- A smaller sized, more affordable but also more cheaply made city style electric bike that would work well for short riders or even kids
- Average rating on the motor and battery size should provide enough power for moderate hills and a 20+ mile range in pedal assist but you also get a twist throttle
- Lots of useful accessories including fenders, chain guard, a rear rack and even an integrated LED headlight and electronic horn, great for commuting or running errands
- Less powerful band brake in the rear, battery is not removable, throttle power is limited by assist level, cheap cadence sensor isn't very responsive, only one gear
The ElectroBike Dash is one of the most affordable electric bikes I’ve ever seen… Many of the parts are generic and cheap (including the motor, battery cells and cadence sensor) but you get the utility of fenders, a chain guard and a rear rack it it would work well for commuting. There’s only one gear so pedal cadence changes as your speed increases or decreases and sometimes starting on an incline can be difficult but that’s where the throttle really comes in handy.
You get three levels of pedal assist which also control throttle power and speed output but you can override assist by twisting the throttle at any time. The motor is a bit noisier since it’s an internally geared design but that keeps it light weight and small. The bits that do add some weight are the steel fork and large locking stand at the rear. I’ve never seen a stand like this before on electric bicycles and it takes some practice to fold down and then unlock but it definitely keeps the bike stable. One thing that I regularly comment on with ebikes but noticed for most of the ElectoBike line is that you have to leave the key in while riding and that it kind of gets in the way or could jingle around if you’ve got a keychain connected.
The Dash isn’t especially heavy at ~48 lbs but that’s partially because the frame and wheels are small. An average sized bicycle wheel is ~26″ and these are 24″ so they keep the frame lower to the ground and this compliments the shorter step-thru frame. Given the price and this smaller size factor I think the Electro Bike Dash would be a great choice for young people including children, just be sure this is legal where you live or use only on private property. This is a Class 2 electric bike with a top speed of ~20 miles per hour (~32 kilometers per hour).
ElectroBike is a Mexican company that started in 2012 and has since expanded to over 30 franchise locations (25 or so in Mexico and 5 or so in the US as of this review). They sell online in addition to the stores but the stores will let you take demo rides and even rent bikes. I performed this review at the Santa Monica location which is their flagship store in the US and was impressed with their comprehensive year long warranty. One thing that confused me at first was cruise control (which activates automatically if you keep the throttle twisted to full), just tap either brake to disengage. I’m also used to the brake levers being reveres from what was offered on this and other ElectroBike models and was not a fan of the drum brake in the rear which didn’t offer much power but did have a neat locking hub feature. For the price, it’s a solid offering and one that would be great for petite riders.
- Extremely affordable, probably one of the least expensive electric bikes I’ve ever tested because there’s no shipping cost if you buy it from one of the shops
- Awesome one year warranty covering the motor, battery and electronics with seven years on the frame… that’s the longest frame warranty I’m aware of in the ebike space
- Available in two color choices including matte black which hides the cables and blends in well with other black accessories or gloss white which is probably more visible to cars and safer
- Integrated LED headlight powered by the main rechargeable battery pack (so you don’t have to worry about replacing separate cells), I like the intuitive on/off buttons for this and the horn near the left grip
- Great accessories including full length fenders and a chain guard to keep your pants and cargo clean as well as a cargo rack for carrying gear or panniers
- The smaller 24″ wheels keep the frame lower to the ground improving balance and making it easier to mount and stand over, they also improve the leverage of the hub motor making it a slightly better climber than an ebike with 26″ or 28″ wheels
- While the motor and battery cells are fairly generic here they do offer decent power at 350 watts and 36 volts 9 amp hours respectively… I’d call that average in the world of ebikes for 2015/2016 but you’re paying a lot below average on the price
- You get a large, very stable, kickstand with the Dash and it’s the only Electro Bike in the line with this feature, great for doing maintenance or just storing on less stable terrain but it does add some weight and the lock can take a bit of practice to figure out, you have to push in on the circle lever before the stand will go up, if you prefer a more traditional kickstand there is a mounting point just behind the bottom bracket for something like this
- I’m not sure how much of a “pro” this is but the bike has funky little pegs near the rear dropouts that likely help to protect the motor cable but may also serve as a transport platform for a second rider to stand on, the second rider would have to be light weight and this may not be recommended by the company but is used regularly in China and other locales (I used to ride on pegs as a kid myself)
- ElectroBike often has sales through their website and sometimes offers affordable shipping around $50 in the continental USA
- The Dash is only available in one smallish frame size (the seat tube is 15″ and the reach is only 20.5″ with semi-swept back bars), this is great for smaller riders but a true limit for taller people looking for a cheap ebike
- The battery pack is built into the frame and not easily removable… but it does look good and keeps weight low and centered across the bike vs. up high on the rack, it would be nice to have the controller box hidden as well but it’s mostly kept out of the way on this bike, plan on bringing the bike inside to charge or using an extension cord and know that it’s going to be heavier to lift with the battery always in
- No bottle cage mounts but you do get a rack so consider a saddle bag with a bottle pouch like this or possibly basic panniers like these
- Very basic and limited display systems (no speed or range readouts, just LED lights approximating voltage), you also have to leave the key inserted while riding and the slot is near your right grip so a keychain would definitely get in the way… consider a small carabiner and key ring setup like this
- I like that you get three levels of pedal assist for slower riding and to use less power but I wish the throttle could reach maximum power regardless of assist setting because it’s a twist throttle with its own variable speed output
- The cadence sensor on this e-bike only uses five magnets vs. 10 or 12 on many of the newer electric bikes I test which means it doesn’t respond to your pedaling as quickly (starting or stopping) but the brake levers do have inhibitors and that helps to cut power immediately in the event of a quick stop
- The rear brake on this bike is a band or drum style and doesn’t stop as quickly as the front v-brake, one upside is that it includes a cafe lock so you can protect the bike from being ridden off for short stops if you don’t want to completely lock it up with a cable
- The brake levers on this and other ElectroBikes for 2016 seem reversed based on what I’m used to, the right lever activates the front brake vs. the rear… maybe this is more common in Europe or Mexico but it threw me off at first
- This is a single speed electric bike, you can pedal backwards but there are no gears to make starting or climbing easier, it takes more effort and once you do reach the max speed of ~20 mph your legs will be going pretty fast, the upside is that there’s usually less maintenance for a single speed bicycle
- The frame and fork are solid so you might feel the bumps and cracks more (especially if you have a longer ride and travel at that ~20 mph top speed frequently) you could smooth it out by getting a cheap seat post shock but make sure you get a shim as well so it will fit the 30.4 mm diameter of the seat tube on this bike or consider a more expensive post that will fit by default
- Official Site: http://store.electrobike.com/products/dash-350w-low-cost-lithium-electric-bike
- More Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/1dCePN4TUBAmHxJCA