Help with first time ebike

fristiac

New Member
I have spent forever searching for ebikes and am absolutely confused over what I should be buying.

Here are a few things I am interested in :
1) I must have a mid-drive motor. I live in Seattle, and mid drives are so much more efficient in hill climbing. My commute takes me across quite a climb.
2) I plan to use it for a long time, so I wouldn't want it too hard to service. Less proprietary goods are better so I can switch something that goes faulty easily.
3) Good suspension is not something strictly needed but it would be nice to have. Going downhill felt much safer on a Riese and Muller bike I test drove, but damn it was pricy.
4) I'm aiming for something around the $3000-$3500 range, and can stretch it to $4000 if it is absolutely needed, but any more totally breaks my budget.
5) I have a 17 mile travel, not to work but to a class where I might not be able to charge so I would need something a battery that runs atleast 40 miles.

There is a few things I am not sure about :
1) How useful is torque-sensor? I keep hearing great things about it but can't really understand the difference. I've test driven a pedego, and that felt very awkward because how it boosted on a small touch from me, but other cycles felt natural.
2) How essential are hydraulic brakes? I know they are expensive, and brakes are super important, but are they strictly needed for commuting.

There are a few good models I've liked, but I can't choose :
1) Biktrix Juggernaut Ultra(the only reason I'm considering Ultra is because of the torque sensor, the Juggernaut seems to match every other criteria. Is the sensor worth around $600-700 more?)

2) Evelo Aries Mid Drive

3) Sur Non(This looks amazing, but can this even be called a bike?)

4) Luna Lone Wolf(This is luna, so no warranty, which is kind of sad. I'm no mechanic and don't know how reliable these bikes are)

5) FLX Trail(This seems to meet a lot of my requirements, I'm just not sure how the company is)

Can someone help me decide on either one of these or help me by suggesting something else I'd be eternally thankful.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
1) I must have a mid-drive motor. I live in Seattle,
Are you certain? I support midwives for a realer but gear drive hubs are less problematic. Go to eBikes.ca and use their motor tool to sort a better choice. A gear drive hub might be more sustainable.
Sur Non(This looks amazing
Not a bike. It’s a small electric motorcycle. You won’t be pedaling home if there’s a problem.

Luna wants hundreds of dollars for a warranty. Buy from them and you’re the repair shop.

Biktrix is a great seller, but any direct purchase without a middle man, local bike shop, saves money but you are the repair person.

Look at reviews of local shops. In the end the added price to support a local bike shop could be money in the bank. Real support. Biktrix, Juiced, and Rad are good direct sources. But pleSe remember, you are the trouble shooter and repair person
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I've got a geared hub motor, and I climb 77 hills in the 30 miles to my summer camp. The geared hub used about 30% less electricity (battery volts, constant size battery) than the DD hub motor I had previously. My average speed is about 11 with heavy electricity use, 8 unpowered with no headwind. I bought electricity because headwinds can double my trip time, which gets uncomfortable in the seat area in the fifth hour and wears me out besides.
Mid drives except yamaha drag when pedaled unpowered, if you ever consider building up your strength to pedal yourself some distance. When the battery kept failing early days I pedaled myself 20-28 miles home several times. Mid drive, you call a tow truck. Mid drives wear chain faster than human powered bikes. Front geared hub as I have, it is not extremely difficult to change either tube after a flat. Geared hub bikes can be bought from Juiced & Magnum.
I have mechanical disk brakes, tektros, and I really like them. They require pad adjustment about every 1000 miles to keep the handle position constant. This involves a 1/6 turn with an allen wrench. the hard part is taking off the pannier (bag) to reach it on the back. I view rim brakes as absolute safety hazards if you ever bike out in the rain and run through puddles. But my 160 mm disks are fine up to 320 lb I ride (I carry groceries and lawn supplies out to my camp on my bike). The grades here are up to 15%. I've read some of the gyrations people go through to fit new pads to hydraulics, and it reminds me of car disk brake. The cleanest solution is to buy a new caliper every time you change the pad. I don't see transferring that maintenance problem to a bicycle, balancing the two brake calipers is not important on a bike. Bike pads only last 2-3000 miles anyway, not the 80000 miles car pads last.
If you're going to average over 11 mph, you need a suspension. I do without because cargo bikes don't come with suspensions. I need more than an hour aerobic exercise 4 times a week anyway, so the slow speeds don't bother me. Fast commuters keep mentioning the juiced ccx for some reason. I converted my own bike with an ebikeling kit and a luna battery because I liked the bike, just not the 5.7 hours it took me to get home at 95 deg into a 25 mph headwind September 2018. 3.5 hours is about right for me.
 
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fristiac

New Member
Are you certain? I support midwives for a realer but gear drive hubs are less problematic. Go to eBikes.ca and use their motor tool to sort a better choice. A gear drive hub might be more sustainable.

Not a bike. It’s a small electric motorcycle. You won’t be pedaling home if there’s a problem.

Luna wants hundreds of dollars for a warranty. Buy from them and you’re the repair shop.

Biktrix is a great seller, but any direct purchase without a middle man, local bike shop, saves money but you are the repair person.

Look at reviews of local shops. In the end the added price to support a local bike shop could be money in the bank. Real support. Biktrix, Juiced, and Rad are good direct sources. But pleSe remember, you are the trouble shooter and repair person
Yes, I am seriously considering local sources, but I've test driven quite a few ebikes but none felt super satisfying. The best I felt was a Muller, but that is completely out of my budget range. I'm probably going to have to compromise if I do that.

I'm working on understanding the motor tool, but right now have no understanding of how it works.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
7/8" in 6" is 14.6%. Measured. If you look at a map of Indiana, to go 10 minutes of 15% I'd have to travel to Colorado. Average hill here is 100' long. Lots of them. If I peak at 30 mph at the bottom I can get up the next one in about 20 seconds.
Read Audel's electric motor book. Motors are more efficient at higher speeds up to a point. The more they slip versus the field the more they heat up. Bike motors are 3 phase AC motors and the controllers act as variable speed drives. Very cheap ones. Geared hub motors up the motor speed with gears. As do mid drives. My ebikeling geared hub motor has an internal one way clutch and doesn't drag at all when I pedal. The ly 1000 DD motor dragged unpowered like being in 2 sprockets higher than I was.
Going down 15% with a deer crossing at the bottom (water crossing) it is important to have seriously good brakes. As far as buying special rim brake pads, 50% of what the LBS has sold me has been defective. Why would I trust their recommendation on pads? I'm done with rim brakes; I hit a car side after stopping at a 4 way in the rain, and she didn't sailing right across.
 
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fristiac

New Member
I went with Giant because of the large dealer network, and the pretty good bang for the buck.
Ye giant is good.
The motor is proprietary though, and I'm not sure if I like that.
I'm looking for places near me that do sell them(I think I have one, which is really good for me)
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
Ye giant is good.
The motor is proprietary though, and I'm not sure if I like that.
I'm looking for places near me that do sell them(I think I have one, which is really good for me)
I'm about 16 months into mine with zero issues. I realize that's not great evidence, but like you I'm not a mechanic and will take any issues to the dealer. The motor is built by Yamaha, and I do trust that for sure.
 

OrTrek

New Member

I have a Haibike with the "old" PW Yamaha Motor. Love it - you get out of it what you put into it (if that makes sense). But what I appreciate and respect about Yamaha is that they support the LBS and actually pay them on labor on warranty issue. Not that, according to my LBS, that ever happens.

I won't get into my bikes (Ebike/"regular"), scooters, off road vehicles and reasons why have these, but I can say that my next ebike would/will be a Yamaha. They just make sense and are proven (both in their power sports and bikes). But that's just me.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
to go 10 minutes of 15% I'd have to travel to Colorado.
I’m sorry but 77 hills in 30 miles with 15% grades is unusual.

Regenerative brakes are amazing. If your hills are that short you simply had the wrong DD hub motor.

Audel? Jeez, things haven’t changed but I can’t imagine why we’d bother with an overview that doesn’t factor in the possibilities with a properly setup DD controller and matching battery. I’m only objecting to the absolutes.

I know my DD with statoraide and a well tuned controller would be a fine choice. AND regenerative braking. BTW I’m a fan of BB7 disc brakes on the front of my builds.

It sounds like you have a great ride in Indiana. Very impressive reading!
 

fristiac

New Member
Really? Giant has their own motor? What is the motor style and rating?

EDIT Yamaha seems to have a decent service network. I’d not worry about that, unless it was a flaky LBS
I see.
This makes sense.
So yamaha over bafang then?
I've looked at yamaha and it seems much more costlier as compared to the equivalent I'd get on BikTrix, and people say Biktrix has great service.
I do have a yamaha dealer near me though, which would make it easier for me if I try to get anything maintained.
 

OrTrek

New Member
Then fristiac I'd go ride the Yamaha and see how you feel about the dealer (big deal) and the bike(s). Yamaha motors are just different than Bafangs (I also have a RadMini that's actually folded in my Jeep TJ - it's only used to get deeper into the "boondocks" here in Oregon, not that my old Jeep couldn't do it just as well). Others I'm sure can explain this better than me.

Maybe a little more cost, but good dealer support and a 3-year warranty. Geez I sound like a Yamaha commercial :oops:.
 
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fristiac

New Member
Then fristiac I'd go ride the Yamaha and see how you feel about the dealer (big deal) and the bike(s). Yamaha motors are just different than Bafangs (I also have a RadMini that's actually folded in my Jeep TJ - it's only used to get deeper into the "boondocks" here in Oregon, not that my old Jeep couldn't do it just as well). Others I'm sure can explain this better than me.

Maybe a little more cost, but good dealer support and a 3-year warranty. Geez I sound like a Yamaha commercial :oops:.
This makes sense.
Imma go ride a yamaha.
Do you know if any motor feels similar to a bafang that I can try before I make a decision.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
This makes sense.
Very different motors, I support Bafang kits and am quite fond of Biktrix. You’ll have to research a bit more and decide. Can you do your own maintenance or will your LBS support a bike purchased from a direct to customer sale? I’d be happier with LBS support, but those Bafang motors are darn powerful and fast!