Mobility Unlimited …. heros?

Last year my next door neighbor saw my first ebike, (a Veloteq) and … took my lead.  He went and got himself a bike. He, (okay, his name is Michael), stored his bike outside over Winter and of course, it died.

Cut to now.  Michael called the dealer, (Segway of Ontario), who called the distributor, (Daymak), who… did nothing. Michael then called Mobility Unlimited on Gerrard Street.  They came, (yes, came), and fixed his battery for him and did it cheep too.  

Mobility Unlimited – you guys are heros.
Yes – I watch too much Colbert 🙂 

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9 Comments on “Mobility Unlimited …. heros?”

  1. lockhughes Says:

    I expect we will see many disappointed “ebike” riders who were blueavenue/daymak et al customers this last year or two. AFAIK they provide little or no instruction to their clients about battery care and feeding.

    Riders are provided with the cheapest of chargers, which should be their first and cheapest upgrade…

    And yes, it they intend to park these vehicles (outside) over the winter then yes, pull the batt packs and take `em indoors… anywhere warm and dry.

    And plug `em once a month just to freshen `em up.

    And the SLAs will seem a little sluggish in the spring but should “wake up” after a few charge/discharge cycles.

    I see quite a few of these “bikes” parked during daze. Looking like commuter vehicles that are run in the AMs parked for eight hours (not on a charger) then driven home to be plugged in.

    Leaving these SLA packs partly discharged for hours at a time will kill `em faster than anything.

    The rule with PBA is plug in early and plug in often.

    Properly designed ebikes have battery packs that can be removed easily to be taken inside to be plugged in right away. No diff.than a laptop.

    The charger I use is about the size of a deck of cards. So fits in pockets or back pack…

    I wonder what “cheep” looks like – Was it the batteries? Were they load-tested? What were the results? I know of one “wonderful” repair service for mobility scoots that “saved the day” for one older person by showing up and swapping her tired batts for new. But they charged her $300 for the batts where I was buying the same batts locally for $200, and through the nose for their labour for what I knew was a five minute job.

    Like Segway and Daymak et al, there’s lots of ppl looking to profit from all the ignorance out there…
    tks
    Lock
    human-electric hybrid pedestrian
    Toronto

    • 16sprocket Says:

      Maybe you can make a suggestion about my battery problem. I can’t even open the seat latch on my Daymak Rome to get at the batteries! My own fault I know for letting the batteries go flat, but there must e a way to get at them without using the (battery-operated) key switch in the “ignition”.
      Any help much appreciated.

  2. Dewdad Says:

    Lock

    Good Battery Advice! As a retailer I mailed out the same advice to all my customers last October as a courtesty reminder. In the spring of this year I still had a few customers who recevied the reminder and still left their batteries outside in the bikes in the garage with no monthly charges…They of course needed new batteries. I encourage all those with electric bikes to “google” proper maintenance for your SLA batteries and to take an active role in all around maintenance of their bikes. The Durham E-Bike Association has requent meetings that not only promotes e-bikes in general but to help educate each other on proper maintenance and riding safety. They are looking to expand this club…Go to http://www.durhambikeassociation.org for more info,

  3. pmcd Says:

    The problem with e-bikes is that service for the most part doesn’t exist. You have a few really good people who know a lot and quite a few who don’t. Until some of the major players get into the e-bike business it doesn’t seem to me to be a reliable way to get around. My Malta, purchased from Segway, still works great. I did bring it in during the winter and occasionally charged it. I don’t know why I did it as I only got a manual for it a couple of months ago (after a year of trying to get one from the distributor which seems to change names every so often). It’s a great e-Bike and I really like it. I also would never buy another e-Bike again until the whole support structure gets its act together. To be fair, my dealer has been really good but they don’t get the support they need from the distribution chain. Perhaps it’s different now.

    Mobility Unlimited sounds like a real gem.

    philip

  4. oshawaebiker Says:

    This is not the only industry that lacks customer service. Whoa be some one with a Honda Motorcycle for the last 2 years. Honda pulled all their dealerships to do it in house and the new factory dealerships are just starting to come on line.
    I do agree that the service infrastructure needs much improvement. This is only the 2nd season and I think the distributors are sort of sitting back wanting a larger market base before offering more services. This is probably the 1st season that they are seeing more repairs. So don’t give up the ship yet. This is still new here give it some time it will come.
    If everyone had that attitude e-bikes would certainly die. For now we have to wrench them ourselves and with the help of our friends. Just be patient.

  5. pmcd Says:

    Hi,

    Thank’s for the optimistic words! The whole thing with e-bikes is that it’s just small things that need to be done. It’s not as complex as a car or even a motorcycle. There is already a bike network out there but you can’t be sure of help from them. Also, it’s just the 2nd year in Ontario. Haven’t e-bikes been around much longer in BC, Quebec, many states, etc…?

    For someone used to fixing bikes I suppose dealing with your e-bike is a bit easier. But many people don’t know what to do about brakes, oiling, tire issues, etc… Just a small thing like a bike tuneup in the spring would be helpful, but to get that for an e-bike seems hopeless.

    What do you do if the rubber cap that protects the battery contact falls off? It should be a trivial issue but it’s a part that is not standard.

    I am not familiar with the motorcycle industry. Your Honda example doesn’t inspire. Service and support are just as important as an initial purchase in my opinion. People are simply not willing, nor able, to deal with fixing their bikes. Enthusiasts can and love it (same with the computer world) but to appeal to a broader population you need support.

    It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. I’ve had many people ask about my Malta. They really like the concept and the bike. I also know these are people who want a plug and play solution. Without extended warranties, tuneups, standard parts’ availability, etc…they won’t get one.

    I was very enthusiatic about e-bikes. Then you had the Ontario government (and Toronto Parks & Rec) changing the rules of the game (especially the parks’ issue) after buying one, difficulty in getting a spring tuneup, not knowing where to get a small part such as a battery cover (the round plug that protects the battery lead), etc… Last summer I drove it to work. This year I bought a small car with excellent gas mileage. I really wanted the e-bike to work for me and the idea is fantastic. I just feel that there are too many barriers which prevent older folks like myself from relying on them in a serious way.

    I am confused when you say factory dealerships. It seems to me that all these bikes come from China and are sold under a variety of names. The Bionx people seem to be an exception but then their price is a bit wild…

    The appeal of the Canadaian Tire bike is that it is almost a throw away item but then that defeats much of the point of an e-bike.

    philip

  6. oshawaebiker Says:

    Yes they have been around longer in BC and Que. and there are also more shops and service centres there also. Her in Ont. there are a couple of problems. The way some of these bikes are marketed are some what of a side line to the dealer and they have no technical expertise with the electronics or the motors. and are not yet ready to hire techs in that area. Plus those that do have knowledge are mostly self taught. There are no schools here training e-bike techs. I know of a tech in BC who went to e-bike school in China to learn and brought that knowledge back with him. Those people are rare. So those of us with electronic and electrical knowhow and interest in e-bikes have to learn to adapt. We have not enough experience with e-bikes here yet. As I said before these are new and these things take time. It may be frustrating but we have to be patient.

  7. oshawaebiker Says:

    To add to this we also have to deal with the anti e-bike prejudice that exists out there in the cycling community. This fallout includes bicycle shops who give potential e-bike customers false info and refuse to do any work on e-bikes including bicycle style.


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