The tale of a £100 second hand electric bike.

georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
£100 ebike comes to the rescue, again!

Well this was supposed to be the triumphant return of my hard tail Haibike Yamaha, all spruced up with a new transmission, chain ring, cassette and chain, and gear cable as well as new brake pads. Three return trips to work, with my fabulous 12 mile off road ride to work and a 10 mile road ride home.

All was indeed splendid for 10 miles of my off road ride in yesterday, indexed to perfection and changing gear with the lightest of touches, I was having great fun on great tracks in fabulous countryside.

Now one half mile section of my off road route towards the end is part of the long distance North Downs Way, and this section is a footpath, so not strictly for bikes, though many bikes use this bit as it avoids a dangerous windy bit of B road. I have used it for many years and walkers and cyclist all seem to get along very well.

Now at one end of this section used to be a ruined quite pretty Victorian Building that about three years ago was developed into very expensive retirement dwellings complete with electric gates etc. Now the residents hate everyone who uses the right of way, walkers and cyclists alike, but they really hate the cyclist.

Anyway they have tried a few times to make cycling harder with locked gates, etc, but nothing too difficult to overcome, they cannot completely block it, it is an important right of way. But recently they have added a wooden sort of kissing gate affair which would be impossible for a wheel chair, but can be got through with a bike, just, by upending it and walking it into the enclosure part, pushing the gate across behind you and then reversing out and cycling away.

I have done it a few times with no issues though it is a tight squeeze, however on this day after reversing out and attempting to cycle away I had managed to bend my rear hanger and had the chain off the bottom largest cog to rest between that and the spokes. Once I had worked out what had happened and got the chain back on I had to avoid bottom gear, all the others indexed ok, but the change from 8 into top gear 9 was a bit rough. And it had all been going so well! It got me home but I will leave mending it until I am off on Sunday.

So after this long introduction, you know what is coming.

Just like the last time, that only seems like last week. That's because it was last week.

"But no need to despair in my household as I have my supper sub £100 second hand bike primed or should I say charged and ready to come on". I can't use the David Fairclough picture again.

Another sublime ride too and fro, mostly managing to dodge the rain. And it will be the same again tomorrow.
 
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Nealh

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Good ol David.
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
£100 ebike cracks a 1000 miles

Yesterday was the last of four return trips to work.

The other trips were done cross country on my crank drive Haibike but by day four I was getting quite tired and the times I needed to be at work had changed each day moving steadily earlier from 15:05 on Tuesday to 10:00 on Friday.

I had even thought of taking the car to work on Friday.

"But no need to despair in my household as I have my supper sub £100 second hand bike primed or should I say charged and ready to go".

So I enjoyed a more relaxed road ride to work and back on my £100 ebike.

One consequence of this was that I have now ridden over 1000 miles to work and back on my £100 ebike.

I do not really ride my bikes to save fuel costs, but more for the exercise, environmental impact and enjoyment, but 1000 miles driven in my 40mpg petrol car would have cost around £900 in fuel alone.

So if I was trying to save money, I would be pleased with that result.

As a post script to the damage I did to my rear hanger on my Haibike getting through a new kissing gate on my off road route.

Ride to work Beech avenue 8 6 18 004.JPG
This is part of the section of my off road route (avoiding a parallel dangerous rat run section of country lane) I would miss out on if I was put off by the retirement complex Nimbies and the two gates and approximately 100 meter section to get past them at the end. To put it into perspective, in the four years since it was built and my regular use of this section I have actually seen someone from the development about four times in total.

I actually sorted out the rear mech hanger on Monday, the day before resuming my commute to work, getting it carefully bent back where it should be.

Of course because it had been bent and bent back it has been weakened and might fail again, and these rear mech hanger things are designed to be sacrificial to save the rear mech and generally very specific to your bike, so if they go, without a spar you are stranded.

I test road the bike after realigning the rear mech hanger and all was well.

I thought it best however to get a replacement to carry with me, just in case.

Not without some difficulty I managed to order one on that Monday from the shop where I bought my bike, although in fairness to them it sounded like they were off their feet selling bikes and dealing with inquiries.

They posted it to me and I had it in my pannier on my third return trip to work on Thursday. So despite being very busy they sorted me out pretty quickly.

As for the new kissing gate put in by the expensive retirement complex Nimbies.

The kissing gate can be quite quickly and safely overcome if I take my Ortlieb panniers off which allows me to keep an eye on my rear mech and hanger.

It had been asking for trouble, pushing my bike through such a tight space with the panniers attached!

I was very lucky the hanger did not actually break!
 
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Nealh

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A saw could de-commission the gate if wooden.
 
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kevind

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jun 19, 2020
10
2
Nice story! Thanks for sharing. Interesting to note that a battery with such a long time lying dead can still be brought back to life - if you’re lucky.
 

georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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To be honest I was quite taken aback by the battery working.

I am pretty sure that the range might not be too much farther than my commuting distance (10 miles) but I am heavy (18 stone) and carry full panniers and use highest assist a lot of the time, and whoever owned the bike before re set the speed limit probably to around 20 mph so the bike is working hard and I am averaging around 19 and a half miles an hour.

I can charge it back to full at work.

It is an old fashioned bike and the battery level indicator is made up of bars on the display and these fall to only one bar showing on the steeper hills at the end of my route but recover once the load reduces, so how far the bike might go before it completely ran out I don't really know.

I will keep using it the way I am until it cannot do what I need it to do. 1000 miles plus so far and counting!

If I get to the stage where I need to buy it a new battery I guess I will not be able to call it my £100 ebike any more!!!
 
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georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
A saw could de-commission the gate if wooden.
It is wooden and I must confess that very thought may have entered my head.

But that would be sinking to their level, and my pannier off technique gets me through it with only a little delay.

Thinking about the sudden proliferation of no cycling signs, find another route signs, this is private land signs etc, that now start with one nailed to the North Downs sign about half a mile away at the start of the section, and of course the new gate, there is probably a committee at work, with maybe only one or two people driving their campaign along.

Also during lock down I stayed at home, so was not riding to work, and not using this section, but there was probably a huge increase in both walkers and cyclists using the route past the development to add fuel to their hatred.

It might all calm down now, all be it with another gate to contend with, now that the frequency of passing walkers and cyclists has reduced.

One thing that used to amuse me before this latest escalation was that although I almost never saw an actual resident, I did occasionally coincide with the contract gardeners, one of whom in any other circumstance would I hope have been a kindly Italian man of about my own late middle age, at first glimpse of me and my, Hello, nice day, how are you, would become almost apoplectic with agitation, repeating in a charming accented English, NO CYCLING< NO CYCLING, to which I would smile and reply, buy, lovely day! He had obviously become indoctrinated by "The Committee".
 

Scorpio

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Apr 13, 2020
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Cheap bikes are great fun, I'm doing something similar with a €100 (approx £90) Dutch city bike that's been unused for years.
I've found the 24v battery is getting slightly better every time I charge it so it gets charged one day then connected to 2x12v car lights the next day to flatten it. It seems to be re-balancing the cells but its not a quick project. Glad you're enjoy yours too.
Same as you, I was resisting spending anything on it but I recently decided to fix the faults - now waiting for a delivery of parts that cost more than the bike !
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,137
1,001
Surrey
Cheap bikes are great fun, I'm doing something similar with a €100 (approx £90) Dutch city bike that's been unused for years.
I've found the 24v battery is getting slightly better every time I charge it so it gets charged one day then connected to 2x12v car lights the next day to flatten it. It seems to be re-balancing the cells but its not a quick project. Glad you're enjoy yours too.
Same as you, I was resisting spending anything on it but I recently decided to fix the faults - now waiting for a delivery of parts that cost more than the bike !
Once more to be honest I think I was just very lucky with this bike.

It is the same model as the first electric bike I bought that I still have and use, and I really bought this bike to provide spar parts for that bike.

I am not big on doing my own bike maintenance but have found with electric bikes that there is sometimes no alternative but to do the work yourself.

So I have done all the mechanical work on this bike so far, but that has really only amounted to re attaching wires and parts taken off it but included in what I bought, and the replacement of spokes in the rear wheel when they break.

Luckily for me when I had put it all back together there were no electrical faults and it worked straight away.

The breaking of spokes is now getting more and more infrequent so I hope I am getting closer to that stopping, but I still keep an eye on it.
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
I do not really ride my bikes to save fuel costs, but more for the exercise, environmental impact and enjoyment, but 1000 miles driven in my 40mpg petrol car would have cost around £900 in fuel alone.

I was being lazy and used a fuel cost calculator from the internet without questioning the result. A thousand miles in my 40 mpg petrol car would cost only about 10% of this figure. I worked it out on a good old fashioned calculator to be about £120. Much more like it. Still a saving.
[/QUOTE]
 
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Nealh

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Aug 7, 2014
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A saving is a saving GH however small, for the last 8 years since I retired form the building industry and took up a local job within 2 miles of home I have ridden the bike to work on all work days. My car is 14 years old and only sees about 700 miles p.a added to the Odo.
Last week I changed my home dual fuel for a £204 p.a. saving.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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Interesting that you have changed your home dual fuel, I was thinking of having a look at mine thinking that the collapse in oil prices might be leading to some good deals, but I have 2x£30 end the deal early payments to consider, however I did this once before and despite having to pay to change still made a significant saving.

I actually have two cars on the road at the moment but one of those is for my children to learn on and drive, though covid is delaying driving tests at the moment.

I ride to work like you (20 mile minimum round trip) using my car on only a handful of occasions leading to significantly reduced fuel costs and low annual mileages.
 
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Nealh

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Although digressing from your main thread title and it is your thread I will add more.
My old deal had no exit fees so decided to act (so as to reduce any out lay)
having just reduced my hours and working days , next will be the internet provider.

My new duel fuel has the £30 exit fee for each fuel but check your suppliers T&C's as often if you are within the last 4 - 6 weeks of the deal then no fees are applicable as the switch can take 3 or 4 weeks to happen. Next year if I find a better deal I will use the 6 week release clause in the T & C's.
You can sign up to Bill Buddy or similar and they automatically transfer you to the best deal annually or register with Uswitch and they will tell you what the best deals are if you input all your bill details.

Each year I change car & house insurance as well for better deals.
Shopping is another area we make quite a saving just buying essentials from LIdl over the bigger names, the quality is still there just the range isn't. A £20 shop at Lidl can be £6 -£10 more elsewhere per shop.
 

nigelbb

Pedelecer
Sep 19, 2019
216
190
Although digressing from your main thread title and it is your thread I will add more.
My old deal had no exit fees so decided to act (so as to reduce any out lay)
having just reduced my hours and working days , next will be the internet provider.

My new duel fuel has the £30 exit fee for each fuel but check your suppliers T&C's as often if you are within the last 4 - 6 weeks of the deal then no fees are applicable as the switch can take 3 or 4 weeks to happen. Next year if I find a better deal I will use the 6 week release clause in the T & C's.
The industry rules are that if you are within the last 49 days of a contract that you can switch without penalty which applies to all suppliers.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,137
1,001
Surrey
£100 ebike comes to the rescue yet again

Poor old Haibike is not having a good run of luck.

I planned to ride to my three shifts last week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the 23,24,25th of June, that should have all been on the Haibike cross country.

However on Tuesday I must have picked up a tiny slow puncture in my rear tyre close to getting to work that only became apparent at the end of my shift.

I had recently replaced the back wheel on the Haibike and found that my old tyre levers really struggled to get the tyre over the rim. I think it is a tubeless style rim with a sort of inner lip that seems to very effectively hold the tyre in place. So well in fact that I really struggled with my old tyre levers. The tyre is very effectively puncture proof having covered over 6,250 miles with no punctures, but that may have led to me being a tadge complacent.

Fortunately I could catch a train back home, and consider mending it later.

However with one shift still to do, there is no need to take the car in my household now as I have my supper sub £100 second hand bike charged and ready to go.

So Thursday, the hottest day of the year so far, was a very relaxing ride to work and back on the road on my £100 Oxygen.

Even at home relaxed at a time of my own choosing getting that tyre over the rim of that new wheel was really hard. I actually had to very carefully resort to a flat headed screw driver for the first, get it over the rim bit.

I have ordered some new tyre levers that should hopefully be up to the job of my new rear wheel rims tenacious grip on the tyre, designed for the job and much kinder than a flat headed screw driver! We shall see.

One other thing I have done recently is go back to ordinary non slimed tubes, as it appeared to me that it was the puncture resistant tyre that mainly prevented punctures and the slimed tubes just gundged up your valves and little else.

Perhaps a slimed tube would have sealed his very small hole though! Maybe I should reconsider and go back to a slimed tube combined with my puncture resistant tyre.
 
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georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
£100 ebike edges into profit

I have just finished six days of work from Friday the 10th of July finishing yesterday. These were early shifts, so no leisurely off road route to work on the Haibike, this was up early, quick shower, and get going on my £100 ebike with 10 miles to ride on the road.

This meant riding just as the day was dawning and with the early morning light was very pleasant with virtually no traffic.

You have to be organised to commute by bike, and I have everything ready downstairs and set my alarm for no later than 1 hour and 20 minutes before the start of my shift, to allow time to shower, pack the bike, and have about half an hour at work before the official start of my shift. This gives me time to access my locker, remove the seat post and battery and then carry panniers and battery to a separate room to plug in the battery to charge, have a quick wash and change into my work clothes. Of course making a cup of tea and a natter with work colleagues is also essential

I was lucky to spend my second day at home on call so did not ride that day.

Then four days of ebike commuting, 20 miles a day and added to the first days ride a 100 miles in total for the five days I had to go to work.

The total mileage of the bike has crept up to 1,630 from the 500 on it when I bought her, and I have ridden 1,130 of them myself. My petrol car does about 40mpg and the fuel to have driven instead would have cost about £135.

So my £100 ebike, £10 saddle and some spokes mean that my balance sheet is now in the black, just! From now on, it is just a profit machine! Saves about £120 in fuel in the car per 1000 miles ridden, assuming you spend nothing on her, yippee!!. If I were to put the money to one side it might just about be enough to buy a new battery, circa £200, when she needs one and other bits that wear out like tyres and brake pads with the smallest bit left over. Not really a business model to take to your bank manager. Though a potential 2,500 miles a year of convenient personal transport to work and back that is free of charge is not to be sniffed at.

But the fun and exercise, priceless.

Apart from the saddle that I have put on and the tyres and ergonomic grips that the previous owner put on the bike is how she was sold with original battery working surprisingly well.

Long may it continue.

She did break a spoke in the rear wheel on the penultimate commuting day that I quickly changed when I got home. Spokes breaking in the rear motor wheel are much less frequent but can still happen.

This one may have been caused by a couple of overladen trips two miles back from the supermarket that I had popped into on my way home from work.
 
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vfr400

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You're making me jealous. I really used to look forward to my daily commutes..

Don't forget that there are other costs apart from petrol, like tyres,oil and filter, plus other random things. I calculated that my car's actual running costs were approximately 1.5 times the petrol cost.
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
As I near a time I could retire I know what you mean VFR. I will really miss my ebike ride to work and back when I retire.

I worked for years in a career that involved wearing smart suits and driving a company car, and mountain bike riding was strictly a leisure activity.

The credit crunch of 2008 led to my redundancy and then a completely new career that I really enjoy and wish I had known about sooner, and for which an ebike is ideally suited to allow me to ride to work and back carrying all I need.
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
Just finished 6 days of early turns at work.

These early duties are the ones where the £100 ebike gets me to work and back.

On two of the days I was designated to be on call at home and was lucky not to be called and stayed at home. These "at home duties" are a consequence of covid and the need to keep the number of people at the work place reduced to allow those at work to socially distance. But we all love them. Whats not to like about sitting at home being paid.

So in the end I rode to work and back four times and completed 80 miles. The mileage I have ridden according to the trip has now risen to 1,280 miles and the total miles the bike has covered is now 1,780.

The bike has to work harder on the journey to work with three quite demanding hills. I ride mostly in the highest pedal assist level and the bike cruises at around 19 to 20 mph, give or take a mile an hour or two, and averages around 19.5mph for the 10 mile journey.

The display shows that the original battery sags on the hills reducing to just one bar showing on the hill near to the end of the journey, but never cuts out and then recovers as you crest the hill.

We will see how I fair in the £100 ebikes second Winter.

My other old Oxygen is now being used by my son to get him to his first job, a round trip of 6.2 miles according to google maps.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,137
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Surrey
FA Cup. £100 ebike wins by a head

PA-305180-1024x680.jpg
Another infamous underdog win. Wimbledon v Liverpool in 1988.

Last night I finished five days of late shifts. The Haibike was off the road (again!) needing a new rear mech. I had hoped it would arrive but on the eve of my first shift on Wednesday it had not been delivered.

Late shifts are where I can enjoy my cross country route, rather than riding on the road, if the Haibike is available to ride!

However, having my £100 Oxygen now means I can carry on riding to work if the Haibike is, ahem unavailable. Which it has been rather more than I would like.

I now basically use my £100 Oxygen for early shifts, or indeed now winter is here any shift where I am riding in darkness, and The Haibike for any shift where I can ride in the light to enjoy a great cross country route.

It was a shock in my last block of shifts when I had to take my car to work for one day when the Throttle broke on The Oxygen and the rear mech had just failed on The Haibike.

However unlike The Haibike the plucky Oxygen managed to complete the remaining 40 miles and two days of commuting duties when I disconnected the throttle and rode just using the pedal assist.

https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/old-oxygen-emate-throttle.39604/#post-587367

So Wednesday, the first of my five late shifts arrived and before I set off to work on The Oxygen the door bell rang and the rear mech for the Haibike had arrived. Hurrah.

It was no hardship riding the £100 Oxygen to my first late shift as it is a delight to ride on the road for my 20 mile round trip commute.

1-0 to the Oxygen and 20 miles ridden.

Well with the hope of at least some winter sunshine to enjoy my off road route and enough time to do so the new rear mech was fitted as well as a new KMC chain that I found on my garage shelf, that I had bought two of for £18 delivered.

So for my second shift I enjoyed my cross country route on The Haibike. I took some pictures on that trip.
New Rear Mech 13 11 20 001.JPG
Field of dreams!
New Rear Mech 13 11 20 002.JPG
Inspiration for Genesis "Lamia of the Lake" perhaps
New Rear Mech 13 11 20 004.JPG
Another Autumnal view on the route
New Rear Mech 13 11 20 005.JPG
Beautiful Crooksbury Common
New Rear Mech 13 11 20 006.JPG
North Downs Way near journeys end

1-1 Oxygen and Haibike are neck and neck, although 24 miles ridden on The Haibike, so The Haibike edges 4 miles ahead.

I ride The Haibike the next day as well, so 2-1 to The Haibike and the Haibike has now completed 48 miles, 28 miles more than The Oxygen.

It dawns on me that my start time the next day means it will get dark during my cross country ride and I take the Oxygen. 2-2, but the Haibike has still been ridden 8 miles further.

One more shift. Could the Oxygen win in extra time.

Well my last shift on Sunday starts even later, so The Oxygen secures a 3-2 victory and completes 60 miles, 12 miles further than the Haibike.

So between the two bikes I rode 108 miles, having loads of fun and leaving my car on the driveway. Everyone's a winner baby!

As befits a workhorse underdog hack, no pictures of The £100 Ebike.

My 2015 Haibike is way ahead on mileage covered having completed 12,746 miles on returning home in the small hours of Saturday Morning.

Though my £100 second hand Oxygen is now just shy of completing 1500 miles, of which I have ridden 1000. I had to replace the broken throttle but no other parts so far, other than a saddle which is personal preference, and a few spokes.

Mentioning spokes, whispering so the bike can't hear, I have had no rear spoke breaks now for quite some time.
 
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