On Saturday, in Coral Bay on my way to Lamesur Bay, my ebike's chain broke.  I had not brought spare links or a chain tool but managed to get the chain back on the bike with pliers and limped home to Cinnamon Bay campground.  I discussed what could have happened with the St Thomas Bikesmith.


I had been seeking out vertical challenges but the design theoretically should have been up to the task, with single speed sprockets front and back and an internal geared hub, with a BMX single speed chain on the spec.  Adding to the climbing stress tests are my weight, which combined with the 50 lb ebike reach about 280 lbs with tools, lock and backpack.  Combine that with a powerful mid-drive motor, and my inexperience with a new bike and these hills, and it certainly qualifies as a bike drivetrain stress test. 


It turned out the chain on the bike was a 10 speed mountain bike chain, because USVI.  There is no EBike Superstore in the USVI.  Thus it is most likely the chain was the weak link under stress.


Fortunately the bikesmith stepped up and found an ebīke specific KMC chain he had ordered for a new build, which he brought to the ferry dock Sunday afternoon and when the Cruz Bay ferry was cancelled found the Caneel Bay ferry which graciously assisted with island logistics.


I came down here to figure out this type of thing so maybe next year or so it will be easier to buy, rent, or service an EBike in the USVI; so for me a broken chain is a learning experience.  Right now it is hard to make a business case to build an electric bikes business anywhere in the USVI, though the bikesmith is proving that following your passion might lead to a sucessful business venture.


I can't report on anyone else crazy enough to do this stuff on St John yet, but it's a start.


The Ebikers Map of St John

Top Nine Reasons to EBike in the VI

  1. Ebikes flatten hills
  2. 400 mpg is better than 15 mpg.
  3. Ecotourism is more fun.
  4. You choose how much exercise you get.
  5. You choose where you can go.
  6. 360 degree views.
  7. Sports adventure cycling accessible to many.
  8. It takes two to tango. Bike together, too!
  9. Meet interesting people!!