Grace MX II Urban Review

Grace Mx Ii Urban Electric Bike Review 1
Grace Mx Ii Urban
Grace Mx Ii Urban Bosch Nuvinci Gates
Grace Mx Ii Urban Ergon Seat
Grace Mx Ii Urban Display Handlebars
Grace Mx Ii Urban 200 Mm Avid Rotor
Grace Mx Ii Urban Double Leg Kickstand
Grace Mx Ii Urban Elixir 5 Lever
Grace Mx Ii Urban Rear Light Reflector
Grace Mx Ii Urban Thru Axle
Grace Mx Ii Urban Electric Bike Review 1
Grace Mx Ii Urban
Grace Mx Ii Urban Bosch Nuvinci Gates
Grace Mx Ii Urban Ergon Seat
Grace Mx Ii Urban Display Handlebars
Grace Mx Ii Urban 200 Mm Avid Rotor
Grace Mx Ii Urban Double Leg Kickstand
Grace Mx Ii Urban Elixir 5 Lever
Grace Mx Ii Urban Rear Light Reflector
Grace Mx Ii Urban Thru Axle

Summary

  • Clean, quiet and efficient belt drive leverages the internalized NuVinci continuously variable transmission which can be shifted at standstill and provides leverage to the Bosch Centerdrive motor system
  • Excellent weight distribution (low and center) for improved balance, removable battery for convenient charging and transport
  • Clean aesthetic, optional fender and rack kit, two sizes for improved fit, quality components

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Grace

Model:

MX II Urban

Price:

$3,999 USD

Body Position:

Forward Aggressive

Suggested Use:

Commuting, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Frame and Motor

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

48.5 lbs (21.99 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.5 lbs (2.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

8.8 lbs (3.99 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.5 in (44.45 cm)19.5 in (49.53 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Black

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Fork, Optional RockShox Domain, Both with 15 mm Thru Axle

Frame Rear Details:

15 mm Thru Axle

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Shifter Details:

Gates Carbon Drive with NuVinci CVT /NuVinci Grip Shifter on Right Handlebar

Handlebar:

Truvativ Riser

Brake Details:

Avid Elixir 5 Hydraulic Disc Brakes with 200 mm Rotors

Grips:

Flat with Lockers

Saddle:

Ergon

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Big Ben, 26" x 2.35"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewalls

Accessories:

Front and Rear Busch & Müller LUMOTEC Lyt LED Lights, CURANA Plastic Chain Ring Guard, Double Leg Kickstand

Other:

Rear Sprocket Belt Guard, Removable Battery with ABUS Lock Core, Removable Battery with ABUS Lock Core, Optional Fender and Rack Kit for $199

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bosch Gen2 with Shift Detection

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Torque:

60 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

400 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

65 miles (105 km)

Display Type:

Removable Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed, 4 Assist Levels, Battery Voltage, Odometer, Estimated Range, Clock, Max Speed, Average Speed, Trip Time

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Combined Torque, Cadence and Speed), (Eco 50%, Tour 120%, Sport 190%, Turbo 275%)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)


Written Review

The Grace MX II Urban combines the balance and efficiency of the Bosch Gen2 Centerdrive with the cleanliness and silent operation of the Gates carbon belt drive and the smooth anytime-shifting of the NuVinci continuously variable transmission (CVT). It’s a beautiful electric bike available in two frame sizes and multiple configurations including a solid fork or suspension fork. I love that it comes stock with slim LED lights that are wired to run directly off the battery pack and am a fan of the optional “city kit” that includes full length fenders with mud flaps and matching rear rack. I also love the upgraded thru axles, ergonomically designed Ergon seat and minimalist logo design. The one downside right now is limited availability in shops around the US. This is the first year that grace bikes are officially available here and as such, it’s more challenging to take a test ride and build a local relationship for ongoing maintenance and warranty support.

The motor powering the MX II Urban is a second generation Bosch Centerdrive offering 350 watts of power. It’s mounted low and central on the frame and is very durable with zero maintenance schedule. It is a geared motor which means you get extra power for climbing and starting from rest but this also produces some extra whirring noise that you can hear in the video review above. It’s not the loudest ebike by a long shot but it’s far from silent. The black plastic casing on the Bosch motor matches the frame color of the MX II Urban and make this a more stealthy option. Aside from how it looks, this is one of the smartest performing motor systems I’ve tested because it includes sensors that measure your pedaling torque, pedaling speed and bicycle speed for near-instantaneous activation and stopping. while it only offers pedal assist (no throttle mode) it’s extremely efficient with 50+ miles of range in its lowest level and that means it’s perfect for commuting.

Another reason the MX II Urban makes for a good commuter bike is the aforementioned “city kit” upgrade that costs ~$199 and provides water protection and storage options with the rear rack as well as its removable battery design. The Bosch Powerpack battery offers 36 volts of power and 11 amp hours of capacity (for a total of 400 watt hours). It’s sleek, relatively light weight, can be charged on or off the frame and uses an integrated lock that’s pretty secure (lock made by ABUS). The cells inside are 18650 size with Lithium Manganese Cobalt chemistry which is known for being light weight and durable (expect 1,000+ charge cycles if cared for). You can extend the life of the battery by always keeping it at or above 50% charge and avoiding extreme heat and cold storage. One downside of the downtube mounting design with this battery is that it doesn’t leave much space for a water bottle cage. In fact, there aren’t bosses on the downtube or seat tube so you might have to get a seat post adapter or use a holster built into panniers or a rear bag.

I love the cockpit / handlebar setup on the Grace MX II Urban because it’s extremely clean but still very functional. The grips have lockers so they won’t spin when you really bear down, the headlight is low and out of the way (attached to the headtube instead of the handlebar) and the grip shifter on the right side is clean and intuitive as a part of the NuVinci drivetrain. Instead of using a geared cassette or internally geared hub, this bike relies on the NuVinci N360 which offers a smooth slide from easy for hills to hard for flats. There’s even a little picture of a bike on a hill that changes from steep to flat as you twist the shifter. One big benefit to this design is that you can shift gears at standstill and this is very handy if you’ve had to stop for a red light or stop sign and then start pedaling again from rest. Instead of a chain, the MX II Urban uses a Gates carbon belt drive that creates a clean and ultra quiet ride that is basically maintenance free.

Operating the electronics on this (and other Bosch powered ebikes) is easy and intuitive because the LCD panel is large, backlit and easy to interact with thanks to a break-out button pad on the left side of the handlebars. the display itself resides in the middle (covering the stem attachment point) and is actually removable thanks to an optional set screw. Using the up and down buttons on the pad you can select from four levels of assist and navigate through your trip distance, max speed, average speed and estimated range. This last information point is my favorite because it allows you to cut back on power output if you see that expected range is suffering and you’re far from your desired destination. Ultimately, it’s a tried and true system that works well and delivers tons of information in a way that isn’t overwhelming or difficult to use.

In addition to the two frame sizes and optional fenders and rack the Grace MX II Urban is available with either a solid fork or upgraded RockShox Domain. I personally enjoy the added comfort that a suspension fork can offer because my commute involves potholes and a short off-road section so it’s neat to see that here. For the stiffest and most efficient configuration however, the solid fork is nice. This bike, along with its trail-oriented cousin the MX II Trail, is exciting to me because it brings the best technology to a more affordable platform that still looks amazing. If you’re looking for a durable bike with great range, excellent hydraulic brakes, solid 15 mm thru-axles and a classy look this could be a great option.

Pros:

  • One of the most affordable electric bikes with the Bosch Gen2 Centerdrive motor
  • Beautiful aesthetic, clean lines, integrated wires and a crisp minimal logo make this ebike professional
  • Capable high-end components that can withstand prolonged use and a bit of light trail riding if you get the suspension fork option
  • Mid-drive system is efficient for climbing, extremely durable and makes changing tires, fixing flats and truing wheels easier
  • Pedalec system is extremely responsive (measuring pedal torque, cadence and bicycle speed) cuts out quickly which is important when riding off-road terrain
  • Built-in LED lights are powered by the main battery pack and are attached in thoughtful, well protected spaces (front light doesn’t crowd the cockpit / handlebar area and rear light is tucked under saddle)
  • High quality saddle from Ergon offers improved ergonomics for riding and also looks great
  • Double leg kickstand stows well to one side but provides great stability when bike is parked, great for when you’re using the bike to commute
  • Hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power while minimizing hand fatigue in off-road environments
  • Excellent weight distribution with motor and battery pack located low and center on the frame, offers improved balance
  • Rack and fender mounting points included on the rear seat stays for added utility and customization

Cons:

  • At the time of this review distribution on Grace electric bikes in the US was limited, this can make the bike harder to find and test ride in person or get service support for down the line
  • No throttle mode available here, this is a pedalec only and requires rider pedaling input to activate the motor
  • No room for a water bottle cage on the downtube or seat tube due to the mid-mounted battery pack

Resources:

More Grace Reviews

Grace One Review

  • MSRP: $4,500
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A unique blend of bicycle and motorcycle performance, one of the lighter weight electric bikes capable of going 30 mph. Completely custom frame with integrated battery and controller for even weight distribution, powerful halogen headlights…...

Grace Easy Review

  • MSRP: $3,200
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014, 2015

Clean design available in two colors, two frame sizes and multiple build configurations with a cassette and chain, three speed internally geared hub and carbon belt drive, fixed fork or suspension fork. Leverages a BionX motor and battery system known for being quiet, durable and efficient...

Grace MX II Trail Review

  • MSRP: $3,699
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

One of the most affordable electric bikes with the Bosch Gen2 Centerdrive system offering 350 watt mid-drive motor. Beautiful frame with integrated cables, metallic brown paint, minimalist logos available in two sizes for…...

2013 Grace Easy Review

  • MSRP: $3,200
  • MODEL YEAR: 2013

Leverages BionX motor and a sleek custom designed downtube-integrated battery pack. Battery pack is removable, lockable and powers a front and rear LED light for safety...


Comments (10) YouTube Comments

Firat
6 years ago

Thanks for the review. The bike looks great! Just wondering if it’s really capable when climbing up hills. My commute involves a fairly steep hill and I wear a suit so it’s really important that I don’t sweat much.

  Reply
Court Rye
6 years ago

Hey Firat, yeah! I feel you, I used to ride my bike to work in Austin Texas in the hot sun with nice clothes on too and it’s no fun to sweat a lot. To answer your question, almost all electric bikes powered by Bosch are superior hill climbers. The mid-drive combined with gears is ideal for creating leverage for climbing and I’ve been able to climb steep hills on dirt paths without having to over exert myself. In fact, when riding off-road the tire begins to slip on the dirt long before the motor begins to struggle. I even use the Eco and Standard modes to climb so the Turbo (highest mode) is more than enough to help up nearly any hill, especially if it’s a paved street or sidewalk.

  Reply
Firat
6 years ago

Thanks for the info, Court Rye, it was really reassuring. I think tomorrow I’ll make the big purchase and head to the forum with pics as soon as I get my hands – and feet – on the bike!

  Reply
Rob Earp
6 years ago

I’ve got a bike with this drive system, Haibike Xduro. I have also had a bike with a rear, gearless motor, E3 Dash.

The system on this thing is a torque monster. I swear it senses you’re on an incline and powers you through it. We have plenty of hills and arched bridges in Nashville and I have no problem beating them with the Bosch system.

  Reply
David Bailey
6 years ago

I’ve been using this bike to commute for about three months now and I love it. One problem not mentioned, the fender and rack kit appear to be third-party provided and didn’t fit the bike well. I had to modify the rack to get it to mount. Also, the front fender from the kit apparently doesn’t fit with the RockShox Domain fork, you have to have a solid fork for it, and the rear fender doesn’t appear to attach securely with the hardware that shipped with the kit. It climbs hills with aplomb. The electric motor is smooth and kicks in quickly when you pedal. You might just forget it’s there. The light system is excellent. Overall, it’s a comfortable, capable, classy bike. People ask me all the time about it, or comment that it’s a very nice bike. I agree.

  Reply
Court Rye
6 years ago

Great feedback David! The demo model I tested didn’t have the fenders or rack so I wasn’t able to comment on the quality, your comment here is super valuable, thanks for sharing. Sorry to hear that you had to modify bits to get it working properly, I’m glad the drive system has met your expectations. Ride safe :)

  Reply
Dan
6 years ago

Hi Court, It seems like they have upped the max speed of this model according to their web site gracebikesusa.com/mxii.html and gracebikesusa.com/uploads/5/7/2/9/5729322/1905630_orig.jpg. It says the max speed is now 45KPH (28mph). Is there any way you can confirm if they have actually made this change?

  Reply
Court Rye
6 years ago

Hi Dan, I’ve heard from Grace that some of the models can be upgraded to speed pedelecs. It seems like maybe the MX II was more popular in that configuration and maybe now that’s all that they sell? I’d double check with them before you purchase but yes, I think they have upped the speed. If you reach out and end up buying one I’d love to hear about your experience with the bike.

  Reply
Vetch
6 years ago

I’m hearing from the distributor that Grace was sold or is under new management and production was halted. Has anyone else heard the same?

  Reply
Dan
6 years ago

I have heard the same. I was unable to order one due to the sold/new management issue (got a Felt Sport-E instead). Hopefully one day they will start producing these again, but I doubt it will be for the $4k price point. It seems (hearsay) that one of the main reasons that they are going out of business is that they were pricing the bikes too low.

  Reply

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