- An all-wheel-drive electric fat bike with a 350 watt geared hub in the rear and a 250 watt geared hub in the front, provides excellent stability on soft terrain
- Powerful 48 volt Lithium-ion battery pack built with high quality Samsung cells, it's removable for charging on or off the bicycle frame but relies on a dongle adapter to accomplish this (which could get lost more easily than if they used the same port type)
- Offers 16 gear combinations for easier climbing and low-speed starts, uses a torque sensor to activate the motor so pushing harder delivers more power
- Both wheels feature a proprietary quick release for easier maintenance or light-weight transport and storage, only available in one frame size and color, optional phone app requires an accessory that replaces the display, no charging ports on this ebike for portable electronics
The Big Bud Pro is a rare beast… a two wheel drive electric fat bike. I’ve heard other companies claim “all wheel drive” because the front wheel has a hub motor and you pedal to move the rear wheel… but to me that’s a marketing lie. Easy Motion actually put two hub motors on this thing and they really nailed it in my opinion. Instead of two large powerful motors that would quickly sap the battery, add weight and impact steering they opted for an efficient but still zippy 350 watt motor in the rear and an even lighter 250 watt motor in the front (both made by Dapu). Most of your weight as the rider ends up at the rear, especially as inertial forces take hold when the bike accelerates. That also goes for any cargo you might have mounted to the rear as there are bosses for adding a fat bike specific rack. The motors can be activated independently, both at once or set to a special Eco mode that sends energy as needed but might use the front motor (which is more efficient) during less strenuous sections and then pile on with the rear motor to help as the going gets tough.
Not everything about the Big Bud Pro is perfect in my opinion… As with most of the 2016 Evo line of electric bikes you don’t get bottle cage mounting points or a kickstand, the charger has a special dongle to fit with the pack or the bike (which can be easy to misplace) and there’s only one color choice and frame size. I love the angled top tube because it lowers stand over height and sort of addresses the single frame size issue. And yes, lots of bicycles meant for trail riding don’t come with kickstands… but this thing is huge and when it’s parked in your garage and tips into your brand new car you’re going to be bummed. Finding a good fitting kickstand can be a pain, especially one that doesn’t rattle. Anyway, considering this is an all wheel drive electric fat bike I wouldn’t expect the volume to be as high and thus, a single size with limited options makes sense. I recorded some of the frame measurements in the Bicycle Details sections above so you can determine fit, consider swapping out handle bars etc.
Some of the highlights for me were the quick release systems built into both wheels (awesome considering they have hub motors). The power cables aren’t protruding out of the axles but instead, tuck inside the droput are to reduce the potential of snags or bending when the bike is laid down. The drivetrain consists of an eight sprocket cassette in the rear and two chainring combo at the bottom bracket, when you lay the bike down do so on the left side to avoid the derailleurs but also be conscious of the two disc brake rotors which could get bent and will zing ever after. Back to the gearing, 16 speeds is nice for climbing, you can also pedal beyond 20 mph with them but that’s when the motor officially cuts out… I’m pretty light at ~135 and was assisted up to 22 mph on flat pavement. This is a Class 1 electric bike with pedal assist only and that surprised me about the 2016 lineup at first. Many of Easy Motion’s older trail bikes offered twist throttle operation and that made them unique but also put them in Class 2 calling into question legality when riding on bike trails. Class 1 is more universally accepted off-road.
Weighing in at ~61 lbs, this bike packs a lot of punch and hardly looks like it’s electric powered. The hubs are black, blending in with the frame and accessories nicely. They’re also small, hiding behind the cassette and disc brake rotors and the battery is also fairly compact and integrates seamlessly into the downtube. That’s one of the big draws for Easy Motion ebikes, they aren’t super loud (audibly or visually) and while the “Big Bud Pro” green graphic printed onto the top tube isn’t my favorite, at least it’s plastered on the top surface of the top tube vs. along the side where everyone would see it and wonder if you’re a huge pot smoker or something… Torque sensing pedal assist is natural and works well for accelerating but doesn’t always cut out promptly (or at all if it gets stuck or the chain is bouncing around a lot as seen in the video). The hydraulic disc brakes do the job but aren’t top of the line and the grips are generic… but do match the colors of the frame. I love that the display panel is removable and so small and easy to work with when riding.
For 2016 Easy Motion launched an optional Bluetooth module that completely replaces the display and then requires a smart phone to show ride stats. It has some cool features including a heart rate monitor that sets assist power dynamically on the bike along with some map tools. There’s an optional GPS recovery unit as well but my favorite accessory is the Neoprene battery cover designed to extend range in cold conditions. It does this by keeping the battery warmer and is perfect for snowy riding (something that fat bikes excel at). This cover sleeve thing only costs $35 and was apparently inspired by real customers living in nordic climates. These (mostly Canadian and Europeans) were creating their own DIY sleeves which I think is pretty neat. Note that the sleeve looks beautiful once properly fitted with the zipper at the base but can be a hassle to work with. I’d probably put it on once and then bring the bike inside to charge vs. sliding it off, taking the battery off then taking it inside to charge etc. Note that if the battery is already cold… the sleeve won’t really help and in fact might just keep it cold :/
In conclusion, I think this bike is awesome and the price is good considering how unique it is. You could build something more powerful yourself but it would weigh a lot more, look way more obvious as an ebike with wires strewn about and it probably wouldn’t have the same motor control that this one has (front, rear, eco, both) or a decent warranty and support. The big tires on the Big Bud Pro offer decent comfort (especially with lower PSI), the frame isn’t that special with rigid fork and rear but you could add a Thudbuster (long travel or short travel 31.6 mm diameter) to take the edge off even more and perhaps upgrade to a softer saddle. The two motors really do make a difference, the gravel I was riding on in the video review was soft and had me sliding out a lot with traditional mountain bike tires. The fat tires offered stability but the pulling force of the front motor actually improved balance and definitely enabled climbing in a way that just wasn’t possible with the rear wheel drive pushing action.
- Dual motors improve handling, climbing and soft-terrain capability, the front hub is smaller and lighter offering 250 watts. vs. 350 watts in the rear so steering is not overly compromised by additional weight
- Both wheels offer a special proprietary quick release system, you can take the extra-large wheels off for stowing the bike in your car or garage and significantly reduce the weight since they have hub motors built in, also the battery pack is removable
- The handle bar on this bike is longer and more appropriate for off-road use (steadier to turn) than some of the other emotion bikes I’ve tested, the ergonomic grips aren’t locking but they’re comfortable and the slim display stays out of the way
- The display I saw on the Big Bud Pro offered the same removability, back lighting and readouts seen on older Easy Motion consoles but used clicky plastic buttons that offered more surface area
- Torque sensing assist is smooth and zippy, especially in higher levels, there’s no throttle on this ebike like some of the older Emotion off-road models and that means it fits into Class 1 which allows use on more mountain bike trails
- The overall look of this thing is mean, matte-black frame with all-black accessories and a touch of fluorescent green, I like that there isn’t a huge high-contrast logo interrupting the design
- Sloping top-tube lowers stand over height making this easier to control on soft or unstable terrain, it only comes in one size so the lower top tube may also accommodate shorter riders
- 16 speed drivetrain delivers plenty of range for climbing and gently working your way up to high speeds without big cliffs in cadence
- Optional $249 theft-recovery module mounts at the base of the battery tray (where the battery locks in), works with the app to help locate lost bikes
- If you get the Bluetooth module and use your smart phone instead of a display you can enable “Automatic” ride mode where the bike assists you more or less to hit and maintain a specified heart rate! Very cool, works like an exercise machine
- The optional Neoprene battery cover accessory could help to extend your range when riding in cold weather (especially with a fat bike like the Big Bud Pro for use on snow), I was told that anytime you ride below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5° Celsius) it would help to extend your range
- Threaded eyelets on the seat stays and near the rear droput for adding a rack or possibly fenders if you can find the correct size
- The rear motor wire is tucked in towards the hub vs. protruding out the side (where it could get snagged or bumped more easily) I love that they also put on a little torque arm for strength given the higher power and heavier wheelset here
- Near-perfect aesthetic with wires routed internally inside the frame, a color-matched battery and two smaller geared hub motors that blend in
- Tektro Auriga E-Comp levers have motor cutoff switches built in and are easy to activate with just a finger or two, the large 180 mm front rotor and standard 160 mm rear rotor offer great stopping power for trail and mountain terrain
- Only available in one frame size and color but that helps to keep the price reasonable… A two wheel drive electric bike for $3,500 is impressive
- The TMM4 torque sensor mounted at the right side of the rear dropout is responsive and neat when it works well but seems to be sensitive to over-tightening of the axle and sometimes activates in response to chain bounce which can be an issue when coasting over rough terrain
- Aside from the large fat tires which can accommodate lower pressure settings, there aren’t any suspension or comfort features on the Big Bud Pro, the saddle is pretty firm and the fork is rigid
- Optional Bluetooth receiver is cool and I like the phone app but I wish you still had access to a display on the bike not just one or the other…
- One of the big downsides to using your smart phone as a display panel (with the Bluetooth receiver) is that there aren’t USB charging ports anywhere on this bike to tap into
- It’s great that you can charge the battery on or off the bike but I wish you didn’t need a dongle accessory to do so, this takes extra time to connect/disconnect and can get lost vs. using the same charging port interface
- The charging port on the bike itself is positioned inline with the crank arm and if you back the bike up while plugged in the connecter can get cracked or bent
- No bottle cage mounting points on the downtube or seat tube which means you’ll need to add one to the seat post or saddle rails or wear a CamelBak
- 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, thankfully the motor inhibitors in the brake levers are more responsive
- No kickstand to help support this bike when stored, easier to tip over accidentally (you can lean it against a wall using the rear tire for decent balance), difficult to find aftermarket kickstands that will fit
- Official Site: http://www.emotionbikesusa.com/en/bicycles/ebikes/evo-big-bud-pro-uv806-us.html
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/TxrGVmcf2bDXKrsD6