Best Photographic Aid


Link Posted 27/07/2018 - 20:08
Like many PU members I am not only a photography nut but also a “ cycling / fitness nut” and on my birthday this year I decided ( my wife decided ) I would get a very nice carbon touring bike as I had been planning a rather long trip doing the entire coastal path(s) of West Wales (150 miles +) armed with my photo bag and an IPhone.

Anyway, researched it all an went down to order the bike and pay the deposit – it was breathtakingly expensive for me but my wife insisted as it was my “ S….th birthday” she wanted to make sure I had a special present.

So we paid the deposit and were to wait two weeks for delivery; however I was passing by some days later and just dropped in to see what lightweight clothing they had in stock.

While I was pottering around I noticed a couple of clients and staff surrounding what looked like a very beautiful and special bike. I wandered over to take a look and asked what the fuss was, to be told this was the latest Cube 500 ”All Road”( Gmbh) touring bike.

The assistant could sense my interest and asked me if I would like a test ride but when he told me it was electric I got all macho and turned it down on the grounds it was not real cycling.

He was quite amused and said, I know you have a carbon tourer on order but if you take a ride on this I guarantee you will be not only be surprised but smiling from ear to eat; well, the rest is history.

it is simply marvellous and because you can go up hills twice as fast if you pedal hard enough you can go twice as far twice as fast and clearly in doing so you get the same workout because your distances increase

So what as this got to with photography ?

The bike will go anywhere literally, off road, green lanes proper roads. It has several power modes that help if needed but the three big advantages are;

1: Adding significant weight of photography equipment to the rear rack does not impair the performance of the bike or the rider on hills ?

2. The bike takes a special Photographic pannier mounted bag to store your kit; it is made by Topeak and locks onto the special rear pannier rack by means of a dovetail slide mount and spring catch so no bungy straps needed or possibility of insecurity.

3. A day out taking photos also means a good fitness workout too

The weatherproof bag will take a body and lens with two other lenses and the side compartments will take the usual camera accessories and waterproof clothing ( even another small lens)

(Typically K1, 24-70, 200m DA* and a 100macro, Metz 26 flash, filters batteries etc – if you are taking an APS body it will take more )

In fact the two side pockets will roll out to convert into two full size panniers that are bottomless ( if needed) and will easily take a big body and long lens in a xxl zoom case (K1 150-450 or DFA 70-200).

It is a remarkable piece of kit ( see photos)

Biggest question always ; battery range; Iin eco mode 120 kms at least, in other modes less, but the Gower Peninsular where we are has very few (if any) flat roads and many long brutal hills, but I regularly potter around from dawn till dusk and clock up 59-60 miles without loosing the battery when I need it; on a long run last week with normal roads I did over 80 miles and still had 40% battery left when I got home; remember you don’t use the battery all the time ( voluntarily or involuntarily)

There is also an EMBT mode ( electric mountain bike) because the bike has a special “ all terrain” battery, and coupled with the hybrid road/ trail tyres, you can get off road and “ into the undergrowth” at will.

It is not a “hard nosed” mountain bike but is an all terrain bike in every sense of the word and on normal roads it is like a “ Lexus”

Anyway, see photos and I hope you don’t mind me sharing this on PU but I consider it now my most important and practical photographic aid next to a body and lens.

So for any cycling photographers this is a total blast and opens up so much more opportunities.


1. The Bike

2. The Pannier / Photo Bag

3. The side compartment Expanded to a deep pannier bag (for big lens)

4. The bag is locked on to a dovetail sliding mount and locked

Last Edited by Daronl on 27/07/2018 - 20:14


Link Posted 27/07/2018 - 21:50
There are a few models about now, piquing my interest, my main concern would be having any sort of accident with that expensive kit on board. But if you are a confident rider, as you obviously are, then it looks marvellous. Big advantage over a car is that you can just stop anywhere if something catches your eye which is always a big frustration when motoring.


Link Posted 27/07/2018 - 22:39
Your concerns regarding safety are real given the section of the motoring public who don’t recognise that a bike is another vehicle and has to be treated as such.

However uou would be surprised how it is possible to utilise safe routes with little traffic and parks and deficated cycle paths can also offer a very safe route.

Also Rob, I am usually enroute to my destination well before peak hours and usually heading into deserted countryside, so my own initial concern about safety have never proved significant.

Quite often I actually put the bike in the back of my SUV , drive to my intended location and then get out the bike so again that avoids “cycling mayem with manic commuters”

A good Idea might be to hire an electric bike as test but I cannot stress how good it is and I am now touring the many miles of towpaths on our local canals which give very rich photographic pickings.

If do commit one “ must have” is a 500 Wh battery pack ( Bosch 500 All Terrain battery) anything less is limiting particularly if you are loading up 10-15 kilos on the rack.




Link Posted 28/07/2018 - 18:02
Congratulations on the new bike and on a special birthday. That sounds excellent!

A few months ago I did a similar thing and that was also a spontaneous purchase. It's a very similarly spec'd electric bike but in my case a Scott.

I had the same Topeak rack bag on my previous pushbike which I transferred to the new electric bike. One thing I can recommend is the Topeak handlebar bag which is ideal for a DSLR or CSC with attached lens and means you can stop quickly and then instantly grab the camera for a fleeting shot.

As you say, electric bikes can easily rack up the miles without being too physically demanding in hilly areas. Something my not-so-young legs and lungs certainly appreciate

The typo 'deficated cycle paths' made me chuckle as they often are when shared with dog walkers


Link Posted 28/07/2018 - 19:56
You are right there are “Poo Trails” everywhere Jim.


Link Posted 28/07/2018 - 22:34
I've thought about one of these, although the East of Fife can't be called hilly I always seem to rack up 1500 plus feet of elevation in 25/35mile outings - with a 7kg back pack I do get a bit tired

Might take one for test.
LBA is good for you, a Lens a day helps you work, rest and play.


Link Posted 29/07/2018 - 03:52
Go electric Brian, you will get twice as far twice as quick and experience the real joy everytime you pass a “would-be Geraint Thomas” on a hill to.

Mind you, he will pass you like the wind on the flat .


Link Posted 29/07/2018 - 10:20
I was in the bike shop trying to get my bike repaired and saw some eletric bikes on display and was interested. I dont have a car so my my main means of getting to a photo locations is cycling, wondering if something like this would make it easier to get far affield and up those pesky hills.

I might have another look after reading your post


Link Posted 29/07/2018 - 11:26
I picked up on your comment Daron about putting your bike in the back of your SUV. I always carried my lightweight pushbike on a Thule bike rack on the roof of my hatchback. By comparison I find the electric bike really a bit too heavy to comfortably and safely lift up onto the roof rack. Dropping it could prove rather expensive

Even with the front wheel removed the electric bike won't quite fit in the hatchback with its rear seats lowered so it looks like I might have to change the car for something larger

In the meantime, covering tens of miles on the electric bike is easy and a real pleasure.


Link Posted 29/07/2018 - 18:37
You are right jim(bro) they sre heavy and need to go in rear wheel first; a good aid to this is one of those three wheel dollies that have “roller skate type wheels” that swiveel around 360 deg.

I put the rear wheel on that in the rear of the car and juts roll the bike in on it while supporting the front end so you have only half the weight.

They are £7 in UK tool station and are used for wheeling things around that are too heavy to lift


Link Posted 29/07/2018 - 21:55
Daronl wrote:
You are right jim(bro) they sre heavy and need to go in rear wheel first; a good aid to this is one of those three wheel dollies that have “roller skate type wheels” that swiveel around 360 deg.

I put the rear wheel on that in the rear of the car and juts roll the bike in on it while supporting the front end so you have only half the weight.

They are £7 in UK tool station and are used for wheeling things around that are too heavy to lift

Thanks for the tip Daron. It reminds me that I saw a German couple on a camp site who had a tracked sliding platform in the rear of their large 4x4. They slid the platform out, loaded and secured the bikes then slid it all in. A clever system.


Link Posted 17/08/2018 - 17:50
Good Luck
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