Currie Zuma E3 (2012 Cantilever)

Drew

Active Member
I've had this bike for a couple of years now and have logged about 2100 miles, so I guess you could say I've gotten to know it. It's been a great bike and essentially trouble-free. I live in a hilly urban area so this thing gets a work out. I weigh 220# and routinely bring home 30-40# of groceries in a couple of grocery-bag sized panniers.

Things I love:
  1. The ability to switch between PAS and manual throttle mode is very flexible and I do it often.
  2. The "granny gear" (large rear gear on the rear sprocket assembly) is indispensable for hill-climbing (we have some steep hills around here).
  3. The integrated rear rack is very strong and adaptable to carrying lots of different kinds of cargo.
  4. Great range. I've been on rides as long as 30 miles with this bike - though I was being very careful with the battery use. Now with 2100 miles of use, I'm doubtful the battery would go that far. But I will probably try it this spring!
I have only 3 minor critiques at this point:
  1. I have to adjust the brakes (Avid BB5) frequently to keep the stopping power up to snuff. I mean like, every 50 miles or so. I've replaced the pads twice already, so I am getting 700 miles per set. OK, it's a heavy bike and I'm a big guy and it's hilly around here, so, not too surprising. My main point is that learning to work on these brakes yourself is mandatory, because they need frequent attention. (Hint: get a cable puller, it's indispensable!)
  2. There's a lot of potholes around here and despite the fat tires, I'd would like a suspension fork!
  3. While I love the integrated rear rack, having the battery there does make for a very rear-heavy bike. The 2014 Zuma addresses this issue, and it looks really sweet!
If anyone has any questions, I'll try to answer! (BTW I am not affiliated with Currie, or any dealer).
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Great summary Drew, sounds like the IZIP E3 Zuma has worked very well for you. It's one of my favorite bikes in the Currie line and the power, sturdy frame and softer tires go a long way. I'm sure you've heard about suspension seat posts, that might be a way to soften the potholes but they cost $150+

It's really nice to hear how well the ebike has held up for you. 2,100 is a lot of miles to travel and with your groceries and larger loads it's amazing how much energy you've saved (and you've likely added health to yourself!). I agree that the new model is really sharp, they are just getting better and better and I love that it offers both PAS and TAG for different types of riding, just makes it more like a tool vs. only a bicycle that you have to pedal :)
 

lilrich1959

Member
A time proven design. If I understand correctly Currie is going back to this style due for the Zuma due to it's durability and simplicity of design. I like this model for the simplicity of operation and near indestructibility. For a utility bike, and letting someone borrow it for a spin it is hard to beat. No worries that someone is going to hurt your baby it stands up well to whatever you can throw at it. Not top of the line but a good everyday bike that you just can enjoy without breaking the bank.
 

Drew

Active Member
Time for an update. I now have 3,300 miles on my Zuma.

Last winter I dropped the battery while removing it from the bike, and smashed the rear end cap. Inspection showed no damage other than the plastic parts. The end cap is clearly designed to sacrifice itself first. I ordered parts online from Currie ($10) and had them in a few days and was back and running shortly after.

At 3,00o miles it finally occurred to me, maybe I should check the chain. It was really stretched - way beyond any reasonable limit. I called the shop where I bought the bike to find out if they had any chains in stock and they didn't, and when I asked what chain to get, they wouldn't tell me. The guy said they would replace the chain if I wanted but otherwise I was on my own. I was pretty well annoyed by that. I finally determined that the chain on the bike was a KMC Z51, but much longer than the standard KMC Z51, and no quick link. Must be a custom chain made by KMC for Currie. I bought 2 standard length KMC Z51 chains from Amazon for $10 each and made my own replacement, works fine and shockingly it doesn't even skip. I thought for sure I'd have to replace the rear sprocket.

The first mechanical failure came up about 200 miles ago when I broke a spoke on the rear wheel. I knew when it happened and stopped riding immediately (luckily I was close to home). This time I did take it to the bike shop and was relieved to find a different guy in the service department who was very helpful. He replaced the spoke and trued the wheel and I had it back the same day ($45). Of course after a broken spoke you wait to see how many more are going to break and whether a complete rebuild is going to be required. Thankfully, no more broken spokes as yet!

Amazingly, I am still on the original Kenda Kiniption tires. I can still see the mold line on the front tire! The rear is worn quite a bit more but there is still tread in the center, where it wears the fastest. I've had no flats, either.

Sadly, the battery is showing its age. It takes longer and longer to charge up after my typical riding day, especially on a cool day. I hope to nurse it through the rest of the year but I will be surprised if it has much range on a really cold day. I am rather dismayed about the cost of a replacement battery. Does anybody rebuild these battery packs?
 

Drew

Active Member
I'm up to 4700 miles on my Zuma. I can now change brake pads like a pro. :D No new mechanical failures. Ok wait the saddle broke because I pick up the rear of the bike with it. I got a Serfas E-Gel Cruiser Saddle as a replacement and it is really nice! The Kenda Kiniption tires are still hanging in there though the center tread on the rear tire is about gone. The battery range keeps declining but I make a sport of "hyper-miling" - minimal throttle use, more pedaling! Today I rode 20 miles and while there was noticeably less "oomph" available at the end of the ride, the battery level was only down 50%. I hope to get through this summer and fall and will likely get the battery rebuilt this winter, though I am tempted by some of the newer bikes. ;)
 

Drew

Active Member
I sold my Zuma today. All told, I put 4961 miles on it and carried many loads of groceries and more than a few 20lb sacks of wild bird food!

The bike was still in great shape and the new owner was fully apprised of the battery condition and felt it met his needs; as well, my asking price was low. Sort of sad to see her go, but my new Cube mid-drive is putting a big smile on my face!