Hello, from California.

Region
USA
City
Aptos
Great looking site here. Lots of information and reviews here. I’m looking for my first electric bike. I have a fat tire mongoose that my brother gave me. I rode it to my work, 4 miles away. Pretty hilly and I had to walk up a couple of hills. I’m not in my best shape and the ride took 30 minutes. I was pretty winded when I got to work. I blame the bike though. Lol. The derailleur is a bit bent and needs some tuning. The brakes scream like I was Toads Wild Ride. I noticed that the bike seemed to pull to the right. Almost positive I needed more air in the tires too. I like to tinker with things and am pretty handy. I’ll probably look at it closer in the summer time when I have more free time.

Anyhow, my birthday is coming up and I’m looking to cut down my gas usage as I’d like do my part to save the earth. I almost got an electric vehicle a couple of years ago, but the timing was wrong. This and the fact that I have an 8 minute drive to work, but in traffic on the way home it can take up to 30 minutes. May as well get some exercise while I’m at it.

Unrelated….I like video games and hack most electronics I come across. So I’m looking at “flexible” controller units, like the himiway cruiser. But there is more I’m looking for. I’ll save that for another thread though. :)

Thanks for reading!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard. If you want any advice from those here about what might serve you best, the more information you can provide about yourself, build, fitness level, the kind of riding you want to do, etc. Budget is good info to provide as well.

Here is some general advice I have written and saved that might be of use:

Much of the advice you get on forums is not in your interest. Many people are trying to justify their own choices by urging you to buy what they bought. Whatever you do, don't listen to anyone who tells you not to listen to the advice of others...Hah, I guess that eliminates me ;)

The best thing you can do is be as precise as you can about how often and under what conditions you think you are going to ride. This will help a knowledgeable dealer guide you to a bike that will serve you best.

If you are like most of us you will ride your ebike more often and further than you ever imagined possible. Spending more money on a better built, safer, more reliable bike will be one of the best decisions you ever made. And I suspect I am not alone in that once I got going with my first ebike, I discovered latent capabilities within myself that lead down the road to longer. more athletic, endurance riding, something that never occurred to me going into it. Buying a better, more versatile bike at first kept me riding longer till I could afford the kind of bike that I eventually learned would be right for me. That process took over a year.

Add a grain of salt to the advice you get here. Some of it can be quite good and well informed but there are occasionally shills hiding in the corners, promoting their new brand. And then there is the fact that individuals riders often exhibit confirmation bias in their comments just wanting to give them affirmation for their choices.

Do it your self/retrofit guys can't imagine why someone would spend good money on a manufactured bike from the ground up ebike. Fans of low priced, Chinese made, hub motor bikes would not be caught dead on center drive bikes. Fans of German made equipment really don't hardly bother looking at bikes from other countries. Some people will never even look at a bike without a throttle, while other would never have a bike with one. fans of a particular brand will insist the one they chose is the only one to buy.

If you are like most riders, you are not a mechanic, don't have the know how, tools, time or interest in converting a bike to an ebike or maintaining your production bike. Some of us live for this stuff others just want to ride. Most will need help from a local bike shop. Don't expect people at that shop to care about keeping your bike running smoothly if you bought a bike on line.

The only support you will get from an on line seller, if you are lucky, is phone help to diagnose the problem and they send you parts to replace yourself or you will pay a local shop to replace for you.

If you decide that building out an ebike is not for you, it is likely best to spend a little more and have a dedicated local shop standing behind the sale in who's interest it is to keep you happy and rolling along.

The most common comment I have heard from new ebike owners is almost always something like: "I never imagined I would be riding a bike this often or this far" Buying a cheaper, less well equipped bike may or may not give you the same quality of "whoopee!!" experience that boosts you right into an enthusiastic embrace of ebiking.

All too often people who buy lesser bikes seem to arrive at regrets sooner because the bike's inherent limitations just never quite enabled it to do what they want. Personally I ended up spending way more than I initially thought I would or should. Given how much time I now spend on my bike, something I never could have imagined, I am glad I spent what I did and got a bike I can count on, that enhances my enjoyment every time I ride it.

My advice: Make an honest assessment as to how you will be riding, road or trails, easy grades or mountain trails, commuting, exercise/fitness or touring. Take your time but don't get bogged down in research paralysis. Test ride lots of bikes until you find the one that puts the biggest grin on your face and the people selling it you like the best. Then, if you can possibly afford it, pay more than you first thought you were willing to spend. The pain of paying out some more money wears off quickly. The joy of riding a bike that really suits you will endure long into the future every time you saddle up.
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If you like hacking electronics, you would probably enjoy building your own ebike from a DIY kit. You can also build it from individual components, but that takes more work and knowledge. Many people even build their own battery packs. If you just want to start riding right away, buy a complete ebike.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@Slaphappygamer, Welcome! The Himiway is heavy and is a rear hub drive so it has problems with real hills such as we have in the SF Bay Area. Are you leaning more toward fixing up the Mongoose, DYI on a bike that might be better, or buying a bike that has been designed from the ground up and has local support? One bike I worked on yesterday was 96-pounds. I suggest leaning away from the heavy bikes and avoiding online only bikes without a domestic presence. Bikesonline.com has a service and distribution center in my home town, and free returns with free return shipping for 14-days, and great customer support but that is rare for online bikes. One more thing - More is not more. The industry trend is toward light bikes with small motors and small batteries. Less is better.
 
Region
USA
City
Aptos
Thanks for the replies.
I’ll definitely take input with a grain of salt. I know that some users can be biased or trying to push their brand. I’ve come across that before with gaming. I’m experiencing “research paralysis” currently. I’m pretty sure. So many reviews watching and reading. It’ll be hard to test ride because the shops around here have giant, canondale, and trek bikes. All a bit over what I was looking to spend Though I do have a date to rent radbikes in a few weeks. The radcity step through and the radrunner. I figure those styles may give me a better idea of what I’m looking for.

I was thinking about electrifying the Mongoose, but I’m not sure I want to invest that much money into that bike. I’d rather use that money towards a new ebike and keep the Mongoose as a side project. Maybe I can give it to one of our kids later. :)

Here, we don’t have hills as steep as San Francisco. I think I just need a little push. The Himiway piqued my interest when I saw you can alter the amount of assist at each pedal assist level. I really like it can be fine tuned like that. Also the larger battery was a nice perk. I’m pretty ok with buying online knowing that the most help I’d get is the vendor shipping me parts or troubleshooting over the phone/email. I do have quite a bit of tools in my garage and I like working with my hands. I do it every day. :)
 

Nomad

Active Member
one thing to consider is that just because you want a electric bike does mean you should buy one on the cheap or take out a loan to buy the best. Ask your self this question what bicycle have you been happy with in the past was it a department store bike or it was something else? Also remember used is another option to consider.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
one thing to consider is that just because you want a electric bike does mean you should buy one on the cheap or take out a loan to buy the best. Ask your self this question what bicycle have you been happy with in the past was it a department store bike or it was something else? Also remember used is another option to consider.
Used is definitely an option. I buy used bikes regularly. My friend Fritz just put his spanking new Sondors LS on Craigslist in the North Bay, Petaluma. He waited 6-months to get it but now he has too many bikes, including a 2021 Ultra Sondors, given that he wants me to make a custom one for him. Other perfect condition eBikes are available without wait time and at a good deal that you can test ride first. Or a great bike to convert such as with the third photo. It is converted to electric with a half-link chain to an Alfine-8.
 

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