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First time buyer!?!?

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    First time buyer!?!?

    Hello, All! I'm planning to purchase my first bike in 2023, and my head is swimming with all of the options available.
    I'm looking for a good small town commuter/grocery getter which can handle sometimes great but sometimes awful road conditions. Ninety percent of my rides will be short trips (less than five miles), but I would like to occasionally make runs to nearby towns (40-50 mile trips). I've ridden motorcycles in the past, so I'm pretty sure I will be comfortable with 4" tires. Also, I need the bike to handle 300 pounds or so in total weight.
    I considered converting a standard bike with a kit, but that seemed to offer an even larger Pandora's box of options and issues, so for now, I will get a factory bike to get me started. Two bikes which have caught my eye are the Heybike Explore and the Lectric Xpremium. Very similar in many ways, but completely different in others. 26" single battery 750w hub drive vs. 20" dual battery 500w mid drive. ARGGHH! I really don't want to make a $2k mistake. Help! TIA​

    #2
    I have never heard of Heybike before and their website and popups don't give me good vibes. Also something I don't like about their style but that could be just me. Lectric has been around forever in ebike terms and seems to have a good reputation for being a good value and good support.

    If you have the ambition and skills I think you could build a better bike for similar money but its not for everyone. Your requirements are not too unusual except weight being on the higher side.

    Comment


      #3
      For mid-range ebikes, both of these bikes look like good choices.

      Pros of Lectric: it has a mid-drive motor. It is foldable so you can probably transport the ebike in your SUV / car without a car rack. From what I read on Reddit and FB Groups, it sounds like Lectric has better customer service.
      Pros of Heybike: You only have to charge one battery at a time rather than 2. I've read on Reddit us users complaining that Lectric XP Premium does not actually hit 28 mph, I would be more confident that Heybike Explore can hit 28 mph.

      Both companies are Direct to Consumer and do not manufactur or service ebikes. Lectric started as a business in 2018.

      In my opinion, the Heybike Explore would get my vote.

      Comment


        #4
        My vote is always for a DIY solution. So I will spell out my take on that option.
        Donor bike- An old 3x8 speed 26" MTB. If it has Avid BB7 disc brakes the fork and wheelset should be at the right level too. Hardtail is just fine for this. Tire size may max. out a t about 2.15" on these. Obsolete by modern trail bike standards. Dirt cheap and plenty of lightly used ones out there. Of course you may find something newer. Avoid anything with 25mm fork tubes. 28mm is OK but 30-32mm would be preferred. Avoid light weight XC race bikes. Just a solid mid range vintage MTB. ( Can;t get metallic pads for BB5 brakes).
        Upgrades- Bigger brake rotors and brackets and metallic pads. Schwalbe 50kph rated street tires. Big Ben Plus is a good choice ( maybe the Pickup for 300#).. Don't buy anything w/o disc brakes.
        I don't think anyone ever regretted spending for a BBSHD. Leave the front derailer cage on for a chain guide. 26" street bike I would go 48t chain ring. This is for your cadence. The motor can run smaller OK.
        90rpm at Sheldon Brown is a useful search.

        Start off with cheap KMC chains and Sunrace cassettes. Lube often, and learn to swap them out yourself.
        You can avoid flats, the simple solution is Stan's or Orange sealant in the tubes. Tannus Tire liner in the rear works for me.
        A good linkage type suspension seatpost (Thudbuster LT is the classic)
        If you want to go 40-50 miles at least an 18Ah battery. You will have to do some pedaling. 24Ah is possible with 21700 cells. This is for the Shark type battery that locks and unlocks for security.
        Locking wheel skewers, headset cap, and seatpost clamp will leave security up to a big lock of your choice.
        Key Registration Register your key with Pinhead. We'll keep it safe for you to help you order keyed the same products, or to replace the key if you los ...

        There are lot's of threads in the DIY forum to look at all the options. Lot's of help here with the learning curve. I think you will have a better bike than the Vendors can offer
        The BBSHD is so bulllet proof it's actually perfect for a newb. I ran mine 3 years and finally broke down and lubed it. Total no brainer experience. Except for driveline/brake maintenance.
        Last edited by Retrorockit; 12-29-2022, 11:03 AM.

        Comment


        • AZguy
          AZguy commented
          Editing a comment
          Haha... likely too often more like a $100 bike with $250 worth of electrics... sold for $1000... true "bargain"... =]

        • Dshue
          Dshue commented
          Editing a comment
          My wife has a $1,100 Lectric XP, it's every bit as reliable as my diy bike. 750w …geared Bafang hub motor and controller, it came with tektro mechanical disc brakes, Shimano tourney rear derailleurShimano 7sp freewheel. The bike itself is heavy duty, the rear rack has about a 70 lb load capacity, 20x3 tires, metal fenders, headlight and tail light.
          My diy build cost $1,240 for bike, mid drive, and battery.
          The key factor is that her factory e bike has they features and specs she needed, my diy bike has the features and specs that I need.

        • AZguy
          AZguy commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, they're a bigger name although have no experience for their support... what I've seen way too often is folks buying a noname chinese bike that is close to what 73eldo says and something fails or they let it sit in the garage long enough the battery is toast and either way they're left high and dry... and then they complain

        #5
        Check Rad bikes. They have a nice line of commuters and utility bikes if you don't want to figure out a DIY bike.
        Haibike is another brand, of which I own two of their pedal assist bikes. Mine has close to a 100 mile range. Its an All Mountain bike.
        Last edited by MaxXedition; 12-29-2022, 05:03 PM.

        Comment


          #6
          Hello, yawl! I'm new here but not new in general. I recently bought a Heybike Explore. Got a couple of rides in before the first snow in Minneapolis last night. I wasn't sure at first but I decided to keep it and sell my Himiway Escape that I've had for two years. I wanted 26 inch wheels as opposed the the 20 inchers on my Himiway, a step thru frame, and a big battery. The Heybike is big compared to the Himiway. Higher seating because of the 26 inch fat tires and a longer wheel base because of the added space behind the seat post for the battery position.

          It has the usual performance for a 750 watt hub motor. but that doesn't concern me because I have a 1500 watt rear wheel kit that I will be installing thru the winter.

          I like the dark green almost black color that I chose and the build quality seems good so far. Fit and finish are good. So far I like it.
          Click image for larger version

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          Comment


          • Retrorockit
            Retrorockit commented
            Editing a comment
            I didn't understand the appeal of step through. Until I put big stuff on the rack and found I couldn't get on my bike.
            Maybe start a thread on your experience 20x4, vs. 26x4.I'd like to know how that plays out.

          • 73Eldo
            73Eldo commented
            Editing a comment
            You got a fat bike and an inch of snow is stopping you? When I saw the snow this morning I was thinking about a ride but then I saw how hard the wind was blowing. I too like the longer wheelbase and don't understand why they don't do that more especially with general purpose bikes. Once you get some more riding in I would also be interested to hear more about your comparisons between the wheel sizes.

          • dirtman
            dirtman commented
            Editing a comment
            Qutote 73-Eldo
            ""you got an inch of snow, its stopping you.""
            Based on the photo above. For my SRX-Light Bee I would consider that tire extremely bald. Before I bought my SRX-LB I thought a fat-tire Rad-Rover would be OK for my off-road riding. Even in a slight rain it could not climb a small hill.
            I guess it would be OK in 1 inch of snow on a completely flat surface. Any Ice No

          #7
          It's not the snow that bothers me but the drop in temperature when moving at 20 mph. 30 degrees feels like 20 with the wind chill. I'm old and cold to start with.
          But I'm committed to the Heybike now, my Himiway is just about sold.

          Comment


            #8
            What's the difference in ride between the 20 inch wheel and the 26 inch wheel? Not very much in my opinion. The bigger wheel smooths out small bumps in the road better. Just rolls over the high spots.
            Maybe some gyroscopic effect with the bigger wheels. More wheel mass spinning to keep you upright. Maybe a physicist could explain it. But what do I know, I'm a retired social worker. If I wrote my opinion on a dollar bill, it would still be worth only a dollar.

            Comment


            • Retrorockit
              Retrorockit commented
              Editing a comment
              The 20" wheel Ebikes tend to have fat tires which help ride up to a certain speed due to low PSI. At some speed they can become bouncy. Maybe over 20mph. For converting a bike there are a lot of 26" MTBs tha are strong, good handling and accelerate faster then even larger wheels. The fat tires can also help braking. Lower stepover. too. For a mid drives gearing and derailleurs can become an issue with 20" wheels.They look to me like a good choice for 20mph hubmotor mass market Ebikes.

            • Retrorockit
              Retrorockit commented
              Editing a comment
              This fits 26"
              An install guide for our new Tank kit for converting your mid drive electric bike into a mini snowmobile.https://lunacycle.com/luna-m1-tank-tracks-conversion...

            #9
            What I can do with my 20"x2" tired bike that I can't with my 26"/27.5" tired bikes is fit the bike across the back seat of my car, with no component removal other than the QR pedals. While I do have a hitch rack on the car, I suspect that a hitched bike is more vulnerable to theft while publicly parked. I can stuff a bigger wheeled bike in the same location (after pulling the pedals and the QR or thru-axle front wheel), but it's clumsy to load/unload.

            Driving to, and attending outdoor events "downtown" while packing a minivelo, can shorten up at-event, normally walked distances nicely.

            Comment


              #10
              Good points, ncmired.
              But I have fairly small Jeep and my Himway would not fit crossways and my even longer wheelbase Heybike also won't fit. But luckily I have a bike rack that fits into my trailer hitch that does the job nicely.

              And a family from Iowa came up to Minneapolis and bought the Himiway. so I'm firmly committed to the Heybike (for a while).

              Comment


                #11
                My big bike would fit in the back of the car once both wheels were removed... a short task that took about as long as putting the rack on... for short carries usually would just throw on the rack since it would reduce the time at the trails... but for hauling further seemed worth it to put it in the back for the obvious big theft reduction but also a lot better gas mileage

                In the van I can just throw it in but usually take the fifteen seconds to pop the front wheel off by pushing it in rear wheel first and then once the crank/motor is sitting on the back with the front wheel hanging out spin off the QR... definitely very quick compared to either rack or both wheels with the car...

                Most of the time I'll pop off one of the pedals - for longer hauls (more than a day trip) in the van I'll strap the bike to the side so it leaves plenty of floor space... I'd considered QR pedals but since it only takes about five seconds with the proper wrench figured just not worth it...

                Never much liked riding the bikes with smaller wheels

                Comment


                  #12
                  My 29'er e bike fits in my Toyota RAV4. I fold 1 rear seat forward, remove the QR front wheel, lower the seat, and roll it in back tire first. Strap it in and I'm on the road. Only takes 5 minutes. And there is plenty of room for the wife's Lectric XP.

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Quick release pedals sound interesting. Mostly crappy photos but it sorta looks like the most common ones use what kinda looks like an air/hydraulic fitting sort of a thing? Does that then become the bearing or is there still bearings in the pedal like normal?

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Originally posted by 73Eldo View Post
                      Quick release pedals sound interesting. Mostly crappy photos but it sorta looks like the most common ones use what kinda looks like an air/hydraulic fitting sort of a thing? Does that then become the bearing or is there still bearings in the pedal like normal?
                      Most of the QR pedals have bearings within the pedal casting but are also capable of turning within the QR portion. IMO, the best ones are the Japanese MKS (Mikashima) Ezy Superior versions, which have a 1/4-turn lock (as opposed to a losable retaining clip). You're right though, the mechanism is very similar to the air/hydraulic QR fittings:


                      A thin wrench is required to install them - I use a strong 15mm cone wrench.

                      Not much to go by, but I've had a pair of the less-expensive Chinese retaining clip-style ones fail.
                      Last edited by ncmired; 11-07-2023, 10:14 AM.

                      Comment


                      • AZguy
                        AZguy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I had long considered these and the MKS stood out for sure - they had some decent pedal platforms too... pricey and since I generally only remove one, like my pedal platforms better than what they had and have a thin wrench that fits mine in the to-go box (with the brake pad shim for when the front wheel comes off) it just seemed easier to wrench the pedal off when throwing it in the vehicle...

                        I also have a concern (admittedly very minor) that some idiot might steal the pedals when parked in front of the pub (which would truly suck!) and didn't want to feel compelled to bring them in every time I stopped by... In all reality they could steal the conventional ones *if* they have a thin wrench and most idiot thieves wouldn't recognize them as quick release... and then even if they did might realize they need to unwrench the fitting from the crank for them to provide any real value... but still... imagining riding home without pedals isn't attractive lol...

                      • ncmired
                        ncmired commented
                        Editing a comment
                        They are pricy, so I've only put them on bikes that get stowed more often. My errand bikes don't have them - not that that would stop the QR/thru-axle wheels from disappearing. For now anyways, I shop at low-traffic/theft places. and take my chances. I pre-order groceries for pickup, so I'm manning the bike then.
                        Last edited by ncmired; 11-07-2023, 10:49 AM.

                      • AZguy
                        AZguy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The theft thing is likely a red herring for all the reasons I mentioned... it just seems too easy and gives me the willies enough that even though my rational mind would tell me there's not really likely more to worry about than threaded pedals, I'd likely find myself popping them off every time I went in somewhere where the bike was out of view for more than five...
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