Help me choose a commuter bike in Iowa

Jcrotty1985

New Member
Hello, I would appreciate advice on choosing a commuter E-bike. I am leaning toward the Aventon Level right now, which I can get for $1600 at my local bike shop. But I would appreciate other suggestions. Here are my specs:

1. 35 years old, in good shape, six feet tall. I have two years of experience on an old EG brand E-bike that I bought used for $300. It was okay, but I am ready to upgrade.

2. I will use it strictly for commuting on paved trails and city streets. Sometimes towing my toddler to daycare in a burley. Average trip will be 8 miles each way. Will be riding in winter temps, but only when the trail has been plowed.

3. I want to go fast, so Im looking for a class 3.

4. I think at class 3 speed, I will want a front suspension, even though I'll be on paved surfaces.

5. I would prefer a torque sensor as opposed to a cadence sensor. I would like it to feel more like a real bike.

6. I don't care much about having a throttle.

7. I am probably not inclined to spend any more than $2000.

It appears the Aventon Level or Ride1Up 700 might be my best bets. But neither have a torque sensor. Any tips for me? Thanks.
 

WattsUpDude

Active Member
That's not an easy ask. There are some bikes on bikesdirect.com within your budget that are equipped with a Shimano middrive (torque sensor) but are capped at class 1 assist.
 
You and I are in similar scenarios, and I've resigned myself to spending more money. But if you don't mind the weight of the bike (and don't mind that it won't really "feel more like a real bike"), the Ride1Up LMT'd does have a torque sensor for under $2k. You might review some of the feedback in that forum; it seems users have had mixed experiences. It's also more powerful than the Level or 700, so that might be a plus. That said, if you have an Aventon dealer near you, buying from a bike shop is always preferable to taking your chances online. I've bought a couple bikes on bikesdirect and both times was disappointed in what I got. I've heard their higher-end bikes are better quality but I'll never do it again.
 
I have both a 700 series and EasyMotion Lynx 6 Pro for mountain trails. The torque sensor/Brose motor on the Lynx is a fantastic combination, but I doubt you'd get it for $2000 on anything. The torque sensor (Lynx) just makes you feel like you've got superman legs, but you still have to put out some effort.

The Ride1Up, with its cadence sensor, is a totally different ride. There is more effect from going through the different motor assist levels than from shifting gears. For instance, when I am in level 5 (of 9), I am going to do about 15-17 mph no matter how hard I pedal (or how easily). The bike couldn't care less how much input I give it, just as long as the pedals are circling. Every assist level has its own speed and it is hard to get the bike to exceed that speed. The throttle is handy on the R1U. For commuting and around town use, the R1U will do the job well. I will state that, no matter what settings I've put on the controller, the assist quits at 25 mph - not the 28 mph advertised on their site. The instruction manual and the controller both tell you that the max assist is 40kph/25mph. I don't know why R1U claims 28 mph. Another note is that the fork on the 700 is mostly for looks. The action is not smooth, the spring is for 250 lb riders and there is no damping at all. Overall, the R1U is a pretty good bike and if I keep it I will probably find a new fork for it (but then I'll have a lot closer to $2000 in it).

You could also consider crazylennysebikes.com. They get some fantastic sales some times. That is where I got my Lynx for an amazing price.

I would also look hard at some of the bikesdirect bikes. They have five bikes listed that could work as commuters priced between 1699 and 1999.
 

Lightning P38

Active Member
Hello, I would appreciate advice on choosing a commuter E-bike. I am leaning toward the Aventon Level right now, which I can get for $1600 at my local bike shop. But I would appreciate other suggestions. Here are my specs:

1. 35 years old, in good shape, six feet tall. I have two years of experience on an old EG brand E-bike that I bought used for $300. It was okay, but I am ready to upgrade.

2. I will use it strictly for commuting on paved trails and city streets. Sometimes towing my toddler to daycare in a burley. Average trip will be 8 miles each way. Will be riding in winter temps, but only when the trail has been plowed.

3. I want to go fast, so Im looking for a class 3.

4. I think at class 3 speed, I will want a front suspension, even though I'll be on paved surfaces.

5. I would prefer a torque sensor as opposed to a cadence sensor. I would like it to feel more like a real bike.

6. I don't care much about having a throttle.

7. I am probably not inclined to spend any more than $2000.

It appears the Aventon Level or Ride1Up 700 might be my best bets. But neither have a torque sensor. Any tips for me? Thanks.

My first ebike is a class 3 kit I added to my recumbent bike. It uses the cadence sensor, and I really like it. I have 5 settings for the level of assist. I have about 500 miles on it this first season, and my bike still feels like a real bike.

Based on my experience with my e-assist system, I know how much assist to expect in each level.
The level 5 assist gets me to 28 mph, a good speed in downtown traffic to easily keep up with traffic. Level 4 gets me to 20 mph.

I usually use level 2 or 3 to do a casual ride on a rail trail. Level 3 maxes out at 13 mph, and matches the speed of other riders.

Due to my heart condition, I like the motor kicking out power at a constant level until the maximum speed is reached. I think that is why I prefer the cadence senor.

Without e-assist, I can only climb one hill, then I have to walk the rest. I just did a 34 mile ride with 2,800 ft of climbing and had 40% of battery charge left after the ride. Really like it.
 

GenXrider

Active Member
The Ride1Up, with its cadence sensor, is a totally different ride. There is more effect from going through the different motor assist levels than from shifting gears. For instance, when I am in level 5 (of 9), I am going to do about 15-17 mph no matter how hard I pedal (or how easily). The bike couldn't care less how much input I give it, just as long as the pedals are circling. Every assist level has its own speed and it is hard to get the bike to exceed that speed.

It sounds like you got an older model controller. They moved from speed to a power based for assist levels.

The owner of Ride1Up talked about that in this interview earlier this year:


And you can set the power percentage (of each assist level) using the LCD on newer models of the 700 to tweak the assist power you actually want each level to give.

700-lcd-power-settings.jpg
 
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ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
Shockingly im going to suggest the Biktrix Stunner LT! great commuter bike!
the bike has a 750watt motor,28mph top speed,torque sensor, full fat tires,rack,fenders,front suspension,Hydraulic brakes and it comes in three different sizes for $1899!
 
GenXRider, that is the controller that I have. My bike was received on June 16th. Even though I can change the power levels to anything that I want, if I am at 50% power the motor is going to provide enough power to get me to a certain speed on level ground. On hills it will slow down a little or speed up a little (downhill) but still keep me pretty close to the same speed no matter how much effort I put into the pedals. It is fine for around town, but I would never consider this type of control acceptable for technical single track mountain bike trails. It would probably work okay for fire roads, but not technical stuff.
 

WattsUpDude

Active Member
Shockingly im going to suggest the Biktrix Stunner LT! great commuter bike!
the bike has a 750watt motor,28mph top speed,torque sensor, full fat tires,rack,fenders,front suspension,Hydraulic brakes and it comes in three different sizes for $1899!

I see it stated as cadence assist on the site
 

GenXrider

Active Member
GenXRider, that is the controller that I have. My bike was received on June 16th. Even though I can change the power levels to anything that I want, if I am at 50% power the motor is going to provide enough power to get me to a certain speed on level ground. On hills it will slow down a little or speed up a little (downhill) but still keep me pretty close to the same speed no matter how much effort I put into the pedals. It is fine for around town, but I would never consider this type of control acceptable for technical single track mountain bike trails. It would probably work okay for fire roads, but not technical stuff.
I updated my youtube video link so that it will go directly to the part where he says they switched to a current based PAS system instead of a speed based PAS system. Based on when you received your bike, I think it should have the power based PAS. Of course, if it was speed based, it would be the same speed up or down hill, where as a power based PAS system would be affected by hills, so it sounds like yours is working based on power, as it should be. That being said, the 700 is not best for technical MTB riding. The lighter weight LMT'D with its torque based PAS system and air fork would be a better choice.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
I see it stated as cadence assist on the site
Nope, all Stunner LTs are Torque Sensor now, im 100% sure! i have heard the owner say this and im looking at the website now and it also states Torque Sensor in stats for the Stunner LT,not sure where your looking? the Stunner Step thru,Stunner Step over and Stunner X are Cadence!
 

GenXrider

Active Member
Interesting. I confirmed the same when I viewed from my phone - it shows cadence.

But when I brought up the same info on the computer, it shows torque.

stunnertorque.jpg
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
A little off the wall, but I think the Luna Fixed Stealth might be a good choice as a commuter. Contrary to its name, it has a three speed internally geared hub which should be fine for relatively flat Iowa. Other pluses are a mid-drive with torque sensor, a belt drive for almost no maintenance, and hydraulic disc brakes. No suspension though, but that is a plus from a weight and maintenance viewpoint. You could add a suspension seatpost and stem if you wanted a bit more comfort. Technically not class 3, but I'd bet it's not far off the mark.