My Cyclobiography - Part 1 - eAddict kit - Hero Lectro Alternative - Long Term Review

I love to cycle, it helps me unwind.

Way back, when on a trip to Kodaikanal, my wife egged me to rent a bicycle to ride around the Kodai lake for fun and that’s when my love affair with bicycles was re-ignited. After returning home, I decided to buy a cycle at least to traverse to my gym in place of my car or motorbike.

I bought a Hero cycle and then fit it with gears and rode it for a couple of years till I felt the need to buy a better bike and, to my luck, Firefox introduced their bikes into India just then! Their bikes were a sure way, better quality than any brand one could get in India and I immediately bought one. Braving a lot of ridicule (kid on a bike) I kept using the bike more and more and as a result, my car less and less.

As I rode on my bike I got to meet a few like-minded people and soon the birds of a feather flocked together and we began riding longer distances together on weekends. Apart from commuting on our bikes –we were now an enthusiastic group of cyclists!!

As we got more ambitious, many of us realized that we needed even better bikes. As luck would have it, TREK introduced their bikes in India. I immediately bought one and many of my friends followed.

We began riding longer and even longer distances – freedom, fun, adrenalin, achievement, pain, joy, will to endure, ecstasy- a mixed set of feelings, which completely unwound and got us even more addicted to cycling.

As if cycling on weekends and doing chores around home did not suffice, I wanted to cycle to my workplace and back – a cool 22 Km each way. I began doing that and surprisingly, found that I was even more alert and efficient when I cycled to work (production of endorphins?) than by any other ‘dull’ means of transport. The only issue was that cycling caused me to sweat a lot and I began searching for ways to mitigate that. I didn’t mind sweating it out on the way back, but not when going to office.

That is when E-bicycles caught my attention. There were many youtube videos and plenty of reviews and experiences posted on the net but all this was in far-away land. India was still experimenting with crude lead acid batteries and weird looking clumsy e-bicycles.

I waited and waited for the right technology to arrive, as I knew that would be the thing to suit my requirements of a sweat free commute to office and exercise on the way back.

When ebicycles with Li-ion batteries arrived, I could not wait to lay my hands on one. Tracking down any mention about e-bicycles in India, I was finally able to ride an e-bicycle manufactured by a startup from southern India BUT, the quality of the bikes themselves were sooooo poor that I was down damn disappointed. There were a couple of others too but not much better than the first that I had tried.

During my search I stumbled upon a brand called ‘eAdicct’ who were based right here in Pune!! Apart from the quality of their e-bicycle kit I found their approach impressively different. They gave me an e-bicycle for a week just to try it out and determine whether I liked it. I was even offered a helmet when they handed me the bike for trial!! Come on!! Who offers such service in India!! I enjoyed the e-bicycle rides to office and back and tried various permutations and combinations on it! It was tailor made to suit my requirements!!

Paid money and got the kit fit on a second hand bike, which I had bought for such experimentation. Hmmm!! Now I was flittering around on my new e-bicycle but my lovely TREK was gathering dust. To hell with everything, I transferred the kit on my TREK and what a different experience it gave, compared to the kit when fit on other e-bicycles!!

My average speed jumped from 20kph to 26 kph!! The battery lasted me 80 Km instead of the earlier 55Km per charge!! There was much more control and comfort!! Now I’ve done more than a couple of thousand Km on this bike and I can’t tell you how ‘eADICCT’ed I am!!

Whenever I wish to do pure biking, I simply don’t take the battery with me and otherwise when I wish to ‘e-bicycle’, I can just put on the battery and use it like one.

I love the looks I get when I overtake motorbikes with ease on inclines or at least the stares I get from motor bikers owing to my speed on inclines and plain roads. This is truly fun!!

My e-bicycle has a 250W BLDC front hub motor with a controller and a 8.8 Ah Li-ion battery which totally weighs an extra 4.5 kg on the bike. I get 5 assist levels which I can choose depending upon how hard I wish to pedal or exercise.

My experience with e-bicycles has been fulfilling and I recommend everyone I meet to at least experience riding an ebicycle once. To my pleasant surprise, till now, not a single soul has not liked the experience!

This is the future of personal mobility – no effect of traffic jams, no worries about parking spaces, no worries about fuel prices or guilt about polluting the environment, not to mention the healthy form of exercise on offer!

I predict this will be the next big fad for a long time to come. Apart from its practical, economic and environmental benefits, e-cycling is fun!! And you can take my word for it!!

Atharva Deshpande

To read Part 2 - The First 6 Months Long Term Review click here