Need recommendations...

AJ5258

New Member
Hi. I’m new to the Ebike world. I’m searching for a bike for my wife as a birthday present. She’s 66 and very fit. I’m kinda in over my head with so many options. She would typically use the bike as a neighborhood cruiser ...no off road usage to speak of. The main unknown for me is that she would need to go up a fairly steep hill every day and the one thing I don’t want to do is buy a bike only to find that she needs to stop and walk it up the hill. She’s fairly light at 135#.
I’ve narrowed down my choices so far to the Biktrix Stunner, Amego Infinite and the Blix Aveny. Not having even seen any of these bikes in person it’s tough to choose.

Any recommendations? Is one type of motor better for power to get up the hills? I’m certainly open to other bikes as well. Just want them to be safe and have enough power to get her up the hill

Thanks
 

MikeDD

Active Member
With my wife, I would give her a card with a gift certificate for a bike. No way would I try to fit a bike without the person riding it present.
 

FlatSix911

Active Member
Based your wife's requirement to steep climb hills, I would recommend that you narrow your search to mid-drive bikes.

The mid-drive motor allows you to use the full range of gears for optimized climbing performance... more details here:


Mid-drive motors were designed to improve upon a number of shortcomings found in hub motors.

The single largest advantage that mid-motors have over hub motors is their gear ratio. They allow the rider to power the rear wheel via the same chain and gear set as the pedals, which means that a low gear can be selected for powering up steep hills or accelerating from a stop with massive torque. A mid-drive motor in low gear can climb steeper hills than a hub motor of similar power, and can climb hills for longer than a hub motor, which could overheat on long steep hill climbs.
A mid-drive motor is also usually smaller and lighter than a hub motor of similar power. Smaller and lighter mid-drive motors are often stealthier because they can be incorporated directly into the bicycle’s frame. Many people don’t even realize that a mid-motor bike is an electric bike just by looking at it.
Changing a tire on a mid-drive motor e-bike is much easier, since you don’t have a heavy hub motor to deal with. You just change it out like on a normal pedal bike. Plus, since you can use normal bicycle wheels, you have the freedom to use any wheels, tires and cassettes that you wish.
Lastly, mid-drive motors allow the use of true torque sensors for pedal assist systems, which regulate the motor power based on how hard you push on the pedals as measured at the crank. Hub motors often rely on cadence sensors for pedal assist, which only regulate motor speed based on pedal speed, and can cause jerky or awkward motor timing, especially when hill climbing or moving the bicycle around obstacles.
 

TaraBara

Member
See if your local bike shop has the Giant bikes or try the Specialized Vado. Those are two very nice bikes and in your price range judging by the list of bikes you listed. If you are in the Midwest a lot of the 2019 bikes are on closeout and you can get a super deal. There are huge advantages to buying from a local bike shop. There is some maintenance involved in owning an ebike. You say your wife is very fit so I would go with a hybrid style bike vs. cruiser. The cruiser is laid back riding style and meant to let your ebike do most of the work. A hybrid is more versatile and adjustable and will allow for a more athletic ride. Giant bikes have a Yamaha motor and honestly is unbeatable in power, silent motor, and battery longevity. Specialized have their own motors and the ride is honestly the smoothest integrated ride for the money. Your wife will ride farther on an ebike and if you plan on riding with her I'd be surprised if you can keep up on an analog bike. I have to wait for my hubby all the time and he's in excellent shape. Both of the bikes I recommend trying have mid drive motors and take hills like a boss. I cant say much for a rear hub motors as I have not tried one but I have been in the forum for awhile and know they do not have the power of a mid drive motor (hill climbing) or the LBS (local bike shop) service. If you $5k and up to spend then I recommend Riess & Muller. Those are AMAZING but not affordable!!!!
 
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AJ5258

New Member
Thanks very much TB. I’m actually going to head off to a local Giant dealer this morning. Their bikes are a bit more expensive than the ones I’m considering but I would feel much better developing a relationship with a LBS so maybe the added cost will be worth it just for that peace of mind. This will be my first entry into the Ebike world and once we see how much usage the first one gets we will determine if we get one for me.
 

TaraBara

Member
Thanks very much TB. I’m actually going to head off to a local Giant dealer this morning. Their bikes are a bit more expensive than the ones I’m considering but I would feel much better developing a relationship with a LBS so maybe the added cost will be worth it just for that peace of mind. This will be my first entry into the Ebike world and once we see how much usage the first one gets we will determine if we get one for me.
I own the Giant Lafree E+1 it's $2k but I have heard people getting this bike on closeout for as low as $1600. I love my bike if you spring for the Lafree E+1 that bike is $2.4k it has a belt drive. Less maintenance and from what I hear people love those. If I were to spend the money I'd have gone with the Specialized Vado turbo 3.0 or a Como 3.0 step thru. They are about $3.3k and I loved how everything was integrated but I couldn't see spending the money. I ride my bike 3 to 7 times a week and average 20 miles. So far my bike has been everything I hoped and I just love getting back on a bike. The warranty on these bikes is 2 years. I also get free tune ups for 2 years. I hope you enjoy your ebike adventure and you best be thinking about getting and ebike for yourself because you wife is going to love hers. Good luck to you. Cheers!!! 😊
 

CSH

Active Member
Hi. I’m new to the Ebike world. I’m searching for a bike for my wife as a birthday present. She’s 66 and very fit. I’m kinda in over my head with so many options. She would typically use the bike as a neighborhood cruiser ...no off road usage to speak of. The main unknown for me is that she would need to go up a fairly steep hill every day and the one thing I don’t want to do is buy a bike only to find that she needs to stop and walk it up the hill. She’s fairly light at 135#.
I’ve narrowed down my choices so far to the Biktrix Stunner, Amego Infinite and the Blix Aveny. Not having even seen any of these bikes in person it’s tough to choose.

Any recommendations? Is one type of motor better for power to get up the hills? I’m certainly open to other bikes as well. Just want them to be safe and have enough power to get her up the hill

Thanks

There is one very Key thing that you said about your Wife....... She is "Very Fit".

My interpretation of that would be......... She probably would appreciate a bike that allows her to have a sense of physical Effort (input).

My point being, there are TWO fundamental ride experiences out there.

1. A feeling of "Assistance" to the effort YOU are putting out. {typically a Mid Drive Motor}. Feels like you have Bionic Legs !

2. A feeling of being "Propelled" like on a Moped or motorized scooter {typically a Rear Hub Motor}. Very little effort required to move along.

I found that some bikes were Sooo Thrusting in their propulsion, that it left little room for Human physical effort / input.

I personally believe that a person who wants to maintain Fitness, will appreciate # 1 a bit more.

Hills can be handled by both, however the conventional Nod goes to the Mid Drive for conquering Hills.

All that being said, I really like the Feel of the Yamaha Motor in the Giant LaFree E+1 (search other threads in the Giant section of EBR Forum, about that bike).

Don't buy without Test rides of both types.

Let the "Birthday Present" be the Experience of trying several models, and then picking the one that feels right.

The Adventure of acquainting yourself with Ebikes is half the Fun !

Craig :cool:




 
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Solom01

Active Member
Maybe have her test an Orbea Gain? Unlike most 50 pound and heavier ebikes they ride and feel like a real bike, with just a little bit of extra assist if you need it. You won't be ghost pedalling with it like with most ebikes, middrive or hub, but it will handle and feel like a bike, and if she's fit she probably would enjoy it.
 

ChezCheese:)

Active Member
I love my BH Atom Diamond Wave Pro, specifically for the torque getting up hills (the reason I got an ebike) and because it is so smooth. Try many ebikes. It is not a cheap purchase, and probably not something you should choose for your wife.
 
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AJ5258

New Member
There is one very Key thing that you said about your Wife....... She is "Very Fit".

My interpretation of that would be......... She probably would appreciate a bike that allows her to have a sense of physical Effort (input).

My point being, there are TWO fundamental ride experiences out there.

1. A feeling of "Assistance" to the effort YOU are putting out. {typically a Mid Drive Motor}. Feels like you have Bionic Legs !

2. A feeling of being "Propelled" like on a Moped or motorized scooter {typically a Rear Hub Motor}. Very little effort required to move along.

I found that some bikes were Sooo Thrusting in their propulsion, that it left little room for Human physical effort / input.

I personally believe that a person who wants to maintain Fitness, will appreciate # 1 a bit more.

Hills can be handled by both, however the conventional Nod goes to the Mid Drive for conquering Hills.

All that being said, I really like the Feel of the Yamaha Motor in the Giant LaFree E+1 (search other threads in the Giant section of EBR Forum, about that bike).

Don't buy without Test rides of both types.

Let the "Birthday Present" be the Experience of trying several models, and then picking the one that feels right.

The Adventure of acquainting yourself with Ebikes is half the Fun !

Craig :cool:



I agree and thanks for your input. I visited a Giant dealer earlier today...albeit a small LBS....and talked to the guys there. I’ve pretty much decided that developing a relationship with a LBS is the way to go. This particular shop didn’t have a LaFree in stock and was kinda lacking on that particular product knowledge. That said, I was impressed with the whole feel of the shop and decided that I’m willing to spend a bit more to have someone with a whole lot more experience than I do set the bike up. I’m going to visit a couple more Giant dealers next week and hopefully one of them will have a LaFree in stock. I’m leaning toward the +1 because I like the idea of a belt vs a chain. Once I put in the legwork I’ll just take my wife to the shop and let her pick for herself. I was able to try out a 2020 Explore E+4GTS myself and was blown away by that bike so maybe two bikes are in our future.
 

CSH

Active Member

If it is a Giant Dealer, there is no reason they can't order in a LaFree E+1 for you to try (without obligation to buy). My Giant Dealer did that.
Just be sure to get the right size for you, in case you want to keep it.

Secondly, My Giant Dealer said the bikes came directly from the warehouse Fully assembled !

This bike is New enough that even some Giant Dealers haven't seen one first hand. It's kind of a Sleeper .......
I believe it was available in Europe before here in USA.
Once they saw it, they were kinda stoked about it........ especially the E+1, do to the Nexus gears and Carbon Belt.

Craig :cool:
 

AJ5258

New Member
I guess that’s another reason to check out other Giant dealers. The owner was pretty clear that he doesn’t like to stock Ebikes because he has difficulty selling them. He had one Ebike in stock. He did offer to order one....of course...but never offered to do it unless I was going to buy it. I’m not willing to buy before I see it. I’m sure there must be a LaFree somewhere in the Phoenix area.
 

CSH

Active Member
I guess that’s another reason to check out other Giant dealers. The owner was pretty clear that he doesn’t like to stock Ebikes because he has difficulty selling them. He had one Ebike in stock. He did offer to order one....of course...but never offered to do it unless I was going to buy it. I’m not willing to buy before I see it. I’m sure there must be a LaFree somewhere in the Phoenix area.

Check out Giant website, or call them to be sure.

Here is what I found

What is your Return Policy?
We want you to love your purchase, but if an item fails to meet your expectations we will accept its return.
Bicycles must be returned to your Giant retailer:
Bring your order, with proof of purchase, to the local Authorized Giant retailer who assembled your bike. You may be eligible for a full refund of the purchase price, not including initial shipping and handling charges (S&H) plus any applicable tax, so long as any such bicycle is like-new and undamaged.
To make a return for a refund, please follow these guidelines:

  • Returns will be accepted within 14 days of invoice
  • Items must be in like-new, unused condition and undamaged
  • Proof of purchase is required
  • Credit will be issued to original credit card used for purchase
Items ineligible for return:
  • The item was not purchased from Giant Bicycle, Inc.
  • The item was invoiced more than 14 days ago
  • The item has been used
  • The item is not in new condition
  • The item was marked "final sale"
  • The item was damaged by improper use or accident

It would be counter intuitive of them to think people would buy without Test Driving first.
I doubt they want a warehouse full of unseen bikes.

Also the Giant website has a Dealer Locator that will show which dealer has the bike in stock when you (add to cart) but don't click purchase unless you intend to ;)
 

Katysax

Member
How long and steep is the hill? I have a rear hub bike that easily goes up a hill near me that is about .2 miles and quite steep. It does fine. However I live near a mountain that is a 3 mile climb and I think it would overheat the motor.

I urge you to let her pick out the bike. Bikes are very personal. To me hub vs mid drive and torque v cadence have a lot to do with how the bikes are set up and the motors tuned. I’m 5’3.5” and I hate the geometry of most ebikes. The step thru frames feel to me like I am sitting in the bike and I hate how heavy they feel. I much prefer the small wheeled bikes because I can dial in the fit and I don’t feel overwhelmed by the bike. I’ve owned 5 ebikes and tested others

My preference is probably in the minority but I prefer cadence sensor to torque sensor. With a cadence sensor I can adjust the bike to fit the way I ride. With torque sensor I feel like I have to adjust to the bike. Having ridden tens of thousands of miles on bikes and a few thousand on ebikes there are three rules for determining how much you will like a bike. 1. Fit. 2. Fit. 3. Fit.
 

AJ5258

New Member
Check out Giant website, or call them to be sure.

Here is what I found

What is your Return Policy?
We want you to love your purchase, but if an item fails to meet your expectations we will accept its return.
Bicycles must be returned to your Giant retailer:
Bring your order, with proof of purchase, to the local Authorized Giant retailer who assembled your bike. You may be eligible for a full refund of the purchase price, not including initial shipping and handling charges (S&H) plus any applicable tax, so long as any such bicycle is like-new and undamaged.
To make a return for a refund, please follow these guidelines:

  • Returns will be accepted within 14 days of invoice
  • Items must be in like-new, unused condition and undamaged
  • Proof of purchase is required
  • Credit will be issued to original credit card used for purchase
Items ineligible for return:
  • The item was not purchased from Giant Bicycle, Inc.
  • The item was invoiced more than 14 days ago
  • The item has been used
  • The item is not in new condition
  • The item was marked "final sale"
  • The item was damaged by improper use or accident

It would be counter intuitive of them to think people would buy without Test Driving first.
I doubt they want a warehouse full of unseen bikes.

Also the Giant website has a Dealer Locator that will show which dealer has the bike in stock when you (add to cart) but don't click purchase unless you intend to ;)

Awesome. Didn’t realize this. I’ll check it out. Thanks!
 

CSH

Active Member

One last thing to consider...................

Will your Wife want a more Relaxed Upright Vibe when riding ?
Or a more Lean In Athletic Vibe when riding ?

At 60+, not everybody wants to (or can) ride as they did when they were 20.🤪
 

AJ5258

New Member
How long and steep is the hill? I have a rear hub bike that easily goes up a hill near me that is about .2 miles and quite steep. It does fine. However I live near a mountain that is a 3 mile climb and I think it would overheat the motor.

I urge you to let her pick out the bike. Bikes are very personal. To me hub vs mid drive and torque v cadence have a lot to do with how the bikes are set up and the motors tuned. I’m 5’3.5” and I hate the geometry of most ebikes. The step thru frames feel to me like I am sitting in the bike and I hate how heavy they feel. I much prefer the small wheeled bikes because I can dial in the fit and I don’t feel overwhelmed by the bike. I’ve owned 5 ebikes and tested others

My preference is probably in the minority but I prefer cadence sensor to torque sensor. With a cadence sensor I can adjust the bike to fit the way I ride. With torque sensor I feel like I have to adjust to the bike. Having ridden tens of thousands of miles on bikes and a few thousand on ebikes there are three rules for determining how much you will like a bike. 1. Fit. 2. Fit. 3. Fit.


Thanks very much. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that she needs to try at least a couple out before buying. At least I’d have a much better idea of her preferences and fit.