Redundant Q's still need A's! (narrowing selection, please, read/respond!)

Arr Cee

New Member
Stats:
  • F
  • 5'2
  • mid-weight
  • active
  • don't do any conventional "working out" (there's outside, outside!)
  • want to be outdoors, more
  • commute a minimum of 120 miles/weekly (currently all by car)--by necessity
  • on a serious budget (driving an American V6 everywhere is eating my wallet. . .)
  • live in a warmer climate, incredibly hot for long durations, May--September, otherwise temperate
  • decided on an electric bike over moped, scooter, or small-engine motorcycle (them things that use gasoline)
  • need help choosing quantity and quality on aforementioned budget
--Please, please, help!

The deal: as much as I would LOVE (LOVE LOVE!!!) to be able to spend 3K minimum on an e-bike, the reality is that I have made the choice to forgo the car for my weekly commuting with the requirement (hope, and expectation) that it will be cheaper than a year's worth of car payments! The idea is to start small and feel my way into a more permanent kind of electric transport. So, no, I really cannot be starting off with a masterpiece. Yet, I don't want to begin this lifelong relationship with a jalopy or worse. . .

So, nice people (?) of EBR forum, help a sister out. Here are my req's, the makes and models I've been ogling, and a general sense of the budget I have to work with. You can tell me how realistic I'm being, but know that I do not have all of the options.

Req's:
  • Lithium-based battery. I will be lugging this thing 'round town when not in use, amongst a load of other books/daily needs and cannot carry trekking weight around for multiple hours/day.
  • Reliable transport I can take to school/work three days a week that's 30mile/roundtrip each time. I stop for groceries once or twice. No more than 200lb load total. Depending on price, I will purchase a 2nd battery. (And I will have upwards of 3-4 hours of re-charging time between going and returning)
  • Safety! Security! I am on a major campus in a relatively small but crowded town. Eyes will be on this bike, it is inevitable. (will get it registered w/campus authorities). Is there such thing as e-bike security?
  • Again, I have to travel 15-16 miles each way, twice a day, several times a week. It's pretty flat, but there are some stretches of gentle inclines (the type you don't notice in a car, but seriously notice when pedaling through). Also again, it gets really, really hot in the summertime. 100 degree days are normal. I'm okay with sweating, but not melting. I'm willing to work-for-it, but I really do need a substantial bit-o-power for the duration of my ride.
Looking at:
  • e-Joe Anggun or Oma. EBR has a pretty decent review of the Anggun as an entry-level bike. Nothing on Oma--do any of you have experience with this bike?
  • F4W Ride. I really like the battery lock on this model. Seems more secure than the Anggun or Oma, but also feels like trading down as far as battery watt hours.
  • The incredibly appealing, less expensive option: Currie eZip Commuter. Positively rated, good price point, affordable extra battery to extend range. . . Yet all I can see when I look at this particular make/model is a neon sign blazing, "You get what you pay for." And I really can't afford to be a sucker with this purchase.
  • Recommendations. . . (which I have NONE of, so far)
I am looking for an imperfect, functional, user-friendly e-bike to be my INTRO to no-gasoline-work-it 101. I may well move onto the mind-boggling, fancy pants makes. But what I need right now is something that will not break the bank, and offer some security as far as theft. I gladly welcome ALL responses, but, if you've read this through, I must ask. . . Please be gentle-ish. I've been at this research for months and I'm truly less sure about what this transition means than ever before. I would love to hear your "success" story with any particularly underdoggish make/model. Thanks to-ya'all
 

Vern

Active Member
If you can stretch your budget a bit, and/or find a good deal, I think the new Currie E3 Metro sounds perfect for you. You might even consider last years model, but that new one looks really good.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Arr Cee! Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing all of your stats with a thorough writeup so we can really understand your needs and try to help :)

First, I wanted to address the security question. I use an On Guard U-Lock along with a long thick cable that goes through both wheels and then a smaller cable that goes through my saddle. I carry this stuff around in panniers or sometimes a backpack like the TimBuk2 ones that unfurl at the top so you can stack stuff... like groceries :)

Aside from locking the bike, the next big consideration would be bicycle insurance which can be had for ~$100/yr and might even cover roadside assistance if you get a flat tire. Several members of the forum have purchased it and even used the pickup service! You'll also benefit from keeping your tire pressure high (to avoid pinch flats) and maybe carrying an extra tube and tools to make a quick repair.

Okay... So on to your REAL question. Which ebike to get that's affordable, reliable and the right size for you. Here are a few suggestions:
  • e-Joe Epik Lite - this bike is super affordable, has pedal assist and throttle, lights, a rear rack and it's sort of a step-through design with smaller wheels that will fit your 5'2" body well. It's relatively light and well balanced with a built-in battery that can be removed for charging on site (those three hours you said you could charge for). I really like this bike and consider it mid-level vs. entry. Having the battery low and center is also a big deal vs. some of the less expensive models that have it hanging off the back. The downside here is that the Epik Lite only has one pedaling gear and no suspension... you could pay a bit more for the Epik SE and I think they might sell it with a rack as an option. You can reach out to e-Joe directly for more information or a custom order through your local bike shop.
  • eZip Trailz Commuter - even though this bike isn't balanced as well and uses a funky chain drive motor, it's still backed up by Currie (which is one of the biggest ebike names in America) and may be more readily available through a local shop. Having a partner to buy from who can repair and honor your warranty is a good thing. This bike is basic but it's affordable and works well enough. Another similar ebike with mid-battery and hub motor is the eZip Skyline and it's in a similar price range with step-through frame options that will fit your height and be relatively easy to mount.
  • Volton Alation ST - this bike is a bit more expensive but offers great power and balance. You can get a less expensive model with lower specs but you might still need to add a rack to help carry your stuff around.
  • e-Joe Anggun - as you mentioned, this is a decent option for an affordable step-through electric bike. It doesn't fold like the Epik and is a bit heavier and larger overall but offers good quality, balance and fenders, suspension etc.
  • Motiv Sleek - this step-through cruiser is solid, comfortable and fast. You get pedal assist, throttle and fun colors. It doesn't have fenders, lights or a rack but there are spots to add one and you can get a rack pretty cheap online from Amazon.
I hope this list helps you... I'm sure you've already explored the affordable category on the site and seen many of these models before. One options might be to find a last-year model for a bit less. Bikes like the IZIP E3 Path have been drastically updated and the older models can be picked up cheap. The new Path+ is one of my favorite city bikes and definitely worth it if you can muster the extra money. Its got an awesome drive system that's super smooth... and the warranty etc. from Currie.