How to best get indoctrinated in the EBike world ?


New member
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8:21 PM
Sep 6, 2021
Hi, Mostly Lurking here with the intention of trying to learn about ebikes from the threads. I have experience on other forums, and know how some get hard to live with. Honestly did seem to get realistic answers and opinions from Deleted Member replies, …..not trying to start an argument here.
As a guy with no EBike, 4 motorcycles, 45 yrs aircraft mechanic, where do you start? The EBike craze has already developed into very much specialized equipment, with several ways to get the power to the street. Is there a place on the site that helps with breaking down the designs and related Pros and Cons? My 1st idea was to try and find a shop I could “intern” with, maybe volunteer or work minimum wage. Go ahead and laugh, it was a legitimate idea, but no shops seem to last more than a few months. I would like to avoid spending time and money wasted on the learning experience, but maybe diving into the pool and making my own mistakes is the only way.
What is your purpose for an ebike?
Are there physical goals you're trying to achieve?
How much saddle time do you see yourself logging every day, week or month?
Do you have off-road or paved trails accessible from your driveway or do you need to transport the ebike to do your cycling?
What is the desired distance that you would likely travel for each typical ride?
What is your budget?

Answers to above can help greatly to determine the suggestions you might receive.
Welcome to the Forum. I like this forum better than others as people tend to be more helpful and less snarky.

I suggest visiting local bike shops or REI Cooperative stores and ask for demo rides. Most are willing to do this, REI especially. They will fit you with a bike of your size and choosing. You likely won't be able to put a lot of distance on it, but you will be able to get a feeling for what you like and don't like. Be sure to try both mid-drive and hub-drive models, as well as torque and cadence sensors. They provide different riding experiences.

There are some bike shops, especially in touristy areas that let you rent ebikes, at least here in Wisconsin. You will generally have fewer options, but the shop will make sure the ebike fits you and you can take it for an extended ride.

In addition to what "A" wrote above, you also need to consider the style of ebike. Do you want a more upright riding posture or a forward leaning one, or something in between? Do you want a step-over or step-thru design? How much suspension do you want? You can add suspension seat posts and handlebar stems fairly easily, but frame suspension is a bit more tricky.

While it is true that you get what you pay for, you can get decent offerings at any price point. For me, I wanted to make sure I got a sturdy frame and a good quality battery for starters. The other components are selected by the seller to meet a given price point (tires, brakes, derailleur, seat, etc.).
Do you want a motorcycle type experience, or a bicycle type experience?

As a long time cyclist, I went the road bicycle route. Rear wheel motor.
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There are ebikes for many uses. Street legal ebikes fit into one of three classes, but there are lots of ebikes available that live outside the legal definition of an ebike, (that can be a hot-button topic). Speaking only for myself, when I ride, I like it to still be a bicycling experience, so I ride a fairly lightweight, class 1 and prefer to provide at least half of the power. Any “legal” ebike would be a very disappointing motorcycle, but a good ebike is very impressive as a bicycle.

You really need to figure out what you want from the bike and then do some research. Once you figure out what kind of bike you want, people will be more than happy to give you advice regarding manufacturers and their personal experience. Best of luck and don’t be shy about asking questions.
You're an aircraft mechanic trying to avoid time and money wasted learning about ebikes but no shops seem to last more than a few months as you volunteer or work at them but for minimum wage. I wish that I could help you.
Suggestion; Read my Soletri thread while keeping in mind that anything associated with being "hard to live with" up here on the forums is but a mouse click away solvable without anyone throwing the baby out with the bath water. ;)
You bumped a zombie thread, ETrike. The OP posted once, got some responses and never bothered to reply.

I find when I start a thread, it suggests similar threads, many of which are zombies. It's not a great feature.
Yeah not a great feature indeed. I'll keep my eye open for the date next time. Thanks.