- A small sized cruiser electric bike with 24-inch wheels, it's easy to approach, has a comfortable sprung saddle, adjustable angle stem, and wide 2.4" tires for stability and vibration dampening
- Optional hydraulic disc brakes and automatic electric shifting are great for riders with limited hand strength or sensitive wrists, all brakes have motor inhibitors for safety, the mid-drive is smooth and quiet
- Available in two beautiful colors, comes with full length plastic fenders, lights and reflective tires for safety, and a clean, quiet belt drive system that won't fall off easily
- Battery weight is positioned high and towards the back which contributes to frame flex and just isn't as balanced, only one retail outlet means you might not get to test ride and have to order online, excellent customer support and warranty
To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by EVELO which has a flagship store in Seattle, Washington. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of EVELO products.
The Evelo Galaxy 24 is a unique and very special little electric bike. The original Galaxy comes in two frame styles (high-step and step-thru) with larger 27.5″ wheels which elevate the frame. For those of us who are a bit shorter, the 24 model could be an excellent option, one of the few ebikes designed with you in mind. This ebike comes in two configurations, the “fully loaded” model shown in the video delivers a unique belt drive and continuously variable transmission that works seamlessly with the quiet Bafang Max Drive motor… it gives you lights, fenders, a sturdy rear rack, and even comes in two colors. The deep wave step-thru frames can flex a bit (especially because the battery pack is mounted high up and in the rear vs. low and center), but notice the extra plating and reinforcement at the bottom of the downtube. The base model is $2,999, which gets you everything but hydraulic disc brakes and fancy electronic shifting. For people with wrist sensitivity or limited hand strength, the “Fully Loaded” upgrades are worth it and priced at $3,499. With this model, stopping is easier, the brake levers are adjustable so you can bring them in a bit, and the grip shifter is sending electrical signals vs. pulling a physical wire (which can stretch out over time and require some adjustment). EVELO also sells a range of accessories like bags and locks. This is a company that really stands out for their customer support and post-purchase service, especially for an online-mostly business model. Yes, they do have a physical store in Seattle, Washington (which I visited for this review) but most of their sales happen over the Internet and via phone. You get a comprehensive two year warranty along with four years of extended coverage and a special battery replacement plan where you pay based on a sliding scale for how long you’ve had the bike. I was amazed to see some of the earliest EVELO electric bicycle models still being supported when I visited the shop, even being refurbished and sold at a discount. This behavior is inspiring, and full of effort and care, but they keep on doing it! The company has been around since what I would consider the early days of electric bicycles in the United States, circa 2012.
Driving the Galaxy 24 is a Bafang Max Drive, one of my favorite mid-motors to hit the market in recent years. It’s powerful, putting out 350 to 750 watts, and it can definitely climb, with peak torque rated at 80 newton meters. For those who are new to the space, that’s in the upper range, what you would normally see on electric mountain bikes. It’s also very compact, quiet, and responsive. I never felt like the motor was running longer than expected or delaying to start (which can cause muscle and knee pain if you’re sensitive like me). The motor is right there when you need it, measuring a combination of rear wheel speed and pedal torque. But stopping is important too, so it’s great that Evelo has opted for the fancier brake levers with integrated switches that cut power to the motor whenever they are pulled. This results in a bit of clutter near the front of the bike (brake lines, motor inhibitor wires, shifter cables, display panel and throttle wires) but almost immediately after, they are channeled through the frame and hidden from view. This also keeps them protected from snags while pedaling or transporting the bike. One frustrating thing about the throttle is that it will not engage unless the bike is already going 6+ miles per hour. This means that there are times when riding in a low gear and climbing that the bike just won’t go fast enough to use the throttle… and yet, if you shift to a higher gear, it could strain the motor. I wish the limit was more like 2 miles per hour vs. 6 mph as that is the setting on most other systems that opt for a speed limitation. Furthermore, not being able to use the throttle from standstill means that you have to pedal to get going, and that’s exactly the moment when I most wish I had support. To be fair, pedal assist is very responsive, so it’s not a deal-killer to have to pedal a bit. For those who prefer a twist throttle to the trigger design here, and need the smaller 24″ frame, consider the similarly priced Pedego 24″ Step-Thru Interceptor which does have throttle from standstill.
Powering the motor, backlit display panel, and front and rear lights is a rack mounted Lithium-ion battery. It offers slightly higher than average capacity at 36 volts 13 amp hours, and can be charged on or off the frame with the basic 2 Amp charger. When you mount the battery to the rack, you have to use the key to lock it in place. I noticed that during some of my ride tests, on very bumpy streets, the battery and plastic fenders made some rattling noise. Not a whole lot, but more than some Aluminum fenders and mid-mounted or downtube-integrated battery packs I have seen on other products. The battery position is not ideal for handling, and I did notice some speed wobble when riding with no hands during part of the test with the full sized model. I feel like the smaller 24″ frame is stiffer and speed wobble is less of an issue. Speed wobble happens in some cases based on weight distribution, frame stiffness, and headtube angle. Basically, the front wheel can start to shake a bit from side to side and become unstable, but this doesn’t seem to be an issue at slower speeds and if you hold the handlebars. Smaller wheels tend to be stronger than big ones, but sometimes aren’t as comfortable because they contain lower air volume and don’t span cracks as easily… they sort of fall into holes and cracks, if that makes sense, but the width here is 2.4″ which improves stability and does introduce some extra air volume to get a bit more comfort back. Anyway, the best part of the battery for me, is that it is covered by that great warranty and is positioned out of the way so mounting and standing over the frame is a cinch. This e-bike is very approachable and the adjustable angle stem and swept back handlebars allow you to dial it in perfectly for your body size and preferred body position (I prefer upright). The saddle height is very easy to adjust up and down with its quick release seat post binder, and I love the faux leather sprung saddle and ergonomic grips.
Powering on and controlling the electric drive systems is pretty easy with this bike and the display unit is large and crisp, making it easy to read. Once the battery pack is charged and mounted, simply press the M button at the base of the control pad and the LCD will blink to life, showing your current speed, assist level, odometer and other stats. The control ring also has an up and down arrow, which let you navigate from 0 to 5 for different levels of assist. As mentioned earlier, the throttle does not work at level zero, and you need to be going at least six miles per hour for it to function. A few quick tips for using this control system: hold up and M to switch from average speed to max speed readouts, hold up on its own to activate the display backlight, hold the down arrow to initiate walk mode. Walk mode one can be useful if the bike is loaded with groceries or you’re in grass but preferring to walk vs. ride. Note that the display panel can be swiveled forward and back to reduce glare, but is not removable. So there could be some weather exposure and scratches from parking outside and at bike racks over time. Also note, the throttle and control ring are both mounted to the left part of the handle bar, and reaching the buttons requires that you reach over the throttle mount which can be a stretch for smaller hands. Some people prefer having the throttle on the right side, but that isn’t possible due to the grip shifter for the NuVinci N380. All in all, the cockpit works well enough and the swept-back handlebar is comfortable and relaxed.
Even though I’ve expressed some complaints here, the Evelo Galaxy 24 is one of the more approachable, powerful, and dynamic cruiser style electric bikes I have seen that comes in a smaller size for petite riders. I love that there are two color schemes that appear fairly gender neutral. The belt drive is clean, quiet, and more reliable than a chain. The continuously variable transmission is not as vulnerable to the forces of a mid-drive motor as an internally geared hub or traditional cassette+derailleur would be, especially because the Bafang Max Drive motor does not have shift detection. The NuVinci N380 definitely adds to the price and weight, but tends to be very reliable. The addition of bottle cage bosses, thicker spokes, and a max weight rating of 300+ lbs makes this a great platform for many uses and types of people. Big thanks to EVELO for inviting me out to test ride several models back to back, it was neat to explore Seattle and meet directly with a product engineer to get feedback! There were people swimming, the day was beautiful, and we really got to stress test the bikes on some steep hills. It was incredible just how strong the bikes were when climbing, and I was relatively comfortable on the sprung saddle despite there being no suspension fork or seat post suspension. The tires, swept back bar, padded grips, and saddle provide good enough comfort. As always, I welcome comments below and invite you to share pictures, stories, and connect with other owners in the EVELO Forums.
- 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
- I really like the motor they chose for the Galaxy line of electric bikes, the Bafang Max Drive unit is powerful, efficient, and super quiet, if you opt for the belt drive and continuously variable transmission (shown in the images and video above) it performs near perfectly because you don’t have to worry about mashing gears or the chain falling off
- The frame and wheelset on this bike felt very solid, considering it is built around a deep wave “step-thru” design, it’s rated to 300+ lbs, the benefit is that it’s approachable; easier to mount and stand over
- The faux leather saddle and matching grips look nice but are also soft and comfortable, the swept back bar and spring design on the saddle offer just enough cushion to help smooth out vibration and bumps, which is especially nice given the smaller 24-inch wheels
- Even though this electric bicycle only comes in one frame size, you can get a larger step-thru Galaxy ST or high-step frame Galaxy TT with 27.5″ wheels vs. 24″ here
- I like that they offer two colors for this ebike, so you can express your style or keep them separate if you get two, the gloss blue and gloss gray are unique and look good
- It’s really expensive to develop a frame that can work with belt drives, so that’s a big deal and something that really sets the Evelo Galaxy models apart, they had to engineer a cutout on the rear right seat stay for the belt to go through since it cannot be unlinked like a chain
- The motor is very capable, offering up to 80 Newton meters of peak torque, it should be able to climb anything as long as you shift down to a lower gear, 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
- I appreciate that the downtube has bottle cage bosses, if you add a cage here it could get kicked but at least you have the choice, you could also add a folding lock or mini-pump which wouldn’t stick out as far
- It’s cool that Evelo has some “guaranteed to fit” accessory options like the quicklock chain and the trunk bag with zip-out panniers, I like the bag a lot because it’s reflective and has some Evelo branding on it
- Safety is very important to me and it becomes especially important when riding on a smaller ebike, lower to the ground, so the reflective tires and integrated lights are a big win here… especially the rear light, which goes bright when you pull the brake levers!
- I was told that Evelo uses A and B rated high-quality lithium-ion 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, it has an on/off toggle switch to stop phantom power draw or tampering with the display at bike racks, and there’s a replaceable fuse to protect it if cells fail
- The LCD is large, uses color, has an automatic light sensor built in, lists a range estimate, and shows your battery percentage vs. five bars (as is the case on many other less precise displays)
- Very few electric bikes offer the Harmony electronic shifting that we see here, 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 that could be a big win for someone with sensitive wrists or strength limitations
- It’s nice that the bike comes with a tool-free adjustable angle stem because you can further refine fit, some people might want an upright body position while others prefer forward or maybe have longer arms and this stem allows for that… just make sure the bolt stays tight because sometimes they can loosen up over time on bumpy terrain or going off curbs
- Interestingly, even though the battery and heavier NuVinci CVP hub are towards the rear of the bike, it balanced out well when we lifted just in front of the saddle
- EVELO went the extra mile to stock a larger 55 tooth chainring vs. a 50 tooth on the larger Galaxy models, and this balances out the pedal cadence given the smaller 24″ wheel size, great job!
- I was told that the bikes ship 95% assembled and don’t require as much effort to setup as traditional bicycles that arrive to bike shops, it comes with a little tool kit with everything you need to get going and shipping is free in the contiguous USA
- Unlike the larger Galaxy models, the EVELO Galaxy 24″ comes with a single sided kickstand vs. double-leg, so it’s not as stable to load and the kickstand actually gets in the way of the left crank arm if you walk the bike backwards without first stowing it
- Priced at $3,499 for the “fully loaded” model, this is definitely one of the more expensive electric bikes that isn’t from one of the big brands like Trek or Specialized, but it does really pack in the features (electronic shifting, belt drive, continuously variable transmission) so I think it’s actually worth it, the base model is $2,999
- 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
- I wish the throttle would activate at 2 mph instead of 6 mph because in the lower gears when climbing it isn’t able to go as fast and the throttle might not work… so you’ll have to pedal to activate assist
- The Galaxy models are definitely on the heavy side, this one weighs about 57.2 pounds, and some of that is due to the reinforced frame, fenders, and rack, as well as the continuously variable transmission hub, note also that some of the weight is high up and towards the back (in that battery pack) which is not ideal for handling or stability, I did experience some speed wobble when riding with no hands because of the weight distribution, but at least it opens up the main section of frame for easier mounting
- Make sure that the battery is actually locked into position before you ride away, it doesn’t automatically lock in without you turning the key so I’d probably double check it before riding
- I don’t know a lot about the tires on this bike but it appears they do not have puncture protection lining, considering how expensive this electric bike is, that sort of bums me out… fixing a flat tire on an electric bike is no fun, especially with the fancy NuVinci CVT and belt drive, it may be difficult to find 24-inch tires with puncture resistant lining so just keep an eye on the tire pressure and avoid thorns
- I’ve experienced a bit softness or drag when pedaling with the NuVinci planetary geared hubs and was told that the traction fluid inside creates this feeling, and that there’s a break-in period of roughly 500 miles, but it’s not such a big deal with the mid-drive motor, only if you are trying to pedal without power on a brand new bike
- The rear rack blocks the saddle from being able to go all the way down and I discovered that the seat post collides at the base of the seat tube, so you’d need to cut it to go lower and maybe slide the saddle all the way forward to get to the absolute minimum possible saddle height
- The display panel is not removable, but you can adjust its angle to reduce glare and there is a full sized USB port built into the base, so you can charge portable electronics on the go
- Official Site: https://www.evelo.com/electric-bicycles/galaxy-24/
- More Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4BjKdnVMDWW5HyEDA