First Post - Be Kind :-)

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#1
My scenario - Just retired, problem with right knee and live in a hilly area.

Looking to buy 2 x electric touring bikes with some off road ability for wife & myself, and sell our existing Bromptons which are rarely used - due to the hills!

Went to e-bikes in Bodiam, test drove a hub driven bike, can't remember the name, but it was just OK. I then tried a 2018 Haibike Sduro Trekking 4. Amazing difference, a really nice bike to ride.

My ideal budget is to spend £1500 on each bike.

However before I commit to the Haibike can the collective give me advice on alternatives? Also if the Haibike is a good choice, should I perhaps go for Xduro with the bigger 500w battery.

Thanks in advance

Robin
 

Fat Rat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 7, 2018
1,061
65
UK
#2
Hi
Welcome
Your budget and your location will choose your bike to a point depending on if you want to travel for test rides and repairs under warranty
I would say get out on as many as you can before making a choice as only you ultimately know what suits you best
Battery wise bigger is better if your planning longer trips
 

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#3
Thanks - locality for warranty issues makes sense
 

Jonah

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 23, 2010
637
36
EX38
#4
Cube seem to be about the best value Bosch motored bikes at the moment. If you can get a deal on Haibike they are decent bikes too.
 

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#5
Thanks Jonah for the reply.

Couldn't help notice you have electrified your Bromptons. Could I ask how that has worked out as I guess that could be an option for me.
 

Jonah

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 23, 2010
637
36
EX38
#6
There are quite a lot of electrified Bromptons around. Ours are the super powerful Sparticle conversion which is great for climbing any hill but the downside is a very heavy front end (wheel and big battery in front bag). In some ways it goes against the spirit of the Brompton.

If you don’t need all that power, I think a lighter weight motor and battery (like Brompton now do themselves) would keep more of the feel of the original Brompton. If you enjoy the ride on your Bromptons, it’s certainly worth considering.
 

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#7
Thanks for the reply.

Whilst we love the ability to easily travel with the Bromptons, the big downside for us was the skittish nature of the small front wheel. Going fast downhill is positively dangerous. Having more weight in the hub on the front I would have thought should improve the situation, but with the battery in the bag, I fear that this coupled with the small wheel would just encourage instability. Of course this is pure guesswork, but I suspect that we would never be entirely happy.
 

Jonah

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 23, 2010
637
36
EX38
#8
You’re right, in some ways the heavier front end makes them less skittish. If you’re interested I would suggest trying a test ride at a Brompton stockist. The larger dealers should have an electric version to test ride. I had a go on one and was quite impressed. Not that I’m suggesting you should buy one, but it would let you know what you could achieve by fitting a kit.
 
Jul 27, 2016
188
17
South Yorkshire; S11
#9
If you're looking for something to manage the hills and you're no longer commuting then you're right to leave the Bromptons behind. I would definitely try test-riding a few if you can. My local bike shop had bikes that you could rent for a day, and even deliver to your chosen location. I'd have done it but I'd already tried a Bosch CX powered MTB (which is what they had to offer) and had my heart set on a Shimano E8000 one.
Personally, if you are looking for something to handle hills and some off-road, I would not rule out an eMTB, rather than a hybrid - I started in the same direction but have no regrets with where I went. They tend to be much better at going up hills as they usually come with more torquey (?) motors...
 

Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
1,245
145
64
West Wales
#10
Given your dodgy knee, I thought I should mention some thing nobody else has yet.
Most, if not all, commercially available mid drives are torque sense. Most hub drives are pas sense.
The difference being that you have to put weight on the peddles, to get power, with a torque sense. With pas you merely have to rotate the peddles. I too have a dodgy knee. I have a hub motor conversion. If my knee gets painful during a ride I can just put weight on the other and get home. If both go, a rareity but has happened, I can just rotate the peddles, get power, and get home. This won't work on a torque sense. You can use one leg but you will get power pulses as the system responds to the torque you put in. I'm not sure that any of the European bikes come with throttles, most of the Chinese origin bikes do.
Thought you shoukd know.
 

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#11
You’re right, in some ways the heavier front end makes them less skittish. If you’re interested I would suggest trying a test ride at a Brompton stockist. The larger dealers should have an electric version to test ride. I had a go on one and was quite impressed. Not that I’m suggesting you should buy one, but it would let you know what you could achieve by fitting a kit.
Good idea, wt least worth a try.

Thanks again for the input
 

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#12
If you're looking for something to manage the hills and you're no longer commuting then you're right to leave the Bromptons behind. I would definitely try test-riding a few if you can. My local bike shop had bikes that you could rent for a day, and even deliver to your chosen location. I'd have done it but I'd already tried a Bosch CX powered MTB (which is what they had to offer) and had my heart set on a Shimano E8000 one.
Personally, if you are looking for something to handle hills and some off-road, I would not rule out an eMTB, rather than a hybrid - I started in the same direction but have no regrets with where I went. They tend to be much better at going up hills as they usually come with more torquey (?) motors...
Interesting, yes I have toyed with the idea of a MTB against some form of trekking/hybrid bike, but as they come with fatter tyres, isn't the rolling resistance increased and therefore reduced battery life/range?
 

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#13
Given your dodgy knee, I thought I should mention some thing nobody else has yet.
Most, if not all, commercially available mid drives are torque sense. Most hub drives are pas sense.
The difference being that you have to put weight on the peddles, to get power, with a torque sense. With pas you merely have to rotate the peddles. I too have a dodgy knee. I have a hub motor conversion. If my knee gets painful during a ride I can just put weight on the other and get home. If both go, a rareity but has happened, I can just rotate the peddles, get power, and get home. This won't work on a torque sense. You can use one leg but you will get power pulses as the system responds to the torque you put in. I'm not sure that any of the European bikes come with throttles, most of the Chinese origin bikes do.
Thought you shoukd know.

Thanks Benjahmin, a very good point.

I guess I am hoping that the 'dodgy knee' can be improved. It was as a result of undertaking the Camino di Santiago last year (walking). Docs have suggested it is wear & tear and offered support of anti inflammatories. Didn't want that and would prefer to try and build strength back naturally, hence the desire for a pedelec.

However, good point well made
 
Jul 27, 2016
188
17
South Yorkshire; S11
#14
Interesting, yes I have toyed with the idea of a MTB against some form of trekking/hybrid bike, but as they come with fatter tyres, isn't the rolling resistance increased and therefore reduced battery life/range?
I have no stats to compare but I doubt it's significant. I started off riding in ECO mode to maximise battery performance but I got a knee injury (not from bike riding, I should add) and ever since, I have taken it easier and let the bike do more of the work. I absolutely love the feeling of being pushed up the hills in Boost mode! Even in these lazy modes I still get about 30 miles from my ~380kwh battery (I have a spare if I want to do a long ride - look up the Focus TEC system if you're interested...)

In terms of resistance, I'd be more concerned about motor drag from certain motor types when you get above the assist limit
 
Jul 27, 2016
188
17
South Yorkshire; S11
#15
Thanks Benjahmin, a very good point.

I guess I am hoping that the 'dodgy knee' can be improved. It was as a result of undertaking the Camino di Santiago last year (walking). Docs have suggested it is wear & tear and offered support of anti inflammatories. Didn't want that and would prefer to try and build strength back naturally, hence the desire for a pedelec.

However, good point well made
As I mentioned above, you should find that using more assist, together with a larger back ring, you can climb pretty much any hill without over-stressing your knee. As long as you're turning the pedals, regardless how much resistance your facing, the motor will help. It was the resistance of pushing in a higher gear that aggravated my knee problems but if you drop a cog or two and keep the cadence up, it's easy
 

Pugliese

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 10, 2019
15
4
#16
In terms of resistance, I'd be more concerned about motor drag from certain motor types when you get above the assist limit
Could you expand on the 'motor drag'. As a newbie to electric bikes I have not heard of this
 
Jul 27, 2016
188
17
South Yorkshire; S11
#17
Could you expand on the 'motor drag'. As a newbie to electric bikes I have not heard of this
e-bike motors are designed to assist your pedalling up to the 15.5mph limit. Above that limit, some are better at disengaging than others. If they are not designed to disengage completely then it can feel like you are pedalling through treacle. I and many others can vouch for the Shimano, and others say good things about the Brose motor in this respect, but many reviewers have issues with the Bosch drives, and I believe the Yamaha too.

It depends what riding you do as to how much this affects you. On the open road, I like to ride at at least 20mph on the flat and up to 30 on the downhills, though the bike will go much faster. It's probably pushing on the flat where such resistance will be felt the most...

This is why getting a good test-ride is so important...
 

Jonah

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 23, 2010
637
36
EX38
#18
The Bosch Active Line Plus is supposed to be much better in this respect than the CX. Less powerful overall though.
 
Nov 28, 2018
119
49
#19
Thanks Benjahmin, a very good point.

I guess I am hoping that the 'dodgy knee' can be improved. It was as a result of undertaking the Camino di Santiago last year (walking). Docs have suggested it is wear & tear and offered support of anti inflammatories. Didn't want that and would prefer to try and build strength back naturally, hence the desire for a pedelec.
Now I really fancy cycling this, and was researching it last night. The French route from Leon looks great but from Manchester it's easier to access the Northern Way or the one from Porto.

Can't take a lithion battery on the flight in either cargo or hold so I understand so my options are:
  • Fly Easyjet to Bilbao from Manchester and hire a bike when I get out there
  • Take the bike but no battery on plane and try to hire a Bosch battery.
  • Take a train down to Portmouth or Plymouth and go on Brittnay Ferries to Santiago/Bilbao. That is fine but the trip is 24+ hours so I will realistically need to hire a cabin for two both directions which is a waste of cash (as well as time) as I will be going solo.
  • I think hiring a bike is easiest - looks like simple ebikes are about 25 euros a day, but to get the equivalent of my Cube Tourer might be harder.
 
Nov 28, 2018
119
49
#20
The Bosch Active Line Plus is supposed to be much better in this respect than the CX. Less powerful overall though.
Yes it is zero resist. On flat tarmac no need for assist at all. And very good range.

If you are going to need to get up 15%+ gradients then you will want more oomph, but most cycling in the UK is well below that and the Activeline Plus is one of the best motors going for that sort of touring.
 

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