What brand and model options would you recommend

Pierre Chatelain

New Member
Region
Canada
Good morning EBR team and glad to join the forum.

We are looking for help and suggestions to choose and buy our first ebikes.
Line and I are approaching 65 and have been cycling for 15 years. We have a Cannondale and an Eclipse Turmoil touring bike (between road and hybrid). We cycle on average twice a week averaging 35 to 40 km per trek, up to 60km on city streets and bicycle trails (Ottawa region). Every year we do a 4-to-5-day cycle trip carrying approx. 20lbs each in saddle bags. Our trip segments would typically vary from 55 to 65km up to an occasional 80. We love these trips but felt our age!!! on our last summer trip. No doubt we want to continue as long as we can and feel the electric assistance would be a good solution. We want to get ahead of the season coming and glad we found your site.

We have never tried one, this is unknown territory and hope you could help us offer options that would best fit. In addition to the above high-level info here are additional parameters;
  • Retiring this year, would increase frequency and distance a bit with the assistance;
  • Light weight, not heavy and bulky;
  • Carry approx. same weight on our trips, not much more;
  • Could be 2 different brands or models for me and Line;
  • Prefer higher quality and comfort;
  • High speed is not a requirement, we cycle at an average speed of 20km/hr
  • We were thinking of a price around $3,500K to $4,000. Looking at recent pricing willing to go up if required for the right fit, quality and comfort.
We had started to look into the Cannondale NEO SL 2 model;
We looked at the Rad models and would prefer lighter models;
We found your web site (great) and read the detailed evaluation on the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0.

What brands and model options would you recommend?
We look forward to your feedback and thank you in advance.
Line and Pierre
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Hi Line and Pierre,

The major difference between Vado SL and Cannondale Neo 2 SL is the type of the motor. Cannondale uses a hub-drive Mahle Ebikemotion X35 motor and 250 Wh battery. This kind of motor gives you maximum prescribed boost for each assistance level, and it is irrelevant to your style of pedalling. Also, I hear the X35 smartphone app is not the best.

Vado SL 4.0 comes with more natural feeling mid-drive motor (SL 1.1 by Mahle), and a larger 320 Wh battery, which can be further expanded with a 160 Wh Range Extender. The electronics and app for the Specialized SL motor is the most modern in the market, allowing connectivity with a smartphone, GPS bike computer, heart rate monitor etc. Important is you can freely tune the assistance levels from very low assistance to high one, depending on the trip conditions.

Not sure if Cannondale comes Equipped. Not sure whether you can buy a Vado SL 4.0 EQ in Canada but if you can, it will be excellent for your trips (lights, fenders, rack good to up 15 kg -- I load it more). Besides, Vado 4.0 SL has better componentry.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Hi Line and Pierre,

The major difference between Vado SL and Cannondale Neo 2 SL is the type of the motor. Cannondale uses a hub-drive Mahle Ebikemotion X35 motor and 250 Wh battery. This kind of motor gives you maximum prescribed boost for each assistance level, and it is irrelevant to your style of pedalling. Also, I hear the X35 smartphone app is not the best.

Vado SL 4.0 comes with a more natural feeling mid-drive motor (SL 1.1 by Mahle), and a larger 320 Wh battery, which can be further expanded with a 160 Wh Range Extender. The electronics and app for the Specialized SL motor are the most modern in the market, allowing connectivity with a smartphone, GPS bike computer, heart rate monitor etc. Important is you can freely tune the assistance levels from very low assistance to high one, depending on the trip conditions.

Not sure if the Cannondale SL comes Equipped. Not sure whether you can buy a Vado SL 4.0 EQ in Canada but if you can, it will be excellent for your trips (lights, fenders, rack good to up 15 kg -- I load it more). Besides, Vado 4.0 SL has better componentry.


Note: I am sixty with three major ailments. I could easily do a 116 km trip with 244 m elevation gain on a Vado SL 4.0 EQ + Range Extender last year. My average speed was 20.4 km/h. I used 436 Wh, or 136% of batteries (main + extender battery are 150%). Average assistance level (SL) was 55%. I contributed with my own input in 50.4%. (These are the details you can extract from Vado SL!)
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Find a builder in your town and put middrive motors on your favorite bikes. Rig them with a moderate size battery for in town riding, and provision for a spare in the saddlebags. All you get a is a motor and speedometer info, no fancy apps, just basic ebiking.

But there's nothing wrong with a high end Specialized.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Find a builder in your town and put middrive motors on your favorite bikes. Rig them with a moderate size battery for in town riding, and provision for a spare in the saddlebags. All you get a is a motor and speedometer info, no fancy apps, just basic ebiking.

But there's nothing wrong with a high end Specialized.
I will be making this bike a stealth torque sensor mid-drive. By Stefan's rules, he cannot comment on it because he has no experience. It has a super comfortable and light chromoly double butted frame, a comfortable upright riding position, amazing tires, internal gears and comes with fenders for riding in all weather. It also has bosses for racks and accessories which means that it can serve as a tool and not just a rolling Peloton toy for data collection. I am not building it as a speed demon but it will out run and out last something such as the expensive bikes that are off the rack and common.
  • https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/2022-muirwoods-rc
  • 1642886317942.jpeg
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Never have never will. Your blather is enough to discourage me. Your constant criticism probably hurts Specialized more than helping sales. But unlike you I don’t jump in threads to insult others choices.
Stay with your DIY. The OP specifically asked about Cannondale SL vs. Specialized SL. I'm competent to answer.
There has been an Ebikemotion X35 cyclist willing to swap to a Specialized SL e-bike exactly for the reasons I mentioned.

@PedalUma: You're derailing this thread. I suggest intaking less meth. Unless you own a Cannondale SL or a Vado SL, please stay away. It is unacceptable you damage any thread by advertising your DIY e-bikes when the question is about quality production e-bikes of specific make and model. It is understandable you want to earn your green dollar but you might start paying EBR for advertising your services. You're neither Cannondale nor Specialized. Got it?

@Angela M.: Is it fair that a commercial DIY builder takes part in any thread irrelevant to him to advertise his products but is not paying anything to EBR for it?
 
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Mulezen

Well-Known Member
Go with a mid drive like Bosch or Shimano or Brose. Remember that weight is less relevant on an ebike. Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, and Trek are goof choices though if I were in the market to replace my Allant I would give consideration to Zen bikes whose owner frequently posts here.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Go with a mid drive like Bosch or Shimano or Brose. Remember that weight is less relevant on an ebike. Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, and Trek are go choices though if I were in the market to replace my Allant I would give consideration to Zen bikes whose owner frequently posts here.
Mulezen, we need to mention Mahle who make both Ebikemotion X35 (Orbea, Cannondale, some Trek e-bikes) and Specialized SL 1.1 motors. Just to be clear.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Just for the record. I do not sell anything. Occasionally LBS refer people to my little workshop. I have no way of processing payments and couldn't ship my tune ups and modifications anyway. I have helped many people on EBR, all for free. Like the woman yesterday whose bike was not working. Because I worked for the largest seller of Specialized products and am in Northern California, it would make sense that I have had training in Mountain View. I got my Specialized after signing a NDA with Specialized so I cannot go into those details. There is noting wrong with those bikes. And, I really like @Ravi Kempaiah 's approach. The Zen Samurai is a great bike and I like that it is not from one of the largest anti-competitive bike companies.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
probably hurts Specialized
It does! It turns people away from perfectly fine options within the Specialized lineup because of the tone and approach. If I were with that brand I would advocate for paying him to be quiet with some merch and a NDA. Merch that costs $2.50 to produce is sold for $95 retail. But they are so huge it, his negative impact, probably does not make much of a dent in overall sales. Overalls do matter in chicken country.
1642899822737.jpeg
1642901356279.jpeg
 
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pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Good morning EBR team and glad to join the forum.

We are looking for help and suggestions to choose and buy our first ebikes.
Line and I are approaching 65 and have been cycling for 15 years. We have a Cannondale and an Eclipse Turmoil touring bike (between road and hybrid). We cycle on average twice a week averaging 35 to 40 km per trek, up to 60km on city streets and bicycle trails (Ottawa region). Every year we do a 4-to-5-day cycle trip carrying approx. 20lbs each in saddle bags. Our trip segments would typically vary from 55 to 65km up to an occasional 80. We love these trips but felt our age!!! on our last summer trip. No doubt we want to continue as long as we can and feel the electric assistance would be a good solution. We want to get ahead of the season coming and glad we found your site.

We have never tried one, this is unknown territory and hope you could help us offer options that would best fit. In addition to the above high-level info here are additional parameters;
  • Retiring this year, would increase frequency and distance a bit with the assistance;
  • Light weight, not heavy and bulky;
  • Carry approx. same weight on our trips, not much more;
  • Could be 2 different brands or models for me and Line;
  • Prefer higher quality and comfort;
  • High speed is not a requirement, we cycle at an average speed of 20km/hr
  • We were thinking of a price around $3,500K to $4,000. Looking at recent pricing willing to go up if required for the right fit, quality and comfort.
We had started to look into the Cannondale NEO SL 2 model;
We looked at the Rad models and would prefer lighter models;
We found your web site (great) and read the detailed evaluation on the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0.

What brands and model options would you recommend?
We look forward to your feedback and thank you in advance.
Line and Pierre
Few more options in that touring/gravel vein:

Canyon Grail:On
Cairn E-Adventure
Ribble CGR
Merida e-Silex

These are all drop bar and sit in the 14-17 kg weight range. There's flat bar equivalents in most of the brands.

You may find the q-factor of a mid drive takes some getting used to. Nothing can beat the hub drives for weight, but as Mulezen said the powerful mid drives will more than offset the additional kilos.

Try and ride mid and hub options if possible, even just in the carpark outside your LBS.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Absolutely no idea. Half to three quarters, if the Australian market is anything to go by? Bosch and Shimano can be serviced at any certified store, and your LBS can do work on the rest.
I was asking because could not find anything on Merida e-Silex for Canada but found it readily in Australia 😊
 

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
Good morning EBR team and glad to join the forum.

We are looking for help and suggestions to choose and buy our first ebikes.
Line and I are approaching 65 and have been cycling for 15 years. We have a Cannondale and an Eclipse Turmoil touring bike (between road and hybrid). We cycle on average twice a week averaging 35 to 40 km per trek, up to 60km on city streets and bicycle trails (Ottawa region). Every year we do a 4-to-5-day cycle trip carrying approx. 20lbs each in saddle bags. Our trip segments would typically vary from 55 to 65km up to an occasional 80. We love these trips but felt our age!!! on our last summer trip. No doubt we want to continue as long as we can and feel the electric assistance would be a good solution. We want to get ahead of the season coming and glad we found your site.

We have never tried one, this is unknown territory and hope you could help us offer options that would best fit. In addition to the above high-level info here are additional parameters;
  • Retiring this year, would increase frequency and distance a bit with the assistance;
  • Light weight, not heavy and bulky;
  • Carry approx. same weight on our trips, not much more;
  • Could be 2 different brands or models for me and Line;
  • Prefer higher quality and comfort;
  • High speed is not a requirement, we cycle at an average speed of 20km/hr
  • We were thinking of a price around $3,500K to $4,000. Looking at recent pricing willing to go up if required for the right fit, quality and comfort.
We had started to look into the Cannondale NEO SL 2 model;
We looked at the Rad models and would prefer lighter models;
We found your web site (great) and read the detailed evaluation on the Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0.

What brands and model options would you recommend?
We look forward to your feedback and thank you in advance.
Line and Pierre
Hi.
Not sure if this topic came up. Where do you intend to use your bikes? Which extras do you need? Ottawa is pretty much flat, isn't it?

I think that makes all the difference. What situation/location type you normally would ride and where you would want to be able to ride. Everything from wheels and tires to motor type and on could be considered for initial purchase or for an add-on. For example, the stock 26 X 2.1" road tires on my $2000 city bike are great on the city roads, treacherous in winter icy snow or slush and also awful on park grassy areas - but different tires could change some of that. Never would it make it as a hill trail bike, but for touring flat country, not a problem. It's been excellent for me for 7500 km. On the heavy side and with panniers and minimum two big chain locks, and packs, it's heavy. I don't lift this bike up. It started at 65 lbs or so and has only gone up.