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First ride

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I'm a retiree and my exercise  routine is a daily loop on my bicycle of about 27 miles.  Today, I decided to see whether my newly arrived X 7 would make the loop.  Since putting it together, I'd only ridden it about 2 miles up and down the road.  Most of today's ride was with level 2 assist with occasional bumps to higher levels on hills.  Level 2 burned about 100 watts, level 3 about 200 watts and level 4 about 370.  Level 5 helped me zip up one of the steeper hills, but I forgot to check power usage.  At the end of the ride, battery voltage had only pulled down to 49 volts from the initial charge when I put the thing together.  I'm impressed.  The bike will have greater range than I expected.  I think I got the same amount of exercise, but with a higher average speed.

The bike will need some ergonomic adjustments.  The seat is awful (I have a Brooks saddle on my real bike) and the seat is too far forward.  I'll need an angled seat post.  The pedals don't work because I'm used to pedaling circles and need to be clipped in to do that.  Gotta figure out what to do about the handlebar.  I spin out in top gear, so the sprocket and crankarm will need to be upgraded.  But I was surprised and pleased at how well the bike worked otherwise.  I put one of those Ibera racks on with a top bag that I had lying around, so I can carry a pump, tools and patch kit.  And I'll be able to throw on my touring panniers to make a run to the store.  It'll be fun to have an electric mule.

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Your upgrade list sounds pretty typical for a cyclist taking the step over to ebikes.  Also your take on exercise mirrors the few studies that have been done on commuters who are hooked up to heart rate monitors bike vs. ebike:  Same exercise levels but arrival times decrease.

Lots of people like the Brooks saddles.  I despise them but realize this is an entirely personal choice, and different saddles work for different people.  I use a Performance Bike Softail - Roughly similar profile but different kind of seat entirely.  Given the lack of suspension and my higher speeds after power upgrades, I opted for a Thudbuster ST which offsets the seat back a ways.  I also replaced the bars and stem with a 720mm carbon fiber bar and a 120mm stem with a 13 degree rise.  My riding is primarily commuting at speeds in the 24-32mph range in 15-mile chunks.  I have found a more upright position - but not cruiser-upright - is much more comfortable.  The wide bars make a huge difference as well.

For commuting and being on and off the pedals all the time, plus some foot problems I was experiencing with my toe clips, I opted to go for flats for the first time since I was a kid.  I ended up choosing these.  They take real work to get used to and take advantage of, but I just bought my second pair for my fat cargo bike.  There is proper science behind the concept and it *can* be adapted to a high-rpm quasi-road bike like a Sondors fattie.


Cranks:  The 100mm bottom bracket (177mm spindle) versus the chainstays mean only a few alternatives will clear the fat tire chainstays.  You will need offset crankarms most likely.  Interestingly, since power comes direct from the axle you can get away with much lower grade drivetrain components than you'd think.  I used the Origin8 Track/SS in 175mm length but those are straight arms and may not fit an X7.  I had to give them up when I spread my stays for a 750w motor with its 175mm axle.  Using a cheapie Chinese crankset now coupled to a 60T front ring.  But my bike is tailored to flat terrain and lots of aftermarket power upgrades.  60T is a tad extreme otherwise.

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@motorcyclist, you certainly fit in the Experienced Cyclist Category but I offer this link for newer cyclists to help them select a Saddle. Saddles are more than just an extrinsic choice based on appearances or ill defined perceptions of need . On my rides, I use a variety of different saddles but they are all the same basic shape. The Selle Italia Turbo (vintage 1980) has been my favorite shape, that very early on in my cycling ethos, fit my posterior.  The later issued Selle Italia Flite (1990s) it’s  newer replacement,  then in the 2000s the Fi’zi:k Aliante has won my favor on my road bikes. Even my Specializes Rockhopper MTB,  has the same basic shaped saddle, with a slightly wider, padded base at the sit bone area. I didn’t find it necessary to change it and it came on the bike. I am recovering it with new leather though because of wear.  Even my Dolomite, with its bare, non covered carbon fiber saddle has an almost identical shape although slightly flatter.  They are all comfortable. 

But none of those saddles are recommendations or might be a fit for anyone else. One nice accomidation at better bike shops (even online @ Competitive Cyclist)  are “Test Saddles” to let you try and see if your rear end take’s a liking to a particular saddle or shape.  . But which ever kind of rider you are, it’s important to dispel misconceptions about saddles and gain some insight. These tips should help give you an informed starting point or help hone your way to the perfect saddle. 





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