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Electric Bike Review

26 December, 2014, 1 Comment, on Electric Bikes

easy-motion-evo-cross-electric-bike

Easy Motion Evo Cross Review

 
Summary:
 

  • A versatile, well balanced, beautiful electric bike with motor and battery systems that blend in perfectly
  • Locking removable battery pack can be charged on or off the bike, LCD display can also be removed easily
  • Quick release on front and rear wheels (quick disconnect cable to motor), basic suspension fork with lockout ergonomic grips without lockers and hydraulic disc brakes that get the job done

 

Introduction:
 

  • Make / Model : Easy Motion / Evo Cross
  • Price MSRP : $2,999.00 USD
  • Body Position / Suggested Use : Forward / Urban, Commuting
  • Electric Bike Class : Throttle on Demand (Class 2) – Learn More about Ebike Classes
  • Warranty : 2 Year Comprehensive, Optional 5 Year Upgrade When Registered (Does Not Include Battery)
  • Availability / Model Year / Overall Rating : United States / 2015 / 10 of 10

 
Electronic Details:
 

  • Motor Type / Nominal Output : / Peak Output : Rear-Mounted Geared Hub / 350 watt / 548 watt – Learn More about Ebike Motors
  • Motor Brand / Motor Torque : Dapu / 37 Newton meters
  • Battery Voltage / Amp Hours / Watt Hours : 36 volt / 11.6 ah / 417.6 wh
  • Battery Brand / Chemistry : Samsung / Lithium-ion
  • Estimated Charge Time / Estimated Min and Max Range : 5 hrs / 35 to 55 miles (56.33 to 88.51 kilometers)
  • Display Type / Readouts : Removable Backlit LCD / Speed, Odometer, Elapsed Time, Battery Capacity, Assist Level (Eco 1:0.7 Ratio 70% Assist, Standard 1:1.4 Ratio 140% Assist, Sport 1:2 Ratio 200% Assist, Boost 1:3 Ratio 300% Assist)
  • Drive Modes / Top Speed : Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (TMM4 Torque Sensor) / 23 mph (37.01 km/ hour)

 
Bicycle Details:
 

  • Total Weight / Motor Weight / Battery Weight : 52.5 lbs (23.81 kg) 8 lbs (3.63 kg) 5.5 lbs (2.49 kg)
  • Frame Types / Frame Sizes : High-Step / 20 in (50.8 cm ), 22 in (55.88 cm )
  • Frame Material / Frame Colors : Aluminum Alloy / Black with White Accents
  • Geometry Measurements : (Top Tube Horizontal 614 mm, Head Tube Length 160 mm, Seat Tube Center to Top 500 mm, Chain Stay 445 mm, Wheelbase 1137 mm)
  • Fork Details : Suntour Nex HLO Suspension with 63 mm Travel and Lockout
  • Attachment Points : Rear Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses
  • Gearing Details / Shifter Details : 24 Speed 3×8 Shimano Alivio Rear Derailleur 11-32T, Shimano Altus Front Derailleur / Shimano Acera Triggers on left and Right Bars
  • Cranks / Pedals : Shimano Alivio with Octalink Bottom Bracket / Aluminum Alloy Platform
  • Headset / Stem / Handlebar : Threadless 1.125″ / Threadless 1.125″ Headset / Emotion Cross Alloy, No Rise
  • Brakes Details : Tektro E-Comp Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Front Rotor and 160 mm Rear Rotor, Tektro E-Comp Levers with Motor Cutoff
  • Grips / Saddle / Seatpost / Seatpost Length / Seatpost Diameter : Emotion Lite Ergonomic / EMotion Performance / Aluminum Alloy / 300 mm / 31.6 mm
  • Rims / Spokes : Aluminum Alloy Double Wall / Stainless Steel
  • Tire Brand / Wheel Sizes / Tire Details / Tube Details : Kenda, 700 x 38c / 28 in (71.12 cm ) / Antipuncture Protection, Reflective Sidewall / Schrader Valve
  • Accessories / Other Details : Single Sided Adjustable Length Kickstand, LED Battery Level Indicator on Battery Pack / Model EV705, Locking Removable Battery Pack, Quick Release Seat Tube Front and Rear Wheels with Quick Motor Disconnect

 
Video Review:
 

 
Written Review:
 

The Easy Motion EVO Cross is an “evolved” version of the NEO Cross “new” line which arrived in the US in 2013 from Spain. Easy Motion is part of BH which has been making traditional bicycles since 1909 and that really shows in the frame design, larger gear range (24 in this case vs. 10 on many ebikes) and drive system integration. The Neo Cross was the most popular ebike model for BH in the US for 2013 and 2014 and it would follow that the EVO Cross will also be a popular choice. That’s because it’s extremely versatile with rack and fender mounts, efficient with narrow tires and four levels of assist and cool looking with a matching frame, motor, battery and LCD display panel. The EVO cross is a blast to pedal, the modestly specced motor actually produces a lot of torque and is easy to get above 20 mph in pedal assist mode even though this isn’t officially a “speed pedelec”. The big differences from earlier Cross models is the battery design which now allows charging on-frame and has a higher energy capacity and a quick release rear wheel with quick connect power cables. Aside from those additions and the new tubing design (and an additional $300) the bike is remarkably similar to the Neo Cross.

 
easy-motion-evo-cross-300x225
 

So I’ve already touched on the motor a bit, it’s very nicely integrated into the look of the frame. Offering a modest 350 watts of power, I am always surprised by just how powerful it feels under throttle or pedal assist. As shown in the video review above, the motor is fairly quiet but being geared it does produce more of a whir than some gearless motors. It’s painted black to blend in and the electronic cable connecting it to the controller is now located on the left side of the frame and closer in towards the hub. This has two benefits: it reduces clutter on the drivetrain side of the bike where the Shimano Alivio eight speed cassette and derailleur are mounted and it also keeps the power cable out of harms way if the bike tips over. Some of the older Easy Motion Neo motor cables could break or get loose more easily based on their more exposed position. In short, the motor and its cable hide very well behind the 160 mm rear disc brake rotor and cassette contributing to the “stealth” nature of this ebike but it still offers a powerful zippy feel.

 
easy-motion-evo-cross-350-dapu-hub-motor-300x225
 

The battery pack on the EVO Cross is quite impressive because it builds on the older NEO line and addresses one big complaint that customers had. Many people wanted to charge the pack on the bike but were forced to take it off every time because there was no outlet built into the frame. This made dropping and scratching the battery easier but that was somewhat overlooked because it matched the frame, kept weight low and used high quality cells. With the new EVO line you get the all of the same benefits but now you can charge it on the bike… and it’s about 30% larger in terms of energy storage! Offering 36 volts of power and now 11.6 amp hours vs. the old 8.8 this pack is remarkably small. It uses quality Lithium Manganese Samsung cells and now also has a built in LED power readout so when you do take it off the bike (during transport or to charge inside) you can see how full it is without going back to the bike. The battery is one of the nicest looking, highest quality designs on any electric bike I’ve tested to date.

 
easy-motion-evo-cross-removable-lithium-battery-pack-300x225
 

Connecting the rider to the battery and motor is a beautiful, low profile backlit LCD display panel that I go over in detail with this video tutorial. It’s the same design they’ve been using on the NEO line since 2013 and it’s still intuitive, easy to reach and removable! I love that Easy Motion matches their displays to the frame of each bike (choosing black or white to blend in). To get things going, just charge the battery then hold the middle button for a few seconds. From here you can press the up or down buttons to explore throttle mode or four levels of assist. You get more power with the higher assist levels but you also burn through the battery more quickly. The one complaint I have about the control system is that you can’t use the throttle to override pedal assist and this would be nice for adding power when riding in the lowest level of assist to simply overcome a short hill climb. As it stands, you either have to arrow up to a higher assist level or arrow down to throttle mode briefly and then back up to a low, efficient level of assist. In any case, the twist throttle is located on the right bar and the display lists your speed, battery capacity, time, max speed and distance traveled.

 
easy-motion-evo-cross-grips-throttle-lcd-300x225
 

The EVO Cross is an easy electric bike to appreciate and even love. The price point is great considering the larger battery, beautiful design and multiple sizes and I appreciate the extras such as grippy aluminum pedals, suspension fork, hydraulic brakes and ergo grips… even if they are all a bit more basic in terms of quality. This bike will excel in a variety of environments from neighborhood to city riding, commuting and even light packed trail riding. The efficient tires will help you get good range but aren’t as forgiving on bumps (consider a seat post shock) and the removable battery will help you extend the life of the bike (store at neutral temperatures and charge after each ride) and make it easier to transport. If you’re looking for good value on an ebike or a first ebike then this could be a great fit.

 
Pros:
 

  • With the EVO line of electric bikes form Easy Motion you can charge the battery pack while it is still mounted to the bike frame, no need to take it off every single time (very handy if you store your bike inside or near a power outlet)
  • Offers both throttle mode and pedal assist with four levels to emphasize range or speed, zippy powerful feel from the modest 350 watt geared motor
  • Purpose-built frame with beautifully integrated battery pack mounted to downtube, this keeps weight low and center for improved balance and handling
  • The display panel, battery pack, suspension fork and hub motor are all painted to match the bike and blend in to make it look more like a normal bicycle, the drive systems are relatively stealth and won’t stand out
  • The LCD display is removable, easy to reach and activate from the left grip, backlit for use in low lighting conditions (just hold the down arrow for two seconds)
  • Tektro E-Comp levers have motor cutoff switches built in, the large 180 mm front rotor and standard 160 mm rear rotor offer good stopping power
  • Large 700c wheelset with efficient hybrid tires provides great rolling speed and increased range but aren’t as soft as larger ones might be (the suspension fork helps)
  • The suspension fork smoothes things out and has a lockout to reduce bob on smooth surfaces, it’s relatively small and light weight to keep bike nimble
  • Seat stay bosses could be useful for adding a rear rack if you wanted to use this as a commuter bike, it also has fender attachment points
  • With 24 gear combinations to choose from, this bike is easy to pedal at low speed when climbing or at higher speeds when traveling long distances, it easily reaches 20+ mph in pedal assist mode
  • Two frame sizes to choose from, provides a better fit and more comfortable ride (only one color and one frame style of high-step)
  • New tool-free rear quick release system makes changing flats and doing service much easier, the motor power cable also has a quick disconnect built in
  • The motor power cable location has been updated, now entering the hub on the left side of the bike vs. the right where the derailleur and cassette are, this helps to reduce complexity and damage if the bike tips
  • TMM4 torque sensor activates the motor smoothly and the control system reduces surge when pedaling but the motor does run a bit longer when you stop pedaling
  • The Eco (lowest level) of pedal assist is now smoother and offers better range, this was a request from many customers of the Easy Motion Neo line
  • The battery uses high end 18650 Lithium Manganese cells from Samsung that are light weight and long lasting, excellent energy density here (lower weight, more power)

 

Cons:
 

  • Entry level suspension fork from SR Suntour with limited adjustability, basic rubber ergonomic grips without lockers to keep them from spinning
  • Throttle cannot be used at all when riding in pedal assist mode, you have to arrow down to “No Assist” and then activate using the half grip twist
  • Hydraulic disc brakes provide decent stopping power but aren’t as smooth as Avid and may rattle or squeak more with use
  • The controller on this bike lets the motor run a second or two long after you’ve stopped pedaling, this reduces “surge” (the jerky feeling of power going up and down with each pedal stroke) but makes the bike feel unresponsive at times

 
Rating:
 

Easy Motion Evo Cross Electric Bike Rated 10 out of 10 by ElectricBikeReview.com on December 16, 2014

 


More in this category: Electric Bikes »


Comments

  • Rob - March 14, 2015 Reply

    I feel the hill climbing ability of this bike is worth mentioning. I have tested both the Dash and the Evo and found the torque for uphill climbing far superior to the dash….

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