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Neglected FELA is as Good as Cherished

Updated: Feb 6

People differ; however, it’s hard to find a cyclist who sincerely claims that the best part of using a bike is cleaning, degreasing, and greasing it.

I skipped those exciting procedures a few consecutive commutes in the rain and last two km (out of ten) I drudged home stepping on pedals in the middle of the night with rear hub bearing crushed.

Conspicuously waggling, the rear wheel was rubbing against the chain stay and made even a late-walked dog look at me, doubting my sanity.

The importance of bike maintenance has been shown by devising the term “neglected bike,” which allegedly has only half the “well-maintained” bike's speed efficiency.

In my observation, most utility bikes, mine included, are neglected, especially when the owner is a female (it may be cleaner than guys' but squeaker). "Utility" is the keyword here: it's a bike for getting around carrying stuff rather than showing off personal performance in a weekend buddy-cyclists pack.

Now, imagine the bad surprise of a car owner who has been puzzled by double spending on gas after commuting during the rainy season. Yes, cars become gas-guzzling clunkers, but gradually in a dozen years or three hundred thousand km of mileage, regardless of weather conditions, because all their mechanisms are sealed with water/oil-tight timely replaceable bashes or sleaves. Only a one-two thousand dollar bike hub-gears are made to automobile industry standards.

I can speculate why the chainless bikes can’t make it even into a niche market, but I won’t – this fact is irrelevant to this post. The point is an ordinary sub-thousand dollar bike is not designed or made for riding over puddles.

On the other hand, the media is full of materials on maintaining a bike after a ride in the rain, on snow or slush, or over muddy puddles.

Although I love my bike and I know how harmful fine grains of sand, especially salt, are to chains and hubs, learning the very reasonable instructions on cleaning a bike makes me think, “Organizing place [on the outside] for a bike rack, rags, gloves, aprons, and spending 20-30 min after 20-30 min commute from strenuous shift?!" My next thought is, "Who master here, me or my bike?” Just the size of the bike maintenance chart makes me dizzy.

I know, and my friends know me too, that I’m a piglet: I would leave my bike as it is after rain and even after salty slush to ride it again the next day. Or I choose another way to travel because to properly re-grease the rear hub, you have to disassemble it, and in Canada, they jammed threads to make you repair your bike or buy a new one in their shops (notorious artificial job creation or designed obsolesce - all these work at the expense of the environment).

And I'm not alone in my abhorrence to maintenance chores.

Fewer maintenance troubles are the electric vehicle makers' selling point because the cost efficiency of electric vehicles is much higher, if any.

​​Indeed, if the electric power train is maintenance-free, that would make electric vehicles superior to gas-fueled ones.

Cycling advocates put pictures of joy rides over puddles or even along a beach over the sea waves' laps. It’s vandalism to bikes because they are not designed and crafted to automotive industry standards.

As a better alternative to cars, cycling devices must be maintenance-free. And FELA is developed to deliver just that. Not only are all mechanisms factory-oiled and sealed for their entire service life, but no chain or belt is exposed to elements.

The whole electric unit of 750W can dissipate its ~100 W of heat waste through its water-tight housing, after all it's not 100 kW of SUV's V8.

Equipped with a breathing device, the FELA pilot can cross deep waters on the bottom whenever a special need calls for that feature.

For ordinary FELA tourists, gross vehicle weight allows crossing waters on the surface with fast and easily deployable airbags that serve as an air mattress on camping sites.

Service-free FELA is always service-ready.

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