2021 Class 3 Commuter Ebikes Thread: A Comprehensive Listing

Asher

Well-Known Member
I'm resurrecting this thread to document the apple of my eye, Class 3 commuter e-bikes. Thankfully, since the thread was posted, there's been a lot of new models in this category, though still nothing quite at the $2k mark that's fully loaded with a torque sensor, with an integrated battery (Juiced CCX and Ride1Up LMTD come close). Hopefully, that niche will be filled soon by the Zen Shakti and Ride1Up Prodigy. (Also, a lot of the bikes below require Bosch or other OEM batteries which are rather costly to replace - think of inkjet printer cartridges.)

Requirements: e-bike is a full size, non-folding frame capable of reaching 21+ mph, has flat bars, slick tires, rack and fender mounts. Ideally it comes with fenders, rack, integrated lighting, integrated battery with 500+ wh, in multiple sizes. No fatbikes.

Cannondale Canvas Neo - ~$4k
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Electra Cafe Moto Go!

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Priority Current - $2600+
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Dost Kope/Drop - $2800
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Specialized Turbo Vado/Vado SL, $3.25k+
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Gazelle Medeo T10+ HMB - $3500
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Bulls Urban 10 EVO - $4k
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Ride1Up, Multiple models, $1k+
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Giant Transend/Fastroad/Explore et al, $2850-4000
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Trek Allant 8S+
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Juiced CCS/CCX $1900+


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Aventon Level - $1600 (and other models); Level appears to be the same frame as Ride1Up 700
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Karmic Koben S $3.5k
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Fuell Flluid $4k
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*Does not include fatbikes or single speeds.

Original Post:
Despite the abundance of ebike brands, it's hard to find Class 3, 750+ W commuter models. Why are brands so uninterested in this type? Radpower has a city model that's 750 W but still only Class 2, for example. Then there are Bosch mid drives that are only 350 W. There are a couple fatbike options, like from Biktrix and Juiced, but a fatbike IMO has some tradeoffs vs a nice balloon tires option like a 27.5 x 2.4" size.

I have a Juiced commuter, and for most American cities where you can't always avoid mixing with cars, the higher speed is a godsend, and more power means a better chance of accelerating past the cars. (I wish Juiced would make a higher power model, classed as a moped, in fact, in California anyhow.)
 

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rich c

Well-Known Member
I sure would like to see some test results of how going 28mph is safer than 20mph when you get hit by a vehicle from behind going 45-50mph. I don't think you will walk away in much better shape! With the wide range of actual motor performance, I don't put a lot of value in their ratings of 750w or 350w either. I guess if you are just talking about mashing the throttle, it's different, but with all the hubbub about Rads motor ratings, test data would sure help there as well!
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I don't think Juiced and Stromer are the only ones making Class 3 commuter bikes.. there are quite a few out there.
 

erider_61

Well-Known Member
I don't think Juiced and Stromer are the only ones making Class 3 commuter bikes.. there are quite a few out there.

The Ariel Rider W Class in my avatar can be configured as a Class 3 with a code. It even includes a Class 3 sticker to replace the Class 2 that is installed on the bike when shipped.
 

Dunbar

Well-Known Member
I sure would like to see some test results of how going 28mph is safer than 20mph when you get hit by a vehicle from behind going 45-50mph. I don't think you will walk away in much better shape!

Well technically the speed differential would be lower if you got hit going 28mph vs. 20mph so you’d probably be better off...But my experience is that when speed differentials get to about ~5mph cars start to treat you like another vehicle and yield to you as they approach from behind. I have plenty roads around me where the prevailing traffic is going 30-35mph and I can do 28mph in the bike lane.
 

christob

Well-Known Member
I am not sure what criteria you are encompassing when you define a commuter specific bike…
But I’ve been commuting for about a year now on my class 3 bike from Vintage Electric. I don’t do much time in actual roadways on my commute, so, not much time spent with car traffic; as it turns out, I seldom need or want to go to 28 mph as a result. But sure I’m happy commuting and leisure riding on it!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Well technically the speed differential would be lower if you got hit going 28mph vs. 20mph so you’d probably be better off...But my experience is that when speed differentials get to about ~5mph cars start to treat you like another vehicle and yield to you as they approach from behind. I have plenty roads around me where the prevailing traffic is going 30-35mph and I can do 28mph in the bike lane.
How would you be better off? Being run over at 28mph is going to cause some real damage! In the 3 years I've been doing some serious riding, not once has a driver given me the same space and reaction given to another vehicle. I've been yelled at, had cars pass me within about a foot of my bike, block the intersection at a street and bike path, and almost run over me when I ride through a crosswalk. My biggest concern is the way they speed up to get around me. Even cruising at 24mph, they can't wait to get around me. You must ride in a more bike friendly city!
 

Dunbar

Well-Known Member
How would you be better off?

Do you understand the concept of speed differential? A car is approaching you from behind. Say the’yre going 40mph. If you are going 20mph the speed differential is 20mph. If you are going 28mph the speed differential is 12mph. If there was a collision which one do you think results in higher impact forces?
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Do you understand the concept of speed differential? A car is approaching you from behind. Say the’yre going 40mph. If you are going 20mph the speed differential is 20mph. If you are going 28mph the speed differential is 12mph. If there was a collision which one do you think results in higher impact forces?
yeah, if you are at stop light, and get rear ended by a car travelling at 40mph, you will likely die.

If you're going 35mph, and get rear ended by a car travelling at 40mph, the speed difference is 5mph.
This 5mph of impact will probably make you wipe out, but in terms of survival rate, you're better off. (yes, we know there still is a possibility of getting ran over by other cars)

But getting rear ended at 40mph while waiting on traffic light is more dangerous than wiping out at 35mph. If you have full motorcycle gear, many people walk away with some bruises.

Even if you have less protective gear like riding bicycles... if you see some high speed races like Olympics, Tour de France, Ironman Triathlon, etc.. people wipe out at 35+mph especially on downhill and yes, they do survive.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Do you understand the concept of speed differential? A car is approaching you from behind. Say the’yre going 40mph. If you are going 20mph the speed differential is 20mph. If you are going 28mph the speed differential is 12mph. If there was a collision which one do you think results in higher impact forces?

He's asking for science, not just theory.

The science tells us accident rates increase with speed differential ABOVE average vehicle speed, but is starting to challenge the old belief that accident rates increase BELOW average speed ( I still think it does, but that's a complex discussion about observer bias...)

https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road...sue_in_road_safety/speed_and_accident_risk_en

You could put forward a theory that a higher speed ebike is going the risk other bikes using that data, but my OPINION is that data just shows risk takers run higher risk and speed differential is just an innacurate way to measure risk taking behaviour - so I guess I'd also like to see some science showing higher speed ebikes are safer before I accept their dangers.

Meanwhile, if you want to start arguing about speed differential and impact velocities...just remember that there are 3 objects involved in a 2 vehicle crash, and a 28 mph impact with the stationary world is fatal ( that's the speed differential at which your aorta gets torn )


Now, back to the original question - why don't manufacturers churn out 28 mph ebikes? Could it be because they would like to stay in buisiness, and they recognise the global reality that markets with lower speed ebikes have greater community acceptance of ebikes? The US is a very small market for ebikes globally, you guys seem to have a huge problem with public acceptance - how many different laws are there restricting ebike use vs mebike? Councils stealing the bikes from you? No freedom to ebike through community forrest trails? I've got to say, watching from Australia where ebike sales are relatively booming, I can ride my ebike amywhere I can ride a mebike, and almost everyone I meet is considering an ebike for their next bike purchase.....why would manufacturers make 28 mph bikes?
 

Dunbar

Well-Known Member
He's asking for science, not just theory.

Scientific studies done to compare the safety of a 28mph e-bike vs a 20mph e-bike? Good luck finding that one. It’s not just the impact velocity that matters either. It’s that lower speed differentials give a car approaching you from behind more time to see you and react. Here’s a quote from your link on speed differential:

If on a particular road, the speed variance is high, this will result in less predictability, more encounters, more overtaking manoeuvres, etc. Therefore, when speed differences increase, the accident risk increases as well. Hence, a countermeasure that results in lower average speed, but in larger speed differences may not have the expected positive effect on road safety. But no reliable quantified relationship has been established for this linkage.
 
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Asher

Well-Known Member
I am not sure what criteria you are encompassing when you define a commuter specific bike…
But I’ve been commuting for about a year now on my class 3 bike from Vintage Electric. I don’t do much time in actual roadways on my commute, so, not much time spent with car traffic; as it turns out, I seldom need or want to go to 28 mph as a result. But sure I’m happy commuting and leisure riding on it!

Something with racks, fenders, without designs that compromise it's utility... A high speed utility bike in a sense, but not a cargo bike.

It's just strange to me since this seems like the most natural non recreational category.

Even if I didn't want to go above 20 mph, the extra power is useful for maintaining speed on hills and in wind. And once you have that power built in... You might as well design the bike to use it at higher speeds (on flats) too, because customers may change their minds and a high speed ebike is more versatile. Legal restrictions (which are mostly toothless) aside, high speed ebikes can do everything a regular 15/20mph ebike can do, and more.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Something with racks, fenders, without designs that compromise it's utility... A high speed utility bike in a sense, but not a cargo bike.

It's just strange to me since this seems like the most natural non recreational category.

Even if I didn't want to go above 20 mph, the extra power is useful for maintaining speed on hills and in wind. And once you have that power built in... You might as well design the bike to use it at higher speeds (on flats) too, because customers may change their minds and a high speed ebike is more versatile. Legal restrictions (which are mostly toothless) aside, high speed ebikes can do everything a regular 15/20mph ebike can do, and more.
Haibike Urban Plus
28mph speed pedelec, so similar to Juiced and Stromer.
Haibike_2017_USA_URBAN_Plus_white.png
 
This does seem to be an underserved market segment. Maybe it has to do with the fact that most of the world treats class 3 differently than places like the US? Does it cost more to produce a class 3 bike? And does that cost outweigh the company's sales forecast?

And I have no idea if 28MPH is scientifically safer. But I do know that drivers are more likely to wait a few seconds and pass in a safer area when I'm going ~28 than when I'm going ~20.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
Considering that seemingly many people here who have a 28 mph capable e-bike don't feel confident riding at higher speeds...and certainly not on heavily trafficked roads...why would manufacturers make even more of them? It is a minuscule market (hardcore commuters who want/need to go 28+ mph), thus a tiny segment of e-bikes.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Haibike Urban Plus
28mph speed pedelec, so similar to Juiced and Stromer.
Haibike_2017_USA_URBAN_Plus_white.png
Lol that model was discontinued.

This does seem to be an underserved market segment. Maybe it has to do with the fact that most of the world treats class 3 differently than places like the US? Does scit cost more to produce a class 3 bike? And does that cost outweigh the company's sales forecast?

And I have no idea if 28MPH is scientifically safer. But I do know that drivers are more likely to wait a few seconds and pass in a safer area when I'm going ~28 than when I'm going ~20.

It seems like newer ebikes are being designed with 48V anyway, so that's not much of an impediment. And Juiced/Stromer bikes aren't specced any differently in the mechanical bits, it's the same range of parts (though Stromer uses higher quality derailleurs, rims, etc).

Considering that seemingly many people here who have a 28 mph capable e-bike don't feel confident riding at higher speeds...and certainly not on heavily trafficked roads...why would manufacturers make even more of them? It is a minuscule market (hardcore commuters who want/need to go 28+ mph), thus a tiny segment of e-bikes.

28 mph feels too fast usually, 21 doesn't. 21 = speed pedelec.

Maybe it's just easier to sell recreational ebikes, and you're not going to sell a commuter model to someone who isn't ready yet to commute. But once they have their recreational ebike, they'll use that for commuting. An emtb will do a fine job for commuting presumably, but just may not be optimal in a few ways.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Ding! Ding! I think that is the true answer to the original OP question. Give it enough time and the US will follow the EU in the ebike regulation market. We be good sheeple.

The German ebike market is booming, ~1m in 2018 (2+ m in EU), but the motors are from Bosch and top out at 350 W. Link: https://www.bosch-ebike.com/ca/products/drive-units/

Are there any ~750W+ urban ebikes from anyone besides Stromer in Europe? I'm not aware of any.

Honestly, I think it's also that manufacturers are complacent. They're making money as is, why rock the boat? And I guess they're not seeing mass defection to Stromer, even when Stromer is price-competitive.

I dislike this state of affairs, because I think there's a ton more people who would be interested if s-pedelecs were more prevalent. I'd rather people be riding s-pedelecs than gas mopeds, and the European Cycling Federation has explicitly made this their goal.

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I'm not very upset about this state of affairs, honestly. Most people don't want or need a bike capable of 28-32mph, and the way I see people bike in my city, they would be a danger to themselves and pedestrians. 20mph easy to find pedelecs for the average consumer, harder to find class 3 for the speed demons among us. Just because someone buys a CCS/CCX doesn't mean they're comfortable going 30mph in city streets like I am, or you seem to be. And honestly, I wear downhill MTB armor with a motorcycle rated spine protector on my 30 mile commute due to the speeds I travel at. And I can honestly say, I get treated like a car when I'm in S mode keeping up with traffic in the one section of my commute where I need that. Otherwise I'm happy to use my CCS in Eco, 200 watts of assist, with approx 20-22mph of speed, traveling in the bike lanes.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Most people don't want or need a bike capable of 28-32mph


S-Pedelecs are so rare, so that conclusion is impossible to draw. Most people haven't tried ebikes, and most of those that have, have not tried s-pedelecs. I have a couple friends who biked a lot for transport, and are actually transportation/urban policy experts - both went with a Juiced CCS (2 of us independently, the third partly based on our recommendation). One even puts his kid on the bike, in a kid's seat (although he goes slower then, then speeds up when the kid is off). You can't say people like vanilla more than chocolate, if they've never even encountered chocolate.

Also, the guys at Onyx said the faster, motorbike style ride sales outsold the s-pedelec model 10 to 1. Speed sells. It's nothing new.

I use Eco as well, to do ~24 mph on flats, almost exclusively.

I agree though that I would not advise high speeds to inexperienced riders.