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

Akrotiri

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
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!
Based on your stated needs and rather high mileage any of the e-bikes you listed would be good for you.

Except the Rad Rover and Pedego.
 

new2ebike_eh

New Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary area
Looks like Argyll has undated that listing for the Bulls bike....price stayed the same but now shows a 2019 rather than a 2021.
 

Tips

New Member
Region
Canada
Looks like Argyll has undated that listing for the Bulls bike....price stayed the same but now shows a 2019 rather than a 2021.
Good catch, thanks. Not sure its worth a look.

I had a quick test ride with an Allant+ 7 today. That CX motor is nice and the battery removal system is as advertised, however it was pointed out to me if its locked outside while at work and the battery is in the office charging, the exposed electronics are susceptible to rain/weather since its opening is on the side. The Cube's system, while a bit more cumbersome has its opening under the frame and has a shield, so it seems more weather friendly. Also the Allant is a nice bike, but its a bit boring looking, at least the Cube bikes have some personality, haha.

Another question for the group; is there any benefit for concern in regards to having a welded on pannier rack? The Cube bikes (the Touring Pro and the Kathmandu) have welded racks, while the others, such as the Trek have bolted on. I can see pros and cons for both, like a bolted on pannier is replaceable should it ever get damaged, but it can't carry as much weight. A welded rack could carry more weight, but what happens if it snaps/gets damaged so it can't be fixed? Is the whole frame garbage?

Also was doing some reading on warranties, It looks like the frame on the Cube is warrantied for 6 years, and 2 years on general defects, but is it true that Trek bikes are warrantied for life? That appears to be what im reading...

Thanks again...
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
Good catch, thanks. Not sure its worth a look.

I had a quick test ride with an Allant+ 7 today. That CX motor is nice and the battery removal system is as advertised, however it was pointed out to me if its locked outside while at work and the battery is in the office charging, the exposed electronics are susceptible to rain/weather since its opening is on the side. The Cube's system, while a bit more cumbersome has its opening under the frame and has a shield, so it seems more weather friendly. Also the Allant is a nice bike, but its a bit boring looking, at least the Cube bikes have some personality, haha.

Another question for the group; is there any benefit for concern in regards to having a welded on pannier rack? The Cube bikes (the Touring Pro and the Kathmandu) have welded racks, while the others, such as the Trek have bolted on. I can see pros and cons for both, like a bolted on pannier is replaceable should it ever get damaged, but it can't carry as much weight. A welded rack could carry more weight, but what happens if it snaps/gets damaged so it can't be fixed? Is the whole frame garbage?

Also was doing some reading on warranties, It looks like the frame on the Cube is warrantied for 6 years, and 2 years on general defects, but is it true that Trek bikes are warrantied for life? That appears to be what im reading...

Thanks again...
You could get a cover for the whole bike, or just the battery cavity. Regarding the rack, not sure what you're planning to carry but most decent bolt on racks will handle 20lbs +.
 

Tips

New Member
Region
Canada
You could get a cover for the whole bike, or just the battery cavity. Regarding the rack, not sure what you're planning to carry but most decent bolt on racks will handle 20lbs +.
I wasn't aware you can get a cover for the battery cavity, thanks. Any ideas on where to look? I found a "battery cover" on the Trek site but that doesn't appear to be the same thing.

Right, I should specify, the weight capacity of the pannier is less of concern as I am unlikely to carry that much weight on the back (the bolted Trek pannier will hold 50lb, apparently), but I am wondering if a there's any welded vs bolted issues I should be aware of. Ive never had a bike with a pannier rack before, so this is new ground for me.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
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!
My advice for a 1st time e-biker, get something ´affordable´, You don´t want to ruin a $4k bike with a rookie
mistake. Secondly, are you really sure you want to ride in urban traffic every day? Believe me, ´stuff happens´!
I´ve got the scars to prove it. If I had to commute into a city, I´d get as close as possible by bus & go the rest
of the way on one of those little, folding electric folding scooter thingys. (jez sayin´)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
You don´t want to ruin a $4k bike with a rookie
mistake.
He wouldn't with any of the discussed e-bikes. These are classy and proven e-bikes.
Tips: In your situation, I would say go for the e-bike that you love visually, so Cube. I think the rack would outlive the electrical part of the e-bike... And there's a warranty, isn't it? Just don't overload the rack.

P.S. I'm riding roads with traffic almost on every single day. With proven e-bikes.
 

Akrotiri

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
Good catch, thanks. Not sure its worth a look.

I had a quick test ride with an Allant+ 7 today. That CX motor is nice and the battery removal system is as advertised, however it was pointed out to me if its locked outside while at work and the battery is in the office charging, the exposed electronics are susceptible to rain/weather since its opening is on the side. The Cube's system, while a bit more cumbersome has its opening under the frame and has a shield, so it seems more weather friendly. Also the Allant is a nice bike, but its a bit boring looking, at least the Cube bikes have some personality, haha.

Another question for the group; is there any benefit for concern in regards to having a welded on pannier rack? The Cube bikes (the Touring Pro and the Kathmandu) have welded racks, while the others, such as the Trek have bolted on. I can see pros and cons for both, like a bolted on pannier is replaceable should it ever get damaged, but it can't carry as much weight. A welded rack could carry more weight, but what happens if it snaps/gets damaged so it can't be fixed? Is the whole frame garbage?

Also was doing some reading on warranties, It looks like the frame on the Cube is warrantied for 6 years, and 2 years on general defects, but is it true that Trek bikes are warrantied for life? That appears to be what im reading...

Thanks again...
You can order/purchase a spare battery cover from your Trek LBS, costs $60.

Yes the Trek frames have lifetime warranty.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
He wouldn't with any of the discussed e-bikes. These are classy and proven e-bikes.
Tips: In your situation, I would say go for the e-bike that you love visually, so Cube. I think the rack would outlive the electrical part of the e-bike... And there's a warranty, isn't it? Just don't overload the rack.

P.S. I'm riding roads with traffic almost on every single day. With proven e-bikes.

He wouldn't with any of the discussed e-bikes. These are classy and proven e-bikes.
Tips: In your situation, I would say go for the e-bike that you love visually, so Cube. I think the rack would outlive the electrical part of the e-bike... And there's a warranty, isn't it? Just don't overload the rack.

P.S. I'm riding roads with traffic almost on every single day. With proven e-bikes.
Youŕe right Stefan, Just buy the prettiest bike & don´t worry about it. Your dependents will be fine without you.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Youŕe right Stefan, Just buy the prettiest bike & don´t worry about it. Your dependents will be fine without you.
The OP has stated his needs and budget. He wouldn't be happy with a Chinese stamped 20" throttle-equipped folder with 750 W B-motor.
Users buying e-bikes mentioned by the OP are just happy riders. Because quality does not come free.
 

john peck

Well-Known Member
The OP has stated his needs and budget. He wouldn't be happy with a Chinese stamped 20" throttle-equipped folder with 750 W B-motor.
Users buying e-bikes mentioned by the OP are just happy riders. Because quality does not come free.
I´m not trying to sell any kind of bike! I´m fine with whatever he chooses. I just hope he lives somewhere
with a bike-oriented infrastructure with bike paths & lanes, because no matter how one spins it, cycling in
heavy traffic is dangerous!
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
I´m not trying to sell any kind of bike! I´m fine with whatever he chooses. I just hope he lives somewhere
with a bike-oriented infrastructure with bike paths & lanes Because no matter how one spins it, cycling in
heavy traffic is dangerous.
He lives in Canada, eh? :)
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
I´m not trying to sell any kind of bike! I´m fine with whatever he chooses. I just hope he lives somewhere
with a bike-oriented infrastructure with bike paths & lanes, because no matter how one spins it, cycling in
heavy traffic is dangerous!
I don't feel safe riding to work. I've tried it 4 or 5 times maybe more. The only available routes have sections with large heavily laden trucks, and they are not going slowly at all.
 

Tips

New Member
Region
Canada
I actually realized that 95% of my commute route would be on protected bike paths mostly on quiet residential streets, mainly thanks to a new bike grid expansion that covers almost 50 blocks in the direction and area I need to go. I appreciate the concern, but im not going on any main commercial truck routes or freeways.