Fully Charged Insights
5 Pillars of eBikes - Weather, Cost, Safety, Security & Maintenence
We take a look at the 5 barriers to entry for eBikes - Weather, Cost, Safety, Security & Maintenence.
Words By Dan Parsons
Reasons to NOT buy an eBike
It probably seems like a strange thing to do for a retailer to set about highlighting reasons why NOT to buy their products, but over the years we’ve heard many complaints about barriers to entry which we thought we would share with you – and our thoughts as to why they aren’t a problem.
Now, let’s face it, there’s not a lot you can do about the weather and this is the UK. But as the old saying goes, ‘it’s not so much bad weather, but poor choice of clothing’.
Due to the fact that you have the motor to assist you, with an eBike you tend not to get as hot and sweaty when compared to a conventional bicycle where you must work harder. As a result, throwing on a weather proof cape will keep you dry, without worrying about getting too warm is no issue.
Check out our range of Rains Clothing to shelter your whole body form the rain.
But don’t worry too much! According to the Bicycle Book by Richard Ballantine, “there’s no measurable rainfall 20 days per month. Cycling is out of the question 15 days per year. And in the time between 8-9am and 5-6pm it rains only twelve days a year.”
So there is absolutely no shame in taking public transport now and then when the weather is truly awful. A mixed approach will still save you time and money in the long run.
“How much!? You could buy a car for that!”
Where do we start with this one? Clearly the person that said this hasn’t bought a bike recently. As with cars and conventional bicycles, eBikes do range in price, so value for money is important. There are also different ways to purchase to help spread the cost to consider, so certainly don’t write off an eBike before reading!
Reputable Brands, Tested Products
Like tools, buying cheap isn’t always the most cost-effective in the long run. Buying a reliable product from a reputable manufacturer is very important.
On the most part, we’ve done the hard work for you. Over the years, Fully Charged have curated a range of industry-leading brands and chosen to stock their best products. If we stock it, it’s because we have ridden it, we understand it, we believe in it and we have a great relationship with the manufacturer.
Our eBikes range in price, but are stocked for their quality, reliability and value for money, so take a look at the range.
Travelling by eBike is not only one of the fastest and most enjoyable ways of getting around, but one of the most cost-effective and spreading the cost is a great way of limiting the initial outlay. Fully Charged have partnered with V12 Retail Finance to offer competitive finance options on a wide range of our products, spreading the cost over 6, 12, 18 months at 0%, with interest-bearing options for greater periods.
Moustache Xroad 1 = £2399
Deposit = £239.90
18 monthly payments of £119.95
Using London as an example, comparing our monthly repayments against the cost for a monthly travel card;
|Travelcard Monthly Cost||Monthly Saving|
|Zone 1-2 £131||£11.05|
|Zone 1-4 £188.20||£68.25|
|Zone 1-6 £239.30||£119.35|
These savings are calculated only as a comparison to the finance repayments. After you have paid the bike off, your savings will of course sky-rocket AND you own a super-cool product at the end of it!
Green Commute Initiative
We’ve been working with the team at Green Commute Initiative for a number of years now, offering tax-free savings of up to 42%. And the best part – unlike the Cycle to Work Scheme, there’s no £1000 limit!
But how does it work?
Your employer will need to register with the Green Commute Initiative. This is a very simple process and the team there are on hand to assist if necessary. The eBike is essentially purchased by your employer and ‘rented’ to you, with the value repaid via salary sacrifice – before tax. Therefore, depending on your tax rate, you’ll save either 32% or 42% on the cost of your eBike. Not bad eh?!
|Moustache Samedi 27 Xroad 1||£2399|
|Gross Salary Sacrifice (per month)||£133|
|Net Salary Sacrifice (per month)||£77|
|Net price of eBike||£1391|
*Based on on £50,000 gross annual salary and 18 moths sacrifice period.
Safety is of course a concern, but given that there are in excess of 600,000 daily trips taken by bicycle in our capital, the percentage of recorded incidents is thankfully low. The vast majority of trips taken by bicycle are incident free. The government is investing millions of pounds year on year to improve cyclist safety, not just in London and the results are plain to see.
TFL offer some great tips for cyclists:
- Stop at red lights. Don't ride through red traffic lights- They are there for a reason. You may also be fined £50 if you are caught doing so!
- Stay central on narrow roads. Try to ride away from the gutter. If the road is too narrow for vehicles to pass you safely, it might be safer to ride towards the middle of the lane to prevent dangerous overtaking by other vehicles
- Stay away from parked cars. Ideally, keep a door's width away in case the door opens suddenly. Also, try to ride in a straight line past parked cars rather than dodging between them.
- Stay back from HGVs. Lorries and other large vehicles might not be able to see you clearly, so stay well back behind them
- Always pay attention. Stay focused on what's going on around you so you can see what other road users might do. Avoid listening to music or making phone calls
- Make eye contact. Try to make eye contact with drivers so you're sure that they have seen you
- Don't pavement cycle. Don't cycle on the pavement or up a one-way street (unless clearly marked for cyclists)
- Wear bright clothes. Stay safe by wearing bright clothes during the day and reflective clothing/accessories at night
- Night lights. Use lights after dark - white at the front and red at the rear. You may be fined £50 if you don't have them
- Signal. Use appropriate hand signals to indicate that you're turning left or right
- Helmet. Consider wearing a helmet
- Cycle training. There is free, or subsidised cycle training, including commuter skills, for adults and children in most London boroughs
Statistically, eBikes are at a lower risk of theft than conventional bikes primarily due to the fact that they and their components are difficult to resell due to them being in short supply, though a small number of vigilant retailers.
Replacement chargers for example are never offered to customers unable to provide proof of ownership. Many electric bikes are also registered to customers via an App and are unusable other than by the rightful owner.
Whilst this might be the case, you can never be too safe, so we’ve put together some tips for you.
Tips for keeping your eBike safe and secure
Avoiding theft might seem common sense, but we suggest you consider the following;
- Can you take your eBike into your place of work or home? Maybe consider a folding eBike?If you cannot, lock your eBike at recognised, secure cycle parking – preferably well-lit and with CCTV
- When locking your eBike, ensure that you are using an adequate standard of lock and securing through the frame to a strong, immovable object
- Take with you any easily-removable parts and accessories – your panniers and display controller (if applicable). Consider removing your battery and taking it into your place of work or home to charge
- Consider removing any quick-release parts (wheel skewers, seatpost collars, stems) with locking parts. Even when at home, ensure that you lock your eBike and it is kept out of sight
- Select a quality, reputable eBike insurance. Get a quote. Consider registering your eBike with BikeRegister.
- Are you using the correct lock?
It’s important that you secure your bike with the correct lock. Look out for the Master Locksmith’s Association (MLA) “Sold Secure” logo for a good indication. The required standard depends on the value of your e-bike. Many insurers will not pay out if you do not have an adequate standard of lock to secure your bike.
Typical standard values covered:
BRONZE = Bikes and fixed accessories with a value of less than £1500
SILVER = Bikes and fixed accessories with a value of between £1501 – £2500
GOLD = Bikes and fixed accessories with a value exceeding £2500
Choosing the right insurance can be difficult, so we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve teamed up with Pedalsure to offer industry-leading insurance for electric bikes.
Get a quick, no-obligation quote by clicking HERE.
Now offering 28 Days’ FREE Insurance!
As part of our service, any new eBike purchased from Fully Charged is eligible for 28 days’ FREE insurance, provided by Pedalsure, meaning that you’ll be protected against theft and accidental damage from the moment you leave the store, giving you plenty of time to check your home and contents insurance to make sure the cover meets your needs.
How do I benefit from 28 days’ FREE insurance?
When purchasing your new eBike from us, we’ll require your consent to pass your details to Asseture, but once this has been provided, we’ll get the ball rolling. You’ll receive documentation by email, typically 24-48 hours after your purchase.
What does the 28 day FREE insurance cover?
Accidental damage – To the full retail value of your eBike
Theft – To the full retail value of your eBIke
Replacement eBike - following a claim
Accessories - cover (up to £100)
How do I extend to an annual cover?
You can easily extend your policy to an annual cover by clicking HERE, or by following the directions in their email to you.
What’s so special about Fully Charged’s partnership with Pedalsure?
We’ve chosen to partner with Pedalsure to offer an insurance that is right for you. Rated as excellent on Trustpilot, Pedalsure offer specialist electric bike insurance and hassle-free claims. With Express Claim there’ll be no need to provide a receipt, proof of ownership, proof of purchase, valuation or make/model number. Simply contact Pedalsure to register your claim and once successful, come in and collect your replacement bike.
Worried about the maintenance and service requirements on eBikes? Don’t.
Just like conventional bikes, eBikes do require a certain level of maintenance, but they are no more complex. The drive systems are sealed units and require little or no maintenance. Remove the drive systems from the equation and eBikes require the same attention as a regular bicycle – ensuring that the gears, brakes and other moving parts are adjusted as required and remain in good order.
Fully Charged are London’s leading eBike specific service centre, offering diagnosis, maintenance and repairs on all major brands.