Electric Bicycle Choice

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by 8pack, May 25, 2020.

  1. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    My son just graduated college with high honors and a double major in math and physics. Pretty proud! He is starting a job and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in a suburb of Balitmore and we are getting him an electric bike for his present...he gets my wife's old car with a 120kmiles so that covers him for more robust transportation.

    I had no idea how complicated a purchase it is and how many choices there are out there. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with them to help guide my research and purchase....basic criteria:

    • "reasonably" priced
    • Rack on back or the ability to put Paniers or other storage cases
    • Commuter bike but capable of multi use like parks and basic trails (not hardcore moutain biking). So I think not super skinny tires.
    • Good range and top speed
    Not sure what other criteria to be looking for so open to pointers or considerations. It seems like the motor and battery size are the 2 biggest variables and both have an impact on Range and top speed. If anyone has experience with specific brands or bikes please share!

    Thanks
     
  2. Bikefixr

    Bikefixr Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    This is what I recommend. Stay away from the Chinese bikes. They work fine for a while, but they fail, and parts are unobtainable. They change the bikes constantly and keep no parts inventory. Do you want class 1,2 or 3? Budget? "Reasonably priced" is relative. Bosch, Yamaha, Shimano, and Brose are the most reliable suppliers of the batteries and motors. Anything else is a very distant second. Battery range is more important than total power. Some suggestions: BATCH E-Commuter about $2100. Gazelle Ultimate T10 about $4K. Aventon PACE 350 about $1100 and the 500 at $1400. These are strong picks in their price range. So look them up, look at the specs, and use these as a starting point. Ask how long they co has been around. Where are the parts warehoused? Who is doing the service work? I can't tell you how much time shops spend trying to get oddball parts to work. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. Other brands that you may consider are from GIANT, Trek and Specialized. They got in early and have had time to work the bugs out. Their bikes aren't some generic bike with new stickers.
     
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  3. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Thanks!

    Since I posted I started to narrow down on the Radpower bikes and in particular the Rad city 4 or the Rad rover 5. The rad city has a gearless motor. Still trying to understand the advantages and disadvantages of geared vs. not. The fat tire bike seems like it might be more versatile and comfortable and less prone to pothole damage but it may just be a gimmick. There is really no way to test any of these Soni am trying to do my best with research and insight from folks like you.

    https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radcity-electric-commuter-bike

    https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radrover-electric-fat-bike

    Price range is under $2500, ideally under $2k. You gave me some great things to think about and alternatives to research right in my price range. Very helpful!
     
  4. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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  5. danbrennan

    danbrennan Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I've read some of them are foldable, some not, if that's interesting. I think one of GM's two Ariv bikes is foldable. But I think they're only sold in Europe at the moment.
     
  6. sparkyboy

    sparkyboy Veteran Member

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    I don’t know how many of these bikes they actually made, but back in 2017 I was shopping for my brothers Christmas present but I went into gebhart motors in boulder, co because he likes bmws like an idiot, but they had an electric assist mountain bike that would hit nearly 40 mph. It was a full suspension 30 speed mountain bike but had the battery mounted vertically on the down tube (that’s what holds the seat post, right?) and the hub motor on the rear wheel. If you ran out of battery for the assist, then it would be like pedaling a heavy bike.
    It was a little pricey at $3500, but the thing folded up into a case!
    I seriously considered buying it for myself, and trust me, I was not in the market at all for a new bike, much less a four figure electric one, and a bmw, please. But this bike was simply that nice.
    Anyway I think it’s worth a look especially since it’s for such a special occasion.
    Congrats to your son by the way and I say spend 4 or 5 k on a traditional enduro if he likes riding with the occasional off roading haha
     
  7. 70lt1z28

    70lt1z28 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    And not even at the moment. The COVID19 thing killed it. GM announced they are out of the bike biz.
     
  8. Bikefixr

    Bikefixr Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Radpower has a lot of momentum and are well thought of. They are currently offering a $200 discount to teachers, students and several others that might apply.
     
  9. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Great Info!!!! Thanks for all the feedback. I am going to talk to my son about looking at their bikes, especially given the discount!
     
  10. Todd80Z28

    Todd80Z28 Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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