Looking for a commuter e-bike

reskanda

New Member
Hello,
I'm looking for a commuter e-bike. I like an upright seating position and a step-through frame. I like a strong motor (450 and above) and heavy duty battery. I'm a big guy and live in San Francisco so lots of hills to deal with. I have been looking at Aventon and Ride1up. Any recommendations from the forum? Between the two which would you recommend? Or is there another option that I should look into? Appreciate your help in advance.
Thanks.
 
Aventon has 167 posts on known problems brand forum and ride1up has 67 posts. These bargain bikes are known for requiring frequent spoke tensioning & wheel truing due to grey metal used in the spokes & rims. The cheap cables required frequent adjustment (on my diamondback & Pacific pedal bikes) whereas the real steel cables in my yubabike don't ($2000 without electricity). For long term use from real steel & aluminum try trek, giant, gazelle, perhaps kona. Specialized has a lot of fans among commuters & a lot of sales, but cracked frames have been reported. A broken frame can cause a serious injury.
The fewer speeds it has down to 8 the longer the chain will last. I get 5000 miles out of 8 speed chain.
Life of chain reported as low as 800 miles on 11 speed chain by high speed commuters using a mid drive.
Geared hub drives can get you up short hills but not up 1000' in an hour out at the parks in the Sierras. That can overheat them. Most posters on here equate the word "hill" to mean "mid-drive". I cross 80 hills in 4 hours biweekly with my geared hub drive at gross weights of 330 lb. Some are 15% grade 100' long. I have had no heat problems.
Geared hub drives do wear out the plastic gears. My First $221 hubmotor lasted ~4500 miles before gears wore. I rode it 40 miles unpowered after the drive quit, no drag. Replacement (takeout) bafang hubmotors with the juli 9 pin connector & 26" wheel are running $23 + freight today.
If you are ever going to carry groceries home from the store, try yubabike . Mine shown in the avatar has 8000 miles with one broken fender (my foot) one worn brake pad set, one worn chain. 10 tires. Worn out & rain damaged motors were aftermarket I added myself. My bodaboda has weight limit of 400 lb on 2.1" tires.
 
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Aventon has 167 posts on known problems brand forum and ride1up has 67 posts. These bargain bikes are known for requiring frequent spoke tensioning & wheel truing due to grey metal used in the spokes & rims. The cheap cables required frequent adjustment (on my diamondback & Pacific pedal bikes) whereas the real steel cables in my yubabike don't ($2000 without electricity). For long term use from real steel & aluminum try trek, giant, gazelle, perhaps kona. Specialized has a lot of fans among commuters & a lot of sales, but cracked frames have been reported. A broken frame can cause a serious injury.
The fewer speeds it has down to 8 the longer the chain will last. I get 5000 miles out of 8 speed chain.
Life of chain reported as low as 800 miles on 11 speed chain by high speed commuters using a mid drive.
Geared hub drives can get you up short hills but not up 1000' in an hour out at the parks in the Sierras. That can overheat them. Most posters on here equate the word "hill" to mean "mid-drive". I cross 80 hills in 4 hours biweekly with my geared hub drive at gross weights of 330 lb. Some are 15% grade 100' long. I have had no heat problems.
Geared hub drives do wear out the plastic gears. My First $221 hubmotor lasted ~4500 miles before gears wore. I rode it 40 miles unpowered after the drive quit, no drag. Replacement (takeout) bafang hubmotors with the juli 9 pin connector & 26" wheel are running $23 + freight today.
If you are ever going to carry groceries home from the store, try yubabike . Mine shown in the avatar has 8000 miles with one broken fender (my foot) one worn brake pad set, one worn chain. 10 tires. Worn out & rain damaged motors were aftermarket I added myself. My bodaboda has weight limit of 400 lb on 2.1" tires.
Specialized frames cracking aren't they guaranted for life for the orginal owner? Have there been that many? I'm asking seem a bit strange to me.
 
Have you thought about mid drive?

I have but they tend to be too expensive for my budget.
 
I guess we should add Rad Power Rad City to the list of options since EBR has picked it as best affordable e-bike.
 
Hello,
I'm looking for a commuter e-bike. I like an upright seating position and a step-through frame. I like a strong motor (450 and above) and heavy duty battery. I'm a big guy and live in San Francisco so lots of hills to deal with. I have been looking at Aventon and Ride1up. Any recommendations from the forum? Between the two which would you recommend? Or is there another option that I should look into? Appreciate your help in advance.
Thanks.
I commute 10 miles one way on an aventon pace 500 and have been very happy with it, I’m 6’2 170 lbs and it’s comfortable to ride, after an hour I’m definitely ready to get off the bike though. I don’t know about hills though because my commute in Phoenix is very flat, slightly uphill to work and slightly downhill home. I paid an extra $100 to have a local bike shop assemble and tune it and that was money well spent. I have zero buyers remorse at 1200 miles so far, best of luck! My wife is buying a rad mission right now because it’s a single speed and lighter but don’t think that would do well on hills in sf.
 
No because Rad Power went proprietary with their batteries.
The older Rad Power bikes were good because you could get Bolton kit and upgrade the battery it if you wanted to (although you had to go through minor inconvenience of replacing the battery cradle and soldering connectors, etc), you could still have some upgrades such as 52 batteries, upgraded motor and controller, etc.

Not just upgrading, but spare parts too.
If you look at Rad Power website, they're out of stock for batteries.

Although it is back in stock now, Rad Power didn't have batteries in stock for a while, which could be a problem if you needed a new battery or spare.
Timpo,
You certainly know a lot about these bikes. I'm not as advanced a rider as you are. I should also say that I'm looking for a commuter bike because of their upright position otherwise I won't be using my bike for commuting. I'm a casual user which needs power assist because of my bad knees and will be using the bike for recreation and exercise. Given what you know about my budget and my intended use what brand do you recommend? Sounds like you don't like Aventon, Ride1up, or Rad Power. What is your recommendation? I currently have a Sondors and looking to replace it with a more comfortable bike.
 
Hello,
I'm looking for a commuter e-bike. I like an upright seating position and a step-through frame. I like a strong motor (450 and above) and heavy duty battery. I'm a big guy and live in San Francisco so lots of hills to deal with. I have been looking at Aventon and Ride1up. Any recommendations from the forum? Between the two which would you recommend? Or is there another option that I should look into? Appreciate your help in advance.
Thanks.
Why not consider a used, premium bike off of Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or even Ebay?

The Pros Closet dot com ebike section has some very nice bargains on higher end, used commuter bikes in the 2300 dollar range. I was tempted to enter the bidding on a brand new, 12 mile Yamaha YDX Torc mountain bike (think sit upright commuter but with mountain bike tires. That is still up with a bid of some 1200 dollars. For a 3500 dollar new bike.

Crazy Lenny in Wisconsin might be worth a check, but anymore at Lenny's, the super ultra bargain bottom line dollar prices for premium ebikes have been over since Covid reared it's nasty head in the US. Still, I look. I got my Haibike Full FatSix for such a bargain at Lenny's that people today on this site would not believe what I got it for.

Those premium bikes for the most part are as dead reliable as the average modern automobile. With care and maintenance they will last you for tens of thousands of miles. What I am saying is don't constrain yourself to one of those direct to seller Chinese ebikes when a high end ebike might be out there for the same bargain price as that China bike....
 
Why not consider a used, premium bike off of Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or even Ebay?

The Pros Closet dot com ebike section has some very nice bargains on higher end, used commuter bikes in the 2300 dollar range. I was tempted to enter the bidding on a brand new, 12 mile Yamaha YDX Torc mountain bike (think sit upright commuter but with mountain bike tires. That is still up with a bid of some 1200 dollars. For a 3500 dollar new bike.

Crazy Lenny in Wisconsin might be worth a check, but anymore at Lenny's, the super ultra bargain bottom line dollar prices for premium ebikes have been over since Covid reared it's nasty head in the US. Still, I look. I got my Haibike Full FatSix for such a bargain at Lenny's that people today on this site would not believe what I got it for.

Those premium bikes for the most part are as dead reliable as the average modern automobile. With care and maintenance they will last you for tens of thousands of miles. What I am saying is don't constrain yourself to one of those direct to seller Chinese ebikes when a high end ebike might be out there for the same bargain price as that China bike....
Thanks Mike. I’ll definitely look into it.
 
Why not consider a used, premium bike off of Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or even Ebay?

The Pros Closet dot com ebike section has some very nice bargains on higher end, used commuter bikes in the 2300 dollar range. I was tempted to enter the bidding on a brand new, 12 mile Yamaha YDX Torc mountain bike (think sit upright commuter but with mountain bike tires. That is still up with a bid of some 1200 dollars. For a 3500 dollar new bike.

Crazy Lenny in Wisconsin might be worth a check, but anymore at Lenny's, the super ultra bargain bottom line dollar prices for premium ebikes have been over since Covid reared it's nasty head in the US. Still, I look. I got my Haibike Full FatSix for such a bargain at Lenny's that people today on this site would not believe what I got it for.

Those premium bikes for the most part are as dead reliable as the average modern automobile. With care and maintenance they will last you for tens of thousands of miles. What I am saying is don't constrain yourself to one of those direct to seller Chinese ebikes when a high end ebike might be out there for the same bargain price as that China bike....
I didn't see auction/bidding on the pros closet. Did I miss something? I'm in the market for an e-mtn bike at the moment, Yamaha would be high on the list because of interchangeable batteries with the gravel bike that I already have.
 
I didn't see auction/bidding on the pros closet. Did I miss something? I'm in the market for an e-mtn bike at the moment, Yamaha would be high on the list because of interchangeable batteries with the gravel bike that I already have.
EMGX: The only bidding site in that group I mentioned was Ebay and for that, they feature mostly buy it now prices unless there is a private seller who went the auction-route. The rest of them, Pro Closet, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are all buy it outright sites.

Totally agree with you on trying to stick with one OEM motor and battery drive if going the top tier manufactured ebike route as the battery you get out of the sale than supplements the current battery you have.
 
EMGX: The only bidding site in that group I mentioned was Ebay and for that, they feature mostly buy it now prices unless there is a private seller who went the auction-route. The rest of them, Pro Closet, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are all buy it outright sites.

Totally agree with you on trying to stick with one OEM motor and battery drive if going the top tier manufactured ebike route as the battery you get out of the sale than supplements the current battery you have.
Got it. I did check eBay and didn't see it there, maybe auction is complete.
 
Got it. I did check eBay and didn't see it there, maybe auction is complete.
Same here, it's gone or de-listed. Sunday evening I was thiiiis tempted to join the bidding cause the price of the bike was a little more than just a brand new 500wh Yamaha battery. Auction ended with a winning bid of 1200 some odd dollars. Come Monday morning, it's back up for auction again. And being in the same state i'm in, it would have been a peice of cake to drive up and get it.
 
Someone got a smoking deal, under completed listings final auction price was <$1300. If I had been close by like you I would have bid on it. I was sort of disappointed to have missed out but then saw it was on the opposite coast. Seller had listed $85 shipping but then retracted the shipping offer, wouldn't have been able to legally ship with the battery anyway. I would have converted a Bikes Direct Motobecane mountain bike that I had but gave it to my son who now lives a couple/few thousand miles away. I'd just buy another mountain bike to put a TSDZ2 on but the biggest problem with that is a poor chainline when in largest cog in the back which is where I often am when riding a mountain bike.
 
@EMGX: for sure, had it been a small or medium frame, I'd most definitely had jumped on it. At the minimum, the PWX drivetrain would have been considered a replacement for my lower powered PW system. And of course, the battery.

Spot on about battery shipment. I saw a yamaha 500wh battery on ebay this morning, private seller, in VA with a very desirable price. I think these private sellers and the buyers who jump on those cheap prices are in for a big surprise when they take the battery to ship out to the buyer down at the local post office or UPS store......

I think that TSDZ2 is what fellow member @PedalUma uses on his very clean, very nicely done commuter style mid drive conversions and I've read nothing negative from him about the drive. But yep, when you get into wider mtb tires and rims, one has to be careful about chain line to tire clearances.
 
I've installed tsdz2 on 6 different bikes and have a pretty good handle on the pros and cons of this kit. I even converted one of my two tsdz2 to a coaster brake version (requires a new solid main gear as well as a new reduction gear to match). The problem with aftermarket mid drives like the tsdz2 is that there is a large main gear that sits in a housing out side of the chainring side bottom bracket by about 1.5cm. That might not seem like a lot but it messes up the chainline when using the largest/inboard cog on the rear cassette. It is partially corrected for by using the included 5mm inward dished chainring but on the bikes I have converted the chainline still isn't great on the largest cog of the cassette. I bought a 10mm offset chainring which is better but that only comes in 42t or 52t sizes. I also have a 5mm offset 34 chainring that mounts directly to the large main gear thus eliminating the spider. eco-ebikes used to sell a 26t version but it is no longer listed. For a mountain bike I'd like a 30t chainring and 11-50t cassette.
 
I would rather get an older higher quality bike on Craigslist and convert that than get a crappy bike from Bikes Direct. There are bikes with beautiful frames made out of chromoly or titanium. My friend John was given a high end mountain bike this week. It was ridden twice in 2003. When I saw the bike I had ordered from bikes direct I stripped it and gave away the frame. Here is my mountain bike. It is a Specialized Chisel. I changed up the bar and drivetrain. The big cog cannot be accessed because the chain stays are so wide, but I have never needed it and live in a place with big climbs. I have also included an older Ti bike.
 

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For me, I want/need a big rear cog paired with a small chainring. I'm taking a trip to Moab, planning to ride slick rock. I did that on my son's motobecane bikes direct bike several years ago and it was hard for me then and would be harder still now. By the way, his bikes direct mountain bike is a well spec'd and overall excellent bike that still holds its own despite being over 10 years old. I suppose it depends which bike you buy, they sell a wide range of bikes and prices. I'd buy another from them but what I want is out of stock. I'll probably put a tsdz2 on my dahon jack again using the 34t chainring and a new 11-42 cassette and do my best. Can always walk the bike using walk assist when needed.
 
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