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NZ Electric Bike Review

Which is the best ebike for me?

Bike parts

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  1. Very interesting. I am in the market for my first e-bike, and found the statements about eZee from Electric Bike Hub to be very off-putting (and generally inconsisent with other reviews I’d read). I didn’t want to discount the brand but seeing a bike shop diss them like that made me hesitant. I’ll take it with a big heaping bowl of salt now… Thanks!

  2. Very timely. Good info. Wish I’d known about your link to Chain Reaction earlier tho.Thanks Barry.

      1. Their site says they use ‘rubber’ airless tires. Tannus uses the material you find in high-end sport shoe soles. What’s it like riding an Onzo?

      2. Just make sure the bearing/shocks are niced and sealed. Ferment them in some salt water. Then BOOM, unstealable rusted-in seatpost 😛

  3. Great post thank you. A key element to also consider is tyre pressure. With electric assist, you can afford to run them at the lower end of the recommended range for a softer ride and better grip on grass, sand, and gravel. My Merida eOne Sixty is running 27.5 Super Moto X 2.8 in at 22 psi. The recommended range is 21 to 42psi. They run really smooth.

  4. I thought you were not allowed to throw your jet over an EB because the motor could kick in and unbalance your foot on the pedal.

  5. Great article. Do you have any hill test times for these bikes . Versus say the ECity and Hypersonic ?

    1. Sorry no, I didn’t test this one in my urban setting. In fact I haven’t tested either of those in that way. I will do for the midCity.

  6. Thanks for your thoughts. Dont we see the opposite in other markets where the big guys go for the masses (volume before margin) and niche smaller players do low volume high margin (until big buys them out). Loads of premium hand built bikes or cars (historically) from small guys.

    1. Haven’t seen that too much in the ebike market though. There are some brands like Vintage that aim there but I suspect they are very low volume.

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

  8. Just Landed 10 of these for everyone’s pleasure at Bikes&Barbers – both SAND and Green in stock and some with the 21ah Globetrotting battery option. Come see us 🙂 test rides with a smile – and good coffee just next door. cheers chris

  9. I had a big smile to myself reading this, as it echoed a few thoughts I have always had. Good on you for speaking up. Keeping the industry professional is our best defence against big-box retailers and crappy bikes/crappy service. A united front will serve us well in the longer term, and when advising customers, my view is that acknowledging qualities of another brand while extolling virtues of your own is the most credible approach. For example, at Think Electric Bikes we no longer sell Magnum, now that the Electrify chain is established, but it doesn’t mean the bikes are suddenly rubbish! Still good bikes, and we still support any warranty claims and maintain a good relationship with the Electrify boys. It’s a small town, really!

  10. I’ve always been confused with the relationship between Electric Bike Hub and Electric Bike Hub Auckland. This puts the final nail in my understanding. Thanks for an interesting read 🙂

  11. I have the same bike and have had very similar experiences; squeaky brakes, broken rear wheel spokes etc. I have now completed 15,000 km in 30 months and had to replace the motor and battery, 1 tyre, 4 chains, 1 chainwheel, 1 gear change cable, 3 disc pad sets, 2 pedal sets, 1 saddle and 1 hand grip set. In short maintenance has been much more expensive than I thought it would, although total cost is still less than a car. It is still a great bike and faster than ever with upgraded motor (250W) although interestingly the new battery made much more difference. I actually enjoy commuting on this bike, and it has made me loose 5kg and have lower cholesterol which must be the biggest benefit of all.

    1. It doesn’t… it is a comfortable gel saddle of mid-width. Saddles are a very personal choice, a bit like shoes. What is comfy for one might be dreadful for another. Don’t ever let that be your primary selection criterion for a bike.

  12. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  13. eBiking is revolutionising cycling for both young and old. I’m 68 and rode regularly on my Trek full suspension bike, but then tried an ebike and was immediately hooked. Instead of an hour or so of excercise, I now go out for 4-5 hours. I have started to blog my long tours so that the growing numbers of seniors can share my favourite routes. I emphasise with your experiences but rest assured many others are working out how to deal with the ebike revolution.

  14. I have a golden motor smart pie edge hub motor putting out 1000w. I’ve just installed a Cycle Analyst V3 and Sempu torque sensor after spending the last 5 months riding to work with a throttle and cadence sensor. The difference to me is black and white. The torque sensor is the best upgrade I’ve made on my bike. The Cycle Analyst gives feedback on human torque created in watts which shows on the CA screen, and I’ve set up the CA to return 2x the watts created by me and send to the hub motor. My ride is fast on the way to work and back, and at the same time I’m working my legs to get the job done. This is a way better option for me over throttle and my heart rate stays elevated during the trip. It’s a bionic type of feeling. I’ve set up the CA to deliver smooth abundant power when I start off from the lights. The system is a cut above my previous setup. Torque Sensor vs Cadence Sensor?
    Torque every time.
    Cheers Bret

  15. Hi, I am a heavy rider 92-96 kgs depending on fitness etc. Would I need to upgrade the suspension for general riding? and to what? Costs? Cheers Adam

  16. Hi
    1. Wanting some guidance on an entry level e-bike + value for money to commute from westgate to CBD in Auckland mainly from fitenss perspective.
    2. I was perplexed on the statement re life of bike. you mentioned it to be 2-3 years and average entry level bike is around 2-3 grand which means cost of owning the bike is almost a grand per year. Is this correct?

    1. Your mileage may vary and a well maintained bike could last longer. Some bikes are more durable than others, but in heavy use I think that is a reasonable expectation. There are also costs of maintenance. In my own “business case”, I assumed around $2k per year in costs and depreciation and that’s probably about right.

      1. ha ha.. yes I get it, thanks mate. I understand you prefer to be independent and not be biased toward any manufacturer / retailer. thanks for taking the effort to put so much information especially in local context. this is really valuable I am sure is appreciated by many who has any interaction with cycles.

  17. FWIW, The Specialized Electrak Armadillo tyres that came with my new Turbo Vado are impressively grippy when cornering in the dry. Ordinary in the wet, but I think that’s normal. Will see how long they last

  18. My wife and I are pensioners but thought an ebike would be great for exercise. However we cannot afford too much. We saw at the clearance shed a Mexller M16 city e-bike, do you think this would be ok or would we be wasting our money going by the old addage you get what you pay for. We will be using them mainly on the cycle way.

    1. You get what you pay for. After sales service is possibly the most important factor. All to see the spares of you have any doubts, and ask yourself if the local distributor will be around to provide support in five years time. It’s a tough business, this bicycle business.

  19. I have one of these. It’s an Ok bike for the money. Front shocks are not the best tho. It is surprisingly good on the road despite the tyres and wide bars. Climbs well off road. I agree about the over use of the labels/decals….. Seat… meh…

  20. That’s a stormer of a review, Barry. great to hear how much you enjoyed the bike! We have a demo model at Think Electric Bikes (www.thinkelectricbikes.co.nz, 25 Lake Road, Devonport) and all-comers are welcome to come and give it a spin!

  21. Hi. I am considering buying an electric bike for daily commute (west Auckland to cbd -roughly 22km one way and a very uneven terrain). I am a first time biker to Auckland and i am very confused with the options available. Thinking between a Trek powerfly 5 and smartmotion pacer mid drive. Any help or suggestions appreciated.

    1. Hi Jessica, these are very different bikes. The Trek is a great bike, but a hardtail eMTB. So knobbly tyres, no mudguards, no lights, no carrier. The PacerGT has all those things. If you can wait a week or two I’ll have a full review of the PacerGT.

  22. I’m going to resurrect this and ask whether anyone has any pannier bag advice for a smartmotion? Apparently the pannier is non-standard and ‘only’ fits the smartmotion panniers, which are only shower proof. I’m after waterproof and noticed other bikes with other pannier bag makes… anyone got any recommendations?

      1. Fantastic thanks! Do you have a model number for the Ortliebm would like to make sure I’m getting the right ones.

      2. Sorry I don’t. Suggest going into a shop. Electric bike hub in Auckland definitely has them (mine came from there). You could ask for the ones like Barry has 😁 There are ones with different fitment systems.

  23. Registered over 250W motors , no speed limit other than the posted road limit in NZ at present. 250W takes care of the top speed possibilities as air resistance kicks in vs available power.

    1. There is really no such thing as a ‘motor’ that produces only 250W. Bosch makes four different ‘250W’ systems and they all produce different amounts of power. Further, their 250W and 350W Performance Line systems are identical, other than speed limit (25/32/45). And another company sells the same systems as one of 200W, 300W and 500W in different markets.

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