Another newbie with an RV

Rich

New Member
Hey, folks! I just looked through the thread that Jayvan started in late March, and a lot of the information there was really helpful. My situation is parallel in many ways to his.

Didn't want to hijack that thread, so here's my situation. I want an e-bike to take with me on RV trips and to ride here in town for fun and exercise. Tucson is known as a good town for biking, but so far I haven't been able to find an e-bike community. My one experience with a dealer who sells 'em left me underwhelmed: he didn't seem all that knowledgeable or interested, although he was pleasant enough.

I drive a very small car --- Hyundai Accent -- and would want to use it to get me and the bike to trail access points. That means either a rack or a folding bike.

My RV is a Class C; I could easily use a trailer-hitch-mounted rack if I need to, but I could also tuck a folded-up bike under a table while I drive. I'd like to be able to charge the bike battery while driving, so it could be used at stops along the way and be ready for use when I stop for the day. This, I think, would involve a DC-AC inverter which I'd need to get for just this purpose. In camp I can plug into AC.

Health issues are a big part of the decision for me. Hip, back and shoulder surgeries have left this former outdoors jock (hiking, climbing, whitewater) with physical limitations, and I've become distressingly de-conditioned and feeling housebound. I see an e-bike as a way to get out and get exercise, as well as have fun and expand my options on RV trips.

The back and hip problems and their residue mean I can't easily mount a bike with a standard frame. I've been looking at bikes with step-through frames for this reason, and it looks like some of the folding designs might be mount-able as well. I want the exercise, so I want a bike which lets me vary the amount of pedal assist I get: I'm not looking for what amounts to a scooter, although I do want to be able to go into manual throttle mode at times.

So far I've narrowed down to the e-Joe Epik SE, thanks in part to Court's enthusiastic review, its price point, and free shipping, but I'm more than open to exploring other options. I may have to make the decision and purchase without the help of a friendly enthusiastic e-bike dealer, although bike shops are easy to find.

Price point: pretty much has to be under $2000 FOB my house.

One specific question about folding bikes: the small-diameter wheels look like they could be kind of squirrely by comparison with standard sizes. True? I'm going to try to find a dealer who has non-electric folding bikes so I can get the feel of one.

General advice? Other bikes I should consider?

Thanks!
Rich
 

jayvan

New Member
I'm sure Court or someone else will have some suggestions. You don't mention your height or weight which may not matter but it might help steer you to a bike that fits you better.

I considered folding bikes too, but went for the Easy Motion Neo Jet because it fit me well and was more of a "real" bike experience (if that makes sense...). It was also at the top of my price range but I was able to sell my road bike to help pay for it. I'm using a hitch mounted bike rack on the RV because I decided that made more sense than hauling it inside the rig. I also have a Honda Civic Hybrid and put a small hitch on that so that I can easily carry it with the car also.

Good luck!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Rich! Sounds like you're on the right track and I appreciate the details regarding your car size, RV and budget. I can see how an ebike might help you get out there in a fun but not overwhelming way to stay in shape and enjoy the places you visit a bit more thoroughly.

As you can tell fro my reviews for the Epik Lite and SE I really like these bikes for all the reasons you mentioned (price, weight balance and throttle + pedal assist). It's true that smaller diameter tires have a lower attack angle and are less ideal for bumps and rocks but the SE has that nice suspension fork which helps along with the wider tires. During my ride tests it felt stable and I also didn't experience any speed wobble. I personally wish e-Joe offered the gears and rack of the Lite with the suspension of the SE... Maybe they would do a custom order for you?

Of all the folding ebikes I've reviewed the e-Joe's are my favorites and some of the only models under $200 with shipping as you specified. I prefer to keep my bikes inside (out of sight) and with your car and RV that's going to work well and it will also keep them clean and dry. The only question is height and weight because as jayvan mentions, the full size feel is nice at times. For me being 5'9" and 130lbs the smaller step-through design of the Epik bikes is fine. Your thoughts on a DC to AC converter are also spot on and I bought one from Amazon recently that has been working well (I'm on the road right now myself).

You may have already discovered the folding ebike reviews section of the site but if not, feel free to sort through. The other two models that come to mind are the EZ Pedaler F300 (I'm about to review the F350 which has a more powerful motor) and the ProdecoTech Mariner 7 which is less balanced but still has the suspension fork and an affordable pricepoint.
 

Rich

New Member
Thanks, all. I'm 5'7 and about 175-180.

I'm not all that wedded to the idea of a folding bike, but it does mean the thing can pretty much be dry and out of sight, as Court said.

I see the appeal of the bike that Jayvan settled on, but that's out of my price range at this point.

Jayvan, I was curious about the hitch arrangement on your Honda Civic. I just located some hitch mounts which would fit the Accent, so maybe I do have some options here.

Court, the ProdecoTech Mariner is throttle only, which works against my desire to get some good exercise out of this as well as the possibility of extending the range by pedaling. It looks like the EZ Pedaler F350 might compare well to the e-Joe Epik SE?

Rich
 
Last edited:

Rich

New Member
A little more homework. A hitch, installed on my Hyundai would cost about $260. The actual carrier would be between $250 and $300.

So the there's $500 or more that I would not have to spend if I got a folding bike.

After some phone calls, Google searches, and an in-person visit to my nearest bike shop, it's pretty clear that the only place in Tucson that sells electric bikes is the place I went to the other day, whose competence, as I said, underwhelms me.

This leads me back to the idea that my best bet is a folding bike: The e-Joe Epik SE seems like the best of the lot, perhaps followed by the new F350 from EZ Pedaler.

The e-Joe would cost $1549. No charge for shipping.

Comments, anyone?
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Rich, I just reviewed another folding ebike for you to check out called the EG Vienna 250 EX which offers assist and throttle as well as a full suspension setup. It's a bit heavier than the others but similar in size.

I've also just published my review of the EZ Pedaler F350 which is a really great bike at a reasonable price. It's also a bit heavier but has pretty much everything you could ask for along with assist and the removable battery for easier charging and maneuvering the bike for storage. The video is still processing.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
I burned out my interior lights and cig adapter wiring trying to charge my Stromer once , it is a 4 amp charger and that unit is rated at 3+ . Some chargers are 2 amp so that would work.

The car fuse should have blown but didn't and took out wiring instead....

Mark
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I burned out my interior lights and cig adapter wiring trying to charge my Stromer once , it is a 4 amp charger and that unit is rated at 3+ . Some chargers are 2 amp so that would work.

The car fuse should have blown but didn't and took out wiring instead....

Mark
Thanks for the advice Mark! Can you recommend any converters that wouldn't blow fuses or cause issues like this? I might replace mine to avoid this kind of situation :eek:
 

Rich

New Member
Court -- you probably use a lot of different chargers. The AC amperage should be on the charger -- the e-joe unit I'm considering seems to draw 1.2 amps of AC, so the unit you suggested would probably be OK for that.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I burned out my interior lights and cig adapter wiring trying to charge my Stromer once , it is a 4 amp charger and that unit is rated at 3+ . Some chargers are 2 amp so that would work.

The car fuse should have blown but didn't and took out wiring instead....

Mark
Sorry to hear that... The Stromer charger INPUT is 2.4A@110VAC.. So it is drawing from your inverter: 2.4x110/12 = 22A. Then add 20% inverter inefficiency... So the draw through your cig lighter wiring was around 26Amps. Do you know what the fuse rating was?

For that kind of load should be hardwired from a panel with 10 gage wire and a 40 amp fuse.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Thanks, all. I'm 5'7 and about 175-180.

I'm not all that wedded to the idea of a folding bike, but it does mean the thing can pretty much be dry and out of sight, as Court said.

I see the appeal of the bike that Jayvan settled on, but that's out of my price range at this point.

Jayvan, I was curious about the hitch arrangement on your Honda Civic. I just located some hitch mounts which would fit the Accent, so maybe I do have some options here.

Court, the ProdecoTech Mariner is throttle only, which works against my desire to get some good exercise out of this as well as the possibility of extending the range by pedaling. It looks like the EZ Pedaler F350 might compare well to the e-Joe Epik SE?

Rich

I've seen but never rode a folding bike of any kind... And unless you have ridden one, it seems like a test ride is in order.. Or find someone who has actually owned one for awhile... Just my opinion but if riding a bike is something that you want to do on a regular basis, a folding bike seems like too much of a compromise, with respect to range and performance. There are a lot of great regular Ebikes for under $2000.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Thx for adding to the math! I had no idea it was such a draw. Fuse should have been 10 may be 15 at the most. At home if i charge 4 batteries on the same circuit it has tripped GFC in the garage and sometimes the main box, have to stop at 3.
 

Rich

New Member
@Court, thanks for the review of the EZ Pedaler F350. I think it compares well in many ways with the e-JOE Epik SE. I was drawing up a comparison matrix for the two, until I talked on the phone with Dick Allen (I think I got his name right) of EZ Pedaler. The F350 will not be available until mid-June at the earliest. I'd like to use whatever I'm gonna buy before then, so for my purposes the F350 is out.

I'm curious, though about why you rated the F350 higher than the Epik? For my particular purposes, the lower step-through of the F350 is a big plus, but that's about the only factor in which I rated the EZPedaler higher than the e-JOE.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
@Court, thanks for the review of the EZ Pedaler F350. I think it compares well in many ways with the e-JOE Epik SE. I was drawing up a comparison matrix for the two, until I talked on the phone with Dick Allen (I think I got his name right) of EZ Pedaler. The F350 will not be available until mid-June at the earliest. I'd like to use whatever I'm gonna buy before then, so for my purposes the F350 is out.

I'm curious, though about why you rated the F350 higher than the Epik? For my particular purposes, the lower step-through of the F350 is a big plus, but that's about the only factor in which I rated the EZPedaler higher than the e-JOE.
The EZ Pedaler F350 has suspension, lights, fenders, rear rack, pedal assist and throttle at a very similar price point as the Epik Lite and SE which both compromise a bit on features. The Epik Lite doesn't have suspension and the SE doesn't have the nice fenders or rack (at least the test unit I rode). I do prefer the battery configuration of the Epik bikes but I think their battery is also a bit smaller in terms of capacity so for those reasons I ranked the F350 a touch higher (though they're all very comparable and leaders in the category at this time).
 

Rich

New Member
Thanks. It helps to know what the factors which inform a rating and a review. Today's Epik SE seems to have been upgraded from the the unit which you reviewed a while ago. They now do have front and rear lights -- how good is hard to tell -- and a rack. I agree that the fenders look more goofy than useful in wet weather, and the F350 does have a 10Ah battery as opposed to the Epik's 9Ah. The lighter weight of the Epik is important to me -- those 10 pounds could mean a lot hefting the thing into the body of my RV or my car's trunk. And the Epik is now rated at 20mph, compared to the F350's 18. All in all, they look very comparable and well-designed.

Thanks again for lucid well-reasoned reviews. It helps a lot, especially when you're a novice like me.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks. It helps to know what the factors which inform a rating and a review. Today's Epik SE seems to have been upgraded from the the unit which you reviewed a while ago. They now do have front and rear lights -- how good is hard to tell -- and a rack. I agree that the fenders look more goofy than useful in wet weather, and the F350 does have a 10Ah battery as opposed to the Epik's 9Ah. The lighter weight of the Epik is important to me -- those 10 pounds could mean a lot hefting the thing into the body of my RV or my car's trunk. And the Epik is now rated at 20mph, compared to the F350's 18. All in all, they look very comparable and well-designed.

Thanks again for lucid well-reasoned reviews. It helps a lot, especially when you're a novice like me.
Excellent points Rich, it will be fun to review the updated Epik SE. I agree that it's an awesome choice and right on par with the F350. I think I prefer it actually if I were to get one for myself because the reduced weight is very nice.

Whatever you end up with it would be fun to hear an update with some pictures and your thoughts on storing in the RV vs. outside. Sounds like you'll be heading to some beautiful places :)
 

Rich

New Member
Court said:

Excellent points Rich, it will be fun to review the updated Epik SE. I agree that it's an awesome choice and right on par with the F350. I think I prefer it actually if I were to get one for myself because the reduced weight is very nice.

Whatever you end up with it would be fun to hear an update with some pictures and your thoughts on storing in the RV vs. outside. Sounds like you'll be heading to some beautiful places :)


Court, and others --

I wound up making a decision which surprised me. I went for one of the refurb 2013 Anggun full-size bikes from eJoe. I wasn't able to ride one of the folding e-bikes, but I did ride a folding non-ebike. And a low-step iZip model. I simply preferred the feel of the larger bike, a lot. The Anggun is well-equipped, and has a longer range than any of the folders, thanks to the 16Ah battery. When I realized how much the battery contributed to the bike's total weight, and how easy it is to remove, I figured that hoisting it up on a bike rack, either on my car or the RV, wouldn't be that hard. The battery can stay inside and recharge.

I am left with the issue of the bike being exposed to the elements as I travel. At home it'll live on my patio, out of the weather. I'm now scouting for bags to protect the bike out there, and security systems to keep it as safe as I can.

The price of the 2013 bike is low enough that even with the cost of the rack and hitch for the car, I wind up money ahead compared to the Epik SE. Money I can spend on replacing the pedals, maybe! *grin*

I'll check in on how it goes. The input from you all has been invaluable.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Cool, I think you'll enjoy that bike and it sounds like the 2013 price is right on target for getting accessories. I personally like the Wellgo Magnesium platforms which have adjustable nubs and come in lots of colors. I've had clipins before and they work well but the grip on these is pretty good without.

The cover is a great idea and there are some meant to protect from salt corrosion as well (from the sea or road management for when there's ice). Skinz makes a high quality one but the price is quite high. Something like this might work or you could get a tarp with metal eyelets and use a bungee cord or nylon rope to secure it.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Court said:




Court, and others --

I wound up making a decision which surprised me. I went for one of the refurb 2013 Anggun full-size bikes from eJoe. I wasn't able to ride one of the folding e-bikes, but I did ride a folding non-ebike. And a low-step iZip model. I simply preferred the feel of the larger bike, a lot. The Anggun is well-equipped, and has a longer range than any of the folders, thanks to the 16Ah battery. When I realized how much the battery contributed to the bike's total weight, and how easy it is to remove, I figured that hoisting it up on a bike rack, either on my car or the RV, wouldn't be that hard. The battery can stay inside and recharge.

I am left with the issue of the bike being exposed to the elements as I travel. At home it'll live on my patio, out of the weather. I'm now scouting for bags to protect the bike out there, and security systems to keep it as safe as I can.

The price of the 2013 bike is low enough that even with the cost of the rack and hitch for the car, I wind up money ahead compared to the Epik SE. Money I can spend on replacing the pedals, maybe! *grin*

I'll check in on how it goes. The input from you all has been invaluable.

Good choice, and that battery should give you a lot of range. If you have to keep your bike outside on your patio then yeah get a really good bike cover... And keep the battery inside in weather.. cold and hot weather will hurt range.
 

Rich

New Member
Something like the Kloud cover that Court suggested looks ideal for the patio. I wonder whether it could be secured well enough to use on a vehicle rack. The skinz "bike bras" would cost a LOT.. I'm thinking some variation of a tie-down tarp. Not pretty, but maybe just as effective. It'll take some experimenting.

We don't do cold weather here in Tucson, but we know all about hot in the summer. I've got a shady sheltered place for the bike, and the battery definitely goes inside.

Cort, those pedals look great. I coughed at the price when it looked like that was for ONE pedal, but 27 bucks for a pair is pretty reasonable. I like that they seem pretty grippy; I really don't see the need for toe-clips in this application.