SmartMotion Pacer E-bike—Trifecta Champion.
Motor control systems on electric bikes are a big concern of mine. Having one that is not jumpy or unsafe is key. Having one that custom fits the riders needs is perfect. I maybe coined the term dual control for E-bikes that not only have automatic motor control (PAS), yet also have a throttle so pedaling isn’t always necessary for the assist. Normally the PAS is cadence driven (sensing just the fact the pedals are turning) or torque sensed (smart control that can sense your push power on the pedals and give the assist to match your leg power correctly).
The Smart Motion bike goes to a tri-control with a great new innovation. The three ways to control the motor power are far from all the cool features on this new E-bike from Lectric Cycles, yet it is worth getting excited about. What adds the 3rd control factor is it has the throttle that the majority of E-bike rider need (and fewer and fewer E-bikes have them), (bad move from the manufacturers I would say). Yet is also lets you switch your PAS between cadence and torque modes. This gives you great flexibility in ways I haven’t experienced on any other E-bike.
I think I documented the way the control system works and blends with your ride fairly well on the videos I did (and you can see at the bottom of this post). I have to say I like the variety, the ease of use and the general feel of the Pacer’s control system. It is important on E-bikes to feel comfortable at all times. The bike itself also made for a comfortable feel, so easy riding is the result. It is a big bike though, (not so much for me at 6” 2”) with the large frame they supplied me and the 27.5 inch, not too aggressive Kenda tires.
Not to worry there, as Lectric Cycles offers this bike in a smaller frame size. They also have 6 bike styles including a hot dog mountain bike and several urban bikes, some with low frames, like I would normally ride when possible (comfort step-through frames are just right for the aging E-bike crowd). The even have a SmartMotion folding E-bike called the Vista. When you add the convenience of a folding bike with an electric-assist you really are making the best bike for the masses of people who want to ride easy, use intermodal transportation and have the ultimate in bike security.
This Pacer comes so well equipped. The motor battery fed front and rear LED lighting are exceptional for a bike in this price range. I always add additional front and rear lights for the bigger rides, yet these will really do for most any run on the local roads. There are also extra frame LED lights for coolness and visibility. The solid and fancy rear rack is a blessing. Chain guard, strong kick stand and lightweight fenders are things I need and don’t want to spend the time and money finding, so having them included is great. The ergo grips and bar ends feel good, although the thumb throttle placement need some work. On even some shorter rides, the fatigue came quick.
The massive battery (power, not necessarily the physical size), is semi-integrated into the frame. It has a USB power output port and easy removal of the battery from the bike if needed. The range and power available is so much better than most E-bikes out there. One thing you might find interesting is that with just throttle use, the bike’s motor assist is limited to the Class 1 and 2 speed range of 20 mph. But in the PAS modes, if you have the pedal power yourself, the motor will assist you to the class 3 range of 28 mph. If you are using that extra power, make sure to get your SmartMotion Pacer with the largest capacity battery. The bike comes with 3 battery options, my recommendation with any E-bike, is the get the most powerful option they offer, in this case it is 17.5 Ah (48 volts btw).
Big strong hydraulic disc brakes are being seen on so many E-bikes nowadays (this E-bike has them). I can’t say I am a fan of them. They can be so powerful that a rider can take a dive in an emergency when the brakes are applied too quick and strong (even with much practice this is too easy to do). There are two answers to this very urgent problem. One is make sure you get those brakes with the two-finger shorty down-hill levers that reduce the risk of over applying them (which the Pacer does not have)—or to avoid them completely and get a E-bike with quality mechanically operated disc brakes or good old fashioned V-brakes that work so well. It is your life and health on the line—so make sure you have brakes that work for you—and practice emergency stops to avoid the fall.
I have told so many makers about using the safe two-finger levers. Many have them, many have agreed I am right and made the shift to them. I do hope SmartMotion hears my plea for you and me, and make the change. Even if your bike comes with the full length levers, they can be changed for a cost that is fully worth it, compared to the pain the full length levers can cause you. I can still count on one hand how many times I almost went down as moving obstacles caught me off guard. Too much pressure caused wheel skidding and almost going over the bars. I am a decent long-time rider, still the danger reared it’s ugly head and I lucked my way through them. OK—rant over. So you know, not many makers are using the two-finger levers, so the Pacer is in the majority there.
Talking comfort on the Pacer is easy. It just naturally feels good. Shifting the 10 gears with the quality gear train is smooth and easy, partly due to the great hand shifter on the right side of the bars. Just the one gear ring up front makes things simple. Also being a BodyFloat isolation seat post dealer—this demo bike has one on-board, and it is like a bike dream that doesn’t stop. Both my wife’s and my E-bike have them. They are the best, better and simpler than full suspension bikes. Well there is so much more to tell about this cool and great performing E-bike from Lectric Cycles. I think you just need to hunt one down for you own test ride and evaluation. I didn’t mention the great display unit—you will love that too.
Go E-bikes—Go Lectric Cycles! Turbo Bob.
“Cycling is unique. No other sport lets you go like that—where there’s only the bike left to hold you up. If you ran as hard, you’d fall over. Your legs wouldn’t support you.”—Steve Johnson.
You can find Lectric Cycles on their website or Facebook page
Here are the videos of the SmartMotion Pacer I uploaded.