Can you recommend to me a good bike for 1500 or less, details follow

Eviltwin

New Member
Region
USA
Howdy. New to this forum, not quite a new rider. A bit of history. Been riding bikes since the 60's when I was a kid in Brooklyn. Have had a fair share along the way. I was never a "serious" rider, though I did do some bike tours in the 80's and 90's.

Fast forward to now. In my 60's with two artificial hips and a shoulder. I had a tadpole trike recumbent a few years ago. Lots of fun, but I always felt a bit vulnerable with it being so low and fairly wide and the cars barely missing me. About 3 years ago I picked up a smaller folding bike that I kept in my trunk and would pull out at work for a lunchtime ride in a nearby park. But I'm not too keen to try and start up with it again.

I still like to ride but lately its been on things with motors. I have two motorcycles currently and they are mostly used on the weekends and for transportation when we go camping.

What got me thinking about an Ebike is that I can keep it in the garage between the two motorcycles and pull it out at lunch or during the week for a quick ride around the neighborhood. Been working from home for the last year so not too many parks around. Area is very flat, suburban, though there are some better roads about 10 miles out.

Since this is a bit of a whim, I'd like to keep the cost down to 1500 or less. Not too many bike stores locally that sell e-bikes. Two in Norfolk/Virginia Beach that sell Pedego and a few other brands, nothing less than about 2400. I'm about 5'7 with a 29" inseam so I'm favoring a step through frame. Weight is over 200 so something with 500w motor or better would be my choice. Rather have some gears than a single speed, but single would not be out of the question since it is pretty flat around here. Of the online retailers, it seems like Radpower and Ride1Up are better known and maybe better situated to provide parts down the road. And by parts I mean a replacement battery. I have no doubt that the battery on one of these bikes may last 3 or 4 years if I'm lucky and I'd like to be able to source one that fits before I try and have to figure something else out. The rest of the parts are fairly generic and could be swapped out. If the motor or controller went out, well who knows.

And the other part of my particular equation is that I'm not afraid to do any or all of my own work in setting up a bike out of the box or fixing it when necessary. As I mentioned I've been messing with bicycles, cars and now motorcycles for a good 40-50 years, so fixing or modifying them is not a problem for me or out of the question.

What I have sorta narrowed down to are a few models that seem to fit and would like any and all opinions on what you all think. I'm probably stuck in analysis paralysis mode right now anyway.
  1. Radmission: Single speed but otherwise about as cheap as I can find, larger company to back it up, has assortment of features. no suspension but most of the bikes I have had never had that either with thinner tires.
  2. Ride1Up 500 series with the fenders and rack, 1400. Has a suspension fork.
  3. ArielRider Rideal, cheap, good power. No suspension fork, not sure about the company longevity but the bike looks nice in blue.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

Bob
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
At that price point of the market you get:
imitation steel spokes, imitation aluminum wheels. Read the known problems threads, as long as your arm.
Imitation steel cables that stretch, causing frequent adjustment. Jerky binding housings. Kiddie grade sprocket & shifters, equivalent to the $280 bikes at the discount store. Rad in particular is known for great phone support, which is important for all the free parts they mail people to replace the original garbage. Every time you replace one spoke, you turn the bike upside down, remove the wheel, take the tire & tube off, do the spoke, true the wheel, replace the above. Some lady in Scotland did 4 spokes one at a time in her first 3 months.
I rode a kiddie grade MTB for years, and didn't know what I was missing. Since I'm small, the supply of grown up bikes is zero in towns under 20000000 population. At least the frame didn't break. The cheap shimano 7 speed rear axle came unscrewed & dropped the balls on the road, requiring a push home. The 6 speed shimano axle before that broke. I weighed an enormous 200 lb back then. The plastic crank on the Pacific wore out the center about 4000 miles. I dived over the handlebar on my chin 4 times, breaking it the last time. Fast steering is required, everybody has it, and it yanks the handlebars out of my hands on bumps & obstructions.
By contrast my $1900 yuba (no motor then) came perfect in the box. No spokes have been adjusted, no wheels trued in 7500 miles. Cables were slick & smooth. I'm just now adjusting the brakes & shifter cables, after 3 1/2 years and the miles shown. Main defect, I hated the seat. I'm not suggesting you buy one, cargo bikeis for people without cars, but the level of quality at $1900 unpowered was amazing. It has an 8 speed shimano sprocket cluster, which has been trouble free.
The middle end of the market includes store bought brands like Giant, Trek, Cannondale, Gazelle, Specialized. They have short lists of known problems on the brand forum. Buy, keep oiled, forget it.
Pedego has a great warrenty.
 
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rawlus

Active Member
Region
USA
at that price, you are sort of accepting that not only is the bike yours but the service is yours to do also. there are risks to such a bike but if you understand the risks there’s nothing inherently wrong in buying such a bike other than being able to go for a lot less than a typical LBS bike. Bolton recently did a video on this, reviewing a Lectric, in the end he noted that many of the components are entry level, but that did not mean in his view anything was inherently unsafe or wrong, just entry level. Millions of people use entry level stuff everyday. not everything is “performance” minded.

if performance is important to you then you need to prioritize that and likely pay for performance.

Many of the naysayers here will be in the performance camp, they need/want the best deraileur, the best crankset the best shock fork, the best motor, battery, etc.. lots of possible levels of quality in a bike because of all the components used wind this makes for a lot of passionate discussion of “your bike sucks and here’s why” type arguments. communities like EBR tend to gravitate towards the enthusiast and the enthusiast tends to be particular about brand image, intangible qualities, performance or the perception of performance, ranking against others, pride, ego, status, etc.

as long as you are buying for your needs and price point and your expectations are grounded in the price/quality spectrum, and you’re reasonably self sufficient with regard to maintenance and repair it can be an efficient and lower cost way of getting into ebikes.

that being said, there’s unrepentant demand on ebikes now so part of your selection criteria should also be readiness to ship/how long will i have to wait.

im not a golfer but there are golfers playing with inexpensive sets of clubs or even an incomplete set and there are golfers who enjoy spending on the best of the best. neither is wrong and they are both still technically playing golf…. if you are the type that needs to feel validated and status is important to you, what others think is importent to you and you demand performance even if you don’t need it, then an inexpensive ebike may not satisfy you.
 

MikeL

New Member
Region
USA
I am a new rider. I have had Ride1Up 500 for about 2 weeks. We also have LMTD now. I like both, but I would have bought 2 x 500 to save money if I could test ride them in advance. I thought I need LMTD with 750W motor since I am about 190lbs, but R1Up 500 can carry me uphill just fine if I pedal at the same time. Most likely we will switch with my wife since she likes the nicer feel of LMTD, wider tires and slightly lower minimal seat height. I like that 500 feels lighter and more maneuverable.
My regular bikes now feel weightless compared to ebikes. And 500 is probably one of tbe lightest ebikes on the market. At least in that price range.
Support has been great so far.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Support has been great so far.
I haven't needed to call support, on the bike. Motor, yes, but that was aftermarket, & $221. Battery yes, that was aftermarket & $300.
Axles that don't unscrew & drop balls on the road, and spokes that don't stretch if you don't jump curbs or picnic tables, are my idea of a quality item. Not exactly high performance. Lots of **** out there in the bike world.
Lots of people on here obsess about hydraulic brakes. Those come with a maintenance penalty, complicated bleeding procedures. The base level cable pull disk brakes have short handles and bind & jerk as you pull them. My yubabike came with oddessy slic cable housings, not even advertised, and application & release is smooth. $.50 item that makes a lot of difference.
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I too am nuts about the Yubas. They are great for conversions and the Boda Boda has a lightweight frame. If you are working on the bike anyway start with a decent one and make it electric like one of these two.
 

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MikeL

New Member
Region
USA
I haven't needed to call support, on the bike. Motor, yes, but that was aftermarket, & $221. Battery yes, that was aftermarket & $300.
Axles that don't unscrew & drop balls on the road, and spokes that don't stretch if you don't jump curbs or picnic tables, are my idea of a quality item. Not exactly high performance. Lots of **** out there in the bike world.
Lots of people on here obsess about hydraulic brakes. Those come with a maintenance penalty, complicated bleeding procedures. The base level cable pull disk brakes have short handles and bind & jerk as you pull them. My yubabike came with oddessy slic cable housings, not even advertised, and application & release is smooth. $.50 item that makes a lot of difference.
I certainly do not pretend to know much about ebikes or specifically about quality components.
I replied because I saw these phrases in the original post:
"Since this is a bit of a whim, I'd like to keep the cost down to 1500 or less...".
"As I mentioned I've been messing with bicycles, cars and now motorcycles for a good 40-50 years, so fixing or modifying them is not a problem for me..."

My approach was very similar. I don't mind fixing things from time to time. I have tools and some experience with cars, electric motors, batteries etc. I do not plan to ride very often and there is a chance I will switch back to many of my other hobbies after a few months. In my opinion R1U should be fine, but I cannot comment on differences between R1U and other bikes.
 

Eviltwin

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for all the replies. I checked out the Yuba site, I had never heard of them. Cargo bikes not really my style, but I looked through what they had. Found one for 1200, figured it might have possibilities and looked at the details and finally realized that it wasn't electrified, just a regular bike with a steel frame for 1200 bucks. I'll pass.

I get that some folks feel like you have to spend 3 or 4 grand or more to get something decent and that anything less is garbage, but I just dont see it. Prices are also quite hyped up right now due to Covid and it's not just bikes. But I gotta wonder what you are getting for 3-4 grand in a bicycle, even an electrified one that makes it worth that price. One of my current bikes is a BMW and its not the first. It was over 10 grand new and its one of the cheaper bikes they sell. BMW's cheapest small bike right now goes for around 5500 but for that money you are buying a fuel injected motor, frame, abs, machined gears, all the integrated engine electronics, wheels, axles, brakes, tires, lights, battery and everything else. The engineering and manufacturing and materials in that lower end motorcycle far outpace what is in a bicycle, but a mid grade bicycle is worth about 60-80% of that motorcycle? And that is a Chinese built (Loncin) motorcycle, not one of the Berlin built bikes. Are any bicycles still being built in the US or Europe or have they all been outsourced to Asia?

Getting back to what I am looking for is something with at least 26" wheels, a 500w motor or better and something without a top bar since I have problems swinging my leg over anything high. Prefer a 48v or better battery with name brand cells. A fat tire bike maybe, but something with around 2 inch tires is fine. I may take a ride out this Saturday to a store in Va Beach that has some electric bikes just to see what they have and maybe sit on a few. But as much as I like high end products like BMW and MB, this is not going to be one of them.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I will get a used bike and fix it up, then make it electric. I am not dropping $5000 or more for an electric bike. If you can change a tire you can pop on an electric rear wheel. Then plug it into a battery.
 

MikeL

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for all the replies. I checked out the Yuba site, I had never heard of them. Cargo bikes not really my style, but I looked through what they had. Found one for 1200, figured it might have possibilities and looked at the details and finally realized that it wasn't electrified, just a regular bike with a steel frame for 1200 bucks. I'll pass.

I get that some folks feel like you have to spend 3 or 4 grand or more to get something decent and that anything less is garbage, but I just dont see it. Prices are also quite hyped up right now due to Covid and it's not just bikes. But I gotta wonder what you are getting for 3-4 grand in a bicycle, even an electrified one that makes it worth that price. One of my current bikes is a BMW and its not the first. It was over 10 grand new and its one of the cheaper bikes they sell. BMW's cheapest small bike right now goes for around 5500 but for that money you are buying a fuel injected motor, frame, abs, machined gears, all the integrated engine electronics, wheels, axles, brakes, tires, lights, battery and everything else. The engineering and manufacturing and materials in that lower end motorcycle far outpace what is in a bicycle, but a mid grade bicycle is worth about 60-80% of that motorcycle? And that is a Chinese built (Loncin) motorcycle, not one of the Berlin built bikes. Are any bicycles still being built in the US or Europe or have they all been outsourced to Asia?

Getting back to what I am looking for is something with at least 26" wheels, a 500w motor or better and something without a top bar since I have problems swinging my leg over anything high. Prefer a 48v or better battery with name brand cells. A fat tire bike maybe, but something with around 2 inch tires is fine. I may take a ride out this Saturday to a store in Va Beach that has some electric bikes just to see what they have and maybe sit on a few. But as much as I like high end products like BMW and MB, this is not going to be one of them.
My car (used BMW convertible) was $12k a few years ago :) And I still can't force myself to buy a new one. The old one works well and I can fix minor things. I have not changed my downhill ski gear in 7 yeas and some friends update theirs every season. Similar story with paragliding, diving, photography and other hobbies. A friend recently bought a 2k photo tripod (3-legged purely mechanical thing) and a 4k gaming PC for a 5 year old child. Blows my mind. :)
I guess it depends on how passionate we are about specific things. My interests change too often. But I like to buy different tools even if I don't need them right away. Maybe I am passionate about building/fixing things.

If you are considering Ride1Up, maybe look at Aventon as well. Very similar bikes, but sometimes sold in local bike shops. Easier to test ride.
 

MikeL

New Member
Region
USA
I will get a used bike and fix it up, then make it electric. I am not dropping $5000 or more for an electric bike. If you can change a tire you can pop on an electric rear wheel. Then plug it into a battery.
I still want to buy a Bafang BSSHD mid-drive kit and a used bike to build a hill climbing monster. :) I don't really need it since our hub-driven ebikes work fine for our needs, but I will do it anyway.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
  1. Radmission: Single speed but otherwise about as cheap as I can find, larger company to back it up, has assortment of features. no suspension but most of the bikes I have had never had that either with thinner tires.
  2. Ride1Up 500 series with the fenders and rack, 1400. Has a suspension fork.
  3. ArielRider Rideal, cheap, good power. No suspension fork, not sure about the company longevity but the bike looks nice in blue.
Ride1Up easily. The PAS is configurable in both the ranges and for the power percentage of every assist level so that it can assist just to the power you that you want in any level. It also uses a power based assist rather than a speed based assist that acts like a cruise control. These things were important to me because I wanted to be able to control the assist vs. my applied muscle power for exercise while riding at a moderate pace, so when I kick on the power assist, I'm usually using 5% power.

Don't be too concerned about those power readings. I have the Ride1Up 700. Although it's advertised as 750 watt (nominal 500W), and the support page says, "750W Shengyi Geared Hub-Motor (500W nominal, 880W peak) for the CORE-5, 500 Series, 700 Series", if I change the default setting of PAS 9 to 100% power, it will max out the power meter at 999 watts if the battery has a good charge. You wouldn't want to keep it at that power for long, though. I've only done it for testing.

If you don't need the suspension, you can get the Ride1Up Core-5, which is even lighter, with PAS functioning the same. You can purchase fenders/rack for it.
 

Eviltwin

New Member
Region
USA
I've seen some of the video reviews of the Aventon bikes, they look pretty good. The pace 500 comes with hydraulic brakes which is a plus. A bit more expensive than say the Ride1up 500, the 350 is cheaper, but with my weight I'd prefer the larger motor.

Locally there is a used Raleigh Retroglide 2.0 IE for sale for 1500 with a spare battery. That is a mid drive bosch motor setup. May be worth a look.

I have also toyed with the thought of buying an older bike and adding a motor to it. My brother did that with a old Rans recumbent a few years ago and he lives in an area in NJ with lots of hills and gets quite a bit of use out of it.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
Howdy. New to this forum
  1. Radmission: Single speed but otherwise about as cheap as I can find, larger company to back it up, has assortment of features. no suspension but most of the bikes I have had never had that either with thinner tires.
  2. Ride1Up 500 series with the fenders and rack, 1400. Has a suspension fork.
  3. ArielRider Rideal, cheap, good power. No suspension fork, not sure about the companies longevity.
Ariel Rider have been selling E-Bikes since 2012 so no need to worry about that, The Ariel Rider X-Class 48v also out performs the Ride one up limited/the 500/ and the Rad mission and that is a fact, great value if you like that type of bike. The Ariel Rider Rideal has a great motor but a very limited display and interface, top speed cannot be adjusted on the Rideal, it is a 20mph bike.
i suggested the Rad Mini because its on sale and i have seen people abuse them and they keep going lol, they also have Bafang Hub motors so the motors and controllers are easy to upgrade or replace if you want or need to do that in the future, this way if your motor blows after the warranty is up you wont be stuck with a giant paper weight.
 
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GenXrider

Well-Known Member
I've seen some of the video reviews of the Aventon bikes, they look pretty good. The pace 500 comes with hydraulic brakes which is a plus. A bit more expensive than say the Ride1up 500, the 350 is cheaper, but with my weight I'd prefer the larger motor.
The Pace has a little bit smaller battery, slightly lower top gear, and more expensive. The 500 has granular control over PAS ranges and each power level. If you have an LBS that handles Aventon or want a specific frame size, that would make Aventon more worth considering.
 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
Howdy. New to this forum, not quite a new rider. A bit of history. Been riding bikes since the 60's when I was a kid in Brooklyn. Have had a fair share along the way. I was never a "serious" rider, though I did do some bike tours in the 80's and 90's.

Fast forward to now. In my 60's with two artificial hips and a shoulder. I had a tadpole trike recumbent a few years ago. Lots of fun, but I always felt a bit vulnerable with it being so low and fairly wide and the cars barely missing me. About 3 years ago I picked up a smaller folding bike that I kept in my trunk and would pull out at work for a lunchtime ride in a nearby park. But I'm not too keen to try and start up with it again.

I still like to ride but lately its been on things with motors. I have two motorcycles currently and they are mostly used on the weekends and for transportation when we go camping.

What got me thinking about an Ebike is that I can keep it in the garage between the two motorcycles and pull it out at lunch or during the week for a quick ride around the neighborhood. Been working from home for the last year so not too many parks around. Area is very flat, suburban, though there are some better roads about 10 miles out.

Since this is a bit of a whim, I'd like to keep the cost down to 1500 or less. Not too many bike stores locally that sell e-bikes. Two in Norfolk/Virginia Beach that sell Pedego and a few other brands, nothing less than about 2400. I'm about 5'7 with a 29" inseam so I'm favoring a step through frame. Weight is over 200 so something with 500w motor or better would be my choice. Rather have some gears than a single speed, but single would not be out of the question since it is pretty flat around here. Of the online retailers, it seems like Radpower and Ride1Up are better known and maybe better situated to provide parts down the road. And by parts I mean a replacement battery. I have no doubt that the battery on one of these bikes may last 3 or 4 years if I'm lucky and I'd like to be able to source one that fits before I try and have to figure something else out. The rest of the parts are fairly generic and could be swapped out. If the motor or controller went out, well who knows.

And the other part of my particular equation is that I'm not afraid to do any or all of my own work in setting up a bike out of the box or fixing it when necessary. As I mentioned I've been messing with bicycles, cars and now motorcycles for a good 40-50 years, so fixing or modifying them is not a problem for me or out of the question.

What I have sorta narrowed down to are a few models that seem to fit and would like any and all opinions on what you all think. I'm probably stuck in analysis paralysis mode right now anyway.
  1. Radmission: Single speed but otherwise about as cheap as I can find, larger company to back it up, has assortment of features. no suspension but most of the bikes I have had never had that either with thinner tires.
  2. Ride1Up 500 series with the fenders and rack, 1400. Has a suspension fork.
  3. ArielRider Rideal, cheap, good power. No suspension fork, not sure about the company longevity but the bike looks nice in blue.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think.

Bob
I recently bought a Rad Mini step through as a back up bike for my Rad Rover and like it a lot. Right now it's on sale for $1299.
 

rvehock

Member
This is a great deal ($1059 with free shipping) for a decent bike and components, got one being delivered for my wife on Monday the 9th out of Tacoma Washington. I sold a 2020 Espin Flow that my wife had previously as she did not like the ride at all, hope this one does the trick.

 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the replies. I checked out the Yuba site, I had never heard of them. Cargo bikes not really my style, but I looked through what they had. Found one for 1200, figured it might have possibilities and looked at the details and finally realized that it wasn't electrified, just a regular bike with a steel frame for 1200 bucks. I'll pass.

I get that some folks feel like you have to spend 3 or 4 grand or more to get something decent and that anything less is garbage, but I just dont see it. Prices are also quite hyped up right now due to Covid and it's not just bikes. But I gotta wonder what you are getting for 3-4 grand in a bicycle, even an electrified one that makes it worth that price. One of my current bikes is a BMW and its not the first. It was over 10 grand new and its one of the cheaper bikes they sell. BMW's cheapest small bike right now goes for around 5500 but for that money you are buying a fuel injected motor, frame, abs, machined gears, all the integrated engine electronics, wheels, axles, brakes, tires, lights, battery and everything else. The engineering and manufacturing and materials in that lower end motorcycle far outpace what is in a bicycle, but a mid grade bicycle is worth about 60-80% of that motorcycle? And that is a Chinese built (Loncin) motorcycle, not one of the Berlin built bikes. Are any bicycles still being built in the US or Europe or have they all been outsourced to Asia?

Getting back to what I am looking for is something with at least 26" wheels, a 500w motor or better and something without a top bar since I have problems swinging my leg over anything high. Prefer a 48v or better battery with name brand cells. A fat tire bike maybe, but something with around 2 inch tires is fine. I may take a ride out this Saturday to a store in Va Beach that has some electric bikes just to see what they have and maybe sit on a few. But as much as I like high end products like BMW and MB, this is not going to be one of them.
I repeat, the Bulls bike for sale here is a nice bike at your price range.