X-treme XB-300 Electric Mountain Bike by Farbike

Discussion in 'Help Choosing an Ebike' started by Harry Barkley, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Harry Barkley

    Harry Barkley New Member

    Thanks to Court for nursing this old boy through the blogging process. This site is very interesting and I have been doing a great deal of research on ebikes and want to become an advocate. I am posting my first thread on any blog so let me know if I am getting too wordy as I tend to do.

    Hello all; I found a posting on eBay for "NEW XTREME XB 300LI LITHIUM POWERED MOUNTAIN BIKE" and it's listed for $699. I was wondering if you have had any experience with it. It is a new bike offered by a re-seller. It is for a special project for a friend a little down on his luck who needs cheap everyday transportation here in Roswell, GA. He is very limited in budget and we are considering this bike plus ebike kits. I found the parent company offering this called Farbike.

    I would like to get your opinions if at all possible by the end of the month on the bike because they have a good sale price plus January discount. I have read posts and reviews that talk about people who have paid $999 and are still satisfied with it as an entry level ebike but obviously with some limitations and flaws at this price point.

    Thanks in advance for your consideration and getting interested in converting my bike as well and possibly the complete bike for my friend.
     


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  3. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Harry! Great to see you here. Finding an ebike that's both affordable and somewhat functional/reliable is something I've struggled with plenty over the years. I think there are a lot of people in the industry who have bad memories of old electric bikes that were heavy, unreliable, poorly supported and hard to repair when they did break down. I hear this from bicycle shops all the time, someone will buy an inexpensive ebike online (like from Prodeco or eZip) and then it will break and they will take it to the local ebike shop and hope to get help repairing it... Some shops will help and others will not. For them it's a form of "showrooming" where they provide all the support but don't get the sale and then have to struggle to fix a bike that uses parts they don't carry or simply isn't cost effective to fix. To their credit, many of these shops just charge what it actually costs to fix in terms of time and parts but then the customer really suffers because they just spent ~$800 on an ebike that costs $250 to fix or maybe $300 to get a replacement battery after a year or so. I've made it one of my goals to review these "fringe" ebikes because some are really good and have a dedicated team behind them (like Motiv for example) but aren't very well known yet.

    Okay, now with all that said I can make some suggestions for you. Firstly, even though I was just hating on eZip, they are one of the original ebike brands out there and their batteries and technology has been improving since they were acquired by the Accell group in December 2011. One of their newer entry level ebikes, the Trailz Commuter, is quite good offering Lithium batteries, pedal assist and throttle mode with a solid six month warranty. Sure, it only goes 15 miles per hour and has a bolt on rack that will rattle and get loose over time. Yes, it uses an external, chain drive motor that is a nightmare to deal with if you get a rear flat... but the bike only costs ~$1,000. That's how it goes. ProdecoTech bikes are similar to this offering a high-mounted rear battery (that I've heard can crack and fall off) with a heavy gearless hub motor and twist throttle only mode. They are mostly available online but some shops are starting to pick them up and I've seen improvement in their rack design that could do a lot to improve durability with future releases.

    Taking all of this into consideration, when I look at the X-treme XB-300 pictures on eBay, watch their video and read through all the specs this is what comes to mind. I actually like the battery positioning and warranty and feel they have a decent product (at first glance). For reference, I've posted some thumbnails just below to aid in the specs portion and help others get an idea of what this ebike is all about:

    x-treme-xb-300-ebike.jpg

    x-treme-xb-300-lithium-trigger-shifter.jpg

    x-treme-xb-300-on-and-pedal-assist-buttons.jpg

    These are the specs as I read them or heard them in videos along with some thoughts and comparisons to other ebikes:
    • 300 watt geared (I think it's geared) rear hub motor, most standard US ebikes offer 350+ watt motors but in Europe and Asia most ebikes are limited to 250 based on legal restrictions... So 300 isn't all that bad
    • 7 Speed Shimano Tourney with trigger shifter (reminds me of what Pedego and Motiv use with the big thumb trigger, works well enough and seven speeds is good for climbing or pedaling if the battery runds out)
    • 24 volt 8 amp hour Lithium battery (most US ebikes offer 36+ volt 10+ amp hour packs so this bike is weak with limited range - they say 15 to 20 miles, again the battery is more akin to what they use in Europe and Asia and in the video they say they use Lithium Phosphate chemistry which may get hotter and not last through as many charge cycles... I did find a replacement battery online through one of the sites for $269 though it took me to another website when I clicked for details and it said the security certificate was expired... So, I took a screenshot of the battery for you below so you can search on it). Note that in the video review they shot (posted at the very end of my response here) they say it's the best ebike battery technology but that's debatable (and may just be marketing fluff), Lithium Cobalt has a higher energy density and is less prone to over heating but doesn't provide as much throughput
    • Top speed 20mph (standard), Smart charger (means it won't overcharge the battery, 26" wheels (standard mountain bike size, provides better leverage for climbing, not as efficient on road due to tires but that offers cushion which is nice for comfort)
    • Twist throttle (half twist on right bar) and pedal assist (I assume using a pedalec sensor) this is great because it will extend range if the battery is getting low but... how will you know the battery is low? All I see is an on/off button for switching from pedal assist to throttle mode. There aren't even levels of pedal assist to choose from or a speedometer. I did notice the battery indicator on the rear battery pack but that's going to be a bit inconvenient and annoying to check when riding.
    • Very basic suspension fork and seat post shock with no lockout (may bob when pedaling, reducing efficiency but still offers comfort which is nice)
    • Very basic (though standard) rear rack for adding panniers or a bag, be sure to keep it tight because it will start rattling and eventually lose screws and fall off if not maintained. Some people put loctite glue in when assembling these things.
    24-volt-replacement-battery-pack.jpg

    I love that it comes with a 15 day return policy, 90 day guarantee and one year battery warranty! This is tough however because just getting an ebike in the mail, assembling it and testing it can be a lot of work. Imagine having to repack the bike (hopefully you didn't destroy the box) and carrying an awkward ~70 pounds to Fedex then paying $100+ for shipping. These things are big and heavy and it's actually illegal to ship large Lithium batteries so that could also become an issue. I feel like a lot of companies just ignore this or have special shippers but it makes returning stuff hard or risky. Here's a review I shot of an online purchased ebike so you can see what it looks like to get in the mail and how to assemble it. Watch the video portion of the review for the 2012 Volton Alation 500.

    Overall it's a gamble but I do like the design of the X-treme XB-300 and appreciate that it has a Lithium battery and pedal assist. For a friend who is down on his luck, I'm guessing due to a lost license based on drug or alcohol abuse, this could be the mobility needed to get to work or see friends and family. The battery pack appears to be removable which means it could be charged on site, effectively doubling the "max range" to something like 30 or 40 miles. The company selling it actually has a website at http://www.farbike.com/ and it is also available at http://www.x-tremescooters.com/ with a return policy. If you've got a limited budget this thing looks like it would do the job. I'm sure you've seen this review but here it is anyway, reminds me of my own windy microphone recordings... it's pretty positive though for an unbiased review. We're talking about a very low end ebike here and none of the cons are really pointed out - because it was produced by the manufacturer. Get ready for some funky guitar background music!



    I like that it has mechanical disc brakes for improved stopping and also an LED headlight for safety (be sure to also get a tail light as it is a legal requirement in most states... along with a helmet). Since the light it comes with appears to be battery powered (in addition to the add on light which will also be battery powered) you have to worry about keeping those batteries charged and removing your light each time the bike is parked so it doesn't get stolen. At just 52 pounds this bike is pretty reasonable as compared with other higher end city style or mountain ebikes. It appears that they offer only one frame size (probably medium/large 19") and have a 350 pound weight limit. Regardless of that spec, this is not going to carry anyone over 100 pounds up a hill without pedaling assistance. If your friend is a recovering alcoholic and may choose to drink and ride please help them with a helmet and be careful about letting them ride when intoxicated as it is entirely possible to get more-hurt on a bike than in a car because there are no seatbelts, air bags or roll cages to protect you from yourself or another vehicle.

    Let me know if you have any other questions or thoughts. It's nice of you to help your friend out and he's lucky to have your support :)
     
    EddieJ and Harry Barkley like this.
  4. Harry Barkley

    Harry Barkley New Member

    I am assuming this is where a reply at the bottom of your message. My kids have said and I quote - "Dad, don't bother getting into the 21st century, but do try to get into the 20th!! I guess I'm not hopeless as I am BLOGGING!!

    I seem to have several versions of your reply on my screen and truly all I can say is WOW. I never dreamed of such a comprehensive analysis when we first met on line last week. You have given me a great deal to digest but I will outline the basics of my reaction:
    - I am glad you think the bike I found is worthy of consideration based on spec' and that the warranty is acceptable
    - I too am wary of a manufacturer's review but found it to be very informational
    - Many positive reviews on their site and several from "heavy" individuals who seem quite pleased
    - ALSO review from people who said not worth $1300 but $1000 would be about right. Current price would be $679. At that pricepoint we could afford seat, light and rack upgrades on the accessories.
    - I had assumed that the hub was a direct drive due to the weight capacity of 350 pounds. I had read that geared hubs were more efficient but did not offer the durability of a direct and should not be used for loads over 200 pounds??
    - Several of the accessories were reviewed as "cheap" or even missing. In particular the seat comfort and sturdiness, the light and the rack seem to be where some corners have been cut.
    - Just to clarify, my friend works at a large public park facility and alcohol/drugs do not seem to be a current issue. He is walking 5+ miles each way to work and he is a dedicated employee. He donates his time to Special Olympics and goes on a mission trip each summer to South America by raising his own funds. I have not asked about the personal problems that have gotten him into a somewhat itinerate lifestyle but he is sharing more and more as we develop our friendship. Helping him on this is a no-brainer. I do have some people who will donate "garage bikes" for my project and still weighing this option in conjunction with a kit.

    My feeling right now is that the new guaranteed bike , even if we have to replace some accessories, would be the better alternative. It has disc brakes which I believe will be safer, it is Lithium of some sort and although underpowered, he could exist on the range limitations and frankly needs to peddle to lose some of that excess baggage. I will keep you posted and absolutely can't thank you enough. Thanks again and God bless. HB

    One MORE question - is there some way of forwarding some of this information to others not on the forum??
     
  5. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Harry, I'm glad my response is helping you sort through this decision. You sound like a great friend and I think your help with this or some other ebike would go a long way towards empowering this gentleman. Ten miles of walking per day is quite a bit, it could be peaceful but also tiring and an ebike would cut the time it takes down. I hope my comments about drugs and alcohol were not taken the wrong way. I discovered recently that many people who get a DUI and lose their license turn to ebikes as a means for transportation, this is actually something a member of my own extended family encountered. I did not mean to be insensitive or make assumptions, just offer some transparency and acceptance and also concern for safety :)

    It really sounds like the X-treme XB 300 would be a good fit for your friend, especially if there aren't a lot of hills around. The seat upgrade, rear light and a helmet are all you'd really need to add and I'm sure the rack and battery will hold up fine for at least a year, especially if he takes care of the bike. Your other idea about turning a "garage bike" into an ebike could also be a worthwhile option and if you choose to go that route I suggest looking at the Clean Republic Hill Topper as it is very inexpensive and easy to add to nearly any bike out there (it comes in several sizes from 700cc for road bikes to 36" for mountain bikes). Still, the cheapest kits out there cost ~350+ and for just a bit more you get a new bike with a fancier battery design and warranty with the Farbike.

    To answer your question about sharing our conversation, you can simply highlight the text on this page using your mouse and then right click and press "copy" then paste it into an email to your friends. Alternatively, you could copy the URL of this page and just send that so they could create accounts and add their own feedback or questions right here. It's up to you, if you have any issues just email me and I'll help out again ;)

    Speaking of emails, it sounded like you were starting to get interested in ebikes yourself and had a couple of different models in mind. Feel free to post another question here or make a new post on the "compare" section. I'd be happy to share my thoughts as time permits and you can always just keep exploring the site. The homepage links to different categories including affordable ebikes, off road ebikes and city style ebikes etc. just below the main image http://electricbikereview.com/
     
  6. Harry Barkley

    Harry Barkley New Member

    Did you say hills? Have you seen the weather/news today? We have 2.5 inches of snow in Atlanta and it has shut the town down. Ice and snow is a disaster on any hill and we have them everywhere. So my friend's commute does include large hills so now you have me wondering again. He tried biking on a loaner and it just wouldn't work because he couldn't climb the hill on the way back from work. Hoping the assist will at least allow him to make it to the top of a few of them and gradually get back into better shape while saving some time. Thanks for your help and I will let you know the outcome. HB
     
  7. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    Hmm... What did you say his height/weight were again? This could be a factor in deciding whether to spend more on a high power 500 watt motor and 48 volt pack. If you think walking up a hill with a regular bike is no fun... well it's actually more fun with an electric bike because you can drive it up (some European ebikes even have a "walk mode" that pushes the bike at a typical walking speed so you don't have to push). In any case, these higher end bikes will be more expensive and it might just be simpler and less expensive to get the X-treme XB-300 or other entry level offering. Let me know how it turns out!
     
  8. Harry Barkley

    Harry Barkley New Member

    Found another entry level bike available on Ebay, WalMart and best of all - Best Buy. I have seen the Gio Foldable Electric Bike for prices ranging from $399 (+199 Shipping) to $900+ at WalMart. The Best Buy price is$599, Free Shipping and Free return to any Best Buy Store. This feature of returning locally would certainly lower the risk. The Wal-Mart and EBay adds specify Lithium Ion but I have not been able to find a battery description on the Best Buy ad although it looks the same in all of the pictures provided. The price is listed as a sale price through January 30. One of the ads specified up to 310 lbs and lists 15mph max with a range of 18+ miles and weight of 44 lbs.

    I read your review for a 20 inch wheeled bikes and your reservations seemed to be outweighed by the utility and affordability. Let me know what you think of this as an alternative for my friend who needs basic transportation, pedal assist and a very limited budget. Thanks again.

    gio-h2-volt-foldable-electric-bicycle.jpeg
     
  9. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Harry, my first thoughts are that this thing is just so small it will probably be uncomfortable for your friend riding for more than a few miles. The 250 watt motor and single speed gearing is just so limiting. This kind of thing is built to address the "last mile" situation where people need a way to go ~1 mile to a bus stop or train station. It's hard to ride something like this over long distances and with a top speed of 15 miles per hour, I think he'd be better off with a normal bicycle. I'd stick with that first ebike, it may cost more but it's going to work a lot better for your friend with his riding situation in my opinion :)
     
  10. Harry Barkley

    Harry Barkley New Member

    You really do burn the midnight oil!! Thanks for your quick response. I have been doing a great deal of research what with the IceJam2014 in Atlanta. I agree that the original bike is the best alternative and will hopefully be seeing by friend in time for the January sale. Also developing some alternatives for myself including a new 2011 Trek FX+ with BionX motor and believe it or not, the Cambridge Wheel. Haven't seen anything on your site about either of these. As usual, you have exceeded my expectations on every response and I really enjoy the site. I am sure most of the members are more interested in the higher end bikes and not a project like I am involve in and I have enjoyed reading their comparison questions regarding alternatives and this has helped research into my personal bike. Thanks again, HB
     
    Court likes this.
  11. Gilbert

    Gilbert New Member

    I HAVE THE XTREME XB300li ! Just got it today.. And I LOVE IT!

    I just could NOT find ANY electric bike in any local store! Figures! I saw the only way I can get one is online, which I don't exactly like to do. Just like you guys say, it's chancy. What if a return is needed.

    Well, from the day I started researching electric bikes, I quickly decided to order online rather that looking for a local shop for a specific bike I want (and the price). After about 2 weeks. I finally decided to get that Xtreme XB300li. I chose that bike mainly because the price is awesome! But there is a lot of other reasons I liked that XB300li. I love the style of the bike (another BIG reason), the permanent area for the battery, has a lithium battery, disk brakes etc.

    As of today, I already received the bike in the mail. FedEx. 2 days after I ordered it. I can say, I really LOVE the bike. Rides beautifully, and really quiet too! I only rode 5 miles as of 3-1-14. I have posted a youtube video of my "First Glance" experience. (titled "My New Xtreme XB300li electric bike". At my first glance, the quality on the MAIN parts feel REALLY GOOD. It's only the things like the pedals, seat and grips that feel cheap. All in all I can say the bike it self reminds me of one of those Walmart bikes you can get for $98. It's the batteries that cost a lot. Oh one other thing. The ad says 8amp battery. But this battery actually has 10 amps.



    Well, I'm yet to see how the bike goes in the next month or so. Then I'll post a youtube video again then! Reviews on this bike are pretty good. But some complain about how uncomfortable the seat is. And how cheap the light is, etc. WELL I decided to take the chance ordering online.. LOL. But actually I almost don't have a choice. A competitor of this bike (similar prices) is a Cyclamatic brand, and the currie trailz commuter. I was having thoughts of the commuter, but I just don't like the style. And don't exactly like the motor being outside the wheel. Plus I hear that those types are more noisier.
     
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  12. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    Hey Gilbert! Thank you so much for the review of the XTREME XB 300 LI. Your video was awesome, so detailed. It will definitely help other people who are considering the bike. I hope it works well for you and I'm excited for your next update. I edited your post a bit with links and included the video you put on Youtube. Great work :D
     
    Gilbert likes this.
  13. Gilbert

    Gilbert New Member

    Hey Court, thanks. I was wanting to put a link, but don't know how.. yet.. LOL
     
  14. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    It's all good, I read all of the posts here and try to help out. Like with pictures I'll name them to be more descriptive and also format them; sometimes improving the color or lighting to help out. Glad to have you here and excited that your new ebike is working great!
     
  15. Ravi Kempaiah

    Ravi Kempaiah Well-Known Member

    Excellent documentation of the whole process, Gilbert..!!
    Really enjoyed your image compilation at the beginning, including where to purchase the spare battery.
    One of the big concerns of Cyclamatic bikes is that Golf Outlet USA doesn't carry spare batteries and after an year or two, you will be left with a heavy non-electric bike.
    As long as you can get spare battery and motor serviced (if there is any problem), these bikes are best bang for the buck.
    It will be a lot more fun to ride in the summer.

    Great compilation and congratulations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  16. Gilbert

    Gilbert New Member

    Cyclamatic? I do know that I have seen a Cyclamatic bike that look very similar to the Xtreme XB300li. I hope they don't discontinue the Xtreme XB300li.. LOL.

    I have seen replacement lithum batteries for the Xtreme for about $300
     
  17. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    Where have you seen the replacement batteries Gilbert? Maybe post a link here for others. Also, be sure to top your battery off each month if you don't ride it and try not to run it all the way down. This should extend the life of the pack... along with avoiding very hot and cold temperatures :)
     
  18. Gilbert

    Gilbert New Member

  19. Gilbert

    Gilbert New Member

    As of today 3-8-14, one week of owning, I have ridden about 30 miles on the new Xtreme XB300li. I know it's not much. But enough for me to give a quick overview so far. This bike is great so far. I did a 20 mile run on a bike trail. About 1 1/4 hours (moving time according to my GPS). I came home with no sweat at all! Also I still had some battery life (3 dots out of 5) even after 20 miles! My estimate is 1/3 the time, used straight motor, no pedaling at all. About 1/2 the time I pedaled with the motor (for more power take offs, or beat the wind etc), and the rest, (maybe about 20% of the time) I used the pedal assist mode.

    How it rides? It is a bumpy ride for sure. But it's not uncomfortable (me anyway). The brakes feel spongy. Perhaps need to "break in"? It does rattle on bumps. Need to check for loose kickstand or rear rack etc. It did indeed top at close to 20mph. The average top speed for me (185 lbs) has been 18mph. And can see I can get more than 20 miles on a charge with at least half the time, me pedaling with the motor, not much work though. And I surely don't mind it at all. If anything, it's fun if I pedal!

    Riding as a normal bike? It rides really well. It feels heavy. And it can feel laboring to take off on this bike (or hills). The only reason I feel IMO why this is. Because of the single speed front sprocket. (it's like high gear is my only choice there:eek:). So the only help I have is just the low gear on the rear. If this bike had 21 speeds like my Schwinn mountain bike, I would say it would ride about the SAME overall.

    SO what do I think of my Xtreme XB300li?? I am 100% happy with it. It's many more things I like about this bike than I don't like!

    When I ride a total of 100 miles, I will post a video of overall "evaluation" (one person evaluation)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
    Court likes this.
  20. Court

    Court Administrator Staff Member

    Awesome update Gilbert, thanks so much for sharing. You really covered lots of areas there with range, weight and even the noise and durability of your rack. I'm excited to see the 100 mile update!
     
  21. Gilbert

    Gilbert New Member

    OK y'all. This is my experience on the Xtreme XB300li ebike.
    I give it 5 stars (so far). 131 miles I rode to date. Check my video out!
     
    bikerjohn, MarcD and Court like this.