First Impressions: New 2021 Ebikes from Diamondback!

troehrkasse

EBR Webmaster
Staff member
Region
USA
City
Fort Collins
Hey everyone! This weekend I got my hands on the new lineup of electric bikes from Diamondback. I've seen some stuff circulating about these but not very many dealers have them yet, and even Diamondback doesn't seem to have them listed on their website yet - I think they're working on getting supplies to dealers first before announcing them more widely. Lucky for me, eBikes USA (in Denver, CO) had them in stock!


I filmed the above video today, Houshmand and I discuss the overall lineup and components, and I take each of the bikes for a short test ride. I'll be spending some more in-depth time with them in the near future, I wanted to create this post to share my first impressions and solicit questions from everyone in the community about these bikes. I've attached the spec sheets from Diamondback for each of the four models I reviewed. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these new ebikes! I'll be filming in-depth reviews on them in the future, hearing what you have to say will help inform the things I test and discuss when I film those reviews.

Models I looked at today:
- Union 1, "entry level" commuter, $3,500 USD
- Union 2, "premium" commuter, $4,100 USD
- Current, gravel bike, $4,100 USD
- Response, hardtail eMTB / commuter hybrid, $4,100 USD

Overall thoughts:
All four bikes use the fourth generation of the Bosch Performance Line Speed, which means class 3 (28mph) speeds and 85 newton-meters of torque. The motors are fairly loud but very lightweight at ~6 pounds, incredibly responsive, with shift detection and full-sized chainrings to eliminate the drag that came with older Bosch motors and their reduction gearing interface. Electronics integration is sleek with integrated cabling, Bosch PowerTube in the bottom of the downtube, and the upgraded Kiox display on all models except for the Union 1. Good quality hydraulic brakes (Maguro 203mm on the Response eMTB), Shimano Deore 10-speed groupsets (GRX 11-speed on the Current gravel bike). Fenders and racks on the Union 1 and 2 commuters, integrated lights on the Union 2. All of the bikes feel very polished and I really like the wide handlebars, the drop handlebars on the Current flare out on the bottom for an even wider stance. Multiple sizes are available for all models and the large/XL fit me very well, Keep in mind I'm a tall rider at 6ft 3in :)

The bikes are all premium when it comes to price. It feels like a bit of a bummer to not get integrated lights on the Union 1 since it is $3,500... Diamondback considers it their "entry level" bike but that's a pretty steep price compared to what most other brands consider entry level. The integrated lights on the Union 2 are decent quality but still not as good as those I have personally seen on cheaper priced bikes from Gazelle and Trek. It's worth noting that the racks on both Union bikes are max load rated to only 10kg (22lb). This is less than half of the standard 25kg bike rack, it is secured to the fenders with no connection on the top of the frame. Still useful, but other commuters in this price tier don't have this shortcoming.

I reviewed the Gazelle Ultimate C8 a month ago, so it was easy for me to compare the experience of riding that bike to all of these Diamondback models. I think on the Gazelle the components are more premium, you get a Gates carbon belt drivetrain with an internally geared hub, better rack and lights... but here on these Diamondback bikes you get the latest Performance Line Speed Class 3 motors, compared to only Class 1 Active Line on the Gazelle. The Performance Line Speed is really a fantastic drive system, 85nm of torque can climb anything you throw at it, and it feels really peppy even in Eco. The Kiox display is also a huge upgrade compared to the Purion display on the Gazelle C8, the Kiox is color, way more information, bluetooth compatible, USB charging port, removable... keep in mind though, the Union 1 only has the Purion display.

I said all that to say, at face value these Diamondback bikes feel a bit overpriced for what you get, but after riding and a bit more consideration I do think they offer decent value. They're a bit on the expensive side, but it's easy to go down the rabbit hole of comparing different components, prices, and options... at the end of the day, if an ebike meets your needs and wants and is in your price range, it's a good ebike for you. As with any ebike it depends on how you'll be riding and what you want out of it. If you're looking at the Union commuter bikes I think it's a no-brainer to go for the Union 2, yes it's a little expensive but you get integrated lights, higher capacity battery (500wh vs 400wh), the Kiox display, and higher quality brakes (Shimano 180mm vs Tektro 160mm). Ultimately, I think there are two important things to consider:

1) Do you live near a Diamondback dealer? While any Bosch-certified shop will be able to certify these bikes, Diamondback's official dealers are the best way to take advantage of the support that comes with the premium price tag.
2) How committed is Diamondback to their new ebike lineup? It seems like they're pretty serious about it to me. Inventory is limited right now as it is for every ebike manufacturer, I think it's a good sign that Diamondback hasn't even listed these on their website yet - they're working on getting inventory out to their elite dealers first before advertising these more widely.

Looking forward to hearing what you think!

Oh, and by way of disclaimer: EBR did not receive any sort of compensation for producing this content. As always, thanks to Houshmand and the eBikes USA team for working with us and providing access to test bikes!
 

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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Hey everyone! This weekend I got my hands on the new lineup of electric bikes from Diamondback. I've seen some stuff circulating about these but not very many dealers have them yet, and even Diamondback doesn't seem to have them listed on their website yet - I think they're working on getting supplies to dealers first before announcing them more widely. Lucky for me, eBikes USA (in Denver, CO) had them in stock!


I filmed the above video today, Houshmand and I discuss the overall lineup and components, and I take each of the bikes for a short test ride. I'll be spending some more in-depth time with them in the near future, I wanted to create this post to share my first impressions and solicit questions from everyone in the community about these bikes. I've attached the spec sheets from Diamondback for each of the four models I reviewed. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these new ebikes! I'll be filming in-depth reviews on them in the future, hearing what you have to say will help inform the things I test and discuss when I film those reviews.

Models I looked at today:
- Union 1, "entry level" commuter, $3,500 USD
- Union 2, "premium" commuter, $4,100 USD
- Current, gravel bike, $4,100 USD
- Response, hardtail eMTB / commuter hybrid, $4,100 USD

Overall thoughts:
All four bikes use the fourth generation of the Bosch Performance Line Speed, which means class 3 (28mph) speeds and 85 newton-meters of torque. The motors are fairly loud but very lightweight at ~6 pounds, incredibly responsive, with shift detection and full-sized chainrings to eliminate the drag that came with older Bosch motors and their reduction gearing interface. Electronics integration is sleek with integrated cabling, Bosch PowerTube in the bottom of the downtube, and the upgraded Kiox display on all models except for the Union 1. Good quality hydraulic brakes (Maguro 203mm on the Response eMTB), Shimano Deore 10-speed groupsets (GRX 11-speed on the Current gravel bike). Fenders and racks on the Union 1 and 2 commuters, integrated lights on the Union 2. All of the bikes feel very polished and I really like the wide handlebars, the drop handlebars on the Current flare out on the bottom for an even wider stance. Multiple sizes are available for all models and the large/XL fit me very well, Keep in mind I'm a tall rider at 6ft 3in :)

The bikes are all premium when it comes to price. It feels like a bit of a bummer to not get integrated lights on the Union 1 since it is $3,500... Diamondback considers it their "entry level" bike but that's a pretty steep price compared to what most other brands consider entry level. The integrated lights on the Union 2 are decent quality but still not as good as those I have personally seen on cheaper priced bikes from Gazelle and Trek. It's worth noting that the racks on both Union bikes are max load rated to only 10kg (22lb). This is less than half of the standard 25kg bike rack, it is secured to the fenders with no connection on the top of the frame. Still useful, but other commuters in this price tier don't have this shortcoming.

I reviewed the Gazelle Ultimate C8 a month ago, so it was easy for me to compare the experience of riding that bike to all of these Diamondback models. I think on the Gazelle the components are more premium, you get a Gates carbon belt drivetrain with an internally geared hub, better rack and lights... but here on these Diamondback bikes you get the latest Performance Line Speed Class 3 motors, compared to only Class 1 Active Line on the Gazelle. The Performance Line Speed is really a fantastic drive system, 85nm of torque can climb anything you throw at it, and it feels really peppy even in Eco. The Kiox display is also a huge upgrade compared to the Purion display on the Gazelle C8, the Kiox is color, way more information, bluetooth compatible, USB charging port, removable... keep in mind though, the Union 1 only has the Purion display.

I said all that to say, at face value these Diamondback bikes feel a bit overpriced for what you get, but after riding and a bit more consideration I do think they offer decent value. They're a bit on the expensive side, but it's easy to go down the rabbit hole of comparing different components, prices, and options... at the end of the day, if an ebike meets your needs and wants and is in your price range, it's a good ebike for you. As with any ebike it depends on how you'll be riding and what you want out of it. If you're looking at the Union commuter bikes I think it's a no-brainer to go for the Union 2, yes it's a little expensive but you get integrated lights, higher capacity battery (500wh vs 500wh), the Kiox display, and higher quality brakes (Shimano 180mm vs Tektro 160mm). Ultimately, I think there are two important things to consider:

1) Do you live near a Diamondback dealer? While any Bosch-certified shop will be able to certify these bikes, Diamondback's official dealers are the best way to take advantage of the support that comes with the premium price tag.
2) How committed is Diamondback to their new ebike lineup? It seems like they're pretty serious about it to me. Inventory is limited right now as it is for every ebike manufacturer, I think it's a good sign that Diamondback hasn't even listed these on their website yet - they're working on getting inventory out to their elite dealers first before advertising these more widely.

Looking forward to hearing what you think!

Oh, and by way of disclaimer: EBR did not receive any sort of compensation for producing this content. As always, thanks to Houshmand and the eBikes USA team for working with us and providing access to test bikes!
I like the look of the Current! Just some random initial thoughts: Was it fun? Is the 6061 fork too stiff? How wide can tires be? Is the weight distribution front end handling heavy? Will the thinner 11-Sp chain handle 85Nm plus the rider's input?
I am finding that overall weight is a big factor as well as weight distribution front and rear, and how high the center of gravity is above the thru axles.
 

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Asher

Well-Known Member
Without having tried either bike, the Trek Allant 8s seems to offer a better value vs the Union 2. $200 more, +125wh battery, bigger brand/resale value, probably bigger dealer network. Geometries look pretty similar. I imagine the Trek rack can carry more, but not finding stats right now.

The Trek site shows 75nm for the motor but I'm pretty sure it's the same motor and they didn't update the specs after the Bosch software update added 10nm.

This seems like a bike for dealers - you don't stock Trek (or Giant) but you want to sell a fast commuter ebike, and you already sell Accell bikes.
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Without having tried either bike, the Trek Allant 8s seems to offer a better value vs the Union 2. $200 more, +125wh battery, bigger brand/resale value, probably bigger dealer network. Geometries look pretty similar. I imagine the Trek rack can carry more, but not finding stats right now.

The Trek site shows 75nm for the motor but I'm pretty sure it's the same motor and they didn't update the specs after the Bosch software update added 10nm.

This seems like a bike for dealers - you don't stock Trek (or Giant) but you want to sell a fast commuter ebike, and you already sell Accell bikes.
Asher,
Good insights as always. The trend is toward smaller batteries and more efficient motors and Diamondback is now helping to lead it. The Allant+ 8s is very similar but heavier at 25.54Kg. I predict DB will offer a range extender within a few months, but people will find that they like riding a lighter bike 95% of the time and will have the option of extending range the other 5% of rides. Without caring the extra load 100% of the time! Three or four years-ago this brand was sold in a Big Box sporting goods chain stores and some models were $250 with unsealed bottom brackets and cast iron cranks. The European parent company is committed to bringing the brand up market. I wish these bikes had chromoly or carbon forks for a less jarring ride and stronger 9-speed drivetrains to handle the higher torque. I removed the 11-speed from my Chisel eBike and installed a heftier 9-speed because I was killing components with 80Nm + me. Its weight is 19.35Kg with the air fork and 29ers. The Response model looks good and the e-10 KMC chain would be a good replacement for longevity.
 

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Asher

Well-Known Member
Asher,
Good insights as always. The trend is toward smaller batteries and more efficient motors and Diamondback is now helping to lead it. The Allant+ 8s is very similar but heavier at 25.54Kg. I predict DB will offer a range extender within a few months, but people will find that they like riding a lighter bike 95% of the time and will have the option of extending range the other 5% of rides. Without caring the extra load 100% of the time! Three or four years-ago this brand was sold in a Big Box sporting goods chain stores and some models were $250 with unsealed bottom brackets and cast iron cranks. The European parent company is committed to bringing the brand up market. I wish these bikes had chromoly or carbon forks for a less jarring ride and stronger 9-speed drivetrains to handle the higher torque. I removed the 11-speed from my Chisel eBike and installed a heftier 9-speed because I was killing components with 80Nm + me. Its weight is 19.35Kg with the air fork and 29ers. The Response model looks good and the e-10 KMC chain would be a good replacement for longevity.
It's premature to conclude that the DB is any lighter, because another 125 wh would only weigh about 1.5 lbs, which could easily be offset by other part choices. A ~3% weight increase for a 25% increase in fuel without increasing frame bulk seems like a decent tradeoff.

In any case, Giant's E+ EX model offers 500wh for $3900, though it uses a Yamaha motor (whether that's better or worse, I don't know).

The fact that Bosch and Yamaha introduced bigger batteries in the past couple years suggests the opposite, that the trend is toward bigger batteries, for a given category of ebike. A low power low weight model like the Vado SL is a different beast.
 
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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
The Current is certainly an interesting option. At least, you can buy it.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Asher,
Good insights as always. The trend is toward smaller batteries and more efficient motors and Diamondback is now helping to lead it. The Allant+ 8s is very similar but heavier at 25.54Kg. I predict DB will offer a range extender within a few months, but people will find that they like riding a lighter bike 95% of the time and will have the option of extending range the other 5% of rides. Without caring the extra load 100% of the time! Three or four years-ago this brand was sold in a Big Box sporting goods chain stores and some models were $250 with unsealed bottom brackets and cast iron cranks. The European parent company is committed to bringing the brand up market. I wish these bikes had chromoly or carbon forks for a less jarring ride and stronger 9-speed drivetrains to handle the higher torque. I removed the 11-speed from my Chisel eBike and installed a heftier 9-speed because I was killing components with 80Nm + me. Its weight is 19.35Kg with the air fork and 29ers. The Response model looks good and the e-10 KMC chain would be a good replacement for longevity.
That higher speed drivetrains lack durability seems dubious. Engineering design has compensated for thinner chains, and Shimano said its 11 speed Dura Ace is the strongest it's ever made. Maybe you just needed better chains.

 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
That higher speed drivetrains lack durability seems dubious. Engineering design has compensated for thinner chains, and Shimano said its 11 speed Dura Ace is the strongest it's ever made. Maybe you just needed better chains.

Asher, That could be. But it is not what I am finding. I will remove the high-end stuff and go for the less expensive and more robust. I will then swap out these more robust cassettes an chains regularly on externally geared bikes because of all the torque.
Internal gears are better and I can use the HL1L Wide which lasts as long as a belt. The City Hunter is also robust.
 

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jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Current looks like a solid option. I like that it comes with wide flared bars (small comes with 480mm bars vs the 400mm bars my Revolt came with, which must have come right out of Giants road parts bin). Component spec is good for $4100; GRX all around, interestingly comes with a 180mm front rotor (which makes a lot of sense on an e-gravel, but I've not seen any others come with anything but 160mm). Appears to have rack mounts. Comes with decent tires (Ramblers). Overall I'd say it looks well thought out for gravel from a parts standpoint.

Don't like that Diamonback doesnt have dealers near me, and having known people with their bikes (had a few friends with Haanjos for gravel) their service is a little spotty. I also can't find the Current on Diamondbacks website. Or any ebikes at all, for that matter. Maybe my google-fu sucks.

Good to see the e-gravel world expanding a bit!
 

troehrkasse

EBR Webmaster
Staff member
Region
USA
City
Fort Collins
I like the look of the Current! Just some random initial thoughts: Was it fun? Is the 6061 fork too stiff? How wide can tires be? Is the weight distribution front end handling heavy? Will the thinner 11-Sp chain handle 85Nm plus the rider's input?
I had a blast on it, the Current was my favorite out of all of them. I usually ride an old steel frame road bike so the Current felt like a dream by comparison 🤣 I believe it has standard hub spacing up front so you could bump up the tires a bit... but the stock ones felt great. I'll have to spend some more time with the bike on my next visit to be able to answer your other questions.

Typo, fyi
Whoops, fixed now :) thanks for the catch!
I also can't find the Current on Diamondbacks website. Or any ebikes at all, for that matter.
Diamond hasn't made any official announcement or added these to their website yet. I don't have an official source with Diamondback but I've heard that they are waiting to get enough inventory out to dealers before they properly announce them.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Did anyone mention that you have a cool job? How can you be ridding in a Hawaiian shirt with piles of snow? The Current is nice. I am super appreciative for what you do. And I am crazy about my old steel frame town bike. It has the coffee cup holder up front, tool bag on the back and a coaster brake.
 

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Adam L

New Member
Region
USA
City
Chicago (North suburbs)
Looking for a new hobby I started wondering about biking as I see people riding on Sunday mornings around the area - so after using this site, browsing online and visiting all the local shops (wow there are lot near Chicago) I bought my 1st "road" bike which is also my first electric bike - the DiamondBack Current size Large. I love it and feel like a kid again. Lots to learn. I can't believe how fast and easy it is to ride compared to my 25 year old trek mountain bike - and I rarely see the need to use the motor which is rather unexpected. I've put about 40 miles on in the past 4 days easily surpassing the amount of riding I've done in the past 20 years. :) I had trimmed my list down to the Trek Domane+ HP vs the DiamondBack Current - the price being the major motivation to go with the DiamondBack. At 6' the DiamondBack L is a bit big compared to the 58" Trek in particular standover height. Its a little tough riding on sidewalks or really anything other than smooth road - not sure if that's typical? My rides thus far have typically included my 7 yer old. I just kinda loosen my hands when going over the rough patches. Didn't particularly notice that on the test drives. Do bumps risk damage? So... now I'm wondering - any idea how to join those people I see riding around in their fancy clothes on Sunday mornings? Some at LBS was quick to note road bikers may not appreciate an e-bike joining?
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Diamond hasn't made any official announcement or added these to their website yet. I don't have an official source with Diamondback but I've heard that they are waiting to get enough inventory out to dealers before they properly announce them.
I mean, ok, but it seems like its being actively sold, so probably time to get it up on the website so people can look at specs and such. :p
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Looking for a new hobby I started wondering about biking as I see people riding on Sunday mornings around the area - so after using this site, browsing online and visiting all the local shops (wow there are lot near Chicago) I bought my 1st "road" bike which is also my first electric bike - the DiamondBack Current size Large. I love it and feel like a kid again. Lots to learn. I can't believe how fast and easy it is to ride compared to my 25 year old trek mountain bike - and I rarely see the need to use the motor which is rather unexpected. I've put about 40 miles on in the past 4 days easily surpassing the amount of riding I've done in the past 20 years. :) I had trimmed my list down to the Trek Domane+ HP vs the DiamondBack Current - the price being the major motivation to go with the DiamondBack. At 6' the DiamondBack L is a bit big compared to the 58" Trek in particular standover height. Its a little tough riding on sidewalks or really anything other than smooth road - not sure if that's typical? My rides thus far have typically included my 7 yer old. I just kinda loosen my hands when going over the rough patches. Didn't particularly notice that on the test drives. Do bumps risk damage? So... now I'm wondering - any idea how to join those people I see riding around in their fancy clothes on Sunday mornings? Some at LBS was quick to note road bikers may not appreciate an e-bike joining?
For perceived roughness (especially on pavement), definitely play with tire pressure. Internet search says it comes with 40c Ramblers; tires that wide can be run down in the 30-40psi range to give you some cush. I typically run gravel tires at 30-35ish psi on dirt and gravel, and maybe bump to 40-45 for pavement. Experiment and see what works with those tires and your weight. I've found that bikes from the shop often have ludicrously overinflated tires, which can really beat the hell out of you.

Reasonably sized bumps shouldn't damage anything, and as you gain experience you'll learn to absorb larger ones with your body. Mountainbiking is good training for this, btw. :)

As for group rides, its going to vary hugely by the group how welcome you'd be. New riders generally won't be welcome with the hardcore roadie crowd, because group dynamics are hugely important and even if your bike lets you keep up you would have no idea how to handle yourself in a group. More casual groups can be more welcoming. It really depends. Just ask politely. Look for beginner or casual rides, and assume that if you're riding with mixed company (people on non-ebikes) you're going to have to back the assist way down or turn it off to break a sweat.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Looking for a new hobby I started wondering about biking as I see people riding on Sunday mornings around the area - so after using this site, browsing online and visiting all the local shops (wow there are lot near Chicago) I bought my 1st "road" bike which is also my first electric bike - the DiamondBack Current size Large. I love it and feel like a kid again. Lots to learn. I can't believe how fast and easy it is to ride compared to my 25 year old trek mountain bike - and I rarely see the need to use the motor which is rather unexpected. I've put about 40 miles on in the past 4 days easily surpassing the amount of riding I've done in the past 20 years. :) I had trimmed my list down to the Trek Domane+ HP vs the DiamondBack Current - the price being the major motivation to go with the DiamondBack. At 6' the DiamondBack L is a bit big compared to the 58" Trek in particular standover height. Its a little tough riding on sidewalks or really anything other than smooth road - not sure if that's typical? My rides thus far have typically included my 7 yer old. I just kinda loosen my hands when going over the rough patches. Didn't particularly notice that on the test drives. Do bumps risk damage? So... now I'm wondering - any idea how to join those people I see riding around in their fancy clothes on Sunday mornings? Some at LBS was quick to note road bikers may not appreciate an e-bike joining?
Welcome! It is a great bike. And a great deal. Over time talk to a local bike shop about another fork. I find that with my ridding style aluminum forks are too harsh. It is like riding a race car. Tire pressure is a big factor. Tubeless would be nice. The steel Surly Sraggler fork or something similar, (gravel suspension?) would dampen the harshness to your fillings for about the cost of good pedals.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
Looking for a new hobby I started wondering about biking as I see people riding on Sunday mornings around the area - so after using this site, browsing online and visiting all the local shops (wow there are lot near Chicago) I bought my 1st "road" bike which is also my first electric bike - the DiamondBack Current size Large. I love it and feel like a kid again. Lots to learn. I can't believe how fast and easy it is to ride compared to my 25 year old trek mountain bike - and I rarely see the need to use the motor which is rather unexpected. I've put about 40 miles on in the past 4 days easily surpassing the amount of riding I've done in the past 20 years. :) I had trimmed my list down to the Trek Domane+ HP vs the DiamondBack Current - the price being the major motivation to go with the DiamondBack. At 6' the DiamondBack L is a bit big compared to the 58" Trek in particular standover height. Its a little tough riding on sidewalks or really anything other than smooth road - not sure if that's typical? My rides thus far have typically included my 7 yer old. I just kinda loosen my hands when going over the rough patches. Didn't particularly notice that on the test drives. Do bumps risk damage? So... now I'm wondering - any idea how to join those people I see riding around in their fancy clothes on Sunday mornings? Some at LBS was quick to note road bikers may not appreciate an e-bike joining?
My BH Gravel bike looks similar to your Current but has less torque at 70nm so that must make a substantial difference. It came with 40c Schwalbe G-one tires that I kept at the max recommended pressure of 73psi. It was harsh over broken pavement. Tannus Armor inserts helped smooth the ride some but increased rolling resistance at the same pressure. I even thought there was something wrong with my Yamaha mid drive because climbing steep grades became noticeably more difficult - but it was the inserts. With your more powerful Bosch it might not be a factor and the Tannus provide some flat protection (but IMO not the limited run flat capability that they claim). Eventually I went with 32c Continental Gatorskin tires and keep inflated to the 103psi max. Definitely a harsh ride on rough surfaces and I slow down a lot for railroad tracks and rough/broken pavement now but they are a much nicer overall riding experience to me. I was concerned about damaging something like the wheels, especially since my wheels are 24 spoke, but so far everything is good.
 
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StevenC56

Member
Region
USA
The drives sure sound noisy in the video test ride. Maybe that's how all mid-drives are? I only have my Ebikemotion hub drive to compare to however.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
It is funny that they put rack eyelets on the frame that the rack doesn't use (and thus has a low weight limit of 22 lbs). I know, you can put on your own for touring or whatever, but realistically most people are just going to chance it with the rack that's already there.
 

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