First e-bike purchase assistance

stevelion

New Member
My wife and I are both in our 50's and looking to move from Giant Roam bikes to e-bikes. She is having trouble with hills and could use the power assist, and I just want to be able to keep up if she has an e-bike. We live a rural area with significant hills nearby. We would probably use the bikes 70% on local roads, some of which are stone, and 30% on dirt and gravel bike trails. While I like to think I might go "off-road" on occasion, if I'm being realistic, this is certainly not going to be a frequent occurrence.

I'm open to both direct to consumer and dealer models. Most dealers are not convenient except for Trek/Specialized about 25 minutes away and Giant dealer 45 minutes away. My thoughts are that I want mid drive motor and torque sensors, but am open to other suggestions. I test drive a Giant EXPLORE E+ 4 GTS and this is definitely on my short list and I've talked myself into the $2500 price tag. I'd go as high as $3000 which opened up my search to the Giant Fathom E+ 3 at $2700 and the Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 at $2700. For the wife, we'd probably get a low step version of the EXPLORE E+ 4 or the LIV equivalent or and same for the Turbo Vado 3.0.

Any other suggestions are welcome, but I'd really like comments on these three models. The EXPLORE E+ 4 is nice and is a style that I like with a good mix of on and off road capabilities. The Fathom E+ 3 is certainly more of an off-road design and it looks like it has some slightly better components like front fork. In doing online research, I also think the Turbo Vado 3.0 would be a good fit although more commuter oriented with fender and a rack. I kind of like that because I definitely want lights for safety and the fenders could be useful. However, I also worry that that this bike is little too oriented for the road, with those tires, front fork, and "street tuned" motor.

The Ride1Up LMT’D is still on the short list (some days), but has a rear hub motor and doesn't ship until August. It seems the D2C model has a dearth of mid drive motors with torque sensors. The LMT'D at least checks off the torque sensor check box.

Thoughts appreciated.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Welcome to EBR!

Based on your use case and requirements I would look at mid-drive bikes from the big 3... Trek, Specialized, and Giant all have high-quality offerings.

Go a ride a few bikes at your local dealers and see what feels most natural to you. I like the response provided by the Shimano and Yamaha motor systems. ;)
 

stevelion

New Member
Welcome to EBR!

Based on your use case and requirements I would look at mid-drive bikes from the big 3... Trek, Specialized, and Giant all have high-quality offerings.

Go a ride a few bikes at your local dealers and see what feels most natural to you. I like the response provided by the Shimano and Yamaha motor systems. ;)
Thanks! I think we're going to try and ride the Specialized this evening.
 

vado4.0

New Member
Thanks! I think we're going to try and ride the Specialized this evening.
if you go with a specialized make sure you have a 48t chain ring installed on the the bike, i have 5,500 miles on a 4.0, motor died twice on the bike, then specialized sent me an upgraded 5.0, sadly the motor went out a 2,100 miles
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Congrats on your search for ebikes!
You will feel like you have bionic legs.
My two cents is to test ride as much as practical, especially on hills. It will help narrow the field.
Looking forward to photos of His & Hers ebikes.
 
Last edited:

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Giant Fathom E+ 3
I must make a remark. The Fathom E+ is a cross-country e-bike with knobby tyres. If you say you want to spend 70% of your rides on local roads, you would suffer from tyre noise very much. The knobby tyres only become silent off-road. My own example:

Among others, I own a Vado and ride it mostly on paved surfaces and on packed gravel. The bike is beautifully silent. It is not as good off-road but sometimes I have to get off the road and the bike can do it under the condition it is not a sandy road and the terrain is not too rough. I also own a Giant Trance E+, which is a trail e-MTB (similar to Fathom). I can hardly ride it on-road and only do it when I have to. So I carry my Trance in a car near to the forest to hit the trails there. Beware: a cross-country e-bike is not an all-rounder.

The Giant Trance E+ is very noisy on paved surfaces. It quietens when it rides the gravel, and the tyres become silent off-road; then you start hearing the motor noise instead (all e-MTBs have noisy motors).
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
My wife and I are both in our 50's and looking to move from Giant Roam bikes to e-bikes. She is having trouble with hills and could use the power assist, and I just want to be able to keep up if she has an e-bike. We live a rural area with significant hills nearby. We would probably use the bikes 70% on local roads, some of which are stone, and 30% on dirt and gravel bike trails. While I like to think I might go "off-road" on occasion, if I'm being realistic, this is certainly not going to be a frequent occurrence.

I'm open to both direct to consumer and dealer models. Most dealers are not convenient except for Trek/Specialized about 25 minutes away and Giant dealer 45 minutes away. My thoughts are that I want mid drive motor and torque sensors, but am open to other suggestions. I test drive a Giant EXPLORE E+ 4 GTS and this is definitely on my short list and I've talked myself into the $2500 price tag. I'd go as high as $3000 which opened up my search to the Giant Fathom E+ 3 at $2700 and the Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 at $2700. For the wife, we'd probably get a low step version of the EXPLORE E+ 4 or the LIV equivalent or and same for the Turbo Vado 3.0.

Any other suggestions are welcome, but I'd really like comments on these three models. The EXPLORE E+ 4 is nice and is a style that I like with a good mix of on and off road capabilities. The Fathom E+ 3 is certainly more of an off-road design and it looks like it has some slightly better components like front fork. In doing online research, I also think the Turbo Vado 3.0 would be a good fit although more commuter oriented with fender and a rack. I kind of like that because I definitely want lights for safety and the fenders could be useful. However, I also worry that that this bike is little too oriented for the road, with those tires, front fork, and "street tuned" motor.

The Ride1Up LMT’D is still on the short list (some days), but has a rear hub motor and doesn't ship until August. It seems the D2C model has a dearth of mid drive motors with torque sensors. The LMT'D at least checks off the torque sensor check box. Thoughts appreciated.

Not sure if you saw the review on EBR... ;)

  • A hardtail cross country gravel oriented ebike with possibilities for not only light trail riding and off-roading, but as a commuter setup because it offers mounting points for lots of accessories, high quality at a value price point
  • Comes with hybrid tires, suspension fork, rear rack bosses, fender bosses, kickstand provisions, bottle cage bosses, and even extra threaded eyelets on the seat stays for a cafe lock
  • Uses a Yamaha PW series motor with pedal torque and pedal cadence sensing response, very quiet, efficient and reliable, has a nice 9 speed Shimano Deore setup with hydraulic disc brakes, larger 180mm front rotor provides great stopping power
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Love my Trek Allant+7 and would suggest test driving a Trek since they’re close to you.
BC6C8751-6A80-474C-828F-17557D0BA4DE.jpeg
 

stevelion

New Member
Thanks for all the great advice! We're going to test drive multiple bikes on Friday including Specialized and Giant for certain. We also have an appointment at a dedicated e-bike dealer that lists many brands so it will be interesting to see what they actually have to test drive.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Bontrager Satellite Elite Grip Set that came standard on the bike and Profile Designs Boxer bar ends all wrapped with BV EVA Road Bike Handlebar Tape.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
FWIW...
After looking at the Giant EXPLORE E+ 4 GTS, I note that the Allant +7 comes with fenders, a good rack and a head and tail light. Its also 2 lbs lighter. It’s able to be equipped with a second battery for longer range. It is almost $1000 more but has some key capabilities I cared about.
 

stevelion

New Member
It is a good all-rounder e-bike. You certainly need to demo-ride it. Same for the Giant/Liv for your wife. Demo-ride the Vados, too.
I really like the look and specs on the Turbo Vado 3.0 and we are test driving today. I have two concerns with this bike. First, it seems like it's really setup more for road user than light trail use and I really want more of a hybrid setup. Second, I've seen mixed information that this bike is class 3 and I believe in Pennsylvania this might be a problem taking it on many trails including state lands. I'm hoping the LBS can give me some input on the latter.

Are my thoughts on this bike not really being good for trails correct? I don't see anything on Specialized site that looks like a good hybrid.


When I look for an e-bike, I'm generally looking for front suspension, hardtail, flat bar, and a semi-upright riding position; something like our current bikes which are the 2017 Giant Roam 1, except this time around I think my wife is going to want to move to a low-step frame.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Are my thoughts on this bike not really being good for trails correct? I don't see anything on Specialized site that looks like a good hybrid.
Right, the Vado is more city-oriented. The biggest weakness is the rear rack that is not good for high load and cannot be replaced. However, the 400 Wh small battery is the biggest weakness of the Explore. You might soon find yourself in the position you would need two extra PowerPak Smart 625 Wh batteries (one for you and the other for your wife). The EnergyPak Smart batteries are interchangeable. That means US$2000 expense. Unluckily, the U.S. Giant site offers now the low-end Explore E+ models only. Don't know how to help you.
 

stevelion

New Member
Right, the Vado is more city-oriented. The biggest weakness is the rear rack that is not good for high load and cannot be replaced. However, the 400 Wh small battery is the biggest weakness of the Explore. You might soon find yourself in the position you would need two extra PowerPak Smart 625 Wh batteries (one for you and the other for your wife). The EnergyPak Smart batteries are interchangeable. That means US$2000 expense. Unluckily, the U.S. Giant site offers now the low-end Explore E+ models only. Don't know how to help you.

I stumbled on an international Giant site that listed 4 versions of the Explore E+ model. I wish they sold the other versions in the U.S. as the next model up or two looks like a better fit for us.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I would not recommend Trek e-bikes because the Allant+ 7 basically belongs to the same tale as the Vado. What about Bulls?
If you could extend your budget to US$3500, the Bulls Lacuba are available in both high-step and step over versions. And these are available. Benefits:
  • Brose T motor (similar to Specialized 1.2), which is silent
  • 650 Wh battery and that's up to the standard of very expensive e-bikes, ensuring long range
  • Thick 2" tyres very good for roads and easy off-road
  • Air fork: Most of e-bikes come with inferior steel-spring fork
  • Fenders, lighting, rack.


If I were in your position and faced with the difficult market situation, I would certaintly look at the Bulls Lacuba e-bikes.
@FlatSix911, your opinion?
 
Last edited: