2015 EG Maui 500 EX Review

Eg Maui 500 Ex Electric Bike Review 1
Eg Maui 500 Ex
Eg Maui 500 Ex Internally Geared Hub Motor
Eg Maui 500 Ex 48 Volt 10 Amp Hour Samsung Battery
Eg Maui 500 Ex Stitched Ergonomic Grips Cruiser Handlebars
Eg Maui 500 Ex 180 Mm Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes
Eg Maui 500 Ex Padded Comfort Saddle 28 6
Eg Maui 500 Ex Rear Rack Fender And Led Backlight
Eg Maui 500 Ex 8 Speed Shimano Alivio
Eg Maui 500 Ex Rear Rack Plastic Chain Guard
Eg Maui 500 Ex Sr Suntour Xct Suspension Fork
Eg Maui 500 Ex Electric Bike Review 1
Eg Maui 500 Ex
Eg Maui 500 Ex Internally Geared Hub Motor
Eg Maui 500 Ex 48 Volt 10 Amp Hour Samsung Battery
Eg Maui 500 Ex Stitched Ergonomic Grips Cruiser Handlebars
Eg Maui 500 Ex 180 Mm Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes
Eg Maui 500 Ex Padded Comfort Saddle 28 6
Eg Maui 500 Ex Rear Rack Fender And Led Backlight
Eg Maui 500 Ex 8 Speed Shimano Alivio
Eg Maui 500 Ex Rear Rack Plastic Chain Guard
Eg Maui 500 Ex Sr Suntour Xct Suspension Fork

Summary

  • A feature rich step-thru cruiser with fenders, a rack and lights capable of throttle mode up to 20 mph and pedal assist up to 28 mph for speedy commuting
  • Basic suspension fork, larger tires, padded saddle and ergonomic grips add comfort, adjustable angle stem improves fit
  • Battery position distributes weight well but blocks some of the step-thru open area, kickstand leans the bike too far and pokes through dirt easily, lights are both independent and easier to leave on accidentally

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

EG

Model:

2015 Maui 500 EX

Price:

$1,999 USD

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

55 lbs (24.94 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Reach: 24

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Matte Arctic White, Matte Electric Blue

Frame Fork Details:

Basic Suntour XCT Suspension with Preload Adjustment

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Alivio, HG Series Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Thumb Shifter

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Stem:

Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Medium Cruiser

Brake Details:

Tektro Novella Novella Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitor

Grips:

Stitched, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Medium Comfort

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Diameter:

28.6 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy Double Walled

Spokes:

KMC, Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Kenda All Season, 26" x 2.125"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

White Walled

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Smoked Plastic Chain Guard, Basic Independent Front and Rear LED Lights, Standard Gauge Aluminum Alloy Carry Rack (Max Load 25 kg), Full Length Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps, Locking Steel Kickstand, Flick Bell Near Right Grip, USB Charging Port on Battery Pack

Other:

KMC Stainless Steel Chain, Locking Removable Battery Pack

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

8Fun

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

480 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Battery Level, Assist Level (1-5), Speed, Odometer, Trip Distance

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (12 Magnet Pedelec Disc)

Top Speed:

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

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Written Review

The Maui 500 EX is a low-step cruiser style electric bike that expands on the original EG Maui by adding power and speed (40% more speed in fact). It’s better balanced and stiffer because the battery is mounted to the downtube instead of a rear rack and while it does cost $500 more than the original it offers increased range, larger disc brakes for improved stopping power and it actually weighs less. This isn’t a perfect product… the battery pack obstructs the step-thru space, some of the accessories are cheap (fenders, lights, bell) and the kicstand can be useless on soft terrain. Still, EG has really impressed me over the past couple of years because their products strike a balance between cost and performance. With the new Maui, that performance is taken to a whole new level and you still get a solid one year warranty on all parts. If you’re someone who wants a comfortable ride but needs extra power for climbing or pulling a trailer and you prefer the step-thru design for easy mounting and stand-over then this could be an excellent choice… and it’s available in both white and blue for a personalized feel.

Driving the Maui is a somewhat generic looking 500 watt geared rear hub motor. I’m guessing it’s built by Bafang and maybe designed by 8Fun but there weren’t any logos to confirm. It’s zippy and quite capable of moving the 56 lb bike, even climbing modest hills with throttle power only. This motor does produce a bit more noise when starting as seen in the video but that’s not abnormal for a more powerful internally geared hub in my experience. In short, you get efficiency and light weight with this design, it freewheels without any drag and is connected with a break-away cable that’s useful during routine maintenance (if you have to remove the rear wheel). The human-powered drivetrain on the Maui 500 EX is an eight speed Shimano Alivio with trigger shifters near the right grip. This is a step or two up from the bottom in Shimano’s lineup of drivetrains and offers a decent range for city riding. I’m glad they went with eight gears instead of just six or seven because the higher top speeds that this bike is capable of might otherwise outpace the cadence range. To stop this e-bike you’re given a pair of matching Tektro Novella mechanical disc brakes. They’re a bit generic but good sized. The levers are slightly upgraded with rubber strips on the leading edges for improved grip and vibration dampening. I like that both include motor inhibitors and that they can be adjusted so easily (much more so than hydraulic). The hardware matches the price but is well suited for cruising and commuting.

Powering the EG Maui is an impressive 48 volt 10 amp hour Lithium-ion battery pack. You get 120 more watt hours than the 2014 model here and some of that juice goes towards powering the larger motor but it also increases your range. The cells inside are from Samsung which is a step up from generic in my opinion (again, nice to have that year warranty). The pack that houses them is a “dolphin” design with LED power level indicator, replaceable fuse, locking core and female USB charging port. Given the downtube mounting point of the pack, the USB port is within easy reach of the handlebars, where I’d expect to mount my smart phone or MP3 player. The battery weighs ~7 lbs when off the frame and has a nice integrated handle for easy transport. To really extend the life of this pack I’d recommend storing it in cool, dry locations and avoiding extreme heat and cold. If you were commuting with this ebike it would make sense to take the battery inside each time you park it and top it off with the included ~1.5 lb charger The only real complaint I have about the battery is that it eats into the “open” space in the frame that makes this a step-thru. If you hop off quickly and aren’t especially tall it could collide with your groin area or you could kick it while mounting and dismounting. It also takes up the space where a bottle cage, pump or other accessory might mount but the rack somewhat addresses this with the addition of a trunk bag… I do like that the battery bracket is attached to the frame with three screws and not just two, it’s a bit more sturdy.

Activating this electric bike is a bit of a delight for me. Yes, it’s somewhat generic and the displays and button pad are familiar if you’ve tested models at or below this price range but the way it switches on is fast and easy. Just press the silver circular button on the battery and electricity is immediately sent to the display and it turns on. Many times this is a two step process with the battery and display requiring an “on” button and that can make it easy to forget to turn off the battery. The display (like the motor) does not have company logos on it but it reminds me of King Meter which has been around for several years on the bikes I’ve tested. It’s a monochrome LCD with a nice six-bar battery level indicator, speed assist level and odometer/trip meter. You press up or down to change assist and the bike starts in two which is a smooth, sweet spot. At any time when the ebike is powered on you can override assist with the trigger throttle and this is wonderful for those moments when you want to relax or pick your feet up to avoid water splashing. The cockpit on the EG 500 EX is fairly standard but the grips are something of an upgrade… they’re ergonomic but not especially soft. I like the larger diameter because they fit my hands more comfortably. I like the longer cruiser handlebars used here and the adjustable stem because it lets you dial in the fit and change the reach. The seat goes super low on this ebike and that means that shorter individuals can handle it comfortably. The one downside to the control systems/cockpit is that the display isn’t removable. You can swivel it to reduce glare while riding but once you park the elements could take a toll on the LCD.

To be completely honest, I was surprised that this electric bike was designed to be a speed pedelec (meaning it can go above 20 mph in pedal assist). I wouldn’t have felt as comfortable with that on the older version just because the frame wasn’t as balanced, all the weight was towards the rear and you’d get a “crack the whip” feel at times. EG has created a nice city commuter here and done it for a reasonable price. I enjoyed testing the bike but did feel a bit uncomfortable at moments when assist was set at the highest level (level 5) and I was moving slowly. The cadence sensor is so responsive that it felt like the bike was accelerating at times when I didn’t mean for it to. That feeling went away at lower levels of assist because the motor was activating at a much lower power level. Overall it’s comfortable but the addition of an XLC suspension seat post could improve things further (the seat post diameter is 28.6 mm, make sure you get that size). Overall, I like the changes that EG made to their Maui model and it seems like they were listening to customer feedback (in the US) about wanting higher speeds, more power and lighter weight. It’s difficult to achieve all of that without raising the price but at ~$2k this is still a good deal in my opinion.

Pros:

  • The battery pack position is lower and more central than the old Maui which improves balance, there is also a USB charging port on it for use with portable electronics and this is much closer to the handlebars (presumably where you’d mount a music player or phone) so it’s convenient
  • The seat tube is fairly short and this allows the seat post and saddle to drop low improving fit for petite riders, the stem is adjustable (angles up and down) which also improves fit
  • Even though the suspension fork is a bit basic, it smooths out the ride considerably and works well with the ergonomic grips, padded saddle and swept-back cruiser style handlebars
  • This is one of the most powerful cruiser ebikes I’ve tested with the highest top speed in assist level 5 of ~28 mph (top speed with the throttle is ~20 mph)
  • Great price point considering how feature rich the bike is… you get fenders, a rack, basic lights, a suspension fork with lockout and two drive modes (throttle and assist)
  • Battery is locking and removable for security and convenience respectively, makes the bike lot lighter and to transport, store and charge it inside to prolong life
  • The 12 magnet cadence system is very responsive, you don’t have to pedal very long before the motor kicks in or stops as you stop, at assist level 5 it’s almost too responsive at times because the motor kicks in with a lot of power, I prefer level 3 and use throttle override for extra juice
  • LED headlight and tail light are a nice little extra for safety but run off of disposable batteries and aren’t super high quality
  • While it’s only available in one size and frame style (low step) it does come in white or blue and uses standard more affordable 26″ wheels, you also get a solid one year warranty
  • Stiff alloy pedals, improved stopping power with 180 mm rotors on the disc brakes, easier to work on with mechanical brakes vs. hydraulic
  • Quick release skewer on the front wheel makes transport easier because it reduces weight and shortens overall length, take the battery off as well to further reduce weight
  • Larger 180 mm disc brakes offer good stopping power (important at high speed) and the brake levers include motor inhibitors to shut down the drive systems quickly
  • There’s only one on/off switch and it’s built into the battery, many times you need to press a second button at the display to activate but not with this ebike

Cons:

  • The kickstand isn’t my favorite, it locks in the down position which can trip you up in a hurry and the base is very small so it sinks into dirt, sand and even soft lawns, the bike also leans pretty far when parked and might be easier to tip over
  • The suspension fork feels decent and is color matched but doesn’t offer much adjustability (no lockout here), the preload adjust is independent on each leg which means it could get unbalanced if one is twisted more than the other
  • No bottle cage mounting point on the seat tube or top tube in large part because of the battery pack position, consider a saddle mount or a CamelBak to stay hydrated

Resources:

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