Magnum Metro+ 48V 700c – The Budget Hill-Climbing Champion

This is the best value ebike in New Zealand right now. At $2799 for a bike that can climb like a champ and cruise at 40km/h with a good parts selection, it carries a strong “buy” recommendation.

There are two models in the new sixth-generation Magnum “Metro” range. This is the ‘plus’ with a traditional diamond frame and 700c (road bike) wheels. The other is the plain ‘Metro’ which shares its design with the previous generation UI5, a very popular and much imitated model for good reasons. The Metro has ballon 26” tyres and wheels with a low-step frame making it more suited to the smaller rider. ‘Peak’ is the knobbly-tyred variant.

Magnum – a USA-based brand – has gone for a 48V configuration. Compared to the typical 36V, this allows a third more energy to flow through the electronics and motor, boosting effective power. This translates into speed and torque. What’s great is they haven’t then cheaped out on the rest. The battery is a healthy 13Ah, or 624Wh. That’s going to give a good range. At full speed, probably 30-35km, substantially more at lower speeds.

The display and motor as labelled Das-Kit. This comes from Magnum’s design and manufacture partner Leisger Gmbh and has been used in ebike kits. Hence “The Kit” in German. It looks like a Bafang motor so probably is. The display is easy to read and tells you what you need to know. A nice feature of this setup is that there is only a single wire from the display to the rest of the bike, so it avoids the nest of wires that some bikes suffer from.

It is a cadence -sensor bike, which means it takes a half-pedal cycle typically to get going. The throttle had been removed from my demo bike which reminded me how hard it can be to get started without one. It has 6 levels of assist (ElectricMeg refers to this as a “level set” system), and all 6 are useable. The 48V system has heaps of power so 5 and 6 are the levels above most other bikes. It is hard to control speed at slower speeds on a “level set” bike. My feedback to Magnum is that levels 1 and 2 are still too fast.

In my hill climb test, the Magnum+ smoked the course, recording the fastest time to-date of 1:55, beating bikes more than twice its price. Peak speed was 41.6km/h. Very impressive for $2799. If you consider this is a USD1999 bike, it should be selling around $3400-3500 here.

Other features include hydraulic brakes, suspension seat post, suspension fork, a sturdy rack and mudguards, large Wellgo pedals, Schwalbe Marathon tyres, adjustable stem, and lights. The lights are the only not-so-bright feature on this otherwise great bike. The front light is powered from the battery but has to be manually activated. The rear light is powered by a AAA cell and also has to be manually turned on and off. If those are the only faults, they are almost forgivable. [Actually I have decided that it is unforgiveable]

The bike rides confidently including in corners. I’m not sure if I’d want to do a rail trail with these skinny tyres – the Metro with its balloon tyres might be better – or perhaps the Magnum Peak the equivalent MTB-styled bike also with 48V.

Who should buy this bike?

  • The taller rider (probably male) who wants a fast and powerful commuter (the smaller rider should try the low-step Metro)

Who shouldn’t buy this bike?

  • The light off-roader. It’ll do it, but there are more comfortable choices (like the Peak)
  • You are dead-set on a Euro mid drive. Fair enough, be prepared to pay a lot more and to go slower.
  • You want something with a torque sensor.
  • You are going to be a heavy user, like every day. This is a bike built to a price point so you can’t expect it to match a Stromer for quality.

What else should you consider?

  • Onya SH-1
  • Smartmotion e-Urban
  • eZee Forza/Torq (slightly more $ but more robust)
  • Avanti e-Inc (mid-drive, belt drive, $2999 on special – but 25kph)
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19 comments

  • I’ve had one of these for 16 months, put 11,000kms, been entirely drama free. One puncture at 9,000kms, otherwise just normal consumables like brakes pads and chains.

    Handles a 50km round trip without issue, battery starting to fade a bit, will probably replace it after summer.

    Highly recommend, was cash positive in 6 months, after 9 months we went from two to one cars. Financially it’s the best purchase I’ve ever made.

  • I’ve had a Magnum Metro Plus for ~18mo now and have put 5000km on it. For $2799 it has performed well – cheaper than taking the train! I have a 31km daily commute so it’s getting ridden quite a bit. My only complaint is spoke breakages, like some other commenters on here. At about 2500km, I was breaking a spoke every 100km or so. I’d have them replaced by the dealer each time, and they’d check spoke tension was OK. Still kept happening. I figured the spokes must be made from rubbish metal, so replaced them all with Sapim Strong 13g and had the wheel trued properly. No change – kept breaking spokes every 100km. Next, I placed washers under all of the spoke heads at the hub (again having to rebuild the wheel and have it trued). This seems to have solved it – it’s been 1500km since any spoke breakages. So, if you’re having trouble with spokes breaking on this bike, I suggest you put washers under the spoke heads at the hub. I spent $5 for the washers (from eBay, some French bike shop will post them out for next to nothing), $10 for a spoke wrench (Trademe), a few hours removing each spoke and reinstalling it (minimal skill required), and $35 for the local bike shop to true the wheel (I lack the skill and tools to do this). I wouldn’t bother replacing all spokes with new ones.

  • A very helpful review, thanks. I took one of these for a test ride and quite liked it, seemed like good value. But can you elaborate on why it may not be suitable for a heavy user? Would the same comment also apply to the Smartmotion eUrban?
    Speaking of which, I see there is a new version of the eUrban available now, with the battery on the downtube. Any thoughts about whether the new eUrban or the Metro/Metro+ might be better for semi-regular commuting?

    • Hi Andrew, my comment is related to what they are built for – the Magnum is built to a price-point and you can’t expect it to last as long as the more expensive and better-specced bike. Yes, to an extent that would also apply to the Smartmotion though probably a bit less so.
      Regarding which is better… the Magnum will do hills better, I’d fancy the Smartmotion to be specced with higher quality components. Both are well supported locally so that at least isn’t an issue.

  • Just picked up one of these (and a Metro) on the weekend. Concur with the review – very good value for money. Only complaints so far (only 2 commutes and a bit of a weekend ride though!) is the lights – rear light being separate unit and front light on Metro+ turning on with battery (but not on the Metro – battery switch on Metro doesn’t seem to do anything) and that it could really do with a slower speed (e.g. 10km/hr or so) than 1. Making 1 and 2 slower would do the trick. Otherwise, fantastic.

    Will update at the end of summer with any issues we notice.

    • There is an ‘ Eco mode’ that the dealer can enable that makes it all a bit slower. The distributor is aware of that feedback and I believe has passed it on to the manufacturer.

  • Hi,
    Compared this metro+ and Ezee Bolt, which one do you suggest for city and non-heavy cycling?

  • Nice review. We bought 2 of these and both have been having issues breaking rear spokes. We took it to our LBS and they replaced but have told us there looks to be a weird design with the spoke pattern. Anyone else having issues?

    • Hi Hayley, it seems to be a common complaint with cheaper ebikes (especially more powerful rear hub ones) in that the wheels aren’t very well built. If you are having issues, at some point you will likely need to get them properly rebuilt with all new spokes and nipples and in the meantime it should be covered under warranty. To be fair, I haven’t heard that spoke breakage is a common occurrence in the Magnums.

      • Thanks for that information. We will look into the rebuilding at the bike shop we purchased them from. We are part of a group who regularly ride together and the 3 of us with the Metro+ are the only ones who have had issues with spokes. We ride quite sedately so I thought it might be a issue with the bikes in general.

    • I have a Metro+ and recently had a rear spoke break. The shop where I purchased the bike were happy to repair for free under warranty. Unfortunately 60km later, a 2nd spoke has broken (they have repaired this also). Had no other issues with the bike (it is great and copes with my infrequent but very long (2 x 41km) commute beautifully). Just hope this isn’t going to happen again.

  • ElectricBikeQuestionAsker

    How do you think the Magnum Metro compares to the Cadence Cruiser by Kinetic?

  • Well I’m very pleased to say that I have a Magnum Metro + ebike and although I have only owned it for about 5 x weeks or so, I am very, very pleased with it. It is a very powerful bike with excellent hill climbing ability. 40kmh is easily achieved in top gear, using maximum power (6).
    I am selling my car because I’m so happy with this machine. It will do me fine for my purpose. It will be good to just have my wife’s car to register, insure, maintain, etc.

    I bought mine from Northland eBikes in Whangarei. I got great technical advice regarding the pro’s and con’s of the various drive options and because of that discussion I was intending to buy a Merida Ebig Tour. However on trying the Merida first, and then the Metro +, for me at least, the Metro + won hands down. I’m 63 and have a back injury. The ‘sit up and beg’ style of the Metro + suited me much better than the more aggressive – mountain bike style of the Merida. Each to their own, but the Metro + suits me perfectly. I previously owned an eZee Sprint for 3 x years prior to buying the Metro +, and as good as the Sprint was, in my opinion the Metro + is heads and shoulders ahead of the Sprint. However, each to their own. Thankfully we now have great options in N.Z. for cyclists and E-cyclists.

  • Sadly you mention the Peak 48v only at the end of your review.
    I am test riding different bikes to find my best option and rode a Peak recently. I reckon it’s the best e bike I’ve tested to date. I’d love to hear from anyone who has long term experience with one.
    It’s certainly faster than others I’ve tried and the mountain bike set-up suits my needs, and it’s really good value. didn’t notice any obvious wiring issues other than the “cockpit” is busy with lots of wires and cables.
    Didn’t think I would like a hub drive but couldn’t fault it on my short test.

    • Yes it is the right approach. An attractive purchase price is towards the bottom of the hierarchy of considerations when purchasing a tool such as an ebike.
      – find a magnum owner who has ridden 5000 km or more on his bike / used it daily.
      – is there spares back up ? –
      – how is the tech guys / workshop –
      – is the bike supplied with a manual
      – how long has the supplier been in business … are we sure they are around in 3 yrs
      Its the only fault we can see with these reviews . Too much effort is spent on the immediate new virgin feel of the bike rather than considering the long term wear and tear abilities.

  • Nice review . Spotted what Looks like non -waterproof wiring. As per the rest of the MAGNUM range. Should be noted when we know what amount of trouble that can bring on a rainy day. Wiring looks a bit un-tidy / unprotected as well.

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