Fully Charged Insights

How an eBike saved my wallet and my sanity

Just over a month ago I started using a Gocycle G4 that has been kindly loaned to me by Fully Charged and it’s fair to say the eBike life has got me in its grasp.

Words By Issy Hobday

If you had told me 6 months ago that I’d now be commuting into London Bridge on an electric bike every day, I would have been dumbfounded. I got into road cycling 4 years ago and by my final year of university I was a proper lycra clad, carbon race bike, club cyclist - then I started working at Fully Charged after graduating this summer.

I moved to Stratford, East London back in August and suddenly found myself thrown into the melee of a commuter rush hour, twice a day, 5 times a week. Ah yes, the real world.. shocker! I initially started commuting into our London Bridge store on my carbon road bike, as well as using the tube at least once a week, due to evening excursions after work. It’s a 20km round trip between Stratford and Fully Charged HQ so I was racking up at least 60/80km a week.

Just over a month ago I started using a Gocycle G4 that has been kindly loaned to me by Fully Charged and it’s fair to say the eBike life has got me in its grasp. A single tube trip between Stratford and London Bridge at peak hours costs £3.20, with a return trip costing £6.40 a day, not including the cost of a further trip within Zone 1 to meet friends after work. In total I could be spending a total of £37.50 a week on the tube, after factoring in a Thursday night outing and one off-peak trip into Zone 1 at the weekend. Without my Gocycle, I would be spending £150 on the tube a month, which would leave a significant dent in my wallet considering the rising costs of bills! Cycling into work saves me a LOT of money.. and the unpleasantries of the human sardine tube journey!

So why didn’t I just stick with my road bike? Cycling into work on my carbon race bike was fun but the sporty position wasn’t ideal with a heavy rucksack and nor was the fact I’d arrive looking like I’d done a stage of the Tour de France every morning. I’d have to cycle in wearing Lycra, or at least sports clothing, then bring a change of clothes in my rucksack; a time consuming process that is not ideal for the morning marketing meeting. Thanks to my electric bike, I now commute wearing my normal work clothes without needing to worry about being drenched in sweat. With the Gocycle’s encased chain cover, I can also cycle into work wearing my favourite wide leg jeans without the worry of any fashion induced mishaps!

Cost, sweat and fashion choices aside, commuting on an eBike has drastically improved my energy levels in the mornings. When I was using my road bike, I would arrive on a bit of a post-workout high but then my energy levels would usually dip by 10am. However with the electric bike, I arrive feeling far more ready for the day having cruised in, as opposed to constantly pushing through gears at the lights like I had to before. You charge the eBike, but in turn the eBike charges you.

Through creative avenues such as the Cycle-to-Work scheme you can spread the initial cost of an electric bike and save money on transport in the long run. Additionally, you could opt for 0.0% APR finance. Through the government backed provider, Cyclescheme, the Gocycle G4 could cost you only £44.67 a month at the higher tax rate! This has saved me £105.33 a month! As someone who had never ridden an electric bike until August, I now believe eBikes offer huge advantages, not only on a cost and time efficiency front, but also for the happiness and health benefits it has brought to my life.

Words By Issy Hobday