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E-bike for a BIG slightly damaged guy?

Old 11-16-19, 07:34 AM
  #1  
TinyBear
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E-bike for a BIG slightly damaged guy?

Back in 2009 or so I started cycling to loose weight. At the time I was 26years old 6í and 350lbs. In a few years a knocked the weight down to 250lbs. Then in 2012 I was hit by a car while out on my motorcycle. The list of injuries is long and it took 5 surgeries to save my leg. I had major bouts with infection that made things even worse. And to add insult to injury the sudden inactivity mixed with the tons of antibiotics allowed my familyís history of diabetes to catch up with me.

Fast forward 7-8 years and I am now 36 stand 5í11 and weight in at 260lbs. My left legs 1Ēshorter than my right and has limited range of motion. My left shoulder is weaker and has been dislocated numerous times.

I have had had a few failed attempts at a starting cycling again but keep giving up for various reasons

but Iím determined next year to succeed. I have been on the exercise bike regularly and will continue so. But every time I tried hitting the street or trails i find it very difficult more so than I ever remembered it being.

So this brings me to my question. I am considering selling my dirt bike motorcycle and picking up an E Mountain bike to help me both train and strengthen my leg and get out and enjoy trails again. BUT Iím concerned that my larger size may not blend well with the E-Bikes and those batteries wonít last trying to help my fat arse around lol. I also have a bit of sticker shock seeing the prices on these bikes. One that Iím considering is a Giant Fathom e+3. Itís priced around what I can get for my dirt bike and I am happy with my two conventional Giant bikes? But alas I am a noob once again to bikes in general and certainly to E Bikes.
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Old 11-16-19, 07:54 AM
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Go for it! You have nothing to lose. An ebike would help out a lot. You would be surprised.
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Old 11-16-19, 09:35 AM
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One of the reason that I rationalized in my head to buy an eMTB was so I wouldn't buy another motorcycle.
Because I know being a senior citizen I am going to break some bones and chip more teeth with a motorcycle.
I think you are right at the door for weight limit, but I would do it. You will love it.... you'll still get a lot of exercise and you will enjoy it more.
That Giant Fathom e+3 looks good. Has Yamaha motor... I like those motors. If you could go up in price a bit and get one with Rockshok fork, it would be better. Everything else looks good.
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Old 11-16-19, 09:59 AM
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Get one and spend some time making it comfortable for you, a reputable shop will adjust the bike and swap out seats, bars, etc., til it is right. Then, go slow til you get used to the motor on different surfaces. Sounds like a fat tire bike might be fun for you and a bit more stable. Buy from a reputable shop that also has a bike fitter and they can even help you with the leg length discrepancy - there are things that can be done so it's not an issue when you ride.
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Old 11-16-19, 02:39 PM
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That Giant looks like a nice bike. A hub drive will give you more power for the money. My mid drive (Bosch) is torque sensing and requires more user effort than my hub drive street bike. So depending on the terrain and how much climbing you do it can affect what type of motor. Steep climbs probably work better on a mid drive that can leverage the gears. I prefer riding my mid drive. But people who never rode an ebike get a big kick out of the power and acceleration of the hub drive.

I got my eMTB from Crazy Lenny's. Check out the current eMTB deals....

https://www.crazylennysebikes.com/crazydeal/
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Old 11-16-19, 04:41 PM
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I will still be riding motorcycles just going to give up the off roading side of things.

But big reason I contemplating this is it opens up more available trails if I take the bicycles. And presently I not quite fit enuff to do that. I’d think a E Bike could help there to act a bit of a crutch for the weaker leg.
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Old 11-16-19, 05:44 PM
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Since you have a Giant bike that could be languishing because you've been injured, you might consider saving money by using it as a donor for a kit. ebikesca, a CA company, is respected highly by the DIY crowd. Their web site has a plethora of information.
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Old 11-17-19, 09:56 PM
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The experienced and established Chinese kits are worth a look too - I have a Risunmotor based kit on my tandem; it's powerful, reliable, customisable, rain proof when put together with this in mind, has regeneration and code locking.

My current system has been a daily workhorse for two years now, with shopping, work, taking the kid to school, I literally don't leave home without it.

I know that brands who make keyboards and car parts seem to be better trusted, but it's a mistake to overlook companies who have been supplying the hundreds of millions of East Asian cyclists for many years.

You haven't got to be a rocket scientist to put one together, I managed it, I then modified it. My first advice is not to cheap out on batteries - I use 2x 15AH packs conjoined in-line for a huge 30AH capacity (and 60 amps) but they were cheap ones and I had to fit better BMS boards in them.
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Old 11-18-19, 06:47 AM
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I have read that mid drives are better for trail use over the hub drive kits. Trails is where I want to get too in the future so hence looking at complete bikes.

Otherwise I’m a mechanic for a living and would enjoy building a bike
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Old 11-18-19, 07:25 AM
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2old and MikeyMK are probably on to your best option...if one of your old Giants fits you well, go for a conversion!

I am another big, slightly damaged guy. I’ve gotten to know my ortho doc and podiatrist far too well over the past ten years. My bicycles are my favorite way to get some great, low impact exercise...and some fresh air.

I am 6’5” and 260lb, and most ebikes are not made for my size. I decided to convert an under utilized Cannondale Adventure 400 (jumbo frame) that my wife gave me sixteen years ago. Went to the lbs where it was purchased and had them convert it with a BaFang 750w mid drive motor...of my three bikes, it’s now my favorite. Every ride brings a smile. The front shock fork and shock in the seat post make for a comfortable ride, and the frame really provides a stable platform. The chain rings were replaced with a single 44, and I still use all eight remaining gears with the five PAS.

Upgraded the tires to Schwalbe Energizer Plus, added a new saddle, upgraded the brake pads, and it’s great. All for far less than the price if a new bike.

Good luck...I hope you find a worthwhile solution!

Last edited by Oldoarsman; 11-18-19 at 08:57 PM. Reason: semantics corrected
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Old 11-18-19, 08:57 AM
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Mid drive waaaay better for MTB
I mid drive conversion for a MTB is useless..... the motor hangs where rocks will hit it.
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Old 11-18-19, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Mid drive waaaay better for MTB
I mid drive conversion for a MTB is useless..... the motor hangs where rocks will hit it.
This is a good point. My motor is built into the frame with a skid plate. Based on stuff I went over yesterday, I'd say a mid drive conversion would have been beat up pretty good.
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Old 11-18-19, 10:20 AM
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It depends how eroded and rocky the trails are whether a DIY mid-drive is adequate. I've ridden a Bafang BBS02 (probably like Oldoarsman above's) for four years on many trails in socal with no damage to the motor (which hangs down to about the level of the chainring). Additionally, hub systems are adequate for relatively smooth trails. The main consideration with a hub system is the requirement to maintain a speed of about 50% of the maximum so too much energy isn't transformed into heat.
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