Perspective on the ST2

D

Deleted member 803

Guest
A lot has been written about the ST2 both on this forum and in reviews across the globe. Most reviews go over feature sets and accentuate the positive attributes of the bicycle. I'd like to spend a few minutes giving you a perspective on the little things that sometimes aren't covered in the reviews. As with every product there are both good things and bad things. I make no judgement on the price value proposition as price is just one small item in the purchase consideration.

The information below is without any bias for/against Stromer and the ST2. I am not a dealer (hidden or otherwise disclosed) and am an ebike enthusiast like many of you.

Let me jump in:

-the riding geometry of the Stromer has a moderate lean to the handlebars and is best suited to commuting, urban transport and leisurely rides. It is not the bike to buy if you like road bike geometry and drop handlebars. There are other vendors including Haibike and Easy Motion that make more purposeful road bikes.

-an hour in the saddle created some hand numbness for me but it was moderate and dissipated quickly. The stock grips provide palm relief and are excellent quality. In stock form the grips were set much to high on the bar and the controls were also mounted too high as well. Ideally you want to be able to brake and shift without wrist movement. This is achievable but it does require adjusting the controls and the grips.

-the stock seat is made by Ergon (same vendor as the grips). The seat, and its adjustment, are critical to long term comfort. Most stock seats are simple adequate and for me, this is the case for the ST2. The sit bone adjustment, for me, was incorrect with the stock seat so I added an SQ Lab Active 602 seat that has a wider 16cm platform and some lateral give to accomodate the rotation of the hips. Visit any good bike shop and they can do a sit bone measure if you experience discomfort. Seats are a personal thing and there is no right or wrong.

-Stromer chose, as a compromise, to reduce inventory options by offering only a 17" or a 20" frame. I am 5'11" with an 85cm inseam and found that the large had less than an inch of clearance. I went with the 17" frame which is just a little small for me. The advantage for me is that my seat, properly adjusted puts my seat higher than the handlebars and creates a slightly more forward lean. Find a dealer that has both frame sizes and ride both for 20-30 minutes to understand the cross bar safety level and the body lean that suits you the best.

-The frame is very solidly built and I have noticed very little flex. The bike frame has been designed to accommodate both the weight of the bike and power of the motor. The downside to this effort is that hitting significant road imperfections at speeds above 20mph have a decidedly harsh effect on the body. For those with arthritis or shoulder issue, you should note that this bike will pound you. While there are front forks available (all of which will compromise handling) that can work, the thought of spending $7K on a bike and then spending more money for a front fork is probably not a wise investment. The rear end can be softened through the use of a quality seatpost. Personally I have degenerative disc disease (which means you are over 50) so softening the blows to my back are much more important than softening the front end. There are lots of bikes that offer more comfortable rides than the ST2. It is a fast and stiff bike so be prepared.

-The bike arrived in what is best described as no shipping box. A very cheap cardboard box with no structural support and it was ripped to hell by the transport company. This is typical of most vendors who spent as little as possible on shipping containers. The bike however was decently wrapped in cardboard, masking tape, and foam. I'd rate the packaging and shipping container of the ST2 are somewhere between non-existent, and deplorable.

-The good news on the bike is that it arrived fully assembled except for the handlebar and the front headlight. If you have simple mechanical skills you can adjust and tighten the handlebars which requires loosening the stem bolt and the headtube bolt. They must be retightened to torque spec. The wheels were actually quite true so no removal and truing (which is pretty common with new bikes) did not need to be done. All that was needed was to fill the tires with air. The Big Ben Schwalbe tires have reasonable road worthy tread and are thick enough and stiff enough to be able to handle the weight of the bike. Tire pressure is 35-55 psi. I prefer stiffer tires as they roll better but you can soften your ride by running with less air.

-The Magura brakes are linear and require a solid pull to stop the bike. Mine do not squeak. The brake pads do require a break-in period which I have not yet reached. A little disappointed that Stromer chose note to upgrade the brakes to either MT5 or MT7 but this is probably both a timing issue (as 5 and 7 brakes are new) and a cost containment issue. There is no adjustability to the brake levers so if you have small hands be sure to try them before you buy.

-The Omni display is a touch/pressure sensitive display with slightly misaligned touch sensitivity so you need to practice a little as to where you touch a command to make it work. Not a big deal but not terribly elegant either. The display has contrast and brightness adjustments but it certainly is not what I would call a crisp display. And, if you need reading glasses you will definitely need them to read the display.

-The GSM network works as intended for software updates and communication between your phone and the bike. There is a slight delay between commands sent on your phone and the bikes ability to implement those changes. The delay is slight and will not impact usability.

-The controller on the Stromer ST2 is, from the bikes I have tested and ridden, one of the most linear in the industry. It is truly a next generation of smooth power delivery without a lot of abruptness. While not perfect, the power levels are clearly distinguished from each other. Power level 1 is acceptable for smooth flat roads with a very modest level of assist. Level 2 is customizable and provides more power. Level 3 is where the fun begins. On my Easy Motion bike, all the power modes were barely indistinguishable from each other.

-One little nit is that if you lock the bike using the software and create a custom pin, the pin keyboard draws lines from one key to another to show you the order of your keystrokes. However my unlock pin is 12 digits long and includes several repeating keys for which the display has a hard time showing you the keystroke order. Not a big deal but the way in which the unlock code keyboard was implemented could be better thought out.

-The kickstand is spring loaded. Someone indicated this was a requirement in EMEA. I have ordered a new kickstand as I hate this feature. Touch your bike slightly and kickstand pops up. A big no no. I was filling my tires with air and as I was rotating a tire to position the valve, the slight movement of the bike caused the kickstand to flip up.

-The Groupset on the bike is a mishmash of shimano components with an XT rear derailleur, a 105 front derailleur, and an SLX shifter set. You'd think for $7K Stromer would simply have gone with an XT groupset throughout. I hate the SLX shifters as they feel cheap and plasticky and ordered XTR shifters. This won't be a big deal for most but I can tell the difference in quality.

-The fenders are of very good quality material and solidly mounted to the bike. The rear fender and Racktime rack are fully integrated. This makes for a very solid setup. The good news is that the Racktime rack has a built in snap-it adaptor to accommodate locking trunk bags that have a racktime snapit adaptor built-in. Really happy to see that there is a single dealer in outer Mongolia with guaranteed 12 year delivery that carries the few bags that have a snap-it adaptor....the truth is that you will have to order a snap-it adaptor bag online as most US retailers do not carry racktime supported products. Racktime is very popular in Europe but not so in North America.

The battery charger for this bike is 21st century: light, quiet, and nice looking. It is totally unlike the (built in 1842) charging unit that came with my Easy Motion bike. There are no on/off switches. Once the battery is plugged into the wall outlet and the magnetic charging cord is connected, the battery starts charging.

The on-bike charging port has been an issue for me. First, I gently popped off the outlet cover like the Stromer service folks recommended. It graciously proceeded to fall off the bike and the magnetic pin (that aids closure) flew across the garage. This is a really expensive and well engineered part. I'm guessing that the cost of this charging port cover is somewhere around (minus 3 cents), and that the engineering that went into this cover involved at least zero man years of time.....what a piece of crap. And to make matters worse, while my battery and charger work just fine off the bike, the onbike charging port does not work at all.

-The little headlight works surprisingly well and throws an evenly dispersed light pattern. It is a quality light and solidly mounted to the bike. Impressed with this.

-The owners manual is a delight. It was written by the children of the Ortlisk orphanage in Slovenia, translated into Mandarin, and proof read by occupants of the planet Koosbane. It is very rudimentary, omits lots of little use behaviors, and is pretty typical of most vendors in the bike industry.

-Lastly, due to the weight of the bike and the speed with which this bike travels, I appear to get a little chain slap. Will try an XTR shadow derailleur to see if this helps cure the problem.

Otherwise, all the good stuff that has been written about the ST2 appear to be true....and I like the fact that Stromer includes a little bottle of touchup paint for the bike.
 
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D

Deleted member 803

Guest
More info:

-Pounded up and down hills on Power Level 3 with the lights on the whole time and got 40 miles with 9% battery left. Pretty damn good.
-Definitely a defective onbike charging port. Probably a minor wiring fault but nonetheless will have fixed.
-Power delivery seems consistent throughout battery drain which was not something that happened on my Neo Carbon. Glad to see this.
-Brakes work well but notice a slight click when i first depress the left brake lever. I did notice that the brake pad brackets have a slight amount of movement to them. Does not affect performance but curious as to whether we can tighten something up.
-Not happy that the odometer reading is buried in the phone app. Seems weird that it is not on the bike display.
 

Airliner787

New Member
Thanks for taking the time to write up your observations. I had commented also regarding the kickstand. If people do not change it, they will eventually see the bike fall. I had a stranger try to lift it and the kick stand popped up but I caught the bike before it fell. Too much stress worrying about your expensive purchase crashing to the ground. Can you tell us where you ordered kickstand, make and pic if possible. Same for the upgraded shifter paddles. Thanks.
 

John ware

Active Member
Hey 86, regarding your odometer comment. It's not entirely intuitive but the main "ride" screen on the bike does scroll through 2 other screens by pressing on it. Your on-bike trip odometer is there. See below.
 

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D

Deleted member 803

Guest
Thanks for taking the time to write up your observations. I had commented also regarding the kickstand. If people do not change it, they will eventually see the bike fall. I had a stranger try to lift it and the kick stand popped up but I caught the bike before it fell. Too much stress worrying about your expensive purchase crashing to the ground. Can you tell us where you ordered kickstand, make and pic if possible. Same for the upgraded shifter paddles. Thanks.
Ordered new kickstand thru my dealer. Assuming its the same brand (Pletscher I think) . I had my dealer order an XTR shadow rear derailleur and XTR shifters. Common items available on line. Hopefully the XTR rear derailleur will help with some chain slap and the upgraded shifters have a better feel to them. I put XTR stuff on my Neo Carbon so I kinda got used to it. These are not necessary upgrades but nice-to-have's.

Also, the clicking I hear when I tap the left brake lever is due to the fact that the brake pads have some slight movement in the caliper. Dealer tells me this is pretty normal especially for Shimano brakes (yes I know they are Magura's). Brakes work just fine.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
Hey 86, regarding your odometer comment. It's not entirely intuitive but the main "ride" screen on the bike does scroll through 2 other screens by pressing on it. Your on-bike trip odometer is there. See below.
Thanks, not talking about trip odometer but bike odometer. I did find it buried in the phone app but was just wondering why it isn't on the omni screeen.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
One more thing: For those of you looking for a bike carrier, I just wanted you to know that the 1UPUSA rack works perfectly.

Also, I replaced the very expensive bell that came on the bike with a Spurcycle.com bell. Completely overkill but an incredible sound.
 
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EbikeR2

Member
One more thing: For those of you looking for a bike carrier, I just wanted you to know that the 1UPUSA rack works perfectly.

Also, I replaced the very expensive bell that came on the bike with a Spurcycle.com bell. Completely overkill but an incredible sound.
Ok that is a GORGEOUS bell! How did you find that gem?
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
Ok that is a GORGEOUS bell! How did you find that gem?
I was hosting a fund raiser to support gay rights in India and one of the attendees rode in on a bicycle with the bell attached. I believe they were created somewhere in the SF Bay area. And if you like to spend money on accessories, I just purchased a Klean Kanteen in Matte Black along with a water bottle holder in gloss black. Beautiful to look at and the color schemes match the bike perfectly.



20150814_194217 (1).jpg
 
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EbikeR2

Member
I was hosting a fund raiser to support gay rights in India and one of the attendees rode in on a bicycle with the bell attached. I believe they were created somewhere in the SF Bay area. And if you like to spend money on accessories, I just purchased a Klean Kanteen in Matte Black along with a water bottle holder in gloss black. Beautiful to look at and the color schemes match the bike perfectly.



View attachment 4095
god damn you have great taste!
 

Rick Huizinga

Active Member
I was hosting a fund raiser to support gay rights in India and one of the attendees rode in on a bicycle with the bell attached. I believe they were created somewhere in the SF Bay area. And if you like to spend money on accessories, I just purchased a Klean Kanteen in Matte Black along with a water bottle holder in gloss black. Beautiful to look at and the color schemes match the bike perfectly.



View attachment 4095
Can I ask what bottle holder you bought?

I have the Klean Kanteen in white. Did you know that you could buy a spout top for it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083F0JKA
 

Rick Huizinga

Active Member
The holder is a very expensive item something on the range of $6US. It is made by Klean Kanteen specifically for the bottle.
How do you find the quality of the holder? I've read many 1-star reviews on Amazon saying that it breaks easily after normal use and the bottle can fly off onto the road. I must say that it looks nice, but I'm a little dissuaded from buying it after reading the reviews.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
How do you find the quality of the holder? I've read many 1-star reviews on Amazon saying that it breaks easily after normal use and the bottle can fly off onto the road. I must say that it looks nice, but I'm a little dissuaded from buying it after reading the reviews.
Pretty Cheap. However I do not reach for my bottle when riding.
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
Went for a ride yesterday starting at the Sather Gate on CAL campus to Treasure Island along the new Bay bridge. Fantastic ride with my son. Got a chance to test out the manual recoup on the bike. I have not been a big fan of this particular aspect of rear hub drives. Accessing the levels of recoup on the fly is not fast and requires numerous presses to the (-) button. I found that level 3 and 4 of recoup literally brought the bike to a stop on a 7% grade. Not sure what the recovery levels are as this is not information that appears to the rider. In other words, I am not sure of the everyday practicality of recoup since I do not see the battery life indicator move. If there is a way to measure in real time, the recoup I would like to know. One thing that I need to address is that the brake pads are loosely mounted in the calipers and if I grab the brake lever normally there is a momentary clack as they make contact with the rotor. My shop tells me that this is a common occurrence and that it does not affect performance. I looked at my brakes and there is definitely some movement of the pads as I can wiggle them just a little. Not a big deal but would like to know if we can remove the clearance and quiet them up. The good news is that the brakes do not squeak. The drive train on the bike is, in my singular opinion just ok. I get some chain slap over rough surfaces and the feeling of the shifts is a little vague. As stated before I have ordered XTR derailleur and shifters to improve. A new shadow derailleur with clutch should help with chain slap.

One other little nit. The lights on the bike are very good quality but offer no options (at least to my knowledge). Wish there was a strobe option for the headlight and tail light. If there is, I do not know how to turn on. Lastly Stromer chose to include flimsy caps for both the charging port and the front USB charger. My rubber cap for the USB port takes some finagling to get it to seat properly. You already know that the charging port cover is substandard.

On the software side, I have set multiple profiles for power level 2 and saved them. Does anyone know of a way to delete a profile?

More later.............
 
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