Stromer ST1 Limited 3-Year Recap + Good Accessories

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys, in preparation for the ST5 launch, I thought it would be cool to make a short video discussing the ST1 Limited that Stromer loaned me as a demo bike three years ago. I had loaned it to my Uncle and Father who each gave me their thoughts along with some accessories tips. I have embedded it below and welcome any other insights and tips you might have!


Stromer loaned me and my family an ST1 Limited Edition electric bike way back in 2016 when I did a full review for EBR at https://electricbikereview.com/stromer/st1-limited-edition/ The bike has held up very well and I thought this would be a perfect time to do a recap and share what worked, what needed to be fixed, and what accessories we purchased to improve the ride experience.

Overall, the bike performed very well and is still in usable condition after nearly 500 miles of riding. The chain and derailleur did fail and had to be replaced (which is not abnormal for bicycles that are used frequently). The battery began to lose capacity, but the original is still in good working order. The same tires, fenders, and lights are all in tact and we have never gotten a flat, noticed rattle, or had a light begin to flicker. The biggest fail point has been the plastic LCD display panel. The arm that attaches it to the right side of the handlebar cracked when we upgraded to a swept-back bar and we had to use zip-ties to repair and re-attach it.

I hope this video helps you to estimate how reliable and durable Stromer products are. This was not a paid video and I am not associated with Stromer other than simply borrowing one of their early demo models for an extended period. I welcome comments and feedback here as well as in the EBR Forums at https://electricbikereview.com/forums/forum/stromer/

Accessories that we added to improve the ride experience:
- Kinekt BodyFloat suspension seat post https://amzn.to/2HeDUbr (we used a 27.2 mm post with a shim like this https://amzn.to/2K1EZ4n but the 31.6 mm post they now offer should fit perfectly on the ST1 Limited if you own that bike)
- Specialized Roll Cage Side-entry water bottle cage with adjustable position https://www.specialized.com/us/en/roll-cage/p/130385?color=219827-130385
- I probably would have upgraded the pedals from cage style to magnesium platforms like this https://amzn.to/2K3C8YI but that could also increase pedal strikes when you turn
- These clear stickers can be used to protect the chain stay as well as any area on the bike where wires are rubbing and marring the paint https://amzn.to/2qLXcdp
- Solid alloy center-mount kickstand, I believe it is this one but a local shop added the part so I cannot say for certain https://amzn.to/2K1hqZl
- BV saddle bag for carrying accessories, I belive we got the medium size but it comes in several size choices depending on how much gear you need to carry https://amzn.to/2qN1Fwh
- bicycle multi-tool https://amzn.to/2qLr5ew and tire levers for fixing flats on the go https://amzn.to/2vuM2zg
- My Dad loves lights so he added two USB-rechargeable LED strip lights from Blitzu including a white headlight https://amzn.to/2HRDYLy and red backlight https://amzn.to/2K3HIu8
- This plastic phone mount looks exactly like the one we got but is made by a different brand, there seem to be many options online https://amzn.to/2HNHy9i
- I think we added the bell, there are many to choose from but my Uncle bought a flick style bell like this https://amzn.to/2qM1a5N
- Swept-back mid-riser handlebar to raise the body position and create a more comfortable hand position https://amzn.to/2K3IIhS
- We used a motorcycle helmet cable lock with combination vs. key to secure the saddle and suspension seat post https://amzn.to/2qO8PjP
- I talked about using the SKS Anywhere adapter https://amzn.to/2qM0lcU to add a folding lock to the seat tube like this https://amzn.to/2K3fxeK since the bike only has one pair of bottle cage bosses, the cheaper combination cable lock that my Dad has is not very secure so I wouldn't recommend it for most riders
- Black reflective stickers to blend in with the black accents of the frame while keeping you visible https://amzn.to/2qM1qS0 we added them to the rims, fenders, and my Dad's black helmet
- Bell Stoker helmet which is designed for people with larger heads https://amzn.to/2K4dwPw

stromer-st1-display-panel-odometer-readout.jpgstromer-st1-ebike-reflective-stickers.jpg

Things I liked about the Stromer ST1 Limited
- Powerful but quiet motor, offers recoup (power regeneration), the torque sensor is very fluid and natural feeling, the bike looks beautiful, the rear rack is useful for hauling cargo but doesn't stick out much or add a lot of weight, being able to ride above 20 mph (up to nearly 28 mph) speeds up commuting and adds some excitement as well as keeping up with traffic, the Ergon saddle and locking grips feel good and have held up very well

Things I felt could be improved about the Stromer ST1 Limited
- The kickstand is mounted near the bottom bracket and gets in the way of the left crank arm, I replaced the spring kickstand with one that will stay in the down position because it makes the bike much more stable, the charge port cover on the left side of the bike is easily broken off and then the port is completely exposed to the elements, the carbon fiber fork reduces weight a bit but this is still a fairly heavy ebike at ~60 lbs and it doesn't have any suspension by default, it would be nice to have reflective stripes painted onto the side of the tires to increase the visual footprint of the bike, it would be nice if both brake levers had the recoup activation, the rear light isn't super bright and didn't activate when the brakes were pulled (like a lot of newer ebikes), the hydraulic brakes had to be redone and balanced a couple of times
 
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smitty

Active Member
Thank you Court! I originally purchased the same bike, rode it for close to two months and decided to jump up to the ST-2. I did not run into any of the problems you did and I rode it close to 400 miles. I have ridden the ST-2 a bit over 3000 miles and it has been flawless. Early on the electrical gremlins appeared, but the oldest trick in the book, disconnecting the power by removing the battery, seemed to solve the early problems and they have not reappeared. I too have used the Cirrus seatpost on both bikes and it is a reasonable investment and, like your Dad , you can’t have too much lighting on a bike, especially one that can go at the speed it does. All this being said, there is a world of difference between the ST-1 Limited and the ST-2, starting with the Omni controller, the motor, lights and the upgraded componentry. Price point is always a consideration, but the extra monies for the ST-2 are more than well worth it. Stromer has simply built that model with no compromises and the price reduction for 2018 makes it an even better buy. Thanks again for the update; it was most enjoyable for me and your reviews have been extremely helpful...
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
ST1 is the Toyota Camry of Ebikes.. Dead reliable. and does everything well.

I had mine for 3000 miles, and except for the original battery wonking out the first day, it ran perfect. Wasn't happy about battery aging faster than expected (down over 20% first 2 years) but who knows why... Never even had a flat.

Bike was easy to ride at 23 mph, and it regularly got me over 30 miles per charge.. Like that the battery was easy to remove for charging.
 

KidWok

Member
Just passed two years and currently have ~6200 miles on an ST1 LE. It has been solid. I've replaced the chain at 3500 miles when it hit .75 on my chain checker. I'll rotate chain 1 back in at 7000 miles and chain 2 back in at 10500 before completely replacing freewheel, chainring, and chains at 14,000. My shifter stopped working on the way home last night...had to motor home in highest gear. Turned out the cable snapped inside the shifter. Replaced the cable this morning and it was back on the road.

My partner has a red ST1 Platinum we found used for a sweet deal, but there have been a lot of issues on hers. Display just stopped working mysteriously one day, which cost a couple hundred dollars to replace. Both brakes have leaked and needed to be redone. There are some issues with her motor and battery...sometimes it drops down to nothing from around 50%. Local Stromer shop says it is likely the motor.

I had a Gocycle G3 for a few hundred miles before I sold it. It was fine, but nowhere near as capable as the ST1 so it got sold. We are expecting a Tern GSD to arrive in early June...hope it is as reliable as my ST1.

Tai
 
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KidWok

Member
I'll include some service interval notes on this thread as I'm coming up on three years and 9k miles. I ride my ST1 LE year round in rainy Seattle. It gets used for commuting, towing my kid on a third-wheel bike, towing the Costco run home on an Ikea Sladda trailer. While not entirely a car replacement, it has certainly replaced 75% of the trips I would normally take with a car.

Shifter cable: Replace every 5k miles. Letting it go longer leads to gradual decline of shifting as individual strands of cable snap under the button head inside the shifter body. When they all snap, the button head can be very hard to get out of the shifter body. As noted above...I made the mistake of not replacing the cables soon enough, but was able to poke the button head out and replace only the cable.

OEM Big Ben Plus Tires: I managed to eek about 9k miles out of them. They were rotated back and forth until both were worn down until almost flat treaded in the middle. Normally, I would not recommend putting a back tire onto the front on my regular bikes, but it seems fine with the Big Ben Plus extra thickness. I did have a glass cut on both tires when they were in their most recent rotation on the rear. The light blue Green Guard material underneath the tread can be seen in a few deep cuts, but the tires have rode fine. Next tires going on are Maxxis Gypsy rated for speed pedelacs and 26 x 2.10...slightly smaller than OEM.

Chainring, Freewheel, and Two Chains: I tend to save old chains to rotate back into use. The OEM chain stayed on until .75 worn on my Park chain checker, at around 3,500 miles. A second chain (SRAM PC 951) was put on and used until .75 worn as well, probably around 7k miles. I was thinking I'd get another 3,500 miles each before the chain wear reached the 1.0 mark, but it ended up only being about another 1,000 miles each. The single steel chainring was flipped at about 5,000 miles. As it approaches 9k, I'm just starting to get some slipping if I try to heavy accelerate at a light after forgetting to shift down. Freewheel chipped a tooth a long time ago and most of the mid-range cogs show pretty significant "shark-tooth" profile. This collection of parts is all being replaced at 9k miles with some satisfaction that I've eeked as much mileage as possible out of all of them. Replacing with Wipperman 9s chains, Sunrace 11-32 freewheel (same as OEM), and will be rotating two aluminum chainrings this next time around.

Brake pads: I believe the OEM brake pads wore out sometime around 7,500 miles. I should note that I get to use my regenerative braking almost all the time because I monitor my charging.

Batteries: I've been evenly using two 522wh gold batteries this whole time. They get rotated after two commutes and are normally charged up to about 85%. I charged them at the office and time them (2 minutes per %). I have an uphill commute home so starting at 85% at office gets me back to the house at 68%...perfect for me to have regenerative braking for my downhill commute to the office. Every once in a great while, I will charge both of the batteries up to 100% and bring them both along for longer trips. At this point, I'm estimating that I've lost about 10-15% capacity in each battery.

Overall: I've been incredibly impressed with the function and durability of this bike. The only major repair I've had is the replacement of the torque sensor, which I cracked due to overtightening the rear axle nut...I think that was like a $100 repair. At the beginning, I had to get the wheels re-trued as they both lost a lot of spoke tension, but they've been solid ever since. The motor has run fine this whole time. There have been two times during last summer where it came up with a preliminary overheating warning. Once was going up a long 22% climb and the other time was towing home a super-heavy Costco run. With the batteries roughly 1/3 way through their service life, I am hoping to get another six years out of this bike. My 11 year old son is hoping it will last long enough that I will give it to him. If I ever replace it, it will definitely be with another rear hub-drive bike...hopefully another Stromer!

Tai
 
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Ebike Novice

New Member
I'll include some service interval notes on this thread as I'm coming up on three years and 9k miles. I ride my ST1 LE year round in rainy Seattle. It gets used for commuting, towing my kid on a third-wheel bike, towing the Costco run home on an Ikea Sladda trailer. While not entirely a car replacement, it has certainly replaced 75% of the trips I would normally take with a car.

Shifter cable: Replace every 5k miles. Letting it go longer leads to gradual decline of shifting as individual strands of cable snap under the button head inside the shifter body. When they all snap, the button head can be very hard to get out of the shifter body. As noted above...I made the mistake of not replacing the cables soon enough, but was able to poke the button head out and replace only the cable.

OEM Big Ben Plus Tires: I managed to eek about 9k miles out of them. They were rotated back and forth until both were worn down until almost flat treaded in the middle. Normally, I would not recommend putting a back tire onto the front on my regular bikes, but it seems fine with the Big Ben Plus extra thickness. I did have a glass cut on both tires when they were in their most recent rotation on the rear. The light blue Green Guard material underneath the tread can be seen in a few deep cuts, but the tires have rode fine. Next tires going on are Maxxis Gypsy rated for speed pedelacs and 26 x 2.10...slightly smaller than OEM.

Chainring, Freewheel, and Two Chains: I tend to save old chains to rotate back into use. The OEM chain stayed on until .75 worn on my Park chain checker, at around 3,500 miles. A second chain (SRAM PC 951) was put on and used until .75 worn as well, probably around 7k miles. I was thinking I'd get another 3,500 miles each before the chain wear reached the 1.0 mark, but it ended up only being about another 1,000 miles each. The single steel chainring was flipped at about 5,000 miles. As it approaches 9k, I'm just starting to get some slipping if I try to heavy accelerate at a light after forgetting to shift down. Freewheel chipped a tooth a long time ago and most of the mid-range cogs show pretty significant "shark-tooth" profile. This collection of parts is all being replaced at 9k miles with some satisfaction that I've eeked as much mileage as possible out of all of them. Replacing with Wipperman 9s chains, Sunrace 11-32 freewheel (same as OEM), and will be rotating two aluminum chainrings this next time around.

Brake pads: I believe the OEM brake pads wore out sometime around 7,500 miles. I should note that I get to use my regenerative braking almost all the time because I monitor my charging.

Batteries: I've been evenly using two 522wh gold batteries this whole time. They get rotated after two commutes and are normally charged up to about 85%. I charged them at the office and time them (2 minutes per %). I have an uphill commute home so starting at 85% at office gets me back to the house at 68%...perfect for me to have regenerative braking for my downhill commute to the office. Every once in a great while, I will charge both of the batteries up to 100% and bring them both along for longer trips. At this point, I'm estimating that I've lost about 10-15% capacity in each battery.

Overall: I've been incredibly impressed with the function and durability of this bike. The only major repair I've had is the replacement of the torque sensor, which I cracked due to overtightening the rear axle nut...I think that was like a $100 repair. At the beginning, I had to get the wheels re-trued as they both lost a lot of spoke tension, but they've been solid ever since. The motor has run fine this whole time. There have been two times during last summer where it came up with a preliminary overheating warning. Once was going up a long 22% climb and the other time was towing home a super-heavy Costco run. With the batteries roughly 1/3 way through their service life, I am hoping to get another six years out of this bike. My 11 year old son is hoping it will last long enough that I will give it to him. If I ever replace it, it will definitely be with another rear hub-drive bike...hopefully another Stromer!

Tai
Nice to see a positive review. The Stromer forum has a lot of negativity (imo).