Our Favourite Products for 2019! 0
2019 is setting up to be a big year for Electric Bikes, As the market continues to grow, more and more products, ideas and updates are being introduced. We thought the best way to showcase some of these and to also share more about us as individuals, would be a blog post sharing what each member of the EBS team is most excited for this year.
Graham - MD
As Electric Bike specialists, I’m lucky enough to get to try all sorts of new Electric Bikes on a regular basis. As one of the very few people in the UK to test ride the new Haibike Flyon range, I was completely blown away. This is German engineered performance taken to the next level and re-establishes Haibike as THE brand in its sector.
What’s so great I hear you ask? Well, the Bikes look amazing. The new totally integrated technology makes the Bikes look stunning - even better in reality than the pictures suggest. The larger battery (630kw) will mean fewer charges; the control system is even more intuitive, with colour coded power levels. But of course, it’s the Power that really impresses. 120nM of torque - or 50% more than existing motors.
Riding on-road, you’re going to find yourself across the junction and ‘up to speed’ even quicker - that’s safer. Off-Road, that extra power will facilitate riding in places and hills that you otherwise couldn’t achieve. Up steeper hills, faster and more enjoyably.
We're pretty confident that the Flyon range will be a massive hit with the Public and are recommending our Customers get their Orders in ASAP.
Lucy - Shop Manager
I'm most excited for the Raleigh Centros! I commute on my Electric Bike through Brighton and Hove and am most excited about using the new Raleigh Centros! I love the way the bike looks and how comfortable it is. The upright riding position paired with the suspension seat-post and Selle Royal Gel saddle make it a joy to ride. The battery gives me a fantastic range and being integrated, makes the whole look of the bike a lot slicker. The Bosch Active Line Plus Motor gives me the extra help I need tackling the hills and strong head winds along the seafront and fitted with bright lights means I can jump on and the bike is ready to go!
Jake - Sales Assistant
The bike I’m most excited by for 2019 is the Gocycle GX!
Gocycle have been making great eBikes for a number of years now, the GX is their 5th model and will be sold along side the successful G3 and GS models. Why’s this one particularly exciting? It’s their quickest-folding Electric Bike yet, folding in under 10 seconds.
I’ve always liked how easy the Gocycle is to maintain and use due to its completely integrated drivetrain and battery, this makes day-to-day commuting hassle free and enjoyable. Not only that, it takes away the risk of grease on your leg or clothes from touching the chain, this becomes particularly beneficial when you cycle in your work clothes.
The combination of the balloon like tyres, rear suspension and comfortable riding position means it makes city cycling fun. It really is a bike you can just get on and go. Now they’ve made one that has all these same benefits but folds without the need to take the wheels off and in less than 10 seconds.
Brad - Workshop Technician
I'm most excited for the Haibike Sduro FullSeven 5.0. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to use an E-bike for my commute, a 22 mile round trip with mixed terrain and a few sizeable hills thrown in the mix, so I opted to ride a Haibike with the Yamaha PW-SE system.
I am a fan of the PW-SE as it really suits my riding style, the way the power is delivered is almost instant meaning as soon as I put my foot down I go! This is beneficial when I am setting off at traffic lights or when the roads start to angle upwards. Another feature I like about this system is there is less of a drag effect compared to other motor systems, once I exceed the 15.5 Mph assistance limit I can go as fast as my legs are willing to push a 22KG bike.
The reason I am particularly excited about the Sduro FullSeven 5.0 is because 2019 is the year Yamaha have brought out their in-tube battery system. I am a real fan of the new in-tube technology as it gives the bike a more integrated and clean look, this combined with the PW-SE motor and the riding characteristics of the Sduro FullSeven creates a really versatile yet capable Electric Mountain Bike at an attractive price point.
- Jake Rowe
Where are the best places to ride Off Road in Brighton? 0
So you’ve got your Electric Mountain Bike, what next? Below we list some of the great local places you can ride your bike, including some single-track, trails and cross country routes that we regularly ride.
Stanmer Park is a favourite of many Brighton off road riders and is the location for Brighton Big Dog MTB race every year. The woods includes a number of trails, mostly aimed at the cross country/single-track rider but also includes some slightly more technical trails with drops, jumps and tabletops. Most of these are in Stanmer woods, finding where these start and finish is easy to do using TrailForks handy app. These trails are specifically made and maintained by mountain bikers for mountain bikers but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your own natural trail or follow one of the bridleways, of which there is plenty, just remember to always look out for walkers and dogs.
Our personal favourite trails in Stanmer are Claras, Buzz Lightyear, Rollercoaster and Rail the Roots.
Wild Park is in a similar location to Stanmer and can easily be ridden on the same day if you have the time. It includes a number of specifically made trails, which have berms, drops and jumps. Some of these are slightly technical and quite steep so are not recommended for beginners, especially on a wet day. Again finding where the trails start and finish is easy to do using TrailForks, however the trails here are quite easy to see once you get to the right bit of the park. There’s also easy access parking, if you are driving there.
Look at some of the features of wild park and Stanmer in our video here.
We are lucky enough here in Brighton to be surrounded by the South Downs National Park. There are plenty of great, scenic routes over the downs, most notably the South Downs Way, which stretches about 100 miles from Eastbourne to Winchester. Don’t worry, you don’t have to ride the whole route, you can join and leave it in a number of places. Two of our favourite routes incorporate part of the South Downs Way, see them below.
Route 1- Ditchling Beacon Loop
For the first route, we usually start in Brighton Marina, from our shop. We then ride up the side of East Brighton Park, across the racetrack where we find a nice relaxed path behind the houses, which leads us up towards Falmer Road. Once here there is a track that runs parallel with Falmer Road all the way up towards the Amex Stadium. We then use a bridge to cross the A27 and ride up towards Ditchling Beacon. This is where we join the South Downs Way and head west. How far you then ride along the South Downs Way is up to you; we usually cut back down towards Hove somewhere near Devils Dyke, down to the seafront and ride along back to the Marina, making a nice loop. This ride includes great views at Ditchling Beacon, some fun descents and usually some wildlife. A great cross country route for any ability rider! The main off-road bit of the route is shown in the below screenshot.
Route 2 – Devils Dyke/Shoreham Loop
The second route usually starts somewhere in Hove for us. However can be started from Devils Dyke if you would rather drive there. Once at Devils Dyke you want to find the South Downs Way and head west towards Lancing. Again how far you stay on this is up to you, we usually head down towards Shoreham, as there is a nice track, which runs parallel with the River Adur, making for a nice scenic route back. Unfortunately, once you reach the main bit of Shoreham, you will have to join the road again to head back towards Hove. This route is great as it includes the climbs and descents of the South Downs Way, nice views and the River Adur. Great for any ability rider that wants to explore the local area by bike.
We love finding new trails and routes. Comment below or email us your favourite local spots to ride!
- Jake Rowe
How Bicycle Helmets Work - What Features do You Need? 0
Bicycle helmets are a very important element of cycling; however, it can often be quite daunting when deciding which one is right for you. Recent developments in technology now mean there is a myriad of different elements and options to choose from, each with their own pros and cons.
How They Work
A standard bicycle helmet protects your head in three main ways. Its most basic purpose is to act as a barrier between your head and an object, with the hard shell of the helmet protecting you from direct contact against any sharp or hard objects. It also further protects your head by spreading the force of any impact over a larger area, therefore reducing the pressure felt on the head. Finally, a helmet slows the deceleration of the skull during an impact to reduce the chance of brain injury and skull fracture.
Bicycle helmets are generally made from EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam with a hard plastic shell on the outside. The EPS foam is there to absorb the forces by deforming during an impact, however, once deformed the foam becomes more dense or even cracked, meaning the helmet is no longer effective and will need replacing. The hard plastic shell is then either glued onto the EPS foam (for cheaper helmets) or, more often, is formed during the moulding process. On more expensive helmets there is also a hard plastic ribbed cage on the inside to hold the helmets shape in the event of a multiple impact collision.
There is a variety of different helmet designs from different manufactures to suit your needs. All helmets will have some for of adjustable strap and fitting system inside the helmet along with padded inserts for comfort. It is important to make sure the helmet is the correct size and fits well, not only for your comfort, but also to ensure it is in a suitable position for protection and secure in the event of an impact.
It is also vital to make sure the helmet is in good condition to provide you the necessary protection. Once a helmet has had an impact the EPS foam will have been compressed and therefore lost its shock absorbing properties. It may not always be clearly visible and there may even be cracks hidden by the shell or internal cage and lining. UV rays also slowly degrade the plastic and EPS foam causing it to become more brittle over time. Therefore, it is recommended to replace your helmet every two to three years, even if it has not had any impacts. Some manufacturers will even offer a small discount on replacement helmets after a crash!
Bicycle helmets must adhere to the current European standard in order to be sold within the European Union. This standard is currently EN 1078:2012 and will always be visible on a sticker within the helmet. In order for a helmet to comply to this standard it must undergo a number of tests looking into the construction, field of vision, shock absorption and retention system. This involves impact tests using a drop rig onto both flat and kerbstone anvil surfaces from a height or 1.5m where the resulting deceleration of the head within the helmet must not exceed 250g (where g is the acceleration due to gravity, 9.81m/s). There are many other factors stipulated within this standard which helmets must meet, so you can be sure that the one you buy will be up to the job!
Recent developments in helmet protection systems have added many more options to the market, giving consumers more choice and better crash protection.
One of the more prevalent of these new developments is MIPS. This is a "Multi-directional Impact Protection System" that has been designed to add protection in helmets against the rotational motion. The is is achieved with a thin, low-friction layer mounted within the helmet between the shell and inner liner. In the event of an impact the helmet will then move independently of your skull therefore reducing the rotational forces and angular acceleration on the head and brain.
As mentioned above all helmets will be tested to ensure they meet the necessary standards, however, these tests only test helmets with vertical drops whereas in reality most collisions will be at an angle. MIPS has been scientifically proven to reduce skull and brain injuries. This can be seen in the image on the right showing the strain level in the brain with and without MIPS which was gathered from a crash test dummy.
Another option for protecting your head rather than the standard helmet comes from the Swedish company Hövding. They have created an innovative new design which means you no longer have to wear a helmet but just a small collar. This collar contains an airbag which inflates into a hood to cover your head in the event of a crash. Within the collar is the power unit with sensors and a rechargeable battery. This sensor measures the deceleration of the head and along with a complex algorithm developed from data taken from normal riding situations it deploys the airbag during a crash situation. The airbag inflates in 0.1 seconds and delivers 3 times better shock absorption than a regular bicycle helmet.
Research at Stanford University was conducted to investigate the level of protection provided by Hövding compared to a standard bicycle helmet. It was found that the thickness and stiffness of the Hövding helmet was "near perfect" in terms of protecting against concussion and head injuries caused by accidents. The research concluded that the Hövding airbag provides up to eight times better protection than a traditional bicycle helmet.
This August Hövding have announced reaching a massive milestone with a total of 100,000 airbag units sold. Fredrik Carling, CEO of Hövding commented: “Since the beginning of 2018, we have sold as many Hövding airbags as we did in the last five years combined. We are incredibly proud and happy to announce that there are now over 100,000 cyclists protected by Hövding’s unique technology".
- Rob Day
Caring for Your Drivetrain 0
Your bikes drivetrain is one of the most important parts of your bike but it can often get neglected, leading to poor, noisy shifting and unnecessary replacement parts. With some basic home maintenance and a bit of TLC your bike will perform perfectly for longer, resulting in a much more enjoyable ride!
Whether you have an internal hub gear or derailleur the basic care of the chain is the same. However, the derailleur may require some adjustments from time to time compared to the very minimal maintenance required for the hub gear.
The first key to bike maintenance and drivetrain care is to keep it clean! If the chain and derailleur are clogged with mud, grease, etc. they will not work correctly and wear out quickly. After wet rides or a few of weeks of use give the bike a clean using a bike specific cleaning spray and wash it off with a bucket and sponge or gentle spray. If the drivetrain is particularly greasy it may be necessary to get a strong degreaser and stiff brush to shift the grime.
Once everything is clean and dry, this is a good time to check the chain for any wear. It’s a very good idea to do this regularly to catch the chain when its worn before it leads to other components wearing down that are more expensive to replace. Get a chain checker tool and place the end with a small hook (or the end without numbers on) into the chain between two inner links so it sits against the roller. Allow the end with 0.75 written on it to drop into the chain. If it does not drop fully into the chain but sits slightly on top of a roller then the chain has stretched less than 0.75% and does not need replacing. If it does drop into the chain and your bike has a derailleur then you will need to replace the chain. If your bike has internal hub gears then the chain will only need replacing once it has reached 1% stretched which can be checked using the other side of the tool.
Now that everything is nice and clean it is important to re-apply some lubrication to the moving parts. Depending on the type of riding you do, choose the right lubricant for the chain. A thick wet lube for wet and muddy conditions or a lighter dry lube for dry and dusty environments. It’s important to choose the right one to stop excess wear, if a wet lube is used year-round it will attract dust in dry condition which will wear the chain and components, likewise if a dry lube is used in muddy winter conditions it will just wash off quickly leaving no lubrication left, also leading to excessive wear.
Slowly drip a small amount onto each roller of the chain then give it a pedal for a few seconds to work the lubricant into the chain. Then run the chain through a clean cloth to wipe of any excess lube to stop any unwanted dirt sticking to the drivetrain components.
Thats all thats needed! Just a bit of cleaning every now and then and some attention to the chain and you'll be saving yourself money in the long run on expensive replacement parts. Don't forget we have our full workshop and mechanic to help you out with and questions of fitting/servicing jobs, its easy to book on our website, just click the link here and book a time slot that suits you!
- Rob Day