Step-thru frame with Shimano Steps Di2 Auto-Shift?

Discussion in 'Help Choosing an Ebike' started by Dave F., Sep 1, 2017.

  1. Dave F.

    Dave F. New Member

    My wife and I are both in our mid-70's and have been active road bike riders. Due to some medical issues, we're looking for a new e-bike for my wife, and price is less important than function/features. I've done a lot of shopping around (both real and virtual) but I'm having trouble finding purchase candidates with the right combination. She wants a step-thru frame (lots of models) plus she likes the Shimano Steps system with Nexus Di2 hub internal gearing (fewer models.) So far, I can only find one bike with both features; the EVO Headway 7.0. I don't claim to have done an exhaustive survey of the entire e-bike market, but surely there must be some more options out there! If you know of others we should be considering, I'd be most grateful to learn about them.
     


  2. Please support your local electric bike shop! These guys work hard offering test rides, sharing expertise and performing support.
    EBR strives to be impartial, we don't sell bikes ourselves and keep ads limited and relevant. Donations are greatly appreciated.


  3. JayVee

    JayVee Well-Known Member

    Wallerung e-bikes probably have the specs you're looking for. But not sure there are any dealers in your locale. Worth a look though...

    https://www.wallerang.com/gb/12-modular-two-e-bike

    I've ridden the SHIMANO STEPs with the Di2 Alfine for about 1600 kilometres (but on an EU bike). Very comfortable to use.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
  4. scrambler

    scrambler Member

  5. JRA

    JRA Well-Known Member

    The 2018 models are coming out soon and their may be more choice. I looked at the EVO and I would suggest holding out for a bike that also has a battery mounted in the down tube rather than on the rear rack. Big difference in handling and overall balance of the bike. Also you might find one with a belt drive which would mean less maintenance. Good luck!
     
  6. 86 and still kicking

    86 and still kicking Well-Known Member

    Elby has a low step thru and such power that you need only a few gears. It has a full throttle so she can just sit there when she needs to. It is most important to test ride the bike you buy. Specs can never tell the whole story.
     
    Ann M. likes this.
  7. Dave F.

    Dave F. New Member

    Many thanks for all your suggestions:
    JayVee - Thanks for the Wallerang suggestion, it looks like a good bike, and I've found a dealer and scheduled a test ride.
    Scrambler - Thanks for the NuVinci CVT suggestion. I had not thought of that, but it looks good. I am familiar with Felt as my wife previously rode a Felt road bike and liked it. I'm not familiar with Evelo but will look into it. I also found the Reise & Muller Nevo which uses the NuVinci/Bosch combo and I've scheduled a test ride of it.
    IRA - Good suggestion of keeping the weight low by mounting the battery on the downtube rather than the rack. I will let my wife's feedback after test rides determine whether this is a high or low priority.
    86 a.s.k. - You're right that a throttle would remove the need to shift much, BUT we've pretty much decided on a mid-drive pedal-assist model. (our recreational road bike group would likely allow a long-term member to keep riding if she was pedaling like everybody else, but I don't think they'd accept somebody just sitting there on what might as well be a motorbike!)
    Thanks to all for your help.
     
  8. scrambler

    scrambler Member

    Riese & Muller do have a great selection of bikes with the NuVinci and a Gates Carbon belt. But in the US, for some odd unknown reason, they are not importing the models with the Harmony controller.
    So you will have to use the manual shifting. It is still a great system, as it is continuously variable, but not electronically assisted.
    The Nevo is a great step thru model.
     
    Ann M. likes this.
  9. Dave F.

    Dave F. New Member

    Thanks, Scrambler...I had not realized the R&M Nevo USA models did not have auto-shift. Fortunately, as it turns out, We're Canadian snowbirds who spend approx. six months of the year in Canada and the other six months in Arizona. We're in Canada right now and the Canadian model definitely has the auto-shift feature. I had not yet decided whether to buy in Canada in September or wait until we are in the USA in October. If the R&M Nevo becomes the choice model, then we'll buy it here. Thanks.
     
  10. scrambler

    scrambler Member

    Let me know what you find out, as I cant seem to see any mention of the NuVinci Harmony Hub interface and controller on the R&M Canadian site.
     
  11. scrambler

    scrambler Member

    @Dave F.
    So being confused :), I emailed R&M in germany, and they told me the only two models with the Nuvinci + Harmony H|sync are the Swing Automatic and the Culture Automatic.
    These are not available on the US site, but are listed on the International one

    The Culture is interesting as it is also one of their Full suspension bike with a Gates Carbon belt.

    https://www.r-m.de/en-en/e-bike/culture/culture-automatic/#18C04_050306
    https://www.r-m.de/en-en/e-bike/swing/swing-automatic/#18S05_060409

    May be these are available in Canada
     
  12. Mark Peralta

    Mark Peralta Well-Known Member

    Hi, you might want to check out Corratec LIFEBIKE with nuvinci h/sync. You just set the cadence (like 75 RPM) and the bike will automatically sort out the ratio for you, regardless of speed and effort. You don't have to think if you're in the right gear and just focus on the joy of riding.


    Here's the full review and info by Court, EBR moderator.
    https://electricbikereview.com/corratec/lifebike/

    Here's another step through with nuvinci h/sync.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  13. Dave F.

    Dave F. New Member

    OK, after a month's absence and several test rides, we are narrowing down the bike search for my wife. Here's some of the observations and conclusions to date:
    1. After testing several different frame styles from several different manufacturers, the FULL step-thru frame is a strong favorite. (This is called a "Wave" frame by some brands.) My wife finds it significantly easier to manage than the semi-step thru design (strangely called the "Ladies" frame by some brands.)
    2. After riding several models with Shimano Steps, Brose, and Bosch drive systems, we both prefer the Bosch system, but for different reasons; I like the Bosch technical features, she likes the Intuvia display (finds it easier to read than the Shimano.) I am aware that some newer Bosch models come only with a newer 'Purion' display, which is smaller.
    3. She has tested a bike with the Shimano Di2 "auto-shifting" feature and did not like it due to "harsh-sounding" gear changes. My interpretation is that when you shift yourself you know it's coming, but when the computer chooses the time and place for a gear change, it comes as a surprise. (Personally, I have a Di2 shifting system on my Specialized Roubaix, and I absolutely LOVE it!...but then again, it's not auto-shifting.)
    4. The Bosch drive system comes in five different "power levels" and with two different battery sizes. Due to our many hills and longer group rides, we prefer the 'Performance' or 'Performance CX' motor and the 500 wh battery. This, of course, rules out several models which only have the smaller motor and/or the smaller battery.
    5. My wife has ridden the R&M Nevo Duvinci model and found it to be a high quality, powerful, and comfortable bike, albeit quite expensive. (Scrambler: you are correct that the Harmony auto shifting is not available on this bike
     
  14. Dave F.

    Dave F. New Member

    DECISION MADE and BIKE PURCHASED!
    (Thanks, Mark P. and others.)
    My wife tried the Felt Verza E-10 and it was love at first sight. The full step-thru frame and the Bosch Performance motor were right on the mark, but the "automatic" shifting was the icing on the cake. We bought the bike and she has now successfully ridden it on a couple group rides with no issues. Although she has ridden a conventional 27-speed road bike for 6 years, she will admit that the gears have always been somewhat of a mystery to her - no more, with the NuVinci Harmony cadence-based 'automatic transmission'. Today she rode 35 miles and kept up with the group with no problem.

    Many thanks to all of you for your kind, helpful and thoughtful suggestions.
     
    vincent and JayVee like this.
  15. Dave F.

    Dave F. New Member

    UPDATE after first month of usage...still positive!
    Some of you may have followed the thread about trying to find an e-bike for my wife with a full step-thru frame and an automatic shifter. She tried the Felt Verza E-10 and loved it so much that we bought it for her after one test ride. Now that the first month of regular use has gone by, she remains just as thrilled as on the first day. With the Bosch Performance motor, it has plenty of power. The longest ride so far has been 38 miles and there was still 50% of the battery remaining. Hills (which used to be a BIG issue) have been easy by merely switching temporarily from 'ECO' mode up to 'TOUR', 'SPORT', or even 'TURBO'. Everything works exactly as it should, and it's hard to wipe the smile off her face. My only (minor) complaint is I wish it had come with the 500w battery instead of the 400w battery (25% further distance!) By the way, the NuVinci hub with automatic cadence-based shifting has been an outstanding success - she never needs to even THINK about what gear to choose! Jayne new bike1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  16. Sonoboy

    Sonoboy Active Member

    Heh heh, Turbo mode CAN be additive. I know. But it's a lifesaver for those hills.