Three mountain bikes kitted out with three high end electric bike conversion kits take on the Nepalese Himalaya. This video shows how far you can go with Electric Assist. Where will you go with your Ebike?
This is our highlight reel. Enjoy.
Blog below courtesy of Jeremy Wells and Glowworm Bicycles. Thanks!
In May 2011, Jake Southall of Sydney Electric Bicycles invited one of the Glow Worm mob to test out some electric conversion kits on mountain bikes in the hilliest place in the world – the Nepalese Himalaya. This crazy proposition was taken up by me with some apprehension. After all not only is the terrain more killer than Koscuiszko, the electricity supply is intermittent at best. Nonetheless the lure of adventure overwhelmed all rational doubts and the three of us (Jake’s good friend Nick came along) set off with our oversized luggage containing a mountain bike each, minus a wheel, to Kathmandu.
We had arranged for three different kits to be sent to Kathmandu by each of the three different manufacturers. Thankfully Peter of HMB Adventures kindly agreed to receive the kits and allowed us to use his well-equipped workshop. However fitting three different kits that we hadn’t packed ourselves to three different mountain bikes proved no mean feat, and it was 2 days before our bikes were fully ready to ride, equipped with the amazingly strong Freeload pannier racks (a great Kiwi invention for dual suspension mountainbikes), and 100% waterproof Ortlieb pannier bags. In addition we had a GoPro helmet camera, a seatpost mounted camera, and an iPhone handlebar mount to catch plenty of exciting footage. The kits we were testing out were the Canadian BionX, with regenerative braking capabilities, the new Daahub kit by Wisper, and of course the legendary eZeebike conversion kit.
In Pokhara we rested and took in the lake scenery and a stunning view of the Fishtail, a striking peak that is forbidden to climb. Our next destination was Jomsom, which we reached in a small plane filled with Indian pilgrims. We managed to stuff the bikes into the tiny luggage hold, and enjoyed the most thrilling plane ride any of us had experienced. Jomsom is 2700metres up and we were feeling a bit short of breath. The next day we were feeling fresh and started a big climb to Muktinath, where there is a famous temple. The ride was steep and windy and we were thankful for our electric motors. Most of all we were thankful for our sunglasses which saved our eyes from the windswept dust blowing in our faces. We passed some idyllic villages with solar cookers and mud architecture before reaching Muktinarth, 3700 metres up. The next day we gave our bikes a rest and went on foot to a pass with spectacular views, unfortunately shrouded in cloud at this time.
Our favourite day was the epic descent from Muktinarth, at 3700 metres, to Tatopanni (hot springs) at 900 metres. The weather was perfect and the view of the majestic Himalaya followed us the whole way. Fortunately this was a strike day, which meant no vehicles except bicycles were allowed on the road! The change in landscape as we changed altitude was amazing, ranging from dry dusty and treeless mountains to lush valleys with bamboo and waterfalls, finally ending in hot springs where all our muscle soreness miraculously disappeared. This road was the ultimate test of out bikes, with constant bumping over rocky tracks, river crossings and sand. Again, our electric kits powered on without a hitch, with our problems being all mechanical (flat tyres, bent disc rotors, nuts and bolts rattling loose, broken gear cables, brake bleeds, and all things you might expect when exposing your bike to unfair levels of abuse).
This was the first trip of its kind in Nepal, and we would like to thank all the helpful people at HMB Adventures for their open-mindedness toward the project. Also thanks to Jake from SEB for organising the crazy trip, and Nick for his foolish but well-rewarded faith in us and our electric bikes. Last but not least a big thanks to BionX, Daahub and eZeebike for logistical support in freighting the kits and batteries to the ends of the earth. We hope that we have demonstrated that if electric bikes can be used in the Himalaya, they can most certainly be used without a problem in the city! .