Ebike for Hilly Commute


New Member
Hi, I'm a prospective first time ebike purchaser and want some advice about what to purchase.

I'm a 6'4, 215 lb male and want an ebike for two main purposes:
(1) 4-5 mile hilly commute to and from work - hoping to do in under 20 minutes each way.
(2) taking 4 year old to school in rear mounted child seat

I'd like to spend as little as possible but want something that's going to be super safe and reliable and will help me go ~15 mph up some pretty solid hills (let's say 10-15% grade).

Was looking at MOAR bikes up on indiegogo. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/...ric-bicycle-bike?secret_perk_token=a811cc0e#/ Any thoughts on those or any other options under let's say $1200?

If you want "super safe and reliable" I would stay away from a crowd-funded projects which are, by definition, untested products by the market, with no consumers having used the product in the real world. I myself had a poor experience with a Kickstarter ebike conversion kit. And remember, you don't get your money back if you are dissatisfied with a crowd-funded product. I didn't.

Perhaps you are aware that Court did review the MOAR bike. While the bike has many positives, the negatives would make me stay away: very heavy (74.5 lbs), frame flexes (there goes your "super safe" requirement!), a lot of weight up high and to the rear (bad for handling and for safety).

For your budget of $1200 I can only think of Juiced Bikes CrossCurrent Air ($1,095), but I doubt you can fit a child's seat big enough for a toddler on that bike. Personally, were I looking for a bike that can easily accommodate a child seat for a 4-year old I would look at cargo bikes, such as the RadWagon, the Juiced Bikes U500 Utility Bike, or some of the other cargo ebikes that Court has reviewed. But all those cargo bikes exceed your budget, which is perhaps a bit unrealistic.

Good luck on your search!
Thank you for the thorough and helpful response! Any thoughts on U500 vs. RadWagon? Looks like both will be in the $1600-1800 range, which I may be willing to go to if it really gets me what I need.
While I have been eyeing both the RadWagon and the U500 as my next ebike purchase, I do not own them. I test rode an earlier version of the U500 and was very favorably impressed. There are many RadWagon and (perhaps fewer) U500 owners on this site. Perhaps they can chime in. (My ebike is a Haibike mountain bike, which would not be suitable to carrying a toddler in back.)

Since you are tall, perhaps the RadWagon would suit you better than the U500, given that the U500 has smaller wheels. The RadWagon can be fitted with running boards, important for your child's feet if he/she is sitting behind you.

I urge you to find a dealer who carries the bike you are interested in and test ride it before you buy.
I'm vert happy with my Radwagon for my very hilly commute and I'm 220 lbs. I think it offers an excellent balance of price, quality, and performance.
At 6', the seatpost was about 1/2" too short, but I got a longer one from Amazon for $20. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015GQK0PC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The floorboards and wheel guard are included, a seat pad and grab bar would be extra.
15 mph on a 15% grade? That's questionable in the price, and power range you're considering. With pedaling my Radwagon in PAS3 @ 450W its good for about 13 mph on a 10%, and maybe 7 mph on a 15%. It actually can do short hills much faster in PAS 4 or 5, but its only rated for 500w continuous, and they recommend not exceeding 500w on hills 15% or greater.
Thank you for the thorough and helpful response! Any thoughts on U500 vs. RadWagon? Looks like both will be in the $1600-1800 range, which I may be willing to go to if it really gets me what I need.

Juiced sell refurbished ODK 500 for $1119
I would test ride the ODK first. I test rode one and the limited amount of gears (1 or 3 depending on which one you get) means it's half bike, half electric scooter IMO. If you're looking for more of a pedal assist bike I'd recommend something else. I recommended the ODK to my brother who just wants something he can jump on and go grocery shopping with, or to Starbucks, without doing much work.

As far as the Rad Wagon just realize that it weighs 75lbs. so make sure you don't have to carry it up many stairs.
With your priorities:
1.) A mid drive for the most efficient climbing performance available of any pedal assist drive system; and
2.) A good cargo bike design (like the RAD) to safely carry a child on the back. Most cargo bikes can handle the added weight but need to be heavier themselves to achieve this design objective. I would avoid anything heavier than 80lbs, and a 48 volt battery with Ah above 14 is a must. The low, long and sturdy rear bike racks on the good cargo bikes seem perfect for secure mounting of precious cargo.

Some areas don't allow child carriers on class three bikes, fyi.
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