2015 Easy Motion Nitro City Review

Easy Motion Nitro City Electric Bike Review
Easy Motion Nitro City
Easy Motion Nitro City 500 Geared Hub Motor
Easy Motion Nitro City Lithium Battery Pack
Easy Motion Nitro City Lcd Display Grips Shifters
Easy Motion Nitro City Bar End Mirror
Easy Motion Nitro City Cranks Pedals
Easy Motion Nitro City Gel Saddle
Easy Motion Nitro City Rear Rack License Plate Holder
Easy Motion Nitro City Roxeo Spanninga Lights
Easy Motion Nitro City Shimano Deore Xt
Easy Motion Nitro City Suntour Suspension Fork
Easy Motion Nitro City Tektro Disc Brakes
Easy Motion Nitro City Electric Bike Review
Easy Motion Nitro City
Easy Motion Nitro City 500 Geared Hub Motor
Easy Motion Nitro City Lithium Battery Pack
Easy Motion Nitro City Lcd Display Grips Shifters
Easy Motion Nitro City Bar End Mirror
Easy Motion Nitro City Cranks Pedals
Easy Motion Nitro City Gel Saddle
Easy Motion Nitro City Rear Rack License Plate Holder
Easy Motion Nitro City Roxeo Spanninga Lights
Easy Motion Nitro City Shimano Deore Xt
Easy Motion Nitro City Suntour Suspension Fork
Easy Motion Nitro City Tektro Disc Brakes

Summary

  • An commuter oriented speed pedalec capable of 28 mph top speeds - includes fenders, a rear carry rack, LED lights and mirror
  • Powerful 500 watt motor is compact, light weight and blends in along with the downtube mounted 48 volt battery pack
  • Solid 30 gear range with Shimano XT components, comfortable ride with short travel SR suntour suspension (that includes a lockout), carbon handlebar, ergonomic grips and gel saddle

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Easy Motion

Model:

Nitro City

Price:

$4,399 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, Optional 5 Year Upgrade When Registered (Does Not Include Battery)

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

54 lbs (24.49 kg)

Battery Weight:

6 lbs (2.72 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.5 lbs (3.85 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

(Top Tube Horizontal 573 mm, Head Tube Length 195 mm, Seat Tube Center to Top 500 mm, Chain Stay 450 mm, Wheelbase 1103 mm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Black with Red Accents

Frame Fork Details:

Suntour NCX-D Lo Lite Suspension with 63 mm Travel and Lockout

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

30 Speed 3x10 Shimano Deore XT HG62, 11-36T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore Triggers on Left and Right Bar

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform

Handlebar:

Carbon Fiber, No Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Dorado Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro Dorodo Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Rubber, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Emotion Perform, Gel

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm

Rims:

Double Wall Aluminum Alloy

Spokes:

Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Marathon, 700 x 38c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripe

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Bar-End Mirror on Left Bar, Integrated Front and Rear LED Lights by Roxeo Spanninga, Front and Rear Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps and Tool Free Adjustment, Rear Carry Rack with License Plate Mount Attachment, Plastic Chain Guard, Self-Retracting Kickstand, Bell on Right Bar, Plastic Bash Ring on Front Sprocket, Shimano Hollowtech Bottom Bracket

Other:

Model EN903, Locking Removable Battery Pack, Quick Release on Seat Post and Front Wheel

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Dapu

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

728 watts

Motor Torque:

40.5 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.7 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

Removable Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Elapsed Time, Battery Capacity, Assist Level (Eco 1:0.7 Ratio 70% Assist, Standard 1:1.4 Ratio 140% Assist, Sport 1:2 Ratio 200% Assist, Boost 1:3 Ratio 300% Assist)

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (TMM4 Torque Sensor)

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)

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Written Review

The latest version of the Emotion Nitro City offers a higher capacity battery pack that can be charged on-frame, an updated paint job and angled top tube for easier stand over and is priced the same. The following review is for the 2015 version of the Nitro City.

The Easy Motion Nitro series builds on the Neo line from 2013-2014 and delivers high-speed ~28 mph performance in “Boost” pedal assist mode. The Nitro City model includes a rear rack, fenders and chain guard in addition to the front and rear lights and bar end mirror that the stripped down Nitro Cross comes with. Surprisingly, they cost the same amount of money and aside from a slightly different cassette, brake interface, saddle and paint job everything else is identical. In addition to offering a higher top speed, these electric bikes offers excellent frame balance because they position the weight of their battery packs low and center on the frame. Both the motor and battery blend in beautifully and create a more “stealth” feel that won’t attract as much attention as some other less polished ebikes. Easy Motion’s slogan is “The Electric Bike that Doesn’t Look Like One” and that’s certainly the case here. With 30 gears to choose from on a Shimano Deore XT drivetrain, hydraulic Tektro disc brakes for excellent stopping power and utilitarian extras like lights, fenders and a sturdy kickstand the Nitro City would make an excellent commuting platform. I especially like the carbon handlebar that keeps weight down and dampens vibrations as well as the 63 mm suspension fork with lockout adjust.

Driving the Nitro City is a 500 watt geared rear hub motor. It’s actually the same physical size as the standard 350 watt motors on all of Easy Motion’s Neo and Evo line of bikes and that helps it to blend in with the disc brake rotor and 10 speed rear cassette. It’s not the quietest drive system but it does feel zippy (especially in pedal assist mode) and previous generations of this motor seem to be holding up very well after years of real-world use so the quality seems to be there. The downsides of this motor are that it can feel a bit sluggish in throttle mode and it doesn’t come with a quick release axle system like the new EVO line from Easy Motion. It uses the older bolt-mounted design and features a power cable that exits on the right side of the hub (through the axle where the cassette and derailleur are) and can be more vulnerable to damage if the bike tips. Overall, it’s a solid setup and while it does position more weight at the rear of the bike… that’s true of any hub motor design and since this one is geared. It’s not as heavy as some other hub motors, freewheels efficiently and doesn’t strain the chain or cogs because it operates independently.

Powering this bike (and the LED lights!) is a powerful 48 volt 8.7 amp hour Lithium-ion battery pack with Samsung cells. It weighs about 6 lbs which is about .5 more than the new EVO line (which offer 36 volts and 11.6 amp hours). Unfortunately, unlike the Evo batteries, this pack cannot be charged while attached to the bike frame. You’ll have to insert the key and pop it off manually every time it runs low which makes it more vulnerable to scratches and drops. I do recommend charging after each ride and storing the bike at neutral temperatures to prolong its life (this is true of all SLA or Lithium based batteries). Charging aside, the battery is positioned low and center on the bike frame which is great for balance. I love how integrated it looks and appreciate the color matching that Easy Motion offers across all of their frames. The range you get from this battery can really vary because efficiency drops significantly when riding above 20 mph due to air resistance. Given that the Nitro Cross is a “speed assist” bike, I imagine that some people will constantly be riding above 20 and this could lower the range to ~20 vs. the officially estimated ~35 miles. If you are concerned about range, just bring the charger with you (in just 2 hours you can restore ~80%) or consider purchasing a second battery pack and storing one at home and one at your regular destination.

The display on the Easy Motion Nitro City electric bike is the same one used across the entire Neo and Evo lineups and that’s a good thing. It’s black on this bike (to match the frame) and can be removed for safe storage when parking or transporting the bike. It runs off the main battery pack and is backlit (just hold the down arrow for two seconds, this also activates the front and rear lights). The LCD display readouts include speed, odometer, trip distance, max speed, trip time, battery level and of course pedal assist level (1-4). Since the display panel is mounted near the left grip and keeps a close profile to the bar, this bike doesn’t require a separate button pad for navigating menus. This keeps the cockpit very clean and intuitive, it also reduced wires and probably reduces potential failure points and expense. The rest of the cockpit is as one would expect with Tektro Dorado brake levers (that have motor cutoff built in) as well as a half-twist throttle on the right and Shimano trigger shifters on both sides. I like the soft matching ergonomic grips but they could be more prone to spinning since they don’t have lockers. The big difference between the cockpit area of this bike and most others is the addition of a rear view mirror on the left. This can sometimes make the bike difficult to navigate through tight spaces (like doorways) but comes in handy when riding in traffic (and is required in Europe for safety).

The Nitro City is a top notch speed pedelec in so many ways. Very few other electric bikes that offer these higher speeds even have throttles and still fewer come with fenders and a rear rack. They all tend to cost more and have a mirror and lights and they mostly look good with integrated batteries and hub motors… Having seen the new and improved Evo battery and motor designs it’s clear that the systems on the older Neo bikes aren’t as good and that’s what is used here on the Nitro line as well. Given the $1,400 price difference between the Evo Cross and this bike, I find myself wondering if the higher top speed is really worth it? Most of the Easy Motion ebikes offer basic suspension forks and basic grips, they chose well when it came to cost cutting and clearly emphasize design and balance above all else. I love the display interface but would like the throttle to feel more powerful. I like the removable battery but would appreciate on-bike charging. If the Nitro City had been introduced in 2013-2014 I’d be giving it 10 stars but Easy Motion has proven with their latest Evo line that a lower price point and better system integration is possible and those designs have won me over.

Pros:

  • Offers both throttle mode and pedal assist with four power levels to emphasize range or speed, higher top speed of ~28 mph vs. ~23 mph on other Easy Motion ebikes
  • Purpose-built frame with beautifully integrated battery pack mounted to downtube, this keeps weight low and center for improved balance and handling
  • The display panel, battery and hub motor are all painted to match the bike and blend in to make it look more like a normal bicycle, the drive systems are relatively stealth meaning they won’t stand out
  • The LCD display is removable, easy to reach and activate from the left grip, backlit for use in low lighting conditions and it controls the LED lights (just hold the down arrow for two seconds)
  • Hydraulic disc brakes are easy to activate with just one or two fingers, the Tektro Dorado levers have motor cutoff switches built in, the large 180 mm front rotor and standard 160 mm rear rotor offer good stopping power
  • Great commuting accessories included with the Nitro City including a rear rack, adjustable fenders and a chain guard to keep pants clean and snag-free
  • The medium-sized tires and suspension fork smoothes the ride out and the fork has a lockout to reduce bob on smooth surfaces, the carbon fiber handlebar also helps to reduce vibration
  • Nice extras here including integrated LED lights that run off the main battery, quality spring activated kickstand and bar end mirror (all required for speed pedelecs in Europe) as well as grippy and stiff aluminum platform pedals
  • With 30 gear combinations to choose from, this bike is easy to pedal at low speed when climbing or at higher speeds when using the 28 mph speed pedelec mode

Cons:

  • Battery pack uses the older “Neo” design that cannot be charged on the frame, you have to unlock and remove the battery in order to charge – this takes extra time and may expose it to more drops and scratches
  • The 500 watt nominally rated geared hub motor on the Nitro series from Easy Motion doesn’t feel quite as powerful as I expected, especially in throttle mode
  • Throttle cannot be used at all when riding in pedal assist mode, you have to arrow down to “No Assist” and then activate using the half grip twist
  • This ebike feels a bit expensive given the basic Suntour suspension fork, older battery style and basic rubber grips that don’t have lockers
  • Only available in one color and one frame size with limited adjustability (seat post height and saddle orientation) in high-step, there are no low-step ebikes from Easy Motion that can reach 28 mph at this time
  • The controller on this bike lets the motor run a second or two long after you’ve stopped pedaling, this reduces “surge” (the jerky feeling of power going up and down with each pedal stroke) but makes the bike feel unresponsive at times, you can cut power to the motor instantly by activating either brake lever

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Comments (6) YouTube Comments

Young
4 years ago

Hi Court, I heard you own Easy Motion bike and would like some advice. I have a great offer on Nitro City bike. However – the thought of having to remove the battery every time I charge bike is going to such a PAIN~!! I love the Evo Cross it won’t be as fast as Nitro City in Pedal Assist mode. Some one suggested getting Cross and swapping it out with Nitro battery but – getting additional battery will probably offset the discount I get for Evo Cross. Any recommendation?

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hi Young! I feel you… being able to charge the battery on the bike is a big convenience factor for me as well. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Evo batteries are compatible with the Nitro hardware, they aren’t shaped the same and won’t connect properly to the frame. Do you see how the battery is more curved in the pictures of the Nitro here vs. the more flat and straight battery pack that’s shown for the Evo Cross? Even if you could buy an Evo battery, the plug to charge it on the bike is actually built into the bicycle frame, not the battery itself.

Regarding speed, the cross is still a faster bike. I’ve gotten it up to ~24 in pedal assist mode while most other low speed ebikes cut out at 20 mph. I honestly wasn’t that impressed with the Nitro series because they didn’t offer much extra speed and they don’t have the tool-free wheel levers in the rear or the tucked in motor cable that the Evo series has. If you get a good deal on the Nitro that’s fine and I’m sure it will be great but the design and parts feel like they are a couple years older. If it were me, I’d weigh the value of fenders, rack, lights and a bit more speed vs. the cleaner and more refined systems on the Cross. Hope this helps! They are both solid bikes to be honest ;)

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Young
4 years ago

Court, Thanks for the valueable feedback. I see that you rated both Evo Cross & Evo Street 10/10 rating. or urban city riding, which one would you go with? Also in terms of top speed – both Cross & Street won’t come close to ST1 Platinum right?

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hi Young! They will come closer than most other “low speed” electric bikes but probably still ~5 mph less when pedaling at full power. Both the Cross and Street are great bikes but it really depends on whether you want a more aggressive frame (the Cross) or value the fenders, rack, lights and relaxed/upright ride of the Street. I like to race around and go fast on the Cross (and indeed it is the most popular model from Easy Motion according to reps) but actually prefer the Street for everyday riding, commuting and errands.

  Reply
John
3 years ago

Hey Court – great review! I have the opportunity to snag this bike for about $2,100 at a local bike shop. It’s the 2015 model and they’ve got it on clearance to move inventory. I know when you first wrote this review, you had some pauses given the extra price for just a few MPH of extra speed. Additionally, you noted that if it were introduced in 2013-2014 you’d be giving 10 stars, but not in 2015.

Now that we’re in 2017, at the $2,000 price point, what other bikes would you recommend I consider? How do your thoughts on this model hold up given the steep discount from when it was first released? Love your work, keep the videos coming!

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Hey John, sounds like you found a good deal! As with any aging ebike, just make sure the battery seems like it’s in good shape. There wasn’t anything especially troubling about the Nitro City and I do love how Easy Motion bikes look and perform… price was just one area I found myself struggling with. Bikes haven’t gone too far past what the Nitro City offers but you can find a couple of other more affordable speed pedelecs now like the Juiced Crosscurrent, it just doesn’t have the same accessories as the Nitro City (lights, fenders, rear rack).

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