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Buying Guide Electric Bikes

E-Bikes Explained

 

E-Bikes, love them or hate them. They’re here to stay. Electronically assisted bikes are probably the most misunderstood topic within the cycling industry.

Why do people buy them? Who is buying them? How long does the battery last? Isn’t the weight an issue? How fast do they go?

Truth is there is no stereotypical E-biker. They are just like any other cyclist. Young, old. Experienced or inexperienced. Everyone can and does enjoy them which is part of their beauty!

E-bikes can broaden the horizon for you and smash your limitations to allow you to boldly go where you have never ridden before. For less experienced riders, it can allow them to go further. For more experienced riders, it also allows them to go further… Basically, you can ride further with less effort. That doesn’t mean it’s a free ride. You still have to pedal, all the E-bikes have a varying amount of assistance in which the ride can choose how much assistance they have. This can range from “off” to what some call “turbo”.

The battery life is a huge variable. Terrain, gear selection, rider effort, tyre choice and pressure, mode selection, rider weight and effort are just a few things that will effect the range of an E-Bike. Some brands like Shimano have got around this so called “range anxiety” by creating apps like their E-Tube Project which helps you fine tune what the motor is doing, much like a map for a car or motorcycle.

Another useful resource is the range Calculator on Bosch’s website. It enables you to input information regarding your weight, riding style, terrain and riding mode and gives you an idea to how long the battery will last. This of course, is only really applicable to Bosch powered bikes.

The bikes vary in weight a lot, especially when looking at various disciplines. For example a full suspension mountain bike in comparison to a hard tail city type bike. Once you are riding the bike with any kind of assistance on the weight pretty much disappears and only becomes apparent during slow tight manoeuvres or super steep technical off-road terrain. The only time the weight can become an issue is lifting the bike over fences or putting it in or on your car. Some brands such as Thule, have remedied this issue by producing mini ramps to load your bike easier. Avoiding roof type racks would be good move for most people.

So enough of the boring stuff, how fast do these bad boys go? Well in the UK they are restricted to 15.9mph. Which off-road, is plenty. E-bikes must also be pedal assist to avoid being classed as a motor vehicle. This means the motor only kicks in whilst the rider is pedalling. Now do you see how it’s not cheating? Inevitably, some riders will be able to ride faster than this off their own steam. That’s fine too, you can ride beyond the speed restriction of the bike. You just won’t receive any more assistance from the bike. This is why so many brands are bragging about “zero drag” systems. Because once the motor cuts out, it’s beneficial to have as little friction as possible to help you push harder.

Still confused? Why not drop us an email, call us or visit one of our stores in the south. Visit our store locator for contact details.

Here’s some inspo for you courtesy of Specialized and World Champ Peter Sagan.

“Jack Explains”

Jack works in our Chichester store, is a fully qualified Retul Bike Fitter and whilst he rides all disciplines, it’s safe to say his heart belongs to mountain biking.

Check out Jack’s Instagram for more inspiration to get out on your bike.

Categories
Bikes Electric Electric Bikes Mountain News

Turbo Levo – Next gen eMTB tech from Specialized.

So, here it is. The E-bike that you’ve all been waiting for. Its lighter, more efficient and looks even more like a “normal” bike.

Specialized have made some dramatic changes to the bike this year. For starters, they are now using the new Brose 2.1 motor which is a dramatic 400 grams lighter and a fair whack more powerful than the previous unit. Specialized worked very closely with Brose to help develop this new unit. So much so that other manufacturers are having to work their bikes around Specialized’s preferred bottom bracket placement.

The new motor is now the most powerful on the market. Whatever the situation. Whatever the cadence. It either betters or equals the competition. Another change for this year is the mounting method of the motor within the bike. It now bolts straight into the frame of the bike instead of into a cradle which then bolts into the bike. The most obvious benefit of this is a weight saving but it could also help eliminate unwanted creaks by reducing the amount of hardware and points of contact.

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Along with a new motor is of course a new battery, or two. The expert and S-Works models with be specced with a 700wh unit and everything else will have a 500wh version. And of course batteries are available to purchase aftermarket should you want to upgrade or just need more range. That’s not the only change to the battery, its now fully encased within the downtube of the frame giving better protection and allows for a stiffer, lighter frame design.

The brain of the bike is now situated on the top tube just behind the stem. Making quick glances at battery life and mode selection a lot easier. It now features a classy blue light system but in principal does exactly what the previous version did. This new unit also helps with updates and eliminates the need for a specific diagnostics tool as it has a port within it too.

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Although Specialized have insisted that a heads up display type computer is not essential on this type of bike. They have now brought an aftermarket screen to the line up. It provides stats including speed, cadence, power and also battery life.

The first thing that strikes you about the new Levo isn’t whats lying beneath but the aesthetics of it. It looks amazing. It incorporates the asymmetric “sidearm” of the latest Stumpjumper and reaps all the same rewards. Enabling Specialized to make the bike stiffer and lighter, thus giving a better riding and more efficient bike. The downtube diameter has also shrunk lending itself to a more traditional look. The new frame has made some huge advances in weight saving too. A massive 800 grams has been saved on the S-Works level frame and 600 grams on the alloy version.

The geometry of the new bike is also, well, new. Its now 20mm longer and 0.5 degree slacker. Making the Levo very much its own bike. Although it does borrow a lot of tech from the stumpy, Specialized have said the bike sits between the Stumpjumper and Enduro in terms of geometry.

6Fattie wheels are out and the humble 29er is in. Its hard to avoid it these days. But in most situations the wagons wheels are the best option. Most of the bikes we were able to see were running the in house Butcher tyres in a 2.6 with grid casing. A burley tyre for a burley bike. The bike is still 6fattie compatible for all you plus tyre lovers. And because the new Levo has the same flip chip as the stumpy you can adjust the bottom bracket height to help avoid pedal strikes.

Along with plenty of new hardware comes new software in the form of a new mode and app. The new mode is dubbed “Uplift mode”. As the name implies its for them boring, gruelling fire roads that give little reward. Putting the bike in uplift mode reduces the torque the motor puts out and gets it to focus on just pulling you up the hill with a very low amount of effort from the rider. The drawback is of course this drains the battery a lot quicker so its not a mode you’ll want to be using too often. The app is an updated version of mission control which is also backwards compatible with older Turbo models.

A bike is the sum of its parts. Lots of changes to the Turbo Levo, big and small have made it a completely different beast to what it was last year. This is what happens when the best gets better.

Available online now, click and collect in your nearest Hargroves store or have it delivered to your door. 

Words: Jack Ingram (Insta @jack.ingram4)

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Electric Bikes News

High-Performance​ ​eBikes​ ​Explained

eBikes​ ​boost​ ​your​ ​efforts​ ​with​ ​hi-torque​ ​electric​ ​motors,​ ​letting​ ​you​ ​pedal​ ​further,​ ​higher​ ​and  harder​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​before.​ ​The​ ​benefits​ ​for​ ​commuters​ are​ ​obvious​ ​–​ ​but​ ​eBikes  aren’t​ ​just​ ​about​ ​getting​ ​to​ ​the​ ​office​ ​fresh,​ ​fast​ ​and​ ​fragrant!​ ​The​ ​ramifications​ ​for  cutting-edge​ ​mountain​ ​bikes​ ​are​ ​truly​ ​exciting.​ ​This​ ​is​ ​one​ ​area​ ​of​ ​cycling​ ​that​ ​we​ ​at  Hargroves​ ​Cycles​ ​get​ ​more​ ​and​ ​more​ ​questions​ ​about,​ ​so​ ​we’ve​ ​outlined​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​key  issues,​ ​features​ ​and​ ​examples​ ​here​ ​in​ ​our​ ​Performance​ ​eBikes​ ​Buyer’s​ ​Guide.

The​ ​climbing​ ​assistance​ ​eBikes​ ​generate​ ​is​ ​useful​ ​to​ ​everyone.​ ​Fit​ ​riders​ ​can​ ​go​ ​further​ ​and  faster​ ​than​ ​they​ ​ever​ ​could​ ​on​ ​a​ ​regular​ ​bike,​ ​while​ ​those​ ​with​ ​health​ ​or​ ​fitness​ ​issues​ ​can​ ​find  a​ ​whole​ ​new​ ​lease​ ​of​ ​life.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​they’re​ ​as​ ​ideal​ ​as​ ​a​ ​first​ ​mountain​ ​bike​ as  they​ ​are​ ​for​ ​veterans​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​discover​ ​the​ ​next​ ​level.​ ​Whoever​ ​you​ ​are,​ ​you​ ​find​ ​a​ ​bigger,  broader​ ​new​ ​network​ ​of​ ​trails​ ​opens​ ​up​ ​with​ ​an​ ​eBike. 

Obviously,​ ​there’s​ ​no​ ​point​ ​gaining​ ​access​ ​to​ ​miles​ ​of​ ​challenging​ ​new​ ​trails​ ​if​ ​the​ ​bike’s​ ​no  fun​ ​once​ ​you’re​ ​there.​ ​Happily,​ ​progress​ ​has​ ​been​ ​extremely​ ​rapid​ ​in​ ​the​ ​performance​ ​area:  today’s​ ​eBikes​ ​represent​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​most​ ​forward-thinking​ ​design​ ​in​ ​the​ ​sport,​ ​using​ ​highly  advanced​ ​materials,​ ​layouts,​ ​geometry​ ​and​ ​components.​ ​High-performance​ ​eBikes​ ​offer​ ​the  very​ ​latest​ ​in​ ​electrical​ ​systems,​ ​app-based​ ​tuning,​ ​wheel​ ​and​ ​tyre​ ​versatility,​ ​suspension  design​ ​and​ ​sheer​ ​rugged​ ​toughness.​ ​Add​ ​in​ ​increasingly​ ​fast​ ​charging,​ ​integrated  frame/motor​ ​design​ ​and​ ​highly​ ​progressive​ ​geometries​ ​and​ ​you​ ​get​ ​some​ ​astonishingly  capable​ ​bikes,​ ​with​ ​performance​ ​that’s​ ​more​ ​accessible​ ​than​ ​ever​ ​before.

THE​ ​FUTURE​ ​IS​ ​HERE!
The​ ​addition​ ​of​ ​a​ ​power​ ​source​ ​has​ ​some​ ​exciting​ ​knock-on​ ​effects.​ ​Electronic​ ​shifting​ ​has  already​ ​made​ ​the​ ​jump​ ​from​ ​road​ ​to​ ​mountain​ ​bikes,​ ​bringing​ ​with​ ​it​ ​wires​ ​that​ ​are​ ​unaffected  by​ ​mud​ ​and​ ​water,​ ​and​ ​mechs​ ​that​ ​constantly​ ​‘trim’​ ​themselves​ ​into​ ​perfect​ ​alignment.​ ​These  usually​ ​standalone​ ​systems​ ​are​ ​easily​ ​integrated​ ​with​ ​eBike​ ​drivetrains,​ ​along​ ​with  computer-style​ ​head​ ​units,​ ​power​ ​meters​ ​and​ ​even​ ​suspension​ ​travel​ ​adjustment.

Other​ ​electronic​ ​tweaks​ ​–​ ​such​ ​as​ ​suspension​ ​damping,​ ​dropper​ ​posts​ ​or​ ​even​ ​ABS​ ​braking​ ​–  will​ ​rapidly​ ​find​ ​ways​ ​into​ ​these​ ​new​ ​systems.​ ​Electronics​ ​are​ ​how​ ​today’s​ ​technology​ ​makes  its​ ​most​ ​amazing​ ​advances.​ ​eBikes,​ ​in​ ​short,​ ​are​ ​where​ ​it’s​ ​at!

WHAT​ ​ARE​ ​MY​ ​OPTIONS?
Money​ ​no​ ​object?​ ​The​Scott​ ​E-Genius​ ​700​ ​Tuned​ ​(£6,799)​ ​is​ ​a​ ​perfect  example​ ​of​ ​what’s​ ​possible​ ​when​ ​a​ ​manufacturer​ ​goes​ ​all-out.​ ​It’s​ ​a​ ​150mm-travel​ ​trail​ ​bike  with​ ​top-drawer​ ​Fox​ ​suspension​ ​and​ ​dropper​ ​post,​ ​Shimano’s​ ​electronic-shift​ ​Di2​ ​gearing,​ ​and  Shimano’s​ ​super-powerful​ ​twin-piston​ ​Zee​ ​brakes.

Scott’s​ ​switch​ ​to​ ​a​ ​Shimano​ ​motor​ ​kicked​ ​off​ ​a​ ​huge​ ​redesign​ ​for​ ​2018,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​shorter​ ​back  end​ ​for​ ​greater​ ​agility,​ ​massive​ ​tyre​ ​clearance,​ ​and​ ​geometry​ ​that​ ​embraces​ ​slacker​ ​head​ ​and  steeper​ ​seat​ ​angles.​ ​These​ ​combine​ ​to​ ​give​ ​greater​ ​descending​ ​stability,​ ​and​ ​more​ ​precise  climbing​ ​too.

Tyre​ ​clearance​ ​is​ ​good​ ​enough​ ​not​ ​just​ ​for​ ​the​ ​standard​ ​27.5​ ​Plus​ ​wheels​ ​with​ ​their​ ​2.8in​ ​wide  tyres,​ ​but​ ​29in​ ​wheels​ ​running​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​2.6in​ ​rubber.​ ​Flipping​ ​a​ ​chip​ ​in​ ​the​ ​shock​ ​mount  corrects​ ​the​ ​bottom​ ​bracket​ ​height​ ​for​ ​the​ ​bigger​ ​wheels​ ​–​ ​clever.

Shimano’s​ ​STEPS​ ​E8000​ ​motor​ ​kicks​ ​out​ ​70Nm​ ​of​ ​torque​ ​and​ ​250W​ ​of​ ​power,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​coupled  to​ ​a​ ​higher-capacity​ ​500Wh​ ​battery​ ​for​ ​maximum​ ​range.​ ​Three​ ​switchable​ ​modes​ ​(Eco,​ ​Trail  and​ ​Boost)​ ​let​ ​you​ ​manage​ ​power​ ​use,​ ​while​ ​Trail​ ​and​ ​Boost​ ​performance​ ​can​ ​even​ ​be  customised​ ​via​ ​smartphone​ ​–​ ​as​ ​can​ ​the​ ​shifter​ ​button​ ​functions​ ​–​ ​it’s​ ​all​ ​integrated!​ ​There’s  even​ ​a​ ​Walk​ ​mode​ ​for​ ​when​ ​you’re​ ​pushing​ ​somewhere​ ​too​ ​steep​ ​to​ ​ride.

MONEY​ ​​SOME ​ ​ ​OBJECT?
You​ ​can​ ​get​ ​most​ ​of​ ​these​ ​benefits​ ​for​ ​less​ ​with​ ​the​ ​full​ ​suspension​ Scott​ ​E-Genius​ ​720  (£4,499).​ ​​It’s​ ​the​ ​same​ ​as​ ​the​ ​700​ ​Tuned,​ ​but​ ​with​ ​suspension​ ​from​ ​RockShox  and​ ​X-Fusion,​ ​mechanical​ ​SRAM​ ​NX1​ ​shifters​ ​on​ ​a​ ​1×11​ ​drivetrain,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​Synchros​ ​dropper  post.​ ​Overall​ ​fork​ ​travel​ ​is​ ​10mm​ ​lower​ ​at​ ​140mm,​ ​but​ ​you​ ​still​ ​get​ ​the​ ​remotely-adjustable  suspension​ ​system​ ​of​ ​the​ ​flagship​ ​model.​ ​Travel​ ​and​ ​Lockout​ ​settings​ ​are​ ​altered​ ​via​ ​a  TwinLoc​ ​bar​ ​lever.

Cheaper​ ​still​ ​is​ ​the​ ​Cube​ ​Stereo​ ​Hybrid​ ​140​ ​SL​ ​500​27.5​ ​(£3,899),​ another  incredible​ ​trail​ ​bike​ ​that’s​ ​been​ ​completely​ ​redesigned​ ​for​ ​2018.​ ​Its​ ​140mm​ ​travel​ ​frame​ ​uses  highly-manipulated​ ​aluminium​ ​for​ ​very​ ​low​ ​weight,​ ​and​ ​features​ ​Bosch​ ​power,​ ​Fox  suspension,​ ​and​ ​high-end​ ​Shimano​ ​XT​ ​gears​ ​and​ ​brakes.​ ​The​ ​27.5in​ ​wheels​ ​and​ ​2.6in​ ​wide  Schwalbe​ ​tyres​ ​use​ ​the​ ​extra-wide​ ​Boost​ ​standard​ ​for​ ​increased​ ​strength​ ​and​ ​stiffness.​ ​Vital  when​ ​the​ ​Performance​ ​CX​ ​motor​ ​kicks​ ​out​ ​75Nm​ ​and​ ​250W!

At​ ​Hargroves​ ​we​ ​still​ ​love​ ​a​ ​good​ ​hardtail,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​advances​ ​in​ ​eBiking​ ​hasn’t​ ​ignored  them.​ ​The​ ​Specialized​ ​Turbo​ ​Levo​ ​Hardtail​ ​Comp​ ​6Fattie​ ​(£3,250)​ ​​is​ ​a​ ​great  example,​ ​offering​ ​trail-ready​ ​geometry,​ ​a​ ​120mm​ ​RockShox​ ​fork,​ ​huge​ ​3in-wide​ ​tyres​ ​on  27.5in​ ​rims,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​1×11​ ​Shimano​ ​SLX​ ​drivetrain.​ ​Power​ ​comes​ ​from​ ​a​ ​250W​ ​motor​ ​and​ ​a  504Wh​ ​battery,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​accessible​ ​via​ ​a​ ​smartphone​ ​app.​ ​There’s​ ​a​ ​women’s​ ​specific​ ​Turbo  Levo​ ​too​ ​​with​ ​different​ ​geometry​ ​and​ ​women-specific​ ​saddle​ ​and​ ​grips  amongst​ ​other​ ​tailorings.

Whatever​ ​your​ ​preference​ ​and​ ​your​ ​budget,​ ​there’s​ ​a​ ​massive​ ​world​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​out​ ​there,​ ​and  you​ ​can​ ​see,​ ​and​ ​tame,​ ​more​ ​of​ ​it​ ​with​ ​a​ ​high​ ​performance​ ​eBike.

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Electric Bikes News

eBikes – A Guide To Buying An Electric Bike

Electric bikes are the future! At Hargroves Cycles we’re getting more and more demand for – and more and more questions about – electric bicycles than ever before, so we’ve prepared this guide to help you get to grips with what’s what. At Hargroves we stock all kinds of eBikes, from step-through tourers and commuters with excellent luggage capacity, to urban-ready hybrids and full-on mountain bikes. Whatever your style of riding, there’s an eBike tailored to it.

Let’s first dispel an unhelpful myth: eBikes are definitely bicycles – you still have to pedal them. But with an electric motor topping up your efforts, they’re a huge benefit once the world starts tilting upwards. Whether you’re commuting to work, heading out for a weekend ride or even hitting the trails off-road, eBikes are easy – and great fun.

EBIKES AND THE LAW

Because the law considers them bicycles (except in Northern Ireland), you can ride eBikes anywhere you’d ride a traditional bicycle, wearing what you’d normally wear. The power boost kicks in as you pedal (there’s no separate ‘throttle’), and the assistance is limited to 15.5mph. Of course you can go faster but unlike in some other countries, beyond 15.5mph it’s over to you and your legs, because you won’t get any more help!

The assistance makes them ideal for stop-start urban traffic and really takes the sting out of hills, making them just as good for commuters who don’t want to get sweaty as those looking to boost fitness and mobility. Recharging is a simple case of plugging into a regular wall plug, as you would a mobile phone or laptop.

Northern Irish law is the exception, currently considering eBikes to be mopeds, and as a result you need a license, tax, insurance, a motorcycle helmet and even a DVLA registration to ride one there.

THE BENEFITS

While eBikes offer the same simple freedoms as regular bicycles, you can expect various high-tech options. Better bikes offer several power modes, ranging from a battery-friendly gentle push to a powerful shove. Such modes really help you get the most in both performance and range. A good system will also have a clear battery life indicator – all the eBikes we sell at Hargroves Cycles do – with the most advanced incorporating these into a bar-mounted, computer-like head unit with extra functions.

There’s an obvious reason for needing a battery indicator – you really don’t want to run out of juice. Because of their motors and in particular the batteries, eBikes are considerably heavier than regular unassisted models. Under power they more than compensate for their extra mass – and offroad they can actually have an advantage in grip and suspension performance – but they’re significantly hard to ride without power.

Today’s systems are well capable of a whole day’s hard riding – or several days commuting – and are extremely reliable. Advanced models even have a ‘walk’ mode to aid pushing, too. If you want a good idea of the range you’ll get/need, Bosch, a leading supplier of eBike systems, offer a detailed range calculator here.

WHAT DO ALL THE NUMBERS MEAN?

There are two main measurements to look out for when choosing an eBike: the wattage and the watt-hours. The wattage tells you how powerful the motor is. The watt-hour number, meanwhile, basically says how big the fuel tank is.

Figuring out the other specs can sometimes feel like a job for an electrician, but it’s actually not that complicated. You just need to know what the units actually mean. Here’s a quick overview.

Watts (W) This shows the maximum continuous power a motor can give, though short-burst peak power may be higher. 250W motors (the UK legal maximum) are common.

Watt-hours (Wh)This tells you how much energy the battery can supply for one hour: a 500Wh battery puts out 500 watts before going flat after exactly 60 mins. Connected to a 250W motor, it will last two hours. (Note, this is two hours at full power – which you are highly unlikely to ever be able to use, and in the real world the flow varies hugely and battery life is far longer).

Amp-hours (Ah) This is another measure of energy supply. To convert to the more common watt-hours, multiply amp hours by the voltage of the battery.

Voltage (V) Voltage is a little like horsepower, though legal limitations mean there’s not actually much call for variation. 36V is common, with 24V at the lower end and 48V emerging at the higher.

Newton Metres (Nm) This tells you how much twisting force (torque) the motor generates, which you feel in how strongly it can accelerate. More torque means stronger acceleration – and with it, higher battery drain. 75Nm is a common benchmark to look out for.

WHICH ONE’S RIGHT FOR ME?

Looking for a high-value bargain with great spec? The Cube Cross Hybrid One 500 (£1,799) features the very efficient 2018 Bosch Activ Line Plus 50Nm motor and a 500W battery. It also has hydraulic disc brakes, an excellent feature on eBikes, given their extra weight.

Cube Cross Hybrid One 500.

For a bit more power and serious all-round usability, we love the Cube Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 500 (£2,199). This gets the 75Nm Bosch CX motor, a semi-integrated 500W battery for smooth looks, and big knobbly Schwalbe tyres for grip and comfort on all surfaces. The quality drivetrain is 10-speed Shimano.

Cube Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 500.

For serious trail use, there’s little more capable than Specialized’s Turbo Levo FSR 6FATTIE /29 (£3,500).  A 650b ‘Plus’ bike that’s fully compatible with 29in wheels, it offers 150mm full suspension, huge 2.8in-wide tyres, a high-end drivetrain, massive 200mm disc brakes, and stealthy looks. With a built-in power meter (to measure your own efforts versus the motor), a bar-mounted mode switch and app-based connectivity for your phone, it’s right out there on the cutting edge.

Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie

Check out the range of electric bikes at Hargroves Cycles, and don’t be shy about giving us a call to help understand the numbers.

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Electric Bikes News

eBike Laws: Everything You Need To Know

From mountain bikers looking for a bit of ‘power assist’ on the climbs to commuters looking for a quicker and less strenuous ride to work, electric bikes (or eBikes for short) are here to stay and are growing in popularity by the day.

Before buying an eBike it’s important to know the rules and regs surrounding their use on public roads. For instance, if you want to ride an eBike in Northern Ireland you need a full motorcycle licence and not having one could land you with a fine of up to £1,000 and six pently points.

For those of you living in the UK you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t need a licence and the rules are slightly different which is why we’ve put together this handy guide.

Do you need a license to ride an eBike in the UK?

No. According to the GOV.UK Electric Bike Rules, eBikes are classed as Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (otherwise known as EAPCs) and as they’re not classed as ‘motor vehicles’, no license is required.

How old do you need to be to ride an eBike?

It’s a common myth that you need to be at least 17 years old to ride an eBike (the age you have to be to drive a motor vehicle) but in fact, the law states that you must be 14 years, or older.

Can you ride an eBike on the pavement?

No. The same rules apply to normal push bikes…legally, you should either be riding on designated cycle paths, or on the road. Check out our blog on Cycling Laws to familiarize yourself with all the laws on push bikes.

Do you need to tax and insure an eBike?

No. For the same reason that you don’t need a license, because eBikes are classed as EAPCs, this means there is no requirement to register with the DVLA, or tax and insure your electric bike.

What speed are electric bikes limited to?

The law states that the electric motor should have a maximum power outlet of 250w, and should not be able to power the bike if it is travelling at more than 15.5mph.

Make sure you check out the full UK electric bikes rules and regs here.

Got any more questions? Our Southampton and Chichester shops are eBike Specialist stores, so our team know a thing or two making the most out of an eBike. If you’re yet to take the leap and get your own electric bike, check out our Beginners Guide To eBikes.

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Electric Bikes Hybrid Bikes Mountain Bikes Road Bikes

Best Bikes Under £500

If you’re looking to buy a new bike for under £500 there are plenty of bargains to be had. It’s also the time of year when brands such as Specialized and Cannondale start to reduce this year’s models as they release details of their new ranges for 2018. Specialized for instance are offering up to 33% off selected models, some of which feature here.

What you should expect from a £500 bike

If you’re looking for the best bike you can buy for £500 there are a couple of things you should consider spec wise. Firstly for that kind of money you should expect it to have a good quality, durable aluminium or frame. The Specialized Rockhopper Sport for example has an A1 Premium Aluminium frame. This means is going to be fairly light and able to handle a few knocks and bumps.

specialized-al-aluminum-frame

At the £500 mark, you should also be expecting disc brakes as opposed to conventional V-Brakes. V-brakes still feature on cheaper bikes around the £250 mark so aren’t completely extinct. Disc Brakes however perform so much better, especially in poor weather conditions when it’s rainy and muddy. They also stop you faster and give you more control over your braking so it’s no surprise manufacturers are using these more and more.

Most mountain bikes these days come with suspension forks at the front of the bike to provide a bit of cushioning on bumpier sections of road or trail. It’s important to remember that not all suspension forks are equal. They range from basic to high performance. At the £500 mark, you would expect a functional suspension fork with around 75 – 100mm of travel and if you’re lucky a lock-out mode. Travel refers to how much the forks move up and down to absorb the shock of the bumps in the road. A lock-out feature gives the rider the ability to turn the suspension off. Turning off the suspension is particularly useful on steep climbs and flat sections of a smooth road.

Specialized Sirrus

Specialized Sirrus 2017 Hybrid Bike

Looking to get into shape this summer? Then look no further than the Specialized Sirrus. This hybrid bike is the perfect option for people who want to get out and explore, and keep fit at the same time. The no nonsense approach to design means this bike will give you everything you need, but nothing that you don’t!

With reliable components, and a premium, lightweight A1 frame, you’ll be riding for years to come. And don’t worry about long days in the saddle; with comfortable body geometry components that take the sting out of riding, you’ll be able to push yourself to the limit every time.

Specialized Rockhopper Sport

Specialized Rockhopper Sport

Dirt curious and looking to find your legs on the trails? Then the Specialized Rockhopper Sport is the bike to live out your mountain biking fantasies. This entry level mountain bike places focus on the long haul performance, and is built to last; with components selected  for their strength and durability, and corrosion resistant hardware, you’ll be able to tackle whatever the trails throw in your direction.

With a lightweight, A1 Premium frame and geometry that’s guaranteed to make you feel planted, confident and efficient out on the dirt, you’ll be climbing the trails and making light work of the descents every time.

Specialized Alibi Sport

Specialized Alibi Sport

Who has the time to be pumping this, and fixing that? No one! That’s why you need the Specialized Alibi Sport in your life. Ready to roll whenever you are, this hybrid bike removes any need for dirty maintenance, thanks to it’s anti rust chain and puncture proof, airless tires that will never go flat, and never need pumping!

With it’s premium A1 frame and body geometry grips and saddle designed specifically for women, not only does the Alibi provide a comfy ride, but also offers a wide range of gears, to help you conquer any hill that stands in your path.

Cannondale Trail 5

Cannondale Trail 5

Ready to fall in love with mountain biking? Then the Cannondale Trail 5 is here to take you on your new journey. After 30 year’s worth of designing bikes for the world’s top racers, Cannondale have learnt a thing or two, and have packed this bike with technology and features that offer fast, confident fun for every ride.

Specialized Pitch 650B

Specialized Pitch Mountain Bike

One of this year’s best sellers, the Specialized Pitch is the bike you need if you want to get off the road, and onto some trails. Equally part-performance driven, the Pitch was created with a light, aluminum frame and quality components; hand selected for their long term strength and capability.

Cannondale Quick Althea 2

Cannondale Quick Althea 2 Hybrid Bike

Ready to explore? The Cannondale Quick Althea 2 is waiting to bring out your adventurous side. Whether you’re looking for a bike to get you from A to B for your daily commute, or you’re looking for something to take on some dirt-road exploration, this hybrid bike is your perfect match in all things adventure.

Scott Aspect 750

Scott Aspect 750 Mountain Bike

Designed to be light, efficient and not too harsh on you wallet, the Scott Aspect 750 is a firm favourite for a reason. Featuring a nifty fork lockout mechanism, disc brakes and Syncros components, mountain bikes perfect for novice riders don’t get much better than this.

 

Specialized Vita

Specialized Vita 2017 Hybrid Bike

The Specialized Vita is your perfect partner in all things fitness. With this hybrid bike, you don’t have to worry about emptying every last pound in your pocket to get out, have a great ride, and stay in shape; the Vita offers a fantastic value bike that will enable you to ride with maximum efficiency, whilst making sure you stay comfortable in the saddle.