IZIP E3 Compact—Fold and Go, Lots of Go.
Here is a folding E-bike you’ve seen on my pages before. I got a chance to ride a prototype earlier in the year and mentioned it in a post that highlighted many different brands. Then last week’s article showed how much fun can be had with friends on a folding bike kind of day. Now I want to tell you more about many of the places it’s taken us and the convenience it has provided for my wife and I.
I picked up this IZP E3 Compact from the folks at the IZIP Store in Santa Monica the day before the Spring CicLAvia. On it’s first major outing it plied the streets of LA from Venice Beach to Downtown and back again. With the extra riding we did after at the beach, it wheeled well over 35 miles that day. That is way more than the estimates you will see on the Currie Technologies website, and that’s not the only over 30 mile day its given me.
With a super efficient 250 watt geared front hub motor and the 36 volt rack mounted lithium battery, it sometimes acts like the ride will never end. You have your choice of controlling the power with the half twist throttle or using the pedelec feature. In the PAS (Pedal Assist System) mode the power comes to a mellow level (about 1/3 to ½) automatically as long as you are pedaling. This way you can just enjoy the ride without continually holding the throttle to get the motor’s assist.
When I’m riding by myself I find that using the PAS mode is the most comfortable way to go, yet in a group or when in a hurry, I will switch back to TAG (Twist and Go) mode for better control of the assist and speed. This is set by a simple rocker switch on the handlebars. In fact the whole control system is ultra simple, that switch, one more for power on / off and the throttle itself is all you have to deal with.
The bike too is pretty simple. It is a single speed, so there is no gear shifting to fiddle with. You just climb aboard and ride, enjoying all the fun and excitement it offers. Having just one gear at times can be a little disappointing, yet on the whole it is a good set-up. Climbing hills is easy because the electric-assist helps a lot. When you are at full speed from the motor (about 18 mph), it is going just a little fast for the pedaling to help, but I found my feet spinning them all the same.
The power is more than sufficient, in fact my wife made it up one of the steepest hills in town during a long ride near Balboa Park. At low speeds when first starting the front wheel can spin free a little, but once you get going it digs in with no problem. And that spinning causes no uncomfortable control issues either. I have had people tell me that front hub motors can promote instability, but on most every E-bike I’ve ridden with this layout, I have yet to experience that.
This bike is a real lightweight in the E-bike world. At 42 lbs, it is easy to ride and also easy to lift when folded. I have popped it in and out of the trunk of our econo car on many, many occasions. The fold is quick, although I normally don’t bother folding the pedals or twisting the handlebars to allow for the most compact package when folded. With that little extra effort it gets even smaller. Plus the battery is removable to reduce the lift weight even more, yet I seldom do that either.
The style is typical Dahon and the stealthy matte black finish is even and smooth. There is a little shiny silver here and there, but it is mostly all black. It seems to be speced nicely and never gave us any real problems to speak of. The V brakes do the trick in the stopping department just fine. The tires and rims are very stout and the tubes are Slime filled to thwart off flats. The grips are made from two materials for a good feel and the saddle is a nice compromise between too skinny and firm to too wide and soft.
We have taken it riding in many places since I picked it up. It seems that my wife is usually the one on-board when we’re together. Several nighttime group rides and a bunch of fun places are listed to its credit. In fact it has two CicLAvia visits, the second being even more fun then the first. One gal in our small group made the front page of the LA Times that following Monday. We were riding with her all day, yet in the photo we were nowhere to be seen. Oh well, the fun was in the day, not the notoriety.
The E3 Compact has made it to a few E-bike presentations I’ve hosted and its been ridden by a bunch of friends and new friends as their first experience aboard an E-bike. It makes a great demo E-bike because it is so easy to ride and maneuvers in a comfortable fashion. The simple controls and lack of shifting figure into that too. Not only have my wife and I been loving this E-bike, but many others seem to be taking a serious liking to it.
Most every ride has seen a BikeSmart saddle bag attached to the large rear rack. A front and rear Serfas Thunderbolt light set are semi-permanently part of the bike too. I even added a bell, a needed piece for any trek around town. I think if I were to own this IZIP E3 Compact, it would be sporting a pair of fenders. I’m sure they would be easy to mount up and would add to the already spiffy look and super convenience I get from every ride.
It seems a three-speed (or more) geared hub could be part of this bike without too much cost or weight penalty. I would think that Currie Technologies left it off the Compact for those two reasons. It really isn’t needed anyway, but would be nice to have. Part of the fun of bikes is the ability to modify them to your needs. So if you have the desire for some gears, don’t let anyone stop you. I sure wouldn‘t.
Feel the fun, try out an E3 Compact, Turbo Bob.
“When you have attained a proficiency which enables you to take out your handkerchief, wipe your nose and replace the mouchoir in your pocket without slackening your pace, you have fairly graduated…
For fun there is nothing like cycling, and before many years two or three family wheels will be as much a part of the ménage as the modern range and sewing machine are now.“—San Francisco Chronicle, 1896
Find the line of IZIP E-bikes from Currie Technologies on the web and Facebook
Here is one of the videos I posted on my You-Tube channel