Henry, the founder of Bike Swift, commutes to the shop on his cargo e-bike covering nearly 13 miles round trip!
Henry, the founder of Bike Swift, commutes to the shop on his cargo bike that’s always sporting some sort of prototype system.
This is an XtraCycle Edgerunner cargo bike frame that Henry originally built up in 2013. Since then, literally every component except for the seatpost clamp has been replaced, and it has used at least 5 different motor systems as Henry tests new Bike Swift products before they are released. This bike currently has the “TSM” motor system, which senses how hard he is pedaling and calculates his wattage (just like an exercise bike such as a Peloton would). This system also does regenerative braking, which extends the battery’s range by 15-20%. Even more importantly, the regenerative braking does not use the brake pads to slow down the bike. Despite putting over 1,000 miles on the bike every year, he only needs to adjust the brakes annually!
This bike can go up to the legal ebike limit of 28 mph, and can carry up to 200 lbs of additional weight. Impromptu grocery run on the way home? Check. Hardware store run for a couple bags of compost? No problem. Need to tow a bike? Can do. How about picking his wife up from work? Yep, it can even carry adult passengers!
This 6.5 mile route starts in NE Seattle and goes across a lovely pedestrian bridge over Ravenna Park, through the University District, across the University Bridge, and via the Eastlake neighborhood to the bike shop. It’s about 300 feet of ascent and 400 feet of descent. The entire ride takes just 22 minutes to do on an ebike, and sweating is optional. On a non-electric bike, it takes Henry 30 minutes of hard riding, and he’s out of breath and covered in sweat by the time he arrives.
But he can get exercise on the ebike too! The ride ends with about 100 feet of elevation gain as he rides from the level of Lake Union up to the shop. For this portion, he’ll often turn off his assist entirely. This means that he is hauling all 75 lbs of bike (plus whatever cargo he’s carrying) all the way up the hill without any assistance at all. It’s the equivalent of running with weights, and it makes for a very intense training interval!