That’s Elsie’s new bike, that is, with her on it allotment-bound. It’s a Kalkhoff Agattu pedelec, which is a rather expensive but very high quality German electrically-assisted bicycle. I’ve got one the same now, only mine’s got my scruffy old half-dead black panniers on it rather than those posh blue ones of Elsie’s. And in case you’re wondering, the answers to the questions we get asked most often about them are …
Round here we can do 30-35 miles before the batteries need recharging (which uses about 9p-worth of electric), but I’m sure we’d do well over 50 if we moved to the Fens.
The battery’s got a theoretical life of over 1000 charge/discharge cycles, and it’s guaranteed two years (as is the bike).
The motor drives the chain, not the wheels, so it too benefits from the 8-speed hub gears.
The motor supplies one of three levels of assistance – half as much effort as the rider’s putting in, the same, or twice as much – and that’s all worked out automatically by the electronics.
Yes, they are legal in the UK . They’re bicycles, not electric mopeds, and no, you don’t have to wear a magic hat whilst riding one.
Yes, they are supremely comfortable, and yes the frame is aluminium so no, it won’t rust,.
Yes, the brakes are indeed hydraulic, and no, the lights work off the dynamo on the front wheel, not off the battery.
And no, riding down hills doesn’t charge the battery.
Let’s just say that they’re jolly good, and we now seem to be more or less back on track for The Giving Up Of The Motor Car, about which more in due course. That’s obviously going to have an effect on our ability to buy-in machines for resale after we’ve fettled them, which leads me nicely on to the subject of 201K’s for sale.
Last Sunday, I was literally a couple of hours away from listing another Mk1 201 on the Singers for Sale page when we got an enquiry from a gent asking did we have one. Yes we did, it was exactly what he wanted, and it left here yesterday bound for Norfolk. And no sooner had it left than we got another email from a lady in London town asking … have we by any chance got a nice Mk2 201 for sale? Yes we have, or to be more precise will have once we’ve given it The Treatment, so at least we know what we’re going to be doing next!
Now, and I kid you not, no sooner had I sorted that out and Elsie was gone in the bath than in comes another email asking – do we have a long waiting list for 201’s? To which it was tempting to reply “No, but at this rate we very soon will have!”. But I didn’t, so it looks like we now have two more 201’s pretty much accounted for even before we’ve started work on them.
So, where is this all leading? To a waiting list, dear reader. That’s where. At least for the time being, if you’re after a nice 201K, the way forward is to drop us an email and tell us what exactly you’re in need of. Specifically, it’s helpful if we know your preference for Mk1 or Mk2 (the difference between them being only looks and 4.5Kg), and how important cosmetic condition is to you assuming that the machine’s 100% mechanically. It’s also handy to know how bothered you are about the type and condition of its base and case.
Right, I’m off to get the kettle on and then amend the Singers for Sale page accordingly …