The Phantom line of electric bikes from ProdecoTech has always been capable of folding, starting with the Phantom X… even though it’s a full sized ebike with 26″ wheels. This has several drawbacks including loss of stiffness in frame and increased weight but it also makes the bike easier to store. For the Phantom X3 the company is taking a new direction and dropping the foldability feature in favor of increased ride quality and durability. Of all the ProdecoTech bikes I’ve had the chance to ride, this one’s my favorite.
The motor propelling this bike is 500 watts with a peak output of 750. That’s pretty solid and more than capable on flats with some solid hill climbing potential. It’s gearless meaning it has fewer parts to break but offers a bit less torque. It’s also super quiet and coasts frictionlessly… again, no gears. It does weigh a bit more than some gearless options and it could have been capable of regenerative braking which could reduce wear on the brake pads or top off the battery pack, but this thing already has a huge battery and that would have cost a lot more with upgraded controller and LCD computer system.
What you get with the control system on this and other ProdecoTech bikes is pure simplicity. You stick the key in… turn it, press the on button and see three LED’s light up for green yellow and red (to indicate battery level) and then you twist the throttle. It’s like riding a motorcycle but without the gears; anybody can do it. As with some other ebikes, the battery pack does require that the key be left in when riding which kind of bothers me because I don’t like the jingling sound or having to remember to put it on my keychain each time. The upside is, the battery pack itself is removable for charging and the key acts as a lock to secure it on the bike.
The chemistry of this and many other ProdecoTech ebikes is Lithium Iron Phosphate. It’s known for being durable, capable of withstanding ~2,000 charge cycles vs. ~1,000 before losing capacity. It’s also more stable if you’re worried about fires and such (rare…) but it doesn’t offer the same energy density as some other Lithium-ion combinations. That means it has to be heavier to provide the same capacity. So the battery is a bit heavier, that’s not a huge deal, but it does bother me that it’s mounted so high on the frame. That reduces stability when riding and makes sliding out or even tipping when parked much easier. Even so, there are many ebikes with rear-pack designs but this one doesn’t offer storage possibilities. Panniers and rear packs won’t work, you really can’t put anything on this rack and that seems like a missed opportunity. On the plus side, the pack does have a built in rear light for safety. Nice.
From the solid metal pedals that offer excellent traction, to the stiff frame and aggressive geometry, the RockShock fork with lockout (further increasing stiffness) to the oversized hydraulic disc brakes and reinforced battery platform, this bike is getting things right. There are still some trade offs here including the positioning of the battery pack and lack of storage mounting options to the absence of pedal assist but overall the price and components work together well. ProdecoTech offers a generous two year warranty on their bikes but keep in mind you’ll need to pay shipping on anything that breaks after the first 30 days and you’ll need to assemble and service the bike yourself.
The Phantom X3 is a great choice for riders who are comfortable with aggressive geometry and forward leaning handlebar position. As an athletic male who is 5’9″ I found the bike to be more sporty than comfortable and a little large. This is not a comfort cruiser step through with soft plush seat and upright handlebars! While the 500 watt motor and battery are capable of moving heavier riders, I recommend that you approach this bike thoughtfully. The true irony is that this pack can last up to 50 miles in flat conditions but your wrist will probably be sore before the ride is over. If you’re right for it, this bike can sure be a lot of fun but if you’re not coordinated it be hard to mount, feel unstable and end up being frustrating. Then again the Phantom X3 delivers great value for some high end components and a capable drive system and it’s my favorite ProdecoTech model.
More balanced than the Outlaw ProdecoTech bikes, less aggressive angle on front fork
Stiffer frame than the other Outlaw bikes that fold, shock locks out and pedals are solid metal, better power transfer
Sturdy kickstand makes parking the bike easier
Two year warranty (free shipping in first 30 days if something breaks)
Front shock significantly smooths out the ride, larger tires also help
Hydraulic Avid DB disc brakes are easy use and offer great stopping power
Beautiful grips, easy to use twist shifter controls 8 speed cassett
Battery pack is removable and features a built in rear light
500 watt gearless rear hub motor offers great power and torque, also very quiet
Aluminum bash guard keeps chain on track and protects teeth on the front chain ring
Doesn’t fold like some of the other Phantom bikes (maybe this is a pro?)
Curved frame and rear mounted motor and battery make transporting with bike racks more difficult
Twist throttle only mode could leave you with a tired wrist over long rides, no pedal assist
Can’t mount anything on top of the rear battery pack, also won’t work with panniers
Have to leave the keys in the battery pack when riding
Despite using a gearless hub motor, no regen mode or regenerative braking
Challenging to find and test ride in person, mostly sold online
Battery technology is heavier due to lower energy density of LiFePO4
High speed, off-road only electric bike that's not legal to ride in most states without modification and insurance. Quality SRAM, Truvativ and ZOOM components, hand assembled in the USA, solid two year warranty...
Fred Bellows9 years ago
You know, these reviews are great, they really give some insight into these bikes which obviously still have limited distribution and so, we can’t just go to our local store and check them out. However, the range statistic is really just about useless. Instead of having something like “36 to 50 miles depending on conditions and rider weight” as all ebike reviews have (I assume, from the manufacturer) it would be about a million times more useful if you said “we rode it, without pedaling, on a flat course, with 3 riders (150lbs, 160lbs, and 172lbs) on a 3 mile loop around our office (so that it wouldn’t be too far to peddle home when it died) and it went 28.3 miles” Or anything like that, so that we can actually estimate what it might do for us (extrapolating with the parameters of our intended use).
Thanks, and please keep up the great work,
Anderson9 years ago
Nice writeup. Informative balanced review. Pro and con list was helpful.Reply
spanishpause9 years ago
Do you have a windscreen for your microphone? The wind noise is pretty loudReply
Court Rye9 years ago
Good call, I’ve actually done a lot of work on my camera and now the wind noise is significantly reduced. The newer reviews sound a lot better but sorry for these older ones with the distracting noise ;)Reply
glenn9 years ago
Wonder how the 2014 e3 Zuma compares to the prodeco tech oaisis? Opinions appreciated.Reply
Court Rye9 years ago
The E3 Zuma is a bit more expensive but much higher quality with better battery chemistry and mounting point (low and mid-frame vs. high and rear). The Oasis only offers twist throttle while the Zuma offers pedal assist and throttle.Reply
Steve9 years ago
Hmmm, you speak of lack of availability, but in my town, Columbus Ohio, it’s sold at probably the biggest e-bike store here, Orbit City Bikes. I believe they even ship these bikes. I’m going to check them out.Reply
Court Rye9 years ago
ProdecoTech is growing their dealer base and on the East Coast of the US they actually have quite a few dealers at this point. I don’t make this point on the newer reviews and as you suggest, they will ship them so you could get one pretty easily anywhere in the country now :)Reply
Perry9 years ago
I have the Phantom X2 with the reported 28-38 miles range. With a total weight (me, clothes, backpack) around 205-210 pounds I have routinely done 20-25 miles trips averaging 18-20mph. This included hills and unpaved roads (not true off road or trail riding but generally maintained gravel and dirt roads). I never ran out of battery power so my feeling is the provided manufacturer ranges are true. I’ll point out these are bicycles, not motorcycles so pedalling is required to get these ranges. Although after one 18+ mile ride I stopped pedalling for the entire final mile on a level, unpaved road.
In general I am covering 20 miles in the same time and with the same effort as a non-electric for 6-8 miles.Reply
Court Rye9 years ago
Awesome stats Perry! Thanks for sharing your experience with the ProdecoTech Phantom X3. I try my best to get accurate information but the review times are limited and there’s nothing like real world feedback :)Reply
Richard Goddard6 years ago
I love my Phantom X3 & all is goodies. The reliability is just an example of great workmanship & engineering. I am looking forward to my next Prodeco Bike.Reply
Court Rye6 years ago
Cool, thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for the bike Richard! The new models from ProdecoTech are looking great, I’m hoping to get out and review them at some point… any one in particular that you’re excited to maybe get someday or learn more about?Reply