Category Archives: blog

Are eBikes cheating?

We get this question a lot. It’s evident that there are many misconceptions about electric bikes. So we decided to share why it is clear that no, in fact, eBikes are not cheating. An eBike is actually an enhanced riding experience. According to our founders, Josh and Yina “Just like a digital camera is more convenient than a film camera, and a word processor is more convenient than a typewriter, an eBike makes riding much more convenient than a traditional bicycle.”

The level of effort is one primary reason people claim that eBikes are “cheating.” Yes, riding an eBike is generally easier than riding a normal bike. Though this may have more to it than you think. A study from the University of Nebraska found that eBike cyclists expended the same amount of energy as manual bike riders, but they completed the circuit faster and felt like they exerted less effort. According to the study, the riders rated their “perceived exertion” and rated a bike in manual mode at a 15, and a pedal-assisted eBike at a 10 on the scale.

 

Our Espin eBike batteries are inside of the frame, creating a look and feel similar to standard bikes.

 

 

The clearest difference between normal bikes and eBikes is the motor. Our Espin eBikes are pedal-assisted, meaning that you still need to pedal when you ride it, the motor simply boosts your own power. This makes riding more convenient, and cycling, therefore, more accessible. Actually, 59% of people with disabilities that normally have a reduced ability to ride a standard bike can ride an eBike.

The ease of riding an eBike allows you to ride for longer without worrying as much about fatigue or exhaustion. Even experienced cyclists can reach for the car keys when confronted with a long distance. eBikes help you commute, run errands, climb steep hills – all while keeping cars off the road.

eBikes are especially helpful for urban commuters. With an eBike, you can pedal to work without breaking a sweat, you can ride longer distances while avoiding those crazy parking fees in the lot near your office. It’s still you, just with more power.

 

Ride to work without breaking a sweat.

 

 

eBikes help remove barriers that stop people from cycling. They aren’t cheating, they let you have more fun and encourage you to ride faster and more often. It’s no wonder everyone gets hooked. According to data collected for E-Bikes in North America shown in the infographic below, 55% percent of people surveyed rode bikes weekly before getting an eBike while 93% did after.

 

Why do people use e-bikes? By the Portland State Transportation Research and Education Center

 

You don’t need to give up your normal bike to ride an eBike, you can choose both. Just like you will have one pair of shoes for working out, one pair of shoes for hiking, and one pair of shoes that you wear to work that looks professional yet comfortable, they all fit different needs. There are so many great benefits of riding an eBike like the ability to flatten any hill, getting to work without being sweaty, being able to cut traffic and save money in the long run. What makes an electrical bicycle so powerful is that it combines the efficiency of transportation while working on your fitness and health, and it’s so much fun! Doesn’t get much better than that!
Curious about an eBike? Book a demo with one of our Espin eBikes today.

Spring Cleaning – Tuning up your eBike

It’s Spring Cleaning time, and in the cycling world that means it’s time to tune up your bike. We’ve put together some suggestions for best practices to tune up and maintain your eBike.

 

To take care of our Espin eBikes, you need to check for a series of things on a regular basis.

 

 

Each time you ride

First, a 60 second check for each time you ride. Most experienced riders know to do a safety check before each ride. But to review, be diligent about:

  • Checking your tire pressure
  • Making sure your brakes work
  • Checking your lights
  • Ensuring all your bolts are tight
  • Checking your battery range

 

Every Month

To keep your bike in top shape, you should completely clean your eBike every month (hint hint using an old toothbrush is a great way to clean the links!). Check for any wear and tear and any issues with the alignment.

 

 

Every 90 Days

Inspect the frame and fork for paint cracks or bulges that could be an indication of damage. Check for wear and tear on tires, make sure they are fully inflated, and look at the range of your battery.

 

 

Every 180 Days

It’s important to be very thorough on this check. If you’ve been diligent about regularly tuning up your eBike, you shouldn’t find too many surprises. Every 180 days you should inspect all the components of your eBike. Look at the battery life, check the plugs, and review each nut and bolt of your Espin!

 

For your convenience, we’ve made a printable checklist for you to fill in the dates you’ve completed each task. If you follow our tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your Espin eBike for years to come!

 

Bike Month Events in Northern California

It’s National Bike Month! And for us Bay Area locals, things can get pretty confusing. For example May 11th was San Francisco’s annual Bike to Work Day, but the National Bike to Work Day is actually May 19th. To help clear the confusion, we’ve created a list of some of the coolest National Bike Month events across Northern California so you can celebrate the month properly.

Wednesday, May 17 at 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM in San Francisco

Ride of Silence

San Francisco’s annual Ride of Silence is to honor those that have been injured or killed while biking. The ride will take place in over 50 countries around the world the third Wednesday of May. The ride will have thousands of participants, and will be a silent 11 mile ride that will visit high injury cycling routes and sites of recent cycling fatalities.

5:30 pm: Refreshments and Program

7:00 pm: The ride begins

More information here

Thursday, May 18 at 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM in San Francisco

#RaiseAGlass Fundraiser

Laughing Monk’s May #RaiseAGlass fundraiser will honor National Bike Month! $1 from every beer sold will be donated to the SF Bicycle Coalition and the California Bicycle Coalition. Plus there will be awesome grilled cheese from the Grilled Cheese Guy.

Click here for details

Friday, May 19, 2017 at 8:00 pm in San Jose

San Jose Bike Party

San Jose Bike Party is a place to ride bikes, make friends, and have a good time. It happens the every third Friday of each month at 8 pm. San Jose is HUGE, but spread out. So enjoy the city and make it feel a little bit smaller.

There will be food vendors, music, and lots of bikes.

Learn more here!

Saturday, May 20 at 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM in San Francisco

Women Bike SF ride to Marin Museum of Bicycling

Ladies, this one is for you! Meet at Flywheel coffee for a quick cup of joe. From there you will take off at 9am, ride 21 miles to the Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax.

Take a brown bag lunch break in the museum’s courtyard and bike to the Larkspur ferry terminal to arrive back in San Francisco by 2:30pm.

Sign up here

Sunday, May 21 at 9:30 AM in Dublin

Community Bike Ride Dublin

Join in on a fun local bike ride through Dublin and Pleasanton, led by Mike’s Bikes of Pleasanton. Riders will meet at Mike’s Bikes, located at 6754 Bernal Avenue in the Pleasanton Gateway Center, at 9:30 a.m. to get checked in and enjoy refreshments. This event is for all skill levels and will begin at 10am.

Please sign the online waiver on the Mike’s Bikes website and RSVP to: Lisa Adamos by Email

Phone: 925-931-5039

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Albany

Bike-In Movie Night: “Cool Runnings” & Free Popcorn

Learn more here!

Location: Albany Community Center | 1249 Marin Ave, Albany, CA

Join them at the Albany Community Center for a “Bike in Movie.” They will be showing “Cool Runnings,” a film that will spark your quest for the ultimate drive.

Saturday, May 27 at 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM in San Francisco

Bike to Books

The best of what San Francisco has to offer! Combining history, art, literature, cycling, and urban exploration, “Bikes to Books” began as an homage to the 1988 street-naming project spearheaded by City Lights founder and former San Francisco Poet Laureate, Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The project renamed 12 San Francisco streets after famous artists and authors who had once made San Francisco their home. The 7.1-mile tour is a unique way to celebrate both the literary and adventurous spirit of this great city. Learn about the authors and neighborhoods that made San Francisco a literary hub, from Jack London to Jack Kerouac.

Meet at 12:45 pm at Jack London Alley, Northside of South Park in San Francisco

Ride will begin at 1 pm sharp

Ride will end at approximately 4 pm in North Beach, outside City Lights Books.

Know of an event we haven’t mentioned? Send us a message and we’ll add it to the calendar! Happy National Bike Month from the Espin team!

 

5 Executives Who Cycle

Sure you have friends who cycle, for us laymen it makes sense. It’s healthy, you save money, and you protect the environment. But I bet you didn’t realize that some of the top CEO’s and business executives agree with you. We’ve created a list of 5 executives who bike.

 

Larry Page

A little known fact about our favorite Googler is that a few years ago he laid out his vision for the world and in it, everyone rode bikes. Page is actually interested in a whole different type of cycling, the kind in the sky… Aerial Cycling. He wants to separate bikes from traffic, and we’ll just say that his goals are a little “high.”

 

 

 

Eric Schmidt

Ok we admit it, we have two favorite Googlers. Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Eric Schmidt, is not only a big fan of Artificial Intelligence, Burning Man, and collecting art, but he is also a cyclist! Here he is on his Google bike.

 

 

Tim Cook

Apple’s CEO is also an avid cyclist. He likes to experiment and it helps that he is not afraid of failure. In fact, he said “If you start fearing things, then you don’t try anything new or different,” he once said in an interview with his alumni magazine. “If it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of my world. I’ll go ride my bike.”

 

 

Arianna Huffington

The powerhouse founder of the Huffington Post is a big fan of morning routines. She wakes up, meditates, and then hops on her bike for about 30 minutes of exercise. When asked about the importance of her morning routine, Huffington said “I’m a big proponent of silencing the voice of self-judgement and self-doubt in our heads, which I call the obnoxious roommate. It’s the voice that feeds on putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts. I have spent many years trying to evict my obnoxious roommate and have now managed to relegate her to only occasional guest appearances in my head!”

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg

In June of 2016, Zuckerberg broke his arm. When he was asked what happened in a Facebook Live call he shared that he had been on his first ride training for a triathlon when he stopped at a stop sign and didn’t unclip. He laughed and said “I think I need to ease into this triathlon thing.”

 

 

Who knows, maybe your next business meeting will be on two wheels.

Biking For Change: Use Your Favorite Hobby to Make a Difference

Love to bike? Want to make a difference? We created a list of some charity cycling events coming up in California in the next few months. Pick one or two, rally your community, and ride your heart out while supporting a cause you believe in.

April 22 – Cycle for Sight – Napa, California

The event will raise money for Saving Lives, a veteran rehabilitation program, and Enchanted Hills Camp for the Blind. The ride has three different routes, for 50, 25, and 15 miles of riding.

The ride will start off at Justin Seina High School, will wind along the vineyards and hills of Napa Valley, and will finish back at the school. The event will feature wine and beer tasting sessions (wouldn’t be Napa without it) coupled with local cuisines coming from various Napa Valley restaurants. The overall goal of the ride is to raise $100,000. Sign up today!

http://www.cycle4sight.com/

May 6 – Tour of Novato & FunFair – Novato, CA

This Saturday bike ride is a fundraiser to support local schools. The ride will go along five routes and will showcase student talent! Participate and help raise money to support education and the development of local schools. It will be a day of fun, family, and fitness!

http://www.tourofnovato.org

May 13 – The Endue Classic – San Mateo, CA

Celebrate life and all the good things it has to offer by riding at the Endue Classic event – held in San Mateo. Cycle alongside the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Peninsula while raising awareness about disabilities like Autism and Down’s syndrome.

 

Call 650-349-9879 to learn more about the event!

http://enduefoundation.org/

June 10 – Incarnation 100 – Santa Rosa, CA

A benefit for the Homeless Services – The Incarnation is an event that will be featuring bike rides along three different routes of 45 miles, 100 km, and 100 miles. The routes will start and end in Downtown Santa Rosa. This fundraiser will be raising money for three homeless service organizations based in California. Visit the website for more details.

http://incarnation100.org/


August 26 – Ride4Diabetes – Cupertino, CA


Here’s an event for everyone from occasional riders to the most experienced cyclists. Not to mention it’s for a great cause! 14 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. The Ride4Diabetes is comprised of multiple routes for different types of cyclists. There will also be a walk/run for your non-cyclist friends to join! A day of fun, food, and a whole lot of miles.

http://ride4diabetes.org/

Pick your cause, grab your eBike, and make a difference today! And say hello to the Espin team when you see us there.

The Bike Paths of Portland

Biking has increased in popularity around the world and Portland is no exception. For us cyclists, it is not just about health and our environmental footprint, it is about taking the time to look at the world without a glass barrier or thumping engine. A peaceful ride in nature, solo or with friends, is always a good idea.

If you live in Portland, or happen to visit this buzzing hub, you are in for some fantastic bike rides. Portland is the largest city in Oregon, and it happens to be a sea port. So hop on your eBike and get ready for some incredible views.

 

Let’s take a look at some of the amazing bike routes of Portland!

Southeast Neighborhoods

 

 

Start at the Waterfront Park (Salmon Springs Fountain), located north of Hawthorne Bridge. This 13 mile-long ride takes you through the famous neighborhoods of the Southeast Portland, with a panoramic view of the stunning Willamette River.

 

The route offers you low street traffic, bike lanes, & off-street paths. Plus there are very few hills on this trail (though with your Espin eBike you wouldn’t feel them!).

 

North Portland Trails

Ride alongside the wildness of the Peninsula also brings. This flat course is 24 miles long and showcases Portland’s nature-in-the-city. There the magnificent views from Willamette Boulevard await you. Don’t miss Kelley Point Park and the confluence of the Columbia & Willamette Rivers! There are some great photo ops along the way. Check out the route play-by-play here.

 

The Big Eastside Trail Loop

We can sum this ride up in three words: Trails, trails, trails! This 51-mile-long flat ride offers a few stretches of low traffic streets & bike lanes, while highlighting the beautiful metropolis of Portland. Take a loop around downtown Portland, soak in the feeling of the city, and enjoy the ride along the river.

 

Portland’s West Hills

Want a short, steep, & sweet ride? Look no further than Portland’s West Hills. The first 4 miles of Montgomery Drive are so steep that the mountain biker within you is bound to be unleashed. Once you reach the top it will be worth it. You’ll be mesmerized by the sight of the Portland downtown area and the Tualatin Valley.

So here we have some of the best biking routes for Portland visitors. Portland residents, what are your favorite bike paths? Share them with us and we’ll add them to our blog!

 

Keep riding, stay happy.