This is not your average ebike. It has been designed for a particular set of riders in mind, and I suspect that is quite a large group. It’s special skill is a “one size for all” approach which actually works, with it’s laid back geometry, 20″ fat tyres and steep raked back seat meaning it gets bigger as the seat goes up, and anyone can sit comfortably and still have their feet flat on the ground. I’m over 6′ with long legs and it worked for me.
Life S is a well thought out package, designed and built in Germany. The Bosch Active Line Plus motor with 500Wh battery is super smooth and quiet. There are no surprises with gentle pick-up and adequate climbing torque. I timed it up Grafton Gully and it was where you’d expect it to be compared to other bikes, about middle of the pack. I happily cruised along at around 30kph, and exceeded that going downhill. It’s relaxed geometry allowed me to take my hands off the bars even at speed, so signalling in the traffic was no drama. Getting this right takes attention to detail, which includes the powerful but well modulated Shimano hydralic disc brakes and a headset that doesn’t wobble under braking which many ebikes are guilty of. It includes tyre and wheel choice which inspired confidence, even on off-cambers and level changes such as when you obliquely cross from the road onto a footpath.
Riders with mobility or modesty needs will be pleased to know that the step-through on this bike works well. I was worried about battery placement but it doesn’t appear to interfere. The low-slung weight distribution also helps you out.
The saddle — or ‘seat’ as it is probably best described – cossets your buttocks with no pressure. Some ebikes just seem to have the wrong seats, but this is just right, similar to the Specialized Como. If you get the tyre pressure right you will be quite comfortable.
I subtitled this review ‘easy rider’ because it is easy to ride, and I did get that ‘Dennis Hopper/Peter Fonda’ Easy Rider feeling that I was hoping for with the Zurk.
The Life S is well priced at $4995 from Switched On Bikes who are the NZ distributors. https://switchedonbikes.co.nz/corratec-lifes/
Who should buy this bike?
- Someone who needs an urban commuter or shop-shuttle
- You value stability and the ability to have you feet planted on the ground
Who should not?
- You value a more traditional geometry
What else should you look at?
- Riese & Muller Tinker if money is no issue
- Specialized Como if the ‘cruiser’ aspect appeals
- Ezee Bolt if you want to spend less but still want a slightly smaller bike