Looking for an ebike that can handle mild hills.

Region
USA
City
Aptos
Wow. So much information on this site. I’ve been looking and reading all over the internet as well.

I’m in the market for an electric bike. I’d be using it for commuting to and from work. It’s actually uphill both ways. Not hills like in San Francisco, but I do have to walk the bike up these hills. At the hills peak, it’s a 200’ climb. It’s 8 miles (total) to work and back. Trouble is, traffic is horrid in the evening. It feels weird to spend about $2000 to save money on gas, but I’ll save money on car maintenance as well. So im ready to dive right in.


I’m 6’2” and weight 150lbs and I’m looking to spend between $1000 and $2200. I live less than 10 miles from the beach, so I’d like the ability to use it there. There is also a giant foresty state park a mile behind me, so maybe some light trail riding in the future. I bring a lunchbox to work, so a rear rack is a must, though I wonder if I can install an aftermarket rack instead. I’m not looking for a race, so it doesn’t need to be fast. The ride is all paved street. It is a bit bumpy though. I’d only be riding during the day.

I’ve been looking at;
himiway cruiser - the battery and the fine tuning of the PAS levels and intensity are very appealing to me, but the customer service is off-putting
Aventon aventure just looks like a solid and stable ride.
ride1up core5 has a 750w motor that should have no problem with the hills
and radcity was the first bike I looked at. It’s got everything just not sure about getting up the hills.

I’m not sure how I can test these bikes. I booked a rental for the radcity, but the others are only online


I currently have a fat tire bike. It’s a 7 speed mongoose with a totally out of whack (it’s bent, rusted, and needs tuning) shimano tourney derailleur. I can’t believe I rode it. I’m going to try and tune it or replace it….eventually. I do also have a shitty ‘93 Eddie Bauer mountain bike. So I have some idea of the size I’d like.

I’m mostly looking at 750 watt motors.Would 500 watt motors work for these hills too? And would rear hub motors be sufficient? I’m looking for any input. What other things should I be thinking about?

As I type this, I realize that I have seen a radcity on my way to work, so maybe that will work on the hilly parts. I did stand next to an Aventon pace 500 at a store. The owner wasn’t around, so I couldn’t sit on it. Seemed a good height, though. That side of town was mostly flat.

Thank you for reading this and bearing with me. Sorry for the book. :)
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
You have so short of a commute that it would take years worth of commuting gas money to make up for a $2000 bike. But if I had a 4 mile work commute I would definitely prefer to ride a bike vs drive a car. Years ago I bought a house within a mile of where I worked specifically so I could walk to work. I walked almost every day of the 4 years that I lived there (except 1 day a month that I had to drive 150 miles round trip for a department meeting) and loved it.

How much do you hate your Eddie Bauer bike? It probably isn't much worse than low price ebikes. I'd ignore "disc brakes required" advice if your bike has good brakes. I have a Yamaha PW-SE mid drive gravel bike, couple bikes (cruiser and hybrid) that I converted with Tongsheng TSDZ2 mid drive kits, a bike with a front geared hub motor and a bike with a rear geared hub motor (too many, I know). They all perform great including in hilly to mountainous terrain and each of them would kill a 4 mile commute with any reasonable degree of rider pedaling effort.
For a commuter bike I'd just convert your old mountain bike (unless you hate it). It can be done very inexpensively <$600.

Here is the rear geared hub motor kit I bought on Amazon although it was $60 less expensive when I purchased.
It came with a good and programable KT controller/display and all the peripherals to make for a commuter bike

20210303_145143.jpg


I've also bought a couple sub $200 lithium batteries on Amazon and they have worked perfectly (so far).
 
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PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
I ride an Espin Flow (rear hub) around the mildly hilly (with a few steep areas now and then) Piedmont Triad, and a Giant La Free mid-drive on hilly Whidbey Island.

For mild hill commuting, the Flow may be better because it's a class 2 (has a throttle), or you may need a faster class 3 - can't help you with any experience there 😉.

Check out Espin here:

 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
I wouldn't be too concerned about those wattage ratings. Sometimes they advertise sustained watts, other times peak or some other figure. It's not always apples and oranges. But I've never head of anyone complaining about their Ride1Up 500 on hills, so I don't think you would have a problem, especially if you don't mind using a little muscle power as well instead of just throttle or ghost pedaling. I know my Ride1Up 700 does well, although I always pedal hard as well since I'm trying to get exercise. I ride a standard bike a lot, and there are some hills that I will occasionally get off the bike and walk due to exhaustion. With my 700 e-bike, these are no problem when pedaling hard combined with about 300 watts assist (still plenty of power to spare if I wanted to crank it up with more assist). The only time I've cranked it up to 900+ watts is when testing for short intervals on a fresh battery. Max power drops off as battery gets lower. They are class 3, FWIW.
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
To be honest, you probably wouldn't have to walk up those hills on a non-electric bike that has a granny gear and narrower tires with less rolling resistance and you will get fitter the more you ride. Four miles each way isn't a long commute. I think the Rad would handle it fine. A small backpack is probably all you need for carrying a lunch, but I use a rack and panniers because I used to lug a couple of laptops and gym clothes with me.
 
Region
USA
City
Aptos
Is this the bike you have? It is 48lbs without a motor and battery and is only designed for people up to 6' tall, so the frame is way too small for you. There is no doubt that you would struggle riding it. You would be surprised at how much easier it is to ride a properly fitted bike.

http://www.thefatbikehub.com/blog/reviews/mongoose-dolomite-fat-bike-unboxing/
Wow! That’s the same bike! Though, my shifter is a bit different.
The Eddie Bauer may be a better fit. It’s taller than my fat bike. I just don’t like it, because it’s not mine. The rider has ridden it once in the last 7 years and it’s sitting in our garage. It’s pretty much new. I need to try that bike again. The seat is a bit crusty (material degraded?), leaving a black streak down my backside. I’ll try to change the seat out and ride again this weekend.
I’d like to convert a bike as it would be cheaper and seems like a fun project. Just I might have a hard time finding time to work on it. Matching up the components makes me weary that I’d choose the wrong things. The Amazon link is “currently unavailable”, but I do see related items. They all seem to be complete kits. Hmmmm
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
If you go for a hub motor/wheel kit make sure the rim is rim brake compatible (if your Eddie Bauer has rim brakes). Some of the kit motors are laced into rims that can't be used with rim brakes. Geared hub motors in either front or rear wheel work great - I don't know about the gearless hub motors because I've never tried one. Fixing a flat with a front hub motor would be easier than for a rear. For a commuter bike where I wouldn't want to be late for work due to a flat tire I'd consider getting Tannus airless tires. They have downsides but no flats ever.
I saw that the Ricetoo geared rear hub kit was out of stock, I only linked that one because it I have it and have experience with it. I've ridden that bike thru the Columbia gorge and up the small mountain I live on, no issues at all except the controller got hot on long (miles) of steep climbing when I had it in the included controller bag, no problem when I mounted it in an area where it has direct air exposure for cooling.
 

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I understand about not having the time. I have been swamped with work lately. Hobbies are a good way to unwind, but sometimes there isn't time for them. Look for a used hardtail mountain bike on Craigslist if you want to do a conversion. Like this one.


If you buy a kit, the parts in the kit will be compatible with each other. If you buy from a place like Grin, Luna, or EM3EV (there are other reputable dealers also that other members will be familiar with), you will pay more than an eBay or Amazon kit, but you will get support from them.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@Slaphappygamer, I have a bunch of photos if you want some mid-drive conversion ideas at PedalUma.com. And you are welcome to test one whenever you are in the area. These bikes can do sustained climbs, weight is low and centered and they are highly efficient. Here is one example if you are interested in looking. It is an electric 1983 Stumpjumper that eats clunky store bikes for lunch on the hills of San Francisco.
Oh, by the way, my battery representative sent me an email last night. No one in Asia has access to premium cells. The supply chain is empty. They are hurting. I purchased a load just before they disappeared.
 

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Gordon71

Well-Known Member
Rad City's probably a bad choice for hills due to it's motor. The Rad Rover has twice the torque of the city and does well on hills. That's what I have been riding for the past year. 2,000 trouble free miles so far.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
This is the most recent battery I bought 36v 10ah $158, a 48v 10ah version is $179
36v weighs less than 5# and will fit in a handlebar bag.
I wish I could use it on my Yamaha powered bike but it isn't compatible
I don't charge my cheap batteries in the house while the Yamaha battery I do.
So far works great, hoping for the best.

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If you live near Pedaluma I'd take him up on the test drive offer.

This is my Walmart hybrid bike that I installed a 48v 750w Tongsheng mid drive. Hoping to take it on some few day camp and ride tour routes within the next few weeks, starting in eastern OR next week depending on the weather forecast. Carrying a couple batteries in the trailer, none on the bike itself.
1621520660372.png
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Our group ride was 35 miles of wind and hills. Buy the end I had 1/2 of my battery. Big climbs. And I feel like superman. What a blast!

Edit: Look on maps.google.com for 1000 Wilson Hill Rd Petaluma. Spin around and follow the roads in any direction for as long as you want. The sea or Pt. Reyes is West. A view can take in four main counties; Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Lake, as well as some East Bay Counties such as Alameda and Contra Costa.
 

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Region
USA
City
Aptos
probably going to go with the ride1up 700 series. the price is right and i really like the build and components. i test drove an electra townie 5i and liked it. the 700 series has a similar gearing and brakes. the townie 5i was able to make a hill climb similar to the one id be riding everyday. im positive the 700 series will do great as well. the townie 5i was just too much money for what you get. a nice ride and comparison anyhow. also, i like ride1ups customer service and responses. i checked their facebook group out. the aventon aventure also looks nice, but i dont like the placement of the tail light and the fact that it doesnt come with a rear rack (which i will use). the himiway seems like a crap shoot with their quality control and customer service. im still going to wait until i test ride the radcity and rad runner before i make my final decision.
 

Nomad

Active Member
Have you looked at some of the lbs bikes because if you look at some of the lower end stuff you might be surprised to find some close to the high end of your budget and I don't just mean lbs that are close to you if you understand what I'm saying. It can be challenging to find stuff
 
Region
USA
City
Aptos
I’m my area, the bike shops only carry bikes above $2000 and most are level 1. I mean, a throttle would be nice to have. I feel I can more for my money with a direct to consumer brand. I’m really test riding bikes to judge the size and power. That way I’ll have a better idea of what to get. im under the impression that local bike shops don’t want to sell you a throttle, for safety reasons.
 

Nomad

Active Member
You do know that some companies kinda do both for instance Giant does deliver right to your house not that they necessarily have something in your price range. There are some good direct to you sellers but many are not. Like anything you could pay to much for a name brand or get a fair deal or buy online get something for way less and end up with junk or get something decent that's a good buy. I get the throttle thing a little bit but you may or may not want to put so much stock in that. My advice is find something that you know first hand is going to work or that you can return no problem with a reasonable amount of time for you to actual ride it to figure out.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
I'm really liking my Ride1Up 700 series. Too bad the price went up $200 since early March, but it would still be my choice. I'll appreciate it even more if they dump gravel on any of my routes, which I expect to happen in some areas soon due to some rough places with large pot holes. I hate riding my standard hibrid with 35c tires on gravel - the 700's 2.4" should be much better. I accidentally did a full charge on my 700 a few days back. When riding in the highest PAS level 9 with it set to 100%, it was showing 999 watts on the display. I was just testing with a mostly full battery, so I didn't run it at that power for long. IIRC, even the throttle was giving over 800 watts with the battery mostly full. I typically only use throttle to cross a busy street/road, and don't use much PAS power in general, just increasing the level on the hills as needed. Compared to the Aventon and various others, a key feature of these Ride1Up bikes is that you can granularly control the PAS power for EACH level in each range, and the assist does not try to keep you at a certain speed like a cruise control as some other popular bikes, so it continues to deliver the power configured for the level up to the class 3 limit. I have my PAS level 1 set to give 32 watts, and it provides that same power while pedaling regardless of how fast I am riding until I hit 28 mph. For the next e-bike I get, I would like a mid-drive well-tuned responsive torque sensor based bike so that the power needs will be met dynamically, figuring I wouldn't need to change the PAS level as much.
 
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