In search of a cyclescheme-friendly commuter bike

Svlad Cjelli

Finding my (electric) wheels
Feb 6, 2019
5
0
#1
Hello all,

I've not been able to cycle for nearly three years thanks to nasty ENT problems which wrecked my sense of balance and needed surgery in the end. Now that's fixed, I'm looking for a way to get back into bike commuting in a fairly gentle way and show up to the office revived by the fresh air and exercise, but not drenched in sweat.

Good news: my company runs a cycle to work scheme.

Bad news: it's one of the ones with a £1,000 limit, and no option for me to pay extra towards the cost of the bike on top of that.

So I'm looking at a number of bikes around the £700-1,000 range, and I've got no idea how to choose between them. The commute is only around 4 miles and includes a couple of hills but none of them really steep. I'd like something with some cargo capacity (enough for a laptop, a couple of hard drives and other technical bits, and some groceries on the way home) and a reasonably comfy ride, and I tend to prefer low-step frames. Also, I'm really short (as in 5'1") and I'm going to need a smaller frame.

Any advice will be gratefully received!
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
6,833
344
55
West Sx RH
#3

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
6,833
344
55
West Sx RH
#4
For <1k bike have alook at Kudos or Woosh bikes and see if they accept your work scheme.
 

Fat Rat

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 7, 2018
1,061
65
UK
#6
Hi welcome
Good luck with your search
 

Svlad Cjelli

Finding my (electric) wheels
Feb 6, 2019
5
0
#7
Thanks all.

I've been doing some research based on your suggestions, and so far, I've narrowed it down to half a dozen options:
  1. Woosh Crusa: http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?crusa
  2. Gtech City: https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bi...h-city-lowstep-electric-hybrid-bike-17-frame#
  3. Juicy Classic Lite: https://www.juicybike.co.uk/electric-bikes/classic-lite
  4. Kudos Safari: https://powerbikes.uk/shop/e-bikes/style/step-through/kudos-safari/
  5. Raleigh Array: https://www.raleigh.co.uk/array-low-step-navy-craymdup
  6. Emu step though: https://www.emubikes.com/shop/bikes/emu-step-through-electric-bike-in-black-with-battery-2018-model
Any idea which one I should go for?
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
9,763
1,795
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
#8
You should rule out the Woosh Crusa.
The Woosh Petite is much better suited to your height.
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?petite
Although I can replace the sprung saddle on the Crusa with a low profile one, the frame is larger than what you'd need for your 5ft1 height and the handlebars are too big and too far to reach for you.

Woosh Petite (front) compared to Big Bear (back):

 

Svlad Cjelli

Finding my (electric) wheels
Feb 6, 2019
5
0
#9
I do like the spec on the Woosh Petite, and I'm glad that there are bikes designed for tiny hobbit people like me out there. The issue is that it's over the £1,000 limit, and my company's finance department are really hardline about that. Reckon I might be able to find a second-hand or ex-demo model?
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
9,763
1,795
Southend on Sea
wooshbikes.co.uk
#10
I do like the spec on the Woosh Petite, and I'm glad that there are bikes designed for tiny hobbit people like me out there. The issue is that it's over the £1,000 limit, and my company's finance department are really hardline about that. Reckon I might be able to find a second-hand or ex-demo model?
Test ride as many bikes as you can and don't worry about the price, just concentrate on finding what you really like.
you can top up the Cycle To Work voucher directly with the retailers.
Basically the retailer will make two invoices, one for the £1000 to the scheme provider and the balance to you.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
6,833
344
55
West Sx RH
#11
1. As pointed out won't suit size wise.
2. Is a bare bike no commute extras as std.
3.Reliable brand but a bit old styling with behind seat battery, make for a longer wheel base bike.
4. Again older model from Kudos last year Kudos were selling a pair of these for
£995. Older heavier battery option (lifepo4) but life span should be greater then a lion battery and nice hub gears for commuting.
5. Most expensive of the bunch but looks to have cheaper basic components then
the rest.
6. Nice bike with semi integrated down tube battery, nice unmessy hub gears for commuting great for changing gears when stopped if in wrong gear.

7. Woosh Petite, good brand with exceptional CS & spare /help. Good capacity
battery of 14.5ah/522wh.

Also check out the Kudos Liberty, sizing is only one fit at 48cm frame so probably too large. But if it fits its a bargain as they have an offer at the mo for a pair of bikes for £995.
https://www.kudoscycles.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=222
 

Svlad Cjelli

Finding my (electric) wheels
Feb 6, 2019
5
0
#12
I had a quick chat with our Admin team on Friday, and it turns out that we're not on any of the mainstream cycleschemes, we're doing our own company-specific one, and the £1,000 limit is inflexible and we can't top it up with our own money.

I might still go for the Woosh Petite if the 13AH model for £839 is still available, other than that the Emu looks like the best option. The commute's less than 10 miles each way so range isn't an issue.

Next up, I need to sort myself out with a decent helmet and panniers.
 
Apr 24, 2013
178
34
#13
I would say the man from Woosh knows his own bikes, so he will give good advice. The GTech has no gears, mudguards or rack..... The Juicy bike is similar to my own. The battery keeps the weight in the right place, and a longer wheelbase can only give a better ride. The Kudos and Raleigh have the battery high up at the back. My wife has one like this, but it is going to go soon! She is 5 foot 2. The Emu is a good design. Hub gears and central battery. Front suspension is a bonus on todays roads, and not a gimmick, as I used to think.
 

Fingers

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 9, 2016
1,513
1,491
40
#14
I have a G-tech and whilst it suits me perfectly and I wouldn't say its any good if you have to transport anything that's heavy or difficult to carry. If your not worried about the weight of the bike then the Whoosh fits your wish list perfectly.
 

Svlad Cjelli

Finding my (electric) wheels
Feb 6, 2019
5
0
#16
The spec does look great, but I've found a load of user reviews complaining about the Falcon bikes being unreliable - rusting easily, developing electrical issues, that kind of thing.

Does anyone know if that's still true? Sometimes suppliers have a total change in quality of product over time (for better or for worse).
 
Apr 24, 2013
178
34
#17
If it's the reviews on Amazon, that seems to be one customer who seems to expect miracles for a low price. Any machine out in the weather will need protection of plated parts. I notice the maintenance spray in Asda has changed, and is now £2.50. Silicone spray at Toolstation is about £3. I spray anything that looks electrical with that, and any fasteners that are not stainless with the maintenance spray. GT85 is good for the chain. It does not seem to attract the dirt. If you pay twice as much, you will get a better quality machine, but we have not all got high incomes, have we?!*
 

plenty

Just Joined
Feb 13, 2019
4
1
#18
OP have you checked if your scheme ties you to a specific retailer?
 

Michael Price

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 7, 2018
7
3
#19
My wife is under 5 foot and we had a lot of trouble getting her an ebike. We ended up with a carrera crosscity-e - the seta goes really low and there is a handy carrier on the back. I have an old PowaCycle Salisbury and I find the Carrera great as I can change the 'help level' easily - which is good for commuting as you can go for high assistance on the way to work - then dial it down on the way home fro health benefits.
 

ohwheely19

Finding my (electric) wheels
Feb 27, 2019
6
0
#20
Can't you use the Green Commute Initiative instead? No upper limit and company doesn't have to sign up, just pay an invoice like any other transaction