First time buyer - commuter hybrid for a short*rse!

twigletzone

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
So, per my introduction post I've been offered a folding ebike for a very reasonable price by a friend, but she's currently ill and I won't be able to collect it for some time. It's a Pro-Rider Wayfarer, which google investigation told me seems to be a reasonable first-timer ebike (and good for someone very unfit post-pandemic too).

However I do want to get a non-folding ebike, because folders are perfect for travel but just not as nice to ride - I miss pottering around town on my bike. The more I learn about the market the more complicated the choice seems to get though. I've tested things from a Gocycle (loved it, can't afford it) to a Raleigh Motus (like driving a Rolls Royce, about as heavy as one too) and to be honest I've only managed to confuse myself more. Hoping you knowledgeable lot may be able to shed some light.

Use case: 20min commute and occasional leisure rides, flat area, good paved cycle paths or roads.

Rider: 5'2", long legs, very short torso and arms. This is my biggest issue. My main bike is a hybrid, 17" frame with crossbar, it's perfect for my legs but somewhat too long for me from handlebars to saddle. I've tweaked this as much as I can, installed curved handlebars and wider grips, but fundamentally the size of the bike forces my weight onto my wrists - this gives me issues with hands going numb after about 15mins cycling. I'm not keen on a road bike riding position since I'm not the most confident cyclist and I also need to be able to see around me to cycle in traffic. So while I don't want to go for a full-on "sit up and beg" Dutch bike experience, I'm looking for a frame that doesn't have this effect on me.

Looking for:

Budget: Up to £2500

Must have
Frame geometry that fits me (XS or S and not designed for orang-utans)
Removable battery
Disc brakes
Reasonably responsive handling - having to dodge nitwits wandering down the cycle lanes and homicidal plumbers' vans is sadly a fact of life around here
Mudguards
Rack

Really want
Walk assist mode
Hub gears
Enclosed drivetrain
Enough motor power to avoid feeling sluggish
Built in lights
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Qwic MN7VV in small size is supposed to fit riders from 5’2”, although you may be put off by the rim brakes
Gazelle Ami is a good town bike, I borrowed one for a month 4 years ago and enjoyed riding it very much.
Cube Supreme Hybrid Pro 500 is above your budget but is available in both xs and small

If you do want to go full Dutch, consider ordering an Azor Ameland ebike imported by the School Run Centre bike shop in Cambridge. The My Azor bike configurator is amazing in the sheer number of different options, for example you can spec a front disk brake, Enviolo CVT gearing, ebike lights, and a Shimano Steps e5000 motor, and the frame painted in a bewildering variety of colors. Here‘s an image with what I selected, really nice traditional bike.
 
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dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
There are a lot of choices and you budget should get you what you want. I own a Trek Verve +3, which might be just beyond your budget. Trek also makes bikes called Townies that would hit your budget. Trek, Giant, Specialized, etc., lots of big name bikes that might have a local bike shop that you can try one out, they can get you in the correct size, and work on it for you.
 

twigletzone

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
There are a lot of choices and you budget should get you what you want. I own a Trek Verve +3, which might be just beyond your budget. Trek also makes bikes called Townies that would hit your budget. Trek, Giant, Specialized, etc., lots of big name bikes that might have a local bike shop that you can try one out, they can get you in the correct size, and work on it for you.
There are a bazillion bike shops in Cambridge, I can think of four independent ones off the top of my head and there's Halfords and a couple of branches of Rutland as well. And an ebikes-only place, although they weren't super helpful about choosing a model. I should be able to find someplace who'll be better!

Dewey - I definitely don't want to go full Dutch, they're not manoeuvrable enough for all the pinch points and anti-traffic gates and such. That was one of the things that put me off the Raleigh Motus, I just wasn't confident I'd be able to get around on it without constantly having to stop and get off to avoid crashing into road furniture. I suppose I should try the Grand Tour version, apparently that has a better motor, although if it doesn't have better brakes than the Tour too it'll be nigh unstoppable.
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Texas Hill Country/Banana Belt, Colorado
If possible, I would test ride as many bikes as you can't your hands on. Not sure what your local LBS situation is where you live. Bikes are still a little scarce here. Ive learned by experience, push your budget as far as possible. I'm a believer you get what you pay for in the ebike world. Good luck on your search.
 

twigletzone

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
If possible, I would test ride as many bikes as you can't your hands on. Not sure what your local LBS situation is where you live. Bikes are still a little scarce here. Ive learned by experience, push your budget as far as possible. I'm a believer you get what you pay for in the ebike world. Good luck on your search.
I can get to Cambridge easily enough which has dozens. Part of the reason I posted was I was hoping for some pointers to narrow down the overwhelming choice though.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
OK, something lightweight and more sporty,
Islabikes eJanis if you can get over to Ludlow Shropshire, Islabikes HQ, offer full service bike fitting, and they are really fastidious going as far as offering shorter crank arms and other tweaks to get the geometry right for the rider. This bike is available in xs and small sizes, and is lightweight, using the Mahle x35 hub motor.
Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2 EQ is also lightweight and uses the Hydrive hub motor
Electra Townie Go! 7D another lightweight, uses the same Hydrive hub motor as the Treadwell, the Townie offers a lower seat height with a feet forward riding position which is helpful for putting your feet down when you come to a stop, and can be bought and serviced from a Trek dealer because Trek own the Electra brand.
VanMoof A5 a friend of mine has the older X3 model she uses to ride her 6 year old to school using a child seat. Powerful front hub motor, thumb throttle that helps when you want to concentrate on steering, it’s a good all rounder and fits riders from 5’1” It uses a 4-speed automatic internal geared hub, so it shifts gear for you, and offers plenty enough power to get up hills. The only issue is it has many proprietary parts such as the seat post with the built in light, so you can’t swap out things like the saddle. This bike reminds me of Metal Mickey because of all the bleeps and sounds it makes, but it’s the one to get if you’re a tech fan.
 
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twigletzone

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
OK, something lightweight and more sporty,
Islabikes eJanis if you can get over to Ludlow Shropshire, Islabikes HQ, offer full service bike fitting, and they are really fastidious going as far as offering shorter crank arms and other tweaks to get the geometry right for the rider. This bike is available in xs and small sizes, and is lightweight, using the Mahle x35 hub motor.
Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2 EQ is also lightweight and uses the Hydrive hub motor
Electra Townie Go! 7D another lightweight, uses the same Hydrive hub motor as the Treadwell, the Townie offers a lower seat height with a feet forward riding position which is helpful for putting your feet down when you come to a stop, and can be bought and serviced from a Trek dealer because Trek own the Electra brand.
VanMoof A5 a friend of mine has the older X3 model she uses to ride her 6 year old to school using a child seat. Powerful front hub motor, thumb throttle that helps when you want to concentrate on steering, it’s a good all rounder and fits riders from 5’1” It uses a 4-speed automatic internal geared hub, so it shifts gear for you, and offers plenty enough power to get up hills. The only issue is it has many proprietary parts such as the seat post with the built in light, so you can’t swap out things like the saddle. This bike reminds me of Metal Mickey because of all the bleeps and sounds it makes, but it’s the one to get if you’re a tech fan.
Those VanMoof things look like they were designed by aliens - there are folding bikes like that as well, it seems to be quite the trend.
Sadly I will definitely need to swap the saddle, it's gel with a cutout or nothing for me, so that one's out.

The Townie Go is adorable! Turquoise is my favourite colour. It only seems to come in one frame size though. Website says the seat tube is 45cm, am I right in thinking that's equivalent to 18"? Or is the geometry of this one substantially different to a standard bike?

Treadwell Neo - only seems to have an option for a front mounted rack. Many somewhat eventful trips to Asda when I lived in town have taught me that weight where I'm steering is not a great idea for me. (I mean part of the problem was the residential streets round there have tarmac like the surface of the Moon. But not all of it!)

The Islabikes one does look interesting, I'll have to look into getting to Shropshire!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
One of the nice options on the Islabikes eJanis is a dropper seat post, this seems like overkill for a step through bike but while I have not used one I have read opinions from riders who love being able to press a button on the handlebar to drop the seat when they stop, and have it raise up when you stand on the pedals to get going again. That way you can keep the saddle higher to get full leg extension when pedaling, while being comfortable planting both feet on the ground when stopped without having to hoik your self back up into the saddle when you get going.

The Townie Go 7D slack seat tube angle means it can fit riders 4'11" to 5'11", Trek has a webpage up discussing what they call its 'flat foot technology', it’s a best selling ebike so lots of riders appreciate the comfort oriented geometry and being able to put both feet down when stopped.

Re: Treadwell rack, I hear you, I tried a Wald front rack and had to fit a deflopilator steerer spring to stop the handlebars from flopping around. Currently I use a rear rack and panniers for grocery shopping.
 
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