How using an E-Bike changes you

As you no doubt know, I’ve had an electric bike for over two years now, and it’s left a fantastic impression on me physically and mentally too.

About me, I’m 47 years old, I’ve smoked for over 30 years, I live in Halifax West Yorkshire (a VERY hilly town), I also suffer with depression and have done for 20 years. I bought this bike because I’d started cycling again the year before I tore my knee cartilage, and I struggled getting any power through my knees.

A few months after buying the Carrera Crossfire-E I had my knees fixed, and soon after I was back to normal.

So now you know I’m a prime candidate for using an e-bike, and so far I’ve done 2,000 miles on it. But how has it changed me?

  1. I now get out of the house more than ever and it’s all cycling,
  2. I have lost a significant amount of weight, and it’s stayed off (mostly),
  3. My mood improves every time I go out, and I look forward to going out too,
  4. Instead of getting in the car to go to town or Asda for a few bits, I jump on the bike,
  5. I can also keep up and even beat the wanna-be pro’s, especially uphill,
  6. If I did have a job I’d almost certainly commute,
  7. Hills are not an issue anymore.
  8. If you ride instead of driving then you get all this and save money on fuel too.

There’s also the issue of distance. Previously when I owned a non E-Bike (Specialized Myka) I could manage 15 miles and only with nearly a full year of prep, now I can manage as much as 45 miles. That is what e-biking is about, freedom, it’s this that makes such a positive change from driving the car, all the benefits of cycling without the stress and strain of normal bike riding.

You don’t need to be like me to benefit from an e-bike, anyone can and will benefit from using an electric bike, even commuting to and from work would be an improvement, both in speed and sweat. If you already commute on a bike then an e-bike would be faster and a lot less sweaty.

So if it’s something you’ve considered and would like to try, then pop into a local bike shop and try one out.

 

(True story). I went to PedalSport https://pedalsportshop.com/ for a new bike light and a few bits just after buying the Crossfire-E, and while they did sell me what I wanted they scoffed at the thought of an e-bike and one person even laughed in my face. I haven’t since been back and never will because of the sheer snobbery and arrogance of the staff. But look at them now.

Finally some good weather and Telemetry data

The last good day was way back in January, and while I did go for a ride, it was just to discharge the battery for the upcoming cold months, I didn’t want it sat there with a full charge, after all, that kills Lithium Ion batteries fast!

I’ve also got a new camera, a Garmin Virb X, this records 1080p and GPS data from a ride, so I can now show you my speed, distance, pitch, roll, g-force, gradient and a whole hell of a lot more.

The layout I’ve used is…

  1. Bottom left = Distance traveled
  2. Middle = Pace in minutes per mile
  3. Time taken
  4. And oviously speed

The camera is not the best, the video is captured at 1080P, but it’s very poor quality and suffers from a lot of compression, then the video editor compresses it further and finally youtube does it’s thing too, so the final output is crap compared to a gopro. But at least I now have telemetry data to show you. Personally I’d have gone for the Virb X Ultra 4K, but that was too rich for my blood. Though I might get a Hero 5 Session and use that video instead. To save on youtube’s compression I’ve uploaded it locally.

Crossfire-E Will it go 45 Miles with one charge?

Last week I had my first ever holiday on my own and my first holiday in nearly 3 years, my first day off, my first lie in and my first holiday with my E-Bike. Before I set off I planned a trip around Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil with Google Maps.

The maximum assist I used was 25%

Just in case the map doesn’t work properly, here’s a link to the proper route.

The total distance I rode was just a little over google’s estimate as I detoured around Inverlochy looking for a bike shop that sells waterproof pants and gloves. Thanks to Nevis Cycles for the gear and for taking my hard earned cash off me (with a small discount too 🙂 ). I set off with the intention of just riding down to the Corran ferry and retracing my route back, but the weather was glorious, I had my snacks with me, plenty to drink and almost zero traffic, so what the hell right!

To be honest, there are only few minor hills on this route, the highest climb I think was around 30 meters, so not too tough at all. Most of the riding is smooth and flat… Nirvana 🙂

I also brought with me a new gadget… Zhiyun Smooth Q, it’s a gimbal for use with smart phones and apart from me swapping hands the video is silky smooth and wobble free. It’s also a short video, my phone battery wouldn’t last for the 3 hour duration and nor would the storage, the 45 minute video used 14GB of space though it is shot at 4K.

The bike battery did technically last the full ride, dropping down to 2% at the end, I was impressed, it’s now an 18 month old battery and it’s done 1,500 miles in Yorkshire and all it’s hills. What I didn’t know however, the last 5% seriously reduces the power output to short pulses to conserve the remaining energy and get you home. But by the time I get to the shore opposite Linnhe Lochside Holidays I was knackered, and riding the bike one handed and filming meant I asked more of the battery too, and that showed signs that it couldn’t get me back on full power, I’d have a fair bit of work to do with little assistance. But I didn’t know that just yet. One other thing of note… the weather at this point changed and it utterly pissed it down the rest of the way… but at least I had my new waterproofs 🙂

I was now miserable, knackered, cold, and I still had around 15 miles to go. Of course I made it back I had no choice, and this isn’t a ghost writing this blog post, though I’ve warmed up since then 🙂

Like I said, this isn’t the full video, the battery and storage wouldn’t last for a 3 hour ride, but I am surprised I did it in 3 hours when Google Maps recons on a 4 hour ride. So Yay for me 🙂

So can it do the 60 miles Halfords advertise? Like I said in my initial review, Yes it can, with a flat ride, and a fit and competent rider it could. Had I not been recording I think it would have made all the difference, also had I stopped for more than a minute to munch a banana and a packet of crisps and had a 10-20 minute rest, I think I could have made it back sooner and with more power left in the battery. But I was left with enough anxiety after the ride that I didn’t attempt it again that week.

Anyway, enjoy the video, the Highlands are gorgeous, even when it rains.

 

Other rides I did that week:

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1975982607

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1979232456

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1973350700

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1971566684

Caledonian Canal Brike Ride.

 

Carrera Crossfire-E 2,000 miles later

One person (there are many more) who looked at my reviews bought the Crossfire-E and he rides it a hell of a lot more than I do, that person is Drewpyfz6, he’s just made a video of a commute and he’s achieved over 2,000 miles in 6 months. Not too shabby m8e 🙂

My last ride (yesterday) was 15 miles in 60 minutes (an average of exactly 15mph of course), and I loved it, and I’d only used 45% of the battery, so I’m getting a bit fitter, faster (my previous average was 13mph) and thanks to the new additions to my bike, comfier too.

I’ll get a video up of all my gadgets and toys for my bike pretty soon, but for now here’s Drewpyfz6 on a commute on his 2,000+ mile bike.

 

A ride around Wainstalls

I went out for a ride yesterday, it was such a gorgeous spring morning I just had to. In all I rode 25 miles, a trip to the farm shop in the morning, and this spectacular ride to the local wind farm and a night time blast around the local reservoir.

sadly the wind farm is still closed to the public, they’ve just upgraded the turbine and I think they’re still being tested, they’ll open it up soon enough ??

This ride through Wainstalls was gorgeous though and if the weather holds I’ll be back again then over to Jerusalem farm, drop down into Todmorden, then back home.

I had no choice but to take a photo or two ?

Enjoy the ride, I know I did.