Category Archives: Products

With these tips, wood ticks won’t haunt your next outdoor adventure

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Unless you enter the annual Cuyuna Woodtick Races, these bloodthirsty wood ticks are annoying and could be hazardous to your health. If you are biking or hiking on trails through the woods or in tall grass, beware as you have fun! These little critters, especially if they are deer ticks, can be nasty. Like the wood tick, the deer tick also lurks in any natural wilderness setting. However, they are small as a freckle, have tiny black legs, and you may find them loaded with disease-causing pathogens or Lyme Disease.

Two wood ticks and a deer tick pose with Roosevelt dime for reference. photo by David Bosshart

Two wood ticks on the left pose with a deer tick next to a Roosevelt dime for reference. photo by David Bosshart

There is a remote possibility that you could get a deer or wood tick in a city park or on a paved bicycle trail, but the probability is very low. Especially on paths with the grass mowed along the edges. Generally, these blood-sucking critters are only a problem if you are off biking or walking through tall grass and brushy wooded areas. Ticks tend to crawl up on vegetation, tall grass, and wood and wait to grab onto a passing animal or human.

Once attached to people or pets, deer ticks can be hard to find. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), their numbers are on the rise and carry harmful pathogens. Thanks to the CDC’s website, there are several things everyone should know about ticks to stay disease-free.

Wood Tick Bite Prevention

Before You Go Outdoors

  • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, wooded areas or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, biking, camping, or hiking could bring you close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their yard or neighborhood, in rain gardens, and natural areas
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear and remain protective through several cleanings
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanoate. EPA’s helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions
  • Another option is the Tickless Active we are testing. This rechargeable device emits a series of ultrasonic pulses undetectable to people, pets, or wildlife but interferes with the ability of ticks and fleas to orient themselves
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than two months old
  • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under three years old
  • Avoid contact with ticks, especially in wooded or brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Ride and walk in the center of the off-road trail.

After You Come Indoors

Diagram from the Center for Disease Control

Diagram from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • When out in the wilderness, check your clothing and gear for ticks. They may be carried into the house, your car, or on clothing and gear if not careful. Any ticks that are found should be removed. At home, tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, they may need additional drying time. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, hydration saddle packs
  • Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may effectively reduce the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks, and it is an excellent opportunity to do a tick check
  • Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full-body assessment upon returning from potentially tick-infested areas, including your backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. If you are comfortable, another set of eyes to check is a good idea. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

Now that you know more about these vampire-like blood-sucking parasites plan your #NextBikeAdventure and have some fun!

This Bike Pic Thursday, its a perfect day to get out on the trail, hopefully with family or friends like these mountain bikers.

The 2022 Fathers Day gift guide for that special dad

Here at HaveFunBiking, we just found some items for dad or your next summer’s outdoor adventures. So skip giving dad ‘Old Spice’ or a restaurant gift card this year and check out the following items in our Fathers Day gift guide. We think we have found some fun ideas that dad wants and will keep him active and happy. Many gift options to fit into your budget?

HandleStash cup holder in our Fathers Day gift guide

HandleStash bicycle cup holder

 

The cup holder is so good; it is like it’s woven from a magical outer space silkworm. It looks like a million bucks, and the heavier fabric does an even better job absorbing vibrations and resisting unwanted movement. Same design as the other cup holders in the line. See the video. With the unique fabric, holds your drink with diamond hands. With a price of $38.00, See more details and order options here.

Frost Buddy can cooler

Frost Buddy vacuum-sealed stainless steel cooler

You will find the HandleStash Frost Buddy above the perfect holder for all your favorite 12 and 16-oz cans, slim cans, and bottles. You never have to switch can coolers; with the double-wall vacuum insulated stainless steel, 9-in-1 design, your beverage will stay cold for up to 12+ hours. Bring your Universal Buddy anywhere; you’ll have every drink covered and cold until the last drop! Whether camping, biking, on the beach or relaxing for the night, it’s better with a Buddy. With a price of $29.99, See more details and order options here.

Allett | Hybrid Card Wallet w/Micro Pen

Allett wallet, with pen

Our next fathers day gift guide item is the Allett Hybrid Card Wallet. This sleek and tidy wallet has space for a stack of folded bills. The intuitive design of the wallet has two internal card pockets, a clear ID pocket, plus a tiny strap loop built to hold the micro pen. Plus, the exterior side of the wallet has one card pocket. This cardholder/wallet hybrid is a good option for that person on the go with a price of $58.00. See more details and order options here.

Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito & Tick Repellent Spray

Murphy’s Naturals lemon eucalyptus oil mosquito/tick repellent spray

Murphy’s lemon eucalyptus oil mosquito/tick repellent is the only spray powered by the only plant-based active ingredient recommended by the CDC that works as well as DEET. Murphy’s repels mosquitoes, including those that may carry Zika Virus, West Nile Virus, Dengue Virus, and Chikungunya Virus, for up to 6 hours. Each application also provides 4 hours of protection against Deer Ticks, which may transmit Lyme Disease. And will repel Lone Star Ticks and Brown Dog Ticks for more than 8 hours. For $9.99, see more details and order options here.

Pale Blue USB Rechargeable Smart Batteries

Pale Blue USB Rechargeable Batteries

Pale Blue focuses on creating a better way for customers to meet their battery needs without creating unnecessary waste. The company offers several sizes of lithium-ion batteries able to fast charge through your USB  lithium. By leveraging technology, innovation, and inspired product creation, each Pale Blue battery will give you a 1000+ charge cycle with onboard safe charging technology. For $29.99, see more details and order options here.

The BUFF® Pack Speed Cap

Buff-pack-speed-cap

The perfect gift for long road rides or muddy trails, the BUFF® cap fits comfortably under your helmet and will keep you protected on your ride. The cap is extremely light to wear and easy to pack for travel. Minimal effort for maximum use; unfold your cap and go. You will also find the BUFF® product line continues to grow with hats, caps, gloves, and arm sleeves. Perfect for high UV sun protection to extreme cold weather conditions to keep the fun and adventure outside longer mindfully. For $30.00, see more details and order options here.

CrazyCap 2

CrazyCap 2 insulated water bottle/purifier

CRAZYCAP cleans and then pays for Itself using modern UV-C water purification technology to purify your water and cleanse your bottle. The ultra-durable design of the bottle not only lasts a decade but also keeps away tons of single-use plastic usage. The award-winning bottle is tested and certified by NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) and is perfect for moderate adventure when used in Crazy Mode. The self-cleaning bottle has built-in UV-C LED water purification, with a rechargeable, long-life battery (7 days on a single charge), and the ultra-insulated bottle keeps water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. For $79.00, see more details and order options here.

Mountain Heritage Wool Socks
Micro weight Full Cushion Mini Crew

Minus33-Micro Weight Full Cushion-Mini Crew

A sock for every active outdoor occasion by combining Minus33’s knowledge and what they learned after redesigning their classic sock styles, this brand new sock collection could meet your needs when tackling that next adventure. The entire bed padding makes this Merino Wool sock versatile in all aspects of the outdoor playground. Wear the Mountain Heritage Micro Weight Full Cushion Mini Crew Sock while hiking, biking, or playing tennis. Regardless, this sock will provide you with features like venting, elastic support, and heel and toe plating, all with a micro weight and minimal feel. For $16.49, see more details and order options here.

Tickless Active

Tickless Active chemical-free tick repellent

Tickless Active is an ideal solution to keep ticks away during outdoor activities like hiking, biking, camping, and gardening. Tickless is non-toxic and environmentally friendly and works without releasing chemicals or odors. The Tickless device offers long-lasting protection and is perfect for your pets too. This rechargeable device emits a series of ultrasonic pulses undetectable to people, pets, or wildlife but interferes with the ability of ticks and fleas to orient themselves. With a price of $59.99, see more details and order options here.

Pannier Backpack – The convertible office

The Two Wheel Gear 2.0 Pannier/Backpack

Two Wheel Gear’s Pannier Backpack Convertible 2.0 PLUS was voted “Best bike pannier to hold a mobile office” and is perfect for commuting, touring, and bike packing. And its plus-sized makes it easy to hold even more gear, with its organizational pockets, including a 15″ padded laptop protection slot, With a pocket on the side to hold a water bottle and a clasp on the back to attach a helmet. For $179.00, see more details and order options here.

Bish’s Original Tear Mender

Tear Mender’s sewing kit in a bottle is a practical gift for those who lead busy lives and do not have time to mess with a needle and thread. The glue forms a prominent, waterproof bond to any porous material such as fabric and the underside of the leather. The unique formula works well to repair rips, tears, and snags on pants, jackets, sweaters, shirts, and even shoes. Keep a bottle of Tear Mender handy for emergency repairs on the go. The Tear Mender product, along with their vinyl and fiber patch line, is filled, packaged, and shipped by employees from Lighthouse for the Blind. For $7.99, see more details and order options here.

Pirani Life, the reusable, insulated tumbler cups

Pirani Insulated Party Tumbler helps reduce single-use plastic.

Party sustainably everywhere you go with this stainless steel, vacuum insulated, stackable, and easy to carry. The last cup you will ever need, the Pirani reusable insulated tumbler keeps the spirit of the occasion alive, hot or cold. While earning you some good environmental juju by helping eliminate the 500 billion single-use cups wasted around the world each year. Bring this Reusable Party Cup to your coffee shop, tailgating before a game, or on your next outdoor adventure. Your drinks are guaranteed to be perfect in the middle of summer or dead winter. For $25.95, see more details and order options here.

The DaHÄNGER | DaBIGRING Wall Hanger

DaBigRing pedal hook

DaBigRing pedal hook is a horizontal bicycle storage system that holds the bicycle by the pedals with adjustable legs with three settings. The 18, 25, or 30-degree angle setting will allow dad to put his bike in the best position no matter the application. This pedal hook unit holds up to 65 lbs. and includes everything needed for installation, with a price of $64.00, see more details and order options here.

CyclGage – bike compass and dial thermometer

CyclCage Bike Compass & Thermometer easily clips on /off your handlebars.

One of the must-have bicycle accessories for road bikes, mountain bikes, and kid’s bikes. Clips to the bike handlebars for instant direction and temperature reading. Both compass and thermometer are cushion-mounted and liquid-filled, luminous for visibility while biking in low light conditions and the thermometer reads to -20 degrees Fahrenheit and includes freeze and heat-warning zones. With a price of $24.99, see more details and order options here.

Fenix TK20R V2.0 Rechargeable Flashlight

Fenix Rechargeable Flashlight

This ultra-bright tactical flashlight is perfect for that next adventure, with an output of 3000 lumens. The Luminus SFT70 LED flashlight has excellent features that include USB Type-C Charging, inner waterproofing, and dual rear switch operation. At the highest output, the TK20R V2.0 has a visibility range of 1558 ft. The eco mode on the TK20R will give you a runtime of 48 hours with the included 5000mAh 21700 battery. Additional features include an IP68 waterproof rating and impact resistance up to 4.9 ft. The TK20R can be used for many tasks, including patrolling, search & rescue, self-defense, and EDC with various brightness levels. This version is an upgrade from the previous best-selling TK20R commonly used by law enforcement and military personnel.

The Fenix TK20R is also compatible with many Fenix accessories, including the ALG-16 M-Lok rail mount, ALG-18 barrel mount, AOT-M Traffic wand, and the AOD-M Diffuser tip. For $129.95, see more details and order options here.

 I’d Rather Be Camping Socks

I’d Rather Be Camping (Green/Blue) Socks

A perfect gift for the person who loves to embrace the great outdoors. These funny camping socks will keep the feet warm and spirits high! One of many themes to choose this design features a beautiful camping scene complete with a bonfire, mountains, lake, canoe, starry night sky, and bear prints. While the bottom of the socks showcases a funny saying: “I’d Rather Be Camping.” Any outdoorsy man or the house lady is sure to love these socks! Perfect for those who enjoy hiking, biking, camping, backpacking, and exploring. $11.95; see more details and order options here.

CBD Warming Balm + Arnica + Menthol

Soothing CBD warming recovery salve

Give Dad a gift that soothes his aches and promotes recovery with 1,000mg CBD + Arnica + Menthol in a luxurious warming Recovery Balm. This potent blend of Hemp derived CBD with soothing Arnica extract and cooling Menthol relieves soreness and inflammation from arthritis, tendonitis, and the wear and tear of an active lifestyle. A potent natural preparation that can be an effective alternative to pharmaceutical NSAIDs. For $59.99, see more details and order options here.

Pro Tip: This warming balm is designed for going deep, staying lubricious for 10+ minutes, and is great for targeted self-massage or partner massage.

DARIAN – Insect/Sun Shield Garment

Darian -Insect Shield Mossy Oak® Camouflage Shirt

Dad will find the jacquard weave of this shirt available for his next adventure. This long-sleeve tech hunting shirt is made from a lightweight, 4-way stretch material powered by Hydroplex™ cooling technology with 50+ UPF sun protection. The shirt features activated sweat and moisture reduction, tested and proven EPA-registered Insect Shield®, bug repellent technologies to protect against diseases like West Nile Viruses the mosquito carries, and Lyme Disease from ticks. For that next outdoor adventure, a comfortable shirt also works great as a layering piece in cooler weather for added warmth. For $36.99, see more details and order options here. 

Kali Gritt | Road and Gravel Adventure Helmet

Kali – Gritt, an all-new performance road, and gravel adventure Helmet

Kali’s newest venture into the performance road category, the Grit Helmet, is now available. The Grit features a Rheon low-density layer (LDL) to protect Dad in the case of a low-G linear or rotational crash. Plus, their proprietary Supervents increase the overall strength and help with ventilation. The Grit also features our new Frequency Fit System, with vertical adjust and dial retention for maximum comfort and a precision fit at $200. See more details and order options here.

FREEWAY LONGHAUL 50 – CARRYALL DUFFEL

THE FREEWAY LONGHAUL 50 – CARRYALL DUFFEL BAG

The Freeway Longhaul is a rugged organizer that conveniently transports your gear from the home to your car, to the hotel, campsite, beach — wherever the road leads you.

The Freeway Longhaul features a customizable divider system and numerous pockets to keep your gear organized, secure, and easy to access. Plus, the bag folds flat to save space when in storage. And like all Think Tank products, we built the bag with high-quality materials and construction techniques that will serve you far into the future. For $149.75, see more details and order options here.

The MEDI-DYNE | TULI’S PLANTAR FASCIITIS INSOLES

MEDI-DYNE | TULI’S PLANTAR FASCIITIS INSOLES

Help Dad find comfort in every step or pedal stroke with this insoles’ unique design. Tuli’s Plantar Fasciitis Insoles are full-length premium arch supports explicitly designed for plantar fasciitis for use by both men and women. The inserts with their 4-degree medial heel wedge evenly distribute the body weight pressure throughout the feet to help improve stability, balance, and posture. The insoles can be trimmed on the forefoot for optimal casual, dress, or athletic shoes. Priced at With a price of $39.99. See more details and order options here

The  Wind Blox | Wind-Blox Focus

Wind Blox | Wind-Blox Focus

Is it time dad replaces his bulky earmuffs with a sleeker look? The Wind-Blox Focus provides full ear coverage, the perfect solution for all-season riders and commuters. Wind-Blox patented technology is wind-tunnel tested and engineered to block more than 80% of wind noise. The Focus biking ear covers allow cyclists to keep the sounds they want to hear and remain tuned into their surroundings for audible riding at $20.00. See more details and order options here.

Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglasses

 

Also in the Fathers Day Gift Guide is Tifosi Optics’ most unique cycling sunglasses specially designed to enhance your ride. You will find an unrestricted view of the road or trail, offering maximum coverage and ergonomic face-fit protection from the elements.

The Kilo is available in three models, with two of the models equipped with multiple lenses. With a polarized smoke lens, their Blackout model is perfect for those looking for a single-lens solution. The Kilo line, with the Blackout, starts at $69.95; see more details and store locations here.

Check back for more Fathers Day gift guide items

There is still time. With Fathers Day on June 19th, the staff here at HaveFunBiking.com is still searching and maybe adding a few more gift ideas, so check back periodically.

Minnesota may be one step closer to micro-mobility with biking

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

As more Minnesotans search for fun, eco-friendly transportation options, several communities around the state are updating or developing their bike share infrastructure to make micro-mobility happen. Apple Valley, Bemidji, Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud are just a few examples of the towns upgrading their bike-friendly programs. Minneapolis is collaborating with neighboring communities to make the Twin Cities area the perfect place to practice micro-mobility. Especially with the E-bike Challenge and the global initiative of 30-Days of Biking returning.

30 Days of Biking promotes the micro-mobility experience.

30 Days of Biking works with E-bike Challenge for micro-mobility

Encouraging more people to consider riding a bicycle, especially for short errands, the 30-Days of Biking pledge runs through April. With the E-bike Challenge back at the Minneapolis Convention Center on April 2nd & 3rd. This year’s event will again offer visitors a comfortable setting to compare and ride the latest in e-bike technology on a mammoth test track there. Demonstrating carbon-free options for running those short errands, hauling cargo, or commuting to work without working up a sweat. So, what exactly is micro-mobility, you ask?

The term micro-mobility broadly refers to individuals who use any type of human-powered vehicle, including bicycles, roller blades, scooters, etc. And now, with the rise of EV technology, the definition has evolved, accepting electric motor assistance for bicycles and scooters. Though it still excludes devices with internal combustion engines or top speeds above 28 mph. or 45 km. Making this mode of transportation perfect for health and ecological purposes.

About the Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan

Enjoy the micro-mobility experience for those short trips.

According to Minneapolis and their Transportation Action Plan, over 30% of the trips people take in the city are less than three miles. Sometimes these trips feel a little too far to walk but are not long enough where it is practical to take the bus or drive. Bicycles and other low-power micro-mobility options, such as electric-assist bicycles and scooters, are ideal for these short trips. This MPLS plan also shares that over two-thirds of residents report that they often or sometimes ride a bike to get to school, visit parks, or run errands.

Minneapolis’s commitment attracts European bicycle fair organizer

And Move Minneapolis says, “With the popularity of e-bikes soaring, they are some of the best sustainable commute solutions today. Bicycles, including e-bikes, allow for adequate social distancing and provide a great way to travel while taking in some much-needed fresh air.” This commitment from the city’s leaders is what attracted Hicle, Inc., the organizers of hike and cycle fairs in Europe, to bring the first E-bike Challenge to Minneapolis in 2019.

Compare and test ride many brands at the Challenge.

E-bike Challenge returns the first weekend in April

Now, with the Omicron-fueled surge, on the decline, the E-bike Challenge returns the first weekend in April. Offer consumers a comfortable environment to compare and ride the latest e-bikes. There are several social distancing procedures around the exhibit area next to the enormous indoor test track. Visitors will also discover why most trips within a 10-mile range can be less expensive with an e-assist vehicle, even if they can’t replace a car entirely. And, in many cases, taking less time than a carbon-fueled vehicle for the same journey.

Enjoy the E-bike Challenge, a micro-mobility experience.

E-bike brands at the Challenge

Some e-bike brands already registered for the E-bike Challenge include Giant, GoCycle, Serial 1 by Harley Davidson, Pedego, Riese & Muller, and Skyl Power Bikes. Along with Erik’s Bikes, Now Bikes, Power Bikes, and Trailhead Cycle, to name a few of the local bike shops with brands they carry. The event will also feature several breakout health and tech sessions, a kids’ bike test track, and other fun family activities. Plus, visitors will receive a complimentary 2022 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, full of bicycling maps of popular Minnesota destinations to explore, at the door.

For more information about the E-bike Challenge in Minneapolis on April 2 & 3, visit www.ebikechallenge.com.

What is an electric assist bike, or e-bike and is it for you?

You have probably tried or read about electric-assist bicycles, commonly known as e-bikes. With many improvements, the past couple of years, this type of bicycle has grown in popularity around the world. So what exactly is a pedal-assist bicycle?

Simply by pedaling, instead of using a twist or thumb throttle, you activate the motor to help turn the drive-train. If you are curious and would like to check them out, stop by a local bike shop or visit the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis, on April 2 & 3 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Either option, here are some questions you may want to ask when test riding.

Fun test riding opportunities at the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis

First, how would you use an electric-assist bike

  • commuting to work, running errands, or hauling cargo
  • maybe bike touring
  • spending more time on off-road trails
  • or assist with a disability or rehabbing after an injury?

Then ask yourself

  • will an e-bike make it easier for me to stay active
  • make it more enjoyable, especially when dealing with hills and headwinds
  • help so I can keep up with friends who ride faster?

Because electric bike technology is progressing quickly both the batteries and motors are lighter to allow you a better range between charges. Today there are bikes for every conceivable application from hauling cargo to making a climb up a mountain bike trail, a breeze.

 

Choose an e-bike for your style of bicycle riding

With so many e-bikes on the market today, design options vary to fit different people and their preferences of use. So it’s up to you to decide what is most important. Is it the ease of riding; the cost; maintenance, dependability, and range – or all the above?

Test ride an electric-assist bike

Now that you have answered some of the questions, visit a few bike shops or the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis and test ride them. There you will see all the latest brands and models available to ride on the mammoth indoor test track.

Tern’s HSD electric-assist bike, out of the box and on the road

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Every so often, I run across a bike that is truly unique and the Tern HSD electric-assist bike is one bike worth checking out. Especially if you are looking for a comfortable ride with options when needing to haul cargo or a child. As I look over some of the latest electric bikes that will be available to test-ride at the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis. I had a chance to take this new Tern  e-bike out for a spin.

 

My initial test ride of the Tern HSD electric-assist bike

Using three parallel streets, on a hillside in my neighborhood as my personal test course. I had a chance to experience the pedal-assist-power and comfort of this new e-bike. On my initial ride, with close to 300 pounds of weight between myself and some extra gear, I found the bike had a smooth acceleration with plenty of power to spare. It didn’t matter if I stopped on the flat or on the 12-degree incline of the hill. Each time I started pedaling, which kicked in the motor, there were no irregular jerk movements, it was smooth. Plus, with the Bosch motor set on the Eco mode (the lowest of four e-assist settings) and the 1×9 gear drivetrain, my cadence was comfortable going up all the hills. It was also reassuring that I still had the Tour, Sports, and Turbo motor settings at my fingertips if needed.

About Tern’s HSD electric bike

The Tern HSD electric-assist bike is a compact cargo bike offering a comfortable ride.

The Tern HSD P-9 is a compact cargo bike perfect for commuting, recreational riding, and running errands with some extra space to haul cargo or a child. At 5.5 feet long it is slightly shorter than the average road bike and has a load capacity of 374 pounds.

The HSD P-9 model uses a Bosch Active Line Plus motor and 400Wh battery with a Purion display, with Eco, Tour, Sports, and Turbo power settings. The drivetrain uses a 9-speed Shimano® Alivio Shadow RD cassette/derailleur. So this motor/drivetrain combination was smooth when beginning to accelerate and throughout the ride.

Bonus items that come standard

The HSD comes with a headlight and taillight. A Suntour suspension front fork to help ease bumps, 20″ wheels, an aluminum frame, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and an integrated Abus frame lock in the rear wheel. Plus, the bike can be stored standing on its rear rack and the handlebar stem folds down flat, making it easy to fit a compact space.

The HSD easily stands on the back rack for convenient storage.

Accessories

You can buy many accessories online, but Tern’s proprietary ones are fit to the bike and add convenience. Specifically, the Go-To bag that attaches to the front of the bike using a Tern Luggage Truss™ adapter. It was easy to fit my laptop inside this bag, and perfect for commuting to work, school or the library.

The Tern Go-To bag comes with a special cover for added weather protection and visibility.

On the rear, Tern’s proprietary cargo hold panniers are weather-resistant and pack down flat. Each pannier can hold up to 60 pounds and closes securely with a magnetic clip. I found I could easily slip in two paper grocery bags on each side, nice!

Need more cargo or kid hauling capacity, test ride all the Tern Bikes

Stop by your local Tern dealer or mark your calendar for the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis, March 28-29, 2020. There you can ride all the Tern Bikes including the GSD on the electric bike expos huge indoor test track. Have Fun!

 

Tips on charging your electric bike to maximize the batteries life

Having a fully charged battery is important. The most expensive component of an electric bike is the battery and the motor. Today most ready-to-go e-bikes use a lithium-ion battery pack and the size of the bikes makes a difference in the price you will pay.

These lithium-ion batteries are now used in all types of applications. So it’s no surprise to find them powering electric bikes. What you will discover, more expensive e-bikes have higher-tech batteries that are lighter, charge quickly, and last longer. Batteries degrade over time, holding less charge as they age.

The quality of an electric bike battery makes a difference

The better the battery is will help you maximize the distance (range) you expect to achieve, so look for a reputable named battery manufacturer. Then make sure the warranty covers the battery for at least two years. Conservatively lithium-ion batteries are typically said to last for 1,000 full charge cycles. That’s about three years of daily with five to seven charging periods a week. With careful use, the battery can survive longer, so you could possibly double its life with half-charge cycles. In practice, battery life of several years is quite easy to achieve depending on how often you charge and store the battery.

A centerpost battery for an electric bike

A center post battery unit for an electric bike

To maximize the life of your electric bike battery

  • Ride your bike a lot and charge it often
  • If your bike comes with a smart charger, faithfully disconnect the charger within 24 hours
  • When not in use, for a week or more, charge the battery to only 40% to 70% of its capacity
  • Then store the battery or bike and battery in a cool dry place, above freezing, Checking and the charge every two to three weeks to keep it in that range.

For more information

Be sure to mark your calendar for the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis or visit a local bike shop in your area that sells and services electric bikes.

There have been many improvements to electric bikes over the last few years and before checking them out here are a couple questions that should be asked.

Choosing an electric bike for your style of bicycle riding

You have probably heard about electric bikes (e-bikes) and the improvements the industry has made over the past couple of years. If you are curious, ask a couple of questions before purchasing an e-bike and the fun adventures ahead.

First, ask yourself, how will I use an electric bike

  • maybe commuting to work, running errands, and/or hauling cargo
  • bike touring or just some recreational riding to stay active
  • spending more time on off-road trails
  • assist me while rehabbing after a sports injury?

Then ask

  • will an e-bike make it easier for me to stay active
  • make it more enjoyable, especially when dealing with hills and headwinds
  • help so I can keep up with my friends who ride faster?

As electric bike technology continues to progress quickly, with lighter batteries and offer you a better range between charges, the options are endless. Today there are bikes for every conceivable application, from hauling cargo to making a climb on a mountain bike a breeze.

Geared to accommodate different kinds of activities (cargo-hauling; relaxed cruising; trail riding; mountain biking; child transportation; road biking; fat bike riding; touring; and urban commuting), they make biking fun. With so many e-bikes on the market today, you will find design options that vary to fit different people and their preferred use. It’s up to you to decide what is most important. Is it the ease of riding, the cost; maintenance; dependability; range – or the above? With so many models on the market to choose from, first, figure out where you will be riding, and then how often?

Now that you have a list visit a few bike shops to see the brands they carry. Or, attend the e-Bike Challenge on April 2 & 3, or see the video below.

 

Has the idea of using an electric bike piqued your interest? If so the e-bike Challenge is coming to Minneapolis March 23-24.

Maximizing the range your electric bike can travel per charge

The distance an electric bike will go on a battery charge is called range. This is an important specification to pay attention to when comparing e-bikes with your desired riding style. For example, if your commute involves steep climbs, you don’t want to run the battery low halfway up the hill. Without power, an e-bike can be an uncomfortable mode of transportation that demands more energy for the cyclist to pedal. So the range of an electric bike generally depends on the following.

The electric bikes battery capacity or volts

Lithium-ion batteries typically last for 1,000 complete charge cycles, adding back depleted volts. Maybe more with these helpful tips. Now think of a volt as the “force” pushing an Amp through the system. The higher the voltage, the more energy the motor can move. So, a higher voltage system can send more power through the circuits to the motor. Most common are 36-volt batteries, but more bikes use 48-volt batteries and some high-performance bikes with additional voltage. All else being equal, a higher voltage system will deliver more torque for quicker starts, but it will drain your battery faster.

The voltage output of the motor

Because most e-bike systems are standardized, what you want to look for to maximize your total range, is the time it takes before you need to recharge the battery. To do that, look for an e-bike battery with a high Watt-Hour rating.

The average speed you travel and cadence

The average riding speed is a part of the equation to your preferred riding style, factoring in varying conditions (hills, paved to unpaved or irregular surfaces, and wind resistance). If your overall comfort level, riding a bike, is at 13-miles per hour (mph) on average. Your speed range may vary down to six mph on a climb and 20 mph, with a tailwind zooming downhill.

For maximizing your e-bike range – knowing how much pedal-assist to apply to your favored cadence is essential to your average speed riding an e-bike.

A better understanding of cadence

Commonly talked about for measuring performance rather than the actual speed, cadence can also benefit your e-bike range. Counting the number of times your pedal rotates per minute (RPM), the rhythm for the average cyclist is somewhere between 70 and 100 RPM. With a regular none-motorized) bike, this is achieved by using the bicycle’s gears so your cadence stays in the desired range. Using this same practice on an electric bike will decrease the demand on the motor, as it assists you for a longer sustained range.

Use your gears to make it easier

There will be less resistance on the pedal when shifting into lower gears, so it turns faster (called spinning). Moving into a higher gear to go more quickly will give you greater resistance to the pedals. This will also slow your cadence down, making the pedal-to-wheel ratio closer to even. So, by shifting your gears appropriately, your legs will maintain the same average pace, regardless of how fast or slow you are physically moving. The end result of keeping your cadence on the e-bike will be less strain on the motor, which will extend your pedal assist range from the battery.

Your weight

The load your e-bike is expected to carry or pull will also be a factor in the range you can expect from a trip.

Plan your ride to extend your range

If you can define a specific route you want to use for the commute, it will help you better predict the distance you will travel between charges safely. Then, knowing how many hills there are to climb will further help you define the workload you will put on the motor.

Properly inflated tires

Regardless, if you are driving a regular bike, electric bike, or automobile, having your tires properly inflated will improve your performance. An under-inflated tire adds more friction against the road or trail surface. For an e-bike, the motor will work harder and decrease your range.

If you are only going to commute six to ten miles daily, you don’t need a battery and motor system that goes a long distance. However, a bike that goes longer distances than you currently need could be a good investment because the range will drop as the battery ages and loses capacity.

For more information

Be sure to mark your calendar for the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis. Or visit a local bike shop in your area that sells and services electric bikes.

 

An electric bike is perfect for commuting to work.

Helpful tips to considering before purchasing an electric bike

The real advantages of an electric bike includes their climbing efficiency, taking a bite out of wind resistance, and the ability to expand your range of travel. Before purchasing an e-bike, it is important to know how far you want to go and what type of terrain you will be riding it on.

For those who have experienced a medical issue or sports injury, an e-bike can breathe new life into staying active while having fun. With a little assist, you may again want to re-connect with your cycling buddies or add that #NextBikeAdventure to your list. Plus, if you are planning on commuting to work by bike, you will arrive feeling fresh.

Now that you have a reason to consider an electric bike, it’s time to choose the right one! With thousands of electric bike models on the market, there are several things to consider. The last item on our list here at HaveFunBiking is to test ride the e-bike you are looking to buy. Consider visiting several bike shops to compare.

First when buying an electric bike know your style of riding

With hundreds of e-bikes on the market today, design options will vary to fit people differently and their preference of use. It’s up to you to decide what is most important. With so many to choose from, first, you should figure out where you’re going to be riding your e-bike.

Geared to accommodate different activities (cargo-hauling; relaxed cruising; trail riding; mountain biking; child transportation; road biking; fat bike riding; touring; and urban commuting), compile a list of questions. The first one, ask yourself before entering a store, what will be my preferred bicycling activity with a new electric bike?

 

 

The electric bike drive

There are two main types of e-bikes. The most common is what has come to be called the “pedal assist.” This system monitors the rider’s pedaling and automatically adds a certain amount of motor assistance – usually depending upon rate, force, and speed.

In most places, the motor’s output is regulated and limited to no more than 750 watts and the maximum speed up to 20 mph or 32 km/h. When you reach this speed, the motor automatically disengages. A few models in this category also offer the twist-n-go option. A switch on the handlebar, like a throttle on a motorbike, is used by the rider to trigger assistance from the motor.

The second drive train system is set for high-performance electric bikes that can easily achieve speeds much faster. Riders with these faster drive train systems need to have a special driver’s license, plates, and insurance. The regulations differ in every state and country, so it’s important to ask your local bike shop for details.

The e-bike motor and its location

There are two main types of motors and where they are located. The hub motor assist is located in one of the wheels and is the most common. Hub motors, which place the electric motor in the center of a bicycle wheel, are the most common. This e-bike power source tends to be quieter but often doesn’t handle hills, as well as a crank assist center mount system.

Rear motor system for an electric bike

Rear motor system for an electric bike

Located over the center mount in the crank and pedal area, the crank motor assist is at the bottom of the frame, transferring the motor’s power to the rear wheel via the bicycle’s chain. That means the electronic controls can include a sensor that detects how hard you’re pedaling and can measure the assistance accordingly. Typically, crank-assisted bikes have become much more common over the last couple of years and have a reputation for doing well on steep hills.

Center motor system for an electric bike

Center motor system for an electric bike

Both have several unique advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right motor for you will largely depend on your requirements and which advantages seem more useful to your needs. Generally, it would be best if you were looking for a brand with a good reputation, such as Bosch, Brose, Panasonic, Shimano, and Yamaha.

Battery storage

One of the most expensive components of your new e-bike is the battery. Most of the price involved these days in buying a ready-to-go e-bike is the bike’s lithium-ion battery pack size. These batteries are everywhere, so it’s no surprise to find them powering e-bikes.

More expensive e-bikes have higher-tech batteries that are lighter, charge quickly, and last longer. Batteries degrade over time, holding less charge as they age. The quality of the battery makes a difference, so look for a reputable named battery manufacturer. Then make sure the warranty covers the battery for at least two years.

Conservatively lithium-ion batteries are typically said to last for 1,000 full charge cycles. That’s about three years of weekday commuting. They survive longer with careful use, so you should get at least 2,000 half-charge cycles. In practice, several years’ battery life is quite easily achievable depending on how often you charge and store the battery.

The distance an electric bike can  travel

The distance an e-bike will go on one charge of the battery is called range. It’s probably the most important specification. If your commute involves a big hill, for example, you don’t want to run out of juice halfway up. Without power, an e-bike is just a heavy bike.

The range depends on the battery capacity, the speed, weight, profile of the commuting tour, the assistance level you choose, and the percentage of given pedaling power. If you’re only going to do six to ten miles of daily commuting, you don’t need a battery and motor set for a 50 to 70-mile range. However, it would be best if you bought a bike with a higher range than you necessarily need because the range will drop as the battery ages and loses capacity.

Cost is another factor

Good e-bikes are not cheap, as I mentioned above. You can pick up a basic model, but how long will you be happy with it? An average bike with a quality frame, functional brakes, suspension, and other components is expensive. Now, when buying an e-bike, you have to add the cost of the motor and battery. The battery’s cost, with a reputable warranty, can run from $500 to $1,000, so don’t be surprised by the higher price; a better bike lasts much longer.

Test ride before you make a final commitment.

Perhaps the most important (and fun) part of buying an electric bike is test riding it. Trying an electric bike allows you to put aside skeptics, reviews, and research and answer the most basic question: Do you love this bike?

The show will combining both cycling tourism and cycling sports into the venue to give you all the facts.

The E-bike Challenge will combine cycling tourism and cycling sports into the venue to give you all the facts.

If so, then ask a few other questions: Does it climb hills in the way I need it? Does the bike fit me in the way I would like it to? And, does it have the quality and functionality I would like?

Making yourself heard with a bicycle bell, vs voice command

By Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

With spring riding only a few months away it may be time to look for a new bicycle bell. Personally, I prefer using a bell, rather than my voice and the Compact Bell from SpurCycle is perfect. The bell offers the same high-frequency ping as their original bell, just smaller with fewer moving parts.

However, with more people walking and biking, is it better to use a bicycle bell or your voice command to bring attention as you approach?

The SpurCycle Compact Bicycle Bell

In a recent test of the SpurCycle Compact Bell, I found the ring lasts longer than most bells. I found the high-frequency ping with a rich aftermath tone helps those, as you approach, of your on-coming presents.

The perfect brass bell housing holds a ring longer, starting with a very hard “ping.”

This compact bell is plenty loud for off-road riding and suburban commuting but won’t win against car horns and heavy street traffic in a metropolitan area. This bell’s true advantage is how long the ring lasts (or “sustains”), ending at the same frequency.

From its package, test out the high-quality ping this bicycle bell makes.

It’s great for commuters or mountain bikers because you can start the ring 10-15 seconds before passing a biker or pedestrian. Letting let them know where you’re approaching from and how far away you are. With the SpurCycle Bell, there’s no need to ring your bell 20-times like the inexpensive department store models. The initial ring offers enough of a shrill to get the attention of even the most hardcore earbud rockers if you do choose to hit it repeatedly.

If your bike has a larger diameter handlebar (22.2 to 31.8 mm), consider the SpurCycle Original.

Mastering the use of your voice or the use of a bicycle bell

In a recent article published by CyclingSavvy, on should you use a bicycle bell or your voice? For many, it’s a cultural issue. In this in-depth article, John Brooking discusses how you can use a bell or your voice to alert people and what to check for after sending an audible signal. He also touches on the other sounds bicycles make and how these extend your pre-ride safety check. Mastering the use of your voice or bell when riding is a call-and-response. Musicians use this so the audience can sing along; you can use it, so your passage is predictable and safe.

Personally, I prefer the bell to voice commands. Especially if you are in an urban area with heavy pedestrian foot traffic. Spending time in Amsterdam on a bicycle made me a true believer that the bell’s sound was mightier than the voice.