5 eBikes for RVers


eBikes are popping up everywhere these days, even in the RV community.  So when we saw there was an eBike expo going on just downtown, we had to go see if we could find anything that would be of interest to RVers.  We found quite a bit, some of which you’ll see in this video:

 

Rather quickly after arriving, we realized that picking “THE” eBike for RVers would be like picking “THE” RV at an RV show.  You just can’t do it.  Everyone’s situation is unique, and everyone might want something a little different from an eBike.

So instead, we wandered around wide-eyed and test-rode about 50 different eBikes.  We eventually narrowed it down to 5 models that caught our eye for one reason or another.  Depending on what your needs and wants are, any of these bikes could be an excellent companion for your RV.

Trek Neko (Women’s) and Dual-Sport (Men’s)

Specialized Vado

Smartmotion Vista

Tempo Carmel

Giant Road-E

Each of them offers something unique, and we do our best to point those features out in the video.  See if one of them might match how you roll in your RV.

Finally, we did collect some basic data on these models (weight, price, that kind of thing), and we’re making that available to you in the following PDF.

eBikes for RVers Data Sheet

Happy trails to everyone (motorized or not)!



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    21 thoughts on “5 eBikes for RVers

    1. Kevin Carpenter

      I’m wondering if anyone has tried the RadRover by RadPowerBikes ? It weighs 63 pounds with a range of 20 to 40 miles. It’s a fat tire @ $1,499. I’ve seen it reviewed by Electric Bike Review. The review was favorable, but I’d like an RVers perspective.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I can’t speak for everyone, but a 63 pound bike would mean we could only put one on our rack! That’s a non-starter for us.
        Plus, I’m sure that much weight would be quite a lot for some people to lift.
        Seems a model better suited to living in a garage. Just my two cents.

        Reply
    2. Ed Rudder

      I had not been on a bicycle in 25 years until I got my pedal assist. Since then I’ve got almost 300 miles on it without issue. Love it! This year alone I have been on very nice bicycle trails in areas near different camp sites.. last year I used it to ride between campground and daughters condo at beach. Very versatile and highly recommended for the older riders. Great video!

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        That’s one of the things I love about eBikes. People who wouldn’t have otherwise considered biking are picking it up. The assist is a confidence booster, and makes it less threatening for someone who hasn’t biked since childhood. It’s exciting to see so many new cycling enthusiasts thanks to the eBike movement! Glad you’re one of them, Ed!

        Reply
    3. Bill

      Great review. Every now and then I see an ad and wonder. Really neat stuff. But…but…but..the price! Lol

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Yeah, they can get spendy. I was in a bike shop last week and saw one with a sticker just under 10k. Gulp! But you can definitely find them way cheaper these days, as more and more manufacturers come up with new models. Keep shopping!!!

        Reply
    4. Bill Goldman

      Great video and article — and I completely agree that you don’t need a throttle if you get a good pedal-assist e-bike. The motor engages quickly and smoothly, and if you’re used to a road bike, these e-bikes feel very natural. It is a great solution for extending your bike exploration range and for dealing with formidable hills and headwinds. I have one of the Specialized Turbo e-bikes and recently wrote a blog post about my experience touring North Carolina’s Outer Banks: https://openroadscapes.com/blog/2017/6/10/recharging-my-batteries-at-the-outer-banks

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Glad to know that the eBike is working out for you.
        Anything that gets more people on bikes out on the road is great by us!

        Reply
    5. Andy & Kim

      Great write up James.
      Just wondering what the top speeds and the range per charge would be.if only using the motor.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        The manufacturer’s websites may have range figures. But only one of the models we tested would let you get away without pedaling.
        The trouble with range ratings on eBikes is that there’s no standard like there is for car mileage. (That one’s always wrong, but it’s at least consistent across manufacturers.)
        So eBike manufacturers are free to say what they like regarding range.
        200 miles! (As ridden by a tour de france winner if he only weighed 40 pounds.)

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Rad was not present at the expo.
        I’d caution anyone looking at an eBike to not buy one just based on the specs they see online.
        Almost all of the bikes we saw and/or rode had similar specs. But they were INCREDIBLY DIFFERENT in terms of feel, ride quality, stability, etc.
        You really can’t judge a bike until you get on it and (hopefully) pedal.

        Reply
    6. DC

      Don’t be so quick to dismiss throttles. I get the FITness aspect, but they are really great for getting a heavy e bike moving from a dead stop, or for quickly accelerating around a slower traffic. These bikes often weigh 30+ lbs more than regular bikes. Of course, it’s then up to the user to have the discipline to pedal and not rely on the throttle for the bulk of locomotion…

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        All of the pedal assist bikes we looked at had varying levels of assist, from mild to (in some cases) extreme. Most of them started to provide that assist in less than a quarter turn of the pedals. (The really high-end ones claimed to engage after one degree of rotation.) With assist that powerful, and engaging that quickly, we’d still argue that a throttle-driven bike is un-necessary, and would wind up being used more than it should be. 🙂

        Reply
    7. David Golembeski

      Was the Sonders e-bike brand represented there? They have two models I’m aware of, a fat tire, and semi-conventional thin tire, but they are priced at $499 each…about $700 or so delivered with freight. If you are aware of them…why didn’t you pick one of them for a value play? $3-4000 for a bike is a lot of money for some people. (like me)

      Reply
    8. Carol

      That Trek Neko really caught my interest. I’ve been thinking of getting a hybrid bike with a whole lot of gears–the one I like is about 30 pounds. The Neko is 45 but taking out the battery gets it into manageable territory, I think. Price-wise, though…tougher choice. But the pedal assist is sure a compelling feature. Thanks for the great video review.

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Yeah, the Neko was awesome to ride, and a solid trustworthy brand too. I’m with you, the weight’s such a limiting factor on all these bikes. We’d be hoisting these up and down on our rig’s bike rack; and while we’re strong and could handle it, it would still be a pain!!!

        Reply
    9. Eric

      Informative and entertaining as always. Thank you, both.

      I would like to caution Travato owners that the Fiamma Carry-Bike on the back of our coaches will only hold 35kg or about 77 lbs total. At least that’s what I remember the sticker said before the sun ate it and a quick look at the catalog confirms this. So be careful and don’t overload the factory rack.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        An entirely correct and appropriate caution.
        Non-Travato owners should also be mindful of their bike rack capacities. eBikes are substantially heavier than non-eBikes.

        Reply

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