As soon as the Christmas and new year festivities are behind us, inevitably thoughts will start turning towards the 2019 health kick and fitness regime.
No doubt you’ll be drowning in ‘New Year, New You’ blogs as soon as 2019 starts – which is why we wanted to get ours in first!
Whilst the sentiment of getting fit is to be applauded, it’s important to make sure the changes you make are realistic. Often people go in too hard and make too many promises to themselves, exercising too much before giving up sometime before the end of January.
At Powabyke we believe in a sustainable approach to fitness.
Making small lifestyle changes that can help you feel a little healthier and happier are much more likely to become part of your day to day routine and can help you achieve your long-term fitness goals.
We firmly believe that e-bikes can help you do this and open the door to cycling for those who require a little extra assistance.
To back this up, research has shown that people using e-bikes are more likely to cycle more and that modern electric cycles have an important health enhancing role to play.
We would say that these are some of the key benefits of e-bikes in relation to fitness:
- Confidence in the saddle – an electric bike will give you peace of mind that those hills, or that distance, are within your capability, breaking down that mental barrier to exercise.
- An extra boost when you need it – if it’s been a while since you’ve been out on two-wheels, an e-bike can help you to ensure you don’t overstretch yourself and cycle beyond your limits, giving assistance when needed for tired legs.
- They’re great fun – if you’re enjoying it, it won’t feel like exercise and you’ll want to get out more and more.
At Powabyke we stock a comprehensive range of e-bikes that will help you to get out and about, cover distances you’re comfortable with and give you the confidence to cycle more.
If you’re looking for the new bike to match the new you, we recently signed a deal with leading Italian bike manufacturer MBM to bring their sleek, lightweight e-bikes to the UK through our network of distributors. Now is the perfect time to visit your local dealer and book a test ride so you can get back in the saddle and ready to pedal your way to fitness in 2019.
For information about our network of local dealers visit https://powabyke.com/dealers/
A mountain bike might be an odd sight in the pages of Farmers Weekly, but the machine we are about to feature already boasts a couple of agricultural customers.
The appeal for the farmers in question is apparently the fact that the electric motor housed in the bike’s frame allows them to get around the stock quietly and cheaply, while throwing a bit of exercise in for good measure.
That’s because – unlike an electric motorbike, which does all the work for you – an e-bike requires the rider to do at least some pedalling, even if it’s a token gesture when the motor is cranked up to its highest setting.
Initially we were doubtful about an e-bike’s place on a farm. After all, you are not going to be hauling many bags of feed around with it and we certainly wouldn’t advise lashing a slug pelleter to the rear.
But with farmers spending more and more sedentary hours perched on a seat, replacing a few of the quad bike or Mule trips with a slog on the e-bike can only be good news for the ticker.
It also gives those physically unable to ride a conventional bike the ability to have a go.
All this sounds appealing, but to find out what they are really like to live with we got hold of the latest Italian-built MBM Metis – imported by UK firm Powabyke – and put it to the test.
This relatively simple e-bike has an 80Nm Olieds electric motor with five settings, ranging from 50% to 400% assistance.
How does it work?
Other than the fact it has an electric motor slotted between the cranks and a battery bolted on to the down tube, the Metis is nearly identical to a conventional mountain bike.
That means it has 10 conventional derailleur-shifted gears, hydraulic disc brakes and front suspension to take out the worst of the bumps. As a result, when the motor is turned off it works like a normal bike, albeit a heavy one.
Pressing a button on the handlebars sparks the thing into life and there’s an LCD screen showing all the important information, such as which assistance setting it’s on and how much battery life is left.
Sitting next to the on/off switch, there are also up and down arrows for adjusting the assistance level. Selecting level one adds 50% to the rider’s input, with incremental increases up to a massive 400% on level five.
To get it to work, the rider just starts pedalling and the motor kicks in immediately.
What’s it like to ride?
At the lower end of the power spectrum, the effort that the bike puts in is relatively hard to notice.
However, once you get up to level three (200% boost) it’s clear that the bike is giving you some serious help. The rider still needs to put in the effort in order to make decent progress, though – and the more they put in, the faster it goes.
Flick it all the way up to level five and it’s almost as though you’re a passenger on a mini electric moped. On moderate terrain, simply turning the pedals will get the rider up to decent speeds without any physical effort.
Even steep climbs require little work as we found when we did a 1,227ft ascent over five miles and didn’t break a sweat.
However, we did need to work the gears to get the most out of it. Go too high and the motor will bog down; too low and it won’t achieve its maximum speed.
How fast can it go?
EU law stipulates that all electrically assisted bicycles are limited to 25kph (15.5mph), so when we cranked the Metis up to full power, the motor duly kicked out at that speed.
Explore more Know How
Visit our Know How centre for practical farming advice
It’s a little frustrating as this seems fairly sedate on the road, and even if the rider puts in considerable effort, it’s hard to push far beyond that.
However, it is possible – if not legal – to unleash some more performance. The best option for doing this is to purchase a chip online that removes the speed limiter and keeps the motor spinning as fast as the rider can pedal. They cost about £100 and don’t alter anything else on the bike.
The other cheat to get the bike to go faster is to trick the speedometer. Normally this works using a sensor on the chain stay and a magnet on the wheel. But by transferring the magnet to the crank, the computer is fooled into thinking the bike is going much slower than it really is.
With this modification, we managed to get the bike up to 30mph, which was more than fast enough. There are no rules preventing these chipped e-bikes being used off-road, but sadly it’s illegal to use them on the road or on designated cycle paths.
If someone does want to use a chipped bike legally on the road, it effectively has to be registered as a motorcycle and is then subject to the same rules and regulations. The other option is to switch off or remove the chip for on-road use.
Does it have a place on a farm?
An e-bike obviously isn’t going to do any serious work on a farm, but it is a pleasant way of getting around the place and the exercise is a bonus.
It could also be useful when ferrying machinery back and forth when there isn’t a spare person available to run you around.
On rough ground, we found the lack of rear suspension made for an uncomfortable ride, so we would probably spend a little more and get a full-suspension version.
Apparently, Powabyke is looking at bringing one in and most mountain bike brands offer something similar, so there are plenty to choose from.
The other limitation is the maximum gradient it’s able to ascend. If a slope is too steep for a fit person to ride a normal bike up, then it’s fair to say the Metis will struggle, too. When we pointed it up a particularly steep grassy hillside, the motor just stopped turning and we had to abort.
Soggy, cultivated ground also causes the tyres to clog up and stop turning.
How long does the battery last?
Battery life varies considerably depending on the terrain, assistance level selected, weight of the rider and the ambient air temperature. Motor manufacturer Olieds quotes a range of up to 50km, but that will be in ideal conditions and at the lowest power setting.
For general riding around the farm we found it used very little power and would easily last a day. However, when we did our 1,227ft climb and pushed it as hard as we could, we managed to drain half the battery life.
When the battery does go, you’re back to pedalling a conventional bike and a rather lead-like one at that. Therefore, it’s worth keeping an eye on the battery gauge. Recharging takes about five hours, so a moderate user could probably get away with charging it once a day.
Do you need a licence?
Anyone over the age of 14 can ride an e-bike on the road without a licence and they won’t need to pay any tax.
However, those who want to ride a chipped e-bike (one that goes faster than 25kph or has a power output of more than 250W) on the road officially will need to get it approved by the DVLA and it will effectively be classed as a motorcycle.
Standard motor vehicle rules will then apply, making it a fairly unattractive proposition.
What about taking it to the pub?
The general advice is to not mix drinking and e-biking, but as an e-bike comes under the same legal rules as a bike there is technically no legal limit for how much alcohol it’s permissible for a cyclist to drink.
However, it is illegal to ride under the influence of alcohol or to ride dangerously, carelessly or inconsiderately. The maximum fine for riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is £1,000 and the maximum fine for riding dangerously is £2,500.
Being caught doesn’t affect your driving licence, though, as these aren’t classed as motoring offences.
- Frame size: medium or large
- Motor: Olieds 80Nm
- Battery: 36V, 14.5Ah
- Forks: Suntour Xcm
- Gears: Shimano 10-speed
- Weight: 24kg
- Top speed assisted: 25kph
- Price: £2,699
E-cycle Your Bike
For many people there comes a time when the physical barriers to cycling can become too much, and the beloved bike is retired to the garage or shed to see out its days.
The two-wheeled stallion, which has been on family holidays, seen hundreds of commutes, trips to the shops and more, has been your workhorse for many years but now it has hit the road for the final time.
That used to be the case – but not anymore!
Now thanks to the Powabyke Conv-e kit, your beloved bike can carry on well into old age with assistance from a 6v 10a lithium ion battery and 250w brushless motor.
Powabyke has converted hundreds of bikes to electric over the years. People come to us because often they’re happy with their bike – they’ve got something they’re comfortable riding and familiar with – but just need that extra bit of assistance.
We have carried out conversions on hand cycles, recumbents, semi-recumbents, trikes and all manner of hybrids, mountain bikes, folding bikes, road bikes and more.
Our conv-e kits are available to buy as a pack, allowing you to convert your bike at home, or we can do it for you at our workshop.
The kits are designed to convert almost any standard bicycle to electric in approximately 45 minutes.
Conv-e comes complete with 10Amp battery and controller pack, powerful 250W brushless motor, charger and mounting brackets to suit your bike. The electric bike conversion kit will give you a range, on a fully charged battery that takes 5 hours to charge from flat, in excess of 20 miles.
Electric Cycle Company Brings Sleek New Model to UK Market
The UK’s longest established electric bike company has announced an exclusive deal with a leading European bike manufacturer.
Powabyke UK Ltd, established in 1998, has secured sole UK distribution rights with leading Italian brand MBM for its new range of e-bikes, bringing high quality Italian design and engineering to Powabyke’s network of dealers across the UK.
MBM has been manufacturing bikes since 1973 and is one of the leading and most trusted names throughout Italy.
The company’s new range of e-bikes was launched earlier this year featuring Italian designed and built 80Nm crank drive motors, bringing more power than most e-bikes currently available on the UK market.
The range comes equipped with a lightweight 522Wh battery making the bikes capable of covering nearly 100 miles on a single charge.
The partnership deal was agreed at MBM’s headquarters in Cesena, Italy in October.
MBM Sales Director Vincenzo Medugno said, “It is a fantastic opportunity to have a partner in the UK and we look forward to the trading co-operation between our two companies. Powabyke is a well established brand and is well placed to introduce the MBM range of bikes to customers throughout the UK.”
Keith Palmer, Managing Director of Powabyke added, “MBM is a household name throughout Italy and the company has a great reputation for manufacturing a comprehensive range of quality bikes. The company puts emphasis on both style and substance. Each e-bike is assembled by trained technicians ensuring the high quality is maintained every step of the way.
“This new range of bikes combines Italian style and precision with high torque power and impressive battery life, ticking all boxes for anyone looking to enjoy the benefits of an e-bike. They will be a great addition to the expanding Powabyke range.”
Winter can be a depressing time for a cyclist, and getting cold, wet and muddy does not help! There are things that you can do to improve the quality of time you have on the roads:
Clothes – Wearing the appropriate clothes can not only keep you warm and dry. The best way to do this is to layer up, so if temperatures change, then you can adapt too. Thermal layers as well as waterproof outers will keep you warm and dry. Try overshoes to keep your toes warm, also thermal gloves to protect your fingers, and thermal face and neck masks to keep the chills at bay!
Mudguards – It sounds silly, and may reduce the coolness of your ride, but mudguards will will stop you getting mud and water splattered up your backside! This in turn will keep you warm and dry! Luckily most Powabykes come fitted with mudguards as standard!
Lights – Being seen is crucial, especially when the mornings and evenings are dark, and the afternoons are often dreary, visibility is paramount. Make sure you fit a decent set of LED lights to your bike. Keep them charged regulary so you don’t lose brightness, or carry a spare set of batteries so you can change them on the move. Increasingly lights are being fitted as standard on ebikes these days, but it doesn’t hurt to have a secondary lighting system to help give oncoming drivers a perspective of where you are.
Tyres – Use tyres that give you that little bit of extra grip. Yes I’m afraid you may lose some of that top speed or range on an ebike, and it may also feel harder to ride, but ultimately anything you can do to help improve your bike’s grip is surely a good thing? You can also try reducing tyre pressure by a few lbs to improve grip. Remember wet leaves, mud and puddles could be just around the corner! You may want to think about fitting puncture resistant tyres as well, these are great for reducing the risk of punctures with the increased debris found on roads during the winter months.
Winter Cleaning – This is crucial for the longevity of parts. Dirt, salt, mud and water are a bad mix for cyclists, so by keeping your bikes clean, you will in turn increase the life of chains, derailleurs, cranks, bottom brackets, brakes etc. There are loads of websites telling you how to clean a bike, This is a video from Cycling Weekly showing you the basics.
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has taken control of all 61 of Evans Cycles stores. The troubled chain has been seeking £10m investment in recent months as reported in Bikebiz.
With falling profits the chain needed investment and restructure. Sports Direct have stepped in and is reported it will shut 31 stores as part of it’s restructuring.
Powabyke electric bikes were the first electric bikes the Evans chain stocked back in 2011 but it proved too early in the electric bike revolution and was greeted with cautious protest by instore staff. Evans pulled out of the electric bike market for a few years before returning amid increasing popularity and demand, and today electric bikes are a major source of revenue and profit for Evans Cycles.
Today 1300 members of staff will go about their day to day business awaiting any final decisions on branch closures.
“We are pleased to have rescued the Evans Cycles brand,” Sports Direct chief executive Mike Ashley said.
“However, in order to save the business we only believe we will be able to keep 50 per cent of stores open in the future.
“Unfortunately some stores will have to close.”
Hire a Powabyke
Are you new to the world of electric bikes? Not sure an electric bike is what you want? Well now you can hire a Powabyke to see if it is the answer you’ve been looking for! From just £30 per day or for a full week at just £100, give us a ring and see what we can do for you. If you go ahead with a purchase of a Powabyke, then you will get the cost of the hire refunded back to you!
1 day hire £30
2 day hire £50
4 day hire £70
7 day hire £100
Powabyke hire allows you to experience the power of an electric bike in your own time giving you the perfect opportunity to try an electric bike in a hassle free environment and place you choose to go. Be it to try your route to work and home, to taking it away for a few days and try in on holiday at your own leisure.
The bikes will be the latest models from Powabyke, we have a range to suit all requirements! They are supplied fully assembled and charged ready to ride so you can start riding straight away. You must be over the age of 18 to hire, a returnable deposit is required to cover loss or damaged of the hire bikes and photographic ID will be required before the bikes are handed over. For full T&C, see attached. Collection and drop off times run Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm. Other times are available but require prior confirmation. Collection is from our warehouse:
Powabyke UK Ltd, Gate 1 Trident Works, Temple Cloud, Bristol, BS39 5AZ
Simply download and complete the form and return to Powabyke UK Ltd via post or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 01761 568085 with any queries or questions you may have.