EG Oahu 500 EX Review

2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Electric Bike Review
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Dapu Internally Geared Hub Motor
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex 48 Volt Samsung Battery Pack Downtube
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Fixed Lcd Display Panel Separated Control Pad
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Sr Suntour Xct Suspension Fork
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Plastic Chain Cover 8 Speed Shimano Alivio
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Alloy Rack Spanninga Solo Backlight
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Streamlined Cadence Sensor
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Electric Bike Review
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Dapu Internally Geared Hub Motor
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex 48 Volt Samsung Battery Pack Downtube
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Fixed Lcd Display Panel Separated Control Pad
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Sr Suntour Xct Suspension Fork
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Plastic Chain Cover 8 Speed Shimano Alivio
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Alloy Rack Spanninga Solo Backlight
2017 Eg Oahu 500 Ex Streamlined Cadence Sensor

Summary

  • A cruiser style speed pedelec with long comfortable bars, fatter tires, an adjustable stem and suspension fork, solid 180 mm mechanical disc brakes
  • Front and rear LED lights that run on AAA batteries, whitewall tires and a flick bell to help you get noticed and stay safe, basic rack for transporting cargo
  • Eight-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain keeps pedaling mellow even up to 28 mph, chain and fenders keep you dry and clean, quick release front wheel
  • The fenders can come loose and rattle, bike is heavier than most other Class 3 models, battery is smaller and lighter than prior-model but has no USB port

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

EG

Model:

Oahu 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:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

57.1 lbs (25.9 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.6 lbs (2.99 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

18" Seat Tube, 25" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 74" Reach

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Midnight Blue with White Accents, Titanium Silver with Black Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT Suspension with Preload Adjust, 9 mm Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

11 mm Threaded Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Alivio, 11-32T

Shifter Details:

microSHIFT Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Prowheel Forged Chariot, 170 mm Length, 48T Chainring

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Stem:

Zoom Quill, Adjustable Angle -10° to 40°

Handlebar:

Medium Swept-Back Cruiser, Aluminum Alloy, 29.5" Width

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Stitched Leather, Ergonomic

Saddle:

EG Branded KNUS, Comfort with Rubber Bumpers

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

280 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

28.6 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy Double Walled, 32 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Kenda All Season, 26" x 2.125"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

White Walled, 40 to 65 PSI, Nylon

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Smoked Plastic Chain Guard, Independent Spanninga Trendo LED Headlight (2 AAA Batteries), Independent Spanninga Solo LED Back Light (2 AAA Batteries), Standard Gauge Aluminum Alloy Carry Rack with Spring Latch (Max Load 25 kg), Full Length Plastic Fenders with Mud Flaps, Adjustable Length Kickstand, Flick Bell Near Right Grip, USB Charging Port on Battery Pack

Other:

Locking Removable "Shark Style" Battery Pack, 1.6 lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Dapu

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:

10.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

499.2 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Monochrome Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Battery Level (6 Bar), Assist Level (1-5), Speed, Odometer, Trip Distance

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

28 mph (45 kph)(20 mph Throttle Only)

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Written Review

EG builds electric bicycles that tend to be lower priced while maintaining a comfortable, solid experience. The Oahu 500 EX is their high-step cruiser model and I saw a number of improvements over the prior build including a more compact battery with slightly higher capacity battery and repositioned kickstand for improved stability. It’s a heavy ebike at ~57 lbs due to the curved tubing, suspension fork, larger handle bar, rear rack and fenders… not to mention the more powerful 500 watt hub motor. This is all well and good, the front wheel and battery are easily removable, but there is a bit of flex in the stem and without lockou on the suspension fork, the bike can feel soft vs. rigid. I love the comfort of the suspension, larger tires and ergonomic grips… even the flex of the handlebar, but at higher speeds this can turn into wobble. In short, keep an eye on the fenders and stem and keep both hands on the bars if you’re riding at high-speed. For me, even the second level of assist felt zippy and powerful and I loved being able to override with the throttle at any time up to 20 mph. As sam mentions in the video above, it feels strange to go from greater than 20 mph down to 20ish if you stop pedaling and hold the throttle.

Driving the bike is a 500 watt nominally rated Dapu hub motor. This is a brand that Easy Motion and Pedego use for their bikes and I consider it higher-end. Hub motors aren’t as efficient as mid-drive but they are less expensive and don’t exert the same stresses on your chain, sprockets and derailleru. They also don’t complicate shifting and can be used with throttles more easily. You really feel (and hear) this motor at the higher levels and it was neat to see Sam zipping around as he weighs ~265 lbs.

Powering the motor is a 48 volt 10.4 amp hour battery pack that mounts to the downtube. It’s slim and good looking with Samsung cells inside and you can charge it on or off the frame. I did notice that the frame mounting points seemed basic vs. reinforced or fully integrated like some of the fancier ebikes. I also noticed that there was no USB charging port like the older, physically larger, battery offered. At 6.6 lbs, this battery weighs about .5 lbs less than the older one and no, I do not believe the interface is backward compatible. EG has been producing ebikes for several years now and Sam Townsend, the owner of the Electric Bicycle Center in Fullerton, has sold a lot. He was pretty honest with me during the review about shortcomings on the bikes but I didn’t hear anything about the motor or battery being unreliable.

Turning the bike on only takes one step after the battery is charged and mounted. Just press and hold the center button on the little keypad near the left grip. Once it’s on, the display shows a six bar battery indicator, your speed and assist level among other trip stats like max speed and odometer. Considering how fast you could drain this battery (riding at higher speeds where air resistance makes a big impact) it’s nice to have six bars. I also feel like the button pad is well laid out and easy to reach. The main display swivels forward and back to reduce glare but is not removable. Keep this in mind if you park outside a lot or in public spaces where more weather-wear and scratching could occur. To be honest, the display and control pad looked very generic to me but worked as expected. The throttle was similar, pretty basic but easy to reach and use. I find myself excited but also questioning the $2k price point because of some cheaper perts like this display and the rattly fenders that can get loose (according to Sam) but the eight speed drivetrain is a few steps up from the entry model and the Dapu motor is great.

At the end of the day, as Sam said, you get what you pay for… but in many ways you’re getting more with the EG Oahu. The parts that really matter are great (motor, battery, drivetrain) but I could see myself replacing the stem right away, especially if I was larger like Sam. The whitewalled tires look great and keep you visible along with the independent lights (I love that the front one has a quick-release so you can take it with you like a flashlight!) and with two color choices, you could emphasize visibility further by going with silver. I was not able to climb with this e-bike but Sam said that Wayne (the owner of Evergreen “EG”) had the motor optimized for speed. Based on how peppy it felt for me and how easily it moved Sam, I’m guessing it would work pretty well on moderate hills. You can see the controller box mounted just behind the seat tube… it’s large and sturdily built, and paint matched! Having the controller separate keeps the battery cooler but also allows for a larger controller which can send more Amps. I’m not sure how many amps this system is running but it felt like a lot. Big thanks to Wayne at EG for working with Sam to have these bikes available for review and for partnering with me on this post. I enjoyed the updates but appreciate how much of this bike remained the same. It’s one of the fastest cruiser electric bikes around and I love that they chose a mid-frame battery so handling wasn’t compromised.

Pros:

  • One of the only Class 3 speed pedelecs I’ve seen that’s setup as a cruiser, of course, you can definitely go slower than 28 mph by using the lower levels of assist or throttle at half-press if you want
  • Solid 500 watt motor and 48 volt battery combination, the motor is made by Dapu which tends to be more expensive and reliable and the battery cells are from Samsung
  • Large 180 mm mechanical disc brakes help you handle the higher speed potential on offer and both levers have motor inhibitors so they cut power instantly when pulled
  • Great aesthetic, the frame and fork match perfectly and there are two color options (dark blue or silver with white accents)
  • You get front and rear LED lights stock (though they aren’t powered by the main battery, you’ll need AAA batteries when they run out) and the tires have white painted sidewalls to help cars see you at night, the silver frame color further increases your visual footprint
  • Rather than using the older magnetic disc cadence sensors, this ebike has been upgraded with a higher-definition and more compact sensor, it felt very responsive during my ride tests
  • I think this bike is aiming at affordability and you can see that with the separate control box… but it’s encased in Aluminum and painted to match so it looks way better (and feels sturdier) than the plastic boxes I see on some other products that are just zip-tied to the frame
  • While some weight is positioned at the back of the bike (the hub motor and rack) a lot of the weight is low and center on the downtube in the “shark” battery, this improves handling and keeps the rack free for cargo
  • The drivetrain is an upgrade, four levels up from the base offering in the Shimano line, it’s great to have a wider range here to help you reach those higher top speeds
  • The longer cruiser bar dampens vibration and is supported by the suspension fork and fatter tires, the bike felt comfortable but you could always add a 28.6 mm seat post suspension to cushion it more, you might need a 27.2 mm shim to make it work with the widest range of options like this one from Thudbuster
  • You can override assist or level zero with the throttle at any time! this feels great but please be careful loading the bike if it’s on because if you bump the throttle it could jerk forward unexpectedly
  • While I complain about the lights being independent, the headlight has a quick disconnect mount so you can take it with you like a little flashlight! or keep it with you to avoid theft at a public rack
  • The team at EG listen to their dealers and consumers and have adjusted and improved the bike a lot since my last review, apparently moving the kickstand more towards the center of the frame is one of these areas… but I found that the left crank arm now collides with the stand so just keep an eye on it if you’re backing up or turning the cranks with it down
  • You do not have to leave the keys in the pack while riding and turning the bike on only requires one step! just press the center button on the control pad near the left grip

Cons:

  • Both the adjustable stem and suspension fork reduce steering tightness, there’s a bit of slop which could develop into looseness if you ride on very bumpy terrain, keep an eye on the adjustable stem especially so you can tighten it on occasion and keep your hands on the bars or speed wobble could wipe you out at those higher speeds
  • I wish the lights ran off the battery pack because they require extra steps to turn on and off and can be easy to forget… which runs their AAA batteries down
  • Older versions of this electric bicycle had a USB charging port on the side of the battery pack but the new pack does not have this
  • There are no bottle cage bosses but you can use the rack with a trunk bag like this to holster a bottle or use panniers
  • The display is not removable but it does swivel up and down to reduce glare, I felt that it and the button pad looked a little rough, more generic than some
  • The fenders are a bit more basic and rattle a bit, keep an eye on them and tighten the plastic caps as necessary… some people take them off completely to avoid the hassle
  • Given the extra weight of the bike, less efficient tires and higher top speed potential, you can burn through the battery pretty quick, Sam recommended using slightly lower assist levels and staying around 20 to maximize range
  • The battery felt solid enough but wasn’t bolted down or built into the frame that some other bikes have done, try not to bang it around a lot and consider taking it off if you’re transporting the bike (it would make the bike lighter and just keep the mounting plate from getting loose)
  • Each step up in assist makes a noticeable difference, it can almost feel jerky, the bike uses a cadence sensor which sends on/off signals vs. more dynamic smoother starts and stops, just start in the lower levels and hang on
  • Sam mentioned that with higher speed ebikes like this, it’s a good idea to go into your dealer and get the spokes tightened up after a month or two of riding

Resources:

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