Author Topic: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute  (Read 653 times)

AlanStache

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End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« on: May 31, 2021, 11:27:24 AM »

My employer is ending wfh in one month.  I have been going into the office for the last month or so to use hardware I cant take home.  I have biked to work in past years but never more than a few days per week for a month or so.  In the last month I have ridden into work 5-10 times, it is 6 miles each way, no showers at work, I can clean up in my office and leave some things there.  Here we get rain year round and can have weeks of 30-80% chance of rain while it is stupid hot and humid.  My main athletic focus is indoor rowing and I dont want ridding to work to meaningfully detract from that.  In the last month it was hot while ridding home and I could really feel it during my row.  I dont think I will ever ride five days per seek so shopping by bike is not really needed.

Public transit is not a viable option here.  Short of doing loops around a block I could not make the commute longer to make it a proper workout. 

I have looked at ebikes in the past but was always put off by the price and the esthetics, I can be a bit of a bike snob - having ridden road for 20+ years.  6 miles in the heat is enough to take the edge off my real workout hence the ebike.  I have never been good about working out in the morning, it just does not happen as regularly as pm workouts.

Looking around I think I have found three viable ebikes, I wanted to write out a pro/con list and see what the community has to say.

All are belt driven, I think that is the price point I want to say at. 

Babymaker pro: https://flx.bike/products/babymaker
Pro:
>> comes with drops (vs flat handle bars)
>> fender/rack mount holes
>> disk brakes
>> max speed 28mph
>> 700x28c tires

Con:
>> cost 1769$
>> 350 watt hub motor
>> would not ship for several months ("mid summer")
>> single speed
>> cadence sensor
>> company seems newer to the bike game and pushing a IG/hipster vibe

Roadster v2: https://ride1up.com/product/roadster-v2/?wpam_id=18
Pro:
>> 1045$
>> lightest weight
>> 500w peak, 350watt nominal
>> 700x28c tires
>> fender/rack mount holes
>> 24mph

Con:
>> Single speed
>> flat handle bars
>> pivot brakes

Luna Fixed Stealth ebike: https://lunacycle.com/luna-fixed-stealth-ebike/
Pro:
>> 3 speed internal hub gearing
>> torque sensor
>> 500watt
>> disk brakes
>> 24mph
>> fender/rack mount holes
>> torque sensor

Con:
>> 700x35c tires - seems a bit wide, easy to change
>> 1750$


I have lights and a rack I can put on anything I get.  Also would probably put road peddles on it.

I do have an older road bike I could modify but I sort of like having the option of a trainer bike and all the above have belt drives reducing maintenance.  And I do like the look of a hidden battery they all have. 

Financially I am basically FI and still gainfully employed so I dont need to go for the cheapest option but I want to be smart with the money.  Between my per mile insurance and gas I worked out that driving my car to work costs ~5$/week so an ebike will only save money if it significantly delays replacing my 2003 toyota.

If I missed other good options please let me know.

Thanks for any help figuring out what to do!

spaghetti1awk

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2021, 05:22:25 PM »
I don't know a whole lot about bikes, but with some help from more knowledgeable folks just bought the Radmission mid-step (5'6") (1,099 to start). https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radmission-electric-metro-bike?variant=32397509394528

I've been out on it just a few times since it arrived last week and I like it. It's single speed, but with four levels of pedal assist, it's easy to choose how hard you want to work.

Maybe take a look and see if it's got what you are looking for?

Weisass

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2021, 08:17:45 PM »
Bummer about ending work from home. It sounds like you have some solid options. There are so many ebikes at this point that it is hard to compare experiences. I will just say that I bought an ebike about a month ago, and it has been nothing but awesome. My commute is 10 miles each way, and I donít have a shower where I work, but I am able to get there without needing a shower, so itís a win. Wont claim it doesnít affect my desire to work out, but Iím hoping that in a month or so, I will have acclimated.

AccidentialMustache

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2021, 09:56:58 PM »
The first question to ask yourself is, "can you still look yourself in the mirror and respect yourself if you have to say you use the babymaker between your legs to get to work." If no, or if accidentally saying that at work will land you in deep shit, then that may not be the bike for you. My college days are long behind me and to be honest I didn't have much use for frat boy humor back then, much less now.

I'm a commuter-biker (or I was before I got a full time remote gig) and dislike road bikes so take me with a grain of salt if you like. Being more upright is generally nicer for commuting, IMO. You don't have to be beach-cruiser upright (although with an ebike you can, because you can just make it do the work). You get better vision (often over car/suvs), more wind (helps keep you cool), etc.

If you haven't gone to a friendly local bike shop to test an e-bike, you might want to do that before picking between random bikes on the internet. E-bikes ride different and you may find your bike preferences shift.

gooki

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2021, 10:23:35 PM »
Of those options I'd go for the Luna Fixed Stealth and add some bar ends in you like a more aerodynamic position.

Also see if the speed limit for assist can be increased.

Weisass

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2021, 05:39:43 AM »
The first question to ask yourself is, "can you still look yourself in the mirror and respect yourself if you have to say you use the babymaker between your legs to get to work." If no, or if accidentally saying that at work will land you in deep shit, then that may not be the bike for you. My college days are long behind me and to be honest I didn't have much use for frat boy humor back then, much less now.

I'm a commuter-biker (or I was before I got a full time remote gig) and dislike road bikes so take me with a grain of salt if you like. Being more upright is generally nicer for commuting, IMO. You don't have to be beach-cruiser upright (although with an ebike you can, because you can just make it do the work). You get better vision (often over car/suvs), more wind (helps keep you cool), etc.

If you haven't gone to a friendly local bike shop to test an e-bike, you might want to do that before picking between random bikes on the internet. E-bikes ride different and you may find your bike preferences shift.

I agree! I ride a tern, and the upright style is very comfortable.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2021, 07:45:55 PM by Weisass »

BikeFanatic

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2021, 10:06:24 AM »
I also feel the drop road bike handlebars are not very comfortable way to Ebike. I also say test one out at a bike store and get one that is available now. You do not need skinny road tires with an ebike either. The efficiency is less of a worry with Ebikes. I  also like the higher voltage battery like 48 volts vs 36 volts as I feel they run faster and may overheat less due to less current. My experience is I get about 25 watts per mile going avg 20-24MPH  no pedaling. so you should be able to go 20 miles on a 480 watt hour battery ( that would be a 48 volt 10 Amp hour battery ) I would not settle for a battery smaller than that. good luck

AlanStache

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 06:50:42 PM »
Thanks all.  Going and riding one irl is a good idea.  The nearest bike shop that has an ebike selection is a bit over an hour away so will have to be next weekend.  I am very comfortable in a lower road bike position but will see how it feels.


mschaus

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Re: End of WFH, looking for a new ebike for commute
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2021, 01:13:17 AM »
I'd also say that for anyone shopping for a bike these days -- the bike you want is the one that is in stock. We don't have the luxury of being as choosy as usual, so make the best of it: fine one at the shop you like, and call it done.

For example, 2 of the 3 links in the original post were not actually available for purchase. Incredible that Rad Power has stuff in stock. REI does too pretty often.