Need some help on e-bike for Urban / Commuter / City mostly


New member
Local time
2:20 PM
Aug 27, 2020
I'll apologize first, I'm usually pretty good at searching the things to source info. I'm looking for a hybrid style, city, commuter etc....

Plenty of buying guides and comparisons out there but I've learned to trust first-hand feed back and been hanging out here since the 02's or 03's doing almost all research, learning and decision-making within the confines of fellow experts, riders, weekend warriors, bike shop staff and mech's or engineers that are this community.

If you think of a thread appropriate, links to other sources, or have some first hand feed back, I'm really just helping my son who teaches a few miles from home and wants to get or consider an e-bike for mostly flat paved or path surfaces in the 4 to 6 miles a day range aside from presumed occasional "recreation" use.
Thinking less mtb bike angels or ride position, upright , comfort or even step thru?
Maybe the rear drive is better in the the sub $2000 range or mid drive is just more pricey ?

As of now with our lock in, going to see and shop isn't 'a thing'. Just helping him get some ideas and search.

Thanking in advance (y)

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ebikesca has tutorials that are very helpful. I've had a fair amount of experience with e-bikes for short distance errands or commuting. Briefly, and probably there will be individuals who disagree, for flat terrain hub motors are excellent, and there are both geared and direct drive (DD). Either will suffice, but usually DD are heavier, quieter can be more powerful, less expensive and have basically one moving part. A rear hub system usually is chosen unless there is an over-riding reason for a front hub (internal geared hub, belt drive or ?). 80's 90's steel MTB makes an excellent donor bike for a number of reasons. If Bigwheel responds expect excellent advice.
Quite frankly a flat 4-6 mile commute can be done pretty easily on a push bike. The only real advantage would be stops/starts being easier.

If you feel comfortable enough with doing some tinkering a simple 500w DD hub, either front or rear, 36v with 10ah battery kit would work just fine after establishing just what bike style he wants. Just make sure you use a torque arm of some sort for either. Pretty easy conversion and will help all involved to better understand what e systems are made up of.

If you go this way whatever you get make sure they have the kit in stock as many do drop ship from China which at best takes awhile....the site mentioned is an excellent resource and the loonie exchange is favorable at the moment.

Otherwise just get a RAD city type bike for $1500.
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If you think that he would ever want to ride the bike on the dirt or trail than I'm a really big fan of the hard tail fat bike. It does great on pavement and would be great commuter bike that you can put fenders on and racks. It also does extremely well off road if that would ever be in his future. It is super comfy with the big tires and front suspension. My sister has one and loves it! I found the same one she has on sale for a great deal. If your son will fit a small or med. It's a little more than than 2k but I think worth it, it is a very well built bike with a mid drive and brand named components. I have no affiliation with this site, I just did a quick internet search and found it. By the way the bike I'm referring to is the haibike fat six.
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------------------------------- - Canada - Plug and play kits, motors, controllers, everything you need. - USA - Plug and play kits, motors, controllers, everything you need. - UK'er in China - Plug and play kits, motors, controllers, everything you need. - Taiwan

https://evfittinggreentime.aliexpres...ead_11248317.0 - Batteries, BMS'

You could buy a slip on kit with battery for far cheaper then anything else. For 5 miles, you dont need much at all. Mid drives are for steep hills and stop and go commute (downtown riding). Hub motors for everything else, though direct drive motors will last longer, and dump more power into them because they soak up excess heat, also they have the ability for regeneration of power back into the battery. Geared hub motors have too many moving parts, are noisy, direct drives are silent, especially when matched with a sinewave controller.

Go to the endless sphere forum if you dont want to buy expensive store bought ebikes.

I would personally go with a kit from EM3EV with battery
- Mac Ebike Kit With 36V Frame Battery Pack Option
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Thank you all for the input.
He chose a RadRunner that looks very nice for his purposes. Mostly urban areas and not real trail or aggressive needs at all.
We put it together Thursday and tested it out Friday. It feels solid and well made. I have a vice grip type of kid seat that should work really well on the rear rack it has and seems very similar to the optional seat they feature.

It looks cool and seems like a blast to run around on. I told him to search and learn up all he can regarding civilized riding / behavior and traffic rules. Many of us know, the streets are where the action is, rage or attitudes come into play. I suggested he should be ready for rage he won't necessarily create or deserve. :rolleyes:

Thanks again ALL !

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I dig the old mini-bike look, especially with the bench seat option. When I look at this bike, I can hear the old Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine that my Dad installed on a mini bike kit we ordered a long long time ago.
First for me was the old style mini-bike, 1967 or 68 probably. My uncle bought one for us kids to have at the cabin and when I got my first run on it, they could barley catch me to get me off it. They finally grabbed my tee shirt but the thrill of riding started then. I never wore a tee shirt or any shirt again for a long time after learning that trick ... LOL.