- A sturdy high-step commuter style electric bike offering up to 28 mph pedal assist and 20 mph throttle on demand, uses the same 500 watt motor and 48 volt battery as Magnum's Peak mountain bike
- Mid-level eight speed drivetrain with Shimano Acera derailleur, metal guard protects the derailleur and motor cable in the back and an alloy chainring protector keeps your pants clean along with sturdy alloy fenders
- An integrated headlight and stand-alone rear light keep you visible but have to be activated independently, large reflective tires from Schwalbe are e-bike specific, providing increased air volume for comfort and a puncture protection layer
- Tool-free adjustable angle stem, ergonomic grips, basic spring suspension fork and suspension seat post make the ride more comfortable, large hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable levers are powerful and easy to use which is important given the heavier 59 lb curb weight
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The Magnum Metro Plus electric bike is a high powered city commuter, complete with aluminum alloy fenders, LED lights, and a compact rear rack. If you have been the full range of Magnum products, it’s essentially a souped up high-step version of the Magnum Ui5 and comes with 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes vs. mechanical, a 500 watt nominal motor vs. 350 watt, a 48 volt battery vs. 36 volt and a nicer drivetrain (gears, derailleur, and shifter). For a price that’s $300 more here, you get a boost in power and performance but overall range might end up being similar because the zippy motor draws more energy, and it’s also a heavier bike by ~7.5 lbs at ~59 lbs total. If you need the power for climbing, hauling extra weight, or just like the feel of going fast (this is a Class 3 speed pedelec, capable of ~28 mph assisted speeds after all) then this would be the best choice. In some ways, $300 doesn’t seem like that much money to spend beyond the Ui5, but it is almost 18% more (compare the Ui5 priced at $1,699 vs. the Metro Step-Thru and Metro+ models priced at $1,999). It’s fun to compare these e-bikes side by side, but now I’m going to focus in on what the Metro+ offers and how it runs. This is a versatile product that could be used for neighborhood riding, grocery getting, or city commuting. The high-step frame is large and sturdy, only available in one size, but has a sloping top tube to slightly lower stand-over height. Much of the added weight is positioned low and center on the frame vs. towards the back like other electric bikes with rack mounted battery packs. the cargo rack here is completely open for a trunk bag or panniers and even comes with a triple-bungee strap! One consideration however, is that the rack is closer to the seat post and might position a trunk bag directly below the saddle verses further back and out of the way. You get Aluminum fenders that don’t rattle a whole lot and the rubber mud flaps at the ends provide more coverage without getting bent or scratched as easily. It’s feature rich, but not all of the features and accessories are perfect. The rear light, for example, is not wired in to the battery pack. Both lights must be activated by hand vs. using the display panel and it’s easy to forget to turn them off (you literally have to turn them off, even the front one). However, because they appear to be basic single-LED lights without super bright beams, they probably won’t draw as much power and this gripe doesn’t amount to much more than inconvenience. Another gripe is the kickstand position, which is directly below the bottom bracket where it can collide with the left crank arm if you back the bike up without stowing it first. It’s something that bugs me on a lot of ebikes but again, isn’t much more than an annoyance… and at least this stand offers some adjustability in length. I like the comfort upgrades including a fairly basic suspension fork and seat post suspension, the Selle Royal gel saddle feels nice. The matching ergonomic grips, while hard, are thicker and nicer to hold than some skinny rubber ones if you have larger hands (which I’m assuming because this is the larger of the two Metro models). Saddle height is adjustable and the mid-rise handlebar can be positioned up or out to suit your reach and body position preference (relaxed or aggressive). If you’re on the fence about having to lift your leg way up and over this high-step model or are more average height, the Metro step-thru uses smaller 26″ wheels vs. 28″ here which further lowers the frame but raises the attack angle and might not be as efficient when rolling (though it does weigh about one pound less). In most ways, the two models are very similar and I believe that both come in either black or white and look gorgeous. The black paint hides the motor, battery box, and black wires better but won’t be as visible at night. For me, this product is priced at the point point where you could opt to spend another $500 and get a mid-drive, but many of them do not have trigger throttles or high-speed 28 mph operation. Magnum has done an excellent job outfitting, styling, and pricing this bike in my opinion and they have a growing network of dealers around the US, Israel, New Zealand, and Canada. I appreciate the dealer relationship a lot because it means the bike will be setup and tuned properly, serviced (under the 1 year Magnum warranty), and you can grab some accessories with the money you might save… but for those who live in remote places or simply prefer delivery, they do sell through their official site.
Driving the Metro Plus is a 500 watt nominal, 750 watt peak, internally geared hub motor from Das-Kit. This is a semi-new brand to me verses the 8Fun motor on the Ui5. It’s the same company that makes the display panel, which works very well here, and in practice I felt the motor performed well too. It produces a familiar electronic whir at high levels of power but the control unit on the bike puts out up to 18 amps using a pure sine wave vs. square signal which means it’s smoother and zippier. This is what I was told at least, along with a peak torque rating of 90 Newton meters which feels misleading compared to most other hub motors that are rated around 40 Nm. It did climb well for me and I was able to start easily from standstill in grass, but I only weigh ~135 lbs. You can definitely stall the hub motor out if you completely stop the bike and try to start on a medium steep incline. Hub motors are at their best when they have a bit of momentum going because they can’t leverage and benefit from your cassette the way mid-motors can… however, they don’t complicate the drivetrain and cause wear the way that many mid-drives do. In practice, I enjoyed the smooth acceleration and general feeling of power and control that this electric bike offered. The trigger throttle (placed on the left side of the handlebar due to a more basic shifter with a window on the right) was useful for accelerating after a stop sign or traffic signal. It all worked as expected but was definitely smoother and more refined than some of the cheaper products out there. I love that the throttle can be pressed very gently for slower speeds too, and that it overrides assist and is basically always active. On that note, be careful when mounting and dismounting the bike, always turn it off so you don’t bump the throttle accidentally. When not using the variable speed throttle, you rely on a high definition cadence sensor that listens for crank arm movement and sends an on/off signal with the allotted power that you choose. There are six levels of assist with a zero level if you don’t want any pedal response, and again, all levels can be overridden with full power by the throttle. It’s my ideal setup as a more advanced rider. For me, it’s nice to have a throttle to get going and then a cadence sensor (or advanced multi-sensor) to stay going vs. torque only because I don’t enjoy pushing hard all of the time. Cadence sensors are more like on/off switches and they send as much or as little power as you select vs. listening to how you are actually pedaling. Before moving on… one thing worth noting is that the rear axle is connected to the bike with nuts vs. the front which uses a quick release skewer. This is because the power cable running to the hub motor goes in through the axle and there’s more force at the rear so the axle is thicker (ll mm vs. 9 mm up front). If for some reason you end up with a flat rear tire, there’s more effort required to get the wheel off and change the tube. Thankfully, the tires on this bike have puncture protection lining, just make sure you keep them inflated between the recommended 50 to 85 PSI so you don’t get a “snake bite” on the inner tube from the rim bitting into the rubber when going over bumps and curbs.
Charging the bike is fairly easy, you can fill the battery pack on or off the frame, and it locks onto the downtube with a secure key. I like that the locking core springs automatically to “locked” so you don’t have to guess and will always know it’s protected. Magnum seems to use a similar charger for all of their electric bikes and it puts out 2 Amps which is average… and maybe a little slow considering the capacity of this battery. The pack weighs 9.2 lbs (4.17 kg) all on it’s own and I would highly recommend taking it off of the bike before you try to lift or transport it. Expect upwards of six hours for a full charge if you empty the pack, the first half will fill much faster than the second because the cells will need to balance out. The battery is well protected when mounted to the frame but the charging port is a bit exposed to letting the charger cable snag on the left crank arm. Try to avoid this because if the charger gets tripped over or the crank arm bends the plug port it could damage the battery pack. Towards the top right section of the battery is a 5 Volt USB port which you can use to fill portable electronic devices while riding. It’s positioned mostly out of the way but I would still consider a right angle adapter from Amazon like this if you plan to use it frequently, and then maybe zip tie your wires to stay out of the way while leaving enough slack at the stem for turning (so it doesn’t pull the cable out). That controller, by the way, is exposed at the base of the downtube and I was told that it puts out more Amps and might overheat if contained inside the tubing like most other electric bikes. I think it looks okay, but is slight more exposed to water and bumps. I haven’t heard any complaints from customers in the forums and believe that for a city bike, it’s probably a non-issue (most ebikes do fine in rain and wet conditions as long as you aren’t submerging them and this bike probably isn’t going to encounter the rough conditions of mountain bike trails).
Once the battery has been filled and you’re ready for some electric riding, just hold the power button on the little control pad near the left grip. It activates the display and you get several readouts including assist level, current speed, and battery capacity. Pressing power one time will activate backlighting on the LCD display and holding the down arrow constantly will activate walk mode (which can be handy if you need to to ascend a ramp, make your way through a walk-only space, or even climb stairs). The display can show different menus if you press the set button, and depending on your preferences for speed or the geography you live in, Magnum dealers can lower the top speed to 20 mph or less by using a password. I like the size and position of the display, you can even angle it forward and back to reduce reflection glare, but it is not removable. For those who plan on commuting, it might be worth strapping your helmet over the display to keep people from noticing or scratching it, and also protecting it from the sun, while parked at racks. And now back to the gripes about the lights not being activated by the display. Every time you want to use them, you basically have to get off of the bike and press a rubber button to get them on. This isn’t super fun, the headlight can be bumped out of position easily, may bounce up and down as you ride because it’s mounted to the arch vs. suspended above the fork, and the backlight has to have its triple-A batteries replaced every once in a while as they will eventually run down vs. being rechargeable like the main battery. Overall, I would still call this display panel and accompanying button pad above average, I love that it can be angled to reduce glare and feel that it looks beautiful and is well sealed against water… but to clean the bike it is recommended to use a damp cloth vs. spraying it. Don’t ever submerge the bike components or spray them hard. Also, consider storing the battery pack away from extreme heat and cold to protect the cells.
In my view Magnum offers a lot of value with this product and the price is very reasonable for the hardware and service on offer, you get a slap guard to protect the nice paint from the chain, a larger tapered head tube for strength (and they tend to allow for nicer forks to be swapped in if you ever wanted to upgrade), and those hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable reach levers are very nice. That’s a big deal for hand fatigue and for stopping a heavier, faster electric bike. Even though the suspension fork doesn’t lock out, there is some preload adjust if you take the plastic caps off and click both of the adjusters evenly. I picture heavier riders on this bike and would love a lockout to prevent dive when stopping and bob when pedaling, so the suspension fork wold be nicer if it had lockout. I love the Wellgo platform pedals used here because they are larger and sturdier feeling than many cage style pedals and plastic pedals, but I do wish that in addition to the chainring protector, there was a second plate on the inside of the chainring to create a guide which would reduce chain drops. I did not have an issue with chain drops on this review but the chain was off before I hopped on the bike and I’m not sure why, maybe it bounced off during transport? I have dropped chains before, especially on bumpy terrain and when riding faster. It can be annoying and dirty to correct, but it’s just part of the cycling experience sometimes. At least the Alloy chainring protector that you do get, will keep your pant or dress clear of the greasy chain. It’s nice to have help setting the bike up and then tuning it as the shifter cables stretch over time, and this is where the dealer network comes in. The 8-Speed Shimano Acera drivetrain is solid (several steps up from entry level) and I appreciate the more refined trigger shifters here vs. a large oversized thumb shifter on the Ui5 and other cheaper products. For commuting purposes, I would get a trunk bag and maybe some panniers to carry my work supplies, note that both wheels are spoked with thicker 13 gauge spokes and have 36 holes vs. 32 on the rims for added strength. Another interesting feature is that if you press the plus or minus buttons on the display continuously, they cycle all the way around, so you can go from zero to six in just one click. It was neat to see a couple of different models back to back for this review, especially since they share similar drive systems. I’d like to thank Magnum for partnering with me on this post and hanging out for the shoot. Cory helped explain how the suspension could be adjusted, which was new to me. As always, I welcome your feedback and comments, you can also connect directly with other owners and potential customers in the Magnum electric bike forums here.
- The hub motor used on the Metro+ is the same one that Magnum chose for its Peak electric mountain bikes! It offers a lot of torque and zip for climbing that makes this urban ebike feel more powerful than many others in the space
- Great overall aesthetic, the black frame blends perfectly with the black motor, battery box, fork, stem, handlebar, cranks, pedals etc. and allows the cables and wires to disappear a bit, I like the matching faux leather grips and saddle too
- Comfort is an important consideration when riding electric bikes because they tend to take you further and keep you at higher overall speeds, so I love that the Metro+ has a suspension fork, suspension seat post, tool-free adjustable angle stem, gel saddle, and ergonomic grips!
- The drivetrain on this electric bike is well protected, notice the aluminum alloy bash guard on the chainring (which will help keep your pants clean and snag-free) and the derailleur guard at the back (which protects the derailleur and motor power cable), I feel that a full chain guide would have prevented chain drops… but overall this is pretty good
- Safety is a very important issue to me, especially on a black bicycle that is designed for urban use, so I love that you get a headlight and back light as well as reflective tires and a bell with the Metro+
- The battery pack and front wheel are easy to take off, which could help reduce weight for transport and make maintenance easier, unfortunately the display panel is not removable and could take more weather wear and scratching at the bike rack
- Long aluminum alloy fenders with mud flaps will keep you relatively dry and clean, I appreciate the larger alloy pedals here which will reduce slipping and allow for better contact and power transfer
- Two drive modes to work with here, you can pedal along with cadence sensing pedal assist that doesn’t require force to activate or take a rest and use the trigger throttle which overrides any level of assist for instant power, it’s a good setup for people who need help starting or want to focus on balance and ride around more like a scooter
- This frame is bit taller, longer, and stiffer than the regular Magnum Metro which offers a step-thru geometry, it’s nice that the high-step Metro+ still offers an angled top tube to reduce stand-over height, the high-step diamond design is going to be more rigid (reducing frame flex with a fully loaded rack)
- Wider range of gears with an 8-speed cassette and upgraded Shimano Acera derailleur, it’s going to provide more comfortable pedaling options than a 7-speed and hold up better between tuneups
- I feel that the pricepoint on this electric bicycle is very good considering the powerful motor, high capacity 48 volt battery and large 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes with adjustable-reach levers and motor inhibitors
- The cadence sensor on this e-bike is very compact and well protected, it seems more sealed than the older discs with visible magnetic dots and might hold up better in dusty, wet, or muddy conditions
- This bike can be setup as a Class 3 speed pedelec with maximum assisted speeds of close to 28 miles per hour! That’s a nice option for people who commute and want to save time, the throttle always tops out around 20 mph and I believe that pedal assist can also be lowered to 20 mph if you want
- The 700c (28-inch) wheel size is more efficient, provides rolling momentum and a lower attack angle, and allows for increased air volume, the Schwalbe Marathon tires are e-bike specific and provide better puncture protection than generic tires
- The battery has a standard USB Type A port near the top right corner which can power your phone or other portable electronics on or off the bike, if you use this while riding, be careful with any wires that are plugged in so they don’t get caught and bent, consider a right angle USB adapter like this
- The kickstand they chose works well enough, and offers adjustable length, but is positioned at the bottom bracket vs. further back on the left chain stay, this can result in the left crank arm colliding if you back the bike up and just annoying, a rear mounted kickstand would have also offered more support for a loaded rack
- This isn’t a huge complaint, but I noticed the motor controller isn’t built into the frame or battery as seamlessly here as it is on most other electric bikes, Magnum told me that this helps it stay cool and the metal casing did seem tough, at least it’s protected by the front fender and you get a pure sine wave conversion for smoother and quieter motor operation
- I love that the bike comes with lights, but only the headlight is integrated (running off of the rechargeable bike battery), the rear light requires two AAA batteries and is easier to forget – which could leave you dark from behind or wear the battery down if you forget to turn it off, the headlight is also positioned on the bridge of the suspension fork which travels up and down and could cause it to bounce around and create a less consistent beam in some situations
- I mostly like the rear rack design, which has pannier blockers, uses standard gauge tubing that will work with most clip-on bags, and comes with the triple-bungee strap, but it does sit nearly directly below the saddle which could get in the way of a trunk bag… some alternative racks are positioned further back to make space for the saddle
- It appears that there was not enough room to squeeze in bottle cage bosses on this electric bike, that means you will need to wear a hydration pack, get a cup holder handlebar mount, or use a trunk bag with a bottle holster
- Minor gripe, the rubber cap that covers the charge port on the lower left side of the battery pack can sometimes be difficult to seat, this port is also very close to the left crank arm and your wire or the connector could get snagged and bent if you are charging the battery when mounted to the bike and accidentally bump the pedals… it’s sort of like the kickstand issue, it’s just a little bit more vulnerable here