Enhance Your Electric Bike Riding with Three Innovative Products
Richard Peace takes a closer look at three products that can significantly improve your electric bike riding experience. These products are designed to tackle the challenges of rough roads, provide better illumination, and offer a convenient multi-tool solution.
Cane Creek Thudbuster Long Travel Suspension Seatpost
When it comes to integrating suspension into a seatpost, previous attempts often fell short in terms of refinement. These designs relied on simple coil springs, which only acted as mini-pogo sticks rather than effectively absorbing bumps and uneven surfaces.
However, Cane Creek’s Thudbuster sets a new standard in seatpost suspension. I had the opportunity to test it on a 16”-wheeled Dahon electric conversion bike. This particular bike, with its small wheels and short wheelbase, posed a challenge, as it had the tendency to throw riders off their seats when encountering larger obstacles.
Equipped with my preferred large sprung saddle and Schwalbe Big Apple tires, the bike became a revelation. The Thudbuster Long Travel suspension provided a generous three inches of downward and backward travel, effectively absorbing most of the impact caused by the notoriously poor roads in the UK. I even took it on better quality dirt tracks and paths without facing any issues.
One must keep in mind that this seatpost only works for the rear wheel, but it truly delivers. It allows riders to maintain better weight distribution, keeping more weight on the saddle and hence on the pedals when riding over obstacles. As the rear wheel encounters a bump, the Thudbuster counters this motion, with the alloy linkages and elastomer system compressing against the rider’s weight.
The Innovative Lightrider Light
Another product that caught my attention is the Lightrider light. This innovative device not only illuminates the rider, but also the road ahead. A well-lit path enhances safety and enables riders to navigate with confidence, especially in low-light conditions.
Blackburn Grid 13 Compact Multi Tool
Lastly, I had the opportunity to test the Blackburn Grid 13 compact multi tool. This handy tool offers a versatile solution for various situations that may arise during an electric bike ride. It provides essential functionalities in a compact and easy-to-use package, ensuring riders are prepared for any unexpected repairs or adjustments they may need to make along the way.
Get the perfect softness for your body weight with the adjustable elastomer. Position yourself correctly over the Thudbuster unit and experience a smooth ride over potholes and small drop-offs in no time.
Adjustable and Versatile
The Thudbuster unit offers adjustable preload, allowing you to customize the springiness according to your preference. If it feels too bouncy or too firm, you can easily make adjustments on the go without having to consider changing the elastomer.
A Welcome Addition
While it may not be a high-end full suspension setup, the Thudbuster unit is a valuable addition to your ride. It effectively eliminates most road conditions and even some trail obstacles, providing a comfortable and enjoyable cycling experience.
For road cyclists who prioritize a lighter setup and mainly ride on hard surfaces, the short travel version of the Thudbuster unit is the ideal choice.
- Pros: Adds adjustable suspension where needed
- Cons: May be considered pricey
From $169 or £110
Visit Canecreek.com or ExtraUK
Enhance your safety with the innovative Lightrider Lights. This unique front LED features both front-facing and rear-facing LEDs, with the added benefit of illuminating the rider as a safety precaution. Instead of excessive brightness that may blind oncoming traffic, Lightrider focuses the white light where it’s needed the most.
The front-facing part consists of two LEDs: one for flashing purposes and the other to provide a focused beam on the road ahead, thanks to a small lens. With the easily accessible button on top of the light, you can toggle between three modes: all three beams on with a constant road beam, all three beams on with a flashing road beam, and a flashing front beam with only the rear-facing LED active.
The battery management system includes a useful ‘smart’ warning feature. When the battery capacity drops below 20%, the main beam automatically turns off, leaving you with front and rear flashing lights for a safe journey back home.
Charging the two AA 2400mAh batteries is convenient, with the option of using a USB or a non-USB charger. This gives you the best of both worlds – easy charging and the ability to replace the batteries when needed.
Visibility and Safety: Lightrider Front and Rear Lights
The visibility of the cyclist was truly impressive, thanks to the effective rear facing LED light. It worked exactly as described, ensuring that you are seen without solely relying on pointing your light directly at others. As someone who wears glasses, I occasionally experienced some glare from the backward LED. However, adjusting the angle of the light easily solved this issue. Additionally, the 110 lumen front beam provided just the right amount of light for riding on unlit paths. To further enhance the illumination, I supplemented it with a second LED light for a truly luxurious spread of light.
Also put to the test was Lightrider’s rear Phase light. This innovative light features a motion sensor that automatically switches off when left still for 5 minutes. It then reactivates itself as soon as you ride off again. Mounting the light was a breeze with the included rubber O-ring, and it offers seven different phases, ensuring good side visibility. Another convenient feature is the USB recharging capability.
Pros: This is a fantastic concept that greatly enhances the rider’s visibility. The “smart” features of the lights are both intelligent and useful.
Cons: The front light requires precise angling to prevent any glare in the rider’s eyes.
The Lightrider front light is available for $58 or £39.99, while the PHASE rear light is priced at $29 or £19.99. Both lights are USB chargeable for added convenience.
For more information, visit lightrider.co.uk.
Blackburn Grid 13 Multitool: The Ultimate Bicycle Maintenance Tool
It is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of bike maintenance that Blackburn has introduced their latest 13-tool model as “the most useful selection of tools to interface with modern bicycle components.”
And it certainly lives up to the claim. With hex keys ranging from 1.5mm to 8mm, along with T25 and T30 Torx heads, a flat head screwdriver, a disc pad spreader, a presta valve remover, and even a bonus bottle opener, this multitool covers all the bases.
I put it to the test, tightening bolts on a range of bikes, from the tiny allen key grubber bolts on a top-of-the-line Dahon to the T25 Torx head required for tightening electric mountain bike’s disc brake rotors. The Blackburn Grid 13 multitool proved undefeated, fitting every need effortlessly.
The Evaluation of the Tool
The tool appears to be well-crafted in its design and is both compact and user-friendly. It offers a good variety of commonly used tools at a reasonable price.
The assortment of tools provided covers a wide range of needs and is available at an affordable cost.
One downside to consider is that the set does not include a Philips head tool.
The price for the tool is $19.99 or £19.99.
To make a purchase, you can visit blackburndesign.com or Amazon.
We extend our gratitude to Richard Peace for providing us with this evaluation.
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