Continuing on our series of electric bike reviews, we took delivery of a wonderful looking Granite Pro from UK based electric bike manufacturer Batribike. It seems the British company has a very handy card up their sleeves when it comes to building electric bikes, read on to find out.
Over the past few weeks we have been gifted with fairly pleasant weather, perfect for reviewing some of our outdoor products, particularly electric bikes. So when a sparkling Granite Pro was delivered one Monday afternoon, we were itching to give it a go.
The Granite Pro is the ‘all bells and whistles’ model in the Batribike Granite range and comes painted in bright ‘two-tone’ paint, which is absolutely striking and really gives it a very loud introduction when you first see it.
Based on a mountain bike style frame, the bike has adjustable front shock absorbers with a wide and comfortable sprung seat (with added shock absorber). The wheels were black chrome with road tyres on our example. The gearing was provided by a 7 speed Shimano ‘quick shift’ system.
The bike has full mud and chain guards with integrated front and rear lights which are powered from the battery. Should the battery become completely discharged, the lights should work by means of dynamo.
The bike has a full size carrier mounted over the back wheel which doubles are the carrier for the 36V 10.4ah battery which slides neatly underneath it and is locked in place by a key. The bike also has Datatag™ fitted as standard which will hopefully put off criminals from attempting to steal the bike. There are other security measures on the bike to enable identification should the bike be stolen and recovered by the police.
The bike has 3 power systems available to it, the first is conventional cycling as you would expect from a normal bike. I found this quite comfortable to ride without aid, something I didn’t find when testing the smart ebike from Mercedes.
The second method of powering the bike is by the ‘Pedelec’ method, this is by the inclusion of a 250w motor on the rear wheel hub, when the bike detects rotation of the pedals, the motor kicks in immediately to provide assistance. The assistance levels can be adjusted by the conveniently mounted LCD controller on the left hand handlebar. This gives you 5 levels of assistance and is directly linked to the speed you are looking to travel at. The law in the UK stipulates that assistance cannot exceed 15mph, so when you pass this speed you notice the power switch off and you are on ‘human power’ again. Riding assisted is surprisingly pleasant, you aren’t massively exerting yourself and you can arrive with a healthy glow rather than dripping in sweat. If you ride pedal assisted you can look at around 50-60 miles range on the battery, but remember to keep an eye on your power settings as in full power pedelec mode you will run the battery down much more quickly.
The third and final method of powering the bike, it the UK unique ‘Throttle’ mode. This is one of the unique selling points of the Batribike range, as it completely negates the need to pedal at all (well, you may need to on steep hills). Placed on the left hand handlebar at the side of the grip, the throttle is activated by pushing down the switch. You can give the bike a pedal whilst accelerating to get you moving, but most of the time it will get you going, sounding very much like a small milk float, as you get up to speed the sound of the motor tends to quieten down though.
Be warned though, you are only looking at 20 miles range on battery only, so make sure you find a power point as soon as you get to your destination to give the battery a top up after a long journey.
The 250 watt motor will very easily power you along at 15mph, and once your reach this speed the motor cuts out, you then begin to slow down and the motor kicks in again. It really is a great way of travelling, as it gives tired (or aged in my case!) legs a rest from pedalling. You can do entire journeys on throttle only, and in fact I did to test it out!!
The brakes are very responsive and the ride generally is very comfortable due to the ample shock absorbing of the from forks and seats. The lights were very bright at night and provided me with excellent illumination for both myself and other road users to see me.
The 36 volt battery is easily removed from the bike after unlocking it by key. This means you can take the battery inside to be recharged at night and also it means the battery doesn’t get cold as leaving it out in sub zero temperatures is not going to do it any good.
I gave the bike an exceptionally thorough road test, both on highways, cycle lanes and bridal ways. It was excellent on all surfaces, however the tyres fitted were road tyres, so don’t expect any kind of MTB grip performance on loose surfaces. As with the smart ebike, the motor is fitted to the rear wheel, I felt this was more stable that the front mounted Sparta, which is pulling you along. The rear motor was easier to control if you slipped in a muddy puddle and your weight is placed over the bake wheel, so i felt grip was better. There is some argument that front wheel drive coupled with rear wheel pedalling gives you all wheel drive, but I still preferred the Granites set up.
The bike is priced very competitively in the market place at £1095 for the Pro model. The battery realistically has a 3 – 5 year lifetime depending on usage and should be charged at least once a month. Currently replacement batteries are in the region of £360, so have this in mind when buying the bike.
On the whole, I really liked the bike and wanted to keep trying it out. It is still heavier than a standard bike, but this is due to the weight primarily of the battery. However this is not as noticeable as the other bikes I’ve tried. The Batribike Granite Pro was the most stable of the three bikes I have test ridden and it is a great deal cheaper than them too. If you are looking at getting back into riding a bike again, and you budget stretches further to a £1000, the Granite Pro is definitely worth considering.
I would like to humbly thank Sue at Batribike for not only lending the bike to me, but delivering it and picking it up personally at her expense. Batribike are a family run business based in Lincoln and Essex and the family business ‘ethos’ really shows in their customer service and friendliness.
For more information on Batribike and to find your nearest stockist, go to www.batribike.com.