Lightweight, simple, versatile- help me decide between several options

mateoloco

New Member
Region
USA
First post, trying to decide which ebike to buy to join the club. I hope to be an active member of the community moving forward.

I'm not a cyclist (yet? Is there such a thing as an e-cyclist? I don't really ever see myself riding a non-electric bike) but am looking at an ebike as a way to get some exercise and get some variety into my commute. I'm 45 and in good shape as I play soccer regularly and have previously run marathons so I have the cardio but have developed some knee issues due to weaker quads and cycling would help with the quad strengthening, but I also don't want to do all the work on the commute/ride.

Things I think I want in a bike:
Lightweight (I may bike all the way into work or may bike to/from train/subway, so being able to carry bike for a short stretch would be nice)
Simple/low maintenance (not a bike guy, not mechanically inclined)
Versatile, able to handle some rocky gravel for short distances

I intend to use it for mostly road/ paved bike path, some gravel, some hills, no hills longer than 0.5 miles, most 0.25 or shorter
Use it mostly for commuting, either 13 miles one-way or 4-5 miles to/from train/subway, but if I enjoy riding as much as I think I will, I may do some rides on the weekends as well.
Can bring bike into office and charge there so don't need a removeable battery
Planning to purchase used, with one or two possible exceptions

Here are my options if I decide to purchase a new bike:
Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition, AKA the Gravelster ($1300ish after tax and I'd need to add lights and a lock). I like the lightweight, simplicity of single speed, Gates Belt Drive, and ability to handle gravel.
I know it has a weaker motor and less range but I'm not too worried about either of those things.

I know the Flx Babymaker II just dropped and it has a range of 20-70 miles, single speed with Gates belt drive, hydraulic disc brakes and is currently $1,222, $1000 off it's "normal" price but that sale price may end tomorrow. I think I prefer the Gravelster to the Babymaker from an aesthetic standpoint (if nothing else the Gravelster doesn't have the word Babymaker anywhere on it like the Babymaker II does) and ability to handle gravel.

Other options (all used, varying distances away from me):
Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2020 ($1300- 1 owner, unknown mileage but doesn't sound like it's been used much and the bike looks well maintained in the photos). It's the lightest weight of the bikes I'm considering outside of the Roadster. I'm guessing the Cannondale and Gravelster are both right around 35 lbs. Has 250 watt rear-mounted motor (MAHLE ebikemotion X35) whereas the Gravelster has 350 watt Shengyi. The Neo has hydraulic disc brakes vs mechanical for the Gravelster. Range is 25- 45 miles vs 20-30 for the Gravelster. Gravelster can go up to 24 mph vs 20 but I doubt I'll be looking to go over 20 mph so that's not a big deal. It's used but being a Cannondale I should be able to get it serviced rather easily (I'm in Atlanta), unlike the Ride1Up. Although it's used I'll know exactly what shape the bike I'm getting is in (reading about wheels being out of true and axle cones being too tight scares me. I don't know what an axle cone is or what "out of true" means or how to fix it). Price-wise they're about the same and the Cannondale comes with lights that the owner added. It's also relatively close to where I am, although I haven't been able to arrange a test drive.

Specialized Turbo Como 2.0 ($1500- 2 owners, 500 miles). Quite a bit heavier at 47 lbs, but has a mid-drive Brose motor (250 watt) and a 25-60 mile battery range. Battery is removable, unlike the other two, but I don't anticipate needing to remove it as I can charge the bike at work or in my basement where it will be stored when not riding. Both the Cannondale and Specialized are 9 speed but I'm not used to shifting a bike. When I've test ridden a few e-bikes I used the PAS as my shifter essentially, cranking it up a bit until settling into a speed and using it rather than the gears on the bike when I've needed assistance on hills. I'm sure that as I get more familiar with bicycling I'd make use of the gears but it's also one more thing to have to maintain and I like the simplicity of a single speed belt drive. This bike is listed at $1500. (After typing all this up, I don't think there's anything the Specialized offers that's worth the extra $, so I don't think it's an option but I'm leaving it in in case I'm missing something about the Specialized that makes it worth the extra $).

Rad Power RadMission 1 (+ accessories listed below - $800- 1 owner, 162 miles). Similar weight to the Como, single speed like the Gravelster (but not a belt drive), mechanical disk brakes, 500 watt motor and a 25-45 mile battery range. 48 volt removable battery vs 36 for the others and also takes longer to charge. But this bike comes with lights, a rear rack with panniers, fenders, a phone pouch, a bike lock, and an upgraded soft gel seat cover with rain cover, all for $800. As someone who is coming into this with nothing but an oldish helmet, I like having the accessorizing already having been done for me. About 2 hours away from me. Worry a bit about finding a place to service it.

Batch E-Commuter ($850- 2 owners, around 400 miles, 3 years old, battery sounds like it's in great condition). Another bike around 47 lbs, Bosch Active Line mid-drive motor and 36 v battery, 30-80 mile range, hydraulic disc brakes, comes with rear rack and fenders but no lights on front or back. Would take most of a day to travel to get this one (cost of gas factored into price listed). Aethetically it's fairly boring looking; heck, even the name is boring- in fact there's a wired.com review called Boring but Reliable- I drive a Camry so I'm not opposed to boring but reliable transportation, but is sexy gonna get me out the door on the bike or will something reliable- hard to say. Not much info on the forums about this bike either although there was a review of it: https://electricbikereview.com/batch-bicycles/e-commuter/. Bike is no longer made but the webpage for it is still available: https://www.batchbicycles.com/e-bike/

I found an almost new Flx Babymaker Pro a few hours away from me but the min range of 10 miles really scares me.

I know that's a lot of info and I know you're going to say that I need to test ride them, but outside of the Cannondale, these bikes are all 1-4 hours away (one-way). Are there any aspects of the bikes that I did not include that should factor heavily into the decision, like tire width possibly? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Are there any bikes I haven't listed that you think would make sense to consider?

My thoughts on these different options seem to change hourly, but currently I think Cannondale is #1, Gravelster and RadMission 1 are close behind, and Batch is #4 right now.
 

mateoloco

New Member
Region
USA
A lightweight and trouble-free e-bike won't be that cheap.
Fair enough. It's not going to be my sole means of commuting or anything, I'd just like an additional option where I can also get some exercise. And my wife is skeptical that I'll end up riding it much, hence the lower end of the spectrum in terms of price. So I think price point is likely more important than "trouble-free" but I'd obviously like to stay away from troublesome as much as possible.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
I would say Specialized Vado SL 4.0 (non-EQ) would fit the bill, with the best warranty in the market. It is $3,750 though.

I cannot give you a good advice except two: Never buy a used e-bike. And... Whatever e-bike you buy shall have the full support of your Local Bike Store.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
The rad mission is a great price. The generic dolphin battery should be easily replaceable later, whereas the bosch batteries are over $1000. If the frame fits you. You seem to really want a single speed bike. I don't, but I bought a 2 speed converter in 1965 when the axle+installation cost more than the bike. I like getting out of traffic lights faster than the cars: my only hope is accelerating fast. Cable pull brakes are not a problem IMHO, I own them. Rad sells cheapo cables that might need frequent adjustment, but for this price you can re-equip with jaguar slick stainless cables, set the adjustment, and forget it. Rad sometimes ships wheels with mystery metal spokes that require frequent adjustment. For this price you can change to DTSwiss steel of the proper length for $120. Replacing all the spokes one at a time is not difficult. Just make them ping at the same pitch, then tighten any that the rim bends away from. Any used e-bike can have flakey electrical problems. Be sure to ride it for as long as the owner will stand.
Only other model that caught my eye is the cannondale. They make a bike with few complaints on the brand forum known problems thread. Means quality steel spokes & aluminum. Front axle cone problem is easy - a wheel from a donor bike from salvation army or goodwill. Rear wheel cone problem is problemmatic - mahle is not a majority vendor. Might be parts available, maybe not. Hydraulic brakes take special pricey fluid and can leak after the pads are replaced @ 4000 or more miles.
 
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WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
The Rad Mission is 48 pounds. That is hefty compared to the Ride1Up Roadster.

Here’s another interesting option. Yes, it’s in “crowd funding” status right now but Eunorau is already a known player in the market. This particular bike is under 40 pounds, has a middrive and uses a torque sensor. I’m almost tempted to pull the trigger myself.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Have you looked at this?


I've been very happy with my Espin Flow, and REI will work on Espin bikes, and even do the assembly, if needed.
 

DiWill

New Member
Region
USA

mateoloco- did you make a decision? I was between the Ride 1 Up Gravel Roadster and Tenways and finally decided on Tenways. I am happy with Tenways. It is a fun bike!​

 

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WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area

mateoloco- did you make a decision? I was between the Ride 1 Up Gravel Roadster and Tenways and finally decided on Tenways. I am happy with Tenways. It is a fun bike!​


That's nice. And it has a torque sensor!
 

mateoloco

New Member
Region
USA

mateoloco- did you make a decision? I was between the Ride 1 Up Gravel Roadster and Tenways and finally decided on Tenways. I am happy with Tenways. It is a fun bike!​

I did. I ended up getting the Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2020 over the weekend. I rode it about 8 miles on Sunday and then commuted with it yesterday, which is about a 25 mile round trip. I forgot to bring the charger to work with me and I had it on the highest assist level for almost the entire ride and nearly ran out of battery on my ride home, and unfortunately the steepest part of my commute home is the final half mile, but I managed to make it home ok. I'll definitely bring the charger next time and also try riding with lower assist levels on my trip into work when I'm fresher. It was a lot of fun and I'm not too sore today other than under the saddle. And I'm glad I didn't get a single-speed, as I was shifting more than I would have initially thought were necessary or advisable. That being said, the Tenways looks really nice and if I had been aware of it prior to my purchase, it would have made the decision a harder one to make than it already was.
 

DerbyEV

New Member
Region
USA
First post, trying to decide which ebike to buy to join the club. I hope to be an active member of the community moving forward.

I'm not a cyclist (yet? Is there such a thing as an e-cyclist? I don't really ever see myself riding a non-electric bike) but am looking at an ebike as a way to get some exercise and get some variety into my commute. I'm 45 and in good shape as I play soccer regularly and have previously run marathons so I have the cardio but have developed some knee issues due to weaker quads and cycling would help with the quad strengthening, but I also don't want to do all the work on the commute/ride.

Things I think I want in a bike:
Lightweight (I may bike all the way into work or may bike to/from train/subway, so being able to carry bike for a short stretch would be nice)
Simple/low maintenance (not a bike guy, not mechanically inclined)
Versatile, able to handle some rocky gravel for short distances

I intend to use it for mostly road/ paved bike path, some gravel, some hills, no hills longer than 0.5 miles, most 0.25 or shorter
Use it mostly for commuting, either 13 miles one-way or 4-5 miles to/from train/subway, but if I enjoy riding as much as I think I will, I may do some rides on the weekends as well.
Can bring bike into office and charge there so don't need a removeable battery
Planning to purchase used, with one or two possible exceptions

Here are my options if I decide to purchase a new bike:
Ride1Up Roadster V2 Gravel Edition, AKA the Gravelster ($1300ish after tax and I'd need to add lights and a lock). I like the lightweight, simplicity of single speed, Gates Belt Drive, and ability to handle gravel.
I know it has a weaker motor and less range but I'm not too worried about either of those things.

I know the Flx Babymaker II just dropped and it has a range of 20-70 miles, single speed with Gates belt drive, hydraulic disc brakes and is currently $1,222, $1000 off it's "normal" price but that sale price may end tomorrow. I think I prefer the Gravelster to the Babymaker from an aesthetic standpoint (if nothing else the Gravelster doesn't have the word Babymaker anywhere on it like the Babymaker II does) and ability to handle gravel.

Other options (all used, varying distances away from me):
Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2020 ($1300- 1 owner, unknown mileage but doesn't sound like it's been used much and the bike looks well maintained in the photos). It's the lightest weight of the bikes I'm considering outside of the Roadster. I'm guessing the Cannondale and Gravelster are both right around 35 lbs. Has 250 watt rear-mounted motor (MAHLE ebikemotion X35) whereas the Gravelster has 350 watt Shengyi. The Neo has hydraulic disc brakes vs mechanical for the Gravelster. Range is 25- 45 miles vs 20-30 for the Gravelster. Gravelster can go up to 24 mph vs 20 but I doubt I'll be looking to go over 20 mph so that's not a big deal. It's used but being a Cannondale I should be able to get it serviced rather easily (I'm in Atlanta), unlike the Ride1Up. Although it's used I'll know exactly what shape the bike I'm getting is in (reading about wheels being out of true and axle cones being too tight scares me. I don't know what an axle cone is or what "out of true" means or how to fix it). Price-wise they're about the same and the Cannondale comes with lights that the owner added. It's also relatively close to where I am, although I haven't been able to arrange a test drive.

Specialized Turbo Como 2.0 ($1500- 2 owners, 500 miles). Quite a bit heavier at 47 lbs, but has a mid-drive Brose motor (250 watt) and a 25-60 mile battery range. Battery is removable, unlike the other two, but I don't anticipate needing to remove it as I can charge the bike at work or in my basement where it will be stored when not riding. Both the Cannondale and Specialized are 9 speed but I'm not used to shifting a bike. When I've test ridden a few e-bikes I used the PAS as my shifter essentially, cranking it up a bit until settling into a speed and using it rather than the gears on the bike when I've needed assistance on hills. I'm sure that as I get more familiar with bicycling I'd make use of the gears but it's also one more thing to have to maintain and I like the simplicity of a single speed belt drive. This bike is listed at $1500. (After typing all this up, I don't think there's anything the Specialized offers that's worth the extra $, so I don't think it's an option but I'm leaving it in in case I'm missing something about the Specialized that makes it worth the extra $).

Rad Power RadMission 1 (+ accessories listed below - $800- 1 owner, 162 miles). Similar weight to the Como, single speed like the Gravelster (but not a belt drive), mechanical disk brakes, 500 watt motor and a 25-45 mile battery range. 48 volt removable battery vs 36 for the others and also takes longer to charge. But this bike comes with lights, a rear rack with panniers, fenders, a phone pouch, a bike lock, and an upgraded soft gel seat cover with rain cover, all for $800. As someone who is coming into this with nothing but an oldish helmet, I like having the accessorizing already having been done for me. About 2 hours away from me. Worry a bit about finding a place to service it.

Batch E-Commuter ($850- 2 owners, around 400 miles, 3 years old, battery sounds like it's in great condition). Another bike around 47 lbs, Bosch Active Line mid-drive motor and 36 v battery, 30-80 mile range, hydraulic disc brakes, comes with rear rack and fenders but no lights on front or back. Would take most of a day to travel to get this one (cost of gas factored into price listed). Aethetically it's fairly boring looking; heck, even the name is boring- in fact there's a wired.com review called Boring but Reliable- I drive a Camry so I'm not opposed to boring but reliable transportation, but is sexy gonna get me out the door on the bike or will something reliable- hard to say. Not much info on the forums about this bike either although there was a review of it: https://electricbikereview.com/batch-bicycles/e-commuter/. Bike is no longer made but the webpage for it is still available: https://www.batchbicycles.com/e-bike/

I found an almost new Flx Babymaker Pro a few hours away from me but the min range of 10 miles really scares me.

I know that's a lot of info and I know you're going to say that I need to test ride them, but outside of the Cannondale, these bikes are all 1-4 hours away (one-way). Are there any aspects of the bikes that I did not include that should factor heavily into the decision, like tire width possibly? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. Are there any bikes I haven't listed that you think would make sense to consider?

My thoughts on these different options seem to change hourly, but currently I think Cannondale is #1, Gravelster and RadMission 1 are close behind, and Batch is #4 right now.
Welcome to the Forum. I am new here also. I plan on retirement traveling and thought piggybacking an ebike could make for some different adventures. Yea for Me!
We obviously have different purposes for the bike however I made a list of musts and wants to decide which models are more desirable. I see you were looking for ebikes in the $1,500 range. Sometimes bike manufactures just use better components for the higher prices but two that I believe are a must for me are hydraulic brakes and a better suspension. Motor+heavier bike+higher speeds=more brakes. Old man=better suspension.
I have other requirements like racks/baskets, step through or not, and fenders (getting there clean). Whatever one spends on an ebike it correlates to a lot of money. Spend it wisely or a bad choice might make or break a good ebike experience.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
I did. I ended up getting the Cannondale Treadwell Neo 2020 over the weekend. I rode it about 8 miles on Sunday and then commuted with it yesterday, which is about a 25 mile round trip. I forgot to bring the charger to work with me and I had it on the highest assist level for almost the entire ride and nearly ran out of battery on my ride home, and unfortunately the steepest part of my commute home is the final half mile, but I managed to make it home ok. I'll definitely bring the charger next time and also try riding with lower assist levels on my trip into work when I'm fresher. It was a lot of fun and I'm not too sore today other than under the saddle. And I'm glad I didn't get a single-speed, as I was shifting more than I would have initially thought were necessary or advisable. That being said, the Tenways looks really nice and if I had been aware of it prior to my purchase, it would have made the decision a harder one to make than it already was.
The worst thing about ebikes is rhe initial purchase. Now that is behind you, so enjoy the ride 😀.
 

HawksVox

New Member
Region
USA
The worst thing about ebikes is rhe initial purchase. Now that is behind you, so enjoy the ride 😀.
This sounds like the kind of advice I could share right now. Yes, I'm new to the game as well and yet to make my first purchase. The options are so daunting I may never pull the string on a purchase for my very first ebike. So I totally agree with this one notion... the worst thing about ebikes IS the initial purchase!
 

sooznd

New Member
Region
USA
I've owned the Cannondale Treadwell Neo for almost a year now since May 2021. I use it for recreational riding, mostly flat trails with some steep hills. I rarely use it it in the highest level of assist, often no assist at all, then with first or second level. I've gotten a bit over 53 miles on the battery with this power usage.
What I like about it:
1- light weight- 33 lbs (I have the small step through). Barely weighs more than my old regular bikes. I am a senior woman and can lift it onto my bike rack without any problem. My friends have e-bike that weigh 50 + lbs and usually need help loading them onto a rack.
2. It charges quickly usually in less than 3 hours.
3. Hard to tell it is an e-bike. Lots of thefts in my area- so this is a real plus.
4. Hydraulic brakes - stops quickly.
5. Gearing- I like having 9 levels.
6. Very comfortable to ride

What I do not like:
1. Cannot easily remove the battery- so during cold winter months I had to bring it inside.
2. seat is not waterproof- not a big deal since I bought a seat cover