Yet another "help me decide" post.

breadfan85

New Member
Hi everyone! I'm new here and looking for something assisted for my first bike since childhood. I'm currently not in the best health or shape, and take the bus everywhere, which requires a lot of walking too. I'd like something with a throttle, for those days that I just don't have the energy to peddle, but also is lightweight and can be used like a traditional bicycle so that I can use it to help me get in shape. I prefer a rear hub motor for maintainability and redundancy (motor breaks, I can still pedal. Chain breaks, I can throttle home), but I'm willing to look at mid drive motors too. Finally, I'd like to spend less than $1500, but if I can get something that's just on a whole other level quality-wise for $2500 or less, then I might be willing to do that. So if I could maybe get recommendations for both price ranges, that would help me make a decision. I'm also willing to purchase and install some things later if necessary, but the bike will have to be able to accept them. At minimum, the bike needs to be a class 2 with PAS/3 with throttle, have fenders and lights, accept a cafe lock, and have an audible alarm. I need to be able to go at least 20mph with or without throttle/PAS. Here are the models I'm considering, but I'm willing to go another route too. These are just what I've found on my own:

Aventon Pace 350 or 500
Rad Power Bikes Radcity
Ride1Up 500 or 700
Wing Freedom
Populo Lift v2
Trek Verve+ 2
Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0
Giant LaFree E+ 1
Giant Explore+ 4
Gazelle CityZen T9 or T10
FLX Roadster

BTW, I'm 6'3" and will use this to do grocery shopping trips as well. So, advice on sub $1500, or Sub $2500 with excellent quality, and why Thanks.

UPDATE: Oh, and the more discreet (more like a traditional bike/less likely to be stolen) the better.
 
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PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
The Trek and the La Free do not have throttles, so if that's a deal-breaker, they have to come off the list. Also, the Verve is generally considered underpowered on hills, so if you have any, that might be an issue.

People who have the Aventons really like them, though the 500 apparently has quite a kick when the assist engages.

Class 3 bikes are PAS only - no throttle 😉.

I have the La Free E+2, But, like the +1, it doesn't fit your criteria...

Be sure to ride, as close to the conditions you'll be living in, before you buy!
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
That's class 2. I'll try to find the definitions and post here...
I stand corrected!

 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I stand corrected!

it is odd to have a mid drive wit ha throttle though.
 

breadfan85

New Member
Where I live now is very flat, but I'm moving to one of two cities soon. One that's also very flat, and another that has flat areas and very hilly areas. Also, but very many places to test drive here. The only one I probably can is actually the one you called out specifically, the Verve+ lol. I'm going to try it tomorrow anyway, if I can get to the Trek store. I might decide I can do without the throttle. Do you know if the Aventons will accept a cafe lock?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
One brand at the low price nobody has mentioned is magnum. They have a geared hub motor which allows one to pedal when one is feeling up. They also have dealers in many cities, that can take care of warrenty work if required. Geared hub motors are more efficient up grades than direct drive hubs, but cannot handle maximum wattage grades for more than 15 minutes like the grades out of LA to the parks on top of the sierra. So west coast dealerships don't like to sell geared hubs. I've got a geared hub, it can handle 77 hills in 30 miles if the wind is against me > 12 mph. Else I pedal, for my health.
Check the website or courts reviews for feature packages.
Read the brand forums for the problem reports before purchase. Several people here love rad bikes. Many people reported spoke maintenance is required. Not on other brands with real steel spokes, IMHO. I've only ping tested my spokes in 5000 miles. Rad recommends a spoke torque wrench, of all the stupid ideas.
 

Marci jo

Well-Known Member
Congrats on your search for an ebike.
You mentioned you would like a light weight bike. Keep in mind many ebikes weigh over 50 lbs. Just something to keep in mind in your search.
Looking forward to a photo of your new ebike!
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
Where I live now is very flat, but I'm moving to one of two cities soon. One that's also very flat, and another that has flat areas and very hilly areas. Also, but very many places to test drive here. The only one I probably can is actually the one you called out specifically, the Verve+ lol. I'm going to try it tomorrow anyway, if I can get to the Trek store. I might decide I can do without the throttle. Do you know if the Aventons will accept a cafe lock?
If you're going to consider the Trek, you might as well consider the La Free, by Giant. Similar price for the E+1, which has a belt drive, less for the E+2, which has chain. Better on hills, better range.

Once you decide you don't really need a throttle, the market in the price range you're looking for really opens up 😉
 

breadfan85

New Member
Well, I test drove the Trek Verve+ 2 today, and loved it. Was hoping I wouldn't because it's more than I want to spend and I feel like throttle is one of those "better to have it and not need it..." type of things. Guess I can't use "I didn't like it" as an excuse to get something else lol. It's been a while since I rode, but in PAS 0, it felt just like riding a regular bicycle, and even on PAS 1, it was so easy to peddle that it was almost an afterthought. Maybe it's because it's so lightweight, or maybe it's something with the 2020 Bosch line, IDK, but I think I may not need throttle at all. Granted, this was on totally flat, even terrain and unfortunately there wasn't anything resembling a hill to test it on. Which just makes this so much more difficult. At least I know I have an option that is 100% high quality parts, with a decent warranty and LBS support.

What do y'all think? Should I still go for something with throttle, or for non-throttle/mid-drive motors do you have any more options that are comparable quality but at a lower price?
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
We have one of each. IMO you've made some basic assumptions that actual riding will likely refute.
The best advice for a quick study like yourself is to go ride a BUNCH of them, then decide. One will truly stand out for you, and the deal will be too good to pass up.

PS. I rode the Verve as well. If you liked it go ride the Giant Explore. I think that will change your mind real quick. The yamaha drive kicks it's ass.

PSS. Wife uses her throttle occassionally. I don't miss one. A pedal sensor means you just have to look like you're pedaling. LOL

PSSS. A hub-drive bike is generally cheaper than a quality mid-drive from the big-3. So assess your competence for maintenance and break-fix, and whether it makes sense to have a dealer backing you up, or if you're good on your own. I'm good either way, but the bikes from Trek, Specialized, and Giant, are really nice solid bikes. The hub-drive are also quite nice, Aventon, RadCity, Ride1Up, Juiced, etc. But they're not quite to the level of the big-branded bikes.

YMMV
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
As mentioned before, I'd definitely want to try the Verve on some hills before making a decision, and would definitely ride some other bikes before making the final call...
 

breadfan85

New Member
PatriciaK, That's the thing though, I live in an extremely flat city (currently, but moving soon, possibly to a very hilly city) so it's both important that I be able to traverse hills easily, and impossible to test drive any bikes on them lol. Also, my current city just isn't big on electric bikes it seems. I'm having trouble finding bike shops that have a variety I can test.

If anyone knows any good LBS in Tucson, AZ, please let me know!
 

John from Connecticut

Well-Known Member
Well, I test drove the Trek Verve+ 2 today, and loved it. Was hoping I wouldn't because it's more than I want to spend and I feel like throttle is one of those "better to have it and not need it..." type of things. Guess I can't use "I didn't like it" as an excuse to get something else lol. It's been a while since I rode, but in PAS 0, it felt just like riding a regular bicycle, and even on PAS 1, it was so easy to peddle that it was almost an afterthought. Maybe it's because it's so lightweight, or maybe it's something with the 2020 Bosch line, IDK, but I think I may not need throttle at all. Granted, this was on totally flat, even terrain and unfortunately there wasn't anything resembling a hill to test it on. Which just makes this so much more difficult. At least I know I have an option that is 100% high quality parts, with a decent warranty and LBS support.

What do y'all think? Should I still go for something with throttle, or for non-throttle/mid-drive motors do you have any more options that are comparable quality but at a lower price?

Hello,
Should you buy the Trek Verve+2 you'll be getting a bike that comes with some of the best company support in the industry, via your LBS.
I own two Trek e-bikes. As for a throttle yes or no ? That is something personal, only you can decide what you want and or need the throttle to do.

Me personally, I'm not a fan of throttles on my bikes, but that's me. Since you asked, you said you really liked the Trek Verve+2 .
My Trek riding experience ( 6000 miles ) has been flawless, I'd go with the Trek. If you like and are comfortable with your Trek Dealer
then to me it's a done deal. Good Luck !
 

RPS

New Member
Hello. This is my first response on EBR! Nice to be here.
I too am shopping for a first ebike. I do need a throttle and have narrowed it down to Magnum Metro + and the Surface 604 Rook or Colt.
I am not too skilled with repair and maintenance (yet?) so want to make sure I have a local shop to rely on. Magnum and Surface are supported in my city.
Good luck!