E-Trends City e-bike review: Are electric bicycles good for beginners?

Let me preface this review by saying that I am not a cyclist. In fact, I haven’t been on a bike for many years – we’re talking maybe two decades, and the rest – so I’m definitely a novice.

However, last year however the children got their first bikes and I idly wondered whether it might be something we could do as a family.

When I was offered the chance to test out the E-Trends City 6-speed electric bike and review it, I knew it would take me out of my comfort zone a bit but maybe that was a good thing.

The E-Trends City e-bike isn’t just a bike; it’s an electric bike. This means that as well as pedal power, you have a rechargeable battery which provides you with a bit of assistance when you need it.

Although a little nervous about the prospect of going back on two wheels after so long, I decided to give it a go! After all, I’ve been told that riding a bike is a bit like… Well, riding a bike.

Assembly

The E-Trends City e-bike was delivered in a very large box (which is now being used as a tent by my children…) and it requires user assembly.

When it first arrived and I got it out of the box, I was somewhat disappointed to find that the instructions for assembling the bicycle were a bit vague and lacking in details… But I muddled along until about 20 minutes later when I came across a second set of instructions and realised I had been reading instructions for the collapsible ‘Fly’ model that had been erroneously included inside the box, rather than the ‘City’ model that I had.

Whoops.

Once I had located the correct instructions, it was more straightforward, although the pictures are quite small and the instructions aren’t detailed so you will have to use a certain amount of common sense. You will also need some small spanners; although there is a tool included, you’ll need something to hold the bolts as you tighten them from the front.

If you’re as useless as me, I would definitely recommend having a knowledgeable friend check over the bike before use and check that the tyres (which come part-inflated but a pump is included), brakes and gears etc are all in working order before you get out on the roads!

Also of note, the basket fixes on with cable ties, as opposed to the bolts which are suggested in the instructions.

The saddle flips up so that you can insert the battery. Charge the battery with the charger provided for 5 hours for a full charge – this should last for around 35 miles. The battery has LED indicators to show how much charge it has left; you must charge it at least once a month, and it is guaranteed for two years.

It comes with a back and front light and a bell which can be activated from the left handlebar. You can see the specification and technical details below.

Using the E-trends City Electric Bike

The bike has two sets of keys. One is for the wheel lock located on the left hand side of the back wheel, and one is for the battery.

If the battery is ‘on’ then you’ll see the little keypad on the left handlebar light up. This is so easy to use, even I could do it. Press the on/off button to turn it on, and then mode scroll through the modes to increase the power which will assist you when you’re pedalling.

Even a novice like me got used to this very quickly although it’s worth practising on a flat area first so you don’t go whizzing off as it really does make one hell of an impact!

It’s really useful for giving you that bit of help when going up hills and inclines and means you don’t have to be a ‘proper cyclist’ with thighs of steel just to pop to the shops for bread and milk. I know there will be some cycling purists scoffing, but imagine how much better the roads would be if bicycles really were open to everyone no matter how fit or confident, and people didn’t have to drive everywhere.

The electric bike also has six gears and you can (obviously) use it without any battery assistance.

What did I think of the E-Trends City E-bike?

The E-Trends City Electric Bike certainly looks the part (and I love the basket, although I have plans to replace it with a wicker one when I can!) but how was it out and about for a beginner like me?

It took me a bit of time to muster up the courage to get back in the saddle – and unfortunately there was a lot of ice, snow and general bad weather which meant the bike sat there taunting me for over a month before I could use it.

However it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be and once I was off I really enjoyed my first bike ride! I found the bike really easy to use and the hills were no problem with help from the battery.

I’m really excited about getting out and about on the City electric bike again.

With a retail price of £899 they are a big investment, but if you are looking for something to ease you back into cycling, you live in a hilly area and fancy a bit of help, or perhaps want to keep up with the rest of the hardcore cyclist family, then it is a great thing to own.