Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work! $4K

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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mlpokn   1 µW

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Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work! $4K

Post by mlpokn » Apr 11 2015 2:23pm

Hey there guys,


I'm looking to invest in an electric bike as my primary transportation device! about 8 miles to work from home daily. Lunch break to my favorite restaurant 5 miles away every now and then and 8 miles back to home and that's all I need. ( I can of course charge the bike/batter at work ) I will admit that I'm not a bike pro. I'm primarily looking into this because it would be cheaper than a car in the long run? and I just like the idea of riding a bike to get around town. So I was looking for something reliable that I can just buy and forget and not worry about too much maintenance down the road.

I'm near Portland, OR. So I'm assuming if I need any major repairs or issues fixed, at least I'm sure I can find a shop to get it done since Portland is kinda like the bike capital. There are couple of electric bike stores in Portland but I'm not sure which bike to invest in? I'm not opposed to buying online also. Anyone here with experience buying online recommend a place for me to take a look at?

I'm on the shorter side at 5'4 and 137lbs. I would like to stay under $4000 ( lower the better of course but I hear you get what you pay for when it comes to electric bikes )

Any help regarding this would be awesome! Thank you

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wineboyrider   100 MW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by wineboyrider » Apr 11 2015 2:51pm

An ebike will definitely fit the bill for that type of commuting. Do you have a lot of hills? Do you want a bicycle speed around 20mph or more ? Do you want to build it yourself? I recommend this route if you have a nice bicycle already and want to electrify it.
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Drunkskunk   100 GW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by Drunkskunk » Apr 11 2015 2:56pm

Welcome to the forum. Are you willing to build the bike from a kit, or do you want a fully built bike?

If you want to convert a bike with a kit, you can get a very reliable bike that will give you years of service and get you to work and back, including lunch out and back, on a single charge at an average of 20mph, for probably half your budget, with a comfortable reserve of battery left in case of high headwinds, loose dogs, or detours.

As for getting your bike worked on, that's one caveat to the whole plan. Ebikes aren't yet a fully developed, mature product yet. They are still an evolving, pioneering tech that doesn't always do what you expect.
An ebike is basically a souped up bicycle. You take a vehicle designed for 1 human power, and suddenly dump anywhere from 2X to 10X more power into it. It can be done reliably, but the maintenance will always be higher, partly because the consequences of a failure are more dramatic. Even if you plan to let others work on your bike for you, I'd suggest learning how to do the work your self, first. That way when an issue arises, you'll be able to identify it quickly before it becomes a bigger problem, and decide if it's serious enough that you need to get off and walk, or not so serious that you can leave it until the next time you go past a shop.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
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mlpokn   1 µW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by mlpokn » Apr 11 2015 3:14pm

Thanks for the reply guys! .

I don't have a nice bike now and I was preferring to go with a fully built bike.
Do you have a lot of hills?
Mostly flat with one tiny hill. There are bike lanes for about 90% of the route.
Do you want a bicycle speed around 20mph or more ?
Not really. I was under the impression that in the U.S, 20mph was like the allowed top speed for an electric bike? Has that been changed?
if you plan to let others work on your bike for you, I'd suggest learning how to do the work your self, first.
Solid advice! I'm sure I will pick a lot as I go along and gather more experience. I was just kinda wanting some sort of safety net because I lack that experience right now.

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Drunkskunk   100 GW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by Drunkskunk » Apr 11 2015 3:53pm

The only bike I could recommend would be A2B. The A2B Octave could make it to your work with power to spare, recharge before lunch, and have range for lunch, recharge again, and get home. OR, get the extended range battery, and do the whole day on one charge.

It's a smaller wheeled bike, but my girlfriend was 5'4" and she struggled with 26" and 700c bikes, until i convinced her to ride a 20" wheel bike. She found that size bike much more manageable.
Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Monster Bike:http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=38667

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lester12483   10 kW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by lester12483 » Apr 11 2015 11:10pm

I ride my ebike to work daily and it's awesome. Been doing it for about 5 years no with no issues.

You can find many good ebikes out there for around $2k-$3k, or build your own. You can always IM me if you have questions.
MT6 Hybrid- Electric Bicycle 48V
48V 23AH AllCell Lithium Manganese Battery Pack
http://www.chicagoelectricbicycles.com

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wesnewell   100 GW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by wesnewell » Apr 12 2015 1:16am

Need Advice? https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=66302
Mongoose 26" Ledge 2.1 mtb bike $99, yescomusa.com 48V 1000W rear hub kit $200, Hua Tong 72V 40A controller $35, 10ah 24s lipo $217=~43mph, range=45 miles @ 20mph. 25K miles and still going strong.
Huffy Fortress 3.0 with MXUS 3000 4T motor, 24s lipo, 96V 60A controller. Total cost with extras <$700. Top speed ~50mph
My videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0KW4U ... _G2wQhptMg

mlpokn   1 µW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by mlpokn » Apr 13 2015 12:30am

Drunkskunk wrote:The only bike I could recommend would be A2B. The A2B Octave could make it to your work with power to spare, recharge before lunch, and have range for lunch, recharge again, and get home. OR, get the extended range battery, and do the whole day on one charge.

It's a smaller wheeled bike, but my girlfriend was 5'4" and she struggled with 26" and 700c bikes, until i convinced her to ride a 20" wheel bike. She found that size bike much more manageable.
Thanks for that advice which got me looking into more A2B bikes and I actually like the A2B Ferber a lot. I like the design, the size, gearless direct drive - the only thing I'm not sure is about the display panel that is not removable because it rains here a lot and I'm not sure how that is going to work!

I found 3 websites that offer free shipping for A2B Ferber. Any of you guys have any experience buying from these guys?

http://www.motostrano.com/A2B-Ferber-El ... p/ferb.htm

http://www.electricbikeattack.com/a2b-f ... tric-2015/

http://www.elvmotors.com/electric-bicyc ... erber.html

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LockH   100 GW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by LockH » Apr 13 2015 1:04am

Oh oh. "Reliable"... Sorta "loaded gun" in the world of DIY Ebiker Mastery. But like these others say, "off the shelf" probably the way-to-go. First off maybe, find a local bike store retailer that know their bikes, knows about ebike tech, and offers some sort of warranty.


PS. Have fun! (Look for area Ebike Addicts Anonymous. Ebikers have some dirty words like "add ons" and "upgrades" and "extras".)
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=60564

Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
(Ebikers Anonymous - Where we're all miserable failures, but the parties are hilarious...)

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icerider   100 W

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by icerider » Apr 13 2015 1:22am

Another thought. I know nothing about this bike shop but it appears to be "near" Portland.

How about renting an e-bike and seeing how you like it:

http://www.oscyclery.com/2-uncategorise ... l-bicycles

There are probably other e-bike shops in and around Portland that rent other brands of e-bike. I chose this one because they rent Bionx systems.

I like the Bionx systems, they are well integrated and well thought out. They are also a little more expensive but well within your budget. They are a "closed" system in the sense that you would be stuck with relatively expensive Bionx repair parts, but that is true of many of the ready-built systems. The torque-sensitive assist makes a Bionx-equipped bike very smooth and intuitive to ride. Both my bikes with the Bionx system have a throttle, but I virtually never use it, I just ride and the motor helps a little or a lot depending on what level assist I have set and how hard I am pedaling.

I noticed you were concerned about rain. I live in Arizona and have NO experience with having my bikes out in the rain. If you will be leaving your bike parked in the rain, or riding in the rain, that may be a driving factor in your brand / model selection, be sure to ask about water sensitivity.

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voicecoils   10 MW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by voicecoils » Apr 13 2015 2:07am

A $4k budget comes close to allowing you to buy two electric bikes.

In my experience the best way to insure you always have an ebike ready to ride (not broken or being serviced) is to have a backup ebike. It also provides a 2nd ebike to go on rides with friends, partner etc.

If you just want one, your budget allows for a 'premium' ebike, like one using the Bosch mid drive system.

Here's an example from a nice ebike shop in Portland I have visited:
http://www.ebikestore.com/index.php?id_ ... &id_lang=1

Last thing to mention and budget for is servicing at a bikeshop (or teach yourself) 2-3 times a year if you ride daily and battery replacement cost every 2-3 years. It is safest to assume the worst case which is that the battery only lasts the length of the warranty it carries.

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wesnewell   100 GW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by wesnewell » Apr 13 2015 2:48am

For $4K I could build 8 reliable ebikes that would do 20 miles at 20mph.
Need Advice? https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=66302
Mongoose 26" Ledge 2.1 mtb bike $99, yescomusa.com 48V 1000W rear hub kit $200, Hua Tong 72V 40A controller $35, 10ah 24s lipo $217=~43mph, range=45 miles @ 20mph. 25K miles and still going strong.
Huffy Fortress 3.0 with MXUS 3000 4T motor, 24s lipo, 96V 60A controller. Total cost with extras <$700. Top speed ~50mph
My videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0KW4U ... _G2wQhptMg

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LockH   100 GW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by LockH » Apr 13 2015 10:10pm

Hehe... "mlpokn", one might assume "$4K" is a bit "over the top" in Ebike terms? Gotta safe place to secure when NOT riding? (Currently checking out WiFi or GPS dome video cameras w/"proximity alarm switch on" to mount on vehicles. (On theory, better to catch a thief than to deter.) You may wish to add "security" components in your "$4K" budget.)

(Written from "Bike Theft Capital" of the World, Toronto.)
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=60564

Joined yer local chapter of EA yet?
(Ebikers Anonymous - Where we're all miserable failures, but the parties are hilarious...)

mvly   10 kW

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Re: Need a reliable electric bike for daily commute to work!

Post by mvly » Apr 13 2015 10:27pm

If you want a reliable bike just go slow. Most of the problems people are having here are related to high power ebikes. Over engineer and keep the power low (and speed low) and you will be riding for a long time without problems.

Now you do have to take jnto consideration the usual bike related problems that mighr come up. This iincludes flat tires and regular lubing that you need to do for ALL bikes.

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