Following up on earlier posts regarding a Custom Cargo Cruiser I built using a 3G Venice 8 speed bike mated to an XtraCycle Freedradical extension and powered by a BionX PL 350 HT Electric Proportional Assist drive system, here is an update on the status and performance at the 3,200 mile mark.
In short, this is the most comfortable, useful bike we have. It has been reliable through months of daily use, rain or shine, dark or light.
When I have to ride home in the dark and use the Planet Bike Blaze 1 Watt front light it works great but consumes batteries every few days. I can extend it a bit by using the low and flashing settings but sometimes the high beam is required for dodging skunk, squirrel, deer and other wildlife on the American River Parkway. However, I have found the rear blinky remains bright and useful with new cells for at least 2 or 3 months.
I also have Planet Bike fenders that have worked great with one exception. Possibly due to over tightening I had to replace some of the special bolt & nuts that attach the stays to the fenders. Fortunately, PB was quick to send replacements at no cost and I have been careful not to exert as much force on them.
One night riding home I was surprised by rising water in a low spot along the trail. Due to anticipated rainfall the Folsom reservoir operators started releasing water and Discovery Park was flooded for weeks afterward. I learned the BionX motor is not submersible when I tried to keep riding through knee-deep water. The motor had to be replaced so this ride was offline for a few weeks.
The Schwalbe Marathon tires have not gone flat once and hold air pressure better than most tires I have had. They have worn well and ride great. It is comforting to have the reflective band on the sidewall helping illuminate me for drivers at night.
The 3G Venice frame geometry and handlebar provide a very comfortable upright riding posture. The overall length with the XtraCycle combines with the flexible steel frame and suspension seat post to smooth out the bumps and rough spots. I’m still using the Easyseat, an odd looking bike seat that supports the “sit” bones individually, plus a suspension seat post for those really nasty ruts on the road.
I use the XtraCycle storage capacity weekly for our grocery run and often to haul and tow all sorts of stuff for our work. I am delighted that we have filed non-op notices with DMV on the two motor vehicles we own. This bike has become my preferred method for most transportation needs and saved my thousands of dollars along the way.