Halfords Urban Mover U-Sprite electric bike £699.99

Unpretentious, well-built and affordable

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

Unpretentious, well-built and affordable, this ‘budget’ electric step-through has been thoughtfully specced to deliver a reliable, cheerful electric assisted ‘Dutch bike’ for the UK market. With an aluminium frame, mudguards, rack and wheelset, it’s actually fairly lightweight for an e-bike, weighing in at 22kg (48.5lb) including battery.

This means that despite its sit-up-and-beg riding position it's easily light enough to spin around town on without any battery assistance. Add the 200W rear hub motor and its lithium ion battery, and it'll scoot you and two full panniers of shopping around town without the slightest of fuss.

While the 9Ah 26V battery should be good for almost 20 miles of flat, unhurried town riding on a single charge, it’s unlikely that you’d want to do that kind of mileage or long commuting on this bike – not because it couldn’t do it but simply because that’s not really what it’s for.

The high, wide bar and upright pedalling position mean it’s a bit ungainly for hills, and we found the Shimano Tourney six-speed cassette didn’t really have the gearing range needed to sit down and spin to get the most of the electric assistance.

But it’s the attention to detail that’s really worthy of mention on the Sprite, especially considering its modest price, and is what will make this bike a lasting investment even after the electrics are outmoded or decrepit. For example: full ABS mudguards, a nice alloy rack with stainless steel bolts and washers, puncture resistant Kenda tyres, and a 10-year frame warranty.

Considering you could easily pay just couple of hundred pounds less for an equivalent non-electric town bike, we think the Sprite is a bargain. What’s more, it’s available from Halfords, making it an option for hundreds of thousands of Cycle to Work scheme employees looking to ditch the car commute.

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