We went to Wiltshire yesterday on a cold but sunny Sunday. The barometer was high and the Buell was going like the proverbial! You know how it all just gels and there’s no torque like a Buell torques!
We were coming home via the B4696 Wootton Bassett to Ashton Keynes Road, trying to beat the cold and sunset home to Gloucestershire. My XB seemed to be pulling like It was about to jump into warp drive (but not quite) and gave my mate on his Faser Thou some work to do untangling the few twists in this road.
I must mention the van driving twats cutting through the middle of a bend.....it was close. Watch out for them near Swindon on a Sunday as they race home for their roast tatties?
Then there was the corkscrew over the railway as you approach the Malmsbury to Cricklade X roads. A nasty dip has appeared on the north side. The XB pancaked its shocks but still carved a way through, while the Faser nearly lost it. Times like that remind you how good the little XB can be! Shame l stalled it at the very next junction and it wouldn’t fire up immediately to much embarrassment.
So what has that got to do with Gtech bicycles? Not a lot!
We visited the Gtech HQ today to look at chordless vacs of all things, but while we were there l had a look at Gtech’s hybrid electric assist bikes. They have demos and their own little test track around the grounds. In spite of the cold l blagged a ride on the gents Sport model.
The Sport is quite plain and workmanlike looking in all white with green logos (there is a workwoman looking model as well
). There is a quick release thermos flask like rechargeable battery on the down tube, which features a large green button for sport or eco modes. In either mode it I should claimed to do around 30 miles and up to 15.5mph. The sport mode seems to accelerate quicker!
The bike has a powered hub in the rear wheel to which the pedal crank is attached by a carbon reinforced tightly strung belt much like my XB, but much thinner obviously. The rear spindle appears to have a fixed geometry like the Buell with an XB like section to unbolt for belt replacement.
This bike has only one gear and power is fed in automatically and progressively as you pedal, so power assist is on constantly as you pedal. When you stop pedalling it slows down equally smoothly and you just work the brakes for fine control or stopping. The test track was compacted sandy gravel so you have to use a degree of caution, and the disclaimer l signed started to make sense, in case l piled it into Mr Gtech Airam’s car!
There is also a small hill loop to go round so that you can experience the bikes hill climbing ability.
I have to say that for something that’s so basic and functional, l really enjoyed riding it. If you live in a town with a few hills and just want to get around effortlessly taking in the sights while still enhancing your physical health, l can think of fewer nicer ways to travel. It had the same effortless feeling of control as my XB, but a lot less torque obviously.
Priced at £995 the Sport isn’t ridiculously expensive either. I think that l could live with one of these as l grow older and weaker!