Here we go and thank you for help (Aventon vs Trek vs Rad Power)

econfused

New member
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
2
Points
3
Hello - Just want to say I've read through a lot of threads/topics and sub forums before I decided to ask for help!

Brand new to ebike world, as in looked at my first one 3 days ago. Since then it has been hours of google, youtube and I've lost track of how many e-bike websites I've visited.

The backstory: I'm 51, 5'10 and 200 lbs, active my entire life, pretty good shape, no health/physical restrictions. My wife is similar age, 5'7 and 135, active. While we used to ride frequently, that was years ago and now we have more time to find some new hobbies. We are looking for something that will be easy to adapt to - my wife is a little more apprehensive and really wants to avoid a twist throttle. Our primary riding will be paved bike trails with possible some fire trails every now and then. We are in a rural area and it is hilly - some of them are fairly long/steep grades. In the event we ride farther than battery range, want to be able to have something reasonably manageable for still riding that isn't a tank. If possible, would like to stay under $5k for both bikes.

What I've looked at so far:

- Aventon Level Commuter (for me) and Aventon Pace 500 step through for wife. Watched extensive reviews but not had a ride (having hard time finding one local). My concern about the Pace 500 is lack of front suspension and how comfortable will that be on a long ride?
- Trek Verve 2+ (first ebike I have ever been on). Looking at Trek Verve 3+ as a possible bike for me and maybe something out of the "Electra" line for my wife. Those get pricey fast and not sure our use really justifies spending 6k+.
- RadPower Rover - looks great but has a throttle and its pretty heavy.

There's no perfect answer and I know there's going to be as many recommendations as there are brands, but because I still don't know what I don't know, I'm hoping to get some info/tips on what things to consider (or possibly what to avoid).

Thanks so much, what a cool world/topic this is - fascinating and I had no idea ebikes was such a vast landscape of choices!
 

DaveMstr

New member
Joined
May 29, 2021
Messages
2
Points
3
How handy are you ?? I took an "older" Mountain Bike, and added a Bafang 500 watt mid drive motor. Cost, including a couple of special tools, was about $900. Maybe 4 hours, the next install would be less. Very happy so far, smooth, quiet and powerful. At any rate , I would suggest a higher wattage motor, for whatever bike you choose. I don't you will be happy with say only 250 watts climbing a grade>
 

JimInPT

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
10
Points
3
I wouldn't rule out a throttle arbitrarily. I have a Rad Mini Step-Thru and love it (not familiar with the other two models you're considering); believe me, the throttle comes in handy now and then when stopped facing uphill - a little throttle blip to get it rolling so that you and pedal-assist can take over is a big help in circumstances like that, or to squirt across a busy intersection and get out of the way of traffic. My rural town has a lot of hills as well.

If you're worried about the throttle on a Rad bike being accidentally triggered, don't be. It's easy to access but out of the way of normal grip and it has about a one-second delay before it engages and then is a smooth ramp-up; both features minimize accidents. It's still a good idea to remember to power off the bike when working on it, just in case. One handy throttle feature is "walking mode" - if you push and hold the pedal-assist down arrow, it will activate the throttle at a fixed brisk-walking speed, so you can walk alongside and use your left hand to engage this feature instead of having to push the bike manually on a steep slope, for instance.

It's easy to get used to managing (and avoiding) throttle usage with a bit of practice. It's there if you need it but out of the way when you don't. And I agree with Dave, don't skimp on the motor's power rating and you'll find front suspension useful. I added a Cloud 9 seat and Redshift suspension post to compensate for no rear shocks.

My knees and I love the Mini Step-Thru, by the way; great little bike, very well built, a good value for the price and their customer service both before and after sale has been exemplary.
 
Last edited:

Hoggdoc

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
118
Points
28
Location
Longview, WA.
Website
activityphoto.com
How handy are you ?? I took an "older" Mountain Bike, and added a Bafang 500 watt mid drive motor. Cost, including a couple of special tools, was about $900. Maybe 4 hours, the next install would be less. Very happy so far, smooth, quiet and powerful. At any rate , I would suggest a higher wattage motor, for whatever bike you choose. I don't you will be happy with say only 250 watts climbing a grade>
I agree this is a great option, the best thing about the mid-drive setup is its ability to use the gears on the bike making them great climbing bikes. Hub motors are fine but can't do as well as mid-drive in steep long hills.
 

econfused

New member
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
2
Points
3
Thank you - this is helping. I literally live in an area in Northern California that the town has the words "Hills" as part of it ... so this is a big deal! I wasn't as aware on the hub style motors and maybe those not performing as well on hills. This isn't about just a hill, it is about pretty much always going to be hills where I am. I appreciate the 'tinkering' aspect of a DIY but that's not what I'm looking to do... I am focusing at this point on Trek & Gazelle as they seem to be very price point/feature equitable, now its a matter of getting a chance to do demo rides to compare... no shock to anyone that inventory in this space is just as impacted as seemingly everything else right now.
 

srzylstra

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
4
Points
1
I agree this is a great option, the best thing about the mid-drive setup is its ability to use the gears on the bike making them great climbing bikes. Hub motors are fine but can't do as well as mid-drive in steep long hills.
I have a Sondor Fat tire and EBC Cruiser both hub drive. Both have 7 speeds. They have ample power to tackle long grades. To me it’s all about the battery being up to the task
 

Hoggdoc

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
118
Points
28
Location
Longview, WA.
Website
activityphoto.com
I have a Sondor Fat tire and EBC Cruiser both hub drive. Both have 7 speeds. They have ample power to tackle long grades. To me it’s all about the battery being up to the task
Nope it's the motor and its torque output at low RPM that limits hub motors. The gears used with the mid-drive allow the motor to take advantage of the different gear ratios making them much better climbers.

The gears on your bikes only help you pedal easier while aiding the hub motor pull the hills. My bike is also my first ebike and if I had to do over I'd spend more and get a mid-drive as I living in a hilly area as well.
 

srzylstra

New member
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
4
Points
1
I know I'll 75 next month. It's the hills where I wish I had the motor drive through the gear set. Maybe the next bike will be mid drive after I sell my real motorcycle.
How cool 3/4 of a century old and still thinking about groovy stuff. All good
 
Top Bottom