Electric bicycles

In an effort to become more active than just pottering around the garden chainsawing innocent trees I've decided, after a forty year hiatus to take up cycling again. Accepting that my ability to power up hills effortlessly might have been diminished by years of overindulgence I've discovered that one can now buy a bike with a little electric motor to help out. Does it work?

I'm really looking forward to getting back on a bike after all these years Theo.

Oh je John you went straight for the right one because you got the physics right: lower the motor better the center of gravity ;-) it like with time that take care not everything is happened at once. We only have these 'ole GIANT, still no problem in 2 years. None. Next will certainly a Kalkhoff or Ortler because of the 36 volt and mountains. Having only a old Land Rover & using her for short distances is not good for engine, so I do all with the bike after 2 years the GIANT has paid off 3 times for the diesel. Just get a simple helmet for canoing, they are just 20 € but solid.

Now that's what I call a bike John. If only I was thirty year younger.

Oh just been looking for a pair of bikes but they only have one!

Electric bike

Thanks Celeste, I am aware of the risks.

Many years ago a friend of mine moved in with her cycling mad boyfriend. Soon afterwards she was putting her stuff in the washing machine and popped in his cycling shorts to make a full (eco friendly) load. When the shorts were dry she just put them away. The following Sunday the boyfriend went for his usual 100K spin with his pals. Unfortunately, after being spun dry, the chamois leather the shorts were lined with to prevent chafing in sensitive parts had adopted the characteristics of fine sand paper. He ran away soon afterwards to take up a job in New York.

Hi Theo, I've chosen a Kalkhoff. I didn't want a machine with the motor in the wheel hub as it seems more logical to me to have the motor input before the gears, not after.I think these are called "crank" systems. Kalkhoff use Pansonic, Bosch and their own system (Impulse) on this type of bike. Only the Bosch and Kalkhoff are 36 volt systems so it came down to which of those to choose. After a bit of research I came to the conclusion that the Bosch system was excellent but had been around for a while whereas the Kalkhoff system was the latest thinking and really a development of the Bosch system. I guess there is some risk of teething problems but there is a two year guarantee which should be enough to sort those out. Though because of that I bought locally rather from a UK or Irish agent which cost me a whopping 30% premium.

My research on helmets as brought me to Lazer, a Belgian firm that seems to have a good range of "normal" looking products. There's an agent in Frejus so I might pop down this afternoon to try one on.

Hi John, if you opted for one of this nice bikes with a Bosch machine, 100km range, 2,4 hours charging time to 80% you will be surprised how quick these bicycles are accelerating! Therefore and more important as these dayglo is a helmet! A red glo vest is necessary when you drive on a "departmentale", so even some of the faster guys in their car spot you on time. Also you may figure out some unpaved paths, they may take a little longer but they are safe.

We’ll be waiting for you to post the photos John!

I've done some research and it seems like a good idea. I've decided to buy a German machine for reliability and ordered one from the dealer in Marseilles. Should have it two weeks. I'll don't think I'll be up to 20 or 30k for a while Theo but 8k a day to get the croissants seems doable :-) Now I need a helmet that doesn't look too daft. And of course spandex dayglo tights.

John it works and your idea is perfect! The electric motor does not stop you from pedaling. You get quite fast around without going constantly to the limits. Prices are ranging from 500 up to 2000, but the ones for 700 you can get in GO & Decathlon are doing fine. I use a bike in the country side for short distances of 20 - 30 km but these bikes unfold their real benefits in Paris where there is no need since almost 2 years to ride in smelly Metros.

We have friends in their sixties in UK that have these bikes, they live in the Cotswolds ( hills) and swear by them !