First e-bike - best value for quality/range?

Dr.J

New Member
Region
Canada
I've ridden a couple different e-bikes a few times over the past year or two (RadWagon, RadCity, Ohm Discover/Cruise), and am now looking to buy my first one, and wanted to make sure I was on the right path.

I really liked the smooth/natural feel of the mid-drive motors, so that plus the efficiency has me looking mainly at mid-drive systems (unless there is a big reason to not consider them or look at other options).

I will be using it as my primary transportation around the city, and will be hauling panniers from grocery runs and similar on a decently frequent basis. I will also do some longer day trips and maybe even a little touring on occasion. I will mostly be riding on pavement, but on occasion will ride a bit on some hard packed or crushed gravel trail (Lochside Trail, Central Valley Greenway for those familiar with Vancouver/Victoria)

I'm in the Vancouver, BC area, so hills/mountains are a thing and I would like something that can easily last more than 100km for some longer rides.

I am price conscious, but my budget is a little flexible as I want good quality, durability, and range, so am willing to pay a tad more (ideally $3-5k CAD max) if it will provide those things and last as a good long-term investment.

So far, I think I am primarily looking at Ohm's Cruise and Discover (it helps that I have relatively easy access to their location) as they seem to check the boxes mentioned above, and seem to be about the most competitive price-point for the range and quality provided (~$4k-4.5k CAD).

I would love to hear thoughts on:
A. Does the Ohm Discover/Cruise sound reasonable?
B. Do you have any other recommendations I should look at?
C. Is there any features or other things in particular I should be looking/watching for?

Thanks in advance!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
100km is a long way, if it’s all hill climbing you’ll need to buy and carry a second battery to swap out when you lose power. Ohm seem like a brand that cares about its customers, they handled the transition from using Bionx hub motors to Shimano Steps mid-drive. Another similar priced bike available near you using the same Shimano Steps e6100 motor and battery would be the Kona Dew-e or Splice-e
 
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Dr.J

New Member
Region
Canada
Thanks Dewey, I will take a look at the Dew-e!
For longer rider the majority would be relatively flat or mild/small rolling hills at worst. I did just mention hills/mountains mainly because there are a few steeper hills I would be going up on a regular basis commuting (shorter 5-25km trips), and want to ensure it could still handle those well enough, while still not killing the range.

Edit: Haha, I just realized Dewey and Dew-e!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
What about the major brands ... Trek, Giant, Specialized ... in your area? Your budget seems like it would go a long way even if those brands of bikes are more expensive, and they should all have local support if that matters to you.

Trek Giant Specialized don't supply cargo bikes. He's going to be carrying supplies in panniers, which lifts the front wheel of MTB's & cruisers & makes the steering unstable. See the category: https://electricbikereview.com/forums/forum/cargo/
I've been very pleased with my yubabike with 6500 miles on it. Costs are running about $.38 a km so far. will go down as the 2nd hub motor amortizes. I carry up to 100 lb & up to 30"x30"x48" items. The first hub motor lasted 4500 miles and was rideable home worn out without power. But the OP wants a mid drive. I did NOT. So I converted a pedal bike, instead of buying a bosch boat anchor (that would drag when I don't use power, about 80% of my ride). I just carried home a 2'x4'x3/4" panel from HD plus tools from flea market. I'm serious about this not driving thing. The bad weather is our fault.
 
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Trek Giant Specialized don'supply cargo bikes. He's going to be carrying supplies in panniers, which lifts the front wheel of MTB's & cruisers & makes the steering unstable. See the category: https://electricbikereview.com/forums/forum/cargo/
I've been very pleased with my yubabike with 6500 miles on it. Costs are running about $.38 a km so far. will go down as the 2nd hub motor amortizes. I carry up to 100 lb & up to 30"x30"x48" items. The first hub motor lasted 4500 miles and was rideable home worn out without power. But the OP wants a mid drive. I did NOT. So I converted a pedal bike, instead of buying a bosch boat anchor (that would drag when I don't use power, about 80% of my ride). I just carried home a 2'x4'x3/4" panel from HD plus tools from flea market. I'm serious about this not driving thing. The bad weather is our fault.
Oh ok. I missed the cargo bike part. Actually, I thought all cargo bikes were hub drives, and just skipped over that.







ok
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Be sure to do a thorough test ride of any bike in conditions similar to those you will be riding in.

The Ohm looks for be a reasonably well speced bike but I doubt that drive train will be very good on hills with it's 46 tooth crankset and 36 tooth maximum cog size on the cassette. Living in Bellingham, another hilly town, I like to see close to a one to one ratio front to rear in the lowest gear, especially when packing a load of groceries.

I know there are some Trek stores in Van and I have found that Trek has a broad range of bikes, each model with various optional groupsets, at a range of prices. Be sure whoever you buy from inspires some confidence that you will get the kind of service and care you deserve AFTER you make your purchase.

You might also consider purchase of a bike trailer like the Burley Coho to do your freight hauling. This keeps the bike itself more balanced while doing so and also keeps it lighter and decluttered when you are just going somewhere and don't need cargo capacity.
 

Dr.J

New Member
Region
Canada
Thanks everyone.
One little clarification: my cargo hauling (groceries) will be limited to a max of 20-30lbs (usually less) in panniers, that I currently carry on a regular bike much of the time. So I guess I'm probably looking for some mix of a Hybrid/City/Commuter/Touring e-bike. Something like the Rad Wagon or Benno are a bit large for what I am looking for.
My main reason to buy an e-bike is to extend how far I can ride, and make it possible or at least a bit easier to climb some of the local terrain to get to wherever I'm heading.

What about the major brands ... Trek, Giant, Specialized ... in your area? Your budget seems like it would go a long way even if those brands of bikes are more expensive, and they should all have local support if that matters to you.
I looked at those 3 a bit over a year ago and they seem to fall sort in price to quality and range compared to Ohm, but I will take another look.


Which bikes have you actually ridden?
I have ridden the Rad Wagon, Rad City, Ohm Cruise, Ohm Discover (and maybe Quest, I don't fully remember) at this point. At some point I am planning to test some Trek e-bikes at their local store, and go to another shop to try other e-bikes, depending on recommendations.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Whatever you decide on, just remove the panniers when not in use. You would be surprised how much they slow you down and/or reduce your battery range, even empty because of poor aerodynamics.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
, just remove the panniers when not in use. You would be surprised how much they slow you down and/or reduce your battery range, even empty because of poor aerodynamics.
Not true for me. I was slow before giving up on cars, I'm still slow. Actually as I ride more than before I stopped driving cars, I'm speeding up. 9 instead of 7. 10 at the end of summer. I don't use electricity to increase speed, I use it to stop decrease caused by frequent headwinds of global warming.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I’ll throw the Allant+7 in as I have over 1300 miles doing LOTS of hills in LOTS of wind. It has been totally reliable and climbs hills very well. The Racktime rack and the Odin bag with panniers is great! Good luck in your search! The panniers zip into the side pockets when not in use.
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Well, if the big names are still under consideration, I would want to look at a Specialized Como, not just b/c it's my ride.

With the rack in front and panniers in back, it's a pretty good hauler. But it's not a cargo bike.
 

GaleL

Member
Region
Canada
City
West Vancouver, BC
What about the major brands ... Trek, Giant, Specialized ... in your area? Your budget seems like it would go a long way even if those brands of bikes are more expensive, and they should all have local support if that matters to you.
A Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 is currently $4,159 in Vancouver, BC. Treks are even pricier here! Trek is a US brand, built in the USA. It's the exchange rate that kills Canadians. $1 USD = $1.21+ CAD.
 

Dr.J

New Member
Region
Canada
Thanks again for all the recommendations, I now have a decent list of e-bikes to test this summer!

One very intriguing option I did come across (when it gets back in stock anyway) is REI's Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2: https://www.rei.com/product/172496/co-op-cycles-cty-e22-electric-bike

The price point (~$2500 CAD)is very tempting and from my (not super knowledgeable) comparison it looks relatively comparable to the Ohm Discover (using as my baseline since I've ridden it)?
It seems the motor and battery are the same (although external vs internal battery), but can anyone comment on how the overall quality and other parts seem to compare to the Ohm Discover, or some of the other e-bikes mentioned in this thread?

I expect for the price point some of the components are probably from a slightly lower tier, but does that really matter and/or how much would that actually impact overall usability, quality, experience, durability, range, etc?
 

GaleL

Member
Region
Canada
City
West Vancouver, BC
Thanks again for all the recommendations, I now have a decent list of e-bikes to test this summer!

One very intriguing option I did come across (when it gets back in stock anyway) is REI's Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2: https://www.rei.com/product/172496/co-op-cycles-cty-e22-electric-bike

The price point (~$2500 CAD)is very tempting and from my (not super knowledgeable) comparison it looks relatively comparable to the Ohm Discover (using as my baseline since I've ridden it)?
It seems the motor and battery are the same (although external vs internal battery), but can anyone comment on how the overall quality and other parts seem to compare to the Ohm Discover, or some of the other e-bikes mentioned in this thread?

I expect for the price point some of the components are probably from a slightly lower tier, but does that really matter and/or how much would that actually impact overall usability, quality, experience, durability, range, etc?
REI stores are in the US only. The border between Canada and the US will remain closed due to COVID-19 until at least June 21.
 

Dr.J

New Member
Region
Canada
REI stores are in the US only. The border between Canada and the US will remain closed due to COVID-19 until at least June 21.
I'm well aware of this :) I expect it will be late summer before I end up purchasing an e-bike, so it likely won't be an issue.

A good comparison but currently they fly off the shelves as soon as they are in stock after several months they are out again after 4 weeks, do as I did and periodically ask on the REI.com conversations forum, see https://electricbikereview.com/foru...d-shimano-mid-drives.37714/page-3#post-396821
I actually contacted REI corporate and while there is no exact eta, they did mention that there would be more Coop Cycles e-bikes likely coming in the next 3ish months, and although the person I talked to wasn't certain, quite possibly an updated version for the e2.2.

I guess my underlying question is (assuming I am able to get one), is the CTY e2.2 one of the best value (price to quality) mid-drive e-bikes without really sacrificing much of anything overall (usability, quality, durability, etc), since I'm not very familiar with other bike parts?
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
is the CTY e2.2 one of the best value e-bikes without really sacrificing much of anything overall (usability, quality, durability, etc), since I'm not very familiar with other bike parts?
With the REI member dividend and REI credit card discount you could get up to 15% off the msrp, the CTY e2.2 is the least expensive (around two grand US with discounts) Class 1 brand-name mid-drive with useful range and hill climbing power (Shimano steps e6100 motor, 60nm torque, 500wh battery) sold through in-person stores. What constitutes “Best value” is of course different for each rider and on how well the bike's features meet your use case. By comparison at this price point the Batch ebike ($2100) for example has less range and power (Bosch Active Line, 40nm torque, 400wh battery) and is a better match to the less powerful (and cheaper) REI Co-Op CTY e2.1 model, while the Momentum LaFree E+ (also $2100) has a motor with comparable power (60nm) but a smaller 400wh battery mounted on the rack. There is room for improvement, comments on a feedback site suggested that for the CTY e2.2 the adjustable stem loosens, the fenders are too short, and the lack of a chain guard, these can mostly be fixed by swapping out components. Good news to read REI are making changes for the next batch. Bad news that it will likely be the fall before they are restocked (and then sell out again within a month).
 
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