Koda at 700 miles

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
I bought this from a local bike shop August 24 after a chance meeting with a woman riding an eJoe Anggun a few days earlier who was very enthusiastic about her bike and the shop as well. I had test ridden the excellent Pedego City Commuter prior and loved it, but was more interested in something more like a mountain bike in appearance and geometry. I thought about the Pedego Ridge Rider, but I believe that is a torque sensor system and I was looking for cadence. Along came the Koda, I tried one and bought it on the spot.

So I rolled past 700 miles this morning on the gorgeous Warren County Bike Path in Lake George and I guess it's time to pass along some impressions for anyone else out there thinking about it.

I love this bike. I have ridden it a good bit without any assistance at all along various sections of the Erie Canal railway, and it behaves just fine, but when you hit the power button you can just feel it come alive. Only way to describe it, it is like a living thing. Handles very well, and has that great sense that it is pulling you along when you increase the boost for a hill or to cruise a little faster. Obviously the assistance is more of a push, but the sensation is completely one of being pulled onward. It's very cool, and I guess that is common across most of these types of bikes.

Mine is the 36 watt 14 amp battery, which once I learned how to ride the thing, has been completely up to the task. I am not exactly svelte anymore at 65, but I was a long time touring bike rider back in the day and on this thing I feel I'm back in the game again. We have no shortage of hills around here near the southern end of the Adirondacks and it has shown itself to be very capable. I would love to have the 48 volt battery (mine is a 2015 model, the 2o16s have that stronger battery), but again, having learned how it behaves, this is fine. I'm going to be riding it around the Lake Placid/Saranac Lake area most of next week and have learned I don't need to fear those hills as long as I'm willing to do my part of the work. Nowadays I go out of my way looking for hills because it is just so satisfying to be able to get up them with some effort on the big ones. Like the old days!

For some weird reason eJoe hid assist level 4. On the console the up button only takes you from 1 to 2 to 3. I saw Court's video on the Koda and could see that Level 4 indicator, but for the first few days I couldn't find it and I wondered what the hell was going on. Turns out you have to hit the power on/off button briefly to get Assist 4! Hitting it again toggles you between 4 and 2. Heaven knows why they did that, but I was a very happy rider once I discovered that extra level of go power. I went right back to a few tough hills that had given me considerable difficulty and found I could now get over them.

I don't know what their logic is on that, and I wonder how many Koda users there are out there who think their bike only has three levels of assistance.

And of course, the more you ride, the stronger you get, and after all these miles I find I can really eat up some of the stuff that was pretty challenging when I started out on this thing, so that's a plus as well.

Nice rear rack to hang the panniers on. The advertised USB charger port does not work - it isn't even connected, I have found, since they apparently had early issues of allegedly burning out a few phones. No problem, I got two of those nice Gem stick USB battery chargers and gorilla taped them to the down tube right above the battery. Now I can run LogMyRide or whatever else for many hours on my iPhone.

I may try a set of slightly swept back handlebars since I'm starting to experience that tennis elbow thing others have reported on straight bars. I do really like the flared grips that the bike came with, though. I found if I rotate them up just a bit, it is quite a lot more comfortable on 30 to 40 mile trips.

Which brings me to the battery indicator. I still haven't really learned to trust this one. It uses the visual sort of barber pole, which changes as you increase the load - I guess it's basically a voltmeter. After 20 miles or so, when climbing a hill in Assist 3 or 4, the visual will bottom right out and even blank itself on the screen, but the power keeps coming and when I get to the end of the ride the battery itself will still show me two or even three of the four light indicators. I've never had it go below 2, and I've done plenty of 30 mile plus rides. Therefore, even though it scares the hell out of me sometimes near the end of a ride when I know I've got some distance and/or hills remaining, it always seems to get me back. I do plan on buying a second battery since I find I love the distance riding.

Once you get on this thing on a good day, you just never want to get off! I don't know a better recommendation.

That Pedego Ridge Rider would be great as would a bunch of other choices out there, but this bike was under $2000 brand new and came with a bunch of very good features. I am loving riding it. My wife, as a point of comparison, is loving her new City Commuter as well, and I love that we can ride together. However, out on my own on a good rolling road or bike path, I really enjoy revving it up and getting a good workout on this thing, and it is a great partner in that effort. Highly recommended.
 
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Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
I bought this from a local bike shop August 24 after a chance meeting with a woman riding an eJoe Anggun a few days earlier who was very enthusiastic about her bike and the shop as well. I had test ridden the excellent Pedego City Commuter prior and loved it, but was more interested in something more like a mountain bike in appearance and geometry. I thought about the Pedego Ridge Rider, but I believe that is a torque sensor system and I was looking for cadence. Along came the Koda, I tried one and bought it on the spot.

So I rolled past 700 miles this morning on the gorgeous Warren County Bike Path in Lake George and I guess it's time to pass along some impressions for anyone else out there thinking about it.

I love this bike. I have ridden it a good bit without any assistance at all along various sections of the Erie Canal railway, and it behaves just fine, but when you hit the power button you can just feel it come alive. Only way to describe it, it is like a living thing. Handles very well, and has that great sense that it is pulling you along when you increase the boost for a hill or to cruise a little faster. Obviously the assistance is more of a push, but the sensation is completely one of being pulled onward. It's very cool, and I guess that is common across most of these types of bikes.

Mine is the 36 watt 14 amp battery, which once I learned how to ride the thing, has been completely up to the task. I am not exactly svelte anymore at 65, but I was a long time touring bike rider back in the day and on this thing I feel I'm back in the game again. We have no shortage of hills around here near the southern end of the Adirondacks and it has shown itself to be very capable. I would love to have the 48 volt battery (mine is a 2015 model, the 2o16s have that stronger battery), but again, having learned how it behaves, this is fine. I'm going to be riding it around the Lake Placid/Saranac Lake area most of next week and have learned I don't need to fear those hills as long as I'm willing to do my part of the work. Nowadays I go out of my way looking for hills because it is just so satisfying to be able to get up them with some effort on the big ones. Like the old days!

For some weird reason eJoe hid assist level 4. On the console the up button only takes you from 1 to 2 to 3. I saw Court's video on the Koda and could see that Level 4 indicator, but for the first few days I couldn't find it and I wondered what the hell was going on. Turns out you have to hit the power on/off button briefly to get Assist 4! Hitting it again toggles you between 4 and 2. Heaven knows why they did that, but I was a very happy rider once I discovered that extra level of go power. I went right back to a few tough hills that had given me considerable difficulty and found I could now get over them.

I don't know what their logic is on that, and I wonder how many Koda users there are out there who think their bike only has three levels of assistance.

And of course, the more you ride, the stronger you get, and after all these miles I find I can really eat up some of the stuff that was pretty challenging when I started out on this thing, so that's a plus as well.

Nice rear rack to hang the panniers on. The advertised USB charger port does not work - it isn't even connected, I have found, since they apparently had early issues of allegedly burning out a few phones. No problem, I got two of those nice Gem stick USB battery chargers and gorilla taped them to the down tube right above the battery. Now I can run LogMyRide or whatever else for many hours on my iPhone.

I may try a set of slightly swept back handlebars since I'm starting to experience that tennis elbow thing others have reported on straight bars. I do really like the flared grips that the bike came with, though. I found if I rotate them up just a bit, it is quite a lot more comfortable on 30 to 40 mile trips.

Which brings me to the battery indicator. I still haven't really learned to trust this one. It uses the visual sort of barber pole, which changes as you increase the load - I guess it's basically a voltmeter. After 20 miles or so, when climbing a hill in Assist 3 or 4, the visual will bottom right out and even blank itself on the screen, but the power keeps coming and when I get to the end of the ride the battery itself will still show me two or even three of the four light indicators. I've never had it go below 2, and I've done plenty of 30 mile plus rides. Therefore, even though it scares the hell out of me sometimes near the end of a ride when I know I've got some distance and/or hills remaining, it always seems to get me back. I do plan on buying a second battery since I find I love the distance riding.

Once you get on this thing on a good day, you just never want to get off! I don't know a better recommendation.

That Pedego Ridge Rider would be great as would a bunch of other choices out there, but this bike was under $2000 brand new and came with a bunch of very good features. I am loving riding it. My wife, as a point of comparison, is loving her new City Commuter as well, and I love that we can ride together. However, out on my own on a good rolling road or bike path, I really enjoy revving it up and getting a good workout on this thing, and it is a great partner in that effort. Highly recommended.
Congrats on your Koda, Dave! That bike is a great value and has some pretty impressive specs.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Couple more notes and the short Wish List:

The other day I did install an adjustable headstock which let me bring the bars up and back just enough to make things a little more natural. So far, so good, though I may still get those Origin 8 bars I've seen referenced in a couple of other very good threads here. Ron, thanks for bringing those to everyone's attention.

The lights are not part of the system, using their own batteries. The taillight is decent, but the headlight is laughable. I know it's all part of the pricing/feature decision. I got a nice pulsing/flashing LED additional taillight that goes under the seat and am researching the headlight story now. Once Daylight Savings Time goes away, this will become more critical.

It would be nice if the console had a backlight. If it does, I can't figure out how to turn it on, so I think that's a No.

The thumb trigger throttle is active all the time, regardless of what level boost you're in. It is far too easy to bump into it while stopped, maybe reaching around to the panniers. It would be a great thing if it was or could be disabled in boost 0... so you have to be in 1 - 4 to operate it. The damn thing almost knocked me right on my ass the other day, and i could see where it could be hazardous in some situations.

That's about the only negatives I have, which is pretty good on an ebike that cost a good deal less than $2000. Continuing to really enjoy this thing.

By the way, what a gorgeous time of year on the bike paths it is! We live near the Mohawk Hudson bike path, and in the mornings the leaves are falling on the path while you ride along, and the color is really starting to get going. The Adirondack High Peaks most of this next week, just riding all over the place with no specific goal. Can't wait.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
How about a 1000 mile update? Passed the 1000 mark today in a bitter cold headwind out along the Erie Canal near Little Falls, NY.

Bike continues to hold up great, a real trooper. 1000 miles came along in two months and one day, about equal between roads and bike paths. A lot of exploratory, adventure sort of riding, working my way across NYS a bite at a time, among other things. In the spring I will get serious and string enough days together to finish what I haven't done yet out to Buffalo.

Negatives:

The brakes are shot. The rear brake is so bad the damn bike seems to go faster when you pull it. I am sure it needs brake pads, and next time I will learn the best way to bed them in. I just bought the bike and started riding, never having had discs on a bike before. The brakes never were terrific, and I wonder if that is partly my fault through new brake ignorance.

The battery indicator on the console display is the worst, most useless device ever assembled. The battery itself has four lights indicating it's overall level of charge, but you have to stop and get off to see it. The display meter is the barber pole voltmeter sort that is all over the place depending on what you re doing at that instant.

As the thirty six volt battery starts to drain, it really loses its ability to kick in when it needs to deliver more power. After fifteen miles or so, going up a decent hill and kicking it up to assist three just bottoms the display right out and scares the hell out of me, if I'm more than a few miles from the car. The power falls way off, but recovers as long as you're just pedaling along a flat, as does the display. Hop off and check the battery lights themselves, and it will suggest I have three of four still green.

So riding this thing distances of over twenty miles or so becomes an excercise in uncertainty and outright fear if I discover there are still big hills ahead. I have learned that local libraries are my friend... they will always cheerfully let me charge up a bit in a pinch.

For the spring I will have to get a second battery though. No way around that. I see that eJoe now has a forty eight volt battery for this bike, but I don't know that my controller could handle it. I have to call them and see what they say about that, or if there would be a benefit in the first place.

Every other thing pertaining to this bike is in the Plus column. It is a real bear as far as toughness, and a ton of fun to ride. At some point maybe next year I sort of plan to graduate to a Specialized Turbo of some flavor, but there's no hurry, and other than the battery display stuff I would recommend the Koda wholeheartedly. Even that would likely not be a problem for many people with known ride durations, but that's not me. A great commuter for sure. Nice bike.
 

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Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Damn it, another flat! Why always on the rear tire??

I have learned it's quite easy to flip the bike over, break the tire off the rim without removing the wheel and check for holes in the tube. Did so it twice yesterday, patching one hole but not being able to find what must be another when I continued losing air. If the puncture is obvious, doing this is no problem without taking the rear wheel off, but if that wheel needs to be pulled - like yesterday - things are a bit more complicated. If you are lucky and find the puncture, it can be done literally in ten minutes, which has relieved some of my apprehension about the whole rear tire ebike hub motor thing... but not 100%.

So it's off at the shop getting some new Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires put on, and I am downsizing from 700x45 to 700x38 for the express reason that I will be able to carry one of the Gaadi tubes that don't require wheel removal in an emergency. After 1000 miles the back tire was looking a bit haggard anyway, so there you are. The way I ride, I can easily be 20 or more miles from the car, which may be 80 miles from home sometimes, so I am thinking this might be the way to go.

But for crying out loud, couldn't I get a front tire flat? Just once??
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Thank you!

Couple hundred more miles past 1000 now with the new Schwable Marathon Plus tires on it, smaller size. The ride is noticeably harder and - shall we say - more abrupt, but I've mitigated that a bit by finally unlocking the front suspension after riding with it locked almost the whole first 1000. Good compromise. I like the tires very much, handles well and visually the bike just looks better with the reflective striping on the tires.

I have heard the one sure way to never get another rear tire flat on an ebike is to spend a couple of bucks on a Gaadi tube, so I did that as well as went to the Marathons. Feeling invulnerable now!

Sadly I will not be a true hardy winter rider - this is for sport and enjoyment, not commuting, but as long as this weather holds I hope get maybe another month before putting it away. Anything about 35 or so with dry roads, I'm there. Koda is still a gas to ride. Several people have tried it and been impressed.

My wife and I were out the other day with her Pedego City Commuter and I jumped on it when she wasn't looking for a minute... holy cow, what torque on the freaking throttle on that thing! Hers is a 48 volt system as opposed to my 36 volt, but that thing really has the juice.
 

Dave in PA

New Member
Thanks for your posts! I just ordered a 2017 and am waiting for it to arrive. Has the 48v system, hydraulic brakes, and an 8sp for 17, and I jumped!
I'm 6'2" and hope I can get the medium frame to fit, but I am super stoked to experience an electric bike! I do an 16mi commute and weekend rail trails, so it looks like the range should be sufficient. Thanks again for the input, it helped immensely with choosing the Koda! I'll post again after I get it.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
I'm thinking that's gonna be a very nice bike Dave, especially with that extra gear cog. Maybe I'll see you this spring out on the GAP trail or someplace else!

I just replaced the handlebars with the Origin 8 Space Bar handlebars discussed here at length several months ago in the Specialized Turbo threads, for a more natural hand position. I know I'm going to like those a lot, if winter ever ends. I'm actually thinking about putting the bike on the back of the car in early March and driving down to Richmond, Virginia for a couple of days and riding the Capital trail. That sounds like a dream ride in proper Southern spring weather.

Good luck with your Koda. I couldn't be much happier with mine.
 

dc9mm

New Member
In your original post you mention a cadence sensor. I watched the video review here and he says it has a torque sensor? So did I miss understand you ? Which does it have the cadence sensor or torque sensor? I then found three different websites one selling a 2015 another the 2016 and another selling the newest 2017. Says the 2015 has torque sensor 2016 cadence and doesn't say for 2017. So have they changed the type of peddle assist sensor over the years?
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
I don't speak from any particular authority, but I believe these originally were torque sensor. Mine is a late model 2015 and definitely has a cadence sensor. I see they're hopping these things up a bit for 2017 with a 48 volt battery and an extra sprocket in the gears, both of which would be great.. not sure about the pedal assist changing or not.
 

dc9mm

New Member
Thanks for the reply. Yes they sure are improving it. Better brakes better battery and another gear. Iam also considering the Radcity bike but am leaning toward the Ejoe because its about 9 pounds lighter. I wonder how much improved torque the higher voltage ads.
 

Dave in PA

New Member
So I received my 2017 Koda and it has a cadence sensor. I was definitely expecting the torque sensor. eJoe is saying the next shipment due in April will have the torque sensor. I think they could do a better job of updating specs on their web site. They offered to exchange my bike for the next one when they arrive. so I guess that's what I'll do. My bike also has a problem with the hydraulic brakes being very spongy, have to pump the lever a couple of times to get them to stop. eJoe said to take it to LBS for repair and they will refund the cost for repair. From my experience so far, I would say that this bike would be better bought at a dealer so that you could verify the components. I still think it will be a great ride when sorted out.
 

Saratoga Dave

Well-Known Member
Agreed; I bought mine at the dealer and it was handy the first month or two having them to ask questions of, at least.

Didn't realize the new one has hydraulic brakes also... mine are mechanical. As much as I like mine, I'd love to swap that baby for one of these new ones!
 

dc9mm

New Member
Interesting about they will switch to torques sensor. I want a cadence myself. You have air in the hydraulic brakes I would think that would be easy to bleed air out but no idea if the caliper has a bleed valve like on my motorcycles. What ever I end up getting no Ejoe dealer with 350 miles. of me. Only bike shops near me sell way over priced electric bikes with specs less than the Koda but a grand more money.
 

mikesova

New Member
Any updates? I'm looking at a 2017 E-joe on craigslist. The guy got it in April, so maybe it has the torque sensor?