Bad knees and big chainring


New Member
Most electric bikes have a chainring in the 40's usually 46 or 48. I have bad knees and in my triple non electric bike I almost never use the larger chainring. I'm much more comfortable in the 28 or 38 chainring even if the gear inches are about the same. When trying out electric bikes I seem to be straining when in a step thru in a relaxed or upright position which all the ones I've tried are. Whereas a similar stepover with a forward position seems to be less straining and more comfortable, but some of them are hard for me to mount. Is this an issue for anyone else? If so which ebike would you recommend trying out?

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
The question is to Court but let me tell you something @Black47. My choice has been Specialized Turbo Vado 5.0 Step-Through. Let me explain why.
  1. Yes, as a speed e-bike it has the 48t chainring. However, the cassette is 11-46 with 11 gears. As the mid-motor really supports your pedalling as if you were a Superman, you'll find something in middle gears that will let you pedal effortlessly, and especially spin at higher cadence which is good for bad knees.

  2. The riding posion is forward.
Of course, there are many other choices in other brands. Large chainring is never an obstacle with e-bike as the motor really helps you. And I think everybody will advice taking demo rides to test out many brands and models.

I also have to mention that many Bosch-powered e-bikes have the chainring of equivalent of only 38 t: These with 15t physical chainring.


New Member
Thank you Stefan, I guess I should have mentioned that I was trying to stay in the $1500-2000 range. The very first ebike I tried out was a used Specialized Turbo S about a year ago. It was very fun and climbed easily, but I hesitated because I didn't know much about ebikes at the time. Since then I tried out a couple that you had to use the throttle and you couldn't set it to pas level, I decided pretty quickly that wasn't the way to go although one was very good at hill climbing. I tried a Trek Verve+ and it just wasn't any good for me climbing at all, a Magnum UI6 which was very peppy and climbed very well but I had to use the throttle mostly to climb. I thought the position wasn't forward enough for me to use the higher PAS to climb. I also tried a E-Joe Koda 3.0 which I felt comfortable on, but I didn't have a chance to climb with it although it seemed peppy. I will be trying out so more because I'm trying to get one this spring to replace my non electric bike.