Hi from Mark in Belgium

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
Love my car when I don't drive it much - hence my search for an alternative. I'm 56 and semi retired and mainly need an ebike for rides of 8- 10km over hills to my badminton and table tennis clubs. I did a couple of test rides this summer - VanMoof and Cowboy from NL and BE respectively. Both felt nice, but test riding from a city centre store doesn't really give you the exposure to a windy hill that I need. This afternoon I've got a home visit from the chaps at Qonqer, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to take one on a long term rental: www.qonqer.nl

Nice to read other people's experiences here - will contribute mine in due course.
 
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gsm.terra

Pedelecer
Aug 3, 2020
143
63
Edinburgh
Hi mark, I’m the same age and use a decathlon bike and manage hills easily, e-biking has been a massive change for me health wise... I hope you find what you’re looking for, and great to meet you here on the forum.
 

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
Ah my normal bike is Decathlon. Bike shop man was very snobby about it when I went in for an accessory but I guess his livelihood depends on people shelling out silly money for a bike. Not my problem. I must have spent 300€ or something five years ago and I've never had an issue with it. What's the ebike model you have - I'll look it up.
 
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gsm.terra

Pedelecer
Aug 3, 2020
143
63
Edinburgh
Ah my normal bike is Decathlon. Bike shop man was very snobby about it when I went in for an accessory but I guess his livelihood depends on people shelling out silly money for a bike. Not my problem. I must have spent 300€ or something five years ago and I've never had an issue with it. What's the ebike model you have - I'll look it up.
I have the riverside 500e
 

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
Just did the Qonqer test ride and I want one. They gave me one that had a 20mph limit and it was glorious. But if I want one it'll be restricted to 15.5. What a shame. I'm going to go for it anyway.
 
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mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
Right, did the test ride, got back to the van and said "Right, sign me up".

"Oh no", he goes. "There's a waiting list".

Arrgghhh. Thought I'd be mobile by today. The wait goes on.
 
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gsm.terra

Pedelecer
Aug 3, 2020
143
63
Edinburgh
Right, did the test ride, got back to the van and said "Right, sign me up".

"Oh no", he goes. "There's a waiting list".

Arrgghhh. Thought I'd be mobile by today. The wait goes on.
Ah! What a nightmare!! Will be worth waiting for though!
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,088
4,975


 

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
Hey I like the look of that Cube. I always thought they were out of my budget, but at £2000 they're making an aggressive push with a new model. Thanks, will see how I can test ride it.
 

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
I'm finally mobile. I have taken a monthly rental on this old crate:
Swapfiets ebike

No idea what it actually is. The company won't tell me. Would be grateful if anyone could identify. They hinted it was the group that made Gazelles.

It weighs 30kg with the battery and you feel the instant drag when you hit 25km/h. I am using it every day, to measure how far it is possible to live without the car. I figure that whatever I get is going to be better than this, so it becomes my baseline for comparisons.

Researching what to actually buy and I'm thinking of something with some offroad capacity like a Cube or a Haibike hardtail mtb. I did a long run yesterday on the rental bike and it wasn't fun when the path got soft or wet.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,728
27,496
I'm finally mobile. I have taken a monthly rental on this old crate:
Swapfiets ebike

No idea what it actually is. The company won't tell me. Would be grateful if anyone could identify. They hinted it was the group that made Gazelle.
The Dutch group is Pon Holdings Mark, behind a large range of bicycle brands. Here they are:

Its bike division, called Pon Bike, is the parent of Cervélo, Santa Cruz, Juliana, Focus, Univega (in some markets), Gazelle, Faraday, Kalkhoff and Union.

Their big Dutch rival, the Accell Group has brands including Haibike, Winora, Batavus, Sparta, Koga, Lapierre, Ghost, Raleigh, Diamondback, Tunturi, Atala, Redline, Loekie and XLC.
.
 

cyclenut1952

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 6, 2019
257
24
Leeds LS27
Hi Mark, I’m 68 and have had ebike 10 months, it a folding bike 20in wheels and have done 25 to 30 miles up hill and down dale no problem and still some battery left. Enjoy, Brian
 

pajtaz

Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2019
78
7
Netherlands
Hi Mark, I'm in Netherlands. I don't have an off-the-shelf ebike, I converted my existing 2013 Kona Sutra touring bicycle to ebike by adding 48V 500W rear hub motor, 48V battery and 48V sine wave controller, I am using PAS, no throttle. I don't have a car and for me "upgrading" my bike to ebike was so I can get to work faster with bicycle and save energy so I can commute all 5 days with bicycle.

My commute is 18 km one way (pre-Covid, now it's 5 meters!) and using combination of levels from 1 to 4 (never highest level 5) I can go 1.5 times easily = one round trip and one way so total 54 km. I use PAS levels 3 and 4 only where I can hit the highest speed, when the cycle lanes are wide and asphalt, but those highest levels use lots of battery even when I am pedaling a lot.

If I just use the lowest PAS level 1, which is currently 100 W of max assist, I can go at least 100 km and still go faster than those super cyclists training on their racing bicycles. I use lowest level when I just want to ride around and it's great.

Plus I also use the bicycle to take my kids around in a bicycle trailer. Motor helps with that too.

Point is, you can live without a car and also go far without constantly charging. I have not had a car in 10 years, I specifically moved to Netherlands so I can continue to live without a car and go around with the bicycle. I use the bicycle for almost any trip farther than 1 km within the city, to go to hardware store, visit local parks, go shopping, etc. I can even take the trailer and put a crate of beer in it! Love it!
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,945
Basildon
I'm finally mobile. I have taken a monthly rental on this old crate:
Swapfiets ebike

No idea what it actually is. The company won't tell me. Would be grateful if anyone could identify. They hinted it was the group that made Gazelles.

It weighs 30kg with the battery and you feel the instant drag when you hit 25km/h. I am using it every day, to measure how far it is possible to live without the car. I figure that whatever I get is going to be better than this, so it becomes my baseline for comparisons.

Researching what to actually buy and I'm thinking of something with some offroad capacity like a Cube or a Haibike hardtail mtb. I did a long run yesterday on the rental bike and it wasn't fun when the path got soft or wet.
How much does the monthly rental cost?

In case of misunderstanding, the drag you feel above 25km/h is the normal resistance that you would get on any bike without motor assistance. What you feel is the difference between the motor helping you at 25km/h with around 400W or around 3 times your own pedal power, to no help at 26km/h. These electric bikes give you the illusion that you're maintaining 25km/h by your own power, but your own power could be only sufficient to maintain 20km/h in the conditions of your ride, so if the power was cut at 25km/h, it would feel like somebody pulling you back until your speed slows down to the 20km/h
 

richtea99

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 8, 2020
310
208
I like the idea of monthly rental, Mark. When tech is (relatively) new and expensive, such as ebikes, it avoids a multi-year lock-in when you know something better is on the way next year!

I wonder if it exists in the UK?
 

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
I converted my existing 2013 Kona Sutra touring bicycle to ebike by adding 48V 500W rear hub motor, 48V battery and 48V sine wave controller
Is that legal? Cutoff speed? Not judging, just curious.

If I just use the lowest PAS level 1, which is currently 100 W of max assist, I can go at least 100 km and still go faster than those super cyclists training on their racing bicycles.
What, on the flats? Past cutoff speed won't those guys have a big weight and rolling resistance advantage over you?

I can even take the trailer and put a crate of beer in it! Love it!
Yes, good one, a trailer. I'm currently doing grocery shops with a rucksack and it's a struggle packing it all in, crushing the eggs etc!
 

pajtaz

Pedelecer
Nov 8, 2019
78
7
Netherlands
Is that legal? Cutoff speed? Not judging, just curious.
No, not legal. Cutoff speed is manually adjusted in the LCD settings. It can be anything up to 99 kmh. I think I set mine to 45 kmh.

What, on the flats? Past cutoff speed won't those guys have a big weight and rolling resistance advantage over you?
Everywhere, was riding up and down the "hills" in the dunes and with lowest level I was passing up the racers, especially up the hills. On the flats too. Since my cutoff speed is 45 kmh, motor is assisting with 100 W up to 45 kmh so the entire time. But that extra 100 W seems to be a massive advantage. I'm pedaling hard and I'm fit but I'm not racer fit.

Yes, good one, a trailer. I'm currently doing grocery shops with a rucksack and it's a struggle packing it all in, crushing the eggs etc!
This is very useful, especially if you don't have kids and can just get a trailer for goods, and not to carry kids. Those trailers are smaller, easier to attach. Trailer can prove to be tricky to attach depending on the type of attachment so do some research. However I also use Ortlieb panniers (best in the world, 100% waterproof, strong) for commuting and for groceries or other things to carry. I have the rack in the back that can carry up to 25 kg. So that can be used for groceries too but eggs still might get crushed!
 

mdepps

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 15, 2020
20
8
s
How much does the monthly rental cost?
It's 75€ a month. This includes repairs and insurance, so if you were to value these components (which I would have to pay separately if I bought a bike) and deduct you might be talking about 50€ a month for the net rental. It would take over three years to get past 2000€, so there are good arguments for doing just this, and postponing a purchase until the next wave of market consolidation and technology improvements is complete. But there will always be further improvements so would one ever buy?

In case of misunderstanding, the drag you feel above 25km/h is the normal resistance that you would get on any bike without motor assistance.
Yes, fully understand that, that's what I meant. Point is, this thing is so heavy that you don't feel like overcoming this natural resistance, so you just coast along at 25km/h, whereas with a lighter ebike I might be more likely to tear on under my own steam.

I'd like to have a bike where I could reckon on 25km/h as my average, or even my minimum speed over a long trek. I'd have enough gears and torque to keep at 24/25 on the climbs, and go faster than this on the flats and downhills. At the moment I'm not quite doing this.