Thread: E-bike for wife
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Old 11-11-16, 08:35 PM
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momsonherbike
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Bikes: All mine are electric bikes now

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Originally Posted by msbiker View Post
My wife and I have been experienced cyclists for many years, but ride at different speeds. We are planning on some road/light off-road credit card touring (think GAP-CO) and are considering getting her a class 1 pedal assist (no throttle) e-bike to help her with the hills, headwinds and longer distances (45-65 miles). We are thinking about a bike with a mid mount motor, about 700/40 cm tires, hydraulic disc brakes, maybe a suspension fork with a lockout. Considering Haibike duro (either x or s), Raleigh Misceo iE, Izip Peak, Trek Conduit or maybe Giant Quick E+. Any thoughts on those? Are the ranges listed on manufacturer spec sheets realistic in the real world?
OK. My first thought while reading this question is: in the real world there is no way any one battery, other than something really heavy (8-10 or more lbs), is going to get you 45-65 miles. It just won't happen unless you are riding on dead flat land with a tailwind. Considering distance is fully dependent upon how much the battery is going to draw down to power the motor based on that motor's wattage, and the riding terrain/weather (think: wind), you are better off taking a grain of salt with any manufacturer's promises.

Will your wife like an electric bike? I'm sure she will. Will it help her keep up with you, laugh at hills, sneer at headwinds, and smile the entire way? I'm absolutely sure. Will she need extra batteries to do the longer distances? Most probably. Will that bike be heavy when she is forced to be the sole power source? Yup, without a doubt. Will the middrive "freewheel" like a regular bike when the motor isn't engaged and she is pedaling? Nope. There will be resistance, albeit a small amount. Will an ehub freewheel? Yup.

You honestly need to find a bike shop that has some ebikes your wife can try, places that have hub and middrive motors to compare. Once she's ridden a few models, she can decide what fits her needs. Or you may go the route of converting a current bike into an ebike with the kits that are offered nowadays.

Having never owned an e-bike, and living in an area that currently has no local e-bike dealer, I am bit concerned about how maintenance on an e-bike differs from a normal bike. How much maintenance does the motor/electronics of an e-bike require? Can you do any of it yourself? While I'm not a bike mech I can handle the routine stuff, but screwing around with an electric bike motor would be way beyond my capabilities.
If you get a quality electric motor and battery(ies) and controller, your maintenance, including the probability of having to "screw around" with the motor, should be zilch. Just don't overface the motor, and don't abuse the batteries by dropping them, having them attached insecurely to the bike in a way that would put them in harm's way, running them down to zero charge and not recharging them asap, or leaving them where they are subjected to the vulgaries of weather when not in use. Both motor and batteries are designed to work in all kinds of weather, all kinds of (reasonable) conditions, and just keep on ticking. They are designed to be sealed and not touched. That's what their warranty is for - someone else to do the fixing should the unit require it.

Personally speaking, with my ebike I find that the maintenance is all on the regular bike components - brakes, chain, gearing, cables, pedals, tires, rims, grips, etc. Same as any analog bike. I do keep my batteries topped off, however, and in the house where there is less temperature variance.

Last edited by momsonherbike; 11-11-16 at 08:38 PM.
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