- All new for 2019, the IZIP E3 Simi is an affordable and lightweight cruiser with comfortable riding position and an SR Suntour rear hub motor, two frame styles and two color options, and an entry level price point
- Mechanical disc brakes, paint matched steel frame, integrated lights, rear rack, comfortable riding geometry, swept back handlebars, thick grips, comfort saddle with rubber bumpers, and thick Vee Rubber tires really shine in smooth and relaxed riding conditions
- The SR Suntour hub motor is light and efficient while offering 3 modes of assist, the display has a dimming feature, the battery can be charged on or off the bike, and everything is impressively lightweight at 52.3lbs
- No throttle and torque only pedal assist means you may have to press a little harder to get the pedals activated, a hinderance especially if you are stopped and facing a hill, there are a lot of entry level components which may not catch your eye if you're looking for high refinement, this does keep the cost down though at a very affordable $1,599
All new for 2019, the IZIP E3 Simi is an affordable and lightweight cruiser with comfortable riding position and an SR Suntour rear hub motor. The Simi, named after sunny Simi Valley in California, comes in either high-step or a step-through (which is really more of a mid-step given the frame design) and two colors; a salmon color with gray accents, or a black with blue-gray accents. The top tube has a great design which protects the battery and gives strength to the frame and reduces frame flex. The fork is steel as is the fenders which is nice because they will not rattle as much as aluminum. However, the paint-matched steel fenders could scratch a little easier. The rest of the bike uses aluminum alloy for the frame, seat post, and rear rack. The rear rack is rated at 55lbs and has loops for bungie cords as well as standard tubing for panniers. Mounted to the rack is a nice big rear reflector for visibility. Mounted on the fender below the rack is a battery intergraded Fuxon rear light. The front also gets a frame mounted Fuxon intergraded headlight; which is nice to see them on more electric bicycles, but truth be told, this setup is a little more basic and probably set up to keep cost down. There are a lot of comfort points on the bike, notably being the larger extra-volume Vee rubber tires (26” x 2.125”), larger comfort saddle with rubber bumpers underneath, swept back handlebars, fatter chopper style grips, and the quill stem which elevates up and down a bit and offers a 30 degree rise. The features, combined with the geometry shine best in smooth and relaxed riding conditions. The seat post is leaned back a bit which positions the saddle further back. By raising the seat post, you not only get more leg extension, but you get a laid back feel from the cruiser design. If you want even more comfort, you could swap out the 31.6mm seat post with a suspension seat post as well. For the drivetrain, IZIP opted for the entry level Shimano Tourney derailleur and a 12-28 tooth sprocket which is a bit more basic. At the pedals there is a 44 tooth chain ring with a plastic chain guide which will keep the chain steady if you happen to hit a bump or something. Stopping the Simi is some Tektro 180mm mechanical disc brakes with 2 finger Tektro levers on the bars. Mechanical brakes are great for adjustment and maintenance, however they do require a little bit more force on the levers for more sudden braking. Other features include front quick release, intergraded bell, bottle cage bosses, and an adjustable kickstand.
Driving the bike is a compact geared hub motor from SR Suntour that is “torque activated”. The official website says that it measures pedal torque and cadence at the bottom bracket, and I assume that rear wheel speed is also being measured. This is pretty fancy for an entry price point product, and offers a smooth natural feel. Many competing hub motor systems feel abrupt and cut in and out without that smoothness. Motor output is claimed from 250 to 400 watts with up to 60 newton meters of torque, and it was noticeable and helpful during my test climbs. It doesn’t produce a lot of noise, even in the highest level of assist. Overall, it’s a compact and lightweight piece of hardware that freewheels efficiently and won’t drain the battery super quick, like many of the higher powered hub motors out there. This is a benefit when you consider the lower capacity battery pack. Together, they both keep the price down and reduce weight.
Powering the bike is a 36 volt 11.6 amp hour lithium-ion battery pack from Joycube. At least, that’s what the sticker said. It’s part of the SR Suntour drive system, which is a more widely recognized name. Suntour makes drivetrains, suspension forks, motors, and perhaps the battery is a joint venture? In any case, the capacity is below average for the 2019 season, but should be enough to go at least 25 miles, even in the highest level of assist. This is because the IZIP E3 Simi is a Class 1 pedal assist product, that makes you engage and help out. It compliments your pedaling, actually measuring torque output and not just pedal motion. I’d consider it a more active ebike for this reason, one that doesn’t just take you along. I love how the battery pack looks, how it’s positioned low on the frame and actually set into the downtube a bit. This battery has a 5-bar LED charge level indicator built into the top (each bar represents a 20% step) and circular charging port on the right side. You can charge it on or off the bike, and the key is a fairly generic TKM with locking cylinder. I mention this, because some higher-specced IZIP and Raleigh products use ABUS locking cores that can be keyed-alike to some locks. The battery tips out to the side vs. mounting up and down, which allows the top tube to be closer on the mid-step frame. It has stickers that tie it into the paint job of the bike, and it weighs about 5.5lbs, which is fairly light. To really care for this and other lithium-ion packs, I have heard that storing in a cool dry location vs. extreme heat or cold will extend the life, and try to keep it about 50% full when not using for long periods so you won’t stress the cells. Try not to let it run down to zero, because that’s really hard on the cell chemistry.
Activating the bike is straightforward, once the battery has been charged and mounted to the downtube. Make sure the pack is clicked into place, then remove the key, and press the blue power button on the control pad. Red LED lights flicker on showing your current speed, assist level (default is standard), and battery charge level. The interesting thing is, the charge indicator on the battery pack has five bars while the control pad display only has three bars. That’s a lot less precise, and somewhat disappointing… but at least you can always stop and click the battery button if you want more detailed feedback. Most of the higher end ebikes now have 10 bars or a percentage indicator… or even a dynamic range estimator menu. With this value-priced electric bike, there’s more guessing involved when it comes to battery level. If you’re going for a long ride, I’d even consider bringing the 2-amp battery charger along for quick top-offs. The charger is kind of generic in terms of speed and weight, but it seemed durable and portable enough to fit into a backpack or rear rack trunk bag. If you do run out of juice, the 52lb cruiser bike could take some effort to pedal home. The motor freewheels efficiently, but the weight is undeniable if you’ve got hills or wind to contend with. Anyway, the display panel shows your speed in MPH and is not switchable to kilometers. There are three assist levels, and I did most of my review filming in the highest to produce as much noise as I could. Ultimately, the motor seemed fairly quiet and the control pad was very intuitive. It seemed durable, was easy to read, and even has this light button which dims the red LEDs a bit. That’s a welcome feature when riding at night because the bright red could be distracting. This IZIP model has integrated lights, so this light button also activates them as it dims the display.
Since the IZIP E3 Simi is a value priced bike, there are a lot of tradeoffs to consider. Some of the entry level components lack a certain fit and finish, such as the plastic pedals, plastic chrome painted tips on the ends of the handlebars, or the basic display readouts. The largest trade off is the the motor being pedal assist only and only having a torque sensor. Torque sensors are nice and give the bike a natural and smooth feel, but can take a bit of effort to get going which could hinder you starting at the bottom of a hill or other tricky situations. All things considered however, you do get quite a bit in return. Having a throttle-less bike keeps it as a Class 1 ebike, opening up the ability to ride on more trails. Additionally, having a torque-only based system makes for a more active and engaging ride, great for those who want to still want a small bit of fitness to go along with their speed. The bike also comes 95% assembled, is light weight, and is backed by a dealer service network and US toll free customer support. But the big win here is the price point. At $1599 its quite tempting considering you get an ebike with a comfortable riding position that both looks smooth and feels smooth.
As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the EBR forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)
- An affordable and lightweight cruiser with comfortable riding position and an SR Suntour rear hub motor, two frame styles and two color options, and an entry level price point
- The bike is comfortable not only from the riding position, but from bigger extra-volume Vee rubber tires (26” x 2.125”), larger comfort saddle with rubber bumpers underneath, swept back handlebars, fatter chopper style grips, and has a solid top tube that reduces frame flex
- Features paint-matched fenders, rear rack with bungie loops and pannier hangers, battery intergraded front and rear lights
- The drive train of the bike features a Shimano Tourney derailleur, a 12-28 tooth sprocket, and 180mm mechanical disc brakes which are easy to maintain and adjust
- The battery is removable, can be secured with lock and key, can be charged on or off the bike, and has an LED readout showing charge level in 5 separate 20% increments
- Since the bike is torque based pedal assist only and does not have a throttle, it is classified as a Class 1 e-bike and therefore grants more access to more trails and paths, the torque based pedal assist is smooth and natural and keeps the active feel of bicycle riding since the user is without a throttle or cadence sensor
- The SR Suntour hub motor is small and helps keep the bike lightweight overall at 52.3lbs, has 3 modes of pedal assist, and still manages a smooth feeling in relaxed riding conditions
- Display is a bit old-fashioned however the essentials are in-tact, it can show MPH, battery level (in 3 separate 33% intervals), and has an option to control the intergraded lights as well as dim the display itself, perfect for day or night riding
- Riding geometry is configurable, as you adjust the seat, it can not only give you more leg extension, but increase the laid-back feel as well, you can interchange the seat post for a suspension seat post if you wanted to add even more comfort
- Little style touches here and there really bring the bike together, for example, there are imprinted flames on the grips that match those in the tires, color accents on the bike follow through on the battery, and the paint matched fenders really give it a sleek and well thought out look
- The Simi has a lot of other thoughtful touches that include a front quick release, large rear reflector, intergraded bell, bottle cage bosses, and an adjustable kickstand
- A great competitive price point for those looking to get into a electric cruiser bike while maintaining affordability, priced at $1,599, perfect for someone who wants to try out an e-bike to see if it is right for them
- The bike comes 95% assembled, includes a dealer network for support, and has US toll free customer support
- Mechanical brakes mean you have to apply a little more force on the levers to get that powerful stop completed
- Also, not having a throttle or cadence based assist means you could be having to pedal a little harder to really get it going, something that could intimidate a less confident rider starting out on a hill
- For a comfortable bike, you see some rigidity in the seat post and front fork lacking suspension, however the larger tires do help soak up some of the bumps
- Entry level or more basic parts are used in few places, some riders will notice the plastic pedals, entry level derailleur, plastic chain guard, and limited display, but most of these were placed to keep cost savings in mind, making for an inexpensive electric cruiser
- Speaking of the display, it is a little odd that it shows battery life in only 3 steps using 33% intervals, where as the battery LED readout uses 5 step 20% intervals, this leaves a little more guesswork as to when the last tick might run out, most would prefer the more accurate readout on the riding display
- If you are looking into an ebike for therapy or rehabilitation, having only a torque based system could be difficult based on your needs as a patient since you may need to exert a little more force to get going and maintain, for those accustomed to conventional bicycles, it will feel fresh and speedy, but maintain a sense of fitness
- Official Site: https://www.izipelectric.com/
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