How heavy is your eBike, and do you care?

GrandPaBrogan

New Member
Great points everyone. I think weight always mattered to me on all levels mentioned in the thread. The lighter the better; all the way for me!!
My ultimate F/S eMTB would be in the low 30 lb range with or without the battery attached. Hope we make it there soon at a reasonable price point.😜
I have the same sentiment, and have been hoping for the day to come. But judging by the current 2020 line-up, light-weight and reasonable price point doesn't exist in the same sentence. Maybe it might happen one day, but at my age I won't be holding my breath. 😅

I have two full suspension eMTBs:

A retrofitted trail bike with a Bafang BBS01 conversion kit: 21.39 kg (47 lbs)
and a Giant Trance E+ 3Pro : 24.6 kg (54 lbs)

My main concern about weight pertains to the effect it has on handling.

I've been riding the Bafang for nearly two years (before my wife snatched it off me for herself)! 🥰 It's agile on narrow technical single track sections.

My hesitation about getting the Trance E+ (7 pounds heavier) is that it might be cumbersome and sluggish when things get real tight and technical. I was pleasantly surprised that the added weight didn't seem to matter that much at all - BUT I did have to make some changes (the tyres most especially). As far as handling is concerned, I would say getting an eMTB with the right frame size would have a greater influence rather than weight.

The Bafang has XC short-travel DNA, while the Trance E+ has DH long-travel DNA... so they do shine in their own way. But I've tuned them so they are more versatile - with handling characteristics that crossover a bit more. AND, they are both very very capable of getting my wife and I to the nearest local cafe!

Lifting them in and out of our mini-van (front wheel off) has to be a two person affair, so the weight of either bike isn't an issue for us.
 

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vincent

Well-Known Member
IMO some of you are missing the point, it is not that most of us cannot do it , I am doing it pretty much every other ride

It is that I don’t want to lift anything that heavy and unwieldy, I have no desire to and would rather pay more money for a lighter bike, end of discussion for me

Agree totally about bike size, which is another problem with a lot of the one size ebikes- and those tend to be heavier in my experience

My “sized” ebikes are all lighter

I also have come up with numerous ways to haul my bikes, have an enclosed bike trailer, a toy hauler rv with ramp, a van and two different cars with bike racks
All Of these have ramps

No matter what I prefer the lighter bikes, nothing is going to change that for me
And as I get older am sure it will matter more

Hopefully in another 10-15 years there will be a lot more options of lighter bikes
 

GrandPaBrogan

New Member
It matters to me, still in the research stage. If I have to transport the ebike to a ride location instead of riding from home, I'm going to have to lift it on and off the carrier. I wish there were a lighter weight option that ticked all the other boxes for me, but it looks like I'm going to end up with something in the 55lb range. Ugh.
Not sure if you can attach a ramp to your carrier or not. But if you can, perhaps continue researching bikes that have a "WALK" assist function. I'm not sure if all manufacturers have this on offer, but I know Giant Class-1 eBikes do, so maybe worth checking out. It's not a throttle, but it kinda functions similarly but with a very small power output, specifically for that purpose.
 

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TForan

Well-Known Member
My bike weighs 52 lbs without battery and I enjoy the weight , long wheelbase and fat tires on the roads I ride on. I feel it improves the ride and stability. But I don't have to carry it up a flight of stairs.
 

elliot friedman

Active Member
45 lb Felt Sporte 85 HP.
Helps going up a half a dozen stairs into the house, or onto my workstand and car rack.

As far as the walk mode mentioned earlier, I find it way too quick to control. The bike wants to take off and counter balancing it with the brakes simultaneously is a pain. I never use it.

Flash !..... I just saw Scooteretti video showing that the speed can be controlled by the gear it's currently in. I'll check that when I get home. Probably won't make a difference whether I use it or not but interesting just to try.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
Two weight related stories. Five years ago while commuting via rail trail on a 63 pound ebike, with ~5 pounds of gear. The trail was closed off by a maintenance crew clearing downed trees. To turn around would have taken me about 8 miles out of the way and would have made me very late. The only option was to throw the bike on my shoulder, cross the railroad tracks and climb the steep hill to the road. Shockingly more difficult than I expected. I've had to carry that bike through and over downed trees on that trail several times. Commuting on a schedule leaves few options.

Next was on the C&O towpath with a lighter bike at 50 pounds, with ~7 pounds of gear. Feels like a featherweight compared to the 63 pounder. We put one vehicle at Harpers Ferry and drove the bikes up to the towpath 50 miles or so away. We had a great day tour only to realize to get across the Potomac River we needed to carry the bikes up a steep 3 story iron staircase, part spiral, part straight.

Picture from the top (screenshot from google images)

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The first situation was unavoidable, the second was poor planning on my part. I still had to get to the destination and the lighter the better! I very much enjoyed walking over the Potomac!

I hope ebikes continue to get lighter. You never know what could happen:)
 

Al P

Active Member
Are you able to load the front wheel first, or are you already doing that?
The front is the light end of the bike, so it is easier to set the rear onto the supports first in order to ease the pull in my back, but I have tried both methods.
 
Interesting thread. I didn't see much about power off ease of cycling as a criteria. As an example, the RadCity, which I really like, is a typical 63 heavy pounds, and relatively hard to pedal with power off (heavier and DD hub motor). The Aventon Pace 500 is 49 pounds (lighter and geared hub motor), and very, very easy to pedal with power off.

I know, it's an electric bike, so who cares? Well I do for the ability to get home with a depleted battery. Not sure how much of the difference between the Rad and Aventon is due to weight (or the DD motor on the Rad). But I would prefer an e-bike that is easy to pedal with no power, and i assume that the lighter the bike, generally, the easier that will be.

I don't think the power off ease of pedaling seems to be a popular attribute, but I do like it for the ability to easily get home if I run out of juice. If it's as easy to pedal as my non-electric bikes, it gives me unlimited range in my view. Is there something wrong with that logic?
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Interesting thread. I didn't see much about power off ease of cycling as a criteria. As an example, the RadCity, which I really like, is a typical 63 heavy pounds, and relatively hard to pedal with power off (heavier and DD hub motor). The Aventon Pace 500 is 49 pounds (lighter and geared hub motor), and very, very easy to pedal with power off.

I know, it's an electric bike, so who cares? Well I do for the ability to get home with a depleted battery. Not sure how much of the difference between the Rad and Aventon is due to weight (or the DD motor on the Rad). But I would prefer an e-bike that is easy to pedal with no power, and i assume that the lighter the bike, generally, the easier that will be.

I don't think the power off ease of pedaling seems to be a popular attribute, but I do like it for the ability to easily get home if I run out of juice. If it's as easy to pedal as my non-electric bikes, it gives me unlimited range in my view. Is there something wrong with that logic?
Re: ability to pedal home, in my little world, this would have much to do with the distance you plan on traveling frequently, no? If your more distant runs total more than 40 or 50 miles, then sure, your concern is valid. If no, I think there are quite a few bikes available today that can get you there and back without much difficulty. Sure, stuff happens when out on a run for sure. I guess the concern for that would depend on your level of paranoia. A rear tire puncture for instance, is something I plan on repairing only while at home. If that happens to me, I'm calling road service! I'm darn sure not going to take all the necessary tools with me to repair it in the field. I do run Slime to minimize that danger. No different than making sure you have a fully charged battery for a long run.

Too, when I first started doing my due diligence researching my first e-bike, I planned for the ability for all day rides. The bike I built was very capable (50 miles easily!), but I hadn't given my own abilities a single thought apparently. It didn't take long at all to find my butt's ability was going to be the limiting factor regarding how far I was interested in traveling in a day. The bike's ability was HUGE overkill!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Interesting thread. I didn't see much about power off ease of cycling as a criteria.
I don't think the power off ease of pedaling seems to be a popular attribute, but I do like it for the ability to easily get home if I run out of juice. If it's as easy to pedal as my non-electric bikes, it gives me unlimited range in my view. Is there something wrong with that logic?
The first 3 times I rode my electric bike conversion, the system failed after 7 to 11 miles. So I had to pedal it the rest of the 19 to 23 miles to the destination. Another time in a hard rain I took a long hilly low traffic route home due to poor visibility. The throttle failed and I and ended up pedaling 25 miles 7 very hilly. Geared hub motor makes this doable.
Besides I ride the bike for aerobic exercise. No high wind, no extra hills, I pedal unpowered. I aim for 3.5 hours exercise 100-140 bpm, wind or not. 25 mph headwind is much worse than pedaling a 75 lb bike with up to 60 lb cargo. With 24 speeds down to 32:32 the bike is designed to whirr up steep hills unpowered. It will still do it with 12 extra pounds electrical kit.
9/25/18 before electricity the headwind made me ride 5.7 hours @ 130-144 bpm. My butt was seriously sore the last 2 hours. Wind did it again the last week of September this year, 3.5 hour trip due to electric drive.
 
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bob armani

Well-Known Member
OH No! Didn't actually mean lazy at all. Meaning of saying is more like work smart, not hard!

I've seen all sorts of stuff used to load dirt bikes and other toys single handed. Any of it should make loading an ebike child's play!
I have made my own ramps to make loading/unloading easier to facilitate this issue. Sometimes you have to do a bit of research and use a little more ingenuity to help with this. Just taking a walk around your local big box hardware store (ie: Menards/Home Depot) can spark a genius idea.
 
I don't think the power off ease of pedaling seems to be a popular attribute, but I do like it for the ability to easily get home if I run out of juice. If it's as easy to pedal as my non-electric bikes, it gives me unlimited range in my view. Is there something wrong with that logic?
I own a 2018 Gazelle Arroyo which has the Bosch Performance Line motor, which is one of the motors for a reputation of being draggy. Once I compared it to an unpowered (and therefore light weight) bike my daughter was riding going when we were going uphill and her bike was definately easier. Despite that fact, I often will ride it without power.

Before buying my bike, I tried a number of other e-bikes (including the Rad City). I always tried them without power, usually before I put any power on. I didn't notice a significant drag on any of them. I.E. if there was drag, it was a small one.

Thus, I expect that it should be possible to pedal home any electric bike without power if power is unexpectedly lost or you exceed battery range. "Range anxiety" isn't really necessary. The ease of riding without power becomes more important if you often ride 100 mile rides or if you often want to ride without power to avoid motor noise.
 
From what I have heard, some e-bikes are quite easy to pedal with power off, some are quite hard. Bike weight, rider weight and strength, tire profile, tire pressure, drive type, gears, etc, all come into play. I've heard owners of heavy, fat tire bikes, at typical fat tire pressures, say they would call a taxi before pedaling home without power, lol. My limited experience was that the RadCity was a bit tough to pedal power off, especially up slight hills and the Aventon Pace 500 was like one of my non-electric bikes ... easy. I typically ride 10-15 miles each day, and would not top off the battery every day. So nice to know that if I do run out of juice, I won't be struggling to get home.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Even if it is a struggle, you'll make it. It WILL likely be a lesson in better range planning and/or battery conservation though!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
A while back, I put a Bafang BBS02 mid drive on an old Diamondback bike. I decided to give it a shake down on a big 30 mile ride in Chicago. We show up at 6AM and start off. I tell my wife to go ahead on her ebike, while I stop to take this picture. RIght there, I lost power.
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Well, I caught up on pedal power and we did the ride. No motor drag. About 50 pounds. It wasn't a race, just a scenic ride. I had good time, although thoughts went thru my head about why the new Bafang was dead. Turned out to be a bad battery connector.

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It's important then to me that my ebike be first, a bike at heart. Needs gears to fit my pedal cadence. Needs to coast. Doesn't need to go faster than 20 mph except downhill. Also should be trouble free. Not that day.
 

CSH

Active Member
Weighed mine (2019 Giant LaFree E+1) today because a friend who is interested in the model wanted to know. 48lbs without battery. Battery weighed 7.2lbs.

Bike weight only mattered to me because my bikes are inside my car for travel. With the front wheel and battery off, the bike is fairly easy to lift and set inside the electric car with plenty of room for the wheel and other cycling paraphernalia.
Hello Readytoride !

I too LOVE my LaFree E+1, and appreciate many of your comments about your experience.

I have a question for you..........................
You stated: "With the front wheel and battery off, the bike is fairly easy to lift and set inside the car"

How well does this work ?
How Big is your Car ?
Is the Bike laying on its Side ?
Any Risk to Components ?

I'm not interested in spending the Money on a Hitch, and Rack, for my "Old" car (maybe when I get a New car).
But for now, I am curious to know how your method works out.

Any Tips would be appreciated.
And any chance of a Picture showing the bike in the car, would Really be Appreciated !

Craig :cool:
 

Readytoride

Active Member
@Craig - We have a 2018 Leaf (electric car), and a 2017 Prius 4 Touring hybrid - both are hatchbacks. The bike fits nicely into both cars with the back seats down, and I can easily lift it inside myself (age 66, but then again I have horses/ponies and can pick up and throw hay bales pretty easily, too...for now!). The back wheel goes in first and simply rolls along on its edge until the back wheel is behind the passenger seat. Plenty of room for the handlebars when closing the hatchback, and plenty of room for the front wheel either under the front fork (Prius) or standing up alongside the interior rear wall (Leaf) with Velcro wrapped around the wheel through the back seat latch on the wall to hold the wheel firmly in place.

ZERO risks to any components because the bike has a carbon belt drive (no derailleur, no chain, no risk of dirty oil (chain) touching anything inside the car), brakes are disk, and shifting is a single handgrip twist. No protruding parts at all.

This setup works perfectly for me. I can chose either car at a moments notice to transport my bike and I don't need special equipment to do so. My bike is protected from the elements, road debris, and safely secured if I want to leave the car somewhere. Which means I have zero worries because no one can touch it, AND I don't have to deal with a bike rack being in the way of accessing the cargo space in my hatchbacks.

I have also found (much to my delight) that when I start to unload the bike and the back rack is past the top of frame where the hatchback is attached, the bike can then "sit up" straight in the cargo area with the motor resting on the rear latch, without any one holding the bike, so that I can easily slip the front wheel on before I finish unloading. That was a surprising and much appreciated finding.

Pics:
Leaf (blue car) specs: 30 cubic feet with back seats down (176″ L x 71″ W x 61-62″ H)
Prius (red car) specs: 27.4 cubic feet w/back seats down (179″ L x 69″ W x 58″ H)

The photo of the LaFree in the Prius (red car) was taken in mid May shortly after I purchased the bike, and before we tweaked the handlebars to be more upright for my comfort. It was a tight fit and required the front wheel to be turned facing backwards, but it did fit. Once the handlebar was changed, however, the bike no longer fit in the car with the wheel on the front. But fits quite nicely (actually better with more room) with the front wheel off.

We had the LaFree in the Leaf at an electric car gathering during Drive Electric Week this fall. The ebike was a big hit and actually garnered more interest and questions from the crowds than the ecar!😁

Edited to add: have no idea what the front wheel weighs. 3-4lbs?? Next time I have it off, I'll weigh it to see exactly how many lbs of bike I'm lifting into the car with the wheel and battery both off.
 

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Light weight can be pretty irrelevant, or a huge advantage, depending on how you're using it. As others have said, lighter weight e-bikes can be more agile, they can be easier to lift into a rack on a car or a bus, etc.

All things being equal, a lighter weight bike is going to have a range advantage over a heavier one. A heavier bike might make you ride on the highest assist level, whereas a lighter weight bike might let you ride in a medium level of assist and give you a similar experience to the heavy bike on high. That could be a huge range advantage to the lighter weight bike. It could also be a long-term cost savings, as longer range on a charge means fewer charge cycles per year, means longer before you need to replace the battery.

A lighter weight e-bike is a pretty big selling point to me, but only within a given category of bike. You first have to be comparing two commuter hybrids, or two E-MTBs, or two step-through comfort bikes, etc. It has to be an apples-to-apples comparison first before I start comparing weight. My endurance road e-bike is 41 pounds, and my gravel road e-bike is 49 pounds, but I ride the gravel bike a lot more, so it's never just about the weight.