My Comment. Overall the new revitalized e-bike sector is proving to be a really fascinating one, and after several years of struggle seems like it’s about to break through into the mainstream consciousness. It’s still a little too geeky for it’s own good sometimes, for example trying to figure out cost benefits between 250W continuous vs 130W rated motors vs 12V vs 24V vs a 10Ah battery vs 210 rpm wheel combos blah blah can really make the head hurt. Which is why it’s good to see entrants like GoCycle keeping the tech speak down to a minimum while focusing on consumer friendly design.
Tips on Buying and Owning an e-Bike.
- Weight. Lightness is king. Too heavy and you will squander most of the power just moving the bike. Cheap bikes tend to be heavier, so make sure to check before buying. Don’t forget also that if your battery runs out mid-journey, you will have to pedal home alone. The nearer you can get to 17-20 kg the better really.
- Battery. What they don’t tell you in the sales blurb is the fact that the battery is a delicate mechanism. You *must* charge it immediately after any use in order to avoid it potentially being damaged. This can be a little inconvenient, especially at work. Watch out also for the different types of battery, e.g. try and avoid Lead Acid models as this is very old, heavy tech. But cheap.
- Purpose. It’s important to have an idea in your head of what you mainly want to use the bike for before buying. This is because things like uphill performance, battery range, top speed etc are all very material when related to your particular journey requirements. It is important to buy the right configuration for your needs or you will risk wasting money on some expensive features you don’t need, and vice versa.
If you’re in the market for an e-bike check out the friendly and very helpful Pedelec forums at http://www.pedelecs.co.uk and the venerable A to B Magazine at http://www.atob.org.uk (price guide) both of which offer comprehensive and valuable advice on buying and owning an electric bicycle.