The Dahon Formula BionX Bike!

by Jack R. on August 20, 2014

If I were going to put an electric motor on any bicycle in the shop, it would be the Dahon Formula S18. I first rode this high performance folding bike 2 years ago on my first day at NYCeWheels. I had never really taken a folding bike seriously, the smaller wheels just seemed liked they wouldn’t be as stable or go as fast. When I took the Formula out to Central park I was blown away by how sturdy the bike felt, and how well it performed.

Dahon Formula

Formula S18This high performance folding bike is light and fast, weighing just over 24 lbs, has 18 speeds, and powerful disc brakes. The frame is made of a high grade double butted aluminum which is lightweight and strong. The rapid fire shifters and Shimano Tiagra derailleur allows you to move smoothly from lowest to highest gear, and the fast Kojak tires are both tough and speedy. I was flying on the Formula s18, passing road-bikers, and smiling the whole way around the park.

Making a good thing better!

Dahon Formula S18

All of these features make the formula s18 a great candidate for electric conversion. This year we decided to go for it and installed a 36 volt BionX battery and 350 watt motor on the Formula s18. Using the advanced pedal assist technology that BionX is known for, the electrified Formula can go up to 20 mph, has up to a 40 mile range, and still only weighs 43 lbs, 20 lbs less than most other e-bikes on the market.

Its strong frame can handle the extra weight of the battery and motor, and the powerful disc brakes are able to stop you on a dime even cruising at top speed. Best of all, it still folds to the same size. After a 20 mile cruise on your electric bike, just fold it up and put it in your closet!

electric-formula-s18-flagship-folding-electric-bike

Putting an electric motor on a folding bike just makes sense. If you want to get a little electric help riding around the city, why not put it on a bike that is more compact and able to fit in your apartment? It even ends up being cheaper than a regular electric bike. With its excellent components, light weight, and lower price, the Formula BionX Bike is without a doubt, one of the best folding electric bikes out there.

Jack

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New Website for BionX!

by Jack R. on June 11, 2014

BionX Conversion KitsProbably if you’re reading this, you are already familiar with BionX, whether you have converted your own bike with one of their kits, or are just interested in electric conversion kits in general. But whether you are a BionX expert or just learning about this great company, we have exciting news for you!

Just this last April, BionX released an awesome new website. The new platform, titled “Ride BionX,” is filled with outstanding resources, pictures, demos, troubleshooting guides, and great information about all of their latest products.

Let’s take a look:

The New BionX Homepage

The BionX homepage is a simple, easy to use interface that provides quick links to all of their different resources. Just click on one of the 7 Tabs at the top of the screen to direct you to information about products, news, customer service outlets, and contact information. I clicked around a bit, and found the interface easy to use and very intuitive.

BionX Homepage

Conversion Kits and Electric bikes

BionX DX motor kit

The first tab is all about the latest BionX products, ranging from electric conversion kits like we have here at NYCeWheels, to a wide range of other products powered by BionX.

In this products tab there is great information on entry level, more affordable conversion kits like the Bionx PL250 as well as more advanced systems like the new BionX DX Cassette Motor Kit.

BionX technology and FAQs

The new BionX website also has great information on their technology to help us understand more about how everything works. Here there is extensive information on battery technology, motor technology and console technology – all of the parts that make up the whole of their conversion kits.

A few tabs over is their customer service section, totally devoted to helping out customers in whatever way they can. Included here are answers to FAQs, as well as informational downloads for customers, and contact info. Remember if you can’t find the answer to your question here, we have a wide range of BionX articles on our site as well as a comprehensive BionX troubleshooting guide.

Sweet photos of BionX’s latest

One of my favorite parts of the site, they have a whole section devoted to BionX media, including a bunch of closeups of their latest products in action. The BionX rear rack conversion kit for example:

BionX rear rack kitThe classic down tube configuration:

BionX Conversion kitOff roading with a high powered BionX motor:

Offroading with the bionXAnd of course many many more great photos which you can browse here!

There is much more to the new BionX website than we can possibly go over here, but I hope that this was a good introduction, and that it will pique your curiosity to go see more. Check out RideBionX today, browse to your heart’s content, and when you’re done buy a BionX conversion kit of your own!!

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BionX for Postmates

by Jack R. on April 29, 2014

BionX DX CassetteI don’t know about you, but in spite of being on a bike for-as-long-as-I-can-remember, I still bonk out after about six hours of riding. Nothing could have possibly prepared me for the type of bonking I’d experience working for postmates, with four hours battling NYC traffic trying to meet strict hourly deadlines.

For those of you who are new to the concept,Postmates is a same-hour delivery service where bike couriers are given an iphone and have one hour from when they accept the job to when they have to have it delivered to the customer. For most couriers, four hours of riding is an average shift. Not the easiest job, especially in a city like New York, but I do it in my off time to help supplement my income.

BionX DX CassetteYou can imagine – hot sun blaring down at you, taxi cabs racing past inches from your elbow, sweat pouring down your face and three hours left of riding before your feet touch the ground. Your legs feel like Twizzlers being pulled apart, your side feels like someone just stabbed you, and suddenly you’re aware of the tendons in your knees and wishing you ate something other than leftover pizza for breakfast.

Yeah, it is truly exhausting—but there are a few ways to make your life easier.

Meet BionX

BionX DX Cassette Conversion KitYou may have heard of BionX, seen one on a NYCeWheels video or noticed a kit on a neighborhood bike. Basically, a BionX system is an electric motor you can put on basically any bike in order to convert it into a powerful electric bike—a perfect way to give your legs a break when you bonk, have to climb a hill, or have an especially large load to carry.

This is a perfect solution to the problem that every bike courier faces: how can I make my living without exhausting myself to the limits of human endurance? With a powerful conversion kit like the new BionX DX cassette motor kit, instead of maxing out at 10mph from stoplight to stoplight, you’re able to maintain a 20mph pace no matter how heavy the load, or how exhausted you are.

BionX DX Cassette

Can any bike be converted by BionX?

Dylan's DX bionX CassetteThe BionX conversion kit is extremely versatile, capable of converting bikes with 5 – 10 speed freewheels or cassettes, and 20inch, 24inch, 26inch, 700c, or 29er wheels. It can even be fit on a cargo bike which is a huge advantage for any bike courier carrying a heavy load. Of course you would want to get the most powerful 48volt conversion BionX kit for this setup. Here’s a BionX guide which I used to help figure out if the kit would fit on my own bike.

Dylan with his bionX bikeOver the past few months, three of my friends at postmates have made the decision to buy BionX S350 DX conversion kits to make their lives easier, and every day I hear from another courier who has made the leap.

For anyone in the bike delivery industry, or anyone who just feels like they need a little assistance to make those more grueling commutes, the BionX Conversion Kit is a lifesaver, has made my life a million times easier, and I highly recommend it.

Dylan

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New York City weather can be unpredictable: one day it’s 10 degrees and trying to freeze your eyelids shut, and the next day it’s be 40 degrees, sunny, and the sidewalks are overflowing with folks from around the world enjoying the best weather of 2014 so far. With Alt-J playing in my headphones and a Chrome Warsaw II on my back, I carried the Montague Crosstown down the stairs of my walk-up and out into the beautiful Brooklyn weather.

BionX Crosstown in Times Square

Montague Crosstown in Times Square.

Dodging Pedestrians

On any given beautiful day like today, at least 1/3 of NYC’s 8 million citizens are almost guaranteed to be outside enjoying the early spring weather. From Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, to the 87 block sprint to the shop along 1st Avenue in Manhattan, there were people everywhere overflowing the sidewalks and into the bike lane–seriously giving the Crosstown’s maneuverability a run for the money.

As a messenger, every aspect of my daily bike (a 2007 Fuji Track) has been designed around two major components: maneuverability under load and comfort under load. It takes a lot of pride to say that, given the conditions, the Montague Crosstown handled itself better snapping in and out of stray pedestrians than anything I have ridden so far, including my own bike! I had no problem squeezing through crowds, or avoiding a collision.

This particular Crosstown was suped up with an electric conversion kit called the BionX System which NYCeWheels bike shop had installed. The BionX is very versatile and can be installed on virtually any bicycle. Average Joe Cyclist, for example, friend of NYCeWheels and author of the Avereage Joe Cyclist Guide, put a BionX on his Devinci Copenhagen 2008, converting it into an electric bike.  In this case, the Montague Crosstown had been fit with a 350 watt BionX motor and a 36 volt lithium Ion Battery.  It was fantastic, I never thought a hybrid bicycle–let alone a hybrid folding bicycle–could ride like that.

700c Hybrid…folding?

Yes, I said folding. You got a problem with that? I don’t. At 6’5″ and well over 300lbs I couldn’t believe that I, too, could ride a folding bike without looking like, well, a big guy on a really little bike (not to say the little bikes don’t hold their own!).

Combining elements of mountain, road and touring bikes, hybrid folding bikes take the best out of all three worlds and put them in to one package. Montague managed to put those elements in to one folding package, and do it right. NYCeWheels managed to take that great package and stick a great motor on it, and that’s even better.

BionX Crosstown MotorPut a motor on it.

The snappy responsiveness of the Crosstown wasn’t noticeably affected by the weight of the BionX motor, but the motor made a definite improvement on my (already late) commute across the Williamsburg Bridge, allowing me to soldier up the span at around 15 mph and comfortably coast down at 20, speed kept in check with one of the folding bike kit’s four user-selectable modes of regeneration.

Mind you, regeneration is not a substitute for at home charging, but it does help stretch the battery life out. By intelligently using regeneration, I was able to make it all the way up to NYCeWheels on one charge!
[you can view my commute on the Crosstown here via Edomondo!]

Summing Things Up

I really enjoyed my ride on the Crosstown BionX bike, and I definitely appreciated the fact that it’s a folding bike that feels like a full size bike, because, well, it is a full size bike. Which folds and has a motor. What more can you ask for, the Crosstown BionX bike has it all.

Dylan

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BionX Online Resources!

February 13, 2014

BionX conversion kits are fabulous machines. Strap a motor to your rear wheel, a battery to your frame, and you’ve got yourself a custom made electric bike – it’s like combining the best of Robocop, Frankenstein, and Terminator, with all of the fun and none of the monsters or explosions. Exceptional support with BionX Another [...]

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Tern Link D8 with BionX Motor Kit: An Extra Boost When You Need It

January 11, 2014

I always look forward to going to NYCeWheels to try out and review their products. I was excited to try something a little bit new and different. Peter suggested I try one of the lighter electric bikes in the shop, the Tern Link D8 with the BionX Motor Kit. This particular bike is equipped with [...]

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Thank You BionX

November 20, 2013

Dear Bionx, One of the best things about running our business on a daily basis is that we get to sell products that we not only know are fun and extremely cool, but are also often life-changing. At least, this is the case with the BionX electric conversion kits that we install every day. Seriously, [...]

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Creative BionX Conversions

October 16, 2013

One spectacular thing about electric conversion kits is how they transcend just being a convenience or a toy, a tool or vehicle. With the ability to easily install a quality electric system on practically any bicycle, you become more than a mechanic or even an engineer–you become an artist! And some people have done truly [...]

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Why BionX and Folding Bikes?

September 14, 2013

At various times we have carried an assortment of electric folding bikes–that is, folding bikes with electric assist capabilities built right into the design from the ground up. It makes a lot of sense for NYCeWheels–we specialize in just two kinds of bikes, folding and electric, so why not combine the two? Well, somewhere along [...]

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The Case for the BionX PL250

August 12, 2013

I think when it comes to high tech gizmos, including electric bike conversion systems, it is easy to assume that more expensive necessarily means better performance. Even though it is easy to read all about the wattage and voltage of a whole range of electric conversion kits, it can be hard to understand what those [...]

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