Info and Thoughts on Espin Flow

peakay

Member
Region
USA
Hey there,

We picked up a Flow from Espin's 3rd party distribution center in LA on Friday and assembled the bike. Feel free to ask me anything, but here are a couple things I can confirm that people have been curious about:
  • Rear gearing is an 8 speed and now 11-32, so top gear is now plenty high to prevent hamster wheel pedaling! I was not able to find a brand/part#.
  • Brakes are 180mm zoom hydraulic
Overall we are happy with it. It was not hard to assemble and I had the heads up from others to put the front fender on first, but then didn't realize the single bolt at the top also had to thread through the headlight, so had to pull that one back off to put the headlight on. No big deal, but make sure to do the front fender first thing and include the headlight when you do so. We did have a couple quality issues with a sticky minus button on the controls and an inner tube hanging outside the bead of the tire, but I was able to fix those. If I didn't have mechanical experience with bikes and tools though this would have been a problem.

Impressions? From my perspective, I was worried the left throttle was going to be awkward but I seemed to get adjusted to it quickly. I did feel frame flex/shimmy right away, but I am pretty big and sensitive to that. The SRam shifters were not as difficult as feared with the double thumb action and I like the gear indicator on the bars. The programming on the PAS levels is probably set too fast and is more abrupt that my Radrunner, but once I got comfortable on the bike it didn't bother me a bit. Coming from a fat tire bike, I was impressed how efficient the bike feels and pedaling with power off is not a struggle. With the battery out it would feel like any regular bike i think. The CST tires seem fine -- very efficient and didn't hear much knobby noise. The hydraulic brakes are nice and a step up from the mechanical ones on my Rad, but not crazy good like the ones on my high quality regular mountain bike.

From my wife's perspective (this is her bike - Christmas present from me) , it seemed a bit large and intimidating at first. She is 5'5" with a shorter inseam and I had to adjust the stem to pull the bars all the way back and lowered the seat all the way down for her first ride. Once she got comfortable, we raised the seat back up probably 5-6 inches. The step though made her more comfortable. She said she would feel its too big if she was much shorter. She also felt it was a little too powerful in the lower PAS levels but once we ent on a ride she was switching up levels no problem.

Hope this helps others.
 

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Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Hey there,

We picked up a Flow from Espin's 3rd party DC in LA on Friday and assembled the bike. Feel free to ask me anything, but here are a couple things I can confirm that people have been curious about:
  • Rear gearing is an 8 speed and now 11-32, so top gear is now plenty high to prevent hamster wheel pedaling! I was not able to find a brand/part#.
  • Brakes are 180mm zoom hydraulic
Overall we are happy with it. It was not hard to assemble and I had the heads up from others to put the front fender on first, but then didn't realize the single bolt at the top also had to thread through the headlight, so had to pull that one back off to put the headlight on. No big deal, but make sure to do the front fender first thing and include the headlight when you do so. We did have a couple quality issues with a sticky minus button on the controls and an inner tube hanging outside the bead of the tire, but I was able to fix those. If I didn't have mechanical experience with bikes and tools though this would have been a problem.

Impressions? From my perspective, I was worried the left throttle was going to be awkward but I seemed to get adjusted to it quickly. I did feel frame flex/shimmy right away, but I am pretty big and sensitive to that. The SRam shifters were not as difficult as feared with the double thumb action and I like the gear indicator on the bars. The programming on the PAS levels is probably set too fast and is more abrupt that my Radrunner, but once I got comfortable on the bike it didn't bother me a bit. Coming from a fat tire bike, I was impressed how efficient the bike feels and pedaling with power off is not a struggle. With the battery out it would feel like any regular bike i think. The CST tires seem fine -- very efficient and didn't hear much knobby noise. The hydraulic brakes are nice and a step up from the mechanical ones on my Rad, but not crazy good like the ones on my high quality regular mountain bike.

From my wife's perspective (this is her bike - Christmas present from me) , it seemed a bit large and intimidating at first. She is 5'5" with a shorter inseam and I had to adjust the stem to pull the bars all the way back and lowered the seat all the way down for her first ride. Once she got comfortable, we raised the seat back up probably 5-6 inches. The step though made her more comfortable. She said she would feel its too big if she was much shorter. She also felt it was a little too powerful in the lower PAS levels but once we ent on a ride she was switching up levels no problem.

Hope this helps others.
What is a 3rd party DC?
 

Urvaksh

Member
Hey there,

We picked up a Flow from Espin's 3rd party distribution center in LA on Friday and assembled the bike. Feel free to ask me anything, but here are a couple things I can confirm that people have been curious about:
  • Rear gearing is an 8 speed and now 11-32, so top gear is now plenty high to prevent hamster wheel pedaling! I was not able to find a brand/part#.
  • Brakes are 180mm zoom hydraulic
Overall we are happy with it. It was not hard to assemble and I had the heads up from others to put the front fender on first, but then didn't realize the single bolt at the top also had to thread through the headlight, so had to pull that one back off to put the headlight on. No big deal, but make sure to do the front fender first thing and include the headlight when you do so. We did have a couple quality issues with a sticky minus button on the controls and an inner tube hanging outside the bead of the tire, but I was able to fix those. If I didn't have mechanical experience with bikes and tools though this would have been a problem.

Impressions? From my perspective, I was worried the left throttle was going to be awkward but I seemed to get adjusted to it quickly. I did feel frame flex/shimmy right away, but I am pretty big and sensitive to that. The SRam shifters were not as difficult as feared with the double thumb action and I like the gear indicator on the bars. The programming on the PAS levels is probably set too fast and is more abrupt that my Radrunner, but once I got comfortable on the bike it didn't bother me a bit. Coming from a fat tire bike, I was impressed how efficient the bike feels and pedaling with power off is not a struggle. With the battery out it would feel like any regular bike i think. The CST tires seem fine -- very efficient and didn't hear much knobby noise. The hydraulic brakes are nice and a step up from the mechanical ones on my Rad, but not crazy good like the ones on my high quality regular mountain bike.

From my wife's perspective (this is her bike - Christmas present from me) , it seemed a bit large and intimidating at first. She is 5'5" with a shorter inseam and I had to adjust the stem to pull the bars all the way back and lowered the seat all the way down for her first ride. Once she got comfortable, we raised the seat back up probably 5-6 inches. The step though made her more comfortable. She said she would feel its too big if she was much shorter. She also felt it was a little too powerful in the lower PAS levels but once we ent on a ride she was switching up levels no problem.

Hope this helps others.
solid review. thanks.
 

Bubsdaddy

Member
Hey there,

We picked up a Flow from Espin's 3rd party distribution center in LA on Friday and assembled the bike. Feel free to ask me anything, but here are a couple things I can confirm that people have been curious about:
  • Rear gearing is an 8 speed and now 11-32, so top gear is now plenty high to prevent hamster wheel pedaling! I was not able to find a brand/part#.
  • Brakes are 180mm zoom hydraulic
Overall we are happy with it. It was not hard to assemble and I had the heads up from others to put the front fender on first, but then didn't realize the single bolt at the top also had to thread through the headlight, so had to pull that one back off to put the headlight on. No big deal, but make sure to do the front fender first thing and include the headlight when you do so. We did have a couple quality issues with a sticky minus button on the controls and an inner tube hanging outside the bead of the tire, but I was able to fix those. If I didn't have mechanical experience with bikes and tools though this would have been a problem.

Impressions? From my perspective, I was worried the left throttle was going to be awkward but I seemed to get adjusted to it quickly. I did feel frame flex/shimmy right away, but I am pretty big and sensitive to that. The SRam shifters were not as difficult as feared with the double thumb action and I like the gear indicator on the bars. The programming on the PAS levels is probably set too fast and is more abrupt that my Radrunner, but once I got comfortable on the bike it didn't bother me a bit. Coming from a fat tire bike, I was impressed how efficient the bike feels and pedaling with power off is not a struggle. With the battery out it would feel like any regular bike i think. The CST tires seem fine -- very efficient and didn't hear much knobby noise. The hydraulic brakes are nice and a step up from the mechanical ones on my Rad, but not crazy good like the ones on my high quality regular mountain bike.

From my wife's perspective (this is her bike - Christmas present from me) , it seemed a bit large and intimidating at first. She is 5'5" with a shorter inseam and I had to adjust the stem to pull the bars all the way back and lowered the seat all the way down for her first ride. Once she got comfortable, we raised the seat back up probably 5-6 inches. The step though made her more comfortable. She said she would feel its too big if she was much shorter. She also felt it was a little too powerful in the lower PAS levels but once we ent on a ride she was switching up levels no problem.

Hope this helps others.
Which post are you referring to that had the tip to install the fender first? I'm getting 2 of these soon - well, I hope I am anyway.
 

wabaseballfamily

Active Member
Region
USA
Hey there,

We picked up a Flow from Espin's 3rd party distribution center in LA on Friday and assembled the bike. Feel free to ask me anything, but here are a couple things I can confirm that people have been curious about:
  • Rear gearing is an 8 speed and now 11-32, so top gear is now plenty high to prevent hamster wheel pedaling! I was not able to find a brand/part#.
  • Brakes are 180mm zoom hydraulic
Overall we are happy with it. It was not hard to assemble and I had the heads up from others to put the front fender on first, but then didn't realize the single bolt at the top also had to thread through the headlight, so had to pull that one back off to put the headlight on. No big deal, but make sure to do the front fender first thing and include the headlight when you do so. We did have a couple quality issues with a sticky minus button on the controls and an inner tube hanging outside the bead of the tire, but I was able to fix those. If I didn't have mechanical experience with bikes and tools though this would have been a problem.

Impressions? From my perspective, I was worried the left throttle was going to be awkward but I seemed to get adjusted to it quickly. I did feel frame flex/shimmy right away, but I am pretty big and sensitive to that. The SRam shifters were not as difficult as feared with the double thumb action and I like the gear indicator on the bars. The programming on the PAS levels is probably set too fast and is more abrupt that my Radrunner, but once I got comfortable on the bike it didn't bother me a bit. Coming from a fat tire bike, I was impressed how efficient the bike feels and pedaling with power off is not a struggle. With the battery out it would feel like any regular bike i think. The CST tires seem fine -- very efficient and didn't hear much knobby noise. The hydraulic brakes are nice and a step up from the mechanical ones on my Rad, but not crazy good like the ones on my high quality regular mountain bike.

From my wife's perspective (this is her bike - Christmas present from me) , it seemed a bit large and intimidating at first. She is 5'5" with a shorter inseam and I had to adjust the stem to pull the bars all the way back and lowered the seat all the way down for her first ride. Once she got comfortable, we raised the seat back up probably 5-6 inches. The step though made her more comfortable. She said she would feel its too big if she was much shorter. She also felt it was a little too powerful in the lower PAS levels but once we ent on a ride she was switching up levels no problem.

Hope this helps others.
Does you or your wife feel frame flex that’s talk about on the Flow and other step thrus? This is one of the bikes my wife is looking at getting. She is on the heavy side due to her health.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
One of the things I had to get used to with my bike (different brand) was that "big" feeling. I figured out it was mostly because I was not used to riding upright, so the handlebars felt really tall when I was standing. There's really no way to have that upright position without the handlebars being taller. I adjusted after several rides - when I'm actually moving, the handlebars are perfect!
 

peakay

Member
Region
USA
Does you or your wife feel frame flex that’s talk about on the Flow and other step thrus? This is one of the bikes my wife is looking at getting. She is on the heavy side due to her health.

No, she never mentioned it -- I just noticed it. Its not like a flex from weight either. It's more of just a wiggle to it. If you are just riding and "on the gas" I don't think its really noticeable, but my step through radrunner doesn't do that at all.
 

wabaseballfamily

Active Member
Region
USA
No, she never mentioned it -- I just noticed it. Its not like a flex from weight either. It's more of just a wiggle to it. If you are just riding and "on the gas" I don't think its really noticeable, but my step through radrunner doesn't do that at all.
Thanks!
 

peakay

Member
Region
USA
Having ridden this bike for a while, I'm getting a lot of mixed feelings about it. The whole things looks great and has a nice component set for the money, but overall it just feels cheap and built to a price. My Rad Radrunner isn't perfect, but feels like it was designed by people who care about design and have enthusiasm for bikes, whereas this espin just feels like a collection of parts. The Espin bars feel really narrow to me, the programming of the assist is too high in PAS1, no throttle in PAS 0, frame is super flexy/wiggly, it feels to big for my wife yet too small for me and the seat doesn't adjust as high as advertised, etc.. The details are just not cared for.

Just sharing the experience with it so far. I don't hate it, but am not loving it either.
 

wabaseballfamily

Active Member
Region
USA
Having ridden this bike for a while, I'm getting a lot of mixed feelings about it. The whole things looks great and has a nice component set for the money, but overall it just feels cheap and built to a price. My Rad Radrunner isn't perfect, but feels like it was designed by people who care about design and have enthusiasm for bikes, whereas this espin just feels like a collection of parts. The Espin bars feel really narrow to me, the programming of the assist is too high in PAS1, no throttle in PAS 0, frame is super flexy/wiggly, it feels to big for my wife yet too small for me and the seat doesn't adjust as high as advertised, etc.. The details are just not cared for.

Just sharing the experience with it so far. I don't hate it, but am not loving it either.
Interesting as we just ordered the Flow tonight for the wife. The "flexy/wiggly" part that your wrote worry's me as my wife is on the heavier side.
 
Last edited:

peakay

Member
Region
USA
Ok, so I took the Flow today for a longer ride to meet a friend. In this case I was running a bit late and needed to get there quickly and wasn’t overthinking things.

I enjoyed it a lot more today! The bike really flies and when you need to make time it’s great. Having the rear 11 tooth high gear means you can still push with the pedaling even when you are on max PAS. The handlebars still felt kind of narrow but with time they became very comfortable. The PAS buttons are very easy to use and become second nature - really nice.

On the way home it got dark so I got to try the headlight. Not too bad. I also encountered a *very* steep uphill which required me to downshift gears as even max PAS in a higher gear would not have gotten me up. It was really nice to have this ability and the gearing range seems pretty ideal. Also, I can’t overstate how nice it is to have the kickstand rearward so you can maneuver the bike around without the pedals making contact. So nice.

Oh also, a tip. I rode on the strand at the local beach with an 8mph speed limit, which means PAS1 is a bit too high, but 0
isn’t great either as you have no throttle. What I did was leave it in PAS 1 and kept a finger lightly on the rear brake lever to kill. PAS. When I needed to squirt by someone, I just used the throttle or let my finger off the brake lever so PAS could kick in. Not ideal, but worked well just the same.

So I guess I am finally gelling with the bike, which is great. It just needs a few accessories like a good bell, mirror and some panniers for convenience. While I wish it had larger tires for comfort, a cheap suspension seat post should do the trick.
 

BET

Active Member
Thanks for the updated review. I have a Sport and I like the handle bars but got different grips for comfort. I believe you can change the handlebar easily if you decide you do not like it. Good to hear the gearing worked for you.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the updated review. I have a Sport and I like the handle bars but got different grips for comfort. I believe you can change the handlebar easily if you decide you do not like it. Good to hear the gearing worked for you.

I changed out my 2 Sport handlebars for bars closer to those that come with the Flow. More of a swept back bar that allows for more of a beach cruiser feel. Much better. Had a nice ride late yesterday afternoon with my 2 boys-one on Sport #2 and one on XP. We saw tons of ebikers-seems like Rad Power dominated the road. I think that is what the LBS uses as their rental model for tourists...
 

Urvaksh

Member
I changed out my 2 Sport handlebars for bars closer to those that come with the Flow. More of a swept back bar that allows for more of a beach cruiser feel. Much better. Had a nice ride late yesterday afternoon with my 2 boys-one on Sport #2 and one on XP. We saw tons of ebikers-seems like Rad Power dominated the road. I think that is what the LBS uses as their rental model for tourists...
which handlebar did you go with? link would be awesome. thanks.
 

alfaman

Member
Region
USA
based on Taylor 57 suggestion, i also went with different handlebars...the only suggestion i would make is when you switch the hardware onto the new handlebar, be very careful as not to lose any small washers, nuts or screws...it quite a hassle to try to find them on the garage floor
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
On my non ebike, I used this seat, it has the springs in the back:


1612219429519.png


I actually like the one on the Sport... it's is a little hard but it's better than others.
 
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