Wisper 705SE review

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
I collected the Wisper 705 with 575Wh battery from CH White & Son. I previously bought a Brommie from them and they have given me good advice. I was given a wedge for the brake caliper when I said I'd need to take the front wheel out to get it in the car. I think it was last year's model at last year's price. I'm not aware of any differences from this year's model and it was a saving of £150.

Configuration:
The handlebars are high although there is an adjustable stem to lower them. I've put it on the lowest setting but they are still a good height. The low-step frame is long in terms of the access space and easy to step through. I like the looks of the oversized swooping and shaped main frame tube. It reminds me of some European made recumbents. To my eyes this is so much nicer, more friendly and less aggressive than the blocky down tubes used with integrated batteries.

I've fitted a dual-legged BTWin stand. These make maintenance easier though the OEM side stand might actually be more secure.

The original gearing used a 7 speed Shimano 14-28T freewheel and the chainring was 52T, hence gearing around 48”-96" which strikes me as being rather high. I changed the gearing to an 8-speed Sunrace 13-32T freewheel and a 46T chainring with chainguard to provide a 37”-91" gear range. The 8-speed freewheel is wider than the 7-speed one. I thought the wheel would have a removable spacer on the axle to allow the 8-speed one to fit between the chain stays but apparently not, unless I missed a trick. I find this odd because Wisper used to sell an 8-speed 705. I guess this had wider spaced chainstays than the 7-speed version. Anyway I was able to splay the chain stays by hand to get the hub in. I've removed and reinstalled the wheel a couple of times now so it's ok indoors but I wouldn't want to do it on the road.

I wanted to make it easier to reach the ground from the saddle, so I did two things. I changed the crankset from 170mm to 172.5mm, and changed the 50mm Kenda tyres to 42mm Pasela PT tyres. The first task proved to be painful because the cranks had been overtightened and the thread ripped from the LH one when trying to pull it off the spindle. I had to dremmel the crank off.

The front wheel bearings were too tight so I slackened off the cones after adding grease.

I added a sprung saddle.
Ride
I’m using the bike for an occasional 46-mile commute, which I can usually complete on one charge. I spend a lot of time at 24.9 km/h in 7th gear. Average speed for the journey is about 13 mph. I have it on power level 4 for most of the time, dropping to 3 around junctions. There are some steepish climbs, one is s half mile long with gradient peaking at around 10% which I climb at about 9mph (stats from Strava). I did run out of charge on one occasion after using PAS level 5 quite a lot. So now I leave it on level 4 and spin more. The speed sensor kicks in and out in pulses around 25 kmh which feels a bit strange at first. Maybe that makes good use of the battery, encouraging me to keep up the effort of staying above 25 kmh.

I think the 8-speed freewheel contributes to the good battery range. It means that leg power and motor power can work closely in harmony.

I find that the hydraulic brakes give a good feel when stopping. I also enjoy the comfort of the front suspension. The other thing was that I use the twist grip throttle to help get going on slopes. It is natural to push on the pedal and twist the throttle at the same time.
Final thoughts
I am very happy with the bike. The ergonomics really suit me. It’s been totally reliable, and the twist throttle is brilliant. It’s preferable to a thumb throttle and I wouldn’t want to be without it. I think it’s a deal-breaker for a bike with a cadence sensor.

Now that Wisper have the Wayfarer as a trail bike I think they should refocus the 705 for the road. It should come with 8-speed or 9-speed freewheels and lighter wheels and tyres. Going further, maybe lower the BB a bit and fit a monoshock fork like some of the Gazelle’s have?
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
4,038
2,007
Telford
I collected the Wisper 705 with 575Wh battery from CH White & Son. I previously bought a Brommie from them and they have given me good advice. I was given a wedge for the brake caliper when I said I'd need to take the front wheel out to get it in the car. I think it was last year's model at last year's price. I'm not aware of any differences from this year's model and it was a saving of £150.

Configuration:
The handlebars are high although there is an adjustable stem to lower them. I've put it on the lowest setting but they are still a good height. The low-step frame is long in terms of the access space and easy to step through. I like the looks of the oversized swooping and shaped main frame tube. It reminds me of some European made recumbents. To my eyes this is so much nicer, more friendly and less aggressive than the blocky down tubes used with integrated batteries.

I've fitted a dual-legged BTWin stand. These make maintenance easier though the OEM side stand might actually be more secure.

The original gearing used a 7 speed Shimano 14-28T freewheel and the chainring was 52T, hence gearing around 48”-96" which strikes me as being rather high. I changed the gearing to an 8-speed Sunrace 13-32T freewheel and a 46T chainring with chainguard to provide a 37”-91" gear range. The 8-speed freewheel is wider than the 7-speed one. I thought the wheel would have a removable spacer on the axle to allow the 8-speed one to fit between the chain stays but apparently not, unless I missed a trick. I find this odd because Wisper used to sell an 8-speed 705. I guess this had wider spaced chainstays than the 7-speed version. Anyway I was able to splay the chain stays by hand to get the hub in. I've removed and reinstalled the wheel a couple of times now so it's ok indoors but I wouldn't want to do it on the road.

I wanted to make it easier to reach the ground from the saddle, so I did two things. I changed the crankset from 170mm to 172.5mm, and changed the 50mm Kenda tyres to 42mm Pasela PT tyres. The first task proved to be painful because the cranks had been overtightened and the thread ripped from the LH one when trying to pull it off the spindle. I had to dremmel the crank off.

The front wheel bearings were too tight so I slackened off the cones after adding grease.

I added a sprung saddle.
Ride
I’m using the bike for an occasional 46-mile commute, which I can usually complete on one charge. I spend a lot of time at 24.9 km/h in 7th gear. Average speed for the journey is about 13 mph. I have it on power level 4 for most of the time, dropping to 3 around junctions. There are some steepish climbs, one is s half mile long with gradient peaking at around 10% which I climb at about 9mph (stats from Strava). I did run out of charge on one occasion after using PAS level 5 quite a lot. So now I leave it on level 4 and spin more. The speed sensor kicks in and out in pulses around 25 kmh which feels a bit strange at first. Maybe that makes good use of the battery, encouraging me to keep up the effort of staying above 25 kmh.

I think the 8-speed freewheel contributes to the good battery range. It means that leg power and motor power can work closely in harmony.

I find that the hydraulic brakes give a good feel when stopping. I also enjoy the comfort of the front suspension. The other thing was that I use the twist grip throttle to help get going on slopes. It is natural to push on the pedal and twist the throttle at the same time.
Final thoughts
I am very happy with the bike. The ergonomics really suit me. It’s been totally reliable, and the twist throttle is brilliant. It’s preferable to a thumb throttle and I wouldn’t want to be without it. I think it’s a deal-breaker for a bike with a cadence sensor.

Now that Wisper have the Wayfarer as a trail bike I think they should refocus the 705 for the road. It should come with 8-speed or 9-speed freewheels and lighter wheels and tyres. Going further, maybe lower the BB a bit and fit a monoshock fork like some of the Gazelle’s have?
Nice review, thanks. I agree. I think a bike in that price range should have a cassette motor with 9-speed gears.
 
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PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
Nice review, thanks. I agree. I think a bike in that price range should have a cassette motor with 9-speed gears.
Thanks. Cassettes are fine as long as you can service/replace the freehub. You can get 9 speed screw-on freewheels which will have the same stack height as the 8-speeed but a freehub/cassette setup would give more choice.
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
4,038
2,007
Telford
Thanks. Cassettes are fine as long as you can service/replace the freehub. You can get 9 speed screw-on freewheels which will have the same stack height as the 8-speeed but a freehub/cassette setup would give more choice.
8-speed are too wide.
 

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
8-speed are too wide.
Well it's too wide for the 705SE chainstays certainly! I understand there is more risk of bending or breaking an axle with wide freewheels, but I'm not that strong. I could have replaced the 14-28 7-speed freewheel with a 14-34 one, also 7 speed, but I expect I'd find the ratios too gappy. I think close ratios help to get more range with a hub motor/cadence sensor set-up.

I see the Wayfarer has an 8-speed 13-34 freewheel.
 

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
An update. I reverted to the 7 speed freewheel because it was so tight getting the wheel out and back in with the 8-speed one. The gear range is 40" to 80" with the 46T chainring. I wanted the pedals nearer the ground so I have fitted a 32mm Marathon GG to the front and a 35mm Kojak to the back wheel. The rims are 24mm internal width I think so this is as small as I can go. On the rims the tyres are about the same width but the Kojak is 2mm taller. This has probably reduced the height by 15mm compared to the orginal 50mm Kendas. (45mm tyre height to 30mm height I reckon.) BB height is now 290mm.
 

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
Updates. I have replaced the Shimano 7 spd 14-28 freewheel with a Suntour 7 sp 13-28 one. I was anxious about getting a rear puncture with the Kojak tyre so I have replaced it with a 47mm Marathon Greenguard. I am getting some vibration through the cranks when pedaling under load. I am guessing it needs a new chain so a new SRAM one will be going on. I have ordered a 700WH battery because the 575WH one couldn't manage my 48 mile commute on the 4th power level. I will advertise the 575 battery for sale. Nothing wrong with it. Let me know if you are interested.
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
4,038
2,007
Telford
Updates. I have replaced the Shimano 7 spd 14-28 freewheel with a Suntour 7 sp 13-28 one. I was anxious about getting a rear puncture with the Kojak tyre so I have replaced it with a 47mm Marathon Greenguard. I am getting some vibration through the cranks when pedaling under load. I am guessing it needs a new chain so a new SRAM one will be going on. I have ordered a 700WH battery because the 575WH one couldn't manage my 48 mile commute on the 4th power level. I will advertise the 575 battery for sale. Nothing wrong with it. Let me know if you are interested.
Why didn't you choose a DNP 11/32 freewheel?
 

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
Why didn't you choose a DNP 11/32 freewheel?
It's a compromise between range and spacing, so I went with the 13-28 without looking further. A 13-32 would be nice. Using sprockets below 13 or 14T increases resistance and you get more wear so I'm not interested in 11/12T sprockets.
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
4,038
2,007
Telford
It's a compromise between range and spacing, so I went with the 13-28 without looking further. A 13-32 would be nice. Using sprockets below 13 or 14T increases resistance and you get more wear so I'm not interested in 11/12T sprockets.
Sorry, I didn't realise you used it for racing. You should have said because most people use them for shopping.

Actually, when I wrote my original comment, I thought 705 was a 20" folding bike because of the 52T chainring, so 11T would be too tall. I would have thought that 14T was about right. It's your bottom gear that's too high even with 32T if you have steep hills, unless you're a grinder rather than spinner.
 
Last edited:

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
Sorry, I didn't realise you used it for racing. You should have said because most people use them for shopping.

Actually, when I wrote my original comment, I thought 705 was a 20" folding bike because of the 52T chainring, so 11T would be too tall. I would have thought that 14T was about right. It's your bottom gear that's too high even with 32T if you have steep hills, unless you're a grinder rather than spinner.
Racing? LOL. Two points: I have a thing about efficiency, hence preferred avoidance of 11/12T sprockets, and 13-28 is a long way from being a corn cob. 13% steps are what most tourers prefer. I've reduced my chainring to 46T so compared to a stock bike, I have a lower bottom end and a similar top end.
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
4,038
2,007
Telford
Racing? LOL. Two points: I have a thing about efficiency, hence preferred avoidance of 11/12T sprockets, and 13-28 is a long way from being a corn cob. 13% steps are what most tourers prefer. I've reduced my chainring to 46T so compared to a stock bike, I have a lower bottom end and a similar top end.
OK, that makes sense, though I'd still choose an 11T top gear so that I could continue to pedal above 20 mph when going Downhill. I hate running out of pedal speed. I find 11/48 about right for me, which is 4.36. 13/46 is only 3.54, which means you have to pedal 23% faster than me or you reach your comfortable pedal speed the equivalent amount earlier. That's no problem if you don't like to ride too fast, but I like to max out going downhill.
 

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
Replacing the chain has fixed the vibration I was feeling through the cranks. I'm half wishing I'd bought a 40mm Marathon GG for the rear rather than re-use the 47mm GG I had. Even at 45psi the latter is not the most comfortable, though it should be more fairy resistant.
 

PaulM

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2017
65
15
60
Portsmouth
I now have 1050 Km on the clock. The larger 700WH battery means I can ride my 46 (ish) mile commute on the 4th of 5 power levels for the 3 hrs 30 mins it takes there and back. Average speed is 13 mph. Changing the freewheel from 14-28 to 13-28 is giving me more speed on descents where I can exceed the 15.5 mph assistance cutoff.

After a rear puncture of the 47-559 Marathon GG I have gone back to using a 42-559 folding Pasela PT. Might be my imagination but it feels both more comfortable and more responsive. I think the front brake needs bleeding again. I had the bike upside down when I change the tyres which isn't good for hydraulic brakes.

I find with the weight of the bike plus the two panniers that I prefer to stop at Give Ways and take a good look before moving off, rather than trickling through and risking having to stop suddenly because of fast approaching traffic from the right.
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
4,038
2,007
Telford
I now have 1050 Km on the clock. The larger 700WH battery means I can ride my 46 (ish) mile commute on the 4th of 5 power levels for the 3 hrs 30 mins it takes there and back. Average speed is 13 mph. Changing the freewheel from 14-28 to 13-28 is giving me more speed on descents where I can exceed the 15.5 mph assistance cutoff.

After a rear puncture of the 47-559 Marathon GG I have gone back to using a 42-559 folding Pasela PT. Might be my imagination but it feels both more comfortable and more responsive. I think the front brake needs bleeding again. I had the bike upside down when I change the tyres which isn't good for hydraulic brakes.

I find with the weight of the bike plus the two panniers that I prefer to stop at Give Ways and take a good look before moving off, rather than trickling through and risking having to stop suddenly because of fast approaching traffic from the right.
Hydraulic brakes are self-bleeding. You never need to bleed them yourself unless you dismantle the caliper.
 

saneagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 10, 2010
4,038
2,007
Telford
Wek

Well, I seem to have an association between having the bike upside down and sponginess in the brakes, the front one in particular.
Of course. Air goes upwards, whichever way up you have the bike, so if you turn it upside down, the air in the reservoir goes into the hose. All you have to do is pump the lever about 10 times and the self-bleeding will bring the air back into the reservoir. You sometimes need to lean the bike to make sure that the hose is continuously going uphill because if you have an up and down bend, it'll get trapped. Also, there's less chance of the air going into the hose if you don't move the lever when the bike's inverted.

Finally, some deluxe brakes have a rubber bellows in the reservoir to separate the air from the oil, so it can't happen. If you don't have the bellows, don't fill your reservoir completely, otherwise the first time you use the brake, the heat will expand the oil and lock your brake on until it cools back down.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
20,091
8,212
60
West Sx RH
After pumping the lever the air should eventually rise back to the reservoir , sometimes one has to hold the lever on and tap the brake line to speed up the air bubbles rising . If still a bit spongy , when th ebike isn't in use hold the levers on and leave the bike to stand (simply use any material to tie the levers in the held position).