Thinking of getting an e-bike

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Joined: 24 May 2010, 12:40pm

Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby GeoffBrassn » 3 Aug 2015, 1:23pm

andrewk wrote:3 things to concentrate on when selecting an ebike:
1. Drive system, crank motor or hub motor. Bosch, Panasonic and Impulse crank motors are good with Bosch probably being the best. Hub motors mounted in the back wheel are preferable to those mounted in the front wheel as they provide better traction uphill.
2. Battery size in Watt hours and recharge lifecycle (ie how many recharge cycles it can go through before its capacity is significantly degraded). Avoid no name or unknown name batteries, they will be Chinese generic products with a short service life. Battery size dictates range...if the bike is to be only used for short trips to the shops this isn't an issue but if you envisage day rides then clearly battery size will be important.
3. Quality of bike frame and components...some can be shocking (mainly the "British" brands which merely put their name on generic Chinese Tat). Others can be well made with good components. The Germans, Dutch and French make good ebikes, prices generally ranging from £2k to £3.5k.

I've had my Juicy for 5 years plus getting me around the Peaks quite happily. It's a "British" brand but with a workshop up the road from me. I looked at "upgrading" to a european bike, but have to say the complexity and cost simply puts me off. i did have a few parts need replacing over time - a pedal sensor and brke lever - along with the usual, non electric bits and pieces, but otherwise the Juicy has been brilliant and I can't see any reason for me to spend twice as much as their latest bikes on a complex bike thats not easy to maintain. I have ridden Bosch and the torque sensor is intuitive and nice but god forbid it ever need replacing out of warranty. Mine cost a fiver from memory and my battery is still going well after 5 years! I love simple cycling and loathe complexity.

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Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 8:14pm

Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby borderghost » 6 Aug 2015, 10:54pm

This looks like a good price for an e-bike @£250 ... ff_1018132

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Joined: 24 May 2010, 12:40pm

Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby GeoffBrassn » 7 Aug 2015, 12:13pm

borderghost wrote:This looks like a good price for an e-bike @£250 ... ff_1018132

Ha - I wonder how long that would last and how easy it is to get any support from the self-service till? I think it's clear there are many qualities of electric bike. My own preference for the right balance of quality, service and price are these electric bikes Can only recommend what I know of course, but still besotted with mine after several demanding years.

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Joined: 27 Jul 2012, 7:37am

Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby bazzo » 7 Aug 2015, 8:49pm


You probably have bought something by now. Just in case you haven't I met three cyclists yesterday in Baslow. Two of the three were riding ebikes, one was a Kalkoff which had a bottom bracket motor driving a sprocket on the chain, the other was a rather nice Spa Cycles Audax with a conversion kit from Electric Bike Conversions in Stoke on Trent. This was a replacement front wheel, with a hub motor, battery pack and controller. I was interested in their opinions and observations, because my wife has a Giant Twist 2 which she if frightened to go any distance on because of battery life.

After a chat and a bit of research the conversion option looks good. Both ebike users were regularly doing 60 to 70 mile rides, using the motor to assist when required, I think the Spa Cycles Audax is £995.00 plus Between £400 and £500 for the conversion. If you already have a bike the it's only the conversion cost.

Incidentally the Spa Audax looks brilliant.

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Joined: 25 Apr 2015, 9:37pm

Re: Thinking of getting an e-bike

Postby Manc33 » 8 Aug 2015, 4:57am

If you get a CleanRepublic front wheel (motor) and battery pack, you can use your existing bike and save money.

Thats US only though and they won't send a 40 or 20 mile battery pack, only 10 mile (all the legalities with shipping batteries).

Also you'd need to file the dropouts on your forks because that kit takes fat washers, I don't know about just filing the washers, or if thats safe.

If you only need a 10 mile kit it can be done for about £400 and you always still have your old front wheel to swap back to, then just remove the (strapped on) battery pack as well, leave the wires cable tied to the bike and you have your original bike back.

What turned me off is when that battery pack runs out... you'll have to cart a 4KG front wheel around. If you get a 40 mile pack then the cost jumps up a lot and those ones over £1000 start looking like an option. I say if a pre built "ebike" has a 40 mile range and its £1000 then its probably a good deal. By the time you add in a 40 mile pack the hub motor kit one costs nearly that.

I only saw Chinese kits as another alternative to the US one but I dunno, if I was going to get one I would get one of those Chinese ones but all are hundreds of £££'s whichever way.

The US kit has the "fade in" acceleration thats a selling point on these bikes, the battery pack has a circuit board in and its all regulated. It is only a helping hand though, it can be put under a lot of strain on a steep hill. :twisted:

Once the battery runs out, its like riding through treacle. Call me silly but it takes the pride out of cycling using one, there's an element of shame at the top of every hill. :wink:
When two cyclists get married, they should throw anodized cable crimps instead of confetti.