Ultralight (Canyon Commuter:ON or Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4) or pedal hybrid...

zimm

New Member
Region
Europe
I'm shopping for my next bike. I sold my 29" full suspension MTB because it's terrible on pavement and I'm not trail riding lately. I live on a military base in Italy and soon moving to Japan. I plan to ride the bike for errands, shopping, and sight seeing in town. I want a rear cargo rack for packages. Fenders are probably a good idea. Some laps around the base for fitness would be good too. I'm really stuck between getting an ultra light hybrid (I'm in love with the CDX belt drive Cube Editor, or the Spot ACME) or an ultralight e-bike. The Cube and Spot are both $2000 belt drive, 11 speed hub bikes that weigh about 11kg.

Or there's the light e-bike which is going to cost me double that- about $4k. I'm really trying to justify the extra weight, potential for problems, etc. Having never ridden an e-bike I guess I don't know what I'm missing. Is the assist that much more awesome?

Also on the Canyon, I can buy a $100 cover that lets me remove the battery/motor and have a 15kg pedal bike if needed. I can mail order the Canyon easily. The Specialized, I'll have to find a dealer in town and most likely try to special order it. Also the Specialized the battery isn't removable. There is a potential that I'll live in a high rise apartment on base- so popping the battery out of the Canyon for charging would be nice. Or get the belt drive and not worry about electric.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
American belt drive ebike market is dominated by Gates.
Japan on the other hand, the most popular belt driven ebike is without a doubt, Bridgestone and maybe Continental.

Japan's ebikes look like this.

Bridgestone Bikke MOB dd
img_bikkeMob_2020_mrbe@2x.jpg


If you're looking for off road capability, Panasonic is recommended.

Panasonic XM-D2
mv_ewmd_01_pc.jpg
 

zimm

New Member
Region
Europe
Exactly why I want to buy a bike while I’m here in Italy. I can order any EU bike easily. I don’t want a recumbent nor do I want another mountain bike at this point. Strictly a street/urban bike for errands and riding around town.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
First of all, zimm: Will you be -- as a serviceman -- able to transport e-bike battery to Japan?
Secondly: Vado SL is so lightweight I was carrying it with one hand when I was trying it in the store...
 

zimm

New Member
Region
Europe
Yes no issues with the battery. Our stuff will
move via ocean shipping so lithium batteries don’t matter. Airplanes are when there is an issue. SL would be sweet. And it’ll match my ‘93 stump jumper that I still have.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
The other thing would be charging presumably, Japan electrical current is 100v vs 110v in the US or 230v in the EU, the plugs resemble a US plug. Maybe go DIY and invest in a smart charger
like the Grin Tech Satiator that can cope with different voltages?
 

zimm

New Member
Region
Europe
Most chargers don't care what their input voltages are. I can swap in the input cables from EU to a US plug easily- it's just a standard 2 port plug like a printer would use. https://www.bikeinn.com/negozio-ciclismo/specialized-eu-battery-charger/137583706/

I'm really stuck between a Vado SL and ultralight normal bike though. I like the Sirrus X 5.0 but looks like they're hard to find even in EU bike shops. That's why I'm comparing the canyon and cube bikes.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
The other thing would be charging presumably, Japan electrical current is 100v vs 110v in the US or 230v in the EU, the plugs resemble a US plug. Maybe go DIY and invest in a smart charger
like the Grin Tech Satiator that can cope with different voltages?
Dewey: I wouldn't experiment with Grin Satiator on proprietary Specialized or Bosch batteries.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
If you stay on base and there are no hills on the way into town you’ll be fine with the lightweight hub ebikes, if you intend to go touring in Japan you‘ll appreciate the Specialized Vado SL uses a mid-drive motor that transfers power through the bikes gears which is better for climbing hills. If you’re worried about keeping the bike outdoors on a balcony and want a removable battery consider buying the range extender battery (and maybe a spare). The Specialized FAQ's say you can run the bike off just the removable range extender battery, the motor needs to be removed to take out the frame battery.

If that's too expensive maybe contact one of Kona's distributors in either Italy or Japan and enquire if they can supply a MY21 Kona Dew-E it's relatively lightweight at 43lb and uses a Shimano Steps e6100 mid-drive motor which should be easy to service in Japan, and has a removeable battery.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Canyon e-bikes are fine. The question is: Who will handle your warranty and servicing down there in Japan?
 

zimm

New Member
Region
Europe
Nobody. Good point. I may just go with a non-electric roadlite 7 and have a 9.2kg bike for half the price. I think when I eventually get back to the states in a few years, I'll be ready for a massive full suspension super-electric mountain bike. But for running to the post office on base, maybe simple is better.
 

zimm

New Member
Region
Europe
Well I ordered a Canyon Commuter non-e bike for now. Hopefully that'll get the job done. Belt drive, has fenders/rack/lights and 40mm tires. More than enough to hang with the family. Thanks for the advice.