This is my first ebike and my decision to buy her was based on getting the best ebike for me at the best price. First a little about me, I’m 60 years old, 6’1” and 230 lbs. A have a 34” Class-A RV and travel the east coast. On long trips I normally tow a Jeep Wrangler with a tray-style bike rack loaded with two or three mountain bike from a big box store. On short trips I leave the Jeep at home and mount the bike rack to the RV. Typical use of the bikes is for recreational riding in National and State parks. I thought it was time for a better bike and was intrigued with the idea of using ebikes and leaving the Jeep at home more.
I originally looked at Evelo because of their mid-drive with the NuVinci hub. They didn’t offer any local sales but work with local bike shops to provide service in conjunction with their 4-year/20,000-mile warranty. I was drawn to the Delta with the 750 watt mid-drive since all I’ve ever owned was mountain bikes and I wanted to make sure that it would get me up the hills. I soon discovered that where I live they only allow 500 watts and mid-drives are more efficient using the power, so while a 750 watt hub drive may struggle to get me up the hill, a 350 watt mid-drive should have less problems because they have higher performance, more torque and use less battery power. I also have always hated not being in the right gear at the right time and gnashing the gears and an Internally Geared Hub (IGH) like the NuVinci would solve those problems. Since I was planning on adding lots of comfort accessories like a plush seat, road tires, rear rack, fenders, lights, etc. and the Galaxy comes with all of those so I felt it was a better fit for me.
The Galaxy is billed as a comfort cruiser with an upright riding position, 27.5″ wheels and 2” tires on a ridge frame. Evelo makes two models the Galaxy, the GT with a step-through frame and the TT a traditional top tube frame. Each model comes in two versions, Premium or Fully Loaded. The Fully Loaded version upgrades the NuVinci N380 transmission to the Harmony fully automatic transmission and adds hydraulic brakes. So I ordered the Fully Loaded Galaxy TT version with a list price of $3899.
The bike came in about a week. She was double boxed and very well packed. The hardest part was getting the bike out of the box. I recommend having a little help here. Evelo isn’t kidding when they say the bike come almost fully assembled. Install the brake caliper, front wheel and fender, handlebars, headlight, and you’re done. They recommend charging the battery for 12 hours before the first use, so I plugged it in to charge overnight and then set about the process of assembling the bike which took about 30 minutes. They provided several allen wrenches, a couple of “real” boxed end wrenches and armed with the step by step instructions it was much easier to assemble than any bike I’ve ever bought from a big box store. My recommendation is that you put the fender on before you install the front wheel and then attach the brake caliper. The front wheel comes with a “Quick Release” so it’s really not a big deal.
The Galaxy is one of a small number of electric bikes that offer the NuVinci Harmony Automatic Transmission which allows me to enjoy the ride while it takes care of the shifting. In automatic it finds the proper gear while I dial in a comfortable cadence and set the assist level for my perfect ride. No more gnashing the gears and getting stuck on a hill because I was in the wrong gear. A simple button press changes the hub to manual mode, but I mostly I keep it in automatic on the lowest setting. The brushless motor combined with the Gates belt drive and the Harmony makes the ride smooth and virtually silent. I set the tire pressure to 50 lbs for a softer ride.
She comes with a 350 watt Bafang Max mid-drive motor (peak 600 watts) and uses a torque sensor (internal to the motor) and speed to determine how much power is drawn from the battery. The torque sensor uses a strain gauge inside the motor to measure pressure on the pedals. This allows for quick engagement and better sensitivity. I was concerned about the Galaxy’s uphill performance but found that she can easily climb hills at 8-12 mph that would normally bring me to a crawl. On level roads I can quickly reach the 20+ mph limit. At those speeds it’s nice to have the Tektro 180mm hydraulic disc brakes that provide great stopping power and simultaneously cut power to the motor. Once you stop there is a double fork kickstand to keep her upright.
The large backlit LCD display panel (made by King) is mounted center of the handlebars and can swivel forward or back to reduce glare. It’s easy to read and offers information about speed, distance, pedal assist, watts and a five segment battery charge level indicator. The control pad is located near the left grip, from there you can turn the bike on/off and select the level of assist. I really liked that holding the UP button turns on/off the backlight and holding the DOWN button activates “Walk” mode which moves the bike forward at about two mph. Pressing both the UP and DOWN buttons for 3 seconds puts you in the settings menu where you can increase the maximum speed to 25 mph, set the backlight level, and miles or kilometers. I set the wheel diameter to 27.5 inches since it defaulted to 26.
The bike has a thumb throttle but as a safety feature it doesn't engage unless the bike is moving. I originally thought I would need the throttle to get across an intersection or when starting up a hill, but the bike's torque sensor measures pressure on the pedals, so it quickly engages. It is so responsive and natural feeling that I haven't used the throttle much but I certainly have used “walk” mode several times.
The rear tail light is mounted directly beneath the battery rack so it isn’t blocked by my pannier and is powered by a couple of AA batteries. The LED Head Light has five modes and is USB rechargeable. It quickly installs on the handlebars with a rubber strap and the single large button on top makes it easy to turn on and change modes while riding.
Powering the bike is a 36 volt, 13 amp (468 wh) battery pack with an advertised 50 miles of range. I rode for over twenty miles before the charge indicator dropped from five to four bars. The battery weighs 8 lbs, can be charged on or off the bike and has its own level indicator. The small rubber cap protecting the charge terminal opens easily and stays closed. The battery is nicely protected in the full-size cargo rack and has a key lock which keeps it there and provides anti-theft security. You don’t need to leave the key in while riding and there’s a built-in handle to help remove the battery and carry it. Removing the battery makes it easier to lift the 46 lb bike onto my tray style carrier. The battery placement in the rack makes the bike a little heavy in the back, but frees up space for bottle cage bosses on the seat tube and allowed me to mount my folding lock on the down tube. All I did was add my Cloud-9 seat, bottle cage, pannier and a suspension seat post and I was ready to go.
After about a week of riding I took her to a local dealer for a full checkup. They did a minor adjustment to the brakes and gave her a clean bill of health, no charge. They were impressed at how well “I” put the bike together (LOL) and they loved the belt and throttle. I’ll be sure to make the checkup an annual event and return to that dealer.
Let me know if you have any questions