Everything You Need To Know About Security For Your Electric Bike

Pedego Electric Bikes Boomerang

An electric bicycle is an investment and you want to make sure you keep it safe and secure. In this article we discuss three issues related to electric bike security, namely how to transport them safely using a bike rack on your automobile, how to lock them properly and how to insure them.

INSURANCE

All Pedego electric bikes are classified under Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations as “power assisted bicycles” because their motor power is 500 watts or less and speeds are capped at 32km/hr. (Learn more about the legalities of electric bikes by reading our article, “Are Electric Bikes Legal in Canada?”) Because they’re bicycles, some home owner insurance plans cover them. But some plans don’t cover them because of the electric motor. Therefore it’s important you check with your insurance provider to ensure you’re covered. You’ll also want to ask these questions:

  1. What is the maximum value that the electric bike is insured for?
  2. What is the deductible on your ebike?
  3. Will your electric bike value depreciate each year? If so by how much?
  4. Is your ebike insured away from home? (You’ll definitely want to ask this if you own a foldable Latch and travel with it.)

If your home owner insurance company doesn’t provide coverage or you feel its plan is too costly, look into other options via an insurance broker.

You get what you pay for with bike locks so be sure to spend a bit more to protect your investment.

LOCKS

In our article entitled “Funniest Bike Racks in North America” we set aside a serious section to discuss how best to lock your bike when you’re out riding and need to leave it for a short period of time. In the story we touch on five key issues to remember about locking your bike and then stress that simply removing the ignition key and/or battery is not enough to deter thieves. This is because even without a battery your bicycle can still be pedalled away. We recommend you treat your ebike just like a bicycle and lock it to a rack with a strong U-lock and cable lock. If you’re leaving it in a risky area, consider taking your battery along.

The reason we here at Pedego Canada use both a cable lock and U-lock is because the cable can be strung through the wheels ensuring thieves don’t steal those. The U-lock is then used to connect the cable and the bike frame to the rack. In the world of locks, you get what you pay for so consider investing in a good U-lock, such as a Kryponite, to secure your ebike investment.

Swagman Escapee Bike Rack

CAR BIKE RACK

Finally, let’s look at vehicle bike racks that are suitable for electric bicycles. Because ebikes can be heavier than regular bikes, roof-top racks aren’t an option, nor are the trunk-mounted models nor the hitch-mounted ones that leave your bike hanging from the bars. Instead, we recommend the hitch-mounted platform models that seat your wheels in trays and have adjustable lever arms to secure the bike. Our favourite is the Escapee made by Swagman, which is a company based in Penticton, British Columbia. They’re robust, can easily carry two 50+ pound ebikes and are RV rated. Also, the Escapee, with its wheel clamp system, works really well with low step-thru bikes such as the Boomerang, which can be challenging on other types of racks.

The other thing we like about the Swagman hitch-mounted platform racks is they’re not situated too high off the ground so it’s easy to lift the front end and then the rear end of the electric bike to get it into the platforms.

Whatever model of bike rack you buy, make sure it’s strong and can accommodate the weight of your electric bikes.

As always, if you have any questions are comments regarding this article, please leave us a note below or email us at info@pedegocanada.ca.

Electric Bike Adventurer

Final Q&A With Electric Bike Adventurer

Electric Bike Adventurer

Jon Langille is the first Canadian to ride an electric cargo bike 3,000 kilometres on one journey, which is why he was dubbed the Electric Bike Adventurer. He left his home in Nelson, BC, on Sept 4th and rode a Pedego Stretch electric cargo bike 3,000 kilometres  to Indio, California to attend the Desert Trip rock concert that featured the Rolling Stones, the Who and others. He spent 132 hours sitting in the saddle and rode over 19,145m of elevation gain ( more than two Mount Everests) and arrived Oct 7th.

He navigated a desert, past lakes, over mountains and through cities until he reached the Coachella Valley of California where he met his wife (who had flown down) and attended the rock concert. The couple flew home again after Jon shipped his electric cargo bike back.

We caught up with Jon after he returned to Nelson and asked him a few questions about his trip.

Hi Jon. What was the overall highlight of your month-long trip?

The grounds at Desert Trip in Indio California

That’s a really really tough question. I guess it would have to be reuniting with my beautiful wife Laurie for the Desert Trip shows. It was also incredible seeing the concert venue for the first time with the setting sun and desert colour palate in the sky. We snuck into the primo seats for the Rolling Stones and silly danced with thousands of other fanatics, which was great. Plus Neil Young’s 22-minute “Down by the River” was a highlight as was the Who – they gave the fiercest performance of the weekend! Since I’d been so occupied and thrilled with the ride to Indio, the notion of this amazing weekend was really in the background. When it finally arrived it was a bit of a “Whoa!” experience.

What was the biggest challenge?

To be honest with you everything went so well on the trip (once I got the flat-tire issue sorted out) that the only real challenges were things like finding a good slice of pie. I did find a few but it wasn’t always easy.

How did the bike perform?

How did the biker perform

Really well. As I mentioned before, there were some flat tire issues and a few broken spokes but that is typical of any long ride. The Pedego itself had zero issues as far as the frame, motor or batteries. It was strong and stable throughout the trip. I kind of expect this bike to be with me on many more trips.

Did you make a lot of new friends along the way?

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A bunch! Besides our campmates at Desert Trip I met a lot of sincerely gracious Pedego store owners, all of them real characters and a ton of fun! I expect to see some of them up here for a visit so I can reciprocate their generosity. They all seemed to like the sound of Nelson and they’re intrigued by how Pedego bikes are transforming our streets. And meeting the team at Pedego HQ was a treat – a great and inspired bunch. Besides new friends though, I reconnected with several old friends along the way, several I hadn’t seen in decades.

Looking back would you have done anything differently?

I would have taken one less battery and a few less spare parts – since this type of journey had never been done before on a Pedego Stretch electric cargo bike, we wanted to make sure I was prepared for anything. I was over-prepared. My general packing would be smarter too; quick-dry fabrics, light and compact clothing and not much of it, and a folding cooking pot. I would also plan my route around campgrounds a bit more, if possible. Motel stays get expensive and take away the true independence I like when bicycle touring. Knowing now what a typical travel day looks like on a Pedego, I could plan out a route more effectively. Having said that though, one always needs to be flexible. One thing I would really like to do before the next trip is find, or build, the ideal panniers for the Pedego Stretch. Traditional panniers are too small for the task and fit a little awkwardly on the rails. A few other packing features could be improved on as well; something for the spare battery that would keep the centre-of-balance low.

Would you do another trip like this again?

I intend to. I’m thinking about the Rockies or across Canada, perhaps with the family!

What’s next for you? Any more adventures in the works?

I’m working with some very cool owners at the Dancing Bear Inn here in Nelson who have some great ideas on further developing mountain bike tourism in the area. I’m excited to get on that project. And after seeing all the great bike paths and dedicated bike trails in the USA, I’d like to study what we could do here in Nelson to make cycling a safer and more viable way of commuting. We’ve got a tight and hilly town but I can easily imagine Nelson being a “bicycle town,” especially now that electric bikes like Pedego are increasing in number. If we could get significant number of Nelsonites out of their cars and onto a bike a lot of our traffic congestion issues would be solved.

To learn more about Jon’s journey, included the day-to-day updates, log on to the Pedego Canada Roadtrip page.

Pros & Cons of the Pedego Stretch

Jon-welcome-party-pedego-stretch

Pedego president Don DiCostanzo (left) with electric bike adventurer Jon Langille on their Pedego Stretch cargo bikes.

 

Electric bike adventurer Jon Langille rode a Pedego Stretch electric cargo bike 3,000 kilometres from Nelson, British Columbia, to Indio, California and spent about 132 hours sitting in the saddle. He surmounted over 19,145m of elevation gain (over two Mount Everests), his longest ride was 157.3km (98 miles) from Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Dunsmuir, California, and his biggest single climb was 1,053m (3,545 feet) to Idyllwild, California. He navigated past lakes, plains, mountains, cities, rivers and canyons in temperatures ranging from 5°C to 35°C. And all of this to attend a rock concert in Indio, California.

So who better to tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of the Pedego Stretch cargo bike!?

In this article we quiz Jon about his favourite (and least favourite) features and what his (and other’s) reactions to it were during his trip. (For a background of his journey check out our “First Of It’s Kind Roadtrip” blog.)

Hi Jon. You spent a lot of time on your Pedego Stretch – what is your favourite feature?

Besides the sheer stability of the bike I’d say I like the easy adjustability of the handlebars and seat. Through a long day in the saddle, it’s nice to reposition your body for awhile.

What’s your least favourite feature?

Not much I don’t like about it. I do wish it was lighter though. Maybe with styrofoam batteries that recharge in an hour? (laughs) But really, besides that and water on Mars, I can’t think of anything. Perhaps Pedego could develop a line of precisely fitted panniers and other travel bags?

How has it lived up to your expectations?

Very much so. The Pedego Stretch has provided all the power I’ve needed for the hills and the headwinds. It’s comfortable to ride and remarkably agile for it’s size.

stretch-blackWhat did you primarily use it for before embarking on your epic journey?

To and from work, A to B, shopping trips. I point out to people that I live in a town with 20%+ grades.

What have people’s reactions been to the bike?

People love it. They’re impressed by the design, classic Euro cargo styling, and the strength of it when they see the load.

If you could change anything about the Stretch, what would it be?

It’s so versatile now with the various configurations of the racks that the only improvements I can think of are, as mentioned, some add-on bags specifically designed for touring, including a spare battery case.

Would you recommend this bike to anyone and if so, who and why?

I would and I do. For anyone who’s wanting to use their bike as a car replacement, this is it. I can pack a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four up a 20% grade for many kilometres. I can give my kids a lift. What more could you want? And if you just want to go for a long ride, a lot of the racks can easily be removed to lighten the bike.

To learn more about Jon’s journey, included the day-to-day updates, log on to: pedegoelectricbikes.ca/roadtrip.

Welcome Party For Pedego Adventurer

pedego-canada-welcome-party
Pedego adventurer Jon Langille has almost completed the first-ever electric bicycle tour from Canada to Indio, California. Tomorrow morning (October 6th) he will roll into the Pedego La Quinta store and be congratulated by friends and followers for finishing his journey.

Jon left Nelson, British Columbia on September 4 on his Pedego Stretch electric cargo bike and since then has ridden through four states, over mountains and volcanos, along beaches, beside rivers and the Pacific ocean to reach south-central California. He’s travelled 2,850 kilometres and spent 127:37 hours on the bike. He’s also exceeded 18,634 metres of elevation gain, which is higher than two Mount Everests!

The 54-year-old Canadian decided to pedal his Pedego Stretch electric cargo bike to attend the Desert Trip concert in Indio, California (just a few miles away from La Quinta) and see six of the best musical acts of all time including the Rolling Stones and the Who. (The concert starts October 7.) He says he had the time off work and used to bike tour a lot in his twenties and thought a bike ride down the Western United States would be a fun adventure. (Jon elected to take his Pedego because the extra assist provided by the electric motor would help him get up the many mountain passes along his route.)

Jon’s since done many media interviews along the way and recorded his journey with videos and photographs, all of which you can see on our Roadtrip page. He says that aside from the occasional flat tire and head wind, the trip has gone amazingly well.

If you are in La Quinta on October 6th, be sure to stop in at the Pedego store, meet Jon and offer him a heart-felt congratulation for having completed a world first on a Pedego Stretch electric cargo bike.

pedego-canada-welcome-invite

man with pedego electric cargo bike

Media Attention For Pedego Adventurer

man with pedego electric cargo bike
Before Pedego Adventurer Jon Langille set out on the first-ever electric bicycle tour from Canada to Indio, California, CBC Radio interviewed him to find out why he was so keen to do the journey. That was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to media coverage featuring Jon, however. When he pulled into the Pedego branded store in Bend, Oregon on his Stretch electric cargo bike, a KTVZ television crew was there to interview him about his journey. The footage featured Jon and his bike standing in the store and began with the reporter saying, “What would you do to see your favourite band in concert? Whatever it is, it’s probably not this: 54-year-old Canadian Jon Langille is riding his electric bicycle from Nelson, British Columbia all the way to Indio, California.” Click the play button in the video below to see the interview in its entirety.

The following day, Jon was interviewed by an editor at Mountain Culture Group, the Nelson-based parent company of the award-winning Kootenay Mountain Culture and Coast Mountain Culture magazines.  The resulting Q&A article showcased Jon discussing his highlights and his challenges, which included 60km/hr headwinds and no less than seven flat tires caused by various factors including highway detritus. These other question and answers were included in the piece:

What can someone who’s thinking about bike touring learn from your experience?

Be well prepared for flats! Always carry a patch kit, good pump, extra tubes, tire levers, and Fix-a-Flat for bikes. Also, be sure to pack easy wash, quick dry clothes and not many of them. Consider gel seats and handles specially shaped for long rides.

How does this bike tour compare to other ones you’ve done in your twenties around Asia, Australia and the UK?

Even though the electric bicycle I have (a Pedego Stretch electric cargo bike), the actual riding is easier. Hills and wind are not nearly as big a battle as they are with a conventional bike. The route I’ve taken would not be advised on a standard bike. I think an ebike opens up more of the map for bike touring.

To read the Mountain Culture Group article in its entirety, log on to: mountainculturegroup.com/electric-bicycle-adventurer

jon-electric-bike-tv-interview

A few days later Jon had biked from Bend to Redding, California, where he again pulled into a Pedego branded store and was met by a television crew, this one from the KRCR News channel. Reporter Tiffany Wong took an electric bicycle for a spin to see what Jon’s experience was like and then asked him about why he wanted to ride his Stretch to Indio. Jon replied, “After a year of dedicated riding on the Pedego I thought, ‘let’s just take it as far as I can and see how it does.'”

He then goes on to describe the benefits of having an electric bike on this journey versus a regular one: “It comes into play when you’re going up a hill. Basically you don’t feel the hill. When you’re going in the wind it will assist you. And you’re still putting good effort into your work but it’s there to take care of the troublesome parts…I was having so much fun with this Pedego bike that I wanted to test it out on a true long tour.”

To watch Jon’s interview with KRCR, log on to the following page: krcrtv.com/news/local/shasta/canadian-bikes-through-redding

To continue following Jon’s progress on his way through California, log on to: pedegoelectricbikes.ca/roadtrip