Road biker looking for a fun ebike for around town

BOregon

New Member
Region
USA
In the market to make first ebike purchase for the wife and myself. Naively thought it was going to be pretty easy to pick one, but I’m at least 20 hours into my internet search and still haven’t found the winner.

As for my use case, I’ll first share that I do my workouts on a road bike, and I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. I want the ebike to do what I can’t easily do on my road bike, so it will mainly be an errand runner for around town (a hilly town at that)… grocery store, grab a coffee, ride down to restaurant (3-8 miles), visit a friend, etc. So pretty much lazy joy rides to get out of the home office without having to hop in the car. Heck, I’ll be happy to use the throttle most of the time - goal is a fun ride, not a workout.

Other factors:
  • Price range: $1,500-$2,300
  • Live in a very hilly neighborhood, so need plenty of power
  • Hydraulic brakes are a must
  • Leaning towards the step-thru design so my 3 teenage kids have the option to hop on them and get to a friends’ house
  • I don’t really care what the bike looks like…just want it to function
  • Directly contradicting the prior point, I admit that I like the look of fat tire bikes, and they seem fun to ride…a buddy has a Rad Rover 5 and I do like the “cush” feel of the fatties. That said, I’m not dead set on fat tires.
  • On weekends, we’ll probably venture out further and do the occasional 15-30 mile rides, mostly on city roads but some gravel/dirt, but these are definitely still going to be leisure rides, not looking for a workout.
  • Sturdy rack system (front and back) so I can pack small groceries around easily. Will use panniers for storage
  • Front/rear fenders a must to help manage Oregon rainy season
  • Like the idea of a brake light that’s triggered by brake levers…seems safer
  • Like the idea of the bikes that can be cheated up to class 3 for the occasional speed rush
  • Want a front shock
  • Can be patient if something is on back order
  • Don’t really care how heavy it is as long as there’s enough power to get up the hills
Here’s the short list I have so far: RadRover 6 Plus Step-Thru, Rize Leisure Step, espin Nero Premium and Ride1UP 700 Series ST.

I’m leaning ever so slightly towards the Nero because it just looks like they do everything right with an all-in cost of $1,599. Here’s some of the reservations I have on the other 3:
  • The Rize Leisure Step is clean looking and refined, but I’m slightly concerned that parts/shipping will be one step more complicated knowing their HQ is in Canada. Also, no front basket option.
  • The Rover 6 is decent, but I don’t love the nickel/dime for the accessories and I don’t love the aesthetics
  • The 700 Series ST looks nice but the rack setup seems flimsy and no front-mount basket/rack from what I can tell.
I'd love to use a LBS but everything seems to be much higher end than what I'm looking for, so I feel stuck in the realm of an online purchase.

Any thoughts or advice is welcome. Would also love to hear if I’m making a mistake leaning towards fat/knobby tires. I know they make noise and are less efficient, so please show me the light if I’m headed in the wrong direction!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
When somebody mentions that hills might be a factor, my mind goes straight for the mid drive bikes. It's NOT that I'm some sort of purist, I have both mid and geared hubs I ride. I actually believe the geared hub bikes are easier to ride/more forgiving for "just riding". The mid drives though, are WAY more capable in the hills. They do require you to shift the bike, to maintain the proper gear for current conditions, just like you would with the road bike.

This bike is a Rize City MD (MD=Mid Drive), but a little over your budget. It features the rock solid Bafang BBS02 motor. This motor has made a LOT of friends. When you say hills, it's worth looking into further, and worth every extra dime it will cost you.
https://rizebikes.ca/products/city-md

Rize bikes are shipped from Ca.
IMHO fat tires and city bikes don't mix well. The only upside for some using them on paved surfaces is they look cool. Downside is they're huge bikes. The size of a 29'er. They feel huge, and they handle huge as well. What tops all of it though is the rolling resistance. To get the ride you're thinking of, you need to run them on the low side of their inflation range. Like 10-12psi. Rolling resistance on pavement will be very noticeable! To get decent rolling resistance, you raise the psi to something over 20psi - which kills the ride. Then there's the noise of those knobby tires on the pavement. If you have a buddy with a Rover you likely know what I'm talking about. Switch to pavement tires? That gets into self steering issues you aren't going to like. Same story. Add air for less self steering - but your ride goes out the window.

City bikes, in my experience, work best on 2"-2.5" widths, and among those the 2.4" Schwalbe Super Moto-X is a huge favorite. Awesome ride with very low rolling resistance. The best of both worlds....

FWIW, the wife and I have several city bikes, and I also have a Rize RX Pro fattie. I purchased it last October and have been messing with different tires since. LOVE the bike, hate the fattie concept. Have given up on the fattie concept entirely, and am now collecting parts to convert it to 27.5" so I can run a set of the Super Moto X tires on that one as well.