Stromer ST2—High-tech Thoroughbred

Stromer ST2—High-tech Thoroughbred.

 

Finally ready for you to ride—the Stromer ST2.

I relayed my first impressions on this bike last month after attending a dealer introduction and training session. Then I was in the house at the west coast launch event. Now that I have put some solid riding miles on-board this Stromer ST2, I am ready to offer more about what it’s like to be on one of the most electronically and mechanically advanced E-bikes on the market. If you haven’t read that March 2nd article, you might consider doing that first (link below). That will fill you in on some details not covered here.

Sleekly mounted, smooth power—here is your ST2 go system.

To start off, I envision that Stromer put the think tank method into play designing this E-bike. With the ST1 they had a great playing field to start with. Many riders, engineers and visionaries must have worked to put together a long laundry list of needed and wanted features. From there the engineers took over to bring each item into being. So many details are evident that you just don’t see anywhere else, come to life on this modern machine. This goes just not for the bike itself, but the whole network of on-line support and possible changes to the bike‘s programming.

 
I can’t go into every detail to prove this to you, so let’s dive into just one aspect that stands out. The rear wheel / motor attachment is space age stuff to be sure. It has one through bolt that secures it all. The motor has no external wires to deal with, all the connections are made in a hidden and nearly sealed place that lines up automatically as the motor is slid into place. As you look at this one thing, you see smooth flowing lines, but none of the mechanics that make it work.

 

The touch screen display is also the wireless connection for the Stromer ST2.

And that motor, wow. With 20% more power and torque than before, what you don’t feel is any roughness or surging. The flow and rush is there for your ride anytime you feel the need, and when you want it, you feel it. Of course the braking matches the speed dash with large hydraulics front and rear. The power and modulation you get is up there with the best the bike world has to offer. Add to that the brake hoses are almost fully concealed in the frame and fork. Even the front one is hidden inside the head tube area. The wiring too is nearly invisible.

 
If there is one downside of the bike (other than the price point), for some that might be the riding position. Stromer makes sport bikes and you just feel sporty riding them. Adding a wider saddle and slightly higher handlebars (or stem) is an option (like most any E-bike), yet you can’t go too high on the bars due to the cable and wiring lengths. Most who are Stromer fans and owners love this lean into the wind stance, and Stromer seems content to stay with it. Me, I didn’t mind, but a couple people I let ride it didn’t care for the bent over cockpit at all.

Sure, why not have an USB port too?

Stromer has been known for their torque-sensed control system since the beginning. It gives the most natural assist, and for seasoned riders it out performs them all. The bike’s motor responds to your needs and makes no compromises. Light pedaling garners no or minimal assist from the motor, yet step up your game and the power is there in a pounding wave. Being a true pedelec, there is no throttle to allow assisted riding without pedaling. Unless you are headed downhill, the only way to move out is to spin the pedals.

 
Being such a complicated E-bike, the controls for a basic ride are anything but. The simple to use settings are a breeze. You turn on the bike from a push switch below the display (under the upper frame). Turning it back off requires a re-push of that button to bring up a screen that gives you your shut down icon, settings menus, locking and anti-theft options (also controlled from your cell phone if you want). On the right bar is a 3 button switch that allows your choice between 3 power-assist sensitivities and your lighting power. I went into the menu to make it so whenever the bike is on, the 2 front lights and the one rear light are always lit.

 

So much to see here. The at-hand buttons for the assist modes—the strong headlight—the shifters—the hydraulic brake levers—the frame mounted display—the in frame wiring and brake hoses—and on and on.

What I’m saying here is, you turn the bike on, select a assist level, and ride. That is as simple as it gets. Of the three levels, 1 & 3 are pre-set to minimum and maximum, while # 2 is customizable from your cell phone. On this subject (and what a large subject it is), when you receive your bike, Stromer taps your email and apps your cell phone (with your permission of course). With these connections to your Stromer ST2, it allows you, your dealer and the Stromer company to customize your settings, evaluate your bike, access your maintenance records and pin-point its location (and so, so much more).

 

An aluminum frame and carbon fiber forks mount some great components. See how the front brake hose disappears into the fork?

This may be big brother warmed over for the bike world, yet we all know how all this is wanted by the throngs of tech hungry people of this planet. Do you want it? That is your choice and the ST2 delivers if you do. If you want to know all that it does electronically, then head over to the Stromer website, pull up an easy chair, and dig in for the duration. I personally don’t have the space here, or the time to cover every aspect that Stromer has programmed into the ST2

The riding is easy on a Stromer. Shifting, braking, and powering up all come as natural as any high-end bike you might try (only better because this is an E-bike). All the bike components work as a team and come from some of the best suppliers. The electrics back it up and off you go. It is as smooth as it gets and with every ride you will know you are living the E-bike dream. The power is awesome for every road the bike and you might encounter. The feel and handling match every other part from top to bottom.

 

Yup, I loved riding the Stromer ST2.

Is this the bike for me? Not really, but what a ride it’s been. Thanks for showing us all what time, smarts and money can do for an E-bike Stromer, great job. Turbo Bob.

“It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels.”—Heinz Stucke, German long-distance touring cyclist.

You can find Stromer on the web and Facebook.

http://www.stromerbike.com/en/us

https://www.facebook.com/mystromer?fref=ts

My article to present the Stromer ST2—consider reading this first.

https://turbobobbicycleblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/stromer-st2-first-impressions/

I posted many videos of the Stromer and the 2 events. This is the most recent one.

 

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About Turbo Bob's Bicycle Blog

E-bike Enthusiast Vintage Bike Enthusiast
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8 Responses to Stromer ST2—High-tech Thoroughbred

  1. Jim Danhakl says:

    TB….. Thanks for the great report as well as the one you gave last month. One question…..You gush over how great it is….then leave us all dangling at the end when you say “Is this the bike for me? Not really”. Could you elaborate on that a little? Price point? Mission? (city/commute only), weight? Complexity? Are you more a mid-drive guy? If the fairy god mother came down and told you she would give you one bike (that cost less than 8K) for free – for you to enjoy (can’t resell it) – which one would you pick and why? Thanks so much for you great input! Jim

    • Good question Jim. I hit on it a little, I do prefer a upright comfort E-bike. I don’t mind the sport seating position for a while, but on the longer rides I am more comfortable with my back and neck straighter.
      Of course the price point here won’t phase many E-bike lovers, yet even more will be put off by it.
      Yes, a simpler bike in the electronics department makes more sense to me. When set-up correctly, a dual control pedelec with a cadence sensor (as opposed to the torque sensed one), is all I really need. Having a throttle is a nice addition to any E-bike.
      I am a 16-18 mph road cruiser. Doing 28 mph blasts can be fun, but just not the way I want to ride in most conditions.
      I do like mid-drives (especially now that throttle-interrupt during shifting systems are getting added) (the new Shimano Steps and eRAD are just a few). Without it, they have too many issues (even with it they have issues). As an E-bike advocate, I think that most moving onto an E-bike should stay away from mid-drive E-bike and conversions. Still, they do have much to offer. I have been contemplating a post on the pluses and minuses of mid-drives compared to hub motors. Keep an eye out for that.
      It’s still a little early in the year to pick my favorite. Last year was the IZIP E3 Path+ if that gives you any idea. I like a fairly simple bike, with enough power for all situations, 26″ large cross section tires (like this ST2), One that sits upright and looks like an everyday college or English bike suits my fancy. I was impressed by one of the new Raleigh E-bikes I tried out for 20 minutes semi-recently. Time will tell.
      Thanks for following my fun—-more on the way, Turbo.

  2. jim danhakl says:

    Hi TB…..

    Your post got me thinking. So much so that I went and test drove 10 bikes in the past 4 days. I thought you might like my quick dump on each of the models – so thanks for letting me post on your blog. I’d like to thank the following for letting me test ride. The New Wheel in SF, Performance Cycles in San Rafael, REI in Berkeley and Pacific Ebike in Berkeley. I would be happy to elaborate on any of these models that anyone wants to know more about – or at least my subjective experience on them.

    First a little about me. Live in SF Bay Area. Want range enough to make the 20 mile round trip from SF to Sausolito. Want to be able to go up at least 2-3 steep SF hills (where they park sideways). When Iam on flats I want to be able to sustain 20+mph. Iam a 200+ pound guy. I don’t believe in eco mode in anything – so I will be riding around in max boost. I’ve categorized each in either Rear hub drives and Mid-drive motors. In order, I list 1. Motor Watt and when applicable peak watt the motor will automatically go to when needed. Thus 500/800 means 500W most of the time- but can go to 800 for short bursts up hills. 2. Torque in Newton Meters. I take this straight from the advertising and when I disagree with it I take away 10%. 3. The stated size of the battery in Watt/Hours. This means if you have a 500W motor and a 500Wh battery – you should be able to go all out on the motor for 1 hour before it runs out of juice. 4. Range. These numbers are MY estimate – based on what they state in the brochure and then me applying the “BS” factor. I want real – no shit range. The lower number means hauling my 200lb body around on full blast and still have 10% left over at the end so I don’t ever run out. I consider this conservative and much more realistic than the BS numbers that are in the brochure. 5. Weight is based off the specs. I’d add a couple of pounds on each ride for a more real number. Example…I rode a bike that was listed at 48lbs….then put it on a scale and it read 51lbs. I hate exaggerators. 6. Finally – price – based on an average of what I saw.

    TB – thanks again for letting me post this – and if again – if anyone wants to know more – just say so and I’ll elaborate. So without further adieu:

    HUB DRIVE MOTORS
    STROMMER ST-1 Premiere: 500/600W, 30nm, 522Wh, 25-55mi, 62lbs, $4,000
    – Solid, Excellent power delivery, Gets moving, Weak on Steep Hills, Average range.
    STROMMER ST-2: 500/800W, 42nm, 814Wh, 35-70mi, 62lbs, $6,900
    – Very Solid, Outstanding power delivery, Fast, Strong on hills of hub drive, Great range. Probably worth the money. Great Anti-theft / and electronics. Very impressive ride.
    DIAMONDBACK LINDAU: 500W, 30nm, 422Wh, 20-35mi, 55lbs, $2,000
    – Comfy upright cruiser, Strong power, delivery so-so, quiet, fast, below average range. Great value if short range is not a problem.
    DIAMONDBACK TRACE EXC: 500W, 30nm, 422Wh, 20-40mi, 50lbs, $2,200
    – More aggressive ride than Lindau, Strong power, delivery so-so, quiet, fast, below average range. Great value if short range is not a problem.
    MOTIVE SLEEK: 500W, 30nm, 540Wh, 20-40mi, 55lbs, $2,200
    – Big fat comfy cruiser, but no Pedelec, average climber – throttle only.
    APOLLO: 350W, 22nm, 313Wh, 20-30mi, 40lbs, $2,400
    – Weak climber, below average range. Pricey for what it is.

    MID DRIVE MOTORS
    FELT 9e: 350W, 60nm, 422Wh, 25-50mi, 38lbs, $4,700
    – Great feel, Can cross as urban assault or MB. Great power delivery, Crushes hills, Very light weight, decent range. No front suspension model for $800 less.
    KALKHOFF AGGATU 9: 350W, 612Wh, 40-70mi, $3,800
    – Upright cruiser, comfortable. Strong Impulse 2.0 motor. Offputting autocut-out during shifts. Looks so-so. Great range!
    FOCUS AVENTURA IMPULSE SPEED 1.0: 350W, 40nm, 612Wh, 40-70mi, 52lbs, $4,700
    – Comfortable urban setup, terrific brakes (4puck hydraulic), Strong motor – same comments about cutout. Great Range.
    DIAMONDBACK OVERDRIVE EXC: 350W, 40nm, 422Wh, 25-45mi, 50lb, $2500
    – Strong motor good on hills, Great value, OK range.

  3. jim danhakl says:

    Oh….One last thing. I actually purchased 2 bikes. Can anyone guess which ones? Iam not overly price sensitive – and can afford anyone or two of these bikes – but I don’t like overpaying either.

  4. globalanimal says:

    Hi Jim,
    I am curious which two e-bikes you purchased. I’m guessing Strommer ST-2 and another?… I also appreciate how you listed the comparisons, which is helpful in my own search (though I’m a petite woman). 🙂

  5. jim danhakl says:

    Hi Global –

    I did buy the ST2 – and have been riding it pretty aggressively the past year. What a great machine. It basically eliminates hills – yet still allowing me to get a good workout – even going downhill (with recoup mode). The only downside to the ST2 is no front suspension. I feel the bike is too heavy and too fast to be without one. Iam 200lbs+ and often carry another 10-15lbs of gear and the bike takes a pretty good pounding on all but the smoothest of roads. I heard that Stromer now offers an optional front suspension made by Suntour – I will probably have my bike modified.
    I also bought a Felt 9e – that my girlfriend rides. She loves it – especially in hills. Overall its hard to beat the high tech and power of the ST2

  6. globalanimal says:

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your reply. Ah-ha, so you did buy the Stromer ST2! I’m glad to hear you’re having a good time with it, albeit a somewhat bumpy one, though it sounds like you’ve found a solution to that. I was also interested to hear about your girlfriend loving the Felt because they weren’t on my radar and I now see they have a bike that might be a good fit for what I’m looking for. Like you, I’ve researched like crazy before buying, which I expect to do in the next week (well, two – one for me and one for my husband). I’m looking for a really good cruiser (no snickers, please) and I’m finding it’s a bit of an oxymoron, as though cruisers aren’t “serious” bikes, and I suppose that has some merit.

    Still, I’d like a quality step-through cruiser with a good range (40 miles+ and generally 10+ Ah), plenty of power for hills (48 volts would be nice), a lockable down-tube battery vs. rear-mount, a comprehensive display panel with external device/phone/GPS plugin capabilities (one I was considering doesn’t even have a speedometer), both pedal assist and throttle (of course cruisers and class 3 28mph probably aren’t a good match ☺) and good suspension. My husband has much the same criteria, which is a good thing so we’re well-matched when riding together.

    I know everything’s a trade-off but the #1 pre-requisite of sitting upright means a lot of compromises. I was at a Stromer shop recently and those bikes are really the bomb. I can see how it topped your list and the ST2 is just plain beautiful. I’m heading to the San Diego bike expo this weekend so that should steer us toward solid bike matches. Honestly, I think any e-bike will be great even if it’s not the greatest greatest. They’re so damn fun!

    Thanks again for your earlier comments and input. Happy riding!

  7. globalanimal says:

    Oh, actually, I could do without throttle, but not throttle without pedal assist (which is really the only deal-killer for me on the otherwise magnificent Kalkhoff).

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