Bought first e-bike, need advice on next purchase!

drewp1311

New Member
Region
USA
Hello all this is my first post here and looking to get some advice on my e-bike riding and a purchase to either replace or in addition to my Lectric Step Thru XP 2.0. I have owned my current bike for approximately 4 weeks and have ridden 140 miles already as it is an exhilarating experience.

I have not been extremely active lately in life and this is by far my favorite form of exploration and exercise. The bike i choose will be my primary means of transportation as I travel around the US in my RV, which already has a heavy duty rack on the back. I will note that i am currently 5'10 and 300lbs so rather heavy but working on that!! I enjoy that this bike has so far been able to tackle all of my rides (Street/Sidewalk/Bike Lanes/Packed Sand/Packed Gravel). I have also appreciated the folding portion of the bike to put it in my RV, or in the back of an uber when the battery died far from my campsite.

The issues I have with my Lectric are mainly to do with range (10ah battery?)! I am frequently hoping to do longer rides and only get 6-10 miles and sometimes up to 15 if I turn down pedal assist and never use the throttle. I have been looking at a multitude of bikes and done countless reading but not sure I am closer to the right answer. Additionally I Have test driven most of the Rad Power Step Thru's and enjoyed them, as well as a Specialized bike.

My budget is around 5k, and while step thru is not a requirement it would be fantastic for my back as i look to improve my health.

Current thoughts that need recommendations or guidance in a difference direction below.

Juiced E-Bikes - Long range, not great reviews, and mediocre support, this feels more like a middle of the road bike
Specialized - OK range, but with my weight and the performance of the motor will this significantly extend my range?
DOST - This makes me wonder if throwing more money at the problem will help, but these seem like amazing bikes. I worry that their bikes may not go everywhere i wish to explore
Rad Power - Regenerative braking is interesting, and the higher AH batteries sound nice but don't want to necessarily settle on a mid range bike
Pedego - With mag wheels and a spare battery on the back if needed?

Thanks for any help or recommendations .
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Your choice of bikes is somewhat restricted by weight limits. Most are in the 250 - 300# range. You also have to consider the extra weight you may carry like locks, spare battery, tools, etc. Spoke problems often occur when overloading a bike.

It was mainly for this reason I decided on Pedego with the mag wheel option which extends the weight limit to 400#. I chose their Platinum Interceptor step thru with 15 AH battery. Using PAS 2 with moderate pedal effort, I get 35 - 40 miles per charge. The 400# weight limit lets me carry a spare battery or two plus more gear for extended rides.

I ride mostly gravel trails and changed to flat resistant tires with more aggressive tread.

I travel extensively to places with quality trails and Like the fact that there are Pedego dealerships almost everywhere I go.

Keep in mind this is just my personal experience. There are many bikes that will suit your needs as well. I'm sure others will chime in with more suggestions.

Take advantage of the search box in the upper right and feel free to ask more specific questions.
Welcome to the forum and good luck with your quest. By all means, keep us posted with your progress!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
I won't recommend a brand, b/c I don't weigh enough to compare, but it sounds like you need to go rent a couple different bikes for a few hours at a time and see what kind of range you get on different terrain.

I also travel in an RV and went with a traditional non-folding bike because I didn't find a folder that I liked.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Something is wrong with your bike. I weigh 160 & carry up to 80 lb cargo to my summer camp. The bike accessories tools water etc are 94 lb, so total load 334 lb. There are 80 hills and 30 miles. I have a 17.5 ah 48 v battery, 840 wh. I use about 2/3 the battery charge on the uphill run. I have 2.1" tires which use less electricity than 4" tires of the lectric step-thru. Are your tires inflated to the pressure shown on the sidewall?
If you do replace the bike, buy one with tires that can be pressurized to 55 psi. Some 2.4" tires may go that high. Don't be fooled by "regeneration" claims. That comes from DD hub motor bikes, that work fine at 20-30 mph but use too many watthours going up hills slowly. DD motors also accelerate slowly. Going 20-30 mph burns a lot of watthours anyway due to air drag. I typically average 8-9 mph, peaking at 25 mph down some hills with perfect pavement.
Check the "known problems" thread of the brand forum of each bike you are considering. Some bikes are made of steel & aluminum, others are made of grey metal which stretches & bends. I had a roughly $175 diamondback and a pacific that were ****. ebikes can be made of these parts. People obsess about the motor styling display & features, while forgetting about having straight wheels, spokes that don't loosen if you don't jump picnic tables, cranks that don't wallow out the holes, brake & shifter cables that don't stretch & require frequent adjustment. My low adjustment yuba bike cost $2000 without electricity but with panniers, stand, breadbasket.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
2 thoughts. First Rad no longer offers a bike with regenerative braking, unless you're talking about a non current model. No loss anyway, as that regen function is mostly misunderstood/not functional for most anyway. Folks living/riding in an area with bigger hills are/were the biggest regen benefactors. Flatlanders mostly could care less....

Second,
"only get 6-10 miles and sometimes up to 15 if I turn down pedal assist and never use the throttle"

While shopping around collecting data regarding your second bike, I'm betting you can learn to ride the one you have more efficiently. WAY more efficiently! Battery charges should be lasting much longer - by a factor of 2-3 at least! Start with your speed, keeping it down to 10-12 mph while under power. That's one of the biggest keys to mileage. Faster uses quite a bit more power to poke a hole your size in the wind, which uses more power than necessary. The other is your PAS level. Unless faced with a big hill or something, PAS levels of 1 or 2 should provide plenty of assist if you are contributing much of anything. Throttle is used to get you moving, then rarely used afterward - under normal conditions.

I think it safe to say most of us sucked when it comes to battery efficiency at first. It's much more difficult than it first appears! Sure, getting there and back is not that big a deal, but co-ordinating/balancing proper gear usage, proper PAS levels, and speed to match the conditions you are riding in at all times does take some experience. By time you get several hundred miles of seat time, it's something you can do with just a little bit of thought. Big thing that comes with this experience too is greatly reduced range anxiety. You'll have some experience built up where predicting battery range is no longer a big deal.

BTW, I'm 6'2"/315/71 years old and ride daily. Not far, maybe 5-6 miles. Been doing that quite a while now. I ride because I like to. Exercise is nice, but not my focus. Fun is my focus.... -Al
 

drewp1311

New Member
Region
USA
Something is wrong with your bike. I weigh 160 & carry up to 80 lb cargo to my summer camp. The bike accessories tools water etc are 94 lb, so total load 334 lb. There are 80 hills and 30 miles. I have a 17.5 ah 48 v battery, 840 wh. I use about 2/3 the battery charge on the uphill run. I have 2.1" tires which use less electricity than 4" tires of the lectric step-thru. Are your tires inflated to the pressure shown on the sidewall?
If you do replace the bike, buy one with tires that can be pressurized to 55 psi. Some 2.4" tires may go that high. Don't be fooled by "regeneration" claims. That comes from DD hub motor bikes, that work fine at 20-30 mph but use too many watthours going up hills slowly. DD motors also accelerate slowly. Going 20-30 mph burns a lot of watthours anyway due to air drag. I typically average 8-9 mph, peaking at 25 mph down some hills with perfect pavement.
Check the "known problems" thread of the brand forum of each bike you are considering. Some bikes are made of steel & aluminum, others are made of grey metal which stretches & bends. I had a roughly $175 diamondback and a pacific that were ****. ebikes can be made of these parts. People obsess about the motor styling display & features, while forgetting about having straight wheels, spokes that don't loosen if you don't jump picnic tables, cranks that don't wallow out the holes, brake & shifter cables that don't stretch & require frequent adjustment. My low adjustment yuba bike cost $2000 without electricity but with panniers, stand, breadbasket.
Tires are inflated to the pressure shown on the sidewall and are 4", where did you find a 17.5ah battery? I believe the one i have is only 10ah.

Thank you this is great info!
 

drewp1311

New Member
Region
USA
Your choice of bikes is somewhat restricted by weight limits. Most are in the 250 - 300# range. You also have to consider the extra weight you may carry like locks, spare battery, tools, etc. Spoke problems often occur when overloading a bike.

It was mainly for this reason I decided on Pedego with the mag wheel option which extends the weight limit to 400#. I chose their Platinum Interceptor step thru with 15 AH battery. Using PAS 2 with moderate pedal effort, I get 35 - 40 miles per charge. The 400# weight limit lets me carry a spare battery or two plus more gear for extended rides.

I ride mostly gravel trails and changed to flat resistant tires with more aggressive tread.

I travel extensively to places with quality trails and Like the fact that there are Pedego dealerships almost everywhere I go.

Keep in mind this is just my personal experience. There are many bikes that will suit your needs as well. I'm sure others will chime in with more suggestions.

Take advantage of the search box in the upper right and feel free to ask more specific questions.
Welcome to the forum and good luck with your quest. By all means, keep us posted with your progress!
I appreciate that a lot! Pedego has quite a few bikes I liked so good to know I may want to explore their offerings a bit more!
 

drewp1311

New Member
Region
USA
2 thoughts. First Rad no longer offers a bike with regenerative braking, unless you're talking about a non current model. No loss anyway, as that regen function is mostly misunderstood/not functional for most anyway. Folks living/riding in an area with bigger hills are/were the biggest regen benefactors. Flatlanders mostly could care less....

Second,
"only get 6-10 miles and sometimes up to 15 if I turn down pedal assist and never use the throttle"

While shopping around collecting data regarding your second bike, I'm betting you can learn to ride the one you have more efficiently. WAY more efficiently! Battery charges should be lasting much longer - by a factor of 2-3 at least! Start with your speed, keeping it down to 10-12 mph while under power. That's one of the biggest keys to mileage. Faster uses quite a bit more power to poke a hole your size in the wind, which uses more power than necessary. The other is your PAS level. Unless faced with a big hill or something, PAS levels of 1 or 2 should provide plenty of assist if you are contributing much of anything. Throttle is used to get you moving, then rarely used afterward - under normal conditions.

I think it safe to say most of us sucked when it comes to battery efficiency at first. It's much more difficult than it first appears! Sure, getting there and back is not that big a deal, but co-ordinating/balancing proper gear usage, proper PAS levels, and speed to match the conditions you are riding in at all times does take some experience. By time you get several hundred miles of seat time, it's something you can do with just a little bit of thought. Big thing that comes with this experience too is greatly reduced range anxiety. You'll have some experience built up where predicting battery range is no longer a big deal.

BTW, I'm 6'2"/315/71 years old and ride daily. Not far, maybe 5-6 miles. Been doing that quite a while now. I ride because I like to. Exercise is nice, but not my focus. Fun is my focus.... -Al
Thank you this is great information and i am sure you are 100% right, I am likely still relying on the throttle much more than I should given my current level of fitness I can surely bike a bit harder!
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
I appreciate that a lot! Pedego has quite a few bikes I liked so good to know I may want to explore their offerings a bit more!
Many of the current Pedego 2022 models now have a 17.5 AH battery option which would extend the range a bit more.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
, where did you find a 17.5ah battery? I believe the one i have is only 10ah.
I added a hubmotor to my unpowered yuba bodaboda so I bought the size battery I wanted. Not what the company selected for me. 48 v 17.5 AH $630. Lunabike is not selling 48 v batteries anymore. I bought two 20 ah 38 v batteries yesterday for $130. Industrial from batteryclearancewarehouse. I'll have to make another mount for them out of aluminum angle. Will take an afternoon in the garage. My bike has bosses in the frame to hang the battery off the front without steering it. I'm having to make a charger for the odd voltage, which looks to be about $50. My new hub motor is 36 v: paid $38 + freight with wheel tire & disk. My wiring is external, but reliable. I'm thinking of riding Pittsburg-WashDC on bike trails, from an Amtrak start. No car necessary.
If you want a bike with a dual battery option look at a blix packa. Not a folder, not small, but bigger 24" wheels ride better than 20" in the 2.1" size. Check that the overall length fits your RV rack. The bus racks here are so short I can't use the bus anymore.
 
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