Advice on first e-bike

Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
I'm looking for my first e-bike. It's hard to know how much to spend on a first one and I'm not entirely sure how I'll use it.

- I'm not a cyclist; I'm a hiker/birder/photographer, but I have a campervan and want to take a bike along to leave the van and go exploring at distances greater than a walk away from the van when camping. This could mean travel on pavement, trails, dirt and/or gravel for perhaps as many as 20 miles or more (?) - just guessing. I'd probably use it for joy-rides around town, up and down hills here (hills I would not ordinarily bike up)
- I'd carry some gear, such as a camera, binoculars, etc.
- I'd like to be able to comfortably pedal it without power in case it died
- I don't have any physical issues (lifting, knees or otherwise)
- I'm tallish (nearly 6')
- I'd want something comfortable, quiet, dependable, capable of going up hills, with some flat tire protection, and with a removable battery
- It'd be good to be able to have the bike serviced locally - I know we have Pedego, Trek, Specialized, REI, Gazelle, Marin and probably more, locally
- I'm thinking a Class I is probably best (?) for me because I may ride in National Parks and/or National Wildlife Refuges, but I don't think I could ride an e-bike on my local bike trails (but that's OK because I hike those...)

I've found one bike that I like, but it costs $6K or so (Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped) and I hesitate to spend this much on my first e-bike; on the other hand, I don't want to buy a dud. This Powerfly FS 9 is touted as a good all-arounder, but the bike also seems to be very large or at least very long (77.5"), and storage could be a problem (I live in a very small house, don't have a garage and most purchasable bike lockers are only 75" long, are quite expensive and are more designed for commercial use). I could insure the bike and store it with a cover outside and would have to figure out how to lock it to my house or something. I live in a residential area where there isn't a lot of crime, but I'm sure bikes do get stolen around here from time to time. As for a rack for my campervan, I've been assured it'd fit on a Thule Easyfold XT 2 bike hitch rack, but I did read one review that said even a 76 inch bike on that rack was iffy.

[Bike I currently have: An old REI Novara Hybrid. I used to have a Trek Portland (I commuted for a while on it). I could really tell the Portland was a better bike. When I ride my Novara Hybrid on gravel, it feels like the gravel is in control!]

I'd appreciate your input and alternatives, if you have them!
 
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Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Welcome to EBR.

A lot of different facets to your inquiries. (That's great, just not quickly given opinions - so maybe allow for a bit of time and use follow up questions.)

That you notice different ride feels between bikes is great. It will be pronounced between different ebikes.

I started out thinking an ebike should cost around a couple thousand, that's a lot of money for just a bike. :) You're probably way ahead, and money ahead if you know you like the Trek and it's $6K. If you wanted to be more certain find where you can rent them and ride it under similar use conditions to what you plan to. My wife and I rented 4 or 5 times and it just got us into the ballpark of the right bikes because I started out thinking at too low of a price point for the quality of bike I like and the riding we most want to do - trails.

Just looked up that bike and look what google put up as an option...

 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Good looking bike. I will tell you that we started out with two hardtail mountain bikes and after learning a bit really wanted full suspension. FS offers a much more enjoyable ride out on trails and fire roads though it will entail more upkeep with the extra moving parts too.

If you like the idea of carrying bags for your gear it's nice Trek has that worked out with that rack. I have a Scott FS that looks very similar to that Trek in basic lines but no rack. I carry stuff in a backpack.

Up till 6 months ago we mostly hiked. The first time I rode in an area we have hiked into but wanted to explore more I was just amazed by how much ground we could cover. You're going to love ebiking.
 

ian fisher

Member
my advice, test ride as many demonstrator bikes as you can, find something that fits you and suits what you intend to do with it and the type of terrain you will want to ride on. The brand names you mention are all makers of excellent bikes. If you're wanting to carry some camera equipment and a few other items, then maybe look at bikes with a fitted pannier rack. Do you have a budget in mind? consider how much you are prepared to spend. Once you have narrowed down to a few bikes, have a look into the used e bike market locally, there are some bargains to be had if you know what you are looking for. As for indoor storage, a bike with a mid-drive and wheels that can be quick released may be easier to store than a rear hub drive bike. Range of an e bike depends on so many variables, how much weight you carry, terrain, how much power assist you use, there are some bikes on the market that have 'walk mode' which allows you to walk assist the bike if you find yourself on steep loose terrain where you can't get traction, or if you've run the battery to low to peddle back to where you set out from. Test ride as many bike as you can and start to narrow down your best options from there.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
For hills you will want the mid drive.

For storage.....look to standing up on end if needed but, in the house. (If you lean toward that I can get at least one name for you of an upright storage stand.)

Rack on the van, look for alternatives that work or modification to that rack if you decide this is the bike for you.

Cost....I will be surprised if you find something cheaper that meets your needs and you love. But, try before you buy.
 

Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks Merle and Ian! Yes, I had seen that review and have searched out as much information as I can on that bike. Of course, there are few bikes available to actually ride, much less the one I like "on paper". I will see what I can do about riding some bikes locally first. Full suspension and mid-drive narrows the field a bit, but I, too, think this is the way to go for what I want to use it for.

Thanks again! I'm sure I'll have more questions in the next couple of weeks.
 

ian fisher

Member
As Merle said, 'try before you buy,... is the best advice. Used bikes; I bought my own bike used about 2 and a half years ago, there were some known issues with the torque sensors on this model, but I fixed that..pulled it apart, found the issue and fixed it. The rear hub motor is more than adequate for the type of riding I do including hills, but this is a rigid bike and I wouldn't do any actual trail riding on it. I agree that mid drive motors are likely a better option for hills...anyway the point being that used bikes can be a good choice. I paid $1800.00nzd for this bike, they were retailing new for around $3600.00nzd, and the bike had 1200klm on the odometer, so for about half the retail price and a near enough to new bike in excellent condition.
 

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Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
For hills you will want the mid drive.

For storage.....look to standing up on end if needed but, in the house. (If you lean toward that I can get at least one name for you of an upright storage stand.)

Rack on the van, look for alternatives that work or modification to that rack if you decide this is the bike for you.

Cost....I will be surprised if you find something cheaper that meets your needs and you love. But, try before you buy.
If you have the name of an upright stand in mind, I'd appreciate it. Maybe that'd work at least temporarily.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Thanks Merle and Ian! Yes, I had seen that review and have searched out as much information as I can on that bike. Of course, there are few bikes available to actually ride, much less the one I like "on paper". I will see what I can do about riding some bikes locally first. Full suspension and mid-drive narrows the field a bit, but I, too, think this is the way to go for what I want to use it for.

Thanks again! I'm sure I'll have more questions in the next couple of weeks.
Lots of shops rent bikes. Some will pull them in from other store locations if you give them a few days notice. And then onto bike clubs and organizations where a generous soul may let you try it out some for fit and etc. Shopping used bikes would be another way to check if you search out specific models etc. Watching youtube clips of news it looks like a person should do online sales and purchases in a police parking lot in this day and age though.

Try.....(getbikenook.com)
I haven't tried it out.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Good advice here. Your safest options are always well-known brands at your local bike store that you can actually ride first. I'll just add a couple of options into the mix:

* If you are considering hard-tails, I'd have a look at a couple of the Motobecanes on Bikes Direct: The Elite E-Adventure Team, though it's only in stock in the largest size, might be too big, or the Electric Adventure Hybrid Urban (has a rack and fenders, only comes in one size, might be on the small size but would probably fit, not ideal for trail but you could swap out the tires.)

Advantages:

-- Low weight, which is important for racks.
-- Low weight is also important for "comfortably pedal it if it died." Most e-Bikes are well over 50 pounds, often over 60; these are 46 pounds.
-- Low price, both are two grand.
-- Outstanding frame quality, made in Taiwan, same factory as many of the better-known brands
-- Bikes Direct has a good reputation for delivery

Disadvantages:

-- Both are underpowered, you will have to work hard on steep hills, particularly if carrying a lot of heavy gear, but... if you're rocking a water bottle, mirrorless and small binoculars, that's not a lot of weight.
-- You cannot try either before you buy
-- Neither is ideal for trail. However, I rode a converted Trek 900 with Continental Travel Contact tires for six months, did some gravel and dirt on moderate grades, and it was a little skittish, but fine. If you're thinking of doing 20 miles of pure gravel... I dunno if either would be a good option, but I wouldn't want to do 20 miles of gravel on most 'gravel bikes' anyway-- tires seem too thin to me!
-- The frames will be of good quality, but the Urban in particular has unusual geometry, and it may be hard to find reviews from people who have actually ridden one. The same is sorta true for the Adventure, but the geometry is pretty normal. Dang, I wish that was in stock in a 48! I'm 6"1 and ride a 48, though some riders my size would ride a 46. I'm underweight, and for whatever reason, I find that sizing just a little bit up works better for me-- I just feel way more stable, and I get better power delivery.

I have the Ultra e-Adventure, and have had it for 600 miles. I'm crazy about it, but it's out of stock, as are many of their other bikes that would also be good options. The Ultra is full suspension, but has the same motor and a similar weight, but I like a good workout. I can do 32 miles with over 4,000 feet of vertical when I'm in good shape and still have about 10 miles of range left.

The other options listed above will definitely be more powerful... but if cost and weight are high on your list of priorities, give the Motos a look.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Once again, the myth that you have to have a mid drive to conquer hills persists. I ride about 80 of them in my 30 mile commute with a geared hub drive on the front. Up to 100' of 15% grade three times, carrying 80 lb groceries or ag supplies. The advantage of geared hub: cheaper, no drag when you outrun the battery or rain takes out the throttle. A geared hub will drag you home after a chain falls off or separates or a derailleur takeup gets bent on a stick or a rock. Plus with a generic battery that comes with many hub drives, you won't be spending $1000 up for a replacement bosch or shimano battery in 5 years. When I wore out the gears in my $221 hub motor in 4500 miles, I had the next one in the garage and installed in two afternoons. Try to get parts for a bosch that fast!
Geared hub motors will not climb 1000' in an hour - they overheat. Huntington Beach to Lake Arrowhead in one trip is out. Dealers in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, mostly will not carry them due to warranty motor replacements. Shimano, Brose and Yamaha mid drives do not drag the motor with your feet with the power shut off.
I find significant weight in a rack on the rear unbalances a standard MTB or cruiser frame. The steering gets squirrelly when the front weighs only 50 lb. MTB's pitched me over the bars on my chin 4 times in 8 years, a cruiser once. Put the cameras in a basket on the front, or buy a head down bike that puts your weight on the front. My neck won't allow the flexed position required to see on a "road" bike.
It is a pity you have to pay $2500 up to get real steel spokes & real aluminum wheels on an ebike, but read all the complaints about loose or broken spokes on some of the popular cheaper brands. Also a lot of cracked wheels around spoke holes. My yuba bike has been trouble free from those parts over 8000 miles, but it cost $2000 before I added electricity. It is too long for your purposes, however. It did come with a 2 legged stand, which is handy for loading groceries in the (included) pannier bag.
Security, you could have a 3'x3'x18" concrete slab installed in your back yard with a cast in stainless ring to tether the bike to. Bike racks bolted to insert anchors are too easily removed with a wrench or in 1 minute with a impact driver. Square alloy chain like pewag 3/8", should be considered, along with $100 locks like abus granite. A second lighter tether through a power wheel should also be used. Since you don't have to carry all this weight on the bike when you are out. A motion sensor attached to an alarm bell should complete the installation. When I'm shopping off my bike, I use a 6'x1/2" stainless steel sling around a power pole or a gas meter pipe to tether my bike, along with a abus 92/80 lock that fits that much steel in the jaw. Rolls up in the pannier bag. Stainless is a ***** to cut with a grinder or acetylene torch. Won't burn properly. Requires $489 cable cutter if the tool is going to be used more than once.
 
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dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
I’m a recent e bike Trek owner. The Trek you are looking at looks to be a great bike, it should be it isn’t cheap. My wife and I bought Verve +3. They are more of a commuter/road bike. The specs do matter. For example our Verve’s have a powertube 500 battery and the motor is 50 nm of torque. The bike you are looking at has a 625 battery and the motor has 85nm of torque. For reference I rode a bike with a 40 nm motor before the bikes we bought which has a 50nm. You could tell the difference immediately. The reason for the power for the bike you are looking at is for off roading.

Whats nice about an e bike is it makes hills and headwinds disappear. You can turn the assist up as high as you want. On the road I would expect you woukd get good range with that battery depending on how much assist you use. 50 miles should be possible. The bad is it’s a heavy bike, almost 60 pounds, ours are a little over 50 pounds.

Bike rack? I have a Thule Easy Fold. It’s a very nice rack. It has a slick folding ramp system. I used it at first but with the two of us we just lift the bike up, with the battery removed. The bikes have a walk mode that let you power it up the ramp. The rack also folds up very small. I looked up the wheelbase of the bike you are looking at, it would be a tight fit, you would want to try it before buying. If you really want to get a high end e bike, I would figure out how to store it inside.

Good luck in the search.
 

Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
I’m a recent e bike Trek owner. The Trek you are looking at looks to be a great bike, it should be it isn’t cheap. My wife and I bought Verve +3. They are more of a commuter/road bike. The specs do matter. For example our Verve’s have a powertube 500 battery and the motor is 50 nm of torque. The bike you are looking at has a 625 battery and the motor has 85nm of torque. For reference I rode a bike with a 40 nm motor before the bikes we bought which has a 50nm. You could tell the difference immediately. The reason for the power for the bike you are looking at is for off roading.

Whats nice about an e bike is it makes hills and headwinds disappear. You can turn the assist up as high as you want. On the road I would expect you woukd get good range with that battery depending on how much assist you use. 50 miles should be possible. The bad is it’s a heavy bike, almost 60 pounds, ours are a little over 50 pounds.

Bike rack? I have a Thule Easy Fold. It’s a very nice rack. It has a slick folding ramp system. I used it at first but with the two of us we just lift the bike up, with the battery removed. The bikes have a walk mode that let you power it up the ramp. The rack also folds up very small. I looked up the wheelbase of the bike you are looking at, it would be a tight fit, you would want to try it before buying. If you really want to get a high end e bike, I would figure out how to store it inside.

Good luck in the search.
Thanks, dodgeman. Yes, my brother and his wife have a pair of Verve +3 bikes, and they are thrilled. But they mostly ride (so far) in the flatlands. I am solo, so yes, it's a heavy bike. I did ask Thule whether the bike would fit, and they said it would... Thanks again.
 

Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
Once again, the myth that you have to have a mid drive to conquer hills persists. I ride about 80 of them in my 30 mile commute with a geared hub drive on the front. Up to 100' of 15% grade three times, carrying 80 lb groceries or ag supplies. The advantage of geared hub: cheaper, no drag when you outrun the battery or rain takes out the throttle. A geared hub will drag you home after a chain falls off or separates or a derailleur takeup gets bent on a stick or a rock. Plus with a generic battery that comes with many hub drives, you won't be spending $1000 up for a replacement bosch or shimano battery in 5 years. When I wore out the gears in my $221 hub motor in 4500 miles, I had the next one in the garage and installed in two afternoons. Try to get parts for a bosch that fast!
Geared hub motors will not climb 1000' in an hour - they overheat. Huntington Beach to Lake Arrowhead in one trip is out. Dealers in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, mostly will not carry them due to warranty motor replacements. Shimano, Brose and Yamaha mid drives do not drag the motor with your feet with the power shut off.
I find significant weight in a rack on the rear unbalances a standard MTB or cruiser frame. The steering gets squirrelly when the front weighs only 50 lb. MTB's pitched me over the bars on my chin 4 times in 8 years, a cruiser once. Put the cameras in a basket on the front, or buy a head down bike that puts your weight on the front. My neck won't allow the flexed position required to see on a "road" bike.
It is a pity you have to pay $2500 up to get real steel spokes & real aluminum wheels on an ebike, but read all the complaints about loose or broken spokes on some of the popular cheaper brands. Also a lot of cracked wheels around spoke holes. My yuba bike has been trouble free from those parts over 8000 miles, but it cost $2000 before I added electricity. It is too long for your purposes, however. It did come with a 2 legged stand, which is handy for loading groceries in the (included) pannier bag.
Security, you could have a 3'x3'x18" concrete slab installed in your back yard with a cast in stainless ring to tether the bike to. Bike racks bolted to insert anchors are too easily removed with a wrench or in 1 minute with a impact driver. Square alloy chain like pewag 3/8", should be considered, along with $100 locks like abus granite. A second lighter tether through a power wheel should also be used. Since you don't have to carry all this weight on the bike when you are out. A motion sensor attached to an alarm bell should complete the installation. When I'm shopping off my bike, I use a 6'x1/2" stainless steel sling around a power pole or a gas meter pipe to tether my bike, along with a abus 92/80 lock that fits that much steel in the jaw. Rolls up in the pannier bag. Stainless is a ***** to cut with a grinder or acetylene torch. Won't burn properly. Requires $489 cable cutter if the tool is going to be used more than once.
Thanks, indianajo. Is this the kind of ring you are describing? https://reliance-foundry.com/bike-parking/all-bike-parking/r-8224-stainless-steel/ ? Or here's another type of "ring" - https://thebestbikelock.com/ground-anchor/ (ground anchors). I need a new back patio so maybe that is something I could consider down the road. I will also research geared hub motors. I don't really want the "road" bike flexed position either.

Wow - that article about ground anchors is great. I have plenty of concrete in front of my house to put a couple of those in, and in one area it'd be partly covered by a front overhang. I would put the bike inside when I'm gone and not using it. I'd have easy access to the bike, which would enable me to use it more frequently and with greater ease. This may be the way to go, at least for now.
 

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Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
Good advice here. Your safest options are always well-known brands at your local bike store that you can actually ride first. I'll just add a couple of options into the mix:

* If you are considering hard-tails, I'd have a look at a couple of the Motobecanes on Bikes Direct: The Elite E-Adventure Team, though it's only in stock in the largest size, might be too big, or the Electric Adventure Hybrid Urban (has a rack and fenders, only comes in one size, might be on the small size but would probably fit, not ideal for trail but you could swap out the tires.)

Advantages:

-- Low weight, which is important for racks.
-- Low weight is also important for "comfortably pedal it if it died." Most e-Bikes are well over 50 pounds, often over 60; these are 46 pounds.
-- Low price, both are two grand.
-- Outstanding frame quality, made in Taiwan, same factory as many of the better-known brands
-- Bikes Direct has a good reputation for delivery

Disadvantages:

-- Both are underpowered, you will have to work hard on steep hills, particularly if carrying a lot of heavy gear, but... if you're rocking a water bottle, mirrorless and small binoculars, that's not a lot of weight.
-- You cannot try either before you buy
-- Neither is ideal for trail. However, I rode a converted Trek 900 with Continental Travel Contact tires for six months, did some gravel and dirt on moderate grades, and it was a little skittish, but fine. If you're thinking of doing 20 miles of pure gravel... I dunno if either would be a good option, but I wouldn't want to do 20 miles of gravel on most 'gravel bikes' anyway-- tires seem too thin to me!
-- The frames will be of good quality, but the Urban in particular has unusual geometry, and it may be hard to find reviews from people who have actually ridden one. The same is sorta true for the Adventure, but the geometry is pretty normal. Dang, I wish that was in stock in a 48! I'm 6"1 and ride a 48, though some riders my size would ride a 46. I'm underweight, and for whatever reason, I find that sizing just a little bit up works better for me-- I just feel way more stable, and I get better power delivery.

I have the Ultra e-Adventure, and have had it for 600 miles. I'm crazy about it, but it's out of stock, as are many of their other bikes that would also be good options. The Ultra is full suspension, but has the same motor and a similar weight, but I like a good workout. I can do 32 miles with over 4,000 feet of vertical when I'm in good shape and still have about 10 miles of range left.

The other options listed above will definitely be more powerful... but if cost and weight are high on your list of priorities, give the Motos a look.
Thanks, Catalyzt. I will take a look at the bikes you mentioned. It's difficult to see or ride any of the bikes right now, but I'll see what I can find.
 

Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
Good looking bike. I will tell you that we started out with two hardtail mountain bikes and after learning a bit really wanted full suspension. FS offers a much more enjoyable ride out on trails and fire roads though it will entail more upkeep with the extra moving parts too.

If you like the idea of carrying bags for your gear it's nice Trek has that worked out with that rack. I have a Scott FS that looks very similar to that Trek in basic lines but no rack. I carry stuff in a backpack.

Up till 6 months ago we mostly hiked. The first time I rode in an area we have hiked into but wanted to explore more I was just amazed by how much ground we could cover. You're going to love ebiking.
Yes, I, too, know a couple who bought bikes without FS and wish they'd bought FS. I'd probably carry the 10 essentials for hiking in the bag on the bike rack and then my camera and lens in a small backpack. I'd put wear binoculars on a chest harness.

I know I'm going to love it. There is a road just a couple blocks from my house that goes up into the foothills in my area... too steep for me to ride (I tried it this past summer). In the winter, an elk herd comes down to winter at the top of the hill and I can envision having that bike to go up and check them out on a regular basis (the road is maintained for a residential area up that hill). It's amazing how the imagination can run wild with things that could be done on an e-bike that could not be done (by me, anyway) on a regular bike.
 

Gulogulo

New Member
Region
USA
Welcome to EBR.

A lot of different facets to your inquiries. (That's great, just not quickly given opinions - so maybe allow for a bit of time and use follow up questions.)

That you notice different ride feels between bikes is great. It will be pronounced between different ebikes.

I started out thinking an ebike should cost around a couple thousand, that's a lot of money for just a bike. :) You're probably way ahead, and money ahead if you know you like the Trek and it's $6K. If you wanted to be more certain find where you can rent them and ride it under similar use conditions to what you plan to. My wife and I rented 4 or 5 times and it just got us into the ballpark of the right bikes because I started out thinking at too low of a price point for the quality of bike I like and the riding we most want to do - trails.

Just looked up that bike and look what google put up as an option...

In this case and once I watched that electribikereview on the Powerfly FS 9, I called around town to see whether anybody had one (of course, they didn't). But one shop has one coming in at the end of December... so I put a fully refundable deposit on it. I will continue to research options but going into winter, it'll be challenging to rent anything. I'll see what I can do though. I may take a road trip to south Texas before then and perhaps I can try a couple then.
 

ian fisher

Member
Once again, the myth that you have to have a mid drive to conquer hills persists. I ride about 80 of them in my 30 mile commute with a geared hub drive on the front. Up to 100' of 15% grade three times, carrying 80 lb groceries or ag supplies. The advantage of geared hub: cheaper, no drag when you outrun the battery or rain takes out the throttle. A geared hub will drag you home after a chain falls off or separates or a derailleur takeup gets bent on a stick or a rock. Plus with a generic battery that comes with many hub drives, you won't be spending $1000 up for a replacement bosch or shimano battery in 5 years. When I wore out the gears in my $221 hub motor in 4500 miles, I had the next one in the garage and installed in two afternoons. Try to get parts for a bosch that fast!
Geared hub motors will not climb 1000' in an hour - they overheat. Huntington Beach to Lake Arrowhead in one trip is out. Dealers in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, mostly will not carry them due to warranty motor replacements. Shimano, Brose and Yamaha mid drives do not drag the motor with your feet with the power shut off.
I find significant weight in a rack on the rear unbalances a standard MTB or cruiser frame. The steering gets squirrelly when the front weighs only 50 lb. MTB's pitched me over the bars on my chin 4 times in 8 years, a cruiser once. Put the cameras in a basket on the front, or buy a head down bike that puts your weight on the front. My neck won't allow the flexed position required to see on a "road" bike.
It is a pity you have to pay $2500 up to get real steel spokes & real aluminum wheels on an ebike, but read all the complaints about loose or broken spokes on some of the popular cheaper brands. Also a lot of cracked wheels around spoke holes. My yuba bike has been trouble free from those parts over 8000 miles, but it cost $2000 before I added electricity. It is too long for your purposes, however. It did come with a 2 legged stand, which is handy for loading groceries in the (included) pannier bag.
Security, you could have a 3'x3'x18" concrete slab installed in your back yard with a cast in stainless ring to tether the bike to. Bike racks bolted to insert anchors are too easily removed with a wrench or in 1 minute with a impact driver. Square alloy chain like pewag 3/8", should be considered, along with $100 locks like abus granite. A second lighter tether through a power wheel should also be used. Since you don't have to carry all this weight on the bike when you are out. A motion sensor attached to an alarm bell should complete the installation. When I'm shopping off my bike, I use a 6'x1/2" stainless steel sling around a power pole or a gas meter pipe to tether my bike, along with a abus 92/80 lock that fits that much steel in the jaw. Rolls up in the pannier bag. Stainless is a ***** to cut with a grinder or acetylene torch. Won't burn properly. Requires $489 cable cutter if the tool is going to be used more than once.
My rear hub drive is very capable of climbing hills and I do so regularly. There is a common belief that mid drives offer more torque and therefore are better suited for hills, I wouldn't know because Iv'e never owned or ridden a mid drive. There are pros and cons for either drive system, still the best advice on this thread is 'try before you buy'.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Thanks, indianajo. Is this the kind of ring you are describing?
Actually I was thinking one of these: https://www.mcmaster.com/3049T51
1 1/4" threaded stud, 7/8" steel ring, 2 3/16" eye. Alloy steel. You could get the shank welded to the nut then bury the nut in concrete. $89 + freight + tax 1" steel ring 2 1/4" eye is $132 .
Actually I bought a stainless eye from mcmaster last year, but the hole wasn't big enough for pewag 3/8" chain. This one has a 7/8" hole and is made of 316 stainless, a ***** to cut with a torch. https://www.mcmaster.com/6097K38 $85
If you bury 2 rings in concrete and run the chain through both, then it takes even longer to cut through with a grinder or torch.