If you're a journalist or stylist and need information or would like to test ride a Spencer Ivy electric bicycle please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sunday Times takes our Spencer for a jolly ride!
"Forget the weedy clunky ebikes of the past: these machines are affordable, efficient and handsome"
Thank you to The Sunday Times for running a Bench Test on our Spencer electric bike.
In their 'InGear' supplement review of electric bikes we get four out of five stars.
To quote Simon Munk of The Sunday Times, the Spencer is "Solid and well-equipped"
You can read more of the review on our blog page by clicking here, or see more details of our Spencer electric bike here.
Spencer Ivy's debut in the big blue book!
In addition to the wonderful newspaper and magazine articles, we were very pleased to be invited to be included in the very high quality "coffee-table" book from Cyclorama, who are dedicated to oustanding and specialised bicycles.
To pick up a book yourself visit www.cyclorama.net for a full list of retailers.
Here's a testimonial:
“ Mick, ... I popped by and picked up a copy of the Cyclorama book. Brilliant! It's the most uplifting thing I've read in ages. It's socially responsible problem solving, so much ingenuity and a sense of fun. I spend so much time reading and hearing about social and environmental problems; when I read Cyclorama I thought, OK, we are pretty clever, maybe civilisation will survive this after all. "
Electric Bike Magazine Editor, Peter Eland visits our Leeds bike dealer to test ride Spencer for the day
To read any of the pages below, simply click on the image. This will open a new window where you'll be able to zoom into the page.
Podium: An Intelligent View on Sport features our bikes in their monthly magazine
"Spencer Ivy Bikes"
British designed and German built using top-of-the-line material, these trendsetting bicycles are a must-have adventure gadget. With a 250w electric power motor that lasts up to 86 miles, Spencer Ivy bikes make it possible for any cyclists to go out on a biking adventure regardless of their ability.
Kensington and Chelsea Today takes a Spencer Ivy electric bicycle for a spin around the Royal Borough
"Electra-glide in black"
The feeling one experiences on getting on this bike and turning it on, is a pleasant sensation, as, with very little effort, one is whisked along faster than one could pedal without the help of the 250 watt electric motor.
As one would expect there is enormous pleasure to be gained from passing other cyclists, with seemingly no effort, who are puffing their way up steep hills on their mountain bikes. The only competition comes from those wiry, little men in figure-hugging Lycra, with skinny tyres and calves like bowling pins, who really do go uphill faster than most of us can go down. It’s always very gratifying to feel one is getting something for nothing.
The styling is classy and classically ‘retro’, and even the handlebars on the step-through Ladies model, called Ivy, naturally, are harking back to another age. There is a useful rear rack with a fiercely-sprung hinge, a ‘nurse’s lock’, a rear kick-stand and a comfortable Brookes leather saddle, so one has a good riding position and visibility. The battery sits between the frame and rear wheel, and is easily removed for re-charging, or to stop it being nicked. The motor itself is barely noticeable, being housed in the chain-guard. I did always arrive ahead of my usual journey time, with considerable less effort than the journey would take had I taken my own non-electric bicycle.
This month Rob Penn takes on our Spencer electric bike
"Sharp looking and lovely to ride"
Rob Penn, journalist for the Financial Times, The Observer, Sunday Times and Conde Nast Traveller, as well as author of the world-famous cycling book "It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels" trials a Spencer Ivy electric bike.
We are featured in this month's The City magazine's Health & Fitness News section
"Cycling Without Strain"
Invest in a Spencer Ivy electric bike and you can arrive at work on two wheels without having lost your composure or even broken a sweat. Using a torque sensor to detect the power you apply to the pedals, the bike's maintenance-free crank-motor system calculates how much assistance to deliver through the chain, helping you over a range of 86 miles per charge, whatever the terrain. For urban cyclists, accelerating from junctions and roundabouts will never be a problem again.
Sarah Baxter from The Independent tries electric with Drover Holidays, Hay-on-Wye
"A cycle ride to get you all charged up"
It was all a matter of perspective. For me, the moment was quite extraordinary: my nostrils were tickled by the perfume of pine and a whiff like cinder toffee, coming from who-knows-what (but nonetheless delicious); the sun dappled between the trees, a perfect spring warmer; the reservoir below was a-glitter; the arresting, anvil-like peak ahead held no fear for my cycle-happy legs. Here, in Wales’s Brecon Beacons, all was bird-tweeting, azure-skied serenity.
For my boyfriend Paul, the moment was rather different, despite the mere metres (albeit a growing number of them) separating us. For him, pine-freshness was diminished by the fug of effort; memories of the reservoir – a-glitter or otherwise – erased by exertion; the peak ahead a terrifying prospect.
I tried not to look smug as I waited (and waited) for Paul to join me. Well, I tried a bit. Then I gave in, allowing smugness free reign as he inched closer in the jerky thrusts indicative of pedalling up a hill with an unforgiving gradient. I’m no professional cyclist. Neither is Paul lazy. But on this particular day, on this particular hillside, both might just as well have been true. On a weekend break with Drover Holidays, Was riding a new Spencer Ivy (specifically “Ivy” without a crossbar; “Spencer” is full-framed), an old-school cycle with a modern modification: battery power. At the press of a handlebar mounted button, I could call on “low”, “medium” or “high” power assistance to aid with the hard bits.
Paul, on the other hand, had declined the electric option in favour of a more traditional bicycle: better gears, lighter frame. Fool! Had he never heard of the Beacons? South Wales’ lovely-but-lumpy playground – sheep-dotted slopes, rugged mountains, topping out at 886m Pen y Fan. The SAS train here! I wanted to enjoy all that up-down Beacon-age without worrying about my lack of Special Forces skills. So the start of our first day’s cycle, east along the canal from Brecon, was almost disappointing in its flatness. Almost, but not quite, because the surroundings were delightfully Welsh: the grass a green of almost artificial luminosity, daffodils nodding their cheery yellow heads, sheep baaaaa-ing noisily, like a countryside House of Commons.
The e-bike may not have been tested in those first miles, but the journey was still a lot of fun. Setting off on “medium” felt like having a helping hand: a gentle push from mum on the swings, or the kind gust of a tailwind. It didn’t bypass the need to pedal. Rather, it rewarded effort exerted: the more I put in, the more it gave back.
We pootled along the towpath to Talybont-on-Usk, bobbing under stone bridges and past the watery reflections of the flanking slopes. We transferred to quiet roads daubed with “ARAF–SLOW”, which I took to be good lifestyle advice rather than safety instruction. Either way, Paul found them amusing.
Then we hit our first hill. Suddenly it was like being wafted upwards by a dozen flapping cherubim. I caught up with Paul, drew level, then sailed past. I conquered the gradient with minimal fuss, the bike’s battery thrumming quietly all the while. At the top I paused at the sign pointing us across the Talybont reservoir, and waited. And waited.
“I... am... man,” wheezed Paul. “Don’t... need... help...”
It was as we cycled across the dam that I felt the first twangs of smugness. We were down at water level; on every side forest-prickled slopes rose up. It was inevitable we’d rise with them. Indeed, the path followed a disused railway – a gradual climb through a barrow of trees. So gradual that I asked, in my power-assisted haze, “Are we still going up?”
Paul, however, was increasingly pink and uncommunicative: I took this as a yes. I could feel the effort, even with my “engine” on, but was glad. I liked the idea of deserving my views across water-trickled dells to scooped glacial valleys.
Still climbing, we passed a couple of resting cyclists, red of face and moist of brow. They were heading all the way to Cardiff, they explained, and eyed my bike with mixed emotion.
“That’s cheating!” one declared. Then: “How fast does it go? How much does it cost? How easy does it make the hills?” I could see envy in their eyes. Well placed envy, too: the hardest task, that pine-fresh slope, was just ahead.
The downhill whiz was a pleasure for us both, freewheeling on traffic-less roads back to Talybont and the Camra-lauded refreshment of the Star Inn. “You go to the bar,” implored Paul. “I want chips.”
Cycling day two, and Paul and I compared pains: both our backsides were saddlesore, but while his neck and knuckles were stiff from clenched uphill effort, mine were fine. We were off on another circular route – from Brecon towards Llangorse Lake. Though close to yesterday’s circuit, the ride felt very different. The slopes were a field patchwork, and little villages crowded between the landscape’s ripples.
One unexpected benefit of the e-bike was the liberty it granted. Sitting upright on the old-fashioned frame, not dithering over gears or heads-downing for uphills, you’re free to take in more of your surroundings. At least, that’s what Paul reckoned as he overtook me.
The Beacons had broken him: he’d swapped his bike for an e-version, and was “high-powering” up slopes like a boy with a new toy.
With a range of electric bikes now on offer, Stuff, the world's biggest selling and most trusted gadget review magazine hand-picked Spencer Ivy for their Best Commuter Electric Bike.
Is the thought of commuting to work by bike worse than work itself? The Spencer can help... with 50 miles torque-sensitive pedal-assisted power, high-quality Shimano gears and brakes, and a maintenance-free Panasonic engine – you’ll be wondering why you ever wasted money on petrol. Three levels of support means up-hill rides feel like downhill, and long straights won’t even have you breaking a sweat.
Trending with the Editors of Vanity Fair in Spain, they have showcased our electric bikes in their magazine
"Electric Bikes for Ultimate Movement"
British elegance and Panasonic technology come together to create Spencer, one of the models created by Spencer Ivy to revolutionise your life with its super powers.
London and Brighton's culture with conscience magazine
"Five Big Ideas"
January - April 2011
ON YER BIKE! Made a resolution to work? Given up already? Don't despair - Spencer Ivy's electric bicycles are the perfect fix. They look great and come in any colour you like as long as it's black. And the 'electric' bit doesn't mean it's cheating either. Honest. The motor can be set to one of three levels so you can decide how hard you want your commute to be. As well as embracing the great outdoors, you'll save cash and reduce your carbon footprint.
Helping readers pick the best bike for their needs
"Plug and Play"
December - January 2011
Continuing our voyage 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?
Offering 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 the 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 pedaling, 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 of the Shimano 6 volt dynamo hub motor, the Spencer also comes equipped with puncture resistant Continental Touring tires, a bum-friendly Selle Royal Lookin saddle, a chain guard, kickstand, mudguards, Pletscher rear carrier with spring trap and even an integrated lock. Offering almost everything the casual commuter could possibly want, 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 have come across to date and battery notwithstanding we think the Spencer is actually a rather good looking bike.
Bikes we want for Christmas No. 6: Spencer Ivy Electric Bicycle
24 December 2010
There has always been a stigma attached to electric bikes, for one reason or another they have never really caught on but is that about to change? Spencer Ivy bring you electric bikes that look rather attractive. Although I am a big fan of pedal power there are some days when I would welcome a bit of help!
The eBike that makes people go “wow, that is nice!”
18 November 2010
We’re not yet at the stage of having our small island invaded by eBikes. Perhaps the feeling that you’re cheating has something to do with it. The poor quality of the initial electric bikes that arrived in the UK market may also have put people off. However, a number of companies are banking that eBikes have a big role to play in our transportation future. Riding around London on Spencer of Spencer Ivy I can see why they might think this.
Hopping on the bike and pushing your foot down slightly on the pedal instantly kicks in the motor. Unlike the GoCycle, another electric bike which I’ve tried out in the past, you need to be pedalling to benefit from the electric motor. This definitely feels more natural as a cyclist.
Using the bike for the first time I observe that it handles well. I point my wheels in the direction of Canary Wharf. It’s time to impress my friend with my new toy ….my friend is instantly impressed: “Wow, that is nice!”. I count that as the first of many compliments I’ll be clocking up sporting this bike. Excitedly, I explain to him how fun my short first test ride was and what a great looking bike it is.
Encouraging you to cycle more
I set the power to full and ride in the direction of Regents Park. It’s a far more comfortable and effortless ride than normal. Stopping and starting at traffic lights is when you really notice the benefit of an electric bike such as Spencer. I arrive home without having broken a sweat.
I’m soon out of the house again running various errands. Using the bike I found myself cycling more often. This is partly due to the reduced effort required to pedal but also the way the bike is setup. A chain cage means you don’t need to worry about your trousers getting caught in the gears and a pannier rack proves very useful on a trip to the post office to deliver some Proviz helmets to lucky London Cyclist winners.
Va Hua, the owner of Spencer Ivy a new company that sells these electric bikes, has lent me it for five days so I have plenty of time to test it out. I decide to take it with me to Birmingham as I’m visiting family anyway to really put it through its paces.
Showing off the bike has really become my favourite activity. Taking it home once again everyone comments on the appearance of the bike. A few test rides by various members of the family and they’re converted to eBikes.
By default I’m not exactly in the target market of this bike. Therefore it’s difficult to pass a final review. ….. However, if I was to assume for a moment I was the sort of person that would buy an eBike then I would be hard pressed to beat the offering by Spencer and Ivy. The bike rides beautifully, the battery life was plenty and it’s a stunning design that’s guaranteed to turns heads.
I think there’s definitely a market for electric bikes and I would assume they will seriously grow in popularity. Bikes such as this one by Spencer Ivy are proof that eBike manufacturers have moved on from the early offerings.
Providing daily reviews of latest and best eco-friendly technology
10 November 2010
Spencer Ivy create high quality electric bicycles that appeal to all, from hectic commuters to busy mums. The electric motor assists you as you peddle to provide a more constant speed no matter what the terrain. With the electric bike you can travel further distances and faster than otherwise possible without losing your composure, nor producing any terrible noises or fumes. With a full change of the battery costing around 5p and providing you with assistance for up to 50 miles, this electric bike could radically change the way you travel.
Spencer Ivy are based in London Docklands and produce two models of electric bike currently. They aim to provide eco-friendly transport that is suitable for all (over the age of 14 due to EU laws) which helps to save you money, provide you with added safety for your journey and reduces the amount of noise and fumes on the roads. The silently operating electric motor assists you as much or as little as you wish, to allow you to travel with ease over any terrain. To fully experience the difference these bikes could make to your life book a test ride today!
The company aim to produce electric bicycles that are as eco-friendly as possible causing them to look into every fine detail to ensure that the bicycles are a truly green mode of transport. Each bicycle goes through a three layer powder coating paint process which allows the bikes to have amazingly durable paintwork which causes minimal amounts of residue. Both bikes use a Shimano dynamo hub to power the Busch & Muller front and rear LED lights, this helps to ensure that you can always have your lights on when cycling without any concerns over replacing batteries.
The tires used for the bikes are high-end Continental TopContact puncture resistant tyres which feature a reflective strip. The durability of these tyres ensures that you will rarely need to replace them helping to save on the quantity of rubber that may have gone to landfill during the life of the bike. Due to the use of internal gears, the bikes require far less maintenance than a 'traditional' bike, maybe once a year rather than once a month. This leads to less need for cleaning agents and grease helping to save costs and help reduce the amount of chemicals released into the environment.
This fine eye for greener details is also shown in the choice of battery, the Panasonic batteries for the bikes use Lithium Manganese cells. These batteries allow a high-performance power output while being a better for the environment, as when it comes to disposal these batteries are easier to recycle than batteries that use NiCad, NiMH or even worse, lead-acid. Each bike also includes a Pletscher EasyFix rear carrier with spring hinges, this provides you with the ability to even attach a baby seat to the bike, helpful to those who for instance want to encourage their children to cycle to school, or for trips out to the park or in the countryside.
The Spencer Electric Bike is an electric bike designed to appeal to commuters due to its sleek style. The Spencer has a Selle Royal gel comfort saddle to help ensure you ride in comfort. One of the major factors for this models appeal is its aesthetics which cause it to have more in common with a traditional cycle than the often ugly conventional electrical bikes. Due to the assistance the motor provides, the bike offers extra safety to your ride when dealing with busy roads, providing confidence whenever you need to pull away at junctions or roundabouts. The bike is exempt from the congestion change, helpful to those traveling around London. The Spencer can be purchased for just £1,895.
The Ivy has been designed to be a classic step through bike with a modern twist. The Ivy Electric Bike features Brooks aged leather sprung saddle and matching Brooks leather grips for added comfort with style. These traditional cycle touches help to give the Ivy a stylish look while providing quality modern technology to assist you in your journey. The Ivy can be purchased for just £1,895.
Both bikes use a high performance Panasonic 250 Watt brushless mid-mounted motor, this coupled with the Panasonic Lithium-ion 26 Volt 10Ah battery allow up to 50 miles of travel per battery charge. The removable battery is thought to cost only around 5p (£0.05) to fully charge, a great saving compared to fuel costs or even public transport. The silently operating motor allows you to pick from 3 different assistance settings, allowing you to control the amount of assistance you would like from the motor during your ride, letting the bike work for you as much or as little as you require.
Spencer Ivy work along side Re-Cycle, helping to collect up unwanted bikes from customers and sending them to Re-Cycle to help change lives in Africa, helping children and workers make journeys that would have previously have taken hours of walking.
The electric bikes from Spencer Ivy (who can be followed at @spencer_ivy) provide the freedom of cycling to anyone (over the age of 14). The motor assistance helps you to travel further and faster than a traditional bike, and helps to make mole hills out of any mountains in your path. Spencer Ivy care about their products and the environment, causing them to create the bikes to be as environmentally friendly as possible with each component examined to ensure both a green and quality result.
3 November 2010
When asked to test drive an electric bicycle for Spencer Ivy, I was initially a little skeptical wondering what sort of high tech gadgets an electric bicycle would consist of. However I needn't have been too alarmed, as an electric bicycle is in fact pretty much just like an ordinary bike, except that it has a motor attached to it.
There are a number of electric bicycles out on the market, and some come with a throttle similar to a moped, which means cycling is not required. However the Spencer Ivy bicycles do not come with a throttle, which was great news for me, but apparently is also better news for the bike, as having a throttle can really limit the range of the battery, and also means there is no input for the rider meaning no health gain.
The motor, which is battery powered, is lithium and magnesium based, which means not only is it better for the environment, compared to some of the older electric bicycles which use NiCad or lead acid batteries, but it is also lighter. To be honest I really was amazed at the weight, as with the EU limit being 40kg, I was expecting that the bikes would be quite hefty pieces of machinery, but infact it wasn't much heavier than a mountain bike - 21.5kg to be precise.
Once I had tentatively mounted the bike, I soon clocked on to the ingeniousness of the design. As with any other bike, you can pedal away, however when you can't be bothered to pedal [so hard] or you simply want to show off, you press the power button on the left of the handlebars. This kicks the motor into play, and... you speed off leaving your fictitious adversaries eating your dust. This is especially fun/useful when going up hills, as your fellow road users will be flummoxed at how effortlessly you are climbing while they huff and puff and sweat. Remember to do a bit of perfunctory pedalling though, otherwise you'll give the game away.
When I spoke to Va Hua, the creator of the Spencer Ivy electric bicycles, I asked him why we should choose electric bicycles, and here's what he had to say:
"Simply put, you enjoy all of the health and fitness benefits of riding a bicycle with none of the downsides. You'll breeze over the hills with ease and be able to travel further and faster without breaking a sweat or losing your composure.
A Spencer Ivy electric bicycle is safer than its traditional counterpart too, as you will maintain a more constant speed whatever the terrain, and there will be fewer wobbly moments. Not to mention the eco and economical choice factors involved, as for urban cyclists, the maintenance costs are a fraction of what you might spend on public transport or on running a car"
So what is the battery life like? Well the battery is said to last some 50 miles, and the bike also comes with a charging station, so when your battery is running low on juice, you recharge the bike by attaching it to a battery pack and plugging into the mains (taking around 3hrs to fully charge).
I guess though that the main question on everyone's mind is the cost of purchasing these bikes. Well these bikes come at £1,895, which at first glance does seem quite a lot of money. However consideration needs to be given to the versatility it offers. The Spencer Ivy aim is to make cycling more accessible to people who don't usually cycle or have difficulty doing so, whether due to age or fitness ability. With their electric bicycles, cycling becomes a more realistic option for a lot of people and is a great alternative to everyday driving and public transport.
Again, a lot of thought has been given to the style elements of the bike, as Spencer Ivy have selected Brooks leather saddle for the ladies bicycle which are known to get better and more comfortable with age. This comes with matching Brooks leather handlebar grips, and they have also produced a colour coded chain guard, mud-guards, rims and wheel spokes. Accessories include front wicker basket, rear Pletscher quick-fix child seat, Basil splash proof panniers.
In closing comments Va Hua added:
"With our bicycles, riders will be saving time and money on their commute, whilst also reaping in the health and environmental benefits of normal pedalling. The on-demand electric assist means not only will hills be tackled with ease but carrying heavy loads such as your shopping or child will be too."
Muswell Hill's weekly newspaper on Spencer Ivy: "The Zone Ranger Goes Green"
30 September 2010
COMMUTERS are saddling up for the latest eco-friendly way to travel without having to break into a sweat.
The Spencer Ivy electric bike - ridden by Muswell Hill's very own "zone ranger", aka Peter Thompson - is the latest carbon-free initiative to be pedalled by the Muswell Hill Low Carbon Zone project. The bikes allow riders to switch between manual to electrically powered cycling to help riders choose between getting fit or having an electric boost to help get up steep hills. Its creator Va Hua, said it would help everyone get into cycling, from busy mothers to the elderly, adding: "The bicycles are a great alternative to everyday cars and public transport, while allowing riders to save time and money on their travel as well as helping the environment." The new bikes are being launched at the London Cycle Show from October 7-10.
3 August 2010
Bicycles for Fashionistas!
We're so loving the new craze about to land - Spencer Ivy electric bicycles. These bicycles motor you up hills, meaning you won't have the sweat fest you get from ordinary cycles. But you can also switch the motor off, so you can burn some calories too. Clever eh?