THIS WEEK IN e… 10/08

eNews

eBike Group Ride World Record
As with all breaking trends, new records are part of establishing the trend as more than just a short-term blip, and more of a major new development.

Now, a world record has been set for the biggest eBike group ride, helping the new phenomenon to become more established in the public’s mind. In Seattle on September 15th, 406 eBiker riders broke the previous record, which was set with 271 riders, by riding a 2 mile circuit around Magneson Park.


eBikes Becoming Increasingly Important
Milan, Italy – There is a growing interest for participating in the e-bike section of the upcoming EICMA motorcycle and bike show.

In Italy and many other countries, eBike mobility is now a growing reality. Italian companies are contributing to the market, not only in manufacturing and sales, but as part of the whole supply chain – suppliers of components, and designers with established patents. In 2017 production in Italy of eBikes increased by 48 percent compared to 2016. Sales of approximately 150,000 in 2017 represented an increase of 19 % over 2016.


Bully for Bulls
The German high-profile eBike company Bulls has released in their words, “the most cutting-edge eMTB bike on the market”. Although somewhat tricky to remember, its name is the E-Core Evo EN Di 2 27.5+, and it offers a high-end dual-suspension, a big twin-core battery pack, all packaged in a sick-looking design.

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Along with a new lightweight eRoad bike concept (below), called the Alpine Hawk Evo featuring the super light and compact Fazua Evation 250 watt drive system. They are e-just two of 14 new Bulls e-bikes announced at Interbike for 2019, including eMTBs, eTrekking, eRoad, eCruiser, eCommuters, and more!

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Haibike Hands Out More Now, and There’s More Coming
The latest Sduron, Xduro and Nduro eBikes from Haibike were displayed at Interbike, and they teased attendees with a preview of their 2020 prototype Flyon eBike featuring the new high torque TQ mid-drive motor system.


Bosch Previews Kiox Colour Display
The latest Kiox color display from Bosch eBike Systems was shown by Claudia Wasko, Director of eBikes, Bosch America. Offering many new features including ride data on speed, rider performance, heart rate, battery charge and more.

While presenting, Claudia also related how more police and fire departments are using eBikes in their range of vehicle fleets, and that increasingly, ski resorts are welcoming eMTBs to their trails.


Survey Predicts Big Future for sCargo Bikes
A 2-year study into the use of ‘Light Electric Freight Vehicles’ concluded that eCargo bikes are a great alternative for perhaps 20% of all delivery vans currently being used in large cities. The study, involving the improvement of city logistics, was conducted in partnership by the Amsterdam and Rotterdam Applied Sciences. A sobering thought was also suggested with the information that various practical problems have yet to be solved.


eBIke Torque Requires Stronger Chains
Specifically, the torque generated from mid-drive motors has been proven to put too much strain on a chain made for regular bikes. This results in early chain wear which also affects the condition of the cassette. The answer is stronger eBike-specific chains.

Showing the industry is on its toes when it comes to eBIke tech developments, stronger chains are now starting to hit the market. A prime example is a chain from TAYA using their exclusive DHT self-lubricated hardness treatment. The process involves applying the treatment on the pins to strengthen them by more than 50% over regular chain pins.


New ‘e’ Trend Fuel For New Frontiers
Now that there is no longer any question about the new and established trend of eBikes, it is seen to be driving the ‘planning & analysis’ of other areas feeding into the trend. Electronics, with the inherent sophisticated software, are finding their way into helmets, locks, brakes with ABS systems, ‘connected’ bikes and as mentioned in a previous post, clothing featuring graphene to make any wearer fully ‘connected’. And we’re witnessing just the beginning.


Bosch PowerTube 500 Wins Award
Reno, Nevada, announced as the 2nd annual eBike Product Innovation award winner, Bosch PowerTube 500 took the prize for its clean integration into the bike frame down tube.

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“We’re proud of this award and to see so many gorgeous PowerTube-equipped eBikes start to hit dealer showrooms,” said Claudia Wasko, Vice President & General Manager of Bosch eBike Systems Americas. “The PowerTube 500 sets a new eBike standard by showing it’s possible to get both a really capable, high-range eBike that looks more and more like a regular bicycle,”

eBikes for Fitness and Health

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University of Basel researchers reported that eBikes are comparable to conventional bikes in promoting health and benefits. Specifically, less-well-trained and/or overweight people can enhance their lives by riding an eBike.

For 10 years, Switzerland has been running a month-long ‘Bike to Work’ program inviting commuters to ride their bike or eBike, and this year nearly 65,000 cyclists participated. The start of the BtW campaign was the starting point for the pilot study.

In short, the researchers from the Dept. of Sport, Exercise & Health, when examining how eBikes compare to conventional bikes in exercise intensity, found them to be similarly effective with comparable health benefits. In addition, after just 4-weeks of training, they found that participants improved their cardiorespiratory fitness. Of the 30 or so volunteer participants who were untrained and overweight, half rode eBikes while the other half rode conventional bikes a distance of over at least 6 km for at least three days.

A month into the program the participants were tested again and found both groups had comparable fitness results as measured by their oxygen uptake capacity. By maintaining this pattern permanently, participants would see their risk of cardiovascular death fall to a clinically-relevant point. As well, both groups were found to have more efficiently working hearts.

A major finding suggested that eBikes can increase motivation in older, overweight people as a way to keep up their fitness training regularly. As well, blood pressure, fat metabolism, and mental well-being was also improved. Overall, the suggestion was that eBikes offer a grand potential for preventing adverse health problems.

Fast on the heels of the above article, Forbes Magazine just ran another article countering the wide-spread notion that using an eBike is ‘cheating’. The article reports that sales of European eBikes in 2017 rose dramatically with 9% increase in the Netherlands, 19% in Germany and a whopping 30% in France. The US was on a similar trend but the 25% Trump tariffs have put a halt to that trend.

At this point in history when climate change is hounding us increasingly, the conventional bike market is in decline. However, eBikes are in the position to help promote increased use of 2-wheel travel by more and more people as the sweat-free fun way to move about during their day.

With all change comes the resistance to said change, and advocates for conventional bikes remain unmoved with comments like ‘eBikes are gadgets for the laziest people’. These people, unfortunately, forget history and the various ways regular cyclists ‘cheat’ while cycling.

After a race in 1902 where a man was defeated by a woman using a bike with a derailleur, it was referred to as a new ‘gadget’ that made cycling easier. It was scoffed at. Of course, there are many more ways cyclists use to make it easier. Riding downhill, crouching over handlebars to create beneficial aerodynamics, drafting behind other riders, and the freewheel that lets a cyclist stop pedalling while moving, are all ways to make cycling easier. Nobody would claim those changes as cheating.

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People using eBikes report good exertion levels as tracked by their wearable fitness-tracking devices. Researchers from the University of Colorado reported in 2016 that eBike riders got an ‘effective workout’ with similar benefits as pedal-only cyclists got.

All these studies and the anecdotal evidence suggest eBikes are definitely a healthy way to travel locally, but as evidence also shows, people who see their traditional way of cycling as the only true way to ride a bike will be the last ones to understand the health and societal benefits. After all, from the time it was introduced in 1902, it took another 32 years before the Tour de France allowed the use of derailleurs. As noted earlier, change is hard for some.

See you out there,

Cycling The 6ix

This Week in e…

Dockless Scooters

BIRD eScooters

Not only are eBikes in, now eScooters are also making the scene, and in a big way. In the search for the solution to the ‘last mile’ – efficiently getting from a drop-off point in a commute to final destination – electric powered Scooters are quickly finding their way.

 

To indicate the power of these little vehicles, you only need to know that the category is attracting billions of dollars in venture capitol. Adding to this is the news that both Uber and Lyft have enthusiastically launched into the dockless eScooter-Share world as part of their inner-city transportation solutions. Notably, Lime and Bird, two eBike-Share companies, are also very much in the game.

Of course, a portion of the market wants their own eScooter for even more convenience. Look for these improbable, yet totally awesome machines in your favourite Gears store soon.

 

Back to the eBike Boom

Turbo Levo Trail Riding Experience

An earlier post on eBike Emporium recalled that the bicycle, one of the most ingenious inventions ever is 200 years old, and that everything old is new again, hence eBikes.

Why the bike has been deemed that way (ingenious invention) is because a bike is the most efficient and healthiest form of transportation. That thinking applied to eBikes simply provides the way for more people to get on bicycles.

 

Graphene and the Bike Business

If you have read about the new wonder material, graphene, you know that its use is being explored in just about every industry. So where is it showing up in the bike biz? Well so far, it is only being used in higher-end tires (Vittoria). But, more is promised.

Graphene, it is said, will be widely used in wearables to create ‘smart’ clothing for Accident-Free Mobility through Internet connectivity. And although clothing is not the first product in which you would expect Graphene to be used, that would be rubber, nonetheless, that is the bold prediction.

Tires are certainly an important part of a bicycle, and the unprecedented characteristics of Graphene improve air-retention, provides lower rolling resistance and improves grip. But its use in apparel, well that’s just batty!

Verge Science, a US-based company, is betting on connected clothing made possible through the use of graphene. Ease of printing on fabric along with superior conductivity makes possible their easily-believed prediction. They say it’s coming in 2019, stay tuned.

Connected clothing brings us closer to total connectivity, a world where everybody and everything is internet connected and thereby closer to accident-free mobility.

Bosch predicts by 2025, more than 470 million connected vehicles will be operating.

 

Bosch Prepares to Provide Connected Mobility Services

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BERLIN, Germany – Bosch plans to become a provider of mobility services. The components manufacturer (for automotive and bike) has a new Connected Mobility Solutions division with 600+ associates developing and selling digital mobility services – vehicle sharing, ridesharing and connectivity-based services.

 

Bosch envisions, not only fundamental changes in the way we travel from A to B through increased connectivity, but also helping to solve today’s traffic problems.

The market for mobility services and other digital services will be worth approximately 140 billion in just four years. Bosch is positioning to leverage that emerging market with significant double-digit growth.

 

New City Bike Drive System from Brose

BERLIN, Germany – Brose has developed their 5th eBike system with the Drive C, a drive system specially designed for city bike models. The design provides smooth power within a 20-70 pedal cadence range, and always delivers 50Nm of torque regardless of cadence level.

As a Brose representative states, “The drive smooths out any inconsistent rider input, which results in a harmonic riding feeling.”

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The unique aspect of the Brose motor is the internal carbon-reinforced belt made by Gates. The benefits from this difference are the reduction of noise and the prevention of vibration transmission to the pedals. If and when battery power runs out, their free-wheel technology decouples the drive allowing peddling as easy as a regular bike.

Along with Drive C, the other motors in the Brose line-up are Drive S Mag & Drive S Alu for mountain bikes, the Drive TF for pedal-assist up to 45kph (illegal in Canada), and the very efficient Drive T for longer-distance touring. All systems are made in Germany.

 

A Better Level of Understanding for Consumers

When it comes to eBikes, we hear one question more than all others; How far will it go? As with all things powered with electricity whether phone, laptop, car, camping lantern or eBike, it’s always on our minds, so it is an important question.

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Although a little murky because of the various claims made from online, less-scrupulous eBike sellers, battery range estimates have been less than accurate with wide degrees of variation. Now that’s about to change.

A new standardized range test called the R200 has been developed in Germany with the intention being to provide assistance to manufacturers in being able to more realistically quote the range of their batteries, and also to help bike shops assist their customers with more accurate information.

Importantly, the new standard achieves reproducible results, which isn’t always the case in the bicycle industry’s eBike sector.

 

 

Trend or full-on major shift!

Although most people in Canada still don’t know about eBikes, or if they have heard, it hasn’t made much impact on them, yet eBikes are showing signs worldwide of causing a major shift in the very way we think of bicycles.

As news about eBikes is increasingly carried in mainstream media, it will become more obvious to more people that there must be something to this new electric bike thing. Well, this news should cause a bit of a stir!

An exciting piece broke this week to help raise the profile of eMountain bikes (#eMtb), a sector of eBikes that, in Europe, is climbing to new heights every month.

Now Canada will be treated to the spectacle of a fully-endorsed UCI* event. The 2019 World Mountain Bike Championships, where the Rainbow Jersey will go to the world’s best eMtb rider, will take place at Mont Sainte Anne, QC August 21-Sept. 1st.

* Union Cycliste Internationale is the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. The UCI is based in Aigle, Switzerland.

 

Awesome Fun for Autumn – Shred Now, Pay Later!

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Now is the time to jam in some extra trail-riding fun for this year. To gear-up for the eMtb Championships next year, one of the very best eMtb products is being offered right now on a ‘pay-later’ promotional event.  

The top-rated Levo from Specialized is available now to allow keeners to get in a full winter riding program while only paying for their ride in the spring. Come into any Gears shop to get the scoop, and scoop up one of these Levo beasts*.

(See “Beasty Boy Does the Don” for full review of the 2018 LEVO)

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My Sweet Ride & The Best Croissant, Ever!

Finally, the ride I’ve been waiting for and working for all summer, is mine. At the beginning of the season, I was teased into thinking it would come my way a little earlier than it did. Oh well, life doesn’t always pan out the way it’s planned out, and who can really complain when all that angst is in the past. Now that I have my Vado 4.0 (I’m naming it EldoVado) I can only look upward and go onward.

Fleur de Jour

Suddenly, with my Specialized Vado, I’m inclined to think up places to go with it. And now that I’m thinking about going places, having a destination would probably be a good idea. Initially and immediately, I thought of food! So I’m going off (on my Vado) in search of food, and in this instance, inspired by a local establishment, the specific food is called the croissant.

Owner FleurduJour

Although probably not that original, I’m calling my search Quest for the Best…and in this croissant case, it’s the quest for the best real French croissant, baked by real French-trained pastry chefs. My best real croissant so far is from my neighbourhood Fleur du Jours at 603 St. Clair W near Wychwood. So now that I have the bar set (and set fairly high I might add), I’m starting to research and plan my next croissant conquest in the Quest for the Best to see if there is a more impressive croissant out there. 

Not only am I personaIy going on this search, I’m inviting anyone who cares to join my quest for the best to send in any entry you feel is deserving to be in the ‘competition’. Once we’ve   got a few competing patisseries to consider, I’ll get croissants from each of them for a ‘formal’ judging.

So now, on to the research. My next post in this quest will follow the leads/suggestions I get. More croissant quests to come…More croissant pounds to pedal away…

 

See you out there,

Cycling The 6ix

A woman in motion…

Written by Jeanette Aiello (Gears Bike Shop customer)

I just bought 2 (Specialized) Como E-bikes from Gears Bike Shop in Port Credit yesterday. I’d given it a lot of thought and was lucky enough to be able to borrow one for one month prior to making my selection. The process went like this: I had 3 bikes at my disposal to determine my real needs. I had a Giant street bike, a comfort bike with no gears or hand brakes and a mountain e-bike. 3 very different bikes…but I’m new to cycling and want to figure it out before I part with my money.

JeanetteA

I’m 55 yrs old and have lost 47 lbs over 8 months -and still have 20 lbs to go. I’m generally healthy but I have aches and pains in my knees and shoulders and sometimes my hips. I find if I don’t keep moving I stiffen up and moving gets harder. I began walking around the neighborhood but quickly got bored at the repetitive scenery and the limited distance I could cover without getting too far from home. Walking was exacerbating a foot problem that I have too. I’d like to mention that I joined a gym 5 years ago and injured my shoulder. I spent a lot of money on a personal trainer over a 2 yr period. I gained all my weight back plus some and stopped exercising. I’m running out of time for do-overs so it’s important to me to keep the weight off and get some consistently better habits in place for my twilight years.

My next move was to buy a simple bike with no gears and no hand brakes. I simply wanted a lower impact option for my feet and knees. This bike was fun and brought back some nostalgia, but in the end it did not help out against winds, hills or any speed or distance. This bike was ideal if all I ever wanted to do was ride around the block on level roads or paths. It offered me very little in terms of a physical workout. The posture I could obtain on this bike was great, however. I sat a bit upright and the handle bars came out to meet my arms. The seat was comfortable too. I loved this bike but grew frustrated that it limited me to the neighborhood-much like walking did.

The second bike I tried was the 10 speed Giant street bike. This bike gave me a lot more options. I could ride this bike further and I could adjust the gears for slight hills and even some wind. On an ideal day, I could go much further and the added benefit of new scenery was wonderful for me. I tended to leave the bike in the garage if it was windy outside. It was a considerable workout too. I didn’t mind working harder on this bike because I knew that I could elect to work hard when I could and back off when I was tiring. The posture on this bike was a problem for me. The longer distances that I was able to travel meant that I was on the bike longer and the leaning onto the handle bars with all my weight caused shoulder and wrist pain. My back also ached after 30 minutes. Even if I tried to straighten up while coasting to stretch my back out, I found that I couldn’t reach the handle bars at all in an upright position. My spirit was willing but my flesh was weak, as the saying goes. I was enjoying the wind in my hair and the exhilaration of achieving some physical benefits but I was not completely satisfied with the comfort of this bike. I was beginning to wish that I had purchased the comfort bike with some gears on it. Then I used the e-bike.

The E-bike that I was lucky to borrow for a while was a mountain bike. I expected the same issues as the Giant in terms of comfort-small saddle and leaning onto the handle bars, but I was very anxious to experience the peddle assist. Within 30 seconds of being on this bike I had an ear to ear smile on my face; one that said eureka! I was so happy for the chance to take a longer ride and explore some of the beautiful Niagara scenery that I embarked on a long ride to Niagara on the Lake via the river trail. The peddle assist opened up new places to explore! I live atop the escarpment and if I got down the hill, I might never get back up again so I’ve avoided these areas (they’re the most beautiful though). Now, with the peddle assist I got much more brave and curious. I traveled 25 K that day. I was on city streets, paved paths, scenic roads, country roads and overpasses. I was able to engage the peddle assist to help propel me forward while I peddled with much less effort than the other two bikes. It felt like something was silently and invisibly pushing me forward. I still got the benefit of exerting as much effort as I was comfortable with, and let the bike do the rest. Engaging the assist is as easy as tapping a button. There does not need to be a gear change (although this options remains whether you’re using the assist or not). The small computer screen has information like time of day, Avg speed, distance, duration of ride and an speedometer on it. Like a car, it lets you cycle through the information in either metric or imperial.

I interchanged all three bikes for a month of different weather and times of day. If I was going to follow my wife while she was walking the dog I could tag along with the simple comfort bike. If I wanted to get a workout in, I’d choose the Giant. When I wanted to go further and faster in any situation I’d choose the e-bike. I needed to narrow my options down to one bike. For me, it had to be comfort to avoid pain. It had to allow me to control the amount of exertion based on my physical ability of the day. It had to allow me to go places to maximize the experience of good bike ride-wind on my face, the smells of my environs, the special view you get of the world from the seat of a bike and the way your body thanks you for getting it out of the house.

I understood that e-bikes come in many different forms; road, mountain, street, hybrid, comfort and others. I was certain that I wanted a comfort e-bike, but I needed to test drive one to be sure. I figured I’d get one that looked like my simple, old lady bike except with a battery. I was in for another surprise.

When I got to Gears Bike Shop I was shown a couple bikes but once the conversation progressed with the sales person it became apparent what I wanted. I was shown a Como e-bike in a style I’d never seen before. The size was appropriate for my frame. The battery was well concealed in the the thick center bar and the cables were fed through the frame as well, so they were not exposed. It made the bike look clean and sleek. This bike had elevated handle bars which allowed for the more upright riding position. I was blown away by the detail of the design and the blue matte finish. The handle bar grips were designed to ensure that your hands were comfortable by increasing the surface to cover more of the palms of my hands. The gears, brakes, bell and computer controls were all very easily controlled. The gear shifting was tight and quiet. The peddle assist was as seamless as breathing. The tires were thick for comfort and varied terrains. The test ride path was the paved path that runs along the lake just off Lakeshore road. It twists and turns and has hills and valleys. It was a paradise for bikers with a view of the lake. I was comfortable at last on a bike.

SpecComo

I have had the e-bike for less than one day and I’ve been on it for 2.8 hrs. I got up early this morning ’cause I couldn’t wait to get back on it. It was a cool 64 degrees this morning and I was everywhere! I watched my town wake up and get to work. I dared to go places that would have been off limits to me on any other bike. My knees don’t ache. My back is fine. The palms of my hands and wrists are unaffected. I don’t have any hip pain. It’s a real marvel to me. I feel like I’ve found the cure for growing old with grace. I watched both my parents grow old and weak and as they became more and more inactive the likelihood of them ever getting active became a dream that got further and further away for them. I don’t want to be that person.

I rode past a large group of bikers who were in a motel parking lot getting ready for a group ride. I assumed they were a club or maybe they’re traveling on a bike tour, which is popular. It occurred to me that even I could join them. I could go just as fast as them and not lag behind. My personal physical ability would never exclude me from joining the fun again.

I downloaded a phone app called Road Bike. It maps out my ride and tells me all kinds of information from elevation to calories burned. It’s another fun element of my rides. I love that I can use my bike as a great training and even a rehabilitation tool. I can manage the energy I am able to exert and measure my progress too. I can use as much or as little assist as I’m capable of. This is a bike that will serve my needs for the foreseeable future. The cost of the bike is relative. I would have paid more. I am now a woman in motion and I will stay in motion on my e-bike from Gears.

Jeanette – a grateful e-bike owner.

Ode to my e-bike (Guest post)

We can across this inspiring Blog Post today and just had to share it with you…

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Sam here. I’ve been back and forthing on the blog about e-bikes. See Sam is sorry she was a bit of a fitness snob about e-bikes and Women and e-assist bikes… Sam has some worries and Sam is feeling grouchy about e-bikes. After sharing the recent post on Facebook some friends who are e-bike riders and lovers came out of the woodwork rushing to their defense. I loved their happy stories and their enthusiasm for their e-bikes and asked if I could share their stories. Here’s the first. There will be more to follow. Enjoy!

By Alisa Joy

Samantha asked why women ride e-bikes, and I totally get why she would worry that women might be getting the message that they are just never going to get up whatever hill-of-doom exists on their bike ride. Because she asked, I’m here to tell you there are so many great reasons…

View original post 747 more words

Test Ride: Specialized Levo FSR

Written by Nathaniel Snow (Gears Leaside Staff)

Beasty Boy Does the Don

First things first, this isn’t a mountain bike. It’s an electric pedal assist, climb-crushing, downhill-smashing mountain machine. I took the Specialized Levo FSR out for a couple hours in the Toronto Don Valley trails, and every trail felt like I’d never been there before. SO much fun!

It’s. A. Beast.

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Instead of being drained from all the punchy climbs in the Don, and trying to catch up with the cardio on the downhills, I found myself loving the technical climbs, making it up lines I hadn’t before and staying fresh and relaxed for the flowy downhill sections. My favourite part about the Levo was its ability to flatten out the whole ride, I was sweating and tired the whole time, but never over threshold heart rate or tired enough to need to stop.

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Used as a commuter, The Levo eats up the broken roads of Toronto, and allows you to get your heart rate up, but you’re not sweating for the start of your shift!

Tech wise, the bike is equipped with Sram GXe, the e-Bike specific version of their groupset, limiting downshifts to one at a time. The thought behind this is being more careful with your shifting, the drivetrain of a regular mountain bike has a hard life, dumping gears, soaked in mud, and shifting under load trying to make it up the hidden climb that appears around the corner. This is an awesome step in the direction of a groupset that can handle the stress of the electric motor and the rider beating on it shift after shift. The 3 levels of assist do an amazing job of delivering the extra watts in a smooth, predictable fashion, making tight turns and climbs possible. If the battery ever happens to run out completely, the bike still works and rides well with the system OFF.

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As the rider, there is some learning involved, knowing how those extra little kicks will send the bike off. All in all, an amazing day of riding and an amazing bike! The Specialized Levo has been my first impression of the future of bicycle technology, and I’m stoked. #fullsend