Trek Neko+ Review

Trek Neko Plus Electric Bike Review
Trek Neko Plus
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Steps Ebike Mid Motor 50 Nm
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Steps Ebike Battery 36 Volt
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Steps Sc E6010 Display Panel Bontrager Ergonomic Grips
Trek Neko Plus Sr Suntour Nrx Dl Spring Suspension 63 Mm Travel
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Deore 10 Speed
Trek Neko Plus 160 Mm Shimano Deore M355 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Trek Neko Plus Electric Bike Review
Trek Neko Plus
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Steps Ebike Mid Motor 50 Nm
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Steps Ebike Battery 36 Volt
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Steps Sc E6010 Display Panel Bontrager Ergonomic Grips
Trek Neko Plus Sr Suntour Nrx Dl Spring Suspension 63 Mm Travel
Trek Neko Plus Shimano Deore 10 Speed
Trek Neko Plus 160 Mm Shimano Deore M355 Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Summary

  • A sporty hybrid electric bike offering a blend of efficiency and trail capability, suspension fork with lockout, hydraulic disc brakes
  • Removable battery and display panel reduce weight when lifting and transporting the bike, quick release wheels, locking ergonomic grips
  • The Shimano STePs mid-drive motor is quiet, smooth, and efficient compared to others in the space, it’s also compact and relatively lightweight
  • The motor does not offer shift sensing which means the chain, sprockets, and derailleur can take a bit more wear, but the chainring has a guide to reduce drops

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Trek

Model:

Neko+

Price:

$2,999

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Years Comprehensive, Lifetime Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

42.5 lbs (19.27 kg)

Battery Weight:

5.9 lbs (2.67 kg)

Motor Weight:

7.05 lbs (3.19 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

14 in (35.56 cm)16 in (40.64 cm)18 in (45.72 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small 14": 20.5" Reach, 25" Stand Over Height, 23.5" Width, 70" Length

Frame Types:

Mid-Step

Frame Colors:

Metallic Black Pearl with Blue and Grey Accents

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour NRX DL Spring Suspension, 63 mm Travel, Preload Adjust, Hydraulic Lockout, 100 mm / 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

135 mm / 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 Shimano Deore RD-M615 GS Derailleur with Shadow Plus One-Way Clutch, Shimano CS-HG50 Cassette 11-36T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Deore SL-T610 Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Shimano Alloy 170 mm Length Crank Arms, 44T Chainring with Plastic Guide

Pedals:

Wellgo C015 Aluminum Body, Aluminum Cage

Headset:

FP-H825PL, 1-1/8" Threadless, Black

Stem:

Bontrager Elite Stem, 80 mm Length, 7° Rise, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter, One 20 mm Headset Spacer, One 10 mm Headset Spacer

Handlebar:

Bontrager Approved Lowriser, 600 mm Length, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter, 15 mm Rise, 9° Bend, 4° Upsweep, Blast Anodized Black

Brake Details:

Shimano Deore M355 Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Shimano 3-Finger Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Bontrager Satellite Elite, Ergonomic Rubber, 130 mm Length, Lock On, Grey with Black Clamps

Saddle:

Bontrager H1 WSD, Black

Seat Post:

Bontrager Aluminum Alloy, 31.9 mm Clamp, 8 mm Offset

Seat Post Length:

330 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Bontrager Approved TLR Disc 700c, Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall, 32 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14G, Black with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Bontrager LT2 Hard-Case Lite, 700 x 38c

Wheel Sizes:

28 in (71.12cm)

Tire Details:

50 to 80 PSI, 3.4 to 5.5 BAR

Tube Details:

Presta Valve

Accessories:

Bontrager Integrated Chainstay Mount Kickstand, ABUS Battery Locking Core

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, 3.1 Amp 1.7 Pound Charger with Adapter Dongle, 11.6 Amp Motor Controller, KMC X10e Chain

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shimano STePs

Motor Type:

Mid-Mounted Geared Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

250 watts

Motor Peak Output:

500 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Shimano STePS, Down Tube, BT-E6010

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

11.6 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

417.6 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Estimated Max Range:

50 miles (80 km)

Display Type:

Shimano STePs Large Model SC-E6010, Removable, Adjustable Angle, Transflective Monochrome, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

Speed (mph or km/h), Average Speed, Max Speed, Odometer, Trip Meter, Range, Battery Level Percentage, Assist Mode (Off, Eco, Normal, High), Time Clock

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip (Hold Up and Down for Settings Menu)

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist (Measures Wheel Speed, Pedal Cadence, and Pedal Torque, Power Output Relative to Pedal Input: Eco 70% 30 Nm, Normal 150% 40 Nm, High 230% 50 Nm)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

I reviewed the Trek Neko+ in Colorado with the help of a Trek rep named Stephanie Jones. We chatted about this model and the companion Trek Dual Sport+ and she referred to it as a “Colorado commuter” because it’s capable on road and light trail conditions. Howeso you might wonder? Well, the wheels are large and efficient like a road bike (28” 700c) but the tires are a bit fatter and provide some tread. The little rubber knobs dampen vibration while providing traction (and producing a bit of buzzing noise) but you also get ribbed ergonomic trips, a highly adjustable but rigid stem, and a coil suspension fork with lockout. You could take this thing to the hills and actually hold your own alongside purpose built mountain bikes but then drop back into the city and park it using the kickstand and protect it by taking the display and battery off at the rack. Later that day, you might also remove both wheels using the quick release setup and toss the frame into the trunk of a friend’s car. It’s definitely versatile and impressively lightweight. At ~42 lbs for the smallest frame size, the Neko+ handles very well for an electric bike and offers approachability to petite and young riders. The seat can be positioned lower than the top of the rear tire! The top-tube is sloped down so people with ~25” inseams can stand over and handle the bike at stops. It’s not as easy to mount as a wave style frame but it rides stiffer and the battery is well positioned and well protected on the downtube vs. a rear rack. I feel that the sparkly black color scheme could appeal to men and women alike and love how seamless it looks next to the grey/black motor and battery casing. The biggest gripes I have about the bike include a non-adjustable kickstand… that is probably tougher this way, and the $3k price tag. This feels a little expensive given the growing selection of $2,500 electric bikes, many of which have fenders, lights, and racks included. What you get here is a name brand product that can be touched, tested, and fitted by a vast network of dealers. And the hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano Deore ten-speed drivetrain shouldn’t be overlooked. The derailleur even has Shadow Plus, a little grey switch thing that tightens the chain for off-road riding (to reduce slap and drops), just point it up for tight and down for looser smooth riding.

Driving the Neko+ is a 250 watt nominally rated geared mid-motor from Shimano. This is the same company supplying the derailleur and disc brakes and they’re one of two clear leaders in the space globally (SRAM being the other). The motor is compact, lightweight, and efficient, offering excellent range with more standard torque and power feel. As is the case for most middrive ebike systems, it relies on your judgement to shift gears and empower it to climb or reach the maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. This is a Class 1 electric bike meaning it’s pedal assist only, no throttle, and therefore it is welcome on the largest selection of trails and paths. I love that the chainring has a plastic guide to keep the chain from dropping or greasing up your pants or skirt. And I love how that chainring cover distracts and sort of hides the motor. No, this electric bicycle isn’t quite as stealth as some of the Bulls and Specialized products with custom integrated downtube batteries but it also costs less and the battery is easy to get to.

The battery pack offers an average capacity but that energy is used very efficiently. It’s easy to remove from the frame, using the included key, and slides out to the left side. Carrying it around feels safe because of the little handle cup at the top and you can charge it on or off the bike with the help of a cable adapter. I already complained about this adapter but at least you can get the choice of where and how to charge it. Some of the older Shimano STePs systems required you to charge off bike and that introduces more opportunities for dropping and damaging the pack. These things are expensive and somewhat delicate… which is why I appreciate how Trek has sandwiched it between alloy tubing (on the top and bottom). The battery isn’t going to be as easy to kick this way, and they have extended the design to several of their models, not just the Neko Plus. The battery has a little rubber button and five-LED battery gauge on the left side. You can press this to see how full it is whether the pack is on or off the bike, but if it is on the bike, it will turn the display on.

Activating the bike is as easy as pushing that power button on the side of the battery or pressing a different power button on the left side of the display panel. I love having this option and not being required to press both in sequence. The display comes to life quickly and produces a series of beeps as you navigate through. These beeps can be useful if you’re riding and not looking down but you can actually turn them off by holding the up and down keys on the control pad for a few seconds to enter into the Shimano STePs settings area. From here, there are lots of adjustments to explore but the beep and units are always the most useful for me. The Lift+ model uses a smaller Shimano display but they went with a larger one for the Neko+ and I found it easier to read and navigate. I love how quick and easy it is to remove but found myself searching for a USB charging port as some of the other systems now offer. Bosch, for example, offers a Micro-USB port on the right side of their display that can be used to maintain your phone, power a GPS, music player, or headlight. It’s a minor thing but something that’s nice to have when you’re paying so much for an electric bike. This is something you do get with the $5k Trek Super Commuter model.

I like the Neko+ and Dual Sport+ models because they speak to the type of riding I do. A bit of everything… and hopefully it’s comfortable ;) As someone with limited space, I tend to choose ebikes that can handle a range of environments and will be durable, products that I won’t be hesitant to take with me in the car or park outside for fear of vandalism. The Neko+ does many things well and is, most importantly, approachable for petite riders. Even though I was on the smallest frame size and had not adjusted the saddle height for this ride test, the bike still performed and got me up some mellow hills without making me stand up or think too much about which gear I was riding in. It’s a good feeling, and that feeling starts with the in-person experience and reassurance of a major brand. Depending on your needs and body type, I feel like this product covers a lot of situations well. Yes, it’s a bit expensive, but you get something for that money.

Pros:

  • Narrow tires are efficient, light, and quick but maintain comfort on this ebike due to light tread and the suspension fork setup, they perform well on road or packed Earth and you can lock the fork out to reduce bobbing if the going is smooth
  • Excellent kickstand positioning, it stays clear of the left crank arm and is nice to have but isn’t adjustable in terms of height… this makes it tough but I felt that the bike tipped to the side a bit much at times, it seems like a decent call given the sportier focus of this bike
  • Even though the Neko+ is an electric bike that is built around the non-electric Neko model, they routed the electrical cables internally for improved aesthetic and durability while also flattening a section of downtube for the battery mount which makes it look purpose-built
  • Minor pro here but I do appreciate the hydraulic disc brakes, they are easier to actuate and the adjustable-reach levers work for riders with large and small hands alike, they are more basic with 160 mm rotors but they work great on light trails
  • This bike is setup to be minimal (no fenders, lights, or rack) but Trek included bosses at the rear for mounting an aftermarket disc-brake compatible rack if you wish and that makes it more useful for commuters (just maybe get help from the dealership with this because of how low the bosses are and how close they are to the saddle if it’s in a lower position), unfortunately there was not room for bottle cage bosses on the seat tube or elsewhere so consider a trunk bag with bottle holster if you do add a rack, there are bosses for mounting fenders if you wish
  • Trek is one of the Big Three bicycle manufacturers that sell in the USA and that means you have access to a vast network of dealers to test ride, get fitted, and get service from, their warranty is great
  • Sometimes I see very basic accessories being used on electric bikes for the commuter / neighborhood demographic but the Neko+ is specced up and features locking ergonomic grips and a fancier 10-speed Shimano Deore (with Shadow Plus) drivetrain so it’s tougher and just rides better
  • Because this model comes in a range of three sizes and has such a low minimum saddle hight, I was told that parents sometimes buy it for their kids! There aren’t many electric bikes for children right now so that’s neat… and the seat post goes pretty high so it could last for many years as the child grows (keep in mind if you get a suspension seat post for improved comfort it will raise the minimum saddle height 3+ inches which could make mounting and pedaling difficult for some petite riders)
  • Weighing in at just over 42 lbs, this is one of the lightest weight electric bikes I have tested so far and that means it is easier to pedal unpowered, easier to lift and service, and just easier to handle in general
  • Great color scheme, the sparkly black with blue and white accents could be used by a male or female comfortably and blend well with the black motor and battery casing… I know many sporty independent women who dislike the “girly” colors like pink but still want their clothing and sports products to look nice and I feel like Trek just did a great job balancing the visuals to achieve that
  • Not only are the motor and battery positioned low and center for improved balance and handling but they also seem well protected, the battery won’t be kicked easily and I love how it slides out the left side vs. clicking up and down like Bosch, Yamaha, and many others, this allowed the top tube to be lower, I could see this being a great e-bike for rental fleets
  • Both wheels have quick release so you can do maintenance easily or break it down to fit in the back of a car without tools, take the battery off to make it lighter if you do this so lifting will be easier
  • It’s easy to enter into the display settings menu (just hold the up and down buttons on the keypad simultaneously for a few seconds) and this allows you to change units, adjust menu brightness, turn off the annoying beep noise, and more
  • Adjusting the pedal assist power level on this electric bike is very easy, you can learn to do it without even looking down because the button pad is within reach of the left grip… I’m even told it can be flipped and used near the right grip for people who prefer that (but it might be spaced further out due to the shifter levers there)
  • You can activate the Neko+ by pressing the power button on the display panel or on the battery pack, it does not require you to press both as some other ebike systems do, I feel it’s convenient and also fast to switch on
  • The Shimano STePs display shows your battery percentage vs. a five or ten bar infographic, it’s more precise and just better this way, and it also has a dynamic range estimator that shows how far you can go with each level of assist

Cons:

  • This is a very minor gripe but when I first saw the Neko+ and it’s companion, the Dual Sport, it seemed like they both had high-step frame styles and I wondered if they could have lowered the stand over height more… but that can compromise frame stiffness and you do get several size options on this bike so I feel that it works, Trek sells other models with a wave step-thru design if you need da lower frame
  • It’s great that you can charge the Shimano battery pack on or off the bike but I find it annoying to use a dongle adapter to do so… and the dongle can be easily lost because there’s no leash to keep it with the charger
  • I love the plastic chain guide but almost feel like an Aluminum alloy guide would be worth using here given that the bike is trail capable and could encounter more logs and rocks
  • The motor isn’t as powerful or quick as some of the competition, namely the Bosch CX motor, but it’s still very capable for climbing hills as long as you shift appropriately, be sure to ease off when shifting to reduce grinding and mashing because the motor can still be pulling hard even if you’re only pedaling gently if the assist level is high
  • Even though to me, the Shimano STePs mid-motor is quiet compared to many others, it is not the quietest (I think the Bafang Max Drive is as of this review) and you can hear some electronic whirring when pedaling at high RPM in the top assist level as shown in the video

Resources:

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JayVee
14 hours ago

I have 8000 kilometers on my (EU only) 45km/h Trekking Sduro drivetrain and I think it will last 30,000 or more. The bike shifts perfectly and there are absolutely no signs of wear. It’s been through ice, snow, slush, rain, mud, dirt and I do hills and bumpy roads every single day. The trick is to clean the whole drivetrain regularly because grime and dirt will stretch the chain over time. It’s not that difficult to do. A medium pressure water hose will usually do the job (point the hose away from the drive casing). The cassette, chain, and derailleurs do not have to be squeaky clean and shiny at all times, but they do have to be free of grime and contaminants most of the time.

To be perfectly honest here, I'm much more concerned about how long the drive will last than about the other components. This is an area where mid-drives don't particularly shine. Bosch and Yamaha units are fairly reliable according to independent statistics, and it seems reasonable to think that recent units will last at least 15,000 kilometres on average. But I expect to have about 20,000 kilometers on the bike within 2 years. And given the fragility of a mid-drive there's got to be a point at which the drive breaks. I simply hope it will be during the warranty period because these units are not cheap. I've heard that a new Yamaha unit goes for about 800 Euros, which is about 40% of what I paid for it. So when the drive breaks, it might be more cost effective for me to buy a new bike rather than change the drive.

PCDoctorUSA
1 day ago

My big concern is the ascent back up. I've reached out to a lot of people here who have had offered some great feedback both in these forums and private conversations in hopes of coming up with a consensus of the best direction to go in regards to type of drive: geared rear hub or mid-drive. I don't know anyone locally who owns any type of electric bike, and I only spot an electric bike in my daily commute once in a blue moon so these forums are my only source for info. I have yet to find a LBS that is both knowledgeable and passionate about selling ebikes that could help me. The big brand dealers (Specialized and Trek) only have a few models to make the Brand happy while they concentrate on selling non-ebikes. The owner of one ebike-only shop couldn't even tell me the correct model names of the bikes he had to sell or even figure out their displays to show me the Assist levels. I actually knew more than he did thanks to EBR forum members and Cort's reviews.

For those that have looked at the https://www.dropbox.com/s/ym61mubq23mjhg5/Commute%20Elevation.jpg?dl=0, most have said the geared rear hub on the Yukon 750 will make the once daily climb without issue. I've had one reader in another EBR forum that says a geared rear hub won't make it, but a Bafang BBS02 mid-drive will. My goal this weekend is to visit a shop that rents ebikes to the tourists and see if they have a geared hub model so I can see how it does on my hill. I'm really hoping the geared rear hub will do the job because there are no mid-drive options in the Yukon's price range even with adding in the cost of changing out the tires to something more street commuter friendly once the Yukon arrives. Voltbike's shipping charge of $120 to Hawaii is also the cheapest of ANY online dealer I've found yet. If a dealer ships to Hawaii at all, the price is between $300 and $500.

Thanks in advance to anyone else that would like to chime in.

Stoker283
1 day ago

You have a great commute, it make me miss Hawaii!! From what I saw, your only issue will be a lack of gears, if you can reach 40 mph downhill on a regular bike, I am sure you would love to go as fast with your fat bike too. I have heard of some people installing a bigger ring gear at the front, but you will be limited with on 7 gears. I have a 9 gear cassette and the only time I switch it to the 9th gear is going downhill. I love going fast. And I can guarantee you that the reset of your commute shouldn't be below 20 mph with a ebike, as long you don't get stock behind too many buses... lol

Cheers

PCDoctorUSA
3 days ago

The commute is 8 miles one-way. You can get a better visual on this https://www.relive.cc/view/g14806687566. The descent in the morning is great. I average about 36 mph coasting on my Trek FX 7.2 fitness bike, but have made it to 40 mph before common sense caught up with me. Thankfully, I haven't had to lock up the ol' rim brakes. Here's a https://youtu.be/rcyC3ISfTxk of the descent. Maybe it will give you a better feel of the hill for the return.

The ascent is gradual with a slight level-off (1:00 mark on the video) before the grade where it becomes noticeably steeper. This is where I usually dismount and push the bike up when the wife's shuttle service isn't available. I have made the climb about a half-dozen times, but I'm in the lowest gear trying to maintain 4 mph and convince my heart to stay in my chest. I think what makes it worse is it's the last 1.5 miles of my ride at the end of my workday.

Bruce Arnold
3 days ago

Well, 108 miles. ;)

I had some trouble with a chain link that was too tight. Took it in to the LBS and got that fixed. They fine-tuned the rear derailleur too. It now shifts so well. Being able to effortlessly get it into the right gear is a real joy. Before, it would hesitate, sometimes shift 2 gears instead of one, stuff like that. This is not a Juiced Bikes problem, I've seen it on other bikes also. Regardless, the shop only charged me $16; well worth it.

I'm still fine with riding in the 18-20 mph range. My rationale is this: being a heavy guy (me plus gear = ~300 lbs), I'm already putting a certain amount of stress on the bike, primarily the wheels. The frame itself is built plenty strong. You smaller guys, hitting the same bumps and holes in the pavement at maximum speed are putting the same stress on the system. As Trek says in their manual, "The most significant variable in durability is the manner in which you ride ... If you ride hard or aggressively, you should replace the bicycle and/or its parts more often than riders who ride smoothly or cautiously."

That being said, I haven't had any problems with the spokes. That was an issue for many riders when the CCS first came out. It seems that the move to the 13 gauge Sapim spokes has fixed that. So much of the spoke breakage was within the first 100 miles. I've had none at all. I was sort of leery about this at first, but other than occasional inspection of the wheels for proper spoke tension (which we should all be doing anyway), I'm just not worried about it.

As I get in better condition, I find that I use level 1 less and less for recreational riding. Eco does the job for me at all speeds up to 20 mph, and I rarely even use 9th gear (although it's fun to sail down hills for bursts of up to 25 mph in 9th.) For commuting, Level 2 and 3 are great so I arrive without being sweaty and out of breath.

Using combinations of the pedal assist levels and the gears is becoming more and more automatic. At first I had to think about it. Now it's getting natural. Totally awesome to move from Eco to 1 to climb a hill in the same gear, for instance, without having to give it any thought.

As I've said elsewhere in the forum, I'm not worried about the "charging to 80%" thing. I charge when it drops to around 44 volts, and take it off the charger at around 53 volts. This gets me over 50 miles, without losing any significant performance. This may not absolutely maximize the battery life, but will provide many years and thousands of miles of riding enjoyment. I'm sure I'll want one of those 52 volt batteries Tora just started selling, long before this battery bites the dust.

My wife's Pedego doesn't have the cruise control or the boost function. I'm really glad the CCS has 'em. I use them both all the time. I don't find myself using the throttle a whole lot, except for the boost. With the cruise control, I just don't need it.

Another degree of rake would suit my riding style better. I mentioned this soon after getting the bike. It's just fine the way it is, but a little more stability over nimbleness would be welcome.

I'm very happy with the Marathon Plus tires. I've read that some people feel they are too heavy or stiff or something. To me they give a comfortable ride, with the added security as well. As tech reviewer Flossy Carter says, "One a scale of one to ten, this is a major win."

I really appreciate the advanced read-out on the LCD panel. I wish the font were bigger -- which would require a bigger display unit overall -- but that may be just a function of 65-year-old eyes. The information provided is so helpful. Again, my wife's Pedego doesn't provide this level of information, which I find both interesting and helpful. The only thing I'd add would be a trip odometer. My workaround for that is that I've added the https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.rooehler.bikecomputer.pro&hl=en app to my Android. It has a lot of great features. I added a https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074XST5G2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to the top tube to carry the smartphone. It has some basic bike tools in the side pockets also. The red and black version looks great on the red CCS.

I've ordered a https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BR4NIC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007FRCIDI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to make my commuting safer and more efficient.

The CCS is, for me, a perfect platform for commuting and recreation. Thank you, Tora and the rest of the team at Juiced Bikes!

Gina
3 days ago

I am 61 years, 95 lbs and want to switch to an electric assist to help me up the hills to the tennis courts. I'm used to riding my bike to the courts but have lived in flat terrain in the past. Now I live with some steep hills and they are just too tough for me. Most of my riding will be the 4 mile return commute to the courts three times a week but I'd like to be able to take the bike to parks and ride through the trails so I'd like the bike to be as light as possible yet have the nice features such as hydraulic disc brakes as I'm a slow rider, a little nervous going down the hills or going fast. Anyone have either of these bikes, compared them yourself, or have some suggestions that I may not have considered? I haven't tested the actual bikes as they have to be ordered so I want to be almost certain before I have one ordered. I rode the Trek but the 16.5" frame and I rode last year's medium frame Turbo, slightly different model. E-bikes are totally new to me and they both felt good. Thank you for any feedback or suggestions!

TForan
3 days ago

I really don't know why they wouldn't be. Mine is great in town and it has the ability to absorb potholes and bumps with ease. Plenty of power and speed (Bafang Ultra) and can handle a heavy load without any problems.

hurricane56
3 days ago

I guess if it helps, here are some baseline figures from one year of commuting in 2017.

2016 Haibike Trekking S - Bosch Performance Line Speed
- approximately 4k miles, 1/3 urban stop and go, 2/3 rural
- new chain and cassette after 2500 miles
- One set of front brake pads at the end of the year, rear brake pads had about 3-4 months pad life remaining. Brakes are Magura Mt5.
- Rear tire is a Schwable Energizer Plus, it's about half of the tread life is worn, front tire is still almost new.

I agree with with @rich c , for such a heavy duty commute schedule, I'd be sticking to the big motor manufacturers. Also with the OP previous comment about dual suspension. It's certainly a nice to have but not vitally required feature for high mileage.

Norbert72
4 days ago

I was afraid to buy it. My phone is turning off in the cold. I bought a Haibike Trekking S 5.0 2017. But I'll waiting for your update.

rich c
4 days ago

I'm with Ravi, no comparison between a Haibike and Rad. With the Haibike you get torque sensing and shift detection with the Bosch. Super quick response on the PAS as well. Huge difference between hydraulic and mechanical brakes. Also higher end components on the shifter. I love the estimated range feature provided by the Bosch computer. My first ebike was a hub motor, then bought a Haibike Full Seven S RX and a few months latter bought a Haibike Trekking S RX. Both are 2016s and have over 1,400 miles on each. Just no comparison to the component quality and smooth powered ride. I've never ridden a RadPower bike, but the Chinese motor and mechanical brakes can't be much different than the Chinese bike I rode before.

hurricane56
5 days ago

Yes, I think of the HF1000 as a Ford Raptor, while the Haibike is like a sporty BMW. The fat tires soak up all of the bumps. When I ride over rail road crossings, I don't even feel them with the HF1000. It's the complete opposite with the Trekking, which has an upgraded air fork. Without sounding overly critical of Juiced Bike, the thing that I haven't been happy with is their Mozo air fork. I honestly think they'd be better off using a rigid fork as the Mozo unit on that came on the HF1000 is slow to rebound and difficult to adjust. I ended up just taking the unit off and converting the headtube to use a Rock Shox Bluto.

As far as comparing it to the specs on the RipCurrent, 750w is a good sweet spot for power output. On my commute rides, the power output on the HF1000 display is hovering around 650-750w for about half the ride. If the RipCurrent controller peaks out at over 1000w, a 28-30mph cruise speed should be possible with street tires.

hurricane56
5 days ago

I run the HF1000 on my daily commute. For me the fat bike is like my lifted pick-up truck with off road suspension. It works rather well with a good suspension fork, street tires, and body float seatpost. It’s also my easy bike to ride. On the days that I’m more tired than usual I can get on my HF1000, turn it up to sport and be on my way.

Compare this to my Haibike Trekking that is also a great commuter, but different style of bike. It’s so much more nimble than the HF1000, and the Bosch system is much more refined. Both have pros and cons, but yes you can make a fat bike a great commuter platform.

Larry Ganz
4 months ago

Holy Cow! For only 10% more money than my Trek Powerfly 7 + my wife's Neko+ I could have bought a new 2017 Yamaha FZ6R motorcycle street bike!! I'm such a fool.

https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/supersport/models/fz6r - The FZ6R offers a great combination of performance, handling and exciting sportbike style with confidence-inspiring low seat height - all at an affordable price. MSRP $7,799*

Also, last fall I traded in a 10 year old Toyota RAV4 in excellent condition for a Subaru WRX, and took $7K trade-in for it, the same amount I paid for the two eBikes - for the price of a working 5 passenger SUV!

Larry Ganz
4 months ago

I've taken the Powerfly 7 onto several gravel trails and it's pretty stable at 40psi tire pressure, although if you get into some deep soft <1/8" pea-gravel it will slow the bike way down as you sink in and you need to power up the motor to get through it rather than bogging down. It's not often that I run into that, where it feels like those old playgrounds with 12" deep soft loose round gravel. I imagine that if you were doing a lot of fine loose gravel it would be like riding on sand and you'd want a 4" fatbike instead, or lower the tires to 30psi (or go tubeless and go to 25psi). On hard pack single tracks with gravel on top of the surface it seems to do pretty well, but as you know any 2.3" tire can still skitter around on gravel, so you have to keep your body loose and let the bike move around and find it's way. On those surfaces my wife can't keep up with me on her Neko+ with 1.5" tires and more of a hybrid tread. Her bike is geared all wrong for climbing on slow/loose dirt trails anyway, and is best on hard pack with mild gravel and pavement. I've not had my front end wash out yet on loose dirt, but I've come close and it helps when I keep my weight back, which means getting off the seat and moving my butt back, but the bars are a longer reach forward than swept bars and without a dropper seat-post it's hard. Instead I did buy a suspension seat post, but just a better seat could be enough. I tend to let the bike float between my hands and legs on bumpy surfaces, to absorb bumps and stay on track. So I haven't gotten much use from my Suntour NCX suspension seat post https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IM2JZYY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 but when I force myself to take the weight off my feet and use the seat, I find that the seat post works very well and does a better job absorbing bumps than my front dual 100mm shocks set for 26% sag. If I sit too far forward on the seat then the Suntour seat post doesn't get enough leverage to move (it moves down and back with bumps). If I sit back far enough to get it to absorb everything then I can barely reach the handle bars with my spare tire in the way (okay, my gut).

On most rides I do use up 100% of my front fork travel, and have thought about spacers inside the forks to get it to be more progressive, so I can run a lower pressure for a softer street ride. I think my fork pressure is between 120-125psi but I haven't checked it since May. So, currently I can't go lower on the pressure without spacers to make it more progressive - the front suspension works better off road than on pavement where it doesn't absorb the small bumps as well.

My 2.3" dirt tires still do great on pavement without too much rolling resistance, although I suspect that the grip in emergency braking might suffer with less contact patch on the road due to the knobbies. I've taken mine up to 42.7mph downhill on pavement, and it's steering geometry is much more stable at high speed than the DualSport+ that I borrowed for a weekend before ordering my XM700+ and then canceling for the PF7.

It corners well, although I'd expect that the XM700+ would corner better/faster on pavement with it's tires. Regardless, a bicycle is not like riding a motorcycle, as I'm much higher off the ground (36" vs 28"). So I'm not as confident leaning hard into turns when I'm sitting on a tiny seat 3 feet off the ground. Countersteering still works, but I feel like if I'm leaning into the turn too much that I'll start to slide out. So I have not tested my limits on dirt or pavement, and I slow down to at least 15-20mph for turns.

I do keep the tires at 40psi for all rides now, as I usually have to ride on pavement to get to any off-road riding, and 3/4 of my ride miles are on pavement. I can pedal it up to 22-23mph comfortably on flat ground with a comfortable cadence, and occasionally 26-27mph but then the cadence is too high for me to maintain for long. There's one stretch on the ride back from the local Zoo where I can pedal at what I'm guessing is 100+rpm at 35mph for about 3/4 of a mile which is about a 2% downhill grade where the bike would coast at only 20-25 without pedaling.

I went for the smaller 55cm frame for my 5 foot 9 inch body (30" inseam) and I kept the stock bars. But I went with a shorter and steeper handlebar riser (maybe 110x45 I'm not exactly sure now) which brought the bars closer to me, although I'd wish they were 1" higher and 2" farther back for cruising.

For where I like to ride (street and dirt), and riding 10-20mph with my wife, the Powerfly 7 is perfect and very versatile. Although it would be nice to also have a 28mph speed pedelec with street tires, after dropping so much on the Trek if I get a 2nd eBike it might be something like the Juiced Crosscurrent S at a much lower price. I can't justify another $4K bike to my wife, but if money grew on trees my Bike #2 would be a Stromer ST2 S.

Larry Ganz
4 months ago

Riding the Glenwood Canyon trail this summer with my Trek Powerfly 7 and my wife on her Neko+

PS: had to screen grab from a video instead of a photo that my wife took by accident.

Larry Ganz
7 months ago

I feel that my wife's Neko+ with Steps sounds louder than my Powerfly 7 with Bosche CX.

E-Wheels
7 months ago

Larry is your PF7 a 2016 or 2017 model

Sonoboy
7 months ago

Holy Cow! Larry! Is that a holder for an iPad Mini on your handlebar? That must make for a great mapping display. As well as anything else you might need.

Larry Ganz
8 months ago

My wife rode her Trek Neko+ to work yesterday (8+ miles from Cheyenne Mountain to Downtown Colorado Springs), and then I rode my Trek Powerfully 7 out to meet her for dinner outside, so that we could ride home together.

Larry Ganz
8 months ago

I bet that Pedego Stretch will be a good bike for you and your son, and I'd go for the larger battery if I were you because you'll use higher assist levels as he grows more, as as you commute more.

Over memorial Day weekend there was a woman on a small Pedego chasing her husband up and down the trails, while he rode a vintage Specialized carbon mountain bike, and he was in great shape for any age (he was in his early 50's). But we couldn't keep up with either of them on my Trek Powerfully 7 and my wife on her Trek Neko+, although we were pacing ourselves for a 32 mile round trip ride and super fast mama on the Pedego was on the shorter 22 mile circuit.

EDIT - did you see this seat accessory? https://www.amazon.com/Pedego-Stretch-Passenger-Seat-Kit/dp/B01N0EZAUJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498452644&sr=8-1&keywords=pedego+stretch

Larry Ganz
8 months ago

You might want to rethink the gearing change if you have to go on any steep climbs at lower speeds. So while I'm waiting for my replacement brake lever to come in tomorrow (my Powerfly 7 is still in the shop after the crash over Memorial Day weekend), I took my wife's Neko+ out for a 10 mile ride the other day. And now I know why on some steep trails she's had to get off and push her bike up.

Her bike is better geared for riding above 25mph on flat ground without assist, while mine is better geared for riding under 25mph on flat ground. With the Powerfly 7 at over 25mph I'm closer to pedaling like a circus monkey, while with her tall gearing the Neko+ cadence is a bit slower. But that sucks for her when climbing a 10-15% grade in 1st gear at low speeds (The Trek DualSport+ would be the men's equivalent of her bike).

I simply can't pedal her bike fast enough to maintain 6mph in a steep climb using 1st gear without putting her bike in HIGH power at 200% assist, while my Powerfly 7 can climb at even slower speeds with lower power assist levels (ECO or Tour), because it's geared to give me enough cadence to deliver full assist on lower settings. On her bike I have to ride faster in high power to keep up my momentum and get enough power output for the climb. This sucks up a lot of battery power in the process.

Typically, riding in my hilly neighborhood nets me approximately 7-10 miles per bar on my Bosche battery (1 bar = 20%). My hardest ride has used up 3/5 bars (60%) over a 25 mile ride, and a gentle ride using ECO mode the whole time used up only 2/5 bars (40%) over 30 miles. But on this 10 mile ride with her Neko+ I went through 40% of her Shimano Steps' battery because I often needed 200% assist, where Tour with 120% assist on my Powerfly would have been enough.

So, in my case I definitely would not want to change to a larger front sprocket on my Powerfly 7, due to all the slow climbing we have to do in my neighborhood. I can see why some members here have both a Speed Pedelec and a mountain eBike, for different situations.

Larry Ganz
9 months ago

Not the best picture here, but here is what I've got. It's my Trek Powerfly 7 which I took on a ride and picnic with my wife, who is riding a Trek Neko+ that's laying down behind my bike (kickstand broke right before we went on the ride).

The bag under the seat holds tools, tire patch kit and levers, plus CO2 while the bag up front holds personal items that I don't want to carry in my pockets or camelback while I pedal (including a .38 special or 9mm that I have quick access to).

We rode Glenwood Canyon in Colorado, from Glenwood Springs to the end of the canyon and back, and I took a panoramic photo of the trail map with my iPhone.

And my bike related T-shirt that I thought was funny but too worn out to wear anymore. I bought this over 15 years ago and can't part with it.

Larry Ganz
9 months ago

The opposite of eBike riders going too fast or being reckless can still hurt.

In this case, unassisted riders surprised us while passing us and it resulted in my crash. We'd decided that bike path was too narrow to be cruising at max assist speed of 20mph, but other riders didn't feel that way and were going even faster. I'm not sure why class 1 eBikes have to be limited to 20mph, or are banned from some areas completely, when healthy and fit riders on lighter un-powered bikes are allowed to go as fast as they want, regardless of traffic or road conditions.

We took our ebikes on vacation this weekend, planning to ride 30 miles both Sunday and Monday. I was riding my Trek Powerfly 7 on a bike path by the river in Glenwood Springs Colorado (river on my left, with highway I-70 on my right) with my wife leading on her Trek Neko+. We were coasting with brakes about 15mph on a narrow downhill section, about 25 miles into a 32 mile round trip ride, when a pair of faster non assisted riders came past us on the left with very little warning,

One of the riders called out "on your left" about 5 feet from my left ear, which scared me right into the concrete retaining wall on the right.

I was like the kitten on YouTube that jumps 6 feet back when the pet iguana starts to move suddenly towards it, but I had no room to go anywhere but into a wall at speed. And it was not object fixation, but my right handle bar hitting the wall turned the bars towards the wall. Once my right handlebar made contact with the wall i was sucked into it.

My inexperience kicked me in the ass, and I wasn't prepared for everything - while I was focused on what was ahead I forgot that there were riders behind me. I just wasn't expecting to be passed at 15mph when we'd been passing others in front of us, and I'd warn people with my loud voice well in advance of our approach while slowing down some.

My body and gear didn't fare well. I gouged my right grip, tore out my front fork lock-out cable, scuffed my Intuvia display, broke of a piece of my front reflector, scraped my headlight and right brake fluid reservoir, ripped off my iPhone 7+ mount (with iPhone in it), snapped my left front brake lever mounting bracket in half, gouged my right crank pedal, scraped the right crank, twisted my handle bars 15 degrees to the right, and bent my rear wheel as I got trapped between the wheel and seat post. My Intuvia damage is cosmetic, and the assist level switch was spared because I had it rotated more vertically to reach with my arthritic thumb more easily.

I ended up with small patches of road rash on my right knee and arm, a cut and deep puncture on my shin that kept bleeding, and contusions along my right side. I ripped my shorts but my Specialised Deflect jacket didn't tear - it just has dirt and rubber streaks along the right arm and right side, and blood. Somehow I caught road rash under my jacket on my right chest and shoulder, without a hole in the jacket.

My sleeve slid up a little and exposed my $700 black steel Apple Watch on mesh bracelet, which protected a good portion of my hand and wrist, minimizing my road rash to a smaller section above the watch. But I gouged the watch case, broke the watch sapphire crystal and twisted the steel mesh bracelet. So glad I wasn't wearing my Titanium Omega chronograph that I'd taken off before the ride.

My Apple Watch still works and it only missed recording 2 miles of our 32 mile ride - it auto-paused while the faster riders stopped to render first aid, and I didn't notice and resume timing the ride until 10 min after we started back to the hotel. My iPhone came out unscathed, protected by the 360 coverage of the handlebar mount that I bought from REI for XL phones. It was laying on the ground 15 feet ahead of where the bike and I finished sliding.

The faster riders were very helpful and apologetic (sounded like from Sweden) and plan to give people more warning than silently sneaking up on someone and then yelling "on your left" directly into that persons ear at "last second" distance. it's a two way path and I was staying right, but was startled by the sudden appearance of a passing rider so close to me.

It was a downhill portion but my wife is afraid to ride too fast on narrow paths, and she was coasting with the brakes - it would have been easy for the other riders to be going 25+mph with gentle pedaling on this 5-6 foot wide bike path. It's probably not safe to be going more than 5mph faster than other riders when passing there.

I took advantage of all the bandaids and first aid tape they wanted to donate, saving my kit for another time. They went on their way forgiven, once they helped me ascertain that my bike and I could limp back for the last 7 miles. Riding back with the handlebars out of whack, no front brake, and wobbly rear wheel wasn't fun.

I'll hit up the Apple Store Monday night on our way back home, and see if Apple Care+ will cover the watch repairs. I know it covers an iPhone when folded into a taco by an electric rear hatch on a Subaru Forester XT.

And Tuesday I'll take my Trek to the LBS for repairs which shouldn't be too bad - the brake lever, lock out cable, and reflector shouldn't be too much to replace, and I may upgrade the plastic crank pedals while I'm at it. The scratched parts such as the Intuvia display and headlight still work.

The steering stem should be able to be adjusted back to true, and hopefully the rear wheel can be straightened out okay. Not sure why the front wheel didn't bendtoo. But I worry that the rear might be weaker after fixing it than if it replace the wheel. I also don't know if there's any underlying damage to the front fork, i.e. if it had twisted at all, but it seems to be using up about 8omm travel with my 26% sag during the ride back to the hotel. So it's not binding up.

I took an Oxycodone and Valium since I can't move right now, along with Aleve, so hopefully I'm not stuck in bed in the morning. I feel like a truck hit me, but the last time that actually happened I ended up with two broken legs and 5 broken ribs. So this isn't that bad...

No flammers please, it's not helpful. Sympathies, regards, prayers, and constructive criticism welcome.

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Larry Ganz
10 months ago

PS: In my photo above with 2 bars down on the battery, I was riding on very hilly paved roads and ran the battery down one bar in the first 7 miles, and then the second bar in another 7 miles, using mostly Sport mode with an occasional drop down to Tour or up to Turbo.

If the drivetrain behaved consistently, with the 500WH battery I estimate that I'd have a total range of 35 miles in Sport mode on such hilly terrain, which included about 1500 feet of climbing total.

Off road in Turbo mode I might see as low as 5 miles/bar on the battery, but in ECO mode on a gravel bike path I was getting closer to 15 miles/bar of battery on a 30 mile ride with a mild 800 foot climb over the first 14 miles. My expected range was almost 70 miles on that trip, and I stayed in ECO mode even when assist wasn't needed, just to see how it would drain the battery.

So, you could use the Powerfly 7/8FS+ with 500WH battery as a commuter with decent range, although limited to 20mph. On some of the steeper hills that I have to climb in my neighborhood I can't get past 10mph, while my healthier teenage son can pass me up easily while riding my wife's lesser power Neko+.

Lars Ödman
3 months ago

Sorry to say, you can buy a similar bike"asian produced quality bike" for 1800$ in Sweden"europe" today. Love the Review as Always.

MarvFIT
7 months ago

trek needs to do a better job with their aesthetics especially for a $2999. giant and raleigh are offering bikes at the same price with much better aesthetics, more power & more distance

Haseeb 2
7 months ago

Are all Trek eBikes exclusively pedal assist?

Tilala yaye Fall
7 months ago

Good stuff I want the sondor x it's suppose to be sent out any day now but I won't buy 1 unless you do a review on it. I value your opinion

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Thanks Tilala, I wish I had one to review for you right now, I'll keep an eye out for it :)

Alex
7 months ago

Can you do a comparison on battery warrantees and future support? I hear Boshe has a long term plan for supporting their batteries so people are not left out in the cold after a few years. I was wandering if other companies have similar support with their batteries too.

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Hi Alex! Out of all four major ebike drive system manufacturers (Bosch, Brose, Yamaha, Shimano), I have found Bosch to be the most responsive and supportive of the work I do. I hear ebike shops frequently compliment how reliable their systems are and one told me that they have a ten year plan to support products... which seems incredible. I have not confirmed this but will keep asking around ;)

Philip Jones
7 months ago

Really enjoy your reviews, I'm across the pond here in N Wales Gt Britain and have recently bought the Trek dual sport which has the same components as this bike but different frame and being in Britain the motor can only assist up to 15.9 mph but I just want to say that I absolutely love ❤️ it , best thing since sliced bread. Keep up the good reviews and please do one on the Trek ds 👍👍👍

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Sweet! Thanks for chiming in with the real-world feedback Philip. I filmed the Dual Sport+ and will publish a review on it in the coming weeks. I try to mix things up that way... hope your bike continues to be awesome! Thanks for the compliments :)

FRANK ROBY
7 months ago

poor value.

frank doster
7 months ago

Best bike reviews on youtube

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Thanks Frank, I'm doing the best job I can while also pushing to cover lots of variety ;)

Nolife2692
7 months ago

Hey bro I just bought my first E folding bicycle from Evelo is that a good brand it coming in 5 days so happy the amount I paid is 1799.00 took me a while to save up but gotten it do you think that a good deal for everyday usage ?

Nolife2692
7 months ago

I will bro I never bought something this pricey before because of school needing transportation instead using a car which my age will cost a lot with this only require is to charge battery everyday before usage wherent for your video I will never thought of buying a e folding bike ever you rock bro and also seen one of your older vlog where a cheaper e bike was falling apart when riding which why I decided to spend a little bit more

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Hi Nguyen! That's a good price in general for an electric bike and while I have not seen the new EVELO models in person yet... they have been vastly improved and their customer support has always been good. I'm planning to review them all in a couple of weeks but I'd love to hear your thoughts when you get yours :D

Juan Alfonso Noval
7 months ago

Nice review, as always, and the bike seems to have some good components although I find that 3K is quite pricey, especially with other bikes like Juiced that come in at a friendlier $1500. Of course, it is all relative to your budget, right? Anyhow, the one thing that I am finding less attractive in the looks department is the big battery stuck on the down tube on some electric bikes, like this one. With so many e-bikes now integrating the battery into the down tube, I find this bike a lot less attractive. Again, personal choice.

MarvFIT
7 months ago

trek also has big competition at this price with a bike from raleigh like the redux ie and the giant quick e+. both bikes offer much better performance and better aesthetics.

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

You communicated several important considerations Martian, and I agree with them. People tend to ride ebikes more frequently and further which means quality parts and service support are important. I do think $2,499 would be more palatable for the Neko+ but I wouldn't say that a person is wasting money getting it at $3k because the drivetrain and drive systems are solid. There's room for improvement but even just having size choices... that's something that you don't get with many of the cheaper bikes, or you get two vs. three. For a tall or petite rider the money is definitely well spent

Juan Alfonso Noval
7 months ago

Interesting and valid points. Maybe Court can weigh in with his experience?

Martian Megafauna
7 months ago

I agree that for a bike that actually LOOKS a lot like a less expensive ebike--as opposed to other Trek models that have integrated batteries and better overall appearance and design--the price does seem to be high.

However when you look through the parts of each bike--say for example this Trek and a Juiced bike or a Rad Power bike--generally you do notice--or can determine--the difference between the Trek materials, components, and electronics and those on the lower priced imports. The question is whether you care about that, and are willing to pay for the difference.

This does not necessarily mean you will have a better experience, or ownership period, on the Trek. But, you might have a better experience on the Trek, and you might want to pay for that possibility. Dealer availability is another benefit to a large manufacturer like Trek, especially as ebikes are more likely to require dealer involvement than a standard bike.

Some of the many small virtual bike companies like Juiced and Rad seem to be able to bring together high-value components and materials and offer their bikes at entry level prices, and they appear to be doing it well. Time will tell, of course.

Kiri Riel
7 months ago

...cool this 1 can be used in Canada 🤗...

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Oh yeah, can definitely be used in Canada :D

G Henrickson
7 months ago

Absolutely ....not. The weaker Coriolis-effect at northern latitudes give rise to an increased particle ossification phenomena. Sad but true. Really. I am not kidding. Really.

Lynn Recker
7 months ago

Shimano's motor seems to have a bit of a deeper sound to it than the whine of a Bosch.

ElectricBikeReview.com
7 months ago

Yeah, I agree with you Lynn, I think the larger sprocket spins slower and that produces a lower frequency than Bosch which spins at 2.5x each crank arm revolution