First Time Buyer

epitts

New Member
Hey there,

I'm a first time buyer and I could use some help trying to pick out my first ebike. I am definitely looking for a commuter/townie bike that does not have to have a super range; my commute is <6 miles round trip per day, nor does it have to be super fast or built for off-roading. Hauling/load capacity is important but not a deal-breaker. I am in Florida so water resistance and durability is a must/very desirable trait that I am looking for. I am also looking in the less expensive category at around the $1500 mark [plus or minus depending on the features]. I am a bigger, not so athletic guy so a class 2, throttled bike that is 500+ watt is probably what I am in the market for. The brands and models that i have narrowed my search down to are the:

Rad Rover 5
Aventon Level
Espin Nero
Serfas Dart

This is just a short list and I am all ears to hear suggestions from you guys. These bikes/brands are just available to me at the moment but if you know of anything that might better suit my needs/interests, please let me know. Thank you so much for your time and your help with this.
-Eric
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Hi Eric, the Serfas Dart Looks like an Aventon Pace 500 but for $200 more, you’d be better off with the Pace. The Espin Nero looks like the RadRover Step Through but for $500 less!

I ride my ebike in the rain wearing a poncho I bought from Decathlon that hooks over the bars with Velcro tabs. I find it protects the display, battery, and the mid-drive motor pretty well in heavy rain. Never spray wash an ebike.

Can you test ride those bikes? It’s great to test ride if you can, to see what think about the geometry, noisiness of the fat tires on the RadRover or Espin, and jerkiness of the throttle (which affects the Pace 500 so presumably would affect the Serfas)

All of them look like they could haul stuff on a rear rack, but RadPower Bikes have a front rack that bolts to the frame rather than to the handlebars which is useful if you need to carry extra stuff because then the weight won’t pull the handlebars to either side. It looks like the Nero has an accessory pack that includes the same front rack.
 
Last edited:

epitts

New Member
Hi Eric, the Serfas Dart Looks like an Aventon Pace 500 but for $200 more, you’d be better off with the Pace. The Espin Nero looks like the RadRover Step Through but for $500 less!

I ride my ebike in the rain wearing a poncho I bought from Decathlon that hooks over the bars with Velcro tabs. I find it protects the display, battery, and the mid-drive motor pretty well in heavy rain. Never spray wash an ebike.

Can you test ride those bikes? It’s great to test ride if you can, to see what think about the geometry, nosiness of the fat tires on the RadRover or Espin, and jerkiness of the throttle (which affects the Pace 500 so presumably would affect the Serfas)

All of them look like they could haul stuff on a rear rack, but RadPower Bikes have a front rack that bolts to the frame rather than to the handlebars which is useful if you need to carry extra stuff because then the weight won’t pull the handlebars to either side. It looks like the Nero has an accessory pack that includes the same front rack.

@Dewey , Thank you so much for your reply. The models that I can test ride are the Aventon and the Serfas from dealers in the area. The RadRover and the Espin were just what I found online/comparing on this site. I am kind of leaning towards the Espin Nero due to the features to price ratio but I am not familiar with the brand [or any brand for that matter] so any further insight would be appreciated. That being said, I am not committed to these brands/models so if you know of any others that you think might be a better fit for me, I would love to know.

My biggest fear when it comes to the weather is not necessarily riding in the rain, but having the bike parked in the rain. At this time, I do not really have an option to have a covered/indoor bike area while I am at work and storms in our part of Florida are frequent and sporadic and can popup out of nowhere. Though these storms don't last all that long, they can be quite aggressive for a short period of time. Is there anything that I can do to make my bike more water resistant in case of getting caught in the rain? Or are there brands/models that will stand up to weather like this better over others?

Also, is it better to purchase from a dealer/bike shop over purchasing online? The prices are better online but I am curious if purchasing from a bike shop would be better for future maintenance/repair. Will an ebike shop work on brands not sold in-house?

Thanks again,
-Eric
 
@Dewey , Thank you so much for your reply. The models that I can test ride are the Aventon and the Serfas from dealers in the area. The RadRover and the Espin were just what I found online/comparing on this site. I am kind of leaning towards the Espin Nero due to the features to price ratio but I am not familiar with the brand [or any brand for that matter] so any further insight would be appreciated. That being said, I am not committed to these brands/models so if you know of any others that you think might be a better fit for me, I would love to know.

My biggest fear when it comes to the weather is not necessarily riding in the rain, but having the bike parked in the rain. At this time, I do not really have an option to have a covered/indoor bike area while I am at work and storms in our part of Florida are frequent and sporadic and can popup out of nowhere. Though these storms don't last all that long, they can be quite aggressive for a short period of time. Is there anything that I can do to make my bike more water resistant in case of getting caught in the rain? Or are there brands/models that will stand up to weather like this better over others?

Also, is it better to purchase from a dealer/bike shop over purchasing online? The prices are better online but I am curious if purchasing from a bike shop would be better for future maintenance/repair. Will an ebike shop work on brands not sold in-house?

Thanks again,
-Eric
Support your local bike shop; and, they will support you.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I'd go with the bike you can buy in a shop that will provide service should you need it, so the Aventon or Serfas. I have had good experiences with Serfas as a company, but it is their first e-bike. Aventon has been doing bikes longer...but e-bikes for not long. Either way, they're both Chinese built bikes, and probably not much different from one another.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
The Espin brand forum https://electricbikereview.com/forums/forum/espin/ mentions the company started in 2014, and Court Rye who runs EBR has been reviewing their models for a couple of years. You might try a motorcycle or moped cover for rain protection when you’re parked during the day, I’d recommend taking the battery off the bike if you can. Don’t store the bike under a cover overnight however, especially not on grass or bare ground, moisture rises and condenses inside so you can still get corrosion, just like how my Weber grill looked tatty after one summer season stored under a cover outside on bare ground. As for extra waterproofing, dielectric grease around the base of electrical connectors (though not on battery contacts as it is non-conductive according to this https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/name-your-favorite-accessory.34552/post-309132), seal up joints with marine liquid electrical tape or heat shrink if you’re handy, also bring a shopping bag or a sandwich bag to put over your display like this https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/waterproofing-a-bike.33834/#post-280710 during the day if you’re not using a cover, there’s probably more tips on this forum if you do a search for waterproofing.
 
Last edited:

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
The Espin brand forum https://electricbikereview.com/forums/forum/espin/ mentions the company started in 2014, and Court Rye who runs EBR has been reviewing their models for a couple of years. You might try a motorcycle or moped cover for rain protection when you’re parked during the day, I’d recommend taking the battery off the bike if you can. Don’t store the bike under a cover overnight however, especially not on grass or bare ground, moisture rises and condenses inside so you can still get corrosion, just like how my Weber grill looked tatty after one summer season stored under a cover outside on bare ground. As for extra waterproofing, dielectric grease around the base of electrical connectors (though not on battery contacts as it is non-conductive according to this https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/name-your-favorite-accessory.34552/post-309132), seal up joints with marine liquid electrical tape or heat shrink if you’re handy, also bring a shopping bag or a sandwich bag to put over your display like this https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/waterproofing-a-bike.33834/#post-280710 during the day if you’re not using a cover, there’s probably more tips on this forum if you do a search for waterproofing.

I live in the desert where it rains every other year...
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
@Dewey ,

My biggest fear when it comes to the weather is not necessarily riding in the rain, but having the bike parked in the rain. At this time, I do not really have an option to have a covered/indoor bike area while I am at work and storms in our part of Florida are frequent and sporadic and can popup out of nowhere. Though these storms don't last all that long, they can be quite aggressive for a short period of time. Is there anything that I can do to make my bike more water resistant in case of getting caught in the rain? Or are there brands/models that will stand up to weather like this better over others?
I leave my yubabike in the rain when shopping or working my volunteer job. It rains ~200 days a year here, more this year. I oil the chain, shifters & cables, brake handles pivots & cables, seat adjustment & stem bearing, derailleurs,crank, pedals, every two weeks. I use non detergent oil, ATF types F or A, or farm hydraulic fluid. I squirt it on pretty freely and let it drip on the ground. I keep my pants out of the oil with a binder clip on the cuff. Everything still works on my bike at age 2 2/3 years.
I wrap the throttle with a grocery bag & vegetable tie before heavy rains, as it has quit a few times. When I had a display it leaked and became unreadable, so I deleted it. I suppose one could be wrapped up. For comfort I put a plastic bag with elastic (hat wrap) around the seat.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Hey there, I'm a first time buyer and I could use some help trying to pick out my first ebike. I am definitely looking for a commuter/townie bike that does not have to have a super range; my commute is <6 miles round trip per day, nor does it have to be super fast or built for off-roading. Hauling/load capacity is important but not a deal-breaker. I am in Florida so water resistance and durability is a must/very desirable trait that I am looking for. I am also looking in the less expensive category at around the $1500 mark [plus or minus depending on the features]. I am a bigger, not so athletic guy so a class 2, throttled bike that is 500+ watt is probably what I am in the market for. The brands and models that i have narrowed my search down to are the:
Rad Rover 5
Aventon Level
Espin Nero
Serfas Dart
This is just a short list and I am all ears to hear suggestions from you guys. These bikes/brands are just available to me at the moment but if you know of anything that might better suit my needs/interests, please let me know.
Thank you so much for your time and your help with this. -Eric

Hi Eric, welcome to EBR.
You may want to take a look at the EBR list of Best Affordable EBikes of 2020. ;)


Best Affordable Electric Bikes of 2020
Budget conscious? Here are my top picks for best affordable electric bikes of 2020. You can have confidence in the capabilities of these ebikes. You’ll notice that I don’t go too cheap with these winners, because I’ve found that the very cheapest products do not use reliable or replaceable parts, and they usually lack warranty and customer support. My chosen ebikes have more dependable motors, batteries, and drivetrains. When comparing affordable ebikes, it’s wise to rely on common sense; “you get what you pay for” and “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is”. These top three picks are summarized below. For more details, including why I chose each model, check out my full list of the best affordable electric bikes.


Rad Power Bikes RadCity Step-Thru 3 Review
  • MSRP: $1,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020
A feature-complete, approachable step-thru, comfort oriented, hybrid electric bicycle with regenerative braking. It has a built-in USB charging port below the display, features a modular battery pack that works with all other Rad models of this generation, and comes with integrated lights! The headlight offers a bright 80 lumen center beam and a unique LED circle to keep you seen, while the rear light offers solid, flashing, and bright mode when the brakes are activated. Sturdy adjustable angle stem and long 350mm seat post improves fit for a wide range… Read Review


Electric Bike Company Model Y Review
  • MSRP: $1,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2019
A value priced entry from EBC for just $1,499, available in 24 custom colors with an adjustable stem, bike can be made to order with other options for color and accessories. Powerful 48v 10.5ah battery pack cleverly designed to hide at the base of the front… Read Review


Rad Power Bikes RadMission 1 Review
  • MSRP: $999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020
The lightest, most affordable electric bike from Rad Power Bikes. Available in two frame sizes and styles including a sturdy high-step diamond and approachable mid-step mixte. Six color schemes let you personalize the bike and stand out, which is rare for cheaper electric bikes. Lots of attachment points for optional fenders, racks, baskets, bottles, and frame locks.. Surprisingly powerful geared hub motor offers 50nm of torque. Single speed drivetrain is quiet, durable,… Read Review
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Somebody brought up a 999 ebike that weighs 32 lbs earlier in the week. Looked like a pretty decent bike for a grand...
 

BET

Active Member
I think Espin makes good solid bikes. We bought an Espin Sport this summer. $1200.00. Arrived undamaged and mostly assembled. Very protective double boxing. Had to attach handlebars ( all wiring, display, brakes already assembled), put on front wheel, put on seat post ( last 2 were quick release). Seat was already attached to post, screw on pedals and attach front fender and light. Beautiful bike, works great, very comfortable. Shifts great. Can ride fine even without power. Throttle is helpful when starting from a stop. Nice range. Hydraulic brakes work well. Comes with nice rear rack. Espin customer service is very responsive. In August we ordered a new Espin Nero for my husband, one of the bikes you are considering. Delivery in Oct. The $999.00 is an introductory price. It is a new model with 4 inch tires. Accessory package includes nice front and rear racks, water bottle holder (and phone holder I think). Espin does not do as high volume as some companies but they seem to pay attention to details, like chain guards on both rides of front ring. We have many mobile bike mechanics where I live so I am not worried about routine bike service. My husband is an engineer and can fix just about anything. He thought my Espin Sport was nice. I think these bikes are waterproof but if I were you I would perhaps cover it if left outside. It would be better if you could store it inside, even in a covered parking garage, basement etc. I would worry about the security of leaving it outside every day for long periods. If you send your questions to Espin by e mail they usually will answer in a day or so. hello@espinbikes.com. We thought about getting a Radrunner but it was heavy and did not have gears.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Seems like there are lots of choices online using similar generic components. Are you able to fix your bike yourself when it needs it?
 

Mr Prof

New Member
Seems like there are lots of choices online using similar generic components. Are you able to fix your bike yourself when it needs it?
Not really, I have reliable bike shops/mechanics in my area. I was planning to upgrade this bike when I got it, but when they offered the upgraded model, I thought I was set.
 

Mr Prof

New Member
I really liked the style, color, and what they offered for components. The Nero is basically a copy of a Rad Rover model. A bit cheaper yes, but I suppose you get what you pay for.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Verify that your LBS is
willing and able to work on the bike beforehand then.
 

BET

Active Member
Buyer BEWARE!

It is understandable that "Direct-to-Consumer" e-bike companies are operating on slim margins.
It is understood that a "Mom & Pop" operation like Espin Bikes cannot provide a high level of
customer service like RAD Power Bikes, Aventon, or Ride1Up.

However, read further for an overview of difficulty currently being experienced by a first time customer and
be advised that you should choose your "Direct-to-Consumer" e-bike company with caution.

  1. End of September ordered/paid for the new "NERO."
  2. It was supposed to arrive end of October.
  3. Espin did NOT contact me, but I learned of a "US Customs" delay via their website with a new delivery date of mid-November.
  4. Check this forum because someone took the time to explain that it is NOT really customs/US government fault.
  5. End of October, Espin offers NEWER, better specs, Nero with a Black Friday sale price ($200.00 more).
  6. I request to change my order to a newer Nero and state that I am willing to forego my original order.
  7. I explain that I can wait until January 2021 to receive the upgraded Nero and that I understand I must pay additional money.
  8. Espin tells me that they have NO WAY to transfer my already deducted funds/monies from two months ago.
  9. They advise I cancel my original order, incur a 3% cancellation fee AND reorder a new Nero at the higher price.
  10. This all occurred via e-mails because I've only been able to make contact via telephone two times out of twenty.
  11. Everyone is polite. I learned today that it is a 3rd party customer service company "helping" them.
  12. I requested they waive the 3% cancellation fee, as I am simply upgrading and not canceling my order.
  13. Every time I have an interaction with them they state, "we have no way of doing that."
  14. I am now waiting for a supervisor to intervene and the agent told me he does NOT know when the supervisor can get back to me.
It appears that they can only refund my money, charge me 3% for doing so, and charge me again for the upgrade I want to make.
I am NOT sure the bargain prices they offer are worth the possible difficulties that may arise. I worked customer service jobs for 15 years.
I KNOW the American public can be a disaster with excessive requests. This situation makes me think I may have made a mistake by choosing this smaller "Direct to Consumer" ebike company. I encourage all of you Christmas and beyond shoppers to do your homework regarding follow up during and after the sale.

Happy Holidays and Good Luck!
Prof
I ordered a Nero also. Waiting for delivery as bikes are stuck in port. I have an Espin Sport and it is a really nice bike. Bike delays in delivery happen often. My two earlier bike orders in 2020 from two different bike companies were both delayed. I have gotten several e mails about the status of my Nero delivery since Oct. Maybe your e mails went to your spam folder. I do not think Ride1up has any better customer service. I had an issue with the chain on our Ride1up500 and they were not very helpful. They did respond to my email. Regarding the cancelation policy and the 3%, many bike companies have this policy, including Ride1up. You may want to e mail Espin customer service again. See if you can talk to the owner, Josh Lamm. I usually get responses from Yves. You may also look on their Facebook page.I am not clear on why you want to change the order. I do not know about differences in specs from the October versus January shipment. They often update specs on the web site. It is likely the bikes sitting waiting to be delivered have the same or similar specs.