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

Recs for city ebike or conversion

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

Recs for city ebike or conversion

Old 07-24-21, 01:12 PM
  #1  
peppep
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Providence, RI, USA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 2010 Swobo Sanchez, 1992 Trek Multitrack 790, 1967 Raleigh Sports

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cool Recs for city ebike or conversion

Hi! I've been doing a bunch of ebike research, and would love some opinions. I'm new to ebikes, and will be test riding some soon. Looking for some ideas of what to test, or if a conversion might be the best idea.

Why ebike? I have a congenital condition that affects my lung capacity. I love riding bikes, but I don't ride as much as I'd like to. Going up hills causes me to need to stop and heavily breathe for a while; it can make me really out of it, which is unsafe on city streets. My main reason for wanting an ebike is for help on inclines so that I can maintain better breathing patterns and not get over-winded.

Budget: $2000 is the very top, under would be better.

Wish list: First and foremost something I can get serviced without having to mail it in/something not from a startup with crappy service (I'm in New England). Lightweight enough to carry up a flight of stairs and to still be pedaled comfortably enough if the battery dies. Rear rack compatible. Stealth or hard to steal would be a bonus. Preference towards ones that look like road bikes, aesthetically.

I've read up on cadence vs torque PAS, and I think cadence fits my needs better, since more effort when I'm trying to conserve breath seems counter-productive. I think a throttle would be a huge help, too.

So far I'm planning on test riding the Wing Freedom and the Aventon Pace series. Anything else good to consider?

Pics attached are my current bikes. I've got very long legs and a short torso, hence the high seats. If I converted one, it would likely be the Trek, because gears and rack.

Thanks for any insights!


peppep is offline  
Old 07-24-21, 04:43 PM
  #2  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,001
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 561 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 256 Posts
If you like the Wing and know anybody who has had good service from one, it seems like a good deal for $1098. The Aventon bikes have a good reputation, but doubt you'll get them up the stairs. The Trek looks like it could be converted to a 40 - 45 pound bike. In order to get the most reliable DIY kit I'd call ebikesca but they're expensive. You need to read more and decide exactly what type of system you want. So far you've listed hub motors, but mid-drive might be better for climbing.

Last edited by 2old; 07-24-21 at 04:48 PM.
2old is online now  
Likes For 2old:
Old 07-24-21, 10:13 PM
  #3  
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,752
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1744 Post(s)
Liked 294 Times in 213 Posts
Take a good look at the tires on The Wing Freedom X. That is the main reason not to upgrade a road racer or hybrid from 20 years ago into an e-bike. Even if you have been riding with a health condition previously, and rarely ever experienced level ground speeds much greater than 10mph. That is about to change with even a 250W e-assist. Potholes and other road hazards approach at undodgeable speeds, and without some size in the tire to absorb some of that punishment, the rider has to. I don't own an Aventon Pace but the 500 was on my short list. It is still what I recommend. The Wing certainly looks nice and who can argue with the weight but there is no doubt in my mind that shortly after purchase you will be instructed as to how, and where, to complete the contract that consigns your Immortal soul to Eternal Hellfire, upon your death. Nothing gives that much without asking a lot in return. I didn't do well in 116F a couple of weeks ago. A man has got to know his limitations ...

Last edited by Leisesturm; 07-24-21 at 10:37 PM.
Leisesturm is offline  
Old 07-25-21, 06:25 AM
  #4  
kayakindude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: New England
Posts: 353

Bikes: 1987 Cannondale SR600/BioPace, 1991 Cannondale Road Tandem,1994 Giant Iguana MB, 2009 Airnimal Chameleon, 2016 Dahon Vybe C7A

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 61 Times in 38 Posts
Because we live near each other, I would recommend the Trek store in EP. They are pricey but will give you a good idea on setups and how the ride compares to a regular bike. If you want to see how a conversion affects things send me a PM.
kayakindude is offline  
Old 07-25-21, 07:29 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
With a budget of $2k limit, it's gonna be difficult to find new e-bike that suits your criteria.. especially from name brand (Trek, Specialized, etc..) stores.

The Trek 790 might be a good candidate to convert to e-bike, $2k budget is certainly plenty for conversion, just how much are you willing to experiment with it.

Without looking at how the riding position is while you're on the bike, I can't really tell for sure, but for someone with short torso, your stem height is almost level with your saddle height.. stem length seem also long for short torso; maybe try sitting more upright to help with your lung issue. Single speed operation likely doesn't help the lung issue.
cat0020 is offline  
Likes For cat0020:
Old 07-25-21, 09:54 AM
  #6  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,001
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 561 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 256 Posts
By the way, the bike I listed, 1985 Fuji, is similar to your Trek in vintage (AFAICT). The weight without battery is 37 pounds (frame, fork and headset a somewhat porky eight pounds, motor about ten pounds). I use a small (four pound or larger eight pound) battery, which are removable to reduce the weight if needed. Socal has high taxes, but benefits are smooth roads and bike paths, and the bike rides like a dream.

Last edited by 2old; 07-25-21 at 09:59 PM.
2old is online now  
Old 07-25-21, 05:01 PM
  #7  
peppep
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Providence, RI, USA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 2010 Swobo Sanchez, 1992 Trek Multitrack 790, 1967 Raleigh Sports

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for all the replies!

Leisesturm Tire width makes sense. I could go bigger on a conversion than the current tires. What makes you think the Wing is a death trap? Just sounds too good to be true, or anything specific? Reviews overall are good. There are some low-grade components, but I could slowly upgrade those. Not looking for firey death... or any kind of death, really...

2old The Fuji looks great! Roads are **** here, so I won't have your smooth SoCal rides. For bike weight, I'm pretty strong, and won't have to carry it upstairs every day, mainly for the winter when I won't want to leave it in the garage. So while 40-50lbs would be preferable, up to about 60lbs should be ok. I'll admit that I started looking at ebikesca and got quickly overwhelmed by the options.

kayakindude I'll check out the Trek store and see what they say; there are a couple other shops I'd like to visit too. I'll message you!

cat0020 Budget maybe could be stretched if I wait and save up longer and sell the current bikes (love them, but probably won't ride them much if I get the right ebike). I've never had a more upright bike; interesting point that it could help with breathing. I'll have to try out the theory while test riding.
peppep is offline  
Old 07-25-21, 10:03 PM
  #8  
2old
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: socal
Posts: 3,001
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 561 Post(s)
Liked 345 Times in 256 Posts
cat has an excellent point. Keep your shoulders square and you'll have more lung capacity so breathing will be more efficient. "Cruiser" style is excellent for this aspect.
2old is online now  
Old 07-27-21, 10:34 AM
  #9  
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 peppep View Post
cat0020 Budget maybe could be stretched if I wait and save up longer and sell the current bikes (love them, but probably won't ride them much if I get the right ebike). I've never had a more upright bike; interesting point that it could help with breathing. I'll have to try out the theory while test riding.
Budget doesn't have to be stretched, but just be open-minded about e-bike options that you have not known before.
There are plenty of other options than "regular looking" e-bikes. Depending on your riding needs, physical limitations and how hands-on your are with bicycle mechanics.
I work in NYC, I see cheap e-bikes operated by delivery folks 24/7 in all weather condition and those cheap e-bikes get abused plenty, and there are good reasons why they are so popular among the delivery folks: reliability, carry lots of cargo, cheap initial purchase and likely easy to fix when something goes wrong.
They are not sexy to look at, but they get the job done.
cat0020 is offline  
Likes For cat0020:
Old 07-27-21, 02:17 PM
  #10  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,077

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1193 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 152 Posts
For a city bike, consider a folding e-bike. Dahon has a couple, and I think Tern does as well (but I don't trust Tern after their frame debacle). https://usa.dahon.com/products/k-one-ebike-hub-drive
Being able to fold and park inside under a desk or table eliminates much of the theft issue. You can also fold and roll in stores. I don't even carry locks on my folders (unless I'm going to a movie theater where they
don't allow them inside). And 20" folders are much more nimble in a city environment and easier to handle between cars and parked cars.
linberl is offline  
Likes For linberl:
Old 07-27-21, 08:42 PM
  #11  
peppep
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Providence, RI, USA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 2010 Swobo Sanchez, 1992 Trek Multitrack 790, 1967 Raleigh Sports

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
For a city bike, consider a folding e-bike. Dahon has a couple, and I think Tern does as well (but I don't trust Tern after their frame debacle). https://usa.dahon.com/products/k-one-ebike-hub-drive
Being able to fold and park inside under a desk or table eliminates much of the theft issue. You can also fold and roll in stores. I don't even carry locks on my folders (unless I'm going to a movie theater where they
don't allow them inside). And 20" folders are much more nimble in a city environment and easier to handle between cars and parked cars.
Thanks, not opposed to a folder, I can see the convenience. I'll look for one to test ride. I guess I'm looking for a sweet spot between a practical city bike and something still fun to ride around, so if the folders are still fun, then why not!
peppep is offline  
Old 07-27-21, 10:56 PM
  #12  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,077

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. Dahon Mu Uno (trailer bike) Sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1193 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 152 Posts
Originally Posted by peppep View Post
Thanks, not opposed to a folder, I can see the convenience. I'll look for one to test ride. I guess I'm looking for a sweet spot between a practical city bike and something still fun to ride around, so if the folders are still fun, then why not!
A quality folder will ride like fun, for sure. Sort of a cross between a bmx and mountain bike/road bike depending on the model. My Bike Friday pakiT is like a 16" wheeled road bike, with terrific acceleration (smaller wheels accelerate faster) and just whips around sp easily!
There are folders with 20" wheels (more common) and you can get road style tires, mountain bike and/or fat tires. If you've any fond memories from when you were a kid riding a bmx, it will bring a huge smile to your face.
linberl is offline  
Likes For linberl:
Old 07-28-21, 07:58 PM
  #13  
kayakindude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: New England
Posts: 353

Bikes: 1987 Cannondale SR600/BioPace, 1991 Cannondale Road Tandem,1994 Giant Iguana MB, 2009 Airnimal Chameleon, 2016 Dahon Vybe C7A

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 61 Times in 38 Posts
Originally Posted by peppep View Post
Thanks, not opposed to a folder, I can see the convenience. I'll look for one to test ride. I guess I'm looking for a sweet spot between a practical city bike and something still fun to ride around, so if the folders are still fun, then why not!
I own 6 folders, 2 Dahons, 3 Zizzos, and an incredible Airnimal Chameleon (my main bike and my commuter to Providence). You ever want to test ride one send me a PM. I do agree a folder would make a nice conversion.
kayakindude is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 09:20 AM
  #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
Interested in folding e-bike?
Folding Electric Bikes (Recent Hype)

I've been commuting on folding bikes & folding e-bikes since 2013.
Commute range between 5 and 16 miles, 3-4 times a week.
I take my folding bike onto public transportation such as buses & subway trains.
With a $2k budget, you can likely find a nice commuter folding e-bike these days, just whether there are units in stock from sellers is the main hurdle.
cat0020 is offline  
Likes For cat0020:
Old 07-29-21, 01:26 PM
  #15  
peppep
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Providence, RI, USA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 2010 Swobo Sanchez, 1992 Trek Multitrack 790, 1967 Raleigh Sports

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
A quality folder will ride like fun, for sure. Sort of a cross between a bmx and mountain bike/road bike depending on the model. My Bike Friday pakiT is like a 16" wheeled road bike, with terrific acceleration (smaller wheels accelerate faster) and just whips around sp easily!
There are folders with 20" wheels (more common) and you can get road style tires, mountain bike and/or fat tires. If you've any fond memories from when you were a kid riding a bmx, it will bring a huge smile to your face.
I do have those memories, and that sounds pretty awesome! Thanks for the info
peppep is offline  
Old 07-29-21, 01:27 PM
  #16  
peppep
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Providence, RI, USA
Posts: 55

Bikes: 2010 Swobo Sanchez, 1992 Trek Multitrack 790, 1967 Raleigh Sports

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
I own 6 folders, 2 Dahons, 3 Zizzos, and an incredible Airnimal Chameleon (my main bike and my commuter to Providence). You ever want to test ride one send me a PM. I do agree a folder would make a nice conversion.
Wow, that's so generous; thank you! I'd love to try one and hear more about conversions.
peppep is offline  
Old 08-02-21, 11:52 AM
  #17  
DukeO
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 32
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 2 Posts
Have you checked out M2S bikes. They have some good commuter ebikes in your price range. https://shop.m2sbikes.com/collection...electric-bikes
DukeO is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


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.