- Affordable entry level ebike that's one step up from the eZip Trailz, available in low-step and high-step frame designs
- Lithium-ion battery provides good range, durability and is mounted mid-frame for improved balance
- Adjustable stem and front suspension fork improve fit and ride quality, chain drive motor is loud and impalanced (mounted on the left side) makes servicing the wheel difficult
The eZip Skyline balances price against features and while the components it chooses are on the lower end, it offers a lot of value as an entry level electric bike. When compared with the eZip Trailz, which costs even less, the Skyline shines as being lighter weight, having a higher quality battery and a better frame design that creates a more balanced ride. It doesn’t offer lights, fenders or a fancy LCD computer but for under a thousand dollars it’s one of the best options available.
The motor used for the Skyline offers only 250 watts of power which is on the lower side for electric bikes. In Europe this size is standard due to regulations but in the US where 500 watt hub motors are commonplace, this can feel weaker. The top speed achievable is only 15 miles per hour (in throttle mode) and that helps extend range and provide more torque at the ideal RPM for the motor. All things considered, it works well and feels stronger than other 250 watt electric bikes.
The motor drives a chain which is attached to the rear wheel on the left side of the hub. On the right side of the hub is a standard six-speed cassette that takes input from the rider when pedaling. So there end up being two chains, one on the right side that you pedal to move and one on the left that the motor powers. This is a very unique setup in the world of ebikes where hub motors are dominant. The downside is that maintenance can be a real pain and there are more exposed parts that make noise and can rust. It’s worth noting that even though this seems a bit crazy, my experience has been pretty good with this bike and I’ve met many people who bought it as their first electric bike and have been very happy.
The real centerpiece of the eZip Skyline offering is the removable Lithium-ion battery pack that mounts just behind the seatpost. This thing is well protected, positioned inside the tubing that supports the rear wheel, and yet still easy to access. The pack itself has a metal casing and a plastic handle at the top which makes it easier to remove. It can be charged on or off the bike which is nice but it does require the key to be left in when riding which kind of bothers me. Many electric bikes require that the key be left in but it does make it more vulnerable to being kicked and broken. The A2B Metro used to have a key mounted on the downtube that would often get kicked and was expensive to replace. The Skyline is a step above that but still questionable in my mind.
For larger riders this bike may not be a perfect fit, due to the smaller motor, but it’s actually quite good. The higher torque motor combined with limited top speed of 15 miles per hour makes this a good transporter bike and worse case you can switch to pedal assist mode to help it get up those hills. At 52 pounds, this bike is on the lighter side and overall it works well in either diamond or step-through design for taller or shorter people.
You definitely get more of an entry level type of bike with the Skyline but it’s at the top of its class and one of my favorite models from eZip. For a bit extra you can upgrade to an IZIP (also manufactured by Currie Technologies) and get a hub motor design vs. side-mounted chain drive. It’s also worth calling out that I’ve seen many of these bikes on Craigslist over the years and to me that signals that they last and are still rideable even after use by the original owner. Some are more beat up than others but this is a good way to gauge adoption and possibly get yourself a good deal. Replacement battery packs, motors, chains and other parts can be found online, through local electric bike shops or from Currie directly to help service the bike.
- Lighter weight aluminum frame (when compared with the eZip Trailz that uses steel)
- Offers pedal assist and twist throttle mode for different ride styles
- Adjustable neck provides more versatility when dialing in the ergonomic setup but can get loose over time so make sure you tighten it every once in a while
- Higher end removable Lithium-ion battery pack is mounted low to the ground, provides greater lifetime of charges and comes with a 90 day warranty, big step up from the rear-mounted design
- Larger tires are extra thick to resist thorns and provide a bit of cushion when riding over small bumps and cracks
- Soft, sprung seat provides added comfort
- Great single-sided kickstand works well and stays out of the way
- Proven design has been on the market for many years and has had the kinks worked out
- Bike designed by Currie which is one of the leading international ebike brands
- Chain guide on front chainring helps keep chain from falling off
- Metal guard on rear derailleur protects delicate shifter mechanism
- Key must be left in when riding, jingles around a bit and could get broken more easily
- Side-mounted motor design is less balanced and harder to work on, more moving parts that can wear or rust since it drives a secondary chain
- Lower end components including the shock which lacks lockout
- V-brakes provide good stopping power but can lose some traction when rims get wet
- Relatively weaker 250 watt motor, still performs very well and offers good torque
- No lights, fenders or rack included but there are mounting points on the front and rear of the frame
- Harder to remove the rear wheel for service due to unique side-mounted motor and double-chain design