Blog 18-04-24

Finally, after a few false starts, the latest bike makeover is complete in resplendent gloss white with gloss black wheel rims. The rims were originally going to be alternating panels of white and black but it did not look very good so was all stripped back to base metal again. A rather tedious job with the hot air paint stripper but easy enough as the paint was still fresh and soft. Then a school boy error. I applied primer to both wheels then realised I’d not masked the nipples and spokes. That meant hours with a non-stick scouring pad and wire wool. Duh!

Everything else is pretty much as before, other than the handlebars which are Sonder Horizon Flat with about 100 mm chopped off each end. I wanted a narrow bar for this bike. Actually, takes a wee bit getting used to after the wide bars on the Surly Ogre but I’ll soon get used to them. Found that one of the bottom bracket bearings was feeling rough but not noticeable when riding. Not sure how that got damaged, perhaps when I stripped the bike down or during the rebuild. In any case, I’ve ordered a set of replacement bearings and will fit them later on.

Been looking at electric bikes again and now fairly settled on the Sonder El Camino shown below. It has a claimed assisted range of up to 70 km and over 120 km with the 180Wh range extender, of course, depending on the power setting used, type of terrain, total load carried, tyre pressures, wind strength and direction and even outside temperature. So, will be interesting to see what it actually does in the real world. The 250 Wh battery is hidden away inside the downtube and power assistance is provided by a 250W rear hub motor to give 45Nm of driving force. And in keeping with UK laws, assistance is provided up to 15.5 mph. Just need to make that final decision and order the bloody thing!

But what stops me ordering an e-bike? That’s the big question, right enough. On the one side, which I like to call the dark side, I still feel that e-bikes are cheating somehow, that I should simply be pedalling under my own steam. Then there’s all the disapproval that appears in turf chat, and to be fair some of that has been my own words, so guilty as charged. The weight of these bikes also puts me off, though in the example above 13.5 Kg isn’t too bad, as well as all the recommended shenanigans about battery care, storage, charging and the like. And I also feel I’ll be neglecting my lovely, silky smooth and silent single speed bikes. Perhaps I’m just thinking too much?

One the other side, the side of light, all things good in the world, like Kit-Kats and jam scones, there are benefits to e-bikes, of course there are. In my mind I see the main benefit, at least I hope so, is that having that extra oomph to assist my turfing will mean less strain on my back, allowing me to do that little bit more. Especially on those pesky hills, like that bloody climb up to Roslynn from down by the river. Mind you, I suppose I would get the same benefit if I had proper gears on my bike! So, why don’t I just do that?

Have thought about, say, putting 1 x 12 gearing on the single speed, but I just love the simplicity of the single speed and really don’t want to change anything. And that’s it in a nutshell, I just cannot decide what to do. Should I stick with my single speeds or splash out £2700 credits for a Sonder El Camino electric velocipede? Time will tell, I suppose.

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