- One of the most affordable road style electric bikes with drop bars and a decent 18-speed drivetrain. Available in two frame sizes, sold through dealers as well as online, ships as a Class 1 product but can be unlocked for faster 28mph (45km/h) Class 3 performance using the free smartphone application.
- Extremely lightweight at 40.6lbs (18.4kg), and balanced front to rear. The 250W Bafang planetary geared hub motor performs at 450 watts nominal due to a custom high power controller, it offers up to 45 newton meters of torque and actually performs pretty well for climbing and maintaining higher speeds.
- Dual-sided 32 pulse torque sensing bottom bracket creates a smooth natural ride feel and helps to extend range. TRP mechanical disc brakes perform well and stay cleaner than rim brakes. Upgraded puncture resistant tires also have reflective sidewall stripes. The bike can fit up to 42c sized tires, and has mounting points for fenders, racks, and two bottle cages.
- All aluminum frame is durable but not as light or vibration dampening as carbon fiber or titanium. Display panel interaction requires left hand to be on flats or taken off of the bar entirely and it starts from 0 each time, so more clicks. Smartphone app struggled to stay synced, no place to charge portable electronics. Hub motor creates zipping noises at high speed.
To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by iGO. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of iGO products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the iGO Electric bike forums.
- UPDATE! The disc brakes are mechanically actuated hydraulic dual piston. I referred to them as being purely mechanical in the review and in my pros/cons, and I still believe that the wire and housing will increase drag and resistance for the right lever (rear brake) but the action is smoother and braking force may be applied more evenly :) the second update is that although this ebike does not ship with lights, turning on the lights (by holding the + button) will activate backlighting on the LCD display panel.
- iGO Electric has been selling ebikes since 2006, way before EBR had even launched! I considered their products when I bought my first ebike in 2011 because they used purpose-built frames, offered free shipping in the US and Canada, and were available to answer questions via email and phone. They’re still doing a great job, and have expanded the lineup quite a bit in recent years. The Aspire line is feature-rich, and utilizes a downtube-integrated battery pack that helps the bike blend in with non-electric bikes.
- There are two Aspire models, both are efficient road-oriented products with narrower tires. The Camillien features drop bars while the Vendome brings flat handle bars, fenders, a minimalist rear rack, a kickstand, and integrated lights. The Vendome is more of a commuter platform while Camillien is pure sport… That said, it still features mounting points for fenders, front and rear racks, a frame lock, and two bottle cages. This is a unique electric road bike because of its low price point, responsive torque sensor, and smartphone app with tuning features (including Class 3 support). For those who want a lighter frame, hydraulic disc brakes, and other fancier features in a true road bike form, check out the iGO Electric Performance+ Series Carbon CGV with Bafang mid-drive motor vs. hub motor. Find the free app by searching iGO Connect on Android or iPhone device app stores.
- Purpose built frame with downtube-integrated battery pack, internally routed cables, and lots of accessory mounting points! Note that iGO is using a threaded connector with little rubber washer making it more durable and water resistant than press-fit. There are bosses on the fork for a fender or front carrier, bosses at the rear for a fender, frame lock, and carry rack, and two bottle cage mounting points on the seat tube and top tube!
- Very low price point considering that it comes in two frame sizes, utilizes a 32 pulse torque sensing bottom bracket, custom high powered controller, and Bluetooth smartphone app. Furthermore, iGO is a company that has been around for such a long time and provides great customer service and warranty support… to me this product offers a lot of value and is unique because there aren’t many road ebikes out there at the more affordable level.
- I really appreciate the extra width on the fork, seat stays, and chain stays because it allows for higher volume tires to be used, including gravel grinder tires! The default tires are 700x32c and I was told that the frame can support up to 700x42c. That would add stability, comfort, the opportunity for tread vs. slicks, and the downside would be increased weight, drag, and possibly increased noise.
- If you do ride the bike on dusty roads or convert it to more of a gravel grinder and go off-road, it’s nice to have disc brakes because they elevate the braking surface and stay cleaner than rim brakes.
- The bike is very lightweight and balanced front to rear. Most electric road bikes are light, and this one stays true to form at just over 40lbs (18.4kg) which makes it easier to pedal up to speed, easier to lift, and easier to flip for wheel servicing on the go. The battery can be removed to further reduce weight by 4.7lbs (2.1kg).
- Having a removable battery means you can help it last for more charge cycles by storing in a cool, dry location. Extreme heat degrades lithium-ion cells and extreme cold will temporarily stunt them and halve your range. It also means that you can lock the bike up outside and bring the battery in for a top-off if you commute to work or school.
- This is an 18 speed with a double chainring setup using entry level Shimano Sora derailleurs (one step up from the base). That means you can start the bike and climb very easily with log gears, and you have a lot more choices for pedal cadence at medium and high speeds… adding comfort. I’m glad they didn’t go with a triple chainring. The front derailleur acts as a guide (to prevent chain drops) and there’s a plastic chainring guard to protect pant legs.
- I love that the stock tires are puncture resistant and have reflective sidewall strips! Changing flat tires on ebikes takes additional time and effort if they use hub motors (the front wheel offers quick release and is pretty standard). With the rear, you have nuts and a power cable connector to deal with.
- iGO used extra thick spokes on the wheels here, 12 gauge in the rear to support the hub motor and lighter 13 gauge up front. I like that they chose black spokes, to match the rims, and also added eyelets on the rims to further increase strength and durability. The wheels and tires are both upgraded in ways that will support the added power, weight, and speeds of electric assist.
- These are minor details, but I appreciate the rust resistant chain and wide plastic VP pedals. Many road bikes don’t come with pedals at all, but for an affordable product like this, platform pedals make it easier to approach and enjoy for casual rides.
- The display is pretty fancy, but still easy to operate. It’s color, which helps to separate all of the indicators, and it buzzes with haptic feedback when + and – are pressed. Use the + and – buttons to navigate through the nine levels of assist and hold + to activate or de-activate the lights (if you get the Aspire Vendome). Hold the – button to activate walk mode if you’re struggling to push the bike up a hill or through grass. Hold + and – simultaneously to clear trip distance, trip time, and max speed. Hold the M button (located at the base of the display) to get into settings. The display can angle up or down to help reduce glare, and you can reduce brightness (for night riding) in the settings menu. Theres even an area in the settings menu that communicates error codes, so you can tell iGO what is wrong and they can honor the excellent two-year comprehensive warranty and send out a replacement part
- Notice how the 90mm stem is boosted up by a 20mm tapered spacer and four 10mm spacers. The bike ships with a more upright comfort oriented geometry, but you can adjust this to be more aggressive by flipping the stem to angle down and re-positioning spacers above it to lower the handlebar. This will improve your aerodynamics by changing to a more forward body position.
- iGO sells other even more affordable electric bicycles like the Core Elite II for $1.9k, but it doesn’t offer the frame-integrated battery pack or color LCD display like the Aspire series. I feel like the Discovery and Aspire models are still very reasonably priced, and I like that the smartphone app can unlock them to go 45km/h (28mph) for off-road use, which is not an option for the Core models.
- Considering that the bike works with a smartphone application, it would be very handy to have some sort of USB charging outlet on the display or battery pack to keep your phone charged! It’s not a big deal however, because the color display works pretty well and the smartphone app can be accessed, updated, and then stowed vs. using it as a secondary display. It’s mostly a tuning app anyway.
- The Bafang planetary geared hub motor does create some buzzing zipping noises, especially when operated at higher powers and the highest speeds. I actually noticed a high pitched sound around 20mph (32km/h) that could be annoying for some riders. It’s louder than some of the fancier mid-drive electric road bikes I’ve tested with Brose, Bosch, and Bafang motors.
- As is often the case with drop bars, the display is only accessible when your left hand is on the flat section. You might actually have to take your left hand completely off the bar to press the + and – buttons to raise and lower assist. I wish the display let you press – once to cycle up to the highest level of assist vs. having to press + + + + + each time the bike turns on, it resets to zero every time and requires a lot of clicks.
- The smartphone app uses Bluetooth that isn’t very strong, I had to position my phone near the bike each time and even get close to the bottom bracket to boost the signal. If you walk away from the bike, the app unpairs and has to be reset completely (closed and then opened) vs. having a refresh or automatic reconnection. It’s not a huge deal because the app is more of a one time update then close type of thing.
- One of the cost savings measures that this ebike employs is the use of mechanically actuated hydraulic brakes vs. full hydraulic. They work very well, but still require more hand effort and may gum up and set in over time compared to full hydraulic. The rear brake caliper in particular is oriented so that water and dust could collect on the wire and drip into the housing, which gunks it up and adds friction over time.
- The all aluminum frame and fork keep the price down and make it possible to have additional rack and fender mounting points, but this material isn’t known for comfort. Many road bikes offer carbon fiber forks, but that’s not available here. Consider replacing the 30.4mm rigid seatpost with a suspension post (use a shim if you cannot find the correct size).
- The battery charger is small, very lightweight (just 1lb) and seems durable because there are no vents or fans to be seen… but it only puts out the standard 2 amps, so it could take longer to fill the bike. Expect around four hours for a full charge from empty if you drain it that far.
- iGO really tries to support physical dealers by dedicating any online sales in their region to them, shipping the bike to them for assembly and support… but if you buy direct, there’s some work to do unpacking, assembling etc. These bikes come 95% assembled: just attach the front rack with 4 bolts, put the stem onto steer tube, add the pedals, the front fender and the headlight. Assembly can take some time, and the tools they include are pretty basic.
- The display panel is not removable, and it’s kind of small at 2.25″ diagonal. If you park at a public rack, the display could get scratched or tampered with and will take more sun and weather damage over time. You can swivel it to reduce glare if you don’t over-tighten the clamp screw.
- In general, the display is kind of dim when it’s bright outside. I like the color setup, but monotone grayscale displays offer higher contrast and seem to work better in bright daylight.
- As cool as the haptic vibration feedback seems in principal, it was a bit too soft for me to really notice when riding at medium speeds because of the wind and road vibration. There is s till a tactile click with each button press, so that’s good :)
- The smartphone app is cool easy to use, but kind of basic. There are no map features or turn-by-turn directions here, just three profiles for selecting power (Economy, Standard, Sport). Each can be customized, and you can unlock “Off Road Mode” for higher top speeds.
- There’s a bit of delay when you stop pedaling, before the motor cuts out entirely. Since iGO is using a torque sensor for this ebike, they did not include motor inhibiting brake levers… they are probably very difficult to find for road bike brake levers.
- This is a very minor complaint, but I didn’t see a slap guard on the right chainstay. You could use some clear box tape or order a sticker or sleeve online to keep the paint looking nice and reduce clinking sounds on rough roads.