Hi, I’m Vicki Steward, I have loved cycling for over four decades, ever since I was a little kid and experienced the thrill and freedom of riding my bike without stabilizers for the first time. I’m a writer and photographer, I write a blog all about Glastonbury, the beautiful, magical town where I live in Somerset.
How we found out about Eskute
I’ve had lots of bikes, mainly hybrids as I like to go off road sometimes and explore the countryside. My partner is a really keen downhiller and used to test ride bikes for top cycle manufacturers. A few years ago we went to Malta on holiday and discovered we could rent out electric bikes, we’d never gone electric before and we loved it! We were able to explore miles of the hilly countryside, in the hot sun, without being too tired to hit the cocktail bars in the evenings. Back in the UK I picked up a second-hand electric shopper style bike, but my partner was always riding it as he now has arthritis in both knees and finds riding his downhill bike too painful. Meanwhile, I couldn’t go out riding with him on my old mountain bike as I couldn’t keep up!
We needed two electric bikes. I started researching on the internet and was overwhelmed by the amount of choice. I thought we were going to have to spend a lot of money to get bikes we were happy with. Then my brother decided he wanted an electric bike too and after some research he decided to buy an Eskute. He showed us the website. We thought the bikes looked good, but they were very inexpensive, we thought he might even regret the purchase. When my Brother’s new bike arrived we went round to help him assemble it. It was well packaged with clear instructions and even a basic toolkit. My partner checked over the components and was pleasantly surprised by their quality, he had the bike ready to go in less than an hour. We were so excited to give it test rides that we sneaked out on it before my brother got a chance! Once we’d both had a go, we decided we were getting Eskute Voyagers too.
Great Build Quality
We ordered the bikes on a Monday, they arrived on Wednesday, it was great knowing they were being sent from the UK so we had no worries about delays or custom charges. We were really impressed with the build quality of the bikes. While you’re not going to get top quality components at this price the important bits - like the wheels, suspension and frame are actually really good. Even the peripherals like the saddle, grips and pedals are fine. We might upgrade them eventually but for now we’re perfectly happy. The motor felt really smooth and quiet compared to my old electric bike. There’s plenty of travel in the adjustable suspension to give a comfortable ride on gravel trails and even on grass.
We live on the Somerset Levels, it’s mostly flat countryside, so you might think you don’t need an electric bike, but it means we can go on much longer rides and hills become fun rather than a challenge. Eskute say the battery can potentially enable you to cover 100km on one charge, in the right conditions. From our experience so far we don’t think that’s unrealistic. We’ve not run out of battery power yet.
I was impressed by the number of functions on the computer, although the manual is not that easy to understand. If I had to pick one fault it would be that the instructions for the supplied mudguards (which are a very clever retractable design) are totally incomprehensible. I had to ask a friend who is an engineer to fit them for me!
The Eskute is quick but it can take a while to cycle through town as so many people stop me and ask about my bike. Everyone remarks on how attractive and rugged the Voyager is. I'm so enthusiastic I spend ages telling them about all it’s features. The frame is only available in one size, but is really cleverly designed. I’m only 5’2” tall, but with a quick and easy adjustment of the seat height I can let my tall friends have test rides. Everyone who has had a go has said they want their own Eskute.
My partner was really sad because he thought his arthritis would mean he had to give up cycling, now he loves his Voyager. A friend who has problems walking has bought a Voyager too, it’s enabled him to get out and about for the first time in a year. We’re all in our fifties and we’re recommending Eskutes to all our friends, including older cyclists who are worried they are getting too old for bikes. But these don’t feel like bikes for old people - the design is really cool and the Voyager will tackle rough terrain with ease, we can still be adventurous.
I still feel like I’m getting good exercise on my Eskute, in fact I get more exercise because I enjoy it so much I’m always looking for a reason to go out for a ride. My favourite route is through the local nature reserves on the Somerset Levels. They follow the route of the old railway line alongside the canal. I take a lot of photographs when I’m out cycling. I also use my Voyager when I’m delivering copies of my books to the local shops and when I’m picking up some groceries from the supermarket. I am site manager for a stage at Glastonbury Festival, so I spend a month living on site.I’m really looking forward to next year when I will be taking my Eskute to get around before the event, it takes over an hour to get from end to the other by foot, so on the bike it will be a breeze.
I’m on a mission to persuade more people to get on their bikes, Somerset has such wonderful countryside and riding an eBike means you’re not endangering the landscape you’re riding through. I’m really pleased that I can now not only recommend people get cycling, but can also suggest specific bikes to them.
I have no hesitation in recommending Eskute. I’ve found their customer service really good, all my questions have been answered quickly and completely. The bikes have exceeded all our expectations at a really good price. You’ll find more of my adventures on my Eskute on my blog at Normal For Glastonbury and my Facebook page.