Continuing our voyage of discovery through the electric bike market, our latest encounter is with an up and coming brand, Spencer Ivy Bicycles. Created by Va Hua there are just two models, one gents, one ladies, which are both built around a Panasonic motor system. So how would this elegant newcomer perform?
100 THE BICYCLE BUYER | D E C E M B E R – J ANUA R Y 11
ffering three levels of help via the control panel on the handlebars, the first thing you notice is that even with when set to ‘high’, you’re still doing a fair share of the work, with the motor seemingly gently adding that extra little bit of umph if and when required. Limited to a speed of 15.5mph in eighth gear in line with EU regulations, wherein the motor cuts out, the ‘Spencer’ gent’s model we tested demands you work the Shimano Alfine eight speed hub gears just as you would on a ‘conventional’ bike with the torque sensor in the chainring adapting to your pedalling, subtly sharing the workload in the background. This offers a silky smooth ride feel, which isn’t always the case with some pedal assist systems and the positioning of the battery pack and motor around the bottom bracket of the bike just adds to this as the Spencer feels composed and deceptively nimble for it’s actual, less than svelte weight of 21.5kg. . Powered by a Lithium Manganese battery from Panasonic, from empty it will take approximately five hours to fully charge and should help you cover fifty miles or so in medium assist mode. Easy to remove, via a key, the battery has charge life of around 500 charge cycles, which Spencer Ivy estimate is around three to four years, with that of course depending on its usage. Kitted out with Busch and Muller IQ Cyo front and rear LED lights, powered courtesy of the Shimano 6 volt dynamo hub motor, the Spencer also comes equipped with puncture resistant Continental Touring tyres, a bum-friendly Selle Royal Lookin saddle, a chain guard, kickstand, mudguards and a Pletscher rear carrier with spring trap. Offering almost everything the casual commuter could possibly want, bar perhaps an integrated lock, the bikes are built up by Cytech accredited mechanics and as an added bonus, when Spencer ivy deliver your bike they will run you through all it’s features to ensure you know what you’re doing come battery charging time. Priced at £1,895, while that’s not cheap whichever way you look at it, you do get an awful lot of bike for your money. The ride quality is excellent, the Panasonic motor is one of the best we’ve come across to date and battery notwithstanding we think the Spencer is actually a rather good looking bike. b spencerivy.com
D E C E M B E R – J ANUA R Y 11 | THE BICYCLE BUYER 101