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Ian Waller tries out a great looking electric bike that could be the perfect alternative to a second car

With my family and the neighbours all queueing up to give it a go, there was clearly something appealing about the Momentum Transcend E+ electric bike. It certainly helps that it looks great, combining both a retro Americana 50s vibe with super cool lines, white-walled tyres and a general design that had a mum on the school run describing it as “cute”! Available in a choice of four colours and three frame sizes, the general opinion was that our bumblebee yellow bike looked fantastic, with even my image conscious 15 year old son wanting a go and not that keen to give it back!

In its basic form, the Transcend E+ costs £2,599, which might sound a fair amount, but in electric bike terms, it’s really not that much and once you compare it against the costs of a second car, it comes out pretty well indeed. Among the optional add-ons available are mudguards, luggage racks front and rear, and lights – all of which are to recommended.

Available in four colours, Bumblebee, Ink, Lunar and Tequila Sunrise

Our first test for the bike was the commute to and from work – a couple of miles each way with some steep old hills on the return home that Bath is renowned for and always take the fun out of using a standard pedal bike. Straight away, the Transcend is an absolute joy. With a wide saddle to add to add a touch of comfort, the 250Watt Yamaha motor, neatly hidden away in central pedal hub, was super smooth and easy to use. Simply press the ‘on’ button, select the level of assistance that you want and you’re away.

Yes, you do need to pedal, but with the electronic power settings and a seven speed Shimano twist grip gear change fitted as standard, those pesky hills suddenly become minor inconveniences as you’re shooting past lycra-clad super-serious motor-less cyclists with a slightly guilty grin. Even with its 25 km/h top speed (around 15mph), the Transcend E+ is also brought to a smooth halt thanks to disc brakes front and rear.

Best of all, I arrived at work not at all sweaty or out of breath. In fact, this worked even better when one evening I was booked in for a business social event in town. Instead of my usual option of taking the car, I could instead turn up on the Transcend E+, in my best smart casuals and without worrying about looking too dishevelled or like I’d just finished a training session.

The Momentum Transcend E+ comes with its own stand

When it comes to charging the Transcend E+, you can either take the battery off or charge it in situ, with a simply little charge supplied as standard with the bike. With a maximum range of 105 miles (which will reduce it you’re really hitting those hills or going flat out), it means that you could well get a good week’s worth of commuting in before the battery needs a boost, with a full charge taking around four hours.

This was certainly a bike that attracted compliments wherever it went. At my chosen co-worker space for the week, I was soon being asked what it was like to ride and how much it cost, with consideration for using it as a commuter vehicle, while a couple of parents on the school run liked the idea of it allowing them to keep up with their children on a family cycle ride out. Pop on the optional luggage racks front and rear, and it’s also ideal for dealing with the family shop.

Perhaps just as important, the Transcend E+ is a lot of fun to ride. I found myself taking the longer routes home just to enjoy speeding along with no real effort, zooming past the lines of traffic jammed cars and safe in the fact that I could pull over a park pretty much where I wanted and without having to fork out for Bath’s way too high parking charges. This also gave me a chance to try out the various settings available via the integrated handlebar system control to make the most of the electric motor’s power.

If there is a negative point, it’s that the lack of suspension did mean that when the bike hit any of Bath’s many pot holes, it was pretty jarring, even with the saddle doing its best to cushion the blows. Mind you, that could well have been partly due to the super hard tyres, and with a few psi released and the tyres slightly softer, the bumps became more manageable.

Ultimately, I absolutely loved the Momentum Transcend E+. With a mileage range that makes even commuting from Bath to Bristol a doddle, as well as providing the ability to help even the most reluctant cyclist keep up with their children on a day out along the the network of local cycle tracks, this is a stylish, practical and hugely enjoyable piece of kit that is also a great alternative to the second family car.

For more information on the Momentum Transcend E+ speak to the team at Avon Valley Cyclery on 01225 442442 or by visiting