Trek Powerfly+ 5

We recently received a range of Trek, Bosch equipped electric bikes. We are no stranger to electric bikes in the shop but we have never really stocked electric assist mountain bikes.

Yesterday I took out the Powerfly+ 5 which retails for £2000. This is Treks entry level hardtail mountain bike, it still has the 400Wh battery as do all the Treks but it has the lower torque Active Cruise motor rather than the Performance Cruise on the higher models, but I still had a blast on the bike!

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The Trek marketing strapline is:

‘Powerfly+ lets you expand your boundaries. It combines the dynamics of 29ers with the reliable propulsion of RIDE+ electric bike technology, turning every mountain into a hill and every ride into pure enjoyment. End of the trail? Not for you! Especially if you’re searching for a bike with extra power to let you go even further. With its universal range of application, the Powerfly+ takes you everywhere – and a little beyond.’

A spec overview of the bike

  • Frame. Alpha Gold aluminium 29er frame w/semi-integrated head tube, shaped and formed tubing, independent seatstays and balanced geometry
  • Front Suspension. RST Aerial 29 RL w/air spring, w/remote lockout, TnL cartridge, custom G2 geometry w/51mm offset, 100mm travel.
  • Deore shifter, SLX shadow rear mech.

But the really interesting part of the bike is the electrical components

  • Battery. Bosch Power Pack 400Wh, down tube battery
  • Controller. Bosch Intuvia Active w/remote
  • Motor. Bosch Active Cruise

After fully charging the battery the head unit reads 89 mile range in the Eco mode, Eco is the most efficient setting offering a little assistance followed by Tour, Sport and Turbo. As each level is selected the range is adjusted to reflect in the increase in power usage but obviously it can then differ according to the amount of power you put into the pedals and then of course once you throw in some hills!

I wanted to test this bike out as a mountain bike and not be precious about the electronics.

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I also wanted to test the range on the bike using a mix of the different assistance levels after 30 miles I took some pictures of the head unit and selected the different assistance levels to give me a rough range figure.

The assistance levels are on the right of the screen with the estimated range levels on the lower half of the screen.

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I must admit to using to turbo mode to blast up hills and to get up a technical ascend that normal catches me out, I was pleased with the amount of power still left in the battery. The motor unit measures your pedalling up to 1000 times a second, measuring cadence, speed and the power you are putting into the pedals and decides how best to support your pedalling. Its not like the electric bikes of old that as soon as you start pedalling it pushes the bike forward. I found it easy to forget I was riding an electric bike, at times I switched off the assistance to make sure it was still working.

Its an amazing bike. I was genuinely blown away buy how intelligent the assistance was. There was a section on the trail where you have to go through a gate and I found myself scooting along with one foot clipped in and the other on the ground. You would think that the Bosch drive would be trying to urge you on but it just doesn’t. I assume its because of the sensors not picking sufficient speed or cadence.

The Powerfly+ is a versatile bike, I think it will help riders who aren’t fit to get out and have fun. Trail centre riders to do another lap, riders who want the confidence and comfort to ride on the road with a mountainbike but don’t want a knobbly tyre robbing them of speed. It really does make you think differently, it opens up the possibilities. Want to get to work on your bike but you feel its just a little too far? Mornings can be a rush at the best of times so when you are rushing to work use Turbo and on your way home put it in Eco.

I live 12 miles from the train station and this will be my new ride to get me to the train on time. I can carry loads of kit with me, laptop, change of clothes, lunch and not worry about all the weight because the Bosch assistance will be gently helping me along.

The speed is limited to 25 KPH which is roughly 15.5 MPH.

When I have a few more miles done I will update this blog, but the first ride has left me wanting to get back out there and tackle some of my favourite trails on it.

This is a link to the Powerfly+ 7 as Trek don’t have an image yet of the 5 that I tested. We are the first shop in the UK to get hold of these bikes.

http://cyclecentreuk.co.uk/m7b0s221p15574/TREK-Powerfly%2B-7-2015

Tony.

 

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Why should you buy a bike from Cycle Centre?

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How about ten reasons why you should buy a bike from Cycle Centre!

  1. A free tune up after 8 weeks, normally £30
  2. A 10% discount card for use on accessories, valid for 12 months
  3. 48 hour priority workshop turnaround on menu services with Cycle Centre bikes, if we let you down we will give you a £10 voucher for your next visit.
  4. Priority invites to Cycle Centre events and promotions
  5. Access to our Saturday morning social rides
  6. All Cycle Centre technicians are qualified and Brompton certified
  7. A 10% discount card for refreshments from our friends at the Cycle Hub
  8. We will get you set up on your new bike and make sure you are ready to ride
  9. We will fit any accessories bought with your bike free of charge
  10. We all ride bikes at Cycle Centre, BMX, mountain and road and we commute most days so we can advise you on what new bits and pieces we are using.

All this and I didn’t mention the top brands we stock!

We look forward to seeing you instore soon.

The Cycle Centre Team.

WIN a Bike Worth £150 from Cycle Centre

Giveaway is now Closed.

Congratulations to the winner – Louise Asekokhai.

 

Well it’s very cold outside, and very wet so to cheer us all up we thought it was about time that we ran another giveaway. This time we would like to give you the opportunity to win a bike worth £150 from our shop. It doesn’t matter which bike, you get to choose which one you want if you should win, and of course you could always put the prize towards a bike of a higher value if you wish.

So why don’t we show you what you might like to choose from.

To start with how about this fabulous Diamond Back BMX currently in our sale for just £144.50.

diamondback bmxOr how about this very cute, and very popular little girl’s bike, the Giant Lil Puddn which sells for £139.

Giant LilpuddnOr for the older girl, how about this very stylish Claud Butler Blossom, currently £139.99.

Claud butler BlossomIf you’re after a bike for yourself we have this Raleigh Atlanta mountain bike for just £150 in our shop right now.

Raleigh AtlantaThere are lots of choices on our website and in our shop. What we’ve shown you here are just examples of what you could possibly have but for a full selection just take a look at our website or let us chat to you about what we have in stock. So what do you have to do to win this great prize?

WIN £150 to Spend on a Bike of your Choice at Cycle Centre

To be in with a chance of winning you need to tweet this message:

I would love to win £150 to spend on a bike of my choice via @cycle_centre http://wp.me/p2cJsV-nO

then leave us a comment letting us know you’ve done it.

For extra entries you can also:

Leave a separate comment for each extra entry.

The giveaway closes on Wednesday 12th March 2014 and the winner will be contacted by email shortly afterwards. Full terms and conditions are below.

Good luck!

Giveaway Closes: Wednesday 12th March 2014 11.59pm

UK Entries only

Terms and Conditions:

  • The prize is £150 to spend on a bike of your choice from Cycle Centre. There is no cash alternative.
  • Entrants must Tweet the text and leave a comment saying they’ve done it.
  • Entrants can also follow Cycle Centre on Twitter, Follow Cycle Centre on Facebook and Follow the blog.
  • A separate comment must be left for each entry.
  • UK Entrants over 16 only
  • Competition closes on Wednesday 12th March 2014 at 11.59pm
  • Winners will be chosen by random and contacted by email
  • Winners must respond to the email within 7 days or forfeit the prize. Another winner will then be chosen.
  • The prize will be given direct from Cycle Centre
  • Cycle Centre’s decision is final

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Valentine’s Day Treats from our Store

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner what better way to treat your cycling obsessed loved one that with a gift from our shop. You know we’ve been writing about keeping fit recently and about how to get your family out cycling in the Winter so I’m sure lots of you are keen to stay active in this gloomy weather. Maybe your girlfriend or wife has been hinting about a new bike, maybe her old one has seen better days, or maybe you’d like to be treated to a new bike this Valentine’s Day. Whatever your situation we have some lovely deals and offers on in the shop at the moment that you could take advantage of.

How about this Trek Domane 4.5 Compact 56cms? We have this in store at a massive £500 off currently which makes for an amazing bargain if you’re looking for a special gift.

trek-domane-45-compact-2013-road-bikeOr we have this Cube Aim SL26 on offer at £399 – a saving of £100. A 20″ wheel in Black ‘n’ Red. Ok not technically a Valentine’s gift, but still a great bargain and a lovely way to show someone how much you love them!

mdb-f7742_501001-aimsl26blackredFor the lady in your life how about this great Giant Revel 0 W Women’s mountain bike. Complete with an AluxX Aluminium frame this is a massive 50% reduced at just £249.99 currently. What a great bargain eh?? And what a fabulous looking bike.

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Alternatively if you’re looking for more of a leisure bike, how about this Raleigh Strada 1 Diamond Frame which currently has £30 off at just £270. This one is available in various sizes so let us know if you’d like more information.

13426--full--50If you’d like to know more about what we have on offer or if you’d like to check on availability of these bikes do drop us a line.

You can email us at sales@cyclecentreuk.co.uk, call us on 0191 265 1472 or leave a comment right here on the blog. We will get back to you as quickly as we can and look forward to doing business with you. Don’t forget we will price match too.

Prices correct at time of writing and all offers are subject to availability.

Winter Family Cycling

It gets harder and harder to get the kids out on their bikes at this time of year, and even harder to go out as a family. If the kids had new bikes at Christmas then I bet you’re doing all you can to help them either learn to ride them or gain in confidence. But with the wettest January on record it’s very difficult to motivate both them and yourself. So what are the opportunities for Winter family cycling in the UK and beyond.

family cycling in winterSet an Example:

If the kids see you getting out there on your bike whatever the weather then they’ll be inspired to give it a go too. If the children are still little there’s nothing to stop you hooking up the trailer and transporting them round with you. Winter family cycling can be just as much fun, just make the sure the cover on the trailer is watertight and windproof. Wrap the children up well too, and give them a snack or toy to keep them occupied. Everything gets a little muddy and dirty of course but keeping an old sheet in the shed or garage ready to park on when you return home is an easy way to contain the mess. If you’re going to be out and about as the light fades, remember to add some reflective strips and colourful accessories, maybe even a flag, to the trailer to ensure it will be safe and seen.

Kit Yourself Out:

It’s a sure fact that if you or the children get too cold you won’t feel inclined to get out on your bikes again anytime soon. So make sure that you have all the right clothing and equipment; get this right and your adventure will be all the more pleasureable.

winter family cyclingThis Lusso thermal jacket from our Raleigh shop is ideal for the colder weather and is made from Resistex carbon fabric, breathable with safety reflective strips. Costs just £65.

winter family cyclingThese windchill fleece Winter gloves by Avenir are durable and flexible with an elasticated cuff ideal for the chillier weather. It’s imperative you kit the whole family out in warm gloves when you’re out cycling. There’s nothing worse than freezing cold hands. We sell these in our online bike shop for just £11.99.

family winter cyclingMake sure everyone has warm ears too. You know we lose a huge percentage of body heat through our heads, so best to wrap them up and pop on a hat or earwarmer. This lovely Lusso Earwarmer is just £9.99 and come sin 5 different sizes.

Take a Trip:

winter family cyclingIf the British weather just gets you down and you’re desperate to get away with the family on your bikes, then why not consider taking the family on an organised trip abroad. Saddle Skedaddle, a wonderful cycling holiday company runs a variety of family cycling holidays both in the UK and abroad. Why not take a gentle self-guided tour of Sardinia for example or why not try an easy paced family cycling holiday in the Azores. Spend some time whale watching and let the kids splash around in the waterfalls. An amazing tonic for the dull UK weather.

So however you choose to do your Winter family cycling do enjoy yourselves and if there’s anything we can help with please get in touch.

Image: Observing Life

Should It Be Compulsory to Wear a Cycle Helmet?

compulsory to wear a helmetLast summer, Ryan Smith, aged 16 was cycling to work when he was knocked off his bike by a van. He wasn’t wearing a helmet as he didn’t want to mess up his hair. Unfortunately Ryan suffered the worst kind of brain injury, Diffuse Axonal Injury, which means his brain now has to find new pathways to function normally. Ryan was in a coma for four months, waking up last November, and has recently started speaking in sentences again for the first time since the accident.

His family has set up the Ryan Smith Foundation and are campaigning to make it compulsory to wear a cycle helmet. His sister Rachael, has given up her job and is making a twice weekly 8 hour round trip to help care for her brother. She is training to do this on a long-term basis. What shines through when learning more about this family is their determination and courage in this horrific situation.

Whilst campaigning, the family set up an online petition which needs 100k signatures for government to respond. In this case though, Ministers responded before the 100k signatures were reached. You might think the response therefore was a positive one, however the Government has said it has no plans to legislate to introduce mandatory enforcement of cycle helmet wearing. 

In fact, it goes so far as to say that such a law would be very difficult to enforce and would have a negative effect on cycling. Having to wear a helmet would discourage people from getting on a bike so having a knock on effect to lifestyle and health. The response, which you can read in full here goes on to list all of the campaigns and improvements the Government is making with regards to cycling awareness and training, which of course is all positive. However would making it compulsory to wear a helmet really put people off riding a bike?

It is interesting though, that only 2 countries, Australia and New Zealand have managed to make this law. Both Italy and Mexico City, for example have not been able to make the compulsory wearing of helmets law, even though they’ve tried. There is a big debate on whether the cycling helmet is actually effective. In Dutch countries, cycling is seen as a normal activity that requires no special clothing or equipment. Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV) finds contradictory evidence but on balance concludes “that a bicycle helmet is an effective means of protecting cyclists against head and brain injury”. They also mention that cycling helmets give cyclists a false sense of security and encourage them to make riskier decisions and behaviours.

Does wearing a helmet have a positive effect on head injuries? There are very few conclusive studies in this area. Some studies find a reduction whilst others find no change at all.

Does wearing a helmet have a negative effect on the amount of cycling? Possibly. An Australian study, conducted before and after the law came into effect, showed the amount of cycling to work had reduced by one third. A 2011 review however, found little evidence to support the claim that mandatory helmet usage discouraged bike riding.

So wherever you sit on this debate, no-one would want their family to endure the suffering that Ryan Smith’s have done in the last 6 months. If you support their campaign, they are still collecting signatures and you can sign it online here.

Family Cycling Stocking Fillers

Are you looking for some last minute stocking fillers? If your family loves cycling then we have just the thing for you.

Family Cycling Stocking Fillers:

Uvex Sunsation Glasses

cycling stocking fillersHow cool are these glasses? Not only are they stylish and functional performance eyewear, these orange and black glasses have been tested using a climate chamber and optical bench. Available from our store for £21.99

A Mickey Mouse Bell

Mickey bellEvery child needs a Mickey bell don’t they? Great cycling stocking filler that’s practical as well as fun. We have the Mickey bell in the online shop for just £5.99.

Reelight GO Pink:

Reelight GO pinkA great set of lights for City use, these Reelight lights won the Red Dot Design Award, Best of the Best 2013. We have them in the shop for just £24.99.

Element Full Finger Summer Gloves

Element glovesWith a soft Amara wrist strap and a fleece brow wipe, these lovely Men’s summer gloves are an ideal addition to his stocking this Christmas. Available from the Cycle Centre Raleigh shop for £11.99.

CyclePro 10 in 1 Multi Tool:

Cyclepro Multi ToolOh yes, every cycling enthusiast should have one of these in their Christmas stocking! The 10 in 1 Multi Tool includes various sized hex keys, 3.2mm spoke key, and cross head and flat head screw drivers. Comes with strong alloy side plates and is a compact size for easy storage. All this in our online store for just £12.49.

What do you think of our festive cycling stocking fillers?

Brompton Bikes Now Available for Christmas

Have you ever come across a Brompton Bike? If you are a keen cyclist then we’re sure you have but just in case you’ve never heard of a Brompton bike, here’s more about what they look like and what they can do.

brompton bike

Brompton2brompton bikeWhat is a Brompton Bike?

The Brompton bike is the ultimate folding bike, and truly the best kind of personal transport. One of the Brompton’s key features is its practical and easy folding system. Once mastered, this can can take no more than 20 seconds, where the folded bike locks together into a compact package making it no larger than its actual wheels.

It is lightweight and compact so you can be reassured that it won’t come apart when you run for the bus or the train. It can even be taken on flights easily and safely with your own transport at the other end of your journey.

There are no projections or loose parts when folded, and  when carried by the frame or saddle it feels like a small suitcase. Small rollers allow the bike to be pushed into corners if necessary.

Want to see how it folds?

Isn’t it great!

A Brompton bike is a fantastic way of travelling. Ride your bike, take it on a journey and still be able to catch a bus, train or plane easily. Ride it to work, fold and store it under your desk. Take it to an event, fold and check it into the cloakroom. The options are endless.

We have Bromptons in stock now and if you’re interested in ordering one you can give us a call to find out more on 0191 265 1472. If you’re local to the North East then pop into the shop to check one out in person.

Why not put a Brompton Bike on your Christmas wish list this year?

Images courtesy of brompton.com

Review: Trek DS hybrid

We gave our Family Bike Guy one of our Trek DS series hybrids to test ride for the weekend. This is a popular class of bike for customers of the Cycle Centre so we were keen to see what he made of it. 

What is a DS Hybrid?

Trek’s range of bikes is a bit bewildering to the uninitiated, I don’t mind admitting that I’ve been confused more than once trying to figure it out. The DS (Dual Sport) range is aimed at those looking for one bike to do it all on. The “ultimate hybrid” as Trek would have us believe. Part city bike, part road bike, part trial bike, part tourer. All bikes in the DS range have 700c wheels with road and track capable tyres, an aluminium frame with mounts for a rack and mudguards plus capable suspension forks on all but the base model.

The range is quite broad with six models (in the men’s frame style) starting at £400 for the 8.1 and rising to £1000 for the 8.6.  I was testing the cheapest model to have suspension forks, the 8.2 that retails for £450.

Trek bikes at the Cycle Centre

Trek meets Tyne

As the DS range is aimed at people who only want one bike to do a lot of different types of cycling on I thought it would be a good idea to take it on the sort of ride that fits in with this ideal. The Cycle Hub do a guided ride on the second Saturday of every month along the National Cycle route 72, either out to Wylam or to Tynemouth. This would be a perfect test for a hybrid as route 72 offers a nice mix of surfaces with the odd hill too. The route on the day was out to Tynemouth, about a 21 mile return journey.

Cycle Centre for Trek bikes

suspension fork on Trek DS 8.2

I was keen to test a few key things on the DS 8.2. First off, could it actually cope with road and track type riding. Second, was it an easy bike to ride. Thirdly, was it value for money and lastly did I really think it was a do-it-all bike?

Does it Dual Sport?

The DS 8.2 is, on paper and to look at, exactly what the marketing fluff from Trek says it is: the suspension forks and chunky aluminium frame look like a mountain bike, the big wheels make it look like a 29er. The narrow tyres make it more like a city bike or tourer. I was initially a bit concerned that Trek had just stuck all these components together on a frame from their MTB range and hoped for the best.

After the initial ten miles of riding I began to think that Trek might have a winner on their hands as far as creating a good all rounder.

The gearing, tyres and riding position meant it was easy to cycle at a steady pace and keep up with other folk on faster bikes over the bumpier tarmac of Route 72. The solid frame, forks and reassuring v brakes meant that I had enough confidence to leave the tarmac and find the odd bump, bunny hop pot holes and generally not worry about coming off when things got a bit rough.

Trek DS from the Cycle Centre

Shimano Altus rear mech and cassette with huge 34 tooth big ring.

As we reached Tynemouth, I became more aware of the main component that perhaps is the 8.2’s week point, the forks, They were a bit vague and too soft for my liking. I then had to remind myself of the price the 8.2 sells for. Suspension forks on an all aluminium hybrid with off-road capability for less than £500 is actually quite impressive and certainly wouldn’t have been available a few years ago.

The group set is an eclectic mix of Suntour and Shimano components but they all worked well together regardless of what the pressure I put on the drive chain. The most interesting bit from my point of view was the massive 34 tooth cog in the rear cassette (my road bike’s front inside cog has 36 teeth!) This coupled with the 28 inside ring on the crank made for a super low ratio that demolished any steep climb and would certainly be a bonus for a rider carrying panniers over any distance.

Trek DS available in the Cycle Centre

The view one’s derriere will get of the DS saddle.

One advantage hybrids normally have over a road bike is that the riding position and contact points are more comfortable. The DS, I’m pleased to say, was no exception to this general rule. Although, I did the Hub ride in cycle shorts I did put in a few miles without padding between me and the saddle and it is more than comfortable enough for commuting or leisurely sunday spins.

So what did I think?

The ride out to Tynemouth was a gentle pace with barely a sweat broken. 10.6 miles in about 95 mins isn’t going to worry any pro cyclist that’s for sure. However, I needed to get back to the Hub in a hurry, so I left the group enjoying coffee and cake and heading off on my own. This time I put my foot down. Just 32 mins for the route back, certainly got closer to testing the limits of the DS 8.2 with my 82kg on it. When ridden hard the Trek DS coped admirably. Nothing broke, I didn’t scare myself by passing the limit of the brakes or tyres.

For a budget of £450 and assuming you only want/need/have room for one bike and you want that bike to be able to a lot of different things (or you’re not sure what sort of cycling your going to want to do) then the Trek DS 8.2 is a hard bike to beat. I rode the 2013 model, which inevitably will be replaced shortly by the 2014 range. This means you’ll be able to (if you’re lucky) snap up a  2013 model at a bargain price or wait for the 2014 model that is almost certainly going to be a little bit better.

A Dual Sport hybrid, it turns out, is actually quite a good idea. For the DS 8.2, the compromises in component quality are more than made up for by the low price and all round capability of the bike. It definitely gets my recommendation.

Disclaimer: No payment was received for the testing of this product and the product was returned afterwards. 

Development proposals for the Lower Ouseburn Valley

There are big plans for the part of the Ouseburn Valley between the Cluny and the Tyne. Although they don’t effect the Cycle Centre directly they do involve our friends down at the Cycle Hub Cafe.

The proposals include some significant changes and we thought you might like to read about them and perhaps have your say.

Visit this website to find out more about the development areas and what is planned.

Lower Ouseburn Valley Exchange

Once there you can download a pdf with more information.

After you’ve had a chance to read about it, why not have your say?

Follow this link to a short public consultation questionnaire on the development proposals.

Ouseburn Valley Survey

Don’t forget to mention how important the Cycle Hub Cafe is and how you’d like to see it stays on the Quayside!!

Thank you.