AM 100 Review

SLONomad

Member
I bought the AM 100 last month and have put over 300 miles on the bike and have many good things to say, but a couple major complaints. First, the good:

PROS:
1. Great range! With practice and battery management skills, I'm sure you can get over 70 miles on a full charge. My first effort at 52 miles ended with still 2/5 bars showing IMG_20200710_130602.jpg. My latest trip was 43 miles with 3/5 bars left.
2. Great value. At $1,399, this is a lot of bike for the money.
3. Battery recharges on downhill rides! This is really fun, especially for me, an electric vehicle nerd. I love the way my EV recharges when coasting or braking. Now my bike does it, too. It also allows you to add to your workout. If you pedal while going downhill, it increases the charge rate while increasing your heart rate!
4. The battery has a USB outlet. No more dead cellphones!
5. Relatively light. Most large e-bikes can weigh 70 or 80 pounds. This one is under 50 with the battery removed. This is important for my bike carrier which is rated to 50 lbs.
6. Operates with throttle or peddle-assist. The throttle is really nice for starting up from a stoplight. It takes a couple cranks to get the assist going without it, so getting going by throttle really helps.
7. This bike can go fast on the flat. It cruises very comfortably with normal pedaling effort at 24 mph (though it is advertised to go up to 30 mph)
8. Tools needed for assembly were included... but no assembly instructions...which leads me to the....

CONS:
1. No paperwork included with the shipment. No assembly instructions, user manual, safety warnings, etc. Is that even legal? If you have never assembled a bike before, you'll probably need some help or at least find a good youtube video. (I did find one later, but they should at least have a sheet of paper with a link to the video and also post the link on their website) There is an online user manual for the controller on the eAhora website, but it is not particularly well written and contains some errors.
2. Some adjustments need to be made to make this comfortable. Not all the tools needed for those adjustments are included (my set had the large hex end wrenches, but not the smaller ones), so you need a good set of bike tools, especially allen wrenches. The gear shift thumb lever, for example, interferes with the grips, so I had to move it a couple inches to the left on the handlebar.
3. The motor has a mind of its own. It surges sporadically, sometimes when you don't want it. For example, I was turning sharply at a slow speed in a confined space when the motor kicked in, almost sending me crashing into a wall. THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED. There are many adjustments that can be made on this bike, but the online instructions tell the user to contact customer support. I've done so. We'll see what they can do (see update below)
4. Because of the surging problem, this bike SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR MOUNTAIN TRAIL RIDING. MTB trails require careful control of speed, effort and direction. As this bike is sold to be used for trail riding, this is a major problem. If I had bought this bike for trail riding, I probably would have given it 1 star. I will use it primarily for pavement, gravel and dirt roads and flat trails (see update below)
5. The motor is not very powerful when going up hills. I am a pretty strong rider, so this is not a real issue with me, but it does take work getting up a hill. The power assist is certainly helpful, but underwhelming.

Would I buy this bike again, knowing what I know now? Probably not. But if customer service can correct the surge problem, I would change that to a yes.

UPDATE: Tech support was not very helpful. I sent them videos illustrating the problem but they said the surging is normal. So I decided to make some adjustments myself and was pleasantly surprised to find how easy the adjustments are. The controller is fully programmable, though the manual warns the user to not mess with it. I was able to greatly reduce the surging problem which, I have learned, is inherent with cadence sensor motors. The bike came from the factory with a setting of 56% power in Level 1, though the default is supposed to be 50%. I lowered it even further to 40%, changed the power levels from 3 to 5 and now have a bike that I can control rather than one that wants to control me.

I raised my rating to 4 stars, but if I could rate customer support separately, it would be 2 stars.
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