Great points and my patience and taking my time paid off and getting the right bike to suit my needs. The first a bike I ever test road put a huge smile on my face because of the torque and the assist and it even had a throttle and I nearly bought it on the spot. That bike was 67 pounds. I never did attempt to pedal it without assist. Long story short after test riding about five different bikes I ended up with a class one that is only 44 pounds. I have limited mobility and it is much easier for me to lift on to a bike rack or in the back of my van. This bike rolls amazingly well and at times I do not need any assist at all on a level surface. It only has a 250 W motor but because of the weight and it is a mid drive I have no trouble pulling any hill. Again best to test ride many different varieties because it is always easy to pull the trigger on a first ride because they are so incredibly fun.Simple suggestion on finding the right ebike: start with riding each brand you are comparing without any assist at all. See how it handles, how comfortable is your riding position, how confident you feel about your ability to control it, and what it will be like when you stop at intersections, ride up steep hills or down those same steep hills etc. See how it shifts and how hard it is to pedal or how easy it is to pedal. Different frame geometries can have a big impact.
THEN, evaluate how the assist is. My point is sometimes people are so infatuated with the novelty of the assist, they tend to overlook or not even notice compromises they are inadvertently making. The $100 price difference between a Rad city and Pace 500, for example of comparing two ebikes, is really neglible in the long term, and could even be a regret if the ebike proves to be not as 'comfortable' as you first imagined it would.
Again, using these two as an example, Between these two ebikes the weight difference is significant and one does ride a lot smoother, is much easier to pedal without assist in all gears, and just is much more comfortable all around due to its frame geometry and 5 frame sizes being available for a lot of height ranges, and arm length ranges, and ratios between those two fit aspects. Having a more nimble ebike, and one that is easier to lift onto a car bike rack carrier may be more important than you first think. Then if the ebike rolls better and is lighter, and has less drag unassisted, that means it will be less work for the motor and battery, and controller, and possibly even safer riding with easier acceleration for that hill, or outrunning that unexpected country dog, who is nipping at your heels.
The comparison is best done with a number of ebikes, as you might also learn about features or designs, or fit enhancers, that you didn't find out about from comparing just a couple of brands of ebikes during test rides, or just trying to evaluate them by on line specs or forum opinions from people who may be totally different weights, heights, strength, or even riding skill than you.
Actually the Aventon 500 has more torque at 50 nm vs 40 nm for the DD RadCity. The Aventon feels quite a bit more powerful in actual test rides.They are close in price RadCity has more accessories included and suspension but has less range and is 13 lbs heavier. The Aventon has a faster top speed (28 mph) and more torque and range but 250 less watt output and no accessories included.
Not sure what is better rads fearless direct drive or Aventon’s geared one.
I did not condemn all Rads, only the 63 pound RadCity with it's "draggy" and underpowered DD motor. While on the subject, makes no sense to me why they put the DD motor on the Wagon too. The RadCity would be a great bike, even if porky (edit, heavy), if they put the geared hub on it at 80 nm vs the DD 40nm ... just not enough power for my taste. Hope they standardize on the geared, 80 nm motor on all their bikes in 2020. The regen aspect of the DD motor is not much more than marketing hype/hope, LOL.I really do like the idea of comparing bikes. My thing though, is if you're going to condemn one of them/eliminate it from your potential buy list, do it for the right reason. Don't condemn all Rad's for instance, because the one you rode felt draggy with no PAS. That's ignorant.
If pedaling easiest possible unassisted is high on your list, stay away from the direct drive bikes, all of them. Realize it's the motor, not the bike manf.
In defense of direct drive, I think most people could care less about the slight direct drive drag when there's no power going to them, as they are riding with the assist on 99.9% of the time, and that drag is not even a factor.
BTW, I'm a huge fan of the gear driven hubs - for my purposes - as I rarely ever exceed even 15mph, and the gear drives do feel peppier (the bigger ones anyway, 500w+). I'm just sharing the fact there's quite a difference between the drive types. One is never going to be "better" than the other. Each have their fans as not all of us have the same riding preferences.
We could also get into tire sizes contributing to that "draggy" feeling as well or contributing to a harsh ride. It doesn't take a lot of difference. The jump from a 2.3 width, to 2.0 width for instance, can be a very noticeable difference in rolling resistance. The 4.00 tires are REALLY draggy, but the ride is great!
Okay AHicks, thanks. "Porky" was a poor choice of words by me, edit to "heavy". I do like the downhill braking with the DD motors regen, but I also like the ability to get home with no juice left, and that's one thing I really like about the Aventon Pace bikes, as they are almost as easy to pedal as my non-electric Townie or Trek Verve. I agree, Rad is immensely popular, and the RadCity has a lot going for it. I just wish it had the geared hub as in Rad's other bikes.I really don't have an issue with you not liking the Rad City, and fully respect the fact you are entitled to an opinion. I did/do agree with most of what you had to say. Last comments were an attempt to keep the FACTS straight.
My purpose is never to offend. Just trying to keep a level playing field for those following later on. Communications has never been one of my strong points. Apologies if I offended you in the process. Thanks for letting me know. -Al
I'm not that handy AHicks. Maybe have to go back to the RadCity as a compromise. Running out of choices for 2 bikes under $3200 that are good city AND commuter bikes. Specs are secondary to me ... ride/handling quality, look and feel are more important. Thanks for the reply, I enjoy your posts. Re "wallowing in specs", we don't need the bikes until December when we move to the hills and mountains of Prescott, AZ.I must have misunderstood somewhere. I thought you had made up your mind and made a purchase already. A bike you might want to consider is a bike with attributes that are easily customizable by the rider. This would allow you to set the electronic calibrations to suit your tastes. The only controllers like that that I am aware of are aftermarket, so you could consider a purchase of a bike (a used one, or maybe build your own starting with a donor bike) with the idea you could set it up "your way" after purchase. This would likely void any warranty of course, but might offer a little clearer course towards the purchase of a bike, to let you start riding soon vs. hopelessly wallowing in bike specs. into the foreseeable future.
I contacted Juiced ... the only way to test drive their bikes is at their office in Chula Vista, CA. Looks pretty good on paper however.From what you've said in your notes, I would avoid the DD rear hub the City runs. A little more expensive for sure, but the Juiced Cross Current will check more of your boxes, the ones I remember you discussing most anyway.
The only thing I don't know about and can't find anything on right off hand, is their controller. The common specs look good, including it's ability to have the firmware upgraded. That's what I would like to know more about. Particularly, if it's open source or not, where you are able to mess with it unimpeded by "locked down" parameters. Even if you could talk with a factory tech and discuss them, then download an "updated" firmware package with any changes you'd like.