Late July/Early August Update

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Dispatches from The Daily Rider

Limited Shop Services during COVID-19

Hello Fellow Rider!

The Daily Rider will close for traditional retail sales on Saturday, March 14th, 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. While it is not certain how this situation will proceed, we are committed to mitigate the spread of this disease however we can. We’re doing what we feel is best to protect our staff, customers, and our community. We will reopen as soon it is safe for everyone.

Our hours of operation are temporarily modified to 10-6 Weekdays and Saturdays for pickups and drop-offs. Sunday hours are 12-4.

However, we are still doing repairs! 

So, how does this work? 

Call or text us at (202) 396-0704 during business hours and we’ll get you started.

At this moment because of intake procedures we are prioritizing larger repairs such as tune-ups. We would like to offer smaller repairs in the near future when we are able to streamline this process. Please bear with us as we work through this.

See that lockbox on our door handle? When you get in touch with us, you’ll be given a code to open it and drop your bike lock key inside. Lock up your bike on a rack outside, drop the key, and tell us what issue you’re having and we’ll take it from there. 

If you need a lock to secure your bike for repair, we will have one attached to the rack for you. Call or text us and we’ll give you a code to open the lockbox. Inside will be a key to that lock. The rest will go exactly as outlined above.

We’ll wipe down your bike, then bring it inside for assessment. Before we do anything, we will send you a full estimate for your approval by email or text as you prefer. 

Once we’re finished with your repair, we will arrange for payment by phone and set up a time for pickup along with a new code. You simply use the code to retrieve your key and pick up your bike outside at the rack. 

We’re experimenting with delivery!

Please text us at (202) 396-0704 in order to request a delivery. Obviously this is on a trial basis and we will have to limit our delivery area to the immediately surrounding neighborhoods. Some items will not be eligible for delivery, such as clothing items or helmets. 

So, some things that we apologize for:

At this time we cannot accept cash payments. 

We cannot open the door to chat or to take a look at your bike. We are in fact working inside. I know, you can see us, right? But, we want to limit transmission. If you need to talk to us, just call (202) 396-0704.

So, why are we doing this? 

This was the only way we could think of to limit transmission and to keep providing service to our customers. 

We’re doing our part to combat the spread of COVID-19 and appreciate your dedication to supporting local businesses. 

Thank you to all of our loyal customers who have supported us for the last 8 years and will continue to do so in the future. 

Have a question or comment? We’re monitoring our email closely:

We know that this is inconvenient, but we feel it allows us to keep providing service while still reducing risk. Please follow us on Twitter @thedailyriderdc for the most current updates on this. 

Thinking of Purchasing a RadPower Bike? Read This First.

We think electricbikes are great. They encourage users to ride further, and replace car trips with bike trips. But not all electric bikes are equal. Here’s what we have seen from RadPower.

Our experiences with the brands we sell have given us a sense of what to expect when assembling, riding, and servicing them. Over the past two years, Rad Power Bikes and their RadWagon started showing up in the shop. Recently we have also seen the RadCity and RadRunner. At first glance, the RadWagon looks like almost identical to a Yuba Mundo. The orange paint even mimicks a very popular Yuba color. 

Taking a closer look, these are very different bikes. 

An electric bike is heavier and faster than a conventional or “acoustic” bike. This means that several parts on an e-bike will experience higher wear and need to be more robust. The drivetrain needs to be able to handle torque from the motor and higher mileage. Brakes need to be stronger to slow a bike from higher speeds while carrying heavy loads. Wheels have to hold up under higher weight. Hub motors place additional strain on the structure of a wheel. 

Electric bikes take people farther than they would usually ride. Having a mechanical failure miles from home is inconvenient and may require a visit to a shop or a trailside repair. Having an electrical failure while riding is often the end of your ride for the day. 

We have seen motor failures, electrical failures, and wheel failures in the past two years of assembling and repairing RadPower Bikes. Granted, we’re not seeing the numbers of bikes that haven’t experienced these issues, but we believe that all of their models could be prone to them. 

The most typical problem encountered by RadPower owners is spoke breakage in the rear wheel. Because the motor is in the rear wheel, it is exposed to more stress than a typical wheel. Typically, new RadPower bikes come out of the package with low spoke tension, which leads to broken spokes unless this is addressed by a professional mechanic. Even then, bikes which we have assembled break spokes in the rear wheel. One customer who was taking two children to school had a total of six broken spokes in their wheel. We suggested a new wheel build, at a cost of around $300. For a bike that cost $1,499, this represents a significant repair in the first year. 

We do work on RadPower bikes. However, due to design choices and build quality we find that they require more time and effort to repair effectively. The hub motor is in the way of the brake caliper, which means that a simple adjustment to move a pad inward to compensate for wear requires removal of the wheel or the caliper. This additional time means additional labor costs for the customer.

Recently we commented on a thread on Twitter regarding RadPower receiving some venture capital. In the thread someone commented that their bike was doing well for a year and a half of daily use. The next day they updated with a comment that their frame had broken at the seat collar. We believe that 18 months of use is unacceptable for any bike, much less for an electric one. 

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