Author Topic: Circe Helios Electric Assist  (Read 7114 times)

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Circe Helios Electric Assist
« on: July 02, 2016, 10:51:23 am »
Mrs. Wow and I had a try on one of these yesterday.We picked it up from Longstanton and rode it, mostly along the Cambridge Guided Busway, to my sister's house in St. Ives.

It was, of course, great fun. We were given the once-over with the controls - there is a small LCD panel with the on-off switch and displays telling you your speed, what gear you are in, how much battery capacity is left, that sort of useful stuff, and two flick-switches, one either side. The right hand operates the gear chance (all electronically powered) and the left hand changes the amount of power being used. There are 4 levels: off, eco, normal and high. You can ride the bike without the power on at all, but you can't change gear if you do. You can also put it in automatic mode, in which it selects gears for you based upon your speed, cadence rate and the amount of effort being put in. I didn't like this when I tried it.

The 7.5 miles to my sister's place took 44 minutes, according to the Garmin. That is considerably faster than our normal moving average on the tandem, and I had it in eco-mode for the entire trip. I really like the busway - an old railway line which has buses zooming along it at high speed, kept on the straight and narrow by sensors on the wheels. There is no barrier between the cyclepath/bridleway and the buses, and my sister told me a horror story about her grandson, profoundly deaf, who was only pulled out of the way of the bus at the last minute by his cousin. When the buses are in guided mode, the driver, it seems, sits back and does not much.

Because of tedious traffic problems in the morning, we arrived at Circe's workshop about 2 hours later than planned. That really cut down on time with my sister, which was very annoying. At 4pm I phoned the shop to see what time they closed, and was asked to be back there by 5. That meant getting on with it, as I had promised my sister and her partner a try. He did fine on the front, but she panicked and didn't get to try it, which was a shame. He rode it round the block and was very entertained by the whole idea.

We set off again at about 4.20 and this time I bunged it in "high" mode and we started pushing. We went almost the entire way in gear 8 and arrived back at 4.50! Mrs Wow and I averaged 15 miles an hour! We've never done that before.

Then came the tetris: could we fit it in the car? Off came the front wheel and the QR bars/seatposts. It just squeezed in diagonally. Could I fit my bike in? Provided I removed both wheels, the bars and the seatpost - not ideal. There was still somewhere let for our granddaughter to sit. We would still have to squeeze a tent in, but that would not be beyond us, I am sure! So, we are going to buy one. It's much lighter and more manageable than our wonderful Thorn tandem, and we can go faster.

One other very nice feature: the Shimano Step motor is on the pilot's bottom bracket. It is a feature of this that the pilot can freewheel whilst the stoker is pedalling. This, of course, leads to the cranks being "out of sync", but more importantly, allows her to say "He's not pedalling at the front!"
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

peliroja

  • Mrs Woolly
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 01:18:10 pm »
Very exciting! Did you take any pics?

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 01:35:59 pm »
Sounds promising, but you tested an electric assist bike in a place without any hills...

I expect the automatic mode makes incorrect assumptions about your preferred cadence.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 01:46:41 pm »
Have you considered getting an electric kit for the Thorn?

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2016, 01:54:31 pm »
Have you considered getting an electric kit for the Thorn?

Which would also function as an electric kit for the solos, if you're cunning.

Not much good for hauling grandchildren, thobut.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2016, 02:23:37 pm »
Have you considered getting an electric kit for the Thorn?

Yes. Thorn had a recommended supplier, but my initial investigations indicated that it would require the forks to be cold set to accept a wider hub. Front wheel assist is the only possible solution on the Thorn. Rear wheel and we would lose our wonderful Rohloff (whose wonderfulness becomes less necessary with more power) and because of eccentric bottom brackets, we couldn't fit them there.

If we can get away with the fork not being spread, then I would not be averse to it, and as Kim says, it would be trivial transferring the front wheel from one bike to another.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2016, 02:24:58 pm »
Very exciting! Did you take any pics?

I thought I had taken a couple of photos with my bro-in-law in the driving seat, but they are not on my phone. Must have buggered it up (again!).
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 12:48:37 pm »
Brilliant! I'm very jealous, I really fancy electric assist for mine - you can retro fit a front wheel motor. I hope you have lots of fun on it! Are you getting it separable?
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 01:04:08 pm »
Have you considered getting an electric kit for the Thorn?

Yes. Thorn had a recommended supplier, but my initial investigations indicated that it would require the forks to be cold set to accept a wider hub. Front wheel assist is the only possible solution on the Thorn. Rear wheel and we would lose our wonderful Rohloff (whose wonderfulness becomes less necessary with more power) and because of eccentric bottom brackets, we couldn't fit them there.

If we can get away with the fork not being spread, then I would not be averse to it, and as Kim says, it would be trivial transferring the front wheel from one bike to another.

Have you looked at the stoke monkey? Getting it to fit anything other than a longtail may require having some plates made. I'm sure that the electric bike company in cambridge (who have made some very naughty electric bikes in the past) could help.

Video of the Stoke Monkey here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN3SXISavFw


Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 02:43:55 pm »
Brilliant! I'm very jealous, I really fancy electric assist for mine - you can retro fit a front wheel motor. I hope you have lots of fun on it! Are you getting it separable?
Further investigations this morning indicated that we were riding a prototype and the frames for production are still in Taiwan or somewhere. Lead-in time for delivery is therefore unknown but not short. I have booked the prototype again for the Wing weekend.

So far as I understand, the frame is not separable, hence the critical nature of us being able to fit it in the car. I don't know what form of attachment is fitted to the separable frames, but it seems to be considerably less robust than S & S couplings, which I use quite happily on our Thorn tandem.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 04:47:00 pm »
It looks as though delivery will be some time in September.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2016, 05:52:58 am »
Have you looked at the stoke monkey? Getting it to fit anything other than a longtail may require having some plates made. I'm sure that the electric bike company in cambridge (who have made some very naughty electric bikes in the past) could help.

Video of the Stoke Monkey here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN3SXISavFw

Before I watched the video, I was expecting a sort of robot gorilla sitting on the stoker's saddle. Disappointing!

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2016, 05:09:11 pm »
Brilliant! I'm very jealous, I really fancy electric assist for mine - you can retro fit a front wheel motor. I hope you have lots of fun on it! Are you getting it separable?
Further investigations this morning indicated that we were riding a prototype and the frames for production are still in Taiwan or somewhere. Lead-in time for delivery is therefore unknown but not short. I have booked the prototype again for the Wing weekend.

So far as I understand, the frame is not separable, hence the critical nature of us being able to fit it in the car. I don't know what form of attachment is fitted to the separable frames, but it seems to be considerably less robust than S & S couplings, which I use quite happily on our Thorn tandem.

I have had contact from Richard, of Cyclocentric (the firm that sells/builds/imports Circe etc.) and he wondered how I reached the view that the couplings on their tandem were less robust than S & S. It seems that I misunderstood his comment. From a further call, I understand that it's not the couplings that are the weak point. It could be merely that the extra frame flex on a tandem of these dimensions will be very great. Even Thorn's "Double Marathon" frame, which is a pretty rubust bit of kit, has a lot of flex in it when about 35 stones of pilot/stoker are giving it large.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2016, 07:59:16 pm »
Have you considered getting an electric kit for the Thorn?

Yes. Thorn had a recommended supplier, but my initial investigations indicated that it would require the forks to be cold set to accept a wider hub. Front wheel assist is the only possible solution on the Thorn. Rear wheel and we would lose our wonderful Rohloff (whose wonderfulness becomes less necessary with more power) and because of eccentric bottom brackets, we couldn't fit them there.

If we can get away with the fork not being spread, then I would not be averse to it, and as Kim says, it would be trivial transferring the front wheel from one bike to another.

Why not get a new wider fork built so you can swap it back to manual without getting the fork un-spread squashed back?
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2016, 07:59:23 pm »
Things are Happening on this front. It looks as though we will be getting this bike by the end of the month. I parted with the deposit today.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2016, 10:35:29 am »
Delays, delays.

A phone call today indicated that the bike is built with the exception of the hydraulic front brake, for which parts are awaited and expected (hoped for?) by the end of this week.

A realistic collection date of next week, I think.

It is a very healthy state of affairs that a new electric tandem is a considerably more toothsome prospect than a new electric car...
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2016, 06:41:32 pm »
Exciting stuff!

My Helios has a conversion kit fitted as replacement front wheel, but the STEPS version looks very good.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2016, 07:53:49 pm »
Looking forward to an e-tandem ride!

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2016, 08:32:27 pm »
Exciting stuff!

My Helios has a conversion kit fitted as replacement front wheel, but the STEPS version looks very good.
Which kit do you have?
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2016, 07:02:47 pm »
Still waiting. It seems that Circe are awaiting the front brake assembly or some such (hydraulic discs). I was hoping to get the bike by the end of this week, but that's now looking doubtful.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2016, 12:40:53 pm »
And it will be ready on on Friday! Mrs. Wow and I will go to collect, have lunch with sis in St. Ives and then find a 7kw charger for the car before we go for a potter round Cambridge.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Adam

  • It'll soon be summer
    • Charity ride Durness to Dover 18-25th June 2011
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2016, 10:28:36 pm »
Exciting stuff!

My Helios has a conversion kit fitted as replacement front wheel, but the STEPS version looks very good.
Which kit do you have?

About 18 months ago I bought a Sparticle kit from Electric Bike Sales - https://www.electricbikesales.co.uk/sparticle-250-watt-electric%20bike%20-conversion-kit-v8

It's a very tight fit on the front forks, so you need a bit of brute force to replace the wheel if you get a puncture (only 1 so far).  It's only got a 260 Ah battery, but I run it with a thumb throttle (legal back then) and reckon I can do around 20 miles loaded up with shopping etc, with no pedalling at all.  Unloaded, it does go faster than 15mph...........
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2016, 03:47:44 pm »
Well, we have it! Quite a struggle to get in the car, but it fits. We have had only a short ride so far. Will play with it properly tomorrow.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2016, 10:02:58 pm »










Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Circe Helios Electric Assist
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2016, 09:25:26 am »
Exciting !.  Looking forward to the ride reports