Purchasing a new Electric Bike soon for commuting. Need help!

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
Hello everyone,

I am purchasing a new and first Electric Bike very soon to replace my car (that is being sold in the next two weeks) for my daily commute. To start off I will only be using it once a week until I finish a contract I have with a second job in July, then I will slowly transition to commuting daily with the bike. Here is some info about myself, what I'm looking for and what I've already found as options.

Age: 27
Height: 6ft
Weight: 215lb

Commute: 14 miles one way, mostly flat and straight. Will change to a 12 mile commute in September, still flat and straight just less city streets.

What I'm looking for:

  • Something fast! I want something that can get up to 25mph relatively quickly and hold that speed for prolonged periods while not killing the battery before 14 miles.
  • Looking for a more road/commuter/hybrid style for a bike. You'll see my preference in the next section.
  • Something that can either be serviced at a shop, or online customer service is good. (this isn't nearly as important, but would be preferred.)
Price Range: $2500-$4000

What I've found so far:


MakeModelRetail PriceSale Price
BullsGrinder Evo (2020)$4,999.99$3,499.99
BullsUrban Evo (2019)$4,399.99$3,199.99
GazelleMedeo T10+ Speed $3,499.99None
GazelleUltimate T10+ Speed$3,999.99None
Specialized Turbo Vado 4.0$3,750.00None
JuicedBikesCrossCurrent X$2,499.99None
JuicedBikesRipCurrent S$2,699.99None

Basically, I'm trying to get a sportier bike that can get me to work in 45ish minutes. I really like the look of the Bulls Models and the prices are really nice right now at my local shop. I have the JuicedBikes on this list purely for the speed and affordability. At my current apartment, I live on the second floor so hauling the CrossCurrent (or god forbid the ripcurrent) up basically two flights of stairs (drive way up to main floor then up another flight to apartment) might be a bit much to do a few days a week. However, I will be moving to a single story home in September, so it would only be a major issue for a few months. 50lbs is light enough to carry up stairs for me, which all of these (except the JuicedBikes) basically are.

Any help is appreciated as well as any other recommendations!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Congratulations on joining the low emissions team that has actually noticed global warming and going to do something about it. E-bike commuting is so much cleaner than a gasoline car.
In case you hadn't looked, electricbike review has brand threads where known problems are logged by owners. Bulls has 72 complaints. Gazelle has 10. Juiced has 782. Specialized has 333. Trek (which you havn't mentioned) has 32.
there is no market share information I'm aware of for a denominator to divide the complaints by. Juiced is huge, but there have been specific complaints about them elsewhere.
Flat, high speed, sounds as if a direct drive (DD) hub motor could be applicable. These are very cheap. They don't wear the chain as much as mid-drives with more marketing support and fans. The $189 DD power wheel I own had cheap ****ese bearings, but they were 6801's which can be bought in an SKF real steel version from MSCdirect industrial supply.
For light weight I'd look at orbea & cannondale. These have more forwards postures and would save on battery watthours if you're up to that posture (I'm not). At those kind of speeds you probably will want at least a front suspension, if not both ends. I don't see good riding fat tires as being suitable for pavement, and a real drag if the electricity quits.
At your height you should have no trouble finding a 19", 20" or 21" frame to fit you.
Carrying the bike into the office changing room could really help the theft issue. I don't work (volunteer) regular hours, so I get away with a 6'x1/2" stainless steel sling with a master grade 11 lock. A little more serious is an ABUS granite lock. Some people prefer pawag chains from westhostlogging, but they are lot heavier. U-locks from ABUS & kryptonite have a great reputation but are well known to pro thieves and can be cut with a battery grinder in about 10 minutes or less. Good luck on the security dimension.
Happy shopping & later commuting.
 
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rich c

Well-Known Member
Maintaining 25mph will take something barely or not quite legal class 3 unless you have great legs. I ride a lot between 20-22mph, but egoist goes up exponentially above that. If you look at a drop bar road eBike you won’t have as much resistance. Hopefully someone will come on with the math of maintaining 24mph for 14 miles. I’m pretty sure you won’t be staying under 50 pounds with that battery size.
 

Cmulv

Member
Hello everyone,

I am purchasing a new and first Electric Bike very soon to replace my car (that is being sold in the next two weeks) for my daily commute. To start off I will only be using it once a week until I finish a contract I have with a second job in July, then I will slowly transition to commuting daily with the bike. Here is some info about myself, what I'm looking for and what I've already found as options.

Age: 27
Height: 6ft
Weight: 215lb

Commute: 14 miles one way, mostly flat and straight. Will change to a 12 mile commute in September, still flat and straight just less city streets.

What I'm looking for:

  • Something fast! I want something that can get up to 25mph relatively quickly and hold that speed for prolonged periods while not killing the battery before 14 miles.
  • Looking for a more road/commuter/hybrid style for a bike. You'll see my preference in the next section.
  • Something that can either be serviced at a shop, or online customer service is good. (this isn't nearly as important, but would be preferred.)
Price Range: $2500-$4000

What I've found so far:


MakeModelRetail PriceSale Price
BullsGrinder Evo (2020)$4,999.99$3,499.99
BullsUrban Evo (2019)$4,399.99$3,199.99
GazelleMedeo T10+ Speed$3,499.99None
GazelleUltimate T10+ Speed$3,999.99None
SpecializedTurbo Vado 4.0$3,750.00None
JuicedBikesCrossCurrent X$2,499.99None
JuicedBikesRipCurrent S$2,699.99None

Basically, I'm trying to get a sportier bike that can get me to work in 45ish minutes. I really like the look of the Bulls Models and the prices are really nice right now at my local shop. I have the JuicedBikes on this list purely for the speed and affordability. At my current apartment, I live on the second floor so hauling the CrossCurrent (or god forbid the ripcurrent) up basically two flights of stairs (drive way up to main floor then up another flight to apartment) might be a bit much to do a few days a week. However, I will be moving to a single story home in September, so it would only be a major issue for a few months. 50lbs is light enough to carry up stairs for me, which all of these (except the JuicedBikes) basically are.

Any help is appreciated as well as any other recommendations!
I would check out flx Trail
The company claims that only weighs 46 lb with the battery
I've been riding a Juiced cross-current for about 5 years
It's a good bike but I do find the Hub motor can be a little rough over bumps
Anyway I'm looking to upgrade
A big priority is finding a bike that can take 2.8 in Schwalbe G one tires
Those tires are awesome and would be nice to have that width

Basically I'm running 2 in tires on my crosscurrent as that's about the biggest it can take
Well actually I can fit 55 on the back but it only measures about a 51 when it's mounted on those narrow rims

Anyway I would either get a geared Hub motor or a mid Drive motor. You should be fine with any class 3 electric bike they all can go 25 miles per hour easy

But like I said I would just keep in mind that if you're going over rough terrain The Hub Motors can be a little rough, and definitely getting wider tires would be great

The Schwalbe G1 are incredibly light and fast and the width doesn't make much of a difference in terms of rolling resistance, so that's my recommendation!
 

BlackHand

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Western WA
my bulls cross mover speed takes about 200 watts from me to maintain 25mph
In Eco or Tour? OP could leave it in Sport the whole way if needed as long as they are charging at each end.

Megahighdon, I agree with Indianajo's suggestions of Cannondale and Orbea as possible options to add to your list.

You want to be realistic about what your average speed will be and whether your route will allow for sustained speeds at or above 25 mph. I have about 40 intersections(stop sign, traffic circle, traffic light, etc) to cross on my 11 mile commute. So no matter how fast I go, I'm still limited by all the accelerations and decelerations needed and a number of traffic lights.

Good luck! bike commuting has been a great change for me.
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
In Eco or Tour? OP could leave it in Sport the whole way if needed as long as they are charging at each end.

Megahighdon, I agree with Indianajo's suggestions of Cannondale and Orbea as possible options to add to your list.

You want to be realistic about what your average speed will be and whether your route will allow for sustained speeds at or above 25 mph. I have about 40 intersections(stop sign, traffic circle, traffic light, etc) to cross on my 11 mile commute. So no matter how fast I go, I'm still limited by all the accelerations and decelerations needed and a number of traffic lights.

Good luck! bike commuting has been a great change for me.
Thank you for your reply! I have been looking at both of those brands as well. Charging at both ends isn’t an issue but isn’t proffered either. I guess we will see with whatever bike I end up getting.

I counted the amount of intersections I have on my route and it’s only about 25. I also have a few straightaways for upwards of a mile (no lights)

Thanks for commenting!
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
I am 6'1", 205 lbs. 70 years old with some health issues. On my Cannondale Topstone Neo 3, I can comfortably cruise at 22 mph and average around 17 mph with stops and some hills in "Tour" mode (assist level 2 out of 4). For range I can ride 50-55 miles on one 500 watt power tube in this assist mode.

This is one of the few drop handlebar, lightweight ebikes with a decent suspension. It is a bike that will allow you to meet your goals but it would require a stretching of your budget. It only weighs 39 lbs. with the battery still in it and can loose another 8lbs. if you remove the battery.


C21_C62371M_Topstone_Neo_Crb_GRY_PD.jpg
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
In Eco or Tour? OP could leave it in Sport the whole way if needed as long as they are charging at each end.

Megahighdon, I agree with Indianajo's suggestions of Cannondale and Orbea as possible options to add to your list.

You want to be realistic about what your average speed will be and whether your route will allow for sustained speeds at or above 25 mph. I have about 40 intersections(stop sign, traffic circle, traffic light, etc) to cross on my 11 mile commute. So no matter how fast I go, I'm still limited by all the accelerations and decelerations needed and a number of traffic lights.

Good luck! bike commuting has been a great change for me.
no thats on turbo. you would need a lot more to get that speed on tour.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Thank you for your reply! I have been looking at both of those brands as well. Charging at both ends isn’t an issue but isn’t proffered either. I guess we will see with whatever bike I end up getting.

I counted the amount of intersections I have on my route and it’s only about 25. I also have a few straightaways for upwards of a mile (no lights)

Thanks for commenting!
all those stops kill speed. its hard for me to find sections to get decent speed. in reality 20 to 22 mph is more realistic.
 

MartsEbike

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
If I wanted a fast commuter bike, I'd forget a Mid-Drive and buy a powerful (1000w+) Hub Drive bike.... They get up to speed easier, and with less maintenance. 25mph should be fairly easy to achieve.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I'll put in another vote for a hub. I am a big fan of mid drive bikes but their strength is in their ability to use the gears to conquer hills, which you say you don't have. I have several mid drive bikes (I build mine, usually frame-up) but my daily commuter - with I think in the ballpark of 7000 miles on it - until recently has been a geared hub bike. A geared hub with a strong controller will beat a mid drive off the line pretty much always. Hub motors power thru the axle and acceleration is an uninterrupted curve, whereas with a mid you have to row thru the gears. Without question a mid is more versatile but its also more maintenance and there is a learning curve associated with riding one given the power you are pouring thru the drivetrain.

Along these lines, I would recommend a Sondors MXS. Use the spec sheet to compare it to other bikes on your list and it should compare favorably. Hydraulic brakes, 17.5ah, 48v battery. 25a controller (important with regard to acceleration as amps = torque = acceleration). The true 750w Bafang geared hub it uses is well known to be underrated and nearly invulnerable. There are kits to upvolt it to a 60v/35a system that would make it a 40 mph bike... so the motor at factory power level will not be stressed. And even with the recent price increases, its $1799, and happens to be in stock at the vendor, so rarity of rarities in this era of shortages, it seems they are in stock and available to ship.

Since its so far under your budget, I would use some of the leftover cash to put on a quality suspension seatpost and maybe swap on some fast roller tires, although the Maxxis tires on there right now are good all-arounders.

I think 50 lbs is never going to happen. With that said, ebikes usually (or should) have a walk-assist that you engage by holding the down button on your pedal assist control panel. It will let you roll the bike up stairs quite a lot easier.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
What some fail to grasp is that mid drive bikes are better for hilly areas because they use the leverage of the bikes gearing system to amplify modest power into greater effort. This not only allows them to climb better with smaller motors but also is the reason they have much greater range, even on flat ground. Over all, a mid drive bike can still have good speed capabilities in a lighter weight bike, using less battery. One final advantage is that, with good torque, speed and cadence sensors, they have a decidedly more "natural feel" Less like a hand pushing you along than a feeling the you are stronger (you're not but is feels that way).
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
What some fail to grasp is that mid drive bikes are better for hilly areas because they use the leverage of the bikes gearing system to amplify modest power into greater effort. This not only allows them to climb better with smaller motors but also is the reason they have much greater range, even on flat ground. Over all, a mid drive bike can still have good speed capabilities in a lighter weight bike, using less battery. One final advantage is that, with good torque, speed and cadence sensors, they have a decidedly more "natural feel" Less like a hand pushing you along than a feeling the you are stronger (you're not but is feels that way).
Since the original poster stated he has "mostly flat and straight" commute now, and his future commute is also flat and straight, that eliminates the advantages of a mid.

I am all for mids. I'm done building hub bikes and have only built mids for the last three or so years. But for flat ground, a mid drive has few if any intrinsic benefits. Flat ground - especially on pavement - is where hub drives shine. Its the right tool for the job. Now on the other hand if you like whatever bike is sporting a mid drive, ride that one (which explains why I am commuting on a mid drive now. At least for this month). But understand the relative benefits of each power system first.
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
If I wanted a fast commuter bike, I'd forget a Mid-Drive and buy a powerful (1000w+) Hub Drive bike.... They get up to speed easier, and with less maintenance. 25mph should be fairly easy to achieve.
What would you suggest? I know that Juiced is great for speed, but their reliability has been hit or miss as far as I could see from the forum on this site.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Reliability and serviceability should be a primary considerations in a commuter bike. After all you are depending on it to get to work on time, every day. Far more important than on a bike used primarily for recreation.
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
Here are the two routes via Strava with elevation gain.
 

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MartsEbike

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
What would you suggest? I know that Juiced is great for speed, but their reliability has been hit or miss as far as I could see from the forum on this site.
I'm in the UK so the brands available tend to differ but I don't think the Juiced bike is that bad... Sites like these tend to amplify issues. People with problems come here looking for answers while everyone else is happily riding their bikes...

I'd probably buy one and then spend a few quid upgrading anything needed... Even if you chuck another $1000 at it, you'd still be saving quite a lot compared to the top priced bike. I don't think you want to pay a fortune for a commuter bike as there a high chance someone might try steal it. Juiced is relatively cheap, good speed, looks pretty good, it'll do the job imo! 👍
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Here are the two routes via Strava with elevation gain.
Given that some of the coolest, most inspiring riding is immediately to the west of you in the hills between you and the Pacific Ocean, among the redwoods, you should definitely be looking at mid-drive motors in order to keep that recreational option open to you. If you are like most of us, you will be riding more often and further than you imagine.

A name brand mid drive bike, from a respected local service dealer, will likely be a more reliable and readily serviced option than a internet ordered, hub driven bike with no one to turn to but an 800 number if and when you run into problems. They cost more but are well worth it, at least to some of us.>

As vehicle replacement and a commuter you will be relying upon to get you to work, you should be looking for a very reliable bike that you can get fixed quickly when it needs repair.

Many folks on this forum pay precious little attention to the actual needs of those asking for advice and just recommend what they have. For the most part they are seeking endorsement from others for their choice rather than understanding your needs and advising accordingly.
 
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I actually grew up in Sunnyvale, lived there until I left for college, and started my lifetime of commuter/urban cycling there - but that was in the late 1960's to the early 80's. Still, I know all those roads (my home now is a bit south on the coast, and I still go back). Also it was at that time I learned bicycle mechanics and repair. I only added the electrics within the last few years. I have no need for a shop for anything but wheelbuilding, but thats a personal preference.

Reliabilitywise, I would certainly go with a geared hub. I have to confess I did not look at the Juiced bikes, and now that I have, I would pick the Ripcurrent S. That bike has all the upgrades I would put on a flatland urban bike with a job. It has 52v, which puts a 48v electrical system in its sweet spot for a longer period of time. Battery is 19.2ah, and bigger is better. Its a 28 mph bike and it uses the same bulletproof, fast Bafang 750w motor I mentioned on the other bike. I can tell you from experience, unregulated, a 52v bike with that motor and 26" wheels will run 30-32 mph with a 70 rpm cadence and a 250 lb rider (me, on a bike with that motor and a 50x11T drivetrain. pedaling hard).

The features you wanted... it will deliver them assuming the specs are accurate and based on what I know of its parts.

That geared hub motor is going to need either nothing (which is what most people do) or a re-grease every 6000 miles. 6 bolts, a brush, some white grease and done in 30 minutes. Use Mobil28 instead and you can pretty much double the interval (I have never needed to re-grease any Bafang 750 I greased with Mobil28). There is no other maintenance than changing the tires when they wear out - the drivetrain has a reduced duty cycle thanks to the axle-driven hub so no replaced chain or cogs.

A mid drive is always going to be the most maintenance. Putting superhuman wattage thru the drivetrain simply wears the mechanical parts out faster for obvious reasons. Chain, cogs, chainring. All will need a refresh at a higher rate than an analog bike. But in exchange for that you get the versatility of handling any terrain with ease, which no hub can deliver. Its not a bad choice. Especially if you want to use the bike recreationally in hills.

But if you stick to the needs you stated, that Juiced Bike ticks all the boxes for day in, day out reliability for your commute, body weight etc.
 
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