Decision Making Time

Joe Bloggins

New Member
Hi ,

I have recently been viewing the Electric Bike Review Site. To give you a quick overview of who I am. I live in British Columbia on Vancouver Island. Presently I have a beautiful Opus Stelle bike which I purchased new but ride very little. I am 75 years old and, touch wood, presently in good health. A couple of years ago I had a conversion done on it to upright bars and additional gears and it is still in pristine condition. I have spent at least 100 hours researching new E-Bikes on a variety of sites. I have got to a point after reading about the 3 or 4 different drive configurations, battery sizes and makes, torque, class 1,2,3, all the different components available etc. etc., that I am overloaded with information. Each time I settle on a bike, I read further about issues etc. That goes for the Giant, Specialized, Trek, Dost, Gazelle, Surface 604 etc., etc. I’m also not sure about whether I want a step through or regular configuration as well. Up to this morning, I had never driven an E-Bike but went to a dealer and tried a Specialized Vado 3.0 step through. I just went for a short ride but will return for an extended ride trying to head to the areas where I normally ride. Also I’m trying to decide if the 3.0, 4.0 or the 5.0 is the best choice. I realize that battery size and torque available are very important decisions. Cost also, is front and centre! One of the questions I have is who makes the majority of frames and who makes their own equipment/components. My understanding is that the Brose works with Specialized and has designed the drive setup for their bikes. Is there other companies that use the Brose drive? Would you recommend a company that produces most the equipment themselves thus tuning their components to the actual bike that they manufacture. The other thing that I am discussing with the sellers is the Tektro braking system as opposed to the Shimano system. What is your preference?? Overall I want the bike to encourage me to use it. Performance, looks, functionality, price and value are the 5 main features that I’m considering. All the while, trying to learn everything I can prior to purchase so that I can make the most prudent decision. Thank you in advance to all who respond!

Cheers,
 

Joe Bloggins

New Member
Thanks!
Hi ,

I have recently been viewing the Electric Bike Review Site. To give you a quick overview of who I am. I live in British Columbia on Vancouver Island. Presently I have a beautiful Opus Stelle bike which I purchased new but ride very little. I am 75 years old and, touch wood, presently in good health. A couple of years ago I had a conversion done on it to upright bars and additional gears and it is still in pristine condition. I have spent at least 100 hours researching new E-Bikes on a variety of sites. I have got to a point after reading about the 3 or 4 different drive configurations, battery sizes and makes, torque, class 1,2,3, all the different components available etc. etc., that I am overloaded with information. Each time I settle on a bike, I read further about issues etc. That goes for the Giant, Specialized, Trek, Dost, Gazelle, Surface 604 etc., etc. I’m also not sure about whether I want a step through or regular configuration as well. Up to this morning, I had never driven an E-Bike but went to a dealer and tried a Specialized Vado 3.0 step through. I just went for a short ride but will return for an extended ride trying to head to the areas where I normally ride. Also I’m trying to decide if the 3.0, 4.0 or the 5.0 is the best choice. I realize that battery size and torque available are very important decisions. Cost also, is front and centre! One of the questions I have is who makes the majority of frames and who makes their own equipment/components. My understanding is that the Brose works with Specialized and has designed the drive setup for their bikes. Is there other companies that use the Brose drive? Would you recommend a company that produces most the equipment themselves thus tuning their components to the actual bike that they manufacture. The other thing that I am discussing with the sellers is the Tektro braking system as opposed to the Shimano system. What is your preference?? Overall I want the bike to encourage me to use it. Performance, looks, functionality, price and value are the 5 main features that I’m considering. All the while, trying to learn everything I can prior to purchase so that I can make the most prudent decision. Thank you in advance to all who respond!

Cheers,
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Do you ever want to pedal for exercise? I find 30 miles unpowered bike exercise a week pushes my T-cell count over the minimum. They are very handy cells to have around in an epidemic, see bbcnews.com yesterday. Say a sudden pain occurs or the wind shifts to in your face, it is nice to have a drive that doesn't drag when you exercise, but is there when you need it. Brose allows that. Other mid drives that do are shimano steps and yamaha (giant).
Who or where the parts are made doesn't matter a lot, it is almost all from one country. But the selection of parts and the rigor of the QA department matter. The brands you mention don't get a lot of repeating issues due to *****y parts used. Bike shops don't carry bikes made of bad parts generally, they lose money on the warrenty work. Internet sold bikes, there are a lot of imitation wheels control cables & other junk out there. See frequent problems posts under the brand forums of any brand you decide on.
Shimano vs tektro brakes runs to cost. I have tektros, they are cheaper, they are fine. I like mechanical disks because I can work on them with a 5 mm allen wrench and a slip joint pliers. Hydraulic brakes for serious mountain bikers have maintenance issues that would require a number of special tools, IMHO. Also the brake fluid is terribly precious (expensive) and can't be easily substituted, as cars have gotten down to 2 types.
At my age (70) I can't imagine dancing around while I try to mount a step over bike. I started having trouble with lifting my foot age 63 and it is getting so bad I'm having trouble getting over the drop bar on my bike. Yes, I do stretch (toe touches, quad). No, it doesn't help a lot.
Don't neglect frame size match. Your leg should be almost straight when you sit with the pedal down, but you should still be able to touch the ground with tip toes when stopped, to avoid falls. Falls at our age can lead to major complications, as my friend at my volunteer job found out. He was just walking & tripped.
Battery size is highly correlated to cost. The duration of you maximum ride into a heavy headwind may allow you to save on this parameter. I find 17.5 ah is not quite enough for 30 hilly miles on a windy day, and that is bigger than most store sold bikes come with. That is 3.8 hours ride, maybe more than you want to endure. My hips begin to pain me at 3 hours, still looking for the comfortable seat. (cloud 9's do not fit rail mounts, only posts)
Class 1,2,3 dictate where you cannot go (most parks prohibit 3 and sometimes 2) and how fast you can go (18 on class 1?). IMHO you need a suspension to go over 18 mph very often, and that adds $1000-1500 to cost. also air suspensions get seal leaks after ~5 years or 10000 miles, and replacement parts may not be available, causing the bike to be scrap. I do like having a throttle, as I use my bike as a wheelchair replacement if I twist my knee out at my summer camp & can't walk right for a week. some purists are passionate about avoiding throttles, I suppose the purists all run a car and have a spouse that is happy to come pick them up if there is a problem. I've had to push my bike 8 miles when I blew a tire before.
Happy shopping & riding.
 
Last edited:

Joe Bloggins

New Member
Do you ever want to pedal for exercise? I find 30 miles unpowered bike exercise a week pushes my T-cell count over the minimum. They are very handy cells to have around in an epidemic, see bbcnews.com yesterday. Say a sudden pain occurs or the wind shifts to in your face, it is nice to have a drive that doesn't drag when you exercise, but is there when you need it. Brose allows that. Other mid drives that do are shimano steps and yamaha (giant).
Who or where the parts are made doesn't matter a lot, it is almost all from one country. But the selection of parts and the rigor of the QA department matter. The brands you mention don't get a lot of repeating issues due to *****y parts used. Bike shops don't carry bikes made of bad parts generally, they lose money on the warrenty work. Internet sold bikes, there are a lot of imitation wheels control cables & other junk out there. See frequent problems posts under the brand forums of any brand you decide on.
Shimano vs tektro brakes runs to cost. I have tektros, they are cheaper, they are fine. I like mechanical disks because I can work on them with a 5 mm allen wrench and a slip joint pliers. Hydraulic brakes for serious mountain bikers have maintenance issues that would require a number of special tools, IMHO. Also the brake fluid is terribly precious (expensive) and can't be easily substituted, as cars have gotten down to 2 types.
At my age (70) I can't imagine dancing around while I try to mount a step over bike. I started having trouble with lifting my foot age 63 and it is getting so bad I'm having trouble getting over the drop bar on my bike. Yes, I do stretch (toe touches, quad). No, it doesn't help a lot.
Don't neglect frame size match. Your leg should be almost straight when you sit with the pedal down, but you should still be able to touch the ground with tip toes when stopped, to avoid falls. Falls at our age can lead to major complications, as my friend at my volunteer job found out. He was just walking & tripped.
Battery size is highly correlated to cost. The duration of you maximum ride into a heavy headwind may allow you to save on this parameter. I find 17.5 ah is not quite enough for 30 hilly miles on a windy day, and that is bigger than most store sold bikes come with. That is 3.8 hours ride, maybe more than you want to endure. My hips begin to pain me at 3 hours, still looking for the comfortable seat. (cloud 9's do not fit rail mounts, only posts)
Class 1,2,3 dictate where you cannot go (most parks prohibit 3 and sometimes 2) and how fast you can go (18 on class 1?). IMHO you need a suspension to go over 18 mph very often, and that adds $1000-1500 to cost. also air suspensions get seal leaks after ~5 years or 10000 miles, and replacement parts may not be available, causing the bike to be scrap. I do like having a throttle, as I use my bike as a wheelchair replacement if I twist my knee out at my summer camp & can't walk right for a week. some purists are passionate about avoiding throttles, I suppose the purists all run a car and have a spouse that is happy to come pick them up if there is a problem. I've had to push my bike 8 miles when I blew a tire before.
Happy shopping & riding.

Thanks a lot for your information!!! Cheers
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Frankly, I didn’t do a ton of research on makes other than Trek. The idea of picking through all these no-name brands with little evolution and no support just is of no interest to me at this stage in life. Trek has a strong market share in the Midwest and I’ve been a happy owner of a number of Trek analog bikes. I spent several years watching and test riding Trek ebikes, waiting for the maturation of the lineup. This was the year for me. My Allant has been a great experience and I have 5 different Trek shops I can go to if I need to. One in my own town and 4 others within 1-3 hours of me.
Best of luck in your search, Joe. Just don’t wait too long as time is a-wastin’!😎👍
 

Joe Bloggins

New Member
Thanks for the prompt reply. A couple of further questions. What model Allant is it? i.e. 7,8,9???? Also is it using Bosch's Performance LIne or the CX version?? I have been reading that the Performance Line is quieter than the newest CX version. Thoughts??? Also have looking at the Gazelle T10+. Do you know anything about the 118 year old Dutch bike company???? Thanks
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Allant +7... it’s a Performance Line CX. I don’t know about quietness between them but the CX makes some noise. Don’t know anything about the Gazelle.
 

Joe Bloggins

New Member
Allant +7... it’s a Performance Line CX. I don’t know about quietness between them but the CX makes some noise. Don’t know anything about the Gazelle.

Thanks! The Gazelle is a French bike. Have a look at this site. It uses the same drive train as what you have.

 

Joe Bloggins

New Member
Allant +7... it’s a Performance Line CX. I don’t know about quietness between them but the CX makes some noise. Don’t know anything about the Gazelle.


Here's something you'll like. Your bike won the title for E-bike of the Year 2020 in Holland. Interesting as the Gazelle is a Dutch bike yet the Trek was most successful.

The title E-bike of the Year 2020 went to the Trek Allant + 7

https://www.fietsawards.nl/
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Here's something you'll like. Your bike won the title for E-bike of the Year 2020 in Holland. Interesting as the Gazelle is a Dutch bike yet the Trek was most successful.

The title E-bike of the Year 2020 went to the Trek Allant + 7

https://www.fietsawards.nl/
I knew that before I bought. I sure like mine!
92A038AB-147F-4254-B553-7DF31898D3D5.jpeg
15503291-536C-447E-A55D-334956F58798.jpeg
 
Last edited:

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Also is it using Bosch's Performance LIne or the CX version?? I have been reading that the Performance Line is quieter than the newest CX version.
with a bosch mid drive, you'll get your exercise at the gym, or not at all.
Owners won't be pedaling it unpowered.
I ride a geared hub drive, that doesn't drag unpowered. Most of the time I don't use power, but when the wind picks up to 20 mph in my face (about 25% of the time these days), the power is there. No more 6 hour ordeals getting 30 miles to home.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Hi ,

I have recently been viewing the Electric Bike Review Site. To give you a quick overview of who I am. I live in British Columbia on Vancouver Island. Presently I have a beautiful Opus Stelle bike which I purchased new but ride very little. I am 75 years old and, touch wood, presently in good health. A couple of years ago I had a conversion done on it to upright bars and additional gears and it is still in pristine condition. I have spent at least 100 hours researching new E-Bikes on a variety of sites. I have got to a point after reading about the 3 or 4 different drive configurations, battery sizes and makes, torque, class 1,2,3, all the different components available etc. etc., that I am overloaded with information. Each time I settle on a bike, I read further about issues etc. That goes for the Giant, Specialized, Trek, Dost, Gazelle, Surface 604 etc., etc. I’m also not sure about whether I want a step through or regular configuration as well. Up to this morning, I had never driven an E-Bike but went to a dealer and tried a Specialized Vado 3.0 step through. I just went for a short ride but will return for an extended ride trying to head to the areas where I normally ride. Also I’m trying to decide if the 3.0, 4.0 or the 5.0 is the best choice. I realize that battery size and torque available are very important decisions. Cost also, is front and centre! One of the questions I have is who makes the majority of frames and who makes their own equipment/components. My understanding is that the Brose works with Specialized and has designed the drive setup for their bikes. Is there other companies that use the Brose drive? Would you recommend a company that produces most the equipment themselves thus tuning their components to the actual bike that they manufacture. The other thing that I am discussing with the sellers is the Tektro braking system as opposed to the Shimano system. What is your preference?? Overall I want the bike to encourage me to use it. Performance, looks, functionality, price and value are the 5 main features that I’m considering. All the while, trying to learn everything I can prior to purchase so that I can make the most prudent decision. Thank you in advance to all who respond!

Cheers,
I do agree that you're in the TMI (too much information) phase. The number of choices is over whelming. You need to simplify by defining the riding you'll be doing and start test riding bikes that dealers recommend for your intended use. Take notes, make a short list and then ride them again. Ask specific questions on these threads.

To address some of your current questions;

In regards to what other ebike manufacturers use Brose mid-drive motors , Brose claims 50 companies use their drives, 30 of them are listed on their web site.

I don't know of any ebike company that makes their own drive or brake components. The key then is to understand the quality levels of the different component groups that are offered. As a general rule, the more expensive the bike, the better the components. Shimano is by far the most popular supplier of drive trains. Tektro vs Shimano brakes? That decision will most likely be made by the ebike manufacturer and price range you select. I wouldn't pick an ebike based on its brakes.

Some of the manufacturers do have branded components like tires, grips, saddles, etc. I don't know that this is important. A number of posts report that new ebike owners often change out these OEM components for components more suited to their riding style.

Giant may be unique among ebike manufacturers in that I am told they manufacture their bike frames in their own factories. Again I'm told that the others design their frames and have the manufacturing done for them. The local Giant dealer claims that Trek uses Giant to fabricate a number of their aluminum frames. Which is the better approach? I didn't end up buying a Giant ebike for reasons that were related to wanting a new ebike that matched by riding style as close as possible. Giant was a contender but after the test rides they didn't come out on top.

You didn't touch on the issue of support. I do a lot of my own bike maintenance and built our first ebikes by converting MTBs we had on hand. The new ebikes I preferred have much more sophisticated software that they don't share. I am still doing my own mechanical maintenance, but need help with the firmware. Early on we decided to go with one of the local shops that could provide this support. I'm glad we did. Regular firmware updates correct bugs and add features that I couldn't do myself. Just a thought...😎
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
AFAIK, Specialized e-bikes are manufactured by Merida in Taiwan... (Merida is the biggest Specialized shareholder). My Vado has a sticker: "Made in Taiwan".
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
Joe if you want to go up "Bear Mountain" (I assume you know where that is) you will need a mid drive or a hub with at least 25 amp controller and 48V battery.
I have a Sondors and as it wasn't strong enough to go up (8 km/h) my next Ebike will have a motor that can do it. I want a motor rated at 120nm minimum to handle going up at the full 32 km/hr we are allowed to go.
Actually even by throttle alone if I can.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
with a bosch mid drive, you'll get your exercise at the gym, or not at all.
Owners won't be pedaling it unpowered.

I ride a geared hub drive, that doesn't drag unpowered. Most of the time I don't use power, but when the wind picks up to 20 mph in my face (about 25% of the time these days), the power is there. No more 6 hour ordeals getting 30 miles to home.
Complete hogwash.
At my age (over 65 with health issues) my mid-drive has been a godsend for extending my ride workouts over my hilliest routes (classic interval training) without screwing up my knees. The Allant+7 weighs 47.5 lbs yet handles like a much lighter bike. If I’m in hilly terrain I power up and turn it off to pedal down. On level I work as much as I can unpowered or in Eco mode. I pedal about 1/3 of the time unpowered depending on terrain and/or my mood. It’s all about flexibility. Even when it’s on I’m pushing my effort as much as I can.
The beauty of pedal assist ebiking to me is you can maintain a high level of cardio for much longer periods without exhausting yourself so much in the short term so you can only handle a shorter ride. My heart rate is at a higher, more consistent level for much longer with my Allant. YMMV.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Joe,
Many years ago I lived in Washington state and spent a lot of time in Vancouver and Victoria. I biked the San Juan’s several times. Lots of hilly terrain as I recall. The main suggestion I’d make is to get a bike with good support and then make sure you test drive to the conditions you like to ride in.
Best of luck and let us know what you decide!😎👍
 

kstdennis

New Member
I do agree that you're in the TMI (too much information) phase. The number of choices is over whelming. You need to simplify by defining the riding you'll be doing and start test riding bikes that dealers recommend for your intended use. Take notes, make a short list and then ride them again. Ask specific questions on these threads.

To address some of your current questions;

In regards to what other ebike manufacturers use Brose mid-drive motors , Brose claims 50 companies use their drives, 30 of them are listed on their web site.

I don't know of any ebike company that makes their own drive or brake components. The key then is to understand the quality levels of the different component groups that are offered. As a general rule, the more expensive the bike, the better the components. Shimano is by far the most popular supplier of drive trains. Tektro vs Shimano brakes? That decision will most likely be made by the ebike manufacturer and price range you select. I wouldn't pick an ebike based on its brakes.

Some of the manufacturers do have branded components like tires, grips, saddles, etc. I don't know that this is important. A number of posts report that new ebike owners often change out these OEM components for components more suited to their riding style.

Giant may be unique among ebike manufacturers in that I am told they manufacture their bike frames in their own factories. Again I'm told that the others design their frames and have the manufacturing done for them. The local Giant dealer claims that Trek uses Giant to fabricate a number of their aluminum frames. Which is the better approach? I didn't end up buying a Giant ebike for reasons that were related to wanting a new ebike that matched by riding style as close as possible. Giant was a contender but after the test rides they didn't come out on top.

You didn't touch on the issue of support. I do a lot of my own bike maintenance and built our first ebikes by converting MTBs we had on hand. The new ebikes I preferred have much more sophisticated software that they don't share. I am still doing my own mechanical maintenance, but need help with the firmware. Early on we decided to go with one of the local shops that could provide this support. I'm glad we did. Regular firmware updates correct bugs and add features that I couldn't do myself. Just a thought...😎
I ended up with a Giant Fastroad (non-ebike) because of the the information that they manufactor many frames for other Bike companies. My thinking was why not go to the source as long as there are good components (shimano). The Giant ebikes were my first consideration for the same reason and supplied / supported by my LBS. just food for thought.