Trying to change life, is VoltBike Elegant Enough?

B Call

New Member
Looking to make a big change in lifestyle by getting rid of second car and ebike commute to work. ~6 mile almost entirely on paved bike trail. Mostly flat. Two medium sized hills, one big enough to have switchbacks.

I'm 6' 2" and 275lbs. I need to be 190-200lbs. Ergo drastic lifestyle change to kick-start efforts.

Price point is a huge thing for me. Dont have much of a budget for this. To give u an idea my car is only worth ~$1k. I'd like to stay as close as possible to that same price for a bike.

The $700 bikes from Walmart and such don't look worth it? Based on EDR suggestion I was thinking about VoltBike Elegant. EDR says 350W motor but VoltBike website says 250W? Which is it and is the Elegant big enough and powerful enough for a guy my size? Not afraid to pedal (kinda the point) but would like edge to be taken off and minimize sweating on the "to work" trip.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

Jolly

Member
One other option that may work for you is a DIY Kit like a bafang mid drive BBs02 500-750w or BBSHD. Add a battery and you can be within your budget. If you don't have a bike to begin with guys on this forum can suggest some good bikes that will not break you pockets. Going down this route you will learn all about the in's and out of Ebikes.
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Many cheap dept store bikes aren't built strong enough for 1) your size 2) the motor 3) BRAKES! 4) the impacts that occur with much more force at speed if you DIY.
My demo had 14 miles on it.
Your ride is very easy, any E bike made will handle it easily.

Edit: that voltbike looks pretty darn nice for the price! BUT, I'd be concerned about only 3 speeds. My Haibike only has a single front ring and 11 spd cassette in back so 11 speeds and I often find myself in 1 or 2nd on my few hills. That bike may or "may not" assist you to the degree you'd like at the speed/cadence (pedal speed) YOU like. Over 300lbs of bike/rider is a good load uphill, as you know, and only 3 gears makes it unlikely to find the right gear for the right speed.
Going from climbing the steepest hill to the fastest top end speed in only 3 gears is tough.
My Hai is a mid drive and I find myself using pretty much all 11 gears. I don't think I'd want less than 8 for everyday use. I'm 240lbs and pretty strong, but hills are a much bigger deal the heavier you are. :)
Secondly, ALL step through frames are much less structurally strong compared to the top tube version. It's like cutting the roof off a car, it's impossible for the structure to be as rigid. Handling gets weird at speed, ok if you NEVER go 'too fast' (putt putt). If you enjoy handling and taking curves fast enough to get that nice zingy feeling, you don't want a step through!
Bigger deal the heavier you are..............
 
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harryS

Well-Known Member
Here's a different point of view. Hold off on the ebike for two months. Take a regular bike.

If the hill has switchbacks, it could be much tougher than I think, but a six mile commute ought to be doable on a regular bike in maybe 50 minutes if you're out of shape. As you get better, maybe 40 minutes. If you can do it in a half hour, that's really good progress. .

That ebike could be a good a reward when you've lost 20 pounds.
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I disagree with harry
think being out of shape it is better to get an electric bike first

Also think with an electric bike you will find you want to ride more and more and going 20 miles on it nonelectric would be tough at first and maybe discouraging
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
Totally depends on what kind of condition he's in. If he's worked out 'some' or has a job with physical activity he's going to be miles ahead of someone sitting at a desk for the last X years. 6 mile there and back for 5 days is 60 miles.
If he's not been doing anything, he's not going to be able to do that, (butt will be too sore by the end of the week even if legs can handle it)
Doesn't sound like a lot to a regular cyclist. Sounds like a LOT to someone that hasn't been riding at all.
Not to mention he'll be arriving at work drenched in sweat if again, has been sedentary and is 75lbs overweight.
 

Cnugget

Active Member
I would probably consider ~500W or even 750W to cover you on the hills or to convince yourself on the days when you don't feel like it. Once on the bike it's easy to do more. I would be tentative of the Elegant's power personally(that's just me guessing)... sometimes it's just nice to have it when you need it, even if you don't use it all. Something like the Rad Rover might be fun.. @Court mentions it's quite a comfortable ride in the Cabo vid of recent.

THOUGHTS:
Be prepared to outfit the bike with a better seat & some kind of thud buster & super padded bike shorts. Anything to help soften the contact with the dare-E-air. :)
Tapering into a full commute ride both ways for your anatomy's sake could be a smart thing. (IE. Drive half way, bike other half)
Consider making a trip to your LBS and test out they lay out of different bikes and see what works best.
Usually you can find the measurements of the bikes and then look for those figures in the future ebike. (LBS might have some good insight in biking in general with respect to body shape and fit to bike)
Make sure the bike is comfortable for your body and get one where the rotation of your legs is not obstructed.
A more aggressive ride can put a lot of weight transfer onto the arms.

Maybe a good used would be a nice start if looking for $1000 price point. Is that in USD dollars? - OR - a kit of some kind with a found comfy bike??

I am comfort biased. :D
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
agree with cnugget i like having more battery and more power than i need

the radrover might be a good bike for you and have seen some used ones a little cheaperon craigslist , but not $700
for 6 miles maybe a sondors?? i dont think they have very big motors but for 6 miles it might work and i think they are around that costs..


where are you located, if you were close you could try some of mine out

cnugget makes a good point that even riding some non ebikes to find a style you like might be a good idea

the thing about ebikes is they are addictive and once you start riding you will want to ride more and more lol

good luck and let us know what you end up with