EG Electric Bikes—Easy Riding for Easy Money.
On a recent trip to Portland I got a chance to ride 3 of these smooth E-bikes from EG Bikes USA. It wasn’t my first exposure to this brand, but was my first time in the saddle. Cynergy EBikes in Portland is a dealer and one of our stops to check on the E-bike scene in that part of the country. When I mentioned to the owners, Rich and Ruth, that we had been hoping to ride to the new Oregon Rail Heritage Center, they jumped at the chance to get us on these bikes.
The bikes we (my wife Barbara, her sister Mari and I) rode this day were the Athens 250, the Zurich 350 IX Step-through and the Vienna 250 EX. Each bike was different, but I did like the fact they come with fenders, kickstands, chain guards and lighting systems (although the folding Vienna had too short of a rear fender and a sprocket mounted guard). Rich told me this line-up of E-bikes have done well at his shop, not just because of their price-point, but because of their quality and ride.
Checking the EG Bikes USA website I see they offer a wide selection of E-bikes, including the Monte Carlo. I saw that E-bike last year at Myron’s ExtremeMachines on their demo day. Not only did I post a video of the bike, but I spoke with the owner of that particular bike and he loved it. It seems EG Bikes USA offers a big punch for the buck, and as I rode these 3 different bikes from Cynergy EBikes I was feeling it. Let’s look at the bikes and see what they are like.
First off I thought the simple and easy to understand control systems were set well. Mari was a first time E-bike rider that day and had no difficulties during our adventure. The dual control lay-out offers a hand throttle (twist or thumb depending on the model) and a pedelec mode. The pedelec mode can be turned off and the hand throttle worked the bike in all the settings (something I like). The 250 watt bikes can feel a little under-powered during steep climbing, but for most they work fine and can save you a little during the purchase.
My favorite of the group was the Zurich. Not just because of the slightly increased power, but it just rode nice. The bars are set a little lower for more of a sport feel, yet the cockpit was comfortable. This electric-assist bike has the hub motor up front the way many like it. I’m pretty sure it is a geared motor (brushless for sure) because of the almost un-noticeable whine and the sprightly feel of power. The 36 volt battery sports 12 Ah of capacity so it should be good for some long rides.
A close second in my approval was the Athens. With the bars sitting higher you could keep your head up and straighten out your back. The motor is in the rear wheel where some like it better. The power isn’t as severe, yet great for all but the steeper climbs. With a front suspension fork and the larger profile tires it was the best (of the two non-folding bikes) in terms of a smooth ride on the rougher roads. These are 26” tires, where the Zurich uses the taller (and skinner) 700c.
In our group it seemed the Athens was the bike to be on. During our ride to and from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center we swapped bikes several times. Although smiles were a given, the rider’s smile on the Athens was the widest. If you’ve tried (or own) an E-bike already you know what fun they can be. Some of that fun can be reduced on a E-bike that doesn’t ride well or has problems, a thing we had no experience with during our day on the EG E-bikes.
Later that afternoon Rich and I discussed the bikes and how EG has such a great selection. He said I wasn’t the first to mention that if the Athens had the power system of the Zurich it would really stand-out better. He pointed out that he would love to have every model they offer on the floor, but we both could see that would be tough. He can get you any bike that you see on the EG Bikes USA website.
Rich has a couple folding E-bikes at the store. The EG Vienna 250 EX is his most popular. I have written much on the convenience a folding E-bike offers and done many posts on them. The Vienna was the most fun of the group in many ways. The full suspension was appreciated by us all and the steering is quick but not twitchy. The 24 volt battery mounts to the seat post and has a decent capacity. The lower voltage was noticeable in the power it puts out, yet with a lighter over-all weight as a plus. The only drawback was the short rear fender (something that I would hope gets up-dated on future models and would be first on my list to up-grade).
When we picked-up the bikes it didn’t take long to get on the road. Like I mentioned the controls are simple and each bike had easy to adjust seat heights. Riding on quiet back streets we were able to talk and laugh, enjoying each part of the ride. The day had a few short showers, allowing stops under some trees now and then. On the way back we decided to not let the rain bother us and Mari was the one who got to find out for me that the Vienna’s fender wouldn’t deflect the puddles. It was OK though and she laughed with us as we all got soaked.
Rich and Ruth have a great E-bike shop in the south part of Portland. We sure enjoyed our time with them and the bikes they so generously lent us to make our vacation special. If you can, stop by to see all they can do for you and make sure to say hi from us. I do hope we can make a return visit soon.
E-bikes and train museums make a great combo, Turbo Bob.
“The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world.”—Susan B. Anthony.
EG Bikes USA link
Cynergy EBike on the web and Facebook
Myron’s ExtremeMachines on the web and Facebook
Videos of the bikes and rides