Just put up specs of this bike in my new category, FOLDERS. Seems a good bike with decent reviews around. Quite good battery power, and will carry 130 Kg!
I came across some good impartial advice and information by Dave Elderfield, Senior Buyer at Kudos Bikes. It is a clear overview of electric bikes and contains useful specific warnings of what to avoid. It’s under the tab marked DECISIONS if the link doesn’t take you there.
Electric bikes are consumer goods, and I have to remind myself that under my little boy excitement at the prospect of owning one, I need to establish the base of years of experience. Fortunately, the forum Pedelecs is full of wise, sometimes cynical, comments about the hyped-up claims that some dealers and manufacturers can make. I’ve tonight come across a blog by someone which is dedicated to rubbishing one particular manufacturer/dealer who advertises on Pedelecs. Some of the comments on amazon regarding cheap bikes are worth looking at too, not only as to the quality of a machine but also regarding after-sales. A common refrain I have come across is ‘throw it in the canal’.
You can buy a ‘mountain bike’ from any big chain store for less than £100, and it will certainly look good in the catalogue. The same would be true of any cheap consumer goods such as cameras or televisions. Quality cannot, however, be judged by appearance. Product design is a key tool of marketing. Whatever the ‘content’ of an item, the appearance is a key factor in making sales. This is one reason why I think establishing a relationship of trust with a product’s retailers and/or manufacturers is so important. So far, I have been mightily impressed by the honesty and integrity of some sellers and manufacturers, and this, coupled with a record of genuine user testimonials I hope to detail when I’ve finished my own search for a bike. I will just say now that I am delighted to have come across businesses more than happy to redirect me elsewhere.
One has to consider factors not immediately apparent, such as electrical connectivity and the effects of water (rain and puddles!). I have found that the dealers I respect most do in fact provide pre-ordering advice on such an issue. One dealer who is a strong contender for my custom issues the value that they will strive to respect and support a customer with the same care and attention that customer gives to their bike.
I’ve divided my ‘shortlist’ into two: bikes over and under £1000. The list is growing, by no means complete. I am very grateful for feedback from dealers and companies. I keep coming across new bikes for consideration such as the mysterious Momentum brand: only two sleek, very simple, light models and not even sure if they are available yet so will be contacting the company.
Implicitly, I am keeping a third ‘shortlist’ which is those bikes which are available to me at dealers near to Liverpool. I have included here Juicy and anything sold by the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative (including Wisper) in Manchester: both of these are easily reached by short train journeys.
I’d emphaasise aadvice which I have seen many times – that there is no ‘perfect’ bike but one which best satisfies and individeal’s requirements (backed by general standards of quality, reputation and customer care).
Eventually, I hope to make a table which shows comparison of many key features between bikes.
I put up my introduction to the brilliant pedelecs forums, and have got some good responses. The one from Indalo has given me pause for thought. I had indeed ignored Kalkhoff bikes as being beyond my budget, yet with the current 15% discount from 50Cycles, some of the models fall in to the top range of my possible outlay.50Cycles is a site that, like the Kalkhoff range, oozes quality. Looking at these I meandered to BH Emotion bikes. Again, the prices are not that exorbitant for quality from a firm that has been making bikes for over a hundred years. I’ll be adding pages on these ranges soon. I think anybody knows that the quality of components is vital for long term reliability, and I’m a bit worried to read of component failure in cheaper bikes after a year or two. Mind you, I have no way of knowing the facts and figures of proper research: I know all bikes or machines will have their occasional rogue singulars. Owners who have voiced dissatisfaction because of faults on popular machines can’t be taken as representative. Still, a converse applies against unknown facts and figures which is that it is reassuring to own a bike made by manufacturers respected for quality of components and build. Still unsure of my future finances but think that whatever happens I will be in a position to go to £1200. I have enough faith in much I have seen between this sum and £800 to look forward to getting one for a few years while seeing how the market goes, and upgrading later.
From Electric Bike Magazine:
Just had news of this in – the e-bike hire scheme organisers ‘Electric Bike Network’, who operate mainly in the Peak and Lake Districts, are selling off a load of their ex-hire fleet in a one day sale. I believe most if not all are Giant e-bikes. It’s on 24th November at Coniston Boating Centre http://www.conistonboatingcentre.co.uk/ from 10AM till 4PM. They say “Demo bikes will be available to try out.”:
The Electric Bicycle Network annual sale is taking place this year in the Lake District on 24th November. Grab a top quality lightly used bike for a bargain price!
This is a one day only end of season sale of our fleet. All our bikes will be in one place, cleaned and serviced, so come and choose the one you want. Any we don’t sell will be put into storage for next season.
The sale will take place at Coniston Boating Centre http://www.conistonboatingcentre.co.uk/ from 10AM till 4PM. Demo bikes will be available to try out.
Just within my range from Liverpool, UCycle2 is based in Halfpenny Lane, Helkin, Lancashire where they sell Batribikes. As you can see from the detail of their website they use solar panels to caharge the bikes which are stored with the stables for the horses.
I could cycle there on my Giaant Express to try an electric bike on country roads. Hmm. Maybe I could have my Giant and a Batribike….