Review: iMortor 3.0 Wireless Electric Bike Front Wheel Conversion Kit

Building a folding eBike with a child’s seat for ~$1,000

This is a super-long entry and not part of my usual nonsense about nuthin.

Before all the madness with the pandemic set in, I hit upon an idea during one of my sleepless nights: For the summer, I would buy an eBike, slap on a child-seat, and take the kid all over the city, and potentially, as far as Westchester.

I’d get some exercise, he’d get some fresh air, we’d bond and avoid watching too much TV: win-win-win.

I did tons of research – particularly speaking to CoB and her boyfriend, who manages a Trek bike shop – and figured I needed four major things:

      1. A bike that folded because I live in a tiny Manhattan apartment.
      2. A full sized (26″) bike so I could safely use a standard child-seat for maximum protection of my most prized possession.
      3. Either a front or center mounted motor to keep it as far away from the kid as possible.
      4. A battery that was also as far away from the kid as possible.

You’d never guess how few options I had. Actually, zero is the answer. No one made anything with those four criteria.

So, I decided to build/assemble it myself (with Chad’s help, in exchange for (copious amounts of) food and rum).

I started by doing some research on inexpensive but well-regarded folding bikes and Dahon seemed to fit the bill. But they stopped making 26″ bikes.

So, I picked up a used Dahon Matrix. Much more on this later.

I also figured out that the simplest option was to get the iMortor 3.0 Wireless Electric Bike Front Wheel Conversion Kit.

It’s a pretty ridiculous name – “iMortor” is how they actually spell it – but people looked like they were having fun on it, at least the 2.0 version.

On Amazon, it was about $620 (this is the 2.0 version); I picked it up for $500 from Banggood but it would take two months to get here. I wasn’t in a rush so that was fine.

Insert worldwide pandemic here.

By the time the wheel arrived, the boy was safely in NJ. So, with Chad’s help, we tried installing it onto the Matrix.

Dude, nothing we did could make the damn wheel fit. We even Dremeled part of the axel. Nuthin. A week of nuthin.

Either the disc brake kept hitting the braking mechanism or the wheel itself couldn’t fit into the fork.

Giving up, we brought it to a pro shop and they cracked the fork. Balls!

So, we bought another fork and that too didn’t work.

The bike shop was so irritated that they told us to get out and never to return.

Him: Get out, get out, get out, get out.
Me: It sounds like you want me to leave.

This whole thing took a total of five months from the time I ordered the wheel to getting kicked outta the shop.

Was about to give up when I eventually figured out that the Matrix had shocks on the front fork – and so did the replacement fork – and the hub was hitting against the shocks.

So, I gave it one more try.

I sold the Matrix at cost to Chad – who is now a NYC biking fool with a brand new fork with shocks – and picked up a Dahon Espresso (also used), which didn’t have shocks on the front fork.

Bam! The wheel took literally 5 minutes to install. (ARGH!)

After weeping in a fetal position for a bit, we were back to work. Chad and I spent the next week learning how to install V-Brakes onto a bike. That’s a whole ‘nother entry.

Good thing I went to law school.

One thing that was puzzling was that there was no throttle.

Chad: How does it start?
Me: I know exactly as much as you do at this point, man!

Usually, with these conversion kits, there’s either a throttle that you press with a thumb or twist like a motorcycle OR, on the higher end models, there’s a sensor on the pedals that sense when you’re moving and kick in for assist.

This thing, nuthin.

Turns out that it kinda combines both types: Once you reach a nominal speed, the wheel kicks in. Now, one time Chad was pushing the bike, it started to go, which freaked him out, but it didn’t do that with me…yet.

Most of the controls are via the fairly sketchy but still functional app that they have for both Apple and Android. It works rather well, connecting via bluetooth; the app just doesn’t look very polished.

During this whole time, I also managed to get an extra battery for $50 on ebay.

So, after five months of insanity, I finally have what I wanted: A folding ebike that could take a standard child safety seat with the battery and motor far from where the kid was gonna be.

Cost a bit more than I planned but it was still worth it.

Honestly, it’s insanely fun. The motor is super powerful and with both batteries, I could easily make it out to my parents on the tail end of Queens. It’s pretty amazeballs.

I’ll put up a video of the bike at some point – this entry’s getting super long as it is. But if you’re thinking about getting it, with the right bike, it’s just great.

I’ll let you know if there are any problems down the line too.

Here’s it’s final form. Just need to figure out where to put the damn thing:

Cost:
Bike (used): $400
iMortor electric wheel: $500
Extra battery: $50
Accessories and wasted purchases: $100
Total: $1,050

Location: home, with a fully functional eBike but no kid to put on it
Mood: hot
Music: I know I can count on you (Spotify)
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Logan tries an mBerry / No Year in Review

Hoping for some sweetness


My friend Jaerik once said that he liked reading my posts because they were never ranty.

I kinda feel all my posts for the past two years have been ranty. Have to somehow get back to how things used to be. Somehow.

Used to write up these year-end reviews and be able to joke about things like death. That seems like a million years ago.

But I’m gonna try to make the most of the life I have now with the kid.

The Gymgirl bought me something called an mBerry from Amazon for Christmas, which makes sour things taste sweet. The above video is one she took of me eating a lemon. It’s pretty cool; it was like eating a super sweet orange.

God, if only there was something I could take to make my otherwise bitter life sweet.

2018 is coming up. Always hope that the new year will be different and better. Hope I’m right this time.

I hope there’s some sweetness for Alison’s family, the boy, and me in the years to come. You as well.

If only.

Location: 3 days from the new year
Mood: (very cautiously) hopeful
Music: dreaming of bigger things, and wanna leave my own life behind

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Bermuda 2013: NCL Breakaway Tour Pt 2

More pictures of the ship, Bermuda, and rum

This is where we spent a week of our lives.

We splurged for a balcony cabin which was great – except we had a screaming child next door.

All. Seven. Days.

I would frequently step out onto the balcony and see the dad standing there looking depressed. Wanted to say something about the kid but it was clear that he was suffering enough.

So I gave him the dude nod, which he returned, and we both went on with our lives.

We didn’t spend too much time actually in Bermuda because we’d been there a number of times before. But we did make it to a rocky beach for a pina colada in a plastic cup by the shore.

I think it’s a requirement.

Also took a stroll to the Commissioner’s House at the Royal Naval Dockyard.

But really, the thing with taking a cruise is that, while the ship is docked, you pretty much have it to yourself. That meant reading at in the library in peace and quiet.

That’s what we nerds do.

..and maybe a drink or three at the Maltings Bar where I had a glass of Barcardi Oakheart rum for the first time.

Not bad.

We saw Rock of Ages (again), a dance show call Burn the Floor and a few other things.

Ended our trip listening to this singer named Annika Odegard, who was good enough that I bought her album.

But ultimately, there’s only so much lounging, drinking, and eating one can do.

Her: I think I’m done.
Me: Me too. I’m ready to get home.

Location: In fronta papers again.
Mood: less relaxed
Music: Take my hand, live while you can
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Bermuda 2013: NCL Breakaway Tour Pt 1

Another Cruise to Bermuda


Went to Bermuda for a week again on the NCL Breakaway, which was awesome.

For those of you that don’t cruise, we like it because it’s essentially a floating hotel with entertainment and food as part of the ticket price. The Breakaway is brand new with a New York City theme, how could I resist?

That plus, from my apartment, it only takes 20 minutes to get to the dockyards.

And this particular ship had two hot dog stands on board. This may have been a deciding factor as I have an affinity for such things.

Which is not to say that we didn’t go to some of the other restaurants on board such as the Shanghai’s Noodle Bar…

…for a bowl of noodles…

But really, it’s me we’re talking about.

A hot dog and a rum drink – maybe a Dark and Stormy or a Mojito – is all I really need for a vacation.

More pics tomorrow.

For now, I’m gonna dream about mixed drinks – with or without umbrellas – on sunnier shores right now before I fire up an excel spreadsheet.

Location: back in my apartment
Mood: relaxed
Music: Tomorrow’s back to work and down to sanity
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Why I bought the HP Touchpad; Doing the Opposite Thing

HP Touchpad review pictures

Spent the last couple of days trying to land the HP Touchpad. In fact, immediately upon returning from my trip, started the process – that’s how we dorks roll. For those of you that don’t know/have a real life, HP spent $1.8 billion to buy the operating system for the Touchpad, started selling it like three months ago, and then abruptly dropped the whole thing.

Ended up ordering like 18 of them knowing that most would get cancelled, which they did; right now, I’m scheduled to get about three of them and this may change.

The question, of course, is Why would I buy the HP Touchpad when I already have an iPad?

The answer is that, as a $599 iPad competitor, there’s no question that it’s simply not as good and not worth the money. As a $150 colour eBook reader, that’s a completely different story. Since I use my iPad 99.9999% of the time as a PDF and ebook reader, most of it’s functionality is wasted.

So I’m thinking of just selling the iPad and using the HP Touchpad as a stopgap device until the iPad 3, or even the iPad 4, comes out.

The other reason to get it, however, is to hack it to run the Android operating system in a year or so. From everything I’ve read the OS on the tablet (webOS) is excellent. The problem is that there just aren’t enough apps for it. For the next year, the built in Kindle App and Facebook app – the only tablet Facebook app from what I’ve read – coupled with the built in ebook reader and 50GB of cloud storage for life, should make it a worthwhile stopgap device for me for the next 18 and by then, a stable Android os hack should be floating around.

It’s coming in a week or so, so I’ll post details as it comes about.

End unabashed dweeb.

Red plastic down near Canal Street, NYC

Me: OK, I’m ready.
Her: Do you have your swim trunks?
Me: No.
Her: Do you have your hat?
Me: No.
Her: Do you have your sunglasses?
Me: No.
Her: (Shakes head)
Me: I’ll go pack those right now.

Now that the vacation’s over, it’s back to work.

Met up with my old business buddy for some good Irish stout. He owns Cruisedirect.com, which just got listed in the Inc 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in America. That puts his biz in the top 1% of all businesses in the country.

Did y’know that the Empire State Building was built in the middle of the great depression? There’s this saying that Any company can be good in good times, only great companies can be good in bad times. Sometimes, doing the opposite thing of the rest of the world’s the way to go.

Getting itch to start something up again and I’ve got a few ideas percolating.

We’ll see how it goes.

———-

Just for laughs, Google the words “Intellectual Property NYC” and then click “videos” on the left-hand side.

What do you see where you are?

Location: prepping for some business
Mood: ambitious
Music: don’t you worry, it could be so sweet
YASYCTAI: Be brave when others are wary; wary when others are brave. (lifetime/3 pts)
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