IZIP E3 Dash—A Burst of Excitement for your Ride.
If you haven’t seen the 2014 line-up of E-bikes from Currie Technologies you don’t know what you’re missing. It only makes sense that this long-time electric bike company would keep upping the bar with every new model release. Enter the E3 Dash, with a name that matches its ride perfectly. Check the photos and follow along.
Even though its name is descriptive, what isn’t as clear is exactly type of bike the Dash is. Appearing most like a mountain bike, it really can be a road bike, sport bike or cruiser too. Although being a cruiser might be a stretch, some taller bars and a wider saddle would do the trick. What we do have here are some great features and a E-bike with some serious zip.
Out front is a decent suspension folk with a lock-out for those who need it. The 700c tires (28”) have a large cross-section to smooth the road and a tread pattern that will do street or mild trail work. Like the saddle, those tires can be swapped out if needed for the type of riding you have planned. The aluminum frame looks as strong as any and I’ve seen some cool pics of this bike getting some fairly big air. In fact I jumped some tall curbs myself with a smile.
Of course the real feature here is the electric-assist motor and the components that make it work. The brushless rear hub motor is fully silent, yet very powerful. It has the kind of hill-climbing ability you would be slightly surprised to find with a direct-drive motor like this. My wife wheeled it up one of our steepest hills one weekend, pedaling kind of hard, but never leaving the bike to walk. On a low-speed cruise it excels too.
It shares a similar display unit to the Path+ I last tested (you saw the video on its functions, right?), but the motor control actuation is much more advanced. Using a combination of a torque sensor, and speed sensors that pick-up wheel and pedal speeds, it knows what you need and delivers. I have written more than a few articles about torque-sensed control systems, but the only way to really understand is to hop on and ride. It is the best system for people who ride a lot, and works well for all the rest.
This is a dual control E-bike so the half-hand throttle might be the way you choose to add the power when you need it. Part of the cool factor here is as long as you are pedaling, this bike will ramp up the speed more than most electric bikes. I figure that is what the name ‘Dash’ implies. The control panel at your left hand sets your pedelec modes and more. Part of that more is the cruise control button—love it!
To stay within the regs for E-bikes, if you only use the throttle the motor will assist you to the set maximum of 20 mph. This allows you to ride without any pedaling, yet it is fully natural for your feet to move when you ride. Keep in mind that your battery range will be much less if you don’t help the bike along some with your feet. You can get an extra 8 mph of assist from the bike if you are pedaling, but remember, this extra ’Dash’ will work your battery harder too. I got some nice long rides on this E-bike by using the extra speed just when I needed it (and sometimes just for fun), as it has a great 48 volt system with a fairly high-capacity lithium battery.
Like most all E-bikes the battery can be recharged on or off the bike. The smart charger does the job quickly and safely (something you also find on all decent E-bikes nowadays). The battery mounts to the frame rails in a mid-bike configuration that aids the front-to-rear balance and helps add to the low center of gravity. A key lock is included to keep it secure to the bike, as it should.
A ride on the IZIP E3 Dash can be quite exhilarating. It handles very nicely and stops on the proverbial dime. Working through the pedelec assist levels is easy and with a little time you will be toggling them without glancing at the display. Getting down the road in quick fashion can happen, yet I like a little easier pace. One great thing about E-bikes is that you get to set your exercise level, on this one you get to set your thrill level too. That ’Dash’ thing’ is always temping you to have some fun with it.
The bike doesn’t stand out with the matte black finish and black fittings. You will be the one feeling special without appearing to fit the role. This is something I like too. There is nothing wrong with flashy colors and the such, yet there is much to be said about enjoying your E-bike without the visual fanfare. If you want bling, look elsewhere, if you want a great E-bike experience then this might be for you.
My wife spent as much time on this bike during the test cycle as I did. To suit her fancy a rack and cushier saddle would be king. I think some fenders and a full chain guard would make her happy too (it does have a basic guard at the front chain ring). Still she kept the smiles coming and enjoyed the great feel it offers, and the way the control system operates. She is a big fan of bikes with single front chain rings and thumb operated shifting.
Like most E-bikes shifting isn’t as important when you have the motor to assist you at the starting speeds. This E3 Dash has the torque-assist, so when you are in the pedelec modes shifting to match your speeds results in a more spirited ride. Going through the gears can be very cool during a bike ride, but not worrying about them can be even cooler.
Did I mention worry? Not with this IZIP E3 Dash. Turbo Bob.
“There is beauty in silence and there is silence in beauty and you can find both in a bicycle!”—Mehmet Murat ildan.
Currie Technologies on the web and Facebook
Here is a video I shot that will give you a closer look.