An e-Bike that maximizes comfort while handling bumps

stevew755

New Member
I am considering a bike to better deal with city road issues , where some streets seem like riding on the surface of the moon. The e-bikes I own tend to rattle me well . Instead of continuing to look down at the ground and swerve around to avoid road imperfections, I would like to find a new bike to maximize comfort.

At the same time, I need to keep the total length of the bike down by limiting to 20" wheels, since I find larger wheels too unwieldy dealing with apartment building elevator and doorways.

My thinking was that the best bike for me would have:
A battery in the center to distribute bike weight more evenly.
A dual suspension, both front and rear.
4" wide Fat tires for the most ground contact
(Changing the stock seat for a comfortable seat is a given)

For example: Swagtron EB8 (i own the small EB-5 which I like for its compactness yet capable).
There is also the Rattan Fat Bear bike . However, they are both out of stock.
( There is also a "Fat Bear " under the brand name "YAMEE").

There is also the EAHORA bike, which is all over amazon, but I have heard bad stuff about it in user reviews.

Also, Would it be better to find a bike with the rear shock type that mounts to the seatpost? I believe the FatBear style where the shock mounts underneath requires it to be more limited in size. ( Although, by appearance it seems a bit unsturdy to mount the shock to the seat post. )
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
Problem is that your problem is your 20" wheel requirement. If you do your thinking list that is about as good as you are going to get.
 

iabob

Member
When I demod a bunch of bikes before buying I found the front suspension to be the most important at smoothing out bumps. So I got a hardtail and added a Cane Creek Thudbuster seat post.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Agree regarding the rear suspension. Fat tires and a quality seat suspension work together on paved surfaces pretty well. Tire pressures are super important too. If you're over inflating, adding more than what you really need, they can ride like a roller skate - totally defeating the reason they're there. That's going to be true of any size tire, but really noticeable on a fattie.

I would also offer that the bigger wheels will roll over bumps easier - providing a better ride. If you find the 26" variety of fatties too much, maybe consider a 24"?
 

stevew755

New Member
I know an e-Montain bike would best, that could just roll over problems, but I do need something more compact and moped-like. Even this little one could be an improvement over my rigid EB-5.

I wonder if I could change the front fork on the EB-5, but it could be non-standard component. I will definitely try adding a spring seat post and lowering pressure.

Also, just wondering, would you say that 26" x 2.10" wheels gives a smoother experience than 20" x 4.0"?
 

stevew755

New Member
I think I will get a ThudBuster or other suspension seatpost in the meantime.

Is good suspension seatpost as good as , or almost as good as a bike rear shock?

Now it means i will have to carry an extra locking cable for it in addition to my U-lock 😉
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
26x2.1 vs. 20x4 ride might be close, and sure to cause debate.

No experience with 20x4 but on the 26x4 max inflation is only about 20psi. You need a decent low pressure gauge. They are not expensive if you don't have one. Just 2-3 psi can make a very noticable difference in ride. Try 10 and 15psi for instance, and see what you think. Front can usually be a couple psi lower than the back due to less weight.

If you replace the clamping lever that locks the seat with a nut and bolt, that seat will be pretty secure....

And make sure you get the LT (long travel) Thudbuster. Amazon is a good source. Also important is getting the proper size. There are several different popular seat post diameters and only the correct size will work.
 

stevew755

New Member
i just tried lowering the pressure on my 14x2.1 tires from the recommended 45-60 psi down to 30 psi. I had always filled up the tubes to 60 psi so I could go a while without refilling again. Well this low pressure certainly makes a difference -- it softens the bumps a bit, but more importantly it stops the brain rattling vibrations that you call the "rollerskate" effect here. I will just have to check more often that the pressure is not going lower than intended.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
IMO, a suspension seatpost isn't as good as full rear suspension but it's close. Post suspension has fewer issues with adjustment & maintenance. It is also difficult to add a rear rack on some bikes with full rear suspension.

Before you buy a suspension seatpost, check your seat rail to seat tube clearance with the seat properly adjusted. The Thudbuster LT and the popular Kinekt 2.1 require 3 to 4 inches to fit properly.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
i just tried lowering the pressure on my 14x2.1 tires from the recommended 45-60 psi down to 30 psi. I had always filled up the tubes to 60 psi so I could go a while without refilling again. Well this low pressure certainly makes a difference -- it softens the bumps a bit, but more importantly it stops the brain rattling vibrations that you call the "rollerskate" effect here. I will just have to check more often that the pressure is not going lower than intended.
If you add 4-6oz or so of Slime to those tires, you can all but eliminate the need for frequent tire pressure checks. It really is THAT easy. You can go for months....

At that point you can really get the "right" tire pressure dialed in for you, your weight, and the surfaces you ride on most frequently. -Al
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Don't forget about a better saddle. My bike has a front suspension and 4" fatties but it wasn't until my third saddle that it really got comfortable to ride.
Yes finding the right saddle for your butt helps a great deal. On my hardtail I have a Thudbuster. I was using a Bontrager Boulevard which was not bad but I just switched to a Serfas Rx which made a noticeable improvement for me.
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stevew755

New Member
i just received the thudbuster 31.6mm -- but it doesn't fit properly -- my seatpost diameter looks like it's about 33mm. I guess I need a shim.
 

Luto

Active Member
33mm? Hmm, assuming it is accurate, it might be hard to find... Alternately a high end seat with springs.... B67 Softened (brooksengland.com). Leather works great because it breathes and conforms to your shape and riding style. Only on a leather seat could I ride 150 miles in a day. Everything else was too sweaty and did not conform enough after a few hours.
 

stevew755

New Member
Seems to be 33.9mm ... Same one the Dahon folding bikes use: Dahon seatpost . Yes, fortunately they do make 31.6->33.9mm shim adapters. As for my seat it is an old version Sunlite Cloud C9 which is fairly comfortable.