e_adventure

New Member
Greetings,

I am in the market for a new ebike. After much online research, looking through these forums, and trying out some bikes at my local shop, I think I could use some experienced opinions from the ebike community.

I have a long bicycle commute to work, and there are lots of hills at both ends of the trip. I have been cycling to work for years now, but recently my commute got longer from a move, and well, I just don't have as much energy as I used to! Enter ebike...

After visiting my local ebike shop and hopping on a few rides, I found that I preferred the mid-drive style bike (I thought I would like the hub-driven bikes with a throttle, but the mid-drive pedelec just felt more intuitive to me coming from a cycling background). I most enjoyed the feel of the Bosch CX driven bike that I tested, as it seemed to provide the torque I would need to climb those long hills at the end of the day. The bike I rode on was the 2016 Cube Reaction Hybrid HPA pro (I wasn't looking for a hardtail MTB, but it fit my budget and can be upgraded with commuter parts... though not as ideal setup as a trekking-style bike).

I've now recently been informed by my shop that they're soon receiving a shipment of the latest Haibikes. At a similar price (to a commuter-upgraded Cube Reaction Pro), is the SDuro Trekking SL. I've read/watched a few informative reviews comparing the Yamaha and Bosch motors, and sounds like they're similar (though Bosch sounds like it has shift-detection and more power at high rpms). The best solution for me would be to test ride both of these bikes to see how they feel, though it may still be some time before the Haibikes arrive (and a bit of a gamble since their stock is limited).

Does anyone have experience with a SDuro Yamaha model in a commuting situation? I feel like it may be a slightly more efficient solution for my needs as it should have more of a commuting/trekking geometry and parts, and come in at a few pounds lighter? Will I be able to climb hills as easily as the Bosch CX motor, or am I going to need to "muscle" it up a little more? Basically I'm looking for a bike that can keep me riding to/from work (where I'm most happy!) and still have energy for the rest of my day.

Any thoughts/suggestions/shared experiences are greatly appreciated!
 

e_adventure

New Member
Cube Reaction Hybrid HPA Pro 400:

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Haibike SDuro Trekking SL:

https://www.haibike.com/de/de

I would be setting up the Cube as a commuter/trekking bike, with fenders, a rear rack, and more urban tires (I would prefer the 29er version so I could put 700c tires on there, though I think I can only get the 27.5 at this point). I have my own bike lights that I can attach. The SDuro is already set up as a commuter/trekking bike, and even appears to have front and rear lights powered off the battery (nice bonus).

I think the Cube would end weighing in as a bit more of a burly build (would likely need to put a 2" urban tire on there to fit rim (ie. Schwalbe Big Ben), so I suppose I should be considering that for my commute and when I need to lift it. Also, has anyone had trouble "keeping up" with their pedalling in fast road sections, on account for the small chainring up front of the Bosch?

The shop also carries bikes from Easy Motion, iZip, and Ohm (I do like their XU 700, but it's a grand more and I'm not a fan of the less-stealthy look). There seems to be better repair support for the Bosch in my area, since the Yamaha is quite new. I think if the Cube was already set up as an efficient commuter, I would probably already be riding it.

Any comments to help guide my decision? Think it's worth the wait for the SDuro? I should mention my budget is up to 4K CAD (~3k USD)
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I like the sduro more than the Bosch myself. I found the Bosch ride more like my easy motion bike, while the Yamaha is to me more seamless and bike like. The lack of shift sensing on my sduro is also a non issue after about ten minutes of riding.
 

e_adventure

New Member
I like the sduro more than the Bosch myself. I found the Bosch ride more like my easy motion bike, while the Yamaha is to me more seamless and bike like. The lack of shift sensing on my sduro is also a non issue after about ten minutes of riding.

Hi, thanks for your reply. Do you feel you get the same amount of assistance from Yamaha on long hill climbs in a low gear? When I tried the Bosch I did like how it felt climbing in a low gear- like as long as the pedals were moving it was powering me up. I've heard that the Yamaha loses power in lower gears when one's cadence is higher. Is this something you've noticed? Cheers.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
The sduro cuts out gradually at about 90rpm, which court has mentioned in his reviews. I don't usually get up to that rate so it doesn't affect me, but if you regularly do pedal at a higher cadence the Bosch might be a better option. Other than that, I don't find any issue with it on hills, that is the nice thing about mid drives, they take advantage of hearing no matter the speed of the bike as long as you choose the correct gears.
 

e_adventure

New Member
The sduro cuts out gradually at about 90rpm, which court has mentioned in his reviews. I don't usually get up to that rate so it doesn't affect me, but if you regularly do pedal at a higher cadence the Bosch might be a better option. Other than that, I don't find any issue with it on hills, that is the nice thing about mid drives, they take advantage of hearing no matter the speed of the bike as long as you choose the correct gears.

Hmm, interesting. I do usually like to pedal at a higher cadence when climbing to reduce fatigue, though I can't say I've ever measured how many rpms I like to go at... I'll have to try measuring that. I wonder why Yamaha decided to go that way with their motor? I may have to hop back on that Bosch-powered bike to see what my uphill cadence is.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
i am sure the bosch has a cadence readout, there is one on the sduro....only reason i know mine! i ride at just over 70rpm comfortably. that cadence, in the top gear puts me right at 20mph, where the motor cuts out. my guess would be they have that implemented so the rider progresses through the gear range more naturally. I know court (this site owner and reviewer) rides in easier gears at a higher cadence due to knee issues, so the higher cadence cut out is an issue for him. iI on the other hand am a bigger guy and pedal harder at a lower cadence in harder gears generally. for what its worth!
 

e_adventure

New Member
i am sure the bosch has a cadence readout, there is one on the sduro....only reason i know mine! i ride at just over 70rpm comfortably. that cadence, in the top gear puts me right at 20mph, where the motor cuts out. my guess would be they have that implemented so the rider progresses through the gear range more naturally. I know court (this site owner and reviewer) rides in easier gears at a higher cadence due to knee issues, so the higher cadence cut out is an issue for him. iI on the other hand am a bigger guy and pedal harder at a lower cadence in harder gears generally. for what its worth!

Thanks, I appreciate the info! I will definitely try out a few test hills to find out what cadence I most prefer... I do know that a higher cadence (around 90 rpm) does reduce muscle fatigue over long distances, but it may be a moot point since one doesn't need to "push" too hard in a lower cadence on an ebike :)
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Thanks, I appreciate the info! I will definitely try out a few test hills to find out what cadence I most prefer... I do know that a higher cadence (around 90 rpm) does reduce muscle fatigue over long distances, but it may be a moot point since one doesn't need to "push" too hard in a lower cadence on an ebike :)

Have you considered Sduro Trekking RC?
It comes with shimano XT everything. great componentry and the dual chainring upfront makes a bug difference for climbing.
I have been testing that bike for a little more than a week and really enjoy the seamless power delivery and ability to climb steep hills.
If it helps, I am 6ft and 175 lbs, frame size = 52cm. 48cm works as well.
It's perfect for commuting as it comes with robust rack, fenders, lights etc.
 

e_adventure

New Member
Have you considered Sduro Trekking RC?
It comes with shimano XT everything. great componentry and the dual chainring upfront makes a bug difference for climbing.
I have been testing that bike for a little more than a week and really enjoy the seamless power delivery and ability to climb steep hills.
If it helps, I am 6ft and 175 lbs, frame size = 52cm. 48cm works as well.
It's perfect for commuting as it comes with robust rack, fenders, lights etc.

I thought the SL was identical to the RC, but with a lower spec'd componentry (deore vs XT). Does it not also have the dual chainring up front? Now that I look back at the specs on the website (the Euro one, which may be spec'd slightly different than the US... But I'd be getting the US version in Canada), it doesn't say anything about a front derailleur on the SL. It also seems like the rear rack may be of lesser quality too, and the front headlight only specifies as 'included'. I wonder if it's integrated with the battery? Have you seen the SL at your shop?
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
My hard seven sl and my wife's hard life sl are both single front chain ring. Should be easy enough to add a double chain ring though, the frame is even built with the internal guide holes and mount points for the front derailleur.
 

e_adventure

New Member
My hard seven sl and my wife's hard life sl are both single front chain ring. Should be easy enough to add a double chain ring though, the frame is even built with the internal guide holes and mount points for the front derailleur.

Cool, thanks. I may wait a bit to test-ride some Sduros when they arrive and see how they feel.
 

e_adventure

New Member
And now I've recently been turned on to the Bionx systems too... I did like the initial feel of the mid-drive, though I'm liking the Bionx D500 power and reliability for my long commute. Lots of good choices and I'm glad I'm taking my time and trying out a bunch of bikes before I pull the trigger! Thanks for the info so far :)
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
My general recommendation is to purchase a complete bike over a conversion unless you have a bike you feel would work better for you converted. IMO - the fit and finish and overall reliability are never as good on retrofit kits when comparing to quality complete bikes. In our shop we generally reserve retrofits for gaps not otherwise filled in the market.

We have many customers very happy with the D500, but I just wanted to share my personal 2 cents on the retrofit vs complete debate. I hope it's helpful.
 

Jack Tyler

Active Member
@e_adventure based on your description of your commute in the other thread about your ebike search, I would be concerned about the battery capacity of the sduro models. And that's with the 400 Wh capacity promised by Haibike for a brand new battery. If you do manage the multi-day ebike commute pattern you mentioned and with the distances involved, it's likely your battery will begin to lose some of its max effective capacity by the end of the first year or so. And the E Wizards here also like us to remember that charging to max capacity and/or discharging the last 10% of a battery isn't recommended if we want to assure max battery health (and so its rated capacity for a longer period). Applying that advice: A 400 Wh bank, when new, will have a useable 320 Wh or so of capacity (80% x 400 Wh). That doesn't sound like a lot for your long-distance commute. We've got both kinds of bike owners here - 'builders' and those who buy turn-key bikes - and I notice the experienced riders in both groups tend to emphasize shopping battery quality & capacity early on in the search, since it turns out to be one of the central issues of rider satisfaction.

Just some food for thought. Good luck on the hunt!
 

e_adventure

New Member
My general recommendation is to purchase a complete bike over a conversion unless you have a bike you feel would work better for you converted. IMO - the fit and finish and overall reliability are never as good on retrofit kits when comparing to quality complete bikes. In our shop we generally reserve retrofits for gaps not otherwise filled in the market.

We have many customers very happy with the D500, but I just wanted to share my personal 2 cents on the retrofit vs complete debate. I hope it's helpful.

Yeah, I hear ya on that one. It is tempting to go for the conversion kit to save some $, but I know I would get more of a solid long term ride out of a complete bike. Plus my current bike wouldn't really be a good fit for a kit either. Cheers!
 

e_adventure

New Member
@e_adventure based on your description of your commute in the other thread about your ebike search, I would be concerned about the battery capacity of the sduro models. And that's with the 400 Wh capacity promised by Haibike for a brand new battery. If you do manage the multi-day ebike commute pattern you mentioned and with the distances involved, it's likely your battery will begin to lose some of its max effective capacity by the end of the first year or so. And the E Wizards here also like us to remember that charging to max capacity and/or discharging the last 10% of a battery isn't recommended if we want to assure max battery health (and so its rated capacity for a longer period). Applying that advice: A 400 Wh bank, when new, will have a useable 320 Wh or so of capacity (80% x 400 Wh). That doesn't sound like a lot for your long-distance commute. We've got both kinds of bike owners here - 'builders' and those who buy turn-key bikes - and I notice the experienced riders in both groups tend to emphasize shopping battery quality & capacity early on in the search, since it turns out to be one of the central issues of rider satisfaction.

Just some food for thought. Good luck on the hunt!

Good point, I don't like the idea about running out of juice for my rides and/or having to replace it earlier than I need to. Also good to know about that 80/20 rule... The Bosch system on most bikes I was considering were also 400wh I believe. The Bionx battery with the D-series motor comes with a 555wh battery so much improvement there!
 

e_adventure

New Member
I finally tried out OHM's xu700 recently and I was very impressed with the whole setup. I'm just working through the details now and should be out riding it soon! Keep an eye on the OHM forum as I plan to post some thoughts after riding it for a bit
 

TrevorB

Active Member
You mention not having energy to commute on your manual bike. One thing I find with commuting on ebike is arriving home after hard day full of energy. The moderate workout on ride home is really refreshing. On manual bike it is case of shower and crash on couch, given workout I don't feel guilty but also not very productive.

Good luck with which ever ebike you buy.