Neo Carbon Review

Magmir

Member
Well, no review quite yet, but come tomorrow night i promise I'll have an initial review. I just can't contain my excitement though so I jumped the gun with this thread. I keep checking the UPS tracking and my bike is now in Atlanta.

I stopped by a friend's house on the way home and borrowed his bike stand (the tools are ready on the stool) and am working from home tomorrow (can't risk missing UPS!).

It's like Christmas Eve.

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Magmir

Member
I thought the grinch stole Christmas but around 8:15pm UPS finally arrived. I'm a few beers in (hey, it's Friday), but this thing is getting assembled (and likely ridden) tonight! So far I can tell you that the packaging is top notch and nothing appears damaged. I LOVE the matte black finish. It almost pains me to think I'll be using her as my commuter.

easy-motion-neo-carbon-ebike-being-assembled.jpg
 

Vern

Active Member
Keep us posted you lucky dog. Please let us know how difficult it is to assemble and how long it takes. It seems like a great bike. Best of luck and congrats.
 

Magmir

Member
Oh my.

I finished assembly shortly before 11pm and took the carbon out for a ride up and down our street. Again, this is my first experience on any Ebike. I was literally laughing out loud and giggling like a school child (perhaps the sixer I drank before hand played a role in this, but I strongly doubt it). Wow. The throttle is cool, but the pedal assist is something else. It makes you feel like a super hero!

I'll post a more detailed review tomorrow after I've had a chance to go on a real ride.

The assembly was super easy and didn't take that long at all. I stopped midway through to eat dinner, watch random parts of the Olympics, drink beer, etc. But I'd say my total hands on time was definitely under 30 minutes. No one part was difficult, but it was helpful having my wife hold the handlebar while I adjusted the clamp. The stand was also helpful but definitely not necessary.

Really though, wow. This seems like a total game changer to me. I know it's early but from my limited use id put it up there with the iPhone, DVR, etc. Definitely psyched with this purchase and know I'll be getting a lot of use out of it.

Here are some pictures of the assembly process and with the rest of the family.

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Dave

Active Member
What a great looking ride! Congrats. First time on a quality ebike you actually own has got to be a blast. I hope to find out for myself very soon. Very good to know assembly is easy, and does not actually require a work stand. I would be interested to hear your opinion of the ride characteristics of the Neo Carbon.

I noticed you have the suspension fork, as opposed to the carbon fork. I say that because the one I am looking at has the carbon fork. I am wondering how stiff a ride the Carbon offers. I know you just got it and need some time to really put some miles on, but would love to know your thoughts. Again, very happy for you, it looks like a beauty, have fun!
 

Magmir

Member
I spent more time on the Neo yesterday and it was awesome. I met two cycling friends and we did a 15 mile loop in metro Atlanta. For comparison purposes, I typically ride an aluminum road bike with carbon forks that weighs around 19 pounds. The roads aren't the best. The Neo is SOOO much smoother and offers such a plush ride compared to my road bike (a lot of which has to do with the 23c tires on my road bike compared to the Neo's 32c size). The added weight is obviously very noticeable, but it really is a manageable package to pedal un-assisted. So my thoughts and limited observations have more relevance, I weigh about 165 pounds and am 5'11".

FIT AND FEEL

The bike feels awesome. The geometry and sloping top tube design should make it fit a wide range of riders. My wife is 5'4" and with the seat as far down as it would go, the bike was still a little too big for her (but she was still able to ride it up and down the street). She's not that much of a bike person but liked it far more than any bike she had ridden and enjoyed the throttle, too. Boost mode scared her though and she would only ride in standard. Sorry, that was somewhat of a tangent.

So, back to the fit and feel. It is a much more upright riding position than my road bike and very comfortable. The suspension fork, wider tires, and carbon frame make for a very comfortable, but still responsive ride. Despite the weight the bike is still super nimble and agile. It also looks great with the matte black finish.

POWER

Since it was my first day on the bike I went through the different modes quite a bit. I'd say I used about 30% boost (highest), 30% standard (second lowest), 20% eco, 10% pedaling without assistance, 5% throttle and 5% sport (second highest). You can hear the motor when it kicks on, but it's not too loud or annoying by any means.

The power is awesome. It makes the 30 gears really overkill as you just leave the front derailer in the big ring and regardless of the power setting it just GOES. In the highest setting it's just nasty (in a great, great way). You just pedal a few times and boom, 20mph. At one point I had to navigate through some traffic and boost mode was too much (again, I was in the big ring) so I dropped it down to eco and it was much easier to weave my way around. That said, I found that even the eco mode provided plenty of power and made hills a breeze. I used the throttle more as a newness thing as the pedal assist is plenty so I can see myself hardly using it, but who knows. It is fun and nifty and 20mph is no slouch, which it quickly reached in throttle mode on flatish ground. Going up hills that I previously mightily struggled to break 10mph I had it in the big ring and was churning up at around 18mph or so with minimal effort. I think I'll probably use standard or eco the most, unless I need to get somewhere fast in which case it'll be boost.

So in summary regarding power, to me it feels like there is plenty and best of all you definitely still feel like you're riding a bike. I used eco and hammered up some hills that at the top I was huffing just (well, almost) as much as I did on my road bike. That said, I could have used more power or a smaller gear and made it easier, so it's all on you and is very versatile. And don't even ask about my friends even remotely keeping up. It's apples and oranges speed wise going up hills.

BRAKES

With it's hydraulic disc brakes the Neo stops quickly and surely. Total confidence inspiring, which is important since we are slowing down from high speeds.

GRIPES

Not much at this point. My biggest one would be that you have to remove the battery to charge it - on frame charging would be so much easier. Part of this is because the charging port is on the bottom, so you have to lay the battery on the side and didn't I mention the matte black finish looks awesome? It just seems like it'll get scratched up. The fan from the brick in the charger is somewhat loud, but I leave it in the garage so I don't care.

The pedals kind of suck. I'll probably replace them, but keeping in the commuter spirit of this bike will still go with some type of platform. Besides, everything else on the bike is silver so some black pedals were in order anyway.

At one point when I put it in throttle mode the throttle wouldn't kick on. Turning off/on the LCD cured this.

MISC

Hmmmm...... I swear I had a lot more to say, but now it's slipping my mind. Here are some misc thoughts:

The LCD and the info it provides are pretty cool. I need to figure out how to use it (like reset the trip info). The little pouch that comes with it is also a nice touch. I hope I don't forget to take my LCD off.

The fastest I went was down a huge hill, where I think due to the added weight of the bike I blew past my friends (no pedaling needed). I hit around 35mph on the hill. On regular/flat roads with boost mode I would reach 2... d'oh I really don't remember, sorry :/. I don't want to provide wrong info, but IIRC it was around 27-28 and pedaling a good bit myself obviously. I'll update this with correct info.

Ok, my wife just said, "are you still typing your review?!" so it's time to end this. I'll be happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

Last thing: Again, this was my first experience with ANY ebike, so I'm sure I would have been more or less just as excited with any of the other ebikes that many of us on here were/are considering. They're just awesome machines. That said, I do think the look, fit and finish, purpose, and feel of the Carbon is certainly top notch and I'm quite pleased with the purchase.
 

James

Well-Known Member
That's awesome Magmir! I'm glad your first ebike experience was a positive one. I'd love to know your friends thoughts, and how hard was it for them to keep up with the new and improved you!!??
 
Yes congrats Magmir!!

How much battery did you have left after the 15 mile loop? how manny more miles do you think you could have gone?
 

Magmir

Member
Both my friends rode the bike and loved it. They both had the same ear-to-ear grin reaction that many of us do when riding them. They could not keep up with me and didn't even try. That said i only left them behind on the big hills as I wanted to see what the bike could do. I will likely ride my road bike on future after work / non commuting rides (for exercise purposes) and the neo for work, errands, and everything else besides riding with buddies...Unless I'm running late.

I had two bars of battery left when I returned home. At some point soon I'll probably do some tests to see exActly how long I can go on only Eco, boost, etc.
 

Dave

Active Member
Great review Magmir. I was all set on the Stromer ST1 Platinum, now I wonder. I am 5'11" 160lbs, so your comments are very pertinent to my situation. One of my biggest concerns with the Neo Carbon was the comfort, but you have pretty much put those concerns aside. . I don't think I have the option for the suspension fork, on the Carbon I was quoted a great price. I imagine the ride might be a little harsher then yours. I think the only big thing that EM could have done better with their line is make that battery chargeable on the bike, oh well. Thanks again for taking the time to give us your thoughts, have fun!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Great posts Magmir, thank you for the wonderful recap with images! I've touched up the shadows a bit and re-uploaded inline for easier viewing :)

I agree with everything you said, especially the battery bits. I'll be sure to pass this along to the folks at Easy Motion so they can get an unbiased real-user perspective. I'm sure they will appreciate it too!

Also... regarding pedals! You're totally right, having a wider surface area with better grip is key and the basic pedals that most bikes (and ebikes) come with can be easily upgraded. I've bought a couple pairs of these Wellgo MG-1 Magnesium pedals and loved them. Light weight, beautiful design and durable. I've even used them on my road bikes when I didn't want to mess with clip-in shoes for simple commuting and fun runs. I usually get white but they've also got black and the set screws are real so you can adjust them for more or less traction.

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Magmir

Member
Thanks for the pedal rec, Court! I saw another thread where James' posted his ST1 with white pedals and it looked sharp! While I was originally thinking black, I changed my mind and will also go with the white ones. Plus, my car is white and has black wheels so it's fitting that my bike is black and has white pedals.

I commuted to work this morning with the Carbon and it was fantastic. Due to the fact that I didn't have to deal with parking the bike commute took less time than when I drive (a 3-5 min saving). Plus, it was just a whole lot more fun. I rode in boost mode the whole time and admittedly tapped into the throttle on two large hills lol. Yes, this is the same guy who just a few days ago said id rarely use the throttle!

Speaking of which, the throttle issue arose again. It worked early on, then at some point I tried it and it didn't work. I turned the LCD on and off and it started working again. Have any of you heard of this?

Also, thanks for fixing my photos, Court. I will take some more pictures soon.
 

James

Well-Known Member
Awesome that your commute went well Magmir! It sure adds some excitement to your day. The Straitline DeFacto pedals I put on are awesome! I put them on to reduce the pedal burn from the smaller stock pedals. That and all stock pedals suck and these look rad!! Weird about the throttle though, I wonder if it's just a loose wire or something easily fixed!? I hope so!

James
 

Magmir

Member
Hmmm... Another electrical gremlin reared it's head during my commute home. This time sometimes the motor would kick on and stay on even after I stopped pedaling. At one point I was pedaling backwards and the motor was still going. Lifted my feet off the pedals - still going. It was like being in cruise control, except I had no control. I went down from boost to sport mode and the bike kept going (it stopped as soon as I applied the breaks). It happened a few times during my short commute. I turned the LCD off and on and it didn't happen again, but I arrived home shortly thereafter. In busy situations this could potentially be dangerous though if the bike just takes off (I feel like I'm one of those Toyota acceleration people but I swear I wasn't putting any pressure on the pedal!).

Besides that little hiccup the whole Ebike thing is awesome. Slight time savings, lower carbon footprint, money savings, better health, more fun, yada yada yada.

Two pics:

An empty office down the hall from mine I'm using as my bike garage and my study of black/white contrast.

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James

Well-Known Member
Yuck! I don't like electrical gremlins! Is there a reputable shop you can bring your bike in for diagnosis maybe? Like you said it could very well be a dangerous thing. On the other hand if your bike ends up not being something you ride very often the other white vehicle in your garage might do!! (dream ride much??);)
 

Dave

Active Member
Magmir, glad you are still lovin your Carbon. Sounds like maybe a controller/wire issue? Here is a link to a very good site on trouble shooting. The first trouble shooting step is for the throttle, and looks very easy to do with a DMM. Could be something as simple as a bad ground due to a loose connection. Just guessing, but here you go: http://ebikes.ca/troubleshooting.shtml
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Great pictures Magmir! Nice recap as well... Bummer to hear that the electronics have been presenting issues. This reminds me of the Toyota brake thing as well. I would definitely ask the shop or even reach out to Easy Motion in case this has come up before. I'd love to hear it resolved and perhaps share the solution with others in case it's easily fixed or a widespread known problem.