Ideas for first E-Bike

Mike Lan

New Member
Hello all, I am new to EBR and am getting ready to buy my first e bike. I have been looking at a lot of different manufactures and have zeroed on a few, I keep coming back to EVELO , RAD and Giant. I am 72 and in good riding shape now but want to get a step thru so I can ride longer down the road. I like the specs on the EVELO Aurora Limited , RAD Rover step thru and Giant Lafree E+ 1, all have quite a bit of difference but any of the three would seem to work well for me. I am posting to hear from seasoned e bike owners about their take on these bikes and other e bikes that are similar that I missed. Thanks, Mike
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
First off, I have no personal experience with any of the mentioned bikes - I haven't ridden or owned any of them.

You can tell pricewise alone that the Evelo and Giant are in a bit of a different league as compared to the Rad Rover. Additionally they are the more efficient and 'natural' (and costly) mid-drives as compared to the Rad hub drive.

The Giant is interesting, but I personally feel that the 400 Wh battery would be a limitation. IIRC their 'Syncdrive' is made by Yamaha, which is a very reliable motor.

The most interesting of the 3 to me is the Evelo, and I have contemplated purchasing an Aurora Limited Edition in the past. Almost 700 Wh battery, mid drive, belt drive (maintenance free) NuVinci IGH - Really a lot of cool and effective upgrades in this bike. Reflected in its highest price but ultimately should be well worth it. Plus Evelo is generally known for some excellent after-the-sale customer support.

Good luck getting your first e-bike!
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
There this compilation thread on step-throughs to check out.

Do you have a price range? The Evelo Aurora Limited is twice the price of the RadCity Step-thru, for instance, and the Reise and Muller Homage is twice the price of the Aurora Limited. On the other side, EBR just did a review of the Sondors Smart Step-Thru, which is under $1k, and is even a folding bike.

How handy are you? Buying a Giant or R&M gets you a LBS for support. Buying RadPower or Evelo or Sondors means you're either doing diagnosis yourself, or taking it to a friendly LBS. Velofix may also be an option, depending on where you live.

And, what kind of riding? How many miles a day? What kind of terrain (paved, fire roads, flat, sandy, steep, etc.)? How fast do you want/need to go?
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Some of those bikes are going to be heavy. The Evelo is 70+ pounds. That may be a consideration for an older rider. If you are OK with a 70 pound bike I think the Frey CC is a far better bike for the money than the Evelo, but would be a longer wait (2-3 months).

I would probably opt for the (Giant brand) Momentum Vida step thru over the Giant Lafree due to integrated battery (the Lafree battery on rear rack will be top and rear heavy). The Vida has an IGH which you don't seem opposed to.

I'd also call crazy lenny's and ask about the BH Atom mid steps. They were discounting them under $2K shipped assuming they still have any in stock. Smooth brose md drive with 500wh battery. Comfortable ride, not too heavy.

If you are not in a hurry, the Motobecane 29er step thru from bikesdirect.com is compelling as well but June delivery.

If you are ok with a rear hub look at the Ride1up step thru. A lot of value there for not much money.
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
I've had a RadRover for most of 2 years and I've been very happy with it. Rad has been very helpful with what few issues I've had. I haven't come close to needing to take it to a shop. I've adjusted brakes and replaced pads, adjusted the derailleur, and a few other things that weren't difficult but might be beyond some bike owners.

TT
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Also, the Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0 is currently on sale for $2485 after rebate. It's not really a step thru, more of a mid step, but worth considering, particularly if you prefer to buy from a LBS for service and support.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
You said you have been "looking" at several bikes, but have you test ridden any of them? I would encourage you to do some test rides, even if they are different brands and models than the ones you are interested in.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
I think the Frey CC is a far better bike for the money than the Evelo, but would be a longer wait (2-3 months).

Better? That depends.

The Aurora Limited is a full step-thru; the CC is a mid-step. Both are heavy.
The Aurora Limited has an electronic Nuvinci internal hub with Gates belts drive; the CC runs a Shimano Deore 10-speed setup.
The Aurora Limited is a hard-tail, with high-angle stem and "moustache" handlebars for an upright riding position and relaxed writs; the CC is a full-suspension, somewhat more aggressive riding position with flat handlebars.
The Aurora Limited has 684 wh of battery; the CC has 840 wh.
The Aurora Limited has a 4-year warranty (30 days free labor); I don't know what Frey's warranty is.
Evelo has a responsive US support presence; Frey is overseas.
The Aurora Limited ships to the US for free (or $95 they ship to a LBS for assembly and you pickup there); Frey charges hundreds.
The Aurora Limited has an unproven Dapu motor; the CC has the powerful Bafang Ultra.
The Aurora Limited has Tektro hydraulic brakes; the CC has Magura MT-5 hydraulic brakes.
The Aurora Limited has a no-name front shock; the CC has Rockshox front and rear.
The Aurora Limited has 26 x 2.8" tires; the CC has 27.5"x 2.4-2.8 (I guess it's potluck which you get?)

Anyway, spec-wise it's a mixed bag; support-wise Evelo wins hands down.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
The Aurora Limited motor is proven. Just not in a good way ;)


Frey offers free shipping, if you want to wait. If you want it faster, sea shipping is ~$500 which puts the CC in the same price range as the Evelo Limited. Not sure what you mean by potluck with Frey. They let you spec and choose whatever components you want including tires, swept back handlebars, ergonomic grips, etc.
 

scout592

Active Member
But they recently announced free shipping but I don't know those details. I was very impressed with Frey and still considering cc but time lag is quite awhile now.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Here is the free shipping. Doubt the OP wants to wait that long though.


Honestly I don't think a CC is something I'd recommend for a 72 year old, but just throwing it out there.

FLX has a step through that might be a good option if you want a true low step. If your hearing is starting to go you might not evn mind the M600 motor noise. ;) Currently only available in pink (other colors sold out).

 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
I own the La Free E+2, which, other than having a chain and lacking the integrated lights, is about the same as the E+1. I'm very satisfied with the bike, and actually like the rear rack mounted battery. It leaves the step through clearer, and looks more like a regular bike. Owners of both the E+1&2 seem very happy with them - check out their thread in the Giant brand forum.

The best advice, though, as others have mentioned, is to test ride several different bikes to get a feel for what works best for you!
 

Mike Lan

New Member
Wow really surprised at the amount and speed of all the replies. I have learned a lot of different points from the posts. I have rode several e bikes both in our neighborhood and at two bike shops. Most were out of my price range or were low quality. The three brands I choose to narrow down were due too 1 Ease of ride for me now and in the future. 2- support ratings. 3- customer satisfaction. 4- bike components. 5-Price. I plan to ride no more than 10-15 miles a day most of the time with a 20-30 mile ride once a month. If price were no problem I would go with the EVELO Aurora Limited to get the belt drive/ nuvinci hub for long lasting parts and low maintenance. The RAD wins on price with still fair quality parts and build. I wanted a throttle so that kind of leaves the Giant in third place. Still a lot to think about but will buy this next week. Thank each of you for the excellent points of
 

Mike Lan

New Member
I ended up with a RDA Rover Step Thru foe me and a RAD City Step Thru for my wife. So far I am very happy with the Rad Rover, we haven't received the RAD City bike yet. They offer a $200.00 US discount for former military on each bike so the price was part of our decision to go with RAD plus it seemed like most customers were very happy with the bikes.