- An active step-thru electric bike with a stiffer frame, excellent weight distribution and decent price point, great for commuters given the rack integration and fenders
- Available in two color choices (black and vanilla) with matching suspension, clean integrated wires and battery design that's quick to remove, quick release front wheel as well
- Emphasis on safety with integrated name brand LED Lights, the lights aren’t integrated (running off the main battery) but they work pretty well and the front is adjustable
- Charging port on battery is near the left crank arm which can be vulnerable, Battery can rattle a bit over bumpy terrain, mechanical disk brakes are good but not great
The Gadis is a value priced active step-thru from E-Joe, a company that has been selling folding electric bikes and some other city models for the past several years. The first thing that jumped out and caught my attention when I saw it in my friend Sam’s shop in Fullerton, CA was the unique triple-tube frame design. The idea behind this frame is that it’s low-step, meaning it’s easier to step over when mounting and to stabilize when stopped, but that it doesn’t compromise stiffness. By using three tubes (two small ones on top and one half-tube on the bottom) they were able to mount the battery without overbuilding the frame or encountering frame flex. To me, that’s actually a big deal because some other step-thru models put the battery way up high on the rear rack (taking up some of the carrying capacity and creating a crack-the-whip feel). In order to make this work, the battery has been designed to slide out from the side instead of clicking directly down. It’s not the only ebike that offers this design, or even this specific battery pack casing, but it does so for a really good price of ~$1,700. Especially when you consider the custom painted fenders, chain guard, front and rear lights and the upgraded saddle and grips.
Operating the bike is fairly straightforward, you can charge the battery on or off the frame… but be careful if you charge on because the port is very close to the left crank arm which could snag or bend your charger connector. Thankfully. Next you hold the power button on the control ring near the left grip and voila! It comes to life showing your speed, assist level, battery capacity and some other tidbits of information. This display is large and easy to read, it swivels to reduce glare, but it isn’t removable so sunlight could take a tole on the plastic over time or it could get scratched at public racks. The button pad mentioned earlier lets you control the bike and you can use the plus and minus buttons here to navigate between three standard levels of pedal assist. Once you’re up at 3, if you press the power button it will go one level higher and hit four which delivers even more power and zip. You can adjust the units on the display (mph to km/h) and some other settings like top speed, screen brightness and clock by holding plus and minus simultaneously for a few seconds. You can hold the plus button to turn on backlighting and hold down to initiate walk mode (so the bike will slowly move itself forward while you walk next to it). It’s an average display as far as these things go, but it’s nice that it’s included at this price because some other ebikes just offer a limited LED readout showing battery and assist only…
This e-bike isn’t especially light but it’s also not heavy or awkward (again thanks to the battery position and compact hub motor). The drivetrain is very basic with Shimano Tourney components but you do get seven speeds which is great for neighborhood and basic urban commuting. I actually think the bike is setup very well to be a commuter because of the rack (which includes pannier blockers and can accommodate 50+ lbs). Having a suspension fork up front really takes the edge off of cracks in the street and potholes and the name brand gel saddle completes the feel. This is the kind of bike that rides well and has some nice creature comforts but isn’t so expensive and nice that I’d be afraid to actually use it. And given the massive battery size which offers 48 volts of power and 11 amp hours of capacity you should have no problem getting 25+ miles, even if you only use the throttle. In my opinion, just having a throttle is a hug win, and this one works in level zero as “throttle only” or as an override for more power during any of the assist levels. One area the bike might be too good is with power and zip. If you don’t want to go so fast you can turn down the top speed in the display settings described earlier and shown on video.
At the end of the day, even with the adjustable angle stem and comfort touch points, this is still meant to be capable of active riding and that’s where the stiffer frame and flatter bar really shine. You get mid-grade mechanical disc brakes that will stop well even in wet conditions and narrower hybrid tires for efficient rolling performance. It’s great that the bike comes in two color schemes (kind of his and hers design) and the black color really hides the battery and cables but might not be as visible from the side if it’s dark. In any case, having lights that come preinstalled is such a great upgrade, even if they aren’t running off the main pack… just remember to turn them off after your rides is over. With the rack loaded, it’s so nice to not have to swing your leg around and accidentally bonk your leg, being able to step-thru is convenient but you don’t lose the performance with this bike. It’s a solid choice at a decent price. Big thanks to Bulls for partnering with me for this review.
- The motor is very zippy, I love that you can use the trigger throttle in level zero as well as override any of the four levels of pedal assist!
- Even though the lights run off of independent batteries (not the main battery pack) they are pretty nice, both come from Spanninga and provide good reflection as well as some aim adjustability on the front
- The bike feels comfortable thanks to its basic suspension fork, padded faux leather grips and adjustable angle stem… the handlebar isn’t swept back but that stem can do a lot to keep your back and neck from getting strained by leaning too far forward
- You get to choose from two colors (midnight matte black or vanilla beige) and the suspension fork is paint matched in both cases! the fenders are also custom painted so the entire thing just looks more refined
- I love how E-Joe was able to integrate the battery pack without raising the price too high with this electric bike, it blends in especially well on the black frame (since the pack is black)
- The frame is completely custom with integrated hidden wires, the built-in battery design and a double-tube step-thru design which makes mounting easy but doesn’t compromise frame stiffness as much as a single tube would
- Lots of convenience with the quick release front wheel, quick release seat tube and removable battery… this makes lifting transportation easier (lighter weight, smaller size)
- Great utility with this ebike thanks to the lights, fenders, plastic chain guard to keep your pants or dress clean, the kickstand and a rear carry rack with pannier blockers
- I was impressed that the bike comes with disc brakes and even though they aren’t especially large and aren’t hydraulic, they will still perform better than rim brakes in wet riding conditions and are easier to use with quick-release on the front wheel, I also like that the levers have rubberized edges for comfort and include motor inhibitors for more immediate stopping response
- The Selle Royale gel saddle is pretty comfortable and I like that it matches the grips but you could take it further by replacing the seat post with a 31.6 mm diameter thudbuster if you plan to ride over long distances or encounter more bumpy terrain, there are some cheaper suspension posts as well that would enhance comfort… just make sure the added height of the suspension doesn’t make the saddle too high for you
- It’s nice that you can power this bike up directly from the display panel (once the battery is charged and seated), there isn’t a second step like on some other bikes where you have to switch the battery on first
- I love that the battery has a little USB charging port on the side so you can connect portable electronics and maybe use them while you ride (like a phone for GPS or an extra light), the port is high up on the battery so it’s mostly out of the way when pedaling but consider a to reduce bumps
- The size of the battery really impressed me, you get a powerful 48 volt configuration with 11 amp hours and the cells are from Samsung which is higher quality than generic
- It’s great that the bike offers multiple levels of pedal assist and trigger throttle to start and override for more power, I feel like that really empowers riders, especially given the added weight of an ebike and the trigger design is preferred by some riders with smaller hands because it doesn’t require as much forearm movement
- Pedal assist was very responsive, it kicked in without too much delay and then cut out almost immediately as I stopped… and of course it’s nice to be able to override with those brake levers with inhibitors too
- I like the wire management on the Gadis, it all stays organized with clips but isn’t clunky like some of the mesh and plastic wraps I see on other e-bikes
- I love that the front wheel has a quick release skewer because it makes changing flats easier or just making the bike smaller for transport but the fender still takes up space and there isn’t a quick release on the rear wheel
- The battery design is good because it keeps weight low on the frame and has a nice connection interface but I found that it did rattle a bit when riding on bumpy terrain
- While the battery can be charged on or off the frame, the plug port is very low on the left side which is right where the crank arm is when it’s mounted! so if you’re plugged in and move the bike or bump the pedal it could bend or break the connector
- The kickstand is sturdy and adjustable but positioned just behind the bottom bracket meaning that if it’s down and you back the bike up, the left crank arm might collide with it… some newer ebikes are positioning the kickstand further back towards the rear where it is clear of the cranks and pedals
- Since the lights aren’t integrated, you have to turn them on and off manually (though I believe there is a light sensor on the rear light), this just takes extra time and mindspace and means your batteries could run out faster if you forget
- For some people, the pedal assist response and power deliver might be too zippy, it’s nice that you can lower the top speed of the bike in the settings if you are a less intense rider