Short rider with little bike experience

Sloth

New Member
#1
Does anyone have suggestions for an ebike for:
- rider under 5''2, keeping in mind that if a suspension seat post is necessary that'll take up a few inches
- rider not very athletic and in particular not a ton of experience with a regular bike other than how to ride one
- because of the above: easy to maintain
- options to carry groceries or even a kid
- handles hills smoothly
- doesn't scream ebike
- doesn't need to be beautiful if it means deterring thieves
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#2
Does anyone have suggestions for an ebike for:
- rider under 5''2, keeping in mind that if a suspension seat post is necessary that'll take up a few inches
- rider not very athletic and in particular not a ton of experience with a regular bike other than how to ride one
- because of the above: easy to maintain
- options to carry groceries or even a kid
- handles hills smoothly
- doesn't scream ebike
- doesn't need to be beautiful if it means deterring thieves
For people to better assist you,
You should mention the following.

  1. The kind of riding you plan on doing (commute, recreational, MTB)
  2. Budget
  3. Location where you live
  4. Gender, age (helps in suggesting bikes)
 

Sloth

New Member
#3
For people to better assist you,
You should mention the following.

  1. The kind of riding you plan on doing (commute, recreational, MTB)
  2. Budget
  3. Location where you live
  4. Gender, age (helps in suggesting bikes)
Thanks Ravi. This shows the lack of experience right here...

1. To ride around town, to commute though usually (much) less than 7 miles at a time (bike to train type of commute hence the theft concern)
2. 5k but of course lower is better
3. New England (RI, MA), mostly city riding
4. Female early 30s
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
#4
I'm not sure what type ebike you are looking for but this is the step thru model we picked for my wife. She is 5' 2" with a 28" inseam and her Pedego Interceptor is a great fit. The bike has a telescopic type suspension seat post and when properly adjusted for her, the seat could go about 2" lower.


pedego-platinum-interceptor-2.jpg
https://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com/product/interceptor-platinum-edition/

The bike is priced on the high side of average but it might be worth a look.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#5
The Gazelle EasyFlow in frame size 45 fits riders from 4'10"-5'5" - I tested the EasyFlow for a month last year and it has a wonderfully low step through frame with lots of saddle and handlebar adjustment, ability to add a child seat/panniers/tow a trailer (see my review), an internal gear hub so you can shift gear when you are stopped, a suspension seatpost and monoshock front suspension, a pedal torque sensor so it feels bicycle-like to ride, and a walk-assist feature which helps when you are walking beside and pushing a loaded bike. If you prefer to have a throttle as well as pedal assist, the Pedego Interceptor or Comfort Cruiser in the 24" frame size recommended above by @6zfshdb are good, though they weigh about 10lb more than the EasyFlow.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
#6
The Gazelle EasyFlow in frame size 45 fits riders from 4'10"-5'5" - I tested the EasyFlow for a month last year and it has a wonderfully low step through frame with lots of saddle and handlebar adjustment, ability to add a child seat/panniers/tow a trailer (see my review), an internal gear hub so you can shift gear when you are stopped, a suspension seatpost and monoshock front suspension, and a pedal torque sensor so it feels more bicycle-like to ride. If you prefer to have a throttle as well as pedal assist, the Pedego Interceptor or Comfort Cruiser in the 24" frame size recommended above by @6zfshdb are good.
I should have included the fact that the Pedego Interceptor I mentioned above was a 26" model, not a 24". Sorry for any confusion.
 

Marci jo

Active Member
#7
Does anyone have suggestions for an ebike for:
- rider under 5''2, keeping in mind that if a suspension seat post is necessary that'll take up a few inches
- rider not very athletic and in particular not a ton of experience with a regular bike other than how to ride one
- because of the above: easy to maintain
- options to carry groceries or even a kid
- handles hills smoothly
- doesn't scream ebike
- doesn't need to be beautiful if it means deterring thieves
Congrats on decision to research ebikes. This is a great forum with tons of info from experienced and wonderful contributors.

I believe @ebikemom rides a Pedego and hauls groceries and kids (maybe sometimes both??).

As a woman with a similar challenge of finding a bike with a small comfortable frame and wheels, the only suggestion I have is RIDE BEFORE YOU BUY.

Looking forward to seeing you new bike!
 

ebikemom

Administrator
Staff member
#8
My 14 year old daughter has the 24" Pedego Interceptor Step-through. She's 4'10".

I do haul groceries on my 26" Pedego Interceptor, but don't haul people¥ (though my daughter hauls friends around on the back of hers!)

Yes, these look like ebikes--battery on the back.

Happy shopping! Do ride before buying, for sure! :)
 

Sloth

New Member
#9
Thanks all. I think the stores that have these bikes are pretty far away so test riding them will take a while. What about a cargo bike like Tern GSD?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
#11
As you see left I have the yubabikes bodaboda cargo bike. The stretch behind the seat put my weight on the front wheel, which solves a problem I had with front wheels skidding and flipping sideways on regular bikes. I hit my chin on the road on the 4 previous bikes, MTB & cruisers. Baskets in the back made the front wheel too light. I'm 68" but my pant leg is very short at 28". Yuba makes electric models spicy curry & mondo. This one comes with the lowest stepover. Yuba has a serious 2 legged stand accessory which would make loading kids on the back easier. Their bikes also have wheel skirts which keep kids fingers from being pinched. Yubabikes.com They have specific instructions for child seats, and for the day school grade school kids there is a padded shelf, standard foot rest, and accessory handlebars for the kids to hold on to.
A stretch bike with lower quality components, is the radwagon. The pedego stretch costs more but I don't think it is any better.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#12
Thanks Ravi. This shows the lack of experience right here...

1. To ride around town, to commute though usually (much) less than 7 miles at a time (bike to train type of commute hence the theft concern)
2. 5k but of course lower is better
3. New England (RI, MA), mostly city riding
4. Female early 30s
Great! here are some recommendations. There are many Specialized dealers across the nation.
  1. Specialized Turbo Vado in Small or may be medium:
    28mph top speed, 500wh battery, stealthy looking, $3500.
    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/turbo-vado-4-0-step-through/p/170312?color=264270-170312

    1554322148927.png

  2. BH Atom Street.
    very stealthy, 5 year warranty on the motor, controller and display (most other brose motors are 2 years, best in the industry), 26" wheels which are [perfect for you.
    higher capacity 600whr battery and $2999.
    https://bhbikesusa.com/atom-street/
    1554322126500.png

  3. Giant Lafree E+1 in small frame.
    Excellent Yamaha motor, gates carbon drive, easy step thru frame, $2400
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/lafree-eplus-1

    1554322231756.png

  4. Benno boost eBike.
    https://www.bennobikes.com/e-bikes/boost/
    24" wheels, 400lbs cargo capability, wide availability, good system overall. $3999.

    1554322092322.png
All these bikes have wide dealer network so you could test ride them and receive support system.
 
#13
Thanks everyone. @Ravi Kempaiah , I'm moving to a city with fewer dealers. There I find one that carries Bulls, Benno, Tern, Gazelle, R&M. Another small store has Electra11, Felt Bicycles, Scott, Trek.

Any recommendations to try among those (other than the Benno)? It's fine if it's not too stealthy... functions over form!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
#14
You have several good brands to choose from there. In addition to the Gazelle EasyFlow I mentioned, Tern make excellent folding ebikes with 20” wheels which are good for shorter riders from 4’10”. My wife test rode the Tern Vektron and liked the adjustable handlebar stem. Also the Trek Verve+ LowStep is another good model, the extra small frame size fits from 4’10”-5’1.4”, and the small from 5’-5’6”
 
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Over50

Well-Known Member
#15
My wife at 5' rides the Terns. But a reliable source told me that perhaps she would find one of the Riese and Muller models a great fit for her size. I think it was the Nevo that was mentioned as good for shorter riders. There are 3 frame sizes and a model priced just under $5K:

1556280304724.png
 
#16
I'll check those out, thanks @Dewey and @Over50

Anyone has opinions about 20mph vs 28mph? If one isn't too athletic, does that mean lower speed is better? What if they go on a ride with someone else on a 28mph, would that matter?

Most of the suggestions seem to be mid-drive motors. If the motor breaks, does it mean the bike can't be used at all as a regular bike? And which type of motor is better for a "beginner"?
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
#17
I'll check those out, thanks @Dewey and @Over50

Anyone has opinions about 20mph vs 28mph? If one isn't too athletic, does that mean lower speed is better? What if they go on a ride with someone else on a 28mph, would that matter?

Most of the suggestions seem to be mid-drive motors. If the motor breaks, does it mean the bike can't be used at all as a regular bike? And which type of motor is better for a "beginner"?
I'll mostly just address the 20 mph part of your questions. Others on the forum have way more expertise in the mid-drive vs hub subject. If you are with a rider with lesser ability or less comfort riding at a higher speed than my stance is the faster should slow down rather than pushing the slower to speed up. My experience with my wife is that she doesn't feel comfortable riding very fast. Probably for her, 15 mph is too fast. I slow down from my normal pace to ride with her and it doesn't bother me. I get enough riding on my own to satisfy any need for speed. Sometimes I ride my non e-bike and she rides an e-bike. If I put her on a class 3 (28 mph) bike she would probably still never ride out of her comfort zone and would probably never surpass 20 mph (except for maybe coasting downhill). If you have a hilly area, the torque might be more important than speed. Also I think the Nevo has 20 and 28 mph models. Any Bosch powered bike you probably won't want to ride without power and/or it wouldn't be very useful as a regular bike. My wife has done some short 4-5 mile rides with the power turned off but it isn't easy.
 
#18
I'll mostly just address the 20 mph part of your questions. Others on the forum have way more expertise in the mid-drive vs hub subject. If you are with a rider with lesser ability or less comfort riding at a higher speed than my stance is the faster should slow down rather than pushing the slower to speed up. My experience with my wife is that she doesn't feel comfortable riding very fast. Probably for her, 15 mph is too fast. I slow down from my normal pace to ride with her and it doesn't bother me. I get enough riding on my own to satisfy any need for speed. Sometimes I ride my non e-bike and she rides an e-bike. If I put her on a class 3 (28 mph) bike she would probably still never ride out of her comfort zone and would probably never surpass 20 mph (except for maybe coasting downhill). If you have a hilly area, the torque might be more important than speed. Also I think the Nevo has 20 and 28 mph models. Any Bosch powered bike you probably won't want to ride without power and/or it wouldn't be very useful as a regular bike. My wife has done some short 4-5 mile rides with the power turned off but it isn't easy.
Great points, Over50.
And I would like to add a point regarding cost. As a rule the 28 mph bikes cost more than the 20 mph bikes (of course a few exceptions), but within the same manufacturing brands you pay more for speed.