2 February 2017

Deciphering QWIC e-bike names

They make great electric bikes, but QWIC uses a somewhat baffling naming system. That is until you know how it works and then it all makes perfect sense – it’s the engineering DNA of the company coming out. So here’s the lowdown to help you work out the best bike for your type of riding.


The letter to the left of the hyphen tells you which bike series the model is from – eg P-RD10.

Originally there was only one series of high-quality, premium bikes so there was no prefix needed – if there’s no hyphen (eg N380), the bike is from the Premium Series, in which the focus is on design and comfort.

P is for the Performance Series, which has bikes with high-torque motors and top-end components that are built for… performance. ‘The best we can build,’ says QWIC.

is for the Compact Series, which currently means the one folding bike QWIC makes.


The next letter gives the motor position. This doesn’t need much explanation: F is for front, M is for mid and R is for rear.


Each name ends with a letter followed by a number. Anything with an N has hub gears, and a D denotes derailleur gears.

If there’s a low number then that’s how many gears the bike has, and a number in hundreds means that the bike is fitted with NuVinci CVT
(continuously variable transmission). With CVT you can change how hard it is to pedal, but there are no discrete steps, just a continuous range adjusted by a dial in the same way as a volume control. And the high number gives you the gear ratio, which means the N380 will have a greater ratio than the N330.

So the P-RD10 has a rear motor with a 10-speed derailleur, MN8 has a mid motor and 8-speed hub gears, and the MN330 has a mid motor plus continuously variably transmission with a 330% ratio. You don’t have to worry too much about the ratio (which is the difference between the top and bottom gear) – you won’t be looking for one more gear lower or higher because you’ve chosen the NuVinci system.

Finally anything with a decimal point (e.g. FN7.1) means there’s a new version of the bike, much like with the numbering used for software.

So now you’ve cracked the code…



25 January 2017

Propeller Bikes retail opens

New website, new venture. It could be risky starting a new blog with a prediction, though 2017 does look like it could be the year when electric bikes really take off in the UK – the tea leaves are aligning. So to build on our track record in the commercial sector and better show Londoners…

Young and and woman riding Stromer ST1 electric bikes

22 February 2017

Electric bikes are for old people… aren’t they?

Some people think an e-bike is just like a normal bike except you don’t do much work – good for dodgy knees. Here’s what it’s really like riding an e-bike in London Electric bikes are essentially standard bikes with a battery and motor which gives you assistance as you pedal, which is why they are treated legally like a regular bike (except you…