilt just to have a good time. We actually saw at least three Sur Rons sell for $3,500 OBO this week on Colorado Craigslist alone – one even had Fox 40 forks and a 72v conversion – but they sold so fast we didn’t even get a chance to write about them.
Thankfully, this 2021 Segway X260 hasn’t gotten away yet at the time of writing. It’s resplendent in red over black with a second set of wheels and supermoto tires included, all for $4,400 on Craigslist near Fort Collins, Colorado, it’s a good starting point for someone looking to buy their first e-bike and who’s interested in both dirt and road riding. The owner has a Volvo wagon with a prancing moose logo on the side, a clear sign we’re dealing with a discerning enthusiast.
There are a few scrapes on both sides of the frame and swing arm, the seat has some black tape at the rear, and to our eyes the handlebars look a little tweaked as well, although that could just be the angle of the pictures. Point being, if you're the kind of person to value performance over aesthetics, this is a chance to pick up a Segway X260 and a decent haul of spares for little more than a new X260 would cost you – if you could even get one right now. International markets agree that this is a pretty fair price, so this one seems well worth considering if you’re in the market for an e-bike.
$8,000: Exceptionally Customized Sur Ron LBX
For our money, there’s an ideal balance point somewhere between buying a scratched and nearly stock bike for $4,400 and paying $12,000 for a Sur Ron that’s still on stock suspension. We’re willing to pay over MSRP for something truly special, and this heavily customized Sur Ron LBX is exactly what catches our attention.
Aesthetically, this thing looks mental. It’s got a fat set of Rosso rubber and a huge battery jutting out through the top, and all that raw anger is balanced out by sky blue accents tastefully applied from front to back. A lot of people go overboard with accent colors, and the restraint shown here takes this Sur Ron from an off-the-shelf custom to an all-out inspiration. And not only does this beast look the part, it backs it all up with a solid selection of mods. Feast your eyes on the full description:
Often imitated but rarely achieved, a solid build like this is hard to beat. Find it here on Miami Craigslist just outside Fort Lauderdale, not far from GritShift HQ! We would love to see this beast in person, so if you pick it up, stop by and show us!
E-Bike News and Events
This section pretty much describes itself.
An abandoned road in Oak Openings Preserve Metropark (OhioRoadSigns, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)
This Ohio City Has Redefined “Motorized Vehicles Prohibited”
When the phrase “motorized vehicles” gained widespread usage decades ago, it generally referred to vehicles with combustion engines only, mainly because until just recently anything with an electric powertrain was almost always a gimmick, a kid’s toy, or an electric car. Today’s electric bicycles are blurring the line between performance machines and docile urban commuters, to the point where it’s easy to forget that e-bikes like Sur Ron, Segway, and Talaria are actually classified as electric bicycles. Especially having made it this far in an article all about dirt riding, street riding, and supermoto builds, I almost forgot that fact myself.
Since this niche is still relatively new, any new policies implemented in local communities tend to have a farther-reaching impact than they would in a more established segment – what's done in Toledo, Ohio could influence policies in Florida, Colorado, and even internationally. What happened in Toledo this Wednesday is particularly interesting because it expounds on a phrase we are all familiar with: “Motorized vehicles prohibited.”
Wednesday’s decision by Toledo’s Board of Park Commissioners changed existing restrictions to allow e-bikes to share paths and trails within city parks with joggers, hikers, and everyone else around. As quoted by The Toledo Blade, the Board President said, “We have to be nimble and responsive to what’s changing in our world,” in stark contrast to the complete inaction from Denver’s public transit system that was detailed in last week’s E-Bike Weekly.
Qualifying vehicles need to weigh less than 100 pounds and can only be operated on marked multipurpose trails which are at least 10 feet wide. There are no specific speed limits or noise restrictions for e-bikes and riders are not required to dismount near pedestrians, although speed “must be kept within a reasonable speed as to not interfere, or endanger, the operator or other park patrons.”
It was also clarified that electric motorcycles are not allowed, though no explanation was given of the line between electric motorcycles and electric bicycles. With that said, the Sur Ron LBX, Segway X260, and Talaria Sting are all significantly over the 100-pound weight limit, however the Segway X160 could sneak in if a person were to shave just 5.8 pounds off its weight. That’s about 30 Quarter Pounders for our international friends.
In my opinion, I love that Toledo is open to the idea of e-bikes in city parks. I think a weight limit is an interesting way to approach it but I think the number they settled on is somewhat arbitrary. There are certainly some electric-assist cargo bikes that come close to 100 pounds, so if the goal is really to keep out so-called electric motorcycles like Sur Ron LBX and Talaria Sting, I feel like simply requiring a set of pedals would be an easier way to achieve the same thing.
Still, it's great to see a sizeable city recognizing that e-bikes are here, they’re popular, and to an extent that’s yet to be fully understood, they’re the future.
GritShift’s E-Bike Weekly: June 24th, 2022
That concludes another superlative edition of E-Bike Weekly, brought to you by GritShift.
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