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e-Bike Commuting: Buy a Pre-Built eBike or Conversion? Already have a good bike...

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e-Bike Commuting: Buy a Pre-Built eBike or Conversion? Already have a good bike...

Old 12-17-17, 02:15 PM
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lmike6453
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e-Bike Commuting: Buy a Pre-Built eBike or Conversion Kit? Already have a good bike..

I figured I'd post this here for commuting instead of just the e-bike forum section.

Thanks ahead of time for hearing my situation out and helping me as a noob to e-biking. I have been researching and am having a hard time deciding whether to buy a e-bike, or convert mine to a mid drive system of sorts.

I currently have a Niner RLT9 Steel 3 Star Rival build, reference: RLT 9 STEEL 3-STAR RIVAL

I put fenders on it and it's great for commuting, but takes me awhile to travel long distances. I live 24 miles from work, and want to commute at least 15 of those miles on an e-bike (I currently commute 9 and it takes me 40 mins). I currently carry a considerable amount of weight (20 lbs all in) and want to commute 5 days per week.

I like the idea of getting a separate dedicated bike, so that I have my regular bike for biking on the weekends with friends, but dislike spending $4,000 on a decent e-bike that fits my wants / needs.

This is what I think is important to me:

- Battery capacity to commute 24 miles, 1,000ft elevation on "turbo" setting (I can charge it at work).
- Mid drive solution that assists up to 28mph legal limit.
- On the quieter side of my options, if not the quietest option.
- Ability to mount on my platform hitch bike rack on car, 35lb rated limit (remove battery, or go slightly over limit).
- Ability to ride in the rain.
- Torque sensing based on rear derailleur, and cuts power to promote longer drive train life.

With this in mind, does it make more sense to spend ~$1,500 on a conversion kit, or ~$4,000 on a dedicated e-bike?

If I go the dedicated e-bike route, I was leaning toward the Trek CrossRip+:
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b.../1373000-2018/

UPDATE: I bought the Trek Crossrip+. See spec details and video with Trek representative:
https://electricbikereview.com/trek/crossrip-plus/

Last edited by lmike6453; 12-24-17 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 12-17-17, 02:36 PM
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It makes more sense to spend $4,000.
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Old 12-17-17, 02:40 PM
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Out here the LBS does mid drive conversions , starting at $1500, BYOBike, 350W motor , there are a few more powerful motors

price increases , then. crankset is removed , to mount it.

buy a 2nd battery, and leave it on a 2nd charger at work?








....
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Old 12-17-17, 03:17 PM
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Depends on whether you like projects. Building yourself could involve a lot of time and issues to fix before it's all working satisfactorily. Spending $4000 at the store means it (should) all work properly from the get-go.

Also, last I checked, the legal limit for boost was only 20 MPH, but there's nothing stopping you from going faster by pedalling.
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Old 12-17-17, 06:31 PM
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IMO, it really comes down to how much "assist" you really want/need...

24 miles would "need" a 600 watt/Hr battery at full power. or you could do it both ways (48miles), you just need to pedal more...

As for the type of system, mid-drives are better for hills but hub drives can also work depending on how much "assistance" you really want/need, and can be less problematic...
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Old 12-17-17, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 350htrr
IMO, it really comes down to how much "assist" you really want/need...

24 miles would "need" a 600 watt/Hr battery at full power. or you could do it both ways (48miles), you just need to pedal more...

As for the type of system, mid-drives are better for hills but hub drives can also work depending on how much "assistance" you really want/need, and can be less problematic...
I am fit and plan on pedaling the whole time to put effort in, but not enough to sweat. Good to be able to pace myself for 5 days a week consistently.

I am 175lbs for reference for how much weight the bike is pulling, plus 20 lbs of cargo.
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Old 12-17-17, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453
I am fit and plan on pedaling the whole time to put effort in, but not enough to sweat. Good to be able to pace myself for 5 days a week consistently.

I am 175lbs for reference for how much weight the bike is pulling, plus 20 lbs of cargo.
Weight is just 1/4 of the equation, speed, weight, hills, effort put in by the rider, all change the equation... and Not all are linear in their effect of the power needed from the battery... Because you can charge at work, I see no problem in the TREK E-Bike battery lasting the trip one way as long as you pedal...
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Old 12-18-17, 06:04 PM
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Thank you all. I think I am going to go with the Crossrip+ and scheduled a time to test ride it tomorrow.

They make it n 55cm and 58cm and cant figure out which size is my best fit. They only have the 55cm in stock. I am torso long:

- 6'0
- 31/32 inseam
- 34/35 shirt sleeve length

Suggestions? My current bike is a 56cm.
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Old 12-18-17, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453
Thank you all. I think I am going to go with the Crossrip+ and scheduled a time to test ride it tomorrow.

They make it n 55cm and 58cm and cant figure out which size is my best fit. They only have the 55cm in stock. I am torso long:

- 6'0
- 31/32 inseam
- 34/35 shirt sleeve length

Suggestions? My current bike is a 56cm.
Go for a test ride... Doesn't mean you must by it...

EDIT; In fact, since you actually know how you want to use it, ride the route... and... "IF" the power gives out then you will also know how the bike rides without power, as.... some E-Bikes have very noticeable drag when the motor is not on, and some don't...

Last edited by 350htrr; 12-18-17 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 12-18-17, 08:59 PM
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I know you mentioned wanting a mid drive but I thought I should mention the Copenhagen wheel. I wasnít ready to get a dedicated e-bike and thought it would be a fun way to test the waters. Iíve been using it for the last six months on my Waterford touring bike. Itís completely silent and has worked flawlessly. It goes 25mph on turbo which is quite zippy. I like that it has regenerative braking and rides just like a normal bike. Definitely worth taking a look at.
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Old 12-19-17, 10:38 AM
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You asked this question in three separate threads, so people don't know about your expectations.
Also it's sure that you have to double your budget or weight limit.
What to look for in an e-bike
Mid Drive Conversion or Buy a Separate Pre-Built eBike? Already have a good bike...
e-Bike Commuting: Buy a Pre-Built eBike or Conversion? Already have a good bike...

All Pedelecs with Bosch motor do weight at least 22kg including battery. So without battery still 19,5kg.
https://www.ebike-base.com/search/advanced-search/
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Old 12-19-17, 11:39 AM
  #12  
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If you have an LBS with a wide range of ebikes, test ride a bunch. My LBS (small planet ebikes) gave me carte blanche to pick bikes and ride. After about 4 hours, I kept coming back to the Stromer (ST-1). That was a couple of years (and coming up on 7K miles) back and I've got no regrets. I seriously doubt I would have picked components as well matched as Stromer did.

Different strokes, and configs for different folks ... even if you do end up DIY, you'll get a good education a lot faster trying out a bevy of already configured bikes ;>
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Old 12-19-17, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lmike6453
Thank you all. I think I am going to go with the Crossrip+ and scheduled a time to test ride it tomorrow.

They make it n 55cm and 58cm and cant figure out which size is my best fit. They only have the 55cm in stock. I am torso long:

- 6'0
- 31/32 inseam
- 34/35 shirt sleeve length

Suggestions? My current bike is a 56cm.
I am also 6'0, 32 inseam, I'm not fancy enough to know a shirt size other than XL, but 34/35 sounds about right. I wouldn't call myself torso-long though, I think I'm fairly 'regular' in proportion.

My first road bike was a 58cm Trek 1000, and I felt it fit me fine. Since then I've been commuting daily on a 60cm Surly CrossCheck, and that's fine. But I hold to the Grant Peterson/"just a fistful of seatpost" philosophy of frame sizing. I could never cramp myself onto a 56, I'd feel like a circus bear teetering on a tiny bike.

In other words, I would recommend a 58, but you go ahead and test-ride the 55, and if it works for you (esp if they can make it work for you with a longer stem), you be you!
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Old 12-22-17, 10:56 AM
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Point of reference on a pre-built ebike for commuting (and for me to brag a little!), I bought a Giant Quick E for $3k last summer and commute 18 miles each way 5 days a week with one big hill on the way and a fair amount of rolling hills. Itís 500W and will climb with ease. The battery has ~35% charge remaining each way with max assist (I recharge at work and home). The middle assist level will get an additional ~10% battery charge and longer time. Itís a 28 mph bike and you can easily maintain 26 mph.
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Old 12-22-17, 11:40 AM
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If I had only one bike I would never put an assist kit on it! The finest mid-drive system (zero drag) made for the o.p. needs is going to add more than 10lbs. of motor and battery to a bike that already weighs ~30lbs in commuting trim. Limping home without assist for any reason will not be pleasant. But neither will running local errands or other situations when you just want to jump on a 'normal' bike for a few minutes. I don't think $2K to $4K for a turn-key e-bike saves you that much as the price of the chassis is absorbed. The whole is definitely NOT greater than the sum of the parts. Personally, I have scads of bikes lying around and if the e-bike bug really bites hard I probably would be looking at a mid-drive kit before I look at any complete systems. But I am under no illusions that I could make something better than a company like Trek or Giant, to say nothing of companies that are dedicated to creating e-bikes exclusively! That Copenhagen Wheel though... I'm off to Google around about that right now...
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Old 12-22-17, 04:20 PM
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I ended up picking up the Trek Crossrip+ in 55cm version after test riding it and then working with their fit guy. I brought my existing bike in where we compared geometries and a 55cm was surprisingly perfect.

It feels great and I can commute much longer distances now for the time I'm spending on the bike!
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Old 12-22-17, 06:05 PM
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So no eBike, just a regular biobike
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Old 12-22-17, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by angerdan
So no eBike, just a regular biobike
WTF is a biobike... ? As I understand it the Trek Crossrip+ IS an E-Bike...
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Old 12-22-17, 07:20 PM
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A biobike is a non-assist pedal only bike
https://www.trekbikes.com/internatio...ossrip/f/F443/

Okay, so the CrossRip+ is an american market only model. Not listed anywhere else outside the US.
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...olorCode=black

No information about the weight, but i guess 20-22kg.
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Old 12-22-17, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by angerdan
A biobike is a non-assist pedal only bike
https://www.trekbikes.com/internatio...ossrip/f/F443/

Okay, so the CrossRip+ is an american market only model. Not listed anywhere else outside the US.
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...olorCode=black

No information about the weight, but i guess 20-22kg.
It's 46 lbs. Check it out on electric bike review main site. They have all the specs and YouTube video going over it with trek representative.
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Old 12-23-17, 11:27 PM
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28mph!!?.. Stay the heck off the MUP and out of the bike lanes. Sheesh.
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Old 12-24-17, 07:46 AM
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Bit late now - but why not get a motorbike?
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Old 12-24-17, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
28mph!!?.. Stay the heck off the MUP and out of the bike lanes. Sheesh.
I've learned so far that it's difficult to achieve a 28mph speed on a sensible assist level (there's 4 levels). On tour mode for battery range life (2nd mode of assist), a workout level of effort has to be put in to maintain 22-23mph on flats. 25mph if on sport mode (3rd level).

Speed limit on trails here is 15mph for reference. Bike lanes / roads is go as fast as the car speed limit allows.

Originally Posted by davidallenxyz
Bit late now - but why not get a motorbike?
I assume that you mean gasoline motorbike. Few reasons....

1. They're not allowed on bike trail system here.
2. They are dirtier / smell, and loud.
3. Not good for the environment compared to electric.
4. Not as safe to store. I can store my ebike indoors to prevent theft, at home and at work.
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Old 12-24-17, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by angerdan
A biobike is a non-assist pedal only bike
https://www.trekbikes.com/internatio...ossrip/f/F443/

Okay, so the CrossRip+ is an american market only model. Not listed anywhere else outside the US.
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...olorCode=black

No information about the weight, but i guess 20-22kg.
Originally Posted by lmike6453
It's 46 lbs. Check it out on electric bike review main site. They have all the specs and YouTube video going over it with trek representative.
I just updated the OP with the link if anyone is interested.
https://electricbikereview.com/trek/crossrip-plus/
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Old 12-24-17, 02:45 PM
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Thanks!
So 20,68kg (for the metric world). Like 'd guess.
So slightly above the 35lbs limit wish from the OP
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