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Welcome to our Guest Blog Spot

Cycletourer logoAs several people have asked us we thought it would be great to have some guest bloggers contributing to our site. If you would like to be a guest blogger on this spot and write an article that is relevant to cycletouring then please get in touch. As this is a non commercial site we are looking for articles from genuine touring cyclists, therefore no commercial articles please.

Koga E-Worldtraveller - e-bike review

By Brenda Cupryna

In 2018, my husband and I were on a cycle tour in the Netherlands and Germany and I was having difficulty in keeping up the speed with him. Age comes to us all!! I had always said that I would wait until I was 70 before getting an e-bike but Dear Husband (DH) said it was only 2 years early and I should really consider getting an e-bike. So on returning home after a 1000miles + journey I contacted Dave at Cyclesense in Tadcaster.

This small family run cycle shop is the main supplier of Dutch make Koga here in the UK. DH and I have been riding Koga Randonneur touring bikes and so we know and like the brand of bikes we have been using. This made me want to try an e-bike version. Unfortunately, the chromoly steel Randonneur isn’t made in an e-bike and in fact has been discontinued. So I phoned Dave and he had a World Traveller e-bike in my size. I asked the colour and he said “Blue” my favourite colour, so off I went to test ride it. The upshot was I came home with it in the boot of my car. As an added incentive this bicycle comes with free lifetime servicing at the shop. We have used this and only paid for any parts needed which so far has only been a chain change.

Shortly after DH and I went off to cycle Hadrian Wall cycle route. We have ridden this a number of times and it had become increasingly difficult for me. We took the train to Carlisle, me with the e-bike and DH with his Randonneur. All went fine, me pulling my Radical Designs trailer and him with panniers, until the escarpment just after Lanercost priory. I shot up the hill without any difficulty and DH came puffing up behind as I waited at the top of the hill. A complete role reversal. After the 2nd day, he had decided a new bike – an e-bike would be ordered. So we now both have a Koga world traveller e-bike. A bit twee I know but it suits us.

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Koga E-Worldtraveller - e-bike

As you can see the cycle comes complete with front and rear Tubus racks . The front rack has a stand made for Koga and in conjunction with the rear kick stand, makes for a very stable way to load the bikes with panniers. The rear rack can support 40kg of luggage. I was disappointed that there were no butterfly bars but the handlebars do have ergonomic grips with really good bar ends which give nearly as many hand positions for me – I do have small hands though. I changed the supplied Selle saddle as I had discovered the ISM touring saddle a year or so earlier. It is a strange shape but is most comfortable for long hours in the saddle on extended tours.

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Battery above the Hub Motor.

The wheels are 36 spoked and take 28x2 Schwalbe Marathon plus e-bike ready tyres. While not MTB’s we have ridden them off road and have not had any problems. There are good coverage SKS mudguards . The front forks have attachment places for bike bottles as does the down tube. If I have front panniers on I find that I cannot attach large bottles and the place on the downtube stops me getting my leg through. I can no longer swing my leg high enough to clear the saddle.

The version we have has a Bosch CX Performance line hub motor and has a 500w Li – Ion battery which on average gives me about 75miles on a full charge. The battery is on the down tube which makes the weight distribution stable and the battery can be quickly changed. DH often rides with no assist on and it gives him a good work out as the bikes are heavier than our randonneurs. This helps us to ride at a similar speed when I have the eco mode on. DH has ridden 150 miles in one day, on one battery charge, returning home still with power in the battery.

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USB lead into controller/Monitor.

The monitor/controller shows speed, mileage, range and has a clock and also controls the lights front and rear. The motor has 4 assist modes eco, tour, sport and turbo. I mainly ride in eco with a bit of help on tour. On really steep hills , I will step it up into sport but rarely use the turbo mode. One little feature that I didn’t realise about at first, there is a small black triangle that shows if your gear is too high or low which indicates a need to change. The gears are Shimano HG-500 10 derailleur 11-34 gears which are easy to change with Rapidfire shifters.

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Micro USB Port for charging a phone etc.

Braking is good with Magura hydraulic disc brakes but can be a little squealy in wet weather and the cabling is well hidden in the frame. In addition the Busch and Muller lighting is integrated and the controller has a switch to easily operate them while riding. One additional item I have only used once is the USB plug which with the addition of a small cable allows mobile phones to be charged. The cable needs to be bought separately . We usually use a power bank to keep phones charged during the day but on the one occasion I ran out of power on my phone and this little item was so useful.

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Battery being charged in situ.

Often on tours we will cycle in excess of 70 miles in a day pulling Radical design trailers, and so we don’t run out of power , we invested in a spare battery each. This means I don’t get what electric car drivers call range anxiety. We still cycle camp and carry our chargers and for hooking up on campsites, we carry a short standard extension cable. This can be plugged into the electric points on campsites both in the UK and Europe. Sometimes, during the day, if we call into a café we ask if we can put power into the battery. On one occasion the café owner said he didn’t have room for the bicycle. When I explained that the battery was detachable , he was quite happy for us to plug in at a nearby socket. The battery can also be recharged in situ as shown below. The same charger also plugs directly into the battery when removed easily from the frame with a key.

The same key is also used for the built in café lock attached to the rear wheel and has to be in position while riding so you don’t need to stick it in a pocket while riding.

Since I bought the E- World Traveller about 18 months ago I have cycled 6349 miles , 4752 miles in 2019. It has restored all the joy to cycling for me and now I have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my right knee, I know I have made the right decision for me.