One of the best-value e-bikes, the Pure Flux One is an ideal first electric bike and one aimed squarely at commuters…
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Pure Flux One E-Bike
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£999 / electriclife.co.uk
- Excellent value
- Light weight
- Feels underpowered
- Only one frame size
The Pure Flux One is a compact, lightweight and paired-back e-bike with a minimalist design. It has the look of a conventional hub-geared pedal cycle – the only giveaway is that bottle-shaped battery on the down tube.
Weighing in at around 38.5lb (17.5kg), it’s an ideal commuter bike for those who may find themselves having to lift it onto trains, carry it up stairs or move it around confined spaces.
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The Pure Flux One is competitively priced, and with its simple design it’s clearly intended as an entry-level e-bike. If its retail price wasn’t already remarkable value, we’ve seen it sold as low as £799 at pureelectric.com so keep an eye out for future bargains.
The main selling point of the Pure Flux One is its weight. Riding this nippy, responsive machine is a joy and when the electric motor cuts out it feels like riding a normal bike. You don’t find yourself fighting against its weight, which can often be a problem with e-bikes.
It’s 6061 aluminium frame and rigid forks certainly contribute to this lightweight feel – although having no front suspension can make the feedback from the road feel harsh at times.
One of the most innovative features on the Pure Flux One is the Gates Carbon Drive drivetrain, which replaces the traditional chain and derailleur system. It’s a carbon fiber-reinforced drive belt which doesn’t rust or need constant lubrication and has an instant pick-up when you start to turn the pedals.
It’s one less thing to worry about and means the drivetrain is effectively maintenance-free. It’s also designed to last at least 10,000 miles (16,000km) before failing, compared to 275 miles (440km) of a conventional chain.
The downside to this system is that the bike only has one gear. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, though, and for a city commuter one gear is normally all you need. It just means you’ll rely on the motor a little more than on a geared e-bike. Not having a hub gear on the rear wheel is probably the only way Pure Electric could keep Flux One’s price so low.
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Unlike the other e-bikes on test, the Flux One’s battery pack is external and not built into the frame. This makes the bike look slightly ungainly and not as sleek as the others, but offers the advantage of being able to unclip the battery and charge it elsewhere.
One nice touch is the reflective silver logo and stripes, which give the pure black frame some much-needed night-time visibility.
The Pure Flux One it fitted with cable disc brakes which, although they don’t provide as much bite as hydraulic brakes, have enough stopping power for precise control in traffic. They are easier to set up and maintain than hydraulics too.
Its 35mm tyres are wider than on most road bikes and are fairly grippy, coping well with potholes and wet cycle paths. However, you wouldn’t want to take them on technical or muddy trails.
The bike’s range is less than the others on test, with a maximum distance of 25 miles (40km). If you’re looking to take longer rides, you’d need to lower the assistance and use your body to power the bike, or find a convenient point to top up the battery. Bear in mind, though, that a full charge can take up to five hours.
The 250W motor does feel somewhat underpowered when riding, especially when trying to pull away at lights. There are three power settings, easily accessed from the control unit mounted on the handlebar, which allow you to choose whether the motor cuts out at 10, 12.5 or 15mph (15.5, 20 or 25km/h).
Other than its lack of gears, the other main drawback of the Pure Flux One is that it only comes in one size. You can easily adjust the saddle (or buy a handlebar stem of a different length) but top-tube length is important for overall comfort and that can’t be changed. Anyone over 6ft (1.8m) or under 5ft 6in (1.7m) will probably need to look elsewhere.