Maiden Voyage

Everyone has one. Well, everyone except me! – what? – an electric mountain bike of course…

So, alongside my new healthy eating regime, I decided I needed to get off the couch. I’m no good at running and still being heavy, it’s not great for my knees. I’ve not pedalled a bike for over a decade and the thought of going up hills just didn’t appeal. But, a number of friends have been bitten by the electric mountain bike ‘craze’.

Exaggerated by lockdown, the lack of availability of e-bikes is staggering. Like cars, they are selling like hot cakes. So that was going to be my first problem. As I always do, I set out to research the best bike for me and have to say I knew nothing about the various components. So typically, I wanted a good looking one and ordered online from a well known supplier and waited with baited breath. A week later the bike arrived in a big box, which I quickly but carefully opened, only to find a variety of damage. Lots of emails later, it was returned and refunded.

Not one to be beaten, I switched to another manufacturer, but the delivery was quoted at two months. But I wanted that bike, so paid a deposit and waited. Well, waited a week, then decided it was too long, so then made the step of researching in-stock bikes at bricks and mortar stores, ending up sourcing a bike at a shop I knew well, in Bury.

The bike is a Whyte, a British company who only recently entered the ‘electric revolution’. I flew over and chatted with the team there for an hour or so and quickly convinced myself the one I intended to buy was great, but there were other models with a better specification. In for a penny and all that, I came away with the top of the range E-180RS.

I say came away, but I had already decided to protect the frame and the shop organised a matt PPF wrap with another local renowned installer. The bike also needed to go through a pre-delivery inspection, so I’d have to come back three days later.

Upon collection day, all my suspension was individualised and a few other tweeks to ensure the bike fitted me perfectly. Arrived home, popped it on charge overnight and today I went out, solo, just to see what it was all about.

I didn’t go too far, covering just ten miles along a mix of roads, tow paths and a few lanes. I literally had the best time! Yes I ache a little, but overall, I can see how the bug takes hold. It is my intention to do at least ten miles each day, but with a range of over 50, who knows.