Please Help: first eBike for experienced mountain biker (but not looking to crush single-tracks)

cthibby

New Member
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USA
New to this forum and looking for advice--and experience--with the bikes I'm considering but also VERY open to other suggestions that meet my criteria.

Background on me: turn 50 this year (hence my eBike purchase :) ) and have been biking since a child. Mostly enjoy mountain biking on moderately difficult trails where my objective is a balance between healthy workout and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and areas I couldn't/wouldn't get to on foot. Live in Minnesota (SW area) where there are tons and tons of trails but MN does not have really high hills/mountains. Current bikes include a Giant XTC 29lb hardtail and Framed Alaskan Fat Tire 40lb.

Criteria: lightweight (Carbon Fiber frame seems best option), ideally non-fat tire for less rolling resistance and maneuverability, powerful mid-drive as I would like to reap the benefits of both PAS and straight full-throttle (fun-factor), higher-end components (Deore or Eagle equivalents) and full-suspension. Range is less important as I target probably 20-25 miles for a ride and would plan to pedal at least half of that (if not more).

Bikes I've researched (including tons from this Forum) and considering include: Luna Z1 Enduro (https://lunacycle.com/z1-enduro-ebike/), Motobecane HAL eBoost M600 (http://www.bikesdirect.com/products...s-hal-eboost-m600-electric-mountain-bikes.htm), Nireeka Nyx (https://nireeka.com/configurator/nyx), and Watt Wagons Hydra Black (https://wattwagons.com/collections/hydra-black/products/hydra-black#build_product_direct). So price range for me is in the $3500-$4500 with expectation I'll end up on the higher end.

I have only ridden an eBike once and on mostly flat ground but am convinced a mid-drive is the ONLY way to go as I plan to use this in hilly areas and don't want to be limited by a rear-hub.

Much thanks in advance!!! This is a VERY difficult decision as I continue to monitor all the various blogs and forums on these different bikes--since most are from companies that are basically your "started and still working out of a garage"--even if their garage grew in size.
 

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Welcome to the site & the electric side of the hobby.
If you go off road a lot and climb rocks, curbs, logs, picnic tables etc, you are correct, mid drive is the only way to go. A torque sensing mid drive acts like your legs are electric.
If you are on trails I hope you enjoy changing chains. Mid drives plus 11 speed chains have reported lives of 1000 miles and less. Plus mid drives unpowered you drag the motor with your feet except Brose, Yamaha, Shimano Steps, and top end Bosche (not the other 3 models). I ride unpowered a lot, across 80 hills in 30 miles, and I ride a geared hub motor. Geared hub motors do not drag unpowered except GMAC. I let the motor handle the 60th to 80th hills: I don't need that much exercise. Three of my hills are 100' of 15% grade, if you are into measurements. 7/8" rise on a 6" Kmart level. I carry up to 80 lb supplies, typically 330 lb gross on the uphill leg. I got 5000 miles out of the first KMC 8 speed chain. The SRAM triple front deraileur wore out at 7000 miles and about the same time I ran a stick through the rear S-3 8 speed takeup and had to buy a new X-3. The sprockets are fine at 8000 miles & 4 years.
I don't like cadence PAS, disconnected the pickup, and use a throttle only when the motor is on. Certain posters & government agencies think a throttle is some sort of a communist plot. I disagree. If I've twisted my knee, the geared hub motor will do the work the whole 30 miles & 80 hllls without overheating. The whole reason I bought electricity. I can't predict the days when I can't even walk. Calling a taxi is not an option out at my summer camp. They would never find it.
What geared hub motors will not do is power you up 1000' in an hour. Think sierras, rockies. They will overheat with that much lugging at full power. There are no Rocky Mountains in Minnesota.
There are some geared hub motor bikes with a torque sensor, but they are rare. I'd like one, but not enough to pitch over the handlebars on my chin again. I've done that on 2 MTB and 2 cruisers, 6 times, and my stretch frame cargo bike has never shown the instability. None of the hub drive cargo bikes have torque sensors.
Happy shopping & later riding.
 
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@cthibby: None of e-bikes you mentioned seems to belong to the world of serious e-MTBs. Also, no serious e-MTB is equipped with a throttle.
There's a good thread to ask your questions:
The link will lead to one of the latest posts in the discussion.
 
Look at the Giants Stance E2. Ride it for sure as I really think it will be a bike you'll seriously consider after riding it.
 
@cthibby: None of e-bikes you mentioned seems to belong to the world of serious e-MTBs. Also, no serious e-MTB is equipped with a throttle.
There's a good thread to ask your questions:
The link will lead to one of the latest posts in the discussion.
Appreciate the response, but as I mentioned in my post--I'm not looking to tear up single-tracks but rather have the ability to enjoy mountain bike trails that I may not normally take and also want the ability to just open it up occasionally and cruise. So, I'm NOT interested in the $7K+ "big name eBikes like Trek, Specialized, Giant" because I'm not a "serious" mountain biker. There are plenty of you out there to buy up the higher-priced "specialty bikes". I'm trying to balance good performance with reasonable cost. Think of me as one to buy a Subaru WRX--want the power, all-wheel drive and yet not blow $100K on a Maserati for a similar feel. But appreciate the different perspectives to consider.
 
I also saw someone else post about this and was wondering if anyone has any experience with purchasing from Dengfu directly for a pre-built versus just purchasing their frames and doing a DIY?


Thanks!
 
Look at the Giants Stance E2. Ride it for sure as I really think it will be a bike you'll seriously consider after riding it.
Damn, that is a nice bike Nomad! I don't think I saw that earlier--and owning a Giant XTC hardtail it is definitely worth a look. Will be tricky to find a local store with one but will be on the lookout as this could be an option. Thanks for the link.
 
Damn, that is a nice bike Nomad! I don't think I saw that earlier--and owning a Giant XTC hardtail it is definitely worth a look. Will be tricky to find a local store with one but will be on the lookout as this could be an option. Thanks for the link.
Giant Stance E+ 2 is a nice e-MTB but it costs US$5,600...
You say you do not need a trail e-bike. All you need is a good hardtail XC e-MTB. Specialized Tero starts from US$3,250.

New to this forum and looking for advice--and experience--with the bikes I'm considering but also VERY open to other suggestions that meet my criteria.
So you know better what an eMTB is and just want to confirm your possible choice but exclude an honest opinion you do not like?
 
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Giant Stance E+ 2 is a nice e-MTB but it costs US$5,600...
You say you do not need a trail e-bike. All you need is a good hardtail XC e-MTB. Specialized Tero starts from US$3,250.


So you know better what an eMTB is and just want to confirm your possible choice but exclude an honest opinion you do not like?
Okay. Maybe we got off on the wrong pedal :). Let me restate my question: I am looking for any experience and/or advice on the eBikes I posted links to as these are the style of eBike that I am most interested in. NOT a "serious eMTN bike", NOT PAS only, full suspension and lightweight (hence CF frame). I am NOT part of a mountain biking club as I prefer to bike alone. And I WANT the thrill of cruising at 28 MPH if and where I can. I know that there are plenty of people on this forum that have either ridden or purchased one of the bikes on my list and that's what I'm really looking for experience and feedback from. Or if there is another brand/model that is comparable to the ones I already listed such as the Dengfu EO5 that I came across yesterday in another thread. Thanks for the Specialized link but it is not full suspension.
 
I also saw someone else post about this and was wondering if anyone has any experience with purchasing from Dengfu directly for a pre-built versus just purchasing their frames and doing a DIY?


Thanks!
Looks nice for 4 grand but the spec sheet does not disclose the weight. If its north of 60 lbs, I would pass...
 
Looks nice for 4 grand but the spec sheet does not disclose the weight. If its north of 60 lbs, I would pass...
Waiting to hear back from Dengfu as they don't list it readily on their website. Expecting to be closer to 50lbs considering it is a CF frame--but will report when I hear.
 
There are quite a few Dengfu owners knocking around (and an awful lot who don't realise their frame is made by dengfu), some have accounts here but don't post an awful lot as some of the locals are very hostile as you have already discovered. I have yet to see anyone with grievance with Dengfu, evidenced by https://www.emtbforums.com/community/forums/diy-ebike-builds.61/ and my own experiences.

This is my E06, which is the same front triangle as the E05.

Exodus 1.jpg


Despite what the hater may say these are serious EMTBs and if you choose the DIY route 100% custom and unique.

You should also ask about the E22 which is an updated version of the E10 (Hydra frame) which can have M600, M800, M620 or Shimano mount.

If there's anything you want to know just ask and if there is no answer here try emtbforums.
 
Okay. Maybe we got off on the wrong pedal :). Let me restate my question: I am looking for any experience and/or advice on the eBikes I posted links to as these are the style of eBike that I am most interested in. NOT a "serious eMTN bike", NOT PAS only, full suspension and lightweight (hence CF frame). I am NOT part of a mountain biking club as I prefer to bike alone. And I WANT the thrill of cruising at 28 MPH if and where I can. I know that there are plenty of people on this forum that have either ridden or purchased one of the bikes on my list and that's what I'm really looking for experience and feedback from. Or if there is another brand/model that is comparable to the ones I already listed such as the Dengfu EO5 that I came across yesterday in another thread. Thanks for the Specialized link but it is not full suspension.Tthe giant is$4,400

Okay. Maybe we got off on the wrong pedal :). Let me restate my question: I am looking for any experience and/or advice on the eBikes I posted links to as these are the style of eBike that I am most interested in. NOT a "serious eMTN bike", NOT PAS only, full suspension and lightweight (hence CF frame). I am NOT part of a mountain biking club as I prefer to bike alone. And I WANT the thrill of cruising at 28 MPH if and where I can. I know that there are plenty of people on this forum that have either ridden or purchased one of the bikes on my list and that's what I'm really looking for experience and feedback from. Or if there is another brand/model that is comparable to the ones I already listed such as the Dengfu EO5 that I came across yesterday in another thread. Thanks for the Specialized link but it is not full suspension.
The Stance E2 is $4,400 not $5,600 just to clarify
 
There are quite a few Dengfu owners knocking around (and an awful lot who don't realise their frame is made by dengfu), some have accounts here but don't post an awful lot as some of the locals are very hostile as you have already discovered. I have yet to see anyone with grievance with Dengfu, evidenced by https://www.emtbforums.com/community/forums/diy-ebike-builds.61/ and my own experiences.

This is my E06, which is the same front triangle as the E05.

View attachment 114631

Despite what the hater may say these are serious EMTBs and if you choose the DIY route 100% custom and unique.

You should also ask about the E22 which is an updated version of the E10 (Hydra frame) which can have M600, M800, M620 or Shimano mount.

If there's anything you want to know just ask and if there is no answer here try emtbforums.
Thanks for your post and appreciate you empathizing with me against the "haters". I'm just "wanting" an eBike that is lots and lots of fun and these look to be that!
 
There are quite a few Dengfu owners knocking around (and an awful lot who don't realise their frame is made by dengfu), some have accounts here but don't post an awful lot as some of the locals are very hostile as you have already discovered. I have yet to see anyone with grievance with Dengfu, evidenced by https://www.emtbforums.com/community/forums/diy-ebike-builds.61/ and my own experiences.

This is my E06, which is the same front triangle as the E05.

View attachment 114631

Despite what the hater may say these are serious EMTBs and if you choose the DIY route 100% custom and unique.

You should also ask about the E22 which is an updated version of the E10 (Hydra frame) which can have M600, M800, M620 or Shimano mount.

If there's anything you want to know just ask and if there is no answer here try emtbforums.
What's the warranty on that frame?
 
What's the warranty on that frame?
Dengfu's website states:
Dengfu Sports Equipment Co., Ltd ("Dengfu"), offers the following limited warranty, to the original purchaser only, for all Dengfu bikes purchased from Dengfu Sports Equipment Co., Ltd.

Warranty items: carbon bicycle.
Warranty period: 2 years.
Warranty date from: the date of purchase by the original purchaser.
 
I wouldn't trade the bikes I have for anything presently available in the price range. I have a Frey AM 1000 and a Wattwagons Hydra. BUT right now, today, if I was shopping with a $5k or less budget I'd be seriously looking at Biketrix.
 
I wouldn't trade the bikes I have for anything presently available in the price range. I have a Frey AM 1000 and a Wattwagons Hydra. BUT right now, today, if I was shopping with a $5k or less budget I'd be seriously looking at Biketrix.
Reed, exactly the response I was hoping for--you have a couple of the bikes I've looked at and mentioned Biketrix which just announced their Monte Capro Lite for $4399 that is 49lbs and pretty well loaded component and suspension-wise. Which do you like better, your Frey or Wattwagons?
 
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