Recommend some bikes?

Barbsra McElroy

New Member
Hi. Thanks, as many others have said, for this helpful site. It is a pleasure to find people so willing to help.

I am looking for an e-bike and not having much luck. I am 5'5" woman, but with a 29.5 inseam more length in torso than legs. I found a site that told me how to measure three different ways, and all said I needed a small frame. Perhaps some of the fitting problems I am encountering are because shops have mostly medium and large frames. I am 67 years and it has been nearly 25 years since I rode with any regularity, due to a demanding career. My balance could be better, so I am limiting myself to looking at step throughs. I have had one knee replaced, but have no problems with it now.

I've had brief rides on four bikes. The Volt Mariner was hard to adjust for me. With the seat at the lowest setting I had to balance on tippy toes to get started, but when riding could not properly extend my legs. We rented the hike for several hours. The bike was very uncomfortable to ride. The bike seemed to have plenty of power. The ride was jerky.

The Como3 was also tall. The dealer replaced the seat with a shorter one for the test ride. The bike did feel pretty comfortable once that change was made. The ride was too short for a real decision but seemed very capable and had plenty of power. This bike would be within my budget solely due to a discount from list.

The Townie Go (not sure which version--battery was in the back if that helps) was comfortable and seemed easily adjusted for my body. It seemed underpowered but I liked the smoothness of the ride. Another similar bike, I think it was an Electra, was too tall and though it looked quite like the Townie, something was different because I felt my legs did not extend correctly.

The Trek Verve and Giant LaFree look interesting but have not yet seen in person.

Luckily, I live in Amish country and I have three respected bike shops within 15 miles. The brands they carry are Specialized, Giant, Trek/Electra, and Cannondale. I do want to buy locally to support my neighbors and for access to service. My purpose is a short commute with steep hills, and a bike to use during camping trips so we need not tow a car.

Any recommendations for me?

Thanks again!
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Definitely test ride the Giant LaFree, and Trek Verve+ 3 Lowstep (small frame size claims to fit 5'1"-5'5") - the other Verve variants might be a bit underpowered. The Cannondale Tesoro Neo X 3 Remixte looks good as well.
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
Look at LIV a line catering to small women.
I have 28" inseam, bought a small frame yubabikes bodaboda. But I carry groceries on the bike, it was $1900 with panniers & double leg stand, not cheap. Very low maintenance with a geared hub drive. I spent $920 on the 17.5 AH battery & the hub motor wheel kit, since the yubabike offering at the time was a boat anchor bosch (unpowered). They now sell a shimano mid drive that you can pedal unpowered, but it has a 9 speed chain that will wear out quickly. My 8 speed chain went 5000 miles.
LBS tend to cater to enormous leggy guys. I admit those guys are faster than me. Tall leggy women are faster than me. So what? I'm healthy, I ride a bike, mostly unpowered. The only small frame bikes in stock here are single speed, rim brakes that are useless in the rain, and have a holly hobbie or strawberry shortcake logo on the seat. I like the LBS but he never has anything in stock I need but tires. And the air pump he sold me was trash. LBS gets my tire requirements, I bought the bike off the internet by measurement.
You probably need an 18" frame, maybe 17". Also look out for standover height. I'm a male age 69, really don't want to dance around stretching my leg over a center bar anymore. I have plenty of strength, but the flexibility went away about age 62.
 
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Timpo

Well-Known Member
Hi. Thanks, as many others have said, for this helpful site. It is a pleasure to find people so willing to help.

I am looking for an e-bike and not having much luck. I am 5'5" woman, but with a 29.5 inseam more length in torso than legs. I found a site that told me how to measure three different ways, and all said I needed a small frame. Perhaps some of the fitting problems I am encountering are because shops have mostly medium and large frames. I am 67 years and it has been nearly 25 years since I rode with any regularity, due to a demanding career. My balance could be better, so I am limiting myself to looking at step throughs. I have had one knee replaced, but have no problems with it now.

I've had brief rides on four bikes. The Volt Mariner was hard to adjust for me. With the seat at the lowest setting I had to balance on tippy toes to get started, but when riding could not properly extend my legs. We rented the hike for several hours. The bike was very uncomfortable to ride. The bike seemed to have plenty of power. The ride was jerky.

The Como3 was also tall. The dealer replaced the seat with a shorter one for the test ride. The bike did feel pretty comfortable once that change was made. The ride was too short for a real decision but seemed very capable and had plenty of power. This bike would be within my budget solely due to a discount from list.

The Townie Go (not sure which version--battery was in the back if that helps) was comfortable and seemed easily adjusted for my body. It seemed underpowered but I liked the smoothness of the ride. Another similar bike, I think it was an Electra, was too tall and though it looked quite like the Townie, something was different because I felt my legs did not extend correctly.

The Trek Verve and Giant LaFree look interesting but have not yet seen in person.

Luckily, I live in Amish country and I have three respected bike shops within 15 miles. The brands they carry are Specialized, Giant, Trek/Electra, and Cannondale. I do want to buy locally to support my neighbors and for access to service. My purpose is a short commute with steep hills, and a bike to use during camping trips so we need not tow a car.

Any recommendations for me?

Thanks again!
Hmm... can I say something? 😁

I think you weren't resting properly when you were off the bike. (I know it's been 25 years!)
As you know, your legs should be extended. Obviously you don't want to be hyper-extending, but should be fairly straight.

How to Find Your Ideal Saddle Height - I Love Bicycling


There's no way you should be able to reach the ground if you're on the saddle.

Bicycles are purposely made it higher off the ground, when you corner, you will most likely hit the pedal (which is dangerous) if pedals are not high enough off the ground.
So again, you should not be able to reach the ground. I know you were able to tippy toe, but generally, cyclists won't be able to reach the ground.

When you rest, move forward, get off the bike. :)
As you can see, if she was on the saddle, there's no way she can reach the ground, and she shouldn't be able to.
Annals of Cycling – 47 – Price Tags


This is exactly why some stop lights have bikers footsteps and resting bars, usually in Europe.

Foot rests for cyclists may soon be all over Rosemont - Montreal ...

The Curbee Invites Cyclists to Rest at Red Lights - CityLab
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Hmm... can I say something? 😁

I think you weren't resting properly when you were off the bike. (I know it's been 25 years!)
As you know, your legs should be extended. Obviously you don't want to be hyper-extending, but should be fairly straight.

How to Find Your Ideal Saddle Height - I Love Bicycling


There's no way you should be able to reach the ground if you're on the saddle.

Bicycles are purposely made it higher off the ground, when you corner, you will most likely hit the pedal (which is dangerous) if pedals are not high enough off the ground.
So again, you should not be able to reach the ground. I know you were able to tippy toe, but generally, cyclists won't be able to reach the ground.

When you rest, move forward, get off the bike. :)
As you can see, if she was on the saddle, there's no way she can reach the ground, and she shouldn't be able to.
Annals of Cycling – 47 – Price Tags


This is exactly why some stop lights have bikers footsteps and resting bars, usually in Europe.

Foot rests for cyclists may soon be all over Rosemont - Montreal ...

The Curbee Invites Cyclists to Rest at Red Lights - CityLab

Darn, I so wish we had those footrest here.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Darn, I so wish we had those footrest here.

We do...they call it a 'curb'. 😄

OP seems like a candidate for a RadCity. But yeah, stick with your local bike shop (LBS) for best support and satisfaction.

Anything from the big-3, Trek, Giant, or Specialized, is going to be a good experience.
 

Barbsra McElroy

New Member
Definitely test ride the Giant LaFree, and Trek Verve+ 3 Lowstep (small frame size claims to fit 5'1"-5'5") - the other Verve variants might be a bit underpowered. The Cannondale Tesoro Neo X 3 Remixte looks good as well.
Thanks. I will look for those.
 

Barbsra McElroy

New Member
Hmm... can I say something? 😁

I think you weren't resting properly when you were off the bike. (I know it's been 25 years!)
As you know, your legs should be extended. Obviously you don't want to be hyper-extending, but should be fairly straight.

How to Find Your Ideal Saddle Height - I Love Bicycling


There's no way you should be able to reach the ground if you're on the saddle.

Bicycles are purposely made it higher off the ground, when you corner, you will most likely hit the pedal (which is dangerous) if pedals are not high enough off the ground.
So again, you should not be able to reach the ground. I know you were able to tippy toe, but generally, cyclists won't be able to reach the ground.

When you rest, move forward, get off the bike. :)
As you can see, if she was on the saddle, there's no way she can reach the ground, and she shouldn't be able to.
Annals of Cycling – 47 – Price Tags


This is exactly why some stop lights have bikers footsteps and resting bars, usually in Europe.

Foot rests for cyclists may soon be all over Rosemont - Montreal ...

The Curbee Invites Cyclists to Rest at Red Lights - CityLab
Oh, i bet you are right! 🤐 that was my very first attempt, and I was nervous because the bike rental location meant starting out in traffic. The fellow did say I was at the limits of the bike but he had nothing smaller. A bit embarrassing to understand this now.
 

Barbsra McElroy

New Member
And about my budget. Would like to stay at $2000 but could swallow $2500 reluctantly. I would prefer to spend once and get the truly right bike rather than look again soon. The discount mentioned was for buying two, so double these amounts for the joint budget. My husband is not hard to fit, apparently, so I am the one with questions.
 

byunbee

Well-Known Member
Hmm... can I say something? 😁

I think you weren't resting properly when you were off the bike. (I know it's been 25 years!)
As you know, your legs should be extended. Obviously you don't want to be hyper-extending, but should be fairly straight.

How to Find Your Ideal Saddle Height - I Love Bicycling


There's no way you should be able to reach the ground if you're on the saddle.

Bicycles are purposely made it higher off the ground, when you corner, you will most likely hit the pedal (which is dangerous) if pedals are not high enough off the ground.
So again, you should not be able to reach the ground. I know you were able to tippy toe, but generally, cyclists won't be able to reach the ground.

When you rest, move forward, get off the bike. :)
As you can see, if she was on the saddle, there's no way she can reach the ground, and she shouldn't be able to.
Annals of Cycling – 47 – Price Tags


This is exactly why some stop lights have bikers footsteps and resting bars, usually in Europe.

Foot rests for cyclists may soon be all over Rosemont - Montreal ...

The Curbee Invites Cyclists to Rest at Red Lights - CityLab
Never knew there was such thing as bike resting bars. That's pretty convenient. Thanks for sharing. :)
 

Barbsra McElroy

New Member
Look at LIV a line catering to small women.
I have 28" inseam, bought a small frame yubabikes bodaboda. But I carry groceries on the bike, it was $1900 with panniers & double leg stand, not cheap. Very low maintenance with a geared hub drive. I spent $920 on the 17.5 AH battery & the hub motor wheel kit, since the yubabike offering at the time was a boat anchor bosch (unpowered). They now sell a shimano mid drive that you can pedal unpowered, but it has a 9 speed chain that will wear out quickly. My 8 speed chain went 5000 miles.
LBS tend to cater to enormous leggy guys. I admit those guys are faster than me. Tall leggy women are faster than me. So what? I'm healthy, I ride a bike, mostly unpowered. The only small frame bikes in stock here are single speed, rim brakes that are useless in the rain, and have a holly hobbie or strawberry shortcake logo on the seat. I like the LBS but he never has anything in stock I need but tires. And the air pump he sold me was trash. LBS gets my tire requirements, I bought the bike off the internet by measurement.
You probably need an 18" frame, maybe 17". Also look out for standover height. I'm a male age 69, really don't want to dance around stretching my leg over a center bar anymore. I have plenty of strength, but the flexibility went away about age 62.
 

Barbsra McElroy

New Member
Look at LIV a line catering to small women.
I have 28" inseam, bought a small frame yubabikes bodaboda. But I carry groceries on the bike, it was $1900 with panniers & double leg stand, not cheap. Very low maintenance with a geared hub drive. I spent $920 on the 17.5 AH battery & the hub motor wheel kit, since the yubabike offering at the time was a boat anchor bosch (unpowered). They now sell a shimano mid drive that you can pedal unpowered, but it has a 9 speed chain that will wear out quickly. My 8 speed chain went 5000 miles.
LBS tend to cater to enormous leggy guys. I admit those guys are faster than me. Tall leggy women are faster than me. So what? I'm healthy, I ride a bike, mostly unpowered. The only small frame bikes in stock here are single speed, rim brakes that are useless in the rain, and have a holly hobbie or strawberry shortcake logo on the seat. I like the LBS but he never has anything in stock I need but tires. And the air pump he sold me was trash. LBS gets my tire requirements, I bought the bike off the internet by measurement.
You probably need an 18" frame, maybe 17". Also look out for standover height. I'm a male age 69, really don't want to dance around stretching my leg over a center bar anymore. I have plenty of strength, but the flexibility went away about age 62.

Oh, that is an idea. Had not heard of LIV. It seems associated with Giant so my lbs probably has it, or at least access to it. Thank you.

Those cutey bikes are for kids! My last three cars have been powerful black convertibles. Still own the '91 RX7 and a 2009 328i. No pink or Holly Hobbie need apply. Maybe it would protect from theft though?

My flexibility is still there! Once I am warmed up in fhe morning, can touch the floor easily most days. Yeah yoga!
 

Barbsra McElroy

New Member
Ok, I'm back. Yesterday rode four bikes. Real progress!

First, the Trek dealer. Started with another Townie,The 10d. Comfortable but heavy and not comfortable for the wallet! My goal is to hang the bikes inside my camper van, and not sure I can actually lift this long heavy bike into position. The verve+3 Was lots of fun. Shorter wheel base and slightly less upright. Seems a bit more adaptable to different conditions than the Townie. Not quite as comfortable, but I can adapt to it. I did notice a bit of wrist pain. Expect a change of grips would help. The Vale, upon looking, is between Townie and Verve in geometry but priced above the Verve. It was ruled out without even riding.

Then a short drive to the Giant dealer. He had size smalls in stock! And we discovered internal hubs. These I loved! Smooth, easy shifting. Perhaps less maintenance and chance of losing chains. The LaFree was a good bike, comfortable, but a little "jittery" at low speeds. Perhaps the weight distribution? Loved the belt drive. So very quiet and smooh. Next the dealer gave me a Vida E+ to try. Definitely better balanced. 7 speeds, not 8. Integrated battery. Chain not belt. I expect this was to meet a price point as these two bikes are priced identically. Both of these were lighter bikes, too. The momentum seemed the lightest. Or at least a bit peppier.

So the next questions.

First, I see online there is a Townie with 8 speed internal hub. It is not their norm and I fear problems if repairs are needed. Anyone know about that bike?

Second, will moving from 8 gears to 7 be a big impediment?

Third, are there negatives to the internal hubs of which I should be aware?

Fourth, it is getting to be a while since the Como. How comparable? I need to decide whether to give it another try. That dealer was very willing to sell below list. So the Como, the Verve 3, the Townie 8i, or either of the Giant bikes would cost roughly the same. Joe loved that Como, but the hill was so steep and it was early in the process. I was afraid to take it out on the road.

Hope you are enjoying my little stories. I am sure enjoying your help!
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Ok, I'm back. Yesterday rode four bikes. Real progress!

First, the Trek dealer. Started with another Townie,The 10d. Comfortable but heavy and not comfortable for the wallet! My goal is to hang the bikes inside my camper van, and not sure I can actually lift this long heavy bike into position. The verve+3 Was lots of fun. Shorter wheel base and slightly less upright. Seems a bit more adaptable to different conditions than the Townie. Not quite as comfortable, but I can adapt to it. I did notice a bit of wrist pain. Expect a change of grips would help. The Vale, upon looking, is between Townie and Verve in geometry but priced above the Verve. It was ruled out without even riding.

Then a short drive to the Giant dealer. He had size smalls in stock! And we discovered internal hubs. These I loved! Smooth, easy shifting. Perhaps less maintenance and chance of losing chains. The LaFree was a good bike, comfortable, but a little "jittery" at low speeds. Perhaps the weight distribution? Loved the belt drive. So very quiet and smooh. Next the dealer gave me a Vida E+ to try. Definitely better balanced. 7 speeds, not 8. Integrated battery. Chain not belt. I expect this was to meet a price point as these two bikes are priced identically. Both of these were lighter bikes, too. The momentum seemed the lightest. Or at least a bit peppier.

So the next questions.

First, I see online there is a Townie with 8 speed internal hub. It is not their norm and I fear problems if repairs are needed. Anyone know about that bike?

Second, will moving from 8 gears to 7 be a big impediment?

Third, are there negatives to the internal hubs of which I should be aware?

Fourth, it is getting to be a while since the Como. How comparable? I need to decide whether to give it another try. That dealer was very willing to sell below list. So the Como, the Verve 3, the Townie 8i, or either of the Giant bikes would cost roughly the same. Joe loved that Como, but the hill was so steep and it was early in the process. I was afraid to take it out on the road.

Hope you are enjoying my little stories. I am sure enjoying your help!
You're trying to carry a bike inside a camper van? 😲
Wouldn't Tern bikes make more sense?

Kickstarter Campaign Completed for Terns' Vektron E-Bike - Bike Europe

Buy Tern Vektron P9 Red Online - Amego Electric Vehicles
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
First, I see online there is a Townie with 8 speed internal hub. It is not their norm and I fear problems if repairs are needed. Anyone know about that bike?

- it sounds as if you have ruled out the Townie as too heavy to lift?

Second, will moving from 8 gears to 7 be a big impediment?

- not much difference between the Nexus 7 & 8 IGH in terms of gear range 245% v 307% according to the Sheldon Brown website. According to this article the Nexus 8 is stronger than the 7 https://www.electricbike.com/mid-drive-kit-igh/ but I would be fine taking the 7. I have the Nexus 8 on my ebike and shifting takes a bit of getting used to as it hesitates to shift if there is any torque so either pause pedalling or I give a quarter turn back pedal and feel for the click through my feet as it shifts to the next gear.

Third, are there negatives to the internal hubs of which I should be aware?

- the disadvantages are in my opinion outweighed by the advantage of being able to shift gear when stationary. The revoshifter twist shifters get a bit tiring after a while, I’d consider upgrading to Shimano’s tap fire or rapid fire shifters for the Nexus IGH

Fourth, it is getting to be a while since the Como. How comparable?

- all pretty much similar torque, go with the one you liked riding best. Good to read you liked the Vida E+ I really like the combination Nexus IGH with that Yamaha/SyncDrive Motor.
 
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steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Barbsra these are all decent bikes so here is my ranking of the 4 you tested most recently: 1st place = Townie 10D for your husband, https://electricbikereview.com/electra/townie-path-go-10d-eq/ followed by a close 2nd place =Verve +3 for you. Good luck and keep pedaling. PS my sister in law is 71 and 5'3" with a 28" inseam. She rides a size small Giant /Liv Amiti + 1 all over hell's half acre and loves it. My wife is 68 and 5' 4" with a 29" inseam and has 8,000 trouble free km on her 15.5" Trek Powerfly 5
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
First, I see online there is a Townie with 8 speed internal hub. It is not their norm and I fear problems if repairs are needed. Anyone know about that bike?

Second, will moving from 8 gears to 7 be a big impediment?

Third, are there negatives to the internal hubs of which I should be aware?
The shimano 8 speed IGH is apparently very reliable. One doesn't repair them when worn out, one throws them away. I installed a Sturmey Archer S80 IGH, it slowed me down 15% compared to a derailleur and the shifter wore out in 500 miles. I don't think any e-bike has one of those. I expect the 15% drag loss to be the same with the shimano IGH. Don't buy a rohloff 11 speed IGH on an electric bike, there have been leakers.
The 8 speed shimano rear sprocket I have on my yubabike has been very reliable, i've got 5000 miles on it. The 7 speed shimano sprocket axle I had previously came unscrewed and dropped the balls on the road at about 1500 miles. Had to push it home. The 7 speed shimano axle is a kiddie grade product whose main advantage is price. Serious design flaw in that axle, which is on 95% of discount store bikes. Plus I found I was adjusting the shifter on the 7 speed shimano every coupla months, whereas the SRAM shifter on my yubabike needs adjusting less than once a year.
I ride hilly terrain, and find a 11 to 32 selection of rear sprockets allows me to cope with all grades without using the power. 11:32 is in catalogs in 7 speed sprockets, but when I tried to order one none was ever available. If you don't ride up 15% grades you may not need a 32 rear sprocket.
Notice rear sprockets 9 speeds and up have thinner chain, which wears out 2 to 10 times faster than 8 speed chain. I got 5000 miles out of my first 8 speed chain, apparently highly unusual. Some mid drive users with 11 speed chain report 500 mile chain life.
 
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Alex M

Well-Known Member
Barbara, don't read too much into "non-powered" geometry. Some of this doesn't apply to cruisers, especially ebike cruisers. On ebike you'll be pedaling less or with less effort than on non-powered bike. If you feel comfortable - I would say go for it even if your legs are not fully extended.

Electra Townie Go is nice bike, you can touch the ground and still have legs fully extended. They cost a bit more than $2,000 except for some rear-hub 250W models - yes, 250W hub is underpowered for most terrains. Their mid-drive 250W models feel better, in terms of power.

Another one to try is Aventon, they have geometry similar to E-Townie Go, "foot forward position", and have step-through frame in 2 different sizes: 15" and 18". If you later decide to get a seatpost suspension, a small 15" frame becomes medium 18", but there is no way back - you can't make 18" frame a 15".