First time buyer!?!?

3DViking

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Hello, All! I'm planning to purchase my first bike in 2023, and my head is swimming with all of the options available.
I'm looking for a good small town commuter/grocery getter which can handle sometimes great but sometimes awful road conditions. Ninety percent of my rides will be short trips (less than five miles), but I would like to occasionally make runs to nearby towns (40-50 mile trips). I've ridden motorcycles in the past, so I'm pretty sure I will be comfortable with 4" tires. Also, I need the bike to handle 300 pounds or so in total weight.
I considered converting a standard bike with a kit, but that seemed to offer an even larger Pandora's box of options and issues, so for now, I will get a factory bike to get me started. Two bikes which have caught my eye are the Heybike Explore and the Lectric Xpremium. Very similar in many ways, but completely different in others. 26" single battery 750w hub drive vs. 20" dual battery 500w mid drive. ARGGHH! I really don't want to make a $2k mistake. Help! TIA
 
Some things to consider:

Riding posture (upright or forward leaning)
Step-thru or step over
Weight of bike
Transportability
Will you do maintenance yourself or take it to someone

You might want to think again about the 4" tires. I have no personal experience with this, but I have read numerous people say that pedaling a bike with 4" tires is a lot of work if it becomes necessary. Most people do not see a benefit of them.
 
Some things to consider:

Riding posture (upright or forward leaning)
Step-thru or step over
Weight of bike
Transportability
Will you do maintenance yourself or take it to someone

You might want to think again about the 4" tires. I have no personal experience with this, but I have read numerous people say that pedaling a bike with 4" tires is a lot of work if it becomes necessary. Most people do not see a benefit of them.
Thanks! I'm only considering step-thru models which can adjust to a slight forward lean. I am looking at larger bikes due to load requirements and my height (6'). My rides will all be from home and back, and I won't need to fold the bike to store it. I don't live close to any shops which will work on electric bikes, so I will be handling maintenance and repairs.
The Lectric model has dual batteries and a mid drive, but I'm concerned about the 20" tires and smaller 500w motor.
The Heybike has 26" tires and a 750w motor, but it's a hub drive with a single battery.
 
I have the LEctric xp 2.0 step thru and love it. I am 6'4" and ride comfortably.....the 2.0 has 3 inch tires.....easy to pedal and ride. I ride for exercise......PA 1 90% PA 2 a little. I ride many hills.....the 500w hub motor does fine. I wanted fold up so I could take camping. Good luck....lots of good ebikes out there.
 
Some things to consider:

Riding posture (upright or forward leaning)
Step-thru or step over
Weight of bike
Transportability
Will you do maintenance yourself or take it to someone

You might want to think again about the 4" tires. I have no personal experience with this, but I have read numerous people say that pedaling a bike with 4" tires is a lot of work if it becomes necessary. Most people do not see a benefit of them.
Agree with most of the items. Disagree on the benefit of 4" tires. The value of 4" tires depends on usage ... not just how you intend on using them, but how your biking habits will change when you get a powered bike.

I bought an Ocelot Pro. Prior to purchasing the bike, I had listed the 4" tires as a "con". I didn't think I'd need them in my urban setting. Little did I know how wrong I was! The 4" tires allow me to access trails and off-road conditions to get around choke points. Being used to cycling with regular tires, I had never considered such options - I just chose my routes to avoid the choke points. With my Ocelot Pro, I can power through hills and rough grassed slopes without a second thought. The 4" tires also work as shock absorbers. While not as good as a full suspension, the 4" tires help soften the blow of rough terrain. They are a great equalizer.
 
I assume you're buying online since you mentioned not having an ebike shop near you so customer support is a major issue. I had a nightmare of a time dealing with Rattan and have read numerous similar stories about other brands. They may have a U.S. address but it may be just a warehouse and customer support is actually in China. I would check trustpilot.com
I've borrowed several friends ebikes for extended periods of time, 7 days plus, and have test driven 12+ more & for your weight requirements I like the Rad runner plus https://www.radpowerbikes.com/products/radrunner-plus-electric-utility-bike. My friends arrived damaged and Rad replaced it within a week and he has 1k+ miles on it with no issues. The new Rad Trike looks cool too, though I haven't ridden one. My favorite out of the bunch was the Ariel Grizzly https://arielrider.com/products/grizzly. The most comfortable, fun ebike I've ridden. I came up with excuses for 2 weeks before he got it back from me! Lectric, Rattan, Heybike, Engwe...and all the other ebikes I tried in that price range were all pretty much the same imo. I would go with 4" tires for sure though. The difference is night and day imo but that seems to be an individual preference. I hadn't ridden a bike in 25+yrs and I like the extra stability of the fat tires plus changing the psi makes them easier to ride on different road/trail conditions. The down side is that they're a b**ch to pedal if you ever get stuck in that position.
If you're unable to get somewhere to test ride some alot of brands offer a trial period of 7-14 days but, again, make sure their customer support is legit. Another option might be Amazon. I know they've started carrying more brands and theyre prob easier to deal with regarding returns than a Chinese company. Good Luck!
 
Some things to consider:

Riding posture (upright or forward leaning)
Step-thru or step over
Weight of bike
Transportability
Will you do maintenance yourself or take it to someone

You might want to think again about the 4" tires. I have no personal experience with this, but I have read numerous people say that pedaling a bike with 4" tires is a lot of work if it becomes necessary. Most people do not see a benefit of them.
I actually have a 72 lb fat tire bike that rides very easy once its moving. The weight becomes and issue in headwinds and hills. The tires if kept inflated to 28-30 PSI don't seem to be an issue. For the record I am a 76 year old male in so-so condition. Does it ride like a "road bike" with 100 PSI skinny tires no, but very doable like I said.
 
Thanks! I'm only considering step-thru models which can adjust to a slight forward lean. I am looking at larger bikes due to load requirements and my height (6'). My rides will all be from home and back, and I won't need to fold the bike to store it. I don't live close to any shops which will work on electric bikes, so I will be handling maintenance and repairs.
The Lectric model has dual batteries and a mid drive, but I'm concerned about the 20" tires and smaller 500w motor.
The Heybike has 26" tires and a 750w motor, but it's a hub drive with a single battery.
The mid drive 500W motor in the new Lectric has a lot of power primarily because of the gearing available, it may be just the answer for you.
 
Some things to consider:

Riding posture (upright or forward leaning)
Step-thru or step over
Weight of bike
Transportability
Will you do maintenance yourself or take it to someone

You might want to think again about the 4" tires. I have no personal experience with this, but I have read numerous people say that pedaling a bike with 4" tires is a lot of work if it becomes necessary. Most people do not see a benefit of them.
I REALLY don't like having fat tires. Having owned both fat and skinny, I see no real advantage for most (in-town) use. They weigh a ton, and take a LOT of power to get them spinning. I see too many people (at the ebike shop where I work) who have never left the pavement with their bike, but just want them for the look.
However, I spent 20 years riding my 10-speed with it's 1 inch wide tires....
 
Agree with most of the items. Disagree on the benefit of 4" tires. The value of 4" tires depends on usage ... not just how you intend on using them, but how your biking habits will change when you get a powered bike.

I bought an Ocelot Pro. Prior to purchasing the bike, I had listed the 4" tires as a "con". I didn't think I'd need them in my urban setting. Little did I know how wrong I was! The 4" tires allow me to access trails and off-road conditions to get around choke points. Being used to cycling with regular tires, I had never considered such options - I just chose my routes to avoid the choke points. With my Ocelot Pro, I can power through hills and rough grassed slopes without a second thought. The 4" tires also work as shock absorbers. While not as good as a full suspension, the 4" tires help soften the blow of rough terrain. They are a great equalizer.
Ive had a similar experience. I went back and forth trying to decide on fat or skinny tires because I only would be riding in urban areas. I'm so glad I went with 4" tires! It's surprising how many times throughout my ride I can cut through or over hills, grass, snow etc. to avoid sitting in traffic and I've "discovered" several short cuts to my regular destinations that non fatties couldn't handle.
 
One of the advantages of the FAT tires is their ability to run over uneven ground and pavement without throwing the bike off track. This becomes more important as we age IMHO. Another advantage is the ride quality they can tend to smooth out rough riding condition which is good thing for aging backs. I am a big fan as you can tell.
 
I enjoy the 3 inch tires on my XP 2.0......very confortable to ride.....good on smooth roads as well as gravel........I have no problem pedaling from a start.....I ride PA 1 90% of time.
 
Hello, All! I'm planning to purchase my first bike in 2023, and my head is swimming with all of the options available.
I'm looking for a good small town commuter/grocery getter which can handle sometimes great but sometimes awful road conditions. Ninety percent of my rides will be short trips (less than five miles), but I would like to occasionally make runs to nearby towns (40-50 mile trips). I've ridden motorcycles in the past, so I'm pretty sure I will be comfortable with 4" tires. Also, I need the bike to handle 300 pounds or so in total weight.
I considered converting a standard bike with a kit, but that seemed to offer an even larger Pandora's box of options and issues, so for now, I will get a factory bike to get me started. Two bikes which have caught my eye are the Heybike Explore and the Lectric Xpremium. Very similar in many ways, but completely different in others. 26" single battery 750w hub drive vs. 20" dual battery 500w mid drive. ARGGHH! I really don't want to make a $2k mistake. Help! TIA
I think I can help here as I have both a heybike and a Lectric.
I have the heybike Ranger, which is their large folder with fat tires. I have a Lectric XP Lite, which is their lightweight folder with medium tires and a single speed.

The quality on the Lectric is much better than on the heybike, especially the brakes. The heybike brakes work OK, but they screech. The pedals were not very good on the heybike either; they squeaked for a good while, until I oiled them a couple times and get a couple hundred miles on them. The Lectric pedals were much higher quality. I'd rule out the heybike right away, based on that. They're priced like Lectric, but without Lectric quality.

One reason might be that Lectric is an American company, and the bikes are manufactured offshore. heybike is a Chinese company with China manufacturing. As a company, Lectric just cares more.

When I bought the Lectric, they offered a new promotion a few days later with a free folding lock. I missed it. I emailed their customer service and asked if there was any way I could get the free lock. Gave them my order number. "No problem", they said, and I had it a week later.

Re. the screeching brakes on the heybike, customer service also responded quickly and gave me a link on how to adjust the brakes. I did that and it only helped a tiny bit. I told them so, and they asked me to get a video of it happening. I'm not going to kill myself trying to take a video while braking. I just gave them a rating based on the bike as-is. So, customer service is also better at Lectric.

Now the thing is that you don't need or want a folding bike, so why even consider Lectric? Folding bike (usually) means smaller wheel diameter, which is less efficient. Frames are heavier, because they need lockwork for folding.

With the heybike, I found that I don't need fat tires. It's true, they do offer some semblance of suspension because they're so soft, but that also raises rolling resistance and weight quite a bit. That cuts into your range, which is why Lectric offers the XPremium now. But now, you're even HEAVIER. It's a never-ending cycle.

When you would want fat tires is if you do a lot of offroad riding. They're great in grass, gravel and dirt, and even OK in mud. But if you don't do that riding, why would you want all the extra weight and the hit in efficiency?

I just bought a bike Saturday that happens to be in your $2k price range and seems like it would be Just the Thing for you too: Aventon Level2. It has a rack and fenders, better hardware, more efficient tires for road use and torque-sensing drive. (the XPremium also has torque-sensing drive, but the heybike doesn't) It is RATED for about the same range as the XP 2.0 (~60 miles) but they only way you're going to get 60 miles out of the XP is if you're on power setting 1 and doing a lot of the work yourself. The faster over 10 mph you go, it seems to take a LOT more power, so that if you go 20 mph, you're only going to get maybe 20 miles out of a charge. Just for fun, I was going 20 mph on my Ranger and turned off the power assist. There was no way I could pedal it 20 mph, even for a short time. I can't stress enough how inefficient fat tires make a ride on pavement. By contrast, people actually GET 60 miles on a charge with the Level2. It is with low power assist still, but with that same energy, you can easily maintain 13 mph on pavement for 60 miles instead of maybe 30 miles at that speed with a fat tire bike and the same amount of energy.

The XPremium is a nice bike, but quite heavy due to needing all the battery power to get that long range. I think it's over 80 lbs. My Level2 is only 61 lbs.

If you don't like the Level2, my advice is to find something with the most efficient tires you can get that will handle the surfaces you'll be riding on. Get a suspension seat post and/or a sprung seat for rear suspension and a suspension fork for the front and you're golden. Don't get a folder if you don't need it. (Lectric needs to get onboard with non-folders, IMO)
 
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