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Help finding e-bike for touring

Old 06-06-21, 09:16 PM
  #1  
derail3
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Help finding e-bike for touring

I have posted this request in both E-bike and touring section



Looking for help finding the right e-bike for my wife. We have toured loaded self supported for years. But after two hip replacements and a bad knee, plus age. She can no longer climb the steep grades and walks.



We have talked about a e-bike and we know what features we want. But have not found one with out going to a custom frame builder. Would rather buy off the self or semi custom. Below is features we a looking for. Does anyone have a recommendation that has most or all of the wish list.



Touring geometry

Aluminum or titanium frame

Mid drive motor

Belt drive

Rear internal hub gearing

Front and rear mounts for panniers

Front and rear mounts for full fenders

Three water bottle mounts



Thanks for help
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Old 06-06-21, 09:50 PM
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That’s a tough list!

The belt and IGH narrow it down a lot. The two bikes off the top of my head that has a belt and a hub transmission available in North America with anything close to touring geometry might be the riesse and mueller roadster Mixte and the bulls Lacuba evo lite. You can configure it with a belt and CVT, definitely a mid drive, aluminum bike with lots of mount points. Check those two out first. The Lacuba looks better to me for a smaller rider.

gazelle has a couple c8 variants with belt drive, but they’re more upright, city geometry than touring.

Cannondale Tesoro Neo X might be closer to a classic touring bike, also mid drive, aluminum, mounts, etc, but it’s not a belt drive and not a IGH.

you’ll probably get a lot more answers on electricbikereview.com forums.

Trek and Specialized all have various flavors of fitness bikes, no belts, no IGH, but versatile bikes with a range of power in the Allant and Vado/Vado SL lines.

Both giant and trek have belt drive versions of the above available only in Europe, afaik. I assume you’re in North America.

Last edited by mschwett; 06-06-21 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 06-06-21, 09:58 PM
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Good list ^^^; Riesse & Muller is the closest IMO.

Last edited by 2old; 06-07-21 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 06-07-21, 10:41 AM
  #4  
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How recent was the hip replacement and bad knee? Has she spent much time in the saddle since?

Maybe a recumbent can allow her more saddle time without the discomfort, have you thought about that option?

What is the distance do you plan to cover on a daily basis for your touring trip? how many days in the saddle for a trip?
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Old 06-07-21, 03:28 PM
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More important than all that is have you given much thought to how you will recharge on a tour of any real distance?

Reason I ask is I've considered the option but haven't really heard a workable solution. I've seen people do it while credit card touring, just stay in some sort of motel or B&B every night with guaranteed access to a power plug. They were only doing about 40 miles a day as well and were forced to carry their own charger around. But recharging while off the civilized track will be a real issue. Not sure there is a good way to do that. I've seen people suggest carrying two batteries, but that just means it will take twice as long to charge at night.

As for bike options, look for a belt compatible frame like a Soma Wolverine and put an aftermarket mid drive kit on it. BBS02/BBSHD can run a belt drive.

https://www.electricbike.com/gates-belt-bbs02/

You can then couple that to your own Rolhoff or IGH of choice.

None of the Riese Muller options seem to fulfill your wish list from what I can see. All they seem to have is commuter bikes that could be ridden on a tour. You are sort of making up your own rules on this. The normal "rules" for ultra reliable parts available in third world countries simply don't apply. So really you are looking for a comfortable bike one can spends days riding. My impression is you are looking for something you won't have to fiddle with, hence belt/IGN.

Whatever you get it will be heavy. Won't get much range any other way.

Last edited by Pop N Wood; 06-07-21 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 06-07-21, 03:47 PM
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Look at the Riese and Muller Superdelite GT Rohloff which seems to have enough options to satisfy your needs, but is expensive and heavy.
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Old 06-08-21, 04:00 AM
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Why don't you just retrofit a conventional touring bike using the components you like? Pictured below is my Bruce Gordon with a (now unavailable) BionX hub motor. You could do the same with a Surly LHT or Trek (or Cannondale if you prefer aluminum) using a Bafang mid-drive motor. The suggested Riese and Muller looks like a beast at 69 pounds. Mine pictured is about 47 pounds with one battery, add 9 pounds for a second.

I could put the front racks back on but am currently using that location for water bottles. As you can see the main triangle is dominated by the battery. Under down tube location is where I carry a pump. You may need to carry some water inside the bags as suggested on the other thread.

Keep in mind that any touring ebike may require two batteries and two chargers. Carrying luggage you're likely going to need to stop every 50 miles (or sooner) for an overnight re-charge. After 50 years I've retired from long distance camping/touring. Just too many challenges with re-charging on the road and carrying extra batteries/chargers.


Last edited by BobG; 06-09-21 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 06-08-21, 08:45 AM
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Check out the thread below for mid-drive motor, with Rholoff hub e-bike options:

https://www.bikeforums.net/electric-...-rear-hub.html
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Old 06-09-21, 02:59 PM
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The bikes sold as "gravel bikes" will have more relaxed geometry. Easy enough to change out the wheels if you decide you want different tires. For touring you will want a bike that has a removable battery so you can have a backup in the poop van and so you know you will always have a fresh battery to start the day and it makes it easier to bring just the battery inside for charging each night. The removable battery aspect elimiates many bikes with middrive.

To me a Class 3 bike is going to be the most natural to pedal and not have the motor cutting out when going up short grades. The Giant E+ bikes do not have removable batteries but they have the Yamaha drive unit and also the Giant e-bikes have longer chain stays and a more stable geometry.

The bikes made for triathalon use have the best geometry for touring and the Scott Centurion was the first bike that worked as well as the custom built frame I had made in 1974 to my specifications. Gravel bikes are second best and they are available as e-bikes.

When I first started long tours in California there were so few bike shops that I had to carry spare parts and tools. It is much the same today with regard to finding someone to fix anything on an e-bike on a tour where you will be days away from a shop that can work on the bike. I would put the removable battery and the most bike available shops for support for the bike at the top of my list. In the USA that means Trek or Specialized at this point in time.

The fender mounting and adding water bottle holders is easy with any frame so no need for there to already be bosses in place. The requirement of having a belt drive motor also seems silly as these also break and if I was worried about a chain failing I would put on a new chain prior to a tour and keep the old chain in my luggage.
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Old 06-09-21, 05:11 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
The removable battery aspect elimiates many bikes with middrive.
I think we are talking amongst ourselves, the OP seems to have left us.

Factory built mid drive may lack removable batteries but not mid drive kits. lots of options there. Plus an external battery can be fit to just about anything.

I'm trying to figure out how ebike touring would work for myself. Since you are one of the few people who has etoured, just curious what you consider "long tour". Are you talking a self supported, cross country trek, with possible tent camping or more of a support van tour group ride between hotels? 40 mile days or the occasional 80-100 mile day?

Personally I don't see anyone making what one could consider an electric touring ebike. I'm starting to wonder if there is a reason for that. That RM looks like a lot of fun to ride, but not sure I would consider it a touring bike. Lots of bikes can be ridden multiple days in a row, but even from your posts it seems like ebikes pretty much limit rides to populated areas. All the normal rules about simple and reliable bikes that the rider can fix themselves need rethinking. Having to carry a charger, spare batteries or special tools pretty much sends the idea of packing light or saving weight out the window.

BTW not sure riding near a Trek dealer would fill me with much confidence. Seems like too many posts about ebike dealer repairs required shipping something off. Maybe just covid related.
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Old 06-09-21, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
I think we are talking amongst ourselves, the OP seems to have left us.

Factory built mid drive may lack removable batteries but not mid drive kits. lots of options there. Plus an external battery can be fit to just about anything.

I'm trying to figure out how ebike touring would work for myself. Since you are one of the few people who has etoured, just curious what you consider "long tour". Are you talking a self supported, cross country trek, with possible tent camping or more of a support van tour group ride between hotels? 40 mile days or the occasional 80-100 mile day?...
I'm going to ride to LA in a few weeks, from San Francisco. I think I'd consider that touring, but to be honest "fixing" the bike if something goes horribly wrong isn't really a criteria for me. If something nonstandard breaks, the tour is over, and I wouldn't be so far from civilization that a lyft or uber wouldn't rescue me. That may not really qualify as touring, but I have zero interest/ability in anything that involves a support van or being away from home for weeks at a time.

Maybe for other type of tours with eBikes people end up with super super heavy rigs that have HUGE batteries and motors, they carry solar panels, the whole deal, to try and get long range. But those bikes are massively heavy and impractical to pedal without lots of assist. I think it's a vicious cycle. For me, a better approach is going light, low resistance, and minimizing power usage. On my Creo, which is light and frictionless enough to ride with the motor off 90% of the time, I've averaged around 2.4 wH per 100 feet climbed, or around 1wH per mile on typical ride profiles up to 75 miles. The entire trip to LA (500 miles, 25,000 feet) only takes one charge. My plan is to do it in three or four days and bring the charger knowing that one or more nights I need to be able to charge. Obviously this is different than totally self sufficient touring, but with a range of way over 100 miles, other than serious mountain passes I don't see too many situations where I'd be too far from a possible charge. Adding the range extender would make it *almost* possible to go 500 miles and 25,000 feet up without the charger over 4 or 5 days, making a few "no charge opportunity" days less of a problem.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:07 AM
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Going 500 miles should not need an electric motor for assistance to compensate for a bike that is 10 lbs heavier before and travel kit or food or water is added to it. Better to have lower gears available so you can make your way however slowly up any grade of any length. What I appreciated as I got older and had more money was that I could leave the sleeping bag and camp stove and fuel bottle and ground cloth at home and eat in restaurants and stay at hotels along the route. The last thing I would want is to need to worry about how much juice was left in the battery or where I could plug in to recharge it each night. It misses the point much like using a motorcycle on the Pacific Crest Trail.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
Going 500 miles should not need an electric motor for assistance to compensate for a bike that is 10 lbs heavier before and travel kit or food or water is added to it. Better to have lower gears available so you can make your way however slowly up any grade of any length. What I appreciated as I got older and had more money was that I could leave the sleeping bag and camp stove and fuel bottle and ground cloth at home and eat in restaurants and stay at hotels along the route. The last thing I would want is to need to worry about how much juice was left in the battery or where I could plug in to recharge it each night. It misses the point much like using a motorcycle on the Pacific Crest Trail.
the motor isnít to compensate for the 10 lbs of bike, itís to compensate for my limited peak cardiac output. everyoneís circumstances and abilities are different, and doing 90% of the work yourself over hundreds of miles is hardly the same as doing none, as on a motorcycle. but to each their own. I also have no interest in camping and cooking Ö
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Old 06-10-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
That may not really qualify as touring, but I have zero interest/ability in anything that involves a support van or being away from home for weeks at a time.
There is all kinds of touring, which is the reason I was asking for details about what that meant.

I've credit card toured more than tent camped. My retirement plan is spending weeks if not months on a bike exploring the remote corners of the US. Want to do it cheaply as well, so tent camping and cooking for myself as much as possible. But as I age the more I realize the ability to do that will one day end. Some form of assist could push that date out a decade.

Solar panels don't seem like a viable option to me. I've carried small ones and had trouble keeping a phone charged. Can't imagine trying to charge a kilowatt hour battery with one while riding.

Batteries are not a power source, only a storage medium, thus carrying multiple doesn't buy much freedom. Stretching a battery out so it lasts multiple days is always an option, but then why lug around a motor and battery if you aren't going to use it?
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Old 06-13-21, 07:08 AM
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I used to do credit card touring. Now that I'm 70, I have an ebike, and I have been dreaming about touring.

My take is you will want 2 batteries. Most days you will be fine with one battery, but you know Murphys law. You don't want to be going uphill and into a headwind late in the day.. with a dead battery.

It's going to be real easy to forget to charge the second one after a long day.

In my distinctly unhumble opinion, throw out your list and start over. You need a motor, do you really need the rest? An IGH that might take the strain is going to set you back about a grand, and for what? Credit card touring means your bikes will be a lot lighter, and you know you will be able to recharge the batteries.

I would guess you need a medium strong motor. I'd say 500 or 600 watts, but Bosch is what you want and they've gone over to Newton-meters. Just avoid the wimpier ones and you'll be fine.

https://www.gazellebikes.com/en-us/g...5D=237%2C9%2C9

Last edited by late; 06-14-21 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 06-13-21, 08:13 AM
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Just build your own?
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