How to transform the USA bicycle according to the Honda Super Cub model: eBike as revolutionary USA short distance transportation


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History has a peculiar habit of repeating itself. The time seems right for another iteration of the Honda Super Cub transformational experience.
The original Honda Super Cub was a gas-powered scooter, in my opinion. A step-thru ebike can be considered an electric scooter, in some cases. :

The Honda Super Cub or Honda Cub is a Honda underbone motorcycle with a four stroke single cylinder engine ranging in displacement from 49 to 124 cc (3.0 to 7.6 cu in).

In continuous manufacture since 1958 with production surpassing 60 million in 2008, 87 million in 2014, and 100 million in 2017,[2] the Super Cub is the most produced motor vehicle* in history.[3] Variants include the C100, C50, C70, C90, C100EX and C70 Passport.

In 2017, the 100 millionth Super Cub was produced at Honda's Kumamoto Assembly Plant which commemorated the 60th year of its nameplate since 1958.

The Super Cub's US advertising campaign, You meet the nicest people on a Honda, had a lasting impact on Honda's image and on American attitudes to motorcycling, and is often used as a marketing case study.[4]

Please watch the following video, because much of this argument will not make sense without this essential background information.

I am advocating for non-cyclists to gently get into cycling with a bike like the Diavelo e-Xcite M800. The e-Xcite is meant to illustrate a prototype design, not the actual bike that will transform the American bicycle. I believe the e-Xcite M800 would benefit at least ten percent of the USA population. The attractive aspect to me is a Bafang M800 eBike can weight about 13kg or 30 pounds. A featherweight, attractive, stealth eBike is a very important consideration for mass appeal, in my opinion.

In my opinion, an eBike like the e-Xcite M800 should be inexpensive due to the 11.5 Ah battery. My guess is the battery pack contains 25% to 50% of the number of battery cells in a high end battery pack. The battery pack is the largest single cost in an eBike. The entire Bafang M800 electrical system weighs less than 4.4kg or ten pounds. Diavelo is owned by Accell Group, which also owns Beeline mobile bike service.

The Diavelo marketing model and Beeline service combination has the potential to transform the entire concept of bicycles as the primary mode of short distance transportation (i.e., less than 2.5 miles) in the USA. Note: Diavelo does not operate in the USA, but again a great prototype example. Velofix is Beeline's primary competition. I am totally pleased with Velofix service. I have two very expensive conventional bicycles to maintain.

You will see the closest approximation in the USA through the Accell Group's Raleigh line. Some model like the Raleigh Sprite iE Step Thru or Detour iE Step Thru.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists) (2018 $1,800)

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists) (2018 $2,100)

Perhaps, the e-Xcite might sell for under $1,500 ?

One way to evaluate an eBike might be nominal power-to-weight ratio. The ride experience might feel peppier, lighter and more responsive. People might truly feel "excited" about the bike. The Honda Super Cub experience pushed the Cub to become the highest selling motorcycle, ever.
  • e-Xcite prototype: 200 watts / 30 pounds = 6.6 watts/pound
  • Typical mountain bike might be 250 watts / 45 pounds = 5.6 watts/pound


A distribution and service network is key to success. The Honda business lesson to transform an industry is distribution and service.

To give you an idea how important service is, i am considering buying the Raleigh Tokul online. However, i need a 12V light connected internally. Setting the 12V connection requires a Bosch diagnostic tool. I might be prohibited from even connecting a 6V light by the Bosch warranty. The Beeline mobile service does not cover my zip code.

I believe Accell Group (sells over 1.3 million bicycles) will come to dominate the USA eBike market with this visionary acquisition of Beeline mobile bike service. Accell Group's Diavelo is a very sophisticated marketing group. The Accell brands in the USA are Raleigh and Diamondback (UK, US, Canada). Press release - Accell Group acquires US-based mobile service company Beeline Bikes.pdf


HEERENVEEN (THE NETHERLANDS), 28 March 2018 – Accell Group N.V. today announces the increase of its minority stake in Beeline Bikes to 100%. Beeline Bikes ( is a pioneering mobile bike service company based on a franchise concept that delivers a turn-key sales, service and data collection solution tailored for Independent Bicycle Dealers (IBD’s) in North America. The acquisition perfectly fits Accell Group’s strategy to offer mobile bike services as part of its consumercentric omni-channel model. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

Five years ago, Beeline Bikes was launched in Silicon Valley. The company delivers a seamless consumer experience from online purchase to the home delivery of ready-to-ride bikes. Accell Group will focus on rapidly growing the Beeline Bikes footprint in North America, which will support existing and future franchise partners as they seek to build dominant businesses in their respective markets. The acquisition furthers the focus on supporting IBD’s to best serve today’s connected consumer by offering a consistent, convenient, and remarkable experience buying and servicing a bike. Beeline Bikes will have direct access to the brands and resources of Accell Group’s North American business as it grows its franchise network in the coming years. In addition, the acquisition offers Accell Group the opportunity to bring Beeline Bikes to Europe.

Ton Anbeek, CEO of Accell Group: “To win locally in the North American market our strategy will focuson the needs and wishes of consumers through a true omni-channel approach. We want to empower IBD’s to serve cyclists the way they research and buy today – across multiple channels. We have been partnering with Beeline Bikes for quite a while and have found that their mobile model and technology platform offer highly attractive synergies with the traditional brick and mortar channels. Beeline Bikes enables us to offer expansion to our IBD partners; it brings convenience, high-touch service, and an experiential and data-driven solution that rapidly expands our consumer reach while bolstering value to our growing franchise network in North America. This acquisition is a clear case of 1+1=3.”

*** END ***
Accell Group N.V. focuses internationally on the mid-range and higher segments of the market for bicycles and bicycle parts and accessories. The company has leading positions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Finland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Europe,Accell Group is market leader in the bicycle market measured in turnover. Accell Group’s best known brands are Haibike (Germany), Winora (Germany), Batavus (Netherlands), Sparta (Netherlands), Koga (Netherlands), Lapierre (France), Ghost (Germany), Raleigh and Diamondback (UK, US, Canada), Tunturi (Finland), Atala (Italy), Redline (US), Loekie (Netherlands) and XLC (international). Accell Group and its subsidiaries employ approximately 3,000 people in eighteen countries worldwide. The company has production facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Hungary, Turkey and China. Accell Group
Number of pages: 2

In case of any inconsistencies the Dutch version of this press release is leading.

products are sold in more than seventy countries. The company’s head office is located in Heerenveen(the Netherlands). Accell Group shares are traded on the official market of Euronext Amsterdam and are included in the Amsterdam Small Cap index (AScX). In 2017, Accell Group sold around 1.3 millionbicycles and recorded profitable turnover of over € 1 billion.
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So how can you know if a featherweight eBike is for you? Let's use a different Bafang M800 bike as an example. The Maserati Trofeo (Trophy) is aimed at a different market, but simply adapt the concept tomsuit your purposes. You do need to understand all of the terms discussed here before buying any type of bike. An explanation of the terms are beyond the scope of this thread.

Let's associate symbols with a rating scale from -3 to +3, to discuss the merits of certain eBike features.

  • -3 :oops: Worst
  • -2 :rolleyes: Worse
  • -1 :( Bad

  • 0 :confused: Ambivalent or Ambiguous

  • +1 :) Good
  • +2 :D Better
  • +3 :p Best
Power Assist Level Profiles defined in a user friendly and beneficial way for an Amateur Cyclist:
  1. :p Stand-up Pedaling Assist ( "eSprint mode", like "eMTB mode" for Bosch mountain bikes)
  2. :p Acceleration from 0 to 15 mph in a middle gear, on the inner chainring
  3. :rolleyes: Speed
  4. :p Miserly Battery Consumption
  5. :D Distance
  6. :p Power and Sensing to Fight Strong Winds (opposite of standing up, I get low into dropbars, even at slow speeds)
:p Weight, Shape and Gearing of Motor for Acceleration (2.3 kg)
:p Weight and Shape of Battery (2 kg)
:p Accurate and Responsive Sensors for Acceleration
  • A torque sensor for each side of the bottom bracket.
  • Two or more speed sensors on wheel
  • An accelerometer
vs. Shimano STEPS 6000 5.8kg

Amateur Cyclist is discussed here:

Now we have a framework to compare two bikes. Just rate each consideration using the -3 to +3 scale. We can compare two ultra light electric road bikes, conventional bikes or any combination.

Since the Maserati Trofeo is a true hybrid road bike design, let's use the Maserati Trofeo as a baseline eBike. The Trofeo is a concept bike, not a stocked item in production. The Bafang M800 motor and a carbon frame for the M800. My local Velofix mechanic feels he can build the bike for me.

Notice how the battery and motor are barely noticeable in the downtube and bottom bracket area? A very elegant design that pleases.


  1. :p No Resistance From Electrical System
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I want to reach conventional bike speeds, without hitting a speed wall induced by motor gearing
  2. :p Stand-up Pedaling Assist ( "eSprint mode", like "eMTB mode" for Bosch mountain bikes)
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I stand up at least once per uphill mile. Stand-up pedaling slows me down and wears me out. Standing up avoids downshifting gears. I climb the hill faster, but I am out of breath and weak when I reach the top of the hill. Recovery usually takes a few minutes, so my speed is very slow, e.g., ~10mph.
    3. One torque sensor for each pedal might be an advantage in this situation.
  3. :p Acceleration from 0 to 15 mph
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Mostly for crossing big intersections in the middle gear on the first chainring.
    3. Two or more speed sensors for accurate and sensitive acceleration measurements (or accelerometer)
  4. :rolleyes: Speed
    1. Desired: -2
    2. I do not want high speeds because they drain the battery
  5. :p Configuring Power/Torque Curve from cell phone in a user friendly way
    1. Desired +2
    2. I want a UI to specify parameter values for when and how much power assistance should be applied
  6. :p Weight, Shape and Gearing of Motor for Acceleration (2.3 kg)
    1. Desired: +3
  7. :p Weight and Shape of Battery (2 kg)
    1. Desired: +3
  8. :p Electrical System designed for carbon frames
    1. Aluminum is too heavy and does not flex to absorb shocks
    2. Desirablility: +3
  9. :p Miserly Battery Consumption
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I only want the motor to deliver power assist at critical moments.
    3. I want the motor to disappear on the flats and downhill sections, so I can travel long distances.
    4. I want strong assist at the critical moments.
    5. For the most part, I want the electrical system to blend in with the bike and disappear as part of the cycling experience.
  10. :p Bluetooth Motor and Battery Management System
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need to know when to avoid using due to weather conditions.
    3. Need health status of every battery cell.
    4. Need to update firmware via internet.
    5. Need to run diagnostics against battery to know how risky a cold weather ride is.
  11. :p Fighting Strong Winds (opposite of standing up, I get into dropbars, even at slow speeds)
  12. :p 12v Front and Rear light system
    1. Desired: +3
    2. I ride through at least five tunnels and/or bridge underpasses. The C470 tunnel is 425 feet long. I cannot see mud or ice at the other end of the tunnel. I need a very powerful light with high and low beams. I want a rear light to alert other riders in the tunnel of my presence.
  13. :D Cold Temperature Range
    1. Desired: +2
    2. My biggest fear is an undervoltage that shuts down the engine from electrical resistance at cold temperatures.
  14. :D Distance
    1. Desired: +2
    2. 60 miles per battery charge is adequate
  15. :rolleyes: Cost
    1. Desired: -2
    2. I do not expect low cost or want to sacrifice quality.
    3. Reliability is important.
  16. :D Traction
    1. Desired: +2
    2. Wet or muddy conditions require wider tires. Also power assistance needs to be applied in a gradual manner to avoid sliding out. Inner rim width is main influence on contact patch shape.
  17. :D Braking Power
    1. Desired: +2
    2. Wet conditions need larger hydraulic disc brakes (180mm)
  18. :D Nible Steering
    1. Desired: +2
  19. :D Tubeless Tires
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Flat tires in cold weather is a total drag
  20. :p Gear Ratio
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need 400% on a double chain ring
  21. :p Aerodynamics
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need dropbars to reach 35mph easily.
    3. Motor and battery cannot introduce drag.
  22. :D Aesthetics
    1. Desired: +2
    2. A bike should look beautiful, not like some car parts were glommed onto the frame.
  23. :) Boost Axle
    1. Desired: +1
    2. A good rider can put out 800 watts. The total acceleration force may be very high.
    3. Need strong rims.
  24. :p Removeable Battery
    1. Desired: +3
    2. Need to bring battery inside for charging.
  25. :DDisplay motor and human power in watts.
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Let's put the bike into perspective using a daily experience.

Now that we have all the basic information behind us, let's design a hypothetical service for 24 Fitness, using my town as an example. The two mile bike ride along a the scenic Platte River trail is about the maximum distance any typical commuter would ride.
  1. I would ride 7.5 miles from home to 24 Hour Fitness to take a shower.
  2. I want to securely lock my bike at or near 24 Hour Fitness.
    1. The Pedal Bike Shop is a couple of blocks from 24 Hour Fitness.
  3. Pedal a bike share bike to the RTD train station.

Our focus in on the hypothetical experiences a commuter might have. We want to design according to a psychological model that focuses on:
  1. Beliefs
  2. Feelings
  3. Needs
Another partner is Trek with their BCycle bicycle sharing program.


What needs to happen?
  1. The businesses must work with local government officials to make the route to the RTD station clear.
    1. I could not find the station on my first attempt.
    2. The second attempt was better, but not straightforward.
    3. An alternate route must be marked, because Little's Creek is intimidating. Flash flood warning signs are posted all over the route.
    4. I did not feel safe, which is a basic human need.
  2. Let's assume Denver Bicycle will provide two stations.
  3. We need an an online experience tracking application to get feedback.
A word about standup pedaling. I believe standup pedaling is crucial to cycling. Why standup pedaling is important to an eBike might not be apparent, but it has to do with motor and battery efficiency.

Let's understand the relevance of standup pedaling by starting with a conventional bike. Standup pedaling is mostly a matter of training. Suppose you can sitdown pedal up a 2% grade at 12mph for one mile. With training, you might be able to achieve 16mph, or 25% faster standing up. That means 25% less stress on the eBike electrical system. Your battery range will increase. So, a 11.6 Ah battery has the effective range of a much heavier 16 Ah battery.

The trick to standup pedaling is gradual improvement by pacing yourself. Establish a baseline sitdown pedaling speed for a hill. Notice the speed at which you run out of breath when standup pedalling. The next time you attempt to standup pedal that same hill, keep your speed at a sustainable speed. The goal is consistency, which will probably takes weeks of practice to master.
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Defining the 2.5 Mile Radius Bike Experience and appropriate eBike
If you have given yourself the time to read and absorb the information in the previous posts, you will realize the whole point is to help you define a personal cycling experience. One of the primary benefits of a cycling experience is enjoyment. A cycling experience encompasses many things, which cannot be reduced to a single benefit. Most people benefit most by limiting their ride to 2.5 miles on a conventional bike. An electric bike can extend the range or ease the effort. Exceeding your cycling limits takes a very long range viewpoint-- several years.

Typical 2.5 mile radius bike rides centered on Denver RTD stations.


How much should you spend for an eBike? Batteries are the major investment for an eBike. EBike batteries need to be replaced after a certain number of full charges. Your focus should revolve around the battery pack.

If your bike rides are within a 2.5 mile radius, an 11 Ah battery is more than sufficient. In my opinion, less is more wrt bikes. Bike weight is a factor in several respects. Lifting a 40 to 60 pound bike is difficult for many people. The heavier a battery pack is, the stronger the frame needs to be. So, i would spend the least amount to navigate within your travel radius. Travel distance is perhaps the best single measure of battery needs. To be thorough, you should prioritize all of the thirty aspects listed in the second post.

The bike feel has a direct impact on your experience. If you have carefully described your desired experience, you will know if a minimal eBike is a good decision. I tend to spend excessive amounts on bikes. The key thing to remember is bikes quickly reach a point of diminishing returns around $2000, for most people.

I ride all year, so my bike decisions are primarily based on the wheel. I want a contact patch that has good traction in wet weather, between 2.0 and 2.4 inch wide tires (or 30mm inner width rims). Beyond 2.4 inches steering may feel compromised.

Disc brakes are part of the wheel. I like hydraulic brakes, so i am willing to spend the extra money. I also ride tubeless tires, so the rims must be tubeless ready.

If you are heavy, or plan to carry 25 pounds or more on a rack, Boost axles are worth investing in. Stronger rims are more reliable.

So, in short, i buy the most reliable wheel that suits my purpose. The bike frame is built around the wheels, so many bike choises will be immediately eliminated by your wheel choice.

The primary bike frame features to me are either a front shock or a carbon frame. Many people do not realize how much carbon frames flex. Ask someone to demonstrate for you. Depending upon your circumstances, a carbon frame may provide all the shock absorption you need. A good aluminum frame is always better than a poor carbon frame.

I can usually eliminate 90% of all bike choices by simply looking at the tires. Knowing the best tire for your desired experience is perhaps the single best use of research time.

The bike light is the most important accessory to me. I look for 12 volt light capability. You can always downgrade the controller settings to six volts, if 12 volts are too powerful. Not all controllers support 12 volt lights. 12 volt lights put you on equal footings with cars and motorcycles.

So, you can see that my choice constraints lead to expensive bikes. Bikes are all about tradeoffs.
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Defining the 15 mike radius bike experience and appropriate eBike
Range anxiety begins to set in for 30 mile trips. Battery capacity and motor power assist levels begin to dominate buying decisions. Bike efficiencies are also important.

The primary needs in the 2.5 mile radius are well marked paths, personal safety and bike security. The details can be found here:

I want to simplify the electrical aspects as much as possible. The Bafang M800 is a simple motor, so the explanation is the most simple. You need to grasp the basic concept about battery range. The important aspect is not the actual distance, but how distance is estimated.
  1. The M800 motor is 200 watts
  2. The battery is 200 watt hours
  3. Therefore, the motor will run for one hour at maximum power. ( watt hours / watts)
  4. The maximum speed is 15 mph, so the battery has a worst case range of 15 miles.
    1. The motor rarely runs at full power, constantly.
    2. Bafang claims the actual range is closer to 60 miles.

The weight of the entire electrical system is less than ten pounds. At the cost of ten pounds, you can confidently travel at 15mph for one hour, assuming the worst case scenario. My aim is to simplify and clarify, so i only present the worst case scenario.

I would not notice ten additional pounds when pedaling downhill or on the flats. The extra weight becomes a burden when pedaling up a moderate grade hill, e.g., 5% grade. If the motor is running, then you will not notice the extra weight. In practical terms, a 5% grade means you need to pedal five times harder than on a flat road. So, that extra ten pounds feels like 50 extra pounds on a 5% grade.

Mountain bikes can easily encounter 15% grades, so the power rating are typically above 50 newton-meters. 12% is the maximum grade for a train.The M800 is rated at 50Nm, so if you travel below 7.5% grades, 50Nm is perfectly adequate power. The point i am trying to make is that weight is a much more important factor than power, in areas that are not steep.

I will use my personal situation as an example. My most frequent route in a 15 mile radius is all under a 7.5% grade. So, a lightweight carbon eBike is better for me than a heavy, powerful aluminum mountain eBike. So to convert this abstract eBike picture into my actual needs, results in the following.

How would you draw your needs as a picture?

My concrete rendition of the abstract eBike picture looks like the Maserati Trofeo or Pinerallo Nytro.


For most people, the rendition looks something like the following picture:


This discussion is more elaborate, i will incrementally expand the content, as time permits.
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Pushing this minimalist bicycle argument to the extreme results in products like the 15mph BMW X2City kickboard. The X2City is mostly high-end, electric bicycle parts. Please note the leftie front shock, rear hub motor and disc brakes. The kickboard is made by the same branding giant that makes Bulls eBikes.

Most remarkable to me is the X2City ability to climb 15% grades. 12% is the maximum grade for a train.

Where does this minimalist concept lead to next, an electric unicycle?


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I needed a featherweight bike motor today. The forecast was SW 20 to 28 with gusts to 38. Winds like this kick up big sandstorms in the Platte River Canyon area.


Windy Days like today are surreal. I pedalled faster uphill, than opposing downhill traffic on a slight 1 to 2% grade. I pedalled uphill at 18mph. The look of agony was unmistakable on the faces of those southbound cyclists. I hit 38mph on the C470 bikeWAY.

Clearly, wind aerodynamics dominated today's experience. An external motor and battery would have had adverse affects. Judging from the Jaguar/Pinerallo software modeling effort that went into reducing water bottle drag, my guess is external motors introduce huge amounts of drag. Shimano reduced drag by 20% on their latest motor.

My guess is the Fauza has significant aerodynamic advantages over the Bafang M800.
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The high-end e-road bikes seem similar. The most conspicuous difference is tire width.

Pinarello home delivery and service vailable through Beeline via the following online sites. Whether Beeline staff is trained in Fazua technology is a separate issue. One advantage of a removable motor and battery pack is the unit can be mailed back to Munich, Germany. The bike remains operable without a motor.
Cube only has retailers in SF and Seattle
Focus has some US retailers
Canyon delivery via Velofix, but Canyon is late to the eBike game

  • FRAME: Pinarello Nytro
    • T700 carbon fibre
    • maximum tyre clearance 700x28C
  • Cube Agree Hybrid C:62
    • wheelsetNewmen Evolution SL R.32, 24/24 Spokes, 12x100mm / 12x142mm, Tubeless Ready
    • tyres Schwalbe Durano E, Kevlar, RaceGuard, 32-622
  • Focus Cube
    • Continental Ultra Sport II, 700 x 28C
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Mineral Avenue morning traffic congestion is a mile of unhappy, frowning faces. The following diagram illustrates the WHO defined infrastructure needed to convert those frowns into miles of smiles.

You mean to tell me all of those slick TV advertisements were wrong? The leather seats, elaborate sound system and caffeine saturated coffee cup holders were not the antidote to their gloom and deteriorating health?

The problem with Mineral Ave. falls in the Social Environment layer. The higher Built Environment layer in that part of Denver is as good for bike commuting as anywhere in the entire world.

For greater detail, see:

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The practical issues facing the adoption of the 2.5 Mile Radius Bike Experience.

See post #3 for more detail.


Denver Bicycle Parking and Accessibility Plan

Quickly skim these pages to understand the issues that discourage cyclists:

  1. pages ES-6 through ES-8 (Executive summary)
  2. page 24 - Transit Access Guidelines
  3. page 28 - Bike Decision survey results, also attached as a graphic
  4. page 29 - Bike Decision survey summary
  5. page 41 - Case studies from three other areas
  6. page 45 - Read the entire Recommendations chapter
    1. Policies to Encourage Bike Access
    2. Increase and Improve Bike Access to Transit
    3. Modify and Enhance Bike Parking
    4. Enhance Bike Marketing
    5. Tracking and Evaluating
If you work for a corporation, please provide or arrange for clear navigation instructions, secure bike parking facilities with bike sharing access for your employees within a mile of a train station or bus stop. Also, ensure bike sharing to/from your office. Showers may also be very welcome, but are the lowest priority. You can make a big difference!

More importantly, you want to focus on the employee experience. The psychology involves feelings, beliefs and needs. Employees will have a strong tendency to be either reluctant or eager to participate. Social programs that reward and connect cyclists will have a profound impact on their participation. That all comes back to you in the form of more loyal, happy and productive employees. Who wants to deal with a grumpy employee who had to battle traffic congestion to get to work on time? Or fire one?

Having an online experience tracking system is very important. You need to know which link in the system fails. All it takes is one weak link to break the entire delicate chain.

One suggestion is to focus within a one mile radius, or less, of a bus stop or train station. The shorter the distance, the more likely people will bicycle. If you are a commuter or business person, try to bring bike sharing to your area (e.g., B-Cycle). Commuters do not need to worry about bike theft. Business owners will generate significant traffic to their shop. The most important legs of a commute, and biggest opportunities, are the last mile to a and first mile from a bus stop or train station.

If you are a business owner, consider providing the services commuters need: first/last mile bike sharing, secure bike parking for their bikes and repairs. Bike-sharing from your shop will drive business, especially repair and parts revenue. Work with the government officials so they can obtain the information they need. Government officials need your input and help.

The Issues facing adoption of the 15 Mile Radius Bike Experience
For more detail see Post #5.

PDF Link






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A concrete model to increase bike activity for the 2.5 Mile and 15 Mile Radius Experience

Denver has an excellent mixed-mode commuting infrastructure(i.e., bike paths and RTD transport) that is vastly underutilized. The Denver biking community flourishes. Traffic congestion in Denver is like any other major US metropolitan area. The goal of this article is to inspire potential commuters, biking industry stakeholders and local government — the mixed-mode commuting service system -- using Denver as a model city. You will learn how to improve your odds for success.

Even if you have little interest in public transportation, you will learn how to design any type of service for a local government, small business or national organization, based on cognitive science (i.e., psychology). Service means both personal and internet services. The psychology in this example is simply about feelings, beliefs and needs.

Most people will not bike more than two miles, which is the lynchpin of this discussion. If you realize that most people will not pedal beyond two miles, you have understood the crux of commuter psychology. Success with mixed-mode commuting beyond a five mile radius requires fitness and mental determination. You might enjoy biking at high speeds for ten or twenty miles, like me, but we are clearly the most obscure minority.

I feel increased connectedness between commuters and the mixed-mode commuting service would significantly increase the percentage of commuters who would regularly bike to work, especially beyond two miles. I do not know the current level, but the 2015 level was about 2%. An increase to 3% is a huge relative improvement. Who would not want their business to increase by 50%?

The National Bike-to-Work day was a huge success in my neighborhood, but the effects lasted for just one day. A well designed, service-orientated web site, combined with strong local support, is a prerequisite to embolden people to bike part of the way to work. The fundamental problem that technology and local support can solve are psychological and social issues. One form of local support is bike shops sponsoring “commute tours”, as well as recreational tours. Keep in mind that the tour should only be a mile or two long. The goal is show people safe and easy routes that may not be found online. Also, explain the amenities available at the destination, like bike lockers and security features.

Just working out a viable route can be a show-stopper for many people, because finding the most desirable route is a lengthy trial-and-error process that will likely discourage most people. If the rider has the wrong equipment, the whole route planning process will end after the first attempt. Basic necessities like clearly marked bike routes are a big hinderance for many people to reach a train station. Adequate bike security at the train station is a obvious human need. If you have any interest in business or personal success, you will push to ensure basic human needs are met. Otherwise, only a tiny percentage of the population will cycle to work.

The effectiveness of a service system can be measured by the connectedness of the components, as illustrated in the following diagram. The diagram answers the following issues:

  1. Which features should be included or excluded from a service?
  2. Which entities need to implement specific features?
  3. How to capture the inter-connectedness of the system to identify the weak links.
  4. How to model social and psychological aspects to ensure success.
  5. How to specify and quantify a mental process.

I live near the Ken Caryl RTD Park-n-Ride station on C470. I pass by the Ken Caryl RTD station on my bike a few times each week, en route to the Mineral Ave RTD station area. My observation is the the parking lot is never used beyond ten percent of its capacity. I have only ever seen a few bicycles or ten cars in the parking lot. In contrast, the Mineral Ave RTD station parking lot often full by 7AM or 8AM. Traffic at the Mineral Ave. and Platte Canyon Rd. intersection, close to the RTD station, is usually very congested by 7AM.


My mother lives close to the Mineral Ave RTD station, so I am very familiar with all the bike paths in that area. The black-and-white discrepancy between the Ken Caryl Ave. and Mineral Ave stations is inexplicable, until you look at the two mile personal biking limit on the map in the next discussion. The awesome C470 bike path connects the two stations through beautiful Chatfield State Park. The nine mile, east-bound direction is an almost entirely gradual downhill incline. RTD also offers bus and a Call-n-Ride shuttle service between the two locations. Numerous shorter, alternative routes are accessible via bus or shuttle along Ken Caryl Ave.

For example, the flat Massey Draw Trail in Wayside Park is midway between the two locations, on the east side of Wadsworth Blvd. A rider of any ability level can progress to higher levels in 2.5 mile increments.

Riding difficulty cannot be the reason why people avoid these bike paths, because any active person can find a suitable route. “Backtracking” is an approach to determining the reasoning by beginning with the outcome. Reversing the order of the system model flowchart, displayed at the top of the article, we create the following reasoning chain:
  1. Outcome
  2. Experience
  3. Behavior
    1. Reluctance
      1. Persuasion
    2. Tendency to Participate
  4. Perception Filter
    1. Role-based
    2. Cognitive
      1. Feelings
        1. Enjoyment
      2. Distance Estimation
        1. Less than two miles?
    3. Social
      1. Image
  5. Feature
    1. Avoid traffic
    2. Reduce costs
    3. Exercise on bike
    4. Proximity parking
    5. Internet image
Let’s link the reasoning chain from "Outcome" to the “Avoid Traffic” feature using a real life example. Recently, the C470 traffic flowed to about 10-20 mph due to bridge construction in the Chatfield State Park area. One day, I passed all traffic between Kipling and Wadsworth C470 exits on my bike. The frustration and anxiety generated from serious congestion deters me from driving. In fact, biking is the antidote for those bad feelings.

The Experience and Outcome in my case was excellent, so the Service Designer succeeded in creating value by simply enabling me to enjoy myself. The Service Designer in this case were the government officals involved with creating the bike paths. A Service Designer was also the person who marked the bike path on Google Maps, so I could learn about the opportunity.

How can we quantify feelings?

The Google Maps Traffic feature already color codes traffic congestion for you. Let’s take a step towards statistics, without getting bogged down by technical considerations. A scale from -3 to +3 can mimic standard deviations. I want to avoid any technical discussion of statistics, so no further explanation of standard deviation is provided. Suffice it to say that a scale from -3 to +3 puts you on much firmer statistical ground than a simple scale from +1 to +5 (which is arbitrary).

I prefer to use -3 to +3 for another reason that improves accuracy — ordinary English usage. Almost all adjective pairs can be directly mapped to a -3 to +3 scale, without the need for interpretation or explanation. For example,
  • Worst(-3),
  • Worse(-2),
  • Bad(-1)

  • Ambivalence(0)

  • Good(+1),
  • Better(+2)
  • Best(+3)
The Google Maps Traffic information can now be used as factual evidence about feelings, rather than subjective opinions about traffic congestion. The service designer’s goal is to create greatest value by comparing before and after outcome from the experience. Google Maps Traffic feature can help locate the bike paths, car routes or RTD stations that maximize emotional benefit. All you need to do is associate Google Map colors with the -3 to +3 scale.

A saavy entrepreneur can exploit this information to host events at the most advantageous locations or times.

How can we measure inter-connectedness of the service system to determine the weakest links?

Government studies are very proficient at gathering data. The major problem I see with government studies is a lack of psychological models, like the diagram presented above. I will discuss a Denver report in the next post to illustrate how a model can improve effectiveness. Bicycle industry involvement is a key link that must be included in any study.

I feel the weakest link is the lack of technology services to connect people based on their needs. Cycling is all about efficiency and experience — both mental and physical. Inefficient or inexperienced cyclists suffer and are unlikely to participate without guidance. A great deal of suffering can be avoided by careful route selection. The Google bike path mapping feature is probably more harmful than helpful for inexperienced commuters. Knowing which route to take for different conditions, especially wind or time constraints, is paramount. Knowing how to pedal efficiently with the most appropriate equipment, for different situations, is essential. Traveling in small groups, or pairs, provides huge psychological support.

Some simple tips, like using pedestrian tunnels or bridges to cross intimidating streets, can drastically improve participation. Most people are unaware of where the bike tunnels are located. Pedestrian tunnels and bridges are not explicitly marked on Google maps. Moreover, beginners need to understand the physical mechanics of cycling and bicycles to avoid struggling and discouragement. Cycling is ranked as the eighth toughest sport by Sports Illustrated. Cycling is an activity where all the odds are seriously stacked against an inactive or unprepared novice.

Electric bikes can greatly level the disadvantages, but electric bike selection requires expert knowledge. You can easily waste thousands of dollars on an electric bike that does not meet your needs.
Is the Nytro carbon frame necessary or overkill for an eBike?


Fibers can be used as simple bundles or interlaced into fabrics: this choice, as much as the lay-up (i.e. the direction of the fibers), in influences both the production method and the performance. The main properties of the fibers are the Tensile Modulus and the Tensile Strength. Tensile Modulus, or Young’s modulus, specifies the stiffness of the material: the higher this value, the stiffer the material. Tensile Strength, or Strand strength, specifies the amount of force needed to break it: the higher this value, the more resistant the material.

For example, a rubber band has high strength and low tensile modulus: it is easily deformable, but difficult to break. On the other side, a matchstick is very stiff but quickly breaks if forced: this means a high tensile modulus and low strength.

Totally professional PDF file:

When subjected to violent impact, carbon fibre can snap, with evident safety hazards: dangerous flying splinters that can injure the cyclist and the possibility of a crash. Toray has solved this problem by inventing a system that prevents microfractures from spreading and avoids immediate collapse with the neat rupture of the fibres.

The extraordinary Torayca Nanoalloy™ technology consists of nanoparticles embedded in the carbon fibre mesh that explode on impact to prevent the fibre from breaking. Our current 50HM1K fibre is already 29% stronger on impact than conventional fibres. The new 65HM1K with Nanoalloy™ technology adds another 23% to that advantage, making it 59% more resistant than conventional fibres.

Toray® has been our exclusive supplier for the last 5 years. The Japan-based industrial colossus supplies the most important aerospace and automobile industries and is a world leader in terms of production output, technology and innovation in the field of special fibers. The Torayca® division, dedicated to carbon fiber processing, will supply the newly developed 65HM1K fiber with Nanoalloy™ technology.

Carbon fiber starts as a filament measuring 5-8 micrometers in width that is produced through a long and complicated process of pirolisi oxidation and carbonization of Polyacrylonitrile and is the material with the highest resistance to breakage weight that exists in the market today.

When we refer 65HM we are referring to fiber with a tensile modulus of 65 tons per square centimeter. When we refer to 1K it means that there are 1000 fibers per strand

Using a highly resistant and reliable fiber such as Torayca 65HM1K with Nanoalloy™ allows us to employ less material compared to traditional fibers, hence the final weight is lower, although stability and safety are improved. - provides a complete explanation of the technology. I am not sure i would be able to sense the improvements. Except the ONDA F8 shock absorption in the forks and seat stays.


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Not to hijack your thread, but I'm posting this because I thought it was relevant.
Honda has been developing the Super Cub EV and the rumor says it is almost production ready.

I have seen a lot of Chinese electric scooters online and in stores, but this time because it's a Honda, I bet it is going to be robust and reliable.
Not to mention the warranty, customer service and distribution network. Also comes with a name "Honda", and you know how important that is when it comes to business.




Thanks. You're contributing, not hijacking. Exciting news!

You informed me of something that i wanted to know. An electric version might be enough to convince me to get a motorcycle license. The major drawback is Denver has a short motorcycle season. I ride my bike all year, but never see motorcycles in winter.
Not to hijack your thread, but I'm posting this because I thought it was relevant.
Honda has been developing the Super Cub EV and the rumor says it is almost production ready.

I have seen a lot of Chinese electric scooters online and in stores, but this time because it's a Honda, I bet it is going to be robust and reliable.
Not to mention the warranty, customer service and distribution network. Also comes with a name "Honda", and you know how important that is when it comes to business.




Honda may be one step ahead of Tesla, with replaceable batteries you exchange at vending machines!

Why doesn't Bosch do something like Honda's replaceable batteries?

I would love to ride the 500 mile Colorado Trail on an eBike. Just need battery vending machines along the way. Just keep this a secret, because it might annoy certain types of people.

Where will you find such batteries? Vending machines says Honda. The Japanese firm plans to have battery vending machines called ‘Mobile Power Pack Exchangers’ on the streets that will disperse new batteries once you deposit your old ones. Swipe your credit card and carry your fully charged battery home.
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Not to hijack your thread, but I'm posting this because I thought it was relevant.
Honda has been developing the Super Cub EV and the rumor says it is almost production ready.

I have seen a lot of Chinese electric scooters online and in stores, but this time because it's a Honda, I bet it is going to be robust and reliable.
Not to mention the warranty, customer service and distribution network. Also comes with a name "Honda", and you know how important that is when it comes to business.




Here's a gas to EV conversion kit: