The Joys of Winter EBiking
The Bike: Electra Townie 21
Pedal forward design keeps your feet close to the ground in case of trouble. With lots of ice and snow trouble abounds. My favorite trick for sheets of ice is to place both feet on the ground and use the throttle to push slowly over it. No turning! I have a better success rate with this than trying to walk across the same ice.
The Power: Front Hub 36V Wilderness Energy with NiMH battery pack
A good amount of torque to get through deep snow. Deep snow provides a surprising amount of rolling resistance. A front hub motor gives the same advantage as front-wheel drive car. The wheel may slide a little, but it tends to pull itself back into line. I have a rear-motor bike to and I can attest the effect is exactly opposite. Rear-motor bikes slide out fast and often.
Googles: Good to keep the snow, the cold, and the crap thrown up by cars out of my eyes.
Bunny Suit: A blaze orange, two-piece hunting suit from Cabelas. I only wear both pieces when the temperature gets below 10F or so. The whole thing is highly visible, water proof, and warm as all get out.
Gloves: Weather-proof outer mitten with synthetic glove inside. The combo is pretty warm, and the inner glove lets me fiddle with locks and such without touching them. My throttle thumb still gets a little frozen if I'm not pedalling hard.
Cuff Keepers: Homemade out of denim, reflective tape, and velcro. I could not find anything over the counter to keep my cuffs out of the chain. A large rubber band would also work, but where's the fun in that?
Helmet: Because I'm not suicidal.
Cool. Jon Doh has that same bike and I got to ride it last fall. It's just enough like a recumbent to be nice.
The bunny suit is windproof? Does it provide any protection e.g. in a fall? I'm thinking as a motorcyclist here.
Who's NiMH pack?
And when are you going to add it to the Member Vehicles gallery? ;)
> The bunny suit is windproof?
Yeah. The outer shell is a microfibre which pretty much stops everything. The jacket comes has a fleece lining which zips out. The shell makes a dandy windbreaker/rainjacket. And believe me. On the front range we know from wind. I was biking home in 60 mph gusts one day. This is also the day I learned to carry goggles at all times.
> Does it provide any protection e.g. in a fall? I'm thinking as a motorcyclist here.
A little padding, perhaps, but probably not what you're looking for. I first looked into some motorcycle suits with armored joints and the like but they were $900 and up. Aerostich was one. My motorcycle buddies said they were very nice, but overkill for bicycling. They suggested the $300 Cabela suits for me. Plus motorcycle suits are unitaskers. They do one thing very well, but only one thing. I use the bunny suit in a variety of combinations for a variety of tasks. For snow shovelling I like to wear just the bottoms and a long-sleeved tshirt.
> Who's NiMH pack?
I got it from Justin Lemire-Elmore. Great guy.
> And when are you going to add it to the Member Vehicles gallery?
Soon. I swear. Soon.
Full time ebiker
BionX and Wilderness Energy