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Looking for a good electric bicycle as a daily shopper

Rod73

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Aug 16, 2018
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I have had a Powabyke Shopper for a number of years. I have had several other bikes but they did not meet my needs. I will be looking for a replacement latter this year one not costing the earth. If Powabyke did one with some sort of front suspension I think I would have another one. Any ideas?
 

pete

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Jul 8, 2018
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Try Wheelcare(UK) as a search item and have a look at the blue 5 speed shopper.Its heavy too SLA 36volt 12ah smart workhorse that climbs walls LOL. Just check the spec. These bikes never get a AtoB rating because theyre not toys and once the motor is 'run in' whisper along.With an auction start at £319 and a buy it now at £345 plus carriage they are brilliant.They even have a key ignition in front of you.In other words you don'y have to go into a half nelson to have a non electric pedal and thats easy too. Leave it to you.
 

tim

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Jun 21, 2018
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I've subscribed to AtoB magazine and owned an electric assist bike for several years now. One things for sure and thats AtoB Magazine www.atob.org.uk are about as impartial as you can get when it comes to their ratings and what they choose to review. They, just like most riders want bikes to be ride able without power so that if for some reason the battery goes flat, you can still get it home.

Many bikes with lead acid SLA batteries are considerably more heavy than those with Lithium Ion or even NiMH technology. By all means if the rider wants an experience like riding a motorbike (even down to having an 'ignition' key), weight isn't important (as long as it's still under the UK's legal limit for an electrically assisted bicycle - AtoBs website has further info about that). Otherwise, if the ability to ride it home easily with a flat battery or pedaling the bike up very steep hills with shopping on the back are important, then a bike which doesn't skimp on important issues like battery technology may be preferred. I don't believe you always get what you pay for with electric assist bikes but I'm certainly very weary of those at the extreme lower end of the price range.
 

steve

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Jul 2, 2018
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AtoB like daily work-horses and certainly criticise bikes that are noisy and/or crude and/or too heavy.

I ditched an SLA electric assist as the help it gave below 15mph (13- 14mph in reality) didn't make the additional weight for all the cycling above 15mph (basically anything other than steep uphill sections) worthwhile. I'll probably go for electric assist at some point in the future, but I don't want something that's extremely heavy and clunky.

I got the latest AtoB yesterday and there are some well conceived electric bikes coming along. Very tempting!
 

pete

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Jul 8, 2018
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Thanks for that. I appreciate what you say about SLA heavy bike pedalling but I do ride it along the flat on footpaths with the electric off and its quite easy. I have never ridden it until the battery is flat and caught out having to pedal home.It has a 5 LED battery step down status meter which is useful.There is no 'resistance' or 'notchiness' from the brushless motor and the 5 speed gearing is about right,maybe a bit too easy.It's as powerful and quiter than a brushed motor and doesn't whine like an electric milk float.The only criticism I have on the whole bike is the wheel rims.With the weight of the SLA battery,the large (biz) motor and the weight of the rider all at the rear,they need to be considerably stouter.Possibly like BMX triple skinned spoke reinforced ridges and inside rim shoulders.I don't know what they're called but my standard old Raleigh pushbike RIGIDA rims would be better than whats on there.The V brake blocks on the front even SQUEEZE the rim wall in with about 40psi pressure in the tyres.With the atrocious roads and drain covers we have to negotiate, where we ride on the road,beefier rims would be better than the economy skimped ones on there.The other issue is the front light bulb, which is M.E.S 40volts! it's like a yellow candle or was.I have replaced it with, in series wired, 2 x 18volt De Walt Xenon Worklamp bulbs,while expensive for normal type flanged torch bulbs,they light your way like a football ground floodlight.Pick as I may,these are the only two moans about the bike.

Wheelcare as their name slightly alludes to, supply electric wheelchairs and disability aids and are very approachable and service orientated.I think primarily they cater for the older market sector like me, 62, who don't have the power or the dexterity to fight with anything other than an armchair. I get on it, IT GOES! IEC plug connects the battery to the electrics,so no damageable contact spring plates. SLA long charge time time,I can live with that.Pedal assist is fine,a bit too agressive sometimes and the motorcycle type twistgrip WHACKS you along when you need it.Just right for an old codger like me who gets breathless easily and suffers lactic leg fatigue.I ALWAYS thought the low priced end of any market was taboo but the Trojan as it's called,despite the wheel rims,is value for money as long as you don't over abuse it down deep drain holes and keep a high pressure in the tyres.I don't have residual income as a pensioner and this bike suited my pocket after assessing its attributes.All the hype about batteries is just that.It won't catch fire and it has no memory.It is just an old fashioned smart rugged shopper and Chinese as most are anyway.Look at others dressed up in different clothes and then look at the prices £700 for a German POWERPAK also on eBay which is the same basic bike as this.I have tried, just to see,a bike with a tiddly front wheel motor and an 8ah Li-ion battery.It steered funny and wasn't,obviously,as powerful as the Wheelcare one.But it was a £600 'Boys' type bike and not a serious contender for commuting,or anything really,to be honest.I think I made the, £345, right choice FOR ME!
 

tim

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Jun 21, 2018
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I (and I see at least one other person) wrote in response to comments about AtoB reviewing 'Toys'. As already mentioned they do review workhorse bikes. While I do not dispute you are happy with your purchase, magazines including product reviews need to try and consider what the vast majority of purchasers will be looking for.

I can tell you that with the best intentions and Led Battery guages present, many seasoned electric-assist cyclists will still sometimes run out of battery power, it's happened to me. I was riding to the Tour d Presteigne in 2006, up the (longer and steeper than expected) hill from Knighton and after all my earlier riding that day the battery ran out near the top. With my full panniers on the back and another few hundred yards to go to the top, the added weight of Lead batteries may have made the difference between my changing down to first gear and pedalling to the top or having to get off and push. Knowing that you won't be stranded in such situations gives added confidence to explore unchartered territory and makes cycling more fun in my opinion. I now have a spare NiMH battery for my Twist and take that with me if there's a possibility it may be needed. I wouldn't want to try that with Lead batteries.

If a bike hasn't received a review from AtoB Magazine, there'll be good reasons for that.
 
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