Kepler Assembly, Review, and Impressions

junker

New Member
Region
USA
I received my bike yesterday and assembled it within an hour by myself. Here are my initial impressions of the bike:

20220713_063131.jpg

Packaging:
Despite some minor damage to the box, the bike was well protected within the secondary box and had no damage. It had lots of padding and everything was well secured inside. I found the best way to open the box, since everything is secured in one big zip-tied mass, is to cut open the front of both boxes and bring the bike out the front, so that you don’t have to lift it over the box.

Assembly:
I watched the video a couple times on the Ariel Rider website and wrote down the steps so that I would remember them all. The most challenging part was making sure the bike did not fall over during assembly. It’s a heavy bike and wants to tip even with the fork plate installed. Overall, the instructions are easy to follow and each step is relatively simple. I think the hardest part was the handlebar assembly. It was difficult to get the angles of the display right so that the electrical plugs would fit into the back of the display. To do this, I suggest loosening the handlebar, display mount, and display rotation fitting until you have everything plugged in and at the proper alignment for your riding style, then tighten everything down.

My only complaint related to hardware is that the front fender is not aligned very well. I spent some time trying to get it straight with the wheel and it still has a bit of an angle to it. Not a big deal, I will play with it more to try and get it aligned.

First Impression:
Once the bike was built, my first impression was, “Wow, just WOW!” This thing is huge. You don’t get a sense of it from the images on the Ariel Rider website, nor from any of the YouTube reviews. I am 5’9” and I felt like I was standing next to a giant’s bike. It is large. It does look amazing though.

Sizing:
Speaking of size. I have the high step model and can barely mount the bike without tipping it over to help get my leg over. While standing over it, the top tube is right up against my crotch. If I could go back in time, I might consider the low-step version for easy of mounting the bike. My recommendation would be that anyone 5’8” or shorter seriously consider the low-step model.

First Ride:
The pure joy and fun associated with riding this bike for the first time cannot be overstated. IT’S AMAZING! The power, the speed, the acceleration, they are all amazing. This bike throws the gauntlet down to all the other commuter bikes out there. When you pull the throttle, it really does feel like a punch to the gut as the bike lurches forward and gets you to top speed quickly. It’s a bit uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it very quickly and love it.

The peddle assist is good, not great. The one thing I like about peddle assist is that it is a much more gradual input of power compared to throttle. However, at the higher power levels, I’ve experienced some power input even when I wasn’t peddling, which can be a little unsettling if you are not expecting it. At the lower power levels, I did not experience this.

How to Use Throttle and Pedal Assist:
The bike came with nearly a full charge, so of course I had to use it up and rode 20 miles my first day on the bike and got very used to the peddle assist and throttle usage. For me, I like to use throttle from a dead stop or slow speed to get me up to cruising speed, then I engage the pedals and lay off the throttle and use pedal assist. Once I started doing this, the bike felt smooth as silk and I was off the line fast and then just cruising at speed.

Final First Impression Thoughts:
I am beyond thrilled with my purchase and choice of the Kepler. I have some very large hills around me and the Kepler rode at 20mph+ on all of them. One hill near my house it 12%-14% and it had no problem with it. I bought the bike to commute to work and rode it for the first time this morning. My commute is 3.5 miles, with lots of hills and it had no problem. Most of the hills are downhill on my way to work, so the final test is the way home, which I do not think this bike will have a problem handling. Lastly, I attached a simple wire basket I got from Amazon to my bike rack to take my laptop bag and lunch and this worked great.
 

junker

New Member
Region
USA
How has the reverse commute been going? Glad to hear it beat that 14% hill!
This bike eats hills for breakfast, lunch and dinner - sometimes dessert... Even my steepest hills, which are 12-14% grade, I can get about 20mph going uphill with the bike unlocked with pedal assist. All the reasons I got this bike are paying off big time. This is the perfect commuter bike. My 3.5 mile commute to work going downhill is approximately 9 minutes, which is an average of 23mph. I haven't timed the way back, but it is less than 15 minutes for sure. I will get the timing on my way home today. My only major compliant at this point is that the bike is massive, I feel I am mounting a horse every time I get on it. If there is a curb nearby, I also use that to mount or dismount this beast.