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California Ebike: Our History and Future

Our History

California Ebike (CE) was launched in 2009 after my friends and I discovered the life-enhancing benefits of electric-assist pedaling via a simple hub motor kit and battery. Back in the day, this was the only conversion setup available! That said, I did some research and decided to engage the best resources available in China to start california-ebike.com. I was also lucky to know Mathew Timmins of Solarbike in Perth, Australia, who mentored me in my new endeavor and gave me the gift of his vast ebike experience.

Bafang mid-drives hit the market

Fast-forward to 2013, when Bafang (8 FUN), the now well-known Chinese ebike manufacturer, introduced its first mid-drive system ― the 350W BBS01, followed in 2014 by the 750W BBS02. I saw these new kits as a paradigm shift for the e-assist bicycle market and determined to put all future focus on this new development.

Becoming a Service Center for Bafang mid drive product

As the potential of these mid-drive kits quickly caught on among both foreign and U.S. retailers, it became obvious that replacement parts and customer service were going to be problematic. This was an inherent logistical problem in global commerce and was where we could offer our expertise. This would lead to my decision to make our niche in the ebike market as a Service Center for Bafang mid drive product.  

Service, tech support, parts, tools and components

Our initial focus was on service, free tech support and a complete inventory of Bafang parts and components. The next logical step was to offer specialized components and tools built by California Ebike under its own trade name, something for which my background in engineering made me well-suited. Though we originally imagined our customers would be locally based, we soon discovered we had an international following. In fact, our sales continue to nearly double annually!

Meet the CE Team

Doug Snyder ― Owner

Before launching California Ebike in 2009, Doug spent three decades as owner/operator of Snyder Systems, a manufacturing business that designed and built automated machinery.

Mary Merschat ― Manager of Operations

Before joining California Ebike, Mary was a program manager at Kaiser Permanente where she was instrumental in setting up their vision department and a major KP drug distribution center.

Tom Jaszewski ― Tech Support

After a career as a renowned horticulturalist for the Mirage in Las Vegas, Tom and his wife retired to Winona, Minnesota. An avid, all-weather bike rider, Tom is California Ebikes technical expert and a respected contributor on the ebike forums.

The Future

Ebikes are here to stay and we are excited over the tremendous growth opportunities that will play out throughout the next decade. Over the past 10 years, pedal-assist bicycle use has increased exponentially and municipalities are scrambling to build infrastructure to accommodate this rapidly growing phenomenon. Ebikes are no longer limited to the two-wheel enthusiast, as 2, 3 and 4-wheel ebike vehicles are now in widespread use by commercial delivery and rental companies, commuters, seniors and people with disabilities, to name but a few.

A customer-driven company

How is California Ebike going to remain relevant in this new decade of rapid ebike adoption and change? Our desire is that CE remains true to its core mission of being a customer-driven company.

One look at the team will surely suggest to you that we have a lot of years of experience between us. Being the oldest at 78, I have made it known that I would like to spend more quality time with my wife and family, and have announced January 2021 as my official exit date from the business.

California Ebike needs you

So how do I keep the mission alive and continue the good will we have worked so hard to build? That’s where you come in. My reaching out at this time is not an attempt to recruit investors, but to connect with creative, vibrant and focused individuals who have the passion and commitment to continue building on what we have accomplished at California Ebike. Interested? Then please drop me an email or give me a call. Let’s talk about the future.

With respect and thanks,

Doug

doug@california-ebike.com

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Great new product from Lekkie

Daryl Neal from Lekkie is a prolific innovator and supplies California Ebike with many of our most popular products. Whenever I think their is nothing else to design, Daryl has another trick up his sleeve.

Check out these new products and click on the links to purchase.

Lekkie Bling Ring 40t package for BBS01/02 and BBSHD.

https://california-ebike.com/shop/lekkie-bling-ring-40t-package/

The Lekkie blingring 40T is now the smallest tooth count ring available on the market that maintains the correct offset and chain line.
Lekkie made this possible by also designing the motor drive covers to work together with the 40T ring to create the most compact offset drive ring.

 

Bored with Black chainrings? Try this Red one now in stock for the BBSHD in 42t.

https://california-ebike.com/shop/lekkie-42t-hd-chainring/

Back by popular demand. We are now stocking the Offset Buzzbars in 160mm length. The only color offered by Lekkie is the black anodized.

https://california-ebike.com/shop/lekkie-offset-buzzbars-for-bbs01-02-and-bbshd-160mm/

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Lenexa Kansas Recreation supports seniors

Lenexa Kansas and their Recreation department goes all out to support their Golden citizens with pedicab transportation operated by trained volunteers. Hats off to the city leadership and Jeremy Reimer, recreation department supervisor.

They call these pedicab rides, Senior Strolls and use trained volunteers to take seniors from the many adult living centers on rides through the many beautiful parks and trails that are maintained by the City of Lenexa.  Located just South of Kansas City and just East of Lawrence, Kansas. A city that truly cares about it’s people.

“I wanted to pass along some photos of our program that you both helped us with.  If it was not for all the help you both provided by getting our bikes hooked up with motors, we would not have been able to make this happen! 

Thank you both very much for helping us get this program up and running! “

Jeremy Reimer, Rec Supervisor

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Bafang HD Rotor update

About six months ago, Bafang appearently changed the manufacturing process for the BBSHD motor rotor shafts. The result was that, in my opinion, the heat treating of the shafts caused brittle juncture where the 8mm shaft transitions to the helical gear section. That in turn caused many motors in the field to experience breakage at this transition.
Bafang then came up with a solution by re-designing the rotor shaft to to be much more durable and a more appropriate design for the high torque/high speed motor drive. The new design now features an 11mm shaft section through the lamination stack and a bearing journal that is 9mm in diameter.

Old style rotor

Now the delima is these new style rotors are much more durable but, as supplied by Bafang won’t fit the older style motor housings. California Ebike has many customers that need these rotors replaced but we also do not want to have them breaking again. So, we did a bit of research and determined that by removing the 629 bearing supplied by Bafang, we could then replace with a 609 bearing + 1mm spacer to fit the old style housings. So far all is working well and we will update the website so our customers can order the appropriate rotor replacement. Old or New style.

Check out the video showing how to install new bearing

https://youtu.be/S-l0utvnkFo

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Brake Bread delivery making a difference

THE BRAKERY – 1174 W 7TH ST, St. Paul, MN

Brake Bread is a neighborhood bakery where folks come in for fresh baked goods and a cup of locally roasted coffee. Take it to go or perch by the window. And yes, the wi-fi is (gluten) free.

BIKE DELIVERY

Brake Bread started in 2014 as a Community Supported Bakery (CSB) delivering fresh bread, by bike, directly to homes. We continue to do this and now have an even larger delivery radius and pickup locations to serve you.

Now Brake Bread is upgrading to Bafang Mid Drives to power their fleet and expand the business.

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NEW Product-Kinekt

Our Secret

KINEKT Seatposts allow you to stay in the saddle over more terrain, maintaining a more consistent connection to your bike while isolating you from bumps and vibrations. Your body, bike, and surface create a linked system of moving parts. Excess movement throughout this system causes discomfort at delicate points of contact between rider and bike – you know what we’re talking about!

This video says it all. Body Float is what Kinekt does and does it very well.

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Annual news story from the Owen’s Valley Raider-Jerry Live!

The Raiders Trike, now 5 years old, is still performing yeoman duty hauling groceries and cargo every week. The recent closure of the only nearby market, made me create a backup for the Raiders Trike. Not wanting to go through the tedious process of modifying a frame, I decided to create an illegal trike, using a front wheel hub motor. The result is the Red Devil MotorTrikele, as the attached pictures.

Since CA eBike no longer sells hub motors, I bought a Dongdian 350w, geared, 27.5’’ wheel motor from China. The battery is your nude Frog Pack from 5 years ago, still pumping out juice. The frame is a stock Motobecane NT5, with only the front and rear dropouts opened for the larger axles. The rear axle is made from genuine, high-quality, Ace Hardware parts. The basket made with some nice cardboard and then glassed. Since the Motobecane was bright red on black, I wanted a red logo on the rear, but in keeping with the Raiders Trike. The local sign shop made me a nice Red Devil sticker.

There is no chain, so I planned to use the PAS for an alternate throttle, whenever the fuzz showed up. In fact, this worked great. When I returned from my 2nd test ride, I stopped in front of my front gate. As I got off the trike, I accidentally kicked the pedals, which with no resistance, spun around and the PAS caused the bike to leap forward into the closed gate. Fortunately, nothing bad happened. I realized at once that an evil event like this could only be caused by the Red Devil.

I disabled the PAS and gave up plans for an imitation trike. The pedal crank arms were set to the same angle, causing the pedals to hang at their lowest point. This turned out to be surprisingly low, due to the 20” rear wheels. Riding to the Post Office, while on the sidewalk, I came to a driveway, which high-centered the pedals, throwing my legs in the air, but I stayed in the saddle (some idle teenagers seemed to think this was amusing). Naturally, I immediately thought of painting over the Red Devil, but on further reflection, realized this could make matters worse. Removing the Red Devil was not possible, as I had applied the sticker before the black paint had cured, and it appeared that some type of molecular bonding had occurred.

Using some baling wire, I tied the cranks up forward, which gave a nice motorcycle position. The hub motor has an excellent electric whine, making the motorcycle effect even more perfect. Riding on a deserted road, I reached the exciting speed of 17.2 mph and then my cap blew off. Damn that Red Devil!

With things going from bad to worse, I was at wits end. Then I remembered my handicapped neighbor, who drives one of those medically approved chairs with 3 tiny wheels. I know he takes a nap in the afternoon. With a heat gun and a putty knife, I could remove his medically approved sticker and… Damn that Red Devil!

Have some fun every day.
Jerry…

Merry Christmas Jerry

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Gift Cards are here!

Just in time for last minute gift giving. Why not give the gift of healthy living to someone you love. We have made it easy with the E-Gift card from California Ebike. Select the amount you wish to send. Fill in their email address and pick a date you would like it delivered. We’ll do all the rest.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Doug, Mary, Tom and Chris.