Hello :-) I'm checking for info re: mid-drive motors...

judy c

New Member
I'm new on the forum, and for the past 6 mths I've been researching for an ebike to meet my specific needs. In my past life, I was a recreational Triathlete, when two MVA rear-enders ended my training to competitive, permanently altering my lifestyle. Years later, I seek to reactivate my cycling passion, and am checking into 4 possibilities for ebikes, focusing on light weight, mid-drive motor, 20" wheels, quality components, prefer belt over chain, reliability, ease of maintenance, etc... my question for those mechanically experienced: What's the differences in performance, quality, reliability for mid-drives of - Dapu MD500 (Ariel Rider M Class), Bosch Performance Line CX (R&M Tinker Vario), Bosh Active Line (Tern Q9), Acheiver (eProdigy Fairweather)?
Also, any one willing to share their personal experiences with these ebikes & their company service/support would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you in advance for your help and for your time :)
Judy
 

KasualObserver

New Member
Hi Judy! So sorry to read about your rear-enders:( I was a free climber myself until a bad climbing accident. Now, with only one good knee left, I only have swimming and biking left to me :)

What I know: I am not familiar with the eProdigy motor, which appears to be a proprietary system, although I suspect it is integrating around a common motor; I have some experience with the two Bosch lines, and I have done a bunch of research on the Dapu motor, since my wife has been interested in an Ariel bike.

Both Bosch lines are very reliable motors and systems, very well supported by Bosch (they are both part of a closed system btw). While their torque numbers and their power (must average 250W over 1/2 hour by law) don't shatter records, they are VERY smooth to the user, and feel more powerful than they should, because of their great assist sensing technology (they use torque sensing, while most other motor systems use cadence sensing, which is not as smooth). On the other hand, there is no independent throttle: you always have to use them in pedal-assist mode. The Performance CX has 50% more torque than the Active Line, and has some more assist percentage as well. We live in the hills, so for me I would only look at the Performance CX, but your conditions might be very different. R&M is super high-end, and I have ridden one of their Performance CX bikes in the hills: it felt good and smooth, even on fairly steep slopes. I have not ridden the Tern Q9, but I rode one of their cargo bikes in the hills (GSD) as well: I was super-impressed by it---but, to be fair, it also uses a Performance CX motor (the Q9 uses the Active Line, which I have ridden in other brands of bikes), and I was not carrying any cargo.

For the Dapu motor, I don't have personal experience. Dapu is owned by a Japanese company, and uses a good number of Japanese parts, but is located in mainland China, I think in Shenzen. The Dapu hub motors get very good press, and get praised for their torque and reliability. On the other hand, I have read a good number of recent (2018) concerns about the reliability of the mid-drive Dapu motors. In particular, I read that some dealers stopped selling bikes with mid-drive Dapu motors because there were too many after-sale problems. So I am not too sure what to think of that, but I am somewhat leery.

Hope this helps---I am sure that others can fill some of the holes.
 

judy c

New Member
Hi Judy! So sorry to read about your rear-enders:( I was a free climber myself until a bad climbing accident. Now, with only one good knee left, I only have swimming and biking left to me :)

What I know: I am not familiar with the eProdigy motor, which appears to be a proprietary system, although I suspect it is integrating around a common motor; I have some experience with the two Bosch lines, and I have done a bunch of research on the Dapu motor, since my wife has been interested in an Ariel bike.

Both Bosch lines are very reliable motors and systems, very well supported by Bosch (they are both part of a closed system btw). While their torque numbers and their power (must average 250W over 1/2 hour by law) don't shatter records, they are VERY smooth to the user, and feel more powerful than they should, because of their great assist sensing technology (they use torque sensing, while most other motor systems use cadence sensing, which is not as smooth). On the other hand, there is no independent throttle: you always have to use them in pedal-assist mode. The Performance CX has 50% more torque than the Active Line, and has some more assist percentage as well. We live in the hills, so for me I would only look at the Performance CX, but your conditions might be very different. R&M is super high-end, and I have ridden one of their Performance CX bikes in the hills: it felt good and smooth, even on fairly steep slopes. I have not ridden the Tern Q9, but I rode one of their cargo bikes in the hills (GSD) as well: I was super-impressed by it---but, to be fair, it also uses a Performance CX motor (the Q9 uses the Active Line, which I have ridden in other brands of bikes), and I was not carrying any cargo.

For the Dapu motor, I don't have personal experience. Dapu is owned by a Japanese company, and uses a good number of Japanese parts, but is located in mainland China, I think in Shenzen. The Dapu hub motors get very good press, and get praised for their torque and reliability. On the other hand, I have read a good number of recent (2018) concerns about the reliability of the mid-drive Dapu motors. In particular, I read that some dealers stopped selling bikes with mid-drive Dapu motors because there were too many after-sale problems. So I am not too sure what to think of that, but I am somewhat leery.

Hope this helps---I am sure that others can fill some of the holes.
Hello Kasual Observer - great handle!
Thank you for your thoughtful reply :)
I appreciate your time in sharing your understanding & experiences with these mid-drive motors.
I'm on Vancouver Island, Canada, so there are lots of wooded trails & rough roads to check out :)
I haven't found any tech info re: Acheiver... how do I find out how reliable this proprietary motor is... will it always be a secret?
Good to know about Dapu... I'm aware that a few companies will put out an inferior product once their brand name/reputation is well established, for increase profits, a capitalist system *sigh* ... or rigorous testing of new product is incomplete.
What do you mean that "Bosch is a closed system"...? Would you please elaborate, I'm not understanding... Thank you :)
I'm leaning towards Bosch CX, it sounds perfect for the freedom to bike hills, roads & trails.
Q: what about aluminum vs carbon frames...? most ebike frames are aluminum/aluminum alloy, yet the eProdigy is carbon
What's your take on this... are they equal in regards to strength, wear & tear, etc...?
Thank you for your time :)
Judy
 

KasualObserver

New Member
Judy, we love Vancouver Island. Until very recently, we lived in the country in the northern midwest, and our life was very outdoorsy. We had a long road trip to BC 2 summers ago with the kids, and my boys LOVED the place, both the outdoors and the city.

* Bosch is a closed system: Bosch sells ALL the parts integrating together, and does not allow integrators to take some Bosch parts and use them with other parts from other OEMs. They also don't allow people to open and repair their assemblies: it all has to be done by them. More or less everything electric but the bike must be Bosch. Most other companies will agree to sell you a motor or a display etc. and let you put them together the way you want.

* Ariel quality: I have read really good things about the company. I am thinking that, if it is true that the Dapu mid-drive has more reliability problems, they may have got caught by it too without wanting to. But, again, I don't have personal experience with this, so I am just concerned about the issue. I was going to call Ariel and talk to them directly to ask more questions. But I have also read that there were significant customer support problems last year. Possibly it got solved, though (see the Ariel subforum here).

* aluminum vs carbon frames: I may not be the best person to ask because I am somewhat prejudiced against carbon (although I used to build carbon racing sailboats...). I have 4 LeMond Poprad 853 moly frames, because I dislike the fact that carbon can shatter in some conditions. I have seen quite a few carbon forks fail. For ebikes, the motor torque is 3 to 5 times higher than a regular cyclist on an MTB for instance, and I know it puts quite a bit of stress on the drivetrain, particularly mid-drives. Carbon is very stiff (you want that) but also more susceptible to shatter. Aluminum is more ductile and less likely to break (although I just read on reddit a guy who had his moped-like frame break on him, I think it was aluminum..). So, in the general case, when you look at good quality frames, you would expect carbon to be stiffer but also more susceptible to catastrophic failure, I think. In the low-end frames, I know a lot of really trashy aluminum frames :)

On the other hand, as an ex-triathlete, you are probably not putting a lot of stress on those frames: so possibly it is not too much of an issue for you? For me, I would pick aluminum rather than carbon but I mass a lot more than you.

* [Edit: forgot to discuss eProdigy] I think you need to look at all that was published on this system, in particular by unbiased third parties, and find out if someone ever discussed it. Possibly you can call the company and ask directly? I am pretty sure they did not design a motor from scratch. You may also want to see what users say about their bikes, but, if possible, not on the company web site, because too often they just discard bad reviews on their own sites. I'd love to know what you find out.

Hope this is clear :) It is, to a degree, a matter of opinion, and some may disagree with me.
 
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judy c

New Member
Judy, we love Vancouver Island. Until very recently, we lived in the country in the northern midwest, and our life was very outdoorsy. We had a long road trip to BC 2 summers ago with the kids, and my boys LOVED the place, both the outdoors and the city.

* Bosch is a closed system: Bosch sells ALL the parts integrating together, and does not allow integrators to take some Bosch parts and use them with other parts from other OEMs. They also don't allow people to open and repair their assemblies: it all has to be done by them. More or less everything electric but the bike must be Bosch. Most other companies will agree to sell you a motor or a display etc. and let you put them together the way you want.

* Ariel quality: I have read really good things about the company. I am thinking that, if it is true that the Dapu mid-drive has more reliability problems, they may have got caught by it too without wanting to. But, again, I don't have personal experience with this, so I am just concerned about the issue. I was going to call Ariel and talk to them directly to ask more questions. But I have also read that there were significant customer support problems last year. Possibly it got solved, though (see the Ariel subforum here).

* aluminum vs carbon frames: I may not be the best person to ask because I am somewhat prejudiced against carbon (although I used to build carbon racing sailboats...). I have 4 LeMond Poprad 853 moly frames, because I dislike the fact that carbon can shatter in some conditions. I have seen quite a few carbon forks fail. For ebikes, the motor torque is 3 to 5 times higher than a regular cyclist on an MTB for instance, and I know it puts quite a bit of stress on the drivetrain, particularly mid-drives. Carbon is very stiff (you want that) but also more susceptible to shatter. Aluminum is more ductile and less likely to break (although I just read on reddit a guy who had his moped-like frame break on him, I think it was aluminum..). So, in the general case, when you look at good quality frames, you would expect carbon to be stiffer but also more susceptible to catastrophic failure, I think. In the low-end frames, I know a lot of really trashy aluminum frames :)

On the other hand, as an ex-triathlete, you are probably not putting a lot of stress on those frames: so possibly it is not too much of an issue for you? For me, I would pick aluminum rather than carbon but I mass a lot more than you.

* [Edit: forgot to discuss eProdigy] I think you need to look at all that was published on this system, in particular by unbiased third parties, and find out if someone ever discussed it. Possibly you can call the company and ask directly? I am pretty sure they did not design a motor from scratch. You may also want to see what users say about their bikes, but, if possible, not on the company web site, because too often they just discard bad reviews on their own sites. I'd love to know what you find out.

Hope this is clear :) It is, to a degree, a matter of opinion, and some may disagree with me.
Hello KO - 'Knock Out' :-D
Thank you for your reply, much appreciated!
So glad you & your family enjoyed Vancouver Island... there's something magical about the wildness of the island - wooded forests, camping & trails , fresh ocean breezes on sandy beaches, eagles & orcas, tides, seafood, etc...

* Bosch's closed system... thank you for the great explanation, got it, thank you!

* Ariel... I'd like to know what you find out from them... if the Dapu issues has been resolved, then the M Class is a consideration...

* Aluminum vs Carbon frames... re: carbon, yes, I had read of a few catastrophic fails with forks; good info re the added torque from a mid-drive on carbon frames, wouldn't want to experience an epic fail :-(.
re: aluminum frames, what's the difference between the Ariel Rider M Class alloy aluminum vs the R&M Tinker aluminum... or are they equal?
Also, is the R&M brand name/reputation more trustworthy, above the Ariel Rider company...?

* e-Prodigy's Acheiver mid-drive... I can't find anything more, pros or cons, reviews, on the internet... don't feel comfortable investing in an 'unknown' mid-drive... it may be a brilliant mid-drive, but before I decide, I'd need a good review from a mechanical engineer/tech.

Wishing you & your family a Happy Thanksgiving, Canada style :)

Cheers!
 

judy c

New Member
I have an eProdigy Magic Pro and while the motor is a good one I wouldn't purchase another bike from them.
Hello Feliz,
Thank you for your comment...
I'm curious as to your experience... what happened?
I don't have money to play with, so need to make a wise decision...
looking for a really good product, reliability, excellent after sales service, etc...
I'd like to hear more about your experience.
Thank YOU :)
Judy
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Did you look at the posts in the eProdigy section? You won't learn everything you want to know from a few posts, I've been riding eBikes for years and currently own eight, this forum is a wealth of information, start reading.

The "achiever" is a proprietory mid drive designed by the company's owner, watch the videos on utube, I believe his daughter still runs the company. Why are you not considering all the other mid drives? I had a Haibike Trekking with the CX mid drive and got rid of the bike I found the motor lacking. My favourite mid drive is the Yamaha followed by Brose, both are on mountain bikes which if I lived where you do is the kind of bike I would want. I have two bikes with Bafang mid drives but you don't mention them.

I don't have the time or patience to educate you in eBikes but if you posted this question in the General section you'll get more advice than you want. I love the island, I lived in Vancouver but had an office in Victoria for 35 years and travelled every bit of the Island. I always travelled with a bike in my truck and rode in every corner of VI. Good luck.

I live in the Okanagan, come up for a weekend and you can ride any of my bikes on our wonderful rail trail. Don't worry, I'm 80 and harmless.
 
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KasualObserver

New Member
* Ariel... I'd like to know what you find out from them... if the Dapu issues has been resolved, then the M Class is a consideration...

re: aluminum frames, what's the difference between the Ariel Rider M Class alloy aluminum vs the R&M Tinker aluminum... or are they equal?
Also, is the R&M brand name/reputation more trustworthy, above the Ariel Rider company...?
* Ariel: I talked to them Friday. I got a hold of someone right away, I think one of the owners---that's a good thing since last year people were complaining of not being able to get a hold of someone there for support issues. He told me that the only aftermarket problem they ever had with the Dapu was from a customer who had submerged it. Of course, I am only reporting what he told me.

* R&M vs Ariel: Ariel is a small local company, but R&M is the Rolls Royce of e-bikes. They are very well known and super-expensive. Between the two bikes here, I think the Ariel is about $2.5K and the Tinker $5.5K ($US---I did not shop for them, just looked up quickly, could be a bit off but not much). So, in term of reputation, R&M is very high and builds reliable bikes, with a good support network (although not at good in North America as in Europe). At the same time, their pricing makes me gasp :) My wife is looking at one of their bikes for $6.5K, where the equivalent Ariel bike is less than $2K.

Ultimately, unless you are mechanically and electrically handy, imho a real important part of your decision is whether you have the local bike shop that will maintain your e-bike. Possibly a worthwhile factor to look into?
 
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judy c

New Member
Did you look at the posts in the eProdigy section? You won't learn everything you want to know from a few posts, I've been riding eBikes for years and currently own eight, this forum is a wealth of information, start reading.

The "achiever" is a proprietory mid drive designed by the company's owner, watch the videos on utube, I believe his daughter still runs the company. Why are you not considering all the other mid drives? I had a Haibike Trekking with the CX mid drive and got rid of the bike I found the motor lacking. My favourite mid drive is the Yamaha followed by Brose, both are on mountain bikes which if I lived where you do is the kind of bike I would want. I have two bikes with Bafang mid drives but you don't mention them.

I don't have the time or patience to educate you in eBikes but if you posted this question in the General section you'll get more advice than you want. I love the island, I lived in Vancouver but had an office in Victoria for 35 years and travelled every bit of the Island. I always travelled with a bike in my truck and rode in every corner of VI. Good luck.

I live in the Okanagan, come up for a weekend and you can ride any of my bikes on our wonderful rail trail. Don't worry, I'm 80 and harmless.
Hello Feliz,
Thank you for your response, much appreciated! I'm new to this forum/site, will figure out how to check the eProdigy section for posts :)
Due to 2 MVA rear-enders, I have permanent physical limitations, lost mtb & triathlete lifestyle, so I have very specific needs in an ebike...
I haven't yet come across an ebike that fits my specific needs/parameters, that use a Bafang, Brose, Yamaha, mid-drive motors, so these mid-drives are a moot issue at this time.
Yes, viewed a short youtube video re 'Achiever', no tech specs, just description & PR Mkt'g, useless to make a truly informed decision.
Thank you for the invite to try out ebikes... I'll let you know if I travel that way.
Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family & friends :)
Cheers!
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Hello Feliz,
Thank you for your response, much appreciated! I'm new to this forum/site, will figure out how to check the eProdigy section for posts :)
Due to 2 MVA rear-enders, I have permanent physical limitations, lost mtb & triathlete lifestyle, so I have very specific needs in an ebike...
I haven't yet come across an ebike that fits my specific needs/parameters, that use a Bafang, Brose, Yamaha, mid-drive motors, so these mid-drives are a moot issue at this time.
Yes, viewed a short youtube video re 'Achiever', no tech specs, just description & PR Mkt'g, useless to make a truly informed decision.
Thank you for the invite to try out ebikes... I'll let you know if I travel that way.
Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family & friends :)
Cheers!
Where would you purchase an Ariel bike in Canada?
Just go to discussion by brand. What kind of bike is it you need?
 

judy c

New Member
Where would you purchase an Ariel bike in Canada?
Just go to discussion by brand. What kind of bike is it you need?
Ariel bike in Canada... would have to figure it out how to purchase & bring it across Trump's guarded US border with least cost/fees...
Ebike needs: 20" wheels, responsive & reliable mid-drive, light weight, prefer belt over chain, quality components, compact size, performance for hills, trails, street, low maintenance, etc...
It doesn't have to be brand specific, just wanting to get back into doing what I love :)
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
I ask because I tried purchasing an Ariel and I wasn't able to. Getting a bike into Canada can be an expensive proposition if it isn't sold here. I just purchased a Watt Wagon Commuter put together by a guy in Boston and it turned into a nightmare, getting a battery over the border is next to impossible. Ariel make nice bikes though. Let me know if I can be of any additional help. Happy Thanksgiving.🦃
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Ariel bike in Canada... would have to figure it out how to purchase & bring it across Trump's guarded US border with least cost/fees...
Ebike needs: 20" wheels, responsive & reliable mid-drive, light weight, prefer belt over chain, quality components, compact size, performance for hills, trails, street, low maintenance, etc...
It doesn't have to be brand specific, just wanting to get back into doing what I love :)
HI Judy! My wife and I have almost 20,000 kms between us on our Bosch CX motors . We have had ZERO issues with either motors or batteries.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
HI Judy! My wife and I have almost 20,000 kms between us on our Bosch CX motors . It is their best for climbing power. We have had ZERO issues with either motors or batteries. I know that Citrus cycles in Ladysmith sells many quality Bosch powered bikes including the Tern and the R+M Tinker. If you plan to do much riding you should get the larger 500 battery.
 
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judy c

New Member

Hello Steve,
Thank you so much for sharing yours & your wife's experience with Bosch CX motors & batteries, sounds great!
I will check it out :)
R&M ebikes do seem to be the Rolls Royce of ebikes... I guess it's like everything else, you get what you pay for :)

Q: re Tern, how do their folding frames hold up structure/rigidity wise, as compared to the compact solid frames...?
My ebike use is for regular roads, rough trails, hills, off road stuff such as gravel areas, small bumps, jumps, etc...?

Thanks again for your time... I want to learn as much as possible before I commit the investment.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you & your wife, family & friends - Canada style :)

Judy
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Hello Steve,
Thank you so much for sharing yours & your wife's experience with Bosch CX motors & batteries, sounds great!
I will check it out :)
R&M ebikes do seem to be the Rolls Royce of ebikes... I guess it's like everything else, you get what you pay for :)

Q: re Tern, how do their folding frames hold up structure/rigidity wise, as compared to the compact solid frames...?
My ebike use is for regular roads, rough trails, hills, off road stuff such as gravel areas, small bumps, jumps, etc...?

Thanks again for your time... I want to learn as much as possible before I commit the investment.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you & your wife, family & friends - Canada style :)

Judy
I cannot speak about Tern bikes as except for the components I have little firsthand knowledge of their bikes. I only mentioned them because they have several models with 20 " tires. For rough roads you will want a good shock ( I prefer an air shock ) . For wet gravel with hills you will not want balloon tires but some at least medium knobbies. Since the 20" tires have less air volume you will appreciate a good gel seat ( I settled on a Selle Royale Respiro) and a good seatpost suspension ( I am satisfied with a Thudbuster sd and I know Alaskan likes his Kinekt body float). I REALLY hate flats so extra puncture proofing in the tires are a must for me. I also use Tannus Armour inserts . With these you are not only much less likely to puncture but can probably ride home in limp mode if you do. It is great that you are doing your homework first. This is my second bike. I did little homework on my first bike and got what I deserved. After I learned more, I rewatched Court's reviews with new eyes . Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
Your Tern Q9’s 20” wheels will be a bumpy ride... But if easy access is what you’re looking for then it might be the right type of bike.

The Haibike Radius Tour is another small wheeled bike. Not sure if it’s available in Canada.

Since you’re a Triathlete, I imagine that your cycling cadence could be quite high. If so, this is something you should consider when choosing a drive system. The Bosch Performance line drives assist you up to 120 RPMs. The Active line assists you to a lower value. So the question is do you spin or do you mash? If you spin light and fast, you’ll probably like the Bosch Performance line drives. If you press hard and slowly on the pedals, you might like the Yamaha drives (Haibike Radius Tour mentioned above). The Yamaha has a lot of low end grunt. However, some Yamaha drive models cut off assist at a quite low cadence (it’s the case of the Radius Tour and its PW series drive). The assist limit means that you have to change gears more often in traffic to accelerate. With the Bosch Performance, you can just spin a little faster to continue accelerating instead of upshifting. If you have a series of lights, it saves a lot of gear shifts...

As for the Bosch Active line, you’ll have both lower torque and cadence than with the Performance CX. This is a disadvantage if you have hills or if you need to navigate in traffic. The Bosch Active line is for ‘mellow’ riders without too many hills whereas the CX is for sportier riders. However, if you’re lean and fit the Active line might still be sufficient. I would recommend a demo of both drives to get an idea.
 
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judy c

New Member
Your Tern Q9’s 20” wheels will be a bumpy ride... But if easy access is what you’re looking for then it might be the right type of bike.

The Haibike Radius Tour is another small wheeled bike. Not sure if it’s available in Canada.

Since you’re a Triathlete, I imagine that your cycling cadence could be quite high. If so, this is something you should consider when choosing a drive system. The Bosch Performance line drives assist you up to 120 RPMs. The Active line assists you to a lower value. So the question is do you spin or do you mash? If you spin light and fast, you’ll probably like the Bosch Performance line drives. If you press hard and slowly on the pedals, you might like the Yamaha drives (Haibike Radius Tour mentioned above). The Yamaha has a lot of low end grunt. However, some Yamaha drive models cut off assist at a quite low cadence (it’s the case of the Radius Tour and its PW series drive). The assist limit means that you have to change gears more often in traffic to accelerate. With the Bosch Performance, you can just spin a little faster to continue accelerating instead of upshifting. If you have a series of lights, it saves a lot of gear shifts...

As for the Bosch Active line, you’ll have both lower torque and cadence than with the Performance CX. This is a disadvantage if you have hills or if you need to navigate in traffic. The Bosch Active line is for ‘mellow’ riders without too many hills whereas the CX is for sportier riders. However, if you’re lean and fit the Active line might still be sufficient. I would recommend a demo of both drives to get an idea.
Hello JayVee,
All right! Great info :) ... I was a recreational triathlete in a past life & training to competitive level, when 2 MVA rear-enders resulted in permanent physical limitations & forced a significant lifestyle change... I need to get back to cycling, freedom & joy, and an ebike that meets my needs will do it :) I was always an aggressive athlete, loved to spin, had a need for speed... sounds like the Bosch Performance CX will be a great fit :-D

I did check the Haibike Radius Tour and it's no longer available :-(

Thanks again for your description of these mid-drive motors & their performance... you're a wealth of information - so grateful for you sharing your knowledge & experience... I'm feeling more confident in what I need in an ebike... I'll look to do a few test rides and hopefully have an ebike before too long :)

Have a fun-tastic week!
Cheers!