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Testimonial: Assembling and Customising a Carmela e-bike

There is this fascinating e-bike/pedelec called Carmela24, made by oh!_bike in Barcelona. We needed a new e-bike in the family and so…

Assembling and Customising a Carmela e-bike

 

Things used in this project

Hardware components: Carmela e-bike x 1

Hand toold and fabrication machines: Usual bike tools

Story

Assembling the Carmela24 e-bike

There is this fascinating e-bike/pedelec called Carmela24, made by oh!_bike in Barcelona. We needed a new e-bike in the family and so…

Clarification: when I use the word ‘e-bike’ I usually mean pedelecs, i.e. bikes which are classified as bikes by (German) law, because they (only)have a motor with max. 250W which supports up to 25km/h max.and requires the driver to actually pedal to have the motor engage (with an exception for up to 6km/h speed through only pushing a button which is called push-support (‘Schiebehilfe’) e.g. for pushing the bike up a hill or ramp.

Background and selection criteria:

In the summer vacation I have been researching e-bikes with a focus on weight and size. I am very intrigued by folding and camping e-bikes, but I am wary of wheels smaller than 24” and also I am almost two meters tall. On the other hand, my oldest kid needs a new e-bike as she has grown out of the 24” ben-e-bike Twentyfour (an excellent e-bike for kids btw., because you can limit tourque and speed). The question was basically if there is an e-bike that scales from a 1, 50m child to a 1, 95+m adult.

For a reasonably fit adult, a light bike is nice, but only important when you face broken elevators or traveling by train; for a kid or a not-so-fit adult, a light bike is a must. Still, e-bikes around 15kg are very few.

Also, for us it is important that the battery can be removed for charging and to keep it from getting too cold as we do not store our bikes inside our house. Many of the light e-bikes (e.g. Ampler) have internal batteries, which is really nice to look at (because you can’t see them, haha) but would not work for us.

We also like front motors. Sure, rear motors are also inexpensive and do not change the ‘normal’ behaviour of a ‘rear-drive’ and the more expensive middle motors get to use the gears to full benefit (good for hills); but front motors are very good when you do ‘normal’ biking through woods, sandy/gravel paths and in winter on snow or even iced paths. And we bike all seasons.

Last, as with (too) many things, there is a psychological factor when choosing a mode of transport, so it is important that the bike has a high ‘acceptance factor’ with my kids and wife. That rules out folding bikes (for reasons I do not understand yet). So far, everyone I have met comments positively on the elegance of this bike. If you think about it; part of this is because of no logos, text and acronyms are painted (or glued) on the bike – what a visual relief.

Oh and one thing about e-bikes and kids: I only recommend them if the alternative is buying a car or severely limiting the fun in life; so think about it. For e-bikes and adults: just get one already, because it kills most excuses for not biking – the remaining excuses are removed through Gore-Tex ;- )

Carmela24 specification, manuals etc. here, in various languages: https://carmelabikes.com/en/customer-service/

Kickstarter campaign (see updates for some details): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/204802053/ohbike-the-smartest-and-lightest-urban-e-bike

Some background: https://www.designboom.com/design/ohbike-electric-bike-08-29-18/

On the NCTE sensor (German): https://radmarkt.de/nachrichten/ohbike-bionisches-e-bike-leichtgewicht-gewinnt-design-preis

Packaging/shipping
  • when you order a bike online, good packaging is very reassuring and the packaging of the Carmela is so good, I’d advertise with that…
  • shipping was very fast, I ordered on a Sunday and the bike shipped from Spain to Germany in four days, arriving Thursday morning.
  • front and rear rack were sent separately, the box as shown below included the bike, battery and fenders.

 

the Carmela bike package

the Carmela bike package

 

Carmela bike package content

Carmela bike package content

Basic assembly
  • of course we wanted to test drive the bike as soon as possible, so I put it together without fenders and racks first, but if you do it like that, you may have to disassemble the wheels later again to put all the necessary screws for the fenders in, so keep this in mind.
  • assembly is a breeze, documentation is good. The only things which were not super easy were a) getting the screws of the stand in: be careful to align them precisely – and b) getting the rear rack mounted: it’s frame, then fender stay, then rack and aligning the screws straight. You may want to ‘widen’ the rack supports a bit.
  • the rear wheel is already assembled, but don’t forget to verify wheel alignment and tighten all screws.

 

Carmela bike assembled with battery, saddle not adjusted yet and still has some protective wrap

Carmela bike assembled with battery, saddle not adjusted yet and still has some protective wrap

 

Read the full post from the source by HHF

 



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