Help finding a city type bike for 2000.00

smokey9701

New Member
Looking for basic information on an e-bike selection for my wife.

I have been a cyclist all my live, I have been riding things with 2 wheel for over 60 years. Probably have ridden bikes 75,000 miles in all those years. I did road races years ago. We live in Park City Ut where I have done lots of mountain biking too. At 6 foot 4 220 pounds, mountain bikes don’t fit me very well so I have always been mostly a road biker. I’v been riding the same Merlin titanium road bike for the past 20 yeas and have no interest in an electric bike. I also ride motorcycles about 10,000 miles a year. I like riding anything with 2 wheels.

So what is my wife’s cycling background? Well, she has never been a biker. She has had 2 bikes in 40 year and they just collect dust. Will she actually ride an E-bike, well after a few months, I really have no idea.
For the past 2 - 3 years she has insisted she wants an e-bike. She is now camping in southern Utah and rented one. I got a message from her and she insisted she really wants an e-bike. So why is she telling me this. Well, it’s because she want’s me to do the research on the bikes.
I am an electrical/mechanical engineer and she is a social worker. So anything she buys will be my responsiblity to service and maintain. She will also not do any research on models as she is a compulsive buy type person.

So I will list a few questions with the following in mind. We should get something which can be serviced and buy from a manufacture which will support its product with parts. I am assuming that may mean specialized, trek, giant, etc may be good choices. Bottom bracket type motor, rear hub motor? Shimano, Bosch, specialized? How can I tell which bands use quality 186050 cells for Samsung or Panasonic or generic cells? I would suspect 2000 is to going to buy an E bike from Trek or most of the know bike companies.

As for price lets say 2000. Not much point in getting a bike for 1300 then the battery goes bad in 2 year and we then have to spend 700 on a new battery. Might as well spend what is need to get something solid.

I assume she will pick something like a city bike to be ridden on bike trails or a nice smooth dirt road. No single track mountain biking, in town riding if she takes it along on a camping trip in her small camp trailer.

If we are looking at the 2000 dollar range, any suggestions? It would help if I had some known quality brands to look at so we don’t waste time looking at bikes we should never put on the list. If I have list of a few quality names, I can then put in the hours to look at the details.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Here are a few Class 1 (no throttle) options:

The Co-Op CTY e2.2 from REI, the small frame size comes with a step-through option that fits riders up to 5'6" would that work for your wife? It has a good Shimano e6100 mid-drive motor, 500wh battery, suspension fork. If you join REI as a Co-Op member you get a rebate that should bring the cost under two grand, but its $2200 up front. Unfortunately it's out of stock on their website but maybe your local REI store can check local inventory?

The Giant/Momentum LaFree E+ is $2200, and has a good Yamaha motor. Needs lights adding.

The Electra Townie Go! 8D EQ Step-Thru is also $2200, and has a good Bosch motor. Available from Trek stores.

The Gazelle Medeo T9 HMB is $2500, and has a good Bosch motor and suspension fork, step through option.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Looking for basic information on an e-bike selection for my wife.

I have been a cyclist all my live, I have been riding things with 2 wheel for over 60 years. Probably have ridden bikes 75,000 miles in all those years. I did road races years ago. We live in Park City Ut where I have done lots of mountain biking too. At 6 foot 4 220 pounds, mountain bikes don’t fit me very well so I have always been mostly a road biker. I’v been riding the same Merlin titanium road bike for the past 20 yeas and have no interest in an electric bike. I also ride motorcycles about 10,000 miles a year. I like riding anything with 2 wheels.

So what is my wife’s cycling background? Well, she has never been a biker. She has had 2 bikes in 40 year and they just collect dust. Will she actually ride an E-bike, well after a few months, I really have no idea.
For the past 2 - 3 years she has insisted she wants an e-bike. She is now camping in southern Utah and rented one. I got a message from her and she insisted she really wants an e-bike. So why is she telling me this. Well, it’s because she want’s me to do the research on the bikes.
I am an electrical/mechanical engineer and she is a social worker. So anything she buys will be my responsiblity to service and maintain. She will also not do any research on models as she is a compulsive buy type person.

So I will list a few questions with the following in mind. We should get something which can be serviced and buy from a manufacture which will support its product with parts. I am assuming that may mean specialized, trek, giant, etc may be good choices. Bottom bracket type motor, rear hub motor? Shimano, Bosch, specialized? How can I tell which bands use quality 186050 cells for Samsung or Panasonic or generic cells? I would suspect 2000 is to going to buy an E bike from Trek or most of the know bike companies.

As for price lets say 2000. Not much point in getting a bike for 1300 then the battery goes bad in 2 year and we then have to spend 700 on a new battery. Might as well spend what is need to get something solid.
I assume she will pick something like a city bike to be ridden on bike trails or a nice smooth dirt road. No single track mountain biking, in town riding if she takes it along on a camping trip in her small camp trailer.
If we are looking at the 2000 dollar range, any suggestions? It would help if I had some known quality brands to look at so we don’t waste time looking at bikes we should never put on the list. If I have list of a few quality names, I can then put in the hours to look at the details.
Welcome to EBR.
Take a look at the list of Best City Electric Bikes of 2020

Here are our top picks for the best city electric bikes of 2020. These top five city ebikes represent the best combination of features and value available right now, but you can see all 464 of our detailed city ebike reviews listed by date here. Reviewing electric bikes is our sole focus, EBR has the industry’s most complete and objective reviews. Since 2012, we’ve helped millions of people find and choose the best ebike for their needs and budget. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents:

 

smokey9701

New Member
Thanks great information, just what I was looking for to get us started. My wife is almost 5-11 tall. Also been a member of REI for almost 45 years. I check out their models since we get 10 percent back each year.
--------------------------
The Giant/Momentum LaFree E+ is $2200, and has a good Yamaha motor. Needs lights adding.

The Electra Townie Go! 8D EQ Step-Thru is also $2200, and has a good Bosch motor. Available from Trek stores.

The Gazelle Medeo T9 HMB is $2500, and has a good Bosch motor and suspension fork, step through option.
 

smokey9701

New Member
Welcome to EBR.
Take a look at the list of Best City Electric Bikes of 2020

Here are our top picks for the best city electric bikes of 2020. These top five city ebikes represent the best combination of features and value available right now, but you can see all 464 of our detailed city ebike reviews listed by date here. Reviewing electric bikes is our sole focus, EBR has the industry’s most complete and objective reviews. Since 2012, we’ve helped millions of people find and choose the best ebike for their needs and budget. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents:

Thanks for the reply. I have years of experience with 18650 cells. I noticed that the Magnum web site lists the battery chemistry as Li-NMC. I have very little background with these batteries. Any down side? I already took a look at the Magnum Peak.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
She is now camping in southern Utah and rented one. I got a message from her and she insisted she really wants an e-bike. So why is she telling me this. Well, it’s because she want’s me to do the research on the bikes.
I have a question: Do you know what brand/model she rented? Was it a mid-drive or hub drive? Did it have a throttle?

It might help to find that out, then ask her what she would like to see different in something you end up buying.
 

smokey9701

New Member
I have a question: Do you know what brand/model she rented? Was it a mid-drive or hub drive? Did it have a throttle?

It might help to find that out, then ask her what she would like to see different in something you end up buying.
One was a Haibike with a mid motor, she didn't take note of the first. She indicated both had throttles. One had problems and the motor would shut down and she had to peddle it with no asset for a while. She said that after she powered it off, and back on it them seemed to run normally. Here is the item which may be an issue. We live in the mountains outside of Salt Lake at about 8000 feet. From the highway up to our house is about 2 miles. I suspect the gain is 1500 feet and there are 3 sections which are well over 20 percent grade. There is a cafe 4 miles away which is over 2000 feet below us. She said she would like to be able to ride down to the cafe, have lunch with friends and then be able to ride home. With many of the single chain wheel biked geared at 48 X 28 that's kind of high for steep mountain road and a casual rider. I have been riding all my life and road raced about 5 years I'm 6 foot 4 and now ride at 200 pounds.. When I'm doing well and riding 200 mile a week on my 20 pound titanium road bike with a 39 X 24 it takes all I have to get back up the roads to our house. I think it may be asking a lot of a single chain wheel 60 pound bike to take on mountain roads like we have. I was thinking that if she really wants to try these road it might be a better decision to look at the Magnum peak which as a triple up front.

Now days I spend more time on my BMW 800GS then on my Merlin road bike. When I do ride I now drive 2 miles to a lower elevation to start my rides. I kind of doubt I would ever switch to an electric bike. Even at 66 I still have the power to ride most places, just need to work at it.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
Hmm... tough call. A mid-drive and a hub-drive handle gearing very differently. On a mid-drive, gearing is far more important as the power amplification is done at the crank and passed through the drive train, leveraging your gearing for hill climbing.

On a cadence based hub-drive like the Peak, changing gears essentially means how fast do you want to spin to hit the pre-determined speed based on the pedal assist level, so the 3 chain rings wouldn't make nearly as much difference.

That being said, it sounds like she wants a more casual ride, and likes the throttle, so a hub-drive would make more sense.

I can't speak to the kind of inclines your talking about, though. The most challenging long incline I've done is a mile (1.7km actually) that was about 13% for the majority of the climb, that tapered off to about 9% about 2/3 of the way up.

Both my Shimano mid-drive and Bafang 750W rear hub bikes handled that.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
20% grade is pretty steep. I can jsut do it on my bosch powered bike with a performance speed motor. but it is a fair amount of work. anything over that and you may have to stand up.
 

smokey9701

New Member
Hmm... tough call. A mid-drive and a hub-drive handle gearing very differently. On a mid-drive, gearing is far more important as the power amplification is done at the crank and passed through the drive train, leveraging your gearing for hill climbing.

On a cadence based hub-drive like the Peak, changing gears essentially means how fast do you want to spin to hit the pre-determined speed based on the pedal assist level, so the 3 chain rings wouldn't make nearly as much difference.

That being said, it sounds like she wants a more casual ride, and likes the throttle, so a hub-drive would make more sense.

I can't speak to the kind of inclines your talking about, though. The most challenging long incline I've done is a mile (1.7km actually) that was about 13% for the majority of the climb, that tapered off to about 9% about 2/3 of the way up.

Both my Shimano mid-drive and Bafang 750W rear hub bikes handled that.
Long climbs in the mountains of CO, UT, ID are not something everyone has experienced. I know of a few which are 20 miles long up to 10,000 feet. Little Cottonwood Canyon which goes to Snowbird and Alta is a killer for anyone who is not a dedicated rider. I have done it lots going back 40 years but no longer. I would no longer even consider it. The road from Park City up over the pass to the Brighton Ski area and down to Salt Lake is another hard core ride. I ride my motorcycle on those road all the time and see many many road bikes. Never noticed anyone on an electric road or mountain bike. They are fit hard core dedicated riders of all ages.

And I don't expect any electric bike to take on these kind of mountain roads. I guess I need to rent one and ride it around the mountain roads around my house to see how they behave on the 20 percent or greater hills. There are many place with short sections which can be 25 percent which are now beyond my ability. Long 7 percent grades are very common and huge numbers of cyclists rides those. Emigration canyon out of Salt Lake sees hundreds of bikers every day more than any road in Utah. Its about 7 percent all they way to the top. Haven't noticed any electrics when I'm there.
 

legsofbeer

Active Member
so anything she buys will be my responsiblity to service and maintain.
Be advised that parts are in extremely short supply, and we don't know when that will change. You can buy from the best company in the world, but if they have to choose between selling you a part or sacrificing a $4500 complete bike sale, well... You can improve your odds of getting parts and highly technical service by buying from an LBS, but I will say that with your bike experience for the mechanical stuff and EE degree, you'll likely do fine on your own.

How can I tell which bands use quality 186050 cells for Samsung or Panasonic or generic cells?
Simple rule. If they don't tell you which company made the cells, assume they're crap. I think Sanyo (or was it Sony?) are also considered one of the good ones.

in town riding if she takes it along on a camping trip in her small camp trailer.
My wife is almost 5-11 tall.
Weight of the bike is a consideration, since inevitably one has to maneuver the bike to lock it up, take it through doorways, lift it onto a car rack, etc. 5'11" suggests above average capability here, which helps, since ebikes are still mostly sized for men.
From the highway up to our house is about 2 miles. I suspect the gain is 1500 feet and there are 3 sections which are well over 20 percent grade.
This makes it harder. You need a bike which can kick out at least 80 Nm of torque, and maybe more, unless she's a good hill climber in her own right. Also, for the descents I'd say hydraulic brakes with at least 180 mm rotors are required and it'll be on you to maintain them. Another consideration is the chain. On a mid drive all that power (motor+human) is going through the chain. If the daily commute is a 1500 foot steep ascent, expect to be replacing that chain once a year, and picking up the wife in the car from time to time unless she is willing to wield a chain breaker on the road.

Final note: budget about 8% for one or two good locks, and add that weight to bike when making your choice.
 

smokey9701

New Member
"Another consideration is the chain. On a mid drive all that power (motor+human) is going through the chain. If the daily commute is a 1500 foot steep ascent, expect to be replacing that chain once a year, and picking up the wife in the car from time to time unless she is willing to wield a chain breaker on the road."

Thanks for the tip on the chain of a mid drive. I never gave that a thought. The chances of my wife using a chain tool on the road or at home are ZERO. She has never touched a chain in her life and never will. That's my department.
 
Last edited:

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I’ll be consistent and recommend Trek, which you are familiar with. They use Bosch motors and batteries and the CX motors, while pricey, are very good. Bosch has an update which brings the torque from 75to 85Nm. problem is that the CX is generally on the pricier bikes. The Verve+2 is a good ebike from everything I’ve heard.
Still, it’s more than $2k. Good luck.
 

smokey9701

New Member
I’ll be consistent and recommend Trek, which you are familiar with. They use Bosch motors and batteries and the CX motors, while pricey, are very good. Bosch has an update which brings the torque from 75to 85Nm. problem is that the CX is generally on the pricier bikes. The Verve+2 is a good ebike from everything I’ve heard.
Still, it’s more than $2k. Good luck.
The price upgrade for Trek with a Bosch motor is well worth consideration. Thanks for the recommendation.