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

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
hi! you’ll be riding right past both of my childhood homes ;)

I’ll second the questions about sustaining a 25mph average speed, and also that it would be a real shame to buy a bike for this commute and not take it out into the hills sometime.

best way to hold those speeds IMO and have some flexibility for the mountains would be a drop bar class 3 gravel bike, like the topstone neo carbon referenced above, or the turbo creo evo. both will easily eat that distance on a daily basis, and on the drops in the higher boost modes you can probably sustain 25mph. i’m 6’2 and 195 and it takes around 300w total to sustain 25mph on flat ground on a road bike on the drops. i’m an amateur in all ways and feel comfortable putting out 200 for an extended period. the extra 100w sustained is well within the reach of either of those two bikes, with resulting battery life of 3-5 hours.

both are a bit over your budget, the topstone has full suspension, bigger battery, but is heavier.
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
hi! you’ll be riding right past both of my childhood homes ;)

I’ll second the questions about sustaining a 25mph average speed, and also that it would be a real shame to buy a bike for this commute and not take it out into the hills sometime.

best way to hold those speeds IMO and have some flexibility for the mountains would be a drop bar class 3 gravel bike, like the topstone neo carbon referenced above, or the turbo creo evo. both will easily eat that distance on a daily basis, and on the drops in the higher boost modes you can probably sustain 25mph. i’m 6’2 and 195 and it takes around 300w total to sustain 25mph on flat ground on a road bike on the drops. i’m an amateur in all ways and feel comfortable putting out 200 for an extended period. the extra 100w sustained is well within the reach of either of those two bikes, with resulting battery life of 3-5 hours.

both are a bit over your budget, the topstone has full suspension, bigger battery, but is heavier.
I did list the Bulls Grinder Evo on my list of potentials. One of the local shops near me has it on sale for $3,500 right now.

I test rode it yesterday and it feels a little weird with the drop down bars. I've never had a drop down bar bike before so I don't know how I'll like it for a 12-14 mile commute.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I did list the Bulls Grinder Evo on my list of potentials. One of the local shops near me has it on sale for $3,500 right now.

I test rode it yesterday and it feels a little weird with the drop down bars. I've never had a drop down bar bike before so I don't know how I'll like it for a 12-14 mile commute.
Make sure it’s the right size and fitting for you! I thought it felt really weird at first, now it’s totally natural after just a few hundred miles. Did you feel comfortable sustaining the kind of speeds you’re hoping to achieve?

That bike should have plenty of power for what you’re trying to do. Personally I found that a lighter bike just made me want to ride much more, and use much less motor. But weight doesn’t matter once you’re up to speed, so for your application it might be less an issue.
 
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Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
Make sure it’s the right size and fitting for you! I thought it felt really weird at first, now it’s totally natural after just a few hundred miles. Did you feel comfortable sustaining the kind of speeds you’re hoping to achieve?
It seemed just a tad bit too big. Possibly just due to the seat position which I didn't adjust. I didn't really get to bring it up to 25mph just because I was limited by the location of the store. Lots of stop signs and blind intersections so I didn't want to risk it. I'm also SUPER novice when it comes to the drop down gear shifter. Its a sram shifter and I didn't really know how to use all that well. I should have looked more into it before I road it lol. I'll probably give it another go but just make sure I'm not in a rush and take my time with it.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It seemed just a tad bit too big. Possibly just due to the seat position which I didn't adjust. I didn't really get to bring it up to 25mph just because I was limited by the location of the store. Lots of stop signs and blind intersections so I didn't want to risk it. I'm also SUPER novice when it comes to the drop down gear shifter. Its a sram shifter and I didn't really know how to use all that well. I should have looked more into it before I road it lol. I'll probably give it another go but just make sure I'm not in a rush and take my time with it.
I think our experience is probably similar, i stopped in a shop in the city to test ride a creo evo and was extremely nervous/unsteady the whole time. Shifting, braking, position, everything just seemed wrong. A few weeks later, I jump on and it’s all incredibly natural and second nature. The main challenge i see is the speed you’re trying to average. 25 average means 15-35 while moving, with few stops. If that’s a real priority, try and take a test ride on a similar stretch of road where you can see your speed. My guess is the best you’ll be able to reliably do is an average speed of 20, which really means 15-25 while moving...
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
I think our experience is probably similar, i stopped in a shop in the city to test ride a creo evo and was extremely nervous/unsteady the whole time. Shifting, braking, position, everything just seemed wrong. A few weeks later, I jump on and it’s all incredibly natural and second nature. The main challenge i see is the speed you’re trying to average. 25 average means 15-35 while moving, with few stops. If that’s a real priority, try and take a test ride on a similar stretch of road where you can see your speed. My guess is the best you’ll be able to reliably do is an average speed of 20, which really means 15-25 while moving...
I might try it again but I'm going to a different shop today to take a look at Specialized Vado 4.0 and the SL version. I really like the SL I just don't know if its going to have enough range. Its also going to require much more effort in order for me to get up to the speeds I want due to the 2x you limitation compared to the 4x you on the Standard Vado 4.0
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I might try it again but I'm going to a different shop today to take a look at Specialized Vado 4.0 and the SL version. I really like the SL I just don't know if its going to have enough range. Its also going to require much more effort in order for me to get up to the speeds I want due to the 2x you limitation compared to the 4x you on the Standard Vado 4.0
I believe they’re both 240 watts nominal, which given your size means the peak output is going to govern rather than the 2x / 4x unless you’re really set on not doing much work at all - less than 80 watts. On my Creo the motor maxes out on a climb even in the 60% “sport” setting.

Of course the 1.2 has way more torque, before gearing is considered. Ride them both, see how the lighter but less torquey bike feels...
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I did list the Bulls Grinder Evo on my list of potentials. One of the local shops near me has it on sale for $3,500 right now.

I test rode it yesterday and it feels a little weird with the drop down bars. I've never had a drop down bar bike before so I don't know how I'll like it for a 12-14 mile commute.
it would help a lot at speed. mine is about 60 degree angle and fighting the wind at that speed is hard.
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
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.
I'll be testing out both the Vado 4.0 and the Vado 4.0 SL this afternoon. I tested the Bulls Grinder Evo yesterday but wasn't a huge fan of the handlebars and the riding position.

I really wish someone offered a competitor to Juiced in terms of speed and battery. I really like the idea of having a throttle AND easily being able to get up to 28+ mph. I just don't like the fact that I can't take my bike to dealer if something is majorly wrong with it. I have other means of transportation but I don't want my bike to become a paperweight in my house while I wait to hear back from Juiced for god knows what problem.
 

BlackHand

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Western WA
Sounds like you're on a good path by taking test rides. Try to see if they have anything with a hub motor just so you can compare the difference.

I would agree that your commute would be well suited for a hub drive. Also, they do tend to be more cost and speed efficient. Having said that, you should go with whichever gives you the experience you want not whatever seems best on paper. For me that was a mid drive.
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
Sounds like you're on a good path by taking test rides. Try to see if they have anything with a hub motor just so you can compare the difference.

I would agree that your commute would be well suited for a hub drive. Also, they do tend to be more cost and speed efficient. Having said that, you should go with whichever gives you the experience you want not whatever seems best on paper. For me that was a mid drive.
Yeah I test rode a specialized Vado 4.0. Felt incredible! The Shimano Deore feels amazing and I went up not one but two incredibly steep hills without breaking a sweat. I was also able to get it to about 24-25 on flat quickly and without a lot of effort. The shop has it on sale for $3500 and it’s got all of the fenders and racks (wasn’t super important to me honestly).

I have one more on sale Bulls Urban Evo to test ride that I will do on Monday. It’s got the same derailleur, a Bosch Performance Speed motor (a bit more power but I believe slightly less torque) and a 500w battery (same as Vado). It’s also the style I like and about the same tire size. The fenders are a little poorer quality but I can always take them off.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Here are the two routes via Strava with elevation gain.

Nice It seems we live close by.
I ride everyday for leisure, both to the hills and on the flats. I pretty much rode everywhere between Palo Alto and San Jose including all the parts of the route you have given. I own two Bosch, one Yamaha mid drive I also have a Stromer which has a hub. I am of similar height and a bit lighter than you are.

That is quite a nice flattish commute and you can keep an average speed of 25mph for most of that route (But please be careful, once you are in traffic slow down).

I don't have experience with Juiced hence I can not talk about its reliability. Its componentry is also on the lower end side. But if you put these aside, it will be better than any other bike you have mentioned in your initial post.

First of all ignore nonsense like this one ,
... but also is the reason they have much greater range, even on flat ground.
This is completely false information. Unfortunately there are brand fanatics who are blindly endorsing what they like on the forums while bashing others without knowledge or thinking about what the poster needs.

On the flats I get better range at a higher average speed on my hub compared to my mid drives, period!. This is also in line with the theory.

Even when I climb to places like Monte Bello Preserve, my consumption with my Stromer was actually very close to my Bosch Cx. However I should say that for older or non-fit people a mid drive may be preferable for those climbs. This is not your case, you are young and it is not your objective to climb those hills everyday.

Yeah I test rode a specialized Vado 4.0. Felt incredible! The Shimano Deore feels amazing and I went up not one but two incredibly steep hills without breaking a sweat. I was also able to get it to about 24-25 on flat quickly and without a lot of effort. The shop has it on sale for $3500 and it’s got all of the fenders and racks (wasn’t super important to me honestly).

Test rides are good. Vado is a good bike however you are new to ebikes, most ebikes will feel great to you. But short rides are deceptive, a 30 mile round trip everyday is a different story. Also reaching 24-25mph is doable with any ebike, averaging 25mph for longer periods is on the other hand depends on you.
For example I can keep 24-25mph on Eco on flats, on tour I cap these motors, but in those instances I am putting in a significant effort on my part.

For your purpose here is a summary of what I think:

1. For the routes like the ones you have given, a "decent" hub offering will simply be far superior to any of the mid drive offerings you have mentioned if you really like to keep an average speed around 25mph.

2. Moreover with a hub your drivetrain will last far longer compared to the mid drives you have mentioned. You will eat through chains / cogs at those speeds with a mid drive. As someone who is riding (and commuted before the pandemic) a lot, I can tell you, constantly dealing with worn drivetrain is something you really don't want to do.

3. I don't know your fitness level but it is likely that you will be sweating with one of those Bosch mid drives when you get to work if you try to keep higher speeds. With a stronger hub you will be in a significantly better shape when you get to work if you choose to use higher settings.

4. When you are commuting, unless you are a road cyclist who enjoys riding drop bars, you wanna have a comfortable riding position. You may feel great when you are test riding a bike for a couple of miles but it is way different when you are riding it for long distance commuting everyday.


Take your time and get the bike for your purpose. Don't listen to marketing nonsense about prestige etc. you are not buying this bike for leisure.

If you have questions please ask.

Good luck...
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
It is a rare situation in which I agree with @Johnny very much. If your sole purpose is to commute, @Megahighdon, a strong hub-drive e-bike is the right choice for you. Let me explain:
Your purpose is to get to work fresh, no sweat. A strong hub-drive motor e-bike will do 90% of work or more for you. If you pedal (because you might just ride on the throttle provided a large battery), your pedalling is just a kind of feet-throttle (by pedalling, you just give the controller a signal to activate the motor). You could get on high speed without hardly any effort; that refers to average speed, too. And that's true. Currently, I'm in need to commute often, and my third (hub-drive) e-bike is ideal for the purpose. Of course, no prestige from riding a Juiced but it is the matter of your chosen purpose, not of prestige.

Now, the situation could become different if you actually liked e-biking in some future and decided you'd like to use that for leisure, too. In such a situation, you would start hating your hub-drive motor e-bike soon. You'd discover you're constantly pushed by the motor and would get hardly any workout. It is where mid-drive motor e-bikes really shine. For instance, Turbo Vado 4.0 you mentioned is a good example of a fantastic leisure e-bike that can be tuned for a lot or for very little of motor assistance. As a young person, you might get fascinated with super-lightweight Vado SL or Creo that give less assistance but benefit from light weight. However, such mid-drive motor e-bikes really require your effort, and especially a lot of effort to ride fast and maintain high speed for prolonged time. Those are not commuters, disregarding the marketing hype. Prestigious but not good commuters. I know. I own two premium mid-drive motor leisure e-bikes: 45 km/h Vado 5 and Giant Trance E+. Not commuters.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I'll be testing out both the Vado 4.0 and the Vado 4.0 SL this afternoon. I tested the Bulls Grinder Evo yesterday but wasn't a huge fan of the handlebars and the riding position.

I really wish someone offered a competitor to Juiced in terms of speed and battery. I really like the idea of having a throttle AND easily being able to get up to 28+ mph. I just don't like the fact that I can't take my bike to dealer if something is majorly wrong with it. I have other means of transportation but I don't want my bike to become a paperweight in my house while I wait to hear back from Juiced for god knows what problem.
I understand. I can deal with all that stuff but thats me. Lots of people have other things to do with their time than tinker with an ebike. I'll say this, though: generally speaking these bikes are reliable. Problems can happen of course but the internet has thrived as a sales medium because the good far outweighs the bad. As far as components are concerned: For sure that Juiced bike is lower end. But you can change that by changing out a few components.

The drivetrain I would leave alone unless you want to put on a bigger front chainring to give yourself a stronger workout. I did this on my bike and it lets me push up past 28 mph and still work hard at it. Check out bikecalc.com and look for the 'speed at cadence' calculator. If the brakes are already hydraulic, probably leave those alone too. Prime candidate for replacement is the seatpost. A Satori Animaris is a serviceable low end option. Thudbuster LT (don't bother with the short travel version) is the mainstream product and the Kinekt spring-driven one is the top dog. I use all three and the Kinekt is actually worth the extra money. Do not sell yourself short on the need for some cushion for your spine on a day-in, day-out transportation-not-recreation ride. Also pedals, handlebars, grips, and saddle should be expendable in favor of whatever your body prefers. They are the UI for your body to the bike. Lastly, remember you can swap the stem for a longer or shorter model to further make an inexpensive change to how the bike fits you. You can do all these things piecemeal to get things just right for your personal body mechanics.
 
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Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
I understand. I can deal with all that stuff but thats me. Lots of people have other things to do with their time than tinker with an ebike. I'll say this, though: generally speaking these bikes are reliable. Problems can happen of course but the internet has thrived as a sales medium because the good far outweighs the bad. As far as components are concerned: For sure that Juiced bike is lower end. But you can change that by changing out a few components.

The drivetrain I would leave alone unless you want to put on a bigger front chainring to give yourself a stronger workout. I did this on my bike and it lets me push up past 28 mph and still work hard at it. Check out bikecalc.com and look for the 'speed at cadence' calculator. If the brakes are already hydraulic, probably leave those alone too. Prime candidate for replacement is the seatpost. A Satori Animaris is a serviceable low end option. Thudbuster LT (don't bother with the short travel version) is the mainstream product and the Kinekt spring-driven one is the top dog. I use all three and the Kinekt is actually worth the extra money. Do not sell yourself short on the need for some cushion for your spine on a day-in, day-out transportation-not-recreation ride. Also pedals, handlebars, grips, and saddle should be expendable in favor of whatever your body prefers. They are the UI for your body to the bike. Lastly, remember you can swap the stem for a longer or shorter model to further make an inexpensive change to how the bike fits you. You can do all these things piecemeal to get things just right for your personal body mechanics.
Hello! Been a while. I ended up going with a Bulls Urban Evo, picked it up yesterday and its fantastic! Good build quality and it gets me up to the speeds I want with very little effort. It was on sale for $3,199.99 so I got it for just under $3,500 after taxes. So while I spend an extra thousand, I have dealer support as well as some really good components. The brakes on this thing are phenomenal lol. I'm more than likely going to replace the seat post for a suspension post. The carbon one on this thing is cool but I wanna make my backside comfortable lol. Thanks for the advice!
 

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mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
looks great ! enjoy!

would love to hear how quickly you’re able to make that commute.
 

BlackHand

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Western WA
Congrats, I think you'll love it!

Suspension seatpost makes a big difference. I went through 4 saddles last summer trying to get rid of lower back pain. Pain went away the day I put my Kinekt on, I put the stock saddle back on and haven't thought about discomfort since.

If you're looking at the Kinekt, the cheapest place I found was through Selle Anatomica's website, seems like they always have an active sale going on. Looks like 20% off right now.
 

GenXrider

Well-Known Member
Now, the situation could become different if you actually liked e-biking in some future and decided you'd like to use that for leisure, too. In such a situation, you would start hating your hub-drive motor e-bike soon. You'd discover you're constantly pushed by the motor and would get hardly any workout. It is where mid-drive motor e-bikes really shine.
That is absolutely false as a generalization. I have a hub drive bike and maintain a high heart rate and get great exercise - no sense of ever being "pushed". You must only have experience with some inferior speed based assist bikes that give too much assistance in lower PAS levels. Current generation Ride1Up hub drive bikes like the 500 series, 700 series, Core-5, and LMT'D have cadence sensor based hub drive motors using a power/current based assist system (vs. speed) and allow you to adjust the power for each assist level in the advanced settings as well as setting the number of assist levels (e.g range such as 0-9) you want to use. So, with a basic understanding of how the pedal assist works, you can keep assist power low so that you can get a great workout by providing most of the power yourself, just as I do with my standard bike, which is my whole purposed for riding. Just be sure to get a good cadence sensor based hub drive bike, like Ride1Up. I can't speak for Espin or Aventon personally, but feedback from others makes them appear to operate more like how you are used to.
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
That is a fine bike. I had a very similar one, with the the same older gen motor, similar geometry and components. Cadence at higher speeds should be fine with that 22T chainring.

I also would be interested in his average speed on his 14 mile commute, reported by strava preferably.
 

Megahighdon

New Member
Region
USA
City
Cupertino, CA
That is a fine bike. I had a very similar one, with the the same older gen motor, similar geometry and components. Cadence at higher speeds should be fine with that 22T chainring.

I also would be interested in his average speed on his 14 mile commute, reported by strava preferably.
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So this is my first trial run for my commute. My avg. speed would have been higher but I was pacing behind another biker for about half of the main straightaway and he was going about 18-20. I also made a friend towards the end and we paced around 18 for a couple miles and shot the s*it for a while. All in all the bike performed flawlessly (I tightened the shifter cables as I was getting some jumps and no-shifts before the ride) and I got to my work only a little sweaty and not tired at all.