Would appreciate member POV on new commuter.

grench

Well-Known Member
I have been riding from work gradually extending my trip. I started with three miles and have worked up to approx 15 miles. This trip takes me 1h 30m plus/minus depending on wind. My goal is to make the entire trip to and from work. My wife has been dropping me and my Giant Cypress of at work and picking me up in the evenings. This perfect plan of increasing my distance ability has been thrown a wrench...she went back to work and can't haul me around anymore. The trip from home to work is 28 miles. I weigh 330lbs..the reason I am back on the bike... :)

My thought is to try an ebike and make the trip both ways. I am thinking lots of assist on the way to work and suffering the way home. I will probably need 5-10 miles of assist on the homeward trip.

Because of the distance I need a big battery. I also want to keep the comfort style bike. The way I see it I have 5 choices.
1. Bionx kit for my cypress
2. EZip Path +
3. Kalkoff Augattu impulse 8
4. Pedego City
5. Optibike City (this was my initial choice...reviews comment the frame may not handle my weight)

Does anyone care to comment on my options? I want to stay under $3000.

Thanks in advance.
You can see my bike here.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
That Giant is a nice bike... So long as you still like it, just buy a conversion kit.. Those bikes you listed above are probably worse in overall bike quality. I can tell you from personal experience that regular bikes are of higher quality, in general... Plus you know what you have.

CellMan has a great reputation with the knowledgeable ebike crowd.. Downside is that his company is in China.. For 12oo deliver you would get an excellent conversion kit. http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=45

Philly Electric also has a good reputation and they sell Bionx and Bafang and others. .Plus you can talk to them1 http://www.phillyew.com
 

gadgetguy

Member
That Giant is a nice bike... So long as you still like it, just buy a conversion kit.. Those bikes you listed above are probably worse in overall bike quality. I can tell you from personal experience that regular bikes are of higher quality, in general... Plus you know what you have.

CellMan has a great reputation with the knowledgeable ebike crowd.. Downside is that his company is in China.. For 12oo deliver you would get an excellent conversion kit. http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=45

Philly Electric also has a good reputation and they sell Bionx and Bafang and others. .Plus you can talk to them1 http://www.phillyew.com/conversion-kits
Suggest you include in your budget a second charger to leave at work and extra batteries. You may need to carry a 2nd battery on the bike. A 48 volt system will work better than a 36 volt system. Suggest you look at a Pedego Interceptor with multiple 48 volt batteries and 2nd charger.
 
Wow. You wrote the post I was about to write. I'm in almost exactly the same boat. I'm 6'2", 315 pounds. My commute (which I have yet to attempt any part of) is 22 miles with a 550 foot rise, the first 5 or 6 right through downtown Baltimore. My 15 y/o Giant bike has a rack, but basic Shimano components and no fenders or lights. I moved it Sunday from under 5 years of dust in the garage to the shop - now getting a tune up, new cables, chain and freewheel. I was thinking about getting an Evelo Omni Wheel for it and seeing how it goes, but worry that's an $1100 half measure.

From what I've read it sounds like someone of our size would be better off with plenty of power and a mid-drive, especially if there are hills. So I've been looking at the 750W Bafang kit. Biggest problem I anticipate with that is gear grinding, so I'm thinking NuVinci. And then I'd also like belt drive for low maintenance and cleanliness.

I haven't found a purpose-built e-bike that quite meets the specs, certainly none in the <$3k range. But I did find a regular bike that looks exactly right. REI's Novara Gotham has NuVinci N360 hub, Gates Belt Drive, hydraulic disc brakes, fenders, lights, puncture resistant tires, etc. for $1399. http://www.rei.com/product/857590/novara-gotham-bike-2015.

I'm thinking that bike with a 750W Bafang and a 50V 24.8 Ah battery pack ($1439) might be ideal.
http://em3ev.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=45&product_id=187

All this should have been preceded with the caveat that I have no idea what I'm talking about, no actual experience with electric bikes or any modern components, and less than a week of scouring the internet for information in my free time.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
http://bikecalculator.com/how.html

I think you are painting too bleak a picture. About 300 watts will get a 160 pound rider up to 20 mph or so on the flat. A 350 # rider will lose 3 mph. If you pedal moderately, you add 75 watts, so you'd go faster.

On a hill? Depends on the hill. Up a 7% grade the light rider goes 7 mph, the heavier one maybe 4 mph. But that's with 300 watts. A mid drive with a lower wattage motor will handle the hill, be less likely to overheat. But total climb does not equal the % grade. Moderate grades are relatively easy, especially short ones.

Bafang (8Fun BBS 02) needs to add a sensor for shifts, but there are people working on after-market solutions. The Nuvinci is not a total solution, and the older one is not rated for 750 watts.

Lots of watts and lots of weight would put lots of stress on wheels and spokes. The motor hub has to be reinforced to transfer torque to the frame elements of the bike.

This bike is designed for carrying cargo, with a huge battery:

http://www.juicedriders.com

Was looking for weight limit for a popular bike. This article mentions 250#

http://www.beste-bikereviews.com
 

Chandlee EBS

Active Member
@grench, you're first list ain't bad. If you have a chance to test those, get into it. I'd toss Motiv and E-Joe on the list too because of the 15 ah batteries. At that weight and slightly hilly terrain, not many hub motors are going to do the full 28 miles with moderate assistance. Kalkhoff is going to be the best bet on battery life with distance.

These are some really good suggestions from the community. Bafangs are efficient and cheap. I've only ridden a few, but I like the feel of them. I can't speak for the mid-drive's reliability, but they're way better than they used to be.

@George S. gave a really good recommendation with the Juiced ODK. You wouldn't have to worry about range and you could wrap up the ride quickly with it every time. The only problem I see is that it is so powerful and has such a big battery that it's a really easy to "cheat" with on the exercise front. It's takes discipline. You'll probably just want to set a speed with the cruise control and push yourself around it.

If you're liking your bike and want to keep it under 3k, the bionx s 350 DV is going to best bet. It's not nearly as powerful as the other stuff, but if you've already put some time on your bike, you'll appreciate the assist that it gives you. You'll be able to do the entire trip on a level 2 and it'll get you in hella good shape.

Finally, my brother is larger than you and he loves his easy motion NEO 650b. Due to the release of the EVO series, the NEO series is on the cheap right now and BH is still running a Neo battery deal! You could crush that commute with a second battery. Talk to your local dealer. If you're in the southeast, that's probably me.

Good luck!
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Good advice here. I'd say get the bionx with second battery and charger and use the bike you already have. 28 miles is a haul no matter how much you "cheat"... you will still get a workout.
 
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Mike leroy

Active Member
Are you comfortable putting the bike on a bus rack for part of the ride?

My hills are so steep that downhill coasting is 40-60mph. My solution is use a bus, rather than stressing the brakes.

My suggestion is read my reasoning in the article about finding the perfect match with your cellphone.

We share a similar solution for different reasons. My preference is to wait for the Felt Bruhaul due out in a few months. Cargo bikes with smaller wheels, 24 inch provide better support and climb/accelerate faster.

A Rohloff gear hub may benefit you most. External gears will be stressed as the chain twists.
 
Mike,

I have a hangover from the cocktails I felt compelled to go have after trying to read your article about finding the perfect match with a cellphone. :)

I agree about the internal gears. Rohloff is pretty damn expensive though. Maybe take a look at one of the Dillengers with Bafang mid-drive, Samsung LiPo and Shimano Nexus internally geared hub. They're cheap enough that you can buy a spare battery or two and still be under the budget.

https://dillengerelectricbikes.com
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I think it depends upon how long you intend to use the IGH. I have read that Rohloff is less costly over the long term, when all replacement costs are factored in.

I have looked closely at Bafang. The bafang is for 68 or 73mm bottom bracket. I had a very difficult time determining the Bottom bracket size for many frames. Most manufacturers omit that information.

How do you recommend easily finding the BB size for any frame?
 

grench

Well-Known Member
I wanted to tell the community thanks for all the comments. I have been traveling quit a bit and have had the chance to ride several different bikes. The Stromer ST1 and the A2B Shima have come in close second and third. They are both awesome bikes for fat guys. The Stromer body position even with an aftermarket adjustable stem is to far forward for me...large load on my arms. Lots of power and fun to ride. The shima was a little strange...low to the ground. Shima has nice top speed, I was able to maintaine 23 mph with some sweat on my brow. It is also easy to get on and off. The low speed (12 mph) cruise is nice. Both frames were strong (I Weigh 322-to date).

My top pick is the Optibike allroad. I ordered one today. I added an adjustable stem and fenders. I should have it sometime next week. I will post some details after I make a few commutes.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Alright, @grench ! Commitment :). Better than just rambling on and not trying something! There is no one ultimate ebike; that's what's cool. By the time you've tired of the Allroad, there will be even more new options. Keep us informed on how it goes.