Help with first time ebike

ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Kitsap Co, WA
I bought my BH Atom Diamond Wave Pro from Seattle Ebikes in Pioneer Square, specifically for the torque. I love it. Give it a spin. Comes with a 5 year warranty.
 

OrTrek

Member
Agree with Thomas. And he knows this stuff. I just come from my user experience.

My Radmini is more of a purpose bike for me and it's my only real long term experience with a Bafang system and it's rear hub. Forest roads, basic single track and really steep inclines. Much more powerful than the Haibike with the Yamaha system. On the Rad I rarely use the throttle, except to just give me a "boost" mostly because I'm too lazy to down shift. Almost too easy. I really do like this bike and it and the Bafang have been bullet proof in some pretty tough terrain. I know some people seem to put down Rad but I've had zero issues.

But just riding on bikeways, streets, roads I actually prefer the Yamaha system. I did test a little Tern D8 with a Bafang mid motor. It was ok. It just seems like riding the Yamaha systems I can ride at low assist (or none) pretty easily and it just seems more pure (I hate this analogy but can't come up with anyway else to say it). And I'm a old fart.

But again, you'll learn a lot testing them and others. BTW - Yamaha has some new upgrades coming out on their SE and X motors, though I think Haibike and Giant get them before they actually put them on their own bikes.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
I haven't bought my bike yet, either, but I'm probably going to get the Giant La Free. Mid drive motor and upright riding position are must-haves for me. Trying to decide between the chain or belt drive model. The components seem quite good for the price ($1900 or $2400), and people here on the site who have the bike seem to put in a lot of trouble-free miles on it (both models).

I live on Whidbey Island, which is quite hilly. An extended test ride on the La Free +2 - the chain drive model - was a joy! The hills were a breeze!

My only LBS sells Giant, along with Trek and some Blix, and having reliable service nearby is important for me.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I haven't bought my bike yet, either, but I'm probably going to get the Giant La Free. Mid drive motor and upright riding position are must-haves for me. Trying to decide between the chain or belt drive model. The components seem quite good for the price ($1900 or $2400), and people here on the site who have the bike seem to put in a lot of trouble-free miles on it (both models).

I live on Whidbey Island, which is quite hilly. An extended test ride on the La Free +2 - the chain drive model - was a joy! The hills were a breeze!

My only LBS sells Giant, along with Trek and some Blix, and having reliable service nearby is important for me.
Unless you really like to clean and lubricate your chain every 100 miles and replace it every 1500 miles, go for the belt drive. So much cleaner and easier.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Much of the advice you get on forums is not in your interest. Most people are trying to justify their own choices by urging you to buy what they bought.

If you are like most of us you will ride your ebike more often and further than you ever imagined possible. Spending more money on a better bike will be one of the best decisions you ever made.

If you are like most riders, you are not a mechanic, don't have the know how, tools or interest in maintaining your bike and will need help from a local bike shop. Don't expect them to care about keeping your bike running smoothly if you bought a bike on line. The only support you will get from an on line seller, if you are lucky, is phone help to diagnose the problem and they send you parts to replace yourself or you will pay a local shop to replace for you.

Best to spend a little more and have a dedicated local shop standing behind the sale in who's interest it is to keep you happy and rolling along.

My advice: test ride lots of bikes until you find the one that puts the biggest grin on your face and the people selling it you like the best. Then, if you can possibly afford it, pay more than you first thought you were willing to spend. They pain of paying out more money wears off quickly. The joy of riding a bike that really suits you endures every time you ride.
 

fristiac

New Member
I haven't bought my bike yet, either, but I'm probably going to get the Giant La Free. Mid drive motor and upright riding position are must-haves for me. Trying to decide between the chain or belt drive model. The components seem quite good for the price ($1900 or $2400), and people here on the site who have the bike seem to put in a lot of trouble-free miles on it (both models).

I live on Whidbey Island, which is quite hilly. An extended test ride on the La Free +2 - the chain drive model - was a joy! The hills were a breeze!

My only LBS sells Giant, along with Trek and some Blix, and having reliable service nearby is important for me.

Interesting. I have a shop near me that sells a LaFree +1, but it comes with a chain drive.
If I'm aiming for a belt drive I'd have to look elsewhere.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Really? Giant has their own motor? What is the motor style and rating?

EDIT Yamaha seems to have a decent service network. I’d not worry about that, unless it was a flaky LBS

My LBS is a Giant dealer and talking with him the other day he said he can plug Giant ebikes into his computer with a USB cable to enable remote diagnosis by Giant service technicians and update firmware.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Interesting. I have a shop near me that sells a LaFree +1, but it comes with a chain drive.
If I'm aiming for a belt drive I'd have to look elsewhere.

The LaFree E+1 model has a belt drive and IGH, the LaFree E+2 model has a chain and derailleur. Giant dealers also carry the Momenum line, and their new Vida & Transend ebike models have an IGH and chain rather than the belt on the LaFree E+1
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
Much of the advice you get on forums is not in your interest. Most people are trying to justify their own choices by urging you to buy what they bought.

If you are like most of us you will ride your ebike more often and further than you ever imagined possible. Spending more money on a better bike will be one of the best decisions you ever made.

If you are like most riders, you are not a mechanic, don't have the know how, tools or interest in maintaining your bike and will need help from a local bike shop. Don't expect them to care about keeping your bike running smoothly if you bought a bike on line. The only support you will get from an on line seller, if you are lucky, is phone help to diagnose the problem and they send you parts to replace yourself or you will pay a local shop to replace for you.

Best to spend a little more and have a dedicated local shop standing behind the sale in who's interest it is to keep you happy and rolling along.

My advice: test ride lots of bikes until you find the one that puts the biggest grin on your face and the people selling it you like the best. Then, if you can possibly afford it, pay more than you first thought you were willing to spend. They pain of paying out more money wears off quickly. The joy of riding a bike that really suits you endures every time you ride.
Agreed. I'd add however that suggesting choices not already in focus is a good thing.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Iowa
Take a look at the Gazelle Arroyo C8 HMB. I think there are several LBS in the Seattle area that carry Gazelle. The Arroyo is a very comfortable ride with good range on the 500 Wh battery. I do think the torque sensing and mid-drive motor give it a very "natural" feel in all pedal assist modes. I own another hub drive ebike and a mid drive etrike that use cadence sensing instead of torque, and they definitely don't have that smooth natural feel that the Bosch torque sensing system does. Based on my research when I bought the Gazelle, the one thing that I was initially disappointed in was that it has hydraulic rim brakes instead of disc brakes. But after riding it for a couple of years, I must say the Magura hydraulic rim brakes have performed beautifully, every bit as good as the disc brakes on my other bikes. That said, I will admit that I don't have a lot of steep hills where I regularly ride.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Much of the advice you get on forums is not in your interest. Most people are trying to justify their own choices by urging you to buy what they bought.

If you are like most of us you will ride your ebike more often and further than you ever imagined possible. Spending more money on a better bike will be one of the best decisions you ever made.

If you are like most riders, you are not a mechanic, don't have the know how, tools or interest in maintaining your bike and will need help from a local bike shop. Don't expect them to care about keeping your bike running smoothly if you bought a bike on line. The only support you will get from an on line seller, if you are lucky, is phone help to diagnose the problem and they send you parts to replace yourself or you will pay a local shop to replace for you.

Best to spend a little more and have a dedicated local shop standing behind the sale in who's interest it is to keep you happy and rolling along.

My advice: test ride lots of bikes until you find the one that puts the biggest grin on your face and the people selling it you like the best. Then, if you can possibly afford it, pay more than you first thought you were willing to spend. They pain of paying out more money wears off quickly. The joy of riding a bike that really suits you endures every time you ride.
That's a rather uncharitable assumption about most members here, at least in my experience. I've not run across anyone who seemed to be trying to justify what they bought by trying to get me to buy it too. I've found the advice here quite helpful and knowledgeable, and taking advantage of others' experience has helped me narrow down what was a very confusing set of choices.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
That's a rather uncharitable assumption about most members here, at least in my experience. I've not run across anyone who seemed to be trying to justify what they bought by trying to get me to buy it too. I've found the advice here quite helpful and knowledgeable, and taking advantage of others' experience has helped me narrow down what was a very confusing set of choices.

It was not an assumption but rather a general observation. This forum is one of the better ones for getting advice that actually fits the person asking for it. Still, even here, I would guess that at least 50% of the responses ignore the particulars or brands the person is asking about and go right to why they are so pleased with the bike that they bought. I've done just this myself; but when I became aware of it have endeavored to pay more attention to the specs or brand the person is actually asking about. I have seen almost universal "you should buy what I bought" answers to requests for advice, especially in facebook ebike groups. There is even a name for it: confirmation bias.

If they do not have a "must have" list.put together or don't say much about their circumstance, first I try to ask for more info (age, weight, where they ride, riding for fun, exercise, touring, commuting, vehicle replacement, etc.).

How much use would a doctor's advice be if he just prescribed without ever asking any questions about symptoms, age, diet, allergies, injuries or family history or did any examination?
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
It was not an assumption but rather a general observation. This forum is one of the better ones for getting advice that actually fits the person asking for it. Still, even here, I would guess that at least 50% of the responses ignore the particulars or brands the person is asking about and go right to why they are so pleased with the bike that they bought. I've done just this myself; but when I became aware of it have endeavored to pay more attention to the specs or brand the person is actually asking about. I have seen almost universal "you should buy what I bought" answers to requests for advice, especially in facebook ebike groups. There is even a name for it: confirmation bias.

If they do not have a "must have" list.put together or don't say much about their circumstance, first I try to ask for more info (age, weight, where they ride, riding for fun, exercise, touring, commuting, vehicle replacement, etc.).

How much use would a doctor's advice be if he just prescribed without ever asking any questions about symptoms, age, diet, allergies, injuries or family history or did any examination?
Seems one of those days where posters are easily riled. Many here can afford high end belt drives. Others need to stay in a budget, or like myself starting out decide to build from the ground up and make improvements as budget allows. I’m pretty uncomfortable with claims tha chain drives need cleaning every hundred miles. But replacing a chain every 1500 is cheap. I think it’s important that we help new posters sort the choices for themselves based on widely, wildly?, different budgets and needs. A rider might be just as happy on a $1500 chain as on a $5000 belt drive. All good.
 

John K

New Member
This makes sense.
Imma go ride a yamaha.
Do you know if any motor feels similar to a bafang that I can try before I make a decision.
I’ve owned a Yamaha Cross Core since early March of this year. The motor is amazing and natural feeling. However, be aware that this particular model has had some fork issues. Mine is now in the shop looking at getting its fifth fork. The guy at the shop seems to think it’s only on the large frame as they have another customer with the same issue. You might like the Cross Connect, since it is already set up for commuting and has a suspension fork.
 

fristiac

New Member
I’ve owned a Yamaha Cross Core since early March of this year. The motor is amazing and natural feeling. However, be aware that this particular model has had some fork issues. Mine is now in the shop looking at getting its fifth fork. The guy at the shop seems to think it’s only on the large frame as they have another customer with the same issue. You might like the Cross Connect, since it is already set up for commuting and has a suspension fork.
Interesting. Good to know about the forks. I've to wait till week end to go testing anyway.
Will add this to notes
 

Toomanycats

Active Member
Much of the advice you get on forums is not in your interest. Most people are trying to justify their own choices by urging you to buy what they bought.

If you are like most of us you will ride your ebike more often and further than you ever imagined possible. Spending more money on a better bike will be one of the best decisions you ever made.

If you are like most riders, you are not a mechanic, don't have the know how, tools or interest in maintaining your bike and will need help from a local bike shop. Don't expect them to care about keeping your bike running smoothly if you bought a bike on line. The only support you will get from an on line seller, if you are lucky, is phone help to diagnose the problem and they send you parts to replace yourself or you will pay a local shop to replace for you.

Best to spend a little more and have a dedicated local shop standing behind the sale in who's interest it is to keep you happy and rolling along.

My advice: test ride lots of bikes until you find the one that puts the biggest grin on your face and the people selling it you like the best. Then, if you can possibly afford it, pay more than you first thought you were willing to spend. They pain of paying out more money wears off quickly. The joy of riding a bike that really suits you endures every time you ride.
I’d add to this that we will soon be getting to the point where you may be able to buy an older model bike that’s been sitting on the showroom floor for a while, because Winter Is Coming in many parts of the country, and next years models will be coming out.
On the advice of people from this forum, I bought an older model bike for about 60% of the price it would have cost new. It was a bike that I never in a million years would’ve considered buying on my own. I couldn’t be happier with it.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
I'm about 16 months into mine with zero issues. I realize that's not great evidence, but like you I'm not a mechanic and will take any issues to the dealer. The motor is built by Yamaha, and I do trust that for sure.

Yamaha does make the Giant electric system, but they're customized for Giant's needs and I think you have to go to a Giant dealer for service. Whereas if you choose a Shimano, Bosch, or stock Yamaha system then you can go to any certified dealer for service. As big a dealer network as Giant has, with all the brands selling Shimano and Bosch they may have larger dealer networks in total. Trek sells both Shimano and Bosch, and most of the mid-sized players sell Shimano or Bosch.

I feel the same way as the OP about mid-drives being preferable. Companies like Shimano, Bosch, and Yamaha have a history of quality, and of long-term parts availability. If you want to buy a good e-bike and be able to service it for a long time then a company like that is probably going to be a better bet than a company making hub motors that doesn't have a long track record of parts availability. You can argue until you're blue in the face on all the other points, but on this point mid-drive wins hands down. My experience with hub motor companies is them either going out of business (I'm looking at you BionX), or rapidly losing interest in older models as new models come out. I don't expect either of those to happen with Bosch, and I believe that Shimano's promised to keep making parts for at least 5 years after they discontinue an e-bike component (and probably longer than five years if there's still money in it, since Shimano is a parts company first and foremost).

I personally find mid-drives more natural. I find hub motors feel like they're pushing or pulling me (depending on whether it's a rear or a hub motor). A mid-drive feels like it's all coming from me, but I have super-powers for some reason. :) I find mid-drives tend to be lighter weight, and I appreciate their superior weight distribution (with the motor low and centre). But the feel of a mid-drive vs. a hub motor is subjective and personal, whereas the longer history of the brand name mid-drive companies is objective and worth seriously keeping in mind IMO.
 
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Mass Deduction

Active Member
[...]Mid drives except yamaha drag when pedaled unpowered, if you ever consider building up your strength to pedal yourself some distance. When the battery kept failing early days I pedaled myself 20-28 miles home several times. Mid drive, you call a tow truck. Mid drives wear chain faster than human powered bikes. Front geared hub as I have, it is not extremely difficult to change either tube after a flat.[...]

My experience is exactly opposite yours. Mid-drives motors have less rotating mass than hub motors, and that contributes to mid-drive bikes pedalling much better than hub motor bikes with the motor off. Some rides I'll even turn the motor off for some flat sections of the ride on my 43 pound mid-drive e-bike. Many brand name mid-drive bikes are in the 40-50 pound range and pedal very well. I have yet to find a long-range hub motor bike that's as lightweight as a typical brand name mid-drive bike.

I'd rather wear my chain out faster than get a broken spoke. I can predict the chain wear, but the broken spoke (more common on hub motors than mid-drives) can be a huge downer on a ride. And they now make hardened e-bike chains for mid-drives that wear very slowly.

And Brose mid-drives appear to be the king of low-drag mid-drives, not Yamaha. Though I've found all of them to be very good.
 
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