Friday, 9 July 2010

To Buy or Not to Buy A New Bike

Photo: Posed by Model

You will see, if you get around to reading My Cycling History, that over the years I haven't actually had much luck with trying to own and use a cycle. My present cycle (tricycle) is no exception.

After a couple runs of out on the tricycle last year, I made the mistake one day, after cycling to visit my Daughter, of allowing my Son-in-Law to drive me home and leaving my trike there.

The Granddaughters had a whale of a time with it around their field of a garden, with my permission, on the understanding that they must re-charge the battery directly after playing with it. Not charging the battery after each use, kills it dead. You can guess the rest. Yes, I now have a dead battery and need to buy a new one. Even though the present one has had hardly any use.

So instead of buying a new battery I'm thinking of treating myself to a new tricycle (see photo). Only this time pure pedal power and not electric.

My trike also needs a good overhaul/service and also needs all new mudguards as the present ones have a large amount of rust on them, due to me living so close to the sea and the salt air speeding up any rusting process. I am now wondering if I really need the extra power of electricity. Living in such a flat county I'm thinking that the extra assistance of electricity isn't really needed and I have seen in my area a couple of pure pedal power tricycles ridden by ladies a lot older than I.

Because of the weight of the battery and of the motor, the electric trike is very heavy when one simply wants to pedal. In other words one has to use the electric because of the weight. This means that one simply can't go any faster than the bike is designed to do when motorised, which is a maximum of 8 mph. I am forever having 2 wheeled cycles over take me.

With pure pedal power, the bike is lighter and also has gears which the electric bike doesn't have.

I could spend a couple of hundred pounds getting my electric trike up to scratch, but when one thinks about it a new pedal power with gears will cost me £470 which is fine, but if I don't buy the new one, in 12 months time my electric one will need yet another battery. The batteries only last approximately 1 year.

Now my decision is, do I spend out another £200 now to tart up my electric one (now 3 years old) or do I treat myself to a new pedal power tricycle at £470.

I do have another choice. The Mission Cyclist Dealer a couple of miles away has said that he can take off the motor and the battery and add gears to it. Basically turning it into the manual trike in the photo. He would do they for approximately £100 for both parts and labour.

I do have a little bit of a problem with that one though.   With the Electrike one size fits all, which happens to be a 24 inch wheel.   To ride a manual gear tricycle I would need a 20 inch wheel.  The 24 inch is fine as an electric bike but would certainly be too big for me as a manual one.   It's so important to ride a cycle that fits one.

I am still thinking on this. But until I make a decision I am once again without a cycle.

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