Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
John in CR   100 GW

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by John in CR » Aug 27 2019 8:40pm

The simplest solution is to choose where to live giving plenty of weight to having road conditions that are ebike friendly. Most of the areas near the beach on either coast are mostly or almost completely flat, and some have beautiful smooth quite new asphalt perfect for ebiking. Some areas of Guanacaste even have a nice new pathway separate from the road. For those kinds of locals, a minimum ebike would be just fine, with a range extender battery for the rack or in a backpack for longer rides. High power is more suited for city riding, where you really need to pace and out-accelerate traffic to be safe, and higher power means a bigger battery and more weight to a point where functional pedal are all but useless.

The places to avoid living are those where you'd have to deal with rock roads which end up a continuous series of potholes, a real pain even during dry season. I strongly recommend trying life at several different areas before buying property. Personally I greatly prefer the moderate temps of higher altitudes here in CR. Down at beach level is too hot for me, and I'm from the gulf coast. The sun here at only 11° north latitude is brutal, but with a breeze in the shade of a tree at 4,000ft where I live, the temp is in the 70's just about every day and high 60's at night. There are different micro-climates all over CR, so you can really fine tune to what suits you best.

I'd have a hard time recommending a motorcycle as transportation here for someone who's never owned one. Experience is so important, and the wide variety of road and traction conditions here are a dangerous challenge.

BTW, no buses here have bike racks.

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by markz » Aug 28 2019 9:33pm

I dont like it too hot neither but put up with it. Places like Houston, or Barcelona where you instantly start sweating the moment you go outside is not a fun ordeal. I prefer warm, with a bit of over cast and a slight breeze. In terms of temp, I like 15C(60F)-24C(75F). Also the beach is nice, but its not everything!

Motorcycle training is crucial, suggest to the OP about taking an in-depth course both on road and off road and lots of practice.
Reminds me of the Star Wars fella from Britain doing his Long Way Down tour on some utility motorbikes. He went from Britain to S.Africa, then the 2nd show was Britain, China, Russia, Canada, USA etc etc etc. I believe those blokes had no previous motorbiking experience yet took intensive training, plus they had a backup crew, fixers, etc etc etc.

Having the right mode of transport is great to have, but having backups too. Lets say an ebike for beach path cruising, an e-motorcycle/motorcyclebicycle and a motorbike or scooter with the ability to tow or haul everything you got.

3rd world country that has buses with no bike racks :shock:

:lol:
John in CR wrote:
Aug 27 2019 8:40pm
I strongly recommend trying life at several different areas before buying property. Personally I greatly prefer the moderate temps of higher altitudes here in CR. Down at beach level is too hot for me, and I'm from the gulf coast. The sun here at only 11° north latitude is brutal, but with a breeze in the shade of a tree at 4,000ft where I live, the temp is in the 70's just about every day and high 60's at night. There are different micro-climates all over CR, so you can really fine tune to what suits you best.

I'd have a hard time recommending a motorcycle as transportation here for someone who's never owned one. Experience is so important, and the wide variety of road and traction conditions here are a dangerous challenge.

BTW, no buses here have bike racks.

John in CR   100 GW

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by John in CR » Aug 28 2019 10:43pm

markz wrote:
Aug 28 2019 9:33pm
I like 15C(60F)-24C(75F).
One of the places I lived here was exactly that on normal days with a few nights a year dipping lower, but my family complained that it was too cold there. We were at 1545m of altitude where there and higher had mostly evergreen trees, with an added plus that the topography of the mountains above pushed the bulk of the rain away from our area. I've become so spoiled by the climate in shorts and t-shirts year-round that I can feel differences in nighttime temps of just 1°C. After 22 years of no A/C or heat I could never go back to breathing that processed air.

markz wrote:
Aug 28 2019 9:33pm
Having the right mode of transport is great to have, but having backups too. Lets say an ebike for beach path cruising, an e-motorcycle/motorcyclebicycle and a motorbike or scooter with the ability to tow or haul everything you got.

3rd world country that has buses with no bike racks :shock:
I love having multiple ebikes, and the law is so favorable for it I can build and operate my own transportation without issue.

No last mile transport is needed here, and bike racks on a bus would just make them late. The distances are typically short enough that if you want to bike, just bike the whole way. There's no need to encourage people to ride the bus, they're packed at commute times. So much of the city has been repaved in the last 2 years that a small wheeled folder would work and just carry it on the bus with you, though I'd stay away from those things with the really tiny wheels, but a folder a bit smaller than a Schwinn Razor could work if you stick to the good streets. I prefer something that stays ahead of traffic for keeping safe with enough battery to get wherever I want and back with a 50% DOD, so that means a lot more weight, and too big for a bus. I don't like to ride in those petri dishes on wheels...that's the way to catch whatever bug is going around.

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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by kauaicycler » Aug 29 2019 8:55am

John in CR wrote:
Aug 28 2019 10:43pm
I don't like to ride in those petri dishes on wheels...that's the way to catch whatever bug is going around.
:lol: Good point!

I'm looking for a climate/location similar to Kauai where I lived for 35 years. Since I can't afford Kauai CR seems like my next best bet. Houses on Kauai are small and don't have heat or AC. I would spend most of my time at the beach especially if it was hot so I could enjoy the tradewinds and the eye candy. People on Kauai tend to socialize at the beach so it was a great way to meet new friends, local or tourists. For me the beach was more a gathering place. I don't know if the same holds true for CR but there must be some kind of equivalent gathering places to spend my days. That's the kind of location I'll be looking for whether on the coast or in the mountains.

I won't be buying any property and I'm single so I'll have the flexibility to move if I don't like my location. I really like your suggestion of building the ebike there to fit my needs to my location. However I may choose a location to match my ebike. Here's what I'm thinking at this point.

I currently have no transportation where I live so I want to build an ebike here so I can get around on my own. I'm currently in Florida so any ebike would work. I want to build a bike that is as flexible as possible and then bring it to CR as part of my household goods as a pensionado retiree. I will probably bring some of Justin's LiGo batteries on the plane to get me started and then purchase bigger batteries when I get there.

After researching some of the motor suggestions here I'm leaning towards the Leaf 1500W motor. I'm choosing this over a more powerful motor as a compromise in power and compatibility with the more standard 135mm dropouts. Here is a link to the kit I've been considering. https://west-coast-electric-cycles.mysh ... tain-bikes. If I later decide I need more power I could add another motor to the front wheel or build a more powerful bike.

I will be getting a motorcycle endorsement on my license before I move just in case. I'll probably never use it but it's easier to get it here then to change my mind and get one there. Taking the motorcycle course would probably improve my ebike riding too. :wink:

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by John in CR » Aug 29 2019 10:56am

Too expensive for me. I barely have the price of that kit in my MadAss conversion that is the fastest street legal electric 2 wheeler with a hubmotor in the world with a top speed so far of 182kph, and that cost includes my 2.8kwh battery.

Sorry, I still work all the time, so I can't help you regarding the gathering place. You should come for a visit before moving. Start working hard on your spanish too. While you can easily get by with little spanish, for living here economically spanish is a necessity. In Kauai I think the Pacific is a bit cooler, and add in the higher latitude, and I think you'll need to live in the mountains here to match the climate. When I'm at beach level, I'm in the water, ocean or a pool while the sun is up.

When are you coming? I'm almost finished with a cross between a moto and a scooter that might be perfect for you.

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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by kauaicycler » Aug 29 2019 11:21am

John in CR wrote:
Aug 29 2019 10:56am
Too expensive for me. I barely have the price of that kit in my MadAss conversion that is the fastest street legal electric 2 wheeler with a hubmotor in the world with a top speed so far of 182kph, and that cost includes my 2.8kwh battery.

Sorry, I still work all the time, so I can't help you regarding the gathering place. You should come for a visit before moving. Start working hard on your spanish too. While you can easily get by with little spanish, for living here economically spanish is a necessity. In Kauai I think the Pacific is a bit cooler, and add in the higher latitude, and I think you'll need to live in the mountains here to match the climate. When I'm at beach level, I'm in the water, ocean or a pool while the sun is up.

When are you coming? I'm almost finished with a cross between a moto and a scooter that might be perfect for you.
I've started learning Spanish, hopefully by the time I get there I'll be proficient enough until I learn more by immersion.

It will be another year before I can go there. I'd love to hear more about your current and past builds!

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by John in CR » Aug 29 2019 2:44pm

kauaicycler wrote:
Aug 29 2019 11:21am
It will be another year before I can go there.
Why stuck in the land of the rat race so long? Flights are low cost from FL and there are ways to stay cheap as long as you avoid touristy accommodations. Dry season (Dec-Apr) is the best time, though this year rainy season has been light...far better than last year which really sucked Aug-Dec. The beach has different weather though with more breaks between storms vs the day and night continuous light rain that can happen here in the central valley. I wish it would go back to typical of my first 10 years here where rainy season just meant rain in the afternoon to keep it from getting hot with almost every morning and night ideal outdoors.

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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by kauaicycler » Aug 30 2019 2:08pm

John in CR wrote:
Aug 29 2019 2:44pm
kauaicycler wrote:
Aug 29 2019 11:21am
It will be another year before I can go there.
Why stuck in the land of the rat race so long? Flights are low cost from FL and there are ways to stay cheap as long as you avoid touristy accommodations. Dry season (Dec-Apr) is the best time, though this year rainy season has been light...far better than last year which really sucked Aug-Dec. The beach has different weather though with more breaks between storms vs the day and night continuous light rain that can happen here in the central valley. I wish it would go back to typical of my first 10 years here where rainy season just meant rain in the afternoon to keep it from getting hot with almost every morning and night ideal outdoors.

I currently live with family so I can save up some money. I also need to get a passport. The less time I spend here the better. I don't hate Florida (it could be worse, I could be in Ohio :wink: ) it's just I've been spoiled by Kauai for so long. I'm looking forward to my next adventure and I want to start it as soon as possible. The year is just a guesstimate. I really don't have any idea how much I need to save but I'm single, in good health and have very few possessions so I'll probably just pick up and go once I have my passport, my immigration paperwork and a few dollars in the bank. Everyone says I should visit there first but that seems like a unnecessary expense, if I don't like it I'll just leave.

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by John in CR » Aug 31 2019 1:46am

Once you get closer to ready send me a PM, and I'll put you in contact with a gringo friend who's also been here 20 years or so and does radio shows from different beach locales on the Pacific side every Thursday and Friday. He'll be more familiar with seaside groups and lifestyle. There's so much variety of people and climate here that there won't be any "if I don't like it I'll just leave". It's just a matter of finding the right fit for YOU.

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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by kauaicycler » Aug 31 2019 7:22am

John in CR wrote:
Aug 31 2019 1:46am
Once you get closer to ready send me a PM, and I'll put you in contact with a gringo friend who's also been here 20 years or so and does radio shows from different beach locales on the Pacific side every Thursday and Friday. He'll be more familiar with seaside groups and lifestyle. There's so much variety of people and climate here that there won't be any "if I don't like it I'll just leave". It's just a matter of finding the right fit for YOU.
WOW! :D 8) Thanks, that is so cool! I will defiantly take you up on this. What radio station is he on? I've been listening to some CR stations on the Internet so maybe I can listen to his show too.

If your an example of the people of CR I doubt I will ever leave. My love for Kauai is more about my love for the people there, I suspect CR will be the same. I'm looking forward to exchanging my Aloha lifestyle for a Pura Vida one.

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by pullin-gs » Aug 31 2019 9:04am

motomech wrote:
Jul 22 2019 6:47pm
I lived and worked all over Latin Amer. for 20 years, 7 of those years in Playa de Coco
(Playa de Locos), Guanacaste (NW CR). A lot of those places, I shipped an Ebike because the Co. I was working for was shipping a container anyway, but I didn't have an Ebike in CR and I don't think it would have worked that well. First off, it rains pretty much all the time during the rainy season (about 5 months) and the roads turn into a morass of mud and are often covered w/ a foot or two of water. An ebike would be cool in the sm. beach towns like Coco, Tamarindo and Flamingo during the dry season, but I don't think I would want to ride out of town. There are no shoulders on any of the roads and the roads and drivers in CR are notoriously bad.
Yes, cars are stupid expensive for what you get and the impuestos are so high it's not practical to ship one in.
Although I owned a Jeep (money pit) and a Bronco (totaled), most of the time I rode motorcycles. One nice thing about CR, is non-residents can own vehicles. By far, the easiest and cheapest way to get around is to buy a new 150cc to 200cc Chinese enduro for $1500 to $2000 US. Every sm. city (like Liberia) sells them in Dept. stores and the really cool thing is, when you buy the bike, it comes w/ a year's registration and insurance included in the purchase price! In Nicaragua, where I couldn't own a vehicle, i would just ride it and sell it before the reg. expired and buy another.
No, these are not Hondas, but I have owned at least 5 different ones and never had a major problem. Besides, there are "hole in the wall" shops all over Latin Amer. and they fix them for very little money.
My advice is, you are going to have enough problems moving to CR (How's your spanish) w/out trying to rely on an Ebike for transpo. Ebikes always seem to need something, whic is not that big a deal in the States where it's easy to get parts, but in Latin Amer., you will wait and pay to get stuff. Also, although I can't explain why, things electrical seem to always take a sh!t faster in Latin Amer.
I always thought I would retire in CR, but I ended up in Mexico. I just got tired of the Gov. there playing games w/ the Expat requirements.
It is a great place if you are a healthy single guy though:)
Note: If this sounds like something you might want to do, I would recommend getting a MC driving permit in the States before you go.
Second note: Scooters can work also, they are easier to carry groceries on and when it's raining, you can sort of stay dry w/ just a poncho. The little whl.s are a downside as they tend to fall into the potholes, which are everywhere.
P.S. I don't think a person can ride/drive anything legally on the beaches in CR.
Spot-on advice.
Ebikes are cool and all...but in Costa Rica getting parts will be expensive&slow....and roads are non-existent. My bike would not last a week before breaking a frame or wheel. Hills would be very slow going and if you dont keep amps well withing specifications you will fry windings&fets.
FYI Central american residents use china-cycles like USA families use SUVs.
Service is easy and parts are realatively inexpensive.
Many are clones of older 4-stroke Japanese XL-200 bikes.....chinese <=200cc engines are rock solid in my experience (LIFAN is a good brand).

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kauaicycler   10 W

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Re: Tropical Mountain & Beach Daily Driver

Post by kauaicycler » Aug 31 2019 12:31pm

pullin-gs wrote:
Aug 31 2019 9:04am
Spot-on advice.
Ebikes are cool and all...but in Costa Rica getting parts will be expensive&slow....and roads are non-existent. My bike would not last a week before breaking a frame or wheel. Hills would be very slow going and if you dont keep amps well withing specifications you will fry windings&fets.
FYI Central american residents use china-cycles like USA families use SUVs.
Service is easy and parts are realatively inexpensive.
Many are clones of older 4-stroke Japanese XL-200 bikes.....chinese <=200cc engines are rock solid in my experience (LIFAN is a good brand).
Thanks for your comment and your brand recommendation. I've decided to get my mc endorsement before I go just in case that's what looks best for me.

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