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Deranged Touring Cyclist
5,538 Posts
FWIW, Mrs. Newleaf has an e-bike which we converted from a standard bike with a kit. I rode it before and after the conversion. The bike is a 2012 Novara Fusion. It came with disc brakes, a 7-speed IGH, and a dynamo hub in front. Hybrid with a steel frame and 700c wheels.

To ride, it felt like a steel bike. Stable, upright. Kinda layed back. A little lacking in terms of gearing, but not bad.

For the conversion, we went with a local to us company, Electric Bike Outfitters for a conversion kit which was installed by the LBS. Because of the IGH, we couldn't use a motor in the rear wheel. We didn't want to undertake the added modifications involved in mid drive, so we ended up with the motor in the front wheel.

On or off pavement, the bike is more fun with the motor than it was without it I particularly enjoy being able to power through soft, sandy trail sections which would usually take substantially more effort to cross. The front wheel drive combines with the human powered rear wheel to create genuine 2 wheel drive for as long as the human component can keep up. Powering over rough ground, the bike feels planted and controllable.

The bike's controller has 5 power assist settings plus 'off'. I generally ride it with the power at 1 or 2, with higher levels used for negotiating sand, climbing hills, or just enjoying the motor. With the power completely off, it's back to being a steel bike. Heavier now, though not hugely so. If you are willing to commit to riding without power, most of the weight can be dropped by simply removing the battery.

With the battery in place but not powering the motor, the bike feels 'heavy normal'. With the power assist on, it goes from a gentle assist which barely registers on the '1' setting to acceleration I imagine I couldn't quite match on my unpowered bike on the '5' setting. Though I have ridden it unpowered, I generally ride it rarely and if I do find my way into its saddle, I usually play with the motor. All that said, I doubt I've hit 100mi on it. I hope that helps.
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