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!


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.


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.



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.




Giant Anthem X 29er 2: Product Review

Giant Anthem X 29er 2 (2013)

this one


Now, before I get into this review I’d just like to point out a few things.

The first is, I’m not a professional mountain bike rider, not even a keen enthusiast anymore. I don’t even own a mountain bike, having sold my lovely Cube to fund a more child carrying friendly hybrid. I did however ride mountain bikes a lot in my teens. Back then, suspension forks were state of the art brand new on the market and only available on the very best bikes. Full suspension was in it’s infancy. So this bike is the first full suspension bike I’ve riden in a proper off road environment. I should also like to point out that I’m in a peak state of physical fatness (not a typo) at present, with all the associated aches and pains of a man approaching forty. So, I’m probably not going to be typical of the kind of person considering this bike for purchase. However, as I have no previous experience in the full suspension world but I do know how to ride off road (it’s true, you never forget) maybe this review will help a biker keen to upgrade to full suspension or perhaps someone looking to experience the thrill of dowhhill off roading and would like a proper bit of kit under them.

£1799.00. To me, this is quite a lot of cash to spend on a bike. So, it had better be good I thought. Then I checked the range of what a person could spend on mountain bikes from The Cycle Centre and as it turns out £1800 is pretty good value! That said, I don’t believe that anyone but the very wealthiest casual rider is going to fork out nearly 2k for this sort of bike. No, it is only going to be the already addicted off-roader looking to upgrade or the very inspired looking to invest wisely in their new found passion. But, after a few hours in the mud and the snow, I may have to revise that presumptious statement.

anthem 3

I took the Giant Anthem up to Thrunton Woods, a long time favourite place of mine for cycling, walking, running and even photography. The properly sunny day in what feels like years seemed ideal for a spot of off-road bike testing. Little did I know that there’d be quite a lot of snow and ice still on the higher ground. No fear, thought I. I was properly dressed and I had a great looking bike on the roof. What could go wrong?

anthem 2


First Impressions: This bike looks the business. Even before touching it, there’s a lot ot indicate that it is a quality machine with potential. In the day’s when I did venture off road on relatively regular basis I’d always shied away from full suspension because they were very heavy. So it was more than a pleasant surprise to find out just how light The Giant Anthem was. I don’t know the exact weight but I’d be surprised if it was much more than 13kg. As the name would suggest, one of the [visually] distinguishing features of this bike is the 29 inch wheels. If you  have not ridden an XC bike with rims of this size and are used to the more common 26 inch wheel size then I strongly consider you ride a big wheeled bike before making a purchase. More on that in a bit.

The frame is a nice looking white, grey and black that I really liked. Not too flashy, but not boring either. Both the front and rear suspension can be adjusted to control the rebound. or how much flex there is. I set it to maximum squishy and left it at that.

antham 4



The only other thing that stuck out was the lack of a chain ring. There are only two cogs on the crank! I’m very used to bikes having three these days. The rear cassette had ten gears, making this a 2×10 (or 20 speed) bike.

On board (and off-road): The first section of the ride was all uphill (cue impending heart attack) so all I got to do was test the granny gears for half a mile. Well, not quite, the shifters were a pleasant surprise. The whole groupset is SRAM. I’ve never ridden anything other than Shimano. But I have to say the changes were slick and easy, even under pressure. It uses what I like to described as a push-push shifter for front and rear mechs. I’m very familiar with indexed shifters that utilise the thumb to shift one way and the fore finger to shift the other. Using just the thumb to press for any gear change took a little bit of getting used to. After a short while I realised the huge benefit of this system – you don’t weaken your grip on the bars during a change as all eight fingers say where you want them – steering and braking. On any other sort of bike I doubt it would matter too much, but on a bike you could be hurtling down a rocky path at break neck speed on I think any system that enables you to retain your grip is worth it’s weight in gold.

Then to the first bit of downhill, a sandy-gravel covered forest trail with big ruts created by rainfall runoff easily wide enough to snag a front wheel and send you in the nearest pine tree. Almost immediately my confidence soared. This bike just floated over everything, completely stable and controllable. The ruts and loose surface just didn’t bother me at all. I’m certain on my previous mountain bike I’d have had to slow down if not endure considerable levels of discomfort. This brief bit of excitement was closely followed by more hill climbing. Upon which lung busting section I discovered the joy of a two cog chain ring – getting into the granny gear is a lot easier! Simply put, this meant that I could carry my momentum forward and not have to worry about crunching gear changes.

The trail then flattened out a bit. Relief. But wait, what the heck is all this white stuff ahead? Oh, it’s snow. This should be interesting. And it was. Nothing could stop me. Icy puddles, rutted mud, snow covered rocks, you name the Giant just kept on rolling. Confidence levels increased yet again.

After a mile or so of this there came the big decent. Approximately four miles of it. Initially a steep rocky narrow path, then sweeping foresty trail. Words can not describe how much I enjoyed riding this bike down this particular trail. So I won’t try. But there was quite a lot of whooping and yelling involved. Again the stability, grip and brakes all combined to boost my confidence as I pushed my legs to drive me faster than I would have deemed safe on a front suspension frame. Awesome. Not me, the bike and the descent. For one brief, glorious, moment on that sunkissed, snowswept Northumbrian hillside, we were one, that Giant and me.

Back at the car, as I rested my feet on my temporary trusty steed, I pondered the answers to following –

Value for money (rrp £1799.00): Before riding the Giant Anthem, I would have made a snorting sound and dissmissed this price as “ludicrous”. My last mountain bike was a £700 Cube and it was great. Was this Giant £1000 better? Well, after getting truly filthy on it, I believe it actually is. I’ve never encountered a bike that boosted my confidence so much that I’d take on the tracks that I did at the speed that I did. This is definitive proof of the adage “you get what you pay for”. If I had £1800, some where to store it safely and a body that could cope with it, I would buy this bike in a heart beat.

Style: Worked for me. There is only one frame colour choice, so if you don’t like it, tough. The frame itself had a big chunky downtube with tapered top tube, which I liked. I can’t see any self respecting XC rider being embarrassed to ride it based on the paint job. The rims, fat tyres, distinctive wide bars all add to the presence of the Giant. 4 out of 5.

Function/design: Brilliant. This bike was made to go off road and down hills fast. And it does. Even with a fat, middle aged bloke on it.  5 out of 5.

Quality: I doubt the frame on this bike would ever let you down, short of riding off a cliff. The groupset felt very well made and didn’t give me any cause for concern. In fact the only problem I had was the bolt that secured the saddle to the post kept working it’s way loose. 4.5 out of 5

Weeeknd Bike Ride

Well, after what the spring weather has thrown at us this week, I’m really hoping that this weekend is better!  And that it gives me a chance to get back out on the bike.

So this Sunday I’m planning a route from Tynemouth to Newcastle.  It’s a bit further than I’ve been doing lately but I feel ready for the new challenge, and love to cycle around the Tyne, especially on a sunny day as the water is so beautiful!

tyne bridges

And who would have thought it would burn up at least a medium sized wedge of cake?  Possibly even a skinny latte on the side too.

So, fingers crossed for some blue skies, and no more snow…


New Torq Energy Gels, Bars and Recovery Drink.

I have recently tried some of the new Torq products and have been really impressed with them!

torq gels

Although our recent ‘spring’ weather has been somewhat prohibitive in terms of cycling opportunities, I have really enjoyed popping to the gym for a less snow and wind battered experience!

I usually use an isotonic sports drink during a workout to keep me going, but instead tried one of the Torque Gels.  I liked that they are so easy to carry because of their shape and size, easy to open and easy to drink from, and can see how useful those aspects would be while cycling.  I loved the different flavours and my favourite is the Rhubarb and Custard one.

torq gel

I have also used their Recovery powder, in place of my usual protein shake following a work out.  I really liked that there are no synthetic nasties in there- I had started making my own protein shakes with soya protein, soya milk and fruit juice as I had found that a lot of the protein shakes available in shops made my gut bloated and painful because of the additives in them.  But the Torq Recovery was a winner, and really tasty!

torq recovery

 I have asked some friends who do a lot of road biking to try them out too and so am looking forward to finding out what they thought about the energy bars.

The Countdown to Summer Begins!


This gallery contains 4 photos.

At last, British Summertime is fast approaching.  Coinciding with the Easter Holidays, the lighter nights couldn’t come sooner! Get set for your Easter Break with our fantastic range of accessories: Tifosi Glasses starting from £25, A super colourful range Polar … Continue reading

15% Off Forme Bikes

We have 15% Off Selected Forme Bikes…

…with Mountain bikes starting from £237.99 with the Mens Sterndale 4.0 (reduced from £279.99)


Mens Sterndale 4.0

…and Racing Bikes staring from £450.49 with the Mens Longcliffe (reduced from £529.99)



Mens Longcliffe 5.0

… and womens bikes from £297.49 Reduced from £349.99 with the Sterndale 2.0 FE


Womens Sterndale 2.0 FE

All of our offers are on our website as well as in store at 250 Shields Road, Byker, NE6 1DX, 0191 2651472.

Come and get your 15% Off Selected Forme Bikes.




£100 Off Selected Trek Bikes

We are offering £100 Off Selected Trek bikes, in store and on line.

We have on offer:

  • the 2012 Trek 7.1 FX in Charcoal reduced from £350 to £250 in a 17.5 inch frame.
trek 7.1

Trek 7.1 fx

  • the trek 1.5 C H2 58cm frame in Blue Ink and Chrystal White reduced from £850 to £750
trek 1.5

Trek 1.5

  • the Trek 8.4DS in Matte Chrystal in a 17.5 inch frame reduced from £675 to £575
trek 3.4

Trek 3.4

  • and the Trek Domane 4.0 C 56cm in Black and Placid Blue reduced from £1500 to £1400.
trek domane

Trek Domane

Pop in to see us for a chat, or call us on 0191 2651472 to get your £100 off Selected Trek Bikes.

Cube Sale: Up to 15% Off Selected Models and Selected Sizes


This weekend we are offering 10% Off All Cube Bikes and 15% Off Selected Models and Selected Sizes.
In our 15% Off offer, prices start from £339.15 with the Cube Aim 26 black n grey 2013 in 22″ frame (reduced from £399), to £917 with the Cube Peleton Race Compact black and red print 2013 in 58cm frame (reduced from £1079).






All other Cubes have 10% Off for this weekend.

Please call us for more information on availability, or check out our website at

We are at 250 Shields Road, Byker and would love to have a chat with you any time about your cycling needs.

Get your 10-15% Off in our Cube Sale, ends Sunday.

Just Five More Days to Go!

Christmas 2012 is very nearly here!



If you need some stocking filler ideas, pop in to see us.  We have a fab range of Cube, Giant and Raleigh accessories as well as great gifts for the kids from Crazey Stuff Helmets to Hello Kitty Bells!

Check out our on line Click and Collect service too at

Or give us a bell on 0191 2651472.

Presents!!!: Are You Stuck for ideas?

We have loads of stocking filler and present ideas!

This year we have found not only Cube Bikes but the Cube Accessories Range to be really popular.  With bar ends, grips, bottles and cages in a range of different colour ways to match your bike, they make a lovely addition to help customise your look.  Similarly, the Giant Accesories have been great too.

giant lights

Our High Viz Clothing and Light Sets have been very popular too including the One23 Super Bright sets, and our Winter Care Kits.

We have £10 off all purchases of £70 and over, 10% off sunglasses, £10 off Altura Blitz Jackets, 50% off bike care kits, and light sets for £17.99 including batteries and brackets, and loads more offers in store!

Give us a call to find out more or call in to see what we have in the way of Christmas Present ideas for your friends and family!