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Bikes Buying Guide Electric Bikes News

E-Bike Buyers Guide

Common questions asked when buying an e-bike.

Electricity is the future of transport, that’s a fact. It’s clean, affordable, efficient and reliable. E-bikes are the perfect example of this and with a range on offer that’s bigger than ever, at Hargroves Cycles we thought it would be useful to try and cover some of the basic questions people tend to have when considering stepping into the world of electrically assisted bicycles.

With motors becoming more discreet the chances are you’ll have seen an E-bike whizzing past you and not even realised. We think it’s great as it’s giving more people than ever confidence to get on a bike without the worry they might not be able to manage. It’s not to be mistaken for a free ride though, the best part is you still have to pedal. This means you can go further and do more than ever before on a bicycle while staying healthy.

How do E-bikes work?

The answer is a fairly simple one, they work exactly like a typical pedal-powered bicycle, but the electric motor powered by a battery assists as and when it is needed. This reduces the effort required and making your journey quicker and more efficient.

The UK has strict laws that currently govern exactly how much assistance the motor can deliver. The current law means any bike can have an additional 250W up to a maximum speed of 15.5mph. After that point the motor would cut out and traditional pedal power is required to go any faster.

Which e-bike is best for me?

Electric bikes are more diverse than ever, you can find just about every type of bicycle imaginable available with an electrical assist motor. Our current range includes road, MTB, gravel, city, hybrid and compact. When it comes to what might be the right fit for you it really comes down to the type of riding you’re likely to be doing and just how much assistance you might need.

Are there different Motor Types?

Frame: A frame-mounted motor is the more common higher-end e-bikes. These tend to be smarter as they can measure how hard you’re pedaling with each stroke. With this information, the motor can give a more accurate amount of assistance based on your effort. This means that the motor won’t deliver assistance when it’s not required, extending battery life and making sure everything is running as efficiently as possible.

Hub: A hub-mounted motor is more often found in bikes where a slightly more discrete approach is needed. These tend to be used in an e-road bike or city e-bike to keep things stylish.

What about the Batteries?

Battery technology is getting better all the time with some batteries now small and powerful enough to fit within the frame of the bike! Battery capacity tends to be the most important factor to consider when buying an e-bike. Especially if you intend to complete longer journeys in more hilly areas, in that case, bigger is definitely better. Capacity tends to be measured in amp-hours with the bigger the number meaning larger capacity and in turn, range.

How far can I ride it?

Just like your trusty mobile phone, the range of an e-bike is governed by battery life. The bike, however, will still be rideable long after the battery runs out however just without the battery assist. Factors such as which mode is selected and the terrain will run the battery down much faster so you should always account for this when looking at manufacturers quoted range.

What if the bike gets wet?

The electronic items on all of our e-bikes tend to be sealed units, including the motor, battery and head unit. They are designed for all-purpose use such as mountain biking, where occasionally there are deep puddles and rain. The bike will handle this without any issues. If possible, try not to completely submerge your e-bike but if you fall into a puddle for example, make sure the bike and yourself get out as quickly as possible. This would go for a normal bike too, water ingress can cause problems with more than just electronics! If you can, allow the bike to dry off before turning it back on.

How Heavy is it?
One of the most common questions we have about electric bicycles is “How heavy is it?” The truth is the weight can vary massively from bike to bike. Some modern e-bikes can weigh as little as 10-11kg and can range up to 25-26kg for some of the larger city e-bikes. This can lead to them being difficult to transport when not being ridden.

Cube Compact Hybrid Electric Bike

While buying an E-bike might seem like a big investment at Hargroves Cycles we certainly think it’s one worth making. With electric bikes to suit most riding styles and needs, you could certainly find a way of offsetting it against your current travel costs. Not to mention the health and environmental benefits.

Bergamont E-Revox 4 Electric MTB

Shop our range of e-bikes today and feel free to get in touch with us if you have any further questions!

Orbea Keram 10 29 Electric Bike

Categories
Buying Guide Featured News

Best Christmas gifts for cyclists

With Christmas a matter of weeks away are you still struggling with what to get your cycling mad friend, relative or partner? Or have you been landed with a secret Santa for a colleague who loves nothing more than being on two wheels? Don’t panic, we’re here to help.

We’ve put together a list below of gifts ranging from perfect stocking fillers for under a tenner right up to the ‘money is no object’ dream bikes. As cyclists, we have selected some products we would love to see under our Christmas Trees. These gifts are suitable for the majority of cyclists whether it be Mountain Biking, Road Cycling, Gravel Riding or anything in between.

Under £10

Elite Fly Water Bottle
£5.99

As a cyclist, you can never have too many drinks bottles or ‘bidons’ as we call them. With the Elite Fly Water Bottle, the cyclist in your life can Sip like a pro from the lightest bidon ever made! With a 550ml capacity and sitting well under the £10 bracket, it’s the perfect stocking filler.

Under £20

Muc-Off Wash Protect and Lube Kit
£16.49

This time of year the roads and trails are filthy and as cyclists we like to keep our bikes looking their best!  This Muc-Off Clean, Protect & Lube Kit comes with the three steps needed to keep any bike in tip-top shape without posing a threat to the environment. With state-of-the-art formulas that are fully biodegradable their bikes will be gleaming all year round. At under £20 we think this is a gift any cyclist would be happy to unwrap.

Under £50

Park Tools MT30 Mini Fold UP Multi-Tool
£34.99

Unfortunately, things can go wrong when you’re out cycling and although it’s impossible to carry your whole toolbox with you it’s certainly handy to have some essentials. That’s why the Park Tool MT-30 Mini Fold-up Multi-Tool is the perfect take-along tool for on the go repairs. It has some essentials such as Allen key and Torx drivers and packs away neatly to fit in any bag or pocket. Weighing in at just 153 grams and well under the £50 mark, this lightweight tool packs a mighty punch as a present. We certainly never leave home without ours!

Under £100

Exposure Trace Mk2 and TraceR DayBright with brackets Front and Rear Light
£85.00

This time of year, the days are short and even during daylight hours visibility can be at a premium. It’s certainly worth being safe and being seen. This premium and lightweight Exposure light set will certainly do the trick. Featuring USB charging, a choice of 6 burn times, DayBright pulse pattern and side illumination for 360 ̊ visibility this light set is packed with technology that’ll light up their face when they open this gift. At well under the £100 price point we think this makes the perfect gift for any keep cyclist.

Under £500

Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Cycling GPS Computer
£299.99

Us cyclists love our data, constantly sharing and comparing our rides through various platforms. The Wahoo ELEMNT Roam is the most advanced computer yet, building upon on the success of the original ELEMNT. Compatible with all the popular cycling apps such as Training Peaks, Strava, Best Bike Split, Today’s Plan and all Wahoo Smart Trainers and most smartphones making it the perfect stand-alone bike computer and gift for any keen cyclist. This really is the gift that keeps on giving with turn-by-turn route guidance, crystal-clear 2.7” LED backlit display, huge battery life and wireless connection they can keep you updated with every kilometre they ride! It comes with everything they need to get out and ROAM and comes well within the £500 budget.   

The ultimate cycling gift

Wahoo KICKR Power Trainer V5 Smart Bike Trainer
£999.99

While there’s nothing better than getting outside and riding your bike that’s not always possible. There’s plenty that can go against you whether it be the elements, time or even dreaded injuries. That’s why Turbo Trainers are an essential piece of kit for any serious cyclist.

Our favourite is the Wahoo KICKR, providing the ultimate indoor experience. Compatible with most gravel, mountain or road bikes and with state-of-the-art wireless technology getting connected couldn’t be smoother. If heading outside isn’t an option they’ll certainly be glad to have this high-tech training partner at their disposal. It’s particularly good at pairing with Zwift which means the recipient of this incredible gift can meet their riding buddies in cyber space and keep up the social aspect of their rides from the comfort of their own home.

The Wahoo KICKR will certainly take up a bit of space under the tree and we don’t know any dedicated cyclist who wouldn’t be over the moon with this incredible present which is we think this makes the ultimate cycling gift.

The money no object cycling gift

Specialized Aethos Expert
£5,500.00

We can all dream and this year top of our Christmas list is the Specialized Aethos Expert Carbon Road Bike. A bike that Specialized used every ounce of experience they`ve gained over the past 46 years and built a bike made simply for the love of riding. What could be better than a bike that is designed to straddle the line between perfect ride quality, extreme lightweight, and undeniable style. With quick-shifting, low-maintenance Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes paired with DT Swiss R470 Disc wheels if money really is no object then the Aethos is the perfect gift for the cyclist in your life this Christmas. Imagine the joy on their face when they open this up on the big day, the only problem you’re going to have is figuring out just how to wrap it.

The gift for the cyclist that has everything

E-Scooters, this years must have gift

We all know that person that is impossible to buy for. The person that has everything, but do they have an electric scooter? This years must have gift for kids and adults alike. Electric Scooters are the gift that makes getting from A to B quick, affordable, fun and easy. Any of our range of E-Scooters are guaranteed to make the recipient smile and provide unlimited hours of fun.

Categories
Buying Guide Commuting Electric Electric Bikes News

Our Guide to Buying an Electric Scooter

If you need a solution that makes getting from A to B quick, affordable, fun and easy then you need an E-scooter. Electric scooters are great fun and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

We’re here to help make your decision on which electric scooter to buy as simple as possible.

At Hargroves we think the 6 most important features you should consider when choosing an electric scooter are:

Range

Your scooter needs to be ready to go whenever you may need it. There’s no fun in having a scooter if it can’t get you from A to B without running out of charge. A larger battery range means you can travel further between charges and you don’t have to worry about remembering to charge it every night. 

A scooter with a range of 25-30km is ideal for the majority of daily riders. This allows you to travel an average distance of 15 miles before needing to plug it in!

Top Speed

Speed is important for keeping things fun. Our Electric scooters start with top speeds of 20km/h which, for most is more than enough to keep you smiling. But if you really want to feel the buzz, we recommend you consider one of our higher level Electric Scooters. These can reach speeds of 30km/h with motor power of 500 watts or 800 watts peak!

Adventure E- Scooter
£495.00

Portability

We’ve tested a lot of electric scooter models and found that the most practical are 17kg or below. You want an electric scooter that’s practical for daily life, easy to carry, store and fold. The when it’s folded will determine if you can carry it with one hand, fit it in the car or tuck it neatly away under your desk. 

Brakes

Brakes are a key feature when you are looking for an electric scooter. Safety first!

Our scooters have different brake types and have varying levels of effectiveness. Foot brakes, drum brakes and disc brakes.  

Foot brakes are used by pushing your foot down on the rear mud guard. Drum brakes are enclosed inside the wheel hub and are used by operating a traditional brake lever. Disc brakes have the most stopping power and are again, used by a traditional brake lever.  

Walberg Egret 10 V3X 48V
£1,349.00

Wheel Type

Our scooters come with two varieties of tyre, air-filled and solid rubber (airless). Air-filled tyres have the advantage of in-built shock absorption and a better handling. They can however suffer punctures and require maintenance. Solid tyres require very little maintenance but aren’t as smooth and you will feel more bumps and vibrations. 

Walberg Urban Electric XH1 Scooter
£899.00

Lights

Seeing and being seen can be very important. All of our electric scooters have been carefully selected to include lights. Scooters, like bikes, have a white front light and a red rear light. If you ride after dark, it is worth making sure you and everyone around you are protected and it may be worth considering adding additional lighting.

Our range of electric scooters are available with FREE UK delivery. In all of our stores, located in Southampton, Winchester, Chichester and Swindon and can be purchased using our Click & Collect option.

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Featured Kids News

Choosing the right size bike for your kids

Choosing the right size kids bike for your child plays a big part in ensuring they enjoy the cycling experience and make the most of the health benefits associated with cycling.

Kids love bikes. They allow them to discover the environment around them with friends and family creating magical memories of fantastic adventures.

This year, in the lead up to Christmas, kids bikes are proving as popular as ever and with our Click & Collect service along with V12 and Klarna finance options we make it easy and affordable to get your kid on two wheels!

There are some questions every parent asks when buying their child a bike and this guide will help answer those and explain the best way to determine which size bike your child needs.

Which size bike does my child need?

Kids’ bikes are sized by wheel diameter rather than frame size. The wheel sizes from 12 to 24-inch fall loosely within age groups, but at Hargroves we have found that height is the best indicator for which bike to buy your child, rather than age. The sizes within the age range are a rough guide that you can use to help find the right bike for your child.

The below guide should let you know what size wheels you are looking for.

Hargroves Cycles Kids Bikes Size Chart Guide

12 inch wheels – Balance Bikes

These bikes have changed the way kids learn how to ride, with the main focus on them keeping their balance and learning how to steer. Research has shown that kids who learn how to ride with Balance Bikes progress quicker onto pedalled bikes, rather than kids who learn via stabilisers.

Cube Cubie 120 Kids Bike
2021 Cube Cubie 120 Walk 12in Kids Bike in Silver
£149.00

14 Inch Wheels

Moving on from the balance bikes you have the 14-inch bikes that introduce pedals, brakes and usually a single speed drivetrain. These bikes will go everywhere, from the pavement to fields, through mud and through puddles. They are durable and light and will give your little rider confidence in their riding.

Ridgeback Honey 14 Kids Bike
2021 Ridgeback Honey 14 Kids Bike In Pink
£179.99

16 Inch Wheels

Much like the 14 inch wheeled bikes, the 16 inch is the next step in your tiny cyclists’ life. Again they’re durable and easy to throw around. Most of these bikes are designed to be tough, thrown around and crashed into bushes. A perfect jumping off point to the larger bikes.

Ridgeback MX16 Kids Bike
2021 Ridgeback MX16 Kids Bike in Blue
£199.99

20 Inch Wheels

This is probably the bike that will define your kid’s childhood. Including more gears, stronger tires and light but sturdy frame, these bikes are for the kids who want to explore and have fun whilst riding. Most are equipped with V-brakes but some even have disc brakes for ultimate stopping power.

Cube Acid 200 Kids Mountain Bike
2021 Cube Acid 200 Kids Mountain Bike in Green
£329.00

24 Inch Wheels

Probably the last stop before your child moves onto an adult size (they grow up so fast). This is essentially a full sized bike scaled down for a child. Some have double or triple chainsets and even front suspension forks. Much like the 20 Inch bikes, brakes can be V-brakes or disc.

Scott Roxter 24 Kids Bike
2021 Scott Roxter 24 Kids Bike in Teal
£429.00

Mountain bikes for kids

Some kids and teenagers may find that an adult bike is the best fit for them and with that in mind, we have a huge range to choose from with 26”, 27.5” and 29” wheel options. At Hargroves our adult mountain bikes are sized in the traditional way.

Our selection of kids bikes are available in all of our stores, located in Southampton, Winchester, Chichester and Swindon and can be purchased online using our Click & Collect option.

We also have a variety of safety accessories, such as kids helmets and lights, which will ensure your child stays safe on their new bike.

Kid Riding Cannondale Bike
Categories
Components Maintenance News Safety

Hargroves Cycles supports the ‘Fix Your Bike’ voucher scheme

The Fix Your Bike voucher scheme has been set up by the Department for Transport and Energy Saving Trust to help more people rekindle their love of cycling.

The scheme is open to anyone who has an unused bicycle in need of repair, getting them back in the saddle and on the road, by providing a £50 voucher covering or towards the cost of a bike service and repair*.

Hargroves Cycles are proud to give our full backing of the scheme by offering a bike service and full safety check designed specifically to get your bike back on the road costing £50.  Additional parts and labour beyond this value will be chargeable.

 

To participate in the scheme, all you need to do is follow an easy three-step process:

  • Apply for your free £50 voucher using the online platform, where you will need to provide some basic details about yourself and your bike. You can do that >>> here
  • Get in touch with your local Hargroves store and book a appointment
  • Bring your bike into the store along with your unique voucher code and two forms of ID** and we’ll do the rest

 

What is included in the service:

  • A clean down of the frame and forks
  • Brake check, making any necessary tweaks
  • Realign the gears
  • Measure and apply oil chain
  • Tyre and wheel inspection
  • Full safety check
  • Provide full diagnostics reports, suggesting any parts that may need replacing 
*Up to 2 vouchers redeemable per household. One voucher per bike.

**Accepted forms of ID include: valid driving licence photo card with address OR passport; national identity card (non-UK); residence permit; AND one of the following documents in hard copy or electronic form, (provided that the document is less than 3 months old): utility bill, council tax bill, mortgage statement, council/housing association rent card, benefit book.

Vouchers must be valid at the point of redemption. The bike owner must be 18 or over. Repairs must be necessary to make the bike roadworthy and fit for purpose.

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Components News Road Road Bikes

Road Bike Guide

If you picture a road bike you are probably thinking of sleek, expensive and fast bikes that are ridden by lycra-clad pro’s and ridden in famous races like the Tour de France. You might also be thinking that this is not exactly the type of riding you wanted to do, fear not, the once limited options available to you have increased tenfold. The market has divided into subcategories and there are now a variety of ‘road’ bikes that suit every cyclist needs, a road bike is not simply a road bike these days. 

So, with all these variations and bike jargon, how do you know what road bike is right for you? Below we’ve listed the many different styles of road bikes now available and what that means for you.

First, here is a quick list on what typically sets road bikes apart from commuting, touring, mountain and hybrid bikes. 

  1. A lightweight frame, wheels and components.
  2. A drop (curled) handlebar, though some have a flat bar like a mountain bike.
  3. Narrow wheels and tyres.
  4. A composite (carbon fibre) front fork.
  5. No front or rear suspension.
  6. Men’s and women’s styles and a wide range of sizes.

The first thing to decide is what type of riding you want to do. Are you aiming to race? Do you want to tour? Will you be seeking out back roads and rough trails? At the end of the day, virtually any road bike can be ridden on any bit of road, but depending on what you want to do most of the time might mean that a particular style of a road bike would be more suitable than another. Let’s have a look at a few:

Endurance/Sportive Bikes

Endurance road bikes, otherwise known as sportive bikes, are designed with comfort in mind. The relaxed geometry is aimed at keeping the legs fresh and the posterior pain-free. This makes for a friendlier introduction to road riding if you are new to the activity. Endurance road bikes also tend to be designed to have a little more ‘give’ in the frame, without sacrificing much efficiency, this ‘give’ helps absorb the lumps and bumps of the British roads, keeping the vibrations in the bike and out of the bones.

The 9 Best Endurance Road Bikes in 2020

Several features of an endurance bike’s geometry should make it comfortable for riding long distance over bumpy terrain. Mainly being a taller head tube and slightly shorter top tube, this means you’ll be riding in a more upright position. The less stretched out you are, the less likely you are to suffer from neck and backache. 

Comfort, however, is not everything. You still want a bike that can respond and give a fast and exciting ride when you want to put the power through the pedals. You may not be hitting all the KOM’s or beating any land speed records, but rest assured, manufacturers will have balanced out comfort and speed capabilities, so you get the best of both worlds.

Performance Bikes

Where the Endurance road bikes are designed for comfort, the Performance road racing bikes are designed for speed, above all else. They are ideal race machines with geometries that allow for more aerodynamic body positions, the most dynamic handling, and punchier accelerations. Praised by professional riders and the most dedicated athletes, these bikes are most at home scaling formidable climbs, hurtling down steep descents, or attacking (this means catching and overtaking, not physically attacking) the group of riders ahead of you.

Top tech trends at the Tour de France: how pro bikes are evolving ...

Performance road bikes will possibly sacrifice some strength for even less weight (making it even less suitable for rough surfaces). On top of this, the geometry may be borderline uncomfortable for people just starting to get into cycling. However, for an experienced rider, this reduction in weight and more aggressive geometry can increase performance. For a rider who does race, or values speed above all else and is willing to put the training in to become better, the Racer is ideal.

Gravel Bikes

In the past year or so there has been a rise in popularity of riding extreme distances over mixed terrain, in races such as the Trans-Continental, for pleasure under the term bike-packing and in the exploits of one Lachlan Morton and co, in Rapha’s EF Gone Racing films. This has led to gravel type bikes being designed by the majority of big bike brands to excel in this type of riding, focusing on providing comfort and efficiency over long distances, and versatility.

2020 GT Grade reshapes, widens groundbreaking adventure-ready ...

The riding position is relaxed and features stable handling, while the frame will often feature mounts for various accessories like racks and panniers. The components on these bikes are also designed with more strength in mind and can handle some light off-road riding (single tracks, bridleways and forest tracks) thanks to thicker set tyres. Some riders opt for tubeless set-ups as they offer a number of benefits for gravel riding. The most advantageous being able to run lower pressures without risking pinch flats improving ride comfort and traction.

The biggest advantage of riding a gravel bike is the absolute freedom you have at your toe tips. Suddenly, road sections aren’t the same draining drags that they can be on a mountain bike. The off-road sections won’t jolt you into the chiropractors waiting room when you do hit the dirt. This new-found freedom will have you pouring over online mapping apps such as Komoot, creating that new perfect route that you’d probably never ride on a mountain bike, definitely wouldn’t on a road bike but are perfect for a gravel bike. This bike is ideal for the adventurer, someone who wants to explore roads and everything in between it.

Groupsets

So, you’ve decided what type of road bikes suits the style of riding you want to do. You’re scrolling through the different brands, reading the descriptions and spec sheet and most of it’s making sense, except one little thing…the groupset. If the word is alien to you, worry not,  a road bike’s groupset refers to any mechanical or electronic parts that are involved in braking, changing gear, or the running of the drivetrain. That means the shifters, brake levers, front and rear brake callipers, front and rear derailleurs, crankset, bottom bracket, chain, and cassette.

There are three main manufacturers of groupsets and bike components. Shimano is the largest and best known, while the other two of the “big three” are Campagnolo and SRAM. All three manufacturers offer a range of groupsets at competing for price points.

Bike Groupset Guide | Wheelies

Shimano Road Bike Groupsets

Shimano is synonymous with road cycling, producing and introducing some of the most fundamental technologies in cycling today. 

Shimano’s road groupsets range from Claris (R2000) as the entry-level road-specific groupset, all the way to the professional Dura-Ace (R9100). The 11-speed options begin with 105 (5800), which offers most of the top-level performance at a more wallet-friendly price point, and even the 10-speed Tiagra (4700) is a solid option for the enthusiast cyclists. For near top performance with a small weight gain is the Ultegra (R8000) groupset, following closely to the recently updated Dura-Ace (R9100), and sharing much in terms of design and technology.

All Shimano groupsets come with their own rim brakes, and from Tiagra upwards, are available with disc brake options. These hydraulic disc brakes provide greater stopping power in any weather conditions (especially wet) compared to rim brakes.

SRAM Road Bike Groupsets

Rather than using two shifter arms for each hand to control the gears, SRAM’s DoubleTap® uses a single-arm under the brake lever to shift. To choose a higher gear in the rear, a short push is needed (one tap) is needed, while for a lower gear you need to push the shifter arms further, which actuates the second tap, shifting into a lower gear. This is revered for the front gears.

SRAM offers all but their RED® groupsets in both 1x and 2x variants. This is to cater to hybrid bikes, gravel and adventure, and cyclocross race bikes that prefer a simpler 1x setup. SRAM is the only of the three big groupset manufacturers to offer three different kinds of braking options: cable-operated rim brakes, hydraulic rim brakes and hydraulic disc brakes.

Campagnolo Road Bike Groupsets

Campagnolo road groupsets combine style and performance with a long history of road racing. As Campagnolo is very much a racing focused brand they don’t offer a budget level groupset. Rather, they begin in the middle, at the level where riders are looking for race capable components. Campagnolo is a heart over head brand, that has passion running through the core of their components.

All Campagnolo groupsets now come in 2×11 speed setups with the recent reintroduction of their entry-level Centaur groupset. Above Centaur is the Potenza groupset, followed by the Chorus groupset, which offers high-quality materials like titanium and carbon for weight savings, strength and precision performance.