Last summer I took delivery of a 14aH battery Basis Beacon for £899 incl delivery from e-bikes direct. I was able to make use of a pretty generous cycle to work scheme. I rode from last July over the winter approximately 12 miles a day over several hills each way.
Pedlecs has evolved a lot since 2006. I was always at the budget end of the market and have seen some brilliant steeds being talked about and shown off on the forums. Crank motors and Lithium everywhere. I’m often very impressed but still 14 years older and still on a budget.
I’m not an archetypal mountain biker but I appreciate the lines. There is simply no need for a three and a half grand trail bike on my journey to work. It would be good and I’m sure it would impress my colleagues but it is an extravagance. My budget meant hub motor and the best battery I could lay my hands on.
On the e-bikes direct website the photos were stock and wouldn’t magnify much. Specifications were not too bad given the price, the usual UK 250w rear hub motor, disc brakes and a battery with Samsung sourced cells. I was looking for a balance between durability, traction and price. The disc brakes meant less mucking around in my mind as I’ve been tanking down the greenway in the rain and getting zero friction at the bottom. The Samsung 36v pack was attractive from a reliability perspective
The bike was delivered by a respectable carrier. They sent SMS messages and a handy delivery slot. The black and red E-MTB was 95% built. As usual I had to fit the pedals and handlebars but most importantly it came with electrics and brakes mounted, connected and fully installed. The box had one puncture wound that caused a “scag” on one sticker.
The front suspension fork is a nice to have addition. Roads and cycle paths in Derbyshire have been neglected for a decade so are full of potholes.
Tyres are a CST Nylon 27.5x2.10 tyre not dissimilar in tread pattern to a Continental cross king. They feel super soft and I looked them up and found a site selling them for 12 euros. I didn’t expect Kevlar at this price point. I generally slime my tubes to get a reliable budget commute.
The Tektro MD-M280 cable disc brakes make a difference in the wet. Rims won’t get ground down to the inner tube over time and make the wheels shabby.
The Basis Beacon frame is an almost square alloy tube with chunky welding. Paint has been pretty resilient over the year resisting chain and padlock bumps. As it is an e-bike frame, the control wiring routes down the tube through a substantial channel and emerges below the controller.
The LSW862 controller is integral to the battery holder/mount held in by four screws. It states max current 15A. The heat sink on one side and mounted to the plastic battery holder on the other. The 2nd layer of weatherproofing is low modulus RTV silicon painted over the components. Having had a real bad experience with a Giant ten years ago I like to know whether I am going to get a jolt from the frame in wet weather standing in a puddle.
At this price point I don’t ford rivers or aim for the deepest puddles. Mud is not really an issue and as a matter of course I maintain my main battery connector with PJ to stop corrosion. Whilst main cable connectors around the bike are IP67 I also used PJ on one of the connectors going to the crank sensor. It isn’t proofed like the others and could be a possible point of failure in some corrosive environments.
On sensors, the crank has a magnet sensor and the brakes levers also have motor cut outs. There is a walk throttle also on the offside handlebar.
The nearside handlebar is a King Meter T319 LED interface. It has 3 modes plus an on/off. To actually fire the bike up, things get a little complicated.
To start the bike
Switch the battery on by pressing the on button on the actual battery. It shows capacity as bars and then goes out.
Switch the controller on with the large red rocker next to the throttle.
Press the on switch at the King meter T319
The King Meter is on mode zero meaning no drive. Choose 1,2 or 3 to deliver increasing power.
I cannot see anyone stealing it and riding away.
The big red rocker switch can be an issue when riding with gloves as it is easy to catch and depower the entire system. It feels like it is there as a failsafe stop switch.
I heard complaints that these bikes power down unexpectedly and can pretty much guarantee this red rocker is the cause… If you knock off the rocker there are three actions needed to resurrect power. When in motion it can be an absolute pain.
Moving the rocker or simply getting to know where not to fumble when riding is the solution. E-bikes direct could perhaps add that as an amendment with the manual (or) simply move the switch.
The battery is Lithium Ion 36v 14Ah. Cells listed as sourced from Samsung I haven’t cracked open the box as it’ll void the warranty.
The power button on the battery is a panel push giving remaining capacity in little green bars. The bars extinguish after turning on the pack. The 36v charger port is covered by a rubber plug with a retainer so it doesn’t get lost.
The key locks the battery to the carrier on the bike using a substantial steel peg. Not a bad quality key and comes as a pair in case one is lost.
There isnt a handle on the battery so you’ll need a bag or good grip lugging it around.
Six lugs and the lock post keep the battery on the bike. The fact everything is recessed means a little more protection from dripping water although I’d say some non-conductive grease might be a good idea in the winter to reduce corrosion.
From above the battery is pretty much out of sight because of the chunky frame/crossbar. I always worry about “klacking” my knees on this style of battery but it just sits out of the way when riding.
This battery is far better than the shocking NiMh packs of old. The weight is low when hefting but its just a pain lugging round. It can be charged on the bike. We all live in different areas so I won’t lay claim to immense mileage. Based on my commute over 6 hills daily I would tend towards belief that the flat mileage claim by the manufacturer is possible. For the big battery on my bike e-bikes direct claim 35-50 miles and the smaller 8Ah battery 25-30miles. Having had the experience of a battery wearing below my commute range on previous bikes I plumped with the larger one.
I’m not seeing any real “wear” yet. Being slightly paranoid I always keep a close eye on the charging making sure the pack is not overheating during and for a while after. The charger seems pretty smart and green lights when done. Sounds a bit pathetic but yknow I have a family in the house and 14aH is a fair bit of energy to be pushing around.
The hub is the allowed 250w rear mounted type. In this case twinned with a 7speed Shimano setup. I haven’t got a clue what the hologram means. During operation the propulsion is quiet not turning head like some units.
I do have a slight issue with propulsion. Having used bikes with torque sensors the application of power via a magnet sensor here is a bit brutal. Just turning the crank on the over run can cause full power rather than the graduated addition that I’m used to. I’m finding that I have to occasionally touch a brake to kill the power and would much rather the slope be shallower than the 100% smack in the chops on level 3.
Still, it powers me up my hills so I am not complaining.
The Shimano 7 speed 14-28t chain set is ubiquitous with most bikes and is black anodised to match the bike as a whole. Not seeing much in the way of corrosion yet.
There is a single Prowheel 46t anodised chainwheel and plastic chain guard. It seems robust and hasn’t caused any issues. Given the motor assist I wouldn’t expect much wear on the chain or gear teeth. The pedal action is positive with no torque sensor.
The bike comes with an unobtrusive stand that handles the bulk of the bike. The stand is far back over the rear wheel and is high density plastic held onto the frame with stainless bolts.
Overall, this bike seems pretty good value for its price tag. It is exclusive to e-bikes direct and I think they made a good selection of materials for the tag. The controller and non IP67 connector are a slight concern in super wet weather and could do with gasket. Perhaps a neoprene wrap for extra waterproofness and cold weather protection. Range is great, power is stock from the stock motor, brakes work well. The bike is easy to clean and looks nice.
If you buy, make sure to move the easy to tap red rocker switch and get used to the power up routine if you knock it. It isn’t simple and knowing the system top to bottom will help troubleshoot what essentially is a good solid bike.
531.9 KB Views: 27