E-Bike Expo this weekend in Tysons Corner, VA (Wash DC region)

Over50

Well-Known Member
I made the expo. I rode some Bosch bikes (Tern Elektron, Trek XM700+, Cannondale and BMW (made by BH)). Some Shimano Steps (Trek Conduit, Wallerang...). And some proprietary or systems I don't recall off the top of my head (Kalkhoff, Tempo, Gazelle...). And one hub drive (Specialized Turbo). And one Nuvinci hub (Tempo). I thought Stromer would be here but I saw neither hide nor hair of Stromer. Maybe they will be at the expo on the 2nd day.

Things and bikes that stood out to me:
The Bosch guys were fabulous. They spent so much time walking me through their technology, discussing dealers/service and bikes. They really went above and beyond.

I was keen (if you've seen my other posts) on the Integrale 11. I tried the 8 first and it was kind of unremarkable (best way to describe). I tried the 11 and noticeable difference in power/acceleration. It handled very well in the turns. But I picked up on a bit of a knock coming from the motor or cranks that would occur on starting from a stop or slow speed. The bikes there have really gone through the paces having been used at a number of expos so maybe it was just something that needed adjusting. The Integrale could definitely be the speedy commuter bike I need (but it still isn't #1 on my list).

The BMW (by BH) had the best geometry for me. It was a 20mph bike but really quick acceleration. I wouldn't probably buy a BMW branded bike but it tells me I should take a harder look at BH's lineup. The bike was solid, frame welds were smooth and clean. I was impressed with its feel on the track.

The other bikes I tried all had their plusses and minuses but none of them really swayed me one way or the other. I hope the Stromers show up tomorrow.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I went to the expo this evening, I enjoyed the opportunity to try out ebikes with a Bosch and a Shimano Steps mid-drive to compare with my Bafang BBS01. I appreciated they also had Yuba cargo and box bike ebikes.
 

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Berry78

Active Member
I went to the expo yesterday (in the rain). It was Fabulous! Had the track virtually all to myself due to the weather. Brought my daughter as well.

Everyone was just as nice as could be, plenty of bikes. No Stromers, and I didn't see any Brose. (Hope I didn't just miss 'em if they were there!)

Commuters: The Kalkhoff Integral felt like the best commuter, very good geometry, and solid feel. The Impulse motor felt smooth to me. The Trek x700 was underwhelming. Had some sort of round front suspension that was irritating. The Bosch (across the line) was smooth as silk, but maybe too much so for my taste. (Do I secretly crave speed and power??)

Mountain Bikes: The KTM with Bosch, Excellent bike. Only one I rode with full suspension, Probably would shine on a rough road, but the track was smooth flat pavement with lots of corners. Specialized TurboX, yum! The absolute winner for me at the show. Solid, Solid, Solid feel, brakes, corners, like a dream. Could stand up and pedal, etc. The first I rode had bald tires, and I didn't realize it! Got off after a breath-taking ride, and was stunned to see no tread. No slipping on the wet track at all! There was another with tread, felt the same way.

Fat tired bikes: Turbo Levo, not sure if the motor was even on.. (seriously).. umm... not my cuppa. Trek with fat tires, had motor definitely on, but again, not my cuppa. Front wheel was SOO heavy! Loved the automatic seat dropper though.

Tempo: Interesting concept, but not refined. First thing that happened.. just moving pedals into position to mount bike, and it surged forward... not too hard, but could be dangerous. Whole experience was underwhelming with the automatic transmission.

Wallerang also had an automatic system that was also unrefined. BUT, put the hub into manual mode, and it was as sweet as pie! Love the internally geared Alfine 8, combined with the Carbon Gates Belt. Love the oh-so-sturdy feel of the Wallerang geometry. The handlebars were too aggressive/low for the feeling of the rest of the bike, but otherwise, this was the winner for whole-package feel. If I'm going on an errand or hitting a smooth trail, this is the winner. I did clip a pedal on the ground during a high-speed turn. Only bike I did that with, so the cranks could use a smidge more clearance for more aggressive riding. The brakes felt GREAT!

Ariel Riders had a unique feel. Would definitely stress that anyone considering one of these HAS to take a test ride before purchasing. The motor was very powerful, but not as refined as most of the others. At one point I think I made it halfway around the track before the motor stopped giving assistance after I stopped pedaling. Now I'm sure if I needed to stop, the brake would have cut the power, so maybe just something worth noting, rather than super important.

The Yuba cargo bikes were a big surprise. They were super steady, and I really didn't notice the extra length or weight while riding. My daughter could feel the extra size, and didn't like it, so YMMV. The Yuba Mundo was the only bike I saw with the BionX system. The system actually didn't feel particularly powerful lugging the big bike and my own weight around the track. But, it didn't feel particularly underpowered either. Sort of like the Bosch system. No fireworks, just smooth.

My daughter really loves step-thrus with upright geometry. She tried a couple Gazelles and a Trek Lift, and enjoyed them all. Didn't like the Electra Townie as well as I thought she would. She would have liked the Wallerang better with higher handlebars.

Actually the very first bike I rode was a BH bike, and I have no idea which one. It was a hub drive, and had a good solid feel. Can see why they are popular :)

It was pretty noisy with traffic next to the track, and tires on wet pavement. Only one bike did I actually hear a whiny motor, and at this point, can't remember which one.

Edited to add... just going through this list, I realize I rode at least 17 bikes that I can specifically remember.. was there for about 3.5 hours.
 
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Berry78

Active Member
Yes, It is Alfine Di2, 8 gears. The reps did show there was an adjustment available for the auto shifter, but of course that wouldn't be terribly applicable in a demo situation. Indeed, I simply switched it over to manual, and found it lovely! If (with the appropriate adjustment) the automatic shifter feels as good as manual, Whew! Mind blowing!
 
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Over50

Well-Known Member
I went to the expo yesterday (in the rain)...No Stromers...Commuters: The Kalkhoff Integral felt like the best commuter, very good geometry, and solid feel. The Impulse motor felt smooth to me. The Trek x700 was underwhelming... Had some sort of round front suspension that was irritating...Specialized TurboX, yum...The first I rode had bald tires, and I didn't realize it...
Fat tired bikes...umm...not my cuppa...Tempo: Interesting concept, but not refined...Wallerang also had an automatic system that was also unrefined...

Funny that I had very similar thoughts on some of these points. I was there until about 11am in the light rain. Actually good conditions for testing bikes (wet track). On Friday the Expo was in a different location and they had an artificial hill. I guess they had to move for Saturday and they lost the hill due to having less space. I guess my biggest complaint if I had one would be that Stromer and Haibike were not there. Maybe other manufacturers as well but those were two I was hoping to try. For those of us travelling a fair distance for the Expo, it qualifies as a bit of false advertising. But I still felt like the Expo was a big success for what I had hoped to accomplish.

As for your thoughts on those bikes I mostly concur: The Integrale 11 was robust, responsive and solid - but I picked up a knocking from start that sounded like the motor or cranks. On the XM700, I really don't like that front shock. Maybe it is just a matter of adjustment but it is too squishy. The Specialized Turbo was a thrill ride but the silver one I rode had a tiny display that was hard for me to read on the move. I liked the bike with its aggressive geometry and strong motor. The tires you mentioned were slicks - I have some Schwalbe Kojaks on one of my Terns and it is surprising that they grip pretty well. Same for me on the Tempo - still needs some work. Some of the bikes they had there were still in prototype. The fat tire bikes don't appeal to me either. I find them an odd choice for city riding. I can see for snow and sand. To each his own I guess. I liked the Wallerang but same experience trying out the auto transmission. It didn't work very well. It shifted when I didn't want it to. And I think the rep confirmed that if you hit a hill it would start shifting down only after you start climbing. Unless you slow the cadence upon approach. Doesn't seem to be workable for hilly areas but I'm no expert. Were I to buy one I probably wouldn't use the automatic mode.
 

Over50

Well-Known Member
I had an interesting experience leaving the Expo on Saturday. My Spanish is fairly strong for a non-native speaker (for a number of reasons that are not important here). I was stopped by a shuttle van driver (a local hotel) who was observing the Expo from outside the barriers. He asked me about the bikes in English but it was apparent he was not a native speaker. I switched the conversation to Spanish in my response: A short story long: he was amazed by the bikes and had no idea previously that the ebike technology was where it is. He told me a story of having a bad leg (noticeable limp) and having such commuting difficulties and loved riding a bike but long distances were hard on his leg etc. So I explained as much as I could about throttle vs pedal assist and price ranges and motor systems...he was so thrilled with the idea of having a throttle assist ebike. He said he couldn't wait to come back to the Expo on Sunday when he wasn't working and to bring his daughter. It was nice to see this 40 something man light up like a kid when he was imagining the bikes.
 

Berry78

Active Member
I'm sorry I missed you! Got started at 1pm yesterday. I didn't hear any knocking in the Integral (maybe I was on a different bike?). But, definitely something worth noting!
 

Berry78

Active Member
Even though I really like the Steps system, and a bunch of bikes with that system, I could notice a tiny "click" when it engaged on several different bikes. Bosch didn't have that. The click wasn't during a gear change, so was unrelated to that. Was the "click" something that would cause problems? I have no idea. It was really tiny, and probably felt more than heard. In some ways it was a good thing, because that was how I could tell definitively when the motor engaged (which was always VERY quickly after beginning to pedal).

I would have to take the Steps and Bosch out for much longer head to head test rides to really determine which is better.

So many more systems to try.. Yamaha, Brose, Panasonic... ;)
 

Shoestring

Active Member
Hello friends, I attended the show Fri afternoon also. There was one brose bike there, a Specialized levo FS gray, I rode it twice and also rode the trek powerfly 8 w Bosch power. I felt the trek cleaned the Spec's clock. Agree with comments about Bosch smooth power delivery. I rode two different shimano steps bikes, one was quiet and buttery smooth the other was a little noisy?? The Specialized Fatty levo: I could not feel any power assist at all, I took it back to the booth and told the tech something was amiss, he told me it only boosts if the grade sensor detects a steep climb??? BS!! There were two BBSHD powered fatty's there, I rode both, cranked up to full power they were almost unrideable in the confined space we had, but dang, they had the power! I liked the tempo beach cruiser with the mfp motor , gates carbon belt and electic shift nuvinci 380. that would be perfect for my wife who doesn't give a hoot about the tech stuff, just get on and pedal. I think I rode about twenty different bikes. All in all I had a great afternoon, I can't say I hated any of them, but I came away really liking the Bosch system.
 

Chris Nolte

Well-Known Member
@Shoestring - I bet the Specialized battery wasn't plugged in. I had that same experience the first time I rode it last year. But I think most really like the Bosch system over the others for power delivery.

Sounds like it was a good event. Thanks everyone for sharing with those that couldn't make it.