First time buyer looking for a commuter/light trail ebike

Valendius

New Member
Hello everyone,

First time e-bike buyer and looking to buy an year round commuter, light trail, and grocery run type e-bike. My budget is around $4k CAD for an e-bike, I'm around 5'1", weigh around 110 pounds, in my early thirties, and somewhat fit. The commute to work is 5km one way on flat ground except the direct route that goes through a river and has a 35-45 degree incline in one portion.

Feature Wish list:
  • Able to mount winter tires (winter gets to below 20 degrees Celsius average)
  • Integrated front and back lights
  • Break motor override
  • Mid drive motor to go up a valley (Edmonton has a river running through the city and depending on the location it could be really steep)
  • Walk assist
  • Included rear rack and fenders
  • Have small frame
  • Warranty support
I've narrowed down my choices to the following:
  • Trek Verve+2 2020
    • $3299 CAD
    • Concerned the front and rear fenders will limit my choice of winter tires
    • No walk assist (?)
    • Concerned about the mid drive's ability to go up hills
    • A defect (?) where the chain constantly slips off from what the reviews I read
  • Trek Verve+3 2020
    • $3999 CAD
    • Only medium non step-thru size available
    • Concerned the front and rear fenders will limit my choice of winter tires
    • Concerned about the mid drive's ability to go up hills
  • Giant Explore E+ 2 STA 2020
  • Ohm Cruise
    • $4199 CAD
    • No local dealer support
    • Assembly maybe too complicated for me to handle due to the lack of proper bike tools
    • Detachable display (bike theft here is rampant)
    • Has everything that I wanted in an e-bike
    • Lack of review online to get a good comparison with others
Do all e-bikes require key in battery to start and run?

I checked all dealerships in the city and narrowed my options based on what they currently have in stock and price. I'm afraid the medium frame e-bikes maybe too big and heavy for me. I'm leaning towards step-thru models if they're available and I assume they won't have issues with gravel trails? I've never rode a bike in winter and winter tires are a major concern. I would assume having a wider wheel would equal better traction, right?

I was able to test ride the Trek Verve+2 and Giant Explore E+ 2 STA in an indoor area with glued small rocks as a flooring. It's not the best test ride track but it is better than nothing. Here are my findings:

Trek Verve+2 step-thru 2020
  • Motor is quiet in all assist levels however every assist level change there is a slight lurch before it kicks in.
  • It is a lot more comfortable to ride and sit compared to Explore E+ 2 STA.

Giant Explore E+ 2 STA 2020
  • Motor is quiet in all assist levels and I don't get the slight lurch compared to Verv+2. There is a more torque in the higher assists than Verve+2 probably due to a higher end motor(?).
  • Less comfortable to ride compared to Verve+2 probably due to high seat post height and the leaning forward posture

I need some feedback and recommendation on what to choose as I'm overwhelmed with information and choices.

Thank you!
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Welcome!

I would not get the Trek Verve+2 if hills are an issue - there's a lot of reviews claiming it's weak on hills. The Verve +3 is better.

Have you tried the La Free E+ models from Giant? I have the E+2 (chain drive) model of that bike. The E+1 has a belt drive, and integrated lights. It comes in 3 frame sizes, and has several other features you've listed:


Not sure about winter tires... Bravo for wanting to ride in Calgary in winter, though 🥶!
 

Valendius

New Member
@PatriciaK Unfortunately there are no Giant LaFree E+ models in the dealerships I checked in Edmonton. I'll call the another dealership that I didn't notice on Tuesday and see if they have any. Their website does not list what they have in stock.

It's out of necessity lol. Parking in downtown is way too expensive and public transit isn't reliable.
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
Seems like you are spending a lot for such a short simple commute. A decent hub motor will get you up that hill with little effort when you are using the bike for recreation or other tracel. I've been there, but can't remember the hill specifics, but based on the maximum grade used in the city and province, a middrive would not be requited if that is what people are telling you. Winter there could be tricky, but as you know when it is really cold the dry snow there is not as bad as when temp is more moderate. A fat tire bike or atleast 2.8" tire will help. Good luck!
 
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Valendius

New Member
@CityExplorer You do have a point but it just so happens that whatever e-bikes are in-stock are mainly middrives. There is one shop that sells iGO e-bikes that i missed. I'll do some research on iGO e-bikes and see what I find.
 

GeekBird

New Member
I live in NW Washington State and it's pretty hilly here. I just bought a Verve+ 3 partly because I was amazed at how well it took hills. The motor on the 3 has 20% more torque than the 2 and I could easily tell the difference on test rides. The 3 was well worth the extra money.

The Verve+ 3 replaced a stolen Easy Motion Neo Jet from 2014. That bike has a geared rear hub motor rated at 350 watts and a triple crank (48/38/28 IIRC). The Verve+ 3 has a 250 watt motor and a single chainring (38). Even with the less powerful motor and without the small chainring, I'm taking hills on the Verve+ 3 that I didn't on the Neo Jet. Specs aren't everything.

The Verve+ 3 has 50mm tires, which I consider extremely wide. It feels OK on gravel roads and decent gravel trails. This isn't a single-track bike IMHO.

The bike is quite heavy, which affects the handling.

The key is for removing the battery and not for running the bike.

The one negative issue I have found with the mid-drive is that it is slower to start. On the Neo Jet, I could jam down on a pedal a quarter rev, and that was enough to get me started. This isn't enough on the mid-drive. I have found that I can only get the bike going on a very slight incline. This can be an issue when you have stop signs on uphill streets.

On the whole I'm really happy with it. Feel free to ask other questions.
 

Valendius

New Member
Thank you for replying @GeekBird but I ended up getting the Giant Explore E+ 2 STA 2020 after test riding any available ebikes in the city. The price for it dropped down to CAD $2.8K and I jumped on it and so far I have no complaints with it!
 

Adrian.s

Member
Hello everyone,

First time e-bike buyer and looking to buy an year round commuter, light trail, and grocery run type e-bike. My budget is around $4k CAD for an e-bike, I'm around 5'1", weigh around 110 pounds, in my early thirties, and somewhat fit. The commute to work is 5km one way on flat ground except the direct route that goes through a river and has a 35-45 degree incline in one portion.

Feature Wish list:
  • Able to mount winter tires (winter gets to below 20 degrees Celsius average)
  • Integrated front and back lights
  • Break motor override
  • Mid drive motor to go up a valley (Edmonton has a river running through the city and depending on the location it could be really steep)
  • Walk assist
  • Included rear rack and fenders
  • Have small frame
  • Warranty support
I've narrowed down my choices to the following:
  • Trek Verve+2 2020
    • $3299 CAD
    • Concerned the front and rear fenders will limit my choice of winter tires
    • No walk assist (?)
    • Concerned about the mid drive's ability to go up hills
    • A defect (?) where the chain constantly slips off from what the reviews I read
  • Trek Verve+3 2020
    • $3999 CAD
    • Only medium non step-thru size available
    • Concerned the front and rear fenders will limit my choice of winter tires
    • Concerned about the mid drive's ability to go up hills
  • Giant Explore E+ 2 STA 2020
  • Ohm Cruise
    • $4199 CAD
    • No local dealer support
    • Assembly maybe too complicated for me to handle due to the lack of proper bike tools
    • Detachable display (bike theft here is rampant)
    • Has everything that I wanted in an e-bike
    • Lack of review online to get a good comparison with others
Do all e-bikes require key in battery to start and run?

I checked all dealerships in the city and narrowed my options based on what they currently have in stock and price. I'm afraid the medium frame e-bikes maybe too big and heavy for me. I'm leaning towards step-thru models if they're available and I assume they won't have issues with gravel trails? I've never rode a bike in winter and winter tires are a major concern. I would assume having a wider wheel would equal better traction, right?

I was able to test ride the Trek Verve+2 and Giant Explore E+ 2 STA in an indoor area with glued small rocks as a flooring. It's not the best test ride track but it is better than nothing. Here are my findings:

Trek Verve+2 step-thru 2020
  • Motor is quiet in all assist levels however every assist level change there is a slight lurch before it kicks in.
  • It is a lot more comfortable to ride and sit compared to Explore E+ 2 STA.

Giant Explore E+ 2 STA 2020
  • Motor is quiet in all assist levels and I don't get the slight lurch compared to Verv+2. There is a more torque in the higher assists than Verve+2 probably due to a higher end motor(?).
  • Less comfortable to ride compared to Verve+2 probably due to high seat post height and the leaning forward posture

I need some feedback and recommendation on what to choose as I'm overwhelmed with information and choices.

Thank you!
For that kind of money buy a car,all bikes have 2 wheels same motor same électronique some companies dont give a shittt were all fools to spend thousands on a ebike,but people are fixed on them and other things they cant have thats our nature what ever you buy today you will receive in 2021 any brand any company, its crazy in certain areas of transport,i live in montreal thrre were no road bikes for sale either this summer,if you buy soon get 2 one for yourself and the other to sell for profit lollllllll
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
For that kind of money buy a car,all bikes have 2 wheels same motor same électronique some companies dont give a shittt were all fools to spend thousands on a ebike,but people are fixed on them and other things they cant have thats our nature what ever you buy today you will receive in 2021 any brand any company, its crazy in certain areas of transport,i live in montreal thrre were no road bikes for sale either this summer,if you buy soon get 2 one for yourself and the other to sell for profit lollllllll

Ain't too many good cars for 2800