most durable bike for a 210 pound man?

I'm still looking for an ebike, and can't decide on model/features. I'm 5'8 210 pounds, and live in relatively flat Chicago....I really want a bike that'll last a little bit. Is there a particular motor type that is least likely to break down?
 

beast775

Member
Agree with TenBlinkers,geared hubs tend to wear down faster than DD hub. have you checked out Chicago Electric Bicycles.com?

Mark.
 

TenBlinkers

Member
I own a RadWagon by RadPower bikes. They currently sell 3 different ebikes, and at least two of those are gearless hub motors. Court is good about mentioning what kind of motor it is in each of the reviews he does. You can tell by looking at the pictures which are hub motors vs. mid-drives, so if you start with just the hub motors you can narrow down the reviews from there to the gearless. You could probably do a search for it on the home page as well. I don't know offhand which brands focus on gearless beyond RadPower - I'm sure there are several.
 
I own a RadWagon by RadPower bikes. They currently sell 3 different ebikes, and at least two of those are gearless hub motors. Court is good about mentioning what kind of motor it is in each of the reviews he does. You can tell by looking at the pictures which are hub motors vs. mid-drives, so if you start with just the hub motors you can narrow down the reviews from there to the gearless. You could probably do a search for it on the home page as well. I don't know offhand which brands focus on gearless beyond RadPower - I'm sure there are several.
How many miles on the radwagon, and any problems?
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@daniel2ride, there are lots of bikes you can choose from. Most bikes are designed to carry up to 230lbs or a bit more, especially heavy duty cargo bikes and mountain bikes. Both styles of bikes come with a wider profile tire that you may find more comfortable. Court wrote an Ebike Guide specifically about bikes for big people that you may find helpful. It doesn't have everything in it, but contains a lot of ideas and suggestions about what to look for.
 

TenBlinkers

Member
Hi @daniel2ride - I have about 1,100 miles on the RadWagon so far.

Maintenance issues:
  • Three flats, then I switched to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. No flats since then. The Marathons are less knobby, so they roll more smoothly and are more quiet.
  • The spokes loosen about every 300 miles and start making a clicking noise. They're 12g spokes, and it's hard to find shops that can cut and thread them. Shops don't stock those spokes, so I had to buy my own from Amazon and take them in.
  • Replaced the chain at 850 miles. Due to the longtail measurements, you have to buy two chains and link them together (length is about 1.5 chains, so next time I'll just buy 1 chain and give them the .5 chain leftover from this time)
  • The seat post is short. I had it up too high and cracked the seat tube. Took the bike to a metal working shop to cut/weld the tube, and got a longer seat post.
  • Wires for the front headlight have come undone, and I haven't been able to re-wire them.
  • My commute is long and my battery wasn't lasting the full trip, so I bought a 2nd battery from Luna Cycles (not a maintenance item I guess)
  • I wish the back light were integrated like the headlight
  • Love the center stand
The bike is great - especially for the price - but the non-standard parts and sizing of cargo bikes mean you'll spend more on maintenance and find that many things are not sized well for them: panniers, trunk bags, bus bike racks, car bike racks, elevators, etc.

One hidden benefit of RadPower bikes is you can set the controller for 40km/hr, which is just under 24mi/hr. It's not rated as a speed pedelec, but it has a faster top speed than other bikes rated for 20mph.

In practice for me this means on the flats at max pedal assist I can maintain 21-21.5mph, or a little more if I'm feeling frisky (I'm a poster child for a non-fit rider, fyi). The motor starts to back off around 18mph, so once you get to 22mph it's only helping with about 100 watts. At 23mph, it's more or less at zero.
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
A year ago, I was 210 lbs and if I lied about my height .. 5'8" too , but it never occurred to me that a bike might not support my weight. Wishful thinking? I bought a (light to me) GT hybrid at Performance Bike, and that's when we noticed the e-bikes in the corner. An e-bike for my wife so she would ride more often, and then one for me to keep up with her. Now there's no room in the garage for my car. Twelve months later, I've lost 18 pounds, in part due to more interest in biking.

I alternate between an ebike and my GT, and when I ride the e-bikes, I want it to be exercise, so I always put in some pedal effort. Whatever gets you out and motivated for exercise is good.