New to ebikes can't decide

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Bazang
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Joined: 9 May 2020, 9:58pm

New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Bazang » 10 May 2020, 1:23pm

Hi All, I hope you can help me, l am trying to buy an ebike but there is so much to consider and l have been reading up a bit just don't understand all the technical bits. As the stores are closed it's making it harder to decide
I started off looking at the AS folding bike, then looked at the Halfords Assist and Assist deluxe the latter l can't find (maybe it's discontinued) looked at the Woosh Rambletta and now looking at the Wisper 806. Although they look great l'm not sure a folding bike is the best option but we do have a moho with a bike rack so may take it with us, although anxious of it being stolen. I'm not good with gears either and always forget to change gear

About me, l'm early 60's, 5'2" and around 10 stone in weight, l gave my hybrid bike to my daughter during lockdown and struggling with my 14" wheel folding bike on the inclines and getting off to walk up instead. I'm not very active but hope to change that with an ebike and go a bit further than my usual 5 miles, can't use it to commute in my job as l visit people's homes which are long distances from each other.

Are there any others you think l should consider please? I liked the idea of Halford's bikes for any possible spares or repairs but l don't want to limit my options.
Big ask but hope you can help, thanks in advance

stodd
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby stodd » 10 May 2020, 3:00pm

There are some good value Halfords ebikes, but they don't have a great record for availability of spares.
The Assist has a very low capacity 25v battery.

I know Woosh offers great customer service, and I believe Wisper do as well.
Maybe more important their bikes mainly use standard parts that should be easy to get fixed or replaced at sensible prices well into the future.

There are a few bikes left at Kudos as well at very good prices; I've heard good things about their Safari.
http://www.kudoscycles.com/index.php?in ... c3hrtv7iq1

Be wary of 'up to' claims on range; usually on good flat roads with minimal assist and no wind. Real values are often only one third or even less of these up to values. If you look at https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-assistant/ you will get the idea. Designed for Bosch based bikes, but the principles and variation are pretty much the same for all. Put in optimal conditions at 12mph in eco mode with their default bike (400wh battery) and you'll get 111miles. Leave the bike details unchanged but make a few tweaks to the environment, up the speed to 15mph, change to tour mode and it can drop to 32miles, or 25 in sport mode.

The Halfords Assist battery is 115wh. The Rambletta's is 412wh, Safari 360wh. If it is at all hilly where you are I'd go for at least 300wH battery to give some future proofing when you want longer range as you love the bike, and to make sure you aren't caught out on the last leg when you are tired. Also remember that even a good well kept battery may drop to 80% of its initial capacity after 5 years.

Bazang
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Bazang » 10 May 2020, 4:42pm

Thank you so much Stodd, what a brilliant reply, the Kudos looks excellent for me and seems to have loads on it for the price. What does it mean by throttle please as it offers this as a no cost option?
Many thanks

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Paulatic
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Paulatic » 10 May 2020, 5:06pm

Check out your MoHo bike rack weight limit. These E bikes are heavy.
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stodd
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby stodd » 10 May 2020, 7:09pm

The throttle is like a motor bike throttle; it means you can push the bike along without any effort on your part. Sometimes twist and sometimes thumb operated; I'm not sure what the Safari has.

There are complicated legal details about throttles. Basically they are illegal as pedalec (no licence etc needed) if provided with a new ebike, but there are lots of confusing exceptions (*). You could ask Kudos; I suspect that they give the option as they know they are not legal, but also know some people don't care. They can be very useful for people with various disabilities, but that does not change the legal status.
~~
Most ebikes are heavy, 25kg is pretty common even for those with racks, guards, stands etc. The Safari is heavy even by ebike standards at 29.4kg. See Paulatic's post. Whatever bike, remove the battery for putting on a rack. Very easy on most ebikes.

(*)
Confusing as some later regulations replaced earlier ones in part but not necessarily completely.
Here are some exceptions I have seen quoted but I do not at all promise they are complete or even correct.
* allowed with kits
* allowed if they only go up to 4 mph or so to help with starting
* allowed if you you have to keep pedalling as well
* allowed if you have to pedal a bit every now and then
* allowed on bikes made before a certain date
* if you count the bike as an s-pedalec, which requires licence, tax, insurance and I think plates

It isn't illegal to sell them, only to use them on the road or public places such as bridleways.

You are very unlikely to get legally charged for having one. If you are however it can be very bad, as it has made the bike a s-pedalec, so you can be charged with details such as driving while uninsured. (I'm 99% sure Cycling UK insurance will NOT cover s-pedalecs)

https://www.juicybike.co.uk/uk-europe-ebike-law
https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/full-throttl ... gal-again/
https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-libr ... egulations

Bazang
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Bazang » 10 May 2020, 11:31pm

Thank you both, something l hadn't considered re the bike rack weight limit and will avoid the throttle, very detailed response from Stodd again.

Today l've been looking at the Woosh Rambletta and the Wisper 806 in more detail having discounted the Halfords Assist. There doesn't seem to be many reviews about these bikes, perhaps they are newer models but do you know of anywhere l can find these.

I like the partly hidden battery on the Rambletta and the lower price too. How is the balance on bikes with the battery over the rear wheel? Another reason steering me towards the Rambletta
https://wooshbikes.co.uk/?rambletta
https://www.e-bikesdirect.co.uk/brands/ ... se-folding

Still open to suggestions of other makes and models too

Thanks again

hemo
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby hemo » 11 May 2020, 8:15am

Kudos Safari is an old heavy design bike but a good robust work horse, it uses the older heavier very safe chemistry of r lifepo4 battery (lithium iron phosphate) at one stage Kudos were offering two bikes for £995 which was a brilliant offer. The lifepo4 if looked after will outlast Lithium ion batteries two fold, charging /discharging is different to lion and with a 3.65v - 3.2v usable range form a high density battery with lasting power. Kudos are owned by parent company Raleigh design, at the time (10 years ago or so ) no one offered a reliable Bafang hub motor and Nexus hub gears on a step thru frame.

Any of the Halfords Carrera offerings using the Suntour HESC system should be avoided, reliability wise the system is awful with non existence spares available if and when Halfords ditch the system bike owners will be left with scrap.
The best bike probably in the line up is Carrera Crossfuse with Bosch motor though again I'm no fan of these ugly bulky looking mid drive bikes.

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al_yrpal
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby al_yrpal » 11 May 2020, 10:05am

hemo wrote:The best bike probably in the line up is Carrera Crossfuse with Bosch motor though again I'm no fan of these ugly bulky looking mid drive bikes.


I am a fan of this type of bike which is very practical, comfortable and closely resembles ordinary touring bikes, bikes that are made to be ridden all day for days on end. Looks are irrelavent to me, a bike isnt a fashion statement, its a practical tool to get you around. I have no experience of mid drives other than Bosch but I love mine, its very capable and intelligent effortlessly delivering assistance without any quirks. The exposed frame mounted battery can be removed with a twist of a key to be taken indoors for charging. I would criticise the Crossfuse for being sold without mudguards, lights and a rack which seems to be the unfortunate norm for British bikes.
My e bike is made by Ortler a German company, Cube are from Germany too. Both ooze quality and attention to detail. Look at Bikester.com and pick out a nice quality mid drive bike.

Al
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Bazang
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Bazang » 11 May 2020, 2:33pm

Thanks again for your helpful replies, l checked bikester and they have a Ortler in the sale so will check it out it does however have a front motor, not sure if they are ok as someone said steer clear of them.

I called my nearest Kudos dealer who said they had stopped supplying them as the parts were very difficult to get and a review on Kudos own website said the same thing. This bike shop did suggest the Byocycle Cameleon LS with middle sized motor which looks good too and AS cycles called me back today so l am still considering one of their fold up bikes. Anyone had any experience of either of these please?

Still undecided but at least l am a bit more knowledgable to help me narrow them down now thanks to you guys so thanks again

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al_yrpal
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby al_yrpal » 11 May 2020, 2:41pm

Look for the page on Bikester for e bike types which will help to decide you on what to get. Lots of very useful information there. Wouldnt touch a front hub motor with a barge pole personally...

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...

Bonzo Banana
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Bonzo Banana » 12 May 2020, 1:13am

al_yrpal wrote:
hemo wrote:The best bike probably in the line up is Carrera Crossfuse with Bosch motor though again I'm no fan of these ugly bulky looking mid drive bikes.


I am a fan of this type of bike which is very practical, comfortable and closely resembles ordinary touring bikes, bikes that are made to be ridden all day for days on end. Looks are irrelavent to me, a bike isnt a fashion statement, its a practical tool to get you around. I have no experience of mid drives other than Bosch but I love mine, its very capable and intelligent effortlessly delivering assistance without any quirks. The exposed frame mounted battery can be removed with a twist of a key to be taken indoors for charging. I would criticise the Crossfuse for being sold without mudguards, lights and a rack which seems to be the unfortunate norm for British bikes.
My e bike is made by Ortler a German company, Cube are from Germany too. Both ooze quality and attention to detail. Look at Bikester.com and pick out a nice quality mid drive bike.

Al


I would see Cube as quite low in the quality pecking order myself. They have short warranties, low weight capacity compared to many other brands and use some of the cheapest factories in the far east. As you can see below many are coming from Bangladesh which are known to have typically inferior tolerances to Taiwan and even Cambodia, Vietnam and mainland China. There isn't really much German about their bikes except the brand itself. Maybe in the past it was different but I certainly don't think it is the case now. Besides how can you judge quality of a bike if the importer regularly changes factories to obtain the best price. I know nothing about Ortler but certainly the Cube brand is definitely not worth paying extra for in my opinion. I'd actually see it as inferior to many other brands including shop brands.

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Bazang
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Bazang » 12 May 2020, 11:01am

Thanks to Al and Bonzo, l checked out Bikester, they have loads of choice. Bonzo thanks for your advice about those bikes, do you have any bike recommendations for me please?

Trying to narrow my search favourites but seem to be expanding it which is good l guess, l'm not rushing into anything but l'm looking at 35k Battery attached to the frame, mid motor, folding, lightweight but stable, easy gears, comfy seat and handlebars, step through, not too concerned about looks so long as it does the job

Thanks again for your answers they are definitely challenging me to consider so much more than l did before so if anyone has a bike recommendation for me please let me know
Ang

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al_yrpal
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby al_yrpal » 12 May 2020, 1:17pm

The only manufacturers part in any bike is the frame. All the other bits bolted on are usually branded. Cube bikes will be made to German quality standards as are Ortler irrespective of the manufacturing location. The comments about Cube bikes are unwarranted they have an excellent reputation. Ortler sell e bikes to the hire bike industry where quality and longevity are paramount which speaks for itself.
What manufacturers DO in Bonzo's opinion make quality e bikes worth buying?

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...

Bazang
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Bazang » 14 May 2020, 9:59am

l'm hoping to trial a Byocycle Cameleon LS in the next few days because l can get it serviced etc where l buy it from. I did like the Cube and Ortler Al and havn't ruled them out yet but just trialling the Cameleon LS first unless anyone has any negative comments about these bikes

Antbrewer
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Re: New to ebikes can't decide

Postby Antbrewer » 14 May 2020, 11:20am

Hi Bazang,
I saw your post a few days ago and find the various replies most interesting.

I came back from touring the Austrian alps last Sept on my Ridgeback touring bike knowing that the time had come to change. For me it was health reasons .
I did a lot of research and that was a nightmare not least because the older I get the more difficult I find making decisions. There are so many many ebikes out there and the different reasons for choices are all valid that have been suggested in the above posts.
Whilst I was touring I found that I wanted a bike like I was on but with a motor.
So That was my main criteria also for me looks are important. Not for everyone I realise but there are some very odd and strange looking beasts out there. Also the weight is very important as most are quite heavy. Then of course the price ceiling that you are willing to go to.
I ended up with a Cannondale Synapse neo 1, a very expensive bike for me anyway. It can accommodate mudguards and also a pannier rack AND I managed to purchase it from a local bike shop. The weight is 18 kgs only a wee bit heavier that the Claud Butler hybrid I ride all the time at home .
It has a 500whr battery that will allow long days in the saddle or touring with ease. I love it to bits.
So I wish you well. Perhaps there is too much choice.
Happy hunting
Anthony