I think I've officially over-researched. Too many options. Too many conflicting opinions.

vita10gy

Member
Region
USA
My wife and I are looking at getting into shape with some ebikes. There are trails near our house that we would do almost all our riding on. I don't know if they qualify as "gravel" or "packed dirt" or what. You can view them in this person's video

Problem is I've officially watched so many videos and read so many reviews, that I can no longer keep the best options straight. I was looking at Ride1Up 700 ST, even had one in the cart, but then a reviewer online said he sold his so he could take his ebike on dirt trails. I didn't get the impression he meant mountain biking, so that gave me pause, and I started looking at fatter tire bikes. (Himiway and Rad's)

I'm 5'11, she is 5'4", which unfortunately is the cutoff for a lot of frames.

We went to a Crazy Lenny's to ride our first ebikes, and the wife decided a throttle is a must. (Both because she just liked the idea of being able to take a break, and because she feels more confident about biking a trail where alligators can be 3 inches off the trail anywhere if she can just "nope" out of there with the throttle.) They didn't have a ton of selection there, but I was unimpressed with the American Rider we got to test. There were only 3 levels of assist and on level 3 it just wanted to take off from under you. Could just be we're not used to the cadence needed. The guy there left us with the impression basically any bike would work on those trails, but there's always the chance there's some "I don't want to tell you these won't work and you just leave here".

I originally had as a must that they be able to fit in the back of our Ford Edge, but after seeing the size of some of them, and seeing how much of the back of a crossover even some foldables take, I think we're resigned to getting a rear mounted bike rack, but then as long as that's the case, any size probably goes.

Musts:
$2000ish. Ideally under, but if there are any "you get so much more in the Blah X5 if you go up to $2100" we'd be open to that. That said, we're not looking for $600 walmart bikes either.
Be a good trail bike and a good road bike.
Fenders/Rack included or available.

Wants:
I'd really like 2 of the same bike, or at least same enough that the battery and such is swappable in a pinch.
Step through preferred, esp for hers.
Speedometer/Odometer
Front suspension - probably a borderline must.
Range - This is a tough one, because all my friends I've asked about this poo-poo anything that gets under 35 miles as bad. As a couple who rode our regular, 10 year old, $100, bikes 1 mile 4 months ago, and then basically collapsed on the side of the road at the top of a hill and walked the bikes back home, "35 miles" and "only" in reference to a bike ride is something I have trouble rectifying, but I've decided to trust the almost universal take that that's not *that* long if you've decided "we're going to load up the bikes and ride them today."

In a perfect world:
2 fit in the back of a Ford Edge with the seats down without upending the universe.
Beach Riding
USB charging - I almost want to make this a "want", but I realize that's *probably* a silly thing to let be the decider.

Not a huge deal:
A 28mph class 3 would be nice, but we work from home. "Getting there in a hurry" is not what we're biking for.
Rear suspension or anything mountain-bikey. We're not going to take these on any "pack a machete for the underbrush" style trails.

Help me electicbikereview forum, you're my only hope.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Are the bikes from CL the only ebikes you've ridden? What were they? If you don't care about 28 MPH you'll be able to fit your budget of $2000 each easier since more speed means more weight, better brakes, better suspension, etc.. I don't care about top speed ( I'm grabbing brakes above 25 MPH).
Anyway, ride a few different bikes. rent them or test ride at your LBS. Mid drive and Hub drive, heavy and light, etc.
A couple hours riding will teach you more than a couple weeks of reading, and it's way more fun.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Check out Court’s video review of the VoltBike Mariner, he had a blast riding it on a beach in Mexico, it folds so you’ll be able to get it in the back of your Explorer, and it has a throttle.

 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I have ridden the path by CL's in Winter Garden. It's quite nice. Also done The General Van Fleet and some others in Florida. The only hills we saw were the causeway bridges. and I thought they were more scary than steep. The Ride1-up is more than enough for Florida bike paths, except it might accelerate a bit faster than you like til you get used to it, Still, most of them do that.

You'll be wasting energy with fat knobby tires on pavement, but you'll look cool/rugged. If you ever run out of battery, and it probably won't happen, you'll won't like those fat tires. I have one of these bikes, although I put on smooth tires. I've had a flat tire and had to walk it home 1/2 mile, but that's easy. Last year I blew a fuse, and had to ride it home a mile. Awful.

I can ride my skinny tire folder without power though. I would check out Qualispots Dolphin if I were to buy another 20" folder. They are our travel bikes. Put them inside the minivan and drive thru the snow.slush to get to FLorida.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I have ridden the path by CL's in Winter Garden. It's quite nice. Also done The General Van Fleet and some others in Florida. The only hills we saw were the causeway bridges. and I thought they were more scary than steep. The Ride1-up is more than enough for Florida bike paths, except it might accelerate a bit faster than you like til you get used to it, Still, most of them do that.

You'll be wasting energy with fat knobby tires on pavement, but you'll look cool/rugged. If you ever run out of battery, and it probably won't happen, you'll won't like those fat tires. I have one of these bikes, although I put on smooth tires. I've had a flat tire and had to walk it home 1/2 mile, but that's easy. Last year I blew a fuse, and had to ride it home a mile. Awful.

I can ride my skinny tire folder without power though. I would check out Qualispots Dolphin if I were to buy another 20" folder. They are our travel bikes. Put them inside the minivan and drive thru the snow.slush to get to FLorida.

I think the only place you'll want FAT rather than normal tires will be on sand. Not much snow down there, and trail bikes aren't fat tire bikes.
 

vita10gy

Member
Region
USA
Are the bikes from CL the only ebikes you've ridden? What were they? If you don't care about 28 MPH you'll be able to fit your budget of $2000 each easier since more speed means more weight, better brakes, better suspension, etc.. I don't care about top speed ( I'm grabbing brakes above 25 MPH).
Anyway, ride a few different bikes. rent them or test ride at your LBS. Mid drive and Hub drive, heavy and light, etc.
A couple hours riding will teach you more than a couple weeks of reading, and it's way more fun.

I tried 2 American Rider bikes. I'm not sure of the models. They looked like old timey bikes. One was a rear motor and one was mid motor. The mid motor was smoother, but the wife wants a throttle and it seems mid motors + throttles are are bit harder to come by. We also tried one more there, but I'm blanking on the name.

Those are the only 3 I've ever ridden. I didn't really like any of them, but it's possible my expectations are too high. We could both tell we would like the concept of ebikes from them, but the bikes themselves were pretty meh, if that makes any sense at all. There don't seem to be a ton of options for test riding at bike shops around here. There (also there seems to be almost zero overlap between bikes we can test ride and bikes I see any reviews of anywhere.)

We live in central florida and can rent Rad bikes on either coast, so we're thinking maybe of trying out those for a couple hours some weekend.

I think the only place you'll want FAT rather than normal tires will be on sand. Not much snow down there, and trail bikes aren't fat tire bikes.

So does that mean most bikes would be fine on the dirt trail like the video above?

I have ridden the path by CL's in Winter Garden. It's quite nice. Also done The General Van Fleet and some others in Florida. The only hills we saw were the causeway bridges. and I thought they were more scary than steep. The Ride1-up is more than enough for Florida bike paths, except it might accelerate a bit faster than you like til you get used to it, Still, most of them do that.

That path is nice, and I don't doubt we'll wind up there often enough, but I see our primary riding on non pavement. I don't know if that changes the thinking that much. I see quite a few bikers go by while driving the nature trail, and it doesn't seem like they all have super rugged mountain bikes, but I've seen just enough comments to make me question if the Ride1Up 700, or the equivalent Aventon would cut it.

(Also of course I want to make sure there's no obvious "Why would you get the Ride1Up 700 when the YadaYada ST4 is like twice the bike for another $200)
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
You didn't like any of the bikes you rode? That's a red flag. The first ebike I rode, I loved. But I would not even consider that same ebike after riding a few big name bikes. Think about renting a Trek, Giant, or Specialized and ride it for a half day. Maybe you just don't like ebikes. That happens.
 

vita10gy

Member
Region
USA
You didn't like any of the bikes you rode? That's a red flag. The first ebike I rode, I loved. But I would not even consider that same ebike after riding a few big name bikes. Think about renting a Trek, Giant, or Specialized and ride it for a half day. Maybe you just don't like ebikes. That happens.
No, like I said, we could both tell we would love the concept of ebikes based on that test ride, it's just none of those 3 felt like terribly impressive examples of one, despite no personal experience to compare it to. One of them only had 3 levels of pedal assist, no screen/speedometer, and the 3rd level of assist just flung you forward way out of pace with the pedaling, so it seems like it would essentially be a 2 level assist bike in practice (or maybe 3 is reserved only for hills steeper than the test incline). The 2nd one was the next step up of that exact bike, but had no throttle, which my wife wants.

The third had no suspension at all, which seems like it might be important given our primary riding being dirt trails.

Perhaps it would be better said as "we liked them, we both felt it was the perfect amount of exercise without killing ourselves, but could tell those 3 bikes weren't right for our needs."
 
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
I loved my Trek Allant+7 from the first time I saw and test rode one. And it’s a lot more than $2k. My wife loves her +7 Lowstep. Good luck with your search.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
i dont know if crazy lennys is out of stock like everywhere else but wonder if they have any bagibikes, i like my bagibike and they make some 20x4 fat tires
pas and throttle and think you mentioned 28mph which mine is but not sure about others

there are 9 levels of pas and smaller increments for power- so smoother than a lot of others

scratch that- i dont see that brand listed anymore on lennys site...
that being said there seem to be a lot of them in florida so you might look around- think maybe their warehouse is in florida
their dealer map shows a lot of stores in florida, check them out

am pretty sure you can put 3 inch tires on 4 inch wheels on a lot of these fat bikes if you want that

trying out the rad bikes is a very good idea, i dont know how their pas system is now but would give you a feel for riding some fat tires

guessing if you got a ride1up etc you could put a little bit bigger and more mtn bike tire with better grip to make it more versatile

i am a fan of fat tires and throttles but also hit a good bit of sand out where i ride
i also have some thinner tire bikes and use them for different stuff

have no idea if you will try to ride on the beach any but fat would be the way to go for that
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
My wife and I are looking at getting into shape with some ebikes. There are trails near our house that we would do almost all our riding on. I don't know if they qualify as "gravel" or "packed dirt" or what.
Wants:
I'd really like 2 of the same bike, or at least same enough that the battery and such is swappable in a pinch.
Step through preferred, esp for hers.
Speedometer/Odometer
Front suspension - probably a borderline must.
Range - This is a tough one, because all my friends I've asked about this poo-poo anything that gets under 35 miles as bad. As a couple who rode our regular, 10 year old, $100, bikes 1 mile 4 months ago, and then basically collapsed on the side of the road at the top of a hill and walked the bikes back home, "35 miles" and "only" in reference to a bike ride is something I have trouble rectifying, but I've decided to trust the almost universal take that that's not *that* long if you've decided "we're going to load up the bikes and ride them today."
I wanted two of the same ebike for the same reasons and our Allants will fit that bill BUT, don’t assume the batteries will swap without some adjustments. The Lowstep battery doesn’t lock into my Allant properly yet and, due to winter messiness, I haven’t taken them in to be adjusted yet.
One thing you’ll see consistently on this forum is that if you buy an ebike you really like you will want to put more miles on it! After all, your stated goal is to get in shape, right?😎👍
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I'm left wondering if you will need a bike shop to service your bike for you, or if you plan on doing your own service work? This is a REALLY big call that needs to be made right away. The answer to that question will determine where you will do your bike shopping.

Then, it sounds to me like you're looking for an on-off road HYBRID. They usually have smooth treaded tires (vs. knobbies) so they can navigate pavement without making a lot of noise, and ideally they might be a little wider than if you were riding on pavement alone (target size say something with a 2.00"-2.4" width). Bonus is the wider tires tend to ride a little better than the skinny pavement only tires. Know that very often you can change the tires to a set that closely matches your needs pretty easily/inexpensively.

Which brings up something else. Rather than trying to hunt that perfect bike, often you can find something that's close and priced to allow you to modify it to suit your needs much better. Personally, I generally take advantage of this option....

For anyone that believes there are no hills in Florida, I would invite them to bring their analog bikes with them to our place (North Central Gulf Coast) for a ride from there. It's located smack dab in the middle of some rolling hills that stretch for about 6-10 miles in all directions - then it gets flat again. If you're a typical senior in average shape, the 46 mile bike trail 4 miles from here is too far away, because the hills between here and there will leave you too exhausted to ride the trail once you get there. Thank God for e-bikes!

For his and hers bikes, these came to mind. The Espin Flow and Sport.


Their reasonable price makes them a great first bike, as well as leaving you with some money in your budget for a suspension seat post and other accessories to make it "your" bike. That might include a tire swap for instance as well. The fact the bikes use standard over the counter parts for the most part means that it will be easily serviced for years to come....

But then you talk about wadding the bikes into the back of you Explorer...... I believe that leaves only folding bikes as an option, but I could be wrong there.
 

FezUSA

Active Member
Bolton has a couple of 20" fat tires, the Crusader and Avenger, one is a step-thru, the other a step-over version. I would also look at the Biktrix Stunner. I bought my 5' 2" wife a 20" LT version and she really likes it, and she has the seat at the lowest it will go. Also comes in a 24" version for you although they also have standard step-thru and step-over versions of it, and an X version. The Swift may also be an excellent option with both cadence and torque sensors. Biktrix also offer options for battery size. Bigger battery does get you further, but also weighs more. Some people get hung up on "needs to to 50 (or x) miles" without taking into consideration saddle time. If you're not accustomed to sitting in the saddle, you're not going 30 miles on one next weekend, even if the battery/motor combo can push you the whole distance!! That said, 25 miles to a lunch spot and then 25 miles back 30-60 minutes later is not too far of a stretch within a few months!!

https://boltonebikes.com/collections/ebikes/products/2021-avenger-fat-mini-folding-bike
https://boltonebikes.com/collection...-fat-step-through-folding-bike-march-shipping
https://www.biktrix.com/pages/swift-details
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Snip
Some people get hung up on "needs to to 50 (or x) miles" without taking into consideration saddle time. If you're not accustomed to sitting in the saddle, you're not going 30 miles on one next weekend, even if the battery/motor combo can push you the whole distance!! That said, 25 miles to a lunch spot and then 25 miles back 30-60 minutes later is not too far of a stretch within a few months!!

Snip
I have yet to ride 50 miles in a day, and I've had my bike about 10 months. 50 miles in a week or a long weekend will happen, but not in a day.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I have yet to ride 50 miles in a day, and I've had my bike about 10 months. 50 miles in a week or a long weekend will happen, but not in a day.
I have had a couple of days where I went 40 miles, but yeah, 50 is a pretty good haul. After 40, my rear end and body for that matter is ready for a break. I would say my average ride is 10 miles...
 

BigAl52

New Member
Ive ridden regular pedal bike for about 10 years. Ive ridden it 50 plus miles many times. I recently bought an Lectric XP for my wife and for the RV as it was easy to take along. Ive also ridden some of the Sonders bikes. I can tell from my experience that riding a fat tire Sonders bike with no assist was a lot easier than riding an Lectric XP with no pedal assist. I understand the OP point I am there right now myself as I would like to have an ebike myself. I dont want to spend anymore than the OP does and as far as test rides in my area there isnt a whole lot of places to test ride different bikes. Ive looked at Boltons bikes and I think Kyle at Bolton does great reviews and wold be top shelf in customer service as Lectric has been. Taylor57 mentioned the Espin so I have looked at them. The Nero looks like a good deal. I wonder how they are with customer service as that is one item I insist on.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I have had a couple of days where I went 40 miles, but yeah, 50 is a pretty good haul. After 40, my rear end and body for that matter is ready for a break. I would say my average ride is 10 miles...
OTOH @RabH does 50 miles daily if it isn't a blizzard outside. But if needed, there's always the option of carrying a second battery. If I ever run out of battery before I run out of strength, I will celebrate....then order another battery.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
My butt won't let me see much over 20, and my average, if I had one, would be from 5-10 miles. Worth mentioning maybe, is that we ride right from the house. If I had to cart the bikes to a trail, we'd likely be riding a little further, but we'd be doing that less frequently. We ride nearly daily from the house.