Looking for fun, small frame (non fat-tire) ebike

Region
USA
Here is a 20" folding bike that I installed a tongsheng mid drive. This one weighed 40# including the 36v 10ah battery in the seat bag.
Easy conversion if your husband knows his way around a bike, inexpensive, works great and can be put on a bike that you might already have and like.
I've done this conversion 6 times and soon to become a 7th, just because I already had the bikes - and loved the performance each time.

View attachment 108853
Thanks for the inspiration! A DYI project may be in our future...though not likely as a first bike. :)
 
Region
USA
While you are working out proper fit, my experience was a bit too small is easier to deal with than a bit too big. I actually had to return my first bike b/c it was too big and I dropped it repeatedly.

Also, several of the folks that commented here are way different sizes. I'm 5 ' 7" and 200 lbs, @indianajo is maybe 150 lbs, and I'm not sure but I think @rich c is a big guy.
Thanks for sharing! I have finally been able to ride a few more ebikes and now that I have I realize just how important having a small frame and weight under 50# are for me. I am so glad I didn't buy any of the ones I found online that I thought I'd like - all of them are much bigger than I could handle. I'm now pretty committed to buying this first one from a LBS.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Thanks for sharing! I have finally been able to ride a few more ebikes and now that I have I realize just how important having a small frame and weight under 50# are for me. I am so glad I didn't buy any of the ones I found online that I thought I'd like - all of them are much bigger than I could handle. I'm now pretty committed to buying this first one from a LBS.
That's what I did, but you have to do what works for you. Many (s)miles to you.
 
Region
USA
Search Update...it seems the more you learn the more nuanced the decision, lol.

So, the biggest change is: I am now more seriously considering a mid-drive - without a throttle! Reading more about them and test-riding that Cannondale Neo 4 a few more times made me rethink how important I thought a throttle would be. For starters, I found I actually can ride a mid-drive perfectly well with the electric system completely off, so the possibility of running out of battery power far from home isn't an issue anymore; I could either get it home - or get an Uber. (Not really feasible, I know - but it's pretty unlikely I'll ever be in a situation where I'm that far away either.) And I just kind of like how the mid-drive feels. After test-riding several mid-drive bikes, the next time I got on a hub drive, I finally understood what I've read others say - it can feel a bit like being pushed. I don't necessarily hate that feeling like some do, but it made me realize I actually like the feeling I get from riding a mid-drive. Plus, I realized that with the motor in a slightly higher assist level, starting off even uphill is super easy - which is what I thought I'd most want a throttle for.

My current top contenders are a Gazelle Ultimate C8 ($3500 at a LBS) or a Gazelle Medeo T9 ($2500 at a different LBS). Both have the same Bosch Active Line Plus motor (50Nm); the C8 has a Gates Belt drive + Shimano Nexus 8gear IGH; the T9 has a 9-speed Shimano Acera. They are, admittedly, VERY different bikes - both in terms of cost and (other than the motor) components. (If price were not an issue at all, and I could find one, I suspect the Gazelle Ultimate T10 or T10+ would be my top choice, but $4000 is just too far above my price range for a first ebike.)

What I love most about the Ultimate C8 is that it just feels great to sit on and ride. :) In my happy place there! It has the most comfortable saddle I've ever sat on and the handlebars are perfect for me. I am less excited about the IGH... I've test ridden it twice and it just seems so different. I have a hard time imagining when I would ever use the top four of the 8 gears it has - you'd need a super long straightaway to make use of the speed those gears would give you - with or without the motor assist! I do not understand the rationale behind how those gears are "spaced" - please feel free to shed some light on that if you can! (My biggest concern is getting up hills, so only having four gears that seem likely to be used gives me pause as to how effective the bike will really be on a longer uphill - it is mostly gently rolling around here, but the trip home is almost all uphill if I ever ride down to the river.) It is also pushing my weight limit at almost 54#s. The LBS price is appealing, though, because it's from last year - the new price is $3750.

The Medeo T9 is also nice, though not nearly as comfortable to sit on. The frame isn't a true step-through and its geometry is closer to a MTB than a commuter/cruiser, but the handlebars are adjustable so I can configure it to a more upright position that will work fine for me. The bigger drawback here is that the battery is smaller (400Wh compared to the C8's 500Wh) and located on the rear rack rather than the downtube. So not my preference but at $1000 less, I can be perfectly fine with it. The derailleur isn't top of the line but felt "normal" to use. Weight is a lighter 48# so that's nice, as is the price. (Added incentive...the shop owner will give me 10% off if both my husband and I buy from her.)

I considered and then decided against a few other, lighter models from Cannondale and Specialized - just not enough range for the longer jaunts I hope to do. And I've pretty much decided I want at least an Active Line Plus motor. I'd love to test ride a Specialized Vado, but no one had any in stock - and I am starting to get anxious to just make a decision, lest I find myself with zero options in a couple of months as people start thinking about riding again and supply issues keep store stocks low.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
You might as well check out a Trek and Giant store while you're at it. Most Trek shops also carry Electras as well (also owned by Trek), and Giant has their Momentum line with smaller frames. I personally hated the Vado (didn't even ride it, it hurt my back just sitting on it), and ride a Specialized Como in medium and love it. YMMV.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I agree with @Art Deco if you like the Gazelle Ultimate, check out the '22 model year Specialized Turbo Como 3.0, revised for this year, the 50nm Brose 1.2e motor is equivalent to the Bosch Active Plus, and the bike weighs 48lb. I know what you mean about the comfort, I felt the same way 6 years ago when I sat on a Gazelle Arroyo for the first time. I have a Nexus 8 IGH on my bike and am in the process of replacing it with an Enviolo Cargo CVT because I've found it just can't take the torque of my BBS01 mid-drive motor, though the Bosch Active Plus on the Gazelle is easier on the IGH so may not be a problem for Gazelle owners.
 
Region
USA
You might as well check out a Trek and Giant store while you're at it. Most Trek shops also carry Electras as well (also owned by Trek), and Giant has their Momentum line with smaller frames. I personally hated the Vado (didn't even ride it, it hurt my back just sitting on it), and ride a Specialized Como in medium and love it. YMMV.
Yes - the Specialized Como also looks great - and is nowhere to be found near me. :-( Nice to hear you love it! I'll keep an eye on availability - it can change every/any day.
I like the looks of some of the Momentum bikes... LBS stores just don't have inventory. Maybe what I need to do is take an early spring road trip...along a route marked by ebike stores! :-D
 
Region
USA
I agree with @Art Deco if you like the Gazelle Ultimate, check out the '22 model year Specialized Turbo Como 3.0, revised for this year, the 50nm Brose 1.2e motor is equivalent to the Bosch Active Plus, and the bike weighs 48lb. I know what you mean about the comfort, I felt the same way 6 years ago when I sat on a Gazelle Arroyo for the first time. I have a Nexus 8 IGH on my bike and am in the process of replacing it with an Enviolo Cargo CVT because I've found it just can't take the torque of my BBS01 mid-drive motor, though the Bosch Active Plus on the Gazelle is easier on the IGH so may not be a problem for Gazelle owners.
That is good info to know about the Nexus 8 IGH - thanks. I appreciate the encouragement to check out the Specialized Turbo Como - I will look harder for one in stock somewhere - happy to make a day trip out of it, especially since we have both a LBS that's a Specialized dealer (but apparently pretty low on the priority list for inventory...they've been waiting a year for to receive some bikes - and have seen a bike that was originally assigned to them be redirected to a larger store elsewhere ! ) and a local REI store that could do work on one.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
That is good info to know about the Nexus 8 IGH - thanks. I appreciate the encouragement to check out the Specialized Turbo Como - I will look harder for one in stock somewhere - happy to make a day trip out of it, especially since we have both a LBS that's a Specialized dealer (but apparently pretty low on the priority list for inventory...they've been waiting a year for to receive some bikes - and have seen a bike that was originally assigned to them be redirected to a larger store elsewhere ! ) and a local REI store that could do work on one.
Although I haven't been in an REI in years, I have read on here that they were carrying a few pretty good ebikes recently as well.

Testing bikes makes for a fun day out if you can rent one for a few hours or a day when the weather cooperates.

@Dewey rides a more powerful machine than I do ( I didn't know you had an IGH, Dewey ) and the Momentums are also IGH, but with a chain not a belt. Actually, I stayed away from the Giants just because I wanted the bike to travel with in an RV, and any bike shop anywhere can get parts and fix a derailleur ... I hope.