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Mmax

New Member
I've been 'surfing' the forum here (some may call it lurking) for over a year, and researching and riding ebikes for about 3 years. I finally took the plunge in the past month or so.

First of all, I'm a really picky buyer, and in general do not like to spend anymore than I absolutely have to, although having said that, I would have no issue plunking down $3000 to $4000. It was a fun process for me, and I took my time, tried friends ebikes, and tried some rentals along the way as well during my infrequent business travels. I learned a LOT about bike shops in general, (Since I hadnt been in one for almost 20 years) and since I hadn't been in the market for bikes since the late 90's, (I own a Trek MultiTrak 720) which gave me years of great use.

Why did I wait 3 years ? Well for one, this forum itself gave me pause on a lot of brands, but then I decided after reading tons of posts, people here can have a lot of biases in general, and trying to separate the 'chaff from the wheat', is not an easy process when you have no idea what the people commenting here are really like in terms of how or where they ride, how heavy they are, or their build type, their physical stamina, or even whether they are just fascinated with the technology itself, or halfway frequent riders. I also came to the conclusion, that many people posting here either just have a ton of time on their hands and like to just post about stuff and probably retired with nothing better to do (and Facebook for whatever reason isn't satisfying enough for them, and so they found people with common interests here, and just have to weigh in on nearly everything), or they came on to post about some issue they were having. So this forum while interesting, really only gave me some hints of brands to stay away from, and not waste my time on, and which brands were likely most problematic.

My general conclusions:
- Mid drives simply were not compelling enough to justify spending the extra $1000 to $2000 on, and their reliability when you look at everything objectively was really sub par for that amount of money, especially for ebikes costing $3000 to $5000. If I am spending that much, the reliability of that mid drive had better be darn near bullet proof, and be so for many years. Like my Trek has been. Right now, its just not anywhere close, and they just have not been on the market long enough, for me anyway, to prove that they wont cost me and arm and a leg down the road. The often cited 'natural feel' really didn't generate any compelling feeling nor did it affect how I felt about the performance of the bike overall. It was there, and generally they felt slower than most hub drives, and even in some cases kind of 'draggish' when I pedaled. This included models I tried from Trek, Electra, Giant, Haibike, Yamaha, Bulls, Raleigh, BH, and Specialized, and included motors from Bosch, Yamaha, Brose, Shimano, and TranzX.


- I intentionally excluded most ebikes that had Hub drives where the ebikes were priced above $2800. (except for a few as I did try Stromer, Pedego, and a few other brands to see what I might be missing).

- Dealer versus on line. My observation is that while it depends a LOT on the dealers you have near you, and their level of education (which in my experience of visiting over the past 3 years was nothing short of abysmal and disappointing) you generally will find the better made ebikes at local dealers, and better quality at dealers than via the on line only brands. If you are lucky enough to have a dealer near you, who actually knows something about ebikes, and even luckier to find one that deals exclusively in ebikes, then its just a no-brainer to not go the on-line route. I dont say this lightly and not trying to generalize or castigate on line brands, but its absolutely critical that you see and RIDE the ebike you are buying FIRST HAND, and ride as many as possible for fit, comfort, and all the nuances or biases you may have as a rider. There simply is no 'one size fits all' and I'm not talking just about frame sizes, but brand components, geometries, what the industry refers to as stack and reach, and a lot more.

- Front suspension shocks - I decided early on, I simply did not need front suspension shocks, and that nearly every ebike with shocks on them below the price point of $2500, simply were the lowest cost stuff you could put on a bike. Halfway decent shocks cost several hundred dollars. Rather I looked for the right geometry, and swept back handle bars, and right angle of fork positioning that provided an inherent ride dampening quality. Also, the right tires help a lot, and if you can accept that 2" tires roll just as well as anything 1.25", then you will have plenty of dampening from good size tires for majority of situations. The Trek I have ridden for 20 yrs, has forks that curve forward, and they are chromoly steel, so the curve coupled with that material provided great ride dampening, despite having tires that were narrow at 35C. Also its handlebars were slightly swept back, keeping more of my weight centered at the natural ride center of the bike between front and rear wheels. I looked for these great design characteristics in an ebike, as back in the 90's Trek seemed to know what they were doing with these certain models of 'hybrid' bikes (at least thats what they called them back then). I rode that bike on trails of all kinds, and gravel, etc. (too funny what they call 'gravel' bikes these days - much marketing hype and a joke if you ask me, and mostly a reason for industry to charge more money). Since my Trek also had a built in seat post suspension, and it was an ok quality but certainly not the best, it helped a tremendous amount, and I decided to put my money into a suspension seat post (instead of the ebike OEM's pocket for their cheap suspension fork). Again, much better value than front shocks, and certainly more effective for the entire bike at a point that holds 90% or more of your weight. (your butt and spine). And then also a really nice seat, if the ebike did not come with one. (and most dont - thankfully because I dont want the ebike mfg putting any more pennies into the seat, since i WANT TO CHOOSE it)

So what did I end up with ???? Drum roll.....

Sorry, Well not before I tell you what hub drive brands/models that you can get at dealers, that I tried that were actually decent and made it somewhat confusing to choose, but got through it since I was in no rush.


- IGO Ero, and Elite
- IZip Zuma (2017), E3
- Ohm City 2018
- Elby City
- Blix Sol, Blix Aveny and Stockholm (2016)
- Gazelle Avenue (2017)
- Genze 200 Series
- BESV CF1
- Aventon Pace 500
- Raleigh Superb IE (2017)
- Smart Motion Pacer and Catalyst
- Easy Motion - Jet and City
- Magnum Metro, Metro Plus, Peak, and Ui6 (2018 models)
- Surface 604 Rook, Colt


My last criteria was - would I pay more for the ebike I chose, if it happened to be higher priced than what I was paying ? Sounds odd, but its a gut way to know whether Im choosing the right ebike, and not just buying on price alone. a Jedi-mind trick if you will. So would have I paid another $100 or $200 more for the model I bought ? You betcha !!!

And the model is the Pace 500.


The pace 500 was superior in so many ways, and ironically its fairly new to the market, and so little has been talked about it here or anywhere, but I will tell you that I was really at wits end trying to find the ebike I wanted (until this Pace came along), and feeling like it would hold up well, the design was providing what I wanted in the way of ride quality, overall performance, and comfort. So many of the above brands were just missing the mark, and I just kept asking myself is this ebike model (whatever I was riding) worth the money I was spending ??? - and nearly always I came back to a plain NO.


Some came close, but more were just lacking the right combination of spec's, geometry design, ride feel, stability, nimbleness, electronics, wiring, total bike weight, and even proper rate of acceleration and speed. And no I was not looking specifically to find something capable of 28 mph - but I really did want something that would not stop assisting me when I wanted to go faster than 20 mph. That was just a flat out nuisance on so many ebikes. I dont EVER want to feel like I am hitting any sort of 'wall' in my ride, if I am in a situation where I can capably pedal at 21, 22, or 24 mph. I want that ability to GO, when Im getting near a hill to get momentum, and I want it when I am riding around certain types of traffic. And I dont want the bike to bog down, nor do I want to rely on some sort of 'natural feel' or have to press harder in case my legs are spent at some point in the ride. I want to pedal, and just GO, without any hesitation. No mid drive has that, and many hub drives dont, despite high watt ratings. Am I a speed demon ? No. My average pace is often below 15 mph.

I added the Kinekt seat post ( a dream to ride on!) and put on my own rechargeable lights. (by the way, lights supplied with all ebikes integrated into the battery by the OEM, just really suck. They are too dim, and often at the wrong height and location. I chose one with 800 lumens. I not only want to see, but want to be seen, day or night. With a light that bright, you can actually be seen better by cars behind you at night, because they see you are flooding the pavement ahead of you, and sometimes might consider you are not just a bike rider, but maybe another type of vehicle. Not a big fan of fenders either. The one thing I might upgrade in the future is the type of hydraulic brakes that are on the Pace 500. They are good, especially at that price point, but I like a certain feel, and know what brakes will give me that. Oh, and I changed the seat to a Serfas brand gel seat.

Ive had the ebike a month now, and put over 700 miles on it, and its just been an absolute pleasure. It's as 'freeing' as my Trek was when I bought that bike, and if Trek made bikes the way they used to, and actually made one with a hub drive, and priced it properly, I might have considered one from them. (even though not impressed with their dealers near me on the few visits I made in the past couple of years)

P.S. I think I got 'lucky' on my timing, as a LOT seems to have evolved/improved over the past 3 years, and with firms like Aventon producing really nice ebikes at affordable prices and with components needed and wanted by most regular bikers, that did not exist or weren't producing the ebikes I liked 3 years ago, there isn't a need to wait. Do you need to buy the Aventon Pace 500 ? No. But I would certainly try one if possible, and use it as a benchmark so to speak, and ask yourself if another ebike you are considering is really worth the difference in price.
 
Last edited:

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I've been 'surfing' the forum here (some may call it lurking) for over a year, and researching and riding ebikes for about 3 years. I finally took the plunge in the past month or so, and I'll share with you why I got the one I chose, and why I took so long. This may be a long post, so feel free to skip it.

First of all, I'm a really picky buyer, and in general do not like to spend anymore than I absolutely have to, although having said that, I would have no issue plunking down $3000 to $4000 for an ebike if I found one worth that amount. I'm 58, and weigh 175 lbs, and 5'10" so I'm not a big guy by any means, fairly fit and toned. It was a fun process for me, and I took my time, watched the industry evolve pretty quickly in the past few years, and simply rode friends ebikes when they let me or the occasion arose. Also tried some rentals along the way as well during my infrequent business travels. I learned a LOT about bike shops in general, (Since I hadnt been in one for almost 20 years) and since I hadn't been in the market for bikes since the late 90's, (I own a Trek MultiTrak 720) which gave me years of great use. The dealer I bought it from, not so much. He is selling ebikes now, and unfortunately doesn't know very much about them. Carries Giants and a few other odds and ends brands, that he doesn't seem very committed to.

Why did I wait 3 years ? Well for one, this forum itself gave me pause on a lot of brands, but then I decided after reading tons of posts, people here can have a lot of biases in general, and trying to separate the 'chaff from the wheat', is not an easy process when you have no idea what the people commenting here are really like in terms of how or where they ride, how heavy they are, or their build type, their physical stamina, or even whether they are just fascinated with the technology itself, or halfway frequent riders. I also came to the conclusion, that many people posting here either just have a ton of time on their hands and like to just post about stuff and probably retired with nothing better to do (and Facebook for whatever reason isn't satisfying enough for them, and so they found people with common interests here, and just have to weigh in on nearly everything), or they came on to post about some issue they were having. So this forum while interesting, really only gave me some hints of brands to stay away from, and not waste my time on, and which brands were likely most problematic. As far as choosing a quality brand, and good value, there just wasn't enough consistent information (though tons of info here and unfortunately mainly just irrelevant to my decision) here at EBR on any particular brand, though specs on many models that court reviews were handy, but that is not the forum, so hence why I took my time, and rode bike models from more than 30 brands. 10 models were mid drives, and 22 models (lost exact count - might have been 24) were hub drives.

My general conclusions:
1. I'm sure the screams will come flying from the frequent posters (seems like a mid drive bias here and they are louder than everyone else), and I dont mean to offend anyone, but Mid drives simply were not compelling enough to justify spending the extra $1000 to $2000 on, and their reliability when you look at everything objectively was really sub par for that amount of money, especially for ebikes costing $3000 to $5000. If I am spending that much, the reliability of that mid drive had better be darn near bullet proof, and be so for many years. Like my Trek has been. Right now, its just not anywhere close, and they just have not been on the market long enough, for me anyway, to prove that they wont cost me and arm and a leg down the road. The often cited 'natural feel' really didn't generate any compelling feeling nor did it affect how I felt about the performance of the bike overall. It was there, and generally they felt slower than most hub drives, and even in some cases kind of 'draggish' when I pedaled. This included models I tried from Trek, Electra, Giant, Haibike, Yamaha, Bulls, Raleigh, BH, and Specialized, and included motors from Bosch, Yamaha, Brose, Shimano, and TranzX. What concerned me most about mid drives, other than well noted frequent bearing failures, was the impact of them on the rest of the drive train, and all the strain being put on the crank by both myself, my leg strength, my weight if I ever stood up, and then how the manufacturers, dealt with those forces (engineering wise) coming together, plus the torque from the motor itself. If alone you take the crank arm at typically 170 mm long, and just put your weight on that 'lever', with the crank as the 'fulcrum', the bottom bracket on any bike has to be super strong. And have substantial bearing surface area. As soon as you introduce a motor into that area, the equation changes entirely, as not only new forces introduced by the motor itself, but the area that needs the most strength is now compromised by the existence of gearing and overlapping drive shaft materials, etc. So for me at least, the cons on reliability and longevity outweighed the few pro's. Though I will say, they have come a long way since when I tried a couple out back in 2011. To me it seems, mid drives still have a long ways to go before I'd ever seriously consider one on an ebike. Kind of like electric cars - still too high priced, still many under-developed technologies being applied, and TRUE benefits aren't obvious enough or compelling enough, to outweigh the risks.

2. On Hub drives it was a bit difficult to sort out advantages between models priced from around $1400 to $2500. I intentionally excluded most ebikes that had Hub drives where the ebikes were priced above $2800. (except for a few as I did try Stromer, Pedego, and a few other brands to see what I might be missing). Every single one (though I had test rode a few of friends brands) were simply over priced if they were over $2800, and mostly felt over priced if they were over $2300. and some felt like it was by a LOT. I wont name the brands but you all know who they are.

3. Dealer versus on line. My observation is that while it depends a LOT on the dealers you have near you, and their level of education (which in my experience of visiting over the past 3 years was nothing short of abysmal and disappointing) you generally will find the better made ebikes at local dealers, and better quality at dealers than via the on line only brands. If you are lucky enough to have a dealer near you, who actually knows something about ebikes, and even luckier to find one that deals exclusively in ebikes, then its just a no-brainer to not go the on-line route. I dont say this lightly and not trying to generalize or castigate on line brands, but its absolutely critical that you see and RIDE the ebike you are buying FIRST HAND, and ride as many as possible for fit, comfort, and all the nuances or biases you may have as a rider. There simply is no 'one size fits all' and I'm not talking just about frame sizes, but brand components, geometries, what the industry refers to as stack and reach, and a lot more. Its next to impossible to evaluate that from on line specs or paper information, because unless you know all angles of the geometry and overlay them with a drawing, the lengths of tubes, height of headsets, your own measurements, and so on, specs on paper are often meaningless. I did try on-line brands, via friends or even strangers - notably Rad, Evelo, BikTrix, VoltBike, Addmotor (terrible), Civi, Sondors, Juiced, Mate, M2S, Ride1Up. the common issue (my concern) with all of them was the use of rather low quality 3rd party electronics - specifically cheap displays, poor internal wiring, compromised location of external wiring, very cheap controllers, and poor location of the critical items for future service. (Evelo was one of the better ones, but their price points simply did not justify (my opinion) getting the better electronics or servicing design) Also, all on line brands had many items that would be prone to rust and corrosion, and frames with very poor paint finishes. Evelo had the best paint finish by far, and you can tell there are multiple layers, with good primers. (I did body work on cars at my grandfathers shop years ago, and learned a lot about paint then, and even powder coated finishes later in my career, and so on) And NO, I am not going to buy something, and later 'upgrade' motor or electronics - such an utter waste of time and money, and the homework required and lack of well developed aftermarket, creates way more risk, than I care to delve into. This industry is still very new here, though many act like its been around for years and years. Just buy the right ebike in the first place, and be patient if you need to. My regular bike more than sufficed during that 3 year period.

4. Front suspension shocks - I decided early on, I simply did not need front suspension shocks, and that nearly every ebike with shocks on them below the price point of $2500, simply were the lowest cost stuff you could put on a bike. Halfway decent shocks cost several hundred dollars. Rather I looked for the right geometry, and swept back handle bars, and right angle of fork positioning that provided an inherent ride dampening quality. Also, the right tires help a lot, and if you can accept that 2" tires roll just as well as anything 1.25", then you will have plenty of dampening from good size tires for majority of situations. The weight of the shocks were also not of any benefit, and in some cases compromised the integrity of the front steering capability. I want my ebike to be just as nimble as my Trek has been, and shocks (at this price point on ebikes below $2500) were not going to allow that. The Trek I have, has forks that curve forward, and they are chromoly steel, so the curve coupled with that material provided great ride dampening, despite having tires that were narrow at 35C. Also its handlebars were slightly swept back, keeping more of my weight centered at the natural ride center of the bike between front and rear wheels. I looked for these great design characteristics in an ebike, as back in the 90's Trek seemed to know what they were doing with these certain models of 'hybrid' bikes (at least thats what they called them back then). I rode that bike on trails of all kinds, and gravel, etc. (too funny what they call 'gravel' bikes these days - much marketing hype and a joke if you ask me, and mostly a reason for industry to charge more money). Since my Trek also had a built in seat post suspension, and it was an ok quality but certainly not the best, it helped a tremendous amount, and I decided to put my money into a suspension seat post (instead of the ebike OEM's pocket for their cheap suspension fork). Again, much better value than front shocks, and certainly more effective for the entire bike at a point that holds 90% or more of your weight. (your butt and spine). And then also a really nice seat, if the ebike did not come with one. (and most dont - thankfully because I dont want the ebike mfg putting any more pennies into the seat, since i WANT TO CHOOSE it)

So what did I end up with ???? Drum roll.....

Sorry, Well not before I tell you what hub drive brands/models that you can get at dealers, that I tried that were actually decent and made it somewhat confusing to choose, but got through it since I was in no rush.


- IGO Ero, and Elite
- IZip Zuma (2017), E3
- Ohm City 2018
- Elby City
- Blix Sol, Blix Aveny and Stockholm (2016)
- Gazelle Avenue (2017)
- Genze 200 Series
- BESV CF1
- Aventon Pace 500
- Raleigh Superb IE (2017)
- Smart Motion Pacer and Catalyst
- Easy Motion - Jet and City
- Magnum Metro, Metro Plus, Peak, and Ui6 (2018 models)
- Surface 604 Rook, Colt


My last criteria was - would I pay more for the ebike I chose, if it happened to be higher priced than what I was paying ? Sounds odd, but its a gut way to know whether Im choosing the right ebike, and not just buying on price alone. a Jedi-mind trick if you will. So would have I paid another $100 or $200 more for the model I bought ? You betcha !!!

And the model is the Pace 500.

This ebike was superior in so many ways, and ironically its fairly new to the market (unknowingly waited 3 years for this little booger), and so little has been talked about it here or anywhere, but I will tell you that I was really at wits end trying to find the ebike I wanted (until this Pace came along), and feeling like it would hold up well, and the design was providing what I wanted in the way of ride quality, overall performance, and comfort. So many of the above brands were just missing the mark, and I just kept asking myself is this ebike model (whatever I was riding) worth the money I was spending ??? - and nearly always I came back to a plain NO. Some came close, but more were just lacking the right combination of spec's, geometry design, ride feel, stability, nimbleness, electronics, wiring, total bike weight, and even proper rate of acceleration and speed. And no I was not looking specifically to find something capable of 28 mph - but I really did want something that would not stop assisting me when I wanted to go faster than 20 mph. That was just a flat out nuisance on so many ebikes. (PS class 1 is just DUMB !) I dont EVER want to feel like I am hitting any sort of 'wall' in my ride, if I am in a situation where I can capably pedal at 21, 22, or 24 mph. I want that ability to GO, when Im getting near a hill to get momentum, and I want it when I am riding around certain types of traffic. And I dont want the bike to bog down, nor do I want to rely on some sort of 'natural feel' or have to press harder in case my legs are spent at some point in the ride. I want to pedal, and just GO, without any hesitation. No mid drive has that, and many hub drives dont, despite high watt ratings. Am I a speed demon ? Nope. My average pace is often below 15 mph.

I added the Kinekt seat post ( dream !) and put on my own rechargeable lights. (by the way, lights supplied with all ebikes integrated into the battery by the OEM, just really suck. They are too dim, and often at the wrong height and location. I chose one with 800 lumens. I not only want to see, but want to be seen, day or night. With a light that bright, you can actually be seen better by cars behind you at night, because they see you are flooding the pavement ahead of you, and sometimes might consider you are not just a bike rider, but maybe another type of vehicle. Not a big fan of fenders either. Most on these ebikes are just plain junk - except for Stromers, but there is nothing on that ebike worth paying the price no matter which model. The one thing I might upgrade in the future is the type of hydraulic brakes that are on the Pace 500. They are good, especially at that price point, but I like a certain feel, and know what brakes will give me that. Oh, and I changed the seat to a Serfas brand gel seat.

Ive had the ebike a month now, and put over 700 miles on it, and its just been an absolute pleasure. It's as 'freeing' as my Trek was when I bought that bike, and if Trek made bikes the way they used to, and actually made one with a hub drive, and priced it properly, I might have considered one from them. (even though not impressed with their dealers near me on the few visits I made in the past couple of years)

P.S. Do you need to wait 3 years like I did, or spend that long evaluating ebikes like I have ? Well, no not really. I think I got 'lucky' on my timing, as a LOT seems to have evolved/improved over the past 3 years, and with firms like Aventon producing really nice ebikes at affordable prices and with components needed and wanted by most regular bikers, that did not exist or weren't producing the ebikes I liked 3 years ago, there isn't a need to wait. Do you need to buy the Aventon Pace 500 ? No. But I would certainly try one if possible, and use it as a benchmark so to speak, and ask yourself if another ebike you are considering is really worth the difference in price, and if it is, be able to tell yourself why in no uncertain terms.
Congratulations and welcome. I can't say I agree, but that's not important. The important thing is you're satisfied. I do agree many ebikes are way overpriced.

Good luck and enjoy!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
I've been 'surfing' the forum here (some may call it lurking) for over a year, and researching and riding ebikes for about 3 years. I finally took the plunge in the past month or so, and I'll share with you why I got the one I chose, and why I took so long. This may be a long post, so feel free to skip it.

First of all, I'm a really picky buyer, and in general do not like to spend anymore than I absolutely have to, although having said that, I would have no issue plunking down $3000 to $4000 for an ebike if I found one worth that amount. I'm 58, and weigh 175 lbs, and 5'10" so I'm not a big guy by any means, fairly fit and toned. It was a fun process for me, and I took my time, watched the industry evolve pretty quickly in the past few years, and simply rode friends ebikes when they let me or the occasion arose. Also tried some rentals along the way as well during my infrequent business travels. I learned a LOT about bike shops in general, (Since I hadnt been in one for almost 20 years) and since I hadn't been in the market for bikes since the late 90's, (I own a Trek MultiTrak 720) which gave me years of great use. The dealer I bought it from, not so much. He is selling ebikes now, and unfortunately doesn't know very much about them. Carries Giants and a few other odds and ends brands, that he doesn't seem very committed to.

Why did I wait 3 years ? Well for one, this forum itself gave me pause on a lot of brands, but then I decided after reading tons of posts, people here can have a lot of biases in general, and trying to separate the 'chaff from the wheat', is not an easy process when you have no idea what the people commenting here are really like in terms of how or where they ride, how heavy they are, or their build type, their physical stamina, or even whether they are just fascinated with the technology itself, or halfway frequent riders. I also came to the conclusion, that many people posting here either just have a ton of time on their hands and like to just post about stuff and probably retired with nothing better to do (and Facebook for whatever reason isn't satisfying enough for them, and so they found people with common interests here, and just have to weigh in on nearly everything), or they came on to post about some issue they were having. So this forum while interesting, really only gave me some hints of brands to stay away from, and not waste my time on, and which brands were likely most problematic. As far as choosing a quality brand, and good value, there just wasn't enough consistent information (though tons of info here and unfortunately mainly just irrelevant to my decision) here at EBR on any particular brand, though specs on many models that court reviews were handy, but that is not the forum, so hence why I took my time, and rode bike models from more than 30 brands. 10 models were mid drives, and 22 models (lost exact count - might have been 24) were hub drives.

My general conclusions:
1. I'm sure the screams will come flying from the frequent posters (seems like a mid drive bias here and they are louder than everyone else), and I dont mean to offend anyone, but Mid drives simply were not compelling enough to justify spending the extra $1000 to $2000 on, and their reliability when you look at everything objectively was really sub par for that amount of money, especially for ebikes costing $3000 to $5000. If I am spending that much, the reliability of that mid drive had better be darn near bullet proof, and be so for many years. Like my Trek has been. Right now, its just not anywhere close, and they just have not been on the market long enough, for me anyway, to prove that they wont cost me and arm and a leg down the road. The often cited 'natural feel' really didn't generate any compelling feeling nor did it affect how I felt about the performance of the bike overall. It was there, and generally they felt slower than most hub drives, and even in some cases kind of 'draggish' when I pedaled. This included models I tried from Trek, Electra, Giant, Haibike, Yamaha, Bulls, Raleigh, BH, and Specialized, and included motors from Bosch, Yamaha, Brose, Shimano, and TranzX. What concerned me most about mid drives, other than well noted frequent bearing failures, was the impact of them on the rest of the drive train, and all the strain being put on the crank by both myself, my leg strength, my weight if I ever stood up, and then how the manufacturers, dealt with those forces (engineering wise) coming together, plus the torque from the motor itself. If alone you take the crank arm at typically 170 mm long, and just put your weight on that 'lever', with the crank as the 'fulcrum', the bottom bracket on any bike has to be super strong. And have substantial bearing surface area. As soon as you introduce a motor into that area, the equation changes entirely, as not only new forces introduced by the motor itself, but the area that needs the most strength is now compromised by the existence of gearing and overlapping drive shaft materials, etc. So for me at least, the cons on reliability and longevity outweighed the few pro's. Though I will say, they have come a long way since when I tried a couple out back in 2011. To me it seems, mid drives still have a long ways to go before I'd ever seriously consider one on an ebike. Kind of like electric cars - still too high priced, still many under-developed technologies being applied, and TRUE benefits aren't obvious enough or compelling enough, to outweigh the risks.

2. On Hub drives it was a bit difficult to sort out advantages between models priced from around $1400 to $2500. I intentionally excluded most ebikes that had Hub drives where the ebikes were priced above $2800. (except for a few as I did try Stromer, Pedego, and a few other brands to see what I might be missing). Every single one (though I had test rode a few of friends brands) were simply over priced if they were over $2800, and mostly felt over priced if they were over $2300. and some felt like it was by a LOT. I wont name the brands but you all know who they are.

3. Dealer versus on line. My observation is that while it depends a LOT on the dealers you have near you, and their level of education (which in my experience of visiting over the past 3 years was nothing short of abysmal and disappointing) you generally will find the better made ebikes at local dealers, and better quality at dealers than via the on line only brands. If you are lucky enough to have a dealer near you, who actually knows something about ebikes, and even luckier to find one that deals exclusively in ebikes, then its just a no-brainer to not go the on-line route. I dont say this lightly and not trying to generalize or castigate on line brands, but its absolutely critical that you see and RIDE the ebike you are buying FIRST HAND, and ride as many as possible for fit, comfort, and all the nuances or biases you may have as a rider. There simply is no 'one size fits all' and I'm not talking just about frame sizes, but brand components, geometries, what the industry refers to as stack and reach, and a lot more. Its next to impossible to evaluate that from on line specs or paper information, because unless you know all angles of the geometry and overlay them with a drawing, the lengths of tubes, height of headsets, your own measurements, and so on, specs on paper are often meaningless. I did try on-line brands, via friends or even strangers - notably Rad, Evelo, BikTrix, VoltBike, Addmotor (terrible), Civi, Sondors, Juiced, Mate, M2S, Ride1Up. the common issue (my concern) with all of them was the use of rather low quality 3rd party electronics - specifically cheap displays, poor internal wiring, compromised location of external wiring, very cheap controllers, and poor location of the critical items for future service. (Evelo was one of the better ones, but their price points simply did not justify (my opinion) getting the better electronics or servicing design) Also, all on line brands had many items that would be prone to rust and corrosion, and frames with very poor paint finishes. Evelo had the best paint finish by far, and you can tell there are multiple layers, with good primers. (I did body work on cars at my grandfathers shop years ago, and learned a lot about paint then, and even powder coated finishes later in my career, and so on) And NO, I am not going to buy something, and later 'upgrade' motor or electronics - such an utter waste of time and money, and the homework required and lack of well developed aftermarket, creates way more risk, than I care to delve into. This industry is still very new here, though many act like its been around for years and years. Just buy the right ebike in the first place, and be patient if you need to. My regular bike more than sufficed during that 3 year period.

4. Front suspension shocks - I decided early on, I simply did not need front suspension shocks, and that nearly every ebike with shocks on them below the price point of $2500, simply were the lowest cost stuff you could put on a bike. Halfway decent shocks cost several hundred dollars. Rather I looked for the right geometry, and swept back handle bars, and right angle of fork positioning that provided an inherent ride dampening quality. Also, the right tires help a lot, and if you can accept that 2" tires roll just as well as anything 1.25", then you will have plenty of dampening from good size tires for majority of situations. The weight of the shocks were also not of any benefit, and in some cases compromised the integrity of the front steering capability. I want my ebike to be just as nimble as my Trek has been, and shocks (at this price point on ebikes below $2500) were not going to allow that. The Trek I have, has forks that curve forward, and they are chromoly steel, so the curve coupled with that material provided great ride dampening, despite having tires that were narrow at 35C. Also its handlebars were slightly swept back, keeping more of my weight centered at the natural ride center of the bike between front and rear wheels. I looked for these great design characteristics in an ebike, as back in the 90's Trek seemed to know what they were doing with these certain models of 'hybrid' bikes (at least thats what they called them back then). I rode that bike on trails of all kinds, and gravel, etc. (too funny what they call 'gravel' bikes these days - much marketing hype and a joke if you ask me, and mostly a reason for industry to charge more money). Since my Trek also had a built in seat post suspension, and it was an ok quality but certainly not the best, it helped a tremendous amount, and I decided to put my money into a suspension seat post (instead of the ebike OEM's pocket for their cheap suspension fork). Again, much better value than front shocks, and certainly more effective for the entire bike at a point that holds 90% or more of your weight. (your butt and spine). And then also a really nice seat, if the ebike did not come with one. (and most dont - thankfully because I dont want the ebike mfg putting any more pennies into the seat, since i WANT TO CHOOSE it)

So what did I end up with ???? Drum roll.....

Sorry, Well not before I tell you what hub drive brands/models that you can get at dealers, that I tried that were actually decent and made it somewhat confusing to choose, but got through it since I was in no rush.


- IGO Ero, and Elite
- IZip Zuma (2017), E3
- Ohm City 2018
- Elby City
- Blix Sol, Blix Aveny and Stockholm (2016)
- Gazelle Avenue (2017)
- Genze 200 Series
- BESV CF1
- Aventon Pace 500
- Raleigh Superb IE (2017)
- Smart Motion Pacer and Catalyst
- Easy Motion - Jet and City
- Magnum Metro, Metro Plus, Peak, and Ui6 (2018 models)
- Surface 604 Rook, Colt


My last criteria was - would I pay more for the ebike I chose, if it happened to be higher priced than what I was paying ? Sounds odd, but its a gut way to know whether Im choosing the right ebike, and not just buying on price alone. a Jedi-mind trick if you will. So would have I paid another $100 or $200 more for the model I bought ? You betcha !!!

And the model is the Pace 500.

This ebike was superior in so many ways, and ironically its fairly new to the market (unknowingly waited 3 years for this little booger), and so little has been talked about it here or anywhere, but I will tell you that I was really at wits end trying to find the ebike I wanted (until this Pace came along), and feeling like it would hold up well, and the design was providing what I wanted in the way of ride quality, overall performance, and comfort. So many of the above brands were just missing the mark, and I just kept asking myself is this ebike model (whatever I was riding) worth the money I was spending ??? - and nearly always I came back to a plain NO. Some came close, but more were just lacking the right combination of spec's, geometry design, ride feel, stability, nimbleness, electronics, wiring, total bike weight, and even proper rate of acceleration and speed. And no I was not looking specifically to find something capable of 28 mph - but I really did want something that would not stop assisting me when I wanted to go faster than 20 mph. That was just a flat out nuisance on so many ebikes. (PS class 1 is just DUMB !) I dont EVER want to feel like I am hitting any sort of 'wall' in my ride, if I am in a situation where I can capably pedal at 21, 22, or 24 mph. I want that ability to GO, when Im getting near a hill to get momentum, and I want it when I am riding around certain types of traffic. And I dont want the bike to bog down, nor do I want to rely on some sort of 'natural feel' or have to press harder in case my legs are spent at some point in the ride. I want to pedal, and just GO, without any hesitation. No mid drive has that, and many hub drives dont, despite high watt ratings. Am I a speed demon ? Nope. My average pace is often below 15 mph.

I added the Kinekt seat post ( dream !) and put on my own rechargeable lights. (by the way, lights supplied with all ebikes integrated into the battery by the OEM, just really suck. They are too dim, and often at the wrong height and location. I chose one with 800 lumens. I not only want to see, but want to be seen, day or night. With a light that bright, you can actually be seen better by cars behind you at night, because they see you are flooding the pavement ahead of you, and sometimes might consider you are not just a bike rider, but maybe another type of vehicle. Not a big fan of fenders either. Most on these ebikes are just plain junk - except for Stromers, but there is nothing on that ebike worth paying the price no matter which model. The one thing I might upgrade in the future is the type of hydraulic brakes that are on the Pace 500. They are good, especially at that price point, but I like a certain feel, and know what brakes will give me that. Oh, and I changed the seat to a Serfas brand gel seat.

Ive had the ebike a month now, and put over 700 miles on it, and its just been an absolute pleasure. It's as 'freeing' as my Trek was when I bought that bike, and if Trek made bikes the way they used to, and actually made one with a hub drive, and priced it properly, I might have considered one from them. (even though not impressed with their dealers near me on the few visits I made in the past couple of years)

P.S. Do you need to wait 3 years like I did, or spend that long evaluating ebikes like I have ? Well, no not really. I think I got 'lucky' on my timing, as a LOT seems to have evolved/improved over the past 3 years, and with firms like Aventon producing really nice ebikes at affordable prices and with components needed and wanted by most regular bikers, that did not exist or weren't producing the ebikes I liked 3 years ago, there isn't a need to wait. Do you need to buy the Aventon Pace 500 ? No. But I would certainly try one if possible, and use it as a benchmark so to speak, and ask yourself if another ebike you are considering is
really worth the difference in price, and if it is, be able to tell yourself why in no uncertain terms.

Can you condensed this to maybe a couple short paragraphs?
 

ilanarama

Member
Can you condensed this to maybe a couple short paragraphs?

I'll do it for you. "Here are my[*] reasons for choosing the Aventon Pace 500."

* these reasons may not apply to you. (They certainly don't apply to me, but hey, yay to the OP for figuring out what's important to him in an ebike.)
 

rcdanner

Active Member
Mmax posted: 'And the model is the Pace 500.'

I too own Pace 500. I recently purchased half dozen ebikes in my search. Each time I thought 'This is the ONE!' But for various reasons, it wasn't. Until I picked the Pace 500. This ebike isn't perfect but it hits most of my ebike criteria. Available in different sizes. Small weighs only 46lbs. Components are good quality. Ride is full upright comfortable with adjustable stem, swept back handlebars, and 55lb pressure 2.2 in tires. Powerful and fast. Battery is 11.6Ah. Fit and finish of the Pace 500 belies the price. And discount coupon made it even more value purchase. 800 miles of comfortable easy riding. Totally trouble free. I agree with Mmax!
 
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