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on 10 April 2010
Meerkat E-Motion City Electric Bike. Quick delivery,assembly takes about 1 hour,good quality build I have done some miles on it since I received it,it will take you along like a moped on the flat no pedaling required but needs some help on steep hills but not a lot.
I checked availability of replacement batteries online with no results I would have given it 5 stars otherwise.
Same bike is far more expensive at Tesco & Argos Amazon is fantastic value for this product.
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on 25 June 2010
First of all, delivery was fine. It was everything that I expected from Amazon, usual efficient service However, I have since sent the bike back.

My main problem with the bike was that one of the pads for the front disc brake were missing. I've never had disc brakes before so it took me a while to work out why the disc brake didn't function as it should. Anyway, I phoned up the number in the manual, told them about it and they said they'd send me a replacement pad. A week passed, no post. I decided to grit my teeth and go out to buy new pads. All my local bike shops and Halfords had never seen a pad like this one before and never heard of the manufacturer. After a lot of internet trawling, I found the Taiwanese company who made the brakes but their site was only half built and seemed very unconvincing.

My curiosity got the better of me and I took it out on some quiet roads round the area relying on the back brake. Before I list what bothered me, I should say that the bike did feel well constructed and the gear block had a nice ratio. The bike is actually a metallic red rather than the orange that the picture implies which gives it an attractive look. The suspension was just right, the assembly was very easy. BUT...
- Most Electric bikes come with Lithium ion batteries. This bike comes with a lead acid battery (the same type that car batteries are made from). This makes the battery absurdly heavy. It's also mounted on one side of the pannier rack which made the whole bike feel both top heavy and lop sided (especially when going round corners or over bumps).
- a 19 inch frame is a little too small for me but I can ride 19 inch frames quite comfortably. Whilst this frame had the height, it didn't have the length. My size 8 feet either clipped the front mud guard, or the pannier rack at the back depending on which part of my foot I used to pedal with.
- This bike is not a unisex bike, it's a female bike, and a bit of a sit-up-and-beg style one. It looks very strange with a man riding it, I felt like I should have a wicker basket hanging from the handlebars. The motor also isn't very quiet. It's hard to describe the noise but to me it sounds a bit like the noise a cat makes shortly before it coughs up a hairball (a sort of funny deep whiney growl) but it's enough for people to turn and look to see what the funny noise is!
- The motor seemed sadly lacking. Don't get me wrong, it was there and I could feel it helping me along, but when it came to hills, everything started to unravel. For some reason pedal assist only worked part of the time. To get continuous assistance, I had to put it in `moped mode' (sorry, I can't remember the proper name for it) and twist the throttle to full power AND pedal hard. Comparing it to riding my normal mountain bike, I didn't feel like I was putting in much less effort in. I suppose the motor was mainly compensating for lugging that lead acid battery around, which to me defeats the purpose. On the flat, things were considerably better although when I reached about 10 mph, the bike wouldn't help me go any faster. I'd be pedalling and I could feel the motor cut out and then it felt like I was pedalling AGAINST the motor. Downhill was scary. The motor loves the bike going downhill and started accelerating me as much as it could. Naturally I didn't want to go that fast without having a front brake and ended up having to stop and turn the motor off just to go downhill.
- The gears bothered me. The bike has a twist style shifter (gripshift?). On most grip shifters for the back gears (shifter on the right end of the handlebar) you pull the top towards you to go down gears and away to go up. Unfortunately, the throttle is also a twist style control and this is mounted on the right. This means that the gear shifter has to go on the left and as a result has to be mounted upside down (so you twist in the opposite direction to the way you'd expect). I was ok with this if I stopped and thought about it but in the heat of dealing with a road junction, I twisted the controller in the same way that I've done for the last 15 years and ended up in completely the wrong gear half way through pulling out onto a main road.

Amazon give you 14 days to return a `large' item. By day 13, there was still no sign of the brake pads. I had to make a decision either to gamble on this bike company eventually sending me the brake pads OR send it back to Amazon. Based on the above and the fact that if a company can't send a brake pad out in a fortnight then they're unlikely ever to send one out (and I clearly couldn't get the pads from anywhere else), I returned the bike.
The pads arrived in the post on day 15.

Whilst my review seems quite negative, this is just how the bike was for me. If you are smaller than me (I'm 6'3), have smaller feet and want to go up or down less than an 8% hill then this bike may well be the bike for you, especially at this price! However, be prepared for an exceptionally heavy bike and as much street credibility as open-toed sandals with socks (especially if you're a bloke)
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on 5 March 2010
I bought a Meerkat 6 months ago from Tesco.
The front wheel seems closer to the pedals than a normal bike and although I am a average size person with size 9 feet,I caught my foot a few times when turning, in the mudguard ending up with the mudguard bent up to the forks as it caught in the front wheel and the rain flap on the end of the mudguard broke off. I managed to bend it back into position and am now always careful when I turn the front wheel that my foot is well back out of the way.
The two sprung connections on the frame which connects to the underside of the battery, have vibrated loose a few times requiring the two screws connected to the sprung terminals to need tightening, I have now used Threadlock on them and since had no problems.
The lock that holds the battery in seems to have worn allowing the battery to bounce up and down with a clattering noise, I have stopped this with a piece of thick foam under the battery.
You can fit two batteries on the bike but at about 15kg. each it would make the bike very heavy.
The two locks are not interchangeable
The Battery when new lasted me 2 days, about 8 miles, but I seem to have to charge it daily now after only six months. That is also with pedal assistance and not just on the battery.
I am now looking at getting a spare battery but I have not been successful yet. I think they are about £120.
All in all I am pleased that I bought this bike, it gets me to work and back as long as the wind isn't too strong, but I wouldn't like to take it on a longer run than 10 miles as the pedaling back would be an effort as the bike plus battery is quite heavy!!
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on 11 October 2010
I really like this bike and at the price it was a bargain BUT if you get a puncture, you really do need a mechanic to sort it out, as I found.

The motor mechanism is so tight and the electric feed cable is so short that I dare not have attempted it myself. Even the cycle mechanic had problems, took 45 minutes and needed specialist tools / spanners. He recommended that a tyre sealant should be used to help insure against future punctures and the work that would have to go along with it.

It bombs up hills and the pedal assist mode really does make the ride easy. The bike build quality is good for the price paid and it certainly does look good.

It is on the heavy side and with the battery in place, reasonably difficult to lift.

All that having been said, I am so far pleased with my purchase and look forward to riding it.
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on 18 August 2010
I bought the Meerkat E Motion 8 weeks ago and decided to hold back review until now . First all very ok with delivery and the assembly took me only about 1 and half hours. with frequent breaks for coffee and reflection.
I am using the bike every day, around 6 miles commute , and living on a Scottish island I head off on various camping exploits of an evening or at weekends. The range is fine , I reckon it is around 20 miles , well I have done 18 and was no problem.
I have had only 2 small things with which not happy ..it is heavy but when your up and running that does not matter...I have a small problem with cutting out after using the back break (theres an idiot override cutout so you cant have power on with brakes) on and this sometimes does not disengage this is a bit dodgy but I will bypass this .
400 miles on all is looking good..nice remarks from the public,,and I think amazon ,you have at least two more sales coming on this the island of Bute..
Cant quite figure out where to get a spare battery..despite much searching...anybody out there know anything
So far , so good
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on 19 June 2011
Having an electric bike is a must for me as I have arthritis-both knee joints replaced. I do like this bike and continue to use it daily to ride 3 miles to work. It is heavy so you need to be reasonably strong to handle it when off it. It is comfortable to ride and I can manage to carry shopping on it.
My main bug bears are that sometimes the motor does not 'kick in' immediately when starting from a junction. I find that I have to pedal at least once in order for the motor to start. This means I may wobble because of my knee problems in pushing down on the pedals.
The second problem actually resulted in me coming off the bike. Turning sometimes means I catch the front of my foot on the front mudguard. Recently this resulted in me coming off the bike - the mudguard jammed up the front wheel and I was thrown off. I remedied this problem by trimming the front mudguard (it's plastic) so that there is more clearance for my size 8's. (I wear thick soled footwear because of my arthritis).

I do love the fact that the electric bike has enabled me to continue to be mobile (I could not manage to ride a normal push bike). Last year I was in a wheelchair and considering a mobility scooter! I don't find the motor too noisy-in fact I'd rather it was noisier so that pedestrians would hear it!
I would not recommend it to a novice cyclist, better if you are an experienced cyclist.
It was nevertheless a great bike for the price.
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on 19 March 2010
I received and retuned mine in march.

The delivery was quick (just a couple of days).
The box & wrapping was ok.

I lifted the bike and wheel from the box and started by trying to fit the wheel onto the front fork.
It turned out the two legs were not in line. I am not sure what caused this. Whether it had been shipped like this or it happened during transport.

I considered a replacement, I had hesitated for a long time and read up quite a bit.

In the end I returned it. I may reconsider and order another one later, but, for now, I was too disappointed.

I went for the currie Izip because of the availability of replacement batteries, the low price made it a decent bet. Paying a lot for a bike and then discovering that it does not get used a lot seemed a bit silly.

Update mid April 2010:
I have updated my review to 4 star.
I ordered a second one online. It was delivered in 2 days. That was great. The contents were fine.
The bike is solid, sturdy and heavy. The build quality is ok (for the price).
I have only taken it on a couple of trips, so far, but my impressions are that it lives up to my expectations.

My impressions so far:
- The nut and bolt for the front mudguard were hard to find (small plastic bag had fallen out of a small box).
- heavy (but I knew that before I bought it). Downhill and on the flat the bike can be ridden as normal. Uphill with an empty battery should be quite challenging. I have tried it up a moderate hill in a low gear and it should be possible to get home if the battery runs out (though sweaty and tired.).
- The gears work fine.
- The motor is fairly noisy. I have only test-driven a Urban Mover 44 at Halfords (twice the price, of course).
- The ON/OFF switch is at the rear, you cannot switch it off while driving.
- The front suspension is surprisingly good (most cheaper ones are as hard as a normal fork).
- The engine is nice and strong, you can switch between PAS (Pedal-assist) and TAG modes(non-pedal asist).
- Switching between the two modes is very easy (it meant I could start from standstill against a steep hill on TAG+pedalling and then switch to PAS mode).
- I have used the bike by myself, but also used a "trailgator" towbar to pull my youngest. This worked very well.
- In PAS mode it is best to follow the bike's preferences. If you try to go faster or slower than the bike wants it will feel awkward and be very heavy to ride, it is possible to switch gears to see what speed you like best.
- I have used the bike in very hilly terrain. I was pleasantly surprised by its power. Flip-side is that the wear on the batteries will be high.
- The battery indicator started at full/half and went to half. If you let the engine draw a lot of power the indicator will go down to empty. Then when you get to level roads again the indicator will go back to full/half.
- Even when freshly charged for the recommended time the battery will not show full.
- I find the assistance in PAS-mode in low gear too strong. I found it easier to use TAG mode at low speeds. It is very easy to switch between modes.
- The brakes, saddle, frame, tyres, etc. all seem up to the job.
- The front mudguard; I found you easily touch it with your feet and push it against the wheel. It is easily pushed back, though.
- I tried to fit a holder for a child seat on the frame. Unfortunately: as I expected: the child seat will not fit over the battery.
- I will almost certainly try to fit a Big-Apple tyre at the rear (lower the risk of punctures and provide extra suspension). But the supplied tyre was ok.
- I will think off a decent solution for a baggage-carrier at the rear. Panniers may be ok, but you would have to keep lifting them to get the battery out. I have fitted a bag to the non-battery side.
- The battery can be fitted at either side. The on-off switch also allows you to pick one of the two batteries. Unfortunately, you cannot use both batteries at the same time (this would lessen wear because peak-power would be spread). On the other hand: this way you know when the first battery runs out.

I hope to use the bike as a sturdy and reliable workhorse, I think that this will be possible at a reasonable cost. My main concerns are that the battery-life will not be the best. Particularly in winter time I may find the battery cutting out on me when I go uphill.

I hope that the batteries will prove to remain available (the Via Lento and Izip Trails AL share the same rack and battery, so I hope to be able to get the battery.). I would be really pleased if the price of non-SLA batteries came down and they were made available for these bikes (would likely also involve getting a new charger) I would love that.
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on 4 August 2010
This is the second electric bike I've had, the first was a powabyke which to be honest was a bit small for me ie a 24" frame when I really needed a 26" however I have used it too and from work which is a round trip of 24 miles on one battery charge. I did use it two days on the trot once as I had forgot to put in on charge. Most of the riding was peddle assist all the way and it did do the whole 48 miles, just. It was a good bike but quite heavy.

Now to this new one, Arrived well boxed up and I found it really easy to assemble, Only took about twenty minutes,no problems at all.

The colour is fantastic,a bright silver and red,and a lot lighter than my old one. Although it can carry two batteries, one on each side of the rear panniers only one was supplied which was a little bit disapointing which does seem to limit the range a bit on power with out peddling. However I have now found out where I can obtain another battery although this is an extra £130.00. I have also since found out that if you use it peddle assist it does have quite a good range as it only runs on half power and its quite easy to peddle with it, and the fact that you have six gears to play with means you can select your own peddling speed. For added comfort its sprung both front and rear which makes for a far more comfortable ride.

All things considered this is a very good piece of kit for the price, I have seen
simular products ranging from £550.00 up to £1200.00 and as they say you get what you pay for.For my part I give it four stars out of five. By the way I'm 17stone and 5,11"and the only thing I've added is what I got for my old bike, a "big bum" saddle off E-Bay which is great for our rough and pot holed roads.

Did this review, two and a half years ago now, and still really pleased with this bike, glad I purchased the extra battery though as the range is now great although it does make the back of the bike a bit heavy.
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on 22 November 2010
i received this item and it had no right break pads. this was bought for a friend whos a pensioner. it could have put her life at risk. asked for makers number and was told they dont have one. think long and hard on this one. awful service to put it politely.
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on 9 August 2010
I ordered this on behalf of my nephew, who was very pleased with the quality of the bicycle and impressed by the speed of delivery.
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