Electric bicycles brought a new era in the world of bicycling. They combine the physical fitness-oriented characteristics with the convenience of a motorized vehicle, without emitting pollutants like fossil-fuel vehicles. Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S is one of the popular electric bicycles in India. Here is a comprehensive review.
“When your legs scream stop and your lungs are bursting, that’s when it starts. That’s the hurt locker. Winners love it in there” – This is how Australian triathlete and two-time winner of the Ironman World Championship Chris McCormack described cycling.
Remember those good old days, when in the summer vacation you and your friends used to take out the bicycle and start pedalling, without knowing the destination often. It was the kind of exploration we all have done in our childhood, at least the majority of us. A little bigger we became and those bicycles became the medium of personal mobility for us, even when we weren’t giving much emphasis on the term ‘personal mobility.’
The college days came with the charm of motorcycling, riding the machines, belting out the horsepower with a slight churn of the wrist. Those days went by and we entered a new era called the pandemic era when staying at home became the new normal. We had to ditch the typical commuting, joy rides etc. It has been painful for sure. Adding woe to worry is the skyrocketing petrol cost that has already breached the century mark in all major cities across India and not showing any intention of halting or backstepping the rally. But, the pandemic came as a blessing for a certain industry among others. The cycling industry we are talking about.
The dusty old bicycles that were ignored for years have found their relevance again. Mankind has found its long lost love for cycling during the pandemic, not only in India but around the whole world. Keeping pace with the changing dimensions in the mobility sector came the electric bicycles what is more commonly known as e-cycles. It combines the green mobility characteristics of conventional bicycles and the convenience of a motorized two-wheeler, sans the fuel cost of course.
We got our hands on Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S for a few days and tried to use it to the fullest amidst the mobility restrictions, noisy and polluting traffic, honking cars-bikes-buses and what not. But, riding it was pure joy for sure. Adding extra pleasure was the realisation that, amidst so many polluting vehicles, I was riding a truly green vehicle.
A simple yet eye-catching electric bicycle promising a smooth ride
Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S comes with a simple design but don’t underestimate that. It has enough mettle to grab eyeballs from around you. Despite coming with the typical design of a conventional bicycle, the unmatchable edgy alloy frame containing the lithium-ion battery, hub motor at the centre of the rear wheel and gear sprockets can be recognised from a distance. These are enough to grab some eyeballs from pedestrians and motorists or cyclists around you.
Electric bicycles are usually heavier than normal bicycles because of the weight of the concealed battery pack in the down tube, hub motor and the additional sprockets. The 6061 full alloy frame helps the Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S’s overall weight to 20.5 kgs. This lightweight actually helps the rider to accelerate with or without the pedal assist from battery power. The battery pack is neatly concealed in the down tube with no wires seen outside.
There is a LED light fitted at the front acting as a headlamp. The light is not very powerful but provides ample illumination to ensure you ride safely in dark. It can easily illuminate around 5 feet distance ahead. In case, you require more illumination, go for aftermarket LED lights, which is available plenty in the market. One thing we find unusual these days is no bell is provided with bicycles. A bell is something considered an essential part of any bicycle. Not providing that as stock accessories is something considered a point slasher.
A 630 mm handlebar on this electric bicycle with the throttle on the right is smooth and easy to use. The grip quality of the handlebar is okay but adding a rubber grip handlebar would make it more comfortable for those riders who don’t use a glove. This will save them from the inconvenience caused by wet hands during sweaty summer or monsoon. But overall, the handlebar gives a comfortable riding posture for the rider along with the ergonomic stock saddle.
This height-adjustable saddle comes with the perfect length, width and cushioning for a comfortable ride. However, if you are not a regular rider and planning to go for occasional weekend long-distance riding, we recommend you use an extra good quality silicon gel cushion pad. This would ensure some extra comfort.
The 80 mm Mode front fork with Lock In and Lock Out functions, does its duty right to make the ride comfortable and smooth. Kolkata roads are not very welcoming for riders with their frequent potholes and rough patches, especially during mid-monsoon, but the suspension was enough to make the ride less bumpy. Speaking about the overall fit and finish, the Hero electric bicycle gets a good quality glossy paint job that is of top-notch quality. It is available in two colour options – Metallic Cyan Blue and Dark Knight Grey.
Overall, Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S scored the point right for its fit, finish and ride quality.
Precision braking is a gift in city traffic
A famous tyre company’s ad campaign had a catchline – “Streets are filled with idiots.” This is something we realize every now and then while commuting on roads. Even if you are a law-abiding citizen and riding the bicycle (electric bicycle in this case), there will be idiocy from some of your fellow motorists or pedestrians or even cyclists. Precision braking can be a life saviour in this case. Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S comes with that only, promising the rider much-needed safety from idiots.
The Hero Lectro C8’s stopping energy comes from Promax branded performance range mechanical disc brakes at the front and rear. The Hero Lectro C8 rolls on a pair of Ralson 700x38C slick and fast-rolling hybrid tyres. These tyres are well capable of commuting and long distances riding. The dual wall alloy rims are strong enough to handle vibrations of the surface, even while you are riding on a rough patch.
Smooth pedalling with battery power assistance for some extra mile
Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S electric bicycle gets its e-juice from a concealed 5.8Ah lithium-ion IP67 rated battery which powers a BLDC 36V 250W motor positioned in the rear hub. There are three electric riding modes on offer – Pedal Assist, Cruise and Throttle. The Pedal Assist mode has three levels – Low, Medium and High. Each of these three levels gives a specific amount of battery power for each push on pedal making pedalling easier.
For Cruise mode, you just need to press the white button on the control pad fitted on the left handle grip. This will allow the cycle to cruise at a speed of 6 kmph. This can be handy in slow-moving traffic conditions. In Throttle mode, there is a grip accelerator on the right side handlebar very similar to a scooter and motorcycle. The inner half of the right handle grip acts as easy and smooth to rotate throttle.
The battery takes a bit over four hours to be fully charged from 0-100%. It can be charged with any normal Indian plug point with a 440W power supply using the charger provided with the bicycle. The charging point for the battery is located on the right side of the frame, right above the pedal crankset. As the battery is not detachable, you need to take the electric bicycle near the charging point. This is something that could be a bit problematic at times.
Hero Cycles claims the fully charged Hero Lectro C8 electric bicycle can run around 20-25 km in Pedal Assist mode and up to 20 km in Throttle mode. However, these mileage figures can vary depending on riding conditions and rider weight as well.
Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S comes equipped with a smooth-shifting 7-speed drivetrain. The gear shifter is located just beside the throttle at the right side grip. Shifting gear is easy and pretty basic with clear gear indicators. The gears in a bicycle are meant for increasing or decreasing the pedal pressure. In an electric bicycle like Hero Lectro C8, this 7-speed drivetrain helps in two ways – for exercise purposes and easy pedalling when the battery power dries out.
Worth paying the price
Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S is a perfect ride companion for anyone who is looking for a commuter electric bicycle that can be taken out for occasional long rides as well. The price tag of Rs 32,499 is a bit too high for the electric bicycle, but considering the factors such as the convenience of easy pedalling with battery power assistance, a longer range riding range, high-quality mechanical equipment and of course the style you get with it. Brand value too matters when you are buying a premium product. Hence, the pricing can be considered justified.
Overall, the Hero Lectro C8 700C 7S is a perfect electric bicycle for the new age cyclists who are aiming to begin their electric riding journey.
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- Stylish eye-catching design
- Comfortable ride geometry
- Powerful braking
- Multiple riding modes
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