Sunday, February 15, 2015

2011 Louis Garneau MVE (Sold)

I have a confession to make. The first time I saw this bike was about a year ago. My friend who runs the LBS brought in two pieces and told me to give it a try. I laughed and said this is not my kind of bike because its for softies. Nevertheless, I took it for a spin and to reinforce my 'dislike' for the bike, the chain fell off and got jammed in the gears. I had to dirty my hands to put the chain back and swore I will never buy anything like this. Fast forward to the present day and surprise, surprise...there is one in the stable. Surely, there must be some compelling reason(s) for me to buy one. So, here goes my justification. 

This bike is a 2013 Louis Garneau MVE. It is a pedelec bike or what we call, a pedal-assist bike. Powered by a battery, the mechanism is connected to the crank and torque sensors measures the 'effort'. It has three settings to match cyclist condition ie. the more effort you put in, the more the pedal assist depending on the setting. Its not an electric bike per se because nothing happens if you do not push the pedals. There is no throttle to control the speed. As such, you still need to put in some effort to get the bike going. Therefore, softies most likely will not appreciate a bike like this. I hope this justification is good enough. 

Here you can see the motor mounted at the bottom of the bottom bracket and the battery pack. Torque sensors are mounted around the crank to measure (probably) the rotation rate of the crank and based on the setting, the motor will react accordingly to provide the 'boost' required. Honestly, it is quite fun. On a smooth and flat road with setting set on low, you don't really feel the effects but when you switch it over to high, the bike moves at quite an incredible speed (up to 35km/h). The disadvantages of such a system is firstly, battery replacement is expensive and secondly, no modification is allowed unless you want to mess up the system.

The front end has connectors for a L rack. It makes the bike look very city-like but I prefer a clean look.

The controller to turn on the system and choose the 3 settings for the pedal-assist. There is also a battery indicator so you know when you are running out of juice. According to the brochure, the battery can last for 20km on high setting. I keep it mostly on eco mode most of the time except when I hit a slope.

Shimano V brakes takes care of the stopping.

An adjustable stem allows you to choose a comfortable height.

The wheels are 406 20" Alex wheel set shod with 1.5" tires.

 7-speed cassette matched to a Tourney rear derailleur and Shimano Revoshift twist grip shifters.

Shifting is relatively smooth although engaging the 7th gear is quite iffy at times.

A nice comfortable saddle makes long distance riding a real pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment