Add-E 250W Kit Review

Add E 250w Electric Bike Kit Review
Add E 250w Kit Installed
Add E 250w Kit Removable Bottle Battery 22 Volt 6 Amp
Add E 250w Kit Gearless Motor Unit
Add E 250w Kit Clean Handle Bars
Add E 250w Kit Belt Drive Compatible
Add E 250w Kit Kickstand Mount
Add E 250w Kit Grip Tape Friction Surface
Add E 250w Kit Side View
Add E 250w Kit Top Down View
Add E 250w Kit Width View
Add E 250w Kit Retail Box
Add E 250w Kit Unboxing
Add E 250w Electric Bike Kit Review
Add E 250w Kit Installed
Add E 250w Kit Removable Bottle Battery 22 Volt 6 Amp
Add E 250w Kit Gearless Motor Unit
Add E 250w Kit Clean Handle Bars
Add E 250w Kit Belt Drive Compatible
Add E 250w Kit Kickstand Mount
Add E 250w Kit Grip Tape Friction Surface
Add E 250w Kit Side View
Add E 250w Kit Top Down View
Add E 250w Kit Width View
Add E 250w Kit Retail Box
Add E 250w Kit Unboxing

Summary

  • Exceedingly compact, light weight and easy to remove (for temporary unpowered use) though it does produce more noise than most of the ebike kits I've tested
  • The bottle style battery pack is beautiful, the cap twists to add power at 50 watt increments up to 250 making it legal internationally, limited top speed of 15.5 mph
  • Lots of optional accessories including a twist or trigger throttle, the included five magnet pedelec disc isn't super responsive but works well and qualifies as Class 1
  • Compatible with a wide range of bicycle types but may require extra work to install (completely removing the bottom bracket), solid six month battery warranty

Video Review

Trusted Advertisers

Introduction

Make:

Add-E

Model:

250W

Price:

$1,012

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

6 Month Battery, 2 Year Mechanical Parts

Availability:

United States, Worldwide

Model Year:

20152016

Bicycle Details

Battery Weight:

2.5 lbs (1.13 kg)

Motor Weight:

1.9 lbs (0.86 kg)

Geometry Measurements:

Motor Dimensions: 80 mm x 70 mm x 70 mm

Accessories:

EasyDo Bottle Cage for Battery, Additional Charger $80, Additional Battery $296, Universal Bottle Cage Mount $23, Crank Puller Tool $23, Brompton Specific Mounting Kit $182

Other:

Compact 2 Amp Charger, Removable Battery Pack

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Gearless Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Battery Voltage:

22.2 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

133.2 wh

Charge Time:

2 hours

Estimated Min Range:

8 miles (13 km)

Estimated Max Range:

16 miles (26 km)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle, Trigger Throttle (5 Magnet Pedelec Disc)

Top Speed:

15.5 mph (25 kph)

Trusted Advertisers



Written Review

The Add-E 250W is a perfect electric bike kit for someone like me because it’s light weight, minimal and supports more active ride styles. It’s also probably the only choice for a lot of people who live in Europe due to legal restrictions of 25 kilometers per hour (15.5 mph) and power rating of 250 watts or less. Top speed is definitely one of my complaints compared to other kits available in the US that can reach 20 or even 28 miles per hour but this is still a satisfying kit. It’s noisier than a lot of other ebikes because the motor in’t contained within a hub and is spinning at a relatively higher RPM. You’ll notice the high pitched electronic whir in the video review above. Still, it’s something I got used to with a bit of time and the other elements of the design (namely size) make it very stealthy, nearly hidden on the frame! Weighing in at ~5.5 lbs including the motor, battery and mounting hardware this kit is light… and it’s mostly removable. The battery bottle can be taken off (and replaced with a real water bottle if you’d like) and the motor slides forward and off with a quick bolt adjustment (using a hex wrench). All of the weight that is present is kept very low and centered on the frame for improved balance and if you plan on riding further and have space for a second battery bottle on the downtube (assuming you used the seat tube for the first one) that will cost you ~$300 extra. Batteries get a basic six month warranty but all hardware gets two years which is awesome!

To me the Add-E makes a lot of sense when used on city style bikes, and maybe road bikes as well, but it’s not idea for full suspension setups because it may not reach the rear wheel at all times. A hardtail trail bike could be a good fit but might produce even more noise due to the knobs and require more frequent adjustment as the tread wears down over time. I love that it’s a seemingly affordable kit but want to point out that you get ~30% of the battery I would consider “average” in the US and may experience much shorter rides as a result (especially if you opt for the twist or trigger throttles). If you do get a throttle, you’ll be transitioning the bike from Class 1 to Class 2 and it may not be allowed at all in some countries. Add-E makes a 600 watt kit that I’m excited to check out and it’s not that much more expensive. I think my favorite part about the way it’s designed is that the motor friction surface does not come into contact with the tire when coasting (if installed correctly). It just hangs out sort of bouncing up and down as you traverse cracks, curbs and other obstacles and this means coasting is not impacted. It’s a super-efficient design, it’s beautiful but it’s also a bit loud and the 250 watt version especially may be underpowered and limited on range for some riders.

Pros:

  • The bottle style battery is extremely convincing and I love the way it operates (twist the cap to the right for 50 volt increments of additional power from 0 to 50 to 100 up to 250 total)
  • It’s great that this kit can work as pedal assist only or you can opt for twist and trigger throttle options, basically going from Class 1 to Class 2 depending on your needs (throttle mode will likely drain the battery faster if you choose not to pedal as actively)
  • The kit is extremely light weight (~5.5 lbs for all pieces combined) and minimal in appearance, the basic pedal-assist only setup has only one wire and keeps the handlebar area of your bike clean, if you add a throttle you’ll have one wire going from the battery area to your bars
  • Once the mounting plate has been installed, it’s pretty easy to remove the Add-E motor by loosening one bolt and unplugging the power… then simply take the bottle battery off and you’re back to a normal bike
  • The bottle cage battery adapter can be used with traditional water bottles (if you take the battery and Add-E off) but it doesn’t sit perfectly flat at the bottom due to the plug interface
  • You can get additional batteries for ~$300 to increase range and since they fit into normal bottle cages you could potentially have two mounted to the bike if you have bosses on the downtube and seat tube, each pack only weighs ~2.5 pounds which is nice
  • Because the motor and battery are mounted at the middle of the frame you get excellent balance and reduce unsprung weight compared with a hub motor… that said, I don’t think it would work well with a full suspension bike due to wheel movement and limited travel of the Add-E

Cons:

  • There are no display readouts so you can’t tell how full the battery pack is, how fast you’re going, how far you’ve traveled or anything else… you have to estimate or get a separate cycle computer but that still won’t display your battery
  • The battery capacity offered by this kit is extremely small compared to most kits and bikes I review (about 30% of average) so the range is lower, but it’s also much lighter than traditional offerings
  • You absolutely need space to mount the bottle cage but Add-E does sell an adapter kit for those without threaded bosses on their seat tube or downtube
  • Limited power and top speed on the 250 watt kit, it’s setup for European standards so you get ~15.5 mph top speed vs. 20 mph which is more common in the US, their 600 watt kit can top 20 mph and doesn’t cost much more
  • Depending on the frame design of your bicycle this kit may be easy to install (using a kickstand plate just behind the bottom bracket) or difficult (mounting Carbon fiber plates directly to the bottom bracket)
  • The five magnet pedelec disc isn’t as responsive as a 12 magnet disc and you don’t get brake levers with integrated motor inhibitors so there are moments where you may be braking against the motor
  • If you mount this kit using the kickstand plate you may no longer be able to use the actual kickstand and your bike may tip… consider an aftermarket chain-stay mounting kickstand
  • This kit is actually kind of expensive in my opinion given the very small capacity of the battery pack (about 30% as large as a “normal” sized battery of ~350 watt hours) if you bought two additional batteries you’d be priced at kits with 350+ watts of power vs. 250 but still much lighter weight

Resources:

More Add-E Reviews

Add-E 600W Kit Review

  • MSRP: $1,251
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015, 2016

Exceedingly compact, light weight and easy to remove (for temporary unpowered use) though it does produce more noise than most of the ebike kits I've tested. The bottle style battery pack is beautiful, the cap twists to add power at 50…...

Comments (20) YouTube Comments

Nirmala
3 years ago

I’m curious about the surface material of the friction drive. Is it replaceable? Do you think it might cause a lot of extra tire wear?

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

I’m wondering the same things Nirmala… but even without the grippy surface metal on rubber would still work alright (maybe unless it’s wet out?) difficult to say on the tire wear… I’d imagine that YES it would wear your tread down more quickly than a hub motor. It might depend on your tread pattern like knobby off-road vs. slick or hybrid tires. The system might also become louder on a knobby tire vs. the smoother ones used in this review :/

  Reply
NerdBrick
2 years ago

I was one of the original funders of the Add-e campaign, and I have over 600 miles with my commuting on partial paved road and some hard packed gravel. It hasn’t really worn my tire any faster, but I should point out that I’m running a tire that is labeled “E-Bike” it has has a tread that good for my ridding conditions. The friction material on the motor is still holding up. I was worried it would be rubbed off sooner than the tire would wear. So far so good with both.

Greg Ritter
3 years ago

Thanks for the well done review. Was waiting for this review as I’ve been watching the news of the bike motor since its launch and like the look and idea behind the motor. But with what I’ve been learning about e bikes from reviews and info from this site, maybe this isn’t the way to go for an affordable, almost hidden ebike kit. I was looking for something with a little more power and some controls to adjust speed and keep track of battery life and distance. Plus the price is higher than I was thinking for what you get. Will continue to watch this site for further reviews, perhaps the go-e bike kit, with 800 W capacity and lower price point will have more success and be more of what I’m looking for. Will patiently stay tuned to electric bike review to keep informed.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hi Greg! Yeah, I love the direction that the Add-E is exploring but it has limits with this iteration. I’ve been in touch with Go-E and hope to review their product at some point soon so keep an eye out and I’ll continue charging forward :D

  Reply
Nirmala
3 years ago

A lot of the concerns raised in the review seem to be better addressed by the ShareRoller, another add-on friction drive. It is not as stealth as the Go-E, but it does have much more sophistication and features, and also three sizes of battery to accommodate different needs. You can learn more here: http://igg.me/at/shareroller/x/12713097

Court also did a review of an earlier version here: https://electricbikereview.com/shareroller/version-1/ (Note that the latest version includes a lot of improvements.)

  Reply
David Barroso
3 years ago

I have the 600W (sport) version and it is great to take me to work and back. I do 15km (9.3mi) every day with some climbing (200m accumulated climb) with the power output set to maximum. The add-e takes me up to around 40km/h (24.8mph) with little effort. I do the same time by car, some times more, depending on traffic. I have a hardtail scott aspect with schwalbe big ben tyres.

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Wow, that sounds awesome David! Pretty stellar performance for such a small battery pack. I’m assuming you use pedal assist only vs. throttle? Any other tips about getting the most out of the Add-E, noticed you’re using smooth tires vs. knobby.

  Reply
David Barroso
3 years ago

Only pedal assist. I have another set of wheels with schwalbe thunder burt (knobby tyres) for off-road use. Tyres with smooth surface work better with the add-e. They have a bigger and better surface and therefore better grip between the metal surface of the motor and the tyre. And also less noise. The add-e when working sounds like an RC toy car :)

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Cool, thanks David… I reached out to the company and was told that these Schwalbe Hurricane tires work well for off-road because the center is smooth but they are still wider and have some knobs on the edges for traction.

Michael Craigie
2 years ago

David, I installed the 600w set on my bike yesterday and went for a 15km ride on Map 1. Fairly flat ride with only one 2 short but steep hills. In the course of the ride it wore my brand new Continental Gatorskin tyre right down till the threads are exposed at one point. Do you have any tyre wear issues? Have I perhaps installed it incorrectly do you think?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Wow! That’s intense Michael… I didn’t ride very far during my demos for this review + video but the tires held up alright and they were just basic. Continental makes good stuff so I’m really surprised you’ve had such deep wear. I want to provide some sort of feedback like maybe the motor is too close to the tire but honestly, the design is built to “dig in” to get traction so even if it’s further vs. close you should still have similar force going from the motor to the tire… I really don’t know but am hoping David can chime in and help.

Geir
3 years ago

Love your reviews Court. I have the 600W one too, but its way to noisy so im not going to use it. If you drop your address I’ll be happy to donate it to you so you can do a review (I guess you already have a battery and the stand installed?)

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

That’s an awesome offer Geir! I’ll reach out :D

  Reply
Christopher
9 months ago

I mounted this on a cargo bike (classic trike) and it’s perfect solution, posted a video of it on my Facebook page here.

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

That’s awesome Christopher! Thanks for taking the time to upload and link, really looks like it’s working well… awesome cargo bike there too :D when did you get your Add-E?

  Reply

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.