24+ mile round trip, 28mph, 90 pounds of errand stuff, $3500

sdtr443w

New Member
I'm looking for an electric bike that can at least handle a trip that looks like this:
1. Travel about 12 miles to work on surface roads
2. Travel 8 miles to some stores
3. Load up upwards of 70 pounds of junk; I wrote 90 in the subject assuming I'm already lugging some stuff
4. Travel 4 miles home

I want to be able to do that without recharging in between.

Google maps estimates elevation changes of 105 ft/486 ft for this kind of trip. I'd hope to do this with a class-3 electric bike that can manage to truck along at 28 mph pretty regularly. I do intend to pedal, although I feel like that's kind of symbolic.

There's a bonus round where I'd love to be able to go another 12 miles round-trip from/to work on paved roads before going to the stores, but I consider it a stretch right now. It would probably require a battery swap. I could recharge before heading out on that leg, it would put my 17 miles from home without recharging.

I had been trying an Evelo Aurora Limited and it barely was able to do trip to/from work on average with a road bike speed. Basically, the Google Maps estimate is what I got even with pedal assist. That's a 750W/1000W continuous/nominal motor with a 48V/14.5Ah battery. It was flashing like it was just about of charge and I lost a lot of assist in the last four miles. I thought that was kind of odd but the bike has turned out defective in some other ways so it has to go back. If it's normal, then I'm assuming I'll have to build something myself with a beefier motor.

I'm being vague on things like transmission and brakes because I'm preoccupied with the meat-and-potatoes math of speed and distance right now.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Dost Drop?
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Watt Wagons City Commuter would be perfect for your needs. It also uses Gate Carbon Drive with IGH for low to no maintenance. No need to lube or replace chains, cassette, etc. and it's within your price range. You won't find another bike with that combo for lower price.

If you have detailed questions, you can reach out to the owner (@pushkar) directly. He usually responds within hours if not minutes.
 

jaizon

Active Member
I'm looking for an electric bike that can at least handle a trip that looks like this:
1. Travel about 12 miles to work on surface roads
2. Travel 8 miles to some stores
3. Load up upwards of 70 pounds of junk; I wrote 90 in the subject assuming I'm already lugging some stuff
4. Travel 4 miles home

I want to be able to do that without recharging in between.

Google maps estimates elevation changes of 105 ft/486 ft for this kind of trip. I'd hope to do this with a class-3 electric bike that can manage to truck along at 28 mph pretty regularly. I do intend to pedal, although I feel like that's kind of symbolic.

There's a bonus round where I'd love to be able to go another 12 miles round-trip from/to work on paved roads before going to the stores, but I consider it a stretch right now. It would probably require a battery swap. I could recharge before heading out on that leg, it would put my 17 miles from home without recharging.

I had been trying an Evelo Aurora Limited and it barely was able to do trip to/from work on average with a road bike speed. Basically, the Google Maps estimate is what I got even with pedal assist. That's a 750W/1000W continuous/nominal motor with a 48V/14.5Ah battery. It was flashing like it was just about of charge and I lost a lot of assist in the last four miles. I thought that was kind of odd but the bike has turned out defective in some other ways so it has to go back. If it's normal, then I'm assuming I'll have to build something myself with a beefier motor.

I'm being vague on things like transmission and brakes because I'm preoccupied with the meat-and-potatoes math of speed and distance right now.

And I have been considering an Aurora, but your comments make me a bit hesitant. How about the motor??? Noisy, underpowered, etc???
 

sdtr443w

New Member
And I have been considering an Aurora, but your comments make me a bit hesitant. How about the motor??? Noisy, underpowered, etc???
I want to say it's probably just bad luck. I didn't do a full test with the first one because I never got that far. The lights didn't work and it turned out the harness for it had been crushed inside the motor/controller housing. So that went back for a reconditioned one. I did ride out with the reconditioned one and just about killed the battery on that trip, and that was with pretty aggressive pedaling for what I expected. I didn't do any faster than the Google Maps cycling estimate, which implies to me I didn't do any better than a decent cyclist on a road bike. It was pretty disappointing. It also started creaking and clunking while I was pedaling forcibly. It's probably going back too.

Neither of the bikes were loud, but it seems the last one's performance greatly diminished over the trip.

It's puzzling to me because the base specs on bikes being recommended here are no better than what I already tried--or possibly are actually worse. I'm not trying to imply the recommendations are bad--I'm just surprised to see this apparently works perfectly fine on other bikes.
 

Chris Hammond

Well-Known Member
You will need around 1kWh of battery to do your ride, most ebikes have batteries in the 400-600 Wh range. There are only a few off the shelf bikes that have a battery option big enough for your needs. FWIW, my commute is ~30 miles each way, and I do like to have a cruising speed in the 26-30 mph range. I ride a Juiced CrossCurrent S (CrossCurrent X is the new bike set up like mine). I love my ride, its been amazingly reliable and trouble-free. (I had to do far more maintenance on my road bike when I was commuting with it.) For the price, there is not another high speed commuter with a big battery that is close.
 

sdtr443w

New Member
You will need around 1kWh of battery to do your ride, most ebikes have batteries in the 400-600 Wh range. There are only a few off the shelf bikes that have a battery option big enough for your needs. FWIW, my commute is ~30 miles each way, and I do like to have a cruising speed in the 26-30 mph range. I ride a Juiced CrossCurrent S (CrossCurrent X is the new bike set up like mine). I love my ride, its been amazingly reliable and trouble-free. (I had to do far more maintenance on my road bike when I was commuting with it.) For the price, there is not another high speed commuter with a big battery that is close.

I got a little fussy about the Juiced commuter bikes being hub drive. How has that worked out for you in practice?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I carry up to 80 lb of supplies, on a stretch frame cargo bike. I previously had a MTB with rear baskets, and I'll warn you, putting that much stuff behind the rear wheel lifts the front. I measured 120 lb rear 20 lb front once without me on it. I had trouble with the front tire whipping to the side, the seat lifting and throwing me on my chin. Happened 4 times, coupla times with only tools in the baskets, and once I was knocked over by a dog hitting the front wheel. Helpful people on roadbikereview.com suggested I hold onto the handlebars. Maybe a real European, asian, or african could do that; building up my arm muscles with weights just tears my hand cartlege .
So on a MTB or cruiser frame, carry the 80 lb on your back in a pack, or partially in a front basket, not in the rear. I found swinging 18 lb in a front basket a nuisance off road. This cargo bike, a bodaboda, has bosses in the frame to carry the front basket without it swinging from the handlebar.
I ride 30 miles & 77 rolling hills with a $221 geared hub motor, 840 wh 48 v battery. 8-10 mph average. 200' elevation change. The controller red lights and cuts out on some of the last hills sometimes, on the uphill run with supplies. Should have bought a 21 AH battery. Good luck on getting one of those on a store bought e-bike.
Don't know about the 28 mph. Stretch frame cargo bikes don't come with suspensions, which is customary for those kind of speeds. I peak at 30 mph down some hills, but only if the pavement is good and very dry. I do have the disk brakes, that actually work about as well in the rain as dry.
 

Chris Hammond

Well-Known Member
I got a little fussy about the Juiced commuter bikes being hub drive. How has that worked out for you in practice?
IMHO, commuting is where hub drives shine. I can review some pros/cons if you want. My personal experience with my CCS hub drive has been spectacular. I have over 9000 miles on the bike and zero motor issues to date. Honestly, zero issues with the bike overall. I have done maintenance replacements of wear parts only. I'm on my 3rd rear tire (original front), second chain, 3rd set of brake pads. I've not had any failures with any components or electrical.
The hub drive is really strong, at full charge I can maintain ~35mph on flat terrain. As the voltage in the pack drops, top speed drops, at 50% voltage top sustained speed is ~ 32mph.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
I want to say it's probably just bad luck. I didn't do a full test with the first one because I never got that far. The lights didn't work and it turned out the harness for it had been crushed inside the motor/controller housing. So that went back for a reconditioned one. I did ride out with the reconditioned one and just about killed the battery on that trip, and that was with pretty aggressive pedaling for what I expected. I didn't do any faster than the Google Maps cycling estimate, which implies to me I didn't do any better than a decent cyclist on a road bike. It was pretty disappointing. It also started creaking and clunking while I was pedaling forcibly. It's probably going back too.

Neither of the bikes were loud, but it seems the last one's performance greatly diminished over the trip.

It's puzzling to me because the base specs on bikes being recommended here are no better than what I already tried--or possibly are actually worse. I'm not trying to imply the recommendations are bad--I'm just surprised to see this apparently works perfectly fine on other bikes.

Take a look at the EBR recommendations for Best Cargo Bikes.