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peterwoodhead

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 4, 2022
6
1
Hi Everyone my names Peter and I'm new to the world of E-bikes so Saturday 6 August i get to test ride my first E-bike ever with Halfords
its a Carera vengeance and i get 6 hour free trial so I'm looking forward to that.
I have been riding my Suzuki 650 motorcycle in to London for about 3 years but i don't enjoy it any more and i am hoping that what ever E-bike i decide to buy that it will give me the freedom i am looking for .
I am 57 years old but in good condition i guess, so i want to add the 32 mile commute to my training program.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
3,125
2,342
I hope you enjoy the trial. The Suntour system on the Vengeance has not been reliable in the past; there is some hope the more recent ones have improved but I think the jury is still out on that. It should still give you feel for how you get on with ebikes. Also the battery is unlikely to allow 32 miles except in good conditions; 'up to' figures (such as the 40 miles they quote) are on the flat, minimal assistance, etc etc and are typically 2 to 3 times higher than realistic mileage with average assist and some hills.

Once you have tried post back, and give more information about how and where you might ride, whether you can recharge at work, etc
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
17,257
6,749
59
West Sx RH
Look at Woosh bikes and give the Suntour system bikes a miss.
 

peterwoodhead

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 4, 2022
6
1
Look at Woosh bikes and give the Suntour system bikes a miss.
Well I have been doing plenty and I mean plenty of research but first of all Halfords don’t have a great selection of test bikes so I’m not going with the intention of buying and the area they are located is a mix of Bert steep medium steep and gentle hills so as a newer Ebiker I will certainly come away with a solid opinion of suntour. Woosh is a make or a dealer and do they do test ride
I will check them after I have done my test ride.
What bikes and bike shops have you tried before you purchased and what made you choose what ever it is you ride now
 
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Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
17,257
6,749
59
West Sx RH
Woosh are an online retailer with a store/shop premises in Southend.
I have only ever tried some bikes at a track day that pedelecs/Woosh and Wisper organised several years ago in the Lee valley area and a bosh speed pedelec.
Since then I have always coverted bikes with various kits, a couple of mid drive kits though not really overly to impressed, a friction drive (super light kit), 3 bought hub motor kits and 3 or 4 self selected hub /controller kits.
 
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sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
3,125
2,342
Woosh is a make, assembled in Southend where they are based. (all the bits made in China like almost every ebike). You can test ride, but only practicable if you live near there.

Halfords are one of the very few dealers that allow sensible test rides, but as you say they don't have much choice. Sadly these days most local bike shops reckon they are generous to let you try it anything the flat car park. Sadly that means you are unlikely to be able to make a serious test ride of a bike. Day rental could be worth it, but again the chance of being able to rent the bike that is actually best for you is fairly small.
 

peterwoodhead

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 4, 2022
6
1
Woosh are an online retailer with a store/shop premises in Southend.
I have only ever tried some bikes at a track day that pedelecs/Woosh and Wisper organised several years ago in the Lee valley area and a bosh speed pedelec.
Since then I have always coverted bikes with various kits, a couple of mid drive kits though not really overly to impressed, a friction drive (super light kit), 3 bought hub motor kits and 3 or 4 self selected hub /controller kits.
Yes my first idea was to get a bafang kit but I don’t think to run before I walk type of thing so plenty of test rides if I can get them
Until I find what I feel is the best type of machine for my needs
What ever I choose must be legal because I don’t need extra points on my license for a bloody bicycle.
My budget isn’t bottomless and I believe I will prefer a mid drive unit but I know nothing yet
This will be a workhorse primarily so it will except minimum 7000 miles per year
I’m still excited and at the moment I still have a 650 Suzuki to ride
 

matthewslack

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 26, 2021
750
473
A day hire from a bike shop is the way to try a good spec mid-drive. I know a place in Keswick... but I am sure there are closer options!
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
3,125
2,342
My budget isn’t bottomless and I believe I will prefer a mid drive unit but I know nothing yet
This will be a workhorse primarily so it will except minimum 7000 miles per year
Unless you want to do quite a bit of off-road or have serious hills you will probably be better off with a rear hub for that kind of use. Simpler, and much less transmission wear.
 
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peterwoodhead

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 4, 2022
6
1
Unless you want to do quite a bit of off-road or have serious hills you will probably be better off with a rear hub for that kind of use. Simpler, and much less transmission wear.
Definitely plenty of hills and I understand that centre hub bikes are offering more punch on hills and a little more natural because of the unit being placed where the pedals are.
 

peterwoodhead

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 4, 2022
6
1
I hope you enjoy the trial. The Suntour system on the Vengeance has not been reliable in the past; there is some hope the more recent ones have improved but I think the jury is still out on that. It should still give you feel for how you get on with ebikes. Also the battery is unlikely to allow 32 miles except in good conditions; 'up to' figures (such as the 40 miles they quote) are on the flat, minimal assistance, etc etc and are typically 2 to 3 times higher than realistic mileage with average assist and some hills.

Once you have tried post back, and give more information about how and where you might ride, whether you can recharge at work, etc
Well it’s me again and unfortunately the test ride didn’t go to plan.
The test ride bike looked lovely and it only had 4 miles on the clock so practically new.
Got a quick briefing and a fully charged battery connected.
Left the Halfords shop and went looking for some big hills and soon found them as I went up and down the various modes and I realised this Carera vengeance had big potential for my needs and then it bloody died on me .
Love the bike but I cycled back as an analog biker who arrived covered in sweat and gave it back very disappointed.
The guy said it had some fault code and another battery would sort it out but I said I appreciate your offer But first impression matters to me and it let me down.
 

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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,857
28,692
This will be a workhorse primarily so it will except minimum 7000 miles per year
I second sjpt's comment, that is a very high mileage by most pedelec standards. The trouble with mid drives is that with both rider and motor power through bicyce transmission, that gets a hammering. We have members changing chains at as little as 500 miles and sprockets at far less than your 7000, so renewing those regularly could become quite a chore as well as expensive.

A rear hub motor might not climb as well, but they do need far less attention.
.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
12,862
5,282
doing that many miles a year is going to kill off the batt but with bosch you get 2 year warranty or 200 charge cycles.

my 2014 batt is close to that and it is pretty much toast capacity wise but new ones are £633 and none in stock anywhere for the frame batts.

at 10.000 miles the bosch motor will need all of it bearings changed so you could get both replaced under warranty.
 
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Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
2,063
1,405
68
West Wales
As has been said on here many times, a hub motor is far better for commuting.
Less transmission wear.
Less 'technical' ride, i.e. you change gear when you want and ride with a cadence that you want, not what the motor wants.
Motors themselves seem pretty bullet proof and reliable.
On a bike with generic chinese parts (i.e. Woosh), should anything go wrong with the electrics, you can self fit off the shelf parts yourself. This is not the case with any Bosch powered bike.

I would say, find a bike you like that fits you. Then fit a rear wheel hub drive yourself. You learn lots, get a sense of achievement and, should anything go belly up, you have the knowledge to know where to start looking.
Some will say hubs struggle on hills. Pick a torquey motor, like a BPM or equivalent, and it will be fine. My own bike is a Carrera crossfire with a front hub fitted. It has got me around the hills of West Wales for the last 8 years. One motor case bearing change and one re-celled battery - I thank you !
Will it pull me uphills by itself? No. But only on the steepest do I have to seriously work. The rest is moderate effort, not enough to make me sweat.
There's plenty of help to be had here to select and fit a kit.
 

matthewslack

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 26, 2021
750
473
As has been said on here many times, a hub motor is far better for commuting.
Less transmission wear.
Less 'technical' ride, i.e. you change gear when you want and ride with a cadence that you want, not what the motor wants.
Motors themselves seem pretty bullet proof and reliable.
On a bike with generic chinese parts (i.e. Woosh), should anything go wrong with the electrics, you can self fit off the shelf parts yourself. This is not the case with any Bosch powered bike.

I would say, find a bike you like that fits you. Then fit a rear wheel hub drive yourself. You learn lots, get a sense of achievement and, should anything go belly up, you have the knowledge to know where to start looking.
Some will say hubs struggle on hills. Pick a torquey motor, like a BPM or equivalent, and it will be fine. My own bike is a Carrera crossfire with a front hub fitted. It has got me around the hills of West Wales for the last 8 years. One motor case bearing change and one re-celled battery - I thank you !
Will it pull me uphills by itself? No. But only on the steepest do I have to seriously work. The rest is moderate effort, not enough to make me sweat.
There's plenty of help to be had here to select and fit a kit.
And as a beginner, you may well feel better getting a kit from Woosh as they will take care to provide that thing that a hub drive on hills really needs, a good enough battery.

Then you can concentrate on those 7000 miles rather than worrying about the bike!