Latch - Electric Folding Bike
Folds in seconds for easy transport
more than 1 month ago
August 9, 2012
Below is a review by Turbo Bob of our newest electric bike model, the “City Commuter”:
Sometimes the thrills in life come with great timing. This post is slathered in it. I had the sudden urge to see and ride the brand-new Pedego City Commuter after viewing a Facebook post featuring it. Late Monday evening I blasted out a few emails to the local shops that carry Pedegos and one to the folks I know at Pedego to see who had one on the floor I could try-out. Minutes later I was invited by the CEO of this fun company, Don DiCostanzo, for a day I’ll never forget.
It turns out that the first two shipments of these where already sold before the bike even hit their website. With good luck, it turned out that our new local Pedego dealer, Pedego Coronado, had just taken delivery of a pair. Better still, Don was going to be there the next morning to orchestrate a professional photo shoot, and I was invited to tag along. When I arrived I was greeted and treated like a VIP by everyone in attendance.
In addition to Allen, the shop’s owner, his top man Shaun was there. Don had brought along his right-hand gal, Ashley, to make sure things went as planned. The six professional models he hired were all smiles and anxious to get the photo shoot on track. While the outfits were being decided on and the make-up being applied (not to me), Don and I got a chance to talk E-bikes, Pedego, and the City Commuter.
If there is one thing I took away from the day, it is a total respect for the business plan Pedego follows. (Read the interview linked below). I have been a fan of the style and quality of their bikes since my first ride on a Pedego E-cruiser. They have cornered the market with the best electric-assist beach bikes money can buy (available all over the world). Yet, not being much for that type of bike (I am all about what I call college bikes), I was never totally enthralled with the ways of Pedego. Things have changed in a big way for them (with the introduction of the commuter E-bike) and for they way I see them.
Back to the timing thing. I wanted to immerse myself in the new City Commuter and did so fully. I spent hours in the saddle following this entourage of beautiful people around Coronado. We rode, stopped, took pictures, talked and laughed all day long. The weather was perfect, the people were awesome and the bikes were everywhere. We had two City Commuters, eight E-Cruisers (in so many bright and shiny colors) and the brand-new Pedego Trike (I rode that too, nice) in our fun-filled group.
The Pedego City Commuter took longer to bring to market than they expected. That had to do with their strive for perfection and making sure it was ready for the masses. With smooth riding 28 inch Schwalbe tires and optimized frame geometry, I was comfortable at all times. The comfy seat even has a hidden compartment to hold your keys and pocket items. The upright seating position is aided by the quick-adjust multi-position stem attached to the handlebars.
With more power than you need, the 500 watt geared motor is another change from what Pedego has been offering for years. They made sure to get the highest-quality, quietest brushless geared motor for this E-bike. With a new material for the gears, they claim it will have little to no problems as the years go by. It is close to silent, unlike so many geared-motored E-bikes I ride. The smooth, quiet power impressed me all day long.
This bike is out-fitted with dual-control. A five level pedelec assist works in conjunction with the half hand throttle to give you full control of your assist. I am always talking about how pedelecs need an off setting for the automatic pedelec function, this bike has it. With safety motor cut-off switches in both brake handles and a extra function that allows a quick back-pedal to shut down the motor, this E-bike covers all the bases in easy and safe control of the motor.
Speced with a great display panel, you can get all your information with a quick glance. Sporting the normal read-outs, it also has a place to see your motor’s wattage usage. A back-lighting feature comes on when you power-up the factory installed road lighting package. I didn’t get a chance to ride at night to evaluate the brightness of the headlamp and tail light, but Don told me they were up to par with every other quality item on this new E-bike.
It comes with all the goodies too. Fenders with mud flaps, chain guard, kickstand, flat-protection, and a rack. The bell is integrated into one of the brake levers. The hand grips and seat are not only color-coordinated, but give a nice feel. Metal pedals are another indicator of Pedego’s push to make a quality E-bike that will last you a long time. The seven-speed shifting system worked so well that it didn’t raise any issues for me to really check it out that closely.
Another thing this City Commuter has are a massive set of disc brakes front and rear. It has the power to climb any hill and the brake power to slow it up on the way back down. You will find that you can get this E-bike in a 36 volt or 48 volt version. Only the best battery components are tucked in the rack mounted battery, Don assured me. Tons of power and miles of range are a given with such nice pieces. If the is one thing this bike doesn’t have, that is a clock feature in the display. I guess I am the only one who would want it, as most everyone else wears a watch or carries a cell phone. It’s ok, there is a clock in my camera. And, it fits easily in the hidden seat compartment.
As I am still in love with my four-year old E-bike that has treated me so well, I am not in the shopping mode. Still, with each new bike I ride, I think about how nice it would be to move on to something more advanced. I could totally see my wife and I owning and riding a pair of these well-designed and performing E-bikes. Plus, they just look so darn good. One day I will be ready to modernize our biking fleet and from what I can see, these would fit the bill in perfect fashion.
I wanted to spend more time talking about Pedego Coronado, the great promo shots they took, the amount of fun I had, and the respect I have for Pedego and all the folks who make the bikes happen. Another day perhaps. For now, a deep-felt thanks for everyone who made this special day come to be.
Thank you so very much, Turbo Bob.