Input on choosing an ebike for shorter rider

Jswann

New Member
Hi all. This is my first post. I currently own a trek verve and love it. However, we live in a very hilly area and these hills often prohibit me from using my bike as a mode of transport, rather than simply for "fun". Getting in and out of my neighborhood is quite a chore. I have been toying with the idea of getting an electric bike for this reason (riding to the grocery, work etc). I am fairly short (5'2") and there is no place around here that has electric bikes. I'm concerned about finding a bike that would fit me. My trek is a 15". Any thoughts on a good e-bike for shorter people? Or would it be better to get a conversion kit? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Hi, Jswann... Hope you find some good advice here, as there are many who active riders and buyers.

I live in Florida but used to live in a hilly area of CT so I know what you mean... I can't imagine buying an electric bike without road testing it.. Ebikes are expensive and it's new to you.

Knowing what I know now, if I were in your position and you weren't that restrained on budget, and you like your Trek (good bike), I'd buy a reliable conversion kit from a domestic supplier. They can walk you through the purchase and provide good customer service, even if you have someone install the kit for your.

You'll end up paying around $1500 for the complete kit, plus installation cost, around $150. This kit would take you up any hill in your area (assuming youre not climbing Mt Washinton, or Pikes Peak!), and give you great range.

Buy a direct drive motor , either Crystalyte or MagicPie II... These motors have been around for years and people have put tens of thousands of miles on them. Downside it that they are heavier than other brands.
Buy a lot more battery than people tell you.. Hills chew up battery energy big time. 36v20ah minimum, imo.
Get something that has regen so your downhills can charge your batteries a little.
Try to buy something with peddle assist.

Or the Bionx kit is very popular, also around for years. Around $1700. http://www.biketechshop.com here are some reviews on them http://electricbikereview.com/category/bionx/

You could start by calling the guys and girls at ElectricRider.com. They always answer the phone, they have been around for at least 5 years, and they have a great selection.. Not cheap, but nothing worthwhile is, IMO.

http://www.electricrider.com
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Jswann, good timing with your question! Given the unique frame size (and your love of the Trek Verve) I agree with Joe that a conversion kit might offer the most value and best fit. That said, there are some amazing purpose built electric bikes designed for shorter riders... Check out the Neo Jet for example.

I haven't used the Crystalyte or MagicPie but have tested lots of BionX kits and they work well (but are expensive and complicated to install). Indeed, they offer throttle, pedal assist, regen modes (for getting energy back when coasting downhill) and regenerative braking. One alternative to these higher end kits would be the Hill Topper by Clean Republic or 30k by Leed.

These kits offer 250 watt geared hub motors that come installed on a wheel that you just pop onto the front of your bike. In this way, they don't change your gears or require as much wiring. You don't get regen modes or pedal assist but they're very light weight and cheap. For someone who is used to pedaling along, they help a lot (it's like having 2x your pedaling strength) and they climb well as long as you pedal. Here's a video I shot doing a hill test just yesterday:

 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Jswan - Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post. I would recommend taking a look at the Easy Motion Evo Eco Lite, it's quite a nice purpose built ebike that works well for riders your height. The Jet as Court suggested is another. Sometimes it's simpler to deal with a complete bike rather than trying to work with a conversion, but if you are happy with your bike a conversion could be nice. Whatever you get I would recommend a pedal assist system, if I ever have the option I pretty much always go for pedal assist. I feel most throttle electric bikes encourage you not to pedal, which in my eyes takes away from the whole bike experience.

There aren't too many bikes that will fit you well in a full size bike, but there are some 20" wheeled bikes, but there is a lack of offering of bikes made for shorter riders out there. We commonly get this request at our shop and the Evo Eco has been my choice bike lately. Another exciting choice could be an Xtracycle Edgerunner, they have a smaller frame size and it's quite versatile. Regarding the conversion options listed above, I would choose Bionx over all the others due to the pedal assist functionality. Feel free to reach out if we can assist further.
 

Kez

New Member
Jswan - Welcome to the forum and thanks for your post. I would recommend taking a look at the Easy Motion Evo Eco Lite, it's quite a nice purpose built ebike that works well for riders your height. The Jet as Court suggested is another. Sometimes it's simpler to deal with a complete bike rather than trying to work with a conversion, but if you are happy with your bike a conversion could be nice. Whatever you get I would recommend a pedal assist system, if I ever have the option I pretty much always go for pedal assist. I feel most throttle electric bikes encourage you not to pedal, which in my eyes takes away from the whole bike experience.

There aren't too many bikes that will fit you well in a full size bike, but there are some 20" wheeled bikes, but there is a lack of offering of bikes made for shorter riders out there. We commonly get this request at our shop and the Evo Eco has been my choice bike lately. Another exciting choice could be an Xtracycle Edgerunner, they have a smaller frame size and it's quite versatile. Regarding the conversion options listed above, I would choose Bionx over all the others due to the pedal assist functionality. Feel free to reach out if we can assist further.

Hi Chris,

I'm in the same boat as JSwan but I'm 4'11" would the Evo work for me too? What height is the shortest for that frame. I see the Neo Jet says 4'8" which I'm actually pretty impressed with. Most frames I see that are for shorter women are for those that are 5'2" and above which is way too big for me.

I prefer the step in/lowstep design vs the Jet type bike as I want to be able to bike without having to wear special gear.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Hey Kez,

The Evo Eco would definitely work for you. I listed the height to the top of the seat on that bike along with the Jet and the Stromer as they fit shorter riders. I would just go by your inseam mainly, but you'll be fine with the Evo Eco. Keep in mind we can outfit practically any bike with the fenders, lights, etc if you need.
  1. Easy Motion Evo Eco Lite (29")
  2. Easy Motion Neo Jet (31")
  3. Stromer Elite (29")
Please let me know if I can assist further.

Best,
Chris
 

Kez

New Member
Hey Kez,

The Evo Eco would definitely work for you. I listed the height to the top of the seat on that bike along with the Jet and the Stromer as they fit shorter riders. I would just go by your inseam mainly, but you'll be fine with the Evo Eco. Keep in mind we can outfit practically any bike with the fenders, lights, etc if you need.
  1. Easy Motion Evo Eco Lite (29")
  2. Easy Motion Neo Jet (31")
  3. Stromer Elite (29")
Please let me know if I can assist further.

Best,
Chris

Wow, thanks Chris. Would you happen to know the measurements for saddle to handlebars? That's where a run into problems as my torso is short. For some reason BHs website don't have geometry for that particular bike. All the others are there but just that one is missing so if you have dimensions I'd love get them :)

Edit: Measurements for the Easy Motion Evo that is.
 
Last edited:

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Wow, thanks Chris. Would you happen to know the measurements for saddle to handlebars? That's where a run into problems as my torso is short. For some reason BHs website don't have geometry for that particular bike. All the others are there but just that one is missing so if you have dimensions I'd love get them :)

Edit: Measurements for the Easy Motion Evo that is.
Hello Kez,

The measurement from the seatpost to the stem is 22". Let me know if you need any more measurements.

Best,
Chris
 
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Kez

New Member
Hello Kez,

The measurement from the seatpost to the stem is 22". Let me know if you need any more measurements.

Best,
Chris

Am really liking this bike but as soon as I decided to try it my local store sold out and the next local online store is sold out as well. I tried your site Chris but you don't deliver to Canada. Back to the drawing board..lol.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Am really liking this bike but as soon as I decided to try it my local store sold out and the next local online store is sold out as well. I tried your site Chris but you don't deliver to Canada. Back to the drawing board..lol.

There is a store in Vancouver that carries it.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Kez - we have plenty in stock and we can probably make an exception. I'm out of the shop today, hanging in the city with Court today, but shoot me an email with your shipping info and I'll see what we're looking at to ship to you. I can most likely do it at no cost to you.

Chris
Chris@longislandelectricbikes.com
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Kez - we have plenty in stock and we can probably make an exception. I'm out of the shop today, hanging in the city with Court today, but shoot me an email with your shipping info and I'll see what we're looking at to ship to you. I can most likely do it at no cost to you.

Chris
Chris@longislandelectricbikes.com

Chris,
What about the Warranty? I think we had this conversation back in October 2013 and bikes bought in US don't carry warranty in Canada.
Also, Canadian models don't have throttle and are electronically limited to 250W to adhere to legal limit.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Ravi - Frankly I'd have to check on that. I know BH North America distributes to both Canada and the US. I haven't heard the models were different. I don't think they are. Can I ask where you heard they were different? If you look at the Canadian sites they are the same specs.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Yes,
Last October when we spoke on phone, I had these questions and called Joe Marcoux https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-marcoux-8315632/ who deals with the Canadian sales.
He told me that there is no throttle on them and I just saw that 2014 models have throttle.
Throttle.JPG
I am not sure how different provinces regulate the limit on ebikes ( I lived in Ontario for 2 years and many things like sales tax, legal limits were different from BC or Quebec)
Well, that would be awesome if you ship it to Canada and coordinate with BH to provide warranty. Kudos to you :)
 

Kez

New Member
Kez - we have plenty in stock and we can probably make an exception. I'm out of the shop today, hanging in the city with Court today, but shoot me an email with your shipping info and I'll see what we're looking at to ship to you. I can most likely do it at no cost to you.

Chris
Chris@longislandelectricbikes.com

Hi Chris,

Thanks so much for the offer, I was a bit leery about customs etc., as I have been stung before so I ended up going with my second choice which was the eProdigy Banff bike. Found a place in town that had one I could use for sizing and then they will order one in for me. Disappointed about the Eco as I like the look of it but without getting a chance to test it it's a lot to pay to find out it won't fit properly. The Banff is a 15" frame and it's still a little big but not enough to be uncomfortable, it's a cruiser style bike so I know it's a different frame style to the Eco but without testing it I couldn't hit that buy button.

Thanks again :)
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
No sweat! I wish you many years of trouble free riding with your eProdigy Kez :)

Ravi - Give me a shout and we can see if there is some way we can make it happen