A lot of help needed.

Discussion in 'Help Choosing an Ebike' started by medulla, May 20, 2017.

  1. medulla

    medulla New Member

    Hello everyone, hope all are well.
    I've recently become interested in Electric Bikes out of random for not a particular reason.
    To be perfectly honest, I haven't been on a bike in MANY years however do know how to use one. Also, this electric bike won't be replacing any way of commute, I live in a city where cars are a necessity and drive more than 2000 miles a month.

    So why an electric bike? It's just been an interest and I find it quite fascinating. I don't see myself using a normal bike for any sort of physical activity however could see myself implementing an electric bike in my life to ride around and hopefully have an affect on physical activity.

    A couple of standard requirements would be it being comfortable to ride and sit on, nothing that would require building it, so just an easily ordered bike, something that does hold value should I decide to sell it. A typical ride every now and then could be up to 25 miles on the bike, nothing more than that really. I'm under 5"8 and weight about 170lbs if that makes any difference.

    I don't have a price in mind, however I wouldn't like to spend more than necessary for something that could be used very infrequently, however do want something well made and from a reputable company, so I could justify the cost for the product.

    If anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate that. If anymore information is needed, please do ask.
    Thank you guys in advance.

  2. Please support your local electric bike shop! These guys work hard offering test rides, sharing expertise and performing support.
    EBR strives to be impartial, we don't sell bikes ourselves and keep ads limited and relevant. Donations are greatly appreciated.

  3. medulla

    medulla New Member

  4. Rincon

    Rincon Active Member

    You need to visit a local e-bike shop, see what is available, ask questions, and test ride. Posting here is good, but you mention you live in a city. The best education is seeing for yourself. Not every brand recommended here will be available at your local shops. If there is local support, take advantage of it.

    Have fun!
  5. medulla

    medulla New Member

    That's very true and I appreciate your answer, I was planning on doing that as soon as I can however just wanted to see what people use if any has anything similar to what I need it for.
  6. Dewey

    Dewey Active Member

    Suggested e-bikes in the $2500-3000 range:

    If you have Trek dealer near you, you might like to try the Lift+ and Electra Townie Go! Both come with good quality reliable motors from Shimano and Bosch. The Townie Go! adds lights, fenders, twist-gear shifter, wider tires, cushier saddle, and a more relaxed cruiser bike style low feet-forward high handlebar riding position, versus the Lift+ weighs less, has more powerful hydraulic disc brakes, adjustable handlebar with ergonomic grips, and two extra gears (10 speed vs 8) operated by a trigger shifter.

    If you have a local dealer who can get them in you might also like to try the 2017 Gazelle Arroyo C8 or 2017 Kalkhoff Agattu B8. Both are European made e-bikes with Bosch motors, Magura hydraulic rim brakes, and comfort features that include an upright step-through frame, a suspension seat-post, and a front suspension fork, easily adjustable handlebars with ergonomic grips, 8 speed internal gear hubs operated by a twist shifter, lights and fenders. For 2017 both the Kalkhoff and Gazelle come with the more powerful Bosch Performance Line motor so both bikes would be good choices for climbing hills. Both use smooth combined cadence and torque sensing pedal assist. I test rode the Gazelle and it was very comfortable to ride.

    Suggested e-bikes in the $1500-2000 range:

    Raleigh Sprite iE or iZip E3 Vibe. These are the same bike branded differently, with a step-through frame, adjustable handlebars, basic 7-speed derailleur gears operated by trigger shifters, simple cable pull rim brakes, mid-drive Currie motor with simple cadence sensing pedal assist, and there is an optional 'boost' button throttle. The lower complexity should make either one easier for a local bike shop to service although you would need to take it to a Currie dealer for motor servicing. They are pre-wired for, but don't come fitted with, lights. You might want to add a suspension seat-post like a Suntour NCX or a nicer sprung saddle to soak up the bumps.

    This thread and this thread talk about issues regarding battery storage if you are not planning on using the bike for a period of time. E-bike batteries don't like being left unused, should be kept above freezing in a dry place, and recharged at least every 2-4 months.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  7. JoePah

    JoePah Well-Known Member

    A lot of people are excited by the idea of riding an electric bike, buy one, then use it a couple of times before they park it next to their treadmill.. jk.

    Find a local ebike dealer, or find one in a city you want to explore by bike and test ride a few different types.. Only you know what makes you feel good on it... If you like the test ride find out where you can rent an ebike for an afternoon, and take a friend and have some fun.. Try this for a couple of weekends and see if you're still pysched about owning an ebike.. The worst ebike is the one you abandon cause those batteries never sleep.
  8. medulla

    medulla New Member

    Now you have actually done me a huge favor. This is exactly what I wanted! I totally appreciat it!

    I had a question. When you start looking into Electric bikes, Stromer is one the biggest names putt there and they've pretty muc become one of the biggest ones.

    Is a stromer something I should stay away from beard on my requirements? Or is it good for my requirements?

    Thank you.
    That is exactly what I am going to do once I'm back to my city, I'll start calling up locally and seeing what's possible.
  9. Dewey

    Dewey Active Member

    Stromer e-bikes are in a category called Speed Pedelecs (California Class 3) because they are capable of reaching 28mph. They have a diamond frame, rear hub motor, and a forward leaning control position. They are imported from Switzerland and expensive so I wouldn't call them a 'bigger' brand but are well regarded for the quality of their product.

    Advantages of going with one of the big 3 US bicycle retailers include:
    - their purchasing power means they fit name-brand components,
    - their e-bikes are available in several sizes,
    - they are expanding their shop support network as e-bikes become a more profitable part of their business. In recent years Trek has bought up reputable independent local bike shops and rebranded them as Trek shops.

    This last point might be important if/when you decide to sell your ebike. The motors are bicycle brand independent - any Bosch certified bike shop can diagnose and service a Bosch motor for example. As the first owner you will take the bike back to where you bought it from for warranty issues, but it could make the difference to a prospective buyer if their nearest service facility is miles away and they might prefer to buy a used Trek, Giant or Specialized ebike over a Stromer for that reason. Personally speaking I wouldn't let that put me off buying a European bicycle brand using a quality motor with a wide support network like Bosch, Shimano or Yamaha.

    Another point to consider is E-bike batteries are rated for only a certain number of recharging cycles and will need replacing every few years - where this becomes a problem is when bicycle brands make the decision to use proprietary batteries designed to only fit into their frame or only work with their current preferred motors rather than using a design that bolts onto the bike or one that uses an open electronics architecture. For example the 1st generation Specialized Turbo ebikes using Go SwissDrive hub motors are now out of production after their decision to switch to using Brose mid-drive motors - it remains to be seen for how long Specialized will provide replacement proprietary batteries designed to fit the older frames that will work with their previous motor supplier. To tackle this problem some battery packs can be rebuilt with new battery cells. Another approach was used by Bosch who make converter cables enabling their newer batteries and chargers to plug into their older motors. These are questions to ask the shop before buying but are considerations if you decide to keep the e-bike or sell it on after a few years.

    From Giant or Trek the following are Speed Pedelecs you might like to test-ride :

    Trek XM700 Lowstep - Bosch Performance motor. Despite the name this uses a mid-step frame, but there aren't many step-through Speed Pedelecs because frame flex becomes a handling issue at higher speeds. Mono-shock front suspension fork, ergonomic grips, chain-guard, front light and fenders.

    Giant Quick-E
    - Yamaha motor. Diamond frame comes in 4 sizes. Lights and fenders.
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  10. JohnT

    JohnT Active Member

    I strongly agree with the suggestion to check out local vendors. Riding makes a huge difference in figuring out your preferences. If you came into my shop, I'd talk to you about your needs and expectations, then have you try a couple of bikes that I think would work best. I might even suggest you try something completely different to expand your frame of reference. For most people, some bikes just feel better than others, and you never know until you try them.

    Plus, if you buy from someone nearby, it's much more convenient for service or repairs. If you're not even considering a conversion, I assume you don't want to have to fix things yourself either.
    harryS likes this.