FINALLY DECIDED!! Things I considered: For those looking for Step Through, Lower cost, & Best Value.

I thought I would post this, as it has taken me much time to learn and consider all the options. Just like buying a house, if you have a budget on the lower side for Ebikes, you have to decide what is most important to YOU. I just spent a month learning, testing, and deciding. I am female, 64, 5'4", and pretty average weight/ability. I have been biking a few times a month on a regular hybrid Schwinn, but had to get off half the time to walk the bike up the hills near where I live. So, time for a little assistance: After much testing, I decided on the Aventon Pace 500. My budget was under $2000, but preferred to be closer to $1500.

Here are all the things I considered:

I WANTED a mid-motor, as I think it has a very smooth and easy system. I could not find one in stock that also had a STEP THROUGH AND THROTTLE, and in my price range. REALLY wanted the FLX Step Thru, which HAS IT ALL, and then some. Price is $2049, and includes all the add ons too. This, IMO was the BEST of all, BUT, their delivery isn't until mid August. So, that was a bummer. Add that to the assembly charge from Velofix and you are up to $2250.

My 'must have's' included LOW step through, Hydraulic brakes, throttle, good components, and enough power to get me around and back home. YOU HAVE to think about how you are going to get it assembled, and knowing myself, I would have ended up having to have someone else do it, or at least check it...There are companies who assemble them for you, like Velofix, but that costs about $150-$200. If you buy from a bike store, you have it fitted to YOU, with no additional cost to assemble. Da! AND the ability to take it into that bike store or ANY store that sells that brand for tune up or repair was also a factor to consider. Most bike stores will NOT work on a Rad, or Flx, other online brand. So, if you don't know a lot about bike repair, THAT is a big factor to consider.

THROTTLE: for me, that was something I wanted. If I am exhausted, or have knee or foot pain, I want to be able to motor it home without my having to pedal. If I am somewhere where I am doing most of the work, and Assist is very low, or even off, and I encounter something I have to quickly get around, that throttle scoots me quickly without any hesitation. There is a feature I like about Aventon's throttle: YOU HAVE to be pedaling to work the throttle. That's good, because I don't want to accidentally press it, and have the bike get away from me if I am not ready.

WEIGHT: Some bikes weigh a LOT! Some up to 67 lbs! Aventon: 49 lbs, and less when you take off the battery. For me, I like to ride unassisted or on a low assist and do a lot of the work. But, if the bike is heavy, it get's very difficult the minute you have any incline. If I want to put it on a rack, I can lift the Pace. I could not lift the others. WAY too much bike for me. I also liked the way the battery is positioned. When the battery is in the middle, it feels more centered. And their's is more integrated. The Rad seems like it's in the way, and some others have it on the back rack, which when adding some cargo would make it too off balance for me.

PROS: It's priced at $1399. Add the fenders if you need them (I'm in sunny Ca, so I don't), rack and lights, and you still haven't spent more than $1600. A seat suspension will add another $34. Handlebars are adjustable. Wider tire. Not too wide, but just right. Size and weight are great. Good enough components, motor, Hydraulic brakes. Great power, and FAST.

CONS: It doesn't come with fenders, rack, suspension, or lights. Fenders and rack are cheap enough to add on. I do wish it had integrated lights, but those are also pretty easy to add on, and I am not going to be riding at night anyway. I have added a cushier seat and suspension seat post, also pretty inexpensive. Those things are all cheap enough.

FINAL Thoughts: I would have liked to get the FLX Step Thru. But, it would have been considerably more money once I paid for assembly. Wasn't available for months, so was out of the question. MANY of the reasonably priced ones are sold out right now. Also check out the ARIEL RIDER. Seems to give you a lot for your money too, although also sold out. The Blixtrix is super nice, but heavier, not as low a step through, and much more costly. Benno Joy is nice, but twice the price. I liked how the Gazelle rode, but it didn't have a throttle, so I passed. So, back to Aventon Pace 500- I'm still WAY under budget, and have the ability to go to a bike store for repair. I think it's a better bike than the RadCity. I will update later after I have had time to access.
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
Congrats on your new e-bike purchase!

While I have not personally tried one, I've heard a lot of good things about the Aventon Pace 500 and it seems like a really nice bike for a great price.

Now come the even more fun parts of riding and personalizing it. Enjoy!
 

MAPC

Active Member
I like the logic and approach that you used. I looked hard at bikes like Aventon but dealers that support eBikes are very hard to find near me unless they sell them---which mostly left me with Specialized, Trek, Giant and Pedego. I had set a budget similar to yours ($2000) but ended up 'upping the ante' when Specialized had their screamin' rebate deal on Turbo Vado and Como. My Turbo Vado arrives this weekend. :)
Spent $500 more than budget but got a killer bike, awesome components, great local service and every feature that I wanted.

If I had didn't have the local support issue, I would have looked at Aventon, RAD and Juiced...and the Aventon Level looked pretty appealing at that price point, I will say!
 
LOCAL SUPPORT IS A MUST, unless you really know how to fix these. Yes, they have to sell them , and luckily I found a few that sold the Aventon, the Gazelle, Specialized and the others you mentioned. As this is my first Ebike, I was shocked at even the entry level price! Good luck!
 

MAPC

Active Member
LOCAL SUPPORT IS A MUST, unless you really know how to fix these. Yes, they have to sell them , and luckily I found a few that sold the Aventon, the Gazelle, Specialized and the others you mentioned. As this is my first Ebike, I was shocked at even the entry level price! Good luck!
The nearest Aventon dealer to me was 2 states away....the Specialized is 3 miles from my house. :)
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Good deductive reasoning. I think you'll like the bike. 👍
The pace is very similar to our Roll conversion, and we nearly bought one to supplant it. Them and Ride1Up are industry leaders for budget bikes IMHO. RadPower does a pretty good job too - you would likely enjoy the City. They rent them out in Newport Beach.
The world is your oyster!
 

Edge

New Member
Uphill, thanks for your deductive thoughts on your Aventon 500 purchase, I'm in the same boat. I will check out all the other bikes you sifted through. I am also looking at the Rize City step-thru, did you get a chance review that one?
 

Bgsnmky

New Member
HI there Uphill, I was just curious if you have some feedback since you posted/and got your bike. I am in the same boat and don't have any bike shops nearby with the list I have or that you listed. So probably will be online no matter what.

EDGE - I was curious what you have decided as well. :)
 
Hello. Well, I am on the Aventon FB page, and have learned a lot from them as well. I LOVE my bike. It has gotten me out riding almost daily now. Usually 9-12 miles each time. Great exercise, if you keep the gears in a higher range (6-8). That makes it harder to pedal, but the PAS is always in 1 or 2, making it easier to go a bit faster especially uphill.
That being said I have noticed on the FB page many people have spoke issues. I have not. However, the production was cranked up during COVID, as hundreds of people ordered, and the company was overwhelmed with trying to manufacture and fill the orders. I think some of their quality control may have slipped a bit. But, now, it's gotten better, and they are GREAT at CS.
CONS: You cannot engage the throttle or PAS from a dead stop.Got to be on the bike with half a rotation to have either kick in. Also, when in PAS 1, it goes FAST. PAS, IMO should be at 9MPH, not 11. So, for instance, if you are making a u-turn, the PAS kicks in as soon as you petal so you could be going too fast to control it in a steep turn.
PROS: My bike is lighter than most others. I like that, as there are times I am going from the street to the sidewalk, and need to lift the bike up, and I can get it into my convertible, without having to take off the battery to make it lighter.
I like that the stem was adjustable too. I don't feel I need shocks, but I may be changing the seat, as my tush hurts after about 11 miles. Brakes are great. I like the centered battery. If I had cargo on my back rack, I wouldn't want the battery back there as well. That would make it back heavy.
I don't know enough about maintaining my bike, and will always have it serviced at a bike shop. I would suggest you find a mobile bike shop you can rely upon. People are getting into trouble setting the tension of the spokes, tires, and brakes incorrectly. Let me know what else you would like to know,
 

Bgsnmky

New Member
Thanks so much as this helpful.
All the bikes are sooo. Lose in this range. So hard to pick. I am sure I will like any but just trying to do the research. Your post is very helpful.

I know when you first looked at the bike you liked that you had to pedal at least some for the bike throttle to work. Now maybe not right ?
And how do you even know things like the 9 vs 11 on the pas like you described in the u turn. :)

I alao like a lighter bike !
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Hello. Well, I am on the Aventon FB page, and have learned a lot from them as well. I LOVE my bike. It has gotten me out riding almost daily now. Usually 9-12 miles each time. Great exercise, if you keep the gears in a higher range (6-8). That makes it harder to pedal, but the PAS is always in 1 or 2, making it easier to go a bit faster especially uphill.
That being said I have noticed on the FB page many people have spoke issues. I have not. However, the production was cranked up during COVID, as hundreds of people ordered, and the company was overwhelmed with trying to manufacture and fill the orders. I think some of their quality control may have slipped a bit. But, now, it's gotten better, and they are GREAT at CS.
CONS: You cannot engage the throttle or PAS from a dead stop.Got to be on the bike with half a rotation to have either kick in. Also, when in PAS 1, it goes FAST. PAS, IMO should be at 9MPH, not 11. So, for instance, if you are making a u-turn, the PAS kicks in as soon as you petal so you could be going too fast to control it in a steep turn.
PROS: My bike is lighter than most others. I like that, as there are times I am going from the street to the sidewalk, and need to lift the bike up, and I can get it into my convertible, without having to take off the battery to make it lighter.
I like that the stem was adjustable too. I don't feel I need shocks, but I may be changing the seat, as my tush hurts after about 11 miles. Brakes are great. I like the centered battery. If I had cargo on my back rack, I wouldn't want the battery back there as well. That would make it back heavy.
I don't know enough about maintaining my bike, and will always have it serviced at a bike shop. I would suggest you find a mobile bike shop you can rely upon. People are getting into trouble setting the tension of the spokes, tires, and brakes incorrectly. Let me know what else you would like to know,

Very common complaint on the throttle. Just happens to be the way it is on a Pace. They decided the pas needed to engage before the throttle would work so you wouldn't inadvertently activate the throttle while not on the bike.
I tested both the 350 and 500, liked for former because it didn't come on as strong. Even with a lower throttle threshold you still get that jerkiness feeling that is especially disconcerting when slow maneuvering. Wife prefers her mid-drive now for that reason.

It is common for spokes to seat-in a bit on those hub-drives. A combination of loose tolerances and powdercoat finish in the spoke holes - and especially with some weight - they are known to get loose, even break. So at least do the sounding method on your spokes after before/every ride 'till they settle in. Sometimes the spoke nipples are odd sized, so having a proper fitting spoke wrench on hand is key.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
CONS: You cannot engage the throttle or PAS from a dead stop.Got to be on the bike with half a rotation to have either kick in.

That sounds like the plastic bags that have holes in them so kids don't suffocate themselves. Sounds likes a nice safety feature until you realize that it defeats almost the whole purpose of the item in the first place.
If PAS doesn't engage until a half rotation, how do you get going from a standstill on an uphill, especially if you also can't use the throttle.
That would be a deal killer for me.
 
That sounds like the plastic bags that have holes in them so kids don't suffocate themselves. Sounds likes a nice safety feature until you realize that it defeats almost the whole purpose of the item in the first place.
If PAS doesn't engage until a half rotation, how do you get going from a standstill on an uphill, especially if you also can't use the throttle.
That would be a deal killer for me.
and THAT is exactly the major fault with this bike. I have 800 miles now, and it isn't any easier for me to get going from a full stop going uphill. That, and the fact that when I am on a crowed path, where people are walking their dogs, or there are other bikers, I need to go SLOWER, but cannot use the PAS at all, as it is too fast.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
and THAT is exactly the major fault with this bike. I have 800 miles now, and it isn't any easier for me to get going from a full stop going uphill. That, and the fact that when I am on a crowed path, where people are walking their dogs, or there are other bikers, I need to go SLOWER, but cannot use the PAS at all, as it is too fast.
That, I'm afraid, is a very common complaint regarding the Aventon 500 (poor low speed control/response).

It's about the software the bike's controller is using. It's terrible, was likely written by somebody that's never ridden an e-bike prior, and so you know, they (e-bikes in general) are not all like that. The solution is to get used to it some how, or to replace the controller which is not something to take lightly. Some day, maybe somebody will come out with a reasonably priced "kit" that addresses this issue....
 
UPDATE AFTER1200 MILES:

Well, 100 miles later. 1 spill, though I wasn't hurt. 1 brake pad. 1 flat tire (front) 2 dealer checkups, and 2 local bike mechanic checkups/seat adjustment...

I am 5'3", and actually didn't realize I had shrunk at all. I was always 5'5". So, now I am understanding why others my height were saying they were using mediums. The spill I took was because I was going too fast (16) and coming off a very steep curb, where the pavement was also way too indented. (I should call the city about it, because there would be no way a wheelchair could navigate this curb). I pressed one of the brakes too hard, and the bike stopped on a dime, just as I hit the indentation.. Bike stopped and I didn't. Slow motion over the handlebars as I tried to correct, landed on my tummy face down, but didn't hit my face. Bruised stomach, scratched arm and leg, but no broken bones thank goodness.

So, after that I have slowed down considerably. I don't want a repeat of that, at 65, I need to preserve this body!!

*I have realized I need suspension. NOT just in the seat, but everywhere. I also need wider tires. I feel every crack in the pavement, every pebble, every stick, and am constantly worried about going down. I recently rode a bike with 3" x 26" tires, suspension seat, and it sailed over every speed bump, stick, crack..whatever!
The 27/.5 tires have me up too high. I think I'd rather be lower to the ground. so, next bike 24" or 26" X 3" tires for me.

*None of the bikes I have ridden have as nice a handlebar and grip as the Pace 500. Really like that. I have gotten used to the throttle- not being on demand. Aventon has changed this way their throttle works now, and it IS TOD, but they are out of the new controller right now. I use PAS 0 more often, OR PAS 1 and gear 6+ for resistance. The bike rides nicely, but sometimes I feel it is too fast a bike for me. I NEVER go 20 MPH, and going downhill, I have to fight to stay at 16MPH..It just wants to GO. Those are the times I get nervous...when going on a long downhill, and I am braking, braking, braking, trying to slow down....

I was riding with some friends recently, and the guy was 240 lbs, on a big RAD wide-tire beast. I needed to be more careful, where he went over things easily. BUT, he could NOT catch me by a long shot heading up a pretty steep hill. I had to get off my bike and wait a long time for him to catch up. That's how fast it is. Of course I am lighter weight than he is, and the Pace is much lighter too. And, I was only on PAS 4 and gear 4 going up the hill.

*I don't like that the energy bar is not a battery gage. You really don't know how much battery you have left. So, that is not good.

For some, this bike is a great bike at a great price. I bought from a dealer, so I had that support, which was important.

I am still confused about cadence vs torque sensors. I want to be able to choose my level of assistance, and my speed independently. So, I think cadence is correct for me. There are times I want to go a bit faster on a straight away...in PAS 2 or even 3, BUT I also want the exercise. So, I'm in highest gear. I don't want. to bike to decide to make it easier...Am I correct that cadence is best for this?

Hope this is helpful.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Cadence assist is a lot cheaper than torque sense. But I had another brand PAS system where the minimum speed was too fast, 11 mph and minimum acceleration of 300 W. I ride for miles on road berms where there is a 6" deep slot at the crack to the main road pavement, and where the berm gets under 8" wide, 11 mph is way too fast. I deleted the PAS pickup and only use throttle now. That can be tiring on the throttle hand on trips of 30 miles where the headwind requires me to use power all the way. When the wind is down I ride without power, something only geared hub motors & yamaha brose and shimano mid drives can do without drag.
Having hit my chin 5 times in 63 years of bike riding, I now ride a helmet with a chin guard. Fox Rampage. Also available from Bell but very difficult to find in stock. I had looked for a helmet with a chin guard before I broke the chin in 2017, without finding one. Secret search engine term is "downhill mountain bike racing helmet". I wasn't racing, and was on a road, not a downhill trial, but that is the only sport that considers bike riders might fall on their chin. A long sleeve mechanic's workshirt & pants kept my arms and legs from burning on the pavement in that 25 mph spill. Dickies or Red Hat. I go up to 35 mph downhill on good pavement, and still average 8 mph over my 30 mile commutes due to sparse use of power.
BTW, before electricity I used a bicycle with 15 speeds including 32:28 to get up steep hills. Riding at 1 mph up a hill was not thrilling, but doing that helped me drop 55 lb after I quit working. My rest pulse also went from 85 to 65. My current yubabike goes down to a 32:32 ratio for unpowered pedaling up hills. If I'm in a hurry the geared hub motor will drag me up anything without pedaling, but I ride as much for exercise as entertainment. I bought the electric hub motor as an add on after a 6 hour commute home into a 20-25 mph headwind 9/2018. Too much exercise. I don't get to pick days with no headwind if I am out at my summer camp & out of food. Typically only mountain bikes have these low ratios for hill climbing, but there are few to none of those available for people 5' 4" tall. I don't like mountain bike straight handlebars either, they make my hands fall asleep. The yuba I have (in the avatar) is made specially for short legged people carrying children on San Francisco hills. However, yuba has deleted that small drop frame. In future you might look at a blix packa that has a 24" wheel bike with less distance to fall. I refuse to ride 20" wheels like the tern hsd; I view the shock of hitting a pothole on a tiny wheel to be too great. If you want less shock, try 2.1" diameter tires on your aventon, then lower the pressure to 40 psi or so.
 
Last edited:

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
UPDATE AFTER1200 MILES:

Well, 100 miles later. 1 spill, though I wasn't hurt. 1 brake pad. 1 flat tire (front) 2 dealer checkups, and 2 local bike mechanic checkups/seat adjustment...

I am 5'3", and actually didn't realize I had shrunk at all. I was always 5'5". So, now I am understanding why others my height were saying they were using mediums. The spill I took was because I was going too fast (16) and coming off a very steep curb, where the pavement was also way too indented. (I should call the city about it, because there would be no way a wheelchair could navigate this curb). I pressed one of the brakes too hard, and the bike stopped on a dime, just as I hit the indentation.. Bike stopped and I didn't. Slow motion over the handlebars as I tried to correct, landed on my tummy face down, but didn't hit my face. Bruised stomach, scratched arm and leg, but no broken bones thank goodness.

So, after that I have slowed down considerably. I don't want a repeat of that, at 65, I need to preserve this body!!

*I have realized I need suspension. NOT just in the seat, but everywhere. I also need wider tires. I feel every crack in the pavement, every pebble, every stick, and am constantly worried about going down. I recently rode a bike with 3" x 26" tires, suspension seat, and it sailed over every speed bump, stick, crack..whatever!
The 27/.5 tires have me up too high. I think I'd rather be lower to the ground. so, next bike 24" or 26" X 3" tires for me.

*None of the bikes I have ridden have as nice a handlebar and grip as the Pace 500. Really like that. I have gotten used to the throttle- not being on demand. Aventon has changed this way their throttle works now, and it IS TOD, but they are out of the new controller right now. I use PAS 0 more often, OR PAS 1 and gear 6+ for resistance. The bike rides nicely, but sometimes I feel it is too fast a bike for me. I NEVER go 20 MPH, and going downhill, I have to fight to stay at 16MPH..It just wants to GO. Those are the times I get nervous...when going on a long downhill, and I am braking, braking, braking, trying to slow down....

I was riding with some friends recently, and the guy was 240 lbs, on a big RAD wide-tire beast. I needed to be more careful, where he went over things easily. BUT, he could NOT catch me by a long shot heading up a pretty steep hill. I had to get off my bike and wait a long time for him to catch up. That's how fast it is. Of course I am lighter weight than he is, and the Pace is much lighter too. And, I was only on PAS 4 and gear 4 going up the hill.

*I don't like that the energy bar is not a battery gage. You really don't know how much battery you have left. So, that is not good.

For some, this bike is a great bike at a great price. I bought from a dealer, so I had that support, which was important.

I am still confused about cadence vs torque sensors. I want to be able to choose my level of assistance, and my speed independently. So, I think cadence is correct for me. There are times I want to go a bit faster on a straight away...in PAS 2 or even 3, BUT I also want the exercise. So, I'm in highest gear. I don't want. to bike to decide to make it easier...Am I correct that cadence is best for this?

Hope this is helpful.
It sounds like this bike is teaching you a lot, supplying information you could not have come by without riding extensively.

This comment: "I want to be able to choose my level of assistance, and my speed independently." Should be one you want to keep in mind for the NEXT bike. Typically the less expensive bikes are all speed based. There's another breed though, that are power based. With those, you select the amount of assistance you want, and it remains the same no matter your speed - which should accomplish your objective (speed and assist independent). To my knowledge, the R1U (Ride One UP) is one of the few inexpensive bikes that offer this feature.

Being pickier about the info available on your display is also the product of experience. If you keep this bike for a while, you may learn/get used to that "energy bar" and the information it's passing along. Clearly, there is much better available, but give the one you have a chance.

Tire selection for a decent ride is important - and something else you learn by trying a few. I've recently switched to Shwalbe Super Moto X tires and believe they offer a super ride. They're a balloon type like we had on the bikes way back when - and they work! The trick is to provide low rolling resistance at lower inflation pressures. Low rolling resistance (easy to pedal, maximum battery mileage) until now has been a big priority - resulting in some tires that will rattle your teeth out.... -Al