During my cycling adventures in this corner of Europe I cannot fail to notice increasing numbers of eBikes of all shapes and sizes.
When I acquired my ‘conventional’ bike three years ago I researched alternative eBikes extensively.
Ultimately I decided to buy a 100% human powered bike, a meBike!
This was for a variety of reasons, chief amongst which was the pure satisfaction, plus the physical/mental exercise offered by a conventional bike.
Maybe my somewhat ‘traditional’ approach to recreational cycling played a part also.
Another significant consideration was cost.
I perceived I wasn’t ‘ready’ for power assisted cycling and therefore considered an eBike of dubious value.
When an equivalent eBike to my chosen conventional bike was at least three times the cost, the whole idea became prohibitive.
Fast forward to the present day and an opportunity has presented itself for me to borrow and try an eBike for a few rides. Thanks Tom!
The bike is a Cube Touring Hybrid EXC from 2019.
As the name implies this is more of a touring bike than my own ‘all-terrain’ bike but it’s the right size for me and a good eBike for me to experience.
On Monday I rode it about 600 metres home, without any power assistance, with no difficulty at all.
The first thing I notice is the extra weight, mainly due to the Bosch 50NM/250Watt electric motor and the Bosch PowerPack 400 battery.
In total it weighs in at 22.9 kg whereas my own bike is 13.5 kg or 16.5 kg ‘ready to ride’ with handlebar bag and 1.5 litres of drinking water/energy drink.
Tuesday was spent charging the battery, cleaning the bike, and making a few adjustments to the riding position.
From the Bosch Intuvia control module on the handlebars I see there are four levels of power assistance plus ‘off’.
From the lowest to highest, these are: ECO, TOUR, SPORT and TURBO.
Respectively these settings offer 40%/100%/150%/250% assistance to the rider’s own physical effort.
Depending on which of the settings is used, I can expect an assisted range of between 40 and 120 km.
The bike has conventional 11 speed derailleur gears and can be ridden fairy easily without any power assistance at all.
I can activate the system via the control module and select which assistance level I require, depending on terrain etc.
Sensors then precisely determine when to introduce the assistance.
The control module also helpfully suggests which gear to select.
If I’m freewheeling downhill the assistance stops working and if I exceed 25 km/h, it stops working.
As I write this I have zero kilometres riding experience on a fully charged eBike which I plan to rectify tomorrow!
15th June 2023
The owner of this eBike, borrowed for a few rides, made me an offer I could not refuse.
Therefore I am now the proud owner of this fabulous eBike as well as my other human powered bike!