Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
Post Reply
User avatar
XyloSesame   1 µW

1 µW
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 21 2019 11:56am
Location: Oklahoma

Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

Post by XyloSesame » Jul 21 2019 2:06pm

My wife and I rode everything we could find at our LBS looking for a bike for her. While riding all of the e-bikes, she preferred the Gates-drive Giant LaFree. I had an old Marin 700c, so I wasn't really in the market until I rode the e-bikes with her... I was immediately taken. After riding what I could find locally (non-boutique), the Giant Toughroad E (and Road E) simply felt the best. For me, it was the most responsive of what I had ridden, felt more stable and secure at speed, and had the smoothest "bike feeling" ride. Fast-forward, my Toughroad was stolen two weeks ago and we're losing what little hope hope we had for recovery; now I'm left with the guilt of the purchase and no bike to mitigate that feeling. I'm hoping to recreate the experience of the Toughroad without the price tag of like-for-like replacing as I could barely afford/justify the original purchase.
  • I'm 5' 11", 230lbs, and moderately healthy as I am an overweight semi-sedentary almost 48 year old.
  • I commuted roughly 6 miles round-trip daily.
  • My wife and I were taking 5-10 mile evening rides; we planned routes to increase our range to +20 mile regular rides.
  • I ride paved bike trails and roads with rolling hills at an average 6% incline, max 9%.
  • Neither my wife nor I are speedfreaks, we averaged 20mph.
I don't know what factors precisely led me to like the Toughroad:
  • I assume the geometry has quite a bit to do with my preference.
  • The drop bars provided multiple hand points and felt more stable than the flats I rode (counter-intuitive, I know).
  • I loved the 42t 1x11 gearing with double-tap shifters.
In pricing out Bafang mid-drives from Luna, it looks like I'll need to budget at least $1,400 for motor, a good battery pack with charger, sensors, and chainring. Trouble is, I have no idea where to begin for a cheap donor bike; my recent experience has only been with purpose-built e-bikes.

I'm hoping to find a similar geometry or "feel" of the Toughroad. The used market has tons of bikes, but I'm having trouble slogging through the results to even try and find something suitable for an e-bike conversion. What options, new or used, should I consider, and am I being naive to think that one can be found for <$500 USD? Should I abandon DIY and wait until I can afford another purpose-built?

flat tire   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1658
Joined: Feb 26 2014 12:20am

Re: Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

Post by flat tire » Jul 21 2019 3:21pm

Why would you link the bike as one word halfway thru your post? It makes me sad to see this and I suspect you may just be an advertiser. Why don't you remove that link, to avoid any confusion. Anyone can google your bike.

I don't know what to make of the rest of this post but the Toughroad is just a road bike. In fact it's massively overpriced. A huge waste of money, especially for someone with so little money that he can't buy a replacement.

Anyway roadbikes are a dime a dozen, available in all different sizes, and one from the 1990s will be 99% as good as one from 2019, if you put new tires and service the bearings and stuff as needed.

Such a bike is ~$200 used on craigslist in decent condition.

Yes one can easily build a BETTER bike than the toughroad for way less money.

Oh and the TDZ2 seems to be a lot more popular for torque sensing mid drive than bafang these days.

User avatar
XyloSesame   1 µW

1 µW
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 21 2019 11:56am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

Post by XyloSesame » Jul 21 2019 3:45pm

Why would you link the bike as one word halfway thru your post? It makes me sad to see this and I suspect you may just be an advertiser. Why don't you remove that link, to avoid any confusion. Anyone can google your bike.
I doubt that Giant corporate would be advertising here, but who knows. I realize that anyone can Goggle the original bike, but also realize that I can save someone the time of Googling said bike by posting the link. As my desire is to locate a donor with similar geometry, it seems pertinent.
... the Toughroad is just a road bike. In fact it's massively overpriced. A huge waste of money, especially for someone with so little money that he can't buy a replacement ... Anyway roadbikes are a dime a dozen, available in all different sizes
So I made an investment in a bike, I get that. I also get that roadbikes are a dime a dozen, but the ones I rode all fit differently, hence my questions.

I searched here and the web at large. I'm new to this forum and relatively inexperienced with bikes as an adult; I rode flatland BMX until I was 17, but that was a lifetime ago. However, I'm not going to come in to your forum as a keyboard warrior; I have what I thought were legit questions crafted in a manner that I believed met forum rules. So... any help is appreciated.

flat tire   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1658
Joined: Feb 26 2014 12:20am

Re: Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

Post by flat tire » Jul 21 2019 4:32pm

OK, I guess you're legit or Giant has really strange marketing. There have been a few posts recently where someone asks for help with a specific bike like you did, but it turned out they were just advertising.

The best thing you can do is find someone who does professional bike fitting, find out what size the different parts need to be and then check out bikes in that range. Your seat and bars can always be adjusted significantly.

For handling the important things on the bike are wheelbase, and rake + trail. Read up on the last two concepts if you're not familiar with them, but most road bikes tend to have little of both which makes for fun fast steering and quick handling.

The Giant does have fatter tires, so don't neglect that part on your new build. The disc brakes are unimportant.

Finally, you can buy the brake/shifters separately if you find a nice bike that doesn't have the exact equipment you want. You don't need the expensive ones.

User avatar
XyloSesame   1 µW

1 µW
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 21 2019 11:56am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

Post by XyloSesame » Jul 21 2019 4:56pm

There have been a few posts recently where someone asks for help with a specific bike like you did, but it turned out they were just advertising.
Thanks for the clarification; I completely understand needing to protect the forums.

I'm planning to visit my LBS for a fitting this week. Prior, I was only fitted to specific e-bikes that I was testing so I really have no idea when approaching frames and styles in the wider market.

I'll definitely hit Google for wheelbase and rake+trail. It's been difficult as a laymen to get a grasp on which of the 15+ measurements and angles actually define ones fit and preference. If I'm in a LBS, I can easily pick bike A over bike B, but trawling through the hundreds of ads in the used market proves to be a challenge.

I was under the impression that the construction of road bikes in general do not lend well to conversion due to the possibility of torque/wear of motors; honestly, I don't care if it's a road/adventure/gravel, mtb/29er, or whatever. I'm simply trying to make heads or tails from the piles of bikes everywhere and find a few to give a spin.

flat tire   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1658
Joined: Feb 26 2014 12:20am

Re: Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

Post by flat tire » Jul 21 2019 5:06pm

Road bikes are fine for lower power mid drives like you are considering. Sometimes heavier guys on roadbikes have issues with lightweight wheels. Those are expensive though so you won't get them accidentally on a inexpensive bike. In general roadbike frames should be plenty strong for you if you don't go off any sweet jumps.

Yes it is definitely important to find out what sort of fit works for you BEFORE you buy a bike.

My favorite ebike is a full suspension mountain bike. They are smoother, more durable, and all around awesome. But of course the suspension makes buying a used bike more expensive, and knowing what things to check / how to do maintenance can be totally mysterious to someone starting out. But get what you can afford. A compromised ebike that makes rational and efficient use of your resources is better than no ebike. Basically all of us ride compromised bikes in one way or another because nobody here has unlimited resources.

User avatar
XyloSesame   1 µW

1 µW
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 21 2019 11:56am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Need help finding donor to replace stolen Toughroad E

Post by XyloSesame » Jul 21 2019 5:36pm

My favorite ebike is a full suspension mountain bike ... suspension makes buying a used bike more expensive, and knowing what things to check / how to do maintenance can be totally mysterious
My old non-pedelec bike was a circa 2000 hybrid with a comfort fork that I absolutely hated. After riding and researching prior to buying my ebike, I realized it may have been a combination of mashing (versus spinning) and entry-level components. But that experience, right or wrong, has me seriously cautious of anything with suspension. When looking at DIY, or even purpose-built, and seeing so many choosing and strongly recommending suspension of some sort, I feel a bit left out; it's a personal problem I need to get over.

Post Reply