BionX Bike Review - Zoom, past a road biker!

BionX Bike Review - Zoom, past a road biker!

BionX bike motorIt's time to try out a bike outfitted with a BionX kit. If you don't know, the BionX is a electric bicycle kit that you build into your favorite ride to electrify your bike. A kit will add a large battery (available in a number of different voltages, etc.), a handlebar-mounted controller and throttle, and a new rear wheel that contains the BionX motor.

These things are so slick, you'll be begging to try one out the second you see one in person. You can add a kit to virtually any bike you can imagine! It can accommodate 700c, 26 inch, 24 inch, and 20 inch wheels. It will work on practically any city bike, mountain bike, 20 inch wheel folding bike, and even some recumbents (so I've heard). My particular test ride happened to be on a folding flat bar road bike - and it was awesome.

Design (so sexy!)

The BionX bike motorlooks great. Period. The battery comes in a sleek shiny aerodynamic container that mounts right onto the frame of your bike. There's also a really handy and nice-looking option where the battery mounts to a rear carrier rack designed to hold the battery and also function as any rear rack. Cool, right? The universal mount battery will take over the space where you would carry a water bottle on the frame, but in this day of Camelbaks, who needs those clumsy plastic bottles, anyway? The controller is very inconspicuous but also easy to read mounted on the handlebar, with an accompanying throttle for when it's time to kick that electric assistance into action. My setup had the controller on the left and throttle on the right side of the handlebar and it was so intuitive that I actually didn't even pay attention to the instructions I was given on how to use it. (Shhh, don't tell the shop dude who was helping me out)

BionX on bicycle

Finally there's the rear motorized wheel. This might sound weird, but this is my favorite part of the kit. There's something about that big solid-looking hub that just screams power. The motor is housed in a nice, clean assembly that looks like it came right off of a motorcycle. There's something about thick, solid aluminum that inspires confidence. And let me tell you, I rode this electric folding bike with confidence! So let's get on to the ride!

In Action (but does it work as well as it looks?)

< BionX bike kitThe BionX controller has a number of functions that I won't bore you with. Here are the three important features:

  1. Backlight for riding at night - essential.
  2. Assist mode - use the throttle and you go faster!
  3. Regenerative mode - if you're coasting down a hill or really coasting anywhere you can flip the BionX bicycle motor into regenerative mode and it will pump some juice back into the battery.

So I hopped on my ride and immediately got down to business, excited to know I'd be writing my first electric bike kit review.

electric bike motor kitAs soon as I started pedaling I hit the throttle and BAM! Off I went! Not like the bike ran away from me, but it's just so satisfying that the bike responds immediately. Right away the BionX system will take whatever momentum you've built up and add whatever you need by pushing that handy little throttle button. The system won't start from a dead stop, but once you get the bike rolling a bit you can use the electric assist as much as you want. I dove into the street with traffic whizzing around in every direction and I within seconds I was cruising along at full speed with practically no effort. All over the Upper East Side I deftly traversed the city streets empowered by all this system's, well . . . POWER! By the time I landed back at my starting point my face was FREEZING from all the wind blowing in my face on this cold January afternoon. I loved it!

The Bottom Line

The BionX system is easy to use, looks great, and is compatible with practically any bike. Bikes have privileges that mopeds and motorcycles don't, and therefore buying a kit to upgrade your favorite bike to electric is SUCH a great way to go. If you've got a bike that you absolutely love that's dialed in exactly where you want it but you're looking for the assistance and convenience that an electric motor will add to your ride, it's hard to imagine that there is a better option than BionX. Do yourself a favor: check it out ASAP!

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