Kinetic eZee Sprint 7L – the unpretentious workhorse
I described another bike I reviewed in car terms; this one is a Hilux Ute – a workhorse ebike with no pretences that simply does what you want it to. No surprises it is the company fleet bike of choice.
At first viewing the Sprint looks a bit old fashioned – the simple LED controller, the blockish battery, the front hub motor – but the ride is smooth, powerful and fast. Under throttle, the bike accelerates quickly and goes almost as fast as if you pedal. That’s great for anyone who wants to ride a bike without getting hot under the collar – and for work purposes that’s a firm requirement. They can be speed limited on request by the dealer.
The Sprint is built like the proverbial brick outhouse, there are no fragile bits and everything looks easy to maintain. It’s an ugly duckling that will win you over with its good manners and easy going nature. The rear brakes are powerful and completely contained within the rear 7sp Nexus hub. Low maintenance, loving that.
eZee call the front hub design dual wheel drive, because while the motor drives the front you drive the rear. Having the motor up front is forgiving – inexperienced riders will struggle to get into trouble unlike some of the rear hub designs with throttles that rear up and smack you in the face if you panic (true stories, we’ve seen it all!). The end result is a bike that is no MTB pretender, but one that is well mannered and balanced.
The eZee geared hub motor is powerful and will take you up any hills you want. We took the bike to Waiheke Island and easily rode steep and long hills that would leave most regular bike riders in a crumpled heaps of sweat, tears and broken dreams. We arrived at the winery restaurant 20km away in fine form. We made it back too…
The controls are simple. There is an up-down button selecting 5 levels of assist. On a cadence sensor bike this more-or-less means ‘speed’ while being labelled ‘power’. You can also use the throttle to start or simply to augment your speed at any time. It’s useful in slow speed scenarios (mingling with pedestrians) and going up hills for an extra boost. Unlike torque sensor bikes that you can control through your pedals, on a cadence bike you control through the throttle and assist levels. The upshot of all of this is an easy ride for anyone, even if you aren’t a fit rider.
The battery in our bike is 19Ah, 700Wh. After a hilly 40km ride averaging around 20km/h we had 1/5 left in the battery, and that included an hour on the charger over lunch. So clearly hills are not the battery’s friend. I was expecting better range than that. Though 2hrs riding time at 300W average is 600Wh.
The bike comes supplied with a nice bell, a Cateye speedo, quality mudguards, rear rack and bright LED lights. A front basket would be an appropriate extra accessory; ours also has panniers.Completing the package is a built in frame lock – you can add in a sturdy chain option too.
Things I liked – the power and smoothness of the drive, responsive throttle, good top speed. The Marathon Plus tyres in 47c width ensure a comfortable ride with ample grip and no punctures. The stand is sturdy and it is easy to roll the bike on and off the stand. Well thought out, I wish all bikes were that easy.
I didn’t like the front suspension – it feels harsh with no damping. An update in this department would improve the bike.
Who should buy this bike?
- Fleet owners – getting ebikes for your staff to run errands on is a great idea. Let me know if you are interested in this for your staff – I think we have the Health and Safety angle nailed.
- Anyone wanting a fast and powerful bike that is simple and easy to maintain
Who shouldn’t buy this bike?
- Anyone with pretences of going offroad (rail trails are fine on this)
Retail price is $3479 with the 700Wh battery. You can also get a whopping 1010Wh battery!