I'm getting close - Advice please.

derrickgeo

New Member
As a brand new subscriber and a relatively new enthusiast to e-bikes, I wanted to share my observations.
I am going to buy an e-bike and two of the finalists that interest me most are the Ride1Up 700 and the Averton Level.
Some of the things that disturb me about the industry are:

1 LOOKS - So many of the products out there in the sub $2000 price range look like regular bikes that someone just added a battery. I’m 77 yrs old and I grew up in the Detroit area. I remember when someone ordered the option of A/C, they would install it under the dashboard like an aftermarket installation.
It seems like the e-bike industry is at that point.

2. AFTER SALE SERVICE - So many of the bikes are sold directly from the importer as opposed to having a dealer network. I wonder why they haven’t gone out of their way to establish a dealer network. I’m concerned that if I buy a bike online, how will any problems I may have be addressed. Do I have to DIY or hire a bike mechanic? Does the importer just supply the part that’s defective? Even with high priced e-bikes (Riese & Muller comes to mind), the closest dealer/importer is in California.

3. SO MANY MANUFACTURERS - This reminds me of the RV industry. There are so many to choose from. How many will survive? After I buy a $2K bike, am I going to have problems two-three years from now. Maybe I shouldn’t be worried about that at my age.

What I’m really looking for is a comfortable, affordable bike that will allow me to ride on around the neighborhood and hopefully get some exercise and help me to live as long as possible.
Maybe I don’t need a $2k bike. Any recommendations?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I can't say anything about looks. My bike is a regular cargo bike I added a motor too. Advantage, if anything goes wrong, I pitch a $200 motor/controller/throttle/display/PAS in the garbage & try again for maybe $300 if inflation happened. Or a $700 battery. Disadvantage, the only style option is the green pool float hand grips.
After sale service can be important if the bike has a bug. I highly recommend you buy a bike from a local dealer. In today's enviroment, the popular options are sold out, so if you have to buy it now, buy something in stock, not a promise of a delivery date. In AZ there is always Phoenix & Tuscon, probably worth a trip.
3 so many manufacturers, the biggest risk is a battery with custom form and patented unique connectors. You'll need a battery in 5 years, will you be able to buy one? My home installed rig, any generic battery can be made to fit. After all I made the mount frame out of Al angle. A real bike, there are 5 times as many battery styles as there are manufacturers. the best option is getting an old battery rebuilt. You are in luck, you are only 500 miles from Denver. You have to drive a used battery to a rebuild shop, no shipper will accept it from you. I would have to drive 1200 miles to Denver or Florida if I had a bad custom battery.
I've been recommending Magnum & Aventon, but who knows if they have any stock. I personally like geared hub motors because if I feel good, i can pedal myself unpowered without drag. If I feel bad like last Monday, the motor drags me home 30 miles. (had a fever). Mid drive bikes make you feel like you were age 20 again, but if you want exercise most of them drag like a boat anchor power off. also, mid drives chew up chains. Also they cost more. Three mid drive motors that don't drag power off are Yamaha(giant) shimano, and brose. 90% of the mid drive market is bosch, which is like buying a Harley. Great performance, but not a machine you exercise on.
The high priced alternatives are Trek, Giant, Specialized, Pedego. Those dealers will probably be in business next year, but you pay a premium for the name.
Be SURE you buy a bike that fits you. Most people get wrapped up in features, and don't measure themselves versus the bike frame/wheels/seating position. A bike that is the wrong size will never be comfortable. Short people particularly never find a bike in stock that fits them, and have to buy the small version untried because the shop won't take a short one back. Hope you are mid sized or large.
There are 3 posture styles, comfort (my bike left), MTB (somewhat bent forwards), drop bar (efficient, fast, hard on necks & spines). Select the right one. Don't get wrapped up in seat comfort, those can be changed or upgraded.
There are bikes with suspension & those without. The faster you ride the more you need a suspension. Those cost. I ride 8-20 mph and I don't have one, just 2.1" tires on 26" wheels. The 20 mph is only downhill, even sometimes 30 if the pavement is good. Note small wheels (20") are cheap, popular, but will hammer you if you hit a pothole.
Happy shopping.
 
Last edited:

derrickgeo

New Member
Thanks for taking time to respond. You are correct about inventory. My local Aventon dealer has no idea when he will have an Level model in stock. He told me to keep checking back every 2 weeks. Thanks again.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
The biggest reason for ebike companies not building dealer network is cost.

If you are willing to pay high price, yeah there are bikes like Giant, Specialized, Trek and even Yamaha.

But for a lot of people, ebikes are prohibitively expensive.
I bought my bike online, yeah there are problems and I had to learn and fix stuff by myself.. but I already assumed that risk when I bought a bike online.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
Both bikes appear to be nice buys for the price level. If I had to choose one, it'd be the Ride1Up 700. It's got a Haibike Trekking or Riese and Muller feel and look to it. Right out of the box, it's got a leading industry standard in trekking tires, the Schwalbe Super Moto-X tire. Selle Royal gel saddle. Swept back handlebars. Sturdy looking and built rear rack. I'm not a fan of hub drives as they are poor climbers and involve more work when that inevitable rear tire flat comes a knocking. But in no knock at the Aventon, but the folks at Ride1Up appear to have done their homework in emulating those upper tier mid-drive commuter/trekking bikes with this bike. And I'm really liking the subdued gray and black paint scheme, very sharp looking bike.

I'd be curious to know what upgrades are out there for that rear cassette/free wheel as well as the derailleur.

Hats off to you, Derrick, in wanting to get into bicycling. Get some rear pannier bags and a good lock and suddenly, your bike becomes a real alternative from using your car to make small errands into town. And I have to tell you, if you haven't yet ridden an ebike, you will find they will transform the way you think about bicycling.

To answer your questions:

1. The Ride1Up aces the looks between the two. As stated earlier, it has the look about it of a bike costing much more. The integrated battery is something recently ramping up in the industry and the people who designed this bike did a nice job of it.

2. You are taking a leap of faith that the owners of these bike businesses will be there to stand behind the bike should something arise. Normal wear and tear items as well as adjustments are within the expertise of any local bike shop you hold trust in. But it's not a concern that is just on these small bike "companies"; even the bigger ones like Focus and BH have left or are in the process of leaving, the US market in recent months.

3. Who knows? The main thing is to take care of the bike, look after it, don't take the battery down to 0% power. Keep the tires aired properly, the chain lubed up. Don't submerge the hub motor and don't ask it to climb a steep gradient. The rest is all dependent upon how well the drive components are built for the long haul.

Good luck!
 

derrickgeo

New Member
Thank you. I also am leaning towards the Ride1up because of the same reasons you mention. The only reason I'm also considering Aventon is because they have a local dealer. Decisions, decisions.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
You could always call around to your local bike shops and ask them if they'll work on the bike you want... It'll cost you some, but many will. Or, outfits like Velofix will do the job, is there's one near you.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
B I'm not a fan of hub drives as they are poor climbers and involve more work when that inevitable rear tire flat comes a knocking.
. Don't submerge the hub motor and don't ask it to climb a steep gradient.
I climb 77 hills in my 30 miles with my geared hub motor. three of them are 15%, or 7/8" in 6".100' long.
What geared hub motors won't do is climb 1000' in 15 minutes. I have rollers here so my uphill climb is usually about 10-20 mph with momentum from the previous downhill.
DD hub motors are poor climbers. They will do it 1000 W & up, but they waste a lot of watt hours running slowly. I had a DD, my 1200 W geared hub motor uses half the battery the DD hub motor did on the same route.
I can change a tire on the hub motor end in less than an hour. If I keep the knobs on the tires taller than 3/32", I don't get flats. No goat head thorns here, though.
 

CityExplorer

Well-Known Member
If I had unlimited funds, I would buy the Reise and Muller. Thanks for stating the obvious.
Ha ha... I'd be frustrated because I'd want to buy a Super Delight, but it has a wimpy motor and no throttle... so I could not do it. I'd have to pay someone to make it right ... ha ha Actually I probably don't want a mid drive anymore, but I could always have another bike... so ya, Super Delight with a non proprietary large battery, throttle, and better motor would be one of my bikes.