Help me pick out a cute bike <$2k that will manage Seattle's hills

I'm in the market for a new electric bike after my last one was stolen. The problem is that I'm going down this rabbit hole of wanting fenders, then a mid-drive, then hydraulic brakes, then a belt drive, and suddenly I'm looking at $5,000 bikes. All of which would be a waste on someone like me, who put just a few hundred miles on my last bike before crashing and then losing the bike. Experienced e-bikers, please talk some sense into me. Here is what I'm looking for:
  1. will get me 12 miles rt over some hilly streets, so either a removable battery that I can charge at work or one with enough power to get me both ways
  2. fits someone 5'5"
  3. upright seating
  4. low maintenance
  5. attractive: maybe a cruiser or a bright beachy color, normal-sized wheels
  6. my ride has some bumps and I am recovering from arm injuries, so I think front suspension will be helpful
  7. light enough that I can put it on the bus if needed
  8. needs fenders and a rear rack
  9. mid-step or a step-through would be nice
Things I don't care about: throttle, going over 20mph, fat wheels (actually I very much would like to avoid these)

I know the smart thing is to buy another Ariel Rider M-class, especially since I still have the battery from my last one, but for aesthetic reasons, I really don't want another bike with tiny wheels. I know I can't have it all, but what is the best compromise?
 

Works great on hilly Whidbey Island!

The Seafoam green is a nice beachy color, too :D!
That's a very cute bike! Do you know if the Momentum Lafree E+ is the same as the Giant Lafree E+? They look the same but the momentum is actually in stock, although unfortunately not in that great seafoam color.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
That's a very cute bike! Do you know if the Momentum Lafree E+ is the same as the Giant Lafree E+? They look the same but the momentum is actually in stock, although unfortunately not in that great seafoam color.
Giant may have moved the La Free to their momentum line for 2021 - haven't paid attention to the new models since I've already got mine... You can check the specs to find out if they're the same. Or, call your friendly local Giant dealer 😉.

I actually love the red color!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Interesting, I hadn't noticed Giant had duplicated the LaFree on both the Giant and the Momentum websites. I agree with Patricia, the LaFree is better equipped for commuting with fenders and the rack than the other Momentum models. But Giant are dropping the ball by decontenting the MY2021 from the previous Giant LaFree models, no IGH model, no ebike lights. Another poster showed how ebike lights can be fitted after purchase to the TransEnd model but it's disappointing they have chosen not to include them.

Because you want front suspension, consider the Gazelle Medeo T9 HMB mid-step model in the S(45) frame size which fits riders 4'10"-5'6", it comes with rack, fenders, and lights.
 
Last edited:

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Was also looking at this as a second bike at our second home:


It's a hub drive, though, and I'd expect closer to the minimum range on the battery with Seattle's hills.

It does have fenders, hydraulic disc brakes, lights, and other niceties...

I'm always a bit suspicious when they mention "incline" rather than hills ;).

They also have a mid drive model called the Reine, which was reviewed here recently:


Trying to stay in your price range, but it's close!
 
Was also looking at this as a second bike at our second home:


It's a hub drive, though, and I'd expect closer to the minimum range on the battery with Seattle's hills.

It does have fenders, hydraulic disc brakes, lights, and other niceties...

I'm always a bit suspicious when they mention "incline" rather than hills ;).

They also have a mid drive model called the Reine, which was reviewed here recently:


Trying to stay in your price range, but it's close!
Thanks! I like the Reine, it's weird that it's not on their website unless you search for it. But it looks promising!

Someone is selling a 1 year old Civia Parkway for $1500 near me, and a local bike shop has the Medeo T9 for $2k.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
a local bike shop has the Medeo T9 for $2k.
That's likely to be the previous model Gazelle Medeo T9 "Classic" that Court reviewed on this site. The MY2021 Gazelle Medeo T9 HMB has the same Bosch Active Line Plus motor and 400wh battery but costs $500 more and has slightly different equipment - disk vs rim brakes, wider Schwalbe 'big apple' balloon tires vs Schwalbe Energizer, a slightly brighter headlight (35lux vs 30lux), a slightly longer travel suspension fork (50mm vs 40mm), and a redesigned low-step frame that reduces the frame flex Court mentioned in his review of the Medeo T9 Classic model. The Gazelle US website still has publicity photos of the Classic but they've removed it from their list of Medeo models so presumably there are just shop stock of Classic models remaining.
 
Last edited:

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Speaking of brakes, you do NOT want rim brakes, riding in Seattle - you need disk. It's important, because of the weather. Hydraulic would be best, but mechanical would work.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Check out step thru zen electric bike model that @Ravi Kempaiah is putting out. I am not sure it is available yet (despite what the website shows) but I think this is going to be the best bang for your buck. I suspect Ravi can customize to your needs but I'm sure he will chine in here.


More details in this forum thread:


Other models:

 
Last edited:
Check out step thru zen electric bike model that @Ravi Kempaiah is putting out. I am not sure it is available yet (despite what the website shows) but I think this is going to be the best bang for your buck. I suspect Ravi can customize to your needs but I'm sure he will chine in here.


More details in this forum thread:


Other models:

That bike looks great, I'll look into it!

Thanks everyone for the notes about the brakes and the different Gazelle models! I will definitely avoid rim brakes.
 
I thought I'd update everyone! I ended up buying the 2021 LaFree. I've put 100 miles on it so far. I haven't really had the opportunity to ride it up many hills yet (we'll both be in Seattle soon but for now everything is FLAT) but it's been a very good bike and I enjoy riding it. I wish it had front suspension and lights but so far it's been fine. I've barely needed to use more than assist level one. I also think that I've been riding more slowly since there's no display to tell me my speed, but considering my crash earlier this year that's probably for the best. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
I'm in the market for a new electric bike after my last one was stolen. The problem is that I'm going down this rabbit hole of wanting fenders, then a mid-drive, then hydraulic brakes, then a belt drive, and suddenly I'm looking at $5,000 bikes. All of which would be a waste on someone like me, who put just a few hundred miles on my last bike before crashing and then losing the bike. Experienced e-bikers, please talk some sense into me. Here is what I'm looking for:
  1. will get me 12 miles rt over some hilly streets, so either a removable battery that I can charge at work or one with enough power to get me both ways
  2. fits someone 5'5"
  3. upright seating
  4. low maintenance
  5. attractive: maybe a cruiser or a bright beachy color, normal-sized wheels
  6. my ride has some bumps and I am recovering from arm injuries, so I think front suspension will be helpful
  7. light enough that I can put it on the bus if needed
  8. needs fenders and a rear rack
  9. mid-step or a step-through would be nice
Things I don't care about: throttle, going over 20mph, fat wheels (actually I very much would like to avoid these)
I know the smart thing is to buy another Ariel Rider M-class, especially since I still have the battery from my last one, but for aesthetic reasons, I really don't want another bike with tiny wheels. I know I can't have it all, but what is the best compromise?
Based on your criteria, take a look at BD for a nice spec Shimano mid-drive.. 2 models in stock under $2,000. ;)

1603410779551.png
1603411675746.png