2014 EVELO Aurora Review


Technical Specs & Ratings





Class 2


Front Suspension



Mechanical Disc



360 Wh

360 Wh

55 lbs / 24.97 kgs

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

The Evelo Aurora is a value driven mid-drive electric bike which means it benefits from the strengths of centerdrive (improved climbing ability, balance and range) but suffers from a couple of technical issues (slower pedal cadence and rougher shifting). These issues can be be addressed if you’re willing to pay a bit extra for the 500 watt motor and NuVinci continuously variable transmission (CVT) but that will also add some weight to an already solid 55 pound bike. The core of this bike hasn’t changed since version one but in 2014 several improvements were made including the addition of a large backlit LCD display panel with included USB charger, tighter battery case that no longer rattles, stiffer front fender that reduces bouncing motion in the headlight and a 12 magnet cadence sensor with smoother assist activation.

The motor on the Aurora is a 250 watt mid-drive canister that pulls the same chain you do when pedaling. By doing this, it is able to leverage the rear cassette cogs to improve mechanical efficiency when climbing or gaining speed. The logic here is “why make the motor only use one gear when there are eight available” and it makes a lot of sense. The downside is increased stress on the chain and rear chain ring teeth. Another tradeoff is pedal cadence because the motor tends to spin slow and steady while you may prefer to pedal at a higher RPM. These issues can be addressed with the upgraded 500 watt motor that will also improve power for climbing with heavier loads and the NuVinci hub which doesn’t use gears at all. I love these options but together they will cost over $1,000. There are other drive systems available that actually sense when you shift and cut the motor off and automatically spin at higher RPM’s for a smoother more natural ride. These bikes (including the IZIP Peak) use your cadence, torque and speed to direct the motor while the Evelo mid-drive system only uses cadence.

The battery design on the Aurora has been improved from the first generation and no longer rattles when riding which is great. The pack consists of either Samsung or Panasonic Lithium ion cells in a 36 volt configuration at 10 or 17 amp hours respectively or 48 volt 10 amp hour with the upgraded 500 watt motor. These packs are high quality and come with a year and a half long warranty which is great. I love that you can charge the pack on or off the bike and that removing it reduces the overall weight of the unit for transport. Still, the way it’s mounted high and in the rear isn’t my favorite in terms of balance. I like that they’ve included a basic metal rack on top for a bag or panniers but there aren’t guards along the sides so make sure your panniers aren’t too long or they could bump into the tire and spokes.

One of the biggest areas of improvement for this version of the Aurora is a large backlit LCD display panel mounted right at the center of the handle bars. It’s easy to read and offers information about speed, distance, pedal assist level and battery capacity. I’ve seen this display in use on other ebikes and am a big fan, you can even swivel it forward or back to reduce glare. As mentioned before, it includes a USB port along the backside to make charging your portable electronics easy and the main battery is also wired into the front and rear light so basically you can run everything from one central location. Using the display panel is easy thanks to a small control pad located near the grip on the left handle bar. From here you can turn the bike on and navigate up or down through different levels of assist. All in all the cockpit on this ebike is easy to use and the grip shifter on the right compliments the twist throttle on the left. I appreciate the Tektro brake levers which activate the mechanical disc brakes and simultaneously cut power to the motor (which can be useful when shifting gears).

The Aurora isn’t a perfect bike, it only comes in one size and costs a bit extra to really get right, but it’s one of my favorite EVELO models due to the lighter weight rigid frame. The RockShox suspension fork really smoothes things out and includes a lockout for improved efficiency by reducing energy loss through “bobbing” as a result of heavy pedaling. The ergonomic grips add a bit of comfort but don’t have lockers at the end and may spin if you grip them tightly when riding. It’s great that they offer black and white color options and the oversized Wellgo platform pedals are stiff and grippy… This is one of the more affordable mid-drive ebikes (especially if you pass up on the NuVinci and motor upgrades). This bike can take some getting used to and isn’t as immediately satisfying as a hub motor design but it does offer increased range and climbing ability and Evelo offers excellent customer service. They are very responsive and committed to ongoing improvement (as evidenced through all of the improvements shown here).


  • Mid-drive motor system offers efficient power use by leveraging the rear cassette (good for climbing and extended range)
  • Upgraded LCD display panel is backlit and includes a break-out button pad for easy input when riding
  • Optional NuVinci continuously variable transmission hub is smooth, can be changed at rest and won’t mash when pedaling
  • Battery pack doubles as a fender and includes a spring rack on top for mounting a bag, battery can be removed for charging off the bike or to make the unit lighter during transport
  • Tires and wheels are easier to service on a mid-drive bicycle because you don’t have extra wires and the weight of a hub motor to deal with
  • Solid RockShox suspension fork with long travel and lockout for use on hard pavement to reduce bobbing
  • Good mechanical disc brakes with Tektro levers that cut power to the motor when used
  • The cadence sensor uses 12 magnets which smoothes out assist (old units used just 5 sensors)
  • Front and rear LED lights work well and are wired right into the main battery, there is also a USB charger for use with portable electronics like mobile phones or mp3 players
  • Comfort saddle and adjustable stem improve ergonomics for riders of different sizes
  • Solid year and a half warranty on everything including frame, motor and battery pack
  • Lithium-ion battery cells are from higher end manufacturers (Samsung and Panasonic) offering higher energy density and increased number of charge cycles
  • Solid kickstand is easy to use and stays high out of the way when riding


  • Front fender design has been improved (stiffer than 1st gen) but the LED light can still bounce a bit and the fender doesn’t offer the same water protection as a closer and longer one might
  • In its base form this bike is a good value but the price can really add up with the NuVinci, 500 watt motor and extended range 17 amp hour battery pack
  • The motors used for this bike can’t sense when you’re shifting gears and thus, will not ease up which can cause mashing and strain the chain
  • The battery pack is mounted high up and in the rear which is not ideal for balance
  • The rear spring rack is decent but doesn’t work very well for longer panniers
  • There are no water bottle mounts, have to use the saddle rack with a bag or a camel back

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