Advice and Opinions Wanted - Time for a new bike.

Catfisher

Member
Apr 10, 2010
137
1
18
Heart of Illinois
:) I joined this forum nine years ago with the intention of building a gas 4 stroke. For many reasons, first legal questions, followed by a return to full time work and the hassles of life; I never built a bike.

I'm 67 now, retired again, and now I can afford to do something. My main uses will be short trips to the store and just pleasure riding through some country roads. I am strongly leaning toward electric power, as I still face harassment if I am noisy or noticeable. Also, there is a gov. cooling lake I like to fish that is over a mile hike to get back to the fishing. No motorized vehicles; but nobody notices the electric bikes.

Here are some questions. Any and all advice/opinions are appreciated.

Is bikesdirect.com a good supplier?

I am going to list links to two electric bikes I am looking at from bikesdirect.com. One has a 750 watt rear hub motor and large knobby tires. The other has a 250 watt Shimano E5000 MidDrive. The page descriptions go on forever, but all of the vital specs are down at the bottom.

Bike "A": http://www.bikesdirect.com/products...ikes-fat-bikes-bullseye-monster-xe-ebikes.htm

Bike "B": http://www.bikesdirect.com/products...es/ebikes-electric-bikes-elite-eadventure.htm

I welcome all thoughts. Here are some of my questions.

1: Do either of these bikes require you to pedal to get electric assistance? I probably misunderstood; but the video I watched on the Shimano E5000 system seemed to indicate the more you pedal, the more it assists. I don't want to have to pedal if I don't feel like it.

2: Is the 750 watt rear hub motor substantially more powerful than the Shimano 250 watt E5000 MidDrive system? We have some really steep hills I would like to go up.

3: Does either bike have a way better suspension system? Going off a curb about kills my bones now, I need some comfort.

4: Would the knobby tires be horrible on pavement? Most of my riding is paved city streets, with some rural gravel roads.

5: Are there other models, bikes, or suppliers you think I could get a better choice or deal from?

I have the time and skill to assemble everything if there are substantial saving with kits and a battery you recommend.

Thanks for all the help, I need to make a decision soon; before more spring has sprung.

(^)
 
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indian22

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2014
3,825
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Oklahoma
Welcome back Catfish! Good questions but no simple answers to most of them. So I'll stick to my experience. I've purchased mountain bikes from them in the past (starting six years ago) & have nothing but praise for the entire experience, from start to finish. Brands they carry are great in the price/performance range. I consider the Motobecane an excellent value in pedal bikes 1K to 3K range and with the motors listed I'd still think them a value as e-bikes. The motors offered are good. Brakes, shocks, tires etc. are nice mid-range stuff...thus the pricing, but an individual couldn't order the same parts and build the same bike for anything close to their price delivered.

Power 250 watts equals 1/3 hp...750w is a full horse power. I'm 72 years young and doubt I could muster 250 watts for more than a few seconds on my leg power alone, young men in great shape perhaps 1/2 hp in spurts. So yes huge difference, but here's where it gets tricky. Motor power figures are relatively arbitrary by the manufacturers and the good brands are usually under rated. The controller and battery combination actually determine the power output of the motor and cut off power at pre determined levels. Thus the 250 watt and 750 watt labels at a given voltage (36v. 48v.,etc.) way more to all this but that's what the internet is for. In a pre package bike your stuck with what you buy, but with greater understanding you can upgrade to what you need. For most the base equipment will be fine however.

The battery supplied is always tricky & I have no insight into the brands included. I've been lucky so far with batteries on my three e-bikes, but time will tell and none have reached a year in service. I'm happy with them to this point, but not enough track record to make a recommendation. Twelve amp hr. is as low as I personally would use. I run 15 amp hrs. on a 36v., 500 watt rated motor and 20 amp for my 48v. 1000w. bikes.

I'm not a fan of extended warranties but I'd consider warranty for batteries.

I disconnect the pedal assist function and use a twist throttle, not legal in some places but I find the pedal assist a joke. Speak to your vendor about this as it may void warranty.

As I said not many simple answers and I don't know anyone who has them, though some purport to have these precognitive insights.

Best of luck. One of my bikes is a fat tire with knobbys and I love them on all surfaces

Rick C.