Decent cheap class 1 ebike for someone with Spina bifida?

Kasey1

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I was wondering about getting a decent cheap ebike one for my brother who has Spina bifida. He is able to ride on the road and gravel trails okay but is unable to ride 90 percent of the trails I do. He would unlikely ever go more then 10-15MPH up or downhill since he cant stand up on the bike, It would just be nice to be able to take him on some easy single track trails.
 
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fos'l

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What is your budget and does he need full suspension (not for performance, but comfort)? Most full suspension OEM bikes are $2500+, but you can locate some NOS ones for less. If you have a bike that he's comfortable riding, a mid-drive conversion (BBS02 is what I'd recommend) plus battery could be as low as $800, and is very easy to convert. A hub-drive is cheaper, but FME provides a "clunkier" ride off road.
 

Harold

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Friend of mine with spina bifida can't ride any sort of upright bicycle at all, let alone e-anything. She has considered a recumbent trike or even a handcycle, but the expense of something like that has kept her away.

Frankly, if your brother cannot stand up on a bike, he's got no business on a mtb trail. Even on something extremely easy, I think you underestimate how important of a skill something simple like standing up really is for an upright bike.
 

Kasey1

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Thank you for your responce, however I am in complete disagreement with you. Frankly my brother and anyone else for that matter can do anything they set their mind to, regardless of what other people perceive as their limitations! Dr's said my brother would never walk, yet with a lot of physical therapy he started walking at three and started riding a bike at 5. True he could not stand and ride but that did not stop him from racing me, or from going off a jump as tall as he was when he was seven. This of course did not end well since he could not stand, but despite a trip to the hospital it is one of his favorite stories. He now splits time between walking and being in a wheel chair since he is a little overweight but started cycling to lose weight so he can walk better and go skydiving. It's true this would take a very skilled instructor and even under good conditions would have a good chance of him ending up in a hospital, but that is certainly no reason not to do it! We also went on a 10 mile ride on gravel last month he crashed in the first 30 seconds but he managed after that. I see no reason he should be limited to cement and boring fire roads because he "has no buisness on MTB trails"! That being said do you know of any good cheap class 1 ebikes?
 

fos'l

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Again, how cheap? The least expensive e-MTB's (check Amazon) are about $600 and not very competent, but if you have that as a maximum, maybe better than nothing. The best option IMO for a really inexpensive bike would be a small front or rear hub motor and small battery on a bike of your choosing (if necessary, from craigslist). Look at clean Republic, Leeds, and ebikeling (will need to buy a battery separately for ebikeling AFAIK). The best complete low-price e-bike that I'm aware of is a Sondors, fat tire, but it's rigid.
 

Kasey1

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$600 would be a good start, thank you. I want to make sure it's pedal assist only. It probably would be ideal to convert the old trek fuel ex 6 I have for him so a conversion kit would be ideal!
 

WoodlandHills

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If your donor bike has a 68mm bottom bracket, get a 52v BBS02 from Luna and as much battery as you can afford.

If you are starting from scratch get a $399 Bikes Direct singlespeed fatbike and put on a 100mm BBSHD as per Karl's recipe at Electricbike-Blog.com and as much battery as you can afford. If it works out you can re-use the spokes and lace in a Nexus3 IGH.

The downside to these methods is that you would normally have to limit top speed to 20mph by changing the gearing in order to be Class 1 compliant. However, in your friends case it may not be necessary to be strictly Class 1 legal since he will come under the ADA.
 

Kasey1

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Would it be possible to get a motor that is powerful enough for a 240lbs person but has the pedal assist shut off after 5-10mph? My brother wants to make sure he is doing most of the work and just needs the pedal assist for longer/steeper climbs.
 

Kasey1

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Would it be possible to get a motor that is powerful enough for a 240lbs person but has the pedal assist shut off after 5-10mph? My brother wants to make sure he is doing most of the work and just needs the pedal assist for longer/steeper climbs.
 

WoodlandHills

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On a Bafang mid-drive the level of assist can be set to whatever percent you want. If your brother wants to pedal, set the assist at the level he is comfortable and allow the motor to make up what input he cannot. This will change according to the terrain so he will have to tap the assist button up or down to keep from slowing or overrunning his companion.
 
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