Ebike for commuting, urban exploring

onethinline

New Member
Hey all. Decided to get a bike again after about a decade without one. A friend sold me pretty well on the idea of an ebike, so I’ve spent the past week going down that research rabbit hole. The bike will be for my commute to and from work (about 5 miles round trip), but also as a flexible way to get around the city and have more urban adventures. I like a sportier, more forward riding position, and lighter, simpler bikes are appealing.

I‘ve done a handful of test rides now, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to either a Gazelle CityZen T10 Speed, or a Riese & Muller Roadster. I’m leaning toward the CityZen because it’s available within a few weeks and costs several thousand less, whereas the Riese & Muller will take 6-8 weeks with expedited air shipping, plus extra cost. Given I don’t have any bike at all right now, availability does have some weight for me. (I was also looking at the new Trek Allant+ series, but it looks like preorders for those are arriving early 2020.)

With the CityZen, I think I’d have the shop add the suspension seat post, because the ride was a bit rough otherwise. And comfort is one thing the R&M Roadster has going for it. Otherwise, seems like the same Bosch system, both well-made, etc. I also like the looks of the Gazelle more.

I also enjoyed a test ride of the Stromer ST1 X, but seeing so many mentions of reliability issues (even the shop confirmed these come in more than Bosch system bikes) made me pretty hesitant there.

I’m planning on buying from New Wheel here in SF since I like their service plans (including roadside assistance), and they’ve been great so far. But: any thoughts or advice on my thinking here?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Two great bikes, particularly since they lowered the price of the Gazelle by a grand. New Wheel are one of the top 5 ebike stores in the US. Another lightweight choice might be an Orbea Optima, but I expect you’ll be happier with the Class 3 performance of the Gazelle.
 
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Two great bikes, particularly since they lowered the price of the Gazelle by a grand. New Wheel are one of the top 5 ebike stores in the US. Another lightweight choice might be an Orbea Optima, but I expect you’ll be happier with the Class 3 performance of the Gazelle.
I think you mean CityZen instead of Gazelle.
 

hurricane56

Active Member
+1 for New Wheel. Depending on where you’re located in the Bay, you could check out Motostrano in Redwood City. They usually have good inventory and previous year model sales. The service department during my last few visits needs improvement and I think New Wheel has them beat in this area.
 

onethinline

New Member
Thanks for the help! I just placed my order for the CityZen T10, and I'm having them put in seat post suspension. I'm excited!
 

Normalization

New Member
I bought my Riese and Muller Roadster from The New Wheel in SF a few months ago, and have put about 700 miles on it since then. They were great during and after the sale and I've enjoyed the visits I've made since then for various upgrades, accessories, and a tune-up.

You've already made your decision, but I thought I'd weigh in for the Roadster since it's what I've got. It rides great and it's surprisingly nimble for how hefty of a bike it is. Luckily for me, I didn't have to wait for a custom-ordered Roadster from R&M since The New Wheel happened to have the exact configuration I wanted in stock, so I put in the order and they had it ready for me the very next week.

So far, I haven't had any issues with the bike. The brakes work well and the shifting is perfectly fine. I can easily maintain 20mph and push to around 25 on flat ground. I've had the handlebar grips replaced with Ergon grips because the stock round grips made my wrists hurt. I highly recommend the grips, along with a handlebar mirror if your bike doesn't come with one. The Minoura phone mount that The New Wheel sells has worked well for me so far - hasn't dropped my phone yet and it mounts and releases the phone easily. I don't have the seat post suspension yet, but the front fork suspension and standing on the pedals for larger bumps has been sufficient for my commute thus far.

Overall, it's a great bike and I love riding it, not just to commute but also for fun. The New Wheel's been a great bike shop to work with and I'm planning on getting a service membership the next time I go in.
 

onethinline

New Member
Welp, I just got the call that the bike is ready. Planning on picking it up this afternoon! I'm excited, as well as slightly nervous for the ride home across town, though this will be a great test of exactly what an ebike is good for.
 

onethinline

New Member
Picked up the bike yesterday afternoon. Really great overview and set-up experience with New Wheel (they’ve been great overall). Rode across the city to meet a friend on the way home, and I have to say, riding a conventional bike in the weeks I was waiting for this one left me having forgotten how fun ebikes are. I had a BLAST. Huge grin the whole time. It took me all of 15 minutes to get there, and the whole time I felt very capable and empowered. Getting up to a good speed from a stop is so easy (and so fun). I really felt like I was cheating on my other bike. This Gazelle is going to be ideal not just for my daily commute, but for any sort of getting around town, running errands, etc.

Only downside so far is it is indeed heavy compared to my road bike (no surprise there), so I can’t just lift and reposition it with ease the way I normally would. But I’m sure I’ll get used to that.

I really get why an ebike makes biking places a “no brainer.” Well, until it rains. I’m going to have to gear up for that... :)