New to forum - Need thoughts on new ebikes

Bareootj

New Member
Region
USA
After many weeks of research online, I bought my wife her first ebike. Now I need some of your thoughts on what I should get.
I will start by saying my wife was hard to fit. She is 5'-2" and many of the ebikes I researched, with the options I wanted, were just too big for her.
I ended up getting the Freesky Rocky step-thru 20" fat tire full suspension ebike for her. This bike fit her good, and at $1,600 was a good value. Everything worked very well (except stiff rear shock) out of the box. This bike fits me also OK, but the wheel base and 20" tires seemed a little small for me. Also, at 215 lbs. the 750W motor concern me getting up steep hills with me on it.

Our riding situation is as follows: 50% time riding in a suburban area (Raleigh NC area) with some slight short hills (riding on the roads and on greenways); 25% time riding in a 3600 acre development in mountains on private roads with some very steep inclines (some w/ 160' rise over a 1160' distance); and 25% of time riding in the same mountain development on somewhat groomed (hiking, horse & UTV) trails with slight to moderate hills.

I was thinking we needed: a step through bike (we are both retired seniors .... 5'-2" @ 125 lbs. & 5'-9" @ 215 lbs.); full suspension (for riding on the mountain trails); 750W+ motor with at least 85NM of torque for getting up the mountain roads, a decent sized battery; Class 2 bike with throttle (we like having a throttle for starting out); and would like to have fenders, rear rack, integrated headlight & taillight (for riding in suburban areas). I would personally rather have 26" tires with around 3"-3.5" fat tires (nicer riding on the road), but not absolutely required.

Although the Freesky Rocky Step-thru would be "OK" with some modifications (different rear shock, seat, and extend handlebar riser), especially given the price point of $1,600. One of the other ebikes I was considering was the Frey Liberty Ultra CC Step-thru at $5,000.

My questions to all of you folks are: 1) Do you think it would be worth spending the extra $$$ for a higher end bike for a first time ebiker? 2) Do you think a hardtail bike w/ front suspension would work for me given all the riding parameters above? If so, it would open up the options available such as: Evelo - Aurora Sport @ $2,200 w/ options; Biktrix - Juggernaut Ultra Duo 3 @ $4,000 w/ options; Evelo - Aurora Limited @ $4,600 w/ options.

Please feel free to provide any other thoughts you may have on my situation in selecting my first ebike. Thank-you in advance for your help, and look forward to your feedback.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Have you considered the different drive types, and how each might work when steep hills are in play? The mid drives are generally going to be more than 1600, but the extra climbing power they offer might make them a worthwhile investment.

I am generally not a big believer in a higher end first bike. When speaking of hills though, you may not have a choice.

I have and love a new Evelo Atlas, but the diamond frame may be a bit much for your height. Just wanted to mention the Evelo support is just outstanding. Any inquiry I've sent has been answered in a matter of hours with top notch help. There's no "send me a picture" so I can show it to our tech....
 

Bareootj

New Member
Region
USA
Have you considered the different drive types, and how each might work when steep hills are in play? The mid drives are generally going to be more than 1600, but the extra climbing power they offer might make them a worthwhile investmentI have considered the mid drive motors (as
I have considered the mid drive motors (as mentioned above with the Frey, Biktrix, and Evelo), and they are a lot more money. Maybe I should try my wife's bike up some of the steep roads I mentioned above, before I consider other bikes.
 

dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
I think it’s worth the extra money if you are going to ride much. The price range on e bikes is huge, it’s not hard to spend $7000 for a really nice one. In my mind you are in the $2500 range or more for a good starter.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I have considered the mid drive motors (as mentioned above with the Frey, Biktrix, and Evelo), and they are a lot more money. Maybe I should try my wife's bike up some of the steep roads I mentioned above, before I consider other bikes.
Yes, this is a pretty complex topic - mid versus hub drive - when it comes to hills. I agree - try bikes out and decide for yourself.
You will do yourself a favor if you spend less time looking at published specs, especially motor "wattage". There's no standardized way to measure wattage (peak? Input? Output? speed?) so there's not much value in comparing different motors or brands.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
The mid drives are generally going to be more than 1600, but the extra climbing power they offer might make them a worthwhile investment.
If your maximum grade is 14%, then a 750 W hub drive bike with 20 A controller should be fine. I've climbed 15% 100 foot long with gross weight 330 lb with a 1000 W mac12t hub motor without assist from my feet. I'm climbing 10% grades now with me pedaling hard with a *****y 500 w 36 v bafang geared hub and 10 A controller which was all I could buy during Shanghai shutdown.
Mid drives provide extra climbing ability with a rear sprocket bigger than the drive sprocket. As the standard drive sprocket on a bosch is 46 tooth, 48 tooth or bigger rear sprocket is required to get torque multiplication. You'll find those rare on bikes costing less than $5000. Mid-drives do cool better, for long grades in the mountains of CA OR WA ID MN CO etc. I doubt if your hills are that long in the NC Appalachians.
Fat tires produce a lot of drag. If buying a suspension, I'd try 2.1"x26" tires or so. I ride 2.1"x26" hard frame (no suspension) and I do fine on pavement or gravel in construction zones. I'm age 72, 160 lb. No spine problems. 7 lb helmet. I ride 55 psi tires since I carry 60 lb groceries or ag supplies frequently. I like 26" tires or bigger for the smoothing out of potholes. My pants inseam is 28" (not available) so I ride a frame for short people, shown, that is no longer sold.
 
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Bareootj

New Member
Region
USA
Yes, this is a pretty complex topic - mid versus hub drive - when it comes to hills. I agree - try bikes out and decide for yourself.
You will do yourself a favor if you spend less time looking at published specs, especially motor "wattage". There's no standardized way to measure wattage (peak? Input? Output? speed?) so there's not much value in comparing different motors or brands.
Thanks for your input. I really wish I could try out bikes before buying, unfortunately all bike shops around here, except Pedego, refuse to carry Class 2 or 3 bikes. And there are no hills around here like our place at the mountains. I am going to have to rely on other people's experience between hub drive & mid drive on hills, and whether mountain trails need full suspension or hardtail will do.
 

Bareootj

New Member
Region
USA
If your maximum grade is 14%, then a 750 W hub drive bike with 20 A controller should be fine. I've climbed 15% 100 foot long with gross weight 330 lb with a 1000 W mac12t hub motor without assist from my feet. I'm climbing 10% grades now with me pedaling hard with a *****y 500 w 36 v bafang geared hub and 10 A controller which was all I could buy during Shanghai shutdown.
Mid drives provide extra climbing ability with a rear sprocket bigger than the drive sprocket. As the standard drive sprocket on a bosch is 46 tooth, 48 tooth or bigger rear sprocket is required to get torque multiplication. You'll find those rare on bikes costing less than $5000. Mid-drives do cool better, for long grades in the mountains of CA OR WA ID MN CO etc. I doubt if your hills are that long in the NC Appalachians.
Fat tires produce a lot of drag. If buying a suspension, I'd try 2.1"x26" tires or so. I ride 2.1"x26" hard frame (no suspension) and I do fine on pavement or gravel in construction zones. I'm age 72, 160 lb. No spine problems. 7 lb helmet. I ride 55 psi tires since I carry 60 lb groceries or ag supplies frequently. I like 26" tires or bigger for the smoothing out of potholes. My pants inseam is 28" (not available) so I ride a frame for short people, shown, that is no longer sold.
Thanks for your advice. Just getting up my driveway in the mountains is 24% 100' long. From the top of my driveway to the main road in our mountain development is 13% and 1/3 mile long. Some of the trails in the place have a few shorter steeper grades, but probably none over 25 %. I am going to wait until I can try my wife's bike (mentioned above) at the mountains in a couple weeks before I make a decision. If her bike does not work for me, I will spend the extra money for a mid drive 750W -1000W with 105-160 NM of torque. The the decision then comes down to whether I truly need full suspension for the mountain trails, or will a hardtail do.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Mid drives provide extra climbing ability with a rear sprocket bigger than the drive sprocket. As the standard drive sprocket on a bosch is 46 tooth, 48 tooth or bigger rear sprocket is required to get torque multiplication. You'll find those rare on bikes costing less than $5000. Mid-drives do cool better, for long grades in the mountains of CA OR WA ID MN CO etc. I doubt if your hills are that long in the NC Appalachians.

This is patently false and unfortunately @indianajo knows it, as he has been pushing this unfounded argument over and over again, while subtly altering it as he gets shot down repeatedly for making it,. Now he's saying you need 46-48T to get a benefit. Here's how you cut thru the baloney and know its nonsense: Have you ever tried to ride up a hill on any bike with a derailleur? What did you do to get up the hill? You shifted gears. Shifting gears makes pedaling easier, right? Any gear. Not just a gigantic 48T one.

Just like it does that for you, so it also does that for the mid drive motor that also uses the bicycle drivetrain for its transmission. A hub motor is by its nature single-speed since it powers the bike thru the axle. Think about how great it would be if you had no gears going up a hill, and instead you just had to gut it out and muscle your way past the problem. A hub motor is at a disadvantage for this reason. Pump enough power thru it and you overcome that disadvantage, but you need a lot, and the ensuing increase in battery and motor size/weight has a point of diminishing returns.

If you were going to pick another step thru bike to rule them all, you pretty much picked the top dog with the Frey CC. That company is known for top quality components and they are hard to fault. But they are also priced accordingly. Do you need that much bike? BTW with a 160 Nm motor that pretty much eliminates any fat tire efficiency issues - they still exist because physics, but the bike is powerful enough you will never notice. And you will benefit from the stability that those big sidewalls give you. Fat bikes were relegated purely to overland snow and sand bikes until the 'e' got added to 'bike' and entirely changed the game insofar as efficiency is concerned. With a bigger, heavier and faster bike you start caring a lot more about stability than you did before.

I suggest you ride the Freesky and see what happens. Is it good enough for you? You'll find out fairly quickly and once you know whether or not that disadvantaged hub is good enough for your needs, you can decide whether you want to blow 5 grand on what really is a fantastic bike... with a fantastic price. Whatever you do... don't spend any more money until you have some experience under your belt so you have a better handle on the subject and are not beholden to self appointed experts like me - who may in fact just be an idiot with a keyboard locked in his mom's basement - to give you advice.
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Tired of arguing the point with indianajo..... so I'm not going to waste my time/the bandwidth. Agree with m@Robertson.

As far as suspension vs. hard tail, I think it's hard to make a good case for the rear suspension with the additional weight/complexity/potential durability issues unless the bike is spending the majority of it's time off road in pretty harsh conditions.

A good seat, suspension seat post, and front suspension of some sort, coupled with some tires in the 2.4" -2.8" widths, should do a pretty reasonable job for you - even with light off road use (gravel and hard packed trails for instance).
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
This is patently false and unfortunately @indianajo knows it, as he has been pushing this unfounded argument over and over again, while subtly altering it as he gets shot down repeatedly for making it,. Now he's saying you need 46-48T to get a benefit. Here's how you cut thru the baloney and know its nonsense: Have you ever tried to ride up a hill on any bike with a derailleur? What did you do to get up the hill? You shifted gears. Shifting gears makes pedaling easier, right? Any gear. Not just a gigantic 48T one.

Just like it does that for you, so it also does that for the mid drive motor that also uses the bicycle drivetrain for its transmission. A hub motor is by its nature single-speed since it powers the bike thru the axle. Think about how great it would be if you had no gears going up a hill, and instead you just had to gut it out and muscle your way past the problem. A hub motor is at a disadvantage for this reason. Pump enough power thru it and you overcome that disadvantage, but you need a lot, and the ensuing increase in battery and motor size/weight has a point of diminishing returns.

This person doesn't believe in mechanical engineering. He would flunk a millwrights exam. He types prolifically and has a lot of followers. I by contrast ride hub motors on hill 70 miles weekly in warm weather. Rode & shopped 4 hours today. Not miles long grades like the rockies or sierras, short ones like 100' over & over again. No heat problems over 27 to 30 miles with the Mac12t geared hub or the predecessor ebikling 1300 w geared hub.
A hub motor with 5:1 internal gearing at 200 rpm in a 26" wheel, or about 17 mph spins at 1000 rpm. Industrial motors spin 3600 rpm for 24 hours a day for 7 to 10 years in factory fan service. No strain. What is Mr Robinson hyperventilating about, rotor blowup? Hub motor top speed is limited by the watt output curve crossing the drag times velocity curve. My Mac12t would go about 23 mph in the flat with me sitting upright on the bike shown. The ebikeling would go ~25 mph.
Bicycle gear trains are mostly designed to increase speed of the driven wheel and reduce torque, as human power falls off rapidly above 90 rpm. Or 60 rpm at my age. 3 phase electric motors are much more productive at 400-2000 rpm. Both mid drives & geared hubs have internal gearing in the motor before torque is transmitted to the drive sprocket or wheel spokes to account for this. Only mountain bikes have the pie sized rear low sprocket to actually increase torque at zero speed.
Motor torque decreases as motors slow down. The torque quoted in drive specifications is not at stall speed, it is at the best performance speed, which is not disclosed. There were some torque tables versus rotation speed on the grin website. May no longer be available.
Boosting low speed torque is done by sprocket multiplication. A 46 drive 48 driven sprocket will multiply torque by 4.4%. Only expensive mountain bikes have this combo.
I'd have to say a 25% grade for 100' may require substantial input from the rider on the pedals. If bike and person weigh 300 lb, on a 25% grade a force of 75 lb pushes back on the bike drive wheel. On a 26" wheel or about 1.2 foot radius, the torque required to move would be 90 ft lb. The Home Depot conversion tables say ftlb to Nm, multiply by .73. Or 66 NM on the rear axle to move the wheel.
 
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Bareootj

New Member
Region
USA
M@Robertson & AHicks, If I decide to go hardtail, what are your thoughts on the Evelo Aurora Limited w/ Dapu 750W mid motor, Belt drive & CVT? I really like the looks & specs of the Frey Liberty Ultra, but was wondering if the belt and CVT of the Evelo would be a better ride. I will try my wife's bike first on the hills to get a feel of what I might need. Thanks for everyone's input.
 

Bareootj

New Member
Region
USA
Indianajo, Thank you for your input. It is appreciated. I'm just not sure I want to over complicate it for me ... retired now and looking for a simple life. I would just like to get a bike that would serve all my purposes for the 25-30 times a year I would probably ride it. And, hopefully to serve me as the only bike I would need for a long time.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
This person doesn't believe in mechanical engineering. He would flunk a millwrights exam. I ride hub motors on hill 70 miles weekly in warm weather. Not miles long ones like the rockies or sierras, short ones like 100' over & over again. No heat problems over 27 to 30 miles with the Mac12t geared hub or the predecessor ebikling 1300 w geared hub.
A hub motor with 5:1 internal gearing at 200 rpm in a 26" wheel, or about 17 mph spins at 1000 rpm. Industrial motors spin 3600 rpm for 24 hours a day for 7 to 10 years in factory fan service. No strain. What is Mr Robinson hyperventilating about, rotor blowup? Hub motor top speed is limited by the watt output curve crossing the drag times velocity curve. My Mac12t would go about 23 mph in the flat with me sitting upright on the bike shown. The ebikeling would go ~25 mph.
Motor torque decreases as motors slow down. The torque quoted in drive specifications is not at stall speed, it is at the best performance speed, which is not disclosed. There were some torque tables versus rotation speed on the grin website. May no longer be available.
Boosting low speed torque is done by sprocket multiplication. A 46 drive 48 driven sprocket will multiply torque by 4.4%. Only expensive mountain bikes have this combo.
I'd have to say a 25% grade for 100' may require substantial input from the rider on the pedals. If bike and person weigh 300 lb, on a 25% grade a force of 75 lb pushes back on the bike drive wheel. On a 26" wheel or about 1.2 foot radius, the torque required to move would be 90 ft lb. The Home Depot conversion tables say ftlb to Nm, multiply by .73. Or 66 NM to move the wheel.
Oh for Pete's sake. You're embarrassing....

Have you played with Grin's Motor Simulator? It's very well respected among anyone I've ever talked to, and the better you know it the scarier it gets for it's ability to predict performance. In case you haven't used it or seen it in a while, here's a link to it all set up for a MAC 12t

Please note where that motor makes maximum torque......
 
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AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
M@Robertson & AHicks, If I decide to go hardtail, what are your thoughts on the Evelo Aurora Limited w/ Dapu 750W mid motor, Belt drive & CVT? I really like the looks & specs of the Frey Liberty Ultra, but was wondering if the belt and CVT of the Evelo would be a better ride. I will try my wife's bike first on the hills to get a feel of what I might need. Thanks for everyone's input.
The Dapu motor is relatively new on the scene, but seems to be working out well. It seems to be making a lot of friends. I don't have any personal experience with it.

Regarding the belt drive and CVT, they're nice, but I don't think they make a bike "ride" any better. There's no question it's just about the smoothest combo available. The downside is they do nothing to help keep the bike's weight down. They're heavier than a conventional derailleur set up for sure. The up side, the big reason for going this route, is about maintenance. NO more concerns about chain wear or derailleur alignment!

I like the idea of seeing how the wife's bike works for you in the hills. The chance to try it is going to make you a MUCH more informed buyer!

There's a lot to this - especially when factoring in big hills. Take your time making the call.

A quick comment regarding the Ultra motors. They are unquestionably huge torque monsters. They are a mid drive, so they aren't totally forgiving like a geared hub might be (brain dead riding at it's best!), but because they are so powerful, they are far more forgiving when it comes to what gear they are in when accelerating from a stop for instance. If you aren't in any big hurry, taking off in 6th gear is totally possible without any strain....

Last, the wife and I are snowbirds, own a second home as well. We started out carting our bikes back and forth, but after several years decided we would have a pair of bikes on each end. The northern house is located in a fairly level area Geared hubs work nice. The second is smack dab in the middle of a big area covered in rolling coastal hills. Having a set of bikes on each end let us sort of tailor our biking needs to the areas the bikes would be ridden most often. My Ultra based bike works AWESOME in the hills - but I'm 300 lbs......... -Al
 
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Bicycle gear trains are mostly designed to increase speed of the driven wheel and reduce torque...
Anyone who has ever gone up a hill on a bicycle knows shifting up to any bigger cog in the back makes it easier to pedal. You would think such a simple thing would be undeniable but ... its the internet so never say never.

M@Robertson & AHicks, If I decide to go hardtail, what are your thoughts on the Evelo Aurora Limited w/ Dapu 750W mid motor, Belt drive & CVT? I really like the looks & specs of the Frey Liberty Ultra, but was wondering if the belt and CVT of the Evelo would be a better ride. I will try my wife's bike first on the hills to get a feel of what I might need. Thanks for everyone's input.
On the Evelo:
I have never used a CVT. I'm not crazy about the idea. Maybe thats because I have so much time-in-grade on derailleurs. I want to decide which gear I am in and don't feel any burden doing that. With that said, I have owned a bike with an IGH (Internally Geared Hub) and a Gates belt. Belts are awesome. No grease. No maintenance. For most people they will last forever. However belts come with baggage in that they have to have that IGH, and a precise, perfect alignment to work. IGH's are a bit of a pain to deal with day-to-day. Mine wanted adjustment every few months to keep the shifting precise. It was also VERY finicky to take the wheel off and put back on, and the belt has to be tensioned precisely once you do get it back on (annnnnd getting the tight belt back on over the sprocket is an adventure by itself).

I'm not a fan of the rack being welded into the frame. A separate rack bolted in can be replaced if some part of it bends or breaks. This has only happened to me once but that was plenty. The frame was ruined when the rack cracked right at the seatstay junction. I think the battery is small at only 14.5ah. The Dapu is also sort of a new player in the realm. It is not the known quantity (bulletproof) that the Bafang Ultra motor is on your other choices. Dapu motors historically seem to be nothing to shout about in terms of performance but also seem reliable.

I think there is zero chance the Evelo is a better bike than the Frey. Besides its 21ah battery, the components on the Frey are top notch across the board. Magura 4-piston brakes, a Rockshox rear shock and what looks to be a private-labeled Wren Inverted fork. $20 adds the bolt-on rack. Too bad the Frey CC commuter is Sold Out as it is the original with many glowing reviews over the years. It has the same signature feature the Liberty has: The reinforcement halfway up on the frame that also hides the rear shock. That reinforcement gives me a lot of peace of mind with regard to a survivable step thru frame.

As for a hardtail with a suspension seatpost: Totally you could do that with your riding needs. I have on most of my bikes. But I also own full suspension bikes, and I built another one early this year. Full suspension, technically, exists to keep the rear wheel planted on the ground in rough terrain. But we all know it also makes the ride more comfy in less demanding circumstances. I do FS for the street as follows: a really firm air fill on the shock (or a hefty spring; a quality spring shock never needs topping up). Then I set the shock to its 'firm' setting on top of that and its fine even at higher cadence. BUT most of my bikes are still hardtails. I have Thudbuster LTs, a Satori Animaris and a Cirrus Kinekt. The Kinekt is the best isolation from ground shock but it pogo's when you are at higher cadence (60-70). I am building a bike now and decided to go back to another Thud LT for it, over the Cirrus.
 

Bareootj

New Member
Region
USA
Anyone who has ever gone up a hill on a bicycle knows shifting up to any bigger cog in the back makes it easier to pedal. You would think such a simple thing would be undeniable but ... its the internet so never say never.


On the Evelo:
I have never used a CVT. I'm not crazy about the idea. Maybe thats because I have so much time-in-grade on derailleurs. I want to decide which gear I am in and don't feel any burden doing that. With that said, I have owned a bike with an IGH (Internally Geared Hub) and a Gates belt. Belts are awesome. No grease. No maintenance. For most people they will last forever. However belts come with baggage in that they have to have that IGH, and a precise, perfect alignment to work. IGH's are a bit of a pain to deal with day-to-day. Mine wanted adjustment every few months to keep the shifting precise. It was also VERY finicky to take the wheel off and put back on, and the belt has to be tensioned precisely once you do get it back on (annnnnd getting the tight belt back on over the sprocket is an adventure by itself).

I'm not a fan of the rack being welded into the frame. A separate rack bolted in can be replaced if some part of it bends or breaks. This has only happened to me once but that was plenty. The frame was ruined when the rack cracked right at the seatstay junction. I think the battery is small at only 14.5ah. The Dapu is also sort of a new player in the realm. It is not the known quantity (bulletproof) that the Bafang Ultra motor is on your other choices. Dapu motors historically seem to be nothing to shout about in terms of performance but also seem reliable.

I think there is zero chance the Evelo is a better bike than the Frey. Besides its 21ah battery, the components on the Frey are top notch across the board. Magura 4-piston brakes, a Rockshox rear shock and what looks to be a private-labeled Wren Inverted fork. $20 adds the bolt-on rack. Too bad the Frey CC commuter is Sold Out as it is the original with many glowing reviews over the years. It has the same signature feature the Liberty has: The reinforcement halfway up on the frame that also hides the rear shock. That reinforcement gives me a lot of peace of mind with regard to a survivable step thru frame.

As for a hardtail with a suspension seatpost: Totally you could do that with your riding needs. I have on most of my bikes. But I also own full suspension bikes, and I built another one early this year. Full suspension, technically, exists to keep the rear wheel planted on the ground in rough terrain. But we all know it also makes the ride more comfy in less demanding circumstances. I do FS for the street as follows: a really firm air fill on the shock (or a hefty spring; a quality spring shock never needs topping up). Then I set the shock to its 'firm' setting on top of that and its fine even at higher cadence. BUT most of my bikes are still hardtails. I have Thudbuster LTs, a Satori Animaris and a Cirrus Kinekt. The Kinekt is the best isolation from ground shock but it pogo's when you are at higher cadence (60-70). I am building a bike now and decided to go back to another Thud LT for it, over the Cirrus.
Thanks for all the input. Although I really like the 4 year warranty & 21 day test trial of the Evelo ebikes, I am definitely leaning toward the Frey. I really like the design and size of the Frey. Maybe they will put them on sale in the near future and make it an easier decision for me.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
Try to find a steep route in your area and ride your wife's bike, that should give you a good idea.
I can say that I've seen fat tire hub motor bikes with elderly riders on Hurricane ridge road in the Olympic national park and that road gains 3400 feet in the 12 miles from Heart O the Hills campground to the visitor center at the top. I also recently rode around Crater Lake a couple times last month and saw Rad bikes, aftermarket front hub motor kit bikes (Swytch 250w geared motors) that people were riding in a very leisurely manner. I did see one Rad bike rider who ran out of battery but otherwise no issues and there were hundreds of riders, many on ebikes. You can check google maps for the elevation gains around Crater lake but there are long (miles) continuous steep grades in areas. I have a 500w geared rear hub motor bike that I rarely ride but it has never failed to provide strong assist where I ride, I live on a small mountain with some very steep segments. You need to see for yourself based on how you want a bike to perform and your wife's bike should give you a good indication.
 

TrevorB

Well-Known Member
My experience is more with Bosch and Shimano middrives on high spec FS and Hardtails. Gearing wise 85nm motor with 38t chainring and 11-46t cassette will climb anything you are likely to be do with ease. I suspect 65 m with 42t cassette would be enough. Most class 2 bikes come with 38-40T chainring as assist cuts out at 20mph which is 2nd or 3rd gear, 1st is good for 23-25mph which you won't be doing unassisted on flat.

FS vs HT. FS eMTB with quality suspension can travel on rough roads at any speed. HT you have to accept slower seated speed of about 7-10mph. On smooth gravel roads with 2.2-2.4" tires 12- 15mph isn't problem especially with suspension seatpost. NB speed should be requirement if leisure riding as you are there for journey not destination.

Buy cheap FS bike and don't be surprised if it breaks and can't be serviced. There is a reason quality FS MTBs cost the money they do.

Usual advice applies lots of test rides on different types and specs of bikes. Highly recommend ride on high end FS eMTB on rough road to see why these bikes are so expensive.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Confused yet? 😁

A lot of good input to get your head wrapped around. Eventually you'll need to sort your priorities and go for it.

Frey is a nice bike, but I don't think I'd have the patience to see that waiting time through.....