Old 08-20-18, 12:21 PM
Clark W. Griswold
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 5,196

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Pink Klein MTB, Phil Wood VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), Cilo Road Frame, Proteus frame

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I would go with a Brose motor equipped bike. Specialized, Raleigh, Bulls and others use that motor in some of their bikes. Brose, Bosch and Shimano STEPS will be very reliable and will give you a good long life with the bike with less maintenance and worry. But generally because Brose is a belt driven motor it is quite a bit quieter than say Bosch but try some different ones and see. Avoid rear hub drives as they tend to break spokes and are less reliable than a good mid-drive setup plus they add the worst weight to a bike, rotational weight. The cheap online stuff is cheap and online for a reason, if it was decent you would see more e-bike retailers trying to sell it. The price seems right until you have a bunch of problems with it and are constantly bringing it by a shop hoping they can try and fix it or trying to find hard to find parts. Bosch, Brose and Shimano are extremely well supported in the U.S. and so far we haven't had to replace a single Bosch motor in 6 years of doing this (and one of our old mechanics hadn't done one in the 11 years before he joined us 3 years ago) and I think we may have replaced one Brose motor and nothing from Shimano so far (though they are newer to the field). We have replaced a whole bunch of hub drive motors and other kit motors and a few Impulse motors which aren't being sold in the U.S. anymore.

Our shop has people coming in from all over the country because we have a larger inventory and brands you don't often see because most shops selling e-bikes might not be dedicated to them. We also do a lot of repairs on e-bikes from many different brands. Take a road trip to a bigger e-bike retailer and find a place with a good deal of selection and quality bikes. A lot of folks who sell one brand of e-bike are just selling what their main analogue brand has in stock and might not be as knowledgeable about e-bikes in general and may have only jumped on the bandwagon more recently. Variety is the spice of life.
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