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Old 11-25-09, 11:50 AM   #1
dgk02
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Has Trek sold any Valencia+ bikes?

I can't find any reviews from someone who actually owns this bike. All I can find is the same marketing hype. It's good marketing hype, but something from an actual user would be nice.
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Old 12-02-09, 10:41 AM   #2
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No? No one knows anyone who has one of these? Yikes.
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Old 01-12-10, 01:33 PM   #3
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I plan on buying one by the end of the month. I went into a Trek dealer in New York City and they were not very helpful. They said they did not sell any Trek's electric bikes and even if they could get one they would not service it. I currently own a Montague with a Currie 450W electric kit.

Update: Trek got back to me.

Chris from Trek HQ in Waterloo, WI said:
“Yes, only certain dealers are going to be selling these bikes and many dealers will likely not have the ability to properly diagnose and service the electric system. I would suggest using our dealer locator to find a Ride+ dealer in your area. If you click on the "more information" link for a dealer it will list if they are a Ride+ dealer.”

Last edited by JerryTheSpinner; 01-13-10 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 01-12-10, 02:28 PM   #4
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Given the fact that Trek relies upon the BionX system which is fairly well proven I would think you could just use that data for a reference? But if the local Trek dealers won't even service them then what is the point in getting one from them? Why not just go to NYCE Wheels and get a BionX kit that is backed by service and prior knowledge of a rather expensive item?

If you don't already have a bike that you like arguably the cost of the Trek is a good deal given that the BionX kits are now $1900. It looks to me though that Trek is becoming involved less to supply the US market than the EU market which is gaining yearly, especially in the Netherlands and Germany. The US market as it evolves will certainly feel their presence and their dealers will get the picture at some point I suppose. Adapting to change happens slowly in the bike industry here.
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Old 01-13-10, 09:07 AM   #5
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I did bring my Montague bike to NYCE Wheels to put the BionX system around 6 months ago, but after the bike was in the shop for 2 weeks and no end in sight of when it would get done, I decided not to do it. The cost was $1,900 + $100 for labor + additional items, which they would not give me an estimate on until the bike was finished. Since I commute 20-30 miles per day, and I have been doing for the past 7 months, I really want to step up to a better bike at this point. I also would like to have a bike with disc brakes, since I ride in all kinds of weather, including rain and snow. The Trek Valencia is $750 and the kit is $1,900. Total cost would be $2,650. I found a Trek dealer that is selling the Valencia Plus for $2,400.

I would assume that there is some benefit in having Trek put together the bike for me, as opposed to me buying a bike and doing it myself. The organization of the cables is nice and neat, which even goes through the stem of the bike. I also am counting on the wonderful support that Trek is known for, even though they have not gotten back to me about the extended warranty on the bike - whether it would include the battery and the motor, and I do understand it might be a challenge for me to find a good Trek dealer who is interested in servicing the bike. Since I am doing 6000-7000 miles a year, I am concerned about how long the BionX battery and motor will last. Maybe you can give me some insight on that. Also, Trek is not giving the option to have the throttle option on the controller, which I do not know how important that is to have.

Currently, I am using the Currie 450W electric kit. It is quite heavy compared to the BionX. It also does not recharge itself during riding and part of my issue is going over the Williamsburg Bridge, which is extremely steep. I wind up using a lot of the battery, where going down I would be able to gain a lot of the charge, I am assuming.

Any insights would be very helpful. Thank you for your time.
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Old 01-13-10, 02:24 PM   #6
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Jerry, I don't have any personal info to share on the BionX but if you do a search here and another on Endless Sphere you will find plenty to read about I'm sure. I do know that the cost when I looked in to them several years ago was significantly lower but still high compared to other hub motors. The fact that the controller is integrated within the motor seems to be a big seller for the system for some and a turn off for others.

That is too bad about your experience at NYCE but I have to say it can be typical of bike shops everywhere, there are good ones and bad ones, and the same goes for Trek dealers also. I think it will take awhile before they embrace the e bike thing and get up to speed on it though and I find that nothing beats good service if you can't do the work yourself.

As far as regen there are those for and against it on these boards and once again a search will reveal both sides of the issue. Mainly the consensus seems to be that there is not enough regen to put enough power back in to the system to be able to make a substantial claim. It can be used effectively as a brake but if you have good brakes on your bike then that is kind of a moot point.

There is another type of drive system that may or may not be on your radar but can be effective for hills and distance as seen here: http://store.kalkhoffusa.com/Articles.asp?ID=148 and a review here: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/flecc/kalkhoff1.html I think that if I was in the market for a package deal this system is what I would consider personally. The Panasonic drive system was sold here under the Giant banner during the early/mid 00's and the ones I have ridden were quite good and with the advent of the newer batteries giving more range I would imagine better, although I haven't ridden one yet. I plan to next time I get to Portland which is where they are based however. Not sure how their dealer network is coming along but they are worth a look and are the only ones in the US at this time with the P Drive. You would need to contact them for more info on their current dealer network status.

And one more thing that I can only use as an example with no experience with the unit or the seller is this mid-mount system that is kind of related to the P Drive: http://www.hightekbikes.com/htb_midmnt.html. Once again it uses the bikes gearing to achieve more effective use of a low wattage motor. I am not all that happy with the placement of the unit as it looks like it would take alot of abuse from road grime. Also the stock battery is pretty low in the ah department but their pricing would allow for another to be added in parallel and still be under the price of the Trek/Kalkhoff. The full suspension bike is a nice option too.

In conclusion while the EU seems to be a veritable hot bed of activity in the e bike market with lots of support from the manufacturers and dealers because of consumer demand here in the states we are not up to speed yet. Best of luck!
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Old 01-13-10, 03:17 PM   #7
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Jerry,

A big part of the weight of the Currie electric system is the original SLA battery. I live in the far Northern Rockies, we don't have many flat areas on the roads here. I'm quite impressed with the torque of the Currie non-hub motor. I'm adding a second battery this spring and it will be LIFEPO4. When the SLA batteries in the stock Currie case die, they'll get replaced with non-SLAs; whether it will be with more LIFEPO4s or NIMH will depend in part on how well my first LIFEPO4 battery performs. If you don't want to budget for a ready-made electric bike right now, you might buy a LIFEPO4 battery or a High C NIMH or NICAD battery pack for your Currie system.

The regenerative feature on the BIONX system is nice, but don't expect it to really recharge the battery much. As for BIONX batteries, depending on the model of BIONX kit you buy, you may be stuck spending close to $1000 USD to replace them with another BIONX pack when they're depleted. (There is a person on ebay who rebuilds BIONX packs. His services are discussed on the V is for Voltage forum.)

Although some of the extremely high-powered hub motors may produce a fair amount of torque, most ready-made ebikes in the US keep the hub motors installed well under 750W and the speed under 20 MPH. That's because high-powered, ready-electric bicycles sold in the US (motors over 750W or able to travel faster than 20 MPH) must meet moped/motorcycle safety standards set by the National Highway Safety Administration. (The US Congress exempted "low powered" electric bikes from these standards in 2001--low powered electric bicycles--defined as motors under 750W and speed 20 MPH or less--only have to meet the safety standards for consumer bicycles set by the Consumer Product Safety Administration.) At present, conversion kits sold in the US aren't governed by these safety standards, but I don't expect that to be the case much longer as more and more powerful hub motors are exported from China.

Good luck. Buy as much battery power as you can afford and try to avoid systems that may have proprietary designs that make it difficult to replace batteries since even LIFEPO4s fail with time.
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Old 01-18-10, 09:30 AM   #8
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As I've mentioned in another thread, the Valencia's don't appear to be arriving until April. The one thing that bothers me is the cost of replacing the battery but I have read that cells can be replaced in the Bionx battery and I sure hope it works that way for the one that Trek uses. Replacing a battery for $1000 would be a killer.
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Old 01-19-10, 04:17 PM   #9
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As I've mentioned in another thread, the Valencia's don't appear to be arriving until April. The one thing that bothers me is the cost of replacing the battery but I have read that cells can be replaced in the Bionx battery and I sure hope it works that way for the one that Trek uses. Replacing a battery for $1000 would be a killer.
I was in Bicycle Habitat tis Sunday. They will be getting the Valencia+ and FX+ by mid February. I am not sure if I need the disc brakes since the regen braking slows you down. I also am not sure which bicycle would be more comfortable. My plan is to bike everyday 14 mile each way.

When I looked in June time in buying the BionX system for 1900 dollers and puting it on my Montague Bike. I was concerned about the warranty on the battery and motor being only one year,
The good news with buying the Trek bike is the warrenty on the battery and motor is 2 years.
That makes me feel a little better at least for two years I would be covered.
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Old 01-22-10, 05:03 PM   #10
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Jerry, I love my PL350 but don't really think you'd miss it much if you went with a model that omits the throttle. I hardly ever use the throttle -- the proportional pedal assist really is that good.

I suspect you'll be happy either way. Also poorer either way.

Charlie
http://ElectricCyclist.com
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Old 01-24-10, 07:20 PM   #11
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Um, I know this is about the Trek + models, but has anyone checked out what Giant is offering? I know absolutely nothing about ebikes whatsoever, but they are claiming 35 miles on one battery...
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Old 01-25-10, 08:28 AM   #12
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When I looked at the Giants I read that the motors are 250s, which is a bit underpowered. It also only has a 7 speed transmission - skipping the front shifters completely. I'm also not sure that I'd like a front hub - better weight distribution for sure but I just think that having power on the turning wheels isn't for me.
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Old 01-25-10, 10:52 AM   #13
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Um, I know this is about the Trek + models, but has anyone checked out what Giant is offering? I know absolutely nothing about ebikes whatsoever, but they are claiming 35 miles on one battery...
I found the bike to be heavy. It would be good for someone who does not want to overdue it with the peddling and let the motor do most of the work. I personally 2 days a week on my 14 mile commute really push myself and use the motor only 5 to 10%. I agree with dgk a 250 watt motor is an issue. I find my real use for the motor is for some steep inclines and would need at least a 350 watt motor. If my 14 mile commute was all level I don’t think I would need a motor. Except on days like today with 30 to 40 mile per hour winds.
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