Meet Jamie! One of our early adopters from Austin, Texas. Jamie was kind enough to share his story of how Electron Wheel helped him get back on a bike after a knee injury.
Thanks for talking with us today! Can you share a little about yourself?
No problem! I’m 44 years old and started biking when I lived in Los Angeles. Traffic was horrible so biking in many instances was faster than sitting in a car. I was 29 years old then and have been biking ever since.
You’re one of Electron Wheel’s early adopters. How did you hear about us? What about the wheel caught your attention?
After moving from LA to Austin,TX I continued to bike to and from work. Unfortunately for my knees there are massive hills here in Austin and after a couple years of riding up them I injured one of my knees.
After a lot of physical therapy and x-rays, MRIs etc. I was finally ready to get back on the bike which was a huge relief because I didn’t realize just how much biking was a part of my life until I didn’t have it.
After exactly three days of riding I had to stop going up a hill because my knee hurt. I was HOPING that it would be fine and the fact that I stopped and walked the rest of the way would be ok.
Unfortunately it wasn’t. I couldn’t walk for a few days afterward, and driving wasn’t even possible since I own a stick… my wife had to drive me to and from work and we both hated that situation. I’m a terrible front-seat driver.
So I went back to the orthopedist and he basically told me, “Sorry man you’ll just have to stay off of the bike.”
I got a second opinion just to make sure and was told the same thing.
I put my bike in my closet and couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I would never be able to ride it again. I couldn’t sell it because I just couldn’t.
Two years went by and I finally decided I should sell my bike. I hadn’t been on it and wouldn’t be able to so it was time.
About that time I saw an article on electric doping in some professional race. I thought to myself, “You know that would be awesome for ME just because it would eliminate those hills and allow me to ride again.”
So I started researching electric bikes and found a review of the Electron Wheel. It was EXACTLY what I wanted–a wheel that would help me up hills but still allow me to bike and get a good workout.
Can you describe your riding experience before the Electron Wheel?
I rode for about 10 years daily commuting to work starting in Los Angeles and ending in Austin for the last year.
And as I wrote above, the hills in Austin (two in particular) were so large that I injured my knee going up them, which put an end to my biking.
Describe your first experience riding Electron Wheel. Has the wheel helped improve your ride?
The first time I rode with it I was calibrating it and I had forgotten to turn on the crank sensor.
So I’m pedaling along thinking, “Well MAYBE it’s doing something?”
Then I finished the calibration and figured I would try it on “High” since I had it on “Normal,” still didn’t feel anything.
I thought maybe it just wasn’t noticeable or maybe it would only really kick in on hills.
Then I looked down and noticed the little light on the crank sensor was off, DOH!
I flipped that little switch and did a calibration again and I was so happy I couldn’t stop giggling.
On the high setting it literally just PULLED me and I couldn’t believe the power on the wheel.
I put it back on “Normal” and still just giggled because it was doing everything I was hoping it would do.
So I took it on a test ride.
I had to use my old Schwinn bike that I started with since I was told the wheel wasn’t really tested on carbon forks and I didn’t want to crack the forks on my carbon bike.
The reason I’m mentioning that is on my test ride I’m pedaling along on my vintage steel bike going up a hill and moving faster than I would ever have moved on my carbon bike. As I crested the hill I stopped pedaling and started coasting and as soon as I did that three guys that basically looked like Lance Armstrong came around me.
As they passed me they looked confused. I didn’t get it at first, but then I realized it… they were following me up that hill and I was LEADING them in an old steel bike with normal shorts and tennis shoes and they were back there with their racing bikes and basically just keeping up!
On a GOOD day before my knee was injured I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with those guys but here I was leading them and then keeping up with them after they passed.. I giggled more.
Do you notice the wheel’s help while climbing hills?
Absolutely! That is why I’m able to bike again! I will say that the steepest hill I still can’t get up even with the wheel’s help. Mostly because that hill starts at the crest of ANOTHER hill and I’m already pretty winded and it’s so steep that I can’t keep a cadence fast enough for the wheel to continue to help me. (This was the hill that wrecked my knee).
But the second largest hill and it’s HUGE, the wheel powers me up and I can manage to pedal enough to keep going…. It’s amazing… truly amazing.
Have you ever ridden another e-bike? How does Electron Wheel compare to other systems on the market?
Can you describe the type of bike you ride Electron with, and your typical ride?
1989 Schwinn Circuit, I ride to work to and from. One way is approx. 18 miles so 32 round trip but I’m able to charge at work so I’m good.
Are you an avid cyclist? Or more of a weekend warrior?
Difficult to say really, I used to ride to work every day. That was a 32 mile round trip in Austin. In LA it was about 28 miles round trip.
So I guess I’m an avid cyclist since I only ride on the weekends occasionally.
Thanks for telling us about your experience! Is there anything else you hope to see out of Electron Wheel looking into the future? Upgrades to the app or wheel’s functionality?
I would LOVE it if you guys came up with a way for me to be able to use my carbon bike. It’s lighter, and easier on my joints than my steel bike.