2019 Evelo Compass Trike

Paulf10

New Member
Does anyone have first hand experience with the 2019 Compass model? It has changed since 2018. From what I can see from the latest assembly video, it looks like power is now transferred to both rear wheels. Also the rear fenders are different and no longer have tail lights. Both seem like great improvements.
I’m expecting delivery of two 2019 Evelo Compass Trikes any day now an
 

Gfmucci

Member
Does anyone have first hand experience with the 2019 Compass model? It has changed since 2018. From what I can see from the latest assembly video, it looks like power is now transferred to both rear wheels. Also the rear fenders are different and no longer have tail lights. Both seem like great improvements.
I’m expecting delivery of two 2019 Evelo Compass Trikes any day now an
Let us know when you get these and test ride.
 

Paulf10

New Member
Just an initial update after assembly. The Compass was very easy to assemble with on exception. The new style rear fenders do not have the screw holes tapped all the way where the fender braces attach to the Compass frame. Also one of the braces was missing on one of the bikes.

This was not actually a problem as the new rear fenders are, in my opinion only, really bad. They look cheap. They are flimsy and they don’t fit well on the bike. We decided not to install the rear fenders and the bikes look better for it.

The Evelo Compass are of a high quality build. The issue with the rear fenders should not be a cause of concern. Just leave them off. At this point I would not hesitate to buy them again.
 

Gfmucci

Member
Did you call Evelo and inform them about the fenders? What did they say? I'm surprised at that glitch.

Personally, one of my criteria in researching fat trikes (which I'm currently leaning toward as opposed to the Compass) is having all 3 fenders. Tooling along at 15 to 20 mph on a gravel, stone or even an asphalt road is likely to kick up some pain in your direction.
 
Last edited:

Dave P

Member
Just an initial update after assembly. The Compass was very easy to assemble with on exception. The new style rear fenders do not have the screw holes tapped all the way where the fender braces attach to the Compass frame. Also one of the braces was missing on one of the bikes.

This was not actually a problem as the new rear fenders are, in my opinion only, really bad. They look cheap. They are flimsy and they don’t fit well on the bike. We decided not to install the rear fenders and the bikes look better for it.

The Evelo Compass are of a high quality build. The issue with the rear fenders should not be a cause of concern. Just leave them off. At this point I would not hesitate to buy them again.
There is a lot to like about the Evelo Compass but I ruled against it because of it only being a 3 speed, its 2.4 inch tires so it is not a fat trike (3.8 inch wide is the minimum for being labeled a fat trike), battery placement among other things but everyone has their own criteria. In any case, I agree with you...you don't need back fenders. One of my electric trikes is the Addmotor M-330 with no fenders and I only found fenders being an issue when I went through salt water along the beach and that was because the front tire was kicking up salt water. The back tires didn't have any impact. To me, fenders are a nuisance and depending on what they are made of can rust if they're made of steel, bend, get in the way etc. Good choice of not adding flimsy back fenders.
 
Last edited:

Paulf10

New Member
Did you call Evelo and inform them about the fenders? What did they say? I'm surprised at that glitch.

Personally, one of my criteria in researching fat trikes (which I'm currently leaning toward as opposed to the Compass) is having all 3 fenders. Tooling along at 15 to 20 mph on a gravel, stone or even an asphalt road is likely to kick up some pain in your direction.
I did notify Evelo of the missing brace and they already have a replacement on the way. The rear fender issue is really a non issue for me. Just my opinion as I previously stated, but I just don’t like them. To me they took away from the overall excellent quality of the Compass.
Our previous ebikes were Pedego Interceptors and they were great. I’ve had to go to a Trike due to health issues. After a couple of test rides on some Trikes I quickly realized there’s a learning curve. 15 mph on a Trike feels totally different than on a bike.
 

Paulf10

New Member
There is a lot to like about the Evelo Compass but I ruled against it because of it only being a 3 speed, its 2.4 inch tires so it is not a fat trike (3.8 inch wide is the minimum for being labeled a fat trike), battery placement among other things but everyone has their own criteria. In any case, I agree with you...you don't need back fenders. One of my electric trikes is the Addmotor M-330 with no fenders and I only found fenders being an issue when I went through salt water along the beach and that was because the front tire was kicking up salt water. The back tires didn't have any impact. To me, fenders are a nuisance and depending on what they are made of can rust if they're made of steel, bend, get in the way etc. Good choice of not adding flimsy back fenders.
It’s hard not to love the look of the Addmotor Motan 330 or 350! Those 4” Kenda tires look like they’ll go anywhere. Beautiful Trikes!
 

Dave P

Member
It’s hard not to love the look of the Addmotor Motan 330 or 350! Those 4” Kenda tires look like they’ll go anywhere. Beautiful Trikes!
You'll have to keep everyone informed about the Evelo Compass. As a result of lower extremity neuropathy I had to go to an electric trike. However, it's nice to stop at a stop sign and not have to get off my trike. I can't get onto the beach through the soft sand on tires which are much less than 4" wide. The 4" tires will go just about everywhere. BTW...it's not only the 15 mph but going over angled driveways can be challenging. Take it slow if this is your first electric trike. Those back wheels can have a life of their own.
 

Paulf10

New Member
You'll have to keep everyone informed about the Evelo Compass. As a result of lower extremity neuropathy I had to go to an electric trike. However, it's nice to stop at a stop sign and not have to get off my trike. I can't get onto the beach through the soft sand on tires which are much less than 4" wide. The 4" tires will go just about everywhere. BTW...it's not only the 15 mph but going over angled driveways can be challenging. Take it slow if this is your first electric trike. Those back wheels can have a life of their own.
Thanks Dave. That sounds like really good advice.
 

evelo-bikes

New Member
The Compass does now deliver power to both wheels, as well as braking to both wheels, so there's no more torque-steer! You can also make much tighter left hand turns now. It also offers improved step-over with the revised front end. The old Compass was very good, but this iteration is even better!

The fenders are a compromise. Personally, I preferred the look of the old fenders, but they had serious fitment issues. It was difficult to get them adjusted so that they didn't rub with the large tire. (marked 2.4, but measured at 2.65" the last time I put a caliper on one) No, it's not a true fatbike, but that has lots of issues on it's own. My own experience is that rear fenders are somewhat superflous; the crud gets flung beside you and not on you.

As far as the number of speeds, we just don't see any reason to have more on the trike. We don't want it going very fast, as trikes are harder to control at speed, and it has enough torque to climb anything we point it at. Given the load-rating on the trike, we were more interested in durability, and it's nearly impossible to break a Nexus 3 with torque.

Cheers,
David
 

Dave P

Member
The Compass does now deliver power to both wheels, as well as braking to both wheels, so there's no more torque-steer! You can also make much tighter left hand turns now. It also offers improved step-over with the revised front end. The old Compass was very good, but this iteration is even better!

The fenders are a compromise. Personally, I preferred the look of the old fenders, but they had serious fitment issues. It was difficult to get them adjusted so that they didn't rub with the large tire. (marked 2.4, but measured at 2.65" the last time I put a caliper on one) No, it's not a true fatbike, but that has lots of issues on it's own. My own experience is that rear fenders are somewhat superflous; the crud gets flung beside you and not on you.

As far as the number of speeds, we just don't see any reason to have more on the trike. We don't want it going very fast, as trikes are harder to control at speed, and it has enough torque to climb anything we point it at. Given the load-rating on the trike, we were more interested in durability, and it's nearly impossible to break a Nexus 3 with torque.

Cheers,
David
I like the idea of power to both wheels. That is certainly an improvement as well as the improved step-over. However, less than 4" tires is a misfire on Compass' trikes if they want to sell to people who want to ride these trikes on the beach etc. In contrast to "lots of issues" with fatbikes with 4" tires I have ridden two fatbikes I own over 2000 miles on the beach, road, sidewalk, grass, gravel, etc and I don't see the problem you are talking about. They have the same issues as most trikes compared to bikes...more difficult to transport, take up more room in the garage or storage, more maintenance (3 tires compared to 2 provides more rotor/caliper/brake pads/etc issues), but I don't see where fat bikes with 4 inch tires have "more issues" than a non-fatbike e-trike. Please note that I have a LibertyTrike with 2.125 inch tires which I am currently selling and I have ridden 330 miles. Fatbikes offer many more advantages to trikes you are talking about as I have already mentioned. Also, they are much more comfortable to ride because of their tires which can be inflated and deflated for comfort levels and terrain. They are less likely to have a flat (I have had none) because of their ability to go over rough terrain.

It sounds like you have a great trike but it doesn't compare in my book to fatbikes and I would have seriously looked more closely at yours if you had a fatbike--non-fatbikes are non starters for me or deal breakers however you want to call it.
 

evelo-bikes

New Member
Hi Dave,

Designing a bicycle is always an exercise in compromise. You set your goals and design to best meet them. True fatbike tires would have greatly impacted cost and weight, as well as lead time and would require a smaller cargo area in order to still fit in a shippable box. It's not quite as simple as just saying we want bigger tires. Beyond that, the only place that fatbike tires are unarguably better is on sand, and there just aren't that many people that live close enough to sand for that to be a sticking point. Much like Jeeps, the vast majority of bikes never leave the pavement.

I won't say that we'll never sell a fat-trike, (I actually like the idea) just that for now it just didn't seem like the right mix of features.

I'm sorry the Compass won't work for you, but I hope that you do find something that suits your needs well.
 

Dave P

Member
Hi Dave,

Designing a bicycle is always an exercise in compromise. You set your goals and design to best meet them. True fatbike tires would have greatly impacted cost and weight, as well as lead time and would require a smaller cargo area in order to still fit in a shippable box. It's not quite as simple as just saying we want bigger tires. Beyond that, the only place that fatbike tires are unarguably better is on sand, and there just aren't that many people that live close enough to sand for that to be a sticking point. Much like Jeeps, the vast majority of bikes never leave the pavement.

I won't say that we'll never sell a fat-trike, (I actually like the idea) just that for now it just didn't seem like the right mix of features.

I'm sorry the Compass won't work for you, but I hope that you do find something that suits your needs well.
I am sure you have your niche population but you are leaving out a large segment of the population which is turning to fatbikes. I believe your design team is overthinking some of this when simplicity might work better than the complex systems that are built. Mid-drives are a good example. They are becoming popular but if not properly designed if the motor stops so does the chain and they can't be pedaled. Most of them are not designed properly and I would not own one.

Yes, fatbikes work great for me on sand but I mentioned several other terrain where fatbikes are uniquely qualified. 1. Rural areas with dirt roads; 2. Snowy areas 3. Gravel and Rocks 4. Muddy areas 5. Summer trail riding on a fat bike is becoming very common and there are even fat bike specific races during the summer. 6. Pavement (I used to ride a Trek Shift 3 and the fatbikes are much more comfortable and safer on pavement because of the wide tires than regular tires). The first time I rode a fatbike it was like night and day from riding a regular bike or trike. I can go on trails which were closed off to me before I owned a fatbike. Make sure you try one. I think you'll change your mind.

I know you run an Evelo shop and you need to promote your brand but at some point maybe they'll make one you can sell. I live probably 6 blocks from a bike shop which sells Pedego but their trike is not only designed poorly it doesn't have fat tires. Fat bikes have caught on fire in China/Europe etc but they are slow moving in the US because for one thing we are so gas car oriented and there just aren't enough areas in the country that cater to bikes let alone fat bikes.
 

Gfmucci

Member
To add to Dave's comment, I was considering a Compass - it was among the top 5 e-trikes I was evaluating for a time. However, the cost of the replacement battery given its comparatively modest amp/hour rating gave me pause.

Additionally, inspite of the Compass's semi-fat 2.2" tires, the 4" fats have 2 things going for them in my opinion: the subjective and intangible "cool factor" (could be a current passing fad or could be a longer term trend) and the user adjustable smoother/softer ride adaptable to a variety of surfaces. Given the spike in the boomer demographic, I believe this is a significant marketing consideration.
 

evelo-bikes

New Member
"Make sure you try one. I think you'll change your mind." - Dave, I got my first fatbike about twelve years ago, and the Surly Pugsley will always have a place in my heart, no matter how many fatbikes today are much, much better.

2013 was really the watershed year for fatbikes, with every major manufacturer finally releasing a fat model. 2016 was the year that fatbike sales peaked, and have been declining ever since, largely attributed to the popularity of plus-sized bikes (approx. 3 inch tires). There will always be a place for fatbikes, but it's not the only answer. Anecdotally, nearly all of the people I knew that bought fatbikes have sold them on since then and only a few still ride them regularly.

Bikes come and go, and sometimes we get to build something that's really a hit. Given that we have a hard time keeping the Compass in stock, it seems to be doing pretty well. We keep building more and more of them, and they keep getting bought up, sometimes before the shipment even makes it stateside.


Regarding mid-drives in general, "if the motor stops so does the chain and they can't be pedaled." I'm not sure which drive system you're referring to, but that sounds awful and nobody should buy that bike. You should be able to pedal independently of the motor. (This is one of the reasons I don't like direct-drive hub motors for ebikes.)

I don't want GFmucci to feel left out... Our battery isn't cheap; we sell the best batteries we can get our hands on. It is, however, competitive. We sell the 48V 11.6AH Compass battery for $800 shipped in the lower 48. Pedego sells their 48V 11.0AH battery for $929, so we're $129 less expensive, and we offer a much longer warranty. Can you find cheaper batteries? Absolutely. Are they truly equivalent? Maybe not; be sure to get all the details when buying a battery, especially from less well-known sources.

Cheers,
David
 

Dave P

Member
"Make sure you try one. I think you'll change your mind." - Dave, I got my first fatbike about twelve years ago, and the Surly Pugsley will always have a place in my heart, no matter how many fatbikes today are much, much better.

2013 was really the watershed year for fatbikes, with every major manufacturer finally releasing a fat model. 2016 was the year that fatbike sales peaked, and have been declining ever since, largely attributed to the popularity of plus-sized bikes (approx. 3 inch tires). There will always be a place for fatbikes, but it's not the only answer. Anecdotally, nearly all of the people I knew that bought fatbikes have sold them on since then and only a few still ride them regularly.

Bikes come and go, and sometimes we get to build something that's really a hit. Given that we have a hard time keeping the Compass in stock, it seems to be doing pretty well. We keep building more and more of them, and they keep getting bought up, sometimes before the shipment even makes it stateside.


Regarding mid-drives in general, "if the motor stops so does the chain and they can't be pedaled." I'm not sure which drive system you're referring to, but that sounds awful and nobody should buy that bike. You should be able to pedal independently of the motor. (This is one of the reasons I don't like direct-drive hub motors for ebikes.)

I don't want GFmucci to feel left out... Our battery isn't cheap; we sell the best batteries we can get our hands on. It is, however, competitive. We sell the 48V 11.6AH Compass battery for $800 shipped in the lower 48. Pedego sells their 48V 11.0AH battery for $929, so we're $129 less expensive, and we offer a much longer warranty. Can you find cheaper batteries? Absolutely. Are they truly equivalent? Maybe not; be sure to get all the details when buying a battery, especially from less well-known sources.

Cheers,
David
In regards to mid-motor drives (e.g. the Compass) both the motor and pedals need the chain to drive the wheel so riding a mid-motor e-bike with for example a snapped chain is a strictly downhill affair. The only way to solve that is to have a trike/bike with a belt drive so I'm not sure what you are talking about. Usually mid-motors have an upgraded chain for the very reason I just mentioned. Are you saying that a mid-motor drive doesn't need the chain to drive the wheel? Maybe you could explain?

I haven't followed the statistics, I am only going by what I am seeing. Companies are adding more fatbikes and I would think they are selling fairly well. You have a brick and mortar store and I am sure you are going to sell a good deal of bikes. I have purchased numerous bikes over the years at bike stores in town until I didn't. To be honest when I first saw the price tag of Pedego electric bikes I couldn't believe people would pay that much but now it seems understandable but still overpriced. I think once people walk into your store unless they are familiar with electric bikes they are going to deal with sticker shock.

BTW---I think gfmucci and I are older and want etrikes anyway and not bikes. The two etrikes I have purchased and ride are my first fatbikes of any nature and they are a blast. I bought two after putting so many miles on the first one 15-18 miles a day when I ride on the beach plus the wear and tear on the etrike (sand and salt).
 

evelo-bikes

New Member
Ah, you were referring to a broken chain; I must have misread that. Fine, sure... any mid drive is dependent on a chain or belt, just like a traditional bike. 1 point to hub drives for that I guess.

With that said, broken chains are just incredibly rare, even with the added torque of a motor. They wear out, for sure, but I can't remember the last time a customer reported a broken chain. When I was running a bike shop, we might see 1 a year.
 

Dave P

Member
Ah, you were referring to a broken chain; I must have misread that. Fine, sure... any mid drive is dependent on a chain or belt, just like a traditional bike. 1 point to hub drives for that I guess.

With that said, broken chains are just incredibly rare, even with the added torque of a motor. They wear out, for sure, but I can't remember the last time a customer reported a broken chain. When I was running a bike shop, we might see 1 a year.
Ah, you were referring to a broken chain; I must have misread that. Fine, sure... any mid drive is dependent on a chain or belt, just like a traditional bike. 1 point to hub drives for that I guess.

With that said, broken chains are just incredibly rare, even with the added torque of a motor. They wear out, for sure, but I can't remember the last time a customer reported a broken chain. When I was running a bike shop, we might see 1 a year.
Mid-drives are comparatively new and they place a considerable amount of torque on the chain. With a hub motor if the chain breaks you can just motor on home but with a mid-motor if a chain breaks you will be walking the bike home. I don't think you would have seen many chains break with a hub motor but mid-motors are new and unless bike companies compensate with more durable chains then there is an increased likelihood of a break. It is definitely a downside of a mid-motor despite some of its advantages but you know as well as I that mid-motors are more complex and have other issues whereas hub motors are much simpler and have shown their durability over time. Unfortunately there is not a Evelo dealer nearby for me to take a look at one but both Pedego and Evelo limit the speed on their mid-drive trikes in part over concern with potential problems.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
I just ordered a Evelo Compass (preorder) for my wife who has been riding a Blix Aveny, but because of balance issues is no longer safe on a 2 wheeler. I am a little nervous about a preorder because they said they charge the credit card at the time of order … hope I won't regret this.