I just spent the better part of an afternoon with the EZ Pedaler F300. This is one of the many E-bikes offered by Ivan Stewart’s Electric Bike Center. The ‘F’ stands for folding. So while this is a full-sized electric bike, it folds into a smaller package for transport or storage. Let’s see what makes this bike tick.
It has a similar set-up to its sister bike, the E300. Like I continue to find in the world of E-bikes, they come with different options than are listed on the spec sheets. I rode the E300 recently, and even though they should be the same, this bike had some different features. One was the lack of a factory headlamp powered by the motor battery. It did have a quality front and rear lite with internal batteries.
Like many E-bikes on the market, it comes well outfitted with things like fenders and a nice kickstand. Compared with your everyday bike, you won’t have to spend a lot of time in the accessories section of your bike shop to get it ready to ride. My bike was white, other colors it comes in are blue, silver, and black. A rear rack is bolted in place. Even a bell with a compass was included. A little gimmicky, but I liked it.
The F300 starts with an aluminum frame. It has a step-through low bar to make it more comfortable for all riders. Alloy pieces are everywhere to keep the weight down. That includes the front suspension fork, the bars, and crank. Poly fenders and other high-tech materials add to this feature. Listed at 46 lbs, it is light for an E-bike, but heavy for quick loading. When folded, it is kind of bulky, making an easy lift a little difficult. Still, a very nice folding bike for all uses.
A Shimano 3-speed hub gives a good selections of gears. Easy shifting is controlled with a twist shifter on the handlebars. Unlike other 3-speeds I ride, it won’t shift when stopped. The hub only starts to shift when you start pedaling from a stop. Other than that, it worked and shifted good. With a secure feel to this bike, you could ride it anywhere with or without the electric power assist.
A 250 watt front hub motor is where the power comes from. Fed from the lithium battery, it gives good speed and torque. The F300 performed well up the hills I tried. It has two ways to control the power. A thumb throttle gives a very smooth power application. I prefer a twist grip throttle, but could get used to the thumb controller easily. The bike also has a switch to allow the power to be added automatically when it senses the pedals moving. In this mode, the thumb throttle still works to let you add power when you want (starting from a dead stop, for instance).
I did notice some pulsing from the motor when it is in pedal sensed power mode. I am not sure if this is correct way it should work, but it didn’t affect the secure feeling the bike gives the rider. I will look into this and see if it is the normal way the manufacturer expects the bike to operate. Still, the power system is solid and gets you down the road just fine.
Folding the bike is easy. One latch on the main frame lets the bike fold in half. It has a sprung safety catch to protect it from folding if the screw handle is not secure. Then the handlebars fold down along side of the frame to give a small folded size. Just two pivoting places make for a simple fold. Do be careful when un-folding, as I pinched my thumb in the main frame on one of the folding tests. Also, there is no mechanism to hold the bike from un-folding. A nylon strap or bungee cord would be a good idea.
The spec sheet shows a front disc brake option, but my test bike had V-brakes. Not a problem, as this type of brake has a great reputation and worked strongly. The rear brakes are the roller type, with good response. Included were motor safety cut-off switches in both brake levers. This is the way I like it, and all E-bikes should be equipped as such.
The battery slides into the frame under the seat. It has a key lock to hold it into place and turn the power on and off. It has a charge indicator built into the top of the battery. The bike includes a bar mounted power indicator too. A smart charger will recharge the battery in the bike, or when removed from the bike. Always use the charger supplied with your bike, with no exceptions.
I enjoyed riding this bike. Well designed and executed, it is good-looking too. This company touts a bike that is made for use by tour firms, and that is evident on and off the bike. The strength and quality are reflected as your ride continues. I don’t see how anybody could be disappointed with this bike. I wish I could have ridden it longer. If you choose to get one, years of happy ownership should be yours.
I have to thank Gary, at Ivan Stewart’s Electric bike center again, for the chance to try so many of their bikes. The offer rental bikes to tour the San Diego area. There are many great spots to ride near by, so a bike rental from them can help make your time in town that much better. A free test ride before a purchase is one of their policies. Great service and sales help are what they in business for.
Lots more good stories coming. Thanks for visiting, Turbo Bob.
“My other car is a bicycle.”–Bumper sticker.
Find Gary at http://www.iselectricbikecenter.com
East coast needs?
Bert at NYCeWheels offers E-bikes, E-bike Kits, and Folding Bikes