Torn between two bikes

Aisakura7

Member
Hello friends!

So I've been researching the past month or two and have really gotten active in my peruse of an E-bike, I'm 5'5" and around 230lb. I ultimately would love a bike that I can cruise along the many bike paths in our area, ride down to the ponds with the kids, or maybe even attempt to commute to work in the morning. With that, I also want to be able to take this rig off road, we do a lot of camping and lots of trail exploring, and I'd love to have a bike that can get me through the trail of rocks and roots (all pretty light stuff though, I wouldn't say full on mountain biking) The reason why I'm leaning towards an E-bike is because we live in an extremely hilly area. We have some crazy hills in our neighborhood alone that not many municipal sanding trucks can make up the hill. I'm slightly overshare and overweight, so the thought of trying to get on those hills make me not even want to go out on a bike. With an e-bike... I feel limitless. I mostly want to ride the bike without the motor running - just as a regular bike - I like getting my heart rate up and I want more ways to exercise besides hiking and walking, but I'd love that extra assistance getting up those dreaded hills. We have two foster kids, so it's hard for me to justify spending this much money on myself, but after riding around for an hour in 15 degree weather I was sold lol.

So here's my dilemma, I put a down payment on a Lift+, awesome bike. Comfortable, nice motor response, just enough help to get up those hills when I wanted to, was able to turn it off and peddle like a normal bike and that didn't suck due to the weight. Took it off pavement for a bit and .... ouch. No way would I be able to deal with dirt trails comfortably on this guy. We went back to the drawing board and I contacted Trek to see what they would say. Somehow I got wind of a Neko+, the Woman's version of the old Dual sport. Bingo! Great! Lets find this guy. Well, it turns out there is only one on the East Coast, and it's about 5 hours away. The rep from Trek actually called the shop and asked if he would match the price of the Neko+ to the sale price I saw online (before my local shop sold out) and they agreed $1999. Awesome! Went back into my local shop to tell him the news and take back my deposit to snag that Neko+ 5 hours away, and our bike guy said, "I found something that may work for your needs." It's a Raleigh Cadent IE. Okay - don't know much about Raleigh because I've been obsessing over Trek the past couple weeks because of the Lift+. Now, looking at the two bikes side by side (Cadent and the Neko+) they look like the same exact bike. Front suspension, similar step through frame, similar geometry, but the Raleigh has wider, although slicker, tires. Neko+ seems to have thinner yet more of a knobby treaded tire. The Raleigh is $200~ cheaper at $1700, closer to us, and comes with fenders, a rack and built in lights. but seems heavier.

Our local bike guy had me put a 100% deposit down on the Raleigh to order it so I can try it. He also put the Lift+ on hold too in case I decide to go back to that guy. I've attached some pictures of the bikes side by side, they look so similar. The only thing that I say I'm not a fan of with the Raleigh motors is how fast they "zip" when peddling. With the Lift+ Shimano motor it was a nice gradual increase that met with my own power. With the Raleigh it seemed like as soon as I peddled I was being pushed back in my seat... I did see that you can adjust the power wattage etc but I'm not sure if that is what I need to decrease..

What would you do? Which is a better bike? In your opinion which is a better brand? Do I take the 10 hour drive round trip to go grab the Neko+ for a couple more hundred bucks, or do I stick with my local shop and go with the Raleigh? I want this bike to last me a good while (hopefully 6+ years) of summer spring and fall riding with the kids. It's such a big investment for something that's just for me I want to make sure I'm making the right choice and will be able to handle what ever trails come our way. What are your opinions?
 

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J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Personally I would go with the Trek with Shimano drive over the Raleigh with TransX drive. Both good brands, but I think going forward you'll have better support for the Shimano drive. It is also a more refined system than the TransX, as you seemed to find out in your tests. I believe the TransX is still using a cadence sensor and the Shimano is torque sensing. To me, that would be all I'd need to know to chose the Trek.

Whichever you decide to buy you'll have a blast riding your hills and trails. The kids will work hard, just trying to keep up! Good luck and do post pics of your new ride.
 

Aisakura7

Member
Personally I would go with the Trek with Shimano drive over the Raleigh with TransX drive. Both good brands, but I think going forward you'll have better support for the Shimano drive. It is also a more refined system than the TransX, as you seemed to find out in your tests. I believe the TransX is still using a cadence sensor and the Shimano is torque sensing. To me, that would be all I'd need to know to chose the Trek.

Whichever you decide to buy you'll have a blast riding your hills and trails. The kids will work hard, just trying to keep up! Good luck and do post pics of your new ride.


Can you explain to me a bit about the torque sensor vs cadence sensor? Thanks for your reply! :)
 

Aisakura7

Member
I think that Raleigh uses the TranzX M16 drive, which I believe is cadence sensing according to independent reviews I've read. I may have missed something.

Court has a great independent article on the various mid-drives.

https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/electric-bike-mid-drive-motor-comparison.22764/
Oh interesting! I asked the Raleigh rep and he did say torque but maybe he was mistaken with the model year? I believe the M16 is the drive this bike has on it, so maybe he was mistaken. Man, idk what to do. :/
 

Aisakura7

Member
I think that Raleigh uses the TranzX M16 drive, which I believe is cadence sensing according to independent reviews I've read. I may have missed something.

Court has a great independent article on the various mid-drives.

https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/electric-bike-mid-drive-motor-comparison.22764/


Okay, so I spoke with Raleigh and our local dealer and another bike shop in our area. One said it's Cadence, another said it was torque and the local dealer said it's Cadence with a Torque Sensor that can be adjusted to personal preference. The heck! The only articles I can find are in regards to the IZIP dash which apparently seems to be the same exact bike as the Cadent IE just a different color... am I totally off base here? lol

I really hope it's not the company trying to take advantage of the fact I know little to nothing about electric bikes... :( I just want to make sure I'm making the right choice on a bike that I can take on trails and on road that will last be a good while.... lol
 

Aisakura7

Member
It is a cadence sensor but a good cadence sensor, not a cheap $15 one you find on bikes like RadRover.
If I were you, apart from Trek, I would also look at this bike by Giant. https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/fathom-eplus-3-power

Both Trek and Giant have extensive dealer network.


Thanks for your response! Oh man, that Giant looks great, but wayyy out of my price range at the moment. :(

Do you think the bike guy is being honest about being able to fine tune the sensor on the Cadent? I know you're able to adjust the power output but I don't think that's the same thing...
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
Thanks for your response! Oh man, that Giant looks great, but wayyy out of my price range at the moment. :(

Do you think the bike guy is being honest about being able to fine tune the sensor on the Cadent? I know you're able to adjust the power output but I don't think that's the same thing...

TranzX uses CANBUS communication but tuning the sensor may be difficult. I think he meant tuning the power delivery in each assist mode.

If you would like to receive better feedback and suggestions from riders here, you should post the following.

Age, height.

Intended application (commute, recreation, mountain biking etc)

Riding preference (upright, sporty)

Budget range

Location

Riding terrain.
 

Aisakura7

Member
TranzX uses CANBUS communication but tuning the sensor may be difficult. I think he meant tuning the power delivery in each assist mode.

If you would like to receive better feedback and suggestions from riders here, you should post the following.

Age, height.

Intended application (commute, recreation, mountain biking etc)

Riding preference (upright, sporty)

Budget range

Location

Riding terrain.


My bad! I thought I originally wrote that but I guess I didn’t haha

Age: 29
Height: 5’5”
Intednded application: Recreation riding
Riding preference: more upright
Budget range : <$2000.00 usd
Location : Massachusetts
Terrain: road / rail trail / dirt trails / fire roads / light mountain biking trails, I would say 80% paved and 30% unpaves. Hoping to ride mostly with assist off and just use the power to get up the crazy elevation in our area (central Massachusetts)

Once the cadent Comes In I’m going to try and ride it and tune the assist and see if that helps. I road the Shimano STePs system and loved the extra umph it gave me up the hill but still felt like a normal bike and has no issue cruising around without any assist on but it didn’t really feel like that with the other Transx system I tested where it just kind of took off from under me at level 1.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Halifax
Once the cadent Comes In I’m going to try and ride it and tune the assist and see if that helps.

Raleigh Cadent at $1700 with local support is a very good choice. The bike has very decent components and comes with rack, lights, fenders etc as you mentioned.
They might be able to install a boost button that acts like a throttle. Check with your mechanic. Also, don't do the mistake of riding without the assist :) it will drain all the fun from eBiking. Using the lowest assist level (1 or eco) would offset the extra weight of the electric system and gives you plenty of workout. If you know how to to shift correctly at stops, hilly areas etc, most of the mid drives provide a pleasant riding experience.
image.png
It will be hard to find a quality bike with local support at that price, so I think you are on the right track. Yes, ask your mechanic to tune the assist if you think it's too much. It is little raw compared to the Shimano STEPS system which is smoother than the TrazX system.
If you think the riding position is too aggressive, then you may ask your mechanic to install a more upright stem to increase the handlebar height from the frame.
Cadent iE.JPG
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
My Wife loves her Trek Powerfly 5 and so do I. You might find a 2018 on sale for around $3000. You will find that you get plenty of excersize in Eco mode without turning the motor off.
1547597939340.png
 

Aisakura7

Member
Raleigh Cadent at $1700 with local support is a very good choice. The bike has very decent components and comes with rack, lights, fenders etc as you mentioned.
They might be able to install a boost button that acts like a throttle. Check with your mechanic. Also, don't do the mistake of riding without the assist :) it will drain all the fun from eBiking. Using the lowest assist level (1 or eco) would offset the extra weight of the electric system and gives you plenty of workout. If you know how to to shift correctly at stops, hilly areas etc, most of the mid drives provide a pleasant riding experience.
View attachment 28956
It will be hard to find a quality bike with local support at that price, so I think you are on the right track. Yes, ask your mechanic to tune the assist if you think it's too much. It is little raw compared to the Shimano STEPS system which is smoother than the TrazX system.
If you think the riding position is too aggressive, then you may ask your mechanic to install a more upright stem to increase the handlebar height from the frame.
View attachment 28955


Thanks for the reply! Our Local bike guy said that the throttle option is actually illegal here in Massachusetts. Any type of a throttle or boost button I guess. I definitely need to learn how to shift better, hopefully the more time I spend on the bike the better I get at it. I think the raleigh is in the lead just because it will be from a local shop to us so we'll have the support down the line if we need it. If I end up riding it when it comes in and just can't warm up to the Tansx system the Trek will be back on the drawing board lol


Thanks again for all your help / advice!
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Our local shop is all out, but it's a bit out of our price range :( Looks like a great bike though!!!
Fair enough about the price. I do suggest you avoid bikes with cheap sensors. I started out with a Motorino ebike with a 6 magnet sensor ring. I feel these types are dangerous and I have personally crashed on that bike more than once due the bike lurching on me in tight quarters. Good luck and choose wisely the first time or you will have to buy it twice like I did. If I add the cost of both bike purchases together , it would have been much cheaper to buy a high quality bike in the first place.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Today I saw a pair of 2018 in the small 15.5 frame and one in the 17.5 womens powerfly 5s in my local Trek store. They were reduced to $3400 Canadian which is equals $2565 US before tax . This leads me to think there must still be some 2018,s with similar price cuts somewhere in your neck of the woods, since Trek is a US company.