New to the ebike world and would love your opinions!

com4n6

Member
Hi there! My name is Corrie and I am trying to navigate the ebike world. I tried a Pedego cruiser and loved the position and easy of the ride. I liked the throttle too, however, I didn't like the price! I then saw Cort's review of the RadCity step thru and thought this would be perfect! Then I tried the Electra Townie Go 8d step thru. It was very nice as well but after researching thought 8i would be best, but can't find an 8i right now. I started thinking about the handlebars of the Pedego and how I really liked the feel, so I found the Electra Townie Commute Go and loved it, but it is pricey. So my question is what ebike to buy?

I would just be riding around with my family on mostly paved or hard pack trails. I have bad knees (hence the electric bike). I am not sure that a throttle is necessary (that is the big question).

Pros of the Townie Go:

Local bike shop
Test rode
Dealers all over the US

Cons:

No throttle
Price

Pros of RadCity:

Price
Throttle

Cons:

Not local
Less accessibility across the US

Any thoughts?

Thank you!
 
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ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
Welcome to the forum!

My thoughts are that online bikes without boots-on-the-ground support are best for people who are handy and willing to swap parts out while being instructed on the phone on bike fixes if something breaks. That does not describe me, so I didn't choose an online ebike.

In terms of price, it's important to think about what you can afford, and how long you hope to keep and use the bike. How those questions are answered differs for each person. Established companies with a bricks-and-mortar presence do charge more than online companies, but the support, availability of replacement parts, etc., that they offer may matter to you if you hope to keep and ride your bike for many years.

As for a throttle, where I live, the throttle matters a lot (to me) as it is so hilly and I often have to start when faced uphill. I also like the throttle considering my purchase from a long-term perspective--it allows another level of support if I have an injury so I would still be able to use my bike.

It's great that you are test-riding bikes! I have a Pedego Interceptor and am happy with my bike. In the last year I've been commuting, recreating, shopping ... 3800+ miles worth of ebiking... while my car spends a lot of time sitting in the garage!

Happy shopping!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Corrie, I fear that you will have to plan for more ebikes in the family.

When you have bad knees, and you still have to press down on the pedals when starting, a throttle is quite handy.

And if it's a hub motor, and the chain comes off, the throttle gets you to a safe place to stop and put it back on.
 
I would rather buy a bike that I will ride a lot and that will last a long time. Having an LBS makes it easier to maintain and a throttle to get you moving sound like things that will allow you to ride more. Rad seems like they are going to make it (many brands won't) and they seem to be holding up pretty well. There was a group buy in my area three years ago and I knew some people who bought during it who were very casual riders, most have stuck with it.
 

JohnT

Active Member
I’m a throttle guy with knee problems, and I highly recommend them, but they’re not absolutely necessary, unless your problems are very severe.

Full disclosure, I’m a Pedego dealer, so I’m biased, but I try not to be a total fanboy. Having said that, here are a few reasons for the Pedego.

One con of the Townie you didn’t mention is that it has a smaller battery and therefore shorter range. That’s one reason for its lower cost vs a Pedego Interceptor. The mid-drive motor is a nice feature, but I personally prefer geared hub motors.

The Rad City is a good value, but the quality is lower than Pedego, and if I remember correctly, it’s hub motor is direct drive, not geared. Direct drive is cheaper, simple, and tough, but they’re heavier, and have lower torque and more drag than geared motors. Rad uses geared hubs on their other bikes.

Oh, and FYI, Pedego dealers, like many ebike sellers, offer financing options.
 

SteveADV

New Member
Hey Corrie, I'm also new to this eBike world so maybe what I've figured out what worked for me (so far) will be helpful. With 4 surgeries on my left knee (2 from football 40 years ago and 2 a couple years ago from a minor motorcycle accident) plus a total right hip replacement a year ago, my legs were pretty shot. I needed a recovery plan and biking entered the picture. Rented a couple Pedego ebikes while visiting in Florida and decided that biking with motor support was the way to go.

Lots of choices, so probably did the same kind of research you have done. Tried a few different bikes including the Specialized Turbo Como 2.0 mid-drive. Loved that bike and it was offered by my local bike shop. But it required that I pedal to engage the motor support and as you and others have suggested, I wondered if the throttle might be a worthwhile addition, even if it meant I would lose some of the steep hill torque offered by the mid-drive. This being a new endeavor for me kept me from seriously considering a bike that had both mid-drive and a throttle as my first bike.

Ended up with a Volt Yukon 750 (7 speed with 9 peddle assist level hub drive and a throttle). Great bike but for the kind of riding you described I probably would not go with a fat tire bike. I also do bike trails and hard packed, but also head off road a little bit. Turns out I rarely use the throttle. I should add that I had the bike shipped directly to my LBS for "assembly"...there's not much of that. In fact, the only issue I had was the rear light not working. When the bike shop didn't know how to fix it I called Volt and they said they would send a replacement. Fiddled around with it and noticed one of the wires not hooked up. Stuck it wear it belongs and the light worked and has worked without fail since, even with me going over some rough territory. Called Volt back and told them not to bother sending the replacement. Also, I am not at all mechanical.

For what it's worth, I, personally, would not hesitate to buy direct from any of the better known sellers. Pedego was great, by the way, but they didn't hit the price point for what I wanted in an eBike. Clearly, that's not true for everyone and I think the company and Pedego dealers are great ambassadors for ebiking in general.

Ok, so that's lots of words. Hope some were helpful.
 
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Tuna

New Member
Ariel Rider - W Class
Electric Bike Company - Model C or Model S
E-Lux - newport or tahoe models
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
For me personally, Rad Power.
It's just no brainer.

The Rad is a lot more popular, and very common. More aftermarket support.
If you want more power, you can get a Bolton 35A controller kit.
No, it doesn't come with hydraulic brakes but you can upgrade too. And the prices of Rad bikes aren't bad either.

Also one thing to consider, because Rad Power bikes are one of the most common ebikes out there, you can easily find fellow Rad Power owners online and ask for help.
https://electricbikereview.com/forum/categories/discussion-by-brand-user-reviews.168/

As you can see above, Electra Forum has mere 9 threads and 35 messages, Rad Power Forum has 641 thread and 8,206 messages.
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
One thing to also think about- if you are riding on the street, (or even some bike paths) you’ll have to stop for intersections and traffic lights. I’m getting better about pedaling to the curb and resting one foot there, but that’s not always doable. Hopping on and off the bike can jolt your knees and spine. A design like Electra that lets you keep your feet flat on the ground when stopped is something you grow to appreciate. I think some of the Pedegos are designed this way, too. Not sure about Rad Rover.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
One thing to also think about- if you are riding on the street, (or even some bike paths) you’ll have to stop for intersections and traffic lights. I’m getting better about pedaling to the curb and resting one foot there, but that’s not always doable. Hopping on and off the bike can jolt your knees and spine. A design like Electra that lets you keep your feet flat on the ground when stopped is something you grow to appreciate. I think some of the Pedegos are designed this way, too. Not sure about Rad Rover.
The OP is talking about the Rad City https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radcity-step-thru
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I tried a Pedego cruiser and loved the position and easy of the ride. I liked the throttle too, however, I didn't like the price!...I started thinking about the handlebars of the Pedego and how I really liked the feel...my question is what ebike to buy?
Hi Corrie, whereabouts in Virginia are you? My local Pedego dealer in Alexandria, VA, sells his ex rentals for under two grand through the Pedego certified used program, and there is another dealer in Richmond. It seems a good way to get a cruiser without paying full retail and the battery and motor are warrantied for one year http://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/pre-loved/
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
You really should go to a store or stores and test ride as many as you please. I bought a bike and rode it for 30 miles before I decided it was the wrong one for me. They took it back and let me exchange it ,upgrading ( $400 more) to a better one that I am happy with and have put over 4000 miles on so far. Also you can determine if these are the people you want to service and repair it .
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
You really should go to a store or stores and test ride as many as you please. I bought a bike and rode it for 30 miles before I decided it was the wrong one for me. They took it back and let me exchange it ,upgrading ( $400 more) to a better one that I am happy with and have put over 4000 miles on so far. Also you can determine if these are the people you want to service and repair it .
Just curious.. why did it take you 30 miles to figure out it was a wrong bike for you?

Typically when I visit an ebike store, they usually offer me 20 minute test ride, and it only takes me 3 to 5 minutes to figure out if I like the bike or not.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Just curious.. why did it take you 30 miles to figure out it was a wrong bike for you?

Typically when I visit an ebike store, they usually offer me 20 minute test ride, and it only takes me 3 to 5 minutes to figure out if I like the bike or not.
Yes it did . It was only when I came to a certain bumpy rocky part of a long trail that I realized the spring suspension fork was unacceptable. The second bike has an Aion air fork which is much better. I had been toodling along quite happily until I hit the rough patch. If I had returned in 20 mins I would only have been on pavement. OK ?