Battery Level (1-4), Assist Level (Low, High and Off)
Pedal Assist Toggle Switch
Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle
15 mph (24 kph)
The Enterprise was the first electric bike model offered by EG in North America starting in 2008. While production of this model has slowed nearing 2015, it’s still one of the most affordable trail-ready ebikes I’ve seen retailing for ~$900. The suspension fork is very basic, lacking much adjustability or lockout, but the knobby tires and front disc brake combine with the sturdy diamond frame to create a capable bike. It comes in black or white but only one standard frame size and may be difficult to find at shops. For this review I got some input from Sam at the Electric Bicycle Center in Fullerton, CA and he still carries this model along with the EG Barcelona which uses the same electronics but offers full suspension and the EG Kyoto which also uses the same electronics but has an upgraded component set. While these electric bikes only offer ~15 mph top speeds, they do come with pedal assist, throttle mode and a locking removable battery pack that doesn’t hang off the back too far. The real appeal here is low price and frankly, given the year warranty and 40+ year track record of business that EG has maintained in the bicycle space, it’s a decent choice for budget minded consumers.
The hub motor in use here offers 200 watts of power and is a geared design that appears to be larger and heavier than more modern offerings I’ve seen. All things considered, it’s great for relatively flat and smooth terrain and being smaller it actually uses less power and may extend range a bit… but considering the small battery size I wouldn’t expect much over 10 miles for someone who weighs ~150 and relies on throttle-only power. I’m not sure which brand of motor is used on the Enterprise but it operated fairly quietly during my short ride tests and this may have to do with the lower speed and power output. There is no quick release on the rear wheel but the power cable that goes to the motor does have a quick disconnect spot which makes maintenance easier. The wheel size on this ebike is standard 26 which makes replacing tubes and tires more affordable and it keeps the overall frame height lower to the ground which may appeal to shorter riders or those who desire quick steering compared with a 27.5″ or 29″ wheelset.
Powering the motor is a very generic 24 volt 10 amp hour battery pack that’s mounted to the seat tube. I like that it doesn’t hang out too far behind the bike, this might protect the pack in the event of a tip. It has a built in handle that makes taking it on and off the frame much easier and helps to reduce the potential for drops. The pack slides onto a metal tray and feels solid while riding. You can charge it on or off the frame and having the ability to take it off for transporting the bike is a big plus in my book as it reduces the overall weight of the bike by ~5 lbs. The front wheel on the EG Enterprise uses a quick release so this might also help if you’re trying to stuff the bike into the back of your car. The cells in this pack are made from a Lithium-ion chemistry that should be light weight and long lasting but my guess is that, based on the price, they are lower quality cells. To maximize their life I suggest keeping the battery between 20% and 80% charge and storing it in a cool dry location (extreme heat and cold can be hard on it).
Activating the EG Enterprise is pretty straight forward. Once the battery has been fully charged you just slide it onto the frame and then you twist the key to “on” at which point the LED display on the right bar will light up. From here, you can read a basic charge level indicator that shows four dots. As you use the bike, these dots will turn off and once you get down to just one dot it’s probably a good idea to charge the pack up again. On the right handlebar, near the grip, there’s a rocker switch that goes from Low to High and this controls how much power you get in pedal assist mode. If you don’t want any pedal assistance you can set the rocker to the center position and the bike becomes throttle-only. While there’s no speedometer, odometer or precise battery readout on this bike, that’s part of what keeps it affordable and at least it has an LED power indicator. Note that it might be misleading at times because it basically just measures voltage and will drop as you activate the bike even though there is likely more battery capacity remaining. The cockpit feels a little cheap and crowded but the brake levers do have an integrated cutoff switch for the motor when activated and the two large Shimano SIS shifters are intuitive to use. Having 21 speeds to pedal with on this electric bike is nice given the lower power level on offer.
Surprisingly, even with the lower motor power and smaller battery pack this bike isn’t very light at ~55 lbs. I think that’s because it’s using cheaper batteries that aren’t as energy dense and the motor is generic and not as finely engineered as newer ones. This is a case of “you get what you pay for” and frankly, it’s nice that someone is offering an affordable sub $1,000 ebike at all. Sure, it only has a five magnet pedelec sensor and isn’t as responsive. Yes, the full grip throttle feels different than a half-twist that I’ve become more familiar with. Yes, the keys have to remain in the battery when riding and this can create some jingling (be careful that your keychain doesn’t get snagged on the wheel). There’s only one size and the disc brake in the front might squeak more than a nicer setup while the rear V-brake is very basic… It’s a super affordable electric bike and one that has sold well for the past seven or eight years. The ride quality was decent for me and I appreciate the inclusion of a suspension fork even though it definitely adds weight and wasn’t very adjustable. Even the cheap LED lights were nice to have, saves some money and adds a bit of safety even if they aren’t integrated to run off the main battery. If you see this model at a garage sale, just make sure the battery still has decent capacity because if it was sitting in a garage for months without juice the cells might be ruined and a replacement could be several hundred dollars.
One of the most affordable trail-ready electric bikes I’ve seen, the knobby tires and sturdy diamond frame work nicely with the basic suspension fork
LED headlight and tail light are a nice little extra for safety but run off of disposable batteries and aren’t high quality
The 21 speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain will help you climb hills and maintain a comfortable cadence at higher speeds (especially given the lower motor power) but may require more tuneups due to two derailleurs
The locking removable battery is mounted close to the center of the bike and doesn’t hang weight way off the rear end, the integrated handle makes it easy to wield and it can be charged on or off the bike
Quick release front wheel makes the bike easier to break down for transport, the removable battery also helps to reduce weight
While it’s only available in one size and frame style (high step) it does come in white or black and uses standard more affordable 26″ wheels and offers a solid one year warranty
Solid and grippy alloy pedals, comfortable Velo gel saddle, improved stopping power due to the front disc brake, easier to work on with mechanical brakes vs. hydraulic, kickstand comes in handy
The low power 200 watt motor doesn’t accelerate or climb very well given the 24 volt battery, they are efficient at lower speeds and get decent range but aren’t especially light weight
Heavier than other low-end electric bikes with larger motors and batteries due to cheaper parts all around
Full-grip twist throttle might not be for everyone (I prefer half-grip twist) and the cockpit feels busy with the large shifters, toggle button and extra LED display
Not as easy to find and test ride at dealers, limited distribution at this time (based on what I have seen while traveling)
More basic hardware including the SIS thumb shifter, no bottle cage mount and no quick release on the rear wheel meaning it takes tools and a bit more time/energy to service
They key has to remain in the ignition slot on the battery pack in order to operate the bike, this means it could jingle around when riding or get caught on stuff more easily
A value priced hard-tail mountain ebike that is at home on light trails or for commuting given the wide range of gearing combined with a throttle, pedal assist, and a 28mph top speed, backed by EG who has been around since 2005 and a dealer support network, a wonderful offering for $1,499. Driven by a rear hub-drive motor that is rated at a 350-500 watts, can be…...
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Chris Newman8 years ago
I am a fat guy and have been trying to get more exercise so that I can get healthier. I have tried to ride a peddle bike to work 5 miles, but at 370 lbs, it wears me out. I would like to try something like these electric assist bikes. I was wondering what the rider weight limits are.Reply
Court Rye8 years ago
Hi Chris! Sounds like a great plan, bikes are easier on your joints and let you get some peace of mind outside while also connecting with others. I’ve lost weight and kept myself lean by riding regularly and ebikes have just made it easier because my knees hurt less and I’m not as concerned about weather, terrain or distance. So anyway… many electric bikes do have limits in the 350 lb range but there are some that handle the weight better and offer ergonomics that might reduce the stress and strain on a larger body type. I recommend the Pedego Interceptor if you’re over 5’10” or the Pedego Interceptor Step-Thru if you’re shorter. There is also a mini version of the Interceptor with 24″ wheels but that’s for very short people. To be honest, the low step models will be easier to mount and Pedego even has a super low-step model called the Boomerang but the frames on these bikes will be weaker. I like Pedego ebikes for more relaxed riding, they have large comfortable tires and saddles with swept back handlebars and offer large powerful motors. They aren’t as light weight or “performance” oriented but if you’re larger, they could be a great way to start and just get out there constantly without worry of getting exhausted. Over time as you loose weight and want to ride more aggressively there are plenty of nimble options like the Easy Motion EVO City (the review will be live in a day or two). You could always start there but it won’t be as powerful or “soft” as the Interceptor. Good luck! Reach out anytime and feel free to chat with others in the forums to get a second opinion. Definitely get a helmet and some lights (if you get a bike without them, both of the ones I suggested have them pre-installed) for safety :)Reply
Chris Newman8 years ago
Thanks for your reply.