Rogue Aces – PS4 Review

Cue Deep booming voice, “In a World,” cue normal voice, flooded with World War 1 and 2 shooters, Infinite State Games releases a WW2 styled shoot ’em up harking back to the halcyion days of Capcom’s 1942, but with a much more modern (but still slightly retro feel) aesthetic and style. While 1942 was a top down scrolling shoot ’em up, Rogue Aces is up, down, left, and right all at the same time. Keep your eyes peeled!

The old school feel also massively extends to the leaderboards, be it global or just friends, you’re driven to keep besting yourself and others, but at least today it will read dazbobaby at the top and not just DAZ.

I’d initially heard about Rogue Aces, more than a couple of years ago, (Wing Kings was the working title – InfiniteStates wanted to call it something like… Rogue Squadron, but seeing as George Lucas has a lot more money than him, he renamed it Rogue Aces), I actually know Charlie (InfiniteState Games) from the Sony PlayStation forums, then he became a member of a forum I created to allow for more mature posts (mess-hall.co.uk – gone forever 🙁 ), but still gaming and playstation related. We even met in person at Eurogamer a few years ago, and while it’s not a traditional friendship, we live hundreds of miles apart, I would consider Charlie a friend. I actually thought the concept sounded promising, and even the VERY early alpha gameplay looked promising.

You might be fooled into thinking that this is a copy of Luftrausers, it’s not, though the gameplay is a tiny bit similar, and both are about arial combat and war, the similarity ends there.

What you have here is a very well rounded, incredibly fun and challenging World War 2 shoot ’em up, that includes a campaign mode, an island hopping mode called Frontline, survival mode, and Hot Potato (these are the ones I’ve unlocked so far), and even more.

  • Campaign: you have one life but 3 planes, keep going as long as you possibly can (hint theres a 100+ missions)
  • Frontline: One plane and one life, but WHEN you die, you restart from the last island you took. There’s also mission timer, you have to get to the boss island and beat the final boss in a set amount of time.
  • Hot Potato: your plane will explode in 8 seconds… get into another as soon as it does.
  • Survival: one life, one plane… survive as long as possible (hint – hot potato)

 

When you intially start playing you’ll probably concentrate on shooting down other aircraft, these will also drop the occasional booster such as faster firing, more bombs, more rockets, faster turning, more powerful guns and so on, while you stay alive you keep these, and in frontline, you keep them until you run out of time. As you progress you’ll rank up, this allows you to unlock these boosters from the get go, and you’ll need them too. I did say it was challenging, oh yeah, it’s also roguelike, meaning when you run out of lives… you start all over again, but at least the ranking up and the unlocked boosters mean you’ll get to play for longer next time.

One of the things I really like about Rogue Aces is the hilarity, I’ve spent hours and hours playing and only a handful of times did I die and restart because I was shot down… no, I keep bloody crashing. And yet I never feel frustrated like many games leave you feeling. In fact I usually end up laughing at myself for doing something stupid 😀

The Campaign is fun and highly addictive in it’s own right, but Frontline is where I’ve spent most of my time, it’s damned hard, funny and utterly brilliant.

Imagine if you will an Angel on one shoulder and a demon on the other, and the demon just keeps whispering “one more game, do a little better, beat that score and best everyone else”, while the angel is saying but you’re a brain surgeon, people will die if you don’t go to work”. All I can say is people will die, and scores will be beaten.

How can I score it? I know Charlie, but I can honestly say it’s worth a punt at £9.99 (PS+ see’s a 20% discount).

But to be honest, even if I had no association with Infinite State Games, and I hadn’t been provided a code (not for review, but from a friend) I think I’d still rate it 10/10, just look for my name on the top of the leaderboards, I didn’t get there by chance.

 

 

Here’s a playlist from InfiniteStates Games, showing the intital alpha test flights and on to actual finished gameplay. This is a treat really, nobody ever gets to see the first gameplay tests up to the finished product.

Logitech Z906 Review

I had a problem, I previously owned logitech z506 speakers, and for my PC they were awesome, the only problem with them is that they lacked a toslink input, they only had 3.5mm jacks, so for 5.1 PC audio they were great, but for anything else they would be useless. So I also used a samsung HT 5.1 system for audio from my PS4. So I actually had 12 speakers in all – 10 satellites and 2 subwoofers.

Now that really wasn’t a huge issue, the cables were all neatly hidden and it worked. But I also have SkyQ and a Mac Mini, so overall a great Home Theatre setup. The Mac Mini has a toslink, so does the SkyQ, so does the PS4. But the Samsung HT only has 1 toslink input, so a toslink 3 way splitter it would be.

For the most part this worked but it’s all really overly complicated, and when the splitter died I was left with disconnecting devices one at a time as and when I needed too. A bit of a pain really, so I decided to take the plunge and get the Logitech Z906 because it has 2x toslink inputs, one coaxial 5.1 input, 3 x 3.5mm inputs for the PC, and phono for the Mac. So at last I would be rid of half of the overall speakers and not only that… a 1,000watt system instead of 1×100 watt and 1 500watt. Plus I wouldn’t need another toslink splitter, the weakest link in the chain.

 

Logitech z906 subwoofer rear

So now after 24 hours of listening to music, watching a few films, and playing some games (PS4 and PC) I can happily confirm the sound is both crisp and clean, and man that subwoofer. You don’t need a wrecking ball to knock down a house… just turn that up and bang on some Massive Attack.

I was surprised at the sheer size of the sub, it’s enormous! Excuse the mess, I have yet to tidy up the cables.

 

The satellites are only a little bigger than my previous speakers, but they can also deliver quite a punch when you crank up the grammy 🙂 I still have a lot of testing to do, but I’m really surprised and very pleased with the whole package, it’s loud, it’s soft, it packs a punch when it needs too, and it’s well built, but you’d expect nothing less from something that’s THX certified.

 

Save Wizard for PS4 Review

Not to be confused with Save Wizard MAX (<— This one actually works.) for the PS4

Caveat Emptor.

I recently purchased the PS4 Save Wizard, I just wanted a little help with The Last of Us getting the platinum trophy. So I downloaded, installed, and purchased the Save Wizard in good faith that it’ll work.

It wont, it only works with US games and refuses to do anything with any other region.

So I tried to contact them via their website contact form several times, every time you submit a form it just refreshes the page, so I filed a dispute with Paypal, and left it for 72 hours… no response, I escalated the dispute and found my key for the save wizard was cancelled and they still failed to respond to paypal. However in 1 week I will be issued an automatic refund.

It’s still pisses me off that I now have no refund and software that doesn’t work as advertised.

Caveat Emptor – Buyer beware.

It’s a shame too, the PS3 version has a work around that the PS4 version doesn’t have.

So my advice is to stay clear of it. https://www.savewizard.com/ if you have anything other than a US PSN account and games, and https://shop.xploder.net/xploder-ps4-edition avoid too. The Xploder uses user generated save games.

https://www.savewizard.net  makes use of actual cheats. These work on all regions EXCEPT Japan.

 

ACER ET430 Monitor Review

I had to wait a while for this to come back into stock at Currys.co.uk, I’d had my eye on it for a while, it’s just a little outside my budget of £500, but the delay gave me an extra few weeks to save the extra £50.00

Now I’ve finally got it, I have to say I’m impressed, its 4K and supports 10bit HDR, 43 inches corner to diagonal corner, it supports HDMI 2.0 and Display Port normal and mini.

Initially I could not get my PS4 Pro to display in anything other than 1080P, after some time messing around with safe mode and nothing working, I started to unplug the PSVR and Elgato HD 60, and there lay the problem, the ELGATO HD 60 will only pass-through 1080P, so I stripped out the HD 60 and left the PSVR connected and boom! Everything worked fine, 2160P full RGB and HDR 🙂

I fired up The Last Of Us remaster and it’s utterly stunning, the resolution upscale and the HDR inclusion just made it look stunning. But I also noticed another thing, if you play TLOU for any amount of time, your team GLOW when they walk out of sight, this means you can see where your team is. On my previous monitor, an LG ultrawide monitor, there was some ghosting from the glow, not on this bad boy though. I will miss the ultrawide, they’re awesome for PC gaming and movies. Movies don’t have the black bars and the extra width give you an edge in almost any game that supports 2560 x 1080, which is most modern games.

Did I have to get a 4K panel? Not really, it doesn’t complete me, but having a 4K capable Mac, PC and PS4 Pro and not having a 4K screen… it’s a waste, it’s like employing a cleaner to do the dirty work, but in another life they were a world renowned network admin. But that’s what this panel does, it restores the balance, and seeing what 4K HDR looks like… it’s like going from VHS to 1080P.

Specs:

Response 5ms

2 x HDMI 2.0

2 x display port

1 x mini display port

43 Inches

4K and 10bit HDR

Contrast: 100,000,000:1

Brightness: 350 cd/m²

Screen type: IPS

There is a minor downside though, who ever thought that having the ports underneath the back of the screen is a numpty. Getting access to them has meant taking the panel down, connecting/disconnecting and putting it back. It’s all a bit of a farce. Still, once you’ve finished you should be good for quite some time.

Overall I’m seriously impressed, it’s a beautiful screen, 4K looks amazing, HDR also looks nothing short of stunning, and considering there’s no TV tuner, no catch-up TV or anything like that, you can see why this monitor is probably a better purchase than a TV of the same price. You’ll get more bang and less stuff you don’t need.

AWESOME Screen, if you’re in the market for a monitor. It even sounds OK too. Not as good as dedicated speakers… but seriously, not too bad either.

Nice one Acer.

DOOM on the PC running a 6600K (watercooled) and a GTX 1070

Destiny 2 on the PC running a 6600K (watercooled) and a GTX 1070

Western Digital EX4100 Cloud Server Review

I recently sold my desktop PC, but before I did I needed a place to store my 2x4TB HDD’s and 2x2TB HDD’s. I had a huge amount of data on them and I did NOT want to lose it all.

So I purchased this cloud server with the intention of

  1. having a network share available anywhere in the world
  2. having somewhere to put my drives

I’d looked at various cloud servers for a couple of years and even considered building a PC with the intention of just being a file server, but to be honest at £330 it was a good price, considering I’d seen much more expensive systems, ranging from £400-£900, they were overkill, and this just fit my budget and needs perfectly.

 

First up, when you get the device you need to install the drives, but before you do BE WARNED… all the data is lost as this uses Linux file systems and cannot read and write NTFS, so the drives are formatted before it can use them. So backup first. I started messing with the web interface.

I like the GUI, it’s clean and simple, everything is tabulated and well laid out, home shows the above screen, users will let you add/remove/modify users and their access to various drives and folders, shares lets you control what is available and to whom, apps will let you install remote cloud service providers such as Amazon S3, Elephant drive, Dropbox and what files and folders get synced to these providers, cloud access is for setting up phones and tablets and what they can have access too, backups will let you create backup profiles for remote servers (FTP to this site and download the files) backup files internally to a drive, or backup to a USB drive (USB 3). Storage is where you setup a drive for the first time and settings is where you configure things like time and date, server name energy saving and time machine backups (OS X).

I’ve had this box of tricks now for a couple of weeks and I’m impressed, I have access to my Mac Mini, another desktop PC, my iPhone and iPad all without any fuss or pain… it just worked straight away with no problems.

I’m pleasantly surprised with the number of apps available for installation too, there’s WordPress, PHPbb, anti-virus, DVBlink for capturing TV to the cloud server, Joomla, Plex media server and more. While things like WordPress could be cool for personal use, for a small company or team it’s a great way to read up and projects and development. Same with PHPbb, only PHPbb is a little more interactive. You also have e-mule (does anyone actually use it anymore?) and even a torrent client for downloading straight to an internal drive.

Media streaming. While it does have the option to add Plex media server, it’s not something you’ll want to use, the internal CPU is very underpowered for transcoding video, it’ll try to do it, but more often than not it’ll fail. But if you just want to use plex for music or audiobooks, then it’ll play that all day long.

Around the back you have 2 x 1 Gbit ethernet ports that will link to create a 2 gbit port or allow synchronous read write from different sources at the same time, in other words, it shouldn’t choke with data traffic across a network, though if you have a large team all accessing at the same time, then it’ll be the drives slowing down and not the network. But to be honest, it’s absolutely fine for personal use, it’ll never be an issue. You also have the option of adding 2 x USB drives for either backup purposes or just increasing space, the front USB will also do the same.

 

Overall my impressions of the hardware is excellent, it’s well put together, it’s clean and simple, it’s low noise, it’s constantly self monitoring and goes into power saving mode when not in use. I just like it, for me to be able to stash 4 hard drives and then share the data to any user and device I allow and do it seamlessly is just incredible.

Wallpaper Engine Review

What is a wallpaper Engine any way? Since the days of Windows 7 we’ve had the ability to slide-show wallpapers every minute to every day and everything in between.
Wallpaper engine does this, but it also MOVES!

If you’ve owned a Playstation 3 or a Playstation 4, you’ll be aware of the dynamic themes you get get for free or for a couple of quid, same with this, it’s a wallpaper that’s dynamic, it features everything from video backgrounds to webGL. The backgrounds vary in intensity from sublime to nauseating. From games like Fez and FTL to The Witcher, and I’ve yet to be charged for a single background.

Not only are the backgrounds free, but with a little time and patience, you can make your own too with the built in studio. I’ve yet to try it, but it must work well enough as there are around 80,000 backgrounds to choose from.

Oh and not forgetting VISUALISERS

So how much is this Wallpaper Engine? It’s an astonishing £2.79, barely the price of a single coffee or pint of your favourite IPA.
Grab it while it’s hot
http://store.steampowered.com/app/431960/?snr=1_5_9__205

Carrera Crossfire-E 12 month re-review

Further reading:

 

Video re-review at the bottom of the page.

It’s been 12 months and 1,000 miles since my last review and to be honest the bike is still going strong and with little or no degradation of battery pack either. I’ve had only 2 issues with the bike, the obligatory cut out and the power button on the LCD broke.

The power cut out is for the most part just a minor inconvenience, the fix is easy enough. Get off the bike and on the back rear left there’s a neoprene patch, take it off, expose the connector, disconnect and reconnect, re-attach the neoprene and you should be good for another 100 miles or so. All in all this takes about 30 seconds. Suntour and Halfords are constantly improving and this should be fixed with this years model. I’d be very surprised if it isn’t.

The plastic switch on the LCD broke on mine leaving me unable to turn on the bike, I did manage for a few weeks to stick a pin into the socket and hit the micro switch. The problem came when I told Halfords and sadly Halfords didn’t have a supplier setup to replace the part. I waited 4 weeks before getting more serious with my complaint and a few days later Halfords ordered a new bike and used the new part to replace mine. They swapped the entire LCD assembly and cables. Job sorted.

Other than these two issues I’ve had nothing but joy with the bike, though I’ve read on the comments section on youtube that some people have had to return and replace their bikes because of the power cut problem. Personally I’m happy with it, it’s a bike built to a tight budget, and while there are more expensive bikes around that don’t have budgetary constraints like this one, I know a couple of people with theses more expensive bikes and even these bikes have minor issues too. So throwing money at the problem isn’t the solution. I say minor, some people have reported constant cut outs, I don’t, so to me it’s very minor.

As far as I’m aware I’m the only person to have a problem with the power switch falling out.

So what’s it like to ride?

This is a question I get asked a lot especially when I’m cycling in busy urban areas at pedestrian speeds. I have to say it’s utterly brilliant and heartily recommended for anyone who’s unfit or carrying an injury. I’m both, I’m overweight, a 30 year smoker, I had torn cartilage in both knees and had my right knee surgically repaired, and riding is now a breeze.

When I started riding again last year I did struggle with some hills, and around here in Yorkshire they’re not to be sniffed at, some climbs just go on for miles and some are tough for cars in anything but second gear. But even these, while challenging at first, do get easier the more you ride. I’d say my biggest issue is breathing, and that’s entirely my own fault being a smoker, and if it was easy I’d have given it up years ago… but it isn’t easy to give up, that’s why I’m still a smoker 🙁 this is my biggest hurdle to overcome, in time even my lungs started to open up much better and easier making these climbs less of a challenge.

But this is where an e-bike really flatters you and makes the job so much easier, it gives you up to 400watts of extra power to climb these monsters, and if you’re in any doubt about that validity, try a big hill without an e-bike and then with an e-bike if at all possible. But that’s only part of the job of the bike, mostly it’s even terrain and while it’s fun going up and then going down, it’s probably more satisfying riding at a fair pace even if the motor isn’t helping you (the motor is governed by the EU and must stop assisting you at 15mph). I find the motor really helps get you up to speed and then your cadence and gears get you up to 30mph, especially on the flat. Momentum is key, once you have it it’s easier to keep going and gain more. This to me is the most enjoyable part of riding, eating up the miles.

How far can you go on a single charge?

Another common question and the answer is very difficult to quantify.

I’ve had 35 miles of riding on a single charge and there was still 12% charge left in the battery, so I could probably manage 40 miles in total. Yes I know the Halfords website says up to 60 miles, but this is Yorkshire, I’m unfit, and a smoker as I’ve already stated, so I’m happy that 40 miles is the bikes maximum range for me. Ride around London or some other flat(ish) landscape and I’ll bet 60 miles is easily doable. The fitter you are, the flatter the landscape, the further you’ll go.

How much does it cost to charge up?

To be honest I’ve never calculated it, but even a rough estimate puts it in the range of pennies per charge. 36V 12Ahrs x cost per watt. The charger is 42v @ 2amps. This gives a total of 84 watts. P = 2A × 42V = 84W

840Watts is ten hours of charging (it takes 5-6 hours from flat) and I’m paying 16pence per kilo watt hour (1000watts), so less than 10p per charge.

Courtesy of RapidTables

 

How much power does it deliver?

The maximum watts is 400w with 250w average, torque is 50 newton metres. This is all gibberish to me too, lets just say it gets me up a 2 mile climb faster than a regular road bike, and by a large margin too.

The selector has 4 settings, 25% – 50% – 75% – 100% though even at 100% you’re still getting a workout, look at the 100% as though it’s max power, it’s 100% of the power the motor can give out, not 100% and all you do is sit and ride. Again EU legislation comes in and all EU e-bikes have to be pedal-assist and are not allowed to have a throttle, so at all times the rider needs to input some power too. While you can buy conversion kits that do have this throttle control, they’re actually classed as mopeds (motorcycles) and require said licence most likely. All retail bikes must be pedal-assist only, so at least you’re always getting some sort of workout.

If you have any question you’d like to ask me, then please do so in the comment section below. I’ll always try to answer as best I can.

I do use the bike a lot more than I would a non-pedal-assisted bike, I use it to go to town or go to my local supermarket where I’d normally use the car. I carry my fairly large and dayglow yellow rucksack to store my shopping. Obviously a full weeks shopping is out of the question, but for most things you only need one carrier bag for, then it’s perfectly fine. So aside from utility it’s also damn good fun just just hop on and ride.

The accessories I have are front and rear cameras, knog rear LED flashing and pulsing light and Lezyne front light. I also have some simple but effective mudguards front and rear. Lastly I have a gel seat cover. This at least means I’m visible, I have cameras for security and safety and the gel seat for comfort, though I’d love a proper seat post suspension setup, maybe a thudbuster will be coming soon.

Last year I dreaded the start of the cycling season (yes I’m a fair weather bike I know! I know!), this year I’m really looking forward to it, and that’s what an e-bike is doing for me. It’s giving me something to look forward to, some new challenges that I’ve set myself is riding 10 miles every day, but mostly the pure joy of just getting out and about, it not costing the earth and me getting fit again into the bargain. For a near 50 year old who still smokes that’s a rare thing indeed.

 

Carrera Crossfire-E Electric Bike Review

Further reading:

 

(Carrera Crossfire-E Electric Bike Review)(originally posted way back in May 2016) A few weeks ago I started looking at electric bikes as an alternative to a regular bike, I had a specialized myka in excellent condition, but this year I was dreading the start of the season. Last year I only managed a handful of rides and didn’t really get a chance to get going and get fit again.

So this year was going to be a real challenge, I’ve added a few extra stones to my weight, and I’m not light to start with. At nearly 6 feet tall and a normal weight of 15st, I now weigh 18st. I am a big guy anyway! I also smoke and have done for 30 years, I know if I could quit smoking then riding would be a doddle. But you don’t smoke for 30 years because it’s easy to quit.

I also tore the cartilage in my right knee in October 2015, and as a result I limp heavily on my left leg, so my left leg is very unhappy and my right knee hurts a lot. The good news is that I will be having the operation to repair the knee in just a few weeks, and the doctor and physiotherapist both agree that cycling is an excellent way to recover as there’s no impact causing new damage like any kind of running would cause.

So that’s me, someone in need of some good exercise, non-impact, and good cardio exercise at that. Cycling does give me all that, but here in Yorkshire we also have some impressive hills. Combine all of the above with our hills and you can understand why I was reluctant to get the bike out.

I looked for an electric bike, preferably a hybrid, a road and mountain bike, something that did all this and still manages to cover a lot of ground. I watched a lot of videos on youtube from a user called

http://www.ElectricBikeReview.com

https://www.youtube.com/user/ElectricBikeReview


Sadly all their bikes are for the USA market, but the requirements and specifications all still apply, I just have to find a UK bike.

Which I did, I found the Carrera Crossfire-E Electric bike on the Halfords website, so I put my money down and waited a few days for it to arrive. It was delivered to my local store and was built and checked by Niles and Callum at the store. They did an excellent job too. I part-exchanged my specialized myka and also got £100 to spend in store. My old bike will be serviced and shipped to Africa where it will hopefully help someone carry water, or a medic get to a patient miles away.

I took my old bike in my car, and the plan was to return the crossfire-e electric bike in the car too, but the Crossfire-E is a damned big bike and would not fit in the car. So a trial by fire it would be, a 5 mile ride home would help me get used to the bike and see what we could do together.

Initially the ride starts out with a fairly steep but short drop down hill and about half a mile level riding, but from then on it’s all uphill.

If you know anything about electric bikes then you’ll know they are controlled 3 different ways.

  • Power assist modes, these add anything from 25% extra to 75% and even a 100% boost for really steep climbs
  • Throttle control, this works just like you’d imagine, add a little throttle for a little boost, add a lot for big hills
  • A combination of the two, put the assist in say 25% mode and add throttle as and when it’s needed.

The Carrera Crossfire-E electric bike only has peddle assist and no throttle.

  • Eco mode: 25% assist up to 15MPH then it turns off the assist.
  • City: 50% power assistance to 10MPH, then reducing progressively to 30% assistance at 15MPH
  • Race: 75% power assistance; the optimum setting for riding at speed
  • climb: 100% assistance for those really big hills.

The more you ask of it the fewer miles you’ll go on a charge, the site says up to 60 miles, and I suppose a 10st rider on flat ground and who’s already pretty damned fit will manage this. I’m not 10st, I’m certainly not fit, and by God Yorkshire is not flat.

So the ride home, it was actually a lot easier than I imagined, and I imagined it’d be fairly easy to start with. I was really pleasantly surprised, I did have to work, it’s not a free ride, I did have to work a bit, but I never felt that I couldn’t manage the ride home. On level ground the Eco mode was really enough to keep me going and the bike just ate up the road so effortlessly, City mode was obviously easier for the slight hill and longer hills, and the one really nasty hill. I hit Climb and I was at the top before I even knew it. A 5 mile ride with a near 4 mile, near constant climb, and I was home in less than 20 minutes, only 10 minutes longer than driving.

I was very impressed. But now I had to go back and collect my car.

I got home, made some tea, did some chores, and set off again for a 10 mile round trip.

 
 

 

This is a bit of a challenge to be honest. Some long steep hills, some level riding, and then some fantastic downhill speeds at 35MPH.
Even with a stop at the supermarket cash machine I did the whole ride in 30 minutes. Other than this one stop, not once did I need to rest and take a breather, but like I said earlier, it’s not a free ride and I still had to put some good effort in, and while I did start to lose momentum at the halfway point, I didn’t feel like I had to stop and rest once.

Again I was left very impressed with the bikes ability and mine, I know this bike flatters you, but it felt really good to get a pretty decent workout without feeling utterly pummelled, and still having some juice left in the tank, but it’s juice you’ll need. Once you get home you have to store the bike and this is no light-weight at 55lbs. But you can’t have all this extra help and no downside.

The cons are few and far between, there is no where to put a water bottle or a pump. It’s heavy, and at high speed ass off the saddle it’s very wobbly. Ass on and it’s fine. The handlebars are tapered, while it’s not a big issue, some fittings like after market lights need a bigger bracket to fit, luckily my lights are really good and I have this bracket. The supplied tyres are a cross between road and off road, but primarily road. So be careful going on any muddy tracks, or change the tyres first. For cons that really is about it.

To remedy these issues you could buy a camel back for £15, though you really need to spend time washing it thoroughly first for about 30 minutes with bicarbonate too. A small pump will fit inside this camel back. Get good lights or look for a bigger bracket or adapter.

As far as mileage goes I really haven’t spent enough time with the bike pushing the battery limits, I intend to go for a long ride when the weather becomes more predictable, but I think I should manage 25 to 30 miles, sure it’s not the advertised 60, but I’m not average either.

The asking price is £999 and this is pretty damned steep, when you can easily get a conversion kit for sub £200 it certainly sounds expensive, but these kits don’t include batteries, and they can set you back £600, then you also need the donor bike too.

Overall it’s good value, it’s good fun that will see you smiling all the time you use it, you won’t huff and puff all day long either, but you will still sweat a little, and that’s a good thing. Fun exercise isn’t exercise.

I don’t like giving scores as they are subjective based on my opinion and I don’t have a tonne of experience of owning bikes.
But I’ll try.

Frame: 9, there is space for a water bottle, just about! This really needed to be added, but it’s a missed opportunity to sell some extras with the bike. The handlebar taper could mess things up, but it didn’t for me. I just managed.

Brakes: 10. Hydraulic brakes are a must for overweight riders and a heavy bike to boot, and these work brilliantly.

Tyres: 9, again these are road tyres with some minor knobbly bits, so don’t expect to ride down mountain tracks. They do however have reflective side walls. A huge bonus for anyone out late.

Motor: Hmm. The legal limit in the EU is 15MPH, a trigger could over ride that in small doses. It’s not Halfords fault nor is it suntours fault. With that in mind I’ll still score the motor 9 for a torquey 50 newtons, good pull and good acceleration

Battery: 9, TBH I’d prefer a slightly bigger battery, something like 15Ah as opposed to the 11Ah supplied, there is space, but it would also make the complete package more expensive too. But it’s pretty good non the less.

LCD: 9, there’s no way to change KMh to MPh, suntour are working on a fix for this but it might mean a change to a different LCD though a flash upgrade is in the works. HUGE BONUS! There’s a USB port on the front of the LCD display, so you can power any USB device from the battery pack, Excellent work suntour. Most e-bikes have this on the battery and you could easily break it with you knee as you pedal. So good idea putting it on the LCD

The motor, battery and electronics are made by suntour:

http://www.srsuntour-cycling.com/e-bike … or-system/