Looking for an e-bike that can help me go car free

adamcorwin

New Member
I've got an old car, that I'd like to not have to replace. I have a short commute to work, about 8 miles round trip, and currently have a road bike. I live in the midwest and don't do much biking in the winter when their is snow since my road bike doesn't handle it well. I've started looking into ebikes and was hoping for some input on what ebikes might be good as a car replacement for me.

Ideally, I'd like something that:
- Costs under $2k
- Has a range that could handle just being charged once a work week / handle going to visit family which live around 40 miles away (I'm about 145lbs and live in a flat city)
- Has top assist speed of at least 20 mph
- Comes with or could add on rack/fenders for commuting and hauling groceries
- Something that could handle the winter months / being locked up outside while at work
- Prefer more of a minimalist/subdued aesthetic. Would rather it not scream e-bike
- Lighter weight (50lbs or less) would be ideal but not a must

The bikes I've been looking at so far, that seem like the best fits are the:
NCM Moscow Plus
Aventon Pace 500
Ride1up 500 Series MTB

I think I like the look of the Ride1up the best, but I've had the most trouble finding reviews on it.

If anyone has thoughts as to what they think would be the best option for my situation, I'd appreciate it!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I don't think an ebike with 2.0-2,3" tires is much better in snow unless you get studded tires. Below 35F, you can use the ebike, but you have to let the battery warm up above 45F to charge it. (The actual minimum temperature is a little above freezing for charging, so I'm picking a higher temperature for more margin.)

In the summer, you'll have to stay at the family's place for 6 hours to recharge the battery if it's 40 miles away, unless you ride slow and are willing to do the last 20 miles home on pure pedal power.
 

adamcorwin

New Member
Those are good points. The recharging while visiting family shouldn't be an issue. It's usually for the day if I'm going to visit. As far as the tires - the city I live in does a decent job of keeping streets and trails clear. So it's usually not a ton of snow I'm biking through, but it does get slushy/slick pretty often. Just enough to make riding my road bike feel like a bad idea. I've used bikeshare bikes in this weather and felt safe. But that may be the combination of the two inch or so tires with the heavy weight, those bikes are kinda beasts.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I don't think an ebike with 2.0-2,3" tires is much better in snow unless you get studded tires..
I ride in snow all the time with 2" x 26" tires. THe bike doesn't float on top of the snow, it punches through the snow to the pavement. What keeps me off the road is glare ice after a thaw, or caused by city snow removal that piles the stuff up in the bike lane. WIth global warming I didn't miss a trip to the grocery, bank or dollar store last winter.
I live without a car with the cargo bike shown left. The bikes you listed are standard length frame, and once you add a rack, baskets or panniers, your weight unloaded is 30 lb front 60 lb rear. If you have a beer or soda habit, the weight goes to 120 rear 20 lb front on a short frame bike. The cargo lifts the front wheel up because so much is behind the back wheel. This leads to squirrly steering even in dry weather. I've hit my chin over the handlebars 5 times with MTB & cruisers with basket. I bought the stretch frame cargo bike to put my weight on the front wheel, the cargo on the back, and a fall hasn't happened yet.
Check the cargo bike category, but I think the stretch frame type give the best payload with the least air drag. Wind is getting quite aggressive these days. Trailers & front bins both strike me as big sails. I ride into the wind 80% of the time it seems.
The bodaboda I ride has fixed frame mounts for front cargo baskets, so you don't have to fight the cargo weight when steering. Other cargo models are the xtracycle swoop the radwagon and the pedego stretch.
Your range estimates are wildly optimistic even in warm weather. I have a 17 AH 48 v battery and I use 90% to 50% voltage in 30 miles of many hills, at average 9 mph. Two advantages of converting a unpowered bodaboda myself - I got to pick the drive, which is geared hub so I can pedal myself as much as possible. I got to pick the battery size. And the whole thing cost about $2850 with panniers, double leg kick stand, fenders, rack, front basket, 1200 w motor, 840 wh battery. If a motor or battery wears out, there is no problem with finding a OEM battery to fit a specific model mount or exact match mid drive motor.
Best luck shopping.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
I've got an old car, that I'd like to not have to replace. I have a short commute to work, about 8 miles round trip, and currently have a road bike. I live in the midwest and don't do much biking in the winter when their is snow since my road bike doesn't handle it well. I've started looking into ebikes and was hoping for some input on what ebikes might be good as a car replacement for me.

Ideally, I'd like something that:
- Costs under $2k
- Has a range that could handle just being charged once a work week / handle going to visit family which live around 40 miles away (I'm about 145lbs and live in a flat city)
- Has top assist speed of at least 20 mph
- Comes with or could add on rack/fenders for commuting and hauling groceries
- Something that could handle the winter months / being locked up outside while at work
- Prefer more of a minimalist/subdued aesthetic. Would rather it not scream e-bike
- Lighter weight (50lbs or less) would be ideal but not a must

The bikes I've been looking at so far, that seem like the best fits are the:
NCM Moscow Plus
Aventon Pace 500
Ride1up 500 Series MTB

I think I like the look of the Ride1up the best, but I've had the most trouble finding reviews on it.

If anyone has thoughts as to what they think would be the best option for my situation, I'd appreciate it!
I couldn't do it. Too old and too spoiled. There would have to be a car available for inclimate weather and/or emergencies at the least. Wouldn't have to be a nice car, just one I could trust to get me there and back. Old Toyota or comparable would be fine...

The only way that might change is if I lived in an area with good public transportation available.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I see DIvvy bikes downtown in winter. Brave souls, and they're riding in slush.

For commuting, maybe an old steel bike with a $200 direct drive motor kit and a $400 battery, Most owners run them on throttle. Below 20 mph, you can still pedal them and feather in power. As higher speeds, you run out of gears to be able to keep up the pedaling, and these cheap kits have lousy pedal assist anyway. They all seem to go full speed, from what I hear.
 

ilanarama

Member
I used to commute by (acoustic) cross bike year round in Boulder CO. If the city plows your paths, really the most important thing is not your bike but your attitude and your clothing. 2" tire width will be fine.

If you're serious about using your bike as a car replacement, perhaps consider spending more for higher quality and lighter weight. I bought an e-bike as a car replacement (I mean, we still have a vehicle, but we use it rarely) and the more time I spend in the saddle, the more both its virtues and its flaws stand out to me.
 

Dirkdaddy

New Member
Look at Wing Fatty as possible bike, its got no problem on commute distance and probably good in snow. Its very affordable at <$1400. I am looking at one possibly after using wife's Wing Freedom commuter (profile pic)
If you get a load of ice probably shouldn't be driving anyway but maybe could uber on those days? Good luck.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
40 miles one way? In the winter? What part of the Midwest? I’m outside Minneapolis and that distance would be a challenge in winter. Mostly because of traffic!
I’m curious to see what you find.
 

adamcorwin

New Member
40 miles one way? In the winter? What part of the Midwest? I’m outside Minneapolis and that distance would be a challenge in winter. Mostly because of traffic!
I’m curious to see what you find.
I'm in the Indianapolis area, so winters aren't as intense here, but we do still get a couple big snows each year. Usually we don't have bad weather for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is when I've biked up in the past.
 

adamcorwin

New Member
Look at Wing Fatty as possible bike, its got no problem on commute distance and probably good in snow. Its very affordable at <$1400. I am looking at one possibly after using wife's Wing Freedom commuter (profile pic)
If you get a load of ice probably shouldn't be driving anyway but maybe could uber on those days? Good luck.
Nice, I really like the look of the wing freedom. What kind of range have you gotten with it typically? I know it can vary a lot, but just curious how in line which their listed range it has been.

I have thought about a fat tire one but I think I'd prefer something lighter/smaller.
 

Dirkdaddy

New Member
Nice, I really like the look of the wing freedom. What kind of range have you gotten with it typically? I know it can vary a lot, but just curious how in line which their listed range it has been.

I have thought about a fat tire one but I think I'd prefer something lighter/smaller.
We got the 10.x mid grade battery (not the big 14.x one) as my wife's job is only 10 miles each way. It doesn't get into the battery much for her to do a round trip honestly. Maybe down 50%? I live in the south Beaverton OR area and there are some hills for sure, but some of it is not too bad south of here.

I rode into Portland for a club meeting a week or so ago, was 30miles RT / 15 miles each way, and hilly with some more gentle roadway up/down and bike paths downtown, etc. I was late so I used 3 on the way there, and 2 on way back except for hills. About 800ft of climbing. Used lights on way back. As I approached my house the battery seemed flat as it would not assist as much as usual, but was still 1 light of 4 on battery pack. So that was about the limit for that terrain, 30-35 miles.

I rode it to a doctor appt round trip was 25 miles with some flats and some hills - 800ft of climbing and battery was feeling peppy when I got home with 2 of 4 bars.

I am thinking the max range if you try to preserve battery power could be close to 50 miles. Flatter terrain and you would get probably well into 40's if you turned it on/off and used low settings, but most ebike riders I've seen don't do that.

My take: these are not light bikes so you don't want to run out, but bigger batteries than what you need adds weight and money. I bought for the commute wife needed and a bit extra.

As you get in shape more my wife has eased off the assist and rides on 2 a lot. Sometimes I only use level 1 like in town or bike path with pedestrians, etc.

RE: fatty - I like it conceptually (not ridden) as it has a smaller dia wheel so the power has more leverage - and the fatty has a bigger motor. The Freedom is a great deal too, but it rides stiff - probably like a lot of these, a seat post shock is good idea which I'm looking into. I am bike enthusiast and have been pretty impressed at the parts selection and quality, even the generic stuff like headset / stem / seat / handgrips are high quality not junk you typically see (esp. seat which has some decent cushion and cut-out but isn't too small or huge, good compromise). Same for leather feel grips with a wing thing to support your palm. Wheelsets are HDuty and look like you could put them on a motorcycle - which is good for longevity but makes it ride a bit harsh IMHO. Solid axles also good for heavy duty riding. Seems like a bike you could ride a lot and not have it fall apart.

Supposedly the fatty is about the same weight <50lbs. I checked weights of bikes and the Wing was for its price point about the lightest I found. I measured with the optional fenders and pedals, water bottle cage about 48 lbs.
 
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jaredev

New Member
What kind of range have you gotten with it typically?
I got the largest capacity one, the 14ah, (up to 60 miles). Rode it after fully charged and went on several trails, mostly flat with a number of moderate hills. Turned on the Power Assist Level 1 the whole time. Made it to 44 miles before it was fully depleted. Your range may increase somewhat if you're lighter than me. :)