Buying first electric bike

suesue21

New Member
Region
Europe
Hi im a newbie and just about to buy my first ebike. I am finding it hard to decide what bike is best. I was thinking about the Orbea Optima E50 but now i have realised that it has an integrated battery so it will be difficult for me to charge it regularly as I dont have anywhere to charge the bike at work. I thought it had a separate battery part that i could charge in my office. I want the bike for a commute to my work which will be around three/four times a week, 6km each way, a few small long inclines, maybe one biggish hill. My budget is around the 2k mark. I had been looking before at the Pendleton Somersby which seemed to get good reviews for mileage. I am not sure if the Orbea can do the same mileage as the Pendleton without the need to recharge. I guess what i am looking for is a step through, upright handles, ability to get up hills smoothy and with relative ease, speed is not important tbh and a bike that i don't end up having to charge too frequently. I really like the look of the optima but i am just wondering if i will end up getting fed up if i need to recharge it frequently and can only charge it at home. Also any ideas on frequency/cost of recharge? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
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mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
do you have somewhere to charge it at home? just about any eBike will have zero problem with a 12km round trip. if you average 20kph, that's 35 minutes, the bike has a 250wh battery, which means it'll provide 250 watts for an hour, way more than needed for your round trip commute. i've not ridden that bike but the X35 motor and battery combo it comes with is a popular one for bikes that are trying to be lightweight and closer to a "regular" bike than a big heavy eBike. you'll want to pedal it, and the only thing that makes me think it might not be suitable is how steep is that hill? the lowest gear in the bike is 42t up front and 34t in back, which isn't all that low, meaning you'd have to pedal pretty hard to go up a steep hill, and the x35 motor will help you a lot but by itself it will not be sufficient to climb a steep grade.
 

suesue21

New Member
Region
Europe
Thanks for your reply. Well i think i could charge the bike in the hall of my home if the lead is long enough on the charger. I think there would be at least 10 per cent gradient on the hill - well to be honest i dont know the gradient or how to tell what gradient it is. Its a big hill. Ive struggled on it with a regular bike, sometimes having to get off and walk. Do you think id have to charge the bike several times a week? I hope it wouldnt be too costly. I think having an integrated battery is going to cause me problems if i cant charge it at work. I really want to make the right decision as i dont want to regret my purchase as its a lot of money.
 
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chunk

Active Member
Region
USA
And, I've always assumed an integrated battery is proprietary to a specific bike and manufacturer, so a replacement might be only through them and you will have to pay what they ask. I would check on that before you buy at least. cheers.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
And, I've always assumed an integrated battery is proprietary to a specific bike and manufacturer, so a replacement might be only through them and you will have to pay what they ask. I would check on that before you buy at least. cheers.
Removable batteries on Euro e-bikes are often proprietary, too.

Pendleton looks the "old-school" e-bike to me and it cannot be compared to Orbea. Orbea Optima E50 is a classy modern e-bike despite of its attractive (read: entry-level) price.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Thanks for your reply. Well i think i could charge the bike in the hall of my home if the lead is long enough on the charger.
Just use an extender cable.
I think there would be at least 10 per cent gradient on the hill - well to be honest i dont know the gradient or how to tell what gradient it is. Its a big hill. Ive struggled on it with a regular bike, sometimes having to get off and walk.
You might be struggling on any of the two e-bikes you mentioned. Neither is a climber.
Do you think id have to charge the bike several times a week? I hope it wouldnt be too costly. I think having an integrated battery is going to cause me problems if i cant charge it at work. I really want to make the right decision as i dont want to regret my purchase as its a lot of money.
You will definitely be charging the e-bike post each ride. The cost of electricity for charging an e-bike is symbolic. mschwett is right you would not need to recharge your e-bike at work. Yet, the hill you mentioned sounds worrying.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
For the price of the Orbea Optima E50 you might also look at the Raleigh Motus or Gazelle Citygo C7 HMS, both have batteries you can remove, brand name mid-drive motors (Bosch Active & Shimano E5000, respectively), and low-step frame variants. I'd go with the Gazelle over the Raleigh because it has a 25% larger battery (400wh, vs 300wh), and an IGH which means you can shift down gear when you are stationary and waiting at a stop light.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
You measure grade with a level and a ruler. Set the level on the grade, level the bubble, measure the distance between the end and the ground. Grade is height/length times 100.
I regularly go up 15% grades with 80 lb cargo with a geared hub motor. So you don't have to have the power on all the time as you would with a Bosch mid-drive. Shimano mid drives and geared hub motors don't drag the motor with your feet with the power off. All 3 mid drives would require more chain replacements than a geared hub motor.
If you could stand cruiser handlebar, blix aveny skyline & blix sol eclipse (no fenders) have a removable battery. Magnum metro+ has a removeable battery & is sold by dealers, who handle the warrenty work for you. Cannondale is reputed to have drop handlebar electric bikes but their website won't show me their pictures until I pick a dealer location. Cannondale has a very short list of known problems on the brand forums.
 

suesue21

New Member
Region
Europe
Thanks for your replies. Supply of ebikes is low in ireland at the moment so no stock i can see for those bikes. There's a trek bike verve +1. Any views on that bike and how much of a difference would a 300watt v 400 watt battery make in daily use. Thanks again.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Yes that looks good, same Bosch Active motor as the Raleigh Motus, choice of 300/400/500wh batteries, the size simply determines how far you can travel. Real world you should be able to get 20-25 miles out of a 300wh battery with the Bosch Active line which offers relatively mild assist (40nm torque) comparable with 250w hub motors, but is energy efficient and as a mid-drive it offers the benefit of providing assist through the bicycle gearing, this helps when you're in a low gear climbing hills.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
as a mid-drive it offers the benefit of providing assist through the bicycle gearing, this helps when you're in a low gear climbing hills.
This fantasy persists & is endlessly repeated. Only about 0.1% of bikes that have a rear sprocket bigger than the front sprocket provide assist to the motor climbing hills. 99.9% of sprocket sets provide speed increase only. Mid drive motors have internal gearing to provide torque, but so do geared hub motors.
Trek bikes have a shorter list of known problems than most vendors with a huge market share. They have dealers to handle the problems. watthours (not watts) correlate to range. so a 400 wh will go about 25% farther than a 300 wh bike on the same route. I use about half my 840 wh battery on my 30 mile route, but there are >80 hills and I carry 60 lb cargo uphill, in addition to 20 lb tools & water. Bigger batteries have to be charged less frequently, and you only get about 1000 charges out of a LiIon battery.
 
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Cstefan

Member
Region
USA
City
Seattle, WA
All 3 mid drives would require more chain replacements than a geared hub motor.
That really depends on the strength of the chain. With an IGH you can use a belt or a very strong chain. A rear freewheel or cassette with 6, 7, 8, or even 9 gears can use a much stronger chain than the “modern” 10, 11, and 12 speed cassettes.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This fantasy persists & is endlessly repeated. Only about 0.1% of bikes that have a rear sprocket bigger than the front sprocket provide assist to the motor climbing hills. 99.9% of sprocket sets provide speed increase only. Mid drive motors have internal gearing to provide torque, but so do geared hub motors.
...

i've wondered about this myself. while most eMTB have > 1:1 gearing (32 up front and 52 in back isn't uncommon) i'm not sure i've ever seen a road/hybrid/commuter e-bike with that kind of gearing. i always assumed what people really meant was that because there was a range of gearing, the MOTOR's gearing could be optimized across that band, taking advantage of the gearing the same way a person does to keep the cadence / motor speed in the sweet spot. otherwise, the argument makes no sense. at all.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Thanks for your replies. Supply of ebikes is low in ireland at the moment so no stock i can see for those bikes. There's a trek bike verve +1. Any views on that bike and how much of a difference would a 300watt v 400 watt battery make in daily use. Thanks again.

you could send a google map link to the hill in question, which would help people advise how much oooomph it'll take to get up it!
 

dodgeman

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
My wife and I just bought Trek Verve 3 bikes, step through. I was trying to decide between a step through and a conventional frame bake and rode a Verve 2. I believe they are both 250 watt motors but the Verve 3 has 10 nm more or torque. I immediately noticed the difference with the Verve 3 have more assist. Not a huge difference, I’m sure either would be fine but if more assist is important the specs do matter.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I immediately noticed the difference with the Verve 3 have more assist.
The peak power in most of mid-drive motors is higher than the nominal power suggests. There is a direct correlation between the peak power & torque for a given family of e-bike motors (Bosch in your case).