Motiv Shadow Review

Motiv Shadow Electric Bike Review 1
Motiv Shadow
Motiv Shadow 500 Watt Motor
Motiv Shadow Lcd Shifters Brakes
Motiv Shadow Removable Battery Pack
Motiv Shadow Front Chain Ring
Motiv Shadow Electric Bike Review 1
Motiv Shadow
Motiv Shadow 500 Watt Motor
Motiv Shadow Lcd Shifters Brakes
Motiv Shadow Removable Battery Pack
Motiv Shadow Front Chain Ring

Summary

  • Sporty design is fun to pedal but still forgiving thanks to the soft gel seat and neck shock with good travel
  • Battery pack location is low and stable, helps distribute weight across the frame and it's easily removable
  • Fun color highlight options, great pedals, neat deep-dish rims and lots of mounting points for fenders, rear rack and water bottle cage but only one size of frame and one color (matte black)

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Motiv

Model:

Shadow

Price:

$2,249.99 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Commuting, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Electronics and Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20132014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

48 lbs (21.77 kg)

Motor Weight:

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Hydroformed Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black

Frame Fork Details:

RST Neck Shock

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney TX

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right Handle Bar

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Handlebar:

Riser

Brake Details:

Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc Brakes with 180 mm Rotors and Electronic Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Rubber

Saddle:

Padded Comfort

Rims:

Deep Dish

Tire Brand:

700c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tube Details:

Pre-Slimed

Accessories:

Plastic Chain Guide, Dual Water Bottle Cage Mounts, Bell on Left Bar

Other:

Can Choose Cable Wrap and Seat Accent Color (Black, Red, Light Blue, White)

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts (Optional 36)

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah (Optional 15)

Battery Watt Hours:

480 wh (Optional 360 or 540)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

Backlit LCD (Swivels to Reduce Glare)

Readouts:

Speed, Battery Level, Distance, Assist Level 1-5

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left Bar

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Motiv Shadow is designed for pedaling and offers plenty of speed and efficiency with its narrower tires and 700c aero rims. However, it’s not exactly a road bike considering the softer seat, semi-upright seating position and rack and fender mounts. I’d call it a comfort urban commuter electric bike with great style. Like the rest of Motiv’s ebikes, this one comes with several color choices but unlike the others, you can’t pick the frame color – just the cable, grip and seat highlights. The frame comes in flat black and looks pretty sweet. It’s a bike that rides well, offers great versatility and delivers a range of battery options for more distance or power and the price is decent.

Driving the Shadow is a 500 watt geared rear hub motor that offers great torque but still manages to accommodate disc brakes and a seven speed cassette! This bike climbs especially well because it only offers pedal assist meaning you’ll have to help it along, at least a little bit. The motor runs smoothly and operates relatively quiet but doesn’t offer regenerative braking or anything fancy. Still, it’s powerful, light weight and effective.

The battery pack powering that motor is a Lithium-ion design that fits just behind the seat post tube, protected well by the seat stays. It’s completely removable which makes transporting the bike much easier by reducing weight and it also enables charging on or off the bike – perfect for commuting. You get the choice of spending a bit more to add range or power with optional battery pack upgrades and you can also buy an extra battery pack to extend range. The pack itself is fairly generic but the way it’s integrated makes sense. I don’t love that you have to leave the key in the pack when riding but at least it prevents tampering and secures the pack. This is true of many ebikes and at least the key is somewhat out of the way and won’t be kicked easily.

The LCD computer system is a highlight on the Shadow and it’s one I’ve seen in use on several other ebikes. First of all, the screen is massive and easily adjustable to prevent glare. It’s backlit for night riding (though the bike itself does not come with lights) and it displays your speed, distance, battery capacity and pedal assist level. There are five levels to choose from and a little up/down switch extends from the LCD mounting right next to the left grip for easy access when riding.

Some good thought went into this bike and I really like the little extras including solid metal Wellgo pedals, double water bottle mounts on the downtube and seat post tube, braze-on mounts for fenders or a rear rack and a wonderful little neck-shock that actually works! A few other ebikes try to integrate neck shocks with varying success but this is one of my favorites, it’s very soft and although it doesn’t provide much adjustment, it really smoothes out the ride. Still, I would love the inclusion of a throttle mode, integrated lights and more frame sizes. The existing model is about medium and feels more upright because the seat post tube is moved forward to accommodate the battery pack. It’s a design that works well and offers great value for a solid lineup of features. Motiv also offers good support and an excellent lifetime frame warranty and two year battery warranty.

I like that this bike is kind of normal in terms of locking it up, mounting it on busses or even carrying it on car racks. It feels solid and the trade offs in features and price were all made well. It would be great for commuting to work, riding around town for fun or even as a light-cargo transporter for grocery shopping or to replace your car. The stronger 500 watt geared motor is very capable and can support larger riders or pulling trailers and as a 5’9″ tall person it felt very good to ride.

Pros:

  • Seven speed cassette includes an enlarged “hill climbing” gear
  • Excellent LCD screen that’s adjustable and includes a break-out switch for adjusting pedal assist level which is easy to reach when riding
  • Chain guide keeps chain from falling off but there isn’t a chain guard for protecting pants from grease
  • Two water bottle mounting points on the downtube and seat post tube
  • Neck shock absorber works very well but doesn’t add bulk or weight to the bike
  • Deep dish rims look neat and offer a touch of aerodynamic quality
  • Strong 500 watt motor offers plenty of torque and is extremely powerful with the 48 volt 10 amp hour battery upgrade
  • Multiple battery choices for extending the rider or adding power
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes work very well and provide lots of stopping power
  • Option to add a throttle in addition to the pedal assist mode, mentioned by company founders in the EBR forums here

Cons:

  • Only offers pedal assist, no throttle mode
  • No integrated lights or fenders, though the mounting points are available
  • Only comes in flat black, though you get to choose highlight colors
  • Seven speeds is decent for city riding but barely enough for a pedal-assist only bike
  • In strong cross-winds the deep dish rims catch more air and make the bike less stable
  • Key has to be left in when riding the bike, jingles a bit but stays out of the way

Resources:

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Comments (4) YouTube Comments

Rob
5 years ago

How does the riding position compare to say a Interceptor 2? Is it as comfortable? I’m 6 feet, 210 lbs and am looking for a comfortable ride.

I am very impressed with the battery placement compared to the Interceptor 2, but am concerned about body posture on this frame and handlebar configuration.

Thank you!

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Rob, given your height and weight I’d lean towards the Interceptor II. It just has a larger frame with balloon tires that will add some cushion. The Motiv Shadow is more of a city bike designed for someone who will pedal along and be a bit shorter and lighter.

  Reply
Jan
5 years ago

I own a Motiv Shadow. I can say with utmost conviction, it is the worst bike I have ever purchased. I’ve bought 15 non-electric and 3 electric bikes. I have no car so bikes are my only means of transportation. My weekday commute Is over 20 miles and on the weekend, I recreationally ride over 100. I ride home at night through high crime areas, so I really need a reliable bike. I bought the Shadow new at the Laguna ebike shop. The first time I tried to ride it, the bike had an error code. I emailed Kevin at the shop where I bought it, but no response. I contacted Cameron at Motive and he responded right away and helped me troubleshoot the problem, disconnected wire. This was the beginning of the end. I got an error code on the bike about once a month, sometimes I would call Cameron, sometimes I would just look for disconnected wires. The read out would go on and off and the bike rode loose and bumpy. Before I even rode it, I had to have it tuned up, at my expense. Finally the battery wouldn’t charge. It looked like the wires in the battery were never corrected properly. I sent pics to Cameron, who accused me of dropping the bike. I sent pics again, showing the bike and the battery didn’t have a scratch. Finally I had to send the battery back, at my expense, and now I’m waiting. I highly recommend buying a reputable brand from a reputable dealer. These bike are in their infancy and when things go wrong, it’s comforting to know shops will do the right thing, at the very least respond to emails. Cameron should have given me a new bike after the first two error codes. I did receive great service from Log Island ebike and I love my e-Joe bike I bought from them.

  Reply
Court
5 years ago

Hi Jan, wow… that’s really negative experience and I feel bad for you, especially given the higher rating I posted for this bike. I wonder if the dealer failed to assemble your Shadow correctly initially or if the bike just couldn’t handle the miles you were putting on it. I could tell this was a lower level build when I test rode it but appreciated how responsive the Motiv team was. They are indeed a newer brand and this was the first model year for the Shadow. I’m glad you enjoy the e-Joe because I view them as more entry/mid level as well but agree that Long Island Electric Bikes is a great shop with excellent service. I hope things go better for you in the future and welcome your comments any time. Thanks.

  Reply

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