My Visit to Watt Wagons Headquarters

BillP

Member
I’ve been contemplating an eBike build over the past six months and recently came across some chatter on EBR about the Ultimate Commuter Pro (UCP). I had the opportunity this weekend to visit Watt Wagons Headquarters. It’s only a two and half-hour drive from Connecticut and I really wanted to see firsthand what all the excitement is about. I know others have mentioned it but other than the frame (material) this is almost exactly what I had specified for my potential build. I built my first bike in 1977 and have built six others since. I know what goes in to getting it right and the costs associated with it. A quote from Thomas on this forum sums it up. “Anyone that spends even a modicum of time reviewing the best engineered components will quickly realize Watt Wagons are actually undervalued. Spendy? Yes. But for those of us committed to eBikes as commuting alternatives, incredible value. If you’ve ever scratch built a custom bike you’d soon learn the real cost.” With building your own bike the costs can sometimes get out of hand especially with the potential trial and error.

On to my review and what my thoughts are regarding the UCP. After the one hundred and fifty mile journey, I was greeted at the door by Pushkar (owner of Watt Wagons) as he was wheeling out a fat tire version of the UCP. My plan was to ride a “stock” UCP and one was available in my frame size. I spent the first thirty minutes just looking and talking about the components and the bike in general. I have to say, this is one beautiful bike and I don’t think I could build one any better. Off we went on a ride, Pushkar on the fat tire and me on the UCP. The first thing I noticed was the suspension; I’ve had full suspension bikes but never have used a suspension seat post. The combination of the seatpost and front fork was awesome and really made for a luxurious ride. The Bafang Ultra, Rohloff Speedhub and Gates belt drive was incredibly quiet and smooth although I did have to get used to the shifting which is a learning curve that lasted about a minute or two. Accelerating from a dead stop was smooth and quick with the Bafang Ultra's torque sensor. The Magura hydraulic disc brakes are as smooth as can be and stopping power is great with the 4-piston brake calipers. Many eBikes use a 2-piston caliper or mechanical disc brakes.The MT5e brakes also feature a drive cut-out for safety as well as an integrated switch to operate the brake lights. It was not dark so there was no opportunity to evaluate the headlight but I’m sure it will be top notch. The quality of the frame and the welds is top notch along with the Axiom rear rack. One thing I would like to see is a front rack that would be fixed to the frame or at least the options for that. The upgraded wheels (Velocity Blunt 35’s) are very nice paired with the Schwalbe Supermoto-X tires. The Spurcycle bell is elegant in its simplicity and failsafe not to mention how small the footprint is on the handlebar.

Half way thru the ride we switched bikes and I rode the fat tire version (Cross Tour) I’ve only ridden a few fat tire bikes (never owned one) and the immediate sense of “go anywhere, whatever” was instilled in my brain. Many years ago I also rode motorcycles, both dirt and street and it brought back those memories. The Cross Tour handled very well and I really did not notice much of a difference other than the road noise from the knobby tires. As I found out after the ride the difference between the Cross Tour and the Fat Tire is that the Cross Tour maintains the commuter geometry.

All in all I was very impressed with the UCP and I’m currently discussing with Pushkar some possible options although I would be just as happy with a stock bike if that was the only option. Pushkar is very passionate about his creation and I hope his venture is very successful.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures although there are plenty already on this forum. There is an update planned for the website and I’m sure there will be more info on the Cross Tour and Fat Tire UCP.

** As a side note, I’m still new to eBikes but not to bikes in general. I’ve now ridden quite a few different brands… everything from R&M (3 models), Mustache, Haibike, Rad Rover, Juiced CCX and RipCurrent X and a few lesser brands.
 
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KellyH

Active Member
Thank you for the report! My CrossTour frame is being built as we speak, and should be done in January. Pushkar is truly passionate about building a great product. He added a couple custom features for me, and I can’t wait to get it!