The Stromer Experience

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Owning a Stromer ST2 E-bike is like working with a colleague who has Asperger's. We know this colleague has exceptional talent but has some limitations.

Most of the complains I see on the Stromer forum arises from two major scenarios.
  1. The rider uses the bike sparingly and runs into electrical gremlins. Or uses the bike in conditions it was not designed for. Like carrying heavy load or off-road.
  2. The rider uses the bike extensively but has no support system to keep the maintenance side of things or is very lazy about maintenance.
I had my fair share of replacements (charger, crank arm due to a fall, motor power cable) but other than that it has been a really nice experience. The bike really excels in urban riding conditions (read: nice roads :).
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I just happened to read this on Strava Electric Bike Club and I thought I would share it here.

https://www.strava.com/clubs/108312/posts/4887804

No idea if people want to share their stats or not, but my 2nd ebike (Stromer ST2) has been pretty solid so far. Since I've put in some decent miles with it, I thought I'd share, in case anyone was curious:

My Stromer ST2 has 15,264 miles according to Strava, and 15,258 miles according to its own odometer. The on-board computer says it has used 290,592WH, at an average of 19.0WH/MI. To give context, this year it has averaged 23.6mph (says Strava), not that I ride it for ave speed, I slow way down for people on sidewalks and things like waiting on lights to change green, otherwise it'd be probably over 26mph.

I'm 200+lbs. All miles are commuting and partial city riding. I always carry two large bags with tools, gear, and work clothes and shoes. I've beat this thing hard with curbs, and often hopping branches and crap in the road (using shoe clips, it's heavy lol). I ride it on the 105 degree summer days and 15 degree winter days. It's been in water plenty deep enough to submerge the bottom of the motor and crank dozens of times (crazy rainstorms). Multiple times I thought I'd be screwed when I realized how deep the water was getting.

The only thing to ever go bad on it is the front wheel bearing. It still runs and rides like the day I pulled it out of the shipping box, straightened the handlebars and tested it. I haven't even ever had to take it in for a derailleur adjustment. I've replaced the chain X3, cassette, chain ring, and brake pads X2, tires X4, and purged the brake fluid once.

My other ebike was a Focus 350W mid-drive that almost made it to 4k miles before needing its 4th motor. They said they'd replace it under warranty yet again, but I was done with dealing with it and gave it away. They (Focus USA reps) said the bike wasn't designed to handle how hard I rode... 20 mile commute each way (at that time, now only 8) in the heat, with constant stop and go at max assist. It was shredding the nylon gear in the motor and causing other issues as well.

Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself and it blow up on my commute home today lol.

Adam Also has this great video about the benefits of commuting on an E-bike.

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I find it sad how long chains and tires last. Both should casually last for at least 10,000 miles in my opinion. Street tires could easily to achieve this if the tire companies wanted them to last that long (they make even ebike tires light and with shallow treads which is more about planned obsolescence than design merits). I'm an engineer and I do not like that bean counters have taken over these decisions at most companies.
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
They made some poor choices when it comes to cable management, braking system and rack.
  • No words about the rack as all depends on its individual use
  • The exchange of the so call motor cable makes every bike mechanic angry - but they changed it in the 27½" series.
  • From the ST2 on, the braking system is oversized - especially the 4 piston installations are much more than necessary. The reason is the electric motor brake. Different strength on left and right brake lever and free scaling in the (-) mode. With this, the mechanical brake is only used for the final stop or in emergencies. What do you miss?
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
I find it sad how long chains and tires last. Both should casually last for at least 10,000 miles in my opinion.
Chains and tires are from the aftermarket. But try Schwalbe Marathon plus. Absolute puncture-proof and will last.

I have now approx. 750 km on the ST5 - and these rubber nipples from the production of the Pirelli tires are still there. I expect less mileage with the Pirelli, but I have the pleasure of the very good grip. I do corners much faster than a regular cyclist goes straight ahead.
 

rocfusion

New Member
  • No words about the rack as all depends on its individual use
  • The exchange of the so call motor cable makes every bike mechanic angry - but they changed it in the 27½" series.
  • From the ST2 on, the braking system is oversized - especially the 4 piston installations are much more than necessary. The reason is the electric motor brake. Different strength on left and right brake lever and free scaling in the (-) mode. With this, the mechanical brake is only used for the final stop or in emergencies. What do you miss?

The rack is too weak, it looks nice being integrated with the fender. But its not practical, for the everyday load ( chain, laptop, tools ).

Its not just the motor cable, brake lever and front light cable have connectors which are exposed. In heavy rain these connectors get water logged. If I need to get somewhere, I ride rain or shine. I have ridden the ST2 in real heavy downpours. The bike itself handles great in rain.

Again same thing with the brakes, I ride up and over the canyons, from hollywood, bevelry glenn, coldwater canyon & Sunset plaza dr. The brakes are not strong enough to bring the bike to a stop in a reasonable distance. Even with regen enabled its just dangerous. Under the right conditions, I can reach 35-40mph maybe faster sometimes.
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
The brakes are not strong enough to bring the bike to a stop in a reasonable distance. Even with regen enabled its just dangerous.
OK, with this information, I would recommend you to visit your Stromer bike mechanic. He must be able to fix this. You'll be surprised (or disappointed, if you like the thrill of high speed ;-.) how slow even a steep downhill ride will be with full electric motor brake.
 

rocfusion

New Member
I have with my local bike shop and have been in direct contact with Stromer. The only option was to upgrade the brakes and that was something like $400 plus install. So I left it.

The regen is not always an option either. When you have a full charge, regen doesn't work.
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
The only option was to upgrade the brakes and that was something like $400 plus install. So I left it.
A wise decision!

"better brakes" does not mean shorter stopping distance. It means the brakes will have better resistance against overheating. Truly important in mountain bike sports - but useless on a road bike. It's the tiny surface between tire and road wich counts. If you want to shorten the stopping distance, you should:
  • use larger tires (broader size, less air pressure)
  • use tires with higher grip (the opposite of long lasting)
Both is present in the ST3 / ST5 series. The Pirelli doesn't look only impressive, the ride is also fun and fast. If you ask, why the top models in 26" and 27½" have 4-piston brakes, the answer is simple: They had to have as they are the top models.
 

dfgarci17

New Member
To provide an update:

Motor went out again 2 days after the repair. After that I more or less demanded the bike be replaced (I originally asked for the bike to be replaced when the second motor cable incident occurred), and after much back and forth my ST2S is being replaced with a ST3. In total, it'll be about 2.5 - 3 months without a working bike since I purchased in October.

I think ultimately it was the (un)luck of the draw for me, but the infrastructure to handle bike specific issues quickly and efficiently isn't there.
 

bluecat

Well-Known Member
the infrastructure to handle bike specific issues quickly and efficiently isn't there.
This is a real shame!

After so many years on the market, still unskilled Stromer bike mechanics, tsss. The replacement of the ST2 motor cable is known as demanding - but feasible.

Are you lucky with the ST3 instead of the ST2s?
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Couple questions pls...if I have the original motor cable, does it need to replaced , in other words are all original cables defective whether admitted or not? And my bike takes too much effort at anything under about 21-22mph is easier to pedal, leg muscles get less tired, and above. Power level 1 is too much effort at any speed but I can go top speed with reasonable effort in level 3. It feels like something w/the tq sensor but it is hard to explain unless you ride it of course :)...non certified tech who will call Stromer but doesn’t on or ride one does the best he can