Advice for older man wanting to get back on the trails

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
I bought a ride1up 500 earlier this year and really like it. However, I miss my younger days of going on the trails and the 500, while fine on forest roads and really smooth trails, feels top heavy and insecure on all but the easiest trails. I'm 76 and in pretty good shape and am wondering if something like the Lectric XP (20x4 inch tires) or the Espin Nero (26x4 inch tires) might get me back on the easy trails. As an aside, I did ride a RadRover last year and it just felt to bulky for trails at my age. Suggestions?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
20" tires would be horrible for any obstacles at all, and 4" tires just seem too clunky and not responsive to me. All pro mtb riders have gone up to 29" tires now. I'm 68 and the full suspension Haibike with 27.5" tires is just perfect for me.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro

Yamaha YDX-MORO all-mountain e-bikes give a boost in the boonies - SlashGear
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
I bought a ride1up 500 earlier this year and really like it. However, I miss my younger days of going on the trails and the 500, while fine on forest roads and really smooth trails, feels top heavy and insecure on all but the easiest trails. I'm 76 and in pretty good shape and am wondering if something like the Lectric XP (20x4 inch tires) or the Espin Nero (26x4 inch tires) might get me back on the easy trails. As an aside, I did ride a RadRover last year and it just felt to bulky for trails at my age. Suggestions?

I'm 70, so I have an idea of where you are coming from. Love dirt trails too. Nothing crazy or too challenging, but a single track leading back into the woods is something I find irresistible. The gas lines up in lower northern Michigan are awesome, though very easy to get lost in!

I think 26x4 tires for flotation in sugar sand, though I know some prefer 27.5x 2.8"-3.0" for trail.

A good trail bike, needs to be easy to control, and my experience with OEM RAD that was not good here. We've discussed this before. Their controller, which offers no adjustability, just kills any idea of good control. That concept has been refined even further in my experience since.

To me, when I grab throttle, I want it now. None of this "soft start" or slow spool up time for me. When I move the pedals, I want power right now (even if it costs me an occasional "false start"), not after one or 2 turns of the crank, and when I stop pedaling I want the power to stop THEN, not after I've traveled a couple more feet. It's only when you get this kind of response you get the feeling of having a locked in control feel. Very likely, when you find it, you're also totally spoiled regarding anything without it....

You aren't going to get this in an over the counter 1500 dollar bike. Not unless you modify it with a better controller anyway.

After months of research, I have a new bike on it's way. One of it's biggest features is the Bafang Ultra motor, which is a mid drive, with a customizable (to a degree that might be considered overkill by many) controller. Features a throttle and torque assisted PAS. Though I am a self confessed lover of big power, in this case available power is so over the top I might have gone smaller if there were a smaller motor available with these features.

A long way around to agreeing with Timpo. A mid drive deserves some attention for trail work. -Al
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
Thanks Timpo and Ahicks. I'll probably put 2500 miles on my e-bike this year, mostly on a 18 mile fitness loop that I do here in Prescott, half highway shoulder and half rails to trails path. This weekend I was up in an area where I was exploring several forest roads and some fairly easy, single track trails. Stuff that was easy for me 10 years ago on a pedal MTB. I should have dropped the tire pressure from 45 to 35, I don't know, but the Ride1up did not feel secure at my age. It wasn't so much for the power delivery of the hub motor, but more the way the bike handled. I was riding mostly at zero power assist level on the trail. Probably some combination of senior risk aversion :) and slower reflexes too.

I'll probably only do, maybe 200 miles of trails this year, so I'm not in a situation where I could spring for $3,000 to $5,000 for an mid-drive, electric MTB. That's why I think I'll go back and try the trail with reduced tire pressure, and/or buy a pedal MTB.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
I'll probably only do, maybe 200 miles of trails this year, so I'm not in a situation where I could spring for $3,000 to $5,000 for an mid-drive, electric MTB. That's why I think I'll go back and try the trail with reduced tire pressure, and/or buy a pedal MTB.
It's true it is better to ride a classy analog MTB than a mediocre e-MTB.
 

John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
Thanks Timpo and Ahicks. I'll probably put 2500 miles on my e-bike this year, mostly on a 18 mile fitness loop that I do here in Prescott, half highway shoulder and half rails to trails path. This weekend I was up in an area where I was exploring several forest roads and some fairly easy, single track trails. Stuff that was easy for me 10 years ago on a pedal MTB. I should have dropped the tire pressure from 45 to 35, I don't know, but the Ride1up did not feel secure at my age. It wasn't so much for the power delivery of the hub motor, but more the way the bike handled. I was riding mostly at zero power assist level on the trail. Probably some combination of senior risk aversion :) and slower reflexes too.

I'll probably only do, maybe 200 miles of trails this year, so I'm not in a situation where I could spring for $3,000 to $5,000 for an mid-drive, electric MTB. That's why I think I'll go back and try the trail with reduced tire pressure, and/or buy a pedal MTB.

Hello, I'm 74 and have been riding a Trek Powerfly 7 emtb Hardtail for 3 years. I absolutely love it. I ride rail trails and paved roads provided they are
sparsely travelled. I have no skills to ride single track..I would get hurt. The Powerfly comes with the Bosch Performance CX Motor with tons of torque.
The bike will climb 'a brick wall' : ) Currently I have 3750 trouble free miles. Good luck,

John
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Thanks Timpo and Ahicks. I'll probably put 2500 miles on my e-bike this year, mostly on a 18 mile fitness loop that I do here in Prescott, half highway shoulder and half rails to trails path. This weekend I was up in an area where I was exploring several forest roads and some fairly easy, single track trails. Stuff that was easy for me 10 years ago on a pedal MTB. I should have dropped the tire pressure from 45 to 35, I don't know, but the Ride1up did not feel secure at my age. It wasn't so much for the power delivery of the hub motor, but more the way the bike handled. I was riding mostly at zero power assist level on the trail. Probably some combination of senior risk aversion :) and slower reflexes too.

I'll probably only do, maybe 200 miles of trails this year, so I'm not in a situation where I could spring for $3,000 to $5,000 for an mid-drive, electric MTB. That's why I think I'll go back and try the trail with reduced tire pressure, and/or buy a pedal MTB.
This probably isn't the solution you're looking for, but if you don't mind the DIY project, Bafang BBSHD conversion might be an option?
You'll be able to do it for far less than $3,000


You can just find a normal MTB and do the BBSHD conversion like this.
Bafang BBSHD Bottom bracket adaptor for Shimano Press Fit 41 89.5mm-92 |  EMPowered Cycles Electric Bike Conversion Kits and Accessories
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
What tires come on that ride1up?
wonder if you could just change the tire to a better off-road tire and it might help..??
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
What tires come on that ride1up?
wonder if you could just change the tire to a better off-road tire and it might help..??


I agree, the tires look pretty much street oreinted as the ride1up 500 is basically a commuter bike.

Kenda Kwick Seven.5 27.5"x2.2" (650b)

1601910288149.png
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I have Maxxis minions and really like them

do you have room to go slightly bigger? Maybe 2.3 or 2.4?
If it was me think I would try that before buying a second analog bike- problem with all bikes is decent ones are expensive- analog or is electric

hope you find a good solution
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I don’t know much about tires but the Maxxis I have are super sticky and Stable

They are probably more pricey though

I got some relatively cheap specialized off road tires in Flagstaff at the dealer in a 2.3 for that FLX bike I had and liked those pretty good, don’t remember exactly how much they were, but seems like maybe 30 or 40 per tire....
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Knobby tires, or those that don't have a fairly uninterrupted pattern in the center of the tread, are notoriously noisy on paved surfaces. Some you can hear coming half a mile away....

You might be surprised at how well a street tread (like the one in post #14) can do when on a single track trail.

Despite the fact I LOVE trails, a good 70% of my usage is on pavement. Street tires a must here as I can't stand the noise. Even the stock Rad City tires ran with a "buzz" that I don't miss at all with a set of Marathons on that. Notticeably less rolling resistance as well.
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
The tires in (my) post #14 are what I have on the bike now. I was thinking along your thought for an uninterrupted bead along the middle, but some knobs on the sides. Just can't remember the brand, but I know I had them on previous bikes and they were fine on pavement and not bad on dirt.