Jmfrank79

New Member
Hello, my name is Jeff and I looking for my first Ebike.
I have been trying to research them as much as possible in the past 6 months or so using this website. I have to say that all of Courts reviews have been awesome!
After all my research, I think I am ready to buy one in the next couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, research will only take me so far, now I need to physically try them out.
There are several makes/models that I am interested in, but it is hard to find shops that specialize in these bikes and are local to the South Jersey/Philadelphia area.
So far, I have only found 2 shops within an hours drive, PHEW (Philadelphia Electric Wheel Co) in Philly, and Hybrid Cycles in West Chester. I have spoke to both, and I am going to try and get out to Hybrid Cycles this weekend.
Here is a little background on me:
I am 36, 6ft, weigh 200lb and live in Cherry Hill, NJ.
I have lost my licence for an extended period of time and am looking to use the ebike as my primary mode of transportation.
My commute to work is about 5 miles each way with some inclines and declines each way.
Aside from my commute to and from work, I will be using the bike to get around town to friends houses, run errands to the store (Ex. go to Wawa and grab some milk), and would also like to have some fun and take it off road a little bit on light trails on the weekend. It would be cool to ride it down some trails to get to some prime fishing spots and I would like to get into just riding on some wooded trails in the area and take on vacations to the campground, beach and mountains.
With that in mind, I am kind of torn on a commuter style bike vs a mountain bike.
Is there a certain bike that you would recommend for my situation?
For example, I keep going back and forth in my head between the Izip Protour, Dash and Peak, maybe even the Peak DS (even though that is probably overkill for my needs).
Do you have an opinion about these bikes? Also, I saw that the 2016 models have switched from hub motors to mid-drive motors. Do you think the new drive system is an advantage, or should I be considering the 2015 models for their hub systems?
Some of the other bikes that I am interested in are below:
Haibike Sduro Hardseven SM
Freway VR-01
Magnum Mi5
BMEBikes BM Shadow
Flux Trail
Juiced Bikes Cross-Current
Some of the options I am interested in are bosses for a rear rack and possibly fenders, bosses for a water bottle would be nice (but definitely not a deal breaker!), needs to have lights wired into the battery pack for riding home from work at night, I would prefer a 10+ amp hour battery to increase the distance that I can travel, and I think I would want some kind of throttle (twist, squeeze or button) to completely rely on the motor at times to maintain speed.
Does anyone have an opinion on any of the bikes that I listed above, or other bikes you think would fit my needs.
Since these bikes are kind of expensive, I just want to make sure that I am getting the right one for my first one!
If this goes as well as I have pictured in my head, I could see myself collecting a few ebikes each for more specific purposes.
However this first one needs to be the jack of all trades that although I do not have a car and live/work in the suburbs, I am not completely dependent on others!
So I would love to hear any thoughts that you have. Thank you for your time and any help that you could provide.
Thanks,
Jeff
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Sounds like an adventure Jim! Lucky for you Cherry Hill is pretty flat and you have a short ride to work.

Since this bike will be your primary transportation, reliability and comfort are the most important aspects, imo.

You'll want a great seat, maybe a thudbuster, panniers and excellent front and rear lighting systems.. Recommend two of each.

You do not want a geared motor hub. I don't care what anyone says a direct drive rear hub is the most reliable ebike motor out there...

Suggest you go ahead and test ride as many ebikes as you possible can, and don't focus on price, but comfort and reputation and warranty.

IF it were me, I'd buy a Stromer ST1 Platinum and put in a gel seat, fenders, great panniers, Ergo grips, rear view mirror and high power lighting... And have some fun!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I highly recommend the haibike hard seven sduro, love mine so far (have the sl, which I would say is worth the extra over the sm), gets excellent distance and I really like the mid drive. Mid drives in general are better at climbing (because they take advantage of the bikes gearing) and are also somewhat more efficient for the same reason...They are more often operating at their most efficient.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jmfrank79

New Member
I highly recommend the haibike hard seven sduro, love mine so far (have the sl, which I would say is worth the extra over the sm), gets excellent distance and I really like the mid drive. Mid drives in general are better at climbing (because they take advantage of the bikes gearing) and are also somewhat more efficient for the same reason...They are more often operating at their most efficient.

I really do like the Haibikes, I just wish they had a throttle or something for the times when I don't feel like pedaling....
 
Last edited by a moderator:

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I've had a couple of bikes with throttles, they just made me feel lazy! The torque sensors on a haibike or easy motion work so well and setting the amount of assist can make pedaling very, very easy if you need it to be at any particular moment.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Jeff - I would recommend leaning towards a Mountain bike and add fenders, rack etc. A commuter bike is going to be limited on MTB trails. I recommend going with a center drive. The other benefit there is you'll have an easier time when your bike needs regular service like flat fixes, brakes, etc. Some traditional bike shops won't touch ebikes, but you could have an easier time if they see the work they need to do is void of any wires or complicated parts that could cause other issues they could later be liable for. I think you might have a different opinion about throttles once you get some time on the saddle of a proper pedal-assisted bike. Best of luck with your new purchase.

Paul & Joe - I know you guys trying to help this new member out, but suggesting for him to go to a shop with intentions of using their resources and later buy from another dealer seems unethical to me. I see this happen a lot on here and it's frustrating from a dealer perspective. It takes a lot to open up an ebike shop in this very new market. I hope you guys will consider this next time a new member asks for advice.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Chris, you're right. And I've bought both my ebikes locally, because the shop was willing to discount. However, some bike shops not only don't discount, they mark up and tell fairy tales about cost. So I want to let new members know they are not limited to one or two local shops who think they are the only options around, and have no competition.

Competition benefits the customer, who is the whole reason these places exist.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I like that Haibike Sduro Hardseven SM too. For a commuter, you need something that's reliable and that you can still pedal 5 miles if you forget to charge the battery the evening prior. I think a mid drive fits the latter need as far as ease of pedalling. In the home built side of things, mid drives are said to wear out parts faster, but I would think Haibike has mated the Bosch motor and components carefully for robustness. If it fits your budget, try a test ride.

You do have to learn how to ride a bike and use its gears for a mid drive to be effective. I continue to be surprised by the desire in America to pedal bikes with no shifting of gears and under throttle only.
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
I like that Haibike Sduro Hardseven SM too. For a commuter, you need something that's reliable and that you can still pedal 5 miles if you forget to charge the battery the evening prior. I think a mid drive fits the latter need as far as ease of pedalling. In the home built side of things, mid drives are said to wear out parts faster, but I would think Haibike has mated the Bosch motor and components carefully for robustness. If it fits your budget, try a test ride.

You do have to learn how to ride a bike and use its gears for a mid drive to be effective. I continue to be surprised by the desire in America to pedal bikes with no shifting of gears and under throttle only.

I'm competent with my gearing, but I do think with the sduro even (where the motor doesn't have a cutout like the bosch does), that the torque sensing is so instantaneous, I can literally lift my exertion, change gear and be back on the pedal in less than a pedal revolution. I'm at about 40 miles on the bike and I haven't ground a gear in some time already with it.
 

Jmfrank79

New Member
So I went out to an e-bike shop about an hour away (1 of two around here) to test ride some bikes last weekend. I rode the IZip E3 Dash, Easy Motion Cross, Magnum MI5 and the Izip E3 Protour. I was only intending on test riding as I was going to hit the other shop on the way home and test ride the Haibike SDURO Hardseven SL. However, I after riding the Protour, I was sold!!! This thing was sooooo much fun to ride! With the front suspension and seat post, ride was comfortable. The 500 watt motor was VERY responsive! Can be as mild or wild as you want to be on it!
In the past week, I have put about 50 miles on the bike and LOVE it!!! I generally keep it in assist level 2 and will go out for a 10 - 15 mile ride and want to keep going! In the next week or two, when I am completely comfortable with the bike, I will begin commuting to and from work with it everyday.
However, on my last ride on wednesday, it felt like it started skipping a gear towards the way home. When I got home, I lifted the rear wheel and slowly rotated the pedals while inspecting the chain. I noticed there is a link that is frozen. I tried to bend it back and forth hoping to loosen it, but no such luck. I guess I have to take it all the way back out there to have them fix it. Its not even a week old yet, I don't want to pay another shop to fix.
The guy at the store said that it is a new chain problem and not a big deal.
What do you think? Is it really no big deal? Or is this a sign of worries to come?
Thanks for your input!!!

Jeff
 

Jack Tyler

Active Member
Jeff, you're frozen link is illustrating the benefit of buying from a LBS in that you can have it readily repaired under the warranty. My guess: a bent pin. But ask the shop if it's a cause or a symptom. IOW is this just due to poor QA at the factory when assembling the bike from their parts bins...or might the drive train need adjusting (or the owner need to improve his shifting ;))?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I've had a link stick on an old chain because of a stuck pin. Sprayed it with penetrating oil, wiggled it, and beat on it until it loosened free. A bike shop will just pop out that link and put in a new one. Five minute job.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@harryS Even the least expensive Chain Tool is built to both remove pins and to spread a link which oftentimes is all that is needed for a sticky link. Just don't spread the link too much :D

Park Chain Tool.jpg


Here's a YouTube video that's easy to understand about how to use a chain tool for both purposes.