60mi Round Trip Commute - Advice?

DavidBer

Member
Lee,

I just want to help clarify a point for you that I think got misinterpreted.

If you buy a Juiced bike for 3k, in a year, that bike would be $1000-1500. Yes, it would be worth 1/3rd to 1/2 half of the original purchase price.

If you buy a Reise Mueller for 8k, in a year that bike would be ~6k.

Bikes are interesting and very simple beasts. The cost is in the components. In the non-ebike world you spend a lot of money for making the bike lighter. People will spend thousands to save a few pounds. The Ebike world is sort of like that, but you also pay for range and speed.

I don't know if you have tried the Yamaha anywhere, but if you can, do it. Then try some others around town. https://www.aventon.com/ is not that far from you. Once you do that, and if you have time, and if your wallet would even allow it, go see Chris at Propel in Long Beach. Try the Reise and Mueller. Compare it to the Aventon, the Yamaha and you will then realize the difference between the bikes in the build and quality issue. At that point, you will have an understanding of why people spend a lot of cash on some of these bikes.

Now to mess with your head:

9,000 miles a year. Average 18mph (guessing) is 500 hours on that bike per year. A $3,500 bike is costing you $7 an hour to ride. A $7,000 is $14 an hour. This does not include operating costs (charging) and maintenance. And at 9k miles, you will have some serious maintenance. You will go through chains and brakes, especially if you take that Topanga route. Remember, cars in San Fran go through brakes a lot quicker than those in Kansas :) So that $3,500 bike could have 6 chains at $50 plus your time to replace. Yes, 1500 miles on the chain and that is because of that ride. The brakes could be ~30 per replacement and again, 1500 miles before you should replace. That is another ~$200 in costs. This does not include your time in repairs and costs to keep the chain oiled.

This is why people are suggesting higher-end bikes that have gates belt drives.
 

far2canadian

New Member
Thanks for the info David. Good info. I have to say I'm not in love with the Juiced option, but geez....as a first jump into an eBike, these things get pricey fast! I really do not mind investing in quality, but in this case, I think I need to work up to numbers like $6-8K and get a "first bike." Your math is helpful, and I don't doubt there will be plenty of maintenance. What shocked me more than your numbers, is when I calculated what I'm paying to drive! Over the last 12 months, I've averaged $197/month in gas, and $137/month in maintenance (oil changes/tires/filters, etc). $334 A MONTH (averaged)! and that doesn't include insurance (another $83/month or so)...

After much thinking on all your input, I'm going to cut the ride in half (12-15mi or so) by driving part way, taking another route, or by finding a transit combination that works (transit coverage in LA is truly terrible) and avoiding that mountain. Maybe even work up to 12mi, and start with 5mi from a closer location - again, this would be 3 days/week. I found a new Bulls Lacuba Evo 45s and took it for a spin and loved the feel of it. It fit me - I'm considering it, since I might be able to get a good price. Seems like a good/great bike?
 
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Katysax

Active Member
I live in the San Fernando Valley and have ridden thousands of miles covering the area you would be riding in. I have also been a bike commuter from the west side to downtown, from Culver City to mar vista and from Encino to chatsworth.

Sorry to tell you this but your plan is borderline insane. Topanga Canyon is too narrow and steep to ride at commute times (Malibu canyon is much better and safer). PCH is very tricky to ride. The bike path is closed to e bikes in Santa Monica. The amount of climbing and distance you plan will challenge the range of any battery. The distance is too far, too hilly, too trafficked, too many stoplights to be fun or safe. Taking the bus with your bike is a much better idea. The area around el segundo is a nightmare on a bike.

I’ve ridden every inch of where you would or could ride and there is no way I’d do it as a daily commute. Even on an ebike. I’ve ridden every canyon. I’ve ridden every inch of PCH from San Diego to Pismo Beach.

If you must - consider that Sepulveda and Malibu canyon are the preferred ways over the mountain on a bike. PCH is a death trap for cyclists - you need to find alternative ways around. Google how many cyclists have died on PCH.

You can rent an ebike in Calabassas check craigslist. Try riding this route one time. I am 100 percent certain you won’t make it even once.
 

far2canadian

New Member
Katysax - thanks for that very honest feedback! Especially since you have been on this specific route. I definitely updated my plan to be shorter and to not take Topanga.... I was being a little overzealous at first, lol! I'm still going to give the cycle commute a shot, but not via that route. Hopefully I can find a way to mix transit and biking. If you have any thoughts on that, I'm love to hear it. Can I send you a private chat? It would be good to get some details from a local (didn’t know the Santa Monica path was closed to eBikes, for instance)
 
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Katysax

Active Member
Katysax - thanks for that very honest feedback! Especially since you have been on this specific route. I definitely updated my plan to be shorter and to not take Topanga.... I was definitely being a little overzealous at first, lol! I'm still going to give the cycle commute a shot, but not via that route. Hopefully I can find a way to mix transit and biking. If you have any thoughts on that, I'm love to hear it. Can I send you a private chat? It would be good to get some details from a local (didn’t know the Santa Monica path was closed to eBikes, for instance)
Sure I’d be happy to help. Don’t want to be so negative, but I’ve got a lot of experience with la and bike commuting.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Lee,

I just want to help clarify a point for you that I think got misinterpreted.

If you buy a Juiced bike for 3k, in a year, that bike would be $1000-1500. Yes, it would be worth 1/3rd to 1/2 half of the original purchase price.

If you buy a Reise Mueller for 8k, in a year that bike would be ~6k.

Bikes are interesting and very simple beasts. The cost is in the components. In the non-ebike world you spend a lot of money for making the bike lighter. People will spend thousands to save a few pounds. The Ebike world is sort of like that, but you also pay for range and speed.

I don't know if you have tried the Yamaha anywhere, but if you can, do it. Then try some others around town. https://www.aventon.com/ is not that far from you. Once you do that, and if you have time, and if your wallet would even allow it, go see Chris at Propel in Long Beach. Try the Reise and Mueller. Compare it to the Aventon, the Yamaha and you will then realize the difference between the bikes in the build and quality issue. At that point, you will have an understanding of why people spend a lot of cash on some of these bikes.

Now to mess with your head:

9,000 miles a year. Average 18mph (guessing) is 500 hours on that bike per year. A $3,500 bike is costing you $7 an hour to ride. A $7,000 is $14 an hour. This does not include operating costs (charging) and maintenance. And at 9k miles, you will have some serious maintenance. You will go through chains and brakes, especially if you take that Topanga route. Remember, cars in San Fran go through brakes a lot quicker than those in Kansas :) So that $3,500 bike could have 6 chains at $50 plus your time to replace. Yes, 1500 miles on the chain and that is because of that ride. The brakes could be ~30 per replacement and again, 1500 miles before you should replace. That is another ~$200 in costs. This does not include your time in repairs and costs to keep the chain oiled.

This is why people are suggesting higher-end bikes that have gates belt drives.

Totally wrong with tour chain replacement guide.


They only need replacement if pedalling at less then 75-80RPM. Pedal smooth and not grinding , your chain will outlast the bike.
Experienced bikers change them at 10-20k miles !! 99% of the people don’t know how to pedal in order to keep a healthy drivetrain.
 

Ebiker01

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the info David. Good info. I have to say I'm not in love with the Juiced option, but geez....as a first jump into an eBike, these things get pricey fast! I really do not mind investing in quality, but in this case, I think I need to work up to numbers like $6-8K and get a "first bike." Your math is helpful, and I don't doubt there will be plenty of maintenance. What shocked me more than your numbers, is when I calculated what I'm paying to drive! Over the last 12 months, I've averaged $197/month in gas, and $137/month in maintenance (oil changes/tires/filters, etc). $334 A MONTH (averaged)! and that doesn't include insurance (another $83/month or so)...

After much thinking on all your input, I'm going to cut the ride in half (12-15mi or so) by driving part way, taking another route, or by finding a transit combination that works (transit coverage in LA is truly terrible) and avoiding that mountain. Maybe even work up to 12mi, and start with 5mi from a closer location - again, this would be 3 days/week. I found a new Bulls Lacuba Evo 45s and took it for a spin and loved the feel of it. It fit me - I'm considering it, since I might be able to get a good price. Seems like a good/great bike?

Plus your time. If you value your hours at 75-200$/hour you can save a fortune by commuting faster and using that time better.

All the best, it sounds like YOU CAN DO IT.
 

KellyH

Active Member
I know this is probably double your budget but What about the wattwagon commuter bike, it’s built to do exactly what you are going to do , and do that many miles with lower maintenance

I think it’s great you are considering this, sounds like you’ve done some good research

I’m sure some of these other guys that commute long distances will chime in
I agree with you about the WattWagon! Having a bike that you can ride everyday, in any weather, and never have to clean, oil, adjust or replace, the drivetrain, is priceless!
 

The duke

Active Member
If you're 6'2" and weigh only 135lbs and you also have a desire to bicycle commute through some of Los Angeles' dicier areas, I'd say the first thing you should do is stop using heroin. 😜😜

All jokes aside, you seem like the perfect candidate for this bike.
frey_cc_price_9.jpg

Do some research on the Frey. The CC model fits your budget at just under $3k. You'll be a new biker doing mondo miles. The 840w battery is really the only thing big enough out there to take you over the hills you'll be taking on with your untrained legs. And the full suspension and comfortable seating position will make the ride cushy enough for you to keep it up over the long haul. It has the torque to pull you over topanga and it can do 31mph!! I dont think many posters on your thread are taking into account your unique situation. I really think this is the only bike suggested that could realistically do it for you. Seriously, look into this.

this Frey.
 

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Amazer98

Member
Wow, this looks like an amazing bike, especially for the money.

I have a question though: are Bafang motors considered to be reliable?

How do they compare to Bosch motors in terms of quality and features like torque sensing?
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
All my bafang hub motors have been reliable
The bafang ultra motor has torque sensing

I have a bafang m600 motor with torque sensing And it is really smooth to me

I don’t know about quality putting it up against Bosch but I’ve never had a motor problem so far
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I ride a Riese & Muller full suspension bike around 200 miles a week, not commuting just riding for fun and exercise. It has become a vehicle replacement as I seldom drive unless it is raining or I have something heavy to move.

Things I would be considering in your situation:

  • Class 3 bike capable of 28 mph - Reality is that you will ride flats at 22 or so but be quickly frustrated with a class 1 limit of 20mph.
  • A full suspension will give you more sure footed cornering, better braking and greater comfort on a long commute.
  • Real cost of driving the car should include $290/month fuel and maintenance plus parking, insurance which could be lower if not commuting and discounts for low mileage.
  • Bike should have good rack,
  • Excellent, not good but excellent, front and rear integrated lights - I like Supernova M99 mini 45 with highbeam. Class 3 bike should have rear brake lights as well.
  • Solid lock (Abus Bordo folding lock with motion sensor alarm is best).
  • full fenders,
  • puncture resistant tires like Schwalbe Super Moto X
  • Load horn (included on speaker below)
  • Blue tooth speaker for music and phone Handlebar mounted. Clearon on Ebay for $40 is excellent
  • If you can't afford a full suspension bike get a Kinekt Body Float suspension seat post.

Budget for:
  1. Extra battery charger at work
  2. MIPS Helmet with lights like a Giro Bexley
  3. Good rear trunk bag like a Topeak with fold down panniers
  4. hand pump
  5. CO2 inflator with 2 cartridges
  6. High quality saddle - I like the Selle Anatomica A firm, well contoured saddle with padded shorts will be way better for long commutes than a big, cushy overpadded saddle.
  7. padded riding shorts/pants
  8. decent rain jacket and overpants
Items to always carry along with you:

  1. Items to carry with you:
  2. spare chain
  3. spare chain quick links
  4. Even better get a bike with Gates Carbon belt drive to avoid chain maintenance/replacement and spares.
  5. spare inner tube
  6. tools to deal with the above

I ride a bike that would be close to ideal for your commute. Riese & Muller Homage Rohloff HS with Gates Carbon Belt Drive. It is way over your budget but also comes equipped with many of the items suggested above. I bought mine from L.A. Fly Rides on Hollywood Blvd. They are great folks to do business with.


Here is a link to a thread I started about customizing my Homage. https://electricbikereview.com/foru...ew-bike-riese-muller-homage-rohloff-hs.27390/
 
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