Nireeka Homie Review

Nireeka Homie Electric Bike Review
Nireeka Homie Ebike
Nireeka Homie Magnesium Air Suspension Fork 120mm Travel
Nireeka Homie Bafang 500 Watt Rear Hub Motor
Nireeka Homie Shimano Deore Long Cage Derailleur 11 To 38 Tooth Cassette
Nireeka Homie Deckas 38 Tooth Narrow Wide Steel Chainring Dream Racework Cranks
Nireeka Homie Cockpit View Straight Carbon Fiber Handlebar
Nireeka Homie Bafang Sw900 Greyscale Lcd Display
Nireeka Homie Thumb Throttle And Control Pad On Left Grip
Nireeka Homie Shimano Two Finger Brake Levers Deore Trigger Shifters
Nireeka Homie Removable Indepenently Powered Headlight
Nireeka Homie Pearlized Black Frame Mounted Bottle Cage
Nireeka Homie X Fusion 02 Pro R Rear Frame Suspension
Nireeka Homie Adhesive Mounted Plastic Bump Stop
Nireeka Homie Carbon Fiber Seatpost Comfort Saddle Side View
Nireeka Homie Comfort Saddle Top View
Nireeka Homie Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand
Nireeka Homie Shimano Hydraulic Disc Front Brake 203mm Rotor
Nireeka Homie 36v 10.4ah Downtube Integrated Battery Pack
Nireeka Homie Battery Pack Label Closeup
Nireeka Homie 1.3lb 4amp Quick Charger
Nireeka Homie Stock High Step Black
Nireeka Homie Electric Bike Review
Nireeka Homie Ebike
Nireeka Homie Magnesium Air Suspension Fork 120mm Travel
Nireeka Homie Bafang 500 Watt Rear Hub Motor
Nireeka Homie Shimano Deore Long Cage Derailleur 11 To 38 Tooth Cassette
Nireeka Homie Deckas 38 Tooth Narrow Wide Steel Chainring Dream Racework Cranks
Nireeka Homie Cockpit View Straight Carbon Fiber Handlebar
Nireeka Homie Bafang Sw900 Greyscale Lcd Display
Nireeka Homie Thumb Throttle And Control Pad On Left Grip
Nireeka Homie Shimano Two Finger Brake Levers Deore Trigger Shifters
Nireeka Homie Removable Indepenently Powered Headlight
Nireeka Homie Pearlized Black Frame Mounted Bottle Cage
Nireeka Homie X Fusion 02 Pro R Rear Frame Suspension
Nireeka Homie Adhesive Mounted Plastic Bump Stop
Nireeka Homie Carbon Fiber Seatpost Comfort Saddle Side View
Nireeka Homie Comfort Saddle Top View
Nireeka Homie Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand
Nireeka Homie Shimano Hydraulic Disc Front Brake 203mm Rotor
Nireeka Homie 36v 10.4ah Downtube Integrated Battery Pack
Nireeka Homie Battery Pack Label Closeup
Nireeka Homie 1.3lb 4amp Quick Charger
Nireeka Homie Stock High Step Black

Summary

  • The Nireeka Homie is an affordably priced full suspension eMTB with an eye-catching custom frame design, carbon fiber frame and components keep weight remarkably low for an ebike, available in three sizes to fit a wide range of riders, available online-only with shipping to most countries around the globe
  • An impressive selection of upgrade and accessory options for virtually all components, high-quality Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and drivetrain, Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires are satisfyingly grippy and nimble
  • Can be outfitted for mountain bike trails or with more commuting-friendly options such as a comfort saddle and adjustable stem, low Q Factor improves cornering performance and ergonomics, lifetime frame warranty coverage
  • Motor power and throttle upgrades can be nice around town but limit access to MTB trails, no mounting points for fenders or racks limit commuting viability, some assembly required after delivery which can be daunting without proper tools and expertise

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Nireeka

Model:

Homie

Price:

$1,999 ($2,847 As Reviewed)

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Mountain

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

One Year Motor and Battery, One Year Rear Suspension, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Europe

Model Year:

2021

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

47.1 lbs (21.36 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.5 lbs (2.49 kg)

Motor Weight:

6.3 lbs (2.85 kg)

Frame Material:

Carbon Fiber Monocoque

Frame Sizes:

17 in (43.18 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)21 in (53.34 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Large 21in: 22" Virtual Seat Tube, 25" Reach, 29.5" Stand Over Height, 38" Minimum Saddle Height, 42.5" Maximum Saddle Height, 27.25" Width, 72" Length, 45.5" Wheelbase

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Standard Colors: Red, Pearl, Orange, Black, Pearlized Colors ($199): Red, Silver, Black, Custom Color Option ($399)

Frame Fork Details:

X-Fusion Magnesium Air Suspension, 120mm Travel, Compression Adjust, Rebound Adjust, 30mm Gold Anodized Stanchions, 100mm Hub Spacing, 10mm Thru-Axle with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

X-Fusion O2 Pro R Air Suspension, 90mm Travel, Rebound Adjust, 27mm Black Anodized Stanchion, 140mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Keyed Thru-Axle with 15mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x9 Shimano Deore Long Cage Derailleur with Clutch, Shimano 11-36 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano SL-M6000-1 Deore Triggers on Right (Two-Way High Lever, Three-Shift Low Lever)

Cranks:

Racework Dream, Forged Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, Deckas DCW-041 38 Tooth Narrow-Wide Chainring, 104 Bolt Clamp Diameter

Pedals:

Forged Alloy with Pins, Reflectors

Headset:

Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"

Stem:

Wake Branded, Aluminum Alloy, 50mm Length, 30° Rise, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter, One 10mm Carbon Fiber Spacer, One 5mm Tapered Base Spacer

Handlebar:

Carbon Fiber, No-Rise, 690mm Length, 5° Bend, 31.8mm Bore

Brake Details:

Shimano Hydraulic Disc with 203mm Ice Technology BREEZE Rotors, Dual Piston Calipers with Shimano SM-MA-F203P/P Disc Brake Adaptor, Shimano Deore Two-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Rubber, Locking, Black

Saddle:

Nireeka Comfort

Seat Post:

Carbon Fiber

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Mavic XM 319, Aluminum Alloy, Double Walled, ETRTO 559x19c, 28c Inner Width, 32 Hole Front, 36 Hole Rear

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14 Gauge Front, 13 Gauge Rear, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Rocket Ron, 27.5" x 2.1" (54-584)

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

30 to 55 PSI, 2.1 to 3.8 BAR, EVO Evolution, TLE Snakeskin, Addix Speed Compound

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Optional Smart Taillight ($20), Optional Kickstand ($15), Optional Adjustable Stem ($33), Optional 203mm Brake Rotors ($199), Optional Nireeka Comfort Saddle ($35), Optional Carbon Fiber Package ($213, Includes Handlebar, Seatpost, and Stem Spacer), Optional Shimano Deore ($99) or Deore XT ($299) Groupset, Optional Magnesium Air Suspension Fork ($149), Optional Torque Sensor ($99), Optional Throttle ($19), Optional Color Display ($89), Optional 48v 14ah Battery ($199), Optional Quick Charger ($69), Optional 500w Motor ($99)

Other:

Locking Removable Donwtube-Integrated Battery Pack, 1.3lb 4 Amp Nireeka Quick Charger, , IP65 Durability Rated (All Components), Plastic Bump Stop Protector on Downtube

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

48 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Nireeka, LG 31650 Cells

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah (One 16.7Ah, One 13.4Ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

374.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

Bafang DP C01, Adjustable Angle, Monochrome LCD Display, Buttons: Up, Power, Down (Walk Assist: Hold Down, Reset Trip: Hold Up & Down)

Readouts:

Odometer, Current Speed, Pedal Assist Mode (0-9), Battery Level (5 Bars), Trip Set, Wattage,

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left, Buttons: Power, +, -, Thumb Throttle On Left

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle Optional Torque Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

24 mph (39 kph)


Written Review

This in-depth review was sponsored by Nireeka, they provided me with this bike to keep in exchange for producing this in-depth review. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Nireeka products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Nireeka electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • Nireeka has launched and shipped multiple crowd-funded products. Committing to crowd-funding campaigns before production can be a risky affair, so I appreciate that Nireeka has proven success in this area.
  • Nireeka offers three other electric bikes: the NYX and Sierra are more premium full-suspension eMTBs, and the Prime is a monster fat tire ebike, with all models sharing the same unique carbon fiber frame design as found on the Homie. The Homie is billed as a “Mountain Commuter e-Bike”, with some configuration options (such as a comfort saddle and adjustable stem) that make it a bit more comfortable for running errands around town. I think it is a good fit for a rider who likes to do some trail riding and also some getting around town, or perhaps for a mountain biker who lives some distance away from the trails and lacks a car to get to them.
  • The review bike I received had a more powerful 500-watt motor and a throttle, but the Homie is available in a 250-watt Class 1 version, which is legal in most of Europe and allowed on most mountain bike trails.
  • The base price of the Homie is $1,999 USD. The model used for this review had a handful of upgrades added, as shown this would cost $2,843 USD. I think the base model of the Homie offers a lot of value, so you probably wouldn’t need to upgrade anything except to suit specific use cases, check out the video review for more discussion on this topic!

Pros:

  • Nireeka offers an astounding amount of customizations for the Homie, everything from lights and colors to upgraded drivetrain groupsets. They have done a great job presenting these options on their website, the ordering process is intuitive and visually pleasing, and their customer support dashboard is also polished and easy to use. You can even pay for your purchases using Bitcoin!
  • The Homie is covered by a one year comprehensive warranty plus a lifetime warranty for the frame, which is fairly rare on direct-to-consumer ebikes, especially ones with such unique custom frame designs
  • Speaking of the frame… I really like the look of Nireeka bike frames, they’re sleek and stylish with tasteful branding accents, the Pearlized Black color of my review bike is eye-catching and garnered plenty of compliments while riding it around town.
  • This frame doesn’t just look nice, it’s made from carbon fiber and much lighter than steel or even aluminum alloy. My review bike includes carbon fiber stem, seatpost, and stem, these upgrades cost extra but help drive the weight down even further. I weighed the Homie at 47.1 pounds – keep in mind this is a large size frame with all the accessories mounted, including the lights and kickstand.
  • The 10-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain is one of my favorite parts of this bike, this is an upgrade from the base Acera groupset available when ordering. The cassette has a wide gearing range of 11-38 capable of efficient climbing and high speed, the long-cage derailleur (with clutch) shifts flawlessly, and the Deckas chainring has narrow-wide teeth which helps it to better grip the chain and prevent derailling. Riding the Homie without motor assistance is a breeze, great for single track trails or just for getting home if you run out of battery.
  • Shimano hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, my review bike was upgraded with 203mm rotors which performed beautifully. Hydraulic brakes offer easier actuation, more stopping power, and require less maintenance compared to mechanical brakes, definitely a win on an eMTB that will see some downhill action.
  • Rocket Ron tires from Schwalbe are grippy and ride well on virtually any surface, with included puncture protection and TLE Snakeskin (the TLE stands for “Tubeless Easy”). These are standard sized mountain bike tires at 27.5″ x 2.1″ – no boost hub spacing here – which helps the bike to feel nimble and easy to maneuver.
  • The Bafang DP C01 display is greyscale and incredibly easy to read in any lighting condition, from direct sunlight to complete darkness thanks to the bright backlight
  • The 500-watt Bafang rear hub motor provides decent power and is especially useful for getting around town, hub motors are known for being durable and generally worry free, a nice advantage over mid-drive motors which put a lot of stress on the drivetrain
  • The battery is smoothly integrated into the bottom of the downtube, this helps the Homie to look a bit more “stealth” (read: not like an ebike) and blend in better on trails where eMTBs are allowed but perhaps not fully appreciated. I also like that Nireeka is using high quality LG 31650 cells on all of their bikes!
  • The upgraded fast charger is still quite lightweight at 1.3 pounds, rated for 4amps which charges quite a bit faster than the standard 2amp charger, it also includes a built-in fan to prevent overheating when charging.
  • The Q Factor is one of the lowest on ebikes that I have ridden, this improves cornering clearance and provides more comfortable ergonomics.
  • Bottle cage bosses are included on the top of the “top tube” part of the frame, a bottle cage is included but you could swap that out to mount other accessories if you wish. Just keep in mind that the frame has a unique non-circular shape, so this could limit what accessories will fit!
  • Nireeka offers lights as an optional upgrade, and I really like these particular lights. Both are easily removable and USB-rechargable so you don’t have to deal with swapping out batteries, and both are quite bright! The taillight is a “smart taillight” which is supposed to detect changes in momentum and flash brighter when slowing down, a pretty nifty feature… but since I couldn’t see it while riding I can’t say just how well it works.
  • The cadence sensor is well-tuned and kicks in very quickly, taking less than a full revolution of the crank arms before it engages the motor. Cadence sensors are great if you have knee sensitivities and don’t want to put a lot of pressure on them, all you have to do here is cycle the cranks around lightly to get some motor assistance. The sensor is integrated into the bottom bracket and far less vulnerable than the unsealed sensors used on some other ebikes.

Cons:

  • As with any direct-to-consumer ebike: “some assembly required.” For the Homie this means mounting the handlebar, tightening down the headset, mounting the display and control pad, and mounting the front wheel. No toolkit was included, but all you really need is a phillips screwdriver and a few allen wrenches which many folks will already have. Derailleurs and brakes often need tuning but mine were perfectly lined up out of the box – a nice bonus! Thanks to the light weight of the Homie it is definitely easier to set up than most ebikes, but it can still be difficult and intimidating, especially if you don’t have the tools or the know-how to do it. You may want to check with a local ebike shop to see if they can set it up and fit it for you, this can be good for peace of mind to make sure all bolts are properly tightened.
  • The seatpost is quick-release adjustable but that does require dismounting, due to the unique frame you may not be able to add a dropper seatpost as an upgrade. I appreciate the weight-saving carbon fiber seatpost but it does scratch extremely easily, it got all scuffed up after only a few adjustments on my review bike. Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be any maximum height markings on the seatpost, so be careful not to raise it too high, and ask Nireeka support if you want a recommendation based on your riding weight.
  • When turning fully to the side the top of the suspension fork collides with the frame, this limits turning radius and could damage either the fork or the frame if the collision is forceful enough. Nireeka has added a plastic and foam bump stop to the front of the frame to help dampen these impacts, it got the job done for all of my test riding… but I didn’t have any jarring impacts so I can’t say how well it will hold up to more intense wear and tear.
  • The motor cable exits the frame at the bottom of the bottom bracket, this cable gets pulled on when the rear suspension compresses. As long as you have a little slack in this cable everything will be fine, but if the cable is a bit tight it can get pulled loose and cause errors on the display. This happened to me on my first ride, fortunately it is an easy fix to reconnect the cable and pull out a little extra slack. I also noticed that the edges of the frame (where the cable exits) are a bit sharp and will cut into the motor cable, I recommend adding some electrical tape for extra protection, or filing down the edges of the frame opening.
  • The suspension is basic when it comes to adjustability, you can adjust the rebound and the pressure and that’s it, but this should still be sufficient for most riders to dial it in. Here is a great video that discusses the D2 Pro R rear suspension in detail.
  • I had to mount the display and control pad, and connect the throttle cable, and these generic components have a large amount of cable length to fit a wide variety of bikes… which means that the cable situation ended up being a bit messy. The bracket where cables exit the front of the frame also came loose which adds to the mess, and I’m not sure of a good way to secure it without making maintenance difficult in the future. None of this impacts performance in any way, and if you care about the appearance you could spend some extra time (and perhaps incorporate some zipties) to clean up the cable management.
  • As reviewed the Homie has a 500-watt motor and a thumb throttle and is capable of reaching 26 mph. This extra power can be useful and fun when getting around town, but it limits where you can ride. Many mountain biking areas impose limits of 250-watt Class 1 (no throttle) only. Nireeka does offer a Class 1 version for European customers, this would be the best option if you want to maximize your access to riding areas.
  • I love the brakes here but I’m bummed that they don’t have motor inhibitors, for a couple reasons. One is safety, for example, if you need to stop suddenly you could find yourself fighting the motor if you’re unconsciously still holding on the throttle. Another issue here is just ease of use. When slowing down to stop you want to downshift to an easier gear, which requires you to cycle the pedals lightly as you shift… but cycling the pedals will activate the motor! That means you have to either squeeze down on the brakes and overpower the motor, or you have to turn off pedal assistance to downshift, and then turn it back on afterwards… which is a hassle and a lot of button pushing if you’re riding in assist level 5.
  • Hub motors are durable and affordable, but they are generally not as good at climbing when compared to mid-drive motors, which operate the drivetrain and can take advantage of downshifting to easier gears. I tried climbing a moderate hill using just the throttle and the motor wasn’t quite up to the task… but when combined with pedaling the same hill was no problem.
  • Another thing to consider for climbing hills is the cadence sensor. This sensor type gives you the same amount of power regardless of how hard you push on the pedals, which can be nice in some situations, but mountain bikers typically prefer a torque sensor that will respond more dynamically and give more power when pedaling hard on an uphill. Fortunately, you can get a torque sensor upgrade when purchasing a Homie, I recommend it if you’re a more active rider and trail riding will be your primary use.
  • The low Q Factor led to an unexpected problem for me, I frequently found my left heel striking the kickstand where it is mounted on the left chainstay. The kickstand is already positioned all the way back so I don’t think this can be solved by adjusting it, so I’ve accustomed myself to moving my left foot out to the side a bit to prevent collisions. It’s a minor annoyance, and I would honestly just remove the kickstand – it reduces weight and won’t snag on things when trail riding :)
  • The display here is pretty basic, lacking features such as USB ports and advanced ride metrics found on more premium setups, those extra bells and whistles certainly aren’t necessary but they can be nice to have! The display is also on the large side and non-removable, which can be an issue for mountain biking. Eventually you’re going to crash, collide with branches, or something similar, which could damage your display. If you don’t tighten it down too much you can rotate it a bit, so you could rotate it further back to reduce the likelihood of impacts.
  • The battery is mounted in the underside of the downtube and does not have a two-step removal process, which means that once you turn the key, it’s unlocked and could potentially fall right out. It’s fitted quite snugly on the Homie and actually takes a decent amount of effort to tug it free… but components loosen over time so I worry that it might start falling out on its own after awhile. Just put a hand under the battery when you unlock it to prevent this :)

Useful Resources:

Comments (9) YouTube Comments

Catalyzt
5 months ago

Outstanding review! I am new to e-biking, so this is all very helpful. This is a stunning bike– seems very capable, beautiful, more than I was hoping to spend, but just looks like a blast to ride. I suppose my main questions are:

* If this is 47.1 pounds, I wonder how much weight you’d lose if you had this configuration of options but minus the kickstand and light and with the 250W motor? Would it get down to 45 pounds, I wonder?
* With 250W, could I still climb 15% grades (on pavement) if I can do that on my current e-bike, which is a bit lighter?
* Is there a hard-tail alternative to this (carbon fiber or otherwise) that’s a bit lighter and cheaper with front suspension, or is there ever likely to be one in this price range?
* I notice the reviewer mentioned hand vibration on washboard roads, is that typical for most bikes like this?

I am 63, 148 pounds, very fit but w/ some health problems. My current ride is a project bike, Trek 920 w/ CleanRepublic Hilltopper, Girvin Flexstem (yeah, I know, but it is easier on my hands and hasn’t hurt the handling) & shock-absorbing seat post. It’s 41 pounds and is faster and more fun than it has any right to be! The handling actually improved w/ a front hub motor (with a heavier motor, it would almost certainly be worse), I think it corners faster on hairpins than my Honda CRX, which is saying a lot. My riding is on cracked asphalt, some gravel, very rough roads with potholes, short sections of singletrack, no big drops or rock gardens. Being able to carry the bike– down a short flight of steps or push it up steep easements — is important on some of these routes, which is one reason I prefer a light bike (the other is that I’m a light rider.)

The two problems with my current bike are hand pain from vibration that gets past the Flexstem but also range anxiety– the battery is rated for 12 miles, which means I can get 15+ even with 1,000 feet of elevation, but I have to be very careful with my route. And if I’m not careful– say, running the motor too much on a windy day on an unfamiliar route with plenty of vertical– it can be as little as 10 miles.

Thanks, again, I’m very new to e-biking, so I apologize in advance for any noob questions!

  Reply
Tyson Roehrkasse
5 months ago

Hey there, thanks for commenting!

* I think you could shed at least two pounds by shedding the kickstand, lights, and going with the 250w motor. You could also switch from the comfort saddle to a sport/racing saddle and shave off some more weight. Depending on how tall you are, if you get a smaller frame size bike that will also save significant weight (I had the large size for this review).
* I can’t say how powerful the 250w motor is since I didn’t test it, but as long as you’re also going to be pedaling up those inclines it shouldn’t be a problem. The Deore groupset is an excellent climber!
* I haven’t seen any other eMTBs in this price range that are also this lightweight, 45 pounds and below is typically only on super-premium eMTBs from some of the bigger name brands.
* Some amount of hand vibration on washboard-type surfaces is pretty common unless you have more premium front suspension, I may have been able to improve it by adjusting the rebound clicker but I didn’t try that at the time. I think the best way to eliminate hand and wrist vibration is with a suspension stem – you might be able to switch over your Flexstem?

At the very least I’m confident the Nireeka will do much better on range than your current ebike, I estimate at least 20-30 miles on a full charge. Of course, it depends on terrain and riding style… but since you’re lightweight and active you shouldn’t have any range issues :)

  Reply
Catalyzt
5 months ago

Thanks so much for your reply, Tyson! Really helpful, and I watched and read your review again. A real pleasure to see such clear, detailed writing and anlysis. (I was a rock music critic for five years and also wrote a lot of computer documentation, so I have some idea how much work is involved to get all the little stuff right!)

I’m getting closer to pulling the trigger, but there are still a few nagging concerns. Mainly, I’m concerned that the Homie might actually be noticeably less powerful than my Trek 930 conversion in some situations– particularly going up or down steep grades. If it’s just a little more work going uphill, that’s not a deal breaker. If it’s a lot more work, and my top speed downhill is going to be significantly less, that might be too much of a tradeoff for the extra range and full suspension.

Here’s why I’m wondering– and please forgive my crude approach to explaining issues w/ gear ratios, there may be parts of the equation I don’t understand well enough!

I am concerned that I might notice a drop in high-end power and low-end climbing ability with the Homie compared to my current bike due to gear ratio issues. My current bike has, roughly, 43-34-24t in the crank and about 11-34 in the back, while the Homie has 38t at the crank and 11-36 in the back. The motor on the Trek/Hilltopper is 250W and the motor on the Homie is also 250W, the Trek weighs 40 pounds and I can’t get the Homie below 46.2 pounds.

STEEP DOWNHILLS: It seems like pedaling at 90 RPM will produce less speed on the Homie (Highest gear = 11t rear + 38t crank) than 90 RPM will produce on the Trek (Highest gear = 11t rear + 43t crank) . Is that a huge difference? The motor is less of a factor going downhill, of course, because the Homie will cut out at 22 MPH anyway, though the Trek cuts out at 18 MPH. The issue here is that I do like maxing out over 30 MPH going downhill. Part of the reason for wanting the suspension is that the Trek/Hilltopper gets a bit twitchy over 30.

→ Do you think I still be able to go 32 MPH or so downhill on the Homie?

STEEP UPHILLS: On the Trek/Hilltopper, I can manage a 15% grade in 34t rear + 24t crank. Will I be able to do the same thing on the Homie on a 15% grade with 36t rear + 38t crank?

Things I may not be factoring in: The motor on the Trek/Hilltopper probably has a bit less torque than the motor on the Homie, say 40 vs. 46, and the battery on the Trek/Hilltopper is far weaker. The motor on the Trek is front wheel drive– and spins just a little on 15%, not much– and the motor on the Homie is rear wheel drive. The geometry of the bikes are very different, and the Homie is using primarily pedal assist, while the Trek is all trigger throttle. Those factors might compensate for the difference in gear ratios, but I’m not sure.

Would the Deore groupset make a huge difference in all this? The thing is, I’m already at the edge of my price range already, over 2,300.

Maybe I should be looking at the Motobecanes (like the Elite Adventure) which can be had on preorder for a lot less money, also weighs about 46 pounds, has full suspension, and is also 250 watts, but with no throttle, I think. Seems like a much less exciting bike, but maybe I’m being too impractical.

Thanks!

  Reply
Tyson Roehrkasse
5 months ago

Hmm, without trying both bikes back to back it’s really tough to speculate on how climbing those 15% grades will be. I’m not an expert on gear ratio stuff, but I would think that 24 crank + 34 rear (on your Trek) would be significantly easier than with the 38 crank and 36 rear on the Homie. I do think that you’ll get better climbing performance from the Homie motor being in the rear wheel, much better traction there, and not having to hold down the throttle also helps out a bit. I don’t think the Deore groupset is necessarily a dealbreaker, but I don’t know what the range on the cassette is for the standard groupset on the Homie… if it still has a 36 tooth first gear then it shouldn’t make a difference for climbing.

As for downhill, I’m pretty confident the Homie will be much better than your current bike. I pedaled the Homie up to 30mph on flat ground a couple times, the Deore groupset really is awesome, and the bike has excellent rolling efficiency. Just FYI the motor will actually assist up to about 26mph, at least on a full battery! I would imagine that on downhills you can just coast right up to and beyond 30mph. At about the 50 minute mark in my review video I went back down the hill I used for climbing tests. It’s hard to see in the video but I stopped pedaling at 20mph there and just coasted up to about 31mph. The bike felt great at that speed, stable and easy to maneuver – that’s another area where having the motor in the rear will help, the front hub motor adds a lot of unsprung weight and isn’t great for control at high speed.

I haven’t tested the Motobecane Elite Eadventure, but I see they’re using the Shimano STEPS mid-drive. Just talking motor performance, that’s going to be a HUGE improvement over both your Trek and the Homie. Mid-drives have better torque, are way more responsive, and they can leverage the drivetrain to get a huge mechanical advantage from 1st gear. I would recommend that you visit any ebike dealer that has some mid-drive eMTBs just to try one and see how different the experience is. Mid-drives sound less exciting on paper and they generally have less raw power – and no throttle as you noted – but in my opinion the ride experience is far superior. Emphasis on opinion, of course… everyone has their preferences :)

  Reply
Catalyzt
5 months ago

This has been a really tough decision process. It’s complicated by the fact that inventories are low, and it’s really hard to find bikes to ride and test, and certainly nothing like the Homie or the other bike I was considering. I did, at least, try test riding an Aventon 350 Watt Class 1 pedal assist cadence-sensor bike that had to be at least 55 pounds. So I’m flying a bit blind here, and choosing mostly by stats and specs, but I don’t think waiting will yield better choices, at least not anytime soon. Prices have been climbing steadily for a while, I don’t think inventory will expand or prices will drop for at least six months, maybe much longer.

Ultimately, I decided to go with the Motobecane Elite Eadventure, just pulled the trigger. Here’s what scared me away:

  • Reports of non-responsiveness to maintenance and service issues– posts here, posts on Nireeka’s own site and on YouTube. I love what Nireeka is trying to do, I’d like to support them, but this is still a relatively new bike, only been out a few years, so this is a problem. Bikes Direct would probably do better with returns, so if I get the bike and hate it, I could return it. Given the complexities of shipping the Homie from overseas, I’m less confident of that… Nireeka would probably take care of me eventually, but I’m thinking I’d be a bit more out of pocket and it would take much longer.
  • Potential issues with a somewhat experimental CF frame. I know the odds of a catastrophic failure are remote with modern CF frames, but my LBS said these are no-go in bikes costing less than $7K — and I made it clear that I’m not buying a bike from them, so they have no axe to grind. I’m sure Max is a brilliant designer, but it’s a weird shape, and despite extensive testing, there may be real-world structural points of failure that haven’t been identified yet. I have dogs, one of them is young and rowdy, and I don’t use kickstands, the thing will fall over, it will be hit by rocks at strange angles. What my wife said was, “You can get whatever you want, but since you asked for my advice, get the safer one. You’re 63 and on blood thinners.” That was when I crossed off the Homie. My wife and I don’t tell each other what to do, but she’s smart, she’s the one who would have to take care of me after a bad crash, and I take her advice seriously.
  • The physics doesn’t quite check out. The Hilltopper/Trek conversion probably has in the low 20s for torque– the original Hilltopper 8FUN was about 10, and the new model can’t be much more than double that. As a rear-wheel drive hub motor, maybe the Homie can do a bit better w/ a more powerful battery, I’d guess 25-28 Nm torque– it lists the torque as 46 Nm, but that cannot be right for the 250 watt, it must be for the 500. All their other bikes list different values for torque depending on wattage, why doesn’t this one? How could 250W and 500W develop the same torque? Let’s call it 28 NM for a 46.3 pound bike (Homie) vs. 23 Nm torque for my current 40 pound Hiltopper/Trek– and I can’t get the Homie below 46.11 even with the CF seatpost, which has reported problems. I wouldn’t be gaining that much torque with the Homie– some, but not much. It will have more range than my Hilltopper by far, but only a little faster on the flats, and probably very similar climbing hills. The E500 delivers 40 Nm, which most people consider low… but I weight a lot less than most people, and I’m more fit than most guys my age. I think it will deliver considerably more torque than the Homie with the 250W motor, and WAY more than the Trek/Hilltopper.
  • I wanted a throttle and Class III, but sacrifices must be made to keep weight and cost down. I ran my Hilltopper uphill in Griffith Park today, winding through curves as fast as I could with the throttle pegged and pedaling as hard as I could. I was usually around 16-17 MPH, occasionally 18, fastest was 19. My theory is that the E5000 mid-drive– though underpowered– should be able to handle all this at 19-20 MPH without pushing quite so hard, and it will get me up short stretches of 15% with a bit less effort than the Hilltopper. I also had to ask myself: How badly do I want to take those curves over 20 MPH? Answer: Not that badly, and only one or two of them. Some of these are serious hairpins that require skill and concentration even at 20, the speed limit’s only 25, I don’t take them much over 25 in my sports cars.
  • The Motobecane comes with Shimano Deore as stock, and on the Homie, it’s an extra $100. Shifting is, frankly, not great on the Trek/Hilltopper, it just has too many damn gears– 27, I think– and never seems to get dialed in right, and Tyson says the Deore is a great drivetrain, and I believe him.

So, if the Elite Adventure come in at about 48.3 pounds, which is my back-of-the-envelope, here are the tradeoffs for my choice:

Negatives: Lower top speed, harder to service motor, no throttle, approx. two pounds (5%) heavier.

Positives: Likely 30% greater range, 40% better torque (40 Nm vs. 27 Nm), safer frame w/ proven design, less dysfunctional customer service (though still probably not great) and the Shimano Deore is stock, not $100 extra. So if we factor that in, the difference in price is actually huge: With tax, the Moto is $2,190, while the Homie would be $2,676, so the Moto is $486.05 cheaper.

We will see, but this should be a big step up from the Hilltopper, even given the underpowered E5000 motor. The motor I’m using now is, in fact, SERIOUSLY underpowered, particularly during the last 30% of battery life. I know that some users really thought the E5000 was a bit of a weenie, but to me, I think it’s going to feel strong enough. And I think it is possible to upgrade the motor later, though I’m sure it would be a PITA, I think a few of the other Shimano Steps will fit this frame.

Man, my OCD has been so bad with this…!

  Reply
Tyson Roehrkasse
5 months ago

Sounds like you made a good call with the Motobecane based on your needs, you’ve put a lot of consideration in! You and I are very different, I tend to make purchasing decisions as fast as possible because I hate deliberating on different options. Sometimes that doesn’t work out so well and I end up with something crappy… but it does save me a lot of time :P

I’m excited to hear what you think about the Motobecane when you get it! Are you on our forums? You can find me on there as troehrkasse, drop me a line anytime :)

  Reply
Catalyzt
5 months ago

Yes, I am on the forums, and I will absolutely report on the Motobecane when it arrives! (I am in Fedex hell at the moment, it was supposed to come today.) My user name is the same as the one I use here. And yeah, will definitely hit you on the forums.

I do spend a lot of time researching purchases, and it is kind of agonizing– I think I developed a bit of OCD after I quit drinking about 7 years ago. At times, I’ve also gone off the deep end with travel guitars and waterproof watches, and I have too many of both– but I use them all a lot, I spend a lot of time in the water. (And now, I have three G-Shocks that I didn’t use that much which are getting a lot more use because they are perfect for e-Biking.)

The other thing about taking so long to make a decision: I typically keep the things I buy a long time. My acoustic bike is a 1972 or 73 Raleigh competition, which I rode across the state of Wisconsin and the length of Florida as a teenager. I had it restored (again) in January 2020, and figured out a way to hang it from the wall… of my buddy’s apartment in New York, which I cannot get to!

I think 5 or 10 years ago, I would have gone for the Nireeka. Without the blood thinners, I would probably have gone for the Nireeka, though I seriously doubt it’s an unsafe bicycle, and I wish the company luck! I hope some other folks post back with their experiences with the Homie.

Collin E
2 months ago

Hello, I love your reviews! I am looking for a value e-MTB, and am deciding between the Voltbike Enduro and the Nireeka Homie. Which would you recommend, or is there another value e-MTB you’d prefer in the $2-3K price range? thanks!

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

HI Collin! I didn’t cover the Nireeka, but I did review the VoltBike Enduro and though that it was fun, but used cheaper parts. Do you want full suspension or is hardtail okay? I’d probably lean towards Surface 604, maybe VoltBike (seem to be made with cheaper parts), then BULLS or CUBE if you can afford it. Here’s the full category of eMTB that I’ve covered recently :)

  Reply

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