Modified E-Bike’s Fiery Explosion A Warning

An E-bike with a modified battery ignited into flames that were quickly contained because of the fire’s close proximity to an extinguisher. Reports were not clear if the bike was privately owned or used by a food-delivery service. The Straits Times reports that the fire took place in Singapore where, unlike in the United States, there are strict laws on e-bike modifications (that obviously didn’t deter this owner from making modifications) and there are a much larger number of E-bikes in operation than in the States. As E-bike use expands…

Updated 1/15/20 – Battery Fires Create Concerns For Every Electric Bike Owner

Bike Europe, a publication claimed to be the “leading trade journal for the bicycle, e-bike market” recently published a courageous story on the dangers of Lithium-Ion batteries used in the majority of electric bikes (e-bikes). The publication had a fire safety engineer and battery safety professional examine the aftermath of a fire ignited by an unattended charging battery in a bicycle shop (click here to watch the ignition and blast-off). His observations are frightening. The expert is quoted as saying that Lithium-Ion batteries are, “rather unreliable, rather explosive. You are…

Jimmy Mac On Two Wheels’ Most-Viewed Stories of 2019

I’m not sure why the top stories of 2019 are very important. I don’t have advertisers to appease and I don’t monetize my loyal readers. It is not a fair measurement because the stories posted in the first part of the year had more opportunity to build an audience than the stories from a month ago. I guess I’m just curious what stories spiked the status quo and if you missed them, you get another shot to read them. So here you go. The most-read stories of 2019. E-Bikes Not…

Cheaper, Faster, Off-Road E-Bikes Threaten Multi-User Trail Networks

I lamented that the Suru Scrambler represented everything wrong with allowing electric-motorized bicycles on multi-user, natural-surface trails. Less than a year later, the E-bikes headed down the trail make the Suru look quaint in comparison. The E-Cell Super Monarch AWD 1000 is a perfect example of an E-bike that is blurring the line between E-bikes and motorcycles. The E-Cell Super Monarch AWD 1000 (AWD stands for All Wheel Drive) was recently reviewed by the website Electrek. Their test states, “While the bike does come factory limited to 20 mph, it’s…

Antagonizing Motorists Does Not Improve Rider Safety

I’ve noticed a number of well-meaning experts touting the use of pool noodles by cyclists to keep motorists from passing too closely. I believe this is bad advice that may be counter productive and potentially dangerous. Here’s why. Years ago I was given a jersey that read “3 Feet To Pass” and had graphics of a big arrow and an automobile passing a cyclist. I thought it was pretty cool. My first ride in it dampened that enthusiasm. It seemed like an inordinate number of vehicles passed dangerously close (by…

The Major Flaw in Brigham Young University’s E-Bike Paper Revealed

A flood of headlines last week appeared to be clickbait because of their preposterous claims. The articles from Outside, The Verge, Men’s Health, KSL.com, Adventure Journal and Electrek referenced a study from Brigham Young University claiming that riding an E-bike requires close to the same amount of energy as riding a bicycle. Anyone who has had the pleasure of riding an E-bike knows the main attraction of electric-motorized bikes is how much they reduce the energy needed to ride. These media outlets were claiming the study proved this perception wrong.…

How Much Trail Do You Use In An Hour? (A Trail User Speed Comparison)

Four major user groups share unpaved recreation trails designated for non-motorized use; hikers, trail runners, equestrians and mountain bikers. A change in California law (that other states may adopt) has permitted electric-motorized bikes access to these same trails, thus adding a new user group into the mix. While these five different user groups share the same trail, how do their speeds and amount of trail used in a specific amount of time compare? Anecdotal answers abound, but finding quantitative data on the question is difficult. My solution was to conduct…

Buyer Beware: You Can’t Get This Electric Motorcycle For $99

Please don’t fall for this scam. The ad is posted to my Facebook feed and it shows what appears to be a $3900 Luna Sur Ron X Bike for $99. How can they do it? They can’t. Hitting the ad’s link took me to a Tigerfitness order form for a “2019 Hot Trend Super Fast Bike.” That Chinglish should be warning enough but there are more clues. Inspecting the bike’s photo reveals a Luna watermark near the front wheel. This scammer simply lifted the bike’s image off the Luna website.…

The E-bike Battle Is Now Between Bicycle And Motorcycle Companies

It seems like every month another motorcycle company jumps into a crowded field of bicycle companies offering electric-motorized bicycles. Italy’s Ducati Motorcycles, who offered a single E-bike model in 2019, expands their 2020 selection to three models including the E-Scambler (on the far right) that appears to be intended for on-road use. Ducati joins Bultaco, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson and KTM in a head-to-head assault on a market that has been serviced by E-bike-only companies (like Pedego, Sondors and Juiced) and established bicycle brands (like Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant) who offer…

Why Communities Can’t Trust Micromobility Rental Businesses

Spokane’s KREM2 reports that a Lime charging facility caught fire in Spokane Valley on October 7th. The report explains that the fire’s cause was unknown, but a Spokane Valley Fire Department spokesperson believed it was likely an electrical problem. Anyone with the most basic understanding of battery charging (and the dangers associated with battery charging) would immediately pick up on two glaring red flags in the KREM2 report. First, the report says that “no one was in the warehouse at the time” of the fire. Rule one for avoiding a…