Need Help Getting Started

I'm looking for my first e-bike and since I have not bought a bike in a very long time am overwhelmed with where to start. I'm not sure if one bike can handle what I'm looking for however this is what I'd (ideally) want and my description of what I'd like. Not sure if what I want given the dogs is possible.... that's what I'm here to find out.

Me: mid 60s female, 5.5' 135#s with some shoulder and rib cage dysfunctions. Cannot withstand too much pressure (compression) on shoulders, so a good fit is important.

Passengers: Since I will be often taking my dogs along, I'd want to be able to haul a dog cart or other device for some to all of my dogs... I have three, 30#dogs and one, 15#dog. More likely I'd take only 2 of the larger dogs and my little one traveling. Am thinking the 15# can go in a basket and the others in the dog cart.

Use: I do a lot of RV travel in a small RV. In this case the bike will be used for exploring which could mean anything from riding down a dirt road or trail with dogs running alongside to riding on a city street or the side of a highway into town with dogs safely in their cart. Bike will need to be mounted on the back of my Class B motorhome. I will need to do this on my own so weight could be an issue ... also if I need to push the bike for any distance. (Previously I've only owned lightweight racing bikes both street and mountain types.)

When I'm not traveling I'd like to use the bike around town in the streets, bike lanes and on some easy trails.

I'm open to price so am not setting a limit until I know more. Comfort and shock absorbing I'd think highly desired. Am also open to batery distance / speed as I don't yet know enough to know how far is reasonable, yet ideally I'd like to park the motorhome and rely on the e-bike for getting around when traveling... assuming I can find some place to cram a few groceries and stuff... Do any of these bikes allow one to remove the electric battery? I'm fine with peddling but only up to a point as I'm not as strong as I once was and now I have the dogs. I might consider having 2 bikes, one electric and one very lightweight street / mountain but I will only take one bike on RV trips and that's my priority.

I'd like a bike that is proportioned for a woman as I think that would put less weight on my shoulders. It should be repairable on trips should I need and be usable in all kinds of weather.

What is most important in searching? I am not at all familiar with the brands and names of electric bikes. What features should be on the top of my list? How much wattage should I look for or other advice on the battery? How light weight can these be? What expectations should I have? Any guidance at all would be very helpful. Thanks!
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Hi Jamie,

I"d suggest you look at the cargo type bikes out there. For hauling doggies and groceries, etc they are going to be more suitable than a regular bike. Suspension is great, but guessing it would be problematic to tow doggie trailer with rear suspension (not designed for the extra stresses of towing I'm sure). Maybe a cargo bike with front fork and suspension seat post like a Thud Buster.
Even a heavy E bike is easy to load lifting 1 wheel at a time into a tow hitch carrier. Or there are hoists or self jacking (lifts the bike mechanically) carriers if needed.
E bike would be a fantastic MoHo runabout. :)
 
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Reactions: Jan

psjh

New Member
Jamie,
Did you purchase an e-bike? My situation is very similar to yours. I travel in a B+ motorhome with two dogs. I do not tow a car, so want a bike for the same reasons as you. I currently do have a older e-bike with a side mount battery which makes balancing a challenge. As a result I ride it very little. I want to get a bike with the battery and motor as low as possible and will also get a doggie trailer. Please post how your search is going?
Thanks
 

Jan

Member
@MLB had some great suggestions. A cargo bike is a great all around work horse. Have you checked out Mike and Bixby? Mike and Bixby travel all around the country on their Yuba Spicy Currie bike. Mike is the human and Bixby is the dog. Mike puts Bixby (a medium size dog) on the cargo bed of the bike and still has room to carry all his gear. All they own is what they carry on this bike. I think his story will inspire you:

http://electricbikereport.com/where...o-bike-adventures-with-a-dog-her-human-video/

May I suggest a mid-drive as they are a bit lighter than the rear hub, especially for loading.

I love my Izip bikes. Great value and well built. Also Rad Rover makes a very durable bike at a reasonable price. My Rad Rover was extremely reliable and I got great customer support. Unfortunately, they only make hub drives. Test drive as many as you can, if possible. If price is not an issue, look for a cargo bike with a Bosch mid drive.

Keep us posted.
 

TrevorB

Active Member
Hi Jamie.

Given your size a light mid drive, with trailer is probably best combination. Pulling power is more important than speed in your case hence middrive, given low enough gearing you should be able to tow trailer up most hills. Maybe step through with front shocks, an up right seating will reduce pressure on you wrists and shoulders. Most city or trekking bikes with shocks will handle lite trails, more serious trails a hard tail MTB with different stem to give more upright position.

A comfortable frame/seating position should no1 on list, components eg forks, seats etc can easily be upgraded.