Bodhi Bikes Step-through—First Look

With style and function, this new E-bike should become very popular.

I was honored to be one of the first to try out this new E-bike offering.   It hit the open market in June.   I am sure it will hit big with a large acceptance by electric bike fans everywhere.   It takes a lot of bits and pieces to make a nice bike, and the finely chosen bits and pieces on this bike are brought together in a stylish and nicely executed fashion.   First, a little about the company, and then on to this highly desirable pedelec.

Two visionaries, Paul and Kirby, are the backbone that this group counts on.   They have spent countless hours researching trade offerings and customers needs.   With a perfectly developed scalpel, they have carved out a high-tech E-bike that is unlike no other.   From the highly efficient front hub motor, to the beautiful hand-made wood fenders, this bike is a functioning piece of art.   No robot could design such a bike, only skilled, passionate humans.

I recommend a visit to their website, and a constant vigil to make sure you get a close-up feel for this bike as they introduce it to bike enthusiasts across the country.   Now that their bike is a reality, they will be taking it to the streets and ecology fairs to spread the word on its qualities and usefulness.   If you can’t wait, then by all means be the first in your neighborhood to saddle-up the future.   From my time with it, I see only smiles in the future for Bodhi Bike owners.

It is hard to pin-point any one thing that makes me like this electric bike.   The total package is the draw.   I was first taken by the sleek appearance, then intrigued with the NuVinci Drivetrain.   The disc brakes caught my eye next.   As I got past my visual first impression, I began to see just how well each piece is integrated to make a complete bike that is designed to please the rider as well as the eye.   All this eye candy faded out of view as I became the pilot of this well-tuned machine.

The bamboo fenders add some looks and the Nuvinci Drivetrain adds some performance.

First, I was impressed with the seamless feel of the NuVinci Drivetrain.   The more I rode, the more it became so natural to use.   Dreamlike?   Next, I became aware of just how smooth and responsive the power delivery of the bike felt.   The dual-mode system has all the features needed for thought-free control as you ride.   The display unit has the need-to-know information, but the bike does its thing so well, that it is barely needed.   Just ride and enjoy seems to be the motto of the Bodhi Bike.

Rider comfort is a given.   Great feeling ergonomic hand grips keep you close to the few controls on the bars.   The saddle is not too cushy, and makes for a good experience during the ride.   The aluminum pedals are well-proportioned and rubber padded.   The overall seating position and feel add to the comfort most riders are looking for.   Unlike many E-bikes where one size fits all, Bodhi Bikes offers this model in two sizes (18“ & 20“), and their sport model in 20” & 22”.    This will make for a bike that should fit your body just right.

The bike is a light-weight performer.   With a hydro-formed aluminum frame, and many aluminum parts, you will notice the sprightly feel.   The frame and steering geometry seem be a great compromise, something you will find on any quality comfort or hybrid type bike.   At no time did I feel uncomfortable at any speed I rode.   The balance is another noticeable feature.   It takes a lot of thought, planning, and testing to end up with bike with no bad handling habits.

The Bodhi Bikes Step-through model uses a 24 volt system for its power.   The Panasonic lithium battery tucks (and locks) seamlessly into the frame.   The brushless front hub motor is quiet, but not silent.   It has good power and is very efficient.   Smoothness and controllability are two important needs for an E-bike and both are offered to its rider.   The controls are simple, effective, and well-thought out.   The dual control and the off mode for the pedelec function are on my list of must have features.   Also, safety motor cut-out switches on both brake levers are included and desired.

This E-bike comes with 700c tires and rims that reflect the night’s lights.   The LED headlamp and internal lighting for the display head are standard equipment.   A rear flashing light is installed on the seat post.   It comes with some gorgeous handmade Bamboo fenders that are reinforced with hardwood.   A strong kickstand is bolted in place and does its job like a champ.   The frame and forks have provisions for a rack and panniers.

On my near-by test hills I found the bike would climb to the top with minimal effort.   I have to admit I have gone up quicker on other bikes, but this Bodhi made easy work of them just the same.   Electric-assist bikes aren’t all about climbing hills and fighting head winds.   They are also about enjoying a fun ride, getting to work without wearing yourself thin, and aiding the riders with strength and health issues.   The Bodhi covers all these bases and more.

Riding the bike, I occasionally wished for a little more power.   But like any American male, who doesn’t?   I thought a slightly lower gear ratio would fit my riding strengths a little better.   I particularly enjoyed the handlebar type and riding position.   If you have read my blog articles, you know I am a big fan of comfort, step-through frame bikes.

My time here is almost done.   I just want to add that I am thoroughly impressed with the bike and the people behind it.   The quality and backing this bike offers is not in question.   As they continue to grow, they will expand their product line and their customer loyalty.   E-bikes are here to stay, and companies like this are just one of the many reasons.   I wish them well and hope to be able to report on future products and successes from Bodhi Bikes.

Twist the throttle and enjoy your ride, Turbo Bob.

“Shifting is done as much with the eyes as with the hands.   Most people don’t anticipate.”—Tom Hillard.

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About Turbo Bob's Bicycle Blog

E-bike Enthusiast Vintage Bike Enthusiast
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4 Responses to Bodhi Bikes Step-through—First Look

  1. Roger Kuite says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog since reading the article in the San Diego Tribune. Any more recent thoughts about the Bodhi bikes since you 2011 review? I must say that of all the bikes out there I am most interested in this one.

    • Hi Roger. Thanks for following along. Yes, the Bodhi bike is something. Unfortunately I have seen no action from their camp for quite a while. I have messaged the owner many times over the last year or so. I just tried sending them a message on Facebook to see if that gets any response.
      I have heard a few things through different channels, but can’t say if they are still being made. Last contact I had with them they were designing a new 36 volt bike that was going to be even better than this one. Time will tell. I do think I saw a shop on Facebook earlier in the year that was selling a showroom model they had on hand, but don’t remember who it was.
      There are many other new E-bikes on the market that might work just fine for you.

      • Roger Kuite says:

        Thanks. Any recommendations? I want Harmony type CVT system, with disk brakes and preferably the drive motor integrated with the rear wheel, rather than the front. The last is of lesser importance.

  2. I’ve only ridden one E-bike with the N360 NuVinci Harmony. It was a Kalkhoff prototype that NuVinci lent me. I am testing a AutoBike (not an E-bike) that has the Harmony, but I don’t know of any production E-bike with it yet.
    The EVELO has an N360 option and mid-drive. You can find a test I did on it on my blog and some videos on my You-Tube channel (plus on the EVELO website of course). My friend has one and loves it—plus his wife has one too.
    It shouldn’t be long before you see the Harmony on many E-bikes.

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