Help an old fat fart find a bike!

ruffruff

New Member
I'm 59 and want to get back into biking. I loved mountain biking back before life happened.
So I'm looking at an ebike to get back into light off roading and tar trail riding.

I've gone down the rabbit hole and have research fatigue.
I know i need to actually ride some but shops around here are pretty limited.

A local shop carries Bintelli but I can't find a lot of info.
I've looked at a bunch online like:
juiced
Rad
Rambo
etc.

My wife and I are going to rent Pedego's to try ebiking for the first time next weekend.

I'm also a big DIY guy and would not be intimidated by a conversion project.
Thoughts and help to point me in the right direction would be appreciated.
Peace out!
 

macdude22

New Member
I was 295 (down to 275) when I got my Giant LaFree E+1. It did not disapoint and holds my fat arse just fine. I think the yamaha drive system's are the best on the market. I don't think you would be disappointed in one of the giant E-mtb models. IMO the pedegos are overpriced. $3000+ for hub drive, no thanks.
 
What's your price range?
What distances will you travel?
Hills?
Will your wife pedal as much as you will? My wife and I decided that we wanted different things out of an eBike - but we both needed the same range and on/off road ability.

Renting through Pedego is a fine way to start - you might want to go earlier and test ride some bikes. The dealer near my let's you take them out for up to 90 minutes for free. They have both hub and mid-drive versions, so I'd suggest test riding one of each before deciding which one to rent.

But, since you're a "DIY guy" you should know that Pedego's business model is aimed at full local support, and as a result their bikes are more expensive than roughly equivalent options with less support/warranty.
 

ruffruff

New Member
I was 295 (down to 275) when I got my Giant LaFree E+1. It did not disapoint and holds my fat arse just fine. I think the yamaha drive system's are the best on the market. I don't think you would be disappointed in one of the giant E-mtb models. IMO the pedegos are overpriced. $3000+ for hub drive, no thanks.
Thank you, I've looked at the Yamaha drive system. There is store that carries bikes with the Yamaha, I will look into it.

Ya, I have no plans to buy a Pedego, it will just be a day rental for a first time experience. I'm hoping my wife loves it and we both get bikes.
 

ruffruff

New Member
My wife and I will definitely want different things. I would like to do some easy casual single track and a lot of gravel roads and tar trails. My wife will never leave the tar. We live in the Minneapolis area and the metro trail system is pretty extensive.

I'm also leaning towards buying a fat tire frame and doing a conversion. A mid motor set up, but that's another rabbit hole!

I thought I'd like to stay in the $1500 range but it seems like that is an entry level point that may not get me what I want?
 

macdude22

New Member
Thank you, I've looked at the Yamaha drive system. There is store that carries bikes with the Yamaha, I will look into it.

Ya, I have no plans to buy a Pedego, it will just be a day rental for a first time experience. I'm hoping my wife loves it and we both get bikes.
My wife went from OMG you just spent how much on a bike to shut up and take my money with one easy going ride on a local trail with 800 feet of elevation.
 

ruffruff

New Member
My wife went from OMG you just spent how much on a bike to shut up and take my money with one easy going ride on a local trail with 800 feet of elevation.
LMAO....ya my wife is a bit peeved about the price of these things, but I'm hoping a ride on one will do the same to her as it did to your wife!
 
At $1500, you're doing to be making compromises somewhere. You'll have to decide which things are more important than others - hub vs mid drive, cadence vs torque sensing, mechanical vs hydraulic brakes, how good a front fork, money left over for a suspension seatpost, rack and/or fenders, etc.

In Minneapolis, are you going to ride in the winter? As in the snow? If so, then you may definitely want to consider a fat tire eBike. RadPower makes the $1500 RadRover (less with coupon), Juiced makes the $1800 RipCurrent - but both are hub drives. Bolton has a $1700 two wheel hub drive fat tire bike, a $2000 1000 watt mid-drive mountain bike, and a $2400 1000 watt mid-drive fat tire bike. Biktrix has the Juggernault Classic (mid-drive) for $2000.

As you found out, the good news that this is a popular market segment means the bad news that there are many from which to choose. There are some dealers other than Pedego in Minneapolis, so at least the good news is that you can try more than a few different bikes, and might find one you like a dealer with post-sale support, which is never a bad thing.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
If you buy any two Rad ebikes you get a $200 discount and they share the same battery pack design.
 

ruffruff

New Member
Does anybody know anything about the M2S bike line? Seems like a good set of features and options for an entry level bike.
 

TaraBara

Member
Thank you, I've looked at the Yamaha drive system. There is store that carries bikes with the Yamaha, I will look into it.

Ya, I have no plans to buy a Pedego, it will just be a day rental for a first time experience. I'm hoping my wife loves it and we both get bikes.
Yes, I own the Lafree E+2 it's $2000 ….. it's AMAZING!!! It has everything and it would be perfect for you and your wife. It's perfect for rail trails and pavement. It's got nice chunky tires, fenders, long battery range, takes the hills like a boss, it's completely silent, it knows how much help you need, LBS support, it's adjustable, and you get so much bang for your buck. The E+1 $2400 has the belt drive but the E+2 has the regular gears. For $2500 I got an ebike rack for my car, tools, panniers, bell, bike stand, helmet, and of course my bike. I get free tune ups for 2 years and I have a 2 year factory warranty. Good luck to you.....you will love ebiking. I am also located in your neighboring state South Dakota.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
I'm 59 and want to get back into biking. I loved mountain biking back before life happened.
So I'm looking at an ebike to get back into light off roading and tar trail riding.

I've gone down the rabbit hole and have research fatigue.
I know i need to actually ride some but shops around here are pretty limited.

A local shop carries Bintelli but I can't find a lot of info.
I've looked at a bunch online like:
juiced
Rad
Rambo
etc.

My wife and I are going to rent Pedego's to try ebiking for the first time next weekend.

I'm also a big DIY guy and would not be intimidated by a conversion project.
Thoughts and help to point me in the right direction would be appreciated.
Peace out!

Regarding that DIY'er part of your message, though the RAD bikes are not without fault, they can very often be modified economically/easily as there are few proprietary parts used. Their price point allows a LOT of customization without really breaking the bank.

Point being, instead of having a full on custom bike in addition to your production bike, why not take a production bike, ride it for a bit to see what you like and don't like, then customize away!

Of course if you want a mid drive, RAD might not be your best plan.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I converted my 2.1" tire 26" bike for $840 with a $189 DD hub motor from ebay. Then I decided I didn't like the sprocket choice the rear hub motor gave me (7 speed 14 to 24) because of the hills around here, and put on a $220 front geared hub motor. Now I have 11 to 32 sprocket 8 speeds and can pedal without power without dragging the way the DD hub did.
We're talking peanuts. If you can crimp a dorman bullet connector from the auto supply, you can install the kit. Spend the bucks on the battery, I bought two 18 lb piles of garbage before I spent $630 on a 740 WH battery from Luna that works. Luna uses XT90, you'll have to solder those. I had to buy ****ese **** XT90 connectors from ebay, which melted the first time I tried to solder it. Plug the mating connector in while soldering to keep the pins from moving while the *****y PVC body is melted. I use 12 ga wire. Install a 30 amp fuse right after the battery. Swap male & female so you can't plug the battery in backwards.
Pick up a fitting frame at a charity resale shop or flea market for $75 & you'll save another $1000. The only thing new are disk brakes, which I highly recommend, and fat tires (3.6" up) which I think are a big fraud except for fluffy beaches and powder snow. But buy what you want. If you don't like your first conversion you can change bike or hub motor for $$$, not $$$$. I hated my first conversion, a huffy savannah from the 70's, because it didn't have enough gears. But it was cheap, $40. The motor & new battery moved to this $1900 cargo bike that fits my short legs and 60 lb grocery habit. No loss, just some aluminum bars to mount the battery & display. $10 Home depot supplies, 10-32 screws, there you are, custom battery mount. (You can see my battery on the front in the picture left, wrapped in cold insulating foam and a rain resistant PVC bag).
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Well, I can share that buying the RAD required quite the leap of faith for me after building 2 pretty successful DIY bikes (1000w DD kits into brand new Schwinn's with disk brakes). The wife still has hers. I can't talk her out of it! I sold mine after riding it quite a bit, for what I had into it - but not until I was convinced I could make the Rad City do what I wanted to do. I was pretty disappointed with the RAD electronics, mostly because of it's "soft start" power application. Rather than have immediate power available, you would have to anticipate a small rise in the trail for instance, to get the bike spooled up by time you actually needed the power.

So at about 6 weeks into the RAD experience, I installed an inexpensive 1500w "kit" that included a controller and display combo that allowed me to tune different functions in the bike's electronics to my liking. This not available in off the shelf bikes for the most part.

Now, I'm getting ready to install the 3rd revision, that replaces the direct drive hub with a gear drive, using that same controller and display, that will let me dial in the gear drive (hopefully). So even with all the extra expenses, I'm still going to be into this custom bike at a price point that comparable bikes can't touch. -Al
 

ruffruff

New Member
Hmm
Well, I can share that buying the RAD required quite the leap of faith for me after building 2 pretty successful DIY bikes (1000w DD kits into brand new Schwinn's with disk brakes). The wife still has hers. I can't talk her out of it! I sold mine after riding it quite a bit, for what I had into it - but not until I was convinced I could make the Rad City do what I wanted to do. I was pretty disappointed with the RAD electronics, mostly because of it's "soft start" power application. Rather than have immediate power available, you would have to anticipate a small rise in the trail for instance, to get the bike spooled up by time you actually needed the power.

So at about 6 weeks into the RAD experience, I installed an inexpensive 1500w "kit" that included a controller and display combo that allowed me to tune different functions in the bike's electronics to my liking. This not available in off the shelf bikes for the most part.

Now, I'm getting ready to install the 3rd revision, that replaces the direct drive hub with a gear drive, using that same controller and display, that will let me dial in the gear drive (hopefully). So even with all the extra expenses, I'm still going to be into this custom bike at a price point that comparable bikes can't touch. -Al
Hmm I like the sound of this. Do you have a link to the "kit" so I can do some research. I like the idea of getting the off the shelf bike and riding it a bit and then upgrading as I get more comfortable with all this. Seems to be the best of both worlds.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
This guy is pretty reliable for the basic stuff: https://ebikeling.com/
His controller was pretty basic with the PAS pretty jerky, but my geared hub motor came from him.
I bought the "1000 W DD hub drive 26"" from e-bay, $189. I like the throttle that came with that, and the controller is holding up. I don't like DD for all the hills I ride over, maybe 40 in 30 miles. Geared hub uses about 2/3 the electricity when I'm using the motor only to go up steep hills. I had to grind down the DD hub shaft to fit my aluminum frame that won't bend out, a 6 hour nuisance with a drill & a 3" wheel. I had to grind out the slot in the front fork of the Huffy savanah to fit the geared hub motor shaft. I used a 4 1/2" grinder for that. Use safety glasses. Other problems? I had to retighten the cover bolts on the geared hub after 3 months, and I put blue lok-tite on them this time. I had to change the cover bolts on the DD hub from allen head to phillips to clear the shifter in 7th sprocket. Stock bolts available from mcmaster or grainger. I had to file down the mount for the disk brake caliper .025" to make the disk stop rubbing the brake pad. Cheap problems, but not entirely smooth sailing.
Lunacycle.com stuff is as advertised, especially the battery. He is not selling PAS now, just throttle control. I just bought a MAC 12t wheel (geared hub) from him because the noise of the ebikeling one changed at 100 miles. But the noise has steadied out, maybe the gears won't wear out in 500 miles. Actually I'm nearing 1000 miles on that, after 1000 miles on the DD drive Oct-May.
ebikes.ca has a lot of helpful data on motor drives, but he is in canada and crossing the border for warrenty work involves a lot of stupid paperwork, fees, & the like. I didn't do it.
Don't buy the battery from ebay or amazon. I got one dud from each, got the money back from Amazon. Lots of nice specs, but the product was definitely somebody else's problem resold to me. Neither would put out more than 5 amps before the voltage collapsed. A 1000 W 48 v controller needs 27 amps, I fuse mine at 30.
 
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Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
I'm really at a fork in the road with DIY and off the shelf.

M2S bike looks really tempting though.
M2S is giving people a lot of ebike for the money. You didn't say which model, but the All Terrain with 750 watt bafang motor (internally geared), will give you a lot of torque (80 Newton-Meters), and top end speed. The APT display they are using is also very nice. I use them on mid drive conversions, and its a common display with Bafang motors. Can't tell if its the 850C, but if it is, it has a charge port too on the display for your phone. 9 levels of assist. With an Acera Derailleur, and hydraulic disc brakes, again, thats pretty good upgrades for that price point. (which is entry level for most brands)/ And getting a 16 AH, 48 volt battery at that price ? Thats hard for anyone to compete with. I dont have any association with them, but talked to the owner early on when he first got started. He's got a good eye for business, and seems to be doing a good job with importing these bikes directly. If you are not near a dealer, and buying on line, then you could do a lot worse than what M2S is providing.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Hmm

Hmm I like the sound of this. Do you have a link to the "kit" so I can do some research. I like the idea of getting the off the shelf bike and riding it a bit and then upgrading as I get more comfortable with all this. Seems to be the best of both worlds.
I went to Leafbike for the complete conversion kits that include everything but the battery. The company, and the kits, have a pretty good reputation. To be avoided is piece mealing your own kit components (controller, display, PAS) from here and there as the chances of getting all compatible parts and wiring them into a package thats functional and reliable is pretty dicey.

https://www.leafbike.com/products/diy-bike-conversion-kit/26-inch-electric-hub-motor-kit/c-17/

The gear drive I went with is a MAC 12t, chosen for it's great reputation as well as it's custom motor wind. The 12t is about low end torque with emphasis on power from stop up to about 20-25mph. There are other motor winds (the 8t and 10t) that are set up to provide power up into the higher speeds (that I could care less about for my purposes) while sacrificing power low end torque to to that. I looked all over trying to buy this state side without success (to avoid the high freight cost). This source also well known as a pretty decent one.

https://em3ev.com/shop/upgrade-mac-ebike-kit-with-47-50v-battery-option-and-black-case-controller-2000w-max/

And last, I'm not knocking the M2S. It looks to be a very nice bike. The hydraulic brakes and slightly larger battery make it a formidable competitor for the RAD Rover. That's not to say the electronics are any better though, but understand, I'm totally spoiled in that area. They may be fine for your purposes. The bigger point I'm making is that production bikes using mostly off the shelf hardware can be modified, making them into exactly what you want. Ride them for a month, figure out what you don't like, then fix it! -Al
 

Rodolfo

Member
My wife went from OMG you just spent how much on a bike to shut up and take my money with one easy going ride on a local trail with 800 feet of elevation.
:D She's still right about the OMG-cost of e-bikes -and I wish it was only e-bikes, BTW.