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E bike recommendation

On road, off road, Mamils, Club rides or just share your routes and tips
scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#179296

Postby scotia » November 9th, 2018, 9:06 pm

Hardgrafter wrote:If you read some of the Halfords reviews (there are lots), then you can see the bike has been used on unpaved tracks successfully. The tyres are 1.75", so quite wide.
Note the rider design weight is 85kg (appreciably less than the 102 kg /16 stone of some of the riders ...).
But bear in mind the derailleur is pretty near the ground, so rutted rocky tracks are out!
Make sure you can lift it easily into the car. But its size seems to fit most car boots.

The weight limit is not a problem! But the rutted rocky tracks may be. I think I should be OK with the lifting weight.
My wife suggests I stop dithering, and buy one (e.g. a folding model) - and if it doesn't work in all situations - then buy another (e.g. a Mountain Bike) that is more suited to the other situations. The only problem with that solution is that when I go off to the NW of Scotland on a fishing holiday - should I take both (as well as my wife) ?

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#179415

Postby scotia » November 10th, 2018, 8:44 pm

I have stopped dithering - and purchased the Carrera Cross City Electric Bike from Halfords (delivery next week). I think it should be OK for the modest off-roading I may indulge in. The Electric Mountain Bikes seemed way over the top for my wants.
Its a fairly sturdy (and heavy) affair. I have tried it (folded) in the boot of my car (Skoda Fabia Estate). I can lift it in and out - but there is not much floor space left in the boot. I fear it will not share that space with my son's dog. Maybe he will get promoted to the back seat if a suitable harness can be obtained.

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#180029

Postby scotia » November 13th, 2018, 4:51 pm

First impressions of the Carrera Cross City Electric Folding Bike from Halfords - picked it up today.
This is not a light bike for carrying around - it weighs 20kg. However when folded it fits into the boot of my car - a Skoda Fabia Estate. I purchased it with a Ridge Folding Bike Bag, and the assistant folded the bike up and placed it in the bag. A bungee cord was also useful for holding the folded elements together. I could lift the bag, carry it to my car, and put it in the boot without any great difficulty, and similarly for the removal at home. However I would not consider trying to carry it for any great distance, nor would I attempt to carry it aboard public transport - but these were not my intentions, so this is not important.
The bike appears to be sturdily built with mudguards, a kick stand and rear carrier. It has 20 inch wheels, 8-speed Shimano gears, a 313Wh battery, and 3 electric assistance levels.
I disposed of my previous bike about 50 years ago, so I thought I would take it easy on my first trial of my new acquisition. They say you never forget how to ride a bike - but the dynamics of this comparatively small wheeled bike are different from what I was accustomed to. So I took the easy option - an old railway track with a tarmac surface intended for mixed use - walking, cycling and horse riding. For most of the (1.5hour) ride I used only two of the gears, and chiefly the middle electric assistance level. When I had mastered the level, I tried it up a comparatively steep side path, partially on grass, with the full electrical assistance, which I wouldn't have managed without. I had one minor mishap when I unintentionally strayed from the track into deep vegetation, and fell off. The chain slipped off the teeth on the driving wheel, but it is contained within two rims, so it was easily guided back on. The trip took the battery level down from 4 bars to 3.
So first impressions - I'm reasonably happy, but I'll need to get a bit more experience of the small wheel dynamics. Also, unlike a mountain bike, it has no suspension to soften the ride - so bumps are directly transferred via an unyielding saddle to my rear end. Nearby there are some quiet farm tracks which are partially surfaced, and these will be my next ventures. I wonder If I should install more padding in my trousers.

Itsallaguess
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Re: E bike recommendation

#180037

Postby Itsallaguess » November 13th, 2018, 5:01 pm

scotia wrote:
So first impressions - I'm reasonably happy, but I'll need to get a bit more experience of the small wheel dynamics.

Also, unlike a mountain bike, it has no suspension to soften the ride - so bumps are directly transferred via an unyielding saddle to my rear end.

Nearby there are some quiet farm tracks which are partially surfaced, and these will be my next ventures. I wonder If I should install more padding in my trousers.


It's great to hear how people get on with new purchases like this, especially on newly-emerging technology like E-bikes, so thanks for the report. It's an area I'm interested in, but I'll hang on as a keen observer for now and stick with my mountain bike for next summer at least.

The main reason for me posting is to suggest getting a better bike seat - I bought my wife one of these sprung-suspension ones after she used a very similar one along the Camelford Trail a few years ago, and it's equally as comfortable as the one she used then -

Selle SMP Big Bum Sprung Comfort Bike Saddle (£18.99) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000VEG97I

The user-reviews on Amazon are equally positive - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... merReviews

I'd love to hear how you're getting on with it following a bit more usage. I do understand how the smaller wheels must make for a different style of ride, so hopefully you'll get used to it fairly quickly.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#180047

Postby scotia » November 13th, 2018, 6:01 pm

Itsallaguess wrote:The main reason for me posting is to suggest getting a better bike seat - I bought my wife one of these sprung-suspension ones after she used a very similar one along the Camelford Trail a few years ago, and it's equally as comfortable as the one she used then -
Selle SMP Big Bum Sprung Comfort Bike Saddle (£18.99) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000VEG97I
The user-reviews on Amazon are equally positive - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00 ... merReviews

Thanks for the info.
My wife walks regularly with a group of similarly aged women (septuagenarians), most of whom have deceased, or invalid husbands. So my purchase of the bike has been a matter of great hilarity, and I'm sure my need for a big bum saddle will put them into hysterics!

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#180284

Postby scotia » November 14th, 2018, 4:01 pm

Its day two - and pouring rain, so I waited until a comparatively dry afternoon before venturing out. This time I used a short section of main road through the village which got busy when the school came out - and I didn't enjoy a right turn, particularly steering the bike with a left hand while attempting to signal with my right. Maybe I need indicators.
I tried the bike up a farm road which at one time had tarmac, but is now deeply potted - and I'm gaining confidence in steering round these obstacles. The electric drive is most impressive on hills! But the lack of suspension provided an unwanted massage when crossing cattle grids. A new seat is a must.
Yesterday the front (calliper) brake had started squealing - and today it was much worse, even when not braking. On checking, it appeared that one side of the front brake pads was not clearing the rim after application. So some adjustment seemed in order. But the supplied manual provided no information on brake adjustments - simply suggesting to leave it to Halfords. However an American internet site provided information of many types of calliper brakes, and showed how to adjust them. Job done - the front wheel now spins freely after a brake application.

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Re: E bike recommendation

#180585

Postby vrdiver » November 15th, 2018, 3:32 pm

I second the purchase of a replacement saddle.

A little different from IAAG's suggestion, I recommend a Brooks leather saddle: https://www.brooksengland.com/en_uk/sad ... kking.html

I have a Flyer Imperial, which is great for my tourer. If you cycle with a more upright posture, the B67 is a nice option.

Keep up the reports - great to hear what it's like to use an ebike.

VRD

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#180710

Postby scotia » November 15th, 2018, 10:12 pm

Its my third day with the e-bike. We are fortunate enough to live near a canal with a tarmac tow path, so I was off via the old railway line to the tow path, with only a short stretch of connecting roadway. Railway lines and canals are level - so it is probably not a great test of an e bike - but it was an enjoyable outing. I turned back for home when I realised that my charge light indicated <20%, and on my final climb up a steep hill to my home, the light flickered to zero. The battery was fully charged on delivery by Halfords, and I estimate that I have covered around 22 miles of medium usage. I believe that a Lithium Ion battery requires a few full charge/discharge cycles to reach full performance, so I expect I may get the 30-40 miles as suggested in the manual.
On my return along the old railway line, I met another e bike rider - pushing his bike because of a rear tyre puncture. He had phoned his wife , who would meet him with the car at the next village - and I suspect that will also be my initial puncture solution. I don't fancy trying to repair a puncture away from base. He said that this was his first puncture in 6 years, so hopefully this should not be a frequent problem. However there is one feature on my bike that will help if I need to push my bike over a significant distance - I have a "walk assistance" button which will provide electrical drive assistance at up to 6km/hour.
Returning to my problem of riding on a busy road, I'm not sure that indicators are a solution - I think a better rear view would be more re-assuring. So I'm going to try out a rear view mirror.

colin
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Re: E bike recommendation

#180717

Postby colin » November 15th, 2018, 10:39 pm

He said that this was his first puncture in 6 years

I have been using Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres with an inserted kevlar strip for more years than I can remember and have not had a puncture yet.

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Re: E bike recommendation

#180734

Postby gryffron » November 15th, 2018, 11:36 pm

vrdiver wrote:A little different from IAAG's suggestion, I recommend a Brooks leather saddle: https://www.brooksengland.com/en_uk/sad ... kking.html

Somebody leant me a Brooks leather saddle to try. I set off from home. First impressions really positive. Liked the shape, the support, legs slid effortlessly across the smooth leather. Wow, this is great, I thought.
Then I hit a tiny bump. A properly dropped kerb iirc. It was like someone whacked my spine with a sledgehammer. Agony. Shock absorbing they are most definitely not. I turned around and went home. Leather saddle removed and returned with immediate effect. Glad I didn't have to pay £100 for it.

I am more tempted by the big bum saddle :lol:

And yes, Kevlar lined outer tubes can save a whole world of puncture hassle. Well worth the few quid they cost.

Gryff

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#181261

Postby scotia » November 18th, 2018, 4:28 pm

Off today to the fishing loch which involved some road travel, followed by a rutted, stony farm track with a cattle grid and a ford. The bike managed it all, but I think the suggested Kevlar lined tyres may be a worthwhile addition. I tried out a small rear view mirror which I attached on the handle bars inboard of the right hand grip. I didn't seem to be able to adjust it to get a suitable view. I think this needs some work, and some re-positioning. Before going out I put on my woolly hat, pulled well over my ears to protect me from the chill NE breeze - then I realised I needed to put on my helmet. With a bit of adjustment, I managed both, but looked ridiculous. So it was off with the woolly hat, and I put up with the chill. Any advice?
The quoted electrically assisted range of around 30 miles is adequate for my use, but I looked up the Halfords site to find more about a spare battery - and was disappointed to find that none are currently available - "please check back soon". I would hope that this is a minor blip in their supply train. The supplied battery has a 2 year guarantee, which hopefully will not need to be exercised.

Itsallaguess
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Re: E bike recommendation

#181265

Postby Itsallaguess » November 18th, 2018, 4:43 pm

scotia wrote:
I tried out a small rear view mirror which I attached on the handle bars inboard of the right hand grip.

I didn't seem to be able to adjust it to get a suitable view. I think this needs some work, and some re-positioning.


If this is something you're wanting to pursue, and you can't get on with your bar-mounted mirror, then there are other options available.

I've no experience of any of the items linked below, but looking at the user-reviews they seem to have been well-received by people looking for similar solutions, so I just thought I'd post the links just to give you something to think about if you need to look for alternative solutions -

https://www.amazon.co.uk/West-Biking-Ac ... B01KUWY0DU

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MyKlops-Rear-V ... B07378J6CN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gaddrt-Helmet- ... B074XN94R3

I'm enjoying reading your E-bike feedback scotia, so thanks for taking the time to post it up. I hope you're able to find a good solution to the cold-head situation, and that you're able to keep up the rides over the colder season ahead.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: E bike recommendation

#181870

Postby colin » November 21st, 2018, 10:44 am

The quoted electrically assisted range of around 30 miles is adequate for my use, but I looked up the Halfords site to find more about a spare battery - and was disappointed to find that none are currently available

I don't have an E bike yet but when the time comes a spare battery would be very handy to have on charge while I am out cycling, hopefully by that time electric car charging ports will be common and adapters will be available for E bikes so the charge can be topped up whilst shopping etc.
I do not wear a helmet when cycling but I would have thought that all cycling jackets have a hood which will fit over a helmet, and some mountaineering jackets are designed with a hood to fit over a climbing helmet. Otherwise a thin but windproof balaclava type thing might fit under your helmet.

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#181896

Postby scotia » November 21st, 2018, 11:51 am

colin wrote:
The quoted electrically assisted range of around 30 miles is adequate for my use, but I looked up the Halfords site to find more about a spare battery - and was disappointed to find that none are currently available

I don't have an E bike yet but when the time comes a spare battery would be very handy to have on charge while I am out cycling, hopefully by that time electric car charging ports will be common and adapters will be available for E bikes so the charge can be topped up whilst shopping etc.

I, also, was wondering about electric car charging ports - but I didn't find any useful info. Clearly a simple 13 amp socket would attach to my charger - but it would be a long wait! However I found an article by a group who had toured GB in e-bikes. They each had a spare battery, and at the end of a day's cycling they usually found a campsite with a 13 amp socket, and on rare occasions where there was none, friendly neighbouring houses charged their batteries overnight. Currently I have no problem with a single battery - If I stray too far from home, I can phone my wife to pick me up in a car (with the bike folded in the boot). However next summer I may be straying into areas inaccessible by car, and a spare battery would provide some comfort!

I do not wear a helmet when cycling but I would have thought that all cycling jackets have a hood which will fit over a helmet, and some mountaineering jackets are designed with a hood to fit over a climbing helmet. Otherwise a thin but windproof balaclava type thing might fit under your helmet.

I have currently abandoned the thought of using a cover for my ears. I have yet to find a satisfactory rear-view mirror, and my ears are the best indicator of traffic arriving from my rear. So although I am equipped with a hood - I don't use it on roads, but I certainly will use it along traffic free cycle routes if the weather deteriorates.

On a more general note - I think an e bike is a good idea - not only for septuagenarians like myself. The assistance only operates if you pedal - so it provides some useful exercise for the lazy, but even if you are reasonably fit, and want more exercise, the assistance can be saved for hills and head winds , so making an outing much more pleasant.

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Re: E bike recommendation

#182228

Postby gvonge » November 22nd, 2018, 9:57 am

colin wrote:
I do not wear a helmet when cycling but I would have thought that all cycling jackets have a hood which will fit over a helmet, and some mountaineering jackets are designed with a hood to fit over a climbing helmet. Otherwise a thin but windproof balaclava type thing might fit under your helmet.


Word of warning re hoods. Most have a tendency to remain stationary when you turn your head, so your vision can be obstructed when checking over your shoulder.

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Re: E bike recommendation

#182244

Postby colin » November 22nd, 2018, 10:39 am

Word of warning re hoods. Most have a tendency to remain stationary when you turn your head, so your vision can be obstructed when checking over your shoulder.

Yes in winter I mostly cycle in a walking jacket but keep the hood down and rely on a hat to keep the head warm, unless it is raining hard.

I have currently abandoned the thought of using a cover for my ears. I have yet to find a satisfactory rear-view mirror, and my ears are the best indicator of traffic arriving from my rear. So although I am equipped with a hood - I don't use it on roads,

Me too and the arrival of electric vehicles has shown just how much I have come to rely on my ears to know whats behind me, someone in my locality has one of those single person electric bugy things which has shocked me a couple of times when it has silently whooshed past me at 30mph. Electric vehicles will become ubiquitous and they need to be forced to make some noise for the sake of road safety.

However next summer I may be straying into areas inaccessible by car,

In which case you might also consider carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) which can send an emergency signal with GPS co-ordinates,I have one about the size of a cigarette box registered with the coastguard service , no phone signal required.

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#182267

Postby scotia » November 22nd, 2018, 11:34 am

colin wrote:
However next summer I may be straying into areas inaccessible by car,

In which case you might also consider carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) which can send an emergency signal with GPS co-ordinates,I have one about the size of a cigarette box registered with the coastguard service , no phone signal required.

That's interesting. Currently I stray on foot into fairly inaccessible areas, with poor phone connectivity. I remember on one occasion a few years ago, while wading along the side of a loch, I reached up to the heather bank, and nearly caught an adder by the tail. I'll look into a PLB.

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Re: E bike recommendation

#182310

Postby colin » November 22nd, 2018, 1:45 pm

I reached up to the heather bank, and nearly caught an adder by the tail

Most of the adders I have ever seen were in Scotland, one heat wave in the Cairngorms I lost count, not where most people expect to find snakes!

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Re: E bike recommendation

#182449

Postby redsturgeon » November 23rd, 2018, 6:19 am

colin wrote:Me too and the arrival of electric vehicles has shown just how much I have come to rely on my ears to know whats behind me, someone in my locality has one of those single person electric bugy things which has shocked me a couple of times when it has silently whooshed past me at 30mph. Electric vehicles will become ubiquitous and they need to be forced to make some noise for the sake of road safety.


It will be the law next year that electric vehicles will have to emit a noise to warn others of their presence. However this will only be when travelling below 12 mph. Above that speed it is assumed that tyre noise is sufficient.

John

scotia
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Re: E bike recommendation

#182506

Postby scotia » November 23rd, 2018, 11:53 am

redsturgeon wrote:
colin wrote:Me too and the arrival of electric vehicles has shown just how much I have come to rely on my ears to know whats behind me, someone in my locality has one of those single person electric bugy things which has shocked me a couple of times when it has silently whooshed past me at 30mph. Electric vehicles will become ubiquitous and they need to be forced to make some noise for the sake of road safety.

It will be the law next year that electric vehicles will have to emit a noise to warn others of their presence. However this will only be when travelling below 12 mph. Above that speed it is assumed that tyre noise is sufficient.
John

Below 12 mph is not a problem - hopefully they will be falling behind my bicycle. But above 12mph - that's the danger area, and they will be allowed silent running? It looks like I'll need a hearing aid!


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