What's Your Dream Electric Bike?

Court

Administrator
Staff member
With all of the ebike comparing, Q&A and general curiosity about electric bikes I thought it would be fun to chat about what your "dream bike" is and why. I've compiled a short list of my most important features below and sort of called out bikes that do it right in my opinion. What do you guys think?
  • Three high step frames (small, medium, large) and two low step (small, medium)
  • Front suspension fork with lockout, 27.5" wheels with hybrid road/trail tires
  • Geared mid-drive motor >= 350 watts
  • Internally geared rear hub for pedaling >= 7 speeds
  • Removable downtube mounted Lithium Cobalt battery pack >= 36 volt 15 amp hour
  • Torque sensing, cadence sensing pedal assist hybrid (like the Bosch system, super responsive)
  • Trigger throttle which stays out of the way for trail riding and allows for better grip when riding
  • On and off switches for both pedal assist and throttle (like some of the eZip bikes have) for delicate riding situations where only one should be active
  • Removable LCD computer powered off the main battery pack (like the Easy Motion Neo bikes have) with back lighting
  • Water proof housing for the LCD computer and all electronics, internally routed wires, quick disconnects for motor, battery, computer replacement, quick release systems for front and rear wheels (made easier due to mid-drive)
  • Five color choices: white, black, silver, red, metallic blue
  • All of this for <= $2,000 USD MSRP
  • Optional $500 "city kit" with front and rear LED lights wired in to the system, fenders and rear rack
I realize this is a lot to ask for, I think this is my "catch all" higher end dream electric bike but I might do another post about a perfect ~$1,000 ebike because I think that's a great price point and I'd be willing to give up some of these features to get that.
 

Dave

Active Member
Court, I think you hit just about all the bases with that list! The only things I would add are:

  • Pedal assist speed at least 25mph, preferably greater, like Easy Motion, Izip, Motiv, Stromer, et.al.
  • Remote buttons for working computer, like Izip Dash and many others.
  • Quick release rear wheel, like Eflow Nitro
  • Battery charging both on & off bike.
  • Comfortable seat, like Motiv Shadow ( yeah you can add it, but why should you have to?)
  • 500 watt motor standard, preferably geared.
There is probably more, but Courts' is pretty inclusive.
 
I'm pretty excited about a 36 pound ebike release with the Riide, even though they made some compromises to make weight. I like that ebikes are starting to get lighter. If you could make an ST1/Eflow 30 pounds, that would be the perfect bike.

Mid-drives are awesome, but I wish they were as quiet as a direct-drive.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Wow, I've never seen the Conway E-Rider Xtreme before Eddie! Looks like it's made in Germany. What kind of crazy shenanigans are you guys up to over there in Europe :D

It seems ironic that the EU has these speed and power limits like 15mph max with motors at 250 watts or less and then you see something like this! That thing is amazing. ps. I'd love to hear your clarification on the laws and restrictions in Europe if I've got it wrong? I've also heard they are requiring bikes to have dynamo powered LED lights that stay on for a bit once parked (for safety) and don't depend on the main battery.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
Hi court, you are sadly correct about the restrictions. I'll try and find some written info about the subject later and post it up. :)

In relation to the Conway, here is a link for you to look at http://www.e-rider-shop.de/ There are also a few videos of them on Youtube now, although two of them make the bike sound very loud, but I think that this has more to do with microphone/camera position. I get the impression that they are phenomenal bikes, but are very high maintenance, which I'm not really all that surprised about.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
With all of the ebike comparing, Q&A and general curiosity about electric bikes I thought it would be fun to chat about what your "dream bike" is and why. I've compiled a short list of my most important features below and sort of called out bikes that do it right in my opinion. What do you guys think?
  • Three high step frames (small, medium, large) and two low step (small, medium)
  • Front suspension fork with lockout, 27.5" wheels with hybrid road/trail tires
  • Geared mid-drive motor >= 350 watts
  • Internally geared rear hub for pedaling >= 7 speeds
  • Removable downtube mounted Lithium Cobalt battery pack >= 36 volt 15 amp hour
  • Torque sensing, cadence sensing pedal assist hybrid (like the Bosch system, super responsive)
  • Trigger throttle which stays out of the way for trail riding and allows for better grip when riding
  • On and off switches for both pedal assist and throttle (like some of the eZip bikes have) for delicate riding situations where only one should be active
  • Removable LCD computer powered off the main battery pack (like the Easy Motion Neo bikes have) with back lighting
  • Water proof housing for the LCD computer and all electronics, internally routed wires, quick disconnects for motor, battery, computer replacement, quick release systems for front and rear wheels (made easier due to mid-drive)
  • Five color choices: white, black, silver, red, metallic blue
  • All of this for <= $2,000 USD MSRP
  • Optional $500 "city kit" with front and rear LED lights wired in to the system, fenders and rear rack
I realize this is a lot to ask for, I think this is my "catch all" higher end dream electric bike but I might do another post about a perfect ~$1,000 ebike because I think that's a great price point and I'd be willing to give up some of these features to get that.
There's some new Lithium silicon battery that weighs less for equal capacity, so I'll take a 1000 wh battery.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...arket-and-might-already-be-in-your-smartphone

What I really want is a bulletproof and elegant way to carry stuff, probably one that mounts instantly but holds 30# or so without upsetting the balance
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi George, I agree on the larger battery pack and carrying potential. Have you seen the new Juiced Riders ODK V3? That's exactly what they were going for as the battery is over 1,000 watt hours and the rear rack is incredibly sturdy with lots of mounting options. The founder of the company is very cool, pays super close attention to the detail of his bikes and offers great support.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Hi George, I agree on the larger battery pack and carrying potential. Have you seen the new Juiced Riders ODK V3? That's exactly what they were going for as the battery is over 1,000 watt hours and the rear rack is incredibly sturdy with lots of mounting options. The founder of the company is very cool, pays super close attention to the detail of his bikes and offers great support.
Hi Court,

I wish every company operated like JR. They have a great website. They explained in minute detail the changes they made from V2 to V3. The pictures in their gallery are great. They have a clear purpose for their bike. But the price jumped from the low 2's to the 3's, so you basically have to really need what they are selling. The real problem for me is the 75 pound weight. They need beefy because they are rating it for about 150 pounds of load plus a 180 pound rider. It seems like ebikes, most ebikes, are designed to carry the rider plus a sandwich and some carrot sticks. I need 30 pounds of load capacity to do anything useful with a bike, like carry some groceries. But I don't need any more than that. I won't bring home a new grill from Home Depot. But it's nine miles to the nearest store, so I want a useable amount of load capacity. Klickfix is an interesting system. Going with both front and rear carriers would help weight. If you don’t design for loads from the start it’s not easy to know what the real capability is, mostly in terms of balance. Balance problems tend to show up at awkward moments. I used to fly a lot, and balance is everything in an airplane.

In theory, the motor means you are better able to carry stuff. In practice, there are only a few bikes that are really designed to carry normal stuff, from books to half gallons of milk. Mid-drive seems to solve some weight and balance issues, and lighter batteries are in the works. You could ask a simple question of every company that makes ebikes: “How would someone bring home 2 bags of groceries on this bike?” I actually think some of these bikes, where they haven't messed up the weight and balance too much, would be useable. A lot of people use backpacks, but to get much capacity takes a pretty big pack.

I’d really like to know the best answer for under $1000, in the original post. Friction systems are interesting. There are the add on wheels. I can buy a half decent bike online and match it to what I need when I add power. The bike I ride was cheap enough, but disk brakes seem to limit the add on options. Many of the bikes in China are still lead acid based, from what I hear, but they sell 20 million a year, something like that. That’s not going to be a terribly capable bike, but they sure are popular over there. If you plug ‘electric bike’ into the search on Alibaba, you can see what you can buy in wholesale lots (maybe 30 units minimum.) They aren’t bad bikes for maybe $800, but they are probably rough and high maintenance. They are definitely lith battery bikes.

Thanks!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
There's some new Lithium silicon battery that weighs less for equal capacity, so I'll take a 1000 wh battery.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...arket-and-might-already-be-in-your-smartphone

What I really want is a bulletproof and elegant way to carry stuff, probably one that mounts instantly but holds 30# or so without upsetting the balance
George, it's awesome you mentioned this.
In fact, the work shown in that website is from one of our collaborators at Stanford University. Dr. Yi Cui works a lot on batteries and is making some exceptional innovations.
We can expect to see drastic improvements in the battery technology in a few years.

Last week, a research group from Virginia Tech published their findings and they showed that sugar based battery can have 10 times more capacity compared to Lithium Ion batteries.
Here is the link: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...ium-your-smartphone-might-soon-run-on-enzymes
 
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George S.

Well-Known Member
George, it's awesome you mentioned this.
In fact, the work shown in that website is from one of our collaborators at Stanford University. Dr. Yi Cui works a lot on batteries and making some exceptional innovations.
We can expect to see drastic improvements in the battery in a few years.

Last week, a research group from Virginia Tech published their findings and they showed that sugar based battery can have 10 times more capacity compared to Lithium Ion batteries.
Here is the link: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...ium-your-smartphone-might-soon-run-on-enzymes

Ravi,

My grasp of the subject of batteries is that solar panels are cheap and technologies like ground source heat pumps work really well. But there's no storage between them, tying them together.

I don't know if this is related or what, but I came across it this morning:

http://www.treehugger.com/biomimicr...y-store-renewable-energy-metals-scarcity.html

Anyway, I wish you guys all the luck in the world. Maybe you can bail us out from, well, I think you know...

Thanks!

George
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi George, you make some good points about storage... This was one thing I liked about the Ridekick Power Trailer, it lets you store stuff (two bags of groceries actually) and keeps the weight low and separate from the bike which improves balance.

Here are two other cargo style ebikes I just thought of. I haven't tested them as extensively but they look cool and are definitely more sturdy:
Check out this neat video showing just how versatile the Xtracycle can be... Some of the adapters and sidecar things are really cool. The video shows the human powered version but the ebike version would be even more useful.

 

Ralph

Active Member
I hate this. Now that I ordered an Izip Dash, thinking it was outstanding.....here comes the new tech and even more exciting bikes and battery technology . Is there an Autotrader.com to sell ebikes? Seriously, is there a market for used electric bikes so you can stay up with the new product. I guess that is another thread, but clearly there is a lot of exciting new tech on the horizon. All very cool stuff.
 

Dave

Active Member
Ralph, you are getting a winner with the E3 Dash, no doubt. It is top 3 in my book given performance vs price. Can't wait to hear your reviews when it finally arrives.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I hate this. Now that I ordered an Izip Dash, thinking it was outstanding.....here comes the new tech and even more exciting bikes and battery technology . Is there an Autotrader.com to sell ebikes? Seriously, is there a market for used electric bikes so you can stay up with the new product. I guess that is another thread, but clearly there is a lot of exciting new tech on the horizon. All very cool stuff.
Not to worry. If you go down the line of what people want, it's not that important. Batteries can probably be upgraded, so no worries there. (Just money). Mid-drive is not without problems, and it might add $2000 if you go with a premium name. A suspension fork? Cheap ones are probably not worth that much. Frame size? If you are big, you need it, but Dick's Sporting goods will stock a hundred bikes and they will all be Medium. I've checked. Most people fit Medium. Internal hub? I just read a thread by an ebike commuter in Germany. His internal hub gears kept failing.

I'm leaning toward a Neo, but I'd be fine with your bike if they had a dealer down the road. It's not like you didn't buy a '5' rated bike that is current for the moment. What else can you do? Let us know how you like it.

Maybe Court can give us a trading site in a few years...
 

Ralph

Active Member
Ralph, you are getting a winner with the E3 Dash, no doubt. It is top 3 in my book given performance vs price. Can't wait to hear your reviews when it finally arrives.
I will post my impressions. Should be here before the end of the month.
 

Ralph

Active Member
Not to worry. If you go down the line of what people want, it's not that important. Batteries can probably be upgraded, so no worries there. (Just money). Mid-drive is not without problems, and it might add $2000 if you go with a premium name. A suspension fork? Cheap ones are probably not worth that much. Frame size? If you are big, you need it, but Dick's Sporting goods will stock a hundred bikes and they will all be Medium. I've checked. Most people fit Medium. Internal hub? I just read a thread by an ebike commuter in Germany. His internal hub gears kept failing.

I'm leaning toward a Neo, but I'd be fine with your bike if they had a dealer down the road. It's not like you didn't buy a '5' rated bike that is current for the moment. What else can you do? Let us know how you like it.

Maybe Court can give us a trading site in a few years...
You are right for sure. Actually, I rode the E3 Peak mid-drive and liked the Dash better. It didn't feel as nimble as the Dash for some reason. Bottom line is that the Peak is a mountain bike with a 6mph throttle for steep inclines when you have to stop. Maybe the mid drive is more suited for that application. The Dash is more of a road bike. Point is they are all different and they all ride different. Gearless hub, direct drive, 48v, torque pedal assist on the Dash make for a strong contender. I'm good!