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Dropbar ebike for commuting?

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Dropbar ebike for commuting?

Old 05-12-24, 09:45 AM
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Dropbar ebike for commuting?

Cross posted from PL. Meant for this road forum and not commuting or ebike because it's discussing a drop bar style bike and this BF forum is probably the best chance of a decent number of decent responses.


Anyone have one that looks relatively classic/normal?

I am guessing it has to be rear-drive in order to have a more traditional appearance.
So steel or aluminum frame, rack and fender mounts, drop bar drivetrain, 40mm or so tire clearance, etc.

My wife, who rides like 300mi in a good year, brought this up to me yesterday- she asked why there aren't more drop bar ebike in the ebike commuter category and I had absolutely no idea.
Part of why had no idea is because I don't own an ebike and don't geek out on the ever-changing tech.

I saw Salsa has a 1x and 2x aluminum frame drop bar ebike that is rear-drive. And Google shows Ribble has an ebike drop bar CGR in aluminum that could handle a rack.




Anyways, why isn't this a more popular style for commuting?
So many commuters I see week to week are on leg powered drop bar bikes. My metro isn't a big bike commuting mecca by any measure, so maybe what I see is skewed and there really isn't a large overall market for drop bar commuters?
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Old 05-12-24, 11:57 AM
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I think if I commuted on an ebike I'd prefer flat bars. I'd want a throttle for smooth starts and I think that would be easier with flat bars. Also for the upright position in traffic.
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Old 05-12-24, 03:15 PM
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aside from the fitment/comfort issue, I'd expect most drop bar users would in a way jeer at it. Like when people put a "wing" on a 90s civic with "stanced" wheels.
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Old 05-12-24, 04:52 PM
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There are gravel ebikes aplenty that would be fine for commuting. Drop bars are the standard setup.

Commuting I've used mtn and city bikes for the most part--for more riding positions I add bar-end grips. Not a lot of chances to use the drops here, even when I'm riding another bike that has them. Lucky folks get to commute in more pleasant settings when it might make more sense.
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Old 05-13-24, 07:27 AM
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The primary benefits to drop bars would appear to be of limited value on a commuter e-bike.

the ability to get aero is diminished in value when your speed is not limited by how aero you are, but by a motor with a governor.

The other main advantage of drop bars, multiple hand positions, also would be of less value on a bike intended for short rides.

Add in That most casual cyclists are more confident on a bike with flat bars, and the market for a commuter road bike with drop bars appears limited.
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Old 05-13-24, 07:42 AM
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The electric Colnago that I saw had drop bars. I have to admit that it struck me as funny at the time.
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Old 05-17-24, 07:30 PM
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Trek Domane+ may fit the bill.
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Old 05-17-24, 08:37 PM
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I put a Swytch conversion kit on one of my drop-bar road bikes. 250w front wheel drive.
Thumb throttle on a bar extension that hangs below the left bar flat. No pedal/crank sensor.
It turned my 20lb bike into a bit of a behemoth at 30lbs, but I reckon using the electric assist only 20% of the time.
Not instantaneous power. Nor does it sustain wheel power for more than a few minutes. Limited to 20mph on level terrain.
Great for helping on a short uphill or getting thru an intersection quickly. Not bad for $600 total.
Contrast it to a nice Specialized Creo priced at $5k, mid-drive powered but no throttle. Would love to own that Creo.
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Old 05-18-24, 12:16 PM
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When you say "commuter bike" you aren't really saying anything.

There are fast, smooth commutes between towns or cities where the pavement is good and the traffic is light, and intersections are not frequent. There are urban commutes with terrible pavement, cars coming from every angle, and stop lights ever several hundred yards. There are commuters who need to carry a couple changes of clothes, a couple meals, a laptop and other gear, and commuters who just carry a couple tubes and a pump. There are commuters who sometimes ride like a race and generally go quickly, and commuters who never break a sweat.

Drop-bar e-bike? I have seen some, and with a rear-hub motor ... not that I care whether my bike looks "classic" or "classy" or whatever ..... but if you want an e-bike with drop bars and a rear hub motor, go get one. If it fits wide or narrow enough tires, has enough or too many rack mounts, weights to much or doesn't offer enough assist or whatever ... can't say. Only you can.
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Old 05-18-24, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
When you say "commuter bike" you aren't really saying anything.
There are urban commutes with terrible pavement, cars coming from every angle, and stop lights ever several hundred yards.
Hey! You've described majority of the riding experiences by me..
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Old 05-18-24, 01:48 PM
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When I started the thread I wasn't really looking for options with an intent to buy.
I was just hoping to hear why others thought there are so few drop bar ebike for commuting.
A lot of responses included carbon road bikes, not really what I would figure for a commuter.

I am admittedly uneducated in the ebike world and figured this type of bike would be more in demand for commuting than it is- aluminum frame with fender and rack mounts, drop bars for comfort and hand positions, motor for hill assist.
After reading more, I still don't understand why this isn't a popular option for commuting, but I accept that it's likely something I just can't get past due to bias.

My commute bike has drop bars and I love it- its still pretty relaxed/upright, it offers multiple hand positions, and drop brake levers are just nice.
So I probably just think more would like this style(I do see a lot of commuters on drop bars too).


Anyways, here are a couple of drop bar ebike with aluminum frames that could work for commuting. Listing em in case anyone googles this in the coming months.
- Trek Domane + AL5. $3500, only 30#, rack and fender mounts. https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-al-5/p/36145/
- Salsa Confluence. $3000 or 3500, depending on if you get 1x or 2x. The hta is super slack. https://www.salsacycles.com/bikes/eb...hoCPZAQAvD_BwE
- Momentum Voya E+1. $1500 or $2240, depending on of you get the 1x10 or 1x11. Momentum is owned by Giant. Pretty good geometry, rack and fender mounts, GRX drivetrain. QR dropouts though. https://www.momentum-biking.com/ca/voya-eplus-1-2022



$1500 for the GRX 1x10 Momentum would be pretty enticing, if I wanted to buy a commuter drop bar ebike. The battery range isn't great, but my commute is 8mi each way with 350' of climb and the battery is fine for that.
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Old 05-18-24, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Cross posted from PL. Meant for this road forum and not commuting or ebike because it's discussing a drop bar style bike and this BF forum is probably the best chance of a decent number of decent responses.


Anyone have one that looks relatively classic/normal?

I am guessing it has to be rear-drive in order to have a more traditional appearance.
So steel or aluminum frame, rack and fender mounts, drop bar drivetrain, 40mm or so tire clearance, etc.

My wife, who rides like 300mi in a good year, brought this up to me yesterday- she asked why there aren't more drop bar ebike in the ebike commuter category and I had absolutely no idea.
Part of why had no idea is because I don't own an ebike and don't geek out on the ever-changing tech.

I saw Salsa has a 1x and 2x aluminum frame drop bar ebike that is rear-drive. And Google shows Ribble has an ebike drop bar CGR in aluminum that could handle a rack.




Anyways, why isn't this a more popular style for commuting?
So many commuters I see week to week are on leg powered drop bar bikes. My metro isn't a big bike commuting mecca by any measure, so maybe what I see is skewed and there really isn't a large overall market for drop bar commuters?
Trek makes a handful of eBike models in traditional road bike format. Crank motor. Takes a close look to see they are electric
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Old 05-18-24, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
When you say "commuter bike" you aren't really saying anything.

There are fast, smooth commutes between towns or cities where the pavement is good and the traffic is light, and intersections are not frequent. There are urban commutes with terrible pavement, cars coming from every angle, and stop lights ever several hundred yards. There are commuters who need to carry a couple changes of clothes, a couple meals, a laptop and other gear, and commuters who just carry a couple tubes and a pump. There are commuters who sometimes ride like a race and generally go quickly, and commuters who never break a sweat.

Drop-bar e-bike? I have seen some, and with a rear-hub motor ... not that I care whether my bike looks "classic" or "classy" or whatever ..... but if you want an e-bike with drop bars and a rear hub motor, go get one. If it fits wide or narrow enough tires, has enough or too many rack mounts, weights to much or doesn't offer enough assist or whatever ... can't say. Only you can.
I've been Maelcohed.
Yes I understand commuting can be done many ways. Even still, there are some general commonly desired features of a bike that is used to commute, like rack and fender mounts, a durable frame material, and relatively comfortable/casual geometry.
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Old 05-18-24, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
$1500 for the GRX 1x10 Momentum would be pretty enticing, if I wanted to buy a commuter drop bar ebike. The battery range isn't great, but my commute is 8mi each way with 350' of climb and the battery is fine for that.
I was seriously looking at Momentum but the lack of racks/lights/guards put me off. Price them up.
Plus the integrated small battery means replacement would be sooner and more expensive.
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Old 05-18-24, 10:45 PM
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My wife has a drop-bar Cannondale e-bike that she uses almost exclusively for commuting. It looks fairly "normal" apart from a fat down-tube. It has a Bosch mid-drive motor and conventional 105 components on an aluminum road/gravel frame. We added a rear rack for panniers.

Her commute is 10 miles each way, with about 2000 ft of climbing to get home and about 1/4 off-pavement, so it is nothing like a typical urban commute. She recently had a hip replacement and will probably need the other one done, so ergonomics was, and is, a high priority.

One of the things the more cheesy upright e-bikes have that commuters favor is a step-though frame. In retrospect, that probably would have really helped her with the hip issues, but it seems like the Venn diagram of drop-bar bikes and step-throughs looks like this:

0 0

Found an internet pic:

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Old 05-19-24, 12:00 AM
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Pretty sure it's the consumer. Most bikers commuting on road bikes don't need an e-bike, while most people wanting to try e-bike commuting are non e-bike cyclists. Thus step through flat bar e-bikes are made and that's what you see mostly for rental in cities. Smart commuters would run the road e-bike since it's more efficient, more agile, and probably more fun.
While most pre e-bike commuters are happy with their setup currently, so they haven't gotten an e-bike.
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Old 05-19-24, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
When I started the thread I wasn't really looking for options with an intent to buy.
I was just hoping to hear why others thought there are so few drop bar ebike for commuting.
A lot of responses included carbon road bikes, not really what I would figure for a commuter.

I am admittedly uneducated in the ebike world and figured this type of bike would be more in demand for commuting than it is- aluminum frame with fender and rack mounts, drop bars for comfort and hand positions, motor for hill assist.
After reading more, I still don't understand why this isn't a popular option for commuting, but I accept that it's likely something I just can't get past due to bias.

My commute bike has drop bars and I love it- its still pretty relaxed/upright, it offers multiple hand positions, and drop brake levers are just nice.
So I probably just think more would like this style(I do see a lot of commuters on drop bars too).

I think the kind of commuters who would prefer drop bar e-bikes are those who already ride normal drop bar road bikes (like you), of which there are loads of e-bike options. E-bikes that are specifically marketed toward commuters are mostly upright, flat bar models, again catering for commuters who would normally ride non-powered similar bikes.

Canyon offer a few drop bar e-bikes for touring and gravel that have all the mounts a commuter would need. I think some of the builds are even aimed at daily commuters, but I haven’t looked closely. But their commuter specific bikes are all flat bar and mostly step through design.
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Old 05-19-24, 06:17 AM
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Step thru designs make sense for Ebikes where frame rigidity/weight isn't an issue. I'd choose it for a commuter.
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Old 05-19-24, 07:05 AM
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I rode a drop-bar bike to commute (18-mile round trip, about 1/3 in city traffic) for the first five years of my final job before retirement. Then a flat-bar hybrid with time-trial-style aero bars for the last 15 years.

Once I'd switched, I (mildly) regretted the years commuting on the drop-bar bike. The flat bars felt much safer in traffic, and the aero bars boosted my speed everywhere else. Now that I'm retired, my 12 to 15 hours per week of riding consist of about 50% hybrid, 45% fixed-gear bike with bullhorn bars, and 5% drop bars, all with added aero bars.

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Old 05-19-24, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit
I was seriously looking at Momentum but the lack of racks/lights/guards put me off. Price them up.
Plus the integrated small battery means replacement would be sooner and more expensive.
interesting, since I don't think twice about buying a rack and fenders. They are $40-80 each. Depending on brand/style.
The battery being hidden is neat, but if it costs more to replace, that's lame. It looked like streak and other brands with a rear drive setup have a similar hidden battery.

Wonder how.long a 250w battery is expected to last?
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Old 05-19-24, 10:10 AM
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Help me understand the bias against carbon drop bar e-bikes. Drop bar bikes are usually ridden on city streets or gravel. My drop bar carbon non-e-bike has taken some pretty good hits on pot holes with no issues - other than tweaking a rim.

A good friend of mine bought a Trek carbon e-bike for running errands and loves his.

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Old 05-19-24, 10:14 AM
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I wasn't trying to be a richard ... I wanted to clarify before I commented ..... I think everyone has explained enough aspects of the situation so now I don't need to comment.

But will ... that's just how I am, for good or ill ....

I commuted for a long time on a lot of different bikes, and in traffic, and/or for commuted of under 25-30 miles, flat bars suited me because I had more control when sitting upright (than sitting upright gripping the tops on a drop-bar bike.) But if you prefer drop bars, well, they work too. But I don't expect a strong demand for all the reasons noted above.

Still I am sure they are out there---Al frame, CF fork, rack mounts, drop bars ... sounds too useful for no one to sell them. Not sure I have seen one ... most of the e-bikes I see are those fat-tire e-motorcycles disguised as bikes. I did see a trio at an event a few weeks ago, and checked them out ... major-brand e-bikes which I think met your criteria ... sorry but I didn't take notes.

I am sure you will find something close enough to what you want, though ..... Another option is to find a motorized rear wheel and mount it and a battery to an ordinary frame, perhaps?
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Old 05-19-24, 10:14 AM
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Maybe the $10K price tag puts off some commuters?
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Old 05-19-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
--Al frame, CF fork, rack mounts, drop bars ... sounds too useful for no one to sell them.
That is what my wife's Cannondale Synapse Neo1 bike, pictured above, is. Got it on sale at REI a couple of years ago for $3500.
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Old 05-19-24, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Help me understand the bias against carbon drop bar e-bikes. Drop bar bikes are usually ridden on city streets or gravel. My drop bar carbon non-e-bike has taken some pretty good hits on pot holes with no issues - other than tweaking a rim.

A good friend of mine bought a Trek carbon e-bike for running errands and loves his.

I assume preference mostly. That Trek is a near twin of mine, down to the drivetrain. I spend very little time on the drops in town, what with all the start-stop-start-stop-woah, pothole/glass/rails! splendor. Once on a path, then I alternate positions.

If you never get out of the city-suburban grid you may never use the drops, at which point a flat bar setup with bar ends might make better sense.
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