What do London Cyclists think of electric bikes?

The Spencer & Ivy eBike I tested for London Cyclist

Electric bikes don’t appear to have received a very warm reception in London. In a previous poll only 1.19% of you said you’d like to buy one! I’m interested to find out more about everyone’s thoughts so I’ve put together the below survey that should take two minutes and 15 seconds to complete!


I’ll post up the results here on the blog (all is anonymous of course!)

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17 Responses to What do London Cyclists think of electric bikes?

  1. botogol 28/10/2011 at 9:17 am #

    one whizzed passed a peleton of commuters two nights ago when I was cycling home, near Clapham.

    I and three other cyclists respnded immediately to the challenge straining and puffing to get on his wheel… just managing, and enjoying the slipstream for a nearly a mile.

    the more the better I’d say!

    • Andreas 29/10/2011 at 2:11 pm #

      A bit of informal racing 😉

  2. Sweetman 28/10/2011 at 10:59 am #

    No problem with electric bikes at all. I’d love to think that the more bicycles=less cars. I love Mr. Bogotol’s above story–great visual.

  3. Chris Mahon 28/10/2011 at 12:47 pm #

    I tried some at the Bike Show in Birmingham. They are a bit scary at first, surging forwards (potentially dangerous) and then they jut glide a long, nicely. I can see the point if you are dealing with hills and are a bit weak, otherwise the weight makes them hard to handle.

  4. charliecyclingchef 29/10/2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Of course they have a place in the wide world of bikes but for me it’s cheating a bit ! I cycle to keep healthy and not too fat…There is no way I would buy one, too heavy for taking on a long train/plane trip. I should think most users are oldsters looking for an easy ride ; )

    • james 02/11/2011 at 12:20 pm #

      Charlie would one of these change your mind: Haibike XDuro FS = cool and 20.4kg and can climb so steep that the limit is you falling off the back!

    • Nigelch 22/02/2013 at 5:47 am #

      You will be one of those “oldsters” one day. We oldsters COULD all be driving, polluting, and damaging cyclists. Rejoice in our willingness to remain on two wheels, and support cycling culture.

  5. Ray Whitehouse 30/10/2011 at 9:50 am #

    Electric bikes allow people with leg and hip disorders to get out on a bike, never mind those that are short of breath. A great addition to the biking community for those who need a bit of extra help. Its not cheating at all for those people.

  6. Brighton-cyclist 30/10/2011 at 11:47 am #

    Good option if you cannot manage to get around on a regular bike any longer. You can use cycle paths with one of these, whereas with a moped you cannot. I guess the price will fall as they become more common.

  7. Ride On magazine 31/10/2011 at 1:24 am #

    We reckon electric bikes have the potential to get heaps more Australians riding bikes for ordinary trips. When we planned for collaborations with Choice, Australia’s consumer-advocacy organisation, they also saw electric as a top priority. We’ve got a test of 18 common brands coming out in our Dec-Jan issue.
    There’s a review dragging on in Australia over the regulations for what’s street-legal in electric bikes. We’ve been following it for two years http://rideons.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/electric-bikes-power-up/

  8. Paul 04/11/2011 at 12:15 pm #

    I think Electric Bikes have an image problem which is a real shame.

    Once people look at electric bikes as just another viable mode of transport I think they have a lot to offer, even to younger riders. This is especially the case if you live in a hilly area and/or don’t have shower facilities at work. Electric bikes should allow more people to leave the car at home and enjoy the fresh air for their commute to work. Even for relatively fit people, an electric bike can make a journey commutable that would otherwise be out of reach. You still pedal a bit in most cases which means there are still fitness benefits to be gained.

    Unfortunately, most people see them as something to be used by people to lazy to get off their backsides and ride a proper bike.

    I had a Cytronex electric bike for a while which is one of the trendier brands and I loved it. It was unbelievable the ribbing I got from colleages, ‘friends’, family, etc who said “that’s cheating!”. One guy at work shouted that to me while sat in his Land Rover!

  9. John 13/11/2011 at 9:06 pm #

    I live 15miles from work. I want to get fit and ride it. I am 41 and over weight. I fitted an elec wheel and peddled in using peddle assist. Good work out for me top speed 19mph.
    Coming home the battery died i had to peddle the last 9miles. How i laughed.
    Want to build up to using my old racer with its 52 t chainset. Next trip tuesday.
    I will be useing the blue route on the A13.

  10. Oliver Kay 20/02/2012 at 2:38 pm #

    just bought one ( Volt Pulse Hybrid) from http://electric-bike-store.co.uk/. enjoy every second of riding it. one of the best electric bikes available and what’s more it’s designed in the UK.

  11. David Metcalfe 03/08/2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Jusy bought a volt metro solidly built goes great a bit heavier than my old folding bike a ridgeback. I cycle almost every day as a music teacher going to my studio and traveling to students houses. It defenly takes the struggle out of going up steep hills.

    Why did you not include questions on you survey for those of us who own an electric?

  12. Steve 08/01/2013 at 12:42 am #

    My wife wants to try the commute to work by bike trouble is she hasn’t cycled for many years and it’s 10 miles and she has an injury to her knee. We tried the route at the weekend together and made it 2/3 of the way, both ended tired and sweaty as we are not getting any younger at 48 and 50 years old. You don’t want to get to work all sweaty and knackered do a days work and do it all again to get back home. An e bike would be perfect for her to get some exercise, enjoy the trip and not have to pay out £150 a month on petrol for the car let alone the road tax, insurance and maintenance costs. Cheating? who cares what the bike nuts think.

  13. Deek 14/01/2015 at 7:52 pm #

    E Bikes are great no matter what age you are. Try one and enjoy.

  14. Stephen 28/02/2015 at 8:27 pm #

    I bought a Volt Pulse last July, and began commuting to work in central London on a daily basis, 13 miles each way, completing over 1,200 mile before I stopped when it became to dark in the evening after the hour went back.
    I can’t recommend the bike highly enough, I am 50+ and to try this on ‘normal bike’ with no assistance would have been unrealistic. I’ve been amazed with the time of just over an hour, which (apart from the time to get changed) is quicker than my old normal commute of 1 hour 20 mins.
    I’m excited to restart next week, and plan to commute daily till the clocks go back in October, which should be 3,500 to 4,000 miles.
    I’ve been amazed that in my short experience I have only seen two other electric bikes, which really amazes me, I would not have been able to do the journey on a bike with no assist. There is a cost factor for the initial purchase, but taking into account that my commute cost for public transport is already £2,500 per year, and only like to increase, the Volt bike will have paid for itself after 8 months of not using public transport.
    I don’t understand why there aren’t more people using electric hybrid bikes, they must be the way forward for people like me.

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