iGo Metro SE - User review

BikeJack

New Member
TLDR Version:

Good bike overall
Some build issues and accessory issues (including charger)
Lots of high quality accessories included for the price
Low price
A bit underpowered when starting from full stop
Responsive company
[Update 2019 August: Lasting well, both bike and battery]

Court's review is spot-on:
https://electricbikereview.com/igo/metro-e/
I won't repeat what he covered. He mentions all the good points, and I agree.

Longer version, with list of issues:

I bought this bike at Costco.ca in spring of 2017. It's the Metro SE, but it's virtually the same as the E (reviewed by Court) and the Ti. Costco had an early-spring C$500-off sale, bringing the price to C$1500 (about US$1200). About buying from Costco: obviously it arrives in a box and you do all the assembly yourself, including fixing and DIY on some problems (see below). And my local e-bike shop in Ottawa, although it sells iGo bikes, won't touch a bike they didn't sell. So, you need to decide if the assembly, fixes, maintenance and human contact of a bike shop are worth the price difference. Price is pretty important to me, and I've been able so far to manage on my own. Your mileage may vary.

(I see the Metro E/SE/Ti is now replaced by the Elite (2018), which has not yet been reviewed on EBR.)

[Update: There is now a detailed review of the Elite on EBR: https://electricbikereview.com/igo-electric/elite/ ]

Bike arrived in good time, but shipped from Vancouver, not the headquarters in Montreal. It was made in China. Brakes and derailleur had to be adjusted after assembly, but that's expected. Box was in ok, shape. Packing was decent.

Battery lasts very well; I hardly put a dent in it with an hour-long ride, when using pedal-assist and occasional throttle, on gently rolling bike paths. Plugging my phone right into the handlebar control panel to recharge and play music is nice.

The bike is great looking and I get lots of positive comments. A lot of care and value went into this retro design, but there are some issues with the factory work.

Issues to note:

Factory construction issues:
The bike has high-quality parts and manufacturing, but some surprising problems that should not have got through the quality control process:
1. The rear rack, where the battery slides in, is not quite symmetrical: viewed from the back, the rack and battery is slightly to one side, at an angle of a few degrees. I don't feel any pull to the side while riding, but it's a bit annoying visually.
2. The front rack bracket on the bike frame is welded on at a few degrees off-centre (!), so that the front rack will always point a bit to the side, not staight ahead, if installed. The bracket is welded onto the frame, so no way to adjust it. Not only that, but
3. The front rack itself is tilted to one side when the bike is viewed head-on. the L-shaped design has two different angles on the left and the right, meaning that when you look at it from the front, it's like a shelf installed with one end too high.
4. The battery receptacle does not quite fit the battery. So there is a gap of a few mm in some places where the rubber-sealed lips that are supposed to join battery body to receptacle don't quite meet. Obviously a water-entry hazard.
For these issues above, I suppose I could have tried to bend metal parts or just returned and ordered a replacement, but I ended up just not installing the front rack at all, and I can live with the back rack issue etc. I read online that the company's advice about the back rack is to try bending it back yourself. Not going to try that, as this is very thick metal. It seems to me that the Chinese company that is building these is not giving full value to iGo on build quality.

Design issues:
1. The bike has a very short frame below the seat, where the seat post goes in. That's not a problem in itself. The idea is that the seat post can be adjusted for both short and tall riders. The manual says that it can be adjusted for someone over 6 feet tall. However, the problem is that I found the seat post maximum height to be still too short. I'm under 6 feet, but with long legs. I had to buy a longer seat post, and a shim. Not easy to find such a long post in the right dimensions, and I had to call the company for the diameter.
2. The control panel is not removable, which means this electronic equipment has to stay parked outside on my bike. Even if a thief can't take it without tools, he could damage it while trying. He could also bring a screwdriver. The panel is smaller than a cell phone: it should just clip off and go into my pocket when I'm parked.
3. The front mud guard has steel side-stems that were too short to reach the front fork mounts near the hub. I finally had to drill a new hole in the mud guard at a higher point to move the mount, reduce the angle and bring the stems into reach of the fork attachment points.
4. The back-mounted battery means a lot of weight back there (along with motor, rack and rider), but only the front has suspension. The back end of the bike tends to rattle when going over even a small bump. The newer version has the battery on the front bar, which should improve balance.
5. The headlight is designed to go on the front rack. This is a problem because the rack doesn't pivot when you turn: it always points in the direction of the frame, not the front wheel, where you are actually going. It's also a problem if you choose not to install the (faulty) front rack. I had to solve this myself by installing the light above the front wheel, attached to the mud guard top mount. The headlight mount that goes on the front rack can easily be flipped and installed this way, if the front rack is left off. This means the light follows the handlebar direction - better.
[Update 2019:]
6. The back has an 8-sprocket cassette and derailleur and works well. In the front, there is only one sprocket or chain ring. The problem is that in the absence of a derailleur-like guide, the chain easily falls off when the bike hits a bump. This happens so often that I started carrying disposable nitrile gloves to avoid getting my hands dirty while replacing it. I'm currently trying to figure out how to install a chain guide under the installed chain guard. If anyone has done this, please contact me!

Charger issues:
1. The first charger failed right out of the box: overheated, smelled burnt and died on the initial charging, after maybe two hours. Company is based in Montreal and sent a new charger no questions asked, arrived in a couple of days.
2. The new charger also heats up to the point of being almost too hot to touch: I point a fan at it during charging and I charge it in sight when at home, checking heat from time to time. This is a bit of a pain; hope they improve their chargers at some point, but it's not an issue with the bike itself and I can live with it.

Manual and instructions issues:
1. The manual says that for winter maintenance, the battery should be at half-charge at the start of the winter, then charged for 15 minutes once a month. A panel on the battery itself says to charge for 2 hours every 2 months. Both say you "must" do it this way! This was confusing for me and important to know in Canada, with long winters. I've decided to go with the monthly instruction.
2. The only way to check the battery charge level is when it's on the bike. If the bike is in a shed in Canada, doing a periodic check of the level is very difficult. The battery should have an integrated battery level indicator, or at least the charger unit.
3. The manual has part replacement numbers, but no specs (measurements) at all, which is a problem if you need to replace a part, such as the seat post. I had to measure with calipers.

Video assembly guide:
The manual for the Metro SE had a URL to an assembly video on the iGo site, but the link was dead. However, I found the Metro Ti video, which was virtually identical. (I noticed from the video that the Ti had lock-outs on the front suspension, which this bike (SE) does not have. That's the only difference I can see.)

Company:
I had to contact iGo in Montreal twice, once to get a replacement charger, once to get the measure of the seat post diameter. Both times calls went to voicemail and responses took a few days. Didn't get the impression there's a lot of customer service available, beyond minimum. Still, I did get what I called for.

Performance issue:
Court's video review (link above) is very accurate about performance, which is good overall in motion. One issue is that from full stop, the throttle takes several seconds to start moving the bike, and acceleration is very slow and gradual, even in the high-power mode. That's when I most want the throttle, when starting at a traffic light for example, so this is a bit disappointing. I gather the newer bike (Elite) has a stronger motor, which may be an improvement.

[Update 2019:] Overall, I'm still happy about the bike, especially at the price point. It looks sharp and the Samsung battery still seems as good as new, at the end of the third summer of use. I would consider buying iGo again, as long as they were improving the items above. I wish there were more comments on the forum from owners about the more recent models, the Elite and the Ero.
 
Last edited:

fallsky

New Member
Hi,

Costco.ca is having a sale on iGo Elite soon and I found your post here. Have you had any other issue with your iGo bicycle? Can't seem to find much information about the company both on this website and online anywhere else so your first hand information would be highly appreciated.
 

BikeJack

New Member
Hi fallsky,

I don't have much new to report. I tried to put everything into the review. I did that because, like you, I found very little information online and I wanted others to get a clear picture of at least one owner's experience.

Did you notice that Court has a review of the Elite?
https://electricbikereview.com/igo-electric/elite/

For me, the only new thing is that I took advantage of a dry warm day recently and took it out for a spin. Battery seems to have survived the winter well (I did the recommended maintenance charging).

My impression is that iGo had a lot of glitches early on (look at the earlier posts in the iGo section of the forum). My experience has not been bad overall -- but I put all the negatives in the review, just to be totally clear.

Bottom line: I would do it again. For me, the price was a major factor. I don't feel comfortable putting down C$2000 for a bike, but the $500 off-sale at Costco was attractive. Also, if you buy from Costco, they have that great return policy. Note: I don't know if they would sell the Elite (this year's model) as an "electronic item". If they do, be warned the electronic item return policy is only 90 days. But when I bought the bike, I asked and was assured it was not under that policy, which means unlimited return period for members. That was another comfort factor for me.

I think the Elite looks better. It has a stronger motor and battery. And the forward-mounted battery would be an improvement, getting some of the weight of human+battery+motor off the back, which has no suspension, toward the front fork, that does. Court mentions a few issues in his review, however.

How much of a sale will Costco have? It's still marked C$2299 online.

That said, if you get it, I would be very happy to see your detailed review, especially if you could highlight whether any of the issues I flagged in my review have been improved!