- A value priced cruiser style electric bike with lots of great extras including fenders, carry rack and lights
- Offers pedal assist and trigger throttle mode but uses a more basic LED display panel with limited readouts
- Comfortable upright seating position with swept back bars, adjustable angle stem, enlarged saddle and a decent suspension fork that includes lockout for flat smooth surfaces
- Convenient battery design (locking and removable) but the key must be left in to operate, lights are not wired in
The EG Maui EX is a 2013/2014 electric cruiser designed for comfort and affordability. Compared with other cruisers I’ve reviewed, this one stands out as having lots of accessories including fenders, a rear rack, LED lights and a suspension fork with lockout. It rides comfortably and is priced well at ~$1,500 but many of the parts are generic. The seven speed Shimano Alivio cassette offers good pedaling range for climbing or reaching the top assisted speed of 20 mph and I like the protective bash guard surrounding the derailleur. Some downsides associated with the lower price point might be the basic Tektro 160 mm mechanical disc brakes (which tend to squeak more than Avid or other brands), the lack of an LCD display for determining speed or range and the battery design which positions weight towards the back and high up while also requiring the key to be left in during rides.
Driving the Maui electric bike is a generic 350 watt 8Fun geared hub motor that’s built into the rear wheel. Being geared, it’s relatively light weight and small, offers a zippy feel and a bit of torque for climbing, but isn’t as durable as some gearless models and may overheat more easily if larger riders are using it to climb hills without pedaling along or using assist. The motor isn’t especially loud and I like that it blends in with the rear disc brake rotor and cassette but it isn’t designed with quick release which means you’ll need tools and a bit of extra time for wheel maintenance. This can be a bummer if you get a flat tire.
Powering the motor and LED console is a basic 36 volt 10 amp hour Lithium-ion battery pack. The size is average and the battery technology is good for the money but might not be quite as light weight as some other packs that use high density chemistries. I’m not sure of the battery brand but I love the one year warranty that EG offers and have heard good things from dealers that carry them. As mentioned earlier, this battery can be removed from the bike for convenient charging or storage. To help it last, I recommend topping off every few months of non-use and trying to keep it filled between 20% and 80%. Store in a cool, dry location and for long term disconnect it from the charger and the bike to avoid phantom draw. One interesting design feature of this battery is that it can lock to the frame with one core and also has a second core for activating the bike. It’s a bit redundant, adds some jingling when you’re riding and might add some weight to the above-average ~60 pound total.
Aside from the key having to be left in, this bike is very intuitive and easy to operate. The plastic LED readout shows four dots indicating charge level and three indicating assist mode. There is no “throttle only” mode on this bike but you can activate the throttle at any time to override pedal assist. Activation of the motor is smooth because the trigger throttle (located near the right grip) is variable speed and the pedal assist sensor uses 12 magnets instead of just five or six as with older designs. For simple neighborhood rides this bike should get upwards of 15 miles per charge (more with light pedaling) and the upright, relaxed position it offers is nice. Even though it only comes in one standard size, the step-thru frame is easy to approach and I like the adjustable angle stem and quick release seat tube. Cruisers are not always as comfortable for active pedaling due to the larger saddles and forward-mounted bottom bracket. I like that the cadence sensor on this bike doesn’t require much force to activate (compared to a torque sensor) and I also like that the handle bars aren’t crazy big because that makes the bike easier to fit through doors.
The EG Maui accomplishes something great by balancing price and utility. I’m even more excited for the 2015 version which brings the battery down and forward on the frame instead of hanging way off the back. Still, this older version is quite capable and easy to appreciate given the warranty and good reputation of EG (EverGreen) electric bikes. They offer a wide range of mid/entry models and all seem thoughtfully designed. I know I would get annoyed with replacing little AA batteries on the lights considering the main battery is sitting right there and is rechargeable… but at least it has lights. I wish they would have added bottle cage bosses but again, I could get a simple and cheap saddle bag to carry water plus gear. The disc brakes aren’t perfect, but they stop the bike well and the levers even have motor inhibitors for halting pedal assist. It’s great for what it is :)
- 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
- Comfortable upright seating position thanks to the swept back handle bars, ergonomic grips, plush saddle and suspension fork
- For a neighborhood cruiser, the cadence sensing pedal assist is nice because it doesn’t require much force to activate, also the trigger throttle can be used at any time to override and get more power
- LED headlight and tail light are a nice little extra for safety but run off of disposable batteries and aren’t high quality
- While it’s only available in one size and frame style (high step) it does come in white or blue and uses standard more affordable 26″ wheels and offers a solid one year warranty
- Stiff alloy pedals, improved stopping power due to disc brakes, easier to work on with mechanical brakes vs. hydraulic, kickstand comes in handy and locks for stability
- Two key slots for the battery pack (one to remove it and one to turn the bike on), the key does have to be left in while riding which means it can jingle around or be forgotten more easily
- Rear heavy design with the battery mounted high over the rear wheel, this impacts handling a bit and makes the bike more difficult to lift onto racks etc.
- No bottle cage mounting point on the seat tube or top tube despite having a rear-mounted battery pack which frees up the rest of the bike, consider a saddle mount or a CamelBak
- Because there’s no LCD readout it’s difficult to tell how far you’ve ridden or how fast you’re traveling, the basic LED display just shows assist mode and estimated charge level
- Because there is no quick release setup on the rear wheel it takes tools and a bit more time/energy to service
- Official Site: http://www.egbike.com/EGUSA/index_files/Page4294.htm
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/zge9w8HEcKsHc2Nk8