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Opinions, please. My husband wants me to get an e-bike so I can keep up to him...

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    Opinions, please. My husband wants me to get an e-bike so I can keep up to him...

    Help - I currently ride a KHS 1000 Fat Bike, have had it for 2 seasons. I convinced my bike mechanics to heavily modify it for my quirky physical issues. Bad wrists (both have been broken), bad back (my spine curves the wrong way) and hips that don't play nice anymore (I'm 58). Oh, and sometimes my opposable thumbs don't act like thumbs, so I can only reliably shift with my right hand. I MUST sit very upright to avoid pain. I love the cushy ride the big tires provide, but am uncomfortable in single-track settings...which my husband, of course LOVES. He thinks I will 'learn to like' singletrack if I am able to go faster. He doesn't understand my fear of crashing. I read in the comments how fast these bikes will go...and I am afraid of speed. He also thinks I'll bike more if I don't tire as quickly. I am afraid the assist will make me lazy, so that I get less of a work-out...

    How easy is it to keep them moving slowly? I feel so out of control at anything more than what he considers a snails pace. Also, the last thing I want to do is invest this kind of money and then hurt myself and/or the bike by hitting a tree or flying off the trail... Seems like it could bring my active life to a sudden halt.

    Would appreciate any commentary that might help this nervous newbie decide if this might be right for me...

    #2
    Go to the bike store that has Electra or a REI store and ride the Townie Go and decide for yourself. Put 2.8 wide WTB Rangers or Surley Knards on there.

    Don't ride single track if you don't want to.

    What ever you do, don't let your husband grab something off Craigs list, hop it up with a BBSHD and tell you it is safe. ;-)

    68mm bottom bracket, straight downtube allows the motor to swing up out of the way, 2 3/4 inches clearance, 3p battery wedged in “triangle”, simple and


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      #3
      Trek's hardtail with a Bosch motor is very nice and the small is in feminine colors for about $3000. Ride that too.

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        #4
        Thank you, xcnick!

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          #5
          I doubt you'll get the same workout using an ebike, but, depending on the bike, you can limit the assist, or even turn it off. It does add weight to the bike. If you're having issues finding an ebike to try, I've got a comfort bike setup for my wife with a Bafang BBS02 motor if you'd like to try it. We're in Central WI.

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            #6
            My wife is in a similar position, same age and similar health issues, so I'll add my opinion.

            We both like to pedal, and as a result have our programs turned way down, 7% in PAS 1as an example. In this setting the assist offsets the added weight of the motor. So you can go as slow as you want without felling like the bike will shoot out from under you.

            I view the 9 speed PAS settings as a 9 speed front cassette, meaning when I've run out of gears in the back I will up the PAS setting, such as going up a steep hill.
            Anyone who says you can't get a workout hasn't tried it. My wife uses the PAS 1 setting at the beginning or our ride because it starts with a 2 mile road climb to the trail. She needs a few miles to warm up. She switches to PAS 0 for the rest of the 18 mile rolling road/trail ride. She's now riding a 9 speed bike that has 16 lbs of extra weight, 13 lbs for the motor, and 3 lbs for the mighty mini battery. In my case, with using the same approach, I've knocked 4-5 minutes off my 12 mile road ride. The majority of the e-bike rides are done in either PAS 1 or 0. This is on either the hard tail or fat bike.

            To deal with my wife's wrist issues I changed her shifter from thumb to Sram twist shifter. If you use the throttle you have the option of either a thumb trigger or twist throttle you could use on the left. She started riding my fat bike rigid , then switched to a hard tail. I'll make some changes to my full suspension fat bike so she can ride that. A full suspension bike is more stable because the suspension follows the terrain, instead of bouncing over rocks, etc as a rigid or hard tail does. The other advantage of the full suspension is you can sit while riding over rough terrain, not to mention the kushy ride.

            She, like you isn't all that comfortable on the trials. She had a minor crash a few weeks ago on her hard tail and dislocated her finger. She's now hesitant about trail riding. I'm setting my full suspension e-fat bike up for her to try. With fatter tire and lower pressure should make the rocky terrain easier to navigate.

            For a bike, I would suggest either a full suspension 650b for the wider tires, around 3" and can run at a lower pressure. Or for more versatility, a full suspension fat bike with 50 mm rims. With those rims you can run a tire width from 2.8" - 3.8" wide. My wife is 5'5" and I'm 5'8" so we prefer the 26" tire height vs the 27.5", or 29".

            I personally went the diy Bafang route because we already have bikes we like, and fit us well. Not to mention it's cheaper than buying an e-bike. If you plan on using the motor as a light assist, I would go with the BBS02 for the lighter weight instead of the BBSHD. Since we both don't use the assist much we use the Mighty Mini battery (3 lbs) to keep the weight down. We get a 35-45 mile range. The other advantage is I plan on removing the motor (leaving all the wiring in place) and replacing it with a crankset when I don't want the added motor weight.
            She rides a Specialized Myka hardtail e-bike, and a Gravity Bullseye Monster e-fat bike with front suspension e bike.

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              #7
              My wife is fairly short, about 5' 3" and she has an old Mongoose Hardtail (good quality from when they were sold in local bike shops) that's about a 14" frame, makes it easy for her to handle both off road and on road. You probably know this already but I wanted to mention small frames help off road, if you get into a spot it helps to be able to stop and put a foot down easily.

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                #8
                This is all very helpful, everyone. Keep 'em coming, please!

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                  #9
                  Ok, I will go out on a limb and say it is better exercise. The Townie has only be safe enough for her in the last couple of weeks, but in this time she has finally been able to ride without knee pain. Part of the things she does for the knee is a stationary bike, but a real bike always presents her with a few moments where she pushes too hard. That has not happened yet with the ebike and she is not icing her knee after riding. The stationary bike has a little dust on it too. ;-)

                  I live in a world where I am taking massive amounts of crap for the bikes. Get a thick skin and value what you learn despite what others say.

                  You want killer exercise? My buddy and I go over the back and then see who chickens out and has to go back. You spend the whole time in pedal assist saving all the battery you can, Then the looser has to pedal a 50 pound bike over the summit. Bad game for me, Frank is a personal trainer with a bigger battery.

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                    #10
                    What you need is marriage counselling.

                    Until he wants you to get an e-bike to improve your life, and you are eager to go first and set your own pace.

                    He is going to want to kick my butt now, get in line. I am from the ski world where daily one sees the wife crash trying to go too fast. Then the husband is already 1,000 feet downhill yelling back up the hill: "PUSH THE LITTLE LEVER ON THE BACK!" (The sexes can be reversed, my ex wife is much better than her new husband, skis better too.)

                    "My husband wants me to get an e-bike so I can keep up to him..." just stuck in my craw. Anybody else see how wrong this is?


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                      #11
                      Ride within your own limits, if he can't deal with waiting, (as he should) he needs to find a riding buddy. When I ride with my wife, I'm riding with my wife, I'm not trying to set records. I have idiot friends for that.

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                        #12
                        I've tried to get him to do marriage counseling, and it won't happen. His comments are not well thought out. He wants to figure out a way to spend more time with me, and wants me to enjoy singletrack... I've been dealing with this for years. I always try to see if there is a way to give it a go, without hurting myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't... I do a pretty good job of standing up for myself, but thank you for the care and concern. Trying to learn more about these bikes to see if it is a viable option.

                        Thanks... (and he does have idiot friends he does this with, he'd just like to see me out there, too) :)

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                          #13
                          Sneakers, you deserve some of my therapist's money. Well said: "When I ride with my wife, I'm riding with my wife." We all say stupid stuff and yet we all mean well. I will share this e-bike stuff has brought us together.

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                            #14
                            In my opinion, when two people go riding together, the slower person should set the pace and the other rider should adjust to that slower pace with no complaints. When I ride with my wife, she uses a hybrid bike with no motor and she averages about 11 mph. I set my 3 speed switch to "low" and ride behind her, at the same speed.

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                              #15
                              If you get an Ebike, you'll leave HIM in the dust :) My wife loves her Trek Lift Plus. Gets her over 40 miles on a charge on our local rail trails, spinning along at 12 mph or so. It's only 250 watts with a 36v, 11.5 AH battery, but I love the torque sensed PAS. I hope Bafang will eventually change to the torque sensing technology.

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