The tale of a £100 second hand electric bike.

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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Heavy Lifting

My shift pattern meanders between periods of early shifts and periods of late shifts.

Late shifts allow me to use my Haibike for a daylight ride cross country to work, but early shifts are the domain now of my £100, circa 2011 second hand Oxygen Emate.

At the moment I am in quite a long pattern of early shifts with 20 days in total, 12 days of work and 8 days off.

So with 12 return rides to work there are potentially 240 miles to be ridden.

I am at the halfway point with all going well and 120 miles under the £100 ebikes wheels. The total mileage for the bike now is 2,095 miles and I have ridden 1,595 miles.

The front brake pads are now at the limit of their adjustment at the wheel and I am using up the adjustment at the brake lever before putting a new set of pads in but the old ones should last the remaining 120 miles and will be the original pads, so have lasted over 2215 miles by the time I change them.

I bought 3 sets of Clarks organic pads of amazon for £10.56 including delivery.

Yesterday could have been a bit of a disaster as I could not charge my battery back up at work. The charger I am using came with a 2 pin plug and I bought an adapter. Somehow the adapter had come adrift and when I got the charger out at work to charge the battery there was no adapter.

Nothing I could do at that point. Just work my shift and hope I could get home. It was not a good day for it to happen as it had been a cold ride to work.

I set off for home rather optimistically selecting maximum power assist and made it over the first hill, before shooting down the other side and running on the level along the valley floor before another big hill.

About half way up this second hill I felt the battery falter and backed off the assist. This was worrying as I still had about 7 miles to ride. After this I balanced the assist level with the amount of power I was drawing shown on my display to try and keep the power drawn from the battery at a level it could cope with, but speed as high as possible, selecting lower assist levels so as not to draw more than about 250.

Obviously I worked harder but the assist did not fail and as I rode into the outskirts of my town I knew I had made it and the average speed was still just under 18.

I did not want to go straight home as I had to buy a few things for a meal later. Anyway I got home having worked physically harder myself but still with the assist working as long as I did not try to draw too much from the battery.

So now I know I can get home without charging the battery at work after 13 miles of maximum assist and 8 miles of useful but lower assist. ( an extra mile for shopping) So the range is about 20 miles.

I know that is not much range, but it is enough and the bike completes the journey quickly and carries a heavy rider and two panniers of stuff.

It is a good job I can charge my battery at work as it is much more fun to ride with the gay abandon of maximum assist.

Just another 120 miles to ride. Not a hardship, I really enjoy it and feel the benefit from the exercise.

I am seriously considering buying a trickle charger for my car as I ride my bikes so much that it just sits on the driveway and the last time I put fuel in the car was August and there is still half a tank left!

Plug adapter was at home!
 
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Nealh

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Aug 7, 2014
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GH for trickle charging my car which isn't used much I use a solar panel approx 9 x6 which sits on the dash and pugs into the lighter. Cost me about £15 a few years ago and about a week later the seller refunded the cost to me saying I had been selected as one of the pay back customers they had selected.

Ideal for keeping the SLA topped up and only needs daylight and not full sun, no trailing leads from the house/garage.
 
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georgehenry

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Hi Nealh,

I have a old optimate trickle charger that I use on a number of old motorcycles I own and a sorned car on my driveway, as well as occasionally a car that is on the road that I bought for my children to learn in and now is insured for my son and I after he recently passed his test but also does not get used much because he uses my original 2011 Oxygen to commute a 6 mile round trip to his first job.

Basically I swap which vehicle is attached to the trickle charger about from time to time.

My own car is much newer than the other vehicles and has a stop start system and from what I understand will need a special conditioning charger, and it is for this car that I am considering buying a conditioning charger that is designed for stop start car systems. Whether I really need a special charger or not I don't really know, but in the scheme of things it is not a lot of money and the batteries for stop start cars are bigger and more expensive to replace, so probably worth keeping in good shape.
 

georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
Well I wimped out and took the car today. The forecast was terrible and my start time was very early and I was cumulatively tired after 3 very early starts.

I love my job but shift work can take its toil.

I would have been riding home in torrential rain, so I think I made the right decision.

A bit of a change sitting on my heated driving seat in my car listening to radio three and using my adaptive cruise control. Most people would think I was mad leaving this car almost all the time unused on my driveway.

I have three days off now before my last two early shifts. I have so far ridden the £100 ebike 180 miles since the start of my early shift pattern began 15 days ago.

If I ride to my last two early shifts I will have ridden 220 miles in this 20 day cycle.

I know I keep waffling on about it, but this bike is a really fantastic road commuting bike.

On the way home yesterday I overtook a roadie, saying hello as I passed, and getting a friendly hello in reply, not far before a steep downhill and then flat to slightly falling gradient where a roadie has an advantage and can go quicker than me.

Before the decent I had pulled out about 75 metres, but he was quickly up behind me slip streaming me. I was travelling at around 21/22 mph.

He could, I think have easily overtaken me, but chose not to and kept behind me until we reached the next uphill section into a village and he quickly fell back and may have turned off as I did not see him after this.

All good fun.
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,138
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Surrey
Well today is the end of my 20 day cycle of early shifts and I rode to them all except one which I took the car due to the forecast of very heavy rain.

So the final total was 220 miles over the 20 day period.

The £100 ebike is a truly excellent commuter bike.

I have two days off before a series of late shifts where I plan to use The crank drive Haibike and ride cross country to work and back home on the road.
 
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georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
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Just finished 5 days of late shifts. I rode my crank drive Haibike to three of them completing 72 miles on it. It performed very well, and the off road route is spectacular, if tough!

On one day I took the car due to the deluges of rain we are getting at the moment.

And last night I took the fantastic £100 ebike due to a late start time to my shift meaning riding in the dark there and back.

It rode beautifully as I have come to expect. whizzing along at around 20mph.

So my £100 2018 purchase, looks almost new, has cost pennies to buy and run, works as well as any electric bike I have ridden and better than most, and has now completed 2,019 miles.

I bought and put a saddle on that suits me, but the riding position and ergonomic grips and marathon plus tyres that came with it make it a very comfortable, durable and fast commuter bike.

Also sharing the commuting duties between Haibike and the £100 Oxygen works very well.

I use the crank drive Yamaha Haibike where it excels off road and the £100 Oxygen Ebike where it excels on the road.

Happy days.

I am quite close to retiring from work and will really miss my electric bike commute if not the antisocial hours I have to be at work sometimes.

I could retire as soon as April 21, but if I did would miss out on a big just under 10% pay increase, part of multi year deal, and to get the benefit of that in my pension would need to work until the end of the following tax year in April 22.

But that is a year of my life that I won't get back, even doing a job I like doing.

There are rumored to be some nasty tax hikes that could effect me in the March 21 budget to pay for Covid, so maybe getting out while the going is good might be the sensible thing to do rather than waiting to take advantage of the pay rise.

Decisions, decisions.

I am grateful to be in a secure well paid key worker job when many people are suffering financial Armageddon.
 
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vfr400

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Jun 12, 2011
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That was the only downside to my retirement. I missed my commute to work and back, which kept me fit and gave me the chance to experiment with a lot of different types of bikes.

Think about your retirement money. A lot of analysts are predicting rapid inflation in the near future, which would wipe out any cash savings or anything else that isn't index-linked.
 
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georgehenry

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Nov 7, 2015
1,138
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Surrey
I have just worked three early shifts after 12 days off. Two return trips on the £100 ebike and 40 miles ridden. I took the car to the middle one of my three shifts as it was a very early start time.

With low temperatures and knowing that I do not have a lot of range in hand, I was a little nervous that the battery would last the distance, living in my unheated brick garage, but it did today with high assist used for the majority of the 10 mile journey.

As I ride the £100 Ebike to my early shifts it also gets ridden at generally the coldest point of the day, around four in the morning.

At work it gets recharged in a well heated room so that the battery is both fully charged, warmed, and hopefully balanced before returning home to be recharged in my unheated garage.

The batteries of the £100 ebike and my other Oxygen emate got swapped over a month or two back when my son and I went on an adventurous ride together, me on my Haibike and him on my original Oxygen with the battery from the £100 Ebike in the pannier.

We needed to use the second battery from the £100 Ebike and I just put the other battery in the £100 Ebike when we got home as it was easier and I have never bothered to swap them back.

So the nearly 10 year old battery from the £100 Ebike now powers my son on a six mile journey to work and back. To be honest I don't think there is much difference in performance between the two batteries, I have just been too lazy to swap them back. The one I am now using in the £100 Ebike is a cheap sub £200 one that included a charger that I bought of Ebay and will be three years old in the Spring.

Now I am off again for six days over the New Year, returning to late shifts for which the Haibike will be used to make use of daylight to enjoy my cross country route to work and road ride home.

I need to replace a bashed pedal on the Haibike before then.

Although my bikes are working well, I have an ongoing left knee meniscus tear injury for which I am progressing very slowly through the NHS, understandably so with the Covid situation. and perhaps because of the knee injury my lower back muscles are now starting to go into spasm probably as a result of me favouring my right knee, and my back can be very painful and debilitating.

I have not yet had to take any time off work as the back problem has coincided with my off duty time where I have been able to free it up with a combination of exercises, massage, and muscle relaxing drugs, but I fear it is only a matter of time before these ailments coincides with a pattern of work that requires me to take sick leave.

Riding my bike seems to actually improve rather than exacerbate my knee injury as it strengthens the muscles of the knee in question without irritating the injury, perhaps because the exercise is non load bearing and my knee is never fully straightened.

Unfortunately at work I am sitting down for long stretches of time which just makes a lower back problem worse.

The £100 Ebike is now showing 2,257 miles, so I have now ridden it 1,757 miles.

I still have not replaced the brake pads at the front as I have not quite run out of adjustment at the handlebar, so these original brake pads have lasted very well. Using this bike mainly for commuting on the road I can ride literally miles at a time without needing to apply the brakes, which explains their longevity.

They are simple mechanical disc brakes, that work well, but just don't get applied that much using the bike for commuting as I do.

Good job as the width of the motor in the rear wheel fouls the adjuster so that once you have run out of adjustment at the handlebar you have to take the rear wheel out to get at the adjuster.

Not a great bit of design, but it might be churlish to complain at the money I paid for it!

My other Oxygen Emate of around the same time period has a smaller diameter rear motor that does allow adjustment of the rear brake. Much better.

So apart from about 20 spokes I bought for the rear wheel at 35p each, and some brake pads, yet to be fitted, a saddle of my preference, a new throttle, and a splash of chain oil, I have spent diddly squat on this bike in those very enjoyable 1,757 miles.

I acquired the £100 Ebike around September 2018, so I am now embarking on my third year of ownership.

The rear wheel seems to have now stabilised with no broken spokes for a long time. I did use about 18 spokes getting to this point though.

I only ride my Haibike when I can enjoy my off road route to work and the £100 Ebike when it is dark for my ride to work or when for whatever reason I have decided to ride on the road.

I have previously only recorded my total mileage for the year for my Haibike and this is done on the anniversary of its purchase around the 21st of March and it will be six years old in March 21.

It will be interesting to see which of these two bikes ends up doing the most miles. So far the Haibike has completed 974 miles this year and the £100 Ebike has completed 907, only 67 miles behind.

With shorter days in the winter the £100 Ebike has evry chance of catching The Haibike up or even overtaking it. The prediction of which bike will win this race is further complicated by the fact that the off road route to work is 4 miles longer than the road route.
 
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vfr400

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Jun 12, 2011
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Basildon
I have just worked three early shifts after 12 days off. Two return trips on the £100 ebike and 40 miles ridden. I took the car to the middle one of my three shifts as it was a very early start time.

With low temperatures and knowing that I do not have a lot of range in hand, I was a little nervous that the battery would last the distance, living in my unheated brick garage, but it did today with high assist used for the majority of the 10 mile journey.

As I ride the £100 Ebike to my early shifts it also gets ridden at generally the coldest point of the day, around four in the morning.

At work it gets recharged in a well heated room so that the battery is both fully charged, warmed, and hopefully balanced before returning home to be recharged in my unheated garage.

The batteries of the £100 ebike and my other Oxygen emate got swapped over a month or two back when my son and I went on an adventurous ride together, me on my Haibike and him on my original Oxygen with the battery from the £100 Ebike in the pannier.

We needed to use the second battery from the £100 Ebike and I just put the other battery in the £100 Ebike when we got home as it was easier and I have never bothered to swap them back.

So the nearly 10 year old battery from the £100 Ebike now powers my son on a six mile journey to work and back. To be honest I don't think there is much difference in performance between the two batteries, I have just been too lazy to swap them back. The one I am now using in the £100 Ebike is a cheap sub £200 one that included a charger that I bought of Ebay and will be three years old in the Spring.

Now I am off again for six days over the New Year, returning to late shifts for which the Haibike will be used to make use of daylight to enjoy my cross country route to work and road ride home.

I need to replace a bashed pedal on the Haibike before then.

Although my bikes are working well, I have an ongoing left knee meniscus tear injury for which I am progressing very slowly through the NHS, understandably so with the Covid situation. and perhaps because of the knee injury my lower back muscles are now starting to go into spasm probably as a result of me favouring my right knee, and my back can be very painful and debilitating.

I have not yet had to take any time off work as the back problem has coincided with my off duty time where I have been able to free it up with a combination of exercises, massage, and muscle relaxing drugs, but I fear it is only a matter of time before these ailments coincides with a pattern of work and requires me to take sick leave.

Riding my bike seems to actually improve rather than exacerbate my knee injury as it strengthens the muscles of the knee in question without irritating the injury, perhaps because the exercise is non load bearing and my knee is never fully straightened.

Unfortunately at work I am sitting down for long stretches of time which just makes a lower back problem worse.

The £100 Ebike is now showing 2,257 miles, so I have now ridden it 1,757 miles.

I still have not replaced the brake pads at the front as I have not quite run out of adjustment at the handlebar, so these original brake pads have lasted very well. Using this bike mainly for commuting on the road I can ride literally miles at a time without needing to apply the brakes, which explains their longevity.

They are simple mechanical disc brakes, that work well, but just don't get applied that much using the bike for commuting as I do.

Good job as the width of the motor in the rear wheel fouls the adjuster so that once you have run out of adjustment at the handlebar you have to take the rear wheel out to get at the adjuster.

Not a great bit of design, but it might be churlish to complain at the money I paid for it!

My other Oxygen Emate of around the same time period has a smaller diameter rear motor that does allow adjustment of the rear brake. Much better.

So apart from about 20 spokes I bought for the rear wheel at 35p each, and some brake pads, yet to be fitted, a saddle of my preference, a new throttle, and a splash of chain oil, I have spent diddly squat on this bike in those very enjoyable 1,757 miles.

The rear wheel seems to have now stabilised with no broken spokes for a long time. I did use about 18 spokes getting to this point though.
Change the brakes from cable to hydraulic, which are basically maintenance free and 100 times better than cable brakes. They don't cost much, but the difference to safety and function is massive.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,138
1,001
Surrey
So, I changed the front brake pads today at 2265 miles, and adjusted the rear brake, in readiness for three early shifts that begin on Thursday.

Adjusting the rear brake with the simple allen key turn adjuster at the wheel should be a simple task but on this bike it is not as the width of the rear hub motor fowls the adjuster and means that you have to drop the rear wheel out of the drop outs to get at the adjuster.

Luckily there is some adjustment at the brake lever, and by mostly braking with the front brake you can extend the interval before it needs to be done. But I had used up nearly all the adjustment at the brake lever, and as I also needed to change the front pads, today was the day.

It did not take long to do, but I believe the fewer times you have to disconnect and take a rear hub motor wheel out the better to avoid any mishaps with the wires that exit from the rear axle.

Today was the first time I had dropped the rear wheel out of the drop outs simply to adjust the rear brake.

Previous to this the rear wheel had occasionally broken spokes and I had used that opportunity to adjust the rear brake when I took the wheel out to replace and adjust the tension of the spokes.

I seem to now have got to a point where the rear wheel is not braking spokes any more.
 

vfr400

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Jun 12, 2011
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Wouldn't it have been easier to take the caliper off to adjust it rather than the wheel? Just saying!
 
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Nealh

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Aug 7, 2014
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Removing said calliper may be an easier option, with my Swizzbee one can't do any work to the rear wheel until the calliper is removed. The Magura HS33 HRB has a cam lever to easily release the rim calliper.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,138
1,001
Surrey
Rain Stopped Play

rain-stops-play-ap-670_8763.jpg

I had planned to ride my splendid £100 ebike to my three early shifts but with a lot of rain forecast on two of the days I only rode to one of them, the middle one of the three.

That day was however a very nice cold dry day and just right for cycling, and despite having to get up earlier than I would if I took my car and be very organised, I feel so much better for the exercise.

The new front brake pads and adjusted rear brakes felt fab. Using the bike on this 20 mile round trip road commute as I do, where I have to use my brakes relatively very little these mechanical disc brakes with motor cut outs are really all I need.

I have after all only had to put one set of pads in so far after the bike has travelled over 2,250 miles.

Just two days off and back onto late shifts where I can use The Haibike to travel on my cross country route to work, although the weather forecast seems to suggest a lot of heavy rain and potential flooding, so the car may get some more use!
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
1,138
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Surrey
Sub Zero Commuting

Just finished 4 early turn jobs at work, Friday the 5th through to yesterday Monday the 8th.

The weather was zero and sub zero cold on the way into work and pretty cold coming home.

I was lucky to only be on call on Sunday and as I am beginning to expect now, stayed at home. Nice work if you can get it.

I have work colleagues who have been called in from on call at home, but it is thankfully rare.

Before Covid we used to sit at work for the length of our shifts where we had no specific work to do which was not as nice.

The earliest job was the first one Friday when my alarm went off at 03:06 AM.

Part of the great multi year pay deal we got was reducing slightly the time between arriving at work and starting work.

When I ride to work I allow 1hr and 20 minutes from my alarm going off, showering, riding the 10 miles and sorting out myself and the bike at the other end ready to start work.

This is now quite a tight timescale to work but still doable. You don't get time for tea and a chat, but in a Covid world where reducing contacts reduces risk this might not be a bad thing.

You do get time to make tea to take with you, and fill a thermos with hot water so that you can avoid mess rooms and keep contact to a minimum.

Saturday The alarm went off at 03:31.

Sunday, on call at home, relax with the children, catch up on some sleep, and still being paid, excellent.

Monday, latest potential alarm time of 04:27 but the weather forecast of snow and ice meant I brought it forward a few minutes. I was expecting to maybe take the car or even be snowed in judging by the forecast but when I pocked my head out of my front door, although there had been some snow, it looked OK and turned out to fine on the treated roads but much more care needed on untreated roads.

A friend had put on ice spiker tyres for his bike commute into central London from the suburbs, and thought I was mad to ride in on my Schwalbe Marathon Pluses, but they were fine, and of course they would be until they dumped you on the deck.

Knowing that they are not the best tyres in cold temperatures means you ride accordingly, not infallible protection against an accident, but forewarned is as they say is forearmed.

So three return trips and 60 miles ridden. The winter salt is now reeking havoc with some of the fastenings and the bike in general and when it warms up I will need to give it a good wash.

Both the rides to work, and home again were a great chance to get some exercise and enjoy riding this great bike that I was so lucky to acquire.

I almost forgot to mention that on one trip home I caught and passed a roadie, saying hello as I always do, who had just enough puff left to call out, "Cheating", as I eased past, Oh yes, I replied with a little laugh.

In this much colder weather I am now removing the battery when I get home and charging it in the house after it has had chance to warm up and its performance on these very cold journeys into work has improved as a result.

My son using my old Oxygen to commute to his local job in our town, 6 mile round trip, unfortunately fell off on black ice at a junction. He was luckily fine apart from a bit of bruising, but he smashed the 7 speed thumb shift gear change on the handlebar.

He could still use it but it needed replacing.

I bought one of Amazon for £20, after looking elsewhere and was a bit shocked by the price of bike bits at the moment. I guess it is supply and demand.

The 9 speed cassettes for the Haibike I ride that I paid a low of £12.95 delivered for in Jan 19 have risen to £26.05 from the same supplier. I wish I had bought more than the three I did, but two are still to be used so prices may have changed again by the time I need to buy again.

I am considering continuing to work a bit longer than April 21 when I thought I might retire which will mean commuting a bit longer, adding to this story.

I definitely won't be working beyond April 22. A few reasons, but from April 21 I am lucky enough to be in a position to retire whenever I want allowing for my 3 month notice period, so nice to have the choice.
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
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Basildon
Sub Zero Commuting

Just finished 4 early turn jobs at work, Friday the 5th through to yesterday Monday the 8th.

The weather was zero and sub zero cold on the way into work and pretty cold coming home.

I was lucky to only be on call on Sunday and as I am beginning to expect now, stayed at home. Nice work if you can get it.

I have work colleagues who have been called in from on call at home, but it is thankfully rare.

Before Covid we used to sit at work for the length of our shifts where we had no specific work to do which was not as nice.

The earliest job was the first one Friday when my alarm went off at 03:06 AM.

Part of the great multi year pay deal we got was reducing slightly the time between arriving at work and starting work.

When I ride to work I allow 1hr and 20 minutes from my alarm going off, showering, riding the 10 miles and sorting out myself and the bike at the other end ready to start work.

This is now quite a tight timescale to work to but still doable. You don't get time for tea and a chat, but in a Covid world where reducing contacts reduces risk this might not be a bad thing.

You do get time to make tea to take with you, and fill a thermos with hot water so that you can avoid mess rooms and keep contact to a minimum.

Saturday The alarm went off at 03:31.

Sunday, on call at home, relax with the children, catch up on some sleep, and still being paid, excellent.

Monday, latest potential alarm time of 04:27 but the weather forecast of snow and ice meant I brought it forward a few minutes. I was expecting to maybe take the car or even be snowed in judging by the forecast but when I pocked my head out of my front door, although there had been some snow, it looked OK and turned out to fine on the treated roads but much more care needed on untreated roads.

A friend had put on ice spiker tyres for his bike commute into central London from the suburbs, and thought I was mad to ride in on my Schwalbe Marathon Pluses, but they were fine, and of course they would be until they dumped you on the deck.

Knowing that they are not the best tyres in cold temperatures means you ride accordingly, not infallible protection against an accident, but forewarned is as they say is forearmed.

So three return trips and 60 miles ridden. The winter salt is now reeking havoc with some of the fastenings and the bike in general and when it warms up I will need to give it a good wash.

Both the rides to work, and home again were a great chance to get some exercise and enjoy riding this great bike that I was so lucky to acquire.

In this much colder weather I am now removing the battery when I get home and charging it in the house after it has had chance to warm up and its performance on these very cold journeys into work has improved as a result.

My son using my old Oxygen to commute to his local job in our town, 6 mile round trip, unfortunately fell off on black ice at a junction. He was luckily fine apart from a bit of bruising, but he smashed the 7 speed thumb shift gear change on the handlebar.

He could still use it but it needed replacing.

I bought one of Amazon for £20, after looking elsewhere and was a bit shocked by the price of bike bits at the moment. I guess it is supply and demand.

The 9 speed cassettes for the Haibike I ride that I paid a low of £12.95 delivered for in Jan 19 have risen to £26.05 from the same supplier. I wish I had bought more than the three I did, but two are still to be used so prices may have changed again by the time I need to buy again.

I am considering continuing to work a bit longer than April 21 when I thought I might retire which will mean commuting a bit longer, adding to this story.

I definitely won't be working beyond April 22. A few reasons, but from April 21 I am lucky enough to be in a position to retire whenever I want allowing for my 3 month notice period, so nice to have the choice.
The one thing I miss more than anything since I ritired is my ride to and from work. How weird is that?
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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I am not sure it is weird.

My own commute to work and back either cross country on my Haibike or on the road on The Oxygen have also become a very important element in my feeling of well being.

I am sure I will miss them as much as you have done.

It is quite hard work to be organised and plan everything. Getting all the riding clothes you will need ready to put on, preparing the food you will need at work, part packing my panniers with my work clothes, work specific equipment, charging my lights, charging the battery.

Doing everything quickly but in order when I get up so I don't forget anything. Following a pre planned pattern of things I need to do when I get to work so that the bike will be ready for me to ride home.

It adds a huge chunk of tasks to my working day but is somehow also massively satisfying. When I think back over my working day, I also think back over my bike ride.

Perhaps I need to see a shrink?
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
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Surrey
Four Early Shift return rides to work, and another 80 miles ridden on my £100 second hand electric bike.

It had warmed up after the big freeze, so I was riding to work with a thin lined waterproof and windproof jacket but no windproof trousers needed and simple cheap wool style gloves as apposed to the warmer, waterproof heavier duty ones I have, and nothing on my head.

I still get plenty of exercise on The Oxygen Emate but am much less fatigued than when I ride to work and back on my hard tail Haibike mountain bike.

To some extent this is explained by my cross country route adding 4 miles to my return journey, not an inconsiderable extra amount, approaching 17% more distance .

Comparing time actually in the saddle riding accentuates the difference. I travel much slower off road and spend much longer, probably twice as long off road riding a mile than on the road.

Travelling slower off road does not equate to less effort per mile than on the road but actually more. So I am riding at greater effort for around 50 minutes longer on the off road route to work.

When I thought about this and crunched the numbers in a calculator, I am riding at greater effort for an extra 44% of time on The Haibike compared to riding on the road, and that is for each commuting journey I make, so I can see why I find commuting on the Haibike more tiring.

So 5 return journeys on The Haibike is the equivalent of 9 return journeys on The Oxygen.

I also only ride my Haibike in low assist and off on the 14 mile cross country route to work. The Yamaha crank drive system on The Haibike is a torque system and you have to add effort to get assistance from the motor. The more you push, the more help you get depending on assistance level selected. But you always need to push on the pedals to get help from the motor.

Although I do turn the power down on The Oxygen occasionally on downhill gradients, it is mostly ridden in maximum assist, level five, and being a cadence system you get the power simple by turning the pedals. I do add plenty of effort myself but it is a very relaxing way to ride.

I like both systems for different reasons but for road commuting really enjoy the relaxed riding style of The cadence system Oxygen.

So nothing of note to report, just charge the battery and my extra lights, jump aboard and ride. Occasionally oil the chain and likewise add some air to the tyres. The odometer is now approaching 2,500 miles.

There is a stark difference between the running costs of the rear hub cadence Oxygen used on the road, ie virtually no maintenance, and the crank drive Haibike used off road.

As well as the crank drive system of The Haibike putting more strain on the drive system and wearing it out quicker as a consequence , the off road environment itself is much harsher, with in my area lots of sand. grit, mud and water coating the bike and adding to the wear of components.

The Haibike is truly capable off road and The Oxygen likewise on the road.
 
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