Thanks to Larry Pizzi (President of Curie Technologies) I got to test a pre-production bike today.
First a quote...
Larry Pizzi (President of Currie Tech), 2009/3/7 wrote:This bike is 1st designed for transportation, 2nd for recreation.
Weather conditions on March 7, 2009 in Santa Monica, California at 11am: 63 F, Sunny, light (< 5mph) SW wind.
A few impressions...
- The pre-production bike I tested had the Currie Tech EVO drive which will be available in the Fall of 2009 (the hollow axle has a QR). Before that, it comes with Shimano's version (discontinued production) of the EVO drive and that axle does not have a QR.
- The pre-production bike I tested had an analog controller which can create a "kickback" of the pedals, but this is being replaced by a digital controller that is currently holding up the availability of this model. The digital controller will offer more programming flexibility. All customers will get this new digital controller.
- Tested the medium size and it felt like the right size for my 5'10" height.
- Cruise speed. I was getting about 19 mph (GPS measured) with light-moderate pedal assistance. Average value from up/down wind runs.
- Max burst speed: I was getting about 25 mph (GPS measured) with maximum pedal assistance and highest boost mode. Average value from up/down wind runs.
- Noise level. Revealed to be noisier than a geared hub motor. I would rate it at the same level of noise as a 2008 Optibike 800Li (Gold motor).
- Did not measure the grade (tested a steep one). It does climb hills nicely, thanks to its 750 W motor.
- Disappointed with uneven power delivery: Motor power directly responds to pedal pressure, does not even it out around a pedal crank rotation. This is very obvious when starting from a stop or a low cadence. Girlfriend had a quick go on the bike and reported the same feeling.
- In low gears with a solid push on pedals, the pedal crank spins without inducing a corresponding rear wheel rotation. It feels like a slip with loss of the rider's energy. This seems to disappear with higher gears or with a higher cadence, probably because of reduced torque sent to the rear wheel from the rider.
- From the website I thought it had a suspension post, but there was none on the bike I rode. The seat on the bike was hard, and along with the lack of rear suspension, it gives a rigid (rough) ride.
- Front suspension: I estimated the travel to be 1.5" (4 cm). One can adjust damping only (not sag or spring rate).
- Front brake: The Avid BB7 is a mechanical disk brake.
- Rear brake is rim type.
- Overall bike construction seemed good.
- With the lowest seat post height adjustment, I could have both my feet flat on the ground. I am 5'10".
- No headlight or tail light in the USA but wiring is available for one under the motor. European models will use this for their front/rear lights.
- Come with a rear rack.
- Battery is easily removable. It can be locked onto the frame.
- Good side stand.
For more details/comments see my ebike comparison Excel worksheet
, by hovering your mouse pointer over the cells with red corners in the "Express" column (N).
Related discussion on TidalForce forum
Again big thanks to Larry Pizzi and Curie Technologies for enabling this test ride and answering my questions,