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  1. #1
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    Question ebikes - thoughts / recommendations?

    Now before everyone gets up in arms about ebikes vs. normal bikes, this is for a specific use case.

    My wife really likes to go riding with our kids and I. Riding together is one of the first things we did when we started dating nearly 20 years ago. Our favorite place to ride now is a "family" trail in a state forest, a mix of flat, sandy trails and some easy single track.

    But...she has MS. After a ton of strength training and PT, this past weekend she was able to ride for the first time in 2 years and we were both so excited! Her legs are still weak though and she has a lot of trouble on inclines. She had to stop often and fell over 4-5 times from lost momentum. After watching her from behind, I'm thinking if she just had a boost to help her up the hills she'd do pretty well. Otherwise her biking days are near the end.

    So...I'm on to considering an ebike for her, something like a comfort bike that can take easy trails not a full mountain bike or commuter.
    Any thoughts on what's good out there? Brands that have done it better than others? Good systems?

  2. #2
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    definitely the wrong forum to ask

  3. #3
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    I have no idea if they work well or make financial sense but FYI you could also convert her current bike to an eBike. There are "conversion kits" for that.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I have no idea if they work well or make financial sense but FYI you could also convert her current bike to an eBike. There are "conversion kits" for that.

    Really - I hadn't seen those. From what I've seen ebikes are not exactly cheap either so it's worth checking out.

  5. #5
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    I see quiet a few of them on the streets of Boston (or at least I assume no one is making a eBike replica of a 1994 junkie Hybrid).

  6. #6
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    Congrats and respect to your wife, she's a winner.

    I've got a lazy, out of shape friend that is on his second and he raves about them. He's now miles and miles away so I have not seen it nor do I know any details. But it was expensive, think high end road bike $$$, and is heavy, 40-50 lbs.

    I don't know this forum's policy or stance on cross forum posts but this will certainly give you more relevant info than this one.

    Electric Bikes - Bike Forums



  7. #7
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    I bought my wife an e-bike (Haibike) so she could join me on riding vacations in the Dolomites in Italy.

    It was fairly expensive but works very well with a long range. She can do over 5000 vertical and more than 50 miles on one charge. The bike assist system if very intuitive and essentially works as if the rider were strong. It has four modes with the Turbo mode working like the rider is a world class competitor.

    Here's the bad news. The company asked everyone to stop riding their Haibike in February because of a fork recall. To date, they have failed to deliver any of the replacement forks (6 months).

    This is bit like Chevrolet asking the buyer of luxury car to stop driving it while they developed tires that won't blow out. There are (and were at the time of the recall) many disk brake fork manufacturers that could have supplied suitable replacements forks within a month but apparently the corporate culture at Haibike sees no problem in asking consumers to give up riding for six months while they diddle around "inventing" a replacement.
    Quote Originally Posted by B_arrington View Post
    Now before everyone gets up in arms about ebikes vs. normal bikes, this is for a specific use case.

    My wife really likes to go riding with our kids and I. Riding together is one of the first things we did when we started dating nearly 20 years ago. Our favorite place to ride now is a "family" trail in a state forest, a mix of flat, sandy trails and some easy single track.

    But...she has MS. After a ton of strength training and PT, this past weekend she was able to ride for the first time in 2 years and we were both so excited! Her legs are still weak though and she has a lot of trouble on inclines. She had to stop often and fell over 4-5 times from lost momentum. After watching her from behind, I'm thinking if she just had a boost to help her up the hills she'd do pretty well. Otherwise her biking days are near the end.

    So...I'm on to considering an ebike for her, something like a comfort bike that can take easy trails not a full mountain bike or commuter.
    Any thoughts on what's good out there? Brands that have done it better than others? Good systems?

  8. #8
    pmf
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    Sorry about your wife's medical condition. My LBS is pretty heavy into ebikes and they start at around $2000 and go up to $6000. I've also seen regular bikes with motorized wheels. Might be a cheaper alternative. I used to get passed by a woman using one. There's a bunch on ebay:

    26" Front Wheel Electric Bicycle Motor Kit E-Bike Conversion 48V 1000W | eBay

    Climbing up on my soapbox ... I commute daily 33 miles on a MUT. Ebikes have become increasingly common. Many of the people I see riding them look perfectly capable of riding a conventional bicycle. A lot of them go too fast and do silly unsafe things like passing around a blind corner at 20 mph. I had one pass me going the other direction on the fairly narrow 14-th street bridge pedestrian walkway doing at least 30 mph yesterday. The rules of the MUT forbid motorized vehicles. I consider them to be a motorized vehicle and think they should not be allowed on the path. People argue that they are 'pedal assist' to which my reply is if its propelled by a motor, it's a motorized vehicle. I dread the day when half the bikes on the MUT will be ebikes. I already get to enjoy driving in the DC area with some bigass SUV tailgating me -- like I can make the car in front of me go faster. I really look forward to my bike commute turning into the same thing. These things are only going to get cheaper, lighter, fasted and further range. That said, I have nothing against them if they stay off the friggin MUT.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_arrington View Post
    Now before everyone gets up in arms about ebikes vs. normal bikes, this is for a specific use case.

    My wife really likes to go riding with our kids and I. Riding together is one of the first things we did when we started dating nearly 20 years ago. Our favorite place to ride now is a "family" trail in a state forest, a mix of flat, sandy trails and some easy single track.

    But...she has MS. After a ton of strength training and PT, this past weekend she was able to ride for the first time in 2 years and we were both so excited! Her legs are still weak though and she has a lot of trouble on inclines. She had to stop often and fell over 4-5 times from lost momentum. After watching her from behind, I'm thinking if she just had a boost to help her up the hills she'd do pretty well. Otherwise her biking days are near the end.

    So...I'm on to considering an ebike for her, something like a comfort bike that can take easy trails not a full mountain bike or commuter.
    Any thoughts on what's good out there? Brands that have done it better than others? Good systems?
    If you're handy at all, it's really pretty easy to add a hub motor kit to her existing bike, they work really well for commuter type riding with flats and rolling hills, they're not great for grinding up long steep climbs.

    This is a good forum for kit bikes: https://electricbike.com/forum/

    This is a good one for OEM bikes: https://electricbikereview.com/forum/

    You could always get something like this that she could ride for fun and you could use as a grocery getter:

    https://www.radpowerbikes.com/produc...nt=23990617281

  10. #10
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    Coincidentally, I was notified today that Haibike has now delivered the replacement forks for the recalled bikes.

    On the other hand, not sure why they think it was OK to take 6 months to provide a seemingly simple and available fork replacement.

    We'll see how they deal with warranty problems and whether they intend to extend their warranty to cover the 6 months that the bikes were out of commission.
    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    I bought my wife an e-bike (Haibike) so she could join me on riding vacations in the Dolomites in Italy.

    It was fairly expensive but works very well with a long range. She can do over 5000 vertical and more than 50 miles on one charge. The bike assist system if very intuitive and essentially works as if the rider were strong. It has four modes with the Turbo mode working like the rider is a world class competitor.

    Here's the bad news. The company asked everyone to stop riding their Haibike in February because of a fork recall. To date, they have failed to deliver any of the replacement forks (6 months).

    This is bit like Chevrolet asking the buyer of luxury car to stop driving it while they developed tires that won't blow out. There are (and were at the time of the recall) many disk brake fork manufacturers that could have supplied suitable replacements forks within a month but apparently the corporate culture at Haibike sees no problem in asking consumers to give up riding for six months while they diddle around "inventing" a replacement.

  11. #11
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    Trek and Specialized both are making good e-bikes. I recommend looking at ones that use the Bosch or Shimano mid-drive systems. These bikes use regular bike parts except for the bottom bracket/motor area, so fixing flats, brakes, etc is no more of a headache than your own bike. They are a little pricey, but the quality is there.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  12. #12
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    Electric Bikes - Bike Forums locks up my web browser every time, freezing the cursor & keyboard.
    electricbikereview.com is useful and computer friendly.
    I'm looking at doing a conversion of a spare bike for riding back from my country property if injured but not badly enough to need an ambulance. Ebike conversions are cheaper than phone service, and taxis probably couldn't or wouldn't find my property.
    Look for wheel kits to avoid incompatibilities with various cranks (mid drive kits assume everybody has the same crank. Only true for current bikes, maybe. I have 5 diameters crank journal, most with frozen nuts that won't remove). For hills look at gear drive motors IMHO. For actually riding look for internal one way clutch. Look for pedal assist with crank sensor. 1000 W strikes me as stupidly fast. I'm looking for 50 m range, starting to be doable at lower speeds. I'm looking at lunacycle.com a $990 750W front wheel kit with 13 AH battery that looks like a water bottle, and http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx a 350 W kit for $860 that actually quotes a freewheel, I think. If I'm 50 miles out after pedaling all morning and expecting electric help home after the festival at dusk I don't want to find the $460 battery stolen. I can chain the wheel up but can't figure a way to secure a plug in battery. Luna actually has gear sets for some motor on the website, maybe the one they are actually selling in the wheel. Amazon & E-bay wheel kits are cheap, $150-250 and leave a lot of questions unanswered. Like what battery connector, what style pedal pickup, what style control? Do the motors have brushes, which cause no-start after sitting around for some time? e-bay & amazon 36v & 48 v 2 amp chargers are cheap and have some stupid connector that doesn't look like anything else on the planet, or electronic supply websites.
    As far as bending the front fork, 90's and previous consumer cycles have extra weight in the frame & fork to allow sloppy welding. Modern carbon or aluminum race bikes the forks are probably not suitable for power conversion. Even post 2000 steel bikes the welding is so under control they don't weigh anything.
    Best of luck.
    Last edited by indianajo; 08-09-2017 at 10:01 PM.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the ideas.

    The conversion kits look interesting, if a bit more complicated than just buying a new bike. I'm pretty handy (just designed and built a gravity go-cart for my kids), so I'm sure I could install one. I like the pedal-assist; but a throttle for her might be help in a pinch to keep her upright when her legs are tired.

    I have two bikes that could work for a conversion. One is late 90's steel-framed Peugeot "hybrid" bike with 700cc x 1 inch tires, linear brakes, and grip shift 21 speeds. The other is a nearly new Trek Shift 2: aluminum frame, 26 x 2" tires, suspension fork, linear brakes, and also 21 speed grip shift. This one was my mom's, which she gave us after my dad passed because she'll never ride without him. Its about 3 years old, and has maybe 20 miles on it.

    Wondering how essential it is to have disk brakes, or if standard linear brakes are OK?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_arrington View Post
    Thanks for all the ideas.

    The conversion kits look interesting, if a bit more complicated than just buying a new bike. I'm pretty handy (just designed and built a gravity go-cart for my kids), so I'm sure I could install one. I like the pedal-assist; but a throttle for her might be help in a pinch to keep her upright when her legs are tired.

    I have two bikes that could work for a conversion. One is late 90's steel-framed Peugeot "hybrid" bike with 700cc x 1 inch tires, linear brakes, and grip shift 21 speeds. The other is a nearly new Trek Shift 2: aluminum frame, 26 x 2" tires, suspension fork, linear brakes, and also 21 speed grip shift. This one was my mom's, which she gave us after my dad passed because she'll never ride without him. Its about 3 years old, and has maybe 20 miles on it.

    Wondering how essential it is to have disk brakes, or if standard linear brakes are OK?
    I'd go for the mtb since you can fit some fat tires in there for comfort and it possibly has a little easier standover for her. Changing flats can be a pain with hub motors, so you could go with a mid drive kit if you wanted. Luna is the best place atm since they stand behind their products and have decent customer service. A Bafang BBS02 would be plenty. https://lunacycle.com/bafang-bbs02-mid-drive-kit/ Buying off of ebay or amazon pretty much guarantees you're going to get crap batteries btw.

    V brakes would be fine

  15. #15
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    I have built a couple E bikes over the years. Then I hardly used them at all, LOL

    this year I bought a mid drive DIY kit and it is fantastic - very professionally designed kit that is easy to install. I put it on a mtb first, but tome a mtb has NOBUSINESS on the road and feelslike shyt riding on the road. So I moved the kit onto my disused cyclocross bike, with some 2" slick tires. Drop bars of course w hydro disks. Fantastic ebike now. Kit was about $500 and the li-ion battery was another $400. Bafag BBs02 is the kit, and it is sold by many online outlets

    yes ebikes belong on the MUT. myopic to say otherwise imho. They are made for each other, and the city and province has had them legal here for 15 years with no problems. I do not ride the ebike, I ride regular bike and ebikes have NEVER bothered me at all.
    Last edited by BCSaltchucker; 08-10-2017 at 09:20 PM.

  16. #16
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    My wife rides a Raleigh Miseo ebike and she loves it. We can now ride together, except on hills where she leaves me behind. In eco mode she will get around 70 miles to a charge. So yes check the out but they are heavy.

  17. #17
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    The long range ones are heavy 60 pounds but oh so much fun. On twisty 25mph roads I can beat the cars. I still ride my old bikes and motorcycle so this is just another toy for me.
    You need to go and try out electric bikes in your area, a test ride is worth a thousand words. Each one will be different. To all of you purists out there there is more then one way to have fun on bicycles.

  18. #18
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    I don't know much about specific brands and kits, but I was warned against anything that uses the front wheel for drive, as this is not safe.

  19. #19
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    If the E in ebike stands for Exciting, you may want to look into something like this.

    ebikes - thoughts / recommendations?-dsc00199.jpg

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=siclmn;5175609]The long range ones are heavy 60 pounds but oh so much fun. On twisty 25mph roads I can beat the cars. I still ride my old bikes and motorcycle so this is just another toy for me.
    QUOTE]

    Not sure what you call "long range" but my wife's Haibike weighs 36 lbs and will go more than 60 miles. She has also climbed 5200' of vertical with 40 miles distance. The bike has 4 modes (econ, tour, sport, and turbo) and she uses mostly econ and tour.

    I can't imagine loading a 60lb bike on a bike rack.

  21. #21
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    I always use 1% of the battery for each mile that I go so I can get 100 miles from the battery. This is on the lowest power setting. On this setting I can pass any bike on the road. It's a Stromer.

  22. #22
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    Sure, go for the ebike. I won't throw any scorn at you.

    That flat tire comment is something to pay attention to, though. If the power is sufficient, you could make the bike a bit heavier by installing a solid, no-flat tire, and so never be faced with having to dismantle some of the drive train of the motor in order to fix a flat.

    They come in different "psi" equivalents. They come in varying mounting difficulty. They require a strong wheel, but ebikes tend to have strong wheels. I think most are a tire that is what would normally be a tube and a tire - so you get limited tread choices (versus regular clincher, where you can use any tube, and you can swap tires out as much as you like, including different widths).

    They weigh around a pound each. (Now, begin the arguments over "rotating weight.")

  23. #23
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    yet another reason to go for mid-drive then. fixing a flat will be like on a regular bike.

    but most ebikes are going to have stout wide tires to begin with - very resistant to getting a flat. And you cna inject some sealant inside the tube if you have goatheads in your locale - just may have to buy some tubes with removeable valve core to do this.

  24. #24
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    $2000 ebikes just so she can go exercise with the kids?? I don't know, to me that sounds a lot of money and a lot of work. Wouldn't it be simpler if you guys just go a family hike together? I would think hiking is better all around, better exercise, and cheap.

  25. #25
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    These guys make a wheel which turns the bike into an ebike, I have never tried it. It weighs quite a bit but attaches just like a tradional wheel:

    https://content.superpedestrian.com/

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