Light, Lift on to rack, townie, reliable. Help please!

I've read so many reviews I can't keep them straight! have a Promaster van that I've turned into a camper. The rig will be complete when I find an e-bike that I can get onto the rack by myself! I also want to use it for recreation, 10-20 mile rides (so I've ruled out folding bikes) and regular grocery shopping. I live in a small town with a few options but they are all too heavy. I'm 5'5" and strong but 65.
I'm weak in the maintainance dept. so reliability is key.
I love the ones I rode with a throttle but am concerned they won't be allowed on the bike paths when ebikes are approved. Thanks for your input!


Active Member
The Trek Lift+ low-step weighs 45lb including battery and has a small size frame option for riders over 5' with 26" wheels, it has drop out eyelets for attaching a rack and fenders, here's Court's review of the diamond frame version. The Kalkhoff Agattu B7 weighs 53lb and has a suspension fork and suspension seatpost for a comfortable ride, and already comes with a rack, fenders, lights, and a bell, of the available frame sizes the small frame is a good choice for shorter riders because it has 26" wheels, here's Court's review. Both ebikes offer pedal assist, no throttle. Apart from the accessories the main difference is with the Trek the battery is mounted on the down tube which puts the weight of the battery in the center of the bike, versus the Kalkhoff that has the battery mounted on the rear rack which means you get a lower step over height which is great for hopping on and off the bike but the trade off is the battery weight is towards the rear and that can feel a little tippy if you add the weight of grocery bags in panniers on the rear rack. With both ebikes you could remove the battery before lifting it onto the van rack to lessen the weight, also probably a good idea to get some sort of tarp/cover you can tie around the bike when it's on the van rack for when it rains.
Last edited:


Active Member
I'm hoping to find dealers to test ride these suggestions.
Trek have recently expanded their shop network and can order bikes from other stores for you to test ride. Kalkhoff is harder to find, I know of dealers in CA, NY, and DC but the motor can be serviced by a Bosch certified technician of any brand using their motors. The Gazelle Arroyo is similar to the Kalkhoff Agattu and Gazelle have dealers in Chicago and across the US. The Daymak EC1 is lightweight for an ebike at 38lb but the diamond frame forward leaning design is not a townie/city upright style, the dealers are in Canada, and the 24v hub motor on their base model is modest. I first tried a 24v hub motor before I switched to a 36v mid-drive motor because I found the smaller motor could not pull me up hills unloaded whereas I can now go grocery shopping and tow a child trailer.
Last edited:


Active Member
The Riese and Muller Tinker might be an option. While the handlebar support folds, the main frame does not, thus maintaining structural rigidity. If you get it with the Nuvinci and belt drive it would be a clean, relatively maintenance-free solution that you might could even consider storing inside the van. The Bosch walk-assist would allow you to guide it up a ramp, if necessary. The Bosch drive is one of the more reliable, and Bosch has a large network of dealers for any warranty issues. Read this thread:

Courts review:
Last edited:
I also recommend the Trek Lift+, even though I bought the Townie Commute Go. I took a test ride at our
LBS on one. Very impressed. I only went with the Townie because I planned on using an Ebike mostly for
street use. With that said, I may see if the LBS will take my old Trek 6000 as a trade in sometime in the future.
Not sure how I'll be able to sneak it home without the wife finding out.

Electric Bike Shops Near You