Shadow vs Dash vs Neo?--Thoughts, Opinions, Help

Vern

Active Member
I am looking to purchase an e-bike probably around March. My primary reason for the bike is for commuting. I love the idea of saving gas, getting exercise, and having fun all while doing something that I have to do anyway--go to work. I currently have a hard-tail mountain bike which I love. It is an older Trek 6000 and I prefer the look and feel of a mountain bike. I used to mountain bike fairly frequently, but hardly do it anymore. It would be nice if my e-bike could also be used for some trail riding, but honestly commuting is my top priority. I think somewhere down the line I would like to get a nice, non e-bike, full suspension 29er solely for trail use. I am kind of hoping that riding the e-bike frequently will get me in better shape and inspire me to hit the trails more often. My e-bike priorities are Price, Speed, Dependability/Serviceability, Feel/Features/Value. My current top three are the Motiv Shadow, IZIP Dash, and The Neo?

Price-I really don't want to spend over 2500. I can't really justify much more than that. I was originally interested in the Prodeco X2 or X3, but after riding them I would much rather have something lighter, more balanced, faster, and with pedal assist.
First Place: Motiv Shadow $2,200
Second Place: IZIP Dash $2,500
Third Place: Neo $2700 and up??


Speed-I am not a 20 year old with some sort of need for speed. I want the bike to be fast because I want to get to and from work in a reasonable amount of time. I occasionally commute on my Trek and it takes close to an hour each way. I really enjoy the commute, but 2 hours a day on a bike just isn't practical or desirable. If my e-bike can't cut some time off my commute; it just isn't worth it!!
1st IZIP Dash,
2nd Motiv Shadow
3rd Neo -
I ranked the Shadow above the Neo because with the 48 volt battery and 500W geared motor it accelerates very quickly and perhaps will be faster than me on a Neo.


Dependability/Serviceability-I want this thing to last and give me worry-free miles. I know bikes need adjustments and tune-ups..., but for the most part I want a reliable, trouble free bike. When the bike does need service, I want the dealer to be close by. I want parts in stock and easy to get and AVAILABLE for at least 5 to 8 years. I worry about the reliability of the battery, motor, and the ability to get these things down the line. I will be extremely pissed if in 4 years I have a heavy useless e-bike with a dead battery that I cannot replace.
1st Neo-They have been around and probably will be, also I live close to their CA distribution center
2nd Shadow- I live very close to where they are and all of their bikes seem to use similar components
3rd IZIP Dash - I worry that Currie has too many bikes with too many different batteries, motors.. This maybe the DASH deal breaker!!!!


Feel-I want it to feel like a quality bike, with great components, and to fit me correctly.
1st Neo-I really like the way these feel, however, they do feel a bit under-powered to me!!
2nd Dash-I haven't ridden it yet, but I like that it comes in different sizes and the specs seem great
3rd Motiv Shadow.-The riding position is a bit cramped and the components are not top shelf


If I add all of this up I get a three way tie ARGHHH Thoughts anyone??? Hey maybe if I can get an awesome deal on a Neo Carbon that will be the tie breaker!!
 
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Brambor

Well-Known Member
Based of what I see logically to happen with the growth/contraction/merging and evolution of Ebikes I think that your expectation to have parts in stock and easy to get for at least 5 to 8 years is too optimistic.

I am also looking at a purchase come this spring. The way I like to look at it is if my commute saves enough money to pay off the cost of the eBike then I have not wasted my money and can have a clear conscience to replace my bike with a new one.

Based on my limited calculations this morning it will take less than 2 years to pay for my eBike, not counting the added benefits of good health and happiness. Here is a spreadsheet of how I calculated it:

ebikeAmor.jpg




Here is where I took the average car maintenance numbers
 
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Court

Administrator
Staff member
I see where you're coming from Vern and I appreciate how thoughtful you're being. With all of the little conversations we've had here about power, speed, features, price and the longevity of one brand and battery design over another I think the Motiv Shadow makes the most sense to me on this.

The primary reason for this recommendation is that it is less expensive than the others and you live by the headquarters. To Brambor's point, this technology is evoloving and in five or eight years there may be better and less expensive options so worrying about a $500 battery when a whole new bike is $1,500 might not be as important as it seems now. By getting in with all of the features you want but saving a bit on the initial purchase you'll be able to recoup your investment quicker.

The Shadow is powerful, offers the ability to use twist throttle and add pedal assist and I like the shock that's built in just below the head tube. The battery position is stable and the battery itself is rather generic so I think it will actually be easier to find in the future (they use this pack on lots of different ebikes, not just Motiv). The one hangup I hear is the frame design that could feel a little cramped. Keep in mind that the handle bars and seat can be adjusted to maximize the fit just for you. For <= $50 you could also get a new stem, handle bars or maybe even an angled seatpost.

I'll be interested to hear how your test ride on the Shadow goes!
 

Vern

Active Member
Thanks Brambor and Court for your thoughts. I guess I am being too optimistic about the longevity of an e-bike. I just feel that they are pretty expensive and should last. I've had my Trek coming close to 15 years and it's still perfect. Something that bothers me about it ebikes is the fact that they are so much heavier than a regular bike. Without the motor/battery the thing is a beast and useless. You are far better off with a regular bike. I also don't like the idea of trying to be more environmentally conscious by riding an e-bike only to add a battery and frame to a land fill every 5 years. I do realize that is better than adding a car, but still, shouldn't it last?? An electric motor should last a very long time. I am sitting under a ceiling fan that I have had forever. The motor in an ebike is not that much different. I know that battery technology keeps improving, so why can't you just get a better battery in a few years as opposed to a new ebike. This new battery should also use a recycled casing. I think we should pressure manufactures to support their products instead of always buying the new and better thing every few year. They should at least support prior models so someone else can get some use out of it. Wouldn't that be more environmentally conscious?? I own a set of Sears C3 power tools that I got as a gift 12 years ago. The original lead acid batteries are now dead, but they now offer Lithium batteries that are compatible with it. My tools are alive again and work perfectly. Why can't a $3000 ebike offer the same down the road???I know that I am being counter to our present society that can no longer wait 2 WHOLE years to trade in their perfectly good cell phones because they just came out with a blue one that has the new A _ _ chip and takes a picture that it 2% better. I think I have a bit too much of my grandfather in me. He lived through the depression and a value that I am cursed with is I hate waste. Sorry to go off on a rant.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Vern,

Those are all very valid points. I like what you are saying. Perhaps getting a model with rear rack attached batteries and investigate whether the wires could be spliced in case of unavailability of batteries. I think that hanging a different battery of the rear rack might be easier than finding a different battery to fit into the cavity of a Stromer or Nitro. OTOH one never knows if there is enough demand there might be someone who will produce a compatibly shaped after market battery.
 
Four years is a lot to ask of any battery, though certainly possible with good care. Currie and Stromer batteries are pretty expensive to replace, but understandably costly. Pedego has been notorious with some of theirs. Pretty much everything else is quite reasonable. DIY repacking can save lots of money but requires the time and skills. Labor costs for having someone else do it is hardly worth the effort. A lead acid battery that is cycled (completely discharged and charged) frequently can give a great battery life, where as Lithiums will plateau for some time before dwindling. Some of the new chemistries are claiming 1500 cycles per battery, which is nuts.

BH has a sweet proprietary battery they I expect them to stick with for a long time. They went for 9 amp/hrs to 12 amp/hrs this year and they'll probably continue to cram it in there in the future. So the range you'd get now is going to be much better or cheaper to replace in a few years. Plus their costs now are pretty reasonable, so thats a win/win.
 

Ralph

Active Member
Some of you know, I have ridden a few of the bikes and recently ordered the Dash. It is fast, very quiet, solid and at 48v very strong and stable. It is built for tired for the road as I see it. It comes in sizes which is a good thing. I ordered it after great support from Currie management, territory rep and my local dealer. I made up my mind that I could be more than happy with a bike in the Currie product line because I wanted to buy from my local dealer. He stocks Izip but has access to all their brands. After riding the new bikes, the Dash was the clear winner.

Vern, I think Court has it right. Buy the The Motiv Shadow. It is a great bike. It is priced right, but more importantly, you are near their headquarters and I presume a dealer. And most importantly, you have ridden it and like it. Assuming I really liked the bike and it fit, that is what I would buy if I were you. The notion of keeping one of these bikes current for a lot of years seems a stretch to me since they have been changing drastically each year and there are so many technologies. I suspect that down the road, you will want to sell it and get something more current if the economics works for you.

Good luck with your search.
 

Vern

Active Member
Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I really like the Shadow and I do live close to a dealer and the manufacturer themselves. I will probably end up with a Shadow because right now I think that it is the best combination of everything that I am looking for. My biggest problem with the Shadow is that when I ride it back to back against a Neo bike, the Neos just feels so much better. I just went to a dealer close to me. I rode the Shadow, then I rode a Neo Jumper. The jumper just felt, smoother, more balanced, and better. Of course it had bigger tires and a full suspension, so I can't really compare them, but it was great. I really need to try a Cross or an Extreme, or perhaps the new 650b. If money was no object, I think I would get a Jumper; put hybrid road tires for commuting, and then switch back to mountain tires for vacation times when I have more time to mountain bike. Unfortunately, money is an object and it is a difficult decision. All in all, I am going to wait until I ride the Dash before I decide anything. I'll let you know my thoughts. I think this is a great forum for discussion. I read all of these posts and I am always thinking, "Hey, that guy across the country/world has very similar thoughts, opinion, values, and dilemmas that I do." This internet thing is pretty cool.
 

Ralph

Active Member
Vern, You are smart to be patient. It is a big investment. I was all set to buy the 2013 eFlow Nitro. High tech bike, great on paper, but when I rode it I just wasn't that comfortable. It was more of a mountain bike and the geometry was wrong for me.

After riding the Dash which was silky smooth, I rode the Peak. Smooth but felt bottom heavy due to mid drive, I think. I rode the Dash again, but this time for about ten minutes around town. It was the clear winner for me. The others would have worked, but waiting eventually put me in the right bike. At least I hope so. Will let you know when I get it the end of the month.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Vern, I really appreciate your "rant" about sustainability. Ultimately, that's why I run this site - aside from helping people. I want to express my values through the way I live and waste is the enemy when there are so many people, animals and ecosystems that are struggling just to survive.

I loved hearing about your power tools and pristine 15 year old Trek. Have you considered purchasing an electric trailer like the Ridekick that could work with any bike and has easily upgraded and replaceable batteries?

Some other thoughts that came up during my read-through of your comments were that batteries can be recycled and don't have to end up in landfills. We were just talking about this the other day (but it would be great to add more resources here if you know of any).

Also, regarding the Shadow and distance to dealership. I think the size of the dealer also makes a difference and Motiv is a new shop that I know will take extra steps to make you happy. Sure, the Shadow feels less exciting than the Neo Jumper but it's also way less expensive and designed for on road use. The head shock in the fork smoothes out the ride just enough and if you want that floatier feel then consider getting a Thudbuster... which we were also talking abut in another thread. This will only set you back hundreds of dollars vs. thousands.

It kind of depends on the type of riding you want to do... For on road use, full suspension might be overkill but then again, you're talking to the guy who bought the Neo Jumper to ride three miles to work and back each day. I'm a bit of a fanboy, and I did lose ~$1,000 when I sold the bike and moved from Austin this past fall so I can't claim to have all the right answers. In case you haven't seen this, it's a video of me on the Jumper during the daily commute.


And disclaimer... Easy Motion is one of the site sponsors but I try to be accurate and helpful in the way I respond to people. I purchased my Neo Jumper, did their reviews and made this video with my own time and money for what that's worth. Their banner helps to keep the site going and fund my road trips to review new bikes and stuff. Of course, I only accept sponsors who make bikes I trust and would recommend to friends :)