2015 IZIP E3 Zuma Review

2015 Izip E3 Zuma Electric Bike Review
2015 Izip E3 Zuma
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Geared 500 Currie Hub Motor
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Removable Battery Pack
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Led Console Grips Handlebar
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Shimano Acera Cassette
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Chain Guide Chain Guard
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Promax 160 Disc Brakes
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Maxxis Dth Tires
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Electric Bike Review
2015 Izip E3 Zuma
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Geared 500 Currie Hub Motor
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Removable Battery Pack
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Led Console Grips Handlebar
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Shimano Acera Cassette
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Chain Guide Chain Guard
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Promax 160 Disc Brakes
2015 Izip E3 Zuma Maxxis Dth Tires

Summary

  • Cruiser style electric bike with two frame styles, two frame sizes, 11 custom colors and a wonderfully balanced purpose-built frame
  • Removable battery can be charged on or off the bike, optional matching fenders, rear rack and LED light set for added utility
  • Powerful 500 watt geared rear hub motor benefits from an upgraded 48 volt power system for solid climbing ability and efficient energy use
  • Offers three levels of pedal assist as well as throttle mode, solid warranty, not a lot of suspension (no seat post shock or suspension fork) but the padded saddle, grips and oversized tires help

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

IZIP

Model:

E3 Zuma

Price:

$2,550 USD

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Cruising

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Motor, 1 Year Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

53 lbs (24.04 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Hydroformed Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)20 in (50.8 cm)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step

Frame Colors:

High-Step (Light Gray, Black, Olive Green, Dark Red, Slate Gray) Step-Thru (Black, White, Lime Green, Salmon Orange, Red, Honey Yellow)

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Chromoly Steel

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera RD-M360 Derailleur, 11-32T Cassette

Shifter Details:

Microshift TS70 Triggers on Right Bar

Cranks:

Aluminum Alloy, 44T Chainring

Pedals:

Plastic Platform with Non-Slip Tread

Headset:

VP Semi-Integrated Ahead

Stem:

Promax Alloy Quill

Handlebar:

Zoom Mid-Rise

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Velo Stitched

Saddle:

Velo Urban

Seat Post:

Zoom Alloy Microadjust

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm

Rims:

Alex DM-22 Doublewall

Spokes:

Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Maxxis DTH Grooved Slick, 26" x 2.3”

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tube Details:

Pre-Slimed Tubes, Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Matching Aluminum Alloy Chainguard, Plastic Chain Guide, Single Sided Adjustable Kickstand, Optional Fenders, Optional Rear Carry Rack, Optional Integrated LED Lightset

Other:

Removable Battery Pack, KMC Z51 Chain, Quick Release Front Wheel, Quick-Disconnect Cable on Hub Motor, Quick Release Battery Pack and Seat Tube, 12 Magnet Pedalec Sensor Disc

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Currie Electro Drive

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

8.7 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

8 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Display Type:

LED Console on Left Bar

Readouts:

Battery Charge Level, Drive Mode (Twist and Go TAG, Pedal Assist PAS), Assist Level (Low, Medium, High), Lights (on/off)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

This review is for the 2015 IZIP E3 Zuma, for an updated version check out the 2016 model which offers automatic battery sleep (after 30 days) and a new LED console ring vs. a plastic display block. The latest model is also priced slightly less at $2,499 vs. $2,550.

The IZIP E3 Zuma has long been at the top of my favorites list for cruiser style electric bikes. They look beautiful in wide variety of colors with matching chain guards and optional matching fenders. The balance is better than many other bikes that use a rear rack style battery or even the Silver Fish pack that mounts just behind the seat tube. On the Zuma, the seat tube is actually built into the battery pack which slides into an even larger tube that completely surrounds it for added protection and a much nicer aesthetic. With a high-step and low-step frame option available in two sizes this bike can be setup to fit most body types and the swept back handlebars pair nicely with the padded grips, oversized saddle and balloon tires for a comfortable ride. The 2015 model being reviewed here isn’t much different from the 2014 version but features three nice upgrades including a more powerful and efficient 48 volt battery, modified downtube that’s easier to perform service on (especially when adding lights) and improved LED control panel with a lights on/off button.

The motor driving the E3 Zuma offers an excellent balance of size, weight and power. It’s a 500 watt geared hub design that’s integrated into the rear wheel. Being geared, it offers more torque for climbing and zippy takeoffs but doesn’t have to be as large or heavy as a gearless design to achieve this performance. During my ride tests, the bike felt very satisfying whether using the twist throttle or pedal assist modes and climbed well – especially in pedal assist mode when I was helping out a bit. One of the coolest part about this motor is how it’s mounted to the frame, there’s a quick-disconnect for the power cable so changing flats is much easier. the bike is also setup to help you avoid the immediate ramifications of flat tires because the tubes come pre-Slimed. Basically, an aqueous solution with rubber patching-bits has been loaded into the tube and if you get a leak, the Slime goo temporarily fills them in and seals. If you notice a tire becoming soft when riding, just spin the wheel and add some air and the tire should hold up long enough for you to replace the tube.

Powering the bike is an impressive 48 volt 8.7 amp hour battery that’s good for ~35 miles of cruising in ideal paved conditions using pedal assist mode. The cells inside are made with a Lithium-ion chemistry that’s renowned for being light weight and long lasting (in terms of number of charge cycles). The battery mounts to the bike frame in a very unique way, actually sliding into an oversized seat tube. This conceals and protects it from external damage due to tipping or accidents. The seat post actually mounts into the battery pack and is also removable so both can be taken out or kept together for easier carrying. Since the battery can be charged on or off the bike, you could actually use the IZIP E3 Zuma for commuting (just take it off and charge it in the office). And with the optional matching fenders and rear rack setup, you’d be able to carry extra gear with a saddle bag or panniers vs. a backpack which can wear on the shoulders, back and neck over longer rides. The only downside here is that these optional accessories cost extra.

The Zuma is a comfortable ebike, positioning the rider in a more upright position that doesn’t strain the arms and back as much while pedaling and steering. That said, it’s not as comfortable as it could be with a seat post shock or suspension fork. You could add these yourself aftermarket but that decision might hinge more on the terrain you intend to travel across. For paved streets and smooth sidewalks the standard setup with larger tires and swept back bars works just fine. Mounted to the left side of the handlebar is your control panel which uses basic LED lights to approximate the remaining battery capacity and list your drive mode (assist or throttle) along with the assist level and light status (on or off). The brake levers are setup to signal to the motor when you’re activating them and cut power for safety and the shifters are standard triggers mounted to the right bar. With seven gears to choose from and three levels of assist, the E3 Zuma works great for cruising around town and has an oversized sprocket to help you deal with steep inclines. At ~53 lbs (depending on frame style and size) this isn’t the lightest ebike but it is stiffer than most other cruisers and the strong motor and battery make riding a breeze.

The E3 Zuma could have been fine without any changes from 2014 to 2015, it was already a great bike that had been significantly upgraded from 2013 when it used a rear-rack style battery. Now that that they’ve taken the design even further with a more powerful and efficient voltage and quieter disc brakes that can be adjusted on the fly it’s a no-brainer to recommend. This is a wonderful ebike that can serve a broad set of users who either want a comfortable cruiser to zip around the neighborhood or a stylish commuter to enhance the efficiency of getting to work without being sweaty or struggling with hills. There are less expensive cruiser style ebikes out there but there are also more expensive ones that don’t really deliver much beyond the Zuma. With a solid warranty and distribution network across the US where you can actually see and try the the bike (and get service) you should also benefit from a better post-purchase than a cheaper bike. Ongoing maintenance shouldn’t be too difficult given the limited 7 speed drivetrain, my only advice would be to charge the battery after each use and every few months if you haven’t ridden the bike. Also, store it in neutral temperature environment as extreme heat and cold can negatively impact the number of cycles you get (as with any Lithium-ion battery).

Pros:

  • Front wheel features a quick release making it easy to take off for transport or service, the rear wheel is not quick release but does offer a quick-disconnect power cable
  • 11 color choices (varying by frame type high-step vs. step-thru) with beautiful accents and matching chain guards and fenders (if you pay extra for the fenders)
  • Solid and stiff frame with quiet operation; the large cruiser tires, padded saddle and grips and steel fork all add to the comfort and ride quality
  • Balanced frame design thanks to the unique seat-tube mounted battery pack, this keeps weight low and center which keeps the bike more stable when riding and parked
  • Nice extras including the pre-Slimed tires (if you get a leak, spin the wheel and add some air for a temporary seal) as well as the kickstand and matching chain guard
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes offer good stopping power and stay cleaner than rim brakes (won’t scratch the rims when dusty or muddy) also feature tool-free twist adjustment to bring pads in closer as they wear

Cons:

  • While it does come with mounting points for fenders, lights and a rear rack it doesn’t include any of these nice extras at the base $2,500 price point however you can pay extra to get them and the parts are good quality and match the frame paint job
  • Given the stiff aluminum frame it would be nice to have a seat post suspension shock or possibly a headshock on the fork. It’s nice that the fork is made with steel because that dampens vibration and the larger tires help but the bike is still rather stiff, especially on bumpy terrain
  • Unique downtube mounted battery pack is not lockable though it does blend in with the bike, with the quick release downtube it might be more vulnerable to theft
  • No digital readouts on the display, just simple LED light indicators, this means you cannot tell how fast you’re going, how far you’ve traveled without adding a cycle computer separately

Resources:

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Comments (20) YouTube Comments

Al
5 years ago

Thank you for the informative review that came in handy while shopping for an ebike. I got a Zuma for Xmas and have been extremely happy with it. Sincerely, Al from DC

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Awesome! I’m glad to hear the videos and articles here helped you (or Santa) to find a solid ride. What have your friends and family thought so far? Do you use it for commuting, exercise or just for fun? Cheers!

  Reply
Brian
5 years ago

Does the Izip Zuma have throttle override, or do you have to leave pedal assist to use the throttle?

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Brian! Sorry for the delay answering this. I wanted to confirm so I reached out to IZIP and got the following information for you: “Yes, in PAS mode, you can override at any time with the throttle, providing you’re pedaling. Without the throttle it responds to cadence. The faster you pedal, the more motor you get.” pretty awesome! I really like the Zuma, especially the latest 2014 and 2015 versions :)

  Reply
Brian
5 years ago

Court, thanks for the response, really enjoy the reviews you do on the bikes. At this point I’m deciding between the Izip Zuma and the Pedego Interceptor. I think the only thing I like better about the Interceptor is that you can use the throttle override anytime, and don’t have to be pedaling to do so. However, the price on the Izip is compelling. I will just have to ride both to figure it out. P.S. From the video it looks like you are just down the street from me (Monrovia St.), Thanks again, Brian

  Reply
Bob McDonald
5 years ago

Court, I am new to all of this, but, having thought an e-bike might be a good choice for me at my advanced years, I tried to read all I could online to prepare to take the plunge. Your stuff kept rising to the top like cream. Your video reviews are terrific, and this morning I came across your interview with the founder of Velosurance! I am picking up my new E3 Zuma next week, and as soon as I have the serial number, I will buy the insurance. I can’t tell you how grateful I am! Keep rolling!

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hey, thanks for the kind words Bob! I’m doing my best out there, lots of great bikes to explore and more little guides and tips on the way. I purchased Velosurance electric bike insurance for myself mid 2014 and have enjoyed the peace of mind regarding theft and liability very much… even though I haven’t had to use it yet ;) ride safe out there and enjoy the Zuma, it’s a fun ebike!

  Reply
Will Minich
5 years ago

Thanks for all the great reviews Court. I just purchased an iZip Zuma as my 1st eBike. I’m 5’8 and 170 lbs so I went with the 18 inch high step. Which size is the one in the video? also, any news on integrated lighting yet from Currie? Thanks and love the site!

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Will! The Zuma that I was testing for this video review (and the photos) was a size Medium at 18″ which sounds like the same size you bought. As far as the rack, fenders and lighting that Currie mentioned… I have not seen or heard about that so far but I’ll reach out and see if there are any updates :)

  Reply
Will Minich
5 years ago

Thanks Court, even if they don’t have their own light set, I wonder if they have a non-properietary connector that can be adapted for other lighting manufacturers? One last thought, I noticed that with the integrated seat/post – battery setup, it looks like it may have a proprietary seat. Do you know if you can use a different seat on this bike? Thanks! Will

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Will, I was able to reach Currie regarding the rack and lights for the Zuma and other IZIP ebikes this past week and was told that City Kits are now in stock! They said that any dealer should be able to order these direct from Currie for you. Regarding a DIY solution, I’ve heard some ebike shops can do this (usually they are adapting lights for the Bosch kit) and one I know for sure is Propel Bikes out of New York. As for your last question, I believe the saddle is normal and that the adapter piece at the top of the stem is fairly standard. You can actually remove the seat post from the battery and it looks normal as well :)

  Reply
Herb Myles
5 years ago

I am age 76 and am finding the hills to be too much of a challenge on my regular bike. I am 240 lbs and 6′ 1″ with long legs. I need a large frame. I would like to buy a quality bike for ten to twenty km rides in an upright position. I would like fenders, lights, carrier and all the bells and whistles, so to speak. What would you suggest? Herb

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Herb, given your taller and heavier build I’d say the Pedego Interceptor could be a great choice. It’s similar in design to the Zuma (which would also be a great choice) but is slightly larger for your long legs. It also offers a relaxed upright position and comes with those fenders, carry rack and lights that you were interested in.

  Reply
Alex
5 years ago

Hi I am about to buy the IZIP e3 Zuma diamond frame. I was wondering if you cold help me find the appropriate fit. I am 178cms tall (~5’8″) and I weigh 100kgs (~220lbs). Is the size medium at 18in the size for me or should I have a bigger size I am new at this so pl could you guild me. I am a male, I want one like you were showing info the review. That was a medium 18in, is there a bigger size or will I be ok with the medium 18? Pl let me know thanks.

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Alex, there are two sizes available for the IZIP E3 Zuma and I think the 18″ would be good for you given your height ~5’8″. I’m only an inch taller than you and I believe I was testing the Medium for this review. You’re close to the cutoff point for going to large so either frame would work but Medium could feel more comfortable and upright (easier to look around and easier to control, you won’t be hunched over as much). I hope this helps! Ride safe :)

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William
5 years ago

Thanks Court for the info on the lights and seat,

William

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Jeff Rosen
5 years ago

Court – Thanks for the great reviews. What would you say are the main differences in the 2014 and 2015 Zuma? There are some great sales on now with $500. difference in price between the models. Thanks!

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Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Jeff! I think they’re fairly similar but the display and seat have been updated. Also, when you buy a newer model the battery will have a higher capacity and expected life (based on not sitting around and slowly degrading). Both ’14 and ’15 were great model years for the Zuma with the mid-frame battery pack :)

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Betsy
4 years ago

What a really helpful website! I have an old Bronx 250 Ni on a Marin Sausalito and am looking for more power. I am wondering about a Montague Crosstown Bionx PL 350 at NYCE but now seeing your review of the Zuma…. I would like a step-through, which is not the Crosstown, but I also like less weight. (I am older, 5’4, overweight – looking for a bike I will use and enjoy for urban riding, some hills.) the Evelo Aurora looked interesting, but it is heavy…. Again,thanks for your reviews.

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Court Rye
4 years ago

Sure thing Betsy, I really like the Zuma. BionX makes great kits but it can be a hassle installing them and the extra wires can take away from the clean look. Evelo is tempting but I prefer the drivetrain on the Zuma, for some reason the mid-drive on the Aurora just isn’t as smooth, zippy or satisfying. Ride safe out there! Visit Propel Bikes or Green Path Electric to test out some of these bikes if you get the chance :)

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