I first bought my electric bike about 18 months ago. I was prompted to buy mine after struggling to keep up with other members of our cycling group. Weather permitting, we usually go for a 25-mile ride each month stopping for a pub lunch halfway before starting the journey back.
Some of you may have seen me riding my bike in the village or crossing the slabs.
Electric bikes, like most things, come in various forms, costs, and sizes. Mine is remarkably like a full-sized mountain bike with 26in wheels, 21 gears front and rear telescopic suspension and disc brakes; basically the full works.
I spent quite some time looking around for one I could afford and which suited my needs. I was attracted to this one because it was reasonably priced and folds in half which allows me to put it into the car but it is quite heavy. I would say it is approximately four kilograms heavier than a similar mountain bike mainly because of the battery and the motor in the rear wheel. In the folded position the battery is easily removed which helps.
Most people misunderstand how they work and think electric bikes are like motor bikes - you just sit there and go. But this is not the case; you have to pedal before there is any power and legally they are limited to 16 mph at which point they cut out. Also touching the brakes cuts the motor. So, having to pedal you still get your exercise.
On my bike there is a small display screen which allows you to setup the basics: size of wheels, miles / kilometres etc. Once this is done there is no need to do it again. However, you do have the facility to reset the trip mileage and set the power level which you normally do at the start of each ride.
There are five power settings but most of the time I just use setting one. I soon realised the best way to use the bike was to ride it as you would any other bike by using the gears when necessary. The power just takes away the stress on the legs. There is one wonderful feature, a thumb throttle, which you can use anytime to give you that boost when you first push off or up hills and any awkward moment like passing someone or crossing a road. On the control unit there are + / - buttons to adjust the power at any time.
The recommended total distance is 40k / 26m on each full charge but with careful use you can stretch this a little more. It takes approximately three hours to recharge the battery.
If you are thinking of going electric I trust you will find this info useful. I have now done nearly 800 miles since buying it new.