If you are looking at one bike for all your cycling needs; winter cycling (studded tires 4″&5″), night rides (lighted speedometer), windy days (350 Watt electric motor that draws more power to get you moving), lots of hills (1X10 gear train), long rides (80km battery range), off road (run lower pressure to soak up bumps), riding up ridiculously steep grades somewhere around 25-35% (I didn’t believe the GPS’s intermittent 50% reading which was impossible to believe), or if you just want to charge your phone, this one is a good bet.
For night riding, the speedometer is well lit. The background light can be manually turned off or on. The speedometer is very sensitive and will react quickly to slight changes in speed (.1 kph).
The battery level is unpredictable when running at high power when it drops 4 bars. I’ve had it shut off when the batter indicator was down to about 60%. Setting the power to a lower level after it shuts off will allow resuming the ride for a while longer. The speedometer is powered by the battery. When the power drops and it shuts off, turning the motor power off will allow the speedometer to continue working.
There are 5 power level settings that can be selected using the + or –
buttons. Anything over 3 will deplete the battery very quickly. Level 1 is good for hills and to get moving. Level 2 is good for pathways at around 20kph. Level 3 will keep you around 27 kph and provide really good range. Level 4 up to about 30 kph. Level 5 is essentially full power until 32 kph. Would have liked the power to fade out more smoothly. There is noticeable surging at 32 kph and for trail riding at slow speeds I would recommend keeping the motor off. There is a lag of about 1 second when you stop pedaling before the motor shuts off. Despite the lower powered 350 watt motor verses my other 500 watt ebike, it provids plenty of power (up to 700 watts surge).
I did a ride at Level 3 and it took forever for the battery power to drop 2 bars at around 40-50 km. Then I upped the power level to 4 and it dropped 2 bars very quickly. Later I upped the power to level 5 as the ride neared its end. It shut off about 2 km from home at somewhere near 85-90 kms. Reducing the power level got me over the last few hills.
You don’t need to turn on the display to check the battery level. There is also a push button on the top of the battery pack. I couldn’t read this indicator outside in daylight.
The control panel is a simple affair but there are combinations of buttons to set parameters. It can be quite complicated to figure out the owners manual. Something as simple as resetting the trip/average/maximum speed is complicated and requires 6 button presses in different combinations. Press “i” 2X, press + (it shows “y”), press “i”, press “i” 2X to exit programming other features. There is no clock display.
You need the key to remove the battery for charging (up to 6 hours) and that is the only time you need the key. The lower end of the battery pack has a rubber cover where you can plug in your phone/computer via USB to charge it. Comes in very handy for touring.
You cannot plug in the charger while the battery is installed on the bike. I presume that is to prevent damage from the higher charging voltage/current. The charging socket is blocked by the seat tube to prevent plugging the charger in when the battery is installed.
To assist in removing the battery for charging, this odd spring loaded lever can be pulled out. It wasn’t that obvious that this was a lever.
The battery location creates a problem for carrying anything (water bottles/flat kit etc). You can order two racks (front&back). The front rack can carry 100 lbs (which explains the huge steering bearings). The maximum load is very high at just short of 300 lbs. This means that heavy cyclists won’t have a problem with weight limits that are typical of most bicycles. This bike could double as a cargo bike or heavy touring bike too. Later I installed a seat rack to carry a few essentials in a rear rack bag. The racks for this bike are pricey because they are designed to carry a lot of weight.
As you can see, I installed home made bicycle fenders for about $30 instead of paying about $140. The front fender has to be pulled in tight or it will hit the pedals when turning. I later shortened the lower front fender brace so it wasn’t bowed out (to temporarily provide enough foot clearance in the photo).
The right angle bracket over the front fender is a camera mount. The one accessory I would have liked to see is built in head/tail lights that run off battery power.
It is a very smart looking bike beside the Autumn colours!