IZIP E3 Vibe Review

Currie Izip E3 Vibe Review 1
Izip E3 Vibe
Izip E3 Vibe 8fun Hub Motor
Izip E3 Vibe Lithium Phosphate Battery Pack
Izip E3 Vibe Riser Bar Throttle
Izip E3 Vibe Chain Guide Bash Guard
Izip E3 Vibe Pas Tag Switch
Izip E3 Vibe Shimano Acera Derailleur
Izip E3 Vibe Suspension Fork
Izip E3 Vibe Lowstep Wave
Currie Izip E3 Vibe Review 1
Izip E3 Vibe
Izip E3 Vibe 8fun Hub Motor
Izip E3 Vibe Lithium Phosphate Battery Pack
Izip E3 Vibe Riser Bar Throttle
Izip E3 Vibe Chain Guide Bash Guard
Izip E3 Vibe Pas Tag Switch
Izip E3 Vibe Shimano Acera Derailleur
Izip E3 Vibe Suspension Fork
Izip E3 Vibe Lowstep Wave

Summary

  • Upright seating with high-rise handlebars, wide sprung saddle and seat post shock for improved comfort
  • 250 watt brushless rear hub motor works well with pedal assist or throttle mode for speeds around 18 mph
  • Lithium Iron Phosphate battery upgrade options provide decreased weight, improved range and 3 year warranty, mid-level aluminum frame with built in fender and rack mounts

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

IZIP

Model:

E3 Vibe

Price:

$999 USD ($1,299 to $1,399 for Upgraded Lithium-ion Batteries)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

2 Year Motor, 1 Year Frame and Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2013

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

63 lbs (28.57 kg) (54 to 56 lbs with Optional Lithium-ion Packs)

Battery Weight:

18 lbs (8.16 kg) (Lithium-ion Packs Weigh 6 to 7 lbs)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)18.5 in (46.99 cm)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, High-Step (Curved or Diamond)

Frame Colors:

Black, Red, Green, Gray

Frame Fork Details:

Basic Suspension with 50 mm Travel

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Acera, 44T

Shifter Details:

SRAM Grip Twist on Left Bar

Pedals:

Plastic and Rubber Platform

Stem:

Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

High Rise

Brake Details:

Mechanical V-Brakes, Levers with Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Dual Density

Saddle:

Velo Cruiser Suspension Comfort

Seat Post:

Micro-Adjust with Suspension Shock

Spokes:

Stainless Steel

Tire Brand:

Currie Comfort 26" x 2.00"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Puncture Resistant

Tube Details:

Pre-Slimed, Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Chain Guide, Rear Carry Rack, Optional Second Battery for ~$400, Single Side Kickstand

Other:

Estimated 300 to 500 Full Charge Cycles for Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) and 900+ for Lithium-ion Batteries, Quick Release Front Wheel, Removable Battery for Charging, Maximum Weight 240 lbs

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

8Fun

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Torque:

30 Newton meters (10.2 Nominal)

Battery Brand:

Real Force

Battery Voltage:

24 volts (Optional 36 v)

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah (Optional 6.4 ah or 9.6 ah Lithium-ion)

Battery Watt Hours:

240 wh (Optional 153.6 or 230.4 Lithium-ion)

Battery Chemistry:

Sealed Lead Acid

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Display Type:

LED Console

Readouts:

Battery Level (Red, Yellow, Green)

Display Accessories:

Pedal Assist (PAS) Toggle Button

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle

Top Speed:

18 mph (29 kph)

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Written Review

The Currie IZIP E3 Vibe is one step above the eZip Trailz and along with the increased price point, offers a great selection of mechanical and structural upgrades. It’s available for just $999 with a Sealed Lead acid battery and 6 month warranty but the most common configuration sells for $1,399 and includes a medium sized Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack and 3 year warranty. The IZIP Vibe is built on a light weight aluminum alloy frame with relaxed geometry and takes advantage of a hub motor vs. chain drive that makes it quiet, more reliable and more durable as an entry level electric bike. Note that this ebike is no longer being produced (as of mid 2014) and may only be found as leftover inventory at independent ebike shops or used at garage sales. Keep this in mind as you may be able to get a better deal given that support and replacement parts will likely become increasingly difficult to come by.

While it might be tempting to pick up one of these bikes and feel like you’re getting a bargain it’s important to consider the trade-offs in performance. Even with the upgraded Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack, this ebike offers less power than most of the bikes I’ve reviewed here. The 250 watt motor is great for relaxed riding on flat terrain but will struggle going up larger hills. It’s a step ahead of the chain driven eZip Trailz because it’s more balanced (the motor is located in the center of the rear wheel vs. off to one side) and convenient to service (with just one chain on the rear hub it’s easier to swap tires or fix flats on this bike vs. the Trailz). Ultimately, you’re getting a value setup with the Vibe. The power is still noticeable vs. a non-electric bike and most European ebikes are actually limited to 250 watts so plenty of people are getting along just fine with bikes like this. The average cyclist puts out ~200 watts during steady rigorous pedaling so imaging doubling your own strength.

Overall this a sturdy bike but I have mixed feelings about the slide-on battery mounting system because it rattles a bit (consider checking and tightening the screws every once in a while) and can feel unbalanced if only one pack is attached. I love the option to extend the range of this ebike by purchasing a second battery pack and the switch at the rear end of the rack makes choosing one battery or the other very intuitive. You could either ride with two packs at once for maximum range or leave one at work and one at home to charge while you ride with the other. Whether you buy the Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) or Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery pack, it’s a good idea to charge after every ride and store the battery inside. Extreme heat or cold will negatively impact the chemistry of most batteries and letting them run completely out is also a bad idea. Being removable, these packs make the bike easier to deal with because you can park the frame outside and just bring the battery in. You can also lighten the bike by removing the battery when you have to transport it via car (the front wheel is also removable with a built-in quick release skewer). The battery packs each have built in handles which make them easy to carry and you can still find replacements online through Amazon.

The cockpit on this bike is relatively straight forward and the electronic components are all grouped together on the right bar with very minimal readouts so they don’t end up being too distracting. On the left bar you’ve got a grip shifter and on the right bar you have a variable speed twist throttle. Both bars have mechanical brake levers that are easy to reach and use. To activate the electronics on this bike you simply slide a battery pack into the rear rack, click the toggle switch towards that pack on the rear rack and then press the green button near the twist throttle. When you do this, an LED readout lights up with red, yellow and green indicators to communicate your charge level. This basic voltage meter isn’t super accurate and there’s no speedometer or assist level choices but it’s durable and keeps the bike affordable. To the left of the green on/off button is a PAS/TAG that lets you choose from Pedal Assist or Twist and Go “throttle only” mode.

While the IZIP E3 Vibe is definitely a more entry-level electric bicycle, it offers time-tested drive systems that can hold up well if cared for. Keep the battery charged, tighten the rear rack occasionally, avoid leaving the frame out in the rain and this thing should last quite a while. The comfort level is good thanks to the basic suspension shock, padded seat and seat post along with the riser handlebars. You can get either a high-step or step-thru frame (which is easier to mount but less stiff) and there are a couple of different colors to choose from depending on which model year you get. The chain ring has sturdy aluminum guides that will protect the front sprocket and also keep the chain from falling off when riding in throttle mode over rough terrain and the tires are thick, smooth and pre-Slimed to help you avoid flats. I would highly recommend considering the upgrade to a Lithium battery pack for an additional ~$200 because of the warranty and increased number of charge cycles and would urge you to test ride the bike and ask about a discount since it is no longer in production.

Pros:

  • Light weight aluminum frame in diamond (high step) or low step in two frame sizes
  • Easy slide on rear battery pack is expandable for two batteries, offering increased range
  • High rise handlebars offer comfort and safer visibility for riders
  • Lower price point but generous warranty on the Lithium versions means this bike will be there for you
  • Rear hub motor is quiet, balanced and more durable than chain drive, easier to service
  • metal chain guides keep the chain on and protect against rocks and curbs as a bash guard
  • batteries lock directly to the bike and have built in handles to make them easier to transport when charging off the bike

Cons:

  • Not as powerful as higher watt motor bicycles at just 250 watts
  • Lower voltage 24 volt Lead Acid battery pack isn’t as powerful for hills or large riders and weighs more
  • Rear rack is bolt on and may rattle more than welded styles, consider tightening it occasionally
  • Rear-heavy design with motor and battery towards the back, that said, the batteries are lower on the rack than many other ebikes

Resources:

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Comments (2) YouTube Comments

Ronald Boykin
5 years ago

I don’t understand why Currietech put a weak 250 hub motor on this bike that is less powerful than the chain motor on the ezip trails. I test rode this bike and was really disappointed in the power of this bike for more money! Currietech should have gave this bike a more powerful motor for the money!

  Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

You make a good point… It’s definitely going to be easier to service than the chain drive on the eZip Trailz (and quieter and more balanced) but it isn’t the most powerful thing out there :

  Reply

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