Recommendation for a mid-drive folding bike for San Francisco

jaycie

New Member
I am new to ebikes and would like recommendations of a purchase. I am shopping for a compact or folding bike (20" wheels, less than 55 pounds total) to be used as a commuter on hills in San Francisco and Berkeley. My max budget is around $2000. Is a 250 watt mid-drive powerful enough for throttle-only for steep grade uphill? Is a 350 watt rear-hub an viable choice? The primary rider of this bike is a 5' 4" woman, 140 lbs, average leisure cycler. Thanks for your time and consideration!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Nothing answers questions like a test ride, and there appear to be several e-bike shops in San Francisco for you to look at. Have fun testing.

I suspect most any e-bike would need lower gear and pedalling to go up something like Lombard Street, but it's a lot easier with power.

My wife, who is the same size and 64 years old, has no trouble with our local hills with a geared 500W rear drive, and I know she would stop and walk in years past.
 

jaycie

New Member
Nothing answers questions like a test ride, and there appear to be several e-bike shops in San Francisco for you to look at. Have fun testing.

I suspect most any e-bike would need lower gear and pedalling to go up something like Lombard Street, but it's a lot easier with power.

My wife, who is the same size and 64 years old, has no trouble with our local hills with a geared 500W rear drive, and I know she would stop and walk in years past.
Thanks, harryS! That's good to know. Can you describe your local hills a bit for me? Are they as much as a 30% grade for a block or so?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I am new to ebikes and would like recommendations of a purchase. I am shopping for a compact or folding bike (20" wheels, less than 55 pounds total) to be used as a commuter on hills in San Francisco and Berkeley. My max budget is around $2000. Is a 250 watt mid-drive powerful enough for throttle-only for steep grade uphill? Is a 350 watt rear-hub an viable choice? The primary rider of this bike is a 5' 4" woman, 140 lbs, average leisure cycler. Thanks for your time and consideration!
Is a 250 watt mid-drive powerful enough for throttle-only for steep grade uphill?
No, not throttle only. Here is a 1500 watt bike on a 30% grade in SF and rider still needs to pedal.


Other than folding I think you could easily reach your goal in budget as long as you understand you will need to pedal for hills.
 

jaycie

New Member
No, not throttle only. Here is a 1500 watt bike on a 30% grade in SF and rider still needs to pedal.


Other than folding I think you could easily reach your goal in budget as long as you understand you will need to pedal for hills.
Thanks, J.R.! I really appreciate the video example!