Class 3 Road or Gravel Bike?

MTB Ranger

New Member
Region
USA
City
South Orange County, California
After buying my first eMTB last fall, I've fallen in love with cycling again. My current ride is a 2021 Giant Trance X E+ 3 and I'm very happy with it on my local trails.
Now I'm looking into becoming a roadie again and since I live in the foothills of a mile-high mountain anywhere I go means climbing. Fine, I love climbing but I'm also nearing 70 and can't make it up the steep stuff on the analog anymore.
On pavement I want to go fastish so class 3 is for me. But I also want something a lot lighter than my 50+ pound Trance. I was looking at Specialized since they've got the Creo (pricey and nobody has one available anyway). The Vado SL looks pretty interesting even though until now I'd thought most drop-bars.

So the question: What else should I consider? I've googled around for hours without getting nearly enough information. I want to buy local—Southern California—so I can test it out. And I'd like to stay within a budget, so no $15,000 dream machines. The Vado SL (4.0 or maybe 5.0) seems to buy me enough bike. I'd also consider used but people are asking silly prices. (I've got a 250cc dual-sport motorcycle I'd gladly trade for the right bike. :))

As for road or gravel: The idea of gravel is new to me but seems interesting since I mostly MTB these days anyway. But I see myself mostly on pavement, chewing up miles. Ideas?
 
Good stuff, Orbea is sweet, or convert. Here is a converted MTB for everything, including gravel with an air fork. 85Nm. It is a mid-drive torque sensor bike that kicks the butt of at store common bikes. The very best bikes do not look electric. See the wire from the water bottle?
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check out the diamondback current, $4,000 gravel/road bike. 350watt bosche mid drive

love mine. commute on it 40 miles a day. have 2,000 miles on it in 2 months with zero issues and diamondback support has been great for a few little self inflicted issues.

40lbs so it isn't light but in eco mode i've done 63 miles on it with 10% battery left


 
Are you sure you want or need class 3? You say you want an ebike for hill climbing. Then you say you want to go fast on the flats. You can do that with a class 1, just without power boost. Ignore the few people here who talk about motor drag in analog. That's generally not true for quality mid drive bikes.
 
A friend of mine recently purchased a Giant Revolt E+ Pro and he's very happy with it.


I ride a Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 3, which I've very happy with, but if I were looking for a bike today this Revolt E+ Pro would be high on my list.
 
I have a Trek Domane HP that you can put gravel tires on. Incredible bike but basically unavailable right now. The Specialized Turbo Creos make good gravel/road bikes.
 
I have a Trek Domane HP that you can put gravel tires on. Incredible bike but basically unavailable right now. The Specialized Turbo Creos make good gravel/road bikes.
I really like Specialize's Creos line, but I took two for a test ride (an aluminum frame and carbon frame) and I was surprised at the lack of power on really steep hills.
I also find them to be more expensive than many other brands.
 
I was surprised at the lack of power on really steep hills.
My reputation is all I have and I want to keep it at all five-stars on Google Maps. A lady on Monday said that her bike was not working. It is a Cannondale, gravel/mountain bike. So instead of waiting for a new controller to arrive, I ordered a whole new motor from a place in my state. She dropped her bike off today and the new motor also arrived today. I tested her bike. Walk assist works fine. If walk assist works than the controller and motor work. Must be a problem with the torque sensor then. Nope, I rode it and it is zippy as can be. So, I just reset and upped the max Amps from 17 to 28. 28Amps is really high and presents a potential for overheating. She is just a weak rider who is in decline and wants something to blame because she is having problems with steep extended climbs. Those Specialized bikes have about 35Nm of torque. Her bike is 90Nm. This is not a problem a bike mechanic can fix.
 
My reputation is all I have and I want to keep it at all five-stars on Google Maps. A lady on Monday said that her bike was not working. It is a Cannondale, gravel/mountain bike. So instead of waiting for a new controller to arrive, I ordered a whole new motor from a place in my state. She dropped her bike off today and the new motor also arrived today. I tested her bike. Walk assist works fine. If walk assist works than the controller and motor work. Must be a problem with the torque sensor then. Nope, I rode it and it is zippy as can be. So, I just reset and upped the max Amps from 17 to 28. 28Amps is really high and presents a potential for overheating. She is just a weak rider who is in decline and wants something to blame because she is having problems with steep extended climbs. Those Specialized bikes have about 35Nm of torque. Her bike is 90Nm. This is not a problem a bike mechanic can fix.

That's too bad. Some folks need to realize they can't just run a marathon after 20 years of smoking. Even with assist, you need to work your way up.

Hey, so you're local-ish to me (Benicia resident). Do you have a storefront or do you work out of a workshop? I have a brand new mountain frame that I've been meaning to build up for the last 15 years 😜 that I never got to. It's actually still at my mom's place in Pacifica. Would love to put a TSDZ2 on it at some point. Honestly, I'd prefer to tackle the job myself but if I get stuck, I'd like to visit. I'm a fan of your creations. 👌
 
Placed the order today. It seems Specialized is updating the Creo and discounting the ones they had online. My local dealer didn't have stock but I'm not that far from the Specialized company store in Costa Mesa, CA. They were willing to work with me including 25% off any Creo they could get hold of. With that discount I went full carbon, Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon. After spending the past couple days reading reviews and researching, the Creo looks to be easily top everything else for what I want. Besides, there was pretty much no stock anywhere and I'd rather ride than wait. Especially at the only place that even offered a discount.

If I don't love it they have a 30-day return policy; I just have to keep it in excellent condition that long. Besides, most ebikes (including some rather used Creos I saw) are selling used for quite a bit more than I'm paying. So I'm excited. Should be here in about a week according to the shop.


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Would love to put a TSDZ2 on it at some point. Honestly, I'd prefer to tackle the job myself but if I get stuck, I'd like to visit. I'm a fan of your creations. 👌
I just made this one with a Bafang 120Nm mid-drive. Not my thing but I am not the customer. I think is came out cleanly for a Bafag. Normally those have more wires and visible connectors that a dog has fleas. Sometime when you head to Bodega look me up on Google Maps and take a test ride for fun. It would be fun to get kitted out for race day, the socks, chamois, jersey... and ride this bike past some Creos. That is leather fringe off the levers. Don't see that much on a Creo.
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@WattsUpDude, I turned it around with that problem customer. We just came back from an hour long ride and she is 100% happy. I taught her 1) how to start the bike (not with your foot on it) 2) how to downshift before it is needed 3) how to up power before it is needed 4) how to keep up cadence 5) how to pedal (effortlessly and quickly with a back sweep and up sweep). Before she was slowly pounding like on a Stairmaster. The TS resets each time you start the bike. If you have 20 pounds of pedal pressure when you start it, that will be the new zero. You would need to then get up to 20 pounds before the motor would give you back anything.
 
Placed the order today. It seems Specialized is updating the Creo and discounting the ones they had online. My local dealer didn't have stock but I'm not that far from the Specialized company store in Costa Mesa, CA. They were willing to work with me including 25% off any Creo they could get hold of. With that discount I went full carbon, Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon. After spending the past couple days reading reviews and researching, the Creo looks to be easily top everything else for what I want. Besides, there was pretty much no stock anywhere and I'd rather ride than wait. Especially at the only place that even offered a discount.

If I don't love it they have a 30-day return policy; I just have to keep it in excellent condition that long. Besides, most ebikes (including some rather used Creos I saw) are selling used for quite a bit more than I'm paying. So I'm excited. Should be here in about a week according to the shop.


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Please report when you have got your Creo! Eager to listen to your impressions!
 
@Stefan Mikes, You and I both think that that fat bike with the ape bar is silly. It is a novelty and gross. But the owner is a life-long Harley rider. He is a cancer survivor and weighs 370 pounds, 170kg. He is giving up gas and noise and wants to be more active. I took him on an hour long ride in the hills today for a demo and training. Two minutes into the ride, I saw him wipe away a flood of tears from under his Ray Bans because he was so happy. Yes, it is not my style, or yours, it is his.
 

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You and I both think that that fat bike with the ape bar is silly
I didn't laugh because of that. The OP was specifically asking for a Class 3 road or gravel e-bike. He managed to get one of the most excellent e-bikes of that segment, and then you come to show a funny contraption that does not belong there, and you also say "and ride this bike past some Creos". It simply does not belong there. It would be good if you tried understanding the very idea of cycling. Because any motorcycle would ride past any e-bike.

Some people such as the OP want to ride their e-bikes, not to be ridden by their e-bikes. Did you get my point? Using the very word "Bafang" in the context of Specialized Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon is an abomination... I also want to remind you that you did not design, construct or built any bikes you are presenting. You have just fitted them with a low-end motor, battery, and controller.
 
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Bafang Electric (Poland) Sp. z o.o. is a company in Poland, with a head office in Bielany Wroclawskie. The enterprise currently operates in the Capacitor, Resistor, Coil, Transformer, and Other Inductor Manufacturing sector. It was established on July 23, 2018. Its total assets grew by 434.42% over the same period.


“Bafang, the Chinese manufacturer of motors and other components for e-bikes, has opened its first production facility outside of China in Wroclaw, Poland. The new plant should allow a faster supply for European customers.

Bafang will produce its bestselling mid-drive systems, the M400, M420 and M300 here on two assembly lines in the future. In the first year, Bafang intends to provide 150,000 units and increase annual production to 600,000 units within three years. Bafang has yet to decide on the production of hub motors for electric bikes.

Initially, 50 employees will work in the new plant with a floor space of 6,000 square metres (5,200 square meters of which will be used for production). Bafang estimates the investment at 16 million euros. A network of local suppliers is currently being set up to reduce deliveries from Asia. More so, Bafang may find what it is looking for in the immediate vicinity: Companies such as LG Chem and Lapp Kabel are also located in “Panattoni Park Wroclaw” as well as Amazon and Schenker for Logistics.

By manufacturing in Europe, Bafang aims above all to shorten delivery times for its customers. “Generally, the lead time of Asian purchase from order to delivery is about six months. Products ex-Poland will see a shortened lead time to four months,” said Bafang CEO Qinghua Wang. “We’re already planning a gradual reduction to two months in the future,” he said, explaining that their customers tell them that this is often the weakest point in the current e-bike market.

According to Bafang, the location was chosen primarily because of its favourable location between two major motorways leading to Germany and the Czech Republic. The search for a suitable production site began as early as 2015. Bafang, which is based in Suzhou near Shanghai, has been active in Europe since 2004 – a sales and distribution office was opened in the Netherlands in 2011 and one in Germany in 2016.
 
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Tom, I will say it simple: Bafang and DIY are off-topic when the OP was talking Giant and Specialized. OFF-TOPIC. I don't care what is made in Wrocław, Poland. (Besides, making Bafang in EU is a way to circumvent the Euro ban on cheap Chinese e-bikes). I was harsh to Pedaluma because he's always off-topic when premium e-bikes are being discussed. You are off-topic now.

Pedaluma has been Ignored for a long time. (I made an exception because I could not stand his comparison of his funny "e-bike" to the Creo).

Now, to counter your irrelevant post: A Ukrainian manufacturer of high quality drive-train components is located in Nowa Huta, Poland. Exactly for the reason to be a EU company. The major difference is Garbaruk's respected in road-bike and MTB world. (Bafang is for laugh, compared).
 
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