Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Review

Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Electric Bike Review
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Gearless Crystalyte Hub Motor
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Custom Aluminum Battery Box
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Cruiser Bar Led Console Throttle
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Brookes Saddle Led Backlight
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Led Circular Headlight
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Leather Ergonomic Grips Locking
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Ebike System Wires
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz View From Top Fender
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Electric Bike Review
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Gearless Crystalyte Hub Motor
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Custom Aluminum Battery Box
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Cruiser Bar Led Console Throttle
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Brookes Saddle Led Backlight
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Led Circular Headlight
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Leather Ergonomic Grips Locking
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Ebike System Wires
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Vintage Electric Bikes Cruz View From Top Fender

Summary

  • A robust, high powered and potentially high-speed cruiser style electric bike styled to resemble the board track racing bikes of the 1920's, optional Race Mode pin for 30+ mph
  • built on a custom steel frame that dampens vibration but flexes more than the Tracker model which is built on Aluminum, the longer cruiser bars support a more comfortable upright body position
  • Gearless direct drive motor is sturdy but also heavy, since there are no moving gears inside it operates extremely quietly and also provides regeneration when activated
  • Solid year long warranty, lots of upgrades including pedal assist, a rear rack and custom paint, the battery is not removable and the bike is very heavy at ~87 lbs
Warning, in some configurations this electric bike is classified as a moped or motorcycle and may not be ridden on cycling trails or paths. It may require licensing, insurance and lights when used on public roads.

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Vintage Electric Bikes

Model:

Cruz

Price:

$4,995 (Up to $6,845 with Accessories and Upgrades)

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Cruising

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2), Moped or Motorcycle (Class 4)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive, 30k Miles

Availability:

United States, Worldwide

Model Year:

2016

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

87 lbs (39.46 kg) (74 with Rear Rack)

Battery Weight:

20 lbs (9.07 kg)

Motor Weight:

16 lbs (7.25 kg)

Frame Material:

Chromoly Steel

Frame Sizes:

18.5 in (46.99 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

18.5" Seat Tube, 22.5" Reach, 31.5" Standover Height, 76" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Fiesta Red, Aqua Blue, Cola Brown, Custom (~$600 Extra) (High Grade Powder Coat)

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Chromoly Steel

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 (Single Speed)

Cranks:

F. Gimondi, 36 Tooth Chainring

Pedals:

MKS, Aluminum Alloy Platform, Silver

Handlebar:

Oversized Steel 31", Cruiser Style

Brake Details:

Shimano Alfine Hydraulic Disc with 203 mm Front Rotor and 180 mm Rear Rotor, Shimano Alfine Levers

Grips:

Leather with Lockers (Optional Leather Ergonomic with Lockers)

Saddle:

Brooks, Hand Crafted Leather, Sprung

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, 55 mm Width, Color Matched

Spokes:

36 Spoke, Hand Laced and Tensioned, 14 Gauge Front, 12 Gauge Rear

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Fat Frank, 26" x 2.35"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Reflective Sidewall Stripe, Available in Black or Creme Colors, Active Line K-Guard Puncture Protection

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Single Side Kickstand on Left, Aluminum Alloy Rear Fender Color Matched, CREE LED Headlight, Optional Rear Carry Rack with Integrated Leather Accents ~$290, Optional Rear Carry Rack with Integrated Leather Accents and Two Saddlebags ~$800, Optional Rear Light Integrated with Brooks Saddle $75 Extra, Optional Brooks Challenge Bag ~$100 Extra

Other:

High Speed 6 Amp Charger, Can Run at 40 Amps Continuous

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Crystalyte

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Direct Drive Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Peak Output:

3000 watts

Motor Torque:

60 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

52 volts (60 Amp Continuous)

Battery Amp Hours:

13.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

702 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

2 hours

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Display Type:

Fixed LED Console

Readouts:

Battery Level (Green, Yellow, Red)

Display Accessories:

Regeneration Button on Left

Drive Mode:

Trigger Throttle, Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist (Pedal Assist is Optional and Costs ~$130, 12 Magnet King Meter)

Top Speed:

36 mph (58 kph) (Default 20 mph Mode, Race Mode Pin ~$150 Extra)

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Written Review

Vintage Electric Bikes creates these custom “vintage styled” ebikes that resemble the board track racing motorcycles of the 1920’s. I met with the founder, Andrew, for this review and test rode their newest model, the Cruz. There are several key upgrades for the bike including a Race Mode pin which increases the top speed from 20 mph to ~36 and ups motor wattage from 750 nominal to ~2600 and Amps to 40. And can get a rear carry rack for transporting cargo along with their beautiful panniers. If you’re not into the stock colors (which cover the frame, fenders and rims) you can pay about $600 more for custom paint. While the bike isn’t super cheap, you get a lot for your money including sturdy hydraulic disc brakes, integrated lights that run off the main battery and luxury Brookes saddle and leather ergonomic grips. The real draw here for me is style combined with quality and a sense of power and speed that rides more like a moped or motorcycle than an electric bike.

Pedaling on the Cruze or Tracker is limited by a single speed drivetrain and I noticed the default saddle position that Andrew had setup on the demo bikes was low. My legs bent too much when trying to pedal to be efficient… or really even comfortable. Pedaling is possible however and the gearing is set a bit higher so you can keep up at 20+ mph but starting from zero without power is a pain. Transporting the bike might also be a chore given the heavy footprint and non-removable battery but the front wheel does have quick release. The tires are large, comfortable and tough with Kevlar lining to reduce punctures and I love the reflective sidewall stripes. Overall, this is a more comfortable and upright ride than the Tracker model but it’s not compatible with their optional suspension fork for that model. They perform the same in terms of power, sharing the same motor, controller and battery and I was told that Vintage Electric Bikes will perform service and upgrades as they strive to keep their bikes on the road for as long as possible.

To me, Andrew and his company are authentic and their product is unique and fun. It’s different from other low speed pedelecs and possibly less legal depending on your local ordinances but it runs quiet and will stay much cooler than an internal combustion motor (which has made it a very popular choice in Indonesia). You can cruise around on this thing with the wind in your hair actually enjoying the sights and sounds of your environment… just make sure you’re extra careful because even in City Mode with the limited power and speed it still accelerates quickly and is so quiet that cars and other pedestrians might not notice you.

Pros:

  • More upright and relaxed seating position than the Tracker model, the slightly longer and swept-back handlebars dampen vibration and pair nicely with the ergonomic grips and balloon tires, the sprung saddle also helps but keeps it looking classy
  • Great safety features including a large circular headlight with classic styling and smaller LED backlight (which can be relocated to the back of the rack if you get that option), I like the reflective tape on the tires as well
  • Beautiful design, colors and accessories (including leather accents on the grips and saddle), I like the different styles of wood paneling above the battery box reminiscent of a beach cruiser automobile and tire colors
  • The battery box positions weight low and centered on the frame for improved balance and handling, it’s heavy but also rugged and keeps the controller and other wires well hidden
  • Cool power regeneration feature with a large red button near the left grip, it only recoups at ~10% efficiency but it will reduce wear on your brake pads and just feels cool
  • I love the oversized hydraulic disc brakes, they offer a good level of stopping power for something this heavy and powerful (especially if you get the Race Mode plug for increased speed)
  • The fender and rims are color matched to the frame, the fender is actually custom shaped to provide clearance for the chain
  • This is one of the zippiest and potentially fastest electric bikes I’ve tested, great for use as a pit bike or on private property (or in countries with relaxed laws like Indonesia)
  • I appreciate the inclusion of a kickstand and this one feels sturdy and stays out of the way… it’s not adjustable but given the weight of the bike that’s probably good because it would be less strong
  • Inspired by the board track racing bikes of the 1920’s era, the battery box resembles an engine and is even done in sand cast Aluminum which is how they did it back then

Cons:

  • Heavier than most low speed electric bikes I test due to the custom battery box, oversized direct drive motor and larger frame, the frame is a bit less stiff than the Tracker model because it’s Steel vs. Aluminum which improves ride quality but also produces frame flex and adds weight
  • No bottle cage bosses or traditional rack mounting points, you have to pay a premium for the official Vintage Elctric Bikes rack but it looks great, comes color matched and works well with their panniers
  • The optional pedal assist doesn’t have power level settings so it feels like twisting the throttle all the way and when you want to stop there’s a bit of delay and the brake levers don’t have inhibitors built in which could be a safety issue
  • Given the single speed drivetrain, this bike can be difficult to start or pedal around if you run out of juice, the chainring offers 36 teeth to make pedaling at higher speeds possible but the low saddle and body position are best suited to throttle mode
  • Only available in one frame size and it’s a cantilever high-step style which might be a little unwieldily for shorter riders (or those with short inseams), I measured the stand over height at 31.5″ which is about the same as the Tracker model
  • The battery is not removable for charging off of the frame or reducing weight during transport, the front skewer is quick release so this helps to reduce size and weight a touch

Resources:

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Farbike
3 weeks ago

Hey E-Bikers,

I want to hear what you all think about these new bikes we will release at the end of August.

We just got an update on the new X-treme Electric Bicycles for 2018. First off the geared hub motors are going to be zero resistance thanks to a clutch that disengages the motor when the electricity is not one. Very cool.

Here are the specs we have so far:

48 Volt High Power Long Range Electric Mountain Bicycle
10.4AH Integrated Lithium Battery (15AH Optional Battery Pack)
500 Watt Zero Resistance Rear Hub Motor With Clutch
Up To 70 Miles Range Using Low PAS & Flat Terrain While Pedal Assisting
Ultimate Hill Climbing - Tested 18 MPH Constant Speed While Climbing 7% to 8% Grade For 45 Minutes On Battery
King Meter LCD Smart PAS Digital System With USB Phone Charging Port
Digital Torque Sensing
Suntour Front Suspension - Unnecessary But Why Not Have The Best?
Shimano Altus 9 Speed
Tektro Disk Brakes With Hydraulic Upgrade Option
Kenda High End Beach Tires
Velo Seat - Velo Grips
Aluminum Everything - Zero Rust - Every Bolt - Every Nut - Every Nipple - Every Spoke - Zero Rust
Drink Holder On Handle Bars Included

Final pricing is not out yet, but will be around $1300-$1500

I have some early factory pics you can see at these links: More to come once we get them in the photo studio.

X-treme Catalina Electric Beach Cruiser
X-treme E-Bike Santa Cruz Mens Electric Beach Cruiser
X-treme E-Bike Rocky Road 48v Fat Tire Electric Bike

Let me know what yall think. There will also be a full suspension update for the X-treme Rubicon and X-treme Sedona Electric Mountain Bike coming at the same time.

-Eric

Robert W Green
1 month ago

The other night I came across a cool recumbent bike on youtube called the Cruz Bike. Has anyone else heard of this bike and has anyone tried to electify one? If so, tell me how you did it. If not, how would you do it if you wanted to. Www.cruzbike.com

1/1
DubNation
3 months ago

Hi,
I'm new to e-bikes and would like to purchase one soon. I'd like one that has a 28mph top speed, can be used on moderately difficult trails, and is under 3k. I live in the Bay Area and only ride on the weekends for fun. Usually I ride on flat and smooth dirt trails, but if I get an e-bike, I'd also like to ride some easy trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Of the bikes I've researched on-line, the Juiced CrossCurrent, Trek XM700, Trek Powerfly 5, and Magnum Peak look really cool to me. Let me know if these bikes would work for me, or if you have any other recommendations.
Thanks
Chris

Roseville
3 months ago

I may be looking for a unicorn: an ebike under $2k that prioritizes distance over speed; front shocks; 48v and can support a Clydesdale. Removable lcd and bottle cage is a plus. Don't care about fenders; care about reliability.

Last year I purchased a Diamondback Trace ex from REI, but returned it because of a problem with the sensor and less than zero in-store/corporate support. I've heard REI and Diamondback isn't selling ebikes any longer. I think the eparts were bolt on Currie.

How I will use the ebike: commuting/errands around town; riding along the American River Parkway and other bike trails; fire roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains (not technical paths); stretch goals: Highway One between San Francisco and San Jose, maybe multi-day trekking

Izip E3 Dash Electric Bike - 2016 - correct price and voltage, but it has a small amp battery

Pedegos are great, the City Commuter is close, but are way over my budget, especially with the extended. battery, but doesn't have a front fork suspension. Old Sacramento dealer is a respected LBS in the area.

Haibike SDURO Trekking 4.0 Low Step - nearly perfect, but budget buster

Haibike Sduro TREKKING SL EBIKE - nearly perfect, "only" $300 over max, max budget

Felt Verza-e 10 - nearly perfect, but budget buster. A senior citizen used one to bike across the country.

I'm open to a used ebike, depending on seller and condition.

Your thoughts?

Thanks

Joven Cabague
4 months ago

Hi Bikedriver, i am really interested to try the maxon drive hub motors on my existing MTB bike. My 1st question would be, to save some bucks can i still use my existing rear wheels or i need to buy the maxon drive motor hub with the its DT swiss wheel ? Also, I have two MTB's, one is Fuji 26er and 27.5 Star cruz. I like to put it in the Sta cruz but the VPP suspension design might block the battery. Meanwhile, the 26er Fuji bike is a hard tail and has enough room for the battery. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you in advance

MEDUSAvsSHOE
1 week ago

$7000!?!?!? try again.

Ed E.J.Shonka@cox.net
4 months ago

nice bikes how much do they cost

Dylan Thabest
6 months ago

Anything similar for under 1500$ ?

Liz Seelbach
6 months ago

my boyfriend bought it and it continues to break down. Nice bike but wish they can make a reliable bike. Also white tyre is a big no . It looks nice but get dirty in matter of seconds (this is just warning . )

Liz Seelbach
6 months ago

my boyfriend bought it and it continues to break down. Nice bike but wish they can make a reliable bike. Also white tyre is a big no . It looks nice but get dirty in matter of seconds (this is just warning . )

Don Mega
2 months ago

can't it be like bleached every once in a while? it's kinda the thing with a beautiful bike like this that one has to take care of it. bring it indoors and make sweet love to it, oops i meant clean it :P. it's the same thing, like were you not to clean your white sneakers. you'll be judged lazy or as one who dresses badly.

steeven coogan
7 months ago

Where to get in indonesia?

David Macdonald
7 months ago

kinda not really a e bike more a moped.

ceeslee
7 months ago

Seat positioning and fitment for these bikes are too low. If you want to pedal to extend the range you can travel, you'd look like a teenager trying to pedal seated on their BMX bike. The look great but at the detriment of how efficient they could be with added rider input. Might as well just delete the cranks and replace them with some motorcycle pegs.

Westheads Extractions
1 year ago

Awesome bike.

777
1 year ago

колеса восьмерят.

Monica Schwartz
1 year ago

why don't u call him out on the expensive product? on your other video on the vintage electric bike u said u could use your own fuse, and for an extra 150 for a pin? its greed?! thanks

ForbinColossus
1 year ago

Is the rear fender long enough to prevent road filthy water from hitting your back? Glowing about style has its place, but is the motor long lived?
Thank you for hinting at the enormously bad two-cycle pollution
caused by junky technology in Asia. Plenty of research for those who care:
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140513/ncomms4749/full/ncomms4749.html
http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/04/vietnam-motorbikes-pollution

smiley37greg
1 year ago

Did he mention what kind of range this bike gets? That battery system seems to be purposely oversized "cool" it's not exactly my style but I can appreciate the build quality

Jake Stimson
1 year ago

around 30

smiley37greg
1 year ago

Pee Wee Herman deluxe version

Les Hsu
1 year ago

Bit too expensive for me. I'm glad I got the RadWagon for $1599.00 instead. Much more practical. Feel free to use my name (Les Hsu) for extra $50 savings if you order from their site.

clnmyjts
1 year ago

now that is one good looking cruse bicycle

Bryan Martin
1 year ago

The American People need fast Ebikes I.E 30-40mph. If the vehicle is safe and purpose built why can't we operate them on the street? Change the laws or create a new class of vehicle LEV for commuting purposes.

INCBMX
1 year ago

I think this is also a major reason why we don't have as many bikes as other countries as a main transportation because of the speed and sweat reasons.

Jesse Kramer
1 year ago

As with the tracker, there is a couple of things that really need to be dealt with to somewhat justify the price he is charging here.

First, the cable management really needs to be more elegant, it brings the look of the bike down, especially considering how much effort has gone into the choice of parts and the design of the battery box.

Just look at this:
https://electricbikereview.com/wp-content/assets/2016/02/vintage-electric-bikes-cruz-hydraulic-disc-brakes-1200x600-c-center.jpg
And
https://electricbikereview.com/wp-content/assets/2016/02/vintage-electric-bikes-cruz-ebike-system-wires-1200x600-c-center.jpg

Secondly, the breaks should be beefed up. 200mm+ rotors front and back.

I think he should consider integrating some indicators too, maybe as an optional accessory.

And finally, an old school instrument gage could be cool, big analog looking speedometer, volt/current meter as a tachometer and an integrated little LCD/e-ink battery gage. The bike is fast enough to break the speed limit in some areas, and it would be a real shame to put a standard bike computer on it.

Something like this: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=1920%27s+motorcycle+instruments&safe=off&biw=1855&bih=1019&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjIt-fCiI3LAhVDnJQKHQEvBAoQsAQIJw

Nathan Comstock
1 year ago

+Jesse Kramer I'm with you, however there is another aesthetic at work which falls into the "form following function" monkier. All those exposed cables make maintenance and repair feasible for DIY. No fishing through tubes, no housings buried within housings.

Here are a couple ideas on the off chance the designers read their YouTube comments: #1 Hydraulic brake lines conduct electricity; with a chassis ground, one could eliminate the throttle wire for most of the run to the motor controller. #2 Magura would almost certainly be able to sell a custom cut, shorter front brake hose to clean up the front end of this bike. #3 A coaster brake (back-pedal) setup for the regen mode would be more elegant than a push-button on the handlebars.

Mark Elford
1 year ago

Awesome ebike, looks comfy.

David Macdonald
1 year ago

I know it's not the same thing but , look at the yamaha concept bike , the moegi , I think it's a motorcycle sculpture, so like this a lot , thanks .