Polaris Vector Review

Polaris Vector Electric Bike Review 1
Polaris Vector
Polaris Vector Bottom Bracket Controller
Polaris Vector Front Shock
Polaris Vector Lcd Computer
Polaris Vector Rear Hub Motor
Polaris Vector Electric Bike Review
Polaris Vector Battery Pack Lock
Polaris Vector Chain Guide Controller
Polaris Vector Electric Bike Review 1
Polaris Vector
Polaris Vector Bottom Bracket Controller
Polaris Vector Front Shock
Polaris Vector Lcd Computer
Polaris Vector Rear Hub Motor
Polaris Vector Electric Bike Review
Polaris Vector Battery Pack Lock
Polaris Vector Chain Guide Controller

Summary

  • Custom design with integrated cables, controller, and battery plus regenerative braking
  • Battery mounted in the down tube keeping weight low and stable, looks nice and doesn't rattle
  • Control system and mid-drive sensors mounted below bottom bracket, exposed to rocks, curbs and elements
  • Only available in high step frame, may be difficult or inconvenient for some to mount, relatively expensive

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Polaris

Model:

Vector

Price:

$2,499 USD

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2013

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

53 lbs (24.04 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Silver with Black Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT Suspension with 80 mm Travel

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 SRAM X7

Shifter Details:

SRAM X5 Triggers on Right Bar

Pedals:

Plastic Platform

Handlebar:

Comfort Sport, Low Rise

Brake Details:

Tektro IO Mechanical Disc with 160 mm Rotor, Integrated Motor Cutoff and Regen Activation Switch in Levers

Grips:

Velo Comfort Ergonomic

Saddle:

Velo Plush D2 Comfort

Tire Brand:

Kenda K935

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Side Mounted Kickstand, Plastic Chain Guide, LED Power Indicator on Battery

Other:

Removable Locking Battery Pack, Regenerative Braking, KMC Anti Corrosion Chain, Quick Release Front Wheel, Model EV206PH

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Evantage DuoDrive

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

450 watts

Battery Brand:

ProRide

Battery Voltage:

29.6 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

177.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

Backlit Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Speed, Odometer, Battery Level, Assist Level (Eco, Normal, Sport)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle

Top Speed:

18 mph (29 kph) (Automatic Regeneration Above 18 mph)

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Written Review

UPDATE! It appears that Polaris is no longer working with the manufacturer who designed and built these electric bikes, but that company is now selling their own line as PIM (Power in Motion) and you can connect with them through their official website at www.pimbicycles.com to possibly get replacement batteries, chargers, and other hardware. The following review stands on its own and represents the Polaris bike as I experienced it at the time.

The Polaris Vector offers a unique combination of efficiency and power. On the one hand, you’ve got a 450 Watt brushless geared hub motor paired with ~30 Volts of power which is actually quite powerful. On the other hand, you’ve got regenerative braking paired with a fancy control system designed to limit top speed and extend range. In my time riding this bike I felt a bit underwhelmed with the torque and peppiness but that’s a design decision Polaris made on purpose. The computer system is striving for efficiency and trying to deliver a smooth ride.

The Vector weighs just 53lbs including the battery pack which mounts and locks right into the down tube. This keeps the center of gravity low and makes the bike easy to handle, carry and park. It rides quiet and the sprung seat and front shock smooth out minor bumps in the road so the overall experience is peaceful. The battery pack on this bike doesn’t rattle around compared with the plastic tray styles used on the other models Polaris offers like the Strive or Meridian.

The Vector is easy to lift but a bit harder to maneuver onto car racks because of the curved top tube, which to me looks kind of funny. The benefit of this design is that it allows the seat to be positioned lower, making the bike easier to mount, creating a more upright seating position. Another unique design feature of this bike is the positioning of the controller system. It’s located just below the bottom bracket in a small plastic box. While this is a more vulnerable location, it does serve the purpose of enhanced torque and drive sensing which helps to create that ultra-smooth acceleration in pedal assist mode.

I think the best way to describe this bike is “controlled”. It’s smart, efficient, relatively light weight and potentially powerful but not directly satisfying. The three modes of pedal assist are the best feature here and really let this bike reach its full potential, they just don’t feel the same as a heavier more powerful ebike. This has actually been described as a benefit to me by Polaris representatives who were trying to design a system that didn’t feel so jerky. I tend to like the feeling of “peppiness” however and prefer to smooth out the ride myself by using the throttle manually.

Considering the relatively high price point of this bike, the technology and offering may not be a fit for everyone. People who enjoy a smoother feel, lighter frame and integrated battery style however will feel right at home. Keep in mind the bike actually limits rider top speed to 18mph when turned on, extra speed is regenerated into power for the battery extending range. It’s one of the few bikes out there with regenerative braking at all. Polaris is a great brand with experience making vehicles of all sorts and I know they are working to refine this offering even more in the years to come.

Pros:

  • Integrated battery design is stylish, keeps weight low to the ground and doesn’t rattle
  • Front and rear disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power, front shock and seat springs smooth out the ride
  • Computer is easy to use, provides some fun extras such as carbon footprint savings
  • Rapid fire trigger shifters work well and are my preference vs. twist shift on other ebikes
  • Advanced computer system provides smooth acceleration and regenerative braking
  • Battery is chargeable on or off the bike
  • High end Lithium ion battery will last 1,000+ cycles and reduces overall weight of bike
  • Polaris is a well established brand with experience building other light weight vehicles
  • Plastic chain guide helps keep the chain on track when riding and using mid-drive

Cons:

  • Drive system leaves something to be desired in terms of peppiness
  • 18mph top speed may be frustrating for those wishing to go faster down hills
  • Frame is a bit awkward, doesn’t mount well to car racks that connect to top-tube
  • No water bottle mounts due to battery placement
  • Expensive price point considering the motor power and battery system
  • Bottom bracket controller mount seems vulnerable

Resources:

More Polaris Reviews

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Polaris Strive Review

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Polaris eBikes
5 years ago

Thank you for the review of the Polaris Vector, Powered by EVantage motor technology. In developing the line of Polaris ebikes, the goal was to redefine what people expect from an electric bicycle. There is such little awareness about ebikes in the US, and those who have knowledge of ebikes, have only experienced what we call the bolt on ride. This is the ride feeling of having a motor bolted onto a bicycle. It is not a smooth ride, and it takes people away from feeling like they are riding a bicycle. The goal of an electric bicycle is to enhance the bicycle riding experience, not completely change it. The evantage motor system provides the smoothest riding experience, and the closest thing to a bicycle ride of any ebike. We have heard that some customers are looking for enhanced power. This is why we are now offering a turbo software update, that will heighten the power off the line on our ebikes and provide more power over hills. Additionally, we are hard at work on our version 2.0 motor system that will incorporate every piece of customer feedback we have received. Look for the V2 this upcoming summer season. We will have to get the electric bike review on one of our software updated units.

Reply
Gordy Schubert
5 years ago

I currently own a strong electric bike made in china. I use it every day untill snow , 7miles to work 7 back, I have modifyed it with swicthed lites and strobes and horn, grip throttle and thumb throttle with cruse controll,disk brakes that cut out power when applied. The frame has front and rear suspension with a adjustible shock in the centre works perfect, it has full fenders great in the rain. There is a removable battery pack that locks seperate with the key which also locks a pin in the back disk. there is currently 3 12volt 12ah sealed lead acid batteries making 36 volts, plenty of tork and top speed of 18mph on flat surface no wind loose about 3mph against the strongest wind. I paid 500 dollars at canadian tire. Have replaced batteries once 150 dollars, replaced some spokes in rear wheel and put new michlin 26inch tires on it. Lithium batteries are not cost effective yet but could be added shaving off 20lbs. It would be nice to try the polaris electric bike. I think it could use more stuff and engineering.

Reply
Jackytar
5 years ago

I am in the market for a pair of electric bikes in the US and the Polaris line up has caught my attention. My wife and I have rented electric bikes in the US and europe and have a preference for well executed (seamless) torque sensing set-ups that give you that magical conditioned athlete experience. We are in our early 50s and plan to use the bikes for leisurely exploring the surrounding area so high performance is not on our list of criteria. Other than the limitied range of the Polaris bikes they appear just about perfect for our needs. However, us ebike enthusiasts are all too aware that there are a lot of companies entering this market and long term ownership has to be a consideration. Will this company be around and support this model bike by making parts available in, say, 5 years? My read is that the US consumer is not taking to ebikes as quickly as expected and there are going to be a lot of ebike models in the graveyard. And sure enough, here it is August 2013 and the only place I can find Polaris ebikes for sale is ebay. And the only credible press I can find about them is this blog dating back to the time of their roll-out. Seems they spent 3 years in R&D, came out of the gate strong and what? Gave up?

Very discouraging. The bikes I like that ostensibly have a strong presence in the US market (like Polaris, Stromer, and Emotion) have custom battery configurations or other proprietary technology that effectively asks too much of the consumer – which is to gamble thousands of dollars on the future of the company or, in the case of established companies, their commitment to ebikes in general or this model specifically. Innovation in this market is advancing rapidly – literally month to month – and we seem to be witnessing in real time the birth and demise of one company, or model, after another. I’ve concluded from all this that manufacturers entering into the US ebike market are just as often driven by a blind enthusiasm for the concept than by the cold hard ecomonic realities. As a consumer I’ve never felt so paralyzed by a purchase decision.

Reply
Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Jeckytar, you have shared a very interesting observation and I would agree on several points. For most people the purchase of an ebike is a high involvement one due to price. There is a lot riding on the decision given that battery packs may expire well before the frame and other components and custom configurations do require that the manufacturer still be providing support for replacement.

I recently test rode two Polaris ebikes at a shop in Longmont Colorado called Small Planet E Vehicles http://youtu.be/uEkiDRVtYVI and will be updating the pictures and videos for the Strive and Vector here as a result but am not sure how much support Polaris is providing. The last I heard, they were offering an update to firmware based on customer feedback. They are also still selling through their website.

I will dig in again this year at Interbike and provide updates here. Brands that I have high trust in are Pedego, Easy Motion (emotion) and Stromer given their long history of leadership in the space. Of course, iZip is a good choice as well given how standard many of their battery pack designs are.

Reply
Motomanz
4 years ago

I totally understand Jackytar’s concerns as most people “should”. I’ve researched many eBikes from the “bolt-on” kits to the sorry units places like Wal-Mart sell. Sure, the low-end type bikes run $500 to $1200, but for the very poor performance, extremely short run time, extremely long charge time, most with only 7 speeds and no regenerative charging like the Polaris (plus no disc brakes, front suspension, brushless motor, high end seat, etc, etc, etc…), I believe you are just throwing money away buying basically an extremely overweight bicycle (most are 65+ pounds!). Jackytar’s concerns are solid at a “Big Box” store and it will be a lost cause in the long run with no manufacturer, dealer support or parts to keep their purchase going for many years. What I do know is that you can count on Polaris to be around. No – I don’t have a “crystal ball”, but I have over 40 years in the Motorcycle industry and have seen the amazing things Polaris has done in the last 10 years and how they are climbing to the top in ATV/UTV and Motorcycle sales. Do your own research if you want proof. Their design, engineering and technology is cutting edge and the eBikes are no different. I totally expect them to be the leading eBike seller in the world in a short time. Their partnership with leading eBike technology company EVantage will keep them at the head of the pack. A couple test reviews claim they would prefer more power. If one desires a “high performance” model, I’m sure it will be offered as/if demand for such a unit grows, but obviously then one is getting away from the “Bicycle” side of things for sure. If they bump up to a large/strong power sytem that will run – say 30-40+, then you are then basically making a “scooter with pedals” (Sco-Ped) requiring tags, insurance, age limitations, no bike path or sidewalk access, etc, etc.. I do know that they are in the beginning stages of getting the National dealer network established, so before too long you will be able to go test ride and purchase them at your local authorized Polaris eBike dealer. Obviously that takes some time to get set up. The “brick and mortar” type stores that will be carrying them besides bicycle locations would include Powersports dealerships (ATV/UTV/Scooter/Motorcycle/Snowmobile dealers). I believe the eBike is the future for many people as there seems to be a large extensive network of bike paths in nearly every city and fuel prices remain high. Plus; don’t we all need a little more excersize?? Thank you Polaris for a great quality product!

Reply
Jackytar
4 years ago

I got a pair of Specialized Expeditions and put BionX kits on them. Not stealth or high performance but I am otherwise very pleased with this option.

Reply
Vector Owner
4 years ago

I own a Polaris Vector electric bike. The bike works reasonably well, but the dealer and the manufacturer provide no information when you have questions. One problem i’ve encountered is that the power will cut out for no apparent reason. I’ve tried to determine some consistency but so far have been unable. Some times i can get it back on by removing the battery pack and reinstalling. Other times i’ve continued pedaling and after a few minutes the power came on again. Sometimes it will happen 5 or 6 times a 3 hour ride, other times not at all during a ride. Other information i’ve requested, relates to the removal of the rear motorized wheel. I’ve gone to the dealer, the manufacturer, and do constant research on the net to find out how to deal with the wires coming out of this wheel. I’ve done this many many times, but the dealer who is located over 500 miles away from me is totally unresponsive as is the manufacturer. It seems impossible to get information from them. The simple manual that is supplied has very limited information. Do your research before investing in this bike. If you happen to get any of this information please email me.

Reply
posmike
4 years ago

I purchased 2 Polaris e-bikes (vector and st stride) late spring 2013. The vector for the most part has been fine except for the above mentioned problem of cutting off when it feels like but cutting the power off for 30 seconds or so then back on usually takes care of it. I have taken the vector Into an adjoining Federal and state park many times with gravel roads and it performs very well. The Stride worked 1 day for about 10 miles and hasn’t worked since. After 4 months the dealer replaced the Stride with a new 2.0 version and will be taking it out today. I guess like most new releases there are problems to work out. The bikes appear to be high quality but the handlebar screws are steel and rust while the rest of the bike is aluminum. This should be fixed! I hope Polaris is around for a long time to come and I wish them well.

Reply
Austin Higdon
4 years ago

Hi all

Would like to apologize to any of our customers on this thread that have not received the support they were looking for.

Please contact us so we can get you on your ebike again !!

In this case, feel free to contact me directly on my mobile @ 954 328 0109

If you ever any questions about the Polaris eBikes, our offices are staffed to answer customer service calls 8am PST- 8 pm PST @ extension 2.

Toll Free: 1-855-EVANTAGE (382-6824)
Local: 305-538-1406
Fax: 305-397-2476
Email: info@evantagebikes.com

Reply
Andreas W
4 years ago

Hi! Has anyone tested the polaris vector with the firmware/software update, or is the one selling now an updated model? I see the pricing on the then now is down to 1999 in a few stores, seems like a good deal. In terms of frame size, how tall can You be and use this bike comfortably?, I am 6’4″

the price now cheaper and IF the update removes some of the CONS in the review, then it looks like an pretty ok deal? Been reading reviews for e-bikes now until eyes are sore, and there are so many vendors…. omg…. I think a combo of a decent pricing and a vendor that don’t disappear soon is a preferred combo. If Polaris ebike is a part of Polaris Industries, it should have the finances and market muscle to be a stayer. My experience is that everything needs maintenance and some parts now and then.

Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Hi Andres, great points… It is nice to get a product from a larger trusted brand and Polaris has done well with their other vehicles in the past. As for size, given your 6’4″ height these bikes may feel a bit small. Consider the IZIP E3 Dash, Easy Motion Neo Cross or Pedego Interceptor which are available in Large sizes.

Reply
Bobby
4 years ago

The description of this bike states that the “Motor Placement” is a MidDrive or a Rear Hub System. The bike reviewed was a rear hub system. Have you seen or test driven their MidDrive motor placement version? At 450 watts that would be a very interesting e-bike setup.

Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

Hi Bobby, I don’t see the part of the review you’re referring to? You’re correct that these only use a rear hub motor but the mid-section senses torque and contains the controller. It’s meant to be super smooth and frankly, I didn’t get to see inside so I’m not sure what other purpose it has. The reps described it to me but sometimes they are also off. I don’t think there is a mid-drive Polaris Vector ebike?

Reply
Bobby
4 years ago

Court,

Thanks for the quick response! I was on their website this morning and the description of this bike states that the motor has the option of being placed as a MidDrive or a rear hub.

http://polarisebikes.com/ebike-products/vector/

It would be great if the company clarified their statement and if possible provided a bike with MidDrive for review.

Regards,

Bobby

Reply
Sebastian
4 years ago

I’m writting from argentina. Y also own a polaris vector bike. I was wondering if you got any update/support in the rear wheel removal since i’m having the same concern and can’t find any info in the web. I will really preaciate any info. Thanks!

Reply
Arnie
4 years ago

I have the company brochure which shows in pictures and words how to remove the rear wheel for tire replacement or repair, and also some other repairs dealing with replacing the display and removing the controller. I don’t know how to upload it to this site, as the picture part is important.

Reply
Erik
3 years ago

Arnie Did you ever upload this? I could not find link. Could you upload it again in the Community “Polaris” forum? Thanks

Reply
Court Rye
4 years ago

That’s awesome Arnie! Thanks for offering to share this information and help other Polaris ebike owners. You could create a new thread in the Polaris eBike Forums here and there is an option to upload photos (even large ones). It could be titled “Polaris Electric Bike Manual” or something. If you have any trouble feel free to email me with the site contact form and I’ll help you out or do it for you.

Reply
Todd
2 years ago

You are right to have concerns. A issue these bikes continue to have is they arrive with a busted battery and falling apart. The company is actually NOT Polaris- the company is called “E-Vantage” and they pay Polaris money to use there name- thats it- the disclaimer is deep in there website. Also, the bikes are made in China, another deceptive area to point out as they make it sound like they are actually Polaris and this all american green bike. In fact they are just adding to the enormous carbon footprint that China produces. I can’t find any viable press either, it seems like pretty much everything out there is put out by the company itself. And the price is outrageous for the quality.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Thanks for the feedback Todd, I’ve done my best to be objective and transparent with my reviews (given the limited time and exposure to the product). I agree there is room for improvement but nearly every electric bike I know of uses parts manufactured in China (as well as automobiles, ATVs and other recreational vehicles). Some companies assemble here in the US and many ebikes from Europe offer great quality and a solid warranty. Maybe we’ll see Polaris getting more directly involved with their ebikes in the future, as you stated, right now they seem to be handled by E-Vantage.

Reply
Victor
2 years ago

Stay away from Polarise E-bikes. Customer service is terrible. Have a strive (which I love). My battery charger broke. Company will not respond to any of my E-mails to buy a new charger nor will they return any phone calls. Dealers keep advising that I contact the company through their web site. Has now been ten days and company still has not returned E-mails or calls. Bike is of no use if I cannot re-charge the battery.

Reply
Court Rye
2 years ago

Ouch, sorry to hear that Victor! I hope they respond eventually, try reaching out to info@polarisebikes.com and if that doesn’t work contact me directly through the site and I’ll try to put you in touch with a rep from Evantage which makes the Polaris systems.

Reply
Court Rye
5 months ago

Hi Victor! I discovered recently that the people who made the Polaris branded electric bikes are now called PIM (Power In Motion) and they may be able to help you with a replacement battery or charger. Check out their website: http://www.pimbicycles.com/

Reply

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Rhino21082
2 weeks ago

I have an Polaris Electric EV bike for sale. It currently has only 42 miles on it and was used very little. It has disc brakes, front shocks, charger, all original manuals, etc. See pics for additional info. This was the model that was being promoted for Law Enforcement Agencies so not real sure on the model number. It is in like new condition. Asking $1200 obo. Email or PM me for more info. Email is ryanducote @ gmail dot com. Thanks, Ryan.

Ken M
4 weeks ago

I've got some Topeak M1 Defender Fenders on my Polaris eBike (Court did a review video of these on his own bike a while back). They are good fenders (especially if you like the more motorcycle fender appearance) but I really question if there is such a thing as a truly effective bike fender when riding at any speed over about 15mph.

The wheel speed tends to literally pump most of the water that collects on the underside of the front fender forward and then it streams up and into your body and face. I know there is a fender on a Specialized bike with channels that move the water to the outside edges of the fender but I have no first hand experience with them so would like to hear if that works. The other problem with every front fender that I can think of (mainly if you ride on on a road with any standing water) is the splashing of the tire. You can simply take a yard stick and take it from the contact point of the tire back to where your feet and lower legs are going to be while pedaling and it's obvious that this is not blocked by a fender. The few times I've ridden in significant rain (had Gortex protection on except for my feet and I was just wearing 100% leather sneakers) my feet go soaking wet in about 10 minutes. If you want to arrive with dry feet when it's raining I think a set of waterproof shoe covers is a must.

Fenders to reduces the water that is released by the tire that end up on the rider but it's time dependent. If you are riding for say more than 10 minutes in the rain fenders result in no difference to how wet you are going to get. If the road is just wet and it's not raining, I think you'll still end up pretty wet.

I do think a rear fender can prevent a lot of the flinging of water up onto your back as that is a total different performance issue for fenders and they do a decent job of solving that (the front tire is just much more difficult because of splashing and the movement of water to the front edge of the fender when it just releases into your path.

I think the best that can be said about fenders based on experience is that they reduce some of the water that may be picked-up and tossed onto you when you come across occasional wet spots on your urban commute. If riding on very wet roads or while raining, fenders really won't do much to keep you dry or clean.

I would like to hear if others that urban commute on an eBike have experienced this.

Ken M
4 weeks ago

I've got some Topeak M1 Defender Fenders on my Polaris eBike (Court did a review video of these on his own bike a while back). They are good fenders (especially if you like the more motorcycle fender appearance) but I really question if there is such a thing as a truly effective bike fender when riding at any speed over about 15mph.

The wheel speed tends to literally pump most of the water that collects on the underside of the front fender forward and then it streams up and into your body and face. I know there is a fender on a Specialized bike with channels that move the water to the outside edges of the fender but I have no first hand experience with them so would like to hear if that works. The other problem with every front fender that I can think of (mainly if you ride on on a road with any standing water) is the splashing of the tire. You can simply take a yard stick and take it from the contact point of the tire back to where your feet and lower legs are going to be while pedaling and it's obvious that this is not blocked by a fender. The few times I've ridden in significant rain (had Gortex protection on except for my feet and I was just wearing 100% leather sneakers) my feet go soaking wet in about 10 minutes. If you want to arrive with dry feet when it's raining I think a set of waterproof shoe covers is a must.

Fenders to reduces the water that is released by the tire that end up on the rider but it's time dependent. If you are riding for say more than 10 minutes in the rain fenders result in no difference to how wet you are going to get. If the road is just wet and it's not raining, I think you'll still end up pretty wet.

I do think a rear fender can prevent a lot of the flinging of water up onto your back as that is a total different performance issue for fenders and they do a decent job of solving that (the front tire is just much more difficult because of splashing and the movement of water to the front edge of the fender when it just releases into your path.

I would like to hear if others that urban commute on an eBike have experienced this.

jazz
1 month ago

I have a diesel and terrain and both are excellent eBikes (now PIM as you mentioned), the only real negative I have is batteries are low capacity. 10aH I think is absolute minimum for an ebike today.

Don12
1 month ago

Thanks for the advice. Yes I just don't want to get on my non electric, human powered road bike on the weekend and feel exhausted after some miles and hills because I've been using my electric assistive bike all week. I think maybe the thing to do for me, is power to off assistance and enjoy my ride home without assistance. I am definitely going class 3 and looking at the CrossFit+. Thanks again for the great advice from many knowledgeable riders on this e-bike forum.

PCDoctorUSA
1 month ago

Regarding your statement that rear hub motors are poor climbers, it's my understanding that applies to Direct Drive hubs. Everything I've read indicates Geared hubs are good climbers. Is my information wrong?

Ken M
1 month ago

Few people are aware of this brand but they are very nice bikes with excellent performance (the hub motor has advantages at high speeds vs a mid drive but few talk about it) but check out Power In Motion eBikes on pimbicycles.com. The Archer would be a good pick for your needs. I ride a Polaris Diesel which was essentially the same bike but branded for a while by Polaris.

Ken M
1 month ago

I've been riding 13 miles each way on a Polaris Diesel ebike (a 25mph Pedelec with a rear hub motor that is very much like a Stromer in performance). I've lost 25 lbs in 4 months so you get any level of workout you want. I like to ride as fast as I can to keep my commute times low and love the workout I get.

I would highly suggest you get a class 3 pedelec with as much power as possible such that you could maintain high speeds without a ton of sweat but you will get a workout unless you stay below 20mph and just allow the bike to do the bulk of the work.

A technical tip that few mention. Mid drives are awesome for climbing and speeds below say 15mph but once you are riding at high speed and running on say a 44T front chain ring and an 11T rear literally 75% of the motors assistance torque is lost in the gear ratio. Rear hub motors are not as good of slow speed climbers but with the torque directly applied at the rear wheel they have a definate performance (and efficiency) advantage at high speeds (especially above 20mph). The older Bosch mid drives with the smaller front chain rings that spin as 2.5 the rider cadence do a pretty good job of reducing the losses but with the loss of some low speed climbing torque.

I have both type of eBikes and prefer the hub motor for urban mobility but it's a powerful 750W hub motor (gearless as the gear models tend to be less reliable but they can provide more torque at slow speeds).

Leon Washington
2 months ago

This post was really helpful, and from my experience, I whole heatedly agree. I ride the back roads to work with my speed pedalec, mid-drive mountain bike. My DD hubs just get me from point A to Point B on paved surfaces really fast. Thankfully I have a loud horn.

Ken M
2 months ago

FYI - I'm 56 years old and have multiple fused vertebrae from a degenerative arthritis (in remission but the discs are fused already) so I definitely do not want to have a high speed wreck on my eBike. I ride at the speed that I feel safe at but that speed is sometimes faster than 20mph or 28mph which legislators, that probably never rode a bike faster than 20mph, feel should be the max speed an eBike can be produced to go......and then these guys/gals have such a bad reputation.

We need more people to start getting out of cars and on commute solutions that are more rational - an eBike uses like 1/50th the energy of a car so they make sense. Now I get all the burly idiots chiming in that it's god-given right to drive their 8000 truck because the were born with a small member. I get that.

Ken M
2 months ago

Good question. There is actually some studies on average riding speed for people that own Class 3 45kph speed pedelec in Europe. They average around 20mph/32kph so that data can make people think that there is no value to having a faster bike. Most of time I'm commuting (not stopped at a light) I'm cruising at around 23-25mph/40kph (my PIM/Polaris eBike assist ends at that speed so it's a comfortable cruising speed. But there are some long stretches I go faster but essentially on under my own power and I'm on the road where it would be nice to get up to 35mph/50kph crusing speed.

I have Schwalbe Moto X 27.5 x 2.4 tires on this bike and they provide the performance and handling that make higher speeds feel comfortable/safe. Just because an eBike has the capability to assist up to 50kph doesn't mean responsible riders are going to be running over pedestrians (although I would prefer they walk in the grass :-) ) and running slower riders into the ditch (although like some bad drivers inevitably they end up there anyway). Anyway, I'm just joking around but when you are commuting approx 15 miles each way as often as possible (my bike does not replace my car) having the higher speed capability does save time. IT'S IMPORTANT! Bizarre that Europe has Autobahns with crazy high speeds for cars but they think bikes should be literally manufactured with speed limitation build in (I guess the conservatives were thrown a bone on that legislation as that is the only explanation I can come up with as to why they did this - sorry conservatives but you did fight to keep the highway speed limits here in the US at 55mph....thankfully you lost that debate...your scared of speed, I can respect that so stay in the slow lane and let me pass).

Ken M
2 months ago

I wanted to add some very relevant information that no one seems to ever mention when comparing mid-drives and hub motors.

Mid-drive do tend to be excellent climbing systems because they benefit from the drive ratio of the front to rear sprockets at slow speeds where the torque of the motor can actually be increased to the rear wheel. The problem is that at high speeds that advantage becomes a disadvantage. If you say running at 20mph on a 44T front and 11T rear sprocket only 1/4th the axle torque of the mid-drive is delivered to the rear wheel because of the 4 to 1 reduction to achieve the speed at a reasonable cadence. In my opinion this is the equivalent of inefficiency - decreases the drive system efficiency because an 80nM mid drive will only provide 20nM of torque to the rear axle at that speed.

Hub drives (at least the gear-less more simply ones) do run at lower RPMs which is a less efficient dymanic state for a brushless motor but the torque is delivered directly to the rear axle. So if you are riding at 20mph, a rear hub motor only needs to be providing 20nM to equal the "effective" power of the mid-drive at this speed. The higher the speed the more efficient a rear hub motor becomes so I would venture to say that if you spend a significant % of your riding time over speeds of say 15mph a hub drive may be more efficient and provide more power to the rear wheel.

I would venture to say this is why some of the premium speed pedelecs still utilize hub drive motors.

If you think you will spend the bulk of your riding time below say 15mph and on trails, no doubt get a mid-drive but if you want a fast urbam mobility bike I would give hub drives serious consideration.

I have both a mid drive Haibike and a rear hub Polaris and the Polaris has better fast performance and the Haibike with the Yamaha mid-drive is awesome up to about 15mph. I think the Bosch mid-drives with the smaller front chain ring that spins at 2.5X cadence do provide better high speed assist than the Yamaha but at the cost of some low speed torque to the rear wheel.

zap016VOLTAGE
5 months ago

Delfast Replied! :D

Delfast replied to some of my questions.

I had asked:
Q: Is https://delfastbikes.com bikes and http://www.vectorebike.com bike companies one of the same (both Ukrainian)?
A: "We never met and I can't say anything about Vector."

Q: Is Delfast collaborating with Vector on ebikes for Delfast's upcoming Kickstarter campaign?
A: "The frame producer makes for us a frame upon our needs and characteristics." "So it's new and advanced version of the frame."

Q: Is the battery pack removable for charging/storage?
A: "We'll, it's possible to open the frame, but we don't guarantee proper work then." "There is special plug for charging the battery so you don't to remove battery for charging it."

Q: Who is supplying your bike’s motors (GTS1000)?
A: No Answer :(

Thank you DT! ;)

scrambler
5 months ago

This bike(s) have already been sold for years by another company called Vector (http://www.vectorebike.com/), also from Ukraine.
Given the similarity of the frame used, I suspect they have the same provider.

They can definitely be pedaled, and are the next best thing for high power rear hub bikes, after the (expensive) Stealth Bike ( http://www.stealthelectricbikes.com/ ).

There are also cheaper versions based on a Chinese clone of that frame used by companies like Evelbike (http://evelbike.com/) Power velocity (http://powervelocity.com/) and many more.
Battery wise these are regular 18650 cell based, the frame can just hold a lot of them for up to 620 x 18650 cells (20s 31p), as shown in this ES post.
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=68385&p=1261268#p1261261
With 3.5ah cells, this is 8000kwh! You can go a long way on that :)

Similar high power Rear Hub E-bikes with different frames include:
Qulbix: https://www.qulbix.com/
Bultaco Brinco: http://www.bultaco.com/en/motos
LMX: http://www.lmxbikes.com/en/full-lmx-bike/77-vtt-freeride-lmx-81.html

In High power pedal assist bikes, the real innovation is coming from Neematic, with a mid drive solution, a torque sensing pedal assist and a Pinion gearbox for pedaling.
http://www.neematic.com/
First 50 bikes to be released next summer, as expensive as a Stealth ($10,000), but arguably a much better bike.

Cuajinais
10 months ago

No need to cringe. The bike without the battery is about 45 lbs. Any engineering student that has successfully completed her 3rd semester can tell you about vector forces and bending moments. Of particular interest to some posters here would be how much bending moment a load of 35 lbs. acting on the furtherst rack position imparts on the pivot, vs. a load 45 lbs in the position nearest the pivot. I will not spoil the answer. I will spoil however, that the odds of your insurance company covering the claim on your bike-on-the-highway accident don't look so good. Is "bike rack accident" even an option when buying insurance? I guess maybe in an umbrella policy? I'd like know which type of insurance covers this.

Anyway I'm an engineer, not an insurance claims agent, but all anecdotal evidence I've heard point towards insurance companies looking for the simplest excuse to deny a claim. If someone can dig up statistics for claims on bike rack accidents, now that would be some very useful information to add to this thread.

For the sake of argument, suppose this type of insurance exists; (it very well may but I would like a to see a link). In this case, we don't know the % of successful claims on bike rack accidents, but I reckon that in case of an accident, the insurance claims agent will want to evaluate that the "safe bet" hitch rack was used per instructions. So here is a sampling of the user manual for the hitch-mounted
Hope you never exceeded 70 mph on the highway/replaced the strap on the first sign of wear/tightened the straps regularly during the journey/ etc. etc./

Yeah good luck with your claim...

jazz
1 year ago

Update 1/6/2017 PIM has not been responsive to any of the email or contact form messages I have sent them. Not a good sign for their support of this product.

Yes that is true. Power in Motion (PIM) has taken over; however, not Polaris warranties (as you would expect). PIM can sell you new bikes and parts (not confirmed). You can find them: http://pimbicycles.com.
I am happy someone is continuing the line. I always thought Polaris had great ebike designs and build quality. I was a big fan and proponent of Polaris eBikes.
It will be a big test to see if PIM can make it where Polaris failed.

Having owned a couple Polaris eBikes, the biggest issues I saw:

1) Price. Good, well-built products, but the product line was priced way too high.
2) Low Wh/Ah batteries. 6 aH/290 Wh is very wimpy and well below current eBike averages
3) Proprietary 44v system with high cost for replacement parts. Last year I was quoted $900 for a 6aH replacement battery for my Terrain.

Positives for PIM:

1) Well-built, great looking bikes and good quality components
2) Reliable. I have had no real failures. Even my 1st Gen Vector with 30v battery (from 4 years ago) still working great.

Keys to PIM Success:

1) Lower prices at least 20-25% (over what Polaris sold them for).
2) Component warranty needs to be better than 180 days. 1 year is standard with most companies.
3) Further develop the ebikes. Technology in these bikes is at least 2 years old. Need to explore higher capacity batteries, mid-drive motors, and remove 20 mph limits for off-road use.
4) Increase battery capacity or offer much less expensive 2nd battery options.
5 Improve Marketing. For a company in business for at least the past 6 months, there is very little about PIM anywhere. Need to improve online footprint by leaps and bounds. Not all advertising has to be paid. Social media is free and reviews from people like Court on this website is free. Get Crazy Lenny to carry your line. He sells a shit ton of ebikes at awesome prices (best anywhere in the world) which will go a long way to proving your brand.
6) Need to put these bikes into the hands of people who can spread the word. Give me one or sell me one at a good, reasonable price and I will spread the word. ;)

Derekj118
2 years ago

Hey guys, this is my first post

. I am starting a new build with a new 26' Black Magic Vector ( Magic Pie 5 ) kit from Luna paired with a 52v 13.5ah Shark Pack with Panasonic GA cells mounted on the frame. I will eventually be purchasing a 52v Mighty Mini Cube Pack with Panasonic PF cells ( 6ah for extended range mounted on a rack ).
My bike now is a 26' hardtail Northrock XC6 ( Cheapo Frame ) with front suspension and a suspension seatpost. The motor is a MP3 Vector with torque arm combined with a 48V 10AH LiFePO4 Aluminum Cased Battery from GoldenMotor.CA . The battery has definitely done its job and lasted me a while, however I am finally starting to see some power loss and less range. Plus I hate the weight and bulkiness of the battery. My first question is regarding the frame. The frame is aluminum and everything I have read, stresses the importance of steel for high powered motors. I know the MP5 isnt necessarily high powered compared to some other motors out there, but I will be maxed out on the settings for speed and %100 regen on the brakes. The torque arm I use now is a universal arm fitted directly to the frame without any brackets needed. I have also purchased a large ( okay freakin huge! ) Crystalyte torque arm that I can use if needed, or they could be used together. The bike rides incredibly well, even at full speeds. It is also rather comfortable because the front fork suspension is decent paired with a good seat and suspension seatpost. I wanted to know your opinions on whether I should pursue purchasing a new bike for the build, or replacing many of the components on the current bike? I have a very low budget for the frame/bike itself ($150-$200). I could buy a cheap new bike, a decent used bike, or replace the shifters, freewheel, chain, derailleurs, and cables in the current bike. Please let me know in your opinion what you think is the best direction to take. Steel frame, aluminum, front suspension or full suspension, etc.. All thoughts and ideas are welcomed. Thanks for the help guys and let me know if anyone has additional questions! I posted up some pics of my current bike with the old motor and battery to give a better reference to evaluate.

Airwheel2016
2 years ago

Being a market leader, Airwheel has drawn much attention and is also under great pressure. Without breakthrough or innovation, a company can never stand on top of the technological pyramid. Hard work bears its fruits and Airwheel has released new products incessantly. A new airwheel product is on the way—E3 battery operated bicycle.

Airwheel is not only an adventurer in science and technology, but also a disciple of nature. It seeks the balance between technology and nature. Airwheel new product is no exception. Airwheel E3 electronic bike is coupled with car-level eco-friendly Li-ion battery set, light and delicate, ingenious combination of utility and beauty. High efficient USB port—the built-in USB port transforms the battery into a portable power source, compatible with many smart devices. There are two ways to charge the Airwheel E3: either by direct charger by inserting the power source to the charger, or removing the battery to charge, since it installs replaceable battery design.

Airwheel E3 folding electric bike is more known as a backpack e bike, as there are ten collapsible parts with the folding size 474*399*374mm, that can be stored into a backpack. Also, the comfortable saddle is a highlight. Airwheel E3 selects the rubber saddle, in left-right design with balanced force and good ventilation, so that riders can enjoy a more comfortable riding experience.

Other components of Airwheel E3 electric assist bicycle such as accelerator, customized tires, multi-functional handlebar and intelligent EBS are worth our attention. Its vector controller is to provide better operation and stability. Customized 8 inch tires has better traffic ability and stability. Low energy consumption rubber in the center can increase its speed and range. Its Tire rim with better road holding and specially designed tread pattern makes turning agile and safe. Multi-functional handlebar with EBS, bell, phone holder and headlight is to give riders comfortable and convenient riding experience. The innovative C-AT Vehicle Control System comes into fruition after numerous experiments. Intelligent EBS offers optimized initiating mode of vector controller and provides better brake power solution.

Palmspringscruising
2 years ago

Can anyone give me some advise on my Sondors?
I own 3 sondors since jan 1rst 2016 Found VELOMOBILE and ordered the 48 v upgrade battery and the 25 amp control. After a few rides of 10 miles the rear motor(36v)started making a grinding noise on take off (when there is maximum torque) then after getting going the noise stopped. I bought new gears from Luna cycle and installed them and it still made the same noise. So I took the back wheel off my other brand new sondors bike and installed that with my new upgraded battery and controller. After one 5 mile ride the brand new (36v ) motor started making the same noise. Can anyone give me advise on making this right with the upgrade or do I have to go back to the 36v.
Kyle at Velomobile is very slow to return messages and has not offered any kind of solution. I am out over $700 on the battery upgrade and I now have 2 bad motors.
Any advice o links to fix this problem?
I love these bikes and just want to upgrade them correctly. You guys have some great bikes and I want to do the same thing
Thank you
Alan

Ravi Kempaiah
2 years ago

It's amazing what Sondors has done to people...
You started with a Sondors and now own few Stealth bombers, some heavy duty off-road bikes + heavily modded sondors.

Perfect example for the consequence of myoscopic vision of some of the existing E-bike companies.
They kept the entry price so high and the sticker shock drove many prospective people off.... anyhow..
Awesome stuff. Kinaeye is now selling complete bikes - Vector : http://kinayems.com/Products/Vector

Douglas Ruby
2 years ago

I don't know what you mean by "keyed to the chainstay". The rack support arm mounts to the upper of the two threaded screw holes on each rear dropout. This carries ALL of the vertical force vector (up to and over 55 lbs = 25kg). The rack is attached to the fender itself about 10" from the chainstay cross brace. The horizontal force vector of acceleration/braking is either in tension or compression virtually directly around the aluminum (not plastic) fender. Any bending moment on the fender is braced by the curved shape of the fender. It really is a very clever design unless you wanted to use the rack w/o the fender, in which case a frame mount could VERY easily be fabricated which would connect to the chain stay cross brace.

I would expect the fender to be able to handle many 10's of kg (at least 50-100 lbs) of force in tension or compression as long as it is around the circumference and not a twisting or bending moment. Acceleration is a non-issue since we would be hard pressed to achieve .2G (= 5kg) and in braking no more than .5G (12.5kg).

Of course, if you intend to run into brick walls at 30+mph, all bets are off!

Doug

evident
2 years ago

The saddle is a sqlab model 602 14 cm wide. The suntour is performing very well its on the bike from day one. I went for the suntour for one special reason. All saddle suspension seatposts move backwards as they work. This means that the force vector is behind the seatpost. That is why my saddle is in the most forward position to try to move that force vector forward as near as possible to the seatpost. The suntour has the smallest offset ( backwards displacement ) of them all. It is also not that big so there is room left for my licenseplate which is so ugly on the rearfender. Also very simple to adjust the working force. The most important reason however is the force being excited on the weld from the toptube to the seatposttube. I have heard that that might fail on huge loads.
http://shop.sq-lab.com/Saettel/ in german though.

BatteryPower
2 years ago

Ebike and bicycles are covered by "strict liability." I would argue that Sondors is responsible in full or in part.

Under strict liability the lack of documentation might be all that would be required to prove fault in part to sondors.

Sondors never defined how the product should " be used" and how it should be operated; Nor did Sondors provide information on how to assemble the bike as to preclude injury.

To Sondors the lack of documentation, and product liability insurance, is a cost savings. To the consumer this is a vector for injury and death as was the case for the artist in Hawaii killed in his prime.

J.R.
3 years ago

I get a kick out of people using the word "cheat" when describing ebike riding, probably because a few years ago I felt ebikes were cheating. I have no idea what e-bikers would be cheating at and I now know it's a way to get even more out of cycling.

Some may take offense to such a notion as this:

"Analysis of JP’s ride data suggests at first glance that it’s legitimate. He has power, cadence and heart rate. Furthermore, his numbers appear feasible too.

So, how could he and others be cheating? My suggestion is with an e-bike. By attaching a powermeter, such as Garmin Vector pedals to an e-bike you would still get your power output and cadence. Heart rate could be recorded as per normal.

You can adjust the assistance on most electric bikes, so it is possible to still put in a lot of effort, resulting in a high and realistic looking heart rate. Furthermore, anything around 300W for 30 mins could be enough to take a KOM if you weigh 60Kg. After all, how is Strava to know that you actually weigh 85Kg and enjoy a pint or five!"

I'm not offended, but I'm not looking to set the world on fire with my cycling either. It would be a good idea to have a completely separate app or an e-bike category for these apps, but expecting fairness and policing on a cell phone app and internet database, is expecting too much. If you want fairness and policing join an organized, sanctioned and policed event! You'll get real accolades and your records will stand for something real.

Interesting article though. http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/i-cheated-on-strava-and-got-a-really-amazing-kom-183565

Another interesting Strava related article: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Strava-s-KOM-awards-blamed-for-reckless-bicycling-3657025.php

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 years ago

Hi Sergie, I reached out to Polaris to get this answered for you and they said "The motor moves from 60W up to 600W. We do not follow the traditional wattage output rating because we do not use the same stock torque sensing technology. Our tech is all proprietary and gives the rider the power they need when they need it.Other ebikes shoot out the wattage their motor is rated at based on torque sensing. We offer 250W nominally, and peak at 600W."

Sergei Romanoff
4 years ago

You got a 250W motor? Why does the owners manual say 450?

James Workman
4 years ago

Great Job!

MRTHAKKAR123
4 years ago

You should a review on the Trek Valencia+ ebike

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 years ago

Yeah, Polaris is experimenting with ebikes but in this case they had another company actually make the bike and just put their brand on it. I think they are just testing the waters right now and trying to understand the technology.

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 years ago

Cool, I'd love to hear how it works for you!

ElectricBikeReview.com
4 years ago

I'm assuming 20 miles round trip? Most ebikes can make that distance on one charge but it wouldn't hurt to top off the battery on destination (at the 10 mile mark). I would really think about whether you can bring the bike in or have to park it outside (and thus require a detachable battery) and how much you want to spend. I personally like the Pedego City Commuter or the Easy Motion Neo Cross.

Tell me more about how tall you are, how much weight you want to carry and the riding conditions.

ElectricBikeReview.com
5 years ago

Glad the review helped you! I know it's an expensive decision and somewhat confusing with all of the different options out there. I thought Polaris did an okay job but their bikes aren't cheap and I wish they had more torque :\

george04b
5 years ago

i almost bought this bike but i read your review that you put some time ago and did like the 18mph and price also since is their first on ebikes im going to wait and see what they do for the next gen