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Best high speed/low maintenance bike for open road?

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Best high speed/low maintenance bike for open road?

Old 12-21-20, 01:48 AM
  #1  
derrickhulsey
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Best high speed/low maintenance bike for open road?

Advice needed:
I commute 14 miles each way on mostly rural (paved and flat) roads to the next town. I have been riding my Juiced Bikes CCX and have over 5,000 miles on it, but the torque sensor stopped working and I have been waiting on a replacement part for over a month @#$%@$! As I am going crazy driving a car to work I am not planning on being in this situation again so I am looking to replace the CCX with another brand. I really like the speed and ride of the CCX, but not enough to worry about reliability any more.
I stay pretty steady at 28-29mph the whole way, so I definitely want one that is able to travel at a minimum that fast for a decent period of time (faster even better) . The new Serial one looks tempting with the Gates belt drive, but I have ridden the Specialized Vado with a Brose motor and even though it says "28mph" it seems to only top out at about 26. I do like the thought of a belt drive, as I am not the kind of person that enjoys working on a bike and that seems to take less adjustment.
Any thoughts? My budget would be up to $6,000.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-21-20, 09:06 AM
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Doubt you'll find any OEM bikes from the "majors" (Trek, Specialized, Giant etc) that can achieve speeds in excess of 28 mph since this is the "Class" maximum, and these IMO would be the most reliable, although I would eschew anything with Brose or Shimano motors since I've read about more problems with those than with others like Bosch and Yamaha. If you want to go faster, look at Bafang. I've had good service from my DIY systems with their motors.
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Old 12-21-20, 09:30 AM
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Priority Current is an awesome bike.
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Old 12-21-20, 12:42 PM
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realistically, a top speed of 26 or 28mph isn't gonna make a difference in my commute time on my 14 mile commute.
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Old 12-21-20, 01:50 PM
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Rear hub ebikes like the Juiced are the best option for reliability and flat terrain, and best speed. Unfortunately, ebikes are nowhere near automotive reliability. Heck, most pedal bicycles can't begin to touch OEM automotive reliability.
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Old 12-21-20, 02:17 PM
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Parts can be a problem with Specialized.

If you can increase the budget, look at Riese & Mueller. They can make a bike to your spec, but it won't be cheap.

https://www.gazellebikes.com/en-us/g...5D=237%2C9%2C9

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...Code=black_red

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...orCode=reddark

I looked at the reviews and there were complaints about the rear rack being useless. You could still get a large saddlebag, I have one and they work well, I prefer to mount mine with a Bagman. I threw them in because my wife has a Trek Verve and loves it.

https://www.carradice.co.uk/bags/saddlebags
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Old 12-22-20, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
Doubt you'll find any OEM bikes from the "majors" (Trek, Specialized, Giant etc) that can achieve speeds in excess of 28 mph since this is the "Class" maximum, and these IMO would be the most reliable, although I would eschew anything with Brose or Shimano motors since I've read about more problems with those than with others like Bosch and Yamaha. If you want to go faster, look at Bafang. I've had good service from my DIY systems with their motors.
DIY is way easier to get parts and almost seems like the support is better than what OEMs can provide. But the OP said he is not one to enjoy working on his bike so kinda makes DIY a non starter.
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Old 12-22-20, 08:46 AM
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my bosch powered bike you will have to put out about 200 watts to keep it at 28mph.
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Old 12-22-20, 09:06 AM
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here are two companies who would get you what you want and they are US companies.

https://lunacycle.com/
'https://wattwagons.com
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Old 12-22-20, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
DIY is way easier to get parts and almost seems like the support is better than what OEMs can provide. But the OP said he is not one to enjoy working on his bike so kinda makes DIY a non starter.
My BBS02 motor hasn't changed (AFAICT) in the six years that I've had it so it makes parts problems easier to resolve since they're not changing constantly like OEM (although I haven't needed anything). I mentioned this since Bafang has several motors, some very powerful, that are incorporated into complete bikes. The OP might consider them.
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Old 12-22-20, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
My BBS02 motor hasn't changed (AFAICT) in the six years that I've had it so it makes parts problems easier to resolve since they're not changing constantly like OEM (although I haven't needed anything). I mentioned this since Bafang has several motors, some very powerful, that are incorporated into complete bikes. The OP might consider them.
I agree. I would definitely go with a DIY solution.
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Old 01-12-21, 01:21 PM
  #12  
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You know once the kit is installed I have to wonder if a DIY kits is really any different maintenance wise than a factory built unit?

The Bafang kits are proving as reliable as anything else being made, xenophobic bias against the Chinese aside. I guess a factory bike gives some possibility of warranty repair, but warranties don't last forever and like you are finding out repair times can be excessive.

If you want to go fast look at something with a Bafang motor. The advantage of them is you can customize the controls the way you like them, including deleting speed limits. Mine easily cruises at 38 mph, for as long as the battery at holds out anyway. Seems like more bike builders are starting to use Bafang drives, you should be able to find a factory complete bike with one of their motors.

Hub drives are easier on drive train components, but if you want to go fast consider a mid drive.

BTW I've read a few posts about torque sensors going out. Maybe a good argument for a pedal assist unit with a back up thumb throttle. Opinions are split about torque vs. pedal assist amongst people who have actually ridden both. I'm really comfortable with my pedal assist. Just means you need to adjust the assist level depending on speed.
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Old 01-12-21, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
You know once the kit is installed I have to wonder if a DIY kits is really any different maintenance wise than a factory built unit?

The Bafang kits are proving as reliable as anything else being made, xenophobic bias against the Chinese aside. I guess a factory bike gives some possibility of warranty repair, but warranties don't last forever and like you are finding out repair times can be excessive.

If you want to go fast look at something with a Bafang motor. The advantage of them is you can customize the controls the way you like them, including deleting speed limits. Mine easily cruises at 38 mph, for as long as the battery at holds out anyway. Seems like more bike builders are starting to use Bafang drives, you should be able to find a factory complete bike with one of their motors.

Hub drives are easier on drive train components, but if you want to go fast consider a mid drive.

BTW I've read a few posts about torque sensors going out. Maybe a good argument for a pedal assist unit with a back up thumb throttle. Opinions are split about torque vs. pedal assist amongst people who have actually ridden both. I'm really comfortable with my pedal assist. Just means you need to adjust the assist level depending on speed.
Factory designed bikes (especially mid-drives) will be more reliable overall. A mid-drive motor can't be properly integrated into a standard BB shell. With a factory bike, the manufacturer can do a MUCH better job ensuring proper mounting (torque brackets, etc), wire routing and connectors (waterproof & rugged), and ensuring that the whole package is designed to be robust. The individual components are not more reliable but as SYSTEM the package will be more reliable.

The big disadvantage to factory bikes is the amount of proprietary stuff. I'm very skeptical about the ability to find replacement motors and batteries for 5+ year old ebikes. You can't simply replace a Brose motor with a Bosch or Yamaha unit, the mounting is completely different. There really needs to be a standard mechanical interface for mid-drive motors.
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Old 01-12-21, 02:02 PM
  #14  
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I understand why people may want to use an e-bike for urban commuting, but what's the advantage of an ebike vs. a motorcycle or a scooter for a 14 mile rural commute?
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Old 01-12-21, 02:11 PM
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R+M would be my top choice. They use Bosch and Bosch supports their product well. With Bosch I can go into just about any shop and get support for it because most shops have an account with QBP which is the U.S. distributor for Bosch and helps handle the warranties and Bosch is super easy to work with over the phone and if you are a new shop and don't know much about working on bikes they go through all the basics and go as deep as need be to solve the problem.

6 years in (at least from my working at the shop) and I can still get all the parts needed for a Bosch system they have changed and upgraded things over time but they aren't leaving older products in the dust because they didn't change batteries and displays radically and most can be upgraded or downgraded pretty easily. The only stuff I can't get in the U.S. is Gen 1 parts and the only reason for that is Gen 1 never really made it to the U.S. so very low numbers so no real need to bring in a bunch of parts for really old stuff that was never officially in the U.S. I don't find that a problem because I don't see a lot of Gen 1 stuff and I have probably seen more of it at the shop then most because we are a large e-bike repair center and have been with Bosch a while. But even those systems have had few problems that Bosch hasn't at least tried to help on minus parts which we thankfully haven't needed.

Plus R+M's are certainly well overbuilt, in a good way. They are durable and can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. There are problems on occasion but generally they are supported by Bosch or R+M or the OEM for whatever is going on and while they don't always use the top end parts they pick good reliable parts that are less likely to have issues if taken care of normally.
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Old 01-12-21, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Factory designed bikes (especially mid-drives) will be more reliable overall. A mid-drive motor can't be properly integrated into a standard BB shell. With a factory bike, the manufacturer can do a MUCH better job ensuring proper mounting (torque brackets, etc), wire routing and connectors (waterproof & rugged), and ensuring that the whole package is designed to be robust. The individual components are not more reliable but as SYSTEM the package will be more reliable.
Whew, boy, I absolutely disagree with what you just said. The Bafangs have been around for awhile, the mounts are solid with well documented performance. The Bafangs have the added advantage is they can be removed returning everything to a normal bike, something that isn't possible with an integral frame mount motor. Your Bosch dies and you either replace it or scrap the bike.

Factory bikes often do have better thought out wire routing. But as far as waterproof and rugged, both systems use the same commercial connectors so no advantage there. Think modern automotive quality weatherproof connections. A touch of silicone on all connectors is a good practice no matter who installs the unit.
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Old 01-12-21, 03:05 PM
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OEM vs DIY is user preference IMO and my Bafang BBS02 has been dead reliable for almost six years riding off road on mostly gnarly, steep trails 10-15 miles twice a week. Also, the only substantial change in the motor AFAIK was a different controller, but those (and most replacement parts if they're ever needed) are available. The advantage of an ebike is it doesn't require license or insurance, but a motorcycle is a viable option for some situations. It's possible to construct without wires hanging all over the place.

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Old 01-13-21, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Whew, boy, I absolutely disagree with what you just said. The Bafangs have been around for awhile, the mounts are solid with well documented performance. The Bafangs have the added advantage is they can be removed returning everything to a normal bike, something that isn't possible with an integral frame mount motor. Your Bosch dies and you either replace it or scrap the bike.

Factory bikes often do have better thought out wire routing. But as far as waterproof and rugged, both systems use the same commercial connectors so no advantage there. Think modern automotive quality weatherproof connections. A touch of silicone on all connectors is a good practice no matter who installs the unit.
I have a Bafang BBS02. Using a standard 68mm bottom-bracket is bad practice. Even with downrating the motor, I still shredded the Aluminum bottom-bracket shell. It works fine on steel framed bikes, not on Al or CF. The bike frame needs an integrated way to resist torque, you can't get that with a DIY. The fact that Bafang doesn't even sell a decent torque arm is ridiculous.

And with connectors, a DIY user has to add additional solder or crimp joints, because a DIY user doesn't have the tools required to crimp a proper automotive connector.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I understand why people may want to use an e-bike for urban commuting, but what's the advantage of an ebike vs. a motorcycle or a scooter for a 14 mile rural commute?
I have a suburban commute. In my case, I get some exercise, and using an ebike let's me take the bike paths and trails. With a motorcycle or scooter I would be sharing it with 55mph road traffic, do a dedicated trail seems much safer.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
I have a suburban commute. In my case, I get some exercise, and using an ebike let's me take the bike paths and trails. With a motorcycle or scooter I would be sharing it with 55mph road traffic, do a dedicated trail seems much safer.
Running an electric motor on bike paths/lanes that you can't access with a gas motor makes total sense to me. OP has a rural commute with 28-29 mph average and is looking for faster speeds. Even the slowest moped will go 30-35 mph and cost less than half of a $6k ebike.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
I have a Bafang BBS02. Using a standard 68mm bottom-bracket is bad practice. Even with downrating the motor, I still shredded the Aluminum bottom-bracket shell. It works fine on steel framed bikes, not on Al or CF. The bike frame needs an integrated way to resist torque, you can't get that with a DIY. The fact that Bafang doesn't even sell a decent torque arm is ridiculous.

And with connectors, a DIY user has to add additional solder or crimp joints, because a DIY user doesn't have the tools required to crimp a proper automotive connector.
Disagree since I have a BBS02 on my wife's (68 mm BB) aluminum frame @ 52V and it functions perfectly. How can the motor trash the frame when it's immobilized by the down tube? Also Luna sells a brace for those that need it. Also, crimping is easy with electrical pliers and the appropriate double-sided connector; at least it has been for almost six years on my BBS02 system.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Running an electric motor on bike paths/lanes that you can't access with a gas motor makes total sense to me. OP has a rural commute with 28-29 mph average and is looking for faster speeds. Even the slowest moped will go 30-35 mph and cost less than half of a $6k ebike.
My errand bike easily reaches 33 mph (shut it down at 33 since that was fast enough, but it had more oomph). That's with a $200 kit and 52V battery (cost < $350 for the battery, charger, shipping and tax when purchased five years ago; now probably < $500), and no tax or license.
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Old 01-13-21, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
My errand bike easily reaches 33 mph (shut it down at 33 since that was fast enough, but it had more oomph). That's with a $200 kit and 52V battery (cost < $350 for the battery, charger, shipping and tax when purchased five years ago; now probably < $500), and no tax or license.
That sounds like a sweet setup. I asked because I was looking for cheap transportation for my daughter at university. I initially thought ebike but ended up going moped. I got the moped for $1200 + $150/year for plates and insurance. Sounds like if I would have been more resourceful I could have gone the ebike route for a lot less.
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Old 01-13-21, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
That sounds like a sweet setup. I asked because I was looking for cheap transportation for my daughter at university. I initially thought ebike but ended up going moped. I got the moped for $1200 + $150/year for plates and insurance. Sounds like if I would have been more resourceful I could have gone the ebike route for a lot less.
You didn't do that badly. She'll probably enjoy the moped as much as (if not more) than an ebike. Your license and insurance are a lot less than here (I think; haven't investigated). This what I built my daughter for her trips around Las Vegas. The motor and battery were about $750 delivered and the bike about $200 since it didn't have a front fork or wheel (which I already had). Wasn't expensive since I already had the motor and battery and they weren't being used anymore.

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Old 01-13-21, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by derrickhulsey View Post
...I am not the kind of person that enjoys working on a bike...
Missing allot of fun; but if that is the case, you most likely need to ask the person who is going to work on the bike what they prefer...
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