Help a ebike newbie (AKA what bike should I get?)

Tips

New Member
Region
Canada
Hello all, I hope you can grace a ebike newbie with some knowledge.

I stumbled across EBR as my quest for ebike knowledge expands, and this seems like the right place to ask. I’m sure you’ve had tonnes of “what bike should I buy?” questions posted on this form, but after doing a search I didn’t see any that fit what I was looking for. So, I am looking for a bit of guidance.

Scenario: I hate commuting (well, city driving in general), and since changing office jobs a few years back to a locale that’s much further from home than my previous job, I haven’t been able to ride my standard hybrid Trek bike to work at all, mainly due to sweatiness upon my arrival and no available shower. I’ve considered other modes of transport, such as a 2nd cheap/small/fuel efficient commuter car, or a moped, but now an ebike has my interest.

While the primary goal would be arriving to work in a reasonable amount of time and not a sweaty mess, it will also likely be used for other trips (and fun!) as well, I would be happy with 75-100 rides out of it per year, mostly commuting (tough to ride here in the winter). The ride to work is roughly 12-14km (pending route), major hills can be avoided, and is a mix of standard urban setting (bike lanes, roads, etc).

I am 6’2” and 200lbs, here are the bikes I am currently considering (all prices CDN, all models are new):

Rad Power Rad City 4 ($2k)
EBR seems to give Rad lots of love, but I can’t find much love for them elsewhere. While the price is attractive, I’m a strong believer of “you get what you pay for”. The hub motor seems less desirable then a mid-drive from what I’ve read, this bike is quite heavy compared to the others below, and while I originally thought I wanted a class 2 bike with a throttle, after trying a class 1 I could see why its not necessary (plus may be illegal is some areas) but again, the price. I have no Rad shop near me so this would be a sight unseen online purchase. Is this worth considering, or is a local shop-sold bike at 2x the price a better bet? (IE the below)

Scott Sub Active eRide step over ($3800)
This bike intrigued me until I did some more digging on Bosch motors, I didn’t realize that this used the “weakest” (Active Line) motor vs some others I was looking at. That said, do I need a step up? Or would something like this work for me? It also had a integrated rear wheel lock that I liked, which used the same key as the battery.

Cube Touring Hybrid One E500 ($3850)
This one is similar to the Scott (no rear lock though), but the fellow at the shop said this was an overall better bike… also has a Bosch motor one step up from the Scott, the “Active plus”…

Cube Touring Pro E500 ($4350)
This is the only one I’ve test-rode so far and was surprised at the punch the more powerful Bosch Performance Line motor had, it had a better display (Intuvia, vs Purion’s on the others) and a more solid frame vs the Scott and the Cube Hybrid One. Plus, the salesperson told me that this frame could accept mountain bike tires if I wanted, which I could see making use of. However Cube’s removable battery set up seemed a bit cumbersome to me, and this is getting up there in price.

Trek Verve+ 3 Step over ($4200)
I am partial to Trek bikes, I’ve had a few, however this one seems to be similar spec to the Scott Sub Active and Cube Hybrid One (same motor as the Cube), but for more $. However the Trek removable battery system seems to be super easy to use vs Cube’s, but no front suspension on this one.

Trek Allant+ 7 Step over ($4800)
Again I like Trek, but this one may be too steep for me price wise ( I am open to being sold). It seems similar to the Cube Touring Pro, but has a more powerful motor (CX), has front suspension (unlike the Verve+ 3), but strangely has no chain guard.

Bulls Cross Lite Evo Diamond ($4k)
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what a “Bulls” bike is. I literally stumbled upon it this weekend on a local shop’s website. It seems to have pretty good specs (and a CX Bosch motor) compared to the others above, and a claimed 215km of range on a Bosch Powertube 500w on the shops' site (can that be right?). I can’t seem to find much online about them, other than their own website, even the Bulls form here on EBR seems to be very quiet. Is this worth taking a closer look at?

Other bikes I’ve considered:

Cube Kathmandu One E500 ($4600)
This may be overkill for what I need, but it has a more powerful motor (CX) then the Cube Touring Pro. Price is steep.

Pedego City Commuter Mid-drive ($4k +/-)
Pedego actually just opened up a local-to-me shop this month, however I don’t like the placement of the battery on most of their bikes, and the Trek and Cube bikes look much better, with the prices being comparable.

Any thoughts you can share would be appreciated. Is there any others I should consider? Is there something im (likely) missing? Things important to me are power, price, reliability, and features, not necessarily in that order, I am not much of a do-it-yourselfer so I am unlikely to do any major tinkering or mods after the fact. I am hoping to make this buy in the next few weeks before the weather is nicer and stock is depleted and I’m stuck without a bike.

Thank you in advance!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I would remove Rad and Pedego from the equation if I were you. All other bikes listed are good. Their specification and performance just depend on the price. When you consider an e-bike, select one with at least 600 Wh battery (critical!) It is because you could commute at high assistance (no sweat) and no need to recharge the battery at work. When you fall in love with e-biking, you will see how you would ride recreationally longer and longer... and a spare or bigger battery is very expensive.

Note: Choose the bike from a trusted LBS nearby your place. It is essential for e-bikes. Try to do a demo ride.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I am about the same size as you but likely older at 70. My ebikes largely have replaced my car. Now my wife and I have just one car to share. It requires some communication and schedule tweaking but we are making it work. I have a Trek Allant+9.9s and have found Trek's service to be as good as it gets, at least at our local Trek store. I read that this is the case in many of them as well.

A bike you are going to depend on to get to work every day should be able to get prompt service when needed. Based on this factor alone I would highly recommend the Allant 7. It is a solid bike with quality components and depending on the folks at the local Trek store you should get excellent support in keeping your bike rolling and getting to work on a machine you can depend on..

If you have not already done so, it is time to stop reading about ebikes, shake off the analysis paralysis and start test riding. You want to pick the bike that puts the biggest smile on your face sold by the people who you feel best about working with to keep it running going forward. It is time to check out the bikes and the local people behind them.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Tips, congrats on your search for an ebike.
Looks like you have a decent amount of options for test rides. Once you start test riding it will help narrow down your criteria.
And considering renting for a couple days. The Pedego franchises usually rent, but not sure about your area.
You also mentioned you are able to avoid hills. After you get your ebike you may find that you actually like them! Some of my rides I actually seek out hills just for the thrill of flying to the top without breaking a sweat or getting major oxygen depletion.
Looking forward to a photo!
 
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Alaskan

Well-Known Member
The Trek is the only one with the speed motor, it weighs far less and the Trek service network is second to none. If your test ride works well and you like the folks at the local Trek shop it is the way to go. The giant is $700 more and very heavy. It does have a bigger battery but it does not make clear if it is a 20mph bike or 28.
 

Tips

New Member
Region
Canada
Thanks for the responses so far, useful info. Yes I am partial to Trek and I want to try and test ride an Allant+7 soon, however is it worth the premium over the Cube? I'll do some more digging.

Yeah no class 3 bikes are (easily) available in Canada as far as I know.

Thanks for the Giant suggestion, I'll take a look at that.

Sorry, but what is a "LBS"? Is that Local Bike Shop? I assume maintenance for a ebike is more involved than a standard bike, but is there anything I should look out for?

Thank you again.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Local Bike Shop
^ This.
You should buy from a brand dealer that has experience with e-bikes he sells. Just a good bike mechanic can fix anything on the traditional side of a bicycle but could be helpless if no experience with given system: motor, battery, controller, display etc. And e-bikes do break. And someone has to handle warranty.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Yes LBS=Local Bike Shop

The Cube and the Trek are remarkably similar in their specs and too close in price to worry about. I would make my decision primarily based on which bike feels best in a test ride and your take on the the reputation and time in business of the shop and your take on the integrity and how knowledgeable the staff seem to be, perhaps giving a bit of initial edge to Trek for their excellent overall reputation for service and support.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
And another thought, Tips....I've learned not to think of an ebike like a regular non-powered bike. A regular bike, with minimum care, will be just as nice in 10-15 years as the day you bought it.
Not so ebikes! Think of them like a computer or smart phone, in that every year or two come significant tech changes and upgrades. Like a 10 year computer, a 10 year old ebike may work just great but obviously there will be new technology to replace it. And who knows about getting replacement parts if needed!
I'm in agreement with other members that suggest a brand that stands behind their product.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
And another thought, Tips....I've learned not to think of an ebike like a regular non-powered bike. A regular bike, with minimum care, will be just as nice in 10-15 years as the day you bought it.
Not so ebikes! Think of them like a computer or smart phone, in that every year or two come significant tech changes and upgrades. Like a 10 year computer, a 10 year old ebike may work just great but obviously there will be new technology to replace it. And who knows about getting replacement parts if needed!
I'm in agreement with other members that suggest a brand that stands behind their product.
Marci Jo, this is one of the reasons that I favor Bosch ebike products.

Bosch ebike products have significant added value in the form of proven reliability, excellent and a near instant technical service phone line for us end users, and well stocked North American parts inventory. Bosch also has made a public commitment to support all ebike products with parts and tech support for 10 years of product introduction. The company has been around since 1886 with the ebike division established in 2009. Bosch electrical components have been and are used on many of the world's respected automobiles. If you have ever owned a Bosch power tool you would get the value and why paying a premium for their products is a smart choice. I have a Bosch electric screw driver that is over15 years old, has had a hard and busy life, that works like it did the day I bought it and the batteries still hold a good charge.

@Tips Both the Cube and the Trek have Bosch electrical components.
 

new2ebike_eh

New Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary area
@Tips,

The Bulls has a good level of components (XT), and air front fork and a Performance CX motor. Just don't know if the motor is Gen 2 or 4. Curious which shop you refer to, as I have seen this bike from a sale of $4k up to over $6k regular price.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Marci Jo, this is one of the reasons that I favor Bosch ebike products.
That is one of the reasons I favour Specialized/Brose (in the first place) and Giant/Yamaha (in the second place) products :) No experience with Shimano. No experience with Bosch.
P.S. I need to add Marci Jo rides a Specialized e-bike :)
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
@Tips,

The Bulls has a good level of components (XT), and air front fork and a Performance CX motor. Just don't know if the motor is Gen 2 or 4. Curious which shop you refer to, as I have seen this bike from a sale of $4k up to over $6k regular price.
It is relatively easy to tell the difference between gen 2 and gen 4 Bosch motors in the photos, but the written specs are generally more accurate are more legally binding if there is any confusion between what is shown and what is delivered. The Gen 2 motors had a 2.5 internal reduction at the crank and thus had small diameter front chainrings like 15-20 teeth. The gen 4 motors have no reduction (an thus less drag when ridden without assist) and have normal size chain rings 38-46 teeth.)
 

Tips

New Member
Region
Canada
@Tips,

The Bulls has a good level of components (XT), and air front fork and a Performance CX motor. Just don't know if the motor is Gen 2 or 4. Curious which shop you refer to, as I have seen this bike from a sale of $4k up to over $6k regular price.
@new2ebike_eh Thanks yeah, I wasn't sure to make of this. Here's the listing:


Its not a place i would have guessed even sold ebikes, randomly stumbled upon it while googling.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Bulls make very good e-bikes. The model you have shown Tips is, however, equipped with a 500 Wh battery. It is easy to find a Bulls with even 720 Wh battery.
 

new2ebike_eh

New Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary area
@new2ebike_eh Thanks yeah, I wasn't sure to make of this. Here's the listing:


Its not a place i would have guessed even sold ebikes, randomly stumbled upon it while googling.
From what others have indicated, looks like this would be a Gen 2 motor based on ring size, and wondering if it might actually be a 2020 model?
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I’m one of those who believes that getting what you want, even if a bit more expensive, is the way to go. So far, my Allant+7 (Bosch Performance Line CX) has over 1200 trouble-free miles and I love the bike. Climbs hills easily and it’s a solid yet smooth ride in a wide variety of terrain, from pavement to gravel and even some slightly rougher trails. It’s certainly not an EMTB!
I’m not a commuter as I’m retired but it would do very well in that role.
 

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