Re: Is the GEBE with Tanaka 40cc right for me?
I ended up getting the Tanaka 33cc for a front-suspension mountain bike because GEBE told me it was their quietist motor and would be able to power my 160 pounds up steep hills without any problem.
On my first test ride, I was a little nervous about how it would handle. I planned riding slowly for a short distance around my neighborhood. But I took to it like a duck to water.
Wow! What a hoot! So much fun! Fabulous! I loved it from the first minute! It was so easy I just took off and did an effortless 10 miles. It is fast! Easily 25 mph at way less that full throttle. At least 30 mph or more at full throttle. I’m not sure because I did not want to push it too much. Coming out of a tight curve, the acceleration is incredible. It gets to 25mph in seconds. On the most difficult hill of the ride, my speed never dropped below 18mph.
I pedaled the entire time. I am a life-long cyclist and I love pedaling. It just seems right for a bike and I want the exercise. I am not sure how much of a contribution my pedaling made however. When starting from a stop, I pedaled to about 10mph before touching the throttle. Getting to 10mph on a bike should be nothing, but the GEBE system and motor really created a strong drag that made it hard to get to 10mph. Not sure what that is all about?
For pedaling, I kept the bike in its highest gear - 42 teeth in front and 11 rear (except for starting up and climbing big hills). At 25mph, that gives a pedal cadence of just over 80/minute. Any faster than that and I found it hard to keep up with the motor. If I had to exert too much force on the pedals, I just squeezed the throttle a little more. What a thrill it was to easily pedal up a hill at 25mph! Without the motor, the best I could have done going all out is about 10 to 12 mph, and I would have been exhausted at the top.
I also did what you recommend. I did buy the very heavy duty 105G rear wheel from GEBE, and put on good tires - the 2 inch Serfas Drifter S. This gave a good solid ride with excellent stability. The bike took bumps easily. Even at 30mph on a road with an irregular surface, I felt like I had perfect balance and stability. I would be comfortable going faster. On my road bike, 30mph on that rough road (I would need a downhill to get that speed) would have started to feel unstable and I would not want to go much faster.