12 months in: owner trials, tribulations and triumphs

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
PaD's post here got me thinking. Court and team's outstanding reviews give us a sense of specs and initial on-road impressions but what so many of us here crave are long term user reviews.

There's a great survey running here to pool user experiences at various stages of ownership. In complement to that I'm really eager to hear some qualitative experiences of ebike owners who are at or have recently passed their 12 month bike-e-versary.

What have your experiences been? What have you loved about your bikes? What has driven you crazy? Have they been reliable? Would you buy it again or do you have any regrets about the decision? And to pay it forward what advice would you give to potential used buyers?

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I'll kick the ball off. I passed my 12 month anniversary with my BH Easymotion Evo Cross a couple of months back. It's a 2016 model that I bought used from a reputable ebike specialist LBS in a city a few hours away. The bike was in incredibly good nick. The battery showed about 80% capacity (~9Ah) but I wasn't sure how many kays were on the odometer. It showed 500 km but it has a habit of resetting itself every so often. The bike WAS great fun. It rode really well and was happy to cruise around the 28-30 km/h range, rare for an Australian 25 km/h limited ebike. I put about 4500 km on it over the 12 months. Most of it was daily commuting to work. It served me well, riding in all weather.

There were issues, some stemming from design, some from reliability. The rear wheel with hub was SO difficult to reinsert. The two times I got a flat on the road were a nightmare. Both times I had to call a ride after fumbling around for an hour or so attempting to reseat the wheel. I eventually got it fixed in the comfort of my home. I'm first to admit I'm all thumbs but even with practising I still found rear wheel maintenance a nightmare. In addition the rear hub cable was tricky to plug back in.

Other issues were intermitted computer errors. From memory it threw up 5, 9, 12, 13 and 14. None were ride killers - I usually just had to pull over, clean the contacts, fiddle with the hub cable and reset - but annoying nevertheless. Recently the bike began randomly not engaging the motor. Not cool when I'm trying to cross an intersection with a kid in the child seat. I also had a series of broken spokes on the rear wheel - again, a huge pain because of the hub assembly. About four spokes went over a period of 3 months. I'm very light and ride carefully so it may just have been the age of the wheel - put that down to wear and tear.

Ultimately what did my Evo in was a clicking in the rear hub that got worse and worse. I took it to a local ebike store. They don't repair bikes bought elsewhere but did diagnose it as likely loose bearings, with the prognosis that sooner or later the hub will seize up completely. I'm useless with my hands so I paid two other LBS's to open it up and they both shook their heads and told me they couldn't fix it, so needing a reliable ride for commuting that was that. My options were to spend huge dollars on a new hub (approximately >AU$1200 delivered - the bike cost me AU$1750) or ship it somewhere that could fix it or look at an upgrade. As the bike also needed a couple of hundred dollars work towards wear and tear (cassette, chain, few other little bits) and the battery showed additional signs of fade I opted for the latter. The Evo Cross has been consigned to weekend kid hauling duties. I expect it'll eventually seize up in some playground far from home with 100 kg of kids, tow bikes and seats attached.

That all sounds like a tale of woe and misery but on the whole the Evo Cross was a great bike. It rode beautifully and as Court pointed out in his review gelled as a whole despite a mixed bag of components. It was a slick, nimble ride with more than enough grunt for my use (and our speed limits). Five years on I think it still looks fantastic. The design is beautiful and despite a few chips and scrapes to the matte black paintwork it holds up well. This was my gateway to ebiking. I learnt a lot riding it and it reignited a joy of biking that I'd long forgotten. I now ride more than ever and am on the verge of getting rid of my car completely - it sits gathering dust most weeks. I've since moved to a Giant Explore which has given me 650 trouble free kilometres in the 2 months of ownership but despite the bittersweet experience I'll look back fondly on the BH - I just would have liked to have gotten in another year or two of use before sending it to pasture!
 
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FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
A balanced review with both the good and not so good ... thanks for sharing your gateway drug to E-Biking. ;)

Glad to hear you are enjoying your new Giant Explore... looks like a winner with the reliable Yamaha mid-drive.

 

Alex M

Well-Known Member
AUD 1,200 (USD 900) for a hubbed wheel - probably because of shipping to AU. Dapu hubs are expensive because of poor availability on after-market. I heard people the US and Europe paying USD 700 for this.