5' 2", 100-lb Female w/ Medical Problems; Errand-Running/Cruising

Bex

New Member
I'm a small college student with a chronic illness that leaves me with severely limited stamina. I'd be using this ebike to get to class on days when I'm not feeling well, to run errands, and possibly just biking around, which is a luxury I haven't had in a very long time. I was originally looking at scooter-style ebikes, but decided I wanted the ability to pedal, partially to get exercise and partially because I'm scared of what will happen if the electrical components stop working and I get stranded.

Right now I'm looking at a budget of about $2000. I'm most interested in cruisers.

What I Need:

  • Stability. I'm prone to passing out, so I need the ability to keep my feet on the ground when stopped without having to get off the seat. This has been my biggest problem so far, because most of the bikes I've looked at are too big for me!
  • Torque and distance. I live in a moderately hilly area. Not San Francisco-level, but still. I'd like the bike to be able to go at least 20 miles on a single charge. (I'm light and planning on riding almost exclusively on paved roads, so that shouldn't be too hard.)
  • Low Maintenance. There are no ebike dealers in my area, so I would like as many parts as possible to be able to be dealt with by a traditional bike shop. For this reason and the torque issue I've been looking at mid drives, but if there's a hub bike with easily-changed tires, I'd be cool with that. I also would prefer an internal gear hub, but that's not a dealbreaker.
  • Good customer support. As I said, no local dealers, so for any complaints I would be going straight to the company itself. Big-name brands with good warranties would be preferred.
  • Weight. I'd prefer something under 60 lbs including the battery. I'd also really like the weight to be well-distributed, if at all possible, and not hanging over the rear wheel.
  • Certain extra features. I know I can just add on things, but a rack or basket would be great, as I am planning to use the bike for (light) grocery shopping trips. Lights integrated into the main battery would be REALLY NEAT. It's not actually that important but it just seems super cool.
  • Noise. This might sound silly, but I also have pretty bad OCD and if stuff is rattling too badly I may end up not being able to ride the thing at all.

What I DON'T Need:

  • Speed and acceleration. I just need the ability to go places and climb up reasonably steep hills. 17 mph would be fine for me. Maybe even 15 mph would be fine!
  • Exceptional pedal assist. I think I'm going to end up relying on the throttle more, and riding normally in between speed boosts. I might be fine without the pedal assist at all, but I would NOT be okay without a throttle.
  • Fenders and chain guards. They're nice and all, but I live in a desert. I can afford to get muddy three or four days a year.
  • Any super-duper components. They just need to work under normal conditions. I'm not going to be climbing Pike's Peak or anything.
I've been looking at these bikes:

Amego Brave Utility (and the Fold and the Glide) - I really like this company's bikes, but I don't know if they even sell to/support Americans!
Motiv Sleek
eProdigy Banff - might be too tall for me, still checking on that
Pedego cruisers
EVELO Luna
eZip Eco Ride
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Sounds like u haven't ridden a bike in a while. You have to have some physical ability and be able to balance yourself at different speeds.

Suggest you get a Walmart bike or something on craigslist to start to see that you feel comfortable riding a bike even a few miles. Short trips first. If you have trouble with that then maybe an ebike is not for you.

What people don't tell you about Ebikes is that they are expensive to buy, virtually impossible to return, and you will lose around 40% when you try to sell one, even a new one... So you need to be very confident in your purcahse.

There are electric trikes that are very stable, but slow and heavy.
 
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Bex

New Member
Sounds like u haven't ridden a bike in a while. You have to have some physical ability and be able to balance yourself at different speeds.

Suggest you get a Walmart bike or something on craigslist to start to see that you feel comfortable riding a bike even a few miles. Short trips first. If you have trouble with that then maybe an ebike is not for you.

What people don't tell you about Ebikes is that they are expensive to buy, virtually impossible to return, and you will lose around 40% when you try to sell one, even a new one... So you need to be very confident in your purcahse.

There are electric trikes that are very stable, but slow and heavy.
No, I have! Not too far, of course. But I have. My old bike from before I got sick still fits me. My problem was mostly getting on and off the seat when stopped.

I'd be okay with a trike, but they are pretty bulky and there's less variety and support available.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Hello,

Being a graduate student who spends most of his time on University campus, I can certainly say that ebike will transform the way you look at short commutes. I normally come back to my apartment for lunch/dinner or a nap and get back to my lab. My girlfriend uses her foldable Neo Volt for similar purposes like on-campus shuttling, errands and mild trail riding.

The good thing is you are looking in the right direction. ebikes will also help you regain your stamina because you feel like taking the bike out more often. Your medical/physical condition is something that you need to analyse thoroughly before buying any bike/ebike.

100 lb rider on a 55-60 lb ebike could mean a lot of things. I am 160 lbs and I felt a 60 lbs bike to be slightly unwieldy to handle. In your case, 100 lb rider riding a 60lb bike could mean a lot of momentum shifting. If your route involves constant traffic, stop-go kind of thing then you certainly need to think twice before getting a 55-60 lb ebike. Getting off at every signal and getting on could mean that you need some stamina and doesn't lead to passing out as you alluded. If you can find something that weighs 40lbs, you might feel its easier to handle.

Also, test riding ( preferably 30 mins to 45 mins rides) will help you to identify the right kind of bike, handlebar styling, torque or throttle assist. Here's a video of one of the lightest conversion kits:

 

Bex

New Member
Hello,

Being a graduate student who spends most of his time on University campus, I can certainly say that ebike will transform the way you look at short commutes.
I normally come back to my apartment for lunch/dinner or a nap and get back to my lab. My girlfriend uses her foldable Neo Volt for similar purposes like on-campus shuttling, errands and mild trail riding.

The good thing is you are looking in the right direction. ebikes will also help you regain your stamina because you feel like taking the bike out more often.

Your medical/physical condition is something that you need to analyse thoroughly before buying any bike/ebike.
100 lb rider on a 55-60 lb ebike could mean a lot of things. I am 160 lbs and I felt a 60 lbs bike to be slightly unwieldy to handle. In your case, 100 lb rider riding a 60lb bike could mean a lot of momentum shifting. If your route involves constant traffic, stop-go kind of thing then you certainly need to think twice before getting a 55-60 lb ebike. Getting off at every signal and getting on could mean that you need some stamina and doesn't lead to passing out as you alluded. If you can find something that weighs 40lbs, you might feel its easier to handle.

Also, test riding ( preferably 30 mins to 45 mins rides) will help you to identify the right kind of bike, handlebar styling, torque or throttle assist.

Lightest conversion kit:

I was hoping for something I wouldn't have to get off and back on again while stopped. So I could just put my feet on the ground. I don't know, maybe I should look more into the trikes.

This folding bike is pretty light and has some good features: http://electricbikereview.com/ez-pedaler/f300/ Not sure the motor would be powerful enough to handle the hills, though. Is it easier to go up hills with a light rider? Seems like it would be.

I'm a little wary of conversion kits - I'm not terribly handy, and I feel like it would be more trouble with less support.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Right now, ebike industry is at an interesting stage. More established names are getting into the business and many new models are coming up. In any case, you will need some support from LBS for any tune ups.
Ebikes are excellent when they work but it can be frustrating when something goes wrong.
You could certainly get a small sized pedego cruiser like this one for under 1.7K.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
I agree with Ravi about the Pedego, you'll want to get the one with 24" wheels like this one, the standard size will be way too big for you. Another bike to consider would be the Easy Motion Evo Eco Lite. Feel free to reach out if we can help, as we have a lot of experience helping people in similar situations.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
No, I have! Not too far, of course. But I have. My old bike from before I got sick still fits me. My problem was mostly getting on and off the seat when stopped.

I'd be okay with a trike, but they are pretty bulky and there's less variety and support available.
Well that's easy then.. Get your old bike back on the road and see how it feels riding around the block before you decide to buy... Electric bikes can provide most of the energy to ride, but cannot help with your balance, or other physical limitations that would preclude safe riding.
 

Bex

New Member
I agree with Ravi about the Pedego, you'll want to get the one with 24" wheels like this one, the standard size will be way too big for you. Another bike to consider would be the Easy Motion Evo Eco Lite. Feel free to reach out if we can help, as we have a lot of experience helping people in similar situations.
Thanks. (To all of you.) I'm thinking the Pedego 24" is my best bet right now....is there anything I should know about it, besides the lack of PAS? Are 60 lb bikes really terribly difficult to control? Given that I was originally looking at electric mopeds, and those are much heavier, I thought they would be easier to handle.
 

Bex

New Member
Well that's easy then.. Get your old bike back on the road and see how it feels riding around the block before you decide to buy... Electric bikes can provide most of the energy to ride, but cannot help with your balance, or other physical limitations that would preclude safe riding.
I have! That was the bike I rode. Maybe I will take it out again this weekend and get back to you.

I think I may not have explained my limitations properly, though. My problems aren't with getting on and off the bike per se, but hopping back on and off the seat when stopped (e.g. at a light). My blood pressure drops severely whenever I go to a more upright position, which makes me dizzy, sometimes temporarily blinds or deafens me, and can make me pass out in a rather violent manner (basically looks like a seizure). I'm very good at managing it and it RARELY gets to that point anymore, but going from a sitting position on a bike to straddling it at a stop can trigger it, and has before. Nothing awful has happened, but I did find myself listing to the left slightly and slamming into the curb a couple times after slowing down/stopping and then going again.

A related medical condition also causes me to have very low stamina. I have no trouble with the mechanical part of pedaling - just keeping it up for more than 30 seconds at a time
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I have! That was the bike I rode. Maybe I will take it out again this weekend and get back to you.

I think I may not have explained my limitations properly, though. My problems aren't with getting on and off the bike per se, but hopping back on and off the seat when stopped (e.g. at a light). My blood pressure drops severely whenever I go to a more upright position, which makes me dizzy, sometimes temporarily blinds or deafens me, and can make me pass out in a rather violent manner (basically looks like a seizure). I'm very good at managing it and it RARELY gets to that point anymore, but going from a sitting position on a bike to straddling it at a stop can trigger it, and has before. Nothing awful has happened, but I did find myself listing to the left slightly and slamming into the curb a couple times after slowing down/stopping and then going again.

A related medical condition also causes me to have very low stamina. I have no trouble with the mechanical part of pedaling - just keeping it up for more than 30 seconds at a time
Look I don't know you and you don't know me.. I just get very protective of young small women who are around my niece's age... lol... And I don't like the thought of you riding around in traffic with some kind of stamina, dizzy, pass out condition..

Just consider renting an e bike next time you hit a good sized city before you buy....
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Bex! Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond here, I hope this response reaches you at a time when it can still influence your decision on an electric bike. As you can see, most of the people in this forum are middle aged guys (who may be overly protective and have strong opinions). That said, let's get quantitative about this, your intro summed up your size, weight, budget and needs very well and I think there are a lot of great options to explore here. These are some that I think would work very well for you:
  • Pedego 24" Cruiser - this is not necessarily the best choice because it has the heavy rear battery rack and lacks pedal assist but it will be durable, is petite (like you) so mounting and stabilizing yourself will be easy and Pedego offers great support with a solid warranty and they are more re-sellable because it's a recognizable brand. It's also barely above your $2K price range.
  • Motiv Sleek - this is the smaller step-thru version of the Motiv Spark cruiser and it's got a lot going for it including pedal assist and throttle, mid-mounted battery, reasonable price point at ~$1,800 and great support because it's made by a small company that is trying to make a name and get a foothold in the industry. This bike is a bit larger and higher than the Pedego 24" but would likely still fit you because the seat can get pretty low. Downside here is no rack or lights but there are mounting points to add an aftermarket rack like this and if you keep it tight the rattling shouldn't be an issue :)
  • e-Joe Epik Lite - this folding bike has assist, throttle, is light weight, affordable, a rack, lights and is supported pretty well. It's not going to be quite as comfortable as a cruiser (narrower tires) but it's one of my favorite all-around bikes given its price point and feature list. I love how the battery is integrated into the frame to keep weight low and well balanced.
  • IZIP E3 Zuma or Metro - these bikes are available in smaller step-through designs, are made by a large trustworthy company and offer the style you like along with pedal assist, throttle and the mid-battery but are a bit more expensive and weigh a bit more than the Epik Lite.
I realize you're excited about mid-drive systems (and rightly so, they are efficient, well balanced and great for climbing) but given your price range and intended use (and your light weight) I don't think they are the answer at this time. Maybe in the future when there are more options. If you really want to go for one however, check out the Kalkhoff ebikes which are imported and use great centerdrive systems and include racks, fenders and lights. The most affordable option wold be the Pro Connect C8 which is ~$3k.

You and I are both very light (I weighed myself yesterday at 123lbs) and it doesn't take much to move us. I've been riding with an aftermarket ebike kit with a 250 watt front hub motor and it basically doubles my power. There's no pedal assist, no lights or anything but I do get to balance the battery pack by putting it in the middle of my frame and it was super affordable. You might consider something like this for your existing bike, even with the hills and stuff it will be fine if you help pedal along and you can get different sizes of batteries (or even multiple packs) to leave at work and home so you've always got plenty of juice. Two companies that sell these are Clean Republic and Leed and the former has been around for quite a while with a great reputation. Here's a video I just shot last week doing a hill test with the kit (since they are both basically the same it applies to both):


Closing thoughts. If you don't like noise then avoid the eZip Trailz because it uses an additional chain drive motor and the rack can rattle after a while. Also avoid the EVELO bikes because their middrive is louder than most and less sophisticated... though I do realize their pricepoint and marketing are tempting. I'm going to look at some of their new models later this year and am hoping things have improved because they are just such nice people!
 

Tim Hardman

New Member
I'm curious to know how things worked out for Bex...anybody know. I just joined this forum and had I been in her position, I would have gone for the Pedego 24" Cruiser and ordered a set of ez-trainer.com adult training wheels to take care of the stability issues. I realize for someone who is younger, college age, it might not be possible to cross the psychological hurdle of using "training wheels"....actually, let's call them "outriggers" less psychological baggage with that term. But they are a cheap investment ~$190 and you are not locked into always using them. They have a quick release so you could even stow them in a bag when you're are not riding if image is real important. Based on your description of your limitations, I'd say your safety is most important and anything you can do to minimize a "black out" situation, and the injuries that will accompany it, is the way to go....thus Outriggers on a two wheeler or a an e-trike.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I'm a small college student with a chronic illness that leaves me with severely limited stamina. I'd be using this ebike to get to class on days when I'm not feeling well, to run errands, and possibly just biking around, which is a luxury I haven't had in a very long time. I was originally looking at scooter-style ebikes, but decided I wanted the ability to pedal, partially to get exercise and partially because I'm scared of what will happen if the electrical components stop working and I get stranded.

Right now I'm looking at a budget of about $2000. I'm most interested in cruisers.

What I Need:

  • Stability. I'm prone to passing out, so I need the ability to keep my feet on the ground when stopped without having to get off the seat. This has been my biggest problem so far, because most of the bikes I've looked at are too big for me!
  • Torque and distance. I live in a moderately hilly area. Not San Francisco-level, but still. I'd like the bike to be able to go at least 20 miles on a single charge. (I'm light and planning on riding almost exclusively on paved roads, so that shouldn't be too hard.)
  • Low Maintenance. There are no ebike dealers in my area, so I would like as many parts as possible to be able to be dealt with by a traditional bike shop. For this reason and the torque issue I've been looking at mid drives, but if there's a hub bike with easily-changed tires, I'd be cool with that. I also would prefer an internal gear hub, but that's not a dealbreaker.
  • Good customer support. As I said, no local dealers, so for any complaints I would be going straight to the company itself. Big-name brands with good warranties would be preferred.
  • Weight. I'd prefer something under 60 lbs including the battery. I'd also really like the weight to be well-distributed, if at all possible, and not hanging over the rear wheel.
  • Certain extra features. I know I can just add on things, but a rack or basket would be great, as I am planning to use the bike for (light) grocery shopping trips. Lights integrated into the main battery would be REALLY NEAT. It's not actually that important but it just seems super cool.
  • Noise. This might sound silly, but I also have pretty bad OCD and if stuff is rattling too badly I may end up not being able to ride the thing at all.

What I DON'T Need:

  • Speed and acceleration. I just need the ability to go places and climb up reasonably steep hills. 17 mph would be fine for me. Maybe even 15 mph would be fine!
  • Exceptional pedal assist. I think I'm going to end up relying on the throttle more, and riding normally in between speed boosts. I might be fine without the pedal assist at all, but I would NOT be okay without a throttle.
  • Fenders and chain guards. They're nice and all, but I live in a desert. I can afford to get muddy three or four days a year.
  • Any super-duper components. They just need to work under normal conditions. I'm not going to be climbing Pike's Peak or anything.
I've been looking at these bikes:

Amego Brave Utility (and the Fold and the Glide) - I really like this company's bikes, but I don't know if they even sell to/support Americans!
Motiv Sleek
eProdigy Banff - might be too tall for me, still checking on that
Pedego cruisers
EVELO Luna
eZip Eco Ride
I put together a comparison Google Sheet Template, if it still helps.

I assume you know that most smart cell phones contain accelerometers that can detect when you fall. Ios 8 actually counts the number of times a person falls each day. I am sure many apps exist that will alert you before you fall off. You might be able to find one that cuts battery power.

The iphone 6 also has an barometer that is very sensitive to height changes.

The Kahlkoff has a heart rate monitor that controls the motor, rather than traditional physical methods. If you look very hard, you will be surprised at the offerings.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I'm curious to know how things worked out for Bex...anybody know. I just joined this forum and had I been in her position, I would have gone for the Pedego 24" Cruiser and ordered a set of ez-trainer.com adult training wheels to take care of the stability issues. I realize for someone who is younger, college age, it might not be possible to cross the psychological hurdle of using "training wheels"....actually, let's call them "outriggers" less psychological baggage with that term. But they are a cheap investment ~$190 and you are not locked into always using them. They have a quick release so you could even stow them in a bag when you're are not riding if image is real important. Based on your description of your limitations, I'd say your safety is most important and anything you can do to minimize a "black out" situation, and the injuries that will accompany it, is the way to go....thus Outriggers on a two wheeler or a an e-trike.
I was wondering about that myself.. An electric tricycle would be the best choice for her until she's confident about her balance....
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I'm curious to know how things worked out for Bex...anybody know. I just joined this forum and had I been in her position, I would have gone for the Pedego 24" Cruiser and ordered a set of ez-trainer.com adult training wheels to take care of the stability issues. I realize for someone who is younger, college age, it might not be possible to cross the psychological hurdle of using "training wheels"....actually, let's call them "outriggers" less psychological baggage with that term. But they are a cheap investment ~$190 and you are not locked into always using them. They have a quick release so you could even stow them in a bag when you're are not riding if image is real important. Based on your description of your limitations, I'd say your safety is most important and anything you can do to minimize a "black out" situation, and the injuries that will accompany it, is the way to go....thus Outriggers on a two wheeler or a an e-trike.
Great post Tim, going to keep your outrigger info in my back pocket and pull that out when needed. Seems I saw one of those training wheel setups in one of Court's videos. Those would be really good for someone recovering from a surgery.