Advice on which step-thru bikes to consider for keeping up with husband?

TaraSV

New Member
I have been shopping for an ebike to allow me to ride on the 20-30mile rides my husband enjoys. He definitely does hills, and they are my biggest challenge, I can't even do a slope. Well, I couldn't even do a simple slope last fall. Now I can't do anything because I have spent the past 8 months fighting cancer, going through chemo, surgery, etc. I need something that can do a LOT of helping as I try to get my strength and stamina back.

The search started almost a year ago when I went to try out a $1000 ebike at a local ebike store. The sales person had me compare it to a $1200, and I preferred the $1200 enough to justify the extra $200. Then he had me compare it to a $1400, then a $1750, then a $1999, etc. The last one I tried was a Bulls Lacuba Wave and I LOVED it but I couldn't justify spending the money for the Bulls, but couldn't talk myself into buying any of the lesser bikes because they were really lacking the intuitive pedal assist feel the Bulls had. After that we bought me an ebike at Costco (since you can't test ride them) and HATED it. It was either no assist or too much assist. It went back! Now, I am ready to spend the money on a high quality ebike, around $3500, but at that amount of money, I want to make sure I have done my research.

I haven't ridden the Bulls Lacuba Wave in almost a year, so with the hope of trying it again and comparing it to some others, we went to a bike store that said they had it in stock. They didn't, but I tested a Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite. I think I liked it, but the frame was too big for me, so I couldn't really tell. Then we went to a different store and I tried a Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 Low-entry. I really liked the riding position, but the assist didn't feel as good as either the Bulls or the Gazelle. But the sales person said that could be adjusted with an app after purchase. Anybody know if the Specialized would feel as easy to get moving from a stop as the other 2 if I could adjust things in the app?

I want something easy maintenance and reliable, and an article I read about the Bulls says they use Brose motors and that they aren't reliable. So, I could really use suggestions on bikes that I can try locally (SF Bay Area, so lots of bike stores) that are reliable, easy to get serviced, and ride as nice as the Bulls and Gazelle.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
So I'm assuming you like torque sensored bike?
Seems like you do not like cadence sensor.

I personally prefer cadence sensor, because I like zippy bikes, but many people like torque sensor's natural cycling feel as well.

 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Same advice always applies...go test ride a couple of bikes, in your budget if you can ... whatever is available if your budget isn't in stock. Take a ride with him, not just around the parking lot. Happy hunting.
 

TaraSV

New Member
Same advice always applies...go test ride a couple of bikes, in your budget if you can ... whatever is available if your budget isn't in stock. Take a ride with him, not just around the parking lot. Happy hunting.
When I tested the Gazelle it was at a bike store near some hills. My husband rode his bike there, and we rode the hills together. The main reason we went there was to try the Bulls on those hills, but the person I talked to on the phone said they had the Bulls in stock, but they didn't. They do have it in San Francisco, and there are PLENTY of hills there, so we need to plan a trip to San Francisco, but I want to know what else I should try because there are lots of bike shops up there, so we could go to more than just the store with the Bulls Lacuba Wave and Gazelle in the smaller frame size. I know I want to try the Specialized Como 4 or 5 and the Vado, which will need a visit to a different store. For all 3 bikes we have been told the SF stores have a bigger selection, so I am guessing that that is the case for other brands too, so want a list of which bikes to try before heading up there so we know which stores to visit.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
When I tested the Gazelle it was at a bike store near some hills. My husband rode his bike there, and we rode the hills together. The main reason we went there was to try the Bulls on those hills, but the person I talked to on the phone said they had the Bulls in stock, but they didn't. They do have it in San Francisco, and there are PLENTY of hills there, so we need to plan a trip to San Francisco, but I want to know what else I should try because there are lots of bike shops up there, so we could go to more than just the store with the Bulls Lacuba Wave and Gazelle in the smaller frame size. I know I want to try the Specialized Como 4 or 5 and the Vado, which will need a visit to a different store. For all 3 bikes we have been told the SF stores have a bigger selection, so I am guessing that that is the case for other brands too, so want a list of which bikes to try before heading up there so we know which stores to visit.
Sounds like a plan. You will certainly want to hit the Trek, Giant, and Specialized dealers. Most Trek dealers handle Electra since that,s owned by Trek. Most Giant dealers also carry Liv and/or Momentum (owned by Giant IIRC). Although I haven't tried them, a city like that will have lots of dealers and lots of hills. Enjoy your daytrip.
 

Hud

New Member
I have been shopping for an ebike to allow me to ride on the 20-30mile rides my husband enjoys. He definitely does hills, and they are my biggest challenge, I can't even do a slope. Well, I couldn't even do a simple slope last fall. Now I can't do anything because I have spent the past 8 months fighting cancer, going through chemo, surgery, etc. I need something that can do a LOT of helping as I try to get my strength and stamina back.

The search started almost a year ago when I went to try out a $1000 ebike at a local ebike store. The sales person had me compare it to a $1200, and I preferred the $1200 enough to justify the extra $200. Then he had me compare it to a $1400, then a $1750, then a $1999, etc. The last one I tried was a Bulls Lacuba Wave and I LOVED it but I couldn't justify spending the money for the Bulls, but couldn't talk myself into buying any of the lesser bikes because they were really lacking the intuitive pedal assist feel the Bulls had. After that we bought me an ebike at Costco (since you can't test ride them) and HATED it. It was either no assist or too much assist. It went back! Now, I am ready to spend the money on a high quality ebike, around $3500, but at that amount of money, I want to make sure I have done my research.

I haven't ridden the Bulls Lacuba Wave in almost a year, so with the hope of trying it again and comparing it to some others, we went to a bike store that said they had it in stock. They didn't, but I tested a Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB Elite. I think I liked it, but the frame was too big for me, so I couldn't really tell. Then we went to a different store and I tried a Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 Low-entry. I really liked the riding position, but the assist didn't feel as good as either the Bulls or the Gazelle. But the sales person said that could be adjusted with an app after purchase. Anybody know if the Specialized would feel as easy to get moving from a stop as the other 2 if I could adjust things in the app?

I want something easy maintenance and reliable, and an article I read about the Bulls says they use Brose motors and that they aren't reliable. So, I could really use suggestions on bikes that I can try locally (SF Bay Area, so lots of bike stores) that are reliable, easy to get serviced, and ride as nice as the Bulls and Gazelle.
 

TaraSV

New Member
I test rode the Electra Vale Go 9D EQ today and loved it. I again tried to test ride the Bulls Lacuba Wave so that I could remember it (I haven't tried it for 10 months), but the place that has it that said it was open wasn't. The shop we were at would only let me ride it in 2 parking lots and down the sidewalk one block, so we will try to find another store that would allow a longer test, and hopefully someplace with a hill so that I know how it handles hills.
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
I have been looking at the Giant Explore at around $2500 as a possible longer distance bike. I just sold my Giant Sedona tonight (2005) and I can't tell you how impressed I was with that bike overall. So my experience with Giant products has been good. I have had it serviced at a couple authorized Giant dealers and always felt good about dealing with them.

 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
If you are at a Trek dealer looking at the Electra, you might also try the Verve + 3 low step. It is similarly equipped and in the same price range. I was looking at both the Electra Vale and Verve; went with the Verve because the dealer had one in a small frame size, hard to find (the small Vale they had, in a beautiful navy blue, had sold). Sounds like you can hardly go wrong with the Bulls too. If you need hill climbing power/ability and some suspension, maybe a better choice. Or for suspension, you can add something like ShockStop to the seat post and stem of a Verve (as I did) or Vale. Good luck!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
While you were checking out the Vale Go, did you look into the Treks in that price range? Same dealer should have both.

Edit looks like @Latitude beat me to it.
 

TaraSV

New Member
If you are at a Trek dealer looking at the Electra, you might also try the Verve + 3 low step. It is similarly equipped and in the same price range. I was looking at both the Electra Vale and Verve; went with the Verve because the dealer had one in a small frame size, hard to find (the small Vale they had, in a beautiful navy blue, had sold). Sounds like you can hardly go wrong with the Bulls too. If you need hill climbing power/ability and some suspension, maybe a better choice. Or for suspension, you can add something like ShockStop to the seat post and stem of a Verve (as I did) or Vale. Good luck!

My guess is they didn't have the Verve, because we discussed every step-thru ebike they had in stock. I will make sure to ask if another shop has that one when I call to ask if they have the Vale. As I mentioned, I want to try the Vale someplace with a hill, and the shop I went to today is in a completely flat area, and they made me keep it within the block the shop was on. I need to get a better feel for what it is like to ride it "in the wild" before spending $3000+.

The shop we visited Friday let me ride the Gazelle for up to 30 minutes. The shop today wouldn't let me out of their site. Feedback on what a reasonable test ride is? Should I expect to find shops that will let me have a 20-30 minute test ride, or was that a generous policy?
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Don't know about big city shops, but 30 minutes is way too short for testing a multi thousand dollar bike. Two hours seems about right. Mine told me to "keep it overnight since it looked like rain".
 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
My guess is they didn't have the Verve, because we discussed every step-thru ebike they had in stock. I will make sure to ask if another shop has that one when I call to ask if they have the Vale. As I mentioned, I want to try the Vale someplace with a hill, and the shop I went to today is in a completely flat area, and they made me keep it within the block the shop was on. I need to get a better feel for what it is like to ride it "in the wild" before spending $3000+.

The shop we visited Friday let me ride the Gazelle for up to 30 minutes. The shop today wouldn't let me out of their site. Feedback on what a reasonable test ride is? Should I expect to find shops that will let me have a 20-30 minute test ride, or was that a generous policy?
I didn’t test ride my bike at all. I had done a lot of research online, narrowing down the kind of usage I wanted, eventually eliminating folding bikes but absolutely needing low step-over. The area I live in isn’t hilly with a few exceptions, and I do have to say when I find a short, steep hill, the Verve needs a lot of my help on the pedals. But it’s perfect for me... couldn’t be happier.
I do think, if as you describe, hills are going to be a regular part of your ride, you may have trouble keeping up to your mate with either the Vale or Verve, so a test ride on a hilly ride would really be useful. I gather some dealers will rent you a test bike for a day, then rebate if you buy. If you can’t test ride, I would lean towards a more powerful motor like the Bulls if you can afford it.