Biruni Scarlett Review

Biruni Scarlett Electric Bike Review 1
Biruni Scarlett
Biruni Scarlett Direct Drive Hub Motor
Biruni Scarlett Battery And Rack
Biruni Scarlett Control Panel Grip Shifter
Biruni Scarlett Asymmetrical Downtube
Biruni Scarlett Front Cargo Rack
Black Biruni Scarlett
Black Biruni Scarlett Rear Hub Motor
Black Biruni Scarlett Removable Battery
Black Biruni Scarlett Ev Meter
Black Biruni Scarlett Alloy Chain Guide
Black Biruni Scarlett Disc Brake
Biruni Scarlett Electric Bike Review 1
Biruni Scarlett
Biruni Scarlett Direct Drive Hub Motor
Biruni Scarlett Battery And Rack
Biruni Scarlett Control Panel Grip Shifter
Biruni Scarlett Asymmetrical Downtube
Biruni Scarlett Front Cargo Rack
Black Biruni Scarlett
Black Biruni Scarlett Rear Hub Motor
Black Biruni Scarlett Removable Battery
Black Biruni Scarlett Ev Meter
Black Biruni Scarlett Alloy Chain Guide
Black Biruni Scarlett Disc Brake

Summary

  • Custom designed light weight electric cargo bike with unique asymmetrical step-through frame
  • Powerful 500 watt high torque gearless direct drive rear hub motor is quiet, smooth and tough
  • Front and rear racks, built directly from frame tubing offer plenty of mounting options and durability

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Biruni

Model:

Scarlett

Price:

$2,499 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Cargo

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

55 lbs (24.94 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy (Frame Weighs Just 4 lbs)

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)

Frame Types:

Mid-Step, Cargo

Frame Colors:

Light Blue, Cream, Black, (Custom for $225)

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Chromoly Steel

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Acera, 42T

Shifter Details:

Grip Twist on Left Bar

Cranks:

Lasco Classic Style

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

Oversized Steer Tube

Stem:

Promax 31.8 mm Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Promax 31.8 mm Bendy

Brake Details:

Promax Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor

Grips:

Padded Leather

Saddle:

Leather

Seat Post:

Suspension Shock

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Double Wall Aluminum Alloy

Spokes:

Oversized Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

CST Zeppelin or Metropolitan Balloon, 26" x 2.35"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripe

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Aluminum Alloy Chain Guide Bash Guard, Single Sided Kickstand, Welded Rear Rack and Front Porteur Rack

Other:

Removable Silver Fish Style Battery Pack with LED Battery Level Readout, Quick Disconnect Electronics and Motor, Quick Release Seat Post Tube and Front Wheel

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

12 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

432 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

Monochrome LCD EV-Meter S890

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Level, Assist Level (1-5)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Biruni Scarlett is a purpose built electric cargo bike with a unique step-through frame. It’s available in three colors including Scarlett (light blue), Metropolis (black) and Nantucket (light yellow, cream) or you can get a custom color for an additional $225. Biruni has also been producing regular non-electric cargo bikes since 2013. The Scarlett is described as a light-weight cargo bike and only comes in one medium sized 17″ frame. Physically speaking, it is rather light but it’s also shorter in length than models from Yuba like the elMundo or Xtracycle EdgeRunner. I liked the strong rigid feel of the Biruni Scarlett frame but also appreciated the soft balloon tires, seat post shock and adjustable handles.

Powering this ebike is a 500 watt high torque direct drive (gearless) hub motor positioned in the rear wheel. Most gearless hub motors offer less torque but considering the larger wattage and high-torque design, this one felt pretty good. Power and torque are important for hauling large loads, especially if you plan to take on hills. Overall the motor was smooth and relatively quiet. Considering the larger diameter and width I was impressed that they got an eight speed Shimano cassette and disc brake on the rear hub along with it. Those extra gears will come in handy when climbing and will extend the range when riding in pedal assist mode.

The LCD computer console on this bike isn’t easily removable but the wires do all have quick connectors that will simplify maintenance or replacement. It shows your speed, range and precise battery capacity along with chosen level of pedal assist. One of the neatest features here is the ability to activate the twist throttle when riding in one of the five pedal assist modes! Imagine you’ve had to stop at a light and then want to get going again but you’re in a hard gear which makes pedaling a challenge. No problem, you don’t have to switch over to throttle mode, you can just twist and go and pedal assist will still be engaged as you begin pedaling again. I would love to see more electric bikes offer this kind of flexibility.

Biruni is very focused on electric cargo bikes right now and it really shows. They Scarlett and other variations feel durable, are pretty well balanced and look great. The low step frame is easy to deal with at stops, just step down and balance the frame using the handle bars. There’s no need to be concerned about hitting a top bar. During my ride test however, I did feel the width of the downtubes more than with a single-tube design. This could make it easier to scrape your leg or bump your knee but the added strength are worth it for hauling. It would be nice to have a water bottle cage mounting point on the downtube but I could see how it might get in the way or compromise frame strength.

All in all this is unique and welcomed addition to the electric powered cargo bike scene. Considering that it uses a direct drive motor I would love to see regenerative braking added, though the added expense might not be worth it. Hopefully Biruni will also offer fenders and maybe a lights package at some point? It would be cool if you could wire your own lights in to run off the main battery. The price is decent, the colors are fun and considering that this electric bike comes from a smaller more focused outfit I think the customer care is probably pretty good as well.

Pros:

  • Offers five levels of pedal assist and twist throttle (which works simultaneously with assist!)
  • 500 watt direct drive motor offers great torque for hauling cargo, durable design
  • Battery pack is protected in the rear portion of the frame, keeps weight low and balanced and is still removable for easy charging
  • Large balloon tires help to absorb bumps for you and the cargo, seat post shock adds even more comfort
  • Swept back handlebars, adjustable stem and upright positioning create an alert posture that’s also comfortable
  • Mechanical disc brakes provide good stopping power with or without cargo

Cons:

  • Single sided kickstand works well but may not be as stable for large loads as a Y-style kickstand
  • No deflopalator on front wheel to stabilize large loads
  • No fenders or lights built in or available as upgrades
  • Asymmetrical downtube design is unique and strong but a bit wider than traditional bikes, may bump legs or knees more easily
  • Pedal assist uses pedalec cadence sensors vs. torque sensing. May feel more abrupt than the later

Resources:

Comments (14) YouTube Comments

Tom P
5 years ago

Riding this bike for a week and broke a couple of spokes on the rear wheel. Also tried to get information on the controller and have no response so far from ELV Motors or Biruni Bikes. Both companies said I will get a new rear wheel, but that was a week ago. One weeks riding for a month of ownership is not worth $2,500.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

That’s such a bummer! Thanks for sharing your experience Tom (and letting others know who might be considering the bike). and I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to deal with this and are not getting a quick response. Do you mind sharing how much weight you were carrying when this happened or if it occurred when going over bumpy terrain? I’ve heard of some other ebikes having spoke issues before as well. Sometimes people use loctite to keep them from coming loose but it sounds like your spokes actually broke?!

  Reply
Tom P
5 years ago

I weigh 250# and had about 25# of stuff with me. The guy at Biruni said this bike should hold that. I had about 120 miles on it and rode over rr tracks, but that was the extent of the bumps. The new rear wheel should arrive this Tuesday and I finally received a pdf file with the owners manual. The spokes broke right at the beginning of the thread in the nipple. I expect that ELV (the distributer) is very busy and signals were probably crossed. Anyway, that is the feeling I get. Next time I buy a bike, I’m going to the shop even if it is 350 miles away, to buy an e-bike.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Tom, I’m glad to hear your situation is improving but I know it’s a bummer having to wait. Good luck with the new wheel they send, I hope it lasts longer for you…

  Reply
Tom P
5 years ago

Well the wheel came on Thursday, took it to the bike shop and found out the cassette lock nut would not screw on because of an egg shaped receiver. So, took a day to fix that issue. Had the front wheel trued so as not to break spokes there. (the wheel had loose spokes) Got the bike working late Friday and on Saturday the shift index on the handlebar broke. I’m sending the bike back on Monday. I sincerely hope others will not have an experience like this as I am heartbroken at the death of my dream bike.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hey Tom, sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you. It’s frustrating to put that much time and energy into getting a bike setup only to continue experiencing issues and have to step away. I hope your next ride works out a lot better!

  Reply
Jim Swan
5 years ago

I have been riding my Biruni for two years now….. It it hands down the best e-bike on the market! I like my bike so much I decided to get rid of my car. I modified it to carry my daughter to school and back. I do all my commuting, grocery shopping and everything you can imagine on this bike! It makes being a single dad with no cars………….Life Simple!

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

That’s awesome Jim! Thank you so much for the uplifting story about your transition to ebikes and especially your positive words for the Biruni Cargo Bike. The guys who make this are dedicated but still relatively small and I’m sure they appreciate every little bit of support and feedback. If you ever decide to take some pictures or share how you ride, modifications for the child seat etc. feel free to post in the Biruni Forums I setup :)

  Reply
Robert Larson
1 year ago

i need a pic of the blue cargo bike to post because bike was stolen, can you assust

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi Robert, so sorry to hear that your bike was stolen! Here’s a link to a photo of the light blue model that I took. You can use it to post if you’d like… Does this work or do you need it on a white background? Is the blue okay or would you like me to try and make it darker for you?

  Reply
robertlarson
1 year ago

no link just led me back to this page

Joe
12 months ago

2-6-19 I just bought a black Buruni Scarlet on Craigslist, no motor or battery which is great because all I needed was the frame and wheels. The original brakes, shifters, derailure, handlebar and stem will all be upgraded with Shimano XT comps, and stem and handbar better suited for my height. The designer of this bike frame is a genius, by making the front and rear racks part of the frame and the unique step over design makes the entire frame stronger, in addition to that, I love the design of the battery well, I plan to install a Luna Cycle BBSHD and buy the same style battery but in 52v 20Ah size, its going to be awesome!

  Reply
Court
12 months ago

Hi Joe! Sounds like an awesome project, feel free to post the final build in the forums here. I’d love to see how it turns out :D

  Reply

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