Snacks for the Ride

Water and snacks are two mainstays of any bike ride. Among our favorites? Nutrition bars and trail mix, of course.

Still, it’s easy to find yourself in a rut. If you’re craving something different try Diamond Head cantaloupe.

I was intrigued. Dried cantaloupe? That was a first for me! And it did not disappoint. What a great alternative to raisins and cranberries!

I found this jewel in our local Food4Less, but Diamond Head is everywhere. If you like candy, nuts, trail mix, or fruit you’ve probably bought Diamond Head.

Don’t feel like running to the store? Order directly from Nature’s World. Family-owned and based in the Pacific Northwest, they offer a wide variety of snacks, including dried okra, beets, and chili mangos. Save $$$ by purchasing Trail mix in bulk.

Yum!

Need a Brake Light?

No problem.

Available on Amazon, meet the the G Keni Smart Bike Tail Light. Now a standard install on our builds.

A lot to love

This petite addition fits neatly under your saddle and is packed with features:

  • Eye catching LED light
  • 4 modes (slow flash, flicker, steady, ultra bright)
  • Brake sensing
  • USB rechargeable
  • Auto on/off sensor
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to install

The basic version retails at $21.99 (coupon applied).

Photo credit: G Keni Store on Amazon

Anti-Theft alarm

For $3 more, G Keni also offers its brake-sensing tail light with an anti-theft alarm.

Photo credit: G Keni Store on Amazon

Pros:

  • 120 decibel anti-theft alarm
  • Remote activation and deactivation
  • Includes wireless electric horn to alert cars or others when riding in traffic
  • Use the remote control feature to find your bike
  • Concealed install – potential thieves are unlikely to expect an alarm integrated into a tail light

Cons:

  • 3 light modes versus 4 in the non-alarm version
  • Limited compatibility. If your saddle mount bracket gap does not fit the G Keni specifications, you can’t install the light.
  • Charging time is 2-3 hours versus 20-30 minutes for the non-alarm tail light
  • 15 hours running time versus 50 for the non-alarm version
  • No auto on/off feature

More options

Visit the G Keni store on Amazon for more options, including a color-changing rear light.

Either way, bike lights save your life.

Lose 20 Pounds with a Custom eBike!

Do you have an eBike that you don’t ride? Is it too heavy to pedal without electric assist? Do you experience flats? Broken spokes? Can you load your bike on a rack? If you fall and your bike lands on you, can you lift it off without help?

Heavy bikes are a drag

Unfortunately, bargain eBikes sold by well-known retailers tend to be heavy. Often hovering in the 60-70+ pound range. The culprit is a combination of the design and rear hub motor.

Ironically the same bikes with heavy hubs can also have thin tires. (Don’t be fooled if you currently have a “fat bike.”)

Add your weight above that rear hub, ride over a pothole, and wham! You feel it and so does your bike. Thus, the issues with broken spokes, flats, etc.

Lighten up

We can help you lighten up by 20+ pounds, which is a huge amount in the bike world.

It’s a matter of smart design. We start with an existing lightweight bike frame – yours or ours – then we install a mid-drive motor. As the name implies, a mid-drive motor is centered on the bike for better balance. This immediately solves the problem with repetitive flats and broken spokes caused by too much weight on the rear hub. More importantly, mid-drive motors are compact and powerful, saving some big lbs.

Lifting gets even easier when you can remove your battery. Our designs include this feature too! We also add back racks or handles so smaller riders can load up and ride solo.

Enjoy your bike again

Recently we saw an ad for a used Specialized eBike. A terrific bike, no doubt about it. We love the brand. The seller, a neighbor, was asking $4000 firm. For a used bike …

Just know: we can do better – or just as well – for much less. Give us a call.

Meet Our Spokesdog

Meet our furry friend and neighbor, Charlie!

As official spokesdog, Charlie endorses the Blue Cruiser featured below.

The Converted Blue Cruiser

Charlie says:

Keith and Beverly build great bikes! I first met the blue cruiser on the West Bend trail before it was electrified. (Hey, that’s a big word for a dog!)

As a Westie, I’m particular, but it was love at first sight. Check out all the details here.

Spokesdog Charlie

You can own this sweet ride for $1600. Update: this bike is sold.

Consideration

We want everyone to enjoy bike riding.

Maybe you’re slow. Or fast. Sharing trails with walkers or approaching a rider on horseback. It doesn’t matter. Please. Consider the following:

  • Smile. If you’re not enjoying yourself, why are you riding?
  • Be Bend. People here are pretty darn nice. We all have our bad days or moments. Try to be forgiving of that. Patience is your friend.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open. Cars and other riders are known to appear suddenly.
  • Remember you are not an island. You may want to pass another biker or someone on foot, but wanting to and actually doing it are two different things. Take a beat to consider your move before you make it. Is there sufficient room? Could you startle the person you want to pass? What lies ahead on the trail? Do you have the right of way?
  • Avoid dust storms. Whether you’re visiting or living here, you are no doubt familiar with our fine and persistent dust. Give a wide berth when passing and slow down.

Furry Friends

I love dogs. Bend loves dogs. I like most fuzzy critters.

Please, please be thoughtful when riding around our furry friends. Take your cues from the owner and slow way down. A “good dog” compliment doesn’t hurt!

It’s Spring! (Almost)

Time to get out your bike and hit the road.

With temps warming up the next few days, consider riding all or part of the Twin Bridges Scenic Bikeway. One of our favorites!

It’s hard to beat the mountain views, although the farms and animals on Tyler Road are the best part of the ride in my mind.

When you arrive at the Tumalo Reservoir portion of the loop, consider popping over to the historic bridge.

It’s too early for wildflowers, so plan on coming back in May and June.

With an electric bike this road trip can start at home.

From our front door – or to be precise, the garage – we head out Mt. Washington, ride down Archie Briggs, then aim toward Tumalo State Park, then up Tumalo Reservoir Road. You can cross Highway 20 and go to Tumalo or not. Either way, no bike rack, no car.

Riding the DRT

When the sun shines and the wind subsides, get outside!

DRT

I love the Deschutes River Trail in Winter. My favorite section starts at Pioneer Park and wanders past First Street Rapids, Sawyer Park, and Archie Briggs, through to canyon overlooks where you can see the Riley Ranch Nature Preserve. Continue through grasses and neighborhoods to the trail’s end, which you can’t miss. Pass around the gate and ride down a short driveway to Putnam. From there follow Putnam uphill to Mt. Washington Drive.

December

This time of year expect to see decorations on trees. Well wishes and ornaments are common.

Ride Considerately

The stretch from Pioneer Park to the canyon overlooks has moderate traffic, mostly on foot. Be courteous and mindful of walkers and dog friends. Thereafter you will likely have the trail to yourself.

Maston

Everyone loves Maston in the winter as the trail remains in good condition. Some would say it’s the best time of year to ride there. Nevertheless, I encourage you to return when the flowers bloom.

Any time of year the mountain views are spectacular.

As always, enjoy!

Miles of All-Season eBike Paradise

Have you met the Madras Trails? If not, you’re missing out.

Mountain views, juniper forests, a few whoop-de-dos, and rabbitbrush. Oh, did I mention the Valley of the Bones?

This map will give you an overview. As COTA points out, this is an excellent winter trail and we concur. We scouted it after heavy rains in the area and there was little-to-no evidence of path degradation. Runoff crossed the trail in one spot up in the junipers but left soils intact.

What to Expect

  • Open sight lines
  • Packed soil
  • Modest elevation gains
  • Berms here and there
  • Intersecting horse trails
  • Opportunities to bomb – if you’re into that
  • Technical trail features (TTFs) you can tackle or opt out of
  • eBikes welcome

Cows and Danger Noodles

Don’t be discouraged by the signs. Cows have grazed here, and may in the future, but the trails are clear and clean. Since sight lines are excellent you will have ample warning should one be in the vicinity.

As to the danger noodles, yes there is a possibility. However, most of the terrain is not conducive to where snakes like to hang out – at least in our experience. (Think Steelhead Falls or Smith Rock.)

Any who … I’m one of those people who’ve grown to dislike all snakes (not rational I know) and I was not concerned. Like any trail, keep your eyes open. You need to do that anyway to ride, right?

The Valley of the Bones

Love, love, love this! You’ll see a few “teaser bones” leading up to the main event and VOB trail branch.

It begins with a cool technical feature. If you prefer, there is an opt-around opposite the bone marker on the other side of the wooden bridge.

You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see this:

Elephant Wearing a Bow Tie

Hands down, my favorite bone!

Learn More

I could go on and on. I freely admit we only explored a few miles on foot, our modus operandi when scouting trails. We will be back with our eBikes, no question! And I’m looking forward to checking out the perimeter.

So get out and ride! On the way, take City View Street and enjoy the roundabout art.

For more photos of the Madras Trails check out my Flickr album.

The Right Tire for the Ride

Whether it’s extra cushioning, surviving potholes, or “rolling flat,” upgrading your tires can make a big difference.

Comfort and Safety

The wide diameter 650bx2.3 inch Nimbus sport tires installed on Lil Squeezy provide excellent traction, stability, and cushioning, which creates a safer, more reliable, and more comfortable ride on paved or dirt roads. Combined with a spring suspension seatpost and pressure-relieving Body Geometry saddle, you’ll never want to get off your bike!

We love this description from Specialized because every bit of it is true. Nimbus sport tires + suspension seatpost + Body Geometry saddle = One comfy ride.

Fast and Durable

Maxxis Hookworm tires were a key feature on our REI Co-op build. Tough yet smooth, Hookworms really roll. Seriously. You’ll find yourself peddling less. It’s almost like having a sub-1 pedal assist level.

Here’s what Maxxis has to say:

Tough enough for the meanest streets! Durable enough for urban assault, park riding, commuting, cargo bikes, etc. Grooved slick tread design. Wrap around tread pattern.

As the original urban assault tire, we designed the Hookworm to take the abuses of the most aggressive street riders. Bead-to-bead tread provides durability and traction whether you’re dropping staircases, grinding rails or riding in your local skate park.

Wowza! I think most riders would take it a bit easier, but knowing these tires are tough = peace of mind.

Roll Flat

My Burley Market Bike has roll flat tires.

Since we made the choice to cut back to one car, it serves as a secondary mode of transportation. Knowing I can make it back from a grocery run despite a flat tire is pretty important!

Red, White, and Electric Blue

The Red, White, and Electric Blue project is moving ahead.

In this second phase, we worked together to install several key items:

  • Rear tire and wheel
  • Shifter cable
  • Battery
  • Motor
  • Chain
  • Display
  • Kickstand

We also adjusted the back brake.

Test Fitting

If you’ve ever built anything, then you know a big part of construction is test fitting. Parts are installed, then removed, before they become a permanent part of the bike.

It’s important not to fear this process, although it can be disconcerting at first glance! Stay tuned for further updates from our build team.

A Different Kind of Build

Kids love eBikes too. One way to encourage their enthusiasm is to involve them in the build.

This ride is a work in progress. It illustrates all the prep that goes into a build before we even think about adding power.

While it may not seem so, we’ve already made significant changes to what we’re calling the Red, White, and Electric Blue bike:

  • Disassembled old drive train
  • Started the cleaning process
  • Installed a custom-painted riser handlebar
  • Replaced a defective suspension fork with a strong, fixed steel fork (the electric blue of the Red, White, and Electric Blue Bike)
  • Installed a safer hydraulic brake system with a compatible front tire/wheel assembly
  • Swapped out a child’s seat with an adult seat provided by the owner

We love this project!

The Mechanic is in the House

Bike repairs are inevitable. Ironically they don’t tend to involve eBike components, at least for us.

Instead it’s the everyday stuff that drives you batty. In my case, a fixing an old chain.

We aren’t a bike repair shop per se, but if you’re a customer of ours we can likely help you.

Programming Controller Settings

We have the technology to program your eBike controller. If you want us to adjust your throttle speed or your pedal assist settings, just let us know.

Two free programming sessions are included in your eBike purchase. Thereafter repair rates apply.

Repairs

Customer-caused breakage, damage, and ordinary wear and tear are not covered by us. Repair rates apply if we service your eBike.

Our shop minimum is $25 plus parts. Repairs are billed at $25/hour and due at the time you pick up your eBike.

Customizing Your eBike in 24 Hours

We were so happy to sell this new California eBike to a nice couple in Sunriver!

Before it rolled out the door, we customized it with the following:

  • Comfort cruiser seat
  • Bipedal kickstand
  • Generous front basket – thanks Sunnyside Sports!
  • Custom painted basket supports
  • Pedals without spikes
  • Front headlight
  • Rear Headlight

These swap-outs and additions were made in 24 hours. The original suspension seatpost was a $200 upgrade. We changed it out for our customers as a matter of preference, but it also saved them on the purchase price. 

This is the difference between “buying off the rack” and finding something that is truly custom built for you.

Custom builds respect the fact that everyone is different. What I need or prefer may not matter to you or vice versa. Our Mom and Pop shop strives to add components we think play up the best features of a particular build. We are also pleased as punch to make a switch that better fits you!

For Sale: California eBike on REI Co-op Frame

Extra! Extra!

No, it’s not a breaking news story, but we did just add three new features to this cool build:

  • A ring-a-ding-ding bell
  • Rear view mirror so you can see who’s sneaking up on you
  • Kickstand for parking your ride

What Are We Talking About?

Our new California eBike build on a REI Co-op aluminum frame with steel fork. Pedal assist and throttle powered.

  • Fast-rolling Maxxis Hookworm street tires
  • BMX tall handle bars for upright pedaling
  • Suspension seatpost
  • Hydraulic brakes
  • California eBike power group set, w/ long-range battery, throttle, pedal assist, and mid-drive motor.
  • Programmable controller – 750 Watt Class 3
  • Color display

Go Fast!
Speeds of 30+ mph

Go Far!
Mileage range 35-40+ depending on rider, terrain, and throttle use

Ride in Comfort

The extra tall front fork guarantees room for the big battery, mounted on the frame underside. Comfort is king during high speed runs over rough pavement or gravel with our suspension seatpost and mid-drive motor.

Turn on a Dime

If you’re looking for a highly maneuverable bike that turns on a dime (remember those? Ha!) – this ride is for you.

Adult Fit

With the Maxxis Hookworm tires, this bike is just under 26 inches and classified as Adult with the modified setup (MH tires, tall suspension seatpost, and BMX stand up handlebars).

Test Drives Encouraged

Find out for yourself how well this eBike handles compared to a RAD or other hub-style eBike. The California eBike is lighter, more comfortable, and requires less maintenance (no broken spokes like hub motor eBikes). Experience the difference!

Porch pickup or deliveries in local area at our discretion.

Cash, credit card, debit card, or Zelle payments accepted.

Why Choose a Custom Built eBike?

Because they’re better! And not necessarily more expensive.

Your Bike

It starts with the bike. Whether new or used, we convert your ride. Bikes in landfills just seems wrong to us.

Advantages of Mid-Drive Motors

We use mid-drive motors. With a mid-drive, which is integrated into the pedal assembly, the weight is centered on your bike. This allows for:

  • A more comfortable ride
  • Reduced or no maintenance
  • Cost savings over the long run

How can that be? Aren’t hub-motor bikes like the RAD cheaper and just as good?

Don’t get us wrong. The RAD business model, which emphasizes affordability at purchase, gets a definite thumbs-up. Millions of dollars in sales can’t be wrong.

But hub motors add weight to the rear wheel of your bike. You are more likely to feel all the bumps and grinds as you ride. In addition, broken spokes – caused by the weight of the motor in the wheel – are common. To fix this problem requires the expertise of a specialized bike mechanic, which can be costly.

Off the Shelf or Custom?

When you buy off the shelf, what you see is what you get. That can be terrific – if you purchase optional add-ons (more money) or just need the very basics.

Our eBikes are custom from the get-go. We aren’t obligated to use parts only from a specific source. We can add the best of the best as part of your regular build request. Features many manufacturers or shops would call “extras” like mirrors, racks, custom grips, etc. are standard for us. And we work with you to find the best solutions for your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Try before you buy. We will happily arrange test drives any time! Discover for yourself the difference in comfort between hub and mid-drive motors. Don’t take our word for it, comparison shop.
  • Find out the real cost, not just the purchase price. What comes standard? How much are “extras?” Is installation free? How long is the warranty and what do repairs typically run if the warranty has expired? We believe you’ll learn that custom built mid-drive eBikes like ours are the better value in the long run.
  • Please shop local. Whatever you choose, please buy from a local dealer. Whether it’s a Mom and Pop like us or another local – it’s all good. We need to support each other and our communities.

REI Co-op Becomes Sporty, Fast eBike

How do you transform a mountain bike into a street-fast, BMX style ride? By giving it a makeover from top to bottom.

This latest eBike build features brand-spanking new:

  • Fast-rolling Maxxis Hookworm street tires
  • BMX tall handle bars for upright pedaling
  • Suspension seatpost
  • Hydraulic brakes
  • California eBike power group set, w/ long-range battery, throttle, pedal assist, and mid-drive motor.
  • Programmable controller – 750 Watt Class 3
  • Color display
  • Speeds of 30+ mph
  • Mileage range 35-40+ depending on rider, terrain, and throttle use

The extra tall front fork guarantees room for the big battery, mounted on the frame underside. Comfort is king during high speed runs over rough pavement or gravel with our suspension seatpost.

If you’re looking for a highly maneuverable bike that turns on a dime (remember those? Ha!) – this ride is for you. $1700.

Arrange a Free Test Drive Today

Interested? Call or text us at 541-977-1700 to arrange a free test drive.

See Our Specialized Roll Sport eBike at the 2020 COBA Tour of Homes

Come see our Specialized Roll Sport eBike at the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) Tour of Homes. The tour begins this Friday, July 10 and continues for the next two consecutive weekends. For details, including the tour schedule and maps, visit the COBA website.

This unique BMX/comfort cruiser eBuild will be on view at Matt Cloninger’s custom home located at 1315 NW Mount Washington Drive in the NWX neighborhood. Watch for the COBA tour signs!

The Specialized Roll Sport

As a hybrid, the 2020 Roll Sport was an ideal candidate for eBike customization. We purchased it “factory fresh” from Hutch’s in Bend.

Before

After

For the eBike conversion, we installed a Luna Cycle Wolf power group set, consisting of a 1000 watt motor, controller, throttle, power cut-off brake lever, bling ring, and color display. We also added a front basket, rear rack, and mirror.

With a range of 35-40 miles and a top speed over 30 mph, this conversion is the bomb! It not only goes faster and further than a Rad, it weighs less. Total cost: $2,000. Sold to one of our favorite customers, Tom.

Envious? Let Us Build for You!

You can buy off-the-shelf or you can own a custom eBike from High Lakes eBikes LLC. It’s that simple.

Why Should I Choose a Custom Build?

  • Our eBike conversions use what you already own and make it better by adding a motor. We don’t send bikes to the bike graveyard, we reclaim them to live another day.
  • Installations are specifically designed to fit your needs.
  • Your comfort and safety is King – from specialized seatposts to grips, mirrors, bells, baskets, and anything else you want on your bike.
  • We use only the highest quality eBike kits on the market and the difference shows. Our mid-drive motors outperform the competition and result in a smoother ride.

Whether it’s a dear, old friend like the Cannondale or a new build, like the Specialized Roll Sport, we can help. We’re only a call or email away.

A Word about Cloninger Custom Homes

We are honored to feature our Roll Sport in Matt Cloninger’s newest custom home at 1315 NW Mount Washington Drive. Why? Because Matt built our house 8 years ago and he’s awesome! He’s finishing a project now at Tree Farm and we’re excited to see what he builds next at Discovery West.

Postscript

Our friend, Matt Cloninger of Cloninger Custom Homes, won 7 COBA awards for his beautiful home. Congratulations Matt! We agree!

Local Bike Shops

Bend has great bike shops. Two of our favorites are Crow’s Feet and Bend Velo.

If you’re a local, you know Crow’s Feet is more than bikes. When it comes to back country skiing, they’ve got you covered.

We visit both shops for the camaraderie, which is practically Bend’s other name. Both sell eBikes, so check them out.

Need parts? Crow’s Feet is a great resource. We also frequent Sunnyside Sports on Galveston and Pine Mountain Sports on Century Drive. Adding custom bling rings, grips, seats, baskets, and racks is part of our mojo.

So now you know. When you work with High Lakes eBikes we buy local too!