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Thread: Ebike? Convert?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Central Indiana
    Posts
    624

    Ebike? Convert?

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    Hi all! It's been a long time since I last posted.

    My husband and I relocated and bought a house not far from a great trail that takes me right to work. After living far from all bike infrastructure for years, I was psyched to get back to riding. I don't ride every day but I ride most days now on my Surly Cross Check.

    However, where I live, it's still pretty hilly. The road to my drive is up about 1/4 mile hill with an 8% grade. It sucks! I like to shop for groceries on my bike and live less than a mile from two grocery stores. However, this hill with groceries and/or a toddler attached really limits my ability to do this after a full day of work. I find my number one barrier to forgoing the car is this dang hill and other hills around town. My husband is going back to work this fall, most likely after spending a year home with our toddler. We are a staunch one-car family now so it would be great if I could get a commuter that was a full on car replacement. Barring serious snow storms, with good gear and tires, I can now commute to/from work easily. The e-bike, though, that would be a total game changer. I could pick my kid up and haul her. I could get groceries.

    There are bike shops in town - plenty of them - but their ebike selection isn't fantastic. I've struggled to find a frame to fit me. I'm incredibly short (5') and take a very small road frame (47-50 depending on the geometry). This is seriously a challenge with ebikes which are usually built for much taller people.

    Can any of you recommend an e bike that would fit me? My budget will be 3k or less. I know there are really nice, expensive bikes out there and I would love to own some but we're on a budget and I only need about 10 miles of range most days. And most of my commute is pretty flat (apart from the space by my house and coming home from my kid's school) so I wouldn't always need to use e-assist.

    I also am open to a conversion of my current bike but I have no idea where to start there. I've been told conversions can also cost about as much as a new bike and it would mean I may not be able to ride my commuter in charity rides anymore. I think some ban them (at least they did back in MO).

    TIA!
    ***proud Hoosier, statistics nerd, and mom to a headstrong toddler***
    ****one car family and loving it!****

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Chessie, Scottish Terrier
    Bonzai, Catahoula Leopard Dog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,101
    My wife has looked into converting her Salsa Vaya to an e bike. The sturdy frame should take the torque. As for height, I have one too. I normally ride a 47 cm, my Salsa is 50 cm and fits fine.

    But hauling kids and groceries have you looked at cargo bikes?
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Central Indiana
    Posts
    624
    I absolutely have! However, they are incredibly heavy. Without an e-assist, I don't know how I would manage to ever get it up our hill. Ideally, I would love an e cargo bike! I think my Surly could handle an e-assist for the same reason as the Salsa. Steel never disappoints but I have no idea what it will cost.
    ***proud Hoosier, statistics nerd, and mom to a headstrong toddler***
    ****one car family and loving it!****

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Chessie, Scottish Terrier
    Bonzai, Catahoula Leopard Dog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    A short friend has a RAD bike that fits her, but she thinks it's too heavy and is looking at a LIV.
    2013 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
    2013 Specialized Ruby Sport (carbon)
    2014 Salsa Vaya 3 (steel)
    2014 Felt Z75

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,101
    Quote Originally Posted by TrekDianna View Post
    A short friend has a RAD bike that fits her, but she thinks it's too heavy and is looking at a LIV.
    Every e-bike Ive looked at is incredibly heavy. I dont think its possible for them to be light. However if I was going to have a long, hilly commute and hauling stuff Id want one regardless.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Central Indiana
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by Trek420 View Post
    Every e-bike I’ve looked at is incredibly heavy. I don’t think it’s possible for them to be light. However if I was going to have a long, hilly commute and hauling stuff I’d want one regardless.
    Apparently, LIV has some really great WSD ebikes per their website in my pricerange. They have an XS frame I can fit, too. I think that's what she was referring to!

    Fat-E Bikes was another name mentioned by a guy at the LBS.

    I'm also wondering if I could max out the clearance on my tires and a triple on my crosscheck instead for now and see how I find it. My only thing is braking. A lot of the ebikes have disc brakes and from what I understand, the crosscheck won't allow for it.
    ***proud Hoosier, statistics nerd, and mom to a headstrong toddler***
    ****one car family and loving it!****

    Owned by:
    Le Monstre Vert - 2013 Surly Cross-check
    Chessie, Scottish Terrier
    Bonzai, Catahoula Leopard Dog

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,101
    I have disc brakes on the Salsa and like them. It rains here. A lot. And though I don’t ride in it often it’s nice to have disc when I do. Nothing wrong with old school brakes on my other bikes. Just in rain or wet conditions I have to remember to feather the brakes often so the rims are dry if I really need to use them.

    I have not had to change a tire on the Salsa .... yet. But have read that it’s trickier with disc brakes.

    But if your rides are sometimes in rain or wet conditions, add hills, and extra cargo such as on a tandem, with kids, cargo then yeah. Discs are great for that.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    I'm also petite and I love my Yuba Spicy Curry. It is quite heavy but once I get going it's a nice, stable ride.

    I would have considered a Tern GSD if they had been available when I was shopping.
    2014 Bobbin Bramble / Brooks B67
    2008 Rodriguez Rainier Mirage / Terry Butterfly Tri Gel
    2007 Dahon Speed Pro TT / Biologic Velvet
    1998? GT Rebound / Serfas Gel

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,101
    Quote Originally Posted by NbyNW View Post
    I'm also petite and I love my Yuba Spicy Curry. It is quite heavy but once I get going it's a nice, stable ride.

    I would have considered a Tern GSD if they had been available when I was shopping.
    I absolutely would consider an ebike if I felt the need for one ... or had somewhere to store an 11th bike I test rode one but did not like the engine just kicking in when it wants to. That would take some getting used to. I like to feel in charge of shifting my bike. Which is funny cause I dont like driving a manual shift car.

    But anything that gets us outside is good by me.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    1
    In my opinion if you are somewhat mechanical/technical type person then you are going to be better of converting a ebike if you are on a budget rather then buying a pre-built one off the internet.
    Regards,
    Sepeda

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    30
    The sturdy frame should take the torque

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    500
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