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July 30, 2012 No comments
The New WheelFriends Bicycles Urban Cycling
Photo Michael Firn The e-bike Crowdfunding project we looked at last week has, we are happy to report, reached its financial targets, so the Faraday Porteur should now soon go into full production, and will likely begin hitting shops early next year. Also likely is that it will be stocked in at least at one particular Brooks Dealer Of Excellence, The New Wheel in Bernal Heights, San Francisco. Photo Michael Firn Hilly 'Frisco is a biking challenge for even the most hard bitten rider, so it is perhaps unsurprisingly also a city that has seen much interest among its cycling citizenry for developments in the branch of electrically assisted pedaling. As battery weights and recharge times continue to shrink, the option is becoming a more and more plausible and realistic one, even for people who reacted to the first e-bike incarnations some years ago with a mixture of disgust and derision. Of course, one thing that hasn't shrunk is the price, but that's a subject for another day. Fill 'er up! That fiery ball in the sky can help you home faster. At any rate The New Wheel is run by Brett Thurber. The Bernal Heights shop opened in March this year, but Berkeley graduate Thurber has been in business since 2010, initially as a roving e-bike demonstrator doing house calls and visiting farmers' markets, while also maintaining a small premises in another corner of the city. Built up Prêt-à-Rouler machines, along with Retrofit kits (consisting of a motorizable wheel with battery back to install on a suitable frame) and "Analog" children's bikes are available at the shop. Photo Michael Firn They also offer a fine collection of Brooks saddles, Brooks bags and assorted Brooks accessories for sale, which eloquently explains their multi-rivet status in our Dealers Of Excellence programme. On top of all this, should your e-bike be starting to run low on juice just before you're about to hit some of the environs' plentiful hors catégorie climbs, fear not! The shop has solar power docking ports out front for locals who might need an extra push before their personal finish line. You simply park up, plug in and read your newspaper for twenty minutes. Later, when confronted by suspicious fellow commuters about the ease with which you tackle ascents, you can launch vociferously into a Wiggins-like tirade about how bad-minded they all are. With an appropriately Wiggins-like clear conscience. Pretty much.