E-Bike Newbies Are So Uninformed... (A Case Study)

Suspension adds weight and complexity to any bike
I agree fully. I would much rather have a simple lightweight bike with a practical geometry for around town, but can still take to the hills. This one now has fenders, a rack and panniers. I did some single track with it yesterday and then went grocery shopping. It has a 47 ring to an 11-46. It also has bosses for a front rack.


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A Disclaimer: I do not talk about the newbies in these very Forums. I'm just describing my newest experience.

There comes a friend of mine (68), an avid roadie, post-covid twice. No, he is not looking for an e-bike for himself; despite his deteriorated health he still thinks of himself as a Highway Star :) No, he is looking for an e-bike for his wife. His thoughts, summarized:
  • Are e-bikes weather/moisture/raining protected? (A good question!)
  • Could you recommend a "working" -- as opposed to "recreational" -- e-bike for a female rider? I want to know what brands and solutions are worthwhile considering.
He did not mention the budget in the first place. Further thoughts:
  • I'm concerned about the quality more than the price (although the cheaper the better)
  • I was watching rental e-bikes in a mountain location. They were massive with wide tyres. I think such an e-bike would be ideal for my woman.
  • The rental place owner declared the range of his e-bikes as 180 km. Is that realistic?
  • How many charges would the battery take without noticeable capacity degradation?
  • The man recommended Yamaha motors and electronics to me. What other brands could you recommend? (Note: There are no Yamaha motor e-bikes in Poland except Giant).
After my explanations, he came with this e-bike as "the working e-bike for his woman". Necessary to add, they live in Warsaw, a flat city with huge suburbs and a little of off-road around, where the single significant hill is 8.6% grade.

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He thought this e-bike was an "ideal working e-bike for his woman", only he would welcome a low-step frame...

I was very patient to explain to him you do not ride a wide-tyre hardtail e-MTB in a flat city, and that his wife would need an e-bike with fenders, strong rear rack, lighting, and a kickstand for the practical use in the city. His comment:
  • My wife rides a lot. The applications are touring, going to our place outside the city (18 km), and grocery shopping
  • She can load her bike with many-ty kilograms of cargo, forcing me to repair the wheels and other mechanisms of her bike often. So I thought an electric Mountain Bike would be sturdy enough
  • "Fenders, the rack and lighting as well as the kickstand could be easily bought aftermarket!"
These of you who are aware e-bikers know how ignorant he is, especially in the part of converting an e-MTB to become a valuable "working city e-bike". We do not get your "cargo e-bikes" in Poland. We do not get the cheap stuff popular in North America. What his wife actually needs is a SUV e-bike but I even did not want mention that to him as he would be baffled with the price!

I set his sights on a Como 3.0 (the best, IGH). Let us see if he will educate himself...
Sometimes you just have to let people make mistakes...