Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 53 total)
  • e-bike curious
  • Pz_Steve
    Full Member

    After a year of barely riding my bike at all I’m starting to get my Mojo back, but a combination of age, bad knees/back and the disincentive which is a bugger of a climb right out of my door mean I’m still not riding as much as Id like to. A chance go on a mate’s e-bike and I’m suddenly thinking what I’d never have considered 18 months ago… do I want an e-bike?

    Clearly the answer is Yes as it’s an opportunity for n+1, but at those prices I’ve really got to be sure. Could anyone out there who’s been here answer some questions:

    – If I have an e-bike will I ever get back to my old fitness levels?
    – Would I ever ride my old (ie current) bike again – it’s a Banshee Prime which I love to bits, but as a 2015 model will it just seem too old-school? How hard is it switching between electric and “acoustic”?
    – My winter rides often include BB-deep gloop and stream crossings – how do e-Bikes cope with this kind of thing?
    – Can an e-bike go on the lifts in the Alps? Or even on a car roof-rack carrier for that matter?

    Part of me is itching to get one (cos a shiny new bike makes everything better), but I’m really struggling justifying the cost. My Banshee is a brilliant bike which does everything I want, apart from persuading me out of the door for a long hard winter ride!

    Please help me decide, one way or the other. Thanks!

    colp
    Full Member

    Yes.

    Ebikes are ace
    You’ll possibly get fitter as you’ll ride more (I did)
    All lifts in Austria take them
    Ebikes blast through slop
    You’ll never ride the Banshee again

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    What he said.

    donkeydave
    Full Member

    Good timing to ask this question, I have just starting thinking this myself, due to age,fitness,mojo etc.

    After many, many hours sitting at the computer, I really like the look of the Specialized levo sl but its around 6k which I do not have but long term goal, sell all bikes for one and add money.

    Worried about weight and longevity.

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    Agree with Colp on everything apart from the not riding normal bikes again. Mine got me fit enough to enjoy riding them again, and have bought 3 new normal ones since my ebike (levo), can’t see me going totally over to ebikes.

    Tracey
    Full Member

    Yes to them all, cant comment on the roof rack.
    Had a Turbo Levo since 2017, I think its also improved my riding.
    Took both bikes on our last trip and enjoyed them both.

    richardthird
    Full Member

    So many of them seem to need warranty work .. which can take forever. That puts me off even more than the entry price tbh (especially if you’ve sold everything else to pay for it)

    With the high prices and prevalence of interest free credit I fear it’s a perpetual cycle akin to a PCP car rental.

    GeForceJunky
    Full Member

    3 years in, I’m fitter than ever, had to blast off a ton of mud from my ride earlier, lift assisted riding in the Alps is ace and my Banshee hasn’t been ridden in ages. Do it, I highly recommend a Merida eOne-Sixty.

    doomanic
    Full Member

    Fitness – That’s up to you, ride it everywhere in Turbo then probably not, ride in Eco a lot (and ride more) then possibly.
    Riding your old bike – I never did. Hung onto it for a year before cutting my losses and getting rid.
    Slop – You’ll barely even notice it until the motor fails.
    Roof rack – Check the weight limit of your roof rack, the eBike may well exceed it. Also, do you really want to be lifting 24KG of muddy bike onto the roof after a ride?

    I’m a lot fitter now than when I bought my eBike, but that’s not solely down to the bike; I got off my arse and lost weight, went running and joined a gym. The incentive was to get longer rides out of the eBike, but it wasn’t the bike that did it.

    doomanic
    Full Member

    Warranty – make sure you’re friends with the dealer. Try and buy either locally (if your LBS is any good) or from one of the better dealers. Who they are will depend on the brand you go for and your location. For example; Berkshire Cycles have the best rep for Spesh, but that’s not much good to you if you’re in wild north.

    julians
    Free Member

    If I have an e-bike will I ever get back to my old fitness levels?

    Maybe, depends on you, you can be as lazy or energetic as you like

    – Would I ever ride my old (ie current) bike again – it’s a Banshee Prime which I love to bits, but as a 2015 model will it just seem too old-school? How hard is it switching between electric and “acoustic”?

    Whether you’ll use the old bike depends on you, I haven’t used mine much, but when I do, It’s fine, the normal bike feels slow and draggy for the first few hundred metres of hill

    – My winter rides often include BB-deep gloop and stream crossings – how do e-Bikes cope with this kind of thing?

    I think you want to keep the motor axle away from being fully submerged, but riding through mud and water is no problem.

    – Can an e-bike go on the lifts in the Alps? Or even on a car roof-rack carrier for that matter?

    Check your roof rack weight limits, and whether the clamp can go over the massive downtube on most e bikes. Also are you sure you can lift ~22kg onto the roof – I can’t, my ebike goes in the boot.

    oceanskipper
    Full Member

    I did a lot of research on motors before I bought mine and I opted for the Bosch system. The Shimano one is quieter but I have to say the Bosch is hardly noisy. The torque is what is great, stop on a hill and its a doddle to get going again and a recent software update has boosted it to 85Nm (the new Shimano EP8 matches this though but didn’t when I bought mine). Also the ability to link two batteries to it to increase the range seemed like a good idea but I only ever ride in Eco and the range on a full charge averages out at about 70 miles. It adjusts dynamically as you ride so if you pop it into Turbo it drops from 70 to 25! What I liked best about the Bosch system was the Cobi Hub which integrates with my phone and I just pop the phone on the mount and get GPS/satnav linked with Komoot, the ability to make/receive calls and listen to music if I want. I link it to a SENA helmet via Bluetooth. This appeals to me as I am a gadget nerd but if all you want to do is get some assistance pedalling then I would probably go for the Shimano.

    Oh and as far as fitness goes – I have lost a stone and a half since I got mine in March so it’s a game changer for people like me!

    martymac
    Full Member

    I ride my non ebikes more than i had for years before it, it got me out and about more so i got fitter. Not drastically, but, you know, every little helps eh.
    They are ace,
    Haven’t used a ski lift, so dunno
    Have had mine on the roof carrier no problem, but it was a fair lift eh.
    I avoid mega slop on all my bikes.
    I now have limited mobility in one ankle due an industrial accident so when i get trouble from that the ebike comes out.
    I spent 4k on mine, (that was a lot at the time) it’s worth it though.

    konanige
    Full Member

    I know its dear but I was in same position so plumped for the 0% on the Levo SL. Its great, just like having new knees and some slightly stronger legs, its not as powerful as the full fat bikes but I didn’t want that. I’ve got fitter, I ride my clockwork bikes still, I can but it on roof rack cos it don’t weigh 25kgs, and the Mahle motor is IP58 rated and I have submerged it on several occasions without issue.

    iainc
    Full Member

    ^^^^ plus one, can’t fault my Levo SL. I have a towbar rack anyway. Yes, it will break, but I have local dealer support for warranty work.

    Pz_Steve
    Full Member

    Wow – thanks for the replies and the encouragement. Looks like it’s a big “Yes” from the STW massive!!

    Off to do loads more research as to which bike (although I have a clear favourite already), then here’s to a winter filled with riding.

    Thanks everyone. Steve

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Aye, my next bike will be an ebike, bloody love them. Had a shot on my mates focus jam and another mates drifter tonight, it’s pish getting back on your own bike! 😂

    gribble
    Free Member

    Pz – I’ve had these dark thoughts too. Can not get them to go away. I think what has sealed it is the combination of local steep trails and mud.

    I like the Whyte 160mm e-bikes – seem good value. But I still don’t have the required £5k…

    julians
    Free Member

    Good luck finding the bike you want in stock somewhere without a 3-6month lead time….

    weeksy
    Full Member

    Out of the Ebikes i’ve ridden the Whyte E160 actually rode the closest in feel to a real bike.

    The motor in ebikes though are just ridiculous, it just destroys everything… touch the pedals and WOOSH, gone… it’s a different ball-game.

    Still not for me, but they are getting more ‘normal’ in terms of feel anyway.

    julians
    Free Member

    The motor in ebikes though are just ridiculous, it just destroys everything… touch the pedals and WOOSH, gone… it’s a different ball-game.

    I think it varies across different motor manufacturers, and the mode the motor is in. With the bosch gen 4 in eco mode, its like you but (quite a lot) fitter, in turbo mode it can be a bit much on twisty singletrack and you can end up overshooting corners etc. Turbo mode suits a (normally) long slog up a wide straight fireroad . You do get used to the extra power though.

    The current motor cutout speed limit (15.5mph) is too low IMO if you do a lot of flat fast stuff , but its fine for winch and plummet type riding.

    It is a different ball game though.if you ride in a group, you really all need to be on ebikes to get the best out of them, If you’re the only one on an ebike, it feels really slow going at normal bike pace, and you get much less of a work out (unless you turn the motor off), but if you’re all on ebikes, then you can get nearly as much of a work out as if you were on a normal bike, you’re just going much much faster/further

    escrs
    Free Member

    I’m on my 3rd ebike as in many years (all spesh Levo & Kenevo)

    Also have friends with Bosch and Shimano powered e bikes along with friends who own/work for bikes shops that deal mainly in ebikes

    Excellent warranty and a great dealer is very important when it comes to e bikes as they all suffer from some issues at some point

    You hear some horror stories of dealers taking weeks to fix an issue or say they cant get the part when its a 30 min fix and the manufacturer actually has the part in stock

    Other dealers like Chris the Levo king @Berkshire cycles are the best out there, same day repairs including motor swaps whilst you wait, if no motors in stock he will pop along to Spesh HQ and pick some up or worst case take one out of a display bike if need be

    Join a few Facebook groups for the bike you want and chat to the members and find the best dealer nearest to you, mine is Chris @Berkshire cycles which is an hour’s drive, he has people make 6-8 hour round trips to buy from him (you can save upto 1k on a Levo Expert over RRP) and ave warranty work done when they have been let down by their local dealer

    z1ppy
    Free Member

    So many of them seem to need warranty work .. which can take forever.

    I think your mistaking, an explosion in sales, unprepared bike shops, shortages of spares due to Covid, & mail order sales, for this impression. I always recommend buying locally, as simply when they do go properly wrong, you are not going to fix a motor or broken cable yourself like a mech. My e-bike took a whole 3 weeks to replace my motor in the midst of the initial Covid lock down, simply due to parts being difficult to get hold off with everyone shut down. I got was slightly frustrated, being furloughed in nice weather, but the wait was totally understandable. Every other visit (one for me & the same for my friends to get a known issue fixed) has been in & out. Conversely my 1st mail order e-bike took 9 weeks to be replaced. Having reasonable access to a well setup e-bike specialist is recommended, but if you buy mail order you can’t expect warranty work to next day can you, even for manual bikes?

    lightfighter762
    Full Member

    I have a banshee rune v3 and an ebike. Any really steep terrain I am on the Rune V3. Just on ride feel and descending performance in steep terrain. Do not think it climbs too bad.
    Ebike I use for long trips into the hills once a week. Go far explore etc. My ebike could replace my rune as it has similar geo/travel etc but I like having my enduro sled around. I make sure I do one big climb and downhill on it once a week at least for maintenance. So ride twice a week minimum. Mix it up.

    argee
    Full Member

    Love my ebike, but it’s not a direct replacement for the normal bike, they can both get ridden, just don’t rate them against each other, they’re different tools for different jobs, you start looking at the normal bike to do 30 milers and 5000ft climbing and you’ll be wishing for the ebike halfway through, but you pick the normal bike for what it does better, then you’ll enjoy it more.

    Warranty wise, i had a nightmare earlier this year with a cube ebike, 3 months of chasing and was given a refund, that made me choose local purchase, so bought a giant reign ebike, i’ve absolutely thrashed it in winter slop, almost seeing what it can take to break it, and it’s not missed a beat, been pleasantly surprised by the way its taken the worst muddy conditions i’ve seen and keeps going, yes writing this is the kiss of death, but the bikeshop is less than 5 miles away and i still have the normal bike!

    deanfbm
    Free Member

    Another one who sees the emtb experience as different to a normal bike experience, dont see one as a replacement for the other.

    When I did have to free up some money, the emtb got sold.

    On the fitness side, I think the emtb was good for strength in terms of handling, but did lose out on grinding it out pedalling fitness, that was predominantly using it in eco too since even trail was more support than I wanted.

    Do I want another emtb? yes. Brilliant in winter for the slop, you actually get some trails in.

    iamtheresurrection
    Full Member

    If I could only have one bike, it wouldn’t have a motor, but I like having both. For me, riding an ebike when everybody else is on a normal bike is a joyless (and cold) experience.

    I rode Tuesday and Wednesday, same place, similar routes. It took 1hr45 on the ebike and 2hr40 yesterday, for two miles less.

    Average heart rate was exactly the same both rides (154) but I had a higher max on the ebike (189 vs 182). Ebikes make the riding as easy or hard as you want it to be. Calling it cheating is completely missing the point.

    Game changer for some people though. One of the guys I rode with on Tuesday had two replacement knees. He simply wouldn’t be able to put the power through a non-ebike.

    argee
    Full Member

    As above, ebikes never cheating, just doing more miles, or faster rides, so good for distance or time limits, this time of year is just as annoying on an ebike though, for all the modes, in real slop power just means spinning, or sliding sideways, the additional weight also means less control on downs that are slippy, so in some areas you gain skills from an ebike.

    After a ride i do feel beat up though, upper body more than usual and legs are pretty much gone as i’m out until the battery goes, eeking out on eco as much as possible, after 6 hours of winter riding it’s just as hard as the normal bike for 3!

    iainc
    Full Member

    I have 4 bikes, 2 are ebikes, 2 aren’t. They all get used regularly.

    granny_ring
    Full Member

    OP, it could be me writing your opening statement…..apart from my present bike/s.
    I’ll have a proper read up later, pretty sure I can’t justify the spends is the only thing on my mind..

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    When I get one it’ll be my only MTB, my days of multi bikes are long gone. Every one of my riding buddies who got ebikes all said they were keeping their other MTBs, none of them ride anything other than their ebikes.

    They’re all into the gravity stuff, I reckon that’s the riding that suits ebikes most, probably why they only ebike now.

    FOG
    Full Member

    Interesting Nobeer , I definitely still ride my ‘normal’ bikes. In fact I think riding the ebike has encouraged me to ride the others more. Obviously lockdown meant I had more opportunity to get out but I definitely don’t ride e to the exclusion of others.
    Someone else mentioned riding in groups needing everyone to be on ebikes. I find it great to go out with my (grown up) kids and not having to have them wait for me every hundred yards. I have always been the slowest in my peer group, the pensioner peloton, so it makes a nice change to get to the top first for a change.

    z1ppy
    Free Member

    pretty sure I can’t justify the spends is the only thing on my mind..

    I know not everyone has loads of spare cash, but there e-bikes to be had new from £2500-£4000, which is not stupidly ridiculous money. Off the shelf add-on motors are available for a lot less, & 2nd hand Covid bargains are appearing now. I spent more than £4K on my last manual bike, and don’t have a rocket scientist job, if you want it enough you will afford it.

    & Rob from E-mtb forums has a video out (not watched it yet) about a Chinese frame/motor he bought direct from china, for not a lot of cash. Even if that turns out to be not great, it a sign of things to come. I’m wonder how long before Bafang sell a motor with mounts, that fit into the other larger manufacturer frame mountings?

    julians
    Free Member

    Rob from E-mtb forums has a video out (not watched it yet) about a Chinese frame/motor he bought direct from china, for not a lot of cash. Even if that turns out to be not great, it a sign of things to come

    I’ve been following that build on his forum, it was an interesting experiment, but It was just over £4k, you’d have to be mental to choose that no name frame, and fairly unknown motor and battery, along with the associated potential long term support issues of such a setup (no dealer network, no service centres etc) , and virtually non existant resale value over say a canyon spectralon for similar money.

    Now if it was a grand or two then it might be worth a punt, but at 4k,no chance.

    z1ppy
    Free Member

    What proportion of that is the frame/motor/battery? Like I say I haven’t yet watched it & am very aware of Rob constant need to put extremely expensive kit on bikes and wax lyrically about it. The Zeb fork is over kill, and you could knock £500 without trying too hard just with that. No doubt he put 12 or 13 speed on it, when 10 speed would do…
    You say buy a no name frame is mental, but ppl are happy to do it all the time on manual bikes, lot of threads about carbon frames from china. I have a set of chinese carbon rims that have been fine and didn’t cost me stupid money. To me it’s sign of things to come, might not be there just yet, but it’s coming

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Interesting Nobeer , I definitely still ride my ‘normal’ bikes.

    As I said, I think they are best suited to enduro winch and plummet type riding, and that’s the kind of riding I generally do.

    If you do ride other styles, longer xc rides, gravel etc, then another bike is a good idea.

    The only style of riding I love that the ebike isn’t suited to is big hike a bikes, just need to choose the hill a bit better, ie less carrying.

    julians
    Free Member

    What proportion of that is the frame/motor/battery?

    Frame, motor and battery was £1700,thats without a shock.

    It’s not the no name frame on its own that is a problem (although that is part of the problem) , its more the relatively unknown motor with unknown reliability and lack of service network to back it up.

    Each to their own and all that, but seems like madness to me.

    clubby
    Full Member

    Couldn’t have mine as an only MTB, although I do think I could have one as my only full suss. Currently considering the future of my 5010. In it’s favour it’s shorter travel and more playful than my eeb.
    Also, screw riding in eco all the time. Use the power otherwise why have one.

    twonks
    Full Member

    I’ve posted a couple of times about more or less the same subject and up until this morning I was deciding which bike to sell to fund a HT e-bike build using a Banfang or similar.

    Already have 90% of the kit for it apart from wheels and motor/battery etc but can’t justify yet another full bike so would likely sell another to make space.

    Trouble is, the full suss complete bikes like Levos etc get such good reviews nowadays that I wonder if instead I should just sell a bit more and buy a ‘propper’ one instead of messing about building one.

    Have always defended the human powered bikes but as I get older and E-mtbs get more usable I’m beginning to swing the other way.

    Not sure I’d take the risks that Rob over on the forum mentioned above has done. He’s got a good bike at the end for sure, but is it ‘that’ good taking into account the iffy warranty procedures and lack of performance in comparison with more mainstream bikes.

    mudfish
    Full Member

    The Kinesis Rise with a Fazua motor is an interesting option. Plenty of power assist.
    A really natural assist feel in all 3 (user adjustable) settings
    You can stand up the whole ride (I don’t sit at all generally) which is strange to do on, say a Levo.
    Nearly bought one after a demo but the hardtail was just too much for my ankles on proper rough trails.

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