E-Bike Research

Pedalnomore

New Member
Greetings everyone. First of all, I am a total newbie when it comes to ebikes, so any/all advice is appreciated. I am a reasonably large (6'3", 235lbs), out of shape 65 year old who will be retiring shortly, and am thinking about getting an ebike probably next spring. With that, I've started my research efforts.

I live in "flyover" country and there are no ebike stores within a few hundred miles of me, so I guess reliability of brand is important to me. We do have a lot of bike paths in the area, so most of my riding will be on those things (and there are some moderate hills, so it's not just flat cruising).

Also, as I've aged, I find myself preferring a more upright riding position. As per budget, I guess I could go up to 4K-ish if it meant gaining more quality and reliability.

Right now, I'm kind of thinking that a Pedego City Commuter, Interceptor II or even that Ford thingee are at the top of the list. The Stromer sounds interesting too, but as I recall, it doesn't have a throttle, and I think I'd enjoy both pedalec and a throttle.

Also, I think I'm leaning towards a hub motor rather than a mid-drive as I don't want to be worrying about shifting under power, grinding gears (I hate that), etc. Also, I'm thinking that with my size and some hills, a geared hub motor would provide a bit more oomph than a gearless hub drive?

I'll probably head out to Denver or Dallas (nearest ebike shops) someday to test drive some ebikes but in the meantime, it'd be good to kind of winnow down the field a bit.

As per the Pedego's do you all think that the City Commuter would be too small; is the Interceptor a better sized bike? Is it as easy to pedal (given the very upright position) as the Commuter? Does the Ford offering provide much more than the Interceptor? I have a zillion questions, but in the interests of not using too many pixels, I'll stop here fo now.

SO, do any of you have any input, cautions, recommendations, preferences, etc?

Thanks so much!!!
 

BenS

New Member
Court Rye is The Man In The Know around here. He'll probably check in soon.
As for the Stromer, it's cool and performs great (from what I've read), but seems to be more for someone who is interested in pedaling more (as you mentioned, no throttle). It also looks to be more traditionally set up as slightly more aggressive in its stance.
The Pedego bikes are really popular, and I believe the company has a good reputation for customer support. As someone mentioned in another thread, it is important to deal not only with a reputable company, but also with a dealership or shop that is experienced with, and genuinely interested in electric bikes. The company can only do so much, and if your mechanics don't know what they're doing, it can be a hassle. Or nightmare.
I'm on the hunt for my first ebike, too. I have a small, 25 mile newspaper route. It's sheer madness, but I love the quiet and monotony, lol. I'm hoping I can bite the bullet and get an ebike that can brave inclement weather, and haul enough cargo to get the job done. I'm looking forward to saving my car, and trimming my waist!
Looking forward to whatever you buy!
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
I'm sure that you saw this thread: http://electricbikereview.com/commu...-to-feather-in-the-throttle-up-to-20-mph.775/ as a throttle seems as important to you as it is (now) to me. I was hoping that we could determine exactly who produces either geared mid-drives or gearless shaft drives with throttle boost included (manufacturers or retailers) yet evidently Chris' list (off the top of his head) was complete and no others indeed exist.
Even more disconcerting is the mountain biking community's recent assertion (demand) that allowing ANY (OEM) ebike throttle on public lands is akin to any proponent of same being the devil him or her self.
I'd hate to see future throttle technology/mass production (not to mention public access rights) be effectively stifled by our apparent unwillingness to standup to the leadership of the MTBing community at the grassroots level...yet this may well be the case very soon if few are even willing to simply discuss the matter for whatever reason (test riding a mid-drive w/throttle would be a start).
 

Pedalnomore

New Member
Court Rye is The Man In The Know around here. He'll probably check in soon.
As for the Stromer, it's cool and performs great (from what I've read), but seems to be more for someone who is interested in pedaling more (as you mentioned, no throttle). It also looks to be more traditionally set up as slightly more aggressive in its stance.
The Pedego bikes are really popular, and I believe the company has a good reputation for customer support. As someone mentioned in another thread, it is important to deal not only with a reputable company, but also with a dealership or shop that is experienced with, and genuinely interested in electric bikes. The company can only do so much, and if your mechanics don't know what they're doing, it can be a hassle. Or nightmare.
I'm on the hunt for my first ebike, too. I have a small, 25 mile newspaper route. It's sheer madness, but I love the quiet and monotony, lol. I'm hoping I can bite the bullet and get an ebike that can brave inclement weather, and haul enough cargo to get the job done. I'm looking forward to saving my car, and trimming my waist!
Looking forward to whatever you buy!

Thanks for the reply, BenS. Good luck with your search too!
 

Pedalnomore

New Member
I'm sure that you saw this thread: http://electricbikereview.com/commu...-to-feather-in-the-throttle-up-to-20-mph.775/ as a throttle seems as important to you as it is (now) to me. I was hoping that we could determine exactly who produces either geared mid-drives or gearless shaft drives with throttle boost included (manufacturers or retailers) yet evidently Chris' list (off the top of his head) was complete and no others indeed exist.
Even more disconcerting is the mountain biking community's recent assertion (demand) that allowing ANY (OEM) ebike throttle on public lands is akin to any proponent of same being the devil him or her self.
I'd hate to see future throttle technology/mass production (not to mention public access rights) be effectively stifled by our apparent unwillingness to standup to the leadership of the MTBing community at the grassroots level...yet this may well be the case very soon if few are even willing to simply discuss the matter for whatever reason (test riding a mid-drive w/throttle would be a start).

Dash, thanks for the link to that thread. Sounds like throttle option is under siege. Not sure I understand why as if you had both, you certainly wouldn't have to use the throttle if you didn't want to. Hmmmm, perhaps as an e-bike noob, I'm missing something. Nonetheless, it does look like the choices for this type of combo set-up are limited.

Again, thanks for the input.
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
Dash, thanks for the link to that thread. Sounds like throttle option is under siege. Not sure I understand why as if you had both, you certainly wouldn't have to use the throttle if you didn't want to. Hmmmm, perhaps as an e-bike noob, I'm missing something. Nonetheless, it does look like the choices for this type of combo set-up are limited.
Again, thanks for the input.

I'm probably the only one claiming that the throttle is under siege...yet I've been through this "we're all brothers and only want the best for both of us.." crap with single track motorcyclists over ten years ago as an atv/side-by-side enthusiast. When you sit back and allow others to (initially) define even the terms and definitions involving your differences or more importably the solutions you both need to brainstorm...you're sunk. My contention is that if manufacturers won't even confront these elitists initially (in public)...they sure as heck will have little incentive to produce products which confront them in the marketplace, at the trailhead (ie. 'the real world' where we live) or even competitive events where solid reputations have traditionally been forged.
Maybe some of those bikes that Chris mentioned (above) are something other than TranzX drives...yet nobody has said otherwise to date or offered any other suggestions for fellow throttle junkies.
 
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Deleted member 803

Guest
Greetings everyone. First of all, I am a total newbie when it comes to ebikes, so any/all advice is appreciated. I am a reasonably large (6'3", 235lbs), out of shape 65 year old who will be retiring shortly, and am thinking about getting an ebike probably next spring. With that, I've started my research efforts.

I live in "flyover" country and there are no ebike stores within a few hundred miles of me, so I guess reliability of brand is important to me. We do have a lot of bike paths in the area, so most of my riding will be on those things (and there are some moderate hills, so it's not just flat cruising).

Also, as I've aged, I find myself preferring a more upright riding position. As per budget, I guess I could go up to 4K-ish if it meant gaining more quality and reliability.

Right now, I'm kind of thinking that a Pedego City Commuter, Interceptor II or even that Ford thingee are at the top of the list. The Stromer sounds interesting too, but as I recall, it doesn't have a throttle, and I think I'd enjoy both pedalec and a throttle.

Also, I think I'm leaning towards a hub motor rather than a mid-drive as I don't want to be worrying about shifting under power, grinding gears (I hate that), etc. Also, I'm thinking that with my size and some hills, a geared hub motor would provide a bit more oomph than a gearless hub drive?

I'll probably head out to Denver or Dallas (nearest ebike shops) someday to test drive some ebikes but in the meantime, it'd be good to kind of winnow down the field a bit.

As per the Pedego's do you all think that the City Commuter would be too small; is the Interceptor a better sized bike? Is it as easy to pedal (given the very upright position) as the Commuter? Does the Ford offering provide much more than the Interceptor? I have a zillion questions, but in the interests of not using too many pixels, I'll stop here fo now.

SO, do any of you have any input, cautions, recommendations, preferences, etc?

Thanks so much!!!
Some practical advice:

1. Make the trip to an e-bike dealer who carries a broad selection and then ride as many as you can and ask lots of questions.
2. Buy a brand that offers a strong nationwide warranty.
3. Visit your favorite local bike dealer and get his commitment to service the bike (outside of the motor/battery) so that you have a local source for things like brake, gear, tire, wheel maintenance,
4. Some e-bike dealers who ship across country will honor warranty work even if its done at a non-authorized dealer. Talk to them about this.
5. Buy a bike geometry that is suited to your size and comfort. A competent dealer will do this for you and it will help to make your decision easier.
6. Hub or mid drive depends upon how many hills you have. Mid-drives are more efficient and have more torque for hills (in general). Most modern mid-drives have gear-assist built in which cuts off power momentarily while you shift to avoid the grinding you mention. The Bosch Gen 2 and Kahlkoff Impulse 2 systems have this benefit. However, I have a geared rear hub and it is more than sufficient for my type of riding.
7. Battery range also affects enjoyment. Most e-bikes today can do 20 miles with no problem no matter how they are ridden. If you want longer distances, you should opt for bikes with larger battery capacities.

Enjoy the purchase process and eventually the new bike. Took me almost 90 days of education to buy a bike. I absolutely love the e-bike experience.
 

Todd

New Member
I'd like to put the plug in for the IZIP line. I intentionally decided on a '13 VIBE as my first e-bike - as I didn't want to spoil myself with something more powerful (and expensive) right away. The VIBE has been a great choice for my first e-bike and it's entirely possible it will meet my needs indefinitely. I'm a bike pather, 180', 52, and use the bike for local errands (instead of the car) and pleasure cruising. The Twin Cities has plenty of paved bike trails! Price was also a factor as I got in for under 1K. Court's reviews were helpful in making a decision to go with the VIBE. Check out Currie's website which is packed with more info. I have a comfortable range of about 15 miles with moderate pedaling. I seldom biked more than 6 miles before I had my e-bike so I'm traveling further and having more fun. And using the bike for errands on a daily basis (local hills) when I wouldn't have otherwise.
 

Pedalnomore

New Member
I'd like to put the plug in for the IZIP line. I intentionally decided on a '13 VIBE as my first e-bike - as I didn't want to spoil myself with something more powerful (and expensive) right away. The VIBE has been a great choice for my first e-bike and it's entirely possible it will meet my needs indefinitely. I'm a bike pather, 180', 52, and use the bike for local errands (instead of the car) and pleasure cruising. The Twin Cities has plenty of paved bike trails! Price was also a factor as I got in for under 1K. Court's reviews were helpful in making a decision to go with the VIBE. Check out Currie's website which is packed with more info. I have a comfortable range of about 15 miles with moderate pedaling. I seldom biked more than 6 miles before I had my e-bike so I'm traveling further and having more fun. And using the bike for errands on a daily basis (local hills) when I wouldn't have otherwise.

Thanks for the input. I was initially considering an iZip bike, but the recent concern about their motors have me a bit spooked. From what I've read, Pedago's geared hub motors seem to have fewer issues? Nonetheless, I certainly haven't ruled out any brand yet. Just trying to get info. Thanks for your reply.
 
Hi Pedal no More,

If you are thinking about an IZIP I do not think I would do the Vibe…it is a bit under powered for what you describe. From the Izip line I would look at the Path+ or maybe the dash (Dash is SUPER FUN FAST). Both have 48v motors (more torque) and are commuter style however. Currie (IZIP, Eflow, Haibike) is a great company that makes a full range of high and low end bikes…but they stand behind their products if you have an issue.

You mentioned the Stromer which is a beautiful ebike in my opinion but I agree that it was crazy that they removed the throttle for 2104…hoping they bring it back for 2015 models. One of my favorite brands is Easy Motion by BH. BH is a 105 year old spanish company and they make some of the best ebikes. They are known in the industry to have some of the most reliable ebikes on the market, and are really a fair price for the build. They have a 2 year warranty (including battery) and they are EXCELLANT about service.

Anyway, BH/Easy Motion electric bikes has Torque pedal assist (just as the higher priced Stromer) AND they have throttles. I would recommend the Neo City for you. It is an black upright step through frame with the battery built into the frame. It also comes in two frames sizes…I would go for the Large. Here are the specs on our website with a link to Courts video review of the bike: It retails for $2799 but we have a coupon code to save $300 on that priced bike.

If you love the look of the Stromer but want the throttle you might consider the Easy Motion carbon…you can find it on the same page in that link. It is a beautiful bike and looks a lot like the ST1 but with a carbon frame and some other extras. It's retail price is significantly higher so I would only go for that one if you love the look as you will still get a GREAT bike with the Neo City. Hope that helps and please reach out at any time. I am happy to help. :)
 
Oh…and dash Riprock….I am totally on board with throttles. When people buy a bike with pedal assist & throttle they often find that they pedal more often…but it is still SUPER nice to have that throttle to coast when you want or to get out of a jam or through an intersection (or up a hill) in a hurry.
 
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Deleted member 803

Guest
And I have a brand new Neo Carbon with upgrades for sale at significant savings. PM me you like.
 

Pedalnomore

New Member
Oh…and dash Riprock….I am totally on board with throttles. When people buy a bike with pedal assist & throttle they often find that they pedal more often…but it is still SUPER nice to have that throttle to coast when you want or to get out of a jam or through an intersection (or up a hill) in a hurry.

Thanks for the reply, Chicagoland. I had not given the BH/Easy Motion Neo line much thought. I'll have to expand my research to include that brand. One concern though is whether or not the motor/battery combo on that line would be strong enough to move my rather "considerable" body. Sadly, I'm not a lightweight (yet), so that give me pause.

Again, thanks for the input!
 
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Deleted member 803

Guest
I own a Neo Carbon although I am very slim and trim at 270lbs and purchased the Neo because it yanks the best off the line and is the easiest to get to speed. I can climb most hills at significant grade. I found the Neo Dapu motor to be very sufficient.
 
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Deleted member 803

Guest
I also wanted to add that I am very old and very out of shape and I have yet to use the throttle. It seems so counterintuitive to the pedaling/exercising experience. In eco mode with two pedal kicks I am up to 12-15 mph with smooth sailing after that.
 
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DashRiprock

Active Member
Oh…and dash Riprock….I am totally on board with throttles. When people buy a bike with pedal assist & throttle they often find that they pedal more often…but it is still SUPER nice to have that throttle to coast when you want or to get out of a jam or through an intersection (or up a hill) in a hurry.

Thanks for finally being the one to say it.
Whether it's a mid-drive TranzX where you receive more 'oomph' for each stroke that you just about aren't able to muster at the end of a long (no/little assist) workout...or an "I'm bushed...take me home" rear hub throttle/cruise control equipped Dash product...you've just accomplished what you set out to do...and could care less exactly where you just ended up (outgoing) after you've effectively pedaled all that you possibly can.

Simple/cheap/effective. :cool:
 
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opimax

Well-Known Member
I will add my thoughts, on average I still go further than i wished I had. just enjoy riding too much I guess :) . On my old Stromer w/throttle the last 1-2 miles on throttle was great. On my old clunker it has cruise control , wish I had that too. I would pay to have these added to my new Stromer. The cruise control had dual purpose. I don't have to hold a button or uncomfortable twist so a comfort issue and the other function. I set the cruise control to a very slow speed and keep my cadence above the power level I get pretty good distance w/minimal assistance when needed or a quick rest and not lose much momentum.

I don't see the issue of adding a 20 mph throttle w/cruise...

Mark
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
I set the cruise control to a very slow speed and keep my cadence above the power level I get pretty good distance w/minimal assistance when needed or a quick rest and not lose much momentum.

I had never considered this...thanks for the tip.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
You can't use my tip , it is mine and since I cant use it neither can you :) ...you are welcome. I think you can hear my throttle envy...
 
I thought is was a crazy marketing decision when Stromer removed the throttle for the US market. While I understand that outside the UK most of Europe does not allow throttle controlled ebikes….here is America that isn't the case. The cost of adding a half twist throttle is about $5 or less. I am not a fan of the thumb throttle…and the button like on the clean republic kits is not stellar either. I do love the cruise control concept in the right situation. :)