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Kate’s Story: An e-Bike For Whatever Life Throws at You.

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7 years ago when Kate‘s third child was born she decided to explore the idea of an electrically assisted bike. Kate lives in rural Suffolk and she wanted to continue to use a bike for the 6 mile round trip to and from school but the weight of a third child made the load too heavy for a traditional bike. Her eldest son, Andy, has Downes Syndrome and Autism and Kate was keen to find a way to develop his road sense and encourage his cycling skills. After doing her research Kate settled on a Dutch made Sparta e-bike. She found that with the electrical assistance she could carry all three children with ease, one on a front mounted child seat and two on a double trail-a-bike.

It was an impressive sight seeing Kate and her children climb the hill to the local primary school on what became known locally as the ‘Kate-train’! This set up also allowed Andy to gain confidence on the road, developing his balance and muscle strength as he and his sister pedalled along on the trailer behind Kate. Andy can now cycle independently, which is an amazing result.
“Having an e-bike for me is all about ecology, economy, health and fitness,” says Kate. “Lack of public transport in rural areas like this mean that it’s all too easy to rely on a car for shopping trips and the school run but I can do all that on my electric bike. I saved a lot on fuel and like the fact that my children had fresh air and exercise before school, studies show that this is helpful for learning.”

3 years after getting her Sparta Kate was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. “Having an e-bike means I can continue to exercise,” she says. “ My joints are relieved of some of the pressure of traditional cycling. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a fluctuating condition and the Sparta allows me to choose the level of support I need on any given day. The hand grips are designed in such a way that my wrists are well supported too, which is very important.”
Kate still does the school run with her youngest son, and with the double trailer she can bring a friend home from school on the bike too.  “An e-bike is good for all life-stages and whatever life throws at you!” she says. “What I particularly like about my Sparta is that it’s a bike for life. The quality of the build and the fact that the battery and software can be updated when the bike is serviced mean that I expect to be riding this bike for many years to come!”

 

(This content was a guest blog on Electric Bike Report in 2015)

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The Labours of Hercules

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Hercules was celebrated as an extraordinary mortal who, through strength and endurance, succeeded in winning a place amongst the gods – worth bearing in mind as his namesake whizzes you to the top of your own Mount Olympus!

A good electrically assisted bike is a considerable investment and it is worth taking the time to find the bike that best fits your cycling requirements. The right bike will quickly become an intrinsic part of your everyday life and while fine lines are always desirable, performance and reliability are key.

Justebikes founder James FitzGerald first looked into the e-bike market over a decade ago “Since starting out in this business I have been able to observe what people want from an e-bike and expect from their supplier and have benefited enormously from all the feedback our customers have given us.

“Over the years we have carefully assembled a comprehensive collection of the finest e-bikes. We enjoy very strong relationships with our suppliers, sharing technical knowledge and customers’ experience. We are always on the look out for partners who share the same commitment to quality and with this in mind we are very excited to announce our partnership with German manufacturers, Hercules.”

Hercules state their corporate philosophy is: ‘quality on two wheels’.  Named after the hero from Greek mythology for his strength and resilience, the company was founded by Carl Marschütz in 1886. His vision was to build affordable, quality bikes that were available to everyone.

Always pursuing innovation, in 1898 Hercules produced a four-wheeled electric chaise with tube tyres, spoked wheels and rechargeable batteries that would last for a range of 40 kilometers. In the early 20th century they presented their first motorbike and by 1938 they had brought the Hercules Saxonette to market, a bicycle with a small 2-stroke motor integrated into the rear hub that had enough power to reach 30km/h.

In response to the oil crisis in the 70s Hercules produced an electric scooter, the Hercules E1, and in so doing developed the electric drive system they believed was most suitable for urban mobility. There are patents filed for various electrically assisted bikes going back to the early 1880s, but Hercules lays claim to bringing the first commercially produced e-bike to market in the mid 1980s. The model had a battery integrated into the luggage rack, a hub motor and, then new to cycling, disc brakes. The Hercules Electra was the first light motorized vehicle approved in Germany and 19,000 were sold – many are still running!

For almost 130 years the Hercules brand has represented innovative design and careful craftsmanship. For more than 30 years they have been at the forefront of the e-bike revolution and they continue to build on that tradition currently producing a comprehensive range of stylish and reliable electrically assisted bikes that include trekking, commuting, and folding bikes.

This year Hercules have entered the E-MTB market with their exciting NOS range. Featuring both BOSCH and BROSSE drive systems in their E-MTB collection, Hercules are taking no prisoners.

But if throwing yourself down a mountain is not your thing then don’t be disheartened, Hercules’ full e-bike range is extensive, well-considered and good value for money – full details of the range are available at www.justebikes.co.uk

In 2014 Hercules became part of ZEG, the biggest dealer co-operative in Europe. In 2016 ZEG brands claimed 50% share of the German e-bike market and they have continued to prioritize the electric bike across their brands. Just back from the ZEG dealer show in Germany James is happy to report that there are exciting developments across the board. “Not only is Hercules’ electric bike offering going from strength to strength but so are the other ZEG brands. For 2018 BULLS are launching an E-MTB with two batteries and therefore a phenomenal range. We are also excited to be bringing a ZEG limited edition to the UK in 2018, including an incredibly reasonably priced entry level E-MTB with a BOSCH drive system. Watch this space – there’s more to come!”

Justebikes is delighted to be instrumental in making this excellent range of brands available to UK customers. Meanwhile if you would like more information on any bikes from the Hercules or BULLS ranges give Justebikes a call on 0208 960 9848, e-mail info@justebikes to arrange a test ride, or simply pop in to one of their 3 branches in London, Leicester or Suffolk.

 

(This content appeared in Cycling World in September 2017)

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Hövding, the Swedish airbag for cyclists, has partnered with Justebikes, one of the UK’s leading e-bike retailers.

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Hövding, the revolutionary Swedish airbag for cyclists, announced a partnership with Justebikes. The partnership highlights the changing shift in cycling attitudes in the UK, with safety and convenience now the key focus points for urban cyclists.

Launched in 2012, a Hövding is worn around the neck and reads a cyclist’s body movements at 200 times per second. If an accident takes place, Hövding is triggered by unusual body movements and activates fully in 0.1 seconds.

In October 2016, Stanford University conducted a detailed study looking at the effectiveness of various cycling helmets. In the study, Hövding was compared directly to a traditional foam helmet in a simulation of the most common cycling accident – a single fall. The results showed Hövding to provide eight times better protection against a risk of concussion, and was found to be ‘near perfect’ in terms of protecting both the head and neck in an event of an accident.

Justebikes is a family run business specialising in the supply and servicing of quality European made electric bikes. It offers a wide selection of carefully selected European brands and puts a strong emphasis on customer service. Recognising that buying a quality e-bike is an investment, Justebikes’ staff use their experience to help their customers find just the right electrically assisted bike to meet all their cycling needs, whether those are commuting across town, making the school run or touring the Pyrenees.

Because of the faster speed that you can achieve on an e-bike a Hövding is the perfect companion. In a cycling incident that takes place at a speed of 16mph the risk of a serious head injury is 90% with a traditional helmet, this drops significantly to under 2% with a Hövding. Unlike traditional cycling helmets a Hövding also protects the neck by locking it in place, and it can also withstand multiple hits.

Fredrik Carling, CEO of Hövding commented, “Here at Hövding we are always looking to work with forward-thinking innovative companies and our partnership with Justebikes is a perfect fit. Both companies are strong promoters of safety and convenience and we can see an exciting future ahead.”

James FitzGerald, founder of Justebikes commented “Hövding’s dedicated pursuit of innovation and promotion of safety for cyclists means that their high quality products are just the sort of thing our discerning customers are looking for. This is going to be an exciting and innovative partnership.”

To date the company is aware of at least 800 cases where the Hövding has protected a cyclist in an accident, potentially saving the cyclist’s life. Hövding is now sold in over 600 stores across 15 countries.