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E-Bike for 25 mile each way commute.

wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,018
edited June 2019 in Commuting chat
Right.

New position I've applied for is 25 miles away along the south coast. Bus/Train/Bus Public Transport for an 8am start is 2hours, driving typically 1 hour (up to 2 hours), biking is 1 hour 30 if I average 15 mph. The train alone is most likely 50 minutes. I don't have a motorcycle licence, and don't really want to go down that path.

There is no way that I can do a round trip of 50 miles each way every day on the push bike, and I don't have "my" car any more as a single car family, so options are buy another car (urgh); cycle, train, cycle, or cycle the full distance.

A yearly train pass is £2k, and I don't want to get onto a train hot and sweaty, meaning either slowly cycling (nope), or short distance e-bike at starting end, and tempted with an electric folder, like an e-Brompton at £2.5k.

Cycle/Bus/Cycle puts the 1st year costs at £4.5k.

For this price, I think I'd prefer a solid long distance e-bike for this price - and something "legal".

Does anyone on here e-bike this type of distance? It's 1000ft climbing, so not particularly flat, and I'm really concerned with the idea of running out of battery power in the middle of winter...
Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
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Posts

  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    If I were in your shoes I'd be looking at electric road bikes; the decent ones seem to be 12-14kg, so they're not going to be too gruesome to ride if you run out of power. They're not cheap though...

    I should think staying legal would be quite annoying to someone who already cycles; if you're used to spinning along at 20mph, 15mph is going to seem very slow. It would probably work better on a rolling route where you can use power assist to do 15mph up the hills, and then pedal down the other side at 20-30mph. You're going to want to put a reasonable amount of effort in, or you'll get cold in Winter.

    There is a DIY route; I had a quick go on someone's bike which he'd had professionally converted: motor in the front hub, battery clipped onto the handlebars like a bar bag, and some sort of power sensor in the bottom bracket. I'm afraid I don't know the brand or cost though.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,018
    TGOTB wrote:
    If I were in your shoes I'd be looking at electric road bikes; the decent ones seem to be 12-14kg, so they're not going to be too gruesome to ride if you run out of power. They're not cheap though...

    I should think staying legal would be quite annoying to someone who already cycles; if you're used to spinning along at 20mph, 15mph is going to seem very slow. It would probably work better on a rolling route where you can use power assist to do 15mph up the hills, and then pedal down the other side at 20-30mph. You're going to want to put a reasonable amount of effort in, or you'll get cold in Winter.

    There is a DIY route; I had a quick go on someone's bike which he'd had professionally converted: motor in the front hub, battery clipped onto the handlebars like a bar bag, and some sort of power sensor in the bottom bracket. I'm afraid I don't know the brand or cost though.

    Thanks. I'm primarily looking at the e-road bikes, as 1 1/2 hours on flat bars isn't going to work either, however given that my lardy censored is over 120kg, 3kg difference in the bike isn't that big a percentage.

    Yep, legal limit is going to be a pain, but I want to keep clean due to the stuff I do promoting cycling.

    I've also been looking at the DIY route as a money saving scheme, but with the Cycle to work £1k limit being lifted over the weekend, that will turn out significantly cheaper.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    I suspect you'd need to charge at work and home for that distance at our weight. Certainly an e-bike should be a good way to do it, although effectiveness will depend on the lumpiness of the route.

    If the route is fairly flat then you might be better off with a recumbent/time trial bike, either should eat up the flat miles better than a road bike perhaps might, especially one that only has electric assist up to 15mph.
  • PhilipPirripPhilipPirrip Posts: 616
    That conversion kit sounds like the Swytch kit (I've got one and mentioned it here before).

    If you go for a 500mWh battery bike or kit (like the Swytch kit) you should be able to eek out a 60 mile range at an average 15+mph without working up a sweat. The bike will be heavier but you'll be able to use more assistance throughout the journey.

    If you go for a Fazua/ebikemotion system bike they are lighter but have a lower capacity battery so you'll have to dial back the assistance and do more work for the battery to last 50 miles or get a second charger for work, assuming you have somewhere at work to charge the bike as the battery is internal.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I've converted 2 bikes to e-bikes - the cheap conversions are cheap - cheap solid front rims with loads of spokes and cables going everywhere - cable tied on sensors and mashups for mounting the battery ... it's ok for the occasional cyclist - but I'd want a proper installation for something I'd use frequently let alone daily.

    The benefit of the eBike is maintaining that speed up inclines, but you certainly don't get any additional push along on the flat once you're above 15mph.

    8am start means leaving the house a 6-615am - early start indeed and a lot will be in the dark/cold/wet - I know you're a hardy cyclist, but have you considered what you're going to do in the freezing cold/wet with a F7 SW wind (frequent occurrence as you know ;) ) Are you prepared to take PT when the bike breaks? Do you need to do Bus/Train/Bus - can you not do a pub bike -> train station then walk or even scoot at the other end?
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Another thought: How about doing some days on your existing bike, and then moped (which I think you can ride on your driving licence) for the others; vary the number of days you do each one based on how your legs feel.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,696
    Any proper ebike will do, the 15mph is max assist speed you can pedal faster. Given you have 1000ft of climbing the assist will help as this will be the slowest bits I'm guessing. The more you pedal the longer the battery lasts. You could always have a spare charger or battery to help. Don't forget a rack and mudguards so you don't have to carry a rucksack.
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/bikes ... ctric-bike
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Ribble do ebikes. I'd look at those.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,968
    TGOTB wrote:
    and then moped (which I think you can ride on your driving licence) .

    Depends upon when you passed; before Feb 01, 2001 then you can ride a Moped with no L plates, after this date, then you'd need to complete a CBT. For this distace though, i think you'd want a minimum of a 350cc bike.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,417
    I'm doing my CBT on Saturday. My 40 mile round trip was getting me down and I started back on the train just before Christmas. The train got to me within 3 months.

    My commute is mostly 30 and 40mph roads so I'm going to get by on a 125 but I'm planning on doing a direct access before I have to redo my CBT then I've got a bit more flexibility.

    I did look at ebikes, but they're so expensive I reckon a 125 scooter or motorbike would be cheaper in the long term. You can get a brand new Honda for £2500.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • me-109me-109 Posts: 1,426
    Cost, time and energy-wise I reckon you'd be better off on a larger scooter or small capacity motorbike.
    Have you also looked at how best to mix something like a cycle/train/cycle commute? Still expensive, subject to public transport delays and constraints, and annually rising costs.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,029
    50 miles daily?
    Train @ 2k is winning currently.

    Any decent e bike that will survive the hammering that commuting will throw at it in all weathers is going to cost as much as or probably a wad more - plus your maintenance time and costs.

    On a negative point , this is where #carbonzero is going to fall on its ar se... work for so many is miles away from where they actually live.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    JGSI wrote:
    50 miles daily?
    Train @ 2k is winning currently.

    Any decent e bike that will survive the hammering that commuting will throw at it in all weathers is going to cost as much as or probably a wad more - plus your maintenance time and costs.
    Except that 2k doesn't buy you the actual train, just the right to use it for a year. You'd hopefully have rather longer to amortise the cost of the bike...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    JGSI wrote:
    On a negative point , this is where #carbonzero is going to fall on its ar se... work for so many is miles away from where they actually live.
    This is partly why I haven't moved jobs ... most jobs that suit my skillset are further away from my current position and would involve busier roads ...
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    The train ticket is only for one year, at a minimum I reckon you can have an e-bike for at least 5 years, probably longer, even if you spent £300 a year in maintenance (on the higher side) you would still be quids in, and fitter.

    The motorbike outlay is probably cheaper, but you need insurance, petrol, servicing (you need this on the ebike too, but cheaper) plus kit. I reckon in the long term it will cost you more money, it also doesn't keep you fit.

    I would get something like a Ampler bike, which can be bought for just over £2k should do the job.
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    I'd go for the ribble e-bike. 11.6kg its lighter that my steel touring bike :shock:

    https://ebikechoices.com/ribble-endurance-sle-review/
    The 250Wh (watt hours) Lithium battery pack has everything in a single unit – motor controller, cabling, battery management system, and it remains fixed on the inside of the downtube. If more battery range is required, up to two external batteries can be connected to the system to reach 750Wh (watt hours), giving a potential range of up to 225km (or 75 km with just the internal battery).

    Do you have secure place to store @ work, wouldn't want to leave a £2500 bike ourside in carpark....

    Or theres gravel version with mech brakes thats cheaper £1900

    https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-al-e/
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    I wouldn't get the Ribble, Orbea or Pinarello. 11.6kg is for the most expensive one anyway, and I believe this bike is more directed to the recreational cyclist, they are good for what they do but I don't think they are suited for this. For commuting 25 miles each way every day I would like something a bit more robust where I can fit at least a 32c tyre and mudguards. The battery on the ebikemotion is fairly small too, so not suited to winter riding, etc. The one I suggest you can get it as a 13.5kg bike which isn't too shabby.
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 9,585
    Amplers are just flat bars though?
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    They are, currently. The Curt is, the Stoater is more of a Touring bike but nothing stops you from changing the bars on it. The good thing is you can have panniers and wider tyres. Plus it has a bigger battery.
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • PhilipPirripPhilipPirrip Posts: 616
    The 13.5kg Ampler is a single speed and the OP has stated their ride is hilly so the heavier 10 speed would be preferable to get the most out of the battery, although the OP also stated a 50 mile round trip so if they can't charge it at work they're likely to run out of assistance before they get home. Something with a 500Wh battery would get him there and back without breaking into a sweat.

    Whilst not having assistance on a 14.3kg bike isn't he greatest problem I'd forever be regretting having bought a bike that will always fall short of my needs every day.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,667
    Would https://www.cyclerepublic.com/orbea-gai ... -2019.html fit the bill? Offer of free accessories on the Orbea e-bikes (10% of bike value?), plus BC discount presumably.

    My guess is your biggest limiting factor is finding bikes that come in a big enough frame, IIRC from your bike search in the past year, aren'y you something like ~6'5"?
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    gabriel959 wrote:
    They are, currently. The Curt is, the Stoater is more of a Touring bike but nothing stops you from changing the bars on it. The good thing is you can have panniers and wider tyres. Plus it has a bigger battery.

    Only you need to change the brake/gear levers as when the brakes are pulled they (are supposed to) cut the motor.
    Some eBikes have a throttle too - not sure the laws on those - but handy if you want a sudden boost without the effort of pedaling ...
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,957
    I didn't realise the legal speed limit of an e-bike is only 15mph. A guy passed me yesterday on - what for all intents and purposes looked like - a legit e-bike and promptly dropped me like he should be riding for a World Tour team.

    This was a Dutch style affair, evidently built and marketed as an e-bike (not somebody's DIY project) and he was FLYING (I was doing 35kph and he went by me like I was stood still).

    I'd be buying a train season ticket and enjoying the long commute on my normal pushbike, two or possibly three times a week. Committing to 50miles a day, in all weathers... nah, not for me.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • PhilipPirripPhilipPirrip Posts: 616
    Sounds like an S-pedelec capable of 45km/h which should be treated as a moped; registered, insured with appropriate safety gear.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,957
    Sounds like an S-pedelec capable of 45km/h which should be treated as a moped; registered, insured with appropriate safety gear.

    He was in a suit and rain mac. :lol:

    EDIT: although I have just Googled and I think it was one of these!
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Ribble can fit pannier rack & mudguards and an option of up to 750w battery giving 225km range also 35mm tyres would fit the gravel model so has all the things you listed.
  • SmirSmir Posts: 4
    prawny wrote:
    I'm doing my CBT on Saturday. My 40 mile round trip was getting me down and I started back on the train just before Christmas. The train got to me within 3 months.

    My commute is mostly 30 and 40mph roads so I'm going to get by on a 125 but I'm planning on doing a direct access before I have to redo my CBT then I've got a bit more flexibility.

    I did look at ebikes, but they're so expensive I reckon a 125 scooter or motorbike would be cheaper in the long term. You can get a brand new Honda for £2500.
    Unsure what size you are, but highly recommend the Honda Varadero, 125 brilliant for long rides and bloody cheap to run! like extremely cheap! Wish I didn't get rid of mine!

    I brought it for 1400, 5 years later sold it for 1600... the price stays!
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    The Ribble can fit mudguards but not a pannier. Neither the Orbea nor the Ribble do have any option for an extended battery yet. The motor manufacturer, ebikemotion hasn't launched it yet.
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,018
    Interview offered. :shock:
    prawny wrote:
    I'm doing my CBT on Saturday. My 40 mile round trip was getting me down and I started back on the train just before Christmas. The train got to me within 3 months.

    My commute is mostly 30 and 40mph roads so I'm going to get by on a 125 but I'm planning on doing a direct access before I have to redo my CBT then I've got a bit more flexibility.

    I did look at ebikes, but they're so expensive I reckon a 125 scooter or motorbike would be cheaper in the long term. You can get a brand new Honda for £2500.

    I'd not considered a moped for some reason, my head was the thought of motorbiking while dealing with rushhour idiots on the motorway isn't something I can currently see myself doing, Yet cagers on 40mph dual carriages while on a push bike don't, "much". :roll:
    Not being able to use some of the cycle lane cut throughs on the way, in my head, frustrate me, even though the journey would still be quicker because I'd have more power available all the time.
    Smir wrote:
    Unsure what size you are, but highly recommend the Honda Varadero, 125 brilliant for long rides and bloody cheap to run! like extremely cheap! Wish I didn't get rid of mine!

    I brought it for 1400, 5 years later sold it for 1600... the price stays!

    I'm "huge" - 6ft 7 and over 120kg... but thanks for the pointer!
    Moonbiker wrote:
    I'd go for the ribble e-bike. 11.6kg its lighter that my steel touring bike :shock:
    https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-al-e/

    I'd been looking at the GCR-Al-E again, but the geo/sizing doesn't work with ribble bikes (, and the need to plug the bike into charge, not the battery, is something I don't like.
    Moonbiker wrote:
    Do you have secure place to store @ work, wouldn't want to leave a £2500 bike ourside in carpark....

    Yep, they have newly refurbished, active travellers hub, with allocated, individual bike lockers (with mains power available) within an access controlled site. It's almost bang on - showers & lockers on the floor above. They currently have loads of lockers not in use, and space for more if they need them. They charge £100 a year for the locker, over a Sheffield stand - well worth it as far as I can see.

    Would the Orbea Gain fit the bill?. My guess is your biggest limiting factor is finding bikes that come in a big enough frame, IIRC from your bike search in the past year, aren'y you something like ~6'5"?

    I'd been looking around the Gain urban range ( The F10 looks ok, panniers/guard space, and right sizing), but like the ribbles, the internal battery makes me think no.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,417
    Smir wrote:
    prawny wrote:
    I'm doing my CBT on Saturday. My 40 mile round trip was getting me down and I started back on the train just before Christmas. The train got to me within 3 months.

    My commute is mostly 30 and 40mph roads so I'm going to get by on a 125 but I'm planning on doing a direct access before I have to redo my CBT then I've got a bit more flexibility.

    I did look at ebikes, but they're so expensive I reckon a 125 scooter or motorbike would be cheaper in the long term. You can get a brand new Honda for £2500.
    Unsure what size you are, but highly recommend the Honda Varadero, 125 brilliant for long rides and bloody cheap to run! like extremely cheap! Wish I didn't get rid of mine!

    I brought it for 1400, 5 years later sold it for 1600... the price stays!

    I've managed to convince SWMBO to let me have a moped but a bike is a step too far (at least for the foreseeable) Varadero's are really expensive now for a good one, they shoudn't have stopped making them. I'd love one.

    Once I've got my scoot sorted and she's used to that I'm going to try and get a Grom in 8)
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
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