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Anyone have a gravel E bike recommendation?

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    Anyone have a gravel E bike recommendation?

    I’m 75 and still do easy single track but for the last few years I have been riding a lot of gravel. Last summer my longest day gravel trips were 76 and 102 miles. Needless to say this left me exhausted. I ride 1600 to 2700 miles a year, last year 2400 and 800 this year since January 1. It’s getting pretty hard so I’m thinking e bike soon. I know nothing about E bikes but a pedal assist gravel bike with drop bars would allow me to ride everything I currently ride, gravel, commuting, beginners single track, bike path, rails to trails and road trips up to 75 miles. What should I buy?

    #2
    Could you post a photo of what you already have? One thing I see is trips that long would require either a big heavy battery, or a lot of unassisted pedaling on what's become a much heavier bike.
    Do you have the mechanical skills to convert a bike yourself? Flat terrain or hills? What kind of speed do you need for commuting?

    Comment


    • ncmired
      ncmired
      Giga Member
      ncmired commented
      Editing a comment
      Here's but one gravel e-bike entry (the Niner RLT e9 RDO), and with a semi-review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvl-Fajm3Bk - Niner site: https://ninerbikes.com/products/rlt-e9-rdo

      Lots more can be found via EBR: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcJ...xKnB_J8ynIYx2A

      The Bosch systems seem to provide the best pedal-able experience, but are costly (though coming down somewhat). Bike availability is a problem.
      ncmired
      Giga Member
      Last edited by ncmired; 05-09-2021, 02:27 PM.

    • us56456712
      us56456712
      Newbie
      us56456712 commented
      Editing a comment
      Just the info I was looking for. The costly Bosch system would not be a detriment. The motion capture recharger is interesting. I wasn’t aware of this bike, the motion charging system or the EBR site. Current availability isn’t an issue as I can still get by with an increasing struggle. I just started looking into this today. I’ll probably have to go electric in two years, if I’m still here. The Niner has an easily removable battery. I wonder if one could pack a spare battery to get longer rides? I’m willing to pay $10 - 15, 000 for a complete top quality bike including stuff you might need like charger, extra batteries, dynamo etc. I haven’t looked at costs but I assume a top quality rig won’t be cheap. Thanks much.

    • ncmired
      ncmired
      Giga Member
      ncmired commented
      Editing a comment
      The Bosch 500 watt powertube battery that the Niner bike uses weighs about 6lbs. I believe - not too bad, but I've not seen external frame mounted carriers for them. Some manufacturers (like Riese & Muller) have double battery frames (top & down tube), but they only come flat bar as far as I know.

      Regarding in-frame battery designs, I'd be very cautious about buying a bike with a in-frame battery that didn't come from a very well established vendor (Bosch is one). While there are a few U.S.-based battery repair depots as of now, who knows how long they'll last.

      On the low end of the price scale and with cruiser ergonomics, Electra/Trek now has a series of Bosch system bikes - one of which has a 5-speed IGH (https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...colorCode=teal) - I'd love to have one and be an honest (but slower) peddler when I rode it, but I've way too much unrecoverable money tied up in my DIY attempts.

      I can't, in good conscience, recommend to people bikes that have cadence-only motor systems anymore.
      ncmired
      Giga Member
      Last edited by ncmired; 05-09-2021, 04:17 PM.

    #3
    A down side to gravel is there is almost nothing made for drop bars. Most of the controls are made for the grip size 22.5mm? The phone sized center mount displays will usually fit drop bars but the buttons don't. All the throttles I know if are the small size and don't have a split clamp. At least you can get inline brake sensors. Other than those issues its a great idea. A friend of mine just got one that someone else had built with a BBS02. The BBS02 is a little more compact and a little lighter than the BBSHD so a great choice especially since you don't need the extra power at this point.

    What's the gearing on the bike now and do you tend to use the whole range? The mid drives force you to a 1x setup so you could use some of your gear range. Since you don't need a lot of power maybe a front hub motor would be worth looking at? That way you don't have to change any of the gearing. Normally I'm not that big a fan of hub motors but for a person that can still do 100 miles on a day and just wants a little help maybe 250w front hub would be the ticket?

    I'm not sure where these people are at with stock and options at the moment but if not this kit maybe something along those lines? Pretty easy install on a gravel bike and everything contained in that front pack like thing. https://www.swytchbike.com/p/univers...onversion-kit/

    Comment


    • 73Eldo
      73Eldo
      Giga Member
      73Eldo commented
      Editing a comment
      I went to front because I was thinking he could be really happy with the gearing and such and the bike in general he has now so a front would not only be the least expensive and least complex it would change the bike the least and maybe something that could easily be swapped back and fourth if he still wants to ride old school without the extra weight.

    • us56456712
      us56456712
      Newbie
      us56456712 commented
      Editing a comment
      My gearing on my home built gravel bike has 24 x 34 x 44 triple chai wheels. The cog is a 6 speed 11 small 34 large. I use it all and could use a little lower gear (22 x 36) on hills with a full camping load. As it is with a large seat pack, two water bottles and two 8 x 4 x 5 inch packs for food, more water and tools it’s fine the way it is.

    • us56456712
      us56456712
      Newbie
      us56456712 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, good idea. Maybe I don’t need an all out e bike. I think you are right, I just need a little help on road and gravel. I need more help for single track but I’m pretty much over that now, except for beginner to easier intermediate trails.

    #4
    Gearing can stay the same with a rear hub motor. Gravel/Single Track and front drive don't sound good to me. I'm 67 and crashing is no longer on the menu for me. Hub motors come with rear casette setups and disc brakes too.

    Comment


    • us56456712
      us56456712
      Newbie
      us56456712 commented
      Editing a comment
      I’ve had many appalling crashes since I started single track riding at 67. Many endos, several sideways rolling tumbles down a mountain side while still on the bike, over the bars several times a week, crashes into balsam trees that required surgery to remove a balsam branch from my forearm, two broken mountain bike frames, cracked helmets and a lot of other stupid crashes. I’m done with that as I can’t power over obstacles this year. I just went for a 4 mile single track ride that I used to do full single speed ridged at very high speed. I couldn’t get the legs to put out the torque to clear stuff I used to ride so I strided or walked the bike. I also went very slowly down hills that I used to ride so fast that the bumping and shaking made your vision blurry. I didn’t enjoy that last ride, but easy single track, gravel and road rides are still fun. I know I’ll need assistance soon if I want to keep riding. I’ll have to watch this blog and do research to determine what I need.

    • Retrorockit
      Retrorockit
      Giga Member
      Retrorockit commented
      Editing a comment
      Where I ride you're lucky if the 2nd car that hits you bothers to stop.
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