The Labours of Hercules
Hercules was celebrated as an extraordinary mortal who, through strength and endurance, succeeded in winning a place amongst the gods – worth bearing in mind as his namesake whizzes you to the top of your own Mount Olympus!
A good electrically assisted bike is a considerable investment and it is worth taking the time to find the bike that best fits your cycling requirements. The right bike will quickly become an intrinsic part of your everyday life and while fine lines are always desirable, performance and reliability are key.
Justebikes founder James FitzGerald first looked into the e-bike market over a decade ago “Since starting out in this business I have been able to observe what people want from an e-bike and expect from their supplier and have benefited enormously from all the feedback our customers have given us.
“Over the years we have carefully assembled a comprehensive collection of the finest e-bikes. We enjoy very strong relationships with our suppliers, sharing technical knowledge and customers’ experience. We are always on the look out for partners who share the same commitment to quality and with this in mind we are very excited to announce our partnership with German manufacturers, Hercules.”
Hercules state their corporate philosophy is: ‘quality on two wheels’. Named after the hero from Greek mythology for his strength and resilience, the company was founded by Carl Marschütz in 1886. His vision was to build affordable, quality bikes that were available to everyone.
Always pursuing innovation, in 1898 Hercules produced a four-wheeled electric chaise with tube tyres, spoked wheels and rechargeable batteries that would last for a range of 40 kilometers. In the early 20th century they presented their first motorbike and by 1938 they had brought the Hercules Saxonette to market, a bicycle with a small 2-stroke motor integrated into the rear hub that had enough power to reach 30km/h.
In response to the oil crisis in the 70s Hercules produced an electric scooter, the Hercules E1, and in so doing developed the electric drive system they believed was most suitable for urban mobility. There are patents filed for various electrically assisted bikes going back to the early 1880s, but Hercules lays claim to bringing the first commercially produced e-bike to market in the mid 1980s. The model had a battery integrated into the luggage rack, a hub motor and, then new to cycling, disc brakes. The Hercules Electra was the first light motorized vehicle approved in Germany and 19,000 were sold – many are still running!
For almost 130 years the Hercules brand has represented innovative design and careful craftsmanship. For more than 30 years they have been at the forefront of the e-bike revolution and they continue to build on that tradition currently producing a comprehensive range of stylish and reliable electrically assisted bikes that include trekking, commuting, and folding bikes.
This year Hercules have entered the E-MTB market with their exciting NOS range. Featuring both BOSCH and BROSSE drive systems in their E-MTB collection, Hercules are taking no prisoners.
But if throwing yourself down a mountain is not your thing then don’t be disheartened, Hercules’ full e-bike range is extensive, well-considered and good value for money – full details of the range are available at www.justebikes.co.uk
In 2014 Hercules became part of ZEG, the biggest dealer co-operative in Europe. In 2016 ZEG brands claimed 50% share of the German e-bike market and they have continued to prioritize the electric bike across their brands. Just back from the ZEG dealer show in Germany James is happy to report that there are exciting developments across the board. “Not only is Hercules’ electric bike offering going from strength to strength but so are the other ZEG brands. For 2018 BULLS are launching an E-MTB with two batteries and therefore a phenomenal range. We are also excited to be bringing a ZEG limited edition to the UK in 2018, including an incredibly reasonably priced entry level E-MTB with a BOSCH drive system. Watch this space – there’s more to come!”
Justebikes is delighted to be instrumental in making this excellent range of brands available to UK customers. Meanwhile if you would like more information on any bikes from the Hercules or BULLS ranges give Justebikes a call on 0208 960 9848, e-mail info@justebikes to arrange a test ride, or simply pop in to one of their 3 branches in London, Leicester or Suffolk.
(This content appeared in Cycling World in September 2017)