IZIP E3 Path+—Like It? I Love It!
As the years go by I have been looking for the perfect E-bike. My needs and wants may different from the norm (if there is such a thing), yet in all the time I’ve been riding and testing them, I have a pretty good feel for what most want from their E-bike. What that boils down to is—a normal bike feel, a quality and dependable bike, an agile and light bike, and a motor control system that is easy to use that never abruptly goes when you don’t want it to.
The IZIP E3 Path+ meets all those requirements and more. Looking like a everyday commuter or college bike, the only things visible that tip off the E-bike thing are the larger rear hub (the motor) and the battery in the oversize rack. The upright seating is comfortable, giving you a good look at the road without neck strain. The controls are at hand, never requiring you to take your eyes from the road to use them (after some time on the bike). The way the controls work and make the motor respond is a top feature.
I really liked last year’s Path, but more power and better control was it’s lacking mark. The factory knew this too so they upped their game with all the right refinements. The direct-drive motor (silent, by the way), has twice the wattage, the battery has twice the volts. 500 watts and 48 volts are the numbers. Yet this increase in available juice has not made the bike jumpy or unstable. Some expert programming has tamed the beast and you are the winner.
Let’s talk about the programming for a minute. Using what I believe to be a soft-start system, the acceleration is not as pronounced as other high-power E-bikes. That lends to your riding confidence in many ways. A surge of power at the wrong time (say turning or near an obstacle) can be a eye-opening experience on an E-bike. More than that it can even be dangerous or painful. Even though the speed might not ramp-up as quickly as others, the climbing grunt matches other direct-drive 48 volt E-bikes just fine.
The dual-control (pedelec and half-twist hand throttle) can work together. That means you don’t have to toggle buttons to use one or the other. To use the throttle for more speed when in pedelec mode, all that is required is that you are pedaling. Many good E-bikes that have dual-control do not allow them to work together, something I rally against with many E-bike manufacturers. If you are in pedelec mode to cruise and you need to add more power in a hurry, you don’t have time to search for and press buttons.
To top of the sweet control system on the IZIP E3 Path+, you will find one more button. That is the cruise control. I love this, something rarely seen even on modern E-bikes. It can make the simplest ride more fun and locks into the speed you’ve chosen until you give a slight pull on one of the brake levers or work the throttle again. It can only be activated in throttle only mode, as it should. I posted a video on the use of the control system (see the link below). This bike has a large, versatile display unit too, something I think you will appreciate.
Now to the bike, more sweet stuff to talk about for sure. The aluminum frame comes in two sizes for the diamond model and one in the low-frame model (still very strong and diamond like). The geometry is mild, giving great steering and control. The lack of suspension adds to the agile and lightweight feel, but can be the slightest bit harsh at times. The 700c tires have a fairly large cross section to help with grooves and bumps in the road and smooth them out somewhat. Sealant goop in the tubes is always nice to see.
Fenders, kickstand, chain guard and rack are sometimes upgrades you need to purchase and install yourself, but not here. The large rack will hold much, and most of my rides found a great pair of BikeSmart saddle bags on-board. More modern pieces are found at each end of the Path+, stuff like an Ahead steering system and a cassette (as opposed to an old-school freewheel) at the rear wheel gear cluster. The grips are very ergo like and feel good. The saddle is another piece that normally gets up-graded right away, yet this one will satisfy almost every rider.
Riding the Path+ is very natural. It screams everyday bicycle with each turn of the pedals. To me that means comfort, confidence and fun. The smooth ride is more than the control system, it is the whole package. The look is more than skin deep. This bike is bred and built to make your riding great. With the power system shut-down it rides like any other bike (something I always test for). Many E-bikes don’t ride very bike-like this way, between the components and the weight. On those you would be hard pressed to continue on without the power-assist in action.
If there is one thing holding it back (and there is just the one), that would be the lack of a lighting system. Currie Technologies has one that can be added as an option. The wires and switch are pre-installed already, so the up-grade is easy. I would fully recommend you go this route, yet I still add extra lighting to all of our bikes. The light switch does activate the display unit backlight, but having some built-in lighting would be king.
To round out this post I want to mention the strong and smooth disc brakes at each end. Also the nice dual-button gear shifter on the bars. These both add to the riding high you will get each time at the controls. Each rim is held on with quick-release skewers, another nice touch. The handlebars have a great moustache type flow and give your hand position full ease to all the controls. Once again this adds to the natural feel you get every time you mount-up, whether for an epic ride, or a quick jump to the corner market.
The world has been waiting for a great, powerful, safe and quality E-bike like this since the electric-assist bike came to being. I do feel this has been accomplished and you owe it to yourself to see if you feel the same as me.
Make mine smooth, Turbo Bob.
“The advantages? Exercise, no parking problems, gas prices, it’s fun. An automobile is expensive. You have to find a place to park and it’s not fun. So why not ride a bicycle? I recommend it.”—Stephen G. Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice when asked why he rides a bike.
Currie Technologies on the web and Facebook.
Videos I’ve posted on this bike. The second one is all about using the control system.