Dispatches from The Daily Rider

Social Media Changes

We’ve had a tenuous relationship with Facebook in the past, rarely updating, and preferring to communicate on Twitter. The events of the last 24 hours in our home city have made us reconsider what outlets we want to use, and how we should communicate.

We have deleted the official Facebook page for The Daily Rider and it will disappear after their mandatory 14 day waiting period.

We never really “got” Facebook after a certain point, and became frustrated with their limits on engagement. Of course, the company and their leadership have been taken to task in the past for their failure to respond to the platform’s use as a propaganda tool by certain groups. We have kept the Instagram page for the moment, and are aware that their ownership by Facebook makes this statement somewhat hypocritical. What can we say? We like looking at pictures of pretty bikes and cute dogs.

No social media platform has figured out how to perfectly moderate discussion in a way that encourages positive interaction and information sharing. We’re well aware of the limitations and failings of Twitter as well, but feel that we’re able to much better navigate that platform and avoid its darker sides.

We’ll be using this site and Twitter to broadcast relevant updates from the shop. As always, we can be reached via email or phone in the shop for more direct requests.

Snowy Day? We’re open 1/13/19!

class=”aligncenter is-resized”>Snow falling on H Street with DC Streetcar passing window.
The DC Streetcar is running, we have warm gloves and hot coffee!

If you’re making an emergency snow day run to the Whole Foods and need some gloves or other snow essentials, we’re here for you.

Electric Bicycle Conversion

Adding an e-assist kit to your bike can extend your range and reduce effort needed to get up hills or carry passengers and cargo. Many of our cargobike customers have decided that an e-assist kit is essential for getting their growing families around the city and up Capitol Hill. Our shop is equipped to install and service a variety of different electric motor systems. Recently, we have been using the Lunacycle mid-drive kits to add power to Yubas, Workcycles, and regular bikes. This system is powerful enough to handle fully loaded longtails and Bakfiets.

Mid-drive power

The mid-drive motor for this electric bicycle conversion is the heart of the operation. We use the 750 watt and 1000 watt versions in most builds. This provides enough power to get a fully loaded cargo bike up to 20mph and maintain that speed.

Lunacycle electric assist motor installed on a Yuba Mundo
The Lunacycle electric motor installed on a Yuba Mundo

Starting the build

We start out with a regular bike, in this photo, a Yuba Mundo. The first step is to pull the crankset and bottom bracket and replace with the motor unit.

Lunacycle BBS02
The motor in place before wiring.

Battery mount

The battery tray is installed directly onto the water bottle mounts for a secure platform.

Battery tray
Mounting the battery tray.

Cabling to the display

Cables run from the electric motor to the speed sensor and to the brake sensors. These components all get wired into a harness that passes through the display/control unit.

Bafang motor controller screen
Control at your fingertips. Five power settings and a robust color display showing speed and power output.

Once we get all the cables set up, we’re ready to pull the battery off the charger and test the drive motor. A few tests of shifting and braking and the newly electrified bike is ready for the street.

Yuba Mundo with electric motor installed.
A completed Electric Bicycle Conversion with Lunacycle 750 watt motor.

We can walk you through the build process if you’re considering making a conversion to electric motor assist. A typical build with motor, controls, battery, and installation will run around $1500.

Is it worth it? Our first Yuba electric motor assist installation customer said her face hurt from grinning on her school run.

We think that’s a pretty good endorsement.


Our intrepid yogi and shop salesperson Brittany took a trip to Amsterdam this past weekend. Find some of her bikey photos at our account @thedailyriderdc

I don’t want my bike to get stolen

We don’t want your bike to get stolen either. Which is why you’ll notice a lack of cable locks in our shop and a focus on keeping your bike and accessories secure. 

Let’s take a look at what we can do to make your bike as theft-proof as possible.

Street Parking or Garage?

Before we get to locks and locking accessories, let’s talk about parking your bike on the street. Many restaurants and retail establishments dissuade customers from bringing bikes inside so there’s a possibility that your Yuba is going to have to take dinner al fresco. See if there’s a possibility of bike parking in a nearby garage (required by law in DC) as it is more secure and weather protected than street parking. 

If you’re parking on the street, you may notice a variety of bike racks and fixtures for affixing your fixie. The quality and security of these vary greatly. Ring racks are ubiquitous in DC and are decent security (when correctly installed) and provide simple locking options. Place your bike with your non-drive side (the side without the gears on it) next to the rack. This makes it easier for the next person to use the rack without entangling their bike in yours.

No Rack? What now?

Don’t lock to trees (for their health and your bike’s security) and choose street furniture carefully. Street signs are fine as long as the bike and lock can’t be lifted up and over the top if the sign is missing. Locking to a uniformed police officer is a safe method, but always ask for permission before doing so. Less safe spaces and structures are chain link fences (easily cut) and anything wood (same deal). A good rule to follow is to always lock to something that is harder to defeat than your lock.

We’re going to assume that you already have a good quality U-lock or link lock (like the fine Abus Bordo pictured above), that is long enough to get through both your frame and the fixture you’re locking to. 

Lock through your frame and back wheel or use the “Sheldon” method by going through the rear wheel inside the rear triangle of the frame. Now, attach your second lock.

Wait. Second lock?

Yes. Here’s the thing with wheels. They’re what make your bike move and they’re really easily stolen on most bikes. If you have quick release wheels, consider the new Abus Nutfix wheel locks or a similar solution from Pitlock.

The Pitlock locking skewer will protect your wheels, saddle, and other accessories from disappearing 
The Abus NutFix skewer is a keyless solution

You can also use a second lock to attach between the front wheel and frame. This solution may seem extreme, but you might consider it if you lock up in high theft areas (Metro stations, nightlife destinations) to improve your chances. 

Take some photos

Of course, all of these things can be defeated, so take a moment right now to take a photo of your serial number (its probably underneath your bottom bracket) and store it somewhere safe. As long as we’re talking about preventative measures, register your bike on BikeIndex today. Its free, and an open source solution accessible to anyone with an interest in preventing bike theft. Some pictures of your bike and any distinctive markings or stickers can be posted here as well. 

Reading this too late and your bike has disappeared? We have a post for you as well. 

My Bike was just stolen. What do I do?

We understand. That really sucks.

We started our shop after Beth’s Bianchi Milano was stolen from our shed, so we really know what you’re going through right now. 

Make the call

A Celeste Bianchi Milano
Bianchi Milano. Gone too soon. 

First thing you’re going to want to do is call and make a police report. This can seem like a waste of time, but it is important if you want to make an insurance claim or get it back if it ends up in a police property room. 

Get Online

Bike Index Logo
The wonderful folks at Bikeindex want to help get your bike back. Post a picture and description with dates and locations to get the word out. 

Next, take to the web. Resources like Bike Index and the DC Stolen Bikes Facebook page are great open source ways to get the word out about your missing Mongoose or purloined Pegoretti. Post on your personal Twitter feed and Instagram account. Pictures help. You did have pics of your lovely steed, correct?

Contact local shops

You know who hates bike theft? Bike shop employees! We’ve all seen shady characters pushing bikes through our doors asking how to use the shifters or valves on a bike way too big or too small for them.

So give your local shops a call or email. We put our messages up on our internal Slack channel dedicated to this very issue. We’ve recovered several bikes in the shop and successfully returned them to owners, so don’t lose hope. One bike we recovered had been missing for over a year. 

Set up alerts

Set up alerts on Craigslist , OfferUp and EBay along with other sales sites to see if your disappearing DeRosa makes its way to online commerce.

In our experience, most bikes that show up on these sites do so rather quickly so scan them as soon as possible. If it turns up on one of these you have a few options. One can take the rather unconventional yet effective method of stealing your own bike back like our customer Danny  did a few years ago. We do not endorse this method as it could lead to losing more than your bike in the process. We have heard of DC police setting up sting purchases for these cases, but don’t count on it. 

Find a new friend

After all this is done, you’re going to want to replace your faithful Fairdale , and we know just the shop who can help you out. If you’re looking to prevent this heartache, read our post on bike security procedures

Welcome to the newly-redesigned Daily Rider!

First of all, welcome to The Daily Rider’s new site. Take a look around and tell us what you think.

We wanted a platform that would allow us to communicate directly with you for the latest news and developments from the shop.

We’re really pleased with what our collaborators at CStraight Media came up with. If you need a design team for your next project, we can’t say enough about them. The whole team contributed to make this site something we can be proud of. Special thanks go to Thomas for leading the team from concept to production, and to Q. Jesse for managing content and keeping us on task. Thanks guys!

In the next few months, we’ll be announcing our rides, events, and classes here.

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