2018 EVELO Aurora Review


Technical Specs & Ratings





Class 2


Front Suspension



Mechanical Disc



499.2 Wh

499.2 Wh

64.3 lbs / 29.19 kgs



Frame Details

6061 Aluminum Alloy


Front Suspension


SR Suntour NEX, Spring Suspension, 63 mm Travel, Preload Clickers, 100 mm Hub Spacing, 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

HCL, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 45 mm Outer Width, 36 Hole, Black | Spokes: Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Silver with Adjustable Brass Nipples

CST Sensamo Control, 26" x 2.0", 40 to 60 PSI, 2.8 to 4.5 BAR, Reflective Sidewall Stripes, Puncture Protection Level 1, E-Bike Approved 25 km/h



Premium: C8 Half-Grip Twist, Fully Loaded: H8 Half-Grip Twist on Right Bar

Bafang AC08-2 Alloy Crank Arms, 170 mm Length, 46 Tooth Chainring

Fully Loaded: NuVinci N380 Harmony HI8 (Fully Automatic Electronic Shifting System)

Premium: NuVinci N380 Mechanical Continuously Variable Transmission, Fully Loaded: NuVinci N380 Harmony HI8 (Fully Automatic Electronic Shifting System)

18 Tooth Sprocket

46 Tooth Chainring


NECO, Semi-Integrated, Sealed Cartridge Bearing, Threadless Pressed-In Cups, 1-1/8" Straight

Promax, 90 mm Length, 25° Rise, 15 mm Headset Cap, Three 10 mm Spacer

HL AL 124, Swept Back, Aluminum Alloy, 70 mm Rise, 40° Back Sweep, 640 mm Length

Velo, Rubber, Ergonomic

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Two Bolt Forged Head


Velo Plush, Faux Leather, Black

Wellgo LU-C33 Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Mechanical Disc

Premium Model: Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Four-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors and Rubber Edges, Fully Loaded Model: Tektro Auriga E-Comp Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro 3-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors and Adjustable Reach

More Details

Upright, Upright Relaxed

2 Year Comprehensive, 4 Year (20,000 mile) Frame, Battery (amortized replacement), Motor, Controller

United States, Canada


17.5, 19.5

Medium: 17.5" Seat Tube, 23.5" Reach, 16.5" Stand Over Height, 30.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 26.5" Width, 73" Length, Large: 19.5" Seat Tube, 24.25" Reach, 17.5" Stand Over Height, 34" Minimum Saddle Height, 25.75" Width, 72.5" Length

Gloss White, Gloss Black

Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Premium Model: Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Four-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors and Rubber Edges, Fully Loaded Model: Tektro Auriga E-Comp Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro 3-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors and Adjustable Reach

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

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EVELO has been selling the Aurora since 2012 and it’s one of their most popular models. The bike has undergone some major upgrades in recent years, switching to a Bafang BBS02 mid-drive that is powerful and fast compared to their older canister motor which you can see here and here in earlier reviews. Two benefits that set this ebike apart from their other step-thru models (the Galaxy ST and Galaxy 24) are a mid-frame battery that improves balance, and throttle from standstill vs. 6mph starting point. One drawback is the use of a cadence sensor vs. a fancier torque sensor. In many ways, I feel that the throttle from standstill overcomes the drawbacks of a less sophisticated pedal assist sensor. And, starting at ~$3k, this product delivers excellent utility because it ships with fenders, a chain cover, integrated lights, and decent reflective tires. EVELO does have a showroom, located in Seattle, Washington, where you can visit for test rides… but most customers will probably buy online and have it shipped direct. The bike comes mostly assembled and shipping is free in the contiguous USA, but there’s still some extra effort moving the big box, disposing of the shipping materials, and figuring things out yourself. This company is actually one of the longest operating ebike sellers in North America and their products have improved a lot in terms of performance and quality in recent years. The availability of two sizes and the step-thru frame design makes it easy to approach and comfortable to handle with a low stand-over position and minimum saddle height. The swept-back handlebar is easy to reach and comfortable to grasp with rubberized ergonomic grips. One of the neatest and most unique aspects of this model, compared to many other e-bikes, is the NuVinci N380 continuously variable transmission hub at the rear. You can shift gears (gear ratios) on this electric bike without pedaling or even moving, and there’s no derailleur or cassette to deal with. The NuVinci adds a bit of weight and isn’t as efficient to pedal with, but makes riding a lot easier. For those who are willing to spend an additional $1,000 to upgrade form the “Premium” trim level to “Fully Loaded”, the Aurora can be outfitted with an electronically shifted NuVinci Harmony that doesn’t require as much hand effort to shift. The Harmony has two settings, an orange readout where you select ratios just like the mechanical N380, but the grip shifter twists easier because it isn’t pulling any cables… and a blue readout where you set a comfortable pedal cadence and pressure then let the bike automatically shift for you. The Fully Loaded setup also comes with hydraulic disc brakes that require less hand effort to use, a more powerful motor configuration, and a higher capacity battery pack. It’s something I would strongly consider for an environment like Seattle, which has lots of hills.

Driving the bike is a Bafang BBS02 mid-motor that I have reviewed independently, as an add-on kit for non electric bicycles. It has become one of the most popular kits on the market based on power, price point, and reliability, but it can be tricky to install. In kit form, this motor bolts on to the bottom bracket and protrudes down and forward, which looks a bit ugly and lowers ground clearance. You also have to deal with a mess of wires and introduce high torque forces to a frame and drivetrain that probably weren’t meant for it. All of this is addressed by EVELO with their purpose built frame and drivetrain. The BBS02 motor controller isn’t as fancy as the Bafang Max Drive (used on other EVELO models), because it relies solely on pedal cadence sensor vs. a combination of pedal cadence and torque. The downsides are that you can mash gears more easily and the starts and stops aren’t as smooth and fluid. By using the NuVinci CVT systems, EVELO eliminates mashing gear-grinding potential and allows you to start smoothly by using a variable speed trigger throttle. EVELO has custom designed their frame to surround the motor unit, which looks beautiful and adds some protection and noise reduction. This motor is a great fit in both form and function for the Aurora, in my opinion, and delivers 500 watts to 700 watts stock with 90 newton meters of torque. The “Fully Loaded” upgrade moves to a power range of 750 watts to 1,000 watts output and up to 95 newton meters of torque. The frame is available in two color schemes, black or white, and the motor casing, fork, and rear rack are all color matched to look cohesive. The black option looks especially good, in my opinion, because the wire tubes, battery shell, chainring, fenders, and other hardware are black by default, so basically… everything is black on that model and the battery stands out less. However, the semi-metallic white can be a safer color choice because it is more reflective, increasing your visual footprint from the side at night. Motor and battery weight are positioned low and center on this frame, I didn’t experience much frame flex, and the EVELO team told me that the maximum weight rating is 300lbs vs. just 250lbs on most competing products. Weighing in at 64.3lbs total, this is not the lightest electric bike I’ve reviewed, but it’s nice to know that it’s sturdy, especially if you load the rear rack with supplies. It’s worth noting that the rear rack is welded directly to the bike frame and uses thicker tubing for strength. One the one hand, that’s great for durability (you won’t have a bolt-on rack rattling loose over time)… but the trade-off is limited compatibility with panniers and child seats without a special adapter. This is not the case for the EVELO Galaxy models! However, some of their load capacity is used up by a 7.4lb battery pack.

The Aurora battery weighs just 7.2lbs and clicks into the downtube from the left side. It’s removable, so you can shave some weight off before lifting and servicing the bike. The pack can be charged on or off the frame and the included charger is fairly basic and standard in terms of charge speed, but very lightweight and portable. The frame has a locking cylinder on the right, where you insert and twist a key to get the battery off. The pack seems pretty well protected from the bottom and sides but could definitely take some scuffs and scrapes from the top if you don’t lift your foot all the way up and over when mounting and dismounting. Offering 48 volts and 10.4 amp hours stock, it’s a powerful and capable battery pack… especially when paired with the mid-drive motor. The “Fully Loaded” upgrade moves to 11.6 amp hours for increased range (499.2 total watt hours vs. 556.8 total watt hours) and that’s great for people who intend to rely on the throttle more or tap into the two USB charging ports that EVELO has added to the base of the display and side of the battery. Keep in mind, the front and rear lights also run off of the battery, but don’t draw much power. I love having USB ports to tap into because they could be used to maintain a smartphone to be used for GPS. Perhaps you stop for a picnic or camping, the battery can be removed and set near your gear to run a light or portable USB stereo. Pretty cool… Inside the battery casing are 18650 sized lithium ion cells which EVELO has identified as A and B rated (in terms of quality), and likely coming from Samsung or LG. One thing that has always set EVELO apart from other online direct-order electric bike sellers is their excellent phone support and warranty. You can call and speak with one of their US-based customer service reps in the Seattle shop and get replacement parts shipped out very quickly. It was interesting to visit in person because I could see the large variety of parts still available for the older models. With a four year warranty on everything except the battery (which is pro-rated in price after the first two years), EVELO is definitely confident in their products. They tend to design a platform and stick with it for many years. This exact battery pack design is unique to the Aurora, but I suspect it may pop up again on other models in the coming year or two because it works so well. That can be handy because it allows you to purchase multiple bikes that all share the same battery source for extended individual rides, taking two batteries along.

Operating the bike is a cinch because all of the control buttons are positioned within reach of the left grip and the display is large and bright, making it easy to read. Once the battery pack has been charged and mounted to the frame, you can press the power button to get it started. The panel is branded as EVELO but comes from Bafang (just like the motor) and is called the DPC-18. It shows all of the standard readouts like battery capacity and speed, but does so in a more precise and fun way than a lot of competing products. I like that the battery infographic shows an actual percentage vs. just five or ten bars, which aren’t as precise. Taking up the center area is a circle gauge that shows current speed and watt output (denoting motor power). Towards the bottom are trip stats including trip meter, odometer, max speed, and average speed. I was a bit confused for a moment when conducting this review, because I noticed that when cycling through the trip stats, by pressing i on the button pad, there were a few readouts that didn’t always show up. Those include range estimate, calories, and ride time. What I discovered, after some experimentation, was that these readouts become inaccessible once you’ve used the up and down buttons to change assist level. They are only available initially, and I suspect that this is a software bug from Bafang. You basically have to turn the bike off, by holding the power button for a few seconds, and then turn it back on gain to gain access to these readouts… and this resets both calories and ride time. So, you basically have to stay in the default assist level 1 to be able to reach these menus, or navigate to them before changing assist (which ranges from 0-5). Considering that most ebikes don’t even offer these three readouts, I don’t want to complain too much… but I am disappointed that Bafang didn’t catch this at the factory (because it probably affects hundreds of other ebike models and kits that rely on the same display). Bafang is a leading electric bike motor manufacturer but they can be rigid to work with from what I’ve observed. The 6mph throttle start is something that really frustrates me with the Max Drive used on the Galaxy models… why do they have that annoying setting for that motor but not for the BBS02? Anyway, the display menu limitation bug is not just limited to the Aurora model, but all other EVELO ebikes with the color DPC-18 display as well. I like that the display can be swiveled to reduce glare and that button pad has a dedicated light button so it’s simpler to understand and use than some other products I’ve seen. It would be nice if the display was fully removable, so it could be kept out of the weather and away from scratches and bumps at bike racks. I’m not sure that the color screen was necessary vs. backlit grayscale, but it does look nice. I also appreciate how open the display settings are. You can double tap the i button to adjust things like units units (mph or km/h), display brightness, automatic power off time setting, levels of pedal assist (3, 5, or 9), different readout styles or views, trip reset, wheel size, speed limit, ambient light sensitivity (for automatic lights turning on), password, and clock. You can also check on the battery status (number of cycles and health) as well as any error codes and self diagnostics. The bike ships with a 20mph cutoff to comply with Class 2 laws in the US, but that can be lowered for people who might not be comfortable going so fast. On the flip side, the top speed can actually be raised to ~25mph for near Class 3 performance, to reduce commute times. Given the slightly larger tires, thicker spokes, reinforced frame, and excellent battery position on this model, I did feel comfortable coasting faster down some of the large hills we checked out near the shop in Seattle. I did not experience speed wobble or much frame flex.

In conclusion, I came away feeling very impressed with the 2018 EVELO Aurora and suspect that it won’t change much for the coming years. EVELO does a lot of work to get their products setup right and then they tend to stick with them, focusing on marketing and customer support activities. The product isn’t completely perfect; the wire leading to the rear light can get pulled out as the fender bounces around or if the rack is loaded up with objects poking down. The rack itself is sturdy (not sturdy enough to sit on) but doesn’t work with most of the clip-on panniers and child seats I asked about. Comfort is addressed to a limited extent by the basic spring suspension fork, but it doesn’t have lockout options. You can pre-load the shock by adjusting the plastic clickers under two plastic caps at the top of the crown… try to adjust them in unison for consistent performance. The headlight is positioned on the top of the suspension arch which travels up and down vs. being sprung, and the pedals are a bit narrow for my taste, but won’t cut your shins if you slip off because they have rubberized tread. Basic pedal upgrades are very affordable. I really appreciate that both brake levers have motor inhibitors that override the cadence sensor and trigger throttle, cutting power to the motor when pulled. This is the case for both the stock mechanical brakes and upgraded hydraulic brakes! The cockpit is fairly intuitive and clean, but the addition of motor inhibitors and trigger throttle does introduce some wire clutter up front. Most of the wires are internally routed through the frame to improve aesthetics and reduce the potential for snags, and I love that the chain is kept on track with a plastic guide and the outside of the motor casing… but the truth is, it probably wouldn’t fall off anyway because there’s only one chainring and one rear sprocket. This bike rides fairly quietly because the chain and fenders don’t bounce around. I took it over bumpy sections of road in Seattle and even rode it across grass and dirt to test this. The motor does create a whirring noise, especially at high speed and high power, but it was as quiet or quieter than average. Loading the bike should be fairly easy with the double leg kickstand at the middle, but this stand does hang down more than a side mounted design, and could take some curb strikes. I appreciate having walk mode built into the drive system (just hold the down arrow and the bike will slowly drive itself forward), and like how the display dims down when the lights are active. It was neat to ride with the shop lead on two of the Aurora models because I could see how it looked and notice things like brake light activation (the rear light turns on whenever the brakes are pulled). Note that the throttle on this particular EVELO model is not active in assist level zero… unlike some other products from them. You have to be in 1-5 and then it provides full power. Level zero can be used to run the lights and read your speed and other stats while pedaling like a normal bicycle. Yes, you can pedal this (and almost all electric bikes) without motor support, they just weigh more ;) Big thanks to EVELO for partnering with me on this post and inviting me out to their headquarters to see a few models back to back… which was especially useful when comparing the Aurora and Galaxy models. We saw some electric bikeshare products while cycling around Seattle and I was reminded of the benefits of slightly higher speeds (the Lime E tops out around 16mph), the benefits of a throttle (to help get started from standstill), and how nice it is to have a low stand over height and low battery and motor weight.


  • EVELO has been in business selling electric bikes in the United States longer than most of the other brands I have reviewed for, since 2012, they offer one of the best warranties and proactive customer service that I would rank close to the top, their staff is on hand answering phones 7 days a week (during business hours) and they all speak English really well and know the bikes
  • The Aurora model is made in two frame sizes, the seat can be lowered pretty far down, and the swept-back handlebars are comfortable to reach, consider the Galaxy 24 or one of the folding models if you’re looking for something a bit smaller
  • The motor is very capable, offering up to 90 Newton meters of peak torque, it should be able to climb anything as long as you shift down to a lower gear, shifting can be done at standstill and you don’t have to worry about mashing gears since it uses a continuously variable transmission
  • I’ve reviewed the stand alone BBS02 drive unit and usually it sticks out and sort of hangs in front of or below the bottom bracket, reducing ground clearance and not looking super clean and integrated… I love how EVELO has surrounded the drive unit with paint-matched alloy for protection and aesthetics
  • I like that both brake levers have motor inhibitors that cut power instantly when pulled so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the power of the bike, this is especially nice given the cadence sensor vs. a torque or multi sensor setup
  • Stable double-leg kickstand makes the bike easy to load up, it’s especially usefu if you’re someone who commutes or would ride this to the store for groceries
  • Minor pro, the bike has bottle cage bosses on the seat tube! It’s nice to have this option, even though some accessories could get in the way when mounting the frame, consider a folding lock or schrader valve compatible mini pump
  • It’s cool that EVELO has some “guaranteed to fit” accessory options like the quicklock chain, trunk bag with zip-out panniers, and suspension seat post… I like the bag a lot because it’s reflective and has some EVELO branding on it
  • I was told that EVELO uses A and B rated high-quality battery cells, and I like that their battery pack can be charged on or off the bike because that means you can store it inside away from the cold or heat to help protect it and last longer, the battery position is low and centered for maximum stability
  • Very few electric bikes offer the Harmony electronic shifting drivetrain and I noticed that the grip shifter was so easy to turn with this option, it didn’t require the same hand strength to use and won’t get gunked up or stretched out over time, this could be a big win for someone with sensitive wrists or strength limitations
  • The fully loaded upgrade package is actually a very good value, in my opinion, because it includes the Harmony electronic shifter, hydraulic disc brakes, a motor power upgrade, and higher capacity battery pack, all for just $1,000
  • I really like that the throttle activates from zero, that is not the case for the Galaxy models because they use a different motor (the bike must be going ~6mph for the throttle to work on those bikes)
  • If you opt for the more affordable Premium trim level, it’s cool that you still get rubberized brake levers and an upgraded NuVinci drivetrain, it really seems like EVELO doesn’t use cheap components on any of their bikes
  • I love that the display panel has a full sized USB Type A port built into the base, so you can charge your smartphone while riding or add an additional light, speakers, or other electronic accessory and tap into the big battery… the battery itself also has a full sized USB Type A port, so you can take it off the bike and charge your phone during a picnic or camping trip :)
  • This display is large and in color, so it’s easy to read, the menus are intuitive and you can even go into the settings menu (by double tapping the i button) to adjust brightness, units, and even the top speed! The Aurora ships with a set speed of 20mph, but you can lower it or raise it up to 25mph for faster commuting
  • Many step-thru single tube wave style frames like the Aurora suffer from frame flex, but that wasn’t as much of an issue here because of the thicker tubing and gusset plate where the seat tube meets the main tube; I appreciate how most of the ebike weight like the motor and battery are kept low and center for stability and balance when mounting and riding
  • Minor thing here, the pedals they chose are pretty good for this type of ebike, I appreciate the sturdy platform and rubberized tread that won’t slip and scrape you as easily, for those with larger feet (and wet conditions), I would consider upgrading to a larger Wellgo BMX platform like these
  • The bike is rated up to 300lbs, which is more than average for electric bicycles; it felt very sturdy to me and I noticed that the rims and spokes had been upgraded for added strength and durability
  • You should stay relatively clean and dry when riding this ebike because it comes with durable plastic fenders and a clear plastic chain cover, this is especially relevant in Seattle (where the EVELO showroom store is) and for people who wear skirts or dresses that can hang down a bit
  • It appears that the tires both have some level of puncture protection, which is great because of the added weight of the bike, the non-quick release rear wheel, and the slightly more complex horizontal dropout
  • I’m a big safety nut, so it’s wonderful to see reflective tires and integrated LED lights that come stock with this model… the lights run off of the main battery pack and aren’t as vulnerable to theft at bike racks, I love that the rear light activates whenever either brake lever is pulled as a secondary feature of the motor inhibitors
  • The bike is very quiet, the fenders didn’t rattle much and the chain didn’t bounce around during my test rides (because there’s no extra slack in the chain, because it doesn’t use a derailleur)


  • EVELO has done the right thing by adding motor inhibitors on both brake levers, but the extra wires up front can get a bit cluttered and messy looking, thankfully, once they curve back towards the frame they are mostly internally routed
  • This ebike is definitely on the heavy side, weighing about 64lbs, and some of that is due to the reinforced frame, fenders, rack, spring suspension fork, and continuously variable transmission hub which contains a special elastohydrodynamic traction fluid, but again, at least most of the motor and battery weight is low and centered vs. up on the rear rack like the older EVELO Aurora model
  • As cool as the NuVinci CVT hubs are, they don’t shift as quickly or pedal as efficiently as traditional cassette cogs and derailleurs, that’s part of what you trade for the durability and ability to shift at standstill
  • The kickstand hangs down a bit low, I didn’t have and issue with it dragging at all when I turned sharp, it just made me wonder if there would be times when it bangs on curbs or other obstacles
  • The throttle power is somewhat limited by whatever pedal assist level you choose if you’re already pedaling, if you simply use the throttle on its own, then you get full power… this threw me off a bit at first but is much better than if the throttle was always set to match the pedal assist level
  • As cool as the rear rack is, EVELO did not use standard gauge tubing, so it isn’t compatible with most clip-on panniers or child seats like the Yepp Nexxt Maxi, which requires slightly narrower tubing (up to 16mm vs. the Aurora’s 25mm) to clamp onto; I’m not aware of a child seat that is officially compatible with this rack but do welcome input in the comments below and have been told that perhaps this rack adapter from Yepp could make it work with their child seat :)
  • Very minor complaint here, the ergonomic grips look decent and feel good but are not locking, which means that they can twist out of position if you really grab on hard, you could upgrade to some Ergon twist grip models like these pretty easily and inexpensively
  • Maybe the saddle needed to be broken in, but it just didn’t feel great to me… I appreciate the ergonomic cutout in the center but feel that the two mounds are too raised and convex vs. a flatter (but still supple) saddle from Selle Royal like these
  • The suspension fork is pretty basic… I love that it’s color matched in black or white, but there’s no lockout adjust and the preload clickers can be tricky to access under the plastic caps (on each side of the crown) and they must be twisted the same number of clicks on each side to stay balanced
  • Minor consideration, the headlight is mounted to the arch of the suspension fork and is “unsprung” meaning it could bounce up and down compared to if it was mounted to the higher “sprung” portions fo the frame… at least it stays out of the way up high and you can add an additional light as part of their safety package upgrade and charge off of the built-in USB port on the display
  • The rear light on one of our demo bikes was not working because the power cable had been pulled out, it looks like the cable runs through the rear fender and could get bounced around and bumped when loading the rear rack, I asked about this and was told that it’s easier to repair than if the wire was run through the frame tubing at least
  • Considering how nice the LCD display unit is, I was a little bummed out that it is not easily removable (for protection from the sun, rain, and scratches at bike racks, but at least it’s protected at the center of the handlebar and by the bigger swept back design of the bars
  • I discovered a bug with the Bafang DPC-18 display panel, if you change the level of assist by arrowing up or down… the range, calories, and ride time readouts are not available, but if you first cycle through to range using the i button, you can then arrow up or down to see more details

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