eFlow E3 Nitro Review

Eflow E3 Nitro Electric Bike Review
Eflow E3 Nitro
500 Watt Gearless Hub Motor Eflow
Lithium Battery Built Into Downtube
Eflow Lcd Computer Removable
E3 Nitro Bottom Bracket And Kickstand
E3 Nitro Hydraulic Disc Brakes
E3 Nitro Oversized Disc Brakes
Currie Eflow E3 Nitro Stepthrough Interbike
Eflow E3 Nitro 500w Hub Motor
Eflow Step Through Battery Pack Seat Post
Eflow Lcd Computer
Eflow E3 Nitro Electric Bike Review
Eflow E3 Nitro
500 Watt Gearless Hub Motor Eflow
Lithium Battery Built Into Downtube
Eflow Lcd Computer Removable
E3 Nitro Bottom Bracket And Kickstand
E3 Nitro Hydraulic Disc Brakes
E3 Nitro Oversized Disc Brakes
Currie Eflow E3 Nitro Stepthrough Interbike
Eflow E3 Nitro 500w Hub Motor
Eflow Step Through Battery Pack Seat Post
Eflow Lcd Computer

Summary

  • 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 designs
  • Tires are efficient but wider than traditional road bike tires, together with adjustable headset shock this smoothes out the ride

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

eFlow

Model:

E3 Nitro

Price:

$3,500 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:

52 lbs (23.58 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, White

Frame Fork Details:

RST Monoshock Suspension with 30 mm Travel

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

20 Speed 2x10 SRAM APEX, 11-32T

Shifter Details:

SRAM SL700 Triggers on Left and Right Bars

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

FSA Internal

Stem:

Kalloy 3D Forged

Handlebar:

Kalloy No Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga E-Sub Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro Levers Have Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Velo Kraton

Saddle:

Velo Racing

Seat Post:

Integrated Battery

Rims:

Alex FR-30 Doublewall

Spokes:

Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Maxxis M2003, 26 x 2"

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

Other:

Regenerative Braking, Front and Rear Quick Release, FSA CN-910

Electronic Details

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:

14.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

522 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 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 line is Currie’s highest end, most feature rich offering. The E3 Nitro model comes in standard and stepthrough frame styles and is available in five different sizes to achieve the best possible fit for riders of all types. It’s hard to miss this bike, the oversized seatpost/battery design is very original in the world of electric bikes. It’s meant to balance weight front to back and be easy to remove and charge on location. That, along with the quick twist-off LCD computer unit makes this bike great for commuting. It’s part of a “next generation” of truly purpose-built electric bikes that are lighter and more well thought out.

Very few Currie-made electric bicycles offer hydraulic disc braking or regenerative braking. But if you’re interested in this bike and comparing it to other high end offerings, do consider the ride style carefully. The E3 Nitro is not a cruiser bike and the more aggressive flat handlebar and narrow seating position create a ride that feels less comfortable going over bumps at high speed. Look at the seat, it’s small and relatively hard, just like a road bike. Thankfully, there’s a headset shock built into the frame and that definitely smoothes things out! The flip side of not being as smooth as some other bikes however, is that this bike pedals well, coasts efficiently and gives you more control over steering.

One thing I love about the E3 Nitro is how easy it is to remove the battery pack and LCD computer unit. The seat post just slides up and then forward, easily disconnecting from the bike. Once it’s off, a piece of plastic covers the post hole to keep dust and water out. There are even measurement lines painted onto the side of the seat post so you can see exactly how far down to position the battery before each ride. A negative here is that the oversized seat post gets a bit scraped up over time going up and down (you can see this in the video above) but most of the wear is submerged when riding so it’s not a huge deal. Since you don’t have to take the battery off to charge it, maybe yours will never get scraped up? In that case however, do lock your seat to your bike so nobody steals the battery.

The computer on this bike displays distance, speed and time and lets you choose from one of three pedal assist modes. It works much like a Segway and once you’re parked, it twists off so you can keep it out of the elements. It also makes stealing the bike or just messing around with it at the bike rack a lot harder. Considering the higher $3,995 price tag on the E3 Nitro, it’s great to be able to protect the components like this. For a comparable bike that costs a little less, I like the Easy Motion Neo Cross which also has a removable Lithium-ion battery, advanced LCD computer and front shock with road-style tires (though it lacks regenerative braking).

The 500w motor on this bike is super strong and I love that it’s gearless. Most hub motors use gears to help you up hills but these create friction when coasting, are a bit noisier and can wear out faster. You trade some torque with gearless designs but for most riders that won’t be an issue. It also works well for regenerative braking and that means the bike can go further and you can slow yourself down going down hills without wearing out your brakes so quickly. Just squeeze the brake levers gently and regenerative braking will activate.

Currie really created something unique here with the seat post battery design. Not only is it easy to remove and adjust, it also positions weight more towards the middle of the frame improving handling. The fact that the battery is mounted so high however makes it a bit less desirable than downtube designs in my opinion. Keeping the center of gravity low when bike riding or doing any other agile motion-oriented activity is a good thing because it makes recovery easier when tipping side to side.

Overall, I like where this bike design is headed but would have liked a thinner seat post tube with fewer batteries to decrease weight. In the world of electric bikes there are some very unique battery designs evolving, just check out the Faraday Porteur. Since the eFlow E3 Nitro has regenerative braking built in, I wonder if fewer batteries could still do the trick while improving the aesthetic and reducing weight. I also think Currie could have added “regen modes” so you could charge the battery when coasting down large hills without holding the brake lever down. This is something the BionX systems do and I really like it. The eFlow E3 Nitro reminds me of the first iPod from Apple; they were really cool, if not amazing, when they came out. But over time they got a lot lighter, cheaper and easier to use. I can’t wait to see Currie do the same thing over the next decade.

Pros:

  • Rigid, road bike style frame is great for pedaling fast
  • Removable battery + seat is a unique design that makes protecting the expensive parts easy
  • Removable computer is a welcomed feature
  • Headset shock smoothes out the ride
  • 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, 20 gears are enough for most rides
  • Twist throttle is a great feature in addition to pedal assist, especially at stop signs and lights
  • Built in eyelets for racks and fenders
  • The quick release lever on the seat features a bottle opener for fun
  • Cables integrated into downtube for clean aesthetic
  • I like the LCD control unit on this bike much more than the very basic ones on all of Currie’s other bikes
  • The main battery pack can be charged on or off the bike

Cons:

  • 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 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 52lbs with battery in, that’s a little bit heavier than I would have liked for a road style bike, but not bad
  • No negative/regen modes available for going down hills, you just have to squeeze the brake lever

Resources:

More eFlow Reviews

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  • MSRP: $3,000
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

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…...

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