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  1. #1
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    Is giant 75 miles per charge too new to buy?

    Afraid if I get the bike I want now, the technology will change and I'll be stuck with a $2,000+ electric bike. I am looking for a step-through bike and got really interested in the Giant Freedom Twist DX W which does 75 miles per charge. Should I be concerned about buying this bike now, fearing other companies are in the works to improve on that bike? The only thing I don't like about it (besides high price) is having the two batteries in a "saddlebag" position over the back wheel rather than almost undetectable under the seat. Any suggestions for a newbie, please? I have a 150cc scooter that I love but I don't like the gas, yearly insurance and license fees, taking tests, etc.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am a 67-year-young gal and need the exercise rather than just sitting on a scooter.
    thanks

  2. #2
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    The economy setting they are talking about that goes 70 miles probably only goes about 10 mph speed. That's okay if you don't mind going 10 mph but that's just a little slow for me. That bike looks like an Izip that you can get at wal-mart for $500. Looks like they probably bought an Izip and then put lithium batteries in and then resold it for $1500 more. You can get decent lithium batteries now for $360 - $600 .

    What kind of range do you want? Do you need more than 20 miles? Lots of people on here are buying kits and putting them together themselves. If you think you'd rather have a ready-made bike, though, that's up to you.

    Here are some other bikes that you can look at that you might like
    http://hightekbikes.com/ebikes.html

    Those bikes have hub motors on them. The one I think you were looking at uses a chain. Nothing wrong with that necessarily. Just pointing out the difference. A hub motor bike would be quieter than a chain driven electric bike.

    If you build your own, you probably will get a better e-bike. Probably faster and longer range.

  3. #3
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    Oops...nevermind...there was a bike shop in Missouri but looks like he moved to Texas.

    You can put one together on your own for about $600 - $700 that's probably even better than the one you mentioned. I wouldn't buy it. Get a kit online and then maybe pay one of the teenagers in your neighborhood to put it together or something (If you don't want to put it together).

    Is 14 mile range good?

    You could buy a kit from either
    ampedbikes.com
    e-bikekit.com
    hightekbikes.com

    then buy a 36v8AH NICD battery from http://ebikes.ca for $240 and put it all together. And it'd be about $600 probably. Much cheaper than the Giant Twist bike. If you want more range, you could buy two of the batteries. That'd give you 28 mile range.
    Last edited by morph999; 04-06-10 at 02:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Angie,

    Welcome to the forum. I would suggest that you look at more models. One question for you. Do you already have a bicycle that you like? If so, the most economical solution might be a conversion kit. I retired to the far northern US Rockies and found I wasn't riding my mountain bike that much because my knees would bother me after riding steep hills. I added a conversion kit last summer and haven't looked back--I've put more miles on my bike than my truck since installing the kit. I went with the Currie conversion kit because it has great torque, which I need for the hills here. It's also the most economical, it's available for $279.95 with free shipping from thesuperkids.com. It wasn't hard to install either. The original 24V 10AH SLA battery that came with the kit is still working but loosing some capacity so I just bought 2 12V 20AH Thunder Sky LIFEPO4 packs and built my own battery box that will fit in the Currie rear rack system, which keeps the batteries (and center of gravity) low, making the bike easier to handle.

    Discount any claims that a single battery pack will take you 70 miles. That's a stretch for even a single LIFEPO4 pack on a bicycle. Electric cars (not hybrids) carrying much larger, more powerful packs may get about 85 miles per charge. Marketing hype will always be that--hype (and generally inaccurate).

    Take your time, read up about components and battery technology. I'd suggest you also hop over to endless-sphere.com/forums. It's a great place to delve into information on electric bikes.

    Good luck. Have fun shopping for your e-bike.
    Last edited by nwmtnbkr; 04-06-10 at 04:43 PM.

  5. #5
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    OMG, this is like Christmas for me! Just what I was looking for to help with my search and narrow it down. The bike I mentioned has TWO batteries, that's where the 75mp charge comes from. I am looking at the Torkers which are cheaper, go 40 miles per charge and weigh less than 50 lbs. Glad to hear from the women here too. I had to laugh because nwmtnbkr mentioned something I fear at my age: knees! Since this is much more info than I hoped for, I'm going to print out everything here and really pay attention, check out all suggestions. Can't thank you all enough for your help!! Angie

  6. #6
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    Yeah, nwmtnbkr gave some good advice. Please don't spend over about $1200 on an electric bike. If it's more than that, it's probably a rip-off. There are some top-of-the-line kits that are very good and very stealth th at are more than $1200. Some you can't even tell that they are electric bikes.

    I wish there were better options for commercial e-bikes but I don't think I can say right now that there is any spectacular ones out there. I like speed so I built my own. Not everyone wants the same thing, though.

    I'm not recommending that you buy this bike but this is probably one of the best if not the best commercial e-bike on the market. It's $2500, though but it has a battery built into the front wheel and the back wheel is where the motor is. Looks really nice. If I had the money, I'd probably get one. This is just an example of what else is out there.

    http://epluselectricbike.com/shop/pr...lver-27-2.html

    Last edited by morph999; 04-06-10 at 04:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Angie,

    One of the writers on Bike Commuters is testing one of the Torker electric models. So far, he likes it. http://www.bikecommuters.com/2010/02...hoice-of-bike/

    You might also check out Currie's electric bicycles. They have quite a range of products at different prices.

    Be prepared to see your bike evolve. As I began using mine for all types of errands, I've steadily modified it--adding a front rack, fenders, a bi-pod kickstand and turn signals. (I added the turn signals because I found it frustrating that many drivers didn't seem to understand hand signals, which is understandable since all cars have been required to have signals lights for a number of decades now.)

    There are many interesting cycling web pages. I'd encourage you to explore. Here's a good starting point that has many good links on their page. http://www.ecovelo.info/

    Enjoy, be safe and have fun.

  8. #8
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    To nwmtnbkr

    Odd that you would mention the Torker. I have my choices narrowed down to a handful and Torker is one of them. There is a bike shop that can order me one just two streets away. However, I also followed your other links and found more interesting bikes... now I'm really confused. Don't you think it would be okay to just go with the Torker? And what's better, hub or chain? Heard hub is quieter. The more I look, the more confused I get. Still afraid I'll invest and then a whole new concept in electric bikes will come out to make my purchase obsolete in no time.

  9. #9
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    Schwinn also has electric bikes.
    http://www.schwinnelectricbikes.com/Bikes/Transit.aspx

    Do you think an electric bike is something you will use all the time or just maybe a few times per year? If it's something that you think you'll use every week, then you might want to get a really good one like a Torker or a Schwinn. Something that got good reviews. If it's something you just want to use a few times per year, wal-mart has electric bikes for about $500.

  10. #10
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    You also have Currie electric bikes. this one is about $400. See what you think. They have reviews down below.

    http://www.amazon.com/Currie-EZip-Tr.../dp/B001PH6JFW

    Currie electric bike is for someone who probably rides maybe 10 times per year. In my opinion. If you do more riding than that, then you might want a more expensive one.

  11. #11
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    Check this one out. Ezee Cadence electric bike. Ezee has a great reputation for making good electric motors. It's $1900 but that's probably one of the best quality e-bikes out there.

    http://www.nycewheels.com/ezee-caden...tric-bike.html


    Here is the Ezee Quando which is a smaller bike. for $1500
    http://www.nycewheels.com/ezee-quand...ding-bike.html

    I don't usually look at ready-made e-bikes but if I was going to buy one, I'd probably buy an ezee electric bike because ezee has been around a while and are known for making good bikes. No matter what you do buy, make sure it has a lithium battery or at least NIMH or NICD battery. The ezee quando comes with a 36v 10AH lithium battery. That's very good. Avoid bikes that have SLA or lead acid batteries.

    Here is a bunch of different types of e-bikes...including the Ezee and others...
    http://www.nycewheels.com/bikes.html
    Last edited by morph999; 04-07-10 at 11:03 PM.

  12. #12
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    To answer your questions: I HOPE to ride a lot because I need exercise and gas is getting to be too much. My scooter, I love it, but I have to pay for storage and each year license fees, take the test, charge the battery through the winter, and I don't get any exercise on it.
    I went to all your links, Morph, but I seem to like the Torker more than these. Glad to hear you say good things about Torkers, helps me narrow down my search. The bike shop that handles them in this SMALL town is just a few blocks away too... they know EVERYTHING about bikes and will customize anything for customers, so that's good. I do like the Giant Freedom too, but it's $2,200 + S&H. Is it tough to ride when it's SO hot in summer? On the scooter, it's cool, not too hot.
    Thanks for all your help!

  13. #13
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    Yeah the Torker looks like a pretty good e-bike. It goes up to 18 mph. And it has a lithium battery which is very good. Keep in mind that you have to pedal up to about 4 mph before you can hit the throttle and use the motor. It's called a Pedal-first controller so you have to pedal a little to get it going. Once you get going, the motor can take over by hitting the throttle.

  14. #14
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    Is it hot in the summer when riding e-bikes? Not from my experience, you go so fast and the wind keeps you cool. I can ride in 85 - 90 degree weather and still stay cool.

    I don't know if the Torker comes with a mirror but a mirror would be something that might be good to get. It helps to be able to see the cars behind you if you plan on riding on the road.

  15. #15
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngieM View Post
    Odd that you would mention the Torker. I have my choices narrowed down to a handful and Torker is one of them. There is a bike shop that can order me one just two streets away. However, I also followed your other links and found more interesting bikes... now I'm really confused. Don't you think it would be okay to just go with the Torker? And what's better, hub or chain? Heard hub is quieter. The more I look, the more confused I get. Still afraid I'll invest and then a whole new concept in electric bikes will come out to make my purchase obsolete in no time.
    Angie,

    You need to decide what factors are important for you to determine what type of motor you get. If you live in a hilly area, you'll want good torque. Non-hub, brushed motors tend to have more torque. There are a couple of expensive hub motors that deliver better torque, but you won't find them on ready-made e-bikes. Many people assert that hub motors are silent, but watching You Tube videos, I've not really seen one that's truly silent. All make noise on acceleration. That's not really a problem because what overwhelms my hearing on my e-bike is wind. Don't expect motorcycle speeds on a ready made e-bike. In the US, more powerful, ready-made e-bikes with motors over 750W or that can reach speeds over 20 MPH must meet moped/motorcycle safety standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meaning beefier frames, signal lights, better brakes, etc. Therefore, most ready-made e-bikes sold are limited in power and range. At present, conversion kits aren't caught up in Federal safety regulations. That's why many people build their own e-bikes using conversion kits.

    I would really suggest that you take several weeks and read up in depth about battery technology and hub motors vice non-hub motors. Again, the best place to start is the Endless Sphere forums.

    As far as obsolescence, I don't think you need to worry. The one area that needs the most improvement in EV technology is battery technology and I don't expect to see major changes in that for at least a decade, if not longer. You should consider LIFEPO4 batteries. They offer better power and more charging cycles than SLAs. I just build a new 24V 20AH pack for my e-bike and can't believe the difference in power over SLA.

    Good luck. Take the time to become an informed consumer and have fun shopping for your e-bike.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CowtownPeddler's Avatar
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    All I can add, and I am sure you have read from everyone - Batteries are king. Go ahead and buy something you love, but for goodness sake, learn how to use a multimeter or go make sure you can get the parts you need - like a cell monitor. (I know Morph will say this later.)

    I can add from personal experience that I know people (I learn from their mistakes) who have lost hundreds of dollars and hours of riding enjoyment from batteries gone wrong. Maintaining your batteries will pay off - and there are lots of people who can help on that end here in this forum.
    Last edited by CowtownPeddler; 04-10-10 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Fixed typos

  17. #17
    Jerry the Spinner
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    Yoy should also check out the Trek FX+ WSD

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...lus/fxpluswsd/

    You are getting the BionX system which is leading edge. I checked out the Giant before buying the FX+. The difference in weight between both bikes is over 25 pounds. The FX+ is also a much lighter and smoother ride due to the carbon fork.
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

  18. #18
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    Checked out the Trek site, Jerry, but the step-through isn't low enough and the handlebars are all straight across rather than curved toward rider (I'm an older gal) and that means a lot of leaning forward. So far I'm thinking I'll go with the Torker. It looks good, it's light, does up to 40 miles per charge, no fat tires (I know, this is all newbie lingo)... and the bike shop that can get it for me is three blocks away. I can get all kinds of help from them. Now, if any of you can recommend a bike so much better that I can forego all this or because I'm overlooking something important, please do let me know!

  19. #19
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngieM View Post
    Checked out the Trek site, Jerry, but the step-through isn't low enough and the handlebars are all straight across rather than curved toward rider (I'm an older gal) and that means a lot of leaning forward. So far I'm thinking I'll go with the Torker. It looks good, it's light, does up to 40 miles per charge, no fat tires (I know, this is all newbie lingo)... and the bike shop that can get it for me is three blocks away. I can get all kinds of help from them. Now, if any of you can recommend a bike so much better that I can forego all this or because I'm overlooking something important, please do let me know!
    Angie,

    The Torker has gotten good reviews so I wouldn't be afraid to buy it. However, if any dealer nearby has an electric model that you can test ride, I'd encourage you to take a test ride. Much like the Bionix and many other systems these days, you'll need to pedal before power assist can kick in, so make sure that's what you want. I can't tell if you can add a second battery with the factory wiring or whether you'd have to do some modifications--I'd suggest you ask that question. If you don't mind tinkering, I think you'd have no problems building a supplemental battery pack if you decide you want more power. I just did and it wasn't hard and the effort was worth it--the LIFEPO4 pack is amazing. Most riders find they want more power than provided by an original OEM battery. Good luck. I think you'll love your new e-bike.

  20. #20
    Jerry the Spinner
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngieM View Post
    Checked out the Trek site, Jerry, but the step-through isn't low enough and the handlebars are all straight across rather than curved toward rider (I'm an older gal) and that means a lot of leaning forward. So far I'm thinking I'll go with the Torker. It looks good, it's light, does up to 40 miles per charge, no fat tires (I know, this is all newbie lingo)... and the bike shop that can get it for me is three blocks away. I can get all kinds of help from them. Now, if any of you can recommend a bike so much better that I can forego all this or because I'm overlooking something important, please do let me know!
    Did you check out the Trek 7200+ WSD

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...s/7200pluswsd/

    I was also wondering what is the distance of your rides and what speed would you like to be going?
    Bicycle Commuter from New York City.

  21. #21
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    Just sold my 150cc scooter yesterday and I'm really wanting a throttle on the bike I get (I'm not as young as you whippersnappers...whatever that means). Maybe if I show you what I've narrowed it to, it may help. I like the LOOKS of the bike in this link, but it has only one PAS control. I don't need more than 3 or 4, but only one doesn't seem good:

    http://www.eco-wheelz.com/catalog/ec...bike-p-246.php

    I do like this one too, but no throttle and it's way over-priced:

    http://www.beststuff.com/fromthewire...-ces-2010.html
    (Sanyo)

    I like the looks of the Urban Mover (below... don't know how to insert a better photo):
    Urban Mover step-through..jpg
    ...but it doesn't have throttle either.

    Anyway, it's VERY difficult trying to choose a bike because where I live, there are NO bike stores that carry electric bikes at all. People here in Missouri want trucks 'n tractors 'n all-terrain vehicles for their farms... no interest in new- fangled nonsense like electric bikes, is what they'd say.
    If anyone has the time some day to pick these apart, based on the preferences I listed at the beginning of this thread, that would be a huge help.
    Thanks,
    Angie

  22. #22
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    Oops, I did not list my preferences on this thread, but here they are, if they'll help with your answer:


    ●―NOT a pedal-first throttle, where you have to pedal up to 5mph before it kicks in. Just want to hit the throttle ‘n go AND pedal too, when I want to.

    ●―14-15 inch frame, not larger… a frame that’s not too “fat”.
    ●―Definitely a step-through.
    ●―Less than 50 pounds overall weight.
    ●―No fat tires… but I’m not sure.
    ●―Handlebars that aren’t completely straight, a bit curved; don’t have to “lean over” too much.
    ●―A LifePO4 battery is my first battery choice, unless there’s a better choice (heard there isn’t).
    ●―Want good power/torque going up hills.
    25 mile range or more.

  23. #23
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Angie,

    You might consider the EZip Women's Coastline as well. You can get it for $535 (with free shipping) from Amazon or $449 (plus shipping or ship free to a store) from Walmart. It's gotten great reviews on ecoforumz.

    0069402701491_215X215..jpg

  24. #24
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    You didn't like the Izip Zuma? Seemed to me that it had everything you wanted.
    http://www.currietech.com/currie-tec...ctric-bike.php

  25. #25
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    Ohh, that's nice, the Izip Zuma and the Ezip Coastline. Both are close to my preferences. I'm having little time lately to devote to bike hunting, so please forgive my not commenting quickly on any suggestions and/or replies. I will look further into both of these and go through this entire thread again, pay better attention and follow throug with suggestions WHEN I have time to do so, which I hope is soon.
    Thanks again, these are handsome bikes!

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