Picking a new ebike for <5000CAD Vancouver, BC

LazyRacoon

New Member
Region
Canada
I'm trying to work out what I should be looking for in a new e-bike, I haven't cycled regularly since I was a kid but I'm hoping I can reduce my dependence on transit a little. I'm fairly tall, about 185cm, and not terribly light, ~95kg. I live in Vancouver so it is often wet and there are a fair number of hills.

I expect it'll be mostly urban cycling on a mix of bike lanes and roads - getting groceries, going to the gym, etc. I would want something that can handle better kept park trails (gravel?) such as those that run through Stanley Park or near the Capilano river and Cleveland Dam, but I don't expect to be doing anything too demanding. If I cycled my commute would be about 10k each way, so I don't think range is going to be a big issue for that, but I guess more is always better.

I can stomach up to about 5000CAD if it's worthwhile, but in an ideal world it'd be under 4k. A mid or high step would be preferable. The battery also needs to be removable, my building has bike storage but I wouldn't be able to charge there.

So far as I can tell a mid drive bike with torque sensing is what I should be looking for. I'm in Canada so my legal max is 500W/32kmh. I've found lots of options that seem to fit, I wonder if you folks have any input:

- Giant Roam E+ ($2900)
- Gazelle Medeo T9 HMB ($3500)
- Kona Dew-E ($3800)
- Giant Explore E+ ($4000)
- Gazelle Medeo T10 HMB ($4300)
- OHM Discover ($4400)

Past $4500 I start to wonder if I will get much more out of the bike than the cheaper options:

- Giant Explore E+ Pro ($4800)
- Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0 ($4900)
- Trek Allant+ 7 ($4950)

I'm not really sure how to narrow it down further. Lead time isn't a huge concern as I wouldn't expect to use it so much in winter anyway, but I wouldn't want to be stuck waiting for more than a couple of months.

I do intend to go try some locally before pulling the trigger, but I want to make sure I have the right idea in the first place! Part of me of course wonders if I should pick something less expensive in case it doesn't work out as well, but I think I'd rather have something that works well for me even if that means it's more spendy.
 
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PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Those are all nice bikes. Riding some of them will help clarify what you want/need, and what feels right for you. You're progressing in the selection process, so don't overthink at this point - just try out as many options as you can, and see what appeals to you 😉.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Much of the advice you get on forums is not in your interest. Many are trying to justify their own choices by urging you to buy what they bought. Whatever you do, don't listen to anyone who tells you not to listen to the advice of others...Hah, I guess that eliminates me ;)

The best thing you can do is be as precise as you can about how often and under what conditions you think you are going to ride. This will help a knowledgeable dealer guide you to a bike that will serve you best.

If you are like most of us you will ride your ebike more often and further than you ever imagined possible. Spending more money on a better built, safer, more reliable bike will be one of the best decisions you ever made. And I suspect I am not alone in that once I got going with my first ebike, I discovered latent capabilities within myself that lead down the road to longer. more athletic, endurance riding, something that never occurred to me going into it. Buying a better, more versatile bike at first kept me riding longer till I could afford the kind of bike that I eventually learned would be right for me. That process took over a year.

Add a grain of salt to the advice you get here. Some of it can be quite good and well informed but there are occasionally shills hiding in the corners, promoting their new brand. And then there is the fact that individuals riders often exhibit confirmation bias in their comments just wanting you to give them affirmation for their choices.

Do it your self/retrofit guys can't imagine why someone would spend good money on a manufactured bike from the ground up ebike. Fans of low priced, Chinese made, hub motor bikes would not be caught dead on center drive bikes. Fans of German made equipment really don't hardly bother looking at bikes from other countries. Some people will never even look at a bike without a throttle, while other would never have a bike with one. Fans of a particular brand will insist the one they chose is the only one to buy.

If you are like most riders, you are not a mechanic, don't have the know how, tools, time or interest in converting a bike to an ebike or maintaining your production bike. Some of us live for this stuff others just want to ride. Most will need help from a local bike shop. Don't expect people at that shop to care about keeping your bike running smoothly if you bought a bike on line.

The only support you will get from an on line seller, if you are lucky, is phone help to diagnose the problem and they send you parts to replace yourself or you will pay a local shop to replace for you.

If you decide that building out an ebike is not for you, it is likely best to spend a little more and have a dedicated local shop standing behind the sale in who's interest it is to keep you happy and rolling along.

The most common comment I have heard from new ebike owners is almost always something like: "I never imagined I would be riding a bike this often or this far" Buying a cheaper, mass produced bike may or may not give you the same quality of "whoopee!!" experience that boosts you right into an enthusiastic embrace of ebiking.

All too often people who buy lesser bikes seem to arrive at regrets sooner because the bike's inherent limitations just never quite enabled it to do what they want. Personally I ended up spending way more than I initially thought I would or should. Given how much time I now spend on my bike, something I never could have imagined, I am glad I spent what I did and got a bike I can count on, that enhances my enjoyment every time I ride it.

My advice: Make an honest assessment as to how you will be riding, road or trails, easy grades or mountain trails, commuting, exercise/fitness or touring. Take your time but don't get bogged down in research paralysis. Test ride lots of bikes until you find the one that puts the biggest grin on your face and the people selling it you like the best. Then, if you can possibly afford it, pay more than you first thought you were willing to spend. The pain of paying out some more money wears off quickly. The joy of riding a bike that really suits you will endure long into the future every time you saddle up.
 

DaveMatthews

Well-Known Member
Local Vancouver guy here.
I wanted local and North American physical dealer support so I chose a bike that had that network.
Then covid hit and I haven't gone anywhere 🤣 DOH!
Anyway, as has been said, your list is a good one. Best of luck in the hunt!
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I'd recommend you take a look at the Giant Explore E+ ($3999) or the Explore E+ Pro ($4799).
The Pro has a larger battery, different motor, and upgraded components for an $800 upgrade in price.

Two of my cycling friends have the E+ models and they've had zero problems with them. One has, in a very short time period, put just over 8000km on his bike without any issues at all. This guy rides almost every day.
It's also important to have a local bike store than will give you good service.
Interestingly, my local bike store in Nanaimo has a large stock of ebikes. It's strange that some bike shops have very little stock and others have a good selection.
 

TrevorB

Active Member
More powerful motors are differently better on hills. For commuting in wet, lights, rack for panniers, good mudguards, mirror and kickstand are musts. I found cafe lock useful. IGH with belt drive or enclosed chain will dramatically reduce the maintenace compared to derailleurs.
Don't discount step through till your've tried one.

The best advice of lot is do test rides.
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
Since you live in Vancouver,
you should look at DOST they are located in the lower mainland you can actually go see and try/ride their Ebikes.
They are located in Port Coquitlam.