1. Bike Lanes: Get to know where your city's bike lanes are for a safer ride. Places like Seattle offer Bike Maps to help you navigate. The SDOT's interactive map even offers different maps for different levels of comfort (Frequent Rider, Average Rider, and Occasional Rider).
2. Traffic Levels: If you already drive to work, you probably have a good sense of where the bad traffic is. Bikes can take different routes than cars to avoid bad traffic. In some cases, you may end up with longer commutes to avoid high traffic areas, but other times choosing low traffic or bike only routes can cut down on commute time.
3. Terrain: Seattle is well known for its hilly terrain, so if you're planning to commute in the city or in another hilly area, get to know where the toughest hills are and whether they have safe spots for you to stop if necessary. Depending on the length of your commute, you may way to avoid steep hills towards the end of your trip if you are getting tired.
4. Hazards: Well maintained, paved roads are best for bike commuters. Poor road quality will not only make commuting difficult, but can also be harder on the bike itself. Know where rail road tracks, storm drains, etc are so you can plan to avoid or safely cross them.
5. Lighting: Try to ride on roads that are well lit, so you can see where you're going and drivers can see you. Wear bright clothing to increase visibility. If you have to ride on dimly lit or unlit roads, it's a good idea to invest in lights for your bike. Light & Motion sells great head lights and rear lights for commuters that will make you visible to cars from all sides. This is especially important when weather is bad or when it starts getting dark earlier.
6. Test Ride: To reduce the pressure to arrive on time on your first attempt, do a test ride on a day you aren't working to get a sense of the route and timing.
7. Electrify: Consider cutting your time by 50 to 70 percent by going Electric Assist. If you pedal with the same effort you currently do, your speed will double on the flats, and increase 2 to 5 fold on hills, depending how steep they are. Depending on your riding level, E-Bikes can make a 7 mile Seattle commute in 20 minutes, which is comparable to a car. Some go 18 miles each way in under an hour.
Westbound I-90 from Bellevue to Mercer Island will have major closures next week due to construction. It will be the perfect time to take your bike to work instead! Construction will start at 9:30 pm on Friday, July 18th and will end at 5 am Friday, July 25th. There will only be one lane open for cars, which will cause major delays. However, the bike lanes will be open during the day with an expected delay of only 5 minutes.
The chart from WSDOT below shows expected commute times if only 40% of regular traffic takes the route (60% diversion). If less than than 60% diverts, delays will be much worse. Backups could be up to 10 miles long.
The construction will cause delays all across the region, so even if you don't take I-90, it will be a good time to take your bike instead!
Don't own a bike? Come visit our shop! We have a wide range of electric bikes that are perfect for commuting.
We are currently featuring great deals on our Light & Motion products! All lights are 20% off. Designed for daily commuters, these are simply the most powerful and most convenient lights you can find on the market. They are lightweight and compact, while also being capable of lighting up a dark street. Drivers will see you on the road - even late at night. Light & Motion has extensively researched accident data to create the best lights for accident prevention. They discovered that most car/bike accidents happen at intersections where cars turn into or across a cyclist's path, which is why their lights feature amber side lights for increased 180 degree visibility.
Our Light & Motion products feature CREE LED lightbulbs and multiple modes for either flashing or constant light. These lights have longer run times and life spans, making them a great investment because you won't have to buy another one for years. Every light is certified FL1-Standard for light brightness, impact/water resistance, and run time. They are also equipped with Lithium batteries and USB charger for easy recharging. All lights are weatherproof, impact resistant, and easy to mount. Stop by our store to test one out for yourself!
Currently in Stock:
-VIS 180 Micro
[Photo credit: Light & Motion]
Our Summer Days Sales Program is ending soon! We have paired up with Brammo to offer amazing deals on our Enertia and Empulse R electric motorcycles. Program ends on June 30th 2014!
Visit our Brammo section to learn more abut these motorcycles.
- 2012 Enertia - $1,250 retail incentive
- 2013 Enertia Plus - $1,250 retail incentive
- 2013 Empulse - $2,500 retail incentive
- 2013 Empulse R - $2,500 retail incentive
Program active through June 30, 2014, and only while supplies last! Contact or visit the store for more information.
We couldn't be more ready with this fine, deliciously sunny weather we're having! This week has turned out to be the most beautiful week for weather here in Seattle - So there really is NO EXCUSE why you shouldn't be out there on two wheels, living and breathing the Pacific Northwest summer breeze.
We are teaming up with the WSDOT and will be having a station located just south of the Alaskan Way viaduct from 6AM -10AM on Friday May 16th so if you're traveling in that area, be sure to look out for us! We will be handing out coupons, seat covers and nutritional snacks to keep folks fueled on their commute. We will also be demo-ing a few of our eBikes for those that are looking to reserve their energy while commuting to work!
Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather and we look forward to all the car-free folks this month and especially on Friday for the official Bike-To-Work event!
For more information, check out the Cascade Bicycle Club's schedule for events for B2W month!
Are you that last minute shopper that has just thought what to get your mom for Mother's Day? Good news. We have a solution for the eco-friendly, cycling moms out there.
If you haven't heard of GiltCity.com, well you better get on it. It's the new hot spot for finding amazing, high-quality deals in your neighborhood - and guess what? We have a GREAT deal for you and your mom!
Launched as of 2 days ago, we are offering some great deals! Check it out!
How could you say no to a Standard Tune for $45! (Normally $75+) or a $600 store credit for $400? We also have a few fabulous deals on our premier bike lines - don't miss out! Offer ends in less than 2 weeks!
Other great gift items: Helmets, totes, messenger bags, bike locks, front baskets, healthy on-the-go nutrition!
Don't be out of the loop on Bike month! Get mom (or you) some useful items that you or her can really use instead of that old dust-collecting item sitting in the back dark corner in your closet. You know what we're talking about.
We will be OPEN on Mother's Day from noon-5pm for all you last-minute (literally) shoppers out there!
See you soon!
That's right folks. As we approach better weather, we are allowing riders to come visit us more on the days they can enjoy the outdoors the most - on the weekend! We will NOW be open on Sunday from NOON until 5:00 PM so if you are interested in swinging by the shop on your way to the market or a lovely ride on the water, we welcome you to stop by our shop while you're at it.
Don't forget! We are experiencing slight confusion from those that haven't received the memo that we have MOVED! Please make note that our brand new location is now located just three blocks south from our original location at 570 1st Ave S, just barely north of the Century Link Field. We encourage you to take a look at our new space - even if it's not quite ready yet. It's about that time anyway to get your bikes un-dusted, out of the garage, and tuned up for the summer of adventures and fun!
Also, STAY TUNED for an announcement about our Grand Opening Party! You won't want to miss it - and we really mean that!
Polaris has awarded Seattle E-Bike it's highest dealer status -- we are now a Factory Fixture Store!!
This makes us the flagship Polaris E-Bike store in the Northwest. To celebrate, Polaris offered us a special buying opportunity on two containers of the 2013 Meridian, the flagship of Polaris’ superb fleet of E-Bikes. It is Polaris’ purpose to build the ultimate urban commuter. The tires are half of the width of other Polaris e-bikes, which are specially designed to handle the higher pressure efficiency commuting requires. However, unlike many commuter bikes, it has a 75 mm SunTour AVX suspension front forks so comfort is maintained, even with the hyper-efficient running gear. Only the Meridian has fenders and headlight standard, again consistent with its commuter mission.
Regularly $2999, our special buy allows us to offer it for $1999! It is available in the standard configuration in gunmetal or the easy-to-board ST-1 in white. The Meridian is limited in production and, therefore, very hard to find so we are excited to have this opportunity to share with you! Come on over to our new location to check out this superb hybrid commuter!
Happy Octoburrrrrr folks! We have now reached the off-season for bike-riding but that does not stop us or the new innovations in electric bike technology. We have many new electric vehicles in the making and are making BIG plans to accommodate it... stay tuned!
We are noticing that many folks around our neighborhood find it difficult when they wrap their minds around the concept behind electric bikes. Our savvy new Service Technician on board, Daniel Lauzon, does a fantastic job of explaining how electrical terms for an e-bike is interpreted in the American culture as well as how to do the math yourself, relatively speaking.
"The world of e-bikes can be very confusing to people who are not steeped in it. A slew of words get thrown around with little or no context to understand them. Most commonly, “watts” are used to determine the relative power of an electric system, but to many shoppers it's an arbitrary term. Today I'll be explaining what it means, the terms associated with it, and how you can use it to be smart about your next electric purchase.
Watts are a measure of energy either being produced or consumed. Most e-bikes on the market are equipped with a motor rater to between 250 and 500 watts. This means that, at its expected peak, the motor will convert 250 to 500 watts of energy, in this case electricity, into motion by turning the wheel. For e-bikes, this is used to describe the power of the motor the same way Horsepower is used for a car.
A motor's wattage isn't always useful to determine an e-bikes expected range, however. To estimate that, you need to look at the battery, which has two ratings: “voltage” and “amp-hours”, often abbreviated to “V” and “Ah”. Volts are the amount of stored 'oomph' the battery can hold, or a measurement of potential energy. Amps are a measure of current, best thought of here as how quickly the battery can discharge the volts of potential energy into watts of usable power.
Because an e-bike has a complete system, the amps are measured in hour time frames and marked as “Amp-hours”. This allows you to do the range math: potential power (Volts) multiplied by how fast the battery can discharge that energy (Amp-hours) gives you “Watt-hours”, often abbreviated “Wh”. You can then divide the battery's watt-hours by the wattage of the motor, telling you how many hours the battery can power the motor at the motor's top speed. Multiply that by the top speed in miles per hour, and you have the estimated range in miles!
In the real world, this is much more complicated. A 500 watt motor will often consume up to 750 watts during hard acceleration or trying to maintain top speed up a hill. Often you will be pedaling your e-bike, taking some or all of the load away from the motor, and sometimes you'll be coasting. These things can all shift an e-bike's range to a significant degree from what is listed. Pedal-assist bicycles often have more ranges that are easier to replicate in daily riding because they encourage the rider to pedal, while throttle-based systems can be used at maximum with no immediate consequences.
This explanation is meant to give you a better idea of what the terms and numbers associated with e-bikes mean. The explanations have been simplified significantly so they can be understood more easily and the calculations are rules of thumb rather than rigorous scientific equations. Nevertheless, you can use them for “back-of-the-napkin” math problems and as a way to understand the pros and cons of different e-bikes and their motor systems."
Now that we all know how the terminology that makes up an electric bike semi-works, imagine yourself riding an e-bike without having to sweat and conquering that hill at around 4 cents per charge! Equate that into miles per gallon, with the gas price at $4 a gallon at 20 miles a gallon and 20 miles per charge on an electric bike, that would be 2,000 miles per gallon monetarily speaking for the electric bike! This efficient, eco-friendly way of transportation simply puts the cash back in your pocket while giving you an exhilarating and efficient bike ride to wherever you need to go, whenever.
Have more thoughts or questions about having an electric bike in your life? Call our shop at (206) 344-8000 Tuesday-Saturday 11-6:30 and we'd be happy to assist you through it!
Happy (Safe) Riding folks!
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