Advice needed: Eggrider vs. mid drive motor?

mainelobstah

New Member
Region
USA
I'm familiar with Rad bikes and currently own one and have tried many of them out. I'm looking at a few different new and used options. My two concerns are:
  • Occasionally riding with a child (6yo or 3yo)
  • Handling some steep hills which are common in my area
In terms of the kids, ideally I could just put a lightweight seat on the rear rack to accommodate my 6yo, who is about 45lbs. I know this puts a lot of rear racks at capacity, which seem to be typically about max 50lbs. We'd be traveling relatively short distances - about a mile or two, so I'm ok with this setup. I'd prefer not to deal with a trailer. I'd like a bike that rides more like a traditional bike, so prefer not to get a Rad Mini or Rad Runner Plus.

A few bikes I've been looking at are:
  • Used Juiced CrossCurrent X ($1700, 280 miles)
  • Used Ride 1up 700 XR ($1000, 500 miles)
  • Used Gazelle Medeo T9 ($2k, 200 miles)
  • Used Gazelle EasyFlow ($2300, 200 miles)
  • New Rad City ST (w/eggrider to help us those hills)
Any thoughts on these options, when considering toting a kid around and handling hills? I like the idea of hydraulic brakes. I have a RadWagon and going down hills with two kids on back feels a little dicey at times. I take downhill realllly slow when riding with them.

In terms of hills - does a mid-drive motor always trump a hub motor? Does a hub motor with 80 nm torque capabilities perform better than a mid-drive motor with 50nm torque ability? I've read that mid-drive is the way to go to handle hills, but unclear what that means in terms of varying torque, or adding an eggrider.

Thanks for your help!
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Rad city Step through has regenerative braking, which means a direct drive hub motor. These are inefficient at low speeds on hills, use too many watt hours. The torque comes on at 15 mph up on the flat.
I have no knowledge of an eggrider.
Geared hub motors can perform well on rolling hills. I cross 80 of them on my 30 mile commute, some up to 15%, with up to 80 lb cargo + 160 lb me. My overall commute rises 200'. That is a 1000 w mac12t, not currently sold on built bikes. Geared hub motors do not cool very well and cannot handle 30 minute or more grinds up a single hill of significant grade. They will overheat. Read the court reviews, to determine what type motor a particular bike has. As these change from year to year, when inspecing a used bike, geared hub motors are about 7" diameter, direct drive about 12". Geared hub motors will whine when you push the bike backwards unpowered.
Where mid-drives with low torque can excell on hills is on a bike with a bigger rear sprocket than the front. These are rare, and tend to be mountain bikes costing $3000 up. Mid drives are reputed to cool adequately. On the used market you can initially tell such a bike by a rear sprocket 10 to 12" in diameter with a takeup 7" long or longer.
The used market of any product tends to gather the products with flakey problems. As the car a co-worker bought, beautiful, but the windshield wipers wouldn't work below 20 deg F. Electric bikes are a computer driven computer controlled product, and one test drive may not flush out any problems. Buyer beware.
I had trouble with cargo swinging from side to side using wald or other rear baskets on MTB and cruiser bikes. The struts bend the fender & scrape the tire, unless the frame is wide where the basket attaches. Weight on the back of a mtb or cruiser also lifts weight off the front wheel, causing instability. The front wheel skidded sideways when a dog hit it, and the handlebars snapped out of my hands sideways on high pavement separator, a ridge of gravel, a speed bump, a stick. I wasn't happy carrying cargo on 2 MTB's and a cruiser, and went to a cargo bike. I'm sure 2 children are a less stable load than cargo, as they can shift side to side. I hope your experience is less dangerous. Perhaps your hands are stronger than mine. Smaller wheels as 20" of the tern gsd or euronau have more side to side stability, but jar the body worse when hitting a 4" deep pothole. One way to increase stability of the radwagon is to load heavy cargo in the front basket. Radwagon the cargo in the front basket doesn't have to be steered, it has frame mounts for the front basket. If the brakes are the problem on the radwagon, change the brake cables to jaguar slick stainless, that don't bind. 5" brake handles give a lot better stopping ability on cable pull brakes than the 3 1/2" handles sold on most bikes now.
I find cable pull disk brakes of 160 mm rotors adequate on 15% hills with gross weight 330 lb. I do have premium cables that don't bind in the tubes. I do have to adjust the pad in every 1000 miles, which you won't do on a hydraulic brake. Takes 2 minutes in the front. Longer in the back because I have to take the pannier bag off and replace it.
 
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retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
200 feet? That's practically my dive way where I live! The first hill I hit when I do any rides from my home is about 300 feet in about 1/10 of a mile. My rides vary from 700 to 1600 feet of elevation. Needless to say I have a mid drive.

Hub motors can be a great choice for city bikes, especially in cities that aren't too hilly, but the big weaknesses of hub motors are cooling/overheating, as IJ says above, and the fact that their torque can vary a lot with speed, depending on the motor design.

Mid drives allow you to get maximum torque over a broader speed range, due to the bike's gearing, For reasons I don't understand, they also seem to cool better. I've never heard of someone overheating a mid drive.

Good luck shopping. I don't particularly agree with IJ's concerns about buying used. Bikes are far simpler, with many fewer parts that are hard to fix. The electronic components are often self diagnosing, so if they turn on without an error, you're good to go. Batteries are the only expensive wearable. I would look carefully for any evidence of damage from a crash, though. This means carefully looking a all the frame tubes and their welds for any paint imperfections, wrinkles and cracks.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Agree, hills and Rad City bikes are never going to mix well, especially with a couple of kids in play. The City is one of the few bikes available shat still use direct drive motors. Even the Rad Wagon was updated from direct drive to a gear driven hub not too long ago. Not sure if or how an Eggrider is going to help when it comes to climbing hills.

An 80nm gear driven hub climbing a longer hill is going to heat up more quickly than a 50nm mid drive when the mid drive is being driven correctly (in the right gear for the climb). A 50nm mid drive has the advantage when climbing because it's able to use a granny gear if necessary. The geared hub has only the fixed 5:1 gear that's built into it, so you would have to make up the difference from what the motor has available and what's going to be required to climb the hill.

"Hill" is a super subjective term when it comes to hills. There are hills that can be easily handled by some momentum going into them, some that aren't so steep, but they're miles long, and others that are so steep they look like a wall as you approach them!

Last, the hub driven bikes, especially those with a throttle, are just plain easier to ride. Super forgiving, just get on and go. Mid drive bikes generally require the rider to be paying attention to what gear he's in, and they require coordination as they're shifted to prevent excessive wear on the drive train (nobody like crunching gears!). There's also the potential of having to stop in a hurry and being forced to take off in the wrong gear. Many mid drives don't have a throttle, so you're not going to get any help there either. In general, I think it safe to say the mid drive is going to demand more "finesse" from it's rider.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The gazelle medeo 2019 does not have such a torque increasing granny gear. It is a mid drive.
This is misleading, unless you have some odd idea of a "granny gear": Historically, for conventional bikes, a "granny gear" referred to a triple crank setup with the smallest gear quite a bit smaller than the other two, to give you good hill climbing. This setup is obsolete. Now, some folks use the term to refer to the largest gear on the rear.

This model Gazelle, as near as I can tell, uses a 1 X 9 gear setup, with a wide range rear gear cluster. The largest gear on the back would give decent climbing ability coupled with a decent hub motor. The only caution I'd make is that the motor used is not the highest torque motor offered by Bosch, so climbing a steep hill with a heavy kid could still be a bit of a strain.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
A thousand pardons for any confusion I've created. I used "granny gear" to describe 1st gear in the cluster, which is the largest. Typically it's only rarely used for those climbs that require max climbing power.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Thanks all for the clarification... I always thought granny gear was my nonna's crochet neddles and pill organizer 🙃
Now it all makes sense.

On the eggrider... I find it to be useless as a display and the buttons are small and poorly placed. Ok for making programming changes but now that the Speed app is available, it's totally useless
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
I've been recommending this a lot because it's such a good value w/ so many practical uses, but check out the CTY e2.2. Shimano middrive w/ 60Nm of torque, rear rack that can take 59 pounds, front suspension, hydro brakes, integrated lights and one of the largest and best dealership experiences in the business.
 

mainelobstah

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks all for the clarification... I always thought granny gear was my nonna's crochet neddles and pill organizer 🙃
Now it all makes sense.

On the eggrider... I find it to be useless as a display and the buttons are small and poorly placed. Ok for making programming changes but now that the Speed app is available, it's totally useless
I was interested in adding the eggrider to the RadCity because from my understanding it would do a good job helping me tackle hills. (Correct me if I'm wrong). Other Rad bike owners have recommended the eggrider on various forums. It sounds like the Speed app accomplishes the same thing via connecting phone to the display?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I've been recommending this a lot because it's such a good value w/ so many practical uses, but check out the CTY e2.2. Shimano middrive w/ 60Nm of torque, rear rack that can take 59 pounds, front suspension, hydro brakes, integrated lights and one of the largest and best dealership experiences in the business.
I thought nice bike as a first impression, then I noticed where the kick stand is mounted. That's right out of the dark ages. When down, it will not let the bike roll back more than a couple of feet until it fouls the pedal/crank arm. Everyone else in the world has made note of this issue and moved their kickstand mounts back far enough to eliminate this potential.

Maybe the picture is a prototype that's been changed, but if not, that would be a game stopper for me....
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
I was interested in adding the eggrider to the RadCity because from my understanding it would do a good job helping me tackle hills. (Correct me if I'm wrong). Other Rad bike owners have recommended the eggrider on various forums. It sounds like the Speed app accomplishes the same thing via connecting phone to the display?
Eggrider is just a display (crappy one at that) that also allows you to program the controller. There are better and easier ways to accomplish programming. Most of the people who like the eggrider will state that it is very minimalist... But in my opinion it's to the point of being too small to be user friendly. YMMV
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
So IF (capital I and capital F) they're capable of programming a locked down controller like RAD is using, I'm left with the question wondering if the Eggrider is actually being used/is able to raise the max amperage the controller is able to pass along to the motor?

Even if it were able to dump everything the battery has in to the motor, the Rad City is still an under performer when compared to the same bike with a geared hub. That said, there are a lot of very happy Rad City owners that don't need/want top performance...
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
I thought nice bike as a first impression, then I noticed where the kick stand is mounted. That's right out of the dark ages. When down, it will not let the bike roll back more than a couple of feet until it fouls the pedal/crank arm. Everyone else in the world has made note of this issue and moved their kickstand mounts back far enough to eliminate this potential.

Maybe the picture is a prototype that's been changed, but if not, that would be a game stopper for me....

It's a double-sided kickstand, much like the ones cargo bikes use. It can lift the entire rear wheel off the ground. I've no idea if it interferes with the pedal rotation. But I'd honestly take that over the single rear-mounted one I have on my bike.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Mikey did a review of it over at electrek. Mentions the kickstand as a plus for cargo loading. With REI 10% rebate it's actually a pretty good value.

 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It's a double-sided kickstand, much like the ones cargo bikes use. It can lift the entire rear wheel off the ground. I've no idea if it interferes with the pedal rotation. But I'd honestly take that over the single rear-mounted one I have on my bike.
Yeah those are a big deal in the cargo bike world. I have one on each of mine and they are a HUGE upgrade. Especially when done right. Not sure if the one pictured is one of those unless its an ESGE/Pletscher of Swiss origin and even then its light duty as such things go.

In particular they are needed by parents who have children on the back of the rack and need some attention getting them strapped in. Something considered essential is for a stand like this to be stable as a kid climbs up into the seat. Its common for the less-substantial double stands to let the bike tip over. Hence the aftermarket for the $90 Ursus Jumbo and the $400 Rolling Jackass.

Looking back to @mainelobstah 's original post, I can't help but think ALL of the bikes on his list are not up to the task. You need a bike rated for passengers. With a SOLID kickstand so that child is not put at risk from a wobbly bike. Over on Cargo Bike Republic I see parents concerned all the time over kids climbing up the side of the bike to get into their seat. It'll happen. Will the bike fall over?

Also you need a solid rack or frame superstructure not stretched to its maximum capacity just to hold the child. Remember that bike is going to bounce and with 45 lbs on it, a normal bike is going to be slamming that weight - of that child - into little M5 bosses on the dropouts of a conventional frame. How long until that child is 50 lbs? 55? If you get away with your weight limit now, you won't as soon as the little one isn't so little, which will be... months? a year?

As to motor type, you won't find any serious cargo bikes that use a hub motor. The weakness of hubs vs. mids in hill country has been noted (as has the steeper learning curve to ensure the bike is kept in the right gear). Even on flat land, I prefer mid drive cargo bikes for laden travel. Its the right tool for the job and the marketplace has pretty much decided this when you look at the quality ebikes rated for passengers and what kind of motor they use.

I would re-think the job candidates. FYI I built a budget platform that would work, although likely for about 2 grand and you'd need to figure out the child seat mount yourself. I know folks use these bikes to carry kids so its not brain surgery. I just haven't done it myself.

 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
As to motor type, you won't find any serious cargo bikes that use a hub motor. The weakness of hubs vs. mids in hill country has been noted (as has the steeper learning curve to ensure the bike is kept in the right gear). Even on flat land, I prefer mid drive cargo bikes for laden travel. Its the right tool for the job and the marketplace has pretty much decided this when you look at the quality ebikes rated for passengers and what kind of motor they use.

So my joke of a cargo bike with geared hub motor has about 7000 miles on it powered. Ha Ha! With one chain worn out so far. One $221 hub motor worn out. ~4000 lb cargo toted uphill 30 miles to my summer camp.
Commercially sold bikes have to be able to carry the load from the Pacific beach to the top of the Sierra without stopping. Most of the ebike market is CA, OR, WA. Geared hub motors will burn in that service, big warrenty problem. Thus the multiple mid-drive cargo bikes sold. Geared hub motors might be perfectly suited to Maine. OP hasn't burned his/her motor yet on his/her Radwagon. No 1000' rises in 30 minutes? Just OP is concerned about stability of the Radwagon, or maybe the stopping power of the brakes as is.
Agree with you totally about inadvisibility of carrying a 6 year old on back of a MTB or cruiser frame. It would be more stable with a seat mounted on the front, a la 2 wheel butcher's bicycle of Arizona (not the 3 wheel copenhagen bike with huge bin).
Those big box kid hauler's from NET & BEL yuba & R&M are pretty safe, but must be **** to ride into a headwind. Expensive too with the wheel in front of the box and the steering in the back.