Byocycle City Speed Review (storing, keys and punctures)

During the summer I finally used the bike for what I first intended, which is to cycle from home to the boat, rig the boat, sail, and de-rig the boat and cycle home. I had hoped the electric bike would save my energy to do all this, as I was having trouble on my normal bike.

On a couple of occasions I cycled to the boat and folded it down, carrying it onto the boat and placing it into one of the side berths. The boat is 20ft, she has a cabin and although small it is enough to sleep and cook and store things. I strapped down the wheels and handle bars to the frame so it would not come undone (I wish the design would allow this to happen, there is no fixings to hold her fast once folded down), then strapped her to the boat so the bike would not fall over. There the bike sat until I had finished sailing. When finished I took the bike back to shore and assembled it again and cycled back. This time I used the throttle power more to give my legs a rest.

On one occasion I lost the key to the battery. I could not find it anywhere. All I could do was to cycle home using the gears. It was not so bad, taking it easy I did not notice the added weight too much. But another question arose “where to get another key cut?” When I asked in the shops in Carlisle they asked me what sort of key it is used for. So they were not used to its size or thickness. One shop quoted me more as it was an “electric bike”; finally I found a replacement for 6 pounds for 1 key. The bike came with 2 keys, and another fault (?) with the design is that once you have taken the key out of the battery where do you put it? You have to leave the key in the battery while riding so to have a key ring dangling is not good due to it catching on something. To have it with other keys is not practical as you have to remove it each time from the bunch. It would be better to have it on the bike attached to the seat (?) as you have to remove the seat to get the battery out. I am sure I lost the key in this process as I had to dismantle the seat and battery from the bike, therefore leaving the key loose.

Another question which arose recently was that I got a puncture in my back wheel. I am not sure if it was a puncture from the hedge cutting on the country roads, or if it was a fault in the inner tube as the back wheel was always going flat if I left it a couple of days. Perhaps over the weeks the pressure had made the hole big enough to cause the bike to go down quicker. Half way home I noticed the bike to be sluggish, I used the throttle more than normal and it got me home with 3 lights showing (normally I get home with 4 lights on the battery). The bike also felt unsteady due to the lack of pressure in the tire. I thought I had to take the back wheel off and realized what to do about the motor and its wiring? I mailed the shop where I had ordered it and their response was very helpful, offering to ring me back and offer assistance. In short I had to unplug the wiring on the back wheel and then take the wheel off as normal. In the end I did not take the back wheel off, I disconnected the brakes and slipped the inner tube out, found the hole and repaired it. So there is 2 puncture patches on the back wheel so far.

On many of my trips to the boat I have been taking lots of extra gear and food, the panniers where full and heavy. The bike handled well with the added weight, so no problems there.

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