Pedego City Commuter or Alternative

Ralph

Active Member
Court,

I am 69, 5.7, and not a little guy. I currently ride an Electra Townie 3 Speed. I live on a barrier island in Northern Florida. Not a lot of electric bikes available here yet, but I have ridden the Izip Metro, Pedego Comfort Cruiser and the City Commuter which seems to be head and shoulders above the pack. I like being able to use the PAG and TAG systems alternately or even better together to get a boost on the PAG systems.

The geometry on the City Commuter and the 48 volt system are a quality combo, but the bike is a little big for me. The question is what are some good top quality alternatives with the PAG/TAG or PAG/TAG+ system offered on a few of the new 2014 Pedegos. Biggest problem similar geometry since I won't be able to ride most of the alternatives prior to buying them...or so it seems.
 
The 2014 Pedego Intercepter just started offering PAS and has smaller tires than the City Commuter and is still 48volt. The IZip Zuma is also very comfortable. It's 36 volt, but still very powerful. I believe it comes in a few sizes.
 

Ralph

Active Member
The 2014 Pedego Intercepter just started offering PAS and has smaller tires than the City Commuter and is still 48volt. The IZip Zuma is also very comfortable. It's 36 volt, but still very powerful. I believe it comes in a few sizes.
Thanks. I understand the new Zuma will be in dealers soon. Looks like a better choice than last years model.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Good timing! I just finished a review on the 2014 IZIP Zuma which does offer both pedal assist (PAS) and twist and go (TAG). Chandlee is right however, it only offers 36 volt battery vs. 48 which would be more powerful.

I also really love the Pedego City Commuter but struggled with the full sized high-step version since I'm 5'9" so I bought the white low-step model and it worked great! That could be a good option for you if you don't mind the stepthrough frame. It's wonderful to pedal and more comfortable than the true cruiser models like the Comfort Cruiser or Interceptor because the seat position, handle bars and frame are a bit more aggressive. For me, if I pedal actively and for extended periods with those larger seat style bikes my legs get bruised and chaffed.

Pedego also offers a smaller sized cruiser called the 24" Cruiser (because it has 24" wheels vs. 36") but it only comes with a twist throttle, no pedal assist. The new 2014 Interceptor comes with the same LCD computer and control systems that run the City Commuter (meaning it has both throttle and pedal assist) but I really think the frame will be too large for you Ralph.

Another great option for you in the "cruiser" frame style that's also a good fit in terms of size could be the Motiv Sleek. Even though this bike normally only comes with throttle mode, they can upgrade to offer you both twist throttle and pedal assist by borrowing the systems used on their Shadow and it will only cost ~$2,500. You could also just get the Shadow which is a medium sized commuter style ebike. All of these Motive ebikes also offer the stronger 48 volt pack upgrade as well. You will have to work directly with them to make the pedal assist request on the Sleek but I just heard about another person who was thinking about having it done. Here's a link to the thread where they mentioned speaking with Motiv.

Hope this helps! All things considered it seems like a modified Sleek or the step-through City Commuter would be great choices. Both companies provide good support. The biggest trade offs will be battery position (the City Commuter mounts it high on the rear rack vs. lower on the Sleek) and cruiser design (the Sleek is going to be more relaxed and probably not as fun to pedal as the City Commuter over long distances).
 

Ralph

Active Member
Thanks for the thoughtful response. I agree about the heads up riding position. I found it more comfortable while riding the City Commuter step thru. I rode the 48v and it was impressive and a really beautiful bike. The Comfort Cruiser was a non starter as you pointed out it is throttle only and the riding position would get old. I will see if there are any Motiv dealers in the area. How would you compare the Motive Sleek riding position to the Commuter? I think the step thru 2014 Zuma would be a good choice, but would have to settle for 36volt. It would be awesome in the more torquey 48v. I guess at this point it comes down to the riding position on the Sleek. I will check it out.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Ralph, the Sleek is going to feel just like the step-through Comfort Cruiser by Pedego. It does feature shorter handlebars but everything else is comparable including the oversized seat, balloon tires and 26" wheels. That's also going to be the case with the Zuma (which also has those shorter handle bars). If you liked the feel of the City Commuter and the step-through fit you I think that would be the best option. There aren't many bikes that balance the feel of a cruiser with the ride performance of a city bike.

As you know, the downsides of the City Commuter are the battery position, overall weight and higher price. No bike is perfect but I think it actually comes very close, Pedego has done an amazing job with it and the fenders, chain guard, rack and lights are very functional. You can upgrade to Kevlar tires for increased durability (which might be nice on the island where you live) and the 48 volts is going to feel amazing. I know that any of these bikes would be fun and capable but the City Commuter is going to be the most enjoyable to actually pedal around.
 

Ralph

Active Member
Court, thanks. I sent a note to Motiv about a custom bike. Checked out your reviews on them. I really like the looks of the 48v shadow. With PAG/TAG and curved handle bars that looks like it would be fairly close, but as you say, still a cruiser. I think it is boiling down to the City Commuter maybe with Marathon Plus Tour tires and some Bikesmart double wide panniers. Thanks for all your help and responsiveness. I wouldn't be surprised to find you running an EBike company one of these days:)
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Glad to help Ralph! Yeah, the Shadow is a decent ebike for sure. Let me know whatever you end up with, I'm excited to hear how it all turns out for you. And it sounds like you've got solid set of accessories lined up as well. My panniers have worked out really well, I usually just leave my cable and u-lock in there along with a bungee cord and then on the other side I sometimes put my laptop and coat (usually keep the laptop in a neoprene case for padding). I also own a messenger style backpack by Timbuk2 that I use for my laptop... but with the panniers on the bike, all of the rest of my gear that's less fragile can be stowed to lighten the load and keep my back and neck from getting sore.
 

Ralph

Active Member
I will keep you up to date. Funny you mention the Timbuk2 messenger. I recently bought my 33 year old son one. He carries his laptop and other stuff and travels the world with it. Loves it! Just have to get the right size. Online they look smaller than they are. It has got to be one of or the best of the pack. Really well made and good looking. I would probably carry my camera gear in the panniers. Lots of wildlife along the trails here in Florida. Tempted to think of a basket like on the Izip Metro, but that is another direction I haven't explored as yet. Problem is if you overthink it you will still be walking!
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
Ralph, in case you pull the trigger before I do, I second the request for a follow-up. At an identical 5'7" to yours (and 172.2 lbs. yesterday, though that was before eating ice cream last night ;-), I'm leaning hard toward the City Commuter with the 48V upgrade. The custom Spark is also appealing, but knowing mine would be the first with parts pulled from different models does give me a bit of pause, since I'm not particularly mechanical and I live 6 hours from the closest Motiv dealer. Problems could require shipping the bike off. Tried-and-true sounds good to me. :)
 

Ralph

Active Member
Fitz, I agree with you. I am in the Jacksonville area and looks like the closest Motiv dealer is in Chattanooga. I assume you have ridden the City Commuter. There is a dealer an hour away from me in St. Augustine so your premise is spot on about having a dealer nearby. The City Commuter for what you are doing would be a super choice and it says quality top to bottom. I think I will wind up with the step thru City Commuter even though it is a bit hard to swing my leg over the rack at times. The bike just rides so nice and apparently Pedego is a solid customer oriented company. Stay tuned.
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
St. Augustine is only 4 hours, 12 minutes from me. 1/3 closer than the 6 hours to Chattanooga from Charleston, SC. :)

Court is a couple of inches taller than you and me, and even he prefers the step-through Commuter, so that's the one I'd definitely get to avoid the whole swinging-leg thing. Plus, my wife'd be able to use it, too, if we went out cycling.
 
As the shop in Chattanooga, just letting you guys know, we're keeping our inventory down until we finish our move to a better location. We should be all set by late Feb. At that point, you'll be able to demo most of the brands out there.

-Chandlee
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Ha! I love how you think your wife is just going to want to "try" your ebike and not actually want to "own" one herself... Do you guys ride together much with traditional bikes Fitz?

I keep hearing people go the other way, where the wife wants to be able to keep up or maybe she is pulling kids along so a couple will get an electric bike for her when the guy has a regular bike (not hating on girls or anything here... just a trend I've noticed) and then the guy ends up liking the ebike so much that he gets one too! Good stuff, more outdoor time and healthy activities all around.

I actually really like the Ridekick ebike trailer design (if you haven't seen it) that uses a detachable trailer that anyone in the family can use. It can even store stuff and is the lowest center of gravity for any ebike style machine I've seen. They are working on a new product that utilizes a standard children's bike trailer but includes a motor built right in!

 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
I had considered the Ridekick a few years back when I was on my last round of "how can I rationalize spending money on an electric bike." Or if it wasn't the ridekick, it was some similar powered bicycle trailer.

My wife isn't really into exercise, so it'd be her riding the electric while I ride the old cruiser that I used to get to work a couple of summers ago. She works only a few miles away, so an electric bike would almost be overkill for her!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Does she currently ride a bike to work Fitz? I've noticed that even for a couple of miles it really motivates me to have that assist or throttle vs. just hopping in the nice warm car with the stereo and cup holder... My last commute was just three miles and I still loved using an ebike because there was a hill that kind of got to my knees after doing it very day. My Friday I was ready for some help ;)
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
Well, I finally pulled the trigger! A 48V City Commuter will be on its way tomorrow or the next day. There's a hefty restocking fee plus return shipping if it doesn't work for me, so hopefully I've made the right decision! :-O

I also ordered the Model 8 Sprung Saddle (Honey) to accommodate more pedaling and less slacking off. (Thanks, Court, for letting me know about that issue!)

Tim quoted someone from Pedego, who said that "Pedego bikes get sold in pairs, one at a time." He thinks once my wife tries my bike, I'm gonna hafta get one for her, too. :)
 

Dave

Active Member
Congratulations on the purchase! I think you will love that bike, the reviews are excellent. I am begining to take a second look at the commuter style bikes, as opposed to the hybrid/montain style, due to the comfort factor. I think the City Commuter may be the top dog in that catagory. Please give us your thoughts after a few rides.....very interested.
 

Dave

Active Member
From what I've read it is a big bike, and someone 5'7 may be a little uncomfortable getting started. This info comes from a review done by a purchaser over on the endless-sphere site. Fotunately, in this case, I am about 6', so it would probably work for me. It is more a question of style, and do I want the look that the City Commuter offers.