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

econfused

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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

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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

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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.
 
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Hoggdoc

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
 

JimInPT

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Wow you really make me feel old. But yes still trying to stay current but do struggle with a lot of the new "WOKE" stuff floating around these days.
Don't struggle with woke dopes. Fight back. Mock, ridicule, laugh at them in public. Common sense, humor and truth beats insanity every time. Ride on.
 

Dlent

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I too was very confused about all the various ebike brands out there. Done a lot of research and chose to order Evelo bikes for my wife and I. Me, I ordered the Aurora limited and for her the galaxy 500.
Primarily for the following reasons:
1) customer support, Customer Support and CUSTOMER SERVICE.
2) NO Maintenance. No worries
3) Continuously variable transmission.
****
They're pricey. However at almost 65 years old, I don't expect to be purchasing another.
Also, we travel with our 5th wheel travel trailer and don't want to be hauling something around that might break/fail or not go where we want to explore.
Everyone i spoke to absolutely love them.
I'm excited to get ours in a couple weeks.
 

Dmacarthur

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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!
My suggestion, at least for your wife (assuming, possibly erroneously, that she does not want to be constantly duffing around with the electronics), is to get for her something with torque sensing (Bosch or Yamaha midmount). Not DIY but they are pretty sweet to ride if you just want to get on and ride. I sort of like the Bafang mid mount because you csan modify the assist settings and can always move up and down among them but my wife is not interested in that stuff.....
 

Ken

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I have the Aventon LEVEL and my wife has the PACE 500. I am 81 years old. We bought the bikes in March of this year and currently have ~1,800 miles on our bikes. We absolutely love them! It has a throttle which is very helpful when starting, especially when I have to stop suddenly and still am in a high gear. The throttle is also helpful for a quick start at intersections. Otherwise the throttle is not part of my ride. The step-thru version is an absolute must for this ancient body of mine. Since we will probably have over 2,000 miles on them before the snow and ice set in this year we may look at a different brand next year just to keep it interesting. However at this time I don't know how we can improve on what we have.
 

bobcat931

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Reading about very poor customer service from Aventon. Take a look at an REI or local bike shop to see what's in stock and test ride if you can. I have a Cannondale Synapse Neo 1, electric road bike that I really like. Also looked at a Trek Avant. They are hard to come by now.
 

bigpapaporsche1

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Been there done that!
A little back ground, I am 72, wife is 62, we use our bikes when camping. We previously had 20 inch folding, non ebikes, and loved them, but had to switch to ebikes because of the physical demands, glad we did.
As far as selecting which manufacture and model, here is our experience. We bought our first Blix Vika+ and like it so we got another for my wife. The first one worked without any problems, but the second one had Shipping Damage and here where the problems started. To make a long story short, we had to return both of them. To Blix's credit they gave us a full refund! The short of it was their Customer Service just wasn't up tp speed! We then bought two RadMini ST 2, which we wanted initially, but they had a long Lead Time, so we went with the Blix bikes as a Back Up solution. We glad we were able to make the switch to Rad, we and found them perfect! Additionally, we found their Customer Service very helpful and their YouTube Videos, Rad University the best I've seen! As far as Model selection is concerned, I would recommend a Step Thru Model if you are older than, say 45 yrs. I don't see the Down Side to a Step Thru. My choice for Tires would be Smooth Thread.
 
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