Priority Current or Vvolt Proxima or perhaps an ebike Conversion?

dfriedz

New Member
Region
USA
Hi all, first time posting here and looking for advice.

A little about me and my riding in general; I'm 35, male, physically fit, casual triathlete, live in Chicago (flat) and typically bike commute to work or to just get around the city for my everyday life (not riding gravel/mountain trails etc). I ride along the lake shore trail as much as I can help it, and then go into the city via streets when needed. I currently use a Giant Contend AR 3 2020 model year as my every day rider equipped with a rear rack, a pannier and folding wire basket for extra storage when needed, fenders, and one sided clipless pedals. I quite like having the drop handlebars to switch between hand/riding positions, and generally ride about 6-9 miles one way and enjoy the workout. I'm looking into an ebike solution since there are times when it's very windy, or I'm in a rush, or I'm tired after other physical activity, or it's late at night and I just wish I didn't have to work as hard to get home. This leads me to think about ebikes or ebike conversions.

For ebike conversions, I'd only really be interested in mid drive torque sensing motors, but dissuaded by the look mostly and lack of confidence in parts working/needing repair/placement. I'd also love if the Bimotal add on would be less than 2k USD; or the competitor, Skarper, would be producing and selling in the US as those seem like great solutions for me. One downside is I believe they are cadence sensing rather than torque. Another limitation for me is my Giant has thru axels, so most of the front/rear wheel hub conversions wouldn't work for me. I believe the All Axle Grin hub motor conversion would be my only option in this regard.

For ebikes, I'd really like the following:
- Belt drive / internal gear hub; never used before, but would love to get away from chains/cleaning/derailleur adjustments and also still have the ability to change 'gears'.
- Easily removable battery; since often I'll ride and leave the bike outdoors for a few hours which doesn't seem like a good idea for batteries to sit when it's 20 degrees F - so would remove the battery when leaving it outdoors.
- Lightweight; so I won't need to use much pedal assist or could ride it without the assist easily.
- Mid drive torque sensing motors
- Under $3k
-Drop handle bars; how much I need this is a good question, though I do like to have a somewhat forward riding position. The issue I'm finding is there aren't drop handlebars on ebikes with belt drives. From research I've done it seems like swapping from flat handlebars to drop bars costs a reasonable amount for a bike shop to do, thoughts on this?

Basically I'd like a similar riding style to what I have currently using clipless pedals/tri-shorts for the workout/fun, but also with a little assist to arrive places faster and or with less effort. This has led me to think the Priority Current or Vvolt Proxima would be a good bike for me. The Proxima seems to have a more aggressive riding position, though the Current seems to have an adjustable handlebar stem.

Any helpful advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
 
Those two bikes are currently the only <$3k belt drive/IGH models otherwise you're looking at single-speed. I'm unsure what parts supply for the motors on both bikes is like as you will be reliant on the brand. I'd recommend you consult forum member @PedalUma about building a DIY bike around the TSDZ2 motor which has a torque sensor, I gather you would need a 130 BCD spider adapter to fit a Gates front sprocket.
 
Do keep in mind that belts are very expensive and require special frames. KMC has an eBike chain that is extra wide and is as strong as a chain. A couple of spray bottles will quickly clean a chain, then use dry lube. Handlebars and stems are easy enough to swap. The dual clutch cargo motor is nice. Look for a donor bike with a Alfine or Nexus 7 or 8 speed IGH.
 

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Check this out. Yamaha Civante drop bar with assist up to 28mph for $2399 which is $1000 discount. I have no connection with the seller Seattle Electric Bike, maybe there are shipping charges but this seems like a unbeatable deal otherwise for a bike with a 3 year warranty.
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I have a similar Yamaha PW-SE powered bike from BH, the Yamaha system performs great IMO, battery is easily removed, no belt.
I'd skip the after-market Tongsheng TSDZ2 torque sensing mid drive unless you are comfortable working on bikes yourself. Installation is quick and simple but you have to know how to change a bottom bracket cartridge (many who post on this forum aren't DIY types at all - or think they are, but they're not). The Tongsheng performs well IMO, I have two of them installed on bikes, but not worth the hassle if you aren't comfortable with installation and there can be complications like a poor chain line which is a universal problem with the aftermarket DIY motors (excepting the upcoming CYC Photon but that is priced at $950 for motor only so the discounted Civante sounds like a much better deal).
 
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Thanks for the thoughtful replies. If only I could just have my cake and eat it too... it'd be too easy.

I'm currently thinking about getting a IGH/belt drive bike with down handlebars like the Priority Apollo to then add something on like a Skarper unit when it becomes available this year (hopefully easy to get in the US too). This seems easier/cheaper to me than getting a chain ebike and converting to IGH/belt, no?

What might be other good options to add to the Priority Apollo? Are there any other IGH/belt drive bikes with down handlebars I should look into?

Thanks,
 
Nice! @EMXG. Two chainrings! Does there need to be a catch like $1400 shipping? It is unbeatable. The Skarper has poor weight distribution. It is off to one side and way at the rear.
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Nice! @EMXG. Two chainrings! Does there need to be a catch like $1400 shipping? It is unbeatable. The Skarper has poor weight distribution. It is off to one side and way at the rear.
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I'm checking with that shop about the Civante as they don't show allowing shipping on their website cart/checkout. In case they do shipping, would this bike be viable to switch to a IGH & belt? I was reading/researching about conversions and it's a bit complex for my limited level of knowledge, seems that if the frame doesn't accommodate a belt drive there are the Veer belt drives that'd work, no? Assuming it's possible, and I would have a shop do it with a IGH that has idk maybe 8-11 'gears' or CVT of something like 3-400%, what would a ball park on cost for parts and labor be?

Also back to the idea of the Priority Apollo, since you're not suggesting the Skarper add on, how feasible would it be to add a mid drive mounted system like the Tongsheng TSDZ2? Again, would ask a shop to perform the installation.

Thank you kindly.
 
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