eBike for the Big Man?

Gigantor

New Member
I'm the guy who makes the Big and Tall section of the store necessary. I'm the guy who elicits prayers of "oh, no, not next to me" when I enter your plane and sighs of relief when I pass your row. I'm the guy better suited to the offensive line than the cycling draft line. Any thoughts as to which bike could possibly handle my 6'6"/310 pound frame over the long haul?

In spite of my frame, I've cycled my whole life, including week-long trips and 200+ mile, 2-day events. I can certainly bear down. But, I live a fair ways away and have a "challenging" and very hilly route.

Is there an ebike that can help me haul my bulk up and down a 28 mile roundtrip commute with almost 1,300 in elevation?

I can recharge (body and battery) at work, so it's really a 14 mile trip -- but I live at the top of a serious hill (15% grade in 3/4 of a mile) and have to battle over another major hill in between (the elevations are no exaggeration unfortunately.)

ANY input would be welcomed. Brand, type, mid-drive v. drum, 350w v. much higher...

Thank you so much.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Can tell you right now that only a cargo ebike would be rated for you. The rest are 300 lbs are less.

Suggest you buy a bicycle you like and install an Ebike kit.. One with a high torque motor and plenty of battery pack. I can help you pick some. Once I know what bike you have. You don't need speed, you need torque! And with a pedal assist system and a 48v 12ah high qualty battery you should get 30 miles no problem. Just keep your speed under 20 mph
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I'm I'm the same boat. Currently I have an easy motion neo xtrem, and I would say it could cover that distance however if you have big hills the motor won't likely be adequate. I'm getting myself the radrover which is currently being offered through indiegogo. It should offer everything your looking for as long as you're still willing to pedal along. Otherwise I would look into a mid drive bike or kit as those are the best choice for real hill climbing done they take advantage of the bikes gears.
 

Kaldeem

Active Member
I've been on this forum for about a year. I don't own a e-bike yet, but I realised the limitation presented by my height/weight. I'm not the tallest standing in at 5'11, but I was 330 lbs 2 years ago. I'm currently sitting at 275 and working hard to lose weight by eating moderately, working out and watching my calories using the Loseit! app and a MisFit health watch.

I'm looking at the Stromer ST1 Platinum or the ST2. Both are rated for 300 lbs and have the battery range/torque to get the job done for dudes our size.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck and make sure you buy from a local dealer so you have a place to go and get help when trouble arrives.
 

Mike Smith

Active Member
I'm in your same weight range and have tested a number of ebikes and I can say that you will want at least a 500w motor, rear hub or mid drive, or 750w even better if you can find it with a 48W battery with most ah you can find, probably 10 or more. I personally don't like the mid drives but they do offer more torque than hub drives but either would work, and I'd suggest a geared hub motor if you go that way. If you live in an area where you can test different ebikes that would be the best thing to do. They all respond a little bit different on hills and flats. Also with our manly sizes a system with regenerative power is great because the system will help slow you down on descents like downshifting a car so you don't have to brake as much plus while recharging the battery a little, and any breaking will also be regenerative, and we have a slight advantage with the old mass x velocity thing. Also, even though bikes have a certain weight rating its all about liability...are you going to believe a bike rated at 250 lbs is going to collapse if i weigh 260 lbs. I'm sure the true weight limits are 3 to 4 times(if not much higher) at least what is stated and thats under worst case conditions. So here of my suggestions. Starting at what I consider to be the the high priced end, Stromer bikes are built like a tank but I'm unsure of their hill climbing ability. Next would be any of the midpriced bikes on the market and there are great reviews here. I personally just bought the Diamondback Trace EXC at a Performance Bike store with a 20% Performance Club store credit and can't wait to start riding. And there are lower-priced ebikes but buyer beware. I personally think the Radrover will be a great bike, I just didn't want a fat bike for a number of reasons. Lastly there are conversion kits with Bionx being the best in my opinion on the market, choose your favorite bike and add the 500w Bionx system with regenerative capabilities. The best thing you can do if possible is to test ride as many ebikes as you feel necessary. Don't let other dealers or reviews make the decision for you, as much as I love this website the reviews are based on 130 lb rider. We real men have different needs. Have fun and good luck. Keep us up to date.
 
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wa5

Well-Known Member
I'm also a "big fella" The frame isn't my issue, the wheels are, my weight, along with the lousy roads around here make bullet proof rims desirable, which is what piqued my interest in fat bikes, but the only example I have seen had surprisingly light felling rims.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I'm the guy who makes the Big and Tall section of the store necessary. I'm the guy who elicits prayers of "oh, no, not next to me" when I enter your plane and sighs of relief when I pass your row. I'm the guy better suited to the offensive line than the cycling draft line. Any thoughts as to which bike could possibly handle my 6'6"/310 pound frame over the long haul?

In spite of my frame, I've cycled my whole life, including week-long trips and 200+ mile, 2-day events. I can certainly bear down. But, I live a fair ways away and have a "challenging" and very hilly route.

Is there an ebike that can help me haul my bulk up and down a 28 mile roundtrip commute with almost 1,300 in elevation?

I can recharge (body and battery) at work, so it's really a 14 mile trip -- but I live at the top of a serious hill (15% grade in 3/4 of a mile) and have to battle over another major hill in between (the elevations are no exaggeration unfortunately.)

ANY input would be welcomed. Brand, type, mid-drive v. drum, 350w v. much higher...

Thank you so much.
I checked in with the Big and Tall guys on Endless Sphere (eBike enthusiast group) and they came up with some pretty good suggestions:

1. The Juiced Riders ODK V3.. Rated for 330 lbs.. People seem to like.. May not be your style but it has a very large battery and is heavy duty.. I don't like it because it is FWD.. http://electricbikereview.com/juiced-riders/odk-v3/

2. Buy a FatBike or other cruiser bike that you like and put a high performance hub motor on it, and a large battery, good controller etc... One guy who says he's 340 lbs, has the 6T MXUS 3000W .. Go to this website and ask for their help.. You may not buy from them but they definitely are more knowledgeable. http://kinaye-motorsports.myshopify.com
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
2. Buy a FatBike or other cruiser bike that you like and put a high performance hub motor on it, and a large battery, good controller etc... One guy who says he's 340 lbs, has the 6T MXUS 3000W .. Go to this website and ask for their help.. You may not buy from them but they definitely are more knowledgeable. http://kinaye-motorsports.myshopify.com
My suggestion again would be to take a hard look at the Radrover over on indiegogo. Their asking price is the same cost of getting a motor/controller/parts and battery from em3ev.com - they are using quality cells in the battery and the battery/motor speed will be plenty (again, I weigh more than the OP!). I already have a bikes direct fat bike and love the ride, so much that I decided to keep that bike as-is (rather than put a motor on it) and get the radrover.

The bottom line with the radrover would be if some of the components need to be upgraded or start to fail due to weight, you can upgrade those parts as needed and still be way ahead in the money game. The wheel specs for the radrover are double walled rims and 13 gauge spokes - you won't get that on most e-bikes, 12 gauge spokes would be tank-like but more than likely overkill anyway.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I really love what Chandlee did with his BionX Karate Monkey conversion. I would wage that the Karate Monkey would be strong enough for a big man.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
the OP did not mention that he wanted to start a new hobby building a bike, and there are already some very good, ready-to-ride bikes mentioned in this thread.

Genaral thoughts:

Mike Smith mentioned the over engineering of frames for liability reasons. I think you can count on that, especially from the quality builders: Kalkhoff, Stromer, Haibike....

I think, for carrying yourself up the hills, especially since you said you can bear down, you will find you like the mid drives!

Frankly, I don't think you're that large that you need to look into riding a cargo bike, a quality conventional bike will be best. Of course, due to your height, an XL frame will probably be your best fit.

I suggest you get to an e bike shop and try some of the brands mentioned above. You might also want to contrast 350 watt mid-drive vs 500 watt geared rear hub on some hills. I think you will find that the lower watts, but with a mid drive, works really well, depending on how much you can contribute to the pedaling and how you use the gears.

Don't go through the hassle of building a bike, or modifying a regular bike, unless that's how you want to spend all your time. I'm guessing you'd rather spend your time riding, so have fun!
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
the OP did not mention that he wanted to start a new hobby building a bike, and there are already some very good, ready-to-ride bikes mentioned in this thread.

Genaral thoughts:

Mike Smith mentioned the over engineering of frames for liability reasons. I think you can count on that, especially from the quality builders: Kalkhoff, Stromer, Haibike....

I think, for carrying yourself up the hills, especially since you said you can bear down, you will find you like the mid drives!

Frankly, I don't think you're that large that you need to look into riding a cargo bike, a quality conventional bike will be best. Of course, due to your height, an XL frame will probably be your best fit.

I suggest you get to an e bike shop and try some of the brands mentioned above. You might also want to contrast 350 watt mid-drive vs 500 watt geared rear hub on some hills. I think you will find that the lower watts, but with a mid drive, works really well, depending on how much you can contribute to the pedaling and how you use the gears.

Don't go through the hassle of building a bike, or modifying a regular bike, unless that's how you want to spend all your time. I'm guessing you'd rather spend your time riding, so have fun!
Those of us who actually have a lot of experience know better.. Having owned two expensive eBikes, and have built one on my own, I will say production ebikes are of average bike quality, and the electrical components are anything but heavy duty.

Don't lead people down a path unless you know what to expect for them.. They may not know who you are.
 

Gigantor

New Member
Gigantor here.

I'm overwhelmed by the quick replies and very helpful advice. (If I wasn't such a "real man" it would bring a tear to my eye -- but maybe that's just my downhill speed.)

I have been to two local ebike stores. I live in Portland, Oregon, and am lucky enough to have access to dedicated eBike stores. I've tested a (too small sized) Haibike XDuro RX29 and a Felt 95e (toptube).

The Haibike felt "strange" but that may have been because it was a mountain bike with suspension forks (I'm used to solid forks) and because it was not a 60 CM (I think it was 52).

The Felt was nice - but I watched, with alarm, the projected range move downward at a noticeable, and alarming clip. On a 5 minute, easy, tool around ride, the projected range went from 30 to 22.

I will check out the build options - I frankly haven't looked at them much yet. I have a couple nice bikes at home. I could convert one and see how I like it without as much expense. I'll look into the other suggested bikes as well. I think there is a Stromer that I can take out and I saw the new Aventura Impulse 2.0.

I remain worried about the weight limits though -- and my bulk's effect on the battery range. I would hate to buy a $4,000 bike only to end up pushing the extra 40 pounds up the hill to my house at the end of the day!

I'll report back with any questions.

Thanks again, everyone. Truly.
 

stevenast

Well-Known Member
Those of us who actually have a lot of experience know better.. Having owned two expensive eBikes, and have built one on my own, I will say production ebikes are of average bike quality, and the electrical components are anything but heavy duty.

Don't lead people down a path unless you know what to expect for them.. They may not know who you are.
people won't know who I am? Thats your problem? Like they know who you are... :)

Let's put the personalities aside shall we? You may have a lot of experience with inferior ebikes, but I have a lot of experience in life and my opinion counts at least as much as yours.

The Haibike felt "strange" but that may have been because it was a mountain bike with suspension forks (I'm used to solid forks) and because it was not a 60 CM (I think it was 52).
I am "only" 6'1" and I ride an XL Haibike - it's a perfect fit. In my uninformed, inexperienced opinion, ;) I think you need to try the largest frame in this brand! and the range you can get with the pedal assist only is tremendous.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
people won't know who I am? Thats your problem? Like they know who you are... :)

Let's put the personalities aside shall we? You may have a lot of experience with inferior ebikes, but I have a lot of experience in life and my opinion counts at least as much as yours.



I am "only" 6'1" and I ride an XL Haibike - it's a perfect fit. In my uninformed, inexperienced opinion, ;) I think you need to try the largest frame in this brand! and the range you can get with the pedal assist only is tremendous.
As another big guy, I'll echo that - you're gonna need to pedal, but not to a sweating level. Like I said I have an easy motion neo xtrem, it is a quite conservative 36v 9ah battery, only 324 watt hours (and only a 350w motor) - for myself (and again, I weigh more than the OP!) I can expect only about 13-15 miles out of the battery, and that does account for a fairly long hill from town to my house when I ride around locally. I'm getting the Radrover, which has a 750w motor, along with a 48v 11.6ah battery, total about 550 watt hours, which should provide close to double the distance of my current bike.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
If you have a bike that fits and you are comfortable with already I would take it to Wake at the E Bike Store and talk to him about a conversion. He knows e bikes as well as anyone in the PDX.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I'm not a fan of many conversions but I think the BionX D500 is a darn good one and not too hard to DIY. You get 3 things (wheel, battery, lcd) that you put on your bike. If you install it yourself and if anything goes wrong you will already have the skill to remove and replace the part in question as well as troubleshoot connections between the 3 parts.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
The Haibike felt "strange" but that may have been because it was a mountain bike with suspension forks (I'm used to solid forks).

Yeah that is called comfort, something nice to get used to.

The Felt was nice - but I watched, with alarm, the projected range move downward at a noticeable, and alarming clip. On a 5 minute, easy, tool around ride, the projected range went from 30 to 22.

Demo bikes are often undercharged and the Bosch constantly recalculates, point being I would not be too concerned with 22 miles range on a 400 watt hour bike. If you need more range and power look for a 48 volt system with a lot more amp hours, or plan on carrying a 2nd battery. -S
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I'm the guy who makes the Big and Tall section of the store necessary. I'm the guy who elicits prayers of "oh, no, not next to me" when I enter your plane and sighs of relief when I pass your row. I'm the guy better suited to the offensive line than the cycling draft line. Any thoughts as to which bike could possibly handle my 6'6"/310 pound frame over the long haul?

In spite of my frame, I've cycled my whole life, including week-long trips and 200+ mile, 2-day events. I can certainly bear down. But, I live a fair ways away and have a "challenging" and very hilly route.

Is there an ebike that can help me haul my bulk up and down a 28 mile roundtrip commute with almost 1,300 in elevation?

I can recharge (body and battery) at work, so it's really a 14 mile trip -- but I live at the top of a serious hill (15% grade in 3/4 of a mile) and have to battle over another major hill in between (the elevations are no exaggeration unfortunately.)

ANY input would be welcomed. Brand, type, mid-drive v. drum, 350w v. much higher...

Thank you so much.
Welcome Gigantor, wow I do feel funny calling you that. Check out Zize Bikes for the big and tall. There Zized Zuma ebike is rated for 400 lbs. I don't know if the frame will work for you, but the bike has impressive specs, looks great and Zize offers good service. Good hunting!