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Pedibal Navigata CitE

Electric Bicycle Review25/05/2024
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Pedibal Navigata / Simon JeppsI own TWO of these; both the Stealth Black & Brilliant White. As far as performance for your budget goes ~ don't bother spending anymore on anything else.

View at Pedibal ↝

Especially in the United Kingdom anyway, where ridiculous laws limit both the power and speed of e-bikes to such low levels that unless the bikes are extremely light & nimble and are being ridden by someone likewise light & nimble, they are quite pointless when the motor cuts out at 15.5mph.

So, why then do I own TWO Pedibal Navigatas?

Well, I was clever. I spent a decade watching the industry evolve and all the while I simply couldn't part with cash on something that I wasn't certain would meet requirements.

Then about three years ago, I found the Navigata.

First off my reasons for buying are:
  • 19kg robust lightweight build.
  • Foldable & portable / Trispoke wheels.
  • 40Nm/250W/36V brushless rear wheel motor.
  • Removable/concealed 9.6Ah 36V Battery.
  • DVSA approved Instant Twist Throttle.
  • £999.99 + free delivery.
Also, The Guardian newspaper spoke quite highly of it at the time and well, my Dad reads that so this must be good news! OK... so there are lighter e-bikes, but only marginally so and they are very expensive.

Yet the Navigata offers something quite unique - a Street Legal Instant Twist Throttle. In this country such a luxury is often too good to be true, but not here. Each and every bike produced by Pedibal is acutely tailored to conform with certain parameters so that whence put through a DVSA certification test these parameters allow the bike to pass into a special unique category of e-bicycle ensuring the Instant Twist Throttle is absolutely street legal.

Pedibal DVSA Approval Procedure ↝

Pedibal Navigata / Simon JeppsBenefits of an Instant Twist Throttle:
  • Instant acceleration at junctions, traffic lights & hill starts.
    • Regular pedal assist mode takes a rotation of the pedals to kick in and depending on battery charge there may be some delay or reduction in acceleration. However the Instant Twist Throttle ensures a fast start straight off the mark every time and in the event of a hill start you needn't worry about getting the wheels moving.
  • Overcome deep puddles &/or flood water.
    • Of course I don't reccommend over subjecting the Navigata to deep flood water, as I will mention later, but every now and then if not insanely deep this is perfectly fine and the Instant Twist Throttle allows you to keep your feet out of the spray as the Navigata powers you through the obstruction.
  • Escape from mechanical fault or break down.
    • The Navigata itself as an electric bike is unlikely to break down, however tne mechanical components such as chain, derailleur, breaks & wheels etc are of course subject to the same wear & tear as of any regular bicycle - and then (God forbid) you need to consider road accidents. In all these cases however the Instant Twist Throttle rescues you from becoming stranded on the roads with an inoperable machine, as you merely accelerate your way home pedal-free.
  • The pure relaxing awesome FUNtasticness!
    • Seriously there is nothing that can compare to the convenience and pure leisure of an Instant Twist Throttle - especially in this country where any kind of anti-car technology is quite heavily oppressed.
Pedibal Navigata / Simon JeppsSo... How was I "clever"?

Well, I realised that since neither the power nor speed limits will ever likely be increased in this country, that I could do one better by lightening the bike's weight instead. So I did and, it turns out... this thing STORMS!!

I first replaced the 775g spring loaded leather saddle with a 190g gel racing saddle. Then with my trusty spanners, I removed both the front and rear mudguards, which whilst they look & feel lightweight, it turns out their frame-attachment brackets are peculiarly quite heavy!

All in all I managed to strip an entire 1kg of weight. This doesn't sound like much but believe me it honestly does make a huge difference.

Primarily to acceleration, which is what I was aiming for. You see, as long as it can bolt off the mark, which it now does, then being lightweight grants the rider much more power and muscle efficiency when the motor cuts-out at the legal speed limit of 15.5mph.

Sure it is not possible to increase the power legally on-road, but there is nothing on this planet that can stop you shaving some weight to enhance performance!

Customer Service

Pedibal Navigata / Simon Jepps20 points out of 10.

Over the last three years both Navigatas have clocked up nearly 3,000 miles each!

I have admittedly put both bikes through some hard labour, commuting to and from work every day (24 miles per day) and used them regularly to visit family, collect supermarket shopping or to go on outings around the countryside.

As such both bikes have required some servicing, especially following the recent floodings which, due to my determination to traverse olympic sized swimming pools, did eventually lead to replacing some electrical components.

However all in all not only are these bikes extremely robust but Pedibal Customer Service is out of this world!

I have never in my life had the pleasure of such a wholeheartedly dedicated management providing such outstandingly devoted servicing, repairs, advice, information and all-round righteous understanding of business & customer.

Oh - did I forget generous? I was actually startled out of my spaceship recently whence, following a £100 discount off the price of a previous service (due to delivery issue), I received come the next annual service a new wheel + motor whence I had only asked for the wheel alone! This was due to time constraints and other variables, but I think it goes to show how Pedibal value their devoted customers just as much as they value their own devotion to the e-bike industry!

So once again THANK YOU Pedibal!

Navigata Full Specs

Pedibal Navigata / Simon JeppsFrame
Aluminium Alloy

Folding
3 Point Folding Frame, Handlebar & Pedals with Hub to Hub Locking

Throttle & Pedal Assist
Pedal Assist up to 15.5 mph whilst pedalling.
DVSA-Approved Twist Throttle up to 15.5 mph.

Speed
Motor Assistance stops at 15.5 mph (25 km/h)

Battery
Removable LG 9.6 Ah 36 volt Li-ion Cell - 1.9Kg Concealed in Frame

Weight
19kg. Maximum Load: 120kg

Motor
250W 36V 40Nm brushless integrated rear wheel hub motor

Range
Pedal Assist up to 41 miles (60 km)

Brakes
Tektro Front & Rear Disc

Gearing
Outer 7-speed Shimano Derailleur

Pedibal Navigata / Simon JeppsSaddle & Grip
Faux Leather

Charging
5-6 Hours

Charger
USB AC 100-240V, 2A smart charger

Display
LED KTE Display

Front Light
Integrated

Wheels
Tri-Spoke Magnesium 20" x 1.7" Kenda Tyres

Controller
Intelligent brushless

Chain
KMC

Front fork
KMC

PAS
1:1 Pedal Assist

Size Dimensions
Assembled 152cm x 63cm x 105cm.
Folded 86cm x 50cm x 63cm.
Shipping Carton 90cm x 70cm x 40cm.

Frame height 51cm at seat stem, 64cm at handlebar end.
Handlebars height 101cm lowered to the bottom, 111cm raised to the top.

Summary

Pedibal Navigata / Simon JeppsPerhaps the best investment I have ever made.

I mean, owning TWO is certainly a better investment than owning ONE since I do not or ever wish to drive a car and this way I will always have powered transport whilst one or the other is being serviced.

Sure the range of 41 miles is heavily dependent on usage and so in reality from my own experience, unless your journey is mostly flat or more downhill than uphill you can expect more in the realms of 30 miles range. But hey, that's still good or at least sufficient for many people.

I cycle 24 miles a day ~ a route which includes one very long and increasingly steep hill, almost vertical at its two extremes. The rest is mostly flat and either mildly sloped downhill or mildly sloped uphill. Every night when I get home I still have enough charge to go down the supermarket, bring back some shopping or go for a ride somewhere nearby. In fact I often take a side-lane into the countryside on my way home.

Sure, when it comes to hills you don't want to subject the Navigata to long-near-vertical slopes on a daily basis, but as I have described, I am not lying when I tell you it can handle fairly steep hills with quite substantial merit - providing it has good charge.

Speed...? Once you breach the 15.5mph limit of course it is all down to your own ability to overcome the extra weight burden compared to a regular lightweight bicycle. I have managed to clock up about 23mph on the flats and 40mph downhill... and I'm happy with that.

Sure, if you aren't bothered about how much effort you exert yourself - for example you don't commute to a stressful heavy-lifting factory job everyday - then yes, I would say a regular lightweight bicycle may indeed serve you better for your money.

But let's not beat around the bush here - the Navigata delivers a firm good kick and upholds that kick as would a professional martial artist.

One very important thing I would mention regarding charging your Navigata or any electric bicycle, is that the battery only performs at its absolute optimum when fully drained before a full recharge.

Electric bicycles don't "run out" of fuel like cars do, instead they gradually become "less charged up", effectively becoming weaker and slower as the battery drains. This is because the batteries are not "filled up" like a fuel tank, instead the atoms inside are made to become "excited" and with usage their "draining" is actually a reduction of 'excitement'.

Thus intriguingly what happens is, the more you "top up" from a partially charged state the more any unused charge when you re-charge becomes somewhat "stale" and less "excitable".

Thus if you get home with 20% battery remaining and you decide to "top it up", what you are actually doing is a similar thing to topping up your cup of tea. Ideally you want a fresh cup of tea for optimum taste.

So as a suggestion, I would reccomend atomically draining your battery periodically, either by physically running it completely flat, or by plugging a device into the Navigata's USB port and draining it that way.

Then fully re-charge for 8-10 hours. A standard re-charge should only take 6 hours, but following a full-drain it will require a good while longer. Don't worry, the Navigata's battery has brilliant built-in overcharge protection and I have never heard of one exploding.

Furthermore doing this occasionally will keep the battery extremely healthy and improve its lifespan.

Finally, whilst I am usually a devoted analogue cyclist, who's spirituality is closely aligned with the mechanical realm, I honestly cannot endorse the Pedibal Navigata highly enough. The pure breeeeeeze of sailing across terrain where on a regular cycle you just know you would be akin to a sitting duck is a feeling beyond words to describe.

Oh yeah, one more thing... did I forget to mention Auto-Cruise~Mode? Well, just think... "Knight Rider"... Pedibal Navigata / Simon Jepps

View at Pedibal ↝

Thank you for reading.

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