I groggily walked into NYCeWheels after a long weekend of traveling and riding roller coasters at Six Flags and stopped dead in my tracks when I laid my eyes on the newest shipment of bicycles: the Stromer electric bike. With a sleek white frame and an internal battery, this looked more like a souped-up mountain bike than an electric bicycle. It had disc brakes, suspension, and cushy Maxxis Overdrive Excel tires. This thing was built for New York City.
So of course I had to ride it immediately!
I hopped on the Stromer electric bicycle and noticed the Swiss flag insignia on the top tube. Yes, another European electric bike. However, unlike some of our other low-powered pedal-assist bikes from Europe, the Stromer has a powerful 600 watt motor. It also gives the option to switch between pedal-assist (PAS) and power on demand (POD), which is controlled by a twist-grip throttle. In pedal-assist mode, the motor assists proportionally, depending on the amount of pressure applied to the pedals. The assist level can be changed between low, medium, or high power. The Stromer is also outfitted with eight gears, and can be pedaled like a regular bike without using electric power, if desired.
I left the shop on York Avenue and headed west toward Central Park. I wanted to see how the Stromer would handle the loop. I started out in pedal-assist mode and set the power to low. As soon as I started pedaling, I felt a smooth assistance, like someone gently pushing the bike from behind. Unlike some of the other electric bikes, the Stromer did not feel jerky. There was no sudden surge forward and I did not ever feel out of control of the bike. If I started to pedal harder, the motor worked a tiny bit faster. I noticed that it responded to the pressure applied to the pedals. The harder I pressed, the faster I went.
When I entered the loop, I kicked the motor up to medium power. I noticed immediately a slight increase in speed and power. Just for kicks, I went up to high power. You know those guys that train in Central Park? I breezed past them easily. One guy asked me about the bike, because he was trying to race me (I was oblivious to this, just sort of cruising and enjoying the sights). I told him bike had the best power, without seeming like a moped. It truly was an electric bicycle, and I enjoyed pedaling it the entire ride.
When I hit the hill, I switched over to Power on Demand. I noticed that the throttle didn't work from a dead stop, but as soon as I pedaled forward and started moving, I was able to twist it to full speed and take off! Moving up the hill, I stopped pedaling, but the throttle still worked. As long as the bike is moving, regardless of the pedals, the power on demand function will work. I zipped up the hill past all of the people walking their bikes. Sweet!
On my way back to York Avenue, I hit a few potholes and rough roads. The suspension and thick tires really absorbed the shock well. It's designed for an environment like this. My only complaint with the bike was the grips - I think they could have installed something a tad more comfortable. Otherwise, it's probably the most powerful electric bike that doesn't look like a moped or a vespa.
NYCeWheels now has the Stromer electric bike in stock for test rides and purchase! Come and try it out!