- Small 20" wheels provide mechanical advantage for the motor and lower stand-over height, easy to mount
- Includes matching fenders, rear carry rack and LED light that run off a front hub dynamo system
- The stem, handle bars and pedals fold to reduce space but the bike frame itself does not (this is essentially a non-folding less expensive version of the Neo Volt)
The Easy Motion Neo Prox features a folding stem, handle bars, pedals and removable seat post along with a compact frame but does not fold in half like the Neo Volt. This means it won’t get as small (for storing in closets, trunks or boats) but also means the frame is lighter, stiffer and the bike is less expensive. Just like the Volt it features dynamo powered LED lights, ergonomic grips, a rear carry rack with included bungees and a set of fenders but the rear fender doesn’t extend quite as far. Also, the angle of the stem and seat post is less extreme than the Volt which elevates the rider and changes the pedaling position to less forward and relaxed to more vertical. It’s a functional design with a beautiful removable battery pack that keeps weight low and center and an intuitive control system that’s shared across the Easy Motion Neo electric bicycle family.
The motor powering the Prox is a 350 watt geared hub located in the rear wheel. Since the wheels on this bike are 20″ instead of 26″+ the motor gets a mechanical advantage and may climb better. These smaller wheels also lower the frame of the bike which makes it easier to get on and stand over at stops. Geared hub motors are relatively quiet, very small and fairly powerful for accelerating and climbing. When paired with the seven speed Shimano cassette the motor almost disappears and I love that it’s painted black to match. This is a relatively stealth electric bike that blends in with regular bicycles on the road. The motor also freewheels when coasting so you don’t have any drag to worry about vs. a direct drive motor.
Easy Motion has developed some of my favorite batteries in terms of aesthetics and the Neo Prox shares this design. The neat thing is that this battery is interchangeable with any of the other Neo Bikes and compatible with the new larger 12 amp hour pack. This means you could share batteries with a friend or family member if you bought an extra pack. It also means replacing the packs is easier because your local shop might already have a spare from another model. The battery itself uses 18650 sized Lithium-ion cells that are becoming the standard in the space. They are reliable, long lasting and relatively light weight. Easy Motion includes a two year warranty with their bikes and that covers the battery. The only real downside to this design is that you have to take the pack off the bike in order to charge it and this requires time and exposes the case to scratches and nicks.
Controlling the electric drive system on this ebike is simple. Once the battery is securely locked onto the frame you hold a circular power button on the left side of the display and it lights up. From here you can use the up or down arrows to navigate four levels of pedal assist or leave it in no-assist to use the twist throttle built into the right grip. The higher levels of assist offer more power but also drain the battery faster… One gripe here is that the Eco (lowest level) assist offers more power than I’d like and has since been fixed on 2014+ models but I haven’t seen the Prox with this improvement. The display panel also shows your speed, trip distance and battery capacity. It’s removable for safe storage and includes a zippered fabric pouch to reduce scratches. I love how they mounted the control system because it’s easy to see and reach when riding without taking your left hand off the grip (just reach with your thumb). The display buttons, trigger shifters and mechanical v-brake levers are intuitively placed and easy to use.
To me the Easy Motion Neo Prox is an almost-folding electric bike with the benefits of lower price and stiffer, lighter frame. If you don’t need the space savings but still prefer the smaller wheels and lower frame this could be a great choice. For me, it seems to capture the negatives of a folding ebike (rougher ride, less comfortable seating position) but offer very few positives. That said, the drive system is amazing, the accessories are great and the price is pretty good. For under $2K you get torque sensing pedal assist, a stealthy design, high quality battery and great warranty.
- Solid two year warranty on the battery pack and up to five year warranty on the bike if you register online
- LCD computer unit is backlit, easy to reach, simple to understand, well sealed against water and dust, does not require separate batteries, is removable and includes woven pouch
- Four levels of torque sensing pedal assist (Eco at 70%, Standard at 140%, Sport at 200% and Boost at 300% rider input) are responsive, smooth, efficient and great for climbing
- Twist throttle mode makes starting from rest easy, rides like a scooter
- Shimano seven speed cassette offers good range for climbing or reaching medium speeds
- Integrated battery design looks great and keeps weight low and centered on the frame
- Wires and cables are all integrated into the frame keeping them out of sight and out of harms way
- Unique kickstand is bent to follow the profile of the frame when stowed (stays out of the way)
- Aluminum bash guard built into the front chain ring to protect teeth and reduce snags and grease on pants
- Smaller 20″ wheels improve mechanical advantage for climbing when paired with hub motor design
- Matching fenders, dynamo powered LED lights and standard gauge rear rack with bungees add utility
- Despite resembling the other folding electric bikes in the Neo series the frame on the Prox is fixed (makes it lighter, stronger and less expensive but also less compact)
- Compared with the Neo Volt the steering tub and seat post tube angle are less extreme (the pedals will be more directly below vs. forward and relaxed) and the fenders don’t extend quite as far on the rear
- No water bottle cage bosses or braze ons, may have to add an aftermarket solution or use a CamelBak
- Battery must be unlocked and taken completely off the frame for charging
- No indicator for when battery is locked or unlocked on the frame, could make it easier to forget and fall off
- No suspension fork, seat post shock or sprung saddle to smooth out the ride, can feel a bit rough with the smaller diameter tires (higher angle of attack)
- Heavier than some other small-sized and folding electric bikes but weight is distributed well