Halfords cheap assist, which type for a noob

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
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Joined: 3 Jul 2019, 8:19pm

Halfords cheap assist, which type for a noob

Postby wibblefish » 3 Jul 2019, 8:59pm

Hi everyone, sorry to lower the tone and quality around here but budget limitations mean my first foray into electric bikes is going to under £400.

At the moment Halfords have 15% off and a further 10% through British cycling membership bringing their budget bike down to my price point. The assist has three versions, a shopper style with small wheels and step through, a crossbar version and something in between as a step through but big wheels. All the other specs and components are the same Which one should I choose?

For background I am an overweight, middle aged man that just wants to be able to ride to the playground with my 4 year old who has just come off the stabilisers. I will probably never ride more then 2 or 3 miles in a day and then probably only twice a week. I haven't ridden a bike in 30 years Ince this morning when I tried the small wheel shopper around the carpark. It was uncomfortable but not as bad as I expected, it's was faster then I expected.

Please help out a noob to get me and me boy out in the fresh air.

https://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... reId=10001

https://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... reId=10001

https://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/sto ... reId=10001

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer me before I close my eyes and pick one, or just get the cheap one.

Posts: 157
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Halfords cheap assist, which type for a noob

Postby stodd » 4 Jul 2019, 8:46am

Unless there is a significant hill between you and the playground I suggest that you go for a non-electric bike. You'll get a much better quality one, and with a cheap electric there are very likely to be niggles both with the bike itself and with the electric system.

You will get more specialized e-bike advice (maybe more specialized than you want?) at pedalecs

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Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Halfords cheap assist, which type for a noob

Postby hemo » 4 Jul 2019, 9:37am

20" shopper as you have said is uncomfortable so forget that one. Better going for one that feels/rides better as even for 3-4miles you will not enjoy it and soon leave the bike alone if the experience isn't good.

Price point wise £400 is pretty poor for an e-bike but if funds are tight then needs be at least make sure the bike feels right to ride.

Try the other two if you can maybe they will feel better for your size also the unisex step thru could be used by the Mrs ?
Range of 20 miles is about right for the 208wh battery but don't expect to much from the bike if you come across a steep hill.
If you go the ebike route only charge the battery before you need to ride it but always make sure it is left with 50% - 80% charge in it when not in use. Over time a fully charged battery will loose capacity and lessen it's life cycle if left fully charged without use, shops don't tell you this as most have little or no idea how lithium acts in battery cell.

Most cheap hub bikes use a simple speed control system with pedal assist/cadence sensor with 3 assist mode, each assist level giving a max set speed of approx 8mph in level1, 12 mph in level 2 and 15.5mph in level 3. Power/current delivery will be the same in each level.
Better hub bike systems use current control systems with 5 assist levels, the difference is you can get max speed in all assist modes(if you pedal enough) and then choose the current level to deliver the power for the terrain you are riding on also it improves mileage/range.

The latter is better as you get more control of the power delivered

Mark R
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Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 7:41pm

Re: Halfords cheap assist, which type for a noob

Postby Mark R » 4 Jul 2019, 11:17pm

Just to be a bit contrary...The ebike I use most is a 20" wheel "shopper". For local trips, compared to a big wheeler, it is simply more useful and user friendly: Carries loads better, easier to store, easier to manoeuvre round cycle gates etc

I have no knowledge or opinion about the quality of halfords ebikes BTW just highlighting the utility of small wheeled bicycles around town...

Posts: 541
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Halfords cheap assist, which type for a noob

Postby hemo » 5 Jul 2019, 10:14am

I only suggested to try the larger wheeled bikes as Wibblefish said the 20" was uncomfortable but maybe some adjustment to seat/bar set up may improve things, silly to buy the bike and it doesn't feel ride nicely as he will more likely not ride it much and waste his money.

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Joined: 30 May 2019, 3:00pm

Re: Halfords cheap assist, which type for a noob

Postby skyhawk » 7 Jul 2019, 1:51pm

By the way if you join British Cycling you will get FULL public liability insurance should you ever damage a car on the road or hit a pedestrian but also get another 10% halfords discount. And Halfords are always offering discounts, have you ever been in to buy something and "asked" for discount ? we the Brits never do I DO, I had 2 services there and parts worth £180 and asked, yes asked for a discount and they knocked 10% off at the till NO sales on..............

Ok look at the reality

When I buy anything I think

It cost £500 to buy, BUT take off the shops cut, the importers takings, VAT and manufacturers selling price to the middleman (supplier to the shop) and you really have about £90 worth of bike materials.

Is a £90 bike (to make) talking battery and motor any good ????

Will the battery be replaceable after a year or not available leaving you with junk, same for the motor

Don't we all think this way ?

I have just gone back to riding after 10 years, i am 61, and will only do 2-5 miles, I would rather have a GOOD and I mean GOOD £400 non electric bike that can be maintained 20 years from now, than cheap that may not be serviceable in a year when parts are no longer available

Oh and we all know nothing is "free" they build your bike "free" who would buy it from them in bits ? they would never sell any, lifetime .....we will check you bike is safe to ride DUH!!!!!, you made it !, free from defect ????? It's YOUR bike Halfords, I expect that. All shops do this, a. to sell you more things such as a service and b. future business
Both I and my son are Autistic. We have aspergers and ADHD, not stupid :). If I sound "blunt" in my posts, please be understanding : I am not perfect. Thank you. Visit https://www.asdinfowales.co.uk/ to learn more