Sting operation sees stolen electric bike returned to owner

December 10, 2009. Staff at 50cycles.com, a national electric bike retailer based in Loughborough, had a customer service dream come true when they were able to find and return a stolen electric bike to its rightful owner.
The story began several weeks ago when a customer in St Albans, Herts reported that his bike, a Kalkhoff Agattu supplied by 50cycles, had been stolen. “We went into bike recovery mode there and then”, says Lloyd Clarkson, customer service and sales manager at 50cycles.

Within a couple of weeks, someone who lived less than half a mile away from the owner of the stolen bike contacted the firm to ask which charger would fit his newly-acquired electric bike. “His explanation for why he needed an extra charger was pretty vague”, says Lloyd.
“He wasn’t a customer who was known to us and didn’t seem to know a lot about the bike. We keep records for all owners and soon established it was pretty suspicious. He decided to buy a charger from us and gave us a delivery address – and so the trap was set!”
50cycles contacted the bike’s original owner to tell him that it was likely his bike would soon be returned to him. Lloyd and workshop manager Simon Sanderson (both pictured above) then travelled from Loughborough to deliver the charger in person.
A game of cat and mouse ensued as the gentleman seemed reluctant to produce the bike. Eventually, the 50cycles team persuaded him that they needed to check that the charger and bicycle would be compatible to avoid causing irreparable damage.
“Once I was able to see the bike and confirm the serial numbers matched up with the stolen one, we confronted him with the evidence and gave him two options: he could either explain this to the police or hand over the bike immediately”, says Lloyd. “Straight away, he conceded that the bike was not his and agreed to give it up. So we left with the bike and returned it to the very grateful owner, who lives a few streets away”
“We always knew we might be able to locate a stolen bike if we had a suspicious enquiry about a charger” explains Tim Snaith who, along with his brother Scott, owns 50cycles. “It’s very satisfying that it went so smoothly in practice. Thieves need to know that our electric bikes can be traced and linked back to the owner in a number of ways.”
The plan wouldn’t have worked without Lloyd’s persistence in dealing with the thief. “When I explained the situation, the look on his face was priceless”, he recalls. “Do you know what the funniest thing is? He’s looking for a refund for the charger we left him!”
About 50cycles
50cycles has given many thousands of cyclists their first taste of electric cycling. We’ve won a reputation for supplying the very best electric bikes with an after-sales service to match. Our website is now one of the most popular on the subject in the world and our bikes have won races, as well as glowing reviews from the press and enthusiastic feedback from customers.
50cycles Ltd is the UK distributor for the Kalkhoff range of bikes and has warehouses and offices in Loughborough, Leics and London.
For more information on 50cycles and its product range contact:
Tim Snaith, 50cycles Ltd, +44(0)203 355 8850 or email tim@50cycles.com

Treehugger feature the Spooklight – A Little Flash of Genius

Treehugger.com say: “Using technology similar to an iPhone, the Spooklight relies upon a three-axis accelerator to determine when the bike is slowing down. It then displays central rear red LED brake lights to alert other road users.”

“At face value it appears like a good deal. Lord knows, nighttime cyclists need all the help they can get to be seen.”

2009 Kalkhoff electric bikes – factory fresh and ready to order!

More 2009 models now available to order for delivery in 7 working days
The following 2009 Kalkhoff electric bikes have now been manufactured and are ready for despatch to us. Once delivered, our workshop checks each and every bike before despatch. Allow 7 working days from your order for delivery or collection. Next day delivery is also available on many items.
For the first time ever, the Kalkhoff Tasman Crossbar version is now available in each of the Small, Medium, Large and X-Large frame sizes
We also have the Kalkhoff Tasman with Large step-thru frame is also ready to order.
We have the Pro Connect 2009 (now with the more refined Alfine gears) in Medium and X-Large, plus the Large step-thru version.
Finally, the first of the gent’s Kalkhoff Agattu F, fitted with Panasonic’s new front hub motor (a world exclusive for Kalkhoff this year), are now available too.

Electric bike hire comes to Stretton Climate Centre

Four of our excellent Agattus have just entered service as electric bikes for hire at Stretton Climate Care in Shropshire. Here’s their announcement:

After months of planning and negotiation Stretton Climate Care has announced the first electric bike hire scheme for the Strettons. Funded by a grant from South Shropshire District Council we have purchased four Kalkhoff Agattu electric bikes which are available for hire from Central Garage, adjacent to the railway station

The purpose of the initiative is to encourage greater use of bicycles as a mode of local transport and thus reduce carbon emissions.

With steep hills in the area, electric bikes seemed the ideal way to encourage both residents and tourists to leave the car behind when shopping or exploring the Long Mynd and surrounding countryside. Most residents who use their car to come shopping travel less then two miles, are often the sole occupant and on street parking can be a problem. Short journeys are more polluting too as the engine does not get warm.

By making four bikes available we hope to encourage local residents to try one out for a few days to see if they might go back to a bike. The bikes are light weight, with Lithium Manganese batteries giving an excellent range – some 30+ miles of average cycling for just a few pence recharging. They come complete with panniers, safety jacket, padlock and helmet. The technology is peddle assist so they are easy to ride, just like an ordinary bike, yet the powerful motor takes the strain.

Anyone over the age of 14 can legally ride an electric bike, there is no road tax, no parking fees and running coats are negligible.
We are delighted to form this partnership with John Mackenzie at Central Garage and hope this initiative will encourage more to hop on a bike for all those local journeys. As a further incentive to encourage this low carbon form of transport, The National Trust are offering for a limited period a voucher for free refreshment for anyone arriving at the Pavilion Tea Rooms on one of the bikes.

For further information and details of advance booking pick up a leaflet at the Central Garage (01694 723939), the Library or other paces where our free Home Energy Checkup cards can be found.

Stretton Climate Care website

Electric bike Autumn sale


We’ve knocked £100 off the price of a selection of our Agattu options. The Agattu electric bike is an incredibly comfortable and capable pedal assist electric bike, loaded with useful extra like lights, a kickstand, luggage rack, front fork and saddle suspension, 7-speed hub gears and a comfortable riding position. It’s one of the very best electric bikes to reach the UK, according to reviewers and our customers.

See our Autumn electric bike sale page for more details.