Author Topic: Is an E-Bike worth it?  (Read 24771 times)

FIreDrill

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Is an E-Bike worth it?
« on: May 23, 2016, 11:28:54 AM »
Alright MMM community, I need some advice!

This weekend I tested out several electric fat bikes and was extremely impressed.  However, I am having a hard time justifying dropping 2k for an electric bike.  I would most likely get something like the RadRover which has low end bike components with decent electric components.

I have a 28 mile round trip commute for work that I try to bike as often as possible during the summer which turns into 2-3 times per week.  I have never biked it in the winter and would prefer a fat bike for going through the snow.  Right now I have a cyclocross bike so winter riding is not an option at the time.  Below are some of the main goals I would like to accomplish with an E-Bike.

Ride more in the summer. (Go from 2-3 days a week to 4-5 days)

Ride more in the winter.   (Go from no riding to 2-3 days a week bike commuting)

Gain another winter activity to stay active during the dark cold months.

Reduce the amount of car use.



Financially we are doing good.  No debt and a solid NW for our age so money isn't a huge factor in this decision, other than trying to get a good deal and reduce car use.

So what do you guys think?  Would an E-bike realistically help me achieve my commuting goals?  Any E-bikers out there that could give me some real world advice and share your experiences?





k-vette

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2016, 12:06:14 PM »
Ebikes are awesome!  $2k is a bit much though.  Have you checked out the Sondors?  Another viable option thats inexpensive,  works well, and has lots of upgrade parts available.


Tyson

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 12:16:29 PM »
Ebikes are awesome!  $2k is a bit much though.  Have you checked out the Sondors?  Another viable option thats inexpensive,  works well, and has lots of upgrade parts available.

Holy crap, that is AWESOME!  And for $499?  I can't believe they are that light and that inexpensive now.  Makes me want to sell my big converted beach cruiser and get one of those....
« Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 02:33:42 PM by tyort1 »

singh02

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2016, 12:40:21 PM »
I kinda wanted one too and the cost was prohibitive ( I wanted to spend less than 1000 and I didnt really need the bike still....  After toiling around the electric bike review forums, the people kept mentioning crazy lenny e bike shop in madison, wisconsin (google for website...his crrrazy deal page and demo sale pages are the highlights for deals).  I ended up emailing him and waiting for a good demo used bike.  I bought a used (2 year old) haibike xduro for 900 ( which included the $200 shipping cost to CA).  I couldn't be more happy.  His prices are often a $1000 less than other shops when he has an oversupply for a particular model and is well respected on that forum so I was comfortable ordering the bike online.

The bike is awesome and comes with a highly recommended bosch motor.  I can't wait to start bike commuting with it!

*Im just a happy customer..no financial ties

Jeremy E.

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 12:43:46 PM »
Here are some bikes that I would recommend,
I've only ridden 2, but they all get good reviews. Most of them are more expensive than the ones you're looking at.

http://www.ebikesofne.com/Haibike-Xduro-Trekking-RX-p/xdurotrekkingrx.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/Haibike-XDURO-Trekking-RX-p/18-15-6241.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/Haibike-Sduro-Cross-SM-EBIKE-p/18-16-8172.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/Izip-Currie-Tech-E3-Dash-Electric-Bike-p/iz-dash-l-gy16.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/iZIP-E3-Protour-Electric-Bike-p/iz-etour.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/iZIP-E3-Protour-Ebike-p/16-16-6021.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/Raleigh-Misceo-iE-Sport-Electric-Bike-Motostrano-p/misceoiesport.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/Raleigh-Misceo-iE-Electric-Bike-p/misceo2.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/Yuba-elMundo-BionX-Electric-Cargo-Bike-p/elmundobx.htm
http://www.motostrano.com/Felt-SPORT-e-Electric-Bike-p/sport-e.htm

With the Haibike Trekking RX's and the Izip E3 Protours, I'm not sure which model is better so I listed both of each. If you decide to go for one, do some research. I believe the 2nd Raleigh Misceo iE in the list is an automatic Ebike, which seems pretty sweet. Personally I have a Haibike Xduro RX 29 and love it, it's basically a mountain bike version of the Haibike Xduro Trekking RX(I take my bike on trails/downhills).

jda1984

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 02:28:31 PM »
I'll comment on the winter riding.  I don't have any e-bike experience.

If you're riding paved or gravel surfaces which are relatively clear, I would opt for studded skinny tires.  The fat bikes are cool and have their place (powdery snow, mud, sand) but are overkill for general winter commuting.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2016, 02:56:39 PM »
I'll comment on the winter riding.  I don't have any e-bike experience.

If you're riding paved or gravel surfaces which are relatively clear, I would opt for studded skinny tires.  The fat bikes are cool and have their place (powdery snow, mud, sand) but are overkill for general winter commuting.

A good amount of the winter riding will be through snow on a bike trail system.  That is if we have "normal" snow accumulation in the coming years.

I believe we actually have one of the largest fat bike communities up here (Anchorage AK) and there is a reason for it.  Tons of fresh powder through the winter.  I believe some of the first fat bike companies came out of Alaska, like FatBack and 9:ZERO:7.

From what I have read snow is really where these bikes will shine, because of this I'm pretty set on a fat bike.  But my mind could still be changed :P

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2016, 03:00:34 PM »
Ebikes are awesome!  $2k is a bit much though.  Have you checked out the Sondors?  Another viable option thats inexpensive,  works well, and has lots of upgrade parts available.

I've looked at the Sondors but I really don't like the idea of having a single speed.  I really want this to act like a bike that I can use some extra juice occasionally with the pedal assist or throttle.  I'd also like a bike with a fairly large battery and range, mostly because cold winter weather can really degrade range and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

hankscorpio84

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 05:05:15 PM »
I'm in Alaska too, just started biking flat but often windy 25 mile round trip commute.  I added a mid drive kit to my 29er for the same reasons you are thinking about.  It definitely makes the ride faster and less tiring.  Way less sweaty arriving at work too.  The kit is a 750w basang with a 52V 13.5 ah battery purchased at lunacycle.com for just over 1k shipped.  I plan to post a full review when I get time, but if you need nudged into biking more I would recommend getting any kind of ebike. 

Jeremy E.

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 05:46:40 PM »
I'm in Alaska too, just started biking flat but often windy 25 mile round trip commute.  I added a mid drive kit to my 29er for the same reasons you are thinking about.  It definitely makes the ride faster and less tiring.  Way less sweaty arriving at work too.  The kit is a 750w basang with a 52V 13.5 ah battery purchased at lunacycle.com for just over 1k shipped.  I plan to post a full review when I get time, but if you need nudged into biking more I would recommend getting any kind of ebike.
I think 500 watts is plenty, and the e-Rad kit is an upgraded version of the BBS02 you're speaking of. If you have a bike to upgrade, a 500 watt e-Rad kit would work great. If you want to spend less, a 500 watt BBS02 would work. EM3EV has a good deal on the BBS02s and is who I would go through if I were getting one. If you decide to go for it, talk to Paul over there and he can probably help you choose a good size battery for your needs.

k-vette

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2016, 07:27:05 PM »
Ebikes are awesome!  $2k is a bit much though.  Have you checked out the Sondors?  Another viable option thats inexpensive,  works well, and has lots of upgrade parts available.

I've looked at the Sondors but I really don't like the idea of having a single speed.  I really want this to act like a bike that I can use some extra juice occasionally with the pedal assist or throttle.  I'd also like a bike with a fairly large battery and range, mostly because cold winter weather can really degrade range and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Obviously it adds cost, but I'm running a 48v / 20ah battery in my Sondors.  Good for about 60 miles.  You can add a rear deraileur and 3 speeds for $45. For a bit more add a front deraileur too.  There are always options.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2016, 08:27:01 PM »
Ebikes are awesome!  $2k is a bit much though.  Have you checked out the Sondors?  Another viable option thats inexpensive,  works well, and has lots of upgrade parts available.

I've looked at the Sondors but I really don't like the idea of having a single speed.  I really want this to act like a bike that I can use some extra juice occasionally with the pedal assist or throttle.  I'd also like a bike with a fairly large battery and range, mostly because cold winter weather can really degrade range and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Obviously it adds cost, but I'm running a 48v / 20ah battery in my Sondors.  Good for about 60 miles.  You can add a rear deraileur and 3 speeds for $45. For a bit more add a front deraileur too.  There are always options.
I wouldn't recommend adding a rear derailleur to a rear wheel motor ebike, some higher end rear wheel motors are able to work with rear derailleurs, but if it doesn't come standard or as an option, I'd think you probably shouldn't change it.

k-vette

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2016, 08:35:03 PM »
Plenty of people doing it on this bike without issues.  There's no reason not to.  It didn't come with one to save on cost.  The motor is perfectly fine and often setup for it.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2016, 09:07:00 PM »
Ebikes are awesome!  $2k is a bit much though.  Have you checked out the Sondors?  Another viable option thats inexpensive,  works well, and has lots of upgrade parts available.

I've looked at the Sondors but I really don't like the idea of having a single speed.  I really want this to act like a bike that I can use some extra juice occasionally with the pedal assist or throttle.  I'd also like a bike with a fairly large battery and range, mostly because cold winter weather can really degrade range and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Obviously it adds cost, but I'm running a 48v / 20ah battery in my Sondors.  Good for about 60 miles.  You can add a rear deraileur and 3 speeds for $45. For a bit more add a front deraileur too.  There are always options.

Thanks for the info.  Found a couple websites and its good to see all the upgrades you can do to this and other e-bikes.

I'm still leaning towards the RadRover but the low price of Sondors is tempting.  I feel like if I got the Sondors I'd end up dropping at least several hundred in upgrades and tweaking.  Something I'll have to think about.

Time to start selling crap around the house to see if I can fund an E-bike purchase.  Should be good motivation to clear out some junk.


hankscorpio84

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2016, 12:03:06 AM »
I'm in Alaska too, just started biking flat but often windy 25 mile round trip commute.  I added a mid drive kit to my 29er for the same reasons you are thinking about.  It definitely makes the ride faster and less tiring.  Way less sweaty arriving at work too.  The kit is a 750w basang with a 52V 13.5 ah battery purchased at lunacycle.com for just over 1k shipped.  I plan to post a full review when I get time, but if you need nudged into biking more I would recommend getting any kind of ebike.
I think 500 watts is plenty, and the e-Rad kit is an upgraded version of the BBS02 you're speaking of. If you have a bike to upgrade, a 500 watt e-Rad kit would work great. If you want to spend less, a 500 watt BBS02 would work. EM3EV has a good deal on the BBS02s and is who I would go through if I were getting one. If you decide to go for it, talk to Paul over there and he can probably help you choose a good size battery for your needs.

I have to agree Jeremy E., I have found that for my relatively flat, easy commute I never use more than pedal assist mode 2, because doing so would run the battery down too fast.  For a long, steady commute I probably could have made a better choice in motors.  The 750W motor gives a big burst if needed, it would shine on a commute with short, punchy hills.  For reference I have this kit set up on a hard tail 29er with pretty fat tires - definitely not a model of efficiency, and I weigh around 185 without gear.  For commuting, the kit would do better on a lighter bike with thinner tires, but I like having the ability/confidence to bust in and out of ditches and through bumpy gravel with confidence. 

aperture

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2016, 04:30:24 AM »
Ebikes are awesome!  $2k is a bit much though.  Have you checked out the Sondors?  Another viable option thats inexpensive,  works well, and has lots of upgrade parts available.

I've looked at the Sondors but I really don't like the idea of having a single speed.  I really want this to act like a bike that I can use some extra juice occasionally with the pedal assist or throttle.  I'd also like a bike with a fairly large battery and range, mostly because cold winter weather can really degrade range and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Obviously it adds cost, but I'm running a 48v / 20ah battery in my Sondors.  Good for about 60 miles.  You can add a rear deraileur and 3 speeds for $45. For a bit more add a front deraileur too.  There are always options.

Thanks for the info.  Found a couple websites and its good to see all the upgrades you can do to this and other e-bikes.

I'm still leaning towards the RadRover but the low price of Sondors is tempting.  I feel like if I got the Sondors I'd end up dropping at least several hundred in upgrades and tweaking.  Something I'll have to think about.

Time to start selling crap around the house to see if I can fund an E-bike purchase.  Should be good motivation to clear out some junk.

I am fat and 50+ years and I made the plunge for an bike 2 weeks ago.  The first thing I have to say is - I am riding everyday I can to work, to the library to the grocery store.  I never rode to work before (bad mustache shame).  My commute has a mile+ long hill that daunted my best intentions with an un-motored bicycle.  The e-bike has given me 20 year old legs again.
I chose the RadWagon after reading review by Syonyk https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html and looking about on EBR.  I have added Big Dummy Bags to the rear and now feel confident I can carry most usual loads on the back (though I have not yet tried).  I ride in power level 2 most of the time and seldom use the throttle. I like the 750 watt motor, but as mentioned it is overkill for flat terrain. I do use ~400 watts going up my mile+ long hill at power level 2 and pedaling to assist, so I am pretty sure I would burn up a 350 watt motor pretty quick with my commute.
Best wishes, Ap.

aperture

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2016, 04:44:18 AM »
One additional thought - if you go with the RadRover, you can send me a message and I will respond with my name for the referral program.  You will get $50 off (and I will get $50 for the referral).  I put in Syonyk's name, but because he is not a Rad Bike owner, it did not net me any $s.
http://www.radpowerbikes.com/pages/referral-program

Best - Ap.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2016, 10:28:25 AM »
One additional thought - if you go with the RadRover, you can send me a message and I will respond with my name for the referral program.  You will get $50 off (and I will get $50 for the referral).  I put in Syonyk's name, but because he is not a Rad Bike owner, it did not net me any $s.
http://www.radpowerbikes.com/pages/referral-program

Best - Ap.

Awesome, I'll shoot you a message!

Tyson

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2016, 11:47:56 AM »

I am fat and 50+ years and I made the plunge for an bike 2 weeks ago.  The first thing I have to say is - I am riding everyday I can to work, to the library to the grocery store.  I never rode to work before (bad mustache shame).  My commute has a mile+ long hill that daunted my best intentions with an un-motored bicycle.  The e-bike has given me 20 year old legs again.
I chose the RadWagon after reading review by Syonyk https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html and looking about on EBR.  I have added Big Dummy Bags to the rear and now feel confident I can carry most usual loads on the back (though I have not yet tried).  I ride in power level 2 most of the time and seldom use the throttle. I like the 750 watt motor, but as mentioned it is overkill for flat terrain. I do use ~400 watts going up my mile+ long hill at power level 2 and pedaling to assist, so I am pretty sure I would burn up a 350 watt motor pretty quick with my commute.
Best wishes, Ap.

This was exactly my situation - 44 years old and out of shape, and big hills where I needed to bike.  Plus I occasionally needed to be able to show up at my destination in a non-sweaty manner.  eBike solved all of that.  Yes, it's true that I'm not pedaling myself 100% of the time.  But I am pedaling myself 80% of the time.  And 80% is way, way, way better than what I was doing before, which was 0%.

aperture

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2016, 07:07:07 AM »

I am fat and 50+ years and I made the plunge for an bike 2 weeks ago.  The first thing I have to say is - I am riding everyday I can to work, to the library to the grocery store.  I never rode to work before (bad mustache shame).  My commute has a mile+ long hill that daunted my best intentions with an un-motored bicycle.  The e-bike has given me 20 year old legs again.
I chose the RadWagon after reading review by Syonyk https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html and looking about on EBR.  I have added Big Dummy Bags to the rear and now feel confident I can carry most usual loads on the back (though I have not yet tried).  I ride in power level 2 most of the time and seldom use the throttle. I like the 750 watt motor, but as mentioned it is overkill for flat terrain. I do use ~400 watts going up my mile+ long hill at power level 2 and pedaling to assist, so I am pretty sure I would burn up a 350 watt motor pretty quick with my commute.
Best wishes, Ap.

This was exactly my situation - 44 years old and out of shape, and big hills where I needed to bike.  Plus I occasionally needed to be able to show up at my destination in a non-sweaty manner.  eBike solved all of that.  Yes, it's true that I'm not pedaling myself 100% of the time.  But I am pedaling myself 80% of the time.  And 80% is way, way, way better than what I was doing before, which was 0%.
Exactly tyort1, the ebike has been a great experience.  I am really happy with my purchase.  It has made biking fun again, and like you I am pedaling most of the time - using real effort and with sore spaghetti legs when I get to my destination.  I hate gyms, and have not found routine exercise that I enjoy other then walking and hiking.  With the ebike, I find myself exploring the bike paths and neighborhoods that are within 5 or so miles of my home which gives me ~75 square miles of territory (pi r^2 right?) to explore before tossing the bike on the rack of a motor vehicle and taking it somewhere new.
Thinks I like about the RadWagon:
  • It is solidly built and I am not worried about problems arising because of my weight or the weight of a load that I carry.
  • It is powered adequately for uphill travel with pedal assist to keep from maxing out the motor contribution (and thus risking burning up the motor over time
  • I like the cargo area in the back, and the opportunity to carry stuff or a person distances - this is what makes this a reasonable car replacement for trips to the grocery store or the library. Obviously, many people use a trailer in the same way, but I like not having to hitch/unhitch anything to have this ready for whatever I throw at it.
Things I would change/upgrade on the RadWagon
  • Orange color is a bit bright
  • I do not like the gearing - spend almost all my time in the largest front cog going up and down on the back.  I would prefer to eliminate the smallest front cog and add one larger diameter to the front
  • I would prefer both lights were wired and just came on when the bike is turned on.
  • I plan to add a mirror - either to the front handle bar or to my helmet.
  • When I am going 20 mph and the motor cuts out, I really do not like that the controller has a limit. On the other hand, when I have arrived safely at my destination and can think rationally, I know that this limit  prevents me from getting to problematic speeds that would definately put me at greater risk for collision/injury/death, so on the whole I guess I will not be looking up how to hack this aspect.
  • It cannot be locked with the rear wheel through the frame with a u-bolt while the plastic wheel cover is in place.  I am considering removing this.

I will continue to ride and enjoy the bike and put it through some paces.  Planning a trip to the grocery store this weekend. Best wishes, Ap.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2016, 09:56:36 PM »
Picked up this older hybrid for 225 and just ordered a bafang BBS02 mid drive kit from luna cycle.   I paid a little extra for some higher end electric components and a 52v 13.5ah battery.

Total for this build will be about 1500.   Going to keep my eye open for a good fatbike to convert for the winter as well.  If I do it,  that build should be cheaper because I'll already have the battery and components.  Just need to get a bike and a 100mm bbshd motor.

Parts are on order now so I'll post an update when it's complete.  I'm hoping to get 3 or 4 months of commuting out of the bike this year and I should be able to use it for about 6 months out of the year.   The other 6 months will most likely be on a fatbike that can handle the snow.

Excited to start building!

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Dicey

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2016, 07:37:57 AM »
A friend mentioned yesterday that he he'd just bought two ebikes at Costco for $1299 ea. Said it was a roadshow, so you should be able to check their website.  No other details except that he's in the Sacramento Area.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 09:41:18 AM by Diane C »

Tyson

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2016, 10:37:59 AM »
eBikes seem like a lot, but they are a good investment I think.  If you are like me, I used to make excuses to not get on my bike - it's too hot, it's too cold, the hills are hard, I don't want to be sweaty when I get there, its too far....etc.   With an eBike all of those excuses are completely invalidated.  Nowadays I have ZERO excuse to get on my bike.  Even the excuse of "I'm feeling lazy" is invalid because I can just push the button to engage the motor the entire trip if I want and expend very little energy.  Of course I find that once I actually get on my bike, the laziness always disappears and I pedal like I normally do.  But just "knowing" that I could just push the button and take it easy at literally any moment is enough to keep me pedaling on my own.  I know, weird, right?

Uturn

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2016, 01:07:38 PM »
I bought my ebike around last September.  I got it mostly to offset the summer heat and winter winds.  I loved it, but around November, it just sat because I really prefer my Trek hybrid.  I was even thinking of selling it due to lack of use.  Then the temps got back to the mid 90's.  I love this thing.  I can still run my errands and not be all drippy when I get there.  Just today I made a library trip and swung by the grocery store on the way home for some lunch.

If you are looking for just a bike, they are not worth the money.  If you are looking for an alternative form of transportation but don't want to deal with too much heat/hills/wind, they are great.  If you just like being the cool kid on the block with the newest and neatest toys, they fit that too but you might be on the wrong forum. 

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2016, 01:25:58 PM »
Had my first ride to work this morning and holy shit.... This bike is so much fun!  My usual time to commute to work is about 58 minutes and today it took me 39.5.

I had some issues finding a dealer that could ship batteries to Alaska but I am very happy I ended up going through EM3EV.  Their customer service was awesome.

I ended up buying a bigger battery than originally planned (50.4v 23.6ah) so that brought the cost up a bit.  The bike still came in at under 2,000 total which I feel is pretty good for the set up I have.

I decided to go with the larger battery in order to account for degradation for the winter months and normal capacity loss.  My goal is for this battery to last me 4+years.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and I'll try to post some pictures later :)



FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2016, 10:47:12 PM »
It's been less than a week and I have over 100 commute miles on this beast.

Planning on doing some tuning on it this weekend and getting the motor secured a little better.

So far it's been a great experience.  It makes my 29 mile round trip commute much more enjoyable :)

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« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 11:15:25 AM by StudentStacher »

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2016, 03:58:08 AM »
I live in texas a and have a 22mile 1 way trip, about 30-60mins depending on traffic.
Normal bike takes about 90 mins.
Heat is my reason for not biking to work....

I been debating on getting an ebike for a week myself.
All the ones i seem to like seem like the iphone type ones. I just want a basic cheap ebike that works... the sonders seems like the best, but 1 gear is meh. I know you can add more but i am not a DIY person when it comes to wrenches and i want something that actually works.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2016, 08:43:00 AM »
Damn guys, what have you done?

I'm down the rabbit hole reading reviews.

As it stands right now, is it really worth it for a DIY conversion instead of buying something premade like a Radrover?

I would like to use this bike for commuting, riding trails, beach cruising, and riding in the snow.

Uturn

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2016, 09:25:19 AM »
As it stands right now, is it really worth it for a DIY conversion instead of buying something premade like a Radrover?

I build my own furniture.  Is it worth it to insulate my garage, run HVAC out there, buy $1000's worth of tools just to make furniture for "free"?  Yes, yes it is.

That being said, I bought a manufactured e-bike.  Do you want to go through the learning curve, or pay someone who already did?  My e-bike was about $200 more than DIY.  For $200, I'll spend it and go back to my woodworking because fiddling with electronics is not where my interest is. 

Tyson

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2016, 10:32:36 AM »
eBikes are only complicated if you do one with a rear wheel drive/motor.  I like Clean Republic because it's as simple as replacing your front wheel with a new wheel that has the motor integrated into the hub.  Took me about 20 minutes total. 

I also like the motor in the front because it distributes the weight on my bike more evenly - a motor on the rear is adding weight to the place where I normally have a lot of weight already, the back.  Plus I like the simplicity of just pressing a single button when I want the front tire motor to engage, and just using the pedals like a normal bike the rest of the time. 


FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2016, 11:13:05 AM »
So this build cost me the same as getting a RadRover shipped up to AK, but the electric specs are significantly better on my build.

The mid drive motor provides ton of torque for hill climbing.  Since the motor drives the chain you can ride in a lower gear going up hills at 20 mph easy without stressing the motor.

Also,  I got a very nice and expensive battery that has 2 times the capacity as the RadRover.  I carry the battery in a backpack because I prefer it that way.  It's nice being able to bring the battery into work and keep it out of the heat or cold.  Since the battery is half the cost of my build, I feel a lot better having it in a secure location at my desk. Since I can bring it in that means I can also charge it.

I recently ran the battery from 90% to 20% and got over 50 miles of range.  For my long commute, a DIY bike was going to get me much more for my money than a manufactured one.

Another nice thing about my current battery set up is that I can use it on multiple builds.  I may convert a fat-bike for winter commuting and the batter will easily be swapped between the two bikes.

Syonyk

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2016, 08:37:16 PM »
Awesome!

Yeah.  Sorry about the referral thing for my blog.  I really should buy one so people can get the referral bonus.  I think I'd have a free bike by now.

cacaoheart

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2016, 08:45:38 PM »
I'm happy seeing new options popping up. I've been considering the clean republic hilltopper for $500-$800 for a while since I mostly need something that will let me make my 3.5 mile commute that is all hills without being sweaty.

As I see what else is available, I wonder if it'd be worthwhile to get a completely new bike rather than putting more money into a 14 year old Trek hybrid.

tallen

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2016, 01:13:00 PM »
I finally decided to get an ebike! I don't think my 20 year old beat up Trek is up to the task and I want a bike with really good brakes to put a motor on so I ordered a new bike from bikesdirect- http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/650b-27.5-bikes-g275-g2.htm and a Bafang BBS02 with a 52v 11.5ah shark pack from Lunacycle. I sprung for a couple upgrades so the total cost for the bike, motor and battery was about $1675. I plan on using this as a daily commuter (but still want to be able to off road it) so I also found some cheap fenders/mud flaps on ebay ($10) for those wet days,  a rechargeable light set ($25) for night riding since it's dark when I get off work, and a good quality helmet ($70) that doesn't make me look like dark helmet from the spaceballs movie (which the cheaper ones did) or like I should be in full lycra. oh, and I got a "bike tool set" that cost $40 to be able to install it and have everything I need to make any repairs, so I'm all in at just over $1800. I still want to get a rear rack but for now I'll just use a backpack.

I got the bike Thursday and put it together, got the motor Friday and put it on yesterday and am very impatiently waiting for the battery to get here on Monday. (Already received all the accessories except for the fenders). I'm hoping it comes early enough so that I might be able to ride it to work (I work 2nd shift) after I test it out on my street to make sure everything is working the way it's suppose to.

Anyway I just wanted to come here and share since this is the thread that sent me down the research rabbit hole last weekend. It was really hard for me to spend that kind of money on it but I think it will pay for itself in the long run, along with helping me get more exercise by biking every day as long as I don't get to lazy and just lay on the throttle the whole way ;)


FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2016, 03:47:39 PM »
Nice build tallen! I think you made a great decision on the bike from bikes direct.  The donor bike I used does great until I run into bumpy terrain.  I'm betting a 27.5 with front suspension will work nice for this set up.

I now have most of the kinks worked out with my bike.   I would highly recommend the BBS02 installation tool from Luna cycle if you didn't already get it.   I initially had issues with my motor shifting around and tearing  up the bottom bracket because the lock nut wasn't tight enough.   I bought the installation tool, ground the bottom bracket flat again,  and used thread locker on the reinstall.  It hasn't budged since. 

So far I have about 200 miles on the build.  Working on getting fenders and some additional cycling clothing that should help out in the rain and snow.

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k-vette

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2016, 05:26:36 PM »
My latest builds. :)  Ebikes really are taking off.  I have more people requesting bikes and I can't build them fast enough!  Good problem to have though.  I'm finding a lot of people buying them for fun, then they start riding them to the store, work, everywhere.  It's just a natural transition.

GreenEggs

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2016, 09:01:01 PM »
Why are the tires so big?  Seems like a smoother ride, but would consume a lot more energy.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #37 on: August 01, 2016, 08:54:27 AM »
Why are the tires so big?  Seems like a smoother ride, but would consume a lot more energy.

Well the practical reasons for the fat tires are a much improved ride through sand and snow.  Some places they are popular for the "cool" factor though... Which is silly IMO.

I may be building an electric fatbike for my winter commuter due to the amount of snow we get.

k-vette

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #38 on: August 01, 2016, 09:59:48 AM »
Why are the tires so big?  Seems like a smoother ride, but would consume a lot more energy.

They go anywhere, sand, snow, etc.  Also a cushy ride thanks to low psi and high volume.  Hard to go back after riding a fat bike.  But yes, some people just think they look cool.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #39 on: August 01, 2016, 10:25:39 AM »
Why are the tires so big?  Seems like a smoother ride, but would consume a lot more energy.

They go anywhere, sand, snow, etc.  Also a cushy ride thanks to low psi and high volume.  Hard to go back after riding a fat bike.  But yes, some people just think they look cool.

Curious, how much does one of your builds cost?

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #40 on: August 01, 2016, 10:41:53 AM »
Why are the tires so big?  Seems like a smoother ride, but would consume a lot more energy.

They go anywhere, sand, snow, etc.  Also a cushy ride thanks to low psi and high volume.  Hard to go back after riding a fat bike.  But yes, some people just think they look cool.

Curious, how much does one of your builds cost?

Curious as well!

k-vette

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #41 on: August 01, 2016, 12:55:07 PM »
Why are the tires so big?  Seems like a smoother ride, but would consume a lot more energy.

They go anywhere, sand, snow, etc.  Also a cushy ride thanks to low psi and high volume.  Hard to go back after riding a fat bike.  But yes, some people just think they look cool.

Curious, how much does one of your builds cost?

This is a rental fleet, so they got a volume deal.  All said and done with their logos, extra parts, etc they're at about $1,200.  Normally I'd be at a base price of $1,200 - $1,500 retail for each bike.  Competitive with Sondors or Radrover based on specs.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #42 on: August 01, 2016, 01:43:06 PM »
Why are the tires so big?  Seems like a smoother ride, but would consume a lot more energy.

They go anywhere, sand, snow, etc.  Also a cushy ride thanks to low psi and high volume.  Hard to go back after riding a fat bike.  But yes, some people just think they look cool.

Curious, how much does one of your builds cost?

This is a rental fleet, so they got a volume deal.  All said and done with their logos, extra parts, etc they're at about $1,200.  Normally I'd be at a base price of $1,200 - $1,500 retail for each bike.  Competitive with Sondors or Radrover based on specs.

Wow, very competitive.  I may shoot you a PM when I am in the market for one.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2016, 11:33:45 PM »
Just wanted to post an update for anyone interested.

It's been about 6 weeks since the build and I now have crossed the 500 mile mark.  The bike is still going strong and I've had no issues so far with the motor or battery.

I've put fenders on it which have been great.  I also got a set of studded tires to hopefully extend my riding season into the begging of winter.

I should probably clean it up this weekend and lube the chain.  Overall this has been a great purchase and a ton of fun.   

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usoverseas

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2016, 11:39:19 PM »
I wasn't sure where else to post this, but thought you guys would appreciate it...if you're looking for a really sweet custom build, haha.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2145021/fat-woody-e-bike

Suspect it wouldn't pass the test to ride on bike trails though!

GreenEggs

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2017, 07:48:21 AM »
I wasn't sure where else to post this, but thought you guys would appreciate it...if you're looking for a really sweet custom build, haha.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2145021/fat-woody-e-bike

Suspect it wouldn't pass the test to ride on bike trails though!

$15,000 ??  That seems like a lot for a goofy/cool lucky e-bike.  Sort'a has a Chinese retro look, like something for $199 on ebay.

Syonyk

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2017, 08:26:01 AM »
$15k is obscene for an ebike.

usoverseas

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2017, 01:27:16 AM »
Yes, completely obscene. Wonder how many they will sell!

Syonyk

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2017, 08:12:40 AM »
Probably zero.

I really don't get the obscenely expensive ebike thing.  You can literally buy a brand new car for $15k (or, at least, could a few years ago).

I'm radically more interested in the sub-$2k ebike range, and preferably sub-$1k, as battery prices keep coming down.  They're a legitimate car replacement for a lot of people, for a lot of trips, and getting them into impulse buy territory is huge.  The Sonders bikes were, by ebike standards, pretty crappy bikes, but they're well liked by owners, and got into the hands of tons of people who had never considered an ebike before.  By pedal bike standards, even the Sondors ones are magical.

FIreDrill

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Re: Is an E-Bike worth it?
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2017, 03:36:00 PM »
15k for an e-bike?  Yeah that's more than what both my cars cost combined.... Lol

I am looking at possibly getting the following bike for winter riding.  There is just too much snow for my pathetic skinny tire commuter right now.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fat-bikes/fat-bikes-fant29-ss-fatbikes.htm

The big bonus on this bike is the bottom bracket is 68mm so my current Bafang BBS02 would fit.  Having an electric single speed would be interesting though..