- Petaluma, CA
I am getting a new fork for one. Check this one out - 26 pounds. The battery and motor will add 11; 12-sp with air fork.
That said and without knowing how much Pedaluma charged for his converted Stinson 2, I don't see much reason anymore to buy a bike professionally converted to ebike since prices have recently come down to a level of sanity. That is unless someone already owns a bike that they like and want converted or if there isn't a commercially available ebike that meets their preferences.
Just looking, Yamaha Cross Core bikes are now selling for $1899 or less from some sellers, excellent motor, 2x chainring, warranty, etc. I'd take a Cross Core over a conversion especially if prices were similar.
I’m not sure what brands are easily available in California Catalyzt, but recently there are two trends in U.K. & Europe that might start to help; prices on ebikes are finally dropping, I don’t just mean in sales but also brands bringing out cheaper, yet well specced emtbs. Here’s a short round up:That is exactly the problem. And it is the reason why I want a pro-built custom bike in addition to the commercial, fully-integrated eMTB I already own. I am sure that I will ride both in different situations.
(BTW, I saw the Cross Core, too. Great idea... but still: 42.5 pounds and no suspension.)
I am 150 pounds, six foot one, 65 years old, very fit, but have bad osteoarthritis in both hands (and probably other places they have not found.) I also live in an area with very steep hills. Some friends have made fun of me for riding an eBike until they try even hiking here. Then it's like... "Oh. I get it. Yeah, okay."
I am appalled that there are no commercial, fully-integrated sub-50 pound bikes with even just front suspension available for under about $5,000.
It is not because they would be impossible to design. My other bike is an 40 nm FS eMTB that was 48 or 49 pounds stock, and is currently 46 pounds with relatively minor mods. It is very sturdy; I don't think anything on that bike is gonna crack or fail anytime soon, but it is still very hard to lift over gates, or to carry down stairs-- though I did it just last night at an outdoor meeting I attended.
It's hard to imagine why someone couldn't make a more powerful hard-tail version of this bike that is 43 pounds out of the box-- it's not some exotic engineering problem, just lose the rear shock, go with 2.1 tubeless instead of 2.3, maybe lighter rims and pedals and you'd pretty much be there. The EP8 is only .1 kg heavier than the E5000 and delivers twice as much torque.
I cannot think of any reason why the bike that is appropriate for my height, weight, age and budget does not exist other than the simplest one: Exploitation, and the inherent inefficiency of vulture capitalism.
My current eMTB has a great low-torque motor that may outlive me! But will I be able to ride it in three years? I hope so, but I'm not so sure. The arthritis will get worse; the riding position on my current bike is not ideal. Will I be able to buy a new battery for it in 5 years? Even less sure about that-- there is exactly one battery that will fit on the mount on my frame, it's not a battery that is widely used on other bikes, and if Shimano decides to stop making it, I'm screwed.
Will a lightweight, reasonably-powered hard tail around 40 pounds be available in 2026? That's what I believed when I bought my first bike, but now, I very much doubt it. Ebikes keep getting heavier and heavier. Just like cars getting more and more tech added to them-- not as options, which is obviously fine, but as standard equipment, which isn't.
I would not dismiss Stefan's arguments about warranties and insurance out of hand-- his tone in making the argument may be a bit shrill (and he's not alone in that!) but if you peel back the hysteria, okay-- those are issues. Fair enough. I considered both before starting my build. Buying a custom-built bike does involve some risks, just like buying a no-name brand, a cheap online bike, etc. The risks are different, but you don't get something for nothing; there are always some tradeoffs.
Where I disagree with Stefan is how significant these issues are. Here in the US, and particularly in California? Don't count on an insurance company to bail you out in a truly horrific, catastrophic situation. They may not help you, even if you're covered, if the claim is too high. As for the warranty, yeah-- if the frame fails, there is downside risk to life and limb, potentially to others if you ride in traffic or around pedestrians, which I usually do not. But I'm not sure the risk is really much greater than with frames for big-brand eBikes. Professional riders in good condition generate around 110nm of torque on an acoustic bike. I, personally, probably generate less than half that, more like 45-- these days, anyway! So with an 85nm motor, I'm subjecting a converted acoustic frame to probably around 10 or 15% more torque than a pro athlete would. Should be well within design limits.
I agree that both Pedal and Stefan make valuable contributions to the community here. I don't think of Stefan as an unpaid shill for big business, or Pedal as someone who exploits this forum for free advertising. For me, I need a bike more like the ones that Pedal builds, not a commercial bike. For many other rides, a big-brand commercial bike might be the right choice, though I think planned obsolescence is a serious drawback, and I see no signs of that changing.
Sorry put the wrong Sam’s bikes clip up- here’s his latest run down of 2023 emtbs for under $5kI’m not sure what brands are easily available in California Catalyzt, but recently there are two trends in U.K. & Europe that might start to help; prices on ebikes are finally dropping, I don’t just mean in sales but also brands bringing out cheaper, yet well specced emtbs. Here’s a short round up:
These may be all over 40/43lbs but the second trend is in the lightweight emtbs and now what’s being called mid weight bikes with torque around 50/60nm and weight under 40lbs Brands such as Orbea, Scott and others using smaller and lighter motors like the EP8, Fazua 60(60nm) Speccy SL1.2 and TQ. The first bikes with these motors tended to be very (very!) expensive and mostly carbon fibre frames etc, but now they are starting to do alloy frames versions with cheaper price points. I’m not sure these lighter emtbs with weights of between 36lbs to 43lbs have enough grunt for the steep trails you describe, but might be worth some test rides.
With Bafang’s M510 mid drive motor starting to be used for a number of top brand bikes, keeping the price down (and getting very well reviewed) it does look like some in the bike industry see that these crazy 5 figure prices are losing them a lot of business. One of the light weight bikes mentioned in that YouTube clip above has a lightweight bafang motor. It’s a one off deal at the moment but if & when other companies can start using it I definitely think we’ll have sub $5000 bikes around the 40lbs range with decent power if not super powerful. But then again I live with really steep hills here too and like having some help but having to sweat a bit too!
Yeah, I've had my eye on Orbea for sure-- though it's interesting, like Marin, they've had sporadic issues with frames cracking, and like Marin, they have generally been very good about replacing them under warranty (and fixing the issues in subsequent model years, at least for acoustic bikes.)Sorry put the wrong Sam’s bikes clip up- here’s his latest run down of 2023 emtbs for under $5k