- A speed pedelec capable of 28 mph top speeds in pedal assist mode, also has a twist throttle that can reach ~12 mph for moments when you need a break, extra large 504 watt hour battery pack with Samsung cells
- Feature complete with plastic fenders, a chain guard, rear rack with reflectors and bungee cords as well as integrated LED lights powered off the main battery pack, great for commuting in any weather, day or night
- Beautiful electronics integration including the downtube battery pack, compact hub motor (painted black to blend in) and thin display panel that's removable, all wires are integrated for cleanliness and protection
- Only available in one frame size but the top tube is angled for easier stand-over, torque sensor is responsive when starting but delayed to cut out, throttle mode does not override assist, motor cable a bit vulnerable
The Nitro City is one of two 28 mph speed pedelecs offered by Easy Motion, and my personal favorite of the bunch because it delivers all kinds of commuting accessories. Wait, let me rethink that… it WAS my personal favorite in 2015 because it cost exactly the same as the Nitro Cross but had the extras. For 2016 the Nitro Cross has had a price drop of ~$400 and the Nitro City is feeling a bit pricey. You could probably buy your own fenders and carry rack for $400 and convert the Nitro Cross into something very similar to the Nitro City right?! In practice, you’d actually be missing out on some cool new features that are easy to overlook with the Nitro City. While the Nitro Cross has remained the same for 2016 (possibly because it didn’t sell super well and they had excess inventory?) the Nitro City has been upgraded with a larger battery pack offering 48 volts with 10.5 amp hours capacity vs. just 8.7 amp hours on the Cross. Also, you can charge the battery on or off the frame which is super convenient… something older Emotion models (and the Nitro Cross) don’t offer. And speaking of frames, the top tube is more angular now with a lower stand over height than 2015 making it easier for a range of riders to approach and maneuver. Both Easy Motion Nitro models only come in one standard frame size and both have aggressive stems and flat bars for an aerodynamic active ride.
If you’re someone who wants a quick commuting platform that will blend in with non-electric bikes then the Nitro City is a true stand out. It competes with other brands like Specialized that offer a more expensive, slower and less feature rich Turbo X model and Stromer that offers a much more expensive but quieter ST1 T offering regenerative braking and metal fenders but only 30% fewer gears. Yes, the Nitro City is a unique bike and one thing that really sets it apart is the addition of a twist throttle. I was frustrated to find that it only reaches ~12 mph with the throttle and that it does not override assist levels 1-4 (which is frustrating because you have to arrow down with the console to use it) but hey, hardly any other speed pedelecs have a throttle mode at all. Activating the bike and navigating the display is intuitive and I love that it’s backlit and that the LED Lights run off the main battery pack… everything is wired together for convenience. Both the display and battery pack can be removed to lighten the bike or for protection.
Considering the price point of the Emotion Nitro City hasn’t jumped at all since 2016 but you’re getting a larger battery, improved electronics with onboard charging, nicer looking frame that’s easier to mount and the same great warranty and distribution… I’m impressed. The bike does weigh about two pounds more than before and the motor power cable does still protrude from the axle instead of being tucked in behind the chainstay as with the newer EVO models but it’s a great bike overall. I love that the wheels both offer quick release systems (with the rear being a special proprietary lever) and have always enjoyed the responsive torque sensing pedal assist offered by the TMM4 strain gauge vs. on/off cadence sensing magnets. The motor does take a few moments to cut out but the addition of ebike specific brake levers make it instant and the upgraded Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brakes work wonderfully. As noted in the video review, I’m not thrilled with the spring loaded kickstand because it seems to flip up too easily and the bike then falls over… but that’s part of a European legal requirement along with larger brake levers that have big ball ends to reduce hand slip and an adjustable side mirror to be mounted on the left bar. All in all, great upgrades here and this might be one of the last times we see any mainstream Class 3 speed pedelec with a throttle and I appreciate that it offers this mode, all without creating a busy crowded cockpit or extra wires and clutter. It’s a beautiful, capable ebike that could offer an excellent alternative to car or bus commuting… saving time and blending in.
- One of the few electric bikes available with both 28 mph speed pedelec performance and a twist throttle (note that throttle mode tops out at 20 mph and does not override assist)
- Larger battery capacity than most of the other Emotion models, you get a 48 volt 11 amp hour pack with high density Samsung cells, this should help you go further and offset the increased drag forces of high speed operation
- Fancy upgrades including carbon fiber seat post and handlebars as well as an air suspension fork to keep the bike light weight
- With three chainrings up front and 10 sprockets in the rear offering 11-36 teeth, the bike is appropriately specced for high speed riding so you can keep up pedaling
- Beautiful clean aesthetic, the battery is completely integrated into the downtube and paint matched, all wires including shifter, brake and electrical are internally routed through the frame
- The rims, spokes and motor casing are all painted black to blend in, they look great and because the brakes are disc vs. caliper style the black paint on the rims won’t be marred over time
- The battery locks securely to the frame and doesn’t seem to rattle as much as older models, the pack may be charged on or off the frame for convenience and has a small LED readout built in so you can see how full it is off the bike
- Great accessory package for commuting including full length plastic fenders, chain guard, adjustable length kickstand, integrated LED lights and an oversized rear rack (rated for up to 55 lbs of cargo) with pannier blockers and bungee cords
- The cockpit handlebar area of the bike is very clean and organized despite having trigger shifters on the left and right, I think the Emotion display helps a lot (and I like that it’s removable)
- Reinforced angled top tube delivers strength and stiffness for great handling off-road but lowers the stand over height making the bike easier to mount and handle when stopped
- Quick release on the front wheel and unique ratcheting quick release systems on the rear wheel as well, makes changing flats and doing maintenance easier… just be careful to align properly and not over-tighten since it uses a TMM4 torque sensor
- Efficient 700x38c tires are smooth and quiet, they help to extend range but are firm so it’s nice that there is a suspension fork and the saddle is an upgraded gel model from Selle Royal, the bar is flat and pretty far forward for a more active ride but the grips are ergonomic and soft, consider a 31.6 mm Thudbuster or Body Float for even greater comfort on your spine and neck
- Hydraulic disc brakes offer smooth, powerful stopping performance and the 180 / 160 mm rotors and integrated motor inhibitors give you control over the drive system and mechanical systems of the bike, these brakes are upgraded to Tektro Dorado vs. Auriga on other models
- 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)
- The power cable going from the controller unit back to the hub motor enters through the right axle and just isn’t as protected as some of the newer EVO models where the wire enters from the left and passes behind the chain stays, if your bike tips this cable could get bent or broken more easily as a result and it just doesn’t look as nice
- I’m not a huge fan of the spring loaded kickstand, it flips up very easily and sometimes that’s not what you want if you’re just moving the bike around in your garage, it doesn’t seem as stable as standard two position kickstands but was included based on European requirements (along with the huge brake levers that have ball-ends to avoid slipping off at higher speed)
- Only available in one large frame size, high-step style and one frame color… this keeps costs lower but might exclude some riders with shorter legs, be careful mounting if you swing your leg around the back as the rack can be easy to clip with your leg
- I love that you can charge the battery pack on or off the bike with the 2016 Nitro ebikes 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.
- 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 or use a trunk bag like this with a bottle holster
- 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 near-instant
- Official Site: http://www.emotionbikesusa.com/en/bicycles/ebikes/nitro-city-un406-us.html
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/hRhQxSQDo2opFTHj9