How good are e-Bikes really? And more importantly, how good are they for how long? We went to south Wales with a Commencal, a Canyon and a Focus to find out.
Can they last 90 miles with 7,500 metres of climbing? Watch the video above to find out. We attempted a properly big ride – one with an elevation gain approaching 5700m! – and one that takes you on an incredible tour of some of south Wales’ quieter and less-ridden trails.
Cwmcarn to Afan route
This Cwmcarn to Afan route delivered as many highs and lows as the landscape itself, contrasting the 21st century trail centres with tracks as old as the land.
It’s a route that delivers as many highs and lows as the landscape itself, contrasting the 21st century singletrack of two acclaimed trail centres with tracks as old as the land, and opening a window on the past and a snapshot of the present.
There’s a point on Cwmcarn’s Forest Drive where the trees draw back like curtains on a widescreen panorama. Stretching west are ‘The Valleys’; Sirhowy, Rhymney, Merthyr, Rhondda Ogmore and Afan.
Every time we’ve stopped here to gaze across the layered hills, we’ve wondered about the terrain spreading before us.
It’s been a nagging urge to explore the landscape, discover what trails lie hidden within, learn about its industrial relics and find out how green are its valleys.
A few weeks ago we got the chance to scratch that itch, riding from Cwmcarn in the east to Afan Glyncorrwyg in the west.
It was a route that delivered as many highs and lows as the landscape itself, contrasting the 21st century singletrack of two acclaimed trail centres with tracks as old as the land, and opening a window on the past and a snapshot of the present.
As the crow flies, Cwmcarn to Afan is about 40km. My route added a further 100km and chalked up an elevation gain approaching 5700m.
In case it wasn’t clear in the video, to cover the distance we used an additional battery on all three bikes. Our support vehicle carried the extra batteries for the Commencal and the Canyon, while the Focus used the additional TEC battery for the first part of the ride, and then this was removed and left in van for the last part of the ride.