May be moving to Vienna, Austria, will need commuter e-bike

en2ec

New Member
I tend to be wordy, so I'll summarize in bullet points at the top:

-I live in the US now but may be moving to Vienna, Austria in the next couple of months
-Need an e-bike for a 20 km commute each way (elevation: 60 m up, 90 m down from home to work)
-I'm 5'7" 240 pounds -- I'm in better shape than you'd imagine but I still have a lot of mass to move around
-Do I buy here and ship there or wait to buy there?
-I'm only looking at mid motor bikes. For moderate hills and my size, what size motor do I need? Is 250W too small? I'm only interested in pedal assist, not throttle only. If I buy in Vienna, I'm limited to 250W
-I like the Flux roadster and Shocke Surge, but servicing in Vienna may be difficult
-An 8fun conversion kit is also an option on my old Jamis mountain bike with a nice Reynolds steel frame


I live in North Carolina now, but I'll know in 4 weeks whether I will get a job just outside Vienna, Austria. If so, I'll live in Vienna and will have about a 20 km commute each way. I've lived in Vienna before and know that it is relatively flat, but I'm a reasonably fit fat guy: 5'7" 240 pounds. When I left Vienna in 2014, I weighed 195 and was a dedicated crossfitter. I want to get back to where I was, but I also know that when it comes to a commute I'll only do it regularly if I had an electric bike.

Anyway, I assume I'll need a reasonably powerful e-bike, and for a variety of reasons, I'm only looking at mid motor bikes. Assuming I get the job, I have to decide whether to buy it here in the US where there's no 250W limit like in Europe and then deal with the difficulty of shipping it (the battery makes it complicated and probably expensive). But I might be able to have it shipped directly from a manufacturer or dealer and not have the hassle myself. I know that there are a lot more shops in Vienna that sell e-bikes there, so there are a lot more choices, but they tend to be >2000 euros for a 250W motor. I've never ridden an e-bike so I have no idea if a 250W mid motor will be enough power for my size over moderate hills.

I don't have any interest in running throttle only. In any case, throttle only is not street legal there. I don't think anyone would know if my bike were more than 250W, but a cop (or random busybody) may very well notice if I'm zooming along without pedaling.

I really like the Flux roadster, but there's uncertainty about delivery as a crowdfunded company, though it looks like they will make good. But it is 250W, so I might as well get one in Vienna if I don't mind spending the extra money. I've also considered the Shocke Surge. The downside of these is that getting parts there may be hard. The Viennese are pretty obsessive about rules, and I could imagine a local shop there notifying the authorities if I bring in a bike that is more than 250W. Seriously.

Another option is that I have a nice Jamis mountain bike with Reynolds steel from around 1999. I've thought about getting an 8fun conversion kit for it. A 350W is about $750 with battery. A 750W is about $950 with battery. My inclination is to get the 750W if I go this route, but would it be overkill as a commuter? I won't be doing any off-road mountain biking with it.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
I would wait until you get there, then being biased to an Austrian brand already, I'd pop into the nearest KTM dealership, and see what they have for you to try out. :) (Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Also...

I'm off to Switzerland next week, and by recollection of being there last year, there was a brand of bike being sold in the major COOP and Migros supermarket stores, that had an 8Fun mid drive motor fitted, integrated battery, reasonable component quality, and a seemingly give away price. Frustratingly I can't recall the brand, but suspect that they will still be there this time around, so will take a look and post up the details. It might prove a more realistic/ cost effective option, and from you have said, I can't see finding a suitable bike to be a problem.
 

en2ec

New Member
Hi EddieJ,

Thanks. KTM certainly has some nice bikes and 58 different e-bike models! I'd guess that they are close to $3000 and up, which is a little out of my price range. I think you probably are right, though, that I should just get it there as long as 250W is sufficient. I just looked on bikester.at to get an idea of prices of different e-bikes available, and there are some nice looking e-bikes around 1800 euros (e.g. an Ortler Bolzano), which would be in my budget (though at the top end). The nice thing about getting a European bike, other than service and support, is that they are really well-designed. Europe has a much more mature and competitive e-bike market, so I think e-bikes there have to be of a certain quality to survive. Here in the US, there's a lot more room for subpar bikes to proliferate.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
It will be fall by th time you move to Vienna, and would u want to ride a bike thru the winter?

Wait until spring and pick up a left over 2016 model in Austria and stick to a legal bike.

I actually got a speeding ticket on their Autobahn. This was when they didn't have sped limits exc for construction zones. 100 mph cost me $20 cash due immediately. lol.
 

Jolly

Member
I would wait until you get there, then being biased to an Austrian brand already, I'd pop into the nearest KTM dealership, and see what they have for you to try out. :) (Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Also...

I'm off to Switzerland next week, and by recollection of being there last year, there was a brand of bike being sold in the major COOP and Migros supermarket stores, that had an 8Fun mid drive motor fitted, integrated battery, reasonable component quality, and a seemingly give away price. Frustratingly I can't recall the brand, but suspect that they will still be there this time around, so will take a look and post up the details. It might prove a more realistic/ cost effective option, and from you have said, I can't see finding a suitable bike to be a problem.

Wow, I never knew KTM had a wide selection of e-bikes, all running Bosch system. Nice!!!
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
Check out this really cool ebike shop in Vienna, Elektrobiker:

http://www.elektrobiker.com/aboutus/

Their address is Westbahnstrasse 26, Wien.

Elektrobiker carries an interesting local brand called 'A Bike Called Quest' that stores its battery just below the seat, mounted on the rear brake boss, and they also carry the Austrian brand Puch, which is famous for making mopeds. Elektrobiker also carries Focus/Kalkhoff, Moustache, and M1 Sporttechnik (maker of the Spitzing R-pedelec).
 

en2ec

New Member
EddieJ: I lived in Vienna from 2010 - 2014. Vienna is a beautiful city, but it does have its challenges. The Viennese are difficult, and the pervasive smoking really gets to you when you live there and have asthma and find it a really disgusting habit. We were actually happy to leave when we did, but now we regret it and want to go back. I should hear about a job in a few weeks.

Cameron: Thanks for the link. Those are nice e-bikes. I think I may have been there before. At the time, I wasn't in the market for e-bikes -- just browsing. There are also several shops that sell just one e-bike. I assume they build them there.

It looks like to get a quality e-bike there, the starting price is 2500 euros. The cheapskate in me is still considering a bafang converter kit for an old mountain bike I have. Total cost would be about $1000.

It appears that Austria is the one country in the EU that allows larger than 250W motors and higher than 25 kph speed limits. I'm not sure why their laws aren't harmonized with the EU, but from what I've found, I think the limit is 600 W and 32 kph, which would be perfect for me.