eZip Trailz Commuter Review

Ezip Trailz Commuter Electric Bike Review 1
Ezip Trailz Commuter
Ezip Trailz Commuter Battery Pack Switch
Ezip Trailz Commuter Cassette Motor Chain
Ezip Trailz Commuter Chain Guard
Ezip Trailz Commuter Fender Suspension
Ezip Trailz Shifter Throttle Handle Bars
Ezip Trailz Commuter 450 Watt Motor
Ezip Trailz Commuter Electric Bike Review 1
Ezip Trailz Commuter
Ezip Trailz Commuter Battery Pack Switch
Ezip Trailz Commuter Cassette Motor Chain
Ezip Trailz Commuter Chain Guard
Ezip Trailz Commuter Fender Suspension
Ezip Trailz Shifter Throttle Handle Bars
Ezip Trailz Commuter 450 Watt Motor

Summary

  • Affordable entry level electric bike with a unique side-mounted chain drive motor that can make truing wheels, replacing tires and fixing flats more difficult
  • Offers seat post shock, suspension fork, fenders, chain guard and ergonomic grips for comfort
  • Less powerful 25.6 volt battery, rear heavy design, entry level components all around

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

eZip

Model:

Trailz Commuter

Price:

$999 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

6 Month Comprehensive, Original Owner

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

65 lbs (29.48 kg) (Step-Thru Frame ~64 lbs)

Battery Weight:

5 lbs (2.26 kg)

Frame Material:

Steel

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

White

Frame Fork Details:

Basic Suspension

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano

Shifter Details:

SRAM Twist Grip on Left Bar

Pedals:

Plastic Platform

Handlebar:

Mid-Rise

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Puncture Resistant

Tube Details:

Pre-Slimed

Accessories:

Derailleur Guard, Front and Rear Fenders, Flick Bell, Rear Carry Rack, Chain Guide, Kickstand, Optional Extra Battery Pack $400

Other:

Motor is Side-Mounted (Left Side) and Drives a Chain Connected to Rear Hub, Offers PAS (Pedal Assist) Mode and TAG (Twist and Go) Mode, Removable Battery for Charging on or Off Frame

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

450 watts

Battery Voltage:

25.6 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

9.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

230 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFeP04)

Charge Time:

6 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Display Type:

LED Console

Readouts:

Battery Voltage (Full, Half, Low)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

15 mph (24 kph)

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Written Review

The first time I got to ride an eZip Trailz electric bike was back in 2011 but Currie has been producing them since 2005. It’s a bike that makes financial sense but sacrifices quality of ride in some ways and doesn’t offer a lot of power or speed. It’s great to see a design update with the new “Commuter” edition that extends the feature set and refines the offering. The biggest improvement over the Trailz base model is the use of Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells verses Lead acid which weigh much more. For the extra ~$350 you also get fenders, a chain guide and ergonomic grips with the Commuter.

The 450 watt motor driving this ebike is very unique because it isn’t mounted as the hub of the front or rear wheel nor is it a mid-drive design. It sits just behind the rear hub on the port side (left side) of the frame and is mounted to a giant torque plate for stability. The motor drives a short chain that is directly connected to the rear hub. It’s a brushed design that’s not as smooth or long lasting as gearless might be and it has a more limited range of drive speeds (which I imagine is partially why the bike can only reach 15 mph). Given that the motor requires a second chain of its own, in addition to the regular chain connected to the front ring that the rider activates when pedaling, the rear wheel can be tricky to remove if you get a flat.

The battery pack driving this bike offers 25.6 volts of power with 9.6 amp hours of capacity. That’s not a whole lot compared to others available in the US that tend to offer 36 volts of power and 10+ amp hours capacity but it’s kind of the norm in Europe. It’s contained in a plastic box that slides onto the left or right side of the rear rack. The pack only weighs 5 pounds (vs. 15 pounds for the pack on the standard Trailz) and has a handle at the top making it easy to remove for charging or just to make the bike lighter for transport. The rear rack uses standard gauge tubing that works well with bags and panniers but can get loose more easily over time and tends to rattle. Still, it’s a clever system that makes mounting a second battery very easy and actually keeps weight lower than other rear-mounted battery designs like the Prodeco Stride but not quite as low or centered as the e-JOE Anggun.

The control interface on the eZip Trailz Commuter (and regular eZip Trailz) is very simple. Once you’ve selected a battery using the switch on the rear rack you use a toggle switch on the right handle bar to select from twist and go (TAG) or pedal assist mode (PAS). Contained in the switch box are three LED lights that show battery capacity by illuminating green yellow and red. It’s not as precise as some other bikes but it’s simple, durable and inexpensive. The twist throttle on the right balances out the twist shifter on the left bar and is satisfying and responsive to use. Also note, if you twist the throttle while pedaling in pedal assist mode, it actually increases the power from 50% assist to 100% assist which helps when climbing hills. It’s a neat feature that works well but isn’t obvious at first.

All things considered I’m a fan of the Commuter edition eZip Trailz. The steel frame is heavier than most aluminum ebikes but reduces some of the rattling vibrations of bumpier environments. The fenders, ergo grips and rear rack offer good utility but it would have been nice to have lights built in as well. I like the second battery option, especially since the batteries are relatively small, and I like that they used the more advanced LiFePO4 chemistry that is light weight and long lasting. If you’re looking for an inexpensive ebike this might be a good fit, it comes in one size of high step and low step frame (which I would call medium) so keep that in mind if you’re a tall person. The warranty is okay at six months and the ability to get replacement batteries for ~$350 online is pretty easy which means you could keep this bike going for many years if you take care of the frame.

Pros:

  • Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO) battery pack is 60% lighter (5lbs vs. 15lbs) than the regular eZip Trailz which uses sealed Lead acid (SLA) batteries
  • In pedal assist mode the bike can go quite far (25 miles) and the rear rack design makes it very easy to add a second battery for increased range
  • Very affordable electric bike that’s sold through major outlets such as Walmart and Amazon
  • Great options for comfort and utility when commuting including a seat post shock, suspension fork, front and rear fenders and a chain guard
  • Includes mounting points on the downtube for adding a water bottle cage
  • Offers both twist and go (TAG) as well as pedal assist (PAS) with an easy toggle switch to select either mode (twisting the throttle while in pedal assist mode increases power limit from 50% to 100% making it more powerful)
  • Seven gears on a Shimano rear cassette with an oversized ring for climbing, the front chain ring has an aluminum bash guard that doubles as a chain guide to keep the chain from falling off
  • Steel frame feels solid and absorbs vibration adding some comfort but is heavier than aluminum
  • Larger seat is soft and forgiving, ergonomic handle bar grips feel good and reduce wrist strain
  • Metal derailleur guard protects the rear cassette and derailleur arm from getting bumped and broken

Cons:

  • Rear rack is bolt on which can start to rattle and get loose over time supporting the weight of batteries and add-on bags or panniers, it’s also easy to bump your knee on this when mounting the bike
  • Only offers one level of pedal assist
  • Top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h) vs. other ebikes that reach 20 mph
  • Motor design requires an extra chain and is off-center making it trickier to take off the rear wheel
  • Plastic pedals are kind of small and the rubber surface can get a bit slippery if they get wet
  • No fancy LCD screen with speed, battery capacity or range but there are three LEDs in the control box on the right handlebar that go from green to yellow and red as the battery drains
  • Weaker 25.6 volt battery pack doesn’t offer a lot of torque for climbing
  • No lockout on front suspension, basic fork with very limited adjustment options

Resources:

More eZip Reviews

eZip Skyline Review

  • MSRP: $899
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

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...

eZip Tri-Ride Review

  • MSRP: $1,399
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

Affordable, entry level electric trike is well designed and gets the job done. Lead-acid battery pack is very heavy and won't get as many cycles as a Lithium…...

eZip Trailz Review

  • MSRP: $699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

Steel frame is heavy but absorbs some vibration along with the entry level suspension fork. External side-mounted chain driven 450 Watt brushed motor offers good torque but is loud and…...


Comments (8) YouTube Comments

Steve
6 years ago

4 stars??? How much is Currie paying you for these reviews??? These bikes get slaughtered on Amazon! This bike gets 4 stars and the Prodeco bikes only get 3 or 3.5? Are you sure? I know these are cheap, but I’m losing faith in your reviews!

  Reply
Court
6 years ago

The scoring I post is based on what’s available in the category at the time of review, company reputation (improving in this case) and price point. None of the reviews posted on this site are paid. I provide my own time, gas and skills to film, edit and post reviews. That said, Currie, Pedego and Easy Motion are sponsors. I’m friends with the guys at ProdecoTech and many of their newer bikes are getting higher scores. The big differences are frame balance, battery position, ability to move cargo with the rack and the addition of pedal assist. I strive to make these reviews objective but I also have opinions and that’s why I provide a big list of pros and cons and the full written piece (and have open comments like this so people can chime in). Once reviews are posted I tend to leave them unchanged and over time as new stuff comes out it may seem like I rated older bikes much higher than they deserve but the score is meant to reflect the environment in which I reviewed the ebike.

  Reply
Todd Isler
5 years ago

Saying Currie is a sponsor is all the information I need. I have an Ezip Trailz and it’s a piece of garbage. The SLA batteries are useless, I’ve run through about 4. Haven’t read any reviews of the newer lithium ions that are any better. And 25.6 volt being only type available is ridiculous, when other batteries are 36 and 48 volt. Would never get another Currie bike to save my life.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Thanks for the feedback Todd, I completed this review before Currie was a sponsor and I stand by it. There aren’t many ebikes available in the sub $1K range and while you do get what you pay for to an extent here, you also get a larger network of dealers who know the company, better support than if you imported on Alibaba and the option to replace or upgrade batteries. I’ve seen these at garage sales with over two years of heavy use (and yes, replaced batteries) still functioning. Ezip is the lowest level of bike for Currie, I suggest checking out IZIP or exploring a brand like Easy Motion. Yep… they are also a sponsor but it’s worth noting that I invite each one of these guys based on the quality of their products (after I’ve completed several reviews). My goal is not to mislead people or hurt the ebike movement and it’s worth clarifying that the standard Trailz (with Lead Acid batteries) has one of the worst review ratings on the site at 3 stars. This one is higher based on the battery upgrade and other accessories combined with super low price.

  Reply
DrkAngel
5 years ago

The eZip Trailz Commuter seems to be the, finally, perfected version of the eZip Trailz. Every flaw I’ve complained about seems to have been addressed.

#1 10Ah SLA replaced by 9.6Ah Li-ion = 200% range & 500% usable cycles – nearly worth the extra cost, in itself!
#2 Fenders – helps keep the brown streak off the middle of your back.
#3 Chaingaurd – helps keep your pant leg clean.
#4 Suspension seat post – much more comfortable ride!
#5 Wrap around handlebars – makes upright seating possible.
#6 Alloy hubs
#7 Stainless steel spokes

2 remaining mods recommended
#1 Replace 9T motor sprocket with 11T for 20mph capable = $18 – http://www.gngebike.com/parts
#2 All weather tires (OEM are good for clean dry roads but better tread recommended for dirty or wet streets)

Sadly, now that the eZip has become “the excellent budget eBike” … it has been discontinued! The entire eZip line has been retired.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Great suggestions about how to improve the bike further! I really enjoyed your post and also recently became aware that the eZip line has been discontinued. Thankfully there are some other cost conscious bikes coming out (all with Lithium cells and some with accessories). One such ebike is the EG Athens and another that is more stripped down is the GenZe Recreational.

  Reply
raymond antcliff
2 years ago

Hello, do you do spares for the old ones like a sensor? Thanks, Ray

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Ray, what is the part you need exactly? Just the cadence sensor, the display panel, something to do with the battery pack? This is a pretty old ebike and I’m not exactly sure where replacement parts can be found, but here is the support website for eZip and IZIP products, they may be able to help you out!

  Reply

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