Benno Boost E 10D Review

Benno Boost E 10d Electric Bike Review
Benno Boost E 10d
Benno Boost E 10d Bosch Performance Line 350 Watt Mid Drive
Benno Boost E 10d Bosch Powerpack Downtube Battery
Benno Boost E 10d Rubber Ergonomic Grips Bosch Intuvia Display
Benno Boost E 10d Supernova E3 E Bike V6s Headlight
Benno Boost E 10d Alloy Fenders 24 Wheels
Benno Boost E 10d Extra Long Cargo Rack With Pannier Rails
Benno Boost E 10d Shimano Deore Lx Components
Benno Boost E 10d Electric Bike Review
Benno Boost E 10d
Benno Boost E 10d Bosch Performance Line 350 Watt Mid Drive
Benno Boost E 10d Bosch Powerpack Downtube Battery
Benno Boost E 10d Rubber Ergonomic Grips Bosch Intuvia Display
Benno Boost E 10d Supernova E3 E Bike V6s Headlight
Benno Boost E 10d Alloy Fenders 24 Wheels
Benno Boost E 10d Extra Long Cargo Rack With Pannier Rails
Benno Boost E 10d Shimano Deore Lx Components

Summary

  • A compact cargo-style electric bike with sturdy 24" wheels, comfortable 2.6" diameter tires and a premium drive system from Bosch
  • Low balanced weight distribution, removable battery and display panel, premium integrated lights by Supernova, Micro USB charging ports and three color choices
  • Solid 10-speed drivetrain from Shimano, the motor offers shift detection for reduced wear on the chain and sprockets, powerful hydraulic disc brakes also from Shimano
  • No suspension elements, currently only available in one frame size, new to the US and possibly harder to locate at dealers for test rides, solid one year warranty

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Benno

Model:

Boost E 10D

Price:

$3,999 ($3,600 for NuVinci N360 Continuously Variable Transmission, $4,000 for Shimano Alfine Di2 8 Speed Internally Geared Hub with Electronic Shifting)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Cargo

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Yeaer Components, 2 Year Motor Battery and Control System

Availability:

United States, Europe

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

57 lbs (25.85 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.7 lbs (2.58 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

19" Seat Tube, 23.5" Reach, 28" Stand Over Height, 74" Length

Frame Types:

Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Neon Yellow, Matte Anthracite Gray, Putty Gray

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid CRMO Steel, 9 mm Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

9 mm Quick Release Skewer, Replaceable Derailleur Hanger

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore LX, 11-34T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore XT Triggers on Right

Cranks:

FSA Alloy 170 mm Crank Arms, 20T Chainring with Plastic Guard

Pedals:

VP Aluminum Alloy Wide Platform

Headset:

FSA 1-1/8" with Two 20 mm Risers and One 10 mm Riser

Stem:

Custom Alloy 50 mm Length

Handlebar:

Alloy, High Rise, 140 mm Rise, 27" Length

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Shimano Deore Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Benno Branded Rubber, Ergonomic, Locking

Saddle:

Benno Wide Faux Leather Saddle with Handle

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.2 mm

Rims:

Double Wall Alloy, Stainless Reinforcement Eyelets and Nipples, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Benno Dual Sport, 24" x 2.6"

Wheel Sizes:

24 in (60.96cm)

Tire Details:

35 to 45 PSI, 60 TPI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Extra Wide Alloy Fenders, Extra Long Cargo Rack with Pannier Rails 50 kg (110 lb) Max Weight, Supernova 3 LED Integrated Rear Light, Supernova E3 E-Bike V6s Integrated Headlight, Adjustable Length Center Mount Kickstand, Optional Utility Pannier Bags, Optional Utility Front Tray, Optional Utility Front Tray Bag, Optional Baby Seat Adapter

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.7 lb 4 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

570 watts

Motor Torque:

63 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

396 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

70 miles (113 km)

Display Type:

Intuvia, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Grayscale, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Assist Level (Eco, Tour, Sport, Turbo), Battery Level (1-5), Odometer, Trip Distance, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time, Shift Assist Recommendation

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad with Tactile Feedback on Left, 6 Volt Micro USB Port on Display

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 50%, Tour 120%, Sport 190%, Turbo 275%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph) (15 mph in Some Markets)

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Written Review

Benno was a new company to me, I heard about it through my friend Chris who owns and runs Propel Bikes in Brooklyn NY. He’s an early adopter and I always learn a lot during visits to his shop. As it turns out, the founder of Benno Bikes is actually Benno Baenziger who co-founded Electra Bicycles. I’m very familiar with them and their recent acquisition by Trek. Elektra has an awesome ebike called the Townie Go! which switched over to the Bosch system in 2016. That’s the same system the Benno Boost E is using and it’s one of my favorites. As a compact cargo ebike, the Boost E 10D is short enough to fit in some tight spaces while still delivering utility with a longer rear rack. They also sell a tray that attaches to the head tube and provides even more space. I’m being specific about how it attaches because some cargo bikes have a bar and fork mounted basket which turns as you do. These baskets (when loaded) tend to sway side to side and I’m glad that the Benno Boost E is delivering more than just looks and a promise of usefulness. The rear rack can handle up to 110 lbs of weight and has an extra long standard-gauge tube fixed to both sides for the clip-on style panniers. The fenders are another highlight on the utility front and I was impressed with their great coverage and strength… no rattling! You get integrated front and rear lights by Supernova (the front is mounted with an adjustable angle clamp so you can use it to see, not just be seen). In short, this is a nimble bike that’s easier to handle and lighter weight than a lot of full sized models. You may not be able to fit two Yepp seats on the back but they do sell an adapter for one and you may not have running boards to start but the 24″ wheels match so tires and tubes are easier to replace together. They keep weight low and improve wheel strength but aren’t so small that the derailleur hits curbs or have you dragging pedals during leaning turns.

Powering the bike is a Bosch Powerpack 400 downtube battery. It’s easy to charge on the bike but also has a plastic carry-loop on top so you can bring it inside. The mounting interface is forward compatible to work with the larger Powerpack 500 released in the United States in 2017 and in my experience, the charger for these batteries is fast and easy to use. It’s also light weight and compact so tossing it into a pannier or trunk bag is easy. Note that Benno sells their own extra-long bags that work perfectly with the Boost models. I’m a big proponent of bicycle safety and noticed that their bags have reflective stripes woven in. This is key, and something I wish they had considered for their branded tires as well. I’ve seen reflective tape on tires that helps you stand out even more and I’m not sure how easy it is to add at the consumer level. In any case, the lights are nice but the headlight doesn’t shine out to the sides and if you’re a messenger or someone who is just focused on a child or big load of groceries please be safe and consider additional lights and reflective gear. I do like that the frame comes in multiple color choices; the putty white and neon yellow would probably stand out best but the black does look cool.

Driving the bike is a Bosch Performance Line 350 watt mid-drive motor. It peaks at 63 Newton meters of torque and is super responsive. In addition to being powerful and efficient (with great range) it delivers shift sensing which will help your chain, sprockets and derailleur last. It’s still up to you to ease off when shifting gears, it’s a software driven sensor and imperfect, but the sensing technology is better than nothing. The motor measures your pedal cadence, force and rear wheel speed so the bike won’t start if you just rest a foot on the pedal. It’s capable of assisting you up to 20 mph and I appreciate the range of RPM output it delivers. Some motors have more of a sweet spot while the Bosch Centerdrive performs well at a range and allows you to pedal at higher RPMs without dropping out (which is my personal preference due to knee sensitivity). The motor is balanced by excellent hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano. They aren’t the largest or fanciest as you’d see on a downhill ebike but they are larger than average and from a name-brand manufacturer. The Shimano levers are easy to use with just a finger or two and the levers can be adjusted for reach which is great if you’re wearing work gloves or lending the bike to different employees or family members.

Once the battery is charged and mounted, turning the bike on is very simple. You press the power button on the Intuvia display near the lower left corner. It blinks on and delivers battery capacity, current speed, assist level and ride stats. You can change these readouts without taking your hands off the grip which is huge if you’re trying to balance a large load. One thing this cargo bike does not have stock is a super wide double-leg kickstand. Instead, it features a single side adjustable length stand that’s positioned far enough back to clear the left crank arm and pedal but not so far that a front basket add-on would tip the bike. Not everyone needs the huge stands but they do come in handy for large loads… they add cost and weight but the Benno Boost E 10D is already fairly light in comparison to full sized cargo bikes. It weighs about 57 lbs and the removable battery shaves off nearly 6 lbs. Both wheels are also easy to take off with quick release but depending on your environment it could be worth replacing with security skewers. Anyway, the display panel is also removable for convenience and to keep it protected in the rain, direct sun or rowdy bike racks. At the top right edge of the Intuvia display there’s a Micro USB port so you can charge portable electronics like a phone GPS. I love how easy it is to reach vs. some ebikes with a battery-mounted USB charging port.

For now, this is the only e-bike from Benno but I appreciate the unique qualities it offers and can see that they put a lot of time and energy into getting it right. I’m a big fan of the Bosch drive system and noticed that they went with a larger chainring here (which confused me at first), designed to balance out the smaller wheel diameter for a more natural cadence range. You get 10 gears here with a solid Shimano Deore LX derailleur. To me, this is a sweet spot where you don’t drop the chain as frequently and don’t have the complexity of two derailleurs… the Bosch system only works with one sprocket up front for now and the chainring has a nice plastic cover to keep your pant leg or dress clear and clean. I suppose I’d like a bell added for friendly signaling but that’s cheap and easy to add yourself later. The ergonomic grips felt great and used lockers so they won’t twist around if you’re really bearing down while transporting a heavy load. It’s a great bike and I’m excited about how it might empower people who couldn’t fit the full sized cargo ebikes into their garages, elevators, sheds and other storage spots.

Pros:

  • Unique tire size… they’re basically 24″ diameter plus sized tires (like you’d find on a mountain bike or fancy speed pedelec), the extra air provides traction and comfort and the smaller wheel diameter improves strength and lowers weight for stability (technically I think plus sized is 2.8″ to 3″ but 2.6 is still large for something like t his)
  • Cool rack options, there’s a longer cargo-style rack in the rear that can handle up to 110 lbs along with an extra set of braze-ons for bags, up front there are threaded eyelets setup for a porter style tray (the kind that mounts directly to the head tube and offers better handling), they also sell a Yepp child seat adapter
  • Nice fenders, you get matching Aluminum front and rear fenders that are extra wide for the plus sized tires… and given the smaller wheel size you probably won’t clip your toe on them as much when turning! During my ride tests the fenders didn’t rattle at all
  • Heavy duty Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, you get 180 mm up front and 160 mm in the rear, it’s enough to stop you and larger loads (and again, the smaller wheel diameter improves your mechanical advantage here with braking)
  • Premium drive system from Bosch, this is the same motor used for e-mountain bikes and full sized cargo models like the Xtracycle Edgerunner, it’s responsive and very efficient but still plenty powerful
  • Given the shorter frame length of the Benno Boost, you can fit it into more compact places (like some elevators, sheds and car racks)
  • Well positioned kickstand… sometimes they mount these things to the bottom bracket which gets in the way of your crank arms and pedals, in this case it’s set back a little bit and positioned under the cargo rack
  • Comfortable and accessible frame with an angled top tube… I’d call this a mid-step because it’s not as high as a traditional diamond frame but not as low as a step-thru, one advantage of still using the high top-tube is improved strength and stiffness
  • Battery and motor weight are kept low and central (if not a bit forward) on the frame, this keeps the rack completely open and allows for more weight to be added (compared with frame mounted batteries), you can charge on or off the bike easily and the battery can be upgraded to 500 watt hours for maximum range
  • In addition to having a removable battery, the display is also easy to take off and that’s really handy if you’re parking in a city or bike rack where vandalism or accidental bumps and tips can happen
  • The display panel has an integrated Micro USB charging port so you can tap into the main battery for additional power for your cell phone, GPS or other device and it’s right there easy to reach vs. down at the battery
  • You get two awesome LED Lights from Supernova and both are run off the main battery pack, this saves time and materials compared with add-on lights that can be easily stolen and require separate charging or replacement cells
  • I like the cockpit, they went with a riser bar and ergonomic grips to increase comfort and position the rider upright (to help spot traffic and fellow pedestrians)
  • It’s nice that you get several colors to choose from and the putty color and yellow struck me as being high visibility for increased safety and visual footprint
  • I like the oversized saddle with integrated handle at the back, this comes in handy to lift and position the bike but might be hard on a suspension seat post (if you swapped one in) so be careful ;)
  • The brake levers offer adjustable reach so you can fit your hand size and account for wearing work gloves or winter gloves
  • I like the pedals they chose, they seemed sturdy and had a larger surface area with good contact points so you won’t slip off easily
  • Quick release wheels make maintenance and transport easier but you might want to swap them with security hardware to prevent tampering and theft depending on your locale
  • Internally routed shifting, brake and motor cables help to reduce snags and keep the bike looking good
  • Reinforced spokes and rim eyelets reduce breaking and cracking under load
  • The control pad is very easy to reach while riding, you don’t have to take your left hand off the grip in order to arrow up or down in assist power level or change the display readout and that’s extra important if you’re carrying heavy/unstable cargo and need power instantly

Cons:

  • Despite having large tires, this bike can feel a little stiff (especially if they’re fully inflated for a full load), there’s no suspension so if you’re sensitive like me, consider adding a 31.2 mm Thudbuster seat post suspension (you might need a shim to fit this size properly)
  • The frame is only available in one size at this time and while it works okay (and actually pretty well for shorter riders) some taller people might feel scrunched, consider tipping the bars forward to extend reach and really raising that seat
  • Minor gripe here but it would be nice if the tires had reflective sidewall stripes (especially since they were already customized to say Benno on the side)… the LED lights are great but the Supernova headlight doesn’t shine through the sides at all, keep in mind that a brighter colored frame will help increase your visual footprint
  • I’m glad they included a slap guard to protect your right chainstay but wish it was a little longer… just given the stretched out tubing here it might get nicked in places that aren’t fully covered if you ride on very bumpy terrain
  • Benno Bikes are new to the US and may not be available to test ride and purchase in as many locations, on the upside however, Benno was the co-founder of Electra which made great bicycles and was well respected in the space
  • I wouldn’t want to compromise the frame strength but it would be nice to have bottle cage bosses, perhaps under the top tube? Seems like there’s room for a cage, min-pump or lock there
  • The Bosch motor is super quick to start and stop but it rotates at roughly two times your normal pedal cadence and I’ve noticed that there is a little whine sound that is produced which is slightly more audible than some other systems
  • depending on your cargo needs, it would be nice to have a double-side kickstand for added stability when loading, I do like that the single side stand that it comes with has adjustable length

Resources:

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Chris Ransom
6 hours ago

Ok. I'm very happy with my Rad City!!

I've been commuting on the Rad City 35 miles round trip from my house in Edmonds Wa to downtown Seattle with hills and head winds and I'm convinced it's a better commuters day then when I drive my Car!!!

For one I'm a whole lot happier when I Arrive there and look forward to the commute home. I've always loved biking but now that I'm free to get to work and not be all sweaty, has really opened my eyes to E-biking and the trips I can take with it. I admit I've added lots of Mods to make it my own, but every bike ride I take I learn something new about my commute and my Rad City.

I usually start my ride on PAS 2 and when I get to a big hill boost it to 3-4 depending on my speed. But I bring my charger in with me to work so that I can recharge at work for the commute home. I used google maps biking feature which pretty much routes my trip using bike lanes and the inter urban trail, so I feel much safer while I commute as well.

I'm surprised at how well the Rad City handles, it's very easy to ride.

Well I hope to see more Rad City's on the roads but until then I'm still VERY Happy on mine.

fxr3
2 days ago

It's impossible to make any reasonable argument against a throttle.
"If you need a throttle, get a motorbike". Huh
"If you need a motor, get a motorbike". Yea
"I'm really interested in understanding this perspective"
I think he said he likes longer rides, but feels he deserves a break in the last couple miles and throttle it home.
How bout " if you need 300% help, instead of double, you should get a moped, motorcycle or car".
Some of us admit we are enjoying all the shortcuts, advantages of regular bikes, getting some exercise, taking a car off the road while doing our errands, and having fun. A throttle can only improveou all those things, with no negatives. Period.
Save to assume mfgs tried to stay away from throttles to maintain ability to ride the bike lanes, and take advantage of perks a regular bike enjoys. As my health deteriorates(heart failure), I find myself taking the 20mph st1 with jailbroken 20mph boost button, instead of 28mph st2. And it doesn't take much energy or pedaling to maintain mid 20's on st2, yet for me, sometimes I just don't have the juice. You would have to pay close attention to me riding to recognize I'm throttling more pedaling less though, just because of stupid pride- I guess.
Liability wise- mfg or dealer- arguing pedaling vs.throttle is safer is tough. Pedaling at 75rpm has to reduce your attention more than holding a throttle on.
And motor damage caused by throttling in wrong gear is remote- how many motorcycle or cars do you hear of being damaged by trying to take off in too high of a gear or trying to reach freeway speeds in first gear? Not many.
I dig ebikes, but dealers and forum members(that I personally respect and admire) that argue against a throttle makes no sense to me at all. A throttle just gives rider another option- what could be wrong with that?

Tora Harris
2 days ago

Tora, thanks for the photos! I realized my question wasn't very well constructed. I was asking if there were wire disconnects for the motor which there appear to be based on your photo. On one of my earlier hub motor ebikes (a Polaris model) there was no way to disconnect the motor. Everything was permanently wired in which made changing the rear tire very difficult. My Stromer has disconnects on the wires so changing the rear tire isn't that big of a deal.

Regarding regen, it's a nice to have but it certainly isn't a deciding factor for me.

If you're looking for ideas for further videos, something covering the controller and how boost levels are selected would be nice. Keep up the good work.

Regen is nice so you can answer the question "can you charge while pedaling?" with a YES! The HF uses much thicker phase wires for the motor so it connects up a little differently from the CC. Many old school e-bikes had wires that joined up in strange locations, making it insanely difficult to change the tire.

Assist modes selection on the LCD display is quite simple, arrow up for higher assist, arrow down for lower assist. It's set now for ECO -> 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> Sport. We will show more of how it works soon.

willie2
2 days ago

Tora, thanks for the photos! I realized my question wasn't very well constructed. I was asking if there were wire disconnects for the motor which there appear to be based on your photo. On one of my earlier hub motor ebikes (a Polaris model) there was no way to disconnect the motor. Everything was permanently wired in which made changing the rear tire very difficult. My Stromer has disconnects on the wires so changing the rear tire isn't that big of a deal.

Regarding regen, it's a nice to have but it certainly isn't a deciding factor for me.

If you're looking for ideas for further videos, something covering the controller and how boost levels are selected would be nice. Keep up the good work.

fxr3
3 days ago

bought new in late 2014. Prolly 3000+ miles, battery is the bigger one and only a year old. Bike inherited rubber from st2, has Stromer branded forks, super wazoo seat post, no original forks. This bike is in very good condition, has jail broken 21mph boost(more cruise control than throttle) comes in handy when you want a break, yet still maintain 21mph. This is my OG bike and I almost hope st2 sells and I keep this one, but the 28mph would be missed. Both stromers are step- thrus, yet I've got them stemmed out and they are very roomy and comfortable to ride. Getting on and off them is easy and I think they are the best looking "girls frames ever! St1 twilight as also been mov d down low. Both Stromers have the good kickstand she and all other little nic-nacs to make them perfect, imo
$ 1750.00 firm, pick it up in Mesa, AZ or I'll deliver to SoCal for 100.00.
All 3 bikes have chargers, owners manals, etc. and have been maintained properly by me.
8056250223

1/3
Chris Nolte
4 days ago

Still looking for a stealthy purpose built mid-drive with IGH and throttle that doesn't look like and Ebike. Bulls comes closest with the Evo with Gates belt but no throttle.
Lots of us in our 60s need that boost to start a heavy bike while at a stop light in heavy traffic and the IGH to shift down if in the wrong gear. There's a big market here for geezers that love biking and want something with more personality than a cruiser style ebike. Looks like FLX bikes are getting close with the Bafang Max but no IGH yet.
With a proper pedal assistance it shouldn't take much effort at all to get the bike going. We hear many with this same argument and then they test a bike with a Bosch or similar system and they get it. Maybe I'm a bit biased though since I don't have any bike with throttles in the shop. Several leading shops seem to be moving in a similar direction though. With proper pedal assist you don't need a throttle.

romagjack
4 days ago

Still looking for a stealthy purpose built mid-drive with IGH and throttle that doesn't look like and Ebike. Bulls comes closest with the Evo with Gates belt but no throttle.
Lots of us in our 60s need that boost to start a heavy bike while at a stop light in heavy traffic and the IGH to shift down if in the wrong gear. There's a big market here for geezers that love biking and want something with more personality than a cruiser style ebike. Looks like FLX bikes are getting close with the Bafang Max but no IGH yet.

DaveinMtAiry
1 week ago

What about a throttle? Would I not use that to climb hills? Does the throttle work with the human power and gives you more of a boost than the pedal assistance? What names should I look at for affordable, good mid-drives?

Bike_On
1 week ago

In case anyone else is curious, I will answer my own question. The weather cooperated during the week and I had some free time, so I found a dealer with a Trek manual-shift Shimano Steps mid-drive demo. I did some riding up a 10% hill and discovered that compared to a 36v 350-watt geared hub, the 36v 250-watt mid-drive was the winner. With the hub, it helps you as long as you help it. That means on long grades steeper than 6% you work a lot to keep the bike’s road speed around 10-12mph to stay in the hub's power band and avoid potentially cooking the windings. The Steps had a 10-cog rear cluster with a 32t granny and on the test hill it never sagged or felt over-loaded, even if I dawdled along. Accelerating just required a little more pressure on the pedals, or down-shifting one or two clicks which increased crank rpm and really bump up boost energy. The system regulates power output at three levels: Eco, Normal, and High. On the test hill its Normal mode at a moderate cadence of about 60-70 crank rpm felt very close to the strength of a 350w hub. In the High power range it was simply no contest. In my opinion, the 250 mid exceeds the climbing ability of a 350 geared hub, and with much less effort. It was impressive. What intrigues me is how efficient a small motor can be with smart software and good gearing.

The beauty and benefit of a mid - drive system. Dial in the gear for peak efficiency and power.

The beauty of the hubs on flat and mild hills is the variation in pedal cadence allowed by the motor. The mid drives will dictate a certain rpm, with a narrow band of cadence. The hubs allow for a wider rpm cadence and feels more natural.

Thomas Jaszewski
1 week ago

Last two posts were interesting. I looked at RedRover and found 750 W and 48v with throttle option and great customer service for $1,500, sounds like a great deal. Why do you prefer fat tires? I still don't have a handle on 36 V vs 48V, is t just range or does 48V boost power?

Thomas hit on my initial thought, I would never buy a car without driving it so I'd like to go the bike shop route. But they are much more expensive. I don't want to convert my bike, it's old and will still be used on trips to the beach.
I dislike fat tired bikes. I'm selling mine at a loss. I prefer comfort bike with fatter tires, 2" - 2.5". Bikes like the Townie. Crank forward, upright riding position, with heads up view. I found the fat bikes to be cumbersome and an uncomfortable riding position. I have three models of flat foot bikes and really like them the most. Easier to mount and just uber comfortable. I ride some trails that are compacted soil and just don't need the features of a mountain bike of fat bike. FB's are all the rage. You're on track. Ride and decide! I one form 36V to 48V and then to 52V. From 15MPH to 30MPH bikes and now I'm backing of and going back to 36V. I don't need, or like the speed. 36V are fast enough. My newest build used a controller and motor that can rune 36V or 48V. 36v are becoming less available as Americans have the need for speed. But they are available from the better battery builders.

DaveinMtAiry
1 week ago

Last two posts were interesting. I looked at RedRover and found 750 W and 48v with throttle option and great customer service for $1,500, sounds like a great deal. Why do you prefer fat tires? I still don't have a handle on 36 V vs 48V, is t just range or does 48V boost power?

Thomas hit on my initial thought, I would never buy a car without driving it so I'd like to go the bike shop route. But they are much more expensive. I don't want to convert my bike, it's old and will still be used on trips to the beach.

hualalai
2 weeks ago

The Scoop

I’ve benefitted tremendously from the insights and tips from everyone on this board, so I wanted to add my experience to the mix. Since I’m a complete noob to the electric bike universe, I suspect my observations will only be helpful to those who are coming from a similarly inexperienced place, but here goes....

The Search

46 year old male. Moderately out of shape, with some back and knee issues that have kept me off of non-stationary bikes for more than 20 years. At 6’1, 185 pounds I was looking for, above all else for a bike that would be comfortable to ride. Upright riding, pedal forward, cushy seat, easy to handle. I’m lucky enough to live just steps away from the coolest beach bike path on the planet (in my humble opinion), but in the six years I’ve been living here, I haven’t set foot on it once. Totally nuts, I know. So after wistfully watching the bikes fly by for years, I decided it was time to jump in. A pedelec beach cruiser seemed like the perfect solution to allow me to get back in shape without taxing my joints and back too much.

The Budget

I decided that something in the $2,000 range would be fine. While I could afford to go higher, $2000 was the most I was willing to spend on a first attempt at an ebike -- something that might ultimately wind up collecting dust in my garage if I wound up making a tremendous mistake. I did a little bit of research, found this terrific site, when to the Expo in Long Beach. Was ambivalently drifting toward Pedego, as it seemed to meet most of my specs (except my budget), when I stumbled upon...

The E-Lux Newport Step Thru. Definitely love at first sight here. Based on absolutely nothing, I heard the voice in my head say “You must have this bike” At around $1900 before extras, bells and whistles, it was a good $1000 cheaper than similar Pedego models, and I was hard pressed to find much of a difference. My biggest hesitation was that Pedego is a much more established company, and I worried that ELUX’s startup status might make service and parts an issue down the road. I also wanted to take a test ride to see if the ride lived up to the fantastic visuals.

The Test Ride/Buying Experience

Decided to drive about an hour down to Orange County, the home of ELUX’s headquarters and rental operation to take one out to the beach for a couple of hours, and ask a few questions from their sales staff. To be honest, I was sold after my first ten minutes on the bike. It was precisely what I was looking for, and even the well-travelled rental rode beautifully. And while I’m still concerned about the long-term advisability of buying a big ticket item from a small company with a shorter track record, this was balanced by the OUTSTANDING customer service I received during the sales process. Renee was the sales rep who assisted me with the rental, but she also patiently answered all of my questions during the follow up, and eventual sales process. All of the costs, pros/cons were spelled out clearly, and I never felt the slightest bit of sales pressure at any point. They should give some pointers to the car dealerships! Even though there is an ELUX dealer in Santa Monica (very close to me), the OC location had a slightly better price, and they offered to have it delivered completely assembled to my home up in LA. The model with the particular specs I wanted was already in the warehouse, so I ordered the bike on a Saturday morning, and had it pulling up to my house on a Sunday afternoon!! The guy who delivered the bike was (I believe) one of the co-owners of the company, and couldn’t have been nicer. He took the time to walk me through some of the last minute setup questions I had, and made sure everything was in working order before leaving. Customer service should always be this terrific. With an upgraded battery (from 10AH to the 14AH) and a decision to upgrade the standard comfy seat to a SERFAS CRS-1 Super Cruiser, my total cost wound up being around $2200. And while this is hardly a cheap bike, I do feel like it’s a tremendous value for what I got.

The Ride

In almost every way, the ELUX Newport Step Thru met my primary goal of a comfortable ride. The pedal-forward design has given my knees a real break, and the upright riding position and wide handle bars, have me sitting straight and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Ocean vistas! Because of my limited flexibility, I chose the low step thru model versus the step over. And after a moment of embarrassment for choosing the one clearly designed as a “women’s bike”, I was super glad that I did. Hopping on and off of the step thru is a breeze, and the absence of the top bar seems to compromise the stability of the bike only very minimally. The frame is sturdy and can stand up to quite a bit of punishment. Even though 80% of my riding is on the well-paved beach bike paths, I do take it out on to city streets, and it absorbs quite a few potholes and bumps. The construction of the ELUX frame seems solid, and holds up fine. The look of the paint and fenders is fantastic. The Newport comes in White, Black, Powder Blue, and Sea Foam Green. Each color is so vibrant and stark, that I genuinely had a hard time choosing, ultimately going for the sea foam green to go with the beach vibe that I wanted. And while I have picked up a scratch or two in my first two months of use (about 300 miles), this is probably more due to my carelessness than the quality of the paint job, which seems to weather quite well. Simply put, it is a gorgeous bike.

One of the complaints that I had read in some reviews of the ELUX Newport was that the back end weight of the battery can lead to a slightly unbalanced ride. And while this is hardly a deal breaker, I can confirm that the rear end weight (particularly on a bike that is so heavy overall) is noticeable. I probably exacerbated this problem a bit by choosing to zip tie a basket over the rear cargo area, rather than the front. Something to keep in mind. Also, I’m constantly concerned that the bike it going to tip over when I have it parked, especially if I have any cargo whatsoever in the rear basket. Even empty, it seems to teeter a bit, in spite of a well-made, heavy duty kickstand that is provided with the bike. That said, the placement of the battery itself is intuitive and simple. Removing and reinserting the battery is a breeze, and it makes for great recharging flexibility.

The LED display on the ELUX is, from everything I can tell, identical to the one on most Pedago models, and it’s pretty simple to use, giving you all of the essential controls at your fingertips. Moving between levels of pedal assist is easy, and in short order becomes as intuitive as you could ever want. For me, having the option of a throttle only override was a must, and I think it should be for you too. There are just too many occasions where you want that instant boost of power to pass someone/something on the road. Personally, I like the trigger throttle of the ELUX over the twist throttle of the Pedago, but that may just be me.

The grips on the ELUX Newport were comfortable and quality, but I can’t say the same for the cheap, poorly made bell. Mine was shifting in place and junky from almost day one. When I get around to it, I’ll replace with something more reliable (for safety reasons). Not a big deal though.

If I did have one structural complaint about the bike itself, it would be in the area of suspension. Now granted, I don’t have a lot to compare it to, and I realize that this is definitely NOT a mountain bike. It’s a beach cruiser, and the suspension is not designed to absorb every tiny bump on the road. Nonetheless, comfort was a big priority of mine, and even with the cushy seat and the mostly even terrain that I ride, I do find my self feeling it in the seat when I come up against small rattles and shakes. Ultimately, I may explore adding some kind of additional suspension, so if there’s anyone out there who’s had similar issues with the Newport, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

I’ve been pretty impressed with the quality and efficiency of the motor so far. I had heard comments in other reviews that it was on the noisy side, but I’ve found mind to be unnoticeable, and almost whisper-quiet (perhaps because I’m riding near the ocean, or on city streets). Regardless, it’s fairly responsive, even though I find myself often riding in the least responsive, battery saving, “ECO mode” most of the time. I haven’t done enough hilly riding to comment about the power of the motor for steep climbs, but I will say that in the highest power mode, I’m zipping from 0 to 20 mph in a flash. I have had one or two incidents where the motor did not kick in upon initially powering the bike on. This was instantly remedied by powering the bike off and rebooting. Never a big deal, and overall reliability of the motor has been very good.

The Battery

I’m only able to get out riding a couple of times per week, but when I ride, I like to ride far. My dream trail takes me about 19-20 miles each way, for a total of 38-40 miles. So the question is, can you get that far on the Elux Newport? The answer: yes... pretty much. I learned the hard way on my first few outings that there are some severe limitations to the accuracy of the LED display power indicator. I purchased the 14AH battery (A MUST, as it turns out) which on a full charge starts you with about 54w. The owners manual indicates that an empty battery is 42w, but this is complete nonsense. In reality, once the display dips to 46-47ish you are on borrowed time. And since it is a bad idea to run a lithium battery all the way down to empty, it is really annoying that there isn’t more precision in the gauge. I suspect that this is a drawback of most non-super high end ebikes, but having a more reliable and accurate power indicator would be a big help. As it is, I had to do some trial and error to figure out precisely how far a full charge could take me, and do so independently on the display number, which I find draws down very slowly early in the ride, and then tumbles down rapidly once it dips below 50w. The power bar is similarly unreliable. You start with 5 bars, and it takes quite a while to drop to 4 or 3, but then 2 bars disappears very quickly. Apart from the damage it probably does to the battery, I can say from personal experience that running out of juice on an obscenely-heavy beach cruiser.... really sucks. Fortunately, I’ve made my mistakes in that department, and won’t make them again. I’ve also taken to carrying my charger with me when I ride (it weighs very little), and feel better knowing that I can sneak into a cafe for some emergency recharging when push comes to shove.

The good news, (in spite of all my complaining) is that the actual range of the 14AH battery is actually quite reasonable. I find that I’m able to make my full 40 mile ride on one charge, (without completely going down to fumes), if I am diligent about putting in a decent amount of exercise on the pedassist as I go. On an average trip, I’d say I’m doing 10% at level 1, 50% at level 2, 30% at level 3, and 10% at level 4. With this distribution, and paying close attention to the display, I’m able to complete my full ride without stopping to recharge. What this will do to the lifespan of my battery, I can’t really say. I’ve read so many comments on the board about keeping your battery in the middle range to prolong it’s life, and I’m obviously not doing that. Mine is more of a carpe diem approach, and I’m just hoping that I can enjoy my bike and not worry too much about battery life. If I can get a couple of years out of it before noticing diminished range and having to replace it, that will be ok by me. If anyone thinks I’m deluding myself, or has any advice, I’d be eager to hear your thoughts.

The Bottom Line

Having only had the ELUX Newport for about two months, I can’t speak to long-term issues (service, replacement parts, durability, etc). But I can say that, so far, ELUX delivered on exactly what I wanted: A beautiful bike with a hassle-free, comfortable, FUN, riding experience that has gotten me back outside, enjoying the sun, and exercising far more than I thought I would. In short, I’m having a blast. If there are others out there looking for a similar biking experience, I can highly recommend the Newport. I’m eager to connect with other ELUX owners, particularly those who enjoy (as I do) the gorgeous 20 mile stretch of beach between Santa Monica and Torrance on the Braude Bike Trail.

HAPPY RIDING!!!

1/1
Tora Harris
2 weeks ago

Not a great deal if the charger has a problem. ALWAYS look at warrantees. I have two $80 chargers that died a month out of their 90 day warranties, now what? Start by doing he numbers. Someone in this thread also mentioned the Satiator. A charger with a very good warrantee and one that can grow with your hobby. Peer reviewed research has sown that charging to 80% can more than double the battery life. So it I take my $500 battery and double the life, essentially I have $1000 in value. That $300 charger has me ahead on one battery by $200. 200 in my pocket. Next battery or backup battery or different voltage battery and I can use the same charger. I just saved myself another $50 to $100 bucks. Maybe it's the mindset that everything should be low end and value priced to be worth buying, frankly that confuses me. Batteries are the most expensive drain on the eBikers wallet. Anything I can find to extend life leaves dollars in my pocket. No brainer for me. It IS hard to swallow. I mean on face $300 is steep. But being able to charge ALL my batteries from 12-60V. Change at a full range of rates, fast if a need hit, slow for best pack health. Charge at user determined percentage. 50% for storage 80% for longevity. 100% for a longer ride. A history of the battery charge cycles, and more. I used o have 4 chargers. Even if they were ;ow end I'd still have near $175 in and no warranty over a couple of months. I sold them and the same guys selling the $80 chargers sold hundreds of Satiators. But the margin on Satiators is nowhere near that of the China chargers and the warrantees, are, well, abysmal.

OK off the soapbox. Can someone show me the data proving that a torque sensor saves on battery power? I do get the difference, and it is nice for the bicycle purist, but does the torque sensor have a payback as short and obvious as a programable charger? Please educate me. As I understand the physics, the power has to come from somewhere. If you increase range with the TS, it's because you provided additional power. Important for a EU 250W limit with no throttle, but you'll save more with a $300 charger than a $200-$300 torque sensor. Promise.

The Cycle Satiator is the best charger for e-bikes period. It basically does everything and built to be nearly indestructible. It can charge very fast, very slow, any battery and charge to any charge level. If you can afford it, just get it. It's worth it.

Torque Sensor can save battery energy if set up correctly.
It is easy to understand why by thinking about it like this: A car's gas pedal is not a on/off switch. It has many levels of actuation so you can modulate your power in the starts and coasting etc.

The cadence sensor-only type bikes are like on/off switches. It flicks the motor on when you start pedaling and turns it off when you stop pedaling. If you ever use them you will realize that it very often turns the motor on at times when you don't really want or need the boost. That is what is wasting energy. If the boost is set too low and you pedal harder to accelerate, it will feel like the motor is inhibiting you. In those moments you are wasting energy. Those little inefficient moments add up and overall you can have less range.

The torque sensor measures the pressure you put on the pedals and also can measure how fast you are turning the pedals. With those 2 bits of information it can work out your intensions quite precisely (if programmed right). The controller can apply power to the motor to exactly match those intentions. So when you want to speed up, pedal harder and the bikes speeds up. If you want to go slower, pedal softer and the bike will slow down. Your intensions and the motor's power are in harmony. This is more efficient.

On less powerful bikes with around 250W, you may not feel the difference as the motor just does not have the power or torque to really accelerate forward when you push down harder.

On the HyperFat which can peak at 1,500 Watts, the feeling is very impressive. The bike can react to your every move and amplifies your effort by around 5x. The bike feels totally weightless. However, even in the highest boost setting, you can ride the bike very slowly, controlling the bike's speed with just the pressure you put on the pedals.

Bicyclista
2 weeks ago

You're looking in the right category, i.e. cargo bikes, of which the Pedego Stretch is one. Cargo bikes are made to carry stuff, including kids (or at least one). Look at the cargo bike reviews on this site. In addition to the Pedego, there are the Radrover, the Wallerang M.01, the Benno Boost, the Virtue Cycles Gondoliere, the Felt Bruhaul, the Yuba Spicy Curry, the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 and several others, all within your budget. But none have fat tires. Most cargo bikes have tires in the 2.5-inch range, which is wider than most road bikes and par with most mountain bikes. I actually think many of these bikes would be fun to ride alone.

pxpaulx
2 weeks ago

I loved my sduro when I got it. Smooth instant power delivery, but delivers it like you are still riding a bike...not like you are being pushed to speed by a motor as much as other bikes.

Notice i said loved...the brose is on another level. It is whisper quiet, and of the eight or ten different ebikes I've either tested or owned, it is hands down the closest feeling to riding a regular bike. I'm just looking for a boost and want to feel like I'm still riding, the brose is easily the closest to that I've come so far!

I didn't get the plus model, I would've liked it but am totally satisfied with the non plus version.

Larry Ganz
2 weeks ago

We live in a hilly area, and our Trek mid-drive eBikes are a breeze to ride up steep (10% or more) hills, using the proper gearing to get a good cadence rate and power delivery. Mine is a Powerfly 7 eMTN bike with 75NM Bosche system, and my wife's is a Neko+ trail/hybrid with 50NM Shimano Steps system.

Before buying, I test drove a friend's 350 watt hub motor eBike with my 215 lb weight, and if my speed dropped too slow then the motor assist became useless as it fell below it's powerband. With the Trek mid-drive (including the Dual Sport+ with Steps that I test rode before buying) we can drop to first gear and pull the hills in the lowest assist mode (ECO) at 4-5 mph, or kick it up to 200% assist (HIGH or SPORT) and fly up the hills at over 10-15 mph. We tend to use the least amount of boost that will allow us to climb, to get a better workout, so we'll use the lower two power levels the most, even if it means going slower. At those slow speeds the hub motor could not help propel me uphill.

So, after putting 115 miles on our bikes in the first month of ownership, with big elevation changes and climbs on each ride, I could not see myself going with a hub motor for pedal assist. I like how well the mid-drives integrate both torque sensing and cadence into calculating the boost, and how they allow the gears to assist the motor for climbing. On steep mountain bike trails the 300% boost of the Bosche has come in handy in the lower gears when I can't go fast to keep up momentum, but need to power through a tough climb over rocks and roots.

DaveinMtAiry
2 weeks ago

Thanks again for the replies. More Noob questions:

How exactly dose a mid-drive motor work and what makes it so much more efficient than a hub motor? Is the motor the only thing that determines power and torque or does the voltage of the batter matter as well? At my size and the need for hills would 350 W with a 36 V battery meet my needs?

Did you guys really order a bike online without riding it first? I can't imagine doing that but I have also found that bike store purchases are way more expensive.

I have ridden one but it was on a lark and I have no idea of the specifics of the bike other than it costs over 2 grand. Rode it around the lot and really liked it but I was surprised that I still needed to work a lot to go up a hill, even in the highest (or is it lowest) setting that gave me the most boost. I really need to make sure I get a bike that can haul me up the steepest hill. We haven't picked out a specific area yet but pretty obvious it will have monster hills and I want to be able to walk out my front door and go bike riding without loading onto a truck and going somewhere.

steve_rolfeca
3 weeks ago

The Bionx kits have an internal strain gauge that continuously monitors how hard you pedal. It provides the smoothest, most silent and organic-feeling pedelec boost on the market. Once you get going, there is no surge or delay in turning on or off, creating the intoxicating feeling that there is no motor involved- you just inherited superman's legs!

Range is excellent on the lower assist levels, with matched, proprietary battery packs and safe lithium cobalt technology. The battery and motor unit communicate with each other, and aftermarket packs are not an option, although there is at least one vendor who rebuilds the Bionx packs. This makes for a less expensive option when your pack wears out.

Bafang-based hub drive kits do not offer nearly as good a pedelec experience. Sensing is crude and laggy, gearing is noisy, and most users rely on throttle control. As good or better than Bionx if you just want effortless no-pedal power, but poor if you want a seamless electric pedal assist that seems to disappear into the background.

Battery packs are completely up to the user, allowing more scope for customizing range VS power and cost. However, it's also buyer beware, with lots of questionable choices out there.

Bionx are also as close to zero maintenance as you can get- designed and built in Canada, water sealing is excellent, the hub drive has no internal gears to strip or need replacement, and doesn't stress the drive chain. The warranty is longer than Bafang.

In contrast, the Bafang-based drives (mid or hub drive) all have internal plastic idler gears that are a weak link, problems with drawing water into the electronics, and a history of controller failures. Maintenance and repair issues are commonly reported on the forums.

The latest mid-drive Bafang versions seem to be better developed, but they place tremendous stress on the derailleur and chain, twice as much or more than human power alone. Expect to blow chains and other driveline parts regularly if you ride aggressively.

However, Bionx kits are very expensive- at least twice the price of any Bafang-based product. Tech support is excellent in North America and Europe, but I don't know about India. Best if you want a sealed, no-fuss experience.

Bafang kits are much more affordable, have a strong DIY community on various forums, and there are more sources for replacement parts when they break. Best if you want to experiment, tinker, and especially if you want to hot-rod your kit for more power.

MLB
4 weeks ago

The need to shift is why I like mid-drives. I've used a few hub drives, and even in pedelec mode it felt like I was just kinda pedaling along with the power, similar to using throttle. My Yamaha mid-drive is a more involving experience where the rider is required to keep the motor in an optimum range, and the power varies depending on how hard you're riding. Hub drives feel like slow motorcycles to me; mid-drives are fast bicycles.

NO! That's SETUP, not motor TYPE.
My STromer ST1 was one of the most like you describe for a strong hub motor. BUT, go into the programming and turn the boost down and when and how hard it kicks in and you can make it very very close to my wonderful Haibike with Bosch.
In the same way, if I run my Haibike on the top 2 settings it's very strong and un-bike-like.

Ashley
4 weeks ago

Hello Ann,
thanks for reply, I live in uk at nottingham, I bought the bike s/h about 4 yrs ago, ran ok np problems after batteries replaced then it packed up completly and put in shed, finally got round to "playing with it" and bought these, ebay items, ebay item number
232211808685, as I said not bothered about brake's isolaters or stop lamp, nor the pedalling sensor, just want to have the "boost" of electric motor when needed, ie I turn on electrics via throttle key switch, pedal as per ordinary bike till off the "trailer home" then bring in the electic motor to assist getting up a hill to local village (there is only one road which goes under a railway line, and the park is surrounded by a river) I am then on the flat and ok for fishing spots and shopping etc, trips to local pub etc (not getting drunk!)
New control box is fitted, throttle is in place, and wires all mounted but not connected at box,
The motor runs perfectly direct from battery and system is identical to one fitted on a izip 27 model except latter has no pedalling sensor on crank, and no " sealed little black box" in what I assume is a variable resistor in the green signal wire from throttle to box. Am ok wiring batteries in series to give 24 volt and soldering, fitting heat shrink sleeving etc but a bit concerned with the 2 thin wire from control box to battery and heavy wires from batteries on same terminals? afraid no old parts, all dumped as burnt out and am unable to take photos etc (not much use am i? lol) just want basic wiring diagram, any help welcome, thanks

cdp
1 week ago

my bike is a little too large for me and i want to sell to buy a different bike. Used 5 times ( maybe 5 miles). Kept indoors and fully charged .

https://post.craigslist.org/manage/6084078213/t26z9

The Electrified S aims to look just like a bike - not a bike with electric drive added as an afterthought, or as an external component - and has its battery, electronics, display, and LED lights built right into the frame, along with a keyless lock, giving the bike a very simple outward appearance which belies the technology built into it.

The bike's electric assist is delivered by a 250W (350W peak) front wheel hub motor, which is powered by an LG lithium-ion battery (418Wh 36V 11,6A) integrated into the bike's down tube.

Along with its normal cycling functions, including electric pedal assist and 'power boost', the Electrified S also features a touchpad display built into the top tube, which shows the speed, , power level, and battery life. Front and rear LED lighting offer visibility while on the road, and the bikes come with steel fenders, with all other major parts secured with anti-theft hardware. The bike's manual drivetrain is through the rear SRAM two-speed internal gear hub.

The bike comes with an app which allows riders to use the Bluetooth connection to remotely unlock or lock the bike, to track it via a worldwide GSM system if it ever gets stolen, or to change the bike's power settings.

Also included are the waitress set front basket and the upgraded chain.-

replacement value $3,000 ( but white is no longer offered)

I have ridden it 5 times, and have kept it indoors and charged
I am using a stock photo- but is as pictured.

fxr3
1 month ago

I've concluded the bulls coast so good, I'll be good without boost or throttle. For those who would benefit from throttle taking off from dead start- ?.
I will predict a throttle "dongle" coming soon, it's a natural progression.

Tommylee
1 month ago

I had to get used to it Dont take your hands off casually - like a regular bike
In (rotational) pedal assist - for smoother starts - I use a setting of 2 or 3 (out of 4).
4 is pretty strong - once you get a rotation of pedal.
I use 2/3 in local town hood, but 4 when traffic allows or demands. And if i need a boost, I hit the afterburner (direct throttle).
You DO NEED to hold on, because if you treat it like a regular bike it can pull it out of your hand.
In cold I have 'gripper'/insulated gardening gloves so I have a good grip on the handles. NOT slippery wool mittens.

Step-thru is good for easy access. I have the seat lower than for a bike where you need a near-straight leg for torque. So I sit low like a Harley - especially on my big padded seat. So both feet on the front of my foot at a stop light. Quite comfortable - but this position is ME finally deciding I will let the bike motor assist a fair amount.

I rode a bit in low-traffic areas first to get confidence.

NEXT is saddlebags for groceries.

I wish the display was the type designed for briteness in sunlight. Hard to read. I would pay for that upgrade - BLIX are you listening?
Speaking as a BSEEE.

hope this all helps

Tom

emco5
1 month ago

In case anyone else is curious, I will answer my own question. The weather cooperated during the week and I had some free time, so I found a dealer with a Trek manual-shift Shimano Steps mid-drive demo. I did some riding up a 10% hill and discovered that compared to a 36v 350-watt geared hub, the 36v 250-watt mid-drive was the winner. With the hub, it helps you as long as you help it. That means on long grades steeper than 6% you work a lot to keep the bike’s road speed around 10-12mph to stay in the hub's power band and avoid potentially cooking the windings. The Steps had a 10-cog rear cluster with a 32t granny and on the test hill it never sagged or felt over-loaded, even if I dawdled along. Accelerating just required a little more pressure on the pedals, or down-shifting one or two clicks which increased crank rpm and really bump up boost energy. The system regulates power output at three levels: Eco, Normal, and High. On the test hill its Normal mode at a moderate cadence of about 60-70 crank rpm felt very close to the strength of a 350w hub. In the High power range it was simply no contest. In my opinion, the 250 mid exceeds the climbing ability of a 350 geared hub, and with much less effort. It was impressive. What intrigues me is how efficient a small motor can be with smart software and good gearing.

D C
2 months ago

Hi Court, great review as always. Can you shed any light on the claimed range? I know this depends upon rider weight, max speed, amount of pedaling, wind, flatness etc, along with BMS etc, but have heard that a useful rule of thumb is around 20 miles per wH. On that basis, one would expect a range more like 20, against the claimed 30 (minimum). What's your take on this? Also since the guys from Propel seem to be responding here, if they have any real world experience with battery life that would be great to hear about. I know you are probably limited in amount of time you can spend with each bike, but if there's a way you could ride them for an hour, or 20-30 miles, that would start to give us a terrific baseline to compare bikes!

D C
1 month ago

Propel Electric Bikes Thanks

Propel Electric Bikes
2 months ago

Most people see between 20-40 miles on the 400Wh battery. The Bosch display will tell you how much range you have in a given mode, for example Eco will get you 60 miles and Turbo will get you about 20 miles. For the 500Wh you should see a 25% increase so 75-25 or for most people 25-50 miles. I hope that helps - Chris

riceburner68
3 months ago

Would be nice if you could carry a passenger but the 110lb (50kg) rating limits who you can carry. Extra mount points on the frame so looks like you might be able to fit a stronger rack though.

Propel Electric Bikes
2 months ago

It's my understanding that Benno is working on a rack with foot rests for this purpose. It's build to be modular so I guess we'll just have to wait and see what they come up with. It sure seems like the stock rack can hold more than 110lbs, but that is indeed what it's rated for.

TheSimplecanadian
3 months ago

Wow you really know your stuff! Great video, great channel and great guy!

kustomweb
3 months ago

Court, get a follow-me drone, I'm sure you find a spot in the Prius

Benjamin Müller
3 months ago

how about this one:

https://www.rosebikes.de/bike/rose-xtra-watt-3-herren-bike-now/aid:783282

NovaColonel
3 months ago

Very nice bike and review, Chris always looks a little tense, although he's probably a very cool guy.
Also, what's up with that weird german-swiss hybrid flag right above the chainrings?

Propel Electric Bikes
2 months ago

Thanks! I'm still getting comfortable in front of the camera. I think the flag on the frame is a nod to Benno's roots since he was born and raised in Berlin.

Alex NC
3 months ago

add their official panniers in the back and their front basket, and this looks like the perfect bike for me. too bad I'm a cheapskate and that price is looking pretty high :-( Great bike though

philodygmn
3 months ago

What I'd like is an actual Electra FlatFoot version of this bike with weather treated frame and _trigger_ throttle from standstill with walk mode, and also good brakes like this one's. Sealed chain might be nice, def. at least a proper guard, slap guard notwithstanding. Even keeping its less robust FatFrank tires, Townie's FlatFoot still wins out over this bike for me, even without an extra-long rack or stationary front basket mounts either. That handled seat is a great idea that also makes it easier to lock up, FWIW. Townie's hubbed gears make it neater and lower maintenance as well.

Florida Scot
3 months ago

Great cargo city bike, nice quality, looks

Mark Elford
3 months ago

Sleek cargo bike, i like it. they really should have sold it with front rack and bags installed, looks half done.

Propel Electric Bikes
3 months ago

This was an early shipment. It is available with those accessories now.

Darren Brown
3 months ago

what about reviewing some of the riese - muller bikes

Propel Electric Bikes
3 months ago

We're trying to coordinate something next month to get Court out here to review the Riese & Muller bikes. They were supposed to be here for the last trip, but the shipment was a little delayed. We have most bikes here now and it's just a matter of coordinating with Court.

Seb K
3 months ago

I'm tired . Just had a loooooong debate/argument with some guys on another site about Ebikes . So many people have no damn clue about these bikes yet still feel the need to judge others who use them . I was negative about them at first but never posted vile crap about them . Amongst my traditional bikes I now have three Ebikes . Presently building up my electric fat bike (or Efatbike) and it is fast .

David Macdonald
3 months ago

I wish you would point out Cadence and torque sensing bikes and the differences between them because it matters a lot to someone buying a torque sensor bike by accident not realising they have to work a lot harder than a cadence sensor bike bike court

David Macdonald
3 months ago

Yes I had the bosch system but it mite say it uses cadence as well as torque but if you have poor legs you will definitely have to work a lot harder and yes the battery lasts longer but the reason for that is because you are working a lot harder my cadence sensor bike I don't have to work hard at it with my legs ,but I can put in the effort I can manage, that's where the difference comes in with the torque sensing Bosch system you have to work hard with your legs remember (your) legs might very well be quite fit some people who get an electric bike have very very poor legs that's why often they get a E bike , and the cadence sensor definitely makes the difference the point is for people that don't have a E bike and never have had they mite very well think o good it's electric and no problem, only to find they have as i did paid for a bike like the bosch type torque sensing cube (they still can't use )

Propel Electric Bikes
3 months ago

That really depends on the motor system and the gearing though. The Bosch system uses torque sensing and cadence sensing so you can use the bike in a low gear with a higher cadence if you don't want to work too hard. Just cadence sensing on it's own is almost obsolete in my eyes. It's not very safe as it can be unpredictable. That's just my opinion though.

FRANK ROBY
3 months ago

V good bike.

Tom Thumb
3 months ago

Nice looking bike. I like the black and white. I also like the rack.

Pat Shala
3 months ago

I really love this bike , it looks so good .

Dave Caldwell
3 months ago

Very nice looking bike! Big fan of the Bosch system, it really is as good as you say Court :)

Timothy Standaert
3 months ago

I'd like this if it were 28mph, had a suspension fork, and a throttle.

Priscila Grant
3 months ago

I really liked it when you mounted the camera right by the back wheel, I could better hear the sound of the motor and if the bike is capable to keep up with moderate traffic. Also very neat when camera was mounted directly on rear rack facing backwards, again showed me how fast you were pedaling, the sound of the motor at that level and how well (or not!) managed actual city traffic. Thanks for that.

Camp Runamuck
3 months ago

What's the weight capacity?

Camp Runamuck
3 months ago

Seems like us big guys need a ebike but nobody seems to make anything I can strap on the front of my van and use as a grocery getter being a bigger guy

Camp Runamuck
3 months ago

What's total weight capacity rider and cargo ..It seems hard to find a ebike for a big guy the juice rider is the only thing I've seen that will work for me ..this looks nice but I'm thinking it don't have the 400 pound capacity the juiced rider does

Propel Electric Bikes
3 months ago

About 100lbs on the current rack, but that might change with future racks.