eZip Trailz Commuter Low Step

Meg

New Member
I'm on probably my 8th round of research into ebikes since I've finally decided to sell my Ninja 250 and use the proceeds for a starter ebike. I saw your review and you seem pretty impressed with this model. On the surface, it seems ideal - I live in a small New England city with a few big hills. But it's all relative considering I'm from Chicago, which is a very big city and has only one "hill" that everyone finds when they're first learning how to drive a manual transmission ;). I would probably ride as alternative transportation - work (I own a shop) and errands that are within 2 or 3 miles.

I like the fact that the eZip is both PAS and TAG and it seems pretty sturdy. But like anything, the price worries me in comparison to other bikes of the same style. Then again, they seem to be up for more heavy duty use and longer trips. I guess what I'm asking is if discounters are selling this bike, am I going to have to worry that it will overheat on a 30º incline for 2 blocks? (as a small business owner, of course I've found a local dealer).

Thanks!
Meg
 

calvin

Active Member
Currie's website says the top speed of that model is "up to 15mph". It would depend on how "big" your big hills are. I like 50o watt internally geared rear hub motors, this bike has a 450watt. With hills probably 48v batteries, this bike has 24v. But then I have as of now, no experience with riding ebikes. This is to change shortly.....Court or Larry has all the experience/knowledge I am sure that one or both will answer soon.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Meg, welcome to the community! I completely understand where you're coming from because there are so few sub-$1,000 ebikes out there and even fewer from large reputable companies, like Currie.

I was excited during the review because the Commuter edition comes with several great options that the standard Trailz does not (fenders, chain guard and most importantly Lithium-ion battery). The big downsides remain that all of the weight is in the rear but since the battery is so much lighter than sealed Lead acid (SLA) that concern is somewhat alleviated. The motor is of unique design, requiring a second chain and side mount vs. in-hub. This may make changing flats harder... I'm sure you've read the review so I won't go on telling you stuff that you already know ;)

I think the bike would perform very well for your needs but the top speed, awkward weight distribution and challenge of servicing are worth keeping in mind. If you want something just a bit higher end you can explore the affordable ebike section back at the site but considering your local shop carries the Traiz commuter and could help keep it up for you, this seems like a good choice.

What's your budget range and what other brands do they carry? Also, have you test ridden this bike? If the shop also carries the eZip Skyline I'd check that one out as well (it also comes in step through). Happy to dig in a bit further but it sounds like you've found a decent fit :)
 

Meg

New Member
Let's just say I'm a "hill avoider". And because this is my first ebike, I'd like not to invest too much at the beginning (I can, I hope, get about $800-$900 for the Ninja). Also, I'm short - 5"1' soaking wet, as my husband says - and some of the bikes seemed so....much.

I haven't actually tried the bike yet, but I think for my purposes 15 mph is enough. One assumes on can pedal faster on PAS, especially if one is working off recent beers and cheeseburgers. I don't plan on carrying a lot - A couple of days of groceries for 2, some farmer's market produce and my usual stuff I tote as a graphic artist / shop owner is a macbook air and some art supplies (all "no hill" routes). It's not far enough to the shop to require a change of clothes and I'd probably break less of a sweat than walking some days!

With the weight distribution, should I shy away from something like the Nashbar Townie panniers? Thanks so much for your replies!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Sounds like the Trailz Commuter or Skyline will work great for you, especially the smaller step-through models. You'll be able to save some money but still get a bike from your shop and from a trusted brand :)

The panniers should be fine in terms of weight, the rear-heavy stuff mostly applies when transporting the bike or trying to lift it up stairs etc. and you can always just take the battery pack off to lighten the load. That's one of the cool things about the Trailz design, you can easily slide the pack off or add a second pack on the opposite side for additional range! They sell them on Amazon at a decent price ~$350. Most ebike batteries cost $500+.

The tubing on the rack is pretty standard but with the battery pack on the opposite side like that you might not be able to use plastic hang-style panniers on one side. I've had good luck with ones that strap on like the Basil Elements. The added benefit to this kind of design is that it completely covers the battery and kind of makes it look more like a regular bike. The straps are a bit more effort to put on and off but I just always leave my bags on and nobody messes with them. Here's a fun pick of my Pedego City Commuter with the Basil Element bags mounted on the rear rack (this bike also has the rear-mounted pack).

basil-elements-bicycle-pannier-bags.jpg

The Cute matching Mother/Daughter moment is unfortunately not included with these bags. Just happened to time it right at a food truck in Austin one day :p
 

Meg

New Member
Those look like great bags! And a great food truck! Now, I have to talk to my friends at The Steel Yard for a bike rack in front of the shop. Oh and see if it's really true about not forgetting how to ride a bicycle. :eek: I'll keep you posted.
 

Chuck_Pasadena

New Member
Meg, I strongly caution you find a Currie eZIP (or at least an e-bike with similar weight) to test ride it... I bought two in 2010, and had a lot of fun especially along beaches, vineyard, national parks, etc.. Because it's so heavy I had to buy a ramp in order to load my bikes to the mini-van. I wrote reviews about the bike and its battery on amazon, one is here and the second one is here.

I usually ride it about 10-15 miles each week, and have replaced the battery only once so far. It's been very reliable and still doing well... Now the warning, this bike is TOO HEAVY (and probably not well balanced either) for my wife, 5'3", to handle. She rarely rides it, and in fact, she had fell off almost every time she rode it. We are now searching for a replacement that would be lower height (20" or smaller) and lighter weight... It's a very good entry level e-bike. But it's too heavy.
 

Jack Straw

New Member
Those look like great bags! And a great food truck! Now, I have to talk to my friends at The Steel Yard for a bike rack in front of the shop. Oh and see if it's really true about not forgetting how to ride a bicycle. :eek: I'll keep you posted.
Meg,
I am curious what you decided. I am also looking at the Ezip Trailz and found a great online deal. I am really torn between buying it or bucking up some extra$ for something lighter with more range.