R48 review

Norman11

New Member
Currently we have 3 - R48's and here is what I have found . A little overview : I do regular maintenance such as chain cleaning , bearing checks , loose parts , brake pads and more . Only addons we added to bike was rear lights and saddle bags . We live in the hill of Ohio so we have a lot of hills to deal with . We love our bikes and have had very little issues with them in comparison to the abuse and milage they get , I bike 16 miles a day in sun , rain , snow , sleet , and hail . Yes I have seen it all . :)
My wife's 1 year old bike w\ 14AH battery ..... roughly 4000 miles , only maintenance so far has been brake pads and regular adjustments until last week I replaced the lower fork bearing (warranty replacement :) ) . This weekend she took it on a 31 mile trip and I took our 2 week old one . She had 3 out of 5 battery bars left and I had 4 so it seems her battery is still in good condition but not like the new one (which is understandable) . We road 21 miles using the 4 assist level and then 11 miles using the 5 assist level ( assist levels are 1-5 ) .
My bike is 2 years old w\ 17AH battery with roughly 10000 miles on it . The maintenance I have done on this one (other than the regular) is as follows . I am on the third kickstand . It is mounted at the base of the seat stem underneath and this is a high moisture and dirt area so if it gets loose you basically have to take off the rear wheel and fender to tighten . The reason for replacing them was because the bolts are so rusty that they cannot be turned and the kickstands needed to be cut off and replaced . This issue has been resolved as the later versions have them mounted on side closer to the rear wheel . I had to replace rear wheel as I had spokes pull out of rim at roughly 6000 miles (warranty replaced - my bike shop is the greatest when it comes to service !!!!) . I also had a wiring harness replacement as the connection where the rear motor connects to main harness blew a hole out the side of it (looked melted ) . This was at 7 -8000 miles . It may have just been a bad connection that got hot . It was warranty replaced too !!!! . I did replace the rear brake calibers with hydraulics because (only because i wanted to as they were still working great ) but that is a standard now I believe as my new bike has them . Battery replacement last week at 10000 m . See below
FRAME: Solid and takes a beating . No need to say more.
BATTERIES : I am currently replacing the cells in my 17AH battery as I could no longer make the 31 mile long trip . 20 miles was still no issue but I needed that extra 11 miles . I feel the battery lasted well beyond expectations . The reason for replacing cells and not buying new batteries is because new batteries from Velec are wayyyyyyy overpriced . I wish this was something they would change .
Also they no longer offer the 17ah and only 14ah . This is a negative . They do offer a smaller add on battery that mounts to rear carrier but it is also way overpriced . Velec if you are listening --- PLEASE lower your replacement battery prices .
I have friends that are replacing their batteries of other brand bikes with a lot less miles on them so overall the batteries are great other than pricing . And no the price difference is not offset by performance (not that much anyways).
CADENCE SENSOR : is OK but is a little slow to kick in . You do not really think of it until you ride bikes with better cadence sensors . I automatically start off by using my hand throttle until the cadence sensor kicks in on my bike . I cant do this on all because ... well.... see controller review below .
CONTROLLER : My bike (2year old) still has the best controller . It has hand throttle overrides the pedal assist . This is crucial when accelerating to cross a road from a standstill . The cruise control is easy to set as you use hand throttle to the level of assist (usually max ) and then press the - button for several seconds .
My wife's (1YEAR OLD ) is the opposite... pedal assist overrides hand throttle. This can be dangerous if you are crossing a busy road and have the bike at a lower assist level and use the hand throttle to get over the road and then halfway over the pedal assist kicks in a low setting and literally slows you way down . The 4 assist level is set at about 16 to 17 mph . 5 setting is anywhere from 20 to 30 depending on the speed setting it is programmed at .
The new bike (2 weeks old) has a totally different controller once again :( . It is at least hand throttle over pedal assist but it does not kick in soon enough . When I come off a hill and start up the next one I be doing 30 mph . I can start pedaling at this top speed but the bike still slows down to 18 mph before the assist will kick in . Even though the top speed is 24 of the assist . This drastically slows me down as I will drop 1 or 2 lower even because of lost momentum . The only way to avoid this is to use hand throttle but then I have to hold the throttle until top of hill because no matter how long you pedal when you let go of hand throttle the pedal assist does not kick in for another 4- 5 seconds . This cause me to lose precious momentum once again .
Overall the one and only issue this bike has is controller issue . I am not sure what they are doing but it does seem they are aware of it as they have new controllers every year .
ACCESSORIES :They did upgrade the headlight to a very bright led compared to the dim one on mine . My wife's can actually be turned on and off with a switch on handlebar which I love . The new one has lost this feature again and I am not sure why . When pressing the power button once a headlight indicator light does come on so I am hoping that the next year model we will be able to control the headlight using this feature . It would be nice to have an integrated flashing taillight but this is not a necessity . The fenders are plastic but very durable . The suspension in seat post is a plus too .
MOTOR : 750watts which is max allowed in my state . It is quieter than some that i have heard . Mine has seen 10000 m and still going strong . Enough said . :)
After saying all this the reason we keep on buying R48's is the dependability in knowing the bikes will perform . Hopefully the battery pricing and the controller issues (my 2 complaints ) will be resolved in the next year model . My wife bikes a lot with her sisters and they all have other unmentionable brands. :) (same price range or a little less, 2-3 grand) and my wife gets so frustrated with all the issues they have with their bikes . derailleur not working , chain run off, battery not lasting , fender rattling and over all performance . She says the extra 600 to 800 we pay is well worth it for the dependability .
 
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