Torker T400 Electric Bicycle

Harry Barkley

New Member
I am still trying to find an e-bike for a friend who needs basic daily transportation on an extremely limited budget. The Torker T-400 seems to be an unusual offering that retails at $1,500 and has the old Sturmey Archer internally geared 3 speed hub with a coaster brake and front hand brake like we had as kids. We called them English Racers.

I haven't seen a consumer review yet but it does have a 24v Lithium battery and a pedal assist system of some sort. The kicker is I found one on Craigslist that is a 2010, in like new shape and within the budget. Please let me know if you have any experience with this brand/model of ebike.

Thanks!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Harry! Good for you, keeping at it for your friend... I haven't tested this bike, and can't comment specifically on the 2010 model, as I'm not sure if it has changed since then, but I'll share my thoughts on the model posted at their website.
  • I like that the bike comes in multiple sizes, do you know which size the one on Craigslist is? If I remember correctly, your friend is rather large and tall... so maybe the larger frame would be best.
  • I love that it has a seat post shock (at least that's what the site says, the pictures don't seem to show it)
  • The internally geared hub will stay clean and require less service which is nice, it will also make it less likely that the chain will fall off since it won't require slack for derailleur.
  • I love the front and rear fenders with mud flaps and the chain guard because they will keep you clean and dry if it rains.
  • The v-brakes look solid and are easy to adjust and inexpensive to replace as pads wear out. They are classified as "rim brakes" and can squeak and start to slip in wet conditions but should still do alright.
  • Not a huge fan of the rear mounted battery rack, since it's not welded on it may get loose and rattly over time but at least the tubing is standard size so it will work with most bags and panniers.
  • While the motor and battery are rather small and weak at 250 watts for the front hub motor and 24 volts with 10 amp hours for the battery, it will still make riding easier than nothing. Note that I've found reviews of older Torker T400 ebikes that say they have 180 watt motors... which is even weaker.
  • It looks like the bike weighs about 45 pounds which is decent, but not great considering the low power.
  • The simple LED battery indicator is functional but you'll have to guess how much juice is left in the battery pack without a fancy LCD console. Speaking of battery capacity... Be careful buying used because that battery could be nearly dead being so old (and who knows if it was taken care of or used a lot). You need to charge a battery every month or so to keep it from completely hitting zero and messing up the chemistry. Also, over time the electrons dissipate and the battery just won't work anymore. A replacement could easily top $300 and I'm not sure if Torker sells them? I looked around but found nothing.
  • The padded gel seat, adjustable stem and upright handle bars look nice and will be comfortable when riding (as long as the bike size is correct).
It looks like this bike has a top speed of 15mph which makes sense given the smaller motor and battery. It also appears to only have pedal assist mode which will extend the range (since you have to help the motor by pedaling in order for it to activate). They say it can go up to 40 miles but that depends on the terrain, rider size, weather conditions and how hard you pedal... also, what condition the battery is in ;)

torker-t400-electric-bike.jpg

Hope this helps you out, none of these less-expensive ebikes are going to be perfect (or super powerful) but the biggest concern I would have is avoiding one that's going to cost even more (like with a battery replacement). Maybe reach out to Torker and ask about replacement costs... I'd love to hear what they say if you want to post it here when they respond.
 

Harry Barkley

New Member
I got this response back from Torker regarding the T400 e-bike:

The lithium polymer battery on those bikes has about 1000 charge cycles for a lifespan. If it still holds a charge and you get 30-40 miles out of a charge (depending on terrain and throttle use) you should be good. We do stock batteries for aftermarket, but they are the single most expensive component on that bike. They sell for about $475.

From what I have seen, that is on the high end for a 24V Lithium battery. Buying a used bike is probably a risk even on one listed as "mint condition" that is a 2010 model. It may be a good deal for someone as the retail is still about $1,500 but my friend would need to get at least a good year out of the existing battery given is budget constraints.

Does anyone know of an objective test of the electrical capacity/condition for a battery. I can't practically do a 30 mile test ride so I need some other way of evaluating the battery. Thanks for any help from the site community. HB
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hmm... I wish I had a quick and easy answer for you Harry! With laptops and stuff I've just had the battery charged to capacity and then tried it out for 10 minutes or so and watched the battery meter on the screen to see how quickly it discharges. I was looking on Craigslist for a used laptop recently and one that I did this with couldn't even stay on for one full minute before it died - basically needed to be plugged in at all times to work.

So with an ebike like the Torker T400 you would just watch the LED lights for a basic guide to how quickly it was discharging. If you're going to drive out and potentially spend hundreds of dollars it might be worth actually riding the bike for 20 minutes or so to get a feel. At least this way you can confirm that it holds a decent charge and avoid getting a complete lemon.

I did some research and found an Intractables tutorial talking about other ways to test battery capacity but it requires the purchase of different meters and things that might be too complicated or just not worth your time and money. I imagine you'd need to unplug the battery and look for the post or leeds (metal parts) and then touch those to a voltmeter and timer or something... that is if you can actually get to the metal parts? Maybe an electrical engineer EE will chime in here to help us out :)

ps. be careful! I am not an expert and I don't want you to get shocked and hurt, I'm merely interpreting what I read in the Instructables guide.