Electric bikes

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martyn94
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Electric bikes

Post by martyn94 » Sat 21 Oct 2017 22:43

One of the very few things that I regret about living here is that I hardly ride my bike any more. When I am in Normandy, I have a routine 20-odd kms a day, flat and easy, just to attend to the necessities of life, like buying a baguette. Here it’s a 200m walk, which is exactly what I wanted. So it would be stupid to complain. But I miss that routine element of daily exercise, and the more I do miss it, the more unfit I get.

One issue for me is that I really hate riding up hills unless I have a serious motive for getting to the top of them, and any route out of Port-Vendres involves going up hills.

I’ve tried to think of a serious reason for regular rides from here (like a mistress in Banyuls, say) but found no inspiration. So I am beginning to think that I need to just do some casual riding, and make it more approachable.

Which is a very long way round to say: lots of people suddenly seem to have electrically assisted bikes nowadays, so does anyone here have any useful advice?

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Sun 22 Oct 2017 07:56

I tried one last week belonging to a friend and was very impressed. I do quite a lot of cycling as it’s a flat and delicious ride from my gate to the coast, or around the local vines and cherry orchards, so it wouldn’t do for me quite yet as it would make me lazy, but would be a perfect choice for someone wanting to get back into cycling.

The motor turns on and off easily, via the handlebars, and although there weren’t any real hills around when I tried it, my friend says it handles them very well, so you should be fine in and out of PV. Also, they are not the great clunky things you would image but aesthetically pleasant to ride and handle.

The only downside? The price. I haven’t looked into it but apparently they are pretty expensive. My friend bought hers in the UK for under a thousand pounds but says they are usually much more expensive.

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Post by jethro » Sun 22 Oct 2017 11:47

The Auto 5 franchise, also called Norauto sells extremely heavy and well-made electric bikes far cheaper than anyone else.See their website. Fun bikes at Ceret sold me a Kalkhoff which had a dodgy BionX power system and went back to them, but I am very impressed with my wife's folding Plimoa bike, which is around the €1000 mark and is a delight to ride, despite having only six gears. I would advise against buying second-hand, unless from a dealer with a guarantee as battery problems are legion and can appear out of the blue. If you intend to put an electric bike on the back of your car, you will need a rack connected to the tow hitch and a way of wheeling the bike up onto the rack. The great weight of these machines makes them uncongenial to lift. You can buy a kit on eBay to convert your present vélo into an electric bike, but it needs to be a very sturdy frame to begin with. Lightweight aluminium racing bikes will be compressed out of shape by rear-mounted kit wheels. Favour mid-mounted motors over wheel-hub motors.
an' the wun' cried Mary.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sun 22 Oct 2017 13:57

Kate wrote: The only downside? The price. I haven’t looked into it but apparently they are pretty expensive. My friend bought hers in the UK for under a thousand pounds but says they are usually much more expensive.
You bet. I went to a sort of “expoâ€￾ event in Aurillac the other week, and two of the exposants were showing a range of electric bikes. The two most expensive were a full-carbon soft-tail mountain bike at €4995, and a full-carbon road bike at €3500-odd (or maybe it was the other way round). I can see the point of the mountain bike (though it’s never been my idea of fun) but an electric drop-handle road bike just seems bizarre (unless you can hide the fact, which it wasn’t trying to). Though I guess some people want to keep doing club rides with their mates.

Giant used to do what was just an electrified version of the hybrid/vtc that I normally ride, but the technology has evidently been moving fast, and they are not widely found here. Any recommendable specialists around Perpignan?

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Post by jethro » Sun 22 Oct 2017 15:49

Véloland 863 Chemin de la Fauceille, where all the car concessions are, has a huge range of bikes. Electric and steam-driven.
an' the wun' cried Mary.

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Post by dsd » Sun 22 Oct 2017 17:39

You must have already thought of what I'm about to say, but if you don't want to do the hills, you could put the bike in the back of the car or on a bracket outside and then drive to a nice place where you want to go cycying. Or you could even take it on the train with you, to Argelès, for example, and then set off for your ride, although I know trains are not as frequent as we would sometimes wish.
Anyway, just a thought and much cheaper than buying an electric bike

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sun 22 Oct 2017 23:32

dsd wrote:You must have already thought of what I'm about to say, but if you don't want to do the hills, you could put the bike in the back of the car or on a bracket outside and then drive to a nice place where you want to go cycying. Or you could even take it on the train with you, to Argelès, for example, and then set off for your ride, although I know trains are not as frequent as we would sometimes wish.
Anyway, just a thought and much cheaper than buying an electric bike
Thanks. I’m very well placed to put my bike on the train to somewhere flatter, and I have occasionally done it. But I’m not in the routine of thinking that there is a “nice place where I want to go cyclingâ€￾. I’ve always been very bad at taking exercise for the sake of it, and the great virtue of cycling for me has been that you get your exercise as a by-product of reaching a destination: work, food, the bank, friends, the pub, the Newhaven ferry or whatever. A lot of my trips have been avoidable, if I’d wanted to avoid them (I’ve got a fridge and a freezer if it’s pissing with rain): but the destination has given me the minimum degree of motivation needed to get me off my bottom.

I guess I’ll just have to change my ideas.

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Post by Richard and Sharon » Tue 24 Oct 2017 16:24

To me nice and flat is an oxymoron, except when I want to cycle. I cycled to Banyuls via PV recently, but drivers were generally so inconsiderate I would not do it again by choice. Next time I went via the D86, but that was seriously hilly. Heading north via Collioure to Argeles and the flatlands beyond is much easier.
Why not skip the electric option like I did and get yourself a bright red Ducati. Blast up those hills and if the women are uninspiring in Banyuls, try Cerbere or even Spain!

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Post by martyn94 » Tue 24 Oct 2017 19:34

[quote="Richard and Sharon]
Why not skip the electric option like I did and get yourself a bright red Ducati. [/quote]

I’m looking for exercise, not hormone therapy.

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Post by Allan » Thu 26 Oct 2017 13:58

I’ve just read an article in the Connection saying that grants of up tp 200€ to buy an electric bike will end next year.

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Post by Allan » Thu 26 Oct 2017 13:58

I’ve just read an article in the Connection saying that grants of up tp 200€ to buy an electric bike will end next year.

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Fri 27 Oct 2017 16:31

Allan wrote:I’ve just read an article in the Connection saying that grants of up tp 200€ to buy an electric bike will end next year.
They are always ending, and they always seem to be extended.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Sat 28 Oct 2017 11:33


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