Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Montana U.S.A.
Bikes: Too many to list, some I built myself including the frame. I "do" ~ Human-Only-Pedal-Powered-Cycles, Human-Electric-Hybrid-Cycles, Human-IC-Hybrid-Cycles, and one Human-IC-Electric-3way-Hybrid-Cycle
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There is a HUGE difference between the 200-250watt geared hub motors and the 500watt geared hub motors. Based on the bike you linked too using the bigger 500 watt geared hub-motor which is only made by a few manufactures and tends to be a higher quality unit then the cheapo dime a dozen 200-250watt geared hub-motors along with the fact that at least from the pictures the bike you linked too appears to have pretty good components for the actual bike parts I'd say that is a very fair price and it would be hard to put together the same bike from parts for the same price.
If I were in the market for a ready made e-bike and I didn't insist upon putting everything together myself because I like to customize everything then I would go for that bike you linked too. I would get the orange version which is both a little cheaper and also offers much better visibility and cars will be more likely to see an orange bike then a brown one.
As to going up-hill without having to pedal to help the motor out. The 500watt geared hub motors have a fairly good reputation for having decent torque and being able to pull cargo loads and climb hills fairly well (almost as good of torque as a 1,000watt direct drive because their internal gear reduction allows them to have better torque at lower speeds then a direct drive hub motor) but depending on how much you weight and how steep the hill is you might still have to pedal a little bit to help the motor out climbing some hills. Provided your not a disabled person who can't pedal this really shouldn't be a problem and even if you don't have to pedal to climb the hill you will often find yourself doing so in order to stay going fast while climbing the hill and not having the hill slow you down. At least that is what most people I know who ride e-bikes or (IC) motorized-bikes do that I know. Me personally, well I tend to pedal almost all the time to go as fast as possible and make the battery last as long as possible whether I'm going up a hill or not.
As a side note: In response to zydeco's post mid-drives don't necessarily have to be loud. The Stokermonkey mid-drive is quieter then a geared hub-motor and my GNG which uses a toothed belt instead of gears for the first reduction stage isn't bad at all especially since I'm running it on 36V instead of the original design voltage of 48V which really tames it down. With mid-drives most of the noise is from the first stage reduction off of the motor (running at very high RPM's) which is usually gears which is what makes all the racket especially non-helical rough cut metal gears. Mid-drives that use either low RPM motors that don't need a two stage reduction (StokerMonkey) or those that use a modified geared hub motor with its quieter running nylon planetary gears (GNG type 2 and a few others) or those that use a toothed rubber belt instead of gears or a chain for the high RPM first stage reduction (High Power GNG brushless) are much quieter then conventional mid-drives which use gears running at high RPM for the first stage reduction (Cyclone, etc. . . ).
Last edited by turbo1889; 05-15-13 at 05:19 AM.