Ebike Snow Fun:
I’ve always loved going fast, whether it is driving cars, riding mountain bikes, or Alpine skiing. Despite limited mechanical skills, I have an obsession with tinkering and customizing things to make them perform better. It’s like a disease that can’t be cured, whether it’s overclocking my PC gaming rig to help with multiplayer FPS games, or modding my cars to increase horsepower and improve handling. Modifying my cars has gotten too expensive, so Ebikes are the main outlet for my addiction.
In 2015 I started reading about Ebikes that had been adapted to use an electric motor for assistance. YouTube had videos of these guys whizzing down the street at 60 MPH on high performance custom street rides, plowing through snow and sand on electric Fatbikes, and flying through singletrack on electrified mountain bikes. It looked pretty fun. I also found that there is a rich community sharing information and guidance on the Endless Sphere forums, ElectricBike.com, ElectricBike-Blog as well as private Facebook Groups like FAST Electric Bike and Hot&Fast Ebike.
I still get this question sometimes. I admire street motorcycles, but do not trust myself to buy one after a quick test ride of my friend’s Kawasaki Ninja 600 in high school. It was thrilling, but scary as hell. There are trails near my house where I could ride a dirt bike or ATV, but they are so loud and I want to maintain a lower profile. I’m not looking to buy something and get it registered and insured, just something to tool around on local trails and I want to “fly under the radar“.
The concept of Ebikes really intrigued me since I had been obsessed with bikes since elementary school in the 1980s from BMX, to freestyle, to mountain biking. From high school through college at UVM (class of 95′) and beyond, I spent a lot of time mountain biking and even entered some local cross-country and biathalon team races. I would split the mountain bike phase with a friend that did the running (I hate running 🙂 ).
In the pre-Internet days, I religiously read mountain bike magazines for technique tips and product reviews. As a nerd 🤓, my favorite thing was to pore over technical specs in each issue to muse about the best bikes and components in terms of geometry, light weight, strength, etc. I couldn’t afford the high-end bikes at the time, but I could dream. Actually, now that I can afford one, I still haven’t bought one, but I’m working on an Ebike recipe to buy older high-end bikes off eBay.
I had taken a hiatus from riding much after my daughter was born in 2004. Between two kids and a career in IT, I didn’t have a lot of time to ride. I still had my 1992 vintage Specialized Stumpjumper that I got Sophomore year in college. I had customized it with an Answer Manitou 2 elastomer suspension fork, titanium rail Specialized saddle, clipless Onza pedals, and Gripshift among other things to make it lighter and handle the trails better.
Ebikes seemed like a perfect synergy of my interests and I was inspired to resurrect my old Stumpjumper as an Ebike. My original goal was 40 mph, but I figured I would make it “only” go 30 mph or so, which seemed reasonable. Later, I found that this is actually pretty fast, especially if your bike has 25 year old technology. Read the build story here. I also found out that 40 MPH and 50 MPH are definitely scary on a bike, even when it’s a beefy with good brakes and suspension like my 72V EEB.
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