Considering ebike need input (long)

Tonk

New Member
Greetings all. I have done a decent amount of research but am still unsure what bike to get. I love to ride but have physical issues which puts me between 2 bike styles. I live in Sedona, AZ with very little flat riding & moderate to challenging elevation changes. I will be riding 60/70% paved, 30/40% maintained fire roads/trail, 10-40 miles at a time. This terrain suggests a MB but the forward lean along with the straight bar creates unbearable hand numbness within minutes if not seconds. Really enjoy cruisers but the forward crank positioning would make hill climbing difficult & road bikes are a no go. I've not been impressed with standard hybrids so I haven't considered them in ebikes but I've been wrong before.

I currently have an old school Giant ATX 880 MB that I converted to a beach/comfort cruiser by changing out to a C9 seat & swept back high rise hanger bars. Love to ride this around Mission Bay/PB area which I visit couple times a year but can't ride much at home due to hilly to mountainous terrain here.

57 yrs old, 5'9", 30" pants inseam, 235lbs. Besides being overweight I have multiple back issues of which one is ongoing nerve damage that effects my extremities. I need to lose weight & work my muscles but hate doing exercise just for the sake of exercising but I LOVE biking. An ebike seems to be a perfect solution. Like many I want the best bike for the least amount of money. I don't need anything more than a comfortable, durable ebike that does what it's supposed to, which is help me get out & ENJOY on the road conditions I have here. Running without peddling is of no interest to me so a throttle while nice in certain situations isn't necessary. I'm willing to spend for quality & performance but I don't need to impress anyone. $1000. - $3000. seems to be the range for what I need. Bikes I like but am unsure about due to above mentioned design flaws for my situation;
Low End - Xtreme Trail Maker, Xtreme X version,
Mid - Prodecotech Phantom X, Motiv Spark (cruiser), BME Shadow (my favorite MB)
High End (for me) - BME Nighthawk, Electra Townie Go (my favorite cruiser accept for price)

Being rural, test rides of any ebike is slim to none. Phoenix which is 90 miles one way is an option but then it's flat terrain down there which doesn't give me a real world testing. If you made it to here, thank you for your time. I would appreciate any knowledgeable input. This is a lot of money to me so help is appreciated.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
These guys are HQ down in Tempe, have a couple of cruiser bikes with mid-drives, their conversion kit, but finished.

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
 

Joe Remi

Active Member
Greetings all. I have done a decent amount of research but am still unsure what bike to get. I love to ride but have physical issues which puts me between 2 bike styles. I live in Sedona, AZ with very little flat riding & moderate to challenging elevation changes. I will be riding 60/70% paved, 30/40% maintained fire roads/trail, 10-40 miles at a time. This terrain suggests a MB but the forward lean along with the straight bar creates unbearable hand numbness within minutes if not seconds. Really enjoy cruisers but the forward crank positioning would make hill climbing difficult & road bikes are a no go. I've not been impressed with standard hybrids so I haven't considered them in ebikes but I've been wrong before.

I currently have an old school Giant ATX 880 MB that I converted to a beach/comfort cruiser by changing out to a C9 seat & swept back high rise hanger bars. Love to ride this around Mission Bay/PB area which I visit couple times a year but can't ride much at home due to hilly to mountainous terrain here.

57 yrs old, 5'9", 30" pants inseam, 235lbs. Besides being overweight I have multiple back issues of which one is ongoing nerve damage that effects my extremities. I need to lose weight & work my muscles but hate doing exercise just for the sake of exercising but I LOVE biking. An ebike seems to be a perfect solution. Like many I want the best bike for the least amount of money. I don't need anything more than a comfortable, durable ebike that does what it's supposed to, which is help me get out & ENJOY on the road conditions I have here. Running without peddling is of no interest to me so a throttle while nice in certain situations isn't necessary. I'm willing to spend for quality & performance but I don't need to impress anyone. $1000. - $3000. seems to be the range for what I need. Bikes I like but am unsure about due to above mentioned design flaws for my situation;
Low End - Xtreme Trail Maker, Xtreme X version,
Mid - Prodecotech Phantom X, Motiv Spark (cruiser), BME Shadow (my favorite MB)
High End (for me) - BME Nighthawk, Electra Townie Go (my favorite cruiser accept for price)

Being rural, test rides of any ebike is slim to none. Phoenix which is 90 miles one way is an option but then it's flat terrain down there which doesn't give me a real world testing. If you made it to here, thank you for your time. I would appreciate any knowledgeable input. This is a lot of money to me so help is appreciated.
You need to focus on riding position more than category of bicycle, in my opinion. Pretty much any mtb or hybrid can be outfitted with cruiser bars, so you would have the sweepback without the crank-forward pedal position. I don't know ebike models very well - I have two kitted bikes which I did myself - so I can't advise on them, but you should be able to make a decision based on the riding position you need.

Btw, the pedaling position for climbing will be much less important with assist. If you buy enough power for the hills you climb, you'll be sitting and spinning without major stress on the legs and back. It's a wonderful thing.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
One of the larger general concerns for us generally speaking is reliability and serviceability. We see a lot of cheap Ebikes come into our shop here in Brooklyn and many seem to break parts early and often. Many of their parts are not easy to replace either.

I'm a big proponent of the Bosch motor system as I have yet to see one that we've sold fail. This is a really big deal to me. On your list I would lean towards the Electra. I would also check with your local shops to see what they would be willing to provide maintenance on. It's a lot easier to fix a flat on a center drive bike.

Just me 2 cents. I hope it's helpful
 

RoyL

Active Member
Hi and welcome..... i wouldn`t get too hung up on the straight bars, i had these on my bike conversion and immediately replaced them with a riser and high swept back bars, made a big difference to back and arm comfort
(<-- see avatar)
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I agree with what Joe and Roy said. The top black bar is the bar that came standard on two of my bikes, and it is a disaster. From that bar I went to the lower black bar. It helped, higher and a little closer, but it was too flat. My last bar is the one in silver. It rises 3 inches but your hands are in more of a 'handshake' position. The bike in my member picture is a fake Townie. The rise here is maybe too much, and it starts to hurt my back a little. You can definitely experiment. Good grips can help, and padding on gloves. You might want to spend some time doing research on things like seat suspensions and front suspension forks.

bars.JPG bar2.JPG
 

Joe Remi

Active Member
I agree with what Joe and Roy said. The top black bar is the bar that came standard on two of my bikes, and it is a disaster. From that bar I went to the lower black bar. It helped, higher and a little closer, but it was too flat. My last bar is the one in silver. It rises 3 inches but your hands are in more of a 'handshake' position. The bike in my member picture is a fake Townie. The rise here is maybe too much, and it starts to hurt my back a little. You can definitely experiment. Good grips can help, and padding on gloves. You might want to spend some time doing research on things like seat suspensions and front suspension forks.

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The first thing to do if you've never ridden an ebike before is to see how different positions feel with assist. I'm a recent convert - I have two assist and two non-assist bikes - and found I prefer flatbars a couple inches above saddle level with electric, which is a more relaxed position than I'm used to. Assist makes a drastic difference in how your body interacts with the bicycle.
 

Tonk

New Member
Spot on advice, TY everyone. Sometimes we can't see the trees for the forest & y'all have sharpened my focus considerably.

Joe's comment on riding position was a face slapper (in a good way). I can sometimes, especially when money is involved, lean towards a settle for attitude. I have too often wasted money trying to save it. A comfort cruiser it is, by far the most comfortable bike for me & will handle light off roading. I have spent a considerable amount of time & money coming up with the perfect set up on my ATX 880 but it's still on a MB platform and not as comfortable as a cruiser other than the gears. One reason why I've decided against converting it to an ebike.

Couldn't agree more with what Chris stated. I have a saying "free & almost worth it", in other words, penny pinching many times leads to dollar losses.

Great site George. They have a few models of interest with just the upgrades available I would need at what appears to me to be fair pricing.

Again TY everyone. Now I just need to figure out components & power options that suit my needs. I'm sure I'll be heard from again in another post before I pull the trigger.