Looking for suggestions on an Electric Bike for older non-experienced female

tosusan

New Member
I am a 57 year old female. I weigh 185 lbs (having just lost 87 lbs) and am 5'9" tall. I live in Texas but travel a lot in the summer. I live only a couple of miles from work so I think I could ride to work. I would like an electric bike (I think). I love to ride, but don't do well on hills. We were recently in Tahoe and saw a couple using the electric bike. I have no idea where to begin in choosing one. We travel in a Prius, so if we want to carry them with us on trips. I thought about the folding kind, but in a Prius, we would need a rack anyway. They are quite an investment so I hate to jump in and buy the first thing I see without thinking it through (but I am very impatient). Any suggestions would be great. My only bike I own now is a 1973 Vista 10 speed I got when I was 14. It has narrow tires and a narrow seat... neither which do very well for my much wider body! Thank you in advance for any input.
 

pcrdude

Member
Congrats on wanting to ride a bike again!!! The electric bike gives you the option of getting where you are going when you get tired, and the option of assisting you at whatever assist level works best at that time. I would recommend going with some form of Lithium battery (as opposed to lead acid) even though it will cost considerably more.

I got a Currie E3 Dash one week ago today, and I love it. It may not be the right choice for you if you want low step-through. Can you tell us a little more about what form factor and features appeal to you?
 

DashRiprock

Active Member
I'd start with the Currie Path Plus pricing (search the forum for a vendor) and see how the others compare in terms of what you want to spend. Being new to ebikes that is the best advice I can offer (to start out) if price is even an issue.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I am a 57 year old female. I weigh 185 lbs (having just lost 87 lbs) and am 5'9" tall. I live in Texas but travel a lot in the summer. I live only a couple of miles from work so I think I could ride to work. I would like an electric bike (I think). I love to ride, but don't do well on hills. We were recently in Tahoe and saw a couple using the electric bike. I have no idea where to begin in choosing one. We travel in a Prius, so if we want to carry them with us on trips. I thought about the folding kind, but in a Prius, we would need a rack anyway. They are quite an investment so I hate to jump in and buy the first thing I see without thinking it through (but I am very impatient). Any suggestions would be great. My only bike I own now is a 1973 Vista 10 speed I got when I was 14. It has narrow tires and a narrow seat... neither which do very well for my much wider body! Thank you in advance for any input.
The Vista! My very first 10 speed. 1970...I returned it and drove my parents crazy..lol. Since you travel a lot keep looking for places that rent electric bikes and try one out for an afternoon.

Honestly don't think they travel well in a regular bike rack because they are heavy 50-70 lbs. However, if that's what you want to do, it might be the overriding factor in picking an ebike. Need to find a couple of ebike stores and tell them what you want and can afford...

Check out Court's review of affordable ebikes, and you can work your way up the price scale.. it can get $$ http://electricbikereview.com/tag/affordable/
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome advice guys... All of these bikes are great and I think @JoePah is right on with the rack concerns. Most ebikes weigh 50+ pounds (even with the higher end light-weight Lithium batteries) so it's best to use a hitch mounted rack with a tray like the ones mentioned in this thread.

You and I are similar heights @tosusan and I've been able to ride most medium sized electric bikes pretty well. You could go for a step-thru design like the Easy Motion Neo Jet or if you don't mind the higher top tube you could get the medium sized Neo Cross which could either work in the tray or a hanging style rack. I like these bikes because they blend in, have pedal assist and throttle as well as a solid warranty.

For a less expensive option that look similar and still have a decent warranty check out the Volton electric bikes which come in high step or step-thru. You and your friend/family member who travel together could each get one of these and maybe even get a discount? Right now @Chris Nolte is doing a sale on Easy Motion bikes and he also sells other brands. If you need fenders and lights you could consider the Neo City or smaller Neo Street which have the same drive systems but offers a more upright riding position as well as the accessories. Hope this helps :D
 

ABooke

New Member
Hi Tosusan,

I was "kind of" in your shoes but not nearly as successful at the weight loss as you. Congratulations! I am 5’11 with a 36” inseam which put me on a larger bike frame. I am working up to a 20 mile per day commute on an e-bike. My initial purchase was a used Giant Twist (250 Watt) which I spent way too much for to find out that it couldn’t tackle the hills that I have on my commute. Lesson learned on that was I couldn’t “cheap out” on getting a bike that met my needs and that I needed to more fully understand my needs. This experience leads me to emphasize again that you should go ride bikes. Read reviews. Look at your price point. Read more reviews. Don’t be impatient. Find a city when you are traveling that has many different shops that have e-bikes and preferably hills (since you mention hills) that you can try these bikes on. I was “lucky” that Seattle has lots of hills to test bikes for hill climbing ability. During this test ride phase, find a bike that you are comfortable riding. You will know when you are riding it if you enjoy the ride. These bikes are not all of the same in form/fit/function. PAS, Throttle…do you want assist based on the throttle or do you want to pedal and have assistance? Do research…a lot of it. You are in a GREAT forum for that. EBR was a super resource for me in seeking the options and finding potential pitfalls with all of the different e-bikes.

For me, part of the problem is that I was never really a great bike rider…I rode horses, not bicycles. I didn’t learn all of the things necessary to ride bikes in traffic and I am now learning how to signal and ride in traffic. I rode a motorcycle prior but there is a different balance between a motorcycle and a bicycle (and between a “regular” bicycle and an e-bike to some extent due to weight/balance). We (my poor husband and I) rode e-bikes throughout Seattle and tried to pick the best one. Pedal assist was necessary for my goals due to needing to use this commute to counteract the effects of years of sitting at a computer at work. I am so out of shape that I need the work that comes with working my way through the commute. Throttle mode was also needed so that I could get the heck out of the way in traffic situations. So I wanted both options, not just one. The choice is difficult and should be since there are so many great options out there. To me, it all came down to hill climbing with my present physical ability because I am so out of shape and sit at a desk all day and no matter which way I go, I have hills to contend with. Big hills. The kind I see the road bikes really bogging down on so that is serious. I also have some balance problems due to other health concerns so I needed a bike that I felt balanced on.

My advice is to take the time to ride ride ride and ride some more. It took me months to find the “right” bike and I am very happy with what I purchased. I wanted a step through but they came in a size just too small for me to be happy with “fit”. I am sorry for the long post but wanted you to know to take your time. It took me months to find one that worked for ME. That I feel comfortable on going 25 mph that I feel stable on. Once you find the one you like, you will know it.And we are still struggling with bike racks. These are not the lighter bikes that we have used in the past and I'm seriously thinking about putting a hitch on my Jetta for a bike rack that will handle e-bikes. I haven't discussced this with my LBS yet either. It's on the list of things to do.
 

Brian(J)

Active Member
Hi Tosusan,

I was "kind of" in your shoes but not nearly as successful at the weight loss as you. Congratulations! I am 5’11 with a 36” inseam which put me on a larger bike frame. I am working up to a 20 mile per day commute on an e-bike. My initial purchase was a used Giant Twist (250 Watt) which I spent way too much for to find out that it couldn’t tackle the hills that I have on my commute. Lesson learned on that was I couldn’t “cheap out” on getting a bike that met my needs and that I needed to more fully understand my needs. This experience leads me to emphasize again that you should go ride bikes. Read reviews. Look at your price point. Read more reviews. Don’t be impatient. Find a city when you are traveling that has many different shops that have e-bikes and preferably hills (since you mention hills) that you can try these bikes on. I was “lucky” that Seattle has lots of hills to test bikes for hill climbing ability. During this test ride phase, find a bike that you are comfortable riding. You will know when you are riding it if you enjoy the ride. These bikes are not all of the same in form/fit/function. PAS, Throttle…do you want assist based on the throttle or do you want to pedal and have assistance? Do research…a lot of it. You are in a GREAT forum for that. EBR was a super resource for me in seeking the options and finding potential pitfalls with all of the different e-bikes.

For me, part of the problem is that I was never really a great bike rider…I rode horses, not bicycles. I didn’t learn all of the things necessary to ride bikes in traffic and I am now learning how to signal and ride in traffic. I rode a motorcycle prior but there is a different balance between a motorcycle and a bicycle (and between a “regular” bicycle and an e-bike to some extent due to weight/balance). We (my poor husband and I) rode e-bikes throughout Seattle and tried to pick the best one. Pedal assist was necessary for my goals due to needing to use this commute to counteract the effects of years of sitting at a computer at work. I am so out of shape that I need the work that comes with working my way through the commute. Throttle mode was also needed so that I could get the heck out of the way in traffic situations. So I wanted both options, not just one. The choice is difficult and should be since there are so many great options out there. To me, it all came down to hill climbing with my present physical ability because I am so out of shape and sit at a desk all day and no matter which way I go, I have hills to contend with. Big hills. The kind I see the road bikes really bogging down on so that is serious. I also have some balance problems due to other health concerns so I needed a bike that I felt balanced on.

My advice is to take the time to ride ride ride and ride some more. It took me months to find the “right” bike and I am very happy with what I purchased. I wanted a step through but they came in a size just too small for me to be happy with “fit”. I am sorry for the long post but wanted you to know to take your time. It took me months to find one that worked for ME. That I feel comfortable on going 25 mph that I feel stable on. Once you find the one you like, you will know it.And we are still struggling with bike racks. These are not the lighter bikes that we have used in the past and I'm seriously thinking about putting a hitch on my Jetta for a bike rack that will handle e-bikes. I haven't discussced this with my LBS yet either. It's on the list of things to do.
So we gotta know, what did you get?

Isn't riding a bike in Seattle fun?
 

ABooke

New Member
I chose a iZip Dash. So far, I enjoy riding it a lot. No problems. Added fenders, rack, lights to make it a commuter bike. I have my fingers crossed that I don't have magnet problems with it but if I do, I'll order a new motor assembly. I've put 30 miles on it so far in the last two rides and although I have to work at it, it has not failed to pull any hills I've tested it on.

Seattle WAS fun to ride in and there is a super selection of brands available in a relatively small area. I live about 50 miles north of Seattle where it rains way more than it does in Seattle. It is going to get water tested this fall. So am I lol. Beautiful country for the 4 weeks of summer we get each year. I'm ready to enjoy it on my bike.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I chose a iZip Dash. So far, I enjoy riding it a lot. No problems. Added fenders, rack, lights to make it a commuter bike. I have my fingers crossed that I don't have magnet problems with it but if I do, I'll order a new motor assembly. I've put 30 miles on it so far in the last two rides and although I have to work at it, it has not failed to pull any hills I've tested it on.

Seattle WAS fun to ride in and there is a super selection of brands available in a relatively small area. I live about 50 miles north of Seattle where it rains way more than it does in Seattle. It is going to get water tested this fall. So am I lol. Beautiful country for the 4 weeks of summer we get each year. I'm ready to enjoy it on my bike.
Awesome testimonial @ABooke, glad the site and this community has helped you out. This makes me feel good and I hope more people can discover ebikes and improve their health and have fun as you have. Thanks for paying it forward :)