JoePah and pxPaulx, thank you for your replies.
The bike you own is considered a "forever" bike, and is of high quality.
This is why I bought it. I LOVE this bike. I would change the gearing (mine has three gears and I wish the 8-gear had been available.) I looked for my bike for two years and ended up driving 400+ miles to buy it, since I planned on it being a lifetime bike. I have no desire to get rid of it. My bike in an electric version would make me the happiest.
Since your commuting requirements are not that demanding, why not buy an eBike kit and have someone install it?
I'm simultaneously researching this option, too. I found this thread
on the forum and it asked essentially the same question, but I didn't find a follow-up.
I live in the Santa Barbara, CA region, if that helps. Los Angeles is about 2 hours away by car; I'm also able (and willing) to take the bike to the north San Francisco Bay area (Sonoma County). So my striking distance for an e-bike install is anywhere between Los Angeles and Santa Rosa, CA. For that matter, if the perfect shop was in San Diego, I'd haul down there, too. That covers most of coastal California.
500w direct drive hub motor.. A geared hub motor will be smaller and lighter, but the gears do wear out.. For a daily comuter this is maintenance you don't want to face.. Direct Drive hub motors are known to last tens of thousands of miles. Suggest you have the motor mounted on the front wheel to balance the weight better, but the steering will suffer a bit.
What about a mid-drive motor? I like the idea of the motor working with my (admittedly limited) gearing. Any pros/cons here?
I don't care about a rear-mounted battery so long as I can keep my awesome saddlebags in place. I'm glad there are double-decker racks available.
For the long ride with a long hill, buy an extra charger and leave it at that workplace.
This, unfortunately, is not possible. The long commute with the long hill is to a community college where I am an adjunct faculty member. I don't have an office and the campus does not have e-bike charging stations. There's no place for me to charge the bike there. So I need an ebike that can get me to that job and back (10 miles each way with long hill on the way there) plus let me run a few errands around town (I want to quit driving, and the days I commute there are my errand days for things in that part of town). Upsize the battery? The e-bike dealers here have been recommending 48v 15 amp systems for that particular commute and my planned errands -- but I realize they're also benefiting slightly from selling a larger (more expensive) battery system. Thoughts?
Replace the tires with high quality tires and thorn resistant tube. Have the bike tuned and replace the pads.
Bike currently has Schwalbe Marathons. Have ridden the bike in a variety of environments (including flat off-road) for three years and have never had a flat. Love those tires. Front brakes are rollerbrakes (not calipers) -- how would this affect a hub-mounted drive?
You will have a bike just like yours, only better!
Promise? This would be ideal. I have slight anxiety about getting a kit and having someone install it -- what if they messed up my baby and I never got her back? I realize this is unlikely -- nobody will be drilling holes in the frame and it can be put back together. However, I haven't yet had to look for a bike shop that can do maintenance on my bike -- it's been hassle-free -- and one of the trusted shops in town hasn't had any experience with the Workcycles.
Thanks very much for the advice. I'm still getting adjusted to the price tags on the e-bikes; it feels like a big investment and I'd like to not have regrets afterwards.