The Hills are gone

I started riding the 19km round trip to & from work (on a “powerless” 21 gear commuter bike) in the middle of last year to try and build some exercise into my standard daily routine. I enjoyed it on the days that I rode, but the 1km uphill slog immediately after I biked out of my front gate was a bit of a hurdle. If told me there was more than a 20% chance of rain for the day, or I just didn’t feel like it, then I’d find an excuse & take the car.

In November I moved to the next level and got myself a Silver Volta TDEO3Z. Now I don’t even try to find an excuse – I just get on the bike and ride (unless rain is a certainty, or I need the car at work). The 300W motor can’t push along very quickly on the (fairly steep) hill from my house if it has to do all the work by itself, but just a little bit of peddle is all I need and it flies up. Occasionally there is a bunch of fit looking sporty Lycra-clad cyclists tackling the same hill and I love cruising past them on my fairly solid looking bike with mudguards and a carrier.

Using the eBike has changed the way I ride. I still put in plenty of peddle power, get hot and sweaty & need a shower at the other end – but the trip is now quicker, and I ride to and from work much more often. I’m now faster riding uphill or into the wind – with that extra 300W push. Rides along the flat are at much the same speed (~35km/hr) as I managed on my old bike. Downhills are now a bit slower than before because the top gear on the eBike is a lower ratio than on my “powerless” bike & I just can’t turn the peddles around any faster – but that’s a good thing because the 50+km/hr I used to get up to was a bit too much really and 40km/hr downhill is still fast enough.

With a mix of uphill, downhill, riding on the flat, and stopped at traffic lights (sometimes :)) I generally average about an 25-27km/hr for the 9.5km trip and have notched up over 600km on my Volto since November (and that’s with month of no riding during an Xmas holiday). Its a great bike and I love it.

The rest of the family love my bike too and it is now a preferred mode of transport for trips to the library, the dairy, and the odd other chore. If I don’t take the bike to work, then my son is on it like a flash to ride to school (saving his bus fare for something else). If the regular use continues over winter then I’ll probably splash out and get another one for the rest of the family to fight over so that mine is always available for me.

I love the bike and use it a lot, but there are a few things I’ve changed since I bought it to suit me better. I swapped over the lights and speedo from my “old” bike as the ones that came with the Volto were not as powerful/functional as what I had got used to. I have also upgraded the front disk brakes to a larger calliper and brake pad as the ones it came with wore out within a month. Volto offered to swap out the pads and callipers at no cost, but I decided to upgrade to bigger ones instead.I’m not sure if the problem was with the pads, their setup, or the way I ride (perhaps too much hard power braking?), but the new brakes definitely give me more stopping power.

I shopped around for a while and looked at a few bikes before I settled on buying my Volto eBike. It was the best value for money I could find. If you are looking for a cheap way to get around, or looking for adding a bit more fun/fitness into your daily commute then there’s nothing better. Buy yourself a Volto eBike and the only regret you will have is that you did not do it years ago.

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