Just in: Spencer Ivy Spencer electric bike
City bike with pedelec power for the discerning pedaller who doesn't want to break sweat
You wait months for an electric bike and then three come along at once. First there was the load-happy Kona Electric Ute, and we'll introduce you to the Gocycle soon, but for now we'll talk you round the shiny new machine from Spencer Ivy that's landed at the office.
London-based Spencer Ivy are pretty new to the scene, and on their website they say, "Our vision is simple - we want to get the whole world cycling. Thanks to the electric assistance, everyone from busy mums to the fitness-challenged can pedal away. It's cool, sustainable, and most importantly, lots of fun". If their vision is simple, their range is even simpler: two bikes, the Spencer and the Ivy. The Ivy is a step-through design with a Brooks leather saddle that's crying out for a bit of wicker up front (you can buy the Basil basket as an accessory on the website), and the Spencer – which we have to test – is a fairly traditional men's roadster. Except for the bit with motor in, obviously. Both bikes retail for £1,895 and you can buy them direct from the Spencer Ivy website
So what do you get for your cash? Well the mechanical bits are pretty familiar, an Aluminium frame with an Alfine 8 hub to the rear and a front dynamo hub running B&M lights. Full mudguards and a rear rack are included, the rack being a Pletscher model that can mount various accoutrements including a child seat and a basket on a three-point fixing. You even get a nurse's lock, a chainguard, a kickstand and a dinky SKS pump that mounts on the rack. So far, so practical.
Where the bike departs from the norm, obviously, is the electrics. In this case it's a Panasonic system with a mid-mounted motor directly powering the drivetrain as you pedal. It's similar to the Bosch system that was everywhere at Eurobike, and we can't help thinking that it's the way to go for electric bikes. Everything's in one place, working out when pedal assistance is needed is easy, power is instantaneous when you set off.
The 10Ah battery will last 'up to 50 miles' according to Spencer Ivy, although we'd expect our real world testing to come up some way short of that. We can't help thinking that Spencer Ivy have missed a trick by not having the battery and motor casing black to blend in with the rest of the bike but even with the electric gubbins highlighted in silver it's still a decent looking town bike. Perhaps for the next batch they'll have the chance to ask for some black ones.
We'll be testing the motor's limits on the steepest hills we can find round here (and there are some plenty steep ones) and we'll report back with our overall thoughts on the bike as soon as we can...