Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
NowAvoidingHills
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Jan 2021, 8:57pm

Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby NowAvoidingHills » 10 Jan 2021, 8:59pm

Hi All,

This week I started that long road to buying my first e-bike. Having been cycling avidly about 100 miles a week for the past 11 years and now in my mid 40's I have found myself avoiding hills at all costs which in the area I live in does some what limit your options! I love the views at the top and coming down like most folk but the effort getting up is proving too much, especially since being diagnosed with CFS last year and this then in turn limits your motivation to get out in the first place.

I'm potentially looking for a gravel setup as we have a lot of tracks or 'crappy' roads around and it would be nice to go an explore that bit further but I wouldn't be too upset to just stick to the roads as I do now.

So far I have come across the Ribble AGR AL e, Boardman ADV 8.9em Cairn E-Adventure 1 and the Canyon Endurace ON 7.0 all within my budget which was great but then I start looking at which motor is best - should I go for Fazua or for ebikemotion?

Then I start seeing some bikes from 2020 currently been sold for less then RRP like an Orbea Gain D30 & D31 and a Focus Paralane 6.7 & 6.8 and a Whyte Winchelsea! So I'm getting more perplexed by the minute when the Giant E+ comes along also being sold well below 3K but then do I need a motor this powerful and bike this heavy!!??

Any help and advice would be much appreciated,
Thanks!

borisface
Posts: 172
Joined: 19 Feb 2010, 3:48pm

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby borisface » 11 Jan 2021, 4:13pm

I've just recently been through a similar process. I bought a cube town sport hybrid which is a flat bar ebike about a year ago for my wife and myself to use. It comes with a Bosch active line plus motor and 500w/h battery. Apart from the odd puncture it's been great. I live in the mountains of Portugal so every ride has a considerable amount of climbing - hence the ebike.
However coming from a roadie background I now find I wanted a bike with drop bars, so have done probably the same research as you. I ruled out fairly early on the bike motion options as I felt that for the amount of climbing I did and my positive experiences with the Bosch that a mid-drive system would be better for my needs.

I looked very closely at the canyon and came very close to buying a paralane2 9.5 but decided against the fazua equipped bikes for a few reasons. Firstly I was concerned about the range. Secondly, there were quite a few user accounts of the battery/motor catch being very stiff and a few examples of the catch degrading over time, which bearing in mind you have to disengage the motor to turn it on could have been an issue. Thirdly, I came across a few people who had been disappointed with the QC on the focus with motors coming loose because the bolts had been stripped or insufficiently tightened.

So in the end I have gone for a Cannondale synapse neo which is currently on its way to me. Although it's a good deal heavier than the Fazua bikes, 17-18kg as opposed to 14-15kg, the battery range is huge and I have been impressed by the Bosch system. In any case the focus is still a very heavy bike which I wouldn't want to ride uphill without assistance and my feeling was that I would rather sacrifice some weight saving in exchange for a bigger battery which will need charging less often and provide a really decent range. To my mind overcoming weight, within reason, is less of an issue with an ebike as that's what the motor is there for.

Depending on how you felt about the integration of the battery these look to be really good value https://www.merlincycles.com/wilier-e-a ... 73101.html

swscotland bentrider
Posts: 248
Joined: 3 Aug 2008, 4:38pm

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby swscotland bentrider » 13 Jan 2021, 4:50pm

After months of thinking about it, In November I bought an E Bike, a Giant Fastroad E+.

It was a great bike. Rode very well and the motor had loads of grunt. So much that I never used it in anything other than level 1 and 2 (of 5). My particular bike had some issues and just before the 30 days were up I handed it back. (No doubt about Giant bikes in general. Mine was a one off - my brother has the same bike and has 3000 miles on it in 2 years without a single issue)

However having enjoyed what became a 100 km test ride and being unable to simply buy another I had time to think again. I am a regular cyclist (age 72) looking to take some of the pressure off my knees and enable longer rides without having to dedicate myself to constant training. I ended up ordering a gravel style bike, a Ribble CGR AL/E.

What influenced me was: Usage - it will become my go to bike not just the utilitarian riding i anticipated. Noise - I could hear the Giant's motor. Weight - The Giant rolled along well enough at 16/17 mph when the going was favourable but any slope slowed me and the motor smoothly began to assist me. I am hoping that the much lighter CGR will spend more of its time above the cut off point. Getting the bike into the car was a lot of effort. Load carrying - CGR has rack mounts. Tyre Choice - clearance for 40mm tyres or more. Looks - better looking?

These were things that influenced my choice, you may differ. But that 100 km test clarified a lot of things for me. I suspect though that if the Giant had no issues I would have continued to be delighted with it.

Colin_P
Posts: 157
Joined: 19 Aug 2013, 2:21am

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby Colin_P » 13 Jan 2021, 8:11pm

If you have a perfectly good bike at the moment, I'd seriously consider a conversion kit.

They perform just like a factory built bike and are a lot cheaper. The battery will likely be of a higher capacity and therefore have a better range as well.

The only downside is that of asthetics.

I'm extremely pleased with one of my bikes which I recently converted with a Bafang BBS01b 250w mid motor kit. If you are reasonably proficient at mending bikes they are easy to fit as well.

stodd
Posts: 352
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby stodd » 13 Jan 2021, 8:54pm

Colin_P wrote:If you have a perfectly good bike at the moment, I'd seriously consider a conversion kit.

They perform just like a factory built bike and are a lot cheaper. The battery will likely be of a higher capacity and therefore have a better range as well.

The only downside is that of asthetics.

I'm extremely pleased with one of my bikes which I recently converted with a Bafang BBS01b 250w mid motor kit. If you are reasonably proficient at mending bikes they are easy to fit as well.

Cost and ease of repair and getting replacements in a few years time may well be better with a conversion. Most of the higher end bikes use propriety systems and these need matching (and generally very expensive) spares if anything does go wrong. For example if anything goes wrong with a Bosch motor out of guarantee the official answer will probably be a new motor at around £900, though there are specialist firms (e.g. performance line bearings) that have some spares and will often manage repair. A problem with the BMS on a Bosch battery will mean new battery at maybe £600.

Colin_P
Posts: 157
Joined: 19 Aug 2013, 2:21am

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby Colin_P » 14 Jan 2021, 11:59am

stodd wrote:
Colin_P wrote:If you have a perfectly good bike at the moment, I'd seriously consider a conversion kit.

They perform just like a factory built bike and are a lot cheaper. The battery will likely be of a higher capacity and therefore have a better range as well.

The only downside is that of asthetics.

I'm extremely pleased with one of my bikes which I recently converted with a Bafang BBS01b 250w mid motor kit. If you are reasonably proficient at mending bikes they are easy to fit as well.

Cost and ease of repair and getting replacements in a few years time may well be better with a conversion. Most of the higher end bikes use propriety systems and these need matching (and generally very expensive) spares if anything does go wrong. For example if anything goes wrong with a Bosch motor out of guarantee the official answer will probably be a new motor at around £900, though there are specialist firms (e.g. performance line bearings) that have some spares and will often manage repair. A problem with the BMS on a Bosch battery will mean new battery at maybe £600.


A good point, a lot of factory built ebikes are going to go to the scrapper whilst relatively new with minor, uneconomical to repair, faults.

At least with a coversion kit, you still have your bike and can buy another kit, or even parts for the kit you have should a fault develop. You could of course even buy another kit with the latest greatest tech on it.

The biggest one for me though is the eye watering cost of a factory built e-bike verses converting your own bike.

Antbrewer
Posts: 150
Joined: 1 Jul 2016, 9:14am

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby Antbrewer » 15 Jan 2021, 4:04pm

My comment is directed more to Borisface.
Good afternoon. On reading your post here I was immediately reminded of your comment back in September ( I had to look the date up and the subject 'Ebikes and fitness' ) and I quote
''The moral from my experience is don't be seduced into thinking that you are getting a decent workout with an ebike. You are not.'' unquote
I replied you might recall that your comment was not the case for me.

I now see that you have ordered the Cannondale Synapse. Here I hope we will agree. This is the ebike that I have ( the Neo 1) Excellent choice but I still get a decent workout whilst riding it. My thinking is to push myself a little before deciding to turn on Eco mode.
I sincerely hope you enjoy riding it as much as I do

borisface
Posts: 172
Joined: 19 Feb 2010, 3:48pm

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby borisface » 15 Jan 2021, 4:47pm

Antbrewer wrote:My comment is directed more to Borisface.
Good afternoon. On reading your post here I was immediately reminded of your comment back in September ( I had to look the date up and the subject 'Ebikes and fitness' ) and I quote
''The moral from my experience is don't be seduced into thinking that you are getting a decent workout with an ebike. You are not.'' unquote
I replied you might recall that your comment was not the case for me.

I now see that you have ordered the Cannondale Synapse. Here I hope we will agree. This is the ebike that I have ( the Neo 1) Excellent choice but I still get a decent workout whilst riding it. My thinking is to push myself a little before deciding to turn on Eco mode.
I sincerely hope you enjoy riding it as much as I do


Hoist by my own petard! The Cannondale arrived a couple of days ago and it's amazing! So much nicer to ride than the cube and more comfortable. It feels like a proper bike, the range seems better as it together with me is around 10% lighter. I think the secret for me might just be to push a bit harder on the pedals and be more consistent in the riding I do. I hope to do a bit more cycling this year and lose some of that weight that found me!

amoto65
Posts: 18
Joined: 13 May 2019, 3:50pm

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby amoto65 » 16 Jan 2021, 10:11am

I purchased a Specialized Comp Carbon Creo 3 months ago, It weighs under 14kg and is a revelation around the Peak District, the motor is faultless and after coming from a heavier Bosch powered bike feels much more natural although a bit expensive.

Antbrewer
Posts: 150
Joined: 1 Jul 2016, 9:14am

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby Antbrewer » 16 Jan 2021, 4:04pm

Hi Borisface.
I was out this morning on my synapse through mud and many deep puddles and this was on the roads and lanes. God knows what off road would have been like. So much rain lately.
Quote ''It feels like a proper bike'' unquote. My feelings exactly the moment I tried out and so then spent the money. I have the Neo 1. which I wonder is yours?

This week I have been out twice ( not far) on my Ridgeback tourer and also on my Claud Butler hybrid for shopping etc so I have used all three bikes. A time and place for all.
I hope you enjoy the bike and the riding it as much as I do.
Happy pedaling
Anthony

borisface
Posts: 172
Joined: 19 Feb 2010, 3:48pm

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby borisface » 16 Jan 2021, 4:12pm

I went for the Neo 2 which has tiagra. Once I had adjusted the gears it works fine. The official figures say it's only 100gms heavier than the Neo1 and was £250 cheaper. I found a very good deal from Germany for just under £2,300. So I'm chuffed. Had a day off today but going to go up the big mountains behind where I live tomorrow.

Do you find yours is Ok in the wet?

Antbrewer
Posts: 150
Joined: 1 Jul 2016, 9:14am

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby Antbrewer » 17 Jan 2021, 11:15am

Wow! you lucky blighter. That price you paid was virtually a freebie.........Well done. No such luck in the UK even after extensive searching.

Yes it was absolutely fine in the wet. Spent one whole day in Yorkshire in September in the worst horrendous rain I think I have seen for years. No problems at all.
One thing has come to mind.. Having read on another forum ( a USA one I think for ebikes) I put some waterproof tape on a cable that enters the back of the bottom bracket from the down tube. There seemed to be a minuscule gap around the cable entry point. I am a belt and braces man. I have no doubt that it is watertight and sealed but just in case. I was going to take a picture to show you but I have put mudguards on and the bottom of the rear guard hides this cable entry.
I will be out on it this afternoon for a couple of hours and no doubt your initial words will come back to me about 'not getting a workout' . If only.
Glad you are enjoying it.

.

borisface
Posts: 172
Joined: 19 Feb 2010, 3:48pm

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby borisface » 17 Jan 2021, 5:05pm

Antbrewer wrote:Wow! you lucky blighter. That price you paid was virtually a freebie.........Well done. No such luck in the UK even after extensive searching.

Yes it was absolutely fine in the wet. Spent one whole day in Yorkshire in September in the worst horrendous rain I think I have seen for years. No problems at all.
One thing has come to mind.. Having read on another forum ( a USA one I think for ebikes) I put some waterproof tape on a cable that enters the back of the bottom bracket from the down tube. There seemed to be a minuscule gap around the cable entry point. I am a belt and braces man. I have no doubt that it is watertight and sealed but just in case. I was going to take a picture to show you but I have put mudguards on and the bottom of the rear guard hides this cable entry.
I will be out on it this afternoon for a couple of hours and no doubt your initial words will come back to me about 'not getting a workout' . If only.
Glad you are enjoying it.

.


Thanks for the update regarding the waterproofing, that's reassuring. I think the nearest Bosch service centre is about a 2 hour drive away so I'm keen that nothing untoward happens. I'll tell my wife you think it's a bargain! Happy riding!

Antbrewer
Posts: 150
Joined: 1 Jul 2016, 9:14am

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby Antbrewer » 22 Jan 2021, 11:26am

To Borisface,
How are things going with your new ( and annoyingly inexpensive) cannondale synapse? Very interested to know.

borisface
Posts: 172
Joined: 19 Feb 2010, 3:48pm

Re: Road / Gravel e-bike for under 3K

Postby borisface » 22 Jan 2021, 3:16pm

Antbrewer wrote:To Borisface,
How are things going with your new ( and annoyingly inexpensive) cannondale synapse? Very interested to know.


Thanks for your interest. It's going really well thanks. It's a lovely bike to ride, very smooth over any rough and just comfortable. I can't fault it. It's only when you turn the motor off going uphill that you notice the weight, then it is pretty vile but no worse than a fully laden tourer. I far prefer it to ride to the cube.

I've done about 90 miles in the last couple of weeks. I did two back to back rides totalling 45 miles and 2200m of climbing in a combination of eco and tour (actually quite a bit of tour) with some turbo and that just about depleted the battery from full - I had 2kms left. But I think when I'm a little fitter, and just use eco, I should get up to 60 miles on a charge.

On one of those rides, I think I would have been about 45minutes slower on my non electric bike but also not capable of getting up the stairs when I got home. As it was I felt like I had been on a ride but one I did about 30 years ago!

I took it up a really horrendous climb that rises 200m over a mile at an average of over 12% and it coped admirably. It's a climb that was used in a pro race a couple of years ago and I was actually second on the Strava leaderboard before I flagged it.

It came with the standard charger, the cube has the compact, and the Cannondale charges in about half the time.

Not been able to go out since Monday as we have the tail end of storm Christoph, so 80mph winds and torrential rain, so it might be a few days before I get to ride it again.