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Adam Doppelt
about 4 years ago • Seattle

Anybody have an ebike recommendation?

Anybody have an ebike recommendation? The store in Pioneer Square is having a 20% off sale and I'm thinking of taking the plunge. A friend of mine strongly recommended a Rad Power Bike. "Good value and a great way to get started"
15 replies
over 3 years ago
I have a focus jarifa, but I would pay less attention to the bike and more attention to the drive train. You have two drive train choices:

1) Hub drive where the motor is in the wheel. These tend to be less expensive and made in china. Best example is Rad. Almost all of the kickstarter bikes are hub drive. So are the Lime and Jump bikes. These are generally half the price of the other kind

2) mid-drive where the motor powers the pedal crank. This is what I have. Brands tend to be German or Japanese (Bosch or Yamaha). These are more expensive, but if you get a flat tire, you can fix it yourself.

There's more info on this at Seattle Electric Bike, where I purchased from Stefan (the shop on 8th NW).

Now that I'm commuting to Redmond and have put 3K miles on my bike in one year, I wish I had sprung for an even nicer model... One that goes faster, has more battery, integrated lights...
about 4 years ago
Rad is the hot brand in town. I've been riding a Faraday since 2014 and am incredibly pro e-biking (ask Patrick O'Donnell); it will literally change your commuting life. I can't strongly recommend my actual Faraday, though, as the company is quietly sunsetting while discounting the bikes heavily, and repairs will get trickier as non-standard parts dry up. Pains me to write that.

My most recent test drive of a top-of-the-line Trek Super Commuter+ 8 ( really impressed me. It uses the Bosch mid-drive Adam mentioned above.

I swear you'll amortize whatever bike you buy down to less than a $1/mile quickly.
about 4 years ago
I own a super 73 S1:

It's basically an electric moped disguised as a bike. Lots of power and range, including a thumb throttle so you don't have to pedal. Honestly the peddle and chain are just for show since it's a single gear and if the battery runs out, you have a 60lb single speed. All that said, it's great if you aren't looking for an assisted e-bike and instead just want to cruise to your destination and be able to use bike lanes/paths.

I was in Amsterdam last year and visited the VanMoof shop: And they have some beautifully designed assisted e-bikes. Much more like a traditional bike with the effortless peddling of e-assist. My sister in law has one and highly recommends it as well, though it took her a while to get delivery.
about 4 years ago
Adam, would you like to purchase my Faraday? I simply don't ride it enough (my commute and kid pick-up schedules don't mesh well for that.) I love the bike. It's in great shape. Even has a granny basket on the back. Make me an offer! Add a purchase button here and you count it towards fresh chalk revenue :) WIN WIN.
about 4 years ago
I've been really happy with the two Blixbikes I have. The Aveny and the Sol. I prefer the Sol because of the cruiser format and my height, but both are really great.
about 4 years ago
Joe Heitzeberg Could the granny basket hold a 13lb dog?
about 4 years ago
about 4 years ago
Liz Pearce yeah, most likely!! :)
about 4 years ago
Omar Shahine That thing looks awesome! I probably wouldn't fold up the bike after riding in Seattle weather... Have you used your GoCycle for commuting?

I had no idea so many of my friends were using ebikes! This is really making me think I should take the plunge. Especially interested in people who are commuting on our rough, rainy streets.

In this thread "faraday is sunsetting". Also in this thread "buy my faraday" :)
about 4 years ago
Another possibility, not local, is entrepreneur Hong Quan -- he's building -- can read about their newest bike on Fast Company
about 4 years ago
I have a Brompton electric. Not cheap but happy so far and a great value being foldable. Bring it to the office and put it under your desk. In case of problems (heavy rain, flat tire) you can easily get it into a bus or inside the trunk of an uber/lift. Try if beforehand because being smaller tires it is a bit twitchy. Two dealers in Seattle: Montlake Bicycle Shop and Electric Lady Bicycle Shop.
about 4 years ago
Adam Doppelt thx. It's a really cool bike. I don't fold it up unless I am putting it away the winter. I have not yet used it for commuting. I got it cause it's pretty light for an e-bike and has a really cool design and features. I first test road it at the e-bike show in Seattle and then later at a dealer too. I ordered it online and it was delivered in a box and I unfolded it and was in business.
about 4 years ago
Spring is in the air and I bought a bike this week! Time to close the loop on this one...

I researched my options based on the feedback in this thread. I test rode half a dozen bikes at Seattle E-Bike and Seattle Electric Bike. I also took a Rad Power Bike for a spin at their store in Ballard. Adam Tratt had some great tips too.

There are a ton of bikes out there trying to tap into the increasing demand. After some experimentation I figured I wanted:

- traditional diamond bike frame
- mid-drive motor
- either a Bosch or Shimano motor (those two are taking over the market)
- a lighter bike (50lbs, not 70lbs)
- integrated lights for safety

In essence I want a commuter bike that looks and handles like my regular bike. There are a handful of models that match those requirements. The only one sold locally seems to be the Yamaha Cross, which I enjoyed but ultimately I wanted a more standard motor & battery.

I bought an OHM ebike for $3k:

They are made in Vancouver and I had them ship directly to the Seattle E-Bike store in Pioneer Square for assembly.

It took a couple of days to arrive and a few hours for them to put it together. Assembly was $100. They hadn't seen an OHM before and the bike mechanic didn't like the bike or the rudimentary assembly instructions. "I've assembled a lot of bikes and this one is really weird..." One part was damaged in shipping - the battery cover. The mechanic was able to work around the problem while we await a (free) replacement part from Vancouver.

Having a pro assemble the bike was definitely the right call. It took half a day to assemble, and when they figured out one part was busted it was clearly not our fault. Thanks Alex!

I rode the bike for the first time yesterday, the 6 mile route from Pioneer Square uphill to Magnolia. The OHM has plenty of power and riding was fun. I passed a few people, which is very satisfying after years of mostly being passed. Biking up Magnolia involves a 20% grade and I never cracked a proper sweat. I can definitely picture riding daily, or perhaps alternating with my regular bike if I want more exercise.

Super happy so far. Thanks all!
over 3 years ago
Nice! Enjoy but stay safe wrt all the distracted drivers out there
over 3 years ago
Ah I wish I saw this thread earlier, I too have done a ton of research and RAD bikes are on my short list because their RadWagon is a great deal for even non-electric bike.

However I have leaning more towards Bafang BBSHD drive units and mid-drive in General; so for that I have been eyeing DIY via (since I have a few extra bikes floating around) or even one of their turnkey kits.

However since my commute puts me on very busy roads now, if the cars don't kill me, sucking their stuck in traffic idling exhaust may put a damper on my lungs in the long run. So for now I surround myself with a metal cage and saving the biking for fun.
over 3 years ago