2016 Woosh Karoo hub drive

Discussion in 'Electric Bike Reviews' started by EddiePJ, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. EddiePJ

    EddiePJ Pedelecer

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    A short review of the 2016 Woosh Karoo http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?karoo

    Bike kindly supplied by Woosh.

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    The Woosh Karoo arrived extremely well packaged within two cardboard boxes, and had a plentiful amount of protective covering to all exposed parts of the bike. The bike was removed easily, and took very little in the way of assembly. The user guide and assembly instructions were easily the best that I have seen supplied with any bike. I was also very impressed by the quality of the paint finish and graphics. That aspect was also commented upon by my bike shop owning friend.

    I spent a little time changing the handle bar control layout to suit my needs a little better. I happen to prefer my brake and gear shift control, angled considerably lower than the standard configuration allows. This is why the throttle control cable runs above the handle bars in the photos, and not below. Running it this way, to me gave a more natural reach position to the brake and gears.

    I opted to use my own spd pedals for the first couple of uses of the bike as well.

    First impressions of the bike were highly favourable, especially given it’s highly competitive price.

    Being honest, I hated the chrome finish on the handle bar grips, and felt that they let the bike down.

    After giving the bike a very thorough check over, and charging of the 13ah battery, it was time for the first ride.

    I was pretty unfair with the chosen route, and it was far from what the bikes intended purpose actually is. I have a set first ride route, which covers 18 miles of some pretty mixed and taxing terrain, with an elevation gain of 1,485’. The ride also takes in a Category 4 climb.

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    Rightly or wrongly, I feel that if an ebike cannot complete this ride in it’s highest power setting and still return with reasonable amount of battery life left, then the bike isn’t worth bothering with, and has failed. I intend to extend this route for future tests, as I consider it not unreasonable to expect any ebike marketed, to complete 30 miles minimum.

    Woosh state the following in respect of the bike and it’s intended use “The Karoo is best if: You are tall, slim and live in a flatish area and are used to fast pedalling.” The area that I live in is far from flat, and straight from home I am faced with riding either up or down a 14% gradient hill, so any test of the bike was always going to be far from ideal.

    Pedalling down hill away from home, the bike felt very twitchy with it’s narrow bars, and also very compact and stiff. Owning and riding e-mtb’s has spoilt me. I’m a massive fan of rigid front forks on a road biased bikes, and the forks and frame of this bike felt very compliant and natural. The roads in this area, like so many, are riddled with potholes and rough tarmac. The pot holes are avoidable but the rough surfaces aren’t, but this seemingly didn’t present too much of an issue to the bike, and it wasn't long before I had settled into things, loving the experience.

    The bikes intended use, and it’s gearing did mean that I had to work reasonably hard on some of the climbs, and the Category 4 climb had me working very hard. This is certainly no reflection upon the bike, and a change of gearing to better suit the area that I live in, would have helped greatly, and is an easily achievable modification to carry out.

    Reading another recent review, comment was made as to how uncomfortable that the saddle was. It was quite an interesting comment, and goes some way to showing how we all have different opinions of the same product, as I’ve found it to actually be the best saddle that I have ever sat on.


    The bike returned from this first ride, having only used one bar of the batteries capacity. Something that also impressed me.

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    Ride two was far more suitable for the bikes designed use, which I feel is as a fast cross town commuting bike. A role that it performs exceptionally well. The ease that this bike covers cross town commuting does make me question the fitting of a throttle to the bike though, and I don’t think that it is needed on a bike such as this.

    The bike was really good fun to ride in traffic, and fast progress could be made away from traffic lights. Gear selection wasn’t the smoothest though, but what can reasonably be expected in this price bracket, and I’m certainly not going to be judging the bike on that.


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    Sadly I didn't have as much time as I would have liked with the bike, due only to the fact that the bike wasn't mine, and I didn't want to use it the adverse weather conditions that prevailed at the time.
    What really did impress me was the bikes range from an intentional mileage test, using the highest power setting for the full duration. The bike managed an incredible 75 miles, with an elevation gain of 5,796'


    To summarize.. This bike makes a great cross town fast commuter, and whilst cities still clearly have hills, I’m not certain that they would be particularly long enough to present some of the struggles that I had with my terrain. Even living where I do, careful planning could make the bike a viable and cheap solution for popping to the train station and back. Mudguard and rack mounts add to the practicality of the bike, and at the price that it is currently being sold, it’s hard to see how potential purchasers could go wrong.

    If I were to own the bike, I would make a couple of changes. I’d remove the throttle and change the grips, possibly fitting an ergo type design. I’d lower the gearing to suit the very hilly terrain that I have here, and that is about it. Once set up, the cable brakes do a their job more than well enough, and whilst hydraulic brakes are more appealing, I see no point going to extra expensive of changing things just for the sake of it.

    Rider profile.

    Age - 50yrs
    Weight - 75kg
    Fitness level - Average to good.
    Annual cycling mileage - 3,700miles, with 90% of it ridden off road
    Pedelecs currently owned - KTM Macina Lycan (Bosch Performace Line motor) and KTM Macina Race ( Bosch CX motor)
     
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    #1 EddiePJ, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
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  2. Yamdude

    Yamdude Pedelecer

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    When i first saw the pics of this bike last year, the grips were the first thing that stood out for me, not in a good way either. Whatever possessed the manufacturer to think that a pair of grips more suited to a Harley Davidson would suit this bike is beyond me.
    That aside, i think this bike is great looking at a brill price. If i didn't already have a road bike that could be ripe for a conversion, i'd be considering buying one.
     
  3. Tomtomato

    Tomtomato Pedelecer

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    Great review, I guess heavily sponsored by Woosh.

    Just one small comment: it's = it is...
     
  4. Woosh

    Woosh Trade Member

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    Tom,
    No sponsorship, I can assure you. When a bike has not been reviewed and a senior forum member would like to do so, we are happy to send the bike and collect it. The bike (usually a new bike) is packed with instructions in exactly the same way as it would be if it went to a customer. The reviewer is not paid or rewarded in any way. We are very grateful for all feedback, including negative points and done from a customer's point of view, since this helps us improve products in the future.

    Hatti
     
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  5. EddiePJ

    EddiePJ Pedelecer

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    Hi Tom, I can also confirm that other than the kindness of offering to send me the bike after comments made in this thread http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/does-bicycle-weight-really-matter.22685/page-3#post-286883 that I in no way have bias or connection to Woosh.

    I decided to act upon the kind offer by Hatti via pm, on the 24th February of this year, and would happily forward this pm onto you if you so wish.

    I had no idea of what to expect when the bike arrived, and my thoughts about it, were genuine and truthful.

    It would be brilliant if other manufacturers and or dealers also took the same initiative. :)
     
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    #5 EddiePJ, Apr 18, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
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  6. Tomtomato

    Tomtomato Pedelecer

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    OK then. I would be also more than happy to review any new bike you sent me, and to make the process even more painless for you, I wouldn't even require for you to collect it afterwards.
    Interested?
     
  7. flecc

    flecc Member

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    50cycles did exactly the same for me when the new Kalkhoff Agattu first arrived here, having the bike for around a week.

    Subsequently another supplier wanted the same service but I declined since I didn't want to start spending lots of time reviewing due to other interests.
    .
     
  8. EddiePJ

    EddiePJ Pedelecer

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    I can easily see how that could be an issue. Weather is another factor. I was very aware that the bike was not mine, and as such didn't want to take it out in adverse weather. I even applied heli tape to parts of the frame, that I felt might be vulnerable to wear and tear.

    As I see it, if a company is kind enough to give you an opportunity to ride their product, it doesn't hurt to show respect for the product in return. :)
     
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  9. flecc

    flecc Member

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    Although I did look after the Agattu most of the time, it was mid winter and I did ride it through a big dip in a flooded road with its Panasonic unit fully immersed, getting wet myself in the process. I did know these units are fully waterproof so it was a calculated risk.

    As it happens 50cycles were very pleased that I'd demonstrated how waterproof it was. It was a demonstrator since A to B had it for several days before me, doing a review for the magazine.
    .
     
  10. oniontrololol

    oniontrololol Finding my (electric) wheels

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    i was the one who reviewed the whoosh and its saddle, actually after a week's daily usage I am kinda used to it, no more discomfort anymore. I think i experienced discomfort because I havent been on a bike for too long lol.

    My whoosh has done 700km and have no problems. I strongly agree with the good battery life! I am averaging 68 miles on a single charge for my commute journey.
     
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  11. timidtom

    timidtom Pedelecer

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    I really wish I had been selected to test ride the Gallego before I bought it ...
     
  12. cyberdyne_systems

    cyberdyne_systems Pedelecer

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    Looks like a promising bike, very good looking i think, hope to hear of more riders experiences of it
     
  13. Please explain!
     
  14. timidtom

    timidtom Pedelecer

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    If I had been able to ride the Gallego, to road test it before purchase, I would have returned it unridden! As I mentioned in my report the rear wheel would not rotate. The rear brake was jammed firmly on with no way I could adjust it simply. Having paid good money for the bike I sought out a cycle shop willing to sort this out for me. Several shops declined unseen because it happens to be an ebike. D&M Cycles at Sankey Bridges, managed to fix it in seconds. I had wasted several days on the quest. I'm still astonished and saddened that a retailer would send out an un-ride able machine. Had I not bought this machine I would have had my Brompton motorised.
    At the age of 80 I don't have the time to faff about with such sloppy service - there's a charity to be run, books to be written and cake to eat!
     
  15. Robinchu

    Robinchu Just Joined

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    How did it feel after exceeding 15 mph? My issue with all road legal bikes I have tried is that as soon as I hit 16-17 mph it feels like I am dragging my old Raleigh Chopper up Mt Snowdon.
     
  16. Robinchu

    Robinchu Just Joined

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    Are you around the Surrey area? Cant get a test ride and would like to have a look? What's it like over 15mph?

    Thanks
     
  17. That seems a very small problem. I guess you hooked the end of the brake cable out of its receptacle when you lifted the bike out of the box. It's not really something to judge the bike's quality. It could happen to any bike with cable brakes. Was there anything else?
     
  18. cyberdyne_systems

    cyberdyne_systems Pedelecer

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    Did you alert the seller? It doesn't sound a serious issue if it was corrected in seconds, but frustrated none the less.

    What do you feel about it now it's storted?
     
  19. cyberdyne_systems

    cyberdyne_systems Pedelecer

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    I hadn't thought about that issue, is there any other way other than the controller decreasing the assistance as you near the threshold speed?
     
  20. timidtom

    timidtom Pedelecer

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    Agree, a small matter. I guess that most retailers would notice if a wheel on a bike they were selling failed to rotate?
    The rear brake was a sort I'm not familiar with: a three-speed hub with built-in disc brake. This required the use of a thin-wall socket to adjust. The dealer I finally took the bike to managed the repair in seconds because a) he knew what he was doing and b) he had the correct tool to hand.
    I am still amazed that any reputable distance selling company could sell a bike in such a state to a customer!
    I find the suggestion that I somehow damaged the bike when removing it from its packing case rather odd. Maybe a Gremlin did it?
     
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