Add-E 600W Kit Review

Add E 600w Electric Bike Kit Review
Add E 600w Installed On Raleigh
Add E 600w Electric Bike Motor
Add E 600w Downtube Battery Pack Bottle
Add E 600w Optional Trigger Throttle
Add E 600w 5 Magnet Cadence Sensor
Add E 600w Bottle Cage Battery Holder
Add E 600w Motor Installed Carbon Fiber Mounts
Add E 600w Removable Battery Bottle
Add E 600w Speed Sensor Rear Wheel
Add E 600w Twist Cap Battery Lithium Ion
Add E 600w Lightest Ebike Motor
Add E 600w Ebike Motor
Add E 600w Small Ebike Kit
Add E 600w In Packaging
Add E 600w Electric Bike Kit Review
Add E 600w Installed On Raleigh
Add E 600w Electric Bike Motor
Add E 600w Downtube Battery Pack Bottle
Add E 600w Optional Trigger Throttle
Add E 600w 5 Magnet Cadence Sensor
Add E 600w Bottle Cage Battery Holder
Add E 600w Motor Installed Carbon Fiber Mounts
Add E 600w Removable Battery Bottle
Add E 600w Speed Sensor Rear Wheel
Add E 600w Twist Cap Battery Lithium Ion
Add E 600w Lightest Ebike Motor
Add E 600w Ebike Motor
Add E 600w Small Ebike Kit
Add E 600w In Packaging

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

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Add-E

Model:

600W

Price:

$1,251

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedalec (Class 3), 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 0.6 lbs (0.27 kg), Removable Battery Pack

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Gearless Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

600 watts

Battery Voltage:

22.2 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

133.2 wh

Charge Time:

2 hours

Estimated Min Range:

6 miles (10 km)

Estimated Max Range:

16 miles (26 km)

Drive Mode:

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

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)

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Written Review

The Add-E kit has always impressed me with its compact size and weight. The motor unit can be quickly and easily removed and even the battery pack (which resembles a traditional water bottle) can be taken off and replaced with an actual bottle for drinking purposes or you could get a second holster and double your range for ~$300 and ~2.5 lbs extra. Basically, you can switch between an ebike and your traditional pedal powered bike in under three minutes… but even if you decided to leave the motor and battery connected at all times, the total weight is just five pounds and the friction drive canister doesn’t produce any drag because it “floats” in front of your rear wheel, never making contact unless you hit a small bump. Once the system is switched on and the control unit senses wheel movement and pedal assist or throttle input, the motor spins into action sending it backwards with centripetal force, engaging the tire and propelling you forward. It’s a beautiful system and priced at just over one thousand dollars (for the 250 watt version) or $1,251 for the 650 watt being covered here, it’s one of the more affordable kits I’ve seen that’s all inclusive.

So is the 600 watt Add-E kit faster more powerful than the international 250 watt kit? The short answer is not really. From what I can tell (using both kits, weighing all of the components and using a cycle computer) it appears that the motor hardware is the same, along with the battery pack, and all you’re getting is an unlimited top speed. While it is possible to go faster, it just doesn’t feel much different and still struggles with hills and even grass. The Add-E kit takes a while to ramp up speed and my hopes of using this off-road were dashed after a lackluster urban experience. So maybe it’s worth the extra $250 if you truly just need to go a little faster when riding but the limitations of the battery size remain, your range may decrease to just six miles per charge when riding at “high speed” but I’d still wager a maximum range in the lowest pedal assist mode at 16 miles. There are five power levels to choose from using the twist cap on the bottle battery (gently twist to the left to turn it off and to the right for more power) but without a display it’s difficult to tell how much battery power remains and I noticed that even when it’s “off” the red LED on the base of the motor unit continues to flash which may draw power and run it completely dry. I recommend taking the battery off the bike when not in use.

One of the greatest challenges to overcome when reviewing this kit was installation… but only when using the carbon fiber bottom bracket option. If your bike has a kickstand plate behind the bottom bracket then it’s a breeze. The length of the video review for this kit is a testate to what Sam and I went through to prep our bike platform and ultimately install it and while you may not have quite as many steps as us… it’s still time consuming and special tools may be required such as a bottom bracket puller. Frankly, I’d just ask my local shop to install it for me. The second big challenge relating to installation was setting the unit for high speed operation. When I received it the top speed was only ~15.5 mph (25 km/h) which was confusing and disapointing. Nothing in the manual I received explained how to change it so I called ELV Motors in Santa Clara, CA (the official distributor) and Nate helped me out over the phone. In short… turn the battery up to full power (five clicks to the right) then take it off the bike. Now unplug the white connector from the Add-E motor unit while leaving the black power cable plugged in. Next, insert the small speed chip into the slot that had the white cable in it before then plug the bottle battery back onto the mount. Look at the flashing red LED light on the base of the Add-E and confirm that it’s flashing in intervals of six (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 wait 1, 2, 3… and so on). This is your confirmation that the kit is now “unlocked” for higher speed. Frankly I wish this had been done before I received the kit because the chip is so small and easy to lose and the lack of instructions… hours wasted :(

Note that instead of a seamless look, our final Add-E electric bike demo bike was a bit tackier appearance due to the wire running from the control unit at the motor up to the handle bars for the throttle. I received both a trigger and twist throttle for testing but went with a trigger to leave room for the gear shifters near the right and left grips. For me it was worth it because I like to use throttles sometimes and wanted to test the motor on its own vs. pedaling to see how fast it would go. Due to the safety setup (where the motor won’t start even in throttle mode unless the bike is going 2+ mph) the throttle wasn’t immediately useful but did make filming easier.

While I’m still very impressed with the price, size and ease of use after installation… the Add-E kit remains noisy and I feel the 600 watt rating does not accurately reflect the difference in power or speed coming from the 250 watt version. This is basically a 20 mph kit and possibly 250 watts nominal up to 600 watts peak but with pretty low torque. Still, I’d rather have an unlimited kit than one that cuts out at 15.5 mph even if that means my battery drains a little quicker. If we look at my ideal commuting setup then it would cost ~$1,600 for the system with one extra battery plus the price of a bike so it’s not much less expensive than a purpose built ebike that’s much powerful and capable of longer rides. However, this is one of the few kits that can be mounted on a super efficient road bike platform and that’s exciting. There are very few kits that offer what the Add-E does and if they could make it silent I would be twice as interested and excited. It’s a beautiful system and one that sort of grows on you after the initial shock of the sound and lackluster power. It’s going to work better on some bikes than others and is probably best suited to light weight riders.

Pros:

  • The bottle style battery is extremely convincing and I love the way it operates (twist the cap to the right for additional power (there’s a difference between level 1 and level 5 but the middle all feels similar)
  • It’s great that this kit can work as pedal assist only or you can opt for twist and trigger throttle options depending on your needs (throttle mode will likely drain the battery faster if you choose not to pedal as actively and requires the bike to be going ~2 mph to activate)
  • 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 the bottle won’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:

  • To unlock the higher speed of this Add-E kit I had to use a little computer chip that was included but there were no instructions… In short, remove the battery and unplug the white cable then insert the chip there, now turn the battery all the way up to level five (twist to the right) then plug it into the bottle cage interface, now look for six red flashes (repeating) at the base of the motor then unplug the battery from the bike and you should be good
  • The battery design is cool but didn’t appear to have an auto time-off so if you forget to manually twist it to off you may drain the battery slowly, without a display unit or lights to show that it’s on it’s just easier to overlook
  • Despite being rated at 600 watts and labeled as a speed pedelec, this version resembles the base 250 watt kit in terms of performance, I feel that it may be the same motor but have the top speed limit removed
  • 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
  • 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) it took us several hours and special tools to get it working
  • 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 brief 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

Resources:

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More Add-E Reviews

Add-E 250W Kit Review

  • MSRP: $1,012
  • 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…...

Greg Ritter
1 year ago

Thanks for your review of the 600W Add-e kit. Always learn alot and helps in making decisions about an ebike. Like the idea of how it works, but for price and what it actually does? ? ?
Maybe the go-e on bike kit will be the ticket. Sounds like its about half the price and comes with an app to keep track of speed, and adjust the electronic features. It claims to be 800W. Hopefully those guys will send you one to try and inform the American market about its capacity. Will keep watching and reading your reviews.

Court Rye
1 year ago

Sounds good Greg, I’m excited to check it out and compare the sound, power and speed… Hopefully I’ll get one soon ;)

Greg Harm
11 months ago

Court points out this example of the major pitfalls of this industry, i.e., when you spend over a $1000 for a kit, you don’t want to have to do a great deal of fabrication.

These startup manufturing companies in this industry have the best of intentions, but this particular kit seemed to have a dozen or more pitfalls that required calls to California to resolve. When you add in limited business hours, and phone hold times, one would need an infinite well of patience to complete the instsllation of this motor.

It’s important to note that this professional bike mechanic had far more bicycle tools thsn the common cyclist, but still needed to physically take the bike to a formal shop (and very few of us live or work next door to one.)

That said, I’m old school–in that if I buy something and have to wait a week or more for it to arrive, I want the ability to bolt it on and go. AT LEAST the first weekend after it arrives. But in this case, he had to jump through a host of hoops to learn all of the steps that they had failed to include instructions for. It’s probablt a safe bet that there are still steps in the installation that this company didn’t bother to tell him about.

Finally, the lack of any meter, to show the operator how much power remains, or indicators to inform the user what power level he ir she is using, and the noise: any one of these would be a deal breaker for me.

Since the ebike industry is still in its infancy, it is plagued by undercapitalized rookies that will most likely be gone a year after you buy the product. Thanks, EBR for helping consumers make informed ebike product purchases, and especially for giving consumers the straight market analysis as to whether a product has value–or is just not worth it to have to practically rebuild it prior to its first use.

Court Rye
11 months ago

I appreciate the innovation and admire the small size of this thing but yes… it seems to require more effort in some situations and the 600 vs. 250 watt versions seemed very similar, to me that was the biggest surprise.

MikeB
9 months ago

It is very interesting imo but does need some more refining. I would love to have a very light weight, easy mount on regular bike e assist. Make it good for MOST riders 10-15 mile rides with no fear because the bike is still easily ridden without assist. Big huge motors that can climb the steepest hills with huge heavy batteries are NOT the only thing needed or wanted.

Court Rye
9 months ago

I’m totally with you… I’d love a light weight QUIET ebike kit. Even something with 180 watts and a five mile range, I’d use it sparingly but feel good getting up hills or pressing through wind. Hope we see something like this in the future. I think Add-E could do it if they just made it quieter.

Jean cleverson da silva
7 months ago

Vivo em Brasil estado de Rondônia adoraria compra um kit add-e para colocá em minha bike enfelismente vivemos longe de tudo tipo de recurso e tudo e muito difícil consequir coisa de qualidade achei maravilhoso este produto e sei que vai ser um sucesso de vendas E tomara que logo logo Venha para perto de nós porque eu sou um apaixonado por bike elétrica.

Court Rye
7 months ago

Eu não vender esses kits mas talvez você pode comprar um do distribuidor aqui nos EUA e tê-lo enviado? Tente entrar em contato ELV Motors em Santa Clara, CA. Seu site é http://www.elvmotors.com

Bereket Tesfay
6 months ago

Add-E 250W Kit Review I want to get one but I don’t no how?

Court Rye
6 months ago

Hi Bereket, not sure where you live but I believe in the US there’s a dealer called ELV Motors in Santa Clara California that sells this kit. They might even be willing to ship it. Hope this helps!

Rick
5 months ago

Horrible test. Put it on a descent road bike or at least put a smooth tire on the cheapo mountain bike you put it on. That tire is horrible for the motor to grip. It makes a ton of extra noise also. Use your head…

Court Rye
5 months ago

Hi Rick, I appreciate your feedback. Sometimes my equipment and time are limited due to the travel required to find and review bikes. Did you see the review I shot of the Add-E 250W? I used a more appropriate bike there but was hoping that this bing the 600 watt version, it could go off-road and be like the lightest, cheapest way to create an electric trail bike. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out that way… Anyway, I’ll keep your suggestions in mind for next time :)

Gordon Law
2 months ago

People tend to cut zip ties with the blade of the snips (scissors) or pliers cutting the longest portion of the tie from one end to the opposite. That almost always leaves a residual piece of plastic which is usually sticking out and is as sharp as a knife blade. However, if you turn the cutting tool 90 degrees and cut the material from both sides to the center, you will find that the cut will be flush without a protruding edge to cut anybody. One of my old telephone bosses taught me this proceedure and the ties were no longer a danger to any of our employees working on our cables.

Court Rye
2 months ago

Interesting, appreciate your tip Gordon! Thanks for sharing :)

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ace20ri
5 days ago

Nice work @SuperGoop as usual! Great info on the add-ons. I definitely would like to add the ability to record my rides.

Since I haven't posted in a while here is an update to my current sense resistor swap. It was successful but had some temporary set backs. Here are some pics of the swap...sorry I was caught up in the moment and did not take a lot of them. If the solder job looks a little crappy it is because the pcba has conformal coating which sucks to remove.

Existing current sense resistor:

Current sense resistor removed:

New current sense resistor (Vishay 3W 0.005Ohm):

I improved the solder job after I took these pics (promise!). I also added more solder around the FET pads and the FET rail (right side of the picture above). The Vishay 3W current sense resistor improved the rated current to 24.5A so no more worrying about pushing the controller to hard (besides worrying about the FETS and capacitors but they seem to be pretty robust based on my research). Now I did run into an issue taking the bike out after this update. The motor would cut out every time I tried to accelerate from rest. The power reading would ramp to 500-600W and then cut out and start from 0. After it restarted then it would accelerate no problem. I was worried that resistance change caused to much ripple current and caused the motor to trip due to under voltage. BUT after unplugging the battery and fully charging it and reconnecting it seemed to have corrected itself. Not really sure how that is the case (I'm asking my electrical engineer coworkers to explain). I have been able to accelerate from rest without any cut outs and it's great. I can feel the difference on some of the hills I climb during my commute. I really want to take it to Half Moon Bay beach to really test it out.

One thing I did notice when I accessed the current parameter in the LCD display is that I can increase the current to 30A now. I was pretty sure that 20A was the previous limit. I'm not sure if it our controller is smart enough to know that it received an upgrade but somehow it does. @SuperGoop can you confirm that your bike max current setting is 20A? Or can you increase it to 30A (obviously don't leave it at 30A)?

Either way yay for me! All that I am missing is the ability to tweak the controller programming from the back end...need George's help with that! Since I live in Silicon Valley, I would really like to take advantage of every possible avenue to increase my speed for commuting.

I am looking into the magnetics side of our motor to see if we are truly limited by the windings of the coils or if Voltbike is limiting us due to country/state laws. I do feel that since we purchased the bikes we should have the ability to change the bike to how we see fit easily.

Lastly, here are some pics of my Classic 2.0 Garment pannier for commuting (https://www.twowheelgear.com/products/commuter-garment-pannier):

I have changed the bike a lot since these pics but they work for showing the pannier. Needless to say, I love my purchase and glad that I made it.

Okay, really lastly for this post if anyone is taking a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in the near future I highly recommend booking the Ebike outing with Cabo Adventures. They have a bunch of RadRovers (the Yukon is way better IMO) and take you for a 2 hour ride up and down the Pacific ocean coast. You then go to a remote pavilion to make real Mexican quesadillas and learn how to make Mexican margaritas! Ask for Hector the Protector! (I do not get anything for referals just wanted to share because my fiancé and I had a blast!).

1/5
InfoForU
1 day ago

is it water proof ?

InpuTxZ3RO
2 days ago

ru retarded ?! you can get a brushless motor for 60 dollars ?! AND THE FUCKING BATTERY PACK FOR 50 DOLLARS = 110 DOLLARS U STUPID FUCK

Marlene A.
4 days ago

this would be great in NYC where e-bikes are not really legal.

Calvin Henshaw
5 days ago

too much talking

Daniel Velkov
5 days ago

So you are using 1000 dollars kit on 10 dollars bike
and you expecting to see some good results
I think that the product is not that bad, the only problem is that you have no idea what are you doing
And yes, it is too expensive

Rocky
1 day ago

+Daniel Velkov I think you don't know this product and all its pitfalls. Or you are talking without having tried it. The kit is of a bad quality. I know that this product is of an organized ripoff and you are talking like an add-e's pawn. The tester knows what he's doing in informing consumers and his bike is very OK in the moment of testing the product. Add-e just sucks, that's the reality.

jerome grzelak
6 days ago

this dude is 135 lbs sweet jerry

Juan José
6 days ago

and when the water and dust go in to the motor due to the the tire, we get fire?

Timothy William Brown
6 days ago

junk are you sure that not gas powered

Bart Van de Velde
1 week ago

thumbs down for safety

dan staszko
2 weeks ago

am i the only one who cringed when he said chain ring.... its called a sprocket

Don
2 weeks ago

+dan staszko http://www.bicyclesports.us/id197.htm

Hansueli Muralt
2 weeks ago

Einen grösseren Idioten habe ich noch nicht gesehen!

xRustBucketx
2 weeks ago

one word.

Bafang

Сергей Гнатенкин
2 weeks ago

Балабол

Martin Lanigan
2 weeks ago

any thing any good cost packet

Rocky
2 weeks ago

+Martin Lanigan That's what crooks think we believe ... Have a look to min 23:53 of this same video and listen to the noise of the packet :-)

simon marshall
2 weeks ago

A lot of RIM talk

Mark M
2 weeks ago

600W is so wimpy, so many rc motors are 2500W or more.

Rüdiger Hoot
2 weeks ago

H

Daniel Gloyne
2 weeks ago

Worst review in my opinion. Lots of talking about nothing, not knowing what a hammer is, to watching bike shop owners struggling with bikes.. It was painful, but thanks for the effort.

PsykoWheels
2 weeks ago

that tiny thing does 28mph? ._.

PsykoWheels
2 weeks ago

says 15.5mph but on the site the top speed says 28mph....
and for $1,251 ... good fricking lord. and the rang is atrocious.

one of those $150 hub motors from ebay does 30mph and a battery 48v 12ah pack costs $229 currently.... how is this tiny thing so expensive. you'll get way more range out of that setup...

Rocky
2 weeks ago

+ZERO CERTAINLY NOT. Unfortunately this is a Rip off. Read more in this same review...

B leathel
3 weeks ago

Fuck this guys voice is annoying