New bike day – LOOK e-765 Optimum

LOOK have announced the arrival of two new gravel bikes to their range – the 765 Gravel RS and e-765 Gravel – signifying the historic French marque’s arrival in the fast-growing segment.

The e-765 Optimum bike represents a brand new direction for LOOK, utilising the marque’s unrivalled carbon expertise and marrying it to the excellence of an integrated Fazua motor and battery system. The e-765 Optimum is made entirely in-house, and as a result carries with it LOOK’s potent performance DNA alongside the convenience of electrical assistance.

At the core is a fully-fledged carbon performance road bike – the carbon frame is made up of specifically optimised fibres laid up into an endurance-bred geometry that allows the e-road bike to meet the needs of its rider; stiffness and responsiveness where it’s required balanced by compliance and durability.

The frame’s seatstays are an important source of innovation – created using a new ‘3D Wave’ design that incorporates two deflections into the tubes, LOOK’s engineers have built an extra 15% vertical compliance into the rear triangle of the e-765 Optimum, compared to a standard carbon construction, supposedly resulting in a comfortable all-day ride.

Meanwhile, the e-765 Optimum’s neatly integrated Fazua motor and battery system produces assistance without disrupting the aesthetic of the bike.

Fazua’s motor and battery system is world-renowned for its integrated and lightweight design – the motor and battery adds just 4.6kg to the overall weight of the bike, with the entire machine weighing an average of 13.4kg. The motor will assist riders up to 25km/h, with four modes possible including a 400W ‘rocket mode’ selectable through the handlebar-mounted remote. More than enough power to give you a Chris Froome style boost up the Colle delle Finestre.

The close partnership between Fazua and LOOK has enabled the French brand to research their own power mapping profile for the electronic control unit, developed for optimum performance in a road riding situation following a year-long study into rider habits by LOOK.

The Fazua system has an integrated app, which allows the rider to turn your smartphone into a fully-functional bike computer, including GPS navigation, speed recording, as well as providing metrics on how they are using their battery power and motor, and temperature readings. Plus, the electrical system is completely detachable, converting the e-765 Optimum into an ordinary pedal-powered road bike.

Bernard Hinault, 5-time Tour de France Champion and LOOK Ambassador, said: “When the LOOK teams first spoke to me of their desire to develop an electric road bike made of carbon, I must say that I was surprised. However, the time spent engaging in the design process alongside the engineers, and in particular the first few pedal strokes on the e-765 Optimum convinced me immediately!

“It is a genuine revolution for any cyclist – I would never have believed they could retain all of the sensations of a 100% muscle-driven bike. It has become my benchmark bike!”

Two models will be available, featuring Ultegra Di2 and Ultegra groupsets, with immediate availability in Europe before spreading to other territories in the near future.

e-765 Optimum Ultegra Di2 – €7,699
e-765 Optimum Ultegra – €6,499

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My Cycle To Work Scheme – Gtech eScent electronic mountain bike

When the guys from Gtech got in touch with us here at Pusher of Pedals, asking if we were interested in riding their brand new Gtech eScent, the answer was a resounding yes. If you’ve not seen our review on their hugely impressive road bike, you can see it here, but for now – the eScent.img_1599

First off let me tell you, I’m no mountain biker and this review is purely about the ride to and from work which I’ve been doing on the eScent, you can find one of my rides on the eScent by clicking this link here. In general, on the road, I found it comfortable, easy to ride and with the battery in it’s “Max” setting an absolute breeze.

img_1601The Gtech eScent is said to be a bike for seasoned mountain bikers or beginners to the sport whether your on the trail or using it, as I did, to commute. with a 36v high torque motor governed by a built in computer, the bike knows when you’re lacking on power and gives you that extra little boost to help you either up a climb or down the road. It has Shimano gears, big old RockShox on the front, hydraulic disk brakes and huge 27.5″ tyres add to that a 36v Lithium battery for 30 miles of cycling and you’re well on your way.

So let’s take a little closer look at what the Gtech eScent is actually like on the 9 miles from Notting Hill Gate to my flat in Bow.

  • First Impressions

img_1598They’re mixed, as a road biker, the bike looks huge, feels slightly awkward and just doesn’t feel right. However, that’s a road rider, not a bike rider. It’s impressive to look at. Just look at those huge 27.5″ tyres which are 2.5″ wide for added grip off road, the monster Rockshox and the disc brakes. I’m not a huge fan of disc brakes in the pro peloton (I won’t get in to it) but on the road commuting they can be a life saver, out on the trails equally so.

Gtech seem to have looked at what makes bikes good and applied that to the eScent.

  • What’s it like to ride?

One of the good things about this bike is that Gtech send it to you pretty much ready to ride. You take it out the box, twist the handle bars in to the correct position, tighten them up, adjust the saddle and away you go. This pretty much allows you to show your bike off instantly and when people ask the inevitable “can I have a go?” The quick release on the saddle means you can give them a quick yes and send them on their way.

But on to ride comfort…

img_1604
Huge tyres and RockShox suspension.

Comfy, as you’d expect from a bike which has front suspension along with seated suspension. The big chunky tyres also add a good bit of bounce meaning that on the road you’ll have one of the smoothest commutes, ever.

The bike feels well balanced too, handling feels light and easy and considering the bikes length and size, it’s sharp when it comes to steering. The extra little shove from the electrical motor makes taking your hands off of the bars easy and gives you a little bit more confidence.

  • Hydraulic disc brakes…

These are powerful brakes, very, very good. Being hydraulic they feel very smooth, the added bite from the disc means you can stop on a six pence from the bikes cruising electronic speed.

On the trails it means you can easily snap the back end round with one of the best skids you’ve done since you were 7 years old. It’s so much fun.

On one of my commutes home I had endless joy coming across horse guards parade, letting the electronic motor taking me up to full speed before snapping the back end round and seeing the dust cloud I created. I don’t think the guards were too pleased though…

  •  This electronic motor?

It’s the same motor which is in the original Gtech bike, why redesign the wheel? It’s high power and torque is great for assisting you up the climbs. Let’s not get this confused. This is not a bike you turn the motor on and just go, the motor on this bike is for assistance. To make it work you must pedal! Granted, you don’t have to put much power through the pedal, in fact the less power you put in, the more assistance you’ll get from the motor.

It works by a very clever little computer chip reading the effort you put in and adjusting the motors power accorodingly. All you need to know is it works and it works very well.

  • Gears? On an electric bike?

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Yeah! Shimano gears at that! Only on the rear though, being a mountain bike, there’s only one gear on the crank and it’s relatively small.

When on the flat road, you find yourself wanting a few extra teeth to enable you to get a bit more speed.

On the rear though the derailleur makes sure that you snap in to gear quickly and with minimal effort.

img_1608The cables are also internal, mostly, so that they don’t get covered in mud when your out on the trail. Smart thinking. I say mostly because they have to pop out somewhere and they do so, near the bottom bracket. Most Road internal gears come out on the rear fork, I understand these coming out where they do though. This is where the motors cables comes out leaving holes in your frame to a minimum and not reducing its strength.

  • How long do you get on that battery?

Of course, that depends on how you use it. You can ride the bike like a normal, everyday bike with the battery turned off. This just means you get not assistance from the motor. But the bike is heavy, it’s 19kg. Which ever way you cut it, that’s heavy. So maybe on the downhills you’ll have the battery off but on the uphills, you’ll probably want to turn it on!

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 10.57.38

If you’ve opted to turn your battery on, there are two modes to choose from, ‘Eco’and ‘Max’. Gtech claim you can get 30 miles out of one charge. I’d be inclined to believe them if you left it in its ‘Eco’ mode. The ‘Max’mode though will drain your battery quicker.

The battery has been redesigned from the old one. It now has a much, much more user friendly LCD screen, displaying what mode the battery is in and how much charge is left. It still has a big green on button but the charging has been changed. Instead of plugging a cable in to charge the battery the battery now has its own housing unit which it stands in charging away.

I have to say, the battery is so much more easy to use, there’s no more trying to shield the lights from the sun to see what mode your in. The bright LCD display has vastly improved userbility.

  • Would you buy one?

The question I would ask is, what ami buying one for? The trails or commuting?

Commuting on it I always felt a bit embarrassed, it’s like driving a Land Rover Defender through central London each day. You’ve got this amazing machine fully capable of all this off road capability and I’m cycling down the CS2 fully tarmaced and smooth… a little bit pointless really.

Looking at the £1,895 price tag, this may discourage me further form the point of buying on for the commute. There is, however, no denying that this is a wonderful machine and people do buy Land Rovers and drive them in the city… I’d be very tempted.

 

Links

You can buy a Gtech eScent here

You can read my Gtech Electric Bike review here

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My Cycle To Work Scheme – GTech Electric Bike

My first attempt to bust the daily commute is by cheating, just a little. The chaps at G-Tech sent over their sports electric bike. 

It makes sense, doesn’t it? To use an electric bike to help cut down your effort, meaning that you’ll arrive in greater comfort and less of a sweat. Let’s have a little look then shall we…

They’ve got two options of electric bike, Sports and City. I still want to get to work with some sort of street (cycling) credibility in tact and for a gentleman, the city version is a little too classic lady.  

It’s not a sports model in the car sense, where everything is stripped back, any excess weight is sliced away and often compromising on comfort. This bike has some cool tech added, it’s heavy (16kg) and has some great finishing touches to help you arrive in relatively less discomfort. 

  • How does the bike look?

Let’s all think of an electric bike, what do you think? Answers in the comments, please. 

Do you think if you saw it at the lights you would know it’s electric?

When I think of one, I think of a big bulky heavy metallic purple thing. I used to this exact bike going the opposite way to me on my way to work, every morning through the park. Their legs moving very slowly but the bike flying along and a very smug looking older lady sitting on it as she scooted along past other cyclists. 

Let’s have a look at the G-Tech Sports Bike though, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s very, well, average looking. Looks distinctly like a bike, doesn’t it? 

I quite like it but I do find its bright white colour a bit stand out. Thick round tubes and big tyres with wider handle bars than I’m used to. Be under no illusion, it’s no sports bike, much more of a tourer. 

The battery is a black water bottle look-a-like. It is very descrete for an electric bike battery. Gone are the old days of a really bulky battery somewhere between your legs making you cycle like John Wayne. This is quite a powerful little thing. 

  • I’ve mentioned the battery so I’ll carry on…

Sitting on the down tube right where the water bottle holder usually is is a large, black, water bottle sized battery. 

This is a lithium-ion battery that will give you enough charge for 30 miles of riding. Ideal for me as I’ve only a short commute and don’t ride this bike everyday, so a full three hour (quick) charge, once a week is handy. Usually plugging in at work and forgetting about it until home time, even though it only costs 4p to charge it fully, apparently. 


The battery has a few cool features too, it comes off for one. Really easily too. You just pull the little green tab up and move the top towards the seat tube and, click, off comes the battery. Meaning once you’ve parked up on the street, at work, at home or you need to charge it, you can unclick the battery and walk off with it, saves someone else walking off with it! 

Easy to remove. Easy to replace.

You can even lock it in place with a key, so when you’re riding no one just pulls it out, or it doesn’t pop out over bumpy terrain, or just the pot holes streets. Handy. 

Turning it on and back off again is even simple, you push down the big green button until you see the lights on the battery come on. Lights indicate charge, so if all four of your lights are on, 100% charge.

the lights aren’t too clear in the sunshine

But look here, the battery has two functions. Yeah, I know, two functions! By pushing the one button once and seeing all four lights lit up, this is maximum assist. Press the big green button twice and see the lights pulsing, this is partial assist. Like I say, clever tech, it’s more than just a battery but a computer too, after all it’s not just the battery that makes you go, it’s a motor too…

  • Got a new motor?! 

The motor on this bike sits in the rear wheel. It really has been designed with maximum thought in to the minimum amount on show. You really wouldn’t think that in that rear hub is a high torque motor, capable of propelling you up to 15 miles per hour! Yeah, 15mph! 

The first initial hit of power from the motor is really powerful, it propels you up to speed no issue what so ever, it’s quite a kick, meaning you’ll beat pretty much anything or anyone off the lights.

A very powerful motor!

Then comes the smoothness, once you’re away at 15mph the motor will drop in if needed to maintain you there. You really feel this on the hills. So much so you think a little ghost rider behind you is pushing you along, you almost want to go slowly so the motor just glides you up the hill. It’s a nice feeling to get to the top and not be gasping for air… 

  • But what’s it like to ride? 

The electrical boost takes a bit of getting used to, if anyone is in front of you when you’re looking to go, with the motor kicking in you have to judge things well, or pedal bit by bit. After that it’s just like riding a bike. 

The wheels are large, the frame is bulky, the full aluminium frame offers nothing in the way of suspension so you feel the bumps. 

The bike handles well enough, it feels a bit slow through the corners, fairly well balanced but remember this – it’s s commuter for sure. Don’t get hung up on the sports handle its given. While it’s fast, it’s not made to go racing against the lycra on carbon fibre. 

Braking is adequate, it’ll slow you down but with a 16kg bike going at 15 miles an hour, they’re a little spongy for my liking and I tightened them up straight away. For out the box brakes though, they’re good enough and will see you home. If I were to keep it though, I’d upgrade them to something a little sharper, mainly for the reason I’m cycling around central London and like to be able to stop instantly when needed. 

  • The end result

I’m torn you know. I think the boost is fantastic and when I’m floating up the hills and shooting away from the lights I think it’s great. 

When I’m half way up the climb I feel like a mechanical doper. I have to tell myself that I’m riding this bike to help myself arrive fresh to and from work. It’s not a bike for fitness training, it’s a bike to get to and from on, nothing more. 

The carbon drive belt is quiet and no chain oil on your calf! Win!

That’s where it loses a bit of its soul, it feels like I’m riding a robot… That I’ve had to charge up, a dirty little secret that only I know, I’m on an e-bike. That’s why I arrive in comfort and not breathless. 

Then I look at it and think, ‘you’re fantastic!’ It would be the perfect bike for an elderly person to scoot about on. With such little fuss, still getting the fitness in, you can do a 30 mile ride getting the heart rate up and have a helping hand home too. 

I’d heavily consider buying one… But I think the £995 is a little too rich for my blood. I’d rather spend the money on a Boardman or something like that where I could get out on a good long ride on. However it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t recommend it if asked by someone in the market for an e-bike. 

Well done G-Tech. 

  • The links! 

You can buy a G-Tech electric bike here

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