Hello from a newbie

ocb

New Member
Hi all.

I am a Scotsman, emigrant living in Belgium. I'm very new to the whole electric bike thing - but I'm trying hard to learn!

Where to start. I am mainly interested in e-bikes for commuting. I live 15km from work, and for most of the way it's rather pleasant forest (option to take metalled road most of the way) and open city bike-friendly cycleways until the last couple of KMs. Brussels is competing to be one of the world's first super-friendly cities for alternate travel, has already put good lanes in place on the periphery and plans to improve the links into the centre over the next few years. No wonder - Belgium is also famous for some of the worst traffic jams in the Western world!

My passion started after I had a very nasty argument with a train ticket inspector this summer and I thought "stuff you pal, I take the train as a lifestyle choice" - and decided to commute in a more liberated way.

First thing I did was do some online research, and happened upon the a-bike electric. Being a Brit of a certain vintage, Sir Clive Sinclair is/was a massive hero figure in the geek community. I had a few hours of the Kickstarter to make my mind up...and I thought "go for it!". Alas, it's early December, and the product still hasn't arrived. Thankfully, my lovely wife - purely on a whim - bought me a Decathlon brand kick scooter, which has been my "ride to work" for the past 4 months.

I now have a few months of kick scooter experience with the commute - and a couple of weeks ago bought an electric kick scooter, the Ltrott Eco (a rebranded E-Twow), as with the weather turning nasty - the paths covered in slimy decomposing leaves and the top n'tail of the day being pitch dark - my kick scooter exploits had to come to an end. The bruising from my last fall 2 weeks ago is beginning to slowly subside, but the ribs still hurt....

I don't regret buying the Ltrott - I used it to do 14km the first day of the "Level 4" security alert, as the Police and Military were chasing after those who'd perpetrated the attacks on Paris 2 days earlier. That was with busted ribs and badly bruised all over from the previous week's spectacular horizontal flip/spin/bang.

It's clear though that Winter Is Coming, and 2 times 200mm wheels, either on my kick - my Ltrott or my "yet to arrive"A-Bike Electric aren't going to cut it with the coming months conditions.

So, the search for an e-bike commenced.
Requirements:
Foldable, such that it can fit in the boot of my car.
Big wheels, able to cope with offroad (I assume 26")
Electric (actually - I really don't need, but my inner geek cannot resist)
Not massively expensive
Legal(ish) in Belgium, and obviously possible to buy here!

I already have a good MTB - but I have young kids that have to be dropped off at school. I have a bike carrier that I'm very happy with, but it's a tow-bar 4-bike thing - I have a "monospace" and every day putting the bike carrier on, dropping the kids, putting carrier in the back of the car etc isn't an option.

I can see from this community, and some videos on YouTube that electric MTB aren't as rare as I'd have imagined, and even electric folding MTB do exist! Of course, finding one I like that's available to buy for less than the price of a decent 2nd hand car is a bit of a challenge.

Hence my turning up here, and asking for the wise words of those with a shed load more experience than me.

I have seen a Tianjin XianDi folding 26" offering on Alibaba that looks the part, but am obviously hugely sceptical, and obviously clueless about the reality of the whole e-bike universe!

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
OCB, welcome to the forum, you have a private message which should help you towards some UK/EU based companies. :)

There are plenty of regular style e-mtb's out there to choose from, and certainly some very good discount companies in Germany to buy from. Finding a folding mtb might be an undertaking though.

edit.. Woosh in the UK have a very good reputation in respect of price and quality of service. http://www.wooshbikes.co.uk/?zephyr-b Obviously it isn't going to handle anything more than road or smooth compacted stone tracks though. I might have to pester them to get one to review. :)
 
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ocb

New Member
Thanks!
I looked at Woosh - but they don't do business outside of the UK.
I also saw E-Joe, but their 20" model probably doesn't fit my needs (and UK price is double US)
I hate the risk of buying direct from China, but it might be an option.