We understand that deciding whether or not to buy an electric bike can be a big decision. We’ve decided to bring you electric bike reviews from past customers; this one is from Lucy in Sheffield.
Meet Lucy! Lucy is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist working in and around the Sheffield area. Lucy’s daily commute doesn’t just include a ride to and from the office; instead she spends a significant part of her day travelling from centre to centre to visit her patients across the Sheffield area.
Lucy is a keen hobby cyclist and loves her road bike! However, after taking the plunge and deciding to commute to work she found certain inconveniences in journeying on her roadie. Managing the hills of Sheffield, the load she has to carry with her on her daily commute and the difficulties of arriving at each location having worked up a bit of a sweaty glow started to take their toll. So when a close friend offered to loan her their Raleigh Mustang Comp Electric she decided to try it! Here is Lucy’s electric bike review…
I’m not a newbie to cycling but commuting has only been something I’ve dabbled with in the past. This may be partly down to the fact that my commute is not as simple as riding from home to work then back again.
I’m a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and a large part of my job is travelling between GP clinics and Health and Leisure centres across Sheffield to visit my patients.
For those of you who haven’t experienced the hills of Sheffield– they’re big, and there are a lot of them! I do make a lot of excuses such as;
I live at the top of a big hill…
It’s due to be windy today…
I have lots of things to carry…
I’ve got a gym session tonight…
I need to get home quickly for the dog/to put tea on/change for the gym…
I had always been happy to reel off the reasons why I wasn’t not actively commuting; but at the start of 2015 I decided to cut the excuses and join the growing club of cyclist commuters, swapping the car for the bike on a weekly basis. I zipped off to work and back week after week on my commuter, thoroughly enjoying the experience despite the February temperatures. I arrived home hot, sweaty, but happy. I’d got the bug!
I’m lucky enough to have a friend who owns an electric bike and kindly lent it to me so I could try it for my commute. Well, it was an absolute revelation! My previous excuses for not commuting by bike? demolished! And, as the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather just ill-prepared clothing. The cold winter mornings and English weather didn’t seem so bad when you’re flying past traffic with the help of the power assist. Carrying all my kit to work has also been a breeze. With two panniers I can easily fit all of my kit in including my laptop.
On the way to work I turn up the pedal assist so I don’t arrive sweaty. Then on the way home I use the Eco-mode so I can push on a bit. Now, I knew that a bike with the pedal assist would mean I’d arrive faster than my slog on the road bike, but on most days it was surprisingly quicker than driving especially when the schools are back. Win, win!
"Now, I knew that a bike with the pedal assist would mean I’d arrive faster than my slog on the road bike."
I had my suspicions that I would probably get fitter by using the e-bike. My theory was that I would spend more time in lower heart rate zones than on my usual commute therefore improving my cardiovascular fitness. The results? Not only do I feel fitter when I get back on my non-electric bike, but I’m beating my original route times which I record with a GPS device.
A handy tip for any Strava users with an e-bike; you can change the setting of Sport from the default of ‘Ride’ to the ‘E-bike Ride’ option so you won’t upset the leader boards! To satisfy my inner geek, I took my fitness tests one step further. At the start of my “trial” with the e-bike I did a Wattbike fitness test which measures, amongst lots of other data, your average power output. I chose a 12 mins all-out time trial, which involves pedalling as fast as you can for the full 12 minutes.
"I’m beating my original route times which I record with a GPS device."
I repeated the test 6 weeks later, and to my delight I’d gained 10 watts. That equates to approximately a 5% increase in power output. Plus in terms of speed, the bike gets me to places around 30% quicker than my standard commuter. This means that I’m exposed to the traffic fumes for less time and, at the risk of sounding too pessimistic, 30% less chance of being knocked off my bike too! Oh, and of course I can get home quicker.
I’d like to think that my patient’s experience is enriched too – I’m more energetic and mentally alert. I can also use my experience to encourage them (where appropriate) to consider e-bikes highlighting the benefits it could offer. I’m a strong advocate of Physio’s promoting exercise, and cycling is the perfect exercise for most physio patients because it’s so low impact.
"Clearly the cost of the bike is a significant initially but over time it will pay for itself, though the other gains start immediately. "
The money I’ve saved from not buying fuel and parking tickets goes straight into my new bike fund! So all in all I am sold and look forward to the arrival of my very own Raleigh electric bike to continue with my commuting. I might even get some longer rides in without all the baggage too!
From our experience, everyone who tries one of our e-bikes leaves amazed at the experience. An e-bike gives you the freedom to go further, ride for longer and tackle the hills with ease. If you’ve been out of the saddle for a while you’ll be able to ease yourself into cycling gently. Forget the fears of running out of steam halfway through your route!
But don’t just take our word for it….
Want to try out an e-bike? You can use our Store Locator to find a Raleigh electric bike dealer near you. Most stores allow you to test ride electric bikes before purchasing so you can decide if they’re right for you. Alternatively why not purchase your new e-bike online at www.raleigh.co.uk? We’re so confident that you’ll love our products that we offer have a Free 14 Day Returns policy. So you can try an e-bike and make sure it’s right for you without feeling as though you’re taking such a big financial risk.
Want to let us know how you’ve got on with your Raleigh electric bike? Share your electric bike reviews with us on social media, we’d love to hear your story. Plus you never know, we might feature your electric bike reviews on our cycling inspiration section too!