Kalkhoff Pro Connect Impulse 9 / 10 (9-G/10-G)

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
I have tried both models during the week-end, and also did some research...

Crank drive / Impulse 2

The crank drive "impulse 2" system from Kalkhoff is impressive: those bikes don't feel like electric moped, but just like normal bikes on steroids. The torque sensor measures how much effort is put into pedaling, and provides a proportional assistance. Therefore, pedaling is still very much required, even on the highest level of assistance. Those bikes are good for people looking to cycle (as opposed to an electric "scooter") and still have a workout, but who may want to increase the distance of their trips or have assistance during slopes etc.

I also tried the Bosch crank drive system (second generation), and I don't think there is a massive difference between the two, apart from the more limited battery capacity offered on the Bosch powered bikes, and the different display and settings.

Unlike the hub motor driven bikes, the crank drive is just using the normal components and transmission of a bike to provide assistance, and therefore leverages the mechanical gears selected by the rider. This means the range achieved by an identical battery can be higher on a crank driven bike.

The impulse 2 system contains a gear change detector, which will cut the motor for a fraction of a second to ease the gear change, and attempt to reduce strain on the chain.
The first generation Impulse system (or Bosch equivalent) didn't have this. The main drawback of a crank driven bike is the strain on the chain, given the high torque of the motor, with an increased risk of breaking the chain while being out, even with the new system.

Riding the bikes

Both bikes ride very well, with a comfortable upright sitting position, typical of hybrid frames. They are of course very heavy, compared to similar non-electric hybrid bikes, but probably on par with a heavy duty "Boris" London bike in term of weight. They can be ridden without power assistance, but probably not over a long distance, unless the terrain is very flat or there is "tail" wind.

There are three levels of assistance available: Eco, Sport, Power. Bike can also be used without assistance (but with display still on). There is also a walk mode (6Km/h).

On a flat road or tow path, the Eco mode can be usually good enough, for a rider in good condition eager to pedal the same way as a normal bike. The Eco mode probably cancels the additional weight of the bike, and a bit more.

Changing the assistance level is very easy using the separate back lit control on the handle (+/-), and can be done at any time. When starting from still, the bike seems to boost assistance until some speed is achieved.

Equipment

Both models are entry level in the Kalkhoff range, but still have a very good level of equipments.

Kalkhoff Pro Connect Impulse 9:
  • 9 gears
  • 11.5 Ah battery
  • Compact display
  • Hydraulic brakes with disk (front and rear)
  • Front suspension (non lockable)

Kalkhoff Pro Connect Impulse 10:
  • 10 gears
  • 17 Ah battery
  • Compact display
  • Front suspension (lockable)
  • Various upgraded components (brakes, brighter 80 lux front light, seatpost, wheels etc)
They both have:
  • front and rear lights, powered by a hub dynamo, brake light
  • mud guards
  • luggage rack with spring clamp
  • chain protection
  • robust kickstand etc.

They look like premium bikes, well made, apart from:
  • The bells provided are a bit strange, as the full bell is moving
  • There is just a sticker on the battery to match the look and feel/decoration on the frames, and this looks average and cheap
The overall weight of both bikes is probably similar: the 17Ah battery weights very little more than the lower specification one (weight not proportional to capacity), and some components should be lighter on the Impulse 10 model.

Kalkhoff does not publish the precise weight of their bikes, annoyingly. On the other hand, it probably does not make that much difference on an electric bike.

Battery and price

11.5Ah battery: 416Wh, 2.85kg. Range: probably 50-60 miles in Eco mode.
17Ah battery: 612Wh, 2.95kg. Range: probably at least 100 miles in Eco mode.

Unfortunately, the Impulse 9 is not available in the UK with a 14.5Ah battery upgrade/option, so the only 11.5Ah battery on offer would be quite limited if a high assistance level is required. Battery will also drop to 60% capacity after 1,000 full charges, and lose 5% capacity per year just during storage, so starting from a fairly low capacity will mean some range issues after a couple of years in normal usage.

Batteries are not subject to memory effect, so can be recharged in full without being discharged completely first.

For many people, it would be a good enough reason to go for the Impulse 10, given its massive 17Ah battery. The other equipment improvements of the Impulse 10 are welcome, but quite minor, and the 9 speed gears are probably sufficient for most people. Unfortunately, the price gap is a massive £700 between both bikes, which makes the battery upgrade very expensive.

The Impulse 9 is however competitively priced against other Bosch crank driven bikes, with similar "small" batteries, but is expensive compared to Chinese low end hub driven bikes, which wouldn't have the same quality or warranty, but typically much higher battery capacity.

Battery can be charged on the bike, or removed easily. Battery is secured to the frame with a lock/key. Battery contains a number of LED indicators and a button to also check the remaining power, and also overall capacity left/usage compared to new.

Electronic Display

Both bikes come with the entry level, Kalkhoff "compact display". The display shows the speed, assistance mode, battery capacity and trip/total mileage. It's really a shame that the display cannot be removed easily, when the bike is locked on the street for instance.

The compact display does not have other informations found on the "large display" (available on more expensive bikes), such as expected remaining range in miles, cost per trip, trip duration etc. The large display also offers the user the option to change many settings directly, such as the dynamic/normal assistance mode (in addition to other modes, makes the assistance more responsive and with more torque), the diameter of the wheels (which can influence the assisted top speed), the motor stop duration during gear shifts etc.

Those settings can still be changed on the Impulse 9 and 10, but would require a visit to the dealer, and the appropriate electronic hardware.

I think that, given the large price difference between the Impulse 9 and 10, the higher model should really have benefited from the upgraded display and settings.

Once I have received mine and done a few trips, I shall provide some further updates.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
You said that the range of crank-drive bike can be higher than a hub-motored one. That's true, but it can just as equally be lower. All the tests that I've seen show that there's either no significant diffrence or the hub-motor gives the most range. It's a total myth that crank-drives operate more efficiently. How far yoy go depends mainly on how hard you pedal, the size of your battery, how streamlined your bike is and external factors like wind, hills and weight.
 
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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
I would assume that an electric motor connected to a gear would be more efficient than one without gear, in the same way someone pedaling a bike with gears is more efficient, goes further with the same energy. Unless it's a myth...

As you said, people would also contribute/pedal more on a crank driven bike.

Finally, Bosch or Kalkhoff batteries must be closer to their expected advertised capacity/Ah, than the cheaper Chinese batteries used on many hub-driven bikes.

For all those reasons, I would assume that a Bosch or Kalkhoff crank driven bike would therefore have more range than a hub-driven one, with a similarly battery capacity and similar weight/specification.
 
Last edited:

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,339
27,041
I would assume that an electric motor connected to a gear would be more efficient than one without gear, in the same way someone pedaling a bike with gears is more efficient, goes further with the same energy. Unless it's a myth...
There is a myth involved for more than one reason. An important reason is that both rider and motor system share the gears and the correct one for a rider in any circumstance will not necessarily be the right one for the motor system.

For example, no electric motor drive covering the narrow speed range of 5 to 16 mph needs more than two gears at the most due to the inherent flexibility of electric motors, but riders need and usually have very many more. It follows that few of the gears chosen by the rider to fit their needs are ideal for maximum motor efficiency in a given circumstance.
.
 

4bound

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May 1, 2014
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Thank you for contributing this comprehensive report Tomtomato. I feel qualified to comment on it because I have a Kalkhoff Endeavour Impulse S11 Alfine and my wife has a Kalkhoff Agattu Premium Impulse 8 ( which I have ridden!)

The Pro Connect Impulse Alfine 8G is another alternative which you do not mention but has a 17AH battery and a lower price than the Pro-Connect 10. There are so many options it is rather confusing - a pick and mix system might be better, especially for batteries.

I would agree with almost all you say, but there is one comment I must disagree on. You say "On a flat road or tow path, the Eco mode can be usually good enough, for a rider in good condition eager to pedal the same way as a normal bike. The Eco mode probably cancels the additional weight of the bike, and a bit more."
I would say that on a flat road or towpath no power at all is usually good enough for a rider in good condition eager to pedal the same way as a normal bike.
There is no reason why extra weight makes it any harder to maintain a steady speed on a level road. If it is harder than a normal bike ( and I agree many e-bikes are) then this is the result of some drag in the system. I recently rode my Kalkoff 10 miles along a tarmacked cycle path with no assistance and was quite amazed how well it rode. At first I thought I must have got the settings wrong, and even went so far as to turn off the power all together to check! The only difference was that the computer went blank. I have ridden the same path many times on an unassisted bike and the Kalkoff without power did just as well.

By the way one criticism I do have which you probably did not encounter is that on both bikes the front mudguard is not long enough. Cycling on a different cyclepath with a chalky surface in the wet, I find my shoes and the bottom of the bike covered in the chalky stuff.

On the question of bike weights I feel Kalkoff are right not to publish them. Those bikes that do quote them are notoriously inaccurate - so as to be worthless. They also generally do not say which frame size they relate to, which must make a difference on any bike.
 
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Simo

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2015
31
11
60
I have tried both models during the week-end, and also did some research...

Crank drive / Impulse 2

The crank drive "impulse 2" system from Kalkhoff is impressive: those bikes don't feel like electric moped, but just like normal bikes on steroids. The torque sensor measures how much effort is put into pedaling, and provides a proportional assistance. Therefore, pedaling is still very much required, even on the highest level of assistance. Those bikes are good for people looking to cycle (as opposed to an electric "scooter") and still have a workout, but who may want to increase the distance of their trips or have assistance during slopes etc.

I also tried the Bosch crank drive system (second generation), and I don't think there is a massive difference between the two, apart from the more limited battery capacity offered on the Bosch powered bikes, and the different display and settings.

Unlike the hub motor driven bikes, the crank drive is just using the normal components and transmission of a bike to provide assistance, and therefore leverages the mechanical gears selected by the rider. This means the range achieved by an identical battery can be higher on a crank driven bike.

The impulse 2 system contains a gear change detector, which will cut the motor for a fraction of a second to ease the gear change, and attempt to reduce strain on the chain.
The first generation Impulse system (or Bosch equivalent) didn't have this. The main drawback of a crank driven bike is the strain on the chain, given the high torque of the motor, with an increased risk of breaking the chain while being out, even with the new system.

Riding the bikes

Both bikes ride very well, with a comfortable upright sitting position, typical of hybrid frames. They are of course very heavy, compared to similar non-electric hybrid bikes, but probably on par with a heavy duty "Boris" London bike in term of weight. They can be ridden without power assistance, but probably not over a long distance, unless the terrain is very flat or there is "tail" wind.

There are three levels of assistance available: Eco, Sport, Power. Bike can also be used without assistance (but with display still on). There is also a walk mode (6Km/h).

On a flat road or tow path, the Eco mode can be usually good enough, for a rider in good condition eager to pedal the same way as a normal bike. The Eco mode probably cancels the additional weight of the bike, and a bit more.

Changing the assistance level is very easy using the separate back lit control on the handle (+/-), and can be done at any time. When starting from still, the bike seems to boost assistance until some speed is achieved.

Equipment

Both models are entry level in the Kalkhoff range, but still have a very good level of equipments.

Kalkhoff Pro Connect Impulse 9:
  • 9 gears
  • 11.5 Ah battery
  • Compact display
  • Hydraulic brakes with disk (front and rear)
  • Front suspension (non lockable)

Kalkhoff Pro Connect Impulse 10:
  • 10 gears
  • 17 Ah battery
  • Compact display
  • Front suspension (lockable)
  • Various upgraded components (brakes, brighter 80 lux front light, seatpost, wheels etc)
They both have:
  • front and rear lights, powered by a hub dynamo, brake light
  • mud guards
  • luggage rack with spring clamp
  • chain protection
  • robust kickstand etc.

They look like premium bikes, well made, apart from:
  • The bells provided are a bit strange, as the full bell is moving
  • There is just a sticker on the battery to match the look and feel/decoration on the frames, and this looks average and cheap
The overall weight of both bikes is probably similar: the 17Ah battery weights very little more than the lower specification one (weight not proportional to capacity), and some components should be lighter on the Impulse 10 model.

Kalkhoff does not publish the precise weight of their bikes, annoyingly. On the other hand, it probably does not make that much difference on an electric bike.

Battery and price

11.5Ah battery: 416Wh, 2.85kg. Range: probably 50-60 miles in Eco mode.
17Ah battery: 612Wh, 2.95kg. Range: probably at least 100 miles in Eco mode.

Unfortunately, the Impulse 9 is not available in the UK with a 14.5Ah battery upgrade/option, so the only 11.5Ah battery on offer would be quite limited if a high assistance level is required. Battery will also drop to 60% capacity after 1,000 full charges, and lose 5% capacity per year just during storage, so starting from a fairly low capacity will mean some range issues after a couple of years in normal usage.

Batteries are not subject to memory effect, so can be recharged in full without being discharged completely first.

For many people, it would be a good enough reason to go for the Impulse 10, given its massive 17Ah battery. The other equipment improvements of the Impulse 10 are welcome, but quite minor, and the 9 speed gears are probably sufficient for most people. Unfortunately, the price gap is a massive £700 between both bikes, which makes the battery upgrade very expensive.

The Impulse 9 is however competitively priced against other Bosch crank driven bikes, with similar "small" batteries, but is expensive compared to Chinese low end hub driven bikes, which wouldn't have the same quality or warranty, but typically much higher battery capacity.

Battery can be charged on the bike, or removed easily. Battery is secured to the frame with a lock/key. Battery contains a number of LED indicators and a button to also check the remaining power, and also overall capacity left/usage compared to new.

Electronic Display

Both bikes come with the entry level, Kalkhoff "compact display". The display shows the speed, assistance mode, battery capacity and trip/total mileage. It's really a shame that the display cannot be removed easily, when the bike is locked on the street for instance.

The compact display does not have other informations found on the "large display" (available on more expensive bikes), such as expected remaining range in miles, cost per trip, trip duration etc. The large display also offers the user the option to change many settings directly, such as the dynamic/normal assistance mode (in addition to other modes, makes the assistance more responsive and with more torque), the diameter of the wheels (which can influence the assisted top speed), the motor stop duration during gear shifts etc.

Those settings can still be changed on the Impulse 9 and 10, but would require a visit to the dealer, and the appropriate electronic hardware.

I think that, given the large price difference between the Impulse 9 and 10, the higher model should really have benefited from the upgraded display and settings.

Once I have received mine and done a few trips, I shall provide some further updates.
Hi, I am sure you will enjoy your new bike, I have had a pro connect 9 for a couple of months and its been great I also have learnt that you can press the buttons to turn off eco assist which I didn't know so the battery has more than enough range for general use, look forward to hearing more, regards.
 
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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
a pick and mix system might be better, especially for batteries
Completely agree. My understanding is that many batteries have the same form factor and connectors, so each bike should be given a base price with a 10Ah battery, and then options for upgrading to 14Ah, 17Ah etc.

There is no reason why extra weight makes it any harder to maintain a steady speed on a level road.
I think the weight does not matter as much on an electric bike (as long as assistance is available if required), but the Kalkhoff bikes (and all electric bikes) are still very heavy compared to normal bikes.

My current hybrid manual bike is probably around 15kg (middle range cost), so cycling with an electric bike 8-9kg heavier should have some impact, apart from perfect riding conditions.

I ordered a bike with a 17Ah battery, so this is not an issue for me (I can leave the assistance on all the time if required), unless there is a fault. In that case, I am sure I can cycle slowly for a few miles to get home.

On the question of bike weights I feel Kalkoff are right not to publish them. Those bikes that do quote them are notoriously inaccurate - so as to be worthless. They also generally do not say which frame size they relate to, which must make a difference on any bike.
Actually, they do publish the bike weights in Europe, but all the bikes have the same advertised weight! This is not very professional, and they would be better off not advertising any weight at all. Surely, they can easily weight each model and frame variations, and then add battery weight.
 
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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
Hi, I am sure you will enjoy your new bike, I have had a pro connect 9 for a couple of months and its been great I also have learnt that you can press the buttons to turn off eco assist which I didn't know so the battery has more than enough range for general use, look forward to hearing more, regards.
Thanks!

It would be interesting to know the actual range you are getting from your Pro Connect 9, with its 11.5Ah battery.
 

Simo

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2015
31
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Thanks!

It would be interesting to know the actual range you are getting from your Pro Connect 9, with its 11.5Ah battery.
Hi Tom on the first charge of the battery I got about 55 miles, that was me messing about and experimenting a bit as you do. On this charge I have done 3 commutes for a total of 36 miles, and have half the battery left. I am trying to do my own work on the flat sections and have pressed the minus button to turn of assist, this leaves the speedo etc still functioning. Norfolk however does not have many steep hills so I may benefit from that. I am very impressed with how easy it is to pedal without assistance, also stability on descents. Also as impressed as other reviewers have been with build quality, but to be fair have not compared other bike's in the flesh so to speak. Hope to hear how you get on, regards.
 
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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
Thanks Simo.

I have now done about 40 miles with my new bike, and battery is till 70% full.

Mileage was done mainly on flat roads/paths, using Eco assistance 95% of the time. Therefore, the 17Ah battery is going to provide a very large range, and the battery is not fully conditioned yet (should be discharged in full before charging).

So far:

Positives:
  • Very pleasant to ride
  • Very progressive, discreet assistance
  • Assistance/motor fairly quiet
  • Back lit LCD display and control remote
  • Very bright front light, which can actually fulfill a headlight function. Steady/flashing mode
  • Very smooth gear changes
  • Bell has actually been changed to a standard one, by default
  • Regular services/checks included in the shop (after 100km etc)
  • Battery easy to remove, additional keys can be ordered
  • Nice looking bike

Negatives:
  • Pedaling without assistance is hard work quickly, if there is any wind for instance. The bike is heavy!
  • Some decals on the bike look cheap (front fork, battery)
  • Battery location makes more obvious that the bike is electric
  • Lockable front fork does not seem to be that useful, as the fork does not travel that much/stiff
  • Bike came without a pump on the frame
  • Noisy brakes (maybe because new)
  • Very large battery charger, in addition to stand
  • No rear/saddle suspension. Saddle comfort is average
  • No security marking/RFID tag included (cost would be marginal when done at the factory, and could have been hidden inside of the frame)
  • No locks or measures (immobilizer in drive?) to make the bike harder to steal
  • Wheels come with fast removal levers by default (but not the saddle), so easy to steal
  • LCD display not removable, and no plastic cover provided (would have been nice to have a black cover)
  • LCD display functions very basic
  • Not a single tool provided
T.
 
Last edited:

Simo

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2015
31
11
60
Thanks Simo.

I have now done about 40 miles with my new bike, and battery is till 70% full.

Mileage was done mainly on flat roads/paths, using Eco assistance 95% of the time. Therefore, the 17Ah battery is going to provide a very large range, and the battery is not fully conditioned yet (should be discharged in full before charging).

So far:

Positives:
  • Very pleasant to ride
  • Very progressive, discreet assistance
  • Assistance/motor fairly quiet
  • Back lit LCD display and control remote
  • Very bright front light, which can actually fulfill a headlight function. Steady/flashing mode
  • Very smooth gear changes
  • Bell has actually been changed to a standard one, by default
  • Regular services/checks included in the shop (after 100km etc)
  • Battery easy to remove, additional keys can be ordered
  • Nice looking bike

Negatives:
  • Pedaling without assistance is hard work quickly, if there is any wind for instance. The bike is heavy!
  • Some decals on the bike look cheap (front fork, battery)
  • Battery location makes more obvious that the bike is electric
  • Lockable front fork does not seem to be that useful, as the fork does not travel that much/stiff
  • Bike came without a pump on the frame
  • Noisy brakes (maybe because new)
  • Very large battery charger, in addition to stand
  • No rear/saddle suspension. Saddle comfort is average
  • No security marking/RFID tag included (cost would be marginal when done at the factory, and could have been hidden inside of the frame)
  • No locks or measures (immobilizer in drive?) to make the bike harder to steal
  • Wheels come with fast removal levers by default (but not the saddle), so easy to steal
  • LCD display not removable, and no plastic cover provided (would have been nice to have a black cover)
  • LCD display functions very basic
  • Not a single tool provided
T.
Hi tom, great to read your write up, I agree ref the tools like you I would have expected those since mine was my first bike I didn't have any. I now really like the fitted saddle I am sure you will hopefully agree its a comfortable one. I found my pump clipped on the rear frame? Although I got a better one from Evans. Even on my smaller battery I have done 56 miles and still have 2 bars left so yours will be much better. Agree ref the decals are a bit poor. I wouldn't dream of leaving my bnike in public but still got a d lock for work parking. I think the battery is well hidden when riding however.
I peddle without power all the time on the flat now and enjoy the effort it takes, you won't have to worry with that battery though, I am sure that once you realise how much range you can get even on eco you will hopefully be impressed as I am.
I am personally glad I went for a kalkhoff and although they have minor quibbles they are well built and sturdy, I enjoy commuting and it makes me smile when I belt up hills, well slopes in Norfolk!
Regards
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
Yes, no tools! It's the most expensive bike I have ever purchased (by far), and all previous ones came with basic tools.

No pump clipped on the side. Either it was missing from the factory, or went in the bin with the packaging. Not a big deal, as the one provided is known to be poor anyway.

I am very glad I went for that bike and brand too, even though I had to stretch my budget! The bike is indeed very sturdy, even at high speed.

Most of the negative points are very minor, and I am just being picky (given the high price).
 

Simo

Pedelecer
Mar 30, 2015
31
11
60
Yes, no tools! It's the most expensive bike I have ever purchased (by far), and all previous ones came with basic tools.

No pump clipped on the side. Either it was missing from the factory, or went in the bin with the packaging. Not a big deal, as the one provided is known to be poor anyway.

I am very glad I went for that bike and brand too, even though I had to stretch my budget! The bike is indeed very sturdy, even at high speed.

Most of the negative points are very minor, and I am just being picky (given the high price).
I stretched mine too (budget) and am glad that I did, its not often I treat myself but am happy with my choice. I was picky myself looking for faults that had I had an input would easily be avoided by the manufacturers/dealers regarding small things that do annoy consumers of their products. Anyway life's too short to worry, get out there and enjoy the rides in the early mornings and the sunshine in the free time you have to enjoy the countryside as I have for the last few weeks its been fantastic and yours will be too I am sure. Keep posting, regards
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
Actually, the 17Ah battery is 603Wh, instead of the 612Wh advertised in the UK (and what I wrote on my first post). I have just noticed on the battery label.

I have now done about 90 miles, and still on the 1st charge with about 10% left, so the 17Ah battery will have a massive range, when the battery is fully conditioned and delivering its full capacity.

95% of the 90 miles were done using the lowest Eco setting assistance, while the rest was done with the medium setting, because it was very windy yesterday.

Therefore, with a battery in good condition, I think a 100 mile range with a reasonable level of assistance all the way (majority on Eco) would be achievable.

Bike has performed very well during those miles, but it starts creaking a bit in various places (front fork, pedals). I guess it's due to go back to the shop for its first service anyway.

Quite a few people are looking at the bike, and a couple of people asked me some questions at traffic lights etc.

I don't seem to get the walk assistance to work: pushing the + button for a few seconds should activate this, but nothing is indicated on the display, and I can't hear the motor. Should I be in a specific mode first?

One upgrade I may be considering is to replace the default seat post with a suspension one, as the bike is a bit stiff at the back.

The Suntour SP12-NCX seems to be a popular choice on electric bikes, and not costing too much (£45 delivered). However, I am not sure it would be compatible with the default saddle, would add weight and seems to create some forward/backward rocking motion (instead of vertical).
 
Last edited:

JohnCade

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 16, 2014
1,486
736
The 603wh battery seems to be the latest version. My 2013 Agattu had a 612wh battery but when it was replaced before Christmas under warrantee the replacement was 603wh. Not exactly a huge difference though. I get 46 to 48 miles to system shut down when I’ve conditioned it. But I live in a very hilly area and I use it in Power mode almost all the time.

The creaks are just bedding in I expect. With full equipment there is a lot more stuff to make a noise than on stripped road bikes. The really irritating creaks are usually the seat post or saddle.
 

SteveRuss

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 12, 2015
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Bristol, Uk
I don't seem to get the walk assistance to work: pushing the + button for a few seconds should activate this, but nothing is indicated on the display, and I can't hear the motor. Should I be in a specific mode first?
No. If you are already rolling along it will not work. If you stand still and hold the + button, after a second or two you will see four "0" symbols rotating at the bottom of the screen. The gear you are in makes a difference to the speed. It's a poorly implemented system as it's really hard work holding on to that little + symbol for any length of time.
 

D C

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 25, 2013
1,140
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Cairngorm National Park
The Suntour SP12-NCX seems to be a popular choice on electric bikes, and not costing too much (£45 delivered). However, I am not sure it would be compatible with the default saddle, would add weight and seems to create some forward/backward rocking motion (instead of vertical).
I have one and find the back and forward movement is fine, the saddle doesn't rock but remains parallel to the ground. The vertical movement of my previous one actually gave me a bad back for some reason and I had to remove it because of this. No back problems for me with the Suntour but I did have to widen the rails on my Brooks B17 to make it fit (not easy).
I would encourage you to try one and be prepared to change or adapt your saddle if you need to though no one else has posted about a problem with fitting.
There's a little bit of extra weight there but for me it's negligible and worth it for the softer ride.
I have a full suspension bike as well and this comes pretty close for personal comfort.
Dave.
 
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Croxden

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2013
2,098
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North Staffs
I have seen reports of having to widen the Brooks saddle rails.

I had to widen mine to fit the Delite, not by much but it is a
dickens of a job because of lack of finger room and strong fingers.
 

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,732
2,310
A straight spring post tends to push you up and back, but the parallelogram design on the Suntour is better because the saddle movement is effectively vertically up and down.
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
If you stand still and hold the + button, after a second or two you will see four "0" symbols rotating at the bottom of the screen.
Thanks! Working now. This is poorly explained in the user manual.

I agree the implementation is not great, and it would be hard to keep pressing + for a while. Better be sure to be on a very low gear first.
 

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