If ever there was a year when it was more important than ever to get outside and just breathe in some fresh air, this year is most definitely just that. With us having spent the majority of the year at home experiencing some level of lockdown, our daily walk or getting out on our bikes has been an absolute godsend and saved our sanity in more ways than one. And whilst I don’t profess to be the most active of people, and whilst sports or working out have never appealed to me, I do love to get on my bike and feel the wind in my hair and just see where those pedals take me, but sometimes it’s not quite as simple as that.
For those who don’t know, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in my early twenties, having suffered with pain on some level throughout my childhood and into my teenage years, and the older I get the more it seems to impact on my life. Not only am I in pain every single day, but fibromyalgia leaves you open to developing a whole number of chronic illnesses, many of which I have been unfortunate to develop, things like neuralgia, chronic migraines, spondylitis and CFS, just to name a few. And although I am very much a believer in ploughing on through my pain and not letting it impact on my life where possible, there are times when I struggle and it feels like I’ve been cheated of doing the things I once loved.
Ironically for me, exercise is the one thing that helps to improve my condition and yet it often feels like a vicious cycle of pushing myself to walk that little bit further, or power up more hills on my bike, and then spending the next few days in agony completely unable to move. So, when E-Trends got in touch and asked me to review one of their City E-Bikes I can’t even tell you how excited I was.
Not only does it mean that I can finally get back out on my bike and take some time for myself (because God knows we all need that this year!) but even on the days when my pain levels are high, I can still exercise with the City E-Bike giving me a much needed helping hand.
The City E-Bike has everything you could want from a bike mixing traditional looks with an impressive powered range of up to 35 miles. With 3 different power modes to choose from, 6-speed Shimano gears, a large wicker basket on the front and a stylish black frame, it is very much the bike of my dreams and I have been enjoying every single minute of riding it!
So obviously as an E-Bike the first thing you need to do is charge it up which takes around 5-6 hours by connecting the 36V*10AH Lithium ion removable and lockable battery. The battery should give you a range of 30-35 miles dependent on terrain, style of riding, weight carried and level of assist, and has a 2 year warranty which is always a fantastic reassurance.
LED Control Panel
The bike has an LED Control panel on the left side where you have the ON/OFF switch, the battery power signal and then the MODE button where you can choose your level of assist. The power alert shows you when your battery is running low so you can re-charge it and I love how straight forward the control panel is, even for those who struggle with any form of technology.
250W Motor Assistance
The bike has a 250W motor meaning you can choose from three levels of assistance – low, medium and high – dependent on your needs and the route you’re taking. For a relatively easy and flat route you may choose “low” or even no assist at all, moving on to “medium” or “high” for any steep inclines or when you’re just needing that little bit more of a boost. With assistance provided up to 15.5mph, although it isn’t that fast, when you press that level to high it feels like you’re flying!
17.1 inch steel frame
The bike frame is suitable for riders up to 120kgs/264 lbs and weights 65 lbs itself so, although it’s relatively heavy to lift, it cycles beautifully. It feels incredibly solid and sturdy and that’s exactly what you want when you’re taking your bike out on the road.
26-inch wheels with double wall aluminium rims
With large 26 inch wheels and double wall aluminium rims, the bike is perfect for where we live with a mixture of country lanes and city living. It feels incredible smooth along regular roads and yet can tackle more rural paths with the same dexterity – I love how versatile it feels! The bike also comes with a multi-valve foot pump which can be operated by hand or foot.
Front and rear mud guards
The front and rear mud guards are definitely a much needed feature for the more rural paths in our area. At this time of year the paths can get quite wet and muddy and yet I haven’t noticed a single mud splatter on my coat so far, that’s definitely a bonus!
Adjustable handbars and sprung saddle
An adjustable saddle and handlebars is a must and really makes a difference, especially to those who suffer with any kind of chronic pain, to get the perfect position for your height and posture. I find having higher handlebars takes far less pressure off my neck which is one of my worst trigger points, and means I can keep my posture straight as I cycle.
6-Speed Shimano gears
The City E-Bike has 6-speed Shimano gears with a R:6S thumb shifter and derailleur making them super easy to use. I actually get quite confused with gears, always forgetting which way to turn or click them, so the thumb shifter is such a great feature and makes the gears far more accessible for those who may struggle with this too.
Front V-brakes and rear drum brake
When you have the assistance mode on, particularly on high, it can feel like you’re going quite fast so the brakes are incredibly important. With front V-brakes and rear drum brakes, I feel able to stop safely in an emergency without that awful feeling you’re going to lunge over the handlebars! The whole bike just oozes quality and I think every single feature is testament to E-Trend and how they haven’t cut corners on a single piece of it.
LED front and rear lights & horn
Perfect for these darker days or those wanting to ride later at night, the bike has front and rear LED lights which are fully operated via a clearly labelled button on the handlebars. You can also access the horn here too with a battery operated sound to alert others whilst you’re on the road. With me wanting to go out on more solo bike rides, I love that the City E-Bike has through of everything, including all of these safety features, so I can feel more confident out on the road.
Front basket and rear pannier
One of the most exciting features for me was the front basket, I have always dreamt of having a traditional bike with a large wicker basket, so I was particularly excited by this! Not only can I use it for trips to the shop or to collect supplies, but on days out with the children it’s perfect for popping in our picnic or snacks without the need for rucksacks which impact on my upper back and neck pain
To the rear is the pannier rack which offers an alternate space for any rucksacks, equipment or luggage you may need to transport. In all honesty this won’t be something I imagine I will need to use and yet I love that the option is there for those who do.
The kick stand is another real bonus and something I’ve really missed in previous bikes. Not only is it convenient to be able to stand your bike when you stop for a break or to store at home, but it means you can keep your bike looking pristine for longer which, when it’s as gorgeous as this one, is definitely what you want!
Would I recommend it?
I have reviewed some amazing products through the blog, and bought so many things over the years which I am always raving about to others, but I think, hand on my heart, this is one of my favourites. Having never tried an E-Bike before I have to admit that originally I had questioned whether they were just a bit of a gimmick, whether it would feel any different to riding a regular bike, and even if they were worth the money? How wrong I was!! From the second I pressed that motor assist button for the first time I had the biggest smile on my face, whizzing down the road with the wind in my hair, laughing at Gaz trying his hardest to keep up behind me, and I realised that not only is the City E-Bike so much more fun than a regular push bike, but it’s actually going to make a big difference to my life in general.
Anyone with a chronic illness will tell you that it’s no fun feeling like you are missing out on the things you once loved. It’s the hardest thing in the world to sit back and watch your children whizz up and down the park on their bikes on the days you’re just in too much pain to join in, and for such a long time I’ve felt that was the case. Obviously E-Bikes aren’t a magic cure by any means, but for those like myself who are still more than capable of being active, the City E-Bike just gives me that much needed boost to tackle those large hills which would once leave me floored, do those extra miles on the days when I’m feeling exhausted, and most of all just get back out there and do something I love.
And it’s not just for people like myself, E-Bikes can benefit so many people in so many different ways. For those who commute via bicycle and need that extra boost in the morning, parents who haven’t rode for a long time but are desperate to get back out there with their kids, those who are new to exercise and need a little assistance along the way, even those who just love technology and fancy trying something new, I genuinely cannot recommend them enough.