Scope creep! Cruising on dirt & forest service roads

terraunbound

New Member
I have both the Specialized Levo Comp and the Rad Rover. I purchase the Rad Rover in 2018 with expectations of riding on bumpy/hilly conditions. The Rad is now my townie bike and the Levo my mountain bike. I highly recommend not buying a Rad Rover like ebike for bumpy and hilly. It's just doesn't handle it."

One thing to consider, which I didn't see mentioned in all the great responses, is the quality of components. Entry level components (build sets) do not withstand bumps very well on a regular basis. Also, front forks are very important in "bumpy" conditions. Good forks are expensive for a reason. My Levo Comp front fork cost around $1K, the Rad Rover front fork most likely around $100. Significant difference in riding response on "bumpy" conditions. Yes, my Levo can take 4 foot plus drops but a 1 foot drop and rocks can play havoc on a cheap fork. $500 is where good front suspension starts. Mid drives are significantly better for climbing.

You don't need to spend $6,300 on a Levo Comp but buy as much bike as you can. You can save a few bucks by going to a good hard tail. Mid drive, good front suspension and 29 inch tires (roll over rocks and roots like crazy).
yeah, I was trying not get into the details about components so its very enlightening to learn ballpark numbers.

Sub 2k seems unreasonable. Sub 3k... if a yester-year's model, new (or gently demo'd) can be found. I need some seat time though! Stand-over height is a consideration - I'm ok with 27-inch tires. Gonna have to sell more subs and Girl Scout cookies...
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Not true. Although Shimano is not European, you can customize the power output for each assist level using their eTube app. I believe Specialized, with Brose motors, also allows you to do this with their app.
My Specialized has an app called Mission Control. I can control each level of torque (support/peak power/acceleration response/shuttle).
 

Attachments

  • 7963829B-C683-4E46-AD15-828FEDA9738B.png
    7963829B-C683-4E46-AD15-828FEDA9738B.png
    119.7 KB · Views: 22

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Not true. Although Shimano is not European, you can customize the power output for each assist level using their eTube app. I believe Specialized, with Brose motors, also allows you to do this with their app.
Bosch, Shimano, Specialized/Brose, Giant/Yamaha, and Specialized/Mahle mid-motors are all tuneable with their apps.
The poster (who I chose to "ignore" a long time ago) calls high-quality mid-motors from these manufacturers "European" as opposite to "Chinese" :D Needless to say, Yamaha is Japanese, too.

29 inch tires (roll over rocks and roots like crazy).
Although I agree with all points you brought, I need to add 27.5" MTB tyres are not any worse.
 

terraunbound

New Member
Setting up shop appointments... I definitely want to try Specialized as their frames fit me well in the past, and Giant. Bulls make a wide variety of mid drives too.... other brands to consider? Liv? Anyone have recommended LBS outside the Boulder Bubble, inside is ok too if they are accepting attitude?
Are you talking about a 51t front chainring? If so your mid-drive has no torque multiplication (Im assuming your not using a rear cog larger that 50t)

Or perhaps you mean a 52t rear cog, with a 36t front chainring that would be some seriously steep terrain or your riding without assist. Please provide ride details of that

On my Bulls eMTB with a 34t front chainring and 11-42 cassette (three largest cogs are 32,37,42), I have only ever used the 37t rear cog once and it was so steep I basically had my chest on the handlebar. When I finally decided I wasnt going to make it and bailed, it was too steep to start again either uphill or downhill. It was definately steeper than 30%.

So in reality, I have only ever once had torque multiplication out of my mid-drive
 

linklemming

Well-Known Member
Setting up shop appointments... I definitely want to try Specialized as their frames fit me well in the past, and Giant. Bulls make a wide variety of mid drives too.... other brands to consider? Liv? Anyone have recommended LBS outside the Boulder Bubble, inside is ok too if they are accepting attitude?

University cycles in Boulder
I have bought 2 non ebikes from them and must say they are one of the best shops I have ever dealt with, especially getting warranty work done (frame replacement). No ebike experience with them.

Small Planet ebikes in Longmont
Seemed to have a small selection last time I was there. I bought my Bulls eMTB from them but had to special order it. Rather small shop. I did get the battery replaced
under warranty thru them and was there in person as the whole process occurred. Talking on phone with Bulls rep. I will send you a PM some more info I dont want to share here.

Ebikes of Colorado in Louisville
I really like this shop. The owner Randy is a great salesman and overall great guy. Everyone there seems really friendly. Everytime I go there they just have more bikes and quality brands and they now carry bulls.
I bought a iZip Moda E3 from them in 2019. Tell them Gary recommended them. Maybe show up for a sunday ride and talk with people and maybe try their bikes as well. My #1 recommendation

Pedego on Boulder
No direct experience. Pedego is mostly hub bikes although the FS elevate is a nice mid-drive. Really focuses on customer experience. Kindof like the apple of ebikes.

Louisville Cyclery in Louisville
Nothing good to say here. They were a Bulls Dealer but bulls doesnt like to have dealers too close to each other and ebikes of colorado is within a mile of them so I suspect they dont carry bulls anymore
but they do carry specialized. I tried to buy a Bulls from them (special order) and went there 3 times and confirmed they had my number and they never called me back. I met the owner a few months back and told him my story and his quote was "bummer dude"...seriously.

Boulder Cycle Sport North - Only carried Giant last time I was there and small inventory but they were also a ski shop back then and it was ski season.

Pros closet in Boulder - Used ebikes, no direct experience

Trek in Boulder - no direct experience, supposedly great customer service

Personally I think for what you want to do, a hardtail eMTB would do great and would be less expensive. I love my Bulls 27.5+ hardtail as it works perfectly for the legal trails where I ride. If/when more trails open up, I will likely buy a Specialized Turbo Levo(from university cycles) or Giant Trance.
 
Last edited:

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Bosch, Shimano, Specialized/Brose, Giant/Yamaha, and Specialized/Mahle mid-motors are all tuneable with their apps.
The poster (who I chose to "ignore" a long time ago) calls high-quality mid-motors from these manufacturers "European" as opposite to "Chinese" :D Needless to say, Yamaha is Japanese, too.


Although I agree with all points you brought, I need to add 27.5" MTB tyres are not any worse.

Agreed. My preference is 29's. For some reason they just ride better for me.
Bosch, Shimano, Specialized/Brose, Giant/Yamaha, and Specialized/Mahle mid-motors are all tuneable with their apps.
The poster (who I chose to "ignore" a long time ago) calls high-quality mid-motors from these manufacturers "European" as opposite to "Chinese" :D Needless to say, Yamaha is Japanese, too.


Although I agree with all points you brought, I need to add 27.5" MTB tyres are not any worse.

Both sizes are great for MTB. They do feel and ride different. I feel like I can handle rock gardens, drops and roots much easier on my 29's than my 27.5's. With that being said, I can throw my 27.5's around a little easier on downhills than on my 29's. Basically for me, the 29's just roll over stuff with more ease. Funny thing, it took awhile to get used to the 29's. Felt a bit awkward at first.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
There's one factor making me happy with 27.5" wheels: It is about the bike stand-over height. The 27.5 x 2.60" wheels are as tall as 29 x 1.75". The e-MTB 29'er is simply too tall for me in the same frame size... :) I respect people who are happy with 29" wheels and off-road tyres. My short legs would require the size S.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
The couple of folks I know with 29ers really like them, but they aren't for me either. I need to be much more skilled than I am to mess with the geometry, and I will get off and walk the bike if It's really rough.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
The couple of folks I know with 29ers really like them, but they aren't for me either. I need to be much more skilled than I am to mess with the geometry, and I will get off and walk the bike if It's really rough.
"Getting more skilled" Yeah, at my age I'm happy if I just don't get any worse. 🤣
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
You missed Momentum? another Giant division in USA.
I don't think Momentum make any e-MTB?

I'll tell you what Art. While it is doable to ride "dirt and forest service roads" on any general e-bike (given proper tyres have been used), it is the e-MTB (even a hardtail) that really shines there. Yes, I could ride in our nearest National Park on my Vado with Smart Sam tyres, yet nothing could beat the comfort of my Trance E+ there... It is not only about the bumps, mud, etc. Take sand riding: with the stock Giant tyres (2.6" Maxxis downhill ones), I was just riding through pretty deep sand with no hesitation. The youngest brother who rode behind me on his traditional HT MTB told me later the sand sprayed so much from my rear wheel he couldn't follow me or the sand would have blinded him :) Of course, he had to ride sideways on a hard path.

1606976722576.png

That was another 75 mile ride with my other brother. I let Jacek ride my Trance while I rode my Vado (with proper tyres). I could make the forest part of the trip on the Vado but there were moments when I almost cried from despair... But when we hit the sealed road again... :D