Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 HS Review

Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Electric Bike Review 1
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 250 Watt Impulse 2 0 Motor
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Lithium Ion Battery Pack
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Adjustable Bars Lcd Display Panel
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Adjustable Led Headlight Shimano Dynamo
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Built In Cafe Lock
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Comfort Saddle Seat Post Shock
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Integrated Pump
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Led Tail Light And Fender
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Rear Carry Rack
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Remote Button Pad And Bell
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Shimano Nexus Eight Speed
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Step Thru Ebike
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Ebike
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Electric Bike Review 1
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 250 Watt Impulse 2 0 Motor
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Lithium Ion Battery Pack
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Adjustable Bars Lcd Display Panel
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Adjustable Led Headlight Shimano Dynamo
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Built In Cafe Lock
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Comfort Saddle Seat Post Shock
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Integrated Pump
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Led Tail Light And Fender
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Rear Carry Rack
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Remote Button Pad And Bell
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Shimano Nexus Eight Speed
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Step Thru Ebike
Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 Ebike

Summary

  • A long-range capable comfort electric bike available in wave (step-thru) or diamant (high-step) style and four frame sizes
  • Efficient mid-drive Impulse 2.0 motor system, center-mounted Lithium-ion battery pack, dynamo powered lights, full length fenders, integrated rack with pannier blockers and mini-pump, suspension fork and seat post
  • Internally geared hub stays clean and keeps the chain tight, shift detection keeps shifting smooth, excellent two year warranty

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Kalkhoff

Model:

Agattu Impulse 8 HS

Price:

$3,599 USD

Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting, Touring

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

58 lbs (26.3 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.4 lbs (3.81 kg)

Frame Material:

Impulse V2 Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18.1 in (45.97 cm)19.7 in (50.03 cm)21.7 in (55.11 cm)23.6 in (59.94 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small Wave (26" Wheel, 460 mm Seat Tube), Medium Wave (28" Wheel, 500 mm Seat Tube), Large Wave (28" Wheel, 550 mm Seat Tube), XL Wave (28" Wheel, 600 mm Seat Tube), Medium Diamant (28" Wheel, 500 mm Seat Tube), Large Diamant (28" Wheel, 550 mm Seat Tube)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

Diamond Black

Frame Fork Details:

Suntour CR-8V Suspension

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses, Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Nexus Internally Geared Hub

Shifter Details:

Revo Twist Grip

Cranks:

Kalkhoff Impulse Alloy

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Stem:

Concept SL, Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

City Cruiser

Brake Details:

Magura HS11 Hydraulic Rim Brakes, Magura HS11 Levers

Grips:

Ergon, Rubber Ergonomic

Saddle:

Selle Bassano Feel GT

Seat Post:

Post Moderne Glide, Suspension Shock

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Rodi Freeway

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Marathon, 700 x 38c

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripe

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve with Presta Valve Adapter

Accessories:

Integrated Cafe Lock (C Lock) on Rear Wheel, Mini Pump, Full Length Plastic Fenders, Tour 3-Leg Rear Carry Rack, Adjustable Length Kickstand, Large Bell on Left Bar, Concept EX Pro 80 Lux LED Headlight with Daytime Running Light, B&M Toplight Flat Plus Backlight with Parking Light

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Impulse 2.0

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

70 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Impulse 2.0

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

17 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

612 wh (Optional 396 wh, 522 wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

55 miles (89 km)

Estimated Max Range:

125 miles (201 km)

Display Type:

Fixed, Monochrome Compact Backlit LCD with Adjustable Angle by Impulse

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Status, Trip Distance, Odometer, Drive Mode (Eco, Sport, Power), Walk Assist (Hold the + Button)

Display Accessories:

Backlit Independent Button Pad Near Left Grip

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Cadence and Pedal Torque)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Agattu Impulse 8 HS is a comfortable and very capable urban style electric bike. It delivers excellent range, comfort and utility with integrated fenders, a basic suspension fork, seat post shock, dynamo powered lights and a standard sized carry rack that comes with an integrated mini-pump. This is the most popular model that Kalkhoff sells in Europe it’s not difficult to see why. Given the four step-thru frame sizes, it’s easy to mount and handle for just about anyone. The smallest of these “wave” frames actually comes with smaller 26″ wheels that bring the frame closer to the ground. All other sizes (including two high-step “diamant” frames) come with more standard and efficient 700c wheels (that’s 28″). With shift sensing technology that cuts the motor momentarily as you adjust pedal speed, powerful hydraulic rim brakes and a two year warranty, this is the kind of electric bike that could be a reliable commuter or touring ebike.

The motor driving the Agattu 8 HS is a 250 watt mid-drive Impulse 2.0 offering 70 Newton meters of torque. While there’s no true throttle mode (just a slow walk mode) the bike is fun and responsive in one of three pedal assist settings. I didn’t struggle at all to climb with this bike even in higher gears (I tested it a bit off-road and climbing a large paved hill in the video review above). The motor control system measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque to activate and power the bike. It’s responsive and smooth though not as instantaneous as the Bosch system. It is perhaps quieter however and the shift sensing technology felt a bit smoother. I especially like the chain guard surrounding the front sprocket and the smaller profile of the Impulse 8 motor which nearly disappears at the bottom bracket. Both rider and motor benefit from he Shimano Nexus eight speed internally geared hub at the rear. It’s clean and elegant, though perhaps heavier than a traditional cassette (this ebike weighs about 58 pounds total depending on the frame size). Because it doesn’t require a traditional derailleur the chain is kept short, tight and secure. The one complaint I do have about this drive system is that neither wheel on this bike offers quick release. The miniature pump could help to extend your range slightly if you got a slow leak but you’d need actual tools to swap tubes.

The battery powering the Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 HS offers an impressive 36 volts of power and 17 amp hours of capacity. That’s enough for over 100 miles of range on the lowest level of assist thanks to the efficient center drive motor. This and other Kalkhoff “Impulse 2.0” battery packs are some of the best I’ve seen in terms of design because ithey out of your way, keep weight low and centered on the frame, are protected by the frame in case of tips, have a sturdy locking core for security, an integrated LED battery level indicator and they can be charged on or off the bike. They basically have everything you could want and use premium Lithium-ion cells that are known for being reliable and light weight. If you used the bike to commute to work you could easily bring the battery inside for safer storage even if you weren’t topping it off. The integrated handle is comfortable and sturdy, helping to reduce the potential for drops which could damage the plastic casing. To maximize the life of the pack, I recommend storing it a cool dry place while keeping the charge level between 20% and 80% at all times. Even though the battery casing itself is rectangular and not fully integrated into the tubing of the frame, I think it blends in more than some of the bottle-shaped batteries on other electric bikes I’ve tried. The dark gray/black paint is a nice touch that blends in with the sparkly black frame. Mounting the battery is very easy thanks to a pivot system that helps to line up pins (it mounts from the side) and the rear fender protects the electronics well from water and mud. There’s no extra controller box and all of the wires are run through the frame tubing. I love that this battery design allows for bottle cages on the seat tube and downtube of the “diamant” high-step frame but wish they would have included them on the “wave” low-step as well.

Activating and adjusting the drive systems on the Agattu Impulse Eight HS is very intuitive, probably one of the simplest I’ve seen while still delivering advanced drive modes. Once the battery is charged and mounted you just press the power button on the input pad which is mounted very close to the left grip. I love that both the LCD display and button pad are backlit… The LCD panel is not removable but it is small, sturdy and adjustable in terms of angle (to help reduce glare). As it powers up, the display says “Hello” and then quickly switches to show your speed, battery level (with 10 increments), drive mode (Eco, Sport, Power) and a trip/odometer. You can easily change between mph and kilometers by holding the select button and you can reset the trip meter by holding the minus button. I found myself riding in Power mode for the tests and noticed that this bike requires a bit more torque to activate the motor which means you get more of a workout than some other ebikes. I imagine that helps to extend range and possibly contributes to the quieter operation of the motor. There is also a walk mode which can be activated by holding the plus button for a few seconds, this can be useful if you’re heading up a hill pushing the bike instead of riding it. If you want to change from miles to kilometers just hold the set button for a few seconds and it should switch.

With a two year warranty and support from one of Europe’s largest conglomerates, Pon Holdings (owner of Derby Cycle, Gazelle and Cervelo), the Agattu 8 HS is a pricy but truly capable machine. I was very impressed with the abundant ergonomic features because my back and neck tend to get sore and stiff on longer rides. With the adjustable stem on this bike I was able to go from a more active upright position to a relaxed almost cruiser style position. There are lighter weight bikes out there but few with this level of utility and full accessory lineup. Even the bell is designed to be easy and intuitive to use. I did notice that while stopped and using the brakes, if I pushed down on the pedals (for stability) the motor would sometimes activate based on its torque sensor. The good news is, the Magura HS11 hydraulic rim brakes are very powerful and easy to use so it’s not a huge issue. The way everything is so tightly integrated on this bike (wires, rear LED light, fenders and kickstand) makes it feel tough and sleek. The bike is balanced, easy to maneuver and professional looking. It would perform well in most urban environments and hold its own out on the open road.

Pros:

  • The high-step “diamont” version of the Agattu Impulse 8 HS offers two mounting points for adding bottle cages (one on the seat tube and one on the downtube)
  • The Selle Bassano Feel GT saddle is larger and more plush than other Kalkhoff electric bikes I’ve tested, it still feels good to pedal with and shouldn’t chaff thighs
  • Premium Ergon ergonomic grips, basic suspension fork and seat post shock make this bike easier to ride for long distances or touring
  • Excellent battery design… low and center on the frame, locking but key is not required to be left in when riding, convenient charge port with cover, sturdy handle for easier carrying, built in LED power level indicator
  • Internally geared eight speed Shimano Nexus hub stays cleaner and requires less maintenance than a traditionally derailleur and cassette, it does weigh a bit more but it also keeps the chain shorter which avoids clanking and chips on the chain stay or dropped chains
  • Great all-weather features including full length fenders (that protect you, the rack and the battery) as well as a chain guard to keep your right pant leg clean
  • Professionally run cables go through the frame which reduces snags, the bike comes in four sizes and includes an adjustable angle stem for really dialing in fit and going more upright or relaxed upright
  • Extremely responsive drive system measures rear wheel speed, pedal cadence and pedal torque for quick motor activation and cutoff
  • Proprietary shift detection system works with cassettes or geared hubs and functioned very well during my ride test, no mashing or banging
  • Good weight distribution with motor and battery mounted near-center on the frame, the battery stays out of the way for easy stand-over
  • Light weight charger only weighs 1.5 lbs and runs cool and quiet, will easily fit into a bag for extending trips – charging at the office etc.
  • Dynamo hub powered LED lights function whether the battery is charged or not and the lights are well mounted and sturdy, reflective tire sidewall stripes and standard plastic reflectors enhance the bike’s visual footprint
  • Hydraulic rim brakes offer excellent stopping power and are easy to activate smoothly without much effort
  • LCD display panel is backlit and swivels to reduce glare, it feels solid and is small enough to stay out of the way but the readouts are clear and well executed, rubberized button pad is also backlit and easy to reach without taking left hand off the grip
  • Rear rack uses standard gauge tubing which will work with the widest range of panniers including many clip-on systems, it connects to the fender for reduced rattling, includes a nice spring latch for small light weight items and includes an integrated mini-pump

Cons:

  • The step-thru “wave” frame style does not include any bottle cage mounting points but the high-step “diamont” has two, it would be nice if they both had these
  • The smaller 250 watt motor is capable and efficient but requires more rider input than some other electric bikes with larger motors, I noticed that I got a better workout with this bike
  • Magura HS11 Brake levers do not offer motor cutoff, I’ve noticed that while stopped it is possible to accidentally activate the motor by pushing the pedals for stability
  • Neither the front or rear wheel offer quick release, the mini-pump could allow you to deal with slow-leaks but you’ll need tools to do real service while out and about

Resources:

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Katherine
7 months ago

I purchased a Kalkhoff Agattu 7 floor women’s size small bike online last year from Propel Bikes in Brooklyn, NY. I found Propel Bikes went out of their way to The reasons I purchased this bike are these:

  • I am a 67 year old female. 5’5″ tall. I thought I would need a women’s medium bike since that is the size of clothing I wear, but the people at Propel thought the size small would be a better fit for me, and they were right!
  • I live in a hilly east coast city.
  • I wanted a pedelec, but I did not care about speed. I just wanted a bike to get around town to the library, the grocery store, the fish market, the art museum and receive an assist on the steepest hills.
  • I didn’t think I wanted a cruiser bike because the the ones I tried were tough to pedal up hills. Their geometry seemed wrong for me. Although it is considered a cruiser, which makes it comfortable to ride on flat roads, I find the Kalkhoff Agattu does not feel like I’m trying to ride a couch up a hill the way other cruisers did. I don’t know why.
  • I feel so much safer since now I am able to keep up with the cars instead of dangerously wobbling around on the steepest hills while feeling as if I will have a heart attack from exertion.
  • I wanted a step through purpose built bike. I have never had a woman’s bike before, but I find the step through is easier to remount at a light when on a steep hill.

I have found the Kalkhoff Agattu to be a wonderful machine. I absolutely love it. I think it is the perfect mode of transportation for people like me: semi-fit, a little overweight, and over 65 years. I can now sail up the hills that required me to push a bike before. The best part is that I no longer have to confine myself to riding on the flattest street in town which has the most traffic together with mobs of absent-minded pedestrians and drivers. I can now stay on the more hilly streets which have a lot less traffic and fewer walkers. Being able to ride on the steeper streets has made my trips around town a lot safer and a great deal more fun. Although I obey all the traffic laws, riding my bike is much faster than riding a car in my town, and I never have to worry about finding a parking spot in the crowded downtown since I can chain it up to any street light or phone pole.

Although it weighs 52 pounds, when I am not using the assist modes, it is easier to ride than my old, non e-bike which was about 4 pounds lighter. The Kalkhoff Agattu is just a nicely designed bike.

One interesting thing is this: When I first received the bike, 5th gear would slip annoyingly. I took the bike into my local bike shop and they adjusted the gears, but the problem continued. When I took the bike into the shop again, the technician thought he might have to take the rear hub apart. I could tell he didn’t want to tackle this complicated part, and his lack of confidence was worrisome to me. He called Shimano before he took it apart. The rep from that company asked how old the bike was, decided to warranty the part, and then shipped him an entire replacement hub. The gears work beautifully now.

I recommend my Kalkhoff Agattu bike and Propel Bikes to everyone I know.

Reply
Court Rye
7 months ago

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful testimonial, Katherine! I hope the bike continues to work well for you :)

Reply

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Linda Baer
7 months ago

The Kalkhoff site lists one dealer in the Chicago area:

J.C. LIND BIKE CO.
1311 N. Wells Street
60610Chicago
312-643-1670
jon(at)jclindbikes.com
https://jclindbikes.com/

The Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 HS is listed in the 2017 North America Model Line, 7th from the top. It has an upright riding position.
Oddly, they don't carry Kalkhoff even though they are listed. :(

Bicyclista
7 months ago

The Kalkhoff site lists one dealer in the Chicago area:

J.C. LIND BIKE CO.
1311 N. Wells Street
60610Chicago
312-643-1670
jon(at)jclindbikes.com
https://jclindbikes.com/

The Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 HS is listed in the 2017 North America Model Line, 7th from the top. It has an upright riding position.

Linda Baer
7 months ago

The Kalkhoff Agattu B7 in size XS frame is a bike with 26" wheels. The larger sizes are 28"-wheel bikes.

Personally, I would go for the Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 HS if only for the better, more balanced position of the battery, low and just behind the seatpost. This model also comes with a 26"-wheel option for the Small stepover frame size. It claims a range of 127 miles in low-assist mode, something that should be taken with a mouthful of salt!

I think I have come to that conclusion as well, but I've been looking for two weeks now and can't find a dealer near me in the western Chicago suburbs or anywhere except Bend, Oregon for that matter. I'm reasonable certain that is the right bike but I can't even find a Kalkhoff dealer. Can anyone help?

Bicyclista
7 months ago

The Kalkhoff Agattu B7 in size XS frame is a bike with 26" wheels. The larger sizes are 28"-wheel bikes.

Personally, I would go for the Kalkhoff Agattu Impulse 8 HS if only for the better, more balanced position of the battery, low and just behind the seatpost. This model also comes with a 26"-wheel option for the Small stepover frame size. It claims a range of 127 miles in low-assist mode, something that should be taken with a mouthful of salt!

Dewey
8 months ago

There are reports of problems with some Impulse 2.0 motors built during the 2014-2016 model years here and here, I don't speak German but Knacken, Quacken and Klacken don't sound good! The issue sparked discussion on the British and German Pedelec forums about some Impulse 2.0 owners requiring motor replacements. For the 2017 model year Kalkhoff have switched to the Bosch motor for the North America Agattu's.

Dewey
8 months ago

Another possibility I'm considering would be the Kalkhoff Agattu B7...Any thoughts?
The Impulse 2.0 motor has reportedly had troubles and for 2017 Kalkhoff's owner Derby Cycles ordered a switch to the Bosch motor for Agattu models for North America so if you buy one be sure it is a 2017 model year with the Bosch motor.

Josh Levinson
9 months ago

I'm looking to get into ebikes!
I have fairly short last mile commute: ~4 miles, 5 days a week, in hilly/busy SF.

I'm 24yo, 5'10" 145lbs.
I'm active/moderately fit.
I don't currently bike frequently, but want to use my new commute as a reason to exercise via biking (so I don't mind a pedal assist; throttle isn't a requirement).

Right now, I'm looking at a used
- Prodecotech phantom X2
- a2b metro
- kalkhoff agattu impulse 7
- public d8 electric

all of which I've found preowned within my budget ($1k).

My preferences in a bike are:
- pedal assist, preferably dedicated/pure throttle
- suspension fork
- foldable (nice-to-have for train ride)
- well-made/name-brand parts

Any advice on one bike vs the other, or any general advice at all would be greatly appreciated!

david Box
8 months ago

awesome...will have to save up...😂😂

terry oneill
1 year ago

awesome bike ,they have 2017 model in my local bike sop 1600 hundred pounds ,going on test ride ,cant wait thank you have helped alot

Sjaak De Winter
2 years ago

The lock is not good enough.
You need a second chain to block the bike, or they steal the whole bike.

Johnny Allison
2 years ago

Which is the better braking system?  Back pedal or freewheel?  The Kalkhoff web site also mentions "Stop and Go?"

Andres Chapero
2 years ago

You always do a great job in your reviews I truly admire the quality of your reporting. I think these bikes represent the future of human mobility and freedom. I´ve had many ebikes so far and for the first time in ten years I see a clear improvement in battery technology. Most people like the true, real possibility of not having to pedal at all at times and this is becoming reality fast. Andrés from Santiago, Chile.

wevenhuis
2 years ago

hi.
1. can you ride the bike without the battery?
2. does the bike have regenerative breaking?
3. if you do run into a empty battery system, can you still ride the bike?
4. what's you experience of real world range of the battery on a single charge A. from 100%-15% B. from your advice if you ride between 80-20% capacity?
Thank you.

Duc Nguyen
3 years ago

+ElectricBikeReview.com , thanks for your thorough reviews! I'd like to get this bike but not sure which frame would fit me best. The nearest dealer is over 200 miles away. What's the frame size that you tested with?
When you test these electric bikes, do you do a range test? The range indicated by the manufacturer is almost meaningless. A weight, distance, and terrain reference would be more helpful. I don't know if the bike dealers give you enough time to test the bikes.
Lastly, how would you compare this with the Optibike Pioneer City that you looked at last year? I see the difference in batteries, lights, front fork suspension. How do the bikes ride comparatively?

ElectricBikeReview.com
3 years ago

I believe the bike in the video was a Medium Wave (more info on exact sizing options here: http://electricbikereview.com/kalkhoff/agattu-impulse-8-hs/) and I'm ~5'9" at ~135 lbs. The range varies depending on which assist mode you choose (eco, sport, turbo) and the terrain as well as wind and cargo weight. That said, even for a ~200 lb rider using the highest level of assist on regular flat terrain I'd estimate at least 40 miles per charge. It truly is capable of 120+ but that's in the lowest assist in ideal conditions.

Anthony Mata
3 years ago

Do you buy each bike

Gardener Rob
3 years ago

Great review, I've always been fascinated by hydraulic rim brakes, I've heard a lot of good things about them and I've heard that some people proffer them over hydraulic disc brakes. They don't get anywhere near as hot as disc brakes, they cool a lot faster, they have better leverage. I haven't had the pleasure of testing hydraulic rim brakes on a bike but I really want to. What is the comparison in stopping power? Does one have better stopping power than the other or is it something else that catches peoples interest? I'm seeing a lot more city commuter bikes like this with hydraulic rims rather than hydraulic discs and I've always wondered why.

david Box
8 months ago

Gardener Rob
i have Magura rim hydraulic brakes on my mountain bike...they are excellent never had any probs...great stopping power

matsv201
3 years ago

Did you say $1300? Its seems like really a lot of value.

brighton dude
3 years ago

That is a very Northern European eBike. It has a café lock, rack, mudguards, stand, everything. It is sold as a complete vehicle. There is a great tradition in Northern Europe of bicycles like this and that tradition is being continued into eBikes. These eBikes and bicycles are made to be used everyday for doing shopping, getting to work etc. They are really practical, often they have hub gears as this one does. Often they have hub brakes as well actually, although not in this case.

brighton dude
3 years ago

+Darren foster  - Yes Darren I am in Brighton in the UK :) I hope you enjoy your Haibike HardSeven! It will be with you in time for the summer. We have had a couple of nice spring days now, which are great for cycling.

Darren foster
3 years ago

+brighton dude Brighton as in Brighton UK? if so me too. just purchsaed Haibike hardseven being delivered in 2 weeks :D