Tel 01227 792 792 Fax 01227 794 888
FAQs Frequently Asked Questions
What Quality Control checks are performed prior to shipment of the cycle?
EXW - Quality Inspection Checklist

Construction & Assembly Check
  1. Hexagon socket screws metal/metal with a plain or spring washer
  2. Hexagon socket screws metal/plastic with oversized plain or spring washer
  3. PAS Installation: Pedalling sensor well fixed, cable protected
  4. Frame: check the frame for damages and painting defects
  5. Fork: check the fork for damages, painting and proper rotation, compression check, check all screws
  6. Label check: model name, 'CE label' and label 'ACC to EN15194, 25km/h, 250W', safety label CE, 25km/h, 'Acc EN15194, 25km/h, 250W'
  7. Front wheel: wheel centres and fixed, cable of motor fixed
  8. Front wheel rotation: lateral tolerance <1mm and concentricity tolerance <1mm, check rotation of rim <1mm
  9. Front brake: adjustment, brake effect within 1/3 of brake levers
  10. Rear wheel: wheel fixed
  11. Rear wheel: lateral tolerance <1 mm and concentricity tolerance <1mm, check rotation of rim <1mm
  12. Rear brake: adjustment, brake effect within 1/3 of brake levers
  13. Mudguards: centred and screws fixed
  14. Stand: screws fixed, function
  15. Handle bar: grips, bell, brake levers, gear levers, light switch, battery indicator, all screws fixed
  16. Saddle: adjusted and fixed
  17. Electric system: front LED light fixed, rear LED light fixed
  18. Battery and rear rack: fixed
  19. Wiring: wirings protected by black harness and fixed
  20. Reflectors: 2 reflectors each wheel, front reflector inside front LED light, 1 LED light with reflector
  21. Gear changer front
  22. Gear changer rear 

Function Check

  1. Function pedalling: check pedalling function
  2. Function gears: switching all gears in front and back side, adjust limits of changers, check gear change levers
  3. Brakes: front and rear brake function
  4. Switch on, motor function, pedalling check, battery indicator function, brake switch off function
  5. Function motor working support
  6. Lighting system: front light and rear light function
  7. Drive check: switch on electrical system, ride for bike for 1 minutes, accelerate, brake, switch off

Package Check

  1. Motor: power check (250W)
  2. Battery voltage (36v) and capacity check (9AH)
  3. Packing and transport: package protection against scratches and damages, all fixed by straps and tape, no loose parts
  4. Battery charger and cables inside
  5. 2 keys inside
  6. Manual/operation instructions inside
  7. Tool bag: rain cover, tools and tyre fit inside
  8. Additional ordered equipment inside
All checks are normally performed on a rolling road.

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The Law
BS EN15194 is the official standard for electric bicycles in Europe, the UK will shortly adopt this standard - all Kudos bicycles already have been tested and comply with this standard.

To remain exempt from motor vehicle legislation an electric bicycle must comply with the following:
  • Maximum rated motor power 250 watts
  • Maximum power assisted speed 15.5mph (25kmh)
  • Power to the motor is cut when brakes are applied
  • Power only available when pedals are turning
  • Maximum bike weight 40 kilos
  • E-bike riders must be 14 years old
This allows an electric bicycle to be treated just as a conventional bicycle - they can ride on cycle tracks but do not require compulsory registration, insurance or MOT - for legislation purposes consider them as a normal bicycle.

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How much is the cost of a replacement battery?

A big factor when considering the long term ownership costs of an electric bicycle. The most popular battery fitted to e-bikes has been lithium manganese (LiMnO4), this has an average recharge limit of 500 cycles (say, 2 years). Current cost is averaging about £300 but extreme examples can be £1000 plus.  All Kudos cycles, unless stated otherwise, are fitted with the latest lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePO4) which are cheaper to replace (current average price £210.00 incl 20% VAT) and may have a recharge limit of over 1500 cycles (say, 5 years). They also have a very low self discharge rate, even when left unused. 

Our new lightweight performance bikes (Secret, Cobra, Tornado, Arriba & the latest crank drive) will use LiMnO4 to take advantage of the increased energy density (lighter weight) of that type of battery, however customers must appreciate this may be at the expense of reduced cycle life. Replacement cost will still be a reasonable £200.  Some manufacturers are now using compound cathode polymer batteries which is clamied 800-1100 recharges. The average cost seems to be about £350, we consider this currently to be an unacceptably high replacement cost but may review in the future.

 

 



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What is the life of the battery?
Kudos Cycles currently (November 2012) use either LiFePO4 or LiMnO4 batteries. The best of the lithium manganese batteries lose at least 10% of their capacity over 2 years and the degradation is rapid after that period. Whereas LiFePO4 batteries have been shown to lose only 2% of their capacity over 2 years and the degradation afterwards is very slow. 

If lightweight is not a priority then LiFePO4 is the prefered selection, it is fast to recharge, offers full power until completely discharged and exhibits high discharge rate capability when required. On disposal, perhaps after 5 years, LiFePO4 does not contain any toxic heavy metals such as lead or cadmium nor any corrosive acids or akalines making LiFePO4 the most environmentally friendly battery chemistry available.

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What is the range of the battery?

The range that can be achieved is based upon a number of variables, including battery capacity, rider weight, headwinds, flat or hilly and how much power via the crank pedal the rider is prepared to input. However, based upon average conditions, the following miles should be achievable.

9AH/10AH battery - 27-30 miles

Our updated 'Rule of thumb' is 3 miles per AH

Don't forget, unlike an electric car, if you exceed the battery range you always have the knowledge that you can pedal home.



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What is the weight of the cycle?
The weight of the Kudos bicycles are stated in each product description. Generally the urban bikes (City, Lady and Commuter) are built heavier and tougher. Whereas the mountain and touring bikes are generally lighter - our Tourer at 21.30kgs is a particularly light cycle.

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Are e-bikes safer than conventional bikes?
Electric bikes are easier to ride than conventional bikes, the rider is less tired and more alert. Power assistance can stop you 'wobbling' on hills and allows you to more closely match the speed of other traffic. To pull away from standstill with rapid acceleration can be a big advantage on a fast busy junction - at a busy roundabout this can be a real life saver.

Having the big battery capacity allows the use of powerful 36v LED front and rear lights, to see and be seen.

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Do I need a licence, road tax, MOT or insurance?
You do not compulsorily need any of these, but it may be sensible to insure your e-bike against theft and third party public liability - this is often covered by your house insurance but needs checking.

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Do I need to wear a helmet?
Not compulsory, but is obviously a sensible safety precaution when riding any bicycle.

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What is the legality of use?
All Kudos cycles are road and cycle path legal, the rider must be minimum 14 years old.

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When does the power cut off?
  • When the bike exceeds 15.5mph (25kph)
  • When you stop pedalling
  • When you apply the brakes


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How about spare parts?
Our parent company is Rally Design, established over 38 years, we have considerable experience in stocking and servicing imported product. Our initial spares stock is over £20K. Our bikes are all sourced from well respected and well financed large cycle manufacturers who have extensive R&D and quality control facilities. However, like any mechanical/electrical product it can go wrong - we have a spare part for every bespoke part likely to fail, we will price spares fairly. For normal consumables like tyres, brake blocks and cables, these are mainly Shimano stock product available from most bike shops but if you prefer you can buy from our on-line shop.

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Can I buy a kit to convert my conventional bike to power assist?
Yes, you can, but it is questionable whether it is financially worthwhile. The price of the battery, motor and controller/sensors is such a large percentage of the total cost of the bike and Asian assembly labour costs are so low that the effort is just not worthwhile.

Whilst writing this reply, I am looking at a hub kit from one of the popular UK e-bike suppliers priced £850.00+VAT, total £1020.00. That is more expensive than my top of the range Tourer, King or Commuter bicycle.

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Can I buy batteries & spare parts to service my e-bike even if not supplied by Kudos?
Yes, of course, however you must ensure that the battery will fit in your current frame and that all parts are compatible with our components on your cycle - it is particularly important to note whether your cycle is wired 24v or 36v. We realise our average £200.00 inc. VAT battery price is very competitive - let's hope it acts as a catalyst for other e-bike suppliers to be more realistic when pricing replacement batteries, Kudos would welcome a fairer pricing structure.

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Why are your bikes so much cheaper?
We buy in considerable bulk direct from the manufacturer and sell direct to the consumer, there are no expensive 'middle men' in the supply chain - these agents can add 60% to the bike's price, a £945.00 cycle from Kudos would be £1500 in a 'high end' agent.

However, we do sell through agents, but only those who appreciate that the profit margin needs to be reasonable so as to maintain a competitive retail price.

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Your bikes are cheap but also highly spec'd?
The savings revealed by bulk buying were fed back into the bicycle to ensure that the specification, quality and style matches that of the top quality German and Dutch cycles. We don't sell cheap low quality cycles, we sell top quality cycles at a mid range price.

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Are your bikes made in China?
Yes, as are many of the e-bikes in the world. Even the 'high end' manufacturers sometimes buy their frames in China. The Chinese now have manufacturers dedicated only to export markets - quite frankly these factories are too high quality and too expensive for the Chinese domestic market, but they understand the requirements of the European market.

Some of the mainland Europe manufacturers try to disguise the origin of the cycle and/or its parts. We think this is dishonest, Kudos will always declare the country of origin if asked.

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I have seen an e-bike for £490.00?
This will certainly have been made in Asia. It must be understood that these Chinese manufacturers should correctly be called assemblers - they rarely manufacture anything in house, all parts manufactured are contracted out, they will build a bike to the price level you are prepared to pay. So a £490.00 bike will be the sum of the cheapest materials and parts available. This is one product that at the supply end you definitely 'get what you pay for'.

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Kudos, here today - gone tomorrow?
No, we are committed to this product for the long term - it required an extension to our warehouse to accommodate the 700 plus opening stock - also we have committed to £20k supporting stock of spare parts. Our parent company, Rally Design Ltd, has been established 38 years. However, we are still a family owned and run business.

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Warranty
 

The bicycle is warranted for (1) year, excluding consumable parts. 

The LiFePo4 battery is warranted for (2) years.

the LiMnO4 battery is warranted for (1) year.

Please refer to the warranty under terms and conditions for more detail.

Warranty

- LiMnO4 Battery - 1 year

 


- LiFePO4 Battery- 2 years

 - Bike (Excluding consumables & wear & tear) - 1 year


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Can I test the bike?
Yes, of course, our warehouse is located - Kudos Cycles, Unit 4, St Augustine's Business Park, Estuary Way, Swalecliffe, Kent, CT5 2QJ. We would prefer that you make a telephone appointment, but you can just turn up. Don't forget your helmet! You can cash and carry subject to satisfactory payment security - we have good stocks.

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Regenerative Controller
In my opinion, marketing hype! The small amount of energy that can be regenerated in braking or downhill charging just does not seem worth all the extra equipment and cost.

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Twist & Go
The use of twist grip throttle to provide power without pedalling would seem to be in contravention of European regulations and are only legal in the UK under the 1982 EAPC regulations. However, at a recent trade bike show in Holland I was advised that it is legal as a special licence costing £40.00 per cycle. In typical Government style, they have managed to create confusion out of simplicity. On this one I suggest you do your own homework.

Some of our bikes have 'twist & go' facility but disconnected - I suggest you only reconnect when legal to do so.

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What happens if I lose my keys?
Each Kudos cycle is supplied with (2) keys to suit the battery/ignition system, plus where fitted the anti theft lock.

It is very important that you keep the spare keys safe.  We regret that it will not be possible for us to issue replacements even if the key number is known.

It is strongly suggested that you have spare keys cut and keep these in a safe place.

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Unit 4, St. Augustine's Business Park, Estuary Way, Swalecliffe, Kent CT5 2QJ, UK
Tel 0044 (0) 1227 792792 Fax. 0044 (0) 1227 794888 www.kudoscycles.com