Help with recommendation - mid vs hub, etc.

samwathegreat

New Member
Region
USA
Hi folks. New user here from Indiana. Unfortunately we have zero e bike or rental places around here so a test drive isn't exactly possible.

I have been researching for some time and want to purchase soon to take advantage of the summer months here.

I had originally though that I wanted a mid drive, but upon further research, knowing that I'm mostly interested in speed and climbing hills won't be my primary purpose (though I will be climbing some), I'm now wondering if hub drive wouldn't be better for my purposes. I prefer not to have to shift constantly and that sounds like a disadvantage of the mid drives.

Though I would like to do some offroading, I will primarily be on asphalt. I like the idea of fat tires for the suspension advantages and the fact that I can off-road, but I think the 3 inch wheels are more appealing as a compromise between fat 4-inchers and skinny tires.

I also understand that the hub drive has the advantage that if I were to break the chain I could still get home.

I'm 6' and 160#. Price isn't primary concern though I'm not looking to spend a fortune.

Can anyone make suggestions on the points I've brought up? Is my logic sound or do I need to rethink some of this? Beyond that, I would love some recommendations!

Specifically, I'm looking for a 1000w motor as I want to exceed 30mph (please leave legal concerns out of the discussion). If restricted, the unit needs to be able to be unlocked for speed. I prefer to be comfortable with my 6' height and 33 in inseam.

I have been looking at biktrix bikes and I notice that the 1000w swift step through is available now though I'm not sure it will accomodate my height/inseam. Any thoughts? Also it only has 2" tires and I wonder if this would limit my offroading. And finally, I'm curious about the disadvantages of step throughs. I'm fine with a step over and don't really see any specific need for my to prefer a step through.

All of your thoughts, comments, and suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Get a 250-350W nominal power expenditure rate mid-drive. A high nominal expenditure rate is bad, like a drunken sailor on a spending spree. Less is more. Use a three-pound battery or four-pounds. Weight will be low and centered for handling. 28 x 50mm, or 29 x 2" tires are great. Do not get little fat ones. And go for a torque sensor not a cadence sensor. It is far easier to change a chain on a mid-drive than to repair a flat on a hub-drive. Hub drives cannot do curbs or climbs. They are not efficient. Also look for local support. There are many tragic stories of people who purchased internet only bikes and have been left in a lurch. Use Google Maps to see legitimate reviews. Do not rely on a seller's web site for reviews.
 

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creativepart

Active Member
Region
USA
You make it sound like you want an electric moped, not an eBike.

I have two rear hub drive ebikes. One came set for 20 mph and I unlocked it easily for 24 mph. Then I took a 3-year old hybrid mtb/road bike and made it a rear hub drive with 750/1000 w geared hub motor. It will go 28 mph but the only time it goes 28 to 32 mph is down a big hill. I do pedal my bikes and shift gears but it took me a long time to start shifting. For the first full year I road my first eBike like a moped - ghost pedaling and running full-speed without shifting. It wasn't "biking" it was more like an old Honda 90.

Mid-drives are for "bike riders" that want the help of a motor on hills, etc. So, are hub motors but you have to think about your riding and put some effort into the ride to get the most out of the "bike" and not treat it like a "moped" during your ride.
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
I suggest you try out a mid and a hub at a LBS. See which feels better for you. There are pro and con to both, especially if you factor in price. We can debate all day cadence vs torque sensors, front, mid, rear hub drive and so forth, but what matters is what works for you. Remember too that your first ebike may not be a "forever" bike. You just gotta start somewhere.
 

Marrduk24

Active Member
Given your use case, huh drive sounds fine. This board will def steer you towards mid-drive. Mid-drive has its advantages but it’s not a slam dunk winner in all cases.
So for hub drive look at
1. Ride1up 700 or limited - I have 700 and I like it a lot. If limited was in stock I would have gotten that
2. Juiced CCX or CCS2

3. if you really want to splurge, Stromer bikes

By year end Ravi/ Zen bikes will have Shakti.
 

samwathegreat

New Member
Region
USA
You make it sound like you want an electric moped, not an eBike.

I have two rear hub drive ebikes. One came set for 20 mph and I unlocked it easily for 24 mph. Then I took a 3-year old hybrid mtb/road bike and made it a rear hub drive with 750/1000 w geared hub motor. It will go 28 mph but the only time it goes 28 to 32 mph is down a big hill. I do pedal my bikes and shift gears but it took me a long time to start shifting. For the first full year I road my first eBike like a moped - ghost pedaling and running full-speed without shifting. It wasn't "biking" it was more like an old Honda 90.

Mid-drives are for "bike riders" that want the help of a motor on hills, etc. So, are hub motors but you have to think about your riding and put some effort into the ride to get the most out of the "bike" and not treat it like a "moped" during your ride.
Thanks for the reply. I have every intention of pedaling... But perhaps not all the time. I have zero interest in a moped. I do realize that 30-ish is likely the max speed I will see.

I have read a lot about folks popping chains by not being careful about what gear they were in. I am familiar with bike riding, however I never spent too much time shifting - it was usually a high gear or a low great when climbing. I never put much effort in constant shifting and it really wasn't necessary. The e bike sounds like I'd have to shift more often each time I stop. Maybe I would get used to it...

On the 2nd reply - I specifically mentioned that there are no LBS's around that offer e-bikes and so this is not an option but thanks. This would have been the first thing that I did if it were possible.

As mentioned it doesn't have to be my final bike and I appreciate that but I'd also like to get close to the best for me since I intend to spend a good chunk of change.

It sounds like I would be well served for either a hub drive or a mid drive and could probably get used to either one and now it comes down to availability and accommodating my height and inseam. That being said does anyone have any recommendations? All further input is welcomed as well.
 
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samwathegreat

New Member
Region
USA
Given your use case, huh drive sounds fine. This board will def steer you towards mid-drive. Mid-drive has its advantages but it’s not a slam dunk winner in all cases.
So for hub drive look at
1. Ride1up 700 or limited - I have 700 and I like it a lot. If limited was in stock I would have gotten that
2. Juiced CCX or CCS2

3. if you really want to splurge, Stromer bikes

By year end Ravi/ Zen bikes will have Shakti.
The juiced bikes and the ride 1up sound great, but only 750w. Can you comment on the difference between 750 and 1000 watt motors? I had previously looked into these but juiced also told me that they are unable to be unlocked. Also the ride 1 up bikes are all out of stock.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Does this get you excited? It's not a bike as I know it, but it should be fast. There's a growing community of younger urban ebikers and this is what many of them like to ride in the city. No pretensions of pedaling. Room for a light passenger.

 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
On the 2nd reply - I specifically mentioned that there are no LBS's around that offer e-bikes and so this is not an option but thanks. This would have been the first thing that I did if it were possible.
I guess you don't want to put much effort into a thousand plus expenditure? Where I live, the nearest LBS is over an hour away. I did a day long road trip and visited three, travelling about 150 miles in toto. YMMV.
 

samwathegreat

New Member
Region
USA
Get a 250-350W nominal power expenditure rate mid-drive. A high nominal expenditure rate is bad, like a drunken sailor on a spending spree. Less is more. Use a three-pound battery or four-pounds. Weight will be low and centered for handling. 28 x 50mm, or 29 x 2" tires are great. Do not get little fat ones. And go for a torque sensor not a cadence sensor. It is far easier to change a chain on a mid-drive than to repair a flat on a hub-drive. Hub drives cannot do curbs or climbs. They are not efficient. Also look for local support. There are many tragic stories of people who purchased internet only bikes and have been left in a lurch. Use Google Maps to see legitimate reviews. Do not rely on a seller's web site for reviews.
Based on your experience what would the maximum speed be both in pedal assist mode and throttle only? For the wattage that you are suggesting...
 

samwathegreat

New Member
Region
USA
Does this get you excited? It's not a bike as I know it, but it should be fast. There's a growing community of younger urban ebikers and this is what many of them like to ride in the city. No pretensions of pedaling. Room for a light passenger.

Looks very cool, but I was going more for a traditional looking bike. Those tires are massive lol. Looks way fun though!
 

Marrduk24

Active Member
The juiced bikes and the ride 1up sound great, but only 750w. Can you comment on the difference between 750 and 1000 watt motors? I had previously looked into these but juiced also told me that they are unable to be unlocked. Also the ride 1 up bikes are all out of stock.
I personally don’t think you need more than 750w. On my 700, 80% plus of my riding is with motor pumping out about 300w of power. I don’t ever feel the need for more. It makes biking super leisurely and you feel like bike is just cruising. On a rare occasion I may go Upto higher assist and use 700w of power.
I am not sure what you mean by juiced bikes can’t be locked.
Biktrix also has a Swift hub drive model.
 

samwathegreat

New Member
Region
USA
I personally don’t think you need more than 750w. On my 700, 80% plus of my riding is with motor pumping out about 300w of power. I don’t ever feel the need for more. It makes biking super leisurely and you feel like bike is just cruising. On a rare occasion I may go Upto higher assist and use 700w of power.
I am not sure what you mean by juiced bikes can’t be locked.
Biktrix also has a Swift hub drive model.
Juiced answered the email I sent them saying that the speed limiter can not be disabled. I found that many of the bikes you can disable any speed limitations by typing a code into the display.
 

samwathegreat

New Member
Region
USA
I personally don’t think you need more than 750w. On my 700, 80% plus of my riding is with motor pumping out about 300w of power. I don’t ever feel the need for more. It makes biking super leisurely and you feel like bike is just cruising. On a rare occasion I may go Upto higher assist and use 700w of power.
I am not sure what you mean by juiced bikes can’t be locked.
Biktrix also has a Swift hub drive model.
Yes! The swift step through is actually in stock and very interesting. My only concern is that it would be too small for me. The only information that they offer is that it's for riders 5 ft 3 in and up. Most bikes that would accommodate a rider that short wouldn't be appropriate for someone 6-ft with a 33-in inseam. Any thoughts? I really like this bike.
 

Marrduk24

Active Member
Juiced answered the email I sent them saying that the speed limiter can not be disabled. I found that many of the bikes you can disable any speed limitations by typing a code into the display.
That’s true.
Even with motor providing 500w of power I have no trouble getting Upto 28mph. And it still feels very leisurely.
I don’t know about juiced but in ride1up you can configure how much assist you want at each level.
 

Marrduk24

Active Member
Yes! The swift step through is actually in stock and very interesting. My only concern is that it would be too small for me. The only information that they offer is that it's for riders 5 ft 3 in and up. Most bikes that would accommodate a rider that short wouldn't be appropriate for someone 6-ft with a 33-in inseam. Any thoughts? I really like this bike.
Not sure. I got 700 in ST frame. It says for 5’ to 6’2”. I am 5’11” with 33” inseam. I have never felt that the bike is too small. I don’t even have the seatpost at the highest setting.
One upgrade I suggest is suspension seatpost. I spent $100 on Suntour. So worth it.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Here is one I made. It is the blue bike in the middle. I just put the saddle up higher than the average ridder. The "water bottle" has a wire coming from it. That is the battery connection to the mid-drive. And another green one I made this week. Note the clean handlebar wires and electrical connectors. I remove speed limiters physically and set the wheel diameter to 10"
 

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harryS

Well-Known Member
PedalUma, this is my next electrification project. The bike is so light, I hesitate to weigh it down, but I do have a TSDZ2 in a box that I've never used. I really like the clean look of the handlebars right now. Just a bell and two levers. I have the VLDC5 but there are minimalist displays. Have you tried them?
 

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RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
I have been looking at biktrix bikes and I notice that the 1000w swift step through is available now though I'm not sure it will accomodate my height/inseam. Any thoughts? Also it only has 2" tires and I wonder if this would limit my offroading.
To answer this question, people have been riding 2-3" tires on mountain bikes for decades. Fat tires mostly help with mud, snow, and loose sand. Otherwise they just add drag. The tread on the tire will determine the traction on trails. Fat tires will smooth out the ride some, but the suspension that they provide doesn't compare to a full suspension bike or a front suspension with a suspension seatpost.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
PedalUma, this is my next electrification project. The bike is so light, I hesitate to weigh it down, but I do have a TSDZ2 in a box that I've never used. I really like the clean look of the handlebars right now. Just a bell and two levers. I have the VLDC5 but there are minimalist displays. Have you tried them?
Nice bike. I recently put a TSDZ2 on an old 20" folder. At first I didn't like the riding experience but that was partly due to changes I made for an in-law and a friend of my wife (fat seat, swept back handlebars). After I put a WTB smaller seat and flat handlebars on it is much more comfortable. What size chainring and cassette does your bike have? With the 42t TSDZ2 chainring and 14-28 freewheel my bike has it is geared too low for comfortable cruising so I have a 11-28 DNP freewheel on the way along with a few other things.

Regarding displays - I have a VLCD5 (too bulky), a XH-18 (very limited programming and shuts off power unless actively pedaling in an assist level and with the magnet wheel sensor functioning - auto shut off can't be disabled and it is very annoying, also reflection off of the screen makes it often unreadable - I like the twist function but overall I would avoid this one). Also have a C3 that I don't see listed much - good programmability but no manual or instructions for the advanced menu and seller eco-ebike didn't know either - would choose this one.
Since you have the 8 pin controller to go with the VLCD5 you would need to get a 8 to 6 splitter to use the other display/controls, cost <$20 and allows use of throttle if that is your preference (eco-ebike sells it for $27 last time I looked but includes a thumb throttle).

Nice thing about the tongsheng is that it is so quick and easy to install or remove if you find you don't like it on that bike. If you get a small display and have to use the splitter cable then wiring can get a little messy due to the length of the splitter cable.
 
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