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

ephemere

Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
The above chart is for my bike which is not a Priority Current. With that chart, the gear-inch numbers for my bike (post #97), and the gear-inch numbers for the Priority Current (see post #93), we can estimate RPM needed for a given speed in the Priority Current Shimano gear #5.
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
The above chart is for my bike which is not a Priority Current. With that chart, the gear-inch numbers for my bike (post #97), and the gear-inch numbers for the Priority Current (see post #93), we can estimate RPM needed for a given speed in the Priority Current Shimano gear #5.
I guess the question is what is normal? For other class 3 mid drive bikes, what is expected in terms of cadence?

I guess part of my indignation is due to being spoiled by hub drive. Those drive the wheels directly without going through the pedals, so it's easy to reach 28mph with minimal effort, which isn't the case for mid drives. And with a belt drive bike, you end up needing a hub with enormous gear range to be able to satisfy both a hill situation and a 28mph flat situation with the same setup.
 
Even the Enviolo 380 CVT hub is not enough range for some(I heard complaints of people complaining of that system, including professional bike reviewers when riding 28mph bikes). It just doesn't have high enough top speed gearing(versus the regular derailleur system).
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
Even the Enviolo 380 CVT hub is not enough range for some(I heard complaints of people complaining of that system, including professional bike reviewers when riding 28mph bikes). It just doesn't have high enough top speed gearing(versus the regular derailleur system).
I'm guessing only a rohloff can safely meet both ends on a belt drive bike, but that adds a lot to the cost, so we just have to learn to live with it or look for a regular bike.
 

ephemere

Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
I guess the question is what is normal? For other class 3 mid drive bikes, what is expected in terms of cadence?

I guess part of my indignation is due to being spoiled by hub drive. Those drive the wheels directly without going through the pedals, so it's easy to reach 28mph with minimal effort, which isn't the case for mid drives. And with a belt drive bike, you end up needing a hub with enormous gear range to be able to satisfy both a hill situation and a 28mph flat situation with the same setup.
I've never ridden a hub-drive before, but how does that change the issue of cadence? Given two bikes with the same gearing, one a mid-drive and one a hub-drive, both bikes require the same minimum (top-gear) cadence for the same speed, no?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Do you really plan on riding the bike at high speeds regularly? I ask because high speed may seem so relevant - until the novelty wears off. There are actually few people that are not commuting that ride their bikes over 20mph. There's a huge amount of wind resistance, and battery mileage starts dropping rapidly over about 15mph.

Re: cadence. I don't know about these belt drives, but it would seem to me if the bike weren't set up the way you prefer when you get it, the front gear could be changed to bring it in to your favorite range?
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
I've never ridden a hub-drive before, but how does that change the issue of cadence? Given two bikes with the same gearing, one a mid-drive and one a hub-drive, both bikes require the same minimum (top-gear) cadence for the same speed, no?
I'm guessing that due to the freewheel and cadence sensor, you can simply fake pedal, enough for the cadence sensor to think you're pedaling, and the hub will drive the wheel directly to 28mph. Granted, you won't find any resistance in the pedals, but it should still work.
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
Do you really plan on riding the bike at high speeds regularly? I ask because high speed may seem so relevant - until the novelty wears off. There are actually few people that are not commuting that ride their bikes over 20mph. There's a huge amount of wind resistance, and battery mileage starts dropping rapidly over about 15mph.

Re: cadence. I don't know about these belt drives, but it would seem to me if the bike weren't set up the way you prefer when you get it, the front gear could be changed to bring it in to your favorite range?
This is all very theoretical! I'm sure once I get the bike I'll be too busy having fun to care about this stuff. However, while I don't, I enjoy obsessing over the smallest details with the folks here. It allows me to learn so much about bikes!

Back to your point - I have the highest regards for my own life, especially in a big city, I won't be realistically going 28mph. I wholeheartedly believe you're right about the novelty. Again, this also goes back to the hub/cadence bikes I considered at first, when my budget was lower, that either through throttle or low-effort pedaling allow you to reach top speed for some quick fun.

I've commuted a lot on those citi ebikes that top at 20mph and I rarely sustained top speed while in traffic, no question about that!
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
This is so far off topic it's silly, but it might be relevant here. Early in my working career I worked at an RV dealership (20 years). Wore many hats, including some sales. I always considered it funny that SO many people were SO concerned about the size of the shower/bathroom during the choice making process, only to trade the unit in years later with a bathroom that had hardly been used (if ever!). Same with the number of people a unit would sleep. They always bought RV's with enough sleeping capacity for all the friends and family, only to trade them in with those facilities in new condition. Point being, when buying, it can be really tough to separate our wants from our needs.... -Al
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
This is so far off topic it's silly, but it might be relevant here. Early in my working career I worked at an RV dealership (20 years). Wore many hats, including some sales. I always considered it funny that SO many people were SO concerned about the size of the shower/bathroom during the choice making process, only to trade the unit in years later with a bathroom that had hardly been used (if ever!). Same with the number of people a unit would sleep. They always bought RV's with enough sleeping capacity for all the friends and family, only to trade them in with those facilities in new condition. Point being, when buying, it can be really tough to separate our wants from our needs.... -Al
Well, it's my thread, so go as off topic as you wish :)

I'm fairly sure that my needs are covered. I'm a very basic type of rider. Hell, my needs would have been covered with a much cheaper bike. However, I always want to make sure I'm optimizing the money I spent. If I'm spending $2.7k, I want every single last feature I can :)

In this case, however, it's just a matter of fulfilling a promise. The bike is advertised as 28mph. Although it technically can reach that speed, if it isn't comfortable enough for most riders, is it even worth touting? I would have bought this bike even if they said it caps at 25mph and people (not just me) wouldn't be having this long winded discussion on gears and cadence.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Oh good Lord, please don't think I'm trying to kill your discussion. It's just the type that uncovers a lot of new information - for ALL of us to absorb. I'd love to have a belt drive on the bike I just purchased, but didn't have the guts to gamble on the hub (being happy with it's capabilities, and it's reliability). I wish you nothing but the best with yours!

My only point is that there are darn few people that will actually use a 28mph capability beyond the point where they see if it will do that. For most of us, it's pure sales hype. Capability often sought after (just cuz!), but seldom used. -Al
 

ephemere

Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
Do you really plan on riding the bike at high speeds regularly? I ask because high speed may seem so relevant - until the novelty wears off. There are actually few people that are not commuting that ride their bikes over 20mph. There's a huge amount of wind resistance, and battery mileage starts dropping rapidly over about 15mph.
+1. I can pick some nits with my BMC, but its 20 mph cutoff is not one of them.

When I'm tallying up pros and cons looking for a bike for my wife, class-3 is a very mild "con" because I'd be paying for something she won't need. That said, many of the nice bikes out there are class-3 anyway. In fact, I'm engaging in this thread because I'm considering IGH bikes for simplicity, including the Current, and I've been thinking about gearing.

OT: This thread got me looking at the Priority 600X last night. That might have been the bike I really needed to get me up the hill to Redwood Regional Park and on the trails there.
 
Do you really plan on riding the bike at high speeds regularly? I ask because high speed may seem so relevant - until the novelty wears off. There are actually few people that are not commuting that ride their bikes over 20mph. There's a huge amount of wind resistance, and battery mileage starts dropping rapidly over about 15mph.

Re: cadence. I don't know about these belt drives, but it would seem to me if the bike weren't set up the way you prefer when you get it, the front gear could be changed to bring it in to your favorite range?
One thing you don't take in account I'm guessing, the OP doesn't have a car. The e-bike will be main vehicle of transportation. I think a capable 28mph e-bike would be useful at times for these people(I'm one of those people). I watched this thread initially because it's talking about a class 3 e-bike. I would be interested in riding to about to the 28mph limit, just to keep up with urban car traffic the odd time(I would ride higher speed sparingly as it's a drain on the battery). Otherwise it's nice to have it(the higher speed) at my disposal(especially if I'm paying several thousand dollars).
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
One thing you don't take in account I'm guessing, the OP doesn't have a car. The e-bike will be main vehicle of transportation. I think a capable 28mph e-bike would be useful at times for these people(I'm one of those people). I watched this thread initially because it's talking about a class 3 e-bike. I would be interested in riding to about to the 28mph limit, just to keep up with urban car traffic the odd time(I would ride higher speed sparingly as it's a drain on the battery). Otherwise it's nice to have it(the higher speed) at my disposal(especially if I'm paying several thousand dollars).
That is also true. For context, parking next to my workplace costs about $300 per month. My commute is barely 5 miles each way, so range, for commuting, is no concern at all. I doubt I'll be able to sustain 28mph in SF traffic, but some bursts do help trim a minute or another from the commute. As many others have mentioned, it is by no means a necessity. It is a nice to have. I have ridden Class 1 hub bikes before and found the top speed to be quite tame. I'd like to be able to go faster than that when I choose to. As you just said, it's nice to be able to reach a higher speed when I'm paying that much money.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Just a thought. You don't need a real expensive bike to go fast. Any Ultra equipped bike will crack 30mph easily. Likely something closer to 35mph. You both know that already. That thought in mind, I think what we're talking about here is a luxury ride! You want your cake, and eat it too! 😄
 

Achterbahn

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Bay Area, CA
Just a thought. You don't need a real expensive bike to go fast. Any Ultra equipped bike will crack 30mph easily. Likely something closer to 35mph. You both know that already. That thought in mind, I think what we're talking about here is a luxury ride! You want your cake, and eat it too! 😄
Haha, yes, I admit that. Belt drive bikes in itself feel more like a luxury than a necessity. It does seem counter intuitive to be looking for the best bang for the buck in this type of bike. And yet here we are.
 
Just a thought. You don't need a real expensive bike to go fast. Any Ultra equipped bike will crack 30mph easily. Likely something closer to 35mph. You both know that already. That thought in mind, I think what we're talking about here is a luxury ride! You want your cake, and eat it too! 😄
Personally if I wanted to ride a fast e-bike on a budget I would concentrate at rear hub drive bike options first. You only recently switched to a mid-drive motor e-bike for first time, as all your previous ebikes have been hub motor bikes? If your wife, doesn't care for your heavy modified 30+mph Rad 1,000 watt rear hub drive e-bike, maybe I would be interested! Where do you stand now, is your preference mid-drive motor bikes or rear hub drive bikes?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
In short, in my mind the geared hub drive is easier to ride. Compared to the mid drive Ultra, brain dead easy. At this point, that's likely the biggest difference I think. You couldn't prove the torque sensing bike is the run away winner here. Not yet anyway.

From there, the 2 bikes I have are so different with one conventional 26" with 2" tires and the other with the fat 3" tires, it's difficult to compare them. They each have their pluses and minuses. Both have medium size frames. The fatty clearly rides nicer, the RAD has much less rolling resistance. They'll both run 35 miles easily on their batteries (dropping to 46v then charging), but one battery is a 14.5ah and the other is a 19.2. It's not just a weight differnce either. The 2 bikes aren't that different. They're both in the high 60's. They both have suspension seat posts and wannabe front suspensions too.

Part of this indecision I'm pretty sure, is the fact I only have about 250 miles on the Ultra. The MAC powered RAD City has been ridden since '07, and I've had 2 other motors in that bike. I feel like I know it like the back of my hand. I'm still trying to figure out how to ride the Ultra bike most effectively. Mix that with the fact there are so many options to explore in the controller it makes your head spin. That's really where the Ultra might have the edge in this match up. As much as I like the way the RAD's KT controller works with the MAC, I think this confirmed tinkerer will be able to do better with the Ultra. That, or it will never cease being a work in progress. ;) -Al