ebike for commuting, europe

anton.somora

New Member
Region
Europe
I am planning to buy an ebike for my daily commute to work about 16 km in total. The route goes over hilly terrain (600m total elevation gain), it's tarmac through the city forest (11km) to the city (5km in the city). I am thinking of something lightweight, reliable and versatile.I'm not familiar with all aspects of ebikes, but from what I've picked up I've selected the following candidates:
Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 SL EQ, 3600 €
https://www.specialized.com/sk/en/turbo-vado-sl-4-0-eq/p/170202?color=263669-170202
15 kg, Specialized 1.1 35 Nm, 320 Wh, AL Fork, Deore 10
Canyon Roadlite:ON 6 + fenders + lights, 2700 € + 100 €
https://www.canyon.com/cs-sk/elektr...e-on-6/2788.html?dwvar_2788_pv_rahmenfarbe=BK
17 kg, Fazua 50 60 Nm, 250 Wh, Carbon fork, Deore 12
Canyon Commuter:ON 7, 3300 €
https://www.canyon.com/cs-sk/elektr...r-on-7/2356.html?dwvar_2356_pv_rahmenfarbe=BU
18 kg, Fazua 50 60 Nm, 250 Wh, Carbon fork, Deore XT 12
FOCUS Paralane² 6.6 Commute + lights, 3600 € + 50 €
https://www.focus-bikes.com/int/185929-paralane-6-6-commute
16 kg, Fazua 50 60 Nm, 250 Wh, Carbon fork, Shimano 105 20
n+ Team bike (Mercedes) + fenders + lights, 3200 + 100 + 50 €
https://nplusbikes.eu/products/n-mercedes-benz-eq-formula-e-team-ebike?variant=40482568470709
17 kg, Bafang mid 65 Nm, 250 Wh, Carbon fork, belt + Sturmey Archer 5
BMC Alpenchallenge ONE, 3300 €
https://www.bmc-switzerland.com/intl_en/alpenchallenge-amp-al-city-one.html?currency=eur
20 kg, Shimano 6100, 504 Wh, AL fork, belt + Shimano Nexus 5
Any advice on what I should focus on, what doesn't work well and what does? I mean different combinations carbon/aluminium fork, cable or chain, gear hub vs derailleur, different motors etc. Very thx
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Ok, I can see you are from Slovakia. Let me tell you about the motors of your candidate e-bikes:
  • Specialized SL 1.1: Low power, low torque.
  • Fazua: Low power, low torque
  • Bafang (250 W hub-drive motor): Not good for hills (bad climber, apt to overheat)
  • Shimano 6100. Full power, low torque motor.
Anton: It looks you were looking at lightweight e-bikes that are still in the minority. These e-bikes have low power motors and small batteries because these motors and batteries reduce the e-bike weight. Unfortunately, they don't meet the objective of a commuter e-bike: To come to work with no sweat on. Most of e-bikes you chose have been designed for physical workout, not for commuting.

I suggest you look to so-called "full power" commuter e-bikes. The weight with the larger battery might be 24 kg but it does not matter. It is because "full power" e-bikes, while still equipped with 250 W (nominal) motors, can produce over 500 W of peak power and far higher torque. And they often have better gearing than the "lightweight" e-bikes.

Could you please look (for instance) at these e-bikes:
  • Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0
  • Trek Allant 7 or 8
  • Giant Explore E+ Pro
  • Many more brands with "full power" motors. Specialized 1.2 or Bosch CX or SyncDrive Pro or Brose or stronger Shimano motors come to one's mind.
I have been to your country during last vacation. I could have taken my Vado SL 4.0 or "full power" Vado 5.0 there. Guess which e-bike I chose?

1631809967683.png

"Full power" Vado 5.0 in Slovakia. Nominal weight 24 kg. I climbed Cigeľka Mt (and Javor Mt. before) with this e-bike. Max grade was 18.4%.

1631810053120.png

Approaching the Polish border.

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The sight from Stráňany Pass

1631810136021.png

On 12% climb towards Lesnica Pass


I would have never chosen a lightweight e-bike for Slovak mountains unless I were young and strong.
 
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anton.somora

New Member
Region
Europe
thank you stefan, maybe you are right and I really need an ebike with more power. slovakia is hilly, but I live near Bratislava, where the White Carpathians are just right. I live at the foot of the Carpathians and I go there 1-2 times a week to run, so I figured, it must be much easier with a bicycle, and the ebike must be basically comfortable :).But now I'm thinking I'll probably rent an ebike and try it out for real
BTW: i am not strong or young, but i trying to be stronger :D
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
But now I'm thinking I'll probably rent an ebike and try it out for real
That's the best idea, Anton. 600 m of total elevation gain over 16 km is not that little!

My brother rides Giant Trance E+ 2 Pro, which is a full-power e-MTB. He is strong but he tells me he uses Assist 2 of 5 to not get sweaty on his daily commutes, and we both have no hills around...
 
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anton.somora

New Member
Region
Europe
The choices are limited right now and one has to take what is. I ended up buying the Kona Dew-e Dl because I found it at a very good discount (2700 Euros) in my size (L) and basically, according to the review here, it met what I was looking for. And so far I have no regrets

My observations:
- the engine is fine, quiet and surprisingly very powerful, 60 Nm is enough, I mostly ride on normal eco/mode anyway, I still exceed 25 km/h where there is no assisted mode anymore
- Fazua motor would probably be enough for my needs, but the 500Wh battery extends the use (I spend about half the battery on my route) and I don't have to carry an adapter to work to charge it
- weight in the city is important, sometimes you have to carry the bike and then you feel it
- I probably would have been satisfied with a model without a carbon fork and integrated frame, which was a bit cheaper, but they didn't have it in my size
- we'll see how it will be with reliability, so far satisfaction