It’s somehow June already, and that means most of North America is entering prime riding season. Whether that means commuting to work, roaming city streets at night, packing the van for a weekend of trail riding, or getting up bright and early for an organized event, e-bikes like Sur Ron, Segway, and Talaria are a perfect way to get some seat time during the final days of Spring.
Speaking of seat time, have you ever sat on a stock Sur Ron? It’s sort of like sitting on rocks, but rocks actually move if you wiggle your butt around. This week we’ll see how to fix that, and we’ll explore range anxiety, spare batteries, overcharging on Craigslist, and the announcement of the first-ever eMoto class at the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout.
This is E-Bike Weekly.
The best new e-bike videos, hand-picked just for you.
Say It Again for the People in the Back
Right off the bat, this disassembly guide from Volted Adventures refers to a stock Sur Ron’s seat as “the world-renowned a$$ wrecker.” That’s a fair way of describing the unforgiving excuse for a cushion that is the stock Sur Ron “seat,” a roughly butt-shaped plank often suspected to be made of wood, steel, or tossed-out copies of Dark Souls.
We’re pretty sure nobody has ever said those words before at any point in history, and to find out for sure, I took the plunge and searched that polarizing phrase on my work computer.
If that doesn’t make a person a wordsmith, I don’t know what does. Volted Adventures, your rap career awaits.
Right, anyway, the stock Sur Ron seat. There isn’t much to it: a fabric cover, a plastic pan, and, surprisingly, foam. To disassemble, carefully pop the staples out of the back, peel the fabric cover away, and remove the foam from the pan.
It’s no secret most of the money on a stock Sur Ron is in the driveline, so it’s no surprise that one of the most common Sur Ron mods is a thicker seat – or at least a seat riser kit – especially for taller riders.
If you’re artsy, craftsy, or mechanically inclined, you can even take a crack at improving the stock seat yourself. If you can follow this video without damaging anything, you’re already most of the way there. That’s actually why this video was made – Volted Adventures is getting paid to make a custom seat for his friend! It sounds like he’s going to upgrade the foam and do a custom fabric cover, so stay tuned to his channel and E-Bike Weekly for the final result.
Oh, and don’t search that phrase without quotation marks. Unless you want to. No judgement here.
Hero Commutes on a Talaria Sting for a Week
It’s one thing to ride an e-bike for fun out on the trails or around town. But depending on those wheels to put food on the table takes a serious set of balls, and luckily for Matthew McLaughlin, he’s got them.
With a Honda VFR in the driveway and a Jeep CJ-7 in the garage, it’s safe to say he knows his way around things that move, and more importantly, he won’t be without a vehicle if something goes wrong with his Talaria Sting. At video’s start the Sting is on its third day commuting to work on a single charge – keep watching to see how long it lasts!
Three major points are made within the first couple minutes:
- Riding an e-bike to work is way more fun than driving
- It might actually be faster depending on your route
- Lots of cars don’t notice you, especially at crossings
Of course, when you get to work you either need to take your bike inside or find a secure place – and method – to lock it up. Or, if you’re like Matthew, you work at Cycle Gear and park in a sea of motorcycles including a ZX-14, two R6es, and an Indian FTR with number plate 69. Nice.
Weekly Meditation: Reassembly Is the Reverse of Disassembly
It's fascinating how you can completely disassemble one of these bikes using basic hand tools and a bike stand, or a table, or a barrel – literally anything that can hold the frame as you bolt on the motor, controller, rear subframe, and assorted go-fast bits of your choosing.
In MEGAWATTZ’s case, that includes Marzocchi Bomber 58 forks, our GritShift 2” stem riser, and wheels from Wicked Wheel Works, all mated to a Burnt Root Beer Brown frame to create a sick earthtone build that looks right at home in the woodlands of… Washington? Oregon? Kansas? Doesn’t matter, this bike could pull up anywhere and turn heads – from Overland Expo to the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show. And from where I’m sitting, it absolutely should.
Charging Habits: Using, Charging, and Storing E-Bike Batteries
We’ve all heard horror stories of batteries going flat and stored batteries catching fire. This informational video from YouTuber Super Surr is jam-packed with facts about how to make your e-bike’s battery last as long as possible, and how to properly store it when you aren’t riding.
There isn't really much to keep in mind if you’re riding your e-bike on a regular basis. Most modern bikes have a BMS (Battery Management System) to prevent complete discharge down to 0.0%, And short of that, there isn't really much you can do wrong. Some say you can even dunk these batteries underwater, and although we can’t necessarily encourage that, we’ve seen people do it before.
The tricky part comes when you store your e-bike or an e-bike battery for a prolonged time. Like a laptop or phone, you should try not to go more than three months without using the battery and recharging it again. don't leave the battery hooked up to the charger after its done charging, and don't store it in direct sunlight or a high-humidity environment, Or anywhere that sees temperatures colder than 32F or hotter than 80F on a regular basis.
Some people say you shouldn't charge an e-bike’s battery to 100%. They say you should stop somewhere like 85% instead. Feel free to make your own call on that, but honestly, we say life's too short to worry that much – any ill effects from repeated full charge cycles would be a long way down the road if they ever happened at all.
E-Bikes for Sale
The best deals, the worst deals, and everything in between.
$1,400: OEM Battery for Sur Ron X
If you’re tearing up the streets all night or running day-long trail rides or races, chances are you’ve considered ways to extend your e-bike’s range. One common solution is picking up a second battery, like this Sur Ron X battery for sale on Craigslist in Boulder, Colorado for $1,400.
That might sound steep for what is essentially a full tank of fuel, but unlike dino power, electricity offers the unique opportunity to instantly top off your bike’s range by swapping in a fresh battery. Leave your second battery in the truck or in the pits, and your bike’s range can be topped off in a matter of seconds whenever you need it.
Having a spare battery for your Sur Ron can turn a morning ride into a weekend adventure. Ride all night and start the next morning with a guaranteed full charge, or leave the spare in the car, just in case the trails are better than you expected.
And if you want even more range than the stock 60v battery from a Sur Ron X, check out our EBMX 72v Battery With GritShift Sticker Pack (upgraded controller and charger required).
$5,000: 2022 Talaria Sting (Over MSRP?!?)
We get it, finding a Talaria Sting has been hard lately. It seems nobody is selling them used like they are Sur Rons and other similar e-bikes, and new ones in stock – like pretty much everything else – have been in short supply. But it’s still a mystery to us why this 2022 Talaria Sting on Indianapolis Craigslist is posted for more than our Pre-Modified 2022 Talaria Sting even though it’s 100% bone stock.
The Sting is the first true competitor to Sur Ron’s dominance. Its wider profile and substantial roadfeel mean it feels less like a toy and more like a serious off-road machine, especially for taller riders. GritShift’s Pre-Modified 2022 Talaria Sting is upgraded right out of the box with our LED Lightbar and Headlight Kill Switch to keep you riding all night long, and a Footpeg Support Brace to address the noticeable peg flex that is one of the Sting’s only drawbacks in stock form.
We’re assuming this Craigslist seller doesn’t know you can get all those extras for less than his asking price. Or hey, maybe he does. Maybe he won’t accept lowballs because he knows what he’s got. Maybe he’ll challenge you to find another. Maybe you’ll challenge him to do 12 laps of Indy on a single charge – which should be cutting it close – and while he’s doing that you’ll get in your car and go home, where your Talaria Sting By GritShift is waiting for you, along with the extra $$$ you didn’t spend on the Craigslist bike. I’m just spitballing here.
E-Bike News and Events
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August 12-14, 2022: E-Bike Racing at Red Bull TKO
For the first time ever, 2022’s running of the Red Bull Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro will feature a field of e-bikes!
The inaugural eMoto Class event is being organized by Tucker of Electric Cycle Rider on YouTube and ElectricCycleRider.com. It’s an open class, so anything from bone-stock Sur Rons to tricked out Talarias can hit the field side by side. But don’t worry if your bike isn’t modded to the hilt: if you’ve got the skills, you can close the gap.
There are only 40 slots for this race and you need an AMA membership to register, so if you want to participate, head over to the TKO EMOTO event page and follow the links to register. The GritShift team plans on bringing home a 1-2-3 podium, so you better bring the heat!
We’ll post the latest news and updates in the Talaria Owners USA (Official) Facebook Group as well as on our Instagram and, of course, right here on the GritShift blog. In the meantime, if you need to gear up for the race, we’ve got your parts.
New York Faces Backlash for Banning E-Bikes From City Parks
In related news, GritShift writer makes Surprised Pikachu face.
A recent op-ed about New York City’s blanket ban on e-bikes in city and state parks touches on some important aspects of e-bike policy and how it relates to climate change, classification clarity, and a person’s general freedom on the road.
As the author explains, the state’s Parks Department recently enacted a measure by which electric bicycles are not allowed in parks despite being perfectly legal to ride on the streets of New York City. That in itself is polarizing enough, since it not only includes the flavor of e-bikes we often cover here – like Sur Ron and Talaria – but also pedal-assist electric bicycles, trikes, recumbents, and children’s bikes.
On May 29th, NYPD officers went so far as to set up a sting in Prospect Park for the sole purpose of finding e-bikes and asking them kindly to leave. Oh wait, that’s not right, they actually threatened to destroy at least one e-bike and threatened the owner with a $150 fine on top of that. It doesn't help that the biker in question had their daughter on the back, causing this situation to boil over from a reasonable traffic stop to a divisive social media uproar.
Personally, I don't see what the problem is. If these bikes are allowed on public roads and they align with the city’s electric bicycle classifications – which include safety elements like speed limits – why can’t they ride through a park? I get being concerned if somebody is riding off-road, flinging mud and cutting their own single track, but a family riding through on a paved road should be celebrated, not threatened. In an age of climate activism on the cusp of the electric revolution, banning e-bikes from parks seems like as big of a step backward as a city can take.
E-Bike Weekly: June 8, 2022
That concludes a rather turbulent edition of E-Bike Weekly, brought to you by GritShift.
The GritShift team of enthusiasts builds, sells, and races e-bikes. Whether you want something or need something, you can find the answer in our vast selection of e-bike parts and accessories for Sur Ron, Segway, Talaria, and more. Check out our storefront 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.