Sub $3000 Leisure/Commuter Bike For Hilly Area [Final Choice: Priority Current]

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
What price is Priority going charge for Priority Current with Enviolo, when it's brought back in mid-January?
Not mid January, mid 2021. No idea on the price, but maybe shoot them an email about it!

Glad you found something you like. I know nothing about that bike, but it's a good motor ... quiet strong and durable from all accounts. Keep us posted.
I will, and if this turns out not to be the best decision, I'll report back as well!
 
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Not mid January, mid 2021. No idea on the price, but maybe shoot them an email about it!


I will, and if this turns out not to be the best decision, I'll report back as well!
Sorry, I didn't check closely enough. A mid-2021 reintroduction, that's really late in the bike season. You saw the chart of the gear range of Shimano Inter-5E, I really worry it's nowhere near enough low gear range & not enough high gear range for you(for a Class 3 e-bike). It's possible to maybe get enough high gear range, but the drawback is not enough low gear range(& vice versa).
 
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Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
Sorry, I didn't check closely enough. A mid-2021 reintroduction, that's really late in the bike season. You saw the chart of the gear range of Shimano Inter-5E, I really worry it's nowhere near enough low gear range & not enough high gear range for you(for a Class 3 e-bike). It's possible to maybe get enough high gear range, but the drawback is not enough low gear range(& vice versa).
Yeah, I'm guessing it could be at any point between now and June depending on parts availability (just a guess).

Regarding gearing, it's definitely possible, but it's a risk I decided to take, in the end. I stressed this point to Priority multiple times and they assured me they tested the bike on 12%+ hills and it climbed with ease. Worst case scenario, I return it. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
 
Yeah, I'm guessing it could be at any point between now and June depending on parts availability (just a guess).

Regarding gearing, it's definitely possible, but it's a risk I decided to take, in the end. I stressed this point to Priority multiple times and they assured me they tested the bike on 12%+ hills and it climbed with ease. Worst case scenario, I return it. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
The equalizer is that you have an e-bike motor to help you both ways in going up hills & go to higher speed. A good powerful motor will compensate for that.
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
The equalizer is that you have an e-bike motor to help you both ways in going up hills & go to higher speed. A good powerful motor will compensate for that.
Exactly - I had heard some mixed feedback in the beginning, but now I've been getting more positive opinions from people getting their Shimano Currents.

If you end up asking Priority about the price difference, please let me know as well :)
 

ephemere

Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
How many teeth in the chainring and cassette on the Priority Current? And how wide are the tires?

I'd like to compare the Current's gearing to known bikes, but I don't see Priority listing these specs.
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
How many teeth in the chainring and cassette on the Priority Current? And how wide are the tires?

I'd like to compare the Current's gearing to known bikes, but I don't see Priority listing these specs.
I gave them the same feedback, they should offer at least a PDF for download with the full specs!

The tires are 47mm (1.85 inches?) WTB Horizon.

Regarding how many teeth, no idea. However, this chart might help if that's what you're trying to establish:
1608402619652-png.74558

The x axis doesn't really mean anything. Y axis is gear inch range. Discrete dots for different gears - continuous line for CVT.
 
How many teeth in the chainring and cassette on the Priority Current? And how wide are the tires?

I'd like to compare the Current's gearing to known bikes, but I don't see Priority listing these specs.
That's what I trying to figure out too. I couldn't find it anywhere. I'm only aware of 2 other e-bike models available in North America with the Shimano Inter-5E IGH. It would be possible to change the chainring & cassette within limits.
 

ephemere

Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
According to this calculator my e-bike (BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Cross LTD) has this gearing in gear-inches:
130.4
234.82
339.25
445.05
550.58
658.04
764.12
871.58
980.98
1093.42
11110.55

The Enviolo Current is geared a bit lower but otherwise similar. The Shimano Current starts half-way between my gears #2 and #3 and ends a bit higher than my gear #10.

I've had my bike for a month and have been riding around the Berkeley hills. (You are in SF if I recall.) I would not want to be without gears #1 and #2, even with motor assist. If anything, I could probably use even lower gearing than what I have. But I try to choose gears as if I didn't have a motor and then keep the assist level modest or even off. I use the higher gears mainly downhill without assist. My least used gear is #11 because I'm not a speed demon.

My wife wants to ride with me in the Berkeley hills. Based on the chart above, I would not recommend the Shimano Current to my wife, but I might have picked the Enviolo Current if it were still available.

I think some people don't care as much about low gearing and are content to crank up the assist level instead. I have no doubt that my bike could fly up any hill I've encountered in gear #3 on Turbo (which I have never used except to test it out). So I can believe that the Shimano Current would serve that riding style.
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
According to this calculator my e-bike (BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Cross LTD) has this gearing in gear-inches:
130.4
234.82
339.25
445.05
550.58
658.04
764.12
871.58
980.98
1093.42
11110.55

The Enviolo Current is geared a bit lower but otherwise similar. The Shimano Current starts half-way between my gears #2 and #3 and ends a bit higher than my gear #10.

I've had my bike for a month and have been riding around the Berkeley hills. (You are in SF if I recall.) I would not want to be without gears #1 and #2, even with motor assist. If anything, I could probably use even lower gearing than what I have. But I try to choose gears as if I didn't have a motor and then keep the assist level modest or even off. I use the higher gears mainly downhill without assist. My least used gear is #11 because I'm not a speed demon.

My wife wants to ride with me in the Berkeley hills. Based on the chart above, I would not recommend the Shimano Current to my wife, but I might have picked the Enviolo Current if it were still available.

I think some people don't care as much about low gearing and are content to crank up the assist level instead. I have no doubt that my bike could fly up any hill I've encountered in gear #3 on Turbo (which I have never used except to test it out). So I can believe that the Shimano Current would serve that riding style.
You make all the right points. I don't have the bike yet, but here is my thinking:

What you just said about the gearing is spot on, and mirrors the advice given in this thread by various folks. For a hilly city, the reduced gear range of the Shimano in comparison with the Enviolo won't do me any favors. If I had the option, I would definitely choose the Enviolo version for that very reason. Unfortunately, since I don't know the exact timing of their re-introduction, it's hard to make the decision to wait (or start this process all over again and choose another bike).

However, I fit the riding style on the last bit of your post. For uphill riding, I prefer to use 100% of the motor and supplement with my own effort. That is, I prefer to minimize the effort uphill - this helps so I don't get to work so sweaty. For flats, I'd modulate the assist depending on how much/little exercise I want to get - I never go up hills for 'fun', it's mostly for necessity. As long as the motor, combined with the gearing and moderate effort on my end, can carry me up most hills (SF has some extreme examples), I am satisfied.

What I've heard from more than one person today, however, is that the gearing isn't high enough for them to get to 28mph even in high assist. This also concerns me. I am no speed devil, and don't plan to do that all the time. However, if I am buying a class 3 bike, I want to be able to fully use that speed when I please. The common complaint I have heard is they feel the need for one or two extra gears. That the cadence to hit 25/28mph is so high that it becomes unsustainable. Priority had actually told me that it's easier to reach higher speeds on the Shimano version, but that gear range chart and some user's experiences is telling me otherwise.
 

ephemere

Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
I see. For my bike, bikecalc.com/speed_at_cadence gives me the table below. This suggests you'd need to pedal in the upper 90s to reach 28 mph on the Shimano Current, and close to 90 RPM on the Enviolo Current. This tends to the athletic side, but is not excessive. I usually aim for 90 RPM. Keep in mind also that wind resistance becomes a big factor at these speeds.

It depends on how long you want to sustain 28 mph. If you're cruising on an open flat road then I can see where it would be more relaxed to lope along in a higher gear, but I have not found such a road in this urban setting. When I reach that kind of speed it's usually a matter of seconds before I'm at an intersection or a turn in my route, and pedaling faster for a few seconds is more convenient than shifting into top gear.

I'm not sure where I could go around here to ride fast for any duration other than long descents (Grizzly Peak Blvd, Redwood Rd, etc.) where for me it's more about braking to preserve my life than pedaling to go even faster. The Shimano control interface says my top speed so far is 35.3 mph. That must have been a descent on a straight well-paved road with a clear line of sight into the distance.

To be honest, the factor that I most underestimated when buying a bike is the quality of the brakes. When I get a bike for my wife, top-notch brakes is at the top of my list.

Screen Shot 2020-12-21 at 5.02.39 PM.png
 
The Priority Current with Shimano Inter-5E has 650B tires(not 700c). And we still don't know the chainring & cassette sizes.
 
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