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Author Topic: Electric Bicycle  (Read 198 times)

sheddyian

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Electric Bicycle
« on: September 08, 2017, 12:17:10 AM »

I've always liked riding a bicycle, for a number of years after formerly owning a car, I didn't drive and I cycled everywhere, through choice.  More recently I started driving again as I cared for my father and became his taxi service :)

When I went back to cycling again, I found it quite an effort.  Where I live, there's a lot of hills.

So, back in June, after a fair bit of research, I bought myself a (relatively) cheap electric bicycle.  Summary : it's amazing!

I got a Cyclotricity Revolver (649, though I chose the larger battery option which is 799).  It's a nice comfortable frame, surprisingly comfortable saddle, has a nice built-in (AA cell powered) rear light/reflector, and a bit more flimsy front light which I soon changed.

Depending on how you ride it (hills, speed, assistance settings) you can get about 40 miles out of one charge.

It's not "completely lazy" - you have to pedal, by law.  It's pedal assist.  When you start pedalling, the motor in the front wheel kicks in, and helps you along.  You can adjust the amount of help it gives you from a simple control panel that also shows your speed.

The result is that, on a long bike ride, your legs still ache.  You've been doing some work.  But, after riding up a hill, you're not out of breath or having to get off and push.

Again, by law, the speed is restricted to 15MPH; though that's the motor assist maximum speed.  There's nothing to stop you keep pedalling to go faster.  I've done over 30MPH downhill on it, but due to the somewhat limited gearing (it has 6 speed gears compared to a modern mountain bike that has 27+ gears), realistically you can only do about 24 MPH on the flat before your legs are whirling around too fast.  It'd be nice if it had a few more gears.

It's built in Britain - admittedly of mostly Chinese origin parts.  But the build quality seems good, although it is built down to a price.  On my very first ride I got a puncture.  I subsequently changed the cheap Chinese tyres and inner tubes for Schwalbe puncture-resistant tyres and inner tubes.  I've cycled 600 miles on it since then, and no further punctures.

The mount between the saddle and the seat-post would creak and groan.  I kept tightening it up, it'd be ok for a while, then start creaking again.  It was the old traditional style seat mounting, as used on British bikes long into the past.  Modern bikes use a different mounting system called "micro adjust"; I changed the seat post for one of these (kept the original saddle which still fitted), and it's been fine since.  In fact, the micro-adjust seat post I chose also had some "suspension" in it, which smoothed the bumps out a bit more.

Driving a car into town used to be miserable, I'd queue to get into a car park and pay a lot of money or Id park on the outskirts and walk a long distance in and out.  Now I can zip into town on the bike, chain it up next to places I'm going, and zip back home again.  I get some exercise, though I don't arrive dripping in sweat.  I've got a large pannier bag hung on the bike that I can get 2 carrier bags of shopping into.

The battery takes a few hours to charge, and when its getting flat (every 3 or 4 days of my typical usage) I leave it charging overnight.  I've not run out of battery yet (the display shows battery level, seems pretty reliable); I've found I can do 35 - 40 miles per charge on it.

I can't recommend electric bikes highly enough.  I sometimes go out for midnight bike rides (particularly during hot weather a few weeks back) just because I can.

Ian
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Black Sheep

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Re: Electric Bicycle
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2017, 07:24:06 AM »

A comprehensive review, Ian. Cheers.  :)
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roseway

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Re: Electric Bicycle
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2017, 08:17:19 AM »

I've got a lightweight 18-gear bike which I haven't used for a couple of years, because I live at the bottom of a hill in all directions and the old legs are getting weary. So I'm quite tempted by an electric bike, although the price of this one is a bit out of my range. Something like this one might fit the bill for me.
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  Eric

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Re: Electric Bicycle
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 09:26:11 AM »

Thanks for the review,  I am just reserching  ebike as about to buy one
Cheers
Chris
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sheddyian

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Re: Electric Bicycle
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 10:30:29 AM »

I've got a lightweight 18-gear bike which I haven't used for a couple of years, because I live at the bottom of a hill in all directions and the old legs are getting weary. So I'm quite tempted by an electric bike, although the price of this one is a bit out of my range. Something like this one might fit the bill for me.

One option might be to get something like this, if you're DIY minded http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/26-250W-1000W-Electric-Bicycle-Conversion-E-Bike-Front-Rear-Wheel-Kit-36V-48V-/122617260267?var=&hash=item1c8c8ee8eb:m:meBomyQogylTukKc4Ac1VAA then you can convert your existing bike to be an electric one.  That kit,  however, doesn't include the battery, which is the most expensive part.  Batteries (assuming you chose Li-Ion rather than heavy lead-acid) are an extra 140 - 200+

I was originally going to convert an old pedal bike, but decided I'd rather get a ready made one as it was a lot more convenient (if maybe slightly less fun from making it myself).  I decided the cost saving wasn't that much.

I got my bike from a fairly local independent national seller (they mostly do mail order) but I was able to go along to their showroom and try a few out, riding around their grounds.  Their range started at around 400.

Ian
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sheddyian

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Re: Electric Bicycle
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 10:46:05 AM »

Thanks for the review,  I am just reserching  ebike as about to buy one
Cheers
Chris

They seem to be getting very popular, I read a news story recently that claimed electric bike sales were currently greater than pedal bike sales.

I'd strongly recommend going somewhere you can try the bikes out, rather than buying blind.  I tried a few, including one that was over 1000, but the one I chose - at 799, I felt was a nicer bike to ride -for me- than the more expensive one.  (Though the more expensive one had a better display with extra functions, which I did like  :D )

Ian
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