New to this - asking for help!

Robert Smith

New Member
Hello all,
I'm 69, 5'6" and use to ride a regular bike pretty often for fitness and fun. Now, not so easy to do and I want to get an electric bike to cruise/tour along on trails, country roads and such and to commute to work, 7 miles and two very steep and long hills. Not knowing much at all about electric bikes, I'm interested in a few cruisers but have read that they aren't good at all on hills (there are lots of hills along country roads). So, ease/comfort of riding position, range and enough power to get me there (180 lbs). I'm thinking about the Townie Go and also about the Pedego Interceptor III. A friend of mine (63, 6", and 210 pounds) is also eager to buy a bike that will do similar things for him.

Any comments, or better yet suggestions?
 
if i could buy my first ebike again i would 1) buy used but almost new or demo 2) mininum 350 to 500 watt motor for hills 3) 11 to 14 ah battery and plan on buying another bike that really fits me and how i ride after about 6 months to a year of riding.
 

Donny

Active Member
I just recently picked up an iZip Zuma that I am having a blast with. I'm six foot and weight about 215 pounds. Bike has a 48v 500w motor that is more than enough and I am only using it in pedal assist (PAS) level 1 - the bike goes up to PAS 3 (on 2, the bike about knocks me off because it takes off so fast). The bike is set up with an upright comfortable sitting position, no having to half lean forward or anything. Bike also comes with a wide and relatively comfortable seat. Here is a pic of it for you to look at:

20160528_140703 v2.jpg
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Look to buy a Demo with the Bosch mid drive system. They are not the fastest but have a reliable reputation and are great for climbing hills.

Definitely avoid geared motors.. And direct drive hub motors may overtax the battery and or controller.

You will pay more up front, ergo, look to buy a demo model, or last years model.. Expect to pay 3-4k..
 
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Robert Smith

New Member
Thank you all for the advice. The fellow at crazylenny recommended a 2015 evo easy ride 650B, as I would like to be able to ride on gravel bike trails, etc. He said the riding position as halfway between upright cruiser and the forward. $2280 plus shipping. That sound right to you guys?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for the advice. The fellow at crazylenny recommended a 2015 evo easy ride 650B, as I would like to be able to ride on gravel bike trails, etc. He said the riding position as halfway between upright cruiser and the forward. $2280 plus shipping. That sound right to you guys?
I started to post on your initial post, then you hit the thread with the BH Easy Motion Evo 650b. I'm a little biased there, as I own a very similar bike, it's big brother (size only, not power) the Evo 29'er. I love my bike and Lenny's. I also think the first two bikes in your first post are very good bikes and are worth a look. As you know already though, cruisers won't be as good powering up hills. Personally I prefer torque sensing pedal assist and the Townie Bosch and Easy Motion both have torque sensing PAS. For that matter any Bosch or Easy Motion bike will. Most important is fit, comfort and enough power, you won't ride any ebike unless it has those.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I have a hybrid and a Trek mountain bike. I put cruiser handlebars on both, but they don't have much rise. They twist around so it's more of a 'handshake' position. Flat bars don't work for me. But, what I am trying to suggest is you can make a semi-cruiser with different bars. I'd try to get the shop to do the swap, There are some issues you may run into.

The cruiser in my member photo was $270 and I put a Golden Motor Smart Pie on it. The bars probably rise too much. The motor climbs hills up to 8% or so, especially when I pedal fairly hard. Anything you ride upright is a sail. Anything with pedal forward has poor leverage for climbing hills. But, when you add a motor, those issues go away.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Idk Robert about the 650B for your needs.. Ask Ravi.. I think he has or had one.

And I think you cannot charge the battery on the bike.. You have to remove it from the frame.

IMO that's a deal breaker.
 
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Robert Smith

New Member
I have a hybrid and a Trek mountain bike. I put cruiser handlebars on both, but they don't have much rise. They twist around so it's more of a 'handshake' position. Flat bars don't work for me. But, what I am trying to suggest is you can make a semi-cruiser with different bars. I'd try to get the shop to do the swap, There are some issues you may run into.

The cruiser in my member photo was $270 and I put a Golden Motor Smart Pie on it. The bars probably rise too much. The motor climbs hills up to 8% or so, especially when I pedal fairly hard. Anything you ride upright is a sail. Anything with pedal forward has poor leverage for climbing hills. But, when you add a motor, those issues go away.

Thanks for the information...especially about swapping the handlebars so as to ride in a more upright position.
 

Carl_L

New Member
Look to buy a Demo with the Bosch mid drive system. They are not the fastest but have a reliable reputation and are great for climbing hills.

Definitely avoid geared motors.. And direct drive hub motors may overtax the battery and or controller.

You will pay more up front, ergo, look to buy a demo model, or last years model.. Expect to pay 3-4k..

Check out Crazy Lenny's 1/2 price sale on a Haibike Trekking.. Looks like it would work for you.

http://www.crazylennysebikes.com/demos

It's all a bit of a personal choice with ebikes, so you have to decide what's best for you.

Agree with JoePah's comments above about Bosch mid drive though and, if that offer of the Haibike Xduro Trekking is genuinely half-price, I'd snap their hand off it's the right size. Would have been my first choice (though I would have opted for the unisex frame) but, here in the U.K., one would have cost me approx 50% more than my Cube MTB (which I had adjusted for my 'trekking' requirements as part of the deal) & it's not 50% better.

Now slightly to contradict myself, I've found I'm perfectly happy with the Bosch drive + XT 11spd on my Cube (not sure I'd want less than the 11spd) but, before taking the plunge on the Cube, I was intrigued by the SRAM dual drive on the Haibike. Never really got to find out whether it was any hindrance to wheel removal, or whether it was just the case of unclipping a cable, so I don't know whether I had a lucky escape. The hub gears I have on another bike are a real pain for rear wheel changing - perhaps combining with a derailleur is the magic solution? maybe someone here can chip in?

One thing's for sure: All ebikes are too expensive to choose one model over another because you prefer, say, the seat or the handlebars - it's surprising how you can make a bike fit your needs at (relatively) little expense. My advice is to establish what sort of motor + gearing + frame type + approx. wheel size you want & consider everything else easily changeable at will (+ a little money ;) ).
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if in 2015 there was an official U.S. model "Evo 650B". There was a 27.5 and a Jumper 27.5 but not sure about 650B. When 27.5 and 650B hit the market there were slight differences, but many manufactures and shops have come to use the two names interchangeably.

Court's review of the 2015 Evo 27.5 https://electricbikereview.com/easy-motion/evo-27-5/

He listed the body position as forward, not aggressive. Robert, only you know if that is too sporty or not.
 

Jack Tyler

Active Member
@Robert Smith I may be reading too much into your original post but it sounds like you are not sampling ebikes by riding them. You may not have a local bike shop (LBS) that sells ebikes BUT I'd encourage you to explore the area where you live and see if you can jump on a few ebikes and see what you think. And if that option isn't available to you locally, I'd encourage you to dedicate some time to driving where you can sample ebikes. Even if they turn out not to be what you want, you'll discover you have preferences, just as others here have suggested. Good luck and best wishes on the Hunt!
 

Robert Smith

New Member
@Robert Smith I may be reading too much into your original post but it sounds like you are not sampling ebikes by riding them. You may not have a local bike shop (LBS) that sells ebikes BUT I'd encourage you to explore the area where you live and see if you can jump on a few ebikes and see what you think. And if that option isn't available to you locally, I'd encourage you to dedicate some time to driving where you can sample ebikes. Even if they turn out not to be what you want, you'll discover you have preferences, just as others here have suggested. Good luck and best wishes on the Hunt!

You're right - I'm mostly reading about them. A guy advertised a used HEEB, which he said was a 1000, so, looking it up that meant it was pretty new, but it turned out to be a 500 and maybe 4 years old with still the original battery. He wants $1500 for it, and left it with me. I've been riding it now well over a week in various situations (roads, hills, and today a slightly rough gravel with a few wash-outs bike trail). From riding it I know that I have to have an ebike - reminds me of when I could do it for real. But the battery poops out at maybe 12 miles with a red light and it just seems too old to consider seriously, even though it's in fine shape.

So, in way too many words, I've only ridden this one ebike and know, or think I know, that this isn't what I should buy as it's sure to crap out sooner rather than later, and because of all the advances since then. But, the experience of riding it is just wonderful so I absolutely have to have an ebike.

I see there are a lot of used bikes on ebay, but that would be the same thing - buying without trying.

I'm in CT. There is a big ebike story in not too far away, in Londonberry NH - Electric bikes of New England. I'm maybe going to make a trek up there on Sat. to try some out.

Thank you, and everyone else - you're all so generous with your knowledge. There sure seems to be a lot to consider.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Think you might mean a Hebb ebike :D, they were originally sold in the US and other countries under the Ezee label and then faded from the market since there was no support or distribution for the product. A very sharp fellow named Bill Hebb (he knew a lot about electric powered machines after designing the Nautilus line of workout equipment) snapped up the US branch and decided to do a few upgrades (thus your Hebb 1000). Do focus on your local shops where you can test ride and get service, @Robert Smith. Buying a product from across the country or off the internet with no support when you're new to ebikes could create a frustrating experience. The battery on that Hebb is very likely more than 4 years old and there is no US distributor for that bike or battery any more. Great in its time, much better than most but consider that there are a lot of new ebikes with shop support that you can purchase for about that same amount of $$ or a little more and have a new bike with a full warranty. A discounted price right now won't be so cheap a deal when it comes to warranty or long term maintenance compared to product purchased nearby.
 

wren

Member
I agree with Ann that an obsolete bike like you're testing is not worth a fraction of $1,500. But be wary of the philosophy of dealing with a local e-bike shop to get support, because when they go under, you are simply are paying top dollar for nothing.

I suggest you find a local bike shop, a regular bike shop, that has been in business for many years and has a good reputation. Tell them your plan and see what kind of service help they can provide. This is why @JoePah has a good idea of going with a quality mid drive, because, besides the motor and the battery, the rest of the bike can be serviced like a regular bike at a local shop. Then buy at a discount to mitigate the risk.

Another option is, large bike shops in major cities are carrying some of the lines from Izip, Strommer, Haibike and others. They do charge close to full retail price mostly, but at least you know the shop will still be there in a few years to service your bike.

Wild west in e-bike land!!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Just a side comment. I disagree about geared hubs, Joe. They're light, and the gears do pull well. I do understand the concerns about the gears wearing out. Their best attribute is that I can ride and pedal if I want, or if I have to. Last Sunday, we trucked our bikes to Chicago's lakefront for a 30 mile ride, and I immediately lost my motor because of a bad battery connection. With a heavy DD drive, I dunno if I am going home or riding, but with a geared motor or a mid drive I can go on. I brought my new BBS02 kit that day and did 20 miles on pedal power before our time ran out.

My wife's rode her geared cruiser style EG Maui 500 that day. Most definitely her longest ride in 40 years and she said it was effortless, as she waited for me to catch up on hills. I've tested her bike on some hills. I'll say it can deal with any hill that our local fit and ready road bikers can handle.The reason I would not want to ride it for recreation is that her cruiser does not fell good for curving bike paths or coming down a steep hill. I'm sitting back like I'm playing a pinball machine.

Well, I'm sure other cruisers are different. It's in the bars and the seats. So the OP needs to test ride some bikes, and get what he likes.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I agree with you @harryS about geared hubs; I have a BMC geared hub and love it; I can pedal the bike and barely notice it's an electric motor. but i live in Miami, and there isn't any kind of a hill for 25 miles. Not sure how hilly your rides are in and around Chicago or thereabouts.

The reason I don't think geared hubs are a good idea for @Robert Smith is that he has long hills to traverse... A quality mid drive for a 69 year old man is the best and most reliable choice imo. He won't have to worry about pedaling or pushing his bike home, or having the controller overheat and fail.
 

Robert Smith

New Member
Think you might mean a Hebb ebike :D, they were originally sold in the US and other countries under the Ezee label and then faded from the market since there was no support or distribution for the product. A very sharp fellow named Bill Hebb (he knew a lot about electric powered machines after designing the Nautilus line of workout equipment) snapped up the US branch and decided to do a few upgrades (thus your Hebb 1000). Do focus on your local shops where you can test ride and get service, @Robert Smith. Buying a product from across the country or off the internet with no support when you're new to ebikes could create a frustrating experience. The battery on that Hebb is very likely more than 4 years old and there is no US distributor for that bike or battery any more. Great in its time, much better than most but consider that there are a lot of new ebikes with shop support that you can purchase for about that same amount of $$ or a little more and have a new bike with a full warranty. A discounted price right now won't be so cheap a deal when it comes to warranty or long term maintenance compared to product purchased nearby.

Yes, Hebb....jeez. He advertised it as a 1000, but it is, I think, an electroglide 500 as it's 4 yrs. old and has no model markings. It is certainly sturdy and the Hebb website sells many replacement parts. The one battery they sell is 37v and 15 ah, and goes for $800 with shipping. I assume it fits both the older (mine) and newer (the 1000) bike.... I'll be trying some bikes in real time tomorrow. But $1500 for the Hebb 500 is way too much it seems.
http://www.hebbebikes.com/price-list.php