Overwhelmed with options-- help me choose

debrasa

New Member
Hi Jen,
I just purchased my first e-bike on Friday and was very overwhelmed with everything I was reading and seeing online. I had researched several of the bikes you had in your list. One bike company, Volt, even had a list of Ambassadors -people who were willing to talk to you that purchased their bike and I called and spoke to someone at length who lived an hour away.

It wasn't until I took a 2 hour drive to Crazy Lenny's ebikes in Madison, WI and actually test drove several bikes, that I was able to made an informed decision. I am a yoga instructor and personal trainer and have helped three of my clients purchase ebikes. They had more funds than I did and purchased the Trek Verve 3+, which is great bike but not in my price range. I was able to ride their bikes several times. The top end of my budget was $2,000 and I wanted a mid-drive motor as it feels more like riding a bike in my humble opinion. I ended up spending $2,100 and getting a bike I had never heard of or saw in my internet research. It was a Black Friday special and I was even a bit concerned bc the price was so good but the bike store had intentionally purchased a large quantity to sell at rock bottom price.

It is a BMC Alphenchallenge AMP City One.

My previous bike is a solid, steady eddy Trek 7300 (hybrid, multi-track) donated to me by Trek 19 years ago when I did a charity ride. I also have a high-end road bike I do not ride anymore. My intentions with an ebike are just to enjoy riding more and going longer distances in a shorter amount of time. I typically will ride my entire route without assistance and then on the way back towards the end use more assist. If I ride multiple days in a row, I will use more of the assist. Basically, I still want to ride my bike like it is a bike but just have that extra push that keeps me riding and keeps a huge smile on my face.

I have seen the BMC bike at retail value for $3,500 and as high as $4,400 got it for $2,100. What I love about it is how much it rides like a regular bike and that includes the weight - only 33 pounds with the battery. I do not have to purchase a special ebike bike rack. It has Shimano Step E6100 motor and hydraulic brakes. I did trade out the seat with the one on my previous bike and am making a slight adjustment to the rise of the handlebars ($30) because I want to be a bit more upright. I am 55 yoa and am done with leaning over that far when biking 20+ miles. I like that it is a full frame.

My decision came down to the BMC but there was another bike at the same price $2,100 sale and $2,600 retail that I really liked:

The Haibihe 2020 SDURO Trekking 1.0 step thru. More upright and comfortable to ride. Mid-drive, Bosch motor, hydraulic brakes, already comfortable seat, front suspension, etc., If I was wealthy, I would have purchased both bikes and the Haibihe would be my comfort/cruiser bike.

Look forward to finding out what you choose.

with gratitude,
debra

 

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debrasa

New Member
btw just saw the Magnum Ui5 is on Black Friday Special at crazy lenny's for $980 ($1499) and comes with a free Sena smart bluetooth helmet ($130 value)
I hope it is ok to put where i purchased my bike - admin??
 

Explorer-1

Well-Known Member
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.
Sounds like you are doing all the right stuff, and have a good plan. Carry-on and let us know how it works out. Maybe come back when you have it down to 3 or less bikes.

A lot of cadence sensor based PAS bikes have a kind of jumpy start, after a bit you learn to handle it, control it, and you'll be like 'what jumpy start'. It's a bit startling for the first while, but just something to learn about your bike and develop good habits like pulling the break when mounting/unmounting, chatting and casually spinning the pedals... I like electronic motor cut-offs on the brake levers, most have that safety feature, but many don't like it and some still don't have it.
 

Luto

Active Member
Hi Jen, Great work. It is hard to keep all of them straight! I would suggest a few of things:

1) Although it is an e-bike, it is still a bike, so it flexes and moves as you, motor or brakes (suddenly slowing) put pressure on it. This is important because it make a big difference on how it rides and safety. The more traditional frame configurations are more proven. All these curved frame angles are less known. They might work at lower speeds and feel great, but become strange at higher speeds-stress. Speed impacts the bikes handing and not all frames account for this.

2) Weight distribution is also very important. It is complicated but the easiest to feel and see is center of gravity. So this is something you can keep in mind. Loads (groceries) or standing and swinging the bike reveals a lot. You might ask the LBS to attach someone heavy (to simulate a grocery run) to a rack and try it out. You can even bring a heavy backpack. Some bikes completely suck with something in a rear rack. Front racks can even be better for weight performance.

3) Shocks-suspension is another decision point. IMO, on paved roads at moderate speeds they are not only unnecessary, but unwanted because they add weight (sometimes cost too) and impact handling. Others will tell you different, maybe. But the point is, if you can figure out if you want them or not, that may help narrow it down. (BTW most are air shocks and are pretty much maintenance free, unlike oil shocks on MTBs)

4) Unless the bike is fitted to you, FOR HOW YOU RIDE (upright or more tilted forward) , the handlebars, seat height and forward back position will make a big impression on the likeability of the ride.

Lastly, I do like the Gazelle Medeo T10 HMB, but it is out of the price range. What I like is the integrated battery (better weight distribution), the frame geometry (good general purpose), but would not want the shocks. Hope this helps!

PS: There are a lot of less traveled roads in the bay area that are great for biking. I grew up in Palo Alto. You might find you are riding a lot more, so the extra investment or going cheap used and upgrading later, might be things to consider.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Hi Jen, Great work. It is hard to keep all of them straight! I would suggest a few of things:

1) Although it is an e-bike, it is still a bike, so it flexes and moves as you, motor or brakes (suddenly slowing) put pressure on it. This is important because it make a big difference on how it rides and safety. The more traditional frame configurations are more proven. All these curved frame angles are less known. They might work at lower speeds and feel great, but become strange at higher speeds-stress. Speed impacts the bikes handing and not all frames account for this.

2) Weight distribution is also very important. It is complicated but the easiest to feel and see is center of gravity. So this is something you can keep in mind. Loads (groceries) or standing and swinging the bike reveals a lot. You might ask the LBS to attach someone heavy (to simulate a grocery run) to a rack and try it out. You can even bring a heavy backpack. Some bikes completely suck with something in a rear rack. Front racks can even be better for weight performance.

3) Shocks-suspension is another decision point. IMO, on paved roads at moderate speeds they are not only unnecessary, but unwanted because they add weight (sometimes cost too) and impact handling. Others will tell you different, maybe. But the point is, if you can figure out if you want them or not, that may help narrow it down. (BTW most are air shocks and are pretty much maintenance free, unlike oil shocks on MTBs)

4) Unless the bike is fitted to you, FOR HOW YOU RIDE (upright or more tilted forward) , the handlebars, seat height and forward back position will make a big impression on the likeability of the ride.

Lastly, I do like the Gazelle Medeo T10 HMB, but it is out of the price range. What I like is the integrated battery (better weight distribution), the frame geometry (good general purpose), but would not want the shocks. Hope this helps!

PS: There are a lot of less traveled roads in the bay area that are great for biking. I grew up in Palo Alto. You might find you are riding a lot more, so the extra investment or going cheap used and upgrading later, might be things to consider.
Great points. Adjustment is very important when choosing.
 

percymon

Active Member
Don’t under estimate a local bike shop, they’re invaluable for fixing punctures and installing tubes, sealant or protection tyre inserts. Not to mention setting the bike fit up for you, and a free running in service after a few hundred miles to adjust cables etc once they’ve bedded in.

another advantage buying local is the possibility of finance, not really an option buying online from manufacturers websites (at least not here in uk)
 

BET

Active Member
You have a lot of choices. Based on your height I would eliminate the Ride1up 500 and 700 as the frames are likely too large. My son has a Ride1up 500 and is 5'6" or a little taller and he barely fits. The Espin Sport/Flow frame is smaller (17"). With your height I would get the Flow (the step thru. It has hydraulic brakes, suspension fork and good components. About 55 lbs.). The Espin Nero would also fit but I do not suggest it for you as it has fat tires and is heavier. The Aventon 500 bike is nice as it comes in various frame sizes. Also REI has a line of mid drive e bikes that may fit your budget although I hear demand exceeds supply. I would not get the Lectric xp. It is heavy, has fat tires, ride is rougher, and does not climb as well as other choices. We have an Espin Sport, a Ride1up500 and an Lectric xp step thru. Perhaps check out threads on bikes for shorter riders.
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
Hi Jen, Great work. It is hard to keep all of them straight! I would suggest a few of things:

1) Although it is an e-bike, it is still a bike, so it flexes and moves as you, motor or brakes (suddenly slowing) put pressure on it. This is important because it make a big difference on how it rides and safety. The more traditional frame configurations are more proven. All these curved frame angles are less known. They might work at lower speeds and feel great, but become strange at higher speeds-stress. Speed impacts the bikes handing and not all frames account for this.

2) Weight distribution is also very important. It is complicated but the easiest to feel and see is center of gravity. So this is something you can keep in mind. Loads (groceries) or standing and swinging the bike reveals a lot. You might ask the LBS to attach someone heavy (to simulate a grocery run) to a rack and try it out. You can even bring a heavy backpack. Some bikes completely suck with something in a rear rack. Front racks can even be better for weight performance.

3) Shocks-suspension is another decision point. IMO, on paved roads at moderate speeds they are not only unnecessary, but unwanted because they add weight (sometimes cost too) and impact handling. Others will tell you different, maybe. But the point is, if you can figure out if you want them or not, that may help narrow it down. (BTW most are air shocks and are pretty much maintenance free, unlike oil shocks on MTBs)

4) Unless the bike is fitted to you, FOR HOW YOU RIDE (upright or more tilted forward) , the handlebars, seat height and forward back position will make a big impression on the likeability of the ride.

Lastly, I do like the Gazelle Medeo T10 HMB, but it is out of the price range. What I like is the integrated battery (better weight distribution), the frame geometry (good general purpose), but would not want the shocks. Hope this helps!

PS: There are a lot of less traveled roads in the bay area that are great for biking. I grew up in Palo Alto. You might find you are riding a lot more, so the extra investment or going cheap used and upgrading later, might be things to consider.
That is a lot to consider. Thank you for taking the time to suggest all of these points.
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
I want to thank you to everyone all for your advice...especially given the fact that I had so many models I was considering. I rode the Magnum UI6, Metro, and Lowrider Cruisers today at a LBS. I liked the UI6, but when I considered the $1699 price tag vs. the Black Friday sale on the Espin Flow, which a few people suggested would be great for the value, I pulled the trigger for the online bike today. Got it for $1049 after applying a $50 coupon on top of the sale. I have to wait until January, since their December availability is now gone, but it'll give me something to look forward to. I called a local bike shop and they said they work on ebikes bought elsewhere, though flat tire repairs will cost me 2x what they would on a non-ebike. I just couldn't justify the extra $600 to buy local, especially when the Espin has hydraulic brakes, and the Magnum does not.

If anyone else is considering making the buy, here is a $50 off code you can use for yours! ESPINSQUAD-B0LNKM
 
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Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I want to thank you to everyone all for your advice...especially given the fact that I had so many models I was considering. I rode the Magnum UI6, Metro, and Lowrider Cruisers today at a LBS. I liked the UI6, but when I considered the $1699 price tag vs. the Black Friday sale on the Espin Flow, which a few people suggested would be great for the value, I pulled the trigger for the online bike today. Got it for $1049 after applying a $50 coupon on top of the sale. I have to wait until January, since their December availability is now gone, but it'll give me something to look forward to. I called a local bike shop and they said they work on ebikes bought elsewhere, though flat tire repairs will cost me 2x what they would on a non-ebike. I just couldn't justify the extra $600 to buy local, especially when the Espin has hydraulic brakes, and the Magnum does not.

If anyone else is considering making the buy, here is a $50 off code you can use for yours! ESPINSQUAD-B0LNKM
Welcome to the Espin gang. You will love your bike. Hope it arrives soon
 

Luto

Active Member
I want to thank you to everyone all for your advice...especially given the fact that I had so many models I was considering. I rode the Magnum UI6, Metro, and Lowrider Cruisers today at a LBS. I liked the UI6, but when I considered the $1699 price tag vs. the Black Friday sale on the Espin Flow, which a few people suggested would be great for the value, I pulled the trigger for the online bike today. Got it for $1049 after applying a $50 coupon on top of the sale. I have to wait until January, since their December availability is now gone, but it'll give me something to look forward to. I called a local bike shop and they said they work on ebikes bought elsewhere, though flat tire repairs will cost me 2x what they would on a non-ebike. I just couldn't justify the extra $600 to buy local, especially when the Espin has hydraulic brakes, and the Magnum does not.

If anyone else is considering making the buy, here is a $50 off code you can use for yours! ESPINSQUAD-B0LNKM
Excellent choice and killer price! I like the lights, chain guard, and frame config. Good work!
 
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Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I am surprised about the number of positive comments I get on my Black Sport. I would love to buy a Smoke Grey Flow for my GF, but she claims she wont ride it...
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
you do know that you can buy a Biktrix Juggernaut Duo 750watt middrive with two batteries totaling 52v30.5ah for $2000
or you could buy a Biktrix Juggernaut Duo Hub motor 750watt with the same dual battery set up for $1800! you could ride and never have to worry about running out of juice but dont goof off there are 5 middrive 750 left and only 4 hub 750s! this is an incredible deal, just search biktrix duo indegogo.
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
Excellent choice and killer price! I like the lights, chain guard, and frame config. Good work!
Thank you. Seems like I got a lot of bang for my buck with that one. And now...I
I am surprised about the number of positive comments I get on my Black Sport. I would love to buy a Smoke Grey Flow for my GF, but she claims she wont ride it...

I think it's a great looking bike. Maybe your gf will change her mind at some point. I got the Smoke Grey Flow.
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
you do know that you can buy a Biktrix Juggernaut Duo 750watt middrive with two batteries totaling 52v30.5ah for $2000
or you could buy a Biktrix Juggernaut Duo Hub motor 750watt with the same dual battery set up for $1800! you could ride and never have to worry about running out of juice but dont goof off there are 5 middrive 750 left and only 4 hub 750s! this is an incredible deal, just search biktrix duo indegogo.
I looked at this bike, and it sounds like a great deal and is probably a great option for a lot of people, but I really wanted a bike with an upright sitting position and a comfy ride. This one was a little too much of a mtn bike for me.
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
Hi Jen,
I just purchased my first e-bike on Friday and was very overwhelmed with everything I was reading and seeing online. I had researched several of the bikes you had in your list. One bike company, Volt, even had a list of Ambassadors -people who were willing to talk to you that purchased their bike and I called and spoke to someone at length who lived an hour away.

It wasn't until I took a 2 hour drive to Crazy Lenny's ebikes in Madison, WI and actually test drove several bikes, that I was able to made an informed decision. I am a yoga instructor and personal trainer and have helped three of my clients purchase ebikes. They had more funds than I did and purchased the Trek Verve 3+, which is great bike but not in my price range. I was able to ride their bikes several times. The top end of my budget was $2,000 and I wanted a mid-drive motor as it feels more like riding a bike in my humble opinion. I ended up spending $2,100 and getting a bike I had never heard of or saw in my internet research. It was a Black Friday special and I was even a bit concerned bc the price was so good but the bike store had intentionally purchased a large quantity to sell at rock bottom price.

It is a BMC Alphenchallenge AMP City One.

My previous bike is a solid, steady eddy Trek 7300 (hybrid, multi-track) donated to me by Trek 19 years ago when I did a charity ride. I also have a high-end road bike I do not ride anymore. My intentions with an ebike are just to enjoy riding more and going longer distances in a shorter amount of time. I typically will ride my entire route without assistance and then on the way back towards the end use more assist. If I ride multiple days in a row, I will use more of the assist. Basically, I still want to ride my bike like it is a bike but just have that extra push that keeps me riding and keeps a huge smile on my face.

I have seen the BMC bike at retail value for $3,500 and as high as $4,400 got it for $2,100. What I love about it is how much it rides like a regular bike and that includes the weight - only 33 pounds with the battery. I do not have to purchase a special ebike bike rack. It has Shimano Step E6100 motor and hydraulic brakes. I did trade out the seat with the one on my previous bike and am making a slight adjustment to the rise of the handlebars ($30) because I want to be a bit more upright. I am 55 yoa and am done with leaning over that far when biking 20+ miles. I like that it is a full frame.

My decision came down to the BMC but there was another bike at the same price $2,100 sale and $2,600 retail that I really liked:

The Haibihe 2020 SDURO Trekking 1.0 step thru. More upright and comfortable to ride. Mid-drive, Bosch motor, hydraulic brakes, already comfortable seat, front suspension, etc., If I was wealthy, I would have purchased both bikes and the Haibihe would be my comfort/cruiser bike.

Look forward to finding out what you choose.

with gratitude,
debra

Thank you for sharing your experience, Debra. Congratulations on your new bike purchase. I ended up going with the Espin Flow, since it was on sale for $1049 today. I couldn't beat the features for that price, and others on this forum who purchased it seemed happy with their bikes. It won't get here until January, so I'll have to be patient!
 

percymon

Active Member
you do know that you can buy a Biktrix Juggernaut Duo 750watt middrive with two batteries totaling 52v30.5ah for $2000
or you could buy a Biktrix Juggernaut Duo Hub motor 750watt with the same dual battery set up for $1800! you could ride and never have to worry about running out of juice but dont goof off there are 5 middrive 750 left and only 4 hub 750s! this is an incredible deal, just search biktrix duo indegogo.
Its not an incredible deal if it doesn't fit the rider (min height 5'4"), is too heavy to maneuver (over 80lbs) and potentially is overwhelming for the rider.

@jenhoffman22 - congrats on placing your order; good timing as you can now start looking at cycling accessories to put on your Santa list ;)
 

jenhoffman22

New Member
Its not an incredible deal if it doesn't fit the rider (min height 5'4"), is too heavy to maneuver (over 80lbs) and potentially is overwhelming for the rider.

@jenhoffman22 - congrats on placing your order; good timing as you can now start looking at cycling accessories to put on your Santa list ;)
Thank you percymon! That's the plan--look for accessories to add next!