Newbie

Cyclemom

New Member
Eldest son is soon to be 17 and his tongue is wagging for an electric mountain bike. Have been reading the reviews on this and other sites. Any nominations? Affordable is a must as well as the build and ease of handling. Ease of service and EZ access to parts will play a part in my decision.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Well your son has a very nice mom!
1. Find out what electric bikes are available to you locally.
2. Set a budget and stick to it.

You shouldn't buy a eBike on line because teens are hard on bikes, and pretty much everything else. So a local dealer will be very handy.

EBR website has a section of affordable bikes to look at.

Have fun!
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
To me, the only way to keep a bike affordable is to build it. You take a bike, you add a motor, you add a battery, and you have an ebike. There are some electronics, but many motors are complete. Now you know what you have, you know how to put it together, and you know how to take it apart. The obvious choice is the Bafang BBS02, which is being upgraded. There are maybe 100 YouTube videos about how to install the BBS02.

I would buy a bike online, or anywhere else that makes sense. I would just buy a mountain bike, but learn enough to know what you need to know to convert it. If he has a mountain bike, even better.

Aside from this, we would need to know what type of terrain, hills, miles, rider weight, etc, to get very detailed. I hope it's a fun process for both of you. Could be a lifelong thing, and with any luck he is getting in on the ground floor.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
I have bought two electric bikes and built one electric bike over the last 7 years.

I have 11,000 miles on the two retail electric bikes and 1000 miles on my DIY bike.

I can tell you without a doubt that a retail electric bike is far more reliable, and far more likely to sustain abuse than a DIY ebike. With a retail eBike you will have a warranty from a local dealer who is competent and able to find the parts to fix your bike. Giving your son more time to enjoy it.

Now, unless someone in your family is mechanically and electrically inclined your son will spend a lot of time trying to build it then trying to troubleshoot. Any warranty will be pretty much useless.

So if your son wants a hobby, then build an eBike, if he wants to use it every day, buy an eBike.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I have bought two electric bikes and built one electric bike over the last 7 years.

I have 11,000 miles on the two retail electric bikes and 1000 miles on my DIY bike.

I can tell you without a doubt that a retail electric bike is far more reliable, and far more likely to sustain abuse than a DIY ebike. With a retail eBike you will have a warranty from a local dealer who is competent and able to find the parts to fix your bike. Giving your son more time to enjoy it.

Now, unless someone in your family is mechanically and electrically inclined your son will spend a lot of time trying to build it then trying to troubleshoot. Any warranty will be pretty much useless.

So if your son wants a hobby, then build an eBike, if he wants to use it every day, buy an eBike.
This might be an interesting topic for discussion, but it would hijack the thread. If the OP wants to provide some details and specifics, we can get closer to discussing a real bike. That's the only way to address the complexity, things like wear, failures, battery issues. Just knowing the price level clarifies what level of component any ebike is going to have.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
@J.R. I don't think the Electron Wheel is even for sale yet. They are looking for partners per their website: Electron WheelTM is currently seeking out trusted and reliable manufacturers and distributors to license with.

http://www.electronwheel.com/
Thanks Joe! They were going through CurrieTech dealers, but I thought this new model was a factory direct item. I guess even lower tech all-in-one is still not easy...
 

Steve Ryu

Member
Eldest son is soon to be 17 and his tongue is wagging for an electric mountain bike. Have been reading the reviews on this and other sites. Any nominations? Affordable is a must as well as the build and ease of handling. Ease of service and EZ access to parts will play a part in my decision.
@Cyclemom it depends on what your definition of affordable is. With eBikes specifically, you get what you pay for. The current sway of the industry is to go for a Mid drive or Center drive motor. Currently Bosch is the most popular, however, Bosch bikes start at a price point of about $3500+
Haibike is releasing a lower price point eMountain Performance bike with the SDURO badge that uses a Yamaha Drive system.

For servicing, center drive motors are fairly easy when it comes to standard bike parts, however, the drive system is meant to only be serviced by an authorized service center as most motors connect directly to diagnostic software and with Bosch warranties are remedied with plug and play (they send the shop a new piece to replace the old piece).

The IZIP/Raleigh 2015 Models are selling at a great price now due to end of model year and have a couple of models including the E3 Peak and Tekoa iE.

At the end of the day... TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE regardless of which brand you go with, make sure the bike feels right to your son.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
@Cyclemom it depends on what your definition of affordable is. With eBikes specifically, you get what you pay for. The current sway of the industry is to go for a Mid drive or Center drive motor. Currently Bosch is the most popular, however, Bosch bikes start at a price point of about $3500+
Haibike is releasing a lower price point eMountain Performance bike with the SDURO badge that uses a Yamaha Drive system.

For servicing, center drive motors are fairly easy when it comes to standard bike parts, however, the drive system is meant to only be serviced by an authorized service center as most motors connect directly to diagnostic software and with Bosch warranties are remedied with plug and play (they send the shop a new piece to replace the old piece).

The IZIP/Raleigh 2015 Models are selling at a great price now due to end of model year and have a couple of models including the E3 Peak and Tekoa iE.

At the end of the day... TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE irregardless of which brand you go with, make sure the bike feels right to your son.
If people ask me what my $1300 kit bike (BkesDirect Elite + MAC 350 + LiFePo 36/15) does, I tell them. It will cruise a bit faster than the legal limit. It will climb a 12% grade without assistance, 15% with. The battery is rated properly. Everything has performed flawlessly for 5 months and 1500 miles. The motor will produce 800 watts for several minutes, and it doesn't get warm. There is a 1,000 watt limit in Utah.

I wish production bikes had watt meters and accumulating amp hour meters. If I have to explain to Newbies how electric motors and batteries work, I can give a complete and honest accounting of my bike. That means range, climbing, reliability issues, anything. If people want to know the compromises I make on batteries, safety, weight, total capacity, I can defend my choices.

If someone has a specific question, I welcome it. I'm familiar with the problems with the MACs and the BBS series. They are totally exposed and documented. There are steps to avoid problems with the BBS.

I got what I paid for and I got a really good bike with a lot of solid components. If someone wants to break this down, or offer a price, anything like that, great. I just can't see a Haibike as an 'affordable choice'. I think you can make an affordable and solid choice for about a third of what a Haibike runs, and the Hai is the jewel in the crown for Accell in the US. They are made in Europe. Most bikes under $3,000 are made in Asia, beside the bikes folks buy and make into kits.
 

Steve Ryu

Member
I think it's important that we stay inclusive to any and every body. As every one is entitled to their own opinion, it's important not to let that be translated into judgement. For some the route is to build an eBike, but for others, this may be an intimidating process, or one may just not have the time or the know-how. Just as computers can be built component by component at a lower cost, they are also sold as finished goods by reputable companies like Apple and HP. As happy as some are with a custom built bike, there are also customers that are as happy with purchases of Haibikes. As much information as we may all have, we all started as "newbies". I'd chalk it up to the test ride. @Cyclemom there are some great people in the industry that I can refer you to for test rides depending on where you are. Although it may be next week due to most of them being at Interbike this week. Please feel free to reach out at any time.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@Cyclemom where are you located? Would love to help you find some local shops where you can test ride and share what brands they carry. Mountain bike riding can be rough on the bike and I figure your son is probably going to be doing some street riding too, so hybrid types like the Koda & Alation are good options. The Izip Peak & Raleigh Misceo are both mid drives, so basic maintenance and flat fixing will be a little simpler. The Haibikes, although more expensive are very durable. With this being Interbike week, look for good end of season specials. And Test Ride! You might find an ebike you like too! :)
 

Cyclemom

New Member
@Cyclemom where are you located? Would love to help you find some local shops where you can test ride and share what brands they carry. Mountain bike riding can be rough on the bike and I figure your son is probably going to be doing some street riding too, so hybrid types like the Koda & Alation are good options. The Izip Peak & Raleigh Misceo are both mid drives, so basic maintenance and flat fixing will be a little simpler. The Haibikes, although more expensive are very durable. With this being Interbike week, look for good end of season specials. And Test Ride! You might find an ebike you like too! :)
@Cyclemom where are you located? Would love to help you find some local shops where you can test ride and share what brands they carry. Mountain bike riding can be rough on the bike and I figure your son is probably going to be doing some street riding too, so hybrid types like the Koda & Alation are good options. The Izip Peak & Raleigh Misceo are both mid drives, so basic maintenance and flat fixing will be a little simpler. The Haibikes, although more expensive are very durable. With this being Interbike week, look for good end of season specials. And Test Ride! You might find an ebike you like too! :)
 

Cyclemom

New Member
We are in Tennessee. Lots of hills and mountains here! Scary though, thinking of him and his friends riding around on mountain roads and trails. He has been online checking out different bikes. His top choice was a Haibike($$$). He liked the looks and trim of different fat bikes, magnum Md5 and Polaris. He has also mentioned a few others I just can't remember the names right now. Interbike is in Vegas and we won't be traveling there for test rides. Do you have info on the last two bikes mentioned? Though hubby says we will not buy off the internet.
 

Cyclemom

New Member
Well your son has a very nice mom!
1. Find out what electric bikes are available to you locally.
2. Set a budget and stick to it.

You shouldn't buy a eBike on line because teens are hard on bikes, and pretty much everything else. So a local dealer will be very handy.

EBR website has a section of affordable bikes to look at.

Have fun!
Thank you for your info and time. Much appreciated!
 

Cyclemom

New Member
@Cyclemom it depends on what your definition of affordable is. With eBikes specifically, you get what you pay for. The current sway of the industry is to go for a Mid drive or Center drive motor. Currently Bosch is the most popular, however, Bosch bikes start at a price point of about $3500+
Haibike is releasing a lower price point eMountain Performance bike with the SDURO badge that uses a Yamaha Drive system.

For servicing, center drive motors are fairly easy when it comes to standard bike parts, however, the drive system is meant to only be serviced by an authorized service center as most motors connect directly to diagnostic software and with Bosch warranties are remedied with plug and play (they send the shop a new piece to replace the old piece).

The IZIP/Raleigh 2015 Models are selling at a great price now due to end of model year and have a couple of models including the E3 Peak and Tekoa iE.

At the end of the day... TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE, TEST RIDE regardless of which brand you go with, make sure the bike feels right to your son.

Thanks Steve. We think alike. Test rides are the way to go. Need to be sure he can handle it and hopefully ride safe!