B'Twin launch budget e-bike

Original 700 Electric is based on hybrid already in the range

by Dave Atkinson   March 10, 2014  

BTwin Original Electric 700

Decathlon have long been known for packing a whole lot of value into their own-brand range of B'Twin bikes. Now they're adding an electric bike – the B'Twin Original 700 Electric – priced at £720 which will make it one of the most affordable e-bikes on the market.

The Original 700 is already in the B'Twin range; it's a full-suspension city hybrid with a Y-shaped mainframe, and it'll cost you £259.99. That means Decathlon have managed to source and add the electric components for an additional £460 to the consumer.

And what are those components? Well, the Original 700 Electric gets a 250W brushless motor built into the front wheel. There's a bar-mounted control panel, and the battery is a rack-mounted unit at the back. The battery also powers a front light; a rear light is included too, but that's battery-powered.

The electric bike shares the non-powered Original 700 drivetrain which is a 7-speed, triple chainset transmission based on SRAM 3.0 mechs and grip shifters. The 28/28 lowest ratio should be low enough to haul yourself up pretty much anything, even if the bike does weigh 26.5kg To be fair, that's not a great deal more than the £2,500 Koga that Dave's currently ranting around on.

You get a telescopic suspension fork and the rear is a four-bar linkage with the shock placed parallel to the seat tube. There's two sizes of frame in the non-powered bike so we expect the electric version will follow suit. The frame design gives a low standover which makes it a good unisex option. B'Twin reckon the two sizes will cater for everyone from 1.55m (5'1") to 1.95m (6'5"); obviously precise fit isn't quite so crucial with a bike like this.

So what you're probably wondering is: can a £400 e-bike be any good? Well, we don't know yet. But we'll be sure to get one in and point it at one of Bath's many and testing hills to find out. Stay tuned!

12 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Great value, but I'd rather have a hardtail. And ditch the triple chainrings and front mech, e-bikes only need a few gears.

Surely they could do that cheaper/better quality for the same money?

posted by MrGear [85 posts]
10th March 2014 - 18:37

268 Likes

My thought is that without all the weight and complexity you could save if you didn't have the motor, battery and suspension, would you need an e-bike?

For the same money, I'd manufacture a bicycle with a steel frame, fork, mudguards, rack, 1x8 gears. Simple, practical, more durable and reliable, and less than half the weight.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1394 posts]
10th March 2014 - 18:58

251 Likes

I have real respect for the value offered by B twin bikes.....but this seems suspiciously cheap!

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [769 posts]
10th March 2014 - 19:50

261 Likes

Seems like a lot of value for the price so I would really be interested to read a review of it

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
10th March 2014 - 20:28

250 Likes

cat1commuter wrote:
My thought is that without all the weight and complexity you could save if you didn't have the motor, battery and suspension, would you need an e-bike?

For the same money, I'd manufacture a bicycle with a steel frame, fork, mudguards, rack, 1x8 gears. Simple, practical, more durable and reliable, and less than half the weight.

anyone that thinks a bike half the weight is the same thing as a 250W motor really needs to have a go on one of these things.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7648 posts]
10th March 2014 - 20:41

252 Likes

MrGear wrote:
Great value, but I'd rather have a hardtail. And ditch the triple chainrings and front mech, e-bikes only need a few gears.

Surely they could do that cheaper/better quality for the same money?

i'd agree it's an interesting choice of platform, considering that they have simpler bikes available in the range. but given that the motor will be sprung weight and the rear shock will protect the battery a bit, i can see the point of it.

agreed on the gears, i'm running round on an 8spd at the moment that realistically only needs three

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7648 posts]
10th March 2014 - 20:43

256 Likes

I'm a bit disappointed by the relaunched B'Twin range. It seems like they've phased out the more normal hybrid/trekking bikes in favour of 'quirky' bikes like the Hoptown and the strange hybrid with the Y shaped frame. I was considering the Ne'Work 5 as my next commuter, as the spec (including dynamo hub lighting) was great value for money, but they've all been discontinued and the replacements are significantly more expensive in order to justify additions like belt drives. The Triban range is still solid value for money in its class, but the rest of the range is a bit lacking IMO.

posted by babybat [24 posts]
10th March 2014 - 22:34

248 Likes

Definitely interested in a review of this bike, may want to buy one so that my dear old mum has one when she comes over for a visit.

Got milk? Doesn't fit in your bottle cage? Get a Carton Cage.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [378 posts]
11th March 2014 - 0:55

247 Likes

It seems to already be stated on the B-Twin website for £799. At that price it certainly isn't as appealing as the £420 mentioned earlier.

http://www.btwin.com/en/all-round-bikes/15906-btwin-original-eapc-7.html

posted by timnoyce [2 posts]
11th March 2014 - 10:54

237 Likes

Dave Atkinson wrote:
cat1commuter wrote:
My thought is that without all the weight and complexity you could save if you didn't have the motor, battery and suspension, would you need an e-bike?

For the same money, I'd manufacture a bicycle with a steel frame, fork, mudguards, rack, 1x8 gears. Simple, practical, more durable and reliable, and less than half the weight.

anyone that thinks a bike half the weight is the same thing as a 250W motor really needs to have a go on one of these things.

I guess I just don't "get" e-bikes. I'm sure you can go faster or haul more, but what I love about bicycles are their simplicity, and that riding them keeps me fit.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1394 posts]
12th March 2014 - 13:18

219 Likes

cat1commuter wrote:

I guess I just don't "get" e-bikes. I'm sure you can go faster or haul more, but what I love about bicycles are their simplicity, and that riding them keeps me fit.

Well, you're simply not the target group for e-bikes then. They're mostly for people who are not as fit, and quite possibly won't ever be (old age, declining health etc.). They need some help from a motor, but it's still great for them to be cycling. It keeps them fit, too, but at a level suited to them. The alternative for them would be taking the car, so I'm rather happy to see decent e-bikes becoming more widely available at lower price points.

Got milk? Doesn't fit in your bottle cage? Get a Carton Cage.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [378 posts]
12th March 2014 - 13:27

218 Likes

The 2 guys I know who use them, one is well past retirement, the other with a bad injury.

They both use them for confidence, They don't intend to use the motor, but it's there, should their body fail them so they can get home.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [769 posts]
12th March 2014 - 18:58

210 Likes