First Impression: The Stromer ST2

by Peter on October 18, 2014

Here’s a guest post sent to us by Mike from DIYBIKING.COM. We love to get contributions to our blog and offer you a different perspective than just that of an employee. Thanks very much to Mike for this awesome post! So without further ado, here’s Mike’s First Impression: The Stromer ST2…

So at NYCeWheels the other day I was dropping off the eBrompton I had borrowed to do a series of posts on. However, a customer was trying out the electric assist Dahon Formula that I was going to review next, so I had a few minutes where I had nothing to do but admire this:

Stromer.preview.1

This is a Stromer ST2 – available for preorder at NYCeWheels for a February/March 2015 delivery. And I was able to take it out for a little spin.

I like bikes that look normal from far away but are really something special when you get up close. The battery fits in the thick down tube (which helps with weight distribution). The thing on the top tube that looks like an iPod Nano is the control panel. And in the rear hub you have the electric motor.

Stromer.preview.2

I wasn’t told how this bike worked – only how to turn it on. I put my helmet on, looked over my shoulder to make sure no cars were coming on York Avenue, and started pedaling.

Do you remember the scene in The Dark Knight when the Batpod first made an appearance? How about the first X-Men movie when Wolverine pushes a turbo button on Cyclops’ motorcycle?

If you don’t remember either of those motion picture events, remember what I am about to write here: only a handful of seconds after I started pedaling, I was moving at 28 miles per hour.

Stromer.preview.3

Five blocks vanished rapidly. I turned right and headed back, deliberately overshooting the shop by a couple of blocks before making another right to end back on York Avenue.

I have never ridden a bike that sells for $7,000 before. If you are ever lucky enough to ride this bike, like the good heroin sold to John Travolta’s character in Pulp Fiction: you will know where that money went.

Now from just riding it a dozen blocks or so, I can tell you that I believe Stromer figured out what speed would make riders too terrified to ride on the ST2 again and cut 1/2 a mile an hour off. 28 miles an hour isn’t fast for a car, but for an electric bike that is also astonishingly quiet – it is plenty fast.

I hope to borrow it for a much longer review sometime, but my first impression is I think NYCeWheels is going to sell a lot of these. If you buy one, please ride it safely. You’re moving faster than you think.

Curious to check out the ST2 for yourself? Take a look at NYCeWheels’ ST2 Electric Bike Page or stop by for your own test ride.

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The dutch bike craze is in full swing in the US, and there’s no better expression of the sturdy, comfortable functionality of the popular design than the flagship Kettler Twin electric bike. We have a couple of these models left in the shop, so I decided to put it to the ultimate test: a rainy Manhattan day.

 

Kettler Twin tire on a wet road

 

Bucking the ultra-lightweight trend, the Kettler Twin recognizes that comfort and relaxation trump sleekness when you’re enjoying a ride around the city. The wide-set, upright, cruiser-style handlebars keep your posture in check while affording you maximum visibility.

 

Kettler Twin Portrait

The motor doesn’t provide the same “oomph” as other, more aggressive electric bikes (like the eBrompton), but the pedal assist affords a smooth, gradual acceleration that complements both the stop-and-go and the stretches of pedaling that come with a city tour.

 

Interface

 

The coolest part of the Kettler Twin’s motor is the intuitive pedaling. The eight-speed internal hub lets you conquer hills and sail down streets with ease, but the assisted pedaling kicks in when you’re having trouble spinning the pedals. I rode up steep ramps and sped down slick piers with the Kettler Twin – there was never a moment that felt like a chore.

 

Gears

 

Practical down to the detail, the Kettler Twin comes with a built-in rear rack big enough for a picnic basket, mobile office, or your groceries. For lighter traveling, you can utilize the spring-loaded clasp to store your jacket. The subtly placed fenders are designed to protect you from puddle splashes, dirt, and rocks. The cherry on top? The headlight is powered by the front dynamo hub, so you never have to worry about battery replacements. Talk about convenience.

 

rack

 

Even in the slippery conditions, the bike had me feeling relaxed and in control. The handling was a dream – not too sensitive, but perfectly responsive. The brakes pulled me to a slow halt, but were capable enough to stop on a dime. When tackling bumps, curbs, and cracks, the suspension and shock absorber in the seat post worked in tandem to keep my ride smooth and easy.

 

Shock absorber

 

It’s no wonder that dutch bicycles have become the latest fixation of the cyclist community. These machines are the epitome of smooth riding, and their solid builds do their part to keep you grounded. Backed by formidable technical specs, the biggest asset of the Kettler Twin is that it just feels right. The acceleration is creamy, and the handling is responsive and solid.

 

 

The dutch-made Kettler Twin electric bike is among the most robust bicycles we have in our shop. From build quality to aesthetics to sheer fun, this bike is the top of the line for the casual city or suburban bicyclist. By no means a speed demon, you can count on the Kettler Twin electric bike to get you where you need to go in style — and you’ll definitely enjoy the ride.

 

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eBrompton Around Town: Part I

by Jack on October 8, 2014

Since I’ve now established the electric system NYCeWheels has for the Brompton is a smooth way to get around I have moved on to conduct a series of real-life tests.

The tests have only one rule: no bike locks and no bike racks. I wanted to keep the eBrompton in the same room with me at all times because, well, that’s the central premise of a folding bike this tidy.

So if you know how to fold a Brompton, you can take it with you on a train. The eBrompton fits easily in Amtrak’s carry-on bag gauge, so if you Joe Biden to work every day, you’re covered.

Take your folding electric bike on Amtrak!

Brompton Bike in NYC

If you do Metro North, you’re fine no matter what because folding bikes are allowed on trains at all times – even peak hours. This was the nature of my first real-life test: I wanted to go to Greenwich, Connecticut to attend a town hall meeting where the state DOT was presenting the findings of a feasibility study of a proposed bike and multi-use trail along the Merritt Parkway.

Now I’ve never found Greenwich to be particularly bike friendly, but I reasoned if the Brompton - which I had always likened to the Rolls Royce of folding bikes – wouldn’t be accepted here, it wouldn’t be accepted anywhere.

Electric Brompton

I used the electric motor without pedaling to go the 1.7 miles from my front door to the Stamford train station. Rolling it onto the train was easy, and at Greenwich I had to carry the bike down a flight of stairs to get to the main road. At about 40 pounds, it’s a bit like carrying a normal bike with panniers full of groceries into my house, but I found by gripping the eBrompton close to the headset (since the motor and battery are in the front that is about where the center is) I could gracefully and comfortably carry it down the steps.

Fast and easy commute on the E-Brompton

Up to this point I had tested the eBrompton on mostly flat roads, and the stretch leading to the town hall is very steep. I switched to low gear and pedaled that stretch so I could get to the meeting at a reasonable time. To the electric assist system’s credit, I wasn’t really tired upon my arrival and wasn’t sweating.

I folded the bike and carried it in one hand and the bag (with the battery in it) in the other. I set both down in front of me in the front row of the room. Not only would it not get in anyone’s way, but it meant that everyone in the room would see it as they looked at the slide presentation.

And the bike – the only one in the room – got some attention. Not just from some people who were sitting next to me that asked admiring questions about it, but from a reporter at Greenwich Free Press who stayed long enough to get me and the bike in the shot she used for her story, which is here.

Mike Norris with his Brompton

So the eBrompton: it draws respect.

During the meeting, one of my Stamford neighbors recognized me and, with a smile, asked if she could give me a ride back in her car once things broke up. I accepted. The meeting ran so long I didn’t have many Metro North options to go back anyway – and I wasn’t crazy about sharing the road with people who reminded me of the town leaders from ‘Footloose.’

 

My neighbor didn’t know it, but her offer became part of my true-life test: if the Brompton’s fold wasn’t so friendly and didn’t put the dirty parts out of reach she may not have offered me a ride. As would be expected, the eBrompton didn’t mess up her upholstery at all and fit easily in her backseat.

E-Brompton Folding bike

Carrying it all the way from the front door of the meeting hall all the way out to her car did tire my arms, so if you think your relationship with an eBrompton involves carrying it the equivalent of a city block or two double up on your arm exercises at the gym. Other than that, the electric brompton passed this true life test.

Now it is time for some other real life tests – and I’ll share those shortly.

By Mike from DIYBIKING.COM

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Motorized Mountain Bikes…Who Knew?

Today I was told by my manager Peter to take “each bike out and go ride down some stairs.” He’d just returned from a day trip to Long Island, testing out the new Haibike electric motor-powered mountain bikes, fresh in stock. He had nothing but good stories to tell (and some videos to show, soon to be uploaded to YouTube). “Yeah, just go ride them down some stairs and see how it feels.” I admit that was a little distressing. I’m only human, my body parts just as susceptible to injury as, well, body parts.


So I started with the Xduro FS RX, a model described on NYCeWheels as “the perfect entry level mountain bike you’ve been looking for.” As soon as I got on, trying to steady myself on the sidewalk without falling, I turned on the Bosch Centerdrive motor and began pedaling. In less than a second I was cruising along almost effortlessly. I rolled off a curb, the drop to the pavement minimized by the Fox CTD LV rear shocks. That was a nice touch. I definitely noticed the difference between a standard bike and the Xduro in terms of bike-related pain management.

The Steps: Part One

I won’t sugarcoat this section. Peter had shown me videos earlier of shop employees flying down mountain-side paths, rolling over logs and hopping over downed trees. How bad could a simple set of stairs be? As I approached, I made sure no one was around–for safety and so no one would see me if I fell. Once it was clear, I rolled ahead. It was all over seemingly as soon as it started, the bike (and I!) at the bottom of the stairs, coming to an abrupt stop by pulling on the Shimano M615 hydraulic disc brakes. I was alive. Salvation.

SONY DSC
The Steps: Part Two

Now it was time for me to switch to the AMT PRO. I could tell right off the bat that this bike was a thing of beauty. From the Schwalbe Hans Dampf PSC tires all the way up to the Bosch Intuvia LCD multi-function display, a.k.a. the screen where you set the speed for your bike’s motor. Speaking of which, this modern marvel (along with the Xduro FS RX) has four distinct speed settings: Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo. Peter told me I would certainly notice the difference between the two bikes, but I was a bit hesitant to believe him. How much different could these two bikes really be?

SONY DSC

Extremely different. First things first: I could immediately feel the effects of the Fox 34 Talas suspension fork. I rolled off the curb, similar to my time with the first bike, but this time it felt like my body was coming down on a pile of pillows. My mid-section and lower back was so happy with the switch. Maybe when I’m 80 I will be able to walk!

SONY DSC

Enough lollygagging–I had some stairs to conquer. I biked down York Avenue as soon as I could maneuver myself into the right lane (not as easy as it sounds). Five minutes passed and there they were: my stairs. I could see, at a distance, the tire marks where I skidded to a short stop earlier. Was I ready? Didn’t matter. I was on my way, rolling, again, forward. But this time it was different. Much like my experience with the curb from before, the shocks had led me down the stairs like a bouncing, happy little baby. That was the difference for me. Total fluidity between the rider and his bike. Relief from short stops and far drops. Comfort.

SONY DSC

Reminder: Please take caution while riding these bikes. As with all proper bike safety, please remember to wear a helmet, to make correct judgment calls when in traffic (or on the trails!), and to be generally mindful while riding of the fact that we are not unbreakable. We are finite. Safety over everything.

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An Intro to Cycling in NYC

As an inexperienced cyclist, it’s easy to take one look at a bike with a motor attached and say “yeah, no thanks.” To wave the white flag and admit defeat without trial. That was my first thought when the super lightweight Dahon S18 was wheeled out to the curb. As soon as I was on it, though–magic. I was cruising along with traffic, pedaling for a moment–actual exercise!–and then pressing lightly on the ignition, switching on the custom BionX motor system when I needed a boost. I was a part of the elaborate traffic grid that is Manhattan. When the taxis surrounding pressed forward, so did I: six, seven, eight blocks of sweet green. When I finally needed to stop (pedestrians standing half in the road, ready to cross), a light squeeze of the Sram DB BB5 disc brakes and that was it. Stopped on a dime (not literally).

Electric Formula S18

Folding Bike Astounds

I simply could not understand how intensely wonderful it would be to ride this bike. To wield 18 speeds of pure, unabated adrenaline. To cut the motor and pedal onto a riverside bike path. I stopped and watched the water for a while from the leather seat. Nearby stairs, 200-something steps–why not? Fifteen seconds is all it took to fold the lightweight frame (24.5 lbs) into practically the size of a small metal suitcase (34 x 66 x 80 cm).

Electric Formula S18
Whats the drawback, though? I’d been wheeling around the city for forty-five minutes trying to fish out the negatives. High-speed motor, lightweight frame, intuitive brakes and a comfy leather seat…the battery. It must live and die like a cellphone. Always dead too soon, never holds a charge. Wrong. I get back to the shop and the battery had hardly taken a hit. How? 30-45 miles depending on rider weight and terrain, I’m told.

Absurd,” I respond.

The Specs:

48 Volt 6.6 Ah 316 Wh Lithium Ion Battery. Detachable (and lockable), so you can remove and charge your battery in the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom–wherever. Three to four hours of charge time maximum, and you’ve got yourself a sleek, environmentally-friendly, lightweight bike, ready to ride.

Electric Formula s18

So if you’re looking for a new way to navigate the city–or town, state–swing by NYCeWheels and check out the Electric Formula S18 along with plenty of other fantastic bikes and bike accessories!

 

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E-Brompton: Charge up your Commute – The Ride

September 24, 2014

If a cyclist falls off an electric assist Brompton and nobody sees it, is it still humiliating? That was the question I was asking myself the Sunday morning I set off to test the NYCeWheels eBrompton properly. Up to that point I had only ridden it from 84th and York to Grand Central Terminal which […]

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The New EcoReco M5: Ride with comfort!

September 13, 2014

The new EcoReco M5s have arrived!! These new electric scooters have all the great features of the previous model, but now come with rear suspension as well as front suspension, making the ride feel extremely different!! Let’s take a closer look! As you can see the M5 has the same slick look as its predecessor […]

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The Next-Gen BionX D500 is here and it is awesome.

August 28, 2014

Today we were excited to un-box our first ever BionX D500 conversion kit! The D series, the latest in BionX technology, features a much larger and thinner 500 watt motor, capable of much more power and speed than ever before!!! Here’s Peter opening up the first kit!!! Inside the box you’ll find everything you would […]

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Newest Brompton Bike Accessories!

August 21, 2014

Every so often, it’s good to take stock: do you have all the necessary fixings on your brompton folding bike? When you ride to the grocery store do you have enough space for vegetables and produce or is it a protein only experience? When you bike at night do you go unnoticed in the rear-view […]

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Free Tickets for the NYC Century Bike Tour!!!!

July 30, 2014

This year in support of Transportation Alternatives’ Vision Zero, NYCeWheels will be giving out FREE TICKETS to the NY Century for Brompton riders!! For those who aren’t familiar, the NY Century is one of the oldest Transportation Alternatives events, created in 1990 to celebrate cycling and advocate for more bike lanes, greenways, and other infrastructure […]

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