- A sleek looking entry level bike with balanced weight, a weaker 250 watt motor and pedal assist mode only
- Water-bottle style battery pack is mounted low to the ground and can be charged on or off the bike
- Shimano Nexus internally geared hub can be changed at standstill, keeps gears clean and dry
The Flight line of electric bikes offer entry level performance with a few upgrades to keep them sleek at a mid-level price. The ECB-26-L features a Shimano Nexus 8 speed internally geared hub that lets you shift at standstill and keep the chain tight and your pants clean. It also balances well with the small 250 watt geared hub motor in the front that offers light assistance in one of three pedal assist modes. The battery pack resembles a water bottle and keeps the weight centered and low to the ground. The bike looks cool but only comes in one frame style, high-step, and a size that I would call small-medium.
250 watt motors with pedal assist are popular in Europe because they have more stringent regulations for electric bikes but it’s considered small in the USA. The ECB-26-L has its motor positioned on the front fork which allows for an internally geared hub on the rear. They match and balance each outher out well. The front-mounted design could be worrisome for some as it is a more vulnerable mounting point but 250 watts isn’t that strong and in my experience it worked fine, even with the headset shock. Keep in mind however, when accelerating the motor is pulling the front fork and this crates more vertical resistance in the shock preventing it from sliding up and down as easily. This is true of all ebikes with front mounted motors but it doesn’t change the experience much here because the headset shock provides very little range to begin with.
The battery pack design on the Flight ECB-26L-A is very appealing to me because it keeps weight low and centered. It’s kind of fun to play with actually, it locks to a mounting bracket and is easily removable with a small on/off toggle switch. If you used this bike for commuting you could easily charge the pack inside, or even take it completely off and ride around like a non-electric bike. The power and range this pack offers aren’t great, it’s relatively small at just 24 volts and 9 amp hours, but it is light, simple and sleek. It’s part of the entry-level minimal style that this ebike is going for which helps to keep it affordable.
This bike is quiet, smooth and light weight. The Nexus geared hub means the chain can be tight and thus, less likely to fall off or slap the chain stay when going over bumps. The battery pack canister design, simple control unit and grip-shifter create a clean aesthetic and make the bike approachable. Considering the lower quality of the ride when pedaling, limited frame options and weaker drive system I’m surprised the bike costs as much as it does. This is especially true if buying it online where you would have to assemble yourself and troubleshoot any issues on your own. This would be a good first ebike or maybe an option for a young person who might not notice the lower end components.
- Front mounted hub motor balances weight well and allows for rear mounted internally geared Shimano Nexus 8 speed hub
- Bottle-style battery pack looks cool, keeps weight low and balanced and is easy to remove
- Bash guard on front chain ring protects pants and teeth on gear
- Headset shock smooths out the ride, just a little bit, and is adjustable
- Front disc brake provides additional stopping power and works well in wet conditions vs. v-brakes
- Available in three good looking color schemes: silver, white and black
- Kickstand keeps the bike stable
- Semi-ergonomic grips reduce strain on wrists during extended rides
- Grippy metal pedals come standard, stiffer and more durable than plastic
- The 26 in the name stands for the 26″ wheels
- Uses a pedelec sensor vs. torque sensing, means you don’t have to push hard to activate the motor but also makes it less responsive
- Control unit is mounted inside a tiny white box just behind the seat post tube next to the rear wheel. Breaks the aesthetic of the bike and seems vulnerable
- Bicycle cranks and pedals don’t seem as smooth as other bikes, more basic
- Only available in one size and in high-step design. I’d call it small-medium
- Adjustable headset can get loose going off curbs and then the metal teeth inside start to wear
- Pedal assist mode only, no twist throttle on this bike
- Very basic controller does not show speed, distance etc. just switches between three modes
- No fenders, lights, racks or other commuter features
- Rear roller or band brake provides less stopping power than front disc
- No quick release systems on the wheels or seat post
- Battery takes up space where water bottle might fit, have to carry water some other way
- No battery level indicator, hard to tell how much juice is left