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Electric Bikes

Hi, I'm keen to get an electric bike but they're very expensive and I wonder if anyone could lend me one for a week, a week-end or even just a day so that I could try it out and see if it's for me?  Would also love to hear users views on the pros and cons of them; which makes are good value; etc.  I live near the Maid of Muswell pub.

Lucy

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  • Dear Lucy, 

    I have several eBikes. All are Bosch crank drive. As Grant mentioned the engine mounted on the BB offers more equal power delivery. Engines come with different power / torque outputs. 

    I would certainly recommend buying only a European brand (not Chinese from the internet) and you should be looking at a budget of minimum £1500.00. It sounds a lot but a cheap eBike  will have cheap components, battery and motor. These won't last and will fail quickly. One of my eBikes is a KTM (for which i paid 2000.00) but it is still going strong after 7 years. And it has done some serious hard work in those 7 years carrying children, shopping and work tools up and down Muswell Hill, Highgate, Hampstead and into Central London. 

    I run a eBike loan scheme on behalf of Camden (we use Dutch Gazelle Vento eBikes)  Do you work / study in Camden? You could borrow one for a month to see what it's like. 

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks so much for all the info.  Unfortunately, I neither live nor work, nor study in Camden (though I used to live there 40 years ago and often go through it on the bus nowadays!!!) so I won't qualify for that scheme.  I will start asking some of the bike shops around here though if they have a trial/loan scheme.  

      Thanks again for the help and advice!

       

      Lucy

       

  • Hi Lucy. I don't own an electric bike but I've ridden a few. The general view is that the bikes with the motor mounted at the bottom bracket (the bit where the pedals attach to the bike) are better, but they are generally more expensive than those where the motor is built into the hub of either the front or rear wheel. Having ridden both it's certainly true that the power assist seems a bit smoother on the bottom bracket mounted motor, but both types are very effective - it feels kind of like riding along with a fair wind at your back, all the time!

    As for brands, Decathlon (https://www.decathlon.co.uk/) electric bikes seem to be quite well regarded and good value. You can try out the bikes at some of their stores, but it's more of a 'ride it up and down' type thing than a proper road test. Other than the brand of the bike itself, it's worth making sure the motor and battery is a good brand - Bosch and Shimano seem to be the most popular. The motor and battery alone will be by far the most expensive parts of an ebike so it's worth getting good ones.

    Sadly Haringey doesn't operate a cycle loan scheme for electric bikes like some other boroughs do (https://lcc.org.uk/articles/our-urban-cycle-loan-scheme-changes-lives). A real shame as a lot of people would probably take the plunge if they had an easy way to try one out.

    One further thing - if you haven't cycled for a while it's worth getting some cycle training. Haringey Council offer free one-to-one training that comes very highly recommended.

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    • Hi Grant,

      Thanks you so much for taking the time to give me such a lot of useful advice and help!  I'm going to get in touch with my councillors to suggest (demand?) that Haringey should be part of that cycle loan scheme - what a brilliant idea.  Just what someone like me needs!  

      Will also check out Decathlon's bikes.

      Thanks again for giving me your time!

      Lucy

       

       

       

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    • Hi Lucy

      Yes, a hire scheme would be great. Enfield's scheme also includes a cargo bike which would be great for small businesses or for taking kids on the school run!

      Haringey was supposed to get a TfL funded electric bike hire scheme (similar to the Santander Cycles system in central London) but that was dropped a year or so ago with no replacement. Haringey also doesn't yet have an agreement with a 'dockless' hire bike provider, unlike neighbouring Waltham Forest, Enfield, Camden, Islington and Hackney councils.

      Apart from all this, as ever, the biggest barrier to more people cycling in Haringey is residential roads with too much traffic on them and a lack of safe cycle lanes on main roads. Unfortunately Haringey's traffic officers are determined to continue to prioritise car journeys through our area above the health and wellbeing of everyone who lives here, despite the huge amount of evidence of the success of low traffic neighbourhood schemes in other boroughs. 

      Grant

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