Looking for all-weather, rural-friendly commuter, must ship to Iceland

Thoracius

New Member
Hello. New here and looking for some guidance.

I want my energy levels and the weather to no longer influence whether I can be bothered to bike to town (which is 20km/13mi and a couple long steep hills away)! To that end, I'm looking for an e-bike that can get me there and back, rain or shine, in good time without requiring me to overexert myself.

Ideally I'm shooting for <$2k shipped. But I could pay more if I fell in love with a bike.

I've been looking at the RadRover-style bikes by RadPower, Juiced, Himiway, Juggernaut, VoltBike, BPM Imports, etc. It's a bit strange that they all offer basically the same bike with minor variations (but I guess sometimes the market demands conformity). I'm not head over heels for these bikes, but they do have decent enough looks and it seems they would suit my needs. My sense is that this form factor, with the 26" fat tires and front suspension would give me a comfortable ride and good stability while lugging stuff around on winding bike paths or on gravel country roads or in light or compacted snow.

However, most do not ship to Iceland. Also, most are backordered anyway.

Eunorau does ship to Iceland. Their Fat-HD looks to be a step above the others I looked at, but it's also $2.7k USD with shipping. I'm hesitant to pay that much when I haven't ridden the bike and so I don't have a tangible sense for what I'm getting in return. Am I getting good value? I could maybe be convinced. I do like that in low gear you can get better torque for uphills.

I seemed to hit a wall and then I started looking at direct-from-factory bikes. Of course something that comes directly to Iceland from China without going first to the US or Europe is going to be more reasonably priced. I don't really need the service/hand-holding that a US company would bring to the table, but the quality control would be missed.

- The Sheng Milo MX02S seems more powerful than the RadRover, but is only $1.4k shipped to Iceland, which is great. It has a bunch of great reviews on Aliexpress, but I can't find any reviews on third-party sites. If the stats can be trusted, it seems a pretty good fit for my purposes.

- The Aostirmotor S07 is $1.2k shipped. Not much in the way of reviews or info out there about this bike, except that they do a lousy job of mounting the battery mount tightly to the frame (which isn't a big deal to me as I know my way around a screwdriver). I'm less inclined to go with this one as everything seems a little bit worse about it (except the rack, which seems a little more rugged).

- The DKY Retro R (reviewed here as "California Bicycle Factory Retro R") is $1.7k shipped. This is a totally different bike. I like the aesthetics of this one so much that I can almost overlook its small size, small battery, lower wattage, and lack of gears and shocks. I'm seriously tempted. Not having to deal with a chain is a bonus as well. I just wish it were a little bigger and had front suspension.

I worry with these direct-from-China bikes that their stats are overstated, especially the non-namebrand batteries. I can tolerate having to adjust and tune things on the bike. But if it becomes a total piece of junk with a weak motor and dead batteries, that's no fun. I don't know what to expect.

Open to feedback and other suggestions. I've never owned an e-bike before. Never a fat tire bike either. I'm not sure how off I am with my expectations.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
Something like this? 500w Bafang hub motor, 500wh battery, Kenda Juggernaut tires, 22a controller so peak power is 48x22=1,056w under two grand https://www.hopkaup.is/ezbike-fat-bike-rafmagnsreidhjol
But it looks like this is a group buy before they’ll ship. It seems strange they’re hard to get hold of in Iceland, fat bikes are super popular in Canada with its strong ATV culture, try contacting Biktrix and see if they will ship their Juggernaut Classic fat bike to Iceland, it will be more than two grand with shipping but it’s a good bike.
 
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Thoracius

New Member
Thanks for the tip. So that's an Alibaba "group buy" that failed to attract enough buyers and expired. When googling the company hosting the group buy there are a bunch of warnings about doing business with them, so I might have steered clear anyway. I like that the bike has name brand electrical components, but I can't find info on that bike anywhere else. Perhaps it's a discontinued model.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
The reason I’ve stayed away from direct from China is parts availability. I’m sure they like to send you a bike that’s in a box sitting in the warehouse. But will they help you with sending parts? Help with warranty issues? You are comfortable with electrical troubleshooting? You’ll be able to diagnose code errors with the display or controller? A Chinese company will have little interest with technical help.
 

Thoracius

New Member
Thanks @Dewey -- Everest is sold out of everything except the E-Courier Forma Lady.

What's your sense, is a eMTB going to be just as good for lugging stuff around on gravel roads and riding on snowy bike paths? Fat tires maybe not worth the extra expense?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I don’t do that type of riding so I defer to those with the experience, there appear to be two schools of thought:

Peter White in New Hampshire rates Finnish brand Suomi/Nokian studded tires as the best for riding on packed snow and ice, this would mean the conventional eMTB is fine with the right tires, see https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.php

The other school is the fat tire for riding on soft powder snow, however Karl Gesslein who does this type of riding says it takes a lot more power to do it safely, see https://electricbike-blog.com/2016/...-how-much-fun-you-can-have-in-the-wintertime/

Given the non-availability of fat tire ebikes in Iceland, and because local ebike tour companies offer guided rides using conventional eMTB’s like the Trek Powerfly, and considering that you would be better off buying from a local supplier who can provide parts and servicing support, I’d suggest you would be fine buying an eMTB and fitting studded tires from a reputable brand like Suomi/Nokian or Schwalbe.
 
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You might read through this thread, as well as head over to the mtbr forum it references.

You should be able to find plus-size wheelsets with fat-bike hub spacing, or custom order them. Then you can swap out wheelsets and ride the same bike year-round. Not exactly the best of both worlds, but a lot cheaper than two ebikes. The Biktrix Juggernaut Classic can actually be ordered with either plus or fat wheelsets, though it sounds like they don't ship to you.
 

Thoracius

New Member
No it turns out eunorau do not ship to Iceland. Their website said they did, but it turns out it was wrong.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Thoracius, give up the idea of the < $2000 e-bike. Talk to this LBS:

You need an e-MTB. Might be a hardtail to reduce the cost.

Why do I say so? E-bikes are far more complex than the traditional ones. They need to be serviced, also on the electronic/electrical side. Maintenance. Warranty claims. Are you sure you want to end-up with a dollar two-thousand worth pile of scrap? You need a Local Bike Store.
 

Thoracius

New Member
Thanks everybody for the input.

A spandex boutique like Kria is really for a different demographic. As an artist I don't have that kind of disposable income. Nor do I like the bikes they stock. I'm not too concerned about local service. I used to volunteer at a community bike co-op. Maybe I'm in the minority, since I guess it's common that people struggle with even Ikea furniture, but I find fixing bikes pretty intuitive and easy.

As for the eMTB route, I've given it thought. The aggressive riding posture is probably a good fit for summertime trail riding as these tour companies do, but not as comfortable for a 30min-1hr (each way) commute in the snow. If anybody is commuting 1hr in the snow on an eMTB and finds it a relaxing experience, I'm all ears to hear about it.

I've also seen reviews of 250watt uphill performance and have been unimpressed.

It looks like people who have the Sheng Milo MX02S are happy with it. User reviews are all positive that I've found. Also seems like these consumer-branded Chinese companies are pretty good about sending replacement parts if there are any defects. Even if the mystery Chinese battery does give out, I could replace it with a reputable battery and still be cheaper than buying a Specialized that I would probably be less happy with. I found a seller who will deliver the MX02S to port for really cheap, but I'm not sure what extra costs that would entail.

I've also been looking at the Frey bikes, as they get good reviews on these forums and have good name-brand components (e.g. Samsung battery). If I'm going to reach out of my budget, a Frey Hunter or Frey FF1 might be what I'd go for... except it seems there's a very long waitlist.