Overwhelmed with options-- help me choose

jenhoffman22

New Member
I've been reading through the forums and am feeling overwhelmed. I need some help sorting through all my options. I'm 5'3" about 150lbs, and plan to use the bike for recreation, probably not more than 20-40 miles at a time every week or two. I will mostly be on paved bike roads, but will need to tackle some decently sloped, long hills too, and don't want to worry about having enough power to get up those. My budget is $1000-2000ish. I've had the opportunity to test ride the Aventon Pace 350, 500, Model M/Y, Townie 8D, and Pedego Interceptor. The only one I didn't like of those was the Townie (no throttle). Pedego was great, but super $$$. Here are the bikes I've been looking into and considering:

1) Rad City Step Thru Commuter Bike V3
2) Rad City Step Thru 1
3) Himiway All Terrain Step Thru
4) Ride1Up 700/500
5) Electric Bike Company Model M
6) Aventon Pace 500- liked it a lot except the super-quick acceleration at the start.
7) Aventon Pace 350- liked it but didn't have quite the speed of the 500
8) Espin Flow (great Black Friday sale now)
9) Magnum UI6
10) Blix Sol
11) Blix Aveny
12) Tower Beach Babe
13) Biktrix Stunner LT Medium
14) Biktrix Swift

What are your thoughts/recommendations when comparing these bikes?
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I think you've set a record with asking us to sort through 14 choices. Eliminate anything with fat tires, you don't need those for paved roads. At 5'3" you should only get a step thru or one of the 20" folding eBikes. Eliminate 6 & 7 since they had features you didn't like. Don't pick a single speed since you have hill climbing concerns. How many are left?
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
Not to confuse you more but you should add the Lectric XP to your list.

Rad, R1U, Espin and Biktrix all have pretty good BF sales right now.
 
Last edited:

ephemere

Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
At 5'3" you should only get a step thru or one of the 20" folding eBikes.
Is that true? My wife is 5'4" and rides an old (1993?) Specialized hybrid with a typical sloping top tube. My wife is soon going to look for her first e-bike, and we weren't intending to limit the options to step-thrus. But neither of us has experience with e-bikes, yet. Is it that many e-bikes don't come in small enough sizes?
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
I think you've set a record with asking us to sort through 14 choices. Eliminate anything with fat tires, you don't need those for paved roads. At 5'3" you should only get a step thru or one of the 20" folding eBikes. Eliminate 6 & 7 since they had features you didn't like. Don't pick a single speed since you have hill climbing concerns. How many are left?
See...you’re already helping by giving me a couple to eliminate. I think I’m more inclined to go with a step through than a folding bike. I don’t think any of my options were folding bikes. It’s a cool concept though. Thanks for the advice
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I've been reading through the forums and am feeling overwhelmed. I need some help sorting through all my options. I'm 5'3" about 150lbs, and plan to use the bike for recreation, probably not more than 20-40 miles at a time every week or two. I will mostly be on paved bike roads, but will need to tackle some decently sloped, long hills too, and don't want to worry about having enough power to get up those. My budget is $1000-2000ish. I've had the opportunity to test ride the Aventon Pace 350, 500, Model M/Y, Townie 8D, and Pedego Interceptor. The only one I didn't like of those was the Townie (no throttle). Pedego was great, but super $$$. Here are the bikes I've been looking into and considering:

1) Rad City Step Thru Commuter Bike V3
2) Rad City Step Thru 1
3) Himiway All Terrain Step Thru
4) Ride1Up 700/500
5) Electric Bike Company Model M
6) Aventon Pace 500- liked it a lot except the super-quick acceleration at the start.
7) Aventon Pace 350- liked it but didn't have quite the speed of the 500
8) Espin Flow (great Black Friday sale now)
9) Magnum UI6
10) Blix Sol
11) Blix Aveny
12) Tower Beach Babe
13) Biktrix Stunner LT Medium
14) Biktrix Swift

What are your thoughts/recommendations when comparing these bikes?
I have Flows brother the Sport and love it. I did notice the price dropped to 1049 or so, I would pounce!!
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Is that true? My wife is 5'4" and rides an old (1993?) Specialized hybrid with a typical sloping top tube. My wife is soon going to look for her first e-bike, and we weren't intending to limit the options to step-thrus. But neither of us has experience with e-bikes, yet. Is it that many e-bikes don't come in small enough sizes?
Quite a few on-line direct sellers are one size fits most. High end LBS eBikes usually sell 3 sizes of frames, maybe more.
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
Not sure about the folding bikes...but would you have any thoughts on Rad vs R1U vs Espin vs Bitrix?
So I am biased because I have Espin Sport but that's before I found Biktrix.

For the money ($1049 BF special), I think the Sport beats all other brands for the features... 500w, front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes, rack/fenders, integrated lights and integrated battery... and it was easy to build.

At $824, the Biktrix Swift Lite is also appealing, lighter (47lbs) but only a 350w motor and mechanical disc brakes, it does have front suspension, lights, rack/fenders and an integrated battery.

Today, I would buy the Biktrix Swift Lite because of the weight difference but the Sport is a great bike. So good that @Taylor57 bought TWO!
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Best of luck deciding. I choose based on my needs, the ebike shops and what brand they sold/serviced, my experience with ebikes in the past, yada, yada. I never looked at any ebike forum till after it was ordered and I sure didn’t ask anyone to tell me what to choose. I test rode two Trek ebikes over a three year period.
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
I have Flows brother the Sport and love it. I did notice the price dropped to 1049 or so, I would pounce!!
How is the take off on the Flow? The Aventon takes off like a bat out of hell in PAS 1. Doe the Flow have a more gradual PAS 1? And does the throttle work from a full stop on that bike?
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
Yes. As long as you are in PAS 1 or higher the throttle will work from a full stop.

I’ve ridden the Pace 500 and I think the pause in pedal assist makes it feel abrupt because power doesn’t come on immediately. Hard to compare what the PAS 1 start feels like.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
How is the take off on the Flow? The Aventon takes off like a bat out of hell in PAS 1. Doe the Flow have a more gradual PAS 1? And does the throttle work from a full stop on that bike?
The Sport and Flow have the same throttles. You can regulate how much juice and start up speed by how much throttle pressure you apply. I like to use a quick burst when starting out from a dead stop at a stop light-especially when I am first in line. Pow, a quick jolt, start pedaling and get separation with the vehicles behind me...
 

percymon

Active Member
The Flow is claimed to suit rides from 5'1" to 6'3" - thats some size range, especially as the big bike players would cover that range with 3 or 4 frame sizes. Yes you can shuffle the seat rails back n forth but if not set correctly you may experience knee pain. The adjustable stem gives options for height & angle but no independent length adjustment - no point adjusting for a short reach distance to the bars only to find they are set too high for you. If the geometry is similar to bikes you have ridden then maybe it will be comfortable for you, but you'll need to check. Of course you could swap out the stem and or bars to improve the ergonomics for some fine tuning.

Its a good looking ride in fairness, and a great price for BF - but its only a good buy if the one frame size works for you. As a more petite rider you don't want to feel over powered by the size and weight of the bike

You should also consider after sales / service and build - do you have the skills/knowledge or a good local bike shop that will work with you in terms of fine tuning, servicing and any repairs ?
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
The Flow is claimed to suit rides from 5'1" to 6'3" - thats some size range, especially as the big bike players would cover that range with 3 or 4 frame sizes. Yes you can shuffle the seat rails back n forth but if not set correctly you may experience knee pain. The adjustable stem gives options for height & angle but no independent length adjustment - no point adjusting for a short reach distance to the bars only to find they are set too high for you. If the geometry is similar to bikes you have ridden then maybe it will be comfortable for you, but you'll need to check. Of course you could swap out the stem and or bars to improve the ergonomics for some fine tuning.

Its a good looking ride in fairness, and a great price for BF - but its only a good buy if the one frame size works for you. As a more petite rider you don't want to feel over powered by the size and weight of the bike

You should also consider after sales / service and build - do you have the skills/knowledge or a good local bike shop that will work with you in terms of fine tuning, servicing and any repairs ?
I'm 5'6" and the Sport is OK size wise for me. If I was an inch shorter, not so much. The Flow, with it's step through would be perfect for any of us vertically challenged IMO...
 

como813

New Member
i haven't never heard of some of those bikes BUT look up reviews on youtube. watch more than one review per bike. then track down the one you think you want make sure it fits you and ride it and make sure you can get it serviced by an authorized dealer
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
i haven't never heard of some of those bikes BUT look up reviews on youtube. watch more than one review per bike. then track down the one you think you want make sure it fits you and ride it and make sure you can get it serviced by an authorized dealer
Good luck with the dealer servicing part....
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
At 5'3" you should only get a step thru or one of the 20" folding eBikes.
Having short legs myself, I don't understand why posters try to force short people into bikes that rattle their teeth on a pothole (20" wheels) or bikes that won't steer straight because the frame flexes (folders). I ride 26" wheels because I can't miss the potholes when puddles cover them or I'm following a car in traffic. Also suspension bikes cost $1000 more than hard frame and probably have a 4 year life because the seals in the air cylinders go bad.
One brand not mentioned that caters to short people is Liv, a short person's version of trek.
The bike shown left is for short people, a yuba bodaboda in small frame. The stretch frame makes it more stable than the MTB's and cruisers I had previously that all pitched me on my chin when the wheel snapped sideways on bumps ridges & sticks.
Note I ride 77 hills, some of grade 15%, on my commute to summer camp, & I have a geared hub motor. Gross weight is 330 lb with a load of supplies. One only has to have a mid-drive for hills if one is climbing 1000' in an hour, which will burn up a geared hub motor.
 

Luto

Active Member
HI Jen, Which bikes have you rode? I too looked at a lot of bikes on line, but it was not until I rode 5 bikes that things really got moving with a selection pool. Then on the 6th bike it was VERY clear for me. Since you are in an area with a lot of dealers, IMO, it is time to get some test rides. Good work researching so far.

PS: Make sure you lift some up a curb or if needed stairs. Some are really unwieldy.
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
HI Jen, Which bikes have you rode? I too looked at a lot of bikes on line, but it was not until I rode 5 bikes that things really got moving with a selection pool. Then on the 6th bike it was VERY clear for me. Since you are in an area with a lot of dealers, IMO, it is time to get some test rides. Good work researching so far.

PS: Make sure you lift some up a curb or if needed stairs. Some are really unwieldy.
Hi Luto-

I tried out the Townie 7D, the Electric Bike Co Model Y and Model M, the Aventon Pace 350 and 500, Specialized Como (just for comparison's sake since it's out of my budget), a fold up Citizen bike on consignment, and I'm hoping to try the Magnum bikes at a LBS this week. I also have a friend who just bought the Himiway and plan to try that one out, but am concerned with forums I've read regarding customer support. Another friend just bought a used Gazelle I will check out next weekend. I'm trying to do my due diligence. After reading some of these posts, I'm worried about buying from an online only company, except maybe Rad, since they seem to know what they're doing and have been around while. The Espin Flow seems like a great deal at the moment, but I'm hesitant because I don't have the ability to try it and make sure it's comfortable and a nice ride. I'm like the idea of having a local place to get service, because I'm not handy, so maybe the Aventon or the Magnum, since there are shops. I'm also planning to call my LBS and see if they'll work on them. I know there's a shop 30 min away that was servicing a Rad bike when I went in, so that may be an option.