Disability- need some unbiased advice

#1
Hi everyone! I'm about to purchase a folding e-bike (choose this category for space considerations) and would like your advice before spending (to me) a big investment in trying to regain some health.

Through a surgery 'mishap' (well, they DID save my leg) I now have neuropathy on the bottom of 1 foot, so I'm NOT going to be pedaling much (if at all). I'm going to try, but this vehicle is to get me out on walking paths again and out of the car for small shopping trips, etc.

I'm 6'1", 250#, so (as far as I can tell) I need 500W, 36-48V, and as much amperage as I can get in a sturdy (but foldable) package. I need to be as affordable as possible (as I am on disability) and can afford about $1500 out-the-door (fenders & rack, etc).. but I know that quality costs money and I want something that will last.

I've done some research and have some ideas that I won't put here yet; I want to get your unbiased opinion without any defending of my preconceived notions.

Thanks in advance; I hope this sparks a lot of info sharing (& not rivalries!). :^)

Jas in CA
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#3
I suggest that you try different bikes before making a purchase, instead of buying online. A good local bike shop will work with you to find a bike that fits your needs. If you aren't a tinkerer, buying from a local bike shop also means you can get support there for warranty repairs.

I also would recommend a Class 2 ebike, which will have a throttle. That will give you the option of pedaling or not.

Trying bikes at your local bike shop won't obligate you to purchase a bike, but you will be able to see what it feels like, how much you think you will pedal, etc.

Let us know your progress in bike shopping! :)
 
#4
I also wanted to mention that a folding bike still has some weight to it and becomes a little difficult to move around than just a smaller bike that you can wheel around.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
#5
Rad Power bikes just came out with an updated 20" Step-Thru fold design for 2019 along with its regular folding fat tire ebike. The 2019 Radmini Step-Thru looks more for urban riding; but, can still be used for hardpack trail riding. All Rad ebikes are 750w, 14ah battery, 20 mph ebikes with twist throttles. You can also "Ghost Pedal" with the Rad power bikes where you can just lightly rotate the pedals and the motor will provide power up to the selected PAS level.

I don't know if you can add a rear rack; but, you can add a front basket: https://www.radpowerbikes.com/pages/2019
 
#6
We've squeaked-up past my price range almost immediately; looks like $1699 is the popular breaking point.
Rad Mini
Rad Mini Step-Through (announced for 2019)
Veego Fat Tire (integrated lights and rack!)

... And no one's mentioned the Sondors Fold X @ $1129

I think at my weight and my future-use-plans I shouldn't look at lighter frames or thinner wheels (?)... So are these my best and/or only options?

Thank you for the recommendations so far!
 

MikeDD

Active Member
#7
Are you sure you can balance on a bike? I would check out the Liberty Trike. Many people who have health issues like this trike. It does fold, but we seldom fold my wife's. It will fit through a standard door and my wife has ridden it into shops as it has reverse. It has a throttle and climbs hills very well. The frame is made in the USA and the trikes are assembled in Pennsylvania. There is a large users group on Facebook. Someone would let you try their trike. The price is close to your budget and they have sales.

Good Luck in your search.

I also have a Rad Mini. While the frame stepover is low, by the time you raise the seat you have to swing your leg high to get on.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
#8
I hover around 195 lb and ride a lighter weight 20" folder with 1.5" tires. I think 250 is pushing the limits for a bike like mine. The heavier frame 20" fat tire bikes make more sense. . Around 50 pounds, they might be hard to transport unless you have an SUV or hatch with no rear shelf. I wouldn't want to put mine in a trunk.

I do own a 26" fat bike, and there I use smooth tires for better rolling. If we had a rad-mini, I'd be looking for similar tires. More expense, but quieter and extends range on pavement.

Some pedaling might help with physical therapy, even with a numb foot. Good luck to you and hope it all helps.
 
#9
I suggest that you try different bikes before making a purchase, instead of buying online. A good local bike shop will work with you to find a bike that fits your needs. If you aren't a tinkerer, buying from a local bike shop also means you can get support there for warranty repairs.

I also would recommend a Class 2 ebike, which will have a throttle. That will give you the option of pedaling or not.

Trying bikes at your local bike shop won't obligate you to purchase a bike, but you will be able to see what it feels like, how much you think you will pedal, etc.

Let us know your progress in bike shopping! :)
They seem to have just one brand in each of the shops I've been in (& obviously a selling bias to those) which is why the EBR on YouTube has been vital to my research... but I'll try to get hands on with as many of these suggestions as I can.

Thank you!
 
#10
Are you sure you can balance on a bike? I would check out the Liberty Trike. Many people who have health issues like this trike. It does fold, but we seldom fold my wife's. It will fit through a standard door and my wife has ridden it into shops as it has reverse. It has a throttle and climbs hills very well. The frame is made in the USA and the trikes are assembled in Pennsylvania. There is a large users group on Facebook. Someone would let you try their trike. The price is close to your budget and they have sales.

Good Luck in your search.

I also have a Rad Mini. While the frame stepover is low, by the time you raise the seat you have to swing your leg high to get on.
I can balance, and it will be part of my recovery to do so; also I want to be on walking paths without getting in people's way (like on the redwoods walkway).

A step through would be easier, as you suggest; and I'm also looking carefully at bike-weight.

Thanks!
 
#11
I hover around 195 lb and ride a lighter weight 20" folder with 1.5" tires. I think 250 is pushing the limits for a bike like mine. The heavier frame 20" fat tire bikes make more sense. . Around 50 pounds, they might be hard to transport unless you have an SUV or hatch with no rear shelf. I wouldn't want to put mine in a trunk.

I do own a 26" fat bike, and there I use smooth tires for better rolling. If we had a rad-mini, I'd be looking for similar tires. More expense, but quieter and extends range on pavement.

Some pedaling might help with physical therapy, even with a numb foot. Good luck to you and hope it all helps.
Yes, if my for were just numb I would be out walking & pedaling. Unfortunately nerve damage causes an array of pain and the confused signals along a damaged path range from numb/tingling/low-voltage-shocks/lightning-bolt-shocks to even light touch (like socks). So I'll be trying various methods over the next few years, but require fill direct drive with whatever I buy so I can get home on full power of I need to.

Thank you, I appreciate your help!
 
#12
Veego Fat Tire or Semi-Fat? 500W-48V-13Ah and 400W-36V-13Ah respectively (2nd numbers are drooping out of my requirements maybe, but only 53#)
 
#13
Well I have had a bike since May. I am 79 and have bad feet for walking along with the cardio issues. My first thought is weight of the bike, not just for transporting, but for control. Mine is really too heavy for me (60lbs with battery; my wife has same model but is a step through and a lighter battery that comes in in the low 50's. BIG difference. Light weight, step through and ability to do the whole satisfying trip home on battery are my concerns. It really is great out there but also can be dangerous and too much bike is OK at 40 but not with disabilities
 
#14
I have had several people come to my shop that were in your exact situation. (neuropathy in one foot). Not to discourage you, but an ebike was not a good solution for any of them. Not being able use one foot to pedal, and to assist with balance, and the coordination of entry and exit of the ebike, folding or otherwise, just does not work out to be a safe solution. Additionally, these ebikes while capable of being operated with throttle, are not really designed for that use full time.

yes it is a vehicle you can get below your $1500 price point, from firms like Magnum (their Classic), or Blix (Vika+ or Vika Travel), but you may find that it is a challenge to keep your foot on the pedal, as others who came to investigate, or more of a challenge of what to do getting off, and on, or simply being comfortable in sudden stops or turns. You may also find you need some sort of 'cradle' for one of the pedals, or straps....Which then presents other issues.

I certainly wish you the best though, and hope you find a viable solution.

P.S. if your budget ever is able to increase you might want to consider a Whill Personal Mobility vehicle.
 
#15
I have had several people come to my shop that were in your exact situation. (neuropathy in one foot). Not to discourage you, but an ebike was not a good solution for any of them. Not being able use one foot to pedal, and to assist with balance, and the coordination of entry and exit of the ebike, folding or otherwise, just does not work out to be a safe solution. Additionally, these ebikes while capable of being operated with throttle, are not really designed for that use full time.

yes it is a vehicle you can get below your $1500 price point, from firms like Magnum (their Classic), or Blix (Vika+ or Vika Travel), but you may find that it is a challenge to keep your foot on the pedal, as others who came to investigate, or more of a challenge of what to do getting off, and on, or simply being comfortable in sudden stops or turns. You may also find you need some sort of 'cradle' for one of the pedals, or straps....Which then presents other issues.

I certainly wish you the best though, and hope you find a viable solution.

P.S. if your budget ever is able to increase you might want to consider a Whill Personal Mobility vehicle.
Thanks for the info, Mike; you haven't discouraged me, but I will consider the info.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
#16
Find a step through flat foot like a Townie, Smoothie, or similar. I’m really pretty gimped up, each year a bit worse. They will take the weight and are super easy to mount and stopping means just staying on the seal with both feet flat.
 

Bruce Arnold

Well-Known Member
#17
Test ride bikes if you can. Wish I could have, although it worked out fine. Don't hesitate to buy online from a reputable manufacturer. There are risks, but buying from an LBS is no guarantee of trouble-free ownership.
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#19
Keep in mind that the Electra Townie is pedal assist.
Yes, good to keep ebike classes in mind:
Class 1: Pedal assist only, up to 20mph, no throttle.
Class 2: Pedal assist and throttle, up to 20mph.
Class 3: No throttle, goes faster (28mph?)

I have a Class 2 ebike. I use the throttle for starting on hills, and, well, often for starting in other situations, also. :) I also use it when I encounter sudden hills because it's easier to add some throttle than to adjust the PAS suddenly from a lower to a much higher level.
 
#20
The E-Lux Sierra seems to have everything done right.. integrated head- and tail- lights, maybe a bit light on Amps compared to the 14Ah's that are showing up lately; but a usb on the screen AND on the battery itself?! Brilliant!