After not touching my two great “real” bikes (full-supension MTB, Cyclocross) for quite a while i now find myself biking daily when on business trips (3 days / week), sometimes even twice.
It turns out that, similar to cameras, “the best bike is the one you´ve got with you”
My longest tour with the EVO to date was 14 km, followed by a pause of about 2 hours, then 14 km back. There was no fatigue whatsoever, i could have gone a lot further than that.
So for everyone asking “does this work for longer distances?”: Yes, it does work very well.
The only ground surface i could not ride on was sand, the narrow tires are really not made for it. Cobblestones are uncomfortable but doable. Everything else is just fine.
Folding, after being awkward at first, became second nature.
The Sturmey Archer hub performs ok: Different from what i imagined before owning the bike it´s no question at all what gear you´re in. You simply know.
There is a tendency to “slip out” of the 1st gear under heavy load though (best way i can describe it).
Swapping to the higher of the two mounting points for saddle & rack was a pain in the a**. The diameter of the screw is very small small for the force being applied. Additionally the material seems to be quite soft. I ruined the inner part of the screw and had to force it in with a pair of pliers …
Adjusting the saddle quite a bit higher changed the characteristic of the bike. Instead of “Dutch BMX” it´s simply “Dutch” now: Comfortably upright.
I modded / added 4 things so far:
- Selle Royal Spa Respiro Soft. Great investment, there is real comfort now. It also provides a good mounting point for the rear light
DIY Cool Bag. Inspired by the hot summer in Germany this year I found a cheap cool bag on Amazon that is nearly the exact same size as the rack : 7,5 l by Aosbos. With the addition of some double sided velcro and 3 small steel food skewers i was able to mount it quite nicely
Bent steering kit. I thought i would probably not need it but bought it anyway to try. It turns out this makes a lot of difference as i adjusted the saddle higher quite a bit and am now able to fully extend my legs while pedalling. This leads to less fatigue and more power. I use the 3rd gear a lot more often now, maybe 25 % of the time. Installation was very much doable even though i don´t have a lot of experience working on bikes.
Sigma Sport Mono front and rear lights. They look a lot cooler than the Strida ones imho, are also rechargeable via USB and are even cheaper (~45€ for the complete set). Usability is great: I can turn on both while riding and there´s an indicator light warning you when the battery is low. Despite its small size i found the front light illuminates a completely dark path quite nicely.
As you might imagine after reading this i am really happy with my little bike and would certainly buy it again.
- silent riding
- slightly lower first gear
- less weight (not a big issue)
Overall, given this set of wishes, i´d be really interested to test an Efneo-Strida
I´ll leave you with a picture taken on one of my morning tours