Elby City Review

Elby City Electric Bike Review
Elby City
Elby City Bionx D Series Gearless Hub Motor
Elby City Battery With Cover Removed Locking Core And Handle
Elby City Locking Ergonomic Grips Internally Routed Cables
Elby City Supernova E3 E Bike Headlight Custom Shell Led Blades
Elby City Tektro Auriga E Sub Hydraulic Brake Levers
Elby City Comfort Saddle With Integrated Handle Extra Wide Seat Post
Elby City Sram X5 Nine Speed Drivetrain
Elby City Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard Chain Guide Vp Grip Tape Pedals
Elby City Fender Integrated Pannier Bar 180 Mm Disc Brakes Kickstand
Elby City Bionx 3 45 Amp Compact Charger
Elby City Electric Bike Review
Elby City
Elby City Bionx D Series Gearless Hub Motor
Elby City Battery With Cover Removed Locking Core And Handle
Elby City Locking Ergonomic Grips Internally Routed Cables
Elby City Supernova E3 E Bike Headlight Custom Shell Led Blades
Elby City Tektro Auriga E Sub Hydraulic Brake Levers
Elby City Comfort Saddle With Integrated Handle Extra Wide Seat Post
Elby City Sram X5 Nine Speed Drivetrain
Elby City Aluminum Alloy Bash Guard Chain Guide Vp Grip Tape Pedals
Elby City Fender Integrated Pannier Bar 180 Mm Disc Brakes Kickstand
Elby City Bionx 3 45 Amp Compact Charger

Summary

  • A highly polished, purpose-built electric bicycle with easy-to-mount frame, adjustable bars and ergonomic touch points, available in five colors, additional $99 shipping with assembly by Velofix
  • Custome extra-wide Aluminum fender that don't rattle, integrated Supernova LED lights with a custom light blade up front, large hydraulic disc brakes, internally routed cables
  • Available in a single speed or nine speed configuration, BionX D-Series motor is an excellent climber and near silent, throttle on demand and torque sensing assist, removable color LCD and USB charger for phone with optional Bluetooth app
  • Regen and motor cutoff switch is only built into the right brake lever, the bike is well balanced and surprisingly stiff for a wave frame, higher price tag here but you get nicer parts and a great warranty

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Elby

Model:

City

Price:

$3,699 ($3,499 for Single Speed, $99 Extra for Shipping + Velofix)

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year if Registered

Availability:

United States, Canada, Europe

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

56.8 lbs (25.76 kg) (55 lbs for Single Speed)

Battery Weight:

7.8 lbs (3.53 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 T6 Aluminum Alloy, Plastic Covers

Frame Sizes:

16.5 in (41.91 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

16.5" Seat Tube, 25" Reach, 18.5" Stand Over Height, 72" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

White, Silver, Black, Orange, Blue

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Aluminum Alloy, 9 mm Axle with Nuts

Frame Rear Details:

10 mm Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Pannier Rack

Gearing Details:

9 Speed 1x9 SRAM X5, 11-34T (Single Speed Uses 15T Cog)

Shifter Details:

SRAM X5 Triggers on Right Bar

Cranks:

Lasco Aluminum Alloy, 170 mm Length, 38 Tooth Chainring with Alloy Guide

Pedals:

VP Composite Plastic Platform with Grip Tape

Headset:

Custom Cane Creek, Sealed, 1-1/2"

Stem:

Adjustable Angle -20° to 40°, 31.8 mm Clamp

Handlebar:

Swept Back, 620 mm Length, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter, 33 mm Rise, 45.8° Bend

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Tektro Auriga E-Sub Levers with Motor Inhibitor and Regen Activation on Right Lever, Adjustable Reach Levers

Grips:

Ergonomic Rubber, Locking

Saddle:

Elby Branded, Velo Comfort with Integrated Handle

Seat Post:

Custom Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

500 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

39.9 mm

Rims:

Alex Rims, Double Wall, 32 Hole, Reinforcement Eyelets

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Continental CruiseCONTACT, 26" x 2.2"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

SafetySystem Puncture Protection, Reflective Sidewall Stripe, 35 to 65 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Adjustable Length Kickstand, Wide Aluminum Alloy Fenders with Support Struts, Pannier Hanger Bar (Max Weight 11 kg / 24 lbs Per Side, 22 kg /48 lbs Total), Flick Bell, Integrated Supernova E3 E-Bike V6s LED Headlight (165 Lumens) with Side Accent LED Blades, Integrated Supernova 3-LED Rear Light, Sturdy Bash Guard Chain Guide, Fully Enclosed Plastic Chain Cover on Single Speed

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.5 lb 3.45 Amp Charger, Internally Routed Cables, 3 Minute Auto-Off, Automatic Deep Sleep Battery Protection, 273 lb Max Weight

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

BionX, D-Series

Motor Type:

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

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

1000 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters (Nominal 25 Nm)

Battery Brand:

Panasonic

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

556.8 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

70 miles (113 km)

Display Type:

BionX DS3 Removable, Backlit, Color LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Level (10 Bars), Battery Percentage, Assist Level (1-4), Regeneration Level (1-4), Odometer, Trip Timer, Trip Distance, Average Speed, Clock, Setup, Lights Indicator, Assist Level Gauge, Assist Percentage

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad, Phone Mount Adapter, 5 Volt Female USB Charging Port, Bluetooth Application (iOS or Android)

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

Elby is a special creature, an electric bicycle designed from the ground up to be approachable, comfortable and responsive. Seriously, the drive system on this city/cruiser is also used on e-mountain bikes! It packs a lot of power and zip along with some cool power regeneration features and is near silent. The drive systems are all produced by BionX, a fixture in the industry and partner to other premium manufacturers like Mercedes SMART. The only real complaint I have is that the motor looks large, it’s like a gray pizza stuck in the middle of the rear wheel… but at least the other gray plastic accents on the bike (like the battery box) are matched. This is a nod to Elby and their attention to detail. You can choose from five glossy frame colors including white and silver (for increased night riding visual footprint) and I love that some of the plastic accents and fork are color matched for a cohesive visual appearance. Yeah, aside from the motor, the battery, compact control system and even the wires ae mostly hidden. And while the Elby City only comes in one frame size, it’s designed to be highly adjustable, accommodating riders from 5 foot to 6.5 foot tall. The extra-long 500 mm seat post is thick and sturdy, the stem swivels up and down, even the swept-back “gull wing” handle bar can be swiveled to raise or lower and change reach. I love the ergonomic grips and slightly large but active saddle. Between these touch points and the thicker tires, you end up with a comfortable ride despite there being no suspension hardware. This keeps the bike lighter, cheaper and stiffer. Many wave style deep step-thru frames used for electric bikes have this bendy feeling about them, as you pedal, turn and stop the frame flexes. That is not the case with the Elby thankfully and I’m glad because it honors the motor and premium hydraulic braing systems. This is an awesome ebike, it’s just more expensive than some. And that’s interesting considering the direct to consumer model being tried out. You order online then pay an additional $99 for shipping/assembly and if you’re in a city where Velofix operates, they deliver it to your doorstep and set it up just right… even returning 30 days later for a free tuneup and adjustments.

Driving the Elby is one of the most unique and effective hub motor systems I’m aware of. Yes BionX is an advertiser for EBR so you may interpret some of this as bias… but I invited them after having tested a number of systems across a range of electric bikes. This thing is years in the making and only compromises on visuals in my opinion. By designing something extra wide, they were able to achieve higher torque and better heat dissipation. The casing for the D-Series is plastic, keeping it light and durable, and it has an internal torque sensor that works well consistently. It’s one of the quietest high powered motors and I love how they tucked the power cable leading to it on the left side low and out of the way for snags or tips. Notice also that the rear wheel spokes connect to the hub and rim of the wheel, not to the hub motor casing. This provides a more natural ride and a bit of flex… so spokes don’t tend to loosen as much or break. I was told that the max weight for the Elby was 280 lbs by the rep but believe it’s actually 273 based on some literature at their site and some quick math. That’s still above average where many ebikes say 250. This allows for the addition of bags on the rear rack or for larger riders, tall, boxy and overweight. In my opinion, it has the power needed to move larger loads effectively, something people ask me about regularly. You get 500 watts nominal peaking around 1,000 with 50 Newton meters of torque that can be controlled with a throttle… that’s very unique in a world where more electric bikes are using mid-drive systems that require pedaling.

Powering the motor, backlit color display and premium ebike specific lights is a high quality, custom designed, Lithium-ion battery pack. It offers 48 volts and 11.6 amp hours which is above average and the cells inside are produced by Panasonic, one of the top brands in the space. You can charge it on or off the bike and it locks securely with a key… but is kept hidden and perhaps protected by a plastic shell with stylized metal step pad. Now, I’m not sure I’d actually want to step on that, it looks too nice and might scratch over time. The downtube is low enough that most people should be able to step over easily. However, if you do scratch this plastic part or end up losing it (as you have to take it off for battery removal) I was told the company does sell replacements. One unique and semi-confusing aspect of the battery is that it interfaces with the bike using an EnergyBus Rosenberger plug (very high quality, magnetically connected). The plug is floating so it self-aligns easily and can transfer data and power… it’s like top of the line as far as plugs go :P but on the outside of the batter pack, the charger plug is more basic. It’s not magnetic and could get bent or pull the bike over like other more basic plugs. At least it’s kept mostly clear of the left crank arm and pedal but why not use the magnetic port there too? Yes, it would add to the already high cost of the bike and perhaps would have required a larger heavier charger. That’s one thing I love about the Elby and other BionX e-bikes, the charger is fast at 3.45 Amps but also super small and light weight making it very easy to take along to work or a friend’s house for a quick fill. One other grip I have about this mid-section of the bike is that the kickstand is mounted very near the left crank arm and will collide if you back the bike up or try to spin the cranks when parked. Many ebikes manufacturers are moving to a rear mounted kickstand but some feel these don’t look as nice (sticking out towards the back). I guess it’s just a small note and consideration.

So the motor and battery are great, the display system and control pad follow along as being some of my favorite. The bike powers on with one click on the control ring (near the left grip) and the color backlit display blinks to life. The really neat thing here is that if you didn’t have the display, the control ring functions just fine on its own! It has an LED charge level chart and LED assist level chart that blinks when you go into regen (by pulling the right grip). It’s slim so it doesn’t block the shifters or brake lever, mounted close so you can reach it easily, and intuitive with a plus and minus for assist level navigation and forward back for changing menu readouts. There’s a separate button just for the lights and that power button to turn it off again. But if you forget to turn it off, no worries… it powers down automatically after a few minutes on its own. We went in-depth on video above showing all of the settings and I listed them as well but this shouldn’t be overlooked. The button pad is great and the display is also awesome. I love being able to take the fancy pieces off of electric bikes when parking in the elements or sketchy neighborhoods. Nobody wants their fancy bike scratched or tinkered with and you might be wondering about the button ring… Couldn’t someone turn it on and press the throttle at the bike rack? Yes, they could turn it on and turn the lights on maybe but the throttle won’t activate until the bike is moving 5 km/h (for safety reasons) so this has the fortunate side effect of making it tamper resistant as well. So you get a bike only mode, four levels of assist, four levels of regen (which can slow you when coasting down hills or act as a fun workout mode) and regenerative braking activated by the right brake lever. As mentioned earlier, the brakes on the Elby are wonderful… You get 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable reach levers that are ebike specific. Or, at least the right one is, the left one does not have a motor inhibitor regen switch in it unfortunately. This is another area that I’d like to see upgraded. You’d pay slightly more and have one tiny more wire but it would also add a bit more complexity to the control system. The way it is now is fine, but many other ebikes have two levers with motor inhibitors and I like that.

It may seem like I’m gushing over the Elby City and that’s probably true. I’m a huge fan of the drive system and can see the care that went into its custom frame, light interface, optional phone mount and Bluetooth app. They give you basically everything here, the fenders are custom and oversized but still tight and out of the way when pedaling (specifically the front one which is pushed forward thanks to some rake in the fork which also stabilizes the ride). I’m excited about the experience and quality here but recognize that you really are paying for it. I wish the price was lower considering the Velofix delivery model. Perhaps some dealers will have the bike as well and it is available to test ride at the traveling ebike expo so check it out for yourself. Other highlights for me are the reflective and puncture resistant tires, upgraded Alex rims with reinforcement eyelets, reflective saddle with built in handle for easy lifting and moving. You may need a platform rack to move this electric bike with a car and in that case check out the Thule EasyFold Carrier with ramp which makes loading easier.

Pros:

  • The Elby City looks beautiful and comes in five colors which all include reflective tires and accents on the saddle and pedals, I’d opt for white or silver to stand out even more during night or early morning rides… I love how the fork and plastic covers are perfectly paint matched
  • You get to choose a nine speed or single speed drivetrain (which saves weight and cost), in both cases there’s an excellent guide system so the chain shouldn’t fall off easily
  • I love how smooth and immediate pedal assist feels, the BionX torque system is very natural and shouldn’t ever surprise you or make you strain your knees the way some delayed cadence sensors do
  • Throttle mode is awesome, the throttle is easy to reach and offers variable speed response depending on how far you press it, I hit the top speed of 20 mph quickly and felt smooth bursts to maintain me at that speed as I held it down
  • Not only do you get four levels of assist, you also get four levels of regen (extremely unique in the world of electric bikes), I love how you can immediately activate regeneration by pulling the right grip too
  • Comfort touch points like the ergonomic grips and wider (but still active) saddle make the bike ride comfortably even though there are no suspension points, I like the wider tires and might run at a lower PSI to improve comfort further (I believe the range is 35 to 65 PSI)
  • I really like the idea of their Velofix partnership, it’s a way to reach a wider audience and ensure the bike is built well, it’s not available everywhere but does give them a jump start over dealer networks and you get a 30 day tuneup… in some ways I would have expected a lower overall price for the bike since there is no middleman, or maybe free shipping at least?
  • Considering the pedals are plastic, they felt stiff and grippy, I usually complain about flexy small pedals but these ones were unique and might not scrape your shins the way metal spiked ones cand
  • Beautiful color display that’s easy to remove on a solid adjustable angle mount, it’s cool that they also provide a phone mount adapter and 5 Volt USB port so you can use their app and completely replace the stock display if you want
  • The display panel gives you a lot more feedback than basic ones and is intuitive to use (left and right bars change views or enter setup if you hold the left one while on setup, the up and down bars raise or lower assist/regen, there’s an independent light button and power button too… I believe the control ring works even without the display panel if you want (it has two LED light strips that indicate charge level and assist/regen setting
  • Super small, lightweight charger would be easy to toss into a backpack or perhaps pannier bags if you get them, it’s one of the most compact I’ve seen from any company but still delivers a whopping 3.45 Amps for fast charging! Most chargers just put out 2 Amps
  • The display automatically shuts down after three minutes and if you stop using the bike to conserve battery, there’s also a Deep Sleep feature whereby the battery limits power draw after weeks or months of non-use (great for winter or times when you’re on a trip) to protect itself
  • Given the extra-long seat post (500 mm long) the Elby website says this e-bike can accommodate riders from 5′ to 6’5″ tall which is great
  • The power cable for the motor is tucked away nicely, most cables are internally routed but the motor cable is especially important and potentially vulnerable if the bike tips… for the Elby it seemed well protected
  • I like that they positioned the charging port on the battery towards the front of the bike, mostly out of the way of the left crank arm and pedal… many other ebikes have the port situated where it could get bumped or snagged easier

Cons:

  • Given how deep and wide the step-thru portion of this frame is, it’s fairly stiff but there’s still a touch of frame flex, I like the metal accent on the downtube but some other curved parts are plastic and I’m guessing they could get kicked and scratched easier when mounting (so be careful)
  • The rear rack pannier bar thing is cool but only holds up to 40 lbs vs. a traditional platform rack which is usually rated at 55 lbs, it’s also a bit thick so I’m not sure all clip-on bags will work and there’s nowhere to put a trunk bag on top and no bottle cage bosses on the frame
  • At $3,700 for the 9-Speed version, this electric bike is on the expensive side but you do get a premium drive system, in addition to the price of the bike you also pay $99 for shipping and Velofix assembly
  • While I love how powerful the BionX D-Series motor is, the casing is large and stands out on most bikes, the rest of the systems are all mostly hidden however
  • The seat post is unnecessarily large and I’m told that was due to a previous design goal (to have a pump built in) but the company that makes that accessory went out of business so they were stuck with this really large post, I’d like it if they included a 39.9 mm to 27.2 mm shim so people could use their own seat posts with suspension perhaps
  • If you back the bike up with the kickstand down, the left crank arm will collide because it’s mounted near the center of the bike, this also limits ground maintenance like chain lubing if you want to pedal backward
  • When you add the bike to your shopping cart on the website, I think it should take you to the cart… instead you’re left on the same page you were before and have to look around to actually buy, they could make that easier (especially given this will be sold online mostly)
  • The battery charging port is a more traditional plug even though they use the magnetic EnergyBus interface from the battery to the bike… I wish they kept the magnetic design on the side of the pack too so the plug would pop off easily and not get bent or tip the bike as it is designed now

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Pamelae
10 months ago

Thank you so much for reviewing the Elby – I have been waiting anxiously to see this! The one statistic remaining that I need is the height from the top of the saddle seat, in its lowest position, to the ground – do you have that please?

I have had a test ride on the 2017 Electra Townie Go 8i and found that it fit me very well and felt good riding however the two negatives (brakes and lack of Throttle-on-demand) keep me from taking the plunge. I do feel that I need the “flat-foot technology” though.

I am a female senior citizen living in a ski-resort town with many groomed/paved bicycle trails but not a level one in sight near my home or anywhere else in the area for that matter. There is a fairly long and steep hill leading to my home so I worry about getting back up the hill after a long ride especially if I only have pedal-assist. I need a step-thru bike. I am a casual/cruiser style rider and not particularly interested in speed but must have hill climbing power when I need it. I also like the idea of regen to slow the bike down when going down-hill. The Elby specs seem to fit all my needs except that I don’t know whether the seat will go down low enough for me to reach the ground when seated (28″ inseam) – I can adjust the seat to a more appropriate height if needed as I become more comfortable with the bike.

Do you have any thoughts/guidance about making a choice between the Elby and the Electra?

Reply
Court Rye
10 months ago

Hi Pamelae, I just reached out to the Elby rep and asked him to do the measurement for you (top of the saddle when it’s in the lowest position down to the ground), he said it’s 33.5″ high. I do think this ebike would be a good fit for you as it’s one of the very few with step-thru and a fairly powerful motor and throttle mode. I usually post stand over height as the top of the frame to the ground because I tend to start standing up and kicking off then pushing myself up to the saddle. With this approach I think you’d be able to get into the saddle and use the throttle for near-instant power. I do love the Electra Townie Go! but can see how the lack of throttle might be a big decision point. That ebike does have “flat foot” technology, meaning the cranks are slightly forward, but the ride isn’t substantially different from Elby and some others due to their more angled seat tube. In fact, you can see how the cranks on the Elby actually are positioned slightly forward imitating the Electra design here.

Reply
Pamelae
10 months ago

Thank you, Court, for finding out that information for me. Looks can certainly be deceiving – it looks as if the seat would slide down lower so that the height would be in the 29-30″ range . I will have to give it a test ride to see how it feels. Thanks again for your help and great reviews.

Reply
Court Rye
10 months ago

Sure thing Pamelae! I’m glad we were able to get you this info quickly and hope you’re able to take one out. I realize it can be tricky locating the proper size ebike in some cases… I’m excited to see more brands coming with versitile frames and even multiple frame sizes to explore :)

Reply
George Pelton
2 months ago

Hi Court! Can you tell me if there are any differences between the 2016 and the 2017 models of the ELBY? I’m about to purchase this bike after seeing your review, and the dealer has 2016 models in his shop. They look exactly the same as the bike in your review, which is dated as a 2017 model. But I’m wondering if there are any technological differences.
– George

Reply
Court Rye
2 months ago

Hi George! I reached out to a lead at Elby with your question to get an accurate statement and received the following from their Director of Global Sales and Marketing “Elby distinguishes product changes by version number rather than model year. The Elby S1, is the same version number (1) in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and therefore identical.” so it sounds like you’d be fine with the 2016 model. I hope it works great for you! Elby is doing something special with their e-bikes and it’s neat to also see how quickly they respond to comments and questions to provide support.

Reply
Bryan
1 month ago

I just test rode the Elby 9 speed. I really like the balanced feel, the power, and the throttle. Having a throttle really helps getting started from a stop especially going up a hill. I also like the regenerative motor, it helps slow you down when going downhill a little bit like hill descent on a car. I’m not sure about the styling, maybe it’s just a hangup of mine. One styling issue I have that’s easy to make would be to make the motor casing round. I’m a graphic designer, I find the flat edges on the motor casing awkward in the round wheel. It would be great if they made the casing round and added a reflective ring on it.

Other bikes I’m considering at the Gazelle Arroyo, Kalkhoff Agattu B7, and Stromer ST1 Elite.

Do any of the guys out there feel odd riding a step-through model?

— Bryan

Reply
Court Rye
1 month ago

Hi Bryan, all great feedback! I like your idea about a reflective ring on the hub motor to make the bike safer from the side, to increase its visual footprint. I personally do not feel uncomfortable or awkward when riding a step-thru but might opt for a mixte (mid-step) frame or get a masculine color on a wave frame. Once I’m riding, it’s all about having fun but there is something to be said for appreciating the aesthetic of your bike too. The knee pain I sometimes experience when riding a traditional bicycle is what led me to big, heavy, expensive electric bikes five years ago… and now I feel less sensitive about the trade-offs because my pain is less of an issue. I feel like I have also become less sensitive about the visuals of an electric bicycle and more focused on functionality instead.

Reply

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Dewey
11 hours ago

Corratec Lifebike

Blix Komfort Prima

Evelo Galaxy ST

Gazelle Arroyo C8 (personal favorite)

Kalkhoff Agattu

EasyMotion Evo City Wave Pro

Riese & Muller Homage Nuvinci HS (the only full suspension step through ebike)

hurricane56
22 hours ago

Hey all, so quick check in after commuting home with this beast of a bike. I just finished a 17 mile ride with the HF and the power available is borderline insane. The one thing I noted is the power assist levels even in the ECO mode are good enough to keep me going around 24-26 mph at a decent cadence, maybe 80rpms with not too much effort. My point of comparison is with my other bike, 2016 Haibike Trekking S. I don't think this bike is going to replace the Haibike, but it'll give me another platform to use if I'm tired or just want something different. I'd compare the personalities of the HF to a high performance v8 pickup truck, vs the Haibike which is much more like buttery smooth straight six.

Battery life with the 21ah is incredible. I rode a total of 17 miles this evening and used about 5ah of capacity. My route is mostly flat with about 200 ft elevation gain.

There are a couple of subtle characteristics that set apart each bike. Obviously, the fit/finish and geometry of the Haibike is something to be admired. I feel that many people that bash "expensive factory bikes" tend overlook this. The Bosch mid-drive is seamless and very organic. The HF has it's strengths as well, and that is raw power at speed. There were a few times where I wanted to go slow in city traffic, and you can start to feel the bike wanting to really get up and go. Since I was riding with other ebike buddies most of the way back, I left the bike in ECO most of the time.

Overall, I'm happy with the performance thus far and hope that this bike will be a reliable platform for 2000+ miles of riding each year. The bike will need some additional tuning and add-ons to make this a daily commute beast:

1. Installation of rear rack - I ran a backpack today, but panniers are so much better for a longer ride.
2. Installation of bar end mirror.
3. Tuning of the suspension fork - The threads on the schrader valve are either not fully to spec or somewhat coarse. I needed to use a wrench to tighten my shock pump to the valve.
4. Installation of tire tube sealant - Once again this bike has no service disconnect near the motor assembly. There is enough slack on the cable after cutting the zip ties to remove the wheel, but doing a tube change in the field would be cumbersome with one person.

Oh yeah, top speed today was easily 35mph. I think I could sustain that for maybe 3-4 miles at most. Some might argue that having such a fast bike is dangerous. It is in the wrong hands, but now that I know I can go that speed, I feel it makes me safer when I can keep up with traffic taking a lane or on streets without protected bike lanes.

Dewey
1 day ago

For folks seeking a step-through donor pedal bicycle frame to convert to an ebike with a DIY motor kit, the Reddit City Bikes spreadsheet has a column indicating where a step-through frame is available together with price, type of drivetrain, and web link:
https://www.reddit.com/r/citybike/comments/45zbr3/the_rcitybike_spreadsheet_updated_for_spring_2016/

Common features of ebikes used in urban bikeshare systems such as the Smoovengo E-Bike (Paris), Social Bicycles JUMP (Washington, DC), Bewegen Pedelec (Baltimore), and BCycle Dash+ (designed by Trek, coming in 2018), are a step-through frame, 26" wheels, 3 or 7 speed IGH, Class 1 pedelec, 250w front hub or 350w mid-drive motor, and rollerbrakes. Dock based systems recharge off the bikeshare dock vs dockless systems like JUMP incorporate a GPS locator chip and require you lock up the ebike with a provided U-lock and a maintenance guy either swaps out the battery or recharges it at a hub collection point every 2-3 days.

Mark Peralta
49 mins ago

I came across the internet about "ebike efficiency" from endless sphere
https://endless-sphere.com/w/index.php/EBike_Efficiency
and I thought it is worth sharing. The beauty of ebikes is there is a second source of motive power and that is your pedal power. It talks about the very basic principle about ebike motors. Here , it relates to a hub motor but the principle is still the same for the smaller mid drives. The road speed on the chart is just changed to cadence on mid drives. First, the power (watts) that comes out from the battery does not completely translates to actual watts to the wheels. There is a certain speed at which the conversion to mechanical power (motor efficiency) is highest.

In this example, the motor efficiency is highest at speeds somewhere between 25-31 mph. The lower the speed, the less efficient is the motor.

Those watt meters on some ebike displays do not always represent the watts to the wheels but these are the wattage that came out from the battery. And if you are on the wrong speed, most of those watts are wasted as heat. Or if you are in the wrong cadence in the case of mid drives.

To minimize energy waste at lower speed, a controller is used to limit the max current.

In the old days, simple resistors were used to control the current but these are very inefficient and obsolete and are now replaced by pulse width modulation controllers (PWM) with the use of metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET). The electrical current is then controlled to different levels. Example of this simple controller with different current settings at different assist levels is from a chart from Bafang mid drive (cadence is used at the x axis instead of road speed). The orange curve represents 100% (current decay is another user adjustable parameter in the Bafang controller)

https://electricbike-blog.com/2015/06/26/a-hackers-guide-to-programming-the-bbs02/

However, it is also important to know the power demand of an ebike at different speeds brought about by many factors and most especially the air resistance (aerodynamic drag), in order to further minimize power wastage when it is not needed and only apply power to when it is really needed.

You don't really need a lot of power at low speed but a simple controller's output is opposite (Cheap Chinese controllers). No wonder the cheap ebikes and ebike kits cannot reliably provide good battery mileage since you thought you are saving battery by going slower but you actually wasted a lot of power there. Most of the time, I notice that simple controllers feel "punchy" and tend to lurch ahead from a dead stop (great for showing off to friends) but once the ebike is already moving and you needed more assist, sometimes the power isn't there anymore, when you needed it the most.

Enter the Smart Controllers from the big players where more brain capacity is added to the controller's program in order to determine and match power requirement with the power output of the motor. And added measures are incorporated to cut the assist if the motor speed is at the inefficient range. This is made possible with the use of torque sensors and sophisticated program algorithms. An example of this is the "dynamic assist" from Juicedbikes.

http://juicedbikes.com.au/bikes/2017-crosscurrent/

I cannot find the controller charts of other big players but that is understandable (trade secret). It only goes to show that it's not only the motor efficiency that is important but how sophisticated the controllers are made. Not all controllers are created equal.

On mid drives, the gear reduction ratio is also set up so that the motor is most efficient at a cadence rate preferred by most cyclists (normal cadence range) .

https://www.electricbike.com/bosch-cannondale/

This principle in actual application made it possible for a small motor (mid drive) to achieve a very very impressive efficiency of 100 miles in 1 charge of the 500wh battery or 5 wh/mile!
https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/range-100-miles-giant-road-e.14617/#post-121767

This highest mileage potential is demonstrated by the small mid drive, but at a slower average speed. The mid drives also has an advantage for the ability to climb very steep hills, as long as the gear ratio in the drive train is appropriate, but at the expense of even much slower, snail paced, speed (sometimes it feels like being pulled up by a winch!).

However, hub drives are not far behind. Especially with increasing sophistication of the controllers and more efficient motor designs like the Maxon.
http://partir-en-vtt.com/fsb2/index.php?p=search&mode=author&id=52

https://electricbikereview.com/forum/threads/hub-vs-mid-drive-how-can-i-compare.14635/page-5

Hub drives are also more appropriate for high speed commuting, such as riding regularly at higher average speeds (above 23 mph) since the bicycle drive train at that higher crank output will wear out prematurely in less than a couple thousand miles. Or for transporting heavy loads such as the delivery ebikes.

There is still a bright future for efficient hub drives since, aside from the above mentioned strengths, hub drives are also very user friendly, preserve the life of the drive train (high durability), and is superior in stop and go city streets.

1/1
PowerOnBikes
2 days ago

PowerOn Electric Bikes has come out with an awesome new City Commuting eBike..The City Slicker. It has a powerful 48V 500 Watt Bafang motor & a 13.6ah Samsung battery.

The City Slicker is Sleek & Stylish and has enough power to get you where you need to go!
Available in Orange/Gray or Gloss Black

Get free shipping & $100 Off any of our ebikes now until 12/15! Use Code: SAVE100

PowerOn Electric Bikes

Ann M.
3 days ago

Named after the historic Junto Club started by Benjamin Franklin a couple of hundred years ago, the Junto Gen1 electric bike is an incredibly well thought out design at a very reasonable price, $2,200. Designed for all around city riding, the bottom bracket, headset & hub bearings are all sealed, so you're not going to get road grit & water out of the bearings. Junto chose a very high torque 350 watt geared Bafang motor and a larger 48V 11ah lithium pack for better range & overall lighter weight. With the weight balanced a little to the front, you have more positive steering and quicker reaction, much like a better made mountain bike and offsetting the weight of the rear hub motor. Note too the reinforced eyelets on these wheels; a much stronger build. And with Junto's focus on just one model right now, the bike is built to be upgraded without a lot of problems. I'm looking forward to an opportunity to test one of these bikes soon! Check out Court's review for all the details.

https://electricbikereview.com/junto/... The Junto Gen 1 is a sporty, responsive, urban style electric bike with 29er wheels and higher volume tires that create stability and add comfort, available in three frame sizes and two color options. All-aluminum frame is purpose built for ebike applications with a suspension-corrected geometry so you can add a 100 mm suspension fork aftermarket, tapered head tube and 15 mm thru axle. Excellent 11-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain with Shadow Plus clutch, wider 25 mm rims with reinforcement eyelets and thicker 13 gauge spokes in the rear to support the 350 watt geared motor. Simple display only shows battery level and 1-5 assist, the blue LED's can be annoyingly bright in dark ride conditions, nice locking ergonomic grips, gel saddle, and alloy platform pedals, hydraulic 180 mm disc brakes with motor inhibitors.

Paul Cavasino
1 week ago

Today I went to the local Pedego shop and rode the City Commuter and the Interceptor. I wanted to ride the Platinum Interceptor as well, but they said that they didn't carry that, though they could order it for me. That was kinda disappointing because I wanted to try an ebike with hydraulic brakes and compare them to the normal disc ones.

Maybe because it was my first time on an ebike but I was rather nervous at first due to the speed but also neither bike felt like it had stopping power. I was struggling to stay still on a hill and wound up falling by accident (at walking speeds). At the end of the hour period I did feel alot better but just disappointed about the brakes. Or maybe it was totally normal.

This could be due to a few reasons:

Haven't ridden a bike in a while (though this was on the second bike at around 40 minutes into riding)
I test rode the bikes that they use for rental so they were a little beat up.

TL;DR

I couldn't try a bike with hydraulic breaks and i wanted to see if anyone felt that it was worth it. If it is then I will probably wind up buying the Juiced CrossCurrent S since that has the hydraulic breaks and it has a torque sensor (which i couldn't test out) although i'm taking a risk since the forums seem to have mixed feelings about the quality and service of the CCS. If normal brakes are fine then I will just by the Pedego City Commuter since I can take it to the local shop for maintenance and issues.

Thanks!
Yes,...We own 2 Pedegos, his & hers,...( City Commuter & Step thru-Interceptor),...& Have Immensely Enjoyed Our Biking Adventures for 2 Years Now !! GO PEDEGO,...they're rated one of the most reliable EBIKES out there !!

bob armani
2 weeks ago

I just wanted to chime in, I asked which Bike advice on the forum and for all sorts of gibberish advice telling me I had to spend thousands of dollars on an to get anything decent to ride around town as a commuter. I've come to find out that total rubbish. I bought a used 2017 Magnum MI5 with 200 miles on it for $625. Original MSRP on the bike is $1,700. I've ridden this bike around rides great does everything I needed to do. I recently ran across a guy who has a 2017 Ancheer that is basically the exact same specs as my bike MSRP under $800.

If you're not doing some heavy-duty off-road racing these name brand bikes are total waste of money.

My bike the Juiced bike all made at the same Factory in the same city in China as the Ancheer.

I hear all the bikes knobs talk about who's going to put your bike together or where you going to get a replacement battery half these outfits can't get parts from the quote unquote manufacturers as they all seem to be waiting for the shipment to come in the container from China.

Then I hear about the warranty my bike has 200 miles on it over the course of a year not a single problem I took it in for a tune-up batteries is in fine shape.

Then I looked at the battery and it's made by a battery supplier who you can buy the battery from on Alibaba.

Seems like all the guys on this form like to hang out in there locally-owned bike shop to shoot the stuff.

I would have been pissed had I paid full price for the bike I bought knowing I could have bought direct from China for half the cost.

Don't fall for all the bull malarkey on the site save yourself a ton of money and buy it online.

Fred-Do not listen to anyone-go with your own instincts and research and find out what bike best suits your needs and spend within your budget. There are plenty of great ebikes out there for under $1000 dollars that will work just fine as long as you do not abuse it and beat on it. I purchased a brand new ebike for $450.00 (entry level) but it works fantastic as a second commuter ebike. Its all about your personal needs and preferences IMHO! Ride safe!

John from Connecticut
2 weeks ago

Seems like Trek's answer to Turbo Levo como...
But, I like the specialized's design better. Bigger tires on this would be nice.

e-boy , I think you nailed it when you wrote......

"At max speed of 20mph and max torque of 40Nm , I think it's meant as a neighborhood/city cruiser ,
bike path , recreational type of bike ; in other words , an eBike version of the push bike Verve . I think it retails for US$2300 or 0.24 Bitcoin . :) . "

I agree. I don't think Trek had anything at this price point with a Bosch Drive System, perhaps this is their way of being a little more aggressive in the US market place.

John from CT

Nahim
2 weeks ago

There are tons of people and that commute on single speed bikes. A great example of that is here in New York City where a vast amount of commuters and messengers are fans of their simplistic single speed/ fixed gear bikes. It makes sense to want one less part (derailleurs and shifters) on your bike to maintain. Even though I've been surrounded by ebikes for the last three years working at Propel Bikes, I still enjoy riding my single speed bike after work and cruising the neighborhood.
The Copenhagen wheel is a cool option for folks that still want to maintain the simplicity of their bike, but with a bit of extra boost. It's a neat package considering if you already have a single speed bike you really love, like a nice Cinelli or Linus, and want to upgrade your commute. I would however like to see more color options, something more stealthy to so it's not as flashy when locking up on the streets of NYC. A neat feature I do like is the regenerative braking when you pedal backwards, which in most other retrofitting cases, requires you to run a brake sensor cable to your brake levers. The Copenhagen wheel takes away the hassle of cables and zipties and leaves that simplistic look it's supposed to have. I hope as ebike technology progresses, the price point will also come down.

e-boy
2 weeks ago

AFAIK , this model has not been officially released yet ; it's not on Trek.com .
It uses Bosch's new entry level Active drive , which I read is light , quiet , and pedals unpowered like a regular bicycle .
https://www.bosch-ebike.com/us-en/products/active-line/?setLanguage=3
At max speed of 20mph and max torque of 40Nm , I think it's meant as a neighborhood/city cruiser , bike path , recreational type of bike ; in other words , an eBike version of the push bike Verve .
I think it retails for US$2300 or 0.24 Bitcoin . :) .
If it fits and is comfortable , you can't go wrong with Trek and Bosch .

What did you like about it ?
What are you looking for in an ebike ?
Where are you located ?

Steve Plattner
3 weeks ago

After a 870 mile small group ride through the Canadian Rockies on my 40 year old vintage Trek with my Radical Design trailer this summer I came to a couple realizations.

I love long distance cycling touring
I love camping
I can survive some pretty demanding physical challenges
The trailer is a great touring tool
The trailer can be a real liability when the shoulder disappears or is crumbling and scattered with debris
and lastly, if I want to continuing long distance touring I should get a properly outfitted modern bike.

After investigating and pricing the latest purpose built heavy duty touring bikes I also realize that being in my 60's, it was going to take a very long time to recoup my investment in a $7-10k for custom world touring bike.

While thinking about my 500 mile ride across Iowa in 2016 on my ST2 with my trailer in tow, I started to come to the conclusion that the Stromer was way overbuilt and had many of the qualities of the world touring bikes. A super strong frame, large heavy duty rims and tires, disc brake, a reasonable amount of gearing and a modern geometry to name a few.

So I started to dream of what would happen if I got over some of the limitations of the Stromer and created an ebike/bike packing hybrid for long distance touring - thus this crazy concept was born. A makeover of my ST2 into a long distance road, rail to trail, and gravel road touring animal.

The main challenge was how to increase the balanced gear carrying capability and improve the tour ride qualities without permanently altering the ST2.

Here was the game plan...

Replace the original rear rack with something strong and solid including reconfiguring the fender attachment
Bite the bullet and do the suspension fork upgrade i’d been lusting after for a long time
Upgrade to a Jones HBar handlebar
Add the appropriate storage capability

Each part of the plan has had its own challenges which I can go into details later, but here is where I've ended up. I did an initial first ride and it went fantastic. Everything stayed on the bike and it rode smooth and steady. The test ride was with placeholder gear so the next challenge was to see if I could pare down my gear for sustained self-supported touring. I'm feeling comfortable that it can be done, with most of the bigger challenges resolved.

Initial test configuration

Salsa seat post rack adapter

Salsa seat tube bracket to Salsa bent stays to a Tubus Evo rack

Jones HBars and quick access day storage bags from Bedrock

A little handcrafted mods to attach fender using original mounting hole and screw

After the initial test I've modified the hanging of the handlebar bags and been working through getting 3L of hydration (bladder in the frame bag). I also added a second set of bottom clips on the Ortlieb panniers, an idea I borrowed from their gravel panniers design, which makes the bags rock solid. The panniers hang off the lower rail on the Tubus rack which lowers the center of gravity and provides greater stability. I’ve also continued to experiment with various top bags for the rear rack, but ultimately ended up with an Ortlieb Rack Pack (small 24L) as the final solution. Its a configuration I saw being used by a couple of Hungarian tourers who were passing through town this summer in year 2 of a 3 year around the world adventure. The arrangement provides quick access to a food storage area, and yet with my down sleeping bag and down sweater it remains pretty light on top of the rack.

A couple of final mods I'm still considering include perhaps a 2 legged kickstand and maybe a slightly larger low gear on the cassette for added climbing comfort with or without lower assist levels.

Current configuration on 3 day self contained touring test

I recently completed a test ride with my actual gear (about 97% finalized) and 2 days food supply to start to measure the impact of the mods and the gear weight on my range. My rides have mainly been in assist level 1 with some NO assist for several miles, and although the route was mostly flat city riding with a few small hills and only an occasional light headwind, initial results are suggesting a likely range of 60-80 mile per full charge. The ride I did in 2016 with the loaded trailer confirmed that an 80 mile day on a single charge was entirely doable, but this new rig represents a whole different wind profile so only time and more real world testing will tell.

So, where is all of this craziness leading you might ask? How about a west to east US crossing next summer using a combination of Rail to Trail segments as well as some gravel roads like the one below and some Adventure Cycling Northern Tier/Lewis and Clark routes.

At least that's the dream for the moment.

As always, thoughts, questions and opinions are welcome.

Great to see this. Re: rear rack—you nailed it. Did the same thing with the Salsa seat post collar and a really solid Racktime rack. Your addition of a second clip on each bag to hold panniers tightly is excellent too — I need to do that for sure as once in a while an unexpected pothole at a higher speed can lead to a pannier’s single clip coming loose. I like the Jones H Bar idea—I have one on my Salsa Fargo and it gives you lots of options. The big issue for me with my ST1 Platinum on Long rail trails is battery life. Even with three batteries (adds a lot of weight and they are hard on my Ortlieb panniers), and being sure not to run them down under 10%, I can only count on a range of 70-75 miles. You seem to get much further on yours. I always stay in hostels or motels or campgrounds with power. Looks like you have a Brooks Cambium sear with Body Float.

Last but not least I found a weird tire tube last year in case I ran into a blown tube in a remote spot—instead of being round, it’s long with two ends. It would allow you to remove your old tube and insert and feed the new tube without removing the rear wheel. Haven’t had to do it but think it would work.

Echos
3 weeks ago

Weiterstadt, Germany - Riese & Müller - www.r-m.de - a maker of luxury eBikes sold worldwide has introduced the stylishly minimal and clean Roadster that will change how you look at eBikes. The Roadster’s sleek frame and traditional aesthetics combined with the best new e-technology are sure to catch the eye as you navigate urban areas or head out of the city and into the countryside.

Stylish, clean and minimal define the approach and lines of the redesigned Roadster while offering all of the technology and performance expected from Riese & Müller. The Roadster factors in concepts of classic bicycle frames: diamond frame construction, narrow rounded tube cross-sections, almost horizontal top-tube and delicate seat stays. The result is a clean, lightweight and sporty appearance that Riese & Muller have dubbed E-sthetics for those who love the classic construction and feel the technical elements of an eBike detract from the overall look of a bicycle. The Roadster incorporates a new, lighter Bosch Active Plus motor, the Gates belt drive, and Suntour NCX fork, bringing the total weight to just below 44 pounds. The Roaster is a perfect city rocket built for those who want all the benefits of an eBike in a classic look.

Features:

Bosch Performance CX Motor

36V / 500 watt battery

Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain

Magura MT4 hydraulic brakes

Suntour NCX Suspension Front Fork

Three Available Sizes

Mixte Model Available

Available colors: Electric Green Metallic, Black Matte, White

MSRP: $3879 (starting price)

Landing Page

Echos
3 weeks ago

Weiterstadt, Germany - Riese & Müller - www.r-m.de - a maker of luxury eBikes sold worldwide has introduced the stylishly minimal and clean Roadster that will change how you look at eBikes. The Roadster’s sleek frame and traditional aesthetics combined with the best new e-technology are sure to catch the eye as you navigate urban areas or head out of the city and into the countryside.

Stylish, clean and minimal define the approach and lines of the redesigned Roadster while offering all of the technology and performance expected from Riese & Müller. The Roadster factors in concepts of classic bicycle frames: diamond frame construction, narrow rounded tube cross-sections, almost horizontal top-tube and delicate seat stays. The result is a clean, lightweight and sporty appearance that Riese & Muller have dubbed E-sthetics for those who love the classic construction and feel the technical elements of an eBike detract from the overall look of a bicycle. The Roadster incorporates a new, lighter Bosch Active Plus motor, the Gates belt drive, and Suntour NCX fork, bringing the total weight to just below 44 pounds. The Roaster is a perfect city rocket built for those who want all the benefits of an eBike in a classic look.

Features:

Bosch Performance CX Motor

36V / 500 watt battery

Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain

Magura MT4 hydraulic brakes

Suntour NCX Suspension Front Fork

Three Available Sizes

Mixte Model Available

Available colors: Electric Green Metallic, Black Matte, White

MSRP: $3879 (starting price)

Landing Page

ABOUT RIESE & MÜLLER
It all began with two engineers, a good idea and a garage. But not in California, rather in the south of Hesse. In Darmstadt, to be more precise. In the parent's courtyard. Immediately after the company was founded, it won the Innovation Prize in 1993 and has grown to become an internationally renowned premium manufacturer of E-Bikes and folding bikes. As previously, Riese & Müller manufactures the most innovative bikes of tomorrow with the passion of yesteryear - and still in Weiterstadt, not far from the old garage.

zap016VOLTAGE
3 weeks ago

The End
Victim of its own success

Today I sold my Mariner.
There was a number of factors which influenced my decision to sell it.
It wasn’t the ebike its self.
Although in the end, it was the ebike its self.

The Mariner rode like a cloud! The experience was cross between a motorbike and a bicycle. Because of its large size and being somewhat heavy it felt more moto than bicycle. Most appealing was its exhilarating swoosh! Out accelerating gassers from stop light to stop light. Having the capacity to scale obstacles with aplomb no hills were too steep. Even stairs presented little challenge to the Mariner.

What’s in a name? “Mariner” suggest adventure, long distance travel. However range was somewhat lacking. I came to expect no more than 20 miles or so. While encouraging exploration the distance it was able to travel ultimately was limited.

Another cause for frustration was its Silverfish style battery. I believed those batteries to be standardized. One was like another I assumed. Only after purchasing the Mariner did I learn otherwise. Not all Silverfish batteries are created equal. While battery’s having greater capacity do exist, there’s no telling whether it might work on the Mariner or no.

However compelling the Mariner may be, the inability to increase it’s milage, as well a few other issues - NYC ebike crackdown - caused me to rethink ownership.

It was fun while it lasted.

Good bye:(

smitty
3 weeks ago

After a 870 mile small group ride through the Canadian Rockies on my 40 year old vintage Trek with my Radical Design trailer this summer I came to a couple realizations.

I love long distance cycling touring
I love camping
I can survive some pretty demanding physical challenges
The trailer is a great touring tool
The trailer can be a real liability when the shoulder disappears or is crumbling and scattered with debris
and lastly, if I want to continuing long distance touring I should get a properly outfitted modern bike.

After investigating and pricing the latest purpose built heavy duty touring bikes I also realize that being in my 60's, it was going to take a very long time to recoup my investment in a $7-10k for custom world touring bike.

While thinking about my 500 mile ride across Iowa in 2016 on my ST2 with my trailer in tow, I started to come to the conclusion that the Stromer was way overbuilt and had many of the qualities of the world touring bikes. A super strong frame, large heavy duty rims and tires, disc brake, a reasonable amount of gearing and a modern geometry to name a few.

So I started to dream of what would happen if I got over some of the limitations of the Stromer and created an ebike/bike packing hybrid for long distance touring - thus this crazy concept was born. A makeover of my ST2 into a long distance road, rail to trail, and gravel road touring animal.

The main challenge was how to increase the balanced gear carrying capability and improve the tour ride qualities without permanently altering the ST2.

Here was the game plan...

Replace the original rear rack with something strong and solid including reconfiguring the fender attachment
Bite the bullet and do the suspension fork upgrade i’d been lusting after for a long time
Upgrade to a Jones HBar handlebar
Add the appropriate storage capability

Each part of the plan has had its own challenges which I can go into details later, but here is where I've ended up. I did an initial first ride and it went fantastic. Everything stayed on the bike and it rode smooth and steady. The test ride was with placeholder gear so the next challenge was to see if I could pare down my gear for sustained self-supported touring. I'm feeling comfortable that it can be done, with most of the bigger challenges resolved.

Initial test configuration

Salsa seat post rack adapter

Salsa seat tube bracket to Salsa bent stays to a Tubus Evo rack

Jones HBars and quick access day storage bags from Bedrock

A little handcrafted mods to attach fender using original mounting hole and screw

After the initial test I've modified the hanging of the handlebar bags and been working through getting 3L of hydration (bladder in the frame bag). I also added a second set of bottom clips on the Ortlieb panniers, an idea I borrowed from their gravel panniers design, which makes the bags rock solid. The panniers hang off the lower rail on the Tubus rack which lowers the center of gravity and provides greater stability. I’ve also continued to experiment with various top bags for the rear rack, but ultimately ended up with an Ortlieb Rack Pack (small 24L) as the final solution. Its a configuration I saw being used by a couple of Hungarian tourers who were passing through town this summer in year 2 of a 3 year around the world adventure. The arrangement provides quick access to a food storage area, and yet with my down sleeping bag and down sweater it remains pretty light on top of the rack.

A couple of final mods I'm still considering include perhaps a 2 legged kickstand and maybe a slightly larger low gear on the cassette for added climbing comfort with or without lower assist levels.

Current configuration on 3 day self contained touring test

I recently completed a test ride with my actual gear (about 97% finalized) and 2 days food supply to start to measure the impact of the mods and the gear weight on my range. My rides have mainly been in assist level 1 with some NO assist for several miles, and although the route was mostly flat city riding with a few small hills and only an occasional light headwind, initial results are suggesting a likely range of 60-80 mile per full charge. The ride I did in 2016 with the loaded trailer confirmed that an 80 mile day on a single charge was entirely doable, but this new rig represents a whole different wind profile so only time and more real world testing will tell.

So, where is all of this craziness leading you might ask? How about a west to east US crossing next summer using a combination of Rail to Trail segments as well as some gravel roads like the one below and some Adventure Cycling Northern Tier/Lewis and Clark routes.

At least that's the dream for the moment.

As always, thoughts, questions and opinions are welcome.
Totally awesome...have been thinking some about this myself; lottos valuable info here...thank you so much

John ware
4 weeks ago

After a 870 mile small group ride through the Canadian Rockies on my 40 year old vintage Trek with my Radical Design trailer this summer I came to a couple realizations.

I love long distance cycling touring
I love camping
I can survive some pretty demanding physical challenges
The trailer is a great touring tool
The trailer can be a real liability when the shoulder disappears or is crumbling and scattered with debris
and lastly, if I want to continuing long distance touring I should get a properly outfitted modern bike.

After investigating and pricing the latest purpose built heavy duty touring bikes I also realize that being in my 60's, it was going to take a very long time to recoup my investment in a $7-10k for custom world touring bike.

While thinking about my 500 mile ride across Iowa in 2016 on my ST2 with my trailer in tow, I started to come to the conclusion that the Stromer was way overbuilt and had many of the qualities of the world touring bikes. A super strong frame, large heavy duty rims and tires, disc brake, a reasonable amount of gearing and a modern geometry to name a few.

So I started to dream of what would happen if I got over some of the limitations of the Stromer and created an ebike/bike packing hybrid for long distance touring - thus this crazy concept was born. A makeover of my ST2 into a long distance road, rail to trail, and gravel road touring animal.

The main challenge was how to increase the balanced gear carrying capability and improve the tour ride qualities without permanently altering the ST2.

Here was the game plan...

Replace the original rear rack with something strong and solid including reconfiguring the fender attachment
Bite the bullet and do the suspension fork upgrade i’d been lusting after for a long time
Upgrade to a Jones HBar handlebar
Add the appropriate storage capability

Each part of the plan has had its own challenges which I can go into details later, but here is where I've ended up. I did an initial first ride and it went fantastic. Everything stayed on the bike and it rode smooth and steady. The test ride was with placeholder gear so the next challenge was to see if I could pare down my gear for sustained self-supported touring. I'm feeling comfortable that it can be done, with most of the bigger challenges resolved.

Initial test configuration

Salsa seat post rack adapter

Salsa seat tube bracket to Salsa bent stays to a Tubus Evo rack

Jones HBars and quick access day storage bags from Bedrock

A little handcrafted mods to attach fender using original mounting hole and screw

After the initial test I've modified the hanging of the handlebar bags and been working through getting 3L of hydration (bladder in the frame bag). I also added a second set of bottom clips on the Ortlieb panniers, an idea I borrowed from their gravel panniers design, which makes the bags rock solid. The panniers hang off the lower rail on the Tubus rack which lowers the center of gravity and provides greater stability. I’ve also continued to experiment with various top bags for the rear rack, but ultimately ended up with an Ortlieb Rack Pack (small 24L) as the final solution. Its a configuration I saw being used by a couple of Hungarian tourers who were passing through town this summer in year 2 of a 3 year around the world adventure. The arrangement provides quick access to a food storage area, and yet with my down sleeping bag and down sweater it remains pretty light on top of the rack.

A couple of final mods I'm still considering include perhaps a 2 legged kickstand and maybe a slightly larger low gear on the cassette for added climbing comfort with or without lower assist levels.

Current configuration on 3 day self contained touring test

I recently completed a test ride with my actual gear (about 97% finalized) and 2 days food supply to start to measure the impact of the mods and the gear weight on my range. My rides have mainly been in assist level 1 with some NO assist for several miles, and although the route was mostly flat city riding with a few small hills and only an occasional light headwind, initial results are suggesting a likely range of 60-80 mile per full charge. The ride I did in 2016 with the loaded trailer confirmed that an 80 mile day on a single charge was entirely doable, but this new rig represents a whole different wind profile so only time and more real world testing will tell.

So, where is all of this craziness leading you might ask? How about a west to east US crossing next summer using a combination of Rail to Trail segments as well as some gravel roads like the one below and some Adventure Cycling Northern Tier/Lewis and Clark routes.

At least that's the dream for the moment.

As always, thoughts, questions and opinions are welcome.

1/12
motostrano
4 weeks ago

Hey! A reminder that Tomorrow is our EBIKE DEMO DAY all day at our store in Redwood City. 10AM to 6PM.
Test ride 30 different demo models and take advantage of our over 300 ebikes in stock on the floor! Industry reps will be on hand to give info and we'll be doing guided rides to the hills and the dirt if you need to get UP CLOSE with the performance of any model in their natural terrain.

Plus take advantage of "pre-black-friday" prices and inventory on all ebikes in the store. More information at
motostostrano.com

Demo starts at 100AM and ends at 6PM. Brands on hand: iZIP, Raleigh, Haibike, Cube, Moustache, Corratec, Orbea, Felt, BLIX.

In addition to our ebikes you can try any of our e-scooters!

Then, join us Sunday in Pleasanton for our Ebike Meet-up and ride the Iron Horse Trail from Pleasanton to Concord and back with a gang of e-bike riders just like you. http://www.meetup.com/ebiketreks

Text email or call with questions 650-918-6259

Ike582
4 weeks ago

My Turbo Vado 6.0 arrived at my LBS in Essex, CT, on November 14th. Weather hasn't been great to take it for a ride. I love road bikes and ride an S-Works Roubaix SRAM eTap. Wife bought a Pedego City Commuter last Summer and loves it. Figured I get an eBike to ride with her. As a Specialized fan, I went for the new Turbo Vado 6.0 for features, setup and quality.

Great pics, thanks for sharing! Hope you get some mild weather before Winter sets in. It's been wet and cold in Chicago, temps in the 30's so not much opportunity for me to use the 6.0 since I received it.

Nducoff
4 weeks ago

My Turbo Vado 6.0 arrived at my LBS in Essex, CT, on November 14th. Weather hasn't been great to take it for a ride. I love road bikes and ride an S-Works Roubaix SRAM eTap. Wife bought a Pedego City Commuter last Summer and loves it. Figured I get an eBike to ride with her. As a Specialized fan, I went for the new Turbo Vado 6.0 for features, setup and quality.

1/18
TomC
1 month ago

Riding in a city of about 200,000... Major urban through road - four lanes each way, left and/or right turn lanes added at each intersection as appropriate, speed limit 50KPH (31MPH), cruising in the rightmost through lane at the speed limit on a long downhill curve, I glance down and notice that the right front corner of a Mercedes is visually in line with the left end of my handlebar (that puts him not quite under my handlebar) -- I'm annoyed, but not worried; the driver is closer than he should be, but probably didn't realize that my handlebars were that wide until he got close enough to actually see them. The Mercedes slows slightly and moves a bit to the left giving me adequate clearance (as long neither of us does anything stupid). A few moments later I hear a quick tap of the two-tone horn that the Polizei use. Glancing back I see the Mercedes being pulled over and I'm pretty sure that having gotten that close to me is going to cost him 40 marks (about $12 at the exchange rate then).

As I approach the bottom of the hill, I signal and change lanes to reach the left turn lane at the next light where I will be turning left. The next section of the day's run will be north along a bike path paralleling the Lech River.

Needless to say, this would not have been possible in a US city of similar size.

And, oh by the way, that was on a conventional bike, not an ebike.

bob armani
1 month ago

The original V1 Stromers all had throttles now they are pedal assist.

Chris- Looks like you are putting up a good fight to keep everyone educated on this issue. It is important that everyone stays in the loop and well informed regarding the current legislation. I was not aware that many undocumented workers were using 'ebikes' to do food deliveries throughout the city congestion. This puts a whole other spin on their usage versus other cities with a lot less traffic congestion. The majority of the cycle messengers in the heart of the Chicago loop are using lightweight standard (ie: Tribe Bicycle Messenger Series Fixed Gear Single Speed Bike) for deliveries. It is a rare sighting to see any type of ebike in this city. Perhaps with a little time in the coming future, we may start seeing more. I also thought with that many ebikes circulating among typical NYC congestion, I would think that the accident rate between cyclists/motorists would be quite high, not to mention the amount of insurance claims surrounding the accident rate. Then again, if most are undocumented riders, I would think they would not file any type of accident claim whatsoever in the event of a collision. What a big mess far too complicated to address. Good Luck to everyone with the fight for ebike freedom!

TomC
1 month ago

Hmmm... "He points to a 2015 study out of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, finding that these e-bike riders exhibited the same behaviors on the roadways as conventional cyclists."

I hate to say this (especially here), but as a former NYC resident and long-time bicyclist, this study would probably be the best reason TO ban ebikes at least in Manhattan and perhaps the other boroughs as well.

The better alternative would be to treat ebikes as regular bicycles and to actually enforce traffic laws. THAT would raise even more uproar among cyclists in NYC than a ban on ebikes.

For a bit of perspective, I grew up in Greenpoint Brooklyn many years ago - and like almost every kid at the time, I rode a bike for fun and transportation (what kid could afford fifteen cents each way for the subway or bus??) I guess I was about 12 when I happened to call home to say I wouldn't be home for lunch. My mom happened to hear some noise in the background and asked where I was calling from -- I was calling from a phone booth (remember those) at Times Square. You could do that in the age before bike messengers and generally crazy cyclists darting in and out of Manhattan's typical daytime 10mph top speed congestion.

The problem causing NYC to crack down on ebikes has almost nothing to do with the "e" -- that's just a convenience because the police can't really chase bikes in most parts of the city (I know from experience) but it is easy to identify and catch a stopped ebike.

PCDoctorUSA
1 month ago

Agree as well.

The other influencing factor, at least in in the US, is bridging the gap (interest-wise) between the avid cyclists, many of whom would never even consider an electrically assisted bike, and those who dont ride at all, and probably never will. Need a major market in the middle of those polar opposites and of course accesability to friendly bike paths, and favorable rules to promote not only the survival of the ebike business, but any sustainable, negligible growth.

Sidebar: I live in car-crazy inland Southern California. I have neighbors who get into their cars and drive a few homes away to their neighbors’ homes, to the community pool....a five minute walk, and even to the cluster mailboxes a few hundred feet from their residences! Seriously.
This behavior isn’t going to support hundreds of different ebike brands....
I hear ya. We're a one-car family and my wife keeps it to take my daughter to school (monthly fee to ride school bus in Honolulu) and take her parents to doctor appointments, run errands, etc. I can either take the city bus to/from work or bike. The drive to my office is only 8.25 miles via bus routes and it takes 3 buses to get there. Minimum travel time is 75 minutes due to waiting between buses. I take the same route on my bike in 40 minutes and I don't have to share the seat with anyone or stand. ;)

Amego Electric Vehicles
11 hours ago

Unbelievable holiday sale on Elby's at Amego until Dec 31st. Free shipping in Canada and the US. Free Abus Bordo 6500 lock with every ebike sale. Prices in Canadian dollars.

DavPro Publishing
7 days ago

I've been shopping for an electric bike for two years. My search started on Amazon and I almost bought a Pedego, but I don't like their rear-heavy design. Then I saw Elby, but the sticker price (about $4000 with shipping and tax) was more than I wanted to spend. Velofix dropped the ball on a test ride so I sort of lost interest until I found the Elby on sale at Electric Bikes of New England. The $3899 model (matte black) was on sale for $2400 with free shipping, no sales tax and an additional 10% Thanksgiving discount. I almost paid $3699 for the single speed on Elby's website the week before. Patience and timing saved me $1600 though the bike did require a bit more assembly -- handlebars, front wheel and pedals plus the seat needed some adjustment. All necessary tools were included. I'm 6'3" tall and the bike fits perfectly. The Elby will be used as primary transportation.

G C
2 weeks ago

Thanks for the thorough review. Looks very well built. I wonder about water entry into the bike frame from the cable entrance for the rear brake(?)

beattospectoyota
2 weeks ago

cool thing about BionX, it you don't like the Mary Poppins look and already have a bike u like, convert any bike to a E bike

Mike Mejia
2 months ago

They already "got".....they already "have".

ElectricBikeReview.com
2 months ago

Thanks, I occasionally mess up my speech or flub things when I get excited or am trying to be efficient. Will keep this in mind for future reviews ;)

David Macdonald
3 months ago

It must be twice as quiet as the Bosch system

Donandnan Elmore
6 months ago

Cort, would you consider giving the price of the bikes at or near the start of your reviews? It would help to put all the features and performance of the bike in perspective as the video is watched.

Chris Hazell
6 months ago

Hi I'm Chris from the uk at only 5 feet tall I was wondering what E bike with fat wheels might suit my needs any help would be appreciated

Ian Mangham
6 days ago

Chris Hazell A small one

minnie saab
6 months ago

like it

simchad613
6 months ago

I own an Elby. Pros, extremely well built,very quiet motor, easy to ride, it feels like a regular bike and with multi speed with the different power levels there is always a level that's just right. Cons, I wish the bell would be electric, and that would have some type of an alarm system for this money. But after every time I ride it, I tell myself it's worth every penny.

ElectricBikeReview.com
6 months ago

Cool, thanks for sharing your experience so far, the only electric bell/horn I have seen on an ebike so far is the new Specialized Vado, interesting concept: https://electricbikereview.com/specialized/turbo-vado-6-0/

andy lebbon
7 months ago

The ball at end of brake lever is to stop lever stabbing rider in accident for 30mph ebikes in Europe same as motorcycle learnt a lot from this channel thank you

David Jenkins
9 months ago

You need to let me test it, from my house in Pittsburgh's South Hills to the grocery store a mile away and return. Leaving the house, three blocks steep uphill including one brick street, then stop at a light (always red when I get there), start uphill through the light and down to the store. Return with groceries, uphill again to that light, down to home. Any bike can coast around flats, it's hills that make the difference and it's overcoming those hills while dressed for work or carrying a load that is the reason for buying an electric assist bike in the first place.

milliamp
9 months ago

Regen mode might be useful if you are going a really really short distance and need to put in a bit of extra work. I could see using it as maybe downhill assist too but it would probably be close to useless as a method to actually recharge the batteries manually.

JustCurtis FromCanada
9 months ago

I'm looking forward to a test ride next month, thanks for reviewing this bike, it looks like there will be quite a crowd on my street corner. I've had an ebike before (the A2B Metro) and I'm looking for something more reliable and hopefully this is it. I have my eye on the single-speed this time as I've found changing gears to be quite distracting and unneccesary when the bike is going top speed. ALSO, I've always wondered how ebikes are expected to endure weather in less than ideal conditions ie. anywhere outside California. How are these bikes in the spring-slush Canadian weather in March?

Dale Wildey
9 months ago

My Schwinn meridian trike is a step through. I think step is the way to go. I'm getting more joint pain in the hips, the older I get.This is a very nice bike. Thanks for the review.

Zeev Kirsh
10 months ago

saw this in manhattan last year. bike is heavy as shit but it looks awesome. also, the truly low stepover is amazingly practical, however, you cannot detach the battery so you have that issue........but then again, it looks sweet in person. better than even on video........styling is unmatched.

Martian Megafauna
10 months ago

The metal fenders look cool and seem ultra sturdy but there are some downsides to metal fenders...
if a stick or branch or big piece o' junk gets run over and picked up by a tire, it might lock up the tire and
send you flying...@ 28 mph!

This is why, for once, I would prefer plastic, which will usually break and shatter, but is less likely to crash you.

BikeByVideo
9 months ago

you're not supposed to take this bike off roading!

anticommie51
10 months ago

Would you buy an e-bike from this ear guy? really?

milliamp
9 months ago

You don't live where he lives though or it probably wouldn't seem as strange. The thing about face jewelry, earrings like this, and neck/face tattoos is you have to go the extra mile to be respected as a professional with these things. When you do encounter a professional that looks like this you can probably assume they wouldn't be there if they weren't good.

terry oneill
10 months ago

awesome i missed the price thank you from the u/k

Joe Pan
10 months ago

i like the look