- A lightweight road or city style electric bike with basic 7-speed drivetrain, sporty deep-dish rims, and hydraulic disc brakes with motor inhibitors on both levers
- Great display panel with lots of extra diagnostic readouts, the twist-throttle can be disabled at any time, there's an independent button for the headlight and horn located near the left grip
- The battery pack blends seamlessly into the frame and the paint job looks great, it's a good looking bike for such a reasonable price point and I like that they sell through shops as well as online
- Basic 5-magnet cadence sensor doesn't pick up as quickly when you begin pedaling, the ride can feel hard when terrain gets bumpy because of the narrower tires and higher pressure rating
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The EcoMotion Tour e-Road is a lightweight, sporty, road-focused electric bicycle. I’m not used to seeing hydraulic disc brakes and fancier LCD display units on sub $1,500 ebikes, but here we are! And it seems like a handful of dealers are actually selling this product in person vs. direct-only for other value priced options. The trade-offs that I noticed were an entry-level seven speed drivetrain, single frame size and color choice, and cheaper touch points (grips, pedals, kickstand, lights). The fact that it comes with an integrated headlight is fantastic! The backlight is very basic, just a tiny two-LED square that connects to the seat post using a rubberized band. If you do ride at night, keep an eye on your coat and backpack to make sure they aren’t hanging down, blocking the back light. With thicker 12 gauge spokes and deep-dish rims, the bike feels pretty stiff. There’s no suspension fork or suspension seat post, but you could add one like this pretty inexpensively. I could see myself buying this bike for city errands or school commuting because it’s affordable, relatively easy to lift and carry up stairs, and it doesn’t stand out. I love how the battery and motor blend into the frame, and that EcoMotion has included bosses for mounting a rear rack and bottle cage or folding lock. I only wish that there were two sets of bottle cage mounts, one on the base of the top tube as is currently the case, and one on the seat tube for easier reaching.
Driving this bike is a generic 350 watt internally geared hub motor. It freewheels efficiently, doesn’t add a lot of weight or stand out visually, and is great for helping you get up to speed. I didn’t find it to be especially powerful, and there was some buzzing/whirring sound when operating at higher speeds and the top level of assist. Frankly, I never reached 20 mph on throttle power alone, I always had to pedal to go faster. With seven speeds, the bike should climb moderate hills well and you won’t be pedaling at a frantic pace when reaching or exceeding 20 mph. It’s all just sort of average, but way better than a single speed! While I do appreciate the reduced weight and maintenance that single speeds offer, I find that they can take more leg power to start and often times, the cadence sensor won’t trigger as quickly because of the slower initial pedal speed. This was definitely the case when comparing the EcoMotion Tour e-Road and Populo Sport V3 back to back. The Shimano Tourney TX derailleur and basic SIS Index thumb shifter included with the EcoMotion aren’t my favorite drivetrain components because they usually require more frequent tuneups and the shifter can be difficult to reach and press. EcoMotion could have gone with smaller, quicker, trigger shifters… but the twist throttle and accompanying on/off button housing would have blocked them. I actually really like the addition of a throttle on this e-bike because the five-magnet cadence sensor doesn’t activate as quickly as the fancier 8 and 12 magnet sensors now commonly found in the space. The good news is, you can override with the throttle to get going, and you can instantly cut motor power by pulling either brake lever. In short, the efficient drive system compliments the lightweight build of the bike and really puts you in control of how it works. The bike is still fun to pedal around, even unpowered, and the motor provides enough power to climb small hills at lower speed without any pedal effort.
Powering this bike is one of the most beautiful ebike batteries I have seen on a value-priced product. The pack fits perfectly into the downtube and matches the black paint. Lots of ebike companies choose black because it helps to hide the black motors, batteries, and wires running throughout. EcoMotion has done a good job of hiding their drive systems and routing cables internally to keep the bike looking somewhat normal and reducing snags. I see other batteries that fit into the downtube, but they often bulge up. This one seats in from the left side of the frame and can be charged on or off the frame, making the bike even easier to lift for transport or service. If you live or work in an environment where the bike has to be parked outside (due to lack of space or multiple flights of stairs), it could be nice to charge the battery inside. This presents an added benefit of temperature stability, extreme heat and cold can be hard on Lithium-ion cells. I was told that this battery uses a Lithium Polymer pack, which can be lighter weight and fit into different shapes but possibly lower quality. When you get a pack full of 18650 Samsung or Panasonic cells, you know that the parts are standard. With this Lithium Polymer battery, you have something that looks beautiful and should perform well, but there’s more of an unknown. I cannot say for sure who produces the battery and am only going off of what I hear and have seen while researching online. Ultimately, the battery seemed to work well, positioned weight low and center on the frame for improved balance and handling, powers the backlit LCD and headlight and horn! and it even has a full sized USB port built into the left side. This could be great for charging your phone or tablet at a friend’s house. And the charger that comes with this bike is smaller and faster than average, which is convenient. I’d call the 36 volt 10.4 amp hour capacity a bit average or below average for 2018, but it fits the lightweight build of the bike and efficient 350 watt motor.
Operating the bike is simple once you’ve charged and mounted the battery to the frame. Just hold the C button near the center left side of the LCD console. It boots up quick and shows lots of great ride stats. There’s a little power indicator up top, a six bar battery infographic (many other displays just show five bars), your current speed, and a bunch of other stats like odometer, trip distance, and voltage. You can cycle through the stats by pressing the C button, and use the S+ and S- keys to raise or lower assist. There are five levels in total, and I appreciate how the pedal operation can be separated from the throttle operation with the big red toggle button near the half-twist throttle. It’s wonderful to be able to use the throttle at standstill, and even in zero assist mode but still be able to disable it completely if you’re on rough terrain and worried about accidental throttle twists. Reaching the buttons on the display console can be a little bit of a stretch because there’s a second set of buttons immediately to the right of the left grip. These allow you to turn the headlight on and honk the horn. The headlight is wired in to run off the battery and has seven LED’s, but they don’t offer a focused beam and seem to be more of a “be seen” vs. “see where you’re going” type of setup. It’s unique to have a horn on an ebike, definitely different from a mechanical flick bell, and it worked well enough. This display has several readouts to communicate errors and operations such as “throttle is turned off” which might help to diagnose issues (whether you or a shop are looking at the bike).
EcoMotion does ship direct, and the diagnostic readouts on the menu could empower users to fix things themselves, or understand whether something is really on. The bike comes with a steel derailleur guard which also protects the shifter cables, and there’s a basic plastic chain guard on the chainring to keep your pants from snagging as you ride. Sure, there’s room for upgrades on many of the components here. The pedals are a bit small and could get bent easily, I’m confused why they didn’t include a bottle cage mount on the seat tube where it would be easier to reach, the hydraulic disc brakes use smaller 160 mm rotors… but at least the pedals aren’t plastic, there is a bottle cage on the top tube, and you do get hydraulic brakes vs. mechanical (which can stretch and require more hand effort). The two areas that I would be focused on are comfort and tire pressure. There’s no suspension on this electric bicycle by default and the efficient tires require higher air pressure… which feels firm. You pair that up with the thick spokes and deep dish rims, and this is a bike that’s best suited for smooth surfaces. And if you don’t regularly check and top-off the tire pressure, it’s likely that you will eventually get a pinch flat, and then you may struggle to find long stem presta value tubes to repair it. Consider picking some up at the time of purchase, just to be prepared. Overall, the bike offers great weight distribution, lots of space on the frame for rack mounting and lifting, and a good 1-year comprehensive warranty. There’s always a trade-off between the price of a bike, its performance, and the quality of parts. EcoMotion has chosen this balance carefully, supplementing the basic cadence sensor with a throttle, going above and beyond with brake type but using a generic brand and smaller rotors. I like where they ended up, safe and stylish. Just be careful with the charging port position if you decide to leave the pack on the bike when charging, because it’s located very close to the left crank arm and could get snagged or bent. Big thanks to EcoMotion and Best Electric Bikes in Denver Colorado for partnering with me on this review and allowing me to showcase two similar products back to back. I welcome your comments below and feedback in the EcoMotion Forums, where you can post pictures and engage directly with real owners.
- This is one of the lowest priced electric bikes you can find at a shop, I appreciate that they sell through dealers as well as direct because it allows people who want to test ride or get help building to have some service, also, it seems like they aren’t underpricing dealers on the website which is respectable
- The bike looks amazing, especially for such an affordable product, I love how the battery is integrated into the downtube and the motor is hidden behind the cassette, the deep dish rims are cool and the paint job is sporty but not gaudy
- I love that the bike comes with bottle cage and rear rack bosses, so you can use it for running errands and have more utility, there’s lots of room below the top tube and seat tube for adding a frame bag too if you wanted
- Love the derailleur guard (which also protects the motor power cable) and chainring guard (which should keep your pant leg clean and prevent outside drops of the chain… a full alloy guide would be nice, but this is decent and lightweight
- The lights aren’t the best looking or fanciest products I’ve seen, but at least the headlight is wired in (running off the main battery) and you get a rear light stock, it’s a minor touch and worth praising
- Very few value-priced electric bikes have a switch to turn the headlight on and off easily from the handlebar, this one also has an on/off switch for the twist throttle and an electronic horn! It really puts you in charge
- Weighing in at just 44.6 lbs, this electric bike is fairly easy to lift and manage compared to the 50+ and even 60+ pound products I see from many other companies, it’s great if you live upstairs or just aren’t as strong and want something easier to manage
- Even though the EcoMotion Tour e-Road us using the most basic derailleur from Shimano, it still offers 7-speeds which allows you to start and climb easier or maintain high speeds without pedaling at a super-fast cadence
- One of the most impressive hardware decisions that EcoMotion has made for their entire line of electric bikes is the inclusion of hydraulic disc brakes! these tend to be easier to pull and more adjustable than mechanical, they usually require less maintenance and provide enhanced stopping power, I love that the Tour e-Road also has motor inhibitors built-in to cut power instantly whenever you brake
- It’s neat that there’s a full sized USB charging port built into the left side of the battery pack, this could be used as a backup battery when the bike is parked or you could try to use a right-angle USB adapter to charge electronics while riding the bike
- The charger is more compact than average but also puts out more amps, so it should fill the battery quicker, the best of both worlds :)
- The bike is only available in one frame size and there isn’t a lot of adjustability, it’s lightweight, sturdy, and priced lower as a result of the build decisions… so that makes sense (verses using an adjustable stem or suspension seat post, you could always add those later if you wanted, here’s an affordable 30.4 mm suspension post that would probably work with this bike)
- The tires are decent, but I didn’t see any indication of puncture protective lining and they don’t have reflective sidewalls, this is an area you could improve with aftermarket upgrades
- The deep dish rims offer strength and aerodynamic efficiency, but they also ride stiffer because of the shortened spokes and require long-stem inner tubes that can be tricky to find, consider buying a couple before you get the bike and always keep your tire pressure up to avoid pinch flats (check regularly for tire PSI since the volume is lower on these tires)
- The cadence sensor only uses five magnets vs. eight or even twelve on many other products, it seems like this would be a cheap part to upgrade and would provide a more responsive start
- Cheap grips, they can spin more easily if you really grab and twist hard, but they’re easy to replace if you want, check out these locking grips from Ergon that should accommodate the half-twist throttle
- The brake, motor inhibitor, shifter, electrical, and headlight cables create a more crowded and busy cockpit area, I noticed that one wire was even sticking out and almost touching the front wheel (this could probably be adjusted easily with a bit of care and attention, the shop built the demo bike up very quick for this review because they had just sold the floor model before I arrived)
- It’s great that they put bottle cage bosses below the top tube… but I was surprised and confused that they didn’t also have them on the seat tube because that’s the most common place to put them and it would keep your water bottle right side up, consider using an anywhere adapter like this to put a bottle cage there
- Be careful with the battery charging port (if you’re plugging in when the pack is mounted to the frame) because it’s positioned pretty close to the left crank arm and could get bent more easily
- The Shimano SIS Index thumb shifter is rather large and requires a bit more pressure and hand flexibility to reach and use, I think they chose this shifter design because triggers would be even further to reach given the throttle and on/off switch there
- It’s not terrible, but the motor does buzz a bit, there’s a pronounced sound of whining at the higher speeds and when using the higher levels of assistance
- Official Site: https://www.ecomotionbikes.com/product-page/tour-e-road-bike
- More Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/1usS4V5iD2mTa5eU2