Here I am again with another battery powered bicycle trying to get to school for that fabled 12p per day.
I bumped into A.S. Bikes a couple weeks ago at the caravan and motorhome show, yes that's the type of thing that I do for fun... Anyway I had a long talk with one of the salesman/engineers that we running the thing. I told him about my experience with Batribike (I hadn't returned it at this point) and implied that I might be in the market for another one very soon.
So I called Friday to make a Wednesday, 1 hour, appointment, (as is their request) to see the bikes. Their showroom is only an hour or so away from me. I thought the appointment was a bit of a hassle at the time because they had very limited times available but in the end was glad to have done it that way.
The staff are very good, during my hour session I was given a complete run down of the bike including a training session on everything down to adjusting the derailleur cable. Booking the appointments lets them do all this for each customer on an individual basis.
I've got the ElectroBike Plus which is basically their MK3 model with bigger wheels and wheel related things. I picked up the bike myself on Wednesday Oct, 10th.
It's a folding bike, which is great for me and I wish I'd given it more consideration the first time around. The bike folds down to something that you could sling over your shoulder and take on the bus, A.S. even sell a shoulder bag for this very purpose. It's great because it means if I ever get stuck somewhere and need to be retrieved via a combustion powered vehicle, it's not a problem, the bike will just fold up and go in the boot.
It's a dutch style bike which I've never riden before. The position of the handle bars to the front wheel is taking some getting used to but the seating position is much more comfortable. My shoulders and back don't ache at all after having ridden for over an hour.
On full assist the bikes is supposed to get up to 30 miles, this may very well be an under-rating. I've ridden the bike to Stafford and back (24 miles) using the throttle assist almost the whole way and still have over half power.
It's got a 250W motor powered by a 36V lithuim battery. This is a pretty common spec I've found among the higher ranges. The bike weighs 24.75 kilos with battery, which surprisingly just a fraction lighter than the BatriBike. It's got 6 gears on a twist grip, meaning no buttons, you twist to change up and down. The power controls are a great deal more simplistic that many of these bikes, you've got a twisting handle throttle and a 3 position switch... that's it.
Further specs can be found on the website, those are just the ones I thought I'd mention.
The bike rides nicely, it's smooth and light. I mentioned that the steering is taking some getting used too. I can get all the way to Stafford and back having hardly broken a sweat if I want to and in good time as well.
The simple set up of the power assist works very well. The bike has three settings, Off, Economy and Assist. On the Economy setting the bike only gives assistance when you twist the throttle. The idea is that you pedal along until you want a little help and then twist. The assist mode I'm struggling with a little bit, only in that I can't actually feel it working. When the bike is set to assist mode the motor is going all the time, it's calculating how fast you're pedaling (not how hard) and then helping you along. I can get this to work when the bike it stationary and I can hear the motor engaging when I'm riding but I genuinely can't feel any assistance, I should note that in assist mode it's supposed to only assist up to 15ish mph so it may just be because I tend to drive around in the highest gear and am typically moving 12 mph+ everywhere I dunno...
Good looking, comfortable ride.
Fold-able which means cheaper insurance and more portability.
The amount of information you get when you purchase one of these, on things such as use, care, setup and maintenance is really nice.
Clearance. It's proving quite difficult keeping the pedals in a position where they won't scrape on the ground when I take a sharp bend at any speed... I'm really having a hard time with this because every time the pedals hit the ground I lose my balance, I've nearly come off twice.
I think I preferred the torque sensors on the Batribike, measure how hard your pedaling rather than how fast just seems more logical.
A.S. Bikes are only open 1 day a week. This is for a very practical reason though. A.S. Bikes are actually A.S. Toys, they run two businesses at once and simply have to balance their workload. When I arrived for my appointment I was greeted by about 100 or so puppets hanging around one side of the showroom, the other side had all of their display bikes neatly lined up.