Living with an e-bike – Part One

by 51

In it for the long haul – A journey into e-bike ownership. Here’s Sanny’s first instalment of a multi-part series of features detailing life with an electric mountain bike.

Part One – The Gathering

E-bikes have been on my radar ever since they broke into the UK market a good number of years ago. The concept of something that is more than a bike, which gives you the means to keep riding long after you’ve reached the point when you would be well and truly done, that allows you to get up climbs that you had long since consigned to the impossible pile or to ride when lack of fitness, illness or injury would be a barrier to riding, is of clear appeal to many folk.

If you are reading this in the expectation of some philosophical treatise on the validity or otherwise of the very existence of e-bikes, you’ve come to the wrong place. That is the preserve of forums and real life rides with friends. The debate has been had ad nauseam and will no doubt continue to do so for years to come. Two wheels are better than four in my book. If you are riding, you aren’t driving and that to me is a gold-plated good thing.

All this being said, my experience with e-bikes has been hitherto a bit on the underwhelming side. That is not to say that I have ridden lots of e-bikes and not thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Au contraire. I have had a whale of a time on them. Whether dragging Mark of this parish and Nick Craig round the Four Passes in the Lakes on 55 pound behemoths or zipping around the mountains above Nice, I’ve never come away from a ride on one and regretted it.

Truth be told, they are brilliant fun. However, when it comes to actually considering owning one, I am very much in the camp of keeping my money in my pocket and watching as the technology develops to the point at which e-bikes are being designed that suit my riding needs.

Weight has always been an issue for me. I like a bike that feels like a bike to ride. I don’t like the feeling of compromise when riding a bike that can weigh up to twenty pounds more than my own bikes. Having to brake early on technical descents to slow down sufficiently or having to have biceps like Popeye as you try to manhandle your bike on technical terrain is not exactly a positive selling point.

Nor do I like the feeling of riding through treacle when you exceed the 15.5 mph limit or by just turning the motor off. Check out any online forum and you can frighten yourselves with horror stories of motor failure, range anxiety, batteries exploding (although to be fair the issue seems to be with ill-advised homebrew kits as opposed to bikes from any of the recognised bike brands) and not forgetting electrical and wiring failures.

To date, no e-bike has floated my boat sufficiently to make me consider committing to one as my only bike. When I am not riding test bikes, I split my time between a really rather lovely Surly Ice Cream Truck fat bike and a 12 year old Turner Sultan 29er. They are neither long nor low (nor, indeed, slack) and they have double chainsets – remember those? However, both see regular use, whether riding locally or going further afield such as in the Highlands of Scotland or the Lake and Peak Districts, as well as the Alps and Dolomites.

I suspect this makes me like a lot of you; riding bikes that have been owned and loved for several years and which would take a lot to make me want to invest in something new.

However, my curiosity was piqued when manufacturers started down the route of producing lightweight e bikes. Orbea, Specialized and Scott came early to the party with some offerings that intrigued me but it was when the Pivot Shuttle SL was launched that I realized that e-bikes might finally be becoming a viable option for me. Thus a plan was hatched.

If I am a bell weather for readers who have a curiosity in owning an e-bike but are unsure whether they actually want to invest what can be a frankly eye watering amount in buying one, why not ride one for a minimum of a year as a genuinely long term test? Sure, riding a bike on test for a month can tell you a lot but what it doesn’t do is give insight on what it is like to own the darn thing, warts and all. If shortcomings are going to come to light, you can be pretty sure that they will do so when subjected to rigorous long term testing as opposed to the first few weeks of riding. In a similar vein, only after an extended period riding a bike can you become truly familiar with how capable it is and the adventures you can take it on.

What better way to find out what it is like to live with an e-bike than riding it for a year?

But why the Pivot Shuttle?

A lot of my riding falls into what may be considered to be a niche category and not to everyone’s taste. I love being and riding in the mountains. Trails that are rocky and steep really float my boat. While I do enjoy a good blast with friends around the likes of Glentress, it is when I am out riding where phone reception is limited and evidence of man’s existence is limited to the trail in front of me that I am at my most content. Sinewy singletrack writ large against a backdrop of soaring peaks and deep valleys floats my boat.

As such, not all trails are necessarily rideable up and occasionally not down either. Consider me a seasoned practitioner in the art of the hike-a-bike. Something to not just endure but actually enjoy.

With this in mind, any choice of e-bike for me has for meet non-negotiable criteria.

  • Weight – it has to be light enough to carry. On the Four Passes adventure on e-bikes, we were carrying north of 25kg of bike each. Doable but not pleasant. Knocking several kilograms off that has to be a pre-requisite.
  • Battery capacity – it has to be sufficient that I am not constantly fretting about running out of power at the furthest point from home in the backcountry.
  • Reliability – no one likes it when their bike suffers a mechanical but adding a motor and electronics to the equation increases the scope for failure. As such, I am looking for technology that is tried and tested.
  • Handling – now this is a tricky one. It has to feel like a normal bike, both with the motor on and off. If I exceed the limiter, I want it to feel like a subtle transition from power to no power. Likewise, if I want or have to ride with the motor off, I don’t want to be regretting my bike choice.

Barely a couple of years ago, it is fair to say that this was moon-on-a-stick territory but the Pivot Shuttle SL has been the catalyst for me to committing to an e-bike as my bike of choice, albeit with one caveat – the cost. It is the elephant in the room so let me tackle it at the very outset.

£11,250 is a truly eye watering amount of money for a bike and I believe it is fair to say that it puts it out of reach of the vast majority of readers and riders, myself included. By way of comparison, I drive a top of the range Volvo XC60 that cost considerably less than that when I bought it at the start of lockdown with less than 60,000 miles on the clock.

Every time I ride the Pivot, that little thought pops into my head. For the same money, I could be riding a brand new Ducati motor bike or even a KTM electric motorbike. As a former Finance Director, that is an awfully hard sell to me. However, the Pivot is arguably at the cutting edge of e-bike technology and as with anything new and innovative, there is a significant premium to pay.

Fundamentally, it is a showcase for what is possible going forward and there is no doubt in my mind that the technology it delivers in terms of power, battery life, weight and handling will most assuredly trickle down to the extent that today’s superbike becomes tomorrow’s norm.

As such, when you are reading this series of articles over the coming year, what I want you to reflect upon is that this is not just a bike test but hopefully a useful insight into what most of us could be riding in the future. Tests of superbikes are easy to dismiss – expensive bike in nice to ride shocker – who knew eh?

To be blunt, if an expensive bike isn’t amazing, something has gone very wrong somewhere. I would be genuinely disappointed if the Pivot does not wow me. The price tag carries with it an expectation of brilliance. That is only part of the story. It is what it points to going forward and what we can hope to benefit from at the mass market level that interests and excites me in equal measure.

What does £11,250 buy you?

As you would expect, carbon is the material of choice for the frameset which contributes to its sub-19kg weight (with pedals), while suspension design is taken care of by tried and trusted DW Link technology. As a long-time DW Link user on a venerable Turner Sultan, I am familiar with the design and how it works so I will be intrigued to see how it translates into e-bike usage.

Travel out back is 132mm with up and down duties taken care of by a Fox Float X factory shock while 150mm of travel out front is handled by a Fox 36 Factory GRIP 2 fork. Both look bling in their Kashima coating finery and are topped off with an equally fancy looking 175mm Fox Transfer Factory Series dropper post.

For those who like to fettle, there is a flip chip in the seat stay pivot which allows you to drop the bottom bracket by 6mm and slacken the seat and head angles by half a degree. The seat angle is 76.5° while the head angle is 65.5°. On my Large frame, reach comes in at 482mm and stack at 626mm.

The beating heart of the Shuttle SL is the Fazua Ride 60 motor which, unsurprisingly, offers 60Nm of peak torque and 450W of peak power. It is matched with a 430Wh Fazua Energy battery which is built into the frame. Riders who like to remove their battery for charging look away now as that is not an option.

The power display comes in the form of a five LED display which is integrated into the top tube. Popping it up allows you to charge devices with a USB-C connector. In profile, you would be hard pushed to discern that the Shuttle SL is an e-bike. Along with the Scott Lumen, I reckon it is the least e-bike looking e-bike out there.

The drivetrain comprises a SRAM X01 Eagle 12 speed rear derailleur, shifter and 10-51t cassette while the cranks are a particularly smart looking ROTOR EKAPIC number with 34t ring. Braking is taken care of by Shimano XT M8120 four pot calipers paired with Galfer 180mm/203mm 6 bolt rotors.

A supremely comfortable (well, for my shape of bottom anyway) WTB Volt pro saddle takes care of the rear while steering is handled by Pivot’s own brand Phoenix Team Low Rise carbon handlebar and Enduro/Trail stem.

To keep things rolling, my test bike came fitted with NEWMEN EVOLUTION SL A.30 Alloy wheelset with 6 bolt adaptor while a tubeless set up of 2.4 Maxxis Dissector tyres in EXO casing with MaxxTerra rubber compound round (boom and indeed tisch!) things off nicely. The catalogue spec led me to expect a DT Swiss XM1700 wheelset but given past experience with some DT rims being on the, shall we say, soft side, I was not disappointed by the change of spec.

Finally, mine came in a Blue Denim with red highlights palette although there is also a rather fetching Desert Sage Green available which would be my preferred choice.

Initial impressions

Having already putting a lot of miles in the electric tank, I’ll leave a fuller discussion of the Shuttle SL for the next article in the series. Instead, let me share my initial impressions from the first few weeks of riding.

First and foremost, it rides like a normal bike. It’s difficult for me to overstate quite how important this is to me. As I alluded to earlier, my experience of e-bikes has hitherto been tainted by the need to brake a little earlier than I would do on a regular bike and try and counteract the added momentum that those additional kilogrammes impart.

While a bit of added heft can be advantage when trails get chunky and gnarly, there is a definite point at which the poundage translates into a feeling of you having to tame the bike rather you and it acting together for a common purpose. With the Shuttle SL, there is feeling of planted surefootedness without a corresponding requirement to counter any unwelcome handling foibles.

Compared to my similarly DW Link Turner, the suspension feels even more smooth and progressive while travel feels greater than the 132mm on offer. It may not have enduro sled numbers but it is a very fun and engaging ride with a capability I am looking forward to exploiting.

What are my plans for it going forward?

Riding the hell out of it for starters! It sounds obvious but getting the miles in is key to this being a proper long term test. I don’t know about you but when I read e bike reviews where the bikes have only been ridden a couple of hundred kilometres, I’m always left wondering how the bikes perform long after the test period has finished. It’s not a criticism of short term tests but just a recognition that there is an appetite to take a deeper dive into the reality of owning an e bike in the long term. The sums involved can be really chunky and by necessity, short term tests can only tell you so much.

Being a lightweight e-bike, I want to see how it performs on big days out in the mountains. Is it a viable option to take into the mountains on a multi hour epic? What is it like to carry when the trail turns upwards and riding is replaced by carrying? I enjoyed/endured the hike-a-bike mini epic when I rode the Four Passes in the Lake District with Nick Craig and Mark of this parish a couple of years back while riding/pushing/cursing full fat e-bikes. Nick and I had a thoroughly enjoyable albeit tough day out, Mark somewhat less so.

A full fat e-bike on hike-a -ike trails would fall into the category of being perhaps a niche too far for most but what about taking a lightweight e bike instead? Just how far and how high can you ride it in a day? When the batteries are exhausted, what then? Does the bike feel like a boat anchor when you ride with the motor off or is it a doable and indeed enjoyable experience?

Another consideration is reliability and repairability. Look at any forum posting on e-bikes and you will inevitably come across issues. E-bikes by their very nature are more complicated than normal bikes. I refuse to use the phrase analogue bikes and anyone who does shall be confined to a small darkened room until they see the error of their ways, in the unlikely event that I become Supreme Leader. Throw in a CPU, wiring looms and a motor and you add new points of potential failure.

It is not a thinly veiled criticism of e-bikes, it is just the nature of the beast. If things don’t go according to plan and there are technical issues, what I want to determine is how easily and quickly they are overcome so that I can get riding again. Will I be stuck in limbo without a ride for several weeks or months or will the process be a pain free one?

Fitness comes into play too. As someone who rides a variety of bikes (gravel, mountain and fat) and regularly rotates between them depending on the mood I am in, I want to determine if there is a discernible impact upon my fitness from riding an e-bike. Will I become overly used to the extra power on tap or will it act as a catalyst to ride further and more frequently? Will I use it for more than just mountain biking or will it become a viable alternative to shorter car journeys? Ultimately, will my fitness be adversely impacted by riding one?

Finally, there is the question of upgrade paths. Every bike I have ever ridden has had components revised and upgraded as things wear out. What are the options like for ebikes? Does adding a battery extender make a big difference in terms of range and handling? Does the rolling mass of a wheelset play as big a role in how an e-bike rides and feels as it does on a normal bike? Is it possible to trim some weight in the quest for improving the ride experience? Is it even necessary?

So there you have it. Lots of questions to be answered and things to ponder. Will I become a fully paid up member of the e-bike evangelists or will it leave me with more questions than answers? Who knows but here’s to the fun of finding out.

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Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 51 total)
  • Living with an e-bike – Part One
  • iainc
    Full Member

    A good read and will be interesting to see how the reliability holds up with Sanny on it for a year !

    The price thing really is a thought. I bought a Levo SL summer 20 and with upgrades it was close to 10k, which was rather eye watering at the time. It’s been pretty good, a few electrical issues in the warranty period, and then it needed a new motor when just out of warranty. Spesh came good on that and supplied it via lbs at cost price, so about half retail.

    Most of my riding last year was gravel and road and I did wonder about selling the Levo, but they go very cheap second hand so I’m better off keeping it !

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Looks like it will be an interesting read when it’s done

    surfthemaze
    Full Member

    I fully appreciate this isn’t a peer reviewed Nature article, but feel compelled to suggest a thorough assessment could have involved a pre & post weigh-in and fitness test and only riding an eBike/moped for 6 months.

    In the docu style of Super Size Me – 100% commitment to the cause, but without the buns! Now that would  be interesting 😉.

    oldfart
    Full Member

    Been looking for an article like this for a long time 👍The thing that puzzles me though being an Orbea Rise owner and the other E Bike thread is the almost hatred of the Shimano motor and suggesting the Transition but not with the EP8 . The other option is the Fazua motor which the Pivot also has  but surely that hasn’t been around long enough to be proven ?

    Finally I’m that old our first house was £2K less than the Pivot 😳😳😳

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Two wheels are better than four in my book. If you are riding, you aren’t driving and that to me is a gold-plated good thing.

    Which I agree with in principle, but the reality is that e-mtbs have very little to do – or not to do – with whether people also drive cars. You couid equally laud, oh, I dunno, crochet on the basis that ‘if you are crocheting, you aren’t driving and that to me is a gold-plated good thing’.

    I’m not sure that eco-friendliness holds much water when it comes to justifying mountain biking generally, let alone electrically-assisted mountain biking. Better to just argue that it’s better for people to get out side on an e-bike rather than be sat inside watching telly than dragging sustainability into it in a convoluted way. The ‘having fun’ argument, on the other hand, is fine with me.

    dmorts
    Full Member

    Storing the battery at this time of year..

    Outside in potentially sub-zero temps vs inside the house with potential fire risk?

    binman
    Full Member

    Have you got a Range Extender for it yet ? If so what size ?

    Kramer
    Free Member

    Finally I’m that old our first house was £2K less than the Pivot 😳😳😳

    Ok boomer. 😉

    Kramer
    Free Member

    I’m not sure that eco-friendliness holds much water when it comes to justifying mountain biking generally, let alone electrically-assisted mountain biking.

    My understanding is that how you get to your mountain biking is far more environmentally problematic than the actual mountain biking?

    oldfart
    Full Member

    Kramer 😁😁😁

    thepodge
    Free Member

    Which I agree with in principle, but the reality is that e-mtbs have very little to do – or not to do – with whether people also drive cars.

    I think this kind of depends where on the scale you’re looking, the vast majority of ebikes I see are base model Halfords and Decathlon e-mountain bikes, admittedly these are just bikes being used for transport, not for leisure.

    StuE
    Free Member

    Don’t like the cable routing but this looks way better value and imho the removable battery makes it more practical

    https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/electric-bikes/focus-jam2-sl-9-9-review

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I think this kind of depends where on the scale you’re looking,

    I was looking at the bit on the scale where Sanny is long-term reviewing an £11,250 e-mtb. I’m sure there are people using e-bikes to replace cars for local journeys, trips to the supermarket, commutes etc and that’s great, I’m just not entirely convinced that expensive e-mtbs are bought for those reasons or that riding one has any impact on car use either way. Unless we’re talking bikes that are so expensive you can no longer afford to run a car I guess, in which case it all makes sense 🙂

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @Iainc

    Glad your specialized is still going strong. Your point about the value second hand dropping is well made. I wonder who will want to buy an Orbea, Specialized or Ibis e bike at full price in future given how much the prices have been slashed? I would be loathe to buy one full price only to see it drop by 50 per cent a few months later. I suspect many buyers will now be wary of spending full price on e bikes in future. I count myself among them. It feels like a case of the bike industry shooting itself in the foot unless prices are going to drop permanently.


    @binman

    No range extender yet. Fazua promised one that would work with a Fidlock mount. No sign yet after more than a year. A bag version is available but seems really hard to get hold of.

     

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @surfthemaze

    Given that you took the riding shots, you know there is zero chance of me being that scientific. Besides, all the tips I get from using it for Deliveroo duties will be what makes me less fit as I fill my face with pizzas that I don’t deliver! Ha! Ha!


    @badlywireddog

    To be fair, I have been using the bike for journeys that I would have used the car for previously. It is not the reason i got the bike to test but a happy additional benefit. I find that the bit of assistance on tap has encouraged me to jump on for casual trips to the shops or nipping out to visit friends. It is a very expensive shop bike but the point remains that it is getting used for that very purpose.


    @dmorts

    The bike gets stored in the house under an interlinked smoke and heat alarm system. I would be loathe to store something so valuable in a shed. i never have it charging overnight nor when i am out the house. The risk with fire seems to be far greater with home brew e bikes.


    @stue

    I am with you re internal cable routing. It just makes maintenance more awkward than it need be for the sake of aesthetics.

    Any more questions or comments? Keep em coming. Happy to answer as best i CAN.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @oldfart

    The Pivot costs more than my car which is nuts in my book. My first house cost more than it though!

    nxgater
    Full Member

    Hmm- an interesting challenge as nothing in life is truly objective. I might suggest a scorecard should be kept to guard against misunderstanding of the judgment process. Personally I could never spend that much on an e-mtb but I would hope at that price it’s pretty great at some level. For my part if I don’t ride an e-mtb then I can’t ride at all cos my knee is damaged. So my e-mtb is truly transformative. But beyond that, in my this far relatively brief experience, riding an e-mtb is massive fun and it cleans technical stuff (both up and down) like no other bike I’ve ever ridden. Will follow this story with great interest!

    oldfart
    Full Member

    @sanny

    Unfortunately I paid full price for my Rise 😔

    dumbbot
    Free Member

    The risk with fire seems to be far greater with home brew e bikes.

    Does it? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-68197857

    I’ve always assumed all this chat of ebike battery fires was those cheap Chinese ebikes, the Deliveroo moped type things? This came up on my news feed this morning and this ain’t no cheap ebike…can’t make out what it used to be but it “was” a proper ebike left on charge.

    To be fair, it could’ve been the fact they were running mismatched front and rear tires that caused it to spontaneously combust.😂

    bbdave
    Free Member

    I used to fly electric aircraft but stopped when the fun police got involved, but I think I have some experience of lithium based cells and batteries they were always charged in charging bags which are fireproof. Are e bike batteries charged in place or still installed? I assume most of the charge fires are faulty chargers rather that battery fault

    swanny853
    Full Member

    To be fair, it could’ve been the fact they were running mismatched front and rear tires that caused it to spontaneously combust.

    Or the fact it had two back wheels?

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    Yeah was about to point out that there’s more than the usual number of derailleurs there.

    howdoo
    Free Member

    I think the burnt out e-bike is a canyon. You can tell by the seat stay chain stay layout and looks like a Shimano motor 😕

    towzer
    Full Member

    Have you got any news on fazua reliability/rebuildability ? (And future out of warranty support, ie will they be assisting/helping 3 party rebuilders with tech info, tools, part details etc) and what is in warranty motor/bits replacement is like (*do fazua have a uk distributor now ?)

    From reading the internet it seems there may potentially be problems with the ring controller switch thing and motor which is a pity as in terms of weight, power and battery ‘use’,  it seems to be a very good mix.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    @badlywireddog

    To be fair, I have been using the bike for journeys that I would have used the car for previously. It is not the reason i got the bike to test but a happy additional benefit. I find that the bit of assistance on tap has encouraged me to jump on for casual trips to the shops or nipping out to visit friends. It is a very expensive shop bike but the point remains that it is getting used for that very purpose.

    Fair enough. I guess you could get into all sort of convoluted environmental impact calculations, but this stuff really has no end. A while back, I went to a series of conferences that started off looking at innovation in the outdoors industry, but soon turned into a deep dive into sustainability. My main takeaway was that sustainability is very, very complicated at one level and the environmental costs in producing stuff aren’t always where you think they will be.

    At the other end of the spectrum, it’s really simple. We need to make less stuff. We need to make the stuff we do make more durable and to keep on using it until it’s genuinely unusable. And then we need to repair it and keep on using it. And then, once it’s really stuffed, industry and the state needs to take responsibility for end-of-life outcomes and recycle as much as it as possible and ensure the rest isn’t simply burned or buried in a hole in the ground.

    Anyway, we have a local community e-cargo bike, which I’ve occasionally used, and it’s brilliant for local shopping trips, deliveries etc. You could do a school run on it too. And yes, it’s sort of a car substitute. Even then, I don’t know where the sustainability balance really is. If you own ones and it replaces a car 100%, that seems like a no-brainer. If you also run a car though, you’re reducing emissions, congestion, particulates etc, but you’re adding in the environmental costs of producing the e-cargo bike in the first place in addition to those of the car, even if you use it less.

    Really we need to change the way we live so we’re not so reliant on cars, but that’s a whole additional layer.

    Anyway, have fun with the Pivot. I have a loaned 2017 Levo sat here, which I used as a long covid recovery tool. It’s fun, but for me at least, it’s not mountain biking as I enjoy it. Not really being able to pedal much at all for about 18 months means that now I can, I absolutely embrace and relish the feeling of my body working properly again. The Levo sort of robs me of that all over again, but in a very civilised, gentleman thief way, though it’s great for recovery rides on days when I’d otherwise be tempted not to bother.

    It’ll be interesting to see what you make of it long term once you’re past the giggle-happy honeymoon phase 😉

    jameso
    Full Member

    I was looking at the bit on the scale where Sanny is long-term reviewing an £11,250 e-mtb. I’m sure there are people using e-bikes to replace cars for local journeys, trips to the supermarket, commutes etc and that’s great, I’m just not entirely convinced that expensive e-mtbs are bought for those reasons or that riding one has any impact on car use either way.

    They might do? If you have an e-bike of almost any kind in the household it’ll probably get used for errands now and then eventually, whether you bought it for that or not. That’s a great thing if/when it happens. People tend to have breakthrough moments with things like this where they have a change of view on value, use, etc.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Or the fact it had two back wheels?

    Na, it’s one of those secret Whyte e-PRST-1 protos that no-one knows about…

    julians
    Free Member

    it’ll probably get used for errands now and then eventually, whether you bought it for that or not.

    I’d love to use my ebike for errands, but its bad enough leaving a cheapo pub bike locked up outside the spar for 20 minutes, let alone £5k-£7k worth of ebike, so it just doesnt happen.

    Are there some solutions to this problem that I’m missing? or does everyone that uses their e mtb for errands live in a much nicer part of the world than I do.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    They might do? If you have an e-bike of almost any kind in the household it’ll probably get used for errands now and then eventually, whether you bought it for that or not. That’s a great thing if/when it happens. People tend to have breakthrough moments with things like this, where they have a change of view on value, use, etc.

    I guess so. I like the idea of a eureka ‘breakthrough moment’, where someone rides their £11k Pivot to a supermarket and a day later sells the car and buys an e-cargo bike.

    It’d be nice if it were easier and safer to securely park a bike of any kind outside most of our car-centric retail infrastructure mind.

    jameso
    Full Member

    I like the idea of a eureka ‘breakthrough moment’, where someone rides their Pivot to a supermarket and a day later sells the car and buys an e-cargo bike.

    Or more likely, someone buys a more average e-MTB and starts to ride it times/places that aren’t their normal MTB rides, realises how useful and enjoyable it can be for practical transport and buys a £1400 Carrera that can be locked up places and gets some real use from it as a car option. We’re still at a fairly early-adopter stage with e-bikes replacing car miles in the UK, people who already ride bikes are more likely to be the ones normalising it or telling others of the benefits.

    Are there some solutions to this problem that I’m missing? or does everyone that uses their e mtb for errands live in a much nicer part of the world than I do.

    I don’t live in a posh area and I take a decent mid-motor e-bike to the supermarket / town from time to time, see plenty of ebikes of all sorts locked up in the same places. It’s a concern though and why a lot of people don’t buy+use e-bikes, I wish we had better infrastructure to resolve it.

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Irrespective of how nice the area is, taking the back lanes in either direction the nearest supermarket is 9 miles… i’m not doing that to go buy milk. My only shorter option is the A34 and i’m REALLY not doing that either.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Yeah, I live in one of the leafier suburbs in Manchester, and there’s no way I’d be using an £11K super-bike (e-powered or no) for errands. In fact both my bikes are more half that price, and I wouldn’t leave either of them chained up outside the shops either.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Irrespective of how nice the area is, taking the back lanes in either direction the nearest supermarket is 9 miles… i’m not doing that to go buy milk. My only shorter option is the A34 and i’m REALLY not doing that either.

    Would you drive the 9 miles to buy milk?

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Would you drive the 9 miles to buy milk?

    Well, yes… or we wouldn’t have milk.

    Admittedly if it was JUST milk, then i can get that in one of the village shops… but any more than that, requires driving to a Supermarket.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @badlywireddog

    Totally agree. Some really good points you have made there.


    @dumbbot

    That picture really does not inspire confidence, does it? I would be loathe to be within a mile of a burning carbon bike as I have an uneasy sense of just how dangerous carbon can be when it heats up and there are bits of it flying about as dust. There is a lot of ongoing research into the potential dangers associated with nano fibres. New Civil Engineer ran a piece back in 2000 likening the dangers to asbestos. Given how hot a battery burns when it experiences thermal runaway, i have no desire to be the crash test dummy breathing in the smoke particles containing broken down carbon fibre.


    @julians

    The bike comes in the shop with me. No way does it get left outside locked up!


    @towzer

    Upgrade bikes have taken on servicing and warranty for Fazua here in the UK so that is a good thing in my book……

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @weeksy

    You could get your milk delivered by electric milk float to be properly old school? Saves you buying an electric bike to go to the shops! Ha! Ha!

    iainc
    Full Member

    2 Spesh ebikes in my integral garage and one EV sitting right outside it …

    The bikes get charged in the garage, though only during the day and when the house is occupied.  A charge usually takes 3 hrs of so, so not hard to time for when we are in and would notice (garage has smoke and heat sensors).

    The car charges on Intelligent Octopus while we sleep, at least 3 nights a week.  If it goes on fire while charging there would most definitely be damage to the house given that the back bumper is barely 2m away from the front of the house.

    julians
    Free Member


    @julians

    The bike comes in the shop with me. No way does it get left outside locked up!

    Even then I reckon it’d make me a target for being mugged on the way out/in. I too (like nickc) live in a leafy suburb of manchester, but I’ve been on the receiving end of too many crimes ( 2 x car stolen off drive last year, 1 burglary, 1 car jacking, 1 mugging over the years) to trust riding it on the streets

    traildog
    Free Member

    I commute to Manchester by bike and getting mugged is a concern in the back of my mind. I avoid certain routes at night because of this. However, Manchester is the place where I seee the most people commuting and using e-bikes as everyday transport (including very expensive e-mtbs).  I certainly feel a lot safer when I’m closer to the centre and there are plenty more people around.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

     2 x car stolen off drive last year, 1 burglary, 1 car jacking, 1 mugging over the years

    holy crap thats the “nice” bit of Manchester?

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