ebike commuting notes

alohacrusin

New Member
Region
USA
Hey folks,
Sharing some notes/comments after commuting on both an ebike and regular bike since Feb 2021.
the ebiek i will not state name as they are known to sue people which is stupid and anti-customer. do not get me started on this practice. the ebike has about 350w power, single speed and diamond frame. standard handlebars. suspsension fork and i added an elcheapo zoom $30 suspenions seat post and an excellent cloud 9 seat with mens opening in the middle. the seatpost/seat i change between the bikes as it greatly helps the regular bike handle all the sewer covers.

the regular bike is Priority bicycles original 1.0 cruiser/coast with upright swept back handlebars and diamond frame. with gates carbon belt drive. it is old but such a glider with 700c and skinny road tires.

Commetns:
1 - i wish i had gottent the ebike i had wanted from the beginning and/or built the one i wanted. due to pandemic, i could not build my low-step bafang bbshd dream bike. i should have bought the Ariel Rider Rideal or the ride1up LMTd step thru (with the cadence sensor.

3 - IMO unless it is a mountain bike, or an ultra expensive road racing bike, all bikes should be low step. i HATE HATE TATE stepping over my frame for either bike. cuased a near accident a couple of times due to this idiotic design. tha tis my rant lol. i am 6ft tall and i still HATE it. everyday i wish Priority made a low step mech disc brake belt driven 7 spped cruiser style commuter for those days i just want to ride a reg bike.

4 - 28 x 1.75 inch tires on the ebike are far more stable and safer for me than the skinny road tires on my regular bike. their width has saved my bacon numerous times when riding over unavoidable obstacles such as road debris and/oir riding the middle transistion between road and curb concrete (the part where the black asphalt meets the white concrete creates an uneven dip that is dangerous on a skinny road tire even on 1.75 inch wide tires it is dangerous). they are not the best tires - basic CST tires no puncture p[rotection but i had mechanic put rim tape and so far so good no flats.

5 - again, i wish i had bought the Rideal or the LMTD as both have the power i want. Rideal has the more reliable motor (dapu) but would require finding a suspension fork that would fit (if this is possible0 or at least suspension redshiftstem along with suspension seat post and cloud 9 seat i already have.

6 - the cloud 9 seat is amazing - more comfy than my work chairs! having the middle part i guess helps but as i have never ridden the non hole version, i cannot say it really helps or not. i guess a little air flow but it is minimal. comfort wise it is awesome even though it does weigh like 3 lbs.

7 - lugging 55 lbs up steep 16 stairs eveyday requires keeping my core tight and a long paus as i dream of a ramp or a lift. it is never fun but 55lbs is my limit for safe travel up as i lift up the rear frame. again, it is not fun but manageable. i must keep both bikes indoors so they do not get stolen. neighbors bikes have been stolen right in front of their door while they were home with window open at night.

8 - having suspension seat fork and the cloud 9 seat is a requirement for me. the seat post is too but the $30 zoom stinks. but it is $30 not $150 like the one i would like to buy. it soaks up only about 50 percent of huge massive bumps i am best avoiding anyways .

9 - i wish ebike had built in lights front/rear for daytime and dusk visability. my amazon headlight (generic) 1200 claimed lumens is bright but lasts 1.5 hrs max and my Lezin (cant recall exact name) 300lum rear is bright nuff for daytime visability.

10 - ebike rear spokes i must hand inspect and tighten every day. tightening only required like every other day with 1 or two but if i do not do this, spokes alewys get loose then require replacement. this costs 60 USD to repair and lube chain. so it is best that i just keep on top of it. the chain was fine without lubing by previous owner so i am not going to lube it myself as i do not want the mess. i know not great maintenance but i will do fine. and i live on island.

11 - overall, i still kick myself for not just buying the Rideal or the LMTD. Ride1up scares me with their poor packaging and since it would be shipped via ship, i didnt want to take that risk. rideal lacks the features i must buy to enable comfy riding. always a tradeoff!

conclusion:
i like being able to ride ebike without power on flat terrain then use throttle up hills or at PA level 1 for a light workout to ease knee pain but i really really wish i had gotten the Ridea/LMTD. both are same wieght as mine but have 750w nominal output and 6 or 7 speed gears. i might sell my ebike and get one of those two. but for now, i just enjoy it for what it is.

sorry for all the typos as i am not going to correct them. too lazy!
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Welcome to low carbon commuting.
Daily maintenance on spokes is annoying. DT Swiss spokes don't stretch. they are made of actual steel instead of tin/lead/copper/aluminum/iron scrap. You have to measure your old ones and you have to buy in packs of 50, when you probably need 36. I got mine from thebikeshopstore.com . If it is a hub motor wheel, you may not be able to buy DT Swiss that short. 14 mm long spoke nuts make up for variations in amateur wheel build, versus the 10 mm regular ones. Bottle of 100. Shipping is 1/4 the cost of cheap items, get them all in the same box. Don't worry DT Swiss is thinner, people obsess about the gauge which they can measure, instead of the material type, which they cannot. Thousands of grey metal spokes out there.
A squeeze bottle of type F ATF (not Dexron) or a 3-in-one dispenser of oil could be kept outside. https://www.mcmaster.com/4527T107 Too cheap to steal. You could drip oil on your chain out there. In a salt environment your time to rustover is short. I oil the part of the chain I can reach, without turning the bike over, every 2 weeks. Also cable ends, shifter pivots, exposed screws, seat post, handlebar clamp, front steer pivot.
My cat'seye 500 rated headlight works about 4 hours per charge. There and back again. Rechargeable through micro USB.
 
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alohacrusin

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you for info on spokes. should i need to replace further ones...i will let mechanmic do this :).
all the more reason for me to get a mid-drive motor such as the bbshd but the bike i would wan tis $1k and still 6 months to year est. shipping. cant spend 2kplus right now.
it is a used bike and the prior owner did not lube chain and it was fine. not sure how old the chain is but anyways should i need to...i will replace it :). i do not want to deal with the mess of lubing plus do not want to pollute the ocean as everything on island ends up there.
the other thign i wish i had was raised truly swept back cruiser handlebars like i do on the priority bike. that bike really is so easy to ride and easy on my low back and wrists unlike the ebike.
all in all, what i have will have to do for now. i will just enjoy it.

next time though, i will buy the bike i want instead of wasting my money on two used ebikes - one that lost me $300 and th other that i still have. if i had just bought the rideal, i would have spent less than these two used ones and had a brand new 750w nominal 6 speed cruiser....sigh. lol. my fault for trying to be cheap.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
Thank you for info on spokes. should i need to replace further ones...i will let mechanmic do this :).
all the more reason for me to get a mid-drive motor such as the bbshd but the bike i would wan tis $1k and still 6 months to year est. shipping. cant spend 2kplus right now.
it is a used bike and the prior owner did not lube chain and it was fine. not sure how old the chain is but anyways should i need to...i will replace it :). i do not want to deal with the mess of lubing plus do not want to pollute the ocean as everything on island ends up there.
the other thign i wish i had was raised truly swept back cruiser handlebars like i do on the priority bike. that bike really is so easy to ride and easy on my low back and wrists unlike the ebike.
all in all, what i have will have to do for now. i will just enjoy it.

next time though, i will buy the bike i want instead of wasting my money on two used ebikes - one that lost me $300 and th other that i still have. if i had just bought the rideal, i would have spent less than these two used ones and had a brand new 750w nominal 6 speed cruiser....sigh. lol. my fault for trying to be cheap.
Buy once cry once
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
I seem to have used a couple of my nine lives this week, inches from being road kill. Not on some busy
highway but in a quiet residential neighborhood distanced from busy streets where every other home has
a sign out front that sez ´Drive like yours kids live here´. Apparently there are drivers there that want to
murder their children from my experience, both 45 in 25 zone in the exact same place. THat corner is
no longer on my route! A car is a deadly weapon.
 
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hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
Hi there, i am a new ebike commuter as well, but you have been doing it longer than me. I made the switch around July full time electric bike commuter and i use the Rideal almost every day. I spent a lot of time researching and was going to spend over $2k but decided on the Rideal as my first ebike and it was a bit risky at the time but i am glad i did. My previous bike was a 350w mid drive, but VERY OLD bike from the early 2000's and the Rideal's power blew it away and i don't really use the old one much now, but that is mainly because it needs a lot of maintenance and i have just been enjoying the rideal too much. Mainly i need a suspension seat post for the older bike, was thinking about buying the cheap $30 one from amazon but i think i will just wait. I purchased the suntour sp12 ncx suspension seatpost for about $80 in the summer. Now it has skyrocketed to about $150 in a lot of places, but i think that is the best seatpost for your money if it's under $100. Too further support the seatpost suggestion, Micah from electrek's parents both use that seat post on their folding bikes that they use while RV'ing. I trust Micah A LOT and if his parents are using that seatpost i think that says a lot.

With my old bike, going up a MONSTER hill was a chore and i could do it at about 7 mph on average. With the Rideal i can do it at 13mph to 15mph with the same energy. Also with my seatpost i got the bikearoo seat designed for seniors, i also got the seat cover with gel cushion made by bikearoo and after about 1 month the combination is perfect for me. I used to have to wear biking underwear in order to not have pain ( i have chronic and sever lower back pain for 10 years) but after months of biking my body got used to it and no longer need the underwear padding, the bikearoo seat and padding work very well. Anyways i wish you luck on your journeys and feel free to ask any questions on the Rideal, i just hit 1000 miles on it.
 

mclewis1

Active Member
Region
Canada
City
Fredericton, NB
10 - ebike rear spokes i must hand inspect and tighten every day. tightening only required like every other day with 1 or two but if i do not do this, spokes alewys get loose then require replacement. this costs 60 USD to repair and lube chain. so it is best that i just keep on top of it. the chain was fine without lubing by previous owner so i am not going to lube it myself as i do not want the mess. i know not great maintenance but i will do fine. and i live on island.
Loose spokes are a sign of a poorly built wheel. You shouldn't have to touch your spokes (but checking periodically is a good idea). Unless you have a strong existing relationship with your current bike mechanic I might ask around for someone who likes to build bike wheels (yes there are folks like that out there). You should be able to find someone local who will a) build the wheel properly the first time so it doesn't constantly loosen and b) not be quite as expensive if you do happen to need the wheel slightly trued up over time (although it's just about always more expensive to deal with ebike wheels).

Chain lubing is a simple and important step. Done right (occasionally and with small amounts) it's not particularly messy and it will save you more than just replacement costs. When a chain wears prematurely it can become a failure point that could leave you stranded. A worn chain also won't always shift well which can lead to a nasty and unexpected "slip" of the pedals when climbing a hill or something ... and that can lead to a crash. I'd really look into one of the simple small aerosol lubes that with a plastic tube will easily put some lube only where you need it (and not making a mess on you or the bike). You likely live in a climate that's quite "chain friendly" so you aren't going to have to get into cleaning the chain and such but a little effort will help keep things working as they should and a keep few more shekels in your pocket. The other benefit of doing the occasional lube like this is noticing other potential problems that can then be corrected before they cause you grief.

You don't have to get all "bike mechanic" on things but being on top of some simple regular stuff will help keep you from experiencing the dreaded "oh crap, can't ride, got to go to the bike shop".
 

Hasaf

Member
Another commuter here. The big things I have experimented with are:
  • Baskets vs panniers
    • I have tried this one several times, the folding Wald baskets look super geeky. However, they are just so practical. Yes, I have tried panniers and an Ortlieb briefcase. in the end, they just are nowhere near as practical.
  • Chain vs Belt
    • Two bikes ago was my first try at belt drive. I loved it. However, I ended up long term loaning it to my sister. She needed a low maintenance eBike for commuting to work. At that point, I returned to a chain-driven eBike. On my new bike, the one I am riding today, I treated belt-drive as a must-have. I am glad I did. It just works better for my needs on a commuter bike
  • fenders
    • again, very geeky looking, but they work great for getting to work cleaner.
  • kick stands
    • Just handy for occasional stops, I don't need to keep my hand on the bike, or search out something to lean it against.
Priority-1-14-Sep-2021.jpg

My current commuter. The PVC tube is for my walking stick (I refuse to call it a cane).
 

mclewis1

Active Member
Region
Canada
City
Fredericton, NB
My current commuter. The PVC tube is for my walking stick (I refuse to call it a cane).
I might cut the PVC tube down to about only 1ft long and then put a little foam (or anything soft) in the top so the "stick" doesn't vibrate when it's stored but there would not be anything sticking up very much when the "stick" isn't being carried. Either that or maybe fly your favourite flag from the tube ... ;)

About the Wald folding baskets ... do they vibrate/rattle at all when in the stored position?
I use an old Nashbar folding grocery bag pannier (today it's called the Transit Metro grocery pannier).
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
Another commuter here. The big things I have experimented with are:
  • Baskets vs panniers
    • I have tried this one several times, the folding Wald baskets look super geeky. However, they are just so practical. Yes, I have tried panniers and an Ortlieb briefcase. in the end, they just are nowhere near as practical.
  • Chain vs Belt
    • Two bikes ago was my first try at belt drive. I loved it. However, I ended up long term loaning it to my sister. She needed a low maintenance eBike for commuting to work. At that point, I returned to a chain-driven eBike. On my new bike, the one I am riding today, I treated belt-drive as a must-have. I am glad I did. It just works better for my needs on a commuter bike
  • fenders
    • again, very geeky looking, but they work great for getting to work cleaner.
  • kick stands
    • Just handy for occasional stops, I don't need to keep my hand on the bike, or search out something to lean it against.
Priority-1-14-Sep-2021.jpg

My current commuter. The PVC tube is for my walking stick (I refuse to call it a cane).
Haha, I have 2 ´walking sticks´ when not on the bike. I pedal 70 mi. a wk. but without it I can´t
walk worth a damn. Both legs kinda got mangled some years back.
 

mclewis1

Active Member
Region
Canada
City
Fredericton, NB
I have a feeling that given the way many ebikes enable many of those with some mobility issues to now get out and travel and exercise a bit that "stick storage" could become a thing.
 

Hasaf

Member
I might cut the PVC tube down to about only 1ft long and then put a little foam (or anything soft) in the top so the "stick" doesn't vibrate when it's stored but there would not be anything sticking up very much when the "stick" isn't being carried. Either that or maybe fly your favourite flag from the tube ... ;)

About the Wald folding baskets ... do they vibrate/rattle at all when in the stored position?
I use an old Nashbar folding grocery bag pannier (today it's called the Transit Metro grocery pannier).

To eliminate rattles, after using the supplied hardware, I then put zip ties on. The Zip ties are not holding it, but they are using their elasticity to hold the baskets firmly against the rack. That gets rid of the rattles.

As far as rattles when it is closed, it doesn't. The rack is held closed by the spring tension of the rack against the latch. In all, I do not have problems with rattles.