Today, my wife and I got to do and extended ride on the Espin Sport and Flow at a e-bike rental/sales shop in Scottsdale. We went there to make our final choice between the RadCity's and the Espin bikes. Wow, what a difference. The Espin's cost $200 more ($1,699 vs $1,499) ... but the quality and performance was noticeably better in every respect and especially in "look and feel" and ride quality and performance. (Nov 8 note, Espin recently raised the price to $1,799)
Spec wise, the Espin's have a 500 watt (700 peak) geared, hub motor which was noticeably quicker and better on the hills with 55 nm of torque vs 40 on the RadCity 500 watt (750 peak DD hub motor). Espin has a 48 volt 14 amp battery, dual piston hydraulic brakes, Acera 8 speed cassette with rapid fire trigger shifters, 5 levels assist and a thumb throttle, Kenda Komfort 27.5 x 1.95 tires. The Sport is class 3 and the Flow Class 2, but user changeable to class 3. I do prefer the twist throttle on the Rad, as it's easier to modulate speed. With the Espin, it's more of an on/off assist, as it's difficult to modulate. Actually in real use, that's the way we would normally use the throttle for a quick "blip" of thrust. I weighed the bikes with my luggage scales at 55 lbs for the Espin's and 65 lbs for the RadCity. The lighter weight made a significant and noticeable improvement in the bike's agility and ease of pedaling at level 0. The most striking difference however, was in the ride quality, smoothness and agility of the Espins. Unfortunately they made the Rad's feel heavy, clunky and cumbersome in back to back rides. Also, the Espins actually look really cool and sleek, especially when placed next to the RadCity. The integrated battery also disguises the electric nature of the bikes, perhaps a plus for theft protection.
Anyway, I wanted to let the community know about these bikes as we have researched many and test driven several mid-drives, the Rad Rover, City and Mini's, the Aventon Pace 500 and 350 (which we both liked a lot) and now the Espins. We are going to buy the Espin's. There is not a lot on the web about the company or the bikes, although they started out in 2017 with similar bikes with 350 watt hubs, but I don't think they caught on. EBR was at the Scottsdale, PhatRide store a few days ago, so I'm told there will be a report in a couple of weeks. I saw some of the pictures at the store today, but we don't need to wait, and are happy to have finally found what we want.
Nov 8 update: still impressed with the Espin's but along comes the ride1up 700's that look even better on paper, and at $1,499. Will have to wait now to see the reviews that are promised in December. Lot's of new choices out there!
Howdy! Glad to hear you were able to test these bikes, I really like all of Espin's lineup and I'm glad that they're adding more dealers in the US. I did review the Reine and the Sport while I was out there. The Reine review is live now: Espin Reine Review, an the Sport will be published tomorrow November 6th!