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Help - Choosing a bike with a smooth e-assist feel

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Help - Choosing a bike with a smooth e-assist feel

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Old 08-10-18, 02:26 PM
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jmaher
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Help - Choosing a bike with a smooth e-assist feel

Have decided to purchase an e-bike and have now done short test drives on five of them. Looking for a peddle assist bike that the motor adds a very natural feel with little noise if possible. Also concerned over range but would probably give up range for a bike that feels like a regular bike with just a boost in power.

I have done short test drives on a Pedego, Electra, Trek , Giant and Copenhagen Wheel conversion.

Of the them all the Copenhagen Wheel had the most natural feel and I liked the back pedal regeneration slow down feature. Of concern here is the range and the phone interface reliability but I must say I really liked this option

Second was the Giant which seemed to have more range, etc. Reasonably smooth and intuitive power assist but not as much as the Copenhagen.

Trek was next and was very nice but there did seem to be a occasional lag in response. The others were less successful at integration of ride and motor or at least that is how it felt to me.

What other bikes should i try to find and ride, etc? Since this is all new to me what am I not considering and what do other think of my first too choices at this point?

Jim
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Old 08-10-18, 06:26 PM
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In truth, unless you set out to hate something, you will quickly get used to the assist on whatever you pick.

Keep in mind that there may be days when your are forced to pedal without power, and there may be days when you may want to pedal unassisted. I've only had one of the former and many of the latter. In which case, it's worth seeing how the bike works as a pure bike.
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Old 08-10-18, 09:00 PM
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Find and try as many as you can. Pick the one YOU like best.
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Old 08-11-18, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
In truth, unless you set out to hate something, you will quickly get used to the assist on whatever you pick.

Keep in mind that there may be days when your are forced to pedal without power, and there may be days when you may want to pedal unassisted. I've only had one of the former and many of the latter. In which case, it's worth seeing how the bike works as a pure bike.
So true, and I wouldn't know anything about it, but I do know that range anxiety is a thing. But I don't know that people really run out of power as often as they think they will. I really like what I have read about the Copenhagen Wheel. The ONLY thing anyone has ever said bad about it is the 30 mile range worries them. Seriously. People who have never gone more than 10 miles (round trip) ever at one time are wringing their hands over an advertised 30 mile range of a motor. For me, it would be simple: if you have a bike already that you like, Copenhagen Wheel. Period. End of story. If you need a bike and an e-assist, a crank drive system has better performance. I imagine all the major systems are as good as any other. Buy the bike you like, and learn to work with the crank drive system it comes with.
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Old 08-11-18, 07:49 AM
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Thanks to all who responded.

I live on the West Coast of Florida and there seem to be limited choices available in the locals stores. My intention is to seek out and try what is available within an hour's drive but was looking for suggestions that might be worth a longer trip
None of the bikes were bad and I can understand why you might become accustomed to any of them but just like in buying anything why not look for what best suits your needs?

Range anxiety is probably in my head.. However it does seem (from reading the forums) that the stated range for any bike is probably an overestimated hope rather than a reality. For example I don't need 30 miles but 20 would get me downtown and back with a small margin for error. I seem to have read comments about 30 mile ranges being more like 20 or 17 depending on the amount of boost needed.

I am going to try the Copenhagen wheel once again.

Jim
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Old 08-11-18, 08:57 AM
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Since you ride Bromptons/birdies Jim, I guess $1749 for just a wheel, and $3088 for a road bike with the big red motor doesn't seem unrealistic to you. Personally, I think it is overpriced when you can buy a good basic ebike for less than $1500 and $3K gets you into the range of purpose built ebikes with mid drive motors. The Giants, Treks, and Bosch bikes are pretty nice, from what I remember on test rides. I believe their ranges with current batteries and a rider willing to pedal is over 50 miles. It all depends on speed.

I know you don't need much climbing ability in Florida. Twice, I've brought my little electrified kit folders with me to Florida in the winter. They top out at 18 mph and are perfect for your bike paths. The only hills we saw were the big causeway bridges and they handled the slope fine, catching up to roadies at the top. The lanes were too narrow to pass, probably bad etiquette, and I knew we would have just held them up going down.

I'm riding converted bikes myself, but our first ebike was purchased from Crazy Lennys in Madison WI where he had over 300 bikes in inventory. It was a 3 hour drive for us, but worth it. He has a shop in Winter Garden and it could be worth a drive if they have any inventory to test. I also recall passing a Pedego shop strategically located on the Pinella trail somewhere south of Tarpon Springs. Otherwise, I don't really know Florida except that I should spend more money down there so you locals can have low taxes.
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Old 08-11-18, 09:06 AM
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We all appreciate your spending money down here

18MPH is fine with me. Not a fast rider, just getting older with a few heart issues and figure an e-bike would get me out more and travel further. I will look up Crazy Lenny's and see if they have anything worth making a few hour road trip to. Thanks for the suggestion.

Would rather spend less but would like something that feels like a bike and not a motorized vehicle. The more natural it feels in boosting power the better I would like it.

Jim
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Old 08-12-18, 06:42 PM
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I like my Juiced bike with the "torque sensor". So the power output is proportional to the torque on the pedals not to the RPM. I assume all the higher-end bikes have that. But I have not ridden any other e-bikes nor have I piloted a motorcycle.

Seems like you can get a whole bike shipped to your door for the price of the 'Copenhagen wheel'?
https://www.juicedbikes.com/products/crosscurrent-s
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Old 08-12-18, 09:50 PM
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I've been to several e-bike expos, along with Interbike and Sea Otter the past few years and ridden a slew of e-bikes of every variety. I agree that you'll get used to almost any OEM bike and it will be satisfactory for you. I have an early Haibike with Yamaha mid-drive, probably one of the least desirable, and it's fine (but not as much fun as my BBS02 conversion).
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Old 08-13-18, 03:40 PM
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Try to find an EG brand bike. The pedal assist feature is very smooth. Range using pedal assist is 40 miles.
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Old 08-20-18, 12:53 AM
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Try a Raleigh Lore...its a bosch mid drive. I get 25 miles on 'turbo' mode--the highest boost level. The bike is blast to ride and still feels like a bike--40 miles on lower levels of boost depending on terrain. I like it so much I'm buying my wife one.
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Old 08-20-18, 09:00 AM
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Thanks on EG
Found a dealer a little over an hour away. Going tomorrow.
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Old 08-20-18, 12:07 PM
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Where is there an EG dealer in FL? I live in Cape Coral six months out of the year and am considering an EG Vienna for a second bike to use in FL. My main bike is the EG Athens 250.
Let is know what you decide!

Last edited by Ohiopicker; 08-20-18 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Add text
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Old 08-20-18, 12:21 PM
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I would go with a Brose motor equipped bike. Specialized, Raleigh, Bulls and others use that motor in some of their bikes. Brose, Bosch and Shimano STEPS will be very reliable and will give you a good long life with the bike with less maintenance and worry. But generally because Brose is a belt driven motor it is quite a bit quieter than say Bosch but try some different ones and see. Avoid rear hub drives as they tend to break spokes and are less reliable than a good mid-drive setup plus they add the worst weight to a bike, rotational weight. The cheap online stuff is cheap and online for a reason, if it was decent you would see more e-bike retailers trying to sell it. The price seems right until you have a bunch of problems with it and are constantly bringing it by a shop hoping they can try and fix it or trying to find hard to find parts. Bosch, Brose and Shimano are extremely well supported in the U.S. and so far we haven't had to replace a single Bosch motor in 6 years of doing this (and one of our old mechanics hadn't done one in the 11 years before he joined us 3 years ago) and I think we may have replaced one Brose motor and nothing from Shimano so far (though they are newer to the field). We have replaced a whole bunch of hub drive motors and other kit motors and a few Impulse motors which aren't being sold in the U.S. anymore.

Our shop has people coming in from all over the country because we have a larger inventory and brands you don't often see because most shops selling e-bikes might not be dedicated to them. We also do a lot of repairs on e-bikes from many different brands. Take a road trip to a bigger e-bike retailer and find a place with a good deal of selection and quality bikes. A lot of folks who sell one brand of e-bike are just selling what their main analogue brand has in stock and might not be as knowledgeable about e-bikes in general and may have only jumped on the bandwagon more recently. Variety is the spice of life.
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Old 08-21-18, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ohiopicker View Post
Where is there an EG dealer in FL? I live in Cape Coral six months out of the year and am considering an EG Vienna for a second bike to use in FL. My main bike is the EG Athens 250.
Let is know what you decide!
Sorry not a EG dealer.here confused it with EasyMotion from BH. Too many names and initials.
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Old 08-21-18, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I would go with a Brose motor equipped bike. Specialized, Raleigh, Bulls and others use that motor in some of their bikes. Brose, Bosch and Shimano STEPS will be very reliable and will give you a good long life with the bike with less maintenance and worry. But generally because Brose is a belt driven motor it is quite a bit quieter than say Bosch but try some different ones and see.
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Any opinion on Easy Motion bikes by BH? They use the Brose motor.
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Old 08-21-18, 01:18 PM
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A few years back an ebike shop opened up and I turned up on opening day. They let me ride a dozen or so bikes from a wide variety of manufacturers. The one that felt the best *to me* was Stromer. I'm coming up on 10K miles on it. Never made a better purchase.
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Old 08-21-18, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by jmaher View Post
Any opinion on Easy Motion bikes by BH? They use the Brose motor.
We have an older Easy Motion in the shop which uses hub motors and a least some of their new stuff which I have seen is not the prettiest. However Brose makes a fine motor so it would be at least well motored now. The Atom Diamond Wave Pro is probably what you are looking for assuming it is a city bike. It seems very European in style which isn't bad but I wish instead they used a belt drive with the IGH and used hydraulic disc brakes instead of hydraulic rim brakes but everything else looks like decent enough spec. If you are talking Atom X mountain bike it seems like a good bike but not the best looking. Though not sure why XT 10 speed on the hardtail but 11 speed XT on the full sus. If you like the bike go for it.

As far as Stromer they are still stuck in the past with hub driven motors. Certainly they made some of the best bikes on the market for a while but they haven't moved to mid drive like everyone else. 10k for a hub driven bike,, the ST5, is way overpriced. They put a lot of nice parts on it and maybe it is super technologically advanced in some places but it weighs quite a bit and puts a good bit of weight as rotational weight (over 10 pounds). Also boost spaced front but 12x135 rear, what the huh? They could do great things with Bosch or Brose in their stable.
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Old 08-21-18, 09:38 PM
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It seems disingenuous for a vendor to disparage what he doesn't sell and glorify what he does. I had both the Stromer ST1X ($5,000) and STS ($10,000) for extended tests. Both easily accelerated to 30 mph and were extremely smooth riding bikes. The STS was overpriced IMO, but the ST1X, which had similar specification, was worth it. IMO, hub motors are excellent for street riding. Their big advantage over mid-drives (of which I have four) is less drivetrain wear. Also, there are many DIY systems that are excellent. The other day my BBS02 with 52V, 10 ah battery had its third birthday, and hasn't experienced any problems with pretty severe off road riding.
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Old 08-22-18, 07:46 AM
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In my experience, the VanMoof has one of the best feeling electric assist. It never gives you the feeling that you are being pushed forward. It feels like a gentle helping hand.
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Old 09-02-18, 11:52 AM
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I have tried about eight different eBikes. I have not found a natural feeling bike either. My approach to testing the bikes is to methodically start with the motor turned off. I pedaled standing up to see how they accelerated to 27 mph. I was pleased to discover they all felt like conventional bikes, except much heavier.

Turning on the pedal assist power was always a disappointment. Some bikes resisted going over 20mph when powered on, e.g., Bosch, even thought they accelerated normally with power turned off.

To me, building and conserving momentum is essential to cycling. I stand up to pedal about once per mile to maintain momentum in the Denver area. I do not want or need large amounts of power or weight. The newer motors, i.e., Fazua Evation and Bafang M800 seem to reflect the bike philosophy that feels natural to me. I guess I need to be patient and wait to see what arrives on USA shores this year.

The Orbea "Efficiency and Sufficiency" bike design philosophy expresses my desire. However, Orbea Gain eBikes are hub driven. I exclude hub driven eBikes from consideration.

The best implementation to date seems to be the Pinarello Nytro, which is not available in the USA, until Fazua receives USA approval.

I tried posting the links, but the server rejected them.
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Old 09-02-18, 11:59 AM
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Some Denver bike shops now rent eBikes by the hour. I have considered renting for a half day for $50. I am not sure I would learn more than I already know. I would certainly be very interested in renting an Ebike that I was seriously interested in.
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Old 09-02-18, 01:48 PM
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I cannot post pictures or URLs due to my newbie status. I uploaded a graph to my photos album that depicts how I see Urban eBike tradeoffs.
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Old 09-09-18, 06:53 AM
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I pickup a trek verve+ for $2200 out the door last Saturday. The trek dealer was offering 10% off on all e-bikes. . So far very impressed. The mid drive motor is very smooth. I usually start on the highest level of assist to get me going and work my way down to the lowest level assist or none at alll. You will still get a work out and will probably burn more calories in the long run due to riding more.
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