The reason? I failed to Read The Fucking Manual.
To be honest, I didn’t even know we HAD a manual. But on looking at it last night, Steve found that the reason I’d been feeling that the bike was sluggish lately wasn’t my tyres (which we’d checked) but the fact that I’d hit the speed limiter. Oops.
Assist level 1 apparently has a speed limiter of 15kmph and I’ve been merrily cruising along at 18 or 20kmph. It felt curiously like I was riding with the brakes on, but I put it down to perhaps being a bit tired… In actual fact, the motor was trying to slow me down.
We’d been told by the friend who recommended the bike that we should ride in assist level 1, but apparently, level 1 is the eco-setting, designed to preserve the battery. In actual fact, you’re meant to ride along in level 2.
This is unbelievably fast on the flat. I tried it today and it seemed frankly a bit mental – the slightest trace of a descent and you need legs like a roadrunner.
But at least I feel a bit less guilty now about actually using level 2 at all. I’ve been using it occasionally on long uphill stretches and when cycling into headwinds, not so much to ease the burden but in order to keep my speed up. It felt a bit like cheating, but the last thing I want is a massive tractor behind me as I struggle up a hill at a snail’s pace.
I still don’t like using assist 2 on the flat or anything resembling a downhill slope, however slight, but now I feel freer to use it a lot more often.