29th January 2020
Electric bikes are a wonderful invention. They get
you where you want to go, cost little to run, use very little of
world's resources, and you can always find somewhere to park!
Over the past few years they have become very
refined. To my mind, this may have gone too far, and has drifted
away from the original purpose of the ebike,
which was to provide transport which many people can afford.
I thought I would put this
page up to try and help anyone thinking of buying an ebike. If
it's going to be used for everyday transport, then the cost can be justified. However, if it's going to get very little use,
think carefully, as the batteries don't like
sitting about and not being used.The more use the better! It's possible to get a bike starting at around £400,which will be
very basic, but it will get you around. If
you have any sort of mechanical aptitude, you can build your
own, as I did, and you end up with exactly
the bike you want. Mine cost me,
in total, about £1000 over five years, which includes two batteries
working), so that's about £4 per week for my transport.
There are various permutations of ebike. The
battery can be at the rear of the bike, which puts the weight
a bit high up and a bit far back. The better option is to have
it centrally mounted, which many bikes are now moving towards.
The motor can be in the front or rear
wheel, or centrally mounted as part of
the crank.The last is a more expensive
option, but can be beneficial
if a lot of hill climbing is anticipated. If you
live in a less-hilly part of the country, hub motors are
perfectly adequate. They are surprisingly powerful. There are low-step frames, which are easy to mount,
or frames with a crossbar. If you do live in a flatter part of
the country, you'll find you don't need many gears. The motor
does most of the work. My first bike had six gears
(derailleur), and I found myself clicking up and down
constantly. I now use a three-speed hub gear, which lets me
change gear at rest. Other people I have spoken to found the
same. That is why I built my own bike, as I found it
impossible to buy what I wanted, ready-made.
Websites which may be