Best £1500-2000, derestrictable e-bike?

esethree

Just Joined
Aug 30, 2022
2
0
Hi all,

I started my search for an e-bike a few weeks ago, and every time I think I find a good option, I come across something to sour me on that brand or some new option that looks better in comparison. I'm a newbie, so in truth I don't know exactly what would be best for me, but I do have some rough criteria.

  • Price: ideally in the £1,500-2,000 range (just because most of what I've liked so far hasn't been lower than that, and I'd rather not go much higher unless the bike seems wildly better for my needs than one in this range). Additionally, I'd like to buy this using Cyclescheme if possible, which largely rules out cheaper Chinese brands and DIY options I might otherwise explore.
  • Usage: I'll be using this to commute to work a relatively short distance (10 miles each way, with charging available on both ends), and also using this off-road to tear around trails on the weekends when I have time. So I'd like something that works well at road speeds but also that can get up to at least 22-25mph off-road and has the power to get up big hills etc with ease. I also may be moving back to the US in the next year or two, so I'd rather not be bringing back something limited to 15.5mph when it's not required there.
  • Battery capacity/efficiency: Because of the above, range isn't a huge deal for me, and I'd compromise range for power/speed, but obviously I'd like something with the ability to go as far as possible to keep my options open (20-30mi of range on full throttle / 40-80mi on the lowest PAS setting would be wonderful).
  • Definitely want something comfortable and sturdy; it sounds like some sort of suspension would be preferable, but open to recommendations on that.

The options I've considered so far are the following (with the reasons I've started to have mixed feelings about them):
  • Cyclotricity Stealth 500W/1000W:
    • pros: seems to satisfy all the power/usage/efficiency/price requirements (to the extent their marketing is accurate, obviously) and they support Cyclescheme. In particular, the price seems to be great and they claim to be UK-made.
    • cons: very little out there to inspire trust in the brand
      • I can't test ride, as there are no stockists near me
      • I've only found one legit-seeming blog review online, which was albeit quite positive about the build quality etc, but not much else.
      • Potential quality/warranty support issues (?) - I called the closest stockist listed on cyclotricity's website, and they said they don't in fact stock this brand anymore as cyclotricity has (allegedly) been horrible with warranty claims, and nearly half the cyclotricity bikes they've sold have come back with warranty claims.
      • very mixed trustpilot reviews (with the bad ones confirming exactly what the stockist said); on the other hand, other brands that seemed trustworthy (to me at least) like Cowboy admittedly also have similar issues with around 3/5 on trustpilot
  • Cyrusher XF650/800:
    • pros: seems to have great power and great claimed range (even the actual range noted in reviews is good enough for me); they also look great in my opinion.
    • cons: again, very little out there to inspire trust in the brand
      • obviously a Chinese brand with limited history/presence in the UK, and probably a lot of fake reviews and exaggerated claims (however, I'm still not ruling them out, since the reality of the bike - even if it's way off from what they claim - may be plenty for my needs)
      • no local stockists in the UK (at least anywhere near me), and their test ride facility is way too far to be useful
      • they don't directly support Cyclescheme, and I haven't found any third-party shops yet that seller Cyrusher bikes and support Cyclescheme (in which case this is almost an automatic dealbreaker for me sadly)
      • again, very mixed trustpilot reviews (some glowing, some saying the bike is crap and Cyrusher is ghosting them)
  • Cowboy 3
    • pros: great range, very much a fan of the tech/connectedness (and I would strongly prefer this on a bike, but will sacrifice it for power plus range if necessary)
    • cons: underpowered (pretty much need to abandon any off-road usage obviously); seen some reviews saying it's not super comfortable; and unclear how reliable, etc it is
  • Random mechanical bike plus eBike conversion kit (from a Cyclescheme provider ideally)
  • Other eBike with add-ons/replacement parts to either (i) derestrict and take full advantage of an already very powerful (but restricted as stock) motor/controller/battery combo, or (ii) replace certain parts (e.g. controller/battery/motor) to improve performance (again, from a Cyclescheme provider ideally)
That's as far as I've gotten so far, and the last two options are the ones that are by far the most daunting since there's so little advertised about what's in most bikes on the market and what can be done with them. I'm sure you guys know a lot more than I do, so any help to point me in the right direction would be incredibly helpful. Thanks so much!

- Ed
 

esethree

Just Joined
Aug 30, 2022
2
0
Does the Cyclescheme allow you to buy eBikes that would not be road legal in the UK ?
Well the Cyclotricity stealth would be road legal when purchased (as from the factory it is restricted to 15.5mph/250W and is only pedal assist). And my understanding was that it would stay road legal as long as I re-enable the restriction (and don’t have a throttle installed) any time I bring it back on the road, though please correct me if that’s wrong. (And not sure whether the above is also true for Cyrusher.)

Additionally, my understanding is that Cyclescheme provides a voucher to be redeemed essentially for anything at the shop of choice (incl helmets, accessories, etc). So I’m not sure how they would practically restrict which bikes you can purchase, so long as the purchase is made from one of their supported retailers. But I may be wrong on this; just deducing from my understanding of how the scheme seems to work.
 

StuartsProjects

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
1,647
919
So I’m not sure how they would practically restrict which bikes you can purchase, so long as the purchase is made from one of their supported retailers.
Not sure, but would one of the 'supported retailers' sell you a bike under the scheme that was not road legal in the UK ?

There are some retailers that watch this forum, maybe they could comment.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
15,785
6,254
ebike shop has been selling hi end bikes with there dongles fitted for years and will honor the motor warranty.

if you get one of these and make sure it is uart and not can bus programming you can get the programme cable for 20 quid and turn it up as much as you want.


but you need a decent 17ah+ batt and flat out could hit 50mph
 
  • :D
Reactions: Woosh

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
19,294
16,340
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
There are some retailers that watch this forum, maybe they could comment.
I would stay clear of any member who wants to derestrict my bikes. If the bike is involved in any accident while going at over the speed limit, the lawyers will crawl over every angle to see who they can sue.
 

AndyBike

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2020
1,075
472
but you need a decent 17ah+ batt and flat out could hit 50mph
Indeed, and for maybe as long as ten minutes before the battery is totally flat.
 
  • :D
Reactions: Woosh

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
1,531
723
Beds & Norfolk
I would stay clear of any member who wants to derestrict my bikes.
My guess is that those who choose to thrash the nuts off their de-restricted bikes are likely to be making more warranty claims too - which is hardly the bike makers fault. There's a lot of bleating, whinging and generally crying wolf about "unfair treatment" and "not honouring warranty claims" on Facebook when the bike owner had previously been proudly boasting about how they'd been hammering the crap out of their bike.... and now it's failed, the maker isn't stepping up to the plate.

It's no real surprise that we see more and more makers locking down their bikes to stop owners fiddling.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Woosh

StuartsProjects

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
1,647
919
I would stay clear of any member who wants to derestrict my bikes. If the bike is involved in any accident while going at over the speed limit, the lawyers will crawl over every angle to see who they can sue.
I did see that to be part of the Cyclescheme the dealer needs insurance, so the scheme must suspect there is the potential for claims.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Woosh

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
3,621
2,646
Winchester
Don't forget the derestricted bike will also be illegal (in UK) on any trails accessible to the general public; such as bridleways, forestry commission tracks and canal paths.
 

richtea99

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 8, 2020
434
283
I also may be moving back to the US in the next year or two, so I'd rather not be bringing back something limited to 15.5mph when it's not required there.
Very minor detail, but you won't be to stick it on a plane - it will have to go via ship only - because of the battery, so you might do better to sell it here and buy again in the US.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Woosh

pedalfettal

Pedelecer
Jan 3, 2022
43
23
Unfortunately you want everything...

- Cheap new bicycle with work subsidy
- Multi-purpose (road and off-road)
- Powerful and fast
- Throttle
- Comfortable and sturdy

This is an impossible want list even for non-electric push-bikes. Compromises will have to be made.

To do powerful and fastly with throttle you'll either have to DIY or wait til you get to 'Murca.

My compromise (after mulling a similar list of wants) is the frankenbike:
- Second-hand bike frame and front suspension fork
- Straight handlebar
- Road 50/34t chain rings, MTB 11-42t cassette
- 27.5 inch wheels with knobbly tyres
- Mid motor (upto 15.5mph assistance) and downframe battery
- On the flat with no head wind - 20 mph with leg-power (tyre drag)

For commuting:
- Second-hand bike frame with rigid front fork
- Drop handlebars
- Road 50/34t chain rings, MTB 11-42t cassette
- 700c wheels with puncture-proof commuter tyres
- Mid motor (upto 15.5mph assistance) and downframe battery
- On the flat with no head wind - 25 mph with leg-power
 
Last edited:

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
19,294
16,340
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
52v 14aH battery
48V is the practical and LEGAL definition of the maximum voltage to be considered "low voltage" and intrinsically "safe". Certainly 48V delivered UNDER your relatively insulating skin surface could kill you if delivered in the "right" place.
That's the reason why you don't have road legal pedelecs running at over 48V.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Nealh

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
19,797
8,076
60
West Sx RH
  • Informative
Reactions: Woosh

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
19,797
8,076
60
West Sx RH
Harmonised Safety Standards for E-Bikes
A standard specifically harmonised for E-Bikes is EN 15194:2017. Most E-Bike safety requirements can be found in this standard. Examples of these are:

  1. The battery of E-Bikes needs to comply with relevant regulations such as the EU battery directive
  2. E-Bikes must be clearly and permanently marked with a serial number which must be in a readily visible location
  3. The frame must be visibly and permanently marked with the name of the manufacturer or the manufacturer’s representative and the number of European Standard. In addition to this, the vehicle must be durably marked with the following words: “EPAC according to EN 15194.”
  4. The vehicle must be provided with a series of preparation information; including preparing for riding, recommended fasteners, adjustment of gears and brakes, care of wheel rims and explanations of rim-wear and the risks associated with it, and recommendations about battery charging and charger use
This European Standard specifies requirements and test methods for engine power management systems, electrical circuits including the charging system for the design and assembly of electrically power-assisted bicycles and sub-assemblies for systems having a rated voltage up to and including 48 V d.c. or integrated battery charger with a nominal 230 V a.c. input. The Standard specifies safety and safety-related performance requirements for the design, assembly, and testing of EPAC bicycles and subassemblies intended for use on public roads, and lays down guidelines for instructions on the use and care of such bicycles. This applies to EPAC bicycles that have a maximum saddle height of 635 mm or more and that are intended for use.

(NEN, 2015).
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Woosh

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
19,294
16,340
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
Thanks.

This perhaps explains the differing eapc labelling schemes (only one states voltage).
I have to put 25kph, 36v and 250w on my EN15194 stickers.