- An affordably priced urban electric bike that's pavement and packed trail capable, fully outfitted with a rack, integrated LED lights and some fenders... though the fenders are a bit basic
- Five levels of pedal assist with three power modes (to optimize torque or efficiency), premium backlit LCD with integrated USB charging port, partially inset battery blends in and keeps weight low and center on the frame for balance
- Nice hydraulic disc brakes (180/160 mm rotors) with adjustable reach levers but no motor inhibitors surprisingly, throttle on demand power that overrides all levels of assist for instant power
- Shipping costs $175 extra or you can pick it up free in Santa Monica California, semi-vulnerable motor cable at rear, available in three frame sizes, one year comprehensive warranty, nice saddle, pedals and suspension seat post with upgraded saddle and grips
E-Glide launched a new electric bike model called the ST for people who want to ride a bit of “street and trail” compared to their original SS model “street… and more street?”. In addition to adding a suspension fork with remote lockout, suspension seat post, mud flaps and a rear rack, the ST model features a vastly improved battery design that seats into the downtube. It’s not completely hidden but strikes a balance between aesthetics, weight distribution and cost. I’ve seen this battery pack design on some other electric bikes recently and am a fan. It can be charged on or off the bike and even has a regular sized USB port near the top (on the right side). This, in addition to a USB charging port at the base of the display and integrated LED lights from Spanninga make the bike “feature complete” in my book. But then again, the fenders aren’t full length and the charge port cover can be finicky on the battery case and is positioned low where water would splash up. One feature that would clearly benefit riders and is not present is motor inhibitor brake levers. This is a cadence sensing electric bike which means there’s some delay starting and stopping vs. a torque sensing design. That’s all well and good until you NEED to stop and are braking hard while fighting the force of the motor in addition to the normal momentum of you and the bike. This is a 54 lb ebike after all, a bit heavier than unpowered products. Still, the hydraulic disc brakes felt solid and the top speed here is 20 mph so I don’t mean to overreact. I had a blast riding through neighborhoods with dave and was very impressed with the acceleration. You get a nice twist-throttle in addition to assist and it’s active at all times meaning you don’t have to pedal hard to start the bike. With 10 gears and a high-level Shimano Deore derailleur, you could find yourself in a fast gear needing to shift down but simply throttling up to speed instead.
Driving the ST is a 500 watt internally geared hub motor. It’s rear-mounted and spoked into a 27.5″ wheel striking a balance between efficiency, handling and comfort thanks to wider tires. This is really where the “trail” capability comes in. You need thicker tires to handle the bumps and limit traction that dirt surfaces often present. And while the tires are clearly hybrid (no large nubs) they offer enough surface area to manage packed Earth. There was a bit of zipping at the higher speeds but this is an internally geared motor after all, it’s more compact and light weight than gearless but doesn’t suffer from cogging. If you step back and look at the bike, the gunmetal dark-gray frame color, black accent points, battery and motor all blend together. Even the cables blend in (being coated with black plastic) but are also well hidden, being internally routed through portions of the frame. The one area where cable management could be improved is at the motor, I’d love to seea deraulleur guard or maybe a different power port (on the left side vs. the right where the shifter cables are), the latest motors from Dapu have a tucked-in cable that is less likely to snag or get bent if the frame tips.
Powering the motor, backlit LCD screen, those two USB ports and the LED lights is a 48 volt 11.4 amp hour battery pack. I’d call it higher-than-average capacity and was impressed to hear that the cells inside are Panasonic (the leader in terms of quality). Encased in Aluminum, the battery weighs about 7.3 lbs and is easy to take off if you’re having to lift the bike for transport or service. I love that the seat post and front wheel also come with quick release but might replace them with locking hardware for city environments or commuting. The pack has a rubberized power button at the top but this is not required to press when activating the bike. I believe it just shows your charge level using LED lights which is handy if you’re storing it separate from the frame. I recommend storing batteries in cool dry locations and usually fill them up after a few months of non-use. For long term storage it’s great if you can keep them at about 50% full to avoid stressing the cells but don’t let them run all the way down to zero. While the battery pack is not perfectly integrated into the frame here, it does feel secure (not a lot of rattling happening) and has a sleek handle built in on the side. The only complaint is the rubber cover for the charging port as mentioned earlier. I wish this could be seated more easily because it’s not good to get water, dust or mud in there.
Activating this electric bike is quick and intuitive. Once the battery is charged and mounted properly, just press the power button on the display pad for a few seconds. This display is very similar to the ones Pedego and other premium brands use. And while it’s not removable, it is fairly easy to reach and can be swiveled to reduce glare. You get all of the standard readouts like speed, battery level, odometer, trip meter and assist level but it goes even deeper. You can choose between Eco, Normal and Power to emphasize efficiency or performance respectively. For the video review ride test above I went with Power so you could see how loud the motor would be. I like that E-Glide chose locking grips that won’t slip around and that they’ve added some plastic covering to group and de-clutter the cockpit area of this bike. They also upgraded the cadence sensor device at the bottom bracket to a new compact, sealed design. It’s mounted near the left crank arm and looks great. Again, there is some delay starting and when you stop pedaling the motor may run for a half a second but that’s not uncommon for this type of sensor. One benefit is that you don’t have to actively push to get power, you can literally just turn the cranks to stretch your legs without any kind of pressure and the motor will activate at the level chosen through the display.
In conclusion, E-Glide has come a long way with the ST from their older SS model and I love the end result. Sure, once you add shipping in this is not quite as affordable as it seems based on MSRP. And yes, the lack of motor inhibitor brakes is concerning… but you get a lot of high end parts, a beautul looking bike built around a nice frame, a solid warranty from a guy who has been in business for over a decade and three frame size choices. I find myself becoming very excited about the design, kickstand, always-active throttle and battery then wondering about the fenders, brakes and motor cable. This is a sporty bike, one that zips along quickly and can handle rugged urban environments… it’s amazing to see remote lockout here and I love the reflective Schwalbe tires. Dave is into accessories and offers one of the nicer saddles I’ve seen (in both a men’s and women’s version). The lights are another area where he didn’t compromise. I could have a blast with this bike but would take extra care to turn it off before moving it (the throttle is alway hot!) and probably remove the front fender… and be extra diligent to seal the charge port cap. Big thanks to Dave for partnering with me for this post and taking a ride with his helmet ;)
- The ST name stands for “street trail” meaning it’s a more versatile ebike that can handle varied terrain, the original E-Glide SS didn’t have suspension and some of the parts were lower-end making it less trail worty
- You can buy this bike directly from Dave Lorli at his shop in Santa Monica and pick it up for free or have it shipped in the contiguous USA for $175 which isn’t too bad, some ebike cost $200+ and you get a one year warranty here too
- The frame style and color are set but you can get them in three sizes! That’s pretty cool for shorter and taller riders who are sometimes left out… also, the dark color scheme hides wires and helps the battery pack blend in
- Despite having a mid-mount battery and sloping top tube (for easier mounting) they were able to squeeze in bottle cage bosses on the seat tube so riders can bring liquids, maybe a folding lock or mini pump there, the rear rack is also great for hauling cargo (a trunk bag or panniers would work with it)
- I was really excited to see that the bike comes with integrated LED lights! They won’t be lost or stolen as easily and you won’t have to worry about charging them… just keep the main battery full
- Wires are internally routed to keep the frame clean and reduce snags, the rear rack is mounted from the top vs. the sides making it narrower and sleeker looking, I like how the kickstand is mounted towards the back to reduce crank arm collision (allows for easier maitenance and moving the bike around with it down)
- The battery pack has been updated so you plug the charger in on the left side vs. the base and there’s a USB port near the top right for use with portable electronics like a phone, GPS or music player! Consider a right angle USB adapter from Amazon like this or these… there’s a second USB charging port on the base of the display panel that’s even more accessible! You may have to hold Set and + to get the USB port to work on the display
- Even though it’s a more basic part, E-Glide included a seat post suspension to reduce back and neck fatigue given that this is a hardtail! I love the front suspension and premium saddle too
- In addition to LED lights, the tires have reflective sidewall stripes painted on them so you should be more visible in low-light conditions, this is especially important with an all-black frame
- Nice front-end on this ebike… you get a suspension fork with preload adjust and remote lockout as well as quick release on the wheel for easier maintenance and transportability
- Personally, I feel this ebike offers good value for the money, when you look at the 10 speed Shimano Deore drivetrain, upgraded platform pedals and hydraulic disc brakes at the ~$1,700 price point that’s pretty good
- The throttle is always active on this bike… and that’s cool given the sportier frame design and target market, I like having throttle power at my disposal anytime but please be careful lifting the bike because if you leave it on accidentally the motor could activate as you lift using the grips and that could scrape you up or have the bike tip over
- The plastic fenders don’t offer full coverage (your feet and shins might get wet) and I noticed that they rattle a bit when riding on bumpy terrain, one positive to the shorter front fender is that you’re less likely to strike your toe on it while turning and pedaling
- The power cable for the motor comes out the end of the axle (on the right side at the rear of the bike) where the derailleur and shift cables are, it’s a bit more busy here and that cable could get bent if the bike tips or snag more easily… some of the newer motors have this cable tucked in to the left side between the disc brake rotor and frame dropout
- I love that the chainring is protected by an Aluminum alloy bash guard but would have loved to see a second plate on the inside acting as a chain guide, especially given this bike has throttle mode and might be used on packed dirt trails where the chain can bounce off easier
- Despite being a cadence-sensing pedal assist ebike and having a bit of motor delay cutoff… the brake levers don’t have motor inhibitors! So there are moments when you could be fighting the motor while trying to stop and that’s not ideal
- I didn’t see a slap guard on the right chainstay so you could develop chips and nicks over time, especially if you take the E-Glide ST on dirt trails and other bumpy terrain
- The rubber cover for the charging port on the lower left side of the battery pack is difficult to get in and stay, I wish the design would get updated to work better because the fenders on this bike don’t go down far enough to really protect it