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New to ebikes kind of lost

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    New to ebikes kind of lost

    Hello my name is Chris and I live in the delmarva area. I have been looking at an ebike to commute to work and home. Due to not being able to afford a car atm.

    I don't know much about ebikes aside from were I live the strongest motor I can get and it not need a license is 750w.

    I'm looking for any help at all and any suggestions on a good ebike. Unfortunately I'm not able to spend more than 1800 and would like to keep it closer to 1200 to 1500 at most.

    thanks in advance.

    How far is it to work? And what sort of terrain like hills? Paved? Streets? Sidewalk? Bike path? What sort of speeds do you hope to average? All season and all weather? Do you need to carry any significant cargo? Like lunch and a laptop? Is security a concern like will it be safe inside or will it have to be locked outside? Can you charge it at work? Do you have a bike now? Do you have any mechanical skills and tools?


      I am a mechanic. (Cars) so I do have mechanical skills. It's about a 10 mile ride. Kind of hilly nothing crazy steep. Cargo I have a back pack for (most of the time will not need) can charge at work and will be safe at work. All weather preferred but not essential (bad weather days can get a ride just trying not to) I have an old bike that needs work (been sitting about 5 years)


        Street travel mostly tho I have options to use some woods. I was looking at this bike.


          That does not sound too bad unless you left out the part about you being the star of one of those I weigh many hundred pound tv shows. Being a mechanic and sort of on a budget makes me think of conversions rather than buying a pre made bike. You generally get more performance per dollar from a kit and more flexibility for upgrades and hacks down the road. With some pre made bikes you are stuck having to get any and every part from who made it originally. This could be some simple control button or more complex like the battery pack. You better hope they still exist or were mega popular so someone makes compatible parts. If you go the kit route at least you will know how it goes together and you tend to get a lot of flexibility when it comes to things like the batteries. With Bafang especially their BBS02 and HD mid drives there is a pretty good amount of aftermarket support for them for parts and upgrades from multiple sources so if just one other than perhaps Bafang themselves goes under or is out of stock you have a pretty good chance of finding parts elsewhere.

          With your budget and concern about the 750w it seems like the BBS02 may be the way to go. You can generally get one of those with a few options and a decent battery in the $1000 range. For your 10 mile range you don't need an especially large battery so that really helps the budget. The 'small' 12 ah range should do you just fine. For these mid powered systems I like to use 2 miles per amp hour as the ballpark guide. This means that 12 ah should pretty easily be able to get you 24 miles with some room to spare. If you want to go 20+ mph in a urban stop and go environment throttle only and are a larger person you may barely get 1 mile per amp hour. If you are a skinny person that likes a little pedaling on a rails to trails sort of thing going maybe 14 mph you could get 4 miles per amp hour.

          The BBS02 is a little cheaper, lighter, and smaller than the BBSHD. This means it tends to fit older and cheaper bikes a little better. Only downside is it only comes in the older style standard width but many older and less expensive bikes use that width anyways. So we say $1000 for the BBS02 kit... you now have $200-800 to spend on the bike. Does what you have now fit you and you liked it? Does it have disc brakes? Then I would say just use that. Even if it doesn't have discs it is still work considering if you liked it. How well did or do the brakes work? If you can easily lock up the rear wheel and feel like you could maybe go over the bars if you really slammed em on you should be fine. If not then I would try some new pads and a good cleaning and scuffing of the rims to see if you can get decent stopping power. If you can get that then great we just have to make sure a BBS would fit the frame.

          If what you got wasn't that great to start with then start watching craigs list and facebook in your area to see what is out there. Disc bikes do seem to come up. In my area I don't see many lower end ones I suspect because discs on cheap bikes are fairly recent so people have not given up on those yet. I do see many mid and upper end disc bikes for sale like say a Trek or Surly that was maybe a $1500-2000 bike new that is still in good shape maybe asking in that $750-1000 range. I really like Surly because they are steel frames. Good and strong and they have some flex to them which makes for a nicer ride. With an E bike a little weight and flex just makes em ride better IMHO.

          Some people have done BBS conversion on new cheap bikes which is an option if you can find something you like in stock anywhere. I would not recommend the very cheap ones like the $250 range, they are just to crappy of a bike overall and can be difficult to upgrade. If you get into the high end of walmart like $350+ or into the lower range of a Dicks sort of place you can get a decent bike that is fairly easy to upgrade as you need and can afford it. You want front and rear discs for sure if you are buying new. You won't usually find hydraulic discs on a sub $600 bike but its an easy upgrade as long as they were discs to start with if you want to later. I would be looking for something that has at least 8 gears in the back. 7 (so 7,14, or 21) generally means its a threaded on freewheel rather than a cassette and freewheels have fewer options for upgrades where if you have an 8 speed that opens up the options of a 8, 9, or 10 speed upgrade with I think now 50 tooth gears if you really needed climbing power.

          Also note that a 10 year old $1000 at the time Trek with Deore rim brakes could stop a lot better with just some new pads than a new $300 walmart bike with cheap disc brakes so if you could get that $1000 Trek in good shape that fits you for the same $300 you could end up with a really good ride well within your budget that won't need as many upgrades because it was a high end bike. Its mostly brakes that have really changed. At least with the Trek you would be getting much nicer components that won't need upgrading. I'm not just picking on walmart or trek those are just names most people know and will have around them. Any of the big bike shop brands are worth looking at especially if they were higher end when they were new. Many people get rid of those cheap because they want fat tires or full suspension so you can often pick up a really good bike cheap.


          • johnyrainbow
            johnyrainbow commented
            Editing a comment
            Cheers 73 Eldo Your response is excellent, I used a 15 year old £750 MTB bike with discs , I upgraded the front forks and rear suspension unit but managed to keep the budget under 1000 with the Tongsheng motor,

          When looking at pre made e bikes you kinda have to break down the parts to see what you are getting for your money. A super cheap hub motor and controller is going to be $350, a cheap but OK capacity battery another $350 so you got $700 just in the E stuff. I didn't look close at the one you linked to but are you getting a $500 bike ? Usually not. Compare the bike features to other non E bikes that cost $500, I bet the $500 bikes are going to be a lot nicer. Many times you are getting the $250 bike with those deals and they just are not good bikes that are easy to maintain and or upgrade.


            Eldo thanks for the info I realized I posted the wrong bike link anyway. This is the one I was really looking into.


            Moatly Because it used a samsung/LG battery.

            I've been busy but do plan to get pics of the bike I have tho idk how much work it will need just to run


              The bikes you've linked to are both <750W rear hub drives and you mention "kind of hilly" and depending on how hilly may not be best for that

              My first bike was one of those and I live where it's very flat but even the local stuff I found too steep for the hub drive and knew I would need to move on to a mid-drive... one ride off-road where there was some steep stuff and then I was firmly out looking to move on

              After >7000mi on the mid I don't look back, much better for me - I have managed >2000mi on the rear hub bike too but there's just no comparison IMO



                Any bike shops near your route so you could maybe test ride one just to see what the various motor powers and styles do for you on your intended route? Or any rental E bikes? Its usually not too hard to find specs on those so you will have some sort of basis for comparison.

                Himiway does seem to have a decent reputation. Have read about some quality issues and huge issues getting parts but getting any brand of parts now is a problem so it may not be their fault. I have also heard that even on the E bike scale of things they tend to be on the heavy side. Not a big deal if its got plenty of power to overcome it but can be a big deal if you ever have to lift it for any reason like to get it in your apartment or into a car rack.


                  So my friend has 3 refurbished scooter style ebikes 250w or 350w. Almost no peddling to get up hills in her hood. (About the same as what I'll deal with if not worse.

                  As for lifting the bike I pull out transfer cases from cars a bike will be no issue


                    If that was enough power for you then that is very good news for your budget. You should try and find out if they were geared or direct drive hub motors on the scooters you rode and also note that smaller wheels will also gear down the motor. If you had the identical motor on a 20" wheel and a 29" wheel the 20" will have decent off the line performance but top out much much earlier than the 29 would. The 29 would have much less off the line but should be decent at higher speeds. Again that is with the identical motor, only wheel size changing. This sort of thing could be a big factor when hills are involved. We don't want you to end up thinking a 250w hub motor is enough but finding out that a 26" wheel kills it compared to the 20 you tested.

                    Mid drives this usually isn't an issue because you have the gearing of the bike you can use to get both low and high speed performance. Most hub motors are pretty terrible from a dead stop, they need a little pedaling or 'kicking' to get rolling into their power curve. Mid drives tend to have internal gearing in addition to the external bikes gearing so the motors are more easily able to stay in their most efficient rpm ranges. There are geared hub motors too but since you can't change the gears you have to pick if you want high or low speed performance, you usually can't get both.


                      Check out the Aventon Adventure too. Similar to the himiway. This has hydraulic brakes. It also has local bike shop authorized dealer support, which is huge.
                      "Kind of hilly" in the Delmarva peninsula area really means "flat" in bicycle terms lol. So I wouldn't be too worried about that. Very similar terrain to me (NJ shore)


                        Originally posted by ejphotos View Post
                        Check out the Aventon Adventure too. Similar to the himiway. This has hydraulic brakes. It also has local bike shop authorized dealer support, which is huge.
                        "Kind of hilly" in the Delmarva peninsula area really means "flat" in bicycle terms lol. So I wouldn't be too worried about that. Very similar terrain to me (NJ shore)
                        Thanks and I have looked at there bikes also but have seen alot of people say there is next to no tech support for them.