FlyKly electric bike wheel

Axle-pin-780x519Where I previously was interested in the Copenhagen wheel, the FlyKly, is available now.

FlyKly has been in the works for a while. Originally a Kickstarter project that raised $700,000 (its goal had been $100,000), the electric bike wheel project is now available to everyone.

Electric bicycles are nothing new. But FlyKly’s approach is different — use your own bike, the company says, and just buy our wheel. That’s an attractive proposition if you’ve got a bike you love but want a little electrical propellant to get you where you’re going without building up a sweat.

The FlyKly isn’t cheap. The hub alone — which contains the product’s motor, battery, electronics, sensors, and Bluetooth antenna — runs $1,000. If you want it on an actual wheel, it’s $1,100. And you can also buy a FlyKly-fitted bicycle from either MSC or Linus for $1,500. The wheel comes in a 20-inch, 26-inch, or 28-inch rim.

The company’s not the first to try the removable electric wheel, with a similar approach in the works with the Copenhagen Wheel. But FlyKly is first to market, Klansek said.

Lest you wonder, the FlyKly system is not meant to provide every bit of forward motion as you ride. That’s called a motorcycle. Rather, this is “pedal-assist,” Klansek said. That means that once you start pedaling, the motor turns on and boosts your acceleration, but you still have to, you know, pedal.

The obvious questions are about battery life and power boost. Klansek explained that a fully charged battery should deliver up to 60 miles on a single charge if you maximize the system’s settings (though the FlyKly app, naturally) and pedal backwards as you go, which both brakes and recharges the battery a bit. With no tinkering of the settings, and no backwards pedaling, you’d get about 30 miles, he said.

Happy Maps for Biking

I watched this video and was reminded of my last TransAm, the section on the East Coast, where a couple of groups wanted to catch up to me, and they did.  They cut the chords of a route that meandered.  Sure, they rode long days, and so did I.  But on my path I encountered friends and adventures and met people not on bicycles that I would meet again.  I learned more about myself, and had so much more to learn I couldn’t even see it.  I am not saying they made a wrong decision, theirs was to be the adventure of speed, the camraderie of pouring over maps in a chase that wound before them every day. 

Life is like a bike trip.  All paths are different, even if you are on the same map tracks, one minute the road is empty, the next full.  One minute you meet someone you will know for a long time, and others you have chance encounters that you recall and faces you can’t.

Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Researcher Daniele Quercia demos “happy maps” that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.

Is FreeAirPump Something Or Nothing?

Welcome to FreeAirPump.com, an ever-growing list of places that provide free air for tires.

Are you fed up with paying $0.75 to $1.00 just to fill up one of your tires? Do you think it’s ridiculous to have to swipe your credit card in order to get access to something that should be free? FreeAirPump.com provides a map of locations, mainly in the U.S. and Canada, that offer free air for tires.

The FreeAirPump.com map contains plenty of gas stations that have free air for autos. For bicyclists, you can also find numerous bike repair stations or stand alone bike pumps listed. If you know of a place in your neighborhood that provides air for free, head over to the Add a Location tab and submit your own free air location to help others across the nation.

Check out our blog for helpful hints on increasing your mpg, green energy news, and anything else that can help make your life easier. Find helpful and friendly bike shops on our map that not only offer free air, but an array of products and services to keep you cycling longer. Free air is not a thing of the past!

This list is mostly user-generated, and by no means should be considered definitive. Those of you living in Connecticut already enjoy the sweet serenity of getting free air at gas stations, so the only spots on the map in that state are for bicycles, be it a standalone bike pump, or bicycle repair/fix-it station. In California, free air is the law, but only for paying customers. Californians, I need your help! Please use the Add A Location page to report readily available free air. For the rest of us, check out themap and find free air for tires near you! Save money! Save gas! Save the planet!

Prepare Your Motorcycle For Winter

Hey, it is a bike too.

Winter is coming, and preparation is particularly important when it comes to making sure your motorcycle is ready for the coming cold.

Before you put your pride and joy away until warmer days, there are some initial measures you should take to ensure you don’t face nasty surprises when you go for that first ride of the new season. Checking oil, antifreeze, gas, spark plugs, and lube will go a long way towards preparing your ride for storage. Don’t forget, also, to clean your batteries’ posts and charge your batteries before storage. Some people like to leave their batteries constantly charging during storage, which is fine; just don’t forget to use a battery tender to prevent overcharging. Check tire pressure and place your bike on a stand to keep the tires off the ground. If you don’t have a stand, remember to rotate the tires every few weeks.

When it comes time to store your bike, put an exhaust plug in your exhaust pipe to keep mice and other rodents away, and make sure to use a protective, mildew-resistant cover. Always store a bike indoors if possible. If you don’t have a garage or a friend with one, consider asking around about month-by-month storage options.

If you’re the type of person who likes to brave the elements on your motorcycle, the following guide will also provide a checklist you should follow before you ride off into the cold. Whether you’re storing or riding this winter, you can’t afford not to read this infographic!

MotorcycleWinterization