Overwhelmed by choices. Looking for my first bike.

MichelleS

New Member
Region
USA
Hi,
I'm looking to purchase an e-bike but have been overwhelmed by the different brands and types and having a hard time making a decision. I live in a very hilly part of the country with a mix of pavement and dirt roads. I'm looking to ride mostly for exercise and enjoyment but the hills have been intimidating to me since I"m out of shape. Something that would be good for hills is important. Most of the local bike shops are out of stock of most bikes already this spring although there are some others a further distance away I can call and check out. In my reading this site, I was leaning towards the Biktrix Stunner, the Trex Verve, the Specialized Como or really any others that someone may suggest. My budget is ideally $2500 but could go higher if necessary.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Biktrix Stunner would be what I would buy from your shortlist, the BBS02 motor is plenty strong enough. A few other cruiser suggestions are the Evelo Aurora hub drive model although it’s a bit heavy, the EBT cruiser although someone on the forum mentioned the Dapu 500w mid-drive motor is a bit power hungry, Pedego Interceptor which has a 24” step-through option good for shorter riders, Ride1Up 700 ST or the Aventon Level step-through both of which are essentially the same bike although neither appears to be stock until May
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
The wife and I are both loving our Trek Allant+7 diamond and Lowstep versions. Bosch PLCX gen 4 motors climb hills easily and are indeed better than the Verve's Active Line motors and yes, are pricier. I've seen several Allant+7 in shops near me but not sure where you are. Best of luck.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Unless you are an electrical engineer with bike repair experience, I suggest you buy a bike from a dealer. A bike with flaky problems in the electrical part is nearly unrideable and has no value on the resale market. I've had to throw away 2 trash batteries from amazon & ebay, and a $198 DD hub motor has been put away because it dragged too much unpowered. However, some dealers have been reported here that ignore repeated warrenty problems to concentrate on selling more useless bikes.
The character of your hills matters. Rolling hills with ups & downs can easily be handled by an inexpensive geared hub motor. I ride about 90 hills twice a week with my geared hub motor, outbound with 60 lb groceries. Sustained steep grades from the sea to the mountain top as exist in the Sierras and Rocky mountain ranges can burn out a geared hub motor. These long steep ascents are best handled by a mid-drive, however expensive and however frequently they require the chain to be replaced. Most mid drives also drag unpowered. Exceptions are Yamaha, Brose, Shimano, and some generation 4 (expensive) bosch. The mid drives have expensive proprietary batteries except possibly the Brose.
Court reviews will tell you what kind of motor the bike comes with.
Another often overlooked part of buying an ebike is fitting the frame to your body size and desired riding posture. Some bikes come in sizes. Some bikes claim that one size fits all, and speaking as a person with short legs, that assertion is a big lie. Climbing on a bike and test riding it is one way to assure the size and posture fits you. There are both cruiser style, and head down hips up racer style electric bikes on the market.
A third dimension is kind of suspension. Inexpensive bikes without a suspension are best at 8-15 mph. Over 15 mph a suspension is very useful. Suspensions cost extra, and can be a parts supply hassle after the bike is 3 to 5 years old.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Have you actually ridden any bikes, yet? Sometimes things that look great in theory just don't feel right in practice (and sometimes they work out just fine 😉).

When I purchased my La Free E+2 a year and a half ago, I had ridden it, and a few hub drives at my LBS, so I knew I liked it (but still put myself through months of agonizing before finally buying).

My second bike for our second home across the country is an internet purchase (Espin Flow), and a hub drive instead of mid. I felt fairly comfortable ordering it because I had a bit of experience riding from my initial purchase process and had a general idea about what it was going to feel like. I still put myself through months of agony before purchase 😂. It turned out to be perfect as a second bike, in a location very different from our very hilly main home.

My point is, try to ride SOMETHING before purchase, so you have a concrete idea about what you like and what works for you - and the inverse. It can be difficult to find bikes to ride right now, but, especially if you've never ridden an e-bike before, doing so can really clarify your wants/needs best.
 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
I'm not going to suggest any particular bike but I will tell you that if your budget is $2500 then look for a bike around $2000. You are probably going to spend around $500 for accessories before you're done.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I'm not going to suggest any particular bike but I will tell you that if your budget is $2500 then look for a bike around $2000. You are probably going to spend around $500 for accessories before you're done.
That, of course, depends on what bike you chose in the first place. Only accessories I bought were a seat, bar ends, and a bag or two. Hardly $500. IMO, if you buy the right bike, many "essentials" are included such as lighting, fenders, etc.
 

Gordon71

Well-Known Member
That, of course, depends on what bike you chose in the first place. Only accessories I bought were a seat, bar ends, and a bag or two. Hardly $500. IMO, if you buy the right bike, many "essentials" are included such as lighting, fenders, etc.
Very true but many of those bikes are probably well over $2500 to start with. Did your bike have a rear suspension or did you have to say spend $180 for a thud buster seat post? How about a rear rack with bag and panniers such as a topeak system? Rear view mirrors? Helmet? Special tools for routine services? Extra tubes and tools to repair a flat when far from home? They all add up.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Hi,
I'm looking to purchase an e-bike but have been overwhelmed by the different brands and types and having a hard time making a decision. I live in a very hilly part of the country with a mix of pavement and dirt roads. I'm looking to ride mostly for exercise and enjoyment but the hills have been intimidating to me since I"m out of shape. Something that would be good for hills is important. Most of the local bike shops are out of stock of most bikes already this spring although there are some others a further distance away I can call and check out. In my reading this site, I was leaning towards the Biktrix Stunner, the Trex Verve, the Specialized Como or really any others that someone may suggest. My budget is ideally $2500 but could go higher if necessary.
Don't know the Biktrix, but when I was testing out ebikes, I rented both Comos and Verves for a weekend. The verves (both a 2 and a 3) seemed a little twitchy and almost underpowered compared to the Comos I bought, but not a huge difference...probably fit of the bike and quality of the dealership is more important than the difference between the brands TBH.
At $2500 you have enough budget for a bike shop to be able to help you, so I would call all the LBS in your area to see what they have available.
IMO, just riding around the block or in a parking lot isn't enough time to make a multi thousand dollar decision... you want an hour or two to ride the kind of terrain that you expect to ride. Good luck and welcome to EBR.
 

MichelleS

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you all for your suggestions. I have ridden an ebike before but I don't know what type it was. It was one of those programs where my community had free rentals available for a few hours on a weekend. I have no idea what I rode although I do remember it had a throttle. I did rent a bike this spring and will call the place and see what type it was but I recall it not being a good fit. It was powerful enough but it didn't fit my body well. Unfortunately, I called around to a bunch of bike shops in my immediate area last week and no one has anything. One bike shop offered me a bike that would arrive in mid-May but they have been selling before arrival (Trek Verve). I guess I'll have to call a few shops further away and see what they have available. I do agree with buying from a local shop but that seems impossible right now. And with the Biktrix, it looks like it's mail order only, anyway?
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Thank you all for your suggestions. I have ridden an ebike before but I don't know what type it was. It was one of those programs where my community had free rentals available for a few hours on a weekend. I have no idea what I rode although I do remember it had a throttle. I did rent a bike this spring and will call the place and see what type it was but I recall it not being a good fit. It was powerful enough but it didn't fit my body well. Unfortunately, I called around to a bunch of bike shops in my immediate area last week and no one has anything. One bike shop offered me a bike that would arrive in mid-May but they have been selling before arrival (Trek Verve). I guess I'll have to call a few shops further away and see what they have available. I do agree with buying from a local shop but that seems impossible right now. And with the Biktrix, it looks like it's mail order only, anyway?
My first experience with rental ebikes was similar... a very heavy, 20 inch wheel folder that just didn't fit either me or my wife. Keep looking!
You didn't say where you are from, but if there is a tourist area near you, you may find some rentals available there.
 

lipjim

New Member
Hi,
I'm looking to purchase an e-bike but have been overwhelmed by the different brands and types and having a hard time making a decision. I live in a very hilly part of the country with a mix of pavement and dirt roads. I'm looking to ride mostly for exercise and enjoyment but the hills have been intimidating to me since I"m out of shape. Something that would be good for hills is important. Most of the local bike shops are out of stock of most bikes already this spring although there are some others a further distance away I can call and check out. In my reading this site, I was leaning towards the Biktrix Stunner, the Trex Verve, the Specialized Como or really any others that someone may suggest. My budget is ideally $2500 but could go higher if necessary.
 

lipjim

New Member
Michelle..... The market and technology is going crazy...I have a number of different bikes including Mid drives, Hub drives, Torque sensing, Cadence sensing, etc, etc. I like nice things and like to spend money but mostly enjoy the changing technology and riding. My suggestion on the first go around would be look at the Ride1 Up700 series because they are fairly light in weight and have most of the bells and whistles and and a pretty good price point for starters. Ride1 UP presently have what they call a pre-sale going on now. It has a thumb throttle which I love even though there are 2 schools of thought. Check them out as there is no end with regard to price, quality, etc. out here. IMO.... Keep it simple and good luck as I'm sure you will enjoy what ever you get....Just be careful on the 1st go around and Happy trails! https://thejournier.com/2020/05/26/aventon-level-versus-ride1up-700-series/
 
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dmark

Active Member
The Biktrix Stunner, the Trex Verve, and the Specialized Como are all good choices. I have been debating about getting the Stunner for my wife. If I could do without a throttle, Trek and Specialized would be at the top of my list. The Stunner will get you up hills with no pedaling if needed. The Trek and Specialized will give you more of a bicycle feel; you will still need to pedal but with super legs.