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Hybrid bike: What model to choose when buying a new bike?

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    Hybrid bike: What model to choose when buying a new bike?


    Planning to build a bike for myself and would like help for choosing the right bike. New e-bikes in Europe with decent quality and mid-drive torque motor start at 2500 Euros. Would like to find someting cheaper and being able to build it myself sounds both fun and I can easily change motor/battery in the future if needed.

    Since I dont have a bike and have had no luck in finding one thats used and meets my requirements I guess I need to buy a new bike and convert it.

    I would like a bike:
    • With quite upright seating position
    • Thats good for riding both asfalt roads and gravel roads and sometimes paths in the wood
    • That has hydralic discbrakes and shock absorbers
    Budget and basis
    • Approximately 1000 euros/dollars for the bike +/- 2000. Additional 800 for the Tongsheng motor with torque sensor.
    • I am quite long at 190 cm so need a XL size
    With all options open what would you have done? Is it even a good idea to first buy a brand new bike and then convert it. And if so can you recommend a brand and model thats great for conversion for my needs?

    I was looking at Scott Sub Sports. But those bike models have 24-30 gears and loosing 2 of 3 front gearsheels when switching to a motor maybe isn’t ideal? Better search for a bike with hub gears?

    Any ideas most welcome!

    I would guess if you are getting a battery and the motor for 800 its not going to be much of a battery in size or quality or both. What sort of distance do you hope to cover between charges?

    I don't know that I would go for full suspension if its just about comfort. Decent quality full suspension especially for a heavier rider gets really expensive and adds a bunch maintenance points which can really be time consuming and expensive if you ever ride in bad weather. For comfort I would be looking at a steel alloy frame. Steel has a decent amount of flex in it which is bad if you are trying to get every bit of energy exerted to moving forward but on an E bike we really don't care that much. Same with the weight, ya it may be slightly heavier than an aluminum frame but we are slapping heavy motors and really heavy batteries on and many of us E riders don't tend to be skinny athletes either.

    To add more comfort go fairly fat on the tires. I would say minimum of 2.5"/ 65mm. 4"/100mm isn't even out of the question. Same as the frame deal here yes a fatter tire at lower pressure is less efficient but we have the motor to make up for that so its often worth the trade for comfort. Rear suspension usually takes up too much space in the frame so can't mount the battery in the triangle. Also many rear suspension designs put pivots in places that further interfere with fitting a mid drive.

    Yes many of us here went with building a bike ourselves for future ease of repairs and upgrades. We read all the time about someone that had to pay $1000 for a replacement battery that fits inside the frame of their specific bike when the same quality and capacity battery may cost us $250. And that is if you can even get a replacement, we all know that about 75% of the E bike brands don't seem to last more than a year.

    Gearing wise the motor does help so you don't need the gears to go as low as they did if you only had pedal power. It depends on how steep of a hill you will need to climb and the total weight of you and the bike. If you are taking about a bike with 29" tires or fat 26's which are about the same diameter and about as large as you will find these days if you can get to a 1:1 ratio you should be just fine unless you are talking about a lot of weight and a really steep hill. I have a bike with 42-42 and it climbs pretty decent. I have another with 42 front and 36 in the rear. That bike I have to help by pedaling and get some speed up to get my fat butt up a decent hill. That bike is the one I mostly use on pavement so hills are not that extreme and I can usually get some speed up. The other bike with the 42 42 is the one I ride off road where things can get steep and uneven so speed isn't always possible. The 36 there didn't work but the 42 is working fine so far.


      I like the Gary Fisher Dual Sport (GF is no more) or the Trek DS series (post GF versions) The Dual Sport/DS name means the components are up to some light offroad work. Forks rims and brakes benefit from this. 3 things that are nice to have on an E bike conversion. That's for Hybrids. Most hybrids have forks with 25mm tubes. 28mm or even 30mm (like MTB have) is much safer.
      But starting with a 27.5 or 29" MTB gets you there too, and the tire sizes will be what Eldo says. I actually prefer old 26" MTBs. But my riding situation (urban South FL) is anything but normal.
      You might save enough starting with a lightly used older MTB to get a better battery. With a bigger battery you can pretty much ignore rolling resistance, aero drag, headwinds and hills. It changes EVERYTHING.
      1st gen MTB were 26", then GF came out with 29ers, the newest size is 27.5". Prices an popularity will kind of follow that trend.
      A wide 27.5 tire will be the same diameter as a 750C hybrid tire. It will ride, handle and stop much better.
      Last edited by Retrorockit; 2 weeks ago.


        For Street pedal bikes the progression is Cruiser ( Slow and comfy) MTB based comfort bikes that have front suspension and are faster with triple chainrings, Then Hybrids which try to bridge the gap to road race bikes with narrower 700C tires. The problem with this thinking is an E bike will be heavier, and faster than a hybrid. No matter what kind of brakes you put on it the skinny tires will come up short for braking. Ride will suffer also from high tire PSI. The fork will be designed for the slower speed, and skinny tires they came with.
        On the other hand an MTB with wide street tires, and bigger brake rotors, and racing pads will get you where you need to be.
        Guys in Eureope with 250-350W power limts build bikes like that. Also no assist above 20mph will work with a hybrid layout. But for 750W 28mph US E bike it's not a good option.