Letters: Hit The Road
THE TOURING OPTION PART 1
My wife and I are happy owners of two Bulls e-bikes—a Dail-E Grinder and a Cross Lite E. As of the end of December they will be our only transportation after our lease on a Nissan Leaf ends. We are really looking forward to losing the high costs of automobile insurance.
The reason for this letter is to comment on how e-bikes are touted as a good way to bike tour, a purpose we plan to utilize quite often. I notice that e-bikes do not have very tour-friendly front forks, lacking dropout eyelets and mid-fork eyelets. Headlight and displays crowding the handlebars are also a problem when it comes to mounting handlebar bags. Trailers are an option, which I plan to utilize, but sometimes trailers are not an option. If you plan to toss your bike in a Amtrak baggage car, trailers are not accepted. I hope to see a few articles in Electric Bike Action Magazine that might address bicycle touring.
One tip I would like to pass on that might benefit e-bike tourists is what I discovered in purchasing extra batteries. (I carry three 500 Ah batteries per bike.) When looking for batteries, I found it very helpful to get multiple bids from suppliers. In the end, my local bike shop where I purchased my Bulls agreed to meet the lowest price, which equated to getting four batteries at the price of three.
Brian, that is so cool! I love hearing that people are using e-bikes for car replacements and for long tours. I loved doing the story on Jon Langille, who rode from British Columbia to Southern California, as well as Ravi Kempaiah’s world record-setting ride.
THE TOURING OPTION PART 2
Hello, and thank you for the quick reply to my e-mail. First, to answer your questions, eyelets are useful—almost necessary—for front racks. There are a few exceptions for suspension forks such as our Bulls have. Two I can think of off the top of my head are Axiom and Old Man Mountain. I suppose if money is not an issue, either one of those racks would work. It’s just that if bicycle manufacturers were serious about their products being used for multiple purposes, such as touring, eyelets would be nice since that is how all other touring bicycles mount racks. That way you wouldn’t need specific racks.
To answer your second question: on a self-contained bike tour you need a large-enough volume of carrying capacity for your gear. Typically, a load may look like this: front panniers will contain a tent, cooking gear and sleeping bag. The rear panniers contain personal gear, clothes, food and tools. A rack trunk is helpful for things you may need in a hurry, like rain wear and lunch. And last, handlebar bags act as your big wallet—money, snacks, maps, electronics and water bags. So, front bags, or a trailer, are a must to fit it all on the bike.
Thank you once again for your interest in my topic.
If you have any questions, comments, weird facts or photos of your own e-bikes that you’d like to share, please e-mail [email protected] or mail it to:
Electric Bike Action Magazine
P.O. Box 957
Valencia, CA 91380-9057