Cafe Vintage Electric - First EBike?

kal16

New Member
Region
Canada
Hi everyone!

I am a college student looking for a bike to commute with/also just use to explore my city more. I live in a fairly hilly area so I want a bike that would be able to power through some hills. My commute is about 25 km with lots of up and down.

I have found that the Cafe bike by Vintage Electric has everything that I am looking for. Namely, I want a geared bike with a 750 W motor, a fairly big removable battery, hydraulic disc brakes, and an athletic riding position. There is also a local bike shop that sells them, which is important for me because there are not many Ebike shops in my area because I live in Canada. I realize that many say that this bike is overpriced and that you are paying for style. I would love to know if anyone has any recommendations of bikes to look at that have everything the Cafe has to offer, but at a lower price point. I find I get very overwhelmed looking at all of the different options! I also am interested if anyone on here has any arguments that support the stretching of my budget to meet the Cafe price point?

Thanks everyone! I look forward to hearing from you guys.
 

amock

New Member
Region
USA
I'll let others chime in about the bike and potential alternatives, but they really lose a lot of credibility when they try to claim that their "750 watt drivetrain delivers nearly 3X the power of its competitors". Any 250w options in this price range will be mid-drive, which have more torque than a 750w hub motor. If you're looking to spend this much, a mid-drive motor makes a lot much sense, especially if you have a lot of climbing.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I really don't consider that pedal forward design to be a great commuter. You can't get the leg power to the pedals as well as a more traditional eBike. Secondly a bike like that will be a target for theft on a college campus. You want something plain looking or even a little rough looking. I think your ownership of one of those would be less than a month on campus.
 

amock

New Member
Region
USA
I really don't consider that pedal forward design to be a great commuter.
I agree on the other point, but unless you're seeing something different than I am, the geometry is fairly normal as far as the seat tube and bottom bracket go. The seat tube angle looks like it's definitely between 71-74°, so it looks like a "normal" bike to me.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
with direct drive motor and a 500 watt battery I cant see this climbing hills well and all and could toast the motor.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone!

I am a college student looking for a bike to commute with/also just use to explore my city more. I live in a fairly hilly area so I want a bike that would be able to power through some hills. My commute is about 25 km with lots of up and down.

I have found that the Cafe bike by Vintage Electric has everything that I am looking for. Namely, I want a geared bike with a 750 W motor, a fairly big removable battery, hydraulic disc brakes, and an athletic riding position. There is also a local bike shop that sells them, which is important for me because there are not many Ebike shops in my area because I live in Canada. I realize that many say that this bike is overpriced and that you are paying for style. I would love to know if anyone has any recommendations of bikes to look at that have everything the Cafe has to offer, but at a lower price point. I find I get very overwhelmed looking at all of the different options! I also am interested if anyone on here has any arguments that support the stretching of my budget to meet the Cafe price point?

Thanks everyone! I look forward to hearing from you guys.

Can you give an idea on the grade of the hills and your weight ?
I have checked @Court 's review, It actually looks like a powerful well built bike.

The bike you mention comes with a 750W TDCM motor which is a powerful and high quality hub with a torque sensor setup. DD's may not be the best for hills coming close to %20 but the good ones are very capable.
For commuting (other than extremely steep hills) it would be way superior to the mainstream mid drives on the market. It would be a smooth, quiet and powerful commuter with little maintenance needs.

Don't worry about the torque numbers, unfortunately lots of misinformation/bias is circulating in the forums. Just let us know the grade of the hills you are gonna climb and your weight.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
As others have pointed out the TDCM motors used by Vintage Electric are Direct Drive motors not Geared hub motors. That being said while heavy and offering less torque at lower ebike power levels, DD motors are reputedly more efficient, quieter, and good for commuting on relatively flat land, and so are found on speed pedelec/Class 3 commuters, and are exclusively used on high power electric motorcycles. I would ask in the Vintage Electric brand forum for owners experiences, for example I know forum user @christob owns a Vintage Electric Cafe and is happy riding it up some fairly steep hills around Washington, DC.
 
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kal16

New Member
Region
Canada
Can you give an idea on the grade of the hills and your weight ?
I have checked @Court 's review, It actually looks like a powerful well built bike.

The bike you mention comes with a 750W TDCM motor which is a powerful and high quality hub with a torque sensor setup. DD's may not be the best for hills coming close to %20 but the good ones are very capable.
For commuting (other than extremely steep hills) it would be way superior to the mainstream mid drives on the market. It would be a smooth, quiet and powerful commuter with little maintenance needs.

Don't worry about the torque numbers, unfortunately lots of misinformation/bias is circulating in the forums. Just let us know the grade of the hills you are gonna climb and your weight.
Hi! Thank you for this response! I was beginning to feel quiet discouraged but from my experiences testing the cafe as well as riding my dads rally in the area I have found the bike to be more than capable of meeting my needs.
My weight is 140 and it looks like I get hills up to about 15%
 

Lyric

New Member
Region
Canada
Hi @kal16 we're a Canadian retailer with a bike very similar to the Vintage Electric but for about half the price. We have sold out of our pilot launch batches but have another bunch shipping out in August. Send us a note at info@lyriccycles.com if you'd like to know more.


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