Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Review

Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Review New
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Mounted To Bottom Bracket
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Mounted Downtube Battery
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Backlit Vlcd5 Display
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Control Pad
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Installed
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Ground Clearance
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Motor Top View
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Motor Side View
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit 48 Volt Lithium Ion Battery
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit 2 Amp Charger
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Review New
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Mounted To Bottom Bracket
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Mounted Downtube Battery
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Backlit Vlcd5 Display
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Control Pad
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Installed
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit Ground Clearance
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Motor Top View
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Motor Side View
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit 48 Volt Lithium Ion Battery
Electric Bike Outfitters Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit 2 Amp Charger


  • An efficient, compact, and relatively lightweight, mid-drive electric bike kit that's compatible with 68 mm to 73 mm bottom bracket sizes, works with downtube or rear-rack battery
  • Responsive torque sensing pedal assist as well as throttle mode (choose from half-grip, full-grip, or trigger throttle), get help starting from zero and ride however you want
  • Top speed is adjustable, you can turn off the display backlighting, there's a full-sized USB port built into the display panel and it uses a remote button pad for easier access while steering
  • No shift detection, so it could wear your chain, sprockets, and derailleur out a bit faster if you aren't easing off as you change gears, not as powerful or fast as the specs would suggest
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike kit is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.

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Video Review

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Electric Bike Outfitters


Mountaineer Mid Drive Kit



Suggested Use:

Cargo, Commuting, Cruising, Mountain, Neighborhood, Road, Tandem, Touring, Trail, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2), Moped or Motorcycle (Class 4)
Learn more about Ebike classes


30 Day Return, 1 Year Comprehensive


United States, Canada, Europe, Worldwide

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Motor Weight:

6 lbs (2.72 kg)


68 mm to 73 mm Bottom Braket Width, 42 Tooth Chainring (Upgradeable to Larger), Aluminum Alloy Chainring Guard

Brake Details:

Mechanical Wuxing Brand Four Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors, Optional Motor Inhibitor Switch for Hydraulic Brake Levers, Disc or Linear-Pull Caliper and V-Brake Compatible


Optional Aluminum Alloy Rear Rack with Integrated Controller (Black), Optional Integrated Spanninga Lineo Rear LED Light (Rack Mount Battery Only),


Locking Downtube Mounted or Rear-Rack Mounted Battery, Compatible with Disc Brakes or Caliper Style Brakes (Clamp Diameter 22.2 mm), 22 Amp Controller, 1.9 lb 2 Amp Charger, Enhanced and Re-Written VLCD5 Display Manual, 4000 Max RPM

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:


Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

700 watts

Motor Torque:

80 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

52 Samsung 18650 (13 Series, 4 Parallel)

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

528 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

VLCD5, Fixed, Backlit, Monochrome, Grayscale, Buttons: +, -, i, Power, (Tap Power Button for Backlight)


Assist Level (Off, Eco, Tour, Speed, Turbo), Current Speed (MPH or KMH), Battery Charge Level (6 Bars), Odometer, Trip Distance, Avg Speed, Trip Time

Display Accessories:

USB Type A Port on Display

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Torque Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

25 mph (40 kph) (Default 20 MPH)

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Written Review

Electric Bike Outfitters sells a range of ebike kits and is a leader in terms of customization and customer support. Most of their kits utilize hub motors which can be mounted either in the front or rear wheel. They offer a range of wheel sizes, silver or black color choice, and different battery capacities. The mid-drive kit is quite different because the only real choice on offer is battery mounting position. You can use a downtube mounted Dolphin style pack or a rear-rack design with integrated LED light. It should work with most wheel sizes but only fits specific bottom bracket widths, 68 mm to 73 mm. I cannot say for sure, but I would guess that it’s only compatible with chain driven bicycles, not belt drives. I say mostly sure, because you can swap the stock 42 tooth chainring with larger sizes to slow the cadence and maximize top speed. What I experienced during this review was a relatively quiet, lightweight ~6 lb, efficient mid-motor. The benefits of a setup like this are reduced unsprung weight (in the case of a bicycle with suspension), easier access to the wheels for maintenance (because you don’t have an extra cable running to one hub and nuts securing a fixed axle), and the ability to empower the motor by shifting gears as you ride. The drawbacks include increased drivetrain wear (on the chain, sprockets, and derailleur), more difficult installation, and the requirement of gear shifting in order to maximize speed or power. For example, if you start from standstill in a high gear, the motor will struggle and climbing will be difficult. I love how compact this thing is, but couldn’t help but feel a little concern about how exposed it might be to rock and log strikes, protruding from the bottom bracket as it does. I appreciate the flexibility of battery mount style and love the display panel, even though it’s unique from every other EBO kit.

I was a little underwhelmed by the power and torque on offer from the Mountaineer at first, because the stats say 350 to 700 watts and up to 80 Newton meters of torque. That’s significantly higher than most of the mainstream electric bike mid-drives that I have reviewed for Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, Shimano, and Bafang. It performed a lot like the lightweight Shimano E6000 mid-motor, which is commonly found on neighborhood and city bikes. Without the anchoring point of high advertised values, I would have approached and received this kit much differently. In practice, it’s an efficient aftermarket mid-drive that performs best when you’re pedaling along actively and has the unique benefit of throttle operation! It uses a torque sensor vs. a more simple on/off type cadence sensor found on some of the older and less sophisticated Bafang BBS01 and BBS02 kits, and that makes it feel smooth and responsive. But for me, it didn’t feel as dynamic or capable as Bosch or Brose, even in the highest level of assist, you cannot really tap into the torque… and it feels pretty weak when starting in a higher gear, as mentioned earlier. One of the other stats that threw me off here was the high RPM cadence matching that Jason (the founder of Electric Bike Outfitters) told me about. It seems like every mid-motor has a pedal speed where it just sort of fades out. The faster you pedal, the less support you might receive from the motor, usually around 100 or 120 RPM. What this means is, you’ll have to switch to a higher gear and pedal slower if you want the motor to contribute effectively. I was initially told that the MXUSE manufactured EBO Mountaineer could hit 4,000 RPM, but Jason was talking about internal drive speed, not pedal strokes… After I published the video, he clarified that the drive unit is rated at 103 RPM, which fits my experience much better and keeps it in line with the Shimano E6000 mid-drive mentioned earlier. Interestingly, even when I pedaled way over 100 RPM, I could still hear the motor whining and activating, I didn’t feel it slowing me down at all, but I just didn’t feel support at those higher levels. So coming back to use cases here… I’d say this motor would be a great fit for active mountain bikers who want to limit weight and convert an existing bike to be electric, or it would be a great fit for neighborhood riders who prefer a mid-motor to a hub motor. Perhaps you have really beautiful rims or want to preserve quick release? Perhaps you want a mid-motor with a throttle? These are all great uses for this kit.

Powering the kit is a 48 volt 11 amp hour battery pack, offering above-average capacity and two mounting configurations. The downtube design is optimal for keeping weight low and centered while reducing frame flex, but it requires a sturdy pair of bottle cage bosses and an open space on your frame that is larger than a standard bottle cage. If you have a step-thru frame, this sort of mounting configuration could expose the battery box to kicks each time you mount and dismount the bike. The ideal configuration would be a diamond high-step frame as shown in the video review. For those with rear rack bosses and space at the rear (meaning that you don’t have oversized fenders or a saddle that is set all the way down and sticking back) the rack battery is a great option. I regularly complain about weight being positioned high up and way towards the back on purpose-built ebikes that use rack mounted batteries, but it’s actually a decent option for doing conversions, because racks attach at four points vs. just two with a mid-battery. The rack battery option frees up your downtube for actual water bottles and gives you the benefit of carrying a trunk bag or panniers in addition to the battery pack! It’s even possible to use this battery design on a hardtail mountain bike, but not advisable. The bolt-on rack looks nice, and comes in two colors (silver or black), but has more potential for shaking around. Regardless of the battery mount you choose, there’s going to be 7+ lbs of weight added to the frame, bolted on using braze-ons (probably) that weren’t designed to hold extreme loads. For this reason, I’d recommend using Loctite Blue super glue and being careful and attentive when riding off-road. Also worth calling out here is the USB charging port built-in to the side of the downtube battery. EBO told me that they de-activated this port purposefully to reduce power draw. It can still be accessed for firmware updates, but the optimal USB charging location is under the display panel… and this location is more accessible too. Whether you charge the battery pack on or off the bike, I suggest storing it in a cool, dry location. Avoid extreme temperatures, try not to drop the pack, and avoid letting the charge drop under 20% because that stresses the Lithium-ion chemistry. Jason recommends recharging every two or three months if you haven’t used the kit, just to avoid hitting those lower fills.

Operating this bike is a two-step process. Both battery packs have hardwired on/off switches built-in (good for keeping them stable during periods of disuse and travel). The downtube pack has a silver circle that you press, and it lights up with blue LED’s, and the rear rack battery has a toggle on/off switch below the light. So, once you’ve charged the battery, clicked the on/off switch, and are ready to ride, you simply press the power button on the display panel itself. This display is large, clear, and highly adjustable. One of my favorite parts about most kits, and certainly the EBO kits, is that they allow you to lower the top speed. This could be useful if you are trying to qualify as Class 1 (pedal assist only, up to 20 mph). The default configuration of the kit is Class 2 (pedal assist and throttle, up to 20 mph), but I think you can actually raise the max speed in the display and go one or two miles per hour beyond 20. There are four levels of assist, Eco, Tour, Speed, and Turbo and I conducted most of the ride testing in Turbo mode to see how zippy the motor would feel, and how much noise it would make. It struggled to climb when I was in higher gears, but did pretty well when I shifted down to the lowest gear. If you’re mounting this kit on a single speed bike, keep in mind that it might start a little slow and struggle with climbing because the torque just isn’t there. Again, looking at this thing side by side with a Bosch, Brose, Yamaha etc. it is physically smaller, but rated at a higher peak torque. My experience was that it’s just not that powerful… but that’s still okay for many situations. Two things I really loved about the display panel were the ability to turn backlighting on and off, and get battery level feedback with six bars vs. just four or five. This makes it more precise and could be the difference between recharging at a half-way point or thinking you have enough juice to get home. Two things I wasn’t so keen on are the fixed nature of the display (you cannot remove it when parking, so it could take more wether exposure or scratches at the rack), and that the battery charger is a bit large and heavy for being a more basic 2 Amp design.

I hope I’m not coming off too strong with this review of the EBO Mountaineer Mid-Drive Kit. It’s one of only a few options for a DIY electric bike system utilizing a mid-motor and offering a throttle. I just want to set expectations accurately. I’m a fit, relatively lightweight ~135 lb rider, and I found it to be fun, but not super zippy. By resetting expectations here and emphasizing the flexibility of how the kit performs, emphasizing the great customer service on offer from Jason and his team, and exploring the benefits and trade-offs of each battery, I hope this helps you to make an informed decision. My favorite kit in the EBO lineup is the 48 Volt Burley hub motor because it balances lightweight nimble handling with zippy power and also has the throttle option. It might not get the same range as this mid-drive kit, if you have a range of gears and shift thoughtfully. Even though you could mash gears with this mid-motor, I don’t think it would stress the drivetrain that much, given the relatively low torque-power output. Big thanks to Jason and his team for partnering with me on this review, It was neat to compare his offering side by side at the company headquarters in Denver, Colorado. I’ll do my best to answer questions in the comments below and welcome you to connect directly with EBO and other owners or enthusiasts in the Electric Bike Outfitters Forums.


  • The display panel is large, bright, has adjustable backlighting (on/off), and gives you access to lots of settings like top speed
  • There aren’t many choices for torque sensing mid-motor kits with throttle options, this one is relatively lightweight and compact too
  • Two battery mounting options make this kit extremely versatile, the downtube pack offers the best handling but the rear rack provides additional cargo options and a built-in light
  • Most of hub motors from EBO weigh at least 6 lbs, so this mid-motor is potentially much lighter, it doesn’t come with thicker spokes and the basic rim so your default setup could weigh less and provide better performance for your specific bike (think carbon frame with deep dish rims etc.)
  • You get a remote button pad to control assist, lights, and display readouts, and it can be mounted well within reach of your left grip (so you can change settings without repositioning your hands)
  • EBO has been in business since 2015, they offer a generous 30-day return policy with a one year warranty, and they ship worldwide… I trust them a lot more than some of the generic kits found on Ebay
  • EBO uses nicer parts such as Julet connectors which are water tight and color-coded for easier assembly and repair, you still end up with more wire clutter on a kit vs. purpose built bike, but it’s not as bad since this is a mid-drive vs. wheel-mounted hub
  • Safety is a big focus for me, so I appreciate the more sensitive torque sensor, adjustable top speed settings, and brake lever motor inhibitors
  • If your bike uses hydraulic brakes, EBO does have an optional sensor and magnet unit that can be screwed and glued-on to enable motor inhibiting, but it’s not as elegant or simple as the stock mechanical brake levers
  • The display panel is large, easy to read, full of interesting settings to experiment with (and EBO has a nice manual to help you do so on their website), and it has an integrated USB charging port, though the display cannot be easily removed for protection at bike racks or wet days
  • Even if EBO eventually goes out of business or changes some of their kit hardware, you should still be able to get parts and have your battery case re-packed because they are not software locked and follow an open industry-standard vs. being proprietary, this particular kit is manufactured by MXUS
  • Given that the battery pack weighs ~7.1 lbs, it’s great that there’s a handle built into the top or back (depending on the downtube or rear rack model), so you can carry it more securely, I suggest storing it in a cool dry location and avoiding extreme heat and cold
  • Being able to transform an existing bike into electric with multiple drive modes for around $1.6k seems pretty good to me, there are cheaper kits out there, but most of them don’t offer this level of performance or support and I could see it working very well for a lightweight road bike
  • Before shipping each battery, the team at Electric Bike Outfitters actually drains and refills it to test all of the cells, I was told that they experience a 1% failure rate and by testing like this, it saves you time and hassle as the end consumer
  • With a mid-motor kit, you don’t have to worry about hub spacing or unique forks, it performs well with suspension and reduces unsprung weight compared to a hub


  • This mid-drive kit isn’t as sophisticated as some of the purpose-built or upgraded kits I have seen from other companies with shift detection, if you change gears rapidly while pedaling, the chain, sprockets, and derailleur could take increased wear
  • Overall, it isn’t nearly as powerful or capable as the specs would lead you to believe, it compares most closely to the Shimano E6000 motor in my experience, you must shift down your gears to climb effectively and it didn’t offer much support at higher pedal speeds (above 100 RPM)
  • Mid-motor kits tend to be more difficult and time consuming to install because you must remove the bottom bracket, spindle, and crank arms (requiring special tools like a bottom bracket wrench and crankset puller)
  • All of the other EBO kits offer two display choices, but this one only has the stock display (it’s pretty nice, and has a remote button pad for easy operation but stand out more)
  • Your bottom bracket width must be sized between 68 mm to 73 mm or this kit won’t fit, that means it won’t work with most fat bike frames
  • The battery charger is a bit basic, only offering a standard 2 Amp power output, and it’s not super compact or lightweight at ~1.9 lbs… still, it should fit into your backpack or other bags easily for charging on the go
  • Unlike a purpose-built electric bike, kits usually have extra wires that aren’t as hidden or neat looking, the battery mount slide connects to the downtube with two bolts vs. three or some even sturdier custom designs
  • The little rubber cap that protects the charging port on the right side of the downtube battery can sometimes be difficult to seat, it’s a minor annoyance but something worth fiddling with each time to protect this sensitive area from dust and water
  • The display panel has a bit of lag before showing your current ride speed, it uses a spoke magnet and chain stay sensor but it’s just not as refined as many of the purpose built ebikes I have tested
  • This isn’t a big complaint, but the USB charging port on the downtube battery pack has been disabled (to reduce phantom power draw over long periods of disuse), there’s a second USB port on the bottom of the LCD display panel, but sometimes it’s nice to use the battery itself as a backup power source off the bike… it would be nice if that USB worked but could be turned off when the battery was turned off because it has that independent button
  • Turning this bike on and off requires two steps, which adds a bit of time, you first have to click the battery pack itself on and then press the power button on the control pad, just remember to turn it all off before dismounting, transporting, and storing to prevent accidental activation
  • It’s nice that the chainring comes with a sturdy alloy bash guard (outer guide), but it would be nicer to also have an inner guard to keep the chain from bouncing off, this would make it a full chain guide

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4 months ago

This motor is a rebranded Tongsheng TSDZ-2, there’s a thread running on Endless-Sphere about this motor which is rebranded by several retailers in different countries. In it’s Austrian guise of the Schachner MM15 this motor was selected by Dutch bike builders to create “V8” models of the Workcycles FR8 mid-tail and KR8 box bikes.

4 months ago

Fantastic feedback Dewey! Thanks for the link and detailed information about the motor. Have you had an opportunity to try it? What do other people think about it?

steve gordon
3 months ago

As a 350W TSDZ2 unit with an 11.5 ah 48v battery, this is a very overpriced unit. Can be individually sourced elsewhere for under 700 dollars. The motor is well under 300 dollars many plqces.

3 months ago

Thanks for the feedback Steve. I asked Jason about his pricing and learned that he insures his stuff, offers that 30 day return policy and 1 year warranty. He has also refined some of the design, connectors, manuals etc. for the hub motor kits and can be reached directly via email or phone. I feel that the higher price is well supported by the customer service, but yeah, it sounds like you could get this thing cheaper elsewhere if you’re willing to forgo that :)

3 months ago

I live on a hill that gets up towards 15% in spots and I have it installed the same motor from another brand on my Yuba Boda Boda, and when the battery is fully charged (up at 56v), it actually does a pretty good job – but as the voltage drops, you really notice the speed dropping.

I find that on a 60lb bike, I’m riding up at about the same speed or a little faster than my partner who is on a Packster that probably comes in at 150lbs of bike+cargo – which definitely agrees with your assessment that it’s not as powerful as the Bosch CX.

Today, the torque sensing stopped working for a few minutes – ultimately, since it’s not the most reliable, I plan eventually to install it on an old mountain bike to be a back-up commuter, using a battery shared with another bike.

3 months ago

Tip for ya’: Its never a good idea to start in high gear on any bike, let alone one with a mid drive motor. You are asking the motor to do way too much, and if you understand torque versus diameter of the sprocket, and gear you are in, then you’d understand the result you are getting. Some Bafangs for instance can deliver 160 Nm of Torque, but that doesn’t mean you want to abuse that, and start out in a high gear, and being able to get going easier, doesn’t mean that is what you should ever do. If you want to stretch the chain, and reek havoc on the entire drive train, by all means feel free to do as you please.

For all ebike riders, and would be purchasers, please use some common sense and realize these motors can add way more power than your own two legs typically can, BUT, also know that your performance of the motor drive and drive train (gears, derailleurs, etc.) is only going to last as long as what you practice in terms of the application. Meaning, please use your gears on the bike, to downshift to lower levels (i.e. 1st gear or 2nd) when hill climbing, and then similarly when on flats or going downhill, put the bike’s gears into the higher speeds (whether you have a 7 speed or 11 speed cassette). Otherwise you are going to make the motor do way more work, drain the battery faster than needed, and reduce the overall longevity of the drive train.

I get a lot of people in my shop who think they are going to just stay in one gear, and move the levels of assist up and down. Well sure you can do that, but don’t expect the motor or drive train to perform as long as it should, and expect to have more maintenance. I would say use common sense, but that is a lot to ask of people who aren’t mechanically inclined, or really understand how gear ratio’s work, and what the impact of torque and speed are when using the typical set up on a bike.

3 months ago

Great feedback Mike, I try to demonstrate different types of riding and encourage shifting (carefully). Your points are valid and it sounds like you’ve seen a lot of different ride styles at your shop. Where are you located, what’s the shop called?


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2 months ago

Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

Could you please provide some insight on an Ebike for a larger man. I am looking to get a bike for my husband and think this is a great way to start getting into the outdoor life after his retirement. I am thinking of the following features: A step through or low bar for ease of access. Upright riding capability (Schwinn style). My husband is 6’2″ with a 31″ inseam (long torso). Powerful motor and good electronics (my husband weighs approx. 280 lb) and he will likely travel a max of 30 km ~20 mi (if that is possible). Although it is a starter bike I think I will have to go higher end to make the experience positive. I appreciate your insight.

Hi Marcia, that sounds like a wonderful activity for your husband and I appreciate you outlining his needs so well here. Several ebikes come to mind at different price points and frame sizes. The tricky part might be finding a frame that is step-thru but also large enough for his height. The top of the line options would be from https://electricbikereview.com/category/kalkhoff/ which are new to the US for 2015 but have been a leader in Europe for a long time. They are powerful, can go long distance and have multiple frame sizes available. Only a select few dealers carry these so you can https://electricbikereview.com/contact/ if you need help finding one. For a bit less money (and a more limited, smaller frame size) you could go with an https://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-zuma/. Given his weight, I might actually lean towards the high-step version of this bike for increased strength. It’s not super tough to mount because there’s no rear battery rack in the way. For a bit less still you could get the https://electricbikereview.com/motiv/sleek/ or https://electricbikereview.com/motiv/spark/ which have the mid-battery design and are pretty relaxed/upright. They also have powerful motors and several gearing options but lack pedal assist (which the Zuma and the Kalkhoff ebikes have). One final suggestion is the https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/interceptor/ which is actually what I’d suggest for overall value, power and size (to fit his height) but they only make it in a high-step version and it does have the rear rack. I hope this helps you out, feel free to also explore the https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/choosing/ for advice. The people are pretty friendly and some of them might actually be his size and have some feedback about what has worked for them.

Ok, Court. Please tell us the e bike that you ended up purchasing, and for how much, and if you were able to get a good deal on it. Let’s end all this mystery once and for all. If I was a betting man, I would guess that you got an izip e3 Dash, but, I could be wrong. Thank you in advance. Eric

Ha! Hey Eric, I’ve actually posted about the ebikes that I’ve purchased over the years on the EBR YouTube Channel and in the https://electricbikereview.com/community/ here and there when people brought it up but try to focus mostly on reviews and remain even handed. For a while at the beginning, people would ask how I was affording to buy so many electric bikes! Mostly I just visit shops and company headquarters across North America to do these reviews but I do love to ride on my own and have purchased a few ebikes over the years just to commute to work (before I left my job to do EBR full time) and now just to get around town for fun and stuff.
So… my first electric bike was purchased at full price from http://rocketelectrics.com/, it was a https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/city-commuter/ and it worked out pretty well (but was stiffer than I wanted when going over bumps). I eventually put a http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000T3BYH6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000T3BYH6&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=L6TLQB4ANOJ4DLLL on it but that would slip down into the frame so I got a [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0016QH6MM/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0016QH6MM&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=YQBZMMQUITPTEZ52']Salsa Lip Lock[/URL] and that helped. The second one was purchased at cost from Easy Motion because I wanted to spend more time with their drive system, battery and display and it was the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/neo-jumper/']26″ Neo Jumper[/URL] model. Last year when I was preparing to leave my job and travel full time to build the site more I realized I didn’t have room for the Jumper so I sold it on Craigslist and then spent a bunch of time with family in Colorado… I knew I needed another bike for exercise and was excited about the Bosch system and the new Haibikes coming out so I got an [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/haibike/xduro-fs-rx-27-5/']Xduro FS RX 27.5″[/URL] at cost through Currie Technologies.
So that’s it, never owned a Dash but I was [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/leed/pocket-bike-juice/']given a kit[/URL] once as a sample and I built that into a bike for my Mom. The kit never made it through Kickstarter so they just let me keep it vs. mailing it back, normally I do not accept gifts and I always try to be transparent and fair about the bikes that I do purchase. All were chosen based on my personal ride style and interests and I got cost because I work in the space very closely with each brand and I live on a very low budget (trying not to sell out!)

Marcia, if you haven’t bought that bike yet you might want to consider the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/city-commuter/']Pedego City Commuter[/URL]. It comes in a 28″ stepthrough, and when coupled with the larger battery and motor should do the trick. I have the smaller battery and motor and weigh 245. I commute to work as many days as weather permits and have never had a problem. The bike performs fine and handles the hills well in peddle-assist mode. I have had mine since August and have put a little over 500 miles on it, and absolutely love my bike.

Court, is that you on the viedo reviews? my wife wants a recumbant electric bike. is there such a thing? or clsoe to it? c

Hi Craig, yeah that’s me on video and I also answer comments and do the reviews (it’s basically a one person operation here but I do have some moderation and programming help at times). There are recumbent electric bikes but they are few and far between. One possibility is the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/ridekick/power-trailer/']Ridekick power trailer[/URL] which can be connected to most bikes (including recumbents) or you could add a [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/bionx/']BionX kit[/URL] to a recumbent frame or explore [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/organic-transit/']these alternative[/URL]pre-built [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/outrider/']recumbent ebikes[/URL].

Court, Love the website, reviews and all the information. My wife and I (w/ our 4 kids) are looking to purchase 2 cargo’s with motors. Have narrowed it down to the elMundo, Edgerunner, and I’ve actually been in touch with Urban Arrow in Holland. The frontrunner is elMundo, but you seem to have edgerunner slightly ahead in your reviews. We do a lot of urban biking (Cincinnati), mostly rolling hills, with usually a few big hills where we need assistance. We currently use tug-a-bugs and iberts to carry the kids, but I have to truck the bikes downtown (3 miles) because the hills to get out of the downtown basin are too big for human pedal power (w/ 70-90lbs extra) each. A few questions — given that this is family oriented weekend riding with a few hills, is a 350w motor enough and are there enough differences between the edgerunner & Yuba that a weekend rider would notice or care about (both currently use the same 350 Bionx– correct?) . My biggest fear, drop some good money down for a couple of bikes that I’m going to be unhappy with in a few months…. and still having to truck the bikes to our destination.

Hi David, great question… my favorite design for a cargo style ebike right now (especially for porting people around) is the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/xtracycle/edgerunner-10e/']Xtracycle Edgerunnger using the Bosch Centerdrive[/URL]. The BionX System is definitely solid (quieter, offers throttle mode and has regen) but isn’t as strong when climbing or hauling because it’s a direct drive hub vs. a mid-drive that can leverage the rear cassette. Being able to switch down to a lower “easier” gear and share that advantage with the motor is huge… I used to pull my sister around in a [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HF4V8LO/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00HF4V8LO&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=VFQTIPCVQ5IU6VJY']Burley trailer[/URL] when I was a kid and can relate to your struggle with the hills. If you really want to go for power there’s a [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/hi-power-cycles/hpc-supermundo/']Super Mundo by HPC[/URL] that offers a custom built mid-drive and in the video we haul three fully grown men up a very large hill with it. Coming back to one brand vs. another, Xtracycle was first and one of their employees left to make his own thing with Yuba. I prefer Xtracycle myself and have had the opportunity to meet with the team and see all of the innovative accessories that they make. Yuba is solid but when I think about the brand that Bosch (this German company with really high standards) chose to partner with first it inspires confidence in me that Xtracycle is doing a great job and earned their trust.

Court — over a year in and we are loving our El Mundo’s… BUT, (big BUT).. the 350Bionx just doesn’t do it. Two kids on the back of each bike and lots of hills just doesn’t cut it. Lo and behold, 2 months after I buy my 2 – 350 Yuba’s, they come out with the 500. So… I’ve reached out to Bionx as well as Yuba to investigate into an upgrade program. Have you ever seen these companies do these types of programs? Any input on what I should try to do…. The bionx is so quiet and smooth, but if they just expect me to shell out another $2K for new 500’s… probably going to punt on Bionx and get engaged with the folks from HPC.

I am going to college in the fall and I am a small light weight girl. 4’11 and 90 pounds to be exact. I need some advice on what type of electric bike to get.
I need a light weight bike that I could carry on a bus if I’d need to or lift up stairs. The campus I would be on is very hilly so I would need a bike that goes up and down hills well. I have heard of bikes that fold up? I do not care as much for the speed, just the sturdiness and weight of it. I have trouble with my left knee and cannot bend it well, the electric bike would help me bike and get to places far away on campus. It is a 2,000 acre campus in the redwoods.
What type would you suggest? Thanks so much. Any info would be appreciated.

Awesome! Sounds like you’re going to the University of Santa Cruz!! I used to practice with the gymnastics team there (the gym was at the bottom of the long hill so I can relate to wanting a decent ebike… especially since my knee also hurts sometimes). Okay, so you’re relatively short and light weight. You’re a college student that might be on a budget and you also want it to be easy to move around. Hmm… My first thought was the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/e-joe/epik-se/']e-Joe EPIK SE[/URL]because it is relatively small and easy to mount and also fair light at ~42 lbs. I like that this ebike has built in suspension because that improves comfort. The battery is also removable so you could take it out to reduce the bike weight by ~4 lbs if you need to lift the frame and since it folds, you can fit it into your dorm closet or the corner more easily.
If you have a higher budget and don’t want a folding ebike… and are excited about more torque and power for those hills then check out the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/felt/sporte-step-thru/']Felt SPORTe Step-Thru[/URL] which comes in low-step and weighs ~40 lbs with a 5.5 lb battery that’s removable. It also comes in two frame sizes so you could get the smaller one. Another great alternative (that isn’t quite as powerful as the Felt SPORTe but is very comfortable and cool) is the full suspension [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/besv/panther-ps1/']BESV Panther PS1[/URL]. I hope this helps! Whatever you get, do store it in your room if possible or at least charge the battery inside to help it last :)

Thank you so much for responding to me! Yes UCSC is where I am headed. I will look into the bikes you suggested. :) thank you again.

Hi Court. I think you have developed a very good website for providing people with truly independent reviews on Electric Bikes. I am in London UK and electric bikes are really taking off here. Funnily enough I did some Market Research for a new Electric Bike company in London called Emu Bikes. You might want to check them out. I was lucky enough to trial their prototype Emu Electric bike for 5 weeks for commuting from my home to work and to keep a detailed daily log of my trips for them and did over 450 miles. I absolutely loved it. I spend all day last Sunday looking at all of your reviews on YouTube which were all excellent and I found them compulsive viewing. What’s your take on the Electric Bike conversion kits and the Dillinger Range made in Australia which you reviewed (although you don’t have bike kits on your website)? Is there any difference getting a front or real wheel drive system? Keep up the excellent work you are doing for all of us prospective electric bike riders out there. Regards. ROBERT

Hi Robert! Someday I’d like to visit the UK and see some new brand, I haven’t seen an EMU before but I’d love to check out your journal, could you share the link? As for Dillenger, I really liked the first kit I tried with a standard [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/dillenger/350w-geared-electric-bike-kit/']350 watt geared hub motor[/URL]. The second kit was more powerful but used a rear rack battery that just wasn’t as refined (or well balanced). I do have a [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/kits/']kits section[/URL] on the site but I guess it’s a little hidden. My plan is to do a redesign soon… working on it right now in fact which is why reviews have slowed a bit in recent weeks :) Kits are alright but I prefer purpose-built electric bikes. They just look nicer most of the time with integrated wires and I feel safer knowing that they took extra weight and strain into consideration. As for front vs. rear, I almost always prefer rear or mid-drive for better traction and improved steering agility. Some of my favorite ebike designs are those from [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/haibike/']Haibike[/URL] and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/easy-motion/']Easy Motion[/URL]. I want to try CUBE at some point, I think they sell those in the UK and they use the Bosch system (though a bit stepped down at 250 watt vs. 350 here in the US). Cheers!

Hi Court. This is Nayyar from Pakistan. I want to buy an ebike. My current crush is R & M Delite GX Rohloff HS. But still I am not sure that I should go for this or not. Being no such bikes available here, I have to travel to euorope for this purpose only. I shall be grateful for your guidance. Thanks and best regards

I’m a really big guy, 6’2″ and over 420 lbs. Could you tell me if a 48v 500w rear motor can handle pushing 500 lbs (bike+rider)? No large grades on my chosen route, and it’s all paved. I have a Schwinn OCC Stingray Chopper, and I have found a company that makes motors for my 20 by 4.25 inch rear wheel, and I would love to make the conversion. I have to deal with some provincial limitations on power and speed. But there’s a bit of ambiguity in the law in New Brunswick, Canada, and more attention should be paid to top speed rather than wattage. Any POSITIVE input would greatly appreciated.

Sounds like a nice setup and I agree with you about speed vs. power. In parts of Europe the top speed is limited to 15 mph with motor output of just 250 watts… I feel like they should regulate ebikes by how the rider handles it vs. focusing on technology. It’s like saying that Ferrari’s are illegal because they can drive faster than the speed limit. Maybe part of this distinction with bicycles is that under aged users can get them and no license is required. In any case, I think a 48 volt 500 watt system will suit your needs well, especially for flat paved surfaces. I bet you’ll have a blast! Please share back here or [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/other-brands/']in the forums[/URL] once it’s all setup (you could even post pictures). I know you’re not the only one considering this type of option who needs to carry a bit more weight.

Explain the low speed electric bicycle laws in the US. I have a 220 lb. Tao tao electric bicycle and have had police in both Cleveland and Lakewood pull me over. Also explain how federal law superceeds state.

Hi George! The laws are a bit different from state to state and seem to be evolving. The best resource I can offer is [URL='https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws']Wikipedia here[/URL] but generally speaking, I think the rule is 750 watt motor or less with top speed of 20 mph or less unassisted. If you do get a ticket for riding a low speed electric bike you can probably fight it in court and explain that you were riding responsibly and following federal law, you might have luck with an argument about how your leg and knee muscles need assistance and possibly even a doctors note if you’re concerned about the outcome. In my experience, tickets are given to people who ride too fast or recklessly and not those who exercise restraint in how they use the drive system.

Hi Court! I really enjoy your website! My beloved Sanyo Eneloop ebike was stolen last week. Sanyo no longer manufactures ebikes so I’m on the search for a new one. I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for me. I loved the Eneloop’s integrated design – the battery wasn’t just attached onto the bike as an after thought. It also had a regenerative battery, LED front and back lights, full fenders, and a luggage rack. Ahhhh I miss it so much! Any recommendations would be much appreciated!

Hi Rufina! That’s such a bummer, sorry… I wonder if the thief even realized it was electric, maybe you could keep an eye out on Craigslist if the bike turns up? Sounds like you’re keeping your head up and looking for another great ride. Based on what you’ve told me I think the Easy Motion bikes could be a great fit (integrated battery, some have fenders and lights as well as racks). Depending on your height and budget three ebikes come to mind. The most affordable but basic is the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/evo-eco-lite/']Evo Eco Lite[/URL] which is smaller and has 26″ wheels. It resembles [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/evo-street/']the Evo Street[/URL] which upgrades to suspension, more gears and a larger battery pack. If you want a slightly larger electric bike then the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/evo-city-wave/']Evo City Wave[/URL] offers larger wheels at 700c ~28″ and that elevates the frame. There are lots of other [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/city/']urban electric bikes[/URL] to explore out there and some are very advanced with mid-drive motors that offer excellent range while others are designed for comfort cruising. Hope this helps :)

Hi! I am a first time e-bike purchaser and rented a peddle assist recently which was fun, except for the lack of control over speed and take off. It looked sort of like a BMX bike which doesn’t suit me. I saw a Eizzy online for 1000.00 its medium frame looks quite new, they say its been barely used. I am 5’2, 115 lbs. The bike is for someone 5’2-5’8. I also have tennis elbow and a bit of a knee issue, so the lighter the better. This bike would be for pleasure and not a lot of hills.
Any input you could provide would be great! Thanks a lot. Rita.

Hi Rita! I’d like to help you but am not familiar with the Eizzy brand or model? Did you spell it correctly? If you have a link to the product please paste it into your reply comment. Also, feel free to share your question [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/choosing/']in the forums here[/URL] where many other ebike owners are often willing to chime in :)

I am interested in buying an e-bike for my girlfriend and I to ride to and from work. What is the best recommended model for having a passenger in the back

Hmm… if you’re looking for a tandem (like where you can both pedal) then [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/tandem-cruiser/']the Pedego Tandem[/URL] would be a solid choice. Alternatively, if you wanted to just let one person sit on the back or maybe pull a trailer then a [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/cargo/']cargo style ebike[/URL] like [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radwagon/']the RadWagon[/URL] or [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/xtracycle/edgerunner-10e/']Electric Edgerunner from Xtracycle[/URL] could work :)

Hey Court, Great website. I bought my wife the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/diamondback/lindau-exc/']Diamondback Lindau ebike[/URL] thru REI, partially based on your good review. She loves it so far. My question: if I’m not mistaken, isn’t the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-path-plus/']IZIP E3 Path[/URL] the same bike as the Diamondback Lindau? Everything sure looks the same from the pictures and video but at a cheaper price for the Lindau. Mike

Hey Mike! Good eye… the bikes are very similar (and use the same drive system and battery from Currie Technologies) but the frames and other components are unique. Diamondback is owned by the Accell Group (a big conglomerate out of Europe) along with IZIP so they are just sharing parts. Diamondback is available through some dealers and in some regions where IZIP is not… IZIP has been doing ebikes longer but is less well known, so they shared the best parts to introduce the Lindau and it might be cheaper based on a few frame and component differences or just for marketing purposes, I can’t really say for sure. I hope you guys like it!

Hi Court! First, I appreciate what you are doing and I love all your videos. I’m considering buying an ebike from the HPC guys and wanted to hear your more in depth thoughts on their bikes, but more importantly their position in the ebike world. I don’t know much about bikes so I’m somewhat hesitant on dishing out thousands of dollars for an ebike and worried who can help me with maintenance/repairs later down the line? I’ve seen all the HPC vids they posted, and I’ve also seen your HPC vids including your visit to their shop in Chatsworth, and I’m wondering if a bike from HPC is a smart choice for a first bike. Also, are their custom Crystalite motors and prismatic pouch battery systems really all the hype? I highly value speed and torque, and plan to ride this thing more like a motorcycle than a bike (heavy throttle-only usage with minimal pedal). I’m looking at their 2000w thunderbolt with 52v 12.5ah battery system (HT-1), and wondering if there are other bikes around the same price point of $3400 that equally deliver on power, speed, torque, and range. I mean what is the real tangible difference from a 500w motor to a 2000w? Thanks again and keep up the great work!

Hi Ray! My experience with HPC has been limited and I was only able to test the bikes for a limited time and in a fairly tame environment (compared to their videos and possibly what you want to do). My feeling is that these guys are passionate about power and delivering something unique and cool. They have been responsive with me via email and they had lots of tools for testing, optimizing and repairing in their shop. I even saw one owner who was upgrading his old HPC bike to be all wheel drive and they were just helping him for fun. They behave like a smaller local shop but have reached the level of being able to negotiate with manufacturers and do some custom stuff in terms of motors and batteries (they do a whole lot of custom stuff in their shop just for fun). If you feel drawn to their offerings I’d say go for it! They have been around for several years and I feel like they have the momentum in the “power” oriented niche to endure. Again, this is just my qualitative take but I didn’t feel like they were feeding me BS during the visit, they care about truth in power and that’s why they have a dyno on site. Just give them a call and chat, say hi for me and good luck! I think you’ll be happy with something custom from them and I feel like they will support you… but it might take some extra time and money to ship stuff back and forth. Honestly, I’m not sure what high power alternatives even exist for electric motocross type of setups :)

Thanks for the quick response, Court! Everything you said makes sense, and I appreciate your insight. Haha, I’m no motocross type guy. I’m just a regular guy wanting a powerful ebike for no real intended purpose :) I’m really just looking at HPC’s entry-level stuff (these guys consider 2000w “low power” lol). I’m in SoCal, so HPC is somewhat local to me (40 miles away, which is a huge plus!) Thanks again, Court, and keep the vids coming!

Cool, happy to help Ray! Maybe give them a call and make a day trip out of visiting the HQ. They seemed cool with people stopping by and I bet you could get a lot of questions answered and maybe even get a custom setup! Definitely post about it [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/hi-power-cycles/']in the HPC forums[/URL] if you go that route :D

Hi Court,
I love your site. Been looking into ebikes for many years, and think I’m ready to jump on! Price isn’t really a concern, though I would prefer to spend less than 4k. Mostly street rider (daily commute) and my current bike is a Specialized crosstrail with a 61 cm frame.
I’m 6 foot 8, and weigh 280 pounds. And because my torso is the longest part (my inseam is 34 in) I need something more upright, or a more aggressive angle to the handlebars. What can you tell me about the largest frame bikes with the most torque or higher wattage for my get up n go? What do you recommend for really tall riders?
Thanks in advance!

Hi Steve! Great question… I’ve been impressed with the Specialized Turbo and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/specialized/turbo-x/']Turbo X[/URL] (because it has a suspension fork). If you already have one of their traditional bikes and like the brand/style then this could be a good option and it comes in several sizes. The same could be said for Stromer, they offer a bunch of models that look similar to the Turbo and come in a few frame sizes (including a 22″ frame). You could check out their [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/stromer/st2/']ST2[/URL] but note that it’s a bit more expensive than the Turbo or Turbo X. If you already have a frame that you like or want to buy another one that fits well you could always convert it to electric by adding a motor kit, I like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/e-rad/']E-Rad systems[/URL] because they are very powerful, well balanced and feature shift-sensing so they aren’t as hard on the drivetrain. If you want to look forward to 2016 I’ve been posting some [URL='https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMsufmMBrYpCkMofSBxtkJe-1u_3mknBY']videos from Interbike here[/URL] including a new one from Stromer that should be up by end of day today.

Hi guys what are your stance on having an stereo system and mp3 player onboard on a ebike is it worth it?Because I dont drive but getting my licence in a few years and i want an alternative to one and because my Ecoped ebike broke.one where I can listen to music while riding to keep me company at night not up loud or anything low volume.Is a Stereo MP3 System built on an ebike worth it for music lovers like me?

Hey Andrew! That’s an awesome question… I’ve seen a couple of custom converted electric bikes with built in stereo systems but I think most people just use portable MP3 players with headphones. [URL='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVFMQMXzwWo']Here’s one custom trike[/URL] with a stereo I saw that was done by the guys at [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/hi-power-cycles/']Hi-Power Cycles[/URL], they called it the Grub Hauler because it was built on a trike platform and they would use it to go get lunch :D

Hi Court, I’m a novice looking to abandon my car and e-bike to my bus station (6 miles from home). I’m 5’9″, 160 lbs. The road from my home to bus stops is slightly hilly and at times uneven pavements. Plus I would travel more in the wee hours like 6 am so I would require head and tail lights. I don’t have any price restraints. I need an e-bike that is lightweight enough for me to load on the bus bike rack with decent power (in case I’m getting late to catch the bus). Although not a priority, I would like to use it as a normal pedal bike at times to fit in some exercise in my daily commute. What is the best e-bike for me? What would be a good website to buy that best bike? Do e-bikes also have Thanksgiving Day deals? Best regards, Paul.

Hi Paul! If you want something light, well balanced and efficient I feel like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/haibike/xduro-urban/']Haibike Urban[/URL] or [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/haibike/xduro-race/']Race[/URL] could be a good fit. The Race can hit 28 mph so you can commute more quickly and I believe one shop having a sale right now (to change from 2015 to 2016 models) is [URL='http://propelbikes.com/']Propel Bikes[/URL] and they do ship nationally if you are in the USA. I just saw that they have a demo model of the Urban for $3,800 right now and I like this bike for how light it is (just 41 lbs) so riding without power and lifting it onto the bus rack would work for you. If you want a model with a rack and fenders for commuting then check out the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/haibike/xduro-trekking-pro/']Haibike Trekking models[/URL] but note the extra weight… I personally like the suspension fork on this model and the larger tires help to add some comfort. There are lots of other ebikes to consider but Haibike strikes a balance for me of cool looking, affordable-ish (given the Bosch drive system) and lots of different options.

Hi Court! I want to say a big ‘thank you’ for your ebike recommendation! My new Easy Motion City finally arrived and I absolutely love it!! Rufina

Nice!! Thanks Rufina, I really like the City models… got the lights, fenders, everything you need. I hope it works out well for you over time, drop by here anytime and ride safe out there :D

Court, thanks again for the consistently thorough effort you put into this site and all it holds. I am bike shopping for a location and my intended rides more than a class of bike, and with one eye on my fixed pension income. I live in a valley in Montana surrounded by mountains, and in a city laced with bike and walking trails (Bozeman, MT). I don’t think I’ll be doing the truly hard-core mountain biking but definitely trail riding with elevation changes plus city commutes. I was taken by the Superpedestrian concept since I could use a (lighter) regular bike for the city commutes and trails, and swap in the hub system for longer distances and more rugged mountain trails. Sadly, I’ve concluded Superpedestrian is too iffy a product for me to plan on. Are there other products similar in approach to that concept that you can recommend? And if I opt for an e-bike alone, might you have a suggestion or two for the under-$2K buyer to best meet these needs? (I’m 6′ & 170).

Hi Jack, [URL='http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/WhooshSection.htm']is this your website[/URL] with all of the boating? Looks fun! The Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel gets me excited too but given how long some people have waited on the preorder I’m just not sure it’s worth while right now. I like [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/flykly/smart-wheel/']the FlyKly[/URL] but I think they have been slow on orders as well and that product won’t let you use a cassette so you’ll only have one gear. this past week I [URL='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuSKCSFuxdY']posted a video[/URL] with my Uncle who has had a Haibike for over a year now and gone 4,000+ miles. I was amazed by how well the bike held up (motor, battery etc.) and feel that this type of setup can be worth the extra money if you plan to do some trails and use the bike on a more regular basis. One of the more affordable options in this line is the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/haibike/xduro-rx-29/']XDURO RX 29″[/URL] and it’s possible to get last-season bikes for a bit less from dealers so that might be worth exploring. I tend to go for purpose-built complete ebikes vs. kits because I know the frame is strong, the wires are integrated and you usually get some fancier features like pedal assist. Given your budget of ~$2,000 I’d think something like [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/biktrix/stunner/']the Biketrix Stunner[/URL] could work well. They have a low-step and high-step version depending on your style. Here’s [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/affordable/']a whole list[/URL] of ebikes I’ve reviewed that are more affordable, hope this helps!

Thanks, Court, for the links and recs. And for those who are looking for an excellent overview of using an ebike as a regular commuter AND trail rider (in the Rockies yet!), be sure to [URL='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuSKCSFuxdY']watch Court’s discussion with his Uncle[/URL]. Just excellent. (But 6 chains in one year…Yikes!) Yes, that’s us, Court. Catching our breath mid-Atlantic on the island of Faial in the Azores.

Thank you for the fantastic web site! I’ve wanted an electric cargo bike for years and have learned so much from your reviews. I’m looking for something that will take me (5’4″, 105 lb.) and my two kids (5 years old and 45 lb.; 1.5 years old and 23 lb.),around the city we live in, which has a few moderate hills (hence the need for electric). Which bike would you recommend for someone like me? I don’t care much about speed, but since I’ll usually have at least one kid with me, I’ll need something stable and easy to handle. I’ve tried out and liked the Yuba elBodaBoda and Spicy Curry, do you have any other (hopefully less expensive) suggestions? Thanks!

Hey Gi! Thanks for the compliment, so glad the website has helped guide you to find a solid ebike. The two you mentioned are great options but yeah… both are expensive. Do you want the 5 year old to ride on the bike with you? That’s definitely possible with the longer cargo bikes from Yuba, Xtracycle and Currie but you could also just put both kids in a trailer. Alternatively, the 5 year old could go one one of those [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BD45N7W/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00BD45N7W&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=2VUPQKYZNEYGEEF7']“follow me” bike trailers[/URL] and the 1.5 year old could be in a front mounted seat like [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PYEB34/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004PYEB34&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=D3526ATT6RE73UO4']this one from Yepp[/URL]. There are so many variables for a multi-passenger ebikes and even some funky designs like [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/urban-arrow/family/']the Urban Arrow[/URL]. Maybe I can help more if you zoom in on how you’d like everyone to be seated… or like the layout you prefer. Depending on your own weight and strength, it may not be necessary to get a super powerful bike for moderate terrain and that could lower the costs a lot. If by contrast you plan to scale large hills and the combined weight is going to exceed 200 lbs (and maybe include groceries or other supplies) then something like [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/xtracycle/edgerunner-10e/']the Xtracycle EdgeRunner 10E[/URL] with Bosch mid-drive would be ideal and achieve great range.

Court, thanks for responding so quickly! I’m definitely open to having my son on a tag-along and my daughter in a bike seat, but I’m not sure about a front-mounted seat, since I’m fairly small and not confident about my ability to reach around her and maintain control, especially as she gets older. I doubt the combined weight will ever exceed 200, or that I’ll ever scale big hills. I’m flexible on the layout – open to having the kids behind me (both on the bike with me, or with one on a tag-along) or in front of me in a bakfiets – but just want something stable, relatively easy to handle (especially when the combined weight of two kids is more than half my weight), and not outrageously expensive. What do you think of the Virtue Gondoliere+?

Cool, I like the designs coming out of Virtue but haven’t had an opportunity to test ride them yet. The Gondoliere+ looks a lot like the Urban Arrow and having ridden that bike I have mixed feelings on stability… Maybe it’s more the change in balance with a far-out front wheel where you have to prepare for turns in advance and lean a bit differently than traditional bikes. It’s not bad, just different. This front loaded design does create extra space for kids, groceries etc and I noticed that the Virtue bike has a battery rack where you might be able to mount a rear child seat [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BQKZK2G/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00BQKZK2G&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=XDRTIFZTRPMUE3J4']like this[/URL]. One of the challenges with the rear rack and rear seat is that it blocks the seat post attachment that a follow-me bike would use. Adding one slot for a child is doable but when you get up to two it can become more complicated. My sister and I rode around in a [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010LLGWKE/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B010LLGWKE&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=Y57CQFDNILBTTZHN']Burley Trailer like this[/URL] when I was a kid and it worked out alright. The nice thing about these is that they mount to the rear axle vs. the seat post so you could use this for cargo and one child with a rear seat for the other. Coming back to power, I’d recommend a 500 watt motor with a 48 volt battery given the added weight of kids and potentially a trailer. You could do a 350 watt motor if it’s a mid-drive from Bosch or even a 250 watt from Impulse like those on [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/focus/']Focus[/URL] and https://electricbikereview.com/category/kalkhoff/ bikes. Kalkhoff has a bunch of well made step-thru models that would be easy to mount and have sturdy built-in racks. The motor and battery are kept low which further improves stability and they are more efficient for climbing and even have shift sensing to reduce wear over time. the downside is that you won’t have a throttle so in order to activate the motor you’ll need to pedal. Feel free to [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/contact/']call me[/URL] to discuss more if you’d like.

Hello: Wonderful site, thank you for maintaining it so well! I’m trying to use my car a bit less here. Could you please suggest a relatively light weight folding e-bike for an urban longish commute. I’m 5 ft tall, 115 lb, 53 y.o.; live in the small city; will use it to commute to/from work & grocery shopping (need to be able to attach a basket or two). I often ride late evenings (so built-in light would be most appreciated). Are any European brands available in U.S.? I’ve been using a small e-scooter (e-zip 1000), but decided to replace it with an e-bike.Thank you for your suggestions. K.

Great question, thanks for all of the details! It helps me to make a good recommendation for you… The first ebike that came to mind was the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/e-joe/epik-lite/']e-Joe Epik Lite[/URL] which is really popular because it comes with a rack, lights, even a suspension fork for comfort and it’s very light weight and affordable. There are actually several ebikes that resemble this one including the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/daymak/new-yorker/']Daymak New Yorker[/URL] (which doesn’t have the lights) and the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/enzo-ebikes/folding-electric-bike/']Enzo Ebike[/URL] (which is a bit higher quality, rust resistant for people who take it on boats and cots more). I’ve reviewed many folding electric bikes to be honest and you can explore them at your leisure on [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/folding/']this page[/URL]. Most of the products I look at are in the United States but some are imported and even modified such as [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brompton/nycewheels-electric/']the Brompton Ebike[/URL] which is only sold through NYCeWheels in New York but I believe they ship nationally. Most bikes can be shipped to you or your local shop to be assembled and tuned up in my experience :)

Thank you kindly for helpful recommendations. How do this bikes behave in the rain in terms of water licking into battery compartment? Two other questions, please: Genze/Mahindra makes a decent enough e-bike, they assemble and service it, but unfortunately it’s not folding and fairly heavy. Have you heard any rumors of Genze making folding bikes in the near future? Also out of all the bikes (folding and not, in all price range) , if you had to choose one women bike – what would you recommend? Thank you again for your help with this.
Best regards, K.

Hi Katya! I have not heard of GenZe making a folding electric bike at this time but I could see something like that happening eventually, it’s a very popular design. [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/motiv/stash/']Here’s a new folding ebike[/URL] I tested just a few days ago that worked very well and protects the battery from the elements by storing it inside the frame. One of my favorite bikes for women is [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/besv/panther-ps1/']the BESV Panther PS1[/URL] because it’s compact, light weight, has dual suspension for comfort and looks very beautiful :)

Hi Court, Thanks so much for your comment yesterday. I stopped by my local bike dealer yesterday and got some good news. The head repair guy is in California learning all about e-bikes! However, they are a dedicated Specialized shop in terms of purchases. We live in a small town and I really want to buy local if possible. I’m looking at the Specialized Turbo X, which retails for $4,500. Do you have a view on this bike? Thanks!!!! Adam

Nice! Sounds like you can buy local and get an awesome bike… The Turbo X is my favorite in the series because it comes with suspension and given the higher top speeds and distances that ebikes offer comfort is a big consideration. The Turbo X is also one of the more affordable models in their line and they offer a solid warranty, sounds like you’re set :D

Very helpful website. After riding an e-bike for the 1st time in Europe last summer, I came home & thought I’d find one right away. But I became intimidated by the process of trying to find the right one for me (69 yo, 140# retired gal who likes the idea of exercise more than hard work.). I have several friends who bought e-bikes over the internet & had regrets (more like disasters!) So I really appreciate what you have put together on this site. After much reading on your site, checking my bank account, etc. I think I’m honing in on one of the Easy Motion bikes. Can you give me some pros & cons comparing the EVO Jet, the EVO Cross & EVO ECO Lite? Anything else I should consider? Mostly I will be doing riding on bike trails, 20 mile stretches, country roads, light-med hills, vacation riding in the south. I just want to be able to keep up with my husband who is not ready for an e-bike.
ps-the bike shops around in Alabama that I have checked are pretty low in knowledge about electric bikes so we’re going to see the guys at Certified Electric Bikes in Chatanooga-a dedicated electric bike shop. A long trek for us but I’m excited!

Hi Sharon! My first ebike purchase was done through the Internet like your friends and I felt disappointed with the end result. Even when I was able to visit a shop and test ride some different models, my second purchase was close but not perfect. Eventually I started working on this website to help people who might be in a similar position and now it’s my full time focus… You’ve narrowed down pretty well in my opinion, my third ebike was the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/neo-jumper/']Easy Motion Neo Jumper[/URL] and I loved the look, balance, comfort and zip that it offered. The torque sensor used on all of these Neo and Evo models is called a TMM4 sensor and can lag a bit when you stop pedaling (meaning the motor still zips for a little while) but otherwise they’re great. The Jet is going to be more active and aggressive with a forward body lean, it’s the smaller equivalent of the Cross which is a high-step for taller riders. Depending on your height and ride style the Jet or Cross could work (how tall are you?). The ECO Lite is a smaller, cheaper version of the Street and City models with the former having smaller diameter and fatter 26″ wheels vs. 700c (28″) on the City. I think the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/evo-street/']Evo Street[/URL] or [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/evo-eco-lite/']Evo Eco Lite[/URL] would be the best options for a petite rider who wanted to emphasize comfort because the geometry is more upright… I love that they come with fenders, lights and with the Street you get a suspension fork (which adds cost and weight but also more comfort). If you’re not super tall and are okay with a slightly less active geometry either of these bikes could be a fit. I just reviewed another model called the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/izip/vibe-plus/']IZIP E3 Vibe+[/URL] which is similar to the Evo Eco Lite but doesn’t have a throttle and uses a mid-drive vs. geared hub motor. I hope this helps, you could also just click through all of the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/city/']city style ebikes[/URL] and see if anything else jumps out.

Court, Thanks for your most helpful response. I settled on the Evo Eco Lite after riding for a few hours on several models. With the seat dropped to the lowest level it fits my 5’3″ height nicely & allows my toes to touch the ground when seated which feels safe. The option for throttle and pedal-assist seems like it has the most options. I bought it from Certified Electric Bikes in Cbatanooga-Chandlee & Garnet were most patient and helpful. They recommended also installing Cane Creek Thudbuster to make the ride more comfortable. I’ll try this out today. Ok-warning-for most stupid question: is there something I can read on most efficient way to use the throttle vs pedal assist? What kind of road conditions, when, etc?

I am considering getting the 2013 izip E3 ultra model; its brand new and my local shop is giving me a good deal on the bike ($1000). I saw your review for the bike, and was wondering if the technology and performance of the bike is still comparable to the newer models? and will it be good for a heavier rider at about 200 pounds? Some background: This will be my first e bike ever and I will be using it for commuting to work which is about 8 miles each way. The trails will be relatively simple (not much of hills). Would love to get you insights. Thanks.

Hi Dhruv, sounds like a great price… which IZIP E3 model are we talking about? Is it the Dash, Zuma, Peak or something else? Since it’s older the battery will likely have some wear on it but the systems should perform well enough. Given your moderate terrain and required range I think you’d be alright as long as you take your charger to work and maybe top the bike off. Does the model you’re considering have a removable battery pack to make charging easier?

Hi Court, Thanks for the quick reply. The model I am looking at is [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-ultra/']the Ultra[/URL]. I understanding is that the battery is not easily removable. I am planning to rent the bike for a day before making my decision – besides the comfort and battery performance are there any aspects I should pay attention to in the trial period? Thanks, Dhruv

Hi Dhruv! Thanks for specifying the bike… definitely not my favorite model from IZIP, the battery is not removable and although it has suspension the narrow tires weren’t comfortable (though you could replace them) and I thought it was ugly. Keep in mind older batteries degrade and since this one is custom it’s not going to be easy to replace so you’ll be left with ever-decreasing range and probably have difficulty selling second hand. I think $1,000 is still too much for this ebike given all of the brand new super affordable models that look better and ride better. Here’s the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/affordable/']full list[/URL] of affordable ebikes I’ve reviewed, one brand I really like is [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/magnum/']Magnum[/URL] but the price is definitely higher… It’s just very difficult to get a good ebike at $1,000 but once you’ve spent that much and possibly been disappointed the additional $500 or so to get a much better ebike seems like a small price to pay. My first ebike really disappointed me and that’s part of why I created EBR.

Terrific site. Thanks. Recommendation please: I’m 63, 5’9″, 140 pounds. I’m looking to replace my car with an electric bike, so I need to be able to transport groceries & stuff around town. Ashland OR is very bike friendly. I am not a confident bike rider — it’s easy to lose my balance, so I like to be able to put my feet on the ground, and wear a skirt — so a step through is probably good. I need reliable, stable, easy, and not too heavy. Much Thanks JBM

Hi Juna! There are so many great step-thru ebikes to choose from these days… if I were in your shoes I’d visit the local bike shop and take a test ride. Just did a Google search and found [URL='http://ashlandelectricbikes.com/']Ashland Electric Bikes[/URL] which carries two good options including the GenZe Recreational which I reviewed [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/genze/recreational-e102/']here[/URL] and the Pedego Boomerang that I covered [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/boomerang/']here[/URL]. The Pedego is larger, heavier and more expensive but also more powerful and super-low step. Note that Pedego has [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/pedego/']a bunch of other models[/URL] including some with 24″ tires. If you’re looking to buy online and want a model these guys don’t carry feel free to contact me directly using the phone number on the contact page and I can discuss some different ideas with you :)

Hi Court, first I would like to comment on your great site. It is simply awesome. Lots of great content, with good write ups and excellent video reviews. I have been binge watching your reviews and I am amazed at how may choices there are for electric bikes. Didn’t know there were so many choices. Now, I would like your input on my particular situation. I have been looking on getting a bike to replace my very heavy Diamondback Edgewood. I have been looking at various hybrid bikes, i.e. Trek 7.2 FX, Giant City Escape, Specialized Sirrus etc., and then I came upon your site. After watching a few videos I like the idea of getting an electric bike so I can go further and a bit faster. Currently I ride on the weekends for the most part on my current ride, but can only average about 12-14 miles. I was thinking of a lighter hybrid so I can commute to work (about 10-12 miles each way depending on route), but an electric bike would make it a cinch. Now, some specs on me that might help in your suggestion. I am 5’10” tall with an inseam of 31 inches, I have lower back issues, so a City Style bike with a more upright sitting position would be best, I weigh 195 lbs, and I am turning 50 next month. This last fact is relevant because it seems that I don’t have the recovery capability that I had at an earlier age, so an electric bike seems to overcome the age factor. Also, most of the riding I do is on surface, paved streets or trails at local parks. I live in San Antonio, TX, so we are making progress in having more bike lanes around town, but I don’t think we have any shops that cater to electric bike aficionados. Maybe I’ll have to travel to Austin to try any of your suggestions? That would not be a problem as it is only one hour away by car but would be a bit inconvenient to service the bike if any of the electric components were to fail. Lastly, I am thinking about spending $2000 or less if possible? Again, great site and thx in advance.

Hi Juan! Yeah, it sounds like a city bike or cruiser would make the most sense and [URL='http://rocketelectrics.com/']Rocket Electrics in Austin[/URL] has a wide selection to look and they will deliver anywhere in Texas from the looks of it, Also consider Small Planet EV’s in Dallas (which is further but might also offer delivery). I recommend buying in person from a shop if possible so you can test ride and usually they throw in a free tune up and will be more eager to help maintain your bike ongoing. Ebikes tend to be ridden more frequently and just have more complex systems than traditional bikes so ultimately they need more maintenance and having a shop to help you is a big deal in my opinion. Your budget is pretty solid, I feel like they’d be able to help you at either shop and maybe a Pedego Cruiser, Juiced Bikes or one of the Easy Motion City or Street models could be a fit. Pedego comes at a premium, Juiced Bikes has models with excellent range and more of a cargo feel and the Easy Motion stuff looks the most polished. I’m not completely up to speed with what models Rocket Electrics has in stock right now but they do a good job in my experience and their website has more info or you could call them, say hi for me to John and Nicole :D

Hi Court, Thx for the prompt reply. I will certainly take a look at the options you mention. I do think that testing the different bikes in person would be the best idea, so quick trip to Austin, or maybe even Dallas for the weekend would not be bad at all. I’ll look at the different brands you mention in your response. Appreciate your help. Thx again. JN

Hi Court – As many people have said, thanks for such a great site – so informative as I look to purchase a first electric bike. I’d like your input on a bike to primarily be used for commuting. My parameters:

[*]5’11”, 160lbs
[*]1-way commute – 8.5 miles. I live in the Bay Area, but the only hills to speak of on my commute are overpasses.
[*]I currently (try to) commute on a regular bike, although it has drawbacks: need to shower twice a day as I break a sweat during the ride. And now that I have kid dropoff in the morning, I have a shorter window of time to get to work in mornings (about 30 min.)
[*]Part of commute is on a dedicated bike path so 20mph max speed
[*]I hope to be able to use the motor in the mornings on the way in and then ride mostly non-pedal assisted on the way home, so looking for something more lightweight. This way I don’t break a sweat and can wear work clothes on the way in, but can get exercise on the way home.
[*]My current commuter is a cyclo-cross bike fit. I added lights, fenders and rear rack, but I can switch them onto the e-bike.

I’ve been thinking about the Emazing Bike Artemis, as its lightweight and seems suited for commuting. I like that it looks like a normal bike. The Artemis is at the upper range of what I want to spend. Wondering what you thought and if there are other bikes that fit the bill. Thanks in advance!

Hi James! Thanks for laying all of your details out to discuss… The Artemis is a neat bike, I like how light weight it is, but one other option I enjoyed is the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/magnum/mi5/']Magnum Mi5[/URL] which is very affordable at ~$1,700 and comes with assist as well as throttle on demand. There are no lights integrated but there are mounting points for a [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004094HY2/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B004094HY2&linkCode=as2&tag=elecbikerevi-20&linkId=LZKMFMFFTRQEJN7K']rear carry rack[/URL] since you’re commuting. I personally like the larger tires and suspension fork here and the “trail bike” style but it would make an excellent platform for commuting and the battery is quite large. I believe you can see and test ride this bike at [URL='http://www.elvmotors.com/']ELV Motors in Santa Clara[/URL]. If you prefer something more sleek, consider [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/riide/v1-1/']the new Riide[/URL] which is exactly $2k or can be financed but is sold online vs. shops.

Thanks for the reply! I will definitely check out some of these options at ELV!

I need advice. I’m ready to buy an electric bike and I’m overwhelmed by choices. I’ve ridden a few on the west coast, but living in Cleveland, Ohio, I’m going to have to order on line as our local bike dealers don’t sell them. I want a bike to ride for work; I’m a local minister so I have to move around town throughout my day – often in a skirt, so I’d like a step-through model that can accommodate a tall woman, and I would like one with fenders and good tires as it rains a lot in Cleveland. I’d also like to ride this bike on country roads as I am a summer minister on Cape Cod. I would prefer both peddle assist and throttle with decent gear options. I also need to be able to put it on a sturdy, hitch-mounted Yakima Bike rack. I would prefer to keep my investment under or around $2,000. Any advice or suggestions?

Hi Tracey! A few models come to mind including [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/eg/athens-250/']the EG Athens[/URL] (which is a bit weaker but very affordable). You mentioned that you’re a bit taller… what’s your height and also the round trip and terrain (flat or hilly?). You can see a long list of step-thru ebikes using [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/?s=&_range_min_price=0&_range_max_price=38500&_range_min_rating=0.00&_range_max_rating=10.00&_range_min_total-weight=0&_range_max_total-weight=150&_range_min_top-speed=0&_range_max_top-speed=50&_range_min_battery-watt-hours=0&_range_max_battery-watt-hours=3000&_range_min_frame-sizes=0&_range_max_frame-sizes=24&_range_min_motor-torque=0&_range_max_motor-torque=160&_range_min_gearing-details=0&_range_max_gearing-details=30&_multi_model_year=&_multi_body_position=&_multi_suggested_use=&_multi_frame_types=Step-Thru&_multi_drive_mode=&_multi_availability=']this advanced search query[/URL] and I’ll try to dig in more if you reply with more details but there are several great shops that sell online in the US including [URL='http://propelbikes.com/']Propel Bikes in New York[/URL] (they sell higher end stuff), [URL='http://www.electriccyclery.com/']Electric Cyclery in California[/URL] (still higher end but more of a mix) and the [URL='https://electricbicyclecenter.com/']Electric Bicycle Center in California[/URL] (more entry-level affordable). I hope this helps… if you decide to up your budget and go for quality and a wider range of sizes then definitely check out [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/kalkhoff/']the Kalkhoff models[/URL]… they are very popular in Europe and some of the best ebikes around… they will last, power through all kinds of terrain and come with fenders, lights, a bell and other nice upgrades.

Hi Court, I was wondering if I could also get your help in choosing a bike. I live half way up a mountain (literally – I live in the Rocky Mountains) so getting to work is not a problem, but I have not been able to conquer the way home so I am interested in pedal assist. I’d like a bike that’s strong enough to get me up the paved mountain and gentle enough for the 15 month old baby I’d like to attach in a handle bar baby seat. Thank you for your help – Ciara

Hi Ciara! Cool name… I grew up in Colorado at the base of the Rockies so the steep climbs (and high altitude) are not lost on me ;) sounds like a wonderful goal you have, riding with your child. One of the firs ebikes that came to mind was [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/electra/townie-go/']the Electra Townie Go![/URL] which uses a powerful, durable and efficient mid-drive motor from Bosch. The older models used hub motors that were louder and way less powerful. Once I thought of this however, an idea struck me which is that as your child grows you may want to put them on the back of the bike or even let them sit on a cargo deck and hold a handlebar. This is all possible with a cargo style ebike and two companies offer models that also use the Bosch Centerdrive. Check out [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/felt/bruhaul/']the Felt Bruhaul[/URL] and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/xtracycle/edgerunner-10e/']the Xtracycle Edgerunner[/URL]. They aren’t cheap but they can literally replace your car with excellent range, plenty of climbing power, tons of cargo space for groceries in addition to a second passenger and solid warranties. This is an ebike you buy once to keep (just lock it up well!)

Thank you Court! I really appreciate your responding and have found your website an amazing resource for find a new ebike! I look forward to trying these bikes out! Thanks again for your time :)

Hi Court, first of all thanks for your website! I’m completely new to ebikes and it’s been very, very helpful. I need help finding the right ebike for my situation. I’m 65 years old, 5’8″ and weigh 215. I also have back issues so am looking at either full suspension or at the very least front suspension with a thud buster or similar product. I will be riding both at home, which means fairly steep hillls, and at RV campgrounds. I visit beach campgrounds with sand roads and would also like to ride on the beach. The ebike needs to be almost indistinguishable from a non-motorized bike. I also need to be able to transport the bike on a hitch mounted bike carrier of some sort so it needs to be light enough for me to handle. I would like to ride upright as much as possible. Good suspension is very important considering the condition of my back. I would also like to spend $2500 or less if possible. The whole idea is to be able to get some exercise but have electric assist for the hills and sand and to keep up with my wife when we ride together. Any suggestions?

That’s a very tall order Mark but I think the biggest killer is that it needs to be indistinguishable from a traditional unpowered bicycle. My first thought given your budget was the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radrover/']RadRover[/URL] but it has a battery pack on the downtube that would stand out. The good news is that the battery is removable which is great for lifting. For a bit more you can get the beautiful [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/surface-604/boar-e350/']Surface 604 Boar[/URL] which also has a removable battery but looks a lot more “normal”. I really like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/e-lux/tahoe/']E-Lux Tahoe[/URL] but the fenders and rack would get in the way of any rack you choose… there are heavy duty hitch racks with larger trays for fat bikes [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019RNQCHA/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B019RNQCHA&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=XTARSFVVSDGUUFCD']like this[/URL] but they usually push down on tires and fenders tend to get in the way.

Court – Though repetitive, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer kudos for the great site.
My ebike saga started with a Sharper Image Electric Cruiser about 14 years ago, a beast of a bike, which I absolutely loved although it wasn’t long before I could no longer get up a hill on it. I learned to tinker with the electronics quite a bit, even “Frankensteined” a replacement battery pack onto it (Nickel Metal Hydride Cells!) so I consider myself a bit of a pioneer, And a bit of an outlaw too since ebikes were not legal in Ontario at the time. Once I actually rode up to two bicycle cops to ask them whether they had seen any ebikes on the road, what they thought of the upcoming pilot project to allow them… they had no idea what I was riding. It was cycling bliss until someone stole the rear wheel with the motor, and I had to let her go…
I ended up moving on to motor scooters but last year sold them, they have great range and speed but they aren’t fun like an ebike…. So last spring I ended up buying a “barely used” [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/izip/2013-e3-zuma/']2013 iZip E3 Zuma[/URL], the step through model. I have really been enjoying it although it’s in the shop now and I’m told that the motor had a bunch of water in it, I guess because it was not covered well enough while spending a cold snowy rainy winter outside. Very bad, I have learned my lesson. Between the cost of a new motor, replacing the burned-out controller, and the labor required to put Humpty together again, it may not be worth it. I don’t have an easy way to store it over winter though, and kept hoping the temp would rise enough to ride it…. but alas it didn’t.
OK yes, I have a question – was looking at your review of the Voltbike Urban. It seems to combine of the attributes I might want in my next bike – I can bring it inside in the winter, or bring it on the subway or throw it easily in a car… It’s within my price range (about $1200-1400 USD)… It’s shipped from Canada so I don’t pay the exchange rate or duties or customs clearance fees etc… But I can’t ride it before I buy. I’ve never ridden an electric folder and I know it’s a low-end bike. I’m about 190 lbs. Do you think I’m going to like this bike, moving from a Zuma? My ride to work is mostly up a low incline (up and down hills but mostly up) and about 9 miles, and I like riding pretty fast. It’s mostly smooth roads but there are some very bumpy patches (which aren’t great on the Zuma). Thoughts?

Hi Dave! Yeah, the reviews can get repetitive… I’m always trying to balance an introduction to ebikes with details about what differentiates each model and a bit of entertainment and variety. Glad you’ve enjoyed the site and thanks for sharing your great story about the Zuma! I actually just posted [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/guides/ebikes-in-rain-washing/']a guide about riding in wet conditions and washing ebikes[/URL], maybe you could chime in about your failed motor to help guide readers on what to avoid so their’s don’t break ;)
And so, on to your question! [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/voltbike/urban-folding/']The Voltbike Urban[/URL] performs pretty well for a more affordable electric bike but it isn’t going to feel as solid or powerful as your Zuma. I really like the Zuma models because the heavier frame, larger tires and oversize saddle add some comfort. You won’t get that with the lighter frame and small wheels of the Urban (with limited suspension and an underwhelming fold lock on the stem). The saving grace is actually that the hub motor benefits from the smaller wheel size which should help with those hills and you get throttle and assist so pedaling along feels natural and you can extend the range and avoid overworking the system by pedaling. As you’ve read, the Urban offers six speeds and comes with a medium front chainring so pedaling feels natural and errs on the too-easy side vs. too hard. Those bumpy patches you mention on your ride do worry me but with a larger saddle (perhaps your old Zuma saddle?) and a bit of care, this ebike would offer the convenience and storability which ended your last ride. I hope this helps, you could opt for a suspension folding ebike but that will cost more and likely originate in the USA. One other folding ebike that is more full sized and does originate in canada is [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/daymak/arsenal/']the Daymak Arsenal[/URL], have you checked that one out? It uses larger, more traditional 26″ wheels.

Court, congratulations on a really great website and information. When you are new to this its so confusing. I live in a mountainous part of New Zealand and ebikes are just starting to come in here. I was wanting your thoughts on one for myself. Lady – Age 67, Height 5ft 5 in, Weight 155 lbs. Wanted a step through preferably that could take panniers and would be using for mountain trail rides and trekking. Prefer an upright position. I am not a mountain bike enthusiast and going off road but just want some extra oomph to get up the hills but also bike around the village. Budget is relaxed – just want to get quality that will hopefully outlast me. I would most certainly be wanting to travel to where ever to try them out [possibly overseas] but just need to have an idea as to models to consider. How do you get the lithium batteries back home if you purchase overseas? Do you have any recommendations for European brands? Any ideas?

Hi June! I’m excited for you, glad that ebikes have caught your attention and wish I could help more than just posting these reviews… I realize it can be overwhelming with all of the seeming-choices. The truth is that you’re best off finding a shop in NZ that sells ebikes and buying locally. My understanding is that shipping or flying with Lithium-ion batteries is difficult if not impossible for consumers without help from a shop or manufacturer. There are some brands that sell online then ship overseas and in that case your options really open up. One shop that might be willing to work with you (that also carries good stuff) is [URL='http://www.motostrano.com/']Motostrano in California[/URL], try reaching out to them, I hear they have successfully sold and shipped internationally but cannot say for sure. They would also be able to help you narrow down options based on their availability vs. coming in stuck on one idea or another. Most ebikes these days are getting pretty reliable and strong in the $2,000+ range.

Court. Many thanks for your response and I will most certainly contact Motostrano. All the best

Wow! Thanks for the amazing & informative website. I admit that with all its vast array of information that I am finding trying to figure out the best Ebike for my needs to be a bit overwhelming so I am hoping maybe you could help me narrow things down. I plan to commute 13 miles each way to work and am very interested in an Ebike because I don’t think I am up for a daily 26 mile round trip ride on my hybrid bike. I will have a number of small hills to go up and down with one long relatively steep hill that is almost 1/2 mile long. Do you think an Ebike could make it up the big hill? I weigh 140 and am 5’8″. I can spend up to $3000ish. I am excited about the possibility of ditching my car and continuing to enjoy the thrill of being on a bike without having to do all the work, thanks so much for any input you could give me!

Hi Jennie! In my experience, electrified bicycles massively reduce the time and effort involved with riding. I’m not sure how steep your hill is but imagine more than doubling your own pedal power output and making it constant. I’m almost positive that if you pedal along with the bike you will have no problem making it up… The biggest challenge for ebikes is when you stop half way up a hill and try to use a throttle only to get it going without helping. The motor does best when you help and when you have some momentum going in. Given your height and weight, I’d say you’re pretty average and most bikes would be able to handle the distance and those hills. Maybe the next question is, do you want a mid-drive, a hub motor, a step-thru style vs. high-step, do you want a suspension fork and more active design that could go on trails or mostly just city… going the other direction, would you like a cruiser that’s really relaxed but also heavy? My first suggestion would be to seek out a local dealer where you can go and take a test ride. Buying local comes in very handy down the road for helping with tuneups and warranty service :)

First of all my husband and I would like to thank you for your really excellent web site! It is incredibly informative and quite extensive. This leads us to some questions and a desire for your recommendations for e-bikes that meet the following criteria;
[*]First the frame geometry. I want an “upright” or “relaxed” riding position as opposed to a “lean forward” position (but not cruiser). I also want a frame with an upper tube. It can be a drop tube (mild step through) but not a full step through frame. These would be deal breakers.
[*]After a full read of your motor position comparison it seems as though a mid motor would be best. I will use the bike to commute to and from work, a bit less than 30 miles round trip, with a long steep hill at the end of the return commute. After a day of work the thought of the motor not pulling the hill with ease, even with me helping, is not pleasant to say the least. It also sounds like having shift sensing is important for less stress on the drive train and a more enjoyable riding experience. I am not clear on wether the throttle feature is important on a mid motor or if having all three sensors (torque, pedal cadence, and rear wheel speed) is a must. The Bosh mid motor sounds good but suggestions would be appreciated. Having a mid motor is not a deal breaker if a rear motor handled the end of commute hill with ease, although the spoke, flat tire, and weight distribution cons you point out also seem to favor the mid motor.
[*]I am hoping to stay in the three thousand dollar range.

Thank you very much for your advice! It would be extremely helpful to narrow down the possibilities.

Hi Jennie! The first bike that came to mind for me was [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/electra/townie-go/']the Electra Townie Go![/URL] which now uses the Bosch mid-drive. Trek acquired Electra in recent years and has a great dealer network and support. I like the bike a lot with its fenders and cruiser aesthetic but love that they put a fancier drive system on the bike. This bike fits right in your budget and is available in high-step or low-step so you can decide what looks/feels right. Bulls has a mid-drive powered cruiser that I have not yet reviewed but theirs uses the Brose motor that is also really solid (I Have tested that motor on other bikes). It’s called [URL='http://www.bullsebikes.com/product/sturmvogel-e-evo/']the Sturmvogel[/URL] and I’m not sure exactly how much it costs?

P.S. to last question, any input on Bosch vs Impulse 2.0 motor would be appreciated. Again, thank you so much for being such a valuable resource to those of us looking into purchasing an EBike.

Hi Jennie! I really like the Focus and Kalkhoff ebikes but they use the Impulse motor which in my experience is slightly less powerful than Bosch. It’s quiet, small and relatively light weight… but just not as zippy feeling. I prefer Bosch in general because my ride style is more off-road. I feel like with Impulse I have to work harder even in the higher levels of assist (unless it’s the speed drive from Impulse). Hope this helps, both are very solid!

Hello,I just started attending college and my license is revoked. My commute is 8 miles there and 8 miles back so 16 miles. I am 6’4 roughly 190lbs. I have been looking into American Electrics Superfly 2016 model . I’m going to be spending my financial aid from school on this so I’m trying to be as careful as possible. I just wanted to ask for some advice on this particular one or if you had another one to recommend ,I’m trying to keep the “electric bike” as close to a scooter as possible and am interested in higher speeds even though technically the speed limit is 20 mph for these.

Hi Michael, Interesting situation… I’d like to hear more about your budget, my first thought is that a speed pedelec like [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-protour/']the IZIP E3 Protour[/URL] would offer the best of all worlds ie. speed, lower cost, great features like a scooter but lighter weight and easier to service. Why don’t you give me a ring to chat sometime and we can discuss more options, my Aunt just took out some student loans and I know it’s a big decision what to do with the money, maybe there’s a good deal we could find 650-930-0342

Hi Court, Your website is wonderful and so extensive. I’m overwhelmed and am hoping you can help me make a decision on which bike(s) to consider. I’m a 67 yr old woman; 5’4″; 135 lbs and thankfully, in better than average physical condition but with a bit of back and knee issues. I’m hoping to find a pedal assist and throttle bike to ride on paved trails and streets in and around the Denver area to visit friends and do shopping and to keep moving and exercising every day, weather permitting. There are lots of hills around which I absolutely could never conquer with my vintage Raleigh bike.
Features I “think” I need/want are: Upright/comfortable seating; must be low step-through frame; features for comfortable riding on uneven pavement; fenders; lights; maximum cargo capability for groceries, etc.; removable battery, mid-mount battery to aid stability, and a bike I could lift into my Honda Fit (with rear magic seats) or onto a bike rack. As I was reading along I started writing a list of bikes you recommended to others in different scenarios and the list is LONG which accounts for my being overwhelmed.
I’m able to spend up to $2k unless you recommend a bike which is more because of the features I’m requesting. Are there features I forgot to request? Thanks for helping me though this cloud of information! I’ll happily test ride as many bikes as you recommend.

Sorry for the late reply Kay, I have been traveling recently and just got back to a space with Internet :p I have a great suggestion for you… Right now the industry is changing from 2016 to 2017 electric bikes and there are sometimes sales. You could probably get a nicer bike from last year if you visit the local shops. One such shop that has a storefront in Denver and Longmont (meaning they have more bikes and might even transfer the perfect model between stores) is called [URL='http://www.smallplanetebikes.com/']Small Planet E-Vehicles[/URL]. Rather than give you a general advice about the entire world of ebikes I’d say go there and see/test what they actually have. Buying locally from a shop ensures you have a place to return to with questions, maintenance or even warranty support :D the owner is a wonderful man named Tom Wilson and he’s a little older and might be able to relate to your needs.

Thank you for all of this great information! My family and I love riding bikes together but this past year I have been battling Rheumatoid Arthritis and it has been impossible for me to go with them. I am looking into getting an eclectric bike so that I can keep up with our 11 year old son and not miss out on the family fun. The things I am looking for are: a bike that is easy to get on and off, a bike that gives me enough power to get up the huge hills around our neighborhood (all paved roads) and also is comfortable enough to sit on for someone with joint pain. I’d love to not have to spend a ton of money, but I also don’t want something that will break down on me. Any suggesstions? (and in case you need more info, I’m 5’9″, 145 pounds) Thanks so much!

Hi Lynn! One bike that I’ve tried which has a very easy frame to mount and still offers good power is [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/boomerang/']the Pedego Boomerang[/URL]. Unfortunately it’s not super affordable or light weight but there are other step-thru models listed on the site which might suite your ride style and budget. Try using the advanced search options at the top right section of the page to narrow down based on step-thru frames and your budget :)

Court, Thank you for all the work you do to review e-bikes. I want your thoughts about the Prodecotech fat tire bikes. (Rebel x9) I am six feet tall, weigh 160, and am very fit. I live in Minnesota and would like to ride year round. Security, weight, and price are not issues. Any reviews? Thank you.

Hi Jay! I’m hoping to visit ProdecoTech again sometime to review their latest ebikes, I feel that they’ve gotten a lot better over the years and while I haven’t tried the Rebel x9 I believe Pete Prebus has, he runs Electric Bike Report and you can [URL='http://electricbikereport.com/prodecotech-rebel-x9-review-part-1/']check it out here[/URL]. I like the battery setup and am guessing that the front mount motor works well given the larger heavier wheel with the fat tire. Sometimes front wheel drive ebikes spin out. The cranks and chainring are also nice! Reminds me of BMX hardware I used as a kid :)

HI Court. Multiple “dittos” and “kuddos” on all the comments thanking you for this wonderful site. Me? Single, 5 feet tall, healthy, fit, female, age 68, weight 120. I recently bought a used 22′ van /RV and want to be able to travel around campgrounds (sometimes gravel / dirt roads) and into local towns with a bike rather than breaking camp. Thought about motor scooters (which I can’t lift) and tried out some bikes at our 2 local shops (loved the 14 ” Trek) and have ultimately decided that an electric bike will fit my dual needs (RV campgrounds / surrounding areas as well as local paved road travel). I have also upped my budget (gulp) appropriately :) I really liked your review of the 2016 IZIP E3 Vibe Plus Low Step which comes in a XS frame. I’m now getting down to the nitty gritty and would like your thoughts on other bikes that work for petite ladies. If needed, can go above the list $1,600 – 1,800 for IZIP E3 Vibe Plus but would like your honest recommendations for other ebikes in this lower price range that would work for smaller women. I do have a garage for local storage and am currently studying bike hitch mounts that I can lift into the RV tow receiver ;-) Totally LOVE your reviews, Court!!! Thanks so much, Connie

Hey Connie! Glad the site has helped and I’m happy to share a couple thoughts here… First off, there are lots of great bike racks out there and the hitch style works very well (don’t have to lift the bike very high, can support heavier bikes). I got [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/accessories/kuat/nv-2-0/']the Küat NV2[/URL] but there are cheaper ones from Thule, Yakima and others. Make sure you get the correct size for your receiver, I’m guessing it’s a 2″ hitch which is the larger stronger size.
As for bikes… you could sort the City Style category by price ascending [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/city/?sort=price_asc']like this[/URL] and the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/eg/copenhagen/']EG Copenhagen[/URL] came up as a possibility because it’s small and affordable. The challenge is that smaller wheels aren’t as comfortable to ride or as grippy for loose terrain like the gravel and dirt mentioned. Thankfully, the tires on that ebike aren’t super narrow… but still. I hope this helps and welcome you to text or call me using the contact form later if you narrow it down further. I might even be able to recommend some shops that are selling last-year inventory cheaper now since it’s getting to be winter time :)

These are good things and great guides to choose electric bike. I have found some great E-bikes [URL='https://www.youmo.ch/']here[/URL] and confused which one to buy lol. anyway, great post here!

Hey Lindsay, thanks for sharing the link! I have not heard of those bikes before as I do not think they are sold in the USA but I do like how they look. I hope you find a good bike for your lifestyle and budget, thanks for posting your comment and good luck! Perhaps you can ask around for tips and feedback in the EBR Forums for [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/choosing/']help with choosing an ebike here[/URL]?

Hi Court, so I’m swimming in all these options and a little lost lol. I am looking into purchasing my first ebike and could use a little guidance I think. I’m 6ft tall about 180 lbs. I am looking for something to go back and forth to work with every day and out on the weekends riding. I live in S Florida so it’s very flat and I will be on the street almost exclusively. My daily commute is about 14 miles round trip and I am looking for a bike that I don’t have to pedal if I don’t want to at all. I believe I need a throttle bike instead of just assist. I am looking to spend less than 2,000 all in. Do you have any suggestions as far as a good reliable solid bike like that? Thank you for the amazing site, just a lot of info to sort through.

Hi Travis! Great description… I think the only other consideration would be style of bike. If you’re alright with a cruiser (which tends to be relaxed and comfortable) then the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/electric-bike-company/model-s/']Electric Bike Company Model S[/URL] could be a fit. They just dropped the price and offer some great accessories, a powerful battery pack, and high capacity battery. Try using the search filters at the top right side of the page so you can narrow down more by price and type of bike. I hope this helps! I definitely recommend visiting a shop and taking a test ride or two. I almost always buy from shops because of the setup, warranty support, and cheap accessories and tuneups for customers. I realize it may be slightly higher up front but with ebikes being more complex and being uses a lot (for commuting in you case) it can pay off long term for sure.

Thanks Court! I was actually looking at a cruiser, I’m really liking the OceanCurrent, I read your review and it sounds like it checks all my boxes and it’s not too hard on the wallet. Have you had any other experience with that bike? Have you heard any horror stories lol?

Hello! I’m looking at commuting year round in Chicago. Figure a belt drive bike with extra wide or fat tires would be ideal given the conditions. Did some poking around, but couldn’t seem to easily find any insight on belt driven bikes on the site. Scrolled through all of the fat bike reviews and looks like they all have chain drives. I did find a company named Tout Terrain that sells a bike named the Chiyoda eXpress and it looks like it’d do a decent job for what I need. Only real hesitation is regarding the rear hub motor (as opposed to mid drive). Wasn’t sure if you had any experience with this company or bike model. Thanks!

Hi Brad! I think you’re correct that there are not any belt drive fat bikes yet… that’s kind of two niches combined, and in order to have a belt drive you really need a special (more expensive) frame to be built with a cutaway or lowered dropout so the belt can run below the right chainstay. Hub motors can work really well and tend to be easier on the drivetrain… but mostly they are just less expensive. I don’t have any information on a bike that has not been reviewed but is not here and I haven’t seen or tested the Chiyoda that you mention but I’ll keep an eye out and try to review it in the future. Thanks for sharing your question and feel free to repost or poke around in the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/']electric bike forums here[/URL] for more opinions or input.

Court – Thanks for the follow up. After some research I’m thinking I can get away without a fat bike, but would still like the lower maintenance of a belt drive. Is there a way to easily filter or search for belt driven bikes on EBR? Thanks again!

I am looking to gain my adult son with some intellectual disabilities some independence. He can ride a typical bike, but we live outside of town about 8 miles with hills. I am looking for something simple to use, something that can be used on packed and paved roads. Something that would help him get to a job when I am not around to drive him. He is 5′ 6″ about 130lbs.

Hi Donna, I really like the fat bikes for how stable they are (and fun looking) they can handle paved and packed roads and Rad Power Bikes makes a decent quality but still affordable one that ships nation wide called [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radrover/']the RadRover[/URL], check it out here. You can also explore the site by using the different categories or the Top Rated Ebikes page [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/best-electric-bikes/']here[/URL].

Hi Court, I am looking to buy an electric mountain bike. I have had my eye on the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/bulls/e-stream-evo-45-fs/']Bulls E-Stream evo 45 fs[/URL] because of the 28mph speed and the overall look of the bike. However it is a bit out of my price range. Are there ways that i could get it at a discount? Maybe at a certain time of year it will go on sale? Or are there any other (cheaper) 28mph mountain bikes? Thanks.

Hi Zach! This is a unique one, there aren’t many speed pedelecs that are setup for trail or mountain riding. Getting a deal seems to depend on time of year and availability. Towards the end of summer and early Fall (like around September/October) things may lower in price and then around Black Friday before the winter holidays they also can go on sale. Another option is to purchase a less expensive full suspension Bosch powered ebike and then use a speed dongle to get the higher speeds… but it will void the warranty and changes the speed readout on your display. Once you pay for a bike, pay for a dongle and possible get help installing it, you still end up spending a lot. I’m not sure if there are ways to change the speed on Brose powered bikes so you wouldn’t have the same integrated battery look as you have here. Maybe call a dealer that sells online and ask them about a discount. Sometimes if you just express that you’re willing to wait a bit, flexible on size, or ready to pay cash if they can work with you on a deal they will have some flexibility.

Greetings Court – here’s a new scenario for you…I’m looking for an e-bike to use as my bug-out vehicle in a SHTF (*sh*t hit the fan) event. In the mean time, it needs to also serve as a means of exercise, more than anything else. My trip would be approx. 100 miles from home to my retreat, pulling a trailer (i.e. Burley Flatbed or Nomad), starting at the coast (flat) and ending in gently rolling hills. I’ve watched and read a LOT of your reviews, and you’ve only made it more confusing. Every time I think I’ve made up my mind, I see another option.
My first thought was the Catrike / Greenspeed style trikes, but they’re pretty pricey new with the power option. I haven’t seen any on Craigslist with motors… plenty without, though. Then I started looking at diamond framed bikes, and found some possibilities, but I’m just afraid sitting upright for extended periods would give me the shoulder and neck aches. Next on the radar was the true recumbent bike, but few (none?) have motors that I’ve seen. But I really like the laid-back riding position. (Saw your suggestion for the RideKick above).
Tonight was spent reviewing delta style recumbent trikes. I didn’t find a lot to offer there, either. Oh, how my head is spinning now. Here’s my wish list… what do you suggest for someone who’s 5’8″ and 240 lbs?
[*]Preferably a recumbent, bike or trike
[*]Folding would be nice
[*]$1500 – 2200 if possible
[*]48v/750 watt motor preferred, 30v/500 watt minimum

This is what I’ve been pondering for the last 3 weeks…

[*]Electric Trike Company Eco-Delta SX (new for $2300 with the 30v/20ah battery upgrade)
[*]AdventureCycle Model T (1.5 years old for $1700 – has a lot of options AND folds – could add the motor later)
[*]Bacchetta Corse recumbent bike – (2 years old for $1400 – could add the motor later)
[*]Prodeco Phantom X2 (4 years old for $1500 – has a lot of options AND folds)
[*]RadRover (530 miles on it for $1000 – with a few accessories)
[*]And finally…a brand spankin’ new Rad Power Bike Rad City, Rover or Mini. I like them all. (the ONLY thing stopping me from buying any one of these now is the upright position).

Am I missing something… is there another option? Thanks for you advice in advance… and keep making those reviews. I’m going to keep reviewing them, and will find the right bike soon (hopefully before the Zombies hit the streets!!)

Hi Biff! You’ve listed some great options there and clearly defined your needs. I think the Electric Trike Company makes comfortable ebikes but I don’t think the range would be what you’re asking, you might need a second battery pack. The RadRover is nice because it’s affordable, but again, the battery isn’t going to get you as far with those big inefficient tires… but they will be slightly more comfortable :)
The RadCity would be a good fit, probably the clostest here in terms of efficiency and the suspension fork offers comfort. The alternative idea I have for you is a Day 6 electric bike. They are built to work well for heavier, taller riders, and they situate your body partially like recumbent but still upright. The seat is big and soft and there’s a back rest. The handlebar is adjustable, and the mid-drive motor offers throttle or pedal assist and you can get a bunch of different battery size options. How about this. I will try to review the Day 6 Samson for you tomorrow, I filmed it on a trip recently but have yet to write it up. Stay tuned, I hope this brief feedback helps and that you find this extra option worth considering even though it’s not folding and might be above your price range.

Thanks for the quick response. To clarify a little, I’m not looking for something that could make the entire trip on battery. I figure I can peddle most of the way, and use the battery for peddle assist from time to time. But a second battery would certainly be an option. Right now, I’m really leaning toward a RadCity bike, but I’m looking forward to your review of the Day 6 Samson. Thanks again!!!

Hey Court – just wanted to give you an update. I ended up buying TWO bikes!! The first is an older Cycle Genius LWB recumbent that has less than 300 miles on it. I got it pretty cheap, so I’ll be looking for an e-kit to add to it…maybe a kit from [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/bionx/']BionX[/URL] or [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/electric-bike-outfitters/']EBO[/URL]? The BEST news is… I’m going to be the proud owner of a BRAND NEW [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radmini/']RadCity Mini[/URL]. I ordered it today, so I can’t wait for it to show up. Thank YOU for all the videos you’ve done. I may have seen them all… several times. This decision took about 3 weeks, and I’m thrilled with the outcome. Safe travels… Biff

That’s fantastic BIFF! I like your logic on the kits and think that Electric Bike Outfitters might be a win in terms of price and DIY. My understanding is that BionX requires you to get help from a certified dealer? I’d love to hear what you find, EBR does have some new and improved kits as I understand it. As for the RadMini, that’s great! I hope it arrives in great shape and performs well for you. I like that bike, it’s fun but also kind of practical with the folding and lower frame design. Stable but still easy enough to mount :D

Hey Court, thanks for your awesome website (best e-bike website online HANDS DOWN). I’m looking to buy an e-bike which is:
[*]a good quality and reliable brand
[*]not TOO heavy
[*]is comfortable to ride
[*]has super long range
[*]has shocks or something that I don’t feel every bump
[*]built-in light system, battery level indication, need password to drive, (a security alarm or gps would be nice too)
[*]awesome motor and awesome battery
[*]goes super quick
[*]the appearance looks more like a reg bycicle than an e-bike
[*]if I get stuck in the rain it won’t damage the bike
[*]the bike can handle driving while it’ raining or snowing.

I want a company that’s reliable and uses top quality parts, and that they’re easy to deal with if a problem arises. There are thousands of options and I don’t even know where to start. What e-bikes to you suggest I look at? Thank you

Hi Abe, thanks for the compliment! I work hard to make this a nice place with good information and support. Your list is quite extensive, but it’s good to know what you’d like in an ideal world. Very few electric bikes have built in alarm or GPS systems but you can now get the COBI smart display system that will work with Bosch and use your cell phone as the display (which could work as a GPS), the COBI system does offer lights and I think it might even have an alarm feature. Most electric bikes will be fine in the rain and even riding through shallow puddles so don’t worry about that (just don’t spray your bike with hard pressure or submerge it).
So, with these things in mind. I’d recommend one of the Bulls, Haibike, Giant or Trek Class 3 speed pedelec models. You can use the search engine to filter through the site and enter the brand keyword and Class 3 to see what comes up. I’m constantly reviewing new bikes and each of these companies has a new lineup for 2018 but you could go the other way and try to get a deal on a 2017 model now. Bulls has some great options that get very close to what you want including the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/bulls/e-stream-evo-45-fs/']E-Stream EVO 45 FS[/URL] and the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/bulls/dail-e-grinder/']DAIL-E Grinder[/URL] which come in multiple sizes. I hope this helps! You can also ask around in the EBR forums [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/choosing/']help choosing section here[/URL].

Hi Court, I’ve watched so many of your reviews it feels like I know you now! You are awesome with giving information and detailed answers and I want to thank you for that and being the way you are with it.
I am helping a friend purchase his first ebike. I do a lot of cycling and enjoying putting together the research for him. He is sixty-five and not new to cycling but it has been a few years since he’s ridden much. He recently rented a Sondors at the beach on vacation and loved the experience. He did really well too but doesn’t want to get a Sondors. He feels the stability of a fat tire bike and upright position is best for him though, so a Fat Tire was decided as the type to get. That decision has been made. His price range $1,600 to $2,500.
He likes the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radrover/']Rad Rover[/URL] and it’s at the very top of the list. It allows him to purchase the bike and with getting all the gear that goes along.
A car trailer rack is in his future too.
He is really liking the Rad Rover and will most likely get that because of your reviews, and how great a company they seem to be with support and information. They seem to be a positive company with a large following and gaining momentum. However before making the purchase we’ve identified a couple others that could knock the Rad off the top spot. The other two are very interesting but neither doesn’t seem to have that ease of contact and support that Rad Power does.
I know how you feel about the Rad but what are your thoughts on the other two below? You haven’t reviewed the M2S bike that I can find. They have a couple models that seem solid and one has a Mid Drive motor priced at $1,950. What do think about the Mid-Drive versus a Hub drive motor given the choice? The Teo is a feature rich bike too. I know there are other factors you would need and hard to put it all here, but do the best you can with your thoughts. He does want to do on-road rides and some off-road but nothing technical. More like rail trails. He envisions even pulling a small light trailer with it once he gets settled with it. So, fairly easy rides but can still handle some bumps, fields etc.
Help us make this decision. Thank you Court!!
[*]Rad Power’s – Rad Rover
[*]M2S – All Terrain MD with (Mid Drive) or possibly their All Terrain R750 (Hub)
[*]Teo S Limited

Thank you!
Louisville, KY

Hi Scott! It sounds like you’ve done some excellent research, I do my best to help narrow it down with you. Yes, Rad Power Bikes offers a good price point and friendly customer service… and their products tend to be in stock. This is a question mark with some of the Teo bikes and maybe even a bit for M2S (though I believe that they post what they have online, or you can contact them to check). Rad definitely has a more recognized brand, so reselling it could be easier and getting parts in a year or three could also be easier. M2S and Teo are newer, but they do seem to be using mostly standard parts. I think the way you ranked the bikes in your little list is how I feel too. The M2S could be fun to explore, but with a more basic Bafang mid-drive, you won’t have shift detection and the drivetrain could take more wear. Rad is simple, feature rich, and lots of fun… I rank it way above Sondors in terms of value, even though it’s more expensive. I hope this helps you out, I do plan on reviewing M2S products later this year at some point and maybe it will be in time for your decision :)

Incredible timing Court! I was just re-watching the Teo review you did and the ride you took through the woods. Then your email pops in. I think you are spot on with your evaluation too. I’m glad that you pointed that out about the reselling and accessible parts. I agree with you about the M2S and I didn’t think about it being more of a basic motor. Something to consider. I know my friend Mike will appreciate this and I’m going to share with him what you have said. I will keep you posted on how this journey turns out too. I hope this helps others. Thank you again for what you do. Love the details!!! Scott

Court, Don’t want to wear out my welcome here but you brought up a good point. You helped me go in the right direction with understanding mid drive motors better and how that Bafang entry level is probably not the best at this time for him to go with.
This caused me to investigate the different mid-drives. It helped a lot. I see and know now those motors like the Brose, Yamaha, Bosch and then there is even Shimano Steps that are better and easier on the drivetrain because of the shift sensing and overall smoothness and quality of their build. Having a quality mid drive motor is what to look for and would be the way to go for mid drive systems.
The Rad Rover is going to have a lot of the boxes checked for him though and a hub drive will still be adequate and best choice to get him started on an eBike.
I’ve watched a lot of reviews and I had no idea that the eBike wave was this strong. It’s really advanced over the last several years but I’m not seeing many here in Kentucky, although I’m sure they are out there. Something tells me in 2018 I will probably be seeing more of them. It’s coming for sure!
I personally am interested in an eBike now. It’s hard not to be. I’ll take my time as there are so many to choose from but when I do I think I want a mid-drive. Something like the Haibike that you sold your Uncle Greg but not as high end as that model. The Haibike brand and style bike is what catches my eye and their lower-end model may suit my budget more but satisfy my taste for a quality bike with the SDURO HardNine 4.0. EBR reviewed it and it comes with a decent mid drive it looks like. I’ll keep following your reviews as I know I’ll end up with something that is that type of bike.
You’re work ethic is amazing!!

Good choice Scott! I think the SDURO HardNine 4.0 offers great value because the Yamaha motor is nicer and more reliable than some of the others. It’s always nice to hear compliments and I’m glad EBR has helped you and your friend get to know the space. Send an update again if/when you go for a test ride or buy a bike, it’s always fun to hear how things turn out ;)

Hey Court! I’m forwarding this message from the the gentleman I’m helping to get a bike. Name is Mike and he hasn’t purchased yet but very close. Down to two. See below.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Thanks Scott & Court! WOW, what a communication string! Court is as personal & diligent with one-on-one as he is on his reviews! I ditto the compliments you gave him and send my thanks and appreciation for all the advice, knowledge and motivation he has provided. Like you Scott, I too feel like I know Court! Since you have an open channel developed, maybe you can forward my thoughts about the Boar to Court?
Thanks in advance Court for your help with evaluating! I can’t thank you enough for your consideration of offering advice! I believe I’ve narrowed my decision down to the Rad Rover or the Surface 604 Boar. I watched your video with Sam from 604 at the outside show; the one where you took it for a ride in some rugged terrain. At the end you seemed exhilarated, more than usual, about the Boar’s performance. Did I read your enthusiasm correctly?
I know it’s tough to give advice and direction to someone you don’t even know. Having said that, your counsel will be invaluable to me and it will mean a lot in helping me decide! I also understand you have an excellent relationship with Rad as well as other manufactures and apologize if I’m putting you in an uncomfortable position.
I’m 65 and have some knee issues and a seasoned back! I intend on riding on some paved paths around the city, some gravel paths as well as some mild mountain trails. In addition, I collect driftwood and intend on using the bike as a hauling vehicle, which means off-road, more rugged terrain. I also like the idea of riding in the snow when we have the opportunity. And finally around my 10 acre, hilly, wooded property. Maybe some hunting trails with hunter friends, although unlike Sam & his Dad, I am not a hunter. At this point i’m not sure how much of each I would do. Maybe 60-70% on road & 30 to 40% off road.
I was all but ready to pull the trigger on the Rad Rover. Which I still feel like cannot be a bad decision. However when comparing and contrasting with the Boar (and the fact 604 is coming out with a 14 amp battery) I am starting to lean that direction. The heavier duty racks, adjustable stem, hydraulic brakes, 10 gear cassette and the torque sensor all seem like they would serve me better than what the Rad offers. The walk beside feature is a must for me & they both have that.
Do you feel like the Boar can be a good road bike as well as an off/road bike for my situation? How much would the Boar not having an adjustable fork be a negative? Is the torque system a big upgrade in your mind for my intended riding? Do you know if the total upright position on the Boar is more or less upright than the fixed Rad position?
Thank you again Court, I look forward to hopefully hearing your seasoned thoughts! If you ever consider attending the Kentucky Derby, first Saturday in May, please make sure you contact Scott and I. We’ll go for a ride! Keep enjoying what you do, continued respect for helping so many people!
Peace, Mike

Good morning, I was wondering if you might be able to give me any advice as I’m a bit lost. First of all, I live in Spain, in case that’s relevant. I live up a large and fairly long hill. I have two young daughters (aged 2 and 4) and I ride with them in a child’s seat on the back of my bike to activities etc. (one at a time, not together.) I can’t make it up to my house anymore! So I need an ebike. The factors I am taking into account so far are:

[*]Easy to mount (bike topples over easily with a child on the back)
[*]Able to install child’s seat (Yepp brand)
[*]Enough power to get us all the way up the hill (current combined weight (me+1 child) is around 175 pounds / 80 kilos)
[*]Able to install front basket
[*]I can store the bike safely in our garage

There is a BH Easy Emotion Evo Jet Pro bike (350W) on sale near me for 950 euros, new it is worth 3000, so I am going to try that. In the meantime, please could you let me know if there is anything vital I am overlooking? I’d be so grateful. Thank you for your time! S.

Hello again, I have watched your excellent review of the BH Easy Emotion Evo Jet Pro and it looks promising. I’m not sure if the one on sale here is from 2015 or 2016 (and I understand there are slight differences.) I don’t think the throttle override issue would be a problem for me as I’ve never experienced that anyway, maybe I’m wrong but I think I’m OK just having the pedal assist mode (any improvement on me pushing the bike up for 10 minutes will be amazing.) Any other thoughts very welcome, Thanks for your amazing website. S.

Hi Susannah, I left a longer reply on your first comment, it sounds like you’re on a great path. I’m not even sure if the throttle is an option in your market, so it’s great that you only need pedal assist. Easy Motion (BH) is a Spanish brand, so hopefully you’ll have great support there. Feel free to share more once you decide on a bike or take some test rides :)

Hi Susannah! It sounds like your on the right track here. Yepp! child seats are great, and I believe that they sell a couple of options that should work with the Easy Motion rack. You may have to upgrade that rack (or buy one if it does not come stock) but with the great price you found, that should be possible. I like the Jet because it has a step-thru frame. You can easily mount and stand over the frame to stabilize yourself and your child. I am not sure about your location, but in the USA this model has pedal assist and a twist throttle. I have done an in-depth review of it [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/evo-jet/']here[/URL]. There are some sturdier bikes with Yepp! compatible racks that are welded onto the frame, but they usually cost more. One example is the new Tern GSD mini-cargo bike [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tern/gsd/']here[/URL]. And this is a [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/?s=yepp']search result[/URL] for all of the bikes where I mention Yepp! child seats, it might help you get some other ideas. I hope this helps… thanks for sharing your comment and feedback, unfortunately my knowledge of the Spain market is limited so it is tricky to provide more insights. I would say that a step-thru or wave frame is good for balance, a sturdy rack for your child, a mid-drive motor would be the most efficient but could cause drivetrain wear when shifting gears, front baskets work with most bikes but some baskets can mount directly to the head tube like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radcity-step-thru/']RadCity[/URL]. The Tern GSD would store in your garage easily because it can be tipped up, and the battery can be removed easily to charge inside :)

Dear Court,
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. I tried the BH Easy Emotion Evo Jet Pro this morning at the shop where it’s being sold second-hand. You were right, it doesn’t have the throttle and is worth 2000 euros new (not 3000 as I originally said), on sale for 950. It has one year original warranty left.
I found the handlebar to be too wide and the owner said they can cut it for me, up to 3cm on each side. Would that be a good solution?
I currently ride a Specialized Globe (10 years old) with a 3-speed internal gear hub so on the BH I found all the gears quite tricky and clunky to change. I’m not sure if I would just get used to them (I live in a fairly flat city – Malaga – apart from the hill my house is on) – I hope so as I presume an ebike with internal gears is pretty expensive? (I’m limited to what I can find in my area as well, and I don’t want to spend much over 1000 euros which is why I’m looking at second-hand bikes.)
Anyway, I just wanted to ask your opinion about cutting the handlebar on this model.
All the best from Spain!

Sorry, pointless comment but I had to say I’ve just noticed the brand is Easy Motion NOT Easy Emotion as I’ve been calling it so far in this forum! I can’t stop laughing about that small but vital difference! Maybe once you discover the right ebike your emotions flow more easily?! S.

Hi, and thank you. I am a 5’6 180 lb female willing to pay more if it is worth it since i am buying for the long haul but i want to feel like i got a good value for my money so the better bike should definitely be worth it! I am a little nervous because i would prefer not to have to spend a mint on maintenance. having said that there is a bike coop in town that will teach me. I test road the trek supercommuter and liked the fact that it could be ridden without necessarily turning on the motor thanks to the high quality derailleur system or at least that is what i think it should be attributed to. I also test rode two rad power bikes and felt like they were zippy and like the fact that they had a throttle. I am just concerned that i will regret some of the modest equipment over the long run? I would like to ride a bike that is çomfortable in terms of not too hard of a road feel. I intend to commute 9 miles each way back and forth to work as often as possible and run errands on it so that means panniers filled with groceries once a week or so. There are lots of trails around including a gravel one. If tricking something out with a suspension seat pole or other things like that is something i should consider i am open to that too. Thank you so much again.

Hi Donna, it sounds like you’re on a good track. Rad Power Bikes makes some pretty good products for the money, but Trek has dealers all over the country and uses higher quality components and drive systems in my opinion. I think fit makes a big difference, most models should pedal freely (the Trek might actually have some drag because of the Bosch Performance motor with reduction gearing). You have many models to choose from, so I’d probably look at frame style first, do you want a step-thru? There are many ebikes with racks and lights integrated (like the Super Commuter). I filmed the new Super Commuter+ 7 recently, and it’s more affordable than the 8S. I liked it a lot but would DEFINITELY get a seat post suspension for myself because my back and neck can be sensitive. Feel free to share the specific models you’ve been looking at and I’ll try to help you narrow down, you can see all of the models I’ve reviewed by scrolling through the pages [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/bikes/']here[/URL].

Hello, Court! I’m from Brazil and I’m moving to San Francisco in a couple of months. Since I got to know your website and YouTube channel I’ve decided to get an ebike as my main way of transportation in the city. I love your reviews and the way you make things seem so fun! I’m really excited but since there’s a lot of money involved in choosing an ebike I’ve wanted to ask your opinion on which ebike do you think it’s appropriate to me.
San Francisco has many hills, I’m currently heavy (200 pounds) and since I have a bad knee I’ll probably need a lot of help from the motor to go up those hills. I’ll need the ebike to commute to school (I’m doing a masters) and run errands but I’ll probably explore the city and the surrounding areas with it on the weekends as well. I’d like to be able to put a basket on the ebike (so I can take my dog with me), I prefer the upright or upright relaxed position, like the idea that sometimes I can only use the throttle and don’t have to pedal and I do like speed but it’s not a priority. Thank you so much for your help, Court! Luciana

Wow! That’s so exciting, Luciana. I moved to San Francisco to work after I graduated from CU Boulder (undergrad degree) and had a wonderful time. One powerful cruiser with basket options that comes to mind is the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/radcity-step-thru/']RadCity Step-Thru[/URL]. This is a relatively affordable ebike with throttle, pedal assist, and pretty good customer support. They ship direct, so you could order and then have a company like Velofix actually build and deliver it. Another option would be to visit [URL='https://newwheel.net/']the New Wheel[/URL] and look at the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/gazelle/']Gazelle[/URL] and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/kalkhoff/']Kalkhoff[/URL] models. They are very nice, efficient, and powerful with mid-drive motors but tend to cost more. I hope these ideas help and I’m very excited for you!! You can also ask around in the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/']EBR forums[/URL] for advice. Ride safe :)

2 months ago

Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

I was hoping to see a review on electric velomobiles, also I was wondering are any electric bikes rated for people my size (6’4″ 440 lbs.)

Hi Darren, one of the larger electric bikes I know if is the https://electricbikereview.com/pedego/interceptor/. It has a strong motor and oversized frame with larger balloon tires that add cushion. The two founders of Pedego are larger guys that have really focused on building solid bikes that will work for their own needs but these days they are also offering small frames for shorter riders. I’d recommend test riding a Pedego if there’s a shop nearby but otherwise you could connect with http://propelbikes.com/ out of New York (they ship nation wide and won a dealer of the year award for 1014). If you mention EBR they’ll throw in a set of fenders or a saddle bag for free and I’ll get a small commission. Regarding velomobiles, check out the https://electricbikereview.com/organic-transit/elf/, it’s solar powered and includes a canopy for aerodynamics and visibility.

Class 1 : under 750W, limited 20 mph, PAS
Class 2 : under 750W, limited 20 mph, PAS + throttle
Class 3 : under 750W, limited 20 mph by throttle, 28 mph by PAS
Class 4 : over 750W, over 28 mph, throttle or PAS
It appears to me that we are essentially dividing ebikes into two classes, not four, with the first two essentially the same and the third an extension of class 2. It will be interesting to see how the BPSA plays this out. I think the laws need a modern update.

Hi Dan, great feedback! I tried to keep this article as clear as possible without missing any of the nuances. For me, the big difference between Class 1 and 2 is that mountain bikes without throttle may be allowed on some trails whereas those with may be disallowed. The big difference between Class 2 and 3 is that under 20 mph may be allowed on city bike trails whereas those capable of 28 mph may be kept to roadside bike lanes only. Class 4 is really just a motorcycle and doesn’t belong anywhere but in a street lane with a license or on dirt jumps or race tracks on private property :)

Sucks… NYC now only allows Class 1 ebikes, I removed my throttle.

I appreciate the transparency, It is a positive step that ebike OEMs are working with the BPSA to define classes and assure a place for them to ride. I know Larry Pizzi is involved from other posts here at EBR.
Here’s the thing. There are two battlefronts. 1. A fight to get trail access (Mtn biking, bike paths) 2. A fight to get road/bike lane and commuter bike path access for ebikes. My concern is that the electric bike subcommittee is primarily focusing on the trails and letting the road commuters get stuck with mis-classification and over regulation.
Here is why.
**Serious commuters will NOT be satisfied with 750W and PAS only.**
The law says 750W, 20mph throttle only. The truth is that 750W, on a hybrid or road bike, or mtn with slicks, can get to 28mph with pedaling, whether as PAS or with the throttle. The committee seems to be excluding throttle bikes for Class 3 in order to appear compliant with the national law. Having a throttle vs PAS is significant in some factors, but it is a minor factor in the overall performance given identical bikes/motors/persons. It seems more discriminatory than justifiable.
Second, you quoted:
“Class 4 is really just a motorcycle and doesn’t belong anywhere but in a street lane with a license or on dirt jumps or race tracks on private property :)” Really? So ANYTHING over 750W with a throttle, should be in traffic lanes and not bike lanes, never be on a community bike path, and off road be limited to motorcross tracks with 125cc and 250cc dirt bikes? That is a class 4 ebike?
The problem here is reality. People who start to commute will eventually find that sweet spot of riding between 20-30mph with traffic, in the city, side roads (25-30mph) is a desirable performance. The newer high end PAS bikes like Turbo and Stromer 2, Spritzing appear to meet that ability, but lack a throttle. The throttle adds safety to accelerate from a stop light and get a start ahead of the cars. It also allows to keep speed, but stop pedaling on bumpier roads, so you don’t lose speed or balance – safety again. The power needed for such speeds is between 500W and 1200, IMO. These are NOT motorcycles. People still contribute to the power with their legs and the normal gearing is high enough to still be a factor. Once the power is so high that no leg power helps at top speed due to gearing or just ratio, THEN is becomes an e-motorcycle.
I hope the BPSA would consider the class 4 to be speed ebikes, or emopeds, PAS and/or throttle up to 1200W. Above that, I can see parallels to scooters, and make them class 5.
Again, this delineation between class 3 and 4 is not fair to road ebike commuters. WE (the ebike community) will be handcuffing ourselves and adding undue regulation if we leave out a speed-ebike, or emoped class of ebikes, which are closer to a bike than a motorcycle.
Again, serious commuters will NOT be satisfied with 750W and PAS only. Am I alone on this?

Hey Dan, I like where you’re coming from and really appreciate your well thought out feedback. My initial reply was more stating how laws see these “Class 4 ebikes” vs. how I feel. In my opinion, something like the Outrider recumbents or the Grace One which both go above 28 mph and have throttles fit exactly what you’re talking about. They still benefit from rider input and have enough gears (and are light weight enough) to make pedaling relevant but they aren’t as large or powerful as a motorcycle. These are effectively electric mopeds and maybe they could shift into bike lanes or even cross through a trail once in a while but technically they are more powerful than a speed pedelec and if they were involved in an accident the damage could be much worse. I’m not saying that tossing them into car traffic is a perfect solution, it’s akin to riding a gas powered moped in traffic. I agree that there’s this new blurry space and in many ways it resembles the “neighborhood electric vehicle” space that little golf carts and mini cars fit into.

Dan – you just described a moped.

Thanks for clarifying the legal perspective . I don’t want to dominate this post , but discussion and advocacy needs to happen.
I fear that the law will not favor the class 3 speed pedelecs and they will get combined with the class 4 and essentially get treated like a motorcycle. You mentioned liability for a Grace One that could be riding 30mph. That is not much different than a turbo going 28. Once the lawmakers realize that speed pedelecs are skirting the 20mph law, they will get all safety/legal tight and regulate them. No?
What is happening with class 1 and 2 is fine and covered under the fed law. The debate for 20-30mph bikes is on the table.
I hate the idea of regist, turn lights and licenses for an 800w ebike, required to stay off bike paths and the road only. It will kill effective ebike commuting.
Stealth fighter and Optinike R11 are both in this emoped category.
So again, I hope Larry Pizzi and the ebike committee reads this:
PLEASE add a class and make class 4 for ebikes beyond the 20 mph, throttle only, 750w. Class 4 should be considered high powered ebikes , call them emopeds. Cap them at 1200w and 35mph. Require front and rear lights, no turn . Recommend all class 1-4 allowed on bike trails, subject to local speed limits , for commuting purposes.
I stop and watch/listen.

I see a lot of bike paths with 25 mph speed limit signs. I think a class of ebikes that cut of there would make sense… enable faster commuting but still not overwhelm the human-powered pedestrians using the space.

Court said: “I see a lot of bike paths with 25 mph speed limit signs. I think a class of ebikes that cut off there would make sense… enable faster commuting but still not overwhelm the human-powered pedestrians using the space.” I have been thinking about this lately. Road bikes go faster than 25mph, why limit ebikes? Riders simply need to ride under control and follow the speed limits when posted. Any upper limits should be road speed based, not bike path based. Upper limits, for ebike road speed designs, tend to be converging to 30-35mph. Why? That is about the right speed where the power and weight from adequate batteries, for adequate range, converge to support the wind drag. Also, that speed is adequate speed for city and suburban traffic flow. Finally, ICE scooters, with 50cc engines, tens to have 2.7-4.5 hp and go 35-45mph, and we don’t want to be in their classification. We need a separate classification system for ROAD e-bikes.
For the road, 3 classes: 1. e-bike : 1 hp or less, 20mph with throttle/limited, 28mph pedelec limit (existing National Law) 2. e-moped: 1 hp -2.7 hp, throttle or pedelec, 35mph limit 3. e-moto: 2.7 hp+, an electric motorcycle or scooter. OR 2 classes: 1. e-bike : 1.5 hp or less, throttle or pedelec, 35 mph limit by design. 2. e-moped/moto: 1.5hp +, electric moped, motorcycle or scooter. fun stuff. Dan

Hi Dan, the majority of ebikes are capable of going above 25 mph but only under human power (just like on a road bike). Maybe there’s a cultural bias that people who are capable of pedaling faster are also capable of controlling themselves at those higher speeds. It requires a high level of physical aptitude that a high-speed ebike would deliver to the masses who may not have the same skills or reflexes. This is a philosophical viewpoint, it may come down to the simple fact that with traditional bicycles (since they were invented in 1817) there was no easy way to limit speed and bike paths didn’t exist. In a sense, they’ve been grandfathered in and now we post speed limit signs and enforce behavior vs. upstreaming the issue of high speed accidents as we’ve done with ebikes.
Here’s an interesting reference to the first recorded bicycle accident: “a Glasgow newspaper reported in 1842 an accident in which an anonymous ‘gentleman from Dumfries-shire… bestride a velocipede… of ingenious design’ knocked over a pedestrian in the Gorbals and was fined five British shillings.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bicycle.

Hey Court, Nice historical antidotes. I saw a documentary recently about the evolution of bicycles…lots of regulation when they first came out…interesting. So regular bicycles get grandfathered, and have no limits except human effort? Auto mobiles get grandfathered and are enforced/regulated by behavior? But not ebikes? We have to use technology to add governors and legislate the speed, ie performance and force human behavior? Not a good free market model.
Back on point, it seems the BPSA is catering to the Bosch mid-drive, and mid power systems for off road use, giving them 3 specific categories of usage, while throwing all +20mph, throttled, +750W system “under the preverbal bus” by clumping all into a motorcycle status. Who is this classification helping and who is it hurting? I would hope and ask that is be comprehensive enough to include all our ebike bretheren who want a fair shot at market share and practical use, and not be marginalized and over burdened by specific, non justified regulation.
First, can we try this and agree “When” an e-bike, whether it has pedals or not, should be classified as an e-motorcycle, requiring a title, license, turn signals, etc? What minimum specifications qualify in terms of power, weight and speed? Also, that would NOT be the same class as an e-Moped, where pedaling does assist. If we can agree on that, then all the “real” e-bikes can be classified and shown to need fair regulation. Dan

Very informative conversation, and I know I’m late to the party. A minor difference with “Serious commuters not satisfied with 750 Watt motors…” I was regularly commuting with no motor at all, and my Schwinn easily reached 35 MPH on the level and 45 MPH on the down side of the overpass. I know others more serious than I about commuting with or without motors of 500 Watts or less. They don’t seem unsatisfied. True, satisfied falls far short of the pleasure I took from my 350 Watt motor getting me to work without sweat on hot days when I would previously have opted to burn some fuel.
The reason I’m piping in is the statement “Auto mobiles get grandfathered and are enforced/regulated by behavior? But not ebikes?” Actually, no, the Safety Act that added the 750 and 20MPH limits in 2002 was precisely aimed at simplifying designation of vehicles we desire to be separated from code 49. The motor codes already had gas engine sizes, limits, licensing, where and how autos may or may not be operated, etc. Anyone wanting a bike to be treated like an auto is welcome to cross any of those limits and go to DMV to make it legal. These classes are partly helping avoid all that and partly simplifying confusion in the global market where no one country can set a law that changes another country’s law. Class 2 might need to be registered and licensed in one country but not another. So each shopper knows which classes to look at.
To be clear, I agree it is disconcerting: Before e-bike: Uphill at 5-10MPH in the shoulder, downhill at 40-45 MPH keeping with traffic, level at 25-35 keeping with traffic, Nobody ever questioned anything. After e-bike: uphill at 15MPH in shoulder (slower if a pedestrians is there), never over 30 on the level (bike just doesn’t have the gearing for it) but now I have to answer questions about is it legal? Not just the operation, either, there’s questions on post of authorized (leather equivalent) protection in boots, gloves, and jacket as well as business pants not having enough denim/leather protection. (Did I mention the highest limit on post is 15 MPH?) So I definitely agree all who follow the operational points of law and courtesy should be left alone no matter what they drive or look like. Of course, that would bring in lobbyists for deregulating insurance, etc, etc. We’re here preaching to the choir about unjustified regulation, now we need to go to the regulators to try to get them repealed.

Whoa!! Bikes weren’t “grandfathered” – they were the “grandfather”! Which is why its called Little Traverse Wheelway (albeit the dog owners currently run this strip)

My ecobike has tight wheel how can i pix my problem,,what i use for that tight wheel its okey to spray a WD40 inside of my ecobike??

Hi Marivic, to be clear, do you have an electric moped like this http://electricridereview.com/ecobike/always/? I’m not a mechanic but have had success using WD40 in the past when trying to loosen metal parts and reduce squeaking. You might be able to get some feedback from a company that carried this scooter in South Florida called http://aelectricbike.com/ (305) 767.3289 or ask others here in the https://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/maintenance/ what they would do. It would help if you described the issue you’re having more clearly with details to help people understand what might be causing the wheel to be tight (and also explain which wheel, front or back).

Hi, Marivic, I had this happen once. It was a problem with the brake caliper. Check if you can see something dragging. After lube, possibly the wheel bearings are too tight.

Cool, thanks for chiming in with a solution proposal there Harold, much appreciated!

— First of all, y’all need to make it simple. There ain’t no one who can realistically pedal 25+ miles per hour on a level ground for a constant pace of more than 2 min with there bicycle. I don’t care what kind of bike you have, it ain’t happening. Try to keep up with cars going down your road at 25 mph and you’ll never do it. And, if you can do it, it’s only for a short sprint and you’ll end up arriving at your destination with your butt all wet from sweat. Not a pretty sight.
— eBike rules should be like this. Since they are motorized, simply limit the speed limit to that of cars on regular streets, roads, highways, but don’t allow them on freeways cuz that’s just too dangerous — too many cars and not enough protection in case you fall. Now in the city, bicycles (all bicycles, not just eBikes) should not be allowed to be IN the roadway where other automobiles are UNLESS they can keep up with traffic at all times that they occupy the road. No one likes tailgating a cyclist that’s only going 20 MPH on a 25MPH road. Most of the time the cyclist belongs in the bicycle lane or on the sidewalk (yes you can ride on the sidewalk — we all did it as children and never was there a problem). And if the road you’re cycling on has no shoulder, have some common sense and stay to the R side of the road so that automobiles behind you can pass around you safely. Don’t be foolish and occupy the road unnecessarily — you’re a bicycle and more often than not you ride much slower than any automobile can travel. If you’re a cyclist and you can’t keep up with the posted speed limit for automobiles, then get out of the road and into either the bicycle lane or onto the sidewalk where you belong. If you ride on the road and not in the sidewalk or bicycle lane, then you better be following ALL the rules as if you were traveling like an automobile (that means stopping at stoplights, using turn signals, accelerating at the same speeds as automobiles, etc.). Other than that, bicycles, with or without motors, do not need to follow automobile rules — unless they are traveling IN the road and LIKE an automobile.
— That’s how simple this should be. What kind of complications can arise from this? None.
— 2,324,993,281 people agree with me on this post.

Good feedback, thanks for sharing your thoughts… Did you know that 73.6% of all statistics (like your number of “agreeing” people) are http://www.businessinsider.com/736-of-all-statistics-are-made-up-2010-2?

A bit too much stupid in the post by ManOMan.
[*]Cat 1/2/3 cyclists often do 25+ MPH for hours. I ride Cat 4/5 and average 25MPH for 30 minutes, no motor assist. I normally ride about 20MPH on my commuter.
[*]A lot of places it is ILLEGAL to ride on the sidewalk, some have made exceptions for young children (age may vary, but typically up to about 10), it is more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk
[*]Sidewalks are horrible for riding bikes anyways, unless designed for it, on my commute (my anecdotal evidence) half of it has no bike lane, and the half with no bike lane also has a sidewalk which features a) garbage cans at least once a week, b) barely wide enough for single file pedestrians, c) often has peds walking on it d) telephone polls in the middle of the sidewalk
[*]Accelerating at some random acceleration is not required by law. If it was then Semi trucks, 3 bangers, and 50cc mopeds would be banned.

In the last 18 months I have had no problem riding on a road with 4 lanes, 2 in each direction, and having cars just go around me. Some move over half a lane, others actually change lanes.
On certain parts of roads I will, as the law allows me to, take the lane for safety. Some parts it is just not safe to be riding all the way to the right. One feature of the road I commute on are drains that are below level with the road and are dangerous for me to bike over, especially when wet. I will stay towards the middle of the lane to avoid these and to avoid swerving back and fourth every time one comes up. The greatest measure a cyclist can take for safety is to stay predictable.
I think a major safety concern for e-bikes is with the ease of speed making it possibly more dangerous to other riders on these bike paths and trails. I know on multi-use paths I often have to go much slower than my normal pace because of other traffic. Should it be left up to vehicle classification to regulate which ones qualify, and which ones don’t? Or should we leave it to common sense limits. Perhaps adding speed limits to multi-use paths could help.
The major complication from your suggestion is the spotty coverage of bike lanes. Often times while cycling in cities I will be on a nice bike lane, then suddenly no lane at all for 500 ft, and then a lane again. As my anecdotal commute I have a bike lane for about half a mile, then no bike lane at all for 1.5 miles, then a bike lane for 1 mile. I’d love for there to be a bike lane the whole way, but the city just repaved the streets and had no plans to connect these two sections. I’ve ran across many instances of this, some of them will be gracious enough to put up a “Bikes on Roadway” sign, others not so much.
I very much have enjoyed this article and the discussion here. I know it takes being one of the tribe to understand their dilemmas. Just like being a cyclist helps you understand the dilemmas faced by cyclists every day. Not being an e-bike user I don’t quite have the same perspective, and don’t understand the nuances of riding an e-bike vs. a traditional bike. Not having come across many on my commute (I’m lucky to see another cyclist commuting on most of it) I’m not sure of any safety concerns that may be present allowing mixed usage in bike lanes, but for now I’ll go with what my license plate states, “Share the Road”.

If I may, To clarify/correct ManOMan’s opening statement:
“— First of all, y’all need to make it simple. There ain’t no one who can realistically pedal 25+ miles per hour on a level ground for a constant pace of more than 2 min with there bicycle. I don’t care what kind of bike you have, it ain’t happening. Try to keep up with cars going down your road at 25 mph and you’ll never do it.”
This statement is unequivocally wrong. For semi-empirical evidence that a great number of cyclist can maintain a minimum speed of 25mph on the flat for two consecutive minutes, please refer to the smartphone app “Strava”. In fact, if you are not able to maintain 25mph on any popular, flat, +/-2.4 mile segment, you’re likely to find yourself in the slower half of all riders.
In a more anecdotal vein (anecdotal yet officially recognized by all cycling oversight parties) I averaged nearly 34 mph (solo) on a 15+ mile ride. What is more, this was in 1989, an era when road bikes were considerably slower as compared to their modern day counterparts, and LONG before any e-bike existed (or at least an e-bike manufactured for retail markets). I’m not sharing my performance to brag but only b/c it’s a great example of how off-base and nonsensical current e-bike classifications seem to be. Even in my old age (54 years old!!!) and running errands on my 3-speed, 35lb, beach cruiser – wicker basket on handlebars and all – I find myself tailgating/passing cars on roads with posted speed limits of 25 mph.
My suggestion would be that the governing bodies, through documented, peer-reviewed research, determine the point of “critical mass” (i.e. weight of bike) when a bicycle could reasonably be considered a threat to the health of a person traveling in a motor vehicle should the two commuters’ vehicles (bike & car) collide.
Let cyclists (at least those on bikes that aren’t big enough to win-out against a vehicle in an accident) govern themselves. If too slow for normal traffic, stay out of the road. if riding on a sidewalk, give pedestrians the right of way, and if your driving your car in the left-most lane and you notice a bicycle 10 feet off your bumper, move out of the fast lane to let me pass.

Greg! It’s an honor to receive your thoughts here, thank you for taking the time to connect and share on the subject of electric bicycle law. I like the idea of regulating behavior, not technology, and agree that cyclists are probably not a threat to cars… however, they could be a threat to each other as well as pedestrians on foot who share spaces where cars do not go (paths and trails). With the increased speed and weight of ebikes the damage suffered in an accident could be greater than on an unpowered bicycle… but in practice, modern ebikes aren’t much heavier than old-fashioned pedal power bicycles and the ability to pedal faster than 25 mph (as you explained) is not uncommon… even on an electric bike that’s turned off. So it would seem that the upside of an ebike being permitted to attain higher speeds far outweighs the straw-man risks posed by regulators.
So where does this leave us? The grey area to me is really that underaged cyclist who is untrained, not legally accountable and now has a fast, heavy vehicle at his or her disposal. This is the person who is showing off with friends, causing erosion on trails or being disrespectful to fellow cyclists, riding recklessly and putting others at risk that would otherwise be reduced if the bicycle was unpowered. The one bad apple spoils it for us all! Well, unfortunately I have been this bad apple on my snowboard, and was knocked unconscious two times even while using a helmet. I cut the ropes, went way too fast in slow sections and passed people at high speed on catwalks. Thankfully I really only hurt myself. I blame testosterone and evolution, perhaps I was also a bit spoiled and needy for attention at that age. Some of this may be a social issue, maybe I didn’t have the support from my community or friends that cold have lead to better behavior but the consequences are still real. If I had been on a powered snowboard could things have been even worse? Maybe… I’m just not sure, just sharing from my own experiences… Now that my knees hurt and I’ve lost the desire to go so fast (because I don’t heal as readily) I definitely don’t want to be hit by a kid who’s out hot-rodding on an electric bike. The proper benefactors of higher speed ebikes seems to be the commuter who wants to zip up to speed with cars in between sections of bike path or the the road cyclist or trekker who is going for speed in beautiful locals or long distances across the countryside.
Would the world really end if electric bikes were allowed to go 30+ mph? Maybe we’d just need to dedicate some social resources to police watching out for reckless riders or add a new training certificate similar to a driver’s license for high speed ebikes but not require insurance or a driver’s license? I also surf and there’s a social dynamic where people hold each other accountable and you get your ass kicked if you put others at risk, maybe that would happen with bikes, I think it already does to some extent. We could develop better safety gear, create fast lanes on the bike path and so many other things to make this work. In any case, thanks again for your thoughts and great job in the World Championship and Tour de France… you’re an inspiration and welcome here anytime. I travel a lot and test ebikes everywhere so ping me if you’d like to try a new model or just go for a ride and continue this conversation :)

I own a class 3 pedelec, a Focus S27 2014. I decided to purchase it after a local bike shop let my father use it when his class 1 Jarifa 3.0 was sent back to Germany with a rear hub issue. I had used his jarifa a few times to test it out and was impressed but dissapointed that I could not reach the much higher speeds I could on my old 2006 Kona xc’ish hardtail on the flat or downhill, but my average was higher on the identical 10 mile hilly UK country lane commute I do. The class 1 e-bike did it in just over 30 mins as opposed to just about 40 mins (if the wind is favourable) on the normal mountainbike. When he borrowed the class 3 S27 I took it to see what difference it would make to my work run as it is very simular to the Jarifa 3.0 sharing identical frame and better but simular components and I fell in love with it and managed to cut my travel time down to just over 20 mins, I had to have it and made the shop a offer for it and got it for a lot less than retail due to it being ex demo :) I had to have it because I had the best of both worlds all and more of the hill capability of the jafira 3.0 but a top speed that got closer (but not as fast) as the old Cindercone. Realisticly the S27 is rated as a 28mph pedalac and does continue to assist up to that speed but due to a reasonbly low gear for road use and real life conditions and my choice of tyre I dont exceed it that much on the flat and due to the old cindercones higher gearing I can still go faster over short distance favourable roads non powered on a road spec bike my top speed would be higher still so potentially more dangerous concidering it would have less brake power and skinny tyres. The class 3 actually feels safer on roads with traffic than the other options I have because it does not hold faster road users up like the class 1 or the non powered bike can. But any bike should be ridden responsably I turn mine down to eco mode in areas with pedestrians and shared paths etc but some people are idiots so it is a grey area certainly but I do not feel like im causing more potential danger using the class 3 bike than I do with a normal bike or a class 1.

Nice! Sounds like you’ve got a bike that really works well and achieves those higher speeds but didn’t cost so much. Glad you got to demo one first and came away with a solid experience, hope it stays good for you for many years!

Your last comment on the slowing down in shared use area seems to be the basic concern over regulation. These e-bikes can be dangerous if used to their full potential, and whether or not having that potential is justification for classification and regulation.
If everyone was as sane about how they ride as you sound like you are then it wouldn’t be an issue. Sadly there are those who may take their bikes out and full throttle through shared pedestrian areas.
I guess the question is where do we draw the line, and what justification and rational do we use for drawing it?

Great conversation, but the regulations are generated by the undereducated/inexperienced. The danger/risk in mixing modern ebikes with people and cars is based to 3 variables. Weight, speed and the judgment (age) of the operator. Maximum speed should be controlled with a speed limit sign (On streets and paths, etc.). WHERE you can ride should be limited by the weight of the vehicle and the age of the rider.

I like your thinking on this… Lots of people appreciate high-speed ebikes because they commute on streets and want to keep up with the flow of traffic and reduce the annoyance caused by cars, they want respect and control. Other people buy those oversized electric vespa scooter type things and ride them on bicycle paths where they just don’t fit in… Your ideas around weight and obeying speed signs appeals to me, just like we hold people accountable for pedaling way too fast if they are on a bicycle path with a 20 mph top speed sign posted, the motor makes it easier to break the law but also empowers the rider in areas where the law does not exist. I’m not a fan of forcing people with settings and hardware vs. educating and holding responsible but then again, young people without license and insurance can use these and may not have the same level of maturity to not break the law and in turn put others at risk.

Brilliantly simple, sound-minded logic, Jon! Those same variables comprise the backbone of current motor-vehicle traffic laws so why re-invent the wheel. Pun intended. Best

There is another class that should also be considered. I currently have a trike that is powered by a 900W cyclone mid drive. I cannot use my legs because i am a paraplegic. I would still like to be able to ride on mountain bike trails and on the road like any other cyclist. I consider my trike an electric wheelchair but given the guidelines above it appears that it is a moped and I should have license etc…

Interesting point Mike… I wonder if there are compromises or special rules for people with limited mobility? I can understand why you’d need more power (especially for off-road terrain) if you cannot contribute much as a rider. This was the primary focus the guys designing the https://electricbikereview.com/outrider/horizon/ and most of the recumbent ebikes they sell are outside of these “low speed electric bike” classes. I can’t add much here besides my support and hopes that you are able to enjoy riding and be safe :)

Hi, excellent site and thanks for all the work your doing. On question, as I’m based in Ireland and so I’m regulated by the European Union do you have the web address where I could find the relevant European regulations. I’m considering building my own bike as a project and do not want to fall foul of the regulators. Thanks in advance, John f

Hi John! Good thinking… I haven’t gone in-depth with EU laws here on the site but you can find a lot of great resources on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws. Ebike laws are evolving and different country to country (state to state here in the US) so this wiki page is a great place to check in :)

I’m new and know very little about this stuff, but correct me if I’m wrong, I cannot consider buying a Specialized Turbo to commute on a class 1 path because it is a category 3 bike?
People want to keep fast EBikes off the bike paths for safety reasons… Bike paths in general cut through some pretty shady areas so bikes are the last thing they should be worried about.
200mph cars are allowed to drive on the streets just like 28mph bikes should be allowed to ride on a class 1. All classes should be allowed IMO and obey 15-20mph speed limit.

Excellent points Kyle, I tend to agree with you. One thing comes to mind as a possible reason that hardware is regulated in the ebike space vs. behavior (which is the case for automobiles). To drive any type of car legally an operator must be licensed and insured… This is not the case with vehicles classified as bicycles. Basically anyone can hop on and pedal away and this presents the increased risk of misbehavior by an uneducated, unskilled and uninsured user. On the flip side… most people can pedal unpowered or powered bicycles above 20 mph and still have an accident that causes damage. This second point highlights a gray area where a reckless cyclist would be held responsible for crashing while a reckless ebiker would get that charge as well as operating an unregistered motor vehicle without a license which could result in much more extreme fines, penalties and even jail time. The consequences could get even worse depending on where the violations occurred… on street vs. public park or trail vs. private property where you could be sued by a private party for gross negligence if a person is seriously injured or killed. I’m not a lawyer but this is my interpretation of what I’ve read while exploring the web and speaking with some individuals.

Darn it. Well I’m not surprised about the rules that came from Chris Christies state. I live in a mountainous area where the only way out of the mountain is Hwy 17 to Los Gatos, or a class 1 path. Hwy 17 is technically legal to bike on or walk, but its pretty much a death wish as there is no shoulder, and the 50mph speed limit is not even followed by big rigs (and they have a 35mph speed limit)
I guess I would use the trail and plead that I have no option. Of course I would be respectful and don’t expect to get into an accident of my own doing so I feel it isn’t a problem. I just don’t want a ranger flagging me down because he knows its a category 3 bike even if I’m only going 20mph. Just a bunch of bull I don’t want to deal with especially if I need to commute a couple years to pay for it.
I cant wait until our bike paths double in size and bikes will have their own lane. Motorcycles need their own lane left of fast lane too. Things need to change, too many people around here!

Yeah, I believe we will see many things change in the next five and ten years with the introduction of self driving cars… way fewer cars on the road, fewer people owning, fewer police patrolling roads with speed traps and profiling. People will still want independent and healthy ways to get around and ebikes and electric cycles may grow in popularity. I used to live in Los Gatos by the way, beautiful area :)

This move by the bike lobby is “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick,” as the saying goes, but it is far from adequate. Limiting technological innovation within the platform is nonsense, and unprecedented in transportation sector. Speed limits on roads govern motorists who purchase vehicles freely that are capable of speeds 10x legal limits, and more. There is no reason to believe speed limits on infrastructure for bicycles will be less effective.

Has anyone considered doing the sums? A cyclist’s speed of 20 MPH is equivalent to falling off a one story building if he hits something solid. At 25 MPH it would be the same as jumping off a two-story building (20.5 ft). A crash at 30 MPH makes for a bone-crunching splat landing as if he jumped from a three-story building (30 ft)…. In comparison a driver in a car has the protection of his car, seat belt and air bags. A racing driver has a double harness and a complete helmet… A bicyclist has exactly what in his favor?

*A bicyclist has exactly what in his favor?*
The answer to this question is: Motorcyclists. Like a bicyclist, they have no seat belts, airbags or cage of steel to protect them… and they go very much faster on their two wheels.

Typo: severe is spelled “sever”

Great catch Derek! I’ve fixed it and just wanted to say thanks ;)

I have a bad hip and knee and need a Class 2 electric bike (pedal assist isn’t a good option as the slightest effort will trash my hip). I want to be able to ride bikes with my husband and friends in areas where mopeds/scooters aren’t allowed. I’m 5’11” about 145 lbs. I can’t seem to find an easy way to figure out which bikes are Class 2 and, of those, which are most recommended. Thoughts? I appreciate any guidance very much.

Hi Megan! Sorry to hear about your hip… I can see why having a throttle would be nice. The advanced search options here let you choose different drive modes and you could check twist throttle and trigger throttle to get the results for all Class 2 reviews. I could be more specific about ones I like if you share your ride style (more active forward, semi-upright or relaxed cruiser) along with your budget and maybe what kind of terrain you’ll be going on (road, sidewalks, trails or mountain?) I’m going to take a wild guess here that this is mostly neighborhood around town riding on bike trails and that you want something comfortable… Consider any of the https://electricbikereview.com/brand/pedego/ or [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/e-lux/']E-Lux models[/URL]and possibly [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/magnum/']Magnum[/URL]. I believe they all offer throttle mode :)

I am seeing a Black Max e-bike that appears to be from the Olympic Peninsula area and it seems new on market. Wondering if there’s any independent reviews available. I have been nearly ready to pull the trigger on a pair of Rad Rovers. I like a couple of the models from this new company! And their price point is great if the components are quality.

Hi Mark, would it be possible to share a link to this new electric bike you mentioned? Maybe I could try to review it someday! In the meantime, I do like and trust the RadRover product. That company offers good value as long as you don’t mind buying online and doing some basic assembly. My website here is full of great reviews and there are more coming, but you can also ask around [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/']in the EBR forums[/URL] for feedback and advice.

I have a cargo bike that seems to defy classification. It’s a Surly Big Dummy and is equipped with a Stokemonkey assist motor kit. It’s speed limited to 20 mph. But here is what’s different; it has a hand throttle but there isn’t a free ride because the motor drives through the entire drivetrain so use the power one has to pedal along with it. The closest classification seems to be class 2. While the motor is capable of 500 watts, I have it set to a sweet spot for me of 200 watts. This setting works well with the crowded streets where I live. I ride on pathways and cruise about 4-8 mph, on streets about 12-16 mph. I feel good about using it as a class 1 even though it doesn’t fit any class.

Very interesting! Whatever class it is, I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Considering that you have to pedal even with the throttle system, maybe it is closer to a Class 1?

I tested a Turbo Levo with and without the speed limiter and found that I could only reach 22 mph without the limiter anyway. This is because it was limited by the power of the motor + my power input, as well as the gearing. For this reason, I think class-1 bikes should be defined as 750 watts or less, pedal-assist only, but no speed limiter. Aerodynamic drag will take care of the rest, unless someone does an aeroshell, which case that is an unusual situation. The speed limiters are very annoying feeling them come on and off. But, I guess then they would be class-3 bikes (though without throttles).

I’ve been giving this issue a lot of thought since I bought a class 3 bike for myself and a class 1 for my wife in December. After reading all the posts I sympathize with those who would rather regulate behavior than technology. For one, behavior is more easily observable than technology. Why not make a law that you have to carry your driver’s license or an id while riding your ebike on a path or street? Then, if you’re reckless, you can be id’d and ticketed. As with driving a car, if you go crazy fast, you get a bigger penalty, ultimately losing privileges altogether. Speed limit signs are cheap and they do help. Those speed sensor signs are more expensive but very effective at promoting self regulation.
The other thought I had was mandatory training of some kind, even if it’s online. They do mandatory video training at Yellowstone before you go backcountry hiking so you know what to do when you enounter a grizzly. Same idea, when there’s a danger it’s good to provide education. I was going over 30 mph down hills on my (non-electric) bike in first grade. It might have been good to have some education around impact and consequences at 30 mph, versus 20 mph, versus 10 mph.
The irony of ebike regulations hit home the other day while my wife and I were riding down a paved path (shared with pedestrians) at about 18 mph. A non-motorized bike whizzed by us at about 28 mph or more. He was gone in a flash. It was a sunny day, the path was crowded with pedestrians and it was plainly dangerous. He wouldn’t have been going any faster on my class 3 ebike.
On the same ride, we were passing a family with a toddler. We slowed down to 5 mph and the toddler stepped out in front of us. We stopped. The toddler looked up at us in awe and toddled off to the side. Giving pedestrians, especially toddlers, a safe leeway is hugely important on any bike, right? This strikes me as more of a training, awareness, and behavior regulation issue than a technology issue (well, brakes are a *very* important technology here).
Ebikes will get lighter, quieter, faster, and more stealth in the future. It will be more and more difficult to identify a bike based on it’s potential max speed. It’s not easy now – and you can always speed dongle a class 1, 2, or 3 ebike to go faster. My class 3 and my wife’s class 1 look nearly identical to the untrained eye. They both have Bosch systems.
The upside of electric bikes for personal, community, and global wellbeing are profound. We have a technology here that can provide transportation to those who are not athletes at somewhere around 2,000 mpg equivalent with an extremely low manufacturing footprint compared to automobiles (See the ebook by Average Joe Cyclist) and they can get many of us to work and back in a reasonable time frame without arriving all sweaty. At the same time ebiking provides the exact kind of light exercise that so effectively fights diseases (i.e. diabetes, heart disease, etc) caused by sedentary behavior.
I realize that every approach has related problems to it, but regulating behavior and supporting positive behavior with training, much like we do with cars, seems to be the more sustainable and effective approach.

Great post John, I agree with you and appreciate the perspectives and real world experience. There’s room for level headed discussion here and you draw on great examples from automobile regulation and the national park training. Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts!

The EBike market continues to develop quickly. I am in Northern California, could you provide clarification regarding Bike Classification for when an EBike provides the user with OPTIONS for using PAS only, a trigger throttle installed, and an option for placing the bike into an “off-road mode” for increased speeds up to 28mph? Technically I feel like the answer will be that the bike falls into the Class 3 category.
Ebikes are such a helpful way for injured or less fit people to enjoy bike riding with others that are more fit, not rely on cars for getting around, etc. Guess I wish there was a way to avoid the potential unlawful use penalities with a bike that offers the rider all 3 of the above benefits, so long as they were using the bike mode appropriate to the law of a particular trail, etc.
I assume that a ticket for unlawful use would come from a Ranger most of the time. Perhaps a way to show that I was riding in PAS mode without using throttle and not in the off-road mode could be developed to indicate this to law enforcement AND other riders (a light with changing colors?).
We all pay the costs associated with most of our trail systems, EBikes appear to offer a method for people to enjoy them and maybe we all would benefit from things like decreased car traffic and the related pollutions, a healthier population, and host of other things.

Hi Skot, the only way I know of to get these three different modes (and off-road 20+ throttle or 28+ pedal assist) is to purchase a kit and update the settings or completely unplug the throttle at times. You can do this with several of the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/electric-bike-outfitters/']Electric Bike Outfitters kits[/URL] that I reviewed recently. Most purpose built ebikes have one particular class in mind. They are usually Class 1 or Class 3 for the really nice ebikes, because most European nations don’t allow throttles at all. I hope this helps guide you, I did create an advanced search option here on EBR to help you filter and narrow down which bikes offer what. Most throttles can simply be unplugged and removed, so that’s a good way to go from Class 2 to Class 1.

Court, Sorry for the delayed response, I thought that I would get a notification indicating that you had answered my question.
Thanks for all the great information and suggestions. The particular bike that I am looking at comes from M2S bikes and does not appear to have been reviewed yet, the search feature indicates “nothing found” using “M2S”. Here’s [URL='https://shop.m2sbikes.com/collections/xc-sport-electric-bike-series/products/dual-sport-ultra-750-watt-bafang-ultra-motor']a link[/URL] to the specific bike that I was referring to when asking about it’s most likely classification.
Unplugging the throttle is a great option for bringing the bike into compliance as needed. I would love your thoughts on many of the M2S bike lineup. I’m considering a new bike for my wife as well (she enjoys a much different riding style than I do, but it’s still great fun to ride together). M2S has several great options to consider, but I think the simplicity of the NuVinci CVT shifter offered by Evelo bikes is something that really fits her style well, thanks for your excellent reviews on these models

Brent did a great review a little whileback regarding the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/flx/trail/']FLX “Trail”[/URL] e-bike. The FLX website answered my specific question, in a similar way that Court wrote:
The California Standard
Electric Bicycles are defined by the California Vehicle Code.
New legislation became effective in January 2016. The current regulations define an “electric bicycle” as: a bicycle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts, separated into three classes:
[*]A “class 1 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
[*]A “class 2 electric bicycle,” or “low-speed throttle-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
[*]A “class 3 electric bicycle,” or “speed pedal-assisted electric bicycle,” is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, (no throttle) and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour and equipped with a speedometer.

Local government ordinances are allowed to permit or ban any class of electric bicycles on dedicated bicycle paths and trails, with Class 1 & 2 permitted, and Class 3 banned, by default
All our bikes come as standard with an electronic speed limiter and a throttle. This gives you the option to convert your bike into a class 1, 2 or 3.
To comply with class 1 regulations, program the speed limiter to 20 mph and remove the throttle. The motor will stop providing assistance at this speed. You’ll still be able to go faster but anything above 20 mph will be from your own input.
To comply with class 2 regulations, program the speed limiter to 20 mph and leave the throttle attached. You’ll now be able to achieve 20 mph purely using the throttle. The motor will also provide assistance whilst pedaling up to 20 mph.
To comply with class 3 regulations, program the speed limiter to 28 mph and remove the throttle. The motor will provide assistance up to 28 mph whilst pedaling.
For private land and off road use (where laws permit), program the speed limiter to 60 mph. This effectively removes the speed limiter so the motor will keep providing assistance until you run out of steam. Our record on the Roadster is 37 mph! Try and beat it but please be responsible. We want eBikes to provide a fun, practical alternative to regular bikes and other transport methods but we need to ensure that we’re not a danger or nuisance to other road users.
Laws vary in different states / countries. Please check your local regulations. Here is [URL='http://peopleforbikes.org/our-work/e-bikes/policies-and-laws/']another good resource[/URL] by People for Bikes with information on US laws.

2 months ago

Following are some of the original comments that were made on that post:

For dd hubs, i think a big drawback is the cogging torque when pedalling unassisted. It may be unnoticable at 5-10mph, but trying cruising at a normal 15 mph and it has “flat” feeling. Freewheel in geared huib abd mid drives roll magnet -free and that should be mentioned, imo.
Another difference is motor rotational speeds. ddhubs are 1:1 and spin slower at 250-300 rpm. The mid drives and geared hubs can spin faster and then go thru reduction gears. There are tradeoffs to both platforms.

Excellent points Dan, thank you so much for chiming in… I was trying to keep the article approachable for newbies but also capture “everything” and I think it could get better with some work. I’ll take your suggestions and try to work them in ;)

Hi, Until reading your article, I knew nothing at all about how hub motors actually worked in practice. I have a serious agenda by contacting you. My wife and I purchased an Italian make of mobility scooter that uses a hub motor on the front wheel of a tricycle type, fold up machine. It is a very clever design, but after using the scooter In Puerto del Carmen that, although scooter friendly, has some steep hills, we have encountered some serious drawbacks. After using the scooter for about two weeks total, my wife had the scare of her life when driving down a slope, she released the throttle expecting the scooter to brake but nothing happened, resulting in her shooting across a busy street, thankfully devoid of traffic at the time. Could this be that some sort of internal friction brake is wearing out due to extreme use in hilly streets or are the electronics that should control braking failing? I tried the scooter myself and found that when travelling down hill, unless a really slow speed is maintained, should you speed up, it appears that the mass (me, 93Kg)) and inertia (gravity/speed) overcome the braking system and the machine carries on regardless. I would be interested to hear you opinion. I have issued a “customers report” both to the retailers and the manufacturer’s, going into greater detail on my “field testing” but I have yet to hear back from the manufacturers. I feel this is a serious issue as it could affect other customers in similar circumstances. Brutally honest feedback should be exactly that, otherwise it is useless.

Hi Derek, most engines produce a bit of drag when power is not being exerted because the pistons are still rotating (unless you shift into neutral) and this is why large trucks downshift to “engine brake” down hills. Electric motors are different and don’t produce as much drag, instead, direct drive gearless motors possibly like the one you rode with create a bit of “cogging” which is the staters repelling the magnets inside and this resistance can be increased by actively generating and storing electricity like a little power generator using regenerative braking but most electric bikes don’t offer this. Some motorcycles and higher-end ebikes do but most light weight low speed electric bicycles opt instead for standard brakes… usually disc brakes that do offer enough power to stop but require the user to apply them actively (usually the brakes also cut power to the motor when pulled for safety). I hope this information helps to guide your use of the mobility scooters and I wish and your wife you safe riding! It’s difficult for me to be any more detailed with feedback as I do not know the exact vehicle you’ve got and may not have tried one similar.

I`m trying to figure out a system that offer the less drag possible when pedaling ,but can assist me if the dogs chase me or strange person in the road appears. I don` t mind pedaling heavy weights 250 all include ,what really bother me is the drag .Can you point me in the less drag direction ,and assist power.Thank you in advance.

Hi Jose, sorry to hear about dogs and strangers making you feel insecure on your bike :/ the most drag-free system I’ve reviewed so far is the Add-E because it doesn’t even touch your rear wheel when pedaling and it’s super light weight too. The only downside is that it’s not very powerful… It would still assist you well though and https://electricbikereview.com/add-e/600w-kit/ can go over 20 mph if you pedal along and then keep you there more easily. The basic https://electricbikereview.com/add-e/250w-kit/ cuts out at 15.5 mph to comply with European laws but also costs less.

Incredible amount of help this article was for me. Thankyou.

Court- Excellent article (and I have read a lot). I wonder if you can weigh in on a system I am trying to build. I have a Montague Paratrooper (a bike that folds). I need to fold it and put it in a drift boat. It needs to weigh as little as possible and must have a removable battery and about a 10 mile range with an average speed 20+ mph. I had sort of “settled” on a Bafaang 750 or 1000 watt with Dolphin 52V battery (kit at Lunacycle). Now I am not so sure after reading the pro/con of your article. Cost is certainly an issue and ease of installation. I have been biking with out the motor, and I have numerous fairly steep (6-8%) hills. What do you think I should do? Rear hub, smaller battery. Thanks!

This is a very useful and accurate summary of the different e-bike drive systems out there. It helps both the suppliers and the customers. My favorite is geared hub motor! They’re light-weight, affordable, and provide excellent torque, and as you mentioned, high quality geared hub motors last for many years. Thanks Court.

Sure thing Ben, I hope it helps people to navigate the landscape and I agree with you that geared hub motors are great. I just visited http://www.propellabikes.com/ by the way, are you a shop that offers ebikes?

Yes, geared hubs motors are great. Until they overheat and conk out on a hill. New Jersey isn’t exactly known for hills, but of course it’s my luck to have a long, steep one on the road to the nearest trail. I have to get off and push my 500 watt Heinzmann geared hub equipped bike halfway up that hill. At least until I get in a lot better shape. Meanwhile, my 250 watt mid-drive bike handles that hill pretty well. That’s my experience, which may or may not be typical, but if you need to do ascents, test drive that hubbed bike before buying.

I’ve heard that newer hub motors have heat sensors to protect the system and they automatically shut themselves off if overloaded (is that what yours is doing?) mid-drives can be a great solution if you shift properly, it makes the job a lot easier for the motor (just like it does for you pedaling) and works pretty well in my experience.

Hey Court – I would have replied sooner but I wasn’t notified you had replied, guess I will have to check this site more often. I never thought of a front drive system before, I will check it out. From what your article said, I think I can still pedal and probably need to to go up a 8% grade. I like the idea of being able to simply detach the battery and the hub when I put it in the boat. I am going to look around for a more powerful motor as I need to get it up to closer to 28 mph if possible. Just did the ride yesterday and let me tell you the whole way I was like, “need that ebike NOW” If you have any other thoughts let me know….. Thank you, Eric

what I would use is a tongda front 2-speed hub, that gives you 2 wheel drive and your original gearset. The battery can be mounted any where. Total added weight 10-12 pounds.

Thanks for the article, Court. I’m researching so much it feels like a part time job! I have a morning newspaper route that is about 22-25 miles and I would like to start using an ebike for the delivery, as weather permits. According to your article, I’m not going to be able to escape a compromise on some level. If I understand correctly, the constant starting, stopping, and slow speed adjustments could be taxing and uncomfortable with a geared hub. I’ll post my unique situation in the forum instead of hijacking this space.

It’s all good Ben, choosing an ebike based solely on the motor is tough because the strength and design of each motor varies. I wouldn’t avoid geared hubs just because there’s more potential for wear over time. I just tested one today that is 5+ years old and still going strong (along with the battery pack). I’ll look for your post in https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/choosing/ and try to help out if you provide your height, weight, terrain and desired budget :)

I really don’t know. It only happened once, because I didn’t take chances after that. But the battery was toasted, so perhaps there was no cut off.

Hi Court. I am a bit of a newbie but learning fast. Thanks for your help and the reviews. I like the idea of geared hubs and torque and 500 W w/ 48 amp. But can I be more experience specific? I’m about 180 lbs and moving to San Fran. I love the flats of the marina, the Embarcadero, Chrissy Fields, the Presidio etc but I live on the hills of Pacific Heights, some quite daunting. I also love to just cruise along and look. i like step thrus. I like to sit up in comfort and I love comfortable seats. Can you taylor make a reccomendation for me as to bikes to look at? The Pedego City Commuter looked interesting but the seat wasn’t comfy. I want ease, assist and throttle, cruiser comfort as well as nibble and quick with good endurance. AND critical, I want ease on the steep hills of Pacific Heights. Thoughts? Help?

Hi Frank! I used to live in San Francisco and love riding through all of those spots. Hope the city treats you well, ride safe out there. Regarding your “ideal bike” I suggest copying and pasting this question into the https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/choosing/ where people can share their opinions. I’d love to help but am currently traveling and trying to post new reviews with the extra time. The first thing that comes to mind is the https://electricbikereview.com/optibike/pioneer-city/ which is a step-thru and uses a powerful mid-drive motor that will be excellent for climbing hills. There’s no twist throttle on this bike but the assist is very satisfying and more efficient overall. Hope this helps!

Great article. As the average ebike shopper does a lot of product research, this explains really well the differences and benefits of the three major drive set ups..none are perfect in all situations. I need all three in my garage. Direct drive rear hub for my high speed 30 mph+ ebike. No gears to melt down. Mid drive for my mountain goat super climber and my real favorite and most used, the internally geared rear hub (not a big fan of front) for everyday riding. The free wheel aspect while coasting or in torque sensing pedal assist makes for a much more enjoyable ride. Keep the review pedal to the metal Court!

The hills around here have fried my 500W hub motorized bike, while my 250W Panasonic mid-drive works wonderfully.

Loved your comparisons as I’ve been thinking about an e-bike. I ride rurally with gravel roads and lots of long hills, some up to 3 miles and some steep. The plan was to take my cross bike and install a kit but not sure what brands are out and what type would work for my setup especially after watching your hill video. The other issue is durability and dealing with gravel dust. I’d hate to wreck and break something and would gravel dust ruin internal parts? Thanks!

Hi Bethany, glad you enjoyed the article and videos I’ve posted. Good question about dirt and dust… most ebike motors are sealed pretty well and can withstand light rain, dust etc. but should not be submerged or sprayed off directly, best to just use a damp rag to wipe them down. Depending on how much help you want up the hills and how much you and your bike weigh, you might be able to go with something light weight and simple like the https://electricbikereview.com/clean-republic/hill-topper/ or for more power and the addition of pedal assist you could get the https://electricbikereview.com/8fun/bbs01/ which will cost more but offers great balance with a downtube battery. If you want even more power, they make a https://electricbikereview.com/8fun/bbs02/ which is 750 watts vs. 350. If you need help finding this or another kit just https://electricbikereview.com/contact/ and I’ll do my best to connect you.

Thanks for the response and the information. Turns out Lincoln, NE has a ban on e-bikes but Omaha doesn’t so I’m glad I asked a friend. Still need to save money and will look into the different kits out there.

Glad to help! It’s an interesting time for ebikes because some states and cities place restrictions but the national law is < 20 mph unassisted and < 750 watt motor = bicycle. I've been to towns where citizens have challenged the local rules and won... and the rules are rarely enforced for people who are riding responsibly. If you were concerned about legality in the event of an accident it might be worth looking into https://electricbikereview.com/guides/insurance-for-electric-bikes/

Was doing some more looking and found BionX. Are the BionX kits worth looking into? My LBS had a Trek e-bike in stock several years ago and it was fitted with that system. Not sure he still has the bike and if he does, the technology is outdated and/or the battery is dead.

Hi Bethany, great question! I may have recently reviewed the Trek eBike you’re talking about [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/trek/']here[/URL]. Anyway, yes, it did leverage the BionX system but rebranded it as EPS (electric propulsion systems) or something like that. Trek may have some newer ebikes but the ones I reviewed were from 2011/2012 and the battery on the cargo bike was losing capacity. The standard FX+ did work pretty well despite the age (and possibly lack of care from the shop, not keeping it charged regulary). In my opionion BionX makes some of the best motors and battery systems around because they are durable, quiet, have nice battery mounting options (like on the downtube to keep weight low and center) and they also offer regenerative braking and four regen modes plus a variable speed trigger throttle. They are used on many high end ebikes like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/smart/ebike/']SMART Ebike[/URL] but you can also work with your local shop to install [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/bionx/']one of the kits[/URL]. If you’d like more info from owners, check out the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/bionx/']BionX Forums here[/URL]. I hope this helps you out! There are lots of ebikes to choose from and many kits but BionX is known for being higher quality which is why I approached them about advertising on the site. I trust their products :)

I’m so glad I found this web site; I’ve found it so useful. Advice please between 300w Bafang hub drive and mid-drive :
My decision making is relatively simple with a choice between:
a) a southern commute, 25km including ferry = NZ$50 per week, mostly flat but 1 big hill each way, 1 1/2 hrs each way, some riding in Auckland traffic (not known for being excessively cyclist savvy).
b) northern commute route, 25km, no ferry, a 2km and a 6km big hill, 1 1/2 hrs each way, some scary traffic sections but manageable.
I’m over 60 and these options wear me out and take too much time.
I have:
a) a 30 year old steel English, steel commuter which needs a new rear wheel and drive train and I love riding it.
b) a ? 6 yr old aluminium Avanti commuter, with worn our drive train, lighter than the a)
c) a newly put together 2 wheel SWB Bent which I have not yet quite got my nerve together to commute with
From observations, local e-bikes seem to wear quicker than I would wish.
My goal is to reduce commuting time by 20 mins each way, eliminate ferry costs, keep exercising and enjoy the open air, but reduce being worn out by 1000km per month, reduce the payback period and keep replacement (battery/motor/other) costs low.
ADVICE NEEDED – hub or mid-drive
Local options are a 300w Bafang 700c hub wheel kit for NZ$1000 vs a 250-350w (local limit) mid-drive and I’m guessing that they could be transferred between bikes (????).
Apologies for the length, but advice would be appreciated.

Hi Keith, I recommend reposting this [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/community/forums/8fun/']in the forums here[/URL] for feedback. I’m currently traveling and limited on time answering comments but didn’t want to leave you hanging. my short thoughts are that mid-drives (especially the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/8fun/bbs01/']BBS01[/URL] and https://electricbikereview.com/8fun/bbs02/ from Bafang) offer better climbing and range. The downside is that they take more energy to install and are more difficult to transfer between bikes. A [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/leed/30k-e-bike-kit/']basic hub motor[/URL] (especially a front wheel) will be light weight, affordable and easy to work with. If you find that you need more range you could always bring your charger along or get a second battery. I hope this helps!

Court, great site you have here. I will tell you want i think i want but realize i don’t really know what i am talking about: i am looking for the best bike i can get. i want speed, endurance, great on hills, smooth ride and easy gear change, light weight (but not if it is in exchange for a lesser battery), max battery (48v and 17/18ah, and max watts) and anything else you can think of. i am a little confused on the different systems, but want the best of all worlds (of course) but realize that there will be compramise. maybe you can tell me the best balance of all that i am looking for as i am not price sensitive. What do you think of the Stromer ST2? any other bikes i should look at? c

Hi Craig, the ST2 is an awesome ride with some really neat features. I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it over another model until I knew your height, weight, desired distance and terrain (off-road, packed trails or mostly street). I personally have some neck and back issues so I like the full suspension ebikes with large knobby tires for a bit of trail riding. I’m not a large rider so I prefer my frame size to not be too large or heavy and I don’t want to go over 20 mph so that helps me focus on a specific group of bikes… If you share your details maybe I can make some more informed recommendations here.

Thanks for your reply. I am 190 lb. and 6 feet. I want to do mostly road work with some hills. I also want to do gravel trails made from old rail lines and so not really “off road” but not asphalt either. I love speed and acceleration and the ability to go far (even have a second battery on the rack to change out if needed? ). I am not a long time experienced bike guy and don’t like the totally bent over road bike ride. But can go from a somewhat lean forward and exercise ride to maybe putting on “after market” handle bars that allow for a more upright cruise ride as an option with my wife. Does this help? Also looking for an electric recumbent for my wife. c

Hi Craig! Sorry for the delayed response here… extremely busy times including some family stuff going on right now. Given your mostly road + a bit of gravel and the desire to go fast and far I’d recommend the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/focus/thron-impulse-speed/']Focus Thron Impulse Speed[/URL]… This thing goes up to 28 mph, has a range of 100+ depending on the assist level you use, offers slick but cushy tires for road but also has full suspension for a bit of trail. Given your height, this bike would offer an excellent fit because it comes in four frame sizes and you’ll get a lot of utility with the integrated lights and mirror for those longer rides which might expose you to different times of day and busy traffic. Your idea about adding an aftermarket bar is a good one and I’ve done just this on a hybrid Trek I used for commuting in Austin years ago. You could explore stems that are shorter and more angled (upwards) and bars that are swept back a bit so you don’t have to lean forward as much. The full suspension should really help with your back and neck and is very nice to have when riding at higher speeds for longer time periods. Honestly, 100 miles is a long way to go so I wouldn’t bother with an extra pack right away, feel your way into it because I’m sure it will be $700+. As for your wife, there are very few electric recumbents available. It seems that many people use a kit to convert their trike and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/bionx/']BionX[/URL] has been popular because it’s available in many wheel sizes, offers throttle and assist and has regeneration. As an alternative, you could explore the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/ridekick/power-trailer/']Ridekick Power Trailer[/URL] but it’s much noisier than the gearless hubs from BionX. Either of these options allows you to choose the perfect bike first and then go electric. I hope this helps! The [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/stromer/st2/']Stromer ST2[/URL], [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/specialized/turbo-s/']Specialized Turbo[/URL], [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/nitro-city/']Easy Motion Nitro City[/URL] and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-dash/']IZIP E3 Dash[/URL] are also good speed pedelecs but don’t get the same range or offer the same comfort as the Focus Thron.

Wow. Thanks for the info. Do you mind if I ask more? How fast does the ST2 go? Does focus thron impulse (FTI) have the same torque as the ST2. The video mad e the ST2 look very good. what do I get from FTI that I don’t get from ST2 other than suspension? Is there a price delta? I have not looked at the other bikes you mention. Can you web site to a comparison of them all? I really want to buy before summer. Thank you so much for the info. craig

Hi Craig, here’s a [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/compare/9057n8190']full comparison[/URL] of the Thron with the ST2. In addition to suspension, the Thron has a better weight distribution given the mid-motor. The ST2 has more fancy smart phone technology and self-updates from the cloud (not sure if that’s online in the US right now). Both are great bikes and the price point is very similar. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you end up with one of these :)

I’m buy a emotion bike 350 watt I’m going to ride it back and fourth to work going to work Is 7 blocks and 7 blocks back will it be fast enough or have the power I’m spending 3 grand I just want to know if I’m doing the right thing we don’t have many places to buy bike like this in Alaska so there hard to find

Hi Wesley, the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/easy-motion/']Easy Motion electric bikes[/URL] are some of my favorite. They use quality battery cells, have a good motor (that feels more powerful than comparable 350 watt designs) and their range of models offer good on or off-road capability. It would be easier to help you determine range if you could approximate mileage vs. blocks.
According to some quick research I did, a city block is about 100,000 square feet which means that you can fit 17 blocks per mile. Given your round trip distance of 14 blocks… that’s way less than one mile and in my experience the new EVO line of Easy Motion bikes (which have ~417 watt hour batteries) will get upwards of 15 miles per charge even after hundreds of uses and on uneven terrain. Of course, your weight and the hills and wind all have a factor but you should be very good for just a mile or two of use.
I used to own an Easy Motion Neo Jumper and would commute to work 5 to 8 miles round trip per day and never ran out of batteries. [URL='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5BY_ko3sI4']Here’s a video[/URL] of what I did and it shows my commute. Hope this helps!

Court, I have enjoyed reading and watching your reviews of ebikes. I bought a Neo 29er today from a San Francisco area ebike dealer mainly due to your high opinion of Easy Motion ebikes. Dealer gave me a very good price. Hopefully with the battery change on the new Evo BH will continue to support the Neo line.

Hi Pete! I did really enjoy the Neo line and it seemed like they sold a lot of them so hopefully there will be packs available for several years. Considering that the same pack was used on all of the different models, I feel like you should be in great shape :)

Court, Appreciate all the research you do on E-bikes! Have found your videos to be quite informative! Will you be doing a review for the Focus Aventura Impulse speed 1.0 soon?

Hi David, I sure hope so! The last time I visited the Focus/Kalkhoff offices in Southern California they said that more models were on the way. I plan to go back and do more updates and videos at some point but am currently traveling in Texas (lots of rain and wind in Dallas right now!) keep an eye out and I’ll post the review once it is shot :)

3 years ago
Thanks for your quick reply Court, Just FYI if you are in Dallas, Zach Arnt at Small Planet Bikes says he will have one in store very soon!

Yeah! I spoke with Zach today and it sounds like the bike is in the Colorado store… Maybe I can get them to bring it down to Dallas for a review?

Hi there , I’m a new newbie looking at a front hub drive bike but notice most of the later models are rear hub drive but price is $1500 diff are front hubs ok? Mostly sealed road and footpath riding nothing too rugard but there will be hills!!

Hi Lisa! Front hub motors can be fine, they do tend to impact steering a bit and can spin out easier but are way simpler to either install or service because they aren’t surrounded by gearing cables. The fork on most bicycles isn’t as strong as the rear dropouts (especially if there’s a suspension fork) and this is another reason why most purpose built models don’t use them. Some simple city bikes do however and you can get a good example of this with [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/ez-pedaler/']EZ Pedaler[/URL]. They opted for front motors because they put geared hubs in the rear which makes shifting at standstill possible, reduces exposure to bumps if the bike tips and is generally cleaner and less likely to need tuneups (but only offers 3 gears in this case). I hope this helps you to find the perfect ebike, feel free to [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/choosing/']post in the forums[/URL] if you’d like more info or some help from fellow electric bike owners :)

trying to decide on an e-bike for a 15 mile, hilly commute. I’m a heavier rider. tested haibike with mid drive (loved it), and specialized turbo S (also loved it). It seems the mid drive does better on hills, which kill me. there also seems to be a big difference in price on the 20mph systems and the 28mph systems. for a heavier rider, is it worth the extra cash for the 28mph system?

Hey Barry! I really like the Haibike and Specialized models, both offer great quality and have several sizing options. I agree that mid-drive tends to perform better for climbing and offers more efficiency overall but most of the pre-built bikes are limited to 250 or 350 watts and top out at ~20 mph unless you get one of the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/tag/speed/']speed pedelecs[/URL] like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/haibike/xduro-race/']Haibike XDURO Race[/URL] or [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/focus/aventura-impulse-speed-1-0/']Focus Aventura Impulse Speed[/URL]. One alternative would be to purchase a kit like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/e-rad/500-watt-mid-drive-conversion-kit/']Lectric Cycles e-RAD 500[/URL] which is a mid-drive with shift sensing, throttle and a max speed of ~30 mph if you unlock it for off-road use. This ebike kit can be pre-installed on an Electra or Origin 8 or you can have a local shop add it to a bicycle you already own. One drawback here is messier wires but the price tends to be lower and they can even adapt it to fat bikes and other frame types like cargo or cruiser if you want.

Hi I was looking into getting a electric bike my job is 20 miles away I found this bike online do you know anything about this company I watch a lot of your videos on YouTube but I don’t know what I want to buy just yet to many to choose from and I just want to find the best one for me here is the name of the bike falcon ghost 1500w Thanks for all your help and resources

Interesting… that’s a beefy looking electric bike! I haven’t heard of Falcon or tested this bike (or anything quiet like it) but the specs are impressive. Note that it’s actually not classified as an ebike due to the large motor, it would need to be 750 watts with a top speed limited to 20 mph, and this could create a liability issue if you crash and damage property or injure someone. Given your desired range, it seems like the super large battery pack would be good, it will impact weight and handling to some extent but that’s the trade, an alternative would be a mid-drive ebike with pedal assist like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/volton/alation-mid-drive-350/']Volton 350[/URL]. Note that the Falcon website doesn’t have an address, just this phone number (855)-661-7337 so it feels less trustworthy than a local dealer or large company that is more willing to expose who they are and potentially offer ongoing support. Hope these thoughts help :)

Hi, Court! I am from Slovenia – EU! Escuse me for bad english. I found this site, because I want to change my ordinary trekking bike to ebike, and I am searching forums etc….Your advices are great, really! But, I am still confused. Here in Slovenia, some sellers say that the motor in front weel isnt safe!? I am driving to work 8km one direction each day, exept bad weather…winter…This road is flat. But when I make longer trip cca. 100km, there are also hills. So I need help! I am 58 years old and 172cm height, weight 75 kg. So, cca. 20 km per day and 2000-3000 km per year. Thanks for the answer. Best regards, Miran

Hi Miran! The Pulsar 250 watt hub motor sounds decent, for your short commute it could work fine and in my opinion front mounted hub motors are alright for basic city riding. They can change the steering dynamic and handling a bit but with a small motor like the one you shared I don’t think it would be a big deal. I really like the Bafang mid-drive but that will be very fast, powerful and possibly illegal where you live. Also, it might be difficult to install compared to the front kit. Here is one I reviewed that might be similar to your Pulsar: [URL]https://electricbikereview.com/clean-republic/hill-topper/[/URL]

I have a Stromer ST1 and I just got my wife the Optibike Pioneer allroad. We both are short (5’6″ and 5’4″, 150 pounds and 100 pounds) but we pull our sons in the [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R5C0IGW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00R5C0IGW&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=CQCSZWHKKYT4Y2NC']Weehoo Trailer[/URL]. So that adds another 60 pounds. We have very steep hills in our area. We just took our first ride with the optibike and it feels like it has about 1/2 the power on the steep hills as the Stromer. I thought the mid motor would do better on hills (optibike is 500W mid mount, stomer is 600W rear hub). Can you help me understand this and help with a better option for more power? Thanks! Oh, and I should add. We want peddle assist and throttle modes.

Hi Craig, sounds like a fun setup! Honestly, power and efficiency are very difficult to calculate on ebikes because some motors list a nominal and peak while others do not. There is a potential leverage boost from a mid-drive like the Optibike has but it really depends on the system. The Pioneer series is much more basic than their R Series or something like the Bosch Centerdrive or Impulse 2.0 but that doesn’t mean those are more powerful, just more responsive. I do my best to provide an overview on here but I’m not able to actually compare “power” and usually don’t even get to find out the Amp rating on the systems. Knowing the motor wattage and battery voltage is a start… along with the motor type, but that only goes so far. I’m sorry, I guess trying it out is the best way to decide for yourself.

Bridges are a given. What sort of electric drive do you recommend for a recumbent pulling a trailer w/ cargo weight on tours?

Hi Jairus, I really like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/bionx/d-500/']BionX D-Series[/URL] for power, reduced noise and the efficiency of regenerative braking. It’s a high quality kit with throttle and pedal assist mode with a solid warranty. You could also check out the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/e-rad/']e-RAD kits[/URL]but they might not work on a recumbent setup. One final option could be [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/ridekick/']the Ridekick[/URL] but it’s a bit noisier and may be back ordered. Recumbent riders like that one because it doubles for power and storage ;)

What could I build to go up a mountain path? say 4000 ft long. It’s too steep for me & most bikers to pedal. I want to assist ..but the motor drive train will do most of the work. Down hill one needs good brakes or something electric generating. I bike 5 miles now up and down local hills but walk up the steep hills for sure. For a good bike rig …I would enjoy building a few prototypes. Any advice appreciated…I love to bike on green trails!

Hi Zoom, I really like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/haibike/']Haibike[/URL] and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/felt/']Felt models[/URL] because they offer full suspension or hardtail trail ebikes. They are well balanced, efficient and fairly quiet. You could build an ebike using something like the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/e-rad/']e-RAD kits[/URL] if you want throttle mode and are willing to get your hands a little dirty :)

Hi, Court Rye! Thank you for your response . As I supposedly said, I do cca.20 km per day. 2000 – 3000 per year. The main road is straight, as well as highs. Just for them I need help of the engine. I send you pictures of the engine that are offered to me . They said that discourage hub motor ( in the first wheel ) , as well as the Mid – Bafang , because often corrupts !? So, what do you mean? Thanks and best regards, Miran

Please share a link to the models you are considering, I’m not sure I can comment on failure or corruption. Usually my reviews are limited in scope and I don’t have exposure to the durability of different designs (especially outside the US).

I am looking to purchase my first electric bike. I have test ridden many and narrowed my favorites to the eMotion City Wave and the Pedego City Commuter, with 28″ wheels. I don’t anticipate lengthy trips – likely up to 30-40 miles tops, however we live in the hills of NH, so I would be using pedal assist and/or throttle for the tougher climbs. While I love the City Wave ride, I worry a bit about the 350W vs. the possible 500W on the Pedego. I am 5’8″ and weigh 138 lbs. Your thoughts?

Hi Carol, 30 to 40 miles is quite a ways for most mid-range ebikes. If you’re truly going that far and won’t have an opportunity to charge part way I’d recommend a mid-drive with larger battery like one of the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/kalkhoff/']Kalkhoff models[/URL]. They cost a bit more but you get a really sturdy motor, well positioned battery and often fenders, rack and lights. There are other great mid-drive ebikes but these ones have shift detection. Between the Easy Motion and Pedego I’d lean towards eMotion because their bikes tend to be lighter and 350 watts should be fine given your weight. They offer torque sensing pedal assist which is more responsive but requires input vs. cadence on the Pedegos. Hope this helps :D

I built my own ebike using the Gearless hub motor conversion kit on line. it works great. now i want to convert one of those Fat Tire Beach Cruisers into an ebike, the problem is that they don’t have the pre-made motors already attached to the wheel. i would have to do this myself. is it possible? you just need to connect all of the spokes of the bike to the motor? what are your thoughts on the feasibility of this? great website. thanks, Bert

Hi Bert! great question, you definitely can “lace in” a hub motor to work with a fat wheel… but that’s a lot of work and given the larger diameter and heavier tire you won’t get the same efficiency and might need a larger, heavier motor. In my opinion, a mid-drive can be a great solution to this and [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/e-rad/']a company called E-Rad[/URL] offers an excellent modification option specifically for fat bikes. You can choose the motor and battery size you want then specify the bottom bracket size and bam! You’ve got everything you need to do it yourself. Alternatively, you could buy a pre-built fat ebike and go for something affordable like [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/rad-power-bikes/rad-rover/']the RadRover[/URL].

Hi, First of all, thanks for all the information we can find on EBR website, and a special thanks for the video reviews. I’m living in South of France, I have two baby girls of 2 and 4 and currently I have simple bike, with a Hamax seat at the rear and a Yepp seat at the front on the handle bar… so I am looking for the next bike I’ll need daily for carrying my growing girls, down and up hills, with electric assistance. I’ve seen the Yuba elMundo and the competitive RadWagon. I tried the elMundo with the girls, but there is still a strong torque and a balance limitation with the passengers weight and the high center of gravity, especially at low speed, in town when we have to stop or slow down with the traffic. The [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/xtracycle/edgerunner-10e/']Xtracycle EdgeRunner[/URL] and the Yuba Spicy Curry that lower the center of gravity with a 20 inches rear wheel seem a good, but very expensive, option. So my question is: have you planned to make some video review also about the Spicy Curry cargo bike (with a Eurobike price) which also seem really adapted for kids transportation? Regards, Pâmini

Hi Pâmini! Yes, I’ve definitely been planning to review the Spicy Curry and I agree with you that the smaller 20″ rear wheel helps to improve balance. It also improves power because less torque is required to turn a smaller wheel. For the price, it seems like one of the best options. You can see my thoughts on the TranzX mid-drive motor by watching this review of the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/izip/e3-peak/']IZIP E3 Peak[/URL] which uses the same setup. I admit that I do not like this drive system quite as much as Bosch but it is getting better and for the price it is quite good. I hope you and your girls have a blast riding whatever bike you choose and maybe in time you can let one of them tag along with [URL='http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BD45N7W/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00BD45N7W&linkCode=as2&tag=ebrcta-20&linkId=OAB2HWDXZXKCGILK']a trailer like this[/URL] that teaches riding. Also, [URL='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyLlw1CgXf8']here’s a video I made[/URL] a while back that teaches the balance for riding a bike on your own :)

Hi Court and thanks for all the info. I am in Montréal and would like to know in minus 15 and minus 25 what range may i expect? I am 160 pounds and would pedal, mostly flat and asphalt with 1/3 old railroad now small gravel. I am looking at a Surface604 Element 60 pounds 3 assist levels plus throttle. Weekly i go to a secondairy house 65 km away wich i pedal in 2.75 hours on my 18 pounds summer road bike.

Hi William! I’m going to do a bit of guesswork here based on what I hear and what I have experienced myself. The first thing you can do is to store and charge the battery inside. This will keep the cells warm and help them deliver greater range than if they were very cold to start. The second thing you can do is use mostly pedal assist to help the bike. Your 65 km ride is no joke… that’s a long way to go. Given your moderate weight of 160 lbs and obvious fitness level from riding a regular bike that far I think you’d enjoy the Surface 604 Element but you will have to pedal to make it all the way… If you tried to use throttle only and the battery is cold I bet you’d only get 10 miles (~16 km). You could order a second battery but that increases your weight and is inconvenient. Keep the battery warm, use pedal assist and if you are really needing a long-range electric fat tire bike then consider the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/felt/outfitter/']Felt OUTFITTER[/URL]. I realize it’s much more expensive but you will get MUCH better range and power… though you will not get a throttle mode. This is the most affordable Bosch powered fat e-bike I know of right now… if you want to improve comfort you can add the front suspension fork aftermarket or go for the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/haibike/xduro-fatsix/']Haibike XDURO Fatsix[/URL] which has it pre-installed :)

hi, recently, i try the BOSM intelligent torque sensor. its a miracle. It makes your ebike become a real ebike, like a human, it know your idea,you wanna fast,slow,climb mountain, across the grass , against the wind etc. It will adjust the output power intelligently.

Interesting, I hadn’t heard of the BOSM torque sensor before but I just Googled and found [URL='http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/bosm-intelligent-sensor.18055/']a website talking about it[/URL]. Which ebike model did you try out that had this installed?

Hi Court, I am considering buying an ebike for touring. I live in Australia but would like to take it to Europe to tour so it has to be as light as possible, capable of carrying some weight (25 kg) plus me at 65 kg. I like pedalling but just need a little extra boost to go around 50 to 80 km per day. Stability is important, speed not so important. Any thoughts?

Hi Pip! In addition to size and weight constraints battery size and design is also a bit factor for traveling with an ebike because flights are very restrictive with Lithium-ion cells. One bike that comes to mind that might fit your needs is the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brompton/nycewheels-electric/']Brompton ebike conversion[/URL] from NYCeWheels. The bike itself is solid and their custom bag systems and motor choice are all very well thought out. The downside is that I believe this only offers throttle mode… and is pretty expensive. Another approach might be to purchase a bike on location in each country then sell before you leave, or even explore renting? Here’s [URL='https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/hazmat_safety/more_info/?hazmat=7']a guide to flying with batteries[/URL] from the US FAA (the rules might even be more restrictive for international). I’d love to hear what you come up with and what you decide on… There are portable kits that you can use with normal bicycles for that boost if you’re open to something a bit different. Check out the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/shareroller/version-1/']ShareRoller here[/URL], they have a newer design now that’s lighter and quieter.

I want to build an electric cycle . But I am confused which motor should I use. I have a gearless cycle but I want to build such an e cycle that the battery can be powered by paddling. Plzz tell me which motor should I use?? And how to control its speed ??? Plzzz reply. Thank you

Hi Om, most electric bike kits that I’ve reviewed don’t offer regeneration and those that do are incredibly inefficient (like ~20%) so you’re losing much more energy than you capture. It’s a neat feature for helping you slow down when descending big hills and it creates a nice feeling to think that you’re getting a charge but I would not set out to generate electricity by pedaling unless you want to simulate hills and use your bicycle for rigorous exercise. If that is your interest then check out the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/bionx/']BionX kits[/URL] which all offer regen, you can even buy them preinstalled on bikes from [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/ohm/']OHM[/URL] and others.

Hi Court, Love your work. It appears that you have one of the best jobs going! Just wondering if you are considering reviewing the 2016 KALKHOFF INTEGRALE 8 any time soon? If so I would be interested to hear the noise level of the Impulse EVO RS mid drive system coupled with the Gates belt as I intend to commute 75 km per day and want a really quite and fast commuter

Hi Peter! Yes, I’m definitely planning to review all or most of the Kalkhoff and Focus ebikes for 2016… I’m just not sure when exactly?! I’ve been kind of distracted with the site redesign and some new features but the reviews are starting to happen now! I’ll try to get a good shot of the sound for you once I have one in my hands for a test :D

Once you get a mid-drive bike you simply won’t go back to a hub.

Disagree, hubs can be much quieter… some offer regeneration and they area all easier on the chain and sprockets. For a hardtail trail bike or road bike they work really well and tend to cost less. Each technology offers some great benefits :)

Hi, I am trying to decide between motors for client, a fanatical surf fisherman, who wants to use his fat bike for surf fishing. He mostly heads out for his day’s fishing when the tide is low and the sand damp and compacted. But his return journey is often when the tide is in and his ride will then be above the high water mark and the sand will be soft and deep. So, the choices are:
[*]48V 750W Bafung BBS02: huge disadvantage – salty sea sand and seawater will continuously be thrown up against the motor by the front wheel, increasing the occurrence of rust.
[*]48V 1,000W geared rear hub motor – somewhat removed from the spray and sand thrown up by the front wheel
[*]48V 1,000W direct drive rear hub motor – ditto as for item 2 above. I’m trying to get clarity on the torque issue – does the DD deliver more or less torque than the geared motor.

I have been thinking of throwing in a 350W front hub motor as well (on a separate throttle) to be used only if and when the rear wheel digs into the really soft sand – to create a 2×2 wheel drive. I’m not worried by different speeds and power of the front and rear motors as they would only be used simultaneously very occasionally and then only if and when the the rear wheel is slipping badly. Regards, Len

Hmm… All of these are going to be impacted by rust if he’s near the salt water a lot. I’d probably go with the mid-drive BBS02 just for torque and balance given the difficult soft terrain. To answer your question about torque on geared vs. direct drive, I find that geared is more powerful and lighter weight but also louder and sometimes less reliable long term. If you want to go the cheap route I’d go with the geared rear hub (no front hub motor… just more to break). You could consider a front hub only to make it two wheel drive by him pedaling to move the rear wheel and the front wheel using electric but then it might spin out more. The front wheel would probably be best protected from the sand and water and the easiest to install… but again, less traction there as most body weight goes towards the rear wheel, especially when accelerating. I’d love to see pictures of the end result and hear your thoughts [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/community/']in the forum[/URL], maybe others could chime in on this subject there as well.

Hi Court, thanks for the reply. Yep – I’m dead scared of the salt thing. Everything I’ve read says the steel components rust really badly. This, despite spraying with lubricants and washing after every ride with fresh water.
You may have missed the point – I’m considering both front and rear motors together – 1,000W DD in the back (I figure there will be less wear and tear given the action in the looses sand) and a 350W geared motor in the front. They would be on separate throttles and the front motor would only be used very occasionally – if and when the back wheel really digs in. The rider’s pedaling is by way of assistance to the rear motor.My reluctance to deploy a BBS02 is based on:
[*]it’s position: it would get all the spray and salt filled sand from the front wheel – I’m concerned it would rust just that much quicker than a hub motor
[*]it would be applying huge amounts of force to the chain, which because of rust could become a weak point – if the chain were to snap, then the rider would be without any power whatsoever and might end up pushing his bike for 5 or10 km through soft sand while trying to get home after a long day’s fishing – I suppose he could always carry a spare chain.

In terms of torque, I am confused. ome articles argue that a DD provides more torque than a geared motor, whereas I’d have thought that a high revving geared motor (with a slow turning axle) would provide more torque. Am I nuts? nard

Hi Len, I think I understand and was recommending against the added weight and complexity of two motors. It has been done (Easy Motion sells a couple of all-wheel-drive ebikes) but wiring both motors into a single battery could be tricky and the alternative of having two batteries would take up a lot of space and add weight. In terms of torque from mid-drive vs. rear hub, I think it depends on the system you go with, both can be powerful and effective… You made a good point about the chain and rust. I don’t have enough data to recommend one way over the other, both have pros and cons… I might go with the cheaper option since it sounds like the bike is going to get run down in the environment so replacement will be less expensive down the road.

I live in Western PA in a fairly hilly area and I’m looking for a good way to get back and forth to work.
Here’s the problem: I’m legally blind. Now, I can see just fine to ride a bike (I’m currently riding a 1999 GT Slipstream which weighs about 7 tons) I just can’t get a driver’s license.
So, I’ve been doing some research about eBikes (I started looking at them back when Lee Iacocca was pushing his eBike). I’ve recently become interested again and I’m looking for some advice about what kind of bike to look for.
I started out looking at something from Pedego, then saw some things from Specialized…and I think I even saw something from Ford???…then today I came across the Indiegogo campaign for the Flux eBike. I’m a complete novice about eBikes and have no idea what I should even be looking for or trying to avoid.
This bike only needs to get me to and from work on paved roads (and some sidewalks) and I don’t plan to ever take it on any trails but it does need to be able to handle hills. I have a local bike shop near me, but they currently don’t sell anything electric (the guy did warn me against Pedego bikes, though…saying they were not good quality. I mention that to say this: I don’t know how good any local service options are going to be for me, so simplicity and having a bike that works are important. Also, I’m on disability and don’t have much money, so price is a factor (that’s why the Flux on Indiegogo appeals to me).
It seems like there’s a lot of options out there, even on individual bikes…better batteries, better components, etc. Where’s the happy medium for a price-conscious, street-riding only, out of shape blind guy?

Hi Ben! I had an opportunity to [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/ev-global-motors/ebike-sx/']test ride an old Lee Iacocca eBike[/URL] a while back and was impressed with how forward thinking the design was. I can see why you’re excited about the space, especially with all of the new products coming out, and given your lack of a driver’s license.
I’ve reviewed all of the bikes you mentioned including those from Pedego (which also makes one of the Ford Ebikes), Specialized and Flux. I disagree with your local bike shop about Pedego being low quality… some of the models are a bit basic and “classic” in terms of design but the company provides good support and honors their warranty, they even did a voluntary battery recall a year or so back which was proactive and upstanding. The downside there is going to be higher price and finding a local dealer.
The Flux ebike is neat and priced relatively low, it’s not a super large bike and won’t offer the same power as a 48 volt Pedego but it’s going to be lighter weight. Depending on your body size and weight it could work well enough and has the added benefit of mid-drive which frees up the front and rear wheels for easy maintenance. The downside is more shifting and higher forces on the chain, sprockets and derailleur. Have you checked out the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/rad-power-bikes/']Rad Power Bikes[/URL] at all or maybe the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/voltbike/']VoltBike models[/URL]? These companies ship internationally, have a large selection of styles and are priced pretty well. I hope this helps guide you, poke around the site here a bit and use the advanced search engine to narrow down by price, size, power etc. :)

Hi Court, great site and appreciate your insight, and obvious care. I am also ebike noobie, but have been doing my homework (hours of googling). Personal specs are, old guy, out of shape (5′ 10″ 270# but physically intact), looking to “upgrade” self. I am a mechanic for living, so nothing technical worries me. You have done great job of laying out the general parameters and options, so now I “get” that, and have evolved to the confused info overload stage. Application would be recreational/touring, hills/long grades are always in play, some trail riding, but no serious mountain biking at all. Range not so much a big deal, and plan to “pedal” for the exercise, assist would be for hills, and overextending (needing a lift back to the barn). Issues for me are quality/durability, and rider stability including push off and simple shifting (as opposed to complicated timing and planning routines). I may also see a fair amount of urban stop and go when vacationing etc.I don’t see myself speeding along at 30mph (scares the bejeebers out of me to even think about that speed on a bike). Lots of questions, but will focus on one … It seems like most of the issues (other than battery, range, regeneration and such) revolve around drive train concerns. I like the idea of the mid-mount, but am concerned about the shifting and stress on chain etc. Can a quality mid-mount add on kit, easily work with an internal shifting rear hub. The idea being simplicity…no front shifter, single cog, and easy rear shifting (especially when stopped, or going slow). I am a little confused over the internal geared options, seems like several methods Including external gear set for more increments). Problem may be the shifting while motor engaged. But I believe the internal shifting (similar to the old 3-speed bikes) can be done while pedaling or not, so likewise would not be affected by motor load. If true, that reduces the need(benefit?) of a motor disengage feedback when shifting. This setup also seems like it would benefit from a torque(? not sure I understand this) aware feedback mechanism (seems cadence ones are not really so great) for the “assist” with a few selectable assist modes. If not applied to an external geared internal hub, then only 2 cogs now, and perhaps can use the gates belt system, which seems like a good (dependable) upgrade (not sure how well gates deals with hard shifts if that is a concern). Anyways, hopefully I have asked a reasonable (as opposed to ridiculous!!) application question. If viable, could you suggest the actual brands/models you would use? Thx again.

Hi Joseph! Sorry for the confusion… I realize it can be overwhelming when you really dig down. Two things come to mind for you regarding a good mid-drive system available after-market and the internal shifting question.
[*]Consider one of the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/category/e-rad/']E-Rad mid-drive kits[/URL] which include shift sensing (physical shift sensing) and offer both throttle and cadence activated assist… yes, it’s not as good as Bosch, Impulse or Brose which offer torque or advanced multi-sensor activation but none of these are available aftermarket. Yes, E-Rad looks like the 8Fun BBS02 but it’s actually custom and the shift sensing is worth it in my view, along with the variable widths for use with more frame types. Since you mentioned mostly pedaling, get a 500 or 750 watt kit and stick with the first or second assist level… if you buy the 1,000 watt kit it costs more money and makes the bike illegal in most states plus in my experience it’s just overkill
[*]Internally geared rear hubs can work very well with mid drive motors and belts but you seem to need a special cut-away frame to use a belt drive and those frames are custom and more expensive. I’d consider a Rohloff hub with a chain or a Shimano Nexus and if you really want to get fancy consider the continuously variable transmission hub from NuVinci

Hope this helps! It may be difficult to find at a shop but [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/cube/suv-hybrid-sl-27-5/']here’s a purpose built belt-driven Bosch powered ebike with a NuVinci[/URL] so you can see it in action :D

Sir, Your article does not describe the different methods to activate and control the motors. Do you have a separate article that deals with that? I am hearing about throttle, cadence and torque sensors, and others. Where can one learn about that aspect of the bikes? Thank you.

Hi Clyde, each electric bike or brand uses a different system with different displays, throttles (thumb or twist) and pedal assist (cadence or torque). I’ll try to break it down for you quickly but you can see me using and explaining each system by watching video reviews here on the site :)

[*]twist throttle: usually a half-grip mechanism but sometimes full that twists 1/4 turn and sends a signal for variable power output of the motor
[*]trigger throttle: usually a plastic lever to be operated with the right or left thumb that twists down 1/4 turn and sends a signal for variable power output of the motor
[*]cadence sensor: magnets pass an electronic sensor and send a signal to the controller and motor to switch on or off based on movement
[*]torque sensor: the rear hub mount, a spring loaded chain sensor or bottom bracket flex as the rider pushes on the pedals and crank arms which sends a variable output for more or less power to the controller and motor

Any electric bicycle could use any of these sensor types (or multiple sensors like throttle and cadence sensing assist) but Class 1 only allows for assist while Class 2 allows for throttle and assist. So it’s not a matter of linking motors with sensors and input types (even though some motors only work with specific sensors) it’s a matter of how the manufacturer built the bike and which control systems they chose. All Bosch driven bikes use a combination of cadence, wheel motor and torque… Some BionX use a trigger throttle and a torque sensor. Hope this helps

Hi Court. Would you have any information on Bikee bike’s new mid drive. If you do can you tell me what you think about it. I’m currently looking at mid drives. I pull a heavy load. Almost 400 pounds total. So, i am looking for something that would work for me. Any advice would be very helpful. Thank you Court

Hi Eric! It looks cool, I was just over at their site exploring but unfortunately I can’t comment on performance… Haven’t seen or tested one myself in person but maybe someone [URL='http://electricbikereview.com/forum/']in the forums[/URL] has and can chime in? If you end up getting this kit I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback and in the mean time I’ll keep an eye out and try to get a review done ;)

Thank you Court for your quick reply, and yes, if i get this kit i would be glad to give you my thoughts and feedback about it.

I am happy with my Stromer st2 which I have had for 3 monthes now but am tired off the 28 MP assist cut off thus 2 questions.
[*]How to disable the governor.
[*]Which front hub motor to install for max speed without speed cut off & any drawbacks from adding something like 1000 watt front wheel motor. Will add extra 48 volt battery as well I expect.

Great questions Charles and I have no idea! Sounds like a cool project and I bet people [URL='http://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/stromer/']in the Stromer forums[/URL]could help you with tips. I heard the ST1 models could be unlocked to go faster but I have less experience with the ST2. Adding a front hub motor would be really neat but make sure it works with the larger thru-axle or consider swapping the fork. I think adding suspension would improve the ride a lot and enable a front hub motor but not sure how you’d wire in a second battery or whether you could use the existing one? Would love to hear how it all turns out or see pics someday :D

Thank you for your time and consideration and in such a timely fashion. I had not considered that through axle thickness issue. You have no doubt saved me money and frustration! A local gent intends to produce a custom shaped battery to occupy the open triangle of the frame under the cross bar which I would wire in parallel with the existing battery. Extended range is also desired. Had thought about front shocks due to the weight factor but was “wishing/hoping” might not be needed. Oh well just some more time doing research I guess. This is a new realm for me so having fun scaling a learning curve again. Thanks again Court.

Cool! Glad I helped a little, it’s a fun journey creating something custom. I love doing the research, drawing designs and sharing ideas. If you do create a custom bike be sure to post some pictures and updates [URL='http://electricbikereview.com/forum/']in the forum[/URL]! I’m sure other people would love to see how it all turns out if you’re open to sharing :D

I shall post photos but it will be sometime before I do as research, purchase, assembly & bugs worked out first as well as putting daily issues to sleep.

I need your input on a trike conversion. I’m disabled, and working on converting a trike I got on the cheap to electric powered. I’m unable to petal, and handcycles are sooo out of budget it isn’t funny. I have a Trailmail Joyrider Junior. (i’m rather short so it’s a good size for me. The way it’s designed I can do a chain drive, mid drive or a hub (since I’m really just working with the frame) Which would be better for a full assist situation? I do have some graded hills around me too. Which one would be best?

Hi Lara! Sounds like a neat project… I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I’m not sure any standard electric bike drive system will work with the trike I saw in Google image search. I can’t be sure I’ve found the exact model you’re describing but the tiny front wheel is too small to be swiched out with a hub motor and so far up front that it would likely spin when activated (most body weight tends to be distributed through the rear wheels on trikes and the one I found was super long). The rear wheels might work with a hub motor swap but there appear to be axles fixed to the frame (not poking through on both sides like bicycles), a hub motor would require no axle on the bike, just a dropout like on the fork of a bicycle. You might have luck with a system [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/ridekick/']like the RideKick[/URL] that pushes you but I’m not sure if those are still for sale? Consider buying a purpose built electric trike vs. doing a conversion, it will tend to work much better and sometimes people post them for sale on Craigslist or in the forums here. Hope this helps!

Hi, I am currently in the process of converting an attendant controlled wheelchair (one with the small back wheels) to an electric version as part of a university project. I have found this article useful looking into the different types of motor available. I’m struggling to find a motor that might give me the torque values required using the smallest possible motor. Do you have any suggestions for a particularly ‘powerful’ motor I should look into?

Hi Jasmine! Interesting question, I think you could use a geared hub motor mounted in a 20″ wheel but am not sure if that would match your wheelchair perfectly or mount to a side axle vs. one that’s built into the hub (most ebike hub motors I’ve seen are permanently fixed to the axle). Lots of companies offer basic motor, battery, controller kits but [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/dillenger/street-legal-electric-bike-kit/']this one from Dillenger[/URL] appears to come in the small 20″ wheel size. Maybe there’s a way to add a mounting system between the two rear wheels to have this third wheel act as power? The other challenge is reverse, most electric bikes don’t offer this but one company called E-BikeKit does with their [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/e-bikekit/e-trike-kit/']trike conversion kit here[/URL] which may also come in 20″ wheel size. I hope this helps you get started, if you call the E-BikeKit company ask for Jason and maybe he can even give you some more advice as they offer some models designed to be more like personal mobility trikes vs. fast commuter bikes. One such model is their [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/liberty-trike/electric-tricycle/']Liberty Trike here[/URL].

Cheers Court! Maybe you have some insight into a great question a friend asked me: “If there were a scientific experiment done where all variables were the same with the exception of the drive motor, one being a mid drive and the other being hub drive (both of good quality and used on higher end mainstream e-bikes), is there a clear winner when it comes to which drive system delivers more efficient power. I guess what I’m hoping to find out with this question is: Which style of drive system more efficiently transfers the potential energy in the battery into actual motion. I could see this being answered with units like distance or speed, but remember the only thing I am comparing is two types of drive systems… Things like battery size, pedaling effort, rolling resistance, total bike/rider weight, air friction are all constants. So is there a clear winner???”
Thanks for any info you might be able to give. ~Jeff~

Hi Jeffrey, I’ll do my best to answer this question based on my experience testing. Mid-drive motors get a lot of attention for being efficient because they can be empowered through gear shifting if they are setup to pull the same drivetrain as you, the rider, and the bike actually has gears. So a mid-drive on a single-speed electric bike might actually be less efficient than a hub motor because it’s transferring energy through a chain or belt before reaching the rear wheel. There several mid-drive designes out there which pull a completely separate drivetrain [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/evox/city-electric-bike/']like this[/URL], and are therefore not as efficient as they might otherwise be but still benefit the bike design by balancing weight at the center of the frame. And so, if you have something like the Bosch Centerdrive, Yamaha, Impulse, Brose or others which pull a chain or belt and benefit from the mechanical advantage of a cassette, internally geared planetary hub or continuously variable transmission AND you actually shift appropriately… then you will generally go further, climb easier and even accelerate faster than most hub motors. Geared and gearless hub motors usually have a sweet spot for efficient operating speed RPM and that is usually translated to above 10 mph on the bike. So when you start from zero the motor is struggling and only once you’re reaching those higher speeds does the motor start to “relax” and perform optimally. I hope this helps, there are some excellent hub motor designs out there… they tend to be easier on the drivetrain and less expensive but increase unsprung weight (if the wheel is on a suspension) and can create imbalanced weight distribution compared to mid-drives.

Hi Court, I have a 2005 Giant Trance 2 mountain bike I’d like to convert. I want to commute to work which is 15 miles away using trails and minimal road exposure. There is also a fair amount of hills. The trance has a small triangle and I fell I would need a fairly large battery. I see a 52 volt 20ah at Lunacycle that is a triangle that looks like it will fit but its $600. I’m leaning toward a 1000 watt BBSHD unlocked.. all of this said, I recently rode a fat bike with a BionX hub drive that was so smooth I couldn’t believe it. The BioniX battery would never fit the triangle. Any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated. Thanks

Hi Vincent! In my opinion, there are a whole bunch of great possibilities out there. Luna has high powered stuff and the BBSHD worked great for me when reviewing a Lectric Cycles conversion a year back (using their e-RAD kit). Of course I also like BionX but the stuff is more expensive and proprietary. I’m doing less conversions these days (at least review wise) so I’m a bit behind on the category. For me, the frame makes a big difference and depending on what sort of terrain I’m encountering I’ll lean towards hubs for smooth and zippy feel or mid-drive for better climbing with the understanding that it might wear my drivetrain down, especially without shift sensing. That’s one area where e-RAD and maybe Luna now too, have some good options and accessories.

Hello Court! I have spent a good deal of time the past few months researching e-bikes. I read your introductory book and nearly every online review you have written over the last year or so. The closest e-bike shops to me are about a two hour drive and are limited in what brands and models they stock (mainly city style bikes). So before I venture out to test drive a few models, I am seeking your advice to narrow down the type of bike and drive train that makes the most sense for my application.
I am in my early 60s, weight 165#, and in fairly good shape but atlas do not have the stamina and leg strength I used to have even in my 50s. Aging sucks! I live in a hilly rural area and do most of my biking on paved and unpaved (70/30%) back roads for recreation and exercise. The latter includes gravel and hard packed dirt and the occasional deeply rutted farm road. I do not intend to do any serious mountain biking nor commute using this bike. The routes I take have several long and moderately steep grades which is good exercise but too exhausting to tackle these days on my non-powered carbon road bike. My priorities are the optimum combination of comfort (including relaxed geometry), quality/reliability, versatility, range, and ease of use.
My first question is whether a hybrid or a hard-tail mountain e-bike is best suited for my needs? Most hybrid models I have seen are set up for commuting and since I am a fair weather rider I have no need for added features such as fenders and lights. I do, however, desire the option to mount a rack. I love the versatility and looks of mountain bikes. Bull has a few HT mountain bike models (29ers and 27.5) that may work but wonder if the riding position may be too aggressive and/or the tires too wide (i.e., too inefficient) for riding on the paved road sections.
My second question is what drive train you would recommend? I am leaning towards a mid-mount motor (Bose or Bosch) primarily for the added torque and extended range. The mid-mount systems also seem to be the trending direction for major e-bike manufacturers even for city bikes. I love the integrated look of the Bose models but appreciate the design and simplicity of the Bosch system. Since I come from a recreational road bike background, which mid-mount motor do you think would feel more natural to me the Bose or Bosch? A single front sprocket has its appeal for reduced shifting/complexity but 2X have their advantage also. Alas, a very difficult decision. Since this an expense endeavor, any insights you may have to guide me down the right path would be greatly appreciated.
Keep up the great work!

Hi Paul! I enjoyed reading your words and envisioned myself riding along rural streets and gravel roads with beautiful clouds and sunsets. Cycling is wonderful… but I can empathize with your desire for some assist. I got into this because of a knee injury, I wanted to keep the fun and freedom of cycling without the knee sensitivity developed over the course of longer climbs and more regular riding.
Based on everything you wrote, I believe that both the Bosch or Brose motor system would be a good fit. I have owned one of each and appreciate their wider cadence range. You get shift sensing with Bosch but it sounds like you understand how shifting works given your nice carbon road bike… the Brose is a bit quieter and gentler feeling. Perhaps it comes down to which models appeal to you and fit your body size. I didn’t see your height there? Either motor system would be capable of moving your standard 165 lb body.
I like the approach you’re taking, possibly a hardtail with hybrid or knobby tires… the suspension fork adding some comfort along with larger inner tube diameter. When you ride further and at higher average speeds, you tend to feel it in your back and neck more. For this reason, I have become a big fan of full suspension electric bikes… but you can approximate this with a hardtail frame and a seat post suspension. This setup is going to work with standard racks (that tend to stay put compared with beam racks or the Topeak seat stay [URL='https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ASSOORE/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=elecbikerevi-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B00ASSOORE&linkId=548235da6fa35fe0e0f815e99d35d6b8']Pack N’ Pedal rack[/URL]).
I’ve had good luck with Bulls and Haibike but any frame manufacturer that gets to work with Bosch or Brose is going to be good. Easy Motion has a couple models now with Brose. If possible, try to buy from your local shop so they can fit you and offer warranty support. Do you know what brands they carry? I’d say, pick one based on pictures, special order the correct size and go in to pick it up… when you go, have the shop also order a riser or even rise + swept-back bar and maybe some ergonomic grips. Get a Thudbuster or BodyFloat or the Suntour NCX seat post suspension in the correct size and have them fit you. You could swap tires too but I love riding knobby tires even on the road, they a huge difference on dirt and it sounds like you spend some time on surfaces like that.
I realize this isn’t as prescriptive as it could be, I think there are many models that could work for you but the sizing and possibly style are really up to you. I’d love to hear how it works or possibly which ones you’re zooming in on and please, share your story in the forums to help others once you get an ebike and have time to ride it around. You can also call me using the contact page info to chat a bit if you’d like :)

Hi Court. Thanks for your prompt response. Based on your input and further consideration I have narrowed my selection down to three Bulls e-stream brose MTB models: Evo 3 29er, Evo 3 FS 27.5 plus, and Evo 45 FS. I selected Bulls for a variety of reasons but I have to admit I am a pushover for good looks. Bulls offers a wide range of models and there is a dealer in PA within a reasonable drive from my home in MD. Unfortunately, they do not stock any MTBs but may be getting one or two in soon I can test out. I am still on the fence with regards to a full suspension bike but I realize my back is not getting any younger and I may learn to appreciate the extra comfort on the paved and unpaved hilly roads I ride. One of the suspension seat posts you suggested would definitely help with the hardtail but these are heavy and fast riding bikes (especially the EVO 45 FS which you reviewed in February) so if comfort is of prime concern a full suspension probably is the way to go.
The bigger decision for me is whether or not to go with a 29” or 27.5” wheel set. I believe Bulls in the US only offers a hardtail in the 29” size. There is a lack of information out there on the pros and cons for my particular application (i.e., 60/40 paved and rough dirt roads) specifically with regards to e-bikes. I know you prefer the 27.5 size as an “all-arounder”. At around 5’ 10.5” tall (barefooted) and 160 lbs, I most likely could find a good fit in either wheel size since Bulls offers at least three sizes in most of their bikes. Since I do not plan on commuting or doing much mountain biking, is one size better than the other for my rural mixed road use? Would there be any significant benefits with the larger wheels with regards to riding efficiency (i.e., less effort pedaling, improved battery life, etc.) or does the mid-drive motor make this mostly a non-issue? Not yet having ridden these e-bikes, my gut feeling is it may just come down to fit and preference. I would be interested in what you think based on your experience.

Hi Court. Thank you for the additional insights. I feel like I owe you a consulting fee :). Your enthusiasm for your profession is inspiring. It obviously shows in your reviews and follow up comments which are very informative, especially for folks like myself who are new to this area and trying to determine the most suitable type of e-bike for their needs. I am a big fan … it’s now time to take a few test rides.

I am trying to decide if I need a 350 watt hub motor for a bike conversion or would a 500 watt hub motor be better. I weigh almost 230 lbs but live where there are minimal hills. My husband would be doing the conversion with an all inclusive kit. Does a person’s weight have anything to do with what size motor you buy?

Hi Kim! Great question… I’ve heard some ebike companies and shops guestimate that 180 lbs is a good cutoff when jumping from 350 to 500 or 750 watts (750 is the highest allowable in the US). I’m sure you could get away with a 350 just fine, especially if you pedal along a little to help it get started each time and ride mostly on flats. [URL='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndvce0wU840']Here’s a video interview I did[/URL] with an individual of similar weight who was riding a 350 watt motor for over two years and using a throttle with higher powered 48 volt batteries… you can hear some grinding when the bike starts and I believe this is based on accelerated wear and tear. I hope this helps and welcome you to share what you choose and how it works down the line. I personally appreciate the compact size and efficiency (and lower price) of 350 watt motors but most people would recommend that you aim for 500+ watt in this case.

Hi Court, I have recently purchased a new adult tricycle with the intention of converting it to an electric motor. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the different motor options and configurations available. I want something that will provide me with enough power to get up to speed, and have a long ride time. I have seen YouTube videos where they have linked multiple batteries to get extended ride time. What are your recommendations to get a long ride, with the power for a tricycle and a big rider?

Hi Adam, this is a question that I’m not fully qualified to answer. I haven’t been focusing on kits as much recently but have had some good experiences with pre-converted trikes. Lots of companies are offering this type of product now (IZIP, Raleigh, Pedego, and Sun). It’s fun to create your own thing and geek out on power and range, I just feel like my knowledge is out of date and would recommend that you ask in the forums or rely on your friends who have done it.

Hi Court, Very nice information. I want to know, is it almost similar when it comes to e-motorcycle motor compared with e-bicycle motor? Thanks in Advance.

Hi Srinidhi! I’m not as familiar with electric motorcycles but I’d say that depending on what type of motor it is, they could be similar (just larger and more powerful for the motorcycle due to high speeds and more weight). If they use a hub motor, they could be very similar to [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/stealth/bomber/']the Stealth Bomber[/URL] I reviewed many years ago. It’s almost like a motorcycle with pedals :p

Okay. Thanks for the reply.

What can you tell me about a mid motor manufactured by Bofielli?

Hi John, I don’t know much about their mid-motor. Perhaps someone else will chime in or you’ll be able to get some answers using the [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/']EBR Forums here[/URL].

Court – I’m looking for a Bafang rear hub geared motor conversion kit for my Giant Cypress DX. Can you point me to someone? Many thanks – Jeff M.

Hi Jeff! The three companies that come to mind for me are [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/electric-bike-outfitters/']Electric Bike Outfitters[/URL] out of Denver Colorado, [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/brand/dillenger/']Dillenger[/URL]out of Australia (but also sell in the USA) and possibly Luna Cycles out of California. I hope this helps point you in the right direction. You can also ask around in the kits section of the EBR Forums [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/diy/']here[/URL].

Hi Court, I discovered your site and it’s great. I’m 6’8″ tall, 274 lbs., and 71 years old and still biking but needing some help and assistance on long hills of pavement or crushed rock. Wouldn’t mind having a few coasting breaks too. And the step through appeal to me as I get older. Looking at ebikes and especially the Pedego step through Interceptor with magnesium wheels for weight carrying capacity. What do you think? Good choice or is there another out there that would fit this old boy?

Hi Dave! I’m a big fan of Pedego to be honest. Yes, their battery placement isn’t ideal and the prices are a bit higher… but you tend to get very good service, lots of size and color choices, and their battery and motor technology tends to be reliable and powerful. The Magnesium cast wheels are especially cool and useful if you’re heavier, or plan to carry heavy loads, so with your taller and larger body that’s a great option that very few other companies provide. I think you’re definitely on the right track. Do you live near a Pedego dealer?

Hello Court, Great information! I survive by involving in technology then no worries understand the concepts and fixing the stuff. I have spent a good deal of my time researching e-bikes in past as well fixed some e bicycles for friends for fun. Hope you could give me a hint on hub motors with lower prices but reliable machines. This is in order to support some low income crowd in Africa. What do you think about the Chinese parts? Any recommendation?

Hi Lalith, cool name you have! If you are buying a high volume of electric bike motors and batteries, then you could probably buy direct from China and maybe use a website like Alibaba. However, if you need a small or medium number, maybe you could research a company like Clean Republic. I reviewed their affordable [URL='https://electricbikereview.com/clean-republic/hill-topper/']Hill Topper kit[/URL] a while back and thought it was good. If you are buying for Africa, it might be easiest to source parts in Africa or find a wholesaler in China that can ship there vs. going from China to the US and then Africa. I hope this helps you! Be careful if you are planning to buy and then fly with products like this because high capacity Lithium-ion batteries are not usually allowed.

2 months ago

Hi guys, I met another individual who may be offering replacement pre-packed and upgraded ebike batteries as well as doing some repairs when I visited Electric Bike Outfitters in Denver, Colorado in 2018. That individual runs a company called https://www.hicbattery.com/y and his name is Patrick Duggan. You can see Jason and Patrick in this video:

4 months ago

Hi guys!

In recent years, I have discovered a couple of good resources for getting help with refilling and repacking batteries for electric bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, hoverboards, neighborhood electric vehicles, and other products that use higher watt hour battery packs (often with Lithium-ion, Lithium-polymer, or Lithium iron phosphate LiPo or LiFePO4 cells).

It sounds like some of the fancier battery packs (Bosch, BionX, Stromer etc.) are more proprietary in design, and if the battery management system (BMS) is damaged or loses power for a moment, the internal memory will be erased and the battery becomes permanently useless or "bricked". For this reason, it seems wise to get help before a battery completely goes dead if possible.

The first resource I discovered was called Rechargeable Power Energy (RPE), and this was back in 2016. I believe that they are based in Las Vegas and part of a larger battery company that also sells kits. In recent years, they updated their website and seem to be operating as the EBike Marketplace. I created https://electricbikereview.com/guides/how-to-replace-an-ebike-battery/ with some pictures and an interview with Sam, from the Electric Bicycle Center in Fullerton California, where he talks about working with this company. You can reach their main landing page for battery repairs https://ebikemarketplace.com/collections/rebuilt-batteries. They advertised on EBR for a short period in late 2017/2018 and then I was told that they were restructuring or having some business changes and needed to pause. I welcome your feedback about them and my goal here is to guide people towards the best resource so they don't have to throw batteries away or end up in a frustrating, time consuming business exchange.

The second, more recent, resource I discovered was called Hi-C Battery. This happened when I was in Denver, Colorado filming reviews for Electric Bike Outfitters. The founder of Hi-C is Patrick Duggan, a former automobile mechanic who lots of shops in Denver know and have worked with for their own battery needs. Patrick is a high-speed kit guy who not only repacks and repairs batteries, but also tries to upgrade them to offer more capacity. He and I spent some time talking on camera and that is included in the EBO tour video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0HDwy5w4uU. Patrick has been super friendly and responsive in sharing what services he is working on offering and asking for feedback about https://www.hicbattery.com/, which looks pretty good.

In my experience, Patrick has been the most responsive and seems to offer the widest range of services for ebike battery repair and repacking. He strikes me as an expert and my goal in sharing with you here is to help reduce waste by recycling and re-using existing ebikes vs. having to buy a new one. Many companies, including Bosch, seem to have their own programs and replacement packs available, but many older or smaller companies may not provide this level of support or simply may have gone out of business. I welcome your feedback and links to other great service providers and programs for recycling old packs, tips on shipping with hazmat hazardous materials, and your experience actually working with these companies.

Here are a few closing notes from a text exchange that Patrick and I had recently. He said that he has been studying reviews on EBR to determine which battery pack designs to stock and sell. He believes that Hi-C will be able to cover 75% of the batteries being sold with his replacements, about 15% of bikes will have to recycle the original case and rebuild the cell insert which is more expensive. Most of the cells he uses are high drain Lithium-manganese (INR) chemistry. The final 10% of batteries use the proprietary BMS and may be rebuildable... but only if the power has not shut out completely and reset the software. He is also able to rebuild custom packs for electric rides which I review sometimes on https://electricridereview.com/. He told me that one of the main reasons he has chosen to offer rebuild services is that he hates to see useable items wind up in the landfill. He's not into planned obsolescence... and I agree with him there :)

Ann M.
1 year ago

No ebike is perfect, this is a thread dedicated to sharing known issues or problems with electric recumbent bikes from Electric Bike Outfitters as well as any help and solutions you know of. Sometimes that means a DIY fix and other times it can mean a recall, software update or part replacement by a dealer.

Please be respectful and constructive with feedback, this is not a space for hate speech. In many cases, representatives from the company will see feedback and use it to improve their product. In the end, the goal is to enjoy riding and help each other go further and be safer.

1 year ago

Also consider installing a kit such as the Electric Bike Outfitters if you like your current bike.

Ken from Philadelphia
1 year ago

I purchased this bike, https://biria.com/bike/balloon-7, on 12/1/2016. I had been looking for a used one for about 6 months with no luck. My bike is black with black wall tires. It's a nice bike even without electrics.
Around 2/1/2017 I added a 350W front wheel kit from Electric bike outfitters, http://www.electricbikeoutfitters.com/ebo-cruiser.aspx
I didn't want to be the fastest kid on the block, but I do want to cruise with and sometimes without electric power. Hopefully this combination will be the ticket.
So far I've only put about 1.5 hours on the bike. I'm still in the test ride mode.
I'll post updates here.

1 year ago

I'm delighted with the EBO kits, and even put one on my wife's bike which has enabled us to do a lot more riding together. Almost every Sunday we ride quite a ways down the pathways to old town and have a nice lunch together. They are rated 350 watt geared motors and assist up to about 19-20mph, and I have gone 43 miles and still had a "bar" of charge remaining.

1 year ago

Very nice. I'll check out Electric Bike Outfitters. I was just reading a thread and watching a video on a Dillenger front wheel kit that was really affordable and had everything on my wish list for a conversion kit, except it was only a 350 motor and a front wheel conversion. I originally wanted the front wheel conversion, but I want more power and a rear wheel conversion seems a whole lot safer.

1 year ago

Supramax, if you already have a bike you like, a kit is a great way to go. I started out with putting an Electric Bike Outfitters kit on my old Trek 830 and it is a wonderful machine. In fact, it is my "go-to" bike for riding on the street, bike paths, and errands, despite my having a couple of mid-drive emtbs.

Ann M.
2 years ago

Exploring a more high powered direct drive motor system, Court reviews the rugged Electric Bike Outfitters' new Mountaineer system. This is an opportunity to see a system tested on a crunchy off road trail!

The Electric Bike Outfitters EBO Mountaineer is a high power, high speed electric bike kit capable of 30 mph top speeds, can be operated with pedal assist, trigger throttle or optional twist throttle. Heavier but sturdy 750 watt gearless hub motor, can be mounted in the front or rear wheel (I'd recommend front) and works with 0, 6, 7, 8 or 9 speed cassettes. Custom 25 Amp controller is built into a metal box that attaches to seat tube bosses so you need to make sure your bike has them there. More basic LED console with limited readouts, five magnet pedelec sensor isn't as responsive, decent warranty and overall low price for this much power and speed.

2 months ago

Note that on this unit, the throttle never outputs the full power to the motor, no matter the power level you're in. If you want the full power you need to pedal!

3 months ago

Hi court

We are an Australian ebike company. I can tell you that we bought 50 of them from the factory in Suzhou China. 40 of them have gone faulty....within 3 months. We lost a lot of money. They break faster than Chinese tofu


Andrew Allen
4 months ago

Court - It’s a 110 BCD spider so can go down to 33t chainring.

Andrew Wong
4 months ago

I am suspecting that either the RPM sensor or the torque sensor is not calibrated/adjusted correctly. I had a bike that had a dirty rpm sensor that would only provide fraction of the overall performance.

4 months ago

Certainly a market for it but at half the price!.....Plus sides are defo how quiet it is and how light/compact it is...Good for hauling some Granny ass but that is about it and probably the best for it..Again at half the price!

Thomas Jaszewski
4 months ago

Run don’t walk from this kit mid drive. Mine was a free evaluation sample. Sucked.

Michael Sprinzeles
4 months ago

Nice little kit...for less than 1/2 the price, perhaps. On Ali Baba the 48 volt 750 watt version of this rebranded Tongsheng sells for less than $400 and a decent battery can be had for around the same price (even less if you don't need high amp hours).
My 1k watt (sustained) BBSHD with a 52 volt 17.5 amp hour triangle battery & bag cost about the same and came with a gear sensor, an offset narrow wide chain ring, & a beautiful color display. (Hooray for LunaCycles).
Mid-drives may require more work to install but leave the bike easier to work on than hub motors!!!

Gary Bryan
4 months ago

Seems like someone just getting into ebikes the kit will be a disappoint.

4 months ago

I honestly don't think this kit is the 350 watt model. It's performance seems more inline with the 250 watt model. Also the way you are using it, is not to the motors best advantage & I am surprised you didn't already destroy the sacrificial Blue Gear unless it has already been changed out. Check out another version & install of this motor Court & I think you will see that there is something not right in the way this unit is performing.

4 months ago


D Danilo
4 months ago

I can see this kit for someone who has a bike they've really loved, and now wants some help with the work. It's a narrow niche in a growing market. Most people will probably still choose a purpose-built e-bike. Great review of an interesting product!

4 months ago

You were very "kind" in this review. Would like to know how you really felt about that kit. $1600? Ummm I dont think so. How many people will buy that over a Rad?

dmitry manzano
4 months ago

I love my BBHD, don't know a better motor yet.

Dreamer 111
4 months ago

Who in their right mind would choose this kit over a complete base model Haibike?
For the same price.

Michael Sprinzeles
4 months ago

This kit is overpriced-but If you already have a bike that you like, the cost of a kit alone is less than a new Haibike and you gain good experience wrenching on your bike.

Henrik A.
4 months ago

Nice to have both torque sensor and throttle. Overall a excellent review as always, keep on the good work.
Best regards from Sweden.

4 months ago

if the battery was good, then this is the biggest piece of junk you could get. laughable

Bob Wardrop
4 months ago

My BBSHD with a Lekkie chainring and 28ah battery cost $1450 shipped. I just cant see any way this makes sense for the price.

Bob Wardrop
4 months ago

I'm aware of the TSDZ2 motor. I've actually considered buying one for my backup bike. I like the fact that it has a torque sensor. But the kit can be had for less than $400 and a decent battery can be had for $400 to $500. I just don't think this is a good deal for mail order customers. I don't mean to insult the folks at EBO at all. They seem very passionate about ebikes as evidenced in the video about building a bike for the parents of a child with issues that make it hard for him to ride. It's hard to put a price on a local shop that will do things like that. I just don't think this is a good deal for mail order customers.

Neezy Ko
4 months ago

Well, the DIY option is always cheaper. This motor is actually the Tongsheng TSDZ2, it's been around for a few years. Kits are about $400 and battery is wherever you source it from. What makes it great is that it's torque sensing, something the BBS motors aren't. It's for people that actually want to get excercise and feel like they're riding a bike. The BBSHD is more like a motorcycle, the TSDZ2 would compete more with the BBS02.

10 a C e bikes Jody Bennett II
4 months ago

Bob Wardrop I think everyone agrees with you I am buying a bbs02 Wednesday for my full suspension diamondback atroz so I can ride it to the trails then climb cheers

v1nce n7
4 months ago

If you want to buy this on the cheap from Aliexpress, this kit original brand name is TONGSHENG TSDZ2.

4 months ago

I don't really trust any other brands than Brose, Yamaha, Bosch, or bafang. Honorable mentions: Juiced brand, leaf motors brand & so forth.

When it comes to stealth ebike brands and brands like them, well, they're kinda in a class of their own 😉.


stanley cartwright
4 months ago

I have a bewo mid drive kit from only 1 uk supplier but it seems ok for a 250W. I don't use the throttle control unless pedalling as it illegal maybe in uk...vague rules.
The controller has setting for top speed limit and motor cut-out current to 30 amp but true- it need a run up and gear change to do 20 mph on the flat with a 29er. No big 500W as in US.