City commuter ebike in Canada

Gabele

New Member
Region
Canada
Hi everyone,

New prospective buyer here, looking for a bike for a 12km hilly urban commute that usually takes 55m one way (more uphill) and 50 min returning (more downhill). I ride uphill to work and I'd prefer not to have to shower on arrival... Transit takes longer (at least 1 hour) and I try not to drive if possible. I'm pretty fit but I think an ebike would get me to bike to work more often. I can store the bike safely at work. I'd also take it out on pleasure rides, but keep my current hybrid beater for city outings.

I have looked through past threads, and I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts on these models? Or is there another cheaper option that keeps the feeling of riding a bike? That's why I'm looking at mid-drive models. I'm open to step-over or step-through. Wanting to keep it relatively light.

Gazelle Medeo T9 HMB
(step-through is a possibility too)
$3500 CAD

Kona Ecoco
$3600 CAD (no rack)

I have the opportunity to test ride the Gazelle, not sure yet about the Kona.

Alternatively, I could just buy a better acoustic commuter bike...

Thoughts welcome. Thank you!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Both apparently quality bikes. The gazelle known problems thread has 6 entries, the kona zero. Two popular internet sold bikes have 12 pages or 30 pages respectively.
The kona has shimano steps motor, so if you're feeling frisky on the downhill stint you can pedal it yourself without power or drag. Also on beyond zero if you run the battery down.
The gazelle has bosch active line, which must be powered to avoid drag. There have been complaints about the cost of bosch replacement batteries. Kona & shimano have not as much market share, so I don't know if there is no problem or just nobody out there.
Both have 9 speed rear sprockets, which will give shorter life IMHO than the 5000 miles I got with an 8 speed chain & a hub motor. Thinner chains wear out faster.
At my age I prefer a step through frame, but had no problem with a bar in my youth.
Light bikes include orbea & cannondale, but their 248 wh batteries may be to small for your commute. I get 30 miles & ~80 hills with 2/3 of an 840 wh battery, at ~8 mph.
Happy shopping.
 
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Gabele

New Member
Region
Canada
Thanks for the replies! I test rode the Gazelle high-step today. It was super fun. My first time riding a mid-drive, and it was magical! Very smooth ride, great-looking bike... But a bit heavy and bulky for me. I'm keen to try the Kona on a test ride, if I can. It's a bit lighter. The iGo mentioned above looks too bulky for my liking.

Further recommendations welcome... :)
 

Gbart

Member
How about these from Giant? Sweet Pete’s shows possible stock of both the 2020 Fastroad and 2021 Explore. Flash cash and I’m sure you could negotiate a few hundred off the msrp. My LBS knocked $300 off an Explore Pro.

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Gabele

New Member
Region
Canada
I test-rode the Kona Ecoco as well, and quite liked it. Felt significantly lighter than the Gazelle, and handled beautifully. (I am interested in those ebikemotion hub bikes mentioned above, but can't see any in the area. Also I need a removable battery for ease of charging--the bike will be stored in my entryway where there is no access to an outlet.) I am leaning toward the Ecoco, although the price is giving me pause... I wonder how long this bike will last, if new technologies will come along in a few years, etc. Thanks for the feedback, all!
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Fair enough, so you're looking for a lightweight ebike? Try Orbea, they use the ebikemotion x35 hub motors and most of their ebikes are under 35lb. The Cannondale Quick Neo uses the same motor and is similarly 35lb.
Great bikes. However I think the OP wants a middrive for the hills and a torque sensor for the natural pedal feel.

@Gabele , check out the Yamaha Cross Core. Torquey middrive and it’s about 43 pounds.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I'd give another vote to the Giant Fastroad E+ EX Pro.
Giant makes a quality product and is usually priced slightly below the other big name ebike companies, such as Specialized, Trek, etc.
The downside is the price.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I test-rode the Kona Ecoco as well, and quite liked it. Felt significantly lighter than the Gazelle, and handled beautifully. (I am interested in those ebikemotion hub bikes mentioned above, but can't see any in the area. Also I need a removable battery for ease of charging--the bike will be stored in my entryway where there is no access to an outlet.) I am leaning toward the Ecoco, although the price is giving me pause... I wonder how long this bike will last, if new technologies will come along in a few years, etc. Thanks for the feedback, all!
the Shimano Steps motors Kona are using are the 2nd generation. They will be manufactured for several years and I’m sure they will keep enough spares to support them for another decade. Kona switched to Shimano Steps after two years using Bosch and they’ve gone all in for 2021 with Shimano Steps on their eMTBs and commuter models. If you had a last years model Kona Dew-e with the Bosch motor you could still get it serviced at any Bosch shop in future, similarly Shimano have a national network of dealers, so you’re good for several years.
 

Gabele

New Member
Region
Canada
I'd give another vote to the Giant Fastroad E+ EX Pro.
Giant makes a quality product and is usually priced slightly below the other big name ebike companies, such as Specialized, Trek, etc.
The downside is the price.
Looks great but $1000 more (+tax) than the Ecoco...
 

Gabele

New Member
Region
Canada
the Shimano Steps motors Kona are using are the 2nd generation. They will be manufactured for several years and I’m sure they will keep enough spares to support them for another decade. Kona switched to Shimano Steps after two years using Bosch and they’ve gone all in for 2021 with Shimano Steps on their eMTBs and commuter models. If you had a last years model Kona Dew-e with the Bosch motor you could still get it serviced at any Bosch shop in future, similarly Shimano have a national network of dealers, so you’re good for several years.
Thanks for this, it's reassuring! I would hope that this kind of purchase would be good for at least five years... Hopefully longer. I would keep a car for 10+ years, why not an ebike?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Thanks for this, it's reassuring! I would hope that this kind of purchase would be good for at least five years... Hopefully longer. I would keep a car for 10+ years, why not an ebike?
It’s possible to buy from German eBay new motor cores for 1st gen Bosch Classic systems that date back to 2011, Bosch are currently on their 4th generation of ebike motors. If you buy a motor made by a larger manufacturer like Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha, Brose, they should have spares to supply at least the warranty period plus 5 years. A little confusingly it’s common for motor manufacturers to continue to supply previous generation motors alongside newer motors due to the need for frame builders to custom design bottom brackets to accommodate each generation of motor design. Riese & Muller are a good example, Propel ebike shop sells them and lists Bosch gen 2, 3, & 4 motors on current R&M models they sell. This year I’ve seen Shimano Steps e6000 motors on some new ebikes that haven’t changed their design since before the 2nd gen e6100 motor as fitted on the Kona eCoco became available last year.

By contrast some companies aren’t as good at customer service, my Bafang BBS01a motor was made in 2013 but in April 2016 they changed the design without telling their retailers and parts like controllers are almost impossible to find, so I bought an early BBS01b motor core that was being sold for $100 and I plan to simply swap out the motor if/when anything breaks.
 
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Gabele

New Member
Region
Canada
Fair enough, so you're looking for a lightweight ebike? Try Orbea, they use the ebikemotion x35 hub motors and most of their ebikes are under 35lb. The Cannondale Quick Neo uses the same motor and is similarly 35lb.
Looks like I might have the opportunity to get a lightly used Cannondale Treadwell Neo (2020 version, not EQ) for about half the cost of the Ecoco... I'm very tempted! Any thoughts on this bike? I don't mind the funky ebikemotion controller, just a bit concerned about durability. Looks like a great commuter option!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Looks like I might have the opportunity to get a lightly used Cannondale Treadwell Neo (2020 version, not EQ) for about half the cost of the Ecoco... I'm very tempted! Any thoughts on this bike? I don't mind the funky ebikemotion controller, just a bit concerned about durability. Looks like a great commuter option!
I agree, though Court’s review here on EBR mentioned swapping out the plush fabric covered saddle for something rainproof. Does your commute take you up and down hills, then you’ll want the extra torque offered by the mid-drive on the eCoco. Another consideration would be where will you store it at home? I keep my ebike in a shed in the backyard so I’m glad to have a removable battery I bring indoors, if you have a garage I think you’ll be fine with a battery inside the frame. There’s only 3lb weight difference between the Treadwell and the eCoco so either would feel more like a bicycle, that’s helpful if like me you need to carry your bike up a couple of steps.
 

Gabele

New Member
Region
Canada
Yes, these are all considerations, thank you! I do go up some hills, but I think the Treadwell would be sufficient--I'm able to get up them on my analogue bike, but would like some extra help. I believe the Treadwell is lighter (the non-EQ version is around 35lbs). And I have figured out an indoor temperature-regulated space to store the bike. :)
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Yes, these are all considerations, thank you! I do go up some hills, but I think the Treadwell would be sufficient--I'm able to get up them on my analogue bike, but would like some extra help. I believe the Treadwell is lighter (the non-EQ version is around 35lbs). And I have figured out an indoor temperature-regulated space to store the bike. :)
I thought the Treadwell ebike version was only sold as an EQ, Cannondale also sell a non-ebike Treadwell model so check the rear hub to be sure you’re looking at the electric version.