I see this topic is of interest to a few people – very understandably. The main reason for the battery deterioration is my carelessness, I’m afraid. When I purchased the bike, I took about 5 months registering it, buying insurance etc, and during that time I barely ever charged it, very foolish…! It has been running very well for about a year afterwards, but recently it’s become noticeably slower, sluggish when climbing hills and so on. On average I ride it 5 days a week, approx 20-something miles a day. I don’t take much luggage and I’m not a heavy person either.
Problem is, not sure how many of you have experienced this, that mechanics just plainly refuse to touch the bike…!?! My neighbourhood has quite a few hills and I had huge difficulties finding a guy who would tighten my brakes (mind you, 2-minute job). Now, my technical skills are zero, I’m afraid, but I also don’t see why I should be able to clean or replace my batteries, after all I am very happy to pay a professional to do that – only if there were professionals around who are not afraid of a tiny electric bike *sigh*
Well, end of rant… I have managed to convince a local mechanic in High Barnet to take a look. He, again, refused to replace the batteries, because he couldn’t get matching ones from his suppliers, meaning he wouldn’t be able to give me a guarantee, meaning he won’t do it. However, he cleaned the whole bike, adjusted tyre pressure, brakes and so forth and now the bike runs noticeably quicker. Following Ken’s advice and waiting for the cold weather to be over, I think I can put up buying new batteries for another 3-5 months.
Ken, Tim, if you are reading this, is there any way to establish a professional relationship with a garage in London who would educate themselves on E-Riders and would carry out repair work? Maybe most of you guys are wizards with the screwdriver and can confidently take care of the inside of the bike, but I’m afraid I’m not…
Btw, Paul, thanks for the tip re mobility scooter service, I was contemplating that too, just wasn’t sure whether it’s an appropriate idea or complete craziness. I might have to go down that way in the future.