Looking for recommendations: commuter ebike for 1 mile 10% grade

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Wow. That a steep hill!
ya it sucks for sure. I only do it to test as kits a bear to even get to. in two miles and to the top its 900 feet of climbing. lost of 14 to 16% grades and some 18% I have often my heart to 165 before getting to it and up it. I just dont have the gearing for it.
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
85 nm on a Bosch performance line is not bad especially if you are in decent shape. You do have to work, is not a motorcycle.
20 MPH? not for me. I would be happy to do 15-16 mph with a 10 degree incline. I am 63 and in decent shape. Also have been commuting to work since March 2021 with that setup having to climb a very steep hill on my way to work in the morning.
Love my commute.
Also form SoCal like you.
Yes, I thought of getting a moped at one point but it was like, nah, really like the ethos and experience of biking. And then Covid, professional obligations and some inertia set in. I have this sense that once I get the ebike it will be like "I shouldn't have waited so long". Hope so. Having the input here on what sort of motor to be looking for has been immensely helpful. Don't feel like I'm going in blind as much in terms of what performance to expect. My wife is expressing interest in one as well, which is helping with framing the budget ;)
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
I should explain how I tested the motor. first find a really steep hill around 18% worked. before I updated my motor going up the steep hill and putting out 450 watts (I have a nyon) and peddling from 70 to 80 rpms. I changed assist levels and could nto find any difference between them. when I got my motor updated. so far I only maxed out on there 22% hill I do a short 18% hill every day and I will see if I can get 540 watts out and go faster. but I cant always manage 540 watts. I ahve done a few 600 to 700 watt packs when starting out but that only lasts for a very short time. here is my test hill.
View attachment 128514View attachment 128515
Well, it's nice that there's a little pull out at the top...Looks like there is a stop sign about 80% of the way up too. Funny place for it. My dad taught me to drive on a VW bug standard. He would have driven me up to a stop like that, put it in neutral with the parking brake on, traded places, and told me to drive.
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
With the Allant series, any strong feelings on the shock fork of the 7+ versus the solid fork of the 8+?

Also, I got to thinking about braking on the way down; its a watery eyed screamer to get you going in the morning. Both the 7+ and 8+ have the Shimano MT200 hydraulics, right? So they are equivalent in that regard.

I'm not too clear on the differences between the 7+ and 8+, except for the fork and the price tag.
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
Even with the density of Trek dealers in SoCal, not seeing too many Allant 7+ or 8+ with the CX motor in a large frame size listed in stock in the area. Perhaps that is just the way inventory is right now. I'll have to call around and see how far out an order would take.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Even with the density of Trek dealers in SoCal, not seeing too many Allant 7+ or 8+ with the CX motor in a large frame size listed in stock in the area. Perhaps that is just the way inventory is right now. I'll have to call around and see how far out an order would take.
ya inventory has been bad because of covid. I was lucky they had one bike that would work for me and it had been there two years. I dont feel the need for a suspension fork on the 8. my bulls commuter with 1.5" tires had to hav one the ride was so harsh but those 2.5" tires do the trick. they do slow the bike down some though. then breaks on the 8 are great maybe not quite as good as my xt's but close enough. you have better shifting on the 8 by a lot and the bigger battery
 
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retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The Trek Allants are great hill climbers. I'm well into retirement, have a serious medical condition that limits my energy and power output, AND live in a very hilly area. Saying that, my 8s puts out enough power/torque that I can still do some decent rides (at least on good days where I'm not tied to the bathroom....). And yes, my rides always include a hill like is pictured above, can't avoid it, but it's no problem with the 8s, up or down.

The differences between the 7 and 8 series allants are: better brakes on the 8, higher level rear derailleur, different gearing on the s version, bigger battery on the 8 and no shock. As a practical matter, I suspect most riders would be quite happy on either. We got 8s because that's what was available. I've never ridden with power above 20 mph, so the speed capability is wasted on me.

Keep in mind you won't be going fast up any steep hill. And maybe fooferdoggie can clarify, but I believe the power output he's talking about is his power, not the motor power. IIRC, the Nyon display doesn't actually show motor power.

Finally, if you do buy a Trek Allant, I suggest you budget another $350 to upgrade the display to a Nyon. The stock smartphone hub with cobi.bike is an exercise in frustration, not to mention a constant risk to your smartphone.
 

BikingSoCal

Member
Region
USA
Shock forks are very helpful for comfort. I would recommend one.
Deore XT allows you to downshift I believe 3 gears at a time which is very helpful and is smoother than Alevio.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Shock forks are very helpful for comfort. I would recommend one.
Deore XT allows you to downshift I believe 3 gears at a time which is very helpful and is smoother than Alevio.
it depends on your tires. on my 1.5" tires at 70 pis yes a good air suspension fork helped. but on my trek those 2.5" tires at 50 psi actually do more. the tradeoff is a slower bike or a bike that has more rolling resistance.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
it depends on your tires. on my 1.5" tires at 70 pis yes a good air suspension fork helped. but on my trek those 2.5" tires at 50 psi actually do more. the tradeoff is a slower bike or a bike that has more rolling resistance.
But you have a motor, so rolling resistance is a very small factor, isn't it? And interestingly, with modern tires, the rolling resistance is as much a factor of tread pattern and rubber composition as it is of TP and sectional width. That's one reason road bike tires have gotten wider the past decade or so. Very high pressure narrow tires don't offer much advantage these days, and wider, slightly lower pressure tires are much more comfortable. (but let's ignore fat tires for now...)
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
Far as I can tell, just two 8+ bikes in a L frame size in stock in SoCal at the moment, one down towards Irvine and one in Pasadena. Both the gun barrel color. The Pasadena is a stagger frame; hoping to drive out there today to check it out.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Far as I can tell, just two 8+ bikes in a L frame size in stock in SoCal at the moment, one down towards Irvine and one in Pasadena. Both the gun barrel color. The Pasadena is a stagger frame; hoping to drive out there today to check it out.
Sounds like spring of 21 when we bought. Only a few 8s in northern New England and no 7s.

I would not trust online stock reports though. My experience has been hit and miss. I'd call the bigger shops.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
But you have a motor, so rolling resistance is a very small factor, isn't it? And interestingly, with modern tires, the rolling resistance is as much a factor of tread pattern and rubber composition as it is of TP and sectional width. That's one reason road bike tires have gotten wider the past decade or so. Very high pressure narrow tires don't offer much advantage these days, and wider, slightly lower pressure tires are much more comfortable. (but let's ignore fat tires for now...)
It’s a factor I can accelerate faster on my bulls then on my trek by a fair amount even though the trek has 22 nm more tourque and a bit smaller chain ring. I am slower on the trek too it just seems harder to put out the same watts. I have actually popped wheelies on my bulls when I feel great. The trek will climber steeper hills easier.
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
Well, well. I spent some money. :)

PXL_20220711_015651977.jpg
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
I'll post back more once I have the bike dialed in. First impressions: when you first see the bike in person it looks big, cool, but big. I was a bit worried it might feel cumbersome or clunky. But it doesn't at all. Quite the opposite actually. Driving around the block at the dealers it felt well balanced and put together. That was my strongest first impression actually-not the ride assist stuff but that the bike had a very comfortable ride position, solid feel, reasonably responsive, great brakes. Derailleur felt a bit thunky during the test ride but they tuned that up and is now smooth. I have a short inseam and a long torso so the L frame with the stagger is a good fit for me; can stand over the bike comfortably. My wife dropped me and the bike off at the base of the hill on the way home. The seat height was adjusted for her since she demoed it after me and i didn't bring an allen set but I thought let's give it a go anyway, since that was the whole point. It/we went right up, no problem. I kept putting it back down to no assist just to make sure I wasn't sort of imagining things. Even with the first two assist settings there was a big difference. I'd look at the display and go, "really?" and then look at the side of the road and go "yes, I guess so". But like I said once I get it dialed in and adjusted properly I'll post some more.

Thanks to all of you. Great assistance and interesting information. I really appreciate your help steering me towards a machine that will clearly do the job I wanted. And then some probably.
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
Sounds like spring of 21 when we bought. Only a few 8s in northern New England and no 7s.

I would not trust online stock reports though. My experience has been hit and miss. I'd call the bigger shops.
Yes, I called in a radius. Actually the online stock reports were dead on. Just the two 8's with the CX in the L frame within 100 miles. One regular and one with the stagger.
 

Jeff Bachant

New Member
Region
USA
Finally, if you do buy a Trek Allant, I suggest you budget another $350 to upgrade the display to a Nyon. The stock smartphone hub with cobi.bike is an exercise in frustration, not to mention a constant risk to your smartphone.
I asked and the dealer seemed confused about this. Plus I was feeling the pinch and so didn't push it. But it sounds like an upgrade that can be done post purchase if desired. Is that right?
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I asked and the dealer seemed confused about this. Plus I was feeling the pinch and so didn't push it. But it sounds like an upgrade that can be done post purchase if desired. Is that right?
Yes, you can do it anytime. If you're at all handy, you can do it yourself, too. The upgrade has been discussed in other posts on this board. Just search a bit if/when you're ready.

in the meantime, you might consider doing what I did before I upgraded. I used an older smartphone that I had replaced as my smartphone hub display. No need to have a sim card, I just downloaded offline maps. I'd upload ride data via wifi at home. You will find cobi.bike to be poorly documented, so feel free to post and ask if you have any questions. It's too bad Bosch didn't invest in further work on cobi.bike once they acquired it. Seems they decided to use the smartphone hub as a part of their new Smartsystem instead.