Paralysis by analysis

erutio

New Member
I've been spending the past month researching e-bikes. I want to pull the trigger, but as the title states, seems like I've got paralysis by analysis. I feel like I would be able to narrow down a lot of choices if I could try test ride few. The problem is that there are not e-bike dealers close to where I live (Columbia, MO). Closest ones are in St Louis or Kansas City, both 2 hours away.

Anyways, about me. Basic stats are male, 5'9", about 180-185lbs.
I'm already a daily commuter on my bike, a Trek hybrid. My commute is 7 mi each way, with about 5 of is on gravel bike trail (packed crushed limestone). Rolling hills with an occasional steep ascent on some streets. Biking to work is great in Mid-Missouri here during a short window in spring, and another short window in the fall, but the heat kills me during the summers, and I actually don't mind the winters if I bundle up, but hoping an ebike will just cut down the time I'm out in the elements. (The only times I don't bike to work are during active snowstorms or thunderstorms, or if I need to suit up that day. Otherwise, I'm thinking of making my new years resolution next year to bike to work >80% of the work days in 2016). Roads are basically suburban/mixed rural.

A bike that's too roadie I feel like would not handle the daily gravel too well, nor the snow in the winter. Same with most of the "city commuter" types. I'm considering a mtb type, though I'm not doing mtn trails or offroading, this would be strictly for commuting or towing the kids into down, but for some reason, I've never really liked the look of mtbs.

Budget in the 2.5k to 3.5k range, will need to build up goodwill for my wife, but maybe can bump up to 4k. Anyways, sorry for the long first post, but was hoping for some input from the community. Thanks in advance!
Peter
 

irenewg13

Active Member
I've been spending the past month researching e-bikes. I want to pull the trigger, but as the title states, seems like I've got paralysis by analysis. I feel like I would be able to narrow down a lot of choices if I could try test ride few. The problem is that there are not e-bike dealers close to where I live (Columbia, MO). Closest ones are in St Louis or Kansas City, both 2 hours away.

Anyways, about me. Basic stats are male, 5'9", about 180-185lbs.
I'm already a daily commuter on my bike, a Trek hybrid. My commute is 7 mi each way, with about 5 of is on gravel bike trail (packed crushed limestone). Rolling hills with an occasional steep ascent on some streets. Biking to work is great in Mid-Missouri here during a short window in spring, and another short window in the fall, but the heat kills me during the summers, and I actually don't mind the winters if I bundle up, but hoping an ebike will just cut down the time I'm out in the elements. (The only times I don't bike to work are during active snowstorms or thunderstorms, or if I need to suit up that day. Otherwise, I'm thinking of making my new years resolution next year to bike to work >80% of the work days in 2016). Roads are basically suburban/mixed rural.

A bike that's too roadie I feel like would not handle the daily gravel too well, nor the snow in the winter. Same with most of the "city commuter" types. I'm considering a mtb type, though I'm not doing mtn trails or offroading, this would be strictly for commuting or towing the kids into down, but for some reason, I've never really liked the look of mtbs.

Budget in the 2.5k to 3.5k range, will need to build up goodwill for my wife, but maybe can bump up to 4k. Anyways, sorry for the long first post, but was hoping for some input from the community. Thanks in advance!
Peter
Paralysis by analysis, says it all! There should be a forum by that name. I'm about to buy my first, and I can't offer you any advice.
 

irenewg13

Active Member
Just talked with the wife, the budget should be bumped down to more of the 2.5 to 3k range. Thanks
I'm heading out to the store (Lennys), I'm probably getting EGMaui or a Pedego, etc... city/cruiser. She might like the Izip 3, it's thinner in appearance.
 

sal

Member
Screenshot_2015-07-30-21-44-46.png
Screenshot_2015-07-30-21-44-46.png I am like u, 5'9", 185 -190 lbs. I spent 3 months in paralysis mode, watch a lot of Court Rye videos.... but now I " pulled the trgger", and went with lectriccycles.com on July 28th. Great manager and helpful staff. 55 + dealers and growing. Only shop to have patented bafang mid drive shift sensor, since hill climbing important to me, but fast too. Lookin back, I too frustrated with # of choices and option. Also can't find most dealers, many miles away. Ask yourself what aspect of bike most important to you, mine was smooth shifting, battery, mid motor strenght and range, and mountain bike roughness and stability. I choose a conversion bike instead of a purpose built bike: therefore, wires outside tube, not as clean look as a purpose built bike. I need bike for city, trail and leisure use. I went with the Orion 8 crawler fat tire bike, full upgrade, new bafang motor, prolific battery life, stong controller, etc. I'm spending 4k but you can still get a great bike in the 3k range.
 
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grench

Well-Known Member
I've been spending the past month researching e-bikes. I want to pull the trigger, but as the title states, seems like I've got paralysis by analysis. I feel like I would be able to narrow down a lot of choices if I could try test ride few. The problem is that there are not e-bike dealers close to where I live (Columbia, MO). Closest ones are in St Louis or Kansas City, both 2 hours away.

Anyways, about me. Basic stats are male, 5'9", about 180-185lbs.
I'm already a daily commuter on my bike, a Trek hybrid. My commute is 7 mi each way, with about 5 of is on gravel bike trail (packed crushed limestone). Rolling hills with an occasional steep ascent on some streets. Biking to work is great in Mid-Missouri here during a short window in spring, and another short window in the fall, but the heat kills me during the summers, and I actually don't mind the winters if I bundle up, but hoping an ebike will just cut down the time I'm out in the elements. (The only times I don't bike to work are during active snowstorms or thunderstorms, or if I need to suit up that day. Otherwise, I'm thinking of making my new years resolution next year to bike to work >80% of the work days in 2016). Roads are basically suburban/mixed rural.

A bike that's too roadie I feel like would not handle the daily gravel too well, nor the snow in the winter. Same with most of the "city commuter" types. I'm considering a mtb type, though I'm not doing mtn trails or offroading, this would be strictly for commuting or towing the kids into down, but for some reason, I've never really liked the look of mtbs.

Budget in the 2.5k to 3.5k range, will need to build up goodwill for my wife, but maybe can bump up to 4k. Anyways, sorry for the long first post, but was hoping for some input from the community. Thanks in advance!
Peter
Go with a purpose built Ebike for your first round. Drive the two hours and ride a rear hub drive and a mid drive. Decide what body position you are comfortable with...up right, slightly forward or forward. Get fitted for frame size and buy a bike with the above answers...no longer paralized. You will want a new different bike shortly after your first. You can then consider all of the many variations on the market with a firm point of view from your daily commuter.

Thoughts?
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Go with a purpose built Ebike for your first round. Drive the two hours and ride a rear hub drive and a mid drive. Decide what body position you are comfortable with...up right, slightly forward or forward. Get fitted for frame size and buy a bike with the above answers...no longer paralized. You will want a new different bike shortly after your first. You can then consider all of the many variations on the market with a firm point of view from your daily commuter.

Thoughts?
"You will want a new different bike shortly after your first. You can then consider all of the many variations on the market with a firm point of view from your daily commuter."

This: +1 Just do it. Buy a decent quality bike and if it's not the perfect one, you sell it and move on. I've found myself loving my full suspension mtb even for street use with street tires on it. Go figure.
It's my third E bike this year, but I haven't lost more than $200 on any swap (buying like new, used) so to me it's a no brainer to try what looks interesting/better, whatever.
From all that I've looked at, I would only (ME) buy the upper end 4k type bikes, but USED, for around 1/2 that or a bit more.
They really are built much better and heavier duty with hydraulic brakes and all that.
Motorized fat bike WOULD seem to fit what you need with the gravel and winter riding, and the relatively short commute. I would still get suspension, but certainly can get by without it.
Felt and Haibike both make gorgeous Fat bikes, both priced out of your range but again, buy used. ;)
I bought a gorgeous Stromer ST1 that is a tremendous bike but I'm just not riding it since I got the mountain bike (loving trail riding) and my trike has boost too.
It was over 4k new in Feb to first owner. I bought it in April with 64 miles on it for $2600 (with full city kit lights/fenders $350) and I'm selling it for $2400 now with 120? miles on it. Not trying to sell you, just showing you what is out there and that you can play around a bit and try stuff without losing your shirt. I'd hoped my gf would ride the stromer with me, but it's not happening much. LOL
Prices of the upper/middle (4k) stuff are dropping. FWIW
 
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erutio

New Member
"You will want a new different bike shortly after your first. You can then consider all of the many variations on the market with a firm point of view from your daily commuter."

This: +1 Just do it. Buy a decent quality bike and if it's not the perfect one, you sell it and move on. I've found myself loving my full suspension mtb even for street use with street tires on it. Go figure.
It's my third E bike this year, but I haven't lost more than $200 on any swap (buying like new, used) so to me it's a no brainer to try what looks interesting/better, whatever.
From all that I've looked at, I would only (ME) buy the upper end 4k type bikes, but USED, for around 1/2 that or a bit more.
They really are built much better and heavier duty with hydraulic brakes and all that.
Motorized fat bike WOULD seem to fit what you need with the gravel and winter riding, and the relatively short commute. I would still get suspension, but certainly can get by without it.
Felt and Haibike both make gorgeous Fat bikes, both priced out of your range but again, buy used. ;)
I bought a gorgeous Stromer ST1 that is a tremendous bike but I'm just not riding it since I got the mountain bike (loving trail riding) and my trike has boost too.
It was over 4k new in Feb to first owner. I bought it in April with 64 miles on it for $2600 (with full city kit lights/fenders $350) and I'm selling it for $2400 now with 120? miles on it. Not trying to sell you, just showing you what is out there and that you can play around a bit and try stuff without losing your shirt. I'd hoped my gf would ride the stromer with me, but it's not happening much. LOL
Prices of the upper/middle (4k) stuff are dropping. FWIW
Is the stromer St1 still for sale? And where are you located?
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
@erutio Sounds like you have a good plan for next year. Which works to your advantage.

I own a bunch of regular bikes, bought two ebikes and built one ebike. I bought an expensive eBike to start and kept it 5 years then dumped it when it needed a new battery. Now have a STromer for 2 years and plan on keeping it for awhile.. If you buy quality you keep it, just like everything else in life.

Here's what i know..
A quality regular bike like your Trek will be much better than your 3000 eBike, component and frame wise.
The best deals in eBikes are when a shop is going under, or at the end of the model year, sometime between Oct and January. You can expect up to 40% off. Buy the bike you like the most and you will keep it for years and years..
Don't buy a used bike from another owner.. You won't have a warranty and you don't know how they maintained the battery.
A DIY bike kit is great but it will look kind of dorky. If you don't care about that, your Trek would be a great conversion... Then buy yourself a new bike for the rest of the year.
 

PJungnitsch

Member
For gravel trails I'm finding my fat bike is astoundingly good, either the Radrover or the Biktrix should work well for you, depending if you want to go rear or mid drive.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
@erutio Sounds like you have a good plan for next year. Which works to your advantage.

I own a bunch of regular bikes, bought two ebikes and built one ebike. I bought an expensive eBike to start and kept it 5 years then dumped it when it needed a new battery. Now have a STromer for 2 years and plan on keeping it for awhile.. If you buy quality you keep it, just like everything else in life.

Here's what i know..
A quality regular bike like your Trek will be much better than your 3000 eBike, component and frame wise.
The best deals in eBikes are when a shop is going under, or at the end of the model year, sometime between Oct and January. You can expect up to 40% off. Buy the bike you like the most and you will keep it for years and years..
Don't buy a used bike from another owner.. You won't have a warranty and you don't know how they maintained the battery.
A DIY bike kit is great but it will look kind of dorky. If you don't care about that, your Trek would be a great conversion... Then buy yourself a new bike for the rest of the year.
I like this forum for its divergent opinions........I disagree with almost every piece of advice JoePah provided.

-Purpose built ebikes have frame design, geometry, and strength designed to handle the significant increase in weight. This is especially true of mountain bikes that take a pounding. For your budget you can expect quality componentry including shimano gearsets, and top quality hydraulic disc brakes.

-I have researched ebikes in the SF Bay Area for a year and have never seen a new ebike at 40% off. Perhaps a 10% discount or an offer of additional accessories. Warranty service requires a dealer to jump through hoops as the warranty process on bicycles is archaic. If you need warranty service from a dealer you did not buy the bike from, you may find yourself paying significant labor charges to compensate the dealer for his time and effort.

-Buying from another owner is a very good option especially if the owner can provide service records or you can visit the shop where the bike was maintained. Ebikes have odometers which will give you an indicattion of life cycles left in a battery. Most modern day lithium ion batteries are tough to abuse. An owner can obtain a new display with a false odometer reading but this rare. The ebike community is tiny and most owners are very forthcoming on the condition of their bikes. You will save a great deal of money over buying a new bike from a dealer.

-DIY kits are fraught with peril. You will stress a non-ebike frame beyond its original design (for example in some kits you mount the batteries on the water bottle mounts and they are not designed to support an 8-10lb battery) , you will need some significant mechanical skills to build AND maintain. Kit vendors vary greatly in their level of post sale support so be careful if you go this route. Your kit bike will suffer not only from looks but handling as weight placement greatly alters this. There are a very few kit vendors who have well built solidly tested "systems" and render good support. Bionx is such a company.

You should enter the ebike world with an understanding that the technology is changing rapidly and that what is new and great today can be old and obsolete in just a few years. This is especially true of battery technology. I recommend that you purchase an ebike with a clear understanding that ebike motors and batteries are subject to significant stress and will have significantly shorter shelf lives than a human powered bicycle.
 

eDean

Active Member
My suggestion is to make a day of it and drive the two hours each way. There is little substitute for test rides. Also, if you have problems you may need to make that trip again... Maybe catch a game or spend the night. Buying used is a bit tricky for a first bike but has some merit. I bought two bikes before I found one that worked and fit. Fit is really important giving how much more time my ebikes spend being ridden compared to my old non powered bikes. Certain bikes tend to be discounted more than others, eflow come to mind. Depending on the bike, you might want to work a second battery into the deal.