Bullitt FAQs

Maker: Larry v. Harry in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Universal Components (SLX)

  • Frame: Made from heat-treated T6 7005 aluminium, a durable rust-proof material. The fork is cromoly steel. Larry v. Harry puts the bike through a three stage powder coating process, with a colored layer and then two clear coats.
  • Deck Plate: Honeycomb aluminum (not included in basic purchase price)
  • Grips: PDW Cork Chop
  • Seatpost: Satori
  • Handlebars: Satori (customizable)
  • Saddle: Larry v Harry saddle (customizable)
  • Fenders: Larry v Harry Black
  • Tire Front: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 20×1.75
  • Tire Rear: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 26×1.75
  • Tubes: Slime smart tube 20″/26” SV
  • Rim Strip: Schwalbe Rim Liner
  • Rims: Alex Supra BH 36h black
  • Spokes: Sapim Leader 14 gauge silver
  • Tonneau Cover: Nylon, produced either by Larry v Harry (one child) or BLAQ Design (2+ kids) – not included in basic purchase price

BionX Electric Assist Build Components (SLX)

  • Shifter: Shimano SLX M7000
  • Derailleur Rear: Shimano SLX M7025
  • Derailleur Front: Shimano SLX M7000
  • Crank: Shimano SLX M7000-2, 38×28
  • Chain: Shimano SLX HG601, 11-spd
  • Cassette: Shimano SLX M7000, 11-sp 11-42
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX M7000
  • Rotor Front: Shimano SM-RT64 180 Centerlock
  • Stem: FSA
  • Riser: Satori Speed Lifter
  • Handlebar: Satori (customizable)
  • Hub Front & Rear: Shimano SLX M675

Shimano Electric Assist Build Components

Available here.

No Electric Assist Build Components

  • Shifter: Shinano Alfine 8-sp right shifter
  • Crank: Shimano Alfine 170mm crankset, 39t ring
  • Chain: Shimano HG93
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore
  • Rotors: Shimano SM-RT64 180mm
  • Stem: Dimension
  • Riser: Satori Speed Lifter
  • Hub Front: Shimano Deore M615 36h
  • Hub Rear: Shimano Alfine S7000 8-sp IG hub, 36h

Child Carrying Components

  • 1 Child Box: Side panels, removable padded seats with marine/auto grade vinyl, and shoulder straps for one kid. Child restraint is five-point harness.
  • 2 or 3 Child Box: Handmade in Portland, OR by Nomad Cargo and Badger Bikes.
  • Rain Canopy: Produced by BLAQ Designs in Portland, OR.

All parts subject to change based on availability. 

 

Bike Operations

What is the weight of the bike?

50 pounds without the electric assist, and stripped down of other accessories. 60-65 lbs with a typical cargo set up. The BionX system weighs 18.9 pounds.

Is there a weight limit to how much the bike can carry?

The bike can carry a total of about 400 pounds, including the rider.

Is there anything special to know about the electronic shifting of the Shimano STePS?

Yes! Please be aware of two IMPORTANT things:

  • No shifting under load (!): Lighten the pressure of your feet as you pedal when you shift on this bike. This is especially important to do when you are using the electric assist!
  • No power, no shifting: When you run out of battery power, you will no longer be able to shift the gears of the bike. So keep an eye on the battery!

Electric Assist

How do I adjust the settings on my console?

  1. BionX

 

BionX console1

See page 20 of the BionX manual.

2. Shimano STePS

Shimano Steps Assist Console

See page 20 of the Shimano STePS manual.

 

How do you turn the electric assist system on and off?

  1. BionX

Press the button on the upper right of the console mounted on your handlebars. You will hear the system beep as it turns on. Give the system a few seconds to calibrate and zero out before putting pressure on your pedals. Press the same button to turn it off; you will hear it beep as it turns off.

2. Shimano STePS

Press the button on the side of the battery.

Do I need to turn the electric assist system off?

If you’d like. But the system will turn off by itself after a few minutes of being idle.

The electric assist cut out while I was riding. What happened?

  1. BionX

If you were climbing a steep hill at full power for a long time, your system may have overheated and turned off to avoid further problems. Use “Mountain Mode” next time to avoid this problem.

If that was not what was happening, and assuming that your battery is charged (if not, charge your battery and try again), check the connections in the BionX system:

  • Handlebar connection
  • Connection underneath bottom tube – open up velcroed fabric to view.
  • Connection on the back wheel, left side – open up velcroed fabric to view.

If any of these connections are undone or loose, the system will not work. If you find that the connections are together but the power is still not working, contact Vie to arrange a repair session.

2. Shimano STePS

Remove and reinstall the console on the handlebars and the battery. If this doesn’t restart the power, contact us.

What is the resistance mode, and when should I use it (BionX only)?

There are four bars to the left of the bike icon in the middle of your console. Use the (-) key to access them. You will see a G on the bottom left of your screen when you are using this section of the system. You will also feel resistance as you pedal. Go further left to add more resistance. This mode regenerates power to the battery as you pedal.

Please keep in mind that the brakes will override the resistance. If you are using resistance, use your brakes to come to a stop and then attempt to get going right away, you may have trouble getting started again. So be sure to move the system back into a neutral or positive assistance mode (one to four bars to the right of the bicycle symbol and an A on the bottom right of the screen) before you stop.

Can I adjust how strong/weak the power is on the electric assist (BionX only)?

Mountain Mode

While the overall settings of the bike’s assistance can’t be changed, you can make use of “Mountain Mode” for steep continuous climbs. 

How do I take out the battery? Put it back in?

  1. BionX

Use your battery key to unlock the battery. The key hole will pop out. Once it’s popped out, slide the battery back and up to remove. Note: you do NOT need to disconnect any cables. To replace the battery, position it on the rails and slide back in place. Push the battery lever in to fully engage the battery and then press the keyhole until it clicks in. Your battery will be securely locked at that point. Gently test it to ensure that it’s in securely.

2. Shimano STePS

Insert and turn the key (please note that the back wheel lock key is interchangeable with the battery). Slide the top of the battery sideways, not straight out. Note: you do NOT need to disconnect any cables. To replace the battery, position the bottom of it on the bracket and slide it sideways back into the center until you hear a click. Gently test it to ensure that it’s in securely. You do not need to use the key to lock it back on.

It seems like there’s a delay with the power kicking in. Why (Bionx only)?

The power is set to turn on at .5 mph, the lowest speed setting that BionX allows. This setting is a protection designed to prolong the life of your BionX kit. Too much initial pressure on the system from cold stops has the potential to overload the system and wear it out.

We generally recommend that you schedule a maintenance appointment if you want to adjust your BionX system settings. However, if you are comfortable adjusting the power level through the console on your own, enter codes on the console, simultaneously push ‘Power’ and ‘Cycle’ until the display shows “0000” with the first zero blinking. Change the value of the selection with plus or minus, and confirm with ‘Power.’

You can use the codes to adjust the minimum speed at which the motor will start (default is 0.5km/h). Adjust the power level with Code 0008, which affects Gain Assist A: amplifies assist from dead stop – 1.0 low to 4.0 high, only up to B Gain Assist B: speed up to which A applies.

Can I plug in a sound system?

No

 

Lights

How do I turn on the lights?

  1. BionX

If you are using hub lights, they’ll come on as you pedal. If you are using e-lights, look for the light icon on the top right of your BionX console. Hold that button down until the screen backlights and says “LIGHTS ON.” You should see both your front and rear light turned on.

2. Shimano STePS

Press the button with the light icon on the center handlebar console.

The light isn’t working. What should I do?

  1. BionX

First, double check the console to see that “LIGHTS ON” is indicated. If not, hold the light button down again for three seconds or until the “LIGHTS ON” alert appears. If the console indicates lights are on but they are not functioning, schedule a maintenance appointment. We can check wiring and voltage output to ensure that the system is operating correctly.

Note, you may also be receiving an Error Code on the console. Error 60 is a battery error indicating an overcurrent condition at the accessory port. This port is typically used to connect integrated lighting. The error can mean a short circuit: loose, damaged, contaminated or corroded wiring/connectors, or the battery not being properly mounted. If you are receiving this, schedule a maintenance appointment.

 

Kid Box

How do I install the seat in my one child box?

See our instructions here.

 

Rain Canopy

How do I install the BLAQ Design rain canopy?

  • 1 Kid Box: Remove the two bolts attaching your honeycomb board to your frame near your front fork. Place the rectangular wood adapter with the two round holes pointing up and the long side grooves facing in, towards the honeycomb board. Replace the bolts, through the wood, honeycomb board and frame. Once you have that firmly attached, lay out the rain cover so that you are looking at the interior side. Take the rods and insert them into the rain cover. Look for the little pockets; you will likely have to bend the rods to fit them into the pockets (but not so hard that they break). When all the rods are inserted properly, you will have a largely rigid frame in the rain canopy with two rods that don’t fit into pockets in the canopy, attached by a crossbar. (Yes, it takes some effort to squeeze the rods into the crossbar rubber brackets.) Lift the canopy and place the two free rod ends into the two round holes on your wood bracket. Once those are in, attach the rest of the canopy to your box using the grommets around the box, starting from the front. You will likely want to keep one or both back sides open until your child(ren) are inside, then attach them and stretch and hook the cross strap along the bottom back of the canopy. Note that your handlebars will now be inside your rain canopy.
  • 2 or 3 Kid Box: Your box should come with two round holes in the front lip of the box. Lay out the rain cover so that you are looking at the interior side. Take the rods and insert them into the rain cover. Look for the little pockets; you will likely have to bend the rods to fit them into the pockets (but not so hard that they break). When all the rods are inserted properly, you will have a largely rigid frame in the rain canopy with two rods that don’t fit into pockets in the canopy, attached by a crossbar. (Yes, it takes some effort to squeeze the rods into the crossbar rubber brackets.) Lift the canopy and place the two free rod ends into the two round holes on your wood bracket. Once those are in, attach the rest of the canopy to your box using the grommets around the box, starting from the front. You will likely want to keep one or both back sides open until your child(ren) are inside. Note that your handlebars will now be inside your rain canopy.

 

 

Carrying Other Bikes

Can I tow a bike? How do I do it?

While the Bullitt is not designed to tow a bike, a small child’s bike can be attached to the rear rack with straps. You must be careful about the strapping of the bike to ensure nothing impedes the function of the rear wheel. User discretion advised.

Can I attach a trail-a-bike?

This is not a plug and play option. However, you may be able to find a professional machinist who will weld a trail-a-bike to the back rack. This solution only works for trail-a-bikes that attach to the back rack (not the seatpost).

Can I attach a trailer?

  • BionX electric assist setups with axle mounted trailer: In most cases, no. Axle mounted trailer systems use quick release skewers and the BionX hub motor is sensitive to torque measurements on the axle. We can’t advise hooking up a trailer to the BionX motor for this reason. That said, if you have a M10 axle mount bracket for your trailer and the ability to torque the axle nut to 40 nm, you could attach a trailer to the Bullitt rear hub. User discretion advised.
  • No electric assist setup: If you have a non-assisted rear hub or frame mounting trailer adapter, there is no reason you could not attach a trailer to the bike as you would any conventional setup.

 

Locking

Where’s the safest place to lock the bike?

In a well-lit location where there are lots of responsible eyes on the bike. So, in front of a busy all-day cafe is more likely to be safe than a deserted alley. If you’re in San Francisco, check out the bike theft heat map for hot spots to avoid.

How can I make the quick release wheels harder to steal?

Add Pitlocks to your wheels and/or seat. These amazingly tough stainless steel locks make it impossible to remove parts without a special key specific to the Pitlock. Note: Pitlocks do not work with the front wheel of the Shimano STePs build.

 

Seat

How do I adjust the position of my seat to be more comfortable?

Unlock your seat lock and loosen the seatpost. Then lift your seat straight up until it comes out of the frame. Turn the seat over and notice the large bolt right in the middle. Use a 6 mm Allen Key to loosen the bolt. Once it’s loose, you can slide the seat forwards or backwards along the rail (just never go past the marked limits). You can also click the seat up and down to adjust the angle of the saddle. Once you have the seat where you want it, tighten the bolt again and place it back in the frame.

Also take time to play with the adjustable front stem height to see if handlebars set higher or lower make you more comfortable.

How do I adjust the seat?

5 mm adjusting tool.

 

Bell

How do I position my bell to make it easier for me to ring it while riding normally?

If you have the Incredible Bells, they are easily adjusted by loosening the Allen bolt/Phillips screw and moving the bell to your desired position. Note the bell lever will rotate as well and can be positioned to the side to make it easier to reach. Bell placement is going to be most accessible on the left side due to the lack of throttle control (placed on right side), effectively lessening the distance from the grip to the bell.

 

Yepp Seat

 

How do I take the Yepp seat on and off the bike?

Check out this helpful, brief video from Yepp.

Can the bike fit a front Yepp Mini seat?

We do not advise putting a front mounted child seat on the Bullitt’s adjustable front stem.

 

Maintenance

I hear a scraping sound when I brake. Is that normal?

Yes and no. Disc brakes are essentially metal pads that come into contact with a metal rotor. The friction of these two metals create sounds. You may hear some sound when braking at low speeds. While some noise can be expected and normal, contaminants or damaged pads can impact your brakes and lead to concerning sounds. Note, even simple oils from your fingers can contaminate the system. Never touch rotors with your hands, especially after riding the bike, due to heat. Contaminants, dirt and oil can build up over time on the rotors and pads during normal use. These need to be removed as part of regular maintenance. If your bike is making sounds it may be time to clean your brakes system and inspect pads for damage and or excessive wear.

Shimano STePS Note: Please be aware that, regardless of the installation and alignment of the system being perfect, the Magura MT5 front brake has extremely tight clearance. This equates to slight rub of the pad and longer break in period. Note, this is not a performance issue, and the brakes are solid. You may notice if you rotate the front wheel while the bike is not in motion there is the slightest rub on the pad. Which makes a very quiet swoosh noise. This is not something you would notice while riding but we wanted to ensure that you are aware, as well as you know we are aware. The four piston brake caliper is machined with very little tolerance and Magura simply states that one should break in the bike. We’ve had this issue with each of our Magura builds and after a couple weeks it disappeared totally, as Magura stated.

How do I know if my brakes are in good shape?

The best way to know if your brakes are in good shape is to remove the pads and inspect them for damage and or excessive wear. If you do not know how to do this, schedule a maintenance appointment. Want to try it on your own? See below.

My brakes are squealing. Should I be worried?

Yes. While squealing brakes are most commonly an effect of contaminated pads and/or rotor it can also be caused by misaligned rotor, loose bolts or damaged pads. Squealing brakes should be addressed as soon as possible. Please schedule a maintenance appointment.

What can I do at home to keep my brakes in good shape?

With some basic tools and mechanical knowledge you can maintain your brakes at home. This is a good practice that will keep your bike and braking system operating safely. If not confident of your skill set, please schedule a maintenance appointment or email Karl with your questions.

Keeping your pads and rotors clean and regularly inspecting pads for damage and/or excessive wear is important and can be done at home. The following is a simple overview of the process.

  1. Remove the wheel. While the wheel is off you should take the opportunity to check torque on rotor bolts and clean the brake caliper.
  2. Remove pads and inspect them for damage and/or wear. You can clean your pads and rotors with denatured alcohol or various products which are sold at bike shops for this purpose. Install clean and or new pads if needed. Clean your rotor and inspect for damage.
  3. Re-install your wheel. Be sure to properly seat the wheel so the rotor is aligned and take caution not to damage pads when installing the wheel. Properly tension the quick release and check for rotor alignment by spinning the wheel. If installed properly you should not have any sounds and pads should be no more than 1 mm from the rotor. At this time, check the brake line for any damage and check for proper function of lever. Pads should come into contact with rotor simultaneously. Note, if new pads were installed you will need to complete a bed-in process.

I hear and feel feedback when I pedal the bike. Is that normal (BionX only)?

BionX rear hubs can make noise when spoke tension loosens. A little feedback when applying a lot of force may happen but the system should be silent. If you experience a vibration sound or scraping sound from the rear of the bike (assuming you are not braking), this is most likely due to harmonic vibration of the wheel. We can upgrade software or make manual adjustments to spoke tension to address the issue. We recommend you schedule a maintenance appointment.

My console is giving an error code. What does it mean?
  1. BionX

Error codes indicate a problem in the system. Sometimes turning the system off and removing the battery for 15 minutes can reset the system and solve the issue. For specifics regarding a given error, you can look up the error code and identify the issue, and potentially adjust. For example “PORT ERROR” for instance means the power supply is interrupted or in other words a loose connection in wiring. You could check the cables to ensure they are fully engaged and tight at home.

BionX Error Messages

2. Shimano STePS

Check the list of error codes in the user manual, beginning on page 37.

 

The throttle stopped working (BionX only).

First check that the DC wire connector is connected. After checking the connection try the throttle again. Second, look at the console and ensure that it is not in “G” mode or regenerative braking. It is possible the lever sensor could be affected and the bike is in regenerative braking which would cut off the throttle. Follow the short wire from the throttle to the brake lever where the sensor is mounted. There should only be about 2-3 mm between the sensor (on the brake body) and the white magnet on the brake lever. If all of these are fine, you may want to check the throttle calibration.

To check the throttle calibration on the G2 Console:

  1. Ensure the wire running from the back of the throttle is connected to the console.
  2. Turn on your BionX and watch it count to zero.
  3. Press the “ON” and “-” buttons at the same time until a countdown starts.
  4. Press the red button on the throttle all the way down and release it. The bar graph that filled up when you press the throttle should go to zero afterwards.
  5. Allow the countdown to complete and turn off your BionX.
  6. All done!

What do I need to know to pump up my tires? How often should I pump?

You should check for the recommended air pressure called PSI (Pound Per Square Inch) on the sidewall of the tire. You must keep the air pressure within this range. We recommend checking air pressure regularly (at least once a week). Note, while there is conventional wisdom that says lower air pressure is a softer ride; riding cargo bikes with heavy loads on low air pressure can lead to pinch flats.

The Bullitt is usually spec’d with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires that require 50 – 70 psi. We recommend keeping PSI to at least 60.

I have a flat tire. How do I fix it myself?

With a tire lever, tube/patch kit and a little elbow grease, anything is possible! Or at least you can change a tube and fix a flat tire. Start by assessing how you will stabilize the bike while taking the wheel off and how the bike will balance with no wheel. You may need to lie the bike down and turn it upside down. If you have one, simply put your bike up on your bike stand. The key to successfully getting your wheel back in working order is knowing what caused the flat. So take time to assess this and follow logical steps before removing the tube and placing in the new tube so it doesn’t simply go flat again in a few blocks.

After removing the wheel, inspect the tire for what caused the flat. Nail? Glass? Etc. Make note of it but don’t remove it yet, you don’t want to assume it’s the only issue. Remove one side of tire using a tire iron (we highly recommend Pedro tire levers, they’re yellow/pink/orange levers sold at most stores.) No need to remove the whole tire. Pull the tube from the tire but do not remove the valve from the rim yet. Inspect the tube for where the leak is. You may know where it is based on the nail, glass, etc. you found earlier. If not, you may need to pump air into the tire and listen and/or feel for the air leak. When you find the leak, line the tube back up to the tire and re-inspect the tire on the inside and outside to ensure the object is removed. If the leak is on the inside of the tube, you most likely were riding on a wheel with too low of air pressure. Either way, inspect the rim to see if something there caused the flat.

At this time remove the tube and take a new tube out. Get ready to install the new tube by filling  the new tube with just enough air to give it shape and swiping the inside of the tire with your fingers to ensure there is no additional glass, little wires, or other things that could damage a new tube. Now you’re ready to install the tube.

To install a new tube, place the rim in front of you with the valve opening at the top. Pull the tire back and insert the valve into the rim and fill the tire with the tube. Use your hands to position the tube well inside of the tire and rim moving all the way around the tire methodically. Now pull on the valve firmly and ensure it is perpendicular to the rim. Start installing the tire on the rim with your hands. Follow the bead around the rim and try to seat the tire on the rim with just your hands if possible. If necessary to use the tire lever, be careful not to pinch the tube and cause another flat (this is why we give the tube shape with a little air and take the time to stuff it all the way into the tire and over the rim.) Once tire is on, inflate it to the proper PSI.

How often should I grease my chain? How do I do it?

It all depends on how often and in what conditions you ride. A good rule of thumb is that you should check your chain as often as you check air pressure. To check your chain all you need to do it pinch it. How did it feel? The chain should be slightly tacky. Not too dry. Not too oily. It should be its original color (gray, silver or brown). It should not be black with grime or rusty and dry for that matter. Pending how often you ride and in what conditions you may only need to oil the chain every couple months. If you ride often in wet and/or dirty conditions this may be much more frequent.

To oil use a clean rag and an oil designed for bike chains. There are endless options. Tri Flow is a popular choice. To start you want to apply oil to a clean chain. If necessary clean chain with a degreaser first and then dry the chain. When ready to apply oil think minimal. Apply a drop of oil to each link of the chain. After applying the oil, pedal the bike (while in place) to allow the links to move around the cassette which encourages the oil into the links. After 20 or 40 seconds of pedaling you can stop. Final step is to wipe all the excess oil from the chain with a rag. Be certain to also wipe excess oil off the bike and or components.   

My kickstand feels loose. What do I do?

We highly recommend that if you hear or suspect that something is loose on the bottom of your bike, stop riding and contact Vie to either schedule a maintenance appointment or get advice on next steps. If you feel mechanically inclined you can check all fasteners under the front cargo box. Inspect both the kickstand as well as steerer rod. Try to identify which fastener (bolt/nut) is loose and tighten or contact Vie for advice or to schedule a maintenance appointment.

How worried should I be about bumpy pavement? Will riding on bumps mess up my bike?

While bumps in life are most likely unavoidable, we do want to avoid them when possible. The constant jarring of urban riding is tough on bikes, little ones and us. The constant jarring impacts wheels as well as general fasteners. Is it bad? Yes. Is it always avoidable? No. The most important thing is to ride safely when navigating rough roads and check your bike often to ensure all is well.

I noticed that the nut on the steering rod is loose. How do I tighten it, and how tight should it be?

This is a critical part of the bike and must be addressed immediately. With two (17 mm wrenches or two crescent wrenches if you do not have 17mm wrench), you can tighten and or check tightening of these nuts. The nuts should be tight enough to span out the star washer and create a tensioned connection which will keep the nut from coming loose in the future.