Recommendations On an E-bike or a kit?

Bethany

New Member
I live in a rural area with a lot of hills and would like to take my existing cross bike into an e-bike. When I looked at e-bikes a lot of them are built for city usage or for mountain biking. I'm not sure a commuter bike would handle rough gravel roads and long 3-mile hills.

I'm a big lady, 5'10 and 220 which may impact weight. From reading around it looks like the mountain bikes are all 26 inches which leaves my knees up to my chest when riding. I usually ride a 29er because of it. I did like the looks of the IZIP E3 Dash at 2800.00 though.

I just need a pedal assist, nothing fancy and I don't know if a kit can be used for a drop bar bike. I was thinking along the lines of a BionX kit. Will a lightweight cross bike handle the weight of both me and the battery? Weight isn't an issue as I used to have a fat bike and those aren't lightweight either.

Thanks for any ideas!
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
For climbing big hills and lots of them, I understand a mid drive is the preferred type of drive. The most popular mid drives are Bosch, Impulse 2, Panasonic. So, look for eBikes that are mid drive designs as your first criteria (these are pedal-assist only but have greater torque for hill climbing). I don't yet own an eBike so my knowledge is pretty limited, but the real experts should be along soon-ish.
 

Shea N Encinitas

Active Member
Tire size should not be as important as frame size when fitting a bike, Stromers are top of the line bikes on 26" wheels, the large was a great fit for me & we are the same height (34 inseam btw). Smaller wheeled bikes are easier to turn quickly, but 29'rs make a nice commuter, I've ended up in the middle, 27.5 or 650b Haibike. Unless you are strongly compelled to build up a kit, mechanical, troubleshooter, researcher, own a soldering iron etc, I would not recommend it. There are shops that will do a conversion for you but you probably want to invest in a longer term, robust solution (or build up your cross with MTB like parts). I always recommend watching the used market, while it takes some savvy to separate the crap from the gems, there are good bikes out there. You can always ask the members here about a specific find, link the ad, etc. -S
 

Gus

Active Member
If you like your cross bike and are not thrilled with the idea of bolting on a DIY mid drive kit, the Bionx kit is probably a good option. As Shea mentioned, the only mid drive kit I am aware of is the Bafang and the Cyclone. They are not that hard to install but I wouldnt call it easy. It does require a lot of brake tools, some wiring, and patience. The DIY kits require a lot of research and there is risk with getting crap parts. The Bionx kit is good because its a complete setup that just works.

I used to own a Bionx kit and that thing was ridiculously simple to install. Change rear wheel, mount the display, change the brake lever, mount battery, and go. They make a special brake sensor that mounts to an STI style brake lever on drop bars. Unless you have one of those dainty TT bikes your bike should have no problems handling your weight, plus kit, plus battery. That Bionx D motor is supposed to be a beast. The biggest negatives with Bionx is the pricing is kinda high and all their stuff is proprietary.
 
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Bethany

New Member
Shea, you are evil. I checked out the Haibike webpage. They have a fatty! I miss my Mukluk...sold it to pay for bills earlier this year. Mine was too big at a 19 and really needed a medium at 17.

650's are great. Loved the one I test rode a few months ago. The plan was to buy a kit for my Ridley X-Bow bike but maybe I need to look into just an e-bike and keep the X-Bow as is. N+1.

I did call up a bike shop in Omaha and all they had was an Electra. E-bikes are banned in Lincoln both road and trail but Omaha doesn't care.

Gus, any recommendations for the BionX kits?
 

MLWilcox

Member
I live in similar circumstances. With a bad knee, I had really cut down on my bike riding. With an ebike, you will be super human - hills, what hills. First, if you do not currently have the funds to buy a high quality ebike, my opinion is that a bionx on your current bike is a really good alternative. It is still expensive but not as pricey as a new ebike. If you have the cash, then definitely look at a new ebike.

The Haibikes are really great. I also like wider tires compared to road and hybrids when going at higher speeds. Their 29er is "reasonably" priced compared to the Felt and just really good looking in the white/grey/blue color combo. The full suspension 27.5" is awesome. Haibike also has a step through Trekking for 2015. It comes with fenders, lights, bike rack. I have never been on the easy motion bikes but they also have a 27.5 and 29er and are less expensive. Check out Court's reviews.

Finally, I am a big fan of Crazy Lenny's in Madison, Wisconsin. They have great prices, particularly in the winter months. Really, give them a call. You may be able to afford more of a bike than you thought.
 

Bethany

New Member
Happened across a store in Omaha that has Easy motion bikes, the Neo City, Cross, Jumper, and Race. I just wish e-bikes weren't so expensive. I haven't gone up to try them knowing I couldn't come home with one. Was talking with family in England and he mentioned e-bikes are really cheap there. As England has different electric standards I'm assuming one can't be shipped over.
 

biknut

Active Member
Happened across a store in Omaha that has Easy motion bikes, the Neo City, Cross, Jumper, and Race. I just wish e-bikes weren't so expensive. I haven't gone up to try them knowing I couldn't come home with one. Was talking with family in England and he mentioned e-bikes are really cheap there. As England has different electric standards I'm assuming one can't be shipped over.

You're a wise man. I think the last 3 bikes I bought was when I accidently found myself looking at a bike that I couldn't buy.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Happened across a store in Omaha that has Easy motion bikes, the Neo City, Cross, Jumper, and Race. I just wish e-bikes weren't so expensive. I haven't gone up to try them knowing I couldn't come home with one. Was talking with family in England and he mentioned e-bikes are really cheap there. As England has different electric standards I'm assuming one can't be shipped over.

Hi, I doubt the global brands are any cheaper, and they have very low limits on the power. You might also mess up with warranty, and the shipping can't be cheap.

You seem to be going off in too many directions. Figure a budget and figure what you can do within the limits. There are bikes under $2k. The kits are definitely high value. But everything is complicated. If you want the Bafang BBS02 you might buy it from Lectric Cycle in Tempe, where the guy is well regarded and has contacts with the company in China. Or get it for less in Hong Kong, or off Alibaba. Then you need a battery. A little research will answer most of the questions.

Fat bikes are getting very popular. There are value versions. Take your time. Take a test drive where you tell the dealer up front you can't really buy it now, and you are looking at a lot of options. Or rent for half a day.

Good luck.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I doubt Bethany is a man BTW. -S


I guess the ID symbol gives a hint. Maybe not. I doubt you are a dog, for example. Here's a quick refresher:

gender capture.JPG
 

MLWilcox

Member
Yes, unfortunately, the new bikes are expensive. I doubt the Omaha store has the 2015 models yet. So, go test ride. Just tell them up front you are just looking and want to wait for the 2015 models. Or that you really want the 29er but want to just check out the bikes overall. It will take the pressure off and/or give you bargaining power for the 2014s.

Make sure you check out Court's review of the new Cross. He describes the upgrades for 2015.

Approach the purchase like buying a new car - test drive and negotiate a good deal. And be ready to walk away. It is in the middle of winter, so there is no rush to buy.