Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electric Bikes
Reload this Page >

best city ebike for me?

Notices
Electric Bikes Here's a place to discuss ebikes, from home grown to high-tech.

best city ebike for me?

Old 05-27-21, 03:54 PM
  #1  
Ebikecusrious
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
best city ebike for me?

Hi all, I am just recently considering an ebike, and kind of overwhelmed by all the options. Maybe y'all could help me choose? I am male, 5 10', over 200 pounds, looking for an ebike with a throttle and pedal assist ideally. Want it to be as quiet as possible and as light as possible, heavy use on bad local NYC streets. 5K is about my limit to spend.... thanks if you can help!
Ebikecusrious is offline  
Old 05-27-21, 04:27 PM
  #2  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,004
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 563 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 257 Posts
You can get a lot of bike for $5K, but most of the big OEM's, where you can spend that much money, offer pedal assist (PAS) only. Your best bet is to see what others are using especially if there's a local shop. Don't know the current laws in NYS and/or NYC, but you might want to check. Be careful of the "reviews" you encounter since some individuals are compensated for them. A light bike is another aspect that's going to be a challenge. You might consider DIY.

Last edited by 2old; 05-27-21 at 04:30 PM.
2old is offline  
Old 05-27-21, 04:56 PM
  #3  
shelbyfv 
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TN
Posts: 9,157
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2575 Post(s)
Liked 2,837 Times in 1,513 Posts
A throttle would definitely be useful in stop and go traffic. I don't know about legalities, mine is a Bafang conversion. It will almost peel rubber!
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 05:53 AM
  #4  
alloo
Senior Member
 
alloo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 460

Bikes: 2020 Blix Aveny

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked 116 Times in 88 Posts
I like the Blix Aveny. Maybe even the Priority Current, Gazell C8.

Last edited by alloo; 06-01-21 at 06:43 AM.
alloo is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 06:52 AM
  #5  
cat0020
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,232

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 116 Posts
I've been commuting in NYC traffic with my bicycles since 2013.
Always looking for that lightest commuter bike.
Your budget is plenty to find a suitable bike.
But you need to specify some criteria:

Do you have (safe) storage space? to determine whether a folding bike or non-folding bike would be better suited.

What is your desired ranger for this e-bike? and regularly operated range? to determine how big of a battery you might need to have.

Will you be taking this bike on/off public transport? buses, subway, ferry?

My commute from WTC to Sheepshead Bay on my regular ($200, 24 lb., non-electric) folding bike is about 40-50 minutes, over the Brooklyn Bridge. I use the cheap folding bike the most often, I can leave it and not worry about it getting stolen. Parts are easy to replace when damaged. Since 2013, I've gotten 2 door-prizes (when driver open door without looking for on-coming traffic) and T-boned a SUV that stopped in the middle of the intersection. Luckily, my commuting speed is usually under 17 mph, I'm 5'10" about 175 lb. so impact with cars at my speed doesn't result in significant injury, unless I get hit by a car traveling at much higher speed than me.
I try to keep the length & width of the bicycle to minimal, smaller target, less chance to get hit and easier to maneuver between car mirrors.

With the road condition not being butter smooth, I would recommend smaller sized wheels 20" (stronger) and fatter tires, 2.5 or wider, for your weight.
I have a Qualisport Dolphin for little over a year, about 750 miles ridden.
Combination of 350w motor & 20" wheels do offer enough torque to get going from stop and keep a good pace at 20 mph, but not much above 20 mph.
But I like the stronger wheels riding in NYC, where potholes and poor road surface can damage larger wheel frequently.
I've added front & rear rack since the picture below. https://www.qualisports.us/


I have a cargo e-bike that I use to transport large volume items/foods between school & homeless shelter.
It's not light, it's not expensive, but gets the job done and sure beats driving and looking for parking spots.. large bike like a cargo bike is usually not attractive to bike thieves.


For cruising around with throttle, I also have the Juice Scorpion.. in the city traffic, it's not really the safest option without decent riding skills.
The weight of the Scorpion & its capability for higher speed really need a rider who is used to maneuvering among NYC traffic to stay safe on it.


Feel free to ask questions about bicycle commute in NYC in general.
With COVID, there is much heavier demand on bicycles & e-bikes in general.
$5k is really not necessary to get something to suit your needs.
Lightest possible may not last very long in NYC traffic.
cat0020 is offline  
Likes For cat0020:
Old 05-28-21, 07:26 AM
  #6  
Ebikecusrious
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks, man! That is super, super helpful. I can put it in my apt, but that's a drag as is a studio. Also, I need to bring it up a couple flights of stairs, thus the desire for lightness (or maybe walk assist)? Man, 3 bikes! You must have a ton of space, am jealous. I think 50 mile range would be fine. I was surprised to see you say bigger wheels are weaker, would have thought the opposite. Thanks again!
Ebikecusrious is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 07:51 AM
  #7  
cat0020
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,232

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 116 Posts
My main residence out in PA near Valley Forge National Park, less tax, less insurance cost, plenty of space there to ride and store toys.
I work in Brooklyn, reside in Hoboken during the weekdays.
Basement in Hoboken is where I store my commuting folding bikes, it gets really dusty & moldy down there if you don't ride frequently.

Bigger wheels can be built strong, combine with wider tires they can do fine, but well-built wheels are expensive, so are larger sized tires.
For city dwelling and taking bikes onto public transport, they do take up more space, more difficult to go through subway turn style.

Range on e-bike is highly dependent on the usage of throttle or how much pedaling you do along the ride.
I personally use the throttle very little, only when I'm carrying heavy load and difficult to start moving when stopped.

Once the bike is moving at cruising speed of 12-15 mph, PAS kicks in and battery consumption is mainly when you encounter hills.
The faster you want to travel, the more juice the motor consumes.
During COVID times, I try to avoid visits to the hospitals, so I keep the speed down to avoid accidents.
NYC cycling is mainly about survival for me, just getting from A to B in one-piece and no injuries. Stay well hydrated and don't get hit or assaulted.

I've bought my in-laws & employees e-bikes.
My in-laws are near 80 y-o, they just ride to local grocery store or fishing spot in Queen, 2-3 miles from their residence.
With COVID and home invasion stories on the rise, they've been riding very little.

Employees trying to quit smoking and cut down on transit/transportation costs, they are younger,
they don't really take care of their stuff; so cheap e-bikes are just fun for them.
They seem to hold up pretty well, and there are shops in Brooklyn that specializes in fixing these cheap (under $1K) e-bikes.
They get you to places you need and still perform decent, just not much to look at and heavy.
But they seem to be popular among the delivery folks in NYC.
If it's good enough for people that ride 50-60 miles every single day, in all weather, gets abused with throttle operation all the time;
that's gotta be a durable e-bike, right?

Last edited by cat0020; 05-28-21 at 08:03 AM.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 08:33 AM
  #8  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,004
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 563 Post(s)
Liked 346 Times in 257 Posts
The bike that might satisfy all your requirements is a Gocycle, but don't let it out of your sight. I've seen them in shops and bike shows (pre-COVID) and they're fantastic, light and expensive.
2old is offline  
Likes For 2old:
Old 05-28-21, 10:09 AM
  #9  
browngw 
Senior Member
 
browngw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Port Dover Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,422

Bikes: 1965 Dilecta Le Blanc, 1956 Royal Nord, 1971 Robin Hood Sports, 1972 CCM Turismo,1976 SuperCycle Excalibur, 1979 Raleigh DL1, 1984 Rossi, 2014 Salsa Vaya, 2017 Felt DD70, 2012 Giant Halfway Folder, 2019 Giant Lafree and others

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 304 Post(s)
Liked 232 Times in 122 Posts
My wife and I both have 2019 Giant Lafrees'. I'm the same size as you and the large fits me perfectly. Excellent choice for us. Relatively light (53lbs), 2.35" x26 tires and excellent bicycle feel. I rode mine 47km yesterday over mixed terrain including hills. The app tells me I have 59% battery left! It was in the auto sensor mode the whole time giving me up to 300% power. No need to be anxious about range. I did get rid of the puffy foam saddle and install a Brooks B67 but my wife likes the original saddle on hers. The Momentum (Giant) Lafree has a Yamaha drive with a torque based six sensor control. No throttle is required as it knows when you need to go. It is a Class 1 rated bike which can be used almost everywhere. It is limited to 20mph like all of its class. We have a shop that sells Giant nearby and have great support. The step thru frame is solid enough to feel stiff under my 230lbs.
__________________
We are what we reflect. We are the changes that we bring to this world. Ride often. -Geo.-
browngw is offline  
Likes For browngw:
Old 05-28-21, 03:00 PM
  #10  
Doc_Wui
Senior Member
 
Doc_Wui's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Posts: 1,183

Bikes: GT Transeo & a half dozen ebike conversions.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 281 Post(s)
Liked 122 Times in 90 Posts
"I have a Qualisport Dolphin for little over a year, about 750 miles ridden.
Combination of 350w motor & 20" wheels do offer enough torque to get going from stop and keep a good pace at 20 mph, but not much above 20 mph.
But I like the stronger wheels riding in NYC, where potholes and poor road surface can damage larger wheel frequently."


IS there a limit as to how low you can put the seat on your Qualisports? I saw a review on the Fiido, which uses a similar seat tube battery and the guy said it's no good for anyone under 5'8" because the seat post hits the ground.
Doc_Wui is offline  
Old 05-28-21, 06:41 PM
  #11  
cat0020
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,232

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 116 Posts
Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
IS there a limit as to how low you can put the seat on your Qualisports? I saw a review on the Fiido, which uses a similar seat tube battery and the guy said it's no good for anyone under 5'8" because the seat post hits the ground.
I'm sure there is a limit, how low is depending on rider's comfort in controlling the bike.
Seat tube/seatpost battery for e-bikes pretty much comes in one length: long.
Just as most if not all folding bike with long seatpost, but at least you can cut the seatpost shorter on for non-battery seatpost.
Some folks at 5' 8" may have long legs, maybe no problem with ground clearance of the seatpost battery, some may have problems.
The power cable that connects the battery to power controller is at the bottom of that seatpost battery, ground clearance is somewhat important to keep the bike operational.
Not my bike, but you can see in the pictures below there is not much ground clearance.



Last edited by cat0020; 05-30-21 at 11:33 AM.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 05-30-21, 10:58 AM
  #12  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
I would stay with ones where you can get service and support from a nearby bike shop. Even the owners of $5000 e-bikes have had problems and needed to work through dealers to get the problems addressed by the manufacturers. I always like to search on an item and if there are "problem" associated with it as with the battery problems with the Giant bikes for example. If the battery fails can you get a replacement one quickly or replacement controller.
Calsun is offline  
Old 05-31-21, 01:01 PM
  #13  
Ebikecusrious
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks!

Really appreciate the in depth help, guys. Follow up: I just tested a Van Moof--anybody out there love/hate em?
Ebikecusrious is offline  
Likes For Ebikecusrious:
Old 05-31-21, 01:11 PM
  #14  
cat0020
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,232

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 116 Posts
VanMoof looks nice.

How did you like it?

Feels enough juice to get you around?

Able to carry it up & down a flight of stairs to get around the subway?

Theft prevention looks interesting. I don't own a smartphone, but I find these extra features on the bike interesting.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 05-31-21, 03:30 PM
  #15  
Ebikecusrious
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
VanMoof looks nice.

How did you like it?

Feels enough juice to get you around?

Able to carry it up & down a flight of stairs to get around the subway?

Theft prevention looks interesting. I don't own a smartphone, but I find these extra features on the bike interesting.
I liked it a lot. I think I can carry it up a flight of stairs, but it is on the heavy side. Lot of juice, handles hills easily. Built in gear changers, which is cool, but sometimes a little clunky, Also, thing is tall--I guess Dutch people are super tall, turns out. For 5' 8" to 6'8", I am about 5' 10", could just straddle bar.
Ebikecusrious is offline  
Old 06-01-21, 12:58 PM
  #16  
josephvman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Check out a Specialized Turbo Vado SL. The biggest negative is price, but it's in your budget. I have the 5.0 EQ model and love it. Very natural feel to it with assist that's seamless but definitely doubles your output. It's also probably the lightest commuter-style ebike you'll find. NYC roads aren't any worse that Houston's, where I ride. I put a RedShift suspension seatpost and Brooks B17 saddle and it's like a magic carpet. Even on maximum assist and riding flat-out I can get 30+ miles on a charge. Dial that back to Eco mode with 35% assist and it's nearly triple that.

​​​​​​https://bikerumor.com/2021/02/28/rev...and-urbanites/
josephvman is offline  
Old 06-01-21, 01:04 PM
  #17  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
The electric mountain bikes are going to provide more suspension cushioning and be 10 lbs lighter than the average "commuter" bike. The same suspension that is designed for rough trails helps with bad roads in the city. Commuter type bikes tend to be much heavier in terms fo the frames and the wheels and the tires which is not a problem when riding on relatively flat ground but is a problem for hauling the bike up flights of stairs.

If traffic is only going to allow for speeds of 10-15 mph on city streets then a regular bicycle may be equally useful and it will be 30 lbs lighter. A folding bike like the Dahon folding bikes sell for $800 and weigh less than 30 lbs and come with a rear rack and front and rear wheel fenders.
Calsun is offline  
Old 06-03-21, 05:38 PM
  #18  
Ebikecusrious
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
Thanks again, all, bike bought!

I went with the Specialized Vado 5.0. The price (5K) just about broke me, but I love everything else about it so far. Fast, light, good-looking, handles beautifully. Fingers crossed.
Ebikecusrious is offline  
Likes For Ebikecusrious:
Old 06-09-21, 03:09 PM
  #19  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
For city use the Yamee Fat Bear and similar e-bikes are great as their fat tires work very well when on bad roads or even having to go off a curb where no cut was made for handicap use. The rear suspension is like that of a mountain bike and this also helps absorb road shock on badly maintained roads. Second choice would be something sold as a "gravel" bike or something like the Giant Stance E+ bikes.

Plenty of range on a charge and a very very strong rear rack (3/4 inch diameter tubing) so support a load using panniers or the like. The Yamee have front and rear lights powered off the battery and the tail light works like a brake light on a motorcycle. In city traffic the more you can operate like a motor vehicle the safer you will be.
Calsun is offline  
Old 09-15-21, 09:01 AM
  #20  
slavany
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"My commute from WTC to Sheepshead Bay on my regular ($200, 24 lb., non-electric) folding bike is about 40-50 minutes, "

Can you please share what route you're using. I consider riding from Sheepshead Bay to Court St in downtown Brooklyn (similar road).
slavany is offline  
Old 09-15-21, 09:18 AM
  #21  
cat0020
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,232

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 116 Posts
From Sheepshead Bay,
I usually take the side streets (22 st) parallel to Ocean Ave. up to Ave H or so.
Ocean Ave. to Prospect Park, ride through the park,
Take Lincoln Pl. on the left side after exiting the Prospect Park Arch.
Bergen St. then Smith St. through downtown, then one block over to get onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 09-15-21, 09:55 AM
  #22  
Sempervee
Member
 
Sempervee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Olympia WA
Posts: 48

Bikes: Cannondale Quick Disc 5 and Two Rad Power City 3 step thru

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
surprised no one mentioned the RAD powerbikes from Seattle. We have 4. I am 5 10 and 210 muscular. Hard to beat the RAD Mini for product performance, price and No one else matches their customer support. He is my folding daily rider and grocery getter.

Sempervee is offline  
Likes For Sempervee:
Old 09-15-21, 09:59 AM
  #23  
slavany
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
From Sheepshead Bay,
I usually take the side streets (22 st) parallel to Ocean Ave. up to Ave H or so.
Ocean Ave. to Prospect Park, ride through the park,
Take Lincoln Pl. on the left side after exiting the Prospect Park Arch.
Bergen St. then Smith St. through downtown, then one block over to get onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
thank you!
Also, bedford or ocean parkway line are not good?
slavany is offline  
Old 09-15-21, 11:17 AM
  #24  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 11 Times in 9 Posts
I would check out the new e-bikes being sold by REI which include a $1,999 e-bike with an integrated rear rack (much stronger than the bolt on ones). Add fenders and it would be a good commuter bike.

A problem I have with Radpower is that their customers need to do the work on their bikes. REI has an excellent bike shop operation inside each of its stores with knowledgeable staff to do the setup, make adjustements, do repairs, and upgrade or add parts.
Calsun is offline  
Old 09-15-21, 12:13 PM
  #25  
cat0020
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 1,232

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 164 Times in 116 Posts
Originally Posted by slavany View Post
thank you!
Also, bedford or ocean parkway line are not good?
They tend to get busy with other pedestrian traffic, runners, baby strollers, etc... even with designated bike pane/path.
I use the side streets more because there is less (motor & pedestrian) traffic in general, unless you go through a school zone during dismissal or morning drop-off.
Once in a while you get stuck behind a garbage truck, but I just move onto the sidewalk.
cat0020 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.