College recommendation

dr3131

New Member
Looking to purchase an E-bike for my son as he will be attending Univ. of Michigan
140lb male
Use- To and from class and to athletic complex (student athlete) (1-2 miles)
Budget 2000-4000

We have no experience with E-bikes but I like the idea of being able to park among the bikes rather than purchasing a scooter or waiting for the bus.

Thanks in advance
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Proactive Dad! love it :). An ebike provides many more options for range than an escooter does and there's a bit of exercise that goes along with the pedaling.

Can you tell us a little about what style or type of bike your son might prefer? There's a whole lot of choices that are good commuters with decent range at your price point along with a lot of mountain bike ebikes that with an added rack would work great. Just need a little more info, please for focus.
 

dr3131

New Member
Ann- To be honest I imagine the biggest thing for him would be the looks. I don't think that the style matters as much as the bike blending in on campus as he does not ride much at all currently.

I have looked at more commuter bikes but didn't realize I could simply add a rack on the back of a mountain book.

Thanks
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
UM is a great school.. Before you send your son off to school with a nice bike, you should call the campus police and ask them how rampant bike theft is. I know at my alma mater and the local school here U Miami, bike theft is a huge problem.

Until youor your son figures out what's what, suggest you send him to school with his old bike, or buy a used bike that looks crappy, and a nice lock!

He's only riding less than 5 miles a day and he seems to be in good shape. An electric bike may not even be neeeded.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
I agree with JoePah that bike theft is an issue on any college campus; however, as someone who bike commuted for 20+ years, the only time I had a bike stolen was when I didn't use a hardened U-Lock or one of those super strong Abus flat steel folding locks. Never depend on a cable lock for serious protection. For my long stops while working at a local junior college, I used both a U-Lock and cable lock. The cable added a little extra protection for the wheels and meant a thief had 2 locks to break. That extra second or two can be enough to deter most thieves.

Did a couple of searches for upright style commuter bikes & city style bikes on the main EBR site and there's a lot that would work. Plug in what features you want into the expanded search options to see a lot of choices with reviews. Remember, some come with a lot of the accessories that are handy for commuting, like a rear rack & lights but not all and those are not expensive to add on. If your son wants something that's a hybrid between road and trail use, re-run the search. Many hybrid style bikes with slightly wider tires would work and again, racks & lights can generally be added.

Just quick thought, Juiced, Easy Motion (EMotion), Raleigh, Specialized, Riese and Muller all have good quality bikes under $4K. Differences will be in motor size & power output, accessories, etc. Since the college is located in relatively flat terrain, your son may not need a big motor for adequate support. I imagine it's the books & computer & other stuff carried in saddlebags that will add a lot of weight, so he'll still want good power & range. Remember, he will be riding this bike other places than just around campus; Ann Arbor is a great college town.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
UM is a great school.. Before you send your son off to school with a nice bike, you should call the campus police and ask them how rampant bike theft is. I know at my alma mater and the local school here U Miami, bike theft is a huge problem.

Until youor your son figures out what's what, suggest you send him to school with his old bike, or buy a used bike that looks crappy, and a nice lock!

He's only riding less than 5 miles a day and he seems to be in good shape. An electric bike may not even be neeeded.
This is an excellent suggestion particularly since I live in the area and I've been trying to sell a very lightly used Tern Eclipse X20 (folding bike). I have it listed on Ann Arbor Craig's List. If you decide a human powered bike is the way to go then this is a great option for dorms, small apartments etc. It is a speedy and very agile road style folder. Added is a rear rack, fenders and a basic bike computer. Google the make and model and you'll find some good video reviews particularly from NYCE Wheels. Good luck in the bike search.
 

Mikey

New Member
I would not give him an ebike unless he can secure a bike locker for himself and a lot of colleges do offer bike lockers. Bike thieves love targeting college campuses and they love expensive bikes even more. An angle grinder will make short work of any lock.

Just get him a huffy from good will or from the campus bike store and tell him to work on his cardio! My dad got me a pos Schwinn when I was in elementary school and no one ever stole that thing even though I never locked it up. Looking back at it, best gift ever.