The revolution to e-bikes is here and I joined it and now own a spanking new Trek CrossRip Touring E-Bike.   So far after cycling maybe 100 miles in three days around the area and on the Silver Spokes ride Friday I love what it does for me … fantastic performance and it seems like the right bike for me right now. 

What I like about this bike 

It’s a touring style with drop bars and disk brakes and there are four settings depending on how fast I want to go … Eco, Touring, Sport, Turbo … and the estimated mileage from a full charge which takes only two hours is 25 to 65 miles but can be extended by turning the unit “off” on downhills and level roads.  I like to bike long distances in Pennsylvania and distant places so something that can carry a tent, sleeping bag and other gear and protect me a little from the elements is key. 

This bike makes me feel really fast, like taking years off and giving me more energy and less stress and allows me keep up with much faster riders.  An e-bike can be the almost perfect solution for many of life’s challenges … i.e., aging body, couple with varying physical abilities, individuals with physical challenges.  Provides a remedy for people like me who want to bike longer despite the life challenges and I am more likely to get out more often and bike longer distances and go on more group rides.  Wind, heat, humidity be gone with the ‘click’ of the transmission to a faster gear … for as long as the battery lasts. And because it provides such an assist I can carry a lot more without being concerned for the extra weight.   

The CrossRip also comes with large fenders to guard against the rain and has 29-inch wheel size which will accommodate up to 42 cm width tires for a softer and more comfortable ride. 

A handy rear Kickstand came with my new bike which makes it easier to park and unload the panniers.  A trifle more weight to pedal but with the electrical assist who really cares?  

What I do not like about this bike  

  1.  Only one small bottle will fit on the down tube because the holes for the cage were already set and this makes it hard to reach for the bottle and replace it in the holder.  The CrossRip is supposed to be for “touring” and therefore needs a minimum of two water bottles and another one for fuel for the campstove would be better.  Remedy … tried the flex-mount water bottle cage under the down tube but it was still too awkward removing it while riding so I ordered a behind the seat bag for the tools and a pocket for the water bottle.
  2. The back rack is welded to the frame and allows less flexibility because it is narrow in width at the top.  When not touring (which is most of the time) I want a handy pannier for the top of the rack to carry a few essentials like rain jacket, spare tube, swimsuit, tools, tire pump, first aid kit and the narrowness of the rack does not allow for a stable pannier on top.  Remedy … cut a quarter inch plywood to fit over the rack which I zip tied securely to the rack.  Tried this and then found a small Giant pannier that fit more securely.
  3. The display for all the functions (gear, speed, distance, estimated miles remaining) is installed square in the middle and easy to find but because it is skewed I have to lean back a little to see the information clearly.
  4. Because of all the electrical stuff it is recommended removing the battery and “sandwich - wrapping” the battery component when traveling with the bike exposed outside the vehicle to protect the vital electrical connections.  With computers and engineers it apparently is impossible to design an e-bike to handle the elements better.  What am I supposed to do when actually using the bike for touring … wrap the whole thing and myself in Saran Wrap?  Remedy … probably stick the new bike inside my car for long distance trips.
  5. Cost … seriously, nearly $5,000 even with the $500 discount offered as a closeout!  Many mountain bike style alternatives on the market now and even other brands with drop bars at significantly lower prices but I wanted this bike and I wanted to avoid the pending 25 percent tariff kicking in soon. 

Well this is a quick summary of the pluses and minuses so far and I still love my new Trek E-bike!