Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Cezzy
    • By Cezzy 23rd Aug 17, 10:44 AM
    • 1,739Posts
    • 245,818Thanks
    Cezzy
    Regular vs Electric Bike
    • #1
    • 23rd Aug 17, 10:44 AM
    Regular vs Electric Bike 23rd Aug 17 at 10:44 AM
    Just looking at treating myself to a new bike. My partner and I love trail biking but I do struggle a bit on some of the uphill bits. As I looked around I also had a go on some electric bikes. I always thought they were really heavy and they were not. Also they look better now. Quite taken by them and it would certainly help me on the difficult bits ! Booked to take one out tomorrow on a proper trail to test.


    Has anyone got one ? Any words of wisdom ?


    Cezzy
    ~ Smile and light up your world ~
    ~ ask, believe, receive ~
Page 1
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 23rd Aug 17, 12:22 PM
    • 7,240 Posts
    • 7,755 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    • #2
    • 23rd Aug 17, 12:22 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Aug 17, 12:22 PM
    I dont have one but have been looking, I've been advised by a few people that ones with the motor at the crank rather than in the rear hub wheel, are preferable, for several reasons including efficiency, (apparently a smaller motor at the crank is equivalent to a larger at the rear wheel), easier fixing punctures and better balance.
    See what the folks you rent from say tomorrow.
    • RichardD1970
    • By RichardD1970 23rd Aug 17, 4:49 PM
    • 2,582 Posts
    • 3,775 Thanks
    RichardD1970
    • #3
    • 23rd Aug 17, 4:49 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Aug 17, 4:49 PM
    I've got one, a basic Freego Hawk which I use for commuting.

    It is heavier than my other "normal bike" but is much better for using to and from work as I am not knackered before I start and if it is a hard shift I don't dread the long hard ride home.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 23rd Aug 17, 5:32 PM
    • 3,636 Posts
    • 1,857 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #4
    • 23rd Aug 17, 5:32 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Aug 17, 5:32 PM
    Have you seen the Pedelecs website?

    There's reviews and a very active forum with lots of knowledgeable people willing to offer advice.
    .
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 24th Aug 17, 9:45 AM
    • 458 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #5
    • 24th Aug 17, 9:45 AM
    • #5
    • 24th Aug 17, 9:45 AM
    If you get one, make sure its got a Lithium battery rather than the old Lead acid type.All electric bikes weigh a ton, and they are an absolute pain to pedal if they go flat on a journey..Any hills and you will be pushing the thing and cursing.
    In my view you should forget it and just get the lightest bike you can afford.You will have all the gears you need to get up all hills anyway..
    Electric bikes are very expensive and if you buy a used one factor in the price of a new battery..Lithium batteries are also very expensive..Just google the price of a new one .They do not last forever.
    Do not buy an electric bike..you have given up on life if you sit back and twist a throttle.You may as well drive the car.
    Everyone struggles a bit on the uphill bits, you have at least a dozen gears. If you are healthy do not succumb to the easy way. I m 67 and just did a 20 miler fairly fast yesterday evening and felt great doing it.
    I admit my bike is a dream to ride, all carbon fibre frame weighing only 8kg with narrow tyres but was nt expensive.Planet X special
    Last edited by House Martin; 31-08-2017 at 8:42 AM.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 24th Aug 17, 5:40 PM
    • 2,325 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    • #6
    • 24th Aug 17, 5:40 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Aug 17, 5:40 PM
    I don't agree at all with the recommendation for a light bike over an e-bike as they're simply not even remotely comparable as the boost from the motor is far more than shaving some weight off the bike. I have a lightweight road bike and go out with my Mum on her e-bike and even with a decent level of fitness and being a good hill climber, I can't match the e-bike on hills which my Mum just cruises up with the electric assist. 15mph doesn't sound like much but it's a decent speed when it can do that up hills, into headwinds etc.

    Also my bike makes a lot of compromises to be light and fast, it's a very stiff rigid frame running on narrow 25mm slicks with drop bars and a hunched over position. My Mum's ebike doesn't have to make such compromises since the motor will help so she has slight suspension in the front fork and the seatpost, larger 42mm semi-slick tyres, a flat bar with a comfortable upright riding position, integrated lighting system and she can take a pannier with her.

    The bike isn't doing all the work either, you still pedal an ebike it's just for the same effort you can go further and faster plus you don't need to worry about headwinds and hills. You can also dial down the power if you're feeling stronger to extend the range and gradually improve fitness. It's great for me as well as I would go at whatever speed is needed but this way it gives me a decent paced ride and I have the freedom to choose any route I want without worrying about my Mum struggling on the hills.

    There's no getting away from the fact ebikes are expensive and particularly as that expense isn't a one off, the batteries have a limited life and the cost to replace them is huge at around £600 for my Mum's ebike. However if the bike is going to get used regularly then I think it's well worth it, my Mum had tried normal cycling on and off but never really got into it however she's on her ebike pretty much every day - she loves riding it and finds it so handy being able to pop into town and similar without worrying about traffic.

    I also know a couple of mountain bikers with them, one who has a heart condition and can't manage on his own and another who doesn't feel fit enough for proper trail riding. Both really like their bikes unsurprisingly.

    John
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 29th Aug 17, 12:28 AM
    • 2,521 Posts
    • 2,157 Thanks
    Richard53
    • #7
    • 29th Aug 17, 12:28 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Aug 17, 12:28 AM
    I don't agree at all with the recommendation for a light bike over an e-bike as they're simply not even remotely comparable as the boost from the motor is far more than shaving some weight off the bike.
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7
    Totally agree (and with the rest of the post as well). I got an ebike three years ago (a Wisper 905 Classic) and I love it. It made commuting by bike possible rather than impossible (hills and journey length) and I had an amazing year commuting by bike and losing 3 stone in the process. It also gave me back some fitness so I could start riding my old MTB again - I live in a very hilly area. Unfortunately a change in working hours put a stop to the commute. Mine is a heavy old lump, but comfy and very stable. However, there are many e-mountain bikes now which are much lighter and more nimble.


    A test ride will probably convince you
    An hour alone spells freedom to the slave.
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 29th Aug 17, 12:44 AM
    • 2,521 Posts
    • 2,157 Thanks
    Richard53
    • #8
    • 29th Aug 17, 12:44 AM
    • #8
    • 29th Aug 17, 12:44 AM
    I've been advised by a few people that ones with the motor at the crank rather than in the rear hub wheel, are preferable, for several reasons including efficiency, (apparently a smaller motor at the crank is equivalent to a larger at the rear wheel), easier fixing punctures and better balance.
    See what the folks you rent from say tomorrow.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    There are advantages and disadvantages.


    Good: crank motor can take advantage of gearing, so stays in more efficient speed range (a hub motor can run very slowly up a steep hill, which isn't good long-term), less obtrusive, easier rear wheel changing


    Bad: more expensive to buy and repair; much harsher on the transmission - basically the motor's power is applied to the crank and therefore goes through the chain and gears, whereas the hub motor acts on the hub only. You will need to be very precise and mechanically sympathetic when changing gear if you don't want the motor to chew up your chain and cluster.


    My bike has a rear hub motor, my wife's had a Bosch crank drive. I rode both. If I buy another ebike, it will have a hub motor, but probably on the front wheel as apparently the 2WD effect is noticeably more stable in poor conditions.
    An hour alone spells freedom to the slave.
    • Crystal_Pixie
    • By Crystal_Pixie 30th Aug 17, 12:21 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Crystal_Pixie
    • #9
    • 30th Aug 17, 12:21 PM
    Ebike
    • #9
    • 30th Aug 17, 12:21 PM
    Absolutely love my ebike. It has a crank motor but I disagree they are particularly expensive to repair. Yes you have to change the chain and the rear groupset more often than a standard bike, but a chain is around £10.


    Compare that to servicing and putting petrol in a car then I think its quite cost effective.


    Also, if you get the right bike with a good motor and the right battery you can have over 5 years of use (my battery has a potential of 1100 charging cycles).
    • Richard53
    • By Richard53 31st Aug 17, 1:42 AM
    • 2,521 Posts
    • 2,157 Thanks
    Richard53
    Absolutely love my ebike. It has a crank motor but I disagree they are particularly expensive to repair. Yes you have to change the chain and the rear groupset more often than a standard bike, but a chain is around £10.
    Originally posted by Crystal_Pixie
    I was talking about repairing/replacing the crank motor if it went wrong, not the drive train components. They are seriously complicated bits of kit.


    Compare that to servicing and putting petrol in a car then I think its quite cost effective.
    Originally posted by Crystal_Pixie
    No disagreement with this. I reckon my commute was costing me about 7p per day in electricity, compared with £5 in the car. Not too long before the bike has paid for itself, if you use it enough.
    An hour alone spells freedom to the slave.
    • Cezzy
    • By Cezzy 31st Aug 17, 10:34 AM
    • 1,739 Posts
    • 245,818 Thanks
    Cezzy
    Thank you so much for all your comments which I have read with interest.


    After reading up as much as I could I decided to have a trial on some and was extremely impressed. When I used my standard bike at the weekend on a old railway trail I really noticed the difference and it was back to getting off on the difficult bits. Think I will go for one ..... and my partner fancies one also !
    ~ Smile and light up your world ~
    ~ ask, believe, receive ~
    • burnsguitarman
    • By burnsguitarman 3rd Sep 17, 6:47 PM
    • 714 Posts
    • 429 Thanks
    burnsguitarman
    Thank you so much for all your comments which I have read with interest.


    After reading up as much as I could I decided to have a trial on some and was extremely impressed. When I used my standard bike at the weekend on a old railway trail I really noticed the difference and it was back to getting off on the difficult bits. Think I will go for one ..... and my partner fancies one also !
    Originally posted by Cezzy
    We have Scott ebikes with Bosch motors, they are in a word Brilliant! Go for it, you won't regret it.
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 3rd Sep 17, 9:41 PM
    • 3,636 Posts
    • 1,857 Thanks
    KeithP
    Cezzy, The 2017 Cycle Show is on at the NEC Birmingham on 22-24 September.

    They will have a test ride circuit specifically for e-bikes, so if you can get there, it is an ideal opportunity to have a very short test ride on a variety of e-bikes.
    .
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 3rd Sep 17, 10:07 PM
    • 1,396 Posts
    • 1,209 Thanks
    parking_question_chap
    Just looking at treating myself to a new bike. My partner and I love trail biking but I do struggle a bit on some of the uphill bits. As I looked around I also had a go on some electric bikes. I always thought they were really heavy and they were not. Also they look better now. Quite taken by them and it would certainly help me on the difficult bits ! Booked to take one out tomorrow on a proper trail to test.


    Has anyone got one ? Any words of wisdom ?


    Cezzy
    Originally posted by Cezzy
    Put in some training, then you will find it easier.
    • bbarroso
    • By bbarroso 10th Sep 17, 9:06 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    bbarroso
    I own two, an electric and a regular one, simply because its easier and more cost effective to get both, including a decent non electric with all the bells and whistles that trying to get an electric one with half the features.

    I tend to drive the non electric more, so that's where my money is. Converting is also an option, but I never quite liked having the electronics somewhere improvised. A true e-bike comes with the frame ready to accept those components by default.

    The electric is used leisurely. I got one that I found a good deal (about 500), rather than one with all I ever wanted. because honestly If I'm going electric I dont care about many of the added features like weight and gears. I'm simply steering the thing while the motor does the work.

    The 5 years immediately prior to this I had a used electric one that has served me well. It was foldable, but the weight was always an issue, I had issues with the rear brake built into the hub motor and the battery died, so I used it for a while as normal bicycle until I graduated.

    Notice that at the time I lived in London, so it was pretty much a necessity due to the hassle of having a car and the expense of public transport there. Most other places a car would be a much better choice, or if you want to stay fit, a regular bicycle.

    Word of experience: never underestimate how much a flat tire will render your electric bicycle useless. The back tire requires the motor wiring to be removed. Its generally easier to patch the tire there and then, but not always possible depending on the puncture (and they will get soft and prone to punctures, as they age, if you drive it everyday) and will set you some time as the glue dries. This is not trivial or something you'll want to be carrying around with a flat tire. With a regular one, all needed are some simple tools, a spare tube and some 15min time.

    Words of wisdom...

    Get an electric one if you cant use the car: large cities such as London, etc. Live with the fact you wont be able to leave it in many places you would with a regular bicycle, so plan to have something foldable that can be taken indoors, into a vehicle or public transport

    If you live in a place where a car can be used - stick to that. Invest in a fuel efficient vehicle such as a diesel or a small engine petrol for city driving. A petrol scooter is easy to park and wont get stolen easily, so consider that too.

    For all other purposes, stick with a good quality non electric bicycle.
    For off-road use, non electric should be best. If its hard, you should hike by foot. The battery wont last much there either.
    Last edited by bbarroso; 10-09-2017 at 9:15 AM.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 10th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 436 Thanks
    House Martin
    Put in some training, then you will find it easier.
    Originally posted by parking_question_chap
    Excellent advice. I m 68 now and just completed a 35 mile bike ride yesterday in heavy rain at times and found it totally invigorating.
    Electric bikes are incredibly boring.Just sitting their imobile twisting a throttle to go at 12 mph is like watching paint dry. And its freezing cold now the weather is getting cooler.Spinning the non resistant pedals putting a bit of juice in the battery is nt enough proper exercise to warm you up.
    Watch yesterdays penultimate day on channel 24 catch up on the Tour of Spain ( Vuelta a Espana ) for the one of the worlds most brutal uphill finish in any bike race , described by Chris Froome as the hardest hes faced.
    Then a few little inclines will seem like nothing compared to that.
    Anyone who has not got a medical condition, and rides around on a hulking heavy e bike has given up on life and is a "snowflake " IMO..
    Just practice/train a bit more, every week you will improve your overall health, which will not happen sitting on some E-bike
    • RichardD1970
    • By RichardD1970 10th Sep 17, 1:24 PM
    • 2,582 Posts
    • 3,775 Thanks
    RichardD1970
    No new ebikes can be operated by throttle alone (well not quite true, mine has a "walk assist" throttle which will take it to an unladen 4mph) , they are all assist, so you still have to peddle and put some effort in, just not as much.

    As stated I use mine for my daily commute . I certainly haven't given up on life and find that attitude extremely patronising and quite frankly rude.

    I regularly ride my ebike above the 15.5 mph assist limit (average speed is around 19 mph) only having it kick in on hills and for starting off.

    I run, up to half marathon at the moment, but prefer not to get to work all hot and sweaty then having to do a physical manual job, before having to ride all the way home again after a hard shift.

    My bike allows my commute to be relative easy and is just as quick as using my car or motor scooter.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 11th Sep 17, 1:58 AM
    • 2,325 Posts
    • 1,530 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    No new ebikes can be operated by throttle alone (well not quite true, mine has a "walk assist" throttle which will take it to an unladen 4mph) , they are all assist, so you still have to peddle and put some effort in, just not as much.

    As stated I use mine for my daily commute . I certainly haven't given up on life and find that attitude extremely patronising and quite frankly rude.

    I regularly ride my ebike above the 15.5 mph assist limit (average speed is around 19 mph) only having it kick in on hills and for starting off.

    I run, up to half marathon at the moment, but prefer not to get to work all hot and sweaty then having to do a physical manual job, before having to ride all the way home again after a hard shift.

    My bike allows my commute to be relative easy and is just as quick as using my car or motor scooter.
    Originally posted by RichardD1970
    Unfortunately these myths about ebikes won't go away, I guess possibly it's from a lack of experience with the technology as like the post above, a lot of people seem to confuse them with electric mopeds requiring no work from the rider. Which simply isn't true, the rider still needs to pedal the bike but for the same amount of effort they can go further, faster and don't need to worry about hills or head winds.

    I find the snobbery puzzling as well, I'd say I'm a pretty decent bike rider but I'm pleased to see people getting out and enjoy cycling on ebikes. It's strange that there's such criticism for ebike riders but not those with motor vehicles where there genuinely is no effort.

    John
    • thescouselander
    • By thescouselander 11th Sep 17, 8:42 AM
    • 5,215 Posts
    • 4,716 Thanks
    thescouselander
    I'd certainly consider an ebike. I currently ride to work on a conventional bike but when I arrive I have to take time to shower and get changed.

    I expect with an ebike I could just ride to work in my work clothes and then I could get straight on with it after arriving. Sounds very convenient to me.
    • RichardD1970
    • By RichardD1970 11th Sep 17, 11:16 AM
    • 2,582 Posts
    • 3,775 Thanks
    RichardD1970
    I'd certainly consider an ebike. I currently ride to work on a conventional bike but when I arrive I have to take time to shower and get changed.

    I expect with an ebike I could just ride to work in my work clothes and then I could get straight on with it after arriving. Sounds very convenient to me.
    Originally posted by thescouselander
    To an extent, I can still work up a sweat on my ebike, if I want.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,900Posts Today

6,168Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @thismorning: 'Sometimes the best gift is releasing somebody else from the obligation of having to give to you' says @MartinSLewis. Do y?

  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Follow Martin