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Customer Review

41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in most respects, 17 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Cyclamatic FoldAway Electric e Bike (Sports)
This is one nice looking piece of kit, lots of really nice touches. No self-assembly required and almost everything worked straight from the box, even the 6 easy-changing gears (thumb-switch upchange and button downchange) seem perfectly set. Both of the neat folding pedals were loose (the unusual 15mm spanner, which also does wheel-nuts, is in the toolkit). The pedal bearings had been left on the loose side and presently one went graunchy inside (workshop fixable).

The frame-folding and handle-bar clamps are excellent, self-locking against coming undone on the road. Sophisticated electronics sense pedalling movement and engage "assist" function with a slight whine.

Performance is good, several shopping trips and at least 8 miles before the amber light starts to flash and I bother re-charging. I may have run it flat after one trip of 13 miles ... but can't be sure whether I went out fully charged. I peddled the last mile home with no problem. And I'd have no fear of being stranded no matter how far I strayed. After all, if I exhaust the power-plant, I only have to reach a bus-stop or a taxi-rank!

Weight-wise this aluminium framed cycle is not bad, 23Kg all up. Without the 3.25Kg battery it'd be in the mid-range of day-to-day cycles (though obviously way bigger and heavier than a Brompton). Lifting in folded condition is not Brompton-easy, but not bad ... except that there is no clip to hold it together, you have to add your own aerolastic, tut-tut. A trucker's loop with a single hook is ideal. I'm strong enough to carry it onto a bus without too much difficulty - even so, the shopping in its panniers would have to sit on the pavement while I lifted it up the steps. A wireless speedo is useful/essential to track how far you've done on a charge.

Not long after taking delivery the bolt holding the saddle came loose and the vital charging fuse in the battery lost contact. Presently I heard a tinkling from the back wheel - the spokes had come loose. Not difficult for me to make perfect immediately. Oops, just had to do that again [March 2012]. Nor was it difficult to release the front-wheel, which had tightened itself on its bearings. Oops, just had to do that again [March 2012] and again in July. At 110 miles, the head-stock came loose - the work of a moment with a 12" Crescent wrench and a pipe grip. Many users will choose to have this bike delivered to a local bike-shop, where they should fawn over the mechanic. He's likely to be your best friend in the first days/weeks. Despite telling you this (and despite having still only covered 250 miles!) I'm confident of a long and trouble-free life thereafter.

I've had one opportunity to test it on real hills - which it devoured. LPA (light pedal assistance) has me going up some long slopes at more than 15mph - the biggest problem is the relatively low gearing and high pedal speed!

My regular hybrid bicycle was more than half the price of this thing, yet the Cyclamatic appears to be both better thought out and better built. The Cyclamatic has better wheels than my Raleigh. Metal mudguards are almost certainly better (if heavier).

Almost the biggest downside is security, because the battery is so desirable. The Cyclamatic has lugs that safeguard the wires and cabling - why's it not got lugs and an integral lock? Every Dutch bicycle has one ... but the famous horseshoe lock cannot be retro-fitted, it will not reach round these specially deep wheels .... hmmmm. Doesn't have lugs for a pump either.

I hated the prop-stand fitted but I've got used to it. Leaving it down by mistake hasn't proved as dangerous as I expected. I've even come to like it.

In Dec 2012 we've bought a second folding Cyclamatic ... they're not properly packaged and this one arrived slightly damaged ... but may be much better built. Only one tightening needed in the first 200 miles, the steering column clamp. And the front brake squealed, so I fitted replacement blocks. And the front wheel spindle has tightened once. Worryingly, SQsports sent me the wrong replacement mudguard, I bashed out the bent one instead. Nor could they provide the rubber buffer that protects the wiring. However, bicycle parts (even for the electronics) are generally interchangeable and common.
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3.9 out of 5 stars (33 customer reviews)
5 star:
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