Should I buy an electrical bike (e-bike)?

Ian Bellert — 8 March 2023
E-bikes have been around for a while now, but the new Commuter e-bike by Ignite might help convince you to buy one

Many caravan parks are located away from shops or towns, so topping up supplies usually involves a short drive. With today’s fuel prices, any chance to avoid turning the car over is a considered choice. What about a healthier alternative?

Imagine if you could hop onto an e-bike, ride 15 minutes to town, get your supplies, secure them safely in a cargo carrier and basket, then pedal home. The end result is you have secured your supplies, had 30 minutes of exercise and it hasn’t cost you anything in fuel. 

An e-bike has a battery powered engine which enables pedal-assisted riding. What does that mean for the rider? The rider's pedal push is assisted by the electric motor, so when you push down on the pedal, the bike's motor assists you in moving forward. 

Does that mean you're not getting exercise? Not at all. The pedal assist allows for extended travelling, assistance going up hills and ability to carry cargo without being compromised. It also allows you to ride further for longer. If you don’t pedal, the motor doesn’t propel you. If you think you are past bike riding, read on.

The Commuter e-bike, from Ride Ignite Bikes, is a high-tech, low-fuss bike which is gaining a huge following among travellers and caravanners. It's a healthy, low-impact way to get around when you have set your caravan up for a short or long stay or around home base.

Developed over a three-year period, The Commuter is packed with technology. 

Let's look at why it’s becoming a must have for caravanners Australia-wide. The Commuter comes complete with all options you need to start riding (and a handy kickstand for when you're stopped). 

The components used are world renowned brands. From Shimano running gear, to Tektro hydraulic brakes. The proprietary battery uses battery cells from Panasonic, LG and Samsung. Using commonly known branded products means any bike shop can service the bikes consumables (brakes, chains, tyres). 

The Commuter uses a Bafang electric motor that punches out 250 watts of power and 45nM of torque. In accordance with Australian regulations, the pedal assist function cuts out at 25 kph. The battery can be used as a separate power bank when not in use on the bike. Easily removed, the battery can be charged via a vehicle or van’s inverter while you travel. 

The technology extends from the proprietary battery through to the multifunctional display located atop of the handlebars. This display unit displays battery level, power level, odometer, trip computer, power consumption as well as battery diagnostics. You’ll know exactly how far you’ve come and more importantly how much pedal assisted travel you have remaining. The display unit has a USB port so you can charge your phone while you ride, a great comfort if you need to check a map to see where you are. The Commuter has integrated head and taillights which come on automatically as light levels fade.  

The range of the Commuter e-bike is conservatively stated at 50km. There are many factors that influence an e-bike’s range, from the terrain, the power level being used and the amount of cargo being carried. Glenn Avery from Ride Ignite Bikes says that in testing in various Australian conditions, the 50 km range was achieved while riding with mid-level power settings. “The higher the power level selected and the steeper the terrain you're riding through, will naturally draw more power. Luckily you can see all the real time data you need via the multifunction display.” 

“We see the Commuter as a real enabler,” Glenn said. “Having a bike has many health benefits, daily exercise being one of them. The Commuter allows people of all body sizes, shapes and health conditions to continue to ride bikes, or come back to bike riding if they have stopped. Our step-through model allows riders to just jump on and ride, without having to worry about scrambling over a bar to start their ride.”

The comfortable, easily adjustable seat caters for all leg lengths. Coupled with the upright seating position, ergonomically positioned handlebars, your riding position is comfortable just like sitting in a chair. The non-lean-forward ride position doesn't hinder those with back issues. 

The Commuter weighs 23kg with all of the options attached. The front and rear mudguards, front cargo basket and rear racks can all be removed to reduce its weight. When you purchase the bike online, it arrives 85 per cent preassembled. The brakes, running gear and all electricals are pre-assembled. You simply install the handlebars, seat and quick release front forks and you are ready to ride. 

Ignite Electric bikes has partnered with Australian company, Gripsport, in creating a range of bike racks specifically for the Commuter e-bike. These racks are 100 per cent made in Australia and engineered to secure your bike(s) on your caravan, camper or the back of your vehicle when you’re not towing. The racks either go into your tow hitch, mounted onto your caravan or the Adventure racks adapter kit attaches to your drawbar. All racks come with rear brake lights and indicators mounted in an integrated board. An optional ramp is available depending on where your racks are mounted.

Visit the website to find out more about why the Commuter is fast becoming a must-have accessory on the back of caravans across Australia. 

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