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Hello from Rockland County NY

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    Hello from Rockland County NY

    I'm a Californian recently transplanted out here to care for my just 2 yr old granddaughter. It's a delightful gig and thankfully she loves her front-mounted Bobike seat, so i'd love to be able to use it more. But after 5 years in wonderfully flat Berkeley, I'm struggling with all the climbs around here. I've got burnt old old knees, and never was much of a climber, but have always been a bike freak, having had a few shops when I was younger. I've built a couple of 531 frames, laced a 1000 wheels, but am really amazed at the tech these days.

    My daily ride is a 2010 Trek Soho, which has a Shimano Nexus 8 IGH, and an early Gates CDN belt drive (no center groove). I've replaced the awful front roller brake with a cheap Tektro side pull and built a 700x25 radial-spoked road wheel for the front. I use Ergon grips on a bar with about as much rise as I can find and a Brooks Cambium seat. It's been a dear old friend for thousands of miles, and works flawlessly day in and day out with near zero attention.

    I'm utterly sold on a belt-driven IGH for a utility bike, and expect every casaul rider would prefer them if only they knew and if they were more widely available. I've also been especially amazed at modern armored tires, I've been running a little Conti Gatorskin in the front and a big old Conti Touring Plus in the rear and haven't had a flat since I put them on a couple years ago

    A friend recently put a Bafang mid drive kit on one of his bikes, replacing his first ebike which had a front hub motor. He has been raving about it, and says it has become his primary transport these days. As old farts, (we're both 68 and started kindergarten together) we just don't have the bones to ride like we did when we were younger, and he says the boost really rolls back the years. So I'm planning to try to do a conversion on my Soho if possible, which is why I came here.

    #2
    Welcome aboard nesdon. I reckon a bloke with your skills and experience will come in very handy here in the forums. Yes, this battery technology has opened up a whole new arena for cycling. You're going to love the ride.

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      #3
      Welcome and definitely a mid-drive is worth the effort. I am not a big fan of those top-heavy child seats and prefer the trailer type units. I have a chained Soho with a tandem type eccentric bottom bracket that has not been ridden in a while and not sure about converting to electric.

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        #4
        Yeah, it may not be the safest seat, but then again there is an acute awareness with her there with my arms wrapped around her that might make all the difference. We sing songs and chat, she really really likes it, so much that I have had no struggle with getting the helmet on her, it's like Pavlov's bell, it means she going for a ride so she's all in. I did get a wheel stuck in a rut and took a low speed tumble once, and none of her touched the ground, tho she was pretty freaked out.

        A friend had a weird tandem he made where the second rider was recumbent over the front wheel, and had to pivot with it so he could power it (two wheel drive!). It was a nightmare to ride due to all the inertia it added to the steering. I was afraid this would have some of that effect, but she is so light and close the the center of rotation, that I don't even notice her effect on the steering.

        Really, riding a bike with a kid in traffic is probably one of the least safe things she experiences. I used to see quite a few moms in Berkeley loading groceries onto their cargo bikes at the incomparable Berkeley Bowl (the world's greatest supermarket!) with as many as 4 kids strapped on as well. Kind of admirable, but then again having all the family jewels in one basket at the mercy of one half-asleep drunken teenager used to give me the creeps. I certainly am not going to be hotrodding any set up I make, and will likely try to detune a little for battery life and because I don't want to be doing 30 mph with her on there,

        Thanks for the welcome. BTW, how is Detroit as a cycling town?

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          #5
          Detroit has a decent bike culture with a couple critical masses. Not a ton of bike lanes but plenty of single track in the many metro area parks. I suppose the weather is a bit of a downer. The bike season like the swimming season is somewhat abbreviated.

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