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Had a $1,600 budget from selling the road bike to obtain an E-Bike

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Old 10-28-15, 10:08 PM
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Dacino3
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Had a $1,600 budget from selling the road bike to obtain an E-Bike

Thanks for all the information already listed in this forum. It really helped me come to a conclusion. I was searching for an electric bike that would speed up my all season 40 mile round trip commute to work (road, paved trails, dirt trails). After pretty extensive research I was planning on building my own and spent a few weeks looking for a frame on craigslist. Eventually I decided that waterproofing a home built electric bike that would handle heavy rain and snow could prove to be challenging. I was concerned about becoming stranded, as well as many other challenges of constructing an E-Bike.

I continued my search for new and used e-bikes when I came across this for $1,500 for a new IZIP Express http://www.amazon.com/Izip-IZIP-Expr.../dp/B00CKZK6RA. I was impressed with its higher top speed and large battery. I verified the battery was recently tested by curie tech and IZIP's warranty was valid. It seems this bike is not desired due to it's weight, noise, and E-Assist only mode (none of which will be an issue for me). For my purposes I hope to get a long life out of the bike with many miles.
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Old 10-29-15, 07:29 AM
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If you live in NW Chicago, take the 3 hour drive to Madison, WI and visit Lenny's Bikes. I suspect he has over a hundred bikes in his inventory that you can test ride. Call ahead for their winter hours, talk to them about needs and budget, and they can get some models ready to test drive. Now that winter is here, you can probably get some good close out deals that aren't on their website. I bought a bike there last summer, and it was worth the 3 hour drive.

Bring a vehicle that can carry a bike. I wasn't expecting to bring one home when I went there, but I did.
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Old 10-29-15, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dacino3 View Post
Thanks for all the information already listed in this forum. It really helped me come to a conclusion. I was searching for an electric bike that would speed up my all season 40 mile round trip commute to work (road, paved trails, dirt trails). After pretty extensive research I was planning on building my own and spent a few weeks looking for a frame on craigslist. Eventually I decided that waterproofing a home built electric bike that would handle heavy rain and snow could prove to be challenging. I was concerned about becoming stranded, as well as many other challenges of constructing an E-Bike.

I continued my search for new and used e-bikes when I came across this for $1,500 for a new IZIP Express http://www.amazon.com/Izip-IZIP-Expr.../dp/B00CKZK6RA. I was impressed with its higher top speed and large battery. I verified the battery was recently tested by curie tech and IZIP's warranty was valid. It seems this bike is not desired due to it's weight, noise, and E-Assist only mode (none of which will be an issue for me). For my purposes I hope to get a long life out of the bike with many miles.
You did your research on this bike, right?

IZIP Express Review - ElectricBikeReview.com

I really respect the guy that does these reviews. This bike was rated at 7 out of 10. Which, on the surface, sounds pretty good. However, I don't recall the any reviews that I have read that had a lower rating than 7. The drive system sounds pretty complicated. It says the range is 25-40 miles with a 720 watt hour battery. It must be the 750 watt motor that drains the battery that quickly? In comparison, a 500 watt BionX motor with a 555 watt hour battery has a range of 65 to 80 miles. The 28 mph speed is nice... just be safe. Good luck with your new e-bike. I wish you many trouble free and enjoyable miles.
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Old 10-29-15, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
You did your research on this bike, right?

IZIP Express Review - ElectricBikeReview.com

I really respect the guy that does these reviews. This bike was rated at 7 out of 10. Which, on the surface, sounds pretty good. However, I don't recall the any reviews that I have read that had a lower rating than 7. The drive system sounds pretty complicated. It says the range is 25-40 miles with a 720 watt hour battery. It must be the 750 watt motor that drains the battery that quickly? In comparison, a 500 watt BionX motor with a 555 watt hour battery has a range of 65 to 80 miles. The 28 mph speed is nice... just be safe. Good luck with your new e-bike. I wish you many trouble free and enjoyable miles.
I agree, I have not seen any review that low from him either. I also respect his opinion. I was concerned with that, but that is only a number. After reading his review it seems all the cons don't effect me. I hope it is rated low because it is E-Assist only, heavier/beefier, no display at all, no built in lights, and because of the noise. It seems to be unlike most other e-bikes in these regards. We will see. I'll post an update after I get it and commute for a little bit. It was very hard to find much information besides this review and maybe it will help someone decide if this is the bike for them or not.
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Old 10-29-15, 02:45 PM
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The iZip Express, especially after that review, looks fantastic to me. Especially since it's got tons of torque, is a speed pedalec, and actually gets pretty solid milage for the output power it produces. Wonderful purchase!!!
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Old 10-29-15, 06:17 PM
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I think that you received a fantastic deal. The fact that it was designed for the LA Police is great since they would definitely place a lot of stress on the bike. It also suggests (TO ME) that the top speed can be "manipulated'; 93nm or whatever of torque is outrageous at that price.
It seems like this is an older model. If I were you, I would check the voltage of the battery when you receive it (before charging). Li batteries don't like to sit around discharged. This test may suggest something about the health of the battery and how to charge it.
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Old 10-29-15, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dacino3 View Post
I agree, I have not seen any review that low from him either. I also respect his opinion. I was concerned with that, but that is only a number. After reading his review it seems all the cons don't effect me. I hope it is rated low because it is E-Assist only, heavier/beefier, no display at all, no built in lights, and because of the noise. It seems to be unlike most other e-bikes in these regards. We will see. I'll post an update after I get it and commute for a little bit. It was very hard to find much information besides this review and maybe it will help someone decide if this is the bike for them or not.
Good that you saw the review prior to your purchase. It has some good things. Pedal assist only isn't really a "con" to me... I had the option of a throttle, but never had it installed (maybe I don't know what I'm missing?) This is the biggest concern for me from another review:

Even though the Izip Express is easy to ride, at the same time this bike is one of the most complex bikes mechanically that I have ever ridden. It uses a mid-drive motor connected to a belt to a rear hub that looks like it would be big enough to be a geared hub motor, but it is actually a planetary gear box to blend the rider and the motors input into one. I am not really sure what is happening here, but when you turn on the motor while riding, the bike suddenly becomes harder to pedal.

https://www.electricbike.com/izip-express/

I've just never heard of this type of system. It may be just fine. It's just me, but I won't spend that kind of money without at least one really good test ride. The most intriguing things about that bike are the high torque motor and the 28 mph speed limit (if it had a throttle it would be limited to 20 mph.) Good luck and let us know how it rides!
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Old 10-30-15, 09:17 AM
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You're in the driver's seat this time of year buying a EBIKE, I got mine at 1100 off MSRP. The shop is not a EBIKE only store and I figure the owner just wanted to get it out the door since he does not get EBIKE people in often. And shopping for an IZIP bike is from what I have seen the best value out there.
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Old 10-31-15, 08:39 AM
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buying ebike without even test riding?
Izip Express - that is rather complex mechanically ride, I hope you are technical person with mechanical aptitude and shop with tools.
This thing will for sure need components adjustments/tweaking for sure before major breakdown.
Reviews are just SHORT TERM do not say anything about reliability.
Well all depends what are going to use it for year round commuting or occasional rides?
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Old 11-21-15, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dacino3 View Post
Thanks for all the information already listed in this forum. It really helped me come to a conclusion. I was searching for an electric bike that would speed up my all season 40 mile round trip commute to work (road, paved trails, dirt trails). After pretty extensive research I was planning on building my own and spent a few weeks looking for a frame on craigslist. Eventually I decided that waterproofing a home built electric bike that would handle heavy rain and snow could prove to be challenging. I was concerned about becoming stranded, as well as many other challenges of constructing an E-Bike.

I continued my search for new and used e-bikes when I came across this for $1,500 for a new IZIP Express http://www.amazon.com/Izip-IZIP-Expr.../dp/B00CKZK6RA. I was impressed with its higher top speed and large battery. I verified the battery was recently tested by curie tech and IZIP's warranty was valid. It seems this bike is not desired due to it's weight, noise, and E-Assist only mode (none of which will be an issue for me). For my purposes I hope to get a long life out of the bike with many miles.
So did you get the IZip, and if so, how do you like it ? Pro's and Con's ? Worth the money ?
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Old 11-21-15, 11:20 AM
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E-bike buyers beware.

lowest price perhaps, but 'value' is loosely defined. if an izip and its battery lasts more than 2 seasons, without significant mtc or repairs, consider yourself lucky. In e-Bikes, you get what you pay for, and any price point below $1300, there is no such thing as real value or quality. The most important two components on an e-bike are the a) battery and b) motor. All batteries are NOT ALIKE, and if its Lithium, the quality in terms of battery management, and how the individual cells are balanced, and what might short out, or catch on fire, or a decreased battery life is a significant consideration. Similarly, with the motor, its longevity, power, where its placed on the e-bike, how its interconnected to the drive train, integration with gears and shifting, is huge. You can't tell by just looking at the e-Bike, if those components are quality or not. The reason a tesla is a $100,000 car is because thats what it takes to get quality batteries, battery management, and motors and drive trains. There are only a couple of e-bikes out there where you will be satisfied with the quality, and practicality, and longevity, and those e-bikes are going to cost you $2500 at least, and that is not the MSRP which means nothing. Many will state they are $3500 e-bikes, and you can buy for $2100, or $5000, and you can buy for $1500. If you can buy it for $1500, then you are getting nothing more than a low priced, low value, e-bike. Period. I can get you a quality Lithium battery, but depending on its chemistry and battery management system, if you are wanting it to last longer than 3 seasons, with semi-regular use, and not have to worry about making sure you carefully charge it, both when in use, and not in regular use if you have varying seasons, you are going to pay AT LEAST $700. If you are buying an e-Bike for $1500, it does not have that battery on it. It has a $200 battery on it, and you are not going to get a satisfactory level of use out of it, before you buy a new one that will cost you $400. Same can be said for the DC motor. if you barely ride the e-bike, and thats what people who sell less than $1300 e-Bikes are hoping, then maybe you'll be ok. But if you are barely riding the bike to begin with, it makes zero sense to plunk down $500, or even $1000, when you can get a far better regular bike for just $400 or so, and be very happy. To get any level of 'value' out of an e-bike, you need to be riding it regularly, as in at least 2 or 3 times per week. And if that is the case, then you need to spend at least $2500. If you ride it for commuting or for everyday use, you will be disappointed, or uncomfortable, or have the e-bike in the shop on a regular basis, unless you spend at least $3500 on it. And even then you have to be VERY careful whose e-bike that is, because quality varies widely even at $3500, bc many e-bike firms getting into this have a very low barrier to entry, and can really be selling you whats worth maybe $1500 for $3500. and it cost them $700 to build at most.
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Old 11-21-15, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeDood53 View Post
lowest price perhaps, but 'value' is loosely defined. if an izip and its battery lasts more than 2 seasons, without significant mtc or repairs, consider yourself lucky. In e-Bikes, you get what you pay for, and any price point below $1300, there is no such thing as real value or quality. The most important two components on an e-bike are the a) battery and b) motor. All batteries are NOT ALIKE, and if its Lithium, the quality in terms of battery management, and how the individual cells are balanced, and what might short out, or catch on fire, or a decreased battery life is a significant consideration. Similarly, with the motor, its longevity, power, where its placed on the e-bike, how its interconnected to the drive train, integration with gears and shifting, is huge. You can't tell by just looking at the e-Bike, if those components are quality or not. The reason a tesla is a $100,000 car is because thats what it takes to get quality batteries, battery management, and motors and drive trains. There are only a couple of e-bikes out there where you will be satisfied with the quality, and practicality, and longevity, and those e-bikes are going to cost you $2500 at least, and that is not the MSRP which means nothing. Many will state they are $3500 e-bikes, and you can buy for $2100, or $5000, and you can buy for $1500. If you can buy it for $1500, then you are getting nothing more than a low priced, low value, e-bike. Period. I can get you a quality Lithium battery, but depending on its chemistry and battery management system, if you are wanting it to last longer than 3 seasons, with semi-regular use, and not have to worry about making sure you carefully charge it, both when in use, and not in regular use if you have varying seasons, you are going to pay AT LEAST $700. If you are buying an e-Bike for $1500, it does not have that battery on it. It has a $200 battery on it, and you are not going to get a satisfactory level of use out of it, before you buy a new one that will cost you $400. Same can be said for the DC motor. if you barely ride the e-bike, and thats what people who sell less than $1300 e-Bikes are hoping, then maybe you'll be ok. But if you are barely riding the bike to begin with, it makes zero sense to plunk down $500, or even $1000, when you can get a far better regular bike for just $400 or so, and be very happy. To get any level of 'value' out of an e-bike, you need to be riding it regularly, as in at least 2 or 3 times per week. And if that is the case, then you need to spend at least $2500. If you ride it for commuting or for everyday use, you will be disappointed, or uncomfortable, or have the e-bike in the shop on a regular basis, unless you spend at least $3500 on it. And even then you have to be VERY careful whose e-bike that is, because quality varies widely even at $3500, bc many e-bike firms getting into this have a very low barrier to entry, and can really be selling you whats worth maybe $1500 for $3500. and it cost them $700 to build at most.
FYI this bike was originally $2,799USD. I think this covers your "only expensive bikes are best" blanket statement. As for hardware, it's older tech. As long as you can maintain, it and find the proper replacement parts, it's a pretty solid ride for the price.
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Old 11-21-15, 12:10 PM
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Nope, you are MISQUOTING me , and I did not say anywhere in my post, that "only expensive bikes are best." You twisted my words and did not read what was stated. In fact, I took pains to say, that a decent ebike that has the quality, practicality, and longevity, power, that YOU WILL BE SATIFIED WITH, is going to COST you AT LEAST $2500, meaning that's the PAID FOR price, NOT the Original MSRP. MSRP means nothing. the MSRP is used as a marketing gimmick quite often and quite shamelessly in the biking business, and in particular with respect to E-Bikes. And further, just because you can buy one at $1500, that originally was $2500, doesn't at all mean its worth $2500. It does mean, its MAYBE worth $1500, bc like anything else you are getting what you pay for. (Btw, I own a fleet of e-Bikes and multiple brands, and rent them out on a regular basis. i can tell you which brands are very high mark ups, and much of the price is in the "marketing", and which brands are actual quality built in, and you are not paying a high mark up. And which ones will last with the least amt of intensive or frequent mtc.)
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Old 11-21-15, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
FYI this bike was originally $2,799USD. I think this covers your "only expensive bikes are best" blanket statement. As for hardware, it's older tech. As long as you can maintain, it and find the proper replacement parts, it's a pretty solid ride for the price.
And by the way, there is nothing wrong with paying $1500 or $1700, for an e-Bike, or one that you think is actually $2500 or $2700, so it makes you feel like you got a good deal. But I can assure you, as in the case of the IZip express, its original price being $5000, says nothing about its quality, or longevity, or even practicality, and the fact you can now buy it on Amazon for $1499, says a LOT more about its current VALUE. The market is not valuing the bike at all around the $5000 price, bc its not practical for the vast majority of people, and they couldn't sell them 4 years ago at $5000, and can barely sell any now at $1499. Sort of insane that they are even trying, but then that shows you a company who's integrity is such is that they principally only want to sell you something, but have little care what happens to it or you, after they have your money in their slimey little pockets. Any local retailer who will sell you this bike, I would avoid like the plague. BC that retailer will keep bilking you for more and more money, and be happy to keep selling you higher and higher priced bikes, without any care of whether that e-bike will last a day or a month or a year.
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Old 11-21-15, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeDood53 View Post
And by the way, there is nothing wrong with paying $1500 or $1700, for an e-Bike, or one that you think is actually $2500 or $2700, so it makes you feel like you got a good deal. But I can assure you, as in the case of the IZip express, its original price being $5000, says nothing about its quality, or longevity, or even practicality, and the fact you can now buy it on Amazon for $1499, says a LOT more about its current VALUE. The market is not valuing the bike at all around the $5000 price, bc its not practical for the vast majority of people, and they couldn't sell them 4 years ago at $5000, and can barely sell any now at $1499. Sort of insane that they are even trying, but then that shows you a company who's integrity is such is that they principally only want to sell you something, but have little care what happens to it or you, after they have your money in their slimey little pockets. Any local retailer who will sell you this bike, I would avoid like the plague. BC that retailer will keep bilking you for more and more money, and be happy to keep selling you higher and higher priced bikes, without any care of whether that e-bike will last a day or a month or a year.
All I see is a disgruntled individual who didn't really add to the thread. Have a great day,...
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Old 11-21-15, 03:26 PM
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tds +1

Dacino3 --- let us know how it worked out
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Old 11-21-15, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeDood53 View Post
So did you get the IZip, and if so, how do you like it ? Pro's and Con's ? Worth the money ?
I am not a bike mechanic, nor have I owned an E-Bike. My previous bike was a Titanium bike with nearly full Dura-Ace. I put about 1500 miles a year on that bike over the past 3-4 years. I did test ride about 5 E-Bikes and have 200 miles on this one. Take my brief review with a grain of salt.

It came new in box and is a 2012 model. Basic bike assembly required. Again, Curie Tech verified the battery condition and it has the standard warranty. I didn't check voltage. I calibrated the belt drive, front/rear brakes, derailleurs, and inflated the tires. The battery took about 2 hours to fully top off.

Distance/Time- They recommend fully draining the battery the first 3 times. It went for about 3 hours at level 5 (the highest level). What's slightly frustrating is once you get down to 1/5 battery it automatically lowers to the lowest assist setting. At the lowest assist I went about 6 miles until the battery died. The total mileage on one charge over the course of two days, on max assist, with few hills is maybe 35 miles.

Speed/Hills- With the highest assist I average about 22-23 MPH on flat roads, low assist is maybe 16-17. The fastest I've gone at a comfortable cadence is 24 downhill. I think it should go faster and I'm working with the company now to verify speed. I went to the highest grade hill I could find. It's a sledding hill and some random website has it listed at 40 degrees and 500-600 feet. That is the very edge of this bikes capability, but it went up with 15 pounds in the panniers.

Battery- It comes off and on pretty easy and weighs 15ish pounds. It takes roughly 7 hours to fully charge from empty.

Overall- For certain there is an initial strangeness to the pedaling. It didn't take more than a mile to get a feel for it. Basically, just use a smooth cadence. If you push very hard it feels like it slips and if you stand up the ride is very jerky. In a granny gear the motor causes it to do a wheelie from a stop. It isn't waterproof. After an 8 mile ride in moderate rain the motor cut out. After it dried up there were no issues. You have to protect parts of the battery and cadence sensor from water. I rode in similar conditions while protected with plastic and went 20 miles through puddles and dirt trails without issue. The belt makes noise. When you're going full speed you don't really notice it because it blends in. I've become completely used to it and don't mind it at all. You can tell how hard its working from the noise. Twice the noise helped. Once I was rounding a corner when someone was exiting their vehicle parked on the side of the road. They heard me and closed the door moving into their vehicle. Another time there was a deer on the side of a dirt trail. It jumped into the woods just before I got to it. You can hear the noise half a block away if you're really listening for it. The components are nowhere close to what my road bike had. They are a bit clunky, but I sold my 9 year old road bike for more than this bike new. My coworkers and family who have never ridden an electric bike were very impressed, even after hearing the price. They had a lot of fun riding it. One mentioned the strangeness or unnatural feel when pedaling. It is heavy, but you can read that on the specs. I love taking it to the grocery store. It's a blast to ride around town. Who knows how the battery will last. I'll be happy if it lasts 3 years (But who knows). At that point I'll feel much more comfortable trying to make my own E-Bike and I'm sure quality will be up and costs down. Given I could buy two of these for a $3,000 bike, I personally would buy this bike every time. I am happy I bought it, but I wish it held up better in the rain without having to protect it. If you buy this there is a connection for a 6-volt light, but I'm not using it.

If I missed anything or you have any questions ask away. This bike might not be for you, but as long as it hold up it serves my purposes well.
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Old 11-22-15, 07:53 AM
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D3, excellent initial assessment. Please do a follow up in a few months, especially if you discover anything new about your battery or speed.
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Old 11-22-15, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for the first impressions.. I can see the value in that bike.. well worth the money if it continues to perform as designed...
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Old 11-23-15, 09:40 PM
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Very nice write up. The water issue would bug me, and I'm actually surprised. This is supposed to be a police bike. Surprising,...
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Old 11-28-15, 10:17 AM
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Agree with BikeDood in his post #11 , absolutely.
Also belt drive on this ebike to last better be made from the best material in the world,
I cannot imagine such belt would last longer than say 5000km, so better order bike with spare belt or 2 right away.
For me virtue of electric vehicle including ebike is silence, myself I cannot imagine this kind of whine/noise for more than 100 meters.
Big battery is a plus but what quality, what cells we dont know.
Most paths in Canada have signs -"no motorized vehicles" . So noise tells it all.

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Old 07-05-16, 12:44 PM
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Well you were all right! I have broken down on my way to work 3 times already with 3 separate problems. The bike dies out in a light rain and the belt broke. I've been waiting over 10 weeks to get the belt. I had to follow up with customer support 2 times because they literally forgot about me, she admitted that she didn't make a note about me. I was told the part was on back order and supposedly it was finally shipped a week ago, but I'm still waiting. I wish I never bought an IZIP and spent a few extra dollars. Nothing would make me happier than getting my money back, but now it's used. Buyer beware, this company is a bottom tier E-Bike provider and they cannot stand by their products.
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Old 07-06-16, 02:04 PM
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I hope they don't mind me copying and pasting this article.


How To Buy Your First Ebike Or Ebike Kit And Not Get Punked

Karl Gesslein / March 5, 2016


This article has been swimming around in the back of my head for a while now. Since I am over $20,000 into the sport, and since I have spent the better part of my life being a Rock Punker I feel like I am probably the best-qualified person to write it.

Most peopleís experiences with e-bikes goes something like this. They discover Endless-Sphere and spend a bunch of time reading articles, then they look at people out there selling ebike kits and they decide to buy the cheapest kit they can get. They have done enough research to avoid Lead Acid batteries and are totally going with Lithium cells, because that is all people ever talk about. Everyone seems to get super stoked over the very inexpensive Lipo packs from Hobby King that are oh-so-much cheaper than the fancy 18650 cell packs that seem horrendously overpriced. They might talk to their local bike shop who probably are pretty clueless about ebikes, or if they are lucky they talk to their local ebike shop who just try to sell them something that is really, really expensive. In they end they buy a cheap ass kit from ebay or alibaba.com and then throw it all together. They donít understand that much about the differences between Direct Drive, Gear Hub and Mid drive systems so they just buy whatever is cheapest which is generally a direct drive or small geared hub motor.

This is not your average ebike blog
or build an ebike and get punked.

When everything arrives they spend about an hour putting it together, maybe two and they take the ebike out for a ride. Because they cheaped out and refused to spend more than $350 for the motor & battery they end up being underwhelmed by the performance of the motor or battery. If they are lucky they donít burn down their house with the Lipo cells and they donít break the dropouts on their bike frame because they cheaped out and didnít get torque arms. Mostly they just end up being dissatisfied with their builds.

This dissatisfaction leads to buying a bigger controller and trying to run more power through a crappy motor that was not designed for it. Eventually, they burn out the motor or they break the controller. This DIY disappointment I have personally experienced, and have seen it play out time and again online. This whole process Iím going to call Ďgetting punkedí and Iím going to try to describe to you how to get into the ebike world without Ďgetting punkedí like I did.



There is no question that the biggest barrier for people getting into ebikes right now is cost. There are a few companies that have made headway into the world of inexpensive electric bikes by using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. I donít recommend buying an ebike this way, because basically youíre just gambling with your money. Although gambling this way has paid off for a lot of people, crowdfunding is not shopping and although the sites look like you are purchasing a product youíre really just donating money to a ícauseí in the hopes that they will give you a free Ďperkí. I have never bought anything over about $50 on crowdfunding sites and honestly, I never will.

For ~$1500 you can build an ebike that outperforms this $80,000 one.
For ~$1500 you can build an ebike that outperforms this real purty $80,000 one. It wonít be as sexy though.

Overpriced commercial e-bikes

If you want to buy any commercially available ebike from a bike dealer you should expect to pay at least $2000, and most of the bikes are closer to $3000. If you want a fancy mid drive system like the Bosch or Yamaha then you are suddenly in the $4000-6000 territory. In all honesty, many of these expensive commercial ebikes really suck. They are underpowered and ugly and marketed toward older people who have a hard time pedaling normal bicycles. The number one ebike company in the US is Pedego who have never produced an ebike that I would be remotely interested in even testing, much less buying. Most of their ebikes have the motor and the battery in the rear of the bike which leads to an incredibly unbalanced ride because all weight is in the rear. Although lots of the bigger ebike review sites seem to really, really like these ebikes, they are also accepting money from them for advertising so of course they are going to sugar coat their bike reviews. Youíre not going to bite the hand that feeds you, right?

This site has spent most of its time being extremely critical of any commercial ebikes Iíve reviewed. I accept no money for advertising and frankly most of these overpriced commercial ebikes just suck. If they donít suck then they are astronomically expensive. There has got to be a better way.

How did I do it?

Iím going to talk about how I got into ebikes, because itís something of a tragic comedy. My friend Larry started Boxy Bikes about 2 years ago and I stopped by to see his new shop. I asked what the cheapest ebike he had for sale and he showed me a pretty well-loved several-year-old Giant Twist that he had taken in on trade with a 24v motor and a torque sensor. I took it for a spin and I told him that I would take it for $700. I have a problem with impulse shopping for large things with wheels as you can tell by the fact that I am just one person with 6 crappy cars.

Thats me in the hoodie. Darth Lister.
Thatís me in the hoodie. Darth Lister. Just click on the ĎAbuseí button.

Shop for ebikes on Craiglist first

I should have shopped around first because then I found a guy on Craigslist selling the EXACT same bike in pretty much NEW condition (he had used it about 3x) for $400 that evening. I did what any degenerate scumbag would do, and bought the cheap bike and tried to weasel my way out of buying the $700 bike from Boxy Bikes. I got into something of an awkward conversation with Larry about how I didnít really want the bike that the day before I had said I was going to buy, but he rightfully called me on my ***** and told me I already said I would buy the damn bike. He was right and I was an ass so I just bought them both. I was hoping that my son would enjoy going for rides with me. He hadnít wanted to be on a bike since that time I took him singletrack trail riding when he was about 7 and he took that header off the bridge and dropped 3 feet down into the creek. I guess he never forgave me for that one, and has hated biking ever since. Long story short my son would only go out with me riding under threat and I got tired of threatening him. I thought my wife would love the ebike too, she rode it for about 100 feet and then got off and said ĎDonít buy me an ebike, pleaseí. This is from a woman who loves to cycle and was born in the Denmark, the cycling utopia of the world. She liked to bicycle for exercise and just didnít see the point of the ebike except to help us get fat and lazy quicker. In the end, I gave up and resold the ebike on craigslist to some other sucker for $500, which brings me to my first point:

Donít piss off your local e-bike/bike dealer

I could have alienated Larry and refused to buy the bike I already said that I would buy. In the last 2 years, Larry and I have become really good friends and we talk about ebikes all the time. Looking back at this deal with the Twist I am super glad that I didnít have my head as far up my ass as I actually did. I want Larry to succeed and I want ebikes to become the dominant form of transportation in the USA. Itís funny because the other local non e-bike shop I used to frequent I now avoid because one of the bike mechanics likes to give me a hard time about riding an ebike on the singletrack trails. When someone is harassing you at the bike shop about your ebike just politely defer and leave and donít come back. Donít try to educate them and donít try to defend yourself. That is the same trap that Internet trolls use. When someone insults me on the internet I simply click the BLOCK or SPAM button and I donít give it a second thought. Does everyone have a right to their opinion? Of course. Do I have to listen to it? No fricken way. I can barely tolerate listening to myself type.

The kit comes with everything you'll need except some washers, the donor bike and a single speed chain.
The $390 3000W Cyclone kit is the most watts per buck youíll find in any mid drive. A diamond in the rough. Not for noobs. Check out my mid-drive shopping guide to see how it compares to the BBS02 & BBSHD

The quest for more power

24v on an ebike is a bad joke. 36v on an ebike is a joke that might be funny if you were totally out of your gourd wasted. 48v on an ebike is getting into some what reasonable territory, but 52v on an ebike is ideal. When I first got the Giant Twist the first thing I did was hook it up to a 36v battery even though it was only designed for a 24v one. BMS battery in China had a custom battery pack and charger for the Giant Twist. The bike performed much better at 36v than 24v but still cut out at 16mph which is about as fast as I can run if Iím getting chased by the cops. Although this Twist is an utter POS I still use it all the time in town, mostly because I love the torque sensing derailleur hanger. Although this ebike is a total ripoff at $1500, at $400 itís actually a pretty good deal. Giant was poised to be a leader in the ebike field, but they stumbled and floundered, like most everyone else has. When you buy a battery, make sure it has enough amps for future ebikes you might buy.

If you go with a large hub motor (over 500W) then use a torque arm on your bike or suffer the consequences. Power has itís price.

Buying a bunch of crap from China that is now all in my ebike junk pile

I spent several thousand dollars buying stuff off ebay, alibaba and aliexpress. I read all the warnings against doing this on Endless-Sphere but I thought I was really smart and would not get burned. I was wrong. Pretty much everything I bought I ended up burning up or destroying or trading them for used fat bike tires from Larry. I learned pretty quickly that you get what you pay for.

After getting burned on Ebay & Alibaba I decided that I would buy a bunch of prebuilt hub motors & batteries from actual real companies with websites in China. I ordered thousands of dollars worth of stuff from BMS battery and Elifebike because they were the cheapest I could find and spent almost $600 in shipping alone. I got burned from all of them, although I was sure I wouldnít. The motors burned out quickly, the batteries underperformed from their claims and were several pounds heavier than what they were listed as on their website. It was a nightmare. The funny thing is I still get emails from these Chinese companies on a regular basis asking if I want to order anything else. Thanks, but no thanks.

You get what you pay for when it comes to HK Lipo batteries. Don't waste your time.
You get what you pay for when it comes to HK Lipo batteries. Donít waste your time or dime.

Hobby King is synonymous with crap

Then I went the Hobby King route because their stuff was so cheap. The cells got frighteningly hot under just a fractional usage of their claimed C-rates. The packs started getting very puffy when maxed out and the chargers were a complete nightmare to use. I was convinced that these cells were going to blow up in my sleep and kill everyone in my house even though I charged them in the oven. In the end, I gave up on the HK Lipos too, and honestly I have no regrets about that at all. You get what you pay for. Lots of people tout the positives of these batteries online without being completely honest about the downfalls of them. Everyone brags about their fancy HK Lipo builds, but you rarely read about the catastrophic failures that I know must be pretty common with these batteries. Go figure.

Time to switch to LifePo4

After a while, I decided to go with LifePo4 cells because they seemed the least likely to kill me in my sleep. I bought a 52v 20Ah prismatic cell from imotorbattery on ebay which at $500 shipped seemed like the deal of the century. Within 3 months of use the battery was only putting out 12Ah not 20Ah. I tried to balance the cells, then swapped out the BMS but the problem persisted. They ended up shipping me a replacement 25Ah battery for free that I have never used because at 20lbs itís just way too heavy to carry around. The charger that imotorbattery sold me exploded in my house last month and I vowed never to buy cheap batteries from Alibaba or Ebay ever again. Kind of sad that I had to almost have my house burn down to figure that out. I guess Iím not the smartest peanut in the turd.

Newbbs02
This drive unit completely changed my life. Finding it was like finding The Holy Grail in a world full of Solo cups.

This Tragic Comedy is starting to sound like a Horror story

Enter the 750 watt BBS02. This drive unit completely changed my life. Without this drive unit, itís extremely unlikely that I would have continued to waste my time and energy with ebikes at all. When I first started this blog I was going to call it BBS02.com because it was all I wanted to talk about. Unfortudently there was no BBS02 unit for 100mm fat bikes. Although you could buy a fat bike and grind off the 100mm BB to make it fit, before Doug at California Ebike came out with his conversion kit, there was just very few options out there other than the Deadeye and Deadeye Monster conversions which are fat bikes that have 68mm BB. Doug changed the entire playing field. His axle kit was quickly copied by Lectric Cycles and Biktrix before Bafang released the BBSHD which would work with any BB from 68mm to 120mm. The BBS02 was an amazing drive unit that only reached its potential at the end of itís product life. This unit was never meant to be able to take 1300W continuous and many people who bought it and insisted on using full throttle up hills with a 48T chainring ended up frying their controllers. There was also a lot of problems with the pinion gear and the nylon gear which were both a pain to replace. Once they switched to 3077 mosfet controllers, many of the controller problems from lighter abuse were fixed. The BBS02 750W was a nightmare for most dealers to warranty and some dealers even ended up losing money from selling that drive unit too cheaply then being faced with tons of warranty replacements. Larry from Boxy bikes bought 4 BBS02ís and had a 100% failure rate on them.

Did Bafang finally get it right with the BBSHD?

The BBSHD picks up where the BSS02 left off. It is incredibly reliable under 30Amp load even when I beat the panther piss out of it on a daily basis. How is it that Bafang went from having so many problems with the BBS02 to having so few with the BBSHD? They built the drive unit to survive 50 amps and then only sold it as a 30 amp version. I burned out my plastic gear in about 5 minutes by running 65 amps through it with a giant 18FET Lyen Ďbrickí last week. Eric from Lunacycle has been successful at consistently running 50 amps through this BBSHD drive unit with an Adapto Sine Wave Controller without any issues at all. If the mechanicals can take 50 Amps and you only run 30 amps through it then that means you are going to have a pretty low failure rates on the drive. This is the key to the BBSHDís success. Itís also the key to my misery as I canít stop thinking about how awesome 65 Amps on the BBSHD felt for those precious 5 minutes we had together. I buy my 1000W BBSHD from

I buy my 1000W BBSHD from Lunacycle.com for $699 right here, who are a little more expensive than China, but worth every penny. They also have a bunch of custom chainrings like the 42T Luna Eclipse (for street) and the 30T Mighty Mini (for trailriding) which are a must-have upgrade that you canít buy unless you get your drive unit from them.

I have had better days.
The nylon gear is the weak point on the BBSHD and fails somewhere between 50 and 65 amps. The stock controller only gives you 30 Amps.

So how do I not get Punked by my first ebike or ebike kit purchase?

Test ride it before you buy it

Ride any and every ebike you can get your paws on. There is no better way to cut through the hype and BS. You know what feels good between your legs. There is no substitute for raw, unrestrained power. The Direct Drive guys love to talk about how awesome their motors are, but the reality is at the same power levels a mid drive will beat the feeling of a DD motor every single time. At higher power levels (over 4000W) and at higher speeds (over 40mph), most mid drives tend to extremely problematic and this territory is where large DD motors really shine.

Donít believe the hype

The ebike message boards are a complete wasteland of opinions that you can easily waste and infinite amount of time on and learn very little. The absolute last person you should listen to is me, I honestly have absolutely no idea what I am talking about and I am a complete fraud. My biggest fear is that you will find out how mentally unstable I really am and will totally stop reading my ramblings.

Everyone thinks they are smart. Everyone thinks they know what is best for you. They are all wrong, there is only one person who knows what kind of ebike will suit you best and that person is you. For me, I want 1300W-3000W in the lightest mid drive I can get that still runs at 52V. That setup is not for everyone, and I realize that and try to respect other peopleís opinions, even though I know that whatís right for them (like a 25lb hub motor running at 6000W) is not what is right for me and will never be what I want on my bike. There are plenty of elderly people out there who only want and need a 350W hub motor, and for them, that is just perfect. Am I going to harass and insult them?

No.

Be polite

The world is such a better place when people are not assho|es to each other. Is it really that important that everyone think that your $500 crowdfunded ebike is the best thing ever? Do you really have to insult and harass anyone with a different opinion? When I was younger and people looked at me the wrong way I would fight for ANY reason at all. Now that Iím older I look back at my youth as completely insane. If something isnít right with your ebike kit or battery then donít be an ass to the dealer. Youíre much more likely to get much better service that way.

po3j36qf6o

Buy everything from the same vendor

Certain ebike vendors are now saying that the warranty on their drive units is void if you use it with anyone elseís battery. Personally, I find this kind of lame, but it is well within their rights. If you want to make sure you donít have these issues like that then you should just buy everything from the same place. Then the connectors will be right too, and you wonít have to cut wires and solder things, which can be downright dangerous if youíre doing it on a live battery.

Forget about Alibaba, Ebay and Aliexpress

If you want to buy your drive units, ebikes, or batteries from any of these companies you are just nuts and there isnít anything I can do to help you. Good luck buddy. Just flush your money down the toilet. In the end, youíll be better off; less stress, same result. Buy from someone reputable. How do you know if they are reputable? Ask someone else (other than me).

Buy from the US when you can

If you want to get support when your stuff breaks the best way to do that is to buy from US companies. You can save a few bucks buying from China, but in the end, itís really not worth it. Trying to get stuff across the pond is expensive and time-consuming, both ways. Shipping Lithium batteries across the ocean legally is astronomically expensive. If you have a local ebike shop then support them whenever you can. These guys are the foot soldiers on the new frontier and they need some love.

Be extremely wary of used lithium packs

There are lots of messed up lithium packs out there because as the packs age they lose their energy capacity. If they are physically abused or charged incorrectly they will also get pretty wonky, although it might be hard to tell this from a cursory inspection. If youíre buying a lithium pack from someone on craigslist or on the street you have NO way of knowing if it even works properly or not. When you buy an ebike from ANYONE other than an ebike dealer you should negotiate like the battery is NOT included (even though it is). Be clear that you cannot give the seller the value for the battery unless you can have it and test it for a week before you buy it. The easiest way to test it is to run it till the BMS shuts off then attach a watt meter backwards to the charger to see how many Ah the battery can take from the charger before it is fully charged. There is no other easy way to tell how much power a Lithium battery can store. If you are buying it from an ebike vendor find out about how long they will warranty it for before you buy it.

Drill baby, drill.
Drill baby, drill.

Buy a battery pack that you can use with ALL your ebikes and will last you a few years

At this point, the only kind of battery pack that makes any sense is a 18650 pack made up of quality non-Chinese cells. You can use one battery pack between several ebikes, so when it comes time to figure out what pack to buy, I suggest you get one that is powerful enough to use on all of your ebikes. Since you are only one person, you can only ride one ebike at a time. I have about 15 ebikes but only about 5 battery packs to use between them. If you want to use a shark or dolphin pack then you can buy extra mounting brackets and put them on all your ebikes. I really like the frame packs and if you have to choose between a large triangle pack or using two smaller frame packs and swapping them out when the first one dies, Iíd chose the latter. If your drive unit pulls a lot of amps that might not be a feasible solution for you. Expect a good 18650 pack to last you 3-4 years if it is mounted properly and it is not abused. Within 4 years it will be obsolete anyways.

shark_scale__30328.1451955803.1280.1280
My favorite pack for the BBS02, but it gets too hot for a BBSHD, the NCRb shark pack from Lunacycle.com

Iíve bought and tested a lot of packs from a lot of different vendors and the only packs I use anymore are 18650 packs from Lunacycle.com. Iíve written reviews of the 52v NCRb shark pack here (the best pack Iíve ever owned) as well as a 48v 30q pack here. Other ebike dealers talk a lot of crap about Luna, but I gotta say their batteries are top notch and Eric stands behind his product in a big way. His pricing is insane, not because heís using Chinese cells, but because he buys the batteries 15,000 at a time direct from the manufacturer and gets a great price. With all the Chinese fakes out there that is probably the only safe way to do it.

Itís no secret that Eric and I are caught up in a bittersweet friendship/rivalry that reminds me of Tupac/Notorious B.I.G. East coast\West coast thing. Letís hope one of us doesnít end up getting popped.

Build the industry up, donít just tear it down

With everything you do, work towards a future where ebikes are accepted and not shunned. Be an ambassador for the sport and treat all other bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists with respect even when they totally piss you off and are in the wrong. Donít blatantly break the laws and rub it in other peopleís faces. Letís stop talking smack about everyone else behind their backs, and letís start to work together to make something real.

Ebikes in America are destined for great things and hopefully it wonít take a Zombie apocalypse for it to happen. We can do it. Together.

If it DOES take a Zombie apocalypse for ebikes to take off, then weíll all be glad we have really fast ebikes to get away from them and solar cells to charge them with.

Ride On.

The Photos didn't transfer but here is where it came from.

https://electricbike-blog.com/2016/0...ot-get-punked/
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Old 07-06-16, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by calfee20 View Post
I hope they don't mind me copying and pasting this article.

https://electricbike-blog.com/2016/0...ot-get-punked/
Just put a link to the original, and perhaps summarize a few key points. Those who are interested can then go read the original.
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Old 07-10-16, 08:27 PM
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Sorry to hear about your IZip

In the situation you are in, there are no easy answers. The design, with that level of power, and going at speeds above 20 mph in fairly regular use, is likely to continue to have issues. If you order 1 belt, you might be best off ordering a back up or two. (if you are going to keep the ebike forawhile). There is likely also going to be stress on the bearings where the belt attaches, so that would be the next thing that could possibly fail. This may not be something you want to hear, but you probably would be best off after getting the belt fixed, selling it used, and maybe someone who would not use it regularly would be able to tolerate it better. But then you'd probably only be able to get $400 or $500 for it. An idea for you, in case you are interested, is maybe Crazy Lenny up in Madison would take your e-bike in on trade for a new better quality one that can handle the commute. He is known for giving great deals, and not saying he'll feel sorry for you, but he has offered some really good prices on ebikes, and also deals with iZips, so maybe he can re-condition it, and sell it for some reasonable price. He has sold a lot of IZips, but they are more recent models, and maybe he sells them for a light duty recreational rider. Be honest with him about your use and desired commute and speeds, and he'll help you find the right ebike, as he carries many brands. Good luck !
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