After 17,000-plus kilometres, 12 countries and with a new world e-bike long distance record in the bag, the E-Bike Cycle Tourists jetted off to country number 13 – Cyprus – in early February to continue our ongoing e-bike adventure.
While Cyprus, as a non-Schengen country, was mainly chosen as an ideal place in the sun to sit out our three month Schengen visa exclusion period from mainland Europe, since our arrival the place has been nothing short of a revelation.
Winter sun, yes, in bucket loads, but also great cycling, more history than we can get our heads around and scenery to die for at every turn of the road.
But given we were unable to fly to Cyprus with our much loved Haibike xDuro Trekking e-bikes due to the recently introduced blanket ban on flying with e-bike batteries – as has been well documented previously – and given we did not want to stop e-biking before returning to Portugal in May to continue our travels through Spain, France, Germany, Austria and Hungary, what were we to do?
The truth of the matter is that we were not sure, but thankfully that is where Emil and Lucie Fabel from Cyprus E-Bikes stepped in to save the day – or at least three wasted months – for the E-Bike Cycle Tourists.
The result? Through until we leave this beautiful island in early May we are riding two Dutch styled Gloria City Bikes with rear hub motors courtesy of Cyprus E-Bikes. So far in just two weeks we have clocked up 714kms exploring the western part of Cyprus in the Paphos region, with our goal by the time we eventually fly back to Portugal 3000 or so kilometres – or 20,000-plus kilometres in total since we set off from London in April 2015.
So what is it like riding Chinese-made rear wheel hub e-bikes after cycling for more than 17,000kms on our Haibike xDuro Trekking bikes with the Bosch performance motor system?
While clearly we are huge fans of the Haibike/Bosch system, there is also much to like about our bright green Gloria City Bikes.
But basically other than the fact that they both have electric motors that require their batteries to be charged via mains electricity, they are totally different beasts.
In so many areas – including price, style, weight, torque delivery and looks – they are totally different, a classic case of the idiom comparing apples with oranges if ever there was one!
But clearly we are a couple who are up for a challenge, so here goes.
Suffice to say while we are now committed Haibike enthusiasts and have been amazed by the reliability and build quality the German brand – and intend to continue riding them when we eventually return to Australia – we have been pleasantly surprised by the power provided and the comfort of the ride offered by the Gloria e-bikes as supplied by Cyprus E-Bikes.
German-made Haibike xDuro Trekking e-bike 2016 model – list price 3500 Euros
Chinese-made Gloria City Bikes with a 12ah battery – list price 1270 Euros
Style, appearance and reliability:
Haibike: When it comes to e-bike styling in our humble opinion they don’t come much better than that available in the extensive Haibike range. The bikes look good, use quality build components and are definite head-turners. Despite 17,000-plus kilometres of cycling during the past 10 months over all sorts of terrain, the bikes have not given us one moment’s trouble – testament indeed to the build quality of the e-bikes. Basically no matter what way you look at our Trekking model Haibikes they just ooze class.
Gloria: There is no doubt that in the looks and quality of build departments the Gloria e-bikes are right up there. While the bikes are lighter than the Haibike brand and are therefore not as stable on the road at high speed when carrying a heavy load, in just about every other aspect they pass with flying colours. They come with quality Shimano components and a 24 month guarantee, a good sign that the manufacturer fully backs their product. Given that it is not possible to judge our bikes’ reliability after just 700 or so kilometres and we are not towing trailers while in Cyprus, if first indications are anything to go by they should have no trouble lasting the distance.
Haibike: In a nutshell our Trekking xDuro RX e-bikes combine robust, high quality mechanical components – drive train, disc brakes and shocks – with top shelf motor power. The Bosch powered motor and electronics provide an intuitive and powerful power delivery all day, every day. Multiple power settings and full range of 27 gears allow you to conquer any hill – a fact we can certainly vouch for given the fact that no hill has defeated us during 17,000 kms of e-biking.
Gloria: Prior to riding our Chinese-made Gloria bikes for the first time neither of us had ever ridden a hub motor e-bike, so we didn’t know what to expect given the fact that a number of so-called “experts” had warned us that we would struggle with a lack of power. While on steep hills it is fair to say the Haibike/Bosch system provides much more power, in every other respect the Gloria hub motor e-bikes are just as powerful. It has also been interesting to note that the Chinese-made batteries give just as much – if not more – range than the Bosch batteries. On average over undulating country our Bosch batteries have averaged 50 to 70km per charge. So far the Chinese batteries seem to achieve 60 to 80km per charge over similar territory, an observation that has been interesting indeed.
As mentioned earlier it is virtually impossible to compare the Haibike and Gloria e-bikes such is the difference in their build and technology.
The bottom line is that while the Gloria bikes may be one-third of the cost of the Trekking Haibike model, they provide much more than one-third of the value.
For someone who wants to use the Gloria e-bikes for what they are intended – city commuting – they are great value for money. Basically it comes down to personal preference and the depth of your pockets!