Stromer ST2—First Impressions.
I was lucky to be included in a dealer orientation and training on the Stromer ST2 at their San Diego headquarters last Friday. To say I have the full run-down on this soon to released high-end E-bike might be a stretch, but not a big one. Before the action started I had my own excitement riding one of the new bikes for a while to get the feel for it. What a great day it was, and my thanks go out big to the crew at Stromer and all the dealers that attended.
I guess I should start with the two main things I learned on this day. One, the new ST2 is an incredible bike, with a smoothness that seems unrivaled. The performance, sophistication and ability to interact with the bike are setting a benchmark that others will try to follow. The other thing I realized (early on) is that although the buy-in is steep, what you are getting for that outlay extends way beyond the nuts and bolts of the bike itself. The company has set in place a behind the scenes network that is mind-boggling.
The ST1 Stromer that so many are familiar with has many happy followers. This new bike at first glance seems much the same, but as you go deeper the similarities fade quickly. Built from the ground up as an E-bike, Stromer has many years of experience to mold this new offering. They added what they call a SYNO Drive motor, which could be simply explained as a high-frequency system, but is so much more. The end result is 20% more torque and a smoother power output.
Many of the bike pieces are better too. The rear axle / motor mounting is pure European technological coolness. Plus your options are limited as it comes with the city kit (fenders and lights) standard. As far as the bike goes it would be hard to imagine one much nicer. As far as the electronics go, you will be amazed at all this Stromer ST2 can do. I can tell you a little, but there isn’t enough space here to cover it all.
The electronics, where to start? They moved the controller out of the motor and into the frame below the battery. This is to balance the bike better and handle the heat of the increased power and torque. They have what is close to the largest, most powerful battery in the industry. A 48 volt 17 Ah lithium battery with an advanced BMS is now what you get. It will pump out a minimum range of over 40 miles and max to 90 or 100. That’s a lot of riding on one charge.
The whole system works through the OMNI display unit (and it does so much more). Mounted in the top tube, it is nicely protected and includes the antenna that connects the bike wirelessly to the GSM network. This early cell phone network has a large coverage, but is geared better for the data than the audio of phones. You approve your email and cell phone connection, and also choose a PIN number to allow the bike to interact with your smart phone, and the dealers and company’s large computer system.
On their end they can monitor much that your bike does, including the location. The anti-theft and theft-recovery abilities (available to you, your dealer and the company) are reassuring and they even log all your maintenance and repair records. This part of the bike is thought out well, and even though the transfer of information might seem intrusive at first, you will find it is essential.
The amount of menus you (and they) can access and change might be considered over-kill, yet each one has a purpose. Your cell phone and your bike become as one through the included app. Understanding all the bike can do might be tough at first (you will get the full run-down when you pick-up your bike, plus a help line will be available at all times). As the miles roll, the functions that effect your ride will start to become second nature.
Once you turn the bike on, all you really need to know to ride are the three levels of assist. Level one and three are just how they sound—minimum and maximum. Yet in level two, that is where you can custom program the bike’s power and response to your pedaling. The Stromer ST2 is a true pedelec (no hand throttle) and is torque-sensed controlled. This makes for one of the best E-bike riding experiences, and one of the most interactive. With some fancy button pushing you can activate a throttle, but is only good to about 13 mph.
Talking about fancy button pushing, the display is a touch unit. Much of that can be controlled with the handlebar buttons too, giving you the option of how you and the bike work together. Expect a learning curve though, as the ST2 has so much going on, you need to pay attention to your instructor when the action begins. Still, the menus and controls are pretty intuitive, so don’t get too concerned in this department.
The list of what the new Stromer can do is not even nicked with my information above. Spend some time on the Stromer website for more info. Or better yet, attend their US launch day this March 21st . They will have a west coast and east coast one simultaneously. That is also the day US delivery will start. Even though the amount of pre-orders is large, from what I saw at their headquarters, you can get in on the action without waiting past that date.
The ST2 is already out in the European quarter, so they have worked though the teething period already. I would think you have seen on-line much about the happy riders and some of what you can expect from your first test ride. On that note, I have been promised at least a week with the Stromer ST2 once they are launched here, so I will feed you more insight soon. Keep an eye out for me on the bike and I will be sure to let you try it out.
I do have to say I have my own doubts about the need for this level of electronics and computers on-board an E-bike. What I do know is as long as it is all up and running, this ST2 rides fantastic. What an impressive, powerful and smooth bike it is. There are many set to find this out for themselves, will you be one of them?
Thanks for reading, see you on the ST2 soon, Turbo Bob.
“Cyclers see considerable more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizen. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to.”—Dr. K. K. Doty.
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Check out all the videos I shot that day of the bike and the training