246 lbs. 5'9" 52-year-old

TomAllyn

New Member
I currently walk on average 4 miles a day 5 days a week. I walk fast enough to raise my heart rate and have done so for 2-3 months. So far I've lost 21 lbs.. I live in Sacramento, CA. and most of my ride will be on flat ground except to cross bridges across the American River to head to Zinfandel Blvd in Rancho Cordova. I'm looking for the e-best bike for an 22 mile round trip commute. I also want to use it to do my weekly grocery run for two people and weekend trips to Mid-Town Sacramento for brunch or coffee from the Arden Arcade area.

I prefer to spend under $3000. I want a twist throttle especially for those days when I tired after work. All suggestions will be extremely appreciated.
 

Jan

Member
I have owned seven e-bikes, so I hope I can provide you with some great experience lessons, so that you can make an informed decision.
It sounds like you would do well with a light Cargo bike. Here are some things I would humbly suggest you avoid:
First, if you want even minimal health/exercise benefits, avoid a hub motor. Most are cadence sensor, and most do have a throttle that you will find yourself using almost exclusively. If you test drive a hub motor e-bike, you will think they are great. That's because you probably haven't tested a mid-drive. The only decent hub-motor, in my opinion is the Strummer, which is probably out of your price range. Also hub drives are incredibly heavy; I mean really heavy.

Next, don't buy a Pedego. These are solid bikes; however, they are over priced and provide minimal exercise value. Again, if you test drive one, you'll definitely be sold, but be patient. This company has excellent customer service and does spend a lot on advertising. But they usually target people who don't really want much exercise out of their bike.

Now, here are the things you should do:
Test drive as many models as you can, if possible, even if you have to drive far to do it. Go on this web site and view as many of Court's reviews as you can. He is definitely the master review and is incredible thorough. I have bought any bikes, just on his review, and I have been very satisfied.

Of all the bikes I have owned, the Izip mid-drive bikes are by far the best value. They provide excellent customer support and have lots of dealers. Their mid-drive motors are not as great as the Bosch, but they hold their own. If you want a Bosch, it will cost you and, to my knowledge, none have throttles.

I would highly recommend the Yuba Spicy Currie. Great mid-drive cargo bike. Also get a mid-drive that goes 28mph (also known as a speed pedalec). Most of the Izips no longer have throttles. Instead they have speed buttons, which are the same as a throttle and they are $50 extra (well worth it). These retail for a bit outside your budget, but I can guaranty you that Lenny can probably get it for well below retail price, free shipping and no tax, which is really a big savings.

I hope this helps, and good luck. If you take a little time and buy the right bike, it will change your life.

I would highly recommend any Izip mid-drive bike. I am buying a E3 Sumo myself, but do own the Diamondback version of the Izip E3 Peak.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I don't know that a heavy cargo bike is going to inspire much effort and exercise for someone looking at an ebike. I see plenty of heavier guys riding light weight bikes on my local path. I've not yet seen any wrecks where someone's bikee had folded in half and I ride the path five times a week. And anyway, by years end, I'm sure the OP will be further down in weight. I think a commuter style bike with the proper frame size to fit one's legs will work.

I googled Sacramento bike shops. Maybe the OP should go here
Mikes Bikes
and see if he can test ride the 2016 mid drive Raleigh Detour Ie they have on sale. They also have a 2015 gearless hub motor, but I prefer geared motors. Both models are in his budget range, although they're outa mine.

For an 11 mile commute, if one is willing to take the time, it will be about a 45 minute ride with a basic ebike. I own several home built ebikes with kit motors. My mid drive can fly at 30 mph, but the right speed for me is about 13-15 mph. At that speed, I can put in more than half the work and biking is both fun and exercise.
 

TomAllyn

New Member
Thanks everyone for the replies. I'd really like something that I could haul up to 4 bags of groceries, but one thing I forgot to mention is I live in an upstairs apartment size Condo so hauling a cargo bike up the stairs might be too much of a challenge.
 

Jan

Member
Keep us updated on your decision. You'll be hard pressed to find an e-bike you can carry up stairs and one that hauls groceries. But there has been some awesome developments in electric bikes. Even the folding bikes are pretty heavy, relatively speaking. They are making some carbon fiber e-bikes, but they are expensive. To my knowledge the lightest e-bike is approx 32lbs. But many on the forum will know better. Good luck.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a trailer might be a good option for you. Burley makes a trailer called the Travoy and it might be a good add on to a lightweight Ebike.

If this was my situation I would get a lightweight Ebike with a rear rack or add one. Add some larger panniers like the Ortlieb back rollers and perhaps a basket on the top. You could probably handle all you need with that sort of setup, but you should check out the trailer. The Travoy is lightweight and can be used as a hand truck when removed from the bike.

One of my favorite lightweight bike is the Felt NineE. It's a 38lbs mountain bike, but it can easily be setup for commuting.
 

Jan

Member
Great suggestion, Chris. I can personally vouch for Chris Nolte, as I have purchased bikes from him and he has excellent advice and really great customer service. Along the lines of Chris' suggestion, I would offer that you consider the Haibike Superrace or Haibike Race bikes. Both are very light and offer the Bosch mid drive. Also many dealers are offering both bikes at discount rates. The only drawback with these models: there is no throttle
 
Next, don't buy a Pedego. These are solid bikes; however, they are over priced and provide minimal exercise value. Again, if you test drive one, you'll definitely be sold, but be patient. This company has excellent customer service and does spend a lot on advertising. But they usually target people who don't really want much exercise out of their bike.
You get what you pay for Tom. As Court says between minute five and six in his Pedago Ridge Runner video review, "A really solid offering at this price point." Although $400 more than the amount you communicated you wanted to spend.

As far as minimal exercise value, the recent Pedago proportional power delivery torque sensor system is ideal for working out among it's four levels of assist. Court calls the torque sensing software on that bike, "some of the best I have tested . . . efficient, responsive, and natural" (minute 3). And the motor is six pounds, hardly "incredibly heavy." Not pointing my finger at Jan, just a significantly different experience and perspective on Pedego.
 

TomAllyn

New Member
You get what you pay for Tom. As Court says between minute five and six in his Pedago Ridge Runner video review, "A really solid offering at this price point." Although $400 more than the amount you communicated you wanted to spend.

As far as minimal exercise value, the recent Pedago proportional power delivery torque sensor system is ideal for working out among it's four levels of assist. Court calls the torque sensing software on that bike, "some of the best I have tested . . . efficient, responsive, and natural" (minute 3). And the motor is six pounds, hardly "incredibly heavy." Not pointing my finger at Jan, just a significantly different experience and perspective on Pedego.

Yes I agree about the quality and intend on checking out a local Pedago dealer. I've decided a couple things I'm going to buy local and I'm now willing to spend up to $4000. I've still got a little time, because I'm waiting for a Home Equity Loan to go through.

However, I have also realized that I have something else to concern myself with. I have had both carpal tunnel syndromE and pronator syndrome surgery on my right side and am 20% disabled. I may not be able to ride an upright bike and my have to start considering recumbent bikes - not something I'm very keen on. I may not have a choice though. I'm wondering if there is any way to get a bike that has a throttle on the left side if so I may be able to still manage riding with my brace on my right hand and wrist. Gel gloves might help too.
 

TomAllyn

New Member
Today I went to 2 shops and test drove Pedego Interceptor and City Commuter. I was amazed by the build quality and handling of both bikes and found both bikes even over the cobblestones in Old Sacramento to not be unbearable. I could easily get up to 20 miles an hour in assist and I didn't even get into the highest gear.

I then test drove a Specialized Turbo, Raleigh Detour iE - 2016 and Raleigh Detour iE - 2015. Frankly, after riding the Pedegos I was not impressed at all with any of them. I couldn't get any of the bikes to 20 miles an hour and over rough patches the bikes were beyond unbearable.

I plan within the next week or two to drive to another bike shop about 45 minutes away that has a lot of the other brands that have been highly touted on this site in reviews.
 
Wow Tom. I own a 2015 Raleigh Detour iE and a 2016 Pedego Ridge Rider and I agree with everything you said. But then I bought the Raleigh at just about half the price of the Pedego on close-out for $1,699. I added a BodyFloat to the Raleigh and it improved the bump absorption dramatically and I still use that bike satisfactorily. I took it for a six mile dash tonight, but you're right, cobblestone is no place for that road bike.

Here are some thoughts. If you end up going with either the Interceptor or City Commuter you can't go wrong (Ridge Rider and Interceptor in the picture from a Nashville ride and my Detour iE). If you need the range the upgraded 15 ah battery is worth it, the range is tremendous.

While there's great stuff out there, like you I did a ton of research and I happened to end up purchasing the Ridge Rider and I'll just mention briefly why, and suggest you try one.

First, I decided whatever I bought next I would try to have the battery integrated in to the down tube. The Ridge Rider had that (in picture 3 those two bikes have different ah batteries in their downtubes, 14 and 11.6, but undetectable from the outside) and it is a stout mountain bike; but, to my amazement on a 28 mile road loop in Franklin, TN, it is a premiere road bike too. Between the wide tires and an adjustable air front suspension with 100mm of travel the ride on the road is amazing, I would think the air suspension on the Ridge Rider would smooth out cobblestone very nicely.

You'll also find four torque sensored assist levels that taken together with the 20 available gears are great for any level of work-out you want, one cadence sensor level if you just want to fly using the bike's muscle but still pedaling, then there's throttle only level, and throttle over-ride throughout. While the bike's max is 20 mph, there is a pretty easy to access software setting that ups that to 25 mph (I'll not activate that as you up the chances of a pretty good hospital stay if you eat it).

On the Pedego sub-forum you can see my range test where a buddy went 24.2 miles with 66% battery remaining with the 11 ah battery, there is an out-of-production 14 ah out there (which I have), and an upcoming 17 ah. And of course being a mountain bike the build is very stout. The bike is already set up for a rear rack and I'll get another BodyFloat. At 5'9" it would fit you perfect. At 6'1" I am having to raise the handlebars 4". There's a lot of great bikes out there, just giving my narrative of why I landed where I did. Oh yes, I bought from a Pedego only dealer and the customer service was just amazing.

FullSizeRender 4 copy.jpg IMG_2604.JPG 2RidgeRiders.jpg
 
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TrevorB

Active Member
Don't overlook bikes with rigid forks as good aftermarket commuter bike air shocks (50-63mm) are only $200. Typically it is high end models that only offer air shocks so up grading a lower end model maybe cheaper.
 

TomAllyn

New Member
Don't overlook bikes with rigid forks as good aftermarket commuter bike air shocks (50-63mm) are only $200. Typically it is high end models that only offer air shocks so up grading a lower end model maybe cheaper.
Good point! I may be foolish, but any bike I buy is going to have to be built and perform at least as well as the Pedegos I test road and have similar size tires.
 

Adrian

Active Member
I have 't seen anyone mention the Juiced cargo bikes yet. Has several battery options including a 32ah battery which is about as big as it gets on a bicycle and built for heavy lifting. Inexpensive too.

http://www.juicedbikes.com/
 

Adrian

Active Member
Thanks everyone for the replies. I'd really like something that I could haul up to 4 bags of groceries, but one thing I forgot to mention is I live in an upstairs apartment size Condo so hauling a cargo bike up the stairs might be too much of a challenge.
The problem you have there is that even a light electric bike is going to weigh something more than a normal bike, and even carrying a normal bike up stairs is a PITA.

If you want an electric bike that carries a heavy rider (240lbs/110kg) and 4 shopping bags worth of groceries any distance at reasonable speeds reliably you will need a strong bike and large battery - 22 miles, that's asking a lot out of what goes for an average sized ebike battery carrying a load at speed. A larger battery adds weight. A strong, reliable bike (usually) adds weight too.

Of course, if you can, you can charge at work taking the 22 required miles to 11, still, there are advantages to having a much larger battery capacity.

If I were you, I'd find somewhere I could park the bike on the ground, buy the best lock you can afford and take the battery in with you - perhaps you can find theft insurance that will cover it too. If you go for a cargo type bike, they are probably going to be less attractive to your average bike thief unlike a full suspension bling bike, Stromer STx or any of the lookalikes. Doing that frees you up from the "weight up the stairs" concern and you can go for something more suitable to the job at hand.
 

TrevorB

Active Member
Good point! I may be foolish, but any bike I buy is going to have to be built and perform at least as well as the Pedegos I test road and have similar size tires.
With good shocks and seat post suspension the bike can use thinner more efficient tyres.

If you do plan on fitting aftermarket suspension make sure the bike supports it, the likes of Pedegos with their curved rigid forks may not take a suspension fork.
 

TomAllyn

New Member
With good shocks and seat post suspension the bike can use thinner more efficient tyres.

If you do plan on fitting aftermarket suspension make sure the bike supports it, the likes of Pedegos with their curved rigid forks may not take a suspension fork.
This makes perfect sense, but the issue is that adding suspension will also add significant weight at least I suspect it would. So with the Specialized Turbo, Raleigh Detour iE - 2016 and Raleigh Detour iE - 2015 regardless which gear I was in I could never reach 20 miles per hour. On the Pedego's I easily reached 20 miles per hour. Was that due to the Motor Size? If so what minimum motor size do I need to get my 245 lbs body easily up to 20 miles per hour.
 
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