Looking for my 2nd e-bike. I welcome your advice.

talbertc

New Member
I bought the 250 watt version of the Ancheer as my first ebike several months ago. I wanted to buy something to ride and determine what I really want in an ebike. I have been surprised at the quality. It seems to be a very good value. I live where it’s fairly flat so not a lot of hills. I’m a bigger guy at 6’2″ 250 lbs and the Ancheer feels too small in the frame size and definitely in the motor. It struggles taking off and on smaller hills when I do encounter them. I have learned that I like the throttle for getting started. The pedal assist is not very smooth and I don’t use it when I’m riding through a park or off trail since It makes me feel a little out of control.
I’m not a commuter but a city biker that would enjoy going on some trails to get outside and enjoy myself. I’m looking for a replacement now since I know more what I want. I would like my next ebike to not look so much like an ebike.
The biggest concern I have is service after the sale. I love to tinker so I have considered building my own bike, that way I’m more likely to be able to fix or replace parts if something fails. That may or may not be true. If I could find the right ebike, I would buy it. I’m 65 years old, I’ve had a stroke almost 2 years ago but seem to be fully recovered. My balance isn’t what it use to be.
Some I have considered:
  • Specialized Como – I rode one of these and liked it. No throttle
  • Pedago City Commuter Black Edition and Interceptor Platinum Edition – Rode these and liked them. I felt like the price was so much higher than comparable ebikes and I was concerned about the battery being mounted on the back would make the bike a little unstable.
  • Radpower - I've seen a lot of people who are happy with this bike
  • Juiced - looks like a great bike but it seems like they are having quality issues.
Here are the specs I’ve determined I want/would like in my next ebike.
  • Mid drive or hub drive – I like the idea of a mid drive and the torque sensing but a hub may be just as good for what I need.
  • Throttle - If possible, I would like the ability to remove the throttle temporarily.
  • Power to handle my 250 lbs. Also to climb hills when I’m in a hilly area.
  • Large or XL frame size
  • Sit upright more than bent over like a mountain bike
  • service - some assurance that I can depend on service for my bike both under warranty and after.
  • Torque sensing pedal assist - not an absolute deal breaker
  • Comfort – not really liking the look of fat tire bikes even though I know those tires add to comfort
  • Hydraulic brakes
  • Considering a step through to make it easier to get on and off but that isn't a must.
  • Gates Carbon Belt drive - I like this idea very much but the cost may be too much for me at this point.
I live near the east coast and have a vacation home there. I would like to ride on the beach a little but I’m concerned with how that would work with an ebike. I’ve ridden my older mountain bike and the strong winds make it possible to only ride 1 way and then push the other way. The only option I have found for local service is Pedago and Specialized. The Ancheer is still running and looks nice so it has served it’s purpose to help me get out and ride a little to determine if I like ebikes and what I would want. When I purchase my next ebike, the Ancheer may become my beach bike and when it becomes rusted up, I'll junk it.

I welcome input from anyone that has ideas for me to consider.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I say this as a light hearted comment. For someone who bought a first bike to figure out his real choice, you have a lot to decide yet! Maybe the third bike will be an easier decision! Lol
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the site.
If you love to tinker, getting exactly what you want is not such a big deal. You buy something, convert it, then if you don't like it or have part failures, throw some stuff away and install something else. $200 to $500 a pop, not $5000.
Start with a bike that fits you, IMHO one from the charity resale shop or flea market. You probably will have to change tires, brake & shifter cables. Don't buy one where the shifters or calipers are rusted up. Finding one with disk brakes is ultra cool; I hate rim brakes because they DON'T WORK in the rain. You may have to buy new to find this feature. Unpowered bikes get you a lot more selection. I'm not so sold on hydraulic disk brakes as special fluids required, special tools to bleed them, and a long complicated procedure to adjust them in or replace the pads is beyond my patience. I have mechanical disks brakes and they work fine with my 330 lb gross weight down 15% grades. My hands are not very strong either, they are freezing up with arthritis from shifting the gears. I adjust pad position with an allen wrench about every 1000 miles (6 months).
Then buy a hub motor+controller+throttle+brake switch handles from ebikeling.com lunabikes.com californiaebike or others mentioned favorably under diy kits and conversions thread. You may need a body grinder & safety glasses to open up the fork slot. Thisis not difficult, maybe a drill + attachment will work. Bolt in the hub motor, fasten torque arms to the struts with clamps made out of folded sheet metal & #10 or 5 mm stainless screws and elastic stop nuts (mcmaster.com). Fasten the controller in some out of the way place. I use aluminum Spam can strips to make clamps. Use tin snips & gloves, a drill & vise for holes. Buy a battery from one of the above, NOT amazon or ebay or alibaba. These can hang with velcro but I clamped mine on with screws & nuts & sheet metal to avoid theft. 17 AH will get you 30 miles of 77 hills in my experience, you may need less. That's at 8-10 mph on the flats, faster speeds burn up the electricity. (I get up to 30 coasting downhill when there is no cross traffic hazard).
Follow instructions wiring up. You may need to crimp on .157" bullet terminals or .250" insulated flag terminals from the auto supply (dorman) or mcmaster(3m) or electronics house (T&B, Panduit, Ideal,3m). NOT ebay alibaba or amazon those ****ese terminals will melt out at 30 amps.
I found a $189 1000W DD hub motor from Amazon worked fine, but used too much electricity on my 77 hills. So I converted to a 1200 W geared hub motor from ebikeling. Both will drag me & 60 lb supplies up a 15% grade, or fight any wind less than a tropical storm level.
I'm not so sold on belt drive or IGH , both have more drag than a derailleur and I pedal a lot without power so IGH slowed me down about 20%.
If you're going to remove the throttle for certain parks & trails, you have to have a PAS type controller. This involves installing a magnet disk on the crank, which can be tricky and require special tools to get the arms off. I did it to a 90's Huffy savannah with a 1 piece crank, but the disk required a lot of mods, glue, wedges, about 2 days of fiddling around. If you have a 3 piece modern crank and a crank removal tool kit, should be doable in a couple of hours.
Torque sensing is very nice but forces you into middrive that mostly drags badly with the power off. My 70 miles of pedaling a week has been very good for heart/lung maintenance and weight control. The endomorphine of fitness helps my arthritis a lot, too. Read Dr Ken Cooper Aerobics or subsequent reports from the British medical service promoting fitness on bbcnew.com . Mid drives that have a slip clutch for unpowered pedaling include yamaha and one model of shimano. Not bosch as far as I know. But with power now, my 30 mile commute won't grow to double my elapsed time if the wind is 25 mph in my face again. That was a horrid day, 96 deg sun too September 2018. Also I added 46 hills to my commute when I added electricity to move off the state highway berms and onto safer back roads.
As far as shopping for a new bike, 1000 w drives are hard to find because they are illegal now in most states. But you can buy the kits. You can get up hills with 750 W that is legal on store bikes but shifting gears becomes more important.
Happy shopping.
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
I get a lot of satisfaction tinkering/fixing. I no longer care to pop the hood on a car, but a bicycle is still fun. So I've built a few DIY ebikes, and of different styles. I got your basic mountain bike, folding bikes. light hybrid city bike, fatbike. Like indiana-jo said, a hub motor is 200 bucks, and I can move the batteries around, I have no wish to build a cargo bike like indianajo though. I guess my next one will be a upright trike, for when I start falling over. I've no wish to be low to the ground on a recumbent, but Sun makes a sleek trike.

My second build was a bafang mid drive. More expense for the motor, but the advantage is the wiring is quite simple, and you will have more than enough power for most any hills. You can also handle flat tires easily. It's going be a cadence sensor, but I get along well with them.

Or you can buy a nice bike if you don't need to fiddle around. Whatever pleases you!