Do I get a Pedego or Optibike or??

Frank San Fran

New Member
  1. Here's a tread between myself and Court:
    1. Frank
      November 2, 2014 at 7:25 am · Reply
      Hi Court. I am a bit of a newbie but learning fast. Thanks for your help and the reviews. I like the idea of geared hubs and torque and 500 W w/ 48 amp. But can I be more experience specific? I’m about 180 lbs and moving to San Fran. I love the flats of the marina, the Embarcadero, Chrissy Fields, the Presidio etc but I live on the hills of Pacific Heights, some quite daunting. I also love to just cruise along and just look around. I like step thrus. I like to sit up in comfort and I love comfortable seats. Can you taylor make a reccomendation for me as to bikes to look at? The Pedego City Commuter looked interesting but the seat wasn’t comfy, but maybe I can add a gel overlay? I want ease, pedal assist and throttle, cruiser comfort as well as nibble and quick with good endurance. AND critical, I want ease on the steep hills of Pacific Heights. Thoughts? Help?
      • Court Rye
        November 2, 2014 at 2:40 pm ·
        Hi Frank! I used to live in San Francisco and love riding through all of those spots. Hope the city treats you well, ride safe out there. Regarding your “ideal bike” I suggest copying and pasting this question into the Compare Ebikes where people can share their opinions. I’d love to help but am currently traveling and trying to post new reviews with the extra time. The first thing that comes to mind is the Optibike Pioneer City which is a step-thru and uses a powerful mid-drive motor that will be excellent for climbing hills. There’s no twist throttle on this bike but the assist is very satisfying and more efficient overall. Hope this helps!


    Frank San Fran, Today at 11:14 AMEditReport
    #1Link Removed

    Reddy KilowattNew Member
    Greetings Frank:
    Welcome to this very friendly forum. San Francisco is nothing if not hilly, so I would suggest that hill-climbing might want to be your first consideration when choosing an eBike.
    I'm Optibike's newest fan here, having taken delivery of one of their Pioneer Allroads a couple of weeks ago. I don't live in San Francisco, but the hills here in the quiet corner of Connecticut are nothing to sneeze at. To get to work I've got three route choices: hilly, hillier, and hilliest.
    I had no choice but to get a mid-drive eBike, because the rear-hub-drive one I bought first couldn't cut the mustard. Mid-drive rigs take advantage of the same gears the rider does, which more effectively matches the motor's power to the task at hand. Hub-drive rigs are a one-trick-pony in this regard, which was what sunk the first eBike I bought. (It couldn't pull the skin off chocolate pudding let alone climb Brinton Hill (which I live at the bottom of.))
    I think Court's suggestion that you have a look at Optibike's new Pioneer City is a good one. You don't have to worry about dropping the chain when you shift, since the gears are all inside the rear hub. This bike also has the step-through design you seek, and Optibike is a pretty serious outfit.
    One drawback is that Optibike's dealer network is slim to nonexistent. That said, I would think if you had the bike shipped to a good LBS and paid them to put it together for you, you could find a friend without buying a bike from them. Buy your front light (the City has a rear one standard), your bags, and other accessories from them and you'll make it worth their while.
    Since this bike is a mid-drive rig, it's pretty much a normal bike when it comes to service and such. (It was a non-issue for me, because I've always done my own wrenching on my bikes, cars, computers, boats, etc.)
    Whatever you decide on, make sure it can climb any hill you need to be able to surmount before you make a costly mistake.
    Court is doing a huge service to all of us who are trying to find our way in this brave new world of eBikes. I would suggest that you read (and watch) his reviews, post your questions, seek opinions and solutions from your fellow forum members, and enjoy the hunt.



Active Member
Frank, just be advised, it's all about compromise. There's no perfect one bike. Each bike has it's strong points and weak points, and each rider will perceive these attributes differently depending of their desires, and needs.

Mid drives utilize the bikes rear cassette, and drive chain for propulsion. This allows you to use the lower gears to multiply the torque for good hill climbing ability, but also have good top speed. The drawback is noisier operation, and higher mechanical wear, and maintenance, on the drive system. If you're mechanically inclined, or have a good bike shop nearby that can work on your bike for you, you probably will like a mid drive if noise isn't an issue.

Direct drive rear hubs drive come in two verities, geared, and non geared.

The main advantage to a geared hub is, it can be smaller, and lighter than a non geared, but still offer good torque. The disadvantage is they have moving parts, so they're noisier, require more maintenance, and generally have less top speed.

Then there's non geared rear hubs. The advantage they have is no moving parts, so they're very low maintenance, and long life. Usually they run silent, which can be a plus if you like to ride multi use bike trails where snobs dislike eBikes. They can have just as much torque as a geared hub, but at a greater cost in weight. Usually non geared hubs have better top speed than geared hubs, when talking about equal power output.

That takes care of the motors. What about the electrics? More voltage equals more power, but require physically bigger battery's for the same ah rating. Factory lighting is nice. Are different size battery's available, and is the battery easy to get to. Can you charge on, and off the bike?

And lastly how easy is the bike to work on? Who's going to work on the bike? How easy is it going to be to find parts? Are there any local dealers? What about the warranty? What kind of terrain will the bike be ridden in? How fast do you want to go. How much are you willing to spend?

The answer to these questions make a big difference to which bike ultimately is best for you. These are the things you should research before making a decision, because the best bike for me, probably won't be the best bike for you.