step through for a hilly commute

wiredbean

New Member
I just returned the trek verve+ because it wasnt enough help on the hills :( I live in the Catskills and want a bike for commuting about 15-20miles on our hilly roads. Im not in shape ... thinking i could use some throttle to help? My brother has a bike shop in Italy and he told me to get a bosch battery and hydraulic brakes. But after the trek not cutting it for me I wonder if he really knows enough about e-bikes. hmmm I am 5 feet tall so need a step through. the trek verve felt great. I am so sad it didnt work out. I was hoping I was doing something wrong and I could keep it. oh well. Also, if anyone has a bike shop they like in the area I would be so appreciative. Thank you!!
 

Nerkdawg

New Member
Wiredbean - I chose the Evelo Aurora specifically because I live in a very hilly area. The 750 Watt Mid drive motor was the main feature for the hills. So far it is working great on the hills. I find that using the peddle assist is better than going to the throttle on the hills. Not sure it would work for you at 5’ (I am about 5’7”). Good luck in your search!
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I'm doing fine with a geared hub motor & mechanical disk brakes. We have a lot of short 10-15% hills in the northern part of my route, and the bodaboda frame shown left would fit you. Yubabikes.com I did the conversion myself however, adding a $220 geared hubmotor kit 1200 w 48 v, and a $630 17 AH battery. You'll need at least that size battery, possibly bigger. I have to recharge after every 30 mile trip, pulling the battery down from 51 to 46 or 45 volts. It discharges worse in cold weather. I got my working battery at lunabikes in LA: don't waste time with amazon or ebay vendors. In canada ebikes.ca has a good reputation for quality parts & batteries.
The brakes need adjusting about once a year, which is ~2000 miles for me. The bike was $1900 with panniers & double leg kickstand, which gets free freight since the accessories were over $200.
Bosch batteries are rather pricey, and come with a mid drive, which means that you have to power the bike every mile or fight the motor with your legs. Geared hub motor has an internal slip clutch, which means I can pedal unpowered 2/3 of the distance without drag. Also the hub motor doesn't wear out the chain the way a mid drive does. The 8 speeds of the bodaboda rear are nicely precise and go from 11 to 32 teeth. I can pedal up 15% grade unpowered with 50 lb groceries with all the reduction gearing.
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
The Pedego Interceptor step-thru 24” model weighs 58lb. Pedego shops provide a full service experience, my local shop provides loaner ebikes while yours is in for servicing, the nearest Pedego store to Catskill, NY appears to be in Simsbury, CT.

The Evelo Galaxy 24” weighs 58lb and has a belt drive rather than a chain, and an Enviolo/Nuvinci CVP hub. Court's video showed it can get up steep hills under throttle power but you need to pedal the bike up to 6mph before you can use the throttle.

The RadMini Step-Thru is heavier at 68lb but has a 16" stand over height which Rad say should fit a rider >4' 10", like the Pedego the RadMini uses a geared hub motor which is better for climbing hills than the gearless direct drive hub motor on the RadCity, on the RadMini the motor is spoked into a smaller 20" wheel that gives the motor mechanical advantage and lowers the height and weight of the bike further. Court's video review shows adult men riding up small hills under throttle power only, and up steeper hills with pedalling, I'm guessing riding 20 miles on small fat tires would feel like a bit like riding a Piaggio or Vespa moped but with pedalling.
 
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ilanarama

Member
I am surprised that there is such a huge difference between the Active Line motor (which the Verve+ has) and the Active Line Plus (which my Priority Embark has). I live atop a 350' mesa and have no problem getting home with some assist - I use sport mode (3/4) if I'm not carrying groceries, turbo mode (4/4) if I am. Honestly it feels to me as though I'm just pedaling on the flats, except I'm going uphill! But I'm also fairly fit.

I think that riding 15 miles even with assist is going to feel tough if you are out of shape. Maybe start with shorter distances and work your way up?
 

wiredbean

New Member
everyone thank you so much!!! Im now looking at Priority Embark (might be too big for me) / Evolo Aurora ( I think they make an xs )/ Ariel Rider M / Rad City step thru. ilanarama I agree with you, I need to get in shape! Really liking the Aurora but not the rack on the back because, like Court mentions, my pannier bags don't fit. And I want to do my grocery shopping.
Again Thank you Thank you!!!!
 

ilanarama

Member
I have the small Embark and it's a low-step, not a step-thru; I'm 5'4" and I suspect you are right that it is too big for you. If it's just a matter of a rack not working with your panniers, you can swap out one or the other for much less than the cost of a bike. Good luck finding something that works for you!
 

wiredbean

New Member
about to go with the evelo aurora, fingers crossed I fit! (I do like the galaxy too, but after discussing with evelo peeps they think I should try the aurora first) also still concerned about the dapu mid motor, really hoping what Ive read has been addressed. I can deal with the welded on back rack. very excited! wish I didnt have to wait until September! I think the Rad bikes will not have enough power for me on these hills at least at this point in my fitness level. I like the Pedego but thought for the price difference the aurora gave more. Thank you again for all the help here and to Court with the best reviews which are also a lesson in understanding these bikes.