Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Review

2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Electric Bike Review
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Crystalyte Gearless Direct Drive Hub Motor
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Race Mode Port Left Side Battery Pack
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic 48 Volt 23.4 Amp Hour Custom Battery Pack
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic 600 Lumen Cree Headlight Motorcycle Style
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Cruiser Handlebar Leather Locking Grips
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Black And White Lcd Display Panel Button Pad
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Custom Rigid Chromoly Steel Fork
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Roxin Led Rear Light
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Back View Skirted Color Matched Fenders
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Chainring Crank Arms Pedals Chain Cover
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Ebike
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Hand Crafted Leather Saddle And Kickstand
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Left Side
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Schwalbe Fat Frank Balloon Tires
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic 5 Amp Ebike Battery Charger
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic High Step Cream
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic High Step Graphite Blue
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Electric Bike Review
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Crystalyte Gearless Direct Drive Hub Motor
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Race Mode Port Left Side Battery Pack
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic 48 Volt 23.4 Amp Hour Custom Battery Pack
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic 600 Lumen Cree Headlight Motorcycle Style
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Cruiser Handlebar Leather Locking Grips
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Black And White Lcd Display Panel Button Pad
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Custom Rigid Chromoly Steel Fork
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Roxin Led Rear Light
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Back View Skirted Color Matched Fenders
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Chainring Crank Arms Pedals Chain Cover
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Ebike
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Hand Crafted Leather Saddle And Kickstand
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Left Side
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic Schwalbe Fat Frank Balloon Tires
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic 5 Amp Ebike Battery Charger
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic High Step Cream
2022 Vintage Electric Tracker Classic High Step Graphite Blue

Summary

  • A powerful motorcycle-inspired electric bike with sturdy color-matched skirted fenders and comfortable cruiser style swept back handlebar. Near-silent Crystalyte gearless hub motor offers 180nm of torque, regenerative braking, and can be unlocked for high-speed off-road use up to 26mph.
  • Available in two colors and one frame size with adjustable angle handlebar and adjustable height saddle. Matching leather grips, hand-stitched saddle, and Schwalbe balloon tires. Responsive torque and cadence sensing pedal assist, variable speed trigger throttle, powerful hydraulic disc brakes with oversized 203mm front rotor.
  • Extra wide fork hub spacing, sturdy thru-axles, thicker rear spokes, and custom steel fork. Excellent weight distribution, reliable single-speed drivetrain, beautiful classic pedals, and paint-matched chain cover. Bright integrated lights are positioned well and run off of the main rechargeable battery.
  • Battery pack is not removable and the bike is fairly heavy, which could impact how and where it is charged. It's fairly expensive and shipping costs $199 extra unless you live near their HQ. Kickstand may create pedal lock, single speed drivetrain limits cadence options, display is fairly simple, only comes in one frame size.
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.

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Vintage Electric

Model:

Tracker Classic

Price:

$5,495 (Shipping is $199)

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:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Indonesia, United Kingdom

Model Year:

2022

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

84.5 lbs (38.32 kg)

Battery Weight:

19 lbs (8.61 kg)

Motor Weight:

10.5 lbs (4.76 kg)

Frame Material:

Hydroformed 6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

18.12" Seat Tube, 24.5" Reach, 30.5" Stand Over Height, 29.5" Width, 47" Wheelbase, 75.25" Length

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Gloss Cream, Gloss Graphite Blue (High Grade Powder Coat)

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Chromoly Steel with Forged Aluminum Alloy Crowns, Boost 110mm Hub Length, 20mm Thru-Axle Clamp

Frame Rear Details:

Stainless Steel Dropout Inserts, 135mm Hub Length, 12mm Axle with Nuts and Chain Tensioner

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Mount, Rear Fender Mount, Front Fender Mount

Gearing Details:

1 (Single Speed), 16 Tooth Sprocket

Cranks:

Lasco Crank Arms, Aluminum Alloy, 170mm Length, Lasco 39 Tooth Aluminum Alloy Chainring

Pedals:

MKS, Aluminum Alloy Platform, Silver

Headset:

Integrated, Sealed Cartridge, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Direct Mount, 25.4" Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Vintage Custom, Chromoly Steel, Chrome Plated, 750mm Length, Swept-Back Cruiser Style

Brake Details:

Promax Lucid Hydraulic Disc with 203mm Front Rotor and 180mm Rear Rotor, with Intelligent Regenerative Braking, Adjustable Reach Levers

Grips:

Vintage Custom Leather Ring Grip, Locking

Saddle:

Vintage Custom Hand Crafted Leather

Seat Post:

Promax, Aluminum Alloy, Single Bolt Clamp, Integrated LED Light Mount

Seat Post Length:

250 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Single Wall, 50mm Width, 36 Hole, Paint Matched

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, Hand Laced and Tensioned, 14 Gauge Front, 12 Gauge Rear, Adjustable Nipples

Tire Brand:

Schwalbe Fat Frank, 26" x 2.25" (57-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

22 to 60 PSI (1.5 to 4.0 Bar), Reflective Sidewall, Puncture Protection, Brown

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Single Side Chrome Plated Center Mount Kickstand, Paint Matched Aluminum Alloy Chain Cover, Steel Fenders (Paint Matched, Skirted Sides), Integrated CREE LED Headlight (600 Lumens), Integrated Roxin Rear Light (7 LED), Optional Rear Carry Rack with Integrated Leather Accents $289, Optional Leather Pannier Bags $189, Optional Mirror, Optional Spurcycle Bell, Optional ABUS Lock, Optional Race Mode Key $150, Optional Upgrade to 72 Volt System, Optional Vintage Custom Inverted Suspension Fork

Other:

Non-Removable Center Mounted Die-Cast Aluminum Alloy Battery Case, 3lb High Speed 5 Amp Charger, Maximum Weight Capacity 300lbs

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:

160 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

18650 Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

23.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

1123.2 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Estimated Max Range:

75 miles (121 km)

Display Type:

Fixed Grayscale LCD Console with Backlight and Integrated Button Pad, Buttons: M, Up, Down, Walk Mode: Hold Down, Lights: Hold Up, Settings: Hold Up and Down

Readouts:

Battery Level (5 Bars), Current Speed, Assist Level, Average Speed, Max Speed, Odometer, Trip, Trip Timer, Light Indicator

Display Accessories:

Optional Race Mode Key for Higher Top Speeds

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (Thun Bottom Bracket Torque and Cadence Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)(20MPH Street Mode, 26MPH Race Mode with $150 Key)


Written Review

This review was provided for free using a demo bike from Vintage Iron in Vancouver Canada. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Vintage Electric products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below, and the Vintage electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • The Tracker Classic comes in two colors, includes paint-matched metal fenders, and uses a long swept-back handlebar, making it more of a cruiser than the 72 volt models. It’s still very powerful, but has a lower torque rating (160nm vs. 180nm) and lower unlocked top speed rating (26mph vs. 40mph) than the Roadster, Shelby, and Scrambler. It’s a bit less expensive, and does not include an inverted suspension fork.
  • I was told that the Tracker Classic can be upgraded to match the power and speed stats of the high performance 72 volt series models for customers who are willing to pay a bit extra (the same $7k price) or you can just do the battery and controller or just the inverted suspension fork for $1,000 individually. I believe Vintage Electric will even do custom colors for their bikes if a customer wants something truly unique and are willing to pay extra.
  • The bike has lots of low-end torque to help accelerate and climb hills, it also has a high weight capacity of 300lbs vs. 250lbs on many other products I’ve tested and reviewed.

Pros:

  • Incredible aesthetic, these are some of the coolest looking electric bikes I’ve had the opportunity to ride. The hydroformed frame tubing, custom paint and designs, custom battery box, and motorcycle inspired headlight match perfectly and really set Vintage apart from others.
  • The bike feels solid, and none of the parts rattled during my ride tests. There’s no vibration or jarring feeling on this bike like many others I’ve tested. I think the increased weight is part of what makes it comfortable. Note that you can lower the tire pressure and upgrade the rigid seat post to a suspension post to further improve comfort.
  • It’s extremely quiet, because the gearless direct drive motor does not have any gears rubbing inside. It’s larger and heavier than a planetary geared motor, but I believe these are more reliable, and you get regenerative braking as well. Note that only the right brake lever activates regen.
  • Unlike most of the other moped and motorcycle inspired electric bicycles I see, this one has a traditional bicycle saddle with adjustable height seat post. That means you can pedal more comfortably, getting full leg extension. I love the long swept back handlebar they chose because it can be swiveled to change body position, and is made of steel so it dampens vibration. You can swap this handlebar for a more aggressive bar like the Scrambler, Roadster, and Shelby have if you wish..
  • Excellent touch points. The saddle is very comfortable, the grips are thick and feel solid (since they are locking), and even the pedals worked well… though they are not as wide as something like the Wellgo BMX pedal. Consider switching to these if you have large feet and want a bigger surface area. They do come in a range of colors, and Magnesium build if you prefer to save weight.
  • The company is very approachable and supportive. They will help you upgrade older models to the newest software and equipment and change out components to suit your needs. The company is founder owned and operated, and he started it when he was 21 years old! Check out this episode with him and Jay Lenno from 2015.
  • Depending on your location, the bike will ship as a Class 2 product with different nominal motor power rating. It’s 750 watts in the United States, 500 watts in Canada, and 250 watts in the United Kingdom. They also sell a lot in Indonesia apparently! Regardless of geography, I believe it still offers an incredible 160nm of torque, which is 3x their older bikes and is very noticeable when starting from standstill. Lots of fun, very good hill climber, can support up to 300lb riders.
  • For those who want extra power and speed, to use off-road or on private property, the company sells a “High Speed Key” for $150 that allows any it to reach 26 miles per hour (64km/h). This might be useable as a Class 3 product if you got the Race Mode Chip. It seems like the company is dedicated to offering good support, and they actually offer a two year comprehensive warranty which is great!
  • Compared to some of the other motorcycle inspired ebikes, this one is quite a bit lighter. I’ve seen products from ONYX, Sur Ron, Segway, and Super 73 that can weigh quite a bit more (sometimes 100lbs) and are setup more like dirt bikes than street motorcycles.
  • The pedal assist performance is very good. The Thun bottom bracket sensor measures cadence and torque, so it’s more natural feeling than just cadence. That’s a big deal given the single speed drivetrain. I never felt overwhelmed by pedal assist, but was always impressed by the instant power of the trigger throttle. The trigger throttle is limited by the assist level, which is probably a safety choice. In order to get full power you need to be in assist level 5.
  • The hub motor still looks like it did on previous models, it’s still made with Crystalyte, but has upgraded aluminum alloy staters and torque-optimized copper winding design. For context, most other hub motor powered electric bikes I try are in the 50nm to 70nm range and this one is 160nm! It’s still silent, offers regenerative braking, and should be very durable and long lasting.
  • I was amazed that the price of the 72 Volt series, including the Scrambler, is the same as it was in 2019 when I last covered it. That starts to seem like a good value with so many less powerful and less beautiful products being sold in the $4k to $5k range these days.
  • In addition to the motor, the battery has also been upgraded with higher energy density cells. you get well over 1kwh of capacity for long range or high power use. The included charger is faster than most, offering 5 amp output, but it’s also a bit larger and heavier as shown in the photos and video above.
  • The bike is about three pounds lighter than the older model (much of this has to do with the battery and motor changes). Lighter is better in most cases when it comes to electric bikes, and it makes the bike easier to lift for service and transport on car racks.
  • The sturdy 20mm clamped axle with wider Boost hub spacing ensures maximum strength for the spokes and front wheel, which is important given the weight and potential for higher speeds here. The rear axle is 12mm thick vs. 9mm on most bicycles I test.
  • Note the leather accents at the top portion of the fork between the double-crown mounts. These keep the tubes from marring the side of the frame when you turn sharp or park the bike (they protect against oversteer). One drawback is that the turning radius of the bike is wider, so you might need to do multi-point turns.
  • Premium Promax Lucid hydraulic disc brakes offer the stopping power needed for high-speed riding and a heavier bike build. The 203 mm front rotor will do more than half of the work as weight shifts forward, and it will cool faster because of the increased surface area. The rear brake rotor is 160mm, which is smaller than expected, but keeps the rear from getting too crowded.
  • When activating the right brake lever, the controller system activates regenerative braking to recoup some energy. This helps to reduce speed and wear on the brake pads. The controller is designed to never overfill or damage the battery however, so you might notice regen fading out if you’re at 100% full and descending a long hill.
  • The metal fenders felt sturdy, did not rattle when riding on rough terrain, and definitely add some style to the bike because they are paint matched and skirted on the sides. They should keep you clean, but you might notice little pebbles clicking through occasionally. Note that the fenders may be aluminum alloy or steel depending on the run. The demo bike I tried had steel fenders.
  • Decent weight distribution, the bike may be heavy but at least the battery box is mounted low and center on the frame, this improves handling and keeps the frame stiff compared to e-bikes with rear-rack batteries.

Cons:

  • Although the bike is now roughly three pounds lighter than the prior generation Tracker, it is still fairly heavy at 84.5lbs. This is due in part to the heavy duty steel fork, handlebar, fenders, 20mm front axle, stylized frame and battery box, high capacity battery, as well as the powerful direct drive hub motor.
  • The bike costs a lot, though I was impressed that the price hasn’t really increased since 2019 when I last covered it. In addition to the base cost, you’ll need to pay $199 more for shipping, or $75 for delivery if you live in the Bay Area (near San Francisco California). You can pick it up for free by visiting the Vintage Electric headquarters in Santa Clara. The Race Mode Key costs an additional $150 if you want to unlock off-road 40mph use, and of course the bags and seat post suspension also cost extra.
  • This is a fairly minor gripe, but there are no bottle cage mounts on the frame. With traditional bicycles, you might find one on the downtube or seat tube, but that area is taken up by the custom battery box. Consider a handlebar clamp bottle holder, trunk bag with bottle holster if you get the rear rack, or a hydration backpack.
  • The charging port for the battery is located on the right side of the frame, low down by the crank arm. This means you have to bend down to plug it in, and the cable could get caught or sheered off if the cranks are spun while the bike is plugged in. Thankfully, that’s not super likely given that the kickstand creates pedal lock on the left side of the frame so the crank can’t spin all the way around repeatedly.
  • The battery charger is fairly heavy at 2.8lbs and quite large. This makes it less portable, in my opinion. It’s also not as adjustable as the charger you get with the 72 Volt Series, which allows for 80% or 100% fill and even the speed from 1 amp to 5 amp. This charger just goes at 5 amp and I assume it fills to 100% each time.
  • The kickstand does not offer adjustable height, and it’s positioned at the center of the frame on the left side. This puts it directly in the path of the left crank, which can cause pedal lock if you back the bike up while the kickstand is deployed.
  • The battery itself is more permanently bolted to the bike frame. It’s not like some other ebikes that allow you to park the bike in one spot and charge the battery in another. This could expose the pack to extreme temperatures, and means you will have to park the bike near a charging outlet to fill it.
  • Since the bike is a single speed, it doesn’t offer as much flexibility or support for starting and climbing, or reaching and maintaining high speeds without spinning fast. There’s a sweet spot where pedaling feels good, and you won’t need to do as much drivetrain maintenance with this setup, it’s just less efficient and enjoyable at other speeds. This is why it was important for them to use a cadence and torque sensor, since you won’t be able to exert much force at higher speeds because the pedals will be going so fast.
  • As nice as the bike looks overall, the wires are external and a bit messy at some spots. You can see them bundled up near the base of the battery box and the bottom bracket. This probably makes them easier to service and improves overall frame strength vs. internal routing. It’s nice that the bike can support up to 300lbs, which is above average.
  • The bike only comes in one frame size and the stem isn’t super adjustable (you can only swivel the handlebar). I appreciate the adjustable height saddle, because it allows for better leg extension and comfort, but otherwise this is a single size single frame style high-step.
  • The grayscale display is easy to read and its buttons are reachable, but there’s no USB charging, the battery charge level indicator isn’t as precise (just 5 bars, each representing 20%), and it’s not removable. In some ways it’s kind of basic, but it’s intuitive enough and does offer settings menu if you hold up and down. Press M to cycle main display readouts, hold up to activate lights, and hold down to activate walk mode.
  • The rear light is positioned just under and behind the saddle. It’s nice to have it high up, to clear the fender and optional rack, but if you have a jacket or backpack on, it could easily hang down and block it. Keep this in mind, and note that the Scrambler uses knobby tires that do not have reflective stripes like the Roadster and Shelby. Since the bike is all black, it might not be as visible to cars and other cyclists in low light conditions.
  • The gearless hub motor has a big of magnetic drag. This is the case for all of the direct drive motors I’ve covered, and it is somewhat balanced by the regeneration that you get. Note that pedaling without assist, or beyond the supported assist and throttle will be more difficult than with a geared hub motor or regular bicycle. You could hypothetically charge the battery up by pedaling, but it would be lots of work and very inefficient :)
  • It would be nice if the display had a range estimator or battery percentage instead of just five squares (which each represent 20% steps and just aren’t as precise).

Resources:

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Comments (2) YouTube Comments

MacCrackin
2 months ago

The Frame right off is a great looking design and the process used for its shape. The silence of the Gearless Hub Motor after hearing gear type noise is highly preferred. Brake regeneration is another hit, when I questioned why others didn’t bother, it was noted the internal drag thought to be too much, but on the hills around here, it would be engaged 110%. Oddly the effect where it was mentioned it may fade off if battery is already at 100%. Pretty sure this can be perfected by a shunt to bypass the battery, but the short duration of braking for even 4-5 blocks, can’t believe it to be an issue of over charging. Being you have to get back up the same way, which is going to tax that battery to max output.

I’m just a bit at odds that this is not a mid motor design. Getting rid of unsprung weight would be my first priority to have the smoothest ride for a great cruiser design. One design change I’d like to do, for this series of frame design is a springer front end, and good chance probably even a smoother ride. Anytime knee action suspension is used for severe impact, whether it’s a F15, BMW motorcycle, or Kangaroo, it works quite well. Those who live in climate regions of road perfection, zero rigid suspension is all they need with fat tires, and of course spoiled and have no idea how deadly chuckholes can be if not seen. And here, they’re everywhere. Where even hitting them at walking pace with a car, you do what ever it takes to never do it again when it feels like being kicked in the chin. Knowing it’s destroying suspension and tires.

Cheers

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Hi MacCrackin! Great insights and reflections on this ebike. I love how quiet it is too. Perhaps this is why they have stuck with the hub motor vs. mid-drives, because all of those seem to be geared. You get instant power, and hub motors appear to work better with throttle operation, as the motor power will not stress the chain and bike frame (so it can remain lighter). I agree with your idea of adding a springer suspension fork. Did you see my Vintage Scrambler review? That model has an inverted suspension fork (and they sell two other models with it as well). Lots of cool products from Vintage!

  Reply

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