I just pulled the trigger on purchasing one of those only-in-China electric SLOs. With only 180W continuous I don’t expect it to help on more than moderate hills, but I just HAD to try.
Since they’re sold in China I have to go through an intermediary there. This makes it expensive. The cost is about the same as a real Strida!
I’m eager to see exactly how they managed to adapt a hub motor to the monofork. This truly will be an adventure. I’ll post updates to chronicle my progress, whether I get ripped off or if I actually get my new toy.
So my bike has finally been ordered by my agent, mailed and delivered to the agent, delivered by their bulk freight co to China Post, and is now over the Pacific on its way to me.
I get to wait for it to clear customs and other fun things, so I figured I’d post in the interim. My agent took pics at their offices, so I have at least seen the bike.
It looks more or less like a typical SLO. The main difference I see is that most SLOs I’ve seen don’t come with a kickstand. The BIG difference I noted is that the ad on taobao showed it having better brakes than the crappy ones that seem to come on most SLOs. The actual bike received though, has the same crap pseudo-self-adjusting brakes that I’ve seen before. They’re getting replaced with Avid BB7s.
One thing the pics don’t show is what the makeup of the Bottom Bracket is. I hope it’s not the same soft plastic that tends to show up in SLOs.
Anyway on to the pics. Note that the images will get cropped when inline thanks to the forum’s layout. View the images separately to see the whole image.
So on the EMS tracking site I watched the package leave on its way to San Francisco… and then 24 hours later it was back at the airport in China being unloaded off the plane, and then got sent to a “testing center” – where it stayed in limbo for a while. Then it was released and is now being shipped back to sender, apparently.
I’m starting to think U.S. customs got upset at the LiFePO4 battery in it. =( I hadn’t considered this but now I’m starting to think this is the case. Once I get this sorted out I’m going to try to have the bike shipped without battery, and then do what I can to get the battery here. I can source another battery, I can’t source another bike like this one.
ARGH! I finally managed to get it, but the motor housing got cracked in transit. =( It’s shorn clean off and so the motor travels crossways on the axle. =( It’ll take a bunch of welding to fix this. Also the latch magnet got crushed and there’s bits of permanent magnet all over.
An update! No, it’s not working yet, but I did get a replacement motor eventually! Only problem is that putting it in was a bit of a daunting task (have to rerun the new cable through the frame – not an easy task) and relace the new motor into the wheel. I have not done this yet.
At least I have the parts on hand to make it work finally!