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Electric bike or not?

  • 11-08-2022 10:53am
    Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    So my cycle to work is available again. Last time out I bought a road bike which had a lovely period in the shed before I sold it as I didn't want it to rust away. I have a hybrid bike from about 10 years ago which is used to carry small kids or pull the kids trailer.

    The Misses is investing in a new bike at the moment as well, buying a Liv(Giant) Alright 3 which is a standard bike. Plus we are investing in a couple of decent mountain bikes for the older kids(24")

    My wife is saying just to buy a normal bike but I was looking at electric and think I might use it more. I used to cycle a lot when living in the city but now in the countryside, I don't. I could just buy a standard push bike and use it along with the kids etc but I think if I have electric I might actually use it more. I do have an office about 15km away which I used to cycle to but they have no showers etc so the sweaty man sitting beside you in the office is not so nice so I stopped.

    Just looking for some opinions and is electric at this stage the way to go, or am I just been lazy :-)



  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    Makes 100% sense, maybe I just needed some reassurance :-)

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,928 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    my wife got one last year and loves it; and the option of using it to cycle to work will be useful too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,557 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    Absolutely go electric if you think you’ll use it even marginally more than you would a regular bike.

    Both my parents are on ebikes these days, having only been fair weather cyclists at best the past decade or so, and are now using them for commutes, trips out on the weekend and even small trips to the shop etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    One question, I was just going to buy as normal a bike as possible. But I see all these huge tire bikes around and I did see on one webpage to buy bigger tires on electric bike? is that right or am I ok with a normal-ish bike?

    Like something similar to this:

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,334 ✭✭✭BoardsMember

    Bought my wife an e bike and she loves it. She commutes daily, there's a few hills and it's about 5km each direction. Best thing ever for her.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,086 ✭✭✭downtheroad

    Would you mind sharing what bike you bought? I just bought an e-cargo bike, and now need to convince herself to buy an e-bike to keep up

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,928 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    you mean fat tyre e-bikes? no benefit for cycling on normal roads; in fact i suspect you'd get less range from them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,605 ✭✭✭Citizen  Six

    Get a normalish bike like the one you have linked. I personally don't get the reasoning for the ones with the massive tyres.

    I've a mate who has an electric bike that he uses for work. Exactly for the reason you mentioned earlier, so he's not sweating when he arrives to meetings across the city.

  • Registered Users Posts: 499 ✭✭Daisy 55

    I have a rad runner fat bike. Came from Holland at a very reasonable price. Love it to bits. Has good range and can be set up with loads of accessories baskets etc. Not on the bike to work scheme, but still good value I think.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,275 ✭✭✭Ferris

    I commute 16km each way to work on an ebike and don't arrive in a sweaty mess. No cycling gear etc. to change out of, I generally just put on a shirt when I get there. A locker or drawer to house some essentials is necessary however.

    The major bonus of the ebike is it removes so many of the reason to 'not take the bike', it is especially good in windy areas or if there are hills on the commute. Also it is exercise, my bike is a torque sensing ebike so it only matches or multiplies what I put in so the rider has to push somewhat. The only fly in the ointment is the 25kph limit, if you are fit enough to regularly push a bike faster then a good quality light hybrid commuter or relaxed geometry roadbike might suit better, but you already tried that approach.

    Manufacturers are starting to cotton on to the fact that there is a market for commuting ebikes that aren't heavy town bikes or MTB's. Have a look at Kuma bikes, they're an irish company and I tried one of their R1 recently and it was light and fast and really didn't feel like my tank eMTB. They have a M1 that looks even better that I'm keen to try.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,694 ✭✭✭✭HeidiHeidi

    I had an ordinary hybrid bike which I hardly ever used (a breeze cycling downwind/downhill into work, where the bike would stay for weeks because I was too lazy to cycle it home again!). I eventually donated it to a relative who'd had their bike stolen.

    I bought an electric bike last year, and am never off the thing. It has literally changed the way I go around the place.

    Upwind/uphill? Not a bother - just up the power a nudge or two. I keep it in bare minimum mode mostly so I'm still actually cycling, but if it all gets too much like hard work, it's like a hand at your back giving you a gentle shove!

    I bought a folding one, as I've a very small outside space to store it and I thought I might throw it in the car occasionally - I have done once, but it weighs a ton so not all that easy. If I was going again I'd probably go for a full-size hybrid style one next time.

    But I could not recommend the electric bit highly enough - it's got me back out on a bike the whole time, and that's a result!!

    ETA - I also went for a detachable battery as I've no way of charging outside, and didn't fancy having the bike in my house - others I know went for integrated battery as less of a theft risk - but that decision all depends on your power outlet setup at home.

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    Thanks for all the advice so far

    I was looking at these options. So open to opinions? these are available. Lots are order now and hope they might arrive at some stage

    Lovely looking bike but no gears on it so will always need to kick in the electric

    Very light weight

    Again looks beautiful :-)

    Need to top up Cycle2work budget

    Then this one

    Right on budget

    Has gears so you could* cycle without electric

    Looks decent

    *could as I refer to original point of not cycling my bikes :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 311 ✭✭pjordan


    I'm a cycle commuter of 35+ years and have a stable of bikes (2 MTB's, 1 tourer, 1 hybrid and 1 road bike) and so a year and a half a go I decided to opt for a commuter hybrid type electric bike as my third bike to work purchase. I love it. It cut my work commute from 50 mins to 33. Whilst I don't arrive as sweaty I still have a shower and change (but ya could possibly get away with just a brief wash down and putting on deo and changing clothes as opposed to what a similar trip on a conventional bike leaves you feeling like). It great on hills and in the wind. It has great lights (which charge along with the bike so need for worrying about them separately). It has great range, depending on power setting from about 40km up to over 110. The BTW grand for ebike is now €1500 compared to €1000 for conventional bikes but if you can spare adding an extra grand onto that it's well worth it for the choice and options you will get. Also possibly best to go for a bottom bracket rather than a hub drive as I've heard of some issues with broken spokes.

    I purchased 2 panniers separately (bike came complete with a high quality rear carrier) and can haul loads of stuff effortlessy (gear, food, clothes, etc) and I also put on an extra bracket for my Burley bike trailer so I'm much more inclined to get on the bike than to jump in the car for a whole variety of reasons that I would have used the car for before (like doing the recycling, or popping to the shop - 6km round trip)

    I've a plug in the lean to and also in the garage for charging, but it also has a detachable Bosch battery (which I've never had to remove)

    So, for what its worth, go for it, ya wont regret it. Great investment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,334 ✭✭✭BoardsMember

    She bought a Kuma S1, front hub motor. Loves it. She borrowed a mid drive replacement when the shop was fixing something and she didn't like it. So maybe try out a few. She's cycled in and out of college and work for 20 years and loves now how she's never tired or sweaty at end of trip. She's also much more inclined to go out and do things in the bike rather than car, and do things full stop. Its been a no brianer for her, total game changer.

    I'd definitely recommend buying from LBS rather than online, great to be able to bring it back if there are any issues. I wouldn't expect any but just in case. The Kuma S1 is lovely looking and comfortable, bit it's definitely on the heavy side.

  • Registered Users Posts: 953 ✭✭✭8valve

    View from the bike shop...

    Ebikes are steadily increasing as a very viable alternative for commuting to work.

    30c to charge a battery, which can potentially give you up to 100/120km of pedal assistance on the cycle to work. It's a no brainer.

    Personally, I'm on my second ebike in as many years, albeit due to health reasons. I use the same phrase every day to customers "on an ebike, hills and headwinds don't exist".

    Scientifically proven to give you up to 70-odd percent of the same workout, as a manual bike, so no guilt needed.

    My ebike has rekindled my lifelong love of cycling.

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    Thanks. Will a single gear work on an ebike or better off with a few gears for options?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,079 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Really depends on hills. You will get away with it on a flat route - if you have any significant hills then better going with the gears.

    I've recently switched to an ebike when I moved to a slightly longer commute (5km to 10km each way). I can take it easy and don't need to change or shower so it is great.

    On the other hand I do find that I miss the exercise. I've heard a lot of people saying that it is half the effort / 70% of the effort. It doesn't feel like that to me at all - more like a short casual walk

  • Registered Users Posts: 311 ✭✭pjordan

    I think most of them are multigear anyway. Mine has 6 or 7 I think and 4 power settings

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,275 ✭✭✭Ferris

    Not convinced by single speed ebikes. You will need gears for any significant hills unless it has a very powerful hub motor and associated battery. Also Murphys law dictates that you will run out of battery at some stage.

    Also wouldn't recommend a battery smaller that 13ah unless you're using it to go to the shops and back, which isn't 15km each way, batteries lose capacity as they age, as they are recharged and range is dependent on so much. I would only count on 50% of the manufacturers promised range when new, less as time goes on.

    I would seriously take a trip to 360cycles to look at a Kuma R1, its ten times better than the two you showed. I was actually onto DLB about supplying a Wisper bike for my dad - very good brand that you can buy through them - they are a little more expensive but worth it. Electric Bikes | 0% E-Bike Finance | Wisper Electric Bicycles (

    Other than that try a Bosch / Shimano / Yamaha / Bafang mid drive to see if you like a torque sensing bike, to me they feel more natural to use. I put 18k km on my Bosch before it stripped a gear. It was rebuilt and is on 25k km now, the original battery is only now starting to fail. Bike has never left me stranded apart from a shredded tyre (which was my fault!) and I treat it like an absolute hack.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,334 ✭✭✭BoardsMember

    What does rebuilt mean?

    There seems to be merit in the front hub motor - it doesn't pull through the drive train so presumably drive train lasts a lot longer. Also an argument for better weight distribution with front hub motor.

    But personal preference of how people like the power to be delivered is probably the main thing so it is important to try out front and rear and mid driver motors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,118 ✭✭✭Schorpio

    Just to say that this is wrong. Rad do partake in the Irish Cycle to Work scheme. You need to message them to set it all up for you though, it's not available just through the website. Just fyi!

    Just to add my own 2 cents - I have a commuting ebike - about 15 km each way. I love it.

    When I was shopping I had a list of requirements:

    • Mid-mounted motor
    • Battery low down (not on the pannier rack)
    • A third-party provided motor and battery (i.e. Bosch, Yamaha etc.)
    • As big a battery as I could afford

    A mid-mounted motor was so that I could use the gears to maximise the torque available and make climbing a bit easier. Probably doesn't make a huge difference, but if you look at the hardcore mountain e-bikes, they all use mid-mounted motors. Low battery to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible. Third-party motor/battery was about longevity - trying to hedge my bets that there will be parts and batteries available in 5 years time. And the big battery for as much range as I could get.

    Generally I'm not a fan of Halfords, but this bike seemed to tick all of my boxes at the lowest price I could find. It seems to be flitting in and out of stock over the past few months. The next option was a Cube bike, which was a couple of hundred dearer again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    Kuma R1 looks great and I had seen already but significant up front money to top up which I am not sure at this stage even with electric will I get the use out of it....I am trying to stay within the budget

  • Registered Users Posts: 499 ✭✭Daisy 55

    Didn’t know this! Excellent value so. Ill use it for next one!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,275 ✭✭✭Ferris

    One of the bearings collapsed in the (mid)motor, it just started running rougher and rougher. I took the motor off and sent it to a very good company in England who rebuilt it. Put it back on and good as new.

    Front and rear hub motors feature less drivetrain wear than mid motors as they obviously run independently of the drivetrain. Front motors can suffer with traction, rear hub motors would be better for climbing or towing. A good thing about front hub motors (and mid drives) is that you can still use gear hubs if you like, thats one of the things I like about the Kuma I mentioned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    Thanks for all the advice. Was kind of looking at the following for a decent spec and decent price:

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,928 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    you don't need suspension; avoid. it's a no-name brand too basically, and if anything went wrong the notion of a warranty would be moot.

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    thanks, any of the ones I am looking at are non brand. Paying for a brand take me above the budget

    Loads of options, so was looking for big battery and decent looking

  • Registered Users Posts: 862 ✭✭✭redlough

    Looking more aroound and this seems to be getting good review:

    I don't like Halfords but it seems to be a decent bike.

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  • There is also another option depending on if you feel confident enough tinkering with a bicycle.

    That option is to get a decent second hand bike. I would recommend a old mountain bike or hybrid bike and then adding a aftermarket motor either a hub or a mid drive and then purchasing a battery. I have done this with my hybrid and it wasn't too difficult. Although you can tell it was aftermarket due to the wires having to be wrapped around the frame.

    I used a hub motor as I planned on using the bike for commuting and I heard these type of motors are the best for that purpose because in general, they are more robust than a mid-drive motor due to how comparatively simple they are. However as someone who enjoys cycling if I were doing it again I would opt for a torque sensing, mid-drive motor as it gives a more natural feeling as it adds power to what you are applying through the pedals.

    This seems to be a well rated hub motor it's the top selling one on AliExpress although there are other options if you are interested.

    Much more expensive but if you would prefer a mid drive motor then Befang are one of the best on the market unfortunately however it's not torque sensing so it's kinda like the hub motor above but apparently mid drive motors are better for going up hills as you can use your gears for greater efficiency.

    Hopefully the above link works but the final motor you could look at is a torque sensing mid-drive motor like Befang above they are generally regarded as being good motors.

    Note none of the above includes a battery so depending on size expect to budget around €300 for one of those if ordering through AliExpress then I'd recommend sorting the listings by most popular and then buying that way that's the way I shop using the site and I've never been disappointed or ripped off.