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Old 08-22-2019, 08:10 AM   #1
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Review of Electric Bikes

With the wealth of information presented on the electric bike thread I thought it might be a good idea for those of us who have purchased one to list out our pros and cons.

I bought a Vtuvia SF-20 500 Watt bike. The price was much less than what it is listed on Amazon for. From my research I would put most 500 Watt foldable bikes in the $1,500 range. I opted for the 20 inch foldable and step through version.

The pluses for the Vtuvia are the power, cost, exceptional battery life, ease of assembly for even someone like me who is mechanically challenged. They have changed the seat, lighting, and LCD to be much more user friendly than the original versions. Customer service has been excellent. Any questions I've had have been answered in less than 24 hours.

The cons are that the bike is heavy and folding a heavy bike to put it into the back of an SUV can be challenging. I remove the seat and battery to put the bike in the back of the Blazer, but it's still a bit of a beast to get it in there. My only other issues so far are the front fender rattles and the manual has some difficulty in the translations from Chinese to English.

Other than the minor inconveniences I love the bike. Would I buy another Vtuvia? Absolutely.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:21 AM   #2
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Good post Ed. I will look forward to adding to it next week and seeing some of the other bikes.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:37 PM   #3
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I have two folding electric bikes, the Blix Vika+ as well as a Carbo.

The Vika+ is a solid bike that was shipped directly to a bike shop in my town where they were paid by Blix to assemble and make it good. However, there was shipping damage and Blix immediately shipped out a replacement. So far I have ridden it over 200 miles and it has worked flawlessly. The battery is large and I can easily go 20-30 miles using the throttle only. I would not hesitate to get this again. Components are of an adequate quality considering the price point.

The Carbo has been an interesting process. It was offered on Indiegogo crowdfunding website. The deliver was a couple of months late. Shipping was good and the bike is very lightweight carbon fiber. This is the first go for the company with an electric bike and while good, it could be better. The largest battery available will go throttle only 12-20 miles depending on terrain. The bike is very easy to handle due to its lightweight, but for me seems a little fragile.
There are still many investors that don't have their bikes yet. In retrospect, another Vika+ would have been less expensive and better for my needs.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:47 PM   #4
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Keep in mind that these ebikes are getting better every year, so information from as little as 1 or 2 years ago may now be completely out of date.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
Keep in mind that these ebikes are getting better every year, so information from as little as 1 or 2 years ago may now be completely out of date.

Actually, that is the main reason I started this thread. I have seen very, very few negative comments on any of the e-bikes out there. I know Chuck and others have had their issues getting their bikes delivered from Lectric Bikes but other than delivery issues I have seen very few negatives about any of the electric bikes out there. There was a negative post about Vtuvia's customer service but my experience with them has been exceptional. Repeated e-mails from them asking about my satisfaction with the bike and clarifying some of the translation issues on their manual.

Here in the US and Canada we are kind of the late arrivals in the e-bike markets. In Europe and much of Asia e-bikes have been around for a lot of years. There is a ton of improvements that have occurred in e-bikes over the last decade and I'm sure more will be forthcoming.

If someone is considering an electric bike, I would say, do your research to see what works best for your purposes and then go for it.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:41 AM   #6
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Can’t decide between a folder or non folder. Would those of you who have folding bike please comment: 1. Where do you carry your folded bike(s)? If applicable, how much do the small wheels and frames affect the ride?
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:36 AM   #7
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We carry our two folding bikes in back of Jeep. The small tires do affect it a little but I do not notice anymore. My sister and her husband have same bikes with fat tires and those do ride a little smoother. Ours also has suspension front and rear.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:20 AM   #8
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Marc, I am going to pass on what I learned from watching youtube videos and there are a ton of them on ebikes. I watched the videos mainly with the professional bike reviews. Most amateur reviews were boring home movies KevCentral was one of the good ones, great non bias reviews. Also the RV reviewers that have over 50K followers were very professional with their ebike videos

Most liked the 20 inch fat tire as they were lower to the ground for easier handling with the fat tires smoothing out the bumps and more stable. Tire pressure was recommend at 20 PSI instead of 30 to soften the ride. I am past the mountain bike stage (wish I wasn't) to be riding off road in Vail CO. so I didn't even look at those.

The foldables will fit in the back of an SUV, a few videos of Lectric eBike showed that. Mine will fit under the cover of the truck bed folded (guy in Galvastan TX showed that with an Lectric ebike). I will be using the $4.00 Harbor Freight furniture pad to protect the bikes in travel. I liked the idea, especially in your area of MI, throwing the bikes in the back and going to one of the trail parking areas without the hassle of tying down just to go on an evening ride.
Those were some items that helped me make my decision.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:37 AM   #9
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Many of us have ebikes coming shortly.
From other forums with excellent posts , a few have received their bikes and are giving great reviews, however do check all nuts and bolts. After 7,500 miles at sea, then the rough handling from FedEx, a few have reported some of their bikes are loose. Extra attention to the peddles, that could hurt if one fell off. A few of the chain derailers are still arriving bent, do check those or it will not shift properly. Also sharp edges on some of the cut wire ties hold the cables to the handle bars. I'll smooth mine out with a dremel tool.

So far great reports!! but just don't plug and go is the advise I am taking away from the posts. Read the manual.

Going over the bike while the battery charges will give us something to do.
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Old 08-25-2019, 10:36 AM   #10
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Day6 Behemoth ebike Review

Now that we have had some time to ride our two new ebikes. I have the following to report. I'll start with my bike.

The Day6 Behemoth is by FAR the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. The wide seat and semi reclined sitting position is the closest thing to sitting in a recliner while on a bike. The pedal forward layout takes some time to get used to, but I like it. It does have a long wheel base, so U-turns are a little more problematic, but manageable.

The 1000 watt mid drive is very responsive and quite powerful. Throttle only can take the heavy bike and its fat tires above 20 mph easily. In pedal assist mode, the power of the motor makes pedaling effortless at fourth setting and 5th almost seems like the chain is gone.

The fat tires make the ride smooth even on large gravel. Manufacturer recommended 8-20psi in the tires, and I found 8psi way too light for my plus size frame, but 12psi seems to be right for me. Even if you don't plan on going off road, I would recommend fat tires.

The only issue I've had is the bike has no chain guard so I have caught a pants leg on the chain. Unlike when it happened as a teenager, the motor just drove the pants leg right around the sprocket. Aside from the tug on my pants leg, I only noticed a slight decrease in speed.

I'd highly recommend either a Day6 or Day6 electric to anyone who is looking for a more comfortable ride.

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Old 08-25-2019, 10:38 AM   #11
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My wife and I are looking at full size, fat tire ones. Sort of like e-mountain bikes. We like the ability to go on rougher terrain. Problem is carrying them. Id like to put them on a bike rack on the back of the toad, an F-150. However Im concerned about the rack being able to support the weight over time, lock ability and the roads. As of now looking at mounting them in a standing position in a holder on top of a heavy duty bed cover.

Does anyone have any experience and suggestions with bikes like that?
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:05 AM   #12
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EVELO Compass ebike Review

In addition to my new Day6 ebike, my wife bought a EVELO Compass etrike.

First it was a difficult decision for her to move to a trike, but with her balance issues, it was the right thing to do.

This trike is heavy and is over 85 lbs. As can be imagined the frame is ruggedly built that allows most cables and wires to be routed inside the frame tubes.

The Compass has a 500 watt mid drive, and it is not nearly as responsive as my 1000 watt drive motor. However it will still take you up to almost 20mph on pavement. Which is probably faster than one should ride a trike, with it being more unstable in turns. You can't lean into a turn so it's very possible to roll or at least lift the inside rear tire off the ground while making a sharp turn.

The bike has the same battery size as my Day6, but it seems to go through a charge faster than my ebike. I assume that is due to the increased frame weight and/or more rolling resistance.

Possibly to counter act the decrease battery life, the Compass comes standard with one battery and one dummy battery mounted under the rear basket. So if range is an issue you only have to purchase an additional battery and slide it in place. Everything is already wired and mounted to allow the two batteries to work together to increase the range.

She bought the optional wider seat and says it is much more comfortable than the standard seat. The process of changing and mounting the new seat was a bit Rube Goldberg since one clamp is responsible for controlling the tilt and front to back adjustable of the seat. But once it is finally bolted on it is very secure.

She really likes riding the bike, though she complains a little about our gravel driveway and I agree. The standard 2" wide tires have a much harsher ride than my fat tire ebike.

The only thing she would change, is she would prefer that the seat could move back further. the wire basket in the back limits the amount the seat can be adjusted back. This isn't a big problem, but she would prefer it.

Additionally, as I reported earlier, I think the cheap flat plastic straps that are used as rear "fenders" are beneath the quality of the remainder of the bike. Even if they stayed with plastic, a cupped molded fender would be much better, and based on the price and quality of the bike, I feel the fenders should have been metal.

End result, the things to change are minor. She would absolutely buy the same bike again.

Steve
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:34 PM   #13
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Wolf-

We are going through the same problem maybe even a little worse due to the etrike.

I've finally decided to just mount them standing up in the bed of my Colorado. I don't have a cover so I don't have that problem.

The problems I ran into looking for racks:

1) Many are not strong enough to handle two heavy ebikes.
2) Many are not rated to be used behind the RV or towed vehicle.
3) Finally, I found only one I like that could handle a Trike and "might" be ok on the RV. However it looked like a Rube Goldberg device, and weighed almost 100#

So I went and found ramps for the truck and I'm fabricating a mount system that is simple and quick to secure the bikes in the bed.

Now my biggest concern is trying to figure out a cover system for when we travel with the RV. Around town and local areas I'm not worried about covers, but I know how dirty they can get traveling a couple thousand miles behind the RV.

Our current plan is to come up with a tarp setup to cover both bikes. If that doesn't work, we'll try individual covers, but again I want it simple so I can get the bikes out if we stop somewhere for the night. I'm afraid most bike covers I've seen won't hold up to the continued wind going down the highway.

Long story short, I wish we could have used folding bikes. They make things a lot easier. However, even if I have to poke a couple holes in the truck bed, I will do so. These bikes are giving us a freedom we thought was gone forever.

Steve
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:12 AM   #14
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The main reason I went with a foldable bike was to transport it. The negative with all e-bikes that I have looked at is the weight. Almost all of them are heavy, over 50 pounds. As we get older that can be more difficult to lift up into the back of an SUV.
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