- A durable folding electric bike with efficient 250 watt geared motor, in-frame battery, rack, fenders and lights
- Unique shaft-drive eliminates the need for a greasy chain that can fall off, single speed works well enough for short distance "around-town" riding
- Comfortable over sized saddle, basic suspension fork and ergonomic grips, solid two year warranty
The Excursion 2.0 is a folding electric bike from Energie Cycles, a division of Renewable Power Energy that’s based in Las Vegas and is known for producing higher quality batteries in Asia (used in hybrid busses, street sweepers and other large electric systems). Ironically, the batteries in this little electric bike are from another supplier called DLG Power… I believe they went this route because the battery form factor is so small and unique. It’s designed to fit right inside the downtube, completely protected and concealed by the frame. The Excursion 2.0 is clean looking with most wires hidden under the frame and a smaller geared hub motor that blends in with the mechanical disc brake in the rear. You get a dash of comfort thanks to an oversized comfort saddle, ergonomic grips and a short-travel suspension fork. I enjoyed testing this ebike and was able to navigate through grass without pedaling. The motor produced a bit more noise than some other folding electric bicycles I’ve tried but overall, for the price and considering the accessories, the experience was good.
The motor driving this ebike is a 250 watt geared hub design from 8Fun (a reputable Chinese manufacturer). I like that they were able to use a silver hub because it blends in so well. For some, 250 watts may not sound like that much but it’s actually equivalent to what many professional cyclists put out consistently over long rides (in the 200 to 250 range) and it feels good here. There’s only one pedaling gear on this bike and I noticed that starting required a bit more effort and that once up to ~20 mph the cranks had to be turned very quickly to keep up with the bike, so it’s nice to have a throttle mode to fall back on. One downside to the trigger throttle here is that it requires the computer to be set in one of nine pedal assist modes to become operable. There is a zero level in the computer but the the throttle does not work in this mode… it basically just keeps the display on to be used as a cycle computer. Despite lacking a dedicated “throttle only” mode the throttle does receive maximum power on all assist levels. On some other ebikes I’ve tried, I would have to arrow up to the top level of assist in order to gain access to full throttle potential and then if I forgot that I was in assist and pedaled slightly to adjust my body, the bike would lurch forward unexpectedly… at least with the Excursion 2.0 I can use the throttle at full power in assist level one and avoid a big lurch like that.
Powering the drive system and computer display is a 36 volt 6.6 amp hour Nickel Cobalt Manganese battery pack. It’s removable which helps to reduce the overall weight of the bike during transport or to make storage more convenient. You can help extend the life of this pack by charging it every couple of months that the bike is not used and I usually suggest topping off after longer rides as well. The ideal storage conditions are cool and dry, try to keep the battery from dropping below 20% capacity. You should be able to get 1,000+ complete cycles out of this pack and I love the two year warranty offered by Energie Cycles. Many of the lower powered ebikes I test which opt for 250 watt motors use battery packs that offer just 24 volts but having 36 volts at your disposal definitely increases the feeling of torque and makes reaching the top speed easier. The range you get depends on how heavy the load is, what the terrain is like and whether you pedal along but expect upwards of 10. Overall, I really like this battery design because it’s hidden and balances out the rear-heavy motor and rack for a bike that handles well and maintains a low center of gravity.
Operating the Excursion 2.0 electric bike is very straight forward, especially if you charge the battery while it’s mounted in the frame (using the port on the left side of the downtube). To get going you simply press the center “Mode” button on the control pad which is mounted near the left grip. Once the display comes to life you get a readout for speed, assist level, range and watts. The display isn’t removable which means it could take more wear through sun exposure but it is large and easy to read while riding which I appreciate. I noticed that the bike defaults to assist level three when you turn it on which means you can start pedaling straight away and the cadence sensor will activate the motor at an efficient level or you can activate the trigger throttle near the right grip. Having nine levels of assist to choose from means you can find a speed that’s comfortable to pedal in and that’s important given the single speed design. Unlike more responsive torque sensing pedal assist systems, the Excursion opts for cadence and that means you can gently keep the cranks moving and that will be enough to activate the motor, you don’t have to overexert yourself.
I was impressed with the Excursion 2.0 electric bike because it’s clean, compact and affordable. The warranty is solid and Energie Cycles has been around since at least 2012 which is comforting. This model in particular would make a great addition to an RV or boat and depending on the airlines you fly with, the battery may be checkable because it’s under 300 watt hours (confirm before flying). Some folding ebikes feel uncomfortable because the smaller wheels are prone to drop into cracks and bumps rather than spanning them but this one addresses this issue with soft saddle, suspension fork and ergonomic grips (though they are a bit firm, padded grips would be nicer). Apart from the motor whir, it rides pretty quiet and the fenders and rack don’t rattle much. Unlike most chain driven bikes, you don’t need a chain guard here thanks to the unique shaft system and I just feel like you wouldn’t have much maintenance to do overall. There aren’t quick release systems on the wheels so be sure to bring a tool and some extra tubes if you do go remote and consider adding a bag to the rack so you can carry some water and gear along. I bought this one for my Mom recently because it has a bottle holder built right in but found that it’s a very tight fit for standard sized bicycle bottles.
- Priced well at ~$1,000 given the nice extras like fenders, carry rack and lights
- Less maintenance and mess thanks to the shaft drive design, you don’t have to worry about the chain falling off or dealing with a derailleur
- Fairly comfortable to ride given the oversized saddle, ergonomic grips and basic suspension fork
- Efficient 250 watt motor extends range and keeps the bike light weight, given the smaller diameter 20″ wheelset the motor actually benefits from improved leverage and feels fairly zippy (it rode through grass with no problem for me)
- Battery is low and centered, it balances out the rear hub motor very well and can be charged on or off the bike
- Clean aesthetic and tight overall build, I didn’t hear a lot of rattling when I rode across the grass and other bumpy terrain with this bike, even the fenders stayed quiet
- Extra long seat post makes this bike rideable for taller users but the mid/low step frame keeps it accessible for shorter riders as well, it’s easy to stand over and control
- The trigger throttle does not work in level zero, you have to be using one of the nine pedal assist modes to activate it
- Single speed drivetrain is most comfortable at lower and medium speeds, starting or pedaling very quickly can feel difficult because the cadence is fixed
- The display is fixed and doesn’t swivel easily without the use of a tool, the battery can also take extra effort to remove from the frame (it’s locked inside the frame as well as having a lock on the outside)
- No bottle cage mounts, if you plan to bring water along consider using a bag on the rack or some sort of saddle cage adapter
- The geared hub motor produces a bit more noise than some of the other ebikes I’ve tried with similar setups, possibly because it’s a 250 watt design