"Yet to find a hill in Northumberland to beat my bike!" - [Review: ARCC Electric Conversion for Brompton]
The ARCC Intelligent Drive Pod has allowed me to rediscover a great hobby.
I bought my Brompton when I retired 7 years ago. Up to the age of 16 in the late 1960s, I, with my brother and sister, were always on bikes and my last bike at that time was a Moulton, which had just been designed. Since leaving school and retiring, some 45 years, I had hardly used a bike. I had hardly noticed the increase in cycle paths during that time.
But after retirement, the nostalgia of bike riding returned. I was not totally unfit but certainly could be fitter. Well over 40 years of car driving, half of which also as a hobby with a specific car club travelling all over Europe meant that the sheer will power to return to travelling under your own effort was not quite so easy even with the nostalgia. And when you reach retirement it is essential to make the effort to do regular exercise in order to maintain even basic fitness. The look of the Brompton always appealed to me. I also have had a prestigious sports car for 30 years and the folding Brompton fits neatly (and very aesthetically) on the luggage rack.
A great combination for travel. Truly marvellous examples of British skills and designs.
Alas, the effort at that age to get back on a bike and ride a reasonable distance rendered the purchase very much a wasted impulse buy for about 6 years and this high specification Brompton became somewhat wasted. I would always have to get off and walk at the merest sight on an incline.
In the meantime about a year ago, I moved from the West Midlands to the North East near the coast. The North East, in particular North Tyneside, has a wonderful coast line and a superb network of cycle paths, using many of the defunct wagonways for walking and cycle routes. And to discover an area like the North East, there is nothing better than on a bike.
And then about the same time I saw an advertisement, I think on YouTube, for the ARCC Intelligent Drive system for use on the Brompton, clearly not just aimed at buyers of new Bromptons but those thousands of owners with traditional manual Bromptons who found that the smaller wheel bike just needed a motor.
I travelled to Cambridge and did a test on it. It answered the problem immediately and much more. I had it fitted within the month. Now I had the best looking foldable bike and the ARCC Intelligent Drive system on it. The combination has proven superb.
It is nice and flat of course on or near the coast and I simply used the first assist to start with. Then I went a little more adventurous inland and realised just how responsive and useful the other 5 assists were. I was doing more and more miles in one go and bought two extra batteries to match my increasing capabilities to do and enjoy longer distances. Most importantly it was all good exercise but the exercise became incidental. It was just good fun. Hills became great fun. Yet to find a hill to beat my ARCC Intelligent Drive Pod. Headwinds were no problem. The ARCC Intelligent Drive system had made exercise just downright enjoyable. The assists are very subtle, very quiet, very responsive just when you need them. You have the options to do a high level of assist to no assist at all and everything in between. So if you want no assist cycling, you simply turn the assist off whilst riding. With 6 gears and 6 assists, I have yet to find a hill in Northumberland to beat my bike.
For someone who would struggle a year ago to do 5 miles on a bike, I have probably done 2500 miles in the last year. I do a lot of 20 to 30 mile routes but have also done a 70 mile route in one ride and a 55 mile in another. I should mention that I was nearly fourteen and half stone and at risk with diabetes a year ago. That has all changed. The cycling using the ARCC Intelligent Drive Pod is far more than I ever did in those youthful days long ago. All I can say is that at 70 years of age, I am rather pleased with the ARCC Intelligent Drive innovation and the decision to buy it was one of the best I have made. It is at the very least nostalgia re-invented.
In addition, I have found the service provided by the ARCC staff, namely Noelle and Roger, absolutely wonderful. They have answered fully all my questions on this system.
I did a car tour of Western and Northern Scotland, the Inner and Outer Hebrides about five years ago. I took my Brompton but only used it sparingly. Now with the ARCC Intelligent Drive system, I hope to do the tour again but with a much greater use of my Brompton.
I would recommend the ARCC Intelligent Drive system to anyone.