IZIP Express—Sneak Peek.
This exotic E-bike in the Currie Technologies’ line-up has many new things that make it all work. I’ll do my best to explain how it all comes together for an electric bike experience that is unlike all others. I really want to tear into a few of the pieces (literally), but I am thinking that the good folks at IZIP may not want me to disassemble the bike they have lent me for this test. Not to worry, I’ll have it for many weeks to ride it hard and understand it better. Stay tuned for that.
I just picked it up yesterday and have put quite a few fun miles on this Express. It is a fast and powerful E-bike, to be sure. It is not really an E-bike for the masses, but many will relish its performance and range. I have to say it wants to be ridden hard and fast. Both of which I have accomplished already in the short amount of time I have had it.
The first item to note is how well this Express is speced. You will have to look far and wide to find any E-bike with such nice pieces. An awesome fork and the set of brakes really stand out during your ride. The drive train (for the standard bike part) is spot on. The rims, tires, and other parts have been lifted from the top-of-the-line parts bin. With the way the power system responds to your needs, you can’t get by without all of this good stuff.
Also, the paint scheme and layout of the bike just scream ’stealth’. Kind of like ’Men in Black’, this bike does the job at hand, and nobody but you is the wiser. You can cruise at a mellow pace if you like, but I doubt you will. The bike lures you into a hurried mode that is exciting and kind of furious. The large battery and motor do give away some of its potential, even though they are black. Most people won’t even notice the bike, just the blur as you pass.
So, the power system, where do I start? The lithium battery has a huge amount of capacity (20Ah) and is pumping out 36 volts. Although it appears to be integral with the frame mounted motor, it is removable from the bike. All your controls sit in the battery housing and are accessible through the two top frame tubes. Three simple push buttons (one with LED indicators shining through) control all the functions. It is easy to understand and operate.
The motor sits just behind the battery and drives the rear wheel with a toothed belt. To actually say it drives the rear wheel is not quite true, I will get into that in a minute. Rated at 750watts, this little power plant packs the ponies and knows what to do with them. You will hear a gentle whine while it is doing its job and you will get to really like the sound it makes.
The only part of the electronics that is not contained within the motor / battery package is the pedal cadence sensor. It is actually a small motor (generator) that is driven off the bottom bracket with a short toothed belt. It outputs a signal to the ECU that is instantly converted electronically to your go power. The computer and ECU do their job in the blink of an eye, you don’t do anything but pedal and hang on.
The last key to the system (and the one I want a closer internal look at) is the EVO rear hub. It appears to be very much like a differential in a car. The difference is, that instead of controlling the output of power to two rear wheels (like in a car), it matches and blends the input power from your legs (the chain) and the motor (the belt) to the rear wheel. This is part of what makes this E-bike so unlike any you have ridden before.
You really have to ride it to see what I mean. I could try to explain it (and I will), but will come up short. Of course, the Express is a full pedelec. There is no throttle, there is no power-assist without pedaling, there is no free ride involved. You pedal hard and the bike matches your power. It is that simple. This is a bike rider’s bike and that won’t change. If you want to go, then the bike will respond in full. You can’t twist a throttle, lift your legs in the air and cruise. It just ain’t happening.
The Express comes with clipless pedals. You are expected to use them to get the full experience this bike will offer. Me, I replaced them with some standard ones for my test. I am not the clipless pedal kind of guy. It responds better with a smooth cadence and power input on the pedals is what I’m told. And from what I’ve experienced already, I fully believe it. So I might not get the full feel and power it can offer, but that’s ok.
Although there are 400+ Currie Technologies dealers that offer IZIP products, I doubt that all of them will have this bike on the floor for you to test ride. You might have to go by what you hear and read (like this article and the ones to come from me). They will be happy to make your order and ready your bike, but a pre-purchase test ride might be hard to come by. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
As the weeks go by, you will be able to read more of my thoughts and impressions here on my blog site and the Currie Technologies website. I will post some better photos too. You can follow the link below to see the specifications and other info on this nearly unbelievable machine. Also, you will see a link to San Diego Fly Rides, the shop where I picked it up. They are the local place to get any IZIP E-bike.
More, much more coming soon, Turbo Bob.
“On the shiny black road that mounted through the pines as he left the hotel he felt the pull in his arms and shoulders and the rounding thrust of his feet against the pedals as he climbed in the hot sun with the smell of the pines and the light breeze that came from the seat. He bent his back forward and pulled lightly against his hands and felt the cadence that had been ragged at first as he mounted begin to smooth out.”—Ernest Hemingway, The Garden of Eden.
Link to the IZIP Express page on the Currie Technologies’ website
Link to San Diego Fly Rides
Here are some links to other articles I have written about the IZIP Express
Here’s a video I did on the IZIP Express. Plus, if you look around on my You-Tube channel, you will find some of me riding it at the local Velodrome