Intro/beginner E-Bike Recommendations

pchieng

New Member
Region
USA
My wife loves to bike, but hasn't been able to in recent years due to various health reasons. We biked yesterday for about an hour (with stops in between for photos/breaks). It was all flat but she still had some aches and pain at the end of the day. We tried riding a pedal-assist bike a few months ago and really enjoyed it.

Does anybody have a good recommendation (brand/model/specific features) for a quality pedal-assist bike with a decent range that will last? I saw some at Costco but not sure how those compare. One had about a 20-mile range, how accurate is that number? Obviously, it depends on how often you are using it, any incline, etc. If/when the range runs out, would the bike just function as a normal bike? How long does it usually take to charge? I also saw a company that sells bikes with 120-mile range, which seems like way too much for how we would use it.

I would prefer not to spend anything over $2K, but don't want to get something that will not last either.

Thanks in advance!!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I have to ask, who's getting their hands dirty when this bike needs assembling or service later on? If you are planning on doing it, then go ahead and look anywhere you like for this new bike. If you are planning on having a local bike shop (LBS) take care of that for you, you need to know many shops won't work on anything they didn't sell. That fact forces you to do your shopping only with them....
 

keithj69

Member
Region
USA
Ahicks has solid questions. If you are looking for a turnkey bike shop type of thing, check out pedego. I have no experience with them, but most of their shops have rental programs. Their warranty is not half bad. And it can help you narrow down the decision process.

You may need to be a bit more specific in your abilities and wants to narrow this down for you.

The bike range thing should be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the bike companies that say it will reach 120 miles (seriously will you do that), count on the rider weighing less than a feather, the tropical storm winds at your back and downhill the whole time. Esp for anything under $2k.
 
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pchieng

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks AHicks, I don't have much knowledge even with a traditional bike so I would assume an e-bike would be much more complicated. So it does seem like LBS is the way to go for me, thanks!

keithj69 that's interesting to know about the range I suppose it's similar to EPA ranges for electric vehicles as well.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Re: range, there's way too many variables in play for that guide to be of much use from a reality standpoint. I will say that most of us, with no prior e-bike experience, totally suck when it comes to riding efficiently early on. It's not that it's hard, there's just a lot to it. WAY more than meets the eye the first time you climb aboard. Things start coming together at maybe 75 miles after you've charged the battery a couple of times, but it's not until you get 2-300 miles where you have a better idea, and it starts showing with how many miles you get on a charge by that point.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
With a 840 wh battery, I got 30 miles with a DD hub motor, 45 with a 1300 w ebikeling geared hub motor, 60 with a mac12t geared hub motor. Looks like 70 with a 500 watt bafang geared hub motor that is seriously underpowered. That was with 80 hills and 60 lb cargo, 160 lb me, 94 lb bike+tools+spares+water. Average 8 mph, wind various over many trips on same route. The bafang is slower.
Multiply ah of battery with nominal volts, or some brands specify the wh of the battery. Faster trips or heavier rider will decrease range. I pedal unpowered a lot on the flats unless the wind is strong in my face.
Your size matters. Most bike frames will not fit me, my legs are short. Make sure a bike you consider will allow you to sit with your legs slightly bent at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Costco bikes haven't made a splash, but ancheer sold by ***mart had lots of complaints and the sample didn't even make it through the court review without burning a controller. In chain stores lots of people recommend REI, they don't operate here so I don't know. Costco & ***mart don't have a service department.
In quality bikes with large sales that don't get many complaints, trek, giant, yamaha, cannondale, gazelle, reiss & mueller, kona seem to be made of the real steel & aluminum. In internet bikes (no service) blix is still at 1 known problem on the brand thread. Blix aveny has 640 watt hour and blix packa can be bought with a dual battery option. www.blixbikes.com Surface 604 has 30 known problem posts, and a torque sensor for better feeling assist. Can be bought with 672 wh battery or 960 wh battery. https://surface604bikes.com/products/2022-rook
 
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PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Everyone loves their own bike(s), and I'm no exception 😉.

I believe the mid drive Momentum La Free would be a great bike for a beginner, or anyone who just wants to turn on and ride.

It's step-through, smooth, quiet, has a range of around 40 miles (on very hilly roads and paths), can be ridden on pavement, dirt, and light gravel. It also has an auto assist feature that lets you just ride with the gears like a regular bike, while the motor senses and delivers the assist you need.

It's a tad over $2000, but, well worth it ☺️

If you want a hub drive, also check out the Espin Flow, which is my other bike 🙂. Also step-through, very nice and easy to ride, smooth pedal assist (doesn't feel like the bike is taking off on you, which can be an issue with hub drives), and also has a throttle, which comes in handy starting from a dead stop in traffic, or on a hill you just don't want to pedal. This is an Internet bike, but REI will service it, and customer support from Espin has been great!
 
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dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
Like someone else said, we recommend what we own. Its a lot like cars, it seems like no matter what your budget, a little more money gets you more. My Trek Verve+3 was about $3200. Mine has a 500 watt hour battery and the torque is rated at 50 newton meters. I have 4 assist levels and ride normally in tour mode, which is 40 newton meters of torque. At that setting I’d say the average range is 40 miles. On a calm day that might be 50 miles, on a windy day with hills, maybe 35 miles. Trek makes a Verve 2 and a Townie that might be in your price range.

If I were shopping again, I stick with a name brand that has local support, Trek, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale and a few others that will be around for a while.
 

sc00ter

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Norfolk, VA
It also depends on what type of cycling she does. Recreational type or serious. Wanting a throttle or not, that plays into (mostly) hub or mid-drive. Then wheel size. I recommend Rad Power to friends who ask. All of them are occasional, sort of recreation type riders, and everyone who bought one is happy with them. Let us know what you end up buying.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
My simple answer is don't buy your E-Bike from Costco! I would do a little more research before buying if i were the OP, check out some of the EBR youtube reviews on bikes in your price range so you can decide what you really want/need. Buying online may require you get your hands dirty but you have a better selection than Costco. The under $2000 price range will limit you when it comes to the Big Local Bike Shop brands but if you have a shop near you its still worth checking out.
 
My wife has a townie 7D and she loves it. A few months ago, i saw on this site that they started making them in e-assist. Check out that review and see if she can find one to try out. They listed in your price range.
 

TrevorB

Active Member
My wife loves to bike, but hasn't been able to in recent years due to various health reasons. We biked yesterday for about an hour (with stops in between for photos/breaks). It was all flat but she still had some aches and pain at the end of the day. We tried riding a pedal-assist bike a few months ago and really enjoyed it.

Does anybody have a good recommendation (brand/model/specific features) for a quality pedal-assist bike with a decent range that will last? I saw some at Costco but not sure how those compare. One had about a 20-mile range, how accurate is that number? Obviously, it depends on how often you are using it, any incline, etc. If/when the range runs out, would the bike just function as a normal bike? How long does it usually take to charge? I also saw a company that sells bikes with 120-mile range, which seems like way too much for how we would use it.

I would prefer not to spend anything over $2K, but don't want to get something that will not last either.

Thanks in advance!!
There are two main types of assistance. Mid drive with torque sensing, these are more expensive but well supported by lot LBS eg Trek, Specialized, Giant. Hub drive with cadence sensing, typically have throttle option. Cheaper bikes with various levels of build quality and support eg Rad power, Aventon. There few ebikes that variations on these but they are in minority.

All ebikes will make short work of hills and head winds but how the feel and deliver power is quite different. You need to find out which ebikes you rode recently make/model that will tell us what of ebike you rode.
If it was hub with cadence sensing then 2K budget won't be issue. For middrive with torque sensor you may have to up your budget.

See attach article.