Aventon Level real world review

superbeagle

New Member
Just want to post my experience with the Aventon Level, its a newer bike and there isn't a ton out there so I want to just share my experience with it. I wanted a Ride1up 700 but because everything is sold out everywhere it just wasn't happening, and the Aventon Level being my second choice I found it at my local store in Madison, WI. I considered myself lucky and went in and test drove it, it was good so I bought it. I won't go over all of the technical specs, that's already out there but some things I noticed from a first impression standpoint. Bike is bigger than I expected from the photos but it is still a beautiful bike. The range estimates I found fairly accurate, obviously those estimates are under ideal conditions so be aware of things like hills or heavy headwind, rider weight and the like affecting your range. Just mentally subtract a couple miles if you are hitting hills or are heavy or its really windy, etc. The speed I got up to was 29.9 mph in PA5 max, which is plenty. I generally never left PA4, which was perfect because I was going fast and having fun but it still had enough resistance left in the pedals to get a great workout. The motor was louder than I expected but not too bad. It only mattered to me for "stealth" because I bike with my earbuds in anyway, but I liked the hidden-ish battery because I didn't want to be super obvious about my ebike. Overall in a month I put on a little over 200 miles and had a really great time. I pretty much only took it on trails, both asphalt and dirt, and mostly flat. There were two negatives I was going to talk about in this review until a few days ago when I had a major issue which I'll talk about at the end. The 2 negatives, if your bike is working great is number one, the bike is incredibly weak on hills/acceleration. I had a cheap electric longboard before this that pulled me up hills faster than this. In fact even on what I would consider mild to moderate hills, the bike basically slows to a walking speed. I was really shocked by that. I'm not sure if its because the battery is made more for longer ranges on flat ground or what, but the hill climbing was a joke. If you are planning on riding flat, it wont matter to you but if you ride in a hilly area, you will be upset. Also, expectedly the hills destroy the battery charge. Literally could ride up a short hill and lose 2 or 3 bars out of 10. Secondly, the battery gauge I found was too inaccurate to be helpful. It would routinely swing up to 5 bars up and down. Going from 7/10 to 2/10 and then back to 7/10 within a half mile is ridiculous. Being 10 miles out in the country on a trail and seeing your battery gauge all of a sudden drop to 10% is not cool. So what I did was to just use the odometer. I knew that on PA4 I could go at least 26 miles so I just turned around wherever I was at 13 miles each time, which worked fine. I only mention it so you can start doing that from the get go and not have a heart attack like I almost did watching the battery gauge just slip to 10% all of a sudden! The other thing worth mentioning is that you need to keep your battery keys handy. 2 different times I loaded up my bike, drove a half hour to the trail I wanted to ride, bike in the back, battery on my passenger seat only to realize when I got to the trail I forgot my battery key. The way this is designed you cannot put the battery in the bike without the key. I don't understand why but I learned the hard way that the battery key did not leave my vehicle under any circumstances. So just a friendly reminder if you didn't know that. Really a headache when you are looking forward to riding and realize you just wasted an hours worth of gas and time. The other thing I'd say is keep the allen key set they sell with the bike handy as several of the bolts liked to come loose every couple rides so I got in the habit of tightening stuff down before rides, not a huge deal, took me a minute tops. But know that and save yourself a headache or get some loctite.

Now that was going to be my review BUT interesting development in the last week. I was riding and heard a weird noise coming from my rear tire. On closer inspection I saw there was 2 spokes broken. Not a huge deal, I called up the store I bought it from and got it fixed the next day. I picked it up and took it for a ride right away and another spoke broke immediately. I turned around and headed back to my car, another one popped before I got there. I called up the mechanic I just picked it up from an hour before and told him what happened. He told me that this has been happening to all of these bikes. He said the spokes are breaking on so many of these that they are resorting to cannibalizing the showroom models for spokes. Total brittle junk. He said I should talk to the manager about it so I called the manager and he said about 60% of the Aventon Levels they've sold this year have been coming back with broken spokes or other problems. He said we could order me a new tire but it will just keep happening and wasting everyone's time. I asked if I could return the bike and he said yes, even though he didn't have to, great guy. When I took it back in the next day he said that my situation was the last straw, he said he refuses to sell any more of these bikes to his customers, they are just complete junk and its hurting the reputation of his shop. I'm not sure how that works if they are under contract or how that all works but I'm glad they are doing the right thing. Until Aventon addresses this issue they really shouldn't be selling these bikes.

So after saying all of this, I want to be fair to say according to him 40% of the bikes sold had not yet reported problems so you might get lucky. My experience is only my own, I know there are people out there with this bike who are perfectly happy with it, so keep that in mind, this is just one person's experience. No company sells any bike that is perfect 100% of the time. And until the spokes started breaking, despite the bikes issues, I was enjoying my bike a lot. I will definitely be buying another ebike come spring, but it wont be an Aventon unfortunately. But now that I've experienced an ebike I don't see how I could go back to a regular bike. The other thing I should probably say is that if you are a lighter person you may be less likely to have spoke issues, which seems logical to me. I'm a big guy. However the store owner told me even small riders were bringing in Aventon Levels with broken spokes, still, if you are lighter that has to make a difference I'd imagine. So make a wise choice, make sure if you buy it from somewhere you talk to them about the warranty and if it covers spoke replacements because you will be doing that a lot potentially. And put the bike through its paces before the 30 day return window closes otherwise you may be stuck with a bike that is totally unrideable. A real bummer, I was loving this bike to be honest but the truth is its just poor quality for the money. My next bike I will be looking to spend a little bit more for something that I can depend on.
 
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Superbeagle, sorry to hear about your experience. I have two Aventon Levels that I took delivery of in the beginning of September. Mine has 300+ miles, my wife's has 120+ miles. No problems so far.

Disclosure, I weigh 190 lbs.

We've gone on two "longish" bike rides, one 20 miles and one 25 miles on a relatively flat paved trail near our home. The trail is an old railroad trail that has since been paved over and become a Virginia Parks managed trail. It stretches 45 miles from Purcellville Virginia to Washington DC. The elevation gain/loss is 600 feet, with the average gain/loss being 150-250 ft for a 10 mile ride.

Riding those distances (20-25) using PAS 0-3, my battery level did not lose one bar out of 10. I do concur, that once the battery level gets down to level 6 out of 10 it does drop rapidly, but then it comes back up again, so yes, it does fluctuate. I have yet to test out a full battery drain ride and see how it acts at the lowest indicator levels.

After riding 45 miles of local paved trails within a four day period, alternating between PAS 0-5, but mostly 0-2 ( I only used level 5 when I am on the street), my battery indicator dropped to level 4 out of 10. I am starting to think the "real world" range is a bit longer than Aventon advertises, if you use the PAS efficiently, and work the system.

No problems with spokes, or any of the systems so far (knock on wood), really pleased with the bikes.

For those that care, I tested out my 0-25 mph speed time on the Level. Starting from a dead stop, with the PAS set to level 5, under pedal power, I can go from 0-25 mph in 10 seconds. I'm sure with a little shifting practice I can get it down to 9 seconds.

I guess it matters if you are trying to escape from something.

Superbeagle, sorry to hear about your situation. I'll keep posting as I put more miles on the bikes.
 

superbeagle

New Member
Tom I'm glad to hear you have not had any issues! That's great. I really was enjoying the bike as much as you until the problems started, I have to say that's the truth. That was my first ebike and I'm hooked. Bignerd I'm going to hold off on a bike until spring, winter's coming soon and in Wisconsin that means no biking until around May when the snow clears up for me. No point in buying a bike that tortures me just sitting in the garage ha. I need to do some more research come closer to spring, it'll definitely be a class 3 though I know that.
 

MMC

Active Member
If you go to the Ride1up forum and the NCM forum owners there are also reporting broken spokes on those bikes too.

The fact is these ebikes weigh in the 55-60 pound range. Add your body weight and that's a lot of stress on wheels built with 13 gauge spokes.
So whatever ebike you end up with you may experience all the same issues.

On a side note, there are downhill mountain bike riders out there that swear that to tie the spokes where they cross makes for a stronger wheel.
 
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D

Deleted member 4210

Guest
Just want to post my experience with the Aventon Level, its a newer bike and there isn't a ton out there so I want to just share my experience with it. I wanted a Ride1up 700 but because everything is sold out everywhere it just wasn't happening, and the Aventon Level being my second choice I found it at my local store in Madison, WI. I considered myself lucky and went in and test drove it, it was good so I bought it. I won't go over all of the technical specs, that's already out there but some things I noticed from a first impression standpoint. Bike is bigger than I expected from the photos but it is still a beautiful bike. The range estimates I found fairly accurate, obviously those estimates are under ideal conditions so be aware of things like hills or heavy headwind, rider weight and the like affecting your range. Just mentally subtract a couple miles if you are hitting hills or are heavy or its really windy, etc. The speed I got up to was 29.9 mph in PA5 max, which is plenty. I generally never left PA4, which was perfect because I was going fast and having fun but it still had enough resistance left in the pedals to get a great workout. The motor was louder than I expected but not too bad. It only mattered to me for "stealth" because I bike with my earbuds in anyway, but I liked the hidden-ish battery because I didn't want to be super obvious about my ebike. Overall in a month I put on a little over 200 miles and had a really great time. I pretty much only took it on trails, both asphalt and dirt, and mostly flat. There were two negatives I was going to talk about in this review until a few days ago when I had a major issue which I'll talk about at the end. The 2 negatives, if your bike is working great is number one, the bike is incredibly weak on hills/acceleration. I had a cheap electric longboard before this that pulled me up hills faster than this. In fact even on what I would consider mild to moderate hills, the bike basically slows to a walking speed. I was really shocked by that. I'm not sure if its because the battery is made more for longer ranges on flat ground or what, but the hill climbing was a joke. If you are planning on riding flat, it wont matter to you but if you ride in a hilly area, you will be upset. Also, expectedly the hills destroy the battery charge. Literally could ride up a short hill and lose 2 or 3 bars out of 10. Secondly, the battery gauge I found was too inaccurate to be helpful. It would routinely swing up to 5 bars up and down. Going from 7/10 to 2/10 and then back to 7/10 within a half mile is ridiculous. Being 10 miles out in the country on a trail and seeing your battery gauge all of a sudden drop to 10% is not cool. So what I did was to just use the odometer. I knew that on PA4 I could go at least 26 miles so I just turned around wherever I was at 13 miles each time, which worked fine. I only mention it so you can start doing that from the get go and not have a heart attack like I almost did watching the battery gauge just slip to 10% all of a sudden! The other thing worth mentioning is that you need to keep your battery keys handy. 2 different times I loaded up my bike, drove a half hour to the trail I wanted to ride, bike in the back, battery on my passenger seat only to realize when I got to the trail I forgot my battery key. The way this is designed you cannot put the battery in the bike without the key. I don't understand why but I learned the hard way that the battery key did not leave my vehicle under any circumstances. So just a friendly reminder if you didn't know that. Really a headache when you are looking forward to riding and realize you just wasted an hours worth of gas and time. The other thing I'd say is keep the allen key set they sell with the bike handy as several of the bolts liked to come loose every couple rides so I got in the habit of tightening stuff down before rides, not a huge deal, took me a minute tops. But know that and save yourself a headache or get some loctite.

Now that was going to be my review BUT interesting development in the last week. I was riding and heard a weird noise coming from my rear tire. On closer inspection I saw there was 2 spokes broken. Not a huge deal, I called up the store I bought it from and got it fixed the next day. I picked it up and took it for a ride right away and another spoke broke immediately. I turned around and headed back to my car, another one popped before I got there. I called up the mechanic I just picked it up from an hour before and told him what happened. He told me that this has been happening to all of these bikes. He said the spokes are breaking on so many of these that they are resorting to cannibalizing the showroom models for spokes. Total brittle junk. He said I should talk to the manager about it so I called the manager and he said about 60% of the Aventon Levels they've sold this year have been coming back with broken spokes or other problems. He said we could order me a new tire but it will just keep happening and wasting everyone's time. I asked if I could return the bike and he said yes, even though he didn't have to, great guy. When I took it back in the next day he said that my situation was the last straw, he said he refuses to sell any more of these bikes to his customers, they are just complete junk and its hurting the reputation of his shop. I'm not sure how that works if they are under contract or how that all works but I'm glad they are doing the right thing. Until Aventon addresses this issue they really shouldn't be selling these bikes.

So after saying all of this, I want to be fair to say according to him 40% of the bikes sold had not yet reported problems so you might get lucky. My experience is only my own, I know there are people out there with this bike who are perfectly happy with it, so keep that in mind, this is just one person's experience. No company sells any bike that is perfect 100% of the time. And until the spokes started breaking, despite the bikes issues, I was enjoying my bike a lot. I will definitely be buying another ebike come spring, but it wont be an Aventon unfortunately. But now that I've experienced an ebike I don't see how I could go back to a regular bike. The other thing I should probably say is that if you are a lighter person you may be less likely to have spoke issues, which seems logical to me. I'm a big guy. However the store owner told me even small riders were bringing in Aventon Levels with broken spokes, still, if you are lighter that has to make a difference I'd imagine. So make a wise choice, make sure if you buy it from somewhere you talk to them about the warranty and if it covers spoke replacements because you will be doing that a lot potentially. And put the bike through its paces before the 30 day return window closes otherwise you may be stuck with a bike that is totally unrideable. A real bummer, I was loving this bike to be honest but the truth is its just poor quality for the money. My next bike I will be looking to spend a little bit more for something that I can depend on.
Your review is rubbish. There is no way anything close to even 2% of the Aventon's are coming back with broken spokes. Im a dealer for them, and have sold more than 350 of their ebikes the past 2 years. Sheesh, who is the dealer saying that btw ? and saying that motor is weak, just blows you right out of the water with a total lie. The Level will blow the socks off of any other 500 watt ebike on the market, hands down. Do you work for Ride1Up or something ? Zero cred through this entire post. Shame on you. Seriously !
 
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superbeagle

New Member
"Mike's E-Bikes" I don't know who you are or what you're deal is but everything I said was the truth, like it or not. And you can stop private messaging me on here threatening to sue me, that's super weird man. This was my honest experience with my Aventon Level, plain and simple. That doesn't mean all their bikes will be the same, but mine was this way. The truth is what it is.

MMC are there some bikes you can recommend in this price range that have spokes that are bigger than 13 gauge by chance? I'd be interested in looking at those.
 
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MMC

Active Member
MMC are there some bikes you can recommend in this price range that have spokes that are bigger than 13 gauge by chance? I'd be interested in looking at those.
You will have to do your own research from different manufacturers based on "real experience" rider weight. What would work for me (170lbs) may not work for you if your weight is much higher.

To expand a little more as to what seems to be a somewhat chronic spoke breaking issue(even with a lot of other ebike makers) the problem may actually be in the wheel build itself.
Spokes in general are made straight with a slight curve at the top of the spoke (the L bend of the spoke)
When spokes are installed on a normal wheel there's anywhere from 10-15 degree angle from the wheel hub to the wheel rim.
Ebike rear motor hubs are a lot bigger than normal wheel hubs so the spokes are a lot shorter which means the angle of a spoke from the motor hub to the wheel rim is more like 20-25 degrees, maybe even as steep as 30 degrees.
(spokes on the cassette/freewheel side will be straight, spokes on the other side where the brake calipers are will be stressed more due to the spoke angle.
Also if the hub flange is too big the spoke will rub and/or be stressed as this will cause the spoke to physically bend.

wheel deflection angle and load.jpg
 
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