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An Electrified Bike Dream Realized

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Donnie Benson shares his riding experience with the latest CYC Photon.



Deb and I have just returned from our adventures in Fruita CO, Zion and Bryce UT, then back to Colorado for a final stop in Rifle Gap State Park.


To begin, I would like to thank all of you for making our dreams and visions of riding our new "electrified" bikes on this trip come to fruition.


To say these modifications exceeded our expectations is an understatement. We are still learning where the lines are drawn between leg power, motor assist, and when to twist that throttle. One of the most notable attributes is when in Level 2 or 3, and from a dead stop, how a slight push on the pedal initiates the power assist and gets you going regardless of being on a hill or not. We use Chris King and Project 321 hubs with 6-pawls. so to get instant hook up and instant power is wonderful and quite useful.



All my builds start with the frame and sometimes the stock swing arms. I only use the 6-pawl rear hubs from Chris King and Project 321. These "instant connect" hubs are perfect for your Photon. As soon as one puts a foot-to-pedal, the pawl instantly connects and your motor instantly assist getting on our way. In other words... instantpower with no hesitation.


I incorporate a 7.5" pro-pedal Rockshox RT3 rear shock and then choose my front forks either traditional or Lefty. Then I bring the stack height up as you can see. Hunching over the handle bars is NOT what us senior folks need. Tubeless Tires and Stans No-tube rims are perfect for us. Then picking the right seat, handle bars, pedals, and drivetrains completes our builds.



Level 2 became my friend until I found Level 3 on the single track trails. I don't think there is a hill we cannot climb with our CYC system. Its smooth and predictable power assist is heaven sent. We could NEVER have hiked as much as we did AND ride their trails and roads without this assistance. When we knew a long hike was the next morning, we relied heavily on our quarter twist throttle and let the motor do all the work in order to get home and be exhausted from the headwinds. By the way, this system eats hills and punches right through those nasty headwinds. What a blessing!


This is how our bikes travel in our Class-C motor home. There is NO WAY I will ever hang up on the bikes or ever a ride a bike that is not pristine, tuned, and not taken care of.



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