Hello; I've been considering an e-bike for some time now, but am still a little confused about the best option. My situation is this: I'm 47 now, and have been a cyclist for most of my life. I do it because it's the only form of exercise I really enjoy. I have lived in San Francisco for the last 20 years and while this city has many advantages, it is not conducive to cycling, at least not for someone of my abilities. I can handle the hills, but I don't enjoy doing so. The net effect is that I ride far less than I should. This is compounded by the fact that my house is on the side of one of the highest hills in the city, so after a ride I always have to contend with a long uphill slog at the end. I'm a big guy, too. 250 lbs. I curently ride a 24 spd 'hybrid' bike with 700 x 25c wheels.
My reason for considering e-biking is simply to help with the hills. I thought the Bion-x PL350 would be ideal, since the area I usually ride features some loooong downhills for utilizing the regenerative feature. However, I've recently read that the most you recover with the regen mode is 3-5%. Plus, I understand that the Bion-x doesn't allow freewheeling. I really only want the assist on the steep hills, and would prefer using 100% human power on the flats and small hills.
Given that I'll typically meet three or four steep hills on a ride and that I'll need enough power to gain about 500 ft. in elevation at the very end, can I get enough power for a 20 mile ride out of a converstion kit? If so, can you offer any advice as to the best options?
I'd appreciate any thoughts you have on this.