Affordable cruiser, I've narrowed it down to 4

mcewena

New Member
I’m looking for a pair of ebikes to hang off the back of our RV. We’re pushing 60, reasonably fit but haven’t ridden much in years, both 5’8” (I’m heaviest @ 175lb with the shortest legs 29.75” stand over). We initially thought of folding bikes but then they’ll be in the way inside the RV and they’re often heavier then the same brand’s non-folding models, however non folding means more exposure to the elements (road salt etc). I was thinking a step thru and a standard frame so the stiffer frame could carry more groceries but a lot of the stand over heights are pretty close to the end of my stubby legs, the Aventon is the exception, so maybe 2 step thrus instead? The pandemic means we’re not travelling imminently so I’ve got time to over analyze. 😊

I’ve decided front suspension, fenders and a rear rack is a minimum, integrated lights are a should have, USB charger to aid phone navigation is a nice to have. I’ve narrowed it down to 4 brands/models, given periodic sales and shipping to Canada they’re more or less the same price. I wanted to rate the Aventon 1st but no-throttle from a standing start seems like it would get annoying if you’re stopped for traffic lights.

I’m curious to get the group mind opinion, or any other brands I’ve overlooked.

Thanks!



Ride1up 700 (or 500?) 1st choice

Pro
Step thru handlebars give more upright riding position.
Integrated lights
Battery placement is subtle w/ minimal exposure to elements.
Open box deals available
Cushiest seat? Potentially won’t have to buy a suspension post?
Bungee for rear rack included
Hydraulic brakes (only 160 rotor)
300 Lumen light
12 gauge spokes front

Con
More assembly required
Kick stand in the way of pedals (700 only)
No USB
29.5 stand over
smallest front fender

Neither/unknown
Non Kendra tires (does that matter?)
Any water follow the cables into the frame?
Is a 500 enough? 500/w fenders not much cheaper then 700
Do we really need 27mph?
Is the stepthru/regular really the same weight?


Magnum UI6/UI6+ 2nd choice

Pro
Suspension seat post included for the price
Dealer option available (not local and higher price)
Derailleur guard
29.25 stand over
USB

Con
Semi integrated lights, unknown power
Mechanical brakes
motor inhibitor on front brake only
Minimal looking rack (no pannier guard, cantilever bracket)
Kick stand in the way
Out of stock
Battery looks pretty exposed
13 vs. 12 gauge spokes
Dangerous looking water bottle studs UI6+

Neither/unknown
Contacts exposed to elements when battery removed?
Is a UI5 enough bike?


Rad City 3rd choice

Pro
Higher rack capacity (welded in makes the frame stiffer too?)
Popular brand (or is that just Google algorithms?)
Chain guide, derailleur guard included
Lots of add on rack/basket options.
USB (1amp)
12 gauge spokes

Con
Level 2 only
Twist throttle (not sure if that’s a con so much as a difference)
Weak 80 lumen headlight
Heaviest
Battery looks pretty exposed.
Website always seems to be backordered for something
Mechanical brakes. (180 rotor)
Lots of exposed cables.
29.5 stand over
Out of Stock


Aventon Level 4th choice

Pro
Arguably the prettiest of the bunch
Battery placement is subtle w/ minimal exposure to elements.
3 amp charger vs. 2
Lightest? (aventon sight says 62lb/EBR says 58)
Biggest brakes hydraulic 180 rotor
Dealer option available (but not local and higher price)
Chain guide front sprocket.
Lowest stand over height.
Wide handlebars

Con
No throttle from stationary (deal breaker?)
No lights.
13 gauge spokes, lots of reports of breakage.

Neither/unknown

Do we really need 27 mph?
Any water follow the cables into the frame?
USB?
 
Last edited:

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Given the choices, my vote would be the R1U 700 for it's ability to be tuned. You can set each of the PAS levels to suit your needs - something that would be nice for all bikes, as "too fast in PAS 1" is a super common complaint.

An alternate for you to ponder-
Pros - in stock
torque sensing
hyd brakes
sturdy frame design
good size battery
NO PROPRIETARY PARTS

No you don't need 27mph. After doing that a couple of times to see what it's like, most will never use that feature.
The RAD uses a direct drive motor. For that reason it will seem pretty sluggish compared to other bikes when accelerating from a stop and when climbing much in the way of a hill.
 
Last edited:

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I’m looking for a pair of ebikes to hang off the back of our RV. We’re pushing 60, reasonably fit but haven’t ridden much in years, both 5’8” (I’m heaviest @ 175lb with the shortest legs 29.75” stand over). We initially thought of folding bikes but then they’ll be in the way inside the RV and they’re often heavier then the same brand’s non-folding models, however non folding means more exposure to the elements (road salt etc). I was thinking a step thru and a standard frame so the stiffer frame could carry more groceries but a lot of the stand over heights are pretty close to the end of my stubby legs, the Aventon is the exception, so maybe 2 step thrus instead? The pandemic means we’re not travelling imminently so I’ve got time to over analyze. 😊

I’ve decided front suspension, fenders and a rear rack is a minimum, integrated lights are a should have, USB charger to aid phone navigation is a nice to have. I’ve narrowed it down to 4 brands/models, given periodic sales and shipping to Canada they’re more or less the same price. I wanted to rate the Aventon 1st but no-throttle from a standing start seems like it would get annoying if you’re stopped for traffic lights.

I’m curious to get the group mind opinion, or any other brands I’ve overlooked.

Thanks!



Ride1up 700 (or 500?) 1st choice

Pro
Step thru handlebars give more upright riding position.
Integrated lights
Battery placement is subtle w/ minimal exposure to elements.
Open box deals available
Cushiest seat? Potentially won’t have to buy a suspension post?
Bungee for rear rack included
Hydraulic brakes (only 160 rotor)
300 Lumen light
12 gauge spokes front

Con
More assembly required
Kick stand in the way of pedals (700 only)
No USB
29.5 stand over
smallest front fender

Neither/unknown
Non Kendra tires (does that matter?)
Any water follow the cables into the frame?
Is a 500 enough? 500/w fenders not much cheaper then 700
Do we really need 27mph?
Is the stepthru/regular really the same weight?


Magnum UI6/UI6+ 2nd choice

Pro
Suspension seat post included for the price
Dealer option available (not local and higher price)
Derailleur guard
29.25 stand over
USB

Con
Semi integrated lights, unknown power
Mechanical brakes
motor inhibitor on front brake only
Minimal looking rack (no pannier guard, cantilever bracket)
Kick stand in the way
Out of stock
Battery looks pretty exposed
13 vs. 12 gauge spokes
Dangerous looking water bottle studs UI6+

Neither/unknown
Contacts exposed to elements when battery removed?
Is a UI5 enough bike?


Rad City 3rd choice

Pro
Higher rack capacity (welded in makes the frame stiffer too?)
Popular brand (or is that just Google algorithms?)
Chain guide, derailleur guard included
Lots of add on rack/basket options.
USB (1amp)
12 gauge spokes

Con
Level 2 only
Twist throttle (not sure if that’s a con so much as a difference)
Weak 80 lumen headlight
Heaviest
Battery looks pretty exposed.
Website always seems to be backordered for something
Mechanical brakes. (180 rotor)
Lots of exposed cables.
29.5 stand over
Out of Stock


Aventon Level 4th choice

Pro
Arguably the prettiest of the bunch
Battery placement is subtle w/ minimal exposure to elements.
3 amp charger vs. 2
Lightest? (aventon sight says 62lb/EBR says 58)
Biggest brakes hydraulic 180 rotor
Dealer option available (but not local and higher price)
Chain guide front sprocket.
Lowest stand over height.
Wide handlebars

Con
No throttle from stationary (deal breaker?)
No lights.
13 gauge spokes

Neither/unknown

Do we really need 27 mph?
Any water follow the cables into the frame?
USB?

If you are considering Ride 1 Up, you should also look at Espin Sport and Flow. Similar price point and components. I am biased as I own 2 Sports. 2021 Flows are being delivered early March and I believe you can get a 150 off coupon code from someone on this board...
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
If you are considering Ride 1 Up, you should also look at Espin Sport and Flow. Similar price point and components. I am biased as I own 2 Sports. 2021 Flows are being delivered early March and I believe you can get a 150 off coupon code from someone on this board...
Just bought an Espin Flow. With less than 10 miles on it, we decided the stock control sucked. Spent 175 and a couple of days time to install an aftermarket control that will allow us to do something beside "ghost pedal" in PAS 1. In fairness, while complaining about this "feature", they did mention they were coming out with something "better" without saying when. As that didn't fix our bike, it didn't make me feel much better.

The bike is nice. Very peppy, but the speed control sucks.... Typical of other inexpensive bikes. Lesson learned, I would spend the money to get something better - like the R1U 700 or torque sensing like the Rize.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Just bought an Espin Flow. With less than 10 miles on it, we decided the stock control sucked. Spent 175 and a couple of days time to install an aftermarket control that will allow us to do something beside "ghost pedal" in PAS 1. In fairness, while complaining about this "feature", they did mention they were coming out with something "better" without saying when. As that didn't fix our bike, it didn't make me feel much better.

The bike is nice. Very peppy, but the speed control sucks.... Typical of other inexpensive bikes. Lesson learned, I would spend the money to get something better - like the R1U 700 or torque sensing like the Rize.
I don't use PAS 1 very often. Maybe to start off a ride for the first 25 yards or so, but after that I am mainly in PAS3-5
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
Just bought an Espin Flow. With less than 10 miles on it, we decided the stock control sucked. Spent 175 and a couple of days time to install an aftermarket control that will allow us to do something beside "ghost pedal" in PAS 1. In fairness, while complaining about this "feature", they did mention they were coming out with something "better" without saying when. As that didn't fix our bike, it didn't make me feel much better.

The bike is nice. Very peppy, but the speed control sucks.... Typical of other inexpensive bikes. Lesson learned, I would spend the money to get something better - like the R1U 700 or torque sensing like the Rize.
The Flow looks nice, Mr. Hicks. Do I understand correctly, that you have not yet changed the control?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
The Flow looks nice, Mr. Hicks. Do I understand correctly, that you have not yet changed the control?

Yes, the change to an aftermarket KT 20a control has been completed. We've done a little testing with it and found there's plenty of pep available in PAS 1 with less than 50w supplying it. It's no wonder the factory controller seemed to be supplying too much power. This thing runs on next to nothing. Can't wait to see what we see for battery range...
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Is there a control mod for the Aventon?
The mod I did on the Espin Flow is an aftermarket/generic mod. It's intended for DIY'ers who are fairly resorurceful as there are NO DIRECTIONS. The only thing that plugged in with no further modification was the motor itself. The main harness that runs forward had to be changed (not too big a deal), and that allows the NEW color display to be plugged in correctly. The plugs for the brakes, the lights, the throttle, and the PAS sensor all had to be matched/changed. 2 days of farting around with it. Now we're testing, kind of picking at the setup functions (parameters) available to really get it dialed in for us.

Noteworthy is that the wife and I have been riding e-bikes for several years now. With this being our 5th bike now, we know what we like, and have little patience with stuff we don't like. When we find something we aren't happy with, we change it with little hesitation. Could be a seat, tires, or a controller.... -Al
 

mcewena

New Member
If you are considering Ride 1 Up, you should also look at Espin Sport and Flow. Similar price point and components. I am biased as I own 2 Sports. 2021 Flows are being delivered early March and I believe you can get a 150 off coupon code from someone on this board...
Thanks, The ebr comparison chart doesn't do the espin any favours because the pricing and review are out of date, but going to their website for pricing they compare favourably. However they don't offer Canadian shipping on their website so I'll have to contact them for that.
 

wabaseballfamily

Active Member
Region
USA
If you are considering Ride 1 Up, you should also look at Espin Sport and Flow. Similar price point and components. I am biased as I own 2 Sports. 2021 Flows are being delivered early March and I believe you can get a 150 off coupon code from someone on this board...
Thanks, The ebr comparison chart doesn't do the espin any favours because the pricing and review are out of date, but going to their website for pricing they compare favourably. However they don't offer Canadian shipping on their website so I'll have to contact them for that.
We used this code to get $150 off for the Flow. We haven't received it yet so no info. about it at the moment. They upgraded the Flow this year. This will be my wife's second bike as her first was an Lectric.

Code ESPINSQUAD-G5MOOR
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
Someone posted a picture of a 700 ST a while back on the FB group that had a kick stand mounted toward the rear of the bike. I haven't seen any XR with it mounted that way.

You mentioned the cushy seat. The 700 has 2.4" wide tires, so they will give a little smoother ride than some of the bikes with more narrow tires.

The tires on the 700 are better than the Kenda tires they put on some lower models.

As Al mentioned, you can adjust the power percentage independently on each assist level in addition to choosing the number of levels. Great feature.
 

darksky

Member
Region
USA
If you have a Pedego e-bike store near you check out the models they offer. Most if not all Pedego stores will let you test ride or even rent by the hour or day. They are not the most inexpensive bikes, but they are well made and I think you'd find a model that checks all your boxes.
 

Luckybell

New Member
Region
USA
Given the choices, my vote would be the R1U 700 for it's ability to be tuned. You can set each of the PAS levels to suit your needs - something that would be nice for all bikes, as "too fast in PAS 1" is a super common complaint.

An alternate for you to ponder-
Pros - in stock
torque sensing
hyd brakes
sturdy frame design
good size battery
NO PROPRIETARY PARTS

No you don't need 27mph. After doing that a couple of times to see what it's like, most will never use that feature.
The RAD uses a direct drive motor. For that reason it will seem pretty sluggish compared to other bikes when accelerating from a stop and when climbing much in the way of a hill.
I was told this week by my LBS that Ui6 will no longer be available to purchase. When I called Magnum I was told that they were not expecting to stock the Ui6 until July or September 2021. I'm not sure what to believe but it doesn't look too promising for the Ui6 for the near future. I also test rode the Aventon Level and I could indeed use the throttle in 0 PAS. I believe I read that this was a new option for the Level. However, I thought that the Level was too fast in PAS 1. It rode at about 11-12 mph in PAS 1. Too fast if I am riding with friends who will not be riding an ebike.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
However, I thought that the Level was too fast in PAS 1. It rode at about 11-12 mph in PAS 1. Too fast if I am riding with friends who will not be riding an ebike.
That was my complaint about last year's Aventon. I thought the newer controller would address that. That is exactly why I like the Ride1Up bikes. Since I posted above, I have purchased a Ride1Up 700. You can set the PAS 1 power so low than you can't even feel it. I adjusted mine down to 3%, which would take it about 5 mph if ghost pedaling, and it was so little power when riding that I bumped my PAS 1 setting up to 5%, which is about 30 to 35 watts according to the 700's realtime power meter. And you can choose the range of speeds you want, and you can even set each of the four ranges (0/1-3, 0/1-5, 0/1-7, and 0/1-9) of assist levels independently for each assist level's power. And it gives that assist power consistently regardless of speed, pedaling, or gear, rather than acting as a cruise control like some other bikes including older 700's from early last year. So, if you're riding along with 60 watts of assist, as an example, while pedaling lightly at 15 miles per hour, then you suddenly start pedaling harder to ride faster, the bike continues to supply the same 60 watts assist as your speed climbs closer to 20, where some bikes will suddenly reduce or drop the power at a specific speed threshold of a given assist level, making you feel like you're dragging a boat anchor if you want to ride faster. So, I much prefer the Ride1Up way of handling it. It makes it easier to match your speed with another rider also since the bike isn't trying to maintain any set speed. Of course, it will drop power when you exceed the 28 mph limit, and it will drop power if you are using throttle "only" at the speed limit set in the display (defaults to 20 mph). The PAS system really allows you to get as much of a workout as you want. And I'm even riding in PAS 0 a lot on level roads.

Also, since my post above, the 700's are all shipping with the rear mounted kick-stand, including mine, which I received on March 5th. The tough decision for me in the end was whether to get a 700 or a LMT'D. I finally jumped on the 700 shortly before the $100 tariff related price increase and am happy with it. Eventually, I'll probably get a second e-bike, but I might hold off until I've had a summer of experience with this one.