entry-level mid drive

birdman518

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pinellas County FL
I have been researching for first ebikes... narrowed down to Ride1Up 700 and Aventon Level.
Yesterday I went to local bike shop (Trek dealer)... The lowest end Trek is over my approx. $1700
budget, but since they service bikes, I wanted to make sure they would service any ebike I might
buy. They told me they only service the bikes they sell (I assume they mean Treks).
He told me that was because on some ebikes even changing a flat on the rear took more time
than they could reasonably charge for.
After this I spent a few hours looking at mid drive bikes, with the idea that I might raise my
budget. I get the advantage of not having the motor entangled (not pejorative) with the
rear hub.
But several reviews seemed to indicate that some mid drives do not have a throttle, and this
is one feature that my wife has decided she wants.
Is this true, and if so, why? Is there some other overriding advantage that I could point to
to say "this is why you don't need a throttle with a mid drive"?

Thanks,

Mitch
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
1. Your shop is displaying it's ignorance telling you that changing a rear tube, tire, or rear flat repair "took more time than they could reasonably charge for". I'm 70, overweight, and out of shape, and I can do any of those objectives in less than an hour. Half that time on a good day. If they had ever done one, they'd know that.

2. You were smart to ask regarding their willingness to work on a bike they didn't sell. This "if we didn't sell it we won't work on it" attitude is going to change, or they'll soon be out of business. It's a very commonly used excuse they use these days, allowing them to operate a bike shop with ignorant people. They are missing out on a ton of potential income.

3. The European mid drives don't have throttles as they are illegal in Europe, which is really too bad. Though there are some that swear they don't "need" one, I wouldn't have a bike that didn't have one. There is no logical reason for not having one state side. Not in my mind anyway.
 

birdman518

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pinellas County FL
Any recommendations for mid drive bikes under (say) $2500 would also be appreciated....
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I have both mid drive and geared rear hub bikes. Have ridden both extensively now, and while the mid drive is the clear winner when it comes to climbing hills, the geared hub drives are the clear winner when it comes to just flat being easier to ride.

That in mind, if I were going to buy a mid drive tomorrow, I would likely go with something like this. Note these do not have the big (cumbersome) fat tires:

or maybe if looking for a step through

 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
Just bring your wife back to the bike shop and let her test ride some of the LBS bikes with no throttle, then she will know if its a must or not.
I think the best person to decide if a throttle is a must have feature for your wife is probably your wife.
 

birdman518

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pinellas County FL
I have both mid drive and geared rear hub bikes. Have ridden both extensively now, and while the mid drive is the clear winner when it comes to climbing hills, the geared hub drives are the clear winner when it comes to just flat being easier to ride.

That in mind, if I were going to buy a mid drive tomorrow, I would likely go with something like this. Note these do not have the big (cumbersome) fat tires:

or maybe if looking for a step through

Both of those look good.. I will check them out.
 

birdman518

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pinellas County FL
Another question about mid drives: is it true that access to the rear tire and derailleur
are just the same as for a regular bike? IOW, for ease of maintenance, which is very
important.... 40 years ago (!) I used to do some of my own...
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
Another question about mid drives: is it true that access to the rear tire and derailleur
are just the same as for a regular bike? IOW, for ease of maintenance, which is very
important.... 40 years ago (!) I used to do some of my own...
Yup Middrive is pretty much just like any standard bike, hub drive is no big deal either it just awkward and takes a few minutes longer and you can always patch a flat without removing the tire so dont let tire changing be your deciding factor!
 

birdman518

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pinellas County FL
Yup Middrive is pretty much just like any standard bike, hub drive is no big deal either it just awkward and takes a few minutes longer and you can always patch a flat without removing the tire so dont let tire changing be your deciding factor!
>>>>you can always patch a flat without removing the tire
Do you mean with one of those squirt-in products, like Slime?
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Why is a throttle not needed with a mid-drive? There are two basic types of mid-drives, cadence sensor and torque sensor. Neither needs a hand throttle. With a cadence sensor one can 'ghost pedal,' that is pedal with no pedal pressure and at an extra slow speed, while the bike goes full speed, 28Mph. With a torque sensor bike the 'throttle' is in the pedals, so like a car you push the pedal down to go. You are just using your foot instead of your thumb. With a hand throttle speed is limited to 20Mph in the US. Buy using your foot, speeds can be 28. I like to take a small mid-drive and install it on an existing bike. This saves money and gives better results than many from stores. It is also a from of recycling.
 

Explorer-1

Well-Known Member
>>>>you can always patch a flat without removing the tire
Do you mean with one of those squirt-in products, like Slime?
He may have meant 'without removing the wheel'. But yes of course a tire sealant can be used on either bike. Yes the middrive is almost identical to a regular bike in terms of the rear wheel removal and replacement, except:
1. you better make sure it's tightened up correctly
2. you may be removing the wheel more often to replace the gears.
3. you better get the chain tension really right.

....but all the same parts so all the same.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I have both mid drive and geared rear hub bikes. Have ridden both extensively now, and while the mid drive is the clear winner when it comes to climbing hills, the geared hub drives are the clear winner when it comes to just flat being easier to ride.

That in mind, if I were going to buy a mid drive tomorrow, I would likely go with something like this. Note these do not have the big (cumbersome) fat tires:

or maybe if looking for a step through

I couldn't disagree more. A mid drive with a torque sensor is just like riding a bicycle. An eBike with a cadence sensor requires much more control over the motor and PAS levels.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
>>>>you can always patch a flat without removing the tire
Do you mean with one of those squirt-in products, like Slime?
Slime is meant to be used ahead of time - as a preventative. It's VERY effective, but certainly not 100%. It's possible to get a flat while using it. It's just that it's far less likely. Slime, or it's equivalent is a GREAT plan.

The majority of the maintenance needed on an e-bike will not be a lot different than that required on a bike 30 years ago. It's unfortunate that incompetent bike shop seems to have left a bad taste in your mouth regarding geared hub driven bikes. To help change your mind regarding their comments, you should know the sales ratio of geared hub vs. mid drive bikes is WAY up there. Geared hub sales FAR outweigh mid drive. That would simply not be the case if it were THAT difficult to service the rear tire.

Another point I'd like to make regarding throttles. Your vehicle will function just fine without power windows, cruise control, electric seats, or even an automatic transmission. With that equipment available though, even if you only rarely used them, would you purchase your next vehicle without all of them? Nobody is saying you HAVE to have a throttle. It's just a good plan.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I couldn't disagree more. A mid drive with a torque sensor is just like riding a bicycle. An eBike with a cadence sensor requires much more control over the motor and PAS levels.
We're all entitled to an opinion, and I can see why you, as an experienced rider might share yours. But let me ask you this. If an inexperienced guest were to stop by your house, and you had both a gear driven rear hub bike and your favorite "go to" mid drive sitting there side by side in your garage, which would the guest be encouraged to use?

While out on this ride, you need to stop quickly, and your guest has managed to stop while in 7th gear. Now what?

Your guest, being an inexperienced rider, struggles to mount the bike. Maybe they're even a little vertically challenged once the seat has been set for proper leg extension. Would it not be handy to have a throttle handy for them to use to help get the bike moving while they collect their balance in those first few feet? While starting from a stop mid route?

We both know this stuff can and does happen on EVERY ride. Do as you like....
 
Last edited:

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Another question about mid drives: is it true that access to the rear tire and derailleur
are just the same as for a regular bike?
It is the same.

But several reviews seemed to indicate that some mid drives do not have a throttle, and this
is one feature that my wife has decided she wants.
Is this true, and if so, why? Is there some other overriding advantage that I could point to
to say "this is why you don't need a throttle with a mid drive"?
Most of mid-drives do not have a throttle. Proper operation of the derailleur makes the throttle redundant. The power distribution over the drivetrain with a mid-drive is very efficient.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I saw a throttle "bike" yesterday that is 180 pounds (82kg). The pedals were a useless after thought. I would put a guest on a bike that feels like a bike and perhaps has an internal hub of gears such as an Alfine 11, so they can shift when stopped. And it would be one that can be lifted with one hand. A throttle makes a bike into an electric motorcycle that is legally limited to 20Mph (32Kph) in my local. If the guest were disabled that would be different.
 

birdman518

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pinellas County FL
Thanks to all for ongoing contributions. I am trying to make sure I understand *all* the things (probably overthinking).... I am still leaning towards the Aventon Level or Ride1Up 700...
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Thanks to all for ongoing contributions. I am trying to make sure I understand *all* the things (probably overthinking).... I am still leaning towards the Aventon Level or Ride1Up 700...
Fair enough, they're similar ebikes. Do you have an Aventon dealer near you? In-person shop support is nice to have.
 

birdman518

New Member
Region
USA
City
Pinellas County FL
Fair enough, they're similar ebikes. Do you have an Aventon dealer near you? In-person shop support is nice to have.
I called the shop nearest me today. He does carry Aventon, but does not have the Level and could not say whether or not he would get any. I will be back home around 9/20...