Need opinions

j9pop

New Member
Region
USA
I'm interested in opinions regarding my first ebike purchase. I'm a male senior citizen who is 6 feet tall and weighs 210 pounds. The majority of my riding will be on asphalt roads and trails in the community. There are several hills I would need to climb in order to reach the level areas, but the hills are not exceptionally steep or long. On occasion I would take rides of around eight to ten miles. I've more or less narrowed down my search to the Aventon Pace 350 and the Ride UP1 Core 5. I was hoping to buy an ebike from a local shop in Northern Virginia where I live, but all the bike shops carry bikes that start at $1500 and skyrocket up from there.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I'm interested in opinions regarding my first ebike purchase. I'm a male senior citizen who is 6 feet tall and weighs 210 pounds. The majority of my riding will be on asphalt roads and trails in the community. There are several hills I would need to climb in order to reach the level areas, but the hills are not exceptionally steep or long. On occasion I would take rides of around eight to ten miles. I've more or less narrowed down my search to the Aventon Pace 350 and the Ride UP1 Core 5. I was hoping to buy an ebike from a local shop in Northern Virginia where I live, but all the bike shops carry bikes that start at $1500 and skyrocket up from there.
This is a likely case of pay me now or pay me later. Buy a bike on line from a website without local support for a bargain price and you end up either paying for or doing all the work the bike will need to get it tuned in and repair or replace parts that fail.

Pay extra to a local bike shop and, if you pick a good one, you have an ally in whose interest it is to keep your bike running properly and keep you riding.

Unless you have the know-how, tools, time and inclination to be your own bike mechanic, the money you save buying a cheap, on-line bike, you end up spending on parts and service...IF you can find a local shop that will even work on your "bargain".
 

j9pop

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the excellent thoughts. I agree with your advice, but still have somewhat of a dilemma. The only reasonably priced bike from a local dealer is a Townie 7D for $1500. That's a Class 1 1 bike with low end components and I don't think it would suit my needs. So it sounds like I would need to at least double my price to find something decent locally.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."

I am 70, 210 lbs. and ride my ebikes way further and far more often than I ever imagined. I now ride top end bikes from Trek and Riese & Muller. The big smile on my face still happens every time I saddle up. The pain of paying for the best has long ago faded.
 

Readytoride

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Loudoun County, Virginia
I was hoping to buy an ebike from a local shop in Northern Virginia where I live, but all the bike shops carry bikes that start at $1500 and skyrocket up from there.


Nothing wrong with buying a bike online from a retail business 3,000 miles away if you want to save $1k or so in the purchase price. These bikes are hub drive, hence the cheaper price tag.

But before you take that leap to buy, it would be a good idea to scope out a bike shop that would be willing to do warrenty work on the wheel hub motor, or simply work on it in general. If not, you're on your own for repairs. Shipping a faulty hub wheel back and forth across the US can become expensive fast,and shipping lithium batteries is a whole other ball game. (Ask me how I know).

I bought one kit online to convert a bike to a hub drive. Only once. Never again. All my other purchases have been purposely built mid-drive ebikes from well known well respected manufacturers. Guess which ones I spend my time riding...
 

j9pop

New Member
Region
USA
I hear all the advice. Now I just have to convince myself that spending more than $2000 on a bike is worth it.
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
Thanks for the excellent thoughts. I agree with your advice, but still have somewhat of a dilemma. The only reasonably priced bike from a local dealer is a Townie 7D for $1500. That's a Class 1 1 bike with low end components and I don't think it would suit my needs. So it sounds like I would need to at least double my price to find something decent locally.
What Alaskan did not mention is that bike shops do not have a stellar reputation and they shut their doors as well. The bike shop may not be there when you have a problem on the road and they may not be there at all..and you rarely would have a problem when you are not on the road.

While it is true that buying the cheapest can turn into a problem, buying something sophisticated, such as many German autos, turns into a huge problem 3 years later and you best dump that beast for whatever you can, as wealthy people do. They get rid of that overly sophisticated virtually impossible to work on piece of beautiful junk to a poorer person who buys the great bargain and runs into the massive repair bills.
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
So why not list the things on a cheap online purchase bike that a local repair shop or their mechanic on their off time, or a bike enthusiast for pay, would not be able to handle...and see what could be done about that.
1. Battery disassembly and repair.
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
List the tools needed for a cheaper bike.
Most guys want or have the ordinary tools anyway. You can make a bike stand or pay a handyman just a few bucks to follow a design.
Do you really need to take your bike in to tighten up a loose bolt?
What else?
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I hear all the advice. Now I just have to convince myself that spending more than $2000 on a bike is worth it.
If you end up not riding the bike much, $1,000 will be to much and not worth it. If you end up riding the bike whenever you get the weather and the urge, it will be priceless.

I suggest renting an ebike for a day or two and try to get a gauge on which category you'll fall in to. Most of us here are in the put a grin on your face every ride" category.
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
I'm in that category and my bike cost 1500 USD in Canada waited a couple of days. I love it. 3000 miles in a year just in town. 17 AH battery, hydraulic brakes, fenders, lights, fantastic safe tires, great kickstand. Heavier than I would like, but it afforded me an ebike.
Now however, I might have chosen the same bike with smaller (13Ah ) battery and mechanical disk brakes, (300 USD cheaper) and purchased a bigger extra battery for a couple of hundred $ more. This is the later version of my bike, but I now think I might have bought and used the money difference toward a bigger extra battery. Or maybe not a step over but basically same parts. Love the 2.1" tires I never new I wanted. Also my older model bike is cadence sensor, no problems.

So $1300 USD. Bought a new chain after 2500 or so miles. I would like to have cruise control as well as throttle. I'd NEVER want to not have throttle.
 
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j9pop

New Member
Region
USA
Just for the heck of it, I checked a local bike shop close to me to see what they offer. Even though they carry the Townie bikes, they have no models of the Townie in stock. The next lowest price bike they have is a Trek Verve plus 2. It has a nice set of components, but no no walk mode, and it has a torque sensing motor. From what I've read, that motor requires more pedaling force which might not be good for both knees that have been replaced. The bike costs $2500, but even if I decided to spend that much I'm not sure it fits my needs.
 

Readytoride

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Loudoun County, Virginia
I hear all the advice. Now I just have to convince myself that spending more than $2000 on a bike is worth it.
"Worth" is really a personal choice. Only you can decide. We can only give our opinions.

If spending $2k and up at first scares you, then take the cheaper route. Figure that $1k bike as your entry fee into the ebike world. If it fits your needs, great! If it's all you want, great again.

If you find yourself in a month or year later wanting more, you'll have already established a baseline for the minimum, plus you'll still (hopefully) have your (working) first bike.

I learned long after my first ebike conversion that I wanted more, wanted better. But prior to that I spent 1-2 years exclusively riding the $1k conversion and enjoying the heck out of it. When its first 20 mile battery failed, leaving me with only the second 20 mile battery, and when the hub became hot and struggled on one group ride almost stranding me in a very hilly area, it was the last push I needed to buy a reliable mid-drive with a quality battery with a 60-70 mile charge.

Did I regret the $1k spent to buy a hub wheel and double batteries? No. Have I regretted spending $3k to $6k for new ebikes and spare batteries? Not in the least. If I could do it all over again would i do the same? No. I'd buy the quality middrive ebike first and be glad to spend the $2k-3k price. It's all a learning experience.
 

j9pop

New Member
Region
USA
I do appreciate all the comments I've received. At least I'm now convinced that spending more and buying from a local dealer would be the better way to go. I'll start researching bikes that are sold by local dealers.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
some of this _online bikes break and cost a fortune to fix - is not true

i have had several ebikes, several of them online and rarely had any problems but when i did the company came through with parts and i never had any issues finding a bike shop to swap out parts for me
maybe if you are in a smaller town with 2 bikes shops they could both refuse to work on it ...

can it be a problem, yes but there are several online bikes sold to people on this forum who have had no problems

agree you will probably end up riding more than you think

getting out and riding different bikes is a great thing to do if possible

but rad power, aventon and a lot of others seem to have good reps so i would not be so worried about that

and i am one who does not agree torque sensing mid drive bikes are for everyone especially with your knees

good luck on your bike search
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
There are at least 2 grades of bike components like cable & spokes. Garbage, and real. I've been riding $200 kiddie MTB for 30 years since they fit my short arms & legs. Cables need frequent adjustment (because they stretch), even at my modest 160 lb spokes stretch & need tightening. And the Pacific Quantum, the plastic crank arms wore out in 3000 miles, and even though I got a replacement bike for $15 at SalvAr resale, I could not get the crank arms off. The diamondback, the pedal threads got wallowed about 3000 miles, and the rear axle broke because of my excessive weight (160 lb). BTW I don't hop curbs or ride over boulders. I ride on pavement.
So I bought a stretch frame unpowered yubabikes bodaboda for $1500 in Jan 18. No shifter adjustments required. Brake cable adjustments not required, just pad pushing when it wears out. 6000 mlles and the crank arms and pedals are fine. I did have to lay the bike on its side and drip oil in one pedal about 4000 miles, it was squeaking. I electrified this bike for $840 with a hub motor, and am very happy with the result. Although I hate PAS, Level 1 too fast and accelerates too fast for the bad pavement I ride on.
Actually I'd love torque sensing, but can't figure out yet how to install it diy on a hubmotor.
I'd suspect at their price point, a trek has cables & spokes made of real steel instead of recycled lead/copper/aluminum scrap metal. A point about bike shops, they get rid of the garbage brands fast because they lose money on warrenty repairs. So figure that in with the shopping. I bought on line, but at my size, the only bikes the local shops stock for me have single speed axles and a Strawberry Shortcake logo on the seat. One is supposed to be tall & leggy to buy a bike in a shop, at least around here. People report when they need a small frame, bike shops make them pay in advance for the bike before they ever sit on it. cities over 10000000 population may be a little better.
Happy shopping.
 
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Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
Think about what you might want to do and not be able to do because you bought a more sophisticated bike.
If you got a sore knee, got hurt, got tired, are carrying a heavy shoulder bag, so many situations.
On a heavier bike I once in a while want to be able to go without using the pedals. I'd like cruise control, as well. You never know when you need that nice throttle power to clear a situation.
 

j9pop

New Member
Region
USA
I've taken all of the comments and suggestions to heart and will continue my search for a bike at a local shop. I'm sure that it's impossible to find anything good on sale, but maybe the prices will go down eventually after the ebike craze settles down a bit.