Andy Kirby "Vapour" E-Bike Review

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
I spoke to Pushkar a couple of weeks ago about doing a review of another manufacturers E-bike and he was fine with it so here goes.

There is an e-bike guy over in the UK that I guess has a pretty good following as far as DIY e-bike mods. He has some you tube videos on fast bikes as well as a build up on this particular frame/motor combo. He uses much higher end components on his build and it's just to show you what could be done if you choose to.

A couple of friends of mine ordered these bikes one in Nov. 2019 and one in Dec. 2019.
The bike ordered in Nov. arrived early February minus the battery which came about 3 weeks later. Still waiting on the Dec. bike order. Almost no communication as to status or delivery date on either bike. So I ( squeaky wheel) e-mailed Andy Kirby at the Cloudsto website as to any updates on delivery and the guy actually replied the next day saying that the bikes were shipping from China the next week. About 3 weeks after that is when my buddy got contacted by DOT. The next week he got his bike.
Most of the bike was pre assembled and packed adequately to protect it from any damage as it made it's way from China to San Diego.
Upfront cost of the bike when ordered was 3,400 euros which is about $4,114 US. They do state on their website ( if you search for it, and you gotta search it's not upfront ) that any additional fees to be paid by customer. Which we couldn't find any info on so we waited to see how it all shook out. Well my buddy got a call from the DOT about a week before receiving his bike saying that his item had arrived to the states and he was required to pay a VAT tax before they would release it to be delivered. $870 was the fee. So now he's in about 5k.

IMG_1309.JPG


All the components that should of come with the build were listed on the website.
Right away we noticed that the front fork and rear shock were different. Front fork should of been a Rockshox Yari but he got a DNM USD=6A model. Inverted and has 150mm travel and has (2) brake caliper mounts on the lowers, odd. NO air fill on this shock so Im guessing oil damper on the rt side and spring on the left. Not sure if this shock is serviceable or not.

ALERT ALERT the front fork comes with a through axle that is different than what I have normally seen. It is a hollow sleeve with threads on the inside of both ends and threaded caps that screw on to both sides to secure. Then you need to tighten up the two sets of bolts on the bottom of the forelegs to keep it all in place. Only problem is when you need to remove the wheel and you unscrew the two endocarp bolts and loosen up the fork leg bolts nothing comes apart. We had to use a drift pin punch to remove the sleeve.
So I put on my thinking cap and remembered that I had a couple of the same diameter thru axles from some rigid forks I never used. They were for 150mm dropouts and it only has "One" removable threaded cap on the end and the other side is fixed. So we removed the old and fit up the new and yes it did indeed fit perfect with no spacers or anything and we were able to keep the allen wrench in the head and turn the whole assembly out to remove without much trouble. Otherwise using these forks with original set up you would probably be screwed and not be able to remove without pounding it to pieces. Forgot to address this in original post so I'm adding it now.
XQU3YIMPQsa5CPVpiQ80cQ.jpg


The rear shock should of been a X-fusion o2 and he got another DNM A042RC model. I found this same shock on Amazon for $97.30 so a bit of a switcharoo if you ask me.

IMG_1308.JPG


So no explanation as to why they substituted components and no verbiage on the spec build sheet as far as see about swapping parts. When my buddy contacted AK about the items he said that "China" substituted those and he couldn't do anything about it.

L A M E I bet if my friend decided to send a little less $ he might of had a different response. No credit back, no "hey we can't supply those parts or we will give you a credit on the difference or not supply the parts and adjust your cost. So heads up if your thinking about this bike.

As far as I can tell these bikes ( or at least one so far ) are the first to get into the US so zero feedback anywhere I could find.
Anyway back to the bike. Frame looks good and workmanship seems ok. One feature I like is the rear triangle looks big enough for a 29" tire if you wanted to run those and the front fork being inverted gives you that option as well up front, or go mullet. Non-boost spacing on the hubs so 100mm and 142mm front and back. Tires are legit Schwalbe 2.6". Hubs are low quality Quanta brand and the rims are no-name but are double wall and seem pretty beefy, spokes are black steel with chrome nipples. Seat and seatpost seem ok also. Brake rotors are 1800mm front and back and brakes are 2 piston Magura. Stem and handlebars are fine. Shimano 10 spd Deore shifter and derailed are ok. The motor is the stock Bafang G510/M620 and the label on bottom says 52v I thought they all were 48v? I know the upgraded motor and Archon controller I got from Pushkar is labeled 48v and he knows I'm running a 52v battery so...?. Came with cranks and pedals which were wall mart stock.

IMG_1303.JPG
IMG_1304.JPG
IMG_1307.JPG
S5t3PpuaSGKhR9KZusgYwg.jpg


So we replaced the 170mm crankarms with some 160mm and threw on some decent crankbros pedals. A new KMC E-chain and replaced the steel chainring as well with a race face 40t. We found a dropper for a good $ and installed that as well as a WTB seat. New grips and we were done with the bike portion that is.
So next up we fabricated up a template for the battery (52v 34.5ahr) and modified the original mounting pads to fit. Did a little rewiring on the motor leads and mounted the battery in it's bag and we were good to go.
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My buddy has probably a dozen of so rides on it so far and he is really happy with the ride. He had a bit to much air in the rear shock and after bleeding off a bit it made a big difference in ride quality. I have ridden it 2x and the throttle works fine but the PAS is not as smooth as mine IMO. IMO is the bike worth a 3 month wait and have critical parts substituted with no recourse and a stock G510 motor all for 5k? I wouldn't do it again knowing what I know now. I would of bought just the frame maybe and got an upgraded motor from Mr. P and put my own parts on it. I bet for the same 5k I could of been better quality and it would of given me something to do. Live and learn. Looks like they are not stocking those bikes on that original site to sell. Covid, import issues? Hopefully the second bike gets here fairly soon and we can get that one running and move onto bigger and better things. Thanks for listening.
 
Last edited:

reed scott

Well-Known Member
I spoke to Pushkar a couple of weeks ago about doing a review of another manufacturers E-bike and he was fine with it so here goes.

There is an e-bike guy over in the UK that I guess has a pretty good following as far as DIY e-bike mods. He has some you tube videos on fast bikes as well as a build up on this particular frame/motor combo. He uses much higher end components on his build and it's just to show you what could be done if you choose to.

A couple of friends of mine ordered these bikes one in Nov. 2019 and one in Dec. 2019.
The bike ordered in Nov. arrived early February minus the battery which came about 3 weeks later. Still waiting on the Dec. bike order. Almost no communication as to status or delivery date on either bike. So I ( squeaky wheel) e-mailed Andy Kirby at the Cloudsto website as to any updates on delivery and the guy actually replied the next day saying that the bikes were shipping from China the next week. About 3 weeks after that is when my buddy got contacted by DOT. The next week he got his bike.
Most of the bike was pre assembled and packed adequately to protect it from any damage as it made it's way from China to San Diego.
Upfront cost of the bike when ordered was 3,400 euros which is about $4,114 US. They do state on their website ( if you search for it, and you gotta search it's not upfront ) that any additional fees to be paid by customer. Which we couldn't find any info on so we waited to see how it all shook out. Well my buddy got a call from the DOT about a week before receiving his bike saying that his item had arrived to the states and he was required to pay a VAT tax before they would release it to be delivered. $870 was the fee. So now he's in about 5k.
View attachment 82577

All the components that should of come with the build were listed on the website.
Right away we noticed that the front fork and rear shock were different. Front fork should of been a Rockshox Yari but he got a DNM USD=6A model. Inverted and has 150mm travel and has (2) brake caliper mounts on the lowers, odd.
View attachment 82576
I've been waiting for this. Eagerly awaiting the rest. 👍
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
Yep I mentioned it on the Frey site but since it didn't have anything to do with the thread I posted on I wanted to do it separately. So I contacted Pushkar and he was cool with me doing it. Thanks Mr. P.
 

Acme

Well-Known Member
74lbs. How big is the Battery? i keep think 58lbs is optimistic for the Hydra. Most Bosch bikes with 630wh battery are 53+-lbs. the ultra is 14.7lbs which is approx 8 lbs heavier I think the extra battery will be about 2lbs extra? Basically an extra 10 pounds.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
The battery (34.5ahr) weighs in at 16 lbs including bag. The battery that came with the bike came is about 7 lbs on its own not including the mount that I removed so subtract 9 from the 74 and you would get about 65lbs. Pushkar should know the exact weight of his bikes. Not going for lightest weight on this build, tubed tires for instance and some lower end parts it came with. Want to ride it awhile to see if it is worth putting $ into. We'll see.
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
greeno, Not withstanding your improvements this bike is substantially overpriced. Especially considering the downgrades in components. The Frey AM 1000 is a better bike for less money. I'd sell it. :) 👍
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
Aside from the changes you made it looks like any Alibaba Ultra FS model you can get by the container load for around $1500 sample price so I am a bit confused about why it would cost as much as it did to begin with and what attracted buyers to this model for that price?

DNM shocks came to be known as "do not move" after we had received a sample one that would fit 29" wheels back before they were a thing and other shocks due to their lower castings were too short. Even though it was the early days, 1999, of suspension they weren't very good. I suspect they have improved but there is no excuse for advertising a name brand and substituting a no name one which I am sure was somewhat Covid supply related, but still....

I like that you are just forging on and making the best of it, actually the better. As long as the end user is happy then that is a success. It does continue to cast shadow on the "get rich quick, oops" reality of some of these emerging internet brands.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
I fully agree on your guys opinion. It was a gamble on ordering these bikes and with the substitutions that were made it really dropped the value. One friend went with the Biktrix Ultra FS and wasn't sold on the geometry and the super wide wheelbase 150mm in front and 190mm rear, he paid about $4300 delivered to his door in about two weeks. We were able to fit in a 37ahr battery. I ended up going through Pushkar for mine and probably have about $7k in it.That being said the "Kirby" frame looks fine and serviceable. The rest....not so much. Where can you find a Dual suspension frame that will hold a 34.5ahr battery? That was the main driver on this bike. I'm sure we'll be swapping out parts as needed.

Whats the price for a comparably priced Frey bike delivered to my door and the wait time?
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
I fully agree on your guys opinion. It was a gamble on ordering these bikes and with the substitutions that were made it really dropped the value. One friend went with the Biktrix Ultra FS and wasn't sold on the geometry and the super wide wheelbase 150mm in front and 190mm rear, he paid about $4300 delivered to his door in about two weeks. We were able to fit in a 37ahr battery. I ended up going through Pushkar for mine and probably have about $7k in it.That being said the "Kirby" frame looks fine and serviceable. The rest....not so much. Where can you find a Dual suspension frame that will hold a 34.5ahr battery? That was the main driver on this bike. I'm sure we'll be swapping out parts as needed.

Whats the price for a comparably priced Frey bike delivered to my door and the wait time?
Got my AM 1000 from Bolton and I paid aproximately $500, maybe $800, over direct from Frey when figuring shipping costs from Frey. Took 4 months to get it.:

Screen Shot 2021-03-28 at 12.33.39 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-09-15 at 9.00.04 PM.png

Pic does not show included rack and rear fender.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
$500 really, maybe a typo? So cost was? Evidently Bolton selling same bike for less? Will check em out for 5 bills.
 

greeno

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Diego
I understand now, didn't see the fine print. Definitely better deal than my buddys got. The first bike ordered wait was 3 months. Then the substitutions really killed it.
PLUS I forgot to add $700 for the battery I made for him.
Initial order cost: $4,114
VAT Tax: $ 870
Battery: $ 700
Miscl upgrades: $ 450
----------
$ 6,134 to date !

Whew, sometimes it's good being the first... this time not so much. Hope anybody considering this bike reads this post.
 

dunksalot

Active Member
Thanks so much for taking the time to post this. I had the Kirby eBike on my watch list but that guy never replied to my email inquiries. I love his videos and thought it was a nice bike with components listed. At $6K it's priced close to a Hydra with Archon max'd out + Kindernay.
 

Martyn

Member
Region
United Kingdom
I spoke to Pushkar a couple of weeks ago about doing a review of another manufacturers E-bike and he was fine with it so here goes.

There is an e-bike guy over in the UK that I guess has a pretty good following as far as DIY e-bike mods. He has some you tube videos on fast bikes as well as a build up on this particular frame/motor combo. He uses much higher end components on his build and it's just to show you what could be done if you choose to.

A couple of friends of mine ordered these bikes one in Nov. 2019 and one in Dec. 2019.
The bike ordered in Nov. arrived early February minus the battery which came about 3 weeks later. Still waiting on the Dec. bike order. Almost no communication as to status or delivery date on either bike. So I ( squeaky wheel) e-mailed Andy Kirby at the Cloudsto website as to any updates on delivery and the guy actually replied the next day saying that the bikes were shipping from China the next week. About 3 weeks after that is when my buddy got contacted by DOT. The next week he got his bike.
Most of the bike was pre assembled and packed adequately to protect it from any damage as it made it's way from China to San Diego.
Upfront cost of the bike when ordered was 3,400 euros which is about $4,114 US. They do state on their website ( if you search for it, and you gotta search it's not upfront ) that any additional fees to be paid by customer. Which we couldn't find any info on so we waited to see how it all shook out. Well my buddy got a call from the DOT about a week before receiving his bike saying that his item had arrived to the states and he was required to pay a VAT tax before they would release it to be delivered. $870 was the fee. So now he's in about 5k.

View attachment 82577

All the components that should of come with the build were listed on the website.
Right away we noticed that the front fork and rear shock were different. Front fork should of been a Rockshox Yari but he got a DNM USD=6A model. Inverted and has 150mm travel and has (2) brake caliper mounts on the lowers, odd. NO air fill on this shock so Im guessing oil damper on the rt side and spring on the left. Not sure if this shock is serviceable or not.

ALERT ALERT the front fork comes with a through axle that is different than what I have normally seen. It is a hollow sleeve with threads on the inside of both ends and threaded caps that screw on to both sides to secure. Then you need to tighten up the two sets of bolts on the bottom of the forelegs to keep it all in place. Only problem is when you need to remove the wheel and you unscrew the two endocarp bolts and loosen up the fork leg bolts nothing comes apart. We had to use a drift pin punch to remove the sleeve.
So I put on my thinking cap and remembered that I had a couple of the same diameter thru axles from some rigid forks I never used. They were for 150mm dropouts and it only has "One" removable threaded cap on the end and the other side is fixed. So we removed the old and fit up the new and yes it did indeed fit perfect with no spacers or anything and we were able to keep the allen wrench in the head and turn the whole assembly out to remove without much trouble. Otherwise using these forks with original set up you would probably be screwed and not be able to remove without pounding it to pieces. Forgot to address this in original post so I'm adding it now.
View attachment 82576

The rear shock should of been a X-fusion o2 and he got another DNM A042RC model. I found this same shock on Amazon for $97.30 so a bit of a switcharoo if you ask me.

View attachment 82578

So no explanation as to why they substituted components and no verbiage on the spec build sheet as far as see about swapping parts. When my buddy contacted AK about the items he said that "China" substituted those and he couldn't do anything about it.

L A M E I bet if my friend decided to send a little less $ he might of had a different response. No credit back, no "hey we can't supply those parts or we will give you a credit on the difference or not supply the parts and adjust your cost. So heads up if your thinking about this bike.

As far as I can tell these bikes ( or at least one so far ) are the first to get into the US so zero feedback anywhere I could find.
Anyway back to the bike. Frame looks good and workmanship seems ok. One feature I like is the rear triangle looks big enough for a 29" tire if you wanted to run those and the front fork being inverted gives you that option as well up front, or go mullet. Non-boost spacing on the hubs so 100mm and 142mm front and back. Tires are legit Schwalbe 2.6". Hubs are low quality Quanta brand and the rims are no-name but are double wall and seem pretty beefy, spokes are black steel with chrome nipples. Seat and seatpost seem ok also. Brake rotors are 1800mm front and back and brakes are 2 piston Magura. Stem and handlebars are fine. Shimano 10 spd Deore shifter and derailed are ok. The motor is the stock Bafang G510/M620 and the label on bottom says 52v I thought they all were 48v? I know the upgraded motor and Archon controller I got from Pushkar is labeled 48v and he knows I'm running a 52v battery so...?. Came with cranks and pedals which were wall mart stock.

View attachment 82579View attachment 82580View attachment 82581View attachment 82582

So we replaced the 170mm crankarms with some 160mm and threw on some decent crankbros pedals. A new KMC E-chain and replaced the steel chainring as well with a race face 40t. We found a dropper for a good $ and installed that as well as a WTB seat. New grips and we were done with the bike portion that is.
So next up we fabricated up a template for the battery (52v 34.5ahr) and modified the original mounting pads to fit. Did a little rewiring on the motor leads and mounted the battery in it's bag and we were good to go.View attachment 82584View attachment 82585View attachment 82586View attachment 82587

My buddy has probably a dozen of so rides on it so far and he is really happy with the ride. He had a bit to much air in the rear shock and after bleeding off a bit it made a big difference in ride quality. I have ridden it 2x and the throttle works fine but the PAS is not as smooth as mine IMO. IMO is the bike worth a 3 month wait and have critical parts substituted with no recourse and a stock G510 motor all for 5k? I wouldn't do it again knowing what I know now. I would of bought just the frame maybe and got an upgraded motor from Mr. P and put my own parts on it. I bet for the same 5k I could of been better quality and it would of given me something to do. Live and learn. Looks like they are not stocking those bikes on that original site to sell. Covid, import issues? Hopefully the second bike gets here fairly soon and we can get that one running and move onto bigger and better things. Thanks for listening.
 

Martyn

Member
Region
United Kingdom
Looks like the bike weighs 74 lbs whereas on Kirby website it advertises as 23kgs (50.76lbs)?The Frey ex pro with dual battery is 37kgs(81.5lbs)That bike is very very heavy.Am I missing something here?
 

dunksalot

Active Member
Does "looks like" mean you actually weighed it? My $1,000 hardtail aluminum NCM Moscow is 56 lbs so I tend to think the Kirby is closer to that 50.76 lbs.
 

Martyn

Member
Region
United Kingdom
Looks like the bike weighs 74 lbs whereas on Kirby website it advertises as 23kgs (50.76lbs)?The Frey ex pro with dual battery is 37kgs(81.5lbs)That bike is very very heavy.Am I missing something here?
I’m looking at the photo on the review posted on here.Seriously am I missing something?Id like to think I am as the bike looks great and was considering getting one.