Fat man bike; long time rider, but not ebikes

Thanks everyone.
It has been so long since I actually thought about what I wanted in a bike that I have forgotten much. Your responses have refreshed my memory and goals.

Weight: The first few years of riding the Specialized 29er, I was blowing spokes. I am frugal...until I learned that being so is not always the best thing to do. I eventually bought a new set of wheels with 36H and heavier spokes. Haven't blown a spoke since. The disc's have been marginal due to my weight. I think I figured out long ago that the frame isn't really the important weight component but had forgotten that. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Cost: At 65, I can afford an expensive bike considering how much I used to bike, and how much I plan to bike after retirement in December. I've been frugal to get the kids through college without debt, and I will have a federal pension; so, what the hell?

Chinese bikes: You guys got me scared on those. I really liked the Eunorau Specter ST until people mentioned reputation and grey metal. I bought two or three single wheel trailers for extended trips that were Chinese stuff and they all broke on the very first trips. I haven't had a problem after I bought the Bob. So, now, you guys reminded me that I need to be leery of the Chinese made imports.

I love everything about the Riese and Muller Supercharger Touring, with the 1250 battery option for multiday type trips, but it doesn't have a throttle. I've done environmental law enforcement for 41 years, mostly around mining operations, and have developed COPD from breathing in all that s*it. I'm thinking the throttle may be necessary at some point when I hit steep stretches (opinions?). You guys have me wondering how much do I really need that 160nM from the Bafang Ultra. It's not like I'm going to be riding like I did when I lived in NM and CO. So, I am open to the Bosch Performance CX now.
Awww, hell, I'm more confused than ever :)
I'm a big guy myself. You'll be fine with any quality production bike that isn't in the direct-to-consumer straight from China in a box category!

You might want to take a look at @Ravi Kempaiah Zen Samurai bikes. Alternately, a Luna X/Z bike might be a good fit too. Don't be afraid of looking at a full suspension bike either. You're not going to be blasting the rear shock over jumps so the way I figure it is that for comfort on the road and paths it is definitely worth the expense.

I'm not sure I would worry a ton about getting a throttle either. I would definitely go out and ride a few different options to see if it is something you'll really want. At 100% boost, mid-drive bikes are going to get you to top speed with very minimal effort.

I will 100% recommend a mid-drive bike if you're wanting this to feel like a bike though. Having owned both, I never found a hub motor bike that appealing - doesn't feel like you're riding but being pushed along (still fun, but different).
 
I just saw them for $339 on eBay including shipping. Obviously it would need the fat BB extension or a Fat HD. I would change everything including the headset. As for unusual I am not sure. The overall frame length is nearly twice the reach? The freewheel is a 14-28 on an off-road bike? The tennis ball for snow?
Note the orientation of the handlebar stem vs. the front rotor :D
 
Note the orientation of the handlebar stem vs. the front rotor :D
Got it. So, is it a F-up or an on purpose for reach. On Target a guy gave a 1-star because the fork he assembled out of box was backwards and the cables were all messed up. One former boss would say he could assemble a bike out of box in 15-min. He did this backwards fork every few weeks just to show me. They wouldn't shift and the brakes rubbed. The brakes would be uneven and up in the air. I was expected to meet his proven assembly time standards. The pedals would be stripped and sideways in the crankarms. That was at Dick's Sporting Goods, where the group cheer is 'We are Dicks.' He would then put all the plastic trash in the cardboard bailer. 🤣 🤣
 
I'm a big guy myself. You'll be fine with any quality production bike that isn't in the direct-to-consumer straight from China in a box category!

You might want to take a look at @Ravi Kempaiah Zen Samurai bikes. Alternately, a Luna X/Z bike might be a good fit too. Don't be afraid of looking at a full suspension bike either. You're not going to be blasting the rear shock over jumps so the way I figure it is that for comfort on the road and paths it is definitely worth the expense.

I'm not sure I would worry a ton about getting a throttle either. I would definitely go out and ride a few different options to see if it is something you'll really want. At 100% boost, mid-drive bikes are going to get you to top speed with very minimal effort.

I will 100% recommend a mid-drive bike if you're wanting this to feel like a bike though. Having owned both, I never found a hub motor bike that appealing - doesn't feel like you're riding but being pushed along (still fun, but different).
Throttle or no your call. Do as you like. I'd just like to point out that for me (and a lot of others that have discussed this), the throttle is about getting the bike moving those first few inches while collecting your balance, or crossing a busy road from a stop. My throttle only rarely used for anything else. Thought of as a tool to making riding easier/more convenient. Kinda like power windows or cruise control on your vehicle. They're there when/if you need them.....
 
I really liked the Eunorau
I really liked them at first. My former shop helped them set up and coordinate introductions to their builds. Only to have them take advantage and never reciprocate or return the good faith. Just another Chinese company insulated from ant repercussions for shitty builds and service. It’s the nature of the direct to OEM beast. Battery fire? Poor sucker shop in the USA eats it while the maker is insulated.
 

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Throttle or no your call. Do as you like. I'd just like to point out that for me (and a lot of others that have discussed this), the throttle is about getting the bike moving those first few inches while collecting your balance, or crossing a busy road from a stop. My throttle only rarely used for anything else. Thought of as a tool to making riding easier/more convenient. Kinda like power windows or cruise control on your vehicle. They're there when/if you need them.....
Thanks. I guess I was thinking my application would most likely be riding up forest service roads and using the throttle to get through short parts that turn much steeper...instead of pushing a button to increase assistance. But, I've only ridden an ebike twice on flat ground, so that is an assumption.
 
You can pedal with the throttle on at the same time to maintain your speed.
 
Surly Skid Loader and Xtracycle RFA are steel frame midtail cargo ebikes with strong motors and rated to carry up to 400lb
 
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Thanks. I guess I was thinking my application would most likely be riding up forest service roads and using the throttle to get through short parts that turn much steeper...instead of pushing a button to increase assistance. But, I've only ridden an ebike twice on flat ground, so that is an assumption.
When you get into steeper stuff, or any time the bike is getting harder to pedal (stiff wind for instance, or maybe a switch to a grass surface), it's time to increase the amount of assistance available from the bike - usually achieved by increasing the PAS level (Pedal ASSIST System). Throttle is best thought of as providing a short blip maybe. Something very temporary - or allowing you to drag your wiped out, butt dragging body back to where you started if you over extend/hurt yourself. ;)

There's more to riding an e-bike efficiently than first meets the eye. It takes a bit to get used to it. Sounds like you're might be starting to realize that. Most of us totally sucked when we first get on that first e-bike. It doesn't feel like it at the time. You only realize that after riding for a while..... -Al
 
I 2nd what was already posted. If you like your bike then just convert that. I have a Specialized Crosstrail with the Bafang 1000 watt mid-drive and big battery. It doesn't suck. And only $1500 with all the gizmos.
 
Surly Skid Loader and Xtracycle RFA are steel frame midtail cargo ebikes with strong motors and rated to carry up to 400lb
The Skid Loader was just released a couple weeks ago and made for a lot of discussion in the Surly group on FB. Biggest ding against it is the damn thing is priced at effectively 5 grand. Plus it has no throttle which the OP stated he wants. The Skid Loader is aimed more at urban apartment dwellers who have to muscle the thing up stairs and park in limited space. Its too bad they don't make a non-electric version as that chromoly frame would be every bit as good a donor for an aftermarket motor as is their Big Dummy and Big Fat Dummy.
better bars would take care of that more effectually.
That wouldn't make the builder any smarter.
 
Thanks. I guess I was thinking my application would most likely be riding up forest service roads and using the throttle to get through short parts that turn much steeper...instead of pushing a button to increase assistance. But, I've only ridden an ebike twice on flat ground, so that is an assumption.
What @AHicks said is pretty much accurate, but what you said is correct as well, though. Sort of. The real deal is to get yourself into a low enough gear - just like a regular bicycle. On an ebike you probably want to try and get into a gear one lower than you would have pedaled up the hill in. Maybe two. The reason for that is the mid drive motor is happiest when its spinning fast. Motor power not converted into motion is instead converted into heat, plus a strong motor can taco a chainring or cog if you try and ask too much of it. So the basic rule of riding, then, is to shift into this too-low gear before you actually hit the part where you are going to need the low gear. Then when you hit that portion, you can dial up the assist as described with a few button presses.

OR ... now that you have proofed your drivetrain to take advantage of it, you can hit the throttle and let the bike do more work for a few moments than you can get from pedal assist. Or give faster results without forcing you to pop a blood vessel with sudden exertion.

My BBSHD motors in 'hills' config will typically output about 750w continuous to the back wheel under max pedal assist. That is dumbed down from the much higher potential that the motor has. However, my throttle is not dialed back at all. So if I need to, I can feather in the throttle to add to my pedaling and get up to the full 1500+w sent thru the back wheel. On the steepest (really steep) streets, even in my lowest gear I can be working pretty hard and still want more than pedal assist is set up to give me, which comes from the throttle. Also on singletrack, needs of the moment could dictate I want a blip of throttle as a supplement. Stuff like this you can only figure out from riding experience so don't try and learn it all out just now. Here is something to refer to though that should help you figure things out in advance.

 
Bottom line I think, is you're going to be riding for a bit to figure out what works best for you and the situation at hand. That's going to take some time....
 
Find a normal bike that fits you well , possibly a steel frame like a surly. Get an BBSHD mid-drive installed a 52v 21ah battery and you can climb any hill you come to with just the throttle only. Guaranteed.

But if the bicycle you have now is strong enough for your body type. Installing a BBSHD and a 52v 21ah battery will absolutely turn your bicycle into a motorcycle using just the throttle only no pedaling. And since it's a normal bike you can still pedal too if you like and dial in the pedal assist from the motor 1-9 levels. Using throttle is just an added option to your bike. So now you would have pedal assist with power and/or throttle only or no power and just pedaling, etc.


This guy in the video builds mid-drive e-bikes he can help you find the right bike for you and even build one if you like. He has a website where he does e-consults over the phone. If you find a bike you can have it shipped to him and he'll build it. Or have him source a bike locally in his area.



I would avoid the day 6 pre-made ebike they don't include a throttle , I would order the normal non ebike version and have it shipped to Johnny and have him put a BBSHD with throttle and 52v battery. This will have more power than the day 6 pre-made ones. Even as relaxed as the style of this bike looks like. With a BBSHD it will conquer any trail or hill you come across.

 
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Of the big-person bikes, probably the best for a cyclist is the Dirty Sixer. A long-established small-volume builder, I see they are now getting past building custom one-off bikes to each rider's physique and now have a Mark II that brings the steamroller 36" wheels to riders as short as 5'8"-6'1". Back in the day there were purely for the really tall. I helped a friend of mine who is 6'8" into one, and did the BBSHD add-on for him. These are top quality bikes that look normal until you see one next to a normal bike and then ohhhh wow is that ever big. For a 6'4" rider the 2XL frame would be a perfect fit. And since these bikes are big enough for riders like Shaquille O'Neal, your weight is not an issue.

 
Thanks. I guess I was thinking my application would most likely be riding up forest service roads and using the throttle to get through short parts that turn much steeper...instead of pushing a button to increase assistance. But, I've only ridden an ebike twice on flat ground, so that is an assumption.
If you don't want to push button to up power setting on climb how do you plan to operate a throttle.

MTB middrive motors like Bosch, Shimano, Specialized (Brose) all have eMTB mode (Bosch name for it) where power delivery is variable. Typically in tour mode 100% when pedalling lightly but ramps upto Turbo 300% assist if you push hard on technical ascent. Far superior to throttle when it comes to controlled power delivery.

Suggest test ride modern eMTB and see if it works for you. I'd be surprised if it doesn't given amount riding you were doing prior to COVID. .
 
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