Another Evo Cross arrival - purchase and 1st ride impressions

I picked up my new Evo Cross last night, and today took it on a 25mi ride to evaluate one of the commute routes I've been obsessing over lately. Following are some impressions, findings, and minor concerns (short version - I love this beautiful bike!):
  • I'm 5'10 with 31.5 inseam. I agonized over getting the medium or large frame because a BH rep strongly recommend a large. Most hybrid sizing charts on the internet put me at a medium, but some said large. The two were almost indistinguishable during test rides, but the medium got the nod. Now, after my 25mi ride, my neck and upper back say medium was the right choice. Even with the medium, I may eventually look into swapping out my stem for something shorter and more elevated.
  • This bike is a sturdy climber. I have a very steep hill I must get up and down to get to my preferred commute route. Back when I was in good riding shape twenty years ago, I could just barely get up this hill on my mountain bike without walking - granny gear, red-faced, heart pounding, dripping with sweat at the top. Now, with me at 138 lbs, full boost, I still have to work a bit, going 10mph or less in low gear. But the Cross & I got 'er done with no heavy breathing or serious sweat. Woo hoo!
  • The motor and display cut out completely a few miles into my trip. I discovered the console connector had come a bit loose, and easily tightened it by hand. Problem solved - phew.
  • Brakes need some attention. A few times on the ride I heard some rubbing, which went away after a few light squeezes of the brakes levers. This is my first experience with disc brakes on a bike, so not sure what to expect.
  • Even though my route is mostly smooth bike paths (MUPs), I really felt some serious impacts through the stock saddle and post when going fast through the underpasses (I had to raise off the saddle). I'm looking forward to getting my BodyFloat and and ISM saddle setup very soon.
  • The bike came with a new version of the console (or, at least a different version of the firmware), which has bigger numbers for the speedometer, and displays battery level as a percentage (in addition to the bars). It does not look quite like the interface shown here . For example, boost levels are shown as a bar graph & percentage (0%, 30%, 50%, 70%, 100%) instead of highlighted named boxes (eco, boost, etc). Which brings me to ...
  • Easy Motion's documentation is terrible, including online and what came with the Evo Cross. Everything is generalized, and sometimes inapplicable or incomplete with respect to the Evo line. BH makes a great bike, so I'm willing to put up with this, but I expect much better. The documentation is about what I would expect for an extremely cheap bike, but not one with a $3k MSRP.
  • I think my torque sensor needs adjusting. A steady level of power is not being applied for the lower assist modes. I could hear & feel the motor cutting in & out, even though I applied steady pedaling pressure at sufficiently high gear. So, for my mostly flat route I used top two modes going over 20mph (weeeee!). I also noticed that at slow speeds bumps make the motor surge on its own (Court mentioned this for rough trails in one of his reviews, but I think it's much more pronounced than what he described). I may do some research and have a go at adjusting the sensor myself, just to learn.
  • When I got back home from my 25mi ride (with lots of assist and up that big hill twice) the console showed 18% battery. Normally I will just charge it at whatever level, as advised by the manual, but I've read several times elsewhere that one should completely drain & charge a new ebike battery once or twice. So I did. Not sure that was wise, since BH doesn't say to do that (but you know what I think about their docs). Anyhow, to drain the battery, I went up and down a hill several times in throttle mode. Eventually the motor and console cut out abruptly without warning, after showing 7% battery level. I immediately pedaled home and attached the charger (very nice not having to detach the battery from the frame). I'm hoping this full drain/charge cycle will cause the battery manager to calibrate itself, so that the reported levels are more accurate. I don't think I want to risk doing this full battery cycle again. I noticed that I can monitor the battery level while charging via the console, which is nice.
So, there you have it. I just love this bike, and believe the few issues I have observed so far are of the normal shake-down variety and will be easily addressed by me or the shop. My commute route turns out to be very amenable to me and the Evo Cross, and I'm very optimistic that I'll be able to do it on a nearly full-time basis. I'm on vacation next week, during which I expect to do some more rides getting bike, accessories, and myself dialed in.

PS I bought my bike at Electric Bicycle Center in Fullerton, CA (OC). Sam and his staff took VERY good care of me, and made my buying experience a pleasure.
 
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Jonah

Member
Thanks for the great write-up on your initial Evo experience. I agree with you about the manual. I have had some similar torque sensor experiences.
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
I gave feedback to BH/Easy Motion when I registered my EVO Street in March, and specifically mentioned the poorly written and out-of-date manual. Somehow I don't think those comments actually go anywhere, or if they do, they end up in a pile that sits and sits on someone's desk or in their inbox.