· By Chimera BMX
Dec 2020: The Mount Hollywood Test
Throughout 2020, Austin was testing the first iterations of the V1 prototype late in the night ripping through the neighborhoods outside his Los Angeles apartment. That was perfect for trying out a variety of motors, controllers, clutches, pulleys, etc. But by December, Austin had already pinned down the basic design. It was time for a more rigorous test. The Mount Hollywood trail is a steady climb for several miles. The system ran successfully full blast at 3800 watts throttle-only up the entire winding incline, often hitting well over 30mph.
The Chimera was still a Frankenstein back then. You can hear the aluminum chainwheel bolts cannibalized from an old race bike creaking from overuse. Even worse - the bike was insanely dangerous. The tiny Yokozuna brakes weren't nearly powerful enough, and the battery was a total fire hazard; no BMS and zero shock protection - just a spot welded pack wrapped in a single layer of shrink tube. So sketchy! Still, the ride was a triumph for the Chimera and the High-Drive design. What other ebike this light could have done that? The video is below.