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    • codemonkey
    • By codemonkey 13th Mar 17, 7:02 PM
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    codemonkey
    Electric bikes?
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:02 PM
    Electric bikes? 13th Mar 17 at 7:02 PM
    For the past couple of years I've been commuting to work by train, but they've recently built a new station on my connecting line and soon most of the trains will no longer stop at my station which will mean a long wait.

    The other option is to take a single train, disembark at an earlier station, then it's about a 40 minute walk. This usually ends up taking the same amount of commute time as catching the connection, so with the new timetable, it would take less time.

    I've been thinking about getting a bike to reduce the time and improve my fitness a bit. But as I'm out of shape, haven't been on a bike since I was 14 and there are some hills on the route, I was considering an electric bike. Are they worth the money and extra weight? Can anyone recommend a decent starter model?
    Eu não sou uma tartaruga. Eu sou um codigopombo.
Page 1
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 13th Mar 17, 7:39 PM
    • 17,886 Posts
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    wealdroam
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:39 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:39 PM
    For the past couple of years I've been commuting to work by train, but they've recently built a new station on my connecting line and soon most of the trains will no longer stop at my station which will mean a long wait.

    The other option is to take a single train, disembark at an earlier station, then it's about a 40 minute walk. This usually ends up taking the same amount of commute time as catching the connection, so with the new timetable, it would take less time.

    I've been thinking about getting a bike to reduce the time and improve my fitness a bit. But as I'm out of shape, haven't been on a bike since I was 14 and there are some hills on the route, I was considering an electric bike. Are they worth the money and extra weight? Can anyone recommend a decent starter model?
    Originally posted by codemonkey
    A good place to ask those questions would be on The Pedelecs Forum.

    Not sure whether you are considering leaving this electrically assisted pedal cycle at the station all day every day, but if so you will surely find it missing very quickly.
    Last edited by wealdroam; 13-03-2017 at 7:42 PM.
    • RichardD1970
    • By RichardD1970 13th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
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    RichardD1970
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    I have Freego Hawk which I use for a 4.5 mile commute.

    It is brilliant. Quite a hilly route but it really takes away the effort so I don't end up knackered before work or dread the ride home.

    It is quite heavy and you wouldn't want to ride it without the assist

    Not cheap but I got mine through the Cycle to Work Scheme.

    Do you have a local supplier who you can arrange a test ride with?
    • codemonkey
    • By codemonkey 13th Mar 17, 9:21 PM
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    codemonkey
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:21 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:21 PM
    A good place to ask those questions would be on The Pedelecs Forum.

    Not sure whether you are considering leaving this electrically assisted pedal cycle at the station all day every day, but if so you will surely find it missing very quickly.
    Originally posted by wealdroam
    Thanks. I'll take a look at that site. I'd be riding it to work so it would be left in a covered and cctv monitored shelter. Obviously I'd also be investing in heavy duty bike locks too. The other end, I'll ride it home.

    I have Freego Hawk which I use for a 4.5 mile commute.

    It is brilliant. Quite a hilly route but it really takes away the effort so I don't end up knackered before work or dread the ride home.

    It is quite heavy and you wouldn't want to ride it without the assist

    Not cheap but I got mine through the Cycle to Work Scheme.

    Do you have a local supplier who you can arrange a test ride with?
    Originally posted by RichardD1970
    Thanks. We do have a cycle to work scheme, but it's with Halford I think. I think I do need to check out some models as I'm tall and have long legs. I don't want my knees at my chin.
    Eu não sou uma tartaruga. Eu sou um codigopombo.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 13th Mar 17, 9:57 PM
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    boliston
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:57 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 9:57 PM
    Thanks. I'll take a look at that site. I'd be riding it to work so it would be left in a covered and cctv monitored shelter. Obviously I'd also be investing in heavy duty bike locks too. The other end, I'll ride it home....
    Originally posted by codemonkey
    Does this mean having to take it on the train?

    I would not want to take a non folding bike on a train (not sure if e-bikes fold) and I'd imagine an e-bike would be quite heavy.
    • codemonkey
    • By codemonkey 13th Mar 17, 10:09 PM
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    codemonkey
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:09 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 17, 10:09 PM
    I didn't think about this. The trains have a special bit for bike storage and I don't travel on the commuter trains so there should be space, but that's no good if I can't lift the thing onto the train. Must check weights.
    Eu não sou uma tartaruga. Eu sou um codigopombo.
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 13th Mar 17, 11:17 PM
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    Richard53
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 11:17 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 11:17 PM
    That's the sticking point. If you're taking it on the train, you'll need to lug it on and off, and that won't be easy. Everything else, I would say go for it. I started commuting with an electric bike (13 miles, rural, hilly, zero fitness level to start) and it was challenging but doable. My fitness soon improved and the weight fell off.


    Mine is a Wisper 905 Classic, which isn't the lightest but it has coped with my 17->16->15->14 stone on it for 2000 miles. I am 6 ft and it is the perfect size for me. I have seen them in Halfords, so it's worth checking if they sell them (they didn't when I bought mine in 2014).


    Only way is to visit some dealers, have a play, and see if transport by train is a possibility. If it is, don't hesitate.
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 13th Mar 17, 11:35 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 11:35 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 11:35 PM
    Does this mean having to take it on the train?

    I would not want to take a non folding bike on a train (not sure if e-bikes fold) and I'd imagine an e-bike would be quite heavy.
    Originally posted by boliston
    This is a good question, if the bike is to be carried on the train it may well be it has to be a folding bike which there are electric versions of but I assume they'd be pretty heavy.

    My Mum is retired and started taking up normal cycling instead of the car but didn't get very far with it however after having a shot of an electric bike she absolutely loved it. It's not like an electric moped where the bike does all the work, you still pedal it like a normal bike but it doesn't get any harder when climbing hills or into the wind. The adjustable power level means you can start reducing the power as feel fitter or bump it back it up when you're feeling tired.

    If you're wanting to cycle all year round it can be hard going in poor weather particularly when it's cold, wet and windy which can hit motivation so you need to have a think about whether that's something you'd put up with or use the train on those days.

    John
    • knightstyle
    • By knightstyle 14th Mar 17, 4:41 PM
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    knightstyle
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 4:41 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 4:41 PM
    Just make sure you ask about the correct type of electric bike.
    Friends have electric ASSISTED bikes and they sound like what you want. You have to pedal and the motor then comes in to help. You cannot just sit there and use only the motor.
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 14th Mar 17, 6:16 PM
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    Xbigman
    Electric bikes are less attractive to steal than ordinary bikes because the key to unlock the battery and the battery charger can't be stolen with the bike. Those that are stolen tend to be thefts of opportunity rather than 'professional' bike thieves.
    Buy a decent solid lock and a decent cable lock. Park the bike out of the rain. OK they are waterproof but leaving an electric bike out in heavy rain day after day is asking for trouble. For additional security you can remove the battery. Removing the battery is essential in sub zero conditions anyway. If you do leave the bike out in the open with no battery buy some WD40 contact cleaner to keep the connectors clean. Just clean the connectors once a month.


    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 15th Mar 17, 12:25 AM
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    Richard53
    Just make sure you ask about the correct type of electric bike.
    Friends have electric ASSISTED bikes and they sound like what you want. You have to pedal and the motor then comes in to help. You cannot just sit there and use only the motor.
    Originally posted by knightstyle
    These are the only types that are legal in the UK. To qualify as a pedal cycle, the power 250W) and speed (25 kph/15.5 mph) are restricted and the user must pedal before the power comes in. If you can ride it without pedalling, or if it exceeds the power and speed limitations, it is classified as a moped and needs helmet, insurance, licence etc.


    Some older ebikes have a throttle (mine has) which lets you power along without pedalling, but these are now illegal to sell. I can't see why anyone would want this anyway - if you want to tootle along without effort, get a proper motorbike.
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
    • boliston
    • By boliston 15th Mar 17, 6:36 AM
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    boliston
    How do they limit an ebike to 15.5mph?

    Is this the limit without any pedal assist as 15.5mph is not particularly fast on a bike with no e-assist - I often do 25-30 with tailwind or downhill.
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 15th Mar 17, 6:51 AM
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    kathrynha
    My husband has the GTECH electric bike. It is his second electric bike and he says they have definitely improved over the years. He uses it to commute 9 miles each way, 5 days a week on a journey with a couple of big hills, and he says it is so easy.


    He is 6ft 4, and hasn't complained at all about it being too small and banging his knees.
    It is heavier than his mountain bike, but not too heavy that it will be difficult to lift on to a train, as he gets it up the steps in to our shed without problems.
    Living within my means and saving what's left


    Weight loss start date: 3rd January 2017
    Weight loss total: 35 lb
    Last updated: 28th March 2017
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 15th Mar 17, 7:27 AM
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    Keep pedalling
    A 40min walk is a very short cycle ride, so unless you are have health problems that make it risky, do it on a standard bike. Far cheaper and better for your fitness.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 15th Mar 17, 7:33 AM
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    Keep pedalling
    How do they limit an ebike to 15.5mph?

    Is this the limit without any pedal assist as 15.5mph is not particularly fast on a bike with no e-assist - I often do 25-30 with tailwind or downhill.
    Originally posted by boliston
    The only one I have ridden was provided to get me home after taking my car in for a service, and it was no problem getting it up to 15mph very quickly, but beyond that you get no power assist, and it was suddenly like trying to ride on sand, and lots of effort just to it up to 16.
    • Nasqueron
    • By Nasqueron 15th Mar 17, 7:35 AM
    • 3,944 Posts
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    Nasqueron
    How do they limit an ebike to 15.5mph?

    Is this the limit without any pedal assist as 15.5mph is not particularly fast on a bike with no e-assist - I often do 25-30 with tailwind or downhill.
    Originally posted by boliston
    Same way they limit cars. The engine might have more power available but is controlled to stop it producing more, going down a hill or being able to go faster on the flat is separate - the bike isn't producing that speed, the control is stopping the bike providing more than that speed for someone who can't reach it manually
    • chucknorris
    • By chucknorris 15th Mar 17, 8:22 AM
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    chucknorris
    A 40min walk is a very short cycle ride, so unless you are have health problems that make it risky, do it on a standard bike. Far cheaper and better for your fitness.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    That's exactly what I was thinking.
    Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird
    The only time Chuck Norris was wrong was when he thought he had made a mistake
    Chuck Norris puts the "laughter" in "manslaughter".
    After running injuries I now also hike, cycle and swim, less impact on my joints.

    For the avoidance of doubt Chuck Norris is an actor and an ex martial artist (not me)
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 15th Mar 17, 8:52 AM
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    Strider590
    Electric bikes are a magnet for thieves, where I used to work we kept getting a gang of "travelling folk" blatantly walking over with battery powered angle grinders and crowbars to attempt to steal a colleagues ebike, the Police wouldn't do anything, so every few days we basically had to get half the company outside to scare them off.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • codemonkey
    • By codemonkey 15th Mar 17, 10:36 AM
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    codemonkey
    A 40min walk is a very short cycle ride, so unless you are have health problems that make it risky, do it on a standard bike. Far cheaper and better for your fitness.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    I actually do have a disability and I get tired more easily than I used to. The ride would be OK if it wasn't largely a steep hill all the way back. I haven't been on a bike for a long time and I feel like it would be less embarrassing to have the motor assist than get off and push for half the journey. From a look around, it seems you can choose the level of motor assistance so presumably that would decline over time.

    Also, I like gadgets.

    That being said, I haven't decided on whether to go for electric or a standard bike yet. Just considering it as an option for the moment. There have been a lot of posts on this thread making excellent points and giving me things to think about.
    Last edited by codemonkey; 15-03-2017 at 10:48 AM.
    Eu não sou uma tartaruga. Eu sou um codigopombo.
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 15th Mar 17, 9:37 PM
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    Richard53
    How do they limit an ebike to 15.5mph?
    Originally posted by boliston
    They don't, simple answer. They limit the power available so that the assistance cuts out at a road speed of 15.5 mph. After that, you're on your own. There is no actual limit to the bike's speed (other than the ones that apply to all bikes).

    Is this the limit without any pedal assist as 15.5mph is not particularly fast on a bike with no e-assist - I often do 25-30 with tailwind or downhill.
    Originally posted by boliston
    On my usual commute, I am bobbing along at 14-15 mph on the flat. On a downhill on my way home I regularly get to 40 mph. On the uphills (depending on gradient, obviously) I manage about 8 mph, where on an unassisted bike I would be doing about 5 mph. The upshot is - up to 15 mph you have a giant hand on your back, giving you a shove. Above 15 mph you are just riding a heavy bike. This means that on a flat route there isn't much advantage in an ebike, but the more hills you have, the more the bike earns its living. In my area (fairly hilly) my average speed on the ebike is about 30% faster than unassisted. The gain is all on the slow sections.
    If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart. (Attrib. to Socrates)
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