Need some real world Advice

Ofarrell

New Member
Good Morning. Im a 47 year old and looking to move into an e bike. Ive ridden my Specialist road bike for years now and although Im no expert by any means I do like what I do. But arthritis has started to do its work on my but I really dont want to stop riding. Enter the Ebike... Ive been googling and reading too many reviews and advertising hype and at this point Ive gotten lost in over information. I am hoping for some advice. So, my budget is approx $3500 Canadian. My commute is hilly, through some industrial areas, train tracks to cross but its all paved. Id like to take the bike on some lite trails too on the weekend. I should mention Im about 250lbs (but getting back into shape). I have to admit Im worried about fat tire bikes and trying to lock them up on standard bicycle racks... do they fit? Also, Im not sure about mid motors.... A lot of what I read suggests its a lot more maintenance and broken chains. Dont want to start a debate tho... just what Ive been reading.

What I would like.....
A class 2 for sure
Thumb Throttle preferred to twist
Hydroponic brakes
Good Tires with some puncture resistance.
Rear rack
Full front and back Fenders
Comfort
Most important (reliability and ability to have it services locally)
Good customer service

What I dont need.
Full suspension
Going faster than law allows
Something I have to modify to work as it should
Bad after purchase support.

Ive been looking at a few but It seams every e bike has its issues.

My list so far
Rad Rover and Rad City
Voltbike Bravo and Yukon Limited (can I change those grips to something more ergo?)
Surface 604 Shred (have read many customers having issues with support)
Juiced Cross Current and Rip current

I am open to suggestions and encourage them. I would say if I can go to a store and look and deal with live people, that may be a big influence.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
 

PatriciaK

Active Member
Have you ridden any of them yet? It's really important to get the feel before you buy. Also, if you live in a hilly area, be sure to test under similar conditions! Bikes that feel great and peppy on the flat sometimes lose their power on hills. I think someone just recently here was sold on the Trek Verve+ (not on your list, just an example)... Until they took delivery and began riding in their hilly neighborhood. My LBS sent the bike I was interested in over to their local shop in town (the main shop is 25 miles away) just so I could ride in my local hilly conditions. I'm getting that bike, and glad to know it really fits my needs!
 

Ofarrell

New Member
Have you ridden any of them yet? It's really important to get the feel before you buy. Also, if you live in a hilly area, be sure to test under similar conditions! Bikes that feel great and peppy on the flat sometimes lose their power on hills. I think someone just recently here was sold on the Trek Verve+ (not on your list, just an example)... Until they took delivery and began riding in their hilly neighborhood. My LBS sent the bike I was interested in over to their local shop in town (the main shop is 25 miles away) just so I could ride in my local hilly conditions. I'm getting that bike, and glad to know it really fits my needs!
To be honest no, I havent been able to ride any of them.... only a cheap amazon type that a work friend had. I liked it but can see how there is much better options :). I dont imagine Ill be able to test any out right now in winter anyway.... But spring is coming and I want to make my decisions by then.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Often the mid drive issues continue to be spread by people who don't ride them. Just as you repeat the issue. I have 3 bikes with Bosch mid drive and two have over 3,000 miles on them. I replaced the chains at 2,500 miles. Still on the original cassettes, chainring and brakes. Bosch uses shift detection and that may contribute to my success, or it's just my riding style. BUT, the fast wear tales are not universal. If you want a natural riding style, the mid drive with torque sensing is the way to go. But with your request for a throttle, natural style may not appeal to you. I can't speak to any of those bikes, never touched a one of them. I will suggest that a fat bike is not a commuter in my opinion. Too heavy and not nimble. But you'll get a long list of people that love them. They also will tell you how wonderful they are in snow. But snow in my area is hardly ever fun to ride in, especially frozen track filled snow!
 

PatriciaK

Active Member
To be honest no, I havent been able to ride any of them.... only a cheap amazon type that a work friend had. I liked it but can see how there is much better options :). I dont imagine Ill be able to test any out right now in winter anyway.... But spring is coming and I want to make my decisions by then.
Where are you? I'm in Western WA, and my LBS is still offering test rides. I would be very hesitant to but a bike I hadn't ridden, especially from an online or non-local dealer, due to support issues.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Rad rover & juiced are internet bikes. Support is by you, after talking on the phone. Having the store deal with warrenty issues is useful. One rad owner was in 3 times in the first month for loose spokes.
Both rad rover & juiced are geared hub motor, which are suitable for hills. DD hub drives use a lot of electricity on hills at lower speeds. Mid drives are great on hills but you have to shift sprockets up versus down. Geared hubs can wear out the gears eventually, but new generic geared hub motors are <$300.
I've got 5000 miles on my chain pedaling & 3000 miles electrified. My usual chain life 10 years or 10000 miles. Mid drives are 1200-3000 miles per chain. Mid drives except yamaha & shimano require one to spin the motor if you pedal without electricity. I do that most the time, I need the exercise. Geared hubs don't drag unpowered.
I've got cable pull disk brakes, carry up to 80 lb cargo plus my 160 lb, go down 15% grades sometimes, and have had no problem with them. Pad life 4000 miles. Read maintenance forum about how to bleed system or replace cylinders on hydraulic disk brakes.
Your height matters, one size fits all bikes don't really. People under 68" need 18" or less frame bikes, people over 6' need 20" or up. That is stem to seatpost measurement. I had to order from California to find a premium AL frame bike that would fit my short legs.
A lot of people complain about the courrier delivery in CAN, not very accurate some say. My bike was delivered FedEx who carried it into the back yard for me for a tip.
Happy shopping.
 

Ofarrell

New Member
Where are you? I'm in Western WA, and my LBS is still offering test rides. I would be very hesitant to but a bike I hadn't ridden, especially from an online or non-local dealer, due to support issues.
Im in Ontario, Canada :) I dont see a lot of stores carrying e bikes but then, Ive only started looking really. I know my go to bike store only carries out of my budget e bikes like the higher end Specialized.
 

Ofarrell

New Member
Often the mid drive issues continue to be spread by people who don't ride them. Just as you repeat the issue. I have 3 bikes with Bosch mid drive and two have over 3,000 miles on them. I replaced the chains at 2,500 miles. Still on the original cassettes, chainring and brakes. Bosch uses shift detection and that may contribute to my success, or it's just my riding style. BUT, the fast wear tales are not universal. If you want a natural riding style, the mid drive with torque sensing is the way to go. But with your request for a throttle, natural style may not appeal to you. I can't speak to any of those bikes, never touched a one of them. I will suggest that a fat bike is not a commuter in my opinion. Too heavy and not nimble. But you'll get a long list of people that love them. They also will tell you how wonderful they are in snow. But snow in my area is hardly ever fun to ride in, especially frozen track filled snow!
Im not all that interested in riding in snow. Well I am, but Id want a dedicated Fat bike or something for that. Which isnt in the budget. So yeah I was totally on the fence about fat bikes... love the way they look but when it comes to practicability, I cant really lock it up to the old school bike racks at work and Im likely to get more flats as I would have to run them higher pressure on the pavement.
 

PatriciaK

Active Member
I've read here that several folks are happy with their Aventon Pace (class 2 with throttle) 350's and 500's - very reasonably priced and they have some dealers (also available on internet). If you can get your LBS to agree to service a bike they don't sell, they might be an option.

Also try offerings by Giant and Trek - they're big sellers and have dealer/support infrastructure just about everywhere.
 

Ofarrell

New Member
Rad rover & juiced are internet bikes. Support is by you, after talking on the phone. Having the store deal with warrenty issues is useful. One rad owner was in 3 times in the first month for loose spokes.
Both rad rover & juiced are geared hub motor, which are suitable for hills. DD hub drives use a lot of electricity on hills at lower speeds. Mid drives are great on hills but you have to shift sprockets up versus down. Geared hubs can wear out the gears eventually, but new generic geared hub motors are <$300.
I've got 5000 miles on my chain pedaling & 3000 miles electrified. My usual chain life 10 years or 10000 miles. Mid drives are 1200-3000 miles per chain. Mid drives except yamaha & shimano require one to spin the motor if you pedal without electricity. I do that most the time, I need the exercise. Geared hubs don't drag unpowered.
I've got cable pull disk brakes, carry up to 80 lb cargo plus my 160 lb, go down 15% grades sometimes, and have had no problem with them. Pad life 4000 miles. Read maintenance forum about how to bleed system or replace cylinders on hydraulic disk brakes.
Your height matters, one size fits all bikes don't really. People under 68" need 18" or less frame bikes, people over 6' need 20" or up. That is stem to seatpost measurement. I had to order from California to find a premium AL frame bike that would fit my short legs.
A lot of people complain about the courrier delivery in CAN, not very accurate some say. My bike was delivered FedEx who carried it into the back yard for me for a tip.
Happy shopping.
Thank you for all the detail.... I think VoltBike and Surface 604 are internets all well arent they? At least I cant seem to find them in local places. As for Height Im 5"10". I read about the VoltBike ambassador program... that may be an option to see one up close and talk to an owner.
 

Ofarrell

New Member
I've read here that several folks are happy with their Aventon Pace (class 2 with throttle) 350's and 500's - very reasonably priced and they have some dealers (also available on internet). If you can get your LBS to agree to service a bike they don't sell, they might be an option.

Also try offerings by Giant and Trek - they're big sellers and have dealer/support infrastructure just about everywhere.
The Giants and Trek offerings... arent they mostly class 3? I do like them both as bike makers. Ive owned a couple trak roads before.
 

PatriciaK

Active Member
The Giants and Trek offerings... arent they mostly class 3? I do like them both as bike makers. Ive owned a couple trak roads before.
The Giant I'm picking up this weekend is Class 1...I wasn't interested in anything more, so really not familiar with their Class 2 offerings - check their website?
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Fat tires are fun. Won't deny that. I lock mine up to the side of the bike rack (in a low theft area), but I wouldn't want my only bike to be a fat bike. Heavy. Rides heavier. Attracts a lot of attention.
 

Browneye

Active Member
The Giants and Trek offerings... arent they mostly class 3? I do like them both as bike makers. Ive owned a couple trak roads before.
All are class 1. The yamaha assist is one of the best. The Bosch (Trek) is no slouch either. Specialized has their own, based on a Brose unit, also excellent.

Also check out Yamaha's own branded bikes - they have a crossconnect model that might be right up your alley. 👍

 

Ofarrell

New Member
All are class 1. The yamaha assist is one of the best. The Bosch (Trek) is no slouch either. Specialized has their own, based on a Brose unit, also excellent.

Also check out Yamaha's own branded bikes - they have a crossconnect model that might be right up your alley. 👍

Admittedly thats a beautiful bike. If it had throttle id probably lean that way. The throttle is important. Those moments when the arthritis is getting the better of me and I need to go up a hill for example.
 

PatriciaK

Active Member
Admittedly thats a beautiful bike. If it had throttle id probably lean that way. The throttle is important. Those moments when the arthritis is getting the better of me and I need to go up a hill for example.
I just want to encourage you to try out a couple of Class 1 - I live in a hilly area, and the Giant La Free E+2 I'm picking up this weekend breezes right up them with no knee strain at all for me!

It's probably best to try a few of everything, in all 3 classes, before making up your mind... They're the only way to find out what works best. I was going to go with a rear hub motor when I first started looking, but after riding, I really did not like the sensation of being pushed, and went for a mid drive instead. There's nothing wrong with hub drives - it's just personal preference, and until you try, you won't really know 😉.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
There haven't been a lot of complaints about Magnum. Peak is a geared hub bike which has advantages I detailed above. It has 24 speeds including a 11-32 rear cassette, which is the range I ride on the bike left. I can get up 15% grade unpowered with 60 lb supplies, or whizz down 15% at 35 mph and still keep up with the feet. I have 52,42,32 front sprocket and 26" wheels. This bike has 42,32,28 and 29" wheels. Note throttle maxes out at 20 mph, pedal assist goes to 28 mph.
The Peak is a big bike for a big man, 22.5 " stem-seat, 29 " wheels. Glad you are enormous, most bikers that pass me are.
Has a Li-NCM battery which is less likely than LI-Ion to burst into flames between your legs if punctured. 13 AH is less than the 17.5 AH I have but my bike was a conversion. I get about 15 miles of max up hill nothing downhill for 2/3 of my battery with 1200 W geared hub. Ontario may be flatter than here.
Has a front suspension if you want to go fast. Some people with mtb in their user name have complained about suntour suspension forks. I have no experience.
Price is good. There are dealers if you want warrenty support, but not within 160 miles of here.
 
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