Dash Commuting Report -- 1 year and 5,000+ miles(long post)

Pace

Member
You could consider this the long-term follow up to http://electricbikereview.com/commu...uting-report-1-month-600-miles-long-post.920/

Yesterday marked one full year of commuting w/ the E3 Dash, so I figured I'd put up a summary of the last year.

Some random stats:
  • 5,114 miles
  • 129 commuting days (I work from home 1 day a week, so my max for any given week was 4)
  • saved $2,193 in commuter rail tickets. Not quite enough to pay for the bike -- I thought I might be able to do that in a year -- but pretty close
  • Most miles in a month: June, 720
  • Fewest miles in a month: March, 40
  • Non-reusable expenses (i.e. not counting something like paniers or lights): $953. Most of this was the $600 second battery, but includes things like replacement chains, brake pads, wheel truings, and winter tune up

The E3 has turned out to be a pretty good workhorse for long-range commuting (my most common route is around 40 miles round trip), although not without some maintenance issues.

Weather Performance
Generally I rode in all-weather and throughout the year. I don't really love riding in rain, so if I woke up in the morning and it was pouring or I knew for sure it was going to rain heavily all day, I didn't take the bike. Still, I rode in plenty of rain, and spent lots of time in some pretty heavy downpours, which the bike and electronics handled without any issue.

I live in Mass and commute into Boston, so winter and cold weather was a factor. The dash battery life is certainly effected by low temperatures and when riding in single digit cold I needed two full batteries to make it in with a safe reserve margin (whereas in summer months I could do it on one battery). As many folks know, we had a record snowfall this past winter and I got plenty of snow riding in before I finally waved the white flag in the second week of February, when a electric Fat Bike really would have been the way to go. Here's what one of the trails I take looked like by that point:


Most dash components held up well to the pretty toxic mix of slush, sand & salt. I took to rinsing the bike in hot water after every winter ride, along with a re-lube. For tires I used carbide studded schwalbe marathon winters.

Maintenance issues
Most things were normal bike commuting maintenance -- chains, brake pads, tubes for flat tires etc. I wore through the tubing on one rear rack (from the hooks on the ortleib panniers wearing through) because of the vibration thanks to the crappy road surfaces on the part of my commute in and around boston (the other half is pretty smooth).

The Dash brake levers are pretty cheap. I wore through internal plastic bushings on both and the lever return spring on one broke and had to be replaced.

At around 4,000 miles, I had to replace the rear motor hub. The motor itself was fine-- and still providing full power, the problem was that the axle housing itself broke down and became very loose. The bike was rideable but the rear end was sloppy with extra side to side play. I thought at first it was cones that needed adjusting but the dash's rear wheel axel is a sealed unit and not repairable. My bike dealer couldn't fix this and had to have Currie/IZip provide a new replacement motor hub assembly and relaced the wheel onto the original rims. This was partly covered under warranty so I didn't pay for a new motor, but I did have to pay ~$60 for rebuilding the wheel, labor, and shipping/handling. I also lost about two weeks of commuting waiting for the new wheel. The new motor is slightly smoother than the original - less "surgey" -- but it is 1-2mph slower at all PAS levels. It's just not quite as torquey and seems a bit detuned compared to the original. I may use the controller 'tweak' to up the % assist at each level, but for now it's fine as I'm not often in PA4

Both the original rear wheel and the rebuilt one started showing loose spokes right away. I'm not sure if it's an issue on currie's side with poor wheelbuilders, or there's something about the motor hub that make is difficult to properly tension the wheel. I spent a lot more time fiddling with rear spokes than any other bike I've had (including tandem bikes that carry a lot more weight).

Suitability for commuting
Overall, the dash made good platform. I've got it loaded w/ panniers and a trunk bag for the second battery. There were times I missed a drop bar position because you can spend a lot of time at higher speeds with wind in your chest, but on balance I appreciate the upright position for better visibility in city traffic. Range was the primary issue for me -- I needed two batteries to make it viable for a commute.

It handles well in different road conditions... I ride paved & unpaved, as well as roads w/ bad potholes or rough pavement and it was fine. The stock tires held up longer than I would have expected. The 45C width is bigger than I would have spec'd at the outset, but I think I will keep running a larger tire on the rear (at lower pressure) due to the lack of suspension and the beating the rear wheel takes. Up front I'm running 700x35's now.

Disc brakes on the dash have been called out as weakness in reviews and by other riders. I think they are ok. With good pads and in proper adjustment the work fine, but will not compare to good hydraulics. The rear disc is a pain to adjust because you need to remove the rear wheel first, but that's not need often enough to make it a big nuisance.

The dash had some lower spec'd components than other some other bikes I considered like the Specialized turbo or Haibike variants, but apart from the brake lever issues mentioned above, there's nothing that ever caused me any problems or had me wishing for upgrades to a higher end version (like better shifters for example)

The straight bar is not ideal for long distance commuting, but I kept with it, just adding some barends for another hand position. I've seen another Dash owner add a Jone H-Bar.... I would consider that or some bullhorns, but I was trying to limit how much extra I put into the bike.

If my commute consisted only of the urban portion that I now have, a 20mph top end would be fine. But with the open road sections I've got, and the distance I've got, I would not consider anything less than a 28mph bike.

Did I make the right choice with the Dash?
I think in my original post I made the point that I didn't think the Dash was necessarily the best ebike out there, but that it was the best value for what I needed. I still think that's true. At the time it was around $2500 and the only bikes I liked better were around $4,000 or more. In addition, accessories for the dash like an extra battery charger ($80, though I got an extra one free with purchase of the bike) and the extra battery ($600) were both cheaper than those would have been from other makers like Haibike for example.

iZip saved some money on components like the mechanical disks... but I don't think the performance suffered any as a result.

Pedal assist on the Dash could be better smoother, but is good enough. I only use pedal assist and have thought about removing the throttle all together.

The next ebike I get might be a mid-drive --- for my commute I've found the rough roads really take a toll on drive wheels (the motor itself has been fine), I think the efficiency of using the bike gearing might help with battery life, and I'd prefer to have just a standard rear wheel. I was interested to see the direction iZip went with that 2016 Pro Tour -- looks like a good setup, but the bosch-drive bikes from various makers seem like good options in the future too.
 

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
You could consider this the long-term follow up to http://electricbikereview.com/commu...uting-report-1-month-600-miles-long-post.920/

Yesterday marked one full year of commuting w/ the E3 Dash, so I figured I'd put up a summary of the last year.

Some random stats:
  • 5,114 miles
  • 129 commuting days (I work from home 1 day a week, so my max for any given week was 4)
  • saved $2,193 in commuter rail tickets. Not quite enough to pay for the bike -- I thought I might be able to do that in a year -- but pretty close
  • Most miles in a month: June, 720
  • Fewest miles in a month: March, 40
  • Non-reusable expenses (i.e. not counting something like paniers or lights): $953. Most of this was the $600 second battery, but includes things like replacement chains, brake pads, wheel truings, and winter tune up

The E3 has turned out to be a pretty good workhorse for long-range commuting (my most common route is around 40 miles round trip), although not without some maintenance issues.

Weather Performance
Generally I rode in all-weather and throughout the year. I don't really love riding in rain, so if I woke up in the morning and it was pouring or I knew for sure it was going to rain heavily all day, I didn't take the bike. Still, I rode in plenty of rain, and spent lots of time in some pretty heavy downpours, which the bike and electronics handled without any issue.

I live in Mass and commute into Boston, so winter and cold weather was a factor. The dash battery life is certainly effected by low temperatures and when riding in single digit cold I needed two full batteries to make it in with a safe reserve margin (whereas in summer months I could do it on one battery). As many folks know, we had a record snowfall this past winter and I got plenty of snow riding in before I finally waved the white flag in the second week of February, when a electric Fat Bike really would have been the way to go. Here's what one of the trails I take looked like by that point:


Most dash components held up well to the pretty toxic mix of slush, sand & salt. I took to rinsing the bike in hot water after every winter ride, along with a re-lube. For tires I used carbide studded schwalbe marathon winters.

Maintenance issues
Most things were normal bike commuting maintenance -- chains, brake pads, tubes for flat tires etc. I wore through the tubing on one rear rack (from the hooks on the ortleib panniers wearing through) because of the vibration thanks to the crappy road surfaces on the part of my commute in and around boston (the other half is pretty smooth).

The Dash brake levers are pretty cheap. I wore through internal plastic bushings on both and the lever return spring on one broke and had to be replaced.

At around 4,000 miles, I had to replace the rear motor hub. The motor itself was fine-- and still providing full power, the problem was that the axle housing itself broke down and became very loose. The bike was rideable but the rear end was sloppy with extra side to side play. I thought at first it was cones that needed adjusting but the dash's rear wheel axel is a sealed unit and not repairable. My bike dealer couldn't fix this and had to have Currie/IZip provide a new replacement motor hub assembly and relaced the wheel onto the original rims. This was partly covered under warranty so I didn't pay for a new motor, but I did have to pay ~$60 for rebuilding the wheel, labor, and shipping/handling. I also lost about two weeks of commuting waiting for the new wheel. The new motor is slightly smoother than the original - less "surgey" -- but it is 1-2mph slower at all PAS levels. It's just not quite as torquey and seems a bit detuned compared to the original. I may use the controller 'tweak' to up the % assist at each level, but for now it's fine as I'm not often in PA4

Both the original rear wheel and the rebuilt one started showing loose spokes right away. I'm not sure if it's an issue on currie's side with poor wheelbuilders, or there's something about the motor hub that make is difficult to properly tension the wheel. I spent a lot more time fiddling with rear spokes than any other bike I've had (including tandem bikes that carry a lot more weight).

Suitability for commuting
Overall, the dash made good platform. I've got it loaded w/ panniers and a trunk bag for the second battery. There were times I missed a drop bar position because you can spend a lot of time at higher speeds with wind in your chest, but on balance I appreciate the upright position for better visibility in city traffic. Range was the primary issue for me -- I needed two batteries to make it viable for a commute.

It handles well in different road conditions... I ride paved & unpaved, as well as roads w/ bad potholes or rough pavement and it was fine. The stock tires held up longer than I would have expected. The 45C width is bigger than I would have spec'd at the outset, but I think I will keep running a larger tire on the rear (at lower pressure) due to the lack of suspension and the beating the rear wheel takes. Up front I'm running 700x35's now.

Disc brakes on the dash have been called out as weakness in reviews and by other riders. I think they are ok. With good pads and in proper adjustment the work fine, but will not compare to good hydraulics. The rear disc is a pain to adjust because you need to remove the rear wheel first, but that's not need often enough to make it a big nuisance.

The dash had some lower spec'd components than other some other bikes I considered like the Specialized turbo or Haibike variants, but apart from the brake lever issues mentioned above, there's nothing that ever caused me any problems or had me wishing for upgrades to a higher end version (like better shifters for example)

The straight bar is not ideal for long distance commuting, but I kept with it, just adding some barends for another hand position. I've seen another Dash owner add a Jone H-Bar.... I would consider that or some bullhorns, but I was trying to limit how much extra I put into the bike.

If my commute consisted only of the urban portion that I now have, a 20mph top end would be fine. But with the open road sections I've got, and the distance I've got, I would not consider anything less than a 28mph bike.

Did I make the right choice with the Dash?
I think in my original post I made the point that I didn't think the Dash was necessarily the best ebike out there, but that it was the best value for what I needed. I still think that's true. At the time it was around $2500 and the only bikes I liked better were around $4,000 or more. In addition, accessories for the dash like an extra battery charger ($80, though I got an extra one free with purchase of the bike) and the extra battery ($600) were both cheaper than those would have been from other makers like Haibike for example.

iZip saved some money on components like the mechanical disks... but I don't think the performance suffered any as a result.

Pedal assist on the Dash could be better smoother, but is good enough. I only use pedal assist and have thought about removing the throttle all together.

The next ebike I get might be a mid-drive --- for my commute I've found the rough roads really take a toll on drive wheels (the motor itself has been fine), I think the efficiency of using the bike gearing might help with battery life, and I'd prefer to have just a standard rear wheel. I was interested to see the direction iZip went with that 2016 Pro Tour -- looks like a good setup, but the bosch-drive bikes from various makers seem like good options in the future too.
You could consider this the long-term follow up to http://electricbikereview.com/commu...uting-report-1-month-600-miles-long-post.920/

Yesterday marked one full year of commuting w/ the E3 Dash, so I figured I'd put up a summary of the last year.

Some random stats:
  • 5,114 miles
  • 129 commuting days (I work from home 1 day a week, so my max for any given week was 4)
  • saved $2,193 in commuter rail tickets. Not quite enough to pay for the bike -- I thought I might be able to do that in a year -- but pretty close
  • Most miles in a month: June, 720
  • Fewest miles in a month: March, 40
  • Non-reusable expenses (i.e. not counting something like paniers or lights): $953. Most of this was the $600 second battery, but includes things like replacement chains, brake pads, wheel truings, and winter tune up

The E3 has turned out to be a pretty good workhorse for long-range commuting (my most common route is around 40 miles round trip), although not without some maintenance issues.

Weather Performance
Generally I rode in all-weather and throughout the year. I don't really love riding in rain, so if I woke up in the morning and it was pouring or I knew for sure it was going to rain heavily all day, I didn't take the bike. Still, I rode in plenty of rain, and spent lots of time in some pretty heavy downpours, which the bike and electronics handled without any issue.

I live in Mass and commute into Boston, so winter and cold weather was a factor. The dash battery life is certainly effected by low temperatures and when riding in single digit cold I needed two full batteries to make it in with a safe reserve margin (whereas in summer months I could do it on one battery). As many folks know, we had a record snowfall this past winter and I got plenty of snow riding in before I finally waved the white flag in the second week of February, when a electric Fat Bike really would have been the way to go. Here's what one of the trails I take looked like by that point:


Most dash components held up well to the pretty toxic mix of slush, sand & salt. I took to rinsing the bike in hot water after every winter ride, along with a re-lube. For tires I used carbide studded schwalbe marathon winters.

Maintenance issues
Most things were normal bike commuting maintenance -- chains, brake pads, tubes for flat tires etc. I wore through the tubing on one rear rack (from the hooks on the ortleib panniers wearing through) because of the vibration thanks to the crappy road surfaces on the part of my commute in and around boston (the other half is pretty smooth).

The Dash brake levers are pretty cheap. I wore through internal plastic bushings on both and the lever return spring on one broke and had to be replaced.

At around 4,000 miles, I had to replace the rear motor hub. The motor itself was fine-- and still providing full power, the problem was that the axle housing itself broke down and became very loose. The bike was rideable but the rear end was sloppy with extra side to side play. I thought at first it was cones that needed adjusting but the dash's rear wheel axel is a sealed unit and not repairable. My bike dealer couldn't fix this and had to have Currie/IZip provide a new replacement motor hub assembly and relaced the wheel onto the original rims. This was partly covered under warranty so I didn't pay for a new motor, but I did have to pay ~$60 for rebuilding the wheel, labor, and shipping/handling. I also lost about two weeks of commuting waiting for the new wheel. The new motor is slightly smoother than the original - less "surgey" -- but it is 1-2mph slower at all PAS levels. It's just not quite as torquey and seems a bit detuned compared to the original. I may use the controller 'tweak' to up the % assist at each level, but for now it's fine as I'm not often in PA4

Both the original rear wheel and the rebuilt one started showing loose spokes right away. I'm not sure if it's an issue on currie's side with poor wheelbuilders, or there's something about the motor hub that make is difficult to properly tension the wheel. I spent a lot more time fiddling with rear spokes than any other bike I've had (including tandem bikes that carry a lot more weight).

Suitability for commuting
Overall, the dash made good platform. I've got it loaded w/ panniers and a trunk bag for the second battery. There were times I missed a drop bar position because you can spend a lot of time at higher speeds with wind in your chest, but on balance I appreciate the upright position for better visibility in city traffic. Range was the primary issue for me -- I needed two batteries to make it viable for a commute.

It handles well in different road conditions... I ride paved & unpaved, as well as roads w/ bad potholes or rough pavement and it was fine. The stock tires held up longer than I would have expected. The 45C width is bigger than I would have spec'd at the outset, but I think I will keep running a larger tire on the rear (at lower pressure) due to the lack of suspension and the beating the rear wheel takes. Up front I'm running 700x35's now.

Disc brakes on the dash have been called out as weakness in reviews and by other riders. I think they are ok. With good pads and in proper adjustment the work fine, but will not compare to good hydraulics. The rear disc is a pain to adjust because you need to remove the rear wheel first, but that's not need often enough to make it a big nuisance.

The dash had some lower spec'd components than other some other bikes I considered like the Specialized turbo or Haibike variants, but apart from the brake lever issues mentioned above, there's nothing that ever caused me any problems or had me wishing for upgrades to a higher end version (like better shifters for example)

The straight bar is not ideal for long distance commuting, but I kept with it, just adding some barends for another hand position. I've seen another Dash owner add a Jone H-Bar.... I would consider that or some bullhorns, but I was trying to limit how much extra I put into the bike.

If my commute consisted only of the urban portion that I now have, a 20mph top end would be fine. But with the open road sections I've got, and the distance I've got, I would not consider anything less than a 28mph bike.

Did I make the right choice with the Dash?
I think in my original post I made the point that I didn't think the Dash was necessarily the best ebike out there, but that it was the best value for what I needed. I still think that's true. At the time it was around $2500 and the only bikes I liked better were around $4,000 or more. In addition, accessories for the dash like an extra battery charger ($80, though I got an extra one free with purchase of the bike) and the extra battery ($600) were both cheaper than those would have been from other makers like Haibike for example.

iZip saved some money on components like the mechanical disks... but I don't think the performance suffered any as a result.

Pedal assist on the Dash could be better smoother, but is good enough. I only use pedal assist and have thought about removing the throttle all together.

The next ebike I get might be a mid-drive --- for my commute I've found the rough roads really take a toll on drive wheels (the motor itself has been fine), I think the efficiency of using the bike gearing might help with battery life, and I'd prefer to have just a standard rear wheel. I was interested to see the direction iZip went with that 2016 Pro Tour -- looks like a good setup, but the bosch-drive bikes from various makers seem like good options in the future too.
Pace-

Fantastic, real world review! 5000+ miles in Boston Winters is impressive.

Q. In the winter, did the 1 battery just end up, or did you exchange before it got too low?

Q. Average speeds?

Q. How did your front forks perform?

Thanks!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Excellent report!

Haibike is bringing Trekking RS for 2016, a mid drive that's capable of 28mph and loaded with all accessories. From what you alluded in your post, trekking RS could be a great commuter for you.
 

Pace

Member
Q. In the winter, did the 1 battery just end up, or did you exchange before it got too low?
My routine is I always swap batteries mid ride (even now in the warm weather). This is to keep them from being run down more than needed. I keep one charger at work and one at home and I charge both batteries at each end. In the warm weather I can trade more speed for battery usage, but generally I'm using 1/3 of each battery each way. When it gets cold again, I'll be back down to PAS1 (with a little PAS2) and using most of the batteries each way

Q. Average speeds?
I'd say 1h15 - 1h20m average to get in, including traffic, stopping at intersections etc, but I can do it around 1:05 if I try to aggressively push the pace. From my gps logs I generally spend 15+ minutes each way stopped (waiting at lights or crossings). So my moving average is around 20mph. My commute has two very distinct phases though, in traffic approaching to boston, my pace is probably 16-18, and closer to home my pace is low to mid 20's with stretches that are in the high 20's. Just as an aside, my current day-to-day average on the dash is about 3mph faster than my best times on my road bike (but I never rode that in 4 times a week, more like 4 times a month)

Q. How did your front forks perform?
They are not high performance forks. But I keep them lubricated and the difference is noticeably more bumpy when I have them locked out. I used to lock/unlock them mid ride when I went from smooth to rough sections, but even the smoooth sections get the occasional big bump, so now I just leave them unlocked. My pedaling is pretty even and smooth throughout, so I don't get a lot of unwanted pumping in the forks.
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
You could consider this the long-term follow up to http://electricbikereview.com/commu...uting-report-1-month-600-miles-long-post.920/

Yesterday marked one full year of commuting w/ the E3 Dash, so I figured I'd put up a summary of the last year.

Some random stats:
  • 5,114 miles
  • 129 commuting days (I work from home 1 day a week, so my max for any given week was 4)
  • saved $2,193 in commuter rail tickets. Not quite enough to pay for the bike -- I thought I might be able to do that in a year -- but pretty close
  • Most miles in a month: June, 720
  • Fewest miles in a month: March, 40
  • Non-reusable expenses (i.e. not counting something like paniers or lights): $953. Most of this was the $600 second battery, but includes things like replacement chains, brake pads, wheel truings, and winter tune up

The E3 has turned out to be a pretty good workhorse for long-range commuting (my most common route is around 40 miles round trip), although not without some maintenance issues.

Weather Performance
Generally I rode in all-weather and throughout the year. I don't really love riding in rain, so if I woke up in the morning and it was pouring or I knew for sure it was going to rain heavily all day, I didn't take the bike. Still, I rode in plenty of rain, and spent lots of time in some pretty heavy downpours, which the bike and electronics handled without any issue.

I live in Mass and commute into Boston, so winter and cold weather was a factor. The dash battery life is certainly effected by low temperatures and when riding in single digit cold I needed two full batteries to make it in with a safe reserve margin (whereas in summer months I could do it on one battery). As many folks know, we had a record snowfall this past winter and I got plenty of snow riding in before I finally waved the white flag in the second week of February, when a electric Fat Bike really would have been the way to go. Here's what one of the trails I take looked like by that point:


Most dash components held up well to the pretty toxic mix of slush, sand & salt. I took to rinsing the bike in hot water after every winter ride, along with a re-lube. For tires I used carbide studded schwalbe marathon winters.

Maintenance issues
Most things were normal bike commuting maintenance -- chains, brake pads, tubes for flat tires etc. I wore through the tubing on one rear rack (from the hooks on the ortleib panniers wearing through) because of the vibration thanks to the crappy road surfaces on the part of my commute in and around boston (the other half is pretty smooth).

The Dash brake levers are pretty cheap. I wore through internal plastic bushings on both and the lever return spring on one broke and had to be replaced.

At around 4,000 miles, I had to replace the rear motor hub. The motor itself was fine-- and still providing full power, the problem was that the axle housing itself broke down and became very loose. The bike was rideable but the rear end was sloppy with extra side to side play. I thought at first it was cones that needed adjusting but the dash's rear wheel axel is a sealed unit and not repairable. My bike dealer couldn't fix this and had to have Currie/IZip provide a new replacement motor hub assembly and relaced the wheel onto the original rims. This was partly covered under warranty so I didn't pay for a new motor, but I did have to pay ~$60 for rebuilding the wheel, labor, and shipping/handling. I also lost about two weeks of commuting waiting for the new wheel. The new motor is slightly smoother than the original - less "surgey" -- but it is 1-2mph slower at all PAS levels. It's just not quite as torquey and seems a bit detuned compared to the original. I may use the controller 'tweak' to up the % assist at each level, but for now it's fine as I'm not often in PA4

Both the original rear wheel and the rebuilt one started showing loose spokes right away. I'm not sure if it's an issue on currie's side with poor wheelbuilders, or there's something about the motor hub that make is difficult to properly tension the wheel. I spent a lot more time fiddling with rear spokes than any other bike I've had (including tandem bikes that carry a lot more weight).

Suitability for commuting
Overall, the dash made good platform. I've got it loaded w/ panniers and a trunk bag for the second battery. There were times I missed a drop bar position because you can spend a lot of time at higher speeds with wind in your chest, but on balance I appreciate the upright position for better visibility in city traffic. Range was the primary issue for me -- I needed two batteries to make it viable for a commute.

It handles well in different road conditions... I ride paved & unpaved, as well as roads w/ bad potholes or rough pavement and it was fine. The stock tires held up longer than I would have expected. The 45C width is bigger than I would have spec'd at the outset, but I think I will keep running a larger tire on the rear (at lower pressure) due to the lack of suspension and the beating the rear wheel takes. Up front I'm running 700x35's now.

Disc brakes on the dash have been called out as weakness in reviews and by other riders. I think they are ok. With good pads and in proper adjustment the work fine, but will not compare to good hydraulics. The rear disc is a pain to adjust because you need to remove the rear wheel first, but that's not need often enough to make it a big nuisance.

The dash had some lower spec'd components than other some other bikes I considered like the Specialized turbo or Haibike variants, but apart from the brake lever issues mentioned above, there's nothing that ever caused me any problems or had me wishing for upgrades to a higher end version (like better shifters for example)

The straight bar is not ideal for long distance commuting, but I kept with it, just adding some barends for another hand position. I've seen another Dash owner add a Jone H-Bar.... I would consider that or some bullhorns, but I was trying to limit how much extra I put into the bike.

If my commute consisted only of the urban portion that I now have, a 20mph top end would be fine. But with the open road sections I've got, and the distance I've got, I would not consider anything less than a 28mph bike.

Did I make the right choice with the Dash?
I think in my original post I made the point that I didn't think the Dash was necessarily the best ebike out there, but that it was the best value for what I needed. I still think that's true. At the time it was around $2500 and the only bikes I liked better were around $4,000 or more. In addition, accessories for the dash like an extra battery charger ($80, though I got an extra one free with purchase of the bike) and the extra battery ($600) were both cheaper than those would have been from other makers like Haibike for example.

iZip saved some money on components like the mechanical disks... but I don't think the performance suffered any as a result.

Pedal assist on the Dash could be better smoother, but is good enough. I only use pedal assist and have thought about removing the throttle all together.

The next ebike I get might be a mid-drive --- for my commute I've found the rough roads really take a toll on drive wheels (the motor itself has been fine), I think the efficiency of using the bike gearing might help with battery life, and I'd prefer to have just a standard rear wheel. I was interested to see the direction iZip went with that 2016 Pro Tour -- looks like a good setup, but the bosch-drive bikes from various makers seem like good options in the future too.

Thank you for writing such a thoughtful, useful review.

I've only put 1,500 miles on my 2015 Dash (I thought that was a lot until I read that you'd done 5,000!), so it's useful to know what potential maintenance issues might be waiting in the wings for my bike.

I really can't stand the mechanical disc brakes. It's just way too many brake cable adjustments for my taste, and the pad wear is pretty heavy, IMO (I go through a set every 600 miles).

Congratulations on logging all those commuting miles. The planet salutes you!
 

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
Excellent report!

Haibike is bringing Trekking RS for 2016, a mid drive that's capable of 28mph and loaded with all accessories. From what you alluded in your post, trekking RS could be a great commuter for you.

Won't that new RS retail for $4,500+? Probably a lot better quality than the Dash! :D
 

Pace

Member
I really can't stand the mechanical disc brakes. It's just way too many brake cable adjustments for my taste, and the pad wear is pretty heavy, IMO (I go through a set every 600 miles).

You definitely have to stay on top of the clearance adjustment for best performance where as hyrdo's self adjust... but pad wear is no different.

Won't that new RS retail for $4,500+? Probably a lot better quality than the Dash! :D
I liked the build & feel of Haibike's the best when I tried them last year except at the time they didn't have any 28mph bikes available (and the 20mph trekking bikes were $4,000). I'd think about it for the next upgrade, but will also see what that Pro Tour rides like (at $3,600). Every $2000 difference in price is extends the break-even point another year+ into the future.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
That's a great year of eBike use especially in Boston.. Roads there are notoriously bad, and winter is tough.

BOL for weld failures, fork failures and seat stem failures.. My A2B Metro started exhibiting structural issues at around 7000 miles.

Your bike is an AL frame and fork right? beware of fatigue!

Good luck with your next year of commuting!
 

Tara D.

Active Member
Excellent review! Thank you for being so detailed. I would NOT want to ride my bike in the Boston winter!
 
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BullwinkleM

New Member
You could consider this the long-term follow up to http://electricbikereview.com/commu...uting-report-1-month-600-miles-long-post.920/

Yesterday marked one full year of commuting w/ the E3 Dash, so I figured I'd put up a summary of the last year.

Some random stats:
  • 5,114 miles
  • 129 commuting days (I work from home 1 day a week, so my max for any given week was 4)
  • saved $2,193 in commuter rail tickets. Not quite enough to pay for the bike -- I thought I might be able to do that in a year -- but pretty close
  • Most miles in a month: June, 720
  • Fewest miles in a month: March, 40
  • Non-reusable expenses (i.e. not counting something like paniers or lights): $953. Most of this was the $600 second battery, but includes things like replacement chains, brake pads, wheel truings, and winter tune up

The E3 has turned out to be a pretty good workhorse for long-range commuting (my most common route is around 40 miles round trip), although not without some maintenance issues.

Weather Performance
Generally I rode in all-weather and throughout the year. I don't really love riding in rain, so if I woke up in the morning and it was pouring or I knew for sure it was going to rain heavily all day, I didn't take the bike. Still, I rode in plenty of rain, and spent lots of time in some pretty heavy downpours, which the bike and electronics handled without any issue.

I live in Mass and commute into Boston, so winter and cold weather was a factor. The dash battery life is certainly effected by low temperatures and when riding in single digit cold I needed two full batteries to make it in with a safe reserve margin (whereas in summer months I could do it on one battery). As many folks know, we had a record snowfall this past winter and I got plenty of snow riding in before I finally waved the white flag in the second week of February, when a electric Fat Bike really would have been the way to go. Here's what one of the trails I take looked like by that point:


Most dash components held up well to the pretty toxic mix of slush, sand & salt. I took to rinsing the bike in hot water after every winter ride, along with a re-lube. For tires I used carbide studded schwalbe marathon winters.

Maintenance issues
Most things were normal bike commuting maintenance -- chains, brake pads, tubes for flat tires etc. I wore through the tubing on one rear rack (from the hooks on the ortleib panniers wearing through) because of the vibration thanks to the crappy road surfaces on the part of my commute in and around boston (the other half is pretty smooth).

The Dash brake levers are pretty cheap. I wore through internal plastic bushings on both and the lever return spring on one broke and had to be replaced.

At around 4,000 miles, I had to replace the rear motor hub. The motor itself was fine-- and still providing full power, the problem was that the axle housing itself broke down and became very loose. The bike was rideable but the rear end was sloppy with extra side to side play. I thought at first it was cones that needed adjusting but the dash's rear wheel axel is a sealed unit and not repairable. My bike dealer couldn't fix this and had to have Currie/IZip provide a new replacement motor hub assembly and relaced the wheel onto the original rims. This was partly covered under warranty so I didn't pay for a new motor, but I did have to pay ~$60 for rebuilding the wheel, labor, and shipping/handling. I also lost about two weeks of commuting waiting for the new wheel. The new motor is slightly smoother than the original - less "surgey" -- but it is 1-2mph slower at all PAS levels. It's just not quite as torquey and seems a bit detuned compared to the original. I may use the controller 'tweak' to up the % assist at each level, but for now it's fine as I'm not often in PA4

Both the original rear wheel and the rebuilt one started showing loose spokes right away. I'm not sure if it's an issue on currie's side with poor wheelbuilders, or there's something about the motor hub that make is difficult to properly tension the wheel. I spent a lot more time fiddling with rear spokes than any other bike I've had (including tandem bikes that carry a lot more weight).

Suitability for commuting
Overall, the dash made good platform. I've got it loaded w/ panniers and a trunk bag for the second battery. There were times I missed a drop bar position because you can spend a lot of time at higher speeds with wind in your chest, but on balance I appreciate the upright position for better visibility in city traffic. Range was the primary issue for me -- I needed two batteries to make it viable for a commute.

It handles well in different road conditions... I ride paved & unpaved, as well as roads w/ bad potholes or rough pavement and it was fine. The stock tires held up longer than I would have expected. The 45C width is bigger than I would have spec'd at the outset, but I think I will keep running a larger tire on the rear (at lower pressure) due to the lack of suspension and the beating the rear wheel takes. Up front I'm running 700x35's now.

Disc brakes on the dash have been called out as weakness in reviews and by other riders. I think they are ok. With good pads and in proper adjustment the work fine, but will not compare to good hydraulics. The rear disc is a pain to adjust because you need to remove the rear wheel first, but that's not need often enough to make it a big nuisance.

The dash had some lower spec'd components than other some other bikes I considered like the Specialized turbo or Haibike variants, but apart from the brake lever issues mentioned above, there's nothing that ever caused me any problems or had me wishing for upgrades to a higher end version (like better shifters for example)

The straight bar is not ideal for long distance commuting, but I kept with it, just adding some barends for another hand position. I've seen another Dash owner add a Jone H-Bar.... I would consider that or some bullhorns, but I was trying to limit how much extra I put into the bike.

If my commute consisted only of the urban portion that I now have, a 20mph top end would be fine. But with the open road sections I've got, and the distance I've got, I would not consider anything less than a 28mph bike.

Did I make the right choice with the Dash?
I think in my original post I made the point that I didn't think the Dash was necessarily the best ebike out there, but that it was the best value for what I needed. I still think that's true. At the time it was around $2500 and the only bikes I liked better were around $4,000 or more. In addition, accessories for the dash like an extra battery charger ($80, though I got an extra one free with purchase of the bike) and the extra battery ($600) were both cheaper than those would have been from other makers like Haibike for example.

iZip saved some money on components like the mechanical disks... but I don't think the performance suffered any as a result.

Pedal assist on the Dash could be better smoother, but is good enough. I only use pedal assist and have thought about removing the throttle all together.

The next ebike I get might be a mid-drive --- for my commute I've found the rough roads really take a toll on drive wheels (the motor itself has been fine), I think the efficiency of using the bike gearing might help with battery life, and I'd prefer to have just a standard rear wheel. I was interested to see the direction iZip went with that 2016 Pro Tour -- looks like a good setup, but the bosch-drive bikes from various makers seem like good options in the future too.
 

BullwinkleM

New Member
Great informative review.. Thanks for sharing. I have the e3 peak and have been
Enjoying the mid motor setup. At the time I bought the bike, it was the best overall
"compromise" available. I agree with you on being able to optimize the battery life/performance
By utilizing the gear ratios.
Thanks again for the great real world feedback..
 

Cory151

Active Member
Great long term test review. Bravo!!

My personal observation is that the mid drive (haibike) felt comparably gutless compared to the hub motor bikes I tested. Granted this is of little concern to most, it was just something noticed in back to back testing.

In fact, Im considering adding an Izip E3 dash to my stable of bikes. It seems as though the Dash would have been more economical choice over my ST2, and a great alternative to the ST1.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
5K miles is more than just a spin around the block; this is what we need, real world feedback!, Thanks Pace!