I was tired of being late to leave for the school run and the roads are too busy near us. But is this e-bike a solution?
My kid’s school is about a mile from our house. It’s walkable for sure, but that requires girding our loins and leaving at the right time – one that combines when my wife and I need to be at work and when she has to be at the gates.
We live in a small town which has a serious car problem. Roads are often chock-a-block, particularly with enormous cars that take up huge amounts of space. In other words, from a travel perspective as well as an environmental one, we wanted to find an alternative way to do the school run.
We might well have found it in the Eskuta SX-250 (we tested the leisure model). I was struck initially by how it looks – those of you of a certain vintage might remember European holidays where you saw teenagers gadding about on something that looked like this, a combo of a moped and bicycle. But aside from the initial aesthetic, what that scooter style means is a roomy and exceptionally comfortable seat. My daughter and I fitted easily onto it and I could have ridden it for miles and miles without a sore, you know, bum.
From the moment we pulled up at school on it, we got curious folk desperate to chat – if you’re one of those people who likes to be noticed, then this is the vehicle for you. But aside from the double takes, everyone was far more interested in its rideability and ease of use.
And this bike has that in spades. With fat tyres and robust suspension, it’s a dream to ride. The battery, though not super-fast to charge, lasted a good long time, particularly for the constant short hops that we were doing. You’re not cycling this to Land’s End and back on a single charge, but that’s fine.
Given the regulations in the UK, this has a maximum of 15.5mph (though it did slip up to 17 on occasion), but if you were to use it in Europe, there are modes that allow it to go faster.
That’s plenty quick enough for the commute to the station or school and means you never feel out of control, which I was a bit worried about initially.
Luckily, it’s easy to get into the swing of things. Eskuta have put a nifty set-off button on the handle which gets you off the mark (or up a curb for instance), before you then take over pedalling. Because of how this bike’s motor works, you do have to keep pedalling, but with almost zero resistance. It’s strangely comforting to gently pedal as you go along, rather than just press a throttle.
The dashboard is laid out simply and the alarm/immobiliser is loud enough to scare off potential thieves. I was worried about that when I parked it at the station and in town, but with a back tyre that locks and using a D-lock on the front, I never had any problems.
Charging is easy. You can either remove the battery from under the saddle and do it inside, or you can utilise an outside plug and go direct into the bike itself. I tried both and didn’t notice any difference in charging speeds, but I didn’t test it loads.
And then there’s its cost – when I arranged the test initially I assumed this would have been £3000+, but the leisure model is only £1795. That’s a bargain.
Buy an Eskuta here. I’m planning to.