The ultimate Commuter - a tale of 2 very different bikes

Over50

Well-Known Member
... Does dealer network make up for the lack of many expensive and important components like rohloff, suspension etc. or paying a significant premium(like %50-%80) (when you compare two similarly equipped models not ww with allant9)?

Why would you compare other similarly equipped models to the Allant 9 if the point of the thread was to compare WW with Allant? Why list suspension as an important component if the OP said he didn't want suspension? My points were more to address the comparison requested by the OP. But to answer the question: having a Trek dealer close at hand and a company that I know will back its product might lead me to compromise in some areas (note underline me because it is personal preference). As for components the Trek is no slouch.

... I realized that when you have the assist, suspension is simply the way to go. The versatility suspension brings is amazing and the bike still feels great to ride even on eco. I think one reason why OP wants a rigid bike is because he projects his experience with his other non-ebikes...

I commute on my class 1 Terns as well as my regular commuters with front suspension. On the class 1s I only have Thudbuster and Kinekt seat suspension. On the commuters I ride with the front suspension set very rigid and I have seatpost suspension. I've gone more rigid on the front suspension settings over time as I've become accustomed to the ride. Michigan roads suck. At this point, for commuting, I feel I can take it or leave it as far as suspension goes. I'd still like to try a full suspension bike. Perhaps that would change my mind and make me go all-in on suspension.

...I don't think weight is an issue here if the stated weight of 55lbs is true for Allant9 ...

Stated weight is 51 pounds.

...Also I don't believe 12 speed is a plus at all, on the contrary durability will be a big problem if you are pushing it hard or riding on snow. A wide range cassette with fewer gears is much better since with ebikes you don't need too many gears thanks to the assist, you just need the range. ...

I don't think durability is a big problem if either you are active with maintenance, good at shifting and/or you have a good dealer close at hand (back to that dealer support benefit). If a rider intends to do a lot of the work then the gears are useful. If the rider just wants transportation and to ride with minimal effort relying on the motor then the gears are less useful.

...Roadbikers may prefer a traditional drivetrain but I don't agree that ebike commuters prefer traditional drivetrain to a Rohloff. It is simply an affordability issue, not preference...

Prior to purchasing my Rohloff, I did some reading in some forums for regular bikes. I recall opinions by commuters both ways. Some were road bikers who commuted on another bike. Yes, I can see affordability driving the decision to go w traditional on the commuter - particularly where theft of the bike might be a concern. But, as I mentioned, I commute on both and my experience is that I like attributes of both. I don't commute year-round in snow so, yes, a bombproof IGH wins out for that use-case.

...Btw, I am curious how much more battery range are you getting with a traditional drivetrain compared to Rohloff, in the tests Rohloff seem to be very close to derailleurs in terms of efficiency...

I think it is on the order of maybe 5% or slightly more. But again, my Rohloff bike is a bit heavier and has a longer wheelbase. It could be a bike difference. It could be a rider difference. I find the I shifting faster and more responsive with the traditional setup perhaps just because of trigger vs twist. Or perhaps because that pause in pedaling to shift is shorter (rider ability). I like the ability to shift at a stop with the Rohloff. Trade-offs.

...Unless it is a roadbike, I simply don't understand why one pays 6K for an ebike without suspension or Rohloff. A nice, no suspension mid drive can be had in the 2-3K range especially at this time of the year...

The first part of your statement is the same argument that people who don't bike use when arguing against an e-bike "I really don't understand who would pay $X for a bike when you can buy a motorcycle, car, camel ... for that amount of money". Maybe some folks like to commute on a nice ride. Its personal preference. The second part of your statement I don't think is a valid comparison. Yes, you can probably buy a nice mid drive, model closeout, commuter for $2-$3K. But I don't think you can buy one with the new Bosch motors, larger Bosch integrated powertube battery, upgraded Bosch display, carbon frame and 4 piston disc brakes etc. Really, the OP asked for a comparison of two bikes. Not a comparison to a bunch of hypothetical alternatives. Why second guess the OP's motivations and spending choices?

...Also you are mentioning analytical comparison but OP's priorities seem to be the looks and an M99 light, I think he picked the right one for himself...

Assumptions. He did mention he has a fleet of bicycles (regular). Now, because he didn't choose the bike you felt he should choose, you just want to imply he is vain. It is interesting that Trek showed the bike with the M99 in their introduction video but switched it to a Bontrager light by the time it got to production.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
For the record, the OP ordered the Trek a while ago (showed up in another thread). And the zillions of images in this one make it hard to load.

Thanks for the update... it may be time for a new PC/Mac and more bandwidth this Christmas! ;)
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Why would you compare other similarly equipped models to the Allant 9 if the point of the thread was to compare WW with Allant? Why list suspension as an important component if the OP said he didn't want suspension? My points were more to address the comparison requested by the OP. But to answer the question: having a Trek dealer close at hand and a company that I know will back its product might lead me to compromise in some areas (note underline me because it is personal preference). As for components the Trek is no slouch.
...


All I asked was a simple question maybe you should first remember that instead of all these unnecessary comments. My question had nothing to do with OP's requests but it was a follow up to your comment.


The Bikes listed weight is 51.5 instead of 55lbs, my mistake but it is still too damn heavy for a carbon frame...


...

The first part of your statement is the same argument that people who don't bike use when arguing against an e-bike "I really don't understand who would pay $X for a bike when you can buy a motorcycle, car, camel ... for that amount of money". Maybe some folks like to commute on a nice ride. Its personal preference. The second part of your statement I don't think is a valid comparison. Yes, you can probably buy a nice mid drive, model closeout, commuter for $2-$3K. But I don't think you can buy one with the new Bosch motors, larger Bosch integrated powertube battery, upgraded Bosch display, carbon frame and 4 piston disc brakes etc. Really, the OP asked for a comparison of two bikes. Not a comparison to a bunch of hypothetical alternatives. Why second guess the OP's motivations and spending choices?

....

That paragraph is MY opinion, but I guess stating my opinion is a problem for you. Also those arguments you mentioned should make you realize something, pricing ebikes this high is NOT helping them gaining popularity.


You can not buy a new Bosch because it is very NEW however you can buy some similar alternatives including last generation CX. As long as these alternatives have similar power, efficiency, it is a valid comparison.

You can buy full suspension bicycles what actually come with FOUR piston brakes (like Raleigh Kodiak) for 3K, although it is not carbon they have good suspension and drivetrain components that are actually costly.

The full suspension Easymotion bikes listed here. Rockshox suspension, Brose motor and 600wh battery for LESS than $2K https://www.crazylennysebikes.com/crazydeal/ .

Or last year you could have purchased a Haibike Xduro Hardnine 6.5 which had excellent build quality, coming with bosch CX , Magura mt4,s, Yari for for $2.8K ( https://www.ebikesofne.com/Haibike-Xduro-HardNine-6-0-p/xdurohardnine6.htm ) , This bike could also take plus sized 29ers where very few ebikes do these days.

Now of course you will say "some are full suspension", yes and it is a good thing. If one wants to then they can swap the front fork with a rigid one and may even make money from that swap since the forks here are all $500-800 forks. You want a carbon frame, I believe Haibike Hardseven Carbons were being sold for around 2.7-3K not so long ago if you install Magura 4 piston brakes that would still be around 3K. They also were selling their FS Carbon bikes aroung 5.5-6K which actually came with DI2 shifters, one of the most expensive Fox forks in the market etc.

All of these bicycles are real btw and just because you are not aware of these does not make them hypothetical.


... He did mention he has a fleet of bicycles (regular)...

He also did mention that allant was "sexy", "sleek" and "cool".

... Now, because he didn't choose the bike you felt he should choose, you just want to imply he is vain...

No, that is your opinion.


Your posts in this thread are all about you criticizing others because they expressed their opinion about the choices mentioned in the thread and you didn't like what you read. In your replies, especially this one, you are the one who is making a lot of assumptions about how I think or feel. I can write you a reply in similar tone to yours but it won't lead to anything positive so instead I am telling you this, forget that I asked you a question.



Lastly OP mentioned that he is in his thirties. If he believes that my last semi-sarcastic comment is out of line then he can tell it to me and I will be happy to change it. I don't think he needs you to be his advocate.
 
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dblhelix

Well-Known Member
All I asked was a simple question maybe you should first remember that instead of all these unnecessary comments. My question had nothing to do with OP's requests but it was a follow up to your comment.


The Bikes listed weight is 51.5 instead of 55lbs, my mistake but it is still too damn heavy for a carbon frame...




That paragraph is MY opinion, but I guess stating my opinion is a problem for you. Also those arguments you mentioned should make you realize something, pricing ebikes this high is NOT helping them gaining popularity.


You can not buy a new Bosch because it is very NEW however you can buy some similar alternatives including last generation CX. As long as these alternatives have similar power, efficiency, it is a valid comparison.

You can buy full suspension bicycles what actually come with FOUR piston brakes (like Raleigh Kodiak) for 3K, although it is not carbon they have good suspension and drivetrain components that are actually costly.

The full suspension Easymotion bikes listed here. Rockshox suspension, Brose motor and 600wh battery for LESS than $2K https://www.crazylennysebikes.com/crazydeal/ .

Or last year you could have purchased a Haibike Xduro Hardnine 6.5 which had excellent build quality, coming with bosch CX , Magura mt4,s, Yari for for $2.8K ( https://www.ebikesofne.com/Haibike-Xduro-HardNine-6-0-p/xdurohardnine6.htm ) , This bike could also take plus sized 29ers where very few ebikes do these days.

Now of course you will say "some are full suspension", yes and it is a good thing. If one wants to then they can swap the front fork with a rigid one and may even make money from that swap since the forks here are all $500-800 forks. You want a carbon frame, I believe Haibike Hardseven Carbons were being sold for around 2.7-3K not so long ago if you install Magura 4 piston brakes that would still be around 3K. They also were selling their FS Carbon bikes aroung 5.5-6K which actually came with DI2 shifters, one of the most expensive Fox forks in the market etc.

All of these bicycles are real btw and just because you are not aware of these does not make them hypothetical.




He also did mention that allant was "sexy", "sleek" and "cool".



No, that is your opinion.


Your posts in this thread are all about you criticizing others because they expressed their opinion about the choices mentioned in the thread and you didn't like what you read. In your replies, especially this one, you are the one who is making a lot of assumptions about how I think or feel. I can write you a reply in similar tone to yours but it won't lead to anything positive so instead I am telling you this, forget that I asked you a question.



Lastly OP mentioned that he is in his thirties. If he believes that my last semi-sarcastic comment is out of line then he can tell it to me and I will be happy to change it. I don't think he needs you to be his advocate.

@Over50 and @Johnny are two of my favorites here because you guys always put a lot of thought into your responses.
 

Colorado_rider

New Member
Thank you for all of the thoughtful replies. In the interest of full disclosure let me give a little background on myself. I used to own a wheel building company, mostly built Enve, Chris King, and White industries... I also spent my formative years as a wrench at a couple shops. So that being said I know my way around a nice bike. I find that I get a glazed eye to the argument “there are bikes that are just as good for 2-3k”. I agree that there are decent mid drives for 2-3k however they are not even close to comparable. Comparing an off brand cheap mid drive to the trek is like comparing a Subaru WRX to a BMW M3. They are about the same size and they both go fast. The similarities end there... I want this bike to last 5 years of daily use. Even with my mechanical skills a 2.5k ebike will not get there. I can assure you of that. Finally if I wanted to pay 1.7k less I could get the Allant 8.8 an have an alloy frame with the same motor and an incremental step down in components. So there’s that...

The analysis that I was conducting was between luxury ebikes that are in a similar price range but have some significant differences.

As for Rohloffs vs traditional drivetrains I am not going to take a position because I don’t care to die on that hill but ultimately I can see the appeal to an internally geared hub however a Shimano Drivetrain is no slouch so I am fine with either.

So here is what my decision came down to. The Watt Wagon is a very nice bike with lots of bells and whistles. But I don’t want half the s*it that comes on that bike anyway. Thank you Flatsix for copy and pasting this laundry list of things I would throw off the bike directly from WWs website.

I would change the fork for a carbon rigid. Why is that? I borrowed a friends super commuter for a couple weeks and compared to my wife’s turbo Vado I like the stiff front end more. I know that some people will disagree with me on this until the end of time but ultimately this is a preference. As a former cat 1 road bike racer, cyclocrosser, and XC mountain bike racer I can assure you that when I say that I do not desire a suspension fork I am confident in my decision. The longest rigid fork I could find had an A/C length of 500mm and the WW frame is designed for a fork that is 525mm. So now I’m screwing around with the geometry. I’m not dying to do that.

The lighting on the WW leaves much to be desired because the voltage output from the motor is only 6 volts. This means that there are few lights that can interface with it that can do even close to 1000 lumens. And any brand that says they can go above 1000 lumens on 6 volts is selling snake oil. You can try and convince me that you can turn night into day on 6 volts but I will not believe you.

I would ditch the horn, the star trek handle bar, the cell phone holder, and the suspension seatpost.

So after all that do I have the bike I want...? not really. I still have an external battery, which is unsightly but I could live with. There would still be an immense amount of cable housing hanging off the bike (although on careful inspection of the frame I think I would be able to personally reroute and hide about 1/2 of it) because there are ports for internal housing that are not being utilized.. :/ this should really be addressed as it costs no money to fix.

The WW looks great on paper, but it is not a refined product. It is a collection of as many nice things as possible heaped onto a singe machine. Is this a bad thing? No. Some people love that. I however do not care to check off as many boxes on the features list as possible. I want a sleek, elegant, no nonsense, luxury car replacement commuter. I don’t care to argue whether or not me factoring in the way a bike looks makes me vain because ultimately I love an elegant bike. As has been mentioned I have a fleet of bicycles between my wife and myself. I have personally built all but 2 of them from the ground up, including the wheels. And our favorite ones are not only nice to ride, but they are nice to look at. So if wanting a bike that looks nice is vain then vain be I. A bike is a machine but a beautiful one is also be a work of art.

I guess at the end of the day my decision was based on a couple of things. Although I’m all for supporting the little guy as a former little guy wheelbuilder, this is a complex product. Many things can go wrong. I built wheels, which are much simpler than this and it was always a worry keeping things as durable as possible. The WW is very complex, and it is backed up by a 1 man band, and although this is a bit of a negative for me, I of all people could live without the helping hand of my LBS on a daily basis. Aside from this I like that the Trek is coming from the factory almost exactly the way I want it. Trek already agreed to put the M99 light on the bike as well as a 0 rise bar for no extra $$. I also have a little box of goodies in my garage to finish it off. Mountain bike lock tight grips, a fiziq saddle, some nice aluminum pedals, (all color matching of course #vanity) and an ABUS m59 motorcycle lock.

So in short I chose the trek because it comes from the factory as close to perfect for me as any bike could. It’s clean and sexy and cool and not overly flashy. Having worked at a trek dealer in the past I also know that if something goes wrong that trek will make it right. They have done me a few solids in the past even when they were not obligated to. That type of support goes a long way to cultivate loyalty. I have broken 3 trek frames, one in a crash, and they had a new frame to me within a week every time no questions, no charge. I’m sure that WW will do their best to uphold their product, but if I wrap this thing around a tree or get hit by a car I know that Trek will bend over backwards to get me riding again. I would never expect a small company to take a loss on a mistake that I make. For these reasons I am going to pay 6k for a premium product from a brand that has done me right in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

My bike should be here within a week. I’ll post a review as soon as I get a few miles on it.
 
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Over50

Well-Known Member
My bike should be here within a week. I’ll post a review as soon as I get a few miles on it.

So out of the gate, do you have any other mods planned (apart from the light)? Or will you ride and then decide?

As you are a former wheel builder, I'd like to ask a question: my LBS is proposing replacing the Allant 9.9 wheels with carbon and fewer spokes (and tubeless setup). Now, they are not trying to sell me one way or the other, rather I have a pretty good relationship at the LBS and we often discuss ways to improve a ride. Several of the guys there also commute on e-bikes.

One piece of logic for the proposal was to improve ride quality. Another was the lighter more agile handling of carbon wheels. Finally was the easier emergency flat repair of tubeless (although don't need carbon wheels for this). I've about debunked the ride quality improvement argument (most tell me it will be stiffer). Some have told me for a commuter I want the more durable alloy rims however I've seen plenty of evidence supporting the durability of carbon. The lighter, less rolling mass holds some appeal - might this help battery range? Finally, I'm really interested in tubeless as a possibility for a commuter given I travel on roads full of glass and through some not-so-safe neighborhoods in the dark. I like the idea of a faster emergency flat repair. Do you have a take on these ideas (carbon wheels or perhaps a better/lighter alloy wheel and tubeless with or without carbon wheels)? Thanks
 

Colorado_rider

New Member
So out of the gate, do you have any other mods planned (apart from the light)? Or will you ride and then decide?
I have no other mods planned out of the gate other than the light, the 0 rise bar, some nice pedals, and the fiziq saddle. I also will be using an ortlieb pannier.
We'll see if I decide to change anything else but I don't think that I'll see the need to swap anything out for some time.

As you are a former wheel builder, I'd like to ask a question: my LBS is proposing replacing the Allant 9.9 wheels with carbon and fewer spokes (and tubeless setup). Now, they are not trying to sell me one way or the other, rather I have a pretty good relationship at the LBS and we often discuss ways to improve a ride. Several of the guys there also commute on e-bikes.

One piece of logic for the proposal was to improve ride quality. Another was the lighter more agile handling of carbon wheels. Finally was the easier emergency flat repair of tubeless (although don't need carbon wheels for this). I've about debunked the ride quality improvement argument (most tell me it will be stiffer). Some have told me for a commuter I want the more durable alloy rims however I've seen plenty of evidence supporting the durability of carbon. The lighter, less rolling mass holds some appeal - might this help battery range? Finally, I'm really interested in tubeless as a possibility for a commuter given I travel on roads full of glass and through some not-so-safe neighborhoods in the dark. I like the idea of a faster emergency flat repair. Do you have a take on these ideas (carbon wheels or perhaps a better/lighter alloy wheel and tubeless with or without carbon wheels)? Thanks

I have also toyed with the idea of upgrading to carbon hoops, however I decided against it.
The main reason that I opted not to do it was the additional cost. If I were to order the hoops myself as well as spokes and lace them to the existing hubs that would still come in at about 1500$.
That being said I have carbon Enve hoops on one of my mountain bikes and they are fantastic.
They are stiffer than my Stan's alloy rims that are on my other bike.
They are certainly more durable, case and point, by dad who rides LOTS took a low speed crash on a turn and bent the crown on a fox 32 fork because the front wheel and the bar were going in different directions. The carbon wheel didnt even need to be trued. An alloy rim would have tacoed.

Carbon hoops are certainly lighter, and on the mountain bike you can feel that in how the bike accelerates from a stop and when climbing.
So does this translate into benefits on an ebike? Hard to say. Although I am already spending 6k on a bike the extra 1500$ is a little bit too much for me to swallow. However if I was in a different tax bracket you could bet I would do it because why the hell not...
I suspect that the bike will accelerate faster, will this be a noticeable difference? hard to say
Will you you see a range benefit? I think that any claim to that regard would be a stretch.

Also OEM hoops are tubeless ready according to Trek's website. If the bike does not come tubeless from the shop I plan to convert it day 1.
Let us know if you wind up putting carbon hoops on the Allant. I would love to see how it looks.
 
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FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
So out of the gate, do you have any other mods planned (apart from the light)? Or will you ride and then decide?

As you are a former wheel builder, I'd like to ask a question: my LBS is proposing replacing the Allant 9.9 wheels with carbon and fewer spokes (and tubeless setup). Now, they are not trying to sell me one way or the other, rather I have a pretty good relationship at the LBS and we often discuss ways to improve a ride. Several of the guys there also commute on e-bikes.

One piece of logic for the proposal was to improve ride quality. Another was the lighter more agile handling of carbon wheels. Finally was the easier emergency flat repair of tubeless (although don't need carbon wheels for this). I've about debunked the ride quality improvement argument (most tell me it will be stiffer). Some have told me for a commuter I want the more durable alloy rims however I've seen plenty of evidence supporting the durability of carbon. The lighter, less rolling mass holds some appeal - might this help battery range? Finally, I'm really interested in tubeless as a possibility for a commuter given I travel on roads full of glass and through some not-so-safe neighborhoods in the dark. I like the idea of a faster emergency flat repair. Do you have a take on these ideas (carbon wheels or perhaps a better/lighter alloy wheel and tubeless with or without carbon wheels)? Thanks

I have Carbon wheels on a few of my race bikes and would recommend that you stick with the OEM alloy wheels on your Allant 9.9.
Here is the deal with Carbon wheels... nice to have on a lightweight bike, but a very minimal improvement on your ride quality, handling and range.

You may be able to convert your current wheels to tubeless and spend the savings on a nice suspension seat and carbon handlebars. ;)
 

Colorado_rider

New Member
spend the savings on a nice suspension seat and carbon handlebars. ;)
article-1102498-02E900B4000005DC-233_224x333.jpg

You gots to make sure to have all the bells and whistles...
 
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