BikeCommuters.com

Author Archive: RL Policar

As one of the original founders of BikeCommuters.com. He has helped build this site into one of the leading and oldest bicycle commuting blog sites. Filled with passion for everything two wheels, RL Policar covers a multitude of subjects from product reviews, news, articles and technical how to's.

ELux Fat Tire Cruiser: Review

Elux Bicycles eview

We received the ELux Electric Bicycles Fat Tire Cruiser a few weeks ago and since then we’ve been able to put some miles on it. Rather than fill the first part of the review with the spec info and all that jazz, just go to their website to see all of it. For the most part I’ll be peppering in the spec info throughout the article. So with that being said, I’m just going to jump into it. Ok, so here we go. The ELux is a FUN electric bike! Yep, it’s as simple as that. Fun and functional. The fat tires do offer a different ride and when you keep the air pressure a bit low, it sorta acts like suspension and it also provides some extra traction on loose gravel and sand.

Elux Electric Bicycles

This bike’s 750w Bafang brushless geared motor is powered by a 48v 14Ah Lithium Ion battery. ELux says you can get up to a 30+mile range on a single charge with pedal assist. I was able to get 17.2 miles on a full charge, but that’s with me using the throttle about 90% of the time on various terrain such as steep hills, gravel, dirt, mud, bike path, street and sand. So you’re probably wondering, “17.2 miles is pretty far from 30 miles on a single charge…” Yes it is, but that range ELux provides takes into consideration that their test subject who determined those miles probably weighed about 150lbs and set the pedal assist to 3. But when I rode the bike I weigh over 220lbs and using the throttle most of the time on some steep hills. I figured if all my miles were simply on flat ground on the street, then I’m sure I could have reached that 30 mile range they had mentioned.

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Yes we know that the Elux isn’t what some of you would consider a “commuter bike.” But rather than beating a dead horse and repeating myself that ANY BIKE is a commuter bike, I’ll just go into why this bike got our attention for testing. First of all those fat tires rather fascinating. But we noticed it had fenders, and a rear rack. Plus it has an LED headlight that could is powered by the main battery and switched on by the control panel. Hmm, from the looks of it, this bike would fall into that ideal commuter bike. In addition, it’s electric powered.

In this photo below, we paired the Elux with our Blackburn cooler pannier to show that you can carry bags on the bike. Two things I didn’t like about their rack was it didn’t have an anchor point and the rails were too thick.I have a Banjo Brothers grocery pannier bag that I couldn’t use because it requires it to anchored on the bottom, plus the hooks on the bag were too small for Elux’s rack. However, for the Blackburn bags you see, they worked just fine because it mounts on with Velcro straps.

elux bikes review

We’ve heard from commuter purists that an electric bike is cheating. Eh, is it really? I mean c’mon…anyway. We don’t consider it cheating. We think it’s perfect for those who normally can’t pedal a traditional bike. In this case, it’s right for me since I’ve developed arthritis on both knees. Pedal assist is a welcome reprieve from painful pedaling.

The display on the LCD screen is easy to read and super easy to use. There are 4 buttons on the control panel so you can’t mess it up too much. There’s a power, Set, + and -. You hit the + to up your pedal assist and of course you hit the – button to lower your pedal assist. A great feature on this control panel is the USB port that you can access to charge your devices! Plus the panel  has the ability to be backlit so you can see it at night.

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In addition, there’s even a walking mode too. That means if you’re walking up a hill with the bike, it will give you enough power so you’re not having to lug the bike up. Mind you this is super helpful since this bike weighs 75lbs.

Components are pretty much entry level with Shimano Tourney 7 speed drive train and shifter. The bike is dressed with front and rear 180mm Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes, which offer plenty of stopping power for this heavy rig.

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The battery can be taken out for charging by unlocking it with the provided key and removing the saddle/seat post via quick release. You can actually leave the battery on the bike while charging. Elux says charging time is 4-6 hours. After draining the battery, it took us close to 6 hours to get a full charge.

Elux stated that the bike can legally reach up to 21mph, which it can on flat ground. I asked if you could hack the system and remove the limiter, unfortunately there isn’t a way. But naturally once the battery life starts to diminish, the bike can’t touch those max speeds.

During our testing period, we never experienced any mechanical or electrical issues. In fact the bike performed rather well given the fact we took in on terrain that the company probably never intended it be ridden on. Yes, it is heavy at 75lbs and if you ever have to transport the bike, it would help if you had a rear rack that could handle fat tires or a truck/van.

Overall we liked this bike. We couldn’t find really any issues, other than the rack that I mentioned above. The 750w 48v system works like a clock and is as reliable as a Japanese car. Elux gives it an an MSRP of $2250. This might be high to some of you, but that’s actually on the low site compared to other brands out there that offer the same motor/battery combo. They do offer a decent warranty; 3 Year Frame, 3 Year limited Battery, 1 year Motor. Other brands only offer 2 years on the frame and 12 months on the battery/motor.

Speaking of which, Bafang motors are used by other brands out there. The Samsung battery that Elux equips their bikes with are also a staple brand for the ebike business. That should help put you at ease since these batteries shouldn’t catch on fire like other cheaper Chinese batteries out there. All the other parts on this bike are you standard bicycle parts that you could buy at your local shop. In fact, you’ll maintain this bike just like any other bike, the battery and motor are pretty much trouble free.

Just to keep things clear, we didn’t receive any compensation from ELux Electric Bicycles for this review.

FTC Disclaimer

 

E-Lux Electric Fat Tire Cruiser-First Impression

elux Fat Tire Cruiser Electric Bicycle

We recently took delivery of the new E-Lux Electric Fat Tire Cruiser for testing. I’ve never seen a fat tire beach cruiser like this before. The first thing I said when I saw it was…”Wow this thing is tall!” The photo below doesn’t really do it justice…
elux Fat Tire Cruiser Electric Bicycle

So here’s some basic specs:
Motor:750w Brushless Geared Motor
Battery: 48V 13Ah Samsung Lithium Ion
Brakes: Front and rear Tektro Disc Brakes
Power: Pedal Assist of Throttle
Range: 30+ Miles
Speed: 21mph
Charging time: 4-6 hours

e-lux ebikes

During my first 10 miles on the Elux, I have to say I was smiling the whole time. This powerful 750w motor, coupled with the 48v battery gives it enough oomph to get up some of the steepest hills in my area.
fat tire electric bike

For my maiden voyage, I took the E-Lux around a variety of terrain so I could get a feel for this bike. I rode a mixture of street, dirt and gravel. I had the pedal assist on #5 (the highest setting) to see if the bike had any trouble hauling my husky butt around. One some of the steeper gravel climbs, I did pedal a bit just to make sure I cleared the hills.

This bike is pretty heavy, right around 75lbs. But you won’t really feel it when you’re riding, especially if you’re on the throttle or pedal assist. The only time the weight is ever an issue is when you have to lift it.
elux ebikes

I’ve only ridden the Elux 10 miles and so far it’s performing much like other e-bikes out there. The fat tires are a hoot on gravel and sand. I was actually impressed with the tires since they seem to grip even when you lean the bike into a corner. I have to add, it’s also a handsome looking bike. Yes it does have fat tires, but that’s what makes this bike unique. For all you die-hard commuters out there, notice the fenders and rear rack? What you didn’t see in the photos is the pannier that I had mounted on the rack to carry my keys, camera and snacks. I also have to add that this bike does come equipped with a front “to-be-seen” headlight.

We plan on putting this bike through the paces to see how well the electric system works as well as the rest of the machine. I know that many of you object to electric assist bikes, some may even consider it “cheating.” But the reality is this segment of the bicycle industry is growing. There are more and more e-bike brands out there that offer a whole slew of options and styles. So stay tuned for our review in the coming weeks.

Top 3 Articles in the HISTORY of BikeCommuters.com

bikecommuters.com

So I was perusing through BikeCommuters.com and found that we have written nearly 3000 articles since we opened up our doors in 2008! Out of all those articles, some of the most popular ones keep getting hit by various search engines. So I went ahead and picked out some of the top 3 articles being searched on the site.

1.10 Bike Commuting Myths Dispelled.

1. I’m out of shape

— Ride an easy pace, in a few months you will be in great shape
— Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work
— You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter

2. It takes too long

— The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you become
— Trips of less than 3 miles will be quicker by bike
— Trips of 5 to 7 miles in urban areas take the same or less by car

3. It’s too far

— Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day
— Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your route
— Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work

 

2. P-Clamps Are Your Friends Find out what these things are used for. Just to let you know how popular this article is. If you do a search on Google for “P Clamps Bikes”, out of 1,610,000 results, this article shows up on the first page in 1st position. That basically means this article has so many people looking at it and linking. Because of this article, I’ve actually used P Clamps on other projects that didn’t involve bicycles. I used it to secure a motorcycle seat on a cafe racer project I was building.

Bikecommuters.com p-clamps

3.DIY Bicycle Repair Stand by Andrew Li. This article came to us by way of Dr. Li himself. He is our most reliable volunteer at our Bicycle Repair for The Homeless effort that we do in Santa Ana, Ca. He comes out with his DIY stand and will wrench on bikes for a few hours and his creation has withstood the abuse throughout the years.

diy bicycle repair stand bikecommuters.com andrew li

There you have it. Those are the top 3 articles coming out of BikeCommuters.com. Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of them that are great, but people are searching for those types of articles and we’re glad we could provide our readers, new and old a resource that is not only useful, but can also save you money.

New Year, New Bike?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, I’ve been wanting a new bike for the new year. I figured something new would get me more excited about riding bicycles. So I started looking around for a CycloCross Bike, or some may call it CX bike.

I’ve always loved 700c wheeled bicycles for commuting. To me they just ride smoother and faster than 26″ wheels. So that meant a CX bike would be a great addition to my stable. I’ve had my share of CX bikes in the past and I love them. This time around I want to focus in on a bike that is going to be budget minded. I really don’t want to, nor have the funds to get a fancy bike.

So a few choices came to mind. The first one is the Liberty CX available only through BikesDirect for about $399.99.

cyclocross bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next choice was to go single speed with the State Warhawk which retails for about $579.
state warhawk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyhow, if things go as planned with selling off my body parts and services, I may be able to get this new bike soon. We’ll keep you updated on the progress.

Mandy Fender

We normally don’t do kickstarter campaigns, but we love bamboo and this company has this really unique way of setting up your own bamboo fenders, it’s called the Mandy Fenders.

mandy fender

The Mandy Fender is a sustainable bicycle fender that enhances the functionality and aesthetics of any bicycle:
Versatile and interchangeable: The Mandy Fender is the most versatile bike fender ever designed. It fits on nearly every type of bike design: You no longer need a different bike fender for each bike you own.
Easy to install: The Mandy Fender comes with all the parts and tools you need. With a simple video tutorial and a clear instruction manual, anyone can install the Mandy Fender in 30 minutes or less.
Tough and functional: Designed and made from bamboo, the Mandy Fender is light, durable and weather resistant. The mounting hardware consists of both 304 stainless steel and chrome-plated parts.
The Mandy Fender is made with a layer of memory film that allows them to retain its shape. It can be reshaped to fit onto a different bicycle using hot air (from a hair dryer). It is also designed to withstand harsh weather conditions such as snow and mud.