A couple of months ago a blog reader asked me to write a review of my e-bike as she is thinking of getting one. This is my experience of the above bike that I bought in July of last year.
I had always said I would wait until I was 70 years old but in the Netherlands last year, headwinds held me back a bit. We met a Dutch couple, the man riding an ordinary bike and his wife an e-bike as they cycle camped so DH encouraged me to think about getting one sooner.
I rang Dave at Cyclesense in Tadcaster and fortunately he had just taken delivery of one in my size. He thought about phoning me to tell me, but thought it would be cheeky. The upshot was , I went down, tried it out and was hooked.
A couple of weeks later, we rode the Hadrian’s wall route and the upshot of that hilly ride over 4 days, was DH also decided to take the plunge and get one too. If you want a review of all the tech data look on other sites because I will tell you what I have found.
These are designed as touring e-bikes and as such come equipped to carrying panniers with high quality Tubus racks front and rear. The wheels are 36 spoked 700 x 38C wheels with Schwalbe Marathon tyres. The frame is made from high quality alloy and is designed to take the Bosch Performance CX line motor which is powered by a 500 watt battery. The display unit is very clear and has a number of functions as well as showing speed and distance travelled. I hardly ever look at them but having the time is useful. One thing I didn’t notice at first is a little black arrow head that points up or down occasionally. This comes on if the motor thinks you are trying too hard and need to reduce the gear. . If you are pedalling too fast it will show to increase the gear.
There are 4 energy modes the lowest being eco, then tour, sport and turbo. I usually ride in eco to keep up with DH who usually rides with no assistance at all – unless he comes to a steep hill into a headwind. That is when I go into tour mode. A couple of weeks ago when we rode to Richmond, I needed all my battery power for the 70 miles ride but he only used one of the 5 cells. I get between 12-15 miles per cell and that means with eco on all of the time, I get around the 70 miles per full charge. DH rode 147 miles last year and didn’t use all the cells. So what I am saying is, the distance you can get depends upon how much assistance you need. Obviously, if the area is very hilly and lots of headwinds, you wont get as far.
I did use to get “range anxiety” (that’s apparently common in electric car drivers) but have purchased a spare battery so that is a thing of the past.
One thing I do like is the bosses to attach bottle cages on the front forks but I don’t like the one on the down tube as a bottle in there gets in the way of me getting onto the bike. Since this photo was taken I have put them on the forks and also have extra on the handle bar stem. I need to drink much more than DH when we are cycling.
I have got used to the straight handle bars but would have preferred butterfly bars however, the handgrips with bar ends are very comfortable and supportive.
The bike comes complete with front and rear lighting but these work from the battery too , so draw some power. They are very powerful Busch and Muller lights and are very bright.
One of the things I like about Koga is the front and rear stands which makes it easy to load and unload with panniers and is very stable.
The bike comes complete with a Koga branded pump and Trelock café lock that we have just bought extension pieces in order to secure them to something. There are also full mudguards front and rear so you don’t get covered in muck when riding in the wet.
I did not like the saddle it came with and switched it for my ISM touring saddle. As you can see , it looks a bit different but takes all the pressure off the perineum and is most comfortable. DH also has one but it took him a while to get it in the right position for him.
They are much heavier than an ordinary bicycle but in practice doesn’t make much difference unless you have to lift them over a fence or a barrier that is on some of the cycle tracks here in the UK.
I have now ridden about 2500 miles on mine and we have plans for a few cycle tours this year. One thing we didn’t realise is that the airlines we have tried , will not allow you to fly with the e-bike even if there is no battery. So , we will be off on a ferry to start a trip in June. When camping , we have a proper hook-up that plugs into the same sort of power points that caravaners use so we will be using that in the coming few weeks.
These bicycles were not cheap – we could have bought a small car for the price of two, however our Dutch pal told us we couldn’t have got them for that price in the Netherland so we got a good deal. I am not paid by Cyclesense , but can recommend their service as they do not pressure you into buying.
I hope this helps someone trying to make up their minds. We know we made the right decision for us.