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Too many bad customer service reviews for Bikes Direct for me to risk almost $4K with them, especially on something like an eBike.

I emailed them with a question about it, and lets just say the response was not impressive. They aren't engineers, they really aren't bike people either, they just spec bikes to Chinese manufacturers and they get what they are sent.
 

· newfydog
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301 Posts
Well, I'll let you know soon. I have tracking numbers on two of them, arriving Monday.

As far a Motobecane goes, we have seven of them here, all great bikes. I was road and mtb racer and bike shop mechanic and have yet to see a bad bike from them. I broke a frame once and they sent a new one right out. I was waiting for them to come up with an eBike before we got them. Big investment, so I hope it goes well.
 

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Well, I'll let you know soon. I have tracking numbers on two of them, arriving Monday.

As far a Motobecane goes, we have seven of them here, all great bikes. I was road and mtb racer and bike shop mechanic and have yet to see a bad bike from them. I broke a frame once and they sent a new one right out. I was waiting for them to come up with an eBike before we got them. Big investment, so I hope it goes well.
Keep us in the loop. I'm especially interested in how it climbs.

I hope they have a US controller with a 20MPH top speed rather than the 25 KM/hr limit they are advertising.
 

· Trail Ninja
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6,692 Posts
I'm kind of contemplating getting an e-bike and this is one that interests me.

I didn't have a car back in the day and used my bike as my main form of transportation and exploration. A couple run ins with cars, and pressure from my folks to get a car and conform to the rest of society, and those days ended. I look back at the photos and thought things were better then...

Here's what it's like on one of my exploration trips to discover trails, heading towards the hills/mtns South of my house, with the aim to reach the top and the other side:

Road Bicycle handlebar Bicycle Cloud Infrastructure


Road Land vehicle Bicycle handlebar Vehicle Infrastructure


Cloud Soil Overhead power line Bicycle handlebar Meteorological phenomenon


Road Branch Cloud Road surface Infrastructure


Bicycle handlebar Bicycle Bicycle accessory Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle part


Bicycle handlebar Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle part Bicycle Bicycle stem


Mountainous landforms Bicycle handlebar Bicycle accessory Bicycle Hill


Bicycle handlebar Mountainous landforms Bicycle accessory Highland Bicycle


Road Plant community Soil Trail Dirt road


I generally ride in the other direction now, from doorstep to trailhead, since it has a much more bike friendly route. It results in a 40 mile round trip, which I find more than doable, but I definitely feel it on the way back, the way my core gets exhausted and can't hold up my upper body weight and my saddle starts to feel not so comfy. The trails are better groomed though:

Vegetation Nature Natural environment Natural landscape Plant community


Sad cause there's some noteworthy trails in all directions from me. I can ride Lake Elsinore area, Gwin's hometown, if I ride 15 miles West. I can ride Murrieta, where Gwin did his last promo video (desert part), going 15 miles South. I can ride Hemet (Simpson Park), if I ride 15 miles East. I typically just go 15 miles North and ride Riverside trails, at Sycamore Canyon. I'm familiar with the trail builders at Simpson and Murrieta, and I've done trail work days at Sycamore.

I kind of see particular emtb as a possible solution. There's some roads I can make work if I ride on the dirt to right, not worrying about the effect that rolling resistance has on my endurance, with motor assistance. It made me look up all the local laws and see that ebikes, even ones considered "low power ped-elecs" (under 300W) are considered to not be allowed on dirt trails unless permitted by local authorities. The laws in Cali only classify these class I for bike path use, but I know that they're okay at least for where I regularly ride now. I will definitely learn more now that I've at least cracked the door open to the idea.

That I typically join these guys for group rides on a regular basis. Think I'd keep a regular bike around until ebikes are more socially acceptable.

Wheel Tire Bicycle wheel Bicycle frame Mode of transport


I think I've been steadily dropping miles... think I need something to change that.

Blue Colorfulness Text White Line


Oh, found my old strava account in my other browser. Here's the more recent stuff, doing the same thing almost every week seems to be getting to me. That and I'm not much of a night rider.

Blue Colorfulness Green Text White


Bike tax:

Bicycle tire Wheel Tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel


Too long, didn't read? Basically, I had a "game" where I'd look to the horizon and decide I want to go there. I didn't realize the value of the experience then, with it seemingly not paying off due to roads that weren't bike friendly and not knowing where the nice trails are, but I learned a lot about the surrounding area. I'd like to start again, doorstep to trail, making all the trails I know of, within 15+ miles, more accessible. Is an emtb like this one something that will help enable me? It's not going to replace a regular bike; it'll just be used to break down mental blocks. I'm most definitely a more casual rider now, no longer trying to test my skills trying to hang with experts in Enduro races.
 

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I'd recommend a rigid fork, a set of road wheels and @ 35 - 45mm tires to turn that into a flat bar gravel bike, which is what I did with an old 26" tire hardtail. It's a great adventure bike for just that sort of riding.
 

· Trail Ninja
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6,692 Posts
Well, I'm now in on this too. I put in my order. Interested in the ownership experience, so I will be focusing mostly on that, and not comparisons to regular bikes. Just going to treat it as a unique 2-wheeled tool, not a typical mtb, a toy made for fun, nor a motor vehicle.

Time to clear out some space for it.

Will be doing a really detailed inspection on it to begin with. Mostly because I want to learn everything about ebikes. My growing curiosity was getting too big for me to keep it contained.
 

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This is my BD MB eAnyRoad bike I put together last year and now have a couple of thousand miles on it.

Bicycle tire Mountainous landforms Bicycle wheel rim Highland Bicycle wheel


No complaints about the bike but I am able to do my own tech. For the type of terrain that is posted above I prefer more watts and a hub drive. BB drives don't feel right to me and mess with my preferred cadence for road type riding. I suppose they work better on an mtb type bike for trail work but that's not my jam.
 

· Trail Ninja
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6,692 Posts
One thing that's definitely a downside is needing to help those without strong upper bodies lift the bike over obstacles they cannot ride. 50 lbs is a surprisingly handful, when you gotta consider that you not only have to lift, but also move it a good lateral distance. I will test this, to see how conveniently the weight is balanced. While I don't plan on transporting an ebike by motor vehicle, I imagine it to be a back strainer to load it on a pickup or roof.

The 3 mph walk assist is an interesting feature. I know that some note how difficult it is to get restarted in the middle of a steep climb on certain ebikes. I wonder how natural it would be to fix being stalled out on a climb, underestimating things like your own fitness, gearing, amount of boost, traction and handling, and the technical difficulty of the climb (ex. bumps, curves, ruts). They typically state that there's hardly any boost at low cadence, compared to high cadence, and I'm a masher*. I like my singlespeed bikes.

I don't know much about ebikes either. It will be pretty much a fresh experiment, as much as it's a fresh experience. I just merely opened up, mainly since it seemed a way to get away from the expensive carbon weight weenie game and the luxury high end mtb game (I got spoiled). Get speed + durability, +more with ebike, but at what trade-offs? It's time to find out. I don't expect suspension to be refined anything like Yeti's, nor geo to be progressive like Whyte's. This is merely the only option that I could afford that appealed to me. The '18 Scott eGenius would be one I'd pick if I could afford it. I picked the 46cm (18.1") model, despite only being only 5'7", since I plan on riding it at a higher average speed than my current normal bikes (over 11 mph), and figure a longer wheelbase will aid in comfort on top of stability. I'm not expecting it to rocket up climbs at its speed cut-off (20mph), like the haters seem to think. It's only 250W, compared to my average 175W output and my 450+W bursts; if that's enough to turn a 10d upslope into almost flat ground, I'd be thrilled, but trying to keep things realistic.

I got a rack from cyclingdealusa that I plan on using to park/store it, so it's not hanging or leaning on something. It's one that mostly holds the tire, that you roll the wheel into, and adjust the upright down to touch the tire.

I do use GPS now, and Strava, as you know from my post above. I also know that Strava has an "ebike" activity type. Looks like it will have its own segments, so I will need to make new segments if I want to see performance over a particular section.
 

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It'll be interesting to see your analysis. Torque-sensor systems have a big advantage off road IMO since as long as there's pressure on the pedals, the motor keeps assisting. I've found in tight switchbacks, where I need to "wrestle" the bike around or similar difficult "feature", these bikes are much easier to ride than RPM-only assist.
 

· newfydog
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301 Posts
They are here. Mine went together in snap. Battery charging, but I took it out a bit and WOW!

Great bike, good components and tires, everything in tune. 47.9 lbs with pedals, feels lighter.

Assist is amazingly smooth, quiet and powerful. Agree the eco to trail step is small, while boost shoots the bike with a big kick. The eco is substantial power however, so the range will be good.

Got to put Mrs. Newfy's bike together and head out for a real ride.
 

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They are here. Mine went together in snap. Battery charging, but I took it out a bit and WOW!

Great bike, good components and tires, everything in tune. 47.9 lbs with pedals, feels lighter.

Assist is amazingly smooth, quiet and powerful. Agree the eco to trail step is small, while boost shoots the bike with a big kick. The eco is substantial power however, so the range will be good.

Got to put Mrs. Newfy's bike together and head out for a real ride.
Just curious, did you verify that the power doesn't cut out at 25km/hr?
 

· newfydog
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301 Posts
Ok, I had a busy day, put two bikes together, supervised re-doing the pavers in the drive, bought a car, paddled up to see if the snow and cold brought out the spawning whitefish, and still got in a very few minutes of riding.

The 47.9 lb bike was the 46 cm. Actually I weighed it twice, 47.5 and 48.3. SPD pedals, WTB tru-v saddle.

I went up a steep switchback climb which is a 50-50 deal for me on a regular bike and blasted up it so easily I had to cut the power back. It is interesting how the assist is very well tied to your input torque. If you get out of the saddle and hammer even in the lowest setting the power ramps up to match. It is so quiet and well integrated to your pedalling that it really is like actually being in animal form rather than riding a motorized bike.

I was impressed with the tune---I only re-aligned the rear brake (both bikes). Even the tire pressure was spot on!.

I also managed to flip up a log and bend the **** out of the rear derailleur. It still shifted pretty well, and I was able to get it bent back by taking it apart and putting the cage plates in a vice. Hanger undamaged. Arrggh!

The integrated cyclometer and power indicator works nicely, and yes, the power cuts of at 20 mph (32kph). The box had been opened and the cyclometer reads in MPH. I wonder if they didn't open them up and re-program them all here.

I really like the 2.8" tires. Wheels are true. The only disappointment I can come up with is the seatpost is not a nice Ritchey like many of my Motos, it is a generic thing, and I had to saw it down to get a reasonable range in the 38 cm bike.

I'm tied up tomorrow, but will get in a good ride Wednesday. 'Til then, I will once again say, WOW, this thing looks great.
 
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