iGo Urban Review

Igo Urban Electric Bike Review 1
2014 Igo Urban Ebike White
2014 Igo Urban Tonaro 250w Motor
2014 Igo Urban 36v 10ah Battery
2014 Igo Urban Handlebar Display Shifter
2014 Igo Urban Headlight Suspension Fork
2014 Igo Urban Samsung Lithium Battery Pack
2014 Igo Urban Shimano Alivio
2014 Igo Urban Cranks Wellgo Pedals
Igo Urban Ebike
Igo Urban
Igo Urban 250 Watt Motor
Igo Urban Plastic Battery Housing
Igo Urban Controller
Igo Urban Rock Shox Lockout
Igo Urban Motor Bottom Bracket
2014 Igo Urban
Igo Urban Electric Bike Review 1
2014 Igo Urban Ebike White
2014 Igo Urban Tonaro 250w Motor
2014 Igo Urban 36v 10ah Battery
2014 Igo Urban Handlebar Display Shifter
2014 Igo Urban Headlight Suspension Fork
2014 Igo Urban Samsung Lithium Battery Pack
2014 Igo Urban Shimano Alivio
2014 Igo Urban Cranks Wellgo Pedals
Igo Urban Ebike
Igo Urban
Igo Urban 250 Watt Motor
Igo Urban Plastic Battery Housing
Igo Urban Controller
Igo Urban Rock Shox Lockout
Igo Urban Motor Bottom Bracket
2014 Igo Urban

Summary

  • Modest 250 watt mid-drive motor system is efficient but not the most satisfying
  • Offers three levels of pedal assist and twist throttle with a simple LED control console
  • plastic battery housing locks to frame and is removable but rattles a bit when going over bumps
  • Lots of extras including front fender, lights, adjustable neck and front shock absorber with lockout

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

iGo

Model:

Urban

Price:

$1,599 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Frame, 20 Motor and Battery

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

56 lbs (25.4 kg)

Battery Weight:

6 lbs (2.72 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Geometry Measurements:

Seat Height: 34

Frame Colors:

Black, White, Red

Frame Fork Details:

RockShox Suspension with Lockout

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Alivio

Shifter Details:

Sram GripShift MAX on Left Bar

Pedals:

Aluminum Alloy Platform

Stem:

Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Low Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers with Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Rubber, Ergonomic

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy Double Wall 26" x 2"

Spokes:

Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Kenda

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Accessories:

Plastic Front Fender, Rear Rack with Spring Latch, Integrated LED Headlight and Tail Light, Single Side Kickstand

Other:

Removable Battery Pack, 110 Volt SmartCharger

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

120 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

360 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

LED Console

Readouts:

Battery Level, Assist Level (30%, 60% or 90%)

Display Accessories:

Light Switch On/Off

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The iGo Urban electric bike offers a mid-mounted electric motor designed to leverage the same gears the rider does to overcome hills or reach higher speeds more efficiently. In practice, the bike meets these goals… but only just. I found that it struggled to reach higher speeds and wasn’t as satisfying to ride as a hub motor driven ebike (or a fancier, faster mid-drive from a company like Bosch, Panasonic or IZIP). To really get this bike working properly in electric drive mode my ride style had to change. In particular, I’ve had to slow my pedal cadence to match the motor vs. having it match me. The bike works well enough and is certainly one of the most affordable mid-drives around but it isn’t a performance model. I appreciate the lower price point, lighter footprint and stiffer frame that the Urban offers over the Titan and feel that the front suspension and padded saddle still provide good comfort.

The 250 watt mid-drive motor balances weight on the bike and keeps the center of gravity low in some ways but also adds complexity to the design. The motor is positioned just in front of the bottom bracket and feeds directly into the crank shaft which has a unique freewheeling system. While the motor itself mostly stays out of the way, I found myself banging it on some lower style bike racks. After experiencing a grinding sound when rolling my bicycle backwards (and hearing the gears inside the motor churning) I started to wonder how hard and expensive servicing the motor might be. Since it’s not a traditional drive system this left me feeling more timid than with other bikes and also made me wonder how it would be received at a later date if I chose to sell it as “used”.

The big benefit of the mid-drive system is that it leverages the same gears the rider uses to pedal. In my experience this turned into a bad thing however because the motor wants to turn at one speed and I like to pedal at many (usually with a much higher cadence than the motor). So while it’s true that the motor helped me along, the experience was dull as I slowly pedaled at the speed it wanted to go. Changing gears can also be uncomfortable because there is more force pulling on the chain with this bike (you and the motor). I recommend lightly pulling the brake or coasting until the motor stops before changing gears. The problem here is that this bike uses a pedelec sensor so as soon as it feels you moving (even if you’re not pushing hard) it kicks in and that puts tension on the chain and can cause rough shifting.

Powering this bike is a 36 volt battery with Lithium-ion cells that comes in either a regular or large configuration. The plastic housing locks to the frame but isn’t secured very well so it starts to rattle a lot when going over bumps. The front fender is mostly for show and doesn’t keep splash off of your feet and lower legs when riding in wet conditions but the back battery case doubles as a fender so you won’t end up with a stripe on your back. The headlight is mounted on the fender and becomes very bouncy and distracting when riding at night but at least it is powered by the main battery so you won’t need extra cells. All in all, the plastic casing around the battery seems durable and waterproof and I like that it features a metal spring rack so you can add a cargo pack on top. Some other bikes like those from ProdecoTech have rear racks with batteries but no way to add storage on top or on the sides.

The computer console display is very simple to use and fairly easy to reach. It lets you turn the bike on and select from one of three pedal assist modes. There’s no LCD screen here, just LED lights, so you kind of have to guess at your speed, distance and battery level but this keeps the price low. The adjustable stem works okay and can help improve rider ergonomics given that this bike only comes in one size. Make sure to check the stem regularly because it may come loose over time if you go up or down curbs a lot. The Rock Shox front fork absorbs bumps but has way too much travel for an “urban” style bike. Still, it’s nice that it includes lockout and I’d rather have suspension than not. I also like the ergonomic grips… but they are a bit lower end and may spin if you twist them hard when riding due to the lack of lockers at the ends.

The iGo Urban is all about value. It’s one of the most affordable mid-drive ebikes around which means you get improved climbing ability and range if used properly but it’s just not that satisfying to ride. The mere inclusion of lights is welcome and the disc brakes work well. Pedaling this bike without assistance also functions as you would expect but given the 50 pound weight of the bike, it’s not something I’d want to do very long. Ultimately, if you’re on a budget and like the idea of mid-drive this could be a good option. iGo pioneered this design and offers several models to choose from. The Urban is one of my favorite because it’s simple and easy to approach given the low-step design.

Pros:

  • Includes front and rear LED lights that are powered by the main battery pack
  • T rear battery pack mount acts as a fender and offers a rack attachment on top
  • Suspension fork with lock out for reduced bobbing when riding on flats, RockShox makes good stuff
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide great stopping power and stay clean if you ride through puddles
  • I like the solid metal Wellgo pedals included with this bike, they provide a lot of platform area and good grip
  • Decent kickstand, nice ergonomic grips and adjustable stem and seat post for improved fit

Cons:

  • The motor turns best at one speed and this can cause awkward pedal cadence in pedal assist mode
  • The pedelec sensor can cause strained shifting and “mashing” because the motor drives the chain directly
  • The bike struggles to reach the advertised 20mph and requires that you’re in the correct gear using throttle or pedal assist to achieve it
  • The front light bounces when riding because it’s mounted on the plastic fender
  • The front fender doesn’t really stop water from getting on feet and lower legs, no water bottle cage mount on the frame

Resources:

More iGO Electric Reviews

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Comments (14) YouTube Comments

George J
5 years ago

I own an RMartin (tonaro) bike, same bike as the Evelo or iGO, my bike has over 3000 miles and still going strong. I have to disagree with the review, the bike has an incredible range providing the rider understands how to use gears. Shifting down provides incredible torque, shifting up increases speed. I live in mountainous Vermont, non-hub motor ebikes provide superior torque. The bike is an incredible value, even after 3000 miles the motor is super quiet and very responsive. I can only guess the reviewer drives a car with automatic transmission and doesn’t fully understand the concept of gears. After 3000 miles my RMartin Ebike is still going strong and I will definitely buy another.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi George! Thanks for the great testimonial on this electric bike style. I agree that mid-drive can offer excellent distance and climbing ability if used properly. I’m a huge fan of the IZIP E3 Peak and bikes that use the Bosch system because the motor is more fluid, fast and responsive (even has sensors that ease of when you change gears). I know Evelo, iGO and RMarton are working to improve their designs and I will continue to review them. While I try to be objective I realize some of this is opinion and I appreciate you sharing yours :)

  Reply
Betsy A
5 years ago

Love my IGo. I’ve owned this bike for two years and every time I go out I realize just how enjoyable it is. We have a small plane and we can fit my IGo and my husband’s full size touring bike in the back with no problem. Yes, it’s heavy, but it almost doesn’t matter unless I ride it for a long distance with no assistance. The only thing I wish is that there were a 0% setting. I have only a choice between turning off the pedal assist completely and using only the throttle (which is tiring after a while) or always having the lowest setting of the motor going when I pedal.
Otherwise, very happy with this bike and I easily get 50 miles — in fact have never run out of battery yet. Occasionally, on a longer tour, we will plug it in at a restaurant.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Great feedback Betsy, thanks for the testimonial! I have some new iGo reviews coming up soon and feel they have continued to innovate and really support the products well.

  Reply
Nelson
5 years ago

Love these reviews – what a resource! This bike looks identical to the Evelo aurora. Is it the same bike? It has all the same problems as the older version of the aurora and about the same price.

The new aurora has a better battery mount, stiffer front fender, and when equipped with the Nuvinci hub, 500 Watt motor, and 48 volt battery, it seems to be the solution to all the cons you correctly identified above at a total price of $3,000. Is there another 500 Watt/ Mid drive / Nuvinci / Fender / lights/ Pedal assist equipped commuter that is available for less than $3,000 that I should be looking at?

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

You’re correct Nelson, this bike was the original design around 2005 that has since been carried and improved by EVELO. I asked iGo about this during a visit and they said they chose not to offer the stronger motor because it didn’t improve performance that much but did raise the price, they also said that the NuVinci was nice but added weight… increased price significantly and required extra cables to work. They offer the iGo Urban as an affordable entry level mid-drive ebike and realize that trying to improve some of the features puts the price up into a range where a better drive system could be had so they just keep the price low and sell it as a “value mid-drive”. If you ride this (or an EVELO) bike with a cassette it may mash and grind but you can avoid that somewhat in how you ride… and if you’ve saved $1,500 it might be worth it! If you are looking at spending $3,000 and want a mid-drive I think you’d be much better off to just get a better bike like the IZIP E3 Peak and adding your own fender on the front like this (which would actually protect your legs from water because it follows the profile of the tire more) as well as a rear rack like this or rear fender and a set of your own lights like this. Hope this helps! All of the bikes over 3 stars here can be fine but the stiffness, weight and weight distribution of motor/battery goes a long way and can be worth buying up front because you can’t change that so easily later (like you can with fenders). I have my own motor preferences and ride style but I try to illustrate some of that for you to make your own judgements on with the videos, so you can see for yourself. You can also check the forums and see what people say or how many buy one type of bike vs. another.

  Reply
Barry
5 years ago

I’ve owned my igo titan for about two months I do enjoy it alot but lately when I pedal in 5th, 6th, 7th and especially 8th gear the chain on the back sprocket seems to slip. I checked the allignment on the derailer as it goes through it’s cycles and appears to line up very well. This happens when I’m in pedal assist or just me pedaling. Because it only happens when I’m on the bike, I can’t see whats taking place. I’ve been told the chain may be stretching could this be the case? Thanks

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Interesting, sorry to hear about this issue! Chains and sprockets do eventually wear out and I think the speed with which that happens may increase on ebikes (and one like the iGo Urban or Titan that use a mid-drive motor). As you pedal and as the motor pulls, it may also stretch the chain out as you’ve heard. I’m not a bike mechanic but it sounds like either the teeth on your sprocket are wearing down and thus more apt to let the chain slip around or the chain has become loose and the teeth don’t fit perfectly into the chain links like they used to (or both of these things could be happening). You might benefit from taking the bike into a shop to ask for a tuneup.

  Reply
Quibono
4 years ago

Owned this model. Sturdy reliable and easy handling with one issue imo and that is the rear frame to back wheel sends tail bone busting force to the seat and no type of seat I found reduced the impact factor. I.E when you hit a bump the seat jars your backside and in a short time your in agony.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m glad you found the iGo Urban to be reliable. Have you ever considered adding a suspension seat post to help reduce the jolts and bumps? There are some really affordable basic ones on Amazon as well as higher end Thudbusters (with longer travel). I’m not sure what the seat post diameter is on iGo ebikes, you can usually tell by pulling the seat post all the way out and reading along the lower edge (please post here if you figure it out so I can update the review!) and here’s a post that comes with multiple shim attachments so you could hopefully make it fit on your bike no matter the diameter.

  Reply
Faunus
4 years ago

THESE BIKES ARE POTENTIALLY LETHAL AND THE OWNERS OF THE COMPANY DO NOT SEEM TO CARE!

I purchased an Igo Titan about three years ago. The first bike sent to me was a death trap – twisted frame. Eventually they replaced it and the new one rode well for a year or so.

However a few weeks ago I discovered a serious crack in the frame. I called the company, who said that they would get back to me with some ideas about what they could do. It looks like I could have been killed or seriously maimed, had I not spotted the crack. They offered no words of concern at all, their reply was cold and impersonal.

Guess what?  No reply at all – even after several phone calls! Clearly they just don’t care, and what bothers me is that this could be a consistent and serious design defect.

My own thought is that these bikes should all be recalled and all checked, before anyone is killed or seriously injured. If you own one please have it checked for your own safety.

The company owners seem to be completely cold and heartless…. They should replace my frame like any other reputable bike company would. They should also be informing other owners and dealers of the potential danger.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hi Faunus, I’m so sorry to hear about your twisted and then cracked frame experiences. I hate to say it but I have also had delays in replies received from iGo… I suppose they are busy or maybe just not prioritizing communications with customers. Thanks for sharing your experience, if you wanted to post a picture of the frame and maybe explain this situation further, feel free to do so in the EBR forums for iGo here. You can then leave another comment in this thread with your link to the forums. Ride safe.

  Reply
Paul Gordon
2 weeks ago

Where can I get a reasonably priced battery to replace on this model?? help

  Reply
Court
2 weeks ago

Hi Paul, you might be able to work with iGo directly… but in my experience, they can be hit or miss when it comes to emails and calls. I’m not sure if they even stock parts for older bikes, so you might want to try something like a battery repacking service, like the guys at FTH Power in Southern California. I met with them and filmed a video about their services a while back, check it out here.

  Reply

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