5'7" female, city commuter/errand runner

jab

New Member
Hello! Interested in suggestions for an electric bike for Chicago riding. My commute to work is about 3 miles each way, lots of stops and starts, mostly flat. Also would use the bike for weekend errands so ability to store small items would be nice. I just got out of a very bad situation with a newer electric bike company that shall remain nameless (except to say that Oprah had them as a favorite thing which I respectfully have to disagree with). I'm therefore looking to deal only with solid companies that care about customers and have exceptional service and warranties. Appealing features would include: removable battery, reasonable weight, 20 mph possibility, pedal assist, decent stats display. Budget is flexible, quality is key. Somewhere within a $2200 - 2800 range. Thanks in advance, I really appreciate all advice.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey jab, welcome to the forum! I'm sorry to hear your first ebike experience wasn't so good... neither was mine to be honest. It's great that you're trying again and I'd be happy to help you find a good model.

Given all of the points you mentioned (5'7" height, good warranty, removable battery, reasonable weight, pedal assist, good display and 20mph speed) along with your great budget of $2,200 to $2,800 there are a lot of bikes to consider! It's great that you're willing to spend a bit more to get there :)

The first thing to consider is local dealers. If you get an ebike from a local shop you'll likely have it setup correctly and get some free tuneups, they will also help honor the warranty for you if anything goes wrong (no bike is perfect after all).
  • Easy Motion Neo Jet - beautiful integrated battery (that's removable for charging) easily hits 20mph with up to 28mph in pedal assist if you pedal hard. Step-through design for easy mounting, front suspension to smooth out the ride, a wonderful display that's easy to reach and simple to understand, twist throttle mode in addition to torque sensing assist (which is smoother than pedalec) and mounting points on the chain stay for adding a rack to carry stuff on your weekend errands ;)
  • IZIP E3 Path+ - many of the same benefits as the Neo Jet but includes fenders and a rack built in. This bike does not have a suspension fork but still rides really smoothly and you'll get excellent support from Currie Technologies. The motor is a bit quieter and more durable than the Jet since it's direct drive (gearless). It's also available in step-through for easy mounting.
  • Easy Motion Neo Street - same benefits as the Neo Jet but lower frame (since it uses smaller 26" wheels vs. 700c/29" on the Jet or Neo City). Comes with the fenders, lights, rack etc. and uses the same medium-sized 350w geared motor as the rest of the Easy Motion ebikes.
  • IZIP E3 Metro - great power, functional design with built in front and rear racks (the front one is removable if you want). Also from Currie with excellent support. Comes only in the step-through design and doesn't offer suspension but the larger tires soften the ride.
  • A couple others I would recommend but aren't quite a perfect fit for you are the Faraday Porteur (only in high-step and a bit large) and any of the Kalkhoff ebikes (but they aren't widely available in the US yet so you'd miss out on the shop support... unless you live in San Francisco.
I hope this helps you out! I'd be happy to zoom in deeper and answer any follow up questions. I know it's a lot to digest but in truth, you'd do very well with ay of the first four bikes listed. It might come down to style or battery position or maybe what your local shop carries? Each one of these got 4.5 stars or more in their respective review and representatives from their parent companies are actually here in the forums making sure the products are performing and that customers are satisfied :)
 

Dave

Active Member
Just wanted to add that all of the Easy Motion bikes use the same battery, motor, controller, setup. There are many of us on the forum who own a model of the Neo series and can chime in about the operation, performance, feel, etc. of what we have, which should apply to any of the ones Court mentioned. You may want to browse the Easy Motion section to get an idea of what's going on with our bikes.

I would also second the Izip E3 line as a wonderful choice. Great support from the company and Larry Pizzi. Good luck in your hunt.
 

Cameron Pemstein

New Member
Hey Jab,

You might want to look into the Motiv Shadow (http://www.motivelectricbikes.com). Being 5'7, the bike will be a perfect fit for you. The bike will allow you to add a rack or a basket for your commute plus, their batteries have a higher capacity so that you can travel longer distances.

Since you live in the Chicago area, you should talk with Brady at WanderBikes.

Wander Bikes
2350 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 659-3045
 

jab

New Member
Wow, thanks for the quick and thoughtful replies. I sincerely appreciate the advice. And Cameron, very familiar with Brady as he tried to help me with my first attempt with an electric bike that ended badly. He did all he could with the bike company that I was dealing with. I will definitely talk with him about a next purchase to ensure he'll be able to service whatever I end up getting. Making sure that whatever I get can be easily serviced locally is great input.
 

jab

New Member
Hey Court, can you comment on the key differences between the Path+, Metro, and Zuma? Having a hard time differentiating between the three. Or...point me to somewhere that I can see a comparison? Thanks!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Court, can you comment on the key differences between the Path+, Metro, and Zuma? Having a hard time differentiating between the three. Or...point me to somewhere that I can see a comparison? Thanks!
Sure, the reviews (Path+, Metro and Zuma) will highlight the primary differences in the spec sections up at the top but I'll do a quick breakdown here as well.
  • E3 Path+ has larger 700c (29") rims and narrower hybrid city tires that roll efficiently but offer less cushion. It's got the fenders and rear rack but the weight is sort of rear heavy. The strong 500 watt motor is smooth and quiet but also direct drive so a bit less torquey.
  • E3 Metro has standard 26" rims with larger tires that offer some cushion. It's got a solid front and rear rack (front is removable) and is capable of carrying 35+ pounds (I've carried 100lbs in it before) but it's only available in a medium step-through style frame. The motor is torquey, offering 500 watts of geared power, but also a bit louder and less durable than a direct drive would be. The LCD display is removable but a little funky and kind of large for my taste. The battery is well placed in the seat tube, overall this bike isn't as smooth as the Path+
  • E3 Zuma is a lot like the Metro but doesn't include built in racks (though there are mounting points for adding your own). It has the traditional 26" rims, balloon tires, larger padded seat and grips, 500 watt geared motor and seat tube mounted battery. It's also available in a low step or high step and lots of color choices. The riding position is more upright than the Path+ and it uses a similar LCD computer which I like vs. the Metro.
They're all great bikes... I'd boil it down to this: if you want to pedal a lot and enjoy a more active feel like a traditional bicycle the Path+ is great, if you're more into comfort and zipping around like a scooter the Zuma is great and if you're interested in hauling around cargo or just like the look of the Metro then it offers something kind of unique and if you take the front rack off, it's a lot like the Zuma except it has a slightly different LCD console :)

I hope this helps you out! Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll do my best to clarify for you.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Hello! Interested in suggestions for an electric bike for Chicago riding. My commute to work is about 3 miles each way, lots of stops and starts, mostly flat. Also would use the bike for weekend errands so ability to store small items would be nice. I just got out of a very bad situation with a newer electric bike company that shall remain nameless (except to say that Oprah had them as a favorite thing which I respectfully have to disagree with). I'm therefore looking to deal only with solid companies that care about customers and have exceptional service and warranties. Appealing features would include: removable battery, reasonable weight, 20 mph possibility, pedal assist, decent stats display. Budget is flexible, quality is key. Somewhere within a $2200 - 2800 range. Thanks in advance, I really appreciate all advice.
jab - this is an excellent example of what I am always trying to educate my customers about. Smaller companies often fall apart when you need them most and many fold which is even worse. It takes a lot to run a successful electric bike company and I think many don't understand what it really takes to support their customers and products through the full product lifecycle. Companies like Currie really got it down, while I love to support entrepreneurs, as I am one myself. Although I appreciate and encourage innovation, I stay away from small electric bike companies as I wouldn't want to have a customer left stranded with an unsupported ebike on my recommendation. I mean, you wouldn't buy a car from a company that just showed up in the market. I feel this model should carry over to most markets, especially the ebike market. In the past year there have been several companies that have folded and their customers are left without parts or support. It's a shame though as the same company you just mentioned just raised nearly a million dollars from unsuspecting customers on Kickstarter. Hopefully they learned from their previous experience what it takes to support a product, but I'm not so hopeful. Sorry for the rant guys, I've just seen this all to many times and hopefully someone will benefit from this.
 

Ralph

Active Member
Jab, You will love the electric bike when you get it. I am 5'7" and went with the s/m Dash which fits fine. The Path+ is a nice step through model with the same pedal plus throttle assist which is nice especially with stops and starts. The Currie allows you to stay in a higher gear and use the twist and go feature to get started. This may sound like a small thing, but in stop and go I have found it to be very useful. Currie is great company with good support and the president of the company, Larry Pizzi, is a frequent visitor to this community.
 

Arnold Gink

New Member
Hello! Interested in suggestions for an electric bike for Chicago riding. My commute to work is about 3 miles each way, lots of stops and starts, mostly flat. Also would use the bike for weekend errands so ability to store small items would be nice. I just got out of a very bad situation with a newer electric bike company that shall remain nameless (except to say that Oprah had them as a favorite thing which I respectfully have to disagree with). I'm therefore looking to deal only with solid companies that care about customers and have exceptional service and warranties. Appealing features would include: removable battery, reasonable weight, 20 mph possibility, pedal assist, decent stats display. Budget is flexible, quality is key. Somewhere within a $2200 - 2800 range. Thanks in advance, I really appreciate all advice.
Jab, there is also an e bike store here in Madison with 40 different models on display and a bike path 30 feet out there door to test ride on. It's called Len's Electric Bikes, Good luck testing them out!
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Have to agree with posters that recommend staying with an LBS.. If I wrote down all the warranty issues I had with my first electric bike, A2B Metro, most people would run away from the hobby! However, I had a two year warranty, and a great Ultramotor distributor in my area who made sure every problem was resolved.. Ended up riding it for 5 years 8000 miles and sold it on craigslist for a decent price... Bought another eBike a week later, since i couldn't live without it..lol.

Based on your experience and my experience, ensure the bike comes with at least a 2 year warranty.. It is worth it.

Court's suggestions seem pretty complete for the price range.