Thursday, 15 July 2010



Let me explain this review. I've recently purchased a Batribike Granite. I, like lots of people these days, have been looking for a way to save money on fuel. My situation is that my school is 12 miles away, so driving my car there and back 4 plus times a week was looking a little expensive. So my alternatives were; get a motorbike, get a scooter, get a bike, take the bus or walk. I looked into each of these options once by one and they were either just to expensive or not practical.

Eventually, I can't remember how, but I got to looking at power assisted bicycles. My wife and I spent weeks looking over electric bikes, any that we could find, I needed something that could consistently travel 25 miles or more on one charge. Very few bikes could do this. We came across a competition to win a Batribike so we looked them up. Their bikes promised nearly twice the performance that even more expensive bikes did. Was is too good to be true?

The thing that we couldn't find was objective reviews of the bikes, especially Batribike as they seem to be fairly new. Occasionally we came across reviews but they were either poorly spelled 3 sentence summaries or sponsored by the manufacturer. So I wrote this in the interest of helping another person in this situation make up their mind.

The bike.

The bike arrived needing some assembly, there aren't any instructions so if you're not familiar with bike maintenance I'd suggest that you take it to a shop for assembly. Most bike shops will be happy to help you assemble it for a small fee. Once built my first impression was "Wow, that's a big bike". My wife said the same thing but looking at it stood next to other bikes, it's no bigger. So if size is a problem for you, don't worry, the rugged frame makes it appear bigger than it is.

It's an attractive looking bike, I like the silver finish, I like the thick frame. Even the rack over the back wheel is sturdy and good looking, much better than those wire hanger contraptions you get on lots of bikes. The battery sits under the rack, with a pannier you'd never even notice it. The motor controls are on the left handle and a 7 gear changer is on the right, nothing is cheap looking or poorly placed. All the wires have plenty of slack where needed and are otherwise held neatly to the frame.

The bike comes with front and back LED lights and a bell and a big comfy saddle. The battery is Lithium Polymer that's supposed to have a life of 1000 cycles, it powers a 250W motor. 26" Wheels, and an 18" frame.

I'm not going to lie to you, it's a heavy bike despite the aluminum alloy frame, 24 kilo's (53 lbs) with the battery. My wife's mountain bike comes in at 15 kilos. Most of the additional weight is over the back wheel where both the battery and motor are. The bike isn't heavy enough to be any sort of problem, it's easy enough to life and maneuver, but it did concern me a little when I attached it to the bike rack on the back of my car, the whole thing tilted to one side. With a few adjustments I was able to correct it but I'm doing to have to rethink my bike rack solution should my wife get one of these as well. The center stand is a nice touch but I don't think a standard kickstand would be up to the job.

The Ride.

The first trip that I took was the 12 mile trek to school. This is by no means an easy trek, in fact I couldn't manage it on a normal bicycle, I tried once, after 40 minutes I hadn't even made it half way so I gave up. I admit that I'm not in the best of shape but 24 miles is a long way even on a bike. I wanted to be able to ride to school without having to train for a triathlon first.

On the Batribike I was there and back in 105 minutes.

Throughout the journey I just a mixture of power assistance level, I tried to favor level 1 and 2 but spent a fair amount of time on level 3 and 4 as well as I grew tired. When I got back the power remaining was somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4, which means that I could have made the trip possibly 2 more times. So it seems that the promise of 40 miles minimum pedal assisted might not be to good to be true after all.

The bike rides nicely, it's stable and comfortable. There are shock absorbers on the front fork and seat. I've never been a big fan of suspensions systems on bicycles but it really seemed to help smooth out the ride. The gear Shimano gear system is very responsive and easy to use, teamed up with the power assist it makes for a very consistent ride. The motor hums but isn't very loud, except when coasting down a large hill it sounds like you're dive bombing, don't get me wrong you'd be nuts to think you could fool the guys in the Tour De France but after little while  you stop noticing it.

The power assist on this bike has 4 stages, the first to are the ones I tend to use, they just help you to get up to and maintain speed despite any inclines you might come across. I've broken the 4 settings in to 2, on levels 1 and 2 the bike assists you, 3 and 4 you assist the bike. I found level 1 is great for just general riding where level 2 is better for hills. Level 3 is more for maintaining higher speeds, it doesn't seem to work very well in a stop/start scenario. As soon as you put any real pressure on the pedals the motor stops assisting. Think of it like gears on a car, you can stop start in 1st and 2nd but not 3rd. Level 4 is more for the throttle, it will work with the pedaling but it doesn't give you much more than level 3, it is a tad more forgiving though. Level 4 will take you to a higher maintained speed than level 3. 

The throttle is awesome, while on a bike ride my wife took great delight in throttling past me at every opportunity. On a flat surface the it will take you up to 15 mph in no time. The throttle works on all power settings, which is really handy when you're crossing dual carriageways or negotiating tight obstacles, but take your time getting used to using it. It takes a second to respond and even on level 1 it means business.

The regenerative braking is a new feature on the 2010 Granite and Diamond models. This is activated by pedaling backward, be prepared when you use it. It's designed to slow you down and that's exactly what it does. No matter how fast you're going it'll take you down to a crawl in roughly 2 seconds. It's a handy feature and no doubt it will become my primary brake.

The Service.
Through no fault of their own I've had to contact Batribike a few times already. I had special delivery instructions and they were very understanding and accommodating so I can't complain. They returned messages promptly, left messages when they missed me and have got to great lengths to resolve the issues. They even sent out one of their technical guys to my house. They're based 3 hours away! It's prize winning customer service no doubt about it.


  1. great to read an impartial an honest review of the Batribikes. I have read many, of which all were very positive.
    I purchased a the the Batribike Mercury this week & generally like it. Like you I have experienced a couple of teething problems, but the customer support has been very swift to help out.

    I would be good to read of how you & the bike are getting along 6 months on

  2. I got rid of it in the end I'm genuinely sorry to say. They fixed it, then replaced it then gave me my money back. I'm just not confident that it can handle the use I intended to give it.

    I'm on an Electrobike now and have had it for a few months now. Though even with it, there are some noises emerging that are starting to concern me a little.

  3. I have recently bought a Quartz Batribike. It seemed to be the answer to my needs as a local shopping bike and one which I could carry on the bike rack of my motorhome. At first all went well but within a total of 80 miles on the dial I experienced problems with the control unit on the handlebars. Pressing the ON button had no effect until I had pressed it several times and it refuses to switch off. I have to switch off by pulling out the battery plug. The cycle dealer is very helpful and has contacted the factory who have promised to send a replacement control unit. However on riding it home after calling at the dealer I heard a clicking noise from the rear wheel. To my dismay I saw that no less than four spokes were broken off at the hub end. Are the spokes not strong enough for the torque loads or were they over tightened on assembly? Has anyone else had this problem?I'm hoping that it is a one off defect and that my bike can be put into good order.

    1. Hi, I bought 2 Batribike Mercury`s in may 2011 , i have replaced 6 spokes altogether on the 2 bikes . These are front wheel drive , 28inch wheels and had 16 punctures in in total on the two bikes. i got these cycles from Take Charge Bikes in Bath on a special deal, had great enjoyment from them but build quality is very poor, bits keep dropping off or breaking etc. The battery on mine is now almost at an end (2years and 4000miles) so i think when it gives up altogether, the bike will go in the skip as its worthless without a battery (too heavy to use without)

  4. I have covered 350 miles on my Granite and as i have a usesless right leg i always use it set on auto, the bike has been very good, alhough the range quoted is questionable. I too was very surprised to find 5 broken spokes yesterday, all on the right hand side. From speaking to people in the know, the spokes really have to be serviced reguarly, and some bicycle shops are not equiped to handle the big spokes on these bikes. so check the spokes reguarly or beware of serious problems like the wheel warping as mine has. then find some one who can reset it.BM..

  5. My dad has a Batribike Quartz, when you switch it on the lights on the control flash twice then it switches off and won't run at all ! this is all very frustrating as my Dad cannot walk that far to get any shopping and I live over 100 miles away.

    The charger is outputting at 43v the battery reads 39.6v which i believe to be normal.

    Any ideas ??

    1. I have exactly the same problem. I think it might be because it got wet. I took the control assembly below the saddle apart, and tbh its not exactly rain proofed ! I suspect that the motor has the same inadequate rain proofing. Anyone got any further suggestions, because mine won't go at all either now.

  6. I have had a batribike granite since May 12012. It has 6 power settings and no regenerative function. I have done about 500 miles no problems at all.

    It has not been slippy in the rain as some suggested and also no broken spokes.

  7. I have a batribike diamond. When switch on the LCD screen i get the following message: error 01. would anyone know what to do?

  8. These batribikes are part of the electrical revolution of the future.
    -electrical contractors calgary

  9. Have had a diamond batribike for a month now and what a great bit of kit. the only problem is I find It very light at the front end but no probs with slipping.

  10. I've had my Bartibike Granite for just under a year and done over a 1000 miles on it. The motor, controller and battery are fine but the rest of the bike is poor quality. The gears are shocking, with the chain comming off every time I ride it, no matter how I adjust the derailer. The seat slowly dropps into the frame regardles of how tight I make the fixing lever. I had no choice but to drill through the stem and fit a bolt. One of the peddels has given up the ghost ans had to be replaced.

    All in all I would not buy another nor recomend one.

    In hind sight, I should have spent £400 on a decent bike and fitted an electric bike kit.

    Incidentally, if you hold down all three buttons on the controller with the bike switched off, then keep the top and bottom button pressed, releasing the middle button then it turns on, you can access the setup menu and increase/decrease the maximum speeds. 36kmh is optimal for max speed ;)

  11. We bought a Batribike LCD a couple of months ago and whilst on holiday we tried to pull the battery out without taking out the plug. OK, our fault but we didnt notice this at first because the sliding mechanism to remove the battery is extremely stiff. This caused a short in the electrical ciruit and the bike was no longer usable. We returned it to Ebikes in Stoke who got the electrics fixed for a reasonable cost by Batribike. However we realised that the loud speaker connection which they use to connect the battery is not the best solution and, in fact, Batribike are slowly replacing this connection with a more fail safe pull out connection. Ebikes at Stoke sell the newer upgraded model for only £50 more than what we paid for the LCD model but wanted us to pay +£300 to get the newer version as we'd ridden some 50 miles on the LCD. We contacted Steve, a Director of Batribike, and were extremely disappointed by his lack of customer focus. So I am stuck with a less than satisfactory product which cost us nearly £1000. Beware Batribike and certainly do not buy one of it has the loud speaker connection to the battery.

  12. Has anyone had an issue with spokes snapping? Batribikes generally, but Granite in particular?