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electric bike concerns

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electric bike concerns

Old 05-04-24, 08:15 AM
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electric bike concerns

Ok guys, I am trying to convince myself to get a e bike but I am not quite there yet.

an acquaintance of mine, not a close friend but someone who I respect and consider intelligent, purchased a e bike about six years ago from a shop in Ann Arbor specializing in electric bicycles in 2018, just before covid. Well, he used it and enjoyed it for five or six years and all was good. quite expensive although I do not know the brand. Well now the battery is not delivering and he went to purchase a new battery and the E bike maker is out of business and the bike shop is recommending that he have the original battery rebuilt. He is not comfortable with this because of the safety aspect (fire) which I have a healthy respect for.

Now I go to Home Depot and purchase Ridgid tools and they got a lifetime warranty on the batteries as long as you register them. Cool, Ridgid has been offering that for some time and the warranty is proving to be solid, owners are getting new batteries with just a phone call. Granted, Ridgid is generally more expensive than most of the competition but I can justify that cost with their track record and history.

My first thought is that if a e bike maker made a bike that utilized Ridgid 18v batteries or a number of Ridgid Batteries I would be their first customer!

So I am thinking of getting a E Bike and the only manufacturers out there that I am familiar with are Trek and Specialized. Bikes are about $5,000 for the models I am interested in but they use proprietary batteries and even with a name like Trek and Specialized, I am concerned that I will be in the same boat as my buddy, holding a $5,000.00 paperweight that is not wore out but no longer useful. Furthermore, I am finding out that Bosch is no longer supporting their earlier e bike motors that are really not that old.

Is there any consensus of a standardization of batteries? Maybe a standard size that is universal?

This is the main reason that I am reluctant to spend a lot of money on a e bike, even though I would really like one, would get a lot of use out of it, and it would help me out in a number of ways. Generally, when I buy something, I use it for a long time and repair it instead of replacing it when it is broken.

Looking for someone to recommend one that I can be comfortable purchasing such that it will be operable 20 years down the road like a majority of my mechanical equipment (vehicles, small engines, outboards, tools, lawnmower, generator, chainsaws, etc.).

I thank you in advance for your advice and expertise.

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Old 05-04-24, 02:06 PM
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No real standardization in bicycles just a new standard each time to solve the problems of the old standard. However Bosch which is heavily involved in more things than you could shake a stick at but particularly automotive sectors builds quality batteries and other parts to last a long time and then will support it 11+ years on even after they have discontinued an item. The only Bosch product that you cannot get support for in the U.S. because they didn't sell them in the U.S. is the gen1 stuff which you rarely see here anyway. I can still get loads of support and parts for gen2, gen3 and of course gen4 non-smart system.

Bosch is the way to go on the front, slightly more cost upfront but very minimal operating cost down the road especially depending on the other parts involved and really truly excellent support all over the country (and world) without much fuss. For a shop that knows what they are doing it can sometimes be frustrating if not sent up to level 2 right away but they go through everything and really do a good job to make sure they figure out the problem and well document it so they can eliminate it for the future and get ahead of it right now.

I have been selling Bosch since 2015 and still have people on bikes they bought from me or my shop from that era and have even seen some older ones. Really reliable, really good quality but the support is the key. Generally when they do have an issue it is an oddball one that is less common and those are pretty few and far between. Plus add to that a lot of manufactures use Bosch and because Bosch is a very complete eco-system you won't have problems with stuff not working or going together right plus they have great software and lots of options for displays and motors and so many different kinds of bikes from full suspension cargo bikes to fun upright Dutch bikes to even road bikes.
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Old 05-05-24, 11:02 AM
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You need to determine what type of cycling you plan on using the ebike for.
Is $5k budget necessary for your cycling purpose?
Honestly, with the advancement of battery tech, you don't need to spend $5k to get into ebikes.
Once you've determine what type of cycling you want to do with ebike, then decide what specifics equipment you want.

Millions of ebikes are sold that are well under the $5K budget, with millions of batteries that are similar in shape & performance.
Failure rate of those millions of batteries are like similar to the failure rate of most batteries that $5K (and above) ebikes use.
I've converted my old MTBs with generic battery packs since 2013.

20 years down the road? everything on the market are expected to be obsolete just like cell phones, cars, etc..
But honestly,, would you be cycling with the same type of bikes 20 years in the future?
I see myself in some recumbent ebike if I keep up with the distance/duration of cycling that I do.

With rumor mill claims that Walmart is buying Specialized.. not sure if this is the best time to get a Specialized.
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Old 05-05-24, 11:03 AM
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IMO, in these days of planned obsolescence, the above is the best you can achieve, a large OEM using well known components (apparently Rigid didn't receive the memo). Correct selection of a DIY system is another possibility. I can get parts to repair my eight year old BBS02 system (which hasn't changed during that time (AFAICT), and has functioned perfectly). My Haibike-Yamaha almost became a boat anchor because Haibike left the US for a couple of years during a time when the bike wouldn't run. Be aware, not everybody thinks DIY is a viable consideration.
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Old 05-05-24, 12:27 PM
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Wally mart is not buying Specialized it is a youtoob video trying to get more views. There is never a good reason to buy into rumors but especially not rumors started by people who are trying to get money off of controversy. I love watching videos and there are tons of videos like that on the platform trying to drum up views but to buy into them and say you shouldn't buy something because of nothing is silly!

There is no news or factual information about the Waltons or Wal-mart buying Specialized it is exciting because it draws in people but there is no factual knowledge out there supporting that youtoobers claim.
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Old 05-05-24, 10:12 PM
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It's not the bike brand that is the issue, it is the brand of motor.
Bosch, Shimano, and maybe Yamaha are the big boys on the block and even though Bosch has changed their motor mounts and battery sizes, the old versions are still available. A friend just had his Gen 2 motor (circa 2015) replaced with an original Bosch.
When a bike manufacturer produces a bike with one of these motors, they have strict guidelines, For this, anyone who is authorized for these motors can repair regardless of bike brand.
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Old 05-08-24, 11:31 AM
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Looking out 20 years for a e-bicycle is pretty demanding. I'll be happy if I'm still alive and riding in 5 years. In the 9 years since I bought my first ebike battery, which was a 36V10Ah pack, I can get the same power using about 68% of the same volume for the cells.Batteries will either continue to shrink, or they will become a lot safer.

Incidentally, those 9 year old batteries hold 80% of the capacity they had in 2015, which is more than enough to cover my typical 20 mile ride.

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Old 05-08-24, 12:12 PM
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all good points stated above. Choose a bike that uses a well known brand of motor / controller. The el cheapo units costing sub 1000 bucks from AMZN will only disappoint you and they are not generally repairable.

there are a couple companies out there doing ebike battery refurbishment. The tool batteries (Ridgid, Ryobi etc) do not have enough voltage / current to serve as viable ebike batteries.

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