Seeking a Compact Ebike Built For Outdoor Boat / RV Storage?

We've had a pair of eJoe EPIK SE's that have served us well for the past five years - but they have aged badly (especially since we moved onto a boat) and have deteriorated to the point that it is time to replace them.

So what should we get? There are a LOT more Ebike options than when we were last shopping five years ago.

We are looking for great all-around eBikes that are enjoyable to ride (even on moderate trails) without electric assist, but which are comfortable for errand running under power, or getting around on days we’d rather not get all sweaty. They need to have enough range for 25+ mile outings, and enough power to haul around a 250lb rider and a full load of groceries.

Our new bikes need to be small enough to store outdoors in our boat cockpit – full size bikes are too big. Our cockpit allows for bikes to be about 65” long total to be able to be stored off to the side.

Compact bikes with 20” tires seems to be the sweet spot – big enough for trails, small enough for storage on the boat. And weight is important too - when we are ashore, we travel in a camper van with a RockyMounts Backstage swing-out rack that is limited to 60lbs per bike.

This weight limit seems to rule out bikes brands like Rad and Sykl.

Most important – we want bikes that are durable, and which can handle life outdoors stored on the back of a van or in a boat’s cockpit. While we WILL be getting a cover for our new bikes – being regularly left out in the rain should NOT kill these bikes prematurely.

So... Who makes the most weatherproof compact eBikes?

My biggest concerns with our next eBike were reflected right on the first page of the Lectric manual:

“The Lectric XP can withstand most rain showers without sustaining damage. However, the bike and its mechanical and electrical components are not waterproof. We do not recommend storing or using the bike in wet conditions. The warranty for the Lectric XP does not cover water damage.”

For the RV and especially boating community, "wet conditions" are essentially unavoidable, especially for anyone who regularly travels outside the desert southwest.

RVers tend to keep bikes stored outside when stopped, and on outdoor bike racks while traveling. Many full-timers do not even have any possibility for indoor storage.

And on boats - bikes tend to be kept on deck or in the cockpit. Perhaps sometimes covered, but still often exposed to rain, spray, and salt air.

So - any recommendations that fit our needs?

We've shared our research and current short-list in a blog post and video here:

At the moment the new eJoe Epik Swan (500W version) is a top contender - but we are certainly open to other options too.

Thanks in advance!

- Chris
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
@vincent has an amazing 20" compact bike with the Yamaha drive system and it is a pretty amazing bike.

I think, apart from Tern, Yamaha Radius tour is a solid option for anyone looking into 20" compact bikes.

 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
Ravi mentions Tern, I second the suggestion, test ride a pair of Tern Vektron D8 models. They fold, use stainless hardware so are more weather resistant, Vektron has a great adjustable handlebar stem, are <50lb, even have a shoulder pad under the saddle to help you carry them.
 
The Tern Vektron is very promising - but the bike is rated for 230lbs of carrying capacity.

I wrote to Tern and the General Manager wrote back saying:
"In terms of weight limits, we’re a specialty brand with a lot to lose so we’re notoriously conservative based on what we’ve learned about riding habits. ... I tell folks if they’re of average height and ride responsibly I’d consider it safe to be 250 lbs on our bikes."

I weigh a bit under 250, and once you factor in groceries and gear I worry that the Tern will still prove to be overloaded. But perhaps worth a closer look still.

Most of the other similar bikes (like Lectric and eJoe) claim that they are good with riders up to 300lbs.

- Chris
 
@vincent has an amazing 20" compact bike with the Yamaha drive system and it is a pretty amazing bike.

I think, apart from Tern, Yamaha Radius tour is a solid option for anyone looking into 20" compact bikes.

The Haibike Radius Tour looks really awesome - thanks for the tip!

Unfortunately, it seems like that model has been discontinued and it is no longer easy to find anywhere. Haibike USA seems to no longer have any compact bike options at all, actually.

Are there any other compact bikes that have that similar twisted handlebar trick to flatten out for easier storage?

- Chris
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
The Haibike Radius Tour looks really awesome - thanks for the tip!

Unfortunately, it seems like that model has been discontinued and it is no longer easy to find anywhere. Haibike USA seems to no longer have any compact bike options at all, actually.

Are there any other compact bikes that have that similar twisted handlebar trick to flatten out for easier storage?

- Chris

@vincent has a mildly used Haibike Radius Tour that she is looking to sell and one of my other friend has pristine Haibike Radius tour with <5 miles and she is willing to let go of that for $1280+shipping.

Other that I don't know of Radius tour bikes around. At one point, Haibike had them on closeout for $1800 or something around that price range.

You could also look at some of the used Tern bikes on eBay or the seller section here. They hold up really well.