Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Review

Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Electric Bike Review
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Crystalyte Gearless Motor
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Aluminum Battery Box
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Led Console Throttle Regen Button
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Large Led Headlight Inverted Suspension Option
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Single Speed Drivetrain Standard Kickstand
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker 203 Mm Hydraulic Disc Brake Thru Axle
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Classy Leather Saddle Metal Fenders
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Speed Plug And Wires
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Lightweight Aluminum Frame
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Chromoly Steel Dropouts For Strength
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Electric Bike Review
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Crystalyte Gearless Motor
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Aluminum Battery Box
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Led Console Throttle Regen Button
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Large Led Headlight Inverted Suspension Option
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Single Speed Drivetrain Standard Kickstand
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker 203 Mm Hydraulic Disc Brake Thru Axle
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Classy Leather Saddle Metal Fenders
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Speed Plug And Wires
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Lightweight Aluminum Frame
Vintage Electric Bikes Tracker Chromoly Steel Dropouts For Strength

Summary

  • A powerful, high speed, heavier electric bike akin to a moped with limiter settings for around town use (750 watt, 20 mph in Street Mode) and optional Race Mode (2800 watt 36 mph)
  • Popular as a pit bike on race courses, used frequently in Indonesia because it stays cooler than internal combustion powered mopeds
  • Single speed drivetrain, available in one size high-step only, large comfortable tires with Kevlar lining, integrated LED lights, optional rear rack and optional pedal assist
  • Custom Aluminum alloy frame with color matched fender and rims, oversized hydraulic disc brakes for great stopping power vs. older versions, solid warranty and good customer support to keep the bike on the road
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:

Tracker

Price:

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

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban

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:

78.5 lbs (35.6 kg) (74 with Rear Rack)

Battery Weight:

20 lbs (9.07 kg)

Motor Weight:

16 lbs (7.25 kg)

Frame Material:

Hydroformed Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

18" Seat Tube, 24" Reach, 31" Stand Over Height, 73.5" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Indian Red, Excelsior Blue, Slate Grey, Racing Green, Custom (~$600 Extra) (High Grade Powder Coat)

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Tig Welded Steel with Hand Crafted Leather Frame Bumpers, CNC Machined High Grade Billet Aluminum Triple Clamp (Optional Inverted 60 mm Suspension Fork $1,145)

Frame Rear Details:

Stainless Steel Dropout Inserts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

1 (Single Speed)

Cranks:

F. Gimondi, 36 Tooth Chainring

Pedals:

MKS, Aluminum Alloy Platform, Silver

Handlebar:

Stainless Steel, Hand Made, Swept Back

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Leather with Lockers

Saddle:

Brooks, Hand Crafted Leather, Sprung

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

200 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, 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, Spokes and Hubs by Phil Wood (CNC Machined from Aluminum Alloy)

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 designs and assembles high power, high speed ebikes in Northern California. I got to visit their headquarters and meet with the founder, Andrew, to learn about their new Tracker model which is basically a refined version of the E-Tracker which I reviewed in mid 2015. The biggest improvement in my mind is larger more powerful brakes… where the E-Tracker had mechanical 160 mm disc brakes the Tracker has hydraulic 203 mm and 180 mm disc brakes (front and rear respectively). There’s still really only one frame size (about medium with a 31″ stand over height and 18″ seat tube). I was able to ride it comfortably and I’m about 5’9″ weighing in at ~135 lbs. These Tracker bikes have always been heavy and the version I tested was about 78 pounds but had an upgraded suspension fork so the default model could be slightly lighter. Other upgrades include custom paint (they’ve matched cars and even hand bags before), a rear rack and Race Mode which is activated by screwing in a special pin to complete a circuit. Vintage Electric Bikes sells this pin separately because it changes the class of the bike from barely being Class 2 to being an illegal moped. Illegal on most city streets in the US and elsewhere but not as a pit bike on race tracks or off road. The Tracker has become popular in countries like Indonesia where there are fewer regulations and people appreciate the quiet and low temperature operation (when it’s 100+ degrees and super humid outside sitting on an internal combustion engine adds even more heat vs. an EV).

Just to hit the specs real quick, with standard Street Mode the motor puts out 750 watts nominal up to 1800 watts max and in Race Mode with that pin it puts out 2600 watts to 2800 watts and operates at 40+ Amps continuous. My preference for operating the bike is using their basic variable speed trigger throttle that’s mounted near the right grip. It’s smooth and can be used from standstill so you don’t have to push hard on the single speed drivetrain to get yourself moving. Not only is the bike heavy but when you’re limited to a single pedaling speed it’s just not fun to start with… Andrew explained that they actually chose a larger chainring with more teeth (36 to be exact) to make it easier and more comfortable to pedal at higher speeds. The company has been experimenting with a cadense sensor in addition to the trigger throttle but I didn’t like the limited and less responsive six magnet design I tried. While I was told they will probably use a 12 magnet sensor there was still no way to disable assist altogether and unlike the variable speed throttle assist operates more like on/off and made me feel uncomfortable when trying to stop because the brake levers didn’t have a motor inhibitor built in. So there’s no LDC display to adjust assist or turn it off and no inhibitors and the bike is heavy and fast… that’s just dangerous.

To up the safety this bike comes with a beautiful and large headlight, LED tail light mounted in a special saddle bracket (which can also be used with their optional rack) and of course the fender and oversized tires with Kevlar lining to reduce flats and reflective sidewall stripes. The emphasis is on beauty and durability here and Andrew explained that they help customers fix and upgrade older models including electronics and batteries. The battery box was modeled after the engines on vintage board track racer bikes (old fashioned bicycles used to race around circular tracks in the 1920’s) and is not easily removable but appears to protect the battery and controller inside very well against the elements and physical impact. I love that the motor power cable has a quick disconnect option and that it enters the axle from the side vs. the end because this protects it from getting bent or snagged. The cables and wires mostly blend in with the frame but there is a bit of a mess just below the battery box where everything goes in and out (more with the bike I reviewed since it also featured pedal assist).

For the right situation the Tracker can be an amazing and beautiful electric bike. I’d want to have a truck or trailer to move it around given the weight and I’m not sure how much I’d actually pedal given the lower seating position and single speed drivetrain but the acceleration is amazing, even if you leave it at 20 mph for Street Mode it’s a rush and feels very responsive. It is however, very quiet so watch out for traffic and pedestrians. Cruising around Indonesia on one of these things at high speed, the wind in your hair and the beautiful sights and sounds unobstructed would be pretty awesome and I love the enthusiasm and genuine approach that Andrew brings. He got to hang out with Jay Leno a while back to share his creation in the famed garage, check that out here for more fun footage.

Pros:

  • This electric bike feels very solid and comfortable… in large part because it weighs nearly 80 pounds and has oversized balloon tires, the thru-axle on the front fork helps keep it stiff
  • The brakes have been vastly improved from earlier versions, they are now extra large hydraulic disc which feel smooth and powerful (very important given the heavier build and higher possible speeds)
  • The Tracker looks beautiful, from the old-fashioned circular headlight to the leather accents and thick frame, it’s great for zipping around on but less practical for pedaling if the seat is kept low
  • The power regen button is very cool, efficiency is probably only ~10% but it helps to save your brake pads and definitely recoups energy… especially with the greater weight of this electric bicycle
  • I absolutely love the inverted suspension option because it looks great, feels solid and improves the ride at high speed but it costs a lot at ~$1,100
  • The color-matched fender looks awesome, doesn’t rattle and keeps you dry and clean while riding (I also like that it’s bent on the side to accommodate the chain), the rear rack is a great option as well but costs more than an average bicycle rack, the panniers they sell are also very cool and work perfectly with the rack
  • Extremely quiet because there are no gears inside the motor, even in Speed Mode opening the throttle up completely it remains silent so be extra careful because cars and pedestrians might not hear you
  • Uses the EnergyBus charging standard with Rosenburger port that is magnetic (like an Apple laptop charger) and sends both power and data for software upgrades
  • The motor is extremely powerful (limited to 750 nominal for street legal use by default but peaks around 2800 watts with the optional speed pin) you get a 52 volt battery and 40 Amps of continuous current for amazing acceleration from standstill, most ebikes I test send ~20 Amps
  • The rims are colormatched and the spokes are painted black to match the motor… it all looks great together, the rear spokes are 12 gauge which is super strong for the added weight and forces of the bike frame and motor

Cons:

  • The power cables and wires are mostly hidden (zip tied below the downtube) but there is a sort of messy bundle at the base of the battery box that isn’t as nice looking as internally routed designes
  • I didn’t love the default pedal assist setting when using the Tracker in high speed mode because you can’t adjust the power level and it just takes off… also the brake levers don’t have motor inhibitors so you might be fighting the system between the start/stop delays of the pedelec (at least it has 12 magnets for faster response)
  • The battery isn’t designed to be easily removed from the frame for charging separately, you’ll have to bring the bike inside or near an outlet in the garage to charge, avoid extreme cold and heat to prolong life
  • Single speed drivetrain, pedaling isn’t much fun at low speed because the bike is so heavy but they’ve used a larger chainring with more teeth to make it comfortable to pedal past 20 mph if you’re using speed mode
  • Very limited system feedback, no LCD with speed or assist level just three colored LED’s indicating an approximate voltage on the battery
  • Only available in one frame size and one high-step style which might be difficult for shorter riders to mount and stand over, I’m 5’9″ and was able to handle it comfortably

Resources:

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m l
2 years ago

hi there and aloha from Hawaii, thanks for your reviews, I think they are fair and balanced and very informative. I really like the look and the attention to detail that has been given to this bike, I wonder if the gearless but powerful hubmotor is a descent climber without overheating… I am also wondering about reliability and maintenance for this particular setup. I have very little experience with ebikes (tried two middrive models and did not like the sounds from the shifters), but never had a chance to ride a hubmotor. do you think this bike would make a good commuter (20 miles total, in 80 Fahrenheit) and would it last me for a couple of years (battery, charger, motor)

I can bring the bike up to my apartment in an elevator, at work it is covered under a roof. I love riding my surly crosscheck a lot but get to work sweaty even riding at a slower pace (15mph) because my ride is around midday. this might be great to avoid getting too hot and get a tiny workout at the same time. I do not have a car for 8 years already and think this bike might be worth the extra cost since it has been “crafted so nicely”. what are your thoughts? mahalo and best regards

Reply
court
2 years ago

Aloha! Wow, you get to live in such a beautiful place, I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii but I’m sure it does get hot ;) I think this bike or their new Cruz model would be great for your intended use and yes, the motor is powerful enough to climb even moderately steep hills in my opinion… even with more weight. Many people who live in Indonesia buy this bike because of its power, speed and ability to stay cool in the heat while traditional motorcycles do not (and are loud). It would definitely help you arrive at work not sweaty but it’s almost more like a moped than bicycle because the seat and pedals aren’t setup perfectly for pedaling and it’s so heavy. The Surly Crosscheck is a more active bicycle and if you like that and still want to pedal and keep the bike lighter weight but also ride fast then check out the Stromer ST2 and Specialized Turbo models. They also have the sturdy gearless hub motor (which is very durable and should last) but these bikes are more fun to actually pedal. I love the Vintage Electric Tracker but it’s more like a vehicle than a bicycle with only one gear. I hope this helps you!

Reply
Huey
2 years ago

Court, is the Tracker’s battery user replaceable or would it be necessary to return the bike to Vintage Electric for replacement? Thanks, I really enjoy your website and YouTube channel.

Reply
court
2 years ago

Hi Huey! I can’t say for sure but I did get to peek inside during my visit to their headquarters in the Bay Area. Maybe?! There were several complete bikes that had been sent back for upgrades and improvement so that definitely seems like an option but could get expensive. I’ll ask Andrew to chime in and clarify for us ;)

Reply
Doreen Juola
8 months ago

Hello, from Bradenton, FL! My husband has been watching many of your yutube videos and is now ready to pull the trigger if we can know more just a bit more and be 100% confident in our choice.

We are in love with this E Tracker concept! We ‘get’ that it is not, in the truest sense, an “E bike.” We WANT a ‘motorcycle option/scooter option – ebike all the better, if there is some balance to be had here.” My husband rides his Pinerello with the guys aggressively every week. I am a runner and we both get plenty of exercise on palling around on cruiser bicycles with the kids.

Would you please share your thoughts on the below? it would mean SO much to us as we know NO one with an ebike and there aren’t many around here (except ‘go to the beach cruiser-types,’ if that).

We have an RV (actually, a Wanderlodge Bus) and like to camp and travel for hiking. Instead of a car to get to ‘towns’ to see sights or have fun in back roads where we might be staying, we would use the E Tracker. We would like to head to Anna Maria Island – cafes, clubs and beachside (parking is terrible and scooters abound there). Do you see the e tracker as a good choice for those options?

I am 5″5 (5″5 1/2 to be exact). Would I struggle with this bike? (never rode a motorcycle, but a pretty good bike rider)

We are both very young 57 y.o, by the way. What are your thoughts on the above? IF this bike meets those requirements, would you think the suspension is a must or not?

Thank you!!!

Reply
court
8 months ago

Hi Doreen! Vintage makes several models now but the Tracker is their first and most popular. It has the twist throttle and can be setup like a moped, to go faster, if you get the race pin. The big tires and sprung saddle feel pretty good as is. I do think it would be a fun and efficient way to get from your RV into town and you could behave like a bicycle part of the time to go on paths and then more like a scooter when riding with traffic. These ebikes are heavier than average and the larger battery cannot be removed for charging, so my biggest consideration would be how to load it onto the car (platform racks with rams, like a motorcycle rack, could be good) and also whether you could run an extension cord back and charge it from the car or if you’d have to take it to a shop and plugin to their power. I hope this helps, Vintage makes some awesome products and it sounds like you two have an interesting and fun lifestyle!

Reply

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Toyotatony91
2 weeks ago

This vs Monday motorbike m1?

M Fowler
3 weeks ago

Great informative video.

Gear Gadgets and Gizmos
3 weeks ago

Great looking bike. I love the retro look.

GLENN HILLMAN
3 months ago

Im poor and i still always end up with the best things in life cause if i cant buy it i build it or buy it used and love it as if i paid new prices.......................yes this bike is perfect and we all wish we could afford to buy it as much as i do but in the real world of being not rich we have to dream and build one are selves just like this amazing builder did........if you have a dream just build what you can afford and love it

Bona Fide
3 months ago

Looks like a Felt Cruiser Canvas frame and Felt rims were used. Tires are nice. Also a Felt Berm Master looks cool on vintage bikes.

Bona Fide
3 months ago

And of course the suspension is great! Who manufactured that?

Specialized 29er
3 months ago

Very impressed with the review and have never seen a better review of any product.
Just watched the 2018 review clip, great bikes.
I'd have one tomorrow if they came with 27.5 rims and a large/XL frame.

Trace zach daniels
3 months ago

HPC MAKES much beyound THIS..

Trace zach daniels
3 months ago

so awesome.....much love Tee HPC dealer and LIONS NAMED LEO THE music ...in Bakersfield CA.....626 342 4160..

tom jones
5 months ago

If Honda made ebikes this is the bike they would make.

6061 Plate In Stock
9 months ago

How is this worth $5000? This guy must make like $3000 off each bike

Desmond Tutu
5 months ago

I have a VEB Tracker in Connecticut. everything about these bikes are VERY high quality. Quality costs money. Further, these bikes are designed to last a LONG time. Batteries, controllers, etc. can be upgraded and/or repaired as time passes. So these are not disposable like most e-bikes. These are awesome bikes and I can wholeheartedly recommend the bike and the company!

Andy hoff
9 months ago

looks like a poor turning radius

Erlangga Mahesa Gading
9 months ago

Nice bro, mantap

Gene Coppola
11 months ago

Unsightly wiring for the money

knifesketch101
12 months ago

Court, would you recommend not getting the pedal assist with this bike?

Resul Teker
12 months ago

I M TURK

fromkentucky
1 year ago

How are they getting 2800 Watts if it's only pulling 50 Amps max?
50A x 52V = 2600W.

Hazzard0
1 year ago

Form over function. What a stupid bike!

Matt Walls
1 year ago

Indian red? racist!!!!!

Dianne Rosales
1 year ago

love it if only i could afford one I would get one in a heartbeat >.<

Viktoria
1 year ago

Every video of yours I watch, I see you always put your hand on their shoulder blade