The Harley of Electric Bikes – Marrs M1

Now you don’t always see me posting about e-bikes here (mainly because I don’t like them haha) but this is one e-bike worthy of my blog!

The Marrs M1 wants to be known as the Harley of e-bikes and I believe they have every right to claim that name!

“The company was founded by Kacy Marrs, who has a background in riding a variety of both bicycles and motorcycles. His business partner, Brad Fanshaw, formerly ran a company that built one-of-a-kind hot rods.” (Pictured below is Kacy Marrs)

These bikes are built to order and specs differ from bike to bike depending on the customer’s requirements. The e-bike uses a rechargeable lithium battery that can (in one charge) carry a 79kg rider up to 32km without pedaling at all!

The top motorized speed is 32km/hr but in that photo above, it was apparently travelling at 48km/hr!

Each bike weighs approximately 64kg but the weight doesn’t really matter because riders don’t have to rely solely on their physical strength to propel these machines; and that’s the beauty of it because now “manufacturers have the freedom to explore designs that aren’t centered around keeping the weight down”.

“Frames are made from 4130 chromoly steel, while the components are a mixture of high-end motorcycle, bicycle, and custom-made parts.”

Expect to pay a minimum of USD$7,000 and upwards for these babies.

Because Pantone is Awesome!

These days you can get everything in Pantone colours!

These hand-made Italian steel-frame bicycles really provides you witha  stylish way to commute with their ‘Pantone Universe Bicycles’ range.

You can choose from the men’s or women’s style frame, add rear brakes or three-speed gears; and the fully-enclosed chainguards display the Pantone color codes they take after.

Get yours now from Abici! They cost US$1,181 each. Not too bad a price to pay for making a fashion statement!

Build Your Own Bike (iii)

Now I know this might be getting a little dull and tiring but here’s my third post about building your own bike! (My other two can be read here and here) I just can’t seem to get enough of it and somehow they just keep popping out every now and then.

So this time, what happened was I was looking at some really cool custom made frames by Hampsten Cycles, when I was reading about the company. This is what I read:

“Martin Tweedy has been building lugged steel bicycle frames since 1996 when he took the two-week Framebuilding course at UBI.”

My first thought was: “all I needed was a two-week framebuilding course and I would be able to build my own bike???”

Well I mean based on my previous two posts, I should have figured that out but somehow I always thought that these courses were just introductory, and you needed like years and years of experience and work to actually make your own frames. In any case, I am highly motivated now to actually really go for one of these courses one day if the time, money, and opportunity arises.

So anyway, I went to research more and found out that UBI stands for United Bicycle Institute (what a rad name) and they are the founders of BIKE SCHOOL!

“UBI offers the most diverse curriculum available anywhere, offering a total of 10 different classes to choose from, designed for every experience level and interest. Every class has a healthy balance of lecture, demonstration, and practical hands-on experience. There’s one to fit every need and budget.”

And indeed do they keep to their word! These are the classes they offer:

Mechanic Classes

  • Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance – 5 Days
  • Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance for Women – 5 Days
  • Professional Repair & Shop Operation – 2 Weeks
  • Advanced Certification Seminars – 2 to 5 Days
  • Continuing Education Seminars – 1 to 2 Days

Frame Building Classes

  • Cromoly Brazing Frame Building – 2 Weeks
  • Cromoly TIG Welding Frame Building – 2 Weeks
  • Titanium Frame Building – 2 Weeks
  • Alumni Frame Building Week – 5 Days
  • TIG Welding Seminar – 2 Days

All in all, it seems that all I need is to sacrifice 10 weeks of my life and I will be a lean mean bicycle making machine! Coupled with mechanic skills to boot!

And now for some pictures of bike makers in action.

Build Your Own Bike (ii)

About two weeks ago I wrote a post about a company in the States that offers a bike frame building course. (You can read about that here.) Back then I thought that this was a rare and novel form of education that was not offered anywhere else but today I’ve found another company (also in the States) that offers this course!

The name of the company is Yamaguchi Bicycles. According to their website, “every Yamaguchi bicycle is personally hand-built by Koichi Yamaguchi who gained his mastery of the craft during the years spent as Master frame builder for the legendary “3 Rensho” company in Japan. Koichi began working with the US Cycling Federation as National Team Mechanic in 1988, and, in 1989, he began making prototype frames for the US National Team and became the lone official framebuilder of the United States Olympic Cycling Team.”

That’s one heck of a celebrated bike framebuilder if you ask me!

So I was actually looking at Yamaguchi bikes because I was interested in their track bikes but here’s where things got interesting (and also why I am writing this post now). I noticed a side tab named “Framebuilding School“. FRAMEBUILDING SCHOOL BY A MASTER FRAMEBUILDER! This couldn’t get any better.

Comparing this course with the one I found before by antmikebike, the cost is lower and the duration of the cost is shorter.

Yamaguchi Framebuilding School charges $2,700 and lasts for two weeks; a fraction of the price of antbikemike’s at $30,000 and also four weeks shorter than antbikemike’s six weeks course. I am not very well versed with the terminologies of the course manual so I can’t tell for sure if they cover the same topics and skillsets. But based on price and duration, I can only assume that Yamaguchi’s course is either less comprehensive; or more efficient than antbikemike’s.

Anyway, the given topics covered are as follows:

  • Body measurement
  • Frame Geometry
  • Tubing Selection
  • Tube Mitering
  • Tool Selection & Use
  • Jig Setup & Use
  • Equipment Setup
  • Tube Prep
  • Brazing (Lug and lug less)
  • Build frame & fork
  • Finish Work

Yamaguchi only teaches three students at a time and the next available time slot is 5-16 November 2012. So what you waiting for!

And now for some images of Yamaguchi’s work for your viewing pleasure:

Build Your Own Bike

Yes! Now you can build your own bike (from scratch) all by yourself! Okay well it’s not as simple as it sounds. What I have today is a feature about a bike frame maker in the states who is offering a 6-week course to anyone who wants to learn how to build their own bike! But of course, it all comes with a hefty price of US$30,000. And this just the cost of the course. There are many other costs that would be involved but when you think about it, it’s a great skill to learn and one that you can build a business out of! If I had the money (or if anyone was willing to sponsor me the money), I’d totally take up this course. (Next intake is in March 2013).

So anyway as I mentioned, the costs are as follows:

Frame Building Business Course – $30,000

For this, the following are included:

  • Frame and fork tacking fixtures
  • Frame and fork Alignment table
  • Tube cutting system on a small milling machine [for main tubes, chain & seat stays]
  • BB, HT & seat tube reaming and facing tools
  • Heat sinks for TIG welding BB, HT & ST
  • Various benders for forks, stays, and racks.
  • Bike CAD program
  • Materials for 6 frames
  • Practice materials for welding and brazing
  • ANT bicycle building manual

Additional Required Equipment (that are not included) – $16,000

These equipments are:

  • TIG welding machine
  • Brazing rig
  • Insurance
  • Other machine tools [Lathe etc…]
  • Rigging/moving machine tools
  • Painting or powder coating equipment

Accommodation – $2,500

Food & Supplies – $3,500

Plane Tickets – $3,000

Total Cost – $55,000

So there we go! $55,000 for a super awesome 6 weeks of hard work and fun (you get to make one new frame every week so you will end up with 6 handmade bike frames at the end of the course). And oh yeah there’s also a 6 months follow up if you encounter any issues whatsoever! Pretty decent after-sales service don’t you think?

P.S. if you think the wood and copper bike in the previous post is cool and awesome, they were actually made by this guy as a showpiece item (and not meant to be ridden).

Source: antbikemike