I bought a Smartmotion E-urban about a month ago. What a cool piece of machinery! This has now become my regular transport around Auckland, and my car gathers dust most of the time, so the bike is quickly paying for itself. I live in Mt Roskill and commute to Mt Eden for work, along Dominion Road. This takes about half an hour in a car, or three quarters of an hour on a bad day. On my bike it takes about 10 minutes. The same happens in the afternoon homeward grind, skimming along at 35km/h past the scowling motorists. If nothing else, the sense of schadenfreude you get from watching those poor bastards sweating in their cars is worth the entry price. I am finding it faster to go to city appointments by bike – no parking ticket, no searching for a park, park outside the front door. Think valet parking. And you’ll lose weight too.
The bike has plenty of range for daily use – I’ve cycled from Mt Eden to Manukau Central and back on one charge, level 5 assist, 35km/h maximum speed. If you’re going further afield you have to watch the juice and the assist level, but around town, and especially if you can charge the bike while you’re doing other things, it’s a winner at max assist, max speed.
Even a trip to Takapuna from Mt E is no problem, going across the Bayswater Ferry costs $10 return. My fuel going by car would cost me about $4, and parking would make up the rest. Unless I’m going somewhere on the motorway where the bike can’t compete, my car stays at home. The big plus is that you get lots of exercise, and you’re out in the weather, so you end up getting to work wide awake and refreshed.
You will still have to pedal – especially going up steep hills – but it will be nothing like as hard as a regular bike. I used to commute on a mountain bike and this is much easier, quicker, and less sweaty. Going downhill is eye-wateringly fast due to the weight and stability of the bike, and you need to plan ahead!
G Mostert, Auckland