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Old 05-15-08, 09:47 PM   #1
gmac
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Unhappy ask a question, get no answers???

I ask a question about commuter electric bikes and got one answer in 2 days! not a very friendly like forum here.

looking for a commuter ebike with a throttle. don't want to use a kit. want the whole package and want something reliable, fast and light.

isn't there anyone out there who is willing to give me some direction???
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Old 05-15-08, 10:26 PM   #2
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I ask a question about commuter electric bikes and got one answer in 2 days! not a very friendly like forum here.

looking for a commuter ebike with a throttle. don't want to use a kit. want the whole package and want something reliable, fast and light.

isn't there anyone out there who is willing to give me some direction???
Cleveland, Ohio.

You must use kit. You wants the reliability and, the fast, and the light. Optimal is go for Trek bike - you has this. Then for Crystalyte kit (500W, 5300 series, 400W, 400 series). Bike shop installs the wheel(1) for front or back, you choices.

Then you ask for rack install (includes in kit). Then attaches battery (easy!)
Reliability. Fast.

Lightness by the battery chemistry for your choices. SLA is much heavy. Choices for NIMH is best.
More moneys. If you choices for fast, for light, is go for 48V. 48V bring fastness for bike.

Throttle choice: thumb switch(1),
half-twist(2),
or full twist(3).
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Old 05-15-08, 10:38 PM   #3
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I ask a question about commuter electric bikes and got one answer in 2 days! not a very friendly like forum here.

looking for a commuter ebike with a throttle. don't want to use a kit. want the whole package and want something reliable, fast and light.

isn't there anyone out there who is willing to give me some direction???
Well, the point is, you did get a perfectly workable answer, and it has only been 1 day and 5 hours between your posts.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:45 PM   #4
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You mentioned no mechanical ability, yet you want to get a kit, but want to buy a complete item and hand assemble it yourself. You really ought to just buy a Crystalyte kit from electricrider.com in Kansas, and put the thing together yourself. It is very reliable, and depending on your configuration, you can get it as fast as 50mph, unless that is too fast for you. The lightness will be determined by the type of batteries you choose to go for. NiMH is becoming a very good option for price and weight. Lithium is the lightest, but pricey.

Crystalyte has a throttle, and you can just let the motor and battery and controller do all the work if you want. That is fine. Keep in mind if you go this route, lightness will suffer, as you will need a bigger battery, to run the full length of your commute. Otherwise, pedal some way, take a break. Bike some more. The best value is to get a kit and install it on your already high quality bike. Otherwise you will be getting a cheap grade bike. You want reliable right?

Stick with a hub motor if you want stealthy.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:48 PM   #5
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Nuts! It's been 3 minutes, and the OP hasn't acknowledged my post! Nuts!
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Old 05-16-08, 01:44 AM   #6
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so are you saying that even though i am not mechanically inclined, I can get a kit and bring it to my local bike shop and someone there could install it for me?
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Old 05-16-08, 01:48 AM   #7
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which kit and is there someone else on this board who lives close to Cleveland, Ohio such that I could drive over and have that person install it for me?

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Old 05-16-08, 09:52 AM   #8
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That is right, your bike shop can install it for you. If you can type on a keyboard, or tie your shoes, you can do the rest.
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Old 05-16-08, 10:38 AM   #9
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well, I'm far from an expert... I'll just tell you what I bought because I had similar wishes for an e-bike. I got an eZee Sprint 2 months ago. I tested several eZee modes and Giant also, decided to go with the eZee. As "ready to ride" ebikes go, it's relatively light (around 60# with battery), and it will go up to 20 mph. I've ridden about 300 miles on it & love the bike... That said, I've had some complications with the battery and charger that aren't entirely resolved yet. (the shop is helping me get it figured out.) The eZee bikes are evidently used alot more widely in the UK than in the US, and many people seem to regard them highly. Once I get my battery/charger issue solved, I expect it's going to be a great setup. You might want to check them out... Two places in the US that carry them are Electric Bikes Northwest and NYCEWheels, both have websites...

Good luck!
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Old 05-16-08, 10:55 AM   #10
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Crystalyte has been around for a long time, its reliability proven.
It is also cheaper than eZee.

eZee as you have seen already has problems. The batteries already dysfunctioning. It is offered as an "affordable" lithium solution.

eZee since being new to market still hasn't had its reliability tested.

Be sure to check out www.electricrider.com, since they are fairly close to you state wise, and have a good reputation.
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Old 05-16-08, 12:04 PM   #11
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well, I'm far from an expert... I'll just tell you what I bought because I had similar wishes for an e-bike. I got an eZee Sprint 2 months ago. I tested several eZee modes and Giant also, decided to go with the eZee. As "ready to ride" ebikes go, it's relatively light (around 60# with battery), and it will go up to 20 mph. I've ridden about 300 miles on it & love the bike... That said, I've had some complications with the battery and charger that aren't entirely resolved yet. (the shop is helping me get it figured out.) The eZee bikes are evidently used alot more widely in the UK than in the US, and many people seem to regard them highly. Once I get my battery/charger issue solved, I expect it's going to be a great setup. You might want to check them out... Two places in the US that carry them are Electric Bikes Northwest and NYCEWheels, both have websites...

Good luck!
+1

Giant is also introducing a new model the Giant Twist Freedom DX which should be available by the end of the month.

Last edited by bedian; 05-16-08 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 05-16-08, 04:55 PM   #12
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There isn't a huge number of people who come to this forum who have ever owned a complete, not-from-a-kit, ebike. In other words, it's likely that nobody who knew of a good answer to your question ever saw it in the space of 2 days, and the rest of us held back from posting "i heard such and such" or "i never tried this bike but it looks good", partly because those kinds of posts sometimes draw criticism, like "don't post if you don't know what you're talking about."
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Old 05-16-08, 06:38 PM   #13
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I have'nt read your previous post but have to disagree w/some previous comments regarding reliability.

Ezee bikes are very reliable and especially the motor, but has experienced problems with lithium batteries in recent months. They have since changed suppliers (Sanyo I believe). If you choose eZee w/lithium, double-check the battery supplier. I have an eZee Quando w/NiMh battery which seems pretty solid. (As a side note, eZee also is marketing a DIY hub motor/controller which is pricey).

Some C'lyte kit motors have also experienced reliability problems but I believe they are model specific. Search endless-sphere.com for more info. Generally, C'lytes are priced higher than Wilderness Energy for example and have not been proven more reliable. I built a WE powered bike w/lead acid batteries and it is very reliable but quite heavy.

Also if you decide to use a kit, check w/your LBS for support. Some will and some won't.

As far as cost comparison; the last time I checked, C'lyte kits were $650 (+/-) w/o batteries. A long commute generally requires pricey battery chemistry so add another $600-$800 min (especially if you can't string Milwaukees together). Add the cost of your bike and you're in the neighborhood of a pre-built eZee or whatever you choose electric.
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Old 05-16-08, 06:53 PM   #14
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Just read your first post and see you want a commuter. BTW another +1 on the eZee Sprint that Rock recommended.
It will be helpful to specify how many miles (one way? round trip) and the terrain (mild or steep hills? flat? paved or dirt roads ?) and whether you can charge your batteries at work.

Other factors include where you keep your bike at work (home too if you have to lug it up 2 flights of stairs) and how much Dinaro you are willing to spend.

Last edited by jerryt; 05-16-08 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 05-16-08, 09:00 PM   #15
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I have decided that I am not going to go with a kit. But I can see what you mean Jerryt about most people who respond are those who did it the kit way and that that is the only way that they know. Unfortunately there is nothing in my area than will enable me to test ride something like an eezee or a montague bionx. I live only 3 miles from my office but I have a feeling that once I start liking it, I'll be riding more than just to work. I looked at the eezee quando but kind of wanted more than just one speed. I don't really need a folding bike as I can park the bike in a side room of my office but I would get it if it met my needs. I want something that has a throttle and also will do the assist if I choose to do it that way. I think the eezee models have both and so does the montegue conversion dx.

I am open to other person's experiences with their non-kit electric bikes. thank you so much for responding. not being able to test drive something, I am relying on your personal experiences. so thank you!
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Old 05-16-08, 09:08 PM   #16
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the terrain for riding is asphalt and paved sidewalk. I am willing to spend up to $2000 or more. I actually looked into the Optibike but didn't think a $5000 bike should be my first electric bike. I do also own 2 recumbent trikes: a greenspeed x5 and a scorpion. I love riding the trike: a very comfortable ride.

I will need a soft seat with support though as some other seats make parts of my body below my waist numb :-). so the seat will be important too.
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Old 05-16-08, 10:35 PM   #17
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I'm not recommending the Quando but thats what I have and is my only experience with a pre-built. Its probably a little slow (15 mph) for a younger rider. My other bike is a WE front hub and probably goes 20-22 mph and I'm a big guy.

Both bikes have throttles; Quando has a twist grip like a motorcycle and the WE has a thumb throttle; however a twist grip throttle could be purchased for the WE.

Your 3 mile commute should not be a problem for virtually any e-bike, even the cheapest model and I believe you correctly identified the optibike as overkill (unless you have deep pockets). I believe $2000 will get what you want.

Since you're dead set against a kit and don't want a Quando you may want to look at other eZee models. They may have some with rear shocks and/or seat-post shocks (even aftermarket products). Beyond that I can't personally recommend anything.

Also snoop around on end-less sphere.com for anyone in the Cleveland area.
edit: that group has several e-recumbents
Good Luck
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Old 05-16-08, 10:58 PM   #18
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GMAC,
Guess I had a brain fart because I totally forgot about DAY 6 bicycles.
Its a semi-recumbent, has a seat thats super comfy (according to reports) and within your price range.
The electric portion is a kit (Bionx) but the dealer would add the kit or call the factory and see if they will put it on for you.Theres a dealer in Bryan Ohio about 170 miles from Cleveland.

edit: The Dream E is available factory assembled (presumably).
edit 2: Called and told not available assembled except by dealer

Heres the website http://www.day6bicycles.com/

Last edited by jerryt; 05-17-08 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 05-18-08, 07:16 AM   #19
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jerryt: what is a "WE?"

Not really wanting a recumbent for the electric because it is just too big to fit into my office for storing when I get to work. Also, not as good keeping my balance on 2 wheeler recuments as I am on 2 wheeler uprights. Will just have to make sure I have a comfortable seat.

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Old 05-18-08, 07:34 AM   #20
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Rock: "I've had some complications with the battery and charger that aren't entirely resolved yet."

What kinds of complications? Why the sprint over the other ezee models? Would like to know your decision making process in terms of what you ruled out and why and what you ruled in and why?

Being that I won't have the opportunity to test ride any electric bikes, I am relying very heavily on people's "personal experiences" with their own choices and also what the decision making process was, as in what they didn't like about different models they tried and what they did like.

many thank for your input and any others who would like to add your valuable experiences.
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Old 05-18-08, 07:38 AM   #21
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Also, I have a feeling that after riding an electric bike to work for my 3 miles commute that I will like it so much that I will want to ride it much more so I am not wanting to limit myself to a just to work bike. But in all of my riding history on any bike, I have never really ridden off the road like what people do on mountain bikes. I'll do rail trails but they have to be paved. Don't really go in for the non paved variety of riding.
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Old 05-18-08, 11:18 AM   #22
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WE = Wilderness Energy

I suggested the DAY 6 because it has a 17" seat that addresses your numbness problem. It is a SEMI recumbent that is only a little longer than a regular bicycle and fits in nicely with your choice of "trails" and finally, it has the proven Bionx system with lithium or MiMh battery. Go to their website (in previous post) and view the 4 videos. You may not need a test ride.
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Old 05-18-08, 08:21 PM   #23
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jerryt
will check out that day 6 as just found out my office location is changing from 3 miles one way to 10 miles. thanks
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Old 05-20-08, 03:37 PM   #24
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Regarding the discussion as to whether eZee's are reliable:

I agree with Jerry, I don't think there's a problem with EZee's for reliability, though there are occasionally problems with the batteries. I think I just had an odd situation... and the shop has been GREAT in working with me to get it figured out. If you check the pedelecs forum in UK, there are tons of people riding eZee's and they have a very good reputation.

Re my situation with the batteries, I never managed to get much more than 5-8 miles per charge. I think I just got a couple of batteries from a bad batch, or maybe the charger had a problem... never really figured it out, but the shop traded me the NiMH setup for LiON, so I'm seeing how that works out...
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Old 05-23-08, 01:46 AM   #25
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what about the ez rider folding mountain bike? anyone have any personal experiences with that bike?
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