ebike buying budget different than reg bike budget?


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11:55 AM
Aug 12, 2020
I read an article about how the trade-ins for a Tesla Model 3 were in a whole lower price range: small economy cars like the Civic and Prius, to modest premium cars like the Accord, up to cars in the same price range like the BMW 3 series. This got me to ponder...

People use to balk at the price of carbon super bikes, saying they can buy a motor vehicle for that price. Well, now you can... are you willing to pay an upcharge for an ebike, or possibly take a quality hit to keep things similar to what you're willing to pay?

Mainstream FS bikes start at around $3000 (Spectral AL 7.0 is a bit of an anomaly at 2500), while the budget/entry level FS bikes start at around $1500 (Marin Hawk Hill 2). I seem to shop the 3500-6500 range for carbon FS, but never bought new (e.g. getting a used 6600 MSRP bike for 3000). Legit trail-worthy emtbs seem to start at around 3500 (Motobecane) and I consider the Pivot Shuttle to be at the top at $10k.

Just curious if the trend to pay more is similar. Anyone get a budget-conscious level emtb to try it out and is looking to upgrade to a newer higher spec'd version that costs more than they ever spent on a mtn bike before?
Tesla has a terrible reliability record.

When someone has given up on their expensive cause, Don’t be first in line to take it up.

Don't know much about cars and Tesla, but I know mtn bikes have pretty poor reliability. What about ebike reliability? I heard that Levos with Brose 1.2e motors are much less desirable than ones with 1.3 motors. Not sure what the details are, but worth paying more for? Looking forward to durable products, and the ebike class interests me as it's defined differently to a moped and motorized cycle, not needing a motorcycle license nor registration like a Yamaha Zuma or whatever. I like the idea of an emtb as the only bike on pavement, and select offroad adventures, paired with my current mtb for where the emtb isn't welcome.
You're generally paying a $1000-$1500 premium over a comparable mtb for the motor and battery.

With it being so early in the development cycle with emtbs, there's definitely a sense of chasing the latest and greatest with motors, battery capacity and interface. Unlike with mtbs, where the changes from model year to model year are cosmetic, or very incremental, there are substantial improvements to power systems in 2019 vs earlier years. I think the drop off in value in used or older emtbs will be greater for that reason and the fact that motors and battery systems are not really backwards compatable in OEM emtbs. That means you should be able to get good deals on 2018 models though....
Harryman that is pretty good information.

Motor and battery technology are not changing all that rapidly but integration, building and application are changing rapidly. Right now who built it matters most.
Agreed and Haibike would be a place to look for discounts IMO with them moving to an all new motor brand that they are working closely with (TQ I think it is) so if there are any older models with the Brose or Yamaha motors still available I'd think the prices of them would be advantageous for the buyer.

For the OP, I bought a Focus Jam2 at $6500 so there isn't too much room to move up to a higher end model, my bike has the same motor and shift system as the Pivot but isn't carbon nor was the suspension up to the same standard. I've upgraded the suspension by spending $1000 (DVO Topaz shock and Avalanche rework on my fork) and am very happy with the results. While all the new tech looks great I don't have a desire (yet!) to upgrade or change bikes but Harryman raised a great point about backwards compatibility as time goes on. Who knows how long a replacement battery might be available for your current bike, it could be an issue for my Focus since it uses a non-standard model instead of the normal Shimano one (I believe the Pivot also uses a custom battery??).
I’ve been fortunate and never had an issue with any Levo’s and now my Focus. Actually my Turbo S has to have a new controller, I think it’s a ‘15 model. Zinfan, glad to hear your suspension is working out for you. I’ve probably got 8500 in my Focus. Still cheaper than my moto hobby though.
I didn't include the $500 I spent on the external battery which I believe is essential for those longer rides so I'm inching closer to your total but I'm not sure what else I'd change on the bike aside from moving to the new E7000 left hand mode shift module which would make fitting the dropper post lever much easier. Oh and I'll probably change out the post with a Bike Yoke model as well. Oh and ........ it never ends but most of any other changes wouldn't be any different than changes on a standard mtb I own.

One expense that does add up is the increased tire usage as I'm riding so many more miles now albeit some of that on the road to the trail head. 2.8+ tires are pretty expensive and I got some good life out of the Maxxis Recon that came with the bike but I've put on a WTB tire which cost $70 vs the $100+ for any Maxxis 2.8+. The WTB seems to be wearing pretty fast so I'm deciding which way to go next. While I like the 27.5+ wheels I think I'd have more and cheaper options in the 29 size.
Yeah, tires are getting stupid $. I used the e6000 switch on the right side. Works great. Mainly in eco mode and trail. I don’t do any road riding though. Did you go 150mm in the front? I’m pleased thus far with it. It’s 6lbs lighter than my specialized without the extra battery. Solid package.
No change in travel up front, still running 140mm and I'm happy with it.
I can report on the Brose 1.2 vs 1.3, since I own both bikes. In terms of reliability I only had one minor incident with the 1.2 and none with the 1.3. On one tough trail, the 1.2 motor decided to continue providing assistance while I stopped pedaling.... A quick and strong use of the rear brake was enough to stop the bike and an a restart was all it took to get it back on the trail. Once done, i took it to the bike shop where they did a factory reset. Never happened again since.

The 1.2 has a lot less torque than the 1.3 and seems to like using more electricity than the 1.3.

Both bikes have over 1k Miles on them and are running great with getting 3-4 rides a week (100 to 120 miles a week lately).
Reviving this one due to looking at a Kenevo. Whats your take on these motors overall? Would a 1.3 motor and 503wh battery be worth almost a $2k upcharge over 1.2e and 460wh? Theres some suspension differences between the Expert and Comp but the motor and battery are way more expensive to change or upgrade if theres a big enough difference.