Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
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Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby johncaves » 22 Aug 2019, 8:25pm

I'm 66, reasonably good shape but frustratingly suffer mild angina. I like going out on adventures for the day or have done a few trips for a week with panniers and tent etc. Even around Northamptonshire where I live we have a few killer hills (yes honestly!) so I've now got money to buy an ebike burning a hole in my pockets. I pretty much know the spec of the ebike I want which is likely to be £2000 to £2500ish and planning ahead for when I can no longer get my leg over the bike with panniers I want a step-thru.
My issue is that the bike dealerships around here never have the bikes I want and I really do want to test ride first just as I would buying a car. I've run out of patience with Rutland Bikes and Leisure Lakes Bikes as they really don't make any effort to get a bike for me to test and they try and fob me off with something I don't want. Cube seem the brand I'm most likely to buy but I'm open-minded on this. I just can't get through to some of these sales staff.
Should I persevere and rattle a few cages or can anyone advise retailers who might be more helpful and have the range of bikes to match. I don't even mind travelling within 40 or 50 miles of Northampton or maybe should I think about buying online without a test ride?
I'd be interested to hear how others have got on in similar situations.
Thanks in anticipation

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Re: Where to buy my ebike

Postby al_yrpal » 22 Aug 2019, 9:11pm

I just bought one, an Ortler, online. Apparently they are used as hire bikes. My friend 400 miles away bought a Cube online. Both have Bosch Performance drives. I wanted a bottom bracket type drive. I never had a test ride. I think bikes of that type are much of a muchness. The bike bits are pretty standard, so are the electrical bits, I doubt there are huge differences in performance and feel between brands.
Very happy with the bike.

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby mjr » 22 Aug 2019, 9:28pm

Fancy a trip to Loughborough? I've been told https://www.50cycles.com/contact are pretty good.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby Tigerbiten » 22 Aug 2019, 9:51pm

Deleted ......... :?

Opps, didn't read the first post fully.

Luck ......... :D

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby octave531 » 22 Aug 2019, 10:04pm

I went to my local Evans. They provided test bikes within a couple of days, all pretty straightforward. I bought a hybrid at the beginning of the year and an MTB recently. Good discounts on both even the MTB which was a sale bike.

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby Grandad » 23 Aug 2019, 10:24am

I do most of my own maintenance on the bike but know nothing about the electrical side. When I get an e-bike it will definitely not be mail order but a shop close enough to take it back to should there be any problems.

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby stodd » 26 Aug 2019, 10:21am

On the whole maintenance of the electrical parts is very straightforward once you get over that initial unfamiliarity. Most need virtually no maintenance, and you will always get advice from Pedelecs forum (https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/)

The more upmarket bikes (eg Bosch, Yamaha driven) require quite specialist equipment and are very difficult to do much with yourself, and will not even be handled by most bike shops. In addition replacement batteries and parts if you need them are expensive.

If you go for a bike that is well made with carefully chosen standard generic parts (Woosh, Whisper and others; for example http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?santana-cd) it will be easy to get advice and help; and in severe situations not too expensive just to replace parts. The supplier will give good after sales support with any issues, too, even though not locally. And you will probably save several hundred pounds for the same quality bike.

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby hemo » 26 Aug 2019, 10:51am

Halfords are ok as long as you don't buy any bike with the Suntour system, the system like Bosch, Yamaha is tied to only manufacture to repair and has issues. Their Bosch drive Carrera's are a pretty good buy esp if you use the discounts available and pick up when a sale is on as well.

The generic China bikes designed by UK companies as Stodd has referred to are pretty good for around the 1k - 1.3k mark, just look at the new Woosh designed Rambla step thru with Bafang Max drive not a bad looking bike or the new offerings from Wisper all designed in house with options of hub or Shimano steps integrated crank drive in step thru or crossbar.

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby hemo » 26 Aug 2019, 11:01am

The other consideration in buying an e-bike is how often it is going to be used, the battery replacement cost can be a little costly if the bike isn't used very regularly to get value out of it and the bike.

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby Bonefishblues » 26 Aug 2019, 11:21am

I have some sympathy with Rutland et al being reluctant to order a bike to test - once ordered it's their stock I guess, and these aren't £300 hybrids (obviously!). Your best tactic may need to be to take your shortlist and speak to their respective importers and get them to do the legwork, perhaps?

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby Lodge » 1 Sep 2019, 6:25pm

How about "On Your Bike" in Birmingham? 52 miles from the centre of Northampton. They've a good selection of eBikes (even including Brompton which I test rode out of interest).

A bit further afield will get you to Worcester and OnBike. Again a good selection is available and they give test rides (I got my Riese & Müller there, driving down from the Peak District to do so).

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Re: Where to buy my ebike ( centred on Northampton )

Postby goosegog » 2 Sep 2019, 5:12pm

I live in Northamptonshie and have bought a Pedelec as my retirement present. I have bought a Cube from Rutland Cycles (RC) at Rutland Water. I did about 6 months research. I was looking for a tourer/trekking bike with Bosch system, 500ah battery and a faired in battery mount.I looked a various sites and shops, Evans in MK had no E Bikes or enthusiasm ,their website had a limited number of bikes. I also tried AJS at Rushden lakes(parked in Waitrose and walked across to avoid traffic queue) posh shop posh prices but limited number of bikes.I found Cube bikes were suitable and that RC website had plenty to choose from. As I wanted a tourer I looked at ones with rear racks these were £500 more expensive, on closer inspection they were part of the frame and couldn`t be removed, I also realised that normal pannier hooks wouldn`t fit, Cube make their own panniers that fit. I looked at bikes with mudguards and no rack I got the choice down to 4 then compared specs, I realised I was paying £200 for 10-11 speed gears so chose a basic 9 speed as it was a Pedelec there was no use having 10- 11 gears Choosing a basic spec. I knew I could upgrade parts as needed.
In January RC had a winter sale I went and a look , they had a Bergamont nice bike but it had 400ah battery on the down tube I had ride round car -park it was too small for me but it gave me a taste for a Pedelec. I went back a few days later and ordered a Cube costing £1800. I picked it up in April,(They phoned me at the end of March to see if I still wanted the bike it came 7 days later cash flow in winter?) I customised it with rear rack and butterfly touring handlebars.
I am very impressed, it doesn`t feel faster than my other bike but my average speed has increased from 8 mph to 10 mph. Going up the` Col de Haselbeach` in Turbo mode put a smile on my face,it is good against headwinds and the last mile home where I can use the remaining power. I took it on tour around the Bavarian lakes and mountains.
My advice is to keep looking as other posts say that it may be difficult to test the right bike. I recommend the Cube,maybe the only way is to commit to buying a bike choosing the right spec.
RC have a 30 day buy- back scheme, they also have a new dedicated E bike shop in Cambridge.
Once you have ridden a Pedelec you will be amazed how good they are