looking for suggestions

Doug

New Member
Hi,

First off, amazing site with tons of info, Court. I'm very appreciative of your work.

I'm looking for a commuter bike that could be a cruiser or mountain bike frame. I'm 6' 215lbs. My requirements are;

28 mph listed top speed
High torque
High step frame
Front and rear lights
Rear rack
Fenders

My wants are;

Stealth battery placement
Throttle
Shocks
Battery regeneration

As for the budget I'd say the cap is around $7000 only because I saw the Stromer st2 and would already have ordered it if anyone had one in stock. Preferably I want to get two bikes at the price of ~$3000 (one to surprise the girlfriend). I'll be ordering online without the option to test drive anything first. I would like any and all attachments like fenders to come with the bike and matched for its color. What bikes would you suggest I look at?

The two affordable bikes that are highest on my list so far;

Izip dash, has most everything I want but the stealth battery

Easy Motion evo cross is really sharp but lacks lights
 
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JoePah

Well-Known Member
It's great that you want to get your gf into eBiking, but you may be surprised with your reaction and her reaction....Before you spend $7k...

Suggest you wait until warm weather, and surprise her with a day trip to a place where you can rent a couple of electric bikes.. What you will learn in those 2 hours will eclipse anything you will read or learn on the internet. About you and your gf opinion on eBikes and biking in general.

Once you buy an electric bike you're married to it, because the resale is horrible... So unless losing 40% of your investment doesn't bother you, take your time and enjoy it in person!
 
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Doug

New Member
Appreciate the feed back JoePah, and I am sure everyone would agree a test drive is better than internet shopping. I'm not in a hurry since it's still January, just trying to get some ideas of what to look at. I think there are 10x as many bikes on the internet as any shop around here has. It would be like going to Best Buy to find a new graphics card. Sure they have a couple, but the internet has dozens of options and I can get exactly what I'm looking for. She will try mine and then pick out her own brand and style if she wants to join me.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
6 years ago I was where you are today... I found an electric bicycle store (that's the name of the store!) that had 5 different brands, which was a lot at the time.. 90 minute drive and it was worth it. There was no way I would have bought the bike I ended up with unless I had spoken to the owner and taken a test drive.. Never regretted that purchase for a minute, even though it was the most expensive bike in the shop. Kept it almost 5 years and found somenone ready to buy.

The second thing is service... You might be OK today buying from distant dealer, but more than likely your bike will need some warranty work... IMO better off buying local enough that you can drop off the bike... LBS is the way to go.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Don't fall in lust with the ST2, but consider the ST1 - a nice ride with many of the features you want. Order it with a suspension fork (city kit) and add a BodyFloat or Thudbuster on day one. Joe's advice is right on, since you don't ride a video card I would strongly consider that recommendation. -S
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@Doug, Like your shopping list approach, but do recommend test rides! The rental idea from above is also good; however, not all rental places may have all models for rent. Not knowing your GFriend, her likes and needs when it comes to ebikes may be quite different than yours. A bike like the Izip Dash or Peak or the ST1 may be just right for a tall guy like you but overwhelming (and thus discouraging!) to someone smaller. Please don't get hung up on the stealth battery part; my shop has seen issues with the fitting and ease of removal of some integrated frame batteries. Its really easy to unlock, remove and stash the lightweight 48V Dash battery in a backpack and top it off at a coffee shop during a cruise; a little less obvious than a frame style battery.

Personally, if you really want a powerful light for real night time riding; none of the 'comes with' lights hack it. Go with a lithium powered CREE light, say 750-1200 lumens that's rechargeable or one of the other higher lumen headlights for real commuting lights. Lumens gives a more accurate description of light power rather than watts, which doesn't really tell you much, but sounds cool.

Hate busting bubbles; however, regen on a bike is pretty much overrated. There are a few bike kits with programmable levels of regen (BionX, Golden Motor, Crystalyte and others); however, the bike then becomes very hard to pedal or doesn't ride naturally on hills. Good if you're desperate to eek out one or two more miles, but not much more. Think of it like this: A Toyota Prius weighs a ton--stopping that much mass can generate a fair amount of energy, but a bike with a person on top is 300lbs or less. Not much mass there to work with.

Take a fat grain of salt if you're serious about buying off the internet without seeing the product first; having a reliable place to get service is important to having a great experience with your new ebikes :cool:.
 

Lenny

Well-Known Member
Appreciate the feed back JoePah, and I am sure everyone would agree a test drive is better than internet shopping. I'm not in a hurry since it's still January, just trying to get some ideas of what to look at. I think there are 10x as many bikes on the internet as any shop around here has. It would be like going to Best Buy to find a new graphics card. Sure they have a couple, but the internet has dozens of options and I can get exactly what I'm looking for. She will try mine and then pick out her own brand and style if she wants to join me.
http://electricbikereview.com/compare/10663n7820
Easy Motion Nitro City - Stromer ST1 platinum - OHM XU 700-16 are the bikes that fit into your criteria (OHM is less stealthy).
We have all these bikes and in our experience, ST 1 platinum with a bodyfloat will standout. Easy Motion Nitro City is a sweet bike that you should look into.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
The Ohm bikes are more nimble and extremely well built, especially the new versions with the BionX 500 D series systems. Not to mention, if you have a technical problem, Michael DeVisser, Ohm's owner is phenomenal at handling issues.
 

Nebster

Member
I've ridden the ST2 and ST1 back to back several times on some extended city rides. My take is that the ST1 is the way better buy for the money. Most of the fancy-pants ST2 features are of questionable value. The ST2 does have a tiny bit more aggressive torque band and a smoother controller (the motor just sounds/feels better under hard acceleration), but it's really very much a marginal improvement. The ST1's external lamp kit is theoretically upgradeable and literally more flexible. And the ST1 comes in red! I do think the ST2 looks a little cooler, but at 28mph I'm not sure anyone has time to see much except the red blur going by.

I was pretty sure I would just buy an ST2, like you, but then I rode 'em and changed my mind. You can get two ST1's for well under the price you mentioned if you shop around. I have a Stromer dealer a few blocks from my house, so that made things a lot easier. I'd think carefully about how you'll get service on your bike if you're far away.

I agree with Ann regarding regen, but I took a hybrid approach on lights. I really wanted lighting that was battery-integrated, because I already have too many things to pull on and off the bike and keep charged and so on. I wanted to be able to hop on the bike and ride even if I didn't get all that other stuff arranged perfectly before a quick ride. I also wanted friends or family to be able to ride safely without extra gear.

For night riding, I've found the combination of the supernova E-3 (which comes with the upgraded Stromer city kit) and my head-mounted lamp to be a good pair. I ride on a mix of pavement and dedicated bike trails, and with both lights pointed ahead I get about 400 lumens, which seems borderline okay for 22-25mph. But I can also turn and look at whatever is to the side with the 200 lumens on my helmet. I can see some people wanting more light or feeling comfortable going a little slower with that much light. On pavement, at 15mph, I think the 200 lumens on the bike alone is fine.

The rack on the ST1 is kind of a joke, but it will work for holding an extra battery or a small pannier. I am used to commuting with a messenger bag, so for me this is okay. The ST1 rack is only rated to about 20 pounds.

I'm not a throttle fan, but the bikes that act more like regular bikes are mostly moving away from those at this point. I don't think you'll miss the throttle on something like a Stromer.
 

Doug

New Member
Thanks for the replies everyone. Some good new info here for me, especially the headlamp stuff. I will be commuting in the dark a good amount of the time since I work 3rd shift.

I will try not to buy impulsively off the web and wait for decent weather to take a road trip to a lbs. I heed the warnings about maintenance, I dont want to disassemble and mail the thing.

I really want a bike with a throttle because my return trip from work is up hill for at least 50% of the trip. It's not a steep incline it's just a long one, relatively, and I'm tired after work. I originally wanted to just buy a Prodeco Outlaw SS off Amazon but then I found this site. I'm not entirely turned off of the outlaw yet, I just find the new pedal assist technology exciting and makes me want to start trail riding again. It's been over 15 years, I did quite a bit as a teenager but none since.

So first off I need a commuter with lights and rack, I like the nitro city that was mentioned. Then I want a mountain bike for recreation. The river valley trail I live near has several miles of paved path near and through town, but it also has long stretches of unpaved, rocky, sandy, horse trail between towns. If there is a bike that is well suited for both activities that'd be great, otherwise I dont mind getting two. And a third if she likes riding and wants her own. I'm not made of money or anything, I'm selling my motorcycle and its both tax return season and my yearly bonus time. So I can splurge and get a couple nice bikes for spring. I'm itching right now for one because the forecast is 45 degrees tomorrow and I could be riding one if I had it!
 

Nebster

Member
I hear ya, I also am going the two-bike route. ST1 for the commuting around town and NINEe for the trails/goofing off. I also find I am hard on bikes in general, and I wanted a backup so I have a reliable way to commute every day.

I slogged the ST1 through some sketchy, muddy, sometimes-snow-on-top trails the other day. With a bike trailer and a 3-year-old in the back. And 10mph of headwind. It made it through fine, but it was cold and I probably could only go 12 miles. The drag (soft terrain and sail area + wind) and cold together pretty much nuke the range.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Just be aware the throttle experience may be underwhelming, these commercially available e-bikes really need your help to keep a decent pace and range. Of course there are exceptions, what I call electric motorcycles with vestigial pedals such as the 112 lb Bomber, 4.5 Kw under the hood et all. I actually removed a throttle from my Dash for a better grip, but I was an avid rider so you may feel differently about a modest pace home at maximum power drain. -S
 

Doug

New Member
I am again leaning towards the ST2. I know it's expensive but I believe it is one of the best equipped bikes to handle my commuting needs while still being the bike I want to ride for fun. The lighting for me is more of a safety feature for not getting hit than it is for my own vision, so it meets that requirement just fine. It comes stock with fenders and rack which is something I need. I've heard nothing but good things about it, aside from the price tag anyway. The kicker that I discovered this morning while reading is the anti theft mechanic, the lights start flashing and the motor locks the wheels to make it nearly impossible to ride. While someone could still throw it in the back of a truck, it also has built in gps to track it down. It's really the locking feature to prevent someone from riding it away that sold me, this is a really great feature and will give me peace of mind. I don't want to worry about my bike every time I leave it on a bike rack in public.

Admittedly I haven't looked too deeply into bike locks, so if anyone knows of a 3rd party system that would work as well as this I'm all ears.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies everyone. Some good new info here for me, especially the headlamp stuff. I will be commuting in the dark a good amount of the time since I work 3rd shift.

I originally wanted to just buy a Prodeco Outlaw SS off Amazon but then I found this site. I'm not entirely turned off of the outlaw yet, I just find the new pedal assist technology exciting and makes me want to start trail riding again. It's been over 15 years, I did quite a bit as a teenager but none since.

They sell an aftermarket torque sensor assist for the Prodeco bikes.

http://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/prodecotech-pedal-assist-torque-sensor.1070/
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
$3,500 would buy a heck of a lock & city kit. The lack of support for the GPS (cell connectivity in general) in the US is what has kept this bike delayed, I have even read that is was only working intermittently in Europe. Besides what are you going to do, chase down some criminal, possibly drug addicts with your smart phone in one hand and a glock in the other? Will be interesting to see if the po po will even take action when these things get lifted. So with that in mind please disregard my advice and let us know all about the ST2 ownership, someone's got to take the plunge. ;) -S
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
The best thing about the st2 is the battery. It may have an improved sensor but really it will work like ST1 for $3000 more
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Kryptonite and other lock manufacturers make locks with insurance as part of the deal which can provide a little more sense of security. If you like the bike retrofit idea, the BionX systems come with an internal, very LOUD alarm that locks up the motor and you get to program the code. GPS based security systems sound cool, but here in the US there are too many cell reception black holes. I can't even get decent reception at my metal frame shop.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
No matter what, you don't want timo park an expensive bike unattended for a long time.

The end result of a theft is a long annoying time without your bike

My bike is insured against theft and I still don't park it and go to movies. No way.