Gepida Reptila 1000 – Breaking through at Thirty Two

The Gepida Reptila 1000 is one of the first commuter bikes available in NZ with the Bosch Active Line Plus in a 32km/h format. This ‘breakthrough’ comes after years of insistence by Bosch that we should only have ‘safer’ 25km/h bikes like Australia and Europe, when they made 32km/h versions for the North American markets and we’ve had hub motor bikes that can do around 36 for ages. They have now allowed manufacturers to ship US-market motors to NZ. So expect to see more. I believe Shimano is or has followed suit, and Brose/Specialized has been 32 or 45 since forever. It really is a game-changer. What a difference 7km/h makes: 25 always seemed disappointingly slow where 32 seems about right for most purposes (including eMTB).

Gepida is a Hungarian manufacturer and has been producing the Reptila line since 2011. The 1000 series has 700c (28″) wheels while the 900 series has 26″ wheels. They are otherwise¬†identical and smaller riders will probably be more comfortable on a 900 series.

The Bosch Active Line Plus motor is also new for 2018, featuring more torque and less internal resistance than the base model Active Line. It has been a bit of a criticism of Bosch motors (including their current Performance and CX motors) and is not noticeable in this design. True to the ‘Active Line’ character, it is smooth in pickup and will never surprise in an unpleasant way. As such it is a great commuter. It’s an adequate hill climber, though I noticed in my Grafton test climb I found myself exceeding my test-limited heartrate of 120bpm quite early on. Battery is 400Wh which will suffice for most journeys of up to 50-60km (assuming typical rider weight and not overusing ‘Turbo’). Being a Bosch battery, you can buy replacements including a 500Wh battery, and Bosch service is apparently very good nationwide.

It is a comfortable, refined and practical bike. I like the stepthrough and for most riders the battery placement will work out OK. Do try it for yourself though. The Kreidler Vitality had a nicer configuration with the battery tucked around the back – they are otherwise very similar bikes.

Don’t be put off by the hydraulic rim brakes – they are well modulated and powerful – and brake pads are cheap to replace compared to disk pads.

Comfort features include a suspension seatpost and SR Suntour fork, and the seat too is just right. Tyres are puncture-resistant Schwalbe Energizer Life. It comes with an Abus frame lock. You can also buy an optional chain that slots into the frame lock for added security. I’d also recommend a good set of pannier bags.

It has a Nexus 8 speed hub. I did find that you needed to back off the power when shifting which took a bit of getting used to. The benefit of a hub gear is less maintenance and the ability to shift gears when stopped, such as when you stop suddenly when the traffic light goes red.

All up this is a nicely put together ebike, looking very nice in red. RRP is $4499

Who should buy the Gepita Reptila 1000?

  • You typically commute less than 15km each way
  • You use it for going to meetings, running errands
  • Occasionally you might want to do a bit of a tiki-tour including roads and light trails (rail trails, Hamilton-Ngaruwahia, Hawkes Bay)

Who isn’t this for?

  • Who have to negotiate very steep hills daily
  • You think 32km/h is just tooo slooooow (are you sure? not many bikes are much faster and it makes less of a difference for most journeys than you may think)
  • 400 Wh battery isn’t going to be enough (are you sure? it’ll go quite far at moderate speeds. I have done 60km in Hawkes Bay trails in 400Wh)

Thanks to Ele

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