Hello everyone. Retired teacher her

misterjohn

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 12, 2021
11
3
Manchester
I am a retired teacher (= pensioner!).
I started cycling 20 years ago after being a heavy motorist for all my working life.
i gradually and slowly increased the amount I cycle…. It’s mainly commuting (not every day… and around 10 to 15 miles round trip). Sometimes a trip into the Peak District. One four-day cycling holiday … around 40 miles a day.
I am in Manchester - crime city for bike theft bar none. I’ve lost 14 bikes in my 21 years cycling. (That’s not including wheel thefts).
I have joined the site by chancel really… I came across a bike review in one of the forums whilst researching a purchase.
I’m researching a purchase since the last theft (a week ago): my first electric bike (Carrera Crossfuse) which I absolutely adored.
Replacing it is going to be monumentally difficult. I bought it before the pandemic… when there were huge discounts and massive interest-free loans. All that has gone since the worldwide shortage of electric bikes.
So… that’s me.
Feel free to say hello.
 
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geoff967

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 8, 2019
21
6
I am a retired teacher (= pensioner!).
I started cycling 20 years ago after being a heavy motorist for all my working life.
i gradually and slowly increased the amount I cycle…. It’s mainly commuting (not every day… and around 10 to 15 miles round trip). Sometimes a trip into the Peak District. One four-day cycling holiday … around 40 miles a day.
I am in Manchester - crime city for bike theft bar none. I’ve lost 14 bikes in my 21 years cycling. (That’s not including wheel thefts).
I have joined the site by chancel really… I came across a bike review in one of the forums whilst researching a purchase.
I’m researching a purchase since the last theft (a week ago): my first electric bike (Carrera Crossfuse) which I absolutely adored.
Replacing it is going to be monumentally difficult. I bought it before the pandemic… when there were huge discounts and massive interest-free loans. All that has gone since the worldwide shortage of electric bikes.
So… that’s me.
Feel free to say hello.
My god the insurance companies must run a mile when they see your record.
Sorry to be flippant and good luck in future.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,042
26,761
I am in Manchester - crime city for bike theft bar none. I’ve lost 14 bikes in my 21 years cycling. (That’s not including wheel thefts).
Welcome to the forum.

London ranks similarly for bike theft, our Prime Minister claims to have had six Bromptons stolen, possibly why he switched to a full size bike for cycling to the House of Commons.

However I cycled for seventy years, the latter fifty nine years living in London Boroughs, and have never had a bike or any part of one stolen, despite only ever owning cheap cable locks.
.
 
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misterjohn

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 12, 2021
11
3
Manchester
Most of my first clutch of bikes were actually bought (one at a time) from auctions: bikes recovered by the police but not reunited with their owners. They ranged from £2.59 (yes! for an almost new mountain bike … it was stolen again within 6 weeks) to around £20.

As my confidence and knowledge of bikes gradually increased, I started buying moderately-priced hybrids (e.g. Scott Sub, Marin Larkspur).

I stopped all the thefts when I switched to using a chain and padlock combo for a motorbike.

But last Monday.… a beautiful day in Manchester…. I thought I would switch from working at home to working outside, sipping coffee at Starbucks (with the bike out-of-eyeshot round the corner, protected by two relatively modest chains/cables).

Never again!

Thanks your reply and your interest!

I assume that, since the naughty thief hasn’t got a key to unlock (and charge) the battery, the bike will be dismantled… and wheels, etc sold off separately.
 
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misterjohn

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 12, 2021
11
3
Manchester
My god the insurance companies must run a mile when they see your record.
Sorry to be flippant and good luck in future.
Well, none of the bikes were insured. So my record is clean.

And the other good news…. ironically, a substantial number of these bikes were bought ultra-cheapo at police bike auctions. Off the top of my head, I think only a very few were either new or good secondhand bikes.

This bike was by far the most expensive I have ever bought. By far!

I’m looking at the range of electric bikes on offer…. and hardly any of the brands do I recognise. I stumped as to what to look at.

Being retired, an electric bike shoulders so much of the work. Dare I pass this bus? What about the headwind? And those little hills? And my backpack.. with laptops, tablets, chargers and books?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,042
26,761
I assume that, since the naughty thief hasn’t got a key to unlock (and charge) the battery, the bike will be dismantled… and wheels, etc sold off separately.
Unless they are able to drill out the core of the battery lock. In cities like London and Manchester the thieves are professionals, often operating with a van and picking up several bikes a day. They rarely sell them individually, instead selling them to a fence who does the reselling in their area where the local population know where to go to get a bargain bike.

Occasionally the police here in London get a tip off and raid a fence, finding back garden and sheds full of bicycles. They've also done some entrapment, planting an attractive unlocked bike somewhere tempting with it covered by CCTV and officers on hand. But I doubt that's very productive, any individual thief caught probably claiming it was taken in a moment of temptation, so only given a small fine from the magistrates.

Of course the real criminals are the mass population who are happy to buy anything on the cheap, knowing full well the the item is stolen. Without them the bulk of all theft would vanish.
.
 

misterjohn

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 12, 2021
11
3
Manchester
Unless they are able to drill out the core of the battery lock. In cities like London and Manchester the thieves are professionals, often operating with a van and picking up several bikes a day. They rarely sell them individually, instead selling them to a fence who does the reselling in their area where the local population know where to go to get a bargain bike.

Occasionally the police here in London get a tip off and raid a fence, finding back garden and sheds full of bicycles. They've also done some entrapment, planting an attractive unlocked bike somewhere tempting with it covered by CCTV and officers on hand. But I doubt that's very productive, any individual thief caught probably claiming it was taken in a moment of temptation, so only given a small fine from the magistrates.

Of course the real criminals are the mass population who are happy to buy anything on the cheap, knowing full well the the item is stolen. Without them the bulk of all theft would vanish.
.
How interesting (but sad! so sad!).

It’s what the sales assisant at Pure Electric told me a couple of days ago when I was viewing a replacement…. gangs in vans….

Thanks for your interest and concern. It is appreciated. Really!
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
14,192
5,498
58
West Sx RH
Which brands have you been looking at and have not heard of ?
 

misterjohn

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 12, 2021
11
3
Manchester
It might be easier to tell you the brands I do know or have heard of!

Here are some of the brands I was unfamiliar with before looking for an alternative to my (stolen) Carrera Crossfuse; I’ve been looking at them and doing various degrees of research into them. So my knowledge is patchy and about a week old.

Wisper, Whoosh, Orbea, Eurobike, Kudos, Serious, Kalkhoff, Whyte, Volt (I had heard of before… and even test rode…. but I had no idea how good/bad they were), Swifty, Canyon, Vanmoof, Eskute, Cube…

Then there’s a whole set of other brands which I had never heard of before.

If I stay with brands I recognise and feel relatively confident about, there are the following:

Carrera (Halfords), Pinnacle (Evans)
Raleigh

Then there are known names which look like they will never produce anything I could afford…

Giant, Trek, Cannondale, etc.

Of the names and brands attached to your profile, I have heard of: Boardman. And I recognise Bafang (which I think gets some thumbs up along the line…. ).

I gather that Suntour motors get a lukewarm response (sometimes less so).

And I understand that Bosch motors located in the centre of the bike get pretty well universally approved of (and might be called the gold standard of mainstream bikes).

But remember, my knowledge is not much more than a week old (or is based on my sales experience when buying my Crossfuse 30 months ago).
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,922
Basildon
It might be easier to tell you the brands I do know or have heard of!

Here are some of the brands I was unfamiliar with before looking for an alternative to my (stolen) Carrera Crossfuse; I’ve been looking at them and doing various degrees of research into them. So my knowledge is patchy and about a week old.

Wisper, Whoosh, Orbea, Eurobike, Kudos, Serious, Kalkhoff, Whyte, Volt (I had heard of before… and even test rode…. but I had no idea how good/bad they were), Swifty, Canyon, Vanmoof, Eskute, Cube…

Then there’s a whole set of other brands which I had never heard of before.

If I stay with brands I recognise and feel relatively confident about, there are the following:

Carrera (Halfords), Pinnacle (Evans)
Raleigh

Then there are known names which look like they will never produce anything I could afford…

Giant, Trek, Cannondale, etc.

Of the names and brands attached to your profile, I have heard of: Boardman. And I recognise Bafang (which I think gets some thumbs up along the line…. ).

I gather that Suntour motors get a lukewarm response (sometimes less so).

And I understand that Bosch motors located in the centre of the bike get pretty well universally approved of (and might be called the gold standard of mainstream bikes).

But remember, my knowledge is not much more than a week old (or is based on my sales experience when buying my Crossfuse 30 months ago).
There's nothing wrong with Suntour motors. It's the control system and other parts that let the bikes down.

You shouldn't be worried about brands at this point. You have two simple choices. Firstly, you can buy a universal Chinese type bike and fix it yourself without worrying about warranty and complications like that. If you don't have a clue about electrical things then you have to buy from someone that can fix it and has a system for dealing with it. In other words, there's no point in buying your ideal bike mail order from across the country, when two weeks later it might develop a fault and there is no simple way to get get it sorted.

Many brands cannot be fixed by yourself or any general ebike shop because they need special diagnostic equipment. Generally, ebike shops won't fix your bike if it wasn't bought from them. Systems, like Bosch, Shimano and Yamaha are common across bike brands and fairly ubiquitous, so you have more chance of getting them fixed than some others.
 
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misterjohn

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 12, 2021
11
3
Manchester
There's nothing wrong with Suntour motors. It's the control system and other parts that let the bikes down.

You shouldn't be worried about brands at this point. You have two simple choices. Firstly, you can buy a universal Chinese type bike and fix it yourself without worrying about warranty and complications like that. If you don't have a clue about electrical things then you have to buy from someone that can fix it and has a system for dealing with it. In other words, there's no point in buying your ideal bike mail order from across the country, when two weeks later it might develop a fault and there is no simple way to get get it sorted.

Many brands cannot be fixed by yourself or any general ebike shop because they need special diagnostic equipment. Generally, ebike shops won't fix your bike if it wasn't bought from them. Systems, like Bosch, Shimano and Yamaha are common across bike brands and fairly ubiquitous, so you have more chance of getting them fixed than some others.
I am coming to that conclusion….

Thank you for voicing clearly my inner concerns. You put succinctly my focus on looking at brands…. which boils down to (if I understand you correctly): reliability and ease of fixing.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,922
Basildon
I am coming to that conclusion….

Thank you for voicing clearly my inner concerns. You put succinctly my focus on looking at brands…. which boils down to (if I understand you correctly): reliability and ease of fixing.
Reliability isn't really a consideration, except there have been two dogs of the ebike world, not counting bikes from the distant past. One was the Kalkhoff Impulse motor and the other is the Suntour system. Both have fundamental flaws. One other point to consider is that it's not a case of the more you spend, the cheaper your bike will be in the long-run. It's rather the opposite: The more you pay for the bike, the higher the cost of replacement parts and other servicing costs. If you can do things yourself, running a cheap ebike can be very low indeed, and as an extreme example at the other end, when you buy your super expensive bike and take it to the dealer for servicing, they'll get out their chain wear gauge and tell you that you need a new chain and sprockets plus a software update possibly all costing hundreds of pounds in parts, let alone the cost of servicing.

Having said that, most people here are happy with what they bought and expect around 4 or 5 years running before needing a major spend on something like a new battery.

My personal advice is to avoid any ebike with bespoke or niche systems. These things come and go, and there is very rarely any future support of these things. Over the years, we've had a few members totally gutted when they found out that there was no way to fix their non-functioning bike. Stick with Bosch or Yamaha electrical systems for bikes over £1750. For bikes £1400 to £1750 stick to established brands with hub-motors, like Wisper Oxygen, Volt, Batribike, Juicy, etc. And for bikes £1000 to £1400 it has to be a Woosh bike. Below that, you can take your pick, but your then fixing it youself when it needs it, where parts are cheap and readily available when you know where to look.

There are new brands and new bikes coming out every day. Some of them look very nice and might be the stars of the future, but today, it's a gamble if you buy one. I'm not trying to run them down, it's just that as far as I'm concerned, they're an unknow quantity.
 

TedG

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 8, 2017
447
476
71
Lisburn Co Antrim Northern Ireland UK
It is likely that my problem could be a one off as I have nobody with the same bike to compare it to but my Volt Infinity with shimano motor has gradually become a nightmare over the last 500 miles. It has been with several LBS and is now due to be back to a dedicated Shimano specialist, fortunately locally.
Motor sounding like a bag of nails and each pedal stroke emitting an increasingly louder click / crack with accompanying crank play.
None of the LBS have been able to resolve this issue and the specialist is not best pleased that his work has failed.
From an engineering background in a past life I am to say the least wary about being out anywhere isolated (can't walk, leg disability)
I have been shown the errors internally and I can say that there are fundamental flaws in male and female securing bolts, but who am I to question the quality and design ideas of a well established motor manufacturer?
Volt have supplied new parts but they have the same flaws as the original so some remedial work had to be done to them.
Loctite is still alive and well but even it has been beaten.

As a disabled 71 I am less than able to "abuse" this bike when riding and my inbuilt mechanical sympathy won't let me in any case.

My wife now has a Raleigh with Bosch motor and it is excellent.
I am certainly in the market for a Cube Kathmandu 500 but no sign for a long time to come.
Would I recommend a Shimano motor?
No.
However as I said I could have just have been unlucky.........

Volt want the bike back but have suggested that carriage and repairs may be more than the 5 year old bike is worth.

2420 miles before you ask. :confused:
 

masaiman

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 10, 2021
10
3
Hello misterjohn,

Sorry to hear of the predicament that you find yourself in, can't believe that you have have so many bikes nicked...bastards!

What's a wheel theft ?

Gangs in vans...double bastards!!

Good luck in your search - I wish you all the best.

James.
 
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misterjohn

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 12, 2021
11
3
Manchester
Hello misterjohn,

Sorry to hear of the predicament that you find yourself in, can't believe that you have have so many bikes nicked...bastards!

What's a wheel theft ?

Gangs in vans...double bastards!!

Good luck in your search - I wish you all the best.

James.
Thanks for your good wishes and your sympathy.

I’m over the pain. A brief period of pining.

Reminds me of an old Dionne Warwick song… “An Empty Space”.

”There’s an empty space
Beside me
When I’m walking down
The street
That’s the place where you used to walk
The place where you held my hand
Now I reach and all I touch is space
An empty, empty place.”
(Lyrics by Hal David)

For a while, when I entered the flat, I’d look at the empty space in the hallway… and the words would come back to me.

Fortunately, I try to hold possessions relatively lightly (though it’s a struggle.. and I don’t always succeed, experiencing short-term grief). I won‘t be taking possessions out of the world. I’ll just be taking me and my memories.

So I’m over it now. (And I never think about the culprit/culprits).

I have a new pushbike. At first, it was a shock to the system. Like coming off cigarettes (or gambling, or alcohol, or drugs). All that effort!!

But now I’m quite happy .... and I’m getting (much needed) exercise.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,136
1,000
Surrey
It is likely that my problem could be a one off as I have nobody with the same bike to compare it to but my Volt Infinity with shimano motor has gradually become a nightmare over the last 500 miles. It has been with several LBS and is now due to be back to a dedicated Shimano specialist, fortunately locally.
Motor sounding like a bag of nails and each pedal stroke emitting an increasingly louder click / crack with accompanying crank play.
None of the LBS have been able to resolve this issue and the specialist is not best pleased that his work has failed.
From an engineering background in a past life I am to say the least wary about being out anywhere isolated (can't walk, leg disability)
I have been shown the errors internally and I can say that there are fundamental flaws in male and female securing bolts, but who am I to question the quality and design ideas of a well established motor manufacturer?
Volt have supplied new parts but they have the same flaws as the original so some remedial work had to be done to them.
Loctite is still alive and well but even it has been beaten.

As a disabled 71 I am less than able to "abuse" this bike when riding and my inbuilt mechanical sympathy won't let me in any case.

My wife now has a Raleigh with Bosch motor and it is excellent.
I am certainly in the market for a Cube Kathmandu 500 but no sign for a long time to come.
Would I recommend a Shimano motor?
No.
However as I said I could have just have been unlucky.........

Volt want the bike back but have suggested that carriage and repairs may be more than the 5 year old bike is worth.

2420 miles before you ask. :confused:
Probably only to be used where a design flaw causes a bolt to keep coming undone, but on an old Norton motorbike I owned, I resorted to lock wire to ensure an exhaust manifold could not come undone, and that worked.

I later rebuilt that bike and used a different type of exhaust manifold from a later model that were much better and cured the problem.
 
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TedG

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 8, 2017
447
476
71
Lisburn Co Antrim Northern Ireland UK
Well my bike is back from the Shimano specialist 109 miles ago.
When I left it I suggested that perhaps it would be an idea to remove the original allen male / female 1/4" securing bolt system then ream out the holes to 5/16" for a proper hex nut and bolt set to go straight through the plates and motor.
When I was in auto engineering moons ago I would have moved along any customer who made suggestions to work I was doing but I took a chance with this lad and fortunately it went well.
I got the feeling he was wary about altering a manufacturer's design but when I collected it he had done what I suggested.
He had fitted nylock nuts and used Loctite so I was confident that this should work and to date it has.
Been out over the rutted "main roads??", good cycle lanes and towpaths and to my relief the motor is secure. He has left the "aesthetic" covers off to give me access to the bolts / nuts should they actually come loose so that I can re-torque them.
As for wiring the nuts I can say that we were wiring nuts on the Rob North bikes which we built back in another life which was a scrutineering requirement and I will indeed wire these nuts in a similar way should they actually come loose again.

It wouldn't have been possible to have lockwired the original dome headed male / female allen bolt set up but I can see that this conventional "belt and braces" remedy will work and wired in the future if needed.

Only Volt know why they used a "feeble" IMO male / female allen bolt set up to secure a stressed motor in a cradle but I am not for enlightening them as to the remedy which seems to have worked.
Who am I?
 
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