Populo Sport Review

Populo Sport Electric Bike Review
Populo Sport
Populo Sport 250 Watt Internally Geared Hub Motor
Populo Sport 36 Volt Samsung Battery Pack
Populo Sport Flat Rubber Grips Low Rise Bar
Populo Sport H500 Monochrome Display Control Pad
Populo Sport Tektro Ebike Levers
Populo Sport Mid Dish Double Wall Rims Black 36h
Populo Sport 46 Tooth Chainring
Populo Sport Electric Bike
Populo Sport Electric Bike Review
Populo Sport
Populo Sport 250 Watt Internally Geared Hub Motor
Populo Sport 36 Volt Samsung Battery Pack
Populo Sport Flat Rubber Grips Low Rise Bar
Populo Sport H500 Monochrome Display Control Pad
Populo Sport Tektro Ebike Levers
Populo Sport Mid Dish Double Wall Rims Black 36h
Populo Sport 46 Tooth Chainring
Populo Sport Electric Bike

Summary

  • An affordable, fairly stylish, surprisingly peppy single speed electric bike that would be great for urban riding, available in five frame sizes and four colors
  • Very affordable at just under $1k, especially considering the wires are internally routed through the frame, the torque sensor is so compact and there are two USB charging ports
  • Nice looking battery, locks securely to the frame but can be removed for charging or reduced weight... the bike only weighs ~37 lbs with everything attached!
  • Wish the display was removable for protection, no suspension and all-Aluminum frame with narrow tires can be a little stiff, no rack or fender mounts, basic brakes

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Populo

Model:

Sport

Price:

$999

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Years Electronics, 3 Year Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

37 lbs (16.78 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19.29 in (48.99 cm)20.47 in (51.99 cm)21.65 in (54.99 cm)22.83 in (57.98 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

30.5" Standover Height

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Black, Silver Polish, Satin Orange, Gloss Blue

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Aluminum Alloy

Frame Rear Details:

12 mm Axle with Bolts

Attachment Points:

Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 Single Speed, 14T

Cranks:

YD 110 Alloy, 46T

Pedals:

HI Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Headset:

4.5 cm Riser Stack, 1-1/8"

Stem:

4" Length, 2° Rise

Handlebar:

Low-Rise Alloy, 23" Length

Brake Details:

Promax Linear Pull, Tektro Ebike Brake Levers with Rubber Edge and Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Flat Rubber, Black

Saddle:

Velo Active

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Black

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Alloy Double Wall, Mid Dish, 36 Hole

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14G, Black

Tire Brand:

CST Super HP, 700 x 28c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Full Size USB Charger on Battery Pack and Display, Walk Mode (Hold + Button), Hold Set to Adjust Power Mode, Press Power Button for Backlight, Park Branded Kickstand

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Plated Stainless Steel Horizontal Dropout with Torque Washers

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

HLGE

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

374.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

3 hours

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

H500 Fixed, Monochrome, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Amperage Meter, Power Level (Eco, Normal, Power), Speedometer, Assist Level (0-8), Voltage, Battery Level (5 Bar), Time, Odometer, Trip Distance

Display Accessories:

Integrated Button Pad

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

I’ve been reviewing electric bikes now for several years and I got into it because my knee is a bit sensitive. I wanted to commute to work in Austin, Texas but struggled with pain towards the end of the week as I had several hills along the way. So, with a little Internet searching I discovered ebikes then quickly felt overwhelmed by the price and possibility of damage or theft. The Populo Sport addresses these two latter concerns perfectly by being affordable and super tough. Having only one gear, you don’t have to worry about adjusting a bent or broken derailleur or cracked shifter levers. This is key for crowded bike racks. Also, the frame looks simple which helps it blend in and the battery is removable so it’s easy to protect and recharge when you’re at work or school. Taking it off also means you’ve got portable energy because there’s a USB port built in (and they placed it well along the lower edge of the pack so you can still use it while riding without getting in the way of your feet or crank arms). Amazingly, there’s even a second charging port on the bike located just under the control pad / display panel. This is perfect for keeping a smart phone topped off if you’re using it for GPS directions or music. I guess it’s not really amazing to have two USB ports but it is kind of rare, especially at this price point :)

As much as I like the display, it’s easy to reach and large enough to see clearly when seated upright, I do wish it was removable and some of the settings are a bit more involved than other e-bikes. The display is really the one vulnerable spot on the bike, especially when parked outside at a public rack. It’s the one thing that might attract unwanted attention from a thief and given the size and nature of the LCD screen it could get worn down more by weather weather and other handle bars coming into contact over time than a simpler LED readout. This isn’t the only non-removable LCD display out there on the market and people make it work (some cover theirs with little cloth pouches or plastic bags), just an area for consideration and improvement by Populo. Frankly, given that this was the first time I’d even heard of the company, I thought they did a great job with most of the bike and I love having more readouts about battery capacity, how far I’ve ridden and how fast I’m going than with the simpler displays.

The battery pack on this bike resembles some other downtube styles and is curved and streamlined without being gaudy. It’s narrow enough that you don’t clip it with your shoes or legs and it has an integrated loop ledge at the top that works like a handle. You get a very average 36 volt 10.4 amp hour capacity but I was told the cells inside are made by Samsung… Upgrade! Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the charger to see how many amps it puts out or take the battery off to weigh it (feel free to chime in with comments about this below if you get the bike). The motor used here is a real superstar, it’s rated at just 250 watts but performs more like a zippy 350 and it compact and discrete, blending in with the black spokes and rims. It did produce a bit more noise than some others I’ve tested but it was mounted well with stainless hardware and a torque arm on the horizontal rear droput. This is another area that seems nice but could be improved with a screw tensioner. And I love that the bike has a kickstand but wish it was rear mounted vs. center to stay clear of the left crank arm.

At the end of the day, this thing is priced well, it performs and it looks good. In fact, it looks better than most of the other low-priced single speeds I’ve tried. I cannot understate the five frame sizes they offer or the four color options. Possibly the biggest win is just how light and well balanced the Populo Sport is. At just ~37 lbs it’s easy to lift and carry up stairs and that’s key if you live in an apartment. Sure, I wish it had fender bosses and rear rack bosses so I wouldn’t have to wear my backpack to carry gear but at least it has bottle cage bosses (or so I was told it would by the rep). Yeah, lights would be nice but many helmets now have them and in the city there are street lights. Please consider reflective clothing and the silver frame if you ride in the dark a lot because it will help keep you safe. I guess we’ll see how well this thing holds up as customers chime in but my experience was good and Populo has an entire line of ebikes now so I hope to review more soon. It’s neat that they are selling through shops too, so people can take test rides and get warranty coverage. I could hardly believe they offer two years comprehensive warranty for this thing at this price. Big thanks to Populo for partnering with me for this review.

Pros:

  • Extremely light weight at just ~37 lbs, this is the sort of electric bike you can easily lift up steps or mount on car and bus racks
  • Super simple and durable single speed drivetrain… much less likely to drop the chain when riding or get damage when parking at the bike rack
  • Low price point of $999 makes it hurt less if/when the bike gets damaged or stolen if you ride in the city but you still get a high quality battery with Samsung cells
  • Impressive torque and pep from the 250 watt geared hub motor, I wasn’t expecting it to feel as zippy as it does… hopefully it holds up over time as I’m not super familiar with HLGE motors?
  • Available in five frame sizes! So even though it’s a high-step, it should fit better than some other affordable city bike models
  • I like the color options, choose from four colors including timeless black or silver, the bright orange and blue look nice and the branding is minimal, I love that the cables and wires are all integrated (this is a purpose built electric bike)
  • Mid-frame battery keeps weight low and center, I like that it locks to the frame but is removable for reduced weight or charging separately (and protection)
  • Reinforced stainless steel horizontal dropout (for tighetining the chain) with a torque arm washer to improve strength and handle motor forces
  • Two full sized USB ports, one on the battery to use for portable power and the other on the display panel for use on the go (phone gps, music or lights)
  • Nice to have brake levers with motor inhibitors that override the motor… especially since this bike uses a cadence sensor for pedal assist that’s sort of average in terms of response time
  • Pretty impressive warranty considering the price, you get two years comprehensive and three years on the frame, being sold through shops so you can test ride and get support vs. online

Cons:

  • I wish the display panel was removable… everything else on the bike is tough and built for the city but that display is vulnerable to weather or getting scratched and broken at the rack
  • All-Aluminum frame and fork make for a stiff ride, especially given the narrower 700c road tires, consider a compact 27.2 mm suspension seat post like this but note that it will still raise the minimum seat height by about three inches (to be honest, the bike felt better than I expected during my ride test, more comfortable)
  • I like that it has a kickstand but prefer the rear-mount design vs. mid-mount because this one gets in the way and collides with the cranks if you walk the bike backwards
  • The brakes are kind of basic, given how light and cheap the bike is they work alright but I’d much prefer v-brakes for more power or disc brakes that stay cleaner
  • I love that it has bottle cage bosses but wish it also had rack and fender bosses for those who commute with gear or have to ride in the rain… lots of aftermarket fenders, racks and lights to choose from but it’s nice when they aren’t piling up on your seat post and mount stronger (note that Sam was wearing an LED Torch helmet which is a great way to be seen without the hassle of on-frame lights)
  • The three drive modes and eight levels of assist just seemed like a lot compared with most other ebikes I test (that only have for our five levels)… it almost seems like you could miss the modes entirely but I do see their purpose (less power use but still capable of higher speeds), hold set to enter the modes and change them with plus or minus for eco, normal and power)
  • In order to tighten the chain you have to manually pull the rear wheel backwards in the horizontal dropouts whereas other bikes with a similar setup often have a screw tightener tool that’s easier to work with, this just means extra screwing around and possibly a two person job if you have to take the wheel off to fix a flat
  • Narrow high pressure tires need to be checked and topped off a lot more regularly, it’s way easier to get a “snake bite” or “pinch” flat, no quick release so changing flats is more work
  • The motor makes a bit more noise than some of the other geared motors, especially in higher power modes

Resources:

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bikerjohn
7 months ago

Nice review, Court! That Populo has a clean look. Hoping to see a review of the Populo Peak, soon.

Court Rye
7 months ago

Thanks! Yeah, I’m excited to check out some of their other models in the future and learn more about the company :)

Susan
7 months ago

This bike checks off everything on my list except for the stupid non-removable display. I have had countless parts stolen off my bikes when forced to lock up outside. Even if the thief couldn’t remove the display, there’s a good chance they would just smash it out of frustration- so then that leaves you with a non-operational motor. Wonder if Populo would replace it.

Court Rye
7 months ago

Hey Susan! Unfortunately part of my girlfriend’s bike rack was just stolen the other day… for no reason! Now she can only put one bike on it and I’m guessing that somewhere out there, possibly in a bush, is the extra bar. Sometimes people are lame… Anyway, I do think that Populo would be likely to have replacement parts for sale. They seem like a bigger company with their act together but you might want to reach out and ask first (and check the price). I’m guessing the displays will be $100 a pop. The other approach would be to actually unscrew the display and re-mount it with velcro then unplug at the end of each ride when parking. Hope this helps… None of the more affordable electric bicycles seem to have removable displays.

Susan
4 months ago

Hey Court, After several months of debating and a current order in to Electron wheel that I’m planning on cancelling, I think I’m going to get this bike. I agree with your DIY modification recommendation. It looks like they sell extra batteries and I’m thinking this one is designed in a way that you can upgrade and modify it on your own even if Populo decides to discontinue the model. My only problem is figuring out what to do with my 8 month old Fuji Feather.

Diego Carrington
7 months ago

Hi Court! I just left a message on the voltbike elegant and I thank you very much for your response and even going further getting a code for a better price, you are really awesome.

Your website is so detailed and extensive that when you think you found a great option, you come across to a different great review.

That made me come across this model, populo sport. As I mentioned before, my budget aims for a cheap and reliable option and from what I can read this one hits good points. It looks discrete enough to not get unwanted attention (hopefully saving it from robery) and I think that the accessories missing (fenders, rack and light) can be covered with around 100 bucks using the options you provided. Also… 2 year warranty!

I promise I won’t be jumping on any more reviews asking if they are “my new best option” but knowing that the voltbike elegant might be small for me (6’2, 200 lb), what do you think comparing this Populo Sport with the radcity and its $1450 price? (which the sweet 50$ off).

I’m just a little concerned about the 250w not being powerful enough for me and from my Ebike lack of experience I don’t know if the lack of throttle is a must when buying one.

I really thank you for your time and attention!
Diego

Court Rye
7 months ago

Hi Diego! The bikes each offer something unique and I find myself justifying each… whether based on price or the specific use case scenario. I find that shops and companies promote their own as “the best” and people often use power as a deciding factor but you’ve kept a really open mind and that shows a lot of wisdom. Professional long distance cyclists put out around 200 watts from what I’ve read so if you get an ebike that can offer up to 250… and usually beyond that with peak output, you’re going to have a good experience. In parts of Europe they limit ebikes to 250 watts and people like them just the same. That said, since you have option and are a taller and heavier rider who wants something that will last and work with accessories I’d still push you towards the RadCity. The rack is sturdy, the fenders fit and won’t rattle as much, the tires will provide some cushion (along with the suspension). The Populo and other bikes like E-Glide are awesome for being minimalist but that’s not what I hear you describing as the use case. I have been in the position of trying to save money and then disappointed later when the bike didn’t perform (and I hear that a lot about ebikes, buyer’s remorse for not going higher quality). If you’re in this for a tool, get the right tool. The Rad Power bikes are still very affordable value oriented products, saving $400 or even just $300 after you get fenders, rack, lights etc. might leave you feeling like the extra power and strength and size would have been worth it. But again… any of these bikes can be GREAT if you work with them and look on the bright side of the base technology :)

JW ZHANG
5 months ago

Hey Susan, You are right, you are not the only one mentioned about the removable LCD screen since we released the product two months ago. We started design process a week ago for removable version for future production, for the time being we will send free replacement to customers who got their screen stolen or smashed whatever reason until we have upgrade.

Court Rye
5 months ago

Wow, that’s a neat offer. Thanks for sharing the news JW! I’m excited to see your improvements on future reviews.

Benjie
5 months ago

Hi, I just want to thank you Court for the awesome reviews you do. I purchased the Populo sport Dec. Of 2016, i’m getting to know the ebike and still learning how I can apply it with my cycling hobby. I normally ride average of 15-25 miles for recreational and exercise proposes. Just wanna share a small feedback about the range from this ebike. Ridden it from Fullerton to Huntington beach and back on single charge. Approximately 50miles, on eco mode, averaged 18mph. From a bellow average cyclist, which I use to do with my single-speed none ebike 5 years ago. I’m just happy I’m able do this again.

Court Rye
5 months ago

That’s awesome Benjie! Sounds like you’re really enjoying the Populo Sport… I love hearing real-world stats on distance per charge so thanks for sharing that. Would you mind sharing your height and weight so others can approximate their own performance?

Rai
4 months ago

Do you ship to Niagara region, Canada? How much for shipping cost?

Susan
4 months ago

I noticed your stats on the battery are different than what is listed on Populo’s site. They state it is a Panasonic, not a Samsung, although both produce great batteries, and their site states 8.7ah instead of the 10.4ah. I don’t know if that makes an overall difference in the performance however I am curious why they would change battery companies only after a few short months. Do you have any info on that? I just purchased the bike today and will definitely report back on performance!

Court Rye
4 months ago

Hi Susan, thanks for the update… I’m actually visiting a shop right now and pulled a battery off one of the Populo Sport models. It says 36 volt 8.7 amp hours so yeah, I guess they changed it or I was given inaccurate information for the review. Thanks for pointing this out. Maybe the different battery size meant that they needed to change brands? Either way, I agree with you that both offer solid products that should last well. I’m excited to hear your updates after some ride time :D

Noel
3 months ago

Hey, I’m pretty confused and I don’t know if this is the bike that would meet my needs or not. I’m a student and I don’t have a lot OF money. Thing is I need to go about 20 miles to get to university and go all the way back home every day. I was wondering if this bike has that much range (40-50 miles) on power mode and if not, then what would be a good option for me ?? Thank you !!

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hi Noel! I like the Populo Sport but am not sure it would go as far as you’re talking about… The cool thing about the bike is that it’s relatively light and efficient so even if you run out of juice it’s still going to be easier to pedal than some others out there. Given the kind of daily use you’re talking about however, I’d consider a Bosch powered electric bike because they are super efficient, reliable and the batteries are higher capacity than Populo but still very compact and light (so you can bring them into class for protection or easy charging). There are more Bosch ebikes available now from a wide range of companies. I haven’t finished my review yet but the BULLS Cross E is going to be $2,499 and comes out later this year in a step-thru design. I realize that sounds like a lot more money but the bike will definitely go further and last longer based on my experience. Maybe look around for deals on last-season Bosch powered ebikes by using the sale section in the EBR forums here.

Susan
3 months ago

Ok, so I finally got around to un-boxing yesterday and it took me only an hour to assemble with my limited knowledge and confidence of assembling bikes-gotta make sure all the bolts are on tight and that you’ve put bike grease on the right parts as well as oiling the chain which they forgot to add in their video.

I rode it for the first time on my way to work straight through Boston and into Cambridge and from the first moment I began pedaling I could not stop laughing at what an incredible feeling it is!!! “Pedal-assist” should really be called “throttle pedal” because I only had to do a quarter of a rotation before the motor kicked in and zipped me off.

It is heavier than my steel single speed Fuji Feather but I was able to carry it down five flights out of my apartment building. Some minor adjustments I’ll make will be adding ESI bar grips for a more comfortable ride and possibly a shorter stem because even at 5’8″, the reach is a bit aggressive for my back.

I tried both normal and high mode but I didn’t really notice a difference as I think I was able to achieve 33kmh (20pmh) in both modes. I saw some youtubers get it up to 28mph so I’ll have to experiment.

As someone who has commuted to work nearly every day in Boston for the last 10 years on single speed bikes, this was a perfect transition into the electric bike world. I like the fact that I can just order another battery rather than say sending a Copenhagen or Electron wheel back to the factory when the battery dies. I love the simple design without permanent clunky racks or other items in order to keep the lightness of the bike. I also think because of its minimal design, it will be much easier for myself or a local bike shop to maintenance. I’m counting on Populo to stay committed to this model by offering upgrades and other accessories that will keep the bike running for years to come.

I’m in love with this bike after only one ride and can’t wait to fly around town this summer!

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hey Susan! I enjoyed reading your testimonial and tips about assembling and enjoying the Populo in Boston. You must be in great shape going up and down all of those stairs :P

Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm, I also hope Populo honors this bike by keeping parts available and offering good support. Feel free to chime in again anytime with updates and ride safe out there!

Tim
3 months ago

When I saw upgrade referring to the Samsung battery, I had to laugh. Don’t let the 8.7 vs 10.4 amp-hours fool you. Panasonic cells are far superior and degrade VERY SLOWLY over time. Samsungs not so good after a short while. I work with laptops and have even made ebike batteries from their cells. I always prefer Panasonic and Samsung is not close. FYI Sanyo not that great either.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Interesting, thanks for sharing your experience with both brands Tim. I’ve heard that the cell density or quality level can matter as well and that the battery management systems make a difference… and having a fuse. It’s a bit misleading to just go by brand but I try to use it as an indicator for quality here and there. Where do you get your battery cells, pack designs, motor kits etc.? Sounds like you’re really into this :)

JimBo
2 months ago

I just picked up a barely used (100 miles), large frame Populo Sport (in matte black). It’s aesthetically sleek, its power delivery is smooth, and the LCD’s volt readings are a nice touch. The battery, however, rattles loudly in its mounts going over bumpier pavement.. I wish your review ride (and my *test* ride) wasn’t so brief. and only on smooth pavement. I might have offered a little less for it! Still, I got a great deal on what Court calls a “beater” in the review.

After getting it home and giving it the once-over, I put ten miles on it riding to and from the Post Office with the tires pumped to 100 psi. Sure enough, I hit a small pothole and got a flat, so I promptly ordered new 700x35c tires and self-sealing tubes from Nashbar. Meanwhile, I’m kind of worried about the battery – I’ve experienced 8-9 brands of ebikes from bike industry behemoths as well as crowdfunded startups, and this is the chintziest battery setup I’ve seen thus far.

The bottom battery mount was loose, but tightening it as much as I could did nothing to reduce the pronounced noise when riding over rougher stuff. When I removed the battery and shook it a little I could feel the cells moving around inside, almost liquid-like… should I be nervous? This shaking didn’t produce nearly as much noise as it makes on the bike, so clearly it’s just the mounting system. The Populo battery sure *looks* like a Bosch, but it’s clearly nowhere near the same quality.

I’m wondering if other Populo owners’ batteries rattle etc. I’m also curious if anyone else’s display has a constant full-battery reading, even as you watch the voltage readout and LED indicators on the battery itself drop to lower and lower levels. During Court’s review, I can see a voltage reading of 37.2, but the battery meter’s completely full. At full charge, my voltage reading was 40.3, so maybe it’s a common glitch?

Court Rye
2 months ago

Interesting… thanks for sharing all of these details JimBo. In the past, I have met people who used layers of duct tape to cushion and tighten their battery interface as the plastic mounting points wore down over time and the pack started to rattle but internal rattling is a whole different thing and very concerning. Damaged ebike batteries have been responsible for fires at shops (who are working to repair them) and even during rides on hot days like this. I’m wary of offering any kind of advice but would definitely start with a Populo dealer or even the company itself to see if an exchange / discount could be worked out for a new pack. I did not spend enough time with the Populo Sport to comment on battery readout but it sounds like you’ve identified an issue with their system.

JimBo
2 months ago

Thanks for the prompt response, Court! I applied Gorilla tape in the spaces of the battery mount where you can see rubbing had occurred, but now I’m especially nervous about the cell movement inside the battery so I doubt I’ll ride this bike again until its battery is replaced. I sent Populo an email over the weekend, and tried calling today at about 10am PST; hopefully they’ll call/write back soon. I’ll post an update if/when they do.

I also want to ask them whether the replacement batteries on their website are made with Panasonic or Samsung (it doesn’t specify but it does say they’re 10.4Ah and I believe the Panasonics were 8.8). I’m always wary of vague ebike specs (especially regarding electronics), but caught flak on the EBR Forum for calling another small ebike company out on their loosey-goosey approach to posting specs… I can understand the need for flexibility, but consumers deserve to know exactly what they’re buying, IMO!

Regardless of cell manufacturer, the Populo’s battery *builder* may be the culprit in the internal cell movement, or it could be that the loose mounts caused this issue over time. I have several other ebikes, however, including a few eMTBs that had seen much rougher terrain over longer periods, and none of them – including the crowdfunded startups – have batteries that did this. So I really hope they’ll replace it under warranty. They don’t specify “original owner” on their generous warranty, but they do limit their liability (understandable), and say, “If a defective part is found during the warranty period and the customer notifies us immediately, **the seller will repair or replace the part based on his sole discretion**.”

JimBo
2 months ago

Update: I got a replacement battery from Populo, but it also had an unsealed seam in the same spot the original had. Black 3M electrical tape blends right in with the matte black plastic battery case, so I taped the seam and you can barely tell it’s there. After two rides, the tape has held up and the internal cells do not move around inside like to original did. But there’s a small piece of something rattling around in there – I can only conclude that. they’re sourcing cheap batteries from a marginal supplier.

This brings me to Susan’s earlier comment/observation that Court’s review says the Sport’s batteries use Samsung cells while Populo’s specifications on their website say Panasonic. When I looked at their replacement battery offering for $329, I noticed it didn’t mention any brand at all. They have a little “live chat” function, however, so I asked “Panasoic or Samsung cells?” on two different visits a week apart. First time, they siad Samsung and asked where I was getting Panasonic from. I told them it’s specified that way on the Sport web page! The second time, however, they said Panasonic!

Something really sketchy’s going on there…

Susan
3 weeks ago

Jimbo’s battery experience is really alarming. I tried to purchase an extra one but at the moment they’re sold out. The frustrating part is they claim you can’t just find a similar shape and spec battery to use so what’s going to happen when this one dies? My bike dies with it? The fact they can’t truthfully reveal the manufacture is a red flag. I’ve been biking to work every day since I got it back 3 months ago in mid-March and the battery doesn’t quite seem as strong as it was in the beginning (the voltage goes down quickly). If I have trouble getting a replacement from them, I may just look into a whole new power supply for the motor if that is at all possible. I’ve been sealing the battery in saran wrap on rainy days as I don’t want to risk water damage.

The Populo web chat help person confirmed that a medium 55 would fit my 5’8″ height. Now, under the new specs for the sizes, they still have a 55 medium but it clearly states it is for those that are 5’10” and over- this would explain why the reach is just too far on mine.

Bottom line is it is still a great and powerful bike but because they needed to meet specific benchmarks for this price, they are not forthcoming about the specifics of the parts. I’m starting to worry that an electrical overhaul may come a lot sooner than I anticipated.

Court Rye
3 weeks ago

Hi Susan, that’s a frustrating experience but you’ve got a healthy constructive attitude. Your stem could be swapped for a shorter one or higher angle to reduce reach. I can’t speak for Populo batteries but you could reach out to Rechargeable Power Energy in Nevada for a replacement if/when you need a refill. I believe they repack almost any electric bicycle battery :)

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JeffDG
3 weeks ago

Hello!
WOW! I knew e-bikes were emerging, but until my research research I had no idea the number of brands and offerings! Cost is still a factor, so I'm looking to merge the capabilities of a mountain bike with a commuter. Right now, I have a Trek 29er but because of the hills around here and asthma I don't go out much. That and I'm not overly sold on the 29er concept...

So...here is a rundown of my "must haves" and my "like to haves" followed by a couple options that seem to fit the bill.

Price: $2k (give or take)
Wheel size: strongly prefer 27.5"
Tires: not particularly relevant as I'd probably have to change to something amenable to both activities.
Drive: prefer a mid-drive
Suspension: Must have 100mm front suspension... full suspension would be wicked!!... could do front rack in that case (e.g., Thule pack n pedal)?????
Method of drive: prefer torque sensing with throttle
Accessories: needs to have the ability for a rack, fenders, and lights; prefer if they come pre-installed with lights integrated into the electric system
Class: Must be class III (20mph throttle / 28mph assist)

So far I found two that fit these criteria and two more that, well, might just be shooting for the stars:
1. Magnum Peak: a geared hub-driven mountain bike with bolt ons for racks etc.
2. M2S XC Sport - there is a dearth of info on this brand - but this site has done a review of the impressive drive system. The range seems low... are they just a conservative bunch?

is there an option for a 500W motor upgrade
is there an option for battery upgrades
Possible to add a throttle?
is there a gear-shift sensor?
Are the head/tail lights integrated into the electric system?

3. M2S Dual Sport - this is a full-suspension mountain bike...not sure it would work, but it would be incredibly cool if it could!
4. M2S All Go - this looks so cool! And so light! 37 lbs! What!?!?! Looks like there's an option for front suspension based on their photos, but it's not listed on the drop down menus.

It seems that Magnum has been around for at least 7 years...which is a good sign. The M2S fits more criteria but they seem to be an incredibly new company, which has its risks...on the other hand... the parts seem to be all available elsewhere (Bafang Max drive system... shimano shifters, etc.)... M2S' website, while looks great and is nicely navigable, does leave some questions.

I'm open to other options and/or input on the ones above...

THANKS!!

EDIT: Add to the short list the Biktrix Monte 1000... that also seems to fit the criteria. Has a BBS02 motor, hard tail, etc etc.

Mr Wonderful
1 month ago

I just puchased a OHM Sport 2017 and have mixed feelings about my bike

First is buyers remorse because I spent alot of money on this bike
almost $6000 with taxes.

I am alone on the trails and seawall because I haven't seen another EBike owner in Vancouver
and feel like returning the bike because of the price and no real place to store the bike in my one bedroom apartment.

I'm glad this forum is open and available because i am trying to get over my remorse by riding the bike and need some advice

It is a great bike ! and feel that I am not cheating by using the electric part but feel isolated
because I also don't know any other EBike riders in Vancouver BC

So I have mixed feelings about what to do in the next 7 days (7 days to return the bike)
beside ride

smitty
2 months ago

Happy to report that after many months of waiting patiently, Redshift Sports Shockstop is available. I have installed it on my ST-1. Due to weather where I live, I've only had it out on the street for a few miles, but what I experienced thus far was a major improvement over biking without it.

I bought the 30 degree rise version. So, for starters, my handlebars are now up about 1.5" higher and maybe .75" further to the rear of the bike, allowing me to sit more upright (not everyone's cup of tea, but just what I was looking for). I am sure that means a bit more drag, but with an electric bike, even on 60 and 70 mile rides, placing more weight on my seat (Brooks B67 with Thudbuster) and less on my upper body is a small price to pay imho for a far more comfortable ride.

I went out today before another downpour and rode on some local streets I know all too well--this time not avoiding all the usual bumps, small potholes, and seams. With the Shockstop in place, the improvement in ride comfort was substantial--I could feel far less of the grinding, rattling, direct road shock through the handlebars and grips. The handlebars do move up and down slightly and smoothly, and at first that felt odd, but I quickly grew used to it. There is so much less vibration with Shockstop. It really takes much of the wear and tear off your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck and back--while allowing you to retain the "road feel" and control you need to feel through handlebars. It's hard to explain, but so far I am highly impressed. It was easy to install--but you do need to have a 5Nm torque wrench--available on line for as little as $10-$15. Shockstop comes with a wide range of elastomers, allowing you to customize the shock absorption level to suit you weight and preferences.

All in all, I highly recommend it. Posting a couple of pictures--side views. Good holiday gift. They sell for about $120.

Here is a very long and detailed review that contains a number of interesting sidelights, along with pics and video of the Redshift Sports Shockstop for those who might be interested...http://www.elessarbicycle.it/shockstop-stem-by-redshift-sport-review/

Matt A
3 months ago

Visited Best Electric Bikes today, and test rode the DeLite, of which they have the high speed dual battery belt drive on the floor as a demo. It is *very* nice! Between the relatively fat tires and suspension, it is a very luxurious ride. The belt is silent, so the only noise is the motor, which is pretty quite at ECO and TOUR, and more noticeable at SPORT and TURBO, perhaps heightened for me by the lack of drive-train noise that I'm used to. Having ridden many thousands of miles on a Bosch speed pedelec (Felt NINEe) setup for commuting duty in similar tires, fenders, rack, but a significantly lighter bike without the full suspension and second battery, it does seem like ECO is not so practical on the R&M, while it's required on the Felt by the lack of battery capacity. However, my interest in twice the battery capacity is to be able to run at higher speeds on higher assist, so not feeling like ECO works as well seems an acceptable tradeoff. I am curious how much efficiency is lost due to the belt and Nuvinci, though again this to me is an acceptable trade-off for lower maintenance.

At this point, I am ready to pull the trigger, and will probably place an order in the next week, but not necessarily for the DeLite. I'm still drawn to the Charger. I'd love some feedback from anyone regarding maintenance and reliability of two models and trim levels, as follows:

DeLite with full suspension vs Charger hard tail. The charger is bound to be lighter, and more efficient, and simpler, which means lower maintenance. Any thoughts on how the extra roller in the belt on the DeLite will effect belt life? How about suspension care?
Each of these models is available in either chain/Rohloff or belt/NuVinci configurations. I'm drawn by lack of need to clean and lube the belt and the long duty cycle of the belt to go with the NuVinci config, despite reservations that it will hold up like the Rohloff. But I'm afraid with the Rohloff I'd wind up doing frequent chain maintenance, and/or need to replace the chain and sprockets frequently.

My riding is all commuting, year round, on relatively smooth, clean paved paths and roads. I'm used to a hard tail, and rode the last 30k miles on one, so the full suspension has more future use case appeal than any daily justification. So I'd happily trade simple, lighter, and durability for suspension, but what really is the impact of the suspension on reliability? And with the price difference of the NuVinci and Rohloff, I'd be happy with the NuVinci provided it lasts something in the neighborhood of 15k miles or more...

As nice as the DeLite is, I'm leaning toward the Charger because I'm aiming to put 1500+ miles per month on it, and my preference is for reliability. Thoughts on reliability between the two configs? And is there any justification to consider the Rohloff, given the chain drive?
Hey Dan, I have owned the Delite GT Nuvinci HS for over a month now, and I just ordered a Charger GT Nuvinci HS for my girlfriend. I have ridden the Delite GX Rohloff on multiple occasions. In my opinion, the Rohloff is clearly a better system and a higher gear ratio of around 540%. The NuVinci is 380%. Having owned the Delite and Nuvinci for a while, I tried it at Propel again with the Rohloff to see if I made the right decision. It does have a better gear range, but really I feel the NuVinci has enough for most uses. The only time I have thought I would want a higher gear was going downhill at 30mph, so not really necessary. The low end of the range is enough for the most extreme climbs.

What I really have come to love about the NuVinci is being able to dial it in perfectly to whats comfortable, no jumping between ratios. While riding, I can keep pedaling and riding along like normal while making adjustments, which is great for taking off quickly from a stop in the city and racing up to that 28mph mark. With the Rohloff, you have to stop pedaling in order to shift, which I do not like. I am sure I would get used to it and it would become normal, but the Nuvinci just feels like a smoother and more luxury system. The Rohloff is supposed to have a longer life than the NuVinci, but I expect my NuVinci to last thousands of miles. I cannot really comment on longevity.

For me, the NuVinci lifespan is enough, I plan to put around 1,000 miles a month on the bike. The Rohloff will give you a longer life and some extra gear range if you really want to push it on those flats or downhills. But the tradeoff is the chain, and the price. You can buy 5 NuVincis for the price of the Rohloff when it comes time to replace it. I particularly did not like to stop pedaling everytime I wanted to shift gears.

As for your first concern, the Delite is heavier, and more complicated than the charger. But in my opinion, it rides much nicer because of it. When I get off the Ben Franklin bridge into Philadelphia, there are cobblestones with deep and wide spaces between it where all the mortar or whatever eroded. So it would be a very bumpy ride. Have you ever seen that gif for the bodyfloat where it shows the guy sitting on the saddle which stays perfectly still while the bike vibrates beneath him? That's how I actually felt going over those cobblestones, and it was at a speed of about 20mph probably. It is at the bottom of a long hill but it curves so I wasn't flying that fast. The bike rides like a motorcycle. For suspension care, I was told the suspension can be rebuilt easily if it ever starts losing pressure. Other than that, just clean the salt off it during the winter and clean it in general with just water.

The roller on the Delite keeps the belt from bouncing over bumps and causing varying tension. I would think the life is the same with or without it.

This has all been from my experience and what I learned at Propel, I am new to ebikes.

BurbManDan
3 months ago

I totally understand. There is actually a dealer in Denver called Best Electric Bikes, but I know very little about them. Maybe you should give them a shout or stop in.

Visited Best Electric Bikes today, and test rode the DeLite, of which they have the high speed dual battery belt drive on the floor as a demo. It is *very* nice! Between the relatively fat tires and suspension, it is a very luxurious ride. The belt is silent, so the only noise is the motor, which is pretty quite at ECO and TOUR, and more noticeable at SPORT and TURBO, perhaps heightened for me by the lack of drive-train noise that I'm used to. Having ridden many thousands of miles on a Bosch speed pedelec (Felt NINEe) setup for commuting duty in similar tires, fenders, rack, but a significantly lighter bike without the full suspension and second battery, it does seem like ECO is not so practical on the R&M, while it's required on the Felt by the lack of battery capacity. However, my interest in twice the battery capacity is to be able to run at higher speeds on higher assist, so not feeling like ECO works as well seems an acceptable tradeoff. I am curious how much efficiency is lost due to the belt and Nuvinci, though again this to me is an acceptable trade-off for lower maintenance.

At this point, I am ready to pull the trigger, and will probably place an order in the next week, but not necessarily for the DeLite. I'm still drawn to the Charger. I'd love some feedback from anyone regarding maintenance and reliability of two models and trim levels, as follows:

DeLite with full suspension vs Charger hard tail. The charger is bound to be lighter, and more efficient, and simpler, which means lower maintenance. Any thoughts on how the extra roller in the belt on the DeLite will effect belt life? How about suspension care?
Each of these models is available in either chain/Rohloff or belt/NuVinci configurations. I'm drawn by lack of need to clean and lube the belt and the long duty cycle of the belt to go with the NuVinci config, despite reservations that it will hold up like the Rohloff. But I'm afraid with the Rohloff I'd wind up doing frequent chain maintenance, and/or need to replace the chain and sprockets frequently.

My riding is all commuting, year round, on relatively smooth, clean paved paths and roads. I'm used to a hard tail, and rode the last 30k miles on one, so the full suspension has more future use case appeal than any daily justification. So I'd happily trade simple, lighter, and durability for suspension, but what really is the impact of the suspension on reliability? And with the price difference of the NuVinci and Rohloff, I'd be happy with the NuVinci provided it lasts something in the neighborhood of 15k miles or more...

As nice as the DeLite is, I'm leaning toward the Charger because I'm aiming to put 1500+ miles per month on it, and my preference is for reliability. Thoughts on reliability between the two configs? And is there any justification to consider the Rohloff, given the chain drive?

Griego
3 months ago

Great site! Thanks to all of those involved.
I have some mid drive bikes in my compare bucket. It's rarely possible to test ride everything I'm interested in even tough I live in a major city (Chicago). That's the toughest part about having the desire to buy an electric bike. I couldn't possibly buy a bike I've never been on but with a little extra help I can certainly narrow it down. I would really appreciate some input from anyone that actually rides any of the following bikes:
Trek XM700+
Gazelle CityZen C8 HM
Walleräng M.01
Raleigh Misceo Sport IE
BULLS SIX50 E2 Street
Thank you in advance!

Thomas Jaszewski
3 months ago

From My friend in Madrid. Low rainfall but outdoors 24/7
The booster bike is around 22 kilograms (48 pounds) and cuts the electric thrust at 18 km/h (11 mph), therefore, the assistance will make a difference between sport and transport, but won’t let people surf the city like the effortless kamikaze-deliverymen in New York City.

The bicycle is designed and built by the Spanish company BonoPark, which is at the same time in charge of the stands and management of the system. In total, there will be 1,560 bicycles and 3,120 stands shared at 123 stations. The bicycles will be available 24/7, all year long.

The price is, like always, the most controversial point. Starting with an annual fee of 25 euros (15 for the public transport subscribers), the users will pay 50 euro cents for the first 30 minutes and 60 additional cents for each half-hour of use. After the second hour the price rises to 4 euro per hour.

Madrid leaves its fleet of 1500 e-bikes out in the rain... :)

John B
3 months ago

I am looking to get my first electric bike. Been doing a bit of research but the permutations and options coupled with the wide range in price seem to be many. I have gone to test ride a handful of bikes but haven't gotten hooked on anything. I am not a bike rider, in fact I'm not a person who does much in the world any exercise. I am looking to potentially use this bike to commute to work 1 or 2 times a month and ride on weekends. My work commute would be 18-21 miles with a big mountain in between. For anyone familiar with Los Angeles, this is the valley to west side. The commute would be half fire roads (dirt roads) and half pavement (through city) so a mountain bike seems to be best option. So, here are the specs I'm looking for in this bike...

1. Mountain bike (not fat tire) with suspension on the front forks at least but better with full suspension.
2. Preferably a mid-drive motor (as I understand they are more efficient) with 500watts or better.
3. Enough power to get my unfit self up a lot of hills (like 8-10 miles of them) with not a lot of effort.
4. A battery option (thinking 14aH or better)that could cover my unfit self using the max setting on PAS (turbo, sport...) through most of my ride.
5. Class 2 or better class 3.
6. Here is the unicorn of the list... something $3000 or less.

Overall I need a lot of power, torque and battery life to get me over a pretty big hill without running out of power. I'm OK with just hearing thoughts on the best option with most of my dream list. I'm not opposed to getting earlier year models if they do what I need. I am also good with taking a good base and adding to it.

america94
4 months ago

Hi @america94, we do stock both fat tires and inner tubes Kenda for both our Voltbike Yukon and Voltbike Mariner series. In fact we also offer either free helmet or free inner tube if you decide to purchase Voltbike Yukon or Voltbike Mariner.
I understand is hard to find in Canada, but I can assure you we have enough of those in-stock.
Here is the direct page of the Kenda Krusde 20x4" Tire.
http://www.voltbike.ca/replacement-parts/electric-bike-parts/kenda-krusade-sport-tire-20-x-4.html
thanks for the info. I wrote to @Voltbike a while ago to inquire about the tires but did not hear back. I don't believe they were showing on the website either at the time (although the tube was). I find that 75$ for a tire and 28$ for a tube quite expensive (before tax and shipping) compared to regular 26X2 wheels, but it is nice to know you have both in stock.

Voltbike
4 months ago

Hi @america94, we do stock both fat tires and inner tubes Kenda for both our Voltbike Yukon and Voltbike Mariner series. In fact we also offer either free helmet or free inner tube if you decide to purchase Voltbike Yukon or Voltbike Mariner.
I understand is hard to find in Canada, but I can assure you we have enough of those in-stock.
Here is the direct page of the Kenda Krusde 20x4" Tire.
http://www.voltbike.ca/replacement-parts/electric-bike-parts/kenda-krusade-sport-tire-20-x-4.html

joshuagore
4 months ago

I got my CrossCurrent over the summer with the 7.8aH battery. It's my first electric bike, and I had decided to go with it after test riding several other brands, including doing my commute (which is about 13 miles long in one direction). I weigh around 250 lbs, and have a pannier with a 6 lbs laptop. The bike is able to make it ok alternating between sport and level 3. I have ordered the 17.4aH battery and hopefully it will arrive soon so I can go the commute entirely in sport mode and ditch riding in Los Angeles traffic for 50 minutes in the morning and evening each day.

What kind of information would be useful to track and share as I test out the new battery? I expect to put on around a hundred miles a week, give or take and will be happy to help share real world numbers with everyone.

I'm thinking about getting a Cycle Analyst, which I assume will help for tracking data, and maybe give me an easy way to hardwire lights in. Anyone else hardwired lights in using a Cycle Analyst?

Wes Lem
1 month ago

This is from Jim Richardson's Latest Google Plus Blog Post:

Juiced Cross Current with Roadies Ride.

To date, I have been riding the Juiced CrossCurrent alone, and gauging performance against elite cyclists riding the same route but at a different time via Strava. I occasionally crossed paths with other cyclists, but never rode with them.

Today I got to ride the Juiced CrossCurrent with roadies. Real Roadies. Two Ironman guys wanted training on a mixed route: pavement, dirt roads, and one dirt trail as race prep training. I have a half paved, half dirt circuit that covers many of the same dirt roads that will be in their race. They asked me to take them on that course. The course, and the race, climb up Pine Hill (see prior posts).

Yesterday I took my Specialized Roubaix on a 56 mile hard road ride. I rode in shorts as it was 73°. Even after muscle rollers, my legs were not up to a hard ride the following day. My legs were shot. Today it was 37° degrees and windy. I had ridden with one of these Ironmen before, and no way could I keep up even with fresh legs. I offered to pace them on the Juiced CrossCurrent. I also wanted to see how the battery worked in cold weather.

The Ironmen were riding carbon bikes, with Di2 electric shifting. One had tubeless road tires. Their bikes were likely under 18 lbs. We started out riding together, on a slight downgrade, and I had the Juiced’s power assist at level 2. After a mile we reached the first modest hill, and I tapped the plus button to power assist level 3. The Ironmen kept pace, but it was clear they were working hard.

When we reached the first dirt road, a 6% grade uphill grunt with an S-turn, the roadies fell behind. I slowed the CrossCurrent to try to stay with them, but it was clear that with casual pedaling in first gear, I was going too fast to stay with human-powered cyclists. (Again, not casual cyclists, Ironmen!)
We next had a 1.7 mile dirt road with a -2% grade. The average speed of 20 mph is really only so constricted by the conditions of the dirt. I have ridden this twice on my cyclocross bike, but this was the first for the CrossCurrent. First off, the benefit of the wider tires on the CrossCurrent was felt on the corrugated sections of road. Also, the front shock was a comfort, allowing me to push faster than I ever did on the cyclocross bike. Interestingly, the Ironmen could keep pace with the CrossCurrent downhill.

I have climbed Pine Hill five times recently, using road bike, cyclocross bike, and CrossCurrent. It is always a challenge to just make it up. One of the Ironmen walked his bike. The first time up on the CrossCurrent, I was riding alone, and going for speed. I pushed the pedals and myself. Today, as I was pacing Ironmen riding along with me, I climbed at a different pace. With the pedal assist set on Sport, and the bike in first gear, I stood on the pedals and casually went up Pine Hill. Casually. Not a term a cyclist uses on Pine Hill. The one Ironman still in the saddle zig-zagged up the road, huffing and puffing to stay with what was my much slower speed than on my other Juiced ascent.

For the rest of the ride I noticed the two Ironmen were drafting me. I set the pedal assist on level 1, and pulled while the Ironmen drafted in line. I suspect they were shot from trying to keep up earlier in the ride, and Pine Hill was the crossed Rubicon. I pulled them back towards home, and with 24 miles in, noticed that the battery level still had four of the five indicator lights lit. Riding on level 1 really saves battery, and is fast enough to ride with shot roadies.

After we split off, I still had an eight mile trip to go, and since I was riding alone and not pacing anyone, I cranked the pedal assist up to level 4. I finished with 33.4 miles, and still had two battery life LEDs lit. However, five miles from home, on a bit of a climb, I did have only one LED light, and it was flashing. I assume that was my warning to lower the power assist level, and head straight home, which I did. 33.4 miles is the farthest I have ever ridden the Juiced CrossCurrent. I would like to ride this route again in warmer weather, to see if any effect of ambient temperature on battery life is noticeable.

Another Juiced CrossCurrent ride

This ride I hammered on the bike, no longer trying to keep myself at a level without sweating. I did a 25 mile hilly ride, and used up most of the 10.4Ahr battery's capacity in those 25 miles. I stayed in Sport mode for all the climbing, and assist level 2 for the downhills.

The battery is supposed to have a 35 mile range, and maybe it does. There are five indicator LEDs, and I had only one indicator, or 20% left at 25 miles. It is hard to gauge these indicators, where on downhills, I will get more LEDs lit, and on hard climbs, less. I can show 20% battery remaining while climbing, and then show 60% left two minutes later in a descent. Perhaps the best read is when riding the flats?

Early in the ride I chased down and caught a group of four roadies. I then left them in the dust. One did comment that he wished he had my bike at that moment.

Joergen8
3 months ago

So here are some FLIR One infrared imaging photos of my EVO 29er 2015. Maybe this will be of interest to some people, as there have been some questions about the usefulness of neoprene or custom battery covers/jackets.

UPDATED with official BH Easy Motion neoprene Winter Cover measurements:

I've now had the official BH neoprene winter cover for a few months, and here are some results. I've formatted the pictures to be more at-a-glance instead of uploading each FLIR photo individually.

Background for each result:

-Typically 12km (7.5mi) / 30min commute ride, charging right before riding.
-Bike inside before ride, either room temp or lower garage temp.
-Boost or Sport mode (max assist level, 250W Controller, 350W US-spec motor).
-Official BH Winter Cover on during charging and riding, only taking it off to measure battery surface temperature.

The results are far better than I expected. The neoprene cover performs excellently under conditions where the battery is drained quickly and the resulting current draw / resistive discharge heat together with the stored ambient heat is preserved, but the battery still doesn't seem to reach harmful temperatures either. The resulting battery temperature does seem to correlate with outside ambient temperature, but not nearly as dramatically as I expected. The end result between +2 deg C and -19 deg C weather is only 4 degrees C in battery temperature (37 deg F differential yields 10 deg F variance).

Charging with the cover on at room temperature and at 2 Amperes (36V) is perfectly safe, only a minor difference between ambient and battery temperature can be (superficially) observed after hours of charging. So there's no need to take the cover off at all during the winter months, except for washing the bike or to remove the battery.

20th Oct 2016

21st Oct 2016

7th November 2016

7th January 2017

----------------------------------------------

Older CUSTOM cover measurements:

Using my custom 13mm Armacell cover, +3 deg C weather, 7km trip. Starting temp (ambient) of the bike was about 15 C. Battery at full charge, not charged for two days (so NO residual charging heat or gain). "Sport" assist. After the ride:

Motor temp immediately after ride, outdoor pic. For reference, the bike frame and wheel should be around +4 C here, and the ground is subzero (actually ice). Reading might be inaccurate.

A minute later, bike indoors, cover still on, warming up towards ambient temp (15C). Fenders are matted plastic just like the battery, for emissivity, scale and reference. Though this won't be an exact science.

Cover off, battery temp (gain?) 17.7 C, clearly warmer than ambient. Notice how the underside of the alloy downtube has transferred the outdoor ambient temp almost uniformly down the frame, despite the thick protective cover. So the downtube is a bit of a heatsink for the battery, though the rubber pads on the battery and the gap between the battery shell and the bike frame should help isolate the battery from the cooler frame.

-----------------------------

I let the bike reach ambient temp again between rides. Second ride just like the first (+3C and 7km, Sport assist), but this time without the cover:

Battery temp much lower. Readings not super accurate due to lack of calibration cycles. Battery temp mostly residual indoor thermal energy due to battery mass and short ride, not as much resistive heat? Notice colder section towards the lower end of the battery, this houses the battery management system (BMS) board and circuitry, so mostly empty space, the groups of 18650 cells are above it.

Reticle on plastic fenders, for reference.

-----------------------------------

UPDATE: Second day of testing.

I wanted to see if it's bad for the battery to keep the 13mm cover on while charging, causing it to overheat. Keep in mind, the official cover would only be 3mm neoprene, so way less insulation.

So here the battery has been charging for two hours with the cover on, from three bars to five, and is probably trickle charging by the time I took the pictures. Bike is at ambient 15 C. Charger red light still on, so charging.

And here I took the cover off: 17,3 C. Only a 2 degree gain over ambient, so it seems like the battery is OK to charge at mild ambient temperatures even with overkill insulation surrounding it. Though keep in mind, the BH Evo charger is only 2 Amps at 36V for a 430Wh battery which makes for a slow charge, and very little current gets converted to resistive heat inside the cells. A fast charging power tool battery might just burst into flames covered up like that.

I'll have to try room temperatures (22 C) at a later date.

----------------------------------------------

Longer ride. After charging the battery and letting the bike sit for 30min without the cover, to get rid of some of the charging heat, I took off for a longer 27km ride in +1 C weather, Sport assist. I rode 12km, took a 15min stop, rode 3km, took a 10min stop, then rode back 12km. So the bike was outdoors in +1 C for 27km and ~90 minutes. This would simulate a shopping run etc.

Again, motor immediately after the ride, outdoors pic. Reading is inaccurate, but obviously some heat generated and sustained by the motor even after a long ride, so definitely not just residual indoor ambient heat stored in the dense mass of the motor.
Cool is good for electric motors, but I wonder how the plastic planetary gears do at even lower temperatures, like -20 C.

Still immediately after the 27km ride, outdoors, cover still on. Note the heat transfer towards the headset. The controller, which puts out some heat too, sits inside the frame right where the reticle is (the 13mm Armaflex wraps around it too), and some of the battery heat might be spreading up the frame too, though the "hot" areas are only about 2-3 C. Some heat is pushing through the cover, forming the shape of the battery.

Indoors again, targeting a reference point on the fender. Cover still on. The surface of the cover reaches ambient temperature very quickly, being foam insulation with very low mass and density. The shiny stanchions are not instantly at ambient temp though, but reflect the thermal infrared of the surroundings like mirrors.

Cover off. Almost right on the money compared to my earlier short 7km run: 18,3 C. So stopping briefly or taking a long ride will not kill the battery temperature so long as the current draw (resistive heat), thickness of insulation and outdoor ambient temperature meet optimally, and the battery temperature neither plunges nor climbs. Near 20 C is the optimal operating temperature for many li-ion batteries, and is achieved here by pure coincidence.

The bottom bracket seems to be one of the coldest spots on the bike. Possibly due to mass and the cable holes on the underside that let cold air circulate within the frame.

Kurtwell
2 days ago

How fast can it go?

VideoNOLA
2 weeks ago

Try it out on New Orleans roads if you wanna see a bike destroyed instantly!

metamorphicorder
4 weeks ago

its not as loud as you would expect. its probably so zippy because its prettt light. my old ezip had a 350 watt external geared hub motor and it was sluggish but the bike was heavy. my first was a sealed lead acid battery and the frame was just huge and over built. with regard to the 14 ga spokes, the purchaser should definitely take road contidions, total weight and riding style into account, the ezips had 14 ga spokes and i broke them until i just parked the bike. the wheel was custom with a right side sprocket (special sprocket too reverse threaded freewheel sprocket 11 tooth ), threaded on, so you couldn't just replace the wheel and retain the motor use. so thats a big deal even at 1000$, if the rear wheel is damaged or spokes break, people not in areas where ebikes are common might be able ro easily fix the issue. nice bike though.

metamorphicorder
4 weeks ago

cort do you know if you might be able to add on a throttle either as an option or user mod? i have a coworker who is looking for a cheap ride and this is perfect other than not having a throttle.

Michael smith
2 months ago

I'm looking for my first ebike would be better to go with this one or the juiced?

hiber nate
3 months ago

I'm gonna buy this bike soon..I'm just waiting for my local dealer to get the medium black version...hopefully next week.

hiber nate
2 months ago

finally got the bike..I can do about 40miles on eco mode..which is usually enough.

ALL EYEZ ON ME
3 months ago

Nice review, I'm loving this bike, beautiful, getting it asap, and that torch helmet!! Off the chain!!

Karl Fonner
3 months ago

Bring a magnet and check those forks they have to be steel this is the second review that you said their aluminum forks there's no such thing as aluminum forks

R D
3 months ago

This is one of the coolest looking bike 👍🏻🇨🇦 and the price is value for money .

xstickyricex
5 months ago

Where can I get one if those cool helmets?

Ivan Zhong
6 months ago

How much is this in cad

benjie alcantara
6 months ago

Purchase this bike from Sam awesome ebike! my very first, perfect for riding around town. planning to take it to the beach! great reviews my friend..

chgofirefighter
6 months ago

I stopped watching after the 20mph top speed limit, I love my Stromer ST 2 :)

Diego Carrington
6 months ago

Hi Court!
I just left a message on the voltbike elegant and I thank you very much for your response and even going further getting a code for a better price, you are really awesome.

Your website is so detailed and extensive that when you think you found a great option, you come across to a different great review.

That made me come across this model, populo sport. As I mentioned before, my budget aims for a cheap and reliable option and from what I can read this one hits good points. It looks discrete enough to not get unwanted attention (hopefully saving it from robery) and I think that the accessories missing (fenders, rack and light) can be covered with around 100 bucks using the options you provided. Also... 2 year warranty!

I promise I won't be jumping on any more reviews asking if they are "my new best option" but knowing that the voltbike elegant might be small for me (6'2, 200 lb), what do you think comparing this Populo Sport with the radcity and its $1450 price? (which the sweet 50$ off).

I'm just a little concerned about the 250w not being powerful enough for me and from my Ebike lack of experience I don't know if the lack of throttle is a must when buying one.

I really thank you for your time and attention!

Diego.

Danny Frank
7 months ago

Would you know of any dealers in the NYC area that sell this model?

whenhen
5 months ago

Danny Frank i know this is an older comment, but for anyone still looking, Populo offers free shipping anywhere in the contiguous 48 states.

Bharath Naik L
7 months ago

Hi, How are you ? I'm following your channel and like the content very much. I recently built an fat ebike with 1000w motor, 26A controller, 48V 10ah Battery. The problem is that I'm not get mileage.. It comes nearly 15-18km. Why is that ? Please help!! :(

Bharath Naik L
5 months ago

DJ Vendetta I fixed it. I limited draw current and set max speed as 35kmp. I'm getting around 30km with only throttle.

DJ Vendetta
5 months ago

Bharath Naik L ah capacity is too low for 1000w

Drealmers S
7 months ago

Another affordable bike, Great!!!

Rui Coelho
7 months ago

250w is europe legal...

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Exactly, in much of Europe electric bicycles are limited to 250 watt motors without a license and registration so this model would be allowed there, as long as the top speed was limited to 25 kilometers per hour :)

Mark Elford
7 months ago

Dig it.

cresshead
7 months ago

good price and it looks very decent too.

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Yeah, it's a nicer looking bike for sure :D