Feeling Young Again


Bob and Kris 10:2015 2

We recently received this terrific note on the benefits of e-assist from Bob in California:


We have now ridden 1400 miles on our new Friday Tandem XL.  We have named it Electric Orange or EO for short. It has the Sram three speed drive system.  It is equipped with mountain bike handlebars, levers, and brakes.  The front brake is disk.  The rear brake is rim.  A rear disk is used as a drag brake. A 48V high-end 1300 watt (peak)geared motor system was installed by Electric Bike Solutions in Fairfield, California. A motorized hub is in the front wheel.

Five levels of pedal assist are controlled by Captain Kris by large buttons on the handlebar.  She also has a throttle control that will override pedal assist.  The motor stops whenever peddling  stops or the brakes are applied.  The installation is very neat. A custom cable runs from the rear battery to the controller located in a small bag below the captain’s saddle;  The cable is attached to the underside of the long top tube  with orange tie wraps that match the color of the bike.

Before selecting this system, Kris rode a BionX equipped  commuter bike, a high end BionX equipped trike, and a Leed 250 watt mountain bike. She liked them all.  Kris loves hills now.  I do not think we have been passed on one yet.  Our legs and the battery assist have gone 50 miles and climbed 2500 feet before loss of battery power. It is nice to feel young again on those steep hills.

Captain Kris and Stoker Bob
Bike Friday Tandem XL August 2015 A
Bob and Kris 10:2015 1


To see more great photos from Bob, Kris and Electric Orange’s autumnal ride check out Bob’s website here.

To learn more about this electric conversion, please visit LEED Electric Bike Conversion Systems. Bike Friday does not offer these types of conversions in-house.

9 Responses

  1. Usual tandems require the heavier person to be captain, in front. That appears not to be the case here. Why?

    1. There isn’t actually anything about the bike design that would require the heavier rider to be in the front. It’s all about what the individuals who are riding the tandem prefer!

    2. Hello Lou, It has never been a requirement. Tandems are generally configured with the larger frame up front, which makes sense. However, it is not a requirement. I am blind and have been riding and racing tandems for over 18 years. I am 170, at my heaviest and have ridden a Bike Friday Traveller XL, with a lady pilot, who weighed 97 pounds. As long as the stoker is experienced and steady, it should not be a problem.

      Ron, in Sacramento

  2. Where are batteries in Pic #1 (with couple – above) ? Is that the ‘cruise’ battery on the rear rack in Pic #2 (no people, but lots of pumpkins, below?). What thoughts or recommendations on a folding solar array that could recharge LiPo’s in a couple of hours (while eating a picnic lunch?). Are the brakes regenerative at all ? More info would be helpful… Geoff, in NC

  3. Look at the seat configuration here–there’s little doubt this stoker has a much better view than with a more “typical” tandem arrangement. Good for them.

  4. We are Bike Friday fraternal twins with Bob! We also have an orange Bike Friday with an electric system sold by Electric Bike Solutions (go Doug!), but in our case it’s a Haul-a-Day. Love the e-assist system and the bike.

  5. Hi Kris and Bob, thanks for your inspiring story, I am in the UK and currently considering installing a Bionx on our tandem twosday. We also have a rear Sram 3 speed hub gear with a 9 speed derailleur . I had assumed I would put the Bionx in the rear wheel and therefore lose the Sram 3 speed and have to switch to a triple ring front changer. I had thought the torque pull from having the Bionx in the front wheel would be too strong and make it feel dangerous – that is obviously not your experience. I appreciate that the pedal assist sensor does control the torque but I am aware in an emergency hill start situation there is an overide button and I wondered whether you have any comments. I take the captain’s role and my wife the stoker – we each weigh around 150 lbs. I am thinking your electric motor is not a Bionx and may be a SRAM electric assist which i thought was not available for upgrading

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