State of the industry or Do I take the plunge?

Mark DT

New Member
Greetings to all. I'm new to ebikes and was hoping to get some pre-purchase information to guide my search. My question, before considering models and specs, is prompted by several of the most recent videos that Court posted.

10 years ago, I fell in love with scooters, the gas powered, motorcycle-lite, kind. I was really lucky. I knew nothing about the industry, but the friend who sold me my first used bike did. He sold me a top of the line, 50 cc model from Taiwan. I then upgraded to another Taiwanese bike and finally an Italian beauty, and over the course of that time this is what I learned.

First, I learned that bikes from Japan, Italy, and Taiwan were really good, but that most bikes, including everything that novice owners would consider “entry level” in price were from China. Those bikes were not good and parts and service for those bikes were non-existent. Basically, if you paid $1500 or so, you bought a disposable ride. If you paid $3K+, you got something good.

Secondly, I learned that dealer service was critical. If you bought a scooter from a reputable dealer AND that dealer actually cared about scooters, (many motorcycle dealers didn't want anything to do with scooters, even the ones that carried their badges) you could look forward to many tens of thousands of miles of joy. If you didn't, you were in for a bad experience.

So it comes down to this, I live in a very hilly town. I am approaching 50 and want to ride my bike way more often than I want to jog or run stairs. I am almost to the point in my life where I don't have a mini-van full of kids with me at all times. I think an electric bike would be really cool. BUT...I don't want to be that crowd that bought cheap, Chinese scooters from the hardware store.

The boutique bike shop in my town bought a couple of ebikes several years ago and they didn't sell. Consequently, they will order an Electra Townie Go if you pay them in advance, but they don't stock them. The nearest Pedego dealer is a state away. It looks like, to find a full line dealer of any reputable brand, I need to drive 10 hours to Austin or Denver.

Do I have an ebike option or do I wait for the industry to mature?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Ebikes all the way, Mark..!!
There are a ton of options and if you look into the thread under each brand, you'll see people's experience and how it has changed their riding style and lifestyle in general.

There is James and Brambor who own ST1 platinum and Specialized Turbo and commute to work ( > 20 miles). Other like me, Vern, Amir use it for commuting to work but slightly shorter distance. There is Eddie who does some hardcore trail riding. Joepah, Ralph, John and George might be in your age group and they love weekend rides etc.

I certainly don't have the kind of history that you have with scooters and ebikes but in a very short time, industry has matured a lot. Take your time, test ride a few, enjoy the reviews and that'll prepare you for the next step.

Cheers
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Since Ravi didnt mention me by name I will speak up :( just giving Ravi a hard time! :) I bought original Stromers , weren't real reliable , vowed to only deal w/local shop in case of issues, still stick w/that personally. The new local shop pushed for replacements from Stromer after I gave up and they came through. I now have ST1 s and pretty damn happy what they did for me. Had a couple issues, really enjoy being at the receiving end of service. If you cant buy locally maybe find out what LBS can do w/your bike? will yours have parts they can get for non electrical issues? (wheels , brakes , etc) ? Some have many standard parts and some have nothing that is available except from them

My $.02

Mark
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Since Ravi didnt mention me by name I will speak up :( just giving Ravi a hard time! :) I bought original Stromers , weren't real reliable , vowed to only deal w/local shop in case of issues, still stick w/that personally. The new local shop pushed for replacements from Stromer after I gave up and they came through. I now have ST1 s and pretty damn happy what they did for me. Had a couple issues, really enjoy being at the receiving end of service. If you cant buy locally maybe find out what LBS can do w/your bike? will yours have parts they can get for non electrical issues? (wheels , brakes , etc) ? Some have many standard parts and some have nothing that is available except from them

My $.02

Mark

Mark,
My sincere apologies. You are a class apart from most of us.
I don't think I could keep up with you while riding :) Well, you certainly have a ton of experience with your Stromers and we should probably form a ebike chapter of DC and go on rides this summer. My research work is killing me and weekends, I long to simply ride somewhere and gaze at the monuments.

If you are interested, we can plan for some events listed on the attached document. Have a look and let me know.
 

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Mark DT

New Member
Ravi and Mark,
Thanks for the input.

Ravi, I am making every effort to steer the summer vacation to a metropolis where I can test ride to my heart's content but the Mrs. is much more of a cruise ship girl than a long car trip girl, so this is going to take some planning.

Mark, your experience with the bikes is the thing that I am trying to avoid, although at least you were able to bring the store around to service what they sold. As far as the regular bike parts of a bike, I think I have that covered. My boss is a hard core racer and probably the best bike mechanic in the state. The two issues I would have with him working on any purchase would be that he is, of course, a purist and sees no sense in "electrifying the most beautiful of all creations", and secondly that anything I hand him is going to come back with all the components replaced with Campagnolo.

It is getting reliable electrical parts that has me worried. I've just seen too much junk come in on cargo containers and assembled by people who should be working at McDonalds. Riding anything two-wheeled is too much fun to spend time sitting at home looking at an investment that won't move itself.

Mark
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Mark
Your friend may make you a a kit person , the new Bafang mid drive is getting quite good press. He could install for you on the bike "your" (his) choice.

Mark
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Greetings to all. I'm new to ebikes and was hoping to get some pre-purchase information to guide my search. My question, before considering models and specs, is prompted by several of the most recent videos that Court posted.

10 years ago, I fell in love with scooters, the gas powered, motorcycle-lite, kind. I was really lucky. I knew nothing about the industry, but the friend who sold me my first used bike did. He sold me a top of the line, 50 cc model from Taiwan. I then upgraded to another Taiwanese bike and finally an Italian beauty, and over the course of that time this is what I learned.

First, I learned that bikes from Japan, Italy, and Taiwan were really good, but that most bikes, including everything that novice owners would consider “entry level” in price were from China. Those bikes were not good and parts and service for those bikes were non-existent. Basically, if you paid $1500 or so, you bought a disposable ride. If you paid $3K+, you got something good.

Secondly, I learned that dealer service was critical. If you bought a scooter from a reputable dealer AND that dealer actually cared about scooters, (many motorcycle dealers didn't want anything to do with scooters, even the ones that carried their badges) you could look forward to many tens of thousands of miles of joy. If you didn't, you were in for a bad experience.

So it comes down to this, I live in a very hilly town. I am approaching 50 and want to ride my bike way more often than I want to jog or run stairs. I am almost to the point in my life where I don't have a mini-van full of kids with me at all times. I think an electric bike would be really cool. BUT...I don't want to be that crowd that bought cheap, Chinese scooters from the hardware store.

The boutique bike shop in my town bought a couple of ebikes several years ago and they didn't sell. Consequently, they will order an Electra Townie Go if you pay them in advance, but they don't stock them. The nearest Pedego dealer is a state away. It looks like, to find a full line dealer of any reputable brand, I need to drive 10 hours to Austin or Denver.

Do I have an ebike option or do I wait for the industry to mature?

I completely agree with your desire for an LBS supplied EBike. My first bike in 2009 was an A2B Metro, a very nice bike, with some very serious reliability issues... And that 2 year warranty from a dealer 40 miles away came in very very handy... Without the LBS the bike would have become a 80lb paperweight!

But you know what? After 2 years of mulitple motor and battery replacement, they got the problems fixed and rode trouble free for the next 2.5 years before I sold it and bought a Stromer... Rode the Strom for 1500 miles so far no problems. IMO the reliability of high quality EBikes may have matured to the point you could live without a nearby LBS to take care of you.

So buying a ready to go Ebike mail order could be fine except for one thing..A test ride You need to decide on your own what bike fits and suits you the best, and that thsi is what you want.. You'll end up spending 3-4k and you'll be married to it...

My only suggestion would be to buy one with at least a 2 year warranty on all electrical items..

have fun!
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Joepah,

Is that kind of trouble typical? It seems, from my reading, like A2B is a premium brand.

For that bike it had problems for the first few years... I think they're ok now, but their design is old, esp for the $$.
Since it was a top brand, the support was fantastic.. At one point the east coast distributor came by to see what the hell was going on with my bike.. Never had a problem getting the bike repaired.. Even a swing arm cracked at one point.
 

Mark DT

New Member
Mark
Your friend may make you a a kit person , the new Bafang mid drive is getting quite good press. He could install for you on the bike "your" (his) choice.

Mark
I took a look at that kit, the 48V 750W version look really promising (especially considering I am the the size of O-lineman).

The only trouble I see with the Bafang is, after all the grief I have given my son for the huge stereo he put in his piece-of-junk car, I need to be very stealthy putting $1500 in parts onto my $250 bike.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Mark! I was torn about doing the scooter style ebikes but wanted to test them and share my experience. It's not the kind of electric bike you can actually pedal (even with assist, the single speed means your feet will be spinning and not actually pushing anything). The storage capacity, option for a second passenger, design and lights + signals make it a good solution for a lightweight neighborhood electric vehicle and I think the pedals are just there to qualify it as a bike :)

My preference is for cruiser style electric bikes that offer similar storage but more exercise at a much lighter weight. Something like the e-Joe Anggun is nice because it has pedal assist. I also like the IZIP E3 Metro.
 

Mark DT

New Member
My preference is for cruiser style electric bikes that offer similar storage but more exercise at a much lighter weight. Something like the e-Joe Anggun is nice because it has pedal assist. I also like the IZIP E3 Metro.

Court

Thanks. I was just trying to get some feel for the state of things. This may be slightly off topic but does the IZIP E3 Metro have the same have the same speed/pedal cadence/torque sensor combination that the Dash has?

Mark
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
Court

Thanks. I was just trying to get some feel for the state of things. This may be slightly off topic but does the IZIP E3 Metro have the same have the same speed/pedal cadence/torque sensor combination that the Dash has?

Mark
Mark,

It doesn't, it is the same as the Zuma, but it has a LCD display. The Dash is the only bike in Currie's lineup using that setup. The Metro is a pretty awesome bike though.

Chris
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
There was a guy either here or ES that rides this Pedego and likes it a lot.. I think it's in the same price range. https://www.pedegoelectricbikes.com
Yeah, Pedego makes good stuff and if you go for their City Commuter you'd get the pedal assist option in addition to throttle mode. I like the lights, fenders and larger seat they offer. It compliments the swept back handlebar setup to make for a smooth ride. Someone else called it the "Cadillac of ebikes" because it's big and soft feeling :p