Spark RX 500w Bafang mid-drive 27.5” with Shimano Alivio , 17 Ah

Mass Deduction

Active Member
Aside from battery issues, how has the rest of the build quality of the Spark RX been? Anyone managed to put big kilometres on one with success yet?
 

Handlebars

Active Member
If you see your speed limit restricted then it could be something very simple. I would check the speedo indicator against a GPS unit. Plus or minus 10% is probably well within the range of your speedometer. When I take your speed of 30.8 and your desired speed of 32 it is actually -5.6% less.

With the controller that I have (Cycle Analyst) I can actually measure of my front tire dimensions to adjust the speedo. Easy to do. Just marked a spot and lay down a measuring tape and then roll the bike until its done a full rotation. Take the circumference that I measured in m.m. and input this value into Cycle Analyst. You may want to try this. Do a little bit of math and figure out if the circumference of your tires are exactly the dimension that will give you your speed that is indicated. A little bit the thinking but its like our automobiles sometimes even changing the tires with have a dramatic effect on the indicted speed.
I've been curious about that issue. My Spark City bike display arrived with display that says 24" wheel but the wheel is called a 26" wheel and the tire is 26". The wheel is actually smaller rim edge to edge ( about 23"). Under 22" from rim inside. The tire raises it 2" . From traffic radar readings it works out to be correct top speed at 24" wheel input. [shrug]
 
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Handlebars

Active Member
- the bell stopped working because it’s jammed in between the gear shifter and the brake lever, plus it’s a very cheap bell.
On my bike the bell broke within days.

the whole frame in that area has gotten so severely scratched from the chain the actual frame is shredding)
I noticed how easily scratched the paint is, and underneath the paint there seems to be a coating? perhaps? soft metal? .... that can be easily gouged.
 

Handlebars

Active Member
Just an update on the bike, now that it’s working I noticed a major plus and wanted to emphasize the efficiency and range of this thing. I’ve made 2 day trips around the city with the same charge and the thing is still at 80% charge, and I can pass others and cruise at 20-30 km/hr on a bike path without even using assist. Just a whole different feeling than what I’ve experienced with hub motored bikes (which always felt slow without assist). The bike feels like a normal light weight bike when pedalling on flat ground and is actually easier to pedal than my old hybrid non motorized bicycle. Must be really good bearings and weight distribution.
I love riding my Spark bike, but I've never tried any other ebike.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
I've been curious about that issue. My Spark City bike display arrived with display that says 24" wheel but the wheel is called a 26" wheel and the tire is 26". The wheel is actually smaller rim edge to edge ( about 23"). Under 22" from rim inside. The tire raises it 2" . From traffic radar readings it works out to be correct top speed at 24" wheel input. [shrug]
Bike wheels are measured with a tire seated on them. So a 26" wheel will be approximately 26" tall with a tire on it, and even then only at a given tire width (wider than the standard with and it will be a little taller than 26", skinnier than the standard and it will be somewhat smaller than 26").

The fact that it works out to be approximately the correct speed when set to 24" is.... weird. Or maybe not weird, in my experience the traffic radar underestimates my speed by several kilometres an hour. So if you're about bang on that may mean you're actually going a little faster than you're supposed to be. :) I test by riding a local trail that has accurate trail markers every kilometre, which I find much more accurate than speed radar.
 

Ryan_Peters

New Member
Just an update, I had another terrible customer service experience with spark bikes a couple months ago. My fuse blew again and when I contacted them to ask again for a new battery it took over a week to get back to me. In that time I notified the better business bureau to report them as it seemed like they were ignoring me at that point.

After they finally contacted me they told me I had to send them the defective battery first, to go find a box, send them the dimensions of the box, and wait for a shipping label (the last time they shipped me something it took almost two weeks). All the while my bike would be out of commission. I hesitated as I was super busy at the time and pissed off I had to waste so much time. Then next thing I know the customer service people found out about the better business bureau and started harassing me calling me on the phone every day demanding the dimensions for the box and demanding I cancel the report, leaving me angry messages.

i finally decided to hell with them since they’re not interested in any customer service or honouring their warrantee properly, and I went and bought another fuse and took the battery apart AGAIN and replaced it, which did get it working again, without any help from customer service and with further wear and tear on the battery.

The fact is the bike’s electrical parts are not as advertised, they break down way too much for a 2800$ bike, and the warranty on the electrical parts is more of a promise to try to very slowly help you fix it yourself, with limited instruction and high risk of damage.
 

Ofarrell

New Member
So, that scratches another one off my list. Is it a trend with most of the mail order type? Was considering Volt, Surface 604 and Juiced but the customer service and what seems to be quality control issues are making me rethink everything.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
So, that scratches another one off my list. Is it a trend with most of the mail order type? Was considering Volt, Surface 604 and Juiced but the customer service and what seems to be quality control issues are making me rethink everything.
The two big problems we run into when trying to service mail order bikes are general quality issues, and parts availability not being off-the-shelf. Some brands are going to be better/worse than others of course. But between proprietary parts that aren't readily available at retail, sketchy or non-existent service documentation, or general quality problems, our experience trying to repair the mail-order brands has been pretty negative overall. Some things are no problem, and some things are surprisingly problematic. It's like an adventure every time! ;)
 

scout592

Member
So, that scratches another one off my list. Is it a trend with most of the mail order type? Was considering Volt, Surface 604 and Juiced but the customer service and what seems to be quality control issues are making me rethink everything.
Ofarrell. I was also looking at the Surface 604 but your comment "Was considering Volt, Surface 604 and Juiced but the customer service and what seems to be quality control issues are making me rethink everything" has me concerned. They have good components and a torque sensor unlike most hub bikes and seems like very good price. However, it sounds like maybe you have heard some negative things about them so I thought I should check with you. Thanks
 

Ofarrell

New Member
Ofarrell. I was also looking at the Surface 604 but your comment "Was considering Volt, Surface 604 and Juiced but the customer service and what seems to be quality control issues are making me rethink everything" has me concerned. They have good components and a torque sensor unlike most hub bikes and seems like very good price. However, it sounds like maybe you have heard some negative things about them so I thought I should check with you. Thanks
I was mostly going on several google review searches, many comments here in the brand specific forums ect. They all seem to have the same theme. Start off great, top notch support ect... then a year or so later they seem to fall off the map. That said, I agree some of the bikes and parts look great but if Im going to spend that couple grand... in some cases 3000+... internet sale or not, I expect top notch after sale support. I know, Im dreaming. However, I have heard Biktrix is on top of there game in support. My conclusion is this.... you get what you pay for and as such Im leaning towards Giant and Specialized. I am still waiting to see what DOST comes out with (new company) and I did like Biktrix Juggernaut HD a lot but wanted to change out the tires and wheel set to something like 27.5 with 2.4s or even 28s. But was told by Biktrix support that that is not an option. I was also very interested in the Priority Embark but 4k U.S.D. and no chance of a test drive.... plus out of stack till May. Im also considering the experience of taking the bike in to a LBS after the fact if I have too. I have a Giant and Specialized dealers close to my home.... also Trek
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
[...]Im also considering the experience of taking the bike in to a LBS after the fact if I have too. I have a Giant and Specialized dealers close to my home.... also Trek
For what it's worth, a Trek bike is more broadly serviceable than a Giant or Specialized. Trek uses off the shelf motors, screens, batteries, etc. Giant and Specialized have a much more custom approach (Yamaha and Brose electric parts, yes, but custom made to their specifications in many cases). We don't sell Trek, but we can fully service every one of their e-bikes that a customer has ever brought in. That's not true for Giant and Specialized.
 
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Ofarrell

New Member
For what it's worth, a Trek bike is more broadly serviceable than a Giant or Specialized. Trek uses off the shelf motors, screens, batteries, etc. Giant and Specialized have a much more custom approach (Yamaha and Brose electric parts, yes, but custom made to their specifications in many cases). We don't sell Trek, but we can fully service every one of their e-bikes that a customer has ever brought in. That's not true for Giant and Specialized.
Yup, that I have read. Best after sale is Trek hands down. I cant find the same value for price like the Giant Explore E 2+GTS in a Trek. I like the Super Commuter and the Allant.... and it may seem silly but I cant stand that rack and cant seem to find a way to change it without making something DIY. The Verve seems under powered for some of the hills in my area but they are nice looking bikes.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
Yup, that I have read. Best after sale is Trek hands down. I cant find the same value for price like the Giant Explore E 2+GTS in a Trek. I like the Super Commuter and the Allant.... and it may seem silly but I cant stand that rack and cant seem to find a way to change it without making something DIY. The Verve seems under powered for some of the hills in my area but they are nice looking bikes.
I think Giant makes a good product, just be aware that if your local Giant dealer closes, or switches to another brand, that service may become more of a hassle.

Of the main LBS brands, Giant and Specialized are the odd two out (well, and Rocky Mountain). Any other major LBS brand e-bike can be serviced at almost any LBS whether it's a Trek, Kona, Felt, Haro, Devinci, Norco, Opus, Haibike, Raleigh, BMC, Moustache, R&M, BH, etc., etc., etc. Basically any LBS brand that uses Bosch or Shimano will give you the biggest possible service networks.

That's not necessarily a reason not to buy Giant, if they have a strong dealer network in your area and you have a good relationship with one or more local Giant dealers. Just something to be aware of (which you already said you are). :)
 
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scout592

Member
I prefer the brands that would have local support like you all have mentioned. My problem is I need and want one with a throttle and those I have looked at that have local dealers including Giant, Trek, Yamaha, and Shimano do not have a throttle as far as I have been able to find out.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
I prefer the brands that would have local support like you all have mentioned. My problem is I need and want one with a throttle and those I have looked at that have local dealers including Giant, Trek, Yamaha, and Shimano do not have a throttle as far as I have been able to find out.
Fair enough then. You won't find a throttle on a Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha, or Brose-equipped bike. Your only alternative is to get something so overpowered that you can pedal very gently and go like stink, which is a reasonable approximation of a throttle. I've done that when I've been fighting a cold and was able to get class 1 speeds without breaking a sweat.