I am a 50yr old woman and live in Worthing and work in Brighton. I was fed up with relying on the poor train service (especially during recent strikes, and couldn't seem to regularly get on my normal bike to commute due to one thing or another (mainly the wind, how long it took me and how tired I got!!).
I had thought getting an electric bike was cheating and that it would not help me keep fit. But then I shifted my thinking of an electric bike and I tried to think of it as a means to an end - my way to commute rather than keeping fit (so NOT cheating - getting that out of my head was key!)
Cheating? not keeping fit? how wrong I was!! Not only does it serve as a great commute it really has helped my fitness and I now cycle regularly to work without getting too tired and am saving the daily train fares too! Its a Win Win Win I say!!
Which Electric Bike did you purchase?
I bought the entry level Raleigh Array at £1k. The reason being as I was not totally convinced an electric bike would really help me "get on my bike" and commute regularly.. so I didn't want to spend too much.. just in case it was a fad that petered out quickly!
Whilst the more expensive bikes have more toys and possibly look a bit slicker, I felt the Array was a good safe place to start. I was looking on the net but when I popped into the shop, I was extremely pleased with the unbiased and non pushy advise and support I was given by Lucy, which ultimately helped me take the plunge and buy the bike....Thanks Lucy!
How does this Electric Bike ride?
It took me a few rides to get used to how the bike felt and rode.. its a bit heavier than my usual hybrid. Now that I am used to it it rides perfectly well. The consistent speed I can achieve is as advised, c15.8mph, when the assist stops. This consistency really helps get me to work in a reasonable time (less than the train would take!) and what I find is that I can maintain the speed whatever the weather..(especially in the wind on the coast path) or when pulling away from lights I can reach a good speed very quickly thus helping my overall time commuting.
Which mode do you use most?
I tend to use the middle mode for a gentle ride with no bad weather. I hitch it up to full mode in the wind and/or rain so I can get to the destination quicker! If I am using it for more of a "fitness ride" I will turn the assist right down, if not off... this makes the ride an even better source of exercise. The beauty of an electric bike is that you can pick an choose your ride effort which can differ on a day to day basis.
Do you think your Electric Bike has helped your
I absolutely know it has! I have cycled on it since November, all through the winter. Before on my standard bike I would be put off by the wind especially in the winter (but summer too!) and not ride to work but catch the rain in stead. So the electric bike has allowed be to cycle regularly throughout the year. Also, now when I do go out on my standard bike I have more stamina as I am used to cycling 2hrs a day , three times a week... so this has certainly helped my fitness. OK - it will never be the same as cycling 2hrs a day 3 times a week on a standard bike... but I didn't do these levels on a standard bike as the time it took me to get to work was too long.. and thats the difference.. I am doing these levels now come what may! I am certainly less stressed than when I had to catch the unreliable train to/from work and have lost about half a stone!
Have you ridden your Electric Bike more or less than you expected?
I have used the electric bike more than expected.The perceived "fad" has not worn off and I am now used to cycling to work regularly - in fact it feels alien to catch the train occasionally!
I use it for commuting 100%. The commute is what I wanted it for- to allow me to get to work within a set time (45mins) without being too tired to then work a full day and cycle home again... and to save me £11 a day on the train!
Did you fit/buy any parts or accessories at time of purchase? Have you changed or purchased any extras since?
I fitted a cheap speedo so I could monitor my miles & speed, spare slim filled inner tube just in case and a water bottle rack.
Is there anything you don’t particularly like about your bike? Is there any parts/accessories you are planning on buying/changing?
I don't like the handle bars much.. I would prefer a straight bar. I would also like rechargeable lights.. but I guess you get these on a more expensive model.
I may get a fixed seat rather than the removable one as this is just an added thing to remove and take with you when you park it up I find.
Electric bike are the way to go especially for commuting. I am so pleased I visited this shop and bought this bike. I am saving money and getting a bit fitter. One day I may upgrade to a better model.. but finances will prevail!!
I am also very pleased that I bought from a local shop as the very few issue I have had have been dealt under warranty no problem. An electric bike has lots of moving parts and electrical stuff going on (I am NO DIY person and cant even change a type very quickly !!) and so any issues I may have I just call the shop. If you are like me its great to know they are there to help. If I had bought from the internet (possibly a tad cheaper) I know if I had any problems my electric bike would probably ended up out of use for ages before I could get it fixed. Not the case with a local dealer!