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Thread: E-Bike shopping - seeking feedback & suggestions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Also, if a battery dies, you can just buy individual batteries and solder them yourself. E-Bike batteries are composed of these cells, and it's not just one big battery. Here is the cheapest battery source that I could find, which is US based and genuine:

    They cost $4 to $5 each, so for a 36V battery, you need 36V/3.6V(per cell voltage) = 10 cells. So this costs $40 for 2500 mAh. If you need 10 Ah, you need to buy 4x that, or $160, and connect them in a 4x10 grid. However, they are hard to solder, but not impossible(search YouTube for "soldering 18650" for examples). The proper way to solder them is by using a spot welder, which costs $90+.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinW View Post
    Hello Bike-iverse,

    My spouse is currently considering the purchase of an e-bike. She is getting somewhat comfortable with the array of primary features and price levels and such, but getting a completely clear picture of what her options are is proving elusive. Plus, her ability to absorb info from her spouse (that's me) can vary as well, so I'm hoping info from others wil help.

    Her primary goals for this bike involve taming some hills (she *hates* hills) for both bike commutes and recreational rides, as well as making it easier for her to accompany her spouse on rides despite a difference in natural pace and endurance. She has just started to do some test rides after conducting some amount of research online. She is dismayed overall at the prices she is seeing and thus is focusing on lower end models, perhaps to an extreme.

    So, a few questions for those who have conducted similar searches and / or are e-bike-educated...

    - Some have suggested that a Cat 3 e-bike is optimal for taming hills. True? If so, how can that difference be quantified in human (feel) terms?

    - Power - what are you seeing as the minimum wattage (motor power) required for happy riding in this area?

    - Are there any features that you absolutely love (i.e. a specific form of instrumentation or lighting or whatever)?

    - Any experience with Rad Power bikes, both in terms of the pre-purchase research and then post-purchase?

    - Has anyone purchased a specific model and found it lacking, and why?

    - Lastly, does anyone have a fave e-bike that they'd like to rave about?

    Happy to take this offline if helpful - if so please message me.

    Thanks much, Justin
    I doubt she needs a class 3. I just bought a class 1 e-assist tandem with a Shimano Steps motor that I ride with my disabled son. I bought it precisely for the reason you mentioned -- it was very hard to get up hills because my son is big but not a strong rider. The Shimano Steps motor is plenty to get us up any hill we meet, and my son is essentially 130 pounds of added weight (plus a heavy tandem). I didn't do a lot of research, but I thought the mid-bike motors (i.e., Shimano or Bosch) were optimal and plenty powerful. I'd say go test-ride some and see what you think.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Claremont (Arlington)
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    Thanks all for the thoughts and suggestions. We've gone for two sets of test rides so far, with at least one more in the works. Interesting differences in feel and smoothness between some bikes; we are concentrating on the sub-$3k price points so the options are not huge, and sometimes it becomes apparent that you get what you pay for on the less costly steeds; clear differences in the quality of the drivetrain, brakes, etc. Kudos so far to the patient people at Spokes (Alexandria) and ElectriCity (DC) for overall quality service.

    See you on the roads.

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  5. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Arlington, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinW View Post
    Interesting differences in feel and smoothness between some bikes
    For sure, I fit a Class 2 kit motor to a Breezer pedal bicycle, it has a cadence pedal assist sensor and a throttle, it has a happy speed it likes to reach in each pedal assist level which feels odd, I preferred the torque pedal assist sensor on the Class 1 Gazelle ebike I test rode for a month a couple of years ago. For <$2k I'm content with my set up, and the support I've had from Papillon Cycles on Columbia Pike - they're a Giant dealer but they ordered my bike, and after I fit the motor they checked the chainline worked and fit a gearsensor, I now use them exclusively to service the bicycle components on my kit ebike, yay local bike shop.
    Last edited by Dewey; 10-01-2019 at 08:43 AM.


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