ST1 Platinum

James

Well-Known Member
Hello All!

Great work Court, this forum is exactly what I've been looking for! I am looking to start to commute to work (about 50 miles round trip). All back roads very little city driving, hence the "sorta illegal" Stromer ST1 Platinum, not the limited. I was hoping to get your thoughts on it's ability to perform with what I'm going to be asking it to do. I live just outside of Vancouver Canada so I'll be dealing with a lot of rain and gross conditions.... hopefully the water tightness holds out. Anyway some thoughts on my soon to be purchase would be appreciated.

James
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi James! That's exciting, the Stromer bikes are definitely higher end and the ST1 Platinum can reach those higher speeds and go further with pedal assist and regenerative braking. Great choice for speed, efficiency, low center of gravity and getting some exercise ;)

Your commute is pretty serious there, 50 miles round trip (I'm assuming daily?) is quite the ride and it's awesome that you'll be doing it so efficiently with an ebike. You mentioned that it's all on backroads, are these smooth pavement or dirt roads? I ask because the ST1 seems to offer a front suspension fork that could come in handy on rough terrain (or even just for the length of your ride). I've been riding ebikes to work for quite a while, just five miles one way, and the speed and repetition can start to wear on you after a bit. This is why I sort of switched to the full suspension models after a while (and because I've been involved in some car accidents and skiing accidents when I was younger). Have you seen this video? It sort of covers my commute which is partially done on dirt trails and it shows the bike I've been using.


As far as the higher speed, I don't know the laws in Canada but if you ride safe it shouldn't be an issue. The Stromers look like regular electric bikes and you could be pedaling 27+ pedal only (with any bike) so it's hard to tell whether you're really breaking a law. Also, the gearless hub motor is so quiet, it's unlikely to raise the same kind of concerns that a Stealth ebike would for example, because those look huge and are louder. In all my time riding regular bikes and now riding ebikes to work, I've been pulled over by police twice and it was on my non-electric road bike (Specialized Tarmac Expert) for running stop signs... and I got a warning both times (they were side streets after all and I did slow down... a bit). Pardon my show and tell picture here.

court-specialized-tarmac-expert.jpg

Maybe it was the "arrest me red" paint job? Anyway, your real question was focused on how well the Stromer ST1 Elite would hold up over all of those miles and in the wet rainy conditions. The ST1 Platinum has an amazing warranty with 3 years on the frame and 2 on the battery and motor (that's the official word). Depending on where you buy the bike you could get an even better 10 year warranty on the frame and 3 years on the battery and motor, as seen with NYCeWheels out of New York. So that's a pretty confident statement but you'd still have to deal with shipping it back and trying to get support which is no fun.

My own experience with ebikes in Austin, riding in the rain, is that some parts are more vulnerable. One time I just got drenched (and I park my ebike inside the garage so this was on my way home) and the LCD computer buttons stopped working correctly. I took the bike to my local shop and they replaced the LCD and the battery pack. I got special treatment because they are my friends and I had purchased several bikes there... and I run this site and the company wanted my experience to be great, but the truth is it can happen. After that I was more careful to cover the LCD monitor with a ziploc bag and just try to avoid harsh weather. I won't say the brand of ebike that was but it was before my Easy Motion Neo Jumper which never had an issue. It's hard for me to comment on the ST1 Platinum specifically with regard to water but given how integrated their battery is with the rubber seal and side-mount on the downtube, I think you'd be in good shape. Also, the electronics are pretty modular so you could swap one out for another if it had an issue.

One of the other components I've had break on an ebike is the rear rack. It was a bike with the battery that was mounted on the rack and the weight and vibration over time (especially at higher speeds) just caused the metal tubing to crack. I got good support from the local shop and they replaced the frame but I had to find another way to get to work for two weeks. Another time my twist throttle stopped working because I would let it go after accelerating and it would snap back (based on the spring inside) and that just wore out the wiring or something over time, I don't let go of the throttle like that anymore (and the Stromer ST1 Platinum doesn't even have a throttle so it's a null point here). The other issue I've had is getting the occasional flat tire, and if it's on the rear and you have a hub motor it's more work to fix. Always check your tire pressure, keep it high, consider tire liners if/when a flat comes, consider kevlar-lined tires.

Given all of the ebikes I've ridden, the one that seems the most water-tight is the Specialized Turbo. It has a wireless control unit that to the gearless hub motor and the buttons are completely rubberized. The battery pack is tight and overall there is just such a high attention to detail. It also has the higher speeds and is mainly pedal assist but also has a throttle mode that you can activate. Of course, it's much more expensive than the ST1 Platinum and the two bikes are actually very similar in terms of design but you can't get the Turbo with a suspension fork. It does have thru-axels though which is nice for durability at high speeds and long range. Specialized also has a vast network of dealers to fix any issues that crop up.

Another great brand is OHM and I think they are based in Canada? They do a lot of rental fleets and hold up really well. I think the benefit of having the company nearby and a shop that can support you well is a big deal. I'm not sure how bike savvy you are (but you must be decent if you're planning to ride that far). Electric Bikes just get ridden so much more and so much further and harder due to the speeds and weight. They are bound to require more maintenance but in my experience it is truly worth it for the efficiency, fitness and connection with community. I'm stoked to hear you're about to jump in and I think you'll be happy with it but this whole huge post is meant to openly disclose the issues I've had over the years.
 

James

Well-Known Member
Hello Court,

Thank you for your in depth reply! I will be doing this commute for at least a year, as it's sort of a social experiment, and a way for me to get into some great riding shape, be environmentally responsible etc... The roads I will be traveling are back roads but all paved and fairly smooth. I was thinking about the carbon fork version of the Platinum for it's stealth factor (only the platinum can have the front suspension). We have the same e-bike laws as California I believe:

Electric motor-assisted cycle

A motor-assisted cycle is a two- or three-wheeled
cycle with a seat, pedals and an electric motor. Does
not require registration, vehicle licence or insurance.
Operator does not require driver’s licence but must
be 16 years of age or older.
•Operator is required by law to wear a bicycle helmet.
•May be operated on the road like any bicycle,
except where municipal bylaws restrict operation.
•The motor must be electric,
rated at 500 watts or less, and
be incapable of propelling the
cycle at a speed greater than 32
km/h on level ground, without
pedaling.
NOTE: Gas-powered cycles and electric cycles without
attached pedals don’t qualify as an electric motor-assisted
cycle. That means they won’t pass a provincial motor vehicle
inspection that would enable them to meet registration,
licensing and insurance requirements for on-road use.

I believe that the fact that the Platinum doesn't have a throttle will keep me free and clear from getting tickets or any harassment (I will of course take that warning sticker off)

I have a dealership in North Vancouver (www.swissborn.com) and they have a full dealership which is hugely important to me if I'm going to be putting 10,000 miles a year on my bike! I consider myself fairly bike savvy as I have completed the Gran Fondo Whistler ( (Link Removed - No Longer Exists)) and have biked to worked plenty!
I looked at the Specialized Turbo (I have a Specialized Secteur regular pedal street bike) but they aren't available in Canada until early next year (2015).
Anyway I believe I'm making the best choice in bike, as long as I take the proper maintenance steps and keep the dashboard dry during monsoon like weather!

Thanks again,

James
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome! Sounds like you've really thought it through James and I'm glad you've got a dealer nearby to assist. It's funny, I actually owned a Specialized Secteur regular road bike as well! Loved the disc brakes ;)

I'm curious to hear how your experiment goes, feel free to share your story here any time. I'm sure there are others considering an ebike for longer commutes (or to replace their cars) and it's nice to know other people who have done it successfully. I thought it would be awesome to ride a bike all the way across the US (or some other country) and pull a solar charger or something. I've seen tidbits of people doing this online with sponsor backing. It's an inspiring concept.
 

James

Well-Known Member
Hi Court!

I'm taking the Stromer out tomorrow for a rest ride to decide if I should get the carbon or front suspension version.
I will keep everyone on this forum of my adventures, problems and triumphs! If anyone has any questions for me as I get more familiar with the bike and the ebike world I'll be happy to answer any questions etc.

Cheers
James
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Hi Court!

I'm taking the Stromer out tomorrow for a rest ride to decide if I should get the carbon or front suspension version.
I will keep everyone on this forum of my adventures, problems and triumphs! If anyone has any questions for me as I get more familiar with the bike and the ebike world I'll be happy to answer any questions etc.

Cheers
James

Hi James,
Thanks for contributing to the ebike community.
I have a question. I have read/heard that Stromer St1 is a high-end and offers great pedal assist but I have also read about the multiple motor failures and the stiff riding experience it offers.
It might be ok to ride this on paved roads but how do you think it will hold up when you take it on trails? (this is a 62 lb bike).
Any further inputs?

Thanks
 
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James

Well-Known Member
Hi Ravi,

I read on some forum somewhere that the motor had failed twice for that contributor. They then got lit up for being a troll or the competition! Anyway I'll be sure to update you on my Stromers reliability. On my first ride yesterday I can honestly say that it was incredible! The power, the ease of use and stability of the bike was awesome... Basically love at first ride. The ride was really smooth with the carbon forks and the balloon style tires taking care of all the bumps and stuff.
I'll be sure to update you guys as soon as it arrives at the shop. Feb 1st I think!

Cheers,
James
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Hi Ravi,

I read on some forum somewhere that the motor had failed twice for that contributor. They then got lit up for being a troll or the competition! Anyway I'll be sure to update you on my Stromers reliability. On my first ride yesterday I can honestly say that it was incredible! The power, the ease of use and stability of the bike was awesome... Basically love at first ride. The ride was really smooth with the carbon forks and the balloon style tires taking care of all the bumps and stuff.
I'll be sure to update you guys as soon as it arrives at the shop. Feb 1st I think!

Cheers,
James

Glad to hear this James.
Since this is one of the high-end (out of reach for many) bikes, more info on the ride characteristics, long term stability would inspire others to seriously consider this.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah! it's great to hear that your first ride went so well James. Thanks for sharing with us, as Ravi said it's really valuable to hear from people who own an ebike for a longer period of time and can share their experiences. I have seen (what seemed like) the competition trolling on the EBR Facebook page from time to time naysaying a competing bike. I usually chime in asking for specific issues they've encountered and they tend to not respond and just sort of disappear.

On the other side of this issue is truthful feedback. Recently, one user actually followed through from YouTube and explained that he had a bad experience with a Stealth Bomber electric bike when it got wet. I invited him to share here and he put together a great synopsis of what it was like to buy the bike, struggle with the water issues, and try to make repairs and get support. He even shared some design suggestions about how to improve the bike.

That's exactly the kind of testimonial that might help another user avoid a failure or get an extended warranty and hopefully encourage the company to take responsibility for their hardware and be supportive towards their user base. He explained it all without getting too upset which was key because other visitors (who might also own the same bike) don't want to feel like they got ripped off.
 

James

Well-Known Member
Hi court,

I did read that painful review about the wet Stealth Bomber. The lack of support and resource was unbelievable! I'm hopeful that my experience is quite a bit different. I think that the warranty I have and the local dealership will help with any problems I might run into. The day I rode the St1 it was absolutely pouring! I mean torrential, build an Ark like rain storm. My rep at Swissborn had no reservations about me taking the bike out for as long as I could stand it. I asked him if I should ever be concerned with this bike in the rain has he just laughed and said that " you'll quit before the bike packs it in." For me the proof will be in the pudding after putting 100's of miles on the bike in the rain. Anyhow, I'm enjoying this forum and will continue to answer questions or comments. I will also keep everyone apprised of my travels!

Cheers,

James
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Wow, that's awesome! It really sounds like the rep was confident and it's nice to hear that the ST1 delivered during the test. You know the whole reason I created the review site and wanted to make a forum was to help people find bikes that work and enjoy them. My first ebike wasn't such a great experience and it felt like so much money and time and excitement had gone to waste. I'm glad you're not having that experience (and admit that my time with the ST1 and many bikes has been limited).

On the one hand, every bike is just metal, rubber and some electronics and therefore prone to wear with use but with the right knowledge about care, maintenance and performance limitations it's easier to set expectations that won't be disappointed and it's especially nice when a company is willing to take the extra steps (within reason) to help you get there. The industry is still in its early days here in the US but there are lots of great people working hard to make these things reliable and I'm excited about what that means for transportation, health and community long term :)
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey Aubrizzle, I haven't tried the ST2 yet but have heard little marketing blips about it being "awesome" like this one. I liked what Stromer did on their ST1 models after having tried the earlier Sport. It's nice that their prices are within reason compared to the Specialized Turbo but frankly, they aren't as feature rich or refined, so you get what you pay for. I'll be keeping my eye out for sure, some companies have shown me stuff recently that's pretty cool but then I'm asked to keep it mum until they announce. Haven't had a lot of direct contact with Stromer to date but we'll see if that changes as the ST2 launch date nears, sounds like sometime in March.

What have you heard about it?
 

James

Well-Known Member
Just got my St1! I rode around for an hour tonight and loved every minute if it. I plan on starting my commuting year on Monday so I'll keep you guys posted in how it all goes.

image.jpg

Cheers!
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Two thumbs up ..!!
The bike looks super nice and the city kit too.
Would love to hear your feedback once your start commuting.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
I agree with Ravi, that City Kit is sweet! Today is the big day... Hope the ride goes well for you James, thanks for sharing the picture and keeping us updated :)
 

James

Well-Known Member
Hey guys,

So today I started my commute! It was cold and windy and would have normally totally sucked, but my Stromer handled it like a champ!

So I get to work and unpack my second charger (I bought two, so I'd have one at the office) and it didn't work! I tried everything and nothin... So I hit up the swissborn.com guys and told them I was screwed without something to get me back up and running!! I only had 10% battery left, and in actual fact it was probably significantly lower than that. I found out today that the Stromer only registers to 10% but will continue to drop past that point without showing it on the display (kinda weird). Any way, I don't know what it's like for bike shops where you guys are but bike shops are generally closed on Mondays up here... I'm screwed right? Nope, Jamie from Swissborn drove an hour to my office and gave me his new charger! Such rad service! Anyway, I got a full charge and got home alright.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to upgrade to the larger battery so I don't cut it so close every time. Anyway the bike handled the trip awesome! I averaged 40km/h which was pretty cool.

Converted.
James
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
40km/hr in this winter weather...!!
James, you are the man..! :)
Here in the eastern US, this winter has been brutal and I can't imagine riding a bike for 30 mins with all the windchill hitting your face.

Riding experience should be far better once all the snow melts.
Glad that you received such great service from the shop. I guess that is the key difference purchasing from a dealer as compared to purchasing online.

I am certain the ride gets much better as the days progress and thank you for leading the way. 1 hour biking in this winter weather is highly commendable.
 
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James

Well-Known Member
Thanks Ravi! I will admit it is a lot warmer in BC then it is in the eastern US..... it was about 45F yesterday. Which isn't the warmest but it wasn't too bad! Luckily we don't have any snow and the roads were pretty bare (I shouldn't even tell you any of this, my hero status will take a beating!) but yeah I can't wait for some warmer weather for sure.

James
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks a bunch for sharing this experience James! I edited your last post to link to the swissborn site (and give them a little tip of the hat for their above-and-beyond services). As Ravi says, the dealer-purchase paid off big time right here! I like your idea of getting a larger battery as well because it might not get cycled quite so low and in turn, last longer. Will they exchange the existing one or are you planning to just have two now? I'd love to hear another update someday with some "war stories" of those bad days where you've got to wear ski goggles and the adventure days where the road is washed out and you have to ford it by foot and then fight a bear off to get that last mile to the office :p