- A more powerful version of the original EVO Snow offering 48 volt battery and higher amp controller, delivers two hub motors for improved traction in snow and soft terrain (gravel, sand, mud)
- Clean integrated battery and wires are hidden inside the downtube, high-step frame is stiff and sturdy but approachable thanks to an angled top tube, this lowers stand over height
- Quick release levers on both wheels despite having integrated hub motors and cables, this makes maintenance and transport much easier, battery and display panel are easily removable
- Pedal assist only vs. some older Easy Motion models with throttle operation too, pedal assist cuts out a little slow and can activate with chain bounce on rough terrain, increased unsprung weight and slight handling inertia increase in front wheel due to the hub motor
The original Evo Snow launched in 2015 in the US delivering two-wheel-drive performance in a way that no other mainstream electric bike had. Not only did it provide better traction with two hub motors, it offered 30 gears so you could pedal efficiently at a wide range of speeds. For the 2016 model 10 gears have been dropped (the front chainring cluster now has two sprockets vs. 3) but the controller offers more amps and the battery pack is higher voltage with a larger overall capacity of amp hours. Easy Motion is a part of BH, a Spanish company that’s been around since 1909 selling primarily bicycles and fitness equipment. They distribute widely and offer some of the most integrated, refined and affordable ebike products I’ve tested. Now you might be thinking that $3,300 doesn’t sound affordable but given the integrated battery that now offers 48 volts vs. 36 on the 2015 model, purpose-built frame that hides wires, matching paint (from the suspension fork to the grips and saddle) and dual motor action here with quick release on both wheels! I personally find it very reasonable.
Not only do you get a cool looking bike that’s balanced and offers multiple drive modes (rear wheel drive, all wheel drive or front wheel drive) there’s a comprehensive two year warranty and dealer support. One of my favorite aspects of the EVO Snow 29er Pro (aside from the higher amp controller and zippier feel) is that the frame has rack eyelets at the rear so you could easily transform it from a snow + trail oriented electric bicycle into a capable, stable commuter platform… though I do wish it also had bottle cage bosses. The 2016 lineup of Easy Motion Evo products offer an optional Bluetooth module for use with their smart phone app, an optional GPS tracking chip to be installed below the battery pack (which locks in securely) and a neoprene sleeve to insulate the battery in colder conditions. By offering these separately, the bike stays relatively affordable as a base product but has the potential to fit more needs and lifestyles.
Operating the bike is mostly convenient because the battery is removable. This means you can charge on or off the frame (leaving the frame in your garage or shed) but I wish the plug interface was the same on the frame and battery… Instead, you need to use a wire attachment dongle to go from one port type to the other and this has the potential for being lost. As someone who usually leaves their battery on the bike when charging, I found the charging port position to be hazardous. It’s mounted just behind the left pedal crank, directly in the path of movement if you roll the bicycle backwards. The plug uses a twist-connect that’s meant to be secure but could easily crack and break if the cranks collide with it as shown in the video review above. Otherwise, the slim removable display is easy to use and navigate (hold the up and down arrows to enter into drive mode settings, unit selection etc.)
All things considered, this is a really neat electric bike. It trades a single 500 watt motor now used on most of the other one-wheel-drive EVO Models for a 350 watt rear hub and 250 watt front. This distributes power to pull the bike as it pushes which improves steering and stability in soft terrain. Special quick release levers allow both wheels to be taken off and put back on conveniently and the TMM4 torque sensor delivers fluid responsive power as you pedal. It’s not as responsive when cutting out but the brake levers both use motor inhibitors that send a signal to the system to STOP as you pull them and the hydraulic disc brakes stop well enough. The front wheel is a few pounds heavier than if it did not have a motor built in but handling felt good enough to me. The larger twenty-nine inch wheels provide better traction, pneumatic shock absorption and crack-spanning characteristics than a 26″ or 27.5″ would but depending on how much snow and sand riding you actually plan on doing consider the Emotion Big Bud Pro which is also 2WD but uses 4″ wide fat tires. That bike lacks suspension and steers slower but is tons of fun and uses the same display, battery and motor setup.
- Higher specced components here including SLX front derailleur and hollow spindle compared with the 2015 Evo Snow non-Pro edition, you also get a higher voltage battery with higher amp thru-put for increased zip and power
- Beautiful aesthetic with integrated battery pack, mostly-hidden wires and shifter cables, matching paint throughout including fork, grips and saddle, a nice neoprene slap guard on the right chain stay and optional neoprene battery cover for cold climates that blends right in
- Reinforced sloping top tube delivers strength and stiffness for great handling off-road but lowers the stand over height and making the bike easier to handle and mount
- Threaded rack bosses on the rear seat stays and dropout so you can get plenty of utility commuting or hauling gear on trails… though I wish there was a bottle cage mount on the seat tube or downtube battery
- Unique ratcheting quick release systems on both wheels, this is impressive given that they use hub motors with an extra wire going to the wheels, it makes trail maintenance and transport easier, just be careful with the rear wheel since it uses a TMM4 torque sensor which might be sensitive to over tightening
- Both motor wires are tucked in behind the quick release arm which is much better than coming out the end of the axle… this is important if the bike tips and since the Evo Snow has no kickstand that could happen more often, note that the front motor cable is more exposed and loose (for steering) and could get snagged more easily
- 29 inch tire size offers more surface area, traction and crack spanning ability which is great for soft or off-road conditions which you’d expect riding an all-wheel-drive ebike, quality Schwalbe Rapid Robs with a neat white stripe that looks cool
- Hydraulic disc brakes offer smooth, powerful stopping and the 180 / 160 mm rotors and integrated motor inhibitor switches are what you’d expect for safe quick performance
- Excellent price point in my opinion, it’s not much more expensive than a rear wheel drive ebike from Easy Motion but you get a really unique experience that actually does improve handling in gravel, snow and sand
- The suspension fork and larger tires used here really improves comfort on bumpy terrain but you could also upgrade the seat post with a 31.6 mm Thudbuster for a more full-suspension feel
- With 20 gear combinations to choose from, this bike is easy to pedal at low speed when climbing or at higher speeds when traveling long distances, it easily reaches 20+ mph in pedal assist mode… I’ve taken it up to ~23 mph, quality Shimano derailleurs and sprockets that should last and hold up on the trail
- The battery uses high end 18650 Lithium Manganese cells from Samsung that are light weight and long lasting, excellent energy density here (lower weight, more power)
- Solid warranty offering two years of comprehensive coverage and the option to upgrade to five if you simply register, good network of dealers and lots of compatible batteries out there if yours dies eventually (since most of the EVO models share the same design… but not necessarily the same color)
- With the larger 48 volt battery pack used on the EVO Snow, you gain about 0.5 lbs of additional weight but this is offset by a slightly lighter drivetrain (and possibly other frame improvements?) it ends up weight the same total but the battery pack itself is heavier
- Fewer gears with the Pro version of the EVO Snow (20 vs. 30), possibly since it offers more power (higher voltage battery and higher amp thru-put) they might have decided that you didn’t need as many gears
- Only available in one frame size (an average ~18″) and one frame color… this keeps costs lower but might exclude some riders who are taller or shorter than “average”
- I love that you can charge the battery pack on or off the bike with the EVO series but it requires a special dongle adapter because the plugs are different and the bike-frame plug is positioned very close to the left crank arm which can collide with it and break it off if you back the bike up while charging BE CAREFUL!
- If you purchase the optional Bluetooth module it completely replaces the LCD display but doesn’t have a display of its own so you have to use your phone… and that’s okay but there’s no charging port to keep your phone from draining rapidly as you use it for GPS etc.
- Weighing in at ~57 lbs this is not the lightest weight hardtail trail bike I’ve tested, I like that the weight is low and mostly central with the battery pack but it’s still heavy
- 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, 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 instant
- 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-snow-29-pro-uv826-us.html
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/u3JeLPc5BPYTXDU18