Looking for an ebike and definitely overwhelmed ><


Well-Known Member
Thanks so much to everyone for all of the helpful advice!!

It's been affirming to read y'alls responses and helps to solidify my thoughts. Definitely get the points regarding environmental concern/cost. Honestly? I'd much rather go for something sustainable that takes me some time to save up for, rather than something inexpensive that isn't sustainable/satisfies my current desires. It seems like Yuba is a good company for this. Is that a safe assumption?

I actually read your entire blog on the build, m@Robertson! It was really well done and helped me understand the process and your thoughts. I'm definitely open to doing a build with a donor bike. I think I come back to concerns over making sure I'm doing things correctly/not burning up the bike or catching myself on fire, haha.
Honestly, I don't see how any company would be any different than any other in terms of sustainability. I mean, chains, derailleurs, headsets, tires, even frames... they are all coming out of China or Taiwan, right? With honorable mentions from Thailand and Vietnam. Taiwan being the upscale parts provider. Battery cells are on ALL quality bikes going to be coming from South Korea (Samsung, LG) or Japan (Sony, Panasonic) and even then I would not bet money on country of origin based on the brand name. And thats assuming you can find out where the cells came from (and I'm not so sure CATL or similar higher-quality Chinese cells are in any way bad).

I don't see any difference at the manufacturing level across any brand. Doesn't mean there is none. Its just something I think no one considers much, and won't have a big impact on content if it is. You mentioned the Rad Wagon and that bike is Chinese thru and thru. Read their material and they only say "Designed in the USA". This is a set of criteria I think you will have to research on your own as it pretty much does not exist as far as I have ever seen or heard. Folks are a lot more focused on the good they can do themselves by exercising their bodies and no longer pumping out exhaust fumes (other than those that inevitably come from lunch at the roadside taco truck).

Here is one I haven't seen you mention. Its a small family-run company in the USA that was on Shark Tank not so long ago.

Others to look at would be Larry vs. Harry, Riese & Muller and other EU-based manufacturers, of which there are a great many. Better go to the bathroom and poop first before you look at the prices though. Larry vs. Harry is definitely produces components and accessories from recycled materials. I have one and my tonneau was labeled as being made from recycled materials.

As for burning stuff down, six years ago all I could do was spell 'ebike'. I knew bikes and had been a cyclist all my life. The rest came from paying attention on the web and diving in. Carefully. :D Anyone can do the same.


Well-Known Member
It was 2019 when I priced out those linked Mongoose builds. Lemme see what it would tally up to now if I use today's prices:

Mongoose Envoy in Medium/Large: $899
Wow they are charging $100 for the big frame now. That sucks. But given the OP's rider heights, the M/L is right at that sweet spot for them both.

BBS02 kit from BafangUSADirect: $500
color 500C display
BBSHD kit from Luna: $640
Cheapie DPC-07 display
My basic builds spec a BBS02, where you save money. But you can kill a BBS02 if you screw up. The HD is so robust it can't be killed in a cargo bike application unless you genuinely try via hot rodding it.

From Bicycle Motorworks (pack made to order in USA)
52v, 16ah Samsung 40T (21700 cells) pack: $470 or
52v, 12.5ah Samsung 25R (18650 cells) pack: $420

Magura MT5 brakes (2 sets) $122 x 2 = $244 or
Magura MT5e brakes (2 sets) plus bus cable: 160x2+26
Magura Storm HC 2x180mm rotors 2x$30=60

Lowest cost with BBS02 and 12.5ah battery: $2123
Highest cost with BBSHD and 16ah battery: $2313

And of course, your time/effort to install everything, which is either part of the fun or a big chore depending on you.

Yup, everything has gone up. But the build above would get you a bike with a solid, powerful, reliable motor and if you spring for it, one that you probably will be unable to kill even if you try - on a solid frame that should take anything you can throw at it. And it has darn near the best brakes money can buy which is something nobody else has done on bikes that by their nature have super heavy loads and relatively high speeds given the electric motor.

I would also spring the roughly $150 on a 9-spd drivetrain like I describe in the build links. Its a solid performer with a mid drive and shifts butter smooth, which the stock Shimano bits do NOT.

Also everything here is in stock (or the bike and the parts are). If I were on a budget and wanted a cargo+commuter, I would still do an Envoy.
The M625 is already available on AliExpress. :D



Active Member
I've read so many of y'alls awesome posts and suggestions for other people, so I thought I would dip my toes in, too, and ask for advice.

I'm a moped person, new to the ebike world. I'm interested in continuing to reduce reliance on my car, and love using my mopeds to get around, but unfortunately, they're not very conducive to large grocery trips/carrying a lot of stuff (even with my tried and true milk crate/backpack combo). I've obviously come across the RadWagon, and am definitely intrigued, but discouraged based on the very (steep) hilly area I'm going to be living and am considering going for more of the mid-drive situation.

I've also contemplated purchasing a pre-owned bike and converting it to an ebike. I've found a Mongoose Envoy that's an ~okay~ price point, but then was looking into Mongoose Envoy builds only to see that the price is potentially more than buying a manufactured ebike. I've also been toying around for just waiting to find the ideal used ebike, but I'm not sure if the pre-owned ebike situation is incredibly robust where I live (think the Indianapolis to Lexington KY area [mostly because I do travel between that span of I-65 for family/work-related reasons]).

Okay, here's my list of considerations and I'd love feedback.

1) Environmental strain -- preferably an environmentally-conscious option that takes into consideration driving the market forward/consumption of new material & overall environmental footprint (while acknowledging it is definitely not perfect).
2) Capable of carrying a fair amount of groceries/running errands
3) Hilly riding conditions
4) Big riders (I'm 5'10 and my husband is 6'1)
5) Also a good commute-to-work bike (so maybe not a longtail, but something for carrying trailers?--this is where I defo need opinions due to the trailer hitch/drivetrain/hill considerations discussed).
6) Not obscenely expensive (ideally under 2k, but that seems VERY limited)

Look at the ability of the bike frame to support panniers and a crate for your grocery runs. If it lacks power for the steep hills you do have the option of having the bike shop replace the largest rear cog with a larger one. This will mean adding a few more links to the chain and possilbly a different rear derailleur but this is not a big deal. The cargo type bikes are usually configured for flat terrain and so the gearing is on the tall side. The Radwagon for example comes with a 7-speed 11-34 freewheel which is pretty good and going to a lower rear cog means less stress on the motor and so not a problem in terms of reliability. Option also of putting a smaller front chainring but that will make all your gears lower instead of just having a ultra low "granny" gear for steep hills.