Kits or e-bikes for Mountains ?
Starting to consider either converting a 1986 Stumpjumper or possibly buying a complete e-bike for commuting in the Blue Ridge mountains. What are my best options for uphill assistance ?
If you're looking for a pure "mountain bike", take a look at the EG Bali or EG Barcelona:
Both are full-suspension mountain bikes with lots of nice components and features. I personally ride the Barcelona, and it's perfect for me. I enjoy pedaling and only need assistance on big hills or when I'm tired after a long ride. It's 200w motor isn't super powerful, but if you're just looking for assistance, it's a great pedal assist bike. You'll have two power-assist settings -- Economy (E) or Standard (S). In economy you'll feel just a small amount of assistance, but you'll get the most range. In standard, you'll get lots of assistance and it feels like the motor is doing almost all of the work. Even though the bike has a throttle, it's quite unimpressive from a dead stop. But it's a great way to keep your momentum or stop pedalling after you get going.
If you don't want to do any pedalling, this bike is probably not for you. In that case, a kit might be a better choice. They'll take a bit more work, and your other bike will be useless as a "regular bike" after you're done with the conversion. Lots of different kit options...
If you don't have a problem paying $5000+ -- take a look at the Optibike...
Last edited by ecowheelz; 10-19-09 at 08:19 AM.
I hope someone proves me wrong, but if you want a real mountain goat then you probably want to avoid the hub motors and go for a motor that drives the front sprocket. Then you can use the gears of the bicycle to create the climbing power that you need.
That's what I have done, I took my old Sears 18 speed mountain bike, and put a front hub motor
on it. So when I had the steep hills on my bike, I was able to use the gearing as normal.
Also what I found was because I started with SLA batteries, the bike balance nicely.
The hub motor on the front, the batteries on the rack on the back.
I have had it for 2 seasons now, and am happy with it. Its the Crystalyte 408 front hub
motor with 36 Volt SLA batteries.
I installed the Currie conversion kit on my 21-speed mountain bike this summer and am very happy with it. I hadn't been riding my bike as much since retiring to the northern US Rockies because pedaling up the hills was bothering my knees. I chose the Currie based on several factors--low price ($299 shipped, including 1 24V SLA battery); rear wheel, non-hub design (I have an aluminum suspension fork so there was no way I could install a front motor hub--I don't care to crash due to the failure of the cast drop outs on an aluminum fork); user reviews about excellent torque. I've been riding my bike daily on some pretty steep forest roads and will winterize my bike so I can continue to ride (I'm having too much fun to put it away).