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nightrider
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About

I commute about 7.5 km one way, daily to work. In winter at least return path is as a rule in the night, here is the name and nightrider is also a chess figure. While it would be a road between my home and my work, I managed to compose most of my path from sections closed for the car traffic. These are mostly low quality gravel so I use a MTB-like bicycle.

I bought E-bike to commute to work over around 250 m hill but jobs change and I ended up using the E-bike for 7 km journey daily on the flat terrain. The road is mostly gravel. Need to do night riding quite often. My weight is 108 kg.

My lights

I concluded that my front light actually needs the separate, easy switch controllable high beam, as I ride also through terrain where visibility matters but ends up in the city where MTB light is not in place. Nitecore Velolampe BR35 Dual Light looked like affordable option.

Most I wanted from my rear light was to know how much battery is still remaining. Lezyne Zecto Alert has four tiny LEDs to show the charging level, I charge it when at least one goes down and do not have any problems. It also blinks when braking.

Fenders

I initially bought a bicycle without fenders, assuming that for recreational riding they are just unnecessary weight. I fitted quite minimal SKS set on the rear wheel first that immediately showed improvement and was too short. Then I extended the rear fender (by merging it with another, unused) and installed the front fender mountable on the large hole at the bottom of the fork. Again there was an improvement but the front fender was clearly too short and too high, while the rear fender stayed too narrow. Finally I utilized all accumulated experience with fenders to fit SKS Bluemels 75 U Long.

Chain and cassette

Previously I had a mindset that a bicycle mostly lasts forever with no maintenance. This delusion comes from recreational riding. Commuting was a different experience: in three years chain and cassette got worn so that first two gears just were no longer usable. I probably should not have waited for so long but took time to buy the four specialized tools that were all new to me (chain breaker, chain pliers, lockring tool and chain whip). Finally I learned to replace first chain and then cassette.

My bicycle

  • Weight 25 Kg
  • Battery 417.6 Wh, 36 V
  • Wheels 27.5 "
  • Tires: 27.5 " x 2.35 "
  • Engine 80 Nm, 250 W, max 25 km/h
  • Gears: 9 (rear only), Shimano Deore
  • Brakes: disk/hydraulic, Shimano M365
  • Lights: USB rechargeable superbright LEDs, both front and rear.
  • Rear cassette: largest cog 32, smallest cog was 11 replaced to 12.
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