ElectroBike Seal Review

Electrobike Seal Electric Bike Review
Electrobike Seal
Electrobike Seal 500 Watt Hub Motor Gearless
Electrobike Seal Mid Frame Battery Integrated Brake Light
Electrobike Seal Lcd Display Ergonomic Grips
Electrobike Seal Platform Pedals Chain Guide
Electrobike Seal Seat Post Suspension Comfort Saddle
Electrobike Seal Shimano Tourney Drivetrain Mud Guard
Electrobike Seal Suspension Fork Preload Adjust
Electrobike Seal Electric Bike Review
Electrobike Seal
Electrobike Seal 500 Watt Hub Motor Gearless
Electrobike Seal Mid Frame Battery Integrated Brake Light
Electrobike Seal Lcd Display Ergonomic Grips
Electrobike Seal Platform Pedals Chain Guide
Electrobike Seal Seat Post Suspension Comfort Saddle
Electrobike Seal Shimano Tourney Drivetrain Mud Guard
Electrobike Seal Suspension Fork Preload Adjust

Summary

  • The most expensive and heaviest model from ElectroBike with a single-tube frame design that's unique in appearance and lower to stand over but less stiff
  • The 500 watt motor is gearless which should make it durable but it's not fully utilized with the more average 36 volt battery pack
  • Suspension fork, seat post shock, Selle Royal gel saddle and ergonomic grips offer a nice ride given that this is a more forward frame with flat bars
  • Basic fenders and pedals, low-end derailleur, no rack mounts, throttle power is limited by pedal assist mode, keys must be left in the battery while riding

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

ElectroBike

Model:

Seal

Price:

$1,899

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive, 7 Year Frame

Availability:

United States, Mexico, Worldwide

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

63 lbs (28.57 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16 in (40.64 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

16" Seat Tube, 21.5" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 75" Length

Frame Types:

Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black, Gloss White, Gloss Red

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCM 30 Suspension with Preload Adjust

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney TX, MF TZ-21

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS

Cranks:

Lasco

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform, FP-992

Handlebar:

Flat Aluminum Alloy

Brake Details:

Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Ergonomic Stitched

Saddle:

Selle Royal Freedom

Seat Post:

EXA Form 525 Suspension

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, Black

Tire Brand:

CST Traveller City Classic, 26" x 2.125"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Plastic Mud Guards, Single Side Kickstand on Left, Integrated LED Brake Light (Brake Lever Activated), Plastic Chain Guide

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

360 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

Key-Disp KD58C Fixed Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Trip, Odometer, Ride Time, Average Speed, Max Speed, Battery Level (5 Bars), Assist Level (0-5)

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (5 Magnet Disc)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The ElectroBike Seal is my least favorite model in the Electro Bike family because it’s the most expensive but doesn’t deliver the performance it could. It offers a gearless direct drive motor that’s louder than I expected (given that there are no moving parts inside) and the battery powering it is average in terms of both power and size so you’re missing out on the potential and really just adding weight (gearless motors are larger and heavier than gearless). The frame is eye catching but not my favorite because the single-tube design sacrifices in the way of stiffness and again adds weight because it’s reinforced, not having supporting tubes.

This isn’t a bad electric bike, I just feel it’s overpriced and have many gripes about things like having to leave the key in the battery while riding, being fitted with basic more slippery pedals, short fenders that stick out more (and in fact block the rear light) and not having any rack mounting points or bottle cage bosses. You get pedal assist and throttle mode here but the throttle power output is pegged to the pedal assist levels and there is no throttle-only mode. The cadence sensor that activates the motor only uses five magnets making it slow to respond when you start and stop pedaling and the drivetrain uses a very basic Shimano Tourney derailleur. This thing is almost $2k and there are lots of other choices with similar entry-level parts that deliver a better experience.

In the video I talked about the rear light which activates when you pull either brake lever and it also responds to a daylight sensor so it will be constantly on when it’s dark out or covered. I took a moment to share some cool bar end signal lights from a company called CYCL which you can visit at http://www.cycl.bike/. The product is called WingLights and I feel like they would be useful on a bike like this that seems to be setup for city riding… the downside is that the handle bar was too narrow so the Wing Lights didn’t fit in (their smaller mounter might solve this). I also interviewed a couple of customers at the ElectroBike store in Santa Monica who were impressed with the Seal model (because it is more powerful) but said it was a bit tall for them. This bike only comes in one frame size which I’d call medium and the top tube is slightly lower but still may be uncomfortable for petite riders. You get three color choices (white, black or red) and I like that the battery matched.

Pros:

  • I like the color matched battery pack, it looks better than a shiny metal pack that I see frequently in similar orientation but might not be as tough since the casing is plastic
  • The hub motor, spokes, fenders and other accessories are all black which blend in nicely, the power cables running from the console up front are also black but they are strung through the frame for an even nicer look (and less chance of snagging)
  • The integrated rear brake light is pretty cool… it activates when you pull either brake lever and runs off the main battery! It even has a light sensor built in so it should come on automatically when it gets dark outside. The downside here is that it’s partially blocked by the rear fender and you don’t get a headlight to go with it, consider something affordable and rechargeable to attach on the handlebar like this
  • The tires are awesome, they felt thick and oversized like they would hold up against thorns better than standard tires (but they probably add weight to the bike)
  • I love that you get a quality gel saddle, suspension fork and seat post shock plus ergonomic grips because the body position is a bit more forward and that can lead to a stiff neck and back over longer rides, I’m surprised the suspension fork doesn’t have lockout adjust because this is more of an urban style bike
  • ElectroBike has been around since 2012 and has dealerships in both Mexico and the United States, you can test ride and even rent their bicycles and they offer a solid one year warranty, they also sell online and shipping is only $50 in the continental USA
  • The frame is more of a mid-step vs. true high-step triangle shape so it’s easier to mount and stand over at stop lights or stop signs
  • You get seven speeds to pedal with which is enough for cruising around town and climbing hills, I like that the front chainring has a plastic guide to reduce chain drops and keep your pants clear of grease and snags
  • The Seal features one of my favorite LCD displays from the Electro Bike family of e-bikes because it’s small but easy to read and reach while riding and it’s backlit
  • I love that they chose to use larger 180 mm mechanical disc brakes vs. 160 mm on the Cross model because this is a heavier and slightly more powerful bike

Cons:

  • I’m usually not a huge fan of this frame style because it can flex side to side and tends to be heavier, it looks cool as a single tube but the trade offs aren’t worth it for going on trails or off-road, since the Seal is more of a city ebike it’s less of an issue
  • Despite being a gearless, direct drive motor, I noticed zinging (possibly the disc brake) and more whirring while operating the Seal than with other motors like those from Pedego, Stromer or Specialized
  • The fenders or “mud flaps” as I’ve heard them called, are more basic and don’t offer the same protection against water that tighter full-length fenders would, the front fender actually sticks out a bit and might be easier to clip with your toe when turning and pedaling simultaneously
  • No bottle cage bosses or rack mounts on this ebike… you might be able to use a beam rack on the seat post but keep in mind, this will push the seat up given the integrated suspension element which also takes room and you’ll have to swivel the rack or completely remove the rack whenever you want to take the battery off for charging so a quick release beam rack like this might make the most sense
  • The cadence sensor for pedal assist is very basic with only five magnets for the sensor to activate with, this means that you have to pedal more before the motor starts and wait longer for it to stop… thankfully the brake levers appear to have inhibitors to stop the motor more quickly in moments of urgency
  • I’m not sure if the pedals are plastic or what but they felt slippery to me, the surface area is great and they look nice in all black but I’d probably replace them with something like this that actually has metal set screws for use in wet environments especially
  • Even though this is a 500 watt bike (the motor is 500 watts so it’s supposed to be stronger) the battery is average sized at 36 volts 10 amp hours so you’re not getting the power or range that the price would lead you to believe, in my opinion it’s kind of expensive at nearly $2k
  • Lots of generic parts being used on this electric bike including the grips which feel very firm, the pedals, the motor and even the battery cells are kind of unknown and the drivetrain is Shimano Tourney which is entry level
  • Throttle power is limited by the level of pedal assist you choose (0-5) and there’s no throttle-only drive mode, in my experience this leads to uncomfortable moments where you forget about assist and unintentionally activate the motor at full power because of a few pedal sub conscious strokes
  • The key has to be inserted into the battery pack in order to operate the electronic systems which means they might jingle or get in the way, at least the key folds in this case and there is only one slot vs. some of the other ElectroBikes which have two locks (added weight and complexity)

Resources:

More ElectroBike Reviews

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An affordable, relaxed cruiser style electric bike with suspension fork and seat post shock for added comfort... though the saddle is a bit firm. Lots of extras for improved utility and safety including steel fenders, a chain guard, a…...

ElectroBike Light Review

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A minimalist city bike with two gears, uses a Sturmey Archer Kick Back internal hub in the rear, chain stays tight and the Aluminum frame feels stiff and tuff. Efficient and light weight 250 watt internally geared hub motor in the front wheel, standard…...

ElectroBike Magnos Review

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A feature complete folding electric bike with cast solid wheels for improved durability and weight management. You get pedal assist with a responsive 12 magnet pedelec sensor and trigger throttle for…...

ElectroBike Alfa+ Review

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A cheap folding electric bike with some of the smallest wheels I've seen at 16" diameter vs. 20" used on the majority. Efficient 250 watt motor keeps it light and zippy, the battery pack is removable to…...

ElectroBike Dash Review

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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…...


Comments (6) YouTube Comments

JC
1 year ago

Which electrobike would you say is the best?

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi JC! I think I liked the Magnos and Cross the best. They offered some unique features like folding or hidden battery design and the prices were still relatively low. I’m less a fan of the Seal due to frame flex issues… but I’m not sure that’s a big deal if you’re staying mostly on road :)

  Reply
Gerard
1 year ago

I know one of your concerns for this ebike was its price – if it was half the price on sale ($850), how would you find it in terms of value for money compared to other good value ebikes? Thanks!

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Hi Gerard! I think it depends on the condition of the bike, even if it just sat in a shop “brand new” for a year or two, the battery could be slowly degrading. I don’t enjoy flexy frames and tend to lift my bikes so weight is a factor. In my life today, as someone with space for only one electric bike, I have found that I save up and get something that will last and ride well. I would put the money towards something of higher quality personally… but at that pricepoint, I feel like the ElectroBike Seal could be a good value. I don’t know much about the company at this point and cannot say whether replacement batteries or other parts would be easy to comeby. In recent weeks, some people have commented that the Populo (another affordable ebike) has had some battery and controller issues and they are upset that the bike has caused more time and financial challenges than they expected. Like so many things, I guess it all depends on how you intend to use it. Thousands of people in China ride ebikes less nice than this on a daily basis, but they may also have access to parts and they definitely pay a lot less than even $850. I guess it’s all relative :)

  Reply
Gerard Vong
1 year ago

Thanks very much for the quick reply (and for your great reviews)! The Electrobike near me is currently running a sale on this, the Alfa+ and the Light, with any two of the bikes (new) going for $1500 + tax. The sale has been popular, so they are new bikes, rather than those that have been sitting around. They also said they’re offering a 5 year warranty on the batteries. I also saw online the Alfa+ going for $600, but I don’t know if that has the same battery warranty as they were offering me in store.

I’m trying to decide if I should go with any of these. Your reviews are definitely helpful! I’ve taken the Alfa+ and the Light for a spin (both of which you seem to prefer to the Seal), but they’re putting together new Seals so I haven’t had the chance to ride that yet. Any further advice for me?

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