2019 EVELO Aurora Hub-Drive Review

Highlights

Technical Specs & Ratings

General

2019

Aurora Hub-Drive

$2,499

Class 1, Class 2

Step-Thru

Front Suspension

26.0

7

Mechanical Disc

Hub

750

500 Wh

500 Wh

65.2 lbs / 29.60 kgs

Frameset

Step-Thru

Frame Details

Aluminum Alloy

65.2

Front Suspension

100

Suntour XCM, 100 mm Travel, 32.3 mm Steel Stanchion Diameter, Steel Lowers, Preload and Lockout Adjustments, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Aluminum Alloy, Double Walled, 44 mm Outer Width, 36 Hole, Black | Spokes: Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge Front 12 Gauge Rear, Black with Nipples

INNOVA, 26" x 3" (68-559), 15 to 20 PSI, 1.03 to 1.37 BAR, Kevlar Inner Belt

Components

Threadless, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Non-Tapered 1-1/8"

EVELO Stargazer, Aluminum Alloy, 65° Angle from Level, 110 mm Length, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter

Aluminum Alloy, 1000 mm Tube, 55º Backsweep, 40 mm Rise

Flat Rubber, Locking

Steel, Single Bolt Laprade Clamp, Quick Release Collar

27.2

6" Wide with Gel Material and Athletic Footprint

Aluminum Alloy Platform with Fixed Pins, Silver

Mechanical Disc

Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Four-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Accessories

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by EVELO. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of EVELO products.

EVELO makes a number of bikes and has been around for a while. I was excited to check out the lineup recently and had a lot of fun with their bikes. Today, we are looking at the Aurora Hub Drive, a value priced commuter that is full featured and has a big focus on comfort. It is somewhat similar to the other EVELO bikes we recently reviewed, so if you read one of those you may see some parallel information. There are some differences though, so I will try to call those out as we go along. Being a more entry level bike in their lineup at $2,499, means it may have some scaled down parts, but you would be surprised what they put in. First off, let’s talk about this frame a little bit… It is a very approachable step-through frame and has a low stand over height at just 24” from the ground. Adding to that all comfort are these high-volume tires. These are 26” x 3”, so with that greater width, you get more stability and comfort. There is not knobby tread, instead, they went with a more efficient and comfortable tread which makes this almost an upright cruiser. The tires have puncture protection, and they do a great job getting the bike up to speed. Speaking of comfort, the bike has a lot to go around, like the locking grips, comfy gel saddle, swept back handlebars, and special stem design called the ‘Stargazer’ that has a lighter, more robust, and comfortable rise to it compared to most. This bike seems to float on air thanks to the suspension.. the front is an SR SunTour XCM fork with 100mm of travel, lockout, and preload adjust. I love the battery integrated lights here, they have them both in the front and the rear. Safety has always been a priority for myself and other cyclists, so it’s nice to see that more and more companies are including these on ebikes. I should also mention that the back light is an active brake light when you press the brake levers…very cool! The bike also includes a kickstand in the rear. It is nice to have it back there since having it near the crank arm can produce ‘pedal lock’; an annoying occurrence that locks the pedals when you reverse a bike with the kickstand down. Luckily, this bike eliminates that by having it positioned further back. You also get a rear frame welded rack. This makes it pretty solid and it can hold about 50lbs max weight. The bike overall is rated for 350lbs max weight total.

Driving the bike is a Bafang 750 watt – 1000 watt peak hub motor, just as the name implies. This has about 80nm of torque and is a pretty strong and reliable setup. The bike has both cadence based pedal assist as well as a thumb throttle mounted on the left side of the handlebar. Mechanically, the bike is operated by a Shimano Tourney 7 speed system. It has 11-36 tooth cassette in the rear and a 48 tooth chain ring in the front. Shifting is done with this twist style grip shifter on the right. I will say that grip shifts are not my favorite, but it feels solid on this setup, so I can’t complain. Stopping the EVELO Aurora Hub Drive is a set of Tektro Aries mechanical disc brake rotors. The rotors are 160mm and I love that both of them have motor inhibitors built in to cut power to the motor when braking. Mechanical disc brakes are easy to maintain as well as adjust, however, they lack the immediate stopping power that hydraulic brakes offer. Mechanical brakes are still quite capable, but they take a little bit more hand actuation compared to hydraulic brakes.

Powering this bike is a large 48v 11.6ah lithium ion battery. This makes for a total of about 500 watt hours, so the bike is both powerful and able to hit decent ranges. It is located on the downtube and can be charged both on and off the bike. Removal is done via lock and key, and overall is pretty easy as you take it out from the side. Charging the battery is done via the included 2amp charger. Not the fastest, but I am told charging it at lower amps can reduce wear on the charging cycles over time. To really care for this and other lithium-ion packs, I have heard that storing in a cool dry location vs. extreme heat or cold will extend the life and try to keep it about 50% full when not using for long periods so you won’t stress the cells. Try not to let it run down to zero, because that’s really hard on the cell chemistry.

Operating the bike is simple enough. I’m kind of a control center geek and I always love to see comprehensive stats while riding. The control center on the Aurora does just that. It displays pretty much everything, including current speed, top speed, average speed, range, battery level, pedal assist mode, wattage output and more. More importantly, I could read it in direct sunlight! I love that it is color and uses an automotive motif. A big win here is that the battery power is listed in percentages. Some ebikes use just 4 or 5 ticks on the display to portray battery life. This can leave you guessing at the last tick. Do you have 25% battery life left? Do you have 2% left? You simply will have to guess. Not with this display… since it is written in percentages, you know exactly how much battery you have at all times. The only downside to this display was that it’s not removable, so I might worry about it getting dinged up when the bike is being parked or transported and just taking more sun and rain damage over time. It does however angle, and I love that the controls can be pressed easily by your left hand since they are positioned well as to keep your eyes on the road. I am told by double tapping the ‘i’ button, it will allow you to access a deeper menu where you can change electrical settings and such.

The Aurora Hub Drive is a extremely comfortable and powerful ride. I really found it to feel like an upright cruiser that works great as a commuter too. It is a more value priced ebike, so there are some tradeoffs to go over here. Other EVELO bikes like the Aries Mid Drive use a smoother CVT for mechanical gearing, so this Tourney seems a little on the basic side, plus it doesn’t have a large climbing range. However, the Tourney level of components have been improving over the years so it is not that bad. The front headlight is a great feature, but it is mounted on the fork, so you could get some bounce in visibility if you are going over bumps. Also, mechanical brakes lack the immediate stopping power of hydraulic, it would have been nice to see them on here, but, they do have to cut cost somewhere, so I am glad they added motor inhibitors to help with the mechanical braking. All in all, a good bike and I want to thank EVELO for letting me check it out!

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the EVELO ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • A value priced ebike with a focus on comfort with wider tires, hub-motor, gel saddle, approachable low stand over height, and front suspension
  • Features high-volume 26” x 3” tires with more stability and comfort, very efficient and comfortable tread, they include puncture protection, and they do a great job getting the bike up to speed
  • Front suspension via an SR SunTour XCM spring fork with 100mm of travel, lockout, and preload adjust, very comfortable and works well with the efficient high volume tires
  • Besides the suspension and tires, there is even more comfort here like locking grips, swept back handlebars, and special engineered stem design called the ’Stargazer’ that has a lighter, more robust, and comfortable rise to it compared to most
  • I love the battery integrated lights here, they have them both in the front and the rear, I should also mention that the back light is an active brake light when you press the brake levers, super cool!
  • This bike has a rear frame welded rack, this makes it pretty solid and it can hold about 50lbs max weight
  • Features a powerful Bafang 750 watt – 1000 watt peak hub motor, about 80nm of torque and is a pretty strong and reliable setup, both cadence based pedal assist as well as a thumb throttle
  • A large 48v 11.6ah lithium ion battery, this makes for a total of about 500 watt hours, so the bike is both powerful and able to hit decent ranges
  • Easy to read as well as control color display with multiple readouts and settings, and I love that the battery level is shown in percentages! I wish all bikes did this because it takes out the guess work of how much battery you have left versus infographics with a few bars
  • Shimano Tourney 7 speed system with a grip shifting system, mechanical disc brakes for easy adjustability and maintenance

Cons:

  • After riding the Aries Mid Drive, another bike from EVELO with a CVT for mechanical gearing, this Tourney setup seems a little on the basic side, plus it doesn’t have a large climbing range, but it still works well
  • The front headlight is a great feature, but it is mounted on the fork, so you could get some bounce in visibility if you are going over bumps, something to be aware of
  • Mechanical brakes lack the immediate stopping power of hydraulic, it would have been nice to see them on here, but, they do have to cut cost somewhere, so I am glad they added motor inhibitors to help with the mechanical braking
  • Minor gripe here, but the rear rack does not employ standard gaging tubing, so make sure that if you are getting panniers that you test fit them to make sure they work out for you on this setup
  • Charging the battery is done via the included 2amp charger, not the fastest, but I am told charging it at lower amps can reduce wear on the charging cycles over time, I wish larger 48v batteries like this all came with more than 2amps though, like a 2.5amp, 3amp, or even a 4amp

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