- The TOP 3.0 is a dirt bike styled electric bike from Delfast, available in three colors with an excellent warranty, capable of high speeds on throttle only or pedal assist using the Gates Carbon Belt drivetrain
- Immense amounts of power and speed with a 3,000 watt rear hub motor and almost 3.5 kilowatt-hours of capacity for the internally mounted battery, regenerative braking increases stopping power and effective range
- Premium DNM suspension is fully adjustable and feels like riding on a cloud, powerful hydraulic disc brakes including a twin-rotor linked front setup, fully equipped with integrated lights, turn signals, mirrors, a horn and anti-theft sensors
- Only available in one size with an intimidating weight of 154 pounds, the battery is difficult and time-consuming to remove, the front fender collides with front brake cabling and charge port, high power limits safe and legal riding options
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.
This in-depth review was not sponsored by any company, but Delfast did ship me a test bike to use for this review. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Delfast products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Delfast electric bike forums.
- Delfast holds a Guiness World Record for “greatest distance travelled on an electric-motorised bicycle, single charge” – a distance of 228 miles! This record was achieved on a different model, the Prime, but this TOP 3.0 model shares much in common with the Prime. While that distance is impressive, keep in mind that is only achievable by riding at lower speeds and using pedal assist instead of throttle. If you want to ride the TOP 3.0 with the throttle at high speed, expect about 30 to 50 miles of range.
- Like any ebike you order online, assembly is required! I can tell you that it IS possible to fully assemble the TOP 3.0 with one person and no bicycle stand… but I don’t recommend it. I was able to get everything together and working but it took abut four hours of time and some portions were quite difficult. Due to the frame design it probably won’t fit on bicycle stands either, so your best bet is to recruit a helper (or two) or have a shop assemble it for you.
- The TOP 3.0 looks and feels an awful lot like a dirt bike, and it’s priced accordingly at $6,649 USD. As a motorcycle rider I found all of the controls intuitive to use, and riding in unlocked mode definitely feels more like a motorcycle than an electric bike. With that said, there are pedals and a surprisingly nice Gates Carbon Belt drivetrain, and you can limit it to Class 1 or 2 mode for riding legally on city streets or bike paths. At first it feels a bit silly to be pedalling this 154-pound behemoth at low speeds… but I can see a good use case here for riders who do some city riding and also some trail riding on private property or dirt bike trails. The TOP 3.0 is a bike you could ride in Class 1/2 mode to get to the fun trails, switch it into unlocked mode and have some fun, and then limit it again for the ride home!
- The TOP 3.0 may or may not be legal to ride where you live due to the immense power and speed potential. You can limit it to Class 1 or 2 mode, which limits it to 20mph and 750 watts… but it’s still big and powerful and could potentially get you into trouble. You’ll definitely want to check regulations in your area before buying one! I’ve been riding motorcycles for many years, I have an active motorcycle endorsement and full coverage motorcycle insurance, please keep that in mind when watching my review video :)
- Covered by a better-than-average warranty: Lifetime for the frame, with everything else covered for two years or 30,000km (whichever comes first). For comparison, most electric bikes are covered by only a one year comprehensive warranty.
- Lots of accessory options include pannier bags and cases, as well as different saddle options if you want a more motorcycle experience. I would probably opt for a dirt bike style banana seat, this would be more comfortable and feel better when ridding off road!
- The rear hub motor is incredibly powerful, drawing 3,000 watts nominal and putting out 182 newton-meters of torque. That’s enough torque to climb the steepest of hills on just the throttle! Hub motors are typically known for peak power versus low-end torque, and you can definitely feel the 14,000 watt peak power here with excellent mid-range acceleration. When riding in “unlocked” mode I was able to reach speeds of 50mph on paved streets.
- The battery pack housed inside the frame is also a real monster rated at 72 volt and 48 amp-hour, that’s almost 3.5 kilowatt-hours of capacity! It contributes a significant amount of weight, but it’s positioned center and low for a low center of gravity and a good handling feel. The battery is constructed of high-quality LG 3200mah cells, complete with a smart BMS and a 60 amp controller.
- The frame is high tensile steel which adds weight, but it’s definitely worth it for the TOP 3.0. It felt rock solid sturdy both at high speed and on rough trails, it also has extra-thick 9 gauge spokes and proper motorcycle tires for even more strength and traction.
- Motorcycle grade lighting provides great visibility for seeing the road ahead and for standing out to other vehicles on the road. The headlight is super bright with high and low beams and side cutouts for better visibility, the ten LED taillight is also quite bright and features brake light activation, and turn signals show in the front and rear.
- Mirrors are included, sturdily mounted and adjustable, and they even show a flashing blinker indicator on the mirror itself so you can easily see when your turn signal is activated!
- Motorcycle riders will feel right at home in the cockpit of the TOP 3.0. The twist throttle is on the right grip, with the light, blinker, and horn controls in their standard motorcycle arrangement on the left grip. Having my feet on pedals instead of foot pegs did feel a bit strange at first, but you get used to it quickly :)
- Anti-theft is built in and it works great! Turning off the bike will automatically enable the alarm, and any movement will instantly trigger it… and boy howdy is it loud. I set it off in my garage on accident and it was ear-splitting. I felt safe leaving the bike unlocked with the alarm engaged, since the weight would make it quite difficult to carry away with the alarm blaring. Two key fobs are included which can be used to arm or disarm the alarm, as well as turning the electrical system on or off.
- A heavy bike requires significant stopping power and there is plenty of it here! The front brake is a Tektro Auriga E-TWIN linked hydraulic braking system with twin 203mm rotors, while in back you get a single 203mm rotor – that one is a Tektro Auriga E-TUNE. The brakes felt smooth and powerful and had no problem stopping the considerable weight of the TOP 3.0.
- Braking while traveling above 20mph will engage regenerative braking, providing extra stopping power while recharging the battery. I’ve seen similar features on other electric bikes but it’s typically more of a gimmick… but on the TOP 3.0 it makes a lot of sense! It weighs enough, and can reach high enough speeds, that regenerative braking can actually restore a significant amount of battery capacity. I will mention that the regen braking is quite aggressive and it can can be quite surprising if you aren’t expecting it.
- The tires are all terrain and proper Carrystone motorcycle tires, with thick tread that provides good puncture protection and traction, and small enough to feel nimble while riding offroad.
- “Fun Factor” is an important consideration for many riders and the TOP 3.0 is the most fun I’ve had on an ebike in a long time. Fast acceleration is a blast, the suspension feels like riding on a cloud, and seeing heads turn while flying down the road at 50mph never gets old!
- There are switches on the bottom rear of the frame for changing the top speed (Class 1 / 15mph, Class 2 / 20mph, or Unlocked), and the assist mode (throttle or pedal assist). This is great from a safety perspective, you can limit the power output for riding safely on bike paths or neighborhood streets, and then unlock it when riding on private property or MTB trails.
- Premium DNM suspension performs great! The front fork is an inverted coil suspension with 35mm steel stanchions, with a monocoil shock in the rear. Both offer roughly 200mm of travel and are fully adjustable for preload, rebound, and compression. I found that my bike was adjusted well right out of the box, and easily handled everything I threw at it, including jumping up and down curbs and riding straight through a rough field.
- At first I was surprised to see a premium Gates Carbon Belt drivetrain on the TOP 3.0, but after consideration I think it’s a good choice due to the weight of the bike, a standard derailleur and chain setup might break too easily especially if you were standing up on the cranks. Carbon belts are much more durable and require much less maintenance, as well as feeling smooth and nearly silent!
- Ride comfort is excellent thanks to the upright-ish seating position, premium suspension, and gel saddle from Selle Royale. You can upgrade to a motorcycle-style banana seat for even more comfort and the ability to slide forward and back to adjust your seating position!
- An advertised weight of 154 pounds makes the TOP 3.0 the heaviest ebike I’ve ever ridden. Typically I weigh bikes myself to double-check the listed weight… but I had to take Delfast’s word on this one! The weight can be a good thing for feeling stable at high speeds, but it’s less good when moving around in the garage, or (God forbid) pedaling home with a dead battery. I tested riding without power for a short distance and I don’t recommend it, fortunately, the high battery capacity should make it easy to make it home without running out. Obviously, hauling the TOP 3.0 on a bike rack or in the back of a car is out of the question… but the bed of a pickup shouldn’t be a problem, provided you have a partner to help with lifting it in.
- There is only one available size and it’s sadly too small for my 6ft 3in frame. It’s just not a great fit for tall riders, while the ride experience is comfortable thanks to the gel saddle and mostly upright seating position, pedaling doesn’t feel great and the mirrors are too short to be useful. Small riders may find the weight difficult to control, and it’s not possible to lower the saddle down very far because the bottom of the seatpost collides with the frame suspension. If you’re an average sized human, it should be a great fit!
- The assembly process was the most difficult out of any ebike I’ve worked with, mostly due to the sheer size and weight of the TOP 3.0. I was able to get everything put together by myself, but it took me about four hours and I’d highly recommend getting a helper or just having a shop do it for you. The instruction manual looks quite nice in full color but I found it wasn’t very helpful, with the linked videos showing different models and components than what I had in front of me. Fortunately, Delfast support responded quickly to my questions and I was able to get everything figured out, and everything was very well packed with no shipping damage!
- The cockpit can cause a feeling of “control overload” at first, you’ve got full motorcle light and horn controls on the left, the display control pad further in on the left, a dedicated light switch on the right, the throttle, the display itself… there’s a lot going on here! Don’t forget about the manual switches under the frame for changing speed and assist settings.
- The front fender mounts securely and has great coverage, but it can’t be mounted without colliding with the brake line housing for the front brakes. The brake line mounts on the front of the fork, I had to unscrew it in order to mount the fork, the brakes still work properly but it does look a bit messy up front. The front fender also collides with the charge port when charging, you have to turn the handlebars to the side to be able to plug in the charger, and if the bike gets tipped over while charging it would probably damage the port and charger, so be careful of that!
- Having physical switches for changing the speed and assist settings is nicer than having to fiddle with a display control pad, but they’re poorly positioned to the rear and partially inside the frame, which means that you have to stop and dismount in order to change these settings. Granted, once you get used to the positioning you could reach back and flip the switches while riding, but that would take your attention off the road and wouldn’t be safe.
- The assist settings allow you to enable the throttle, or pedal assist… but not both at the same time. I haven’t ridden an ebike in this configuration before, but I think it would be really nice if the middle switch position allowed for using either or both simultaneously.
- Lowering the seatpost will cause it to collide with the rear frame suspension, this limits how far you can actually lower the seatpost, with an effective minimum saddle height of 36 inches. Be careful to provide at least an inch of clearance between the seatpost and the suspension as they will move closer together as the suspension compresses!
- The battery is technically removable, but it’s a difficult process. You have to remove 8 bolts and the side panel, disconnect the battery, and finagle it out of the rats nest of cables and components inside the frame. Extreme temperatures are hard on lithium ion batteries, which is why I always recommend removing batteries to charge and store them indoors. That would be a big hassle with the TOP 3.0, but still worth doing if you’ll be storing it outdoors.
- It isn’t clear to me how and where the TOP 3.0 can be ridden legally while in unlocked mode. 49cc gas powered scooters don’t require motorcycle licensing or registration, but in Colorado they do require “low power scooter” registration before riding them on public roads. The TOP 3.0 doesn’t have a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and when I tried to register a similar electric moped as a low power scooter, I was told that the DMV “does not register electric bikes.” Delfast says that unlocked mode is for private property only, and I recommend sticking to that and researching the regulations where you live to make sure you can ride legally. If you are riding in town and around other cyclists be sure to keep it limited to Class 2 mode!
- The rear fender is pretty small and doesn’t provide a lot of coverage, it is positioned well to block the majority of dirt and water but I still found myself getting quite dirty when riding muddy trails at high speeds.
- I love having regenerative braking but it is quite strong and always turned on, and it can be quite jarring if you aren’t expecting it. Lightly engaging the brake levers will immediately trigger full strength regen braking and throw the riders weight forward. This is how regenerative brakes have worked on electric motorcycles I have ridden too, it would be nice to have a way to disable it or at least mention it in the manual so that riders know what to expect.
- There are no bump stops on the fork which means the fork and frame will knock together when turning all the way to either side, on a bike this heavy this can cause scratches and damage to both the frame and the fork, particularly if the bike is bumped and tips over. Fortunately, bump stops are cheap and you could add some yourself :)
- lights get janky when adjust saddle
- The integrated alarm system is great for peace of mind, but it is obnoxiously loud. Turning on the bike triggers an ear-splitting beep, and turning off the bike always engages the alarm with another loud chirp. Disabling the alarm triggers two loud chirps to let you know it is off. There isn’t any way to disable these audible queues, so be ready for lots of stares from passerby if you’re parking outside the grocery store or coffee shop.
- The display is not removable but the angle can be adjusted using the included multi-tool. The display is also not very bright, and there doesn’t appear to be a way to change this; I found no mention of it in the manual, and the usual button combinations for entering a settings menu don’t work here. The display is visible in direct sunlight but you may have to lean in and shade the screen, and if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses you won’t be able to see anything at all.