Two reasons to commute by e-bike – you don’t have the luxury of a shower at work or you don’t want to exacerbate a niggling injury. Let’s look at a few e-bikes available for the cycling commuter.
Pendleton Somerby Electric – £750
The purchase price for the Somerby includes full fenders to keep road wash off your clothes and drive-chain, and a chain guard to keep the grease off your trousers or skirt. This is a bike for people who need to arrive at their destination calm and composed.
The kick-stand reduces time spent finding somewhere suitable to lean your bike, and the solid luggage rack also houses the detachable battery which you could charge under your desk. This is a very reasonable set of features for the price, especially if you’re happy with the no-frills aesthetic.
Bianchi Brooklyn – £2,640
As you’d expect from Bianchi, the Brooklyn is a beautiful bike. Thanks to Shimano’s STePS E-6000 motor the torque, speed, and cadence sensors result in a very natural cycling experience.
The Shimano gearing offers you a satisfying top speed, which can easily surpass 15 mph – the speed at which the EU insists the motor cuts out. The Brooklyn also offers a very handy “walk assist” feature so you needn’t break a sweat pushing your e-bike around a pedestrianised zone.
Brompton Electric – £2,595
If part of your journey to work is via public transport, folding e-bikes are less likely to antagonise your fellow commuters. There are a few more wires, a very necessary removable-battery back, and the frame is reinforced to comply with international regulations – but you essentially still have a Brompton.
Complete strangers will enquire about your Brompton, and you’ll find yourself performing regular demonstrations of the fold to appreciative audiences. But what really sells the Electric is its comparative low weight – ditch the battery pack and you can get home under your own steam.
Juicy Compact Plus – £1,149
Brompton isn’t the only folding bike in town, and the Juicy has plenty to offer, not least the very competitive price. For a very reasonable £300 premium you can upgrade the battery to a 500WH Li-ion battery with up to a 40-mile range – depending on the weight of the rider and how much the terrain undulates.
The fold isn’t quite as refined as the Brompton, but it will take up far less space in an urban apartment than a conventional non-folding bike. I’ve seen a few of these in Bristol, UK, when visiting friends and believe me, that city’s got some hills – the Juicy is worth serious consideration.
Reise & Müller Delite GT Nuvinci – £5,000
German manufacturers Reise & Müller provide you with a plenty of choice, but if you’re going to commute I’d recommend the Nuvinci – it’s low maintenance and set up for comfort on tarmac. But if you need to traverse a couple of dirt tracks as well as the highway, the Nuvinci will take you across it in style.
Fox Factory Suspension and Deore XT Di2 components justify the cost, but also guarantee you this will be a very smooth commuter. It may well strain your electricity bill because it will be difficult not to take the Nuvinci out on the trails at the weekend.
What experiences have you had with electric bikes? Share in the comments.