Looking for suggestions for first ebike


New Member
As my job starts to be in person again, I'm considering buying an ebike rather than a car or taking the long bus trip. Budget is under $5000, but I also don't want to go too high if it's not really needed.

  • able to store in an apartment closet
  • will probably use for about 3 15 mile round trips a week with slight hills
  • able to carry a bag/groceries/light cargo
  • works for a short person (I'm 5'2")
Would be nice:
  • Not too heavy
  • Secure. The two regular places I'll probably take it either have an indoor bike locker or a camera for their bike rack, so it's not the highest priority.
  • Can handle slightly snowy paths
One's I've considered (feel free to give your feedback on):
  • Gocycle seems nice, but a bit flashy and hard to setup to carry cargo
  • Tern HSD would work, but might be overkill for my uses.
  • Tern Vektron, like the HSD might be more than I need.
  • Radmini step-thru is a bit heavy than I'd prefer, but I could make it work
I recommend taking either of the Tern ebikes for a test ride. The Tern Andros handle-post is very adjustable, useful cargo rack, good mid-drive motor and battery, considerably lighter than a RadMini. REI sell & service Tern if you join as a Co-Op member you get a 10% discount/dividend at the end of the year
What have you ridden for regular non e bikes in the past? The reason I ask is because this can play a factor in what e bikes you should look at. Like for instance if rode one of well know LBS and liked that Start with those companies as your budget fits that with some room to spare depending on what you look at. I'm not just talking about what your current LBS has or is. I encourage to look up the brands on line. Take your time and find bike that's going to work really well for you
20" tires are only good for perfect city pavement. My city is not perfect. I can't miss all the potholes; sometimes there is a car or rainwater over it. Short people can ride a 26" tire bike, just the frame has to be arranged for them. 24" tires is a compromise.
Racks on the back require good support to not wiggle from side to side and bend the rear fender into the tire. Racks supported from the seatpost are particularly bad. Cargo on the back reduces weight on the front tire and cause skidding. You can see the scars on my chin. I've gone stretch frame cargo bike as you see left, which puts my weight on the front tire. But bodaboda won't fit in a closet. bodaboda weighs 72 lb too. The rear rack is welded on though, no wiggling.
2" cross section tires handle snow okay, just not glare ice. I ride knobbies all winter, no spikes changeover required.
Cargo in a front basket balances the bike okay, but must be steered. 10-20 lb might be okay but I had trouble with 18 lb. Some bikes like the bodaboda pictured left, the euronau max cargo, have bosses in the frame to hang a front basket that doesn't steer with the wheel.
The specialized como https://electricbikereview.com/specialized/turbo-como-sl-5-0/
is 48 lb and is pictured with a front frame mount basket. Specialized is a high end manufacturer made of real metal.
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If you like Tern HSD, go for HS8i with belt drive for maintenance free commuting. For flat and moderate hills the ActivePlus is fine and hub allows gear changes when stopped at lights. H9P has zipper motor Performance Line motor which be my choice for hilly commutes but you have high maintenance chain and derailleur to maintain.

Cube compact is another option but doesn't have load carrying capabilities of HSD. Does come with zipper Performance Line motor and 5speed hub with single speed chain. More maintenance than belt drive but still less than derailleur.

If you don't like HSD selling it won't be a problem as they are very popular.