Maker Faire 2012; DIY Electric Bikes

June 1, 2012

Maker Faire is an event put on  by Make magazine to “celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the DIY mindset”. Being involved in the local electric bike community, there is a little bit of buzz when the Maker Faire comes around, and this year heard my friend Justin Lemore from was taking a train all the way from Vancouver Canada just to spend a few days at the event, and then taking the long train ride all the way back.  I had never been to a Maker Faire, but given that it’s just a 20-minute drive from my house,  I decided to give it as shot and see what its all about.  If Justin can ride in a train for 10 hours I can drive my car 20 minutes. I was thinking I should and now wish I would have ridden my electric bike….damn mini van….temptress.

I am glad I went and will try to make all future events. The Maker Faire, as it turns out, ends up being a great showcase of some bay area people building some really cool small electric vehicles, and also some full sized electric cars.

The following is a pictorial of some of the interesting electric bikes and other Light Electric Vehicles (LEV’s) I saw at the 2012 Maker Faire in San Mateo:


Justin Lemire-Elmore leaning on his electric unicycle with a NuVinci variable transmission, a work in progress. Justin sent me pictures earlier of him welding on this creation.

In the Makers tradition, Justin is a true maker and here is some rare pics of him in the process of making:



Justin is a pioneer in the Electric Unicycle world and actually rode the very first pedelec unicycle up to the top of Mount Diablo which is local here in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, Justin had been busy on another project, a new e-bike gadget which in my opinion has the capacity to change everything:  Cycle Analyst V3. He was not able to finish his unicycle in time but still brought it to the Makers Faire. Instead of riding it around he had to carry it around.

I brought my huge camera (and got in for free because I told them I was making a website) 🙂

Upon entering the Makers, one of the first things I saw was one of the most magnificent presentation of electric bikes I have ever scene:  “Rock the Bike” is almost beyond words what it accomplished as a strange mix of performance art, music, and technology. They used electric bikes rigged so that their motors served as generators, and transmitted energy via extension chords to the stage which used the pedal power to amp up the music. Crazy!!

Above is a Close up of one of the “Rock the Bike Rigs”. After the show they change the bikes back to a regular Electric bike, strap their stuff back on the E-bikes and ride it home. Way cool!! Visit their website here.


Sign reads “This event is pedal powered! Get on a bike and ride!”


Electric Skateboard with off-road wheels and hand controller.


Electric four wheeler, with optional “Fred Flinstone” foot assist drive.


electric bike built in chopper style


Extreme electric bike chopper


This chopper featured a stereo system and big headway battery cells.

Justin Lemire-Elmore next to a bike, which his company provided with a Cycle Analyst, audio amplifier, motor and controller.


Electric skateboard with only one giant wheel


The one-wheel electric skate board in action


Solar powered electric car


Gyroscopically balanced electric motorcycle



Cockpit of the Gyro Motorcycle

crazy bicycles in all shapes and sizes were around every corner


tilting electric trike


Tilting Electric Trike in action

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.


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