Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Electric Bike Is Here!

Oh yeah! It has finally arrived! My electric bike was due before X-mas but because of the snow, ice, and funky weather conditions that won't seem to let up Fed Ex became terrified of my road - flat out refusing to drive down it because it was on the "north side of the mountain" (which I am not even sure that is true? ha.) I made a deal to meet the feds by the mailbox and waited in the freezles cold for the bike my mom lovingly gifted me, that will most likely change my life. But not just yet.
The bike came folded up with alot of stuff attached to it with zip ties - even though it was fairly easy to figure out (only cause I had help!) It was kinda confusing since the box didn't come with any specified directions. The tires are purposely flat for shipping and I have to write the company to ask about charging the battery (and how to operate this shindig in general)... even so, I would not have taken it for a test drive in this frigid weather unless someone paid me by the minute to freeze my toodles off out there!
Rockin'! This is the mostly put together Liberty Electric Bike (minus pedals, front reflector, and my wizard of oz style basket)...
I got a set of keys to freedom! It's like being 16 and getting my first car all ova' again. :)
I can't wait to test it out, but will have to wait for the temperature to be higher then 10 degrees (for my own personal comfort), figure out how to work the throttle, um do the keys turn it on, and can the battery be over charged???? So many questions about this thing.
If you wanna read more about electric bikes go here.

PS- What should I name it?!!

PSS- to those peeps with chem sensitivities I think an electric bike is a good alternative to exhaust spewing transportation, but just wanna let you know it came smelling like factory, plastic and tires... it may need to air out a little before being brought inside the house.


mara said...

I am so happy for you! It's not a donkey, but it doesn't poop, so that's a good trade off:)

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Mara -
not a donkey (that will be coming later)... maybe i need a donkey mask to put on the front of this thing in the meantime. :)

Lou Cheese said...


If The Liberty Bell uses bicycle pedals, remember this: one of the pedals is reverse-threaded. So if you spend all day trying to screw one on (I believe it's the left pedal) and it won't fit, and then you read this comment or the instructions, know it isn't broken. You just need to screw it in the opposite direction than normal.

Here's how I remember which way to twist the wrench when adding or removing pedals:

Installing pedals-you need pedals to move forward. So to add the pedals, you will twist the wrench forward, towards the front wheel on BOTH sides. Or you can look at it this way-time moves forward, so the wrench moves forward, aka clockwise.

Removing pedals-if you take off the pedals you're going to be relaxing, aka "kicking back" as we called it in Texas. So to take off the pedals, you will twist the wrench backwards, towards the rear wheel, on BOTH pedals. Or using the clock analogy, by removing the pedals you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards in a sense, so the wrench turns backwards, aka counter-clockwise, like going back in time.

When you restore old bikes like I used to, you think up little memory games like that because it's cheaper than ruining a set of pedals by screwing them in the wrong way.

It's also a good idea to put a little grease on the threads before screwing the pedals in. It helps prevent them from rusting because pedals are close to the ground and pick up a lot of moisture. As long as they are screwed on tight there's no chance of them coming off just because they are lubed.

And never use WD-40 on the chain. WD-40 was originally a rust preventative for ICBM missles, The WD stands for water displacement. If put on a bike chain, it forces the original lube out of the chain and can accelerate wear. WD-40 does work as a lubricant on small items that have little pressure or stress, and that don't move a lot. A chain doesn't fit that description. A decent bottle of chain lube is less than $10 and can be found at any bike store.

Hopefully you can benefit from my insomnia tonight.

Also, I had great luck naming bikes with "The First Ride Rule". Odds are, something will happen one the first ride that will give the bike a name. Or you can give it the name that came up on the captcha for this comment: "peewe".

Lou Cheese said...

Oh, and I've got a real nice Trek pannier for the rear rack I can send you. It was designed specifically to carry groceries, but I've only got one so you might be a little lopsided on the ride home. It was never used, I bought it at a thrift store for $5 but found out I needed something much bigger.


Kittie Howard said...

Congratulations! Cked out the site, goes 14mph, a spider that pulls you along. Also cked out your web site. Don't know why I didn't do this sooner. You've got some impressive items.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Lou Cheese!
Thanks for the awesome info- luckily the pedals had an "L" and and "R" (not for my initials but i can pretend)on them and Bort figured out one was threading the opposite of leftie loosy/ rightie tightie.
I would never use WD 40 cause the smell would probably make me faint off the bike... the only oil i use for just about everything is olive oil. Is there a natural oil that can be used?
"Peewe" is just one letter from my favorite guy and maybe is good name for the new ride!
That Trek grocery bag looks awesome, I was trying to come up with something i could tie down to the back rack (milk crate?). I have a wooden basket for the front which i have to figure out how to fit out with all the wires on there! yay! pimping the ride.

Thanks bunches! I will be speeding along at 14 MPH ha... compared to not going anywhere at all ever.....
The oko box store rocks, too bad the economy does not.

Lou Cheese said...

The more you carry on the bike, the more you will love bungee cords.

I've also got a wire basket that would fit on the back. I bought 4 of them at a thrift store for .25 cents each. It's black so it'll match the rear rack (those things seem to be important to women), and it has high sides so nothing will fall out.

This next part is important: the front fork is on backwards in the blog pics. It should slope forward, away from the bike. If left facing backwards the steering will be dicey and the fork is more likely to bend when hitting a big bump. It's also closer to your feet and likely to cause pedal strike when turning.

With bikes it's not like you can carry a spare tire with you everywhere like with cars, so you should keep a flat repair kit on the bike somewhere or sew yourself a backpack to carry when bike riding (which could also carry more bike-related items, like a lock). From personal experience I can tell you that bikes are more flat prone during the spring, because what happens is when it snows and the snow is plowed, it pushes all of the broken glass, nails, etc, that was on the road over to the side where the bikes ride. In the cities there's more broken glass, (from the teens and beer drinkers) in the country there's more nails (from the farm trucks).

For electric bike and folding bike-specific questions, the best place to ask them is probably here:



For hauling/locking questions, visit the commuter section of that forum. In some of the other categories, there can be some elitism and bike snobbery going on, as well as "bike porn", materialistic desire and bragging about bike frames and components, so I wouldn't recommend other categories. The Athena/Clydesdale section people are pretty cool, but that place is for heavyweight riders, not petite cajun pixies.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Mr. Cheese -

Thanks for the tip on the backwards front wheel... i fixed that now, and then called the company to get download-able directions on how to put it together! (on the web page with the bike itself). I got the battery charged in about 6 hours- it has a green light to tell you it is finished - plus on the handle bars is an easy to read "gas gauge" telling you how much battery you have left so you dont get stranded somewhere. It came with a little bell and some reflectors too. :)
The battery charge plug hole is like a tiny "gas pump" hole with cover... i think it's meant to be kitchy. I like it.
Getting the basket onto the front with all those wires is rather hard, my front basket is sitting all sideways - which will most likely confirm to people on the road and in town that i am "the crazy lady"....

ps- i'll take a wire basket, and it doesnt have to match. :)

Wild Canary said...

Leslie! I just saw the pics of your new bike...wheeeha! I sure hope you have a great time with it...the tutoring on the web is great! I love all the helpful hints you got already...should make the ride so much better...Congratulatons.

Susie Collins said...

I don't know what's cuter: you and your new bike or how excited Lou is about it! Poor kid, got a bike and can't go play with it yet. That's ok, time to out-gas. And oh how sweet that melted snow will be!! I can't wait to see pics of your virgin ride. Your mom gets a big hug for that one. xoxo

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