I've been reading, researching and test rode a few bikes so far. My budget is up to $3000, maybe a little more if there are some really compelling reasons. Hills are my main reason for wanting an ebike - there are little inclines and big hills all over where I live. Comfort, including good fit, is also a consideration due to being older with aches and pains. Please lend your experience and knowledge to help me choose between these:
- Momentum Vida e+ Lowstep, $2650. Pros: at Martin's Bike Shop, a great shop; Giant reputation. Very smooth motor and internally shifted gears. Small size is very comfortable for me. (tested today). Test left the impression that using pedal assist is easy. Potential con/Cons: No big hills to test it on, can it really cut it? I'm heavy and it's hilly here. Only level and battery "dots" on display; hard to see in sunshine.
- LaFree e+ Lowstep, $2100. Pros: same shop and manufacturer as #1; haven't tested yet but also comes in a small. $550 less than Vida, probably due to derailleur instead of internal shifting. Includes rack, fenders, and kickstand.
- Trek Verve 2 Lowstep, $2650. Pros: can also get from a reliable dealer. Trek reputation. Looks like my size (S or XS) is available. Con: I need >= 2" tires for gravel trails, most of my intended riding. Also, it seems like for the same price / "Big 3" service, the Vida e+ has nicer shifting than the Trek Verve 2.
- Biktrix Stunner X 24"x3, $2499, or Stunner LT 20" or 24" Pros: Biktrix has a good reputation, and some of the specs are better, at least on paper. 500W Bafang mid-drive - how does that compare to the Yamaha/Giant motor setup on the Vida e+? People who get them seem to be enthusiasts. Cons: NO LOCAL SERVICE! Company has good reputation for communication but it far away and it's not clear any local bike shops will work on the motor or electronics for maintenance or repairs.
- Pedego Boomerang Plus - $3000. Was able to rent a 26" and ride for 3 hours on plenty of hills, with lots of juice left in the battery. There's a 24" version. Easy to understand and use. The Dapu 500W hub drive could be considered either a pro or con compared to the mid-drives above. I know that it works well for me, at least for a day. 5 year warranty (not for wear parts, but others). The one other option with guaranteed service available. Adjustable handlebars included.
- My husband bought a Pedego Element - 20x4 tires. (He had particular criteria for his choice). It's pretty comfortable, 500W hub (happens to have Dapu unlike later ones) motor, and I know I could also do well with it. Much less expensive than other options, $1695.