Looking for hill-ready, good value Ebike for urban commuter

Discussion in 'Help Choosing an Ebike' started by Geggs, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Geggs

    Geggs New Member

    While I can ride reasonably long distances (e.g. I have cycled the ~40 mile NYC 5 Boro Bike Ride on a bike just powered by myself) and am comfortable cycling in traffic, I can't handle the hilly terrain in Atlanta, so I'm looking for an EBike to help with that. I'm 200lbs, 5'6" and will primarily be riding on roads in an urban setting where drivers aren't as good one would like. Good brakes are thus a must. With the Ebikes I have test rode, I prefer those with higher definition sensors, as I find the pedal lag kind of annoying. I'm on somewhat of a budget, so something around $1000 would be great, but I could be convinced to spend more ($500?) with good reason. My 5'11" wife may borrow my bike on occasion.

    Given my budget constraints, I'm willing to sacrifice two things: speed and range. The EBike doesn't have to be fast, nor does it need long range. I imagine most rides will be under 5 miles and maybe the longest ride without charge would be 10 miles.

    Finally, if possible, I'd like the bike to be sold by a storefront in Atlanta (for support), be light-weight and be able to fit some kind of child transport (e.g. child seat or trailer). None of these are must-haves, but would be nice.

    If you suggest a particular bike, and it doesn't meet all of the above, please let me know what's missing as I'm no expert on EBikes! Thanks for any advice or suggestions you may have!

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  3. john peck

    john peck Member

    Juiced Bikes 500wt Cross Current Air start at &1095 for the 8.8ah batpac, but that pack is currently sold out,(more coming)
    It's a nice commuter if you don't need a lot of range. The 12.8 ah pack is $300 more . Check it out, & decide for yourself.
  4. Islandrog

    Islandrog New Member

    The Radcity or Surface604 Rook or Colt should be considered. Check out the reviews by Court.
  5. rich c

    rich c Active Member

    $1000 bike at a LBS? Pretty sure that is not possible. That kind of price puts you in the cheap Chinese components for sure. You will not be getting hydraulic brakes. If you are a good mechanic, you could build your own kit and add quality components as the cheap ones fail.
    PCDoctorUSA likes this.
  6. Sonoboy

    Sonoboy Active Member

    Heck, even if you’re not a good mechanic, you can work with a LBS to build a hub or mid-drive using one of the Bafang kits and let them do the conversion. Since you might be able to buy a used frame from them to serve as a base for the conversion, as well as any other non-electric components, they might be willing to do so. Just don’t expect them to warranty any drive related components. Could be a win-win for you and the LBS.
  7. Dewey

    Dewey Active Member

    ElectroBike Georgia are a franchise of a Mexican importer with an Atlanta location. Court Rye liked their Magnos folding bike. It is a Class 2 ebike with both pedal assist and a throttle, a 12 magnet cadence sensor, and mechanical disk brakes. It has a 36v hub motor threaded into the 20" rear wheel, this gives it mechanical advantage which is why it appears to be a decent hill climber. Check with them about the weight rating of the rear rack if you're considering mounting a child seat.

    ElectricBikeSpecialists in Chattanooga, TN, is a Raleigh Electric and Juiced Bikes dealer. The Raleigh Superbe iE is a Class 1 ebike with pedal assist but no throttle, a 12 magnet cadence sensor, and standard linear pull rim brakes. It comes in diamond frame or step through frame, and has a 48v hub motor threaded into the 700c rear wheel. The battery is mounted on the rear rack which would raise the height of a child seat a couple of inches, this might make it feel a little tippy when occupied so you might want to consider a trailer instead. I ride a pedal bicycle that I converted to a Class 1 pedelec with rim brakes on 700c wheels and I tow a child trailer, I find rim brakes perform fine on hills at normal bicycle speeds even when loaded with a child and groceries, but if you wanted to upgrade you could consider having a bike shop replace them with Magura HS33 hydraulic rim brakes rather than trying to convert to disk brakes.

    Two Wheeling Tots is a good website for reviews of child seats and child trailers, and advice about how to check if a bike is compatible with a child seat, also the various features you might want from a child trailer.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  8. Geggs

    Geggs New Member

    Thanks very much for your replies! I appreciate it. I have tried some Ebikes at Electrobike Georgia, though mainly their cheaper Ebikes. I'll have to try their Magnos folding bike. I have had a folding bike for a few years now, so I'm pretty familiar with them, and I like the idea of potentially being able to fly easily with a folding Ebike. On the other hand, I feel like I already have a folding bike, so perhaps I'd like something different.
  9. Dewey

    Dewey Active Member

    No, ebike batteries are not permitted in airplane cargo holds or in the passenger compartment, you would have to mail the battery ahead by UPS ground-hazmat or rent a battery at your destination.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  10. PCDoctorUSA

    PCDoctorUSA Member

    Check out Voltbike. Online ordering only and they ship out of Canada and the US. The Elegant is currently $1299 and Court was impressed with its performance during his recent test ride. It's got a step-thru design so it will be easy for both you and your wife.

    As others have suggested a DIY build is another option to stay at $1k but make sure you thoroughly check out the manufacturer's product reputation before buying. The mid-drive kits look like the easiest to install, but I've never done one and my opinion is solely based from watching YT videos.

    You could also look at buying a used ebike, but I would only do so from a reputable LBS (local bike shop) that offers some sort of limited warranty on your purchase. The last thing you want is to have something major go wrong a week after rolling out the door. Definitely ask how well the battery holds a charge because that would be the weakest link IMO. Like with a used laptop, it's the one component most sellers will make a point not to warranty. A local ebike shop I recently visited offered to let me rent the bike for a few days to help me decide. Unfortunately, the bike looked heavily abused and didn't impress me during my test ride so I passed.

    Good luck and let us know what you end up with.
  11. roshan

    roshan Active Member

  12. FredE

    FredE New Member

  13. FredE

    FredE New Member

    If you contact Juiced directly they have the 1095 Crosscurrent Air in stick with the smaller batt. Keep in mind this is a before tax price AND be sure you are comfortable with the reliability concerns that have been raised. M2S 350 Scout seems solid at 1200. And a 2 year warranty