2016 IZIP E3 Sumo Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



E3 Sumo


Class 1, Class 2




Hydraulic Disc



417.6 Wh

417.6 Wh

54 lbs / 24.52 kgs


Tapered Head Tube, VP Semi-Integrated Ahead

Tranz-X 3D forged Alloy 31.8 mm Diameter

Tranz-X DB Alloy 31.8 mm Diameter, 700 mm x 30 mm, Low Rise

Velo Flat Rubber, Locking

Tranz-X Alloy with Quick Release Collar


Velo Racing

Wellgo M196 Aluminum Alloy Platform, Narrow Black

Hydraulic Disc

Shimano M396 Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors


Video Reviews

Written Reviews

This is a review for the 2016 IZIP E3 Sumo electric fat bike. You can see the latest model here which uses a Bosch CX mid-drive and is available in two frame sizes. The price jumped up $100 but the brakes and drivetrain are significantly upgraded.

Electric powered fat bikes have become super popular since 2014 and a whole range of models are now available in the US. The IZIP E3 Sumo debuted in 2015 as one of the first mid-drive powered models which offered improved frame balance, efficiency and power (since you could switch gears to empower the motor at a more effective RPM when navigating soft terrain or hills). The TranzX M07 motor used here is one of the quieter but still highly powerful drive units I’ve tested (they call it high torque). Aside from minor decal tweaks, upgraded thru-axles and a new “boost button” option, not much has changed with the E3 Sumo and that’s alright… It remains relatively affordable given the performance and warranty offered and the two frame sizes make it accessible to a wider audience. It’s one of the few electric fat bikes with rack mounts that could work with something like this and even though the front fork is rigid aluminum vs. steel or suspension, the tapered head tube is compatible with the RockShox Bluto suspension fork (or you could opt for a 31.6 mm suspension seat post from Thudbuster to save some cash).

My experience with the bike has been great, the motor is truly powerful and the removable locking battery (and quick release wheels) make transport much easier if you don’t have a truck. I love that it has a kickstand mounting point towards the back of the left chain stay (though they can be difficult to find, here’s one on Amazon UK). The display panel is large but fixed… it does swivel to reduce glare and the button pad is easy to reach near the left grip but the battery and button pad have to be activated to ride which means extra time and steps. The button pad seems well protected against water and dust (which is great if you plan to ride on sand or snow and ultimately through mud). For those who want to operate the bike without pedaling there is an optional boost button which can be added for ~$50 offering slower 6 mph mode (akin to walk mode, helping you push the bike or cruise slowly) and a full 20 mph mode which converts the bike into a Class 2 electric bike when installed.


  • Sturdy 15 mm front thru-axle and 190 mm x 12 mm rear thru-axle, supports the weight of the larger rims and tires… also makes lining up the disc brakes easier when putting the wheels back on (quick release on both skewers)
  • Available in two frame sizes (17″ and 19″) to accommodate short and tall riders alike, sloping top-tube brings down the stand over height
  • Quality Kenda Juggernaut Sport tires with 5 to 30 PSI range (lower PSI will do well on soft surfaces but also create drag and drain the battery faster, not tubeless ready and not locking beed so don’t go too low or you’ll burp the tire off
  • Tapered head tube is large and sturdy, compatible with the RockShox Bluto suspension fork and the seat tube is also wide and sturdy at 31.6 mm which would work with a long travel Thudbuster (just tighten the collar if you go this route so it doesn’t slip down as you bounce)
  • Extremely powerful motor offering 73 Newton meters of torque, I climbed steep off-road terrain in the lowest level of assist without struggling and it would work well in sand, snow or mud (better than most hub motors)
  • Because the top speed is limited to 20 mph and this is a pedal-assist only, it’s a Class 1 making it permissible on more trails but you can get the $50 boost button add-on if you want throttle mode and that will make it Class 2
  • Solid M396 hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano are easy to pull and provide great stopping power with 180 mm rotors front and rear, the levers don’t have motor inhibitors and since this motor is a bit delayed for stopping and mostly relies on torque sensing there are moments when I wish they did
  • threaded eyelets on the seat stays and near the rear dropout for adding a carry rack like this for hauling hunting gear, groceries or tools and water
  • Because the motor is mounted at the center of the frame along with the battery pack, weight is kept lower which improves stability, the motor is relatively compact and one of the quieter mid-drives I’ve tested
  • If you want even more ways to ride, a boost button can be added for $50 which offers two drive modes: a 6 mph starting speed (almost like walk mode, useful for helping you push the bike uphill) or full speed up to 20 mph acting as a traditional throttle, this will change the bike to to Class 2 rating


  • This is one of the more expensive fat electric bikes but it actually strikes a balance between the ~$2,000 crowd with weaker hub motors and the ~$6,000 premium offerings and you get a solid two year comprehensive warranty
  • I wish it came with a kickstand like the one attached to the demo bike, I couldn’t find that model online… I’d also love a suspension fork stock but see how the price would increase by $500+
  • The display panel and accompanying button pad can be a bit confusing at first, holding the power button icon for a few seconds when you’re in assist level 1 will take you down to zero (so you can use the display without the motor), it would be nicer if you could just arrow down to zero
  • The display unit is not removable so it could take more damage when the bike is parked outside or crammed into your trunk driving to a trailhead, thankfully the battery is
  • No bottle cage bosses on the seat tube here unfortunately but it’s pretty crammed there given the downtube-battery mount and most trail and mountain riders seem to use CamelBak packs for water these days
  • The battery pack must be activated before the display unit can be powered on, it’s a two step process that takes extra time and can create confusion when going straight for the display on/off
  • You get a lot of power with the high-torque motor but it’s not as responsive or dynamic (feels mostly like a cadence sensor in there) and the range is more limited than some of the other ebikes I’ve tested (estimate 15 to 30 miles per charge depending on the assist level you choose), there’s also no shift sensing so if you shift down while climbing at full power the chain, sprockets and derailleur will mash hard and could get damaged over time more easily

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