Thursday, May 12, 2011 7.00am
By Cycling Plus
The Granite gives a dose of electric acceleration without even pedalling. So why bother, you might ask, if a twist of the motorbike-like handlebar throttle is all you need to get moving? The answer is that despite being named after one of the heaviest stones on the planet, the Granite is actually pretty light for an e-bike and not half bad to pedal.
Style-wise, the Granite looks like an aluminium hardtail mountain bike with a battery on the back, full mudguards and a chain protector, plus a pointless suspension fork. You also get a dynamo- or battery-ready front light, a battery-ready rear light, kickstand and a suspension seatpost.
Why you’d need any extra suspension for the road with fat tyres like these is anyone’s guess. What’s more, the ﬁrst thing on the bike to show signs of stress during our test was the fork, whose stanchions rocked alarmingly front to back in the legs.
With its seven-speed cassette, the Granite is no slouch on moderate hills. Up to that pesky UK legal limit of 15.5mph, that is. We’d have preferred more gears, which could unlock spinning up proper climbs. A really nice touch is that by pedalling backwards for two turns of the pedal – such as on a long, fast descent – the bike cleverly brakes with the electric motor, and regenerates charge for the battery.
The twist-and-go nature of the Granite was a fun gimmick in the start. But it quickly became apparent that for town riding this meant you could get a clean, wobble-free getaway from trafﬁc lights and junctions, before taking up the slack with your pedal power. Just remember to turn it off before pushing it through your front door – otherwise you might end up twisting the throttle and shooting the bike into the back of your legs, like one of our testers did.
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