What Does That Noise Mean? Bike Speak 101

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We love it when the shops that sell Pedego electric bikes offer maintenance tips for their customers. It’s such a value-added service and one that we here at Pedego Canada love to share.

So when someone like Jessica Skelton, the mechanic at Pedego Qualicum Beach, publishes a post called “Learning to Speak Bike” we can’t help but share it with other Pedego owners. There is so much excellent information in this article. We’ll aggregate some of the material here but we highly recommend you check out Pedego Qualicum Beach’s “Maintenance” page for more great advice about how to keep your Pedego running smoothly.

Here are just some of Jessica’s tips about “Bike Speak 101” and what different sounds mean on your Pedego electric bike.

#1. A swish or scrape with every wheel rotation

Jessica says this sound could mean one of your brake discs is brand new, or possibly out of alignment or your brake pads are set too close to one of your disc rotors. Log on to Pedego Qualicum Beach’s brake blog for ideas of how to fix.

#2. A squeal or squeak when brakes are applied

Your brakes could be dirty. Click the “brake blog” link above for tips on how to clean your brakes.

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#3. A small thunk, clunk or click with every wheel rotation

Jessica says this sounds could mean a spoke might be loose. “To check, gently shake each spoke; a slight flex is normal, but a loose or rattling spoke is not,” she writes. “Alternatively, your reflector could be loose or broken. A properly installed reflector should offer resistance when pushed, not spin freely. A blue spoke wrench is required to tighten a loose spoke.”

#4. A rattle, especially on rough roads or over bumps

“Your fenders, chain guard or kickstand could be loose,” Jessica explains. “Make sure all your visible screws stay tight!”

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#5. A repetitive popping or clunking with every pedal stroking

Jessica says in this case something could be wrong with the ball bearings in your pedals or bottom bracket (the hidden metal tube that connects your two cranks together). If this is the case, you’ll also feel a distinct popping in your feet through the pedals. It’s best to take your bike in to Pedego Qualicum Beach or another reputable bike mechanic to have fixed.

#6. A scrape with every pedal rotation

Jessica writes “Your chain guard could be out of alignment, causing your crank (the long arm connecting your pedal to the bike) to hit it. A nice adjustment is a counter bend: lift the bike and have someone move the pedals (without pedal assist or throttle) and voila! A counter bend is easy and quick.”

To learn more about “Bike Speak 101” and what various the various sounds emitting from your Pedego electric bike can mean, we recommend reading the full blog by Jessica at Pedego Qualicum Beach.

Also, don’t forget to visit your Pedego dealer or bike mechanic for a regular tune-up that will help take care of small issues like the ones listed above so you can focus on having fun riding. For a list of Pedego dealers in Canada, visit our “Dealers” page or contact us anytime at  1-888-777-2066 or email us anytime at info@pedegocanada.ca.

I ❤ My Pedego Campaign

I Love My Pedego

One of our favourite things at Pedego Canada is hearing all the inspirational stories and happy quotes sent to us by riders of Pedego electric bikes. [Do you have a story or quote to share, click here to add it to the form below.]

There are those who have experienced surprising health benefits from getting on an ebike such as Liis Windischmann who was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and Gluten Ataxia. She said she felt like “a dog tethered to a very short leash” until the day she hopped on a friend’s Pedego electric bike. “I was in shock. And awe. And I burst out crying from happiness. In a few moments, I felt a multitude of possibilities open up,” she said. We wrote an entire story about her experience, which you can read here: “Pedego Electric Bike Transforms Life.”

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Pedego electric bikes have also been instrumental in helping Canadians deal with knee pain, lung conditions and obesity and you can read all about them in this article, “Surprising Health Benefits of Electric Biking.”

Then there are the riders who rave that Pedego electric bikes transformed their commute experience in cities and hilly towns and those who love riding their Pedego because, well, they’re fun!

Pedego owners love their Pedego electric bikes, which is partly why we created the Canadian Pedego Owners Group to solidify that sense of belonging to a unique community of like-minded people. (And to share a free Welcome Pack full of Pedego goodies.)

It’s also the reason we’ve collected a number of quotes and experiences from Pedego owners so we can share them with the world in our “I ❤ My Pedego” campaign. For example, there’s Marley in British Columbia who says her and her husband purchased a Pedego electric bike instead of a second vehicle and now they’re considering getting a second Pedego!

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There’s Sam who says the Pedego Stretch is the perfect family vehicle and Jenn who uses the Pedego City Commuter to tow her two children around her hilly town.

There have been so many inspiring stories and testimonies and we’d like to collect more. If you own a Pedego electric bike and have discovered it has transformed an aspect of your life, or it’s simply a fun way to travel, please fill out the form below and we’ll feature your quote in our nation-wide campaign. We’ll make sure to keep it anonymous by only listing your first name and initial but if you want to share with us a photo of you and your Pedego that would be even better! Just attach the photo in the appropriate field below.

If you have any questions or would rather email us or talk to us in person, send us an email to info@pedegocanada.ca or call anytime at 1-888-777-2066.

I ❤ My Pedego

bicycle on the great trail Canada trans-Canada trail

The World’s Longest Bike Path is in Canada

bicycle on the great trail Canada trans-Canada trail

Last year the international media made a big deal about the opening of a 100-kilometre bicycle trail in Germany. The car-free trail will connect 10 cities including Duisburg, Bochum, and Hamm, as well as four universities. Exciting news for Germans.

But what if we told you the final touches are being done on a bicycle trail in Canada that is 200 times longer than the one in Germany! And an electric bike is the perfect way to travel it!

The Trans-Canada trail, also known as “The Great Trail” is set to open this summer for Canada’s 150th birthday and it’s a whopping 20,770 kilometres long! It winds its way from coast to coast through 13 provinces and territories and connects most of Canada’s largest cities. Most of it is paved and it passes mountains, forests, meadows, lakes, cities and more.

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Construction began on this unparalleled network of recreational trails back in 1992 and not only will it be enjoyed by riders of electric bikes, it will also be used by hikers, walkers, runners and horseback riders in the summertime and skiers and snowmobilers in the winter.

However, we believe an electric bike is the ideal form of travel for enjoying the Trans-Canada trail. They can tackle any headwind or hill with ease and they allow the rider to travel farther to see all the sites while expending less energy than a traditional bicycle. That said, an ebike still requires pedalling so you’ll retain the benefits of cycling while enjoying more of the views.

To find more information about the trail, as well as discover an interactive map that pinpoints where the trail is compared to your home or current location log on to www.thegreattrail.ca. You’ll discover that 80% of Canadians live within 30 minutes of a section of The Great Trail, making it a national treasure than most everyone can enjoy.

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One of the highlights of the trail that we definitely recommend exploring on electric bike is the Goat Creek Trail, which runs through a valley between Banff and Canmore, Alberta. It’s a two- hour ride one way on a gentle grade and travels near the Banff Springs Hotel, which makes for an ideal spot to unwind after your ride. Another highlight is the Galloping Goose and Peninsula trail sections on southern Vancouver Island, which offer amazing ocean views and plenty of city amenities in Victoria (and it also passes near the Pedego Victoria store.)

Other section highlights include the Waterfront Trail in Toronto, the 200-kilometre long “Le P’tit Train du Nord” trail that winds its way through the Laurentians near Montreal and the Confederation Trail on Prince Edward Island.

To discover more about “The Great Trail” log on to thegreattrail.ca and to discover stores across Canada near the trail where you can purchase Pedego electric bikes, visit our Find a Dealer page.

Pedego Electric Bike Hub Motor

Electric Bike Hub Motors vs Mid-Drive – What’s Better?

Pedego Electric Bike Hub Motor

We receive a lot of questions regarding Hub Motors vs Mid-Drive motors on electric bikes and so we thought it would be important to list the characteristics between the two. It’s important to note that, at Pedego Canada we believe for most riders the differences are not as significant as they’re ‘cranked’ up to be. Here’s the low-down.

Mid-Drive Motors

A mid-drive motor is so named because it’s located in the middle of a bicycle’s frame near the bottom where the cranks are (the arms that hold the pedals). The electronics required to coordinate the motor’s power with pedalling and shifting are more complicated than most hub systems and therefore it’s more important to be in the correct gear when riding a bicycle with a mid-drive motor. Depending on the programming, the shifting and ‘ride’ may not feel as smooth as a regular bike (or one with a hub motor). For example, if you don’t pedal with a smooth pressure you can experience surging or pulsing as you ride. It’s reminiscent of driving a car with a manual transmission.

As with manual cars, some people love them and for some circumstances they make sense. For example, certain mountain bikers prefer mid-drive motors for technical riding because the centre of gravity is weighted at the middle of the bike, which they’re used to from riding regular mountain bikes on singletrack trails. The ability to subtly control motor with your legs also fits well with the variable terrain encountered when mountain biking (this is the torque sensor discussed below).

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It’s also worth noting that mid-drive motors can be high maintenance. They put a higher strain on the drivetrain of the bike and will typically cause the chain, chain ring, derailleur, and cassette to wear out more rapidly than usual.

So why does it seem that many manufacturers push mid-drive motors? For the answer we have to look to Europe where there are stricter laws than in North America. For example, in Europe electric bike motors are limited to 250 watts and throttles are forbidden. Because the mid-drive motor provides more torque for a given size of motor, European manufacturers almost all went with the mid-drive motors to try and squeeze as much power out of the bikes as possible. Here in Canada we’re lucky as the limit on motors is double that of Europe (500 watts is the maximum allowed by Transport Canada for it to qualify as a “Power Assisted Bicycle”).

Therefore almost all of the mid-drive electric bikes seen in North America are European bikes. At Pedego Canada we find most customers prefer more powerful motors to tackle hills and they also like the freedom to use a throttle when they feel the need. All Pedego Electric Bikes sport the maximum 500 watt motors with significantly more power than a typical mid-drive, and they provide full power on demand with a twist-and-go throttle.

Electric Bike Hub Motors vs Mid-DriveHub Motors

A hub motor is located on the rear hub of a bicycle. It is completely sealed and self-contained and requires no additional maintenance.

Like the automatic transmission in your car, a hub motor seamlessly delivers power where and when it’s needed – working independently of your pedalling and gear shifting. Overall it ends up being a smoother ride because you’re not having to worry about shifting as much and maintaining proper tension. In other words, it’s easier to learn how to ride an electric bike with a hub motor and, we think, it’s more fun.

Hub motors can be activated by turning the pedals or using a throttle. With Pedego bikes you have the choice of either. There are also two types of ways the motor can be activated by turning the pedals; a cadence sensor or a torque sensor. All mid-drive motors currently have torque sensors which give you more power if you push harder and less if you push less. As discussed above, this can be good for some circumstances but can also be harder to learn and give a less smooth ride. The cadence sensor just detects when you are turning the pedals and the computer smoothly turns the motor on at whatever level of power you have selected. It matters much less which gear you are in with the cadence sensor.

All Pedego electric bikes have hub motors and cadence sensors, with a few of our specialist bikes also having the option of a torque sensor. Also, all our bikes have throttles which are great for a quick burst of power or to give you the comfort of knowing you can get home without pedalling if you need to.

Hub Motors vs Mid-Drive – What’s Better?

We think the best answer is that for most people it doesn’t really matter and the differences are relatively subtle. After a month or so, whatever system you are riding you will have adapted to it and will be riding without a thought about sensors and motors. The fact you are on an electric bike is awesome as it will change the way you move through the world and create so many more bike journeys in your life!

For more about hub motors, view and download the Pedego Electric Bike Study Guide.

 

Own a Pedego Store

Want a New Career After 50? Open a Pedego Store

Own a Pedego Store

The beautiful showroom at the Pedego 30A store in Florida.

 

Bill Gordon is a middle-aged entrepreneur who lives in Portland, Oregon and who owns the popular blog website 50PlusNation. He recently came across the “How to Startup After 50” article in the latest issue of Inc. Magazine that featured Pedego store owners around the United States. He was skeptical at first but after reading the story he was intrigued: were baby boomers really finding fun by opening electric bicycle stores? He and his wife decided to visit Pedego Portland, twice, and now they’re seriously contemplating opening their own Pedego shop!

In his blog post called, “An Amazing Encore Career Option from Pedego. Check it Out!” Bill writes, “I was stunned when I realized that Pedego appears to be a franchise but is not. That is an incredible benefit. Most Pedego stores are independently owned by folks like those in the Inc. Magazine mug sheet photos, all of whom paid no fees to get started, just the costs of their inventory and the simple furnishing of an attractive multi-colored 1,000-2,000 sq ft retail space. The Pedego home office team assists in locating, outfitting, opening and even some of the major tasks of running the business with their range of dealer support services.”

Tommy Connell of Pedego Portland was a key influence in Bill Fordon believing in the company's excellent business model.

Tommy Connell of Pedego Portland was a key influence in Bill Fordon believing in the company’s excellent business model.

This is definitely a win and extends to those who want to open a Pedego store in Canada. There are no franchise fees and Mike Clyde, the owner of Pedego Canada, will personally assist you with the set-up process.

Bill then goes on to write, “My take away is that Pedego is truly set up to feel like a ‘business in a box’ for the committed entrepreneur, or in many cases the entrepreneurial couple. It clearly takes work. However, with a product that sells itself and also naturally becomes the focus of lots of socializing it doesn’t look like it could be overwhelming – as a store owner it looks like – “hello fun”, along with a new income stream.”

In other words, not only does it make financial sense to open a Pedego store in Canada, but it’s also fun! Pedego is the only electric bicycle company in North America to have such a devout following that a “Pedego Owners Group” was created!

To read Bill Gordon’s blog article in its entirety, click here: An Amazing Encore Career Option from Pedego. Check it Out!.

And should you wish to learn more about how to open a Pedego Store in Canada, visit our “Own a Store” page and then please contact Mike Clyde directly at info@pedegocanada.ca.