EVELO Aurora E-bike—With the NuVinci N360 and More

EVELO Aurora E-bike—With the NuVinci N360 and More.

The EVELO Aurora has a look like no other E-bike.

The EVELO Aurora has a look like no other E-bike.

When I received this EVELO Aurora I was so glad to see it had the optional NuVinci continuously variable transmission.   As the mid-drive motor powers the rear wheel through the chain, I feel the NuVinci is the best way to optimize the available power and reduce noise and jerkiness when shifting under load.   The icing on the cake would be to see the NuVinci Harmony auto-shifting on board, and I would think this is a possibility in the future.

Mid-drive motors are getting more popular on E-bikes all the time.   There are many different types on the market and I really like this one speced on the Aurora.   It is an Italian designed piece that is almost silent and seems to be most efficient.   Mounted in the center of the bike and very low to the ground, it makes for an E-bike with a very balanced feel.   Combined with the N360 NuVinci transmission, the power system is quite a gem.

The NuVinci N360 hub works great with the mid-drive power system.

The NuVinci N360 hub works great with the mid-drive power system.

Like so many of the better E-bikes nowadays, you will find some nice features.   Smooth and strong disc brakes are bolted up on each end of the bike.   I am enjoying disc brakes more all the time and these ones are part of what is helping that.   Laced up with what appear to be very stout stainless steel spokes, the alloy rims add to the feel of solid riding you get on this EVELO.   The mountain bike style tires are just non-aggressive enough to be used on the street or dirt.

Up front on the Aurora you find a Rock Shox suspension fork with pre-load and lock-out adjustments.   It’s nice to see something so dependable mounted up and it really added to the comfortable ride I experienced over many weeks of riding.   A moto-cross style front fender is the anchor for the front LED headlamp while the massive battery tray located the LED tail lamp in the rear.   This factory lighting system, fed power from the motor battery, is bright and I made use of it on many night rides.

With a riding position about half way between up-right street bikes and bent-over mountain bikes, I was comfortable enough, but my wife thought a higher set of handlebars would be nicer.   I do agree with her on this one.   I like the upright feel, especially on E-bikes.   It appears from EVELO’s website that their two other models cover the extremes even better.   So whether you like to crouch over the bars, sit straight up or somewhere in the middle, they have a bike for you.

I call him the little noodle rider. He shows you how to set the NuvInci for the flats or for a climb.

I call him the little noodle rider. He shows you how to set the NuvInci for the flats or for a climb.

On the handlebars you will find that cool NuVinci shifter.   With a little cyclist on a noodle-like flat or hill (that contours as you shift), it is easy to understand.   A simple control panel has switches for the power on/off, lighting on/off and the level of pedelec assist.   The panel also has lights that tell how your battery charge is holding up.   Both brake handles has safety motor cut-off switches in them.   It comes with a cycle computer that I think could be much better.   I thought the ergo grips were just the right width and softness.

What you have here is an E-bike with a beefy and unique frame.   It is basically a low-frame model with some flair.   I think part of the (what I felt) extra weight of this bike comes from the frame.   Some of it might come from that interesting and quiet motor package and I do know that the NuVinci N360 adds a little too.   The EVELO site says 55 lbs, not counting the NuVinci.   That’s not too bad, so maybe it’s just me when I say the Aurora seemed kind of heavy.

During your ride you will get a feel for the dual-control system.   It has a three-level automatic pedelec with a half (grip) throttle that can be used anytime.   There is no ‘off’ setting for the pedelec function, something I suggested to the folks at EVELO that every E-bike with a pedelec should have.   The power feeds through the rear hub, so your speed and torque (from the motor) is affected by the way the NuVinci hub is set.   Of course, your pedaling power is altered  in the same way.

Whisper quiet, this Italian designed mid-drive motor and gearbox really work nice.

Whisper quiet, this Italian designed mid-drive motor and gearbox really work nice.

It might take some time to become accustomed to the way the motor’s power and the hub interact.   Before long though, you will be understanding this E-bike’s drivetrain and getting maximum efficiency and pleasure from it all.   The 250 watt brushless motor is kind of under-powered in today’s world of over-powered E-bikes, but the fact the motor drives through the ‘gears’ makes up for most of that.   I am no big fan of the high power E-bikes, yet for some with steep hills in their area, they are needed.

I did a lot of riding and liked the challenge of working the hub to match my leg’s power input and that of the motor drive system.   The ride and feel of the Aurora added to the fun.   I powered up some decent sized hills and cruised some fairly level beach routes.   The bike seemed to take it all in stride and never let me down.   A pair of people from EVELO took two of their E-bikes on a ride from New York to San Francisco last year.   I’m sure it was a long haul, and I can see why they made it to the end.

I did have a few issues that I worked through.   One is the fact that with the NuVinci optional up-grade, the lack of a way to adjust the chain tension in the conventional manner requires a chain tensioner.   That part of the bike gave me a few headaches, but still didn’t dampen my fun or cause any loss of riding time.   A few other tid-bits caught my attention too.   I was very pleased to find that the crew at EVELO were more than receptive to my criticisms and suggestions.   I feel they want their E-bike to be the best and their response to my notes were taken with enthusiasm.

For streets or trail, the EVELO Aurora will get you there in style.

For streets or trail, the EVELO Aurora will get you there in style.

Looking and riding good, the EVELO Aurora was a fun E-bike to spend time with.   It has some different things going on than most other bikes on the market.   I am big on the NuVinci hub and am getting more into the mid-drive E-bikes every week.   If the same-old, same-old doesn’t do it for you, then see what you can do to saddle up on one of this company’s E-bikes.   You may not want to ride yours cross-country, but who am I to stop you?

Mid-drive?    I like it.   Turbo.

“The next three evenings, for it was well in to the summer, I rode a dozen miles out into the country, where fresh air smelt like cows**t and the land was colored different, was wide open and windier than in the streets.   Marvelous.   It was like a whole new life starting up, as if till then I’d been tied by a mile-long rope round the ankle to home.”—Alan Sillitoe, “The Bike”.

Check the EVELO website for more details.

http://www.evelo.com/

I’ve done two reviews on the NuVinci N360 Hub. Have a look.

https://turbobobbicycleblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/nuvinci-n360-drivetrain-hub-seamless-shifting/

https://turbobobbicycleblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/nuvinci-n360-harmony-we-need-this/

Here is a link to the video I posted on the EVELO Aurora.   I may post one more too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3H0lYiZMJY

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About Turbo Bob's Bicycle Blog

E-bike Enthusiast Vintage Bike Enthusiast
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6 Responses to EVELO Aurora E-bike—With the NuVinci N360 and More

  1. Don DiCostanzo says:

    Bob, I heard we just missed you at Pedego Greater Long Beach on Saturday.
    You always do a fair job reviewing electric bikes but in this review, you make no mention of dealers or service.
    As you are certainly aware, issues do pop up and there are an increasing number of internet only folks selling electric bikes.
    In the case of EVELO, my understanding is they are based in Boston, ship the products from a public warehouse in Seattle and never see or touch the bikes.
    Internet only companies can obviously sell cheaper that those with a sales and service network.
    In my opinion, to be fair to your readers, you should discuss service after the sale in your reviews.
    Keep up the good work! We appreciate what you are doing to promote the industry.
    Don

    • Dear Don,
      My name is Boris Mordkovich – I’m the co-founder and CEO of EVELO Electric Bicycle company.
      I wanted to take a moment to address your comments:
      1. Our office is based in Boston and we ship both from the East Coast and the West Coast (Kent, WA).
      2. We do have a network of dealers that carry our bikes. All of the dealers are listed on our website.
      3. We also offer an Ambassador program where we can connect potential customers with existing EVELO customers to arrange for a test-ride and get unbiased answers to any questions they may have. This enables more people to test-ride the bike before deciding if it’s right for them.
      4. For customers who do not have an EVELO dealer near them, we do offer an option for them to purchase directly from our website. All of those purchases come with a money-back guarantee and our standard 18-month warranty.
      5. All of our bikes are assembled and tested individually before they are packed to be prepared to be shipped to customers.
      6. If a customer purchases directly through us and requires service, we offer a complementary service where we find a bike shop near them, set up the appointment and work directly with the bike shop to resolve any issues that pop up. All the customer needs to do is drop off the bike and pick it up after the service is completed.
      I hope this addresses some of the questions and concerns that were raised. If there are any other issues I can address, I would be happy to do so!
      Best,
      Boris Mordkovich
      EVELO, Inc.
      877-991-7272

  2. Don makes some very important points in his comment. Before I address them, I want to note that he is the CEO and Co-founder of Pedego Electric Bikes based here in Southern California. Pedego is one of the most service oriented E-bike companies you will find. I have been to their headquarters and can attest to the fact that every E-bike they sell in America is un-boxed, assembled and fully tested there. Then it is reboxed in a specially designed piece that protects the bike is a uncanny way. Plus, I have been told of the fantastic work their Asian-based QC person does and it shows in every Pedego I have seen or ridden. This includes the performance as well as the appearance. Although Pedego themselves do no internet sales, they allow their dealers to do so as long as they follow set pricing and other guidelines.
    Don claims they have no un-happy customers and my experience can’t dispute that in any way. Electro-mechanic items will have issues, but they deal with then in the quickest, most people-oriented way possible. They have a wide US dealer network and also have international dealers.
    Yes, to my knowledge, EVELO is mostly an internet company. They are trying to develop a dealer network at this time. There are many E-bike companies in the same boat. I have posted about the risks and dangers of purchasing an E-bike online several times. It is one of those purchases that should be done in person at a quality and service oriented dealer. With the prices of shipping and chance of damage during shipping, an in person purchase is the best option for E-bikes. A bike with problems (more likely that you might think), might have to be reshipped twice (there and back), plus the time lost needs to be considered. Plus the long-range service network online is non-existent. Also, getting a bike you like that fits you correctly is very important. Unfortunately, many areas lack a E-bike dealer or one that the locals fully trust. Plus, some E-bikes have a low-quality level that can’t be denied.
    Test riding an E-bike ahead of time and trusting your dealer are two of the keys to getting a bike that can make you smile for many years. I caution against internet purchasing if at all possible, but I am sure some people feel they have no choice. That is one of the reasons I do my bike reviews, to at least give you an idea of a bike’s features, the way it rides and it’s general perceived quality.
    As the E-bike world grows, there will be more dealers nationwide. For now, you need to do your homework and keep your fingers crossed if you buy online. There are people who buy a container full of generic (or better) E-bikes and offer them online with no knowledge of the bikes, no thought of returns and service, and your money is their only goal. Avoid these people at all costs. Keep in mind that you might find these low-quality generic bikes on a bike shop’s showroom floor too. I would like to think everyone knows this, but maybe they don’t.
    So thanks for stepping up to the plate Don. Yes, we visited Pedego Greater Long Beach on their opening day this weekend. We hope to go to their grand opening next month. Barbara and I have been to many Pedego dealers and continue to enjoy them and the people who run them. Pedego is a family business, and if not all by blood, then by spirit and kindness.
    I am a fully independent bike blogger that reviews E-bikes. I like many brands, and Pedego is only one of them.
    Turbo.

    • As you can now see, Boris from EVELO has addressed some of the issues that Don of Pedego raised. I leave the comment section open for this type of content.
      The comment I made above was posted before Boris added his.
      Thanks to both of them for being involved in my bike blog.
      Turbo.

  3. Brad Sloan says:

    I can’t say enough about trying out E-bikes before you buy. Would you buy a shoe without trying on? Buying from a local dealer is like having insurance on the bike if things go wrong. Most do have a warranty.

    • Right Brad, although people do buy shoes online. The big difference is they can send them back for no charge and get a quick and full refund. E-bikes are a whole different ball game to be sure.
      Buy from a local, quality and trusted dealer if you can. If you don’t, you have no one to blame but yourself.
      Turbo.

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