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Electric bike with or without suspension??

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Old 06-12-16, 12:03 PM
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awm72
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Question Electric bike with or without suspension??

I sold my Giant hybrid. looking to get an ebike. I'm surprised at number of non-suspended ebikes out there. When I first rode my hybrid, it was amazing, I could ride down a dirt road that was speckled with shade and not worry about holes and bumps. I felt like a kid again. Recently I rode a Raleigh Misceo with no suspension, until I hit the first bump followed by a gap in the road. My shoulders and lower back were rattled. Then I rode a bike trail that was paved but had some frost damage and I felt like bike was out of control and it was difficult to regain control. So what is with that? I thought a suspension was the sign of a better bike, and no suspension was old school but without the balloon tires of my youth. I was going for Ebike because my legs have neurapathy and if I rode for more than 10 miles, I couldn't power up like I used to. The idea of spending $3400 for a bike is one thing, but $2000 and no suspension is just as crazy. I have also noticed battery quality and life is all over the place. 1000 charges and its toasted, I can take my battery powered tools into a battery store and they can rebuild it for 1/2 cost of new battery. Can't that be done with bicycle battery? Also there seem to be very little in the way of standards for a battery build, either size or shape.
ok, I'll stop now and wait for someone to inform of the error of my thinking.
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Old 06-12-16, 02:19 PM
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Batteries, arguably the most expensive component of an ebike, vary immensely in quality. Best bet IMO is to purchase from a reputable company with a good warranty; examples BionX, three years; Bosch and Yamaha also impressive. As far as suspension, individual choice.
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Old 06-13-16, 05:04 PM
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Suspension is a very personal thing. I personally found my front fork rear hardtail a little jarring at times on the road and more so off-road. The Cane Creek Long-Travel seatpost did wonders for that, but does make for a very "busy" cockpit (meaning the seat is moving). Full suspension (rear suspension) doesn't have this unique "busy" cockpit feel, because the seat isn't moving the rear swingarm and tire are.

Tire pressure and tire size also make a huge difference in taking the "thuds" out, so I'm told by the plus tire size guys.

On a side note: I'm going to test ride the Trek Stache 5 full-hard with 29+ tires for a possible trail/camping bike. Rumor has it that Trek may be announcing an Adventure model of their Stache this month for 2017. Pobably not a good choice for any road, street of cement bike trail riding; just off-road, fire roads and the like.
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Old 06-13-16, 06:30 PM
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I would never buy a Ebike without suspension, rode the Specialized Turbo bikes a couple of time on regular everyday road. Ouch the vibes in the front too much for any kind of distance.
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Old 06-18-16, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
I sold my Giant hybrid. looking to get an ebike. I'm surprised at number of non-suspended ebikes out there. When I first rode my hybrid, it was amazing, I could ride down a dirt road that was speckled with shade and not worry about holes and bumps. I felt like a kid again. Recently I rode a Raleigh Misceo with no suspension, until I hit the first bump followed by a gap in the road. My shoulders and lower back were rattled. Then I rode a bike trail that was paved but had some frost damage and I felt like bike was out of control and it was difficult to regain control. So what is with that? I thought a suspension was the sign of a better bike, and no suspension was old school but without the balloon tires of my youth. I was going for Ebike because my legs have neurapathy and if I rode for more than 10 miles, I couldn't power up like I used to. The idea of spending $3400 for a bike is one thing, but $2000 and no suspension is just as crazy. I have also noticed battery quality and life is all over the place. 1000 charges and its toasted, I can take my battery powered tools into a battery store and they can rebuild it for 1/2 cost of new battery. Can't that be done with bicycle battery? Also there seem to be very little in the way of standards for a battery build, either size or shape.
ok, I'll stop now and wait for someone to inform of the error of my thinking.
We have sold close to 3500 ebikes now and get this request battery re-build all the time.
The market in the US is still very nascent and unfortunately, the Hazmat don't make it easier to re-build the batteries as well.
Some of the latest Stromer and BULLS Ebike batteries offer 50+ mile range. You may want to take a look at some of the full suspension bikes by Haibike BULLS and BH Easy Motion.
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Old 06-29-16, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
I sold my Giant hybrid. looking to get an ebike. I'm surprised at number of non-suspended ebikes out there. When I first rode my hybrid, it was amazing, I could ride down a dirt road that was speckled with shade and not worry about holes and bumps. I felt like a kid again. Recently I rode a Raleigh Misceo with no suspension, until I hit the first bump followed by a gap in the road. My shoulders and lower back were rattled. Then I rode a bike trail that was paved but had some frost damage and I felt like bike was out of control and it was difficult to regain control. So what is with that? I thought a suspension was the sign of a better bike, and no suspension was old school but without the balloon tires of my youth. I was going for Ebike because my legs have neurapathy and if I rode for more than 10 miles, I couldn't power up like I used to. The idea of spending $3400 for a bike is one thing, but $2000 and no suspension is just as crazy. I have also noticed battery quality and life is all over the place. 1000 charges and its toasted, I can take my battery powered tools into a battery store and they can rebuild it for 1/2 cost of new battery. Can't that be done with bicycle battery? Also there seem to be very little in the way of standards for a battery build, either size or shape.
ok, I'll stop now and wait for someone to inform of the error of my thinking.
I have an e-bike mid drive front suspension. Like others I put a thudbuster on it and that helps not having a rear suspension. I would suggest retrofitting what you want and find a builder who can help. If I started over I'd do a cross-country full suspension like a Cannondale Scalpel or Salsa Spearfish, which are $2000 just for the bike. I retrofitted my 10 year old C-dale F600.

I went to an e-bike dealer and we made a custom bike for about the same as one you'd purchase off the interweb, but with customer service and the ability to work with someone. He can tear apart my battery if necessary and rebuild it--just go with Panasonic cells that are the same as hybrid cars and you'll be in good shape.
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Old 06-29-16, 06:16 PM
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I think front suspension with a thudbuster type seat post would be the best solution for on-road riding. Especially if we're talking about 28+mph bikes. There are plenty of e-bikes with front suspension. I haven't really seen a dual suspension e-bike that was meant for on-road riding. The dual suspension mountain bikes tend to have more aggressive riding position and the rear suspension leaves less room for the battery.

Lithium Ion batteries can last 2-3X as long if you only charge them up to 75-85%. There are special charges out there that can be purchased to do this. That's why it can pay in the long run to buy the biggest battery offered and only charge it up to 80% so that the range is still acceptable.


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Old 06-30-16, 12:27 AM
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I have an e-trike with no suspension and I'm missing it. If you plan on going fast get a suspension.
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Old 06-30-16, 11:22 AM
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I ride without a suspension, but I can easily bunnyhop and maneuver my light weight bike. For the weight of bikes you all use, a suspension is pretty much required. I do put a lot less air in my front tires, as all normal bikes have a 40/60 weight distribution (some ebikes may be different). Many people's problems can be mitigated by having appropriately less pressure in the front tire. It does nothing by having it over-inflated. And, buy the biggest tires you can (within reason).
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Old 06-30-16, 12:41 PM
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I converted a steel touring bike to an e-bike. No suspension. I don't feel that it rides too much differently than it did before the conversion. My riding is done on the road and on MUP's - I don't really feel that suspension is necessary.

As far as cost... My touring bike/commuter had about $2000 invested into it prior to the e-bike conversion. The Bionx conversion kit was around $2400. I then determined that a conversion from cantilever brakes to disc brakes was necessary for safety (due to the added weight of the conversion kit), that was another $500. So, I'm in about $5000 - but, I have a bike that I love and one that is excellent quality. As with most things, you get what you pay for.
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Old 06-30-16, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
I have also noticed battery quality and life is all over the place. 1000 charges and its toasted, I can take my battery powered tools into a battery store and they can rebuild it for 1/2 cost of new battery. Can't that be done with bicycle battery? Also there seem to be very little in the way of standards for a battery build, either size or shape.
Battery powered tools typically have a large mark-up, so replacing batteries is cheap. Bicycle batteries are sufficiently large, that you're basically just paying for the cost of the cells, and the packaging is insignificant. Things have basically standardized, in that most people are using 18650 Li-ion cell (Samsung or Pansonic are quality brands). It's entirely possible to rebuild packs by just replacing the cells, the problem is that you're not going to save much over a new pack.

Also, rebuilding packs is inherently dangerous due to the stored energy. Tool batteries are much lower capacity and as a result, much safer to work with. Rebuilding a used/abused pack is inherently more risky than building a brand new pack, since you can trust things probably work.
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Old 07-01-16, 04:41 PM
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OP might be interested in this bike.

Biktrix MonteCapro Full Suspension ebike
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Old 07-01-16, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
OP might be interested in this bike.

Biktrix MonteCapro Full Suspension ebike
This bike is amazing for the price. I see it's currently sold out,...
__________________
If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
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Old 07-01-16, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
OP might be interested in this bike.

Biktrix MonteCapro Full Suspension ebike
Looks very interesting, especially for the price...
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Old 07-01-16, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
This bike is amazing for the price. I see it's currently sold out,...
It's one of those kickstarter things were they sell them in 'batches' and ship later. The first batch is shipping out soon and there one local owner in Vancouver who took delivery of a bike and posted his impressions on electric bike review forums.
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Old 07-05-16, 01:15 PM
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I have a Suntour NCX suspension seatpost. I have also had a Thudbuster. Both performed quite well, and I would be happy to get either of them again.

if your bike frame rider-posture is more upright, I consider one of these to be a vital accessory. On a conventional road, bike, the rider is leaned forward, and half your upper-body weight can be concentrated on your wrists. If you see a pothole or bump coming up, they advise riders to lift their butt out of the seat, and "bunny hop" to avoid shocking your wrists (you can't take your hands off the handlebars when traversing an obstacle, or you might crash)

I have "mid fat" tires, 26 X 3.5...and I may try 3.0 inch tires to see if there's any improvement, but...I am pretty happy with the cushioning as it is right now. I am still interested in bikes with suspension, but at my street cruiser commute, my current set-up is acceptable to me.

Cost wasn't the issue, but most rear-suspension frames put the rear shock right where I wanted to mount the fairly large triangle battery.
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Old 07-10-16, 11:18 PM
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If you going to use in city with relatively nice roads then don't spend money for suspension. Go with a solid fork or something old school. They are problem free and don't need maintenance.
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Old 07-11-16, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by j.howard View Post
If you going to use in city with relatively nice roads then don't spend money for suspension. Go with a solid fork or something old school. They are problem free and don't need maintenance.
Well, my giant never needed the front fork maintained. I don't plan on ever riding on woods trails. I'm 72, reflexes have gone to mediocre. I love to ride converted rail paths, the grades are consistent and there is some scenery. I live in Vermont so the roads aren't fancy wide like out West. Riding on a road requires more trust than I care to give to any vehicle drivers. I wear bright clothes when I ride, I prefer 2 mirrors, and lights on. A front suspension takes of my wrists, the suspended seat takes care of the ripply roads. The chuck holes I ride around or slowly ride down into and out of. We have frost heaves here and Springtime riding is never take your eyes off the road. I don't need a ride like a car. At my age, my back is giving problems, arthritis in hands, and neuropathy in my legs. I'm still alive so I want to ride & hoped electric would be the answer. My body may be old, but there is still a kid inside, and he wants to be on the road pedaling happily, hopefully with a little assist. Not fanatic either. Maybe I should look at a small recumbent that still fits my Thule bike rack.
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Old 07-11-16, 12:37 PM
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Here's another dual suspension commuter style bike. I would personally upgrade to hydraulic disc brakes if I got one. I just got a Bodyfloat suspension seat post for my Cross Current and I have to say that it works really well. I have a hard time imagining a rear swing arm doing a significantly better job on pavement.

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Old 07-11-16, 12:49 PM
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Didn't reread all the posts, but you can purchase a Yamaha-equipped, front suspended Haibike for about $2500 with a great battery (2-year warranty); add a suspension seatpost and you're on your way (but PAS-only). If that's too much to spend or you want the option of throttle, a BBS02 from Luna Cycles is $500. For 10 miles of riding or so, a 52V, 6a/h battery is $230 (both plus shipping or more capacity for more money. Add to a Craig's list bike of your choosing. The smaller battery should fit in some FS frames or either battery in all hardtails. If that's still too much look at YESCOM for a $200-240 DD motor (I've used everything mentioned and all function well.
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Old 07-11-16, 02:28 PM
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That 2500 dollar Haibike is the Sduro SM model with the Very very good range Yamaha motor. Dealer told me SM stands for special model and Haibike is doing that price just this year as most Haibikes are above 3k easily msrp.
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Old 07-11-16, 08:25 PM
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Awm72. Go to the bike shop and buy something that's suspended and fun to ride. Summer is half over and time's a wasting! I'm not one to spend $2000 on a bike, but if you dicker and deal, you can probably get something good for that. Tremendous margins in these things.

The stuff that may be of concern you is small stuff. 1000 charges probably should be derated to 500 cycles, but that is still 500 riding days, which would is probably two years of riding for me.

If the bike you want doesn't have a suspended seat post, just buy one. I took mine off my daughter's old Giant. I never had a sprung seat before. Nice.
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Old 07-12-16, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
I sold my Giant hybrid. looking to get an ebike. I'm surprised at number of non-suspended ebikes out there.
Most people have no need for suspension on a bike or at most a suspension front fork meets their needs.

Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
When I first rode my hybrid, it was amazing, I could ride down a dirt road that was speckled with shade and not worry about holes and bumps. I felt like a kid again.
Should have kept it and just bolted on a BaFang mid-drive. More than half the battle is finding a bike YOU like.

Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
Recently I rode a Raleigh Misceo with no suspension, until I hit the first bump followed by a gap in the road. My shoulders and lower back were rattled. Then I rode a bike trail that was paved but had some frost damage and I felt like bike was out of control and it was difficult to regain control. So what is with that?
What you discribe as problematic is exactly what road bike riders like; a firm rigid frame that doesn't flex and transfers all your power to the road. I also found the Raleigh Misceo an incredibly firm ride, but loved that fact about it. It's a rigid hardtail with rigid carbon fork and high pressure tires for fast light weight (for an eBike) roll. It's a quick responsive bike!

With that said, I'd love to put a quality suspension fork and suspension seatpost on it and give it a try...

That Shimano electric shifting IGH and automatic gear reset at stops was amazing.

Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
I thought a suspension was the sign of a better bike, and no suspension was old school but without the balloon tires of my youth.
One only has to look at the bicycles at Wally World to know the fact that a bike just "has" full suspension doesn't mean it's better. IMHO only quality suspension is worth your hard earned money.

Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
I was going for Ebike because my legs have neurapathy and if I rode for more than 10 miles, I couldn't power up like I used to. The idea of spending $3400 for a bike is one thing, but $2000 and no suspension is just as crazy.
Good thought and should help you out tremendously. Again, consider adding a BaFang to a bike YOU love.

Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
I have also noticed battery quality and life is all over the place. 1000 charges and its toasted, I can take my battery powered tools into a battery store and they can rebuild it for 1/2 cost of new battery. Can't that be done with bicycle battery? Also there seem to be very little in the way of standards for a battery build, either size or shape.
Only use quality lithium ion batteries, period. The rest are a waste of money...

Originally Posted by awm72 View Post
ok, I'll stop now and wait for someone to inform of the error of my thinking.
No real errors in your thinking at all. Some people need suspension and some don't. Just don't assume the fact that a bike has suspension means it's better; quality is key in everything.

If you were local to SoCal I'd say come on over and try my KHS MTB with BaFang and front suspension fork that I have for sale at only $1,350 (took the Thudbuster off to keep). Rides great as is and even better with a Thudbuster seatpost.

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Old 07-15-16, 07:35 PM
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I would like to go for a good suspension in front and and spring held seat. When i build my first e-bike that's what i'll do
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Old 07-23-16, 11:15 AM
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just letting folks know, I decided on a Trek Lift +. I bought a Suntour seatpost online, added front fender, rear rack, lights front and back. It was more than my first new car, which is strange. I wish it came with all that equipment on it. The next model up has all that plus a rear fender. $200 more, but narrow tires, I rarely ride on paved roads in Vermont, plus it rode hard and not flexible at all. My body doesn't do well as a shock absorber. I will have it in my possession next week. I have learned doing this post, and thanks to all who commented, best feedback ever. see you on the bike paths!
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