Home Forums Bike Forum Commuter ebike – What’s good?

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  • Commuter ebike – What’s good?
  • funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Getting to work is becoming very expensive on the train and me and Mrs F sharing the car is proving tricky on some days. Depending which site I’m on it’s an eleven or thirteen mile trip each way. The majority of which can be done on the Middlewood Way (old railway line I think. Has really shit drainage in bad weather).

    So what eBike for someone who sweats like he’s permanently in a sauna. Has an inability to go at a steady pace. Need to carry a laptop and other stuff and is currently in the worst shape of his life. Also mustn’t cost the GDP of a small island nation. I’ll likely have to sell the MTB to part fund so (shameless plug) if anyone fancies a medium Titus Fireline in great condition let me know.

    The only thing I’ve seen so far that isn’t prohibitively expensive and doesn’t look like a pregnant fish is the Ribble Hybrid Al e. Anything else I should be looking at in a similar price range? All suggestions, genuine and comedy, most appreciated.

    What else needed to commute year round in all weather?

    tjagain
    Full Member

    put a kit on your existing bike?  they vary in price and type but the tongsheng mid mount is good.  A few of us use it.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    No mudguard or rack mounts on current bike. Not really designed for commuting with the sus fork either tbh. Will check out the link, thanks.

    Edit – definite pregnant fish vibes from the one in the link. Although it looks cool in a retro future sort of way. Pannier racks would be useful to avoid the old sweat back.

    And now I’ve just seen the GT power performer!

    jaminb
    Free Member

    Have you got very secure parking ?  If not I wouldn’t be looking at +£2k bikes.

    I had a hybrid in the garage (Charge Mixer) and put a front hub motor kit on it, it doesn’t ride as nicely as a mid mount, but it is fine for commuting,  I can stick it in 1st gear and spin away and it will sit at 15.2mph on the motor no effort required.  If it gets nicked I will only be £500 quid down.

    If year round commuting appeals you can upgrade in a year with all the money you have saved and you will have an n+1 electric pub bike!

    zippykona
    Full Member

    What TJ says.
    My Carrera conversion is bloody brilliant.
    I love going shopping now. A wealth of knowledge and bits out there if it goes wrong.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Yep, secure parking at both sites. Main office has keycard access and an internal bike hub on the ground floor. Main operations site has secure gated access to get in and then an under cover bike storage area with cameras.

    Prefer the idea of a dedicated commuter rather than taking a one year old shiny Ti MTB and sticking bits on it tbh. Not averse to selling the MTB. Only have space for one bike and sadly haven’t ridden it off road more than three times since last summer.

    It’s less about the appeal of year round commuting. More about train fares and unreliable service to the office and need to share car for the ops site. Bike seems like cheapest option when weighed against a cheap second car, motorbike (and need to do CBT) or going full crazy mode and getting a Renault Twizzy or something 😂

    2
    breatheeasy
    Free Member

    When I finally get hauled back into the office I’m tempted with a Raleigh Trace

    https://www.raleigh.co.uk/gb/en/trace-electric-bike/?attrMarketingColor=Blue

    About as non-ebike looking as I could find for (vaguely) reasonable money.

    1
    breatheeasy
    Free Member

    defblade
    Free Member

    £30 hybrid off Gumtree (ok, I got lucky finding a really pretty tidy bike for that price); £600-odd electric rear hub kit from Whoosh bikes (which I had already fitted to my old audax bike, but it wasn’t gelling with me for commuting for some reason); rack/panniers/lights etc I had already. Added a new pair of Marathons and some full length SKS guards to suit and good to go :)

    1
    pondo
    Full Member

    That Ribble looks great, doesn’t even look too e-bikey, but do check lead times. Mrs Pondo’s Cannondale Tesoro EL SQ ETC ETC ETC is pretty ace, I have a ’22 Kona Dew-E DL that I love, although that’s getting pricey. All come with lights, racks and guards – Kona will assist over those distances no problem. :)

    2
    phiiiiil
    Full Member

    I recently got a Boardman HYB-e thing which is very similar to the Ribble but IMHO a bit better looking. I like it a lot; the main niggle is having to remove the battery to charge it, but I can live with that. Halfords had no problem getting one in a few days and I knew they would take it back if it turned out to be rubbish…

    I thought about a tongsheng conversion but it just sounded like something that would take many hours of faffing to end up with a mess of zip ties and wires everywhere.

    fossy
    Full Member

    You mention Middlewood Way, what also other routes do you have (I’m local).

    I do about 10 miles each way, 13 if using Peak and Ashton. Middlewood can be mucky in winter so you will need full guards and a home brew long flap.

    Will this be every day riding, as you’ll need to consider wet weather gear.

    mtbfix
    Full Member

    Shameless plug incoming. I’ve got a Trek Dual Sport + in a medium size on eBay at the moment. It’s got a rack and mudguards on it. If you’re within striking distance of Reading it might be of interest.

    zippykona
    Full Member

    I thought about a tongsheng conversion but it just sounded like something that would take many hours of faffing to end up with a mess of zip ties and wires everywhere.

    Have a look at Cogs Y Gogs to see how tidy a conversion can be.

    Alex
    Full Member

    Orbea Vibe

    Orbea Vibe. 80-90km range*, very light for an eBike, hub motor, stealthy no display but talks to Garmin or Phone App. Really nice to ride, integrated lights etc.. motor not the strongest tho, brilliant for 90% of my riding but up steep hills even in ‘turbo’ needs quite a lot of rider effort. I knew this and that’s why it has a wide range 12 speed cassette.

    500km since I bought it last September. Prices are discounted now but it’s still not cheap. Will take a rack and thoe full lengths guards work brilliantly. I don’t do long rides on it – mostly sub 15km (to nearest towns on back roads) but I’ll do some more exploring this summer looking for trails. Ridden in on shonky roads and a bit of gravel, but it’s definitely more of a road bike. Worth converting to tubeless.

    *’I’ve had it up to 120km using eco mode, but in turbo it proper rinses the battery!

    dangeourbrain
    Free Member

    Surely the correct answer is get TJ’s address, make an afternoon of it and solve his other issues?

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    Stealth ad alert!

    Trek Conduit, XL sized 29er, good solid mudguards, built in front and rear lights, Deore group and discs, Shimano steps motor with 22mph cut off. Iirc ~ 500miles. £900

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    You mention Middlewood Way, what also other routes do you have (I’m local).

    I do about 10 miles each way, 13 if using Peak and Ashton. Middlewood can be mucky in winter so you will need full guards and a home brew long flap.

    Will this be every day riding, as you’ll need to consider wet weather gear.

    Plan would be every day. Looking like one or two days to Stockport town centre and rest to Hazel Grove. Travelling from Macc. Really don’t like riding down the A6, primarily because I rather enjoy being alive.

    Would be interested in other routes that you may know of if possible.

    Shameless plug incoming. I’ve got a Trek Dual Sport + in a medium size on eBay at the moment. It’s got a rack and mudguards on it. If you’re within striking distance of Reading it might be of interest.

    Do you have a link for the terminally lazy?

    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    Do you have a link for the terminally lazy?

    Its not actually for sale anywhere but I’m not using it anymore so could do with selling it. I’m in Rossendale

    https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/bikes/hybrid-bikes/electric-hybrid-bikes/conduit/conduit/p/17044/

    chrispoffer
    Free Member

    Surely this has got to be the answer?  Cheap enough that you could keep your Vitus too.

    https://www.evanscycles.com/brand/muddyfox/electric-avenue-hybrid-bike-700516#colcode=70051611

    Got one last year for my better half, it’s not a brilliant bike – but just the job for commuting.  Buy mudguards and a rack and you’re good to go.  And not the end of the world costwise if it gets nicked.

    pondo
    Full Member

    “Shimano steps motor with 22mph cut off”

    I must confess, I wish the Kona would help a little longer – what it thinks is 15.5mph shows as 14mph on the GPS watch…

    alan1977
    Free Member

    my boardman adv 8.9e has been surprisingly good as a commuter, although the Fazua Facebook page might make you think otherwise.

    up to about 1450 miles on it so far, only bug was having to get creative with the SKS guards to make them work (cut some bits out, reposition a bracket)

    v7fmp
    Free Member

    I have one of these:

    https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Merida-eSpeeder-400-EQ-2023-Electric-Hybrid-Bike_244347.htm

    Price seems to have gone up a fair chunk since i got mine just under a year ago, but its a great bit of kit. Probably very similar to a few already mentioned (Orbea, Ribble etc). Mahle hub based motor, so not mega power assist like some, but plenty for my 22km commute.

    jkomo
    Full Member

    Got chatting to a guy in a local pub garden. He had a very tidy tongsheng conversion. Even to my highly trained eye I thought it was an off the shelf bike. You can make them as tidy as you want. He had a great little thumb switch display rather than those horrible massive screens.

    montgomery
    Free Member

    I had a hybrid in the garage (Charge Mixer) and put a front hub motor kit on it

    What front hub motor was that, out of interest? Considering options to add to my existing commuter for the winter.

    slowol
    Full Member

    My brother got one of these for a similar length commute across that London. I was much lighter than most (less than 18kg) and he reckoned the cut off was less sudden and easier to pedal above 15.5 mph (if you have a good tailwind) than the hub motered a Trek that he tried. His LBS deals in Trek and he likes hence his choice of Treks. Also has racks and guards as standard.
    https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/bikes/hybrid-bikes/electric-hybrid-bikes/fx/fx-2/p/35840/?colorCode=black

    Islabikes ebikes also look good and functional if you can face being described as an ‘icon’.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    My mum’s got one of these. She doesn’t commute, cos she’s 84, but there is a fella at work that has one too. He had one of the early models, had loads of teething problems, but I think they’ve sorted them. Mother has only had one issue where the battery wouldn’t charge.
    https://www.halfords.com/bikes/electric-bikes/carrera-impel-im-2.1-electric-hybrid-bike-microshift—s%2Fm-m%2Fl-frames-709830.html

    1
    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Thanks everyone. Lots to look at. I just need to reign in my tendency to want the most fun looking one. I’m looking at you GT BMX thing! Need to think boring and practical not shits and giggles because it will be covered in the former and none of the latter come winter!

    1
    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    “Shimano steps motor with 22mph cut off”

    I must confess, I wish the Kona would help a little longer – what it thinks is 15.5mph shows as 14mph on the GPS watch

    It thinks it has a BMX sized rear wheel, it still cuts off at a displayed 15.5mph it’s just that the actual speed is ~22mph and closer to my previous analogue commuting bike speeds.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Its not actually for sale anywhere but I’m not using it anymore so could do with selling it. I’m in Rossendale

    I’m a short arse unfortunately.

    1
    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    I’m a short arse unfortunately

    No probs, there is a small version of mine on Ebay (its where I got the price from). For the money they are good – it’s just ‘draggy’ above the 15.5mph as it’s heavy (because its an ebike) and it’s fairly upright riding position which is why I upped mine to 22mph.

    The 1st gen Steps6000 seems fairly robust from what I’ve googled.

    1
    benos
    Full Member

    I’m also enjoying commuting on a Boardman ADV 8.9e. I ride a similar distance to you with some rough surfaces and hills + headwinds. I bought it a month ago 30% off in the Easter trade-in sale.

    I have no other experience of e-bikes, but the Fazua motor seems nice to use (nice delivery and configurable power modes) and it seems to have no drag above the 15.5mph limiter that you hit way too quickly.

    1
    nicholas_yiu
    Full Member

    I’m another one with a Boardman ADV 8.9e. My commute is 7 miles each way, I permanently stick it in rocket mode and have between 10-20% left after 2 days depending on how much I carry.

    I’m on it as long as it’s not chucking it down or icy. I did try when it’s icy but had a few offs so just decided it wasn’t worth it. Most of my commute is on ungritted roads / paths which is probably why I couldn’t do it.

    For me, it’s important to leave a bag of spare kit at work as there’s nowhere to dry my clothes and it’s just not nice riding home in wet kit.

    I have a rear rack and full length guards on mine. Although I don’t take my laptop home every day, it’s a big heavy CAD thing so I have a separate laptop specific pannier bag and a generic one for my clothes / lunch / repair kit etc. I would say it’s nice not having anything on my back but it does ruin the handling a bit when it’s fully loaded.

    Mines just ticked over 4k km and not had a problem with the electrics. I did have some problems with the APEX groupset so upgraded to a GRX which was a complete gamechanger. I like it as it rides like a normal bike but it is light assist only even in rocket mode and you will need to put effort in. I still sweat as much as when I’m on a normal bike but the difference is I can now ride in all week without affecting the riding I do at the weekend.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Not liking the putting in effort and sweating elements. Have showers at the Stockport site but not at the Hazel Grove one. If I wanted effort and sweat I’d just ride the Fireline with its 2.6 Magic Mary on the front 😂

    Really looking for minimum effort for maximum return here. Transport as opposed to exercise.

    1
    benos
    Full Member

    Amen to a rack, pannier & full length mudguards. It looks mint like that too – a bike made for getting stuff done :-)

    I recommend the Thule 22l pannier with a laptop sleeve and handle on top. Plenty of space for clothes, kit and sandwiches.

    *edit. It’s an e-bike of course, so one day soon I’ll be swearing at it :D

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Sweet Lord! Just found a version of that mad belt drive thing with guards and panniers. Has ties to Harley Davidson which makes sense when you look at it. Looks like a mad ebay bike but for actual money.

    https://www.leisurelakesbikes.com/bikes/electric-bikes/serial-1-rush-city-electric-bike-blackblack__399769

    2
    RustyNissanPrairie
    Full Member

    The 15.5mph can be can an issue on commuter ebikes IMHO. Above the limit you are pedalling a heavy bike – fine downhill but on flat road and sustrans type routes you are putting in more effort than a normal bike so you end up sticking to just below the cut off. Journey times become longer than normal bikes but less effort/sweatyness.

    It does swing into their favour if the route is hilly as you can do 15.5 up everything and the downhill is fine for above the limiter.

    It’s the reason I opened mine up to 22mph as I was also using a blingy gravel bike for commuting that was far quicker (but more energy)

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Can’t believe I’m typing this but the more I look at, watch videos and read about the Serial 1 Rush/City the more I like it. Looks like low maintenance fun. Hmmm

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