Bike Purchase Advice - 22 Mile (one way) Commute

RobF

Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
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I think the Cube is the wrong bike for you, have you worked out how to fit mudguards for example? You need a hybrid as a minimum, MTB is going the wrong way for your high daily mileage, and I think you'll be searching out road routes to work as well.
The Cube's a bit more mountain bikey than would be ideal.

But it does have suitable tyres, durable shallow tread Super Moto X, and the hub gearing is a very big plus for a commuter.

It's also a blank canvas.

All Cubes I've seen have plenty of bosses, so the OP could fit mudguards and a rack of his choice.
 

Artstu

Pedelecer
Aug 2, 2009
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All Cubes I've seen have plenty of bosses, so the OP could fit mudguards and a rack of his choice.
It was the fork that looked like fitting mudguards would be an issue. I think the rear drop-outs slide with two screws on each rear stay, but I'm not sure.
 

Wisper Bikes

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Apr 11, 2007
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Thus a pack with top quality Panasonic cells will perform better than one with budget Panasonic cells.
Interesting figure learned this week whilst visiting Portugal Abimota. Up to 75% of all "Panasonic" cells coming out of China are thought to be counterfeit. Hence the difference in Panasonic cell performance.
 

mooksy_86

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
8
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Macclesfield, UK
Thanks for clarifying about the Bosch cruise and speed branded motors Soundwave. Great to know the motor is capable of 45kpm with a dongle as I'd hoped.

I'll definitely look for a LiPO battery if I go the kit route Woosh. The batteries from Panda seem to be well reputed and are built with Samsung cells but they're LI-ION.

In that vein I think I'd prefer to have the battery on a rack mount than on the frame RobF. The Thorn's are built to handle well with plenty of weight on the back after all. The controller on the handlebars and additional wiring wouldn't really be a concern for me, the important part would be still having a fully functional bike.

I was looking at a set of SKS 65mm mudguards for the Cube https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HTED00Q You're right there though Artsu that particular Suntour fork has no eyelets https://www.bike24.com/p2235770.html so I suppose I'd have to mount with p-clips.

I'm definitely leaning more towards the Thorn and kit option right now as it has the best potential for long term use and flexibility. Sourcing high quality parts for a kit that will allow me to achieve speeds up to 25mph remains challenging though.

Woosh would one of your BPM front wheel kits be compatible with this battery from Panda https://www.pandaebikes.com/shop/ba...rack-battery-lithium-ion-lg-cells-uk-charger/ and do you sell no battery versions of your kits?

Thanks for all the continued advice from everyone! :)
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
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Woosh would one of your BPM front wheel kits be compatible with this battery from Panda https://www.pandaebikes.com/shop/ba...rack-battery-lithium-ion-lg-cells-uk-charger/ and do you sell no battery versions of your kits?
I can supply a front BPM kit with the controller mounted to the seat post like in this bike:
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/krieger15ah.html

The rack box version of this controller is too big to go inside the controller box on the Panda rack battery.

Alternatively, I can supply the XF07 front kit with the smaller Lishui 17A controller which would fit inside the Panda rack battery.

do you sell no battery versions of your kits?
No problem with Bafang BBS kits.
For hub kits, we tend to supply kits with battery because we know they fit together. The hub kits are normally supplied with controller integrated to the base of the HL downtube battery like this bike:
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?krieger
 
Jul 18, 2016
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If you want low maintenance IGH with enclosed chainguard the frame needs horizontal dropouts.

Derailleurs will need cleaning once week at least on loose surfaces and oiling maybe 2-3 week.

I wouldn't recommend rear motor and rack mount battery, especially as you will be carrying few kilos of gear on rack. Tried that loose surfaces and ended up buying middrive. Even middrive with rack battery and heavy panniers is not ideal.

You may want test ride front drive on loose surfaces before going down that path.

A decent suspension fork or fat tyres is must on loose surfaces, fix fork with thin 700c tyres will take it's total on you especially 2-3hrs a day. Also factor in running tyres at lower pressure for traction and comfort but reduced range. At 30-40psi MTB tyres will give comfort solid ride, 50-60psi can be like riding on marbles.

I can ride my FS eMTB on gravel roads at 20mph no problem but my wifes city bike with thinner 28" wheels and upright position is handful at 15mph.
 
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Woosh

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May 19, 2012
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I wouldn't worry too much about derailleur on a hub driven commuting bike. a) you don't change gear often on a geared hub bike and b) chain and cassette are very cheap and easy to replace. The main thing is to have a good bottom bracket. Square taper is not good for high mileage because the left crank tends to come off due to torsion forces, you need Hollowtech or GXP.
 

mooksy_86

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
8
32
Macclesfield, UK
I can supply a front BPM kit with the controller mounted to the seat post like in this bike:
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/krieger15ah.html

The rack box version of this controller is too big to go inside the controller box on the Panda rack battery.

Alternatively, I can supply the XF07 front kit with the smaller Lishui 17A controller which would fit inside the Panda rack battery.


No problem with Bafang BBS kits.
For hub kits, we tend to supply kits with battery because we know they fit together. The hub kits are normally supplied with controller integrated to the base of the HL downtube battery like this bike:
http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?krieger
Locating the controller on the seat tube wouldn't be a problem for me. There doesn't seem to be much room on the Panda rack anyway, or did you mean literally inside the battery housing?

What is the main difference between the XF07 and BPM motors? Would either allow me to achieve 20mph using your controller and display unit? I'm allowing for the fact that it would void any warranty under your terms. The guys at Cyclotricity have informed me the have a disclaimer form for such instances.
 

Woosh

Trade Member
May 19, 2012
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Locating the controller on the seat tube wouldn't be a problem for me. There doesn't seem to be much room on the Panda rack anyway, or did you mean literally inside the battery housing?
yes, that's it. There is an issue with mounting the controller on the seat tube, it is near the ground and exposed to splashes when you ride over puddles as you can see by the picture of the first Krieger. The controller box is potted and sealed but the connectors don't have o-rings and they are, for esthetic reason, near the bottom bracket, not the best place to avoid splashes.
On the Krieger, the connectors are hidden inside the downtube but when you build a kit, you can't make large oval holes in your downtube to tuck the excess cable inside.
What is the main difference between the XF07 and BPM motors?
The XF07 has about 25% less torque therefore no need for torque arms.
Less torque means less speed when climbing. On the flat, they are not much different.
 

mooksy_86

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
8
32
Macclesfield, UK
If you want low maintenance IGH with enclosed chainguard the frame needs horizontal dropouts.

Derailleurs will need cleaning once week at least on loose surfaces and oiling maybe 2-3 week.

I wouldn't recommend rear motor and rack mount battery, especially as you will be carrying few kilos of gear on rack. Tried that loose surfaces and ended up buying middrive. Even middrive with rack battery and heavy panniers is not ideal.

You may want test ride front drive on loose surfaces before going down that path.

A decent suspension fork or fat tyres is must on loose surfaces, fix fork with thin 700c tyres will take it's total on you especially 2-3hrs a day. Also factor in running tyres at lower pressure for traction and comfort but reduced range. At 30-40psi MTB tyres will give comfort solid ride, 50-60psi can be like riding on marbles.

I can ride my FS eMTB on gravel roads at 20mph no problem but my wifes city bike with thinner 28" wheels and upright position is handful at 15mph.
I've ruled out anything with a derailleur and rear hub drive completely Trevor. I won't have the time or patience to spend a good chunk of my weekend every weekend cleaning and oiling it. So it's got to be a front hub kit and internally geared rear hub. The Thorn Nomad is a touring specific bike so they're built to carry heavy loads on the rear and have a Rolhoff IG hub as standard. Tyre wise it would come with 2.0" Schwalbe Marathon Dureme's which are a custom tyre built for Thorn by Schwalbe so I'd hope the ride wouldn't be too rough. The frame is suspension fork compatible but that would have to be a future upgrade as it would put me well over budget. Although it would be my preference right away if money was no object.
 
Jan 26, 2015
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The European Union
Locating the controller on the seat tube wouldn't be a problem for me. There doesn't seem to be much room on the Panda rack anyway, or did you mean literally inside the battery housing?

What is the main difference between the XF07 and BPM motors? Would either allow me to achieve 20mph using your controller and display unit? I'm allowing for the fact that it would void any warranty under your terms. The guys at Cyclotricity have informed me the have a disclaimer form for such instances.
The XF07 is given for 33 km/h with a 36v battery and a 17 A controller. Mine tops out at about 27 km/h with a 15 A controller. An XF08 is a better choice in my view because you have more options in 7 and 8 speed cassettes.
 

RobF

Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
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I've ruled out anything with a derailleur and rear hub drive completely Trevor. I won't have the time or patience to spend a good chunk of my weekend every weekend cleaning and oiling it. So it's got to be a front hub kit and internally geared rear hub. The Thorn Nomad is a touring specific bike so they're built to carry heavy loads on the rear and have a Rolhoff IG hub as standard. Tyre wise it would come with 2.0" Schwalbe Marathon Dureme's which are a custom tyre built for Thorn by Schwalbe so I'd hope the ride wouldn't be too rough. The frame is suspension fork compatible but that would have to be a future upgrade as it would put me well over budget. Although it would be my preference right away if money was no object.
I've only ridden rack battery ebikes for a couple of short test rides, but I didn't find them as tail happy as I thought I would.

You make a good point about the Thorn being designed to carry lots of weight and handle properly.

A rack battery would enable you to use the downtube bottle cage mounts.

Very handy, not being able to carry a water bottle in a cage on most ebikes is annoying.

If you are getting a Thorn, I suggest you ask about setting it up tubeless.

I've just gone tubeless on the Riese and Muller.

Top job, noticeably less rolling resistance and improved comfort as well as the puuncture sealing benefits.
 
D

Deleted member 4366

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I've ruled out anything with a derailleur and rear hub drive completely Trevor. I won't have the time or patience to spend a good chunk of my weekend every weekend cleaning and oiling it. So it's got to be a front hub kit and internally geared rear hub.
That's ridiculous and you've been misled. I've never oiled my derailleur in 5000 miles and 3 1/2 years. I think I've oiled my chain about 5 times in all that time, but you have to do that whatever type of gears you have.

A rear hub-motor is much better than a front one. It's quieter, has better traction and the installation is stronger and safer than a front motor.
 

Woosh

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May 19, 2012
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Wisper Bikes

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The problem for the consumer can be spotting the difference between branded and generic goods.

Getting the Chinese factory to stick to the spec is another problem.

Few companies have the resources to maintain an office in China to enable quality control at source.

I have no idea where Bosch batteries are made, but they do seem to last well in terms of service life.

Maybe Bosch does keep a close eye on quality control, or maybe their contract is deemed too valuable to mess them about.

Bosch batteries are expensive, but since they last about twice as long, they may even work out cheaper for the consumer.
Hi Rob, I agree, getting Chinese companies to stick to a spec used to be a real issue. We visit China ever 8 weeks or so, that seems to be enough to keep everything perfectly on track.

Having just come back from a tour of Portuguese factories, I can confirm that they are very similar to a modern Chinese factory. I actually think that the Chinese are more innovative.

History tells us that all countries entering the manufacturing and export business go through the same cycle. When I was young, no one would dream of buying product from Japan. China is quickly following Japan, hence the EBMA's desperate attempts to curb them now, before it's too late. It's not the cheap bikes the European Bicycle Manufacturers are concerned about, it's the high end bikes that have started to emerge, bikes that are equal to anything made in Germany. The motor manufacturers are panicking too as the likes of Bafang produce better and better motors. There is still a little way to go but it would not surprise me if very soon we see better quality electronics coming out of China than are available in Europe.

All the best, David
 
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mooksy_86

Finding my (electric) wheels
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
8
32
Macclesfield, UK
That's ridiculous and you've been misled. I've never oiled my derailleur in 5000 miles and 3 1/2 years. I think I've oiled my chain about 5 times in all that time, but you have to do that whatever type of gears you have.

A rear hub-motor is much better than a front one. It's quieter, has better traction and the installation is stronger and safer than a front motor.
Really? I was under the impression that sand/grit is pretty terrible for derailleurs in general? Based on my own limited experience I would have thought that was the case at least anyway. I've been a mostly casual cyclist during my adult life though so I'll defer to folks who know what they're talking about.

What would your own recommendation be then d8veh? I've seen in other threads that you're quite complementary of the Oxygen S-Cross?
 
D

Deleted member 4366

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Really? I was under the impression that sand/grit is pretty terrible for derailleurs in general? Based on my own limited experience I would have thought that was the case at least anyway. I've been a mostly casual cyclist during my adult life though so I'll defer to folks who know what they're talking about.

What would your own recommendation be then d8veh? I've seen in other threads that you're quite complementary of the Oxygen S-Cross?
All I can say is that from my commuting experience of about 10,000 miles, I never had to adjust a derailleur on any bike, except once, when the gear cable snapped, but that could happen with any type of gears.

For a short while, based on recommendations on this forum, I used white lightning chain lubricant that all ended up in a congealed mess and full of grit around my derailleur, so I had to clean it all off. After that, I went back to my original one squirt of gear oil on the chain every 1000 miles (approx) or when the chain starts making grinding noises, and never had to do anything since. I've used all sorts of derailleur gears from the cheapest to top of the range. That includes a 1000 mile test in one month on salty and snowy/slushy January roads using the cheapest bike I could find (£5) with the crappiest derailleur gears you can get, with zero maintenance during those 1000 miles - not even a clean.

I like the Oxygen MTB because it goes very fast and handles and brakes perfectly. The City version is not so good as the MTB in handling and braking, but is still fast and efficient.

I have a personal preference for basic Chinese electrical systems because they're dead easy to fix if anything goes wrong. Even if you can't get original components, you can mix and match, and they're easy to upgrade too. I feel really sorry for guys that spend a lot of money on something like a Trek with Bionx motor. It's only a mater of time before you get an error code on the display, then there's nothing you can do except take it to a Bionx specialist, if you can find one. Then, you have to pay whatever he says, which might be £800 for a new battery.

There are many good commuter bikes from Woosh, Kudos, Wisper, Juicy and many others. They all work and you get good support from all of them if ever you needed it. I would buy and be happy with any of them. I think I'm right in saying that they can all be derestricted if you know how, and if that's important for you. I'm not recommending it. I'm just saying what's possible because many guys with long commutes do like to speed it up a bit. AFAIK, none are as fast as the Oxygens.
 

RobF

Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,435
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The no maintenance derailer gear experienced by d8 will raise a few eyebrows among the many cyclists who can never get the sodding things just right for any length of time.

Having said that, my derailer ebike has only requred a couple of tweeks to keep it shifting smoothly, albeit that bike doesn't do a lot of miles.

I also suspect derailer niggles are exacerbated the more speeds you have.

Dave will correct me if I'm wrong, but his bike may have been seven or eight speed.

Hub gears are my first choice - next-to-no chain or sprocket wear - and the ability to change gears at rest shouldn't be underestimated, particularly on a commuter.
 

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