Help! Help me climb these hills please!

kirsty

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 13, 2020
9
8
What I want: an electric bike for leisure riding in a hilly bit of Yorkshire. After 20 years of enthusiastic bursts of cycling (& walking up hills) when at home, and much enjoyable riding in flatter places on holiday, I'm finally taking the plunge and deciding I need a bit of assistance to enjoy cycling around home more. Mostly I want to take 10-20 mile rides, but would like the bike to allow me to take longer rides too. I'd like to get on and order a bike straight away and obviously stock is low everywhere at the moment. Budget is flexible but I'm looking at around the £1500 mark.

I'm looking for a women's style lower crossbar on a hybrid bike. I want kickstand, pannier rack (for shopping) & mudguards (I guess they can all be fitted later but I've just been looking at bikes that come ready with them). Built in lights seem useful but not essential.

Woosh Santana looks really good, and cheaper, but I don't think it's currently available for delivery. Also looked at Oxygen but can't find them in stock in right frame size other than in ~10Ah battery which sounds a bit low?

I'm feeling like I'm rather drowning in specs and struggling to work out the important bits. I don't feel the weight of the bikes or the gears are useful things to compare. Batteries, motors, drives, displays do seem useful to compare but it's hard to find comparable info.

Three bikes I can find that look to be available to buy now (and get delivered with just pedals to screw in and handlebars to turn) are:

Raleigh Array E Motion Lowstep 2020 Electric Hybrid Bike £1350

I'm not sure how this one will be on the hills? Suntour e25 rear wheel hub motor, 400wh battery, 3 assist levels. 23kg bike. I like the ~£1650 Motus too but can't find that in stock in the right frame size.

NCM Milano Plus 26" Trekking E-Bike, 250W 48V 16Ah 768Wh Battery, white £1499

This looks very well specced, I'm dubious of the "can only buy via eBay" thing though? Would there be trouble with parts or servicing? 27kg bike, Das-Kit, X15 Rear-drive motor, 48V 250W, 15mph. Also there's at least three versions of the Milano and I can't really see the difference between them.

Cube Town Hybrid One 400 E-Bike (2020) £1699

24.4kg bike, hub gears (other two were derailleur), battery is a Bosch PowerPack 400 but I can't see the details anywhere?

Opinions on which of these will give me the best assist on the hills are much appreciated, or ideas for what else to look at. I want the shortlist to be a bit longer, but I'm struggling to find bikes that will be available soon.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,931
Basildon
Oxygen HQ is in Rotherham (South Yorkshire Electric Bike Centre). If that's near you, pay them a visit, otherwise call them. When you deal direct with them, there's a good chance that you can negotiate a discount.
 

Amoto65

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2017
807
500
58
Cheshire
Hi, My wife has just bought a Haibike Hardseven 1.0 to use around the Peak District and this gives plenty of power and range for £1799.
 

DBye

Pedelecer
Apr 27, 2016
162
75
NCM Milano Plus 26" Trekking E-Bike, 250W 48V 16Ah 768Wh Battery, white £1499

This looks very well specced, I'm dubious of the "can only buy via eBay" thing though? Would there be trouble with parts or servicing? 27kg bike, Das-Kit, X15 Rear-drive motor, 48V 250W, 15mph. Also there's at least three versions of the Milano and I can't really see the difference between them.
I've got the NCM Moscow. I brought it on ebay and used a credit card rather than paypal just in case. I think the motor and controller are the same. As it is a 48V system I found it real improvement on the hills compared to 36V systems such as the other two bikes you mention.

All the mechanical bits are no problem and can be sourced from any bike shop.
The electric bits are a bit more difficult. Leon cycles are sometimes not the best at customer service, but my bike has so far proven reliable (had it just over a year and it is is my main commuter, not that I've commuted since March...).

If anything did go wrong there are some peculiarities of that system but (and I'm sure @vfr400 will chip in) it could be replaced straightforwardly with a better KT system.

It is a shame Oxygen don't have a 48V offer and I'm not sure about their revised version of the Oxygen S-Cross, otherwise I would recommend them.
 

ColinJTod

Pedelecer
Jul 21, 2020
32
24
Todmorden
Cube Town Hybrid One 400 E-Bike (2020) £1699
The brother of a friend of mine is in his early 70s and has recently bought one of those bikes. He lives in Hebden Bridge and was finding the steep local hills too much for him. The last thing I heard he is back to riding over hilltop lanes that he hasn't done for years and is loving every minute of it!
 
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budsy

Banned
May 16, 2020
269
35
This bike looks a good one I thought ..no gears inside hub though as so many bikes don't have iv noticed ..Some do though , but this looks a sensible good bike .
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,727
2,120
This bike looks a good one I thought ..no gears inside hub though as so many bikes don't have iv noticed ..Some do though , but this looks a sensible good bike .
The Camino has (fixed ratio) gears inside the rear hub motor, as do almost all rear or front hub drive bikes. (There are just a few direct drive hubs with problems noted many times elsewhere).
 

kirsty

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 13, 2020
9
8
Ah, thanks for all the replies. :)

I'm just wading through all the extra info you've given me :D The Camino seems to only come in crossbar configuration so that's out, I like the look of the Santana but I think that's unavailable at present. The Volt Pulse does have a stepthrough version but it doesn't look to be available until maybe October. I hadn't come across the South Yorkshire Electric Bike Centre before so thanks for mentioning that, I'll have a look at what they have too.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,727
2,120
Woosh's website main page says plenty of Santana CD available. Not sure if that is up to date; some pages do get a bit out of date/wrong, but the main page is usually pretty accurate.
 

kirsty

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 13, 2020
9
8
Oh yes, it does say that. I was looking at the 3 rather than the CD as I’m at the top of the weight range for the CD. Not sure how much difference that makes as I’m certainly not planning on getting heavier after buying a new bike! With a non-ebike I probably wouldn’t have worried but I don’t want the motor refusing to help me!
 

Warwick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 24, 2015
731
224
Warwick
My suggestion would be for the Cube you listed above. I've recently sold a bike with a very similar drive train (an Ortler Wien 7-speed). The Active Line/Shimano Nexus combination worked very well together. The PowerPack 400 battery should see you achieve your range goals. I've got a Cube now and it is a very well put together bike. I would very happily have kept the Ortler, but a bargain presented itself, so I yielded...

One thing that might be irrelevant, but just in case: a low step over bike and an upright rising position is very comfortable, but it does not suit a front hubbed ebike IMHO, especially on hills. Most of the weight will be on the rear wheel and that means that such a bike could be a bit skittish on steeper hills.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,727
2,120
My suggestion would be for the Cube you listed above. I've recently sold a bike with a very similar drive train (an Ortler Wien 7-speed). The Active Line/Shimano Nexus combination worked very well together.
We've got an(older) Motus with Active Line/Nexus and it is a pleasure to ride.

If I were buying now I think I'd go for the Santana; the Bosch drives seem mostly pretty reliable, but if anything does happen it is likely to be a slow and expensive repair.
 

Samcycles

Pedelecer
Apr 26, 2020
68
50
Northern Ireland
I bought a Cube town hybrid SL500 a few months back. It has the Active Line Plus and Nexus 8 hub gears and it cruises up hills with ease. I am regularly covering 25 to 35 miles per ride and still have 4 bars on the battery indicator. I really love the bike. I also had a recent brief ride of the 2020 Raleigh array and was impressed by how improved it was over the old model. It's retired lady owner said she had no problem keeping up with her husband on his Motus
 

kirsty

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 13, 2020
9
8
Thanks for the SYEBC recommendation! I went to see them and am now the proud owner of an Oxygen S-Cross ST Mark II :)

I've just taken it for an inaugural 20k spin, and it definitely goes up hills! And has put a huge smile on my face.

38226
 

kirsty

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 13, 2020
9
8
I posted this yesterday but I think my message got stuck in moderation probably because I added a photo. Thanks for the SYEBC recommendation! I went to see them and am now the proud owner of an Oxygen S-Cross ST Mark II.

Oh this gets stuck in moderation too. Ho hum.
 

Barnsleyrob

Pedelecer
Jul 20, 2020
144
22
I posted this yesterday but I think my message got stuck in moderation probably because I added a photo. Thanks for the SYEBC recommendation! I went to see them and am now the proud owner of an Oxygen S-Cross ST Mark II.

Oh this gets stuck in moderation too. Ho hum.
I called in at Oxygen last week and they have an impressive range of good looking bikes.
Sadly, the disinterested shop assistant didn’t really inspire confidence so I’ll pay a return visit and try again.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,931
Basildon
I called in at Oxygen last week and they have an impressive range of good looking bikes.
Sadly, the disinterested shop assistant didn’t really inspire confidence so I’ll pay a return visit and try again.
They used to have really good staff. I visited them several times since I became friends with Andrew, the first owner, 10 years ago. Unfortunately John Camm (RIP), the previous owner, died very recently from a brain tumour. He had already sold the business and stepped back from operations because of his health. The chief guy in the workshop also left a few months ago to move to Ireland, where his wife got a teaching job. I don't know the people there now.