Bike Purchase Advice - 22 Mile (one way) Commute

D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
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.
Number of speeds makes no difference. I have used 7, 8 and 9 speeds on electric bikes and 10 speed on each of my road bikes. I've never done any adjustment or maintenance to any of my road bikes either. That's about 2200 miles on top of the 10,000 mentioned above. They get the same maintenance as my electric bikes, i.e. a squirt of hypoid 90 gear oil when the chain goes dry. It's a complete fallacy that these things need any significant maintenance for normal road use.
 
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
32
Macclesfield, UK
It's a complete fallacy that these things need any significant maintenance for normal road use.
My route wouldn't be considered normal road use though you see, it's 90% off road along gravel cycle paths with only about 4 miles of the 22 actually on tarmac. I've had trouble with grit in getting into my disk brakes on the same route so it would undoubtedly get thrown up into the drive train too.

The Oxygen does look like an incredibly good buy for the price though, which is why I'd pretty much settled on it a few pages back. There are so many variables I can't make my bloody mind up now though! :confused:
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
My route wouldn't be considered normal road use though you see, it's 90% off road along gravel cycle paths with only about 4 miles of the 22 actually on tarmac. I've had trouble with grit in getting into my disk brakes on the same route so it would undoubtedly get thrown up into the drive train too.
If you get grit on your chain and sprockets, it will be a minor problem on whichever gear system you have. Maybe you're gears will wear out in 10,000 miles instead of 12,000. Whatever it is, it's not going to stop you from getting to work. The point I'm trying to make is that these sort of things are hyped up to a level they don't deserve. The differences between the different systems are pretty insignificant. they all have advantages and disadvantages, but for me, the simplicity, reliability, efficiency and easy serviceability would always make derailleurs my first choice for a commuter bike.

To put it into perspective, I'd say that in a year's commuting, you'd be much more likely need new bearings in your crank-motor than you would need to do anything at all to your derailleur gears.
 
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
32
Macclesfield, UK
To put it into perspective, I'd say that in a year's commuting, you'd be much more likely need new bearings in your crank-motor than you would need to do anything at all to your derailleur gears.
That's definitely something to bear in mind then. I suppose one way to look at the Oxygen would be if I got 12 months use out of it before having any major mechanical issues, excluding the usual brake pad replacements etc, I'd still be saving over £500 compared to what I pay for my season ticket.

As someone mentioned (I think Trevor), as this one is the cheapest of my options, I could always upgrade to something fancier once I've got a better feel for this ebike thing anyway.

If I lived in Smooth-roads-ville Calafornia I'd definitely be rocking up on this thing though (playing the night rider theme tune of course) https://www.freeborn.co.uk/cube-suv-hybrid-27-5-race-500-black-grey-2017 The automatic gear shifting system looks smooooth! :cool::D
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
8,213
101
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
32
Macclesfield, UK

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,435
117
I'm not sure where the NuVinci hub fits in given that you were not considering a NuVinci bike.

Dave and his magic maintenance free derailer might come as a surprise to Andy Bluenoes and georgehenry on here, both commuters, both of whom have made many posts about pratting around with derailer gears.

Andy's are still not right, and chain on george's bike jumps in top gear more often than it doesn't.

If you want to deal with all that messing around, buy a derailer bike.

Seems daft to me when you can afford the alterntives - a cheap and reliable Shimano hub or the gold standard solution of a Rohloff.
 
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
32
Macclesfield, UK
I'm not sure where the NuVinci hub fits in given that you were not considering a NuVinci bike.

Dave and his magic maintenance free derailer might come as a surprise to Andy Bluenoes and georgehenry on here, both commuters, both of whom have made many posts about pratting around with derailer gears.

Andy's are still not right, and chain on george's bike jumps in top gear more often than it doesn't.

If you want to deal with all that messing around, buy a derailer bike.

Seems daft to me when you can afford the alterntives - a cheap and reliable Shimano hub or the gold standard solution of a Rohloff.
There were two Cube SUV models I was looking at Rob, the Pro with the Alfine hub and the Race with the NuVinci. I've just decided to hedge my bets though and have taken the plunge on the Oxygen S-Cross.

I've definitely taken all you've said on-board regarding internally geared hubs and I'm aware how well respected the Rolhoff is, particularly among tourers. For the cost difference between the Cube and the Oxygen though I can take the bike into my LBS for a full service every three months and replace the derailleur, chain and cassette and still have a few hundred quid left over. Depending on how I get on, I expect I'll probably upgrade to something more robust once I've had a good run out of this one, as I'd rather avoid unnecessary ongoing maintenance costs wherever possible. After 12 months though, I'll have a much better idea of precisely what I do and don't need. Then I can look to spend a bit more and invest in the perfect machine for my requirements.

Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm seriously looking forward to getting out on the new machine when it arrives! I'll be adding mudguards and a pannier rack (pilfered from my Norco Indie) and I've got a Suntour NCX float post on order. Will post some pics when I've got it all set up :D
 

RobF

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 22, 2012
4,435
117
The Oxygen rides nicely, and if the gears behave themselves you should be pleased with it.

A change of tyres may be needed, looks like the stock Kendas are 30 tpi - threads per inch - which is cheap and nasty compared to Schwalbe who use 67 tpi.

Your bike may turn up with something different, but if it doesn't those Kendas are a puncture waiting to happen.
 

Andy Bluenoes

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2016
785
33
48
uk
I'm not sure where the NuVinci hub fits in given that you were not considering a NuVinci bike.

Dave and his magic maintenance free derailer might come as a surprise to Andy Bluenoes and georgehenry on here, both commuters, both of whom have made many posts about pratting around with derailer gears.

Andy's are still not right, and chain on george's bike jumps in top gear more often than it doesn't.

If you want to deal with all that messing around, buy a derailer bike.

Seems daft to me when you can afford the alterntives - a cheap and reliable Shimano hub or the gold standard solution of a Rohloff.
I forgot to mention in my review thread, the guy who replaced my blown tyre had a quick look at the gears for me.

The only thing he could suggest was to replace the outer gear cable as I hadn’t done that...I just replaced the inner....but the coating on the inside of the outer cable could be causing the problem if the coating has become worn. I’ll have a bash at that as soon as I can.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Amoto65

Pedelecer
Jul 2, 2017
91
18
55
Cheshire
I reckon you will be fine on the gear and chain set up on the Middlewood Way i have used my Wisper on it and had no problems, in fact the Oxygen is probably better set up than the Wisper so i wouldnt give it a second thought.
 

Danidl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 29, 2016
3,732
191
67
Ireland
Sorry I was trying to account for degredation in capacity and the limited number of charge cycles over the life of a battery. My logic being charging once per day would give me a longer life with the battery and the ~45% overhead would allow for the loss in capacity. To be honest though the life of the battery is a lot less important to me than the overall reliability of the bike. The most important things to me are the bike being dependable so I can use it all year round and the ability to cruise along at a decent speed so I can make the journey in around 1 to 1.5 hours. As I've been reading on these forums and you've pointed out, I won't get anything over 15.5mph unless the bike is derestricted though. So I'm just getting my ideas together. Any recommendations much appreciated :)
Your logic about the battery is flawed. Charging a battery to full and then driving it to empty each time, is bad for a li ion pack. It is less violent to charge and discharge half way... Were the battery the older metal hydride type the advice would be different.
If you can recharge it at work, then you will have no difficulty with any 400 watthr battery doing the distance.
Even a fully legal bike can travel at speeds above 15.5 mph, it is just that there is no legal assistance above that limit. This means that going up hills, you can travel at this 15 and going down hills whatever speed you like.. the effect of this is to bring your average speed up considerably, even if your peak speed drops.
As woosh tried to explain earlier, the greatest energy Loss on a bike is air resistance, and it increases with the cube of one's speed relative to the air. So going into a wind of of 15 miles an hour at the legal speed is travelling at 30 mph relative to the wind if you were travelling in the opposite direction there would be no air resistance loss. The actual power loss will depend on a number her of factors including your frontal area and how nude you are...
A 20 mile journey could take 1.5 hrs or slightly less, but would be slightly sweaty . A sturdy bike costing around the 2k mark would be necessary and you would expect to replace tyres every 6 months assuming a 40 week year,and 5 day week the distance travelled would be 8000 miles. I doubt a battery would last much longer than 2 years with 400 half fills per year.
 
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
32
Macclesfield, UK
The Oxygen rides nicely, and if the gears behave themselves you should be pleased with it.

A change of tyres may be needed, looks like the stock Kendas are 30 tpi - threads per inch - which is cheap and nasty compared to Schwalbe who use 67 tpi.

Your bike may turn up with something different, but if it doesn't those Kendas are a puncture waiting to happen.
This one should come with a set of Schwalbe Rapid Robs https://www.e-bikesdirect.co.uk/brands/oxygen/oxygen-s-cross-mtb-13ah-battery-50-mile-range Will probably switch them for some Marathons though in the spring.
 
D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
I think that the only sensible tyre to fit on a bike doing 44 miles a day is Schwalbe Marathon Plus. They last something like 10,000+ miles, and it's their puncture resistance that makes them so desirable.
 

PatH

Pedelecer
Sep 4, 2015
49
9
51
Yep, with my bike I had the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres fitted by the dealer (at extra cost) as a 'recommended extra', from new. Well worth it for peace of mind.

Heavy commuting is hard on a bike so look for things like easily replaceable brake pads. Mine has Magura HS11 Hydraulic rim brakes and I'm on the 3rd set of pads in ~5000 miles. It's an easy 5 minute job to fit new pads.

Good brakes are just as important as speed. If you mix it up with traffic on roads you need to know that you can stop quickly!

For 40 miles a day comfort is going to be important.

Personally I like the relaxed sit up and beg riding position, but my bike is also quite sporty when I want it to be, it's perfect for fast commutes and hacking through cities.

I've never had to adjust the derailleur gears, but that could be due to a good pre-delivery setup.

20 miles each way though does merit consideration on how long it will take though.

My average speed for all journeys is always about 12.5mph, so 20 miles takes about 1 hour 30 minutes, and frankly I wouldn't want to go much faster. If you enjoy the ride then the time doesn't matter, and with an ebike you do arrive fresh and exercised, not all hot, sweaty and knackered.
 

Tobeeornot

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 13, 2015
23
0
46
OK so all things considered I've decided that I'm going to buy an Oxygen S-Cross MTB with an extra battery and dock and charge it at either end of the commute.

There are a number of reasons I've come to this conclusion. Firstly by my calculations I should still be able to cover one leg of the journey on a full charge quite easily even after accounting for ~40% reduction in capacity over time. The second battery I'll keep on hand as a backup or replacement, as based on reviews, I'm expecting that to become a problem long before any issues with the motor.

Secondly the Oxygen isn't too expensive for a first ebike. As someone wisely pointed out, it would probably be prudent to not spend a fortune on a first bike as I'll no doubt upgrade in a few of years time.

I had a good think about buying a conversion kit (thanks for all your advice on that Woosh) but having looked at what's involved I've decided it's a little too far outside my comfort zone to install one. There's also the fact that the rigid hybrid style of my Norco Indie isn't as well suited to the gravel and mud that makes up a large percentage of my route. Whereas the cross-country suspension fork and nobbly tyres on the Oxygen are a much better fit for this. The frame integrated battery is also a lot more subtle.

Many of the bikes mentioned with the Bosch drives do look good and I'm more convinced of their reliability now. But with much of my route being along long, flat sections I think a hub motor is the better choice. Also a major boon for me, is that the Oxygen can be tuned up a bit and allow me to get the 20mph speed I'm after. Without forking out for any additional dongles or borking the readings on the display unit.

So it's going to be the Oxygen with a nice set of mudguards and a pannier rack. I'll keep this thread updated to let you all know how I get on :) Thanks so much for everyone's kind advice.
Hi Mooksy,

Which bike did you settle on? I am looking at the Oxygen and would appreciate any first hand experiences with it. I was contemplating a mid-drive motor bike previously but ran into problems with my current bike - a Kalkhoff - that have rendered it almost useless because the mid-drive engine packed up. Hub motors for commutes seem the way to go.
 
Jan 18, 2018
41
2
32
Macclesfield, UK
Hi Mooksy,

Which bike did you settle on? I am looking at the Oxygen and would appreciate any first hand experiences with it. I was contemplating a mid-drive motor bike previously but ran into problems with my current bike - a Kalkhoff - that have rendered it almost useless because the mid-drive engine packed up. Hub motors for commutes seem the way to go.
That was precisely my fear Tobeeornot, I'm so glad I cancelled the order on my Kalkhoff! I've ordered an Oxygen S-Cross but it hasn't arrived yet so I can't really give any advice as of yet. Andy's thread above definitely helped to convince me to make the purchase and is worth a read to see how the bike has performed in practice.
 

Tobeeornot

Finding my (electric) wheels
Aug 13, 2015
23
0
46
Thanks very, Andy. That is really helpful.

I was wondering why you chose the Oxygen S-Cross MTB instead of the S-Cross CB which come with lights, mudguards, and a pannier rack?

I am happy to pay the extra money if it is a better bike but to be honest, I don't understand the difference between the components, etc.

Toby
 
Last edited:

Related Articles

Advertisers