Need help picking out some options

GrandpaJay

New Member
Hello Everyone!

I've been looking for an electric bike with 700c tires, a stealthy look with the battery built into the down tube, a 500w motor and at least a 30 mile range. I'm a heavier rider, 240lbs, looking to start biking to work. It's 13 miles 1 way. I'm looking for 700c wheels specifically because I'd like to put my hill topper e-wheel kit and I'd like to have the option of throwing that onto the bike. I'll also be throwing a rear rack on the bike to transport my school books and a change of clothes.

thanks everyone!
 

Dave

Active Member
Hi Grandpa Jay,
Welcome to the Community. I am sure you will get many helpful replys, but the two bikes that come to mind are the Currie Izip Ultra, and the Izip E3 Dash. The Dash does not actually have the battery in the down tube, but rather mounted on the down tube. Both are very good bikes, and Court, the owner of this website, has reviewed both along with a list of top 10 ebikes here.

You can view all the reviews by doing a search from the previous link, or just go to the top of this page and click " EBR Home" then " Reviews ". Good luck and keep reaching out for info, it's a great place to learn.
 

GrandpaJay

New Member
Thanks for the response! can't wait for me, checking out the dash now. doesn't have the battery built into the down tube but it sure is stylish!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
GrandpaJay,

You must be a real cool grandpa to try out electric bikes :)
Way to go...

I could think of few bikes that satisfy some of your criterion but as you explore, your priorities might change.
Also check out the other messages on this forum to know the difference between motor/battery configurations, etc..
Dave already suggested few bikes from Currie Tech.
Have a look at Easy Motion Neo City/Street, Stromer ST1 and Volton Alation 500 (the last three bikes do not have 700c, but come with 26inch wheels.

1. Neo City review is here and video below:


2. Neo Street review is here with video below (uses 26" wheel vs 700C on the City):


3. Stromer ST1 review is here with video below:


4. Volton Alation 500 review is here with video below:


ps. Look at GrandpaJay go!! Looks like he's riding the Neo City :p

grandpa-jay-riding-electric-bike.jpg
 

GrandpaJay

New Member
Interesting comment about changing my priorities, for only $250 I can order a new clean republic wheel and reuse the expensive battery equipment.. that sure does open up the options. wish I would've considered that before posting :) very friendly community though!
 

GrandpaJay

New Member
The Hill Topper is pretty cool! to make it go you just press and hold a little button you Velcro to the handle bars (sounds cheap, but it's effective). I'll say I'm a heavy rider, 240 lbs and my bike is just below 60lbs with all my gear on it. you can feel the 250w motor helping out, even on hills, but you will still have to work at getting around.

Leaning very heavily towards that Volton Alation 500 - Just trying to decide if I want to spend $2200 to start biking to work :) I'll try a ride next weekend if weather permits and see how I fair
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi GrandpaJay, welcome to the EBR Community! I'm trying to understand your needs a bit better, you started off asking for a more powerful ebike with 500 watt motor but also mentioned the Hill Topper kit which only offers 250 watts. Were you planing to use this kit in conjunction with an ebike or add it to a regular bike?

I've tested the Hill Topper and enjoyed its low price point and simplicity of operation. The velcro button you described is easy to mount and use but doesn't offer pedal assist or much variation in terms of speed and power. It's really the opposite end of the spectrum from a 500 watt pedal assist or throttle mode ebike.

I'm glad you found the Volton Alation 500 because it offers an excellent combination of low price, power and weight distribution that's kept low and centered on the frame. Note that this bike does not have the larger radius 700C wheels that your Hill Topper kit may have. Could you please clarify if you already have a Hill Topper or are just considering one because they do offer smaller sized wheels that would work with the Volton Alation.

Honestly, I would go one way or the other. Either use the Hill Topper with a standard bicycle or go for a fully featured purpose built electric bike. By combining two options you would end up with a heavier, under powered, over coplicated machine and your return on investment (money spent) would not be optimized. You would be much better off to get a second battery for an ebike than combine it with an add-on kit. I hope this helps you out and I'd be happy to expand here if you've got more questions!

Considering your weight, the 48 volt option of battery pack on the Volton Alation 500 would be worth going for. You might also consider the 48 volt City Commuter by Pedego which does have the larger 700C wheels and 500 watt motor. And another option would be the standard Pedego Cruiser which only has a throttle (no pedal assist) making it less complicated to operate and more durable. It's also less expensive and comes with a 48 volt 500 watt option. The downside to these latter two bikes will be the rear mounted battery pack vs. integrated downtube.
 

GrandpaJay

New Member
Hey Court! I've watched just about all your videos, it's pretty awesome that you've chimed in on my post :) currently I own the hilltopper but find that with my weight and the hills in my area the kit only offers a minimal amount of assistance. It did wet my appetite with e-bikes though! So naturally I started looking for a suitable e-bike and through the community and your review found the Volton Alation 500 which I'll be ordering tomorrow! I'm also ordering an Alation ST 250 for my (much smaller) fiance! I am still curious as to if adding the hilltopper to a full function e-bike is a viable option. perhaps you could do a video with your thoughts/findings on the matter. I'm sure the idea has crossed more then just my mind. I'd love to see definitive proof to it's benefits or drawbacks. For me there is no real added cost, I already have the hilltopper but wasn't satisfied with it's ability to move me up a hill so I'm ordering a full e-bike.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the clarification GrandpaJay! Congrats on finding an ebike that you're excited about for both yourself and your fiance. Sounds like you're going to have a blast together :D

Having owned both the Alation 500 and the Hill Topper kit (at the same time) I can't say the thought of combining them ever crossed my mind? It's a neat idea and something I could have experimented with but there just wasn't a drive for me. The power of the Alation with its 500 watt motor and 48 volt system (even the 36 volt system) is just so great, there's really no need for increased torque on hills etc. Now, for range you might benefit a little bit from an extra battery pack but the Hill Topper also requires the front hub motor. So you'd be riding an all wheel drive ebike! And while they have existed in the past, they are pretty uncommon because the power return just doesn't outweigh the increased weight of an additional motor.

If I were in your position I'd list the Hill Topper on Craigslist or give it to a family member or friend. I honestly think you'll be complicating the Alation by trying to add an additional system. The bike already has pedal assist with an LCD computer and a twist throttle. If you add the velcro button, that's going to mean more wires and less real estate for your hands (or you'll have to pull your hand off the grip to activate the button).

The biggest barrier to this experiment is really the wheel size. I doubt the 700C (29" wheel) will fit on your 600C (26" wheel) Volton ebike. This means you'd have to get a new empty 26" rim and manually spoke the hub motor from your Hill topper into it. This is incredibly tedious, often requiring a professional to "true" the wheel using special tools and this alone can cost $80+. If you really want to experiement, rather than risking breaking the 700C Hill Topper, I'd consider passing it along at a loss and then buying another 26" kit for your experiment.

I'd certainly be interested to hear how it all turns out if you go forward but that's not how I'd want to spend my own time or money. The benefits of the weaker front motor hauling the already heavy 53 pound Alation 500 and your 240 pound frame would likely be very minimal in terms of power or range. To get up those hills my best suggestion would be to use level five pedal assist and then work with the bike a little bit using an easier gear :)
 

GrandpaJay

New Member
Sounds Great - If I ever do end up combining the two I'll post a video as a response to your hill topper review so everyone can see! maybe I'll end up throwing it on my fiance's bike if she has a hard time keeping up with me and my 500w motor on the hills. Thanks for your review, your input on the forums and your response! I feel like I know these products very well despite never haven't seen them in person!