Ride to Live

Hi Readers!

Tonight I'm on the Ride to Live buzz. Y'know sometimes I feel almost evangelical about ebikes. I want everyone to feel the same way I feel when bombing down Raroa Road (here in Wellington) or powering up Hawker Street with an ecstatic 3 year old on the back or even just how good a fast, car-free and relatively mundane trip to the dairy feels.

Cycling our cities is fun and safe and the more of us that cycle the safer it becomes. 

Today I want to talk about how some cool folk are using bikes to not just zip around feeling the wind in their helmeted hair and the sun on their face but also to do good work. Check this out:

Yes, that is the inspirational folk at Cultivate using an ODK to haul an impressive bike-trailer of organic waste around Christchurch to grow their urban farms.

There is so much you can do with your bike, if you want to haul compost, drop your kids at school, beat the gridlocked commuter traffic, bomb a hill with the wind in your face or cruise the coast road you can do it on a bike! I'll never forget recapturing that sense of freedom, the sense I hadn't felt since I was a teenager, the feeling that getting back on a bike gave me. I don't have to forget it because now I feel it every single day.

You can feel that way again too, and you can beat the traffic whilst doing so! Stuff the rain, you dry off at work and you feel so much better than sitting in that car, burning time, petrol and patience.

Ride to Live folks, Ride to Live!

Shake, Rattle, Time to Roll

Shake

It's all on here in Wellington dear readers, the quakes preceded and followed by torrential downpours and now high winds. We're especially thinking of our compatriots in the Kaikoura region, we got off lightly here.

Amidst all the craziness of Monday something pretty dang exciting happened, well more precisely was made to happen by the hard work of Juiced Bikes and the ridiculously dedicated, supportive and effective team at 360 Logistics. Our order was built, packed and shipped to port, cleared and is now waiting for the feeder ship which will take it to Hong Kong and from there to our fair shores! For those of you not familiar with the trials of shipping the turnaround was very very sharp. A major component supplier had a hold up which pushed our build date out and we were staring down the barrel of a post-Christmas landing, not good! Not any more, we're on!

Rattle

If you are keen on a CrossCurrent and haven't yet tried one out then our demo bike has just landed in Christchurch as part of a nationwide tour that will see it go from Christchurch, to Dunedin, to Blenheim and on to Auckland. If you want to take it for a test spin please contact one of our retailers or us and don't delay! Not wanting to sound like this is the hard sell but the reality is over a third of this shipment is already vouched for in Wellington and Dunedin alone, if you want one of these great bikes this year...

Time to Roll

To track the progress of your bikes we've got an embedded map containing the feeder ship which is heading to Ningbo right now for pickup then on to Hong Kong. View it on our tracking page here.

So enough from me, here are your bikes getting lined up, packed into the container and whisked off to port!

Lining up in front of the test ramp...

Lining up in front of the test ramp...

We managed to fit in a few extra ODKs, woohoo!

We managed to fit in a few extra ODKs, woohoo!

Close...

Close...

Pin...

Pin...

Out

Out

And off!

And off!

Support Pays

So much has happened in the past week or so I don't know where to start!

Support

The best news in our humble opinions has to be our growing support network. It's our pleasure to introduce to you a bunch of dedicated bike professionals. We now have Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin covered and we will eventually spread to every decent sized town in New Zealand. If you are a bike mechanic, especially a mobile bike mechanic, and want to join us on our journey to get Kiwis onto two wheels then get in touch!

Head over to our Support page to check out our excellent support partners!

We were down in Dunedin last week and visited the Valley Community Workspace. Besides selling and servicing e-bikes they have folk there doing other cool cool stuff with electrics and electronics. We saw a van and a car up on hoists undergoing conversion from petrol to electric power. It made us want to move to Dunedin! They're leading the charge in North East Valley!

Pays

And in less exciting but none-the-less helpful news we now accept Lay-Buys (if you want the bike but don't have all the $$ just yet) and POLi (if you don't like credit) as well as credit card payments. Our (slightly improved) Shop is up and you can now add accessories to your order too. We have a bunch of improvements coming up here too, it's a work in progress.

And just quietly (as if!)...

The OceanCurrent is getting built this year! Woohoo! Production got moved forward due to a huge amount of interest at Interbike so we'll be bringing pre-orders up in a couple of weeks. But be warned, we are only getting 10 this year so you will have to be quick!

Fly and Fix!

Fly!

So a pretty exciting unveiling took place at Interbike this last week. I knew Juiced Bikes had a new bike in the making but I didn't know what it was. Until now! Check out the OceanCurrent, ain't she beautiful!

The OceanCurrent was an absolute hit at the show and they already have a lot of orders placed. We are very much looking forward to getting a bunch of these in the new year. The expected RRP is incredible value for such a beautiful bike at $NZ2099! Specs to follow.

Fix

You'll notice a few changes on the site, we are putting together a mobile service and support network throughout the country. We already have Auckland and Christchurch covered with Dunedin, Wellington, Tauranga, Hamilton and Napier in the works. Eventually we will have every sizeable population base in the country covered.

This means when you buy a Juiced Bike online not only will your bike be assembled and delivered by a pro but you will receive your first mobile service free. From then on you will have a skilled, friendly and best of all mobile mechanic to call on whenever you need service for your bike.

Coming soon is our service page which will introduce you to our awesome support crews.

Look Out, They're Coming!

Hey team. I thought I'd drop a quick note so you didn't think we'd gone to sleep, woken up and forgotten that we have to get our awesome bikes to you!

These last few weeks have been filled with planning, bargaining and more planning.

Some good news too. Hell Pizza are opening a new Christchurch store and guess what electric delivery bike they're going to use? Ok, that wasn't too hard was it. The beautiful ODK!

That news is exciting for us, for Hell Pizza and for the stomachs of Christchurchians but the following news is exciting for all of us! We're getting a container of CrossCurrents and a couple of (pre-purchased) ODKs delivered in November. If you love the sound of the ODK then please pre-order soon, it is a wonderful bike and once the container is full, well you may have to wait until next year. The CrossCurrent, being such a striking bike, gets all the limelight and there's a good reason we're filling the container with CrossCurrents. The upshot is we have to be realistic and focus our efforts on the beautiful bike that sells itself but man, we love the ODK! It really is part of the future of urban transportation. Once we demo our excellent Dutch kids seats and get the right storage attachments you'll see what we mean. It is a car trip replacement machine!

So we can now put a more definitive date on our hitherto unclear timeframes for the arrival of our next lot of bikes. It's November! Probably mid to late, we'll advise you on landing dates once we know what ship we can get our production run on to. If you want one be sure to pre-order as they will sell like little hot cakes.

Oh and some super exciting news coming up soon, bike related (but not bikes) this is game changer material and Juiced Bikes NZ are leading the charge (ouch, bad pun, unintended promise).

See ya!

Low Steps and High Steps

 

Low Steps

Hey there!

I've been holding off this post waiting for the official promo shots but I got this photo today and I just can't hold off any longer.

The CrossCurrent is getting a low-step model!! We called these ladies' frames back in the dark ages, luckily it's not the dark ages any more!

Anyway, I had to share this. I know there are a bunch of folk who like the ease of the low-step frame so you'll be pleased to know we'll be getting in a bunch of these in the next shipment. They're based off the medium sized (17.5") frame size and they are all Crosscurrent!

There are other refinements to this model of CrossCurrent (spot the rear-rack mount points on the lower seat-stays just above the motor) that I'll blog about soon but for now here's the unofficial pic. Promo shots coming next week.

 

High Steps

And in news totally unrelated to electric bikes and quite the opposite to the ease of mounting a low step provides, look what we spotted while taking a drive around the beautiful south coast of Wellington on the weekend.

Yes, quite the opposite of a low-step e-bike (as far as bikes go)

 

First Customer Review!

Hey there!

So we have just received our first customer review. And it's a goodie. Not perfect (nothing in this world is) but the good news is that some of the challenges Simon (our customer has a name!) had setting up his CrossCurrent are surmountable and I've added information and links at the end of the post to help anybody else needing to mount mudguards and a carrier to their CrossCurrent. Enough from me, take it away Simon..

My Juiced CrossCurrent

Simon Bocking

I bought a Juiced Crosscurrent due to a lucky accident.  I’d been considering a Magnum U5 electric bike but after riding it I was disappointed with the quality of the brakes, which were standard, cable-operated bicycle disc brakes.  As a result, I figured I’d buy the bike and upgrade the brakes to hydraulics, preferably with larger discs to increase stopping power.  I started researching replacement brakes and remembered that I had some Jucy brakes on my mountain bike. I Googled “Jucy electric bike brakes” and lo and behold, up popped a listing for Juiced Bikes.  I clicked through and there was a picture of exactly the sort of electric bike I wanted -  sporty, slightly aggressive seating position and best of all, it was red!  It also had specifications that ticked all the boxes - torque sensor, cadence sensor, hydraulic brakes with large discs, good range and a good motor.  I instantly lost interest in the Magnum bike I’d been considering.

Then I noticed the price.  US$1,499!  I couldn’t believe it - how could a company produce such a top-end bike for such a low-end price?  I wanted one.  I saw that I could buy it online in the US and ship it internationally so I contacted Juiced Bikes asking what the shipment cost would be.  I found out that Juiced Bikes had a New Zealand distributor so I contacted them and received a prompt reply from Phil - the owner of the company that has the license to import and sell Juiced Bikes in New Zealand.

Phil was very helpful, he’d just imported some Juiced ODK cargo bikes for a pizza company to use as delivery vehicles.  Phil placed an order for 3 Crosscurrents and told me that delivery would take about 6 weeks.  In the end, it took much longer, but I was willing to wait and make allowances for the fact that this was Juiced NZ’s first Crosscurrent order.  Phil sent me a link to a website that let me track the position of the ship from China that my bike was going to be loaded onto.  I was able to track its slow progress as it sailed to China and collected my bike.

While I waited, I ordered a collection of accessories to install on the bike to convert it from a sleek urban sports bike into what I needed - a slightly sleek urban commuter bike that I could use to get to work, carry some groceries on and not have to worry about it being easily stolen. From the UK I ordered a Suntour SP12 NCX suspension seat post, an Abus 5850 Pro Shield frame-mounted lock with heavy duty chain and a pair of SKS Bluemels mudguards.  From Australia I ordered a Knog 250 lumen front light and rear flasher and from NZ I bought a Topeak Explorer 29er rack and matching Topeak DXP MTX trunk bag with inbuilt panniers.  I also bought a set of Ergon GP3 grips, a Ciclosport CM 4.21 cycle computer and a MIRRYCLE MTB rear view mirror.  The final purchase was an Orp cycle horn from the US.  NZ$1,100 and 5kg of accessories later I was all set.

Eventually my bike arrived, delivered to my door in a huge box.  I’m a bit of a handyman so I wasn’t worried about needing to install the throttle, front wheel and handlebars myself - easy enough for anyone with an Allen key to do.  I couldn’t wait for my first ride, however the battery hadn’t arrived with the bike because of hazardous cargo problems in China.  While it was flown in separately I set about getting my bike sorted.

About 15 hours later it was done!  I’d faced a few challenges, which from my reading of Juiced Crosscurrent forums, many other people had also faced.  This bike isn’t currently designed to have mudguards or a rack fitted - there simply aren’t the required mounting points, but I managed to bend the rack to fit the bolts that hold the brake caliper on one side and the torque sensor plate on the other side.  It sits a little crooked but it does the job.  The mudguards were also a challenge as the Suntour forks don’t have mounting points.  Zip ties became my best friend.  I’m a fairly fussy person and I like things to be just right, but the compromises I had to make to get the guards and rack fitted don’t worry me too much.

Finally it was all done.  The battery arrived and I got to experience how the bike rides.  Smooth, meaty and with a subtle power that accelerates you quite quickly up to some crazy speeds.  45km/h is very easy to achieve.  The bike feels solid on the road and the Suntour suspension seat post I added smooths most of the bumps.  Stopping power is very good because of the larger discs and hydraulics.  The 9 speed transmission seems perfectly suited to the power of the motor - having any more gears would be a waste I think.  Range has been as expected with the smaller battery I have - about 30km of city riding with a few hills and lots of flat out, maximum pedal assistance use.

I find the throttle useful for pulling away from the lights when I’m in the wrong gear, but other than that I prefer pedalling, particularly because of the way the bike amplifies the pressure I put into the pedals.  The assist is quite responsive and doesn’t suffer from too much lag. 

Things that could be better?  Mudguard and rack mounting points are obvious, but the one thing that annoys me for no real reason other than aesthetics, is that the rear wheel is offset to one side by about 1cm.  I contacted the manufacturer and Tora, the owner, replied that yes, that was the way it’s designed because of the thickness of the torque sensor plate.  Tora told me that these problems will be solved on later versions of the bike.  Overall, the quality of the bike is very good apart from a few scratches on the inside of the frame around the rear disc, presumably caused during factory assembly.

With only 65kms under my wheels I can only hope that my Crosscurrent will prove reliable, however, based on my experiences with Juiced Bikes NZ and USA, I’m confident that any issues I do have will be fixed promptly.

So how likely would I be to recommend a Juiced Crosscurrent to my friends and family?  I’ll give it a 9 out of 10.

Our Update

Thanks for that review Simon! We're glad you are enjoying your CrossCurrent. We've done some digging here at Juiced Bikes NZ and for rear racks we'd currently recommend the Ibera Pak Rak IB-RA5 Touring Plus rack.

https://www.amazon.com/Ibera-IB-RA5-Touring-Bicycle-Carrier/dp/B00AA8GFSI

http://www.ibera.info/products_detail.php?cID=2&Key=31

You'd have to order this in from overseas for now, another option is to use a seat-post mounted carrier along with a compatible bag such as the Ibera Pak Rak Seatpost Carrier and commuter bag (available in NZ).

SKS make a bracket to allow you to mount their mudguards on the Suntour NCX suspension forks using the mounting holes on the back of the forks. We can arrange shipping these in for interested customers.

 

This is one of the (covered) threaded mounting holes on the CrossCurrent Suntour NCX forks.

This is one of the (covered) threaded mounting holes on the CrossCurrent Suntour NCX forks.

SKS mounting bracket for Suntour forks.

SKS mounting bracket for Suntour forks.

These are Suntour forks on a different model bike but the concept is identical.

These are Suntour forks on a different model bike but the concept is identical.

That's all for this update readers. Our first review is a goodie, plus it has helped us to sharpen our understanding of what our customers need and what kit is out there to help them make their bike what they want it to be. Good stuff.

Eye Wateringly Smooth

I finally got time to ride on the new CrossCurrent yesterday. I recommend glasses or visors dear reader as 45kmh gets eye watering, literally. It is a sweet ride, smooth, torque controlled electric assist. You don't realise how fast you are going at first as the acceleration is so smooth and responsive, it just feels like you are an awesome rider!

I've said this many times, but not on this site so here goes. Electric bikes are the difference between Wellington being a cycling city and not. Even keen cyclists I know get over the commute home, into a head wind, uphill. Add an electric motor to the mix and you don't even care about the rain (with good brakes of course).

Another successful CrossCurrent demo today, it's hard not to be impressed with the style and quality for only $2499. It is an easy $500 cheaper than bikes in its class. I hope to have demo bikes in stores in Wellington and Auckland soon. Watch this space and sign up to our email list or like our Facebook page to get the latest news.

Pre-order deals coming soon too!

 

image.jpg

Take That!

Ok, a really quick update today, I just had to share this. Talking to the awesome folks at Hell Pizza today and it turns out they love the electric delivery bikes more than their petrol scooters. They're more useful, can go anywhere, cheaper to run and FASTER around the central city. Plus more fun 😊.

Take that petrol! 

Eat and Commute

 

Well it's been nearly two months since I've posted. Two months! 

 

It has been both quiet and exciting for us, that doesn't make sense so I'll explain. 

Our first two ODK utility bikes went into use at the brand new Hell Pizza on Victoria Street in Auckland's CBD. Very exciting times! The third ODK will be going into use in the Wellington CBD in the coming days. Hell Pizza are showing great foresight and leadership in the food delivery market here in New Zealand by delivering with electric bikes. It makes so much financial and environmental sense and I hope you central Aucklanders and Wellingtonians will make a special effort to support the vision by eating their delicious pizzas knowing they're getting delivered by the best electric delivery bikes available.

 

image.jpg

Plus in other news our first batch of CrossCurrents, the electric bike that makes commutes easy as (pizza) pie, arrived in Wellington this week. One is  heading straight up to a customer in Auckland but we still have two available. With a max speed of 45kmh they are great value for money and good looking too. We challenge you to find a better value, better made commuter for the price!

Check them out here:

So it's been head down, tail up and yes, very quiet from us but rest assured it's only just beginning. If you've been thinking about checking out electric bikes to flatten those hills and beat those head winds, now is the time.

 

CrossCurrents and Downpours

 

CrossCurrents

Hello again!

We were pretty focussed on sticking to the ODK utility bikes, this week I'm travelling up to Auckland to make sure our first commercial client is all ready to go for their pizza delivery bikes. However last week a gentleman contacted us who was very keen on getting a CrossCurrent and after thinking it over very quickly I decided, "why not?". They are nice bikes and we were planning to import them anyway, plus why would we turn down a keen customer? The upshot is we have sold a CrossCurrent and now have two more heading over to our fair shores, so if any of you are interested in a stunning, red 45kmh commuter then get in now! We're selling them for our RRP, $2499, and that's delivered to your door. a very good price for a fast, well made electric bike with great components.

 

Downpours

We've had some pretty big rains here in Wellington over the past week, I've been commuting in on the ODK anyway as I'd rather be wet than stuck in rainy morning Wellington traffic. On Friday I performed a little experiment. Juiced have put a lot of development effort into water proofing their bikes, and have some pretty rigourous tests to prove this.

The ODK battery has a shower.

The ODK battery has a shower.

So on Friday it was particularly wet, you'd be forgiven for calling it torrential! I left my bike outside in the rain all day to see how the components would handle it. They passed with flying colours! It's important to know your e-bike isn't going to give up on you in the wet. The Juiced ODK has outstanding weatherproofing, coupled with the hydraulic brakes and you have a road-warrior bike that will see you right, even in a driving Wellington southerly.

 

Zap! Charge!

 

Zap!

It time to talk about batteries. Batteries are as important to your electric bike experience as the motor itself so they deserve their own post

We all know that the bigger your battery the further you can go before needing to recharge right? Right! While it's true that your bike battery is comparable to the fuel tank on a car did you know that it's also similar to the fuel injection system on your car? When your battery is under load, going up a steep hill or into a strong head-wind for example your motor is going to draw more electrical current from your battery (or at least try to!). The better quality your battery cells and the more battery cells you have the more electrical current your battery is able to provide your motor when it requires it. This translates into smoother hill climbing,  head-wind defeating and load-hauling!

The Juiced ODK has the biggest battery capacity in the industry, 32ah @ 48v makes for 1536 watt hours. Currently unbeaten!

A lithium ion battery is made up of "cells" which are the same size as an AA battery, here's a picture of some:

 

So the takeaway from this is not just "big = far" but "big = more speed when you need it". When you ride an e-bike with good quality batteries you can tell the difference.

Charge!

Not only do you want your battery to deliver power when you need it, and deliver power for the distance you need but you want your battery to have as long a lifetime as possible. A decent battery is worth 1/4 to 1/3 the total cost of a decent e-bike and you really want to get your money's worth. This is where investing in a larger battery pays off (again, yes Juiced have really thought this through).

Electric and Hybrid Electric car makers know one thing. How to make expensive batteries last as long as possible. You will get approximately double the useful life out of a lithium ion battery if you keep the charge "profile" between 80% and 20%. That is you charge your battery to 80% of its potential full charge and don't let it go below 20% of its minimum charge.

Electric car vendors will advertise "usable" capacity" instead of "total capacity". They over-spec their batteries and program their chargers so you never charge it too much nor let its charge drop too low. Doing so "stresses" the battery and shortens the battery's life. Charging a battery too fast also stresses it and lowers its lifetime.

Why don't electric bike vendors do the same? Well it's all about expectations. People expect e-bikes to go as far as possible, but people aren't used to paying e-bike prices. To keep purchase prices as low as possible, bikes as light as possible and to fit the battery into the bike design most vendors skimp on the battery capacity and through ignorance or omission don't educate e-bike riders on the importance of looking after the battery, the 80/20 charge rule or to not fast-charge too often. There's more reading you can do on this subject, I've included a couple of links at the bottom of this blog (I don't want to rant, I could go on!)

Who understands the importance of proper charging in the e-bike world? Luckily a small selection of awesome vendors do. Juiced Bikes do and so do the geniuses at ebikes.ca, the makers of the excellent Cycle Satiator. This charger not only enables you to get the longest life from your battery but it means you also know how much you're getting from your current battery. If your bike vendor tells you the battery will give you 500 watt hours but you're only getting 400, this charger will tell you. We'll be giving one of these away to one lucky customer once our first big bike shipment arrives. We'll also be distributing these chargers to bike shops around New Zealand because it's time Kiwis got the best from their e-bikes too!

Ok, well I hope you made it this far without dozing off. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want to register your interest in our beautiful bikes.

http://www.ebikes.ca/product-info/cycle-satiator.html#satiate-for-enhanced-cycle-life

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/bit-about-batteries

 

Exciting Times

 

Well it feels pretty good to be arranging this first small, but important, shipment of bikes. This really does put us well on the path to our first big shipment which I'm hoping a number of you are looking forward to.

Here are some pictures of shipment 001 getting the once over before heading over the seas to our fair shores. These bikes will end up in Auckland delivering hot pizza throughout the central city.

This week I also popped into http://decobikes.co.nz/ and had a good chat to Declan. We want to ensure our bikes have a good service channel and making contact with a quality bike mechanic like Declan is pretty important. He was enthusiastic about our Juiced ODKs and hopefully he'll be seeing a lot of them as we'll be using him for our Wellington customers initial post-purchase check-and-tune.

Stand by and keep tuned for more updates coming up!