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Overwhelmed - Looking for a Guide

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    Overwhelmed - Looking for a Guide

    Hi all,

    My name is Bryon and I'm looking for a bike that can handle a 2 mile commute both ways with some smaller commutes in between. A 10-20 mile range would probably do the trick. I'm an engineering student, so part of me wants to build a bike that's really efficient and goes fast and yadayadayada. But more importantly, I would like for my first bike to just be good enough. This means that I want it to do it's job (getting me around campus) but I don't need it to be spectacular yet. I'd also like to build a cheap bike (once again, college student). I know cheap comes with a performance cost but I'm not necessarily looking for the next Stealth Bomber or OptiBike.

    The question I'm trying to get at is where can I find a guide to build a bike to get around my college campus. There aren't any steep hills, in my opinion, but there are a couple moderate ones and a couple small ones - nothing serious though. I am willing to pedal if needed, I ride Iron Horse (much like this one: I can find the actual bike later when I look at it again).

    I'm just getting a little overwhelmed with all of the information as most of the forums are posts about improvements or really expensive bikes. Both topics which are not applicable to me just yet. So could anyone recommend a starter build? I'll make improvements to it as I see fit but I just need a starting point.


    Hi Bryon,
    I understand, it is a lot of info to wade through! I also get the budget thing, got two daughters in college now. I am a mid-drive guy, hub motors are ok, but they are too heavy and too slow if your buying one of the lower cost models. So, My recommendation is go mid-drive, you'll be glad you did. With your needs being what they are, I would suggest a BBS02 and a 48volt 11.5Ah shark pack. That would keep your cost down while still giving you enough performance, and you can even tweak the system for a little more power later when money is not so tight. At $900 plus the cost of the bike, this makes for a very inexpensive system. Sure, you add a bike and shipping and you'll be around $1500, but you could never get a dependable car for that price. Not to mention that cruising around campus on a new e-bike is way cooler than doing so in an old beater Toyota!


      A build can be fine but while your figuring, researching, & then...finally get to building, well, you could already be riding. Izip makes a nice, (fairly) inexpensive model that would be in the 20-25 mile range. It's called a Vibe. I've ridden it on a test ride...mid-drive motor, pedal assist only, rear rack mount battery & rim brakes. Not sure of sizes but I'm average build & I thought it was pretty solid though nothing fancy. Under 2k as I remember.


        Your Ironhorse link is broken, but those tended to be inexpensive bikes with good quality components. KHS is another brand like that. Probably a good donor bike. Disc brakes are pretty much mandatory. It costs too damned much to add them later. Give some thought to the Law Enforcement aspect in your area. Some places it's non existent, other places it can be strict. Especially if you have a bunch of drunken hooligans crashing around the campus. Your campus might have it's own LEOs with their own agenda. A BBS02 will be a fast bike.One principal of stealth riding is Don't Ride Like an ASS. Other people can ruin it for you. Don't be afraid to turn the assist down to 0 when riding around pedestrians. You didn't mention how much space you have for storage. There are folding bikes available also.


        • 73Eldo
          73Eldo commented
          Editing a comment
          Perhaps the link is broken because its a thread from 2016 that a spammer brought up? Would have actually been impressive if it worked. Would have been a sign that maybe its a decent bike and company.