More e-Bike News
After my last post about my first ride on an e-bike, things got out of hand quickly. First, a friend of mine, who recently started to work for dance.co got in touch and after a very nice breakfast with loads of nerding out on cycling and electronics, I got to test ride their current offering. It's a good bike that makes all the correct compromises for a city bike, I think. Unfortunately, while they definitely plan to expand beyond Berlin, a definite start date for Hamburg is not yet known and so I looked around and scanned the offerings of the biggest bike rental player, Swapfiets. They recently introduced the Power 1, which is, while quite a different beast than the dance bike, is at least the closest. With the introductory price of 49 EUR per month, testing this out was a no-brainer, and so I have one of these bikes in my posession right now.
It's a solid bike
The first, obvious thing is that this bike is heavy. At 25kg (with Battery) it is more than double the weight of my (comparably light) Stevens Courier SL and that makes heaving it in and out of my basement storage quite a different procedure.
The electric motor and drive is fine, but given that this is a single speed the experience of driving it is distinctly different from driving the 7 speed during our vacation. You accelerate to the 25 km limit quite quickly, but if you're sustaining at that tempo, it's quite exhausting, not so much for muscle power but for sheer speed of the movement. A different kind of workout, so to speak. That said, I think I tend to usually drive my bikes at rather low pedal speeds (tending towards the higher gears, so to speak) and so this may be a very specific problem of a low frequency pedaller.
Yeah, that front rack
The rest of the bike is the usual solid quality you come to expect from a dutch bicycle company, but I have to say, I really dislike the front wheel bike rack. I understand that many people really like that setup because you have your belongings always in sight, but the weight distribution, if I drive this with two loaded rack mount bags is far from ideal and there's really no way to mount something on the rear wheel.
All in all, I am not sure I'll keep this bike – Or rather, I am quite sure that I only will keep it until I can test out the dance bike.
There's also the question of how always driving an e-bike will impact my fitness, as my usual commute is definitely part of my cardio program – I decided to ignore this question for now and focus on the practicality of these bikes and then have a go at the question if an e-bike would make any sense for me in the city. Of that, I am not so sure right now.