- Category: Reviews
- Published on Saturday, 12 February 2011 09:47
- Written by tejas
- Hits: 1207
Top of the line electrically assisted bicycles are gaining attention ( and market share) in England and Europe.
Spencer Ivy electric cycles (www.spencerivy.com) is a newcomer to the field of light EVs. It is the brainchild of designer/innovator Va Hua and is registered in the UK. Spencer Ivy is a member of the Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) and has accreditation from Cytech. Their electric cycles made news at the recently concluded London Bike Show in January 2011 with their high performance, simple but elegant aesthetics and great features.
The first thing that sets Spencer Ivy apart from the rest of their ilk is the fact that they are not made in the far east,like a majority of leading cycle brands today.They are crafted in the company's dedicated factory in Germany. This rather unusual shift of policy and company vision was driven both by a need to maintain high product quality (through sourcing premium components and assembling them in Europe itself) and to minimise their ecological footprints (through saving a lot of jet fuel and miles). Additionally they also claim to employ processes (body painting with special powder coating techniques for instance) that have minimal environmental impact. To stretch the environmental point further they have recently partnered with the ETA (Environmental Transport Association) to promote and popularise ebikes in England.
The second thing that distinguishes Spencer Ivy is their approach to marketing - visionary yet practical. Charity and the environment merge almost seamlessly with their technological and design high points. They have teamed with Re-Cycle (www.re-cycle.org), a charity that collects and ships used/old bicycles to Africa and distributes them to those direly in need of basic personal transportation to get to work or school. They even offer to take away your old bike should you have one when ordering an electric cycle with them.
The only thing that could be said to go against a Spencer Ivy electric cycle is it's price. At 1,895 pounds it is unlikely to be the common man's chosen form of alternative transport however green the ride may be. But reviewers insist that you get good value for this money given all the high end accessories and trappings that come as standard fittings on this bike :- Shimano gears, Busch & Muller LED lights, puncture resistant Continental touring tyres, a very 'bottom friendly' saddle from Selle Royal and other peripherals that include high quality mud guards, a kick stand and a carrier from Pletscher.
The Spencer Ivy's heart ( or power center) is built around a Panasonic motor and battery system, which (according to industry ratings) is amongst the best in the market today. The Lithium Manganese batteries* on-board are estimated to give about 70 Kms to a charge and expected to live upto 500 charge cycles : i.e 4-5 years depending on use and maintennace of course.Top speed is about 30 kms,beyond which the motor cuts off in compliance with EU safety regulations for this category of vehcle. (*This is simply top billing in our opinion. Being makers and retro-fitters of e bikes and cycles ourselves we know how much a battery adds to the value of the mix).
Design wise the Spencer Ivy is remarkable for the way it has been conceived and configured. It employs a judicious power sharing interplay between pedals and the motor that "essentially preserves the experience and joy of a bicycle ride without the sweat and puffing". According to its creator Va Hua the Spencer Ivy electric cycle, again in a departure from the norm, was designed keeping moms with small children in mind who need to go shopping or to the park for a ride. It's more of a social ev you see, and not one meant for speed fiends or work-out maniacs!
An aside : e-cycles for India
True as this maybe, our roads ( not to mention our grids) here in India are so far removed from the predictably safe and smooth driving conditions of Europe or America. In our opinion designing and building an e-bike that is rugged,powereful and reliable is the winning formula needed for india. Ah, and lest we forgot – the cost! We need Ebikes that can sell for within Rs.25,000 ( for a new one : Rs.10,000 for a retro fit) if we are going to kick start an ebike revolution in India. This will be about a fifth of the cost of a Spener Ivy. Anybody with a magic formula to make this happen, please write in.
A Note to our Indian readers and potential e-bicyclists:
We are happy to reveal that India's premier bicycle maker BSA are getting ready to launch their first fleet of electric cycles later this year. And they are very affordably priced. Look out for them at their showrooms and dealers and pick one to augment/enhance your micro mobility needs.We will bring you a review of this new product soon.