eFlow E3 Flight Review

Eflow E3 Flight Electric Bike Review 1
Eflow E3 Flight
Eflow E3 Flight Gearless Hub Motor
Eflow E3 Flight Seat Post Battery
Eflow E3 Flight Lcd Display Panel
Eflow E3 Flight Single Ring
Eflow E3 Flight Tektro Brake Levers
Eflow E3 Flight Electric Bike Review 1
Eflow E3 Flight
Eflow E3 Flight Gearless Hub Motor
Eflow E3 Flight Seat Post Battery
Eflow E3 Flight Lcd Display Panel
Eflow E3 Flight Single Ring
Eflow E3 Flight Tektro Brake Levers

Summary

  • A less expensive, slightly stripped down, version of the eFlow E3 Nitro costs $500 less
  • 500 Watt gearless rear hub motor with regenerative braking, strong 36 volt 11 amp hour battery
  • Only offers 9 speeds, no headset shock absorber, thinner road style tires are efficient but less forgiving

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

eFlow

Model:

E3 Flight

Price:

$3,000 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Motor, 1 Year Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

50 lbs (22.67 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy, Hydroformed

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)21 in (53.34 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step, Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Black, Silver

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, Oversized

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

9 Speed 1x9 Shimano Alivio RD-M430L, 11-32T

Shifter Details:

Microshift TS70 Triggers on Right Bar

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

FSA Internal

Stem:

Kalloy 3D Forged

Handlebar:

No Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Aquila Disc with 180 mm Front and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro Levers Have Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Velo Kraton

Saddle:

Velo Racing

Rims:

Alex Doublewall

Spokes:

Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Maxxis Overdrive, 26

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Accessories:

Optional City Kit with Fenders, Busch & Müller LED Lights and Axiom Journey Rear Carry Rack, Single Side Kickstand

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

TDCM

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

396 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

Removable Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Level, Assist Level

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)(Up to 20 mph Throttle Only)

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Written Review

The eFlow series of electric bikes offer high performance, upgraded technology and balanced frame design. The E3 Flight is a less expensive version of the E3 Nitro and cuts cost (and weight) by removing the headset shock absorber, decreasing the size of the battery pack and removing one of the front chain rings. The end result is a bike that’s designed for urban riding, built like a road bike, but doesn’t offer quite as many pedal cadence choices. That said, with the twist throttle and pedal assist modes to help you out, it might be worth saving $500 over the upgraded E3 Nitro model.

Driving this bike is a strong, silent and sophisticated 500 watt gearless hub motor. It’s capable of moving larger riders, scaling moderate hills and it even offers regenerative braking to extend range. I’m a big fan of gearless hubs and appreciate the fact that eFlow integrated regenerative braking because it saves your brake pads! The truth is, it doesn’t offer a lot of actual “regeneration” but if you have a long hill, it’s nice to recoup some while reducing the heat and wear on your discs.

Speaking of stopping power, this bike has disc brakes front and rear, though not hydraulic. The overall weight of ~50lbs (depending on frame size) is decent but not as light as I would have liked for a road style city bike. I do like the fact that they offer three frame sizes in the high-step and two in the low-step because it means you can actually enjoy riding this bike vs. just zipping around. This truly is a “riding” bike and the time I spent on it was mostly with pedal assist mode. Still, it’s nice to have a twist throttle sometimes when coasting around. The computer display ties the two modes together well and is easy enough to figure out though not quite as intuitive as some of those by Easy Motion or BionX. I like that you can twist it off for safe keeping and that this disables the bike for security.

The battery pack powering the E3 Flight is a standard 36 volt 11 amp hour Lithium-ion configuration. The design is what really stands out (and sets this bike apart). It’s built right into the seat post tube, which is oversized. This configuration helps to balance weight evenly from front to rear on the bike but doesn’t keep it especially low to the ground. In my opinion it’s a step up from a rear-battery design but a step down from a downtube or bottom bracket design. Overall, it works well enough and can be charged on or off the bike… It also means you’re less likely to get your seat stolen! I like that there’s a spring-loaded plastic piece that covers the seatpost tube when the battery is off because that ensures water and debris stay out.

It’s nice to see a true “bicycling” type of ebike that’s enjoyable to pedal and really designed around pedal assist. The sophistocated LCD, regenerative braking, smooth torque sensor and overall balanced design work well together. If you plan on using this bike for commuting, eFlow offers a “city kit” with fenders, lights and a rear rack all designed to work perfectly with the bike (or the upgraded E3 Nitro). For me, 9 speeds is enough and the rigid fork design is pretty standard for city bikes. This would be a good choice for someone who wants to get around town with a bit of boost and perhaps take on longer rides and commutes that an ebike could enable.

Pros:

  • Rigid, road bike style frame is great for pedaling fast
  • Uses a torque sensor at rear dropouts for pedal assist vs. less responsive pedelec sensor
  • Removable battery + seat is a unique design that makes protecting the expensive parts easy
  • Removable computer is a welcomed feature, great that it disables the bike when off for security purposes
  • Regenerative braking reduces wear on disc brakes and extends ride
  • No jittering or rattling sounds when riding compared with many other ebikes
  • When battery post is out, a built in plastic cover protects the seatpost tube
  • Easy to lift and mount on racks, especially without the battery pack on
  • Rapid fire shifters work well, 9 gears is okay
  • Twist throttle is a great feature in addition to pedal assist, especially at stop signs and lights
  • Built in eyelets for racks and fenders (optional city kit upgrades)
  • The quick release lever on the seat features a bottle opener for fun
  • Cables integrated into downtube for clean aesthetic
  • The LCD control unit offers speed, battery capacity and other info
  • The main battery pack can be charged on or off the bike
  • Motor is offered in either a “high speed” or “high torque” configuration to suit your riding style
  • Includes water bottle mounting eyelets on high-step design frame

Cons:

  • No shock absorbers and thinner tires mean this bike feels stiffer and bumpier than some others
  • Designed for road style riding but only offers 9 gears (have to upgrade to the eFlow E3 Nitro for 20 speeds)
  • A bit heavy for a road style electric bike, especially considering the medium sized battery
  • Seat post design looks a little awkward, positions battery weight higher than downtube designs
  • Higher price point for the extra features like regenerative braking, not fully utilized. Wish it had a “regen mode” setting
  • Bumpier ride than cruiser style bikes due to thinner road-style tires, seat type and forward position with flat handle bars
  • LCD computer, while functionally cool, is fairly large and awkward at times
  • LCD computer unit is not rechargeable, it uses flat round wafer style batteries that to me seem archaic
  • Wheelset is 26″ instead of 700c (29″) to account for the shock and make climbing easier, won’t roll as fast on city streets as traditional road style tires
  • Bike is 50lbs with battery in, that’s a little bit heavier than I would have liked for a road style bike
  • No negative/regen modes available for going down hills, you just have to squeeze the brake lever
  • Standard cable style brakes vs. hydraulic brakes on the E3 Nitro

Resources:

More eFlow Reviews

eFlow E3 Nitro Review

  • MSRP: $3,500
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

Powerful 500 Watt gearless rear hub motor offers regenerative braking, paired with strong 36 Volt battery for smooth acceleration and climbing. Purpose-built frame distributes weight well front to rear but positions battery weight higher than downtube…...

Comments (3) YouTube Comments

Adam Zickgraf
4 years ago

Hello Court-do you know the “NM” number on this bike? – thank you

  Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Hi Adam, I have access to an eFlow E3 Flight where I’m at right now and looked all over the frame for an “NM” number but didn’t see anything besides a serial number. I spoke with an eFlow rep and he said you can reach the company with questions directly using this contact form. I hope this helps, if you reply quickly I might be able to check the Flight I am near again for you to figure out what number you’re looking for.

  Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Okay Adam, I received your email and it sounds like you wanted the Nm (newton meter) torque rating for the motor… I’m digging into the details but checked the outside casing for both the Flight and Nitro as follows:

eFlow E3 Flight Motor: Made by TDCM Model HDB5-F, 36 Volt 500 Watt, 305 RPM, F13-0600006
eFlow E3 Nitro Motor: Made by TDCM Model HDF6, 36 Volt, 395 RPM, F13-0800002

Hope this helps :)

  Reply

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