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(e?)Bike for a short commute

CrouchingWayneCrouchingWayne Posts: 43
edited May 2019 in Commuting general
Hi All

I’m thinking of using a bike to complete my daily commute to cut down on car useage and try get back into the sport somewhat (haven’t had time the last few years with other hobbies and kids)

Distance is around a mile and a half each way, all downhill here but all uphill back! There is a chance the commute is changing to be about 5 miles each way with similar climb. Current commute would involve mainly road with a little bit of bumping up and down curbs potentially. It would also be nice to use this bike if out with the kids so something quite agile and not too racey would probably work.

Some days I finish late and just want home as I’m sure we all do - it’s these days I’m thinking an eBike might help push me along.

Given it’s such a short distance I’d like to be able to do it with minimal faff at either end - so if possible ride in a shirt/trousers or chinos. I could potentially flex this requirement.

Have any of you guys got any experience with eBikes you could share? Or know if any worth considering in my situation? I’ve been drawn to the Ribble CGR and Al e as well as the Ordea flat bar. There is also the Gtech which appears really cheap - but I don’t recognise the components. My preference is for something that looks quite cool too, albeit it’s a stupid requirement!

Posts

  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    Personally with such a short commute I'd save your money and buy a 3-400 pound hybrid from the likes of Halfords Carrera or Boardman range or consider Evans pinnacle range. Your fitness will soon pick up to meet the commute
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
  • MrKev83 wrote:
    Personally with such a short commute I'd save your money and buy a 3-400 pound hybrid from the likes of Halfords Carrera or Boardman range or consider Evans pinnacle range. Your fitness will soon pick up to meet the commute

    You are completely right, I also have a perfectly good Marin Bobcat and Ribble alu road bike that haven’t been out in some time... but N+1 seems to be kicking in unfortunately for my wallet!

    Since looking at ebikes I've had my head turned by what you can get for the same money without the motor, some lovely bikes out there.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Walk. It's a 30 minute stroll.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    cougie wrote:
    Walk. It's a 30 minute stroll.
    That was my first thought as well
  • Pretty much any bike will do of reasonable quality. If there is a risk of theft just get some old beater bike for a few pounds. Such a short commute just get riding and allow the riding experience to dictate what your next bike will be but use anything to get you started. We could all suggest a model but you may find in reality you need a different bike. For example you buy a drop bar bike and then realise you are spending a lot of time in traffic jams and flat bar handlebars will give you better visibility and safety.
  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    Graeme_S wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    Walk. It's a 30 minute stroll.
    That was my first thought as well
    Using either an already owned bike or using your legs for this thing they call walking just aren't an option.

    I see the attraction of e bikes but unless you've got a medical issue or are 400 years old there's no need

    Time to build a fixie? or buy one off Mango bikes
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    E bikes exist to actually try and tempt urban car commuters to ditch the bloody car.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    I have 2 colleagues who’ve bought ebikes in the last year. Both with 10-12 mile commutes.

    One of them is an experienced cyclist who ended up driving to work most of the time as he didn’t have time to get into work on a bike with the school run. The ebike has shaved enough time off his hilly route to make it viable again.

    The other hasn’t cycled since he was a kid, but got so fed up with unreliable and overcrowded buses that he bought an e-mountain bike. He’s cycled to work and back pretty much every day since he bought it (all through the winter).

    I’ve no interest in getting an ebike, but if it means people are cycling who otherwise wouldn’t be then I’m all for it!
  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    Anything that saves the polar bears for me. I dream of a world where people are punished for driving to work of say less than 3 miles?
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
  • I've a Swytch conversion kit on an old mtb and love it. I'm not a fan of urban driving - too slow and frustrating - yet every bike ride doesn't have to be hard work so converting an old bike for getting from A to B and enjoying the journey makes a big difference to the commute, and no worries about parking.

    The advantage of a conversion kit on an existing bike over a similar priced budget ebike is you're familiar with the standard and quality of the base bike whereas a budget ebike will be of lower standard both in terms of quality and ride.

    Now the Swytch kit hasn't been without fault but Swytch have been good in repairing/replacing parts under warranty even if their comms system can be a bit slow.

    I've enjoyed the ebike conversion so much I'm now looking at a full-on ebike, ideally one from Rosebikes with an automatic CVT hub, although I see Rosebikes have a poor reputation for delivery on Trustpilot.
  • MrKev83 wrote:
    Personally with such a short commute I'd save your money and buy a 3-400 pound hybrid from the likes of Halfords Carrera or Boardman range or consider Evans pinnacle range. Your fitness will soon pick up to meet the commute

    I'm in 2 minds about this logic. For one, when you commute you will be wearing down parts faster, and riding in less favourable weathers. So a cheaper bike is cheaper to maintain. Secondly a cheap bike is less likely to get stolen, and cheaper to replace if it does.

    On the other hand your commuter is going to be a bike you will be spending a lot of time on. I'd want something decent to spend that time on. Fortunately for me, my employer has a bike shelter which requires that you scan your ID to access (altho you could just follow another cyclist in). Plus it has good racks with which to lock your bike inside so I can confidently secure a more expensive bike. My commuter was in the £700 range plus what ever my mudguards and panniers cost. So cheaper than my other bikes but still quite a lump of cash.

    It depends on how secure you can keep a bike but I would personally choose something of higher quality vs cheaper and not so nice to ride.
  • mrkev83mrkev83 Posts: 184
    MrKev83 wrote:
    Personally with such a short commute I'd save your money and buy a 3-400 pound hybrid from the likes of Halfords Carrera or Boardman range or consider Evans pinnacle range. Your fitness will soon pick up to meet the commute

    I'm in 2 minds about this logic.......

    I understand what you mean but my thinking is with the bikes I've named....they are hard wearing bikes without shelling too much out. I've got .....thinking 1 minute....1...2...3....4 bikes all of different disciplines and think that if I had to a hybrid would do the job. If the OP is set on an e bike go for it but for such a short commute he/she could save quite a lot of pennies and have quite a bit lighter bike. The best thing to do would be to go and ride a few different bikes. Any bike shop worth it's salt will let you take a few out if you're undecided
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/mrkev83

    Built for comfort... Not for speed
  • https://www.evanscycles.com/raleigh-mot ... e-EV343699 is the newer model of what we hired at Center Parcs last year for my better half (and for me to grab a curiosity go of when I could)... Even in "Eco" mode, it goes like stink despite the ~23Kg bike weight!

    Sadly, the waiver I had to sign at CP said I was strictly not allowed to take it off campus, which was gutting as there are some cat4 hills literally outside the boundary. But https://www.bosch-ebike.com/en/service/range-assistant/ suggests that the battery could do ~60 miles in hilly terrain with a total weight of rider and bike of ~100Kg, which could get someone like me out on ride in the South Downs longer than my average on the Cube.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • OP here - thanks for the feedback. It's a 40-45min walk unfortunately so that's not feasible there and back everyday for me.

    I spent a couple hours at the weekend getting my old road bike back in good order as well as chucking a set of flat pedals and flipping the stem. I've made it in and back both days this week without too much effort, albeit good weather has helped. Probably don't need an eBike..!

    My mudguards were broken and rubbing the wheels so I've taken them off, may need to reconsider a set if I am going to keep this up with bad weather. And a decent lock - I'm using a cheap supermarket one just now. Nice to be back out on the bike though.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Nice work.
  • DownwardDownward Posts: 179
    I've a Swytch conversion kit on an old mtb and love it. I'm not a fan of urban driving - too slow and frustrating - yet every bike ride doesn't have to be hard work so converting an old bike for getting from A to B and enjoying the journey makes a big difference to the commute, and no worries about parking.

    The advantage of a conversion kit on an existing bike over a similar priced budget ebike is you're familiar with the standard and quality of the base bike whereas a budget ebike will be of lower standard both in terms of quality and ride.

    Now the Swytch kit hasn't been without fault but Swytch have been good in repairing/replacing parts under warranty even if their comms system can be a bit slow.

    I've enjoyed the ebike conversion so much I'm now looking at a full-on ebike, ideally one from Rosebikes with an automatic CVT hub, although I see Rosebikes have a poor reputation for delivery on Trustpilot.

    Can you go over 15mph free wheeling with this kit ?
    My commute is hilly and obviously downhill I can get upto 30mph easily at the moment.
    However I have changed jobs and thus now will involve visiting multiple sites around birmingham and it’s going to be a pain to keep taking clothes with me to meeting getting changed getting sweaty etc.
  • PhilipPirripPhilipPirrip Posts: 616
    Freewheeling downhill is not a problem. There's no feeling of drag from the motor/gearbox in that situation.

    The only issue I had was that the 15.5mph limit on the display* was just below my normal riding speed on the flat and the assistance would cut off with an almighty hit and then you really feel the resistance from the motor/gearbox. I went into the system controls through the display and increased the cut off speed slightly so the assitance is more tapered and now there's a much smoother transition between assistance and pedal power.



    *The display seemed to be over-reading actual speed - 17mph on the display was reading as 15mph on gps devices, possibly because it calculates speed purely on wheel size.
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